Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear

“Oilers say they will stay in the Heatley deal until the bitter end. Could be a long wait.”

-Darren Dreger via twitter.

Something in the conversations they’ve had with Heatley must imply he’ll come here. Right?

Right?

I’ve been thinking the Oilers should put this to bed and get on with the business of re-working the roster over the summer. It now appears this is the summer.

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145 Responses to "Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Time to hit the beach!

    White whale indeed. He won't come and now he's going to cost even more?

    Forget it.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    OIlers are going to be like the 00's(Quinn) Leafs. Good for the odd playoff win, and booted by the time the real teams play(conference finals).

    Players shipped out, in that quick win mode that the impatient types cannot help themselves but go for.

    They will also end up higher than 8th, so that's the consolation.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This organization is really starting to piss me off. It's been smoldering for a few years, but I am really starting to wonder why I am still a fan.

    Why go after this guy? Why beg someone to come and play for you?

    Does he help you get a new arena? Is that why?

  4. uni says:

    Ladies and gentlemen the new Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. One special caveat is that now there is a salary cap, and free agents, especially home town boys, don't want to sign here.

    Sheldon Souray notwithstanding. Funny how the guys that wanted to resign here, Dvorak and Reasoner, are exactly the type of players we need right now.

    Looks like I'm going to have lots of free time and sleep next Winter after all. Nope, no more staying up till 12:30 AM cursing at a grainy live Internet stream.

  5. Krankor says:

    Something in the conversations they've had with Heatley must imply he'll come here. Right?

    That seems to be the only logical reason why this would keep dragging on, but why take this guy at his word at this point?

    I had a boss who was a hopeless optimist, and every time we came out of a proposal presentation with a client he would be 100% sure that they loved it and would be signing on the dotted line any minute now. The problem was that he couldn't tell real enthusiasm from mere politeness; people are reluctant to tell you what they're really thinking face to face, especially if it's negative. Oh, and my boss would keep holding on to hope even long after the client had gone with someone else (they liked us to much, you see, that they'd come crawling back later).

    I really hope that Tambo & Co aren't clinging to a naively optimistic hope based on Heatley's camp making some polite noises.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If we get Heatley and he puts up 40-50 goals, we'll probably be able to forgive him, right?

    Let's just assume that he comes here. Let's also assume that we dump Souray's contrat somehow (someone's going to have to go). How would you guys fill the gaps to make this team a winner?

    Heatley-Horcoff-Hemsky
    POS-Gagner-Mr. X
    Moreau-Mr. X-Pisani
    Stortini-Pouliot-Brule, etc.

    Vish-Mr. X
    Gilbert-Grebs
    Staios-Mr. X
    Strudwick

    Bulin
    JDD

  7. hunter1909 says:

    What's the cap hit for Mr X? Sign him!

  8. hunter1909 says:

    I just downloaded a sixties classic song titled "Baby I need Your Lovin" by Johnny Rivers.

    Seems fitting somehow, but I don't understand why.

  9. doritogrande says:

    I thought LT disabled the anonymouse comments for this exact reason.

    It's called grammar buddy, check it out sometime.

    Move along troll.

  10. Phil says:

    If I may, I’m going to play a bit of devil’s advocate here.

    Any NHL team that wants to be successful HAS to have some elite players. At least one true star (sorry Hemmer, you aren’t one). For two reasons – the first is obvious, but the second reason is because elite players attract other players. Who wanted to be in Washington before OV? Who wanted to be in Detroit before Yzerman? Crosby in Pittsburg? Calgary would still be no-man’s land if they hadn’t found Iginla.

    The biggest challenge that this management group/ownership faces is to somehow reverse the league perception that Edmonton is a crappy place to be. The best way to do this is to build some star power… which brings us to the mayhem of the past few days.

    There’s only so many ways to acquire star power. Develop it, buy it (FA style) or trade for it. The difficulties with the FA route are painfully well documented. Developing star power requires both time, and the right draft pick. Either you luck out with low draft picks (Detroit), or you need to tank really bad for a long time and score some top 3 picks (Pitts, Wash, Chicago, etc). Personally, I could live with the tanking for 3 years option, but I know that Katz and the rest won’t.

    So that leaves the trade option.

    What do you think the going rate on the trade market would be for a 6’3” 220lb winger who’s averaged 45 goals and 90 points since the lockout, is just entering the prime of his career, and is locked up for another 5 years? Those trade talks for Edmonton would normally begin with Hemsky, continue with one of Cogs, Gagner, Gilbert, and end with a mix of a few prospects and draft picks. So if all of a sudden a player of this type comes along, and you can get him for one blue chipper, one underachiever with a bloated contract, and one slowly developing, replaceable defenseman, then from management’s perspective, it’s a no-option no-brainer. You stick to that deal like a fat kid on a smartie until you either get it, or he get’s traded elsewhere.

    I do not agree with what’s going on, nor do I want Heatley anymore, but I understand why management is doing what they’re doing.

  11. DBO says:

    2nd anonymous: that is basically what is going to happen. Souray will bring back a body or two. maybe a young winger for the 2nd line. You then sign a blair betts, moore, malhotra for the 3C. And right now you slot peckham in at 6D and rotate him wih Strudwick. That I have to assume is the plan. there is a plan right?

  12. Woodguy says:

    I am floored that we don't have a 3C yet.

    Heatley or no Heatley, we need a 3C, especially after trading the closest thing we had to a 3C.

    If they fiddle while Rome burns for two years in a row by not addressing this need, none of the Oiler executives deserve their jobs.

    That level of incompetence would truly be astounding.

    If they say that they are going to try to address that need internally, then the inmates are running the asylum.

  13. Alice says:

    1. LT – thanks for killing the Anon business This thread was beginning to look like the comment ticker under TSN and Globe stories.

    2. What are the chances that 28 GMs out there say "I don't want this Ever to happen to me, fuck it."? If they all sit on their hands then Heatley has only one place to play NHL hockey, and at this point his handlers might be saying suck it up, kid, this too will pass. I'd take him to the trade deadline, then move him to everyone's satisfaction. You'd think the damage-control instinct should be kicking in sometime, but maybe we really have no idea how or whether normal behaviors of humility survive in these guys. When you've been the vaunt since age 4, then drowned in money and surrounded by sycophants – who of us might not get a little sideways with reality? Cherry always says the hockey guys are different, not like the spoiled guys in 'other' sports. We'd wish it were true, but the full gamut of class and character is there in every sport, just as it is in every neighborhood, school, profession and city.

