Roloson

According to Dan Tencer, the Oilers have made what they believe is a “very strong” one-year offer to Dwayne Roloson.

They’re also active on the Denis Grebeshkov front after checking out the trade market.

Tambellini apparently is unsure if Roloson will take the offer, and obviously another team might be willing to make a better offer (longer term) when free agency hits on Canada day.

The one-year offer makes sense for the Oilers, let’s hope the dollars aren’t crazy.

UPDATE: Terry Jones is now suggested it’s in the 3M ballpark. I’d suggested it might cost 4M here.

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72 Responses to "Roloson"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Terry Jones says it's around 3M.

  2. PunjabiOil says:

    In other news, Bob MacKenzie says it's a 3 way race between Edmonton, NYR, and SJ for Heatley.

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=283236

  3. RiversQ says:

    So if it's one year at $2.0-2.5MM, then no one gets all that overheated around here right? The question is whether he continues this slow decline phase for one more year, or steps into an elevator shaft.

  4. HBomb says:

    Honestly, the dollars don't bug me that much, but I'd rather they get a long term solution (be it Harding, Halak, Lehtonen, or whomever) in here now as opposed to next summer, when the biggest fight is going to be negotiating their way around a 5 million dollar drop in the salary cap.

  5. Deano says:

    LT – Why $4MM?

    He was only making 3 last year and he's not very shiny amongst all the other choices.

  6. Gerta Rauss says:

    I guess I can live with this,if it's under $3M.
    It is consistent with the rest of the roster in that we really need to look at what we've got(JDD) before making an informed decision.

    I'd prefer the Halak/Harding route ie: try to grow a goalie with the age group of your cluster,but again,I guess that's what they're hoping for with JDD.

    btw LT,I liked the facepalm:)

  7. William says:

    What happened to facepalm? I love that poster. Giguere would definitely be facepalm though. I don't mind signing Roli to a 1 yr deal, although it seems like this is a good year to go for a long term solution – market flooded with good options.

    And as much as I hated them on the Canucks, I can't stop thinking about the Sisters playing on a line with Hemsky here. With a bit of roster shuffling, that would give us a really good first line, Horcoff centering another tough minute line, and Gagner + kids to eat soft minutes. If only they would consider moving here for $5.25/yr…

  8. shepso says:

    I've been a fairly strong advocate of a 1 year roli, steal harding and lock him up for a while, cut jdd (and jfj, and several other pieces of dead weight) train for some time now. A decent 3M 1 year deal for the old cagey goalie really isn't so bad. Quite frankly, he is still good at what he does, and he's got more heart and grit in him than probably the rest of the team and the front office combined. He's exactly what Quinn needs in the room right now. If some other fat can be trimmed (and I'm honestly not talking about Penner, really, seriously), bringing back Roli is ok by me. What will suck, however, is watching Smid go on wednesday, as we can't keep him and Grebs. Its impossible, especially if we want to pick up a 3C like Blair Betts, who apparently already has a house here and would look pretty ok centering pisani and penner… Let the games begin? Or is it continue? I don't even know anymore

  9. Lowetide says:

    Gerta: I've been saving it, too. Damn. :-)

    The reason I thought 4M is the Roloson camp wanted multi-year.

  10. Krankor says:

    The Roloson camp might find that there aren't many takers for a multi-year.

    Although I'd prefer if it were a bit cheaper, I'm okay with one more year of Crazy Roli.

    The question is, does he accept the offer, or does he hold out for something better from another team?

  11. Gerta Rauss says:

    I've been saving it, too. Damn. :-)

    well,fingers and toes are crossed that you don't need to pull it out in the next 7 days.

    Small moves.

  12. kris says:

    What team offers Roloson more than 3MM / 1yr? The Crazytown Moneythrowers? Oh wait, they don't exist.

    And what team offers a goalie this old a 2 year deal if the 2nd year is more than like 1.25MM?

    I'd say 1 yr, 2.5MM. Or 3.3MM over 2 years.

    He might not take it, but if he doesn't take it, he's probably taking less to play elsewhere.

  13. Mr DeBakey says:

    Mirtle has been putting up UFA availability posts all day

    There are 18 UFA goalies, plus tradeables like
    Harding, Lehtonen & Ellis with Save PCTs .900 and better.

