Hockey’s Different Here

My dad used to tell me to acquire “tools you can use” in every job I had growing up. I learned the value of packing some water with you while picking rocks for Bud Leetchman. I learned the value of getting things in writing early in my work life courtesy a forgetful but well meaning boss of mine.

“Tools you can use” must be the theme of the Oilers coaching staff’s breakfast meeting today. And tomorrow. And the next day.

Folks, they just don’t have the horses to compete against Calgary and Vancouver this season. The Oilers (as currently constructed) are going to use lots of at-bats to see if men like JF Jacques and Ryan Stone are “tools they can use” in constructing the future.

It’s all well and good, I like the idea of building. However, we’ve been in this pattern since 2006 summer and at this point the Edmonton Oilers are in real danger of becoming a development club for the good teams.

While we as fans fret over a Robert Nilsson, the Calgary Flames are picking up a Nigel Dawes on waivers. While we pray in silence for the further erosion of Kipper’s career to the south, we also know that their management group will move swiftly in that area should the need arise.

Edmonton? We’re the roto baseball team that acquires as many new kids as possible then throws them out there to see who develops. And then we shed a few each summer (Glencross last summer, Brodziak this season) because the rules forced the issue.

I honestly thought Steve Tambellini was going to be a different GM, address need, pursue balance, give this team a chance to hit the highway and take it to the limit.

Not so. We’re porridge.

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181 Responses to "Hockey’s Different Here"

  1. pboy says:

    If they would just give Sugartits a chance…..lol

  2. mc79hockey says:

    Oh, Lowetide.

  3. Halfwise says:

    There are only four possible reasons why an organization's performance does not improve:
    1) The people do not know what to do, ie the goals and standards that are to be met.
    2) The people lack (internally) the skill, experience or ability to perform.
    3) The people lack the authority, time, money or resources that must be granted by others to perform.
    4) The people lack the willingness to perform.

    So which is the true cause? And what would you do to improve it?

  4. mc79hockey says:

    Much as I hate to say it, I think it's number 2. These guys are outgunned by the management in Calgarhy and Vancouver.

  5. Doogie2K says:

    I'm hoping Quinn's influence will keep them from unnecessarily going big-game hunting in future years, and perhaps encourage Tambellini to take the smart move over the splashy one. Certainly, Quinn seems to be seeing the same problems we are; as Tambellini's hire, he probably has the GM's ear more than his predecessor did, so there's hope for that. Unfortunately, we have to be patient for another year and see if the situation changes.

  6. Rob Gilgan says:

    Porridge pretty much sums it up, unfortunately. This may be the year I get a lot more done, thanks to not watching the Oilers so much.

  7. devon says:

    we haven't even played one game yet and you experts have already written off the team…for shame. Maybe all of you should start cheering for san jose. The sun never stops shining there, the gm has never made a bad move, and dany heatley is the new guy in town..or maybe you could cut Tambo some slack and give him half a season or so.

  8. Sign Johnny Bower says:

    Yeah
    You guys are mean

    How was Tambo supposed to know Biron would sign for $1.4??

    No one could have forseen that.

  9. DBO says:

    While i think management must be smart (i pray it is so), i wonder what drives them. By that i mean for 2 years we on this blog and many others have talked about our lack of balance, our need for a bigger checking line center, and the need for more grit. I don't think these things are in such short supply that there has been no one available that can fill those roles from the UFA market. Our management team still seems to follow the Glen sather (in new York anyways) way of management: spend a lot on a big star and everything else will sort itself out. For 2 straight years we have tried this approach while ignoring our other areas of concern, and also overvalueing our own prospects.

    We are loathe to give up a Cogliano or Gagner, for fear of them turning ito stars somewhere else. However having both on our roster creates a big deficiency on our top 9. We cling to Pouliot in the hope he can turn out to be an effective 3rd line center, when we could have signed a veteran 3rd line center for less money. We pray that JFJ can crash and bang his way into a 1st line LW and help out our top line, while we could have tried to sign a solid 1LW that would not have had question marks.

    this team needs an identity change, and I think the coaching change was necessary and will be a good thing. I hope Quinn has sat down with management and told them what he sees in our team and what he needs to compete. And based on his comments, he would probably have said that he needs another tough center who can win a faceoff, a top 6 winger with size and grit, and a tough defenseman who is solid in his on zone (shockingly the same 3 things we have talked about for 2 years).

    So what are we to do? Hope all our young kids step up at the exact same time and we become a playoff team? Or does management realize that in a cap world you can't hold onto contracts for failed 1st rounders who at best will become Blair betts.

    For the love of…. management get your head out of your ass and make some tough decisions about this team right now.

  10. shanetrain says:

    Barring a stepback tomorrow night it would be an absolute travesty if Ryan Stone doesnt end up on the final roster.

    JF also looks ready. Durability might be an issue with that fan friendly trainwreck style of his.

    Eberle will be sent down but the Oil better not mess it up with this guy. You can see his vision and hockey sense is uncanny. Just wait until that teenager seasons into a sturdy young man. Skies the limit! The kid has an aura around him no doubt. Big goals in his future.

    Schremp while being nice with the puck is just too damn soft to warrant any serious consideration.

  11. Lord Bob says:

    Who knew that signing a long-time understudy who was passed over for the job he had paid his dues to get in favour of somebody's agent could be a bad move?

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    While it's true that Kevin Lowe is largely responsible for the mess, one could argue that Tambellini did make a good trade [Heatley], and that he should only be evaluated for things he could control [i.e. he shouldn't be evaluated based on Heatley exercising his NTC].

    On the other hand, Steve did absolutely nothing to improve the team this summer. You have Malhotra available for cheap, yet you sign another midget in Mike Comrie just because. You have Kyle Brodziak, a type of player the Oilers needed more of, disposed for negligible return, with no plans to replace him.

    Kevin Lowe recently was quoted that the Oilers hope to be competitive enough to add at the trade deadline. Apparently bonus points are awarded for wins and shootout losses in March/April.

    To add insult to injury, you have that clown Patrick LaForge spewing nonsense on a daily basis, including implied threats that the Oilers could move without a new arena.

    We've reached a new low for the Edmonton Oilers organization. It's quite sad, actually.

