Bumps on a Log

This fellow was really smart. Lots of people (including me) have managed to have some degree of success in life without much heavy lifting because of his fertile mind.

Every generation has a few men and women who see things a different way. It’s the little extra thing that made Bob Dylan unique and Phil Ochs just another guy, the quality that allows the Coens to make stirring films while garbage comes from every other kid who bought a Vivitar Super 8.

For NHL general managers the current gold standard is Ken Holland. Unlike the current Stanley winners–who spent a generation slumming it with the idea that collecting gems would be worth it–Holland and his men use the draft to acquire skinny kids who might become the next Datsyuk or Zetterberg.

The Edmonton Oilers have a rich and interesting past but a blah present and a unsure future. Their actions look as young as the new owner’s time on the job, and their inaction this summer feels wrong, wrong, wrong.

I wonder why Steve Tambellini doesn’t take a chance and try for glory. By that I mean think outside the box, project Tesla, speed down Highway 61, kick out the jams.

What might this look like? I don’t know, I’m not Tesla. However it seems to me that there are all kinds of free agents currently available who duplicate skills on the roster. Could the Oilers sign MA Bergeron (or another D), deal Tom Gilbert for Drew Stafford and be a better team? What about signing Manny Malhotra and sending down Robert Nilsson for the season? There are men who can help available right now, today. And the Oilers can sign them and deal from strength to address weakness.

Recognizing the new cap world and using it to advantage is not yet completely known in the NHL, but one thing is becoming evident: the Edmonton Oilers aren’t even trying to figure it out.

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51 Responses to "Bumps on a Log"

  1. raventalon40 says:

    It's frustrating when you read about the Prospals, Bertuzzis, and Eaves signings and you know what we can address the weakness by a combination of methods. But we really hitched our wagon to the wrong dead horse with Heatley, I guess.

    I can't believe I was a supporter of that trade at one point in time.

  2. raventalon40 says:

    And I can't believe nobody wants to pick up Nilsson. He's not a bad player at his price. He's only a shade better (and some would argue worse) than others in his price range but he's got way more skill. Any chance high skill teams like New York or Detroit would take a chance on him?

    Nilsson for Dubinsky?

  3. PDO says:

    Dubinsky is going to take a hell of a lot more than Nilsson to get.

    Cogliano would probably get NY's interest, but that doesn't mean he gets it done.

    Still, it appears that Tambs has been called "Mr. Conservative" by Dean Lombardi for a reason, and he's terrified of having someone go Satan on his watch. He's scared to make a mistake…

  4. Hockey Noob says:

    I don't see a Nilsson for Dubinsky trade in the foreseeable future given how much affinity the Rangers seem to have for Dubinsky. It is wishful thinking though.

    In draw poker, you sometimes have to take the chance of discarding a card with the hopes of drawing a better one. Right now, I would certainly be willing to take that chance with Nilsson.

    I think that this post resonates with the frustration that many if not most Oilers fans are feeling right now. If Prospal was the canary in the coal mine, then there's more vet UFA bargains to be had.

  5. riffraff says:

    Hi Lowetide,

    I am a long time lurker, first time writer.

    I am a passionate hockey fan, brought up in Edmonton in the 80's – and now frustrated with the current state of our beloved Oilers and the NHL.

    I welcome your blog, not only for your incredible insight, and passion but for your true love for the game and our aimless Edmonton Oilers – you and your knowledgeable posse of "regular bloggers" keep me informed, and learning all the time.

    the reason I am writing is to ask – something I have often wondered – where do you find your images for the blog? I expect that you could have found any picture of Nikola Tesla, but you have posted a theatre poster of a play about Nikola Tesla, performed and written by The Electric Company based in Vancouver. Any particular reason why?

    As a theatre person – it seemed extraordinary to me that you came across this picture … so much so, it has induced me to write. Not the CFP debacle, or MacT getting fired, or Lowe's ineptitude … but an obscure theatre poster, somehow making it onto your blog ….

    also,

    the names at the bottom are people known to me and incidentally, Kevin Kerr is playwright in residence at the University of Alberta, Drama Department. fyi.

    oh yes, i suppose i should add to the "thread" – the Edmonton Oilers have such little room to maneuver, because of poor cap management, terrible contracts and unwarranted bravado, that other teams are happy to see them twist in the wind… they need a dance partner.

