Picking over the Bones

In a thread below NBOilerFan says “I was also hoping you’d offer your take on what Tambellini will/should do. Perhaps you still will in time.”

I don’t like to do this sort of thing because it’s much more interesting to talk about what the coach would/will do in my opinion. I’m a fan, you’re a fan, and although we’re beyond the “he sucks” or “he blows” mentality the fact is that we don’t really know which team wants Sheldon Souray or Dustin Penner and we also don’t know who is a bad clubhouse guy or who parties a little too much.

So–one time only–an offseason indulgence: what I’d do if they elected me King.

The first thing I’d do is decide which kids to keep, and it’s going to be way fewer than in previous seasons. One rookie: Peckham. That’s it, that’s all. Deslauriers is a possibility in net but we’ll see how these paragraphs roll out.

Next, I decide which veterans (and costly young players) to deal. My list would be Sheldon Souray and Robert Nilsson. It should be mentioned I like these players, but the cap forces Edmonton to cut costs somewhere and this is the area I’d choose.

So, we have no goalies, a D group that includes Visnovsky, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Smid and Peckham and a set of centers that has Horcoff, Gagner and Cogliano in the group. My left wingers are Penner, Moreau and O’Sullivan and the RWers are Hemsky, Pisani and Stortini.

On the fringe of show business are Marc Pouliot, Kyle Brodziak, Steve MacIntyre, JF Jacques, Liam Reddox, Rob Schremp and anyone I’ve forgotten about in the process. The roster might look like this:

  • G-None.
  • D-Visnovsky (5.6M); Gilbert (4M); Grebeshkov (3.2M-est); Smid (1M-est); Staios (2.7M); Peckham (.585M)
  • C-Horcoff (5.5M); Gagner (1.625M); Cogliano (1.133M)
  • L-Penner (4.25M); O’Sullivan (2.925M); Moreau (2.0M)
  • R-Hemsky (4.1M); Pisani (2.5M); Stortini (.700M)
  • Total Players: 15
  • Total Cost: 42,018,000
  • Cap Room: 13,982 based on 56M cap.

I want to add 4 distinct veteran elements to this group: a starting goalie; a nicely priced veteran D to round out the top 4; a veteran offensive forward to throw onto the top 6F; a two-way F who can both help with the tough minutes and penalty kill/help with faceoffs. I have my bait (Souray, Nilsson plus my fringe players and about 14M) and my shopping list.

  1. The goalie: I’d go after Jaroslav Halak of the Habs. I’m horrible at these trades but would suggest that a flip of first round picks plus perhaps Robert Nilsson (or one of the fringe guys) might get it done. If not, I’d move off of Halak as an option and look toward someone like Nittymaki. Halak is about NHL average in terms of SP and has a .775M cap hit next season. And since he’s not an established NHL veteran, let’s also sign Jason LaBarbera for 1M via free agency.
  2. The defender: I’ll say the Oilers sign Minnesota’s Kurtis Foster because he appears healthy and had some nice numbers in 10 games plus a nice career previous to the injury. Edmonton is brilliant in this area and one of the joys of summer comes from finding out who they’ve signed for D. In fact, one of the turning points for MacT was his slow recognition of Jan Hejda, so this individual will be important for the new coach. Let’s say they get him for 1.3M (he made 1.025 and is coming off an injury).
  3. Offensive forward: This is where the money will be spent and I’d target Marian Gaborik. What would it cost? 6 million? 6.5? Let’s say 6.5 million–he’s got question marks but he’s also a thrill a minute and is more available imo than someone like Havlat (or Hossa).
  4. Two way forward: The deeper you get into these things, the less likely the moves will make sense on all levels. For instance, in dealing Sheldon Souray for a checking forward my preference would be to add Christopher Higgins. Although he isn’t a faceoff man, Higgins did play against reasonable opposition in terms of difficulty. I also think this might help the Halak trade seem more reasonable, plus it forces Pouliot to center and I like him.

The big summer deal for me then is Souray + Nilsson + 10th overall pick for Jaroslav Halak + Chris Higgins + 18th overall. You are welcome to slay me in regard to the fairness/unfairness of this trade, I’m guilty. Then again this is the one day a year I do this so what the hell.

My roster is now complete.

  • Goal: Jaroslav Halak (.775M); Jason LaBarbera (1M)
  • Defense: Visnovsky (5.6M); Gilbert (4M); Grebeshkov (3.2M-est); Staios (2.7M); Kurtis Foster (1.3M); Smid (1M-est); Peckham (.585M)
  • C-Horcoff (5.5M); Gagner (1.625M); Pouliot (.825M); Cogliano (1.133M); Brodziak (.900M-est)
  • L-Gaborik (6.5M); Penner (4.25M); Higgins (2.2M-est); Moreau (2.0M); Jacques (.525M)
  • R-Hemsky (4.1M); O’Sullivan (2.925M); Pisani (2.5M); Stortini (.700M);
  • Total Players: 23
  • Total Cost: 55,843,000
  • Cap Room: Change.

It isn’t what Tambellini will do, but the skill level is beyond belief. If Pouliot can’t handle the 3line job then deal for Reasoner or another checking C. My preference is to give him one full season to prove himself in the role.

Hammer time. Go your best.

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132 Responses to "Picking over the Bones"

  1. DBO says:

    Nice ideas LT. I agree it doesn’t really address the size factor mentioned by Tambellini, but it does balance our lineup. I like higgins, but wonder if Soury would go back to montreal, otherwise i like the deal from a dollar and value perspective since it allows us to free up money for other areas.
    gaborik is interesting, but the injury prone and lack of size worry me. Not srue who else you could go and get, and I still think Cogliano is miscast as a 3C.

  2. CM says:

    I would love to see the oilers sign foster as a souray replacement if he is traded…

  3. PDO says:

    Take out the first round picks, and you’re looking at Souray and Nilsson for Halak and Higgins. Higgins and Nilsson likely have similar value.. both have been in the dog house for most of the season, have some upside.. I don’t think they’re that far off. Goalies are dirt cheap… take a look around the league, and you’ll notice they rarely go for much. Especially unproven ones.

    I don’t mind your general premise, but I have to slay you for the trade proposal ;).

    I’ll throw this out:

    Blake likely retiring in SJS. Regardless of what happens, they’d likely want some sort of replacement, and Souray is an upgrade at a similar price tag and a big leadership tag.

    So I’d say it’s a lot more likely you could pick up Halak for a song, lets say Nilsson on his own, and then find out what SJS would part with for Souray. I’d assuming it’d start with Pavelski, and you could probably get something nice added as well…

    Pavelski adds size, talent, an ability to kill penalties and is good on the dot. He’s also the right age.

    Souray also has an NMC, and I’m not sure if he’d want to go back to Montreal, but I’m positive he’d go to SJS given where his kids live.

  4. Lowetide says:

    DBO: I have Cogliano as 4line C. One of the things my team (as listed) did was backup the kids. If Gagner struggles, Cogliano slips in. Same for O’Sullivan. Two slots for the kids, the rest go to veterans.

    PDO: I don’t know. Everyone keeps saying that goalies are available but good goalies have value and identifying the right guy is a moving target. Also, the Habs are taking on salary and adding the draft flip seems fair to me. Plus I always try to make it hurt from my pov, that way it’s at least closer to fair for the other guy.

    :-)

  5. PDO says:

    LT:

    I donno man. Chicago couldn’t give away Khabibulan. Neither could Anaheim give away Bryzgalov. Fernandez was dealt for a 4th round pick. Huet went for a second round pick and had one of the best SV%’s in the league…

    And on it goes.

    The last time I remember a team making a trade where they gave up a lot to get a goalie, disregarding the Luongo trade, was Andrew Raycroft. That didn’t turn out so well. Anything more than a second round pick for a guy like Halak and I’d be really upset.

    And I think they move a kid along before they move a kid down the DC. Train of thought being:

    A) We’ve already spent two seasons on them, and seen some forward steps.
    B) We don’t know how they’ll react to being knocked down the DC.
    C) If it doesn’t go over well, we’re opening ourselves to lowering their trade value (after a trade is inevitably requested) and likely seeing them gone from an offer sheet when they don’t want to re-sign here after being dicked around with.

  6. Phil says:

    It’s odd to me that your fantasy lineup wouldn’t address the number one hole in the lineup over the past season – RH veteran centreman.

  7. PDO says:

    Phil:

    Joe Pavelski :-).

  8. Lowetide says:

    Phil: I think it can be solved in-house (Pouliot). VERY stubborn, me.:-)

    PDO: Khabby couldn’t get moved because of salary, imo the MTL trade I’ve suggested is key because they’re also taking Souray. But clearly I regard Halak highly so that’s probably part of it too.