  14. Lowetide says:

    kris and Mr. DeBakey: The guys like Khabby and Roloson will get paid, they just will. I'm not saying it's the best money management and totally agree that solving the problem long term is the better plan.

    But, if you're Tambellini and you get Harding and he fails under the pressure and JDD also fails then it's a lot harder to defend that signing the veteran.

  15. kris says:

    LT,

    I think we're agreed. But the problem with Roloson isn't that he's a vet UFA, it's that he's a WWI vet UFA.

    I suppose you could try to calculate the odds of an older goalie having a season where he falls apart by looking at old goalies from the past. I don't want to do that, but let's just say there's an n% chance Rollie will fail to deliver quality tending.

    My guess is that the chance that an unproven, somewhat promising guy like Harding doesn't deliver is actually less than n. Or if it's not less than n, it's not sufficiently less than n that it's not worthwhile paying for.

    But I'm guessing. So roughly what are the odds that a 40 year old goalie delivers a strong season as a number one where he doesn't fall apart due to age? Even anecdotally?

    (And remember, Rollie had a bad season just two years ago, too.)

  16. Gerta Rauss says:

    But the problem with Roloson isn't that he's a vet UFA, it's that he's a WWI vet UFA.

    Oh sweet fancy moses that's funny.

  17. Lowetide says:

    lol. "So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time."

  18. Coach pb9617 says:

    2 million is great. 2.5 is starting to get to be heavy.

    At three million you should get Anderson/Legace/Gerber + Labarbera combined.

  19. jon k says:

    Roloson at 3.25 or 3.5 for one year represents the best option for the Oilers when considering asset cost, dollar cost, term, and performance.

    If they are serious about JDD or any other young goalie taking the reins, and are also considering the declining cap in 2010-2011, this move makes the most sense.

    On the Heatley front, it is my sincere hope that Murray bites the bullet and takes a package from us that doesn't involve Cogliano or Gagner.

    And I think it's possible since the NYR don't have nearly the assets we do unless they're willing to give up Dubinsky, Zherdev, and one of their good prospect D. The rumour package with Drury is pretty laughable.

    Heatley playing with Thornton would be quite the spectacle though. Probably the best pure playmaker and pure sniper combo since Gretz and Kurri.

  20. Gerta Rauss says:

    beat me to it jon k…

    If I'm Tambo,I leave Bryan Murray a voicemail before I go to bed tonight.

    "Penner,O'Sully,Staios,1st in '10,$4M payment

    for

    Heatley and Smith"

    It's not enough,and he'll curse you and your family.

    And that's fine.

  21. Moose says:

    Anybody heard who we qualified (RFA's) or more to the point which ones we didn't (if any)?

  22. Big T says:

    What's up with Schaefer on waivers? Purely cap crunch in Bean Town? Thoughts?

  23. PunjabiOil says:

    "He's never received an offer, so it's pretty straightforward," said Kotalik's agent Larry Kelly, adding Kotalik truly wanted to remain in Edmonton. "He was happy to stay there. He enjoyed it, he said the fans love the game, they understand the game, they know what he can do."

    We're now feeling the consequences of Lowe's bad contracts (see Moreau, Penner, Pisani, Staios).

  24. Lowetide says:

    Moose: I'm looking but haven't seen a thing.

  25. gogliano says:

    Is Goc finished? Surprised he was not qualified.

  26. Moose says:

    Eminger in FLA not qualified either. Didn't they give up a 3rd and prospect for him at the deadline?

  27. Lowetide says:

    gogliano: There's a bunch! Sjostrom from NYR is a solid pk man and that Tollefson guy in Columbus is also free. Plus Anthony Stewart in Florida.

    I'd look closely at all those guys. All of them.

  28. trader says:

    LT: Where are you finding the info on who was qualified?

  29. Lowetide says:

    I'm checking all over. tsn, hf trade rumor board, guy hasn't gotten anything yet.

    But I'm surfing baby!!

  30. PunjabiOil says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/blogs/2009/06/29/spector_heatley_phaneuf/

    We’re hearing Sheldon Souray to Los Angeles — where his children live with his ex-wife, a long distance relationship that Souray has found taxing through two seasons in Northern Alberta. The package coming back would include defenceman Jack Johnson, and we’re guessing a forward with some grit, like a Wayne Simmonds.

    __________________

    There have been enough rumours in the past few weeks regarding Souray. Plus, Brownlee has a solid track record.