    I am sure that Tambellini has investigated all options … it is going to take a while to turn the good-ship Oilers around. (and, signing Khabibulin to a 4 year deal at almost 4per/year is not a good start, or trading a second for Kotalik at the deadline, if not sure you could sign him.)

    Anyway, i leave it to the smart guys like Traktor and Raventalon40, et al. to continue their punditry and thoughtful banter.

    I will happily tune in each day for my tutorial.

    all the best from the Edmonton and Canadian theatre scene!

  6. dave says:

    Actually lets look to quinn for some out of the box. Trade a D any D for top flight checking center, drafts and cap space. Ok that's actually Tambo's move but after that let's roll 3 offensive lines.

    horpensky
    sampos
    cognilson

    malhotra, moreau, pisani.

    The malhotra line plays the other teams best offence.

    Horpensky plays against the toughest physical competition

    Gagne plays against next toughest physical comp

    cognilson plays against the softest comp.

    As an opposing coach, horpensky is a tough bet. And let's face it cognilson kills in a head to head against any of our 4th line possibilities including poo and brule.

  7. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    Don't really like this one LT. Maybe I am overly optimistic but don't we have to assume that these guys getting paid to manage the team know what they are doing, see what we see and more, and are doing their absolute best to succeed?

    Last year going in with almost the same lineup many were calling for great things. All the kids are a year older and we only have two goalies to start the year and we have new blood behind the bench.

    You proposed 218 goals from the forwards. I think it is reasonable to expect 60 from the defense. 278 goals would have put us 2nd overall last year for team goals for. Say combined we over estimated by 30, that still puts us top 10.

    I think it is fair to say that our PP and PK both had very bad years. That is unlikely to happen again this year, and just an average PK will be a vast improvement and lead to many more points in the standings in my opinion (are there any stats to back that up??).

    Anyways, my point is again, as usual, lets have some optimism going into the year, and at least pretend that there is the possibility management knows a little more than we do about running a hockey team.

  8. raventalon40 says:

    Obviously more than Nilsson but it gets the ball rolling.

    One could imply that we traded Garon for Stone but that simply isn't true, it's just that the rest of the names in the trade are, at this point in time, of no importance.

    So Nilsson + whatever else NYR likes. From past experience, they'd probably like a player like Smid or Grebs, but we can offer the others as well (and dump salary at the same time), since the Oilers are looking to move a D-man anyway.

    All of the Oilers top 4 D outscored all of the Rangers D-men last year. Which speaks a lot of how good our D depth is, because Visnovsky, for one, was injured for most of the season.

    Nilsson + (D?)

    for Dubinsky + (other Oiler needs)

    I'm pretty sure Callahan is an untoucable, though.

  9. Lowetide says:

    riffraff: I stole it from the Langara College site. I believe there's a writer in my family (daughter) and am looking for places she can go that keep her close enough for air travel in a few years and give her enough freedom.

    I'm still pushing the computer college down the hill but she's too smart to buy it. So, we look.

    Also, I liked the look of the photo (poster) and Tesla is someone of interest to me (guy was a Serb and had no pr guy or he'd be way better known). :-)

  10. raventalon40 says:

    *Correction:

    By most of the season, I mean he missed 32 games.

    My bad.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Satisfied: I actually pegged the F's at 208 goals and can tell you that I'm not predicting 60 from the blue.

  12. raventalon40 says:

    LT: I believe Metro Edmonton is offering volunteer internships to students with writing experience. I believe bingofuel from OilersNation would know more about this.

  13. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I'll throw some reasons out there for the inactivity:

    A majority of Oiler player values are at an all time low because of their recent performance.

    Most trade discussions likely start with: We want Hemsky, Gagne, Cogs, Grebs, or Gilbert in the deal

    The remaining UFAs are waiting on other teams to make cap room for them. Edmonton is their last resort.

