Andrew, Patrick and Sam

Much of the discussion so far this off-season surrounds the sheer number of small forwards up front for the Oilers. If we agree Hemsky doesn’t belong in the conversation because he can handle himself and plays a grittier-than-expected style, then the conversation becomes how to insert the three smaller skill F’s named Sam Gagner, Patrick O’Sullivan and Andrew Cogliano.

Some of the obvious solutions include playing Cogliano on a 3line with Moreau and Pisani, but he’s so poor at faceoffs one expects coach Quinn will move him to LW. Let’s use this as a depth chart (starting point):

  • C: Horcoff, Gagner, Brodziak, Pouliot
  • L: Penner, Cogliano, Moreau, Reddox, Jacques
  • R: Hemsky, O’Sullivan, Pisani, Stortini, Nilsson

I think we’ve pretty much universally agreed that Nilsson isn’t likely to return, so he’s listed as 5th on RW. The top line here looks fine, Quinn might want to tinker (and it was mentioned in the previous thread that splitting Horcoff and Hemsky might be a plan) with it but 2 of the three are extremely like to make up the top line.

After that, we’ve got a brand new Kid Line (O’Sullivan replacing Nilsson) and then a 3line that looks reasonable if everyone is healthy (I’d have little worry about a second line of Brodziak-Moreau-Pisani handling the 2nd toughest EV minutes). The 4line has all kinds of candidates among the leftovers and if Jacques can come through well maybe there’s something there.

I think this summer comes down to this: Tambellini’s put himself in a position where grit, size and a mean streak need to be added to the forward group. Whether it be a Chris Neil or an Ales Kotalik (who brings size), I just can’t see all of Andrew, Patrick and Sam starting the season in the top 9.

As an aside, we get this from Jim Matheson in today’s EJ: The Wild have targetted four teams — the Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and the Flyers — to try and trade backup goalie Josh Harding, who had a 2.21 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 19 games in 2008-09.The 2002 second-round draft pick played for Rob Daum when he coached the Wild’s AHL farm club in Houston, should they need a scouting report.The Wild will try to get a second-line forward back for Harding, who turns 25 on June 18.

Minnesota is likely to lose Gaborik this summer, and although Patrick O’Sullivan can’t replace him he does have talent. He’s averaging 17-29-46 per 82 NHL games played and is miles from peak value, and he averages an impressive 227 shots per 82 NHL games. I’d say there’s at least the idea of a trade (O’Sullivan for Harding) in there and the two teams have traded in the past (the Oil got their last goalie from Minny).

In many ways, O’Sullivan represents the best of the small, skill forwards for this next season. He’s played in the NHL a lot (207 games), he’s a shooter and can play more than one position. However, the GM has stated the priority and those skills are not supplied by these smaller forwards. How can the Edmonton Oilers add size, grit and a mean streak with all of Hemsky, O’Sullivan, Gagner and Cogliano in the top 9?

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86 Responses to "Andrew, Patrick and Sam"

  1. boopronger says:

    Cant trade Nilson+ for Harding?

  2. Tyler says:

    Given the absolute ton of goalies available, the Oilers would be nuts to give up a player who can make any sort of a difference for Harding, IMO.

  3. Lowetide says:

    boopronger: I don't think Nilsson's value is that high, could be wrong. He's had chances with two NHL teams to grab a job and didn't deliver.

    Tyler: For a longer term solution? I think the Oilers have a chance to solve the problem in G for several years and that has value. How much value, we don't know.

  4. blackadder says:

    According to the Sportsnet site, Craig MacTavish has interviewed for the Minnesota job.

    Does that mean we could see Liam Reddux for Harding?

  5. mjsh says:

    I think Nilsson's value is minimal. And I think he might have woke up towards the end of the year. I have a recollection of him making some comments after the missed practise and actually playing with effort after that. In addition, his exit interview with the press sounded like he might have things figured out. Trading him for a bag of pucks may not look so good down the road. There are lots of examples to think of. Dan Cleary being one, Patrick Sharp being another. How about Brad Boyes as another.

    Getting Harding to me is like getting Garon, might be ok, might not.

    Having said all that, I would do the O'Sullivan for Harding deal and hope for the best from Rowbear.

    I still wonder about Jagr coming here. And I would bet that there will be a new big body banger in the lineup come fall.
    I remember all the optimism we had last August and I still think this team is closer than most think.

    The Oiler kids are not Toews and Kane but they will continue to grow.

  6. Bar Qu says:

    I'm with Tyler here. O'Sullivan is an overpay in an NHL with a glut of goalies. IF the Oil trade him (or Cogs even) it should be for a more difficult acquisition. Something along the lines of a true top-6er. I continue to bang the drum for Simon Gagner out of Philly, but I am sure there are other possibilities I have not considered.

