No Creme Brule

The early word we’re hearing (from various sources, notably Jason Gregor) is that one of the reasons Kyle Brodziak was traded is Gilbert Brule. Oilers want to have a look at him (and reportedly MA Pouliot) at center to see if he can handle things.

Last July, HF poster Usual Suspect was recovering from ACL surgery and jotted down notes on a Kevin Prendergast interview. Here’s his summary of the KP conversation:

Brule will likely need time in the minors to get his game back. Lost a lot of his game. Confidence level has gone down. CBJ brought him out too early. Mgmt told Brule that its a strong possibility that he will be in AHL for the season. He will play 1st line, PP, PK. He has all of the tools to become a young Mike Peca. Need to have patience with Brule, they have time to wait for him, there are players ahead of him in our organization.

That’s pretty much how it played out a year ago. Brule went 39gp, 13-11-24 in the AHL and 11gp, 2-1-3 in the show. Despite playing half a season in Springfield, Brule was second in goals (behind Ryan Potulny), but he did finish -12 and against less-than-difficult opposition (source: Jonathan Willis).

One of the explanations for the Oilers seeming inertia with regard to acquiring a checking center (of course since the Heatley deal the only things I’ve read about EDM is their offers to Chris Neil and Ales Kotalik) is that they may feel Brule (or Pouliot) are up to the challenge. I think it’s a bad bet (for this season) in Brule’s case, a better one if they’re thinking Pouliot. Brule probably could serve as a 4line energy center with Jacques and Stortini on the wing.

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66 Responses to "No Creme Brule"

  1. NBOilerFan says:

    What were Brule's numbers on the dot last season? And compared to Potulny & Stone?

    Are those stats available anywhere?

  2. Lowetide says:

    He won 4 out of 5 in the NHL, but other than that we're on our own.

  3. NBOilerFan says:

    Forgot to finish my thought, but I agree, I don't see this as being any better of an option then Brodziak/MAP was last year other then Brule is more of a crash and banger then Brodziak, but I assume is fairly behind in faceoff potential.

  4. NBOilerFan says:

    That is what I thought LT, thanks. I had never been able to find those stats for the AHL, but hoped someone kept them. I assume the teams do though even though they are not public. Right?

    And moving a contract out in Brodziak to make room or a contract in Brule, does not appeat to be a step forward.

  5. knighttown says:

    Yeah LT, minus 11 against softies is a heck of a long way from a young Mike Peca. However, as a best case scenario Peca is a brilliant comp.

    Peca was undersized, but his skating and balance meant that when he hit people it hurt them. He was also an opportunistic hitter, meaning he'd look for that opportunity when the puck is stuck in some guys feet. Actually, I like that but it's tougher nowadays with the crackdown on "cheap" shots.

    Anyway, we know what Peca in his mid-twenties was like but did he come out of the womb that way?

    By all appearances Peca was an elite junior that perhaps had some injury issues? He played 5 seasons but never more than the 62 games he played as a 15/16 year old. He put up 330 points in about 240 games. Brule really only played two full years as his Memorial Cup dominance was too much for the soupy mind of Doug MacLean to take. He put up 185 points in 164 points…excellent but not elite. I'd argue that if he hadn't been robbed of his 19 year old season his P/G would have been much higher.

    The AHL is where the separation starts. Peca played 44 games over his 19 and 20 year old seasons and put up 43 points. Brule skipped the AHL until he was 20 and 21 and only scored 34 points in 55 games. So he was older, more experienced and less productive.

    In the big show, Brule had a nice start so lets compare:

    18 y:
    Brule- 7GP-2-2-4 (-2) (snapped leg)
    Peca- n/a

    19 y:
    Brule- 78-9-10-19 (-21)
    Peca- 4-0-0-0 (-1)

    20y:
    Brule- 61-1-8-9 (-4)
    Peca- 33-6-6-12 (-6)**developing

    21y:
    Brule- 11-2-1-3 (-3)
    Peca- 68-11-20-31 (-1)**more developing

    22y:
    Brule- ???
    Peca- 79-20-29-49 (+26)***VOILA!

    I can't think of another prospect (maybe Daigle) of the past 20 years getting a worse apprecnticeship than this poor kid got. There's every possibility he was destined to be the next Mike Peca and now its up to the Oilers brass to see if they can teach this kid to dominate again.

    No! No! No! to 3rd line center on a team who needs their 3rd line center to play tough minutes. Yes! Yes! Yes! to 4th line, energy minutes or the occasional boost to 2LW if Nilsson screws the pooch.