    No cap room – see Lowe, Kevin

    New coaching regime – might get something out of the low value players thus increasing their value for trades.

    Tambo is Mr. Conservative

    Buyouts are a last resort, and poor asset management.

  14. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    Sorry LT I should have gone back and looked, but that is only 10 of the 30 I deducted. Would you say 40 from the D is reasonable (don't need to answer yet, i'll wait for your Blue RE)? That would still put us in the bottom half of the top 10 last year…

  15. bookie says:

    their inaction this summer feels wrong, wrong, wrong

    Uhm…they did change most of the coaching staff!

    I think that Tambo wanted to do this about 50 games earlier, but Katz and Lowe wanted to be sure to give MacT every chance to succeed.

    When I watched the press conference I saw a guy pretty frustrated with the coach – phrases like 'team was unprepaed to play on many nights' and 'next coach will coach an agressive style' and so on…

    I personally believe that Tambo feels the way that I do about this team – they are way better than what they showed last year. They are currently missing one forward and have an extra D-man. That will be easily fixed through the year when D-man become in high demand.

    So, really this year is a do-over of last year, but with a style of coaching that fits the team (I hope). At the very least, the crazy that bloomed in MacT's mind is now irrelevant.

    It's no surpise to me that the team has stood pat. I think they like what they have.

  16. Bar Qu says:

    I think John Cleese speaks for LT when he says,
    "It's not the despair I can't stand – it's the hope"

    The crap ending to this season, the apparent impetus to change things up and a dismal series of moves in the off-season have led us to this pass. And it is the lack of activity with each passing day that ratchet up the pressure.

    If we were cheering for the Coyotes then it wouldn't be so hard, but geez …..

  17. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Not saying this is my belief, but consider the glass half empty point of view:

    What if MaCrazy 08/09 garnered 90% of the potential of that group of players? What if Quinn/ Renney are only able to get another 5-10% out of this group?

    08/09: There were alot of kids, not enough NHL players, and injuries.

    09 Summer progress to date: Debatable upgrade in goal, gave away an afordable NHL center and let an actual NHL winger walk.

    The Oilers are more than adding a forward and subtracting a D away from a good bet for the post season.

  18. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…

    Also, I liked the look of the photo (poster) and Tesla is someone of interest to me (guy was a Serb and had no pr guy or he'd be way better known). :-)

    Actually LT, Tesla is very well known in some circles and the pre-eminent manufacturer of high end electric cars has taken its name from him.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/

  19. bookie says:

    What if MaCrazy 08/09 garnered 90% of the potential of that group of players? What if Quinn/ Renney are only able to get another 5-10% out of this group?

    5-10% in a league like this is a huge difference.

    But your point is well taken, what if MacT was only a small part of the problem, what then? Well, the answer is then we probably suck.

    The point I am making is that I (my opinion) think that the combination of MacT and this lineup did not work well together and as a result the team did not perform up to its potential (its average potential).

    I believe that this group of players will do better under the new coaching regime. I also believe that doing slightly better will result in a better attitude and result in a bit of momentum. As a result I predict that they will be in the playoffs and perhaps somewhere around 5th or 6th.

    Could I be wrong – yep. Keeping this team as it is, is a risk.
    But Tambo is stuck with a whole team who underperformed last year and who are currently at low market value (cause they underperformed). I think that keeping them and gambling that a new coach can raise them back up to their norm is reasonable behaviour.

    There are no guarantees, but as we saw with Cole this past season, there is no guarantee with trades either.

  20. Undisclosed Personal Reasons says:

    LT: You're the Tesla of the Oilogosphere.

    I disagree with moving Nilsson at this point, but I would like to see Malhotra moved in somehow. Maybe we can salary dump staios with POS, sign Maholtra pick up a cheap D and have some cap space. But I doubt anything happens.

    I think Heatley to Edmonton is more likely than any tweaks or UFA pick-ups. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

  21. contact says:

    Hockey Noob: I agree. Love the draw poker analogy.

    I'm going to be honest. I generally try to be pretty level headed and calm the masses with many of my past posts, but this off-season has been very frustrating for me to watch (I felt the same way when we chased after Hossa/Jagr in the past though).

