The Old Man and the C

One thing we can agree on about the Edmonton Oilers: when they are good enough to make a SCF, they are strong, strong, strong at center ice. When the club was winning Stanley’s in the 1980s and 1990, center was the domain of 99, 11 and several other top quality men of varying skills. In the 2006 Stanley run, Edmonton also boasted a nice group of men (among them Shawn Horcoff and Michael Peca) in the middle.

Since that time, Edmonton has been in a “rebuild” period brought on by the dual trading of Pronger for kids and the decision not to replace the veteran D lost that summer (Pronger, Spacek, Tarnstrom) with anything resembling NHL players. So the Oilers decided to bring in kids at center as well. Here’s a quick look at opening nights over the last 4 seasons at the position:

  • 2005-Horcoff, Peca, Stoll, Reasoner
  • 2006-Horcoff, Sykora, Stoll, Reasoner
  • 2007-Horcoff, Stoll, Reasoner, Cogliano
  • 2008-Horcoff, Gagner, Pisani, Brodziak

Cogliano was on last year’s team and did play a lot of center, but he was not at the position on opening night 2008-09. As the C became less and less experienced, unusual things began to happen. Among them:

  • A number of wingers had extended trials at center, most recently Fernando Pisani and Dustin Penner.
  • Two centermen (Horcoff and Brodziak) spent a large number of draws in their own-zone.
  • The coach protected the two kids (Cogs, Gagner) who struggled in the dot.
  • The Oilers gave over 700 faceoffs to a man who had a 37% success rate.

One of the things Adam Oates did when he was an Oiler was to help young men like Jarret Stoll improve in the dot. When the Oilers sent Stoll away in the brilliant Visnovsky deal, they once again failed to address a need created by the outgoing player. Why? I’m pretty certain the coach must have felt he could cover that area with Brodziak and Reasoner (who was sent away later that summer) and it’s been mentioned a few times by organization men that faceoffs aren’t as important as some people make it out to be (I have searched this morning but cannot for the life of me find a quote, so will ask for you to accept my word on it).

The last time Pat Quinn coached was 2005-06, same season Edmonton went to the finals. Just for fun, allow me to list the top centers for Quinn’s team that season and their career GP entering the season, their total faceoffs and then percentage.

Quinn’s Leafs

  1. Mats Sundin (1086gp) 1557 54.0%
  2. Jason Allison (486gp) 876 50.1%
  3. Clark Wilm (395gp) 694 52.3%
  4. Kyle Wellwood (1gp) 593 56.3%
  5. Eric Lindros (678gp) 480 53.5%
  6. Matt Stajan (70gp) 373 44.5%

A very veteran group. It’s reasonable to assume there were be even fewer faceoffs taken by kids had Allison and Lindros been able to maintain good health. It’s interesting also to note that Nik Antropov was on this team but Quinn didn’t trust him much in the FO circle (172/34.3%) for good reason.

What does that tell us? Aside from the possibility of some kind of Quinn voodoo (those are silly numbers above) it looks like Quinn likes experience on the dot. A guy like Clark Wilm was an extreme role player (he averaged 8 minutes a night at EVs that season, 4 on the PK and scored 1 goal all year) but useful in this area. Now, let’s look at the 08-09 Oilers (current career GP, all else the same as above).

MacT’s RagTag Group

  1. Shawn Horcoff (560gp) 1756 53.9%
  2. Kyle Brodziak (175gp) 947 51.6%
  3. Andrew Cogliano (164gp) 702 37.2%
  4. Sam Gagner (155gp) 690 42.0%
  5. Marc Pouliot (141gp) 211 43.0%
  6. Fernando Pisani (362gp) 123 46.0%
  7. Dustin Penner (261go) 114 47.4%

I think Quinn will be grumbling early about that group (remember, Brodziak is gone and replaced by Gilbert Brule who was 51.3% in 78/fo’s the last time he was in the NHL for an extended period but that’s not enough to suggest he’s a solution).

Which leads me to the following conclusions. Should the Oilers remain inert for the rest of summer, all of training camp and into the regular season, one or more of the following might be what they’re thinking:

  • Quinn believes he can improve the kids (Cogs, Gags) away from the puck and in the dot.
  • The organization is so giddy about Pouliot’s move to center they’ve convinced themselves it’s a plan.
  • Brule is in fact a better center than we think he is.
  • They’re going to move a winger to center and haven’t told us about it
  • Sam Gagner is going to be on the 1line.
  • They’re going to play Penner with Cogliano and use the big winger in the FO circle.

