Names in Play

The list of players being shopped at the entry draft this summer is both real and spectacular. Teams like Boston appear to be shopping a Phil Kessel because of cap worries, and clubs like Colorado are shopping a Ryan Smyth because they’ve decided to go into full rebuild mode.

We’ve been focused on the Jay Bouwmeeseter’s and Dany Heatley’s of the world, but there are plenty of fish in the sea at this year’s entry draft and a few of these men could help the Oilers 09-10 in a big way.

Based on media reports we can make some assumptions with regard to the Oilers:

  • they are hesitant to deal Cogliano
  • Gilbert is showing up in rumors
  • so does O’Sullivan
  • Grebeshkov remains unsigned
  • Roloson looks less likely by the day
  • Kotalik is also a distant bell at this point
  • the Oilers want a “first shot scorer” for the Hemsky line
  • they’re in the Heatley race

Some of the names out there and apparently available:

  • Dany Heatley, Ottawa
  • Jay Bouwmeester’s rights, Florida
  • Josh Harding, Minnesota
  • Phil Kessel, Boston
  • Ryan Smyth, Colorado
  • Patrick Marleau, San Jose
  • Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay
  • Alex Frolov, Los Angeles
  • Daniel Briere, Philadelphia

We know that Steve Tambellini has taken a measured approach to re-shaping this club (Kevin Lowe made his first trade early in the 2nd rd of the 2000 entry draft, very soon after taking the job) and that he may have different trading partners than Kevin Lowe but so far has been shopping at the same stores (Tambellini has done business with Los Angeles, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Carolina so far by my count).

We also know that (according to Jason Gregor) ownership has given the green light to Tambellini in his pursuit of Heatley. Despite all kinds of rumors in regard to Edmonton being on the outside in these negotiations, we keep reading this kind of thing:

The Oilers have some young players the Senators would be interested in, such as defenceman Tom Gilbert and forward Patrick O’Sullivan. Centre Andrew Cogliano has also been mentioned, but the Oilers have let it be known that they won’t trade him. There was some thought the Oilers would make a pitch for Florida defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, a native Edmontonian, but they’ve decided they’d like to score a few more goals, for a change.

The article is here. We’ve seen these words enough for them to be considered at least in the ballpark of truth. The remnants of the story we don’t have a handle on are the 4M dollars (and Edmonton’s willingness to make the deal before July 1) and the pick at #10 (which is sometimes listed in the items heading east).

Fun week. I like Tambellini’s measured response to things so far, and frankly would rather see the Oilers do nothing than make a massive overpay for an extremely expensive sniper. It’s out there, though.

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56 Responses to "Names in Play"

  1. Anonymous says:

    If I had my choice I would be targetting Phil Kessel. He's only 21, scored 36 goals and would have a lower cap hit than Heatley. What do you think it would take to get him from Boston?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Anon: I'm not sure of the exact price, but Gilbert and the pick at 10 in exchange for Kessel and their pick (mid-20's) is a nice starting point.

    I don't know how much more EDM would have to throw in.

  3. DBO says:

    no to kessel. We have enough smurfs, he'll cost $4.5 to $5 mill and he's had one really good year. Salary fits. but i'd sooner take an all around guy with a bit (i stress a bit) more size in a tanguay, or pay the $5.5 and get havlat (who is a better player, albeit with injuries). Gaborik even at $6.0 would be a better fit since it means we give nothing up, and if needed we use one of those players to fill out the missing spots on our roster. Deal our young studs for "sure things" not question marks. You can sign "question marks" since it took nothing to get them. In reality most people wouldn't be so down on Penner if he hadn't cost us 3 pcks.

  4. PunjabiOil says:

    Apparently, according to TEAM 1260 today, the Oilers aren't perusing Heatley that hard

  5. Alice says:

    I guess then 'perusing' would be the right name for it!

    :-)

  6. B.C.B. says:

    I understand the $7.5 million cap hit of Heatly is scary to a lot of folks, but I disagree that it is not worth it.

    I rather have Heatly and his contract then any of these folks:
    Kessel- is young, but small and unproven in the long term (and as DBO says most likely to get a 4-5 million contract, which is just as harmful to resign Gagner and Cogliano). Highest value trade value in my opinion (and we will over pay, I am sure)
    Gaborik- a extremely talented player but is hurt all the time. Plus is about $6 Million.
    Hossa- will be over payed and on the down side of his career. He'll get 6-7 Million
    Havlat is also hurt all the time. And going for 5-6 Million after leading the Hawks all season.
    Tanguay- goes for 5-6 Million, and I don't see him as the complementary player for Hemskey.

