Minor League RFA’s (Update): Anyone Worth Bringing Back?

This has been an extremely trying season for Edmonton Oilers minor league prospects. If there were an expansion draft this summer it’s very likely none of them would catch the attention of the new clubs based on this season’s performance (exceptions noted below).

In the photo are (I believe) JF Jacques and (I’m certain) Rob Schremp (what, exactly, is he doing in this photo?), two top flight prospects for the last three or four years.

Earlier this season I had a look at the Oilers’ minor league rfa’s and we talked about which of them might return (and the circumstances). That post is here and this is the update:

  • Liam Reddox: His NHL numbers (35gp, 5-4-9 -4) are certainly pedestrian and a possible coaching change with the big club could impact his career in a very big way. However, we don’t know exactly what he is because (unlike the overwhelming majority of these kids) he had a very late kick (starting at 21) to his time as a prospect. One thing we can agree upon is that he’ll get another contract from the Oilers. Will it be a one-way?
  • Ryan Potulny: He’s off the pace in the last stretch (15gp, 6-3-9 -7) but his overall numbers are still a team best (53gp, 25-17-42 -11). I suspect he’s in exactly the same spot (obvious signing for Springfield with a one-way deal also in the conversation). His major league audition was solid.
  • Ryan Stone: 17gp, 4-6-10 E since the end of January and his numbers for the year are 60gp, 14-27-41 +3 overall. He’s got some size and some grit and it’ll be interesting to see if he can come to camp in the fall and move past people like Brule on the depth chart. Suspect he’s a keeper.
  • Gilbert Brule: Huge decline (12gp, 1-4-5) since we last checked, his overall numbers this season in Springfield are 34gp, 12-9-21 -9. The Oilers gave up an NHL regular for him so this trade looks like a poor one after three quarters of a season. It would look even more dreadful if they didn’t give him another contract, but it’s difficult to see how he’d be a strong option for the big team come the fall.
  • Devan Dubnyk: Last time we checked his SP was .908 and it has fallen to .904 after a tough run in the last several weeks. I don’t think he’s shown enough but the Oilers have played all of their starters into the ground this year. I hope they bring him back, the math says meh, but he’s a first rounder and the organization is extremely unlikely to cut him loose now.
  • Colin McDonald: He had a nice resurgence during this period (17gp, 3-4-7 E) and his season totals are 60gp, 6-9-15 -6. I was very impressed with Jonathan Willis’ AHL “toughness of minutes” study which put McDonald in a positive light and suspect he’ll get another contract for next season.
  • Rob Schremp: 17gp, 2-9-11 -6 since we last looked at the rfa’s, he’s now 52gp, 7-30-37 -13 for the season. Already behind a bunch of Oilers kids for the skill slots available (we can safely include Gagner, Cogliano and Nilsson in this category) the Oilers just acquired another smaller skill guy in Patrick O’Sullivan. I can’t imagine a scenario that has him back in the AHL and a member of the Edmonton Oilers organization. There’s really no way to know what his actual trade value is at this time but we can be secure in saying that it’s not what it was a year ago.
  • Tyler Spurgeon: He has deep ties (he was a Lowe special) to the organization but didn’t do much in this period (14gp, 0-2-2 -4) to get another contract. Spurgeon is 60gp, 5-13-18 -5 overall and despite this lack of offense my bet is he’ll get another contract due to earlier health issues (meaning that they haven’t seen enough of him to know he’s not a prospect).
  • Bryan Young: 17gp, 1-2-3 E over this period and his season (46gp, 1-5-6 -5) shows a trend toward stronger play in the second half of the season. All the younger kids have pushed him toward the door and he might be done as an Oilers prospect.
  • Sebastien Bisaillon: 4gp, 1-0-1 -3 recently and 31gp, 5-7-12 -1 for the season. The organization seems to be souring a little on him and he’s had two stints in Stockton. The math says sign him and play him but we’ll see what the Oilers do this summer.
  • Mathieu Roy: 13gp, 0-1-1 +1 in Feb/Mar for a season total of 37gp, 2-10-12 -23. I don’t think he’ll come back.
  • Stephane Goulet: 4gp, 0-1-1 E in the last few weeks and now stands at 18gp, 1-3-4 +2. You never know with wingers who are 6.03, 210 and scored a bunch in junior but he sure looks like this is his outer marker.
  • David Rohlfs: Spending the season in Stockton, unlikely to get another contract with the Oilers.

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89 Responses to "Minor League RFA’s (Update): Anyone Worth Bringing Back?"

  1. St George says:

    This team really needs to be partially blown up and re-built, and it looks like we can include many of the prospects.

    Watching the game last night, my worst fears about the Cole trade were confirmed – we were pushed around by the Sens (?!?), and our new “skill” players either avoided the opposition (Kotalik) or bounced off them as he lost possession of the puck (OSullivan).

    But that’s not really the worst part about the Cole trade. The worst part is that it is a continuation of Kevin Lowe’s seeming desire to get rid of any vets that have had experience on a winning team. Since the cup run, Lowe (and his successor I guess) seem infatuated with letting go experienced veterans who knew how to win and stocking up on “promising” young guys who have no history and don’t know about winning in this league.

    I know there’s no stat for that, but when you look at the experienced talent that walked after the run, throw in Smyth, Reasoner, and now Cole, this team is bereft of the right kind of players.

    For this team to be even somewhat successful, they are going to need to develop a culture of winning, and that starts with having a lot of players that know what winning in the NHL is about. The Oilers don’t have that, and we keep getting rid of those players for small inexperienced “top 6″ forwards. It’s no wonder the team looks disorganized and confused out there – there’s no one to effectively lead them.

