Shoot the Moon

The Edmonton Oilers under Steve Tambellini play their cards closer to the vest than we’re used to but they’re not going to be a boring management group. In fact, I believe they’re about to shoot the moon. I’m not certain it’s the wise decision but today’s events probably lay the groundwork for one or two big moves in the next couple of weeks.

Steve Tambellini’s trade of Kyle Brodziak for picks addresses the end of the roster. We’re talking about forwards 10-14 here, with the team still having plenty of candidates for the roles (Stortini, Pouliot, Jacques, Brule, MacIntyre, Reddox, Potulny, Schremp) although none are as qualified as the man they sent away.

I think Quinn’s 4th line will be an 8-minute a night “energy line” with Brule, Jacques and Stortini doing the job Bob Kelly, Don Saleski and Orest Kindrachuk did 30 years ago. Aggressive, demons on the forecheck, explosive hitters, contact-finishers. Pouliot might be a better candidate for the Kindrachuk role, but then again maybe he isn’t.

The 3line is probably going to be someone like Blair Betts centering Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani, which get us to the top 6 forwards. The Oilers have plenty of candidates:

  1. Ales Hemsky
  2. Shawn Horcoff
  3. Dustin Penner
  4. Sam Gagner
  5. Andrew Cogliano
  6. Patrick O’Sullivan
  7. Robert Nilsson
  8. Ales Kotalik (UFA)

I’ve listed Nilsson here but he’s in real trouble. My guess is that he has negative value now, not quite the “garbage barge” the city of New York sent out to sea under cover of night but not exactly in a good place either. Kotalik could be brought in if the Oilers send away a couple of players from the top 6 (above) but it’s not a certainty.

We know from discussions over the past week or so (Heatley sweepstakes) that the team is hesitant to deal Gagner or Cogliano. We also know the team has stated on numerous occasions they’re looking for a complementary player for Ales Hemsky so that’s three players who are in. Dustin Penner probably has value in some deals (Bryan Murray likes him) but it’s a tough nut to crack in the cap world.

Which leaves us with Shawn Horcoff and Patrick O’Sullivan.

The Oilers also have a huge hole in goal. Jason Gregor and Guy Flaming have both talked in recent days about the organization’s belief in Jeff Deslauriers as an NHL goalie. Reading the tea leaves, it seems as though they’re going to count on him for 20+ games this season and the new starter is unlikely to be a $3M+ option. Josh Harding may be too inexperienced to be part of a tandem with the extremely raw Deslauriers so there’s a chance we’re looking at a Martin Biron or a Craig Anderson.

Here’s a really quick glance at the Oilers picks in the 2009 entry draft.

  1. RD1, 10th overall: L Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson. Top winger available in the draft fell into the Oilers laps at #10. Immediately the best player in the system and represents a big part of this team’s future. Already playing pro hockey.
  2. RD2, 40th overall: C Anton Lander. Two-way center is Magnum PS’s linemate and a quality prospect. Words like “character” and “work ethic” are woven into his scouting report and overall this is viewed as a quality pick. Already playing in pro hockey.
  3. RD3, 71st overall: D Troy Hesketh. Defender grew a couple of inches late and rode a gathering buzz into the 3rd round. From Minnetonka HS, he will eventually find his way to Wisconsin (NCAA) but has to be considered a long term project. Unlikely to see pro hockey until 2012 (or later).
  4. RD3, 82nd overall: R Cameron Abney. Knuckle-dragger. He can skate and is an exceptional fighter. If this was the 1970′s he’d have a career. Turned 18 in May, unlikely to see pro hockey until 2011.
  5. RD 4, 99th overall. D Kyle Bigos. A big, bruising defender who is strong along the wall and in front of the net. Has an exceptional shot. He’ll attend Merrimack (NCAA) this fall and is 20 years old. Could turn pro in 2011 or 2012.
  6. RD 4, 101st overall. R Toni Rajala. 19 points in 6 games at the U18 WJC’s. Fiesty player, scored well in Fin (Jr) and he sounds like a better Tony Salmelainen. Plays tough despite lack of size. Turns 20 in 2011, but could turn pro in the SM-LIIGA much sooner.
  7. RD 5, 133rd overall. G Olivier Roy. Fine athlete, quick glove, extremely competitive. Despite draft position looks like a quality prospect. Should turn pro in 2011.