    I would take Mike Cammalleri over Heatley since he is a one-shoot scorer, will be cheaper (at 5-6 Million), and a little younger.
    Other then him, Heatley is a perfect fit. Even if it does mean moving someone from the Back Line.

  7. DBO says:

    B.C.B.: I agree on heatley somewhat. i guess it all depends on tambellini's ability to shed salary elsewhere. If Staios and a Pisani/moreau are off the books, then heatley's deal isn't as incapacitating in later years. Whether it's Heatley, or one of the UFA's it seems inevitable that we will be adding at least $6 mill in salary for a top end forward, or Jaybo. So in order to keep our team intact after the year (when we pay Cogs and gagner), we'll have to shed at least $6 mill. Tambellini's comments on "looking out for our future" in reference to Rollie makes me think Rollie is gone if he doesn't accept a 1 year deal. Makes me think he'll look to save money and throw $2 mill at an Anderson type (or deal for harding). I was unsure at first, but now i'm more comfortable with tambellini's plan for the future.

  8. bookie says:

    I think it is important to remember with all of this trade talk that our GM and President both like the team that we have with the exception of the need for one or two players (+ whatever happens with a goalie).

    I suspect we will see maybe a couple of trades with the obvious one being a dman for a forward.

    Otherwise, I suspect the team will look pretty similar to this past year (with the exception of the bodies behind the bench).

  9. Sean says:

    I'm totally fine if we get Heatley and Ottawa takes some salary back. If we're gonna have dead-weight on the books (for a team at the cap that didn't make the playoffs we have plenty) I'd rather have the upside up Heatley and his 40+ goals.

    But my dream week doesnt involve Heatley at all. It involves a package for the 4th overall (Kane) and using the cap space on a adequate goaltender and the cheaper of Hossa or Gaborik. The package starting point would be O'Sullivan and the 10th (keeping the D intact would be ideal) but the Thrashers are likely gonna laugh at that offer so I'll move on.

  10. LMHF#1 says:

    No to Kessel. And please don't trade O'Sullivan…at least give the guy a shot for a year. He's more than good enough for that.

  11. Smytty777 says:

    Given the sheer volume of names available I am tempted to use a "wait and see" approach. Let a couple of teams overpay for Heatley and Vinny. There is only so much money out there and it is going to be used up in hurry on July 1. I'm thinking the Oilers might be able to find a useful piece at a reasonable price if they are patient.

  12. Boondock says:

    Given the sheer volume of names available I am tempted to use a "wait and see" approach. Let a couple of teams overpay for Heatley and Vinny. There is only so much money out there and it is going to be used up in hurry on July 1. I'm thinking the Oilers might be able to find a useful piece at a reasonable price if they are patient.

    Doesn't sound like the man signing the cheques wants anything to do with the wait and see approach, as smart as it might be.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    All kinds of reports flying out this way that Heatley to the Rangers for Drury and Zherdev is imminent.

  14. spOILer says:

    LT, I thought it was Bergeron the Bru were shopping? Kessel being plan B?

    I am resigned to the fact that Heatley is coming here. I just don't see how any of the UFA scenarios can happen. Any big name we sign is going to require salary dump somewhere else. Unless ATL or NYR are willing to pick up our dregs for a song…

    Since the Oil would need to trade salary anyway, making the Heatley trade seems the easiest solution to Katz's need to make a splash &/or find elite scoring help for Hemmer.

    That being said, I hope the KLoT are telling Murray, "Hey man, if we're picking up the $4M bonus, then you're taking on more salary than we are." And send Penner and Vishnovsky.

  15. Anonymous says:

    If we had succeeded with the Vanek offer sheet, I believe this would be the 2nd of 4 years without our number one pick??? While it would have been fun watching Him and Hemsky flying around, sure would have made this time of year less exciting.

  16. Coach pb9617 says:

    I am resigned to the fact that Heatley is coming here. I just don't see how any of the UFA scenarios can happen. Any big name we sign is going to require salary dump somewhere else. Unless ATL or NYR are willing to pick up our dregs for a song

    Depending on what the NHL does with Phoenix – that's a team with a young center for sale and a need for veterans on decent contracts. Staios, Moreau and Pisani would all fit there.

