Matty’s Update

A day after Jason Gregor gave us some mid-summer info, the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson chimed in. Matty is the gold standard amongst the men who cover the Oilers although we’re uncertain whether he gets his info from Quinn/Tambellini, Kevin Lowe, Glen Sather or the ghost of Bill Hunter. Either way it’s usually correct. His article is here. Among the points of interest are:

  • About $2.5 million will likely be going to Smid and Brule when they sign shortly. This seems a little steep. Smid made $952,000 a year ago (cap hit was $886,000) and Brule’s NHL-level salary was (I believe) $850,000.
  • Brule will be given a shot at the fourth-line centre spot. We know this, but what would be helpful is a list of players in line for the 3line slot. One suspects the C depth chart goes Horcoff, Gagner and then a free-for-all that includes Cogliano, Pouliot, Brule and some others.
  • The Oilers could certainly use (Blair) Betts, a 29-year-old Edmonton product who was played a huge role on the NHL’s best penalty-killing unit with the New York Rangers last season. He’s also a big, energetic body–six-foot-three, 200 pounds–which is something the Oilers could use. This is a change from previous grapevine info which suggested the Oilers had little interest. And then….
  • That doesn’t leave much wiggle-room under the $56.8-million cap ceiling, barring the Oilers moving out some questionable bodies like centre/winger Marc Pouliot, who has yet to get a regular spot after being drafted six years ago. This is also a bit of a departure from the Oilers previous public statements in which Pouliot appeared to be one of the main options for 3line center. This could indicate coach Quinn wants more proven talent but that’s reading a lot into one sentence. His last coach said about Pouliot “he’s progressing, I’ll give him that. How good a player he can become remains to be seen. He has to deliver quickly now. He’s got a few years in the league.”
  • The Oilers have signed farmhand Ryan Stone, who played on Springfield’s top line last year. They will likely be signing Rob Schremp by the end of the week . Once those two (and Brule plus Smid) are under contract the Oilers will be at 47 contracts with two (Eberle and Rajala) that are unlikely to actually count. So, 45 contracts and very little money.

Which means a trade is coming. And Pouliot should rent.

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75 Responses to "Matty’s Update"

  1. PDO says:

    Betts would be a great addition to the team, but he's a 4th line C who can contribute on the PK, not a 3rd line C.

    Still, at least it looks like management sat down and went "hm.. maybe, Gagner – Pouliot – Brule down the middle isn't a key to success…."

    Finally…

  2. Bruce says:

    Boy, Matty doesn't like Pouliot much, what? In the Sather era, certain media persistently badmouthing a guy meant he was gone … don't think there's quite such a direct relationship today, but you're prbably right about him not buying a house.

  3. Gord says:

    If they spend $2.5 million on Smid & Brule, we have a 22 man roster while being approximately 1/4 million under the salary cap.

    How in the world were we supposed to fit Heatley's salary cap hit into the equation?

    If that trade occurred, we would be exactly at the salary cap with only a 20 man roster…

    There must have been a Part 2 somewhere – maybe that is why Souray's house is for sale…

    And if so, why not implement Part 2 so we have cap space for one year signings leaving money for next summers free agents?

  4. pboy says:

    Pouliot not only should rent but he should make sure it comes furnished and he can get a month to month lease.

  5. Schitzo says:

    Matty makes the same mistake a lot of armchair GMs make, though. "We need to move Pouliot to free up salary cap space".

    Well, no, unless his replacement is making league minimum.

  6. Bank Shot says:

    Blair Betts does not bring enough offence to the table. Plus, Blair is a terrible name.

    I just don't think the current edition of the Oilers is built to be a strong defensive club.

    If they are to make the playoffs, they'll need alot of offence and decent defence. They'll need 3 lines of scoring because they don't have a nuclear threat, and Betts doesn't help in that regard.

    The Oil need someone that can keep up to Moreu and Pisani offensively as they'll likely get some serious icetime.

  7. Bank Shot says:

    Betts would be fine as 4th line center, and probably cheaper then Brule or Pouliot.

  8. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    The Cavalry isn't coming kids and you don't need to read between the lines.

  9. HBomb says:

    Memo to Tambellini: Pouliot may be vanilla, but he's cheap and useful at a position lacking depth.

    If you want to make a true impact on team culture and move some actual dead weight, may I suggest Ethan "4th line" Moreau and Steve "3rd pairing" Staios and their combined 4.7 million in cap space?

  10. Oilmaniac says:

    So is that how they are going to improve the PK as well, Bank Shot.. find someone to keep up with the offense of pisani and moreau?!?..

