Ciphering 2009

The Oilers are going to need some help in terms of “value contracts” this coming season. With the organization seemingly obsessed with tracking down another big name it becomes imperative to have at least 6 good value contracts.

There is a very small window of opportunity for these Oilers. The two first rounders from the middle of the decade (Gagner, Cogliano) have one more season at entry level prices and there are a few more among the group who might offer value that exceeds their cap number.

As we get ready for the madness that is the Oilers in summer, here’s the list with cap number from nhlnumbers.com. Media members please add one million to Shawn Horcoff’s total. Why stop now?

Forwards
  1. Shawn Horcoff 5.5
  2. Dustin Penner 4.25
  3. Ales Hemsky 4.1
  4. Patrick O’Sullivan 2.925
  5. Fernando Pisani 2.5
  6. Robert Nilsson 2.0
  7. Ethan Moreau 2.0
  8. Sam Gagner .875
  9. Andrew Cogliano .850
  10. Marc Pouliot .825
  11. Zack Stortini .700
  12. Steve MacIntyre .537
  13. JF Jacques .525

That’s 27,587,000 for 13 players. Kyle Brodziak (who’ll probably be around 1M), Liam Reddox, Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp and Tim Sestito are listed as RFA by nhl numbers. Other minor leaguers who might be in the conversation at some point are Ryan Potulny, Ryan Stone, Tyler Spurgeon and junior star Jordan Eberle might get a shot in the fall.

Defense
  1. Lubomir Visnovsky 5.6
  2. Sheldon Souray 5.4
  3. Tom Gilbert 4
  4. Denis Grebeshkov 3.25-est
  5. Steve Staios 2.7
  6. Theo Peckham .560

That’s 21,510,000 for 6 players. Too damn much. Ladislav Smid is RFA (cap hit .886 last season) and should come in reasonably this summer. The Oilers may sign a Jason Strudwick type to round out the group at a number well shy of 1M.

Goaltenders

  1. Jeff Deslauriers .625

This position is wide open. The Oilers are apparently talking to Dwayne Roloson and reading the tea leaves it might be something like one-year, 4M.

So, the current cap hit for 20 players (I’m including Grebeshkov because we have the number surrounded) is 49,722,000. Add Roloson’s 4M and we’re at just shy of 54M. It was 56.7M this past season and the NHL said at the end of May it could drop by 2.5M (although the nhlpa has other thoughts).

Any corrections, please let me know. Any new info re: cap, please pass along. These things aside, Kevin Lowe didn’t leave much wiggle room. The Oilers trade a big number in the next 2 weeks. My guess would be one of Souray, Visnovsky or Penner, plus another player or two. Stay close to the Al Gore.

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87 Responses to "Ciphering 2009"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    As you are no doubt aware,
    Mr Matheson got on the phone yesterday and pre-addressed a few of these questions
    ..Rollie, so long its been nice
    ..Kotalik is in play, better be under $2 per
    ..so is Strudwick
    ..Bouwmeester isn't

    “Tim Sestito are listed as RFA by nhl numbers”

    Cap Central has him with one more year

    “one of Souray, Visnovsky or Penner, plus another player or two”

    The other day Matheson said "the Oilers have a top-three defenseman (Tom Gilbert) and a top-six forward (O'Sullivan) to give up".

    All the MSM boys have been dropping Gilbert's name. But that's the strongest statement yet

  2. DBO says:

    Those issues haunt my oiler dreams. It was like they all thought it was never going to end and the cap would go up some more, so no big deal. Reward the good soldiers. take a chance on Penner. Give Horcoff a hometown overpay for being such a good guy. I may be in the minority but our management has handled our veterans like you would your buddies. Give them more then market value to say thank you, instead of asking for a hometown discount (ala Detroit) in order to stay competitive. We have not run this franchise like a business the last few years, and here's hoping the new influence of tambelllini changes that track.

  3. Black Dog says:

    No Bouwmeester? Not even an attempt? Disappointing.

    Moving Gilbert instead of a veteran is foolish. A top three defenceman already in his career, signed for five more years.

    They're going to go for the homerun and end up with a lineup full of holes. Again.

    At least they're going the right direction with Roloson.

  4. Ben says:

    Please move Souray now before his altometer blows!

    Any thoughts on what his trade value might be? I'd be happy to get back a cheaper, younger stay at home defender (Matt Greene) to balance out our top 5 and a pick.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Mr. DeBakey: I just read the Matheson piece. Interesting. Roloson is noted as being "less than 50/50" but would guess there's still dialogue.

    The Strudwick item is a "meh" for me, I'd be more interested in the team using their great skill in uncovering gems. Find another Hejda.

    Kotalik signing must mean a guy like Nilsson is heading out and then there'd be another move for the sniper/Heatley.

    The more I think about it the more likely Heatley will be this summer's hill to die on. Bouwmeester would be a much better option imo, but Heatley certainly addresses scoring.

  6. Traktor says:

    We know two things:

    1. Bouwmeester is better than any player currently employed by the Oilers.

    2. Bouwmeester would preferably like to come back to Western Canada.

    Can someone explain why we wouldn't pursue him?

    Who needs free assets anyways.

  7. knighttown says:

    I'd like to repost what I did yesterday that got caught in the server issues. It probably fits better here anyway>

    "Re: Trading a defenseman

    I think one aspect of team building that is overlooked even by GM's is the importance of defensive depth.

    320 defenseman played a game in the NHL last year meaning the average team went 11 deep into their depth chart. Removing Souray, our depth chart looks like this:

    1. Visnovsky
    2. Gibert
    3. Grebeshkov
    4. Staois
    5. Smid
    6. Peckham
    7. Strudwick
    8. Chorney
    9. Matthieu Roy
    10. Brian Young
    11. Alex Plante

    So, if we have an average season, Alex Plante will play an NHL game this year. Big deal? Nah.

    To take it a little further, 240 defenseman played at least 20 games, an average of 8 D per team. One quarter of the teams had 9 or more D play 20 games and only Colorado had just 6.

    Most likely, Strudwick and Chorney will play one-quarter of the upcoming season and there is a good chance Roy will too. Now are you concerned? A little

    210 defenseman played half the season providing an average of 7 per team. Very likely, with our current depth chart Jason Strudwick will play half the season.