  6. godot10 says:

    1) Pouliot can undoubtedly cover the 4th line centre spot. Agreed?
    2) Brule might be able to cover the 4th line centre spot. Agreed?
    3) The question is whether Pouliot can handle the 3rd line centre spot. Right?

    As a coach, i.e. Pat Quinn, do you sit down Pouliot, and tell him, son, there is a job available as a 3rd line centre between Pisani and Moreau, whose primary focus is good defense and shutting down the other line. Defensive reliability is more important than offensive production in this job. No glory, but it comes with a lot of ice time. Son, do you want the job?

  7. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Good question. I go back to a July 2008 post on this site from Louise:

    Interesting bit of radio I just heard. Bob Stauffer said that MacTavish told Pouliot that he sees a 'Guy Carbonneau' in him. And apparently, our young C was not impressed. hmmm… Guess the kid still has dreams of grandeur. Certainly can't fault him for that

  8. DanMan says:

    I see Gilbert Brule more on the Jeremy Roenick side of things than Michael Peca.

    He has offensive talent. We saw that with the beauty goal he scored vs. St. Louis.

    Remember guys, MacT is gone. HALLALEUYAH HE'S GONE! Pat Quinn will most certainly give his 3rd line more free-reign offensively. I think this is precisely the reason Brodziak was traded. The third line will forecheck aggressively if there are faceoff issues.

    Tambellini is smart to not sign other teams' castoffs for our 3rd line C role. If they were in any way integral to their old teams, they would have been signed by now. Malhotra and Goc, to me, are the exceptions because they are caught in a numbers game, and cap issues, respectively.

    I think the Pou has got to realize he can't just float out there. It's like he thinks he's still on a line with Crosby-calibre players. But I have no problem with him as the 4th line C. Not Guy Carbonneau. Not ever.

  9. Jonathan Willis says:

    So… we're going to bet on development, once again. How did that work last year?

    Based on the numbers and a healthy dose of saw him good, it seems to me like Brule might be better suited to an offensive role; he's got the wheels and the shot for it anyway.

    From what I watched, it sure didn't look like his defensive awareness was anywhere close to where it needed to be for a third line guy, and of course the AHL QualComp numbers aren't encouraging.

  10. raventalon40 says:

    We need that veteran presence for 3C

  11. DBO says:

    Ouch, big post and it's gone.

    so to sum up. We need 3 kids to play centre like i need more fat food and beer in my diet. Seems like it might be a good idea until your wife sees how fat and out of shape you are and leaves you for a better man.

    We need a Dominic moore type to come in and be the #3 C, take own zone faceoffs and kill penalties. Brule/Pouliot splitting time at 4C is a good idea. No pressure oon Brule, time to mature and get his confidence back being with the big club for the year, and it gives us the luxury of Pouliot being able to fill a bunch of roles if needed (sit Jacques against less physical teams and have brule and pou on same line, or fill in for the inevitable Moreau/pisani injury).

    kills me that the org is making the same mistake 2 years in a row.

  12. SK Oiler Fan says:

    These former junir stars (Brule, Schremp, Pouliot) who racked up points against kids 2 and 3 years younger than them need to realize is that the top 6F positions are taken up by high first rounders, big contracts, UFA signings, skilled Euros, and the elite talents.

    The sooner they embrace the checking role the better their chances are of a long NHL career.

    They need to recognize that GMs pay for good 3rd line players (Paulson – 2.75M, Madden – 2.5M, Cleary – 3M, Malhotra – 2-3M)

    What usually happens is they never committ to the checking role, don't make the most of their short audition as a top 6F, and end up in Europe.

  13. SK Oiler Fan says:

    These former junior stars (Brule, Schremp, The Pou) who racked up points against kids 2 and 3 years younger than them need to realize is that the top 6F positions are taken up by high first rounders, big contracts, UFA signings, skilled Euros, and the elite talents.

    The sooner they embrace the checking role the better their chances are of a long NHL career.

    They need to recognize that GMs pay for good 3rd line players (Paulson – 2.75M, Madden – 2.5M, Cleary – 3M, Malhotra – 2-3M)

    What usually happens is they never committ to the checking role, don't make the most of their short audition as a top 6F, and end up in Europe.

  14. SK Oiler Fan says:

    These former junior stars (Brule, Schremp, The Pou) who racked up points against kids 2 and 3 years younger than them need to realize the top 6F positions are taken up by high first rounders, big contracts, UFA signings, skilled Euros, and the elite talents.

    The sooner they embrace the checking role the better their chances are of a long NHL career.

    They need to recognize that GMs pay for good 3rd line players (Paulson – 2.75M, Madden – 2.5M, Cleary – 3M, Malhotra – 2-3M)

    What usually happens is they never committ to the checking role, don't make the most of their short audition as a top 6F, and end up in Europe.