  17. oilerdago says:

    //Depending on what the NHL does with Phoenix – that's a team with a young center for sale and a need for veterans on decent contracts. Staios, Moreau and Pisani would all fit there.//

    Coach: On a team that is badly lacking for penalty killers I can't see that trade scenario happening. Pisani is the best winger on the kill and Phoenix is not taking Moreau or Staios given their contracts (and the way they're dumping salaries right now).

    And given all the reports this morning I think Murray is pushing to up the ante from the Oilers and that may be enough to knock us out of the box for good.

    All that said, it seems that it's going to be a series of smaller-incremental moves this summer for the Oil and that may not be a bad thing.

  18. Yeti says:

    Sorry if this was discussed on a previous thread, but Dean Millard at the Pipeline show has a rumour of Nilsson + mid pick for Jordan Tootoo at the draft. Where would that leave Stortini? Perhaps as one-third of a real bruiser line??

  19. misfit says:

    To be honest, the most interesting name on there is Frolov. I'd much rather him than Heatley or any other $7M+ player.

  20. Mr DeBakey says:

    "but Gilbert and the pick at 10 in exchange for Kessel and their pick (mid-20's) is a nice starting point."

    Boston has $51mm+ committed to 17 contracts for next season.
    Including 5 d-men @ $16.6mm

    If they're moving Kessel [or Bergeron] I think it'll be for forwards,
    less expensive forwards,
    O'Sullivan + Brule or something like that

  21. William says:

    Matheson reports we aren't close in the Heatley sweepstakes. I don't know if that means we're not close yet or aren't going to be close. For my part, I'd much rather see us go for value than for the home run, but it sure feels like Katz thinks homers are way sexier.

  22. NBOilerFan says:

    If Kessel is being moved as a salary dump, I can't see Gilbert going back.

    If Heatley is indeed coming here… Edmonton better dang well have been on his initial list of teams. We don't want a "forced" Heatley here… with "trade Request" being so fresh on his mind.

    I would like Frolov here too, but I don't see LA really needing to move him, even if they did go after Heatley. But I would like that… depending on what we give back for a 1yr of Frolov.

  23. spOILer says:

    Whew! That is actually somewhat comforting, although if we could move the kind of salary I've mentioned above, I would be okay with Heatley.

    On the Sportsnet interview last night, Tambo seemed seriously concerned about a deflationary cap environment. And you gotta think Katz is well aware of the effects of deflationary economics from his "real world" enterprises.

  24. Black Dog says:

    Podcast at the G&M if any are interested on the Nucks, Flames and Oilers, Oilers are the third part, Al Maki.

    Of interest.

    Roli wants 2 years, Oilers offering 1, Maki figures they will sign him because they haven't other options – this of course is weak at best.

    He thinks Kotalik will be signed.

    Other then Hemsky and Gagner nobody is untouchable.

    Bouwmeester may be in play but a forward is the top priority.

    The first round pick is in play.

    The Oilers want to go back to the uptempo style they had back in the day and will build the team thusly.

    He thinks that they want to make a splash and that anything could happen – they greatly desire a playmate for Hemsky and money is no object.

    Overall the interview is meh – Sekeres and Duhatschek were far more interesting and reasonable in their segments. I can't see Tambellini giving two years to Roloson at all.

    Anyway fwiw.

  25. spOILer says:

    I can see Tambo giving Roli 2 yrs if it is only say $2M per.

    Proven ability to handle playoff pressure seems to be one of the top criteria for Oiler goalie choices over the years (not always, but mostly).

    Because of that, I think they'd rather have Roli than an untested younger alternative (Harding, Halak, Anderson, etc)

  26. uni says:

    misfit: I'd second the nomination for Frolov.

    Too bad his price will probably be pretty high, and he's got 1 year before payday =(.

    I'd be interested in Bergeron or Kessel, more so the former. But again, price would have to be young cheap players in the mold of Gagner, Cogliano so forth for a salary dump. And I don't think the Oil can afford to dump their cheap young forwards.

  27. raventalon40 says:

    There was some thought the Oilers would make a pitch for Florida defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, a native Edmontonian, but they've decided they'd like to score a few more goals, for a change

    We outscored the Senators last year.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm?fetchKey=20092ALLAAAAll&sort=avgGoalsPerGame&viewName=goalsFor

  28. kris says:

    William said,

    "Katz thinks homers are way sexier."

    Tee hee.

  29. Coach pb9617 says:

    Roli wants 2 years, Oilers offering 1, Maki figures they will sign him because they haven't other options – this of course is weak at best.

