Flames at Oilers, G81/08-09

There’s not much to say about tonight’s game. Jeff Drouin Deslauriers is scheduled to start and Taylor Chorney could play too (I have no confirmation but September at-bats for the kids when you’re running out the string is an Oilers tradition) but other than that tonight is going to feel like a dress rehearsal for a funeral.

The Edmonton Oilers have some fine things for the new coach to make use of in the fall. A fine-two way center in Shawn Horcoff, puck wizard Ales Hemsky at his side and probably a big, skilled LW on the portside. The Oilers have mentioned Hossa and we’ve also heard Gagne from the Flyers, but that sounds a little too good to be true and one would think that a new coach might just slot Penner in there and run with it for a full season.

As for the 2line, Gagner seems to have some chemistry with Nilsson and it’s also a reasonable spot for Patrick O’Sullivan. The other key elements up front (Cogliano, Pisani, apparently Moreau) are also reasonable talents (or in the case of Cogliano a quality young talent finding his way).

We’ll look at D in the GDT tomorrow, but I thought it might be an idea to post the Corsi’s with the level of difficulty for this season:

  1. Penner 7.3 (2nd toughest mins) (2nd best linemates)
  2. Hemsky 4.8 (2nd toughest mins) (best linemates)
  3. Horcoff 0.7 (heavy lifting) (best linemates)
  4. Gagner -0.4 (2nd toughest mins) (best linemates)
  5. Nilsson -1.7 (3rd toughest mins) (2nd best linemates)
  6. Cogliano -3.3 (3rd toughest mins) (3rd best linemates)
  7. Pouliot -4.3 (soft parade) (dregs)
  8. Moreau -9.8 (heavy lifting) (3rd best linemates)
  9. Pisani -12.5 (heavy lifting) (2nd best linemates)
  10. Brodziak -14.6 (soft parade) (dregs)
  11. Stortini -19.2 (soft parade) (dregs)
  12. Reddox -20.6 (3rd toughest mins) (3rd best linemates)

Based on these numbers, the 9 to keep from this season are Penner, Hemsky, Horcoff; Gagner, Nilsson, Cogliano; Moreau, Pisani with Pouliot the possible bubble boy. No real surprises here except that Brodziak’s season hurt the club and you would have liked to have seen Pouliot do more with his best NHL chance.

I didn’t include O’Sullivan (or Kotalik) in that group so my best guess for the “returning” group would be Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner, Gagner, O’Sullivan, Nilsson, Cogliano, Moreau, Pisani. We can add Stortini in there because his contract is certainly covered by his role and abilities.

The men in trouble based on the math are Pouliot (maybe), Brodziak, Reddox, and the more I look at it Dustin Penner either played in exceptional luck or is a nice option for 2line LW in the fall.

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143 Responses to "Flames at Oilers, G81/08-09"

  1. quain says:

    I think Penner’s numbers overstate him a bit, because MacT decided he hated him right after Visnovsky went down. So Penner got to enjoy easier minutes and the top line no longer had their ace.

    That’s not to say he’s not the player the numbers say he is, I just think if MacT ran 27-10-83 all season, 27 wouldn’t look as good, or if 10-83 was run with 71 all season, they’d look better.

    And, with Penner, I don’t think I blame MacT for roughing him up a bit because I mostly agree that he’s about as complete a player as Nilsson, poor defensive presence, not particularly gritty, but a bit of a banshee in the offensive zone. However, what Dennis said in the last thread is pretty much on the spot: MacT treated him like he was personally paying the $4.25M.

    Giving him the rod for a few games in the early season certainly works for me, but after awhile you have to just put your best guns together and win hockey games.

  2. DBO says:

    Good post as usual LT. I’ve been beating the Gagne drum most of the year, so I hope there are legs to it. i think it’ll cost us a good young player (who is cheap). We seem to have too many duplicate mid range players on this roster. by that i mean too many smaller, good players who aren’t true goal scorers, while not being “hemksy’ when it comes to passing. Nilsson has flashes, O’Sullivan i think can become a good trigger man, Gagner has the most upside of the bunch and Cogliano has the one thing the others don’t, which is game changing speed with opportunistic scoring. I ( and most of this blog) want to see Cogliano on the wing where his speed can bust open a game, but that comes at the expense of one of the other smurfs.

    Assume for a moment that we do package some youth for a top LW, and we keep Penner, then we have a few floating bodies who don’t really fit into the 3rd or 4th line.

    Gagne – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner – Gagner – ?

    - O’Sullivan, Nilsson or Cogliano fit that last spot, giving us 2 players who can be dealt. If you slot Cogliano into the 3rd line, you still have 1 guy who goes (for Gagne). No room for Kotalik (that is a good thing), and no room for anyone on the farm with skill (not that there is much). So I guess it comes down to what is the plan for this team? Does the Org think we are a few players away from being contenders (doubtful, but at this point I wouldn’t be shocked), or do they thing we are 2-3 years away?

  3. Lowetide says:

    quain: Agree completely. I do think Penner is well shy of complete player but his omission from the PP was a curious punishment.

  4. DBO says:

    LT: do you think Penner can play the tough minutes in a quasi checking/scoring role? Does anyone think they’ll move Gagner up to 1C with hemsky, and have Horcoff in 2C and have him play the toughest minutes?

    Nilsson/New LW – Gagner – Hemsky
    Penner – Horcoff – O’Sullivan

  5. Lowetide says:

    DBO: I think Penner's established level of ability is 80% about what happens in the offensive zone, which is why MacT had such a time with him. As such, he's probably not a good candidate for a checking role on next year's team (the things that hold him back now aren't likely to completely change with a new coach).

    Gagner is certain to take more PP minutes away and (like Hemsky) he doesn't play with fear, but if those 2 are going to be on the 1line together then the guy coming in needs to be a smart, veteran player who can cheat for defense. Craig Ramsay smart, because the turnovers at the blueline alone will be >50.

  6. DBO says:

    LT: so who fits he mold of a solid two way LW that can play with a Hemsky and Gagner combo? I think earlier this year you mentioned Tanguay. Not sure if he’d be available, but he might fit. That’s also why I like Gagne, since he plays a good defensive game.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Martin Havlat isn’t Craig Ramsay but he can play the game and has way more offense than did Ramsay. He’s a guy they should pursue, even if it means an overpay.

    Failing the UFA route, I like Ryan Smyth a lot, Steven Reinprecht is a guy I’ve always felt could help and Ryan Clowe is a nice player too.

  8. Steve says:

    When we’re talking about line combinations, I think we should remember that all coaches mix things up fairly frequently; the MacBlender isn’t limited to MacTavish.

  9. Mr DeBakey says:

    I think earlier this year you mentioned Tanguay. Not sure if he’d be available, but he might fit.

    I put Tanguay’s name up for consideration
    I got the idea from reading Kent’s Flames blog
    Tanguay is all-around solid

  10. trader says:

    LT: You would want Ryan Smyth at 6.25M? Come on…let it go already.

  11. Scott says:

    I think Brodziak’s level of difficulty is understated in that chart by not mentioning the fact that he was consistently starting in the wrong end. That’s not to say that he had a great season or anything, but he definitely wasn’t getting the soft minutes even if he was playing the soft competition.

  12. dave says:

    O’sullivan really helps Gagne and Nilson in terms of puck support, which I think traditionally they suck. Just being a couple years older really helps them. I don’t have a real problem blending Penner up and down the roster, the challenge might be that when he is his best (physical and good defense) he would be most effective on a checking line. But 1st unit PP should never be a debate.

  13. DBO says:

    Lazy Good friday start. Looking at teams who will have cap issues, coupled with good young RFA’s. not sure if we would do the offer sheet, but here are a few teams/players i’d like.

    San Jose (2009/10 cap hit $46.75, 13 players signed)
    - Ryan Clowe -LW, 22 goals, 134 hits, 26 yrs old, 6’2, 225 lbs

    NYR (09/10 cap $42 mill, 10 players)
    - Brandon Dubinsky – C, 11 G, 248 hits, 53.4% faceoffs, 22 yrs, 6’1, 205 lbs)

    Add these two players and we get bigger, add some scoring touch and add a definite physical edge to our top 9. If we accept we are not Cup contenders and are positioning ourselves for 2010/11, then these two might fit our mold and cap. I would personally try to make a deal with the rags for Dubinsky and make an offer for Clowe.