    What type of player is Jack Johnson? His offense has been underwhelming.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Theft from HF trade rumors thread (so far):

    Not qualified
    Anaheim: Erik Christensen, Chad Painchaud, Michal Birner
    Atlanta: Chris Thorburn, Dan Turple
    Boston: Wacey Rabbit, Ned Lukacevic
    Buffalo
    Calgary: Aki Seitsonen, Adam Cracknell
    Carolina
    Chicago
    Colorado: Cody McCormick
    Columbus: Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Jiri Novotny, Jon Landry, Petr Pohl, John Vigilante, Trevor Hendrikx, Kyle Wharton
    Dallas: John Lammers
    Detroit
    Edmonton
    Florida: Anthony Stewart, Steve Eminger, Drew Larman, Tanner Glass, Franklin MacDonald, David Shantz
    Los Angeles: Vlad Dravecky, Danny Taylor
    Minnesota: Dan Fritsche, Peter Olvecky, Paul Albers, Riley Emmerson
    Montreal
    Nashville: Tim Ramholt
    New Jersey
    New York Islanders: Peter Mannino
    New York Rangers: Fredrik Sjostrom
    Ottawa: Brendan Bell
    Philadelphia
    Phoenix
    Pittsburgh
    San Jose: Marcel Goc, Tomas Plihal, Mike Morris, Lukas Kaspar, Taylor Dakers, Riley Armstrong, Ashton Rome, T.J. Fox
    St-Louis: Jeff Woywitka
    Tampa Bay: Mike McKenna, Justin Keller
    Toronto
    Vancouver
    Washington: Darren Machesney, Sasha Pokulok, Travis Morin, Andrew Joudrey

  32. jon k says:

    What type of player is Jack Johnson?

    Overrated.

    He failed to improve upon his rookie season and got killed this season playing middling opposition.

    I think at this point even if he turns out he's more of an Ed Jovonoski defenseman than anything else. He's got a ways to go before helping to win games, at least in my opinion.

    I can't see us dealing Souray for Johnson though as it won't save us much cap space anyway. The rumours as they stand now are that Johnson is looking for a short term deal between 3.0 and 3.5 or he goes to Russia.

  33. Mr DeBakey says:

    "What type of player is Jack Johnson?"

    My understanding is that he's a butthead fratboy type of hockey player.

    OT
    There a clip at Hockey's Future of Tambellini at the draft.
    Its the same one that was up on the Oiler's site – without the editing.
    Asked about Brodziak, he replied that another will get that opportunity.
    Someone, Tencer I think, asks "Brule?"
    Tambellini, didn't laugh out loud or anything…

  34. Schitzo says:

    Woywitka!

  35. bookie says:

    I am finding it hard to predict much with our current GM.

    Thats a good thing I think

  36. Moose says:

    What type of player is Jack Johnson?

    Overrated.

    I would disagree. He's VASTLY overrated.

  37. spOILer says:

    Why would anyone give Harding (not no more), Clemmenson, Halak, Anderson, or anyone of that ilk a long-term contract, essentially sight unseen?

    We don't even know yet what any of these guys will do in the playoffs and we are willing to sign them to long-term contracts?

    I don't get it.

    I, too, preferred facepalm. ;o)

  38. Deano says:

    Mr. Debakey

    Count me as a huge Brule fan – even though he has yet to earn it. When he was drafted (from the Vancouver Giants that Pat Quinn owns) he was Lucic in Peca's body with Sakic's shot.

  39. Coach pb9617 says:

    and that Tollefson guy in Columbus is also free.

    Holy crap.

    25, 6'2" 215, good for two hits per game and can hit like a hammer. He's a fine, fine, fine addition to the bottom end of the blueline.

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    We don't even know yet what any of these guys will do in the playoffs and we are willing to sign them to long-term contracts?

    Who is talking long-term deal?

    The thing about a goalie glut is that you can get away with one and two year deals to decent goalies.

  41. Oilman says:

    We should really pick up Adam Cracknell….just to stick it to Calgary!;o)

  42. Deano says:

    Unqualified RFA's:
    LT's list + Eminger

  43. Mr DeBakey says:

    "Count me as a huge Brule fan"

    I'm not knocking Brule
    But he doesn't fit the Bigger is Better mantra we've been hearing.