I like this draft very much overall. The two Swedes, the Finn and the kid from the Q is a nice haul and the two defenders (Hesketh and Bigos) are long shots who could work out. Abney provides a specific skill and as such has value, my issue isn’t with his selection but rather the round his name was called by the Oilers.

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54 Responses to "Shoot the Moon"

  1. Chris says:

    Cameron Abney might as well be called Buddy :)

    And in this draft he does even have Swedes to the left of him and Finns to the right.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8qs67EciCM

  2. knighttown says:

    I suppose this may sound off coming form someone who has been talking about how great Magnum PS is for weeks but can I clarify it's pronunciation?

    Paajarvi is

    1) Puh-jar-vee
    2) Parri-arvi

  3. PDO says:

    I was taking a looksee on the main board at HF, and seemingly everyone mentioned the Oilers as "big time winners."

    … nice to see, especially considering we only had two picks in the top 70 (albeit, 2 in the top 40).

    Cannot wait to see Mr. MSP in Oiler silks.

  4. uni says:

    Thanks for that link Chris, that's a classic song and thanks for introducing me to it =).

    As much as I've railed on the picking of Abney in the 3rd round instead of the 7th, I'm happy for him.

    Was he even at the draft? Can anyone imagine how young Mr. Abney felt when he found out he'd been picked by a Canadian team in the entry draft to the best dang hockey league (talent wise not best run) in the world?

    I don't think he'll ever play an NHL game…but here's hoping he proves me wrong, kid's young and anything can happen.

  5. doritogrande says:

    Where are the reports that Abney has skating ability? Because Stu MacGregor's interview said he's really going to have to work on his skating. Interview's on the Oilers page.

    knighttown:

    I've heard everything from puh-JAR-vee to PIE-arr-vee to PEE-jar-vee.

    I think it's pronounced "SVEN-son".

    ;)

    I'd go with PEE-jar-vee.

  6. Krankor says:

    The pronounciation I've heard several times now is pee-YAR-vee, which is also a damn fine desk lamp to go with your Bjørgen desk, Klümm chair, and Billy bookcases.

  7. Lowetide says:

    dorito: Mike Remmerde who is a contrubutor to Redline and writes an excellent blog (NHL draft notes) said:

    Cameron Abney, Everett

    Strengths: Huge frame. Excellent fighter. Actually pretty decent skater. Can throw some big hits.

  8. doritogrande says:

    which is also a damn fine desk lamp to go with your Bjørgen desk, Klümm chair, and Billy bookcases.

    Permission to re-name 2009 draft to Ikea-fest.

  9. Lowetide says:

    I own several Billy bookcases and they are an excellent value.

  10. Krankor says:

    They are excellent value, but they seem to breed on their own when you're not looking. At least, I think that's how I ended up with a half dozen of them.

  11. Derek says:

    Knight – It seemed like through the TSN telecast they had it:

    Pay-arr-vee

    Who knows if thats correct.

    A maritimer on HF has a link and a small writeup on the newest Edmonton netminder.

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=655858

  12. Mr DeBakey says:

    Pittsburgh drafted Andy Bathgate at 151.

    I don't think we should be surprised Brodziak is gone. Coach Quinn mentioned the Oilers only had two good Centers
    [he used the archaic term "young fellas"].

    Today had a Niinimaki quality to it,
    It seems like all of these guys [save Roy] could have been taken a round or two later]

  13. Kevin says:

    I'm really frustrated with the Oilers draft this weekend – I was surprised that you liked it, LT. I love the MPS pick, and I don't mind Ladner, although I really think with Morin, Shore, Budish, even Panik (who has lots of size and apparent skill) still on the board, it's not exactly a stunning pick. Still, benefit of the doubt since I'm just a fan. But after those picks, it seemed like Tambellini decided he hates winning for an hour, and then rediscovered his passion.