    The trades this week hurt the Oiler’s playoff chances, and I don’t think throwing away a 2nd round pick was an intelligent move given the circumstances either.

  2. St George says:

    I forgot Smith. He may be in his sunset years, but you don’t get rid of guys like Smyth and Smith who go on to captain other teams unless you are doing a full and complete rebuild.

  3. Lowetide says:

    I think it’s a bit soon to call the Cole deal. Also, the Oilers are still in a wonderful position to make the playoffs.

    Even if they miss, imo the Cole deal was one they hade to make. My only issue was with the quick flip of the 2.

  4. mjsh says:

    In my mind you, last night you had a team playing tentatively, like you would if you had three new lines. Give them a practice today and a the rest of the road trip before you say the trades did not work.

    As far as Brule is concerned, I heard a bit of a Rob Daum interview on the radio yesterday. I am sure I heard him speak glowingly about Brule’s play since a return from a concussion.

  5. St George says:

    Even if they miss, imo the Cole deal was one they hade to make. My only issue was with the quick flip of the 2.

    I understand the logic and the numbers behind the deal. What I am arguing is that the Oilers need to find a way to stock the team with half a dozen guys in the Cole/Smyth/Smith mold and keep them there to serve as the foundation for a culture with the right attitude, so keeping Cole and perhaps overpaying him (at the expense of a Penner) might have actually been the right move.

    I can’t actually prove any of this of course, so it is a somewhat silly argument to make, but I do believe it. The fact that MacT has to get up after the game more often than not and talk about “lack of Jam” or “consistency of effort” tells us a lot. It reminds me of what we used to hear a lot in the early 80s, but with a lesser crew.

  6. Schitzo says:

    Something’s off on your math, LT – should Potulny have 25 goals? Otherwise your numbers don’t add up.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Would it be possible to analyse the Oilers coaching staff?

    Since the team has never been anymore than a bubble team over the past 8 seasons, you really have to wonder just when the players are going to be given a bit of slack, since from where this old school fan sits the coaches should all be fired post haste.

    Every last one of them, preferably.

    Seriously. can anyone do an analysis of these clowns?

  8. quain says:

    Here’s my analysis:

    Craig MacTavish emphasizes young, small skill guys too much, gritty grinders too much, and veterans too much. He forces his players to play grinding, dump and chase hockey that ruins skilled players. He forces his players to try to carry the puck in rather than play dump and chase hockey, because of poor coaching strategy. He hates fatties. One time, he murdered my dog and slept with my mother.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Sure sure Quain, we know about MacT from watching his mesmerising expressions from behind the bench, licking his lips in anticipation of that between period gatorade etc.

    What about the assistants? To me they look like a bunch of reject extras from “Deadwood”.

  10. Phil says:

    Getting back to thread topic :)

    LT – can some of the drop off for the higher end guys be out of pure frustration? At some point you would have to guess that human nature would take over for guys like Brule and Schremp, and they’d start getting depressed about not getting the call. Not that it’s a good excuse; just a possible explanation as to why everyone’s production is dropping off.

  11. Cory Klein says:

    This is off topic but a good laugh:

    From an article in today Journal about home teams averaging 11.5% more PPs at home than the visiting team.

    The Edmonton Oilers are once again at the opposite end of the spectrum. From 2001-09, the Oilers are 27th among the 30 NHL teams, only getting 1.03 more power plays at home than their opponents were given.

    “It feels that way a lot of nights,” said Oilers captain Ethan Moreau. “No idea why. Maybe it’s that we’re a young team and we don’t get as much respect.”

  12. HBomb says:

    “It feels that way a lot of nights,” said Oilers captain Ethan Moreau. “No idea why. Maybe it’s that we’re a young team and we don’t get as much respect.”

    Irony. Blaming the youth factor when it’s the veterans (i.e. MOREAU) taking stupid penalty after stupid penalty.

    Fuck #18 and his lack of accountability. sounds.

  13. Bruce says:

    The worst part is that it is a continuation of Kevin Lowe’s seeming desire to get rid of any vets that have had experience on a winning team. … keeping Cole and perhaps overpaying him (at the expense of a Penner) might have actually been the right move.

    St.George: While I agree with you in principle, your alternative happens to be the one remaining Oiler with a ring. Penner is a vet who has experience on a winning team. Cole’s winning experience is 2 games at the very end of the 2006 run and just one other year in the playoffs.

    Oilers meanwhile still have a bunch of guys — Roloson, Staios, Horcoff, Hemsky, Pisani, Moreau — who won the Campbell Bowl. Lots of people seem to criticize Lowe, MacT et al for being “too loyal” to those guys. Others (or even the same ones) criticize them for not being loyal enough to the likes of Smyth and Smith.

    I’ll readily agree with your presumed rejoinder that Cole’s leadership skills are likely more advanced than Penner’s, but unfortunately they had a best before date of 2009/06/30. He was the logical guy to deal, even though I also agree he will be missed down the stretch. He certainly was missed last night.

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    I know it’s a bit of a thread-jack, but check out Brownlee’s latest at ON – apparently Ladislav Smid has twice requested a trade from the team.

    Although apparently not at this last deadline.

  15. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Smid first requested a trade last summer, I believe.

  16. Black Dog says:

    Thanks LT but I just logged on here. ;)

    Interesting re: Smid. I would be the second time was sometime this season when he was shuttling between the PB and the wing. Based on his play lately I would say he’s sticking – he had better be.