Any other ideas? It would be a much better plan to bring in some experienced help, even if it is from the Clark Wilm (Blair Betts) tree. Steve Tambellini’s current coach was also a GM a long time ago, and there’s a coach in waiting. As frustrated as he sounded yesterday afternoon in the media conference, the job rewards action and punishes trygheit.

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73 Responses to "The Old Man and the C"

  1. B.C.B. says:

    Oh, the beauty of logic.

  2. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Trygheit is just not a word you run into every day LT.
    I leaves me with a sense of ennui.

    I'm thinking Gagner at #1C might be the plan…if there is a plan.

  3. spOILer says:

    (remember, Brodziak is gone and replaced by Gilbert Brule who was 51.3% in 78/fo's the last time he was in the NHL for an extended period but that's not enough to suggest he's a solution).

    Hasn't Pouliot replaced Brodziak, not Brule?

    Right now our forwards appear to be:

    PENN HORC HEMS
    OSUL GAGN NILS
    MORE COGL PISA
    JACQ POUL STOR

    Another move would have to be made, or someone else disappeared to Springfield, in order to have Brule replace Brodziak, to my eye.

  4. dave says:

    nice post LT. It has become a kind of preface to every roster post but expressed even more blatantly obvious here.

    I do think the position we are in now is one where we will want to really live or die on Pou and Brule because in (1yr/2yr) they have the "potential" to be far better than the vet 3C we bring in help. That said, We still bring someone in. Reasoner again I think would have been the perfect fit. Cause I still want the tweeners to practice swimming upstream.

  5. dave says:

    I think Gagne at 1C is the plan. The moment Sammy is even close to that our glasses will appear half full.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Interesting listening to Rob Schremp talking to someone the other day. How he felt he was a center due to his skillset.

    Of course this Pittsburgh Penguins(1971 not 2009) style organisation prefers to draft centers, then see how well they progress as wingers.

  7. Lowetide says:

    By the way, a great take (and congrats!) are here:

    http://ykoil.blogspot.com/2009/07/some-recent-past.html

  8. ian says:

    OK
    I missed the previous fun with discussion about Dianne lane and Redheads but perhaps some "experience" would be a good thing
    http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=623198

  9. Aaron says:

    Hire Adam Oates as a skills development coach?

  10. Aaron says:

    Hire Adam Oates as a skills development coach?

  11. DBO says:

    So wouldn't it make sense to move some of our young duplicated players for young players who complement them and fill our current need? I've made this argument a bunch of times, but one of Gagner or cogliano is a great chip to deal in order to bring in a player who better fits our needs. Cogliano with his speed and goal scoring is hard to give up, but if you could deal him for Dubinksy in NYR or Campbell in FLA you still get a solid two way banging bigger player who can still inmprove, is young and balances out our roster. In Campbell's case you might be able to get more thenm just him for Cogliano, or maybe you add Nilsson just to get him off the books and get a prospect back. May be an overpay, but it balances out the lineup and frees up a contract spot for a winger, while saving us $2 mill in cap space that can be used to help bring in a scoring winger.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Well I'd like to keep Cogliano for another year, just to make sure we're not dealing with an exceptional player (he's hopeless in some areas but there are some excellent arrows).

    He's making little, his second contract should be reasonable and you can run two smaller men in the top 6F.

    I'd prefer to see Nilsson dealt for a pick and then that money spent on a Malhotra.

  13. B.C.B. says:

    I have to agree with DBO, Gagner and Cogliano replicate the same position: smallish centers, one that can read the play better, and the other with blinding speed. Both are best suited for an offensive first role, especially in the beginning (say next 4 years) of their careers; so they should be the soft minutes line or 2nd line centers (depending what you call it). Unless one of the steps up to be able to Power vs Power and Horcoff is demoted to a defensive role, there will never be room for both on the team. I think one needs to be traded to fill a need in the forward corps.

  14. Unleaded says:

    I remember there being talk on the blogosphere recently about how Hemsky plays with the puck. The way he brings it up, distributes it, and controls the tempo of the play screams centreman.

