Hey Manny! You don’t treat me like your punk, Okay?

Word tonight that sometime in the next day or so Manny Malhotra will arrive at San Jose’s training camp. I don’t think the Oilers ever had a chance to have Malhotra attend their training camp over a team like San Jose, but I think it’s reasonable to argue that the Oilers could have signed him to an NHL contract if they’d chosen to pursue him.

We spent most of the summer following the Heatley soap opera and then were told time and again there was no room for a Blair Betts because the Oilers had no cap room. This was followed by the Mike Comrie signing which flies in the face of the previous statements.

The confirmation of Malhotra’s flight to San Jose is here.

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64 Responses to "Hey Manny! You don’t treat me like your punk, Okay?"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Before I'm beaten to the punch:

    It's quite sad, actually.

  2. Hockey Noob says:

    Hey LT, I just got back from the game. I got a couple free tickets from David Staples to sit in The Edmonton Journal's sky box which was pretty fun.

    As for Malhotra–yeah, I had heard that he was skating with the Nucks at some point recently.

    I was a little distracted during the game tonight and though Cogliano looked pretty good on the ice, I don't remember him winning to many faceoffs. The rallying cries for a Malhotra signing seemed to die down over the summer, but it would've been great to pursue him.

  3. Bar Qu says:

    But the Oil really didn't need a shut-down third line centre who generally got play going the right way against tough opposition, right?

    Besides, as Willis shows on his new blog, Malholtra wasn't really that guy.

    Where's that sarcasm button ….

  4. bookie says:

    LT – What the heck man, we are 2 and 0 in the preseason, 2 games — 2 wins! Nothing to worry about. Its going to be a season of golden eggs for us.

  5. Gord says:

    I keep wondering why we did not let Comrie show up to training camp as an invitee – would have been much easier on the salary cap decisions.

    Although I have to admit – Comrie's contract looks great compared to Moreau's….

  6. Asiaoil says:

    Once upon a time I thought Oiler mgmt was pretty bright – ran a tight ship, didn't make any serious contract errors, came out of the lock-out looking pretty good. But ever since the cap era started and the Canadian dollar recovery took the fiscal handcuffs off – mgmt has proven time after time to not have a friggin clue. Betts and Malhotra were there cheaply and we could spent the summer getting rid of bad contracts – but instead we chase an expensive cancer and add another dwarf to a stable that already includes Brule, Nilsson, Gagner, Shremp, Cogliano, Reddox and Eberle. You can keep waiting for a trade LT to balance this roster – but mgmt has proven year after year to not understand or care about that – and the new owner is just fanboy. Let's just say my optimism tank has pretty much run dry with this franchise.

  7. Yeti says:

    Can the Sharks actually afford Manny? I thought they were very tight, if not over, the cap?

  8. Steve says:

    Can the Sharks actually afford Manny? I thought they were very tight, if not over, the cap?

    Well, if they sign Malhotra, it will presumably be for near league minimum. And Malhotra will bump somebody else, probably also making near league minimum, off the roster, so there shouldn't be any change to their cap situation.

  9. oilerdago says:

    //Well, if they sign Malhotra, it will presumably be for near league minimum. And Malhotra will bump somebody else, probably also making near league minimum, off the roster, so there shouldn't be any change to their cap situation.//

    Or they could just bury a salary in the minors. They sent Kyle McLaren to the AHL last year for that purpose iirc.

    Any other smurf's in need of a contract that we've missed?

  10. NBOilerFan says:

    Malholtra would look good in San Jose… a great addition to an already great looking team.

    They will be a team to reckon with for sure. I've ordered the Centre Ice package so I'll look forward to catching a few SJ games. As I've mentioned on here many times, Big Joe has been one of my favorite hockey players for years now. He was the reason I followed Boston early on which is also the reason I was excited when we picked up Samsonov a few years back. That was a smurf I really enjoyed watching. It’s another reason why I still have a soft spot for Raycroft as well, but I digress.

    Manny would have certainly looked good here as well, I have to imagine the Oilers looked into it and it was either he wanted too much money, didn’t want to come to Edmonton, or a combination of both. And I know many will say, well if no one else is offering he will accept a deal, but who’s to say he doesn’t already have a handful of offers and he is just trying to weigh them out or up the salary offers by showcasing in SJ?