    Heshketh is a tough read and I will trust the scouts, although it seems like there is quite a delay in his education plans (is he going on a Mormon mission?) But apparently a third buys you Brian Boyle, who at 6.07 had 62p in 70gp in his first year in the AHL. For a team with a terrible affiliate, that seems like a smarter choice than a highschooler 6 years away from turning pro, or a fighter, who are a dime a dozen in terms of assets to a team (is Abney better than Benson?). Cody Eakin, Michael Lee and probably lots of guys with talent to at least TRY to develop were still on the board when the Oil called Abney.

    Then to take a 20yr old over ager out of the BCHL? The guy has huge size, and maybe he can roll, but wow. Both of these picks seem so far off the beaten path that using them as trade bait (assuming you don't have someone you like better available) seems like a brighter idea. Moreover, we traded Brodziak for him!! (Although I get the log jam/possible contract problems angle of trading him at all)

    The strangest part (besides the Brodz deal… wha…) was that our last two picks seem like solid gold (in a relative sense to where the picks are). I would have been way more excited if they had just picked these pairs ('thugs' and 'prospects') in reverse order. I guess that's a win, since we still got what appear to be prospects at the end of the draft, but I feel like management had a siesta or something in the middle.

    Aside from the obvious fact that this organization has a fetish for coke machines, am I missing something here? Are the three guys in the middle better than I think? Was Ladner ranked higher than Morin or Shore by other teams? Is Ladner Omark's best friend? Does Hesketh have a Shea Weber quality I'm missing in which 2 inches of height = NHL player?

    Anyway, I'm really lost on this, so I would love to hear what I've missed.

  14. jon k says:

    Rajala is already playing pro in the SM-Liiga for Ilves Tampere. Not bad numbers either for a very small sample size.

    http://www.eurohockey.net/players/show_player.cgi?serial=110605

    After the Brodziak trade I think we get a bit of a clearer view of the roster.

    Clearly we are not moving the recent first rounders and the team views them as the future core.

    It seems that we'll move out another under-performing forward, likely a winger. Nilsson take note, this thread is the wall, this is the writing.

    But most importantly, the most obvious holes left on the team are at C and goaltending. The Oilers NEED another veteran C. It's not even debatable.

    Personally, I would be happy if we signed one of the middling goalies for around 3.0 million, Kotalik at 2.75 to 3.0, and a centre like Manny Malhotra, John Madden, or Sami Pahlsson for close to 3.0 as well.

    We would need to clear about 4 million in space for this plan, but coincidentally sending away Staios and Nilsson covers that gap.

  15. Bruce says:

    Josh Harding may be too inexperienced to be part of a tandem with the extremely raw Deslauriers

    Surely if there was any flame to the Harding smoke, it's been extinguished today. Brodziak for Harding would have been a pretty reasonable platform for a deal. Don't see it going down as two separate swaps somehow.

  16. Bruce says:

    This item on NHL.com

    Notebook: Burke says Pronger born to wear orange

    So Anaheim trades with Philly, and the guy making the headline is the GM of the Maple Leafs??

    STFU already, Burke. Look after your own goddam team. And quit sticking your tampering nose where it doesn't fucking belong.

    Asshole.

  17. bookie says:

    “Todd and I trust him. We know him. He has a strong work ethic, good character. He’s a real functional, versatile player. He really gives you a lot of different elements and gives a coach a lot of different options when running a bench. The fact that Todd had a relationship with him is important to Todd. "

    That was a Comment by the Wild on why they wanted Brodziak – this Brodziak kid sounds like a guy the Oilers could use for a third line center.

  18. Woodguy says:

    That was a Comment by the Wild on why they wanted Brodziak – this Brodziak kid sounds like a guy the Oilers could use for a third line center.

