Hinterland Who’s Who

Based on today’s presser I’m not at all convinced Craig MacTavish is leaving town. He refused to discuss his future aside from saying it was under discussion with “Steve” and he had the look of a man who was comfortable with his situation.

It could mean he’s determined to leave, or it could mean that he’s not staying unless the GM makes sweeping changes.

There are two things in play: the Oilers are not an organization that is above spinning for their own benefit and they are speaking to an audience that has swallowed some whoppers whole over the years. Is it so hard to believe that Oiler nation would nod approvingly with the news that Tambellini and MacTavish had agreed on a more “blue collar” lineup that reflected the town? MacT himself laid down some nice blacktop in this regard today talking about skill players who were unwilling to go to areas of conflict. Bub Slug loves that stuff.

The other item is a sense that the wrong man is walking the plank. Some of us (well, me) would be completely satisfied if Tambellini were presented as the “man” in regard to personnel decisions and that MacTavish had one more season at the helm.

This would mean certain extinction from the NHL’s hinterland for people like Dustin Penner, Marc Pouliot and Robert Nilsson. It would be good news for people like Liam Reddox, Steve Staios and Ethan Moreau. The whispers about trade requests from Hemsky and Souray might turn into more than rumor.

The are some things we can be fairly confident about right now:

  1. No matter who the coach is, the Oilers are going to prune the small forwards. The group that includes Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan will not be as deep come the fall.
  2. Rob Schremp and Linus Omark have bad timing this summer, since smallish forwards are not in vogue.
  3. JF Jacques, Ryan Stone, Colin McDonald, Geoff Paukovich and Ryan O’Marra are forwards with size and as such have an advantage at TC.
  4. Even if MacT stays, this will be another season of massive roster turnover.

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92 Responses to "Hinterland Who’s Who"

  1. HBomb says:

    This would mean certain extinction from the NHL’s hinterland for people like Dustin Penner, Marc Pouliot and Robert Nilsson. It would be good news for people like Liam Reddox, Steve Staios and Ethan Moreau. The whispers about trade requests from Hemsky and Souray might turn into more than rumor.The simple thought of this scenario, coupled with every second caller on 1260 calling in with the “we have to get rid of Horcoff” argument, makes me want to puke.

  2. Jonathan Willis says:

    Paukovich and O’Marra barely belong on the NHL roster. They have no business even being in the discussion at training camp.

    I hope.

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    Is it so hard to believe that Oiler nation would nod approvingly with the news that Tambellini and MacTavish had agreed on a more “blue collar” lineup that reflected the town?I don’t know
    I think there is lots of frustration out there.
    Frustration that will demand a certain grey-haired head on a platter.

    Did I spell licence right?
    Paukovich and O’Marra were included as a sort of poetic license
    I assume

  4. PDO says:

    Lets say Souray has actually requested a trade.

    Three questions:

    Could the Oilers move Gilbert Volchenkov+ or Chris Phillips?

    Could the Oilers get Joe Pavelski back in a trade that involved Souray to SJS?

    Are the Bouwmeester whispers true, and is a lineup of similar forwards with the addition of Pavelski and Bouwmeester and Phillips in for Souray and Gilbert an upgrade? How big of one?

  5. Lowetide says:

    I think the Oilers “fringe” men this fall will be big forwards. A big power guy who works like Brodziak did all summer has a chance with this club in the fall imo.

  6. PDO says:

    Oh, and another busy Summer is not a good thing for this organization.

    Not one bit.

  7. jon k says:

    Paukovich and O’Marra barely belong the AHL roster, let alone the NHL one.

    I think of the small forwards Cogliano and Nilsson are most likely to go. Cogliano because he is rumoured to be highly sought after, and Nilsson because I think the team has had enough of the Row-bear experiment.

    Gagner is the team’s new golden boy and O’Sullivan fills a few roles for the team now and perhaps in the future.

    I suspect we’ll also see one of the puckmovers leave town. Despite it being en vogue right now I think it is Gilbert on the hotseat. Gilbert has more value, likely on par with Ryan Whitney. Grebeshkov also went on record in the MSM that he wants to stay with the team because they showed confidence in him. He’s also a bit cheaper.

    Despite his gaffes and unpolished play Gilbert is likely still the more effective defenseman. His GFONICE and GAONICE when paired with Hemsky are both better than Grebeskov’s.

    Visnovsky and Souray both blow them away in GAONICE however.

  8. Jonathan Willis says:

    Paukovich and O’Marra barely belong the AHL roster, let alone the NHL one.Jon K. said what I actually meant to say.

    Someday, I’ll learn to proofread.

  9. Jonathan Willis says:

    Jacques seems to be healthy at the perfect moment for his career.

    That, and I wonder if Colin McDonald gets another NHL contract (his entry level expires this summer, yes?)

  10. Mr DeBakey says:

    I got the impression Daum liked McDonald

    He had a good second half
    Still not enough offence tho’

  11. Lowetide says:

    I believe McDonald is an RFA, along with Brule, Dubnyk, Schremp, Young, Roy and a few others.

    Lots of decisions in the minors.

  12. BadSeed says:

    I don't Grebeshkov is going. The last thing this organization does is send him away after signing him to a deal. Bad optics. I say send Gilbert away before the whole damn league knows he's soft. If Souray is asking for a trade (and who could blame him), give it to him & thank the Lord we're getting out of that contract & trading high when he's inevitably injured. This team better replace his toughness, though.