  14. jesse r says:

    Let's look on the bright side. At least no one can accuse the Oilers of having too much pride.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Alice: I'm trying to kill the anon items but may kill all comments in the process. If I do, apologies.

    Here we go. Can someone please post something at 9:27AM. If it works, we're good to go.

  16. Yeti says:

    I'm just wondering if the front office has given any explicit indication that they are aware we need a strong veteran 3C? The gaping hole didn't bother them last summer and doesn't seem to be a priority this year. They can't honestly expect to roll with Pouliot and Brule, can they? Oh, don't tell me – Pisani to make the switch again??

  17. R-Gib says:

    I don't know if you guys and gals have seen this bit on the Heatley debacle yet, but it made me laugh so I thought I'd share:

    http://www.downgoesbrown.com/2009/07/dany-heatley-trade.html

  18. R-Gib says:

    ps – still can't figure out how to link properly… sorry 'bout that.

  19. JK says:

    The Oilers must have some reason other than delusion or desperation to still be in the hunt. Something positive must have been said in Kelowna.

    If they are hanging a new arena around this guy then they are just stupid. Heatley's not even here yet (and I think he eventually will be), but already he is liked only slightly better by the fans in Edmonton than he is liked by the fans in Ottawa. If this drags out much longer I could see him becoming about as popular as Pronger among Oiler fans. That could be a real problem if he is playing for the home team.

  20. trav77 says:

    The oilers are obviously aware of details we are not. there has to be a legit reason why they are still persuing heatley. maybe it has nothing to do with not wanting to play in edmonton.

  21. Jack D. says:

    At least we don't have a brand-new top line like the Canadiens. I don't care how bad your top line is–signing 3 new players to it in one summer is a terrible idea.

  22. Alice says:

    Is 3C Poo's job to lose? If the McBlender doesn't get set to 'frappe' (what is that anyways – is it, like, 11??) he might actually figure it out. He's old enough, it's time to make good.

  23. Highlander says:

    Phil, thank you for shining some light on this self-destructive navel-gazing!

    Is Heatley the happy-warrior that we would want him to be? No. Is he Iginla, with all the leadership that he brings? No. Is he anywhere close to a "complete" player? No.

    He would be, however, the most natural finisher this franchise has had since Kurri left.

    He isn't perfect, not by a long-shot, but he is elite and, as Phil reminds us, he is in his prime. How many years of Hemsky's prime are we going to wait around for the more perfect fit?

    With Heatley we go from also-ran to pretender. No, we do not move into a contender role, I am well aware of that and agree that the goal of any franchise is to become the Wings or Pens or the Ducks and be perenial contenders. That is where I would prefer to be too, but that just isn't on the table today nor is it obviously there in a year or two.

    Is it worth the extra effort to get him here? Yes. I think the suggestion that Ottawa grieve the $4 million payout, in light of the trade demand, is fair and given that Edmonton would be happy to cut the cheque instead probably solves that problem from Ottawa's perspective so the additional "price" will not come in the form of another body.

    We sign Grebeshkov and we are off.

    There aren't too many players out there who bring what Heatley, with all his well publicised warts, can give you. We saw over the last few days what players of that ilk cost: Hossa, Gaborik and Havlat. I would put Heatley just behind Hossa on that list and all of them come with issues.

    We are a better team with a player of Heatley's skill set and the comparisons to the Leaf and Ranger regimes are silly. This is a guy in his prime and I don't understand the need to dismiss the efforts to bring him here as foolish – it is a good bet to make and I'm glad that Tambo is continuing to make the effort.

  24. Smarmy Boss says:

    I've been wishing the Oilers would properly rebuild for a decade now.

    Although, I'll take the Quinn Leafs "success" over the Mac-T "success"

  25. jdrevenge says:

    Wordless………..

  26. Baroque says:

    Maybe another trade might be available. The San Jose Sharks made a lot of noise about unacceptable results, and needing to make big changes, and so far have done very very little.

    Maybe they would be willing to trade in order to shake up the roster?

    And he apparently wants big money – bigger than Jeff Finger money – but Francois Beauchemin (sp) is still available on defense, if the Oilers want to use some of their defense in a trade.

  27. trav77 says:

    just wondering but how much relevance does rob scremp have right now? does anyone think they will give him a real shot this year. I think they sent him an offer, I'd like to really see what we have.

  28. David says:

    @Phil: I agree completely with your comment, my concern at this point is after all these shenanigans, is Heatley still the type of player that would attract others?

    I sure would like to know exactly what's going on behind the scenes. Call me an optimist but the Oilers management group can't be crazy enough to continue pursuing this if everything was actually as negative as it has been portrayed. There's got to be something positive going on, right?

    What if they're saying to Heatley, "hey, come to Edmonton, score a bunch of goals, repair your reputation, and we'll send you to a contender at the deadline." Would the return on him be higher than Penner/Cogs/Smid at that point?

  29. Baroque says:

    Holy smokes, I actually remembered my login! Whoo-hoo!

    On Beauchemin, I meant that Edmonton could sign him as a free agent to fill holes if a trading partner wanted a defenseman in trade for a forward. I don't know how clear that was.

    (And thanks for getting rid of the grammar-impaired. That gives me a headache.)

  30. Lowetide says:

    I do believe 3C might be Pouliot's job to lose, or if not him then Brule. Gregor has been saying this since the Brodziak trade.

    I'm a Pouliot fan, so this is good news for me.

  31. Lowetide says:

    They tried to deal Schremp for a 2nd at the draft and didn't get a response.

  32. trav77 says:

    what sre the odds of eberle gettin a few games in this coming year?

  33. Alice says:

    R-Gib…
    That's funny beyond all telling. People, do not pass Go until you read that thing

    And I love his byline:

    A Toronto Maple Leafs blog

    Unapologetically nostalgic for the past. Brutally realistic about the present.
    Grudgingly optimistic about the future.