    Why not try him there?

    Give him a couple of shooters on each wing and have them play the 2nd toughs. Maybe POS and Cogs?

    Put Horcoff with Pisani and Moreau, feed them the toughs and live with the fact that 10'll only get 40 points this year.

    Let Penner Gagner and Nilson kill some soft minutes and build some trade value for our bad contracts.

    JFJ, MAP ZS can crash and bang their way to 500k+ each this year.

    Because we have dfensemen who can move the puck, and guys who can skate, shouldn't we make teams fear our breakout? You know… play to our team's strengths? I think this lineup would do that better than trying to build balanced lines has worked for the last 3 years.

    Our team is unbalanced. Maybe we try to go with it?

  15. Coach pb9617 says:

    Why not try him there?

    This.

  16. Bruce says:

    I think Gagne at 1C is the plan.

    So do I, though he's likely a year away. As I recall, when Gagner spent a little time as Hemsky's pivot last year MacT tried Moreau on the port side presumably to provide some defensive balance, and it didn't work out too well.

    The moment Sammy is even close to that our glasses will appear half full.

    Until that moment our glasses will appear rose-coloured. :)

  17. Traktor says:

    Any coach that couldn't find a way to give both Cogliano and Gagner big roles the top 12 is an idiot.

    The problem is people are trying to find a player to fit a role instead of trying to find roles to fit our players.

    If we want to extract the most out of our roster then we probably need to role two 2nd lines and buck the traditional 3rd line.

    Something like,

    Moreau – Horcoff – Pisani
    Penner – Gagner – Hemsky
    Nilsson – O'Sullivan – Cogliano
    xxxxx – Pouliot – Stortini

  18. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: Agree completely.

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    Horcoff, Gagner, O'Sullivan Pouliot. Horcoff still dies on the ice.

  20. Traktor says:

    "Horcoff still dies on the ice"

    If Horcoff doesn't die on the ice then the coach didn't use him properly.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    MacT had 300 NHL wins. Just what does it take to please these spoiled fans?

  22. B.C.B. says:

    Traktor, you didn't buck the traditional third line (with your proposed lines), you just moved it to the first line: Moreau-Horcoff-Pisani is a checking line not another scoring line, it consists of two defensive wingers and a two-way center.

    The checking third line may have given way in the Power vs Power of the post-lockout, but teams still need a two-way center for the Power vs Power line, an offensive center for the softer minutes, and a defensive center for PK and so the team, as a group, leaves less then they create. Also another center on the fourth line that could fill in on either offensive or defensive if injuries happen.

    The Oilers have a two-way center in Horcoff (and most likely on of the top ten in the league). They also have two centers that could be described as offensive focused centers, prefect for the soft minutes or whatever we call it, in Cogliano and Gagner. Lastly they also have two centers that do not have the history (but most likely the skill, as they are old 1st round picks) of consistent defensive play in Brule and Poo: but they could fill in on either defensive or offensive for an injury, just not 60+ games. There is no defensive center to take draws on the second PK unit, and strengthen the overall defense of even strength minutes.

  23. Bruce says:

    //Why not try him there?//

    This.

    Coach: Great pic, and right you are. From where I sit Hemsky isn't the most adaptable player. Not only is he a winger, he's a Right winger. It seems his linemates need to adapt to him. This is one area where Horcoff excels, so he is the default go-to guy. Guys like Moreau and Stoll, not so much, and their times with Ales didn't go well.

    I think Gagner has the smarts to mature into such a player, but as we've seen with Horcoff, these things take time.

  24. Lowetide says:

    The thing about Hemsky is he's the not problem. Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner, O'Sullivan aren't going to be the problem this season (although Penner is one dimensional).

    This is still a "growing pains" season but Hemsky at R is part of any solution for the Oilers.

  25. Bruce says:

    Right you are, LT, Ales only becomes a problem if you do something stupid like try to move him to centre. Been there, done that, with Smytty and Pisani to name two. Just leave Ales out there on the right side and let him do his thing. It's his natural position, leave him the fuck alone.

    The one area where we don't entirely agree is about Penner being one-dimensional. I don't see him that way at all.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: I like Penner in the offensive zone, on the PP and he's not bad in the FO circle.