  13. Lowetide says:

    I think Gilbert gets a bad rap. He’s a terrific player and those 45 points spend the same as any other Dman PLUS he’s a better overall player than some of the guys who played here and managed that kind of total (Niinimaa, Bergeron).

    The Dman to move is Souray.

  14. oilerdago says:

    MacT possibly staying? Paukovich, McDonald, O’Mara in vogue? I’m going to puke.

    Can we stand to get bigger? Sure.

    But giving Cogs away? You better get something great back in return because that’s a huge mistake.

    One question. Who is going to take Penner the way the Coach has run him into the ground?

    Someone wake me up when the nightmare is over.

  15. BadSeed says:

    Lowetide: If you don’t move Grebeshkov because you just committed to him, don’t want to send Vish away, then you must move Gilbert. I don’t think this team can afford 3 of these guys. I do think they can get a terrific return on him – how about a package with the first rounder to move up? Might just move us into top 5.

  16. BadSeed says:

    By the way, LT, I want to express my thanks for this terrific blog. I’ve been reading faithfully for well over a year now. You’ve spoiled me for the msm. I love the Expo references too – I was one of those who’d watch the french channel on Wednesday nights. I never did care much for the Blue Jays. Still don’t.

  17. bookie says:

    I think some people are confused. MacT doesnt just like grinders, he likes hard workers. This includes people like Hemsky, Gagner, and Cogs. He doesnt like guys who use their talent to be mediocre players when they could be so much more. Those guys kills the room…

  18. PunjabiOil says:

    Nothing to substantiate this, but I get the feeling Souray will be moved to a California team (SJ or LA) this summer.

  19. quain says:

    Can someone explain Souray’s toughness to me? It appears to encompass beating up third and fourth liners, cross-checking penalties, and occasionally yelling at someone.

    He’s not agile enough to block shots or step up on guys. I mean, his fights are awesome, but the rest of that toughness seems to be replaced by Ethan Moreau and giving Smid a bit more coffee.

  20. Black Dog says:

    Yeah I don’t get the hate for Gilbert – he’s not a thumper I guess but he’s sixteenth in the league in Dman points and that’s without huge PP time. And he’s a solid plus playing tough opposition in only his second year in the league. Plus he’s a kid.

    And he’s signed longterm at a reasonable rate.

    If you are building for the future why trade one of two very good young defencemen on your roster?

    I find this whole situation with MacT very frustrating I must admit. Three years out of the playoffs and here we are getting told that the team assembled is flawed. Not flawed as we understand it (vet pivot, size up front etc) but just plain flawed – the players assembled just don’t have what it takes.

    So of course that’s management’s fault.

    And of course we know the long list of MacT’s foibles from this season.

    And yet here we are looking at a situation where neither takes the fall.

    Instead we are going to see guys like Penner and Nilsson moved along with guys who should in no way be moved, like Gilbert, Cogliano or Hemsky.

    And Lowe and MacT survive.

    Fucks sakes.

  21. Lord Bob says:

    O’Sullivan fills a few roles for the team now and perhaps in the future.Much like Dustin Penner, who is also big enough that CN hires him to haul locomotives in the offseason. And look how that turned out!

    There’s no telling where the vengeful eye of Craig MacTavish will next wander, and which net contributor the coach will screw over in a frantic attempt to cover his hiney and save the season.

  22. Lord Bob says:

    Also, why on earth aren’t italics tags accepting paragraph breaks afterward anymore?

  23. Jonathan Willis says:

    RE: Souray

    If you could be reasonably sure that he plays every year like this past one, no way in hell do you mopve him.

    Unfortunately, this is far and a way his career best season (more points in Montreal, yes, but this year his +/- was acceptable) and on top of that he’s already 33 and getting older and on top of that he’s injury prone.

    He’s the guy who gets moved, just because you can’t be sure he’ll be this good again.

  24. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: If you don’t move Grebeshkov because you just committed to him, don’t want to send Vish away, then you must move Gilbert. I don’t think this team can afford 3 of these guys.Sure they can. Move Souray for a forward to LA (Frolov please) so he can be closer to his kids, and look to Nashville and see if they’ll do Dan Hamhuis for a forward.

    Problem solved. You retain your puckmoving abilities and add a guy who, in my mind, is capable of being that top-notch shutdown D this team lacks.

    Souray’s value will NEVER be higher than it is now.

  25. jon k says:

    The problem with moving Souray is that the team has hamstrung itself.

    He’s one of the few intimidating presences on the team and his defensive results are actually quite good this season in light of the other aspects be brings (PP presence, leadership, high shot count).

    If you move him you essentially create or exacerbate several holes on the team all at once.

    If we move him we need to ensure we get good value for him, and I think it has to be a good player who is nearing young veteran status. If they’re thinking a Cali team the only one that would be good value to my eye would be SJ. One of the 3 young guns would be close (Setoguchi, Pavelski, or Michalek). If Blake retires the move makes sense from their perspective as well.

  26. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Good grief this is sad,

    Everyone twisting themselves into the ground to try and come up with a cap bumping lineup that might make the playoffs while Chicago, Columbus, STL and soon LA are just breezing by them.