    Speaks for fans in about every Canadian city.

  34. Yeti says:

    Alice / LT: If they wanted Pou at 3C then why the hell wasn't he playing every single game last season at 4C to build into the role? As for Brule: he has a swiss cheese defensive game. They can't possibly think he's ready for 3C duties, can they?

  35. trav77 says:

    I'm new to this I was wondering which sites were the best for accurate up to date info.

  36. Lowetide says:

    MacT didn't see him in that role.

  37. Lowetide says:

    trav77: tsn, and you can follow Dreger on twitter:

    http://twitter.com/DarrenDreger

  38. DBO says:

    Mact didn't see a lot.

  39. Phil says:

    @David re: attracting players – it all depends on results. No one (fans, other players, teammates) will give a tinker's damn about this whole debacle if Heatley shows up in Edmonton, scores 50, and realizes Edmonton isn't all that bad a place to play hockey.

    When Bertuzzi signed in Calgary last year, there wasn't a single Falmes fan that liked it, and most out and out hated it. I heard people say they were going to burn their jerseys and give up hockey all together…

    Until he went on a nice run at the beginning of the season, then all of a sudden everyone found forgiveness in their heart, and were quick to point out that everyone deserves a second chance.

    If a year from now Heatley is here, and the team made it to the second round, and the kids are coming along – FA's won't be so quick to dismiss Edmonton. Success breeds success.

  40. DBO says:

    As for signing players maybe our GM knows the landscape better then we thought. Mirtle has a great post about how much money teams have based on cap space or projected budget. Not a lot to go around. UFA's and RFA's will now be getting scraps. the guys who signed early will look like overpays when it's all said and done since the rest of them will be taking half the money. maybe they do have a plan!

    Here's mirtle
    http://www.fromtherink.com/2009/7/3/936666/2009-nhl-free-agency-which-teams

  41. R-Gib says:

    Alice – Yup funny stuff. I love the part about Pat Quinn keeping an eye on Dany: "The shadowy figure points at its eyes with two fingers, then points at Heatley." Gold.

    Pouliot could certainly fill the 3C role. Unless they sign this mysterious Mr. X, it's his job to lose.

    The Oilers seem to be really high on Brule. I sure hope they're right, cause this lineup could use a Raffi Torres on it instead right now. I'm guessing this is why they pursued Neil? Thank the heavens above THAT didn't work out…

  42. DBO says:

    Samuelsson signs a 3 year deal in vancouver. Would have been a nice fit here for the right dollars. kills me when Vancouver does things better then us.

  43. doritogrande says:

    Mikeal Samulsson, formerly of Detroit fame to the Vancouver Canucks.

    It's a three year contract as per TSN.ca

  44. mc79hockey says:

    @LT: This from Khabby: "We had some one-year offers. But when I had such a long commitment from the Oilers, it was a pretty easy decision to make."

    Still think that this was a triumph for the Oilers? This is going to become my version of Dennis and the Pronger trade.

  45. Lowetide says:

    MC: And that's okay, I was wrong on that one too.

  46. bookie says:

    If a year from now Heatley is here, and the team made it to the second round, and the kids are coming along – FA's won't be so quick to dismiss Edmonton. Success breeds success.

    I am betting that if he is putting up a point a game by Nov that the bronze statue fund is initiated.

    The oilers are obviously aware of details we are not. there has to be a legit reason why they are still perusing heatley. maybe it has nothing to do with not wanting to play in Edmonton.

    I am hoping that they hatched a late night deal with him convincing him to look like an untenable ass that would destroy team and fan morale so that his price gets driven down, at which point he indicates that he will only accept Edmonton or Phoenix as a destination, but he actually won't go to Phoenix if traded there.

    I do not agree with what’s going on, nor do I want Heatley anymore, but I understand why management is doing what they’re doing.

    I share the same view of this.

  47. bookie says:

    What if the Oilers have some kind of awesome ploy to distract everyone with this Healtey business while letting the league cap fill up so that they can pull some loophole deal to bring in both Heatly and Jagr….

    Genius I say!

  48. Jon says:

    I, for one, am down on optimism…samuelson in D in Van. Nice move Gillis…jerk!

    This is how I would rank NW teams free agency
    1. Calgary got better,
    2. Vancouver is not done but one more solid d-man (Kaberle?) and they will be much better
    3. Minny replaced Gaborik with Havlat and Foster with Zanon…looking good
    4. Colorado got a goaltender/Edm got a goaltender

  49. anonymous says:

    Heatley wants to be anonymous, which means the worst thing for a Canadian team is to sign him.

  50. trav77 says:

    I personally think there is an inkling of legitimacy in all the talk of jagr to edmonton. it could be interesting. are we close to signing grebs

  51. trav77 says:

    what is the population of ottawa. it must be a comparably sized market.

  52. uni says:

    Actually Colorado getting a goaltender vaults them over the Oil.

    If you saw the Budaj/Raycroft show last season you'd probably end up thinking that Colorado would have had a shot at the playoffs if they had a starter. If Anderson is that and can shoulder 60 games a season they've just made a huge improvement.

    Edmonton actually had a capable goalie last season.

  53. DBO says:

    The most annoying thing right now is that we have put everything else on hold until the heatley thing is decided. that is not only stupid it's unbelieveably short sighted. With teams lacking cap space or money, there are a bunch of good UFA's who can be had, even on 1 year deals, for not much money. And with the cap assuredly going down next year, many players (like the Samuelsson in van) will take 2 or 3 year deals at a discounted rate to assure themselves of a place to play in 2010/11. Heard on team 1260 gregor mentioning he talked to a GM at the draft whose plan was to put his phone away until August and piuck decent guys up for no money since they will have no choice.

  54. Showerhead says:

    Oh FFS. With every day that passes, I get more displeased about the original deal – the one I'd once hoped Heatley would accept… the one that's supposedly not good enough now. The whole family is starving right now because Stevey Lowe Fisherman keeps throwing every non-Master-Angler off the boat.