    I'd prefer an experienced NHL 3rd line center who can back check. Brodziak may become one, but his roster spot is currently more valuable than he is right now. At least to Oiler management, and I agree.

    His back check was far too weak all year. Just coasted too much.

    The Oilers have too many players who have more potential, and are under contract, that need his ice time.

  19. Chris says:

    With respect to Brodziak I think we've already learned that if the organization doesn't have any confidence in a guy they might as well trade him. The relative usefulness of having MAP or Shremp or anyone else around whose fallen out of favour is marginal. If the organization decided they need to go out and buy a better third line centre, its not like there aren't a goodly number of players around who fit the bill. Its only if they fail to address the need after seemingly indicating Brodziak is not the third line centre we are looking for that this becomes a problem.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Kevin: I don't know that it'll help to explain my feeling about the draft but here goes.

    The first round pick was the kind of lucky draw the Kings used to get all the time: hanging around at 10 waiting for someone to slip through and sure as hell they did. Redline had him 6th, and they are the hardest marker on the planet.

    Anton Lander has a wide range of skills and has some secondary appeal (Magnum PS's center). I'm a big fan of players with more dimensions.

    Hesketh is a reach pick but at #71 that's less of an issue. Where there more obvious players available? You bet. However, the late growth spurt might be something and the Oilers might have caught lightning in a bottle. Just because the prospect isn't familiar to me doesn't mean he has no value.

    Abney's selection has no defense.

    By the time we get to Bigos we're running out of names I'd recognize and if he is indeed a Jerry Korab type it'll be fun to watch him reconstruct the boards at Rexall.

    Rajala is an outstanding prospect. If he'd gone at #40 I would have considered it good value.

    Olivier Roy at 133 is just silly good luck.

    Maybe that's a better word than like. I think the Oilers got massively lucky. At #10, #101 and #133 and good value at #40 with a chance to cover the bet elsewhere.

    jmo.

  21. Traktor says:

    Bigos – I thought it was a really good pick. Edmonton didn't draft him because he performed well as a 20 year old, they drafted him because of what he projects to be in 3-4 years down the line. 6'5, 230 pound late bloomer that can skate and has a bomb of a shot. He might never play a game of pro but he also has a ton of potential.

  22. Lowetide says:

    As an example of what I'm talking about, we need look no further than our own speeds. With respect to the fine posters who pop by here, I'd say speeds and YK are the de facto wise men in our group.

    Here's how two Oilers ranked on speeds top 40 (final):

    7. Magnus Paajarvi Svensson
    27. Toni Rajala

    Could it have been better? You bet. But we say that every year, and this season saw a lot of unusual picks past 35.

  23. HBomb says:

    The more I think about it, the more I think the Magnum PS pick could pan out huge.

  24. gogliano says:

    On the issue of goaltending, what about an Atlanta goalie? Wadell has confirmed one will be traded, and there were rumors of Oiler interest:

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/thrashers/stories/2009/06/27/thrashers_nhl_draft_trades.html

  25. Psyche says:

    Quote from Minnesota GM Fletcher regarding Brodziak:

    “He’s a good fit for us,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told the Minnesota Star Tribune. “He’s a player who can slide up and down your roster … well above average faceoff guy on the right side of the ice. He can kill penalties, he shoots the puck well, so he brings a lot of versatility to the lineup.

    “There’s a lot of things you can do with a Kyle Brodziak. There’s energy, there’s work ethic and there’s character.”

    Full article (Journal's Ireland) here:
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Oilers+pick+Anton+Lander+trade+Brodziak/1740162/story.html

  26. jon k says:

    I don't see how anyone can legitimately complain about the draft as a whole.

    I'm not the biggest fan of MPS but he was the obvious pick at 10.

    Other than that there isn't a pick aside from Abney that you can say is a poor one.

    LT: Lander isn't MPS's centre, or at least he won't be come next season.

