Working on A Building

This is David Vyborny. The Oilers drafted him in 1993, 33rd overall. He came over to North America at age 19, spending a season in the American Hockey League. In that season he went 23-38-61 in 76 games, which is pretty damn good for a teenage in that league. But the Oilers had other options–in the AHL there was 20-year old Ralph Intranuovo (105 points in 65 games), Jozef Cierny (28 goals at age 20), Todd Marchant (22 goals in 38 games), Miro Satan (24 goals in 25 games at age 19) and they had some other guys too plus the Oilers were about to draft a forward (Jason Arnott) who would step right into the show.

Vyborny was a good player, but he was smaller (5.10, 182) and he wasn’t an EV monster (he was -12, Marchant was +8, Satan +6) and he got buried in the system. Eventually, he signed as a free agent with Columbus in June 2000 (just a couple of weeks before the Alexei Mikhnov era began in Edmonton).

I think Vyborny’s situation then is somewhat similar to Linus Omark’s situation now. He has talent, but does he have more talent that Gagner, Cogliano and O’Sullivan? How many players of this type will the Oilers employ next season? Surely not so many that Linus Omark would be a shoo-in for the roster.

The exact opposite should be true for Alexandre Plante. We shouldn’t kid ourselves into thinking he’s an offensive type defender (that Hitmen roster was stacked), but he does have size and a physical element to his game. The Oilers organization has plenty of skill blue bubbling under (Chorney, Wild, etc) but are shy on young men who can play a physical style (Smid and Peckham).

If you tour around the Al Gore tonight there are plenty of reports that the Oilers blew it with Omark (he signed in Russia) and that Alex Plante hasn’t heard from the Oilers about a contract. Logic and common sense tell us that the Oilers will sign Plante (if they don’t sign him Edmonton gets a compensatory pick–I believe #45–in the second round) and decide on where to play him at training camp. There will be 4 options-Edmonton (extremely unlikely), Springfield (possible), Stockton (very possible) or Calgary (WHL–also possible).

What isn’t reasonable? Not signing Plante. For an organization that has decreed that grit and size are offseason priorities, allowing him to fold back into the draft tells us they don’t know what they’re doing. This is an easy bar to clear.

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58 Responses to "Working on A Building"

  1. max fisher says:

    Plante has to, and i beleive will be signed. With Omark in the system, and the possibility of ryan ellis being drafted this summer. Plante’s size becomes even more attractive. LT, what value do you think Omark has on the open market at this moment? There’s a ton of flashy internet footage, a very good s.e.l. season, and an equally good world tournament.

  2. Lowetide says:

    max fisher: I think it is at is has always been in regard to small skill players. They have to work harder for their opportunity, they lose their jobs more quickly when a slump hits, they get traded at the deadline a lot.

    Mike Comrie changes addresses all the time, and no one would argue his skill. The question is does he help you win games, and even the really good ones (Cliff Ronning, etc) move from town to town.

    I don’t think he’s worth as much as Robert Nilsson. Seriously.

  3. Unleaded says:

    Wow LT… I can’t say I agree with you on this one. Even if you don’t take the hype and just go with the numbers, Omark kills Nilsson. I can’t say I saw him good because I still haven’t seen him play, but I can’t help thinking that most people who did would see him as having value. Considering Nilsson wasn’t anywhere near making his national team… You would suggest his experience and his contract make Nilsson more valuable?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Unleaded: I don’t think he does. We have a tendency to think in terms of the last visual that zipped by our noses, but Nilsson was a fairly useful NHL player last season (07-08 5×5/60: 2.37, which was second on the team) with a reasonable Corsi and a 39-30 5×5 GF/GA ON.

    Plus he’s 2 years older than Omark. Looking at their respective resumes it isn’t clear to me that Omark is the better man.

  5. PDO says:


    I’m too young.

    I’m not sure I wanna hear it…

    … but what the hell happened to Ralph Intranuovo?