  55. Traktor says:

    Ville Leino:

    07-08 FNL 55 28 49 77
    08-09 AHL 57 15 31 46
    08-09 NHL 13 5 4 9

    Would Detroit match a 1.2 million dollar offer?

  56. bookie says:

    Ottawa is about the same size as Edmonton (when you count Hull, etc) but a smaller portion of the population care about hockey than here.

    Having lived in both Edmonton and Ottawa, I would suspect that it would be easier to find places to go in Ottawa where you were less likely to face some fan blathering in your face how you couldn't score on an anorexic stick man.

  57. Scott says:

    Traktor:

    I doubt Leino signs it.
    He reportedly turned down multiple big dollar offers from Russia to play limited minutes in Detroit and spend time in the AHL because he really buys into the Detroit system.

    That success breeds success thing again.

  58. Jfry says:

    lt wrote: "MacT didn't see him in that role."

    ummm…that sort of flies in the face of MacT's comments about Pouliot being a Carbonneau type player doesn't it? Mac T saw him in that fole and pou still thinks this is a game and and he should be top 6. there's idiological seperation between the org and the player and i don't want that in my shit down centerman.

    if pouliot is our 3c next year, LT might look good, but the oil won't. we've had success one year in the last 8 pushing out a rookie/novice in the most challenging role of 3C and that was the miracle cup run. can we just sign some "been around the block" 30 year old and stop insisting that the most important defensive position can be given to some guy we keep making "mono" excuses for from when he was 19?

    if pouliot is our 3rd line center come puck drop…well, it might be time for me to get another team to cheer for. maybe another sport.

    if pouliot is our 3c, the brodziak trade looks even dumber.

    i'm finding it very tough to be an oilers fan right now. does any team outside of NYI and Tampa have as many question marks as us? that's bad company for us to keep.

    tought time to be living in calgary, that's all i'll say.

  59. Scott says:

    At what point in the miracle cup run would Mike Peca be considered a rookie?

  60. Downright Fierce says:

    Ville Leino… Would Detroit match a 1.2 million dollar offer?

    I think they would, despite it being a steep overpay. He fits their system too well and with Samuelsson in Van, he's got the perfect hole to fill.

  61. jesse r says:

    The most annoying thing right now is that we have put everything else on hold until the heatley thing is decided.

    DBO, what makes you so sure of this? You're probably right, but for all you know Tambi spent the whole flight to Kelowna on the seat-back phone in Katz' jet talking to potential free agents.

  62. Baroque says:

    Supposedly Ville Leino is close to signing a two-year deal with Detroit.

  63. Doogie2K says:

    So something occurred to me while I was getting ready for work this morning. Just why the hell are we freaking out over not having signed Malholtra or a 3C yet? Malhotra's talks broke down with the BJs, and it strikes me that there must be a reason, and given that everyone here are Scott Howson's #1 fan, it must be something to do with Malhotra himself, right? That he's asking for way too much? So why the hell would we want him? We're still bitching about overpaying Khabibulin and how much Heatley's going to cost, for Christ's sake.

    On that note, you know for all the complaining about signing famous players, everyone's awfully upset about guys like Pahlsson and Madden and even Koivu (who sure as hell isn't going to be cheap) going elsewhere and Malhotra not coming in…those are famous guys. They cost money we don't have. The guys who aren't famous, the guys who are deals, they can wait a week or two. They're not going anywhere. They'll still be cheap as fuck on July 8 or 20 or whatever, and in fact are more likely to be so because everyone's blown their wad on the shiny, famous baubles. So why worry now?

    Edmonton actually had a capable goalie last season.

    …who was incapable of accepting anything other than a multi-year deal. How many people here would be howling right now if Roli had signed a two-year deal in Edmonton? People would be shitting themselves over it even more than they already are, and you can't really compare that deal to Khabi's, either, because in this scenario, there is no Khabi contract, just an old-ass goalie guaranteed cap money for multiple years.

  64. DBO says:

    So what UFA's will still be around come August? Maybe that is the plan for tambellini. Get heatley, then fill roster with $$ million players. if you think about it, it does make sense. teams aren't lining up for these guys:

    Centre:
    Blair Betts: 3/4C, vet guy who can win a faceoff.
    Jason Williams: decent two way player with some skill.
    Radek Bonk: can win a faceoff. not much else.
    Dan Fritsche: RFA not tendered. Decent size and physical play.
    Marcel Goc: RFA not tendered. Awesome faceoff man and still young. Can be had for a million.
    Chris Gratton: size and win a faceoff. at this point you can get him for the minimum.

    That's just the centre position.

    Left Wing:
    Travis Moen: grinder, speed and a Quinn type of guy.
    Kyle calder: a bust yes. But size, some hands and can be had for cheap.
    Ruslan Fedotenko: always big in playoffs. Plays physical, and has decent hands. Might be had for less then $2 mill. knows how to play with a star.
    Petr Sykora: healthy scratch in playoffs. liked it here. had chemistry with hemsky. Will be begging for a home. Less then $1.5 mill a year and can be had.

    Defense:
    Denis Seidenberg: solid two way player. Less then $2 mill.
    Steve Eminger: not tendered RFA. Solid two way player i'd really like if we move Smid. Young enough to move up into top 4 ,and will be cheap.
    Marc Andre Bergeron: just saying.
    Phillipe Boucher: may be left without a home and may be cheap for 1 year.
    Greg Devries: solid two way guy. see above.
    Paul Mara: see above again.
    Francis Bouillon: Montreal may resign him, but he's not bad for a small guy.

    And that's just a few UFA's. Here's hoping the team brass has a similar list and is just waiting for the dust to settle to pick some guys up cheap. Faith is defined as a belief in something of which you have no tangible evidence. i have faith until they totally screw it up.

  65. anonymous says:

    Will Katz draw the line when Ottawa asks him to take Nortel as part of the deal?

  66. Jfry says:

    @scott

    peca was a "first line scorer with PP potential" remember?

    he became our shutdown guy, but originally was believed to be something more, which in my eye means that we always devalue the position. in the end, we moved peca to be a shutdown guy, which should have been the answer all year. peca is the type of player i was implying with the 30 something.

    either way, it's a small nitpick when you consider the point. we're trying to run our brule or pouliot when we know damn well we need a peca.