  15. SK Oiler Fan says:

    sorry for the multiple posts, blogger giving me errors

  16. blah says:

    Listening to Tambo interview, what I understood was Pouliot will be given a chance for 3rd line and brule for the 4th

  17. DanMan says:

    You guys are living in 2004.

    In the new NHL, to win you MUST have 3 lines that can score to even win a round in the playoffs.

    When you have "checking" roles for offensively talented players you are defeating the purpose of the game. You have to have a mentality that you will posess the puck, and your line will score a goal. Forecheck hard, backcheck hard, and go get the puck. I don't want Gilbert Brule "shadowing" anybody, I don't think anyone wants to see that.

    I don't think Quinn will be doing the micromanaging line matching stuff that MacT did. You have to show confidence in your players if they are ever going to get better. Our young talents need to learn to be productive in all situations.

    If we are playing with at least a 2 goal lead in the 3rd I don't mind the line matching stuff so much. But, as Larry Robinson so eloquently put it, "Play the friggen game!"

  18. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I guess we're back into development mode (tanking) then, which is fine. No need for Heatley if that's their 3 and 4 Cs.

    If we're not in development mode: Malhotra will be an overpay near 3M. I'll second the D. Moore at under 2.25M for 2years

  19. kris says:

    There's one thing noboby's mentioned.

    I seem to remember Brule's first half of the season was good. It's where he scored most of his goals.

    But after that he was a train wreck.

    Anybody have his splits?

    Isn't he going in the wrong direction? If so, why do we think he can play?

  20. Masamax says:

    So… we're going to bet on development, once again. How did that work last year?

    While I don't disagree with you that Brule hasn't shown flashes of defensive brilliance, I think that in the current cap world, and particularly in a stagnant or shrinking cap world, every team is going to have to start following this mantra. Development, or at least hoping for a young guy to outperform his meager contract, is going to have to be the norm on most teams in my opinion. The days of being able to run several 2 and 3 million dollar players on your 4th (and even 3rd line) is going to be a thing of the past once teams get all their bloated contracts off the books.

    One thing that can be said about Brule is that the kid can hit and he can be a battler. Obviously injury concerns could be said to have made the guy a lot more timid, but under the right coaching he could be a very effective and cheap banger on a 3rd or fourth line. I'd be comfortable putting him on the fourth line to start the season and see what he can do.

  21. Jonathan Willis says:

    I don't think Quinn will be doing the micromanaging line matching stuff that MacT did.

    I don't think Quinn will be doing the micromanaging line matching stuff that virtually every other coach in the NHL does.

    Fixed it for you.

  22. Jonathan Willis says:

    I love this "three offensive lines" dream. Yes – every line (or at least the top-nine) on the team should be able to play in both ends of the rink.

    But you also need to have at least two lines who can go head to head against the other team's powerhouses – and this team only has a few guys who have shown they can do that without getting slaughtered (Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner (in the offensive zone), O'Sullivan, Moreau (if healthy, and not this past season), Pisani (if healthy, and not this past season)).

    There are two ends to the rink, guys.

  23. godot10 says:

    Some of the same people who were arguing that the Oilers should go with a goaltender with a resume, because they could need to get a bargain goaltender, are making the opposite argument for the thrid line centre…that the Oilers should pay full value for multiple year to tie up a career bottom sixer.

    But head coaches can't really coach goaltenders, whereas head coaches can coach young talented but unproven bottom sixers on bargain contracts.

  24. godot10 says:

    Marty Reasoner once had the exact same resume as Marc Pouliot. Couldn't stick in the NHL on the top two lines. Finally figured out that there were 12 forwards on an NHL team instead of 6.

    Pouliot's skill set is not significantly different than Malhotra's, or Bett's, or Moore's. Signing a veteran bottom sixer for multiple years at over $2 million per season is not a bargain contract, is not a contract where one will get out performance in terms of value.

    If Malhotra is still available in September for a one-year deal, then maybe you sign him. But signing him for multiple years when you have highly paid coaches and the young players with the right skill set to be coached is not a recipe for contending.

  25. godot10 says:

    //the Oilers should go with a goaltender with a resume//

    that should have read "should NOT go"

  26. SK Oiler Fan says:

    "Marty Reasoner once had the exact same resume as Marc Pouliot. Couldn't stick in the NHL on the top two lines. Finally figured out that there were 12 forwards on an NHL team instead of 6."

    well said goddot10

    Pou and Brule need to have a heart to heart with Resoner and a faceoff clinic with Adam Oats this summer.