    An individual on HF who follows Timra stated that MPS is likely to play on the second line while Lander will likely be teetering between the 3rd and 4th line centre. Apparently the coach thinks he's not strong enough to play centre in the SEL above the 4th line right now.

  27. bookie says:

    I tend to think that people who have made it to a position like NHL GM have some pretty good hockey smarts (far more than I do).

    Yet, everyone seems perplexed that the Oil selected Abney where they did.

    Playing the role of Tambi advocate, can any of you take an educated guess as to why this choice was made?

  28. Lowetide says:

    bookie: The issue isn't drafting him it's where he went in the draft. It's the Colin McDonald pick all over again.

  29. Gerta Rauss says:

    more Tambo on the draft and Brodziak trade-pretty much the same quotes from the EJ Ireland article

    http://hockeysfuture.craveonline.com/hf-snap-shots/video/2009-draft-up-close-oilers-gm-steve-tambellini-60153

  30. Bruce says:

    Bookie: Obviously they're not drafting him off the strength of 1-3-4. They must have seen very good progress over the course of the season and liked the shape of the development curve. Thanks to that artilce Traktor linked, it sounds like he got a real opportunity to play only relatively late in the season, and was making impressions along the boards, in front of the net, and on opponents' faces. He's huge, he's aggressive, he can skate a bit. And he's 17.

    Money quotes:

    "The key to the whole thing is that he not lose sight of playing the game, and that part is coming around."
    – Silvertips GM Doug Soetaert

    "As we're starting to trickle back bodies, it [the injury bug] helps us identify who we think can play in the playoffs. The way he's playing now is the type of game we need from a younger player in the playoffs: go out there and be a physical presence and not be a liability on defense."
    – Silvertips coach John Becanic

    FWIW, Abney did play all 5 playoff games.

    Tambi advocate mode [off]

  31. Jon says:

    Bravo Lowetide yet again:

    LT I agree with your analysis 100%!!!

    MPS = lucky but sweet

    Lander= alex plante…gimmie a sec to explain. The Oilers were high on Alzner and went to watch him and fell in love with Plante. Seems to be the same here. I trust the scouts (look at out top 20, pretty deep) and think Lander will play in the NHL

    Hesketh and Bigos= Come on people, this scouting staff has been dynamite at finding good d-men in midrounds…have some faith.

    Roy late= lucky but sweet

    Abney= no defense at all but maybe we find the next big Georges…who knows. I'm not happy about it but meh.

    The issue I have is the Brodz trade, it reminds me of the Chimera trade…SPITE! They traded chimera because of conflict with the coach over ice time and it seems this was tambo clearing room just to clear room. But again, he is a bottom 6th at best and is replaceable…does any one else think contract negotiations went south? Was Brodz asking GlenX money and Oilers were offering Storts money? That is the only way I can justify this trade Thoughts?

    overall…I am putting faith in the scouts and am on the optimist side…call me crazy

  32. knighttown says:

    The quote I've seen on Lander is that whenever his age group get together for an International, he's the guy with the "C" on his chest. If thats true, with the likes of Hedman, Magnum PS, Josefson, Erixon, Runblad and OES I'm impressed.

    Is this guy a Swedish mini-Mike Richards?

    Mikka Rickardsson?

  33. PunjabiOil says:

    Jay Bo from Globe sports:

    Bouwmeester, speaking to the Fan960 radio station, was non-commital about the deal, suggesting: "I can't discount anything today. I will talk to them. There's a lot to think about, but it would be good to sit down and chat with them.

    "I'm from Edmonton. I've got connections in that neck of the woods. They're a good team and a strong organization. Time will tell … but I"m looking forward to talking to them."

  34. PDO says:

    C'mon kid.

    Do the right thing and come home. You never would've dreamed of wearing that jersey as a kid, don't do it now!