  67. DBO says:

    FYI: reports are samuelsson deal is for $2.5 mill per year. Solid signing for vancouver.

  68. Doogie2K says:

    I thought Sykora was KHL-bound this year. I'm not sure what gave me that impression, but there it is.

  69. Scott says:

    Jfry:

    My point is the same as yours, but I wouldn't say that we ever had success with a rookie/novice 3C. By the time we started winning (playoffs) it was Peca in the shutdown slot.

  70. goldenchild says:

    So does the hunt for the Yeti mean that the Oilers are not going to look for any other NHL players that might actually want to play here and could be of service?
    I like Pou and think he can be a good player in the middle but adding an NHL center who has already done the job in the #3 role is absolutely necessary.
    Another good move by Gillis, I can see why they passed on Tambo and hired him.

  71. Traktor says:

    Malhotra probably wants around 2.75 million per.

    That's a lot of money considering Horcoff is already making 5.5 and is only good for around 55-65 points.

    7.5 million on a third line when Hemsky was the only forward to crack 20 goals last season seems crazy.

  72. hunter1909 says:

    One thing this Heatley nonsense has done for the Oilers fanbase – It's starting to come out with wisecracks that compare to Rangers fans.

    And that's something.

    Personally this summer is becoming a sort of rubicon for me. I find myself caring less and less about what moves the team makes, in the cynical expectation that Quinn will ultimately get whatever he needs. No fucking way are they counting on Pouliot.

  73. Downright Fierce says:

    Another good move by Gillis

    In order to have another good move, you need to make a good move in the first place. Last time I checked, keeping the status quo is not considered good unless you're coming off a championship season.

  74. Showerhead says:

    In fairness, the Sedin contracts were of reasonable dollars as well as term. Sure the team isn't any better than they were a season ago, but Gillis deserves a little credit nonetheless.

  75. Coach pb9617 says:

    Mact didn't see a lot.

    It's not easy to see beyond the raving and the lunacy.

  76. devin says:

    What about Dom Moore? Seems the hype has died down – maybe could be picked up for 1.5-2M if he lasts another few days?

  77. Doogie2K says:

    In order to have another good move, you need to make a good move in the first place. Last time I checked, keeping the status quo is not considered good unless you're coming off a championship season.

    He kept the guys he needed to keep, and has tried to replace the one who wouldn't stay no matter what he did. That's as much as can be expected and really, the team came from 10 points back to win the division, and while part of that was Calgary's epic flameout (sorry), the Canucks were also playing some pretty good hockey down the stretch.

    Besides, there's only one champion every year, and I don't expect 29 GMs to make sweeping changes every year. Staying the course is sometimes (oftentimes) the best move.

  78. Traktor says:

    I know I'm probably going to be in the minority here but I think the easiest way to become harder to play against AND fill the 3C role would be to promote Stortini.

    He's not very fast but he's pretty damn reliable and I think he could do a wonderful job at "shadowing" players.

    63.6 % on the dot last year and while he obviously wouldn't maintain that rate he'd likely be above 50% due to his sheer physical strength.

    Moreau – Stortini – Pisani would be a bitch to play against.

  79. Scott says:

    The PMS line?

    Hard to play against, sure.
    But slow…

  80. DBO says:

    hehe. and very short tempered

  81. uni says:

    Traktor: That's pretty interesting, haven't heard anyone even suggest bumping Stortini up anywhere.

    I think you hit on the problem though, he's not fleet of foot, and I don't know if he has the hockey sense to play the centre position. I mean we can safely say that Pisani is a pretty clever hockey player and he couldn't make the adjustment, and I can't really see Storts doing it.

    I could see him out there for faceoffs though to give Horcoff a break before his arms fall off. Thinnest centre depth I've seen on a team in a long time. Boston has the exact opposite problem…if you can call it a problem.

  82. Ribs says:

    …he'd likely be above 50% due to his sheer physical strength.

    Umm….what?

  83. Traktor says:

    Speed isn't a big issue when you're always on the right side of the puck.

    It's the 1st and 2nd line players that can't get back into the play that you have to worry about.

  84. Alice says:

    And then Horc moves to 4RW?

    :-)

  85. devin says:

    And then Horc moves to 4RW?

    As you've doubtless heard – Horcoff's cap hit is 7M next year. 7M!!!!! ;)

  86. jon k says:

    If the Oilers are still in it we have to assume that Heatley said something in his meeting with Lowe and Tambellini that indicated he doesn't hate the city.

    I think the words coming from Dreger and Bob MacKenzie are what we should look to, that Heatley turned it down because he felt that Murray didn't even try with the places on his list.

    At this point though, we should be taking things off the table. Call if opportunity cost. In the time we've been dicking around with Heatley we arguably could have moved on to other targets.

  87. Downright Fierce says:

    Besides, there's only one champion every year, and I don't expect 29 GMs to make sweeping changes every year. Staying the course is sometimes (oftentimes) the best move.

    True (and well-put), but I still don't think Gillis' moves (or non-moves) deserve much praise. They may have played "pretty good" to win an anchovy tin of a division, but I don't think much of that is courtesy of GM MG.

    Currently his legacy consists of letting Naslund and Morrison walk (d'uh), signing Sundin (moot), re-signing the Sedins (who probably never wanted to leave), signing Samuelsson, and talking to Luongo about an extension (is this even a good idea?).

    To return to goldenchild's original comment, I think it's much too early in both men's careers to be making calls on Gillis vs Tambellini.

  88. anonymous says:

    Spector: "We're thinking it is conceivable that the NHL Players' Association would not stand in the way of Edmonton — or any other team that traded for Heatley — reimbursing the Senators for their $4 million, should the Senators grieve the situation"

    But standing here among the people of Edmonton and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous summer.

  89. DBO says:

    For all of you armchair GM's like me who want to play with numbers. Whether we get heatley, etc. you need to check out this site. Got it from mirtle. I'm geeking out on it, since it really shows that we have to move another dman if we get heatley. Have fun lads, I'll be doing to far too much of this the next few days.

    http://www.capgeek.com/cap_calculator.php

  90. DBO says:

    Here's the heatley deal with adding te parts we need.