    I'm susprised Adam Oats isn't an assistant coach in the A or bigs seeing how important faceoffs have become.

  27. quain says:

    Isn't he going in the wrong direction? If so, why do we think he can play?

    I don't have the splits, but if this happened it'd be the same thing that happened to Schremp… which means we have only one answer: Liam Reddox stirs the drink on the Falcons.

  28. spOILer says:

    Pouliot has been noticeable by his absence on most of the rosters that have been posted here over the past few weeks.

    If Cogs stays and one of either Potulny or Brule comes up (I don't mind either for 4C), then what exactly does Mr. MAP play? Music up in the gondola? Solitaire in the press box?

    And at what point do we cut bait on MAP? One more year?

    I don't mind a passing centre at 3C if his wingers are going to be Pisani and Moreau, but if NOW is the time, which it appears to be with Tambo's moves and attempted moves, why are we not signing a Peca, Moore, or Malhotra?

    Do we really want an relatively unproven MAP playing the role of 3C and taking the second toughest minutes? And where does Cogs play?

    I'm really hating this Heatley albatross remaining wrapped around the Oilers necks.

  29. DanMan says:

    Johnathan, that "3 offensive lines dream" has pretty much won the last 5 stanley cups.

    We are not the Minnesota Wild or New Jersey Devils and should never aspire to be. I wouldn't even want to win that way.

    Edmonton needs to restore a sense of pride in the hockey we play.

    The argument we are having here is the classic puck posesseion vs. trapping strategies. You like boring ugly hockey, I like fast paced end-to-end offensive hockey.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Brule seemed to play with incredible tenacity. But he's quite small, and already had his head splattered(okay, sternum) against NHL sized opposition.

    The question is, is Brule any bigger? If so, great. If not, given his style of play, it almost seems inevitable he's going to get splattered again. Then on the other hand, his body should be a lot more mature by now(which is my abiding argument for not rushing teenagers into the NHL).

  31. Jonathan Willis says:

    DanMan:

    I'm not arguing that. But if you look at all of those Stanley Cup winning lines, these were guys that can play both ends of the rink. Pittsburgh, Detroit, Carolina; they all had three lines of two-way guys.

    The exception would be Anaheim, but they ran Getzlaf and Co. out in the offensvie zone and compensated by sending Pahlsson and Co. out in the defensive zone.

    And all of those teams had line-matching coaches.

    This isn't an argument against offense – far from it – but if your team can't play at both ends than whatever they gain in offense they'll lose on defense.

  32. knighttown says:

    No Dan, what JW is saying is that we need three lines of outscoring, not checking. The new NHL is all about power-vs.-power. Our first line as it is can hold its own against the Datsyuk line (for instance) but when Horc changes someones got to out against Zetterberg. No one is saying Dominic Moore** should "shadow" him but his combination of faceoff skills, speed, experience and positioning means that he, between Moreau and Pisani would have some shot at not getting lit up.

    Then over the boards comes Gagner/POS and Nilsson versus whomever Filpulla or Helm is playing with and again, we've got a shot.

    However, if you take away Dominic Moore** and bump Gagner up against Zetterberg and Brule against Filpulla you lose.

    Every night.

  33. DanMan says:

    Even back in 04 with the flamers and tampa bay. Lecavalier played against Iginla's line, but his line had the puck more, so do you call him a checker?

    Why can't we just play #1 line vs #1 and so on. Some coaches do that, Jonathan. Horc will be there he's responsible.

    Even Gagner. I mean Chicago, Phoenix, LA, etc.-their young players play against the other teams' top lines and thrive. You can't have a defeatist attitude.

    Drink the Oiler-Aid, guys!

  34. SK Oiler Fan says:

    This will be Brule's, Pou's, and Potulny 5th full pro seasons, correct? It's gd time to figure it out! If any of them haven't figured it out by Christmas 09 it's time to move on.

    With all of their cap killer contracts the Oilers can't seem to get rid of they need their cheap contracts to be viable NHL options.

  35. knighttown says:

    More pressing than the need for a #3C is an upgrade to our penalty kill. It sucked, and our second most prolific PKer has been sent away for magic beans. If Dennis shit his pants last year watching the Oilers use a 4 forward rotation, imagine how he'll feel watching these pairings:

    Horcoff-Moreau
    Pisani-Horcoff
    Pouliot**-Brule**

    **except in games within 3 goals where the 3rd pairing will be Pisani and Moreau.

  36. spOILer says:

    Even back in 04 with the flamers and tampa bay. Lecavalier played against Iginla's line, but his line had the puck more, so do you call him a checker?