    *sharpens Hara Kiri sword*

  30. William says:

    Heh, better wording would be: Katz digs the long ball.

  31. NBOilerFan says:

    Dean Millard of Coming Down The Pipe has a post that the Oilers and Nashvilel have talked about a potential swap of Nilsson for TooToo, with the Oielrs possibly having to add a later round pick as well.

    I's prefer keeping Nilsson and give JFJ and Brule another year in that role.

  32. Deano says:

    Tambo said that in a cap world you are getting salary back. Armchair GM accordingly. Trades should be relatively salary neutral.

    Ergo, the only way Staois, Moreau and Pies get traded is for a more expensive, but still overpaid player – a contract like Penner's. This allows the other side to save cap and real dollars.

    We better be prepared to bury salary in the minors if we are going to improve.

    Larry Brooks said Heatley wants out of the fishbowl. Edmonton is an even smaller one. We are likely not on Heatley's list.

    Who else is going to give Roli 2 years? Who will give him one year for more than we will? To my eye, Roli's position is not that strong.

    I really want JayBo here, but he solves a problem that we do not have.

    I suspect that there are very few teams that will go nuts to overpay the FA's this summer. Many long-term, big dollar contracts are rumoured to be in play – Lecav, Briere, Drury and less so, Heatley. GM's appear to want players signed to reasonable money for a reasonable term. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Glad we did not sign Hossa last year @$9MM per.

  33. Black Dog says:

    Deano – yeah like I said the interview was not all that great. He really had little of interest to say about specific players other then Gagner and Hemsky being the only untouchables.

    He (Maki) is the one thinking that the Oilers will cave to Roli and give him two years. I can't see it myself. You have a finite amount of money to spend. You're already close to being against the cap. Why would you give a two year deal to a 40 year old goalie when you could get the equivalent (and younger) body for less money most likely.

  34. bookie says:

    I am enjoying the fact that we have absolutly no clue as to what is about to happen in Edmonton – Tambi in his role as GM keeps us guessing doesn't he!

  35. Mr DeBakey says:

    Yeah
    Maki, forgetting that he's not a blogger,
    was completely making it up as he went along.

  36. PDO says:

    Nilsson and a pick for Tootoo?

    It gives us some grease for sure, but I've been hating that kid for so long I don't know what to think…

  37. Deano says:

    Pat,

    Tambo's comments about Grebs were the best – refreshing to see him working his tail off to say nothing so that the deal can close.

    Tootoo is a guy who plays on the 4th line without a stick. I have no problem with him here. He's not always clean, but he does fight his own battles – unlike Matt Cooke.

  38. JRock says:

    Tootoo would be a great pick-up. Him and storts on the 4th line is a good start to the offseason.

  39. Alice says:

    Not fussy about Tootoo – until I think about Robin Regehr.

    Count me in.

  40. pboy says:

    Oh God, I would love to watch Tootoo cheap shot RR for a full season.

  41. Scott says:

    The Tootoo deal also helps the Oilers save a million bucks this year. Tootoo's also going into the last year of his contract, whereas Nilsson would have another year to go. From a cap perspective, the deal looks like a good one for Edmonton.

  42. Bruce says:

    Ergo, the only way Staois, Moreau and Pies get traded is for a more expensive, but still overpaid player – a contract like Penner's. This allows the other side to save cap and real dollars.

    Good stuff, Deano. Bear in mind however that there's cap hit and then there's cap hit. Perhaps a trade could help redistribute cap hit. e.g. Moreau 2 years at $2 million for, say, Demitra or Hejduk, who have a year left at a hefty $4 MM. Those are divisional rivals so likely a bad example, but the principle is the thing. A richer guy who might help the squad for a year but whose contract is expiring at the same time as Gagner's and Cogliano's would be a nice hedge. Whereas the other guys might be facing a cap crunch right now, or maybe are just economizing and would rather get two years of service than one for their $4 million.

    During the cap era the trade is every bit as much about the contract as it is about the player. Trade deadline, off-season, makes little difference. Has to be that way, or your GM isn't doing his homework. Unless his long-ball-diggin' owner is more interested in shiny baubles than he is in winning.

  43. doritogrande says:

    no to kessel. We have enough smurfs.

    When did 6' begin to be considered "small"? I can't say I think size is an option with Kessel.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=93039

    I'd be willing to put up a young up and comer defenseman like Chorney and an O'Sullivan for his services.
    ——————-

    Regarding the Tootoo rumours, since when has hack-a-shaq been considered a quality the Oilers covet?