  7. Jonathan Willis says:

    Martin Biron (as one example) turns 32 in August; he could be the starter for the next five years.

    I'm convinced Tyler's right. I'm resigned to the fact that one of O'Sullivan/Cogliano is probably going to be dealt (with the draft being the likeliest time) but I sure hope it isn't for a goaltender.

    Harding's a nice option, but if Minnesota won't take some variant of a Nilsson/Schremp/JDD/spare parts package, there's no shortage of fish in the sea.

    As another example, Harding's only three years younger than Craig Anderson – a guy who has put up better numbers on an inferior team.

  8. Jfry says:

    a couple things.

    is anyone concerned that minny plays a system that inflates goalies stats and that harding might be very unproven? i've "seen him good", so i like him as a long term solution, but mirtle questioned the value earlier in the season

    i like most of o'sullivan's stats, but i'm not a fan of his salary vs. "saw him good in an oiler's jersey". i think, if we believe he carries any trade weight, that he's the one we option?

    if macT were to go to minny, would he want any of his soldiers? moreau, pisani or staois? horcoff?

    anyhow. good afternoon all.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Here's hoping, but all Minnesota has to do is establish value with two clubs and let them go to town. Tyler's basic point has to do with all of the teams having solutions for next season, but that assumes everyone will stand pat.

    I don't see that as terribly likely. Is Los Angeles a team that would look at Harding? What about Calgary? Toronto would seem a match and if I'm Garth Snow that's a call I make.

    Some of these goalies might have to decide between starting in Edmonton or waiting for Chris Osgood to skid in Detroit.

    I don't believe Edmonton is in quite the situation Tyler suggests, although they certainly do have a lot of options at this point in time.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Jfry: Great question. Roloson posted some very good numbers for Edmonton after leaving, but did falter some in the middle of his contract. Fernandez stepped into an elevator shaft in Boston in year one of his contract before recovering some this past season (although he trailed Thomas by 5 miles).

    So, I'd say it's a consideration.

  11. blackadder says:

    Biron is apparently asking for 5 million/season. Unless his price comes down considerably, I don't see him as an option for the Oilers.

    The choice is between making a trade for Harding/Halak/Pavelec at the draft (possibly giving up a good asset to do so) or wait for July 1 and hope you can land one of the free agents without losing anything from the roster.

    I like Craig Anderson a lot, I think he's the best of the value priced goalies out there. He's put up decent numbers on a pretty porous team for a few years in a row (and therefore less likely to be a one year wonder like Garon turned out to be, and Clemmonsen is likely to be) and he's young enough that he could turn into a longer term solution.

  12. Jonathan Willis says:

    Biron is apparently asking for 5 million/season. Unless his price comes down considerably, I don't see him as an option for the Oilers.

    He'd be crazy to ask, and any team would be crazy to give him that kind of money. I'd be fine with 13M/4 years or something like that, but it isn't like there aren't options.

  13. Bar Qu says:

    What about Calgary?

    Calgary just signed McElhinney to a 2 year at a significant price (for them in their cap crunch) so I think that takes them out.

    As for the other teams, what do they have that they can afford to give up which matches Nilsson? Yeah, I know, Nilsson is persona non grata, but he is a decent one-dimensional player and does have a 'good' season behind him (remember that one, the one he used to pry the deal out of Lowe?).

    I just don't see how Edm should pay too much for Harding. Especially considering the Minnesota ex-goalie curse, the other options out there and the possibility of Roloson being convinced to take a one year (once he realises how little is out there for geriatric goalies).

    I think there is a good argument being made around the 'sphere that Harding is a great option but let's not sell the farm for him.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Curtis McElhinney is signed to 2-years, $850,000 per season. Seems to me the Flames could get out from under by sending him to the Wild as part of the return. Is he less valuable than JDD? His AHL SP's look a little better than Deslauriers.

  15. mc79hockey says:

    I don't see that as terribly likely. Is Los Angeles a team that would look at Harding? What about Calgary? Toronto would seem a match and if I'm Garth Snow that's a call I make.

    For the reasons mentioned in my own post, I don't see LA as a match, given the other guys who they have. Calgary, as mentioned, now has guys signed – if I'm Minnesota, I probably figure I can do better than McElheney. Not to mention, Calgary would be ripe to get offersheeted if they grabbed him, given their cap situation. Garth Snow? He's got Rick DiPietro signed to the end of time. If he expects him back next year, what's the point?

    Toronto might be a match, although Burke is going hard for that Swedish fellow (another option that I didn't mention).