    Why can't we just play #1 line vs #1 and so on. Some coaches do that, Jonathan. Horc will be there he's responsible.

    Nice job of making JW's point for him.

  37. Traktor says:

    If the stated goal from the General Manager is to get tougher and harder to play against then why in the world would anyone think Pouliot would get promoted?

    I'd say the only reason Brodziak got traded over Pouliot is because Brodziak actually had value.

  38. Jonathan Willis says:

    I mean Chicago, Phoenix, LA, etc.-their young players play against the other teams' top lines and thrive

    CHI – Kane: 5th in QualComp +5
    CHI – Toews: 8th in QualComp +12
    L.A – Kopitar: 2nd in QualComp -10
    L.A – Brown: 6th in QualComp -11
    L.A – Moller: 8th in QualComp -1
    PHX – Hanzal: 2nd in QualComp -7
    PHX – Winnik: 5th in QualComp EV
    PHX – Boedker: 7th in QualComp -3
    PHX – Tikhonov: 11th in QualComp -5

    None of the young players on those teams combined a) playing top quality competition with b) outscoring.

    Your statement is erroneous, I think.

  39. JB-"jiggyman" says:

    Pouliot on the 3rd line is a great idea if we're planning on tanking the season. Assuming we're at least playoff contenders, Pouliot to the minors is probably our best option.

    I like Brule on the 4th, but Stortini/Jacques types aren't his ideal type of line-mates. We need a little more skill/smarts to go along with Brule imo.

    We can all see the gaping hole at 3c, but lets not pretend we have an answer in the system. Pouliot is in no way shape or form an answer.

    It still baffles me how LT can see so much in Pouliot, yet so little in Smid.

    Almost as baffling as dumping Brodziak while keeping Pouliot.

  40. Jonathan Willis says:

    EV PTS/60 last season for the kids:

    Brule: 1.74
    Cogliano: 1.69
    O'Sullivan: 1.69
    Ganger: 1.69
    Pouliot: 1.67
    Brodziak: 1.62
    Reddox: 1.43
    Nilsson: 1.22

    Somebody explain to me again why Pouliot's so useless? Offensively he compares pretty well to the other kids, and he's ahead of guys like Brodziak and Nilsson.

  41. HBomb says:

    Ok, things that don't line up:

    - Trading Heatley for 3 developing players

    And

    - Playing Pouliot as 3C

    I like MAP just fine, but if you're giving him the third line center job, you should be admitting this is another "development" season coming up.

    Which means:

    a) NOT trading for Dany Heatley
    b) Trading off Moreau and Staios at the deadline
    c) Dealing either Souray or Visnovsky now to clear cap space for next summer (Gagner, Cogliano, cap drop)
    d) Building a time machine and signing Martin Biron instead of Nik Khabibuilin (note: I'm actually OK with this signing, but the guy is 36 – I can see the argument's against it).

    I'm fine with this team missing the playoffs again this coming season, as long as I see that there's a long term plan in place.

  42. knighttown says:

    ANDREWCOGLIANO QC -0.04, QT -0.03, CORSI -4.4, GFOn/60 2.34, GAOn/60 2.40, BTN +/- (-1)

    MARC-ANTOINEPOULIOT QC -0.06, QT -0.03, CORSI -4.4, GFOn 2.32, GAOn 2.42, BTN +/- (-1)

    There numbers are startlingly similar. Here's the one difference:

    Age:

    AC- 21
    MP- 23

    But yeah, Poo is as decent an NHL player as Cogs right now however, I'm not sure that's saying too much. Cogs kinds sucks right now but we put up with the growing pains because of upside. A 23 year old had better make a jump, and soon.

  43. pboy says:

    Pisani is a pretty responsible hockey player and I realize that he has played his entire NHL career as a RW but maybe we could slot him in as the 3C and see how that works out??? What's that you say? We tried it last season and it didn't go that well. Never mind…..How about trying Smid at forward then?

    Yours Truly,

    MacT

  44. Rick says:

    I'd like to see the kids get a shot other than signing some 3/4th line FA for over $2M who might slack off with a big payday.

    I'm also a proponent of giving some slots on the 3/4th line to guys who are not checkers, but rather have some skill, but also can play some defense, primarily with solid stick checking and on-the-puck play.

    And as one poster said there's two ends of the rink: That's right, one direction for the forwards and one for the defense.

    We won't have our goalie stopping so many shots a night if almost all our defense are made up with guys like Gilbert and Souray are caught up the ice trying to play forward.

    If we got a consistently solid level of play in the back, then maybe it wouldn't be so important to have 6 one-dimensional "checkers"in the lineup.