    Factoring in timing, the defense pairings for the year will work like this:

    25 games:
    Smid-Vis
    Grebs-Gilbert
    Peckham-Staois

    25 games:
    Smid-Staois
    Grebs-Gilbert
    Strudwick-Peckham

    20 games:
    Peckham-Staois
    Grebs-Smid
    Chorney-Strudwick

    10 games:
    Grebs-Staois
    Roy-Peckham
    Strudwick-Chorney

    2 games:
    Grebs-Staois
    Young-Peckham
    Chroney-Roy

    To give you a comparison, the average backup goalie played 28 games making them far less important than the 7th D-Man and about equivalent to the 8th D-Man.

    Here's how I'd play it. Unless Peckham wins a Top 4 job like say, Drew Doughty, he goes down to the AHL but as the 7th D, because of waiver ability with the message that there is an almost certainty he'll play 40 NHL games.

    I'd sign a Strudwick type to sit in the press box and find an NHL/AHL bubble vet that you'd be comfortable seeing for a quarter of a season. Think Tollefson/Davison/Tjarnquist/Huskins. Whomever is better between Huskins and Strudwick gets the 8D job and the other guy is likely available for recall as the 9 guy. He'll still probably play.

    Also not discussed is the domino effect. Our bottom pairing defensemen, Staois and Peckham will play a combined 90 games in our Top 4. That means against Peckham vs. Getzlaf an awful lot. It also means a forward on the 2nd PP point because of minutes/role issues. Huge PK minutes on Smid because the Top 2 can't take on any more and so on.

    We have a very versatile and deep defensive core that should remain in tact or be tweaked. However, there is a difference between a strength and a luxury and we haven't crossed that line"

  8. Black Dog says:

    Absolutely right Traktor.

    At the very least pursue him. Pick him up and then dealing away one of the present four makes better sense.

    These guys make me mental.

    Although as referenced a few times now, Lowe has really left Tambellini a mess. Very little cap room, a raft of players with big contracts.

    Tambellini has to dig himself out of this hole and if he fails then he will take the hit and again Lowe will escape any censure at all likely.

  9. MikeP says:

    BD, sure, but picking up JBo somehow and then trying to trade one of the other guys (doesn't matter who) would seem to leave Tambellini in a pretty weak position. If I'm another GM, my offer price for a guy like Souray or Gilbert automatically drops, because GT *has* to make a deal at that point.

    And from JBo's side: sure, I'm interested, but you guys still seem to have Souray, Gilbert, Visnovsky, and even Grebeshkov there. Where am I going to find playing time? I wouldn't sign a UFA contract to take second-pairing icetime. And put him in the top 2, and one of the other guys has to drop back – maybe they'd take one for the team, but … and then there's still that pesky cap.

    So the question is: is JBo willing to take less in Edmonton than he would elsewhere, gambling that the GM can work around me and still get a winning team? Nobody wants to sign with a loser. OK, except Todd Marchant.

  10. Traktor says:

    Visnovsky vs Gilbert

    4 x 5

    GAON/60

    Gilbert – 7.85
    Visnovsky – 12.06

    Visnovsky was so bad on the PK last year that he made everyone else look like world beaters.

    5 x 4

    PTS/60

    Gilbert – 3.91
    Visnovsky – 3.07

    GFON/60

    Gilbert – 5.74
    Visnovsky – 5.38

    So far we know that Gilbert is the superior special teams player and it isn't even close.

    5 x 5

    Qual Comp

    Gilbert – 2nd hardest
    Visnovsky – 3rd hardest

    Qual Team

    Gilbert – 2nd
    Visnovskt – 1st

    So far at 5 x 5 we know that Gilbert faced the hardest minutes and didn't play with as good of teammates as Visnovsky.

    PTS/60

    Gilbert – 1.30
    Visnovsky – 0.93

    Not only is Gilbert's Pts/60 rating the best on the Oilers it was also good enough for the 5th best in the entire league when looking at defensemen. Pretty damn good for a guy who faces top pairing competition every night.

    GFON/60

    Gilbert – 3.02
    Visnovsky – 2.64

    GAON/60

    Gilbert – 2.79
    Visnovsky – 1.93

    Pretty solid year from Visnovsky in terms of keep the puck out of his net 5 x 5

    GFON/GAON60 Differential

    Gilbert – +.33
    Visnovsky – +.71

    Is Visnovsky even a better player than Gilbert?

    I certainly thinks it's debatable but when you factor in age and salary there's no question who the better asset is.

    I just don't understand why LT and his faithful would jump off the bridge if Visnovsky were to be traded. Seems like the most logical choice.

  11. Frank says:

    I love this blog to death — it brings a deep level of knowledge, wit, and solid analysis to the table… but after holding my tongue for a long, long time, I feel the need to say this: substituting "The Al Gore" for "The Internet" in every post is neither clever nor funny.

  12. Black Dog says:

    MikeP – well if they sign Bouwmeester he will be first pair. He plays more minutes then anyone in the league (or close to it, right?) so I don't think there is any doubt for anyone that he would be first pair. You're not going to give him all of that money to play on the 2nd pair.

    And the Oilers have gone further in the playoffs then any of the other rumoured suitors lately so not worried about that either.

    As for getting value for the guy they have to move, my first concern is getting a young defenceman who is better then any of the guys they have already. Then you sort it out. Bouwmeester costs you nothing but money. If you have to dump someone for a pick to make it work then you do it. He would be the Oilers' best player the moment he signed.

    The article is odd – the Oielrs don't want to have to move a defenceman in order to get Bouwmeester? Yet they are rumoured to be ready to move one to pick up a forward.

    That's weird.

  13. Travis Dakin says:

    Totally agree Traktor.

    I think Visnovsky is a great player. I still really wish that trade never had happened. I would much rather have Boumeester on the Roster and still have Stoll here. But that's hindsight obviously.
    Black Dog- It blows my mind that every year this team tries to hit the home run and fails and then when THE perfect pitch is thrown they are now seemingly willing to hold still? Ridiculous. Like you said to me before, if a player like that becomes available, you go for it every time. Any one of the Top four could go and I wouldn't bat an eye if Boumeester came.

  14. Ribs says:

    It's interesting that they are "keen" on signing Kotalik. It makes me wonder what kind of market there is for Dustin Penner right now. If they can attain a top line guy I think replacing Penner with Kotalik makes some sense if you can get him cheap enough. I like Penner but I can't see him earning his cap number in a second/third line role.