  11. Dennis says:

    As odd as it sounds, it appears the brass never considered that 10 needed any tough min help and they are oblivious to the hole at pivot.

  12. Smytty777 says:

    I think Malhotra has had offers. It was just a rumor, but:

    July 20, 2009
    The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that free agent center Manny Malhotra reportedly has a four-year, $8 million offer from Atlanta on the table. Malhotra is hoping for another team to extend him an offer, even if it is for less money.

    I don't know whether Edmonton even extended an offer, but it looks like an opportunity lost now.

  13. DBO says:

    malhotra is crazy if he thinks he'll get a longer deal then the atlanta one. However, i can't fault him for wanting to find a more competitive team. however that hope will cost him a lot of money. It's been mentioned, but Willis at Copper and Blue did a great article about Malhotra and how he's not as good as we think. however, if we could get him for $1 million and waive a pouliot, how is that not an upgrade (and only an increase of $150,000.00 in cap). Malhotra isn't an old man (I think 28), he has size (although he isn't overly physical) but he has 2 skills we need: he kills penalties like a beast and he is one of the top faceoff men in the league. Isn't he a perfect 4th line centre. Wouldn't a 4th line of Moreau-Malhotra-Stortini be essentially a 3rd line that can play against anybody at any time of the game? Doesn't that make us a whole lot better?

  14. Stuart van says:

    don't forget, omark and Rajala for next year. we're going to razzle dazzle them with skill.

  15. NormanMendoza says:

    You guys are thinking about the entire UFA thing from a too narrow a perspective.

    So, if you're Manny's agent — you tell him this is a great opportunity going into your UFA status. You've had a couple of really solid seasons in CBJ — and you've got some real solid appeal as a player. As July 1 hits, and others get snapped up you realize:
    - the teams that have more cap room, are going with youth and won't be any more competitive than what CBJ was
    - the teams that are cap-challenged can't give you term AND $$$.

    So, you advise your client that the market is different and that maybe a 1 or 2 year deal allows him to re-try the UFA market in a couple of years when the cap might be rising again.

    So, you've made the conclusion that you can take a shorter term and less dollars.

    Now you have a whole bunch of cap-challenged teams to make calls to.

    So, you have some good conversations with SJS and ATL still has a something with a little more term and more dollars.

    Even if EDM called — how would that opportunity rate? If you have to take low dollars, and short-term what would make you choose EDM over a more competitive team?

  16. Steve says:

    Even if EDM called — how would that opportunity rate? If you have to take low dollars, and short-term what would make you choose EDM over a more competitive team?

    How would a contract from Edmonton rate compared to a tryout from a very deep team? Especially if the strategy is just to stay on the radar for the next season or two in the hopes that the free agent environment will be more player-friendly after that? I don't know, you tell me.

  17. Woodguy says:

    Was just over at The Copper & Blue, and the new tag line is "Where all the rubbydubs are in one room"

    Brilliant.

    Who's taking credit for that?

  18. bookie says:

    Pat Quinn Quote“I’d rather see the shot break the net than the glass"

    I don't think we are going to miss MacT's post game comments at all

  19. bookie says:

    Ok, I think that one thing that is missed in all of this Betts/Malhotra talk is that players like this are not exactly a hot commodity in the NHL right now, that is why there are quite a few of them sitting on the shelf and considering signing sub $1mil contracts.

    On the other hand,if a few of our smurf forwards have a really good start to the season under the new coach and/or a few teams out there find some weaknesses in their defense, we may find ourselves with a few good bargenning chips.

    With regards to balance, I think the most unbalanced thing we have had over the last 3 years has been a team that is designed to play one way and a coach determined to have 20 Marty Reasoners on his team. When the GM dumped Reasoner I think it was an effort to nudge the coach, but it turned out poorly because the coach pouted.

    I think that the relationship between the GM and the coaching style is now much improved. If Quinn says we need a 'Reasoner', I think the GM will be willing to go get him one now.

