Four RFA’s and some Big Decisions Left

By my count the Oilers have four men left to sign via restricted free agency: Ladislav Smid, Ryan Stone, Gilbert Brule and Rob Schremp.

One would think the Smid signing is a no-brainer unless #5 expects a big payday. It’s also very likely young Gilbert Brule will be eager to sign since there looks to be an NHL job waiting for him at training camp.

Ryan Stone might be a little difficult if he wants a one-way deal (the numbers don’t favor Stone) and that leaves young Rob Schremp.

Could it be that one or both (Stone and Schremp) are holding out for a one-way deal that isn’t coming? Has Schremp in fact asked for a trade? Two of the final four rfa’s (Smid and Brule) would seem to have much better futures in the organization (unless traded) than the other two.

If you were Schremp or Stone’s agent, would you suggest they head to Europe for a payday? Liam Reddox signed a contract today that will pay him less than many who read this blog should he end up in the minor leagues. If you were Rob Schremp’s Dad, and saw Reddox sign for $515,000 NHL and $55,000 AHL dollars, what advice would you give him?

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50 Responses to "Four RFA’s and some Big Decisions Left"

  1. PDO says:

    What the hell is going on in the NHL?

    Since you can figure that basically nothing is announced after midnight EST…

    There's 50 hours of July left where moves can happen.

    San Jose, Chicago, Ottawa and Philly are in cap hell.

    Edmonton has watched a quality UFA walk away, dealt away their #3 C, and shuffled chairs between the pipes.

    When does camp open? 2nd week of September?

    That's not even mentioning several name FA's, Tanguay, Schnedier, Zubov, Fernandez, Lang, Comrie, Satan, Afinogenov, Sykora, Bertuzzi, Niedermayer, etc…

  2. Lowetide says:

    PDO: Damndest thing I've ever seen.

  3. Stephen says:

    There's 50 hours of July left where moves can happen.

    Sorry, PDO, I think I missed something. Is there a roster freeze through August that prevents trades?

  4. PDO says:

    Stephen:

    No, just (with the exception of right after the lockout), NHL history in this area tends to have teams more or less set by the end of July.

    Seeing so many teams in this kind of disarray this late is strange.

  5. Matt N says:

    Daddy Schremp to Little Rob

    If you really believe in your ability to make the show……. sign a one year two way deal. Work your butt off on skating and defensive play, kick ass in the A and force them to play you or move you.

    If not, learn to say "Have you seen me on YouTube?" in Russian and go for the big rubles.

  6. 40oz says:

    dealt away their #3
    ???

    When did Brodziak ever play on the 3rd line after Pisani came back?..

    Sorry, I dont want to start that conversation.

    Im confident that Schremp isnt asking for a 1-way OR a trade at this point. Based on his interview with Tencer it sounded like he knows the situation well, and that after last season he isnt in any position to be dictating his terms. But he did say that "With waivers, at least I get the opportunity. If it doesn't work with Edmonton, maybe it'll work somewhere else,"

    I expect a 1 year deal somewhere in between Reddox and Potulny when it comes to AHL money.

  7. Tyler says:

    Guaranteed money is nice but Schremp has no leverage for a one way. He has to clear waivers no matter what, so the only way he goes to the AHL is if there isn't a team in the NHL that wants him. He might as well suck it up and take the two way deal.

    Amazing how quickly the dollars fall off in pro sport eh? I was looking at the Moose's payroll and I do better than most of them. These are guys who are in the top 1000-1500 members of their profession or so. Great if you make the NHL but holding the lotto ticket with 5 out of 6 numbers is a real bitch.

  8. Lowetide says:

    I think I'd tell him to check out Europe. Have no idea if he could get a deal in the 400k range but if that was offered then take the money.

    It looks like he's Billy Ashley, might as well improve his lot in life. And maybe the NHL comes calling after a couple of strong seasons.

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    Damndest thing I've ever seen.

    I heard the word collusion mentioned today.

    I don't believe it's anything that sinister-more of a collective paralysis.

    It seems we've got a 30 team stare down going right now.

    No blinking.
    No sudden movements.
    Don't let them see you sweat.

  10. gonadsgo says:

    Hey LT, long-time reader (years), new responder… you are my first stop for things Oilers, 70s/80s expos and Stan Weir. Keep it up!

    Anyways, if I were Schremp's agent I'd serious look at what top lacrosse players make and perhaps suggest a career change. Footspeed isn't quite the hinderance in that league.