    I don't even know what to say at this point, as I'm beating a dead horse. But really, the Heatley plan failed and it's like our GM has given up. I hear Tambellini saying that he can't do anything given the cap issues, but I see at least 2, possibly more, ways to free up cap space.

    I've done some research though (which might be obvious to other people) and Nilsson can't be waived until 12 days before the start of the season. So it will require a trade if it's going to happen right now. HOWEVER, we can still scoop up someone now and plan to move him or drop him later on too.

    Tambi needs to think outside the box (as LT mentioned) and also start taking some bigger risks. Waive some people. There's also one team out there (Nashville) that still needs to reach the floor, and hasn't signed a sixth d-man yet (unless you count Belak), AND has an incredibly young d-corps. Has Tambi called up Poile yet? I know Staios is one of only two right handed D-men on this team, but freeing up that 2.7M would mean more, I think, than hanging on to a 6th d-man.

    I don't know.. Tambi just seems to be shrugging his shoulders and making excuses about not being able to do anything, and I just don't see it that way. I still think he's a good GM, don't get me wrong, and I know I'm just being an armchair GM, but I think there are obvious moves being missed here.

  22. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think the only movement we'll see is 1 or 2 invites to training camp from the unsigned UFA group.

    It's going to be a good camp this year,guys literally playing for jobs.

  23. oil dude says:

    I'm not a fanboy or anything but Nilsson has to be without a doubt the "most likely Oiler to exceed expections" this year. Not because I like him but because there are literally no expectations from fans that he will do anything this year except clear waivers and be sent to Springy. Many think that Penner will improve just because MacT is gone but there are whispers that Nilly will be the one to keep an eye on.

    Gregor says:

    Supposedly he has been working his ass off in Sweden and is in the best shape of his career, whether than translates into showing a consistent effort every night remains to be seen. Many in the organization feel he could benefit the most under Quinn’s style.

  24. bookie says:

    Tambi just seems to be shrugging his shoulders and making excuses about not being able to do anything

    Disagree – I think he is making a rational decision that what he has is better than what he can get. This logic is based upon thinking that last year was a year of underachievment.

  25. grant says:

    I am willing to give Tambs a season to evaluate the talent with his own coaching staff in place. Every GM gets at least one coach of his own before I start questioning the moves and the philosophy.

    I gave JP Ricciardi a few seasons, I can do the same for Tambo.

  26. PDO says:

    I gave JP Ricciardi a few seasons, I can do the same for Tambo.

    My god, we're fucked.

    Hemsky will get Wells money, Gagner will get Rios money, and we'll sign a fifty five million dollar BJ…

  27. hunter1909 says:

    The day Tambellini was hired I though "This guy looks too grateful, and too out of his depth".

    For an entire year we hear nothing from Tambellini. Oh yeah, he needs eight years to learn the job, right?

  28. uni says:

    I don't disagree that Ken Holland is a heck of a good GM. I do get annoyed from time to time by all the praise he gets lauded with. As good as he is, and as many good things as he's done, and as fine a draft job he's done, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg still amount to an extremely large amount of luck.

    Those two picks go bust and no one would be talking about the Red Wings as the gold standard, and they'd be no tradition of winning to get everyone and their mothers buying into the Detroit system. After Fedorov and Yzerman left they'd be in rebuild mode like everyone else.

    Sure the Wings did extremely well in their scouting and drafting to get those two world beaters; but let's not kid ourselves here, if they knew they'd be that good they'd have drafted them higher, and they were damn lucky they panned out.

    So basically for a GM to follow the gold standard all he has to do is draft two of the best players in the world very late in the draft within let's say 3-5 years and he's on his way. It's just that easy folks.

  29. NBOilerFan says:

    I honestly still believe that a big part of the inactivity is still due to the fact that the Heatley situation is still unresolved.

    I think Tambellini is still holding out some hope that Murray doesn't end up with a deal he likes and it comes down to Heatley going to Ottawa's camp, opting to not report and sit out, or agree to go to Edmonton. There is still a chance that it plays out that way and I think Tambellini is leaving it kinda open for that oppurtunity.