    Bruce what are his offensive numbers since Lubo went down? Around .50 PPG?

    StGeorge – they had to make that trade. I don’t think Cole was going to reup. This team is small and soft and young and I would think that at some point they make moves to fix that but if you have a chance at O’Sullivan then you go for it.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Only those 2006 remaining vets I would imagine want to actually play for MacFuque.

    The rest merely mark time, ask their agents to lobby for a trade, all the while hoping MacT doesn’t start riding them publicly which after all might reduce their trade/negotiating position, let alone being a serious pain in the ass while being in the chuck.

    MacT probably is on antidepressants. The slower than human manner of speaking no matter what the result of games, game in and game out, the strange decisions which defy simple logic vis a vis player selection, calling out poor Schremp from thousands of miles away. Riding Penner despite the fact he’s probably above average when compared to several of the other rotten forwards.

    Does anyone think he’s going to be around next season?

  18. Lowetide says:

    hunter: If this team makes the playoffs, MacT stays.

  19. Jonathan Willis says:

    Hunter: We all get it. If you’re going to thread-jack, at least add something interesting to the discussion.

    This continual MacTavish-bashing (even when MacTavish isn’t the subject) grows tedious.

  20. Mr DeBakey says:

    Returnees – Liam Reddox, Ryan Potulny, Ryan Stone, Gilbert Brule, Devan Dubnyk, Colin McDonald, Tyler Spurgeon

    Returnees [maybe on AHL contracts] – Bryan Young, Sebastien Bisaillon

    Non-returnees – Rob Schremp, Mathieu Roy, Stephane Goulet, David Rohlfs

  21. kris says:

    JW:

    I get that Hunter sometimes deserves a whack on the nose, but tempers in the Oilogosphere must be running high if Hunter’s recent posts set you off.

    I mean threadjacking? Really? I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but you just posted a comment recommending that we read and discuss thoughts from somebody else’s blog about Smid’s trade requests?

    I actually liked Hunter’s question a few posts back: how do we look at the Oilers performance to determine how much of our recent failure and mediocrity is due to MacT’s poor coaching and how much is due to Lowe’s poor trading.

    Indeed, that question is sort of relevant, though only tangentially, to LT’s post on minor leaguers. The failure of our AHL team can’t be put on MacT, but can be put on Lowe.

    So, now kiss and makeup. :)

  22. Jonathan Willis says:

    Kris: It isn’t the thread-jacking, it’s the constant harping on MacT. Every single thread turns into a discussion of his ability as a coach, and I’m really sick of it. I’m not only sick of the discussion, I’m sick of the little plays on his name, the attacks on his staff, and all the rest of it.

    I think the man should be fired, but I don’t take the pleasure in continually dragging him through the mud that Hunter does.

  23. HBomb says:

    If this team makes the playoffs, MacT stays.

    Lowetide: I’ll ask the same question that was probably being asked at this time three years ago (Sunday will be Dwayne Roloson’s third anniversary as an Edmonton Oiler) – is just making the playoffs good enough to save his bacon?

    I’m not convinced it is, frankly. I somehow doubt they go into the final year of his contract with the situation unsettled and him as a “lame duck”. So it’s either remove him now or, IF he and the team show enough in the playoffs, give him some sort of an extension (at least this would be the management line of thinking)?

    Frankly, I’m hoping it’s the former and he’s gone by the end of April. Playoffs or no playoffs. He’s proven himself able as a coach, but I’m of the belief the message has gone stale and a change is needed.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide:

    Thank you for that insight. As horrific as it is to me personally, I’d rather know the score than live in a world of delusion.

    Jonathan: Sorry to harp. Unfortunately, this season has turned into a Caine Mutiny situation. I’m as bored as you are, actually more so. Even more unfortunate, is the fact that this club refuses to face the reality that it’s supposed to be providing entertainment to the fans. It’s head is so far up it’s collective ass that they, the management, starting with Kevin Lowe, actually think the fans owe them, instead of the other way around. And that a putrid coaching staff deserves to go out with honor, instead of getting ignomiously sacked like I would be were I to be unable to cope with my work.

    Who knows, maybe it’s time worrying about this team, since they don’t seem to understand that they’re here for the fans, and not the reverse. I stopped bothering with baseball a couple of seasons ago. Ditto the NFL. Probably something to do with seeing the tail(players) wagging the dog(fans).

  25. Black Dog says:

    I think Mr. D has it about right.

  26. Jonathan Willis says:

    Yeah, I’ll third Mr. Debakey’s analysis.

  27. woody says:

    All the talk over the past two off seasons was of the depth of the Oilers pool of prospects and recent draft picks. The cupboards were full was the mantra. How can a team in Springfield, touted to be chock full ‘o’ good prospects be so, so bad? On the flip side, in the not too distant past many people mocked the lack of depth in the Calgary system, they apparently had nobody waiting in the wings. The Flames proceed to roll out Moss, Prust, Boyd, Pardy the list goes on and on…

    It would seem to me that the holes in the Oilers organization are much bigger than the glaring ones so evident with the big club. The entire outfit from Edmonton, to Springfield to Stockton has crippling weaknesses.

    This rebuild is dysfunctional and about to really come off the rails unless we can work some serious magic this offseason. Tanking and getting a high draft pick at the expense of no playoff experience for the youngins might be worth it. As a fan of this organization I can settle in for some tough love and golf. I want to see this mess fixed once and for all, properly.

  28. Jonathan Willis says:

    Although if I were running the team, Bryan Young would be gone.

  29. Black Dog says:

    Jonathan – Young for depth?