  20. B.C.B. says:

    At first I was on the Malhotra/Betts wagon, cheering for a veteran center known for their defensive play (actually I wanted Madden on Free Agent Day). I slowly thought I would rather have Lang and run three 'offensive' lines and some bangers. The Oilers went with Comrie, and so they seem to have taken a similar approach with a different player. Lets take a look at those three:

    Games Played
    Lang: 50
    Comrie: 63
    Malhotra: 72

    QualComp (I don't understand how all you use this, but I rank it by position with over 50 games played)
    Lang: Toughest minutes on MTL
    Comrie: 4th toughest on OTT out of 5, but would have ranked the weakest opposition on the Islanders
    Malhotra: 2nd toughest on CBJ

    GAON/60
    L: 2.62
    C: 3.33
    M: 1.96

    GFON/60
    L: 2.94
    C: 2.12
    M: 2.60

    Pts/60
    L: 1.85
    C: 1.44
    M: 1.61

    PP TOI/GP
    L: 3:17
    C: OTT- 2.22, NYI- 2:53
    M: 1:05

    SH TOI/GP
    L: 1:57
    C: OTT -0.00, NYI- 0:03
    M: 2:49

    5×4 GFON/60
    L: 8.45
    C: 3.90
    M: 7.99

    4×5 GAON/60
    L: 7.00
    C: 0.00 (but he rarely plays on the PK)
    M: 6.42

    Do what does this tell us? Nothing we didn't know. Malhotra is the best defensive centre in the bunch. Lang is the best offensive centre, and is very well rounded. Both these players accomplish this against some of the most difficult opposition. Comrie was dying against some of the weakest opposition, while getting PP time and wasting it. Granted it was Comrie's worst season ever and he was hurt.

    Conclusion: Comrie better have been a hell of a lot cheaper then Lang or Malhotra! Seriously, if either of the other two sign for 1.5 million or less (or are not signed) then the Oiler Brass screwed this up. I do think Comrie is an excellent opportunity to out perform his contract, but the other two would have as well (if they are signed in the same ball park as Comrie). The knock agianst Lang is that Comrie and Malhorta are in their prime of their careers, and neither of them are coming off a injury like Lang.

  21. Ribs says:

    I tabled the fact that a change should be made and it was (laugh) quickly supported unanimously by everybody — including the players, management and myself. We all knew at the time, change had to be made. – MacT

    I'll be missing his quotes. It will be nice to see him on TSN though.

  22. spOILer says:

    bookie, do you just make this stuff up in your head?

  23. NBOilerFan says:

    @ B.C.B. – Comparing stats of Lang, Comrie and Malhotra is one thing, but the main component here is simply; Who wants to play in Edmonton. I disagree that it’s not as big of a deal as many try to convince themselves.

    Comrie wanted to be an Oiler again…. badly. It was in the media that he had at least two other offers from more competitive teams, but he chose Edmonton.

    I don't believe you can compare what Malhotra ends up getting signed for in say SJ (for example), because the simple fact is that some, if not many, players will take less money to play for a team that they want to play for.

    It wouldn't surprise me that Malhotra would want at least double the money from Edmonton then what he might accept n SJ. Playing for a team that is all but guaranteed a playoff spot and has a good chance at a Stanley cup championship, even if you might not be given the minutes you'd get on a lesser team, is still pretty enticing to many players.

    Just ask Hossa.

    It's been beaten to death, but unless Malhotra has no offers on the table, or has received little if any contact from teams he'd prefer to play for, then Edmonton doesn't enter the radar screen.

    It's what most of us arm-chair GM's fail to take into consideration when making "online trades".

  24. NBOilerFan says:

    FYI – The Oielrs cut 13 players today;

    The Edmonton Oilers have reduced their training camp roster with the assignment of 13 players today.

    Assigned to Springfield (AHL): Jamie Bates (RW), Jordan Bendfeld (D), Kelly Czuy (RW), Jesse Dudas (D), Riley Emmerson (LW), Colton Fretter (LW), Bryan Lerg (LW), Ryan MacMurchy (RW), Matt Nickerson (D), Andrew Perugini (G), Cody Wild (D)

    Assigned to Barrie (OHL): Dalton Prout (D)

    Assigned to Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL): Philipe Cornet

    The Oilers now have 48 players on their roster.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=498843&navid=edm-home-dl

  25. Doogie2K says:

    How would a contract from Edmonton rate compared to a tryout from a very deep team?

    The one thing I keep hearing from Sharks fans is that their bottom six is kind of crap. It's perfectly conceivable that Malhotra is their best option at 3C.