  35. Shawn says:

    re: BIGOS

    As the Smokies broadcaster in the BCHL I've seen my fair share of Bigos. He was one of the most dominant players in the league this past season. We're not talking about just a big hitter. He never struck me as a killer. However, he is big and moves like he's not. He does hit very hard but that's just one element of what was a very complete game. He ran the PP, great shot, is very mobile, good first pass, always in the right spot in his own zone… there was really nothing wrong with Bigos' game.

    It was also a huge step forward for him from last season to this one. Something clicked and apparently he worked his ass off in the summer.

    When you put together the skill set he has and the size he has… you have to take notice. The light may have gone on a little later than it does for most drafted prospects but you can't ignore the package he offers a team.

    Also from everything I hear he's a world class kid. Could turn out to be a great 4th round pick down the road.

  36. PunjabiOil says:

    Does anyone remember Tyson Strachan, who played for the blues against the Oilers this past year?

    He, too, played in the BCHL. Though his numbers as a 17 year old are comparable to what Bigos put up as a 19/20 year old

    http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=72630

  37. Gord says:

    The odds of any player outside of the 1st round ever playing regularly & being an impact player in the NHL are slim…

    The odds of a player in the 3rd round (or later) being an impact player are between slim & none…

    I am happy with our first 2 picks – if they both make the team, the Oilers did well on draft day…

    If any Oiler player drafted 3rd round or later is an impact player, we will have done better in late round picks than any other team in the league.

    In short, why do so many posters get excited / upset with later round picks?

    At that point, all the Oilers are doing is trying / hoping to find a diamond in the rough… And fill the farm team if they are wrong…

  38. DanMan says:

    As it stands now here are the line combos:
    (assuming nilsson is gone for water bottles)

    Penner Horc Hemmer
    Cogs Gagner O'Sully
    Moreau Pouliot Pisani
    Jacques Brule Stortini

    What I would love about this is you would have more, poo, and piss on the third line thats f***ing brilliant as bono would say.

    I dont like cogs as a winger or a center not sure where he fits long term. He'd be trade bait if i were tambo for heatley or whatever other disgruntled star lw becomes available.

    Everyone keeps saying a madden/malhotra/peca type is needed as 3rd line c. But lets not forget that Pat Quinn-coached teams often go with 3 offensive scoring lines and a high energy checking 4th line. Could moreau and pisani follow brodz out the door?
    hmmm……

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce: It's a matter of fact when you and everyone else complains ad infinitum about Burke, Pronger etc, ironically you all provide ammunition to the journalists who feed off that fact.

    Were you to not complain or mention it, the commercial viability of Burke would shrivel up and die as fast as a hard on in a leper colony.

  40. Dennis says:

    You wonder if they finally cut bait on Brodz because of money. They already spent a lot of ABs on him as the secondary faceoff man so he would've been nice to have around on the 4th line but maybe they weren't prepared to spend that much on a 4th liner.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: It's hard to say. He was an RFA with arb rights so a raise was coming, but the guy was only making $500k for crying out loud.

    If it comes out that the agent was asking for 2M or some silly number then maybe, but one gets the feeling a player like Smid will be a much tougher sign than Brodziak.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Also, speeds talked about the sheer number of rfa's and the players who will need to clear waivers and that's a contributor too imo:

    http://hockeysymposium.blogspot.com/2009/06/oiler-prospects-and-their-waiver.html

    And I think Brodziak and Pouliot are close enough for one to be able to cover for the other:

    http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2009/05/brodziak-versus-pouliot.html

  43. HBomb says:

    Everyone keeps saying a madden/malhotra/peca type is needed as 3rd line c. But lets not forget that Pat Quinn-coached teams often go with 3 offensive scoring lines and a high energy checking 4th line. Could moreau and pisani follow brodz out the door?
    hmmm……

    Now I am all in favor of moving Moreau, but odds are is that if this team doesn't establish a reliable tough minute line, they're in trouble.

    Translation: sending away Moreau AND Pisani, unless there are cheaper replacements on the way, puts them a lot closer to drafting Taylor Hall in June 2010 than it does to making the playoffs a couple months prior to that.