    Seriously though, this team is never going to give him a shot at this point, and I'd have to put most of the blame on him. He says the right things, but he does all the wrong things. He's essentially the same player we drafted 5 seasons later and this team has too many players better at the things he does (and better at everything else to boot).

  11. Lowetide says:

    gonadsgo: Possibly the greatest blog posting name in history. AND the post pretty much sums up Schremp's pro career perfectly.

    Wish you'd posted that in 2007. :-)

  12. raventalon40 says:

    If I were Schremp's dad I'd be a lot like Schremp and I would've asked for a trade.

    As for what's best for Robbie, I'd say the two way deal.

  13. slipper says:

    I think I'd tell him to check out Europe. Have no idea if he could get a deal in the 400k range but if that was offered then take the money.

    Precisely. It's time for him to cash in while age is still on his side. Unless BBO is a polygamous latter day'er, and then Schrobbie can make 500 dollar appearances doing lacrosse style moves at all of Brian's children birthday parties.

  14. Lowetide says:

    PLUS the shinebox gig.

  15. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Poor Robbie.

    So much hate.

    There's a hockey player in there, really.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Kind of sad, actually.

  17. Ribs says:

    That's a pretty funny picture you just painted in my head Slipper. Poor guy(s).

    I think most players who think they have a shot stick around for a while before bolting to Europe. They will likely hold just as much cache being AHL stars as they did being true NHL prospects. The money isn't too bad either.

  18. DanMan says:

    Rob Schr – ahhh, nevermind :)

  19. striatic says:

    "Amazing how quickly the dollars fall off in pro sport eh?"

    in fairness, the quality of play often drops off at a similar rate. one of the reasons why mister schremp looks good on youtube is because the defenses and goalies he's up against are absolutely terrible by NHL standards.

  20. godot10 says:

    //That's not even mentioning several name FA's, Tanguay, Schnedier, Zubov, Fernandez, Lang, Comrie, Satan, Afinogenov, Sykora, Bertuzzi, Niedermayer, etc…//

    The cap is going down next year. 2nd tier UFA's are being squeezed. Their expectations are still too high.

    They are in shock. They can't bring themselves to sign one year deals for $1.5 million dollars. In July they won't. By the end of August, they will.

  21. B.C.B. says:

    I think that Stone has a better chance of making the Oilers then Hockey-Jesus. Stone (and Brule) are more suited to the fourth line, that we all think that Quinn will employ: a crashing, banging line with a Vet on it.
    RFA Contracts to sign in my order of importance:
    1- Smid: will be top 6 most of this year, and a few (10-15) games in the top four due to injuries. Most likely a one year one way contract, as I don't see him signing for longer unless he is getting top four minutes with some special teams.
    2- Brule: can crash and bang, even if he is a little guy. Of the three orwards, he has the highest offensive upside at the NHL level (sorry Apostles of Schremp), so he could move up and play on the second line if need due to injury. Again he has the most NHL experience of all three forwards on this list. One year one way contract (but I hope it would be two years at a good rate ,<1.5 million).
    3- Stone: Maybe be able to play on the fourth line in the NHL, but no more at this time. Good replacement for JFJ when he gets hurt (according to history, say Nov.) Needs to play 60+ games in the AHL against the top opposition to see if his defensive chops are worth developing (or even there to begin with). One year two way contract (like a Reddox, aka small AHL salary).
    4- Schremp: no defensive ability and does not hit, hence cannot play on Quinn's fourth line (unless we see a complete change in Quinn's behaviour). Needs to play on the top two lines at the NHL level, and the Oilers have too many other (small) players that could do this better. One year two way contract (with a higher AHL price tag, say 80 000- 100 000 a season), a trade, or maybe Russia.

  22. thesonoflongdong says:

    $55 000? For a year in the AHL?
    Lord tunder'n bye!
    Goes there to Fort McMurray and play in the AJHL and work part time at Tim Ho's and double yer money there bye. Then when one o' the reg's go down it's just a quick white knuckle down the suicide highway till ya's suitin' up at ol' Rexall.
    And about Shremper, while's yer in Russia I hears they have a course that'll teach ya how to speak Ruskie so ya can get yerself a job in a few years as a translater in the locker rooms of the National Hockey League. Figure it as a 3 or 4 year plan and yer set fella.

  23. Yeti says:

    You probably saw this in the Journal this morning, but:

    "The Oilers are working on a multi-year deal with defenceman Ladislav Smid, who is part of the Dany Heatley trade package if Heatley ever agrees to play here. It may be in the $1.5-million-a-year range…"
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Reddox+rumours+laid+rest+Edmonton+Oilers+sign+winger/1843255/story.html

  24. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @ LT

    Mirtle has a piece this morning on a possible cause for all the UFA inertia.