  45. godot10 says:

    //I like MAP just fine, but if you're giving him the third line center job, you should be admitting this is another "development" season coming up.//

    Isn't Marc Pouliot further ahead in his career that Blair Betts was when Tom Renney went to New York?

    Isn't Marc Pouliot roughly at the same place in his career as when Malhotra was when he went to Columbus? And didn't Malhotra really only become a useful player when Hitchcock showed up in Columbus two years ago?

    What Pouliot needs is a coach who tells him what his role is going to be and coaches him to fill it?

    A GM hires a coach to fix the problems in the bottom six of the roster. Using money to fix it is wrongheaded, especially in a cap world, because one cannot get outperformance in the bottom six if one has to buy the players on the open market.

  46. Traktor says:

    "Somebody explain to me again why Pouliot's so useless?"

    - has the heart of Russian with 1/4 of the skills

    - only wins around 25% of 50/50 battles

    - still makes mistakes that you'd expect from 18 year olds (poor line changes, getting his pocket picked in his own zone while looking for a home run pass)

    - shows indecision instead of making quick decisions (often leads to wasted 2-1's ect..)

    - his release is as fast as a guy on death row

    - plays without much passion

    - very poor acceleration

    - average top speed

    He's a plug.

  47. DBO says:

    A few things.

    1. the difference between Cogs and Pouliot is that Cogs can score. Plain and simple. they are similar in their own zone (=lost), but where Pou is very vanilla with his skill set, Cogs has the speed and scoring instincts that set him apart. No contest. Cogs has a much brighter and bigger future. Which is why teams are asking for him in trade, and they couldn't give pou away at the draft.
    2. Going into the season with 3 centres under the age of 24 is a killer. We either deal for a more veteran centre or sign one (over pay or not). We go into the season as is and we will be discussing our chances of the #1 pick.
    3. We are 3 or 4 plaers away from being a real contender, and man I wish the org realized that. yes getting a top 3 winger is huge, but we would need to a. dump salary and b. add vets in order to even fill out our roster. make moves that fill needs today and in the future, but not with the thought that we are a contender by adding one player. If we were only a player away i would love the Heatley deal, but since we aren't, and cap wise we would need to unlod other talent to fill our roster, the heatley move makes no sense.

  48. TC91 says:

    I don't see much harm in trying out Brule and Pouliot to start the season to see if they will sink or swim as long as we make a move to acquire a veteran guy like Malholtra or Moore if they do indeed sink.

  49. hunter1909 says:

    "I'm fine with this team missing the playoffs again this coming season, as long as I see that there's a long term plan in place."

    Well, in business school they taught me five years IS the definition of long term. Oilers currently stand a mere two seasons shy of just this:

    Miss the playoffs, and miss out on all of the the lottery picks which nearly every contender requires not named the Red Wings.

  50. Black Gold says:

    To me, nothing is more important than outscoring.
    One dimensional players can be useful, one dimensional lines not so much.

  51. James Mirtle says:

    Brule was so brilliant in the dub it's amazing how much he's struggling, even apparently in the AHL. Shows how difficult it is to project kids.

  52. Coach pb9617 says:

    KT:

    Is Dominic Moore** the new Wes Walz?

  53. DBO says:

    Personally i would like us to make a move that fills needs today and frees up money next year. tehre are only a few teams with the cap space going forward to make such a deal, and thankfully for us Scott Howson is the GM of one of those teams. the reason i bring this up is that there are a lot of good UFA's after the next season, and with the cap going down teams with cap scpace will get soem good deals (look at Atlanta, Toronto and Colorado for team who will be clearing tons of cap space to be a big player). this deal works for both teams in terms of needs and dollars.

    Gilbert and Penner
    for
    Vermette, Modin and Tyutin/Hejda.

    Dollars are basically the same this year, except that next year we get $6 mill off cap. Columbus does this deal since they get their #1 offenseve defenseman in Gilbert (locked up at a reasonable deal) and a replacement for modin (basically a younger version in Penner). they have the cap space to do it and still attract players next year (they would still have almost $7 mill next year if the cap dropped to $52 mill). We woud do it since it fills pour 3C need, gets a guy with decent hands to play on the 1LW spot, and adds a solid #4 dman with some size and skill with a decent contract. We have cap space next year, and allows us to move Cogs and Smid if we wanted to in order to address other needs. Conceivably you could ice a lineup that looks like this:

    Sharp-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Modin-Gagner-POS
    Moreau-Vermette-Pisani
    Eager-Brule/Pou-Stortini

    Vish-Grebeshkov
    Tyutin-Souray
    Staios-Peckham/vet cheap dman

    PK= Horcoff, Vermette, POS, Sharp, Pisani, Moreau (much better)
    PP 1 = Sharp, Hemsky, Horcoff, Souray, Tyutin
    PP 2 = Gagner, Modin, POS, Vish, Greb.