    QualComp (I don't understand how all you use this, but I rank it by position with over 50 games played)

    I usually use 40 GP, but that's the idea.

    The knock agianst Lang is that Comrie and Malhorta are in their prime of their careers, and neither of them are coming off a injury like Lang.

    I dunno if it's so much a knock as, Lang's injury might be career-ending. Man's 38, and it's hard enough having your Achilles tendon severed as a young man, never mind an old man in hockey years.

    @NB: I've been beating that drum ever since the Khabibulin signing. That may not have been a factor in signing 35 (certainly, it doesn't sound like Tambo really considered any other options), but in the case of the Mythical Third-Line Centre, I think it's perfectly plausible that inquiries were made, unsatisfactory answers were returned, and it ended there. "We don't have cap room" is the public face-saving way of saying, "they weren't interested at the money we could offer them."

  26. Schitzo says:

    A little surprised Cornet and Wild went down so quickly.

  27. Steve says:

    Off-topic (is that disclaimer even necessary anymore?), but Oilogosphere memes seem to be spreading. I don't often read the Maclean's blogs comments section (as distinct from the blogs themselves, which I read often), but I was just reading the comments on this post by Paul Wells, about Jack Layton giving a rambling and irrelevant answer to Wells' question, when I came across this comment:

    "He should have just said "YOU ARE WRONG" and, if it turns out Wells is right, blamed someone else for misleading him without further explanation. It's the bald man's way."

    I chuckled. And no, I'm not just trying to draw attention to a comment I made anonymously on Wells' site.

  28. misfit says:

    Malhotra would've been ideal, but there are still guys like Bonk, Betts, and Moore who could probably help us a lot (maybe not so much in Moore's case). The problem isn't the available talent, but the complete ignorance to this need from anyone with any say in the organization.

    It's like this team is being run by a casual fan, where the answer to every problem is "we need more scoring". 2nd worst PK in the western conference? I know, let's sign Comrie! Didn't he score 30 goals once?

  29. hunter1909 says:

    Coach Quinn's been brought in not to merely patch up a near-to-successful team that's in need of a small tweak here, or a slight upgrade there.

    Nooo. He's been airlifted in to bring back to life a chronically underachieving, moribund team back from an eight season long coma. Last night's game proved at least to this viewer(and Quinn also), that the Oilers are still mired in many of their bad habits, which might take weeks if not months to break these poor disenfranchised players from.

    Think of a rescue dog, or an abandoned child wandering aimlessly in the hedgerows of 1944 France, when considering this team. Any way you care to look at it, the Oilers are a team in need of major corrective surgery. All a Malhotra/Betts type player can provide is another band aid solution.

  30. Lord Bob says:

    "He should have just said "YOU ARE WRONG" and, if it turns out Wells is right, blamed someone else for misleading him without further explanation. It's the bald man's way."

    To be fair, that comment was in reply to me, so you could make a safe guess that at least one person would have gotten it.

    Disappointed to see Cornaaaay and Perugini take the pipe so early. They were two guys I really wanted a closer look at.

    BUT BELGIUM IS STILL ALIVE.

  31. Dennis says:

    Not to threadjack but Doug Weight had a couple of beauty quotes in today's Journal piece on Tavaras.

  32. Ducey says:

    Being a checking center is hardly an inate skill. Maybe the Oilers are satisfied to try and develop a Manny Malhotra with the hope that they would wind up with someone even better?

    Maybe Tambi is satisfied to wait and see what develops under a new system and new coaching staff?

    Give the youth of this team, there is no rush.

  33. bookie says:

    bookie, do you just make this stuff up in your head?

    What, that 3rd line centres are not exactly the hottest commodity in the NHL? Or perhaps that we have defensive assets. Yes, I guess I just make that stuff up.

    I find it odd that the same people that argue that Comrie has no value because nobody wanted to sign him argue that Malholtra has great value and is a difficult 'commodity' to get.

    I don't like the Comrie signing really (though I hope for the best), but I also think that we can address our need for a 3C through a trade later in the year. I understand why the GM might want to wait to get a little more value for his players who are all pretty much at their lowest trade value point after an entire team underperformed last year.

    You need to consider asset management along with team balance.