    I don't think he's an aggressive skater so that makes him a "meh" forechecker and he doesn't force many turnover. He's okay positionally in his own end but it's not a hard job either.

    Plus he's not especially good at using his size. I'm not talking about random hitting, more riding players out of the play just by choosing the right path. I don't think he's dumb or anything, but he doesn't clog lanes and he overskates his check fairly often.

  27. Vic Ferrari says:

    At this point I'm pretty sure that "Traktor" isn't even real, or at least I'd like to hope so.

    In any case Lain, I know that balance is your cowbell, but I'm not on board. I think the Oilers don't have enough good players to be copetitive in the west, so they will be at the mercy of the bounces.

    If they were in the East they almost certanly would have been good enough to make the playoffs, and probably have taken the first series deep, or maybe even won a round. And me and the other Lowetiders would be talking about adding 'that one extra piece' to make them a legitimate Cup threat.

    C'est la vie.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Vic: I'll be very interesting in seeing how Quinn manages this group. The first item will be how they change from TC to opening night because it can't stay the same.

    I agree they don't have enough actual players but imo they're so GD close it's a mystery as to why they wouldn't go the extra mile.

    1. RH C with experience
    2. Veteran backup G
    3. Moreau/Pisani insurance
    4. Cory Cross

    Is that so difficult? You could get TC invites to fill some of those holes based on the number of men still available.

    When does Quinn arrive?

  29. Traktor says:

    15.52 percent is real.

    You might have missed it while filling up your jug at the water cooler.

  30. B.C.B. says:

    1) Does it really matter if the Veteran Center is Right handed or left? I just want one, anyone (named Betts, Malhotra, Lang; or to a lesser degree, Moore or Goc).

    2) Can be got later for one of the two sixth round picks we have.

    3) Meh, don't that the cash for it.

    4) I thought strudwick was suppose to be Cory Cross.

  31. DanMan says:

    hunter: lol

    Traktor: I agree. Its looking more and more like 3 scoring lines will become a reality.

    Iginla and Jokinen are miles away from our top 2, but our scoring depth is infinitely better than Calgarys and arguably as good or better than Minny or the nucks

  32. hunter1909 says:

    I remember seeing Oilers play the Rangers and I think Flyers, both games they looked like a seriously half decent team.

    Those 4 puck moving defencemen render the Oilers an above average team. Does anyone remember Cory Cross, with Ulanov and Scott Ferguson? Can anyone seriously argue Oilers haven't substantially improved the defence?

    Give the team a coach who isn't afraid to have the forwards score goals and I'm almost choking on Tambellini kool aid.

  33. DanMan says:

    LT: I agree on Penner for now. I kinda hope someone puts his face through the glass or something. When he gets mad, he is a different player.

    I hope something wakes him up, and he becomes the dominating force of excellence we all know he can be

  34. R O says:

    Iginla and Jokinen are miles away from our top 2, but our scoring depth is infinitely better than Calgarys and arguably as good or better than Minny or the nucks

    I don't think this particular opinion is supported by the facts. The Oilers scoring depth last season was deficient (despite enjoying above average percentages) and no upgrades have been made this year.

    And Jokinen wasn't very good last season and his 90 point seasons have come on the back of favorable ice time. Iginla didn't have a very good season either. However, Calgary's forward depth (particularly Moss, Bourque, Conroy, Glencross) is among the best in the league, evidenced by their ability to tilt the ice.

    You actually have it entirely backwards.

  35. Lowetide says:

    DanMan: Yeah, he just needs a kick in the ass and hopefully last season was it. One of the things I'm going to do this winter is give MacT credit EVERY DAMN TIME ONE OF THESE KIDS develops.

    He did a lot of spade work for this club.

  36. godot10 says:

    //1. RH C with experience
    2. Veteran backup G
    3. Moreau/Pisani insurance
    4. Cory Cross//

    They don't have money or contracts for all of that.

    1) FWIW, I think they will likely sign a centre to a one year bargain deal in early September, or bring one into camp on a tryout.
    2) Veteran backups will be available during the season like they were last year, for basically nothing. Deslauriers is getting his shot. If he fails, they will get somebody.
    3) In a cap world, your farm team has to be Moreau/Pisani insurance. Stone, Minard, Reddox.
    4) Jason Strudwick is Cory Cross. How can you sign another defenseman. They have seven, and Peckhan is 8, and Arsene can probably do in a pinch. Where is the roster spot for another guy?