  6. Doogie2K says:

    The only reason to send Plante back to Calgary would be to have him serve as Hitmen captain (he’ll be the most experienced player there by a longshot, and is likely to be their #1 guy if he goes back, with most of their veteran D graduating). Otherwise, he’s better off learning the pro game.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Ralph was pretty fast and had this move where he sped over the blueline and stopped (kind of like Denis Savard, only not really). Except he kept doing it and then everyone knew what he’d do.

    Plus he was really small and couldn’t check his hat, and he got here when the Oilers had about 1,000 good young forwards.

  8. Ribs says:

    Ralph’s currently playing alonsgide fellow Oilers Draft Superstar Jesse Niinimäki in the Austrian League these days. Todd Elik also adds his failed Oilers Touch to the team. Go Olimpija!

    I missed the first period but man are those Canes fun to watch. i wish the Oil would play more like that.

  9. Ribs says:

    Shootout Stopper Mike Morrison played 24 games for The Ralph’s this season, to boot.

  10. Oilman says:

    LT – I used to live in Cape Breton and got to see a lot of Ralph Intranuovo. The year you mention, it was Peter White that broke 100 points and Ralph came in second in scoring.

  11. bookie says:

    I missed the first period but man are those Canes fun to watch. i wish the Oil would play more like that.That Erik Cole guy is pretty impressive, a real hard worker. We could use someone like that in our lineup.

  12. Icecastles says:

    I was excited to read about the new building. :(

  13. Fake Craig McTavish says:


    You’re showing your age again.

    Men don’t wear hats any longer.

    Maybe use “check his coat” or “pulse” or something.

    Checking your hat is just so arcane.

    Cigar? Cigarette?

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    I’m not going to say it’s telling, but you just compared Omark to a pretty good little player in Vyborny.

    Anyways, on the Nilsson comparison, Nilsson made the SEL jump at an earlier age (17) than Omark, putting up a phenomenal 21 points in 41 games. Since then, things have been closer.

    Nilsson at 18: 34GP-2G-4A-6PTS
    Omark at 18: 19GP-0G-1A-1PTS

    Nilsson at 19: 23GP-2G-4A-6PTS
    Omark at 19: 50GP-8G-9A-17PTS

    Omark’s tripled his SEL production since than while Nilsson’s had one good NHL season and bounced around a bit otherwise.

    Rickibear had a chart the other day (which I wish I could find) showing the list of 21-year olds averaging a PPG in the SEL – it isn’t long, but it is distinguished.

  15. Jonathan Willis says:

    WRT Plante, the Oilers have three weeks to sign him or he re-enters the draft and he hasn’t heard a word from them yet, but I imagine they ink him.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: My line in the sand for Omark is “let’s bring him over and see what he’s got.”

    My understanding is that the agent wanted more than a 2-way contract and a shot at the show. I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence to suggest he’s a lock for top 6F on a successful NHL team.

  17. Doogie2K says:

    As Godot suggested on JW’s site, it’s probably a case of the Oilers letting Plante be while he was having a heck of a WHL playoff. Now that he’s done and cleaned out his locker, I expect he and his agent will be sitting down with KP or Tambellini in the coming days. (Though he is almost unique amongst drafted Hitmen in being just about the only guy not signed just before or during the playoffs — Sonne, MacMillan, Schultz, and Postma all spring to mind as guys who got signed over the last two months.)

  18. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT, you might be right on Omark – it looks like a good portion of his season was shooting percentage-driven (it doubled from the previous year). On the other hand, that’s not the only thing driving the offense while he’s on the ice and I think some of the advanced numbers show that he’s a genuine offensive dynamo – particularly from the playmaking end of things.

    Regardless, a year in the 2nd-toughest league in the world will be a good test for him. His ES GFON/60 (in the link above) is crazy good – especially for a low-scoring league – and I think he could help an NHL team in a specific role (the one the Oilers have in spades) right now.