    Lastly, I am not suggesting that there are not other pathways and perhaps better pathways that the Oilers could have followed this summer, but some individuals get a little melodramatic about how terrible the management of this team has been. There is more to consider than a 3C.

  34. Coach pb9617 says:


    Plenty of people understood supply and demand coming into the off-season
    . Tyler, JW, Me, Bruce, Gospel of Hockey…anyone with a brain saw that it was a dream buyer's market. The Oilers misjudged the market [again] and chased a single player [again] and bid against themselves for the one UFA they signed [again].

    That's a near-playoff expansion team in that link for $20 million under the cap…

  35. Coach pb9617 says:

    Was just over at The Copper & Blue, and the new tag line is "Where all the rubbydubs are in one room"

    Brilliant.

    Who's taking credit for that?

    :)

  36. digger says:

    Of course, we could always starting banging the "We need Mike Johnson!" drum again.

    Last I checked, he was playing out the string of his career somewhere in Germany.

  37. gogliano says:

    Hey guys, how do you pronounce Cornet? I didn't get to hear the broadcast and am curious how it should be pronounced.

  38. Alice says:

    Re PC,
    He lost the Bye-election. Transcribing from Katz's Twitter:

    "Also, the Corn-dog was just causing too much distraction in the blogosphere, what with having long vowels and short horns and stuff going on. "

    There's an Arena to be shilled for, PhilCo had to be jettisoned to save the rest of the ship.

  39. B.C.B. says:

    coach: Normal I agree with you, but I do not think the Oilers where bidding against themselves for the Bulin Wall. I think they where bidding against the KHL.

    You other points are correct, IMO. They misjudged the market for goalies and may have chased the wrong player. I am going to wait till the Bulin Wall plays to make that judgement personally.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: I'm starting to think Pouliot might develop into a good player.

    Eberle needs to go back to juniors. He's too fucking small and will get just end up concussed by some ogre(Regher) type defenceman. Give the guy a chance to grow up, please, before sending him out against 30 year old men.

    Once the boys figure out Pat's system(looks a lot like a 1970's style to me), methinks we're in for at least one or two real shocks in fast current player development. Maybe Penner, for one.

  41. Lord Bob says:

    I've been noticing this for a couple weeks now, but when the hell did hunter become a source of relevant, cogent, and well-thought-out hockey analysis? I remember him really pissing me off but the last, like, hundred comments I've read from him have been pretty good.

    I think there's some kind of Lowetide Commentary Vortex where people who comment around LT long enough eventually become knowledgeable hockey fans.

    If only I weren't immune.

  42. Tyler says:

    I'm all for the Oilogosphere becoming the 4chan of Canadian blog memes. Whenever I see a Wherry post from now on, I'll slap down a "You are wrong".

  43. Bruce says:

    Granted it was Comrie's worst season ever and he was hurt.

    The knock agianst Lang is that Comrie and Malhorta are in their prime of their careers, and neither of them are coming off a injury like Lang.

    B.C.B. I think I read this the wrong way the first time ("coming off an injury like Lang is") and I thought, didn't he just say Comrie is also coming off an injury?

    So then I thought, maybe he means "an injury like Lang's" which really was horrific. I was watching that game on Super Bowl Sunday and I was grossed right out. Didn't help that I had him in my hockey pool and had been enjoying his renaissance season right up to the moment he went down. (Nor did it help that it was the first of eight injuries in eight days that knocked my team right out of first place for good)

    That said, Comrie is coming off a bad hip and the worst season of his career and it's hard to believe those two aren't closely related. Thing is the hip happened early in the season and judging by his subsequent performance he never really got over it. Do we have reason to be confident he's over it now? Not sure if a hip is considered a dreaded "core injury" or not, but it's pretty vital and not easily fixed.

  44. Bruce says:

    Eberle needs to go back to juniors. He's too fucking small and will get just end up concussed by some ogre(Regher) type defenceman. Give the guy a chance to grow up, please, before sending him out against 30 year old men.

    See: Brule, Gilbert

  45. visiondude says:

    Slightly off topic, but Sykora has reportedly signed with Minny

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=291444

  46. bookie says:

    I've been noticing this for a couple weeks now, but when the hell did hunter become a source of relevant, cogent, and well-thought-out hockey analysis? I remember him really pissing me off but the last, like, hundred comments I've read from him have been pretty good.