    Actually how many guys do they have under contract and what kids can we expect next season? That might be a question to look at as well.

  30. Black Dog says:

    Shit Gary Roberts is retiring.

    The number of NHL players older than me drops by one.

    Not many left. Sigh.

  31. reijo29 says:

    How many off those guys are going to request/demand one ways?

    Way I see it is we may have 2 spots on the roster for these guys & 1 spot for a guy who splits season (What I assume they expected from Roy this year before being passed by Pecks).

    XXa-10-83 or 19-10-83
    19-89-XXb 27-89-13
    18-13-34 18-78-34
    22-51-46 22-51-46
    Extras in Scenario #1 – 85 & 67, maybe 33.
    Extras in Scenario #2 – Poltuny & Stone, maybe 33.
    Trade Bait in Scenario #1- 78, 12 & 27
    Trade Bait in Scenario #2 – 12
    27 & 78 available in trade.
    Not Re-Signed – 21 (Kotalik)
    XXa Ideal – J.Franzen
    XXb Ideal – Colby Armstrong

    I think Reddox, Brule & Poltuny's agents will insist on 1-Ways.

    Other guys should still be on 2-Ways (Stone/Dubnyk/Macdonald/Spurgeon). Bubnyk will likely sign 2yr. deal (2-Way – Year 1/1-Way Year 2).

  32. Clarkenstein says:

    In past years most fans would be looking forward to what might be coming down the pipe. Now that we know there is fuck all there that will help us now or in the future we turn our thoughts to the big team. Oops.. fuck all there to look forward to as well. Last night the team pulls another Jason Arnott ( “I just couldn’t get into it”). I agree… let’s blow this mess up and start over. I truly think this team should be shooting for last place (last night it looked like they were) and start over with a good draft spot. Then let a new scouting staff come to the draft!!

  33. HBomb says:

    Clarkestein & Woody: The Oilers drafting isn't the issue. New scouting staff? Are you serious?

    Lowetide, I know you'll feel the same on this one…

  34. Master Lok says:

    I wonder if MacT doesn’t return for next year, assuming the new coach (presumably) is Bucky – that might give Rob Schremp another breath for another contract. Robbie had a decent year under Bucky last year.

    There may be NHL roster spots available next year too. Does Penner get shipped out? Does Nilsson? Will Kotalik re-sign? Is Pouliot out of here? What to do with Moreau?

  35. Lowetide says:

    Since 2001, the Oilers amateur procurement department has delivered. We can argue Niinimaki and Pouliot and hell all of 2004 but the fact remains that Hemsky, Stoll, Greene, Pouliot, Stortini, Brodziak, Cogliano and Gagner are already here, Reddox is coming, and in the wings there are talents like Eberle, Nash and Peckham.

    It’s a fine track record.

  36. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: Agreed. But how good would it look if we had Parise, Richards or Getzlaf instead of Pouliot & Jacques?

    I think if you ask Prendergast if they could have one do-over, that would be it. One could say that they missed out on Mike Green for Rob Schremp or Paul Stastny for Taylor Chorney, but there's 28 other teams that could say the same thing with regards to missing out on those two talents.

  37. HBomb says:

    Master Lok: If MacT departs, Buchberger would be a simply unmarketable and unacceptable replacement.

    If that’s the route they’d go, well, frankly, I’d rather they stick with MacT, and I’m not a MacT fan to begin with, at least not nowadays.

  38. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: Stay with me, this is going to take awhile.

    I think we need to remember that Pouliot was “in the group” at the time and that his injuries are easily forgotten but had a massive impact on him during the development years.

    Let’s list just his 2003 injuries:

    1. Injured at the Top Prospects game in 2003 when Dion Phaneuf leveled him with a vicious (and imo clean) check.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. He also played 3 weeks with a broken wrist during the 2003-04 season.

    I think that 12 month period cost him a lot as a prospect and he most certainly is not part of that wonderful group of 2003 forwards in the first round now.

    But we know injuries impact progress at that age and I think fans forget that sort of thing often when evaluating drafts.

  39. Black Dog says:

    I think that’s what a lot of folks forget about 2003 – Pouliot was in the range. He wasn’t a reach.

    And plenty of other teams passed on Parise and Getzlaf and Perry and so on.

    I really can’t see Buchberger being an option that they could sell. I guess they don’t care about that but seriously? I don’t see him as being a reasonable option at all.

  40. oilerdago says:

    LT: Good comments regarding the current crop of kids in Springfield and the hits that procurement has had the last few years. I tend to agree with your analysis on them.

    I would also suggest that a look at the farm requires some perspecitve too. Things might have been very different if the decision was not made (based on trades/injuries since the SCF run in 05-06) to raise kids through the system (and bypass the AHL altogther). Smid, Cogliano, Gagner).

    To be fair, when you are drafting in the middle of the first round year after year, it’s much harder to stockpile the system with great prospects (unless you’re Detroit).

    A lot of what we’re looking at are not guys who were expected to be NHL stars but role players. We can argue all day about Schremp, but the risk on him was very high when he got drafted.

    The kids who’s progress right now concerns me is Brule and Chorney. Maybe the forced learning of Chorney will help in the long run, but we’ll have to see.

    I also think that the Oilers may have to look long and hard at drafting (or trading) for goaltending prospects this summer.

  41. Traktor says:

    Troubling Incident Tonight In Win Over Springfield
    Thursday March 05th 2009, 12:02 am

    VERIZON WIRELESS ARENA — NEVER before has this writer seen a player so deliberately fire a puck straight at an opposing team’s bench than was witnessed here tonight when Springfield’s Rob Schremp snapped a puck at the Monarchs’ bench in the third period. One of Manchester’s players deflected the puck with a gloved hand otherwise Monarchs coach Mark Morris later said he was certain the puck was going to hit him. No one was hurt.