    The defense is a whole other problem. I like Grebeshkov as well but I think he's the guy to go. Gilbert is signed long term at a reasonable rate and you just can't afford to keep both of them. What is the market for his rights? could we get an up and coming (cheaper) defenseman for them? Would some sort of package get us Jack Johnsons rights from LA if there is indeed trouble there?

  15. Travis Dakin says:

    Actually thinking about that article it does seem odd. I know Matheson is supposed to be connected but I think we are seeing a lot more speculation than the normal hints and leaks from the Lowe era. Tambellini has shown to be pretty tight lipped so far so I think it is a case of nothing having leaked even a little.

    "The article is odd – the Oielrs don't want to have to move a defenceman in order to get Bouwmeester? Yet they are rumoured to be ready to move one to pick up a forward."

    That just can't be right? right? I mean…. no… That just doesn't make a lick of sense. This is supposed to be the new era.

  16. Black Dog says:

    Ribs – I think they have to hold onto Grebs and Gilbert. Two reasonably signed good young D? Moving either would be poor, imo.

    That's the problem with getting into cap trouble, next thing you know you are losing players you should never move. Wait until next summer if they are still in a bind if Gagner and Cogliano have nice years.

    Traktor – interesting stuff on Gilbert and Visnovsky

  17. Black Dog says:

    Interesting point Travis about Matheson maybe throwing a few more darts at the board then usual.

    That Dman comment really makes no sense after the comment the other day about a package for Heatley. Completely contradictory.

    Misdirection?

  18. Scott says:

    The article is odd – the Oielrs don't want to have to move a defenceman in order to get Bouwmeester? Yet they are rumoured to be ready to move one to pick up a forward.

    That's weird.

    I'm not sure that it's so weird. Right now the Oilers have a lot of money tied up in defencemen and the earliest any of the "big three" comes off the books is after the 2011-12 season. Even if they moved one out before moving Bouwmeester in, they'd still be increasing the budget for defencemen, probably at the expense of the forwards. I can see why they wouldn't want to tie up even more cap space long term on D.

  19. Traktor says:

    Four other things we know:

    1. Tambellini has said he wants to get bigger, meaner, harder to play against.

    2. Quinn has said that he doesn't care for defenders who skate with the puck – he wants guys who can pass the puck and who have "bite".

    "I want the other team to have to pay the price if they go into our zone."

    3. Souray is toughest, most intimidating player we have on the roster.

    4. For those who are still trying to trade Souray…. it says more about you than it does about Souray.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Frank: I like it. It's funny. It's not my fault, he told everyone he invented it. Quote:

    "But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."

    I admit freely to not being funny or clever, but Al Gore needs to get credit for it.

    This is my way of helping.

  21. Ribs says:

    BDHS- It's one of those things that you have to do if you want the roster to be balanced, I'm afraid.

    Unless you can move Visnovsky or Souray or you have a bunch of overachieving forwards, you're going to have to spend some cashola/cap space on forwards that can get the job done.

  22. Lowetide says:

    The thing about Bouwmeester (and I have defended the Oilers more than pretty much anyone who visits this blog) is that the question about him coming to EDM may well have already been asked and answered.

    The organization's public stance on the issue may be covering up a complete lack of interest in Edmonton on the player's part.

    He wants to play for a winner. Does that make Edmonton a player?

  23. Travis Dakin says:

    Detroit has been solid for a decade because of their development of players and great draft picks but the one thing above all that matters the most is Lidstrom. A player like that back there is the most important player a team can have. Having Pronger didn't hurt the Oilers for sure. I'm convinced that Boumeester is that type of player. At all costs, whatever it takes, if that player becomes available I think bite whatever bullet you have to bite and take it. That is the kind of player you build around for ten years. If it takes 2 or three years to climb out of that hole then Boumeester is what 27 or 28? He is a once a generation franchise Dman.

    Traktor-
    Of all the Dmen this team has, the last one I'd like to see go would be Souray. Love that guy. But he seems like the one with the most value AND biggest cap hit so…

  24. Travis Dakin says:

    Holy crap that's a great perspective LT.

    And that is why I read this blog. ha.

  25. Bruce says:

    To give you a comparison, the average backup goalie played 28 games making them far less important than the 7th D-Man and about equivalent to the 8th D-Man.

    When the 7th D gets in he replaces the 6th D. When the backup goalie gets in, he replaces The goalie. Stated mathematically:

    28 * 60:00 > 40 * 12:00

    Good comment otherwise, KT, very important points.

  26. Sean says:

    I think LT is right. JBo meant Vancouver not the fishbowl when he said Western Canada. Or the Oilers are simply lowering expectations. We can only hope they are still in the game but either Matheson is feeding inaccurate info or we aren't.

  27. Bruce says:

    Please move Souray now before his altometer blows!
    Any thoughts on what his trade value might be? I'd be happy to get back a cheaper, younger stay at home defender (Matt Greene) to balance out our top 5 and a pick
    .

    Souray = 23 goals
    Greene = 2 goals

    Now instead of a 40-goal winger, we need a 60-goal winger.

    Souray is the one guy who does provide balance to our top 5. Visnovsky, Gilbert and Grebeshkov are much more similar to each other than they are to Souray. And whoever you see as #5, Staios or Smid, certainly isn't going to fill the net.

    As for "altometers", Visnovsky's track record for injuries is no flaming hell either.

  28. Gerta Rauss says:

    I'm convinced that Boumeester is that type of player. At all costs, whatever it takes, if that player becomes available I think bite whatever bullet you have to bite and take it.

    I agree-if Boumeester has any interest in joining this franchise you move whatever pieces need to be moved and you go from there,and if that means a complete overhaul on the back end,so be it.

    But I think LT is right –again– the Oilers may have already discovered that he is not interested in signing,and this may be the first pin prick in the J-Bo balloon…a lot of fans have expectations at an all time high(myself included) and the Oilers may be preparing us for the inevitable let down in the UFA sweepstakes.

    We'll find out shortly.

  29. Chris says:

    I think the reason people are so bent on trading Souray is that he had a really good year and he has a history of significant injury problems. At the moment the general geeling is "Wow he actually played most of a season, let's trade him as his value will never be higher". There certainly is some logic to that sentiment even if you like what he brings to the table. I do concur that he brings alot of grit and toughness that is otherwise lacking to this team. But if you can make a series of movies that swaps out Souray or Vishnovsky for Boumeester I think you do it simply because Boumeester is a better fit with the age group of the team.