    Tyler's basic point has to do with all of the teams having solutions for next season, but that assumes everyone will stand pat.

    The problem that a lot of teams have is that the decision to not stand pat costs them $4MM+. How many times do you recall seeing NHL teams decide to eat that kind of money?

  16. Scott says:

    O'Sullivan for Harding looks very similar to the Vermette for LeClaire trade that Ottawa and Columbus made at the deadline. I think that Columbus won that trade hands down (I don't think LeClaire is a good bet) but that's probably the kind of value Minnesota is looking to extract.

    From the Oiler perspective, it's worth remembering that O'Sullivan eats just under 3M in cap space for the next two seasons. On the one hand I don't think that's an overpay for O'Sullivan but on the other hand he's probably not on the cusp of significantly outperforming that number and it's not like the 3M couldn't be spent elsewhere (especially the year after next). If the Oilers can negotiate a deal with Harding where they sign him to a term of 4 seasons or more for 2M per season or less, I think that it's a trade worth making. If the deal is much more expensive or much shorter than that, they might as well just pluck off a UFA option and see what else is available for O'Sullivan.

  17. Black Dog says:

    Good stuff the last while LT. Haven't said much but I have been reading it as always.

    I think its between O'Sullivan and Cogliano to get moved along with Nilsson of course but I don't think I'm on board with moving either for Harding. I like Harding and I believe the fact that he solves the goaltending for a while but as Ty has pointed out there are plenty of goalies out there.

    Have to think that either of these guys gets moved somewhere for a big forward, maybe packaged with someone else for Staal? Pittsburgh's plan seems to be to surround Crosby and Malkin with low cost talent – they're pretty close this year despite losing a good chunk of last year's team. Wonder if they might find a low cost replacement for Staal and then pick up one of the kids plus a pick or prospect?

    Pipe dream probably but Staal would bring size plus he's solid on the PK and I think he would flourish woth more offensive minutes.

    I'd be loathe to give up Cogliano but he's the one to go, I'd bet.

  18. Jon says:

    I agree with everything Black Dog said:

    I Hate to trade Cogs but I see no other way. O'sully can play both wings and can play many roles in the top 9 .

    Cogs for Clowe
    Sign Maholtra

    Those 2 moves set us up at F

  19. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, it does seem like Cogs is the obvious choice. Isn't there anyone they can bring in to work on FO's? Oates? Didn't he help Stoll?

    Okay, if we're off O'Sullivan for Harding (even I have a point where I'll give up) :-), what about Nilsson and a 2nd rd pick?

  20. mc79hockey says:

    That's more interesting, I think – Nilsson is probably worthless becasue of his contract so really, you'd be clearing some salary room.

  21. Smarmy Boss says:

    Without reading any of the comments. Trading O'Sullivan for Harding is just dumb. Why we would do a favour for another team, much less a division rival is beyond me.

  22. Traktor says:

    Cogs had 18 goals last year playing with a revolving door of shit and minimal PP time.

    Maybe it would be wise to see what the fastest skater in the NHL can do with decent linemates and an actual NHL coach behind the bench.

    Horc has less hits than Nilsson last year – are we looking for size or guys who compete?

    Cogs has more drive than any player in our top 6 so he shouldn't even be in this discussion.

    Mark my words: Cogs scores 25+ next year.

    Keep the kid line.
    Keep Horpensky.

    Gut the vanilla "useful" players like Pouliot, Reddox, Brodziak and bring in Brooklyn brawlers to fill out the bottom 6.

    Possible trade proposal:

    To Tampa: Omark

    To Edmonton: Downie

  23. Lowetide says:

    Smarmy Boss: You're going to have to help me on this one. If the Oilers trade for Harding, they'd be addressing a need, correct? If anything, I'd wonder why the Wild would be willing to make a trade for him.

    He's a pretty good goalie using the measuring sticks we own.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: I think that's the best line you've used here, "vanilla useful" players. I'm going to steal that.

  25. Sean says:

    I'd agree with Tyler that right now dealing Nilsson is a salary dump – similar to Torres last year. If they cant get any value for him between now and July 1, I'd entertain keeping him though. He'll score 13 point in pre-season with a trip to Springfield on the line.

  26. oilerdago says:

    Truly LT, if I'm Minnesota, I'd trade Harding for O'Sullivan all day long. While it clears cap space, it would not be my first option either.

    Nilsson + something (preferably another contract but a 2nd works fine too) would be ideal because it begins to clear up badly needed contract space and subtracts a small forward. If MacT winds up in the next coach of the Wild though, that deal does not happen.

    If we get Harding, do we also still try and bring Roli back or does JDD automatically become #2?