    Pouliot, Jacques, O’Marra, Paukovich, Reddox, McDonald?

    They could all be stashed in a gunny sack and tossed off the nearest bridge and the organization would be better off for it.

  27. jon k says:

    To clarify, Frolov would not be good value in my opinion. He’s something of a passenger and beyond that he’s only got one more year before UFA status.

    He takes the tough sledding at LW for LA but he’s not scoring particularly well (1.62 P/60) nor keeping the puck out of his net (2.90 GA/60, 4th highest on F for LA).

    I would consider starting the inevitable Tambellini anti-fan club if we traded Souray for Frolov.

    Which reminds me, I think it’s exceedingly apparent that the Pitkanen for Cole trade was an out-and-out loss.

  28. Steve says:

    Which reminds me, I think it’s exceedingly apparent that the Pitkanen for Cole trade was an out-and-out loss.Definitely – but that was partly recouped by the Cole for O’Sullivan trade. Besides that, trades where you’re unloading a guy who’s refusing to play for you tend to be losses (see Pronger, Chris F.).

  29. Alice says:

    /Even if MacT stays, this will be another season of massive roster turnover. /

    I read this the other way. IF he stays, yes there will be massive turnover. And yeah, he might stay. But if somebody has a clear-headed moment and MacT steps or is moved out of the picture, then a large bit of the 'requirement for turnover' meaning someone taking the fall, is done, furthermore the train taking Penner & Co. out of town loses his push behind it.

    With apologies, I'm being optimistic. But it could happen!

  30. oilerdago says:

    So Steve, if you generally lose when trading guys who don’t want to play for you, what happens when Hemsky tells Tambellini he doesn’t want to play here if MacT’s back?

  31. Steve says:

    So Steve, if you generally lose when trading guys who don’t want to play for you, what happens when Hemsky tells Tambellini he doesn’t want to play here if MacT’s back?
    The Columbus Blue Jackets gain a whole bunch of fans?

  32. PunjabiOil says:

    He’s something of a passenger and beyond that he’s only got one more year before UFA status.Plus, his barbie girlfriend would never move here.

    http://www.sportguide.ru/photos/alexander_frolov.jpg

    http://www.sportguide.ru/photos/alexander_frolov_alina.jpg

  33. NormanMendoza says:

    The situation as we know it:

    The Rebuild-Reload “Rebload (pronounced Re-blowed) was unsuccessful.

    - they were too impatient as they tried to get back up the food chain too quickly, and went at least one year too long on the veterans’ contracts for a true rebuild via draft
    - bad bets on Penner on Nilsson

    So, with 3 years left on the Hemsky contract — not enough high-end impact in the pipeline, and too much vet contract that might not last the 3 years — what’s a GM to do?

    I don’t think you can tear down now, because the vets they have don’t have any trade cachet. We’d end up with another 4 years of suckage before the pipeline catches up.

    So, instead dump the tweeners for mid-picks and fairy dust. Go to the market for inexpensive, but useful veteran hands (Zanon, Veillieux). Trade a pair of kids for a big kid (from the Armstrong, Dubinsky, Clowe tree).

    Trade Chorney because I can’t stand to watch them break in another chaos D.

    Get another hard-ass, hard on the puck LW.

    Run Kotalik-Horc/Gagner-Hemsky
    O’Sullivan-Gagner-Brule/Potulny
    vetLW-Vet C-Pisani
    Moreau-Brodziak-Stortini
    Another Vet C/MacIntyre

    Get rid of JDD and run a Roli/Anderson tandem.

    Greb-Vis — 1st EVTOI
    Zanon-Gilbert — 2nd EVTOI, 2nd PKTOI
    Souray-Staios — 1st PKTOI, 3rd EVTOI
    Another vet D

    Seriously. Add 3 MacT type guys at F, another at D. Hard match your lines from game 1, no more screwing around. Hell, hard trap if you have to.

    Ask someone else to run the PP.

    Give him the players that suit his style.

    They have enough interesting pieces in 83, 71, 37, 77, 89, 44, 10, 34, 19. Add some serious stability to that group and ram it home. Not big name, but Lemaire trained or Lamorello armtwisted types of guys who are fast, hard on the puck in any direction. Settle the back 6 F and that 3rd D pair and you can go places. Bring that PP to 10-20th. Bring the PK back to 10-20th. Keep the EV work where it is.

    Go two more years and win and win now. Then blow it all away. Dump everyone and everything for the next generation of draftees.

  34. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Okay Norman, now you got a team that might finish 6th if all the stars align. And then…

  35. kris says:

    I think there’s some consensus on MacT here. Decent coach. Not entirely responsible for the year, but made some poor choices this year. So, a change is in order even though we could do worse that MacT.

    The bigger issue is what kind of turnover this lineup will see over the summer, given that there will be some turnover.

    I’m worried the organization thinks the biggest problems are at LW, i.e. Penner and Nilson, and overall team size, when in reality the biggest worries going forward are in goal, the PK, and the 3C.

    If we pawn Penner and buy Jagr, as I think we all expect, this team is only marginally better and will be uncomfortably close to the cap.

    Now, perhaps there’s a little voice in your head that says, “but surely they must see that they need to bring in some PK help and a guy to back up Horc against the toughs”

    But that little voice said the same thing all season, and even though there were 3C’s who could have been bought, and at least given a chance, none were.