    If you want to poach a Gagner or Sharp when Philly or Chicago get desparate, one has to diet on cap space now.

  37. Lowetide says:

    The players are out there, this is exactly what happened after 1994's baseball strike (they all went to Homestead FLA).

    As for a cap diet, why not buy out one of the veterans now?

  38. Traktor says:

    I'm not sure which Penner is looking forward to more, proving that he's a good hockey player or proving that MacTavish was an idiot.

    I expect he'll be awfully motivated this year.

  39. Coach pb9617 says:

    This is still a "growing pains" season but Hemsky at R is part of any solution for the Oilers.

    Agreed. When he has a real left wing he's the 3rd highest scoring RW in the league.

    What the hell else do people want?!

  40. NBOilerFan says:

    Lowetide said…
    One of the things I'm going to do this winter is give MacT credit EVERY DAMN TIME ONE OF THESE KIDS develops.
    He did a lot of spade work for this club.

    Yup, I can see it already, if the teams doesn't excel under this coaching staff, then it will be "see, two top NHL coaches can't do any better then MacT", and if they do excel it will be, "see MacT deserves all the credit".

    Shouldn't all that credit for the rookies actually go to Lowe? He was the one that put the team in a position with no real options but to use them.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Lowe gets credit for deciding on the rebuild. After that, I prefer to give credit to the scout who found Peckham, Cogliano or Gagner.

  42. NBOilerFan says:

    Lowetide said…
    Lowe gets credit for deciding on the rebuild. After that, I prefer to give credit to the scout who found Peckham, Cogliano or Gagner.

    Agreed, the scouts deserve the most credit. I'm not a MacT hater, nor am I a huge fan. He has his pros and cons as most coaches do.

    But giving him the credit for an improved Gagner and Cogliano is a bit of a stretch to me.

    Your the biggest MAP fan I know, I'm shocked you are so pro-MacT. If I were you, I'd be lambasting MacT for his use, or misuse, for MAP's development or lack thereof, especially last season. We should knopw right now if MAP would cover the 3line C spot in my mind. Just like we should have a hell of a lot better idea what kind of a goalie JDD is.

    And MAP is basically a "MacT type" player.

  43. HBomb says:

    Iginla and Jokinen are miles away from our top 2, but our scoring depth is infinitely better than Calgarys and arguably as good or better than Minny or the nucks

    DanMan:

    Iginla, I'll give you that for sure, but the gap between he and Hemsky has closed somewhat, and Iginla is on the wrong side of 30.

    But Jokinen? I would not take that guy straight up over Hemsky or Horcoff for starters. And I'll take Gagner over him too (I'd rather spend the soft minutes on a developing player than a veteran who can't handle power-vs-power minutes).

    (Sidebar: Between Jokinen at forward, Phaneuf on D, and Kiprusoff in goal, the Flames have the market cornered on overrated players to offset some good value deals in guys like Glencross, Conroy and Moss).

    Traktor: I think that Horcoff with Pisani on a second line taking the toughs is a possibility, but I think the LW on that line is O'Sullivan, not Moreau (I don't believe 18 to be capable of anything more than 4th line minutes at this point, at least if a team fancies itself a contender for a playoff spot).

  44. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: Your point re:Moreau is succinct and highlights perfectly why the Oilers need a veteran safety net on the wing.

  45. PDO says:

    I'm highly intrigued by either an O'Sullivan – Horcoff – Pisani line or an O'Sullivan – Horcoff – Hemsky line.

  46. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: It's a problem when you're paying Moreau and Staios 4.7 million combined – those two guys, on a good team, are the 4LW and 5th defenseman.

    Our veteran depth is non-existent, and a couple of the veterans we do have are in the twilight of their careers, where they can't (and shouldn't be) counted on for much more than a utility role.

    On the blue, that's not an issue, given the top four plus Smid hitting the magical 200-game mark sometime soon. At forward? It's a bigger concern, especially considering the lack of depth up the middle.

  47. Lowetide says:

    But they have a chance here to sign some really good players at bargain prices and to use training-camp invites to pick up Dan Cleary's.

    I hate the phrase "think-out-of-the-box" but sure as hell we'll read about Columbus or Carolina or Calgary doing it in August.