  13. godot10 says:

    //We are loathe to give up a Cogliano or Gagner, for fear of them turning ito stars somewhere else. However having both on our roster creates a big deficiency on our top 9. We cling to Pouliot in the hope he can turn out to be an effective 3rd line center, when we could have signed a veteran 3rd line center for less money. We pray that JFJ can crash and bang his way into a 1st line LW and help out our top line, while we could have tried to sign a solid 1LW that would not have had question marks.//

    Tambellini inherited no cap flexibility and too many contracts and a declining cap next year. He has to clean up the mess first, before adding to it.

    He is not clinging to Pouliot. He had two 4th line centres, Pouliot and Brodziak, neither really good enough to make a difference. One (Pouliot) who has one year left on his contract, and can be dumped next year, and one (Brodziak) he would have had to offer a multiyear contract to to keep him happy. He found a place to dump Btodziak now for draft picks. Pouliot will be dumped next year. Pouliot is certainly a reasonable option for the 4th line centre spot or an extra forward for one year. If he doesn't step up this year, he is gonzo.

    Jacques is on the last year of his deal. Tambellini and Quinn (unlike Lowe and MacT) are going to find out if he can play at all. If he can't, he is gone next year.

    Ditto for Stone, Brule and Nilsson, although Nilsson has two year left, so he is prime trade bait even now.

    Lowe and MacT were the ditherers. I don't see Tambellini and Quinn dithering.

    One can already see signs about how the cap crunch is going to be managed next year.

    Pisani gone. Pouliot gone. Moreau and Staios traded or bought out or force retirement a la the Murray ultimatum to Jason Smith (you are going to have to ride the AHL buses to collect on the final year of your contract).

    Tambellini is also giving a Quinn a year to decide on whether it is Gagner or Cogliano or both that they want to keep.

    All of which are reasonable things to do. Tambellilni is fixing the mess.

    Except for the Khabibulin contract, I think he is doing a good job. I'm convinced Heatley was more Lowe and Katz.

  14. David says:

    I agree…. We are porridge. Finally people are realizing that Gagner and Cogliano can't exist on this team together. 1 must go to bring in the "tools we need".

    Still you have to feel somewhat sorry for management. Attempts to address our main needs: trying to sign Hossa and trade for Heatley have failed because of the city.

    Seriously, I think the strategy now is hold on to a bunch of assets and when the moment is right strike to unload those assets for a core piece. See Heatley. However, this plan isn't going so well. Might be time to cut a bunch of guys loose. Goodbye Schremp and Pouliot to start.

    Sure you may trade away someone who develops into more than they appear to be. But it is clear. The are not developing here.

    Trades were the Oilers give up 3 players to get 1 are our only hope… Until then, Oilers in 10th…

    Damn that hurts… 2006 seems so long ago…

  15. mjsh says:

    Rather be porridge than toast

  16. PunjabiOil says:

    How was Tambo supposed to know Biron would sign for $1.4??

    I don't know if you're being sarcastic, but MC79 has done some work in this area.

    Basically, there weren't enough starting goaltender jobs available [read: surplus of labour].

    Signing Khabibulin at lucrative terms [years, cap hit] was just absurd. At the very least, the Oilers should have waited it out a bit before paying premium prices under those conditions. Signing a 36 year goaltender whom has injury problems and was just on waivers at the beginning of the season to a 4 year contract goes against logic.

    Given Biron signed for 1.4M [who is arguably a better goalie anyways, or at the very least the incremental cost for Khabibulin does not exceed the benefits], Tambellini failed to read the market. It would also appear questionable to not give Roloson (again, arguably just as good as Khabibulin) a 2 year contract on the fear he is too old, all while giving a 36 year a 4 year contract. Harding in Minnesota was also suspect to an offersheet for nominal consideration.

    There were options, and Steve Tambellini didn't exhaust them before paying steak prices for hot dogs. It's quite sad, actually.

  17. DBO says:

    it drives me crazy when management says they plan on making moves a the dealine. sorry, but as evidenced last year, it takes time for most players to get comfortable with a new team. you make the move sooner rather then later. i hope that after 20 real games we see management make a move to address our needs. As mentioned earlier, you don't get extra points in the standings for wins in march.

  18. DBO says:

    As for the bulin deal. i like it if you are planning on adding some veterans and making a run the next few years. but adding an aging goalie and putting a team of young smurfs in front of him makes no sense. There seems to be no clear direction for this team. If we are rebuiling, then do it. If we are going for it, then do it. you can't have half an half.

  19. PunjabiOil says:

    Attempts to address our main needs: trying to sign Hossa and trade for Heatley have failed because of the city.

    Is it really the city? Or does it have to do with the fact the Oilers have missed the playoffs 5 times in the past 7 years [the 2 times they qualified it was as 7th/8th seed].

    Foster a winning environment and players will consider coming here. You don't see high-end free agents signing in the Miami's, Phoenix's, LA's, and Tampa Bay's of the NHL.

  20. shanetrain says:

    wow Punjabi that post reeks of failure.

    Edmonton is still the City of Champions .. I saw the sign when I went up to watch AC/DC, (unfuckingbelievable).

    Life is too short buddy. Why cant we focus on the positives?

    Lowe has made some headscratchers yes, but has also swung some beauties.

    Tambellini is the GM now. I am reserving judgement on what he does/doesnt do for now.

    People that follow the Oil are lucky I am not running the show. I would have Hemsky the hell out of here. I am flogging a bit , but whatever. I dont think you win cups with his syle of play.

    Happy Saturday everyone I'm goin golfing.

    Go Eskies.

  21. Spot The Loon says:

    I agree with what you say, Lowetide. It appears that management has attempted to stockpile "potential" along with a smattering of veterans. Although there is some merit to this notion, along the line, you have to look at what makes a team. Watching this team play Tampa had me pulling my hair out. Losing faceoffs and seeing glimpses of potential without being able to put it all together could make for a long winter.

  22. Hockey Noob says:

    With the coming of every season, we as Oilers fans/bloggers come together to commiserate our shared frustrations over poor signings and roster holes that are perpetually neglected with the end result being that we tend to miss the playoffs.

    In spite of this, when the Oilers organization pours us a nice tall glass of Kool-Aid at the start of each season, we may not like the taste of it, but we willingly drink our glass each and every time.

    In my mind, part of the problem is simple economics to which Mc79Hockey or Punjab Oil could probably articulate better than I. Are we not analogous in some respects to Ballard's Maple Leafs? In recent years, what have been the economic consequences in terms of ticket sales from fielding a mediocre hockey team? Win, lose, or draw, there's still no problem selling tickets.