    Cus when the oil get another 1->2 scored against them on the PK, dont worry, they can just dip from the infinite well of offense that is the line of pisani, moreau, and 'mysteryman'…

  11. Oilmaniac says:

    "Betts would be fine as 4th line center, and probably cheaper then Brule or Pouliot."

    Cheaper AND more effective (within a defined role)…

    So much more effective at what he would be brought into do.. instead…

  12. NBOilerFan says:

    "… And Pouliot should rent."

    You do have a good sense of humor, LT. That cracked me up.

    Perhaps they are considering running with Brule and Betts at #3 and #4? Brule jas decent faceoffs numbers and plays the crash and bang role better then Pouliot.

  13. kris says:

    Uh, so if we dump Poo, we'll have the following at center:

    Horcoff
    Gagner
    Brule

    Sweet Jesus, that's a problem. WE better be getting a tough minutes center back.

  14. Black Dog says:

    I don't know LT, as a home owner myself I always recommend to folks that investing in real estate is a fine idea. You can never go wrong really. And in today's market you're talking about an investment that will likely be worth a lot more very soon with the economy turning the corner.

    When you rent you may as well throw your money out the window, imo.

  15. Jonathan Willis says:

    FCM's got it. And it feels like Matty's been taking shots at Pouliot for years.

  16. Lowetide says:

    BD: Well let's say you invest, buy a house. You're traded in September but can rent out the house to Jacques because he's a friend and you know there's not going to be a lot of damage.

    Come December, Jacques heads to waivers and now Schremp gets called up and rents the house. Schremp's been pissed at Pouliot for years now with his being barely better and getting all the at-bats and so he trashes the place.

    I think Schremp grew up not far from where Pat Kane was born so God know what could happen.

    No sir. Rent.

  17. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: Thanks for that. Seriously ;)

  18. PunjabiOil says:

    Any update on the Heatley saga, LT?

  19. mjsh says:

    So what would be wrong with signing Betts and having him compete with Poo for a spot on the team?

  20. Lowetide says:

    PJ: No update, as I mentioned in the post yesterday I'm not in any way connected to the team, anyone associated with the media connected to the Oilers or Daryl Katz.

    What I did hear was three different people mentioning the same thing, which is, to say the least, weird.

    But I don't know that I'll have an update for anyone unless someone else mentions they heard it (as PDO did in the last thread).

  21. Racki says:

    When I ready Matheson's article earlier today, the thing that stood out to me is that the Oilers are saying they can't afford Betts. Am I the only one that thinks this is a poor excuse?

    I don't have any concrete knowledge on what he's asking for, but I would think that at most he would receive $1.5M a year.

    I do like Pouliot and Nilsson. However, I have to really wonder how we can justify hanging on to any of these guys who are average at their roles when there is a guy out there who excels at his role available and wants to come here.

    It's messed. Nilsson and Pouliot are easily replaceable. Hell, even within our own system. Betts will come at an extra cost over someone like Pouliot who can half-ass fill that role, I know. But I'll take Betts for $600,000-ish more, Alex.

    Cut Nilsson lose (trade him for a pick, if we can, otherwise send him to the AHL where he'll either get claimed on waivers or buried there) and pick up the Rangers' PK's secret weapon.

  22. Bank Shot says:

    Cus when the oil get another 1->2 scored against them on the PK, dont worry, they can just dip from the infinite well of offense that is the line of pisani, moreau, and 'mysteryman'…

    I was thinking someone like Moore or Malholtra that haven't been playing the ultra soft minutes and losing like Betts has the past two seasons.

    Maybe someone that can score 30 points and have more use then just on the PK.

    Or they could correct the imbalance on the backend by sending away one of Grebs or Vish for a guy that can play in all situations.

    When two of your top four defencemen can't kill penalties, you're going to have a tough time even if your centermen can win draws.

  23. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Gregor is reporting the Oilers will be moving a defenseman before the season starts.

    I'm calling Souray to SJ and Heatley is involved.

  24. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Makes sense, right? Move a big contract and get someone up front?

    And then for pity sakes find someone from the Hejda tree at a good price. Use your strengths, goodness knows there aren't that many.

  25. kris says:

    FCM:

    What does SJ want with Souray?

    I call Smid to somewhere for not enough.

  26. HBomb says:

    Gregor is reporting the Oilers will be moving a defenseman before the season starts.

    Not that I doubt you FCM, but where did he say this? Print or during Just a Game?

    Regardless….pleasebestaiospleasebestaiospleasebestaiospleasebestaios…..