  48. HBomb says:

    PDO: I like the combination with Pisani. Horcoff's best ability is as a passer, and Pisani and O'Sullivan both have what I'd call better-than-average finish.

    Plus, Penner and Hemsky as wingers might be enough protection for Gagner that said line could be counted on for secondary toughs plus 1st unit PP time.

    Maybe finish out the forwards with Nilsson-Brule-Potulny and Moreau-Pouliot-Cogliano, or some variation of that.

  49. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: I'm fully onside with bringing at least one veteran, if not two or three, to camp.

    In fact, I think it's an absolute must. Malholtra and Betts please.

  50. PDO says:

    Not sure if anyone else knows anyone out there, but the stage at BVJ flipped. No updates yet, but apparently 150 people were on it when it did…

  51. Traktor says:

    Moreau is the weak link on that line and Pouliot will need some help if he's taking on Horc's leftovers so sticking Moreau on the 4th makes sense.

    I'd rather sign a Malholtra type to play with Horc and Pisani though and then use Hemsky, Gagner, Penner, O'sullivan, Nilsson and Penner to form the 2nd/3rd lines.

    I'm not sure we have the cap space to do that though.

  52. Traktor says:

    The second Penner should be Cogliano.

  53. PDO says:

    Traktor:

    We have cap room to bring in a $2,000,000 player – it's called burying Nilsson.

    Something I, for one, have no issue with.

    Outside of that, I don't think you can play Gagner with Hemsky. On the PP, sure, but at 5v5? I just don't think they would mesh well at all.

    If you wanna get Hemsky on a pure scoring line, the only two C's we have who could possibly play with him are Cogliano and O'Sullivan, and I'm not sure either fits the bill better than Horcoff…

  54. Lowetide says:

    PDO: You're kidding, right? They would have gotten off the stage long before just for safety. Right?

    Man, that's scary.

  55. PDO says:

    LT:

    Dead serious. That's the early report, no updates… I haven't managed to get a hold of anyone yet. Sitting on pins and needles.

    I know by my place the gusts came out of no where, and were strong enough to blow out my BBQ…

  56. Lowetide says:

    Wow. Anyone who has ever been to an outdoor concert knows help (ambulance, helicopter) wouldn't be readily available and if the stage flipped there would be very serious injuries.

    Say a prayer.

  57. PDO says:

    That's exactly it Lain.

    Add in the fact that EVERYONE at BVJ is loaded for 3 straight days and I can imagine there's havoc…

  58. DanMan says:

    RO: The guys you have mentioned are all nice third liners, but not good 2nd liners.

    If the flamers have a 2nd line of Bourque-Conroy-Moss, I'll take any 2nd line combo we come up with over those 3.

    Who is gonna replace Cammalleris 39?

  59. Lowetide says:

    Well let's hope it's someone trying to create panic and being an ass. God knows they exist.

  60. HBomb says:

    Lowetide & PDO: fortunately Camrose isn't far away from where BVJ goes on, but it's going to be a pain in the ass getting them in there.

    Let's hope it's just rumor and not as serious as it sounds. The way first reports made it out two weeks ago, it sounded like there was concerns the entire CN building in downtown Edmonton was going to collapse, not just the overhang near the entrance.

    Fingers crossed.

  61. PDO says:

    They sure do, but it was reported on Global and 630 Ched with no further updates…

  62. HBomb says:

    DanMan: Bourque's probably their 1LW right now in Calgary. I'll take Glencross-Conroy-Moss over any 3rd line combination we can float right now. If the Flames are smart, they'll play Bourque-Langkow-Iginla power vs. power and find some soft minutes wingers for Jokinen.

    Their problem is that they've paid a premium for their blueline and won't be able to make any deadlline additions. With the cap dropping, I think their "big three" of Bouwmeester-Regehr-Phaneuf is a one year experiment…..

  63. PDO says:

    630 Ched Update:

    Stage "tipped" with 100-150 people on it.

  64. PDO says:

    Several roofs were ripped off of Gas Stations and Hotels in Camrose.

    Emergency personnel are attempting to do a full evacuate of BVJ.

  65. Lowetide says:

    Well, shit. Thought and prayers. Dammit, lots of people I know are there.