    As a fall back, he is also happy to see what this current roster looks like in training camp and teh early season under a new coaching system. Plus there are still many UFA's available and he'll likely still be able to add some experienced depth in teh next few weeks in needed.

    I think he is just being very patient and waiting this out… especially the Heatley situation. It really isn't trully "dead" until Heatley is moved or until Sept 14th when camps officially open.

  30. HBomb says:

    You guys want Malholtra? So do I.

    Here's the solution: Ethan Moreau, Captain, Springfield Falcons.

    2 million freed up in an instant.

    And yes, I am serious. It would be even better if Katz decided 4.7 million wasn't that much to throw away for the next two seasons and they sent Steady Decline Staios with TheCaptainEthanMoreau to keep him company and such.

    Solves the issue of veterans for the AHL squad quite nicely.

  31. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    The Cavalry is definitely not coming:

    http://www.canada.com/Oilers+improve+from+within+Quinn/1908291/story.html

    Sorry LT.

  32. quain says:

    Impossible! Unbelievable! Who could've seen that coming! I'm shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

  33. Lowetide says:

    FCM: I don't think Tambellini or Quinn are likely to tell the media their plan. That was Kevin Lowe's mo.

  34. Downright Fierce says:

    RE: Tesla

    http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=61

    Care of Canada's own Kate Beaton.

  35. DBO says:

    If they plan on improving from within, then they should jettison some vets, and just be a young team, create cap space and get a top pick this coming year. Middling about at 9-11th in the conference does nothing to move this team forward. We are stuck between not vet enough to compete and not young enough to rebuild. management needs to decide on a path for this team.

    LT, i love the Stafford idea. I would then look to flip Cogs for Dubinsky (not sure if NYR would move him, but he fills a need and keeps us young). You then move Nilsson and Staios for anything, and replace them with cheap D UFA optiions. Seidenberg is a top 4 dman who can be had for less then $2.5 mill, and a player like Eminger who is an all around dman can be had for a million. More grit, balance, still young and more cap flexibility.

  36. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    FCM: I don't think Tambellini or Quinn are likely to tell the media their plan. That was Kevin Lowe's mo.

    I think you're really reaching here LT.
    I expect WYSIWYG.

  37. Lowetide says:

    FCM: In order for this inertia to make sense we'd have to put a massive amount of weight on Quinn replacing MacT and Khabibulin replacing Roloson.

    There's not that much difference in either move imo, and thus we're stuck with same shit different pile.

  38. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    This sounds like a lot of over-reaction to me. We could make some interesting buries in the minors but would it be worth it to be to the ceiling with malholtra?

    My belief is that MacT was getting well below the 90% of potential from this team … I mean outside of the D, who looked good? Stortini and Reddox.

    MacT had an affect on this team. We heard about playing scared with the lead from Hemsky, always adapting their game to their opponents (from Gilbert or Horcoff?). We know our lackluster PP despite a lineup that should perform decently. How many nuances did his coaching cause? Before last season we were talking about the skill we had as an asset, now it's a hurdle to fixing the lack of size.

    This season we can all find out what a coaching change and morale does to a team. If nothing else and we tank half a season, I will at least will be able to say in December that it doesn't make nearly as much as I thought it did in August..

  39. quain says:

    Kevin Lowe telegraphed his moves. Maybe I'm crazy, but it sure seems like every offseason was, 'try to sign/trade for a first line winger, let a couple of decent UFAs walk, sign a UFA who had a career year in his contract year.' There were no good UFAs to let walk this season, but Heatley and Khabibulin tell me that this offseason is finished.

    We're going into next season banking entirely on the kids getting better and the team being substantially stronger under Quinn than under MacT.

  40. DeeDee says:

    Assuming the Oilers are capped and not able to do anything really major tradewise with our assets at alltime lowe values…

    The Oilers have collected "prospects" for 20 years now and we have a serious glut of them.

    It's time to get serious and evaluate the talent.

    All the players should get a good look and the management needs to decide who to keep and who to let go.