    Transcribed:
    Tencer: Brule? Is that the name you're hopin to give a better opportunity?

    Tambellini: He'll get a very good look….But I'm not sure if that's exactly what's going to happen to that position."

  44. Lowetide says:

    Interesting. If that's the case and we're talking 4line C who can add some grit for Jacques and Stortini (as an example) who fits that description in the org?

  45. Deano says:

    Looking at the RFA's that are not getting qualified, imagine what is going to happen next summer when the cap actually does go down.

    We should be collecting these guys and filling Springfield with them or the 'good soldiers'. Who needs prospects – these are graduates.

    DeBakey

    For the first dozen games of his career, Brule played much bigger than he is – until he broke his sternum. Not sure that he'll ever come back from that, but I see a lot o' Peca in him and Peca has broken his orbital bone on the glass throwing checks – twice.

  46. Mr DeBakey says:

    "we're talking 4line C who can add some grit for Jacques and Stortini"

    Blair Betts

  47. Lowetide says:

    Seems reasonable. Bring in Sjostrom too!

  48. Coach pb9617 says:

    It's agreed then? Johnson, Simmonds, Tollefson, Gaborik, Sjostrom, Betts in. Souray, Moreau, Nilsson out?

  49. oil dude says:

    "we're talking 4line C who can add some grit for Jacques and Stortini"

    Centre Shoots: Left
    Height: 6' 2" Weight: 207
    Born: 20 Mar '85 (Age 24)

    Ryan Stone.

  50. HBomb says:

    RE: Jack Johnson and his overrated-ness.

    For the experts, on a scale of 1 to "Phaneuf", how overrated is he?

  51. Chris says:

    I can't disagree that there were certainly time when it looked this team needed alot more try and sandpaper. The fourth line is obviously the place to play 'energy' players. If that's the reason Brodziak is out and some guy who will warm the cockles of Don Cherry's heart is in, fair enough.

  52. Chris says:

    I'd say Jack Johnson is one degree below being Dion Phaneuf style over rated. No one puts Johnson in the running for the Norris – yet.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Johnson was in over his head (he didn't face the softest opposition based on Desjardins, easier minutes went to Gauthier, Harrold, Quincey and Greene) and he's certainly not worth 5M.

    He's another young D, his draft number implies he could be very good someday.

  54. Psyche says:

    Erik Christensen, from Leduc, is a player who may fill in as a lefthanded centre on a 3rd or 4th line. He's built some experience with Pittsburgh/Atlanta/Anaheim over the previous 3 seasons. He is one of those young-ish players who is improving in face-offs and defensive awareness. Decent size (6'1, 208) and still gaining strength. I suspect he'll come with a small cap hit.

  55. PDO says:


    For the experts, on a scale of 1 to "Phaneuf", how overrated is he?

    Just about damn near spit out my beer.

    I'd say he's Lecavalier overrated at this point – one shade under Dion.

  56. Gerta Rauss says:

    From what's his name's sight:

    Lombardi on Johnson:
    “The problem was, it was kind of out there that we’re talking about doing a contract and nothing’s happening so everybody assumes were fighting. There’s nothing happening! There’s no need for it! He’s hurt, he’s changed his agents but there’s a perception dragging on but we just said “fine, we got all the time you want”. THEN somebody puts out there that the kid is asking for 5.5 million dollars. That’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous because he never asked for it. Even on his proposals that we talked about originally, we weren’t anywhere near that!”

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=21694

  57. Psyche says:

    Spector's blog today states:
    "The younger players in that Oilers dressing room have a sense of entitlement that is unhealthy, and a big fourth-liner like Brodziak who constantly passed up hits and lacked energy was the first one to be moved."

    Is this an exaggeration? Or is there other info out there to support this statement?

  58. Lowetide says:

    I think Brodziak did a helluva job carting some pretty bad hockey players around the ice with him. Considering where he started many shifts, imo he had a tremendous year.

    The same exact thing happened to Stoll the year previous. That "second toughest opposition C" job usually comes with dog linemates and a bus ticket out of town every June.

  59. HBomb says:

    PDO:

    Talking overrated players:

    Forward scale is 1 to "Olli Jokinen"

    Defense scale is 1 to "Phaneuf"

    Goalie scale is 1 to "Kipper"

    Now, since I'm on vacation, I think I'll get myself a beer too – especially after hitting for the cycle at softball tonight.