    Just like everyone here, I gladly drink my tall glass of Kool-Aid, and that's why I am an Oilers fan…

  23. bookie says:

    I am beginning to think that LT is really two people, one who gets excited about this team and its potential and the other who falls in to deep despair about the team. There are a few things that LT is missing in this post.

    1. It's preseason and nothing that we have seen here means anything. Wins/losses, etc mean nothing.

    2. The coaches and management are putting on a public image of doom and gloom, overreacting to last year's optimistic outlook. Many people, including people on this blog, feel for the optimism and now seem to be falling for the pessimism.

    3. There are two camps on this issue – The MacT effect – LT likes MacT and thinks he was a top NHL coach. I think he was the same as Wayne Gretzky – a really good Oiler who lacked the tools to coach at this level. Its just as easy to call the 2006 run a fluke as it is to blame the other 8 seasons on the construction of the team. I think we see a 10% improvement this year under the new coaches and that is HUGE in NHL terms.

    4. There were some nice signs of the new offense in the last game. These reminded me of the the end of season run two years ago when MacT stopped coaching.

    5. LT and others do have a point about the imbalance of the team, but are over-emphasizing it (this is easy to do if you think the team was well coached under MacT). 3rd line centers are easy to get with the assets we have. It didn't happen last year because MacT couldn't get anything out of this team. With a team of absolute underperformers, it was difficult to make a trade. I also think that management was playing a mental game with the coach. They were trying to get the coach to coach the team in a certain way (the way the team was built) and the coach was trying to make Penner a power forward…didn't happen. The biggest mistake was keeping MacT all season.

    6. Constantly iconizing Calgary while lamenting our team is tantamount to mutiny. I think the season may well show that Calgary and Edmonton are competitive with one another though both teams have different strengths and weaknesses.

    7. None of this is defensible until we play some games because it all depends upon player performance under the new regime.

    Calgary, blah!

  24. Black Dog says:

    Someone needs a hug!

  25. Coach pb9617 says:

    I honestly thought Steve Tambellini was going to be a different GM, address need, pursue balance, give this team a chance to hit the highway and take it to the limit.

    I said it then, so this isn't hindsight: they hired a guy who was never good enough for the same job in Vancouver.

    Vancouver, the team that's never won anything, wouldn't hire him. So Edmonton scooped him up.

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    He has to clean up the mess first, before adding to it.

    So to clean the mess up…

    …he overpaid a goaltender by 50%

    Brilliant.

  27. Coach pb9617 says:

    How was Tambo supposed to know Biron would sign for $1.4??

    If it's sarcasm, nice work.

    If you're serious, some people had it nailed.

    The money shot:

    First thing is first — unless his trading partner is willing to take salary dumps, Tambellini should not trade for a goalie. Moving any sort of asset, except for for a toxic one, for a goalie makes no sense with so many options on the market. Secondly, Tambellini should not dole out multi-year deals unless he can get an exceptional price. Thirdly, Tambellini should not have to spend more than Roloson's $3,500,000 salary in finding two goaltenders. Remember, the Ivey stare, Steve. Don't blink, don't change your expression.

    In short, Tambellini should be able to spend less in goal than the Oilers have spent at any point since the lockout, and the Oilers should start the season with their strongest situation in net in this decade.

    He did the exact opposite.

  28. jim says:

    Bulin was signed when he was because Roloson's deal to NYI was just announced, leaving the Oilers with no starting goalie.

    How is a GM supposed to entice a Heatley or Hossa or anyone good for that matter, to a team that's missed the playoffs for 3 straight years, in a city that nobody wants to play in (or so the saying goes), when they don't even have a goalie?

    He had to sign a goalie. Did he have to offer him 4/3.75? I don't know how the negotiations went. I hope it wasn't his first offer, but sigh, I suspect it was.

  29. PunjabiOil says:

    Comment from HF

    stop crying or cheer for another team.

    If you can't stand it, then leave. Its easy really. I put my faith in the Oilers cause they know what they are doing. Fans? They know some things, but really armchair gms should stay in their couches and just keep their traps shut.

    Patrick LaForge must be having a beer over it.

    The minions in this city are numerous and plenty.

  30. Rick says:

    I don't get the angst.

    We're up against the cap, with no room to maneuver.

    Every Oilers fan thinks they can trade "Oiler Player A" and "Failed Oiler Player B" and come up with gold. The rest of the league isn't stupid.

    So we're stuck here unless we can make a big deal or until we get cap relief.

    Maybe the organization should stop paying huge salaries to kids who haven't put it together or low-point vets. If we weren't paying Nilsson, Gilbert, Pisani, etc. we wouldn't be in such a bind.

    I'd think much less of Tambs and the Oiler front office if they gave up a good player for essentially nothing just to clear cap room.

  31. knighttown says:

    An underlying scare from LT's post is the comment about being a farm team for the contenders. We're assuming management is incompetant for not signing Malhaltra for 700k. We all assume we didn't sign Jay-Bo because we have plenty of "D" and we're too dumb to trade one away to make room. Management has "failed to acknlowledge" this team's holes.

    However, this is two GM's now, and two ownership groups. Isn't it starting to look more likely that management knows damn well what the holes are but cannot sign the appropriate player(s) without severely overpaying?

    We've had two elite players here or almost here in the past decade and both Heatley and Pronger refused to play here.

    Again, we assume that there is a small percentage of players that won't play here but what if that number is 25%? 50%? This type of cycle; lose games, lose players therefore lose more games and more players can be very difficult to get out of.

  32. bookie says:

    I think the off season is getting to all of us, we need the season to start…

  33. Lowetide says:

    Here's the deal: Most of us agreed the offseason didn't need a lot of things, just some actual NHL players.

    They didn't get it done and now we await Andrew Cogliano's new magical faceoff technique. All of the men needed were available this summer and the Oilers didn't get any of them.

    Frame this issue any way you want, and the fact is I held out hope even this late because surely to goodness they didn't bring poor old Pat Quinn here to oversee a development season.

    And yet they did. Incredible. Sorry, Pat.

  34. Bling says:

    I agree…. We are porridge. Finally people are realizing that Gagner and Cogliano can't exist on this team together. 1 must go to bring in the "tools we need".

    Do you remember Ales Hemsky's career arc?