  27. PDO says:

    Nilssonish for Harding or Halak makes a lot of sense. A lot.

    The Oilers should take a hard look at what (spit) Calgary did last summer in their bottom six.

    Add some actual hockey players.

    Stay the hell away from huge contracts during the frenzy or one dimensional players like Vinny, Spezza and Marleau who will cost an arm and a leg.

  28. Sean says:

    Mark my words: Cogs scores 25+ next year.


    Nilsson is right now a salary dump. If they cant get any value for him (they might not be able to) I'd entertain keeping him till TC. He'll score 13 points in pre-season with a trip to Springfield on the line. We also may find out this year if Katz is really willing to flex is muscles financially to bury mistakes.

  29. Bar Qu says:

    Possible trade proposal:

    To Tampa: Omark

    To Edmonton: Downie

    ummm, because the room wasn't poisonous enough last year? Yeah he's tough and plays hard, but he's also one incident short of a felony (indictable offence in Canada).

    I am sure that kind of energy guy exists for pick up elsewhere. Geez, I'd even take Matt Cooke over Downie.

    O'Sullivan + Omark + 2nd rounder to Pens for
    Staal + Cooke

    Kind of looks like dreamin' to me though.

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    Given the absolute ton of goalies available, the Oilers would be nuts to give up a player who can make any sort of a difference for Harding, IMO.

    Dead on Tyler.

    LT, JW had a poll on the Harding for O'Sullivan trade last week. Voters were overwhelmingly against it, 341-88 against.

    As another example, Harding's only three years younger than Craig Anderson – a guy who has put up better numbers on an inferior team.

    I'll bang the Anderson/Legace combo drum once again. The can be had for Roloson's 3.5 million and would be reliable for the whole year.

    And JW is right – Nilsson is now being completely undervalued.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Coach: I don't know how you could argue Nilsson's value at this point. He's hanging by a thread, and this is his second organization.

    He was given an opportunity, delivered to a certain level and cashed (3 years, 6M). The moment the contract was signed he struggled and although Jonathan's post frames the issue in the most positive way possible, it's still a day's drive back to where he was before the contract.

    If we're going to undervalue a player, who if not Roberto?

  32. gogliano says:

    I haven't watched O'Sullivan much. If we were going to rank the four midgets in order of compete, ability to win puck battles, etc., the sorts of things that makes Hemsky "not small," where would they line up?

    Prior to POS's arrival, there were three midgets, and so does the substition of Nilsson with POS give us a gritter group of three midgets? My point is basically that I think you can fit all three of the forwards in the line up if Nilsson is out the door and the rest of the roster adds the things that the three are lacking. The key, I think, would be fleshing out the rest of the lineup so that there is real depth–particularly if Quinn is rolling:
    1-2-3-4 etc.

    Perhaps you then move a dman to add the depth up front. Anyways, my point is that we are measuring the failure to play "gritty" against 3 particular midgets, when one of those midgets has been replaced by a better one. And I think a team can win with Gagner, Cogs, and POS in the lineup, if the supporting cast is there.

  33. DBO says:

    Agree on not sending Minnesota anyone good. A decent pick and a "vanilla useful" player is fine. I also agree on Anderson. His save % the last 3 years (albeit in limited action the first 2) were solid.
    Anderson – 28 years old.
    2009 = .931(31 games)
    2008 = .935 (17 games)
    2007 = .924
    Harding – 25
    2009 = .929 (19 games)
    2008 = .908 (29 games)
    2007 = .960

    Anderson will cost you $2 mill per season and a chance at a starting position. Sign him for 2 or 3 years and let him grow into your number 1.

  34. Lowetide says:

    gogliano: I think a good way to approach things is to find guys who've played in the NHL long enough to find their way. So, I'd rank O'Sullivan clear of Gagner and the kid a bit beyond Cogs but they're basically running the track side-by-side.

    The problem with marrying those three to Hemsky and running them out all season is that Tambellini has already told us the summer will involve a coke machine or two.

  35. knighttown says:

    I'd approach this goalie market almost like the NHL draft. Trading for Harding is fine (or signing Gustavsson) if you think he's leaps and bounds above the rest, sorta like trading up. Standing pat means blanket the mid level group with 4 year/3 million offers to Clemmenson, Ellis and Anderson. Whichever two sign first have a great chance to be an NHL starter for a decade. Whichever ones don't?

    I'm telling you, if I'm an average NHL goalie right now with no contract I'm looking for a real estate agent in Bern because I haven't seen the supply/demand cycle this heavily weighted in forever.

    Tambellini is Albert Pujols with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth facing Chien-Ming Wang cicra 2009. I'm EXPECTING a home run.