  60. Psyche says:

    LT, I agree with your point of view on Brodziak.

    As with Stoll it's frustrating to see, as a fan, a player grind through the growth of becoming an NHL player then to be moved (and blossom elsewhere).

    Spector's statement about the "sense of entitlement" is hard to believe. I get the sense that Cogliano, Gagner, Gilbert, Grebs, Smid, etc… are a highly competitive and focused group of athletes. I believe Penner is in this group as well – despite the media's desire to discredit him as a professional.

  61. Jonathan Willis says:

    Spector's wrong on Brodziak. I'm not going to say much more since I actually have a post on it scheduled for tomorrow morning, but everything in his junior record (and for that matter the comments/experience of the two guys in Minnesota who acquired him) indicates that lack of effort wasn't the issue with him.

    Sometimes the narrative must be pushed.

  62. Lord Bob says:

    A few days later and that Brodziak trade still seems gas-huffingly insane to me. There aren't a lot of great ways to trade NHL assets for non-NHL assets, and Tambellini picked a worse one than usual.

    If the Oilers pick up Roloson at $3 million+ then, well, I dunno. The Brodziak trade and a big-ticket Roloson signing are pretty much mutually exclusive. Trading Brodziak for crappy picks says "we don't plan to do much this year". Signing Roloson says "this year or bust."

  63. Lord Bob says:

    Also, if I'm the GM of the Oilers (you can tell I'm not because I'd be keeping my talented, young, inexpensive defensive centres instead of taking late draft choices, but bear with me), I'd make ol' Ole-Kristian a contract offer at about 12:01 on July 1.

  64. Bruce says:

    I think Brodziak did a helluva job carting some pretty bad hockey players around the ice with him. Considering where he started many shifts, imo he had a tremendous year.

    ZoneStart = +149
    Plus/Minus = +4

    Nice combination.

    W.r.t. quality of teammates, according to HockeyAnalysis.com Brodziak spent more time playing with Steve MacIntyre (58 minutes) than Ales Hemsky (56). To put that in perspective, that would be 69% of MacIntyre's total ice time, 5% of Hemsky's.

    As for his supposed soft opposition, scroll down that same page and check out the forwards Brodziak saw the most. Not too many bums jumping off the screen.

    I'm not going to say much more since I actually have a post on it scheduled for tomorrow morning

    Unlike Jonathan, my post is up already. To summarize, I hated this deal, which was little more than a giveaway of a young and inexpensive two-way player in whom Oilers had invested 175 GP in development time. To be honest I have no idea what — or even if — Tambellini was thinking.

  65. Coach pb9617 says:

    Also, if I'm the GM of the Oilers (you can tell I'm not because I'd be keeping my talented, young, inexpensive defensive centres instead of taking late draft choices, but bear with me), I'd make ol' Ole-Kristian a contract offer at about 12:01 on July 1.

    Looks like I have a second to my motion. All in favor? The ayes have it. Tollefson it is, for 3 years, 2.7 million.

  66. Chris says:

    I think in fairness to Lecavlier and Kippersoff, they're over rated in the sense that people's high estimation of them is the result of past performances that haven't been equaled of late, as opposed to Pierre Maguire's Man Crush where its rather unjustified optimism.

    I honestly think we're all becoming a tad fixated with the Brodziak trade – my god we traded our 4th line centre how can this situation possibly be retrieved? We didn't as Dennis is so fond of saying "Trade Pronger for Magic Beans" at the draft this year. There are plenty of bottom six players out there to be had. I get the impression that Tambellini wanted to go in another direction, so he moved Brodziak.

  67. DanMan says:

    LT, great site and youre doing a great job.

    But i do have a problem with the assertation that brodziak (and shawn horcoff to an extent) played the "tough" minutes against better players.

    The reason those minutes are so tough is that the line on the other team posseses the puck for the vast majority of the shift. Its a defeatist mentality to have a "shutdown" line. Sometimes is the playoffs if you are matched up with a better team you kind of have to.

    But, as we saw in the stanley cup finals, the best way to go is to match up 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, and so on. When you try and specifically stifle the offense out of other teams best players you will inevitably lose.

    The ONLY time ive seen it work to win a cup was 2007 with the pahlsson, neidermayer, and moen line. But they didnt trap they forechecked hard and thought offense when they had the puck.