    That being said – would that be such a bad thing? It's debatable.

  44. uni says:

    Gagne would be an amazing 1LW solution, and signed at 5 million per for 2 more years.

    Can play in all zones and 2.5 cheaper than Heatley.

    Wonder what he'd cost though, any speculation on who'd be going the other way? You'd have to think they'd want Cogliano or a young'n' and they're not going to want salary going the other way ala Penner, Moreau, or Staios.

  45. Matt N says:

    Very soon, a GM will absolutely steal a player from Philly in a non-hockey type of trade. I hope it is Tambo.

  46. Matt N says:

    Article from the Journal today with a disheartening quote from Jaybo

    Jay Bouwmeester is building a splendid house in Edmonton, but only to live in it during the summer. The idea of signing with his hometown Oilers has never really crossed his mind.

    "I don't know if it would be the best fit for me. I've kind of seen what Joffrey (Lupul), (Jason) Chimera and (Mike) Comrie have been through (as local boys who had to deal with the pressure brought to bear by fans)," he said.

  47. Bruce says:

    Hard to argue with Bouwmeester's conclusions.

    I noticed Matty writing a while back about how local products haven't had much success here, and while the names of Mark Messier, Randy Gregg and Grant Fuhr and their 5 hometown Cups apiece immediately leaped to my lips, the last two decades haven't been so kind to either local boys or local fans generally. The Comrie and Lupul cases in particular were sorry chapters.

  48. Anonymous says:

    While I agree it's been tough on some guys…I wish Bouwmeester talked to Pisani what it is like to be an Oiler…in particular the spring of 2006.

  49. bookie says:

    I think its less about the local fans for local guys than it is about every single Uncle, high school buddy, ex-girlfriends dad's cousin, and everyone else around the player.

    An Edmontonian playing for NYR or TB or somewhere like that comes back once a year for a week or so and does his duty as a good family boy, but imagine what it would be like to live here as an Oiler- every neice/nephew would expect you at their b-day and then when you were there all of your Uncle's would be yapping about your teammates…that would suck more than anything!

  50. NBOilerFan says:

    For all those that are slotting Brule in into Brodziak's spot, watch the Hockeys Future link of the Tambs interview that Gerta posted above and from Tambs reaction and body language… IMO, it doesn't appear as though Brule is being considered very highly for that spot.

    I get the feeling that they are going to be filling that role outside for sure with an experienced NHLer.

  51. Eetu Huisman says:

    Pääjärvi ("Main lake") is really not that difficult to pronounce, once you learn Finnish. Quoting the wonderful pronounciation guide by Jukka Korpela:

    P is softer than English P
    Ä is roughly like A in HAT
    Ä is roughly like A in HAT
    J is like consonantal Y in English
    Ä is roughly like A in HAT
    R is a relatively clear R-sound (much stronger than American R in ARE, and even stronger than R in RAIN); just let your tongue tremble
    V is normal V
    I is like I in FIT

    Does that make any sense to you? He might in fact pronounce it wrong himself, since it is a Finnish name and as far as I know, he doesn't speak any Finnish himself (the name comes from his grandfather who apparently is an ethnic Finn from an area in Northern Sweden where there are a lot of them).

    Btw, Rajala's 31 points in 31 games in the Finnish junior league isn't all that much, considering that Mikael Granlund, who's eligible for the draft next year, scored 57 points in 35 games. It was a disappointing season for Rajala, save for the U18 Worlds.

    I just did a shortish review of the draft from a Finnish point of view in my blog. Here's what I said about Rajala:

    "Being somewhat of an Oilers fan, I love this pick. Even with all the question marks, he never should’ve fallen that far. He has a huge upside, even if he is quite unlikely to ever reach it.

    I’m just hoping that Rajala gets a fair chance with Ilves next year, he should be able to score around ten goals in SM-liiga. If he doesn’t get enough icetime, the Oilers should try to lure him to North America for 2010/11."

  52. Lowetide says:

    Very cool. Great blog btw.

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