  36. Jonathan Willis says:

    O'Sullivan for Harding looks very similar to the Vermette for LeClaire trade that Ottawa and Columbus made at the deadline. I think that Columbus won that trade hands down (I don't think LeClaire is a good bet) but that's probably the kind of value Minnesota is looking to extract.

    Let's not forget that Columbus had to send a second round pick to Ottawa to finish off that deal.

  37. Smarmy Boss says:

    Sorry for the brevity in the last comment LT:

    Basically, I agree the Oilers need a goaltender, probably two. Harding would be a nice acquisition for the Oilers but based on what I have seen goalies acquired for in the past it seems like an overpay.

    If you had to move O'Sullivan I think I'd rather the Oilers try and sign a guy like Craig Anderson and use Sully to move up in the draft.

  38. pboy says:

    The big mistake would be in bringing back Roli for a multi-year deal. Tying up cap room on a 40 year old goalie is a road Steve T can't go down.

  39. Ducey says:

    Is Harding really that much better than Rollie? Harding had better numbers last year but in a lot fewer games and with a lot better defence.

    Giving up Sully for a goalie when they basically have Rollie for $2 million next season seems silly.

    Cogs and Gags have the compete level needed. Size or not. No way you trade them.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Smarmy Boss: I understand that, and agree the Oilers need 2 goalies. A Nilsson plus Deslauriers for Harding trade might be the best case scenario for our side.

    But I keep reading about Anderson and Biron and on and on, and if we see there's value here then 30 NHL teams are going to see it too. Bargains are going to be available, and if we say "well Craig Anderson has no choice to to sign with us" and he ends up signing for 2M in Detroit and Harding gets sent to Los Angeles then where are we?

    The Oilers have a huge advantage–they can offer 650 at-bats to a starting goaltender. But I wouldn't get too cocky on it because despite the quality currently available, creative GMs are going to find a way to get some of that action.

    Bury a contract in the AHL? Lou wrote the book. Finesse a player currently under contract to an RSL team? I believe we've seen it too.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Roloson for 2M?

  42. PunjabiOil says:

    There was a good quote in today's Journal from Tambellini that pretty much confirmed the Oilers will be utilizing the BPA approach at the draft.

  43. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers were so disfuntional last season, it's going to take a quantum leap on the scale of the 2006 Pronger trade to right the S.S. LoweTanic.

  44. Lowetide says:

    The Oilers always say BPA, but it depends on the definition of same. You could slot any of Kassian, Ellis or Glennie as BPA depending on the wording of BPA.

  45. Gerta Rauss says:

    Nilsson + for Harding would be ideal,but I'm not sure that gets it done.

    I agree with the 2 goalie need,and I would like to see a young guy/vet guy tandem.

    Cogs/POS for Harding is an overpay ,but what if we asked for more from Minny..?
    Sheppard/Gillies/Belanger/Fritsche or the rights to Kurtis Foster..?

    I don't know Minny's roster that well,but can we kill two birds with one stone if/when dealing with Minny..?

  46. Lowetide says:

    As God is my witness there is a pitcher on my television named Bastardo. Joe Morgan is slurring his name, but he can't fool me.

    I love this guy!!! Is he any good? BAS-TARRRRRRRDDDDDOOOOOOOOOO!

  47. PDO says:

    Hitting the sauce tonight LT?

    Cherry called "shatan" "satan" two times in a row last night.

    It was pretty clutch.

  48. Lowetide says:

    I'm not kidding PDO. Bastardo! He must be new. Oh damn, if I was still in a Roto league I'd change the name of my team to the Bastardo's immediately!!!!

  49. Traktor says:

    I don't want Harding and I don't want to trade Gilbert but if we traded for Harding I wonder if they would part with Clutterbuck as well if we put Tom Gilbert on the table.

  50. speeds says:

    I really like O'Sullivan, and maybe that's holding me back, but I can't see EDM making the trade of O'Sullivan for Harding – it's just too much.

    There's no real reason to get impatient, just wait until July 1st and sign him to an offer sheet if you want him badly.

    MIN's in a terrible bargaining position, and they know it, which is why they're trying to manufacture a bidding war. Best to not get involved, IMO, unless you can get Harding at a cut-rate price, but that depends on your viewe of Harding's potential, what he'll sign for, etc. If you are sold on Harding as a lock for a top 10 #1 goalie, then I suppose I can see it.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    I'm swinging for the fences if I'm trading Gilbert…goalie,3rd line agitator wouldn't be my first thought…

    Young,puck moving D with a hometown boy backstory…I bet their GM takes your phone call Traktor.