    Cogliano for Dubinsky. do this if we insist on playing Cogs at 3C. Dubinsky fits our needs better, and you can sign him for around $1.8-$2 mill per (whihc is less then what we’ll ned to pay Cogs in 2 yrs)

    Offer Clowe 4 yr $2.5 mill (2nd rd pick). that might mean SJ can’t match. Sooner have clowe then Kotalik for the same price.

    trade for Harding (MIN) and pay him $2.2 mill (just like Mike Smith in tampa’s deal). Deal Nilsson and a prospect.

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Clowe – Gagner – O’Sullivan
    Moreau – Dubinsky – Pisani
    Jacques – Brodziak – Stortini

    Suddenly we aren’t too small, we have more balance and we aren’t committed salary wise in 2010/11 and can re-sign Gagner and not bust our cap. Not to mention that we can re-sign grebeshkov, have a younger goalie and still fit under the cap, and are now positioned for 2010/11.

  14. HBomb says:

    Frankly, I don’t see any reason or purpose to keep Ethan Moreau around. 2 million dollars for a guy that should be on the 4th line is money poorly spent.

    Two important things from my perspective:

    1) Get Pouliot a spot at center
    2) Cogliano needs to be the 2RW on
    this team.

    So, here’s my wrecking-ball renovation plan (as reasonable guesses of trade value as possible):

    a) Sign Bouwmeester
    b) Penner to Nashville for Dan Hamhuis
    c) Souray to LA for Frolov
    d) Nilsson and Grebeshkov to Philly for Gagne
    e) Moreau and Staios gone for picks or buried in the AHL
    f) Sign that hotshot Swedish goalie and give him the keys to the car.
    g) Do something long term with Smid and let him know he’s in the plans.

    Gagne Gagner Hemsky
    Frolov Horcoff Cogliano
    O’Sullivan Pouliot Pisani
    Jacques Brodziak Stortini
    EXT: Brule, MacIntyre/Reddox (both on two way deals)

    Bouwmeester Gilbert
    Visnovsky Hamhuis
    Smid Peckham
    EXT: Strudwick (or some other vet d-man signed at or near league minimum)

    A quick calculation says the dollars work under the cap. The issue would be Hamhuis and Frolov as UFA’s in summer 2010, but with O’Sullivan and Smid playing perhaps further down the batting order than they should, replacements from within are readily available.

    The big thing for me is clearing some cap space by moving off Penner and giving him a shot elsewhere (he’s a useful guy who I wouldn’t mind them keeping one bit), and getting out from behind the needless committment of 4.7 million dollars per year for two more seasons to Moreau and Staios.

    Oh, and we’d be going relatively cheap in goal, but hey, it works for Detroit, right?

    Sigh….If only it were that simple.

  15. HBomb says:

    To qualify my previous post: I’d be happy with one of Gagne or Frolov added to this team. Help at LW is a must.

    Also, Souray might be captain material (I’d have no problem with him wearing the C if he is here next year), but his value may be at an absolute peak right now, and getting out from the last three years of that deal might be very beneficial to this hockey club long-term (we need to keep in mind that Cogliano and Gagner are up after next season and would be obvious offer-sheet targets even if the cap drops to 50 million).

  16. HBomb says:

    And oh yeah, if not the Swedish goalie, Josh Harding works just fine too.

  17. Bruce says:

    We’re already hamstrung with longterm contracts to over-30 types that are likey to be overpays by contract end if they aren’t already:

    Horcoff 6 more years at $5.5, expires at age 36

    Visnovsky 4 more years at $5.6, expires at age 36

    Souray 3 more years at $5.4, expires at age 35

    Moreau 2 more years at $2.0, expires at age 35

    Staios 2 more years at $2.7, expires at age 37

    … and that’s $21.2 MM tied up for 5 senior players for each of the next two years, and then when Moreau and Staios are finally destined to come off the books we still have three guys commanding $5.5 MM apiece who are likely to all be past their best before date.

    Considering the likelihood of a descending cap I look at this list with something nearing despair. The Oilers already have a seriously unbalanced roster with a way too heavy emphasis on older veterans, and with most of those guys under lock and key with untradeable deals for 2-6 years it’s hard not to conclude we’re hooped.

    There is a second level of long term contracts, with five younger guys — Hemsky, Penner, Gilbert, O’Sullivan, Nilsson — all under contract for at least two more years for a combined hit of $17.3 MM. One or two of those contracts might at least be moveable, but I don’t see where adding a huge contract like a Hossa, a Gagne, or (heaven forbid) a Smyth can be accomplished without stripping the team of youth and depth, neither of which sounds like a working solution.

  18. Doogie2K says:

    Martin Havlat isn’t Craig Ramsay but he can play the game and has way more offense than did Ramsay. He’s a guy they should pursue, even if it means an overpay.

    He might be a great addition for the fifty or so games a season he’s healthy, but I’m not sold on signing injury-prone players to big-money deals.

  19. HBomb says:

    Bruce: Your analysis says pretty clearly that you need to ditch BOTH of the Moreau and Staios contracts PDQ, and they’ll need to make a decision on Visnovsky vs. Souray at some point as well. My hope is they keep Visnovsky.

    If you get the long-term committments down to “Viscoff” only, that opens things up quite a bit.

    This also illustrates why I’m so bullish on going after Bouwmeester if he wants to come here. Yes, it will require a long-term committment, but the guy is only 25 and even if you give him 6 seasons (or more), that only takes him into his early-30′s. He’s a case where going long term makes sense (and it allows the team to offload 44′s deal).

  20. misfit says:

    Someone may have already mentioned this, but Brodziak’s numbers take a major hit on account of the fact that he was cast in the role of sacrificial lamb (RH edition) this year.

    Only one Oiler started more shifts in the defensive zone in relation to the offensive zone this year than Brodziak (I’m sure we can all guess who), so his Corsi number is bound to take a hit based on that alone no matter how poor the opposition he was facing was.

    Brodziak started 150 more times in the DZ than OZ. Horcoff was at 153 more times, and the next closest Oiler was Staios at 26. Stortini was the next closest forward at 23. Nilsson, Gagner, Cogliano and Penner lead the way in OZ over DZ draws in that order.

  21. trader says:

    Bruce: but I don’t see where adding a huge contract like a Hossa, a Gagne, or (heaven forbid) a Smyth can be accomplished

    Bruce be careful, Smyth around here is as close to God as it gets.

    In reality Ryan Smyth is truly the ultimate poster boy for the Oil…overrated, overpaid and has never won anything

  22. misfit says:

    OK, after reading the replies, I see Scott already made my point much earlier.

  23. Coach pb9617 says:

    DBO:

    Allow myself to pump my own post

    something to think about on Offer sheets

  24. DBO says:

    HBomb: like your ideas, but can’t see most of them happening. I like Souray, and for what he brings he won’t drop too much in skill since his skills are strength and shot, not speed and passing. He is what he is, and I think he’s our next captain.
    - as for Moreau and Staios, I’d love to see them moved out but no one will take them and no way we get that much younger. If you can move them and replace them with a Moen type for half the cost then great. just don’t think anyone will take them at that cost and length of contract.
    - penner for hamhuis. Would do it in a second, but I can’t see any reason why Nashville would do it.

  25. dstaples says:

    Hossa? Gagne?

    And the hard cap that goes along with these desires is what — $65 million a team, $70 million a team. Perhaps there will be a carbon offset bubble that will fuel the world economy to such an extent that the NHL’s cap will rise that amount. But I doubt it.

    Can someone explain how the Oil could spend $9 million a year on Hossa and fit under the cap in 2011 or 2012, what with the long-term contracts already in place?

    As for Gagne, well, would Philly take Souray for Gagne (the players have similar salaries)?

    But I’d argue the Oilers need a 24-27 year old version of Erik Cole before they they need a Gagne.

    Or, an Erik Cole type who can also take faceoffs, a rugged center, a Joel Otto, a Ryan Kesler, or a slightly lesser version of that player, the kind we hoped Brodziak might become before his recent weak season. That would be the real prize, and it might come in at a much smaller pricetag than a Gagne or a Hossa.

    There’s always lots of dreaming on the Oilogosphere when Hossa’s name is mentioned, but if he’s going to take a discount, it will be in Detroit, not here.

    Even if somehow the Oilers could trade off two or three big contracts and had the cap space to sign Hossa, I strongly suspect he wouldn’t take that 9 or 10 million a year, just because it would paint such a massive target on his back, the kind that Horcoff wears right now, rightly or wrongly. It’s not recipe for happiness for a player.