  9. PDO says:

    LT:

    You’re saying that as though Souray has negative value? I wasn’t a big fan of the signing, and I still don’t love it… but a big, mean defenseman who is coming off an All-Star appearance where he potted 23 goals and 30 assists?

    And his cap hit is going to be larger than his salary staring the year after next?

    I think there would be people offering a lot more value. If it took trading Souray to bring Halak here, I’d be looking at Harding and Niitimaki (I assuredly spelled that wrong).

  10. Mr DeBakey says:

    then find out what SJS would part with for Souray..
    The Sharks have already spent most of Blake’s salary
    -Murray from $550,000 to $2.5mm
    -Vlasic from $1.1mm to $3.1mm

  11. PDO says:

    DeBakey:

    That may be true, but they still have Thornton’s to spend ;)

  12. Lowetide says:

    PDO: I think it’s fair value but again this isn’t my field of expertise (trade proposals in off-season). My feeling is that picking up Halak and Higgins would cost the Oilers a significant amount.

  13. PDO says:

    Deja Vu.

    I like. This Chicago team is fun to cheer for, especially against Calgary.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Bertuzzi and Jovanoski have to hold the record for crazy-ass penalties in the playoffs. Brain left at home. Check. Do stupid stuff. Check.

    Bertuzzi is like that big-ass robot Wile E. Coyote built from the Acme company. WHOA! STOP! HALT!

    Doesn’t matter.

  15. jon k says:

    The goaltending tandem is risky but it could definitely payoff. I always have nightmares to the Conkkannen debacle whenever I think of “rolling the dice” on a tandem. At the time Conklin had finished the pre-lockout season on a stellar run and Markkanen was coming out of the KHL with a SV% in the 0.930 range with a 1.20 GAA.

    Other than that I don’t know if any of other other moves would really improve the team. I think the pieces we need are identified, but the specific players probably aren’t the best matches.

    Higgins isn’t a checking line forward, he’s a second line scoring winger who didn’t score much this season and has been universally panned by Montreal fans.

    Foster is a great defenseman to target but there’s no way he leaves Minnie now. They showed faith and signed him to his contract after he sustained an injury that very possibly could have ended his career. I doubt he turns his back on them after they were such class acts to him.

    Lastly, if Souray is moved it creates a big hole in the defense in terms of strength and toughness. He’s essentially the only player who can break a strong cycle with the exception of maybe Grebeshkov. The defenseman we brought back somehow would have to be a Witt type to compensate.

    I don’t know. The team has so many issues that Tambellini really has his work cut out for him. There aren’t enough players with size who aren’t liabilities on the ice, there are overpaid veterans who aren’t core players anymore, and we’re spending too much on players with redundant skillsets (Visnovsky, Souray, Gilbert, Grebeskov).

    It’ll be interesting to see how he can address two or three problems while minimizing collateral damage to team assets.

  16. relic says:

    PDO,

    Pavelski is only 5’11″ and he doesn’t play that big imo.

    I like the idea of Cogliano on the 4th line to outmatch the other team and start to see some pk. The faceoffs remain a huge ? even if you try to to hide him at 4C though.

  17. Alice says:

    One of cogs and sully has to leave, too many wingers. I like what they both bring, one guy is younger and cheaper tho.

  18. Alice says:

    Yes, wingers

  19. oilerdago says:

    Very interesting take LT. Completely agree on fewer kids next season (and Peckham would be it as a 6/7 for me too). He's earned it.

    Would also agree with you regarding goaltending. If JDD is here next season as a backup, ok, but if not I will not be that upset (but I'd feel bad for him given the debacle this season). Halak would be a great pickup (we can dream), but my bet would be some kind of package deal w/Fla for Vokoun (that includes us sending salary back the other way and the rights for JayBou).

    Regarding the forwards & D, the Oilers must solve their salary cap issues and (imo) must find themselves a solid 3C. Pouliot makes sense for this – but will the new coach gives him that chance? I'd like it, but that usually means it won't happen.

    the BIGGEST move is on the back end. It's the one strength on the roster and moving someone to free up cap space is essential as a means of solving other shortcomings.

    Am torn on trading Souray or Gilbert. For Souray, his stock will never be higher, but I think Gilbert might bring more in terms of being able to package others (Nilsson).

    One thing for you – no buyouts? I personally think that's the last thing Tambo/Katz want, but thought I'd ask.

  20. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    You now have he worst group of centres in the WC.

    Good luck with that.

  21. bookie says:

    Whattabout Jagr?

  22. Lowetide says:

    FCM: I’d disagree. Gagner and Cogliano are a year older and Horcoff can probably spend less time on the PK (Higgins, O’Sullivan) and possibly fewer minutes on the ice for faceoffs if Pouliot can improve a little.

    I think people forget that Brodziak wasn’t horrible on the dot in 08-09:

    1. Horcoff 53.9%/1756
    2. Brodziak 51.6%/947
    3. Pouliot 48.3%/211
    4. Gagner 42.0%/690
    5. Cogliano 37.2%/702

    If Pouliot can improve that number (and obviously over many more sorties) then the FO problem is back to a draw.

    And offensively I think all of them should be better.

  23. Lowetide says:

    I thought about Jagr and about Havlat and Hossa. Decided Gaborik was the one.

  24. Gerta Rauss says:

    -yes to halak…couldn’t have said it better myself

    -yes to kurtis foster,even if we keep souray

    -i’ve wouldn’t mind gaborik,but only if it’s short term(2years)
    for market rates($6-7m)…very slim chance he signs this,but you never know

    it’ll be interesting to see the length of contracts this summer..yes the cap is staying the same this year,but who really knows where the nhl is going to be this time next year..we may not even have 30 teams…i bet you see a lot of 1 or 2 year deals while both the gms and players keep an eye on the financial landscape

    -if we’re trading Souray to San Jose,i’ll take Clowe please

  25. Phil says:

    Phil: I think it can be solved in-house (Pouliot). VERY stubborn, me.:-)Yes you are :)

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that, under a coach who doesn’t hate him, Poo could develop into that. But that means starting the season with a big question mark.

    Off topic – Bertuzzi may be a bum, but that was some shot.

  26. Dennis says:

    I hope it all works out for for Joe T because that was a nice touch for him to fight Getzlaf off the hop. And it’s the first time I’ve agreed with Kelly Kilmer in months but, yes, if Goonald Brashear gets a seat for the shot on Betts, how in the fuck can you let Perry off with his charging elbow on Cheechoo?

    Has anyone else noticed how Carlyle’s head resembles a pineapple? And in this game, he’s keeping his big line away from JT and is running the Marchant line at those guys.

    Size is to the NHL what being lefthanded is to MLB pitching but I can’t remember the last time a guy made so much money from so many different teams on nothing more than his laurels than is Bertuzzi. There was a time when he’d do this hitch with his leg and he’d carry the puck and you absolutely couldn’t take the puck from him. If Burke didn’t have a netminding blindspot, we’d have been a lot sicker of those Dys teams. But now he just floats and takes bad penalties and builds up minuses but it seems like no one statss the obvious.

  27. Jon says:

    Great points made and there are a great deal of possibilities to what the roster will look like. Most people have covered what I would want.

    Few more names to throw out there

    Third Line Pivot- Manny Maholtra

    Veteran D- Greg Zanon

    Goalie- still trade for Halak or Harding but also, Flaming has a good article on Gustavvson (sp?) in Swedan.

    The more I think about it, O’sully has to go. What could him and one of Souray/Gilbert get?

  28. Gerta Rauss says:

    O’sullivan and Souray might get you Thornton…i’ll let you know in about an hour…

  29. Gerta Rauss says:

    2-1 Ducks
    6:20 left in the 2nd

  30. PunjabiOil says:

    Halak isn’t a bad choice, but the guy I really want is Kari Lehtonen. Obviously he won’t come cheap, but something like Cogliani + Nilsson + 2009 second should get Atlanta to the bargaining table.

  31. Gerta Rauss says:

    3-1 Ducks

  32. PunjabiOil says:

    No one wants to e-celebrate the Flames forth consecutive first round failure?

    God, what a pathetic franchise. Having advanced past the first round just once since 1989.

  33. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    I’m convinced PJO hates the Flames more than he likes the Oilers

  34. Lowetide says:

    So the 2nd round matchup will be:

    DET-ANA
    VAN-CHI

    Is that right? Good matchups. Detroit has a chance for 2 Stanley’s in a row, Anaheim could win it without Burke getting all the credit (who am I kidding?), Vancouver has never won it and the Hawks have won in my lifetime but not in yours. :-)

  35. Gerta Rauss says:

    barring a miracle comeback in anaheim,yup

    ana/det with van/chi undercard…anaheim/detroit could be a beauty…

  36. HBomb says:

    I hope the Sharks come back. Seeing the Ducks advance, with the odor of Burke still in the air and being lead by Cuntbag Perry and CFP…well, the thought of it disgusts me.