    Regardless, I think he probably compareswell to Nilsson and he’d be a lot cheaper – and we both know this team could use some value contracts right now.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: I always prefer an established level of ability for players who have played at the pro level. One of the reasons Omark is so attractive to us is that he’s had that big season.

    He was drafted at 20, after playing in the SEL as a regular (which is a positive). He had a nice step forward in his 20-year old season and then at 21 he really had a top drawer year.

    The question for me is “does his established level of ability imply he can come into the NHL this season and push aside one of Gagner, O’Sullivan, Cogliano or Nilsson?”

    And this assumes that the Oilers plan on keeping 4 undersized guys (not certain based on the verbal from Tambellini at the exit interview).

    I’m not certain he’s even the best offensive option the organization holds rights to (who played outside the NHL this season). I would hope this team has a long loook at Ryan Potulny, who scored 38 goals on a dreadful team in a solid league.

  20. Quinn says:

    Ryan Potulny, who scored 38 goals on a dreadful team in a solid league.

    I think it is clearer to say he went 17-2-19 in 21 games on a dreadful team. He scored the majority of his points on a better team elsewhere. Just a quibble, LT, though your point still remains valid based on those numbers.

  21. DBO says:

    Quinn: ????? What other team for potulny? you mean once Daum took over? Or did he get loaned out or something?

  22. rickibear says:

    JW: The list:
    -Sel year in top 10
    -with NHl Career stats Start of season
    -12 players in history.
    Kent Nilsson 553GM 264G 422A 686PTS (1.24pts/gm)
    Thomas Gradin 677GM 209G 384A 593PTs (.88pts/gm)
    Bo Berglund 130GM 28G 40A 68Pts (.52Pts/GM)
    Mikko Leinonen 162GM 31G 78A 109Pts (.67Pts/GM)
    Mats Naslund 651GM 251G 383A 634Pts (.98Pts/GM)
    Hakan Loob 450GM 193G 236A 429Pts (.96Pts/GM)
    Patrik Sundstrom 676GM 219G 369A 588Pts (.87Pts/GM)
    Tomas Sandstrom 983GM 394G 463A 857Pts (.87Pts/Gm)
    Markus Naslund 1066GM 382G 465A 847Pts (.80Pts/GM)
    Peter Forsberg 706GM 249G 636A 885Pts (1.25Pts/GM)
    H. Sedin 592GM 91G 313A 404Pts (.68Pts/GM)
    D. Sedin 588GM 160G 248A 408Pts (.69Pts/GM)
    Henrik Zetterberg 380GM 165G 193A 358Pts (.94Pts/GM)

    we base player value by comparables and what you do in the league when predicting prospect value.

    -Does he beat out the current small oilers?
    -I want him to have the the chance to be any on the list.
    -Next year is OK.

  23. Paper Designer says:

    How do we know Omark isn’t better than players like Cogliano and O’Sullivan? Omark has proved himself at every level so far, and until he shows that he’s flat-out not ready, he’s a player of interest.

    The Oilers would be wise to take Omark if he could produce 60-70 points right off the bat over Cogliano if he’s going to stay in the 40-50 point range.

  24. spOILer says:

    My understanding with Omark is that the Oil feels he needs to add to his strength before bringing hm over. I don’t believe that playing in Europe affects his eligibility the same way playing over here does. So the Oil are very okay with him playing in the K…

    They will have a better idea of what they’re getting when they do sign him. He will have gained a year’s experience and strength in the 2nd best league in the world — without burning a year of eligibility. And gives the Oil a year to figure out what they’re going to do with their waterbugs.

    Sounds like WIN-WIN if it’s true.

    What I like is we can keep plugging in these cheap smaller players, cycling them through our system and onto the team and then maybe out the door, as eventually one of them will be the home run a la Zetterberg.