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    We have a very versatile and deep defensive core that should remain in tact or be tweaked. However, there is a difference between a strength and a luxury and we haven't crossed that line.

    All I'll repost my answer. It can't stay in tact. $22 million is too much to spend on six guys. Souray has to be moved and if a younger, cheaper talent doesn't come back in the trade, they'll add someone like Montador or Zanon.

    I feel the need to say this: substituting "The Al Gore" for "The Internet" in every post is neither clever nor funny.

    Incorrect. The Al Gore's underliers are fantastic.

    I still really wish that trade never had happened.

    That's insane talk.

    I would much rather have Boumeester on the Roster and still have Stoll here.

    Ya can't play in past, present, and future all in one transaction.

  31. godot10 says:

    My reading of the Matheson article is that the Oilers are not going to trade for JayBo's rights.

    i.e. they've determined that JayBo wouldn't sign with Edmonton before July 1.

    Only Philadelphia is probably willing to roll the dice with a trade.

    I think JayBo's going till test the market regardless of who trades for his rights. When you 10 days away from testing the market, test the market. That is what I would do.

  32. Lowetide says:

    I don't think people have any real trouble with Souray. He had a terrific offensive season and brings a lot of good things to every game.

    The problem is that the Oilers have a lot of money along the blue. It's basically a choice between Vis and Souray and maybe to a lesser extent Gilbert.

    I'd prefer they move Souray over the other two and with the understanding that the club needs to reduce the payroll in that area.

    Which is miles from wanting him dealt.

  33. Ribs says:

    Looks like Sutter's going to be coaching the Flames….Link

  34. PDO says:

    There's also the fact that Souray trade requests keep being whispered.

  35. Black Dog says:

    What LT said regarding Souray. Rather not move him but you could sign a physical guy to replace that element for a lot cheaper then 5.4

    And some of those goals would be replaced by whoever eats up his PP time, probably at least a dozen of them I owuld say.

    I'd rather not move any of the four either but if they do it has to be one of the vets.

    Scott – you and your stinking logic! ;)

    May be right about Bouwmeester but when is the last time an agent told a club that would bid the moon that his client is not interested? Even if he is not interested in the Oilers, Bouwmeester's price could be driven sky high once Katz starts throwing money at him.

  36. Black Dog says:

    PDO – that is the other thing of course. If he has requested a move then all of this back and forth is moot.

  37. kris says:

    I'd exchange Souray AND Visnovsky for Bouwmeester.

    Not bringing him in because you can't give up one of Souray and Visnovsky is insane.

    It's like saying we don't want Crosby because we need to keep Horc.

    If Matheson is right, Tambellini is already worse than Lowe. Seriously.

  38. speeds says:

    I kinda did my Bouwmeester bit already, but having read this article here's a couple more thoughts I had:

    It would probably be easier for the Oilers management if signing Bouwmeester fit a current need for the Oilers, but they are being short-sighted, IMO, if they don't sign Bouwmeester simply because they already have a quality top 4 D. It's true that they pretty much have their current top 4 signed up for at least 3 years (assuming they are as close with Grebeshkov as has been hinted), but signing Bouwmeester and moving one of Souray/Visnovsky now would give them 3 pretty decent top 4 D under 26, two of them (Gilbert and Bouwmeester) under contract, presumably, for at least 5 seasons each.

    I would be pretty surprised if EDM couldn't move one of Visnovsky or Souray, even if just for picks this summer, but I will certainly admit Tambellini should have a better feel for that market than I.

    If you could sign Bouwmeester and trade Visnovsky (and Staios is possible) this summer, you'd still be spending more than you'd probably like on D for the upcoming season, but would seemingly have nice options for the 10/11 season.

    Souray's NMC would be up, Smid would, presumably, be ready to step into the top 4 with Gilbert, Bouwmeester, and Grebeshkov.

    It seems to me like passing on 10 years of Bouwmeester just because it doesn't precisely fit a current need and you'd have to make a couple of moves might not be looking at the big picture.

    Of course, that all assumes Bouwmeester will sign in EDM, and who knows how likely that might be?

  39. Gerta Rauss says:

    that's well said speeds,and well worth 1 year of an unbalanced D($$) if you keep your eye on the path of this team 2-3 years out.

    Staios and Moreau can go at the trade deadline,and you're back in balance come 10/11.

  40. Scott says:

    It seems to me like passing on 10 years of Bouwmeester just because it doesn't precisely fit a current need and you'd have to make a couple of moves might not be looking at the big picture.

    I agree with this sentiment but you do need to make sure that you can make the other moves. I don't think there's a huge market for strictly losing salary. I can't imagine that Bouwmeester is coming at anything less than a 6.5M cap hit. That requires moving out two D – likely one of Souray/Visnovsky and Staios – and replacing Staios at half his cost or so. And that's if we don't take any salary back (at D). It's not impossible by any stretch but it is quite a few moving pieces. I think the first step is moving the pieces out. You won't get any value if you're over the cap and needing to move bodies. The perceived risk is then missing on Bouwmeester, but if you don't end up with Bouwmeester, there are other options available and some of that money can be redistributed to forwards which would be nice. I certainly wouldn't complain too much if they moved out Souray and Staios, missed on Bouwmeester but managed to bring in something comparable to Greg Zanon and Alex Tanguay instead.

  41. rickibear says:

    I don't think people have any real trouble with Souray. He had a terrific offensive season and brings a lot of good things to every game.

    He was one of Six Dmen to be top 60in all critical categories: PKGA; EVGA; EVPTS; EVG; PPPTs; and PPG.

    Chara
    Weidmen
    Blake
    Seidenberg
    Souray
    Keith

    I want Dmen that can cover the bet. Seidenberg and Zannon,

    I would smile with:
    Souray (32)-Seidenberg(28)
    Gregs(25)-Zannon(29)
    in my top 4.

    Two of the six who cover the full bet.
    One of the six who cover top 30 in PKGA; EVGA; and 4 RTSS/GM.

    All tuough Comp Guys!

    A young Dman who was one of 8 Dmen in the league to be elite in EV and PP production while not being an EV liability (top 70).

    You can take 9.6 off and put 5.5 on and be better at even, PK.

    Who's chasing the pretty thing.