    Morris said Schremp made direct eye contact with the coach before shooting the puck at the bench.

    “(Schremp) turned and looked right at me,” said Morris. “It would have hit me.”

    Morris said he knows of Schremp since both are upstate New York hockey products. But they do not know each other personally and there is no history between the two. Schremp grew up in Syracuse and “lived at the rink in Cicero,” according to Morris.

    From ReggieMoto over on HF

  42. Thrillho says:

    I think that there is no way that Buchberger gets the job if MacT has to go.

    Personally, I’d like to see MacT stay. There are certainly pros and cons to him staying and going, but I’m willing to give the man the benefit of the doubt. This is based more on my lack of access to the inner workings of the Oilers than his past track record. Unless I’m missing something obvious, most people can’t possibly have any clue as to what goes on behind closed doors.

    I will however, agree that things have been a tad off this year, (where did the PK go?) but there doesn’t seem to be anyone ready to take his place.

    Note: I’m about 6 months last with these comments, but the continual and pointless bashing gets old.

    It’s gonna be an interesting offseason, playoff or no.

    Oh, and I agree with Debakey as well….sounds about right.

  43. Mr DeBakey says:

    “I really can’t see Buchberger being an option that they could sell.”

    Agree
    Even Daum would be seen as a better step
    And he’s 3-2-7 since going to Springfield.

    Re: keeping Young, if only on an AHL contract.
    The Oilers are very serious about this grow thru the draft, and stick with yer picks
    Exhibit A: Glenn Fisher,
    There had to be a dozen better options for the organization than Fisher

  44. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: No need to justify it to me, I know the score on Pouliot and am still in the guy’s corner (he is an NHL’er, and he’d probably be taking zero heat whatsoever if he was where he is right now but was part of the 2002 draft class, for example).

    Still though, the fact remains that the Oilers had an opportunity to hit a home run on three 80mph meatballs right down Broadway, yet all they could muster was a dribbler to 2B that they only reached base on because it was Chuck Knoblauch playing that day. It’s a case of “what could have been”, and if the Oilers had said Getzlaf at 17th and gone with that (I read somewhere they thought he’d still be around at 22 and if he was, he’d be their guy), well, we’d be in a different boat today, wouldn’t we?

  45. Black Dog says:

    Thrillho – they could go outside the organization

    I’ve been a MacT guy and I’m not going to beat a dead horse but this team does not look like a well coached team this year.

    It doesn’t mean he is a bad coach (although some would argue that); I just think he’s no longer the right guy for this team.

  46. Schitzo says:

    if the Oilers had said Getzlaf at 17th and gone with that (I read somewhere they thought he’d still be around at 22 and if he was, he’d be their guy), well, we’d be in a different boat today, wouldn’t we?

    Getzlaf is too fat and bald. PRESSBOX!

    And what’s the fallout from that Rob Schremp news?

  47. godot10 says:

    //I think it’s a bit soon to call the Cole deal. Also, the Oilers are still in a wonderful position to make the playoffs.//

    How can it be too early to call the Cole deal? The Oilers were NOT going to sign him this summer. Clearly Carollina’s interest demonstrated that Cole was not facing a pay cut. Which meant Cole for 3 years @ $4 million per….minimum.

    The deal was basically Patrick O’Sullivan for nothing, which is a good deal.

    Hemsky has been awful lately. Horcoff ditto. And it seems like Grebeshkov needs 20 games to find his game.

  48. Bruce says:

    Bruce what are his offensive numbers since Lubo went down? Around .50 PPG?

    BDHS: Exactly. 14 GP, 0-7-7, all of them at evens, while splitting time between the second and third pairings (~18:00 per game).

    Smid’s current point streak (3 GP, 0-4-4, +5) has seen his season totals suddenly rise from obscurity to to a career high (a modest 11 points, but all of a sudden tending in the right direction). He’s getting calmer with the puck, and without it is getting more aggressive about pinching and generally moving in off the point. He really needs a goal to break what is a two-season drought in that department, but the way he’s playing it’s gotta come sooner than later.

    Ladi also landed the hit of the night when he crunched Donovan like he was wearing a MacT mask. :)

  49. hunter1909 says:

    Re Pouliot: I don’t really understand how injuries can totally screw up a player’s development as they seem to have done for MAP. Doesn’t he still possess the same innate talent he did prior to him being drafted?

    I remember following Pouliot in the Q and he looked really good, even before Crosby showed up.

    I can understand if a player was wiped out totally for 2-3 seasons, but I don’t know enough about pro sports to understand how a player can’t ‘suck it up’ and find another way to progress, say as if we were talking about a musician who was unable to play for a year due to an injury.

    Someone please answer this for me.

  50. quain says:

    If Horcoff hadn’t lost the room Schremp wouldn’t be trying to get suspended.

    There’s a chance his vision just flashed white and he thought he saw MacT coming for him.

    “Robbbbieeeee… baaaackcheccckkkkk… watch the hiiiigh maaaaan!”

  51. HBomb says:

    Traktor: That’s troubling news about Schremp.

    He was done as an Oiler hopeful anyways, but to see him doing that stuff is not good at all no matter where he’s playing next year.

    Got a link to the article that came from by chance?