    I hate that team more than the Canucks and Flames combined. Watching Getzlaf, knowing he SHOULD have been an Edmonton Oiler three years ago (if Lowe had been worth his weight in salt as a GM on when dealing Pronger) makes it even more difficult.

  37. PDO says:

    For someone who doesn’t play big, Joe Pavelski just schooled Ryan Whitney.

  38. HBomb says:

    I’ll be rockin’ my Zetterberg, Toews and Patrice Bergeron jerseys for the next couple weeks if tonight’s results hold up.

    Even if the Sharks lose, I’d call it a moral victory if Perry gets carried off the ice on a stretcher. Gutless puke.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Language!! The children!

    I’m not anti-Anaheim and honestly you have to be impressed with this club. Hiller was available to anybody not so long ago, they have role players marking their men and that Pronger trade means Lowe should get a ring. Lots of good stories and Oilers fans should own it. After all, Edmonton contributed to this team’s success.

    Seriously.

  40. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: knowing Lowe giving away Pronger for what he did fuels the hate. Pronger’s arrogance, Perry’s status as an absolute disgract of a human being, Carlyle coming off as a whiny jerk every time I see him on camera, Getzlaf being an absolute beauty when the Oilers could use a player exactly like him, Selanne’s long-time status as an Oiler killer, and to top it all off, the remaining stench of Burke.

    Assuming San Jose doesn’t pull the comeback, I hope Detroit sweeps them. I have zero use for the Anaheim Ducks and wish them nothing but failure, misery, and massive knee injuries.

  41. Dennis says:

    PJO: The Flames just ran out of bodies. They went in without Reghier and then Sarich was beat up and Phaneuf couldn’t awnser the G6 bell. Up front they had all of Langkow-Conroy-Bourque not fit to shoot, let alone play.

    So, I didn’t expect them to win once I heard about the first two D and once the forwards started getting dinged – or redinged in the case of Langkow and Bourque – it was over.

    I think I only get joy from things like this when you had expectations going in.

    As for 78 and getting back on point, it really could be a new world for this guy. Time was it was ’06 and he’d had a great second half to his first season in the A and Don Lever was singing his praises and he got a sniff and looked talented and smart. Then came ’07 and he showed himself to be low event, able to kill penalties and had some good chem with 34. Then came ’08 and he took a big step back but fared well after the last call-up.

    Then ’09 came and now he wasn’t a pivot and he couldn’t kill penalties and where was he? I wouldn’t mind him being the 3rd pivot and rekindling with 34 but we’d better get a good LW to go with them. And I’d like it more if we had a Pahlsson type as the 3rd pivot and then 78 goes down to play with 22-46 on the 4th line.

    His salary dictates he has a place on the club and now it’s just up to where he falls.

    BTW, LT. I think you’re on the right track here.

    I’d also start my D with 37-71-77 and I”d move 44 because of his age and history and I’d like to lift in a younger and tough guy to take his place. 5-49 are an affordable bottom pairing and then you can bring back 43 to be a nice guy and tell jokes and be the 7th.

  42. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: You have to give the Ducks credit imo. Their former GM buggered our guy senseless and THEN our guy belittled him for drafting Bobby Ryan who appears to be the Tasmanian sniper.

    You have to have a sense of humor about this stuff.

  43. Dennis says:

    Hrudey is off his fucking head. He’s shitting on JR for letting Boyle make that hit but JR clearly sees that Boyle’s got the better angle and if you’re getting paid to watch hockey and you think JR Isn’t working his nuts off, then you should honestly go fuck yourself.

    HB: I’m with you on the Ducks hate. It would do my hockey pool a world of good with the cards that would fall with a Ana series win but I can’t bring myself to cheer for them.

    I do, however, find it funny to see how well Ryan’s playing and I look forward to fighting with Brownlee when I bring up why no one will ask Lowe to revisit his comment on Ryan’s potential!:)

  44. Dennis says:

    I am reading the post-mortem in the Philly papers and it appears that Lupul’s once again trade bait.

    Funny how that works.

    How many breakfasts did that bald fucker Lowe eat today, I wonder?

    ;)

  45. PunjabiOil says:

    How many breakfasts did that bald fucker Lowe eat today, I wonder?

    LOL.

  46. DBO says:

    Souray to San jose would be nice. they’ll need a shake up after another painful playoff loss. But would they deal vets or young guys? kind of like our issue here, maybe they need a new leadership group. Hate to lose Souray, but him or Vish could fetch a huge return and free up money. What about a Clowe or Cheechoo along with one of San jose’s defenseman? murray is a banger stay at home type, and Erhoff and Vlasic are more puck movers. Would two of them be enough for Souray or Vish?

    And LT on your gaborik idea: would Sullivan from nashville be a cheaper and almost as effective player? Think it’s also been mentioned about tanguay, but Sullivan has goal scoring ability, is a veteran and could be had for half the money as Gaborik and still play on our top line and be an impact player. It would also allow us to upgrade other areas, or just not be forced to move a dman.

  47. Gerta Rauss says:

    i think crawford’s pronunciation of evgeni nabokov changes with each whistle

  48. Lowetide says:

    Is anyone writing down these gems from Mark Lee? Manna from heaven.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Marc Crawford: “I want to explode with my speed and my power.”

    Is that Batman or Robin?

  50. Phil says:

    Marc Crawford is unlistenable.

  51. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    FCM: I’d disagree. Gagner and Cogliano are a year older and Horcoff can probably spend less time on the PK (Higgins, O’Sullivan) and possibly fewer minutes on the ice for faceoffs if Pouliot can improve a little.

    I think people forget that Brodziak wasn’t horrible on the dot in 08-09:

    1. Horcoff 53.9%/1756
    2. Brodziak 51.6%/947
    3. Pouliot 48.3%/211
    4. Gagner 42.0%/690
    5. Cogliano 37.2%/702

    If Pouliot can improve that number (and obviously over many more sorties) then the FO problem is back to a draw.

    And offensively I think all of them should be better.

    If you think being a proficient centre is all about FO% you would be right.

    There’s a little more involved in the job description and all of the above are severely lacking.

  52. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Is this back to the Horcoff thing? We’re never going to agree on this one, but I’m fine with Horcoff in the 1line role and in fact am fine with his cap hit (which is 5.5 iirc).

  53. Schitzo says:

    Souray straight up for Marleau? Souray + Moreau for Thorton?

    One has to assume that a shakeup in SJ is coming, and “mean” has to be at the top of the list

  54. Gerta Rauss says:

    San Jose played the “you can’t fire the players so you fire the coach” card last year.

    I think there will be changes is SJ.

    Big changes.

    Marleau or Thornton will be moved.

  55. Bank Shot says:

    It’s pretty amazing what the Ducks are doing with some elite talent, and a bunch of guys that are just happy to be there.

    Most of their bottom six forwards would have trouble cracking an expansion team.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Selanne passes Kurri next season on the career GF list (regular season). Is he a better player that Kurri was?

    Kurri was one of my favorite players alltime and I’d give him the edge but it’s a conversation.

  57. Phil says:

    So, the Ducks now have a backup goalie making $6M next year and $7M in 10/11. Even funner than that, is that Hiller will be due his raise in 10/11.

    That should make for some creative general managing.

  58. Phil says:

    Re: Selanne/Kurri. It all depends on how much of Kurri’s career you can attribute to 99.

    Damn Sharks. There goes my playoff pool…

  59. HBomb says:

    I’m looking forward to the Wings/Ducks series, in that it’s going to look like something out of “Deliverance”. Wings in five.

    The Ducks rode a hot goaltender from what I saw, and Nabokov didn’t perform to his usual standard. However, Thornton or Marleau WILL take the fall.

    And no Lowetide, I won’t take Anaheim having any success with a sense of humor. That whole team can FOAD for all I care.

  60. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    FCM: Is this back to the Horcoff thing? We’re never going to agree on this one, but I’m fine with Horcoff in the 1line role and in fact am fine with his cap hit (which is 5.5 iirc).

    Nah. It;s all about weakness at centre and it only starts with Horcoff but doesn’t end there.

  61. Coach pb9617 says:

    Selanne passes Kurri next season on the career GF list (regular season). Is he a better player that Kurri was?Please.

    Next up, Phil Housley outscored Bobby Orr. Is it time to declare Housley the better player

  62. HBomb says:

    Nah. It;s all about weakness at centre and it only starts with Horcoff but doesn’t end there.Having a center who plays the toughs and outscores AND outchances the opposition while doing it isn't a weakness.

    The weakness is not having another veteran center beyond that guy or a coach who was willing to play his proven & effective power-vs-power line combination as a unit for over half the season.