  42. Marc says:

    I think people are reading Matheson's article the wrong. Keep in mind that Jay Bo is still under contract until July 1 so that limits the discussions that they can have with his agent. I think this is setting out the Oilers negotiating position for the agent, who is Edmonton based, so will definitely read the article and know how connected Matheson is. From this I would deduce that Oilers position is:

    - they are willing to pay around 6M per for a very long term contract
    - they are not going to give Florida a first round pick (and hand negotiating leverage to Jay Bo) by trading for his rights
    - they may give up a top four dman for a first line forward, but they aren't going to give up another one to create space for a huge Jay Bo deal
    - the 'shut down defenseman' comment suggests that Jay Bo won't get the first PP and top offensive line minutes that he got in Florida – and that they Oilers aren't paying extra for those stats because they think they have better offensive dmen on the team already
    - he may be building a home in Edmonton but he'll have to sign at a discount if he wants to live in it
    - the fact he's a local kid isn't necessarily an advantage from the Oilers perspective, so again, they won't pay extra
    - their top priority is someone for Hemsky's line, not Jay Bo so he can't expect a full court press and lots of love in the weeks leading up to free agency

    So Jay Bo and his agent now have an idea where the Oilers are starting from in terms of signing him. They can then decide if they can live with something like that and signal their interest, or decide that they can do better elsewhere and forget about signing with the Oil.

    If what I've laid out is in fact the Oilers position, I think it's makes a lot of sense. They do need a topline forward a lot more than they need another dman, especially a very expensive dman. However a long term 6M per deal is something that they might be able to work with.

  43. speeds says:

    rickibear:

    I think that general kind of thinking is pretty reasonable, especially since they can probably kind of cover the PP spot at a reasonable rate by re-signing Kotalik.

    I'm not as sure about the particular players, and that doesn't mean I'd want to give Gilbert and Visnovsky away, but as a general thought if there happen to be some undervalued UFA D available I don't think it's a terrible idea to jump on them and trade away the guys on your own team you perceive to be overpaid. As Scott points out you need to know if there's a market for your own, now excess, players to do so, but I would imagine a GM would know thata through the general course of business. They should do the same thing on F and G, and I would imagine that's what most GM's do with their own teams.

    Scott wrote "I agree with this sentiment but you do need to make sure that you can make the other moves."

    I also agree, I said as much (in a way), but yeah, you may be right that you have to a take a D making 2 mil back in the deal moving Souray or Visnovsky. That may not be a problem, it may be great if you can find the right player available. Maybe you could make a trade something like:

    2 mil salary dump EDM will stick in the minors + picks/prospects for Visnovsky

    with the picks and prospects being something better than you might get if you moved Visnovsky alone?

  44. Gerta Rauss says:

    that's some good ciphering Marc

    I hadn't looked at it that way.

    I hope you're right.

  45. Scott says:

    Maybe you could make a trade something like:

    2 mil salary dump EDM will stick in the minors + picks/prospects for Visnovsky

    with the picks and prospects being something better than you might get if you moved Visnovsky alone?

    That's a good option, provided you're willing to put some money in the minors. If the Oilers aren't willing to do that then things are a bit more complicated. I'm not sure if they are or aren't willing either way but I'd think they would be.

    If not, I'd prefer they take back salary at F and hope to fill the remaing D spot with something cheaper than 2M. I don't know what most folks think is a good amount to spend on D but I think 30% of the budget for your top 4D and another 5% or so for your bottom three are nice targets. If the cap is stagnant that's about 16.8M for the top end and 2.8M for the bottom three. Using LT's 3.25M for Grebeshkov the Oilers are already at 18.25M at the top end and 4.5M on the bottom (using 1.2M for Smid). And that's without Bouwmeester. It may take moving two of the big 4 plus Staios if they want to bring Bouwmeester in and still have money left for forwards.

  46. Gerta Rauss says:

    Whack-A-Mole.

    thanks Alice…;)

  47. knighttown says:

    All I'll repost my answer. It can't stay in tact. $22 million is too much to spend on six guys. Souray has to be moved and if a younger, cheaper talent doesn't come back in the trade, they'll add someone like Montador or Zanon.

    I get 21.3M but close enough. The average that the 2009 playoff teams will spend on defense this year is 19 million. Seven of those teams will spend about 20 million or more those being Ana, Bos, Cal, Det, NYR, SJ and Van. A few of those that aren't in our range and pull the average down are not (even close) to being a Cap team, specifically Carolina and Columbus so that makes 9/16. Chicago is around 17.5M and has Duncan Keith for 1 more year at 1.5M and Barker, Hjarmlesson and Johnson are free agents now. They'll be over 20 soon too. Easily. St. Louis will be around 18.5M this year, on the final year of Eric Johnson's contract. They'll be over 20 next summer.

    In the end, here are the Cap teams that will spend considerably less than us on defense. Pittsburgh, Washington, Philly and New Jersey. The first three have ELITE offensive firepower locked up and have no choice. The last has freaking Martin Brodeur and a system that tends to make average defensemen look good.

    Lastly, this is the WORST our defensive payroll will look for the time being. No one is due for a raise for awhile. 2010 will be tough, as it will be for everyone, but after that we'll still be a 22 million with a Cap of 60 million +.

    Do NOT break up our one strength. Get Staois off the books if you must but everyone of that Big 4 has an excellent chance to play to the value of their contract and at 4 million plus, that's impressive.

    It's not that we don't have enough money to spend on forwards its that the forwards we spent it on kind of suck.

  48. Travis Dakin says:

    "It's not that we don't have enough money to spend on forwards its that the forwards we spent it on kind of suck."

    And that kids, is the sad state of the Edmonton Oilers. Truer words have rarely been spoken.

  49. DBO says:

    As much as i like Vishnovsky, Bowmester is his equal at a younger age. Add to that his size and the possibility of getting him under contract for a long time and I have no problem getting bowmeester if it meas losing Vish.