    Will it be Nilsson? He’s not looking like the home run, but is useful. Will it be Omark? Maybe. But you can’t hit the jackpot unless you pick the dice up and roll them.

    I too would like Potulny to get a good look next year. Guy has won the NCAA scoring title. But I’d also like to see more of JFJ next year too though.

  25. Lowetide says:

    The problem with signing Omark to anything but a two-way entry level deal is that his skills are duplicated throughout the roster. Should they sign him to a deal similar to the one Dallas handed Brunnstrom (which I believe has a cap hit in excess of 2M)?

    What if you end up with two Robert Nilsson’s?

    The risk is too high at this time. I’m all over bringing him in and seeing what he has, but putting more dollars out there on an undersized skill forward seems a bit risky to me.

  26. Traktor says:

    “The risk is too high at this time”

    The worst case would be Omark not working out and he burns a million off the cap. And if he sucks you could probably deal him to Tampa and not waste any cap space at all.

    I don’t see how that’s much risk at all.

    He could potentially put up 65 points and 825k is too much of a a risk to roll the dice?

    That’s truly pathetic.

    Especially when Marc Pouliot is slated to make 825k next year.

    And don’t even bring up Pouliot’s “wide range of skills” – the guy might have knowledge in a couple different areas but he’s a first year apprentice in all of them.

    Here’s the facts:

    - Patrick O’sullivan had 6 points in 18 games as an Oiler.

    - Robert Nilsson had 29 points last year.

    - Cogliano had some of the worst face off stats in history and there’s no proof at this point that he can play Wing.

    - Gagner is supposed to be our savior and he only managed 41 points.

    It’s not like we’re dealing with Pat Kane and Bobby Ryan.

    And it’s not like this stuff is frigging rocket science – If Gagner gets outplayed then move him. If Cogs gets outplayed then move him. If Omark plays like shit then trade him or send him to the AHL.

    Just give yourself some options.

    Instead we tell Omark to stay in Sweden because the thought of two Robert Nilsson’s is franchise crippling.

  27. Jonathan Willis says:

    The problem with signing Omark to anything but a two-way entry level deal is that his skills are duplicated throughout the roster.

    And that’s the rub, right there.

  28. Jonathan Willis says:

    The risk is too high at this time.

    I will disagree on this point to some extent, since Omark cannot be signed to anything but a two-way contract.

    In other words, while the Oilers could guarantee him a spot on the team for 10 games or so, there’s absolutely nothing to prevent them from sending him to the AHL if things didn’t work out.

  29. spOILer says:

    I agree the risk is too high at this time.

    The risk will be smaller next off-season… we will have a better idea if Omark can duplicate his recent performance, we will know whether his strength is improving, we will know more about Nilsson, Cogliano and the other waterbugs.

    I see no reason to sign him at this time. Zetterberg wasn’t rushed to the NHL, why should Omark be?

  30. Traktor says:

    “And that’s the rub, right there.”

    A mile wide and an inch deep.

    We might have a bunch of players that play a similar game but the fact is none of them are established as difference makers.

    Nilsson has a 50% shot at an NHL career.

    O’sullivan had 6 points in 18 games – this is the guy that were resting the future on?

    Or is it Cogliano who starts without the puck 65% of the time?

  31. Traktor says:

    “I agree the risk is too high at this time.”


    A million dollars for a potential Calder candidate is just too risky.

    6 million for Jagr is a much better bet.

  32. Ribs says:

    Instead we tell Omark to stay in Sweden because the thought of two Robert Nilsson’s is franchise crippling.

    He could have, you know, come to camp….actually earn a roster spot….you know, like everyone else does.

    This isn’t all on the Oilers.

  33. spOILer says:

    So Traktor, I take it you are not an advocate of the Detroit style of making sure prospects dominate ever more difficult leagues before bringing them into the top level?

    Again, Zetterberg wasn’t rushed, why should Omark be?

    What is wrong with Omark being a potential Calder nominee the following year?