    That is a team that can compete for the playoffs, and still have cap flexibility next year.

  54. DBO says:

    UFa's forwards after this season:

    NAME POS AGE TEAM CAP HIT DETAILS
    Kovalchuk, Ilya » F 26 ATL $6,389,300 2010 (UFA)
    Marleau, Patrick » F 29 SAN $6,300,000 2010 (UFA)
    Kariya, Paul » F 34 STL $6,000,000 2010 (UFA)
    Jokinen, Olli » F 30 CGY $5,250,000 2010 (UFA)
    Demitra, Pavol » F 34 VAN $4,000,000 2010 (UFA)
    Hejduk, Milan » F 33 COL $3,900,000 2010 (UFA)
    Kozlov, Vyacheslav » F 37 ATL $3,666,666 2010 (UFA)
    Whitney, Ray » F 37 CAR $3,550,000 2010 (UFA)
    Modano, Mike » F 39 DAL $3,450,000 2010 (UFA)
    Modin, Fredrik » F 34 CLB $3,250,000 2010 (UFA)
    Koivu, Saku » F 34 ANA $3,250,000 2010 (UFA)
    Frolov, Alexander » F 27 LAK $2,900,000 2010 (UFA)
    Cullen, Matt » F 32 CAR $2,875,000 2010 (UFA)
    Vermette, Antoine » F 26 CLB $2,762,500 2010 (UFA)
    Nolan, Owen » F 37 MIN $2,750,000 2010 (UFA)
    Madden, John » F 36 CHI $2,750,000 2010 (UFA)
    Selanne, Teemu » F 39 ANA $2,625,000 2010 (UFA)
    Pisani, Fernando » F 32 EDM $2,500,000 2010 (UFA)
    Stempniak, Lee » F 26 TOR $2,500,000 2010 (UFA)
    Walker, Scott » F 35 CAR $2,500,000 2010 (UFA)
    Lehtinen, Jere » F 36 DAL $2,500,000 2010 (UFA)
    Higgins, Chris » F 26 NYR $2,250,000 2010 (UFA)
    Holmstrom, Tomas » F 36 DET $2,250,000 2010 (UFA)
    Torres, Raffi » F 27 CLB $2,250,000 2010 (UFA)
    Weight, Doug » F 38 NYI $2,200,000 2010 (UFA)
    Tkachuk, Keith » F 37 STL $2,150,000 2010 (UFA)
    Ponikarovsky, Alexei » F 29 TOR $2,105,000 2010 (UFA)
    Svatos, Marek » F 27 COL $2,050,000 2010 (UFA)
    Guerin, Bill » F 38 PIT $2,000,000 2010 (UFA)
    Halpern, Jeff » F 33 TBL $2,000,000 2010 (UFA)
    Lombardi, Matthew » F 27 PHO $1,816,666 2010 (UFA)
    Fedotenko, Ruslan » F 30 PIT $1,800,000 2010 (UFA)
    Stajan, Matthew » F 25 TOR $1,750,000 2010 (UFA)
    Kesler, Ryan » F 24 VAN $1,750,000 2010 (UFA)

    That's a lot of talent and not much cap room for most teams to play with. i like the idea of adding players whose deals fall off after the year in order to get some players on the cheap, or overpay for a star who won't be able to find the money elsewhere. oif the cap projections mid season say it will drop by a lot, teams will be able to reup players for a huge discount, since it assures that player of a spot.

  55. DBO says:

    Next year would be a hell of a year to be an expansion team, as they would be the only ones with cap space.

  56. devin says:

    Pou has looked lost as a winger. But when he first came up (and whenever he subsequently played C) wasn't he fairly useful at both ends? I seem to remember him being a low GA guy back when he was a C.

    Brule, to me, appears to have no hockey sense. He goes for the low percentage play way too often, and while that stuff works in junior even the most skilled players in the NHL play the percentages. I have zero faith that Brule will become an NHL player.

  57. SK Oiler Fan says:

    "Miss the playoffs, and miss out on all of the the lottery picks which nearly every contender requires not named the Red Wings."
    Exactly Hunter.

    I don't understand Canadian team GMs. Of all fans, Canadians should be the easiest to convince that a few tanked seasons are a necessary evil to build a contender. And yes, apparently Detroit plays by different rules.