  66. HBomb says:

    The worst of the storms were running south of the city, and wouldn't you just know that it would hit BVJ head on?

    I was out on the golf course in Stony Plain around 4:30pm when it rolled in there – we had just teed off on hole 10 when the thunder started, said "screw this" and went and got a rain check for nine. Sure enough, just as I was loading my clubs into the car, the clubhouse horn sounded.

    That storm was ugly enough – apparently it was worse further south.

  67. boopronger says:

    if anyone wants to listen to updates from the stage flipping at BVJ

    http://www.cisnfm.com/

  68. godot10 says:

    //As for a cap diet, why not buy out one of the veterans now?//

    Since Moreau's and Staios's contracts are front-loaded, you get less bang for the buck buying them out. Next year, they might do it though because it won't be so costly in actual dollars.

    Nilsson…they probably want to give him one more chance under a new coach. And then one would hope someone would claim him off of waivers, or on recall waivers.

    Those are the only three guys that one might want to buyout.

  69. R O says:

    DanMan:

    You are too fixated on "first", "second", "third" lines, etc. The guys I listed are all most excellent at driving territorial advantage. Conroy in particular, as a tough-minutes outscoring centre, is the same player as Horcoff but five times cheaper. Langkow is the same player as Horcoff but one million dollars cheaper. Moss is a beast. Glencross is a beast. Bourque can take on tough competition too.

    You sneer at these players as if tough, territorially dominant players are worse than soft-minute scorers but the truth is that if you built a team with 12 of these forwards, then you would go a long way towards contending for a championship. Certainly much closer than the Oilers are right now.

    And re: Cammalleri's 39 goals: half of these came on the powerplay where Jokinen thrives. They are pretty much the same player: soft-minute scorer. Jokinen essentially replaces Cammalleri.

  70. Jfry says:

    @danman

    calgary's depth with moss, bourque, glennx is stunning. everytime i see bourque play i am jealous that sutter was able to grab such a bargain out of chicago.

  71. DanMan says:

    R O: You are blowin flames out your you-know-what my friend. Moss and Glencross are beasts? Glencross is a nice 3rd line player. David Moss had 39 points. and 22 pim, hardly a beast.

    If those two are beasts, what does that make Cogliano, Gagner, and O'Sullivan. Maguire's Monsters?

    Craig Conroy? I like the guy but he's pretty much done. HOw dare you compare Lagkow to Horcoff. Thats sacrelige.

    Jfry: Bourque is a good player but not a proven 1st liner yet imo. I'll still take Penner at this point.

  72. R O says:

    Cogliano, Gagner, and O'Sullivan

    Shit man, Cogliano and Gagner at this stage of their careers are still huge liabilities. Their finish line is probably miles ahead of the players I named but it's not a sure bet they'll get there and there about ten miles back as it is now. They currently do not make LT's list of "actual NHL players" and he is quite the astute hockey fan.

    O'Sullivan's a nice player though.

    But you are oversimplifying the game by blindly classifying players into "second line, third line". And your analysis of these players, well, it leaves a lot to be desired:

    Glencross is a nice 3rd line player. David Moss had 39 points. and 22 pim, hardly a beast.

    These two, combined with Conroy, combined as the trio with the best Corsi rate among the Flames. This while Keenan was giving his big guns (Bertuzzi especially) more favorable ice time. The ice was tilted for the entire Flames team (they were a good team) but they tilted it even further.

    Craig Conroy? I like the guy but he's pretty much done.

    He had a 40-point season at 38, had one of the best Corsi rates on the Flames (see above) and played regular PK minutes. No evidence that he's "pretty much done".

    Unless you're going by age and gut feel, in which case a guy like Khabibulin, well that guy is "pretty much done". See what I did there?

    HOw dare you compare Lagkow to Horcoff. Thats sacrelige.

    They are pretty much the same players. Tough-minute two-way centres.

    Bourque is a good player but not a proven 1st liner yet imo. I'll still take Penner at this point.

    I'd like to hear why. Bourque scored almost 20 ES goals last year playing tough comp, granted he had the percentages on his side but Penner earns three times as much money. Not saying Penner has to be three times the player, but it's not unreasonable to say Penner has to be at least twice the player. And, well, he's not.

    But, I suppose you still prefer him as he plays on the First Line. And he's got a Cup Ring.

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