    If we had an aggressive forechecking style coupled with a keep-the-puck-at-all-times stategy those minutes would be a lot easier.

    Sam gagner didnt play as tough minutes because he is very good at hanging onto the puck, as many talented players are. When we keep the puck those minutes get a lot easier

  68. RiversQ says:

    DanMan: That was an epic of misunderstanding.

    "Tough minutes" is composed of two things: the opposition and where the puck is when the shift starts.

    Guys like Horcoff take a whack of own-zone draws AND they tend to get matched against the best players AND they tend to be forced to hop over the boards on the fly, when the puck is already going the wrong way (like after Cogliano and/or Gagner have already coughed it up).

    Sam Gagner actually doesn't hang onto the puck nearly as well as you think. If he did, he wouldn't get out-shot as heavily as he does and he wouldn't be spending so much damn time in his own end to begin with.

    Meanwhile, Horcoff is definitely driving possession and keeping the puck in the other end of the rink despite the onerous conditions in which he starts his shifts. Just check the shot differential, goal differential, Corsi differential when he's on the ice vs. the so-called "possession" players on this team, who frankly haven't seen it since Ann Arbor and London.

    As for your playoffs example, I wholly agree. For the past five years, we've been pointing out on the Oilogosphere that checking lines are damn rare. The truth is that the best players play each other more often than not – "power vs. power."

    That is what Horcoff does.

  69. NBOilerFan says:

    Wow… definitely should be at least looking at these guys;

    Christensen (Edmonton native)
    Tollefsen
    Novotny
    Sjostrom
    …even Goc and Stewart.

    As far as Goalies go…. the Oilers should be trying very hard to deal for Halak and if no deal can be had, then Anderson should be the next target. I'd like them to go hard for Biron personally, but I think he might still be a bit to expensive and Clemmensen should also be on their radar, though he is still quite uncertain for a #1.

    I'm not so high on Labarbera or anyone else for that matter. I'm still puzzled by the Garon deal… I felt (and still fell) he was a solid contender and worth more of a shot then what he got. Perhaps there was much more behind teh scenes issues… the media never really seemed to dig deeper into this from what I recall.

  70. DBO says:

    wow. cap world is awesome for some young talent. i would like to try for Stewart. A classic oiler pick up that has size and scoring who hasn't quite lived up to his draft billing. Kind of like when we got Torres. I'd also like Goc and Eminger. those 3 address all of our concerns. Here are all of their numbers.

    Stewart: 6'2, 239 lbs. 1st rd pick in 2003. 59 games, 2 goals, 5 assists, 77 hits.
    Goc: 6'1, 200 lbs. 1st rd in 2001. 51 games, 2G, 9A, 83 hits, 58.2% faceoff.
    Eminger: 6'2, 212 lbs. 1st rd in 2002. 71 games, 5 goals, 21 assists, 77 hits, 119 blocked shots.

    A bruising forward who had draft pedigree in Stewart, Goc a perfect #3 or 4 centre who can win a faceoff and plays physical. And Eminger is a perfect #5/6 dman who can play in your top 4 if needed, can move the puck and plays decently in his own end while playing a decent physical game and blocks a shot or two. One other thing is that they all played world juniors (and goc in the WC for germany). i like guys who compete at the top levels. These 3 players add three things we need, and they will all cost less then $1.5 million while not costing us anything.

  71. RiversQ says:

    DBO: Isn't it pretty likely that all three of the guys you listed are busts?

    Steve Rice played at the highest levels in junior too.

  72. Bruce says:

    RiversQ: Good point. The Oilers once "stacked" their team with as many first round failures (a.k.a. "reclamation projects") as they could find. Steven Rice was one of a cluster of such players, which included Dave Manson, Shayne Corson, Scott Pearson, Scott Thornton, Luke Richardson, Dean McAmmond, Adam Bennett and Chris Joseph, all fine juniors, all first-rounders discarded by other teams. That 1993-94 Oilers squad looked great in the warmup, they were big and fast and could really fire the puck, but then they'd go and sing that anthem and they would come out and play like a great big sack of hammers. Dumbest team I ever saw.

    I'm not saying there aren't exceptions, and who knows maybe among the guys named above there are one or two who just need a fresh start or a second chance to figure out how to be a role player instead of a star, but inability to adapt is often the reason the guy failed with his first club. It's not usually a matter of lack of talent.

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