    Omark is already duplicated in the line-up, there is no reason not to wait. Younger players are going to have some growing pains. You have to have some patience with them early in their careers or you end up looking like the Islanders, or pre-Lombardi Kings.

    He’s taking a step up in leagues, let’s see how he does. Let’s see how our present waterbugs do, knowing that we’ve got some ammunition in the cupboard for next year if we need it.

  34. spOILer says:

    As far as Plante goes…

    I think it’s a no-brainer the Oil try to sign him, so maybe it’s a question of whether or not he refuses a contract.

    There were some issues with Plante’s career at the beginning of the season and it sounded like the Oil convinced Plante to stay on the Hitmen, and perhaps even had a word with the Hitmen management about his minutes. Plante seems pretty happy with the way his year turned out, so I see no reason why he would turn his back on a contract offer.

    Then the bigger question seems to be what to do with him at that point.

    I’d leave him in Junior for another year because:

    -Springfield needs some salt on the back end, not another unseasoned rookie.

    -I think Plante can use all the minutes and situations he can get to make up for the lost year

    -his skating/lateral mobility could still use some improving

    In my mind, Plante is nearly a lock to make the Bigs, but he’s going to take a lot of time and work to get there.

  35. geowal says:

    Re: Plante
    From Coming Down the Pipe!:

    Edmonton must get Plante’s signature on a contract by june 1st or he will re-enter the NHL draft. As listeners to The Pipeline Show heard Assistant GM Kevin Prendergast emphatically tell us, Plante will definitely be signed.

    If Prendergast’s word still counts for anything, there shouldn’t be much to worry about regarding Plante.

  36. Traktor says:

    I take it you are not an advocate of the Detroit style of making sure prospects dominate ever more difficult leagues before bringing them into the top level?”

    Last I looked Omark was at the top of SEL scoring race and WC scoring race.

    If you read Rickibear’s post it’s clear that Omark has dominated the SEL in his age bracket like few have done before him.

    Whether it be Detroit’s style or Edmonton’s style or whoever it doesn’t really matter – when said prospect is leading or close to leading any league in scoring it’s safe to say he is or he is close to dominating the league.

    It can definitely be argued that Omark dominated the SEL last year.

    I think every single knowledgeable hockey person would agree to one thing – when you dominate a league it’s time to move on to stronger competition.

    Add one + one and it’s clear Omark should have been signed to an NHL contract last year.

    Pointing to Zetterberg’s progression is pointless – Sundin was rushed, same with Backstrom – there’s a million different paths that lead to the same ending so pointing to one player as a template makes no sense at all.

    “What is wrong with Omark being a potential Calder nominee the following year?”

    This whole ordeal has the potential to work out all for the better but if the transfer agreement gets signed this year I’d say there’s a high probability that we get Wheeler’d.

    “Omark is already duplicated in the line-up”

    This is the part I don’t get.

    You do know that one skilled player can be better than another skilled player right?

    Kind of like a steak at the Keg can be better than a steak at Denny’s.

    You and LT keep saying that you’re eating steak every night but what I’m saying is Denny’s isn’t a very established steak house.

  37. knighttown says:

    I’m not going to speak for Traktor and why he’s concerned but there were reports that the Omark camp and Oiler camp were not seeing eye to eye at all on a potential deal.

    The “foget Linus” camp implies the negotiations went like this:
    “Linus, we really like you and we want you to come over and compete for a job. Here’s a perfectly fair market rate, 2-way offer.”

    “Sorry guys, I’ve had a great year in the SEL and Harju and I want to give it a go together in the KHL. But I’ll work on getting bigger and play away from the puck and I’ll be a better Oiler in a few years.”

    “Understood. We’re looking to get bigger this year anyway and would like to take a long look at Robbie, JF, Schremp and Cogs (at wing) and see what we have. I can with you waiting a year Linus. See you at camp 2010!”