    30 points in 59 games as a rookie. A step back in his second season, in which he looked lost. The lockout (31 points in 40 odd games in the czech league), and finally, 77 points in 2006.

    When did the light turn on for him? His third year as a pro.

    See where I'm going with this?

    I think both guys will breakout this year. That is going to make a bigger difference than whatever "tools" you get back in exchange for them.

  35. PunjabiOil says:

    As it stands there are plenty of holes in the lineup:

    1st line LW – Heatley didn't work out, but apparently the Oilers didn't go after Tanguay because he wasn't a 'shooter'

    3rd line centre – It could have been argued the Oilers could pull it off had they retained Brodziak. They didn't. Lang. Peca. Moore. Malhotra. Bonk. Betts. Nichol. The Oilers sat back and didn't pursue these players at nominal cap hits.

    Shutdown defenceman – Should the Oilers have acquired rights to negotiate with Jay Bouwmeester, a guy who wanted to play in a hockey market, for the mere cost of Cameron Abney? There is no guarantee he would sign here, but at least there would have been some consideration. Instead, the Oilers indicated no interest because they already have "already have 4 top pairing defencemen"

    Backup Goaltender – With Khabibulin's injury and age concern, the Oilers are counting on JDD to start 20-22 games. This will effectively cost the Oilers in the standings.

    To make the playoffs, the Oilers need everything to go in their favour. Accountants define this as a projection [assumptions may or may not be probable], and this is the approach undertaken by management. On the flip side of the coin, the Flames and Canucks are undertaking a forecast approach.

    This isn't a playoff team gentlemen. It may be a while until we are. The unfortunate part is we aren't the "Chicago, Washington, or Pittsburgh" bad, nor is our management technically competent enough to rebuild the time in a timely efficient manner [See: Blues, St. Louis].

  36. PunjabiOil says:

    LT is taking laughable heat on HF for this article.

    As I said, Patrick LaForge and company must be enjoying their beers.

    I read Lowetide often (and like what he says), but he's completely off base today. It's almost like he's pouting because the Oilers' management won't listen to how he would run the team. Okay, "pouting" is too strong, lets change that to "ranting".

    I believe that we will be seeing the first real changes in the culture come this week when a mix of veterans or prospects are waived. Some of them will be former "darlings". Room will be made and changes will come prior to game 25. I think Tambellini is as ruthless as Lowe is competitive.

    Anyone who watches Tambellini knows that he works slow, but he gets things done. Lowetide is already writing off the team and management before the pre-season is over. That's simply ridiculous. He's letting his emotions get away on him. Stick to the numbers LT, the emotions will cause you to do silly things when you don't have the numbers to rely on.

  37. Rob Gilgan says:

    Devon – I'm not writing them off – I think there's a rosy future out there, but not this year. My sense is that this is a group that's pleased to be making a million bucks, but winning a Cup isn't a big deal. That's what needs to change.

  38. Asiaoil says:

    Hey I gave up on this bunch last year when it become ridiculously obvious that they didn't have a frack'in clue – and this summer is no better for all the obvious reasons (chasing the whale again, overpaying in net, ignoring quality vets on the cheap, making a big hole at 3C even worse, not dumping Staios and Moreau contracts, signing another smurf). This has been going on for years – and when you exclude all possible reasons for their bizarre behavior – the you are left with the fact that they are simply a piss poor mgmt team. We are the new Wirtz era Blackhawks.

    On another note – I have developed a training regime for HBomb prior to his European trip – to start he must listen to the following song on a daily basis :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MEVWHMaFR8

  39. Black Dog says:

    I find it amusing that after three years out of the playoffs there are those who still are willing to give management the benefit of the doubt.

    After 1992 this team was truly shitty, we're talking the bottom of the barrel. Four years out of the playoffs and then a long stretch where they made the playoffs more often than not despite either not having money or not being willing to spend it.

    And now we are three years out of the playoffs and probably life and death to make it again all the while spending to the cap.

    And handcuffed by contract after contract.

    So if they miss the playoffs again and then lose Cogliano or Grebeshkov or Gagner to an offer sheet or have to trade Souray or O'Sullivan for nothing in order to get those guys sugned, will they then wake up?

    The attitude that you can't criticize management makes my head spin. Who exactly is at fault for the last three years anyways?

    Pretty funny shit.

  40. Black Dog says:

    knighttown – if this club began to actually win then you'd have no problem, Detroit isn't exactly on the beach you know.

    And that whole players don't want to play in Edmonton is overblown. Guys sign in Calgary and in Montreal and in Minnesota. Guys sign in Edmonton too. Plenty of good players either signed in Edmonton or wanted to (Smyth, Hejda, Glencross).

    Make the playoffs for a change. Go crazy and do it two or three years in a row. Build something and then they will come.

  41. Smarmy Boss says:

    Not sure why today was the breaking point for Lowetide. (What's in the local papers these days?)

    Franchise is a mess but it's been a mess for years. It will likely remain a mess for a few more years to come.

    So if you've made it this far may as well see it through.

  42. HBomb says:

    Asiaoil (et al): an update. Europe may be postponed.

    I might have stumbled backwards into a contract position with a major (i.e. global) organization. 10-in-4-out camp job in Fort Mac (they'd pay for the flights). So I'd get to keep my residence in Edmonton.

    And it gets better. 50% pay raise (on an hourly basis) over my old job, plus all living expenses covered while up there. Translation: I'd be saving a pile of money while working this job (probably an 18-month duration with the possibility of a renewal once it's over and done with).

    The hitch is they'll want me to start sooner rather than later. What I'll probably do is try to negotiate a promise to take a month off next summer and do Europe when the weather is nicer and the females are more scantily clad.

    I'll know on the job for sure within a week. Moral of the story: it helps to maintain a good relationship with a variety of industry contacts.

    Now to go pour a Brugal and cola and try to kill this hangover….

  43. bookie says:

    Here's the deal: Most of us agreed the offseason didn't need a lot of things, just some actual NHL players.

    They didn't get it done and now we await Andrew Cogliano's new magical faceoff technique. All of the men needed were available this summer and the Oilers didn't get any of them.

    So, basically, the Oilers need a few mid level players. I agree, but I think that there was a need to assess who Cogs, Gagner, Nilsson, Schremp, Penner, Moreau, and others actually were. In other words, what was the MacT effect and what was the Player.