    As LT hits, the best bet for the top line this year is the same as it was this year, Dustin Penner, and if folks had the courage of their convictions when it comes to Corsi numbers and QualComp, it strikes me that this issue wouldn’t come up so often.

  26. DBO says:

    coach: nice ideas. i think we should move some of our impending RFA’s/smurfs for these guys. We need roster spots for these RFA’s, and assuming we can’t move our big contracts, we may be forced to trade some young guys.

  27. dstaples says:

    As for the Pronger trade, I know you’ve changed your mind on that one LT, but I still believe that was a moment where Lowe had the right gameplan.

    Superstar is gone, time to rebuild with you.

    You can pick up Frolov and Visnovsky from L.A. maybe, but Visnovsky is not superstar, and he was also a UFA at that point, no guarantee at all the Oilers would be able to sign him, so that would be one year of Visnovsky and Frolov for Pronger.

    Of course, I still think Smid is a real player, so I’m OK with that deal.

    Conceptually, at least, I think Lowe had the right idea then. It was time to rebuild. . .He lost the plot when he almost lost his job after the Smyth trade, all that pressure from fans and coaches who wanted to win now, so instead of getting another high prick or two, he signs Souray.

    Great player, wrong guy for this team. I’d much prefer a tough season, then 10 years of Zach Bogosian on the Oilers blueline.

    So now it’s time to start over.

  28. DBO says:

    dstaples: i agree about our team needs. That’s why I like Dubinsky and Clowe the most of the RFA’s out there. they both fit a need, fit our age group, and don’t get us in too much cap trouble (especially since dealing Cogliano for Dubinsky frees us from the RFA issue in 2010/11 for Cogs)

  29. dstaples says:

    BBO: Clowe, Dubkinsky, sure.

    But don’t you see see Clowe taking a discount to stay in San Jose which can offer two of the four big tickets for NHL players: palm trees and victories.

    The money would be less in San Jose if he goes long-term, which he will, and the travel ain’t Eastern-seaboard great, but I’d see him staying in San Jose. The time to make a move on Clowe was last summer, wasn’t it?

    Dubinsky is also a good player . . . More possibilities there, as Sather likes big name, big money guys, and the Oilers have a few to deal, if that’s the new gameplan.

  30. DBO says:

    Just thinking of salary cap moves, and players that could fit our team. Anyone think Boston, in an attempt to free up salary, would deal Sturm for Moreau and a prospect? they save $1.5 mill per year, contact is the same length, and Moreau fills a spot on their 3rd line, whereas Sturm is too expensive as a 3rd liner and on that team that would be his role. For us, Sturm is a solid 25 goal, two way player. He would fit on a top line with Gagner and hemsky if we went that route. Allowing us to move Horcoff to the 2nd line with Penner and O’Sullivan.

  31. DBO says:

    dstaples: agree on clowe. So move Cogs for Dubinsky, move Moreau for Sturm. Move Pouliot for picks. Move Nilsson and Smid for Harding. Sign Moen for $1.25 mill.

    Sturm – Gagner – Hemsky
    Penner – Horcoff – O’Sullivan
    Moen – Dubinsky – Pisani
    jacques – Brodziak – Stortini
    Brule – macintyre

    Souray – Gilbert
    Vish – Grebeshkov
    Staios – Peckham
    Strudwick

    Harding
    JDD

    cap hit around $53.85 mill.

    i’d take Clowe instead of Sturm, but this might be more realistic due to what staples mentioned about San jose and the home town discount.

  32. doritogrande says:

    So the Oilers have no reason to win, the Flames have no chance of the Division title, is today a game of who can lose the best?

    I’m excited to see how Peckham and Chorney look, even if it’s horribly sheltered they’re now both facing NHL men. I wouldn’t mind bringing Potulny up as well as a reward for everything he’s done in the AHL this season. To me, one of only two bright spots (Dubnyk is the second) on a truly terrible team this season. If he’s signed to a contract this summer (he’s RFA) I think he’d be a good option for the bottom-6 as a scoring winger to compliment Brodziak/Pouliot and Stortini. The little that we saw from him this year I noticed he doesn’t shy away from being physical and has more offensive upside than Reddox who I imagine is in the fight for that 12th roster spot also.

    Speaking on lines for next season, am I the only one who wants to see us grow as a group and develop chemistry between the veterans and youngsters? Making a change in players for the sake of change doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense if we’re axing the coach. We had an underachieving group of players this year and I think with a new direction from behind the bench, the guys will respond better. Getting rid of Moreau would solve a lot of things on this team, and a 3-line C is also a solid idea, but maybe a new coach can find these things from among our current group. For lines next year, I like:

    Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Nilsson-Gagner-O’Sullivan
    Cogliano-Pouliot-Pisani
    Moreau-Brodziak-Stortini
    Ex: Jacques, Potulny.

    Get Cogliano adjusted to life as a winger, give Pouliot a fair shot to be an NHL player, and put thecaptainethanmoreau where he belongs.

  33. Bruce says:

    Bruce: but I don’t see where adding a huge contract like a Hossa, a Gagne, or (heaven forbid) a Smyth can be accomplished

    … or a Bouwmeester. The only way to make room is to move some existing contracts. The list of desirable long-term contracts would seem to be:

    1. Hemsky
    2. (maybe) Gilbert
    3. (maybe) O’Sullivan

    And of course we can move other assets which aren’t big contracts yet but which threaten to be, namely:

    1. Grebeshkov
    2. Smid
    3. Gagner
    4. Cogliano

    … meaning that to make room for another $$$$$$$ veteran we give up likely two or more of our legitimate building blocks.

    Bruce be careful, Smyth around here is as close to God as it gets.

    I like Ryan Smyth just fine. What I don’t like is his contract.

  34. DBO says:

    And not to mention the moves above actually give us PP and PK balance.

    PP – 1st and 2nd PP units are our 1st and 2nd lines. No need to mix them up. Same with the defense pairings.

    PK – Horcoff, Dubinsky, Brodziak, Pisani, Moen and O’Sullivan/Sturm.

    Suddenly no one is over worked, we have 3 faceoff guys, and that alone wins us 2 more games at least. playoffs become a real possibility.

  35. dstaples says:

    DBO: We saw Hemsky and Gagner on a line in November, then together on the powerplay in March. Hemsky shows his tendency to hold the puck too long when he’s with Gagner, a player who can think the game well and who moves the puck well, but can’t combine at all with Hemsky. Hemsky is like the point guard too in love with dribbling the ball, or the midfielder always trying to go around that one last defender. Such a marvelous talent, but he would have to sacrifice part of his game to play with Gagner. He would need to be more of a one-touch passer.

    Do you see that happening?

    Hemsky does well with players who fit in support roles around him, with Horcoff and Penner.

    I wonder, though, if Horcoff were asked to carry the puck and create more, if he were taken off of Hemsky’s line and put with Penner and Nilsson or Cogliano on the wing, maybe then he’d score more points. Probalby not, but I wonder … (though Horc did just fine this year, coming back from a major surgery, IMO. His timing (and luck) just looked a bit off, but that could come back).

  36. DBO says:

    dstaples: I do agree about Hemsky, i just hoped that maybe with our 2nd best offensie player they’d build some chemistry (like Nilsson and gagner only better).

    i also agree about Horcoff, which is why i like the idea of getting Horcoff away from hemsky and seeing what he can do. allowing him to be less of a finisher and more of an all around player (which I think fits his skill set a lot better).

  37. dstaples says:

    At least Bouwmeester is the right age for this Oilers team, as opposed to Hossa or Smyth.

    I suppose if you traded Souray and Gilbert you might find the money for Bouwmeester, if he’s willing to take $6 million to play in his real hometown, but that would be a discount for him, I suspect.

    As for Cogliano, I know lots of folks have mentioned trading him, but like doritogrande, I’d hate to see some of these young guys go, especially Cogliano (Gagner isn’t being traded).

    Why not give Cogliano at least one season on the wing before any decision is made on him?

  38. geowal says:

    So the Oilers have no reason to win, the Flames have no chance of the Division title, is today a game of who can lose the best?

    The flames still control their own destiny. Even if the canucks have a guaranteed win in Colorado, two flames wins will tie Van and Calgary holds the tiebreaker.