    I've said it a million times – Horcoff is part of the solution going forward. He's certainly not the problem with this team.

  63. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    Nah. It;s all about weakness at centre and it only starts with Horcoff but doesn't end there.Having a center who plays the toughs and outscores AND outchances the opposition while doing it isn't a weakness.

    The weakness is not having another veteran center beyond that guy or a coach who was willing to play his proven & effective power-vs-power line combination as a unit for over half the season.

    I've said it a million times – Horcoff is part of the solution going forward. He's certainly not the problem with this team.

    In the softest possible terms…BULLSHIT.

    Horcoff barely holds his head above water while comparable players actually outscore by a much wider margin. (See Henrik)

    Horcoff is a huge part of the problem going forward when he soaks up 15 % of the cap.

  64. HBomb says:

    In the softest possible terms…BULLSHIT.

    Horcoff barely holds his head above water while comparable players actually outscore by a much wider margin. (See Henrik)

    Horcoff is a huge part of the problem going forward when he soaks up 15 % of the cap.

    Barely holds his head above water? The numbers this year, even in a down offensive season, say otherwise.

    Horcoff’s cap hit is not the problem. Much bigger issues include the combined 4.7 million cap hit to Staios and Moreau, having Visnovsky and Souray drawing 11.1 million between them, and Dustin Penner being paid 4 million to be used on the fourth line.

    Beyond this, if you would care to show us how the Oilers go about landing one of the “elite” centers in the league (i.e. guys who are an undisputed and significant upgrade over our current #1 center, in one form or another), be my guest:

    Lecavalier, E. Staal, Backstrom, M. Richards, J. Carter, Crosby, Malkin, Savard, Spezza, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Arnott, Toews, Kopitar, Getzlaf, Thornton, Stastny, H. Sedin

    There’s TWO guys on that list that you might be able to acquire: one, you’re looking at committing big money over the next decade (PLUS player assets to make the trade) in Lecavalier, and well, the other – you’re signing him plus his twin brother (this might be the idea that makes the most sense, but then you’re looking to dump salary elsewhere, at least 10 million worth of it).

    There’s no “bullshit” to it. Shawn Horcoff is an effective player, and as Lowetide himself says, if you can’t see it, it says more about you than it does about Horcoff.

  65. HBomb says:

    FCM: Some reading for you & others.

    Once again, fine work by mudcrutch79 to bring some logic to the discussion.

  66. Tyler says:

    …you’re signing him plus his twin brother (this might be the idea that makes the most sense, but then you’re looking to dump salary elsewhere, at least 10 million worth of it).I’m not quite sure why this is seen as such a bad thing: “Yeah, you can have me but only if you sign my brother, who’s also an elite level talent.” Worst case, Vancouver matches whatever the Oilers are willing to pay and they spend more.

    Agreed that it might be worth the Oilers sniffing around there, although I haven’t considered the cap mechanics.

  67. HBomb says:

    I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of the Sedins, but it’s probably more the jersey they wear than anything else. I don’t think bringing along the twin-LW is a bad thing either.

    IF the Oilers could sign them and make the appropriate salary moves to cover the difference (it would probably boil down to Penner plus Horcoff plus one of the high-priced d-man out the door), it would give the Oil an upgraded first line.

    However, I’d be very surprised if it happens. For one, I think Vancouver would be foolish to let the twins walk, and for two, I tend to buy into the suggestion that someone else made about the tone of Tambellini’s presser a couple weeks back – we should expect a few tweaks here and there, not a total tear-down.

  68. HBomb says:

    Ok, since it’s going to probably get discussed, with the guy one year from UFA and such, but who here does something to bring in Patrick Marleau as a LW for Horcoff and Hemsky?

    He’s played power-on-power before, he’s a shoot-first player, and he can skate with those two. Plus it gives the team another face-off option.

    6.3 million dollar cap hit next year. Allan Muir has an article up on SI.com that suggests that Marleau, not Thornton, will be the guy sacrificed by the Sharks.

    Hell, I’d expand the deal to try and get Ryane Clowe included. Souray and Penner for Clowe and Marleau? Something like that?

  69. Bruce says:

    Selanne passes Kurri next season on the career GF list (regular season). Is he a better player that Kurri was?

    Regular season:
    Kurri …… 0.48 G/G; 1.12 P/G
    Selanne … 0.51 G/G; 1.07 P/G
    Playoffs:
    Kurri …… 0.53 G/G; 1.17 P/G
    Selanne … 0.32 G/G; 0.69 P/G

  70. hunter1909 says:

    1- Don’t hire Tom Renney, unless Oilers want a polite, soft hearted easy to play against team that obligingly collapses when requested by the opposition.

    2- Horcoff isn’t the problem. Get the fuck rid of Moreau and Staios, for some young guys who will play exactly like Callaghan from the Rangers who simply kicks ass. Plus that fairy Nilsson.

    3- Keep Souray!! For Kovalchuck I’d trade anyone on the roster, but Souray, warts and all is simply the coolest Oiler since Peca+Pronger graced us. The Oilers need a cool team dammit.

    4- Sack all of the assistant coaches, and trainers, for guys who can actually produce results. Especially anyone named Chadthe brotherofethanthecapainmoreau. And anyone named Lowe who isn’t named Kevin. How about some professionals, next time.

    The Flames are out. LOL!

  71. hunter1909 says:

    Oops typo.

    Make that: Chadthebrotherofethanthecaptainmoreau.

  72. danny says:

    Re: Pineapple head.

    I’d make the grandpa Simpson comparison myself :)

  73. uni says:

    I absolutely love what Foster brings, but Jon K is dead on. After his potentially career ending injury Minnesota quickly offered and inked him to a contract. To paraphrase their words, we like Foster, we believe in him, and even if he never plays another game we’re giving him this contract and we’re going to take care of him.

    That’s how you get a hometown discount and player loyalty to a team. Add to the fact that you seldom hear negative things about Minnie, and how Brunette raved about them and they seem to have a class organization for sure.

    Now that leaves the question, who’s going to be this off season’s Kurt Sauer, and will the Oilers be the ones to sign him =).

  74. Lowetide says:

    I really do think Selanne V. Kurri is a longer conversation than Bruce and Coach imply. Playoff scoring superiority isn’t going to win the argument for Kurri because he was on one of the ultimate offensive teams for a big part of his career.

    When we compare seasonal scoring rates for careers we’re going to get a better number for Selanne than we do just laying out the boxcars across the prairie.

    My argument for Kurri would be that he was such an exceptional player without the puck that he really was that most rare of all things: a true 2-way player with elite level offensive talent.

    But it’s a conversation folks. And not a Phil Housley V. Bobby Orr discussion, but a nuts and bolts Bobby Hull V Ted Lindsay.

  75. Alice says:

    HBomb said,
    FCM: Some reading for you & others.
    <<<
    Check out Modano's production on that chart. 38 yrs old? That boy's covered the bet for almost 2 decades. Jeezus.

  76. DBO says:

    So what teams are in for a major overhaul this off season? San Jose, Rangers, Montreal? So what can we do to make deals to help both sides? I’d like to keep Souray and would rather trade Vishnovsky, but Souray is probably more of a commodity right now. Would Sather in NY try to make another splash and make a play for Souray?
    - Dubinsky and Girardi would make me very happy.
    - If San Jose wanted a deal, a similar return would be Clowe and Murray.
    - You then deal Nilsson and picks/prospects for Halak or Harding.
    - You then can move Staios/Smid along with Moreau/Pisani for picks, in order to free up money.
    - Sign Beauchemin from Anaheim for our 4D
    - Sign top LW (Havlat, Gaborik, Sullivan, Tanguay).

    Gaborik-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Penner-Gagner-O’Sullivan
    Cogliano-Dubinsky-Pisani/Moreau
    Jacques-Brodziak-Stortini

    Vishnovsky-Grebeshkov
    Beauchemin-Gilbert
    Girardi-Staios/Smid
    Peckham

    Harding/Halak
    JDD

  77. Alice says:

    Trying to understand Nilsson's trade value >Zero. How many teams are looking to get softer? He only gets out the door if we manage to bolt him to a more valuable part.

  78. LMHF#1 says:

    I will never understand why you’re so into Pouliot LT. He’s just not good enough to be anything more than 4th line/PB guy, and he’s not the 4th line/PB kind of guy we want/need.

    I still think we’re too weak at C with that lineup. The kids haven’t been moved to the wings.

    I like Gaborik. I’m not the world’s biggest Halak fan but it’s not bad. I still say make the bigger pitch for Price, especially if there’s a new GM.

    Do you watch a lot of MTL LT? You seem quite focused on them.

    I agree with others that if Souray goes he’s likely headed to California.