    So, Tambi should be getting pretty close to knowing these things or at least closer to a reasonable estimate. So, don't be surprised if we see a move to address the glaring holes that the Oilers have.

    I think Tambi is aware of the holes, but has been less certain of what he has in his own stable. During the press conference, all I saw from Tambi was a guy who was disgusted with MacT for wasting the talent he had (I know that most of you saw it differently – that’s fine).

    So, I think we are writing Tambi off too early here. My prediction is as follows.

    1. The Oilers will not be as bad through the first 2 months of the season as suspected by some. They will be a team slightly above 0.500

    2. The Oilers will trade a defenseman to shore up the weaknesses that have become clear during those first few months – most likely this will be faceoffs and Penalty Killing and/or a first line player. So this could mean moving an asset like Grebs or something much more substantial like Vish.

    3. The team will be alright…

    To be honest LT, I totally agree that the team has some holes. I think the point where we differ is that I think that Quinn will deal with them much better than MacT did and I think this will allow time for better assessment of the assets and then a trade will be made from a much stronger position than would have been the case this summer.

    Really, I would bet that 90% of the difference of opinion on this site has to do with our feelings regarding "The MacT Effect".

    It could also have something to do with Koolaid and/or fan exhaustion.

  44. bookie says:

    I find it amusing that after three years out of the playoffs there are those who still are willing to give management the benefit of the doubt.

    Half the teams miss the playoffs each year. Management has changed a great deal in the last 2 years…

  45. mjsh says:

    Wow. not many kool-aid drinkers on site today. Such a difference from a year ago. This team is not going to get a lucky 4-0 start like they did last year, but it will be a better team than last year. Call me crazy if you like but just what little I have seen from JFF and PDP tells me that this is a team that will take a step forward this year.

    Biron is no where near the quality of the Bulin wall. He has yet to have a successful season as as starter. Yes, he had a short good run in Buffalo but so did Garon in Edmonton and so did Jim Carey in Boston. Bulin is a proven commodity and is being paid much less than he was getting in Chicago.

    In fact, do not be supprised if Chicago takes a step back this year due to goaltending issues.

    My final point is that there does seem to be some life in this group this year with the exception of Hemsky. Much more than there was last pre-season.

    LT. this might be the team that we thought we were getting last year at the 6th in the division spot.

  46. Baroque says:

    … Detroit isn't exactly on the beach you know.

    There is Lake St. Clair. I guess that doesn't quite count, though. :)

    I've never been to Edmonton, but it sounds like it is more the management than the city and climate. Calgary can't be that much warmer, heck Minnesota takes pride in making the winter news on the Weather Channel – a few good years in a row and there should be little trouble signing most players (unless they are total weather-wimps like Heatley, who I'm surprised didn't hold out for southern California because in northern California it is sometimes a little too cool and damp for his delicate constitution).

  47. Black Dog says:

    bookie – Lowe is still involved in this, I'd bet big money on it.

    And why should we have any faith in Tambellini? He has no track record, failed to address holes ont his club lasy year and now again this summer.

    He said that the team was too small and too soft.

    How has he addressed that? By bringing in Mike Comrie and hoping that Jacques would arrive?

    Again, I really hope that I am wrong. I just have seen this for a fourth summer now. Management puts a team together with obvious holes, fans choose to believe that the holes will get filled or the team will succeed anyhow and then it all ends in disappointment.

    Someone referred to the Leafs. That's an appropriate comparison, imo.

  48. bookie says:

    The attitude that you can't criticize management makes my head spin. Who exactly is at fault for the last three years anyways?

    I think its fine to criticize management, but sometimes fan drama gets a bit much (the “These guys are idiots” commentary). I suspect that competing in the greatest hockey league in the world is actually tough. Not every team makes the playoff, much of this falls on a hot player or two, or a key injury or two. If Vish stays healthy last year, who knows it could have been a 5th place finish and a good playoffs.

    I remember when I was like 19 and working for a drilling company. I always knew what the boss should be doing and I knew he was an idiot. Then I ended up 'in charge' for a week and realized that the gravity of decision making is much different when it is in the real world. First of all, you don't always get your way. Secondly, there is always way more to consider than what you think. Third, the risk is real when its actually you making the decisions.

    Not sure how many of you make management decisions for a living, but those of you that do know it’s a lot different on the couch than it is in real life.

    So, criticism, discussion, ect. is all good, but the "These guys are idiots thing" is just thin.

    By the way, guys like LT don't say "These guys are idiots" but rather offer reasoned analysis. That is great stuff that we all enjoy reading and discussing.

  49. bookie says:

    He said that the team was too small and too soft.

    He said that the team played too soft and was not tough enough or aggresive enough to play against. He said that the team needed to raise the level of aggresiveness and the level of competativeness and then he said "We need to see if we can get this out of the guys we have, and if not we will need to make changes"

    Somehow people assumed this meant big trades were coming. I don't understand that. He said that they needed to see if they could get it out of the players that they had. The only way to do that is to play them. So why would anyone expect dramatic changes over the summer (out of that press conference)? Go back and listen to the press conference. I admit that the messages are mixed, but there was a lot about assessing what they had allready.

    Anyway, I doubt that anyone will be convinced of anything until about Nov. If the team is tanking, I will be admitting that all of the doom and gloomers were correct and that the team sucks and that MacT was not the problem. If we are well above .500, others will suggest that some of these guys suffered under Mact and that balance was only part of the problem.

    By the way, my posts today are bit "Ranting" by nature. I hope everyone accepts that they are all meant to just be discussion and are meant in good spirit.

    I better go get some work done, so see you all tomorrow on the GDT.

  50. Black Dog says:

    bookie- I've seen it from both sides and of course you are right and I would guess that sensible people, which is what most of the commenters here are, realize that it is a difficult job.

    But somehow Calgary seems to have gotten it right. And Vancouver and Minnesota and Colorado. All have more playoff appearances than the Oilers.

    And how many injuries did St. Louis have last season? Yet they still made the playoffs.

    The job is obviously a difficult one which is why some are not suited to it. Again, I hope I am wrong.

    But what if Khabibulin goes down?

    And what of the cap bind that this club is in?

    And if the club is struggling along in Novemeber who exactly will they deal for help? We have all seen the past few years how few deals are made until the deadline because with three point games nearly everyone remains in it until the end.