  39. Mr DeBakey says:

    meaning that to make room for another $$$$$$$ veteran we give up likely two or more of our legitimate building blocks.

    According to my Capologist,
    Mr. O.O. Calc,
    Robert Nilsson, Steve Staios, Dustin Penner & Ethan Moreau are scheduled to eat up $11 million in Cap next year.

  40. bookie says:

    The sun is out, spring is really here, hockey is over in this city, so what is this ‘game’ you speak of?

  41. jon k says:

    I don’t know enough about anything to speculate who specifically we’ll see on the roster, but I think it needs pointing out that we are going to have to move bodies.

    Here are the forwards who are slated for roster spots:

    Hemsky
    Horcoff
    Penner
    Nilsson
    Gagner
    Cogliano
    O’Sullivan
    Moreau
    Pisani
    Brodziak
    Stortini
    Jacques
    Pouliot
    Brule
    Reddox

    With Schremp, Potulny, and Eberle fighting for legitimate roster spots.

    And the D is probably less problematic but looks like this:

    Souray
    Visnovsky
    Smid
    Gilbert
    Grebeshkov
    Staios
    Peckham

    That’s 22 players before goalies with 3 players on the bubble. Two of the bubble players have legitimate chances of being considered.

    Which would lead one to suspect that we’ll see acquisition of players through trade rather than free agency. The likely formula is a quantity-for-quality trade of a puckmoving defensemen and a small forward for an established forward with experience and time on his side.

    However, once we look to players of interest based upon need and current team’s circumstances we see there isn’t a lot out there that’s available:

    Colby Armstrong
    Brandon Dubinsky
    Nik Zherdev
    Chris Kelly (ugh)
    Simon Gagne

    The rest of the players the Oilers might be interested in are likely just not available in my estimation.

    There is however a rather large class of good but unspectatular UFA forwards on the market who have yet to be re-signed.

    http://www.sportscity.com/nhl/2009-nhl-unrestricted-free-agents-by-position/#Center

    There are a substantial number of notables on that list.

    Players for picks at the draft then free agency in a buyer’s market?

  42. Coach pb9617 says:

    I suppose if you traded Souray and Gilbert you might find the money for Bouwmeester, if he’s willing to take $6 million to play in his real hometown, but that would be a discount for him, I suspect.

    Bouwmeester for a 10 year by 6 million per structured in an 8, 8, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4, 2 fashion would work just fine if Souray and one of Staios and Moreau were moved.

    I’ll bang the Souray for Klesla deal one more time. CBJ gets the power play help they need and Edmonton gets to offload the Souray contract and replace Staios at once. The extra money goes to Bouwmeester. Put Moreau on the fourth line until the deadline and move him for a 4th round pick.

  43. Coach pb9617 says:

    With Schremp, Potulny, and Eberle fighting for legitimate roster spots.

    Theywhatnow?

  44. jon k says:

    Coach: I commented a bit further in that only two of them have an actual chance to make the team, which would be Potulny and Eberle.

    I don’t think they’ll be there with any certainty, but I could see strong performances by either player forcing management to consider the merits of some of the other forwards on the team.

    Potulny had a very good year scoring goals in the AHL and his ability to shoot the puck might be needed once Kotalik signs somewhere for 3.50 million.

  45. doritogrande says:

    Bouwmeester for a 10 year by 6 million per

    Is Coach_pb9617 the screen name for Charles Wang or Jay Feaster by any chance?

    No player deserves a contract in excess of 5 years. A player can change so much over the course of a half-decade. I thought the new CBA was designed to protect the owners, not allow the players to get away with murder again.

    We continue to hand out the DiPietro/Richards/Lecavalier/Ovechkin contracts, and combine it with the growing economic concerns, the NHL will be in as much trouble as the KHL.

  46. Sean says:

    Heres my offseason plan (surely to change)

    - Sign JBo
    - Offer Gaborik a 3 year deal. 5 million per plus a 2 million bonus for each season he plays 75+ games
    - Trade Moreau
    - Trade one of Nilsson or Penner
    - Get a new coach
    - Roli for one year or capable starter

  47. Coach pb9617 says:

    Is Coach_pb9617 the screen name for Charles Wang or Jay Feaster by any chance?

    Look at what Katz offered Hossa and go from there. If they’re willing to give Hossa 10 years, they’re going to offer Bouwmeester 10 years.

    I’m trying to make a 10 year deal more palatable with the numbers.

  48. misfit says:

    Coach pb9617: You’re forgetting that Klesla isn’t a very good hockey player. We’d save some money for sure, but that’s about it.

    What this team needs to do is stop chasing the big names, do their homework and try to pick up effective players who get restults. They probably should’ve kept Howson because that’s exactly the kind of thing he’s been doing since he took the job in Columbus.

  49. doritogrande says:

    They probably should’ve kept Howson because that’s exactly the kind of thing he’s been doing since he took the job in Columbus.

    I’d generally agree with this statement, but I don’t think they had that option. I believe most executives/assistant coaches have out clauses in their contracts whereby if they’re offered a promotion (say from Assitant GM Edmonton to GM Columbus), they are free to accept the position. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

  50. knighttown says:

    Just a comment on CORSI. There seems to be a belief that all player's Corsi's should be the same throughout the lineup. For example, Hemsky plays Hemsky types so he should be about even. Brodziak plays brodziak types so he should be about even.

    This is actually pretty far from the truth. Assumingly because all first liners get put out against 4th liners from time to time, the line in the sand for a first liner is quite high. Datsyuk and Hossa for instance are up in the high 20s for Corsi while Hemsky is around +5. Havlat, Getzlaf, Perry, Toews, Ovechkin, Backstrom and Parise are all in that high teen range. I'm not sure you can look at Horc and Hemsky and say they "move the puck in the right direction". Well, they do, but not nearly enough as top line players on good teams.

    The line in the sand for a successful 4th liner is likely negative since they end up out there against 1st liners from time to time. The bottom of the Corsi list does include brodziak and Zorg but also includes nearly all 4th liners in the league, especially from teams like the Oilers who trust their 4th line more than their 2nd and 3rd sometimes.

    Only very rarely are CORSI area codes cross-polinated with 1st and 4th liners. Some examples are those terrific "end of depth chart" players in Calgary (Moss, Glencross) and conversely, Shane Doan and Malkin! show serious negatives for top liners.

    It's easy to look at our Corsi list and say that our top liners are doing their jobs if only our 4th liners could pick it up but very nearly every NHL team's descending CORSI list would read like their depth chart.

    New Jersey:
    >7 Corsi is Parise, Zajac, Langenbrunner, Elias, Gionta, Zubrus and Holik.

    <0 Corsi is Clarkson, Rupp, Rolston, Madden, Pandolfo.

    Top 6/Bottom 6

    For the Edmonton Oilers to be a Cup contender we'd need to see something like this:

    Hemsky +22 (up 17)
    Penner +17 (up 10)
    Horcoff +14 (up 13)
    Gagner +14 (up 14)
    O'Sullivan +14 (up 6)
    Nilsson +8 (up 10)
    Cogliano +3 (up 6)
    Pisani even (up 13)
    Moreau -2 (up 8)
    Pouliot -4 (even)
    Brodziak -8 (up 7)
    Stortini -10 (up 9)

    That's a whole lot of improvement all through the lineup.

  51. Bruce says:

    Whaddya know, I get to go to the game tonight, my first since Chicago in early February. Too bad it doesn’t mean much, but what the hey, it’s NHL hockey and I’m gonna enjoy it. Especially if we kick some Calgary butt.

    Sounds like Zorg is out with an inflamed elbow, too bad, I wanted to see the mythical Zack-Jacques-SMac combo laying waste to the Falmes. Will keep a watchful eye on JDD, and won’t mind at all if they give Chorney a game. Exhibition season starts early I guess.

    I’ll be interested also to experience the atmosphere in the building, whether it’s anger or disappointment or plain old resignation to our seemingly-annual fate. I’m guessing it will be a muted environment unless things get physical.

    Goilers.

  52. dstaples says:

    Bruce: As you going, do you want to grade the game?

    Knighttown: Good point on how best to interpret Corsi numbers. Of course, if you go by this notion and this notion alone (I know you’re not suggesting that), Hemsky is the Oiler who let the team down the most. . .