    And “they must see Rollie’s crows feet and old man ear hair”, you think. Surely Lowbellini must see that a goaltending is going to be an issue sooner than later. But then you remember management’s past goalie decisions. Conkannen and JDD. Yikes.

    I also worry about selling Cogliano for no other reason than that he’s the same size as Gagner. That’s likely a bad move. The only problem is keeping Cogs at center. Move him to Gagner’s wing and he’s fine.

  36. Coach pb9617 says:

    This Kotalik idea needs to die, quickly. He fuggin’ sucks.

  37. godot10 says:

    I can’t believe all the Tom Gilbert hate. Brian Rafalski doesn’t hit anybody hard either. Pair Gilbert with Peckham or Smid. Don’t trade him, unless JayBo miraculously shows up.

    If Rob Blake retires, San Jose may become an option for Souray.

    MacT lost me this year. I will be miserable if he is back next year. I’m hoping Lowe is kept busy by Katz upstairs, and lets Tambellini begin shaping the team.

    I believe that MacT and Moreau both have to go, one way or another. Horcoff should be the captain.

  38. kris says:

    Am I wrong to be unconcerned about the “Hemsky Contract Window,” which NM mentions and which is a recurrent meme here.(The HCW?)

    After the HCW we’ll have to pay Hemsky, oh, say 6.8 million, adjusted for inflationary cap changes. (Or deflationary changes, in the unlikely event the cap stays down.) That means we no longer benefit from saving roughly 2 million which we now waste on Staios.

    So yeah, his cap hit will go up, but by then we should have some young guys contributing for cheap. You do have to have guys on your team who are bargains, but worryng about one bargain deal expiring is myopic.

    That is, if I were GM, the savings I got on Hemsky’s deal wouldn’t impact my strategy much at all. Certainly it wouldn’t phase anymore than the losses I was taking on Staios or Moreau’s deals.

    And let’s be honest, as great a player as Hemsky is, he isn’t exactly carrying the whole team on his back into the playoffs. He isn’t an Ovechkin or Lidstrom that you just have to take advantage of having in your lineup.

  39. Lord Bob says:

    Don’t worry, Kris. When he goes to Detroit as soon as physically possible we won’t have to pay Hemsky anything.

  40. kris says:

    LB:

    I suppose you’re joking, but I’d say Detroit doesn’t need him. (Though of course any team would want him.) I’d say a resurgent Colorado would be more likely. Stastny-Hemsky would be vicious.

    And just to clarify, I -like everyone else- want to keep Hemsky, I just think the HCW is no more of a worry than other contracts.

  41. alphahelix says:

    based on Kotalik’s interviews this past couple weeks he sounds like a guy who’s career has just gotten a second chance, he sounds revitalized.. he has scored reasonably well since coming here and today he sounded enthusiastic about training this summer and being the best he can be.

    The last time we had a player going into the offseason with this bright sort of attitude after a credulous season he wound up scoring a PPG on another team. Lets see if we can keep Kotalik at a reasonable cost (for the 2nd line). He has size and a shot. Thats enough to work with. His skating seemed to improve over the course of his stay here too, somehow.

  42. Icecastles says:

    Coach pb9617 said… This Kotalik idea needs to die, quickly. He fuggin’ sucks.But… the song… I had even made an Oilers version of it to put online if they had made the postseason! I’m saving it for the fall now. No way can we get rid of Kotalyk. Besides, I think he’s been making real strides.

  43. eidy says:

    there seems to be some poison in the room. there are a lot of guys that have apparently asked for trades(pits, fcp, hemsky?, souray?),were shipped out for other reasons (greene/stoll/torres), or chose not to resign. the weather hasn’t got that much worse in edmonton.

    it does seem like a really high level of dissent in the dressing room. maybe its because i am ready for a change, but have many other coaches had this much problem with players. and that’s not even bringing up the guys with tire marks on their back. maybe he is just a really hard guy to play for and as much as the players appreciate him later, have any come back to play for him again?

    by the way, i’m still hoping cowan’s injuries scare people off enough that he is available at 10. not likely, but hopeful

  44. pboy says:

    Now I want Kotalik back just so I can hear the song. Maybe my favorite part of the season was the anticipation after Kotalik scored that I would be seeing and hearing that ridiculous song.

  45. iSite says:

    I’m assuming then, that with all this Souray trade talk that people are comfortable with the established on-ice leadership sans Souray? Or are we trading Souray and re-vamping that too?

    Thecaptainethanmoreau (and Staios) would be firmly entrenched should MacT stay, n’est-ce pas? According to MacT it was more the skilled players who were found wanting…so…hmmm.

    Oh I get! Our leadership this year was just fine….wait, what?!?!

  46. Lord Bob says:

    Why don’t we just combine the hype and end up with theCaptainaleskotalik? I’d go for that.

  47. Chris says:

    That couldn’t be any worse. We could make Reddox the enforcer too, MacT thinks he’s suitable for every other role including back up goaltender.

  48. speeds says:

    Doesn’t sound likely the Oilers would select Schroeder if he’s available, hey LT?

  49. jon k says:

    I’d think it would be a mistake to pass on Schroeder if he’s available. Probably the best supreme offensive talent outside of Tavares and Duchene.