    This lineup:

    O’Sullivan-Arnott-Hemsky
    Cogliano-Horcoff-Gagner
    Kotalik-Kopecky-Pisani
    Brule-Brodziak-Laperriere
    Schremp-Stortini

    32.5 mil

    Visnovsky-Gilbert
    Bouwmeester-Grebeshkov
    Smid-Peckham
    Random guy

    20 mil

    Price
    Gustavsson

    2.5 mil

    Costs about the same, moves the young guys to the wings, adds toughness and improves us big-time at C. Are Arnott and Price unattainable? Maybe. I think we can at least get a comparable goalie (next year wise anyway), the Arnott replacement would be the challenge.

  79. bookie says:

    A big part of that question is what would Selanne have looked like playing with Gretzky in his prime. I think that gives you an idea of how the nubmers are somewhat biased in Kurri’s favour.

  80. Sean says:

    My offseason mirrors LTs.

    - Target Gaborik over Jagr/Havlat
    - Keep Gags and Cogs
    - Move one of Souray and Visnovsky (preferrably Souray)
    - Move Nilsson and/or O’Sullivan for someone like Ryan Clowe
    - Keep Staois, move Moreau
    - Horcoff for C, bridge the gap and give a kid a letter

  81. Sean says:

    The Selanne/Kurri debate is a tough one because the scoring rates were so much better when Kurri played. I’d be curious to see the PP scoring rates because (correct me if I’m wrong) Selanne has made his hay being an elite PP performer. If I’m choosing, its Kurri every time but I have a heavy bias as an Oilers fan. Especially now that Selanne plays for the Sucks.

  82. Alice says:

    How do they comp for style of play? My recollection of Kurri is he had the absolute quickest shot release, 2nd maybe to Brett Hull. Selanne seems to do more of what Gretzky did, which was possesion. Feel free to jump all over this – memory only tells us what we want it to, and even then sometimes not ~

  83. Smarmy Boss says:

    Kurri was a true two way player. I think he was one of those game breakers that started the idea of putting your best on the PK and keeping the other teams PP honest.

  84. Alice says:

    And yeah, Kurri never playing for Anaheim has to count ++ in his favour.
    Just because.

  85. Dennis says:

    Blake’s a big ticket coming off the books so there’s a slot and I don’t think there’s much question that Souray would like to get out of the fire so if he went to SJ he’d just have to put up Mark Purdy – SJ Merc News beatie – and Ray Ratto plus Pierre Lebrun when he dropped in every now and then to dredge up the playoff past.

    The guys I’d want from SJ would be either Pavelski or Mitchell who are cheaper tough min or secondary guys but I have a feeling that SJ will want to keep those two as their 2-3 pivots while they make a decision on Marleau OR Joe T.

    Mitchell’s RFA come this summer and Pavelski next year and both will get raises.

    Mitchell’s a guy who could gel with a 34 and or someone else and make up a checking line for years to come.

    Him-Rissmiller-Grier played the tough min in ’08 and Mitchell finished 24/28.

    I love this guy.

  86. rickibear says:

    //FCM: Some reading for you & others.

    Once again, fine work by mudcrutch79 to bring some logic to the discussion.//

    Posted this a month ago trying to educate some of the horcoff hating
    Hockey Future Clowns: Specifically DashingSilverFox.

    I waste this stuff at HFBoards: It is a reflection of the contract value versus the salary cap at time of signing. It shows the % of cap a team values the players play.

    –There are 13 centers who face the teams best and outscore them at even.
    Ranked by salary with % of cap at time of signing: When they sign tells you what % of the cap there team thought they are worth.
    S. Crosby—8.7m—17.3%—07-08
    E. Malkin—8.7M—15.3%—08-09
    J. Thorton—7.2M—12.7%—08-09
    P. Datsyuk—6.7M—13.35—06-07
    H. Sedin ????? (6m+)—(10.6%+)—09-10
    M. Richards—5.75—11.4%—07-08
    S. Horcoff—5.5M—9.7%—08-09
    J. Carter—5.0M—10.0%—07-08
    P. Bergeron—4.75M—12.2%—05-06
    M. Malhotra ??????????
    David Boland ????????
    T. Zajac ??????
    M. Reasoner ????????

    The fact that Horcoff provides you a chance to win against the best and will likely be the 4th cheapest option versus the time of signing well. You anti horcoff guys just do not get it.

    Fake MacT: Come on now 15% Horcoff was less than 10% at the time of signing.

  87. bookie says:

    I would rather have Selanne playing for me over Kurri, last time I saw Kurri he was looking a little old and chubby.

  88. hunter1909 says:

    Smarmy: I was a nipper at the time, and didn’t get to see them nearly as much as some in here, but the Oilers penalty kill with Gretzky, Messier, Kurri and Coffey used to seem more like a powerplay than a penalty kill.

    My abiding childhood memory seems to be a look of terrified seriousness on the faces of the opposition at Northlands. Kind of like in Gladiator, when they’re all waiting to go into the arena.

  89. robert cleave says:

    NHL GPG during Kurri’s career: 7.1
    NHL GPG during Selanne’s career: 5.75

    Multiply Kurri’s 1.12 PPG x .81 to normalize down to Selanne’s era and Kurri ends up at .9 PPG. Not terrible by any stretch, but no slam dunk in Kurri’s favour. None this of accounts for the Gretzky factor (or superior teammates in general). Teemu Selanne, with few exceptions, was the focal point of the opposition defence his entire career. Kurri, not so much. Jari Kurri was a wonderful hockey player by any measure, and as a Jets fan in the ’80s I certainly saw him good, but some people might want to take off the copper goggles here. Selanne was pretty damned good, with precious little help over the years other than Paul Kariya until these post-lockout Anaheim teams. Oh and Kurri did play for Anaheim in 96-97, I believe, but not for Brian Burke if that mitigates things.

  90. Tweezer So Cold says:

    Kurri did play for the Ducks.

    It is no question that Jari Kurri carried the Oilers to the 1990 Cup, covered for Gretzky in the defensive zone, and provided the type of consistent on-ice performance that equals true leadership.

    Selanne is a cherry picking PP specialist, fast as hell still and a damn fine player. That being said:

    I watched Jari Kurri.

    Teemu, you sir are no Jari Kurri!

  91. Tweezer So Cold says:

    In response to LT’s actual question:

    Trade our quantity for quality, then let the bottom 6 spots be for the fringe – Potulny, Brule, Storts etc. There is no room on this club for overpayed bottom 6 players. TRADE.THEM.ALL!

    Keep the D intact. If you must, trade one of the offensive guys for a bruising stay-@-home guy (and pieces, of course – depth and picks, etc…) It is our strength. Look at the Shames this season to see why the D-core is crucial. Need I remind that 2006 went as well as it did because of our stellar D corps, not because of Ryan Smyth.

    I think some disappointed teams up against the cap will be ready to jettison some talent, and we have some needs (RH Faceoff and PK specialist, and a banging winger in particular)

    LT, I love these Hawks (esp. Bufgylien, Seabrook and Toews) and was wondering if you could give us young’uns some history on Glenn Hall, the Golden Jet and the early 60′s club that last won the Mug.

  92. knighttown says:

    Anyone putting together a potential roster needs to start going 8 deep with NHL defenseman. Damn sure any GM worth his salt will.

    I’d love to know what the percent of games missed for a Top 4 defenseman vs. a Top 6 forward is. Betcha its significant.

    Look at the Flames as case 1…of course they had some F’s injured, but even with the addition of Leopold their lack of defensive depth cost them any chance at the second round.

    1. Souray
    2. Vis
    3. Gilbert
    4. Grebs

    (I’d assume one of these 4 will be out of the lineup 50% of the games in a season)

    5. Staois
    6. Smid
    7. Peckham
    8. Strudwick

    (assume 1/4 is injured at any given time)

    That means that Peckham still plays every game of the year (statistically), Staois plays Top 4 minutes for half a year, Strudwick plays 40 games and during tough stretches we see Chorney.

    If you’re like me and you’re not comfortable with Staios or Smid in the Top 4 ever, we need to add a Top 4 to play at number 5 without deleting anyone else. Especially with the injury history in our Top 4 and Smid who takes more hits then Robert Downey Jr.

    Or else, for some random 20 games, you’ll see:

    Vis-Grebs
    Staois-Smid
    Chorney-Strudwick

  93. hunter1909 says:

    Strudwick+Staios = low grade defence(cap/talent reasons)

    Let’s dump the bottom 6 fat cat contracts asap. The poster who sticks Brule in the bottom six(dang, this reminds me of that 1990 kid line) is onto something.