    Coach: You’re right, to sign Bouwmeester, Edmonton would have to offer that kind of term, especially if he’s going to be $6 million. Bouwmeester is young, so a long term is OK.
    I haven’t look at this player enough to figure out whether he’s good fit for the Oilers or not, but the best plan is to top load the contract as much as possible, so you can trade him more easily at the end of he falls apart. . . .Of course, you guys know that . . . It’s the MSM guys who need to brush up on the CBA, eh Tyler ;)

    Guilty as charged on that.

  53. dstaples says:

    I wonder if Howson was offered the job of director of hockey ops if that would be considered a promotion, and he could leave Columbus?

  54. Lowetide says:

    David Staples: I actually haven’t changed my mind on the Pronger trade. IF Lowe had spent the saved Pronger money on replacement UFA’s then the 2006-07 season would have been different.

    As it was, he moved back the cluster by several years and wasted several nice contracts on a rebuild.

  55. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    dstaples said…
    I wonder if Howson was offered the job of director of hockey ops if that would be considered a promotion, and he could leave Columbus?

    Captain of the Titanic or 2IC on the QEII.

    Tough call.

  56. dstaples says:

    LT, but what replacement UFAs could you get to come to Edmonton at Pronger’s bargain price who had his ability?

    I do believe the effort was made to sign various UFAs, but they wanted no part of Edmonton.

    Souray came, eventually, because the market moved him here for Pronger-like money, but he’s not Pronger, as he himself said.

  57. Coach pb9617 says:

    This is actually pretty far from the truth. Assumingly because all first liners get put out against 4th liners from time to time, the line in the sand for a first liner is quite high. Datsyuk and Hossa for instance are up in the high 20s for Corsi while Hemsky is around +5. Havlat, Getzlaf, Perry, Toews, Ovechkin, Backstrom and Parise are all in that high teen range. I’m not sure you can look at Horc and Hemsky and say they “move the puck in the right direction”. Well, they do, but not nearly enough as top line players on good teams.

    Comparing Horcoff to these guys is completely unfair.

    %DEF
    Horcoff …38.7
    Hemsky …29.7
    Parise …29.6
    Havlat …28.2
    Ovechkin …25.9
    Getzlaf …25.7
    Perry …25.5
    Backstrom …24.9
    Toews …21.7

  58. Lowetide says:

    David Staples: Then don’t trade him. Wait until the deadline, even if he refuses to play. Lowe boxed himself in for no good reason.

  59. rickibear says:

    This team wants size:

    Guys under contract 6’0″ +200lbs
    LW Penner 6’4″ 245
    LW Jacques 6’4″ 220
    RW Stortini 6’3″ 230
    C Brodziak 6’2″ 210
    LW Moreau 6’2″ 220
    LW Pisani 6’1″ 205
    RW Kotalik 6’1″ 230
    C Horcoff 6’1″ 210

    You want your even forwrds to outscore or make the team even -.1EVGA or better. We had 10 FWD
    Player EVGA—Pts/60—corsi
    Penner +.80—1.73—(7.3
    Horcoff +.39—1.51—(0.7
    Hemsky +.25—2.07—(4.8
    Gagner +.19—1.74—(-.4
    Pisani +.14—1.78—(-12.5
    Cogliano +.13—1.66—(-3.3
    Nilsson +.08—1.24—(-1.7
    Moreau -.06—1.54—(-9.8
    Kotalik -.07—1.35—(-.5
    Pouliot -.10—1.71—(-4.3

    11 teams had 8 Fwd or better
    Van 11
    BOS 10
    CBJ 10
    EDM 10
    WSH 10
    DET 9
    NJD 9
    SJS 9
    CHI 8
    FLD 8
    PIT 8
    Even play sure was not our problem.

    Penalty Kill:
    two Forwards in the top 50 on the PK
    Sullivan #42/92 6.46GA/60
    Pisani #20/92 4.94GA/60
    3 forwards in the bottom 25 on PK
    Horcoff 81/92
    Moreau 78/92
    Brodziak 69/92
    Target area 1: 2 forwards to kill penalties that break even at Even play:
    J. Staal 37/92 6.22GA/60 +.34
    6’4″ 220
    M. Knuble 30/92 5.77 +.17
    6’3″ 230
    J. Lehtinen 24/92 5.46 +.60
    6’0″ 190
    K. Kreps 23/92 5.45 +.00
    6’2″ 195
    PJ. Axelson 21/92 5.36 +.14
    6’1″ 190
    S. Gagne 19/92 4.93 +.80
    6’0″ 195
    V. Peltonen 13/92 4.38 +.25
    5’11″ 185

    Power play we have two forwards top 60 in points/60
    Hemsky #36 5.07
    Nilsson #54 4.64
    Kotalik #68 4.39

    Forwards in the top 60 of 1Asst/60
    Nilsson #10 2.71
    Hemsky #15 2.42

    Forwards in the top 60 Gaols/60
    Gagner #53 1.85

    Last year guys in the top 60 PP:
    Pts/60
    Hemsky #6 5.93
    1Asst/60
    Hemsky #6 2.63
    Horcoff #54 1.71
    Goals/60
    Penner #23 2.44
    Pisani #29 2.35

    When I look at these numbers:

    I would hope for:

    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
    Nilsson-Horcoff-?????
    Cogliano-?????-Pisani
    ????-Brodziak-Storts

    RW Knuble 2.25M
    C J. Staal 4M
    C PJ Axelsson 1M

    We Outscore even

    Shut down on the pk.

    Our PP needs to go box and one.

  60. rickibear says:

    Simon Gagne covers PK, PP, & EV for LW.

  61. mc79hockey says:

    I stand by my opinion that suspending and suing Pronger was the way to go if he didn’t show up for training camp.

  62. HBomb says:

    Gagne and Jordan Staal….now THAT would be a nice and realistic double play.

  63. dstaples says:

    LT: So you don’t trade him when teams have lots of cap room, get the best you can, and instead you wait until you might be able to get more at the trade (spring, i assume) deadline, while your team is in turmoil, one might suspect, waiting for what my be. . . . I suppose it could maybe work . . . But you’re still throwing out a full season, or half of one . . .

    When a superstar wants out, there is no excellent answer . . . There is no great deal to be had, seems to me . . . Did the old Oilers ever get full value for a superstar?

    After you lose that superstar on the bargain contract — which is the ingredient for NHL success in a hard cap world — my vote is the rebuild through youth and the draft, find your next superstar(s) that way. IMO, that would be the best chance for Edmonton, which has trouble attracting superstars here, at least on the cheap, because of the team’s record, climate, travel.

    The other way, chasing the stars or potential stars from other teams, and it seems to me you end up with the team the Oilers have right now.

  64. Lowetide says:

    David Staples: I’ll bet you a 2-4 the really good GM’s would have handled it differently. I have no argument with getting young assets in return but man you need to know the dollars saved can be turned into something immediately.

    Pronger, Spacek, Tarnstrom became Smid, Tjarnqviust and Hejda (iirc). That’s a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon.

  65. misfit says:

    knighttown: Just like any stat, you can’t look at it exclusively and expect it to tell you much. CORSI only tells you which way the puck is going, but it’s going to be greatly effected by where it starts as well.

    While Horcoff’s CORSI may only be .7 while Getzlaf’s may be 17.3 (from behindthenet), you’re ignoring the fact that Getzlaf has started 70 more times with the puck already in the offensive zone than the defensive zone. Horcoff, on the other hand, started 153 more of his shifts in the defensive zone than on the good end of the ice. That’s a huge disparity and surely is going to hurt his CORSI rating. Brodziak gets the shaft in this metric as well. That’s not to say Getzlaf isn’t better than Horcoff, just that his CORSI doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Guys like Getzlaf and Perry get an advantage over Horcoff and Hemsky because their teams have other options for the defensive rolls which allows them to be used in more favorable situations. Plus, with the Ducks being a better team overall, there are probably more OZ draws than DZ draws to go around anyway.

  66. Coach pb9617 says:

    Plus, with the Ducks being a better team overall, there are probably more OZ draws than DZ draws to go around anyway.

    Which points back to the bottom nine needing to be better with the puck.

  67. dstaples says:

    MC79: It would have been interesting to try your strategy, but I’m not convinced it would have worked out any better for the Oilers . . . I can’t see how it would have brought that superstar talent on a bargain contract in return . . .

    Best bet after such a major blow, go with youth, trade off supporting vets, stars, rebuild that way, which Lowe was doing until the Nylander, Souray signings.