  52. Paper Designer says:

    So you've got a bazillion small forwards who can pass, and the idea is to trade the only one who shoots?

    Isn't that just creating the imbalance that has plagued this team since 2006 all over again?

    Hold on to O'Sullivan. He's probably the only one who's not a big question mark to produce at at least a second line level. And if he takes a step this season, well, all the better for one Ales Hemsky.

  53. dstaples says:

    I'm with Traktor on Cogliano, full of optimism. I think Quinn referred to the Oilers have two young centers, and I hope he didn't mean Cogliano was staying at that position. On the wing, harassing the last line of the enemy defence, looking for that long pass, he might be menacing, as his shot isn't half bad.

    A few people have mentioned Nilsson as a trade candidate, and while I think he wasn't so terrible last year (Dennis's scoring chance numbers show a decent player compared to many other Oilers forwards), Nilsson hardly once went to the net.

    I don't see any other team taking on his contract, not with the wobbly cap in the NHL and so many wobbly teams. He's overpaid and that's the death for a trade opportunity, unless the Oilers are going to take on some other teams overpaid guy in return.

    So if he can't help in Edmonton, and if the team is determined he's not part of the solution, it's either the minors or the KHL for Nilsson.

    Me, I'd like to see him get one more chance, somewhere in the NHL. There's a useful NHLer in there somewhere . . .

  54. speeds says:

    Another question:

    MIN is the team that should be best positioned to assess Harding as a goaltender going forward. Yet they chose to keep Backstrom even though they had to give him a raise to 6 mil per season when they probably could have had Harding start for 2 mil per season.

    There is certainly something to be said for having a track record, and Backstrom's is outstanding. Perhaps MIN thought that signing Backstrom was the best way to retain value from both goalie assets, but should we read anything into MIN's decision to retain Backstrom which they must have known at the time would likely cost them Harding?

  55. Gerta Rauss says:

    So,let's see where that leaves us:

    Can't trade Gagner because he's the franchise.

    Can't trade Cogliano because he's full of potential.

    Can't trade O'Sullivan because he's a shooter.

    Can't trade Nilsson because of his low value/high contract.

    I'm glad I fix telephones for a living.

  56. Kyle says:

    Isn't this whole 'small forward issue' a red herring? I mean, shouldn't we just focus on effectiveness, and if the small guy is effective, keep him, if he's not, don't worry about how to fit him in, get rid of him.

  57. Lowetide says:

    Gerta: lol. If the Oilers had only drafted a coke machine that worked in 2002, 2003 or 2004……

  58. Lowetide says:

    Kyle: Yes, except that Steve Tambellini made a point of saying that they need to get bigger. From Jonathan's extremely useful live blog of the event:

    "He agrees that grit and size were issues this season, and says that the team will be identifying players who can add that internally and then acquiring what they need from outside the team."

  59. Asiaoil says:

    Harding is of interest – but to date he's only proven that his potential as a top flight starter remains intact. That's different than proving you can actually shoulder a 50-60 starter load successfully. So there's no way you drop a ton of value on him in trade – especially since the goalie market is saturated and he's vulnerable to a low cost RFA offer-sheet (2nd rounder?).

    Nilsson + JDD + Petry for Harding + 3rd round pick

    As for the 7 dwarfs – Nilsson is clearly on the way out – not because I don't think he can play – I think he will have a nice rebound year away from MacT. His skills are simply duplicated and we need cap room so he's gone.

    Cogliano is a great kid and probably will be Marty St Louis down the road if he just accepts a shift to the wing. But I've always been wary of his longterm desire to stay in EDM – seems like he's a guy who wants to go to Toronto and the Leafs would be very happy to get him. So he's tradable in my books. Same with Gagner – if a guy like Staal is avaialable and it takes Gagner to seal the deal then I do it. POS is the guy I probably want to keep for flexibility and scoring – but again – if the right deal is there I move him.

    Bottom line – 2 of these small forwards are probably gone – replaced by one larger guy like Clowe or Hartnell and/or some cap space and draft picks and/or the ability to move up in the draft.

  60. PDO says:


    I think this pitcher has a better name… ;)

  61. bookie says:

    Oilers were so disfuntional last season, it's going to take a quantum leap on the scale of the 2006 Pronger trade to right the S.S. LoweTanic.

    How about a new coach(es)?

  62. Gerta Rauss says:

    The OP of O'Sully for Harding might be more palatable if we could squeeze 1 more asset out of Minny…say a 2/3/4 round pick this year.

    Using traditional hockey metrics,this is an overpayment,I'll admit that.

    But we'd be getting a couple of intangibles out of the deal

    – a million dollars worth of cap space(probably more if you sign a good deal with Harding)

    -we'd free up a roster spot in the top 6 by moving 1 of our smurfs

    Tambo has got his hands full this summer,maybe some non-traditional moves are required.