    I'm calling Souray to SJ and Heatley is involved.

    Good idea in theory, but I think if there's a three way between OTT, SJ, and EDM, Heatley doesn't approve it unless he's going to San Jose. And if that happens, Souray's not going there, and I somehow doubt he approves a deal to a team outside of California (one possible exception – Dallas).

  27. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    FCM: Makes sense, right? Move a big contract and get someone up front?

    And then for pity sakes find someone from the Hejda tree at a good price. Use your strengths, goodness knows there aren't that many.

    Yep. The Oilers need to clear space.

    Souray wants out (and, no, I will not attribute this) but the Oilers imperative is to have cap room to make some some moves.

    I expect both Souray and Heatley end up in San Jose.

    The return for the Oilers and Ottawa is still cloudy.

  28. Gerta Rauss says:

    …so does this mean the Cavalry is coming..?

    I'm so confused.

  29. Lowetide says:

    I think it's more like Paul Revere.

  30. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    I think it's more like Paul Revere.

    The Headless Horseman.

  31. 40oz says:

    Now if only Nilsson could find his way out of town… I doubt his value is much of anything, but I'd rather keep Pouliot over Rowbear right now.

    Not that he's a better player, but his skill set and salary makes him a much more attractive player.

    I think moving both would be a big step forward for this club. Onward and upwards….

  32. SK Oiler Fan says:

    If a D is being moved, Peckham is in.

    Question: Can Peckham PK? Was he on the PK in Springfield?
    Surely he can't be any worse than Staios on the PK?

  33. Lowetide says:

    SK Oiler fan: I think the Oilers could trade a Souray and then sign a free agent. It would be better to have Peckham as the first injury callup imo.

  34. Bank Shot says:

    Peckham will likely be alot worse than Staios on the PK.

    The Oilers can't move Souray and Staios if they don't backfill those spots with a couple of guys who know what the hell they are doing.

  35. Smarmy Boss says:

    I'm confused and leaving with the mental image of Schremp and Kane murdering cab drivers in Pouliot's basement.

  36. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Realistic value D UFAs left:
    Boucher
    DeVries
    Sydor
    Backman
    Boulion
    Skoula
    Dandenault
    Malik
    Siedenberg

    Pretty slim pickins', but my vote is for Siedenberg for 1.25M or less

  37. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    SK Oiler Fan said…
    Realistic value D UFAs left:
    Boucher
    DeVries
    Sydor
    Backman
    Boulion
    Skoula
    Dandenault
    Malik
    Siedenberg

    Pretty slim pickins', but my vote is for Siedenberg for 1.25M or less

    Siedenberg to the Canucks for $1M Alex.

    They have the cap space.

  38. SK Oiler Fan says:

    On second thought, I dunno LT. If Souray is moved the Oilers have perhaps the softest D in the conference. Tambo has said he wants to be harder to play against. I'd say Souray is the hardest player to play against on the roster.

    I hate to say it, but if a D salary is to go I'd say it should be Vishnovsky. His abilities are partially duplicated by Gilbert and Grebs.

    There just isn't a value UFA D available that has "hard to play against" on their resume.

  39. Gerta Rauss says:

    Volchenkov might be someone I could get interested in…assuming it's Souray being sent away.

  40. godot10 says:

    The Oilers don't have to sign Betts. They just have to invite him to camp on a tryout.

  41. Moose says:

    According to the official site…Smid has signed a two-year deal and Brule and Stone on 1yr, two-way deals.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=436411

  42. bookie says:

    I think the Oilers likely wanted to have all of their hopefulls for 3rd and 4th line duty signed prior to bringing in someone like Betts. Guys like Brule and others are easier to satisfy (less likley to run away to europe) if they actually think they have a decent chance at a roster spot.

  43. Ribs says:

    Geez….We're back to trading Souray away again? Unless he really wants out of here I don't see it.

    It looks like Matty was just filling space with the Pouliot/Betts stuff, to me. His real story was the signings.

  44. rickibear says:

    Pretty slim pickins', but my vote is for Siedenberg for 1.25M or less

    Huh!

    Can you name how many Dmen were top 50 in all these:
    EVPTS/60
    EVG/60
    EVGA/60
    PPG/60
    PPPTS/60
    PKGA/60
    Blocks
    Hits

    The answer Two:
    Chara
    Seidenberg

    If you take away blocks and hits

    There were 6 dmen to cover the bet;
    Chara
    Seidenberg
    Weidmen
    Blake
    Keith
    Souray

  45. DBO says:

    So if we deal a vishnovsky or Souray, then Seidenberg is a solid option as a top 4 replacement. At this point you can get him for no more then $2.5 million, and seeing what he brings he would be a perfect top 4 replacement for any of our dmen. Deal a defenseman for a top LW, and sign Seidenberg and we have the cap ability to fill our other needs.