    FORWARDS
    * Dany Heatley $7,500,000
    Shawn Horcoff $5,500,000
    Ales Hemsky $4,100,000
    Patrick O'Sullivan $2,925,000
    Fernando Pisani $2,500,000
    Ethan Moreau $2,000,000
    * Dominic Moore $1,750,000
    * Ales Kotalik $1,500,000
    * Gilbert Brule $1,246,000
    Sam Gagner $875,000
    Marc-Antoine Pouliot $825,000
    Zack Stortini $700,000
    Steve MacIntyre $537,500
    Jean-Francois Jacques $525,000
    DEFENSEMEN
    Lubomir Visnovsky $5,600,000
    Sheldon Souray $5,400,000
    Tom Gilbert $4,000,000
    * Denis Grebeshkov $3,250,000
    Steve Staios $2,700,000
    * Steve Eminger $750,000
    Jason Strudwick $700,000
    GOALTENDERS
    Nikolai Khabibulin $3,750,000
    Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers $625,000
    BUYOUTS
    NONE
    LOST VIA REENTRY WAIVERS
    NONE
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (not including bonuses)
    ROSTER SIZE 23
    SALARY CAP $56,800,000
    PAYROLL $59,258,500
    CAP ROOM $-2,458,500
    CAP ROOM PER OPEN SPOT $0

    Baically we would need to shed at least $2.5 mill if we get Heatley. and that includes dumping Nilsson for nothing.

  91. DBO says:

    Just adding a checking line centre (Moore, etc.) and no deal.

    2009-2010 Edmonton Oilers
    FORWARDS
    Shawn Horcoff $5,500,000
    Dustin Penner $4,250,000
    Ales Hemsky $4,100,000
    Patrick O'Sullivan $2,925,000
    Fernando Pisani $2,500,000
    Ethan Moreau $2,000,000
    * Dominic Moore $1,750,000
    * Gilbert Brule $1,000,000
    Sam Gagner $875,000
    Andrew Cogliano $850,000
    Marc-Antoine Pouliot $825,000
    Zack Stortini $700,000
    Steve MacIntyre $537,500
    Jean-Francois Jacques $525,000
    DEFENSEMEN
    Lubomir Visnovsky $5,600,000
    Sheldon Souray $5,400,000
    Tom Gilbert $4,000,000
    * Denis Grebeshkov $3,250,000
    Steve Staios $2,700,000
    * Ladislav Smid $1,250,000
    Jason Strudwick $700,000
    GOALTENDERS
    Nikolai Khabibulin $3,750,000
    Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers $625,000
    BUYOUTS
    NONE
    LOST VIA REENTRY WAIVERS
    NONE
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (not including bonuses)
    ROSTER SIZE 23
    SALARY CAP $56,800,000
    PAYROLL $55,612,500
    CAP ROOM $1,187,500

  92. DBO says:

    And if you sent Brule to the minors and kept Nilsson. We'd be right at the cap limit

  93. R-Gib says:

    DBO – wow THAT is a fun tool! Gee, I wonder what I'll be doing instead of work this lovely Friday aft…

    It is ridiculous how much we have tied up in the back end… I wonder if there is any market for Souray at all.

  94. RiversQ says:

    Promote Stortini?!??

    And make him a centre?!?!

    What on Earth is happening here?!?!

    He was practically drowning as it was on the fourth line while playing low quality opposition.

    Not even Bruce would propose such a thing.

  95. uni says:

    Rivers, aside from the 3rd line I doubt he can play centre. We all saw how Pisani fared and I doubt Storts will do much better. Also with his speed issues and the importance of the centre's position…yikes.

    Interesting though, it would be funny to see.

  96. Traktor says:

    RQ: I don't copy and paste my opinions based on behindthenet. It's a good way to be right 75% of the time without watching a game though.

    Stortini had a fantastic season last year – those who can't see it definitely reveal themselves.

  97. Doogie2K says:

    @Downright Fierce: Fair enough. Still, I'll take Gillis's preservation of the status quo over Bob Gainey's work any day of the week, speaking as a fan of the latter's club. I mean, sure, it could work, I guess, but I doubt it. I actually think last year's Habs, on paper, were better than the EC winners of '08; they just got no bounces and tons of injuries, whereas the '08 team got all the bounces and had no major injuries until late March.

  98. uni says:

    Aye, Gainey just tied up 18.35 million dollars in 3 players for the next half decade. And while all of them are quite gone, none are elite.

    You want batshit crazy? I think Glen Sather has competition now. I don't see how you toss out a useful player and a good prospect for the huge cap hit of an under performing (but good) and overpaid centre for a cap hit of 7.357 million over multiple years.

    Couldn't they have tossed 7 at Hossa or Gaborik? Cam. and Gionta at 6 and 5 apiece for 5 years each as well. Goodnight.

  99. Doogie2K says:

    @uni: I used to be a big Bob Gainey supporter, but I just can't do it anymore. This is off-the-scale early-2000s New York Rangers shit.

  100. Bruce says:

    Not even Bruce would propose such a thing.

    RQ: Beat me to it, and you're right, I wouldn't. I don't see Zorg as a third-liner for at least another year, and I don't see him as a centre ever. I like him just fine where he is on 4RW (although I would definitely prefer 82 GP to 52) where I anticipate him continuing to work his ass off and improving all aspects of his game while being a consummate team player (something we don't have nearly enough of just now).

    Definitely disagree on the "drowning" comment though.

    I do like that 63.6% FO%, although obviously it's Brule's job to lose given the impressive 80% FO% he posted.

    :)

  101. RiversQ says:

    Traktor: I rarely use behindthenet.

    Stortini spent most of the year pinned in his own end. I hope he improves and helps the team, but there are no good numbers for the guy anywhere in two years.

    He did start more shifts in his own end this past year and put up roughly the same poor results. That is some progress. Seriously.

  102. Ribs says:

    RQ: I think Bruce is about to take you to Zorg School.

  103. RiversQ says:

    Ribs: you mean the one eith a focus on Small Sample Size?

    I've already seen it all.

    I think Bruce's real position is that Stortini is improving and can help the team as a checker especially in the future. The disagreement is how far back he's coming from. I also agree with him that Stortini's low ice time probably makes his life more difficult.