  50. Icecastles says:

    Chris said…
    That couldn’t be any worse. We could make Reddox the enforcer too, MacT thinks he’s suitable for every other role including back up goaltender.
    Now that’s unfair, Chris. Reddox could be a hell of a backup goaltender if he were given the chance – he’s gritty and determined after all!

    Seriously – all he has to do is wear the outfit and sit on the bench until the season is officially lost, at which point, who cares how many he lets in?

  51. Black Gold says:

    There’s only one reason to trade Souray, and that’s jbo’s signature on a contract.

    I realize selling high is a good idea, but selling something you use all the time and can’t replace isn’t a good idea.

    As for moving Gilbert, he’s got a cap hit of $4 till 2014. In his second year he’s already beyond the last 6’3″, soft, puck moving american d that roamed the oil blue. T.Poti is making $3.5M a season till 2011. Both second PP guys, both ~15min a night.

    Qualcomp
    tom g. 0.00
    tom p. 0.05

    BTN’s team relative +/-
    tom g. 0.26
    tom p.-0.82

    Corsi
    tom g.-3.5
    tom p. 5.6

    pts/60
    tom g. 1.30
    tom p. 0.80

    GFON/60 and GAON/60
    tom g. 3.02 and 2.79
    tom p. 2.87 and 2.87

    Ones 5 years younger and about to hit his prime. I know which contract I’d rather have right now.

    There is only one change the oil should be making on the back end if jbo isn’t coming and that’s finding a home for staios’s cap hit.
    If jbo is coming then, ya sure, move one of souray, lubi vish, or gilbert, i really like all three of them, so i think it comes down to what you’re getting in return. And I’m not sure we need more hypothetical package trades on this blog.

  52. pboy says:

    What was the single biggest reason why the Oilers missed the playoffs?

    Season went south when they lost Visnovsky 7%
    No leadership down the stretch 26%
    Couldn’t score enough goals 27%
    I blame the guys in the suits 41%

    Total Votes for this Question: 317Poll from the Edmonton Sun this morning. Small sample size, only 317 people so far but 67% said that lack of leadership and management/coaching staff were the biggest problems for this team. Craig MacTavish just told us yesterday that the problem was the underacheiving players, I can’t wait for Kevin Lowe and Darryl Katz to tell the fanbase to keep patient and wait for next year!!!

  53. DBO says:

    One of the most painful parts of the past few seasons has been the excuses at the end of the year. One year its “we’re not skilled enough”. So we go out and trade for and draft talented smurfs. We get have a nice run at the end of the season with most of the vets hurt, so the kids were allowed to play their game. New season starts, and MacT tries to change the game for the kids, causing confusion, and we are wildly inconsistent and our special teams suck. year progresses, frustration on both the coach and the players. Year ends and now we are too small, our skilled guys just aren’t skilled enough and the “culture has changed”. so what are we to do? Dump some of the kids and go back to the “grinder” team with size, less skill. last time i checked, we had that team for a lot of MacT’s year’s and only barely squeaked into the playoffs not even half the time, basically finishing with a similar crappy record every year. How would this be an improvement? If not for the run in 2006, mact would have been let go and this team would have went a different direction.

    for once i hope this organization doesn’t sway too far to the other side of the ledger (like it usually does) and makes some changes to try and crreate a bit more balance, a but more size, but not a total overhaul.

  54. DBO says:

    poy: agreed. crazy disconnect between the management/coaches and teh fans. I know we as fans can’t dictate what the team does, but they can’t be so blind that they don’t recognize they are also to blame, can they? I’m Keith Hernandez and you can fuck off. getting tired of Keith/macT basically telling us that.

  55. DBO says:

    And the rumours of Souray and hemsky wanting out is also a scary thought. Assuming this is the case, i would try hard to keep hemsky and deal Souray. That being said, here’s a deal that might work for both teams:

    Souray to San jose
    for
    Clowe and Murray or Erhoff

    Dollars work for both teams, we get bigger on the wing and they add the top PP guy they want to pair with Boyle, while avoiding having to pay Clowe too much.

    We then re-sign kotalik (i also dislike him) to keep hemsky happy since the are buddies. You then deal Cogs for Dubinsky (just won’t let this one drop), and then deal for Harding for Nilsson and pick/prospect (Darren Pang thinks Rollie is gone. take it for what it’s worth).

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

    Vish – Greb
    Gilbert – Erhoff/Murray
    Staios – Smid
    Peckham

    Harding
    JDD

    And we would have a few million in cap space.

  56. dave says:

    I’m not apposed to the Vishnovsky trade. I think we did well with it. But for lack of another name Do we make the playoffs with Stoll on the roster? Going back a couple of threads and considering that last year Horc was our 3rd option d-zone face off guy. He played ALOT of defence.

    I’m of the mindset that if we had a journeyman shut-down C we make the playoffs.

    Alternatively if we used Pouliot or Brodziak in the d-zone draw situ all year, are we further back, same place or in. Also factoring in Horc gets to start in the O-zone probably twice as often?

  57. kanadienkyle says:

    If the dressing room has become a problem, drafting Schroeder would be a mistake. Despite his skill, the word around the rinks is that he isn’t a team player and has become infected with the Team USA syndrome (me first, all the time).

    No links, but very reliable sources, including a former teammate.

    Grain of salt and all that, but smoke also equals fire. Sometimes.