    It's like the Corbomite Maneuver but with goalies.

  63. speeds says:

    MIN doesn't have a 2nd or third round pick this year.

  64. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if Vancouver enters the goaltender sweepstakes.

    If Gillis decides to sign the Sedins, Luongo could be on the block.

    Luongo to LA for Jack Johnson and a forward (Frolov), Vancouver signs Jaybo, Gaborik signs in LA and Bob's your uncle.

  65. dstaples says:

    Asiaoil: Do you mean the Pittsburgh Staal?

    I suppose you do. I've been watching him closely in the Cup finals, and he's reminding me a lot of Dustin Penner, in that he's a big, sometimes slow-looking guy, who many Pittsburgh fans would probably love to see crank someone, but he hardly ever does.

    Based on the anti-Penner catcalls that I invariably heard when I went to Oilers games this year, Staal will also drive many fans crazy if he comes here.

    But I can't see Pittsburgh trading the big kid . . .

  66. Ducey says:

    "Ducey: Roloson for 2M?"

    Well, he made 3M last year, is soon to be collecting CPP if you read the Al Gore and doesn't have a lot of options.

    After your withering cross exam, I admit its just a guess. Assuming its right, wouldn't it be the way to go?

  67. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: That made me laugh, good job. I think Roloson is more likely to get something close to last year than an extra season.

  68. Gerta Rauss says:

    If Gillis decides to sign the Sedins, Luongo could be on the block

    I agree – if Luongo doesn't agree to an extension,he could be moved.

    Vancouver can't afford to let this drag on the entire season,and they certainly can't let him walk as a UFA next year.

    I could see Gillis asking for a young goalie in return though…Price perhaps..?
    He would certainly have carte blanche if he's dealing Luongo.

  69. Smarmy Boss says:

    Goalies are as close to hockey's version of the pitcher. And pitchers break your heart.

    Garon looked like a #1 and then completely fizzled out.

    Carey Price was last year's Steve Mason.

    Probably one of the reason's you don't see teams get big hauls when they trade their goalies.

  70. knighttown says:

    and he ends up signing for 2M in Detroit and Harding gets sent to Los Angeles then where are we?

    We move along to Gustavsson, Biron, Ellis, Clemmenson, Roloson, Harding or LaBarbera.

    Listen, I think that take it or leave it attitude is a terrible way to do business but in this case you've just got to use this opportunity to get average goaltending at 25% less cost than the rest of the league.


    I'm a big fantasy baseball guy and alhtough I haven't picked him up, he's been very good since his call up. What a handle tho.

    "Red Wings/Anderson"

    That team is an interesting one. When I did my team by team analysis I almost included them as buyers. Tyler has it down to us and Colorado but I'd include Washington and Toronto too. And Detroit is just smart enough that they'd relegate a (potential) Conn Smythe winner to the backup position before the champagne is washed off if they felt Anderson could provide value.

    So include them too. That makes Colorado, Edmonton, Washington, Detroit and Toronto bidding on those goalies.

  71. slatz says:

    If Harding is a UFA why do we need to trade anyone for him? Why can't we just throw an offer sheet at him ($2.2M) and get him for a second round pick?

  72. ian says:

    Again with the goalie thing?
    Sign Roli to a 2 year deal with a decent year 1 and a modest 2nd year.
    Give JDD a chance to play say 40% of the games.
    In year two the games become a 60/40 split with JDD getting the lions share.
    I think the cap hit for two goalie could be around 3 mil which would great for the club.
    We still have DD progressing on the farm, and if the whole thing is not working then we fix things at the trade deadline.
    I feel that there are too many question marks surrounding the other available goalies for us to be using up our bargaining chips.
    The only concern would be "how many goalie options will be available next year and should we hit for the fences this year?"

  73. Bruce says:

    Interesting situation in Vancouver re: Luongo. He was supposed to be the answer, not to mention about a 3000% improvement on Dan Cloutier. Certainly he has played well in Vancouver … at times. But his game came apart during critical stretches in each of the last two years as the Canucks crashed and burned.

    Last 6 games, 2007-08:
    1-5-0 W-L, 4.59 GAA, .837 Sv%
    Missed playoffs

    Last 6 games, 2008-09
    2-4 W-L, 3.52 GAA, .879 Sv%
    Eliminated by Chicago

    Now he has one year to go on his exorbitant pact ($6.75 MM cap hit, $7.5 MM in actual salary) and will be UFA next summer. What kind of market is there going to be for this guy?