    Could be the fact that MacT is now MacSpengler. MacT's mad scientist act may have had adverse affects on Hunter's brain.

    About two weeks ago I commented to Hunter than I always confused him and Traktor because they seemed to use the same logic. He was shocked. I think its kind of like when someone who used to be an alcoholic learns how bad their behaviour was during that phase.

    I agree though, the new Hunter is surprisingly articulate with his commentary.

  47. Bar Qu says:

    I think there's some kind of Lowetide Commentary Vortex where people who comment around LT long enough eventually become knowledgeable hockey fans.

    I haven't hung around long enough I guess. But I do have an increased interest in basic html coding. That's something positive.

  48. NBOilerFan says:

    hunter1909 said…
    Lowetide: I'm starting to think Pouliot might develop into a good player

    I disagree, unless he finally comes to the realization that the only way he is going to be a serviceable NHL player, is to arrive at the conclusion that it will be in a defensive role, not an offensive one.

    He has the potential to become a good faceoff guy, and he needs to focus on being a good penalty killer type that will have some offensive ability.

    If he focused on that, he might just forge out an NHL carreer. I just don't think he has the smarts to understand it, to be honest.

    Then again, it does taken longer for many to realize that. I could be wrong, but that is my belief.

  49. bookie says:

    Lowetide Commentary Vortex

    I have noticed that it is possible to spend hours visiting LT's page even on days when nothing is happening in hockey, it is the perfect procrastination place.

  50. Bar Qu says:

    it is the perfect procrastination place.

    Seconded!

  51. Coach pb9617 says:

    I disagree, unless he finally comes to the realization that the only way he is going to be a serviceable NHL player, is to arrive at the conclusion that it will be in a defensive role, not an offensive one.

    I'm going to go out on a limb–the light has gone on.

  52. spOILer says:

    Bookie, no I was referring more to the MacT pouting comment and stuff like this:

    Could be the fact that MacT is now MacSpengler. MacT's mad scientist act may have had adverse affects on Hunter's brain.

    You're definitely right about the weight of melodrama present when referring to the past though. Snideness too, it appears. Let it go.

  53. grant says:

    i waste my entire workday here.

  54. bookie says:

    Bookie, no I was referring more to the MacT pouting comment and stuff like this:

    Ah, yes, I pretty much just make that stuff up. I have no inside information, but I do think a lot of us felt like MacT kind of pouted about the shift the team took. He was simply unable to adapt. I like MacT as a person, but think that he could not coach THIS team. I think that Quinn might be able to and am hoping for a good season.

    Anyway, I seem to be anoying people today, its mostly unintentional. Traktor made a comment that magically disappeared when I responded. Maybe LT deleted it.

    Looking forward to Game Day tomorrow. Khabibulin is starting.

  55. bookie says:

    One last comment on procrastination though. If you combine LT's blog with Desktop Tower Defense (google) you will find that years of your life just disappear!

    Desktop Tower Defense is evil, dont go there!!

  56. kris says:

    Memo
    Re: Pouliot,

    I'm pretty sure that a guy like Pouliot's development is not at all determined by his deciding that he should aim at being a defensive specialist instead of aiming at being a top 6 forward. Not that anyone here is really saying otherwise, but that just seems like a cartoonish idea about how NHL'ers develop their game.

    Let's take Reasoner as a comparable. It's not like Reasoner, who was a crappy-attempting-to-play-in-the-top-6 player, one day says to himself "What was I thinking!?" Nor does it seem to me that, in the off season one year, that he "decided" to focus on the PK, faceoffs, defensive play, etc, and forget about improving his offense.

    The bulk of young players have a slow development curve they work at all facets of their game.

    So Pouliot's working on his game, getting stronger, faster, better at reading the play.

    Of course, we all rightly think that the odds are he'll end up as a bottom 6'er, but the fact that he's stated that he wants to play in the top 6 isn't impacting his development at all, IMO.

    Indeed, I bet Reasoner still thinks that if given half a chance he could be, and is, a good top 6 player. Moreau and Pisani, too.

    Again, I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but I worry that some folks are putting some sort of importance on Pouliot's shooting down MacT's Carboneau comparison last off-season, when they were really meaningless. (All these guys want to be on the first line and are aiming at doing so.)