    I guess we'll see. And for the record I hope that I get to eat a ton of crow come spring. I hope that you are absolutely right.

    I just doubt it.

  51. the 0 in 0rca is for 0 cups says:

    punjabioil-

    i think jdd looks pretty good. i think he could handle 20 games.

  52. linnaeus says:

    I make decisions for a living, often fairly important ones, ones that effect other people's lifes. I've also coached at the elite level. One thing I have learned the hard way, impatience kills. You have to have the courage of your convictions and stay the course. Fans can be as fickle and erratic as they like, jumping on and off the band wagon with reckless abandon. If your team management does that you become the New York Islanders.

    In light of that, lowetide is being a little premature. We don't actually know what is going to happen over the next few days. The Oilers management has some very tough decisions to make.

    We could still decide to go with our new theme of two smurfs and a monster, dump some veterans and some promising youngsters on to the waiver wire, even buy out one or two players. If the rest of the NHL says yuck, and well they may, at the sight of our rejects, we could end up with a very good team in Springfield. Worst case we end up, temporarily at least, out of contract and salary cap hell.

    Once they make those tough decisions the next step would be to find out if the remaining uncertain assets can be NHlers (Jacques, Stone, JDD, Dubnyk, Peckham), or can become true stars (Penner, Gilbert, Grebs, Smid, Gagner, Cogliano, Eberle).

    Meanwhile, I assume, management will be praying that Souray has another career season, Viz recovers fully, Hemsky finally arrives as a top ten NHL player, Horcoff and Comrie refind their games, Khabibulin doesn't lose his and thus the entire team doesn't stink the joint out.

    Okay I admit that building a core group of key players from within using good drafting, great patience and a lot of veteran mentoring, while swinging for the fences each year looking for a big name free agent (and occasionally getting lucky), then filling out your hand at the trade deadline isn't the model other teams in the NHL use to become winners. The Oilers management have to be pretty damn stupid trying it again and again. Oh wait, two little problems. Oilers 2006. Detroit over the last two decades.

    My point simply is that what looks like porridge now may well look like a firm concrete foundation on which to build a future by the end of the season. For me it all comes down to whether or not the Oilers current management has the courage to give NHL jobs to the best players in camp rather than to the entitled veterans who have bled for us in years past.

    What constantly sabotages the Oilers is there loyalty to the past, that cursed romantic impulse. I am hoping in hiring Tambo, Quinn and Renney the Oilers have finally decided to turn the page and look forward rather than back.

    I know most of the posters here want a Stanley Cup now but successful organizations pursue excellence not baubles. Outcome, as Ken Holland is fond of pointing out, often comes down to dumb luck. Excellence comes, in part, from having a consistent strategy.

    For the first time since 1992 we appear to have that. Draft well, develop well, don't rush the players, try to sign the biggest guns in the game, and make smart trade deadline moves. That is the message of the last two years.

    Already our team depth has begun to improve its depth, we have a decent farm team for the first time ever and we are looking far more aggressive and physical. None of that has happened by fluke. Tambo is slowly making his mark. We need to stop razzing him.

    By the way, while we are at it lets give Lowe and LaForge credit where credit is due. They kept the team afloat with no money using a series of brilliant business moves. We wouldn't have a team at all without their peculiar genius.

  53. BenJammin says:

    I have agree with you Lowetide. The solutions to fill the holes were there at a decent price. Cap space was spent on a redundant skill set and the one position of need that was filled was an overpay (not the best deal available). I know I'm repeating what everyone is saying but it bears repeating. This organization has not done anything to make us believe that there is a credible plan to make this team competitive in the near or far future. It is getting to be discouraging being an Oilers fan. I am not jumping ship but my patience is wearing thin.

  54. Gerta Rauss says:

    I've never been to Edmonton, but it sounds like it is more the management than the city and climate

    Exactly.
    Bouwmeester's comments confirmed this for me-coming from a guy that was born and raised in Edmonton and lives in the city in the summer told me that it's not the city or the weather,it's the organization.
    A winning org will draw players.

  55. kris says:

    I'm not happy that management didn't grab a couple of cheap veterans either, but I think all this hair pulling is a bit much.

    "The sky is falling. The sky is falling." No it's not, chicken little. No it's not.

    Good Things Management Has Done:

    1. ) Heading into the lockout Lowe did well acquiring assets. He made really smart, bold signings and trades in that 1st post-cap year, and we damn near won the cup. The guy was GM of the year in my books.

    2.) Drafting. We've drafted well and brought in some nice young players. Seriously. We might not be the best, but we're good.

    3.) We've been patient with the young guys. I mean, I wanted the team to add vets, and they didn't, but at least they didn't trade away our young players for vets. (The Cogs-Heatley trade was worth it. The Pitk.-Cole trade was not.) That must've been tempting to sell for a win now. And we haven't "Toronto'ed" away all our picks in a desperate attempt to win. We've dealt picks, but we've brought in picks responsibly.

    4. Souray and Visnovsky. Nice additions for a decent price.

    Bad Things Management has Done, that aren't as bad as people think:

    1. The Pronger trade sucked, But, as we've seen, it's damn hard to get value for star players. This really was the turning point for the team's history, and it's sad that management chose this point to crap out.

    2. The Smyth trade. We really wouldn't be much better off with Smyth than Penner, which -when you wash away the draft picks and prospects going in and out- was basically the deal. Penner's cheaper, younger, and may become a star as he enters his prime. And his cap hit is substantially less. (Smyth has been the better player, of course, but with him in the lineup, we would only have done marginally better, and we would've had a worse draft position as a result. He's becoming injury prone, too.)

    Really bad things the management has done that are stupid, but can be fixed:

    1. Rick was right. Our main problem is the damn overpays. If we hadn't overpaid Moreau, Staios, Khabi, Nilsson. We'd be in prime position to make the changes needed to win. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. But it can be fixed if we dump the gold-faucets on this team.

    2. Not bringing in cheap vets. This is partly a result of 1, but partly stupidity. But it's fixable.

    Okay, I've vented.

  56. Jonathan Willis says:

    It's difficult to make an honest evaluation of Tambellini because we don't know when exactly this team shifted from being Lowe's to his; I'd guess it wasn't when the announcement was made but sometime after.

    Looking at Tambellini's moves individually, he's made some good ones. The Cole move and the Heatley deal in particular look quite good, as does the Garon trade, as does his coaching hires.