    At first, he had the right idea, then he lost it . . .

  68. rickibear says:

    Gagne and Jordan Staal….now THAT would be a nice and realistic double play.

    Gagne would never be available.
    Knuble , Axelsson, Peltonnen are UFA.

    Stall for a winger package of ( Sullivan, Pouliot, +) Would make sense if PITT stays with Malkin, Crosby.

  69. dstaples says:

    LT: Pronger = Smid and O’Sullivan, Nash at this point, I do believe, though these things get all mushed up together.

    If Sam Pollock had been GM of the Oilers in July 2007 would he have done better?

    Hmmmm . . . He sure wouldn’t have done worse, I’ll give you that. But that was Sam Pollock. . .

  70. Lowetide says:

    David Staples: Except that you have all these nice value contracts from guys like Hemsky, Horcoff and Roloson is burning daylight.

    All that was flushed. Sorry Charlie, we’re just going to sit by the road a spell until the kids develop again.

    Kevin Lowe hasn’t supplied enough established NHL players to Craig MacTavish since the Pronger trade AND they haven’t been balanced either.

  71. PDO says:

    Flames have 15 skaters.

    Man do I wish this game counted for something.

  72. HBomb says:

    PDO: It counts for something – the Flames hopes of a division title.

    With the lineup the Flames are icing plus the lack of meaning from an Oiler perspective, this has the looks of a preseason game.

  73. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach pb9617: You’re forgetting that Klesla isn’t a very good hockey player. We’d save some money for sure, but that’s about it.

    Klesla’s fine. He logged a ton of minutes on some really crappy teams. When he finally started to get some help, and he grew up a bit over the last three seasons, he put it together. His standard numbers show it as do his underliers. He’s a plugger with a mean streak and at 1.6 million, he’s ideal for the bottom pair.

  74. PDO says:

    H:

    I’d rather Calgary win the division. Columbus is a scary, scary, team.

    “Cogliano races with MacIntyre”

    … most unlikely play-by-play call… ever?

  75. PDO says:

    So, who should be available to the Oilers in the 9/10 slot?

    Preferably someone who is young in his draft year, over 6′, and a forward?

    Just my personal list of things I like to get out of high draft picks…

  76. jon k says:

    Based upon a projection of drafting 9th or 10th I think the best players in the 8-11 range will be Schroeder, Kulikov, or Ekman-Larsson.

    My preference would be in that order. Despite Schroeder being small he’s putting up very good numbers at the college level. It is worth noting though that he is a very old ’90 so that should be a consideration as to why his numbers are so good.

    Kulikov would also be a very good pick for that area. Over a PPG from a defenseman at 17 is very impressive, though it is the Q.

  77. PDO says:

    Is Glennie a reach at the 9/10 slot?

    Basically from what I’ve read about him he sounds like a bigger and stronger Cogliano… with perhaps a bit more finish.

  78. misfit says:

    Again, my failure to read other responses caused me to miss the fact that someone else already made my point for me. You’re a wise man Coach.

  79. jon k says:

    Glennie is probably in that range too. If we end up 10th or 11th Schroeder and Kulikov are probably gone so he’d be a good pick. I don’t think he has the high end offensive game that most of the other top 10 forwards though. Cogliano is probably a good comparison in that regards.

    I don’t know much though. I’m waiting on the some of the more comprehensive lists from BlueBullet or MrBugg, not to mention that draft guides from RLR and ISS.

  80. Scott says:

    If Deslauriers gets a shutout will that be Glencross getting Glencrossed?

    Also, where is IceCastles on that Kotalik goal?

    http://aleskotalik.ytmnd.com/

    Also, MacIntyre. Ha!

  81. oilerdago says:

    Since he came over from Buffalo, Kotalik’s been the one consistent scorer on this team.

    It will be very interesting to see if Tambellini think’s he’s worth re-signing.

    No pressure to win or lose here, but JDD has been fine. Too bad his season got pissed away by MacT.

  82. PunjabiOil says:

    Well, since we’re going to win today, I’m hoping for a win again tommorow as it will have no impact on the standings.

    We will be drafting 10th, unless we win the “ScotiaBank NHL Lottery Draft”

  83. PDO says:

    I’d love to sign Kotalik to anything under $3,000,000 to any deal 2 years in length.

    In fact, I’d consider it a very good Summer if the Oilers figured out a way to add Dubinsky to the roster, drafted Glennie, saw Moreau and Nilsson leave the team, and got Harding to a deal for $2,500,000 as MC has suggested.

    Kotalik – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner – Gagner – O’Sullivan
    Cogliano – Dubinsky – Pisani

    Fantastic top 9 imo.

  84. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    PDO said…
    I’d love to sign Kotalik to anything under $3,000,000 to any deal 2 years in length.

    In fact, I’d consider it a very good Summer if the Oilers figured out a way to add Dubinsky to the roster, drafted Glennie, saw Moreau and Nilsson leave the team, and got Harding to a deal for $2,500,000 as MC has suggested.

    Kotalik – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner – Gagner – O’Sullivan
    Cogliano – Dubinsky – Pisani

    Below average top nine.

  85. PDO says:

    For the record, I’m talking per season, not total.

  86. PDO says:


    Below average top nine.

    Name 15 that are better.

  87. Scott says:

    Why do so many people think Columbus is the scariest team around? They’re losing to the Blues tonight and there’s every chance that they fall out of sixth place before the season ends. I like them and they’re fun to watch but I really don’t see how they’re so much better than Chicago.

  88. jon k says:

    I’d say that top9 is a bit young for my tastes.

    I’d consider Kotalik a viable option to re-sign, but only if it’s for less than 2.5 per season.

    Realistically I think he could get a shorter term deal (2-3 years) for up to 3.0 from a team, so I guess if he decides to stay it will be to play with his buddy Hemsky.

  89. shepso says:

    have o’sullivan and cogs switch places and I think you may have something there PDO, but I am still concerned with the lack of size/grit. Dubinsky is a potentially solid 3C, but not the answer to our faceoff dilemma. Glennie would be a great draft pick though.

  90. Scott says:

    Name 15 that are better.

    I think before this discussion is had it’s important to compare it against what value they get. So that top nine is in at about 26M for next year (assuming a combined 4M for Kotalik and Dubinsky). Is that more or less than most teams are spending?

  91. PDO says:

    Dubinsky is 53.4% on draws… biggest problem is that he’s a leftie, not a righie.

    He’s also been an integral part of the top ranked PK in the league.

    He’s also 6’1″ and has thrown 248 hits this year.

  92. Scott says:

    Speaking of 15, the Flames are playing this game with 15 guys. Apparently they think they’re playing in Minor Hockey Week and not the NHL.

  93. PDO says:

    Scott:

    Fair point, without checking, I’m assuming you’re using cap hits? (eg, Horcoff is 5.5, Hemsky is 4.1)

    I know off the top of my head Calgary currently has 7 committed to Iginla, another 5.5 to Jokinen and another 4.5 to Langkow… puts them to $17,000,000 with another 6 forwards to go.

    Seems in the range?

  94. Scott says:

    Fair point, without checking, I’m assuming you’re using cap hits? (eg, Horcoff is 5.5, Hemsky is 4.1)

    Yeah, I’m using cap hits.

  95. oilerdago says:

    Scorecoff! (had to do it one more time this year)

  96. Chris says:

    MacIntyre on the powerplay? Surreal.

  97. Scott says:

    Scorecoff! Nice dangle by Souray too. Fans are cheering. Everyone feels good tonight.

  98. PDO says:

    … what the fuck was Moreau doing on that goal against? Seriously?

  99. oilerdago says:

    Good for O’Sullivan!

  100. Scott says:

    Patrick O’Sullivan. Playing in Edmonton is probably that guy’s worst nightmare. There are 1000 guys like his dad there and a good majority of them are Oiler fans.

  101. Chris says:

    I’m still baffled by MacIntyre on the powerplay. I mean seriously what the hell? That’s a serious MacT I don’t give a fuck move.

  102. Coach pb9617 says:

    Only a bad coach or one that has given up can get his two rookie defensemen and his 4th line out against a 15 man team’s second line.

    Bring on Messier

  103. Chris says:

    Although this night seems to prove that for the Oilers to be sucessful all we need to do is convince every other team in the NHL that they’re only allowed to have 15 skaters.

  104. Lowetide says:

    Scott: Based on what we know about him, I doubt stupid fans are going to faze him much.