  52. Scott says:

    1. Injured at the Top Prospects game in 2003 when Dion Phaneuf leveled him with a vicious (and imo clean) check.

    The issue I have with this is that it came before the draft. If the Oilers were worried about injuries having an effect on their prospects, perhaps he wasn’t the guy to take. I think we all agree that injuries impact progress, but it’s certainly not an exact science and I think we need to be careful not to use it as an excuse. For instance, Shea Weber had some injury issues and fell in the draft accordingly, but he’s worked through them and has surpassed expectations.

  53. godot10 says:

    //All the talk over the past two off seasons was of the depth of the Oilers pool of prospects and recent draft picks. How can a team in Springfield, touted to be chock full ‘o’ good prospects be so, so bad?//

    The Oilers prospects are mostly not in Springfield, apart from Peckham, Dubnyk, Chorney, and Wild.

    Gagner and Cogliano are in Edmonton.
    Nash and Petry are in college.
    Eberle and Plante are in junior.
    Omark is in Sweden.

  54. Coach pb9617 says:

    Reddox will be back and something tells me he’s getting a one-way deal.

    Potulny will be back on a one-way deal.

    Stone comes back and might have a shot at the fourth line depending on some things.

    Brule is gone.

    Dubnyk has been worked harder than Horcoff and Roloson combined – there is no way he’s gone.

    McDonald is a coach’s favorite no matter which coach he plays for. He’ll be back to log tough minutes, maybe for the next eight years.

    Schremp is gone. Hallelujah.

    Spurgeon is gone.

    Young is toast.

    Bisaillon will stick around – I think Daum will have a better time with him.

    Goulet, Rohlfs are gone.

    Roy is probably gone, but I’d sure like to have him back. Outside of the injuries, I feel more comfortable having Roy as the 8th D than Jason Strudwick or a Strudwick doppelganger. He’s going to get a contract from a bottom club and probably get 6/7 time and probably do alright if he stays healthy.

    With Vande Velde, Nash and Petry coming, the team should be much more skilled, and certainly much larger.

  55. Coach pb9617 says:

    The cupboards were full was the mantra. How can a team in Springfield, touted to be chock full ‘o’ good prospects be so, so bad?

    Four of their top prospects are not in the A. Four other top prospects are in the N.

  56. Coach pb9617 says:

    For instance, Shea Weber had some injury issues and fell in the draft accordingly, but he’s worked through them and has surpassed expectations.

    Well, if one guy did it, that’s enough evidence for me!

  57. Steve says:

    Unfortunately, this season has turned into a Caine Mutiny situation.

    You remember that the mutiny was eventually regarded as a bad idea, right?

  58. Coach pb9617 says:

    When Mactavish is fired, best of luck to him in this stretch run to the playoffs, by the way, the next coach of this squad should be Kevin Dineen.

  59. relic says:

    I think the oilers need to move the farm team to a bigger market that can afford to spend more on the AHL vets. I go back to the DG post about the moose a while back. If you have a solid AHL team then the cream of the prospects will be more obvious they’ll also learn how to be professionals. Seems like the current rookies are learning from guys who haven’t won or been around long themselves. The answer down there, and consequently up with the big club, probably isn’t to drop vets and add more first year pros.

  60. godot10 says:

    //When Mactavish is fired, best of luck to him in this stretch run to the playoffs, by the way, the next coach of this squad should be Kevin Dineen.//

    You realize that Tambellini is best buds with Marc Crawford.

  61. HBomb says:

    Brule is gone.

    Why should this be the case? They gave up a good asset for him and he showed decent in his brief NHL stint.

    I think it’s more likely he gets a one way deal and supplants someone like Nilsson in the lineup.

  62. Coach pb9617 says:

    You realize that Tambellini is best buds with Marc Crawford.

    Oh dear god in heaven.

    Why should this be the case? They gave up a good asset for him and he showed decent in his brief NHL stint.

    I think they’ll trade him, not fail to resign him. Sorry.

  63. HBomb says:

    Coach: I could buy that. Betweem Gagner, Nilsson, Cogliano, Brule, Eberle in the pipeline, Schremp (negligible trade value aside) and now O’Sullivan, I think there’s a bit of a surplus when it comes to small-but-skilled forwards.

    Time to harvest the crop so that none of these assets die on the vine (although, truth be told, Schremp probably already is past his expiry date).

  64. kris says:

    100% Certainties:

    -Reddox: Signs, One way deal (he’s our list line left wing after all.:)
    -Potulny: Signs, ?
    -Stone: Signs, ?
    -Dubnyk, Signs, two way deal

    Every thing else is uncertain.

    I think Brule is likely to resign and I suppose Schremp is likely gone, given that the org paid a heavy price for the former and is likely sick of talking about the latter. But who knows, really?

    Hopefully, the organization will realize that it needs to add some veteran AHL’ers in order to help youngsters develop, as has been mentioned here. So, again hopefully, the org. will sign some, let’s say half, of the rest of the suspects and prospects, -e.g. Roy, Bisaillon, Goulet, Young, Spurgeon, etc.- and replace the other half with players who maybe have less NHL potential but more proven AHL ability.

  65. hunter1909 says:

    “You remember that the mutiny was eventually regarded as a bad idea, right?”

    Actually, no. What happened was after they dumped Bogart’s character they were whooping it up in a bar, and one of the older officers came in and read them the riot act due to the fact that the moron captain had been keeping the USA free all of the time the mutineers were at home enjoying themselves. And by virtue of that, deserved a little respect, after the fact.

    Not that it was a bad idea by itself, not in the slightest.

  66. hunter1909 says:

    Pouliot has been levelled a few times, in a way that gives the impression he’s Lindros-lite in that area.