    However, as it stands now Zorg has a lot of crooked numbers in the results. I can't see why that isn't universally accepted.

  104. Ribs says:

    RQ; I guess maybe it depends on what you are expecting from the guy.

  105. hunter1909 says:

    I'm a big Stortini fan. He terrorised juniors, and eventually might grow to do something similar in the bigs. For all his seeming stupidity, it's actually hiding a form of intelligence.

    I was just thinking about why the management are prepared to go to the wall for Heatley. He gives OIlers a scary first line. A really scary first line. A fucking terrifyingly scary first line.

  106. Bruce says:

    you mean the one eith a focus on Small Sample Size?
    I've already seen it all
    .

    I doubt it. Have you seen this one?

    6v5
    TOI = 0:34
    G = 1
    G/60 = 105.88

    :D

    I think Bruce's real position is that Stortini is improving

    Ya think?

    and can help the team as a checker especially in the future.

    He's going to keep getting better, of that I have no doubt. But I think he already helps the team as a masher, as an agitator, as a pugilist, and as a teammate.

    The disagreement is how far back he's coming from.

    94th overall. It's a long way back.

    I also agree with him that Stortini's low ice time probably makes his life more difficult.

    Agreed, especially the press box time. I think he has adapted pretty well to the 8-10 minute a game role, as long as he's in there.

    However, as it stands now Zorg has a lot of crooked numbers in the results. I can't see why that isn't universally accepted.

    You mean these results?

    2007-08 66 GP, 3-9-12, +3, 201 PiM
    2008-09 52 GP, 6-5-11, -3, 181 PiM
    ——————————————-
    2007-09 118 GP, 9-14-23, even, 382 PiM

    I agree that "382" is mighty crooked, but that "even" looks pretty straight-and-narrow to me.

  107. bookie says:

    I have done an estimate looking at Sortini's growth over the last two years and if we assume that he is going to continue a similar progression each year, I have him breaking Gretzky's 212 point season in 2026!

  108. bookie says:

    07/08 – 12pts/66g = 0.18 pts/game

    08/09 – 11/52 = 0.21 pts/game

    thats a 16% improvement

    If he improves by 16% each year and plays 82 games each year, in 2026/27 he will acheive 213.21 pts

  109. hunter1909 says:

    Makes you wonder why Stortini isnt already starring on the first line.

    : p

  110. bookie says:

    He will also have 11015577 Penalty Minutes that season.

  111. Scott says:

    My brother just texted me that there is an Oilers presser coming at 3:45 today. Not sure what his source is.

    Has Khabby been officially introduced yet, or do they have more interesting business to tell?

  112. Alice says:

    Breaking his Own record set the year before!

    Again.

  113. Alice says:

    They've signed Montreal's Bob Gainey for the 3C role

  114. DBO says:

    fedotenko 1 yr $1.8 mill with Pitt. Nice deal for Pitt. hnidy to Minny for 1 yr, no terms

  115. R-Gib says:

    Clowe signs 4yr @ 3.5 per. Would have been a nice guy to put an offer sheet in on. Wonder if SJ will trade Clowe and a pick for Souray?

  116. uni says:

    What I want that presser to be is Malhotra signed to 2.5 for 3 years, Tanguay to 3.5-4 for 6 years, Kurtis Foster to 3-3.5 million for 3-4 years.

    Trade of Vishnovsky or Souray (as much as I like them) to some California team for good younger and cheaper players with picks for some cap flexibility.

    Also the Kibosh on the Heatley mania, the announcement that they are pulling out and moving forward with the Summer and team building.

    Never happen, but that's the presser I want.

  117. DBO says:

    Make foster $1.5 mill and I'll take it. there are other dmen out there for that money, $3.5 mill for foster is a huge overpay

  118. uni says:

    I'd sign Foster to 2.5 for 4 years and be happy with it.

    The only reason I tossed out 3-3.5 is the lack of movement by Minnie, you have to think some team out there is willing to pay him more. You're right though, for those dollars I'd rather a Greg Zanon at 2 as we have a lot on D already.

  119. Scott says:

    uni:

    That would be nice, but here's my more accurate guess.

    (Katz walks on stage to mic)

    Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering sniper; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.

    (Katz disappears off stage)
    (Gene makes a pun)
    (End)

  120. Downright Fierce says:

    Presser prediciton:

    Katz finally gets his wish and the retro colourway is the main jersey. He goes on to explain that this was the only roadblock left in the Heatley deal.

    All of us bloggers and blog commenters are finally recognized for our collective genius and we're all named to a board of directors that runs the team from a high-tech super-office, high atop the magnificent new arena Katz has been secretly building.

    The Calgary Flames organization folds. A ticker-tape parade breaks out and a sailor wraps a nurse in his arms, planting a wet one on her.

    The War is over! Oh, thank goodness, the War is— (wakes up)

    DAMN.

  121. bookie says:

    The Oilers have called a press conf for 5:45pm et, however, Heatley remains undecided. This is a media update only.

    From Dreger

  122. Steve says:

    I have done an estimate looking at Sortini's growth over the last two years and if we assume that he is going to continue a similar progression each year, I have him breaking Gretzky's 212 point season in 2026!

    "By the third trimenster, there will be hundreds of babies inside of you."

    (Credit: Today's xkcd)

  123. godot10 says:

    //What I want that presser to be is Malhotra signed to 2.5 for 3 years//

    I thought bought sixers were supposed to be cheap, Why do Pisani and Moreau get so much grief if people are willing to throw around $2.5 million dollar contracts.

    Plus, Malhotra wants more than that > $3 million per. He would still be a Blue Jacket, and NOT Palsson, if he were willing to settle for for $2.5 million.

    Wait till things get tight in September, and for the demands of these guys to come down under $2 million.

    The Oilers have room for only one player (preferably a third line centre) unless further trades are made. They have their seven defensemen plus Peckham, and they have too many forwards under contract.

    It would make more sense for the Oilers to try to trade for a centre, and the end of training camp tends to be a good time to acquire a player.