  105. PDO says:

    Coach:

    Why would he give a shit in a game that it’d actually be better for the organization to lose?

  106. Temujin says:

    GOILERS!!! Woooo!

  107. oilerdago says:

    A Souray blast and they did not need to decline the penalty for once.

  108. Chris says:

    This team is so inept it can’t even tank to improve its draft position properly.

  109. Scott says:

    Shel-donnnnn Sou-Rayyyyyy

    I can’t believe people aren’t watching this game. It’s always enjoyable putting the boots to the Flames.

  110. Coach pb9617 says:

    Again, my failure to read other responses caused me to miss the fact that someone else already made my point for me. You’re a wise man Coach.

    Sarchasm?

  111. shepso says:

    PDO, yes, Dubinsky has size and is a good face off man, but that still doesn’t solve the underlying problems. It sure helps though and I agree he would be a beauty of a pick up. I support the cause of bringing him here and would sign any petition needed to convince the braintrust to do so…
    However this team really needs a 1-shot scorer not named Souray, a new system in place, a potential goalie solution (though JDD is playing just fine against a calgary squad that doesn’t seem to care that much), move away some salary eating vets…well, you know, all the things we’ve been collectively discussing for the past few weeks/months/years.

    But yes, Dubinsky=improvement

  112. Coach pb9617 says:

    Since he came over from Buffalo, Kotalik’s been the one consistent scorer on this team.

    It will be very interesting to see if Tambellini think’s he’s worth re-signing.

    The GA signal that he’s not a PVP player so any notion of Ales Ales is not well-founded.

    He comes from a coach that isn’t particularly bad at evaluating talent. That coach gave him a couple of chances and he whiffed. He’s always been a 3rd or 4th minutes option.

  113. oilerdago says:

    Chris,

    You’re right about screwing up the draft positioning…but that’s the kind of season it’s been.

  114. Scott says:

    Why would he give a shit in a game that it’d actually be better for the organization to lose?

    I think this is a particularly ridiculous thing about pro sports. They should really give the team with the most points that still misses the playoffs the best shot at first overall. Rewarding teams for COMPLETELY sucking is stupid.

  115. shepso says:

    Also, it’s just nice to get a win in the last home game of the year. Tank or not, meaningless or not, a win is a win is a win. I’ll take anything I can get at this point to be happy about. Thesis deadline is 2 weeks from today. Percentage of finishing on time is about 85%

  116. PDO says:

    Coach:

    He’s my argument for Kotalik.

    Hemsky is an extremely difficult player to play with. If you hit it off with him, you’re golden, but:

    A) You better not like having the puck on your stick.
    B) You better be able to skate.
    C) Hopefully you can capitalize on the chances he’ll give you.
    D) Ideally you have a one-timer.

    … Kotalik tends to find that description. He’s Heatley-lite-lite. Still, given you have Horcoff there, why can’t it work?

  117. Coach pb9617 says:

    PDO,

    because he’s made the same mistakes all season. Basically, your position, extended, is that he’s coached to a top 10 draft spot all year.

    Hm. Actually, that sounds about right.

    Nevermind, carry on.

  118. PDO says:

    Here’s, no he’s.

    Le sigh.

  119. oilerdago says:

    PDO: There is no question JDD should have had some starts. Even if he’d been lit up a couple of things happen:

    - Roli is fresher for some of the critical games. How many times in the last several weeks did we notice Roli giving softies up (and before anyone says it, I’m not blaming Roli for costing us this season).

    - You are developing JDD and getting a better evaluation of him than you are getting in tonite’s game. I’m thrilled he won, but Calgary’s short handed and I’m not sure this was a real test of his abilities.

    But as always, hindsight is 20-20.

  120. Scott says:

    Percentage of finishing on time is about 85%

    You can take comfort in the fact that you have better odds of finishing than the Red Wings do of winning the Cup.

  121. Coach pb9617 says:

    Still, given you have Horcoff there, why can’t it work?

    Because Kotalik sucks against decent minutes. He’s not a top six winger, especially in the west.

  122. Scott says:

    Roli is fresher for some of the critical games. How many times in the last several weeks did we notice Roli giving softies up (and before anyone says it, I’m not blaming Roli for costing us this season).

    I know that this was an insulated comment but how much better do you think Roloson could have played if rested? Since the start of March his EV save percentage is .920. That’s not being a world-beater exactly but if he’s letting in softies all over the place over this time then he’s either making all of the other saves or all of the softies are coming on special teams. I don’t think Roloson plays any better if JDD starts some of the games.

  123. jon k says:

    Does anyone know where I can find a breakdown of Kotalik’s minutes since coming over to the Oilers? The usual places to look seem to keep just giving me either minutes for his entire season or simple total TOI for his time as an Oiler.

    I’d like to look at his scoring rates as an Oiler. He started off slowly, but he started getting more time when he put up the points.

    I suspect his scoring rates aren’t that different than in Buffalo but I’m curious nonetheless.

  124. jon k says:

    Scott: I think the analysis of whether to play JDD some games has to come from a developmental perspective.

    How much are the Oilers going to give up by playing JDD once every 8 games?

    At some point MacT came to the conclusion that playing JDD at all would result in a lesser result and getting a better result by that magnitude was worth more than JDD’s development.

    We could use JDD’s results from earlier in the season as a springboard to try and iron out the exact cost of playing him, but I have neither the will nor the means to do so right now.

    Ultimately, I think MacT made the right decision for himself and for the team if the bottom line was making the playoffs or else.

  125. oilerdago says:

    Scott: I disagree with you that Roli’s not playing any better with more rest.

    This goes beyond looking at the stats to looking at the games themselves because the Oilers were being badly out shot all season long.

    In the last two weeks he let in a soft one against Minnestota, against LA, against Anaheim and the team sagged in front of him.

    If you want, we can go back even further.

    Yes, Roli is better the more work he gets, but even the toughest warrior gets mentally fatigued.

    It’s been obvious w/Kipper in Calgary too.

  126. Bruce says:

    Did the old Oilers ever get full value for a superstar?

    Paul Coffey, Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp for Craig Simpson, Dave Hannan, Moe Mantha and Chris Joseph. Essentially Coffey for Simpson, and pretty reasonable value. Simpson was great for a short time, scored 56 goals as a 20/21-year-old that year and 13 more in the playoffs, and led the NHL in playoff scoring when the Oil won their last Cup in 1990. Had his career not been cut short by injury Oilers might have outright won that trade.

  127. Woodguy says:


    Because Kotalik sucks against decent minutes. He’s not a top six winger, especially in the west.

    Hockeyanalysis agrees with you.

    According to that site, here are Penner and Kotalik’s GF/20 and GA/20 when playing with Hemksy 5v5 (also including Horcoff for reference):

    Penner GF/20=1.245
    Kotalik GF/20=1.218
    Horcoff GF/20=1.052

    Almost identical, not huge sample sizes though.

    Penner GA/20=0.735
    Kotalik GA/20=1.015
    Horcoff GA/20=0.760

    Kotalik’s defensive number sticks out like a sore thumb.

  128. Woodguy says:

    My “almost identical” comment in the previous post referred to Kotalik and Penner’s GF/20, not Horcoff’s. 10 was lower enough to be significant.

  129. Woodguy says:

    Gagne would never be available.
    Knuble , Axelsson, Peltonnen are UFA.

    Philly has 11 forwards and 6 D signed next year for 53.1M.

    Zero goalies.

    They are in a world of cap hell.

    They would love to move Briere (6.5), Lupul (4.25) or Hartnell (4.2), but beggars cannot be choosers.

    Richards and Carter are going nowhere. Briere is probably going nowhere because no one wants the contract.

    Lupul and Hartnell might get moved for picks but the first GM to come to Holmgren real value with little cost (i.e. Cogliano + Eberle) will have a real chance at picking up Gagne.

    Depends at which part of the panic cycle Holmgren is at.

    Simon Gagne covers PK, PP, & EV for LW.

    Amen.

    Gagne and Jordan Staal….now THAT would be a nice and realistic double play.

    drool

    Tambo pulls that off and I’ll start building a statue for him myself.

  130. dstaples says:

    Bruce: The Coffey trade isn’t bad value, but only if you forget Simpson’s injuries, and it is fair to do that.

    But Messier, Gretzky, Anderson, Fuhr, Cujo, Weight, Pronger, how did those work out?