    But something tells me some Assistant to the Assistant GM faxed a low-ball offer to Linus’ agent after they heard about the KHL offer and spelled his name “Linis Amerk”.

    I am very, very concerned that we never see this guy in Oiler silks because he feels unwanted and unappreciated.

  38. Tweezer So Cold says:

    Watched part of the Oilers Great Games boxset. Forgot how much Smith and Beukeboom DOMINATED together!

    Plante has a strong future with this team, it just might take him a few years to make it, but big/ tough defencemen have really helped earn championships for our Oilers in the past. I’m thinking Fogolin, the Twin Towers, Muni.

    An exciting draft, thanks to LT and posters for the edumacationing. Let’s draft the best player available, sounds like this Ellis kid might be super!

    Traktor’s right, this town deserves better steak on the ice.

  39. spOILer says:


    Firstly, you are commenting on a steak you have never eaten. It’s more like comparing The Sawmill (Nilsson) to the place that just opened around the corner. You know what you are getting at The Sawmill, at the new place you are rolling the dice on whether it will be better, worse or the same. Now once the new place has been open a bit longer, more will be known about it and the risk lessened. Not to mention this is a horrible argument by analogy — as weak as all arguments by analogy.

    Secondly, Omark has yet to dominate the leagues between the SEL and the NHL. That’s kind of an important step, you know, as Schremp and other first round busts who dominated lower leagues have proven.

    And thirdly, your development path argument means what? Stating there are many many different paths helps prove OUR point.

  40. Traktor says:

    “Stating there are many many different paths helps prove OUR point”

    Not really.

    You seem to be hitched to Zetterberg’s path and his path only.

    “Omark has yet to dominate the leagues between the SEL and the NHL”

    There’s no rule that says you have to spend time in the AHL – in fact LT routinely argues that most NHL difference-makers skip the AHL completely.

    Nicklas Backstrom:

    06-07 SEL 45 12 28 40
    07-08 NHL 82 14 55 69

    Linus Omark:

    08-09 SEL 53 23 32 55
    09-10 NHL ? ? ? ?

    “It’s more like comparing The Sawmill (Nilsson) to the place that just opened around the corner. You know what you are getting at The Sawmill”

    Exactly! We already know what we have and it sure isn’t a whole lot. Which is why you and LT hitching yourselves to known mediocrity out of fear of more mediocrity is as short-sighted as it possibly gets.

    If we rewind a month the common sentiment around here is that MacT doesn’t have a roster good enough to compete and now all the sudden we have too many established options to squeeze in a potential Calder candidate.


  41. rickibear says:

    //Secondly, Omark has yet to dominate the leagues between the SEL and the NHL.//

    Desjardins rank of leagues: Givebn similiar circumstances the expected scoring rate versus the NHL.

    WHA Final Year (1978-79)–0.89
    Russian Elite League–0.83
    Swedish Elite League–0.78
    Czech Republic League–0.74Finland SM-Liiga–0.54
    Deutsche Eishockey League–0.52
    WHA First Year (1972-73)–0.46
    Switzerland National League–0.44
    Canadian Major Junior–0.29*

    Spoiler: he will get a chance to dominte a league that is 10% better the SEL.
    The only league in between the SEL and the NHL.

    The kid did something only 12 have ever done in the SEL a league that ranks 1.77 times better than the AHL.

    Look at these league values when doing your prospect performance work.

    Traktor you are correct. Stupid!

    LT when someone does there math work based on a philosophy, you cannot cherry pick the numbers that fit your belief.

    Just as discussions on here have changed my opinion at times.

  42. Traktor says:

    xxx xxx Hemsky
    xxx xxx xxx
    xxx xxx Pisani
    Moreau xxx Stortini

    We only have 4 forwards that are average or better at their position compared to other teams so to say there’s just no room for Omark is simply asinine.

    4 roster spots out of 12 are taken.

  43. uni says:

    Judging from all the Omark controversy and love here, is it safe to say he’s the new Hockey Jesus?