  46. oilerdiehard says:

    Fake Craig McTavish said…

    Yep. The Oilers need to clear space.

    Souray wants out (and, no, I will not attribute this) but the Oilers imperative is to have cap room to make some some moves.

    I expect both Souray and Heatley end up in San Jose.

    The return for the Oilers and Ottawa is still cloudy.

    I am trying to think of a way that the Oilers come out of this clearing cap space as you mentioned earlier?

    If anything SJ and Ott seem to be in an even worse cap situation than we are. SJ has 9 forwards, 7 D and 1 goalie signed with about 600k of cap space left (according to nhlscap site). Ottawa on the other hand is currently over the cap with Heatley included.

  47. Jonathan Willis says:

    Fun space clearing exercise:

    - Sign Daniel Tjarnqvist (1 year, 750K).
    - Trade Steve Staios (2.75MM/yr).

    Voila! 2MM in cap space!

    Be nice if it were that simple.

  48. Smytty777 says:

    JW: Cap clearing space exercise…

    Trade/waiver Staios and Nilsson

    Sign Greg De Vries $1M and Blair Betts at $700,000. Play Cogs with Gagner and O'Sullivan against the soft parade.

    Cap saving of $3M.

    There are lots of ways to clear space, the Matheson article makes me think that the Oilers are not willing to pursue them though.

  49. Ribs says:

    Tjarnqvist signed with Lokomotiv awhile back…bleh..

  50. Jonathan Willis says:

    Smytty: Pass on DeVries; he's dropped off a cliff the last couple of years.

  51. NBOilerFan says:

    Dan Tencer says on his live chat that Betts to teh Oilers is NOT gonna happen and also said…

    "…Stauffer is pretty sure that there's at least one trade coming…likely involving one of the Oilers defensemen."

  52. RiversQ says:

    Well, wasn't FCM the guy that was right about Pronger?

    If Souray wants out, I can't wait to see Bruce jump off the bandwagon.

    Anyway, I'd love to see a dman shipped out for a top six forward, so here's hoping. And if they manage to clear cap space at the same time to get a free agent too, then all the better.

    What would it take to bag Thornton from SJ? Would the Heatley package plus Souray do it?

  53. bookie says:

    What would it take to bag Thornton from SJ? Would the Heatley package plus Souray do it?

    The Oilers seem to target guys who kind of flounder in the regular season, but really bring it in the playoffs (when we get there), not the other way around so I don't see them trading the Heatley package+Souray for Thorton.

  54. RiversQ says:

    Oh come on. The playoff stuff about Thornton is bullshit. Just like it was for Chris Pronger and Barry Bonds.

    Hmm… That's an interesting comparison but I'm running with it.

  55. kamus says:

    Thorton:
    Regular season
    ppg 1.00 gpg .32
    Playoffs
    ppg .70 gpg .16

    Are these numbers not significant?

  56. quain says:

    No, because we don't make the playoffs anyways.

  57. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Ricki,
    By slim pickins' I meant only 1 of the group was desirebale: Seidenberg. Thanks for all the stats though. I wonder if the rest of the league knows how much of an all round D he actually is. He would easily replace Staios for less $.

    Are you suggesting he would command much more that 1.25M? He only made 1.2M last year.

    DBO, I'd be surprised if Seidenberg approached 2.5M.

  58. Coach pb9617 says:

    Souray wants out (and, no, I will not attribute this) but the Oilers imperative is to have cap room to make some some moves.

    I expect both Souray and Heatley end up in San Jose.

    The return for the Oilers and Ottawa is still cloudy.

    I spent the whole day thinking you were insane and then thought about this on the drive home from work. Your idea fixes everyone's problem. Are you thinking something like:

    Edmonton gets:
    Marleau [6,300,000] extended.
    Volchenkov [2,500,000]
    1st round pick

    Ottawa gets:
    Cheechoo [3,000,000]
    Cogliano [1,133,333]
    Ehrhoff [3,100,000]
    Michalek [4,333,333]
    Eberle

    San Jose:
    Heatley [7,500,000]
    Souray [5,400,000]

    Is there a NMC in there besides Souray and Heatley?

  59. Smytty777 says:

    Coach: Marleau has a NMC and you can bet he is not waiving it to come to Edmonton

  60. spOILer says:

    How does OTT take on the extra $1.5M in salary? Can we take on an extra $2.3M?