  58. Lord Bob says:

    I thought Team USA Syndrome was a pathological hatred of hotel furniture.

  59. quain says:

    Alternatively if we used Pouliot or Brodziak in the d-zone draw situ all year, are we further back, same place or in. Also factoring in Horc gets to start in the O-zone probably twice as often?
    We used Brodziak as the de-factor third line centre when it came to draws all year without much change. We’d have been substantially better off with Horcoff + Reasoner + Brodziak sharing the defensive draws, but I still don’t think MacT was going to draw that defensive number down too far. Horcoff gets paid a lot to be that guy and he’s going to have to learn to like being that guy while putting up 20+ goals, hopefully.

    I don’t think the draw situation hurt as much as just not having a Reasoner-type killing penalties. ES we were fine, despite some lacklustre years all around. It was special teams that murdered us.

  60. pboy says:

    If you were a baseball fan living anywhere near New York during the from 1951 to 1957, there was a running argument about who was the best centerfielder in New York City ; Willie Mays of the New York Giants, Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees or Duke Snider of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    Per season average for the 51 – 57 seasons for all 3 centerfielders:

    Willie Mays : 174 Hits, 37 HR, 97 RBI’s, .320 BA, 0.600 SLG

    Mickey Mantle : 154 Hits, 30 HR, 96 RBI’s, .320 BA, 0.57 SLG

    Duke Snider : 170 Hits, 37 HR, 111 RBI’s, .310 BA, 0.58 SLG

    Take into consideration that both Mickey and Willie were rookies in 1951 and for Duke Snider, 1951 was his 5th in the bigs and the growing pains that both Mickey and Willie had that year were already in Duke’s rearview mirror. Also, Mantle struggled with knee injuries suffered in the 1951 World Series and for the rest of his career he never played a healthy season. Willie Mays only played 34 games in 1952 and did not play at all in 1953 due to his service in the Army, so he has a smaller sample size than either Mickey or Duke. All in all, those 3 players put up remarkably similar numbers to each other from 51-57 and all 3 men were eventually elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Willie Mays stayed a great player until 1971, his game falling off his last 2 years, being capped off by memorably falling down while chasing a pop fly as a member of the NY Mets during the 1973 World Series.

    Career Numbers – 3,283 Hits, 660 HR, 1,903, .302 BA, .557 SLG

    Mickey Mantle’s numbers continued to be of HOF quality until 1964, after that however, his last 4 seasons as a Yankee, he was barely a shadow of the player he once was.

    Career Numbers – 2,415 Hits, 536 HR, 1,509 RBI’s, .298 BA, .557 SLG

    Snider’s numbers fall off of a cliff after 1957, the Dodger’s move to LA and he no longer is playing half of his games in Ebbet’s Field, which was a band box and a home run hitters delight. He never hit more than 23 homers in a season after leaving Brooklyn and his last 7 seasons he averaged 13 HR’s a year.

    Career Numbers – 2,116 Hits, 407 HR, 1,333 RBI’s, .295 BA, .540 SLG

    If you look only at their numbers from 1951 – 1957, it really is a pick-em. Taking their whole careers into perspective however and Willie Mays separates himself from the pack and is inarguably the superior player. When looking at MacT’s career as Head Coach of the Edmonton Oiler’s, you really need to look farther back than just this season. His coaching record of the last 8 years is 300-308-47 (thanks LT) and besides the fact that the man gives a great interview and is an obviously well spoken and articulate , I can’t see why some people feel the that the sky is going to fall in if he is no longer behind the bench. I’ve been beating the fire MacT drum for most of this season and this is definitely the last time I will write about it. Cheering for another team isn’t an option for me so I hope this organization can get it’s act together and put a team on the ice that has a chance to win every night not just finish 7th to 11th every season.

  61. Sean says:

    Think Florida would take Souray for rights to JBo? It could salvage Martins gamble to keep JBo and free up some cap space for the Oilers.

  62. Scott says:

    Edmonton Sun this morning. Small sample size, only 317 people so far but 67% said that lack of leadership and management/coaching staff were the biggest problems for this team. Craig MacTavish just told us yesterday that the problem was the underacheiving playersAn Edmonton Sun poll about hockey with 350 respondents? Clear evidence against MacT’s terrible year. If people think this team should have been a lock to make the post-season I really don’t understand why. Their record last year in regulation was 25-39. That’s a lot of ground to make up in one season. Not very many teams do it. A lot of the expectations were based on false hope, something that MacT mentioned yesterday. The coaching could have been better, so also the players. Overall though, I wouldn’t say that the biggest problem was underachievement from anyone. The biggest problem on this team is that the players just weren’t good enough.

  63. quain says:

    I can’t see why some people feel the that the sky is going to fall in if he is no longer behind the bench.Bit of a straw man, isn’t it? The mood here ranges from “You know, I don’t think MacT was much of an issue, and I don’t care much either way” to “MacT probably causes cancer. Not locker room cancer, actual cancer. Like, you know, cigarettes and nukes.” Okay, I’m joking about the second one, but seriously, I haven’t heard anyone at all ever mention that MacT just HAS to stay. It’s ambivalence at best.

  64. Master Lok says:

    LT,
    I had the same response as you did from MacT’s interview I think. If MacT stays, he wants changes to the lineup.