    Or is he simply the Swedish Hockey Jesus. I mean we already have the Macedonian Bobby Orr, although I thought that was Jovanovski.

  44. Ribs says:

    Linus Omark is…The Waffle King.

  45. Lowetide says:

    LT when someone does there math work based on a philosophy, you cannot cherry pick the numbers that fit your belief.

    Yes. Quite right. THAT’s what I’m doing. I fear we have the next baby-King of the Edmonton Oilers.

    If only they’d give him a chance. Meanies.

  46. Traktor says:

    “If only they’d give him a chance. Meanies.”

    You’re not still taking about Pouliot and the center position are you?

  47. rickibear says:


    Jacques 2 hits/Gm pace is top 30 for Forwards.

    I want a bottom line of
    Jacques-150 Hit Center with F.O. abilty-Storitini

  48. Quinn says:

    What other team for potulny? you mean once Daum took over? Or did he get loaned out or something?.

    I’m an idiot. Internet access got shut off at 8:45 this morning and I was rushed to look at the numbers and misread the year. Sorry folks.

  49. spOILer says:


    Giving him the chance to dominate the league in between the SEL and NHL is exactly what I am asking for.

    Not burning a contract year is another thing I am asking for.

    And I am so glad that potential Calder nominees are said nominees because Traktor says so.

    And this isn’t just about Nilsson, Traktor, Nilsson was merely example, but thanks for being disingenuous. This is about Nilsson, POS, Gagner, Cogliano, Brule and every other waterbug on the team. It’s got nothing to do with fear of mediocrity. Thanks for the words in my mouth.

    If the Oilers want to wait a year to see if he can repeat before burning a one way and a contract year, then I’m perfectly fine with that. I see no COMPELLING argument that shows this to be a bad move.

    And, Traktor, I wasn’t aware that Zetterberg spent time in the K. That’s yet another path, one agreed upon by the player, his agent and the NHL team that holds his rights. A path different from many other possible paths.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: Nope. I’m talking about Linus Omark. All hail the new king!

  51. Boondock says:

    I liked this argument better when it was about Schremp.

  52. ian says:

    So if the Oilers want to get bigger and tougher in their top 6 how do they do it and juggle the smurfs?
    It would seem that as previously mentioned there will have to be some decisions made.
    Is Omark “tougher”?
    How many spots are left in the top 6?
    Is Kotalik out of the picture?

  53. kris says:


    With Schremp, people were so excited about what he could do, based on one year of junior, that they thought that was what he would do. But there’s a world of difference between could and would with prospects.

    Now we get the same thing with Omark.

    Don’t get me wrong; Omark could be great. It’s just that since we only have one great year in the SEL as evidence, we must conclude that there is a reasonable chance that he would come to the NHL and fall on his face.

    So, if we gave him a one way deal, and he turned out to be a lesser player than Cogliano, Gagner, and O’Sullivan -which everyone admits is possible- we’d be in a world of trouble, especially given how many small palyers we’ve got. So, we’d have to trade Omark for peanuts, or waive him, which would suck because he could get better, or we’d be forced to deal Cogliano or Gagner. And when you’re forced to deal you don’t get maximum return. Or we’d play the whole year with far too many small, developing players, thereby missing the playoffs and sacrificing a year of Omark’s -not to mention Hemsky’s- contract, when he could’ve been developing against slightly lesser opposition in Europe.


    And Traktor, there’s no need to start throwing around the word ‘asinine’ just because you’re strongly committed to a position. Why not just say, ‘I really think it was bad idea to not bring in Omark on a oneway.’ Save ‘anyone who disagrees with me is asinine’ for a crowd that likes to engage in loud mouthed, stupid yelling matches. People are thoughtful and polite here.

  54. kris says:


    Penner and O’Sullivan aren’t average 2nd line players? How did you figure that out. Gagner? (Some here say Penner was a pretty good 1st line option, too.)