    If you sign Bowmeester to a $6 mill/cap hit you are only adding $.4 to our cap from Vish. for once i'd like our management to take a 3-5 year approach instead of year to year. one year we need skill, so we go too far over. now we need size, and i expect we'll go too far over the other way now.

    i would love to see them bring in 26-28 yr olds who can hit their prime at the same time, while still being quality players for the next 5-8 years.
    - Sign Bowmeester (using savings below).
    - deal Vishnovsky for Malone (saves us $1.4 mill)
    - Deal Souray for Clowe and Murray (saves us $1.5 mill)
    - Deal Nilsson for picks/anything
    - sign Anderson for $2 mill
    - deal O'Sullivan for Harding and sign to $1.5 mill (goalies saves us $.9m from last year, and O'Sully saves us $2.9 m)
    - Total saved = $8.7 mill from last years cap. Sign Bowmeester to $6 m, and give remaining $2.7 mill to Smid and brodziak and Greb.

    total added to cap from last year = $0.00 m

    we can still add a 3rd line vet center if needed, but for now assume we stick with the youth

    Malone – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner – Gagner – Clowe
    Moreau – Cogliano – Pisani
    Jacques – Brodziak – Stortini

    Bowmeester – Smid
    Greb – Gilbert
    Staios – Murray
    Peckham

    younger, grittier, more goal scoring and a lot more size. Pisani's deal falls off next year (apply to Cogs and Gagner) with Moreau and Staios gone the year after. they are all veteran chips to play, and have a combined $7.2 mill in cap relief.

  50. kris says:

    Knighttown:

    HOw do you get those numbers.

    I lloked at Boston's numbers for D from 08/09 and I got:

    Chara 7.5
    Wideman 3.9
    Ward 2.5
    Ference 1.4
    Stuart 1.3
    Montador 0.8

    That's 17.4 for 6D

    Add
    Hnidy 0.7
    Hunwick 0.7

    And the total is only 18.8

    I suppose some of those guys are due for a raise, but still.

    Am I missing something obvious here? (Probably…)

  51. kris says:

    Are your numbers for 8D or 6D?

    I think we should calculate only top 6D numbers.

  52. rickibear says:

    Lets all play this roster game but limit it to a 50M cap. now lets pick!

  53. Scott says:

    Seven of those teams will spend about 20 million or more those being Ana, Bos, Cal, Det, NYR, SJ and Van.

    Like Kris, I'm not sure where these numbers come from…

    As for last season, going into the year these teams spent:

    Ana: 15.52M top 4 and 2.68M bot 3
    Bos: 15.28M top 4 and 2.81M bot 3
    Cgy: 18.12M top 4 and 5.54M bot 3
    Det: 20.20M top 4 and 2.30M bot 3
    NYR: 15.55M top 4 and 2.88M bot 3
    SJS: 15.87M top 4 and 2.77M bot 3
    Van: 14.25M top 4 and 2.06M bot 3

    Vancouver is a bit lower than my 35% estimate while Detroit and especially Calgary are higher but the other four teams were all about 1M or so under that budget. Are we just counting differently?

  54. Jon says:

    Heatly Horcoff Hemsky
    7.5 5.5 4.1 17.1

    Sully Gagner Cogs
    2.95 0.8 0.8 4.55

    Moreau Maholtra Pisani
    2 1.75 2.5 6.25

    Jacques Brodz Stort
    0.5 1 0.7 2.2

    Poo Smac
    0.8 0.5 1.3

    Forwards
    31.2

    Souray Vis
    5.6 5.4
    Grebs Staios
    3.5 2.7
    Smid Zanon
    1.5 1.5
    struds
    0.6

    D-men
    21.3

    Halak
    0.8
    Labarbera
    1
    Goalies
    1.8

    Total
    54.5 M

    Out , Penner, Gilbert, Omark, 2010 1st for Heatly
    Out Nillson, JDD, 3rd for Halak

    In Maholtra 3 years for 6 mill
    In Zanon 3 years for 5mill
    In Labarbera 2 years for 2 Mill

  55. gmc79 says:

    I like MATTY but he did say Darryl would be coaching the Flames not Brent….My point is we have to take his articles with a little grain of salt as well.

  56. Deano says:

    I hope that Marc's twist on Matheson is correct and the Oil are negotiating in the press with JayBo, but I think that another explanation is that Matheson's contacts – the boys on the bus – may not be 'in the loop' anymore. Does Matheson have the number to the bat cave/Tambo? I suspect that the article is misdirection.

    Far too much credit is being paid to the opinions of the discredited coach. He was let go for getting it wrong. The guys that he liked should be worried – not the guys in his doghouse.

    Dumping on Nilsson @ $2MM does not make sense. POS is less likely to outplay his number, but he clearly is a pick of the new guy.

    'Selling high' on Souray when nobody else brings what he does seems like a back-handed way for people to deny that they were wrong about him as he was signed.

    At his number does Staois have any value around the league?

    If value contracts are a problem, why would we even think of Roli @$4MM? He's been great for us, but was very well (over?)paid for it too.

  57. kris says:

    My dream:

    Heatley-Horcoff-Hemsky
    7.5, 5.5, 4.1
    Cogliano-Gagner-Pouliot
    0.8, 0.8, 0.8
    Moreau-Free Agent-Pisani
    1.7, 0.8, 2.5
    JFJ-Brodziak-Stortini
    0.5, 1, 0.7

    26.7 total

    Defense

    Bouwmeester-Vis
    7, 5.6
    Grebs-Gilbert
    3.5, 4
    Peckham-Smid
    0.5, 1.5

    22.1 total

    Goalies
    Humpty 2
    Dumpty 1.5

    3.5 total

    52.3 total

    Fill in with less than 1 million players:
    Reddox, Stone, Potulny, SMac, maybe some free agents.

  58. Lowetide says:

    I quite honestly don't understand this Souray thing. I have yet to read any kind of hatred towards him, but he is not a complete player. He's making a lot of money. He is most certainly a player who has value. Some of us believe he'd be the best option heading out of town.

    Why the backlash? When you say "back-handed way for people to deny that they were wrong about him as he was signed" I think it frames the issue in an unfair way.

    1. I didn't like the signing.
    2. Souray has played very well.
    3. I think he's the best option for trade.

    Can't all of those statements be true? I think they can.