    Bookie: MacT doesnt just like grinders, he likes hard workers. I agree with you bookie. MacT doesn’t necessarily want grinders, he wants players who works hard. The three healthy scratches in the last game said a lot – Penner, Nilsson and Brodziak. and that Pouliot has been sitting for 8 games prior to that.

  65. Schitzo says:

    If the oilers move Pouliot, they’d better have a plan B in mind who can play top-9 for $750,000. We’re going to need to watch every dollar.

  66. Mr DeBakey says:

    MacT explained in crystal clear language this past season what kind of player he likes.
    It happened twice,
    he was talking about Jason Strudwick both times.

    He likes guys who use 99.9% of their ability.

    He prefer the level of ability be Hemsky’s level of course…

  67. quain says:

    That’s what’s wrong with the culture of the Oilers this year. They only use 99.9% of their ability, back in the Ryan Smyth era they gave 110%. Just think about that, if we had 10% more effort, we’d have scored 10% more goals, given up 10% fewer goals, and been in the playoffs!

  68. pboy says:

    When exactly did Kyle Brodziak become a floater or a guy who wasn’t working hard?

  69. Dennis says:

    After reading here and there today, I’m convinced that MacT’s coming back and that Tambo will be told what to do by both MacT and Lowe.

    Along the way we’ll lose players who are good value and/or who are good players and at the end of the season it won’t mean a fucking lick if we can’t kill a penalty.

    macT was clearly not pleased with the the construction of the team and/or the work ethic and he also came across as a guy that was comfortable knowing he’d either get a team molded in his image or he’d have no trouble getting a job elsewhere.

  70. pboy says:

    Both guys have been so successful with team building Dennis, that Tambo would have to be stupid not to listen to them….

  71. Traktor says:

    “When exactly did Kyle Brodziak become a floater or a guy who wasn’t working hard?”

    Around the time that Lowe decided not to sign Reasoner.

  72. bookie says:

    Someone suggested that this was Lowe,MacT and Katz vs. Tambi.

    I suggest that Lowe and MacT must be on opposite sides of any ‘vs’ because Lowe built the team and MacT failed with it. Perhaps Tambi was brought in by Katz as a way to appease MacT

  73. bookie says:

    Anyone who thinks size, skill or mix was the problem didnt watch the season.

    When this team came out ready to play they were a pretty darn good team. Its not as though they were bigger, more skilled, or mixed differently on those games. THey just were not depressed and disheartened.

    This is now Coach vs Players and I think I am siding with the Players until they are proven wrong by another coach.

  74. Rod says:

    godot10 said…
    I can’t believe all the Tom Gilbert hate. Brian Rafalski doesn’t hit anybody hard either. Pair Gilbert with Peckham or Smid. Don’t trade him, unless JayBo miraculously shows up.
    Not so sure I’d characterize it as Gilbert hate. Probably more that 77 has trade value. That said, I agree Gilbert has to be kept unless JB4 lands in Oiltown. Gilbert is only going to improve (unlike 18 and 24 and…).

    If Rob Blake retires, San Jose may become an option for Souray.
    Good point.

    MacT lost me this year. I will be miserable if he is back next year. I’m hoping Lowe is kept busy by Katz upstairs, and lets Tambellini begin shaping the team.
    Ditto, on all counts.

    I believe that MacT and Moreau both have to go, one way or another. Horcoff should be the captain.
    Agreed completely. Hopefully 24 is also on that list out of town. And if 44 is back, then he’s in the mix for the C.

  75. rickibear says:

    The italics tag isn’t allowing spaces after the close and it’s bothering me like crazy.

    Last night I deleted my two most profound comments ever posted on here because of that.

  76. HBomb says:

    Whomever had the idea to trade Souray to Florida for Bouwmeester’s rights (as it might be attractive for Martin to perhaps save his job), a gold star for you. Not a bad idea at all.

  77. quain says:

    The italics tag isn’t allowing spaces after the close and it’s bothering me like crazy.

    Just testing something. Move along.

  78. quain says:

    Just testing something. Move along.Looks like inserting < br>< br> after the italics clears up the issue, unless it's already fixed itself, which I'm checking now.

    It's like we're back in 1998, programming our Geocities pages.

  79. Lord Bob says:

    Trading an asset for a UFA’s rights doesn’t appeal to me at all. If Bouwmeester wants to sign here, he will sign here. If he doesn’t want to sign here, he won’t sign here. Who owns his rights has nothing to do with that.

    When we could get something genuinely useful for Sheldon Souray, I’d much prefer to do that.

  80. bookie says:

    I am starting to think that MacT is just a fancier version of Ted Green, great lines, but maybe there are others who coach better out there.

  81. oilerdago says:

    LB/HBomb:

    I got the idea because 2 years ago, Philly did that with Nashville right before the draft (and 2 weeks before free agency started).

    They made a deal with them for the rights to Kimmo Timmonen and Scott Hartnell and then in the same moment, announced they’d both signed contracts.

    Nashville got back the rights to their own 1st round pick (which they sent for Peter Forsberg).

    That’s why I say get a jump on Jay Bou if the guy is that intent on coming home to Alberta. Right now, we can’t fit him in, but if you can get Fla to take back some salary, why not?

    Only question is who would Martin want? My guess is someone to take Bouwmeester’s spot so you’re looking at a 77 or 44 and he’s going to want suspect/prospect and a pick.