    Of course, the GM in those days was a dumb dumb, right?

    My argument isn’t that Lowe is a great G.M. It’s that the Pronger trade isn’t where he fell down . . . He did OK with that, nothing great, but about as good as you might expect.

    And, LT, while I grant you he had Hemsky and Horc on value contracts, where does that say he could get others to sign value deals? Everyone else they went after (Gomez, Drury, Souray, Penner, Nylander, Hossa) they all wanted a massive overpay . . .

  131. Scott says:

    Scott: I disagree with you that Roli’s not playing any better with more rest.

    This goes beyond looking at the stats to looking at the games themselves because the Oilers were being badly out shot all season long.

    I’m not disputing that Roloson let in some bad goals but what EV save percentage do you think a rested Roloson is capable of? Over the last month (i.e. since March 1) his EV save percentage was .920. From the game against Minnesota that you mentioned until the last one he played in L.A. his EV save percentage was .919 which is about average goaltending and maybe ever so slightly above average if you assume that the Oilers opponents had average shot-quality (or better) over that time. How much of those 8% of shots that go in are you willing to attribute to “Roloson is overworked”? I’m not willing to give it even the slightest piece of the pie. Sure, he let in some bad goals, but rested goalies do that all the time too and the performance he’s delivered over the last month, or even the last five games, looks pretty typical of Roloson in general. Not his best stint of the season as his season-long .927 EV save percentage attests, but still well within the range of normal.

    As for the developmental angle, I think it’s folly that Deslauriers is regarded as someone worth developing. Is he likely to be better than Auld, LaBarbera, Boucher or a host of other veteran backups that can be had on the cheap every off-season? I don’t think so. So why waste time developing him? It’s obvious that the GM group disagrees but the coach – who is willing to sacrifice for the future when it’s worth it (see Hemsky’s treatment all regular season in 05-06 and Gagner’s this year) – seems to think it would be a waste of time as well.

  132. Bruce says:

    David: Oh yeah, I take your point. The Coffey trade was 5 or 6 superstars ago, and it was still only so-so. One could argue that we got decent return for Fuhr and Anderson given both had a lot of mileage by ’91. (Vince Damphousse, Luke Richardson) But we got hosed big time in the Gretzky and Messier deals, and Kurri and Weight only returned 50 cents on the dollar. Cujo returned nothing at all. The Pronger deal was by no means the worst of the superstar sales.

    Fair trades or foul, all of them are ancient history at this point.

  133. Bruce says:

    Fun game tonight. A bit of a limp effort from the short-staffed Flames, but a strong one from many Oilers. Where was this earlier in the homestand? A few thumbnails in lieu of a full review (sorry David!):

    – Strong performance from JDD, he tracked the puck well, made a number of strong saves, and controlled his rebounds pretty well. One or two bad decisions which I would ascribe to rust/inexperience.

    – Re-signing Denis Grebeshkov needs to be a high priority this summer. This guy just oozes talent and is still scratching the surface of his potential. He’s going to be a fine defenceman for a lot of years.

    – Sheldon Souray’s slapshot goal absolutely took my breath away. What a shot. Capped a 1-2-3, +3 night.

    – Tom Gilbert made a lot of good plays to move the puck, but two absolute howlers which easily could have wound up in our net. The Grebeshkov influence rubbing off?

    – Love Theo Peckham’s compete level. Lots of rough edges still. 4 giveawayts, 4 blocked shots.

    – Taylor Chorney looked alright at times, lost at others like when he put himself offside on a rush or when he got schooled by Jokinen on the Flames’ lone goal. Still, his first NHL game is under his belt and it was largely a success.

    – One of Kyle Brodziak’s finest games of the season: 0-2-2, +2, 2 shots, 3 hits, 2 takeaways, 3 blocked shots, 54% on the dot, and some fine penalty-killing. Made a great play to set up MacIntyre’s game winner (!!!) and another strong forecheck to set up O’Sullivan’s clincher.

    – Dustin Penner does an awful lot of things right out there. Doesn’t stop a segment of the fan base from getting on his case.

    – Ditto for Shawn Horcoff, who was hassled by one nearby fan while he was in the middle of making a terrific play, taking a hit, shielding the puck and leaving it for a teammate to clear out of the zone. The guy hollered out “$7 Million Horcoff!” like it was some sort of capital offence. Tonight he played like every bit of an elite, big-dollar player.

    – Ales Kotalik has got an awful lot of game. He’s big, he’s fairly physical, and he’s strong on the puck (4 takeaways tonight). And he showed that one-shot scorer capability, notching his 20th of the season to fulfil a fearless prediction of mine back on the trade deadline.

    – Patrick O’Sullivan showed a lot too, peppered Kipper with shots and finally got one to go once McElhinney took over (what a coincidence). Nice to see him finish for a change.

    And nice to see Oilers finish for a change. Too little, too late, but fun for a night.

  134. Bill Needle says:

    Bruce said: “Dustin Penner does an awful lot of things right out there. Doesn’t stop a segment of the fan base from getting on his case.”
    I look forward to the day when followers of the Oilers look at the big Penner mistake being how MacT complete inability at coaching him in 2008-09 and not Lowe’s decision to sign him in the summer of 2007.

  135. Lord Bob says:

    So I didn’t watch the game. I went out. Did stuff. Bought a new lens for my digital camera. Stood around Victoria saying to myself “wonder how much the Oilers lost by? God, I bet Macintyre and Deslauriers made complete asses of themselves.”

    The lesson, as always? Craig MacTavish for Jack Adams!

  136. Lord Bob says:

    Also, I think it’s obvious that JDD is a legitimate NHL number one goaltender. He just needs a backup capable of playing thirty or so games in a row so JDD stays well rested.

  137. hunter1909 says:

    The Coffey trade wasn’t only Simpson, it included some absolutely blue chip defensive prospect.

    Then again, when you’re handing out some of the very best players to ever have laced on hockey skates, what possible return can you hope to get?

  138. Icecastles says:

    Missed the game. FUCK! Looks like I missed an awesome one. Highlights on oilers.com are so ridiculously short… was there seriously no fighting? At all? :(

  139. Bruce says:

    The Coffey trade wasn’t only Simpson, it included some absolutely blue chip defensive prospect.

    Hunter: That would be Chris Joseph, the fifth overall pick in 1987. He played parts of 6 seasons (just 144 games in that time) for the Oilers before being traded to Tampa Bay for the immortal Bob Beers. Joseph was a talented lad who had a hell of a time reading the play. He was later signed as a free agent twice and claimed on waivers no fewer than 5 times in his career, so there was always another club who thought he was on the verge of turning it around. He wound up beating around the league for 14 seasons and over 500 GP so it’s wrong to deem Joseph a failure, but he always seemed to be less than the sum of his press clippings.

    Icecastles: No fights, no hits. I’m assuming they’re following the time-dishonoured Falmes tradition of saving it for the return engagement in Cowtown.

  140. rickibear says:

    – Re-signing Denis Grebeshkov needs to be a high priority this summer. This guy just oozes talent and is still scratching the surface of his potential. He’s going to be a fine defenceman for a lot of years.

    Souray-Gilbert
    Grebs-Zannon
    Smid-Peckham

    Sigh!

  141. PunjabiOil says:

    Apparently we’re close to signing Grebeshkov to a two year deal

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Oilers+douse+Flames/1486129/story.html

    Denis Grebeshkov, who is close to signing a new two-year contract with a considerable raise from his current $1.5-million salary, had two assists…

    He’s an RFA after this year, but was he expected to be a UFA after next season?

  142. Bruce says:

    PJO: Thanks, I noticed that in the paper this morning so obviously the team has made it a priority. Let’s hope that once the negotiations make it to print it’s really just a matter of dotting t’s and crossing eyes and it’s done. I would much prefer not to leave this guy open to an RFA raid. He’s been growing on me the entire two years he’s been here, and is getting better by the month. He’s a younger, (still) cheaper Lubo.

  143. Dennis says:

    Chris Joseph now plays in every ball hockey game even remotely assiociated with the Oil.

    LT: I Will be popping in every now and then so watch yourself when it comes to Pronger trade talk;)

    I like some ideas being floated here and I always love Ricki’s numbers.

    My first ideas would be to stash the pacts of 18-24 and move 12 for a tough dman who can play.

    And I love the Dubinsky idea but I can’t imagine the Rags not finding a way to keep him.

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