  67. Thrillho says:

    @BD
    Thrillho – they could go outside the organization

    You’d almost think that they would have to at this point…fans would just about mutiny.

  68. reijo29 says:

    //With Vande Velde, Nash and Petry coming, the team should be much more skilled, and certainly much larger.//

    At most I expect 1 of these guys to leave school at the end of the year and I could see all 3 of them staying in school, Vande Velde for his Senior and the othe guys for 1 or even 2 more years.

    I do hope Omark, Kytnar & Hartikkenan all play for us in the A next year, maybe even Hrabal will be back and produce.

  69. Steve says:

    Actually, no. What happened was after they dumped Bogart’s character they were whooping it up in a bar, and one of the older officers came in and read them the riot act due to the fact that the moron captain had been keeping the USA free all of the time the mutineers were at home enjoying themselves. And by virtue of that, deserved a little respect, after the fact.

    Well, I haven’t seen the movie. In the book, though, it’s not a senior officer, it’s the (Jewish) lawyer who defended the first mate, saying that it was the Queegs of the world who were standing by to prevent his relatives from being turned into soap. Through that speech and some of the prosecution’s work at the trial, Wouk basically portrays the mate’s acquittal (or, rather, the failure to prosecute Keefer) as a miscarriage of justice.

    Ooh, literary discussion – is that new to Lowetide’s blog?

  70. Phil says:

    You realize that Tambellini is best buds with Marc Crawford.

    This makes me throw up in my mouth a bit.

  71. Black Gold says:

    MacT: I used to think correlation implied causation, then I took a statistics class. Now I don’t.
    Lowe: Sounds like the class helped.
    MacT: Well, maybe.

    Lowe: (….certainly changed the way you coach.)

    ^mildly stolen joke I thought I’d share^

  72. hunter1909 says:

    “Well, I haven’t seen the movie. In the book, though, it’s not a senior officer, it’s the (Jewish) lawyer who defended the first mate, saying that it was the Queegs of the world who were standing by to prevent his relatives from being turned into soap. Through that speech and some of the prosecution’s work at the trial, Wouk basically portrays the mate’s acquittal (or, rather, the failure to prosecute Keefer) as a miscarriage of justice.”

    I wouldn’t bet my life on it but I’m pretty sure the lawyer’s in the navy. I don’t think 1950′s Hollywood was into mentioning Jews getting made into soap either. Your literary pretensions are impressive. I’m just a slob who watches a lot of movies, and btw, that particular scene is just killer.

    MacQueeg? hahaha

  73. speeds says:

    I don’t know if they’d have to go outside of the organization.

    I don’t think most fans would think it terrible if they went with Daum, or Moores.

    I have no idea if Huddy or Buchberger would be better head coaches than Daum or Moores, but whether fair or not I would imagine that if either of the former Oilers were hired, some fans would have the reaction of “Here we go again!”. Deservedly or not.

  74. Black Dog says:

    speeds – I would have no problem with Daum

    Charlie Huddy has never been a head coach, right? That’s a strike.

    Though I’d prefer him to Buchberger.

    Maybe that’s unfair but oh well.

    Really though from inside I would be ok with Daum but nobody else.

    Outside I could roll with quite a few choices.

    Not Crawford though. Jesus.

  75. Bruce says:

    Not Crawford. Please no.

  76. Dennis says:

    LT: I heard something the other day that made me think of you. Someone somewhere was interviewing Antripov after he was dealt and he spoke about how injuries hindered his development. Now, I’m sure the guys who don’t like him would use that against him but I thought of it as a guy being vulnerable and honest.

    I’m sure we only waste so much time on 78 Because he was a first rounder but I feel a lot of guys don’t like for the same reason I didn’t like Smid: you don’t like how he wound up here. Now, while I know 5 will never cover the Pronger bet, I’m fine and dandy with him as long as his next contract isn’t poor. The guy’s a good player and I look at that in the small picture and the big picture is Lowe’s failure.

    So, I guess that’s why I don’t go nuts on the guys who give 78 the gears because I’ve been there. Granted, there’s no way he’ll cover the ’03 draft class but there’s a good chance he’ll out-perform his contract and that’s what I’m looking for now. And I hope that’s how the Oilers view it instead of dealing off the guy because he doesn’t put up the points to be a top six offensive player.

    Regarding the prospects, I know it wasn’t the intention but right now the Torres-Brule move looks like a salary dump and I don’t know how he’s gonna fit on the Oilers come 2010.

    10-83-89-19 are locks for the offensive roles and 27′s gonna be hard to move. 13′s being groomed as a tough min pivot but hopefully good sense comes to the Oilers and he goes back to RW. 18-34 are firmly entrenched vets and 51-46 are good 4th liners for that money. 78′s certainly further along than Brule and most certainly in the role young Gilbert would have to play: bottom sixer.

    We don’t have waiver claims on the guy so presumable the Oilers could run something like this and Brule would find a home:

    27-10-83
    19-89-13
    18-78-34
    67/85-51-46

    The problems with this are legion; as indicated by the plural;)

    1: After wasting a whole season on 13 as a centre, will they abandon that plan?

    2: if so, will they put 78 there? IF not and they bring in a vet, that means 78 – by virtue of contract and GP together – should land that 4th line gig with 51-46

    None of these scnarios included 12 and I imagine that’s the smart move. But in any case, Brule’s biggest hope seems to be if the Oilers move out 12 plus another forward and then also decide on yet another season of using in-house options on the pivot: 13-51-78.

    Overall, not overly promising.