  59. Jfry says:

    i've noticed this before, but seeing everything laid out, it's remarkable that we don't have a single contract in the 1.0 to 1.99 million.

    we've discussed it before when the likes of GlennX took off, but it's a huge problem. last year calgary had bourque, glennx, conroy, bertuzzi, lombardi, moss (and for a time) lombardi all making less than 2 million, many closer to the 1.2 million mark — real NHL players. if we had more contracts like that it would be much more feasible to consider having more top heavy contracts — please note the plural.

    it seems like a lot can be shaved off this team without affecting the upper end. without considering whether or not the contract is suspect, there is a million we could trim off the following players (listed below) while replacing them with serviceable NHLers this summer. for me, serviceable would be "actual nhl players" and not prospects like we've been doing in recent years.

    pisani, moreau, staois and nillson all look like areas where fat can be trimmed and equitably replaced. if we trimmed a million off all those contracts, we can begin to start looking for another top 6 forward. which means we could consider ushering out another suspect middler contract in O'Sullivan. i like all the players listed, but wouldn't mind seeing all go if it meant saving us considerable money (4-7 million) without bringing any of our "big name" players into the conversation.

    detroit had 5 players in the 1.0 to 1.9 club. Vancouver with 4 (plus wellwood and O'brien coming in under a milly). we need to get rid of the overpays and do so with solid affordable veterans and keep developing all our prospects in developmental leagues.

    there is room to afford high end talent if you properly manage the salary grid and our grid is out of whack, but i don't think it's out of whack because of the high end contracts, moreso because of the middlers — now that we've ushered out the '06 staff, perhaps we can begin to usher out the notion that we need to keep uncompetitive contracts.

    i would like this kind of thinking to happen:

    trade o'sullivan for two real NHL players (reasoner/conroy tree, and a andrew ferrence/lukowich tree).

    dispense with two of the four earlier mentioned at the draft for picks and replace with cheaper options or similar caliber.

    then consider a high end talent while keeping peckham, chorney, brule, etc all in the minors until properly seasoned, crispy and ready to eat.

  60. Jfry says:

    (and for a time) loopold

  61. Mike says:

    Jon:

    Now that's a roster. Nice job.

  62. gmc79 says:

    I seem 2 recall early in the 07-08 season most were dumping on Grebs now were hoping he gsts signed PDQ.

    IMO any deal involving HEATLEY or the rights 2 JAYBO should not start with GREBS or COGS.

  63. Ribs says:

    *cough*No Movement Clause*end-cough*

  64. Anonymous says:

    LT,

    All three statments could be true, but #3 is not. I think its a stretch that arguably the most physical player on the team with a NMC for another season is 'the best option for trade' when the GM and coach are both talking about getting more physical.

    As knighttown has gone to the trouble to show – we are not deep enough back there. As coach pb has said, we are too top-heavy in salary also – making it difficult to get deep.

    also, Travis Dakin,

    I want JayBo desperately, but he does not have any results in Fla to warrant being heralded as the second coming of Lidstrom. That kind of hype gets us into bad overpay territory – like JayBo's new team isn't going to end up there anyway.

  65. Lowetide says:

    ..and then we come full circle to the rumored trade request.

  66. Lowetide says:

    Anonymous: I think the Oilers have a much better chance of replacing Souray's physical element on the cheap than Visnovsky's out of this world vision and passing.

    Seriously, I don't think it's close. Also, the NMC is countered by the rumors of a trade request.

    Either way, I'd be fine with either moving if it mean Bouwmeester coming here but today's article sort of rained on that idea.

  67. Coach pb9617 says:

    'Selling high' on Souray when nobody else brings what he does seems like a back-handed way for people to deny that they were wrong about him as he was signed.

    That's a crock.

    No other player on the team had the best season of their career last year.

    Only one other player carries a similar cap number.

    He does one thing incredibly well that is duplicated on the roster.

    A handful of teams are desperate for power play help.

    Stochastics say sell.

  68. Deano says:

    LT

    Sorry, the previous anon was me.

    Souray scored 23 goals. Giving his PP minutes to Lubo will get some of those back, but who is going to push Moreau aside to punch Weller into the hospital?

    How credible are the rumors? Edmonton can be very noisy for this kind of crap as hockey is the only game in town.

    Its obvious that we can only afford 2 of Lubo, Souray and JayBo. Having them all signed at once puts us at risk for Grebs to get an offer sheet.

    To me, JayBo's skillset most closely duplicates Lubo's not Sourays – which is why I think he is the better option to trade.

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    I seem 2 recall early in the 07-08 season most were dumping on Grebs now were hoping he gsts signed PDQ.

    And most here are still on the guy when he's trippin' balls.

  70. Lowetide says:

    I think Souray would be an attractive player for several teams. I was reading an online account of the Kings fan meeting with management and it sounds like they'd like a veteran D to settle things down (although Souray may be too steep).

    btw, in the same account it sounds like they won't be making a pitch for Heatley. Understanding this is a fan meeting with management and they aren't going to put everything out there, it sounded like they had done the diligence.

  71. knighttown says:

    @Kris and Scott:

    As I was projecting payroll for next season when many players aren't signed the numbers are far from exact. Unfortunately, future numbers were what was thrown at me by LT and Coach…estimates for Grebs and Smid were included in the 21-22M estimate.

    Anaheim- I can see them being as high as 24 million IF they choose to keep everyone and move Guguire. Pronger/Whitney are the only signed D at 10.25. I've got Nieds at 7, Beauchemin at 4, Wisniewski at 1.8 and Hedican at 1.2.

    Boston- at 2nd glance I screwed up Ward who i though was a UFA. I'd guess their Top 6 will be at 18.2 if they don't upgrade although my B's fan buddies think they'll upgrade the position and pick up a #2/#3…maybe even Pronger. I can see them at 20M easily, although to be fair, I was wrong including them in my group.

    Calgary- with Leo and Aucoin they'd be around 22.

    Detroit-22.2

    NYR-if they give no raise to Morris and a little one to Mara they'd be at 20.4 with only 1 year left on Staal and Girardi's cheapo deals.

    SJ- I don't know where you got your SJ number of 15.7. They've already signed Boyle, Vlasic, Murray, Ehrhoff and Lukowich at 17M and Blake with no raise is another 5. That's 22M.

    Van- 4 guys signed at 14. Ohlund is their best and he'll get 4-5. O'Brien at 1.5? 2? Easily 20-21M.

    I admit, pinning down an exact Cap hit in June is challenge but I think these numbers are reasonable and comparable to calling the Oilers number 22M. The Oilers are Top 10 in revenue, one of about what, 15-18 Cap teams and defense is their strength. They SHOULD be spending Top 5 money on this group.

  72. gmc79 says:

    Grebs mistakes are getting few and farther between.

    We're talking a top 4 Dman for a damn good Russian Oly team !!