    Moreau was drafted a Hawk, and it’s unlikely they win the cup this year so, trade back Moreau to the Hawks for someone younger, cheaper, and smarter. Kills so many birds with one stone, and allows thecaptainethanmoreau a chance to play for a really good young team, instead of having to play on a strugging one.

    Theo Peckham is going to be an absolute monster player for us in a couple of years, and an instant fan fave next year.

    PS: Flames fans(bless them) are having quite a hard time coming to terns with the reality that Keenan is destroying them. I hear Flyers might take him first, but MacT in Calgary next season?

  94. Traktor says:

    KT:

    The problem is you can’t keep 8 defensemen on the roster and any veteran that has game would be plucked off waivers if he were to be sent down to Springfield.

  95. Traktor says:

    I also think you’re selling Smid short if you think Ladi getting top 4 minutes would kill us.

  96. Bank Shot says:

    The problem is you can’t keep 8 defensemen on the roster and any veteran that has game would be plucked off waivers if he were to be sent down to Springfield.No but you could pick up enough NHL defencemen to put Peckham into the minors for another season.

    I think the Oilers should look into that.

  97. Chunklets says:

    Lowetide said: “…Vancouver has never won it…”

    But what about about the mighty Millionaires, winners back in ’15? I seem to recall that that Cyclone Taylor kid could flat-out play… ;)

  98. Quinn says:

    My feeling is that Peckham is ready for 6 or 7 D minutes at the NHL level, if only to lessen the cap hit we have on our D-corps.

    I also totally agree that any team without a good couple of call-up D is going to be very short come the end of the year (again look at the Flames or the Oil this season). But you fill that void with Allan Rourke-esque player in the AHL, who will come up and play good safe minutes, mainly of dumping it out and hitting people (do they exist anymore?).

    As far as the line-up next year goes, I hate Gaborik, but I can’t argue with the wisdom of making a run at him in the off-season. Especially since so much of his salary will be covered by injury time (I assume a minimum of 20 games for his groin problems). And I think that the Oil will have a great trade market for Souray this summer, especially pre-July 1st.

    Add in a couple of line-up tweaks, lose a low-performer to get a 1B goalie or two (Halak and Anderson would be a dream team) and I think the Oil would be a team ready to take the road back next year (say 7th place in the conference.

    And I would even give Poo a place as centre!

    Gaborik-Horcoff-Hemsky
    O’Sullivan-Gagner- ?
    Penner-Poo-Stortini
    Moreau-Cogliano-Pisani

    Vishnovsky-Grebs
    Gilbert- ?
    Smid-Staios/Peckham
    Strudwick

    (Could I be a little more vague?)

  99. Rod says:

    FCM said:
    Horcoff is a huge part of the problem going forward when he soaks up 15 % of the cap.

    Since when is the cap dropping to 36.667? (33 million over 6 years is a 5.5 million cap hit). Do the math. Or the do Horcoff haters simply spew numbers without any regard to reality? Then again, to be anti-Horcoff isn’t any different than denying reality…so I shouldn’t be surprised.

  100. Bruce says:

    I really do think Selanne V. Kurri is a longer conversation than Bruce and Coach imply.

    LT: Yes, it’s a conversation. Let’s have it.

    Playoff scoring superiority isn’t going to win the argument for Kurri because he was on one of the ultimate offensive teams for a big part of his career.

    I don’t follow. My (mute) point was that Kurri maintained his scoring level in the playoffs while Selanne’s production tanked. I placed them in a per-game metric to level the playing field — the score in raw goals is 106-32 and in points 233-68, but Teemu has only played about half as many games.

    Of course Kurri got to play in 200 games in part because he was on a great team that succeeded where Selanne’s (mostly) failed. But Jari was no passenger, especially in the playoffs where he led the NHL in Goals in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988, with 14, 19, 15 and 14 respectively. Oilers of course won the Cup each of those years.

    In 1990 with Gretzky gone Kurri had transformed himself into the primary puck carrier and playmaker on his line, posting 22 GP, 10-15-25, +13 with Mark Lamb as his centre.

    Jari produced when it mattered most, and I don’t think Teemu fans — and I am one — can stake a similar claim.

    My argument for Kurri would be that he was such an exceptional player without the puck that he really was that most rare of all things: a true 2-way player with elite level offensive talent.

    Yes. As offensive players they are comparable (at least in the regular season :). As all-rounders there is no contest. I recall one night as we admired Kurri skating his usual ten miles, all of it in perfect position, my seatmate asked me out of the blue what Jari’s vital statistics were, and I instantly blurted out “200 by 85″. It was a better answer than the right one.

    But it’s a conversation folks. And not a Phil Housley V. Bobby Orr discussion, but a nuts and bolts Bobby Hull V Ted Lindsay.

    It’s Mike Bossy vs. Mike Gartner.

  101. Scott says:

    I like Shawn Horcoff well enough and he’s done some good things especially at EV. However, he isn’t great on the PP and this year his PK took a bit of a downturn. Further, Horcoff is being paid for his 31-36 y/o seasons and while that should work fine for at least the next two seasons it seems very likely that his game will decline sometime in the next four. If his game does decline, his contract will indeed be a millstone.

    As for the fellow who said Horcoff was making 15% of the cap, he may well have been using the 6.5M figure which has been reported by a few different MSM outlets or the 7M he’ll make next year. It’s still wrong but it’s an easy mistake to make and not deserving of enormous vitriol.

  102. mc79hockey says:

    It’s still wrong but it’s an easy mistake to make and not deserving of enormous vitriol.

    I find that the enormous vitriol starts to flow when you get a reputation of having an axe to grind, to the point that it blinds you to any contrary information, as seems to have happened with FCM.

    FWIW, 15% of $55MM is $8.25MM. I don’t know where that number comes from.

  103. gogliano says:

    Rickibear: I’m pretty sure DSF is our very own FCM.

  104. spOILer says:

    I assume LT, that the pic of Nifty is a warning against trading a developing kid with potential for a proven vet?

    I believe, if we had had the term back then, Hodge would’ve been called a Coke Machine too.

    So no trading skilled kids for older proven vet Coke Machines?

    Amazing how Hodge’s career hit the wall at 30. And hit it hard. I wonder if he lived too much of the good life, but he’s 65 now and hasn’t died of cancer or anything.

    I remember being pissed at that trade too, at the time, and the local Hockey School coach telling us not to worry, it was a great trade for the Bruins. Man were we attached to our heroes at those young impressionable ages.

  105. spOILer says:

    Funny that Housley came up in the Selanne discussion, since I think he had his big assist year feeding Teemu’s rookie goal-scoring record. Zhamnov was Teemu’s centre?

  106. Bruce says:

    Breaking the conversation into two long-winded posts …

    How do they comp for style of play? My recollection of Kurri is he had the absolute quickest shot release, 2nd maybe to Brett Hull.

    Alice: Mike Bossy belongs in this conversation too. But Kurri could snap ‘em with the best. Almost never whiffed, and wasn’t often on the wrong side of the post.

    My abiding childhood memory seems to be a look of terrified seriousness on the faces of the opposition at Northlands. Kind of like in Gladiator, when they’re all waiting to go into the arena.

    Especially when they were on the powerplay, eh, Hunter? The point men in particular all seemed to be wearing brown hockey pants. The Oilers led the league in shorthanded goals, and by a wide margin, every year and every playoffs. Kurri was a huge part of that, notching 39 shorthanded golas in his career plus another 10 in the post season. Selanne has scored all of 7 shorties his entire career.

    I’d be curious to see the PP scoring rates because (correct me if I’m wrong) Selanne has made his hay being an elite PP performer.

    No need to correct you, Sean. Selanne has 206 regular season PP goals in his career, 51 more than Kurri. Indeed, to me their special teams production makes a very strong argument as to who was the more complete player:

    Regular season:
    Kurri: 155 PPG, 39 SHG, ~4:1
    Selanne, 206 PG, 7 SHG, ~30:1

    Playoffs:
    Kurri: 25 PPG, 10 SHG, 2.5:1
    Selanne: 12 PPG, 0 SHG, Infinity:1
    Short-handed offence is all well and great, but it’s worth pointing out that the primary role is defensive and Kurri absolutely excelled at that. He was Oilers’ best penalty killer up front, because his all-ice game translated well to all situations. He was the first choice at the top of the triangle in the used-to-be-more-common 3v4, and played a lot of 3v5 as well.

    Kurri also excelled in 4v4 hockey, a situation the Oilers so dominated the league that the rules were changed to slow them down. His 5v5 and powerplay results speak for themselves. He was a wonderful player, the best Finn ever.

  107. spOILer says:

    Bruce, I don’t remember the Oiler PP living up to expectations back in the Golden Age either, except in the playoffs. Or had some long reg season droughts… can’t remember exactly. Your memory jive with the same?