  124. bookie says:

    Better yet:

    Katz announces Purchase of Calgary Flames…

    Flames anouce that they are trading Iginla for Penner and Boumister for Staois.

  125. Downright Fierce says:

    "By the third trimenster, there will be hundreds of babies inside of you."

    (Credit: Today's xkcd)

    Gold. Pure gold.

    Guaranteed this the only hockey blog to ever quote xkcd. God, I love being an Oilers fan.

  126. Doogie2K says:

    What I want that presser to be is Malhotra signed to 2.5 for 3 years, Tanguay to 3.5-4 for 6 years, Kurtis Foster to 3-3.5 million for 3-4 years.

    Trade of Vishnovsky or Souray (as much as I like them) to some California team for good younger and cheaper players with picks for some cap flexibility.

    Also the Kibosh on the Heatley mania, the announcement that they are pulling out and moving forward with the Summer and team building.

    Never happen, but that's the presser I want.

    No, no, and no.

    The cap math doesn't work, the overpay for a 3C doesn't work (even assuming he'd sign for that, and I could've sworn I read somewhere that he wanted at least $3M), and I don't go for trading Souray or Visnovsky until Gilbert and Grebeshkov are ready to assume their roles on a permanent basis and Smid and/or Peckham are ready to move into top-four slots (remember the ripple effect).

    My ideal press conference: Signing a 3C for under $2M, killing the Heatley deal (on that we agree), and wake me up when September ends.

  127. chartleys says:

    To bad mouth gillis is ridiculous. They had that team predicted as a bottom feeder prior to the start of the season. Well before the Sudin arrival they were proving everyone wrong. You don't see a lot of dead weight cap killers on the coast these days. If they give him time I'm starting to believe that franchise might finally be one to take serious given a few more years with him at the helm.

  128. Steve says:

    I thought bought sixers were supposed to be cheap, Why do Pisani and Moreau get so much grief if people are willing to throw around $2.5 million dollar contracts.

    I think conventional wisdom around here is that you pay biggish money for one bottom sixer, and that's your 3C. Or one person said that once and I confused it with conventional wisdom.

    Gold. Pure gold.

    Guaranteed this the only hockey blog to ever quote xkcd. God, I love being an Oilers fan.

    It would have been even better if I'd spelled "trimester" correctly.

    And xkcd's applicable everywhere. I teach Law School Admission Test preparation seminars, and distribute copies of two xkcd cartoons there. Absolutely no bonus point to anybody who can tell me which two.

  129. DBO says:

    Is there a presser? oilers.com? where can we get it

  130. PDO says:

    It's on Ched.

    They had Sylvester making a quote first…

  131. PDO says:

    Tambs doesn't sound like a very happy man right now.

  132. PDO says:

    …. and it's over?

    That was 7 minutes…

  133. DBO says:

    missed it. what was said/

  134. kris says:

    ???

    I missed the conference. What was said?

  135. PDO says:

    Literally…

    Pissed that Murray leaked the names.

    Ottawa and Dany have to get their shit together.

    He just wants to make the team better.

    Laughed when someone asks if the Edmonton Sports Media would get the weekend off and said no comment.

  136. Coach pb9617 says:

    Tambs doesn't sound like a very happy man right now.

    Rowing a whaling boat ain't easy.

  137. DBO says:

    Good then. happy h e mentioned he was pissed. Hppy he mentioned they have to get their shit in order (heatley and Sens). At thspoint I hope he's pursuing other avenues to make the team better.

  138. PDO says:

    Rangers making a push for Koivu.

    …. Dubinsky available?

    Cogliano for Dubinsky straight up?

  139. Alice says:

    Good for Tambo,

    Murray suggesting 'damages' from Heatley's conduct, I'm glad we pointed out how our fellows names got floated before the deal was consummated

    Much as we wring our hands about seeming bush-league, I think we've got some daylight on the bottom of the pack in this regard.

  140. Dennis says:

    I like 78 as much as anyone but I don't believe for a second that the Oil have him slotted as the secondary tough min pivot.

    But, then again, if they wind up picking up Heatley, they might not have many more options.

  141. Downright Fierce says:

    Presser's up on Oilers.com if anyone missed it.

  142. Ribs says:

    I like 78 as much as anyone but I don't believe for a second that the Oil have him slotted as the secondary tough min pivot.

    Of course not, Dennis. That's Pisani's job! And all this time we blamed MacT.

  143. Ribs says:

    Have we taken a look at 3C's the new coaching tandem have had over the years? Are any of them available/useful?

  144. DBO says:

    So been having a few pops and playing on capgeek.com, and I've come up with a scenario we may all be OK with. Maybe this is the devious plan hatched by Tambellini to make us a contender (for the playoffs not the cup).

    Heatley deal as is. We need to move salary and fill needs (2W, 3C, D).
    - Dump Nilsson for anything or bury in minors
    - Sign kotalik for $1.5 mill (fills 2nd line W spot, and 2nd PP point man and shootout guy)
    - Deal Vishnovsky to Columbus for Vermette and Hejda/Klesla and maybe a prospect. Columbus needs a #1 dman, and we need a 3C and a more physical stay at home top 4 dman (Hejda 1st choice, but klesla not a bad fall back who is younger and cheaper).
    - we are just under a million under the cap
    - We have more then $10 million falling off the cap next year (Vermette, Pisani, Pouliot, Jacques, Kotalik and Klesla) giving us cheap options based on the ufa's that will be out there, or the ability to fill holes with up and coming players within the system.

    our lineup

    Heatley-Horcoff-Hemsky
    O'Sullivan-Gagner-Kotalik
    Moreau-Vermette-Pisani
    Jacques-Pouliot-Stortini
    Brule-Macintyre

    Souray-Gilbert
    Grebeshkov-Klesla/Hejda
    Staios-Peckham
    Strudwick

    that team guaranteed makes the playoffs and still has some cap flexibility going forward. i continue to have faith that this is the kind of plan they have in place if this deal happens.

  145. Gerta Rauss says:

    Rowing a whaling boat ain't easy.

    I thought I would get tired of the Moby Dick references at some point.

    I was mistaken.

    Well played Coach.

    And Alice's Gainey comment had me chuckling at my desk as well.

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