    That would make at least 6/12 at least average players. An average number, no doubt.

    And I assume you’re using Cogs on line 3 and saying he’s a below average player. But that’s confusing. It’s true he can’t play center, but I’d say he’s an above average 3rd liner. He just needs to get moved. So maybe he counts as a 1/2 of an average player.

    (I’m not going to ask you why you wouldn’t say Horc is at least average. :)

    Do remember that this team’s problems were special teams. They had a pretty good year at ES, especially while Vish was running the show.

  55. godot10 says:

    The Oilers have to offer Omark a two-way entry level deal (CBA rules)

    Omark can set himself up financially for life with 1 year in the KHL.

    People are trying to overthink this.

  56. Traktor says:

    kris: To be better or average you have to be 15th or better at said position.

    I don’t think Horcoff is the 15th best center in the league so currently we shouldn’t be content with the arrangement.

    Is Gagner better than 15 other teams’ 2nd line center? Is Cogliano? I don’t think so.

    Tough to argue O’Sullivan is either after his 6 points in 18 games as an Oiler.

    I think Hemsky is above average at his position and same thing for Pisani but other than that we’re losing ground.

    If you call Penner our 2nd line LW and Horc our 2nd line C then things don’t look as bad but that’s not being honest either.

    I’m just saying that positions 1 through 12 we don’t have a whole lot to be content with so turning away from a guy that could shell out 65 points for a million bucks seems awfully silly – you have much better chance hitting the mark with 4 bullets in the chamber rather than 3.

    Instead we’re going to trade for an 8 million dollar Gomez and sign a 40 year old Jagr.

    - We’re going to have of the highest paid defense in the entire league.

    - We have 11.45 million tied up into Moreau, Staios, Pisani and Moreau.

    - Shawn Horcoff is due to make 5.5 million next year.

    Common sense tells us that we’re going to need some impact players on the cheap if this team is going to have any success and we just threw a potential 65 point player away because we didn’t want to pay him Pouliot money.

  57. kris says:

    Traktor said, “we just threw a potential 65 point player away because we didn’t want to pay him Pouliot money.”

    But that’s the thing: he’s a potential 65 point player. (So is Schremp, or at least he was. By that logic Pouliot is a potential 55 point shutdown center.) But he’s not a likely 65 point player. Big difference. Huge difference.

    (And you plan your roster, sign players, and make trades based on what’s likely, not on what could happen. For example, Gagner is a potential 90 point player but that doesn’t mean we pencil him at 1C next year. He might be ready, but he might not be. We plan to have him at 2C)

    Guys like Omark, and Schremp, are the guys you let develop by signing them to two way deals, or letting them develop in Europe or the NCAA.

    BTW, money wasn’t the issue, as you know. If we had the kid on a one way deal and he can’t play he either doesn’t play and doesn’t develop, we waive and trade him for less than we can get, or we give him the 4th line, Brule-Columbus treatment, which has worked so well. :)

    Not signing the kid is -in all likelihood, nothing is certain- the best for his development, the long term well being of the Oil, and our playoff chances. Indeed, if the kid tears it up in the RSL, that doesn’t give you bragging rights. Tambelinni made the right move, the wise move based on the available evidence. If Omark gets lucky and develops well, that doesn’t mean Tambellini’s caution was unwise.


    Kotalik was the first line option at the end of the year. Penner was usually in the bottom 9; he’s above average there.

    Perhaps we could agree on this: the Oilers have plenty of above average or average second line players, i.e. players who can score but who aren’t ideal for the first or 3rd lines. I count Gagner, Cogliano, O’Sullivan, and Penner in that group.

    This team’s problem was balance: too many decent/good offensive forwards, not enough star offensive forwards, a little low on grit, and in need of a face off/PK center to back up Horc.

    The forwards can’t have been that bad given that the team was good at ES. As Dennis has noted, the PK and PP killed us all season.

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