  108. Bruce says:

    spOILer: The Oiler PP was typically good but not great, and seemingly less than the sum of its parts. Led the league only once as I recall … no time to check right now.

    I always maintained that the Oilers were first and foremost a counterattacking team. They scored a higher percentage of their goals off the rush than any team I’ve ever seen. Thus the deadliness shorthanded or 4v4 where the “high” forward was the guy sitting on the bench, and counter attacks were often 3-on-2, 2-on-1 or even the 2-on-2 on which Messier and Anderson in particular did a lot of their damage. On the PP, however, the other team had 4 guys all thinking defence first, which made goals off the rush much less common.

    Just my theory, but it is pretty consistent with both my observations and the statistical record.

  109. spOILer says:

    Not so sure about ‘counter-attack’ as to me that conjures up images of The Dreaded Trap, but definitely scored mostly on the rush from my memory too. …Lots of criss-crossing flight paths.

    And they scored a lot off a forecheck that would kill you on giveaways and apple turnovers.

  110. spOILer says:

    Sorry, not “mostly”, but rather a significantly greater percentage than the norm.

  111. robert cleave says:

    I always maintained that the Oilers were first and foremost a counterattacking team. They scored a higher percentage of their goals off the rush than any team I’ve ever seen. Thus the deadliness shorthanded or 4v4 where the “high” forward was the guy sitting on the bench, and counter attacks were often 3-on-2, 2-on-1 or even the 2-on-2 on which Messier and Anderson in particular did a lot of their damage.As a fan of a team that was perpetually of the receiving end of Oiler beatings, that’s a dead-on description. There was never a more opportunistic team than those 80′s Oilers. Any mistake at the blue line or the neutral zone ran a very high risk of being punished by quick transition. Hell, long rebounds from Fuhr were often all that was needed to get things into giddy-up mode. I spent more than a few nights in the old Winnipeg Arena knowing that the back breaking goal off an odd man rush was more a matter of when than if.

  112. John says:

    Rarely do I disagree with Lowetide in a fundamental sense. I do here.

    I would not move Souray unless he asked to be moved. He is, in spades, what we have not enough of on the Oilers…toughness, size and is one of the top 4-5 power play weapons in the NHL. He is paid about $1.5 more per year than Gilbert and is MUCH MUCH better value than Gilbert at every single aspect of the game save ….softness. That is, the worse $1.5 m saving you will ever make.

    Gaborik would be great but he will, quite simply, not sign here. Ditto Hossa. As a result I would target Pat Marleau on SJ and I would look at trading Horcoff and some very valuable assets with horcoff to make the trade palatable to SJ.

    I would try to move:
    Staios
    Moreau
    Penner
    Brodziak
    Gilbert
    Nilsson

  113. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    FCM said:
    Horcoff is a huge part of the problem going forward when he soaks up 15 % of the cap.

    Since when is the cap dropping to 36.667? (33 million over 6 years is a 5.5 million cap hit). Do the math. Or the do Horcoff haters simply spew numbers without any regard to reality? Then again, to be anti-Horcoff isn’t any different than denying reality…so I shouldn’t be surprised.

    The cap is likely to drop to below $50M based on all the projections we’ve seen.

    $5.5M is somewhat north of 10 percent…11 percent of $50M… and close to 13 percent at $47M.

    There’s your math.

  114. Tyler says:

    $5.5M is somewhat north of 10 percent…11 percent of $50M… and close to 13 percent at $47M.You’re not acquitting yourself well here DSF. Everyone seems to agree that the cap for next year will be about the same, assuming that the players don’t kick in the 5% escalator. Armageddon is supposed to happen the year after that. Of course, projecting the state of the world economy that far out is kind of like projecting the weather – the Oilers presumably signed Horcoff’s deal expecting the cap would continue to rise.

    In any event, $5.5MM is close to 13% at $47MM – which seems to be the worse case scenario – only insofar as it’s closer to 13% than it is to 10%. It’s actually 11.7%. Continually overstating stuff that requires nothing more than division might explain why people don’t take your views on Horc all that seriously.

  115. kris says:

    John,

    Marleau for Horcoff is a pretty lateral move, no?

    Sure Marleau scores more, but if you look, his underlying numbers aren’t much better. On a stacked SJ team he scored more, but his ES +/- isn’t much better than Horc.’s

    It might be an upgrade, but I don’t see that move winning the Oil a lot of games that they lost.

  116. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Tyler said…
    $5.5M is somewhat north of 10 percent…11 percent of $50M… and close to 13 percent at $47M.You’re not acquitting yourself well here DSF. Everyone seems to agree that the cap for next year will be about the same, assuming that the players don’t kick in the 5% escalator. Armageddon is supposed to happen the year after that. Of course, projecting the state of the world economy that far out is kind of like projecting the weather – the Oilers presumably signed Horcoff’s deal expecting the cap would continue to rise.

    In any event, $5.5MM is close to 13% at $47MM – which seems to be the worse case scenario – only insofar as it’s closer to 13% than it is to 10%. It’s actually 11.7%. Continually overstating stuff that requires nothing more than division might explain why people don’t take your views on Horc all that seriously.

    I’m sure you’re aware that the 10/11 cap is based on next season’s revenue so you don’t need to project all that far ahead to see a declining cap.

    The worst case scenario I’ve seen is $45M and both Jacobs and Melnyk predicted well before the depths of the recession were known that the cap would likely drop below $50M.

  117. kris says:

    If the cap goes to 45 million, most every contract in the league will be an overpay and every contract that’s fair value now will be an overpay.

    BTW, if the cap goes down one year because of the economic downturn due to the credit crisis, watch out for what happens the years after. That is, no multi year deal should be evaluated on one year.

    (When the cap goes to 60 million will Horc.’s detractors call his deal a bargain?)

    The idea that the salary cap will stay down below 50 million for more than a year is entirely unfounded, and every deal -REPEAT EVERY DEAL- signed in the offseason was made under the assumption that revenue and the cap would continue to grow.

    To say Horcs contract is bad because the economy, league revenue, and the cap are going down is meaningless because the same would be true of all contracts equally.

    It will be interesting to see how many guys are UFA in that low cap year will sign one year cheap deals. Could result in some fun trades and signings for teams that don’t traditionally spend to the cap.

  118. rickibear says:

    //Rickibear: I’m pretty sure DSF is our very own FCM.//

    If that is the case? Proof that reading LT flips a switch in people and increases the intelligence Quotient while on his sight.

  119. Tyler says:

    The worst case scenario I’ve seen is $45M and both Jacobs and Melnyk predicted well before the depths of the recession were known that the cap would likely drop below $50M.

    Links? I found one on Melnyk where he gives no number and really does no more than state the obvious (three months after Horc signed) that teams at the cap are in trouble if it goes down. I found nothing about Jacobs but he’s not exactly known for his reasoned thoughts on player salaries.

  120. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    kris said…

    (When the cap goes to 60 million will Horc.’s detractors call his deal a bargain?)

    The idea that the salary cap will stay down below 50 million for more than a year is entirely unfounded, and every deal -REPEAT EVERY DEAL- signed in the offseason was made under the assumption that revenue and the cap would continue to grow.

    To say Horcs contract is bad because the economy, league revenue, and the cap are going down is meaningless because the same would be true of all contracts equally.

    It will be interesting to see how many guys are UFA in that low cap year will sign one year cheap deals. Could result in some fun trades and signings for teams that don’t traditionally spend to the cap.

    The idea that a cap drop would only last one year is what’s totally unfounded. Unemployment in the U.S. is about to hit double digits and it will take prolonged economic growth to get back to normal levels. That’s not likely to occur within one year or not even two.

    To then say that all contracts are affected equally is only true if the contracts have the potential to hamstring the franchise that signed it.

    You’ll start to see the effects this off season, not next, as GM’s will be very wary of signing big ticket contracts for extended periods like the Oilers have done with Horcoff.

    Sure, it’s hindsight, but the Oilers should have waited to extend Horcoff until his post injury performance and the economic indicators were better understood as there were very strong indications last summer that the economy was going to tank.

    Given what we know now, or even at the mid point of the season, it’s likely his contract would look very different.

  121. HBomb says:

    FCM: if they had waited, he probably doesn’t sign and gets dealt at the deadline a la Smyth, no?

    I think the Oilers made a calculated risk and assumed a rising cap, like many teams did when making long-term contract deals last summer.

    This probably exposes a fundamental issue with the current way contracts are negotiated. My question is this – is there any reason the league and PA, in the next CBA, don’t come to the agreement that contracts are to be negotiated in relative terms instead of absolute dollars? Instead of agreeing to play player X 1 million per year for 3 years, you agree to pay the player 2% of the team’s total cap number over that duration.