  77. Scott says:

    For instance, Shea Weber had some injury issues and fell in the draft accordingly, but he’s worked through them and has surpassed expectations.

    Well, if one guy did it, that’s enough evidence for me!

    Do you really think it’s just one guy? If so, I think that proves my point better than anything else. In some circles I’d say people underrate the impact of injuries. On LT’s blog with reference to Pouliot, I’d say their impact is overrated. As far Weber, it’s a for instance not an exhaustive list of every guy that’s been able to overcome injuries in his draft year.

  78. Asiaoil says:

    Smid wants a trade – no shyte – after sitting in the PB or playing wing while MacDuffus spends his time talking up Strudwick in spite of his horrific play. Why would anyone want to play for this team except for the MacDuffus lap dogs Staios and Moreau. A bunch of the other prospects have also just plain given up as they watch this org destroy their careers and apparently not give a flying f**k. That’s idiotic from a pure asset management perspective whether you like the players involved or not. Playing Roloson into the ground, giving JDD a one way but never playing him. It just goes on and on. Ladies and gentlement…..your Edmonton Clusterf**ks.

  79. PunjabiOil says:

    AO: I believe Smid requested a trade before this season. I believe Louise from HF that clearly has connections with some of the Oilers players remarked last year that Smid wasn’t that happy in Edmonton and wanted out. It kind of flew over the radar, but I believe she was telling the truth.

  80. Black Gold says:

    btw, for those of u thinking mclaren would be a better strudwick than strudwick

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=270056&lid=sublink05&lpos=headlines_nhl

    maybe ur right. haha

  81. Asiaoil says:

    PJO – thanks and that makes some sense – but there really is very little to get interested in with this franchise right now. The best players don’t last and are replaced by lesser guys in every move. Without a change Hemsky will be the next guy to say he wants out – and if he’s not hurt – his play is already saying as much.

  82. grease trap says:

    Cole with a goal in Carolina against the Falmes

  83. reijo29 says:

    Dennis – I agree with your comments about Poo & Cogs completely.

    Only thing is that I can't see the Oil going with a 2nd scoring line that averages 5'10" and 190 pounds, I know the kids played 40 games together over the past 2 years but their lack of success at the start of this year I think killed the under 6 foot/190 pound line.

    Which is why I think the number one priority should be finding a younger version of Eric Cole.

    Guys who may fit bill – Colby Armstrong (RFA), Ryan Clowe (RFA), maybe Chris Higgins.

    Or trade 2 more young guys to LA for Dustin Brown. (Kidding about that one).

  84. oilerdago says:

    Cole looked very happy after that goal in Carolina – happier than he ever was in Edmonton for sure.

  85. Coach pb9617 says:

    Overall, not overly promising.

    The depressing part is that with a competent front office it would be very promising. Amazing talent on blue and a wealth of assets.

    Instead….

    sigh.

  86. Master Lok says:

    If MacT does go, I honestly think that Bucky will be considered a very high chance to ascend. When’s the last time that the Oilers hired somebody outside of the organization as head coach?

    And Rob Daum? If the Oilers were thinking of him as head coach, he would be one of the assistants and not Bucky. Buchberger’s been fast-tracked into the NHL, much like Lowe was, and much like MacT was. I think he’s a possibility.

    and then there’s Tambo’s buddy Crawford.

    Mind you – I’m not saying who *should* be the next coach, I’m just guessing who *will* be the next one.

  87. Asiaoil says:

    Agree coach but you know as well as anyone that winning isnt totally about the talent – it’s about chemistry and the org as well – and the Oilers are a mess. I honestly think that if serious changes don’t happen soon Hemmer will ask for a trade – and if that happens – this franchise is in deep kimchee. The problems are pretty obvious – but instead of doing something about it – the front office just trades for another top 6 forward who’s small and a notch or two down from the guy going the other way. Kotalik just seems like a desperate move to appease Hemsky. No joy in mudville.

  88. hunter1909 says:

    Unreal reading about Cole, all smiles the moment he’s traded away from this putridness that the Oilers have become. Then he goes and scores a dynamite goal, and looks as happy as a lark – something I honestly don’t remember him being for the Oil.

    Yet nothing is done to address this and other obvious signs of a Ballard style Leaf’s which is starting to emerge from this organisation.

    Amazing. Horrible beyond any shadow of a doubt(except to those who blindly follow the party line), but simply amazing. Since Lowetide says if Oilers make the playoffs MacTavish(happy Jonathan?) stays, sadly for tonight, it’s got to be go-go leafs.

  89. GorillazXL says:


    There’s really no way to know what his actual trade value is at this time but we can be secure in saying that it’s not what it was a year ago.

    This is a department this organization needs to do alot better in. Developing players (huge problem), identifying players (that we should keep) and trading off assets before they spoil. IMHO Lowe and Tambellini have done their job with getting this organization players with skill and players that should be able to develop into NHL regulars wither they’ll live upto their draft potential that’s a different story.

    The current coach is absolutely terrible with developing players. Hemsky is not an exception because he would develop into a NHL regardless of the coach. As for the “kids”, had it not been for the injuries last year, they would still be in the minors or in the OHL.

    The best move was putting Brule on the fourth line playing five minutes a game using up his final eligible games before the organization has to committ to either keeping him up or keeping him down. Schremp was another example of WTF; 3pts in four games and he’s back to the minors. Yeah, in his last game he looked bad but did he shoot his mouth off that he had to be sent down ASAP while Stortini (playing much better of late) had 20 games in November before he was sat down in replace of Strudwick.

    GXL

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