  25. Peter says:

    Hope we keep Smid, Brule, and Stone. Schremp deserves to get a shot somewhere else, though hopefully someone will give us a 4th round pick or a prospect for him. Last year former world junior player and Blackhawks prospect Mike Blunden was traded for Columbus prospect Adam Pineault. Both were 2nd round picks and thought to have an NHL future one day, though both look like career AHLers now. Maybe we could get someone someone like this in exchange for Schremp, though maybe with a little more potential than either of those players. How about the 8th overall pick in 2004, also from Columbus, Alex Picard. No way he's playing much in the show, but maybe a good AHLer and emergency call-up.

  26. Peter says:

    Also, out of those name UFAs, the only one who isn't a complete has-been is Tanguay, and possibly Comrie. All the rest are either too old or have run into injury problems, if not both. The only exception is Afinogenov, who is simply a flake.

    I'm surprised Comrie hasn't signed a 1 year, $1.5-2M deal somewhere. He can play on most teams' 2nd line at centre or wing and put up 50 points. I'll be surprised if Tanguay doesn't sign with Tampa – 2 years for $3-3.5M. His deal would expire at the same time as St. Louis'. If the Predators had any money he'd look good on their first line with Arnott and Dumont, but they refuse to take from the UFA pool, they only give.

  27. RiversQ says:

    At this point, not signing Tanguay is just crazy. Tremendous value there and he solves the real problem which is that the Oilers need 2-3 top sixers because they don't have any after Horpensky.

  28. Traktor says:

    Rivers: do you believe that he's going to take a significant pay cut?

    I know there has been rumors that he's been getting scrooged but I still don't think he comes in under 4.

  29. Steve says:

    Per Matheson in today's Journal, the Oilers aren't interested in Tanguay because he's a playmaker rather than a shooter.

  30. Smytty777 says:

    I would have to think Tanguay is looking for $4M. Isn't it a no brainer to sign him for $3M and ship Nilsson out or to the minors? They have similar qualities/playing style except Tanguay just happens to be better… at everything.

  31. Traktor says:

    Mikael Samuelsson had the 24th most shots in the league last year in a secondary role.

    He was signed for 500k more than Ethan Moreau and Robert Nilsson.

    Meanwhile Tambellini is still busy trying to trade Cogliano and Smid.

  32. DanMan says:

    peter: Schremp + 4th round pick for Jack Skille?

    I don't think Skille is ever gonna make the hawks, Akim Aliu has pretty much passed him at this point and Aliu is one or two years away.

  33. Coach pb9617 says:

    At this point, not signing Tanguay is just crazy. Tremendous value there and he solves the real problem which is that the Oilers need 2-3 top sixers because they don't have any after Horpensky.

    Horpensky
    O'Sullivan-Gagner-Tanguay

    That second line is small, but it's real players. Bonafides. If they can have him for $2-3 million, they already should have done so.

  34. spOILer says:

    Re: Mirtle's column on collusion.

    MC79 already has a blog post up addressing this agent allegation that gets right to the heart of the non-issue.

    Some good posts too on IOF recently for those that aren't aware. Enlightening contributions by both Vic and RiversQ.

    Meanwhile, no one can find the pub Dennis is holed up in, but I figger HBomb might be up for the mission. ;o)

  35. oilerdago says:

    //Isn't it a no brainer to sign him for $3M and ship Nilsson out or to the minors? They have similar qualities/playing style except Tanguay just happens to be better… at everything.//

    Smytty – Tanguay IS better at Nilsson at everything but it's not the question right now.

    It seems management made the decision they are not going to sign a FA until/unless they unload a big contract(s) because they still have too many forwards.

    And it seems they've also decided not to eat any (Nilsson) – at least not in July because too much is unsettled. Would they do it in late September might be a better question.

    This says to me that Tanguay (or a Malhotra) won't come unless it's very late (i.e. during camp) and/or at a real bargain.

    For better or worse.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    Okay let's just trade Schremp to the Pens, then watch him blossom into a point a game player, or more.

    Funny how good teams have this weird way of turning busts into actual players, instead of the reverse.

  37. RiversQ says:

    Traktor: I think he'd outperform any deal under $4MM cap hit pretty readily based on his extensive track record (which includes lots of NW division work). I think there's a good chance he'd be worth much more than that but I'm being conservative. Tanguay is a good player.