    Would the players go for it? Who knows, but it would certainly be beneficial to any free agents going to market this July 1st, as they’re going to be getting lesser dollars than guys who were in the same spot the previous two or three summers.

    Is it even feasible from a standpoint of “managing” the cap, on a team level and a league level? Do the calculations become too difficult to make trades and the like?

    It’s something to think about.

  122. kris says:

    FCM:

    The relationship between league revenue and the recession is unclear at best. A lot of the unemployed didn’t have the kind of jobs that allowed them to buy season tickets. (You could look at league revenue and past recessions. Not sure what you’d find.)

    The cap dropping a bit for a year is probable. But 45 million sounds like a guess. And you’re really guessing if you think league revenue will stay below 50 million. I don’t think a single GM believes that’s true and the contracts they’ve been signing suggests they expect modest revenue growth with a slight blip for the current crisis.

    When the cap does drop all contracts that are fair value under the current cap will be overpays. I mean that’s obvious since the cap determines fair value. But you have to judge ‘fair value’ over the whole term of the deal. And you have to determine ‘good signing’ in comparison to other deals.

    BTW, which GM signed a player for less in the offseason because they knew the economy would tank? (And how much money has that person made on the market. A ton I’d imagine as they would’ve outguessed Buffet et. al.)

    If the answer is none, it’s incrrect to say Horc.s deal was any worse or any better than any other deal any other player signed.

    So keep grinding your axe against Horc, but give up on this cap dropping business.

  123. Art Vandelay says:

    Sorry I’m late (as usual) but that guy in the photo should be in the Hall of Fame. I don’t care what Scotty Morrison or any of the other Leaf-centric dillweeds running that house of ill-repute think.

    If chicks get in before Nifty does, then they might as well close the doors on that glorified rec room.

  124. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @kris

    Smart GM’s didn’t sign players to 6 year contracts a year ahead of when they needed to.

    Gillis could have taken the Lowe approach to signing the Sedins but decided to wait and, if he chooses to resign them, he’s going to get them for a shorter term and at a lower cap hit.

    That’s a huge disadvantage for the Oilers.

    You’re seriously underestimating the economic impact that’s going to hit the league.

    Watch.

    But in the meantime keep grinding the Horcoff is god axe.

    He’s ceratinly lighting it up at the Worlds.

    Canada has outscored powerhouses like Belarus, Hungary and Slovakia 22-4.

    Horcoff is minus 2.

  125. Oilmaniac says:

    Horcoff – did they seriously have to pay him 7 this coming season and the next? because I doubt anyone will seriously argue that he is a 7 mil player… ‘oh but the cap hit is 5.5′.. well what would the cap hit have been if he wasnt getting stupid money upfront… closer to being less of an overpay!..

    but i’ll agree horc isnt the problem (if someone is going to give you the money, well.. take it) He brings good things, works hard, coachable/committed.. but his game isnt pretty.. anyways,.. there are more pressing issues to be ironned out wrt this line up (goaltending, size, grit, compete, and some freakin support for horc up the middle… poo for 3rd line centre looks a lot like it did last year.. who wants this last season – raise their hands?!)

  126. PunjabiOil says:

    DashingSilverFox is FCM?

    The guy already averages ~350 posts a month on HF (all of which are troll-esque posts) and now he posts here?

    For all the bragging he does about Vancouver Island being a tropical paradise, he sure doesn’t seem to derive much benefit from it.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  127. mc79hockey says:

    Gillis could have taken the Lowe approach to signing the Sedins but decided to wait and, if he chooses to resign them, he’s going to get them for a shorter term and at a lower cap hit.Well, we’ll see about that. I’m not convinced that it’s the stars who are going to take the hit as opposed to the scrubs.

    And, in any event, if the American economy hadn’t cratered, Gillis would be looking at paying more. The Dow Jones is down about 30% since Horcoff signed his contract. If everyone in the world knew that it was going to tank AND NOT knew that it was possible that it would tank but that other outcomes were equally likely, or perceived to be equally likely at the time, I’m not sure why it was at around 11,400 or so when Horcoff signed.

    I mean, shit, I’m as hard on the Oilers management as the next guy but I’m not insane enough to criticize them for failing to understand where the world economy is going better than anyone else.

    I will say that paying big bucks to a guy coming off a shooting percetnage year like Horc probably didn’t make a ton of sense, although you have to weigh that against the anticipated rise in the salary cap.

    Percentage contracts, by the way, are the way to go.

  128. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    mc79hockey said…

    And, in any event, if the American economy hadn’t cratered, Gillis would be looking at paying more. The Dow Jones is down about 30% since Horcoff signed his contract. If everyone in the world knew that it was going to tank AND NOT knew that it was possible that it would tank but that other outcomes were equally likely, or perceived to be equally likely at the time, I’m not sure why it was at around 11,400 or so when Horcoff signed.

    I mean, shit, I’m as hard on the Oilers management as the next guy but I’m not insane enough to criticize them for failing to understand where the world economy is going better than anyone else.

    I will say that paying big bucks to a guy coming off a shooting percetnage year like Horc probably didn’t make a ton of sense, although you have to weigh that against the anticipated rise in the salary cap.

    Percentage contracts, by the way, are the way to go.

    Finally some sanity.

    While I am far from the brightest financial light on the porch (please insert gratuitous insults here). I was able to look far enough ahead to liquidate my Alberta real estate, my equities and Canadian dollar holdings before the meltdown so I would think the Katz empire should have some dude smarter than me.

    You’re right Tyler, the contract is based on a chimera (cough) but there was no urgency and Lowe got caught flat footed again like he did when he admitted he would have signed Smyth if he knew the cap would rise.

    Your idea of percentage of the cap contracts makes a lot of sense in that it, like God, protects children, drunks and the insane.

  129. RiversQ says:

    FCM said…
    While I am far from the brightest financial light on the porch, as evidenced by the fact that I am incapable of operating Blogger.

  130. NBOilerFan says:

    Thanks, LT… great stuff indeed! I love these type posts.

    I like your suggestions, I too think Gaborik is the man to target. His injury past is a concern, but I think its worth a gamble that his surgery helps offset the odds of some reocurring. Plus the risk reward is worth it based on his offensive abilities. As long as he stays somewhat healthy, there is a very good chance that he would out-perform the contract (or at least be close to it’s value). I don’t see Hossa/Havlat/Jagr coming here and my second target would be Tanguay. Comletely different type of player, but has offense plus has two-way play, hard work ethic and some grit.

    I hate to see Souray go after this season, but not so much due to his defensive ability or leadship (though both were good), but more for his PP presence and points from the blue-line. Vish *should* cover some of that, but it’s hard to replace that blast. But I do think that he is the guy to move due to his value being so high and salary cap issues coming down teh pipe. Of course, it has to be somewhere you’d accept going, and I don’t see it being Montreal again.

    I also think Penner is staying, I think Mgt thinks they can get more from him and I think a new coach would be telling Tambs that in the job interview (I think most coaches would like to believe they can motivate any player). Plus he has size which is what we need more of (even though we all wish he used it more) and it is pretty hard to move him offf the puck when cyclying and he also will stand in front of the net and has shown he is pretty effective at it, mostly due to his sheer size.

    Nilson is gone IMO, and I also think they should move Staios if possible. I like Sully, he has great game, but if they can move him for a bigger, gritier version, I’d consider it.

    The goaltending is the interesting one indeed. I don’t see Halak being available. I can’t really see Gainey making the same mistake he did with dealing off Huet and lumping all the expectations on Price. Unless they feel that another more veteran with good teaching ability would be a better route. If Halak is availbe, for sure make a pitch.

    I would also be looking at potential of dealing for Harding or making an offer on Craig Anderson.

    I’m not very good at this either, but perhaps I’ll make a roster make-up post soon.

  131. Master Lok says:

    Some interesting thoughts LT. I think I've posted in other threads that I would drop Nilsson, Moreau and Penner but I can understand keeping Penner if only to raise his value with a new coach.

    Harding, or Halak – either would be fine with me. And instead of Labarbera – why not simply re-sign Roloson to another year? I think Roloson > LaBarbera.

    And lastly, I would pick Jagr over Gaborik, if only because of injury history and Jagr might be cheaper.

  132. Dennis says:

    It seems like I have fallen off the wagon when it comes to Oilers talk.

    I’m still reading the Oilers blogs but it’s gonna have to take some new developments for me to really dive in.

    For now – as I said before – all I’ve got is I’d like to move Souray for Mitchell or Pavelski as guys who could compliment the 10-89 combo and could be signed up for somewhat cheap; Mitchell for sure.

    I dunno, maybe it’s just because I’m watching teams that are in the playoffs and I’m waiting for the lead-up to the draft but we’re pretty much stuck in neutral now and will continue to be so for the next ~7 weeks.

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