  57. Ed says:

    Kris, nice post. Agree 100%.

  58. kris says:

    My observations of the obvious from last night's game:

    Reddox got faster in the off-season. Sometimes seemed like the fastest guy on the ice.

    Eberle looked pretty weak to me, but he was way craftier than I expected. Of course, you send him back to junior, but he is a nice prospect. (The first star thing was really dishonest: people just trying to whip ignorant fans into being excited about the future.)

    LT is right about Motin. He'll do well in the AHL this year, which is a bit of a shock given his age and pedigree. He looked way bettter than Taylor, who is a decent AHL'er.

    Nilson didn't look great and he can't afford to play at 75% like he's a lock. He needs a dominant pre-season game, and soon.

    Tavares didn't look ready for the show at all, and his detractors are starting to look prescient. (It's only one game, so we'll see.) I hope if he continues that kind of play that the Isles send him down, but I have to think the Isle's PR guys can't let that happen, no matter what.

    Could be a SNABU: Situation Normal All Brule'd UP.

  59. NBOilerFan says:

    @ Kris

    Your taking what I said far too literal and simplistic. I wasn't suggesting that Pouliot, or any player, determines their play by waking up one morning and saying "well, I'm going to be a Top-6 player", or "I'm going to be a bottom-6 player". But generally they do see themselves as either an “offensive” type player or “defensive” type player or a both (i.e. Horcoff).

    Players who feel they are "offensive" type players generally work mostly on their offensive game and far less on their defense, because they feel it is less important to THEIR game. And they spend a lot of time focusing and honing their offensive skills and game play.

    It does take some self reflection and realization to finally "get it" that you might not have what it takes to make it and stick on your offensive game and if you really want to be an NHLer, then defensive play is your ticket. You'll still get a change to play offensively as well of course, and its not like you stop working taking shots in practice, but you have to make a mental decision to shift your focus from being an offensive mined player to a defensive player. But it takes more to be a good defensive player then getting back to your zone in a hurry, defensive play takes lots of practice as well and is a skill on it own.

    Maybe Coach is right, maybe he has "got it". But personally I don't see Pouliot as either right now, he's kind of stuck somewhere in the middle. And if needs to work on being the best defensive player he can be. That is what will make him stick in the NHL, and with that will be offensive opportunities.

    Its just my take.

  60. Black Dog says:

    kris – apparently Tavares is coming off the flu? that's what I read somewhere

    as for Motin, he was ranked very highly early in his draft year and then slid down the charts, might be a case of a kid being hurt or just having an off year, in any case I think that his draft position might be a little misleading

  61. B.C.B. says:

    @ Bruce: What ever Comrie's injuries are, he is not 38 years old. So mostly I meant your first reading, but you make a good point about the seriousness of Comrie's injury: maybe it is a coin toss- Lang:injury:old:excellent and Comrie:injury:prime:above average.

  62. Perry K says:

    Kris said….

    "Nilson didn't look great and he can't afford to play at 75% like he's a lock. He needs a dominant pre-season game, and soon."

    That is a tough line to look good on! Neither Hemsky nor Gagner were getting back too quickly when they lost the puck. They were each also in each other's space a lot. Leaving poor Rowboat to pick up all of the defensive responsibilities.

    What I saw was that at any time that the puck wasn't eitther on his stick, or totally under control, Kenta's Kid (can you believe it!) was actually back pedalling into very good defensive orientation.

  63. NBOilerFan says:

    One more thing I'd like to point out RE: Pouliot.

    I'm not suggesting above that Pouliot is bad at defensive play. He is likely our best option as a 4th line center, combining his faceoff and defensive ability. But what I am trying to say is that I would like to see him hone his defensive style to be known as a "defensive specialist" type player. That will be his bread and butter. But he also needs to have an edge and start playing tougher.

    I'm really excited to see how Brule does in camp and early in season. He has not been near as good defensively in the past (though I didn't look at his AHL stats from last year), but he was also very young in Columbus. He is also more a crash and bang player despite his size who also has shown some nice scoring ability with some very nice shooting percentages.

    Brule has also been very good at faceoffs at the NHL level (albeit with 2/3 as many as Pouliot) with a great winning percentage. The big question mark is how much has he improved his defensive play.

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