  74. DeeDee says:

    Rollie was our best player this year and one of the biggest reasons we finshed as well as we did.

    Not bad for an old man.

    If you really want to dump him because you feel that somehow he is going to fall apart in the next 2 years then for god's sake replace him with someone better, not some untested minor league keeper or perennial backup.

    And for you young'uns that don't remember the past, we've been without top notch goaltending in the past, and let me tell you, it sucks.

    I remember Kevin Lowe telling me that Conklin, Markkanen, and Morrison could replace a real #1 and look how well that experiment worked.

  75. Bar Qu says:

    Does anyone have any idea of what Philly's situation is going to look like this off-season? I know they need to off-load Briere, but I have heard that may be impossible with his contract. What other moves are thought to be possible/necessary and are there any options for the Oilers in there?

  76. Nennog says:

    I know that people in Minnesota are not big at all on Harding: "king of the soft goal." My hope is that Renney can repair the defensive system, because I saw JDD play a handful of decent games. That said, there is surely another Backstrom out there in Europe, who can be had for very little.

  77. pboy says:

    If there is any truth to MacT interviewing for the big job with Minny, how then does that change what players the Wild would accept from the Oil in return for Harding? You would have to think that Nilsson or Brodziak would be players that MacT would prefer not to both with again. IMO, trading O'Sullivan would be a mistake. Although he didn't produce much in his time with the team last year, the kid isn't afraid to put the puck at the net and that's something this team doesn't have enough of.

  78. uni says:

    Well scratch one option for a cheap effective 3rd line/4th line/faceoff specialist centre.

    I believe that sound I heard earlier today was the collective sigh of Oilers puckbunnies everywhere.

    Good for Marty, at least he's appreciated by his team mates and at least one GM out there.

  79. hunter1909 says:

    "How about a new coach(es)?"

    That's precisely the starting point of return for the rebirth of the Oilers as a seriously respectable hockey team.

    Pronger, Peca, Samsonov, Spacek all running for their sanity after the 2006 fantasy run pretty well sums up the lack of appeal the previous management/coaching situation had for these and so many other players.

  80. Coach pb9617 says:

    Emery for 1.5 million kind of sets the bar here…

  81. ian says:

    On the subject of Roli it is the general consensus [ by him as well] that he has not had the same mileage as other goalies of his age.
    In April of this year Dominic Hasek aged 44 signed a one year deal with Pardubice His last NHL action was a Stanley cup win with the Wings about a year ago.
    Not saying Roli is the same as Hasek but Cujo and Eddie B both played pretty late into their careers

  82. HBomb says:

    To whomever suggested giving Roloson two years, I have two words for that:

    Absolutely not.

    There is no need to sign him for more than one year – with the goalie market the way it is, he has no leverage.

    And given his age, I'm weary of signing him for one year, to be completely honest. Can he duplicate last year's performance, or will it be 2007-08 Roloson all over again?

  83. spOILer says:

    Oilers in the past have always seemed to have chosen #1 netminders who have already proven that they don't cave under the pressure of the big game (ie the playoffs, but Salo having proven so through international experience).

    My bet is they take a run at Khabeeb if he doesn't sign with the Hawks prior to July 1. If he does, then they re-sign Roli.

    And hasn't there been a recent report that contract talks with Roli are set to begin/begun?

    It also sounds like the Wild are asking us if we're interested in Harding at not the other way around, having targeted who they think might be buyers. That's also a buyers market.

    Considering the other options available – Roli, Anderson, Legace, Khabibulin, Fernandez, etc…

    I'm betting it is nobody going to the Wild for nobody back.

    And I think that is as it should be.

  84. Deano says:

    Roloson, sure why not. One year at a time for as long as he wants to and still can get it done. He was clearly overpaid last season – period.

    Anderson, Harding – go for it, but there are too many options out there to pay very much. I think the Oil's pure shot at #1 is worth a bunch in the negotiating. (Nilsson+ for Harding.) If MacT gets the Wild gig, can we get Harding for Moreau? That way the Oil get the late-game PP opportunities.

    Clemmensen – just say no. Other than last season, no other numbers justify giving the chance to him. I'd let him go somewhere else and flame-out (90%) and give up the chance that I was wrong (10%).

    Gilbert – I think that his right-handed shot is more valuable than we believe – it makes him rarer.

    I think Pisani's goodwill prevents him from being looked at as critically as he should be.

    I hold hope for JFJ to thrive in the GlenX role next year with Brodz and Storts.

    We (still) don't know if Pouliot can play 3C. We do know Cogs can't – at least not yet.

  85. Deano says:

    What will Biron, Khabibulin and Roloson sign for at the beginning of Sept to avoid the KHL?

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