    I don't really mind the Heatley deal that's in limbo, but it's very hard to argue with a move like this. A proven top sixer that costs nothing but money.

  38. Steve says:

    Okay let's just trade Schremp to the Pens, then watch him blossom into a point a game player, or more.

    Funny how good teams have this weird way of turning busts into actual players, instead of the reverse.

    When's the last time a good team turned a 7 goal AHL scorer at age 22 into a point per game NHL player?

    Ryan Stone, on the other hand…

  39. RiversQ says:

    coach: you basically illustrate my point there I think. I'm not convinced O'Sullivan or Gagner can be trusted top sixers for this season. I'm bullish on POS but I haven't seen him yet (Germany is a bitch for this sort of thing) and his numbers don't scream it although he seems to be tracking. Meanwhile I thought Gagner was on the way but I think he's still a year away. I like those two playing 3rd line ES minutes maybe with Pisani.

  40. pboy says:

    I wonder what one of Mike Grier and Dominic Moore would cost the Oilers? 2 to 2.5 million between them might do the trick. That would move Cogliano to the wing, lighten the load on Horc, give Quinn some better options Jacques or Nilsson on the wing and shore up the PK.

    The NHL is inching closer and closer to the NBA template. Valuable players are snapped up every off-season for the mid level exception because teams eventually run out of cap room and there are more players than high paying jobs.

  41. Steve says:

    The NHL is inching closer and closer to the NBA template. Valuable players are snapped up every off-season for the mid level exception because teams eventually run out of cap room and there are more players than high paying jobs.

    Does basketball have a KHL-equivalent (i.e. a league where some NBA-level players can make more money than they can in the NBA)?

  42. DanMan says:

    Mike Grier, now there's an idea….unless Pisani or Stortini are moved, I don't see a fit though

  43. pboy says:

    NBA players can make pretty good scratch playing in the pro leagues in Greece and Italy.

    Zubov just signed in the KHL.

  44. Promethian says:

    //At this point, not signing Tanguay is just crazy. //

    //I would have to think Tanguay is looking for $4M. Isn't it a no brainer to sign him for $3M and ship Nilsson out or to the minors?//

    //Horpensky
    O'Sullivan-Gagner-Tanguay

    That second line is small, but it's real players. Bonafides. If they can have him for $2-3 million, they already should have done so.//

    All good points, but all assuming Tanguay would like to play for and live in Edmonton.

    There's the rub.

    When Lowe said the Oilers would have to overpay for free agents a couple-few years ago, he was right. I think most just assumed he was talking about the big-name ones.

    Another reason why "just sign Malhotra already for 3C to take the load off Horc" hasn't happened.

    I like the utopian armchair GM game as much as the next person, but an unfortunate reality of the team we follow so closely is that many players just don't want to play in Edmonton.

  45. Coach pb9617 says:

    coach: you basically illustrate my point there I think. I'm not convinced O'Sullivan or Gagner can be trusted top sixers for this season. I'm bullish on POS but I haven't seen him yet (Germany is a bitch for this sort of thing) and his numbers don't scream it although he seems to be tracking. Meanwhile I thought Gagner was on the way but I think he's still a year away. I like those two playing 3rd line ES minutes maybe with Pisani.

    I would think that a line like that gets third line ES minutes under Renney's hand, but who knows what happens if Quinn is tapping the shoulders.

    Horpensky
    MPP
    Gagner-O'Sullivan-Tanguay
    Brule-Jacques-Stortini

    would be the order of ES minutes played under Renney in that case.

    Check your hotmail account.

  46. Coach pb9617 says:

    I like the utopian armchair GM game as much as the next person, but an unfortunate reality of the team we follow so closely is that many players just don't want to play in Edmonton.

    No one wants to play in Edmonton

  47. Sign Johnny Bower says:

    Do you think if the Oilers ever made the damn play-offs
    more guys would want to play for them?

  48. mc79hockey says:

    Meanwhile, no one can find the pub Dennis is holed up in, but I figger HBomb might be up for the mission. ;o)

    I've been in touch with Dennis from time to time throughout the summer. He assures me that he's being treated well, with food and medical care being made available to him.

  49. spOILer says:

    That's good to hear, Mudcrutch… and I hope "food" includes the "occasional" beer?

  50. Peter says:

    Dan Man: I'd definitely take Skille and a 4th for Schremp. Skille doesn't have the hands, but he can skate and he has size. I kind of think he will make the Hawks in 2010-2011 though, only because they'll need to move out some salary and there'll be a spot open. I think Schremp could really produce on a line with Kane and Toews.

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