    My gut feeling is that Tambellini is by nature overly-cautious, and that he'll make the team better over the long haul, but that he may lack the ability to address holes quickly and decisively, and that he worries overmuch about losing marginal assets.

    In short, long-term I'm pretty optimistic. Just not over the next few seasons.

  57. kris says:

    Another good thing: Cole for POS.

  58. adam says:

    What makes you think Tambellini is pulling the strings in the first place? This roster reeks of Lowe and has Katz' fingerprints all over it.

  59. dstaples says:

    Jonathan.

    I like your overall assessment, in that this is the year when things might well be best, before the older stars (Souray, Khabibulin, Visnovsky) get real, real old, but I'm curious about your notion that the Garon trade was a good one. . .

    Garon was a solid back-up, if nothing else, and overplaying Roloson down the stretch last season hurt the Oil's chances, and could have been foreseen to be a problem at the time of the Garon trade.

  60. dstaples says:

    Strikes me it's a committee running things, though the guys at the top, Katz and Lowe, have the most clout.

    As president of hockey ops, Lowe would certainly be in charge of the overall vision, such as what kind of players to go after, such as aging vet goalie over younger less proven goalie, or star forward as opposed to a couple third-line checkers.

  61. bookie says:

    Garon was a solid back-up, if nothing else, and overplaying Roloson down the stretch last season hurt the Oil's chances, and could have been foreseen to be a problem at the time of the Garon trade.

    To be fair, MacT had no faith in Garon or JDD. If Garon was here, there is no reason to believe that MacT would have played him.

  62. Black Dog says:

    It was earlier this summer that Icedragoon said that Lowe was still heavily involved. I know that she drops by here so maybe she can correct me if I am misremembering, as Roger Clemens would say, but I'm sure she said that and she is connected enough, as I understand it, for this to be taken as fact. Again she can chime in if I am misrepresenting what she said.

    You're optimistic, Willis, just not for another few more seasons?

    Oh dear. ;)

    The Cole move was a good one.

    The Kotalik move was a gamble but at the time he was trying to get this club into the playoffs so that's fine.

    Khabibulin will likely be a disaster, lets hope its not.

    Heatley was a nice attempt.

    Brodziak was a minor move but not a great idea.

    Comrie will outperform the contract but as a move it makes no sense.

    The Quinn hiring was excellent.

    So mixed reviews from me, probably a little on the positive side overall but again the issue is more what he did not do.

    And adding players midseason once they realize nobody can win a damn faceoff is going to be harder than most people think, I think.

  63. kris says:

    Another way of looking at things:

    Once Pronger, Peca, Samsonov, left town and Torres and Stoll proved to be lesser players than we had hoped, a long slow rebuild was necessary.

    There were only two options.

    1.) Totally tank for two-five years and dump everyone but Hemsky and the youngest kids. Call this the Pittsburgh plan.

    2.) Focus on bringing in kids and younger players, but also add and keep a few vets to make the team is minimally competitive for the last playoff spots. If cap space allows, and the opportunity arises, sign another star player of Pronger's caliber and try to redo the cup run.

    Given the Edmonton fan base, and fear arising from the horrific past, option 1.) was impossible. We forget that there was a time when attendance was crap for the Oilers.

    So they went for option 2.) even though option 2.) is sort of messy and counter productive. It's hard to build if you don't get lottery picks, and it's hard to add the right vets if you're not a winning club. Option 2.) is ugly by nature.

    So far, option 2.) has gone according to plan. It could've been better, no doubt, but IMO, it could've been much, much worse.

  64. Greg MC says:

    Hang in there LT. Give Quinn and Tambellini a bit more time. I will be happy to see an honest effort most of the time with this team. 20 to 30 games into the season under the new coach will show what the Oilers are lacking and cannot be compensated for by systems play. It is obvious that the team has holes today, but I am trusting in Quinn (for about 30 games)!

  65. kris says:

    Imagine this:

    The first post-lockout year, Iginla demands a trade and the Flames get a bunch of young-ish guys who don't pan out particularly well.

    Phaneuf stays as is. Kiprusoff turns out to be poor and is more exposed.

    Accordingly, Bouwmeester signs elsewhere because the Flames are falling apart and he's tired of playing for a loser.

    Calgary continually brings in players to try and fill the holes, but Tanguay and the Finish Cave Man don't work out and are less able to score without Iginla's cover.

    They'd be us.

  66. Jonathan Willis says:

    David Staples:

    I don't believe that Garon last season was a significant upgrade over JDD or Sabourin.

    I also thought Roloson's play improved down the stretch, leading me to run this study.

    I don't believe the goaltending last season was a significant factor in missing the playoffs, and thus I see Garon for Sabourin as close to a wash, and the fact that both Ryan Stone and a 4th round pick were added as gravy.

  67. Dennis says:

    I don't think there's any way that Lowe still isn't calling at least some of the shots and we know Katz is in the kitchen as well.

    And, it isn't that we're just mediocre: it's that we're mediocre And we're handcuffed with bad and/or iffy contracts.

    Well done, sirs!

  68. NBOilerFan says:

    I was hoping that Tambellini was going to make some moves in the days followng July 1st… he didn't.

    The I was hoping he'd make some moves between the end of the Heatley chasing and training camp… he didn't.

    Now I am hoping that he wanted the new coaching staff and management to take a good hard look at the players, veterans, propsoects and in between to make some collective organizational decisions on who to move and what direction they need to go.

    So now I sit hoping that coaching staff and management sit down Monday morning and make some hard but required decisions about this team and what is needed. Which results in bodies being moved out and a player or two added from outside the orgainzation.

    So yes, I still hold out hope that at least one deal is made between now and Oct 3rd, ro sometime shortly thereafter.

    …. but I'm not holding my breath.

  69. linnaeus says:

    I want to address the mythology of this off season.

    Myth 1. Roloson wore down and that cost us the playoffs.

    Jonathan just debunked that one.

    Myth 2. Horcoff wore down from taking too many faceoffs and his offensive production was off beacuse of it and that is why we missed the playoffs.

    Horcoff started in the defensive end a lot meaning he had an offensive handicap. On the other hand the stats still indicate he outplayed the guy he was facing on the ice. Neither he, nor his faceoff workload, cost us the playoffs.

    3. We need a faceoff man.

    Faceoff talent is a good thing in a center but it is actually pretty far down the list of desirable traits for centers.