    Seems to me we could clear up some clutter at forward with this deal if we play our cards right and not give Calgary a shot to have Phaneuf, Regher and Bouwmeester on their blueline.

    Just thinking.

  82. Scott says:

    “Only question is who would Martin want? My guess is someone to take Bouwmeester’s spot so you’re looking at a 77 or 44 and he’s going to want suspect/prospect and a pick.”

    There are a few important questions left to ask though. Would it really take such a large investment to get the rights to an impending UFA? With Souray’s NMC would he be willing to go to Florida? Would Souray be moveable for something better than an impending UFA? Then there’s also the risk of Bouwmeester not signing even if you do get his rights.

    I think the right play is moving Souray somewhere for tangible assets and, if possible, taking Bouwmeester for a conditional pick and “B” prospects. Depending on the contract Bouwmeester wants, you might then need to move another D. With Souray the top 4D are probably already too expensive and Bouwmeester will have a larger contract then Souray does (even moreso if Gilbert is the one moved out) and we’re back to needing to move someone out.

  83. Woodguy says:

    You don’t have to give up such a big asset like Souray for Jbo’s rights.

    You could probably get them for the rights to Schremp + 4th.

    I understand needing to dump salary to sign Jbo, but you can get a nice fist full of picks/prospects for Souray.

    Or conversely get a good roster player for Souray (love the SJ ideas) and dump your $$$ by trading 18,24,27(sigh)for picks/prospects.

  84. jon k says:

    I think it would be an incredible overpayment on our part to send Souray over for Bouwmeester’s rights. Timonen and Hartnell both went for a first. I doubt Bouwmeester would be worth more than that. Souray’s value is more than a first in my estimation.

    I don’t think it really matters though given that every GM in the league is probably going to avoid paying for Bouwmeester’s rights. After years of trying to figure out what Bouwmeester wanted, Martin has finally given up on trying to re-sign him. I don’t think anyone is going to risk paying for the surprise of finding that Bouwmeester had somewhere in mind all along and it isn’t their team.

    The hints from Brownlee are disturbing to say the least. Hopefully we get good value for Souray. I don’t think it would set us back as much as Pronger did, but it would still be painful.

  85. DBO says:

    Mentioned on ON by Brownlee and again on Gregor’s show that Souray had a real tough time this year being away from his kids in California. So scrap any idea of him moving anywhere but california since he has a No movement. No to Anaheim, no one we would want back and they have to re-sign Neidermeyer. I think San jose might be a perfect spot, and judging by what we got for Pronger, i assume the return in a lowering cap world will be less then that deal. So you move salary for one young NHLer, one prospect and one pick and that’s all you can expect.

    Clowe, prospect and a 2nd round pick for Souray.

    We then use the salary saved to re-sign Grebeshkov, and try and sign a guy like Beauchemin (28 yrs old, entering his prime and coming off injury so might get a discount) for $3 mill. Beauchemin is back from injury, and to me is the perfect kind of top 4 D who can do just about everything pretty well, and won’t break our bank to sign him.

    Vish – Greb
    Gilbert – Beauchemin
    Staios – Smid
    Peckham

    And to beat a dead horse, Cogliano for Dubinsky. Nilsson and pick for Harding. I am a happy camper.

  86. Doogie2K says:

    No to Anaheim, no one we would want back

    Getzlaf?

  87. jon k says:

    I don’t really understand the whole love affair with Clowe.

    He’s a checking line winger with toughness. You’d think we’d be able to find one of those for less than the price tag of Souray.

    Clowe would be a 30 point winger on the Oilers and not dissimilar to Moreau in utility.

  88. GorillazXL says:

    Fuck… here we go again. Back to coke machines and no brains. Just what the coach ordered…

    GXL

  89. Sean says:

    Keep in mind that in a couple years with Sourays contract he could have negative value. The opportunity to get JBo would be worth it IMO.

  90. Dennis says:

    I don’t have kids so I’m thinking it’s probably true that Souray misses his kids and that he’d like to get closer to them.

    OTOH, I think that it’s clear from some of his comments that he’s no longer tore up – if he ever was in the first place – about playing in Edm and that bringing out the family card is a great way to save out-the-door face and keep the fans from breaking out the knives.

    Assuming that 13 won’t be allowed to lose all kinds of faceoffs next year and that MacT stays and there’s only so many places for small guys and that 19-89 get first dibs, I could see a 13-44 to LA package for Frolov plus. I know the Kings have all kinds of young D and considering we’re already getting Frolov in his potential deal, it would probably be a kid D on the way back.

    So, I guess you’re looking at Hickey or that guy who’s name I’m going to butcher but he’s the stay-at-home cat with WJC exp who’s Eberle’s junior teammate.

    Also, on the picks for neogiating rights, yeah, Holmgren got the jump with Nsh back in ’07 but the word was Lowe was hot after Hartnell in the same manner and that he tried to do the same with Malone last year before CBJ beat him to it; Malone would go on to drift float through the negot period with CBJ and sign on with the Bolts.

    Anyway, I think we’re better off moving Souray for something real and throwing a B package at the Cats for JB.

  91. Sean says:

    Anyway, I think we’re better off moving Souray for something real and throwing a B package at the Cats for JB.Agreed. Save money on Penner or Moreau or Nilsson if you can.

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