    It's worked well for Pitt, Chic, Wash, Car, TB and I suspect we will be able to say the same of LA, CBJ, StL and dare I say it the Toronto Burkes in the next 2 or 3 years.

  58. NBOilerFan says:

    DBO said…
    "Kills me that the org is making the same mistake 2 years in a row."

    So do we think Tambs is really the guy in charge here?

    This offseason reaks of Kevin Lowe.

  59. uni says:

    Detroit doesn't necessarily play by different rules, they pulled a Datsyuk and a Zetterberg out of their rears. 2 parts excellent scouting, 2 parts good development, 16 parts incredible luck that they panned out to be stars.

    I don't care how much people rave about how awesome Detroit is and how they are the model franchise and march to their own drummer. The simple fact is that they pulled 2 HUGE ones out of thin air that was as much luck as good drafting and development. Those 2 players allowed them to absorb the Fedorov and Yzerman declines, and to keep that continuity of winning that has every free agent and their grandmas buying into their system now.

    So for the Detroit model you need to draft a Datsyuk and a Zetterberg in the late rounds. A Kaberle is rare enough, so good luck.

  60. Coach pb9617 says:

    This offseason reaks of Kevin Lowe.

    Higher.

  61. PDO says:

    Coach:

    Nylander, Gomez, Penner, Vanek…

    That all happened under EIG.

  62. Woodguy says:

    Miss the playoffs, and miss out on all of the the lottery picks which nearly every contender requires not named the Red Wings.

    Boston, San Jose, Anahiem, Philly, Calgary, and Vancouver (won division last year) would dispute that.

    Smart trades and quality drafting are good over time (i.e. having a smart GM)

    You don't have to suck and great picks to become very good. It helps, but is not required.

    Everyone has said that Detroit has a number of good players not playing in the NHL due to room on the roster.

    I guess this year we find out if that's true.

    Otherwise their draft record from 2003 – present is meh in terms of players playing in the NHL.

  63. Woodguy says:

    After re-reading what I wrote, I have a disclaimer.

    disclaimer: I do not think the Paul Holmgren is particularly sharp.

  64. Baroque says:

    Everyone has said that Detroit has a number of good players not playing in the NHL due to room on the roster.

    Mostly people refer to Darren Helm and Jonathan Ericsson that way, as if it wasn't for salary cap reasons they would have both been on the roster last year. Ville Leino is also going to be on the roster, and maybe even Justin Abdelkader (although they would prefer to leave him in Grand Rapids for another year).

    They have been incredibly lucky in their draft picks, and Ken Holland is one of the first people to admit it. He just figures if the team can get a couple NHL players from each draft, whatever round they get them from, the team will be alright in terms of infusing talent each year.

  65. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Agreed on Det being lucky at the draft table. Add Lidstrom in the 3rd round to Dats and Z and they've won the lottery 3 times. They obviously have a great development system though.
    Toss in the multiple contract discounts since the lockout and it hardly seems fair.

    Admittedly there are other ways to become a contender, but tanking for a few years in a row is a much more proven method. TB, Car, Pitt have all won cups since the lockout.

    If you go back a few more years SJ, Boston, Ana, and Philly have all had a rough patch for a year or two.

    You have to admit finishing 7th to 10th every year sure makes it tough to contend and the Oiers have proved it over and over. 06 being the exception of course, but Lowe used all three of his wishes up there.

  66. NBOilerFan says:

    Coach pb9617 said…
    Higher.

    I don't doubt Katz is also backing this, but Lowe has been looking for a "franchise" type player since before Pronger, and then again since he left. Remember, he is still thinking that he found his "franchaise" player in Pronger, who came here and took us to the promise land (well, one win from it anyway) and he's looking for it again.

    Great article by Guy Flaming at Coming Down The Pipe…. and a coupel interesting quotes…

    "The message at the end of the 2008-09 season was clear: "It is a priority to make the Springfield Falcons better via free agency". We're ten days into the feeding frenzy and so far the Oilers have only signed one impact AHL player while the list of available players gets rapidly smaller every day."

    Sounds alot like the the actions thus far from the parent club.

    "There are good players available for the taking but there are a couple of hurdles in Edmonton's way; a self-imposed budget for the minor league team and the lofty asking price of those talented players."

    "But paying $500K to a player on the farm, like Mathieu Roy last year, is not something Edmonton wants to do."

    Hmmmm… a self inmposed budget for Springfield and paying decent salaries to quality players in the minors is also they don't want to do.

    Doesn't sound like Katz is that eager to bury salary in the minors as many assumed from teh rumours that he gave the green light for Heatley and would do "whatever was necessary" to fit him on the team within teh salary cap.

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