  73. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think Souray would be an attractive player for several teams. I was reading an online account of the Kings fan meeting with management and it sounds like they'd like a veteran D to settle things down (although Souray may be too steep).

    If you walk away from the coast, Colorado, Phoenix and especially Dallas and Columbus could really use Souray.

  74. Traktor says:

    Deano:

    I think the hate for Souray stems from the fact that most used the Souray signing as proof of Lowe's ineptness.

    I guess it pains them to admit Lowe signed a good player in Souray.

  75. knighttown says:

    @gmc79

    You'll find a lot of supporters around here of #37. He's had 3 very distinct segments since his arrival.

    1-41- Garbagekov
    42-82- Gilbert became awful and 37 was our best defenseman by a wide margin.
    83-164- Much more consistent if not as high level as the end of 2008.

    Coach had a hilarious thing going around about Grebs dropping hits of LSD before games but he was no whipping boy.

    @ Bruce

    How did I know it was you who wouldn't let me get away with my "Who's Better?" Hockey Illustrated, Stan Fischler style comparison of the #7 defenseman vs. the #2 goalie? I even thought, "Self, someone is going to point out that the 7D will only play 15 minutes whereas the #2 will play 60". You're like Mutumbo knocking that weak shit outta there.

  76. Coach pb9617 says:

    Grebs mistakes are getting few and farther between.

    Well, that's only because MacTavish took his blotter. Unless Quinney enjoys psychoactives, he might be all whacky again next year.

  77. Traktor says:

    "That's a crock.

    No other player on the team had the best season of their career last year."

    Funny.

    Somehow I doubt that if Horcoff had a career year you'd be using it as a reason to trade him.

    "He does one thing incredibly well that is duplicated on the roster."

    Really? How many 20 goal scorers do we have?

    I count 2.

    Souray had 6 more goals than our #1 center last year.

  78. Traktor says:

    Even Strength goals:

    Souray – 10
    Horcoff – 9

  79. Coach pb9617 says:

    That's a marvelous job of KO'ing the strawman, but what in Kurri's name does Horcoff have to do with Souray's trade value and career arc?

    Souray now = aol stock before the tech crash

    still a moderately valuable asset, but it will never see the same value

  80. Scott says:

    I admit, pinning down an exact Cap hit in June is challenge but I think these numbers are reasonable and comparable to calling the Oilers number 22M. The Oilers are Top 10 in revenue, one of about what, 15-18 Cap teams and defense is their strength. They SHOULD be spending Top 5 money on this group.

    I was just using last year's numbers and breaking them down into top 4 (so for SJ I took Blake, Vlasic, Boyle and Ehrhoff which comes to 15.87) and bottom 3 defenders (for SJ that was Lukowic, Semenov and Murray for another 2.77). I think there's too much speculation going into projecting what teams spend for next year. The Canucks might sign Ohlund, but they might not. The Ducks may well let one of their top three go. The Rangers may decide to let Morris walk as a FA. Ditto for the Sharks and Blake. The Red Wings may try to move Stuart in order to hold on to some depth at forward and let Eriksson move up. I will be very surprised if the cap stays stagnant and all of these teams you've mentioned are able to spend more on D because it means they'll need to cut back in other areas. If the cap doesn't increase, I don't think it's fair to say that it's likely these teams will be spending over 20M on D since the majority spent under 20M last season.

  81. Travis Dakin says:

    Deano:

    Don't forget that Boumeester is only what 25? I'd like to see how he is tracking compared to Lidstrom 13 years ago. And in comparison of FLA and DET well I think FLA comes up a few key players short to bring it all together. Boumeester may not get 25 Norris trophies like Lidstrom but I'd be willing to bet that when he gets a new team he will be in on the finalist talk 75% of the next 12 years. He's that good.

  82. knighttown says:

    @Scott

    Agreed, it is very difficult to know how those situations will be handled. I guess we'll find out.

  83. Bruce says:

    Defence 5v5 P/60 (Min. 50 GP)
    ——————————
    1. Mike Green, WAS 1.58
    2. Matt Hunwick*, BOS 1.46
    3. Brian Rafalski, DET 1.34
    4. Tom Gilbert, EDM 1.30
    5. Denis Grebeshkov, EDM 1.23
    6. Rob Blake, S.J 1.22
    7. Shea Weber, BOS 1.21
    8. Nick Boynton, FLA 1.20
    9. Niklas Kronwall, DET 1.18
    9. Sheldon Souray, EDM 1.18

    34. Lubomir Visnovsky, EDM 0.93

    (* – Poolies take note)

    Offence from the blue is The strength of the Oilers. 3 in the top 10, 4 in the top 35, wow.

    When it comes to goal scoring, Souray is 7th in 5v5 G/60, Grebeshkov 17th, Gilbert and Visnovsky tied for 70th, so not quite as strong, but still 2 in the top 20.

    Job One is to sign Grebeshkov.

  84. Lowetide says:

    Honestly, are we going to change each others mind on the Souray/Visnovsky discussion?

    I think the ship has sailed.

  85. Black Dog says:

    That's crazy talk LT and you know it.

    I move that we add the Souray/Visnovsky discussion to the top of the list, you know the one:

    1/ Horcoff is a third line centre.
    2/ MacTavish is a garbage coach
    3/ Zach Stortini should be at least the second line right wing
    4/ Liam Reddox – shoot him at dawn
    5/ 2006 – Chris Pronger did it all himself
    6/ Lowe was a misunderstood genius
    7/ They should have never traded Greene and Stoll

    Am I missing any?

    Come on Tambellini, do something so we can start a new argument that we can rehash in every single thread.

  86. Travis Dakin says:

    Black Dog:
    -They should have signed Smyth
    -Garon didn't get a fair chance
    -Moreau is a terrible leader.
    -Hemsky is not a superstar.

    Wow, it really starts to put things in perspective when you frame it like that. We really do need more to talk about. The heatly thing felt pretty good for a bit.

  87. Rick says:

    I don't get why we so many fans thing we need to hang onto Gilbert. Sure, he's good on offense, but is simply awful in his own zone, which I thought was a defenseman's main responsibility. And he's overpayed.

    I wonder if trading Gilbert and Staios will cut the cap level enough to keep Viz and Souray and still have enough to go shopping with.

    And to save even further, we can slot someone like Peckham, Chorney or Plante on the D 3rd pairing. with Strudwick as their partner.

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