    Centers need to:

    -support the puck coming out of their own end
    -back check like demons
    -cycle on the forechek
    -be able to pass the puck, and to do it in traffic
    -go to the net with speed, good centers make the defence come to them so their wingers can exploit the gap.

    Really great centers have some serious offensive skill of their own, usually wicked moves and a great shot. For that matter blocking shots, throwing body checks, carrying part of the defensive load behind the net even fighting are all at least as important to team success as faceoffs.

    Most of the players you all keep going on about lack at least part of this skill set. Goc, for example, can't score to save his life. Malhotra isn't much better (and he has real trouble with that first job, supporting the puck out of his own end) his best year he scored 12 goals. Betts is worse. So what all of you keep recommending is us signing a player who can't outplay simply because he can win faceoffs. Meanwhile we have a system loaded with talented young centermen.

    Center is not a weakeness for the Oilers or in their system.

    3. We need a stud shutdown defenceman.

    There is no rule that says you can't win if you don't have a "shutdown" defenceman. When they were all healthy our existing defence was arguably as good or better than any other team in the NHL. We can't afford nor do we need another expensive defenceman. Not to mention we have some real promising talent in our system.

    4. We need Pisani insurance.

    Fernando may well go down but how much better is he than the two players most likely to step in, Patrick O'Sullivan and Ryan Stone or the third Zack Stortini?

    5. We need a veteran back up goalie.

    Nonsense. We need a good number two. Whether they are a veteran or not matters not a wit. The question marks are really about JDD. By all accounts he is pretty good at keeping himself upbeat and being a good team mate. He is a battler though not blessed with good fundamentals (which can be taught). Most importantly though, his team mates love him. They'd play their hearts out for him if he was forced into the #1 job and that matters a lot. Overall he isn't much better or worse than the other options you all keep touting.

    I think we've spent the summer on a series of wild goose chases. Mercifully it appears the Oilers management remains unaware of our existence. Quinn seems to think the problem is between the existing players ears. Maybe we should have been looking there all along.

  70. RiversQ says:

    Kris: I can't believe you think they have a plan here. There's just no way there is one. It's not just adding a few vets to tread water. The offer sheets were not conducive to rebuilding, nor is hiring Quinn or signing Khabibulin to an insane contract.

    I see little evidence of a plan in Edmonton.

  71. RiversQ says:

    Linnaeus said…Center is not a weakeness for the Oilers or in their system.

    Horcoff is the only Oiler centre with a history of outplaying/outchancing/outscoring the opposition. This is a problem.

    Good point about the oilogosphere conventional wisdom about just adding some vet centres – they need more than some dude who can take a faceoff.

    They need Gagner and/or Cogliano to grab a clue.

  72. bookie says:

    I can't believe you think they have a plan here. There's just no way there is one.

    Ha, is this sarcasm? Perfect example of suggesting that the Oilers are managed and owned by a group of know-nothing wannabe's.

    Now if only they had someone with experience in running an NHL team or running a billion dollar business, then everything would be smooth! Anyone on this board have 20+ years in the NHL and/or a manager of a billion dollar business?

    Quinn seems to think the problem is between the existing players ears. Maybe we should have been looking there all along.

    Yep, apparently some of the players are having suppressed memories from the MacT era now… (meant in good humour!)

  73. Jonathan Willis says:

    Dennis:

    How do you explain Comrie, then?

  74. Jonathan Willis says:

    Linnaeus:

    Rivers said this team has only one centre who has a history of outscoring. The problems are almost equally the same on the wings, although LW has three guys who could do it, and RW has two.

    The problem is that this team lacks those guys in all of the forward positions.

    As for Quinn, he's been complaining about the lack of a third-line centre too, and while I agree with you that faceoffs is a little ways down on the list of desirable attributes (hence my head-against-the-wall reaction when someone suggest signing Perreault) there's no doubt that Rivers, Quinn and the rest of us have been right when we've said the centre depth chart is the primary issue with this team as of the beginning of last season.

  75. Lowetide says:

    This entire summer looks like a 12-year old kid wasting money on twizzlers and Coke at the mall. The Oilers hired a veteran goalie at a dear price and term and traded Brodziak.

    Plus signed Comrie AND kept the other midgets.

    What's the definition of insanity again?

  76. Woodguy says:

    They need Gagner and/or Cogliano to grab a clue.

    Given that this is each their 3rd year and there are two very good hockey teachers on staff (Renney, Fleming), I'd say that there is a very good chance of that happening.

    I'm not in full kool-aid mode, but I am more hopeful than most in this thread.

    The only thing I don't know is that if the right guy became available, and in order to make it work Tambo had to send someone like Staios or Moreau to the AHL to make it work cap wise, would he?

    Also, we all talk about players not wanting to play here.

    If you take a vet or two and send them to the AHL to clear cap space, does that make you less desirable to free agents (no loyalty), or more desirable (building a winner)?

  77. knighttown says:

    @ Blackdog

    knighttown – if this club began to actually win then you'd have no problem, Detroit isn't exactly on the beach you know.

    And that whole players don't want to play in Edmonton is overblown. Guys sign in Calgary and in Montreal and in Minnesota. Guys sign in Edmonton too. Plenty of good players either signed in Edmonton or wanted to (Smyth, Hejda, Glencross).

    Make the playoffs for a change. Go crazy and do it two or three years in a row. Build something and then they will come.

    I agree on all this which was kind of my point. Losing makes it very hard to recruit which is why desirable places like Miami can't keep their players. However, losing, in a place like Edmonton means that Tambellini has his work cut out for him.

  78. RiversQ says:

    Yes, good point bookie.

    How can you question the management's performance when they have such glowing resumes?

    Although having said that, the resumes are a little thin when it comes to building teams that win hockey games.

    I guess the drugs aren't working anymore.

  79. Lowetide says:

    What I don't understand is how:

    1. a team can be spending at the cap with
    2. some real and obvious holes and
    3. not address them!

    Who would do that? The Oilers on the ice are bleeding. NOT because they don't have an Ales Hemsky or Sheldon Souray but because they don't have those wonderful role players who are readily available at below 2M.

    An organization interested in winning games early this season would cash some assets for a quality veteran who could play center.

    Instead, they're apparently talking Nilsson to NASH for another fricking draft pick.

    YOUR EDMONTON OILERS: developing NHL players for real teams since 2006