    Sheldon Souray would push his way through Ethan Moreau to kick the shit out of him.

    I like the idea of a smash-mouth 4th line, but couldn't we do it with JFJ-Brule-Stortini?

  44. misfit says:

    Doritogrande: The problem with that is, the only guy who's proven he's good enough to stick in the NHL is Stortini. And when Stortini is the best player on the line, it's going to have problems.

    Speaking of Stortini, he and Tootoo are both 4th line right wingers. Why on earth would we need two?

  45. Anonymous says:

    we should trade for tootoo, cheechoo, and chipchura. we need more natives on the oil.

  46. quain says:

    Regarding the Tootoo rumours, since when has hack-a-shaq been considered a quality the Oilers covet?

    I think the better question is why didn't we just keep Raffi Torres?

  47. HBomb says:

    I hate Tootoo. He's a cheap shot artist to the n'th degree, and has little skill beyond that. No thanks.

    I'd rather take a guy like Steve Ott – a little less dirty, but a lot more skilled.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Tootoo is a perfect Quinn guy. The only way he'd be better for Quinn is if his name was Jordan Dink.

  49. PunjabiOil says:

    We got no first line left winger…we got no third line center…OUR PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!!

  50. Travis Dakin says:

    Quain:

    It's funny now to think that the reason Torres was let go was because of the supposed LW depth. haha
    Torres for Brule…. They just gave Raffi's money to Nilsson. damn.

  51. spOILer says:

    LT wrote:

    Based on media reports we can make some assumptions with regard to the Oilers:

    -they are hesitant to deal Cogliano
    -Gilbert is showing up in rumors
    -so does O'Sullivan
    -Grebeshkov remains unsigned
    -Roloson looks less likely by the day
    -Kotalik is also a distant bell at this point

    I find Cogliano to be somewhat enigmatic. He allegedly wants to be a C but not a 3C. He (& Mgmt) knows Gagner & Horc are ahead of him. He more than allegely bites at face-offs. And he's apparently unhappy playing wing. On the other hand, he's gifted, developing nicely, and might be a real game-breaker if he can find consistency. And most importantly, he's presently cheap.

    So I can understand the Slick's desire to keep him, but damn I'd be interested to know what their plans are.

    I think Gilbert is showing up in the rumours because he's such a tradeable & desireable commodity. Great futures contract with distant expiry date and very low risk premium.

    I hope though that Vish is who they're offering. Out of the two big contracts, what he brings seems more replicated by the rest of the corps than Souray's assets. And I'd rather divest one of the two older, more expensive guys than the Gibs or Grebs.

    O'Sullivan… I'd like to see more of him before letting him go anywhere. I think he has a good chance of covering his contract.

    Grebs, as I said before, I would keep before Vish. Wasn't it in the news recently that the two sides were close? I hope they're merely waiting for the cap number before agreeing on the last $250k, possibly length.

    Roli does look less likely by the day. The rumour at Oilfans today was as yet unknown jigsaw pieces for Lehtonen & Colby Armstrong. I'd give Roli his two friggin years if he will only give me cheap. Like $2-2.5M cheap. That would be a nice boon to the cap situation too.

    Kotalik rings true to me. I liked what I saw, he was grittier than I expected. I'd hate to see talent like this slip away a la Sykora, Hejda, Glencross. Can he be had for $3.5 or less? Then that seems far better value than Penner's contract.

  52. Gerta Rauss says:

    Kotalik rings true to me. I liked what I saw, he was grittier than I expected. I'd hate to see talent like this slip away a la Sykora, Hejda, Glencross. Can he be had for $3.5 or less? Then that seems far better value than Penner's contract

    I would offer him a spot in the top 9 with 2PP time,around $4.0 -$4.5M for 2 years,and see if he'll accept.

    He made $2.5M(2.3cap) last year,and I don't think he deserves a big raise.
    Somebody else will probably offer more via UFA,but we should see if he'll take less to play with his buddy Hemsky.

    This is assuming we trade some bodies and clear out some dead wood – we've got more bodies than roster spots.

    I wouldn't lose any sleep if we passed on him either.

  53. Muller says:

    Love to see Kovalchuk in an Oiler uniform.

  54. Coach pb9617 says:

    I'd rather take a guy like Steve Ott – a little less dirty, but a lot more skilled.

    A really bright guy wants Souray for Ott+ and to sign Boumeester.

  55. Bruce says:

    I like Ott …

    .
    .
    .

    … as slimebags go.

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