    Split the season into four quarters of 20 games each. Give each player a serious look. So for every 20 game quarter bring in 2 prospects and showcase/evaluate them and make a decision.

    While this team does have some big contracts eating up a large percentage of the payroll, it has too many 1 million and 2 million dollar contracts on the low end.

    I hope the new coaches don't pull a Mactavish and kill all of the veterans by Christmas. Time for the younger ones to pick up some of the slack.

    Overplay the veterans starting in January in the third quarter of games to showcase them for possible trades leading up to the trade deadline.

    Next year an incredible number of contracts come up. Pisani, Gagner, Cogliano, Pouliot, MacIntyre, Jacques, Reddox, Brule, Potulny, Minard, Grebeshkov, Strudwick, Peckham, Deslauriers, and Schremp?

    Thats $14 Million in payroll. They can't do anything about the long time contracts but they better have a good idea what they are going to do with these guys.

  41. danny says:

    Becoming evident?

    It's been this way for a few years. I have absolutely no apprehension when I say a management team built from this blog could have yielded better results simply by filling holes.

    Thing is though… Say we did pick up mark eaton back in 06-07. Surely we coulda had a better season. Obvious hole. Today we have a teAm that lost in the 07 first round and no Sam Gagner.

    I wish though if they weren't trying to win, they'd have just tanked properly. Kept the picks instead of Penner. No souray. Etc.

    It's confusing to say the least.

  42. anonymous says:

    guy was a Serb and had no pr guy or he'd be way better known). :-)

    Edison/GE was the early winner with local DC. Tesla/Westinghouse passed them with centralized AC. Westinghouse got the PR.

    Current High voltage DC tech has resulted in emerging economies going with DC generation & transmission, so the AC-DC war continues.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Currents#Remnant_and_existent_DC_systems

  43. George B says:

    Great post LT. I was listening to the Team 1260 last night and hearing how Todd Bertuzzi isn't the answer for the Wings, and would be surprised if he scored 15 goals.

    Well young grasshopper on the radio, would you rather have Liam Reddox or Marc Pouliot on your fourth line or Todd Bertuzzi.

    If you are the Oil and sign Bert as a top 6 forward, you are screwed. If you are Det and sign him to give some rest to Datsyuk or Zetterberg, then you are a contender. Big difference.

  44. HBomb says:

    No center help coming?

    Hello 11th place.

    I like both players, but if Pouliot and Brule are the 3C and 4C respectively, this team has NO shot of making the playoffs.

    Bring in Malholtra and they might have a fighting chance.

    Malholtra AND Betts? Pipe dream, but if you have that sort of center depth (Horcoff and Gagner holding down the top two spots respectively), you're the kind of team I'd consider betting money on with regards to playing past April 10th or thereabouts.

  45. PunjabiOil says:

    Here's the solution: Ethan Moreau, Captain, Springfield Falcons.

    2 million freed up in an instant.

    And yes, I am serious.

    That's just crazy talk.

    Moreau was no where near as bad as you're making him to be. He was still a useful player 5 on 5. His issue was taking brain-dead penalties – that said he still likely has value around the league.

    Truth is, Pisani has least delivered value for his contract. He's been injured/sick for a large portion of the past 2 years, and had a sub-part year 3 years ago.

    The Oilers don't have many absurd contracts, but they do have contracts that were structured at inception at terms literally impossible for the player to over-perform. Penner, Pisani, Moreau, Staios, and possibly Horcoff fit the description. Trading Kyle Brodziak was one of the dumbest moves by Steve Tambellini – Kyle was a guy who had strong potential of over-performing his contract.

    It's quite sad, actually.

  46. Peter says:

    Brodziak didn't have a contract when he was traded, but I agree that he will be great value for his new deal (1.15M). I didn't like the trade either. I would have ditched Penner at all costs and moved Cogliano to the wing and then let Brule and Pouliot battle for 4th line centre. I'd also move Moreau and Staios in a heartbeat. Let the kids sink or swim without that 'veteran leadership'. Having veteran leaders who are great players is one thing, but having Staios and Moreau making 4.7M was bad value last year, worse value this year, and horrible value next year.