  61. Smarmy Boss says:

    Marleau is a prairie boy. He'll come home. We don't need to extend him. Let him be a free agent and throw the bank at Kovalchuk.

  62. hunter1909 says:

    As an Oiler fan I personally feel like the German 6th Army surrounded at Stalingrad.

    Promises from Tambellini to improve and toughen up the team are starting to sound to me like Hermann Goering boastfully promising to supply Stalingrad entirely by using Luftwaffe air support.

  63. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Marleau has a NMC and you can bet he is not waiving it to come to Edmonton.

    A Katzian 6 * 6 extension would land him.

    How does OTT take on the extra $1.5M in salary? Can we take on an extra $2.3M.

    Jason Smith to the A? Robert Nilsson for stuff?

  64. Coach pb9617 says:

    And FCM – correct if I'm wrong, but a commute's worth of noodling sort of figured out what you were talking about.

  65. RiversQ says:

    kamus said…
    Thorton:
    Regular season
    ppg 1.00 gpg .32
    Playoffs
    ppg .70 gpg .16

    Are these numbers not significant?

    Nope, I wouldn't say so.

    Thornton has played 76 playoff games – so less than a full regular season – and has only shot 8%.

    Meanwhile, he's played 836 regular season games with a 15% shooting percentage.

    If the only puck luck issue was his own personal shooting percentage, and you removed it, he'd have an extra 12-13 goals, which pretty much quashes the Pts/game and G/game issue entirely.

    That's without digging into the rest of the numbers.

    Thornton's shit works in the playoffs – I have no doubt.

  66. RiversQ says:

    Interesting stuff coach.

    I mostly hate Marleau, so I hope that never happens, but the Oilers would certainly improve dramatically that way. The ES defense would pretty much be a saw-off; the PP would probably be even because I don't think the drop off to Gilbert, Grebs, Visnovsky is that much and you'd throw Marleau into the mix.

    I do notice that the Oilers keep Penner this way, which is convenient… ;)

  67. RiversQ says:

    Ugh, sorry – that should be 10-11 goals additional for Thornton if he shot at his regular season level in the playoffs.

  68. Showerhead says:

    but RQ: Thornton's shooting percentage clearly drops in the playoffs because he can't handle the intensity, pressure, or coach mandated abstinence. What a choker!

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    Interesting stuff coach.

    I'm just trying to figure out what FCM is getting at because his is an entirely new thought process. After what seems like a year of discussing this, I thought all angles were covered.

    I mostly hate Marleau,

    Why's that?

    so I hope that never happens, but the Oilers would certainly improve dramatically that way. The ES defense would pretty much be a saw-off; the PP would probably be even because I don't think the drop off to Gilbert, Grebs, Visnovsky is that much and you'd throw Marleau into the mix.

    It makes a ton of sense. I think FCM had some sort of stroke of genius or something. Maybe he's been hanging out with Grebs. They're still missing a center though.

    I do notice that the Oilers keep Penner this way, which is convenient… ;)

    In this scenario, I can't see a place that he fits going to Ottawa.

    Moreau and Pisani come off and their money goes to Gagner. Would be a lot easier to manage going forward without that Russian albatross.

  70. Rick says:

    Janne Niskala's a UFA, but I wonder if he's going back to Europe..

    He wouldn't be a bad stopgap at 1M if we dealt away one of the offensive blueliners.

  71. RiversQ says:

    Yeah agreed. I was going to add that point – Penner's deal is just big enough that adding him to the mix complicates things hugely.

    Marleau's like Jokinen – not terrible, but hugely overrated and putting up numbers while his teammates do the heavy lifting. Fortunately Edmonton could accommodate that thanks to Horcoff.

  72. NBOilerFan says:

    Coach… I guarantee you have silenced LT. Moving Cogliano AND Eberle for Marleau will surely not garner a response.

  73. Lowetide says:

    I'm not in favor of trading Cogliano in the Heatley deal. You can imagine how interested I am in dealing him in a deal for Marleau.

  74. NBOilerFan says:

    Lowetide said…
    I'm not in favor of trading Cogliano in the Heatley deal. You can imagine how interested I am in dealing him in a deal for Marleau.

    Haha… that is what I meant. :D

    I am okay with moving Cogliano for 4-5 years of Heatley in his prime, but not so much for Marleau. However, I would consider this deal if say O'Sullivan replaced Cogliano in it. Would Murray still be interested though?

  75. NBOilerFan says:

    … or could Ottawa afford it which I doubt.

    ….. expect the unexpected.

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