  47. Smytty777 says:

    I'm not sure what the Oilers long-term thinking is. They seem to bounce back and forth between 'win now' at the expense of the future and 'rebuilding' depending on what day of the week it is.

    The jekyll and hyde daily philosophy switch is really disturbing.

    I'd be a lot more comfortable with the Blue Jackets more measured approach. Although the BJs will unfortunately never be able to commit fully to 'win now' due to financial constraints, they are really reminiscent of the old Oilers, an easier team to cheer for with heart and hustle.

  48. bookie says:

    Impossible! Unbelievable! Who could've seen that coming! I'm shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

    Well, I have been saying it since the MacT firing press conference. I really don't know which presser you all were watching, but maybe you should go back and watch it again with the 'MacT sucked and we think our players can do better with a different coach' glasses on.

    I don't understand those of you who want to dismantle this team and sell them all at rock bottom prices. Do you really think that the way they played last year is representative?

    NOTE: I have no problem with people arguing for 1 or 2 trades (we need a more balanced team), but I don't understand those who would change the whole deck.

    I think those one or two trades will come partway into the season when our players can get better value in return.

  49. Peter says:

    I totally agree bookie. Last year everyone overvalued our team. I, and many others thought we were a lock for playoffs. This year, we've done a 180 and totally undervalued the team.

    Too small and inexperienced in the top 6. No 3rd line centre. Too easy to play against. No backup goalie. The list goes on. We can't expect everyone to play at their potential this year, but:

    -Hemsky is a point-a-game guy.
    -Horcoff is a great 2-way guy that can put up 70 points.
    -O'Sullivan is capable of 30+ goals.
    -Gagner, Nilsson and Cogliano are more than capable of being contributing top-6 forwards.
    -Penner can help out with 20+ goals

    In addition to the offence we get from our D (hopefully Visnovsky and Grebs stay healthy the whole year), we should have enough offence. It's a matter of how well we play defensively, and if our goaltending holds up. If Deslauriers can't play 25+ games, I'm sure there'll be a goalie available that can (or Dubnyk might get the call).

  50. Sean says:

    I'm with Bookie as well. Too many under-performers last year to blow up the team and start over. I'd let the players and new coach dictate what moves are made. But address need and don't wait till the deadline. We've seen that one already …

  51. raventalon40 says:

    I don't disagree that Ken Holland is a heck of a good GM. I do get annoyed from time to time by all the praise he gets lauded with. As good as he is, and as many good things as he's done, and as fine a draft job he's done, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg still amount to an extremely large amount of luck.

    Those two picks go bust and no one would be talking about the Red Wings as the gold standard, and they'd be no tradition of winning to get everyone and their mothers buying into the Detroit system. After Fedorov and Yzerman left they'd be in rebuild mode like everyone else.

    Sure the Wings did extremely well in their scouting and drafting to get those two world beaters; but let's not kid ourselves here, if they knew they'd be that good they'd have drafted them higher, and they were damn lucky they panned out.

    So basically for a GM to follow the gold standard all he has to do is draft two of the best players in the world very late in the draft within let's say 3-5 years and he's on his way. It's just that easy folks.

    Drafting is only a small part of the equation.

    Development (and the proper maintenance of roster dynamics) is the important part which Detroit wins at. This is why one of the most highly rated prospects in Ville Leino will have to earn his spot on the team, which is his to claim once he earns it.

    Guys like Rob Schremp are underdeveloped, with his skillset duplicated elsewhere in the lineup in Nilsson and Omark, and are not treated as if the organization believes in him.

    The opposite is true of DesLauriers, for whom no spot is guaranteed in the NHL or the minors, despite the confidence the organization has shown in him by how afraid they are of losing him on waivers. The amount of NHL games he can play is based on this trivial waiver game and nobody really knows what the Oilers plan to do with their goaltending.

    Especially now after signing Khabibulin to a long term instead of a short term contract, what is in store for guys like DesLauriers? Dubnyk?

    I highly doubt anyone holds much belief in that to win Detroit-style you had to draft the way they do. Detroit actually has a medium-to-bad draft history.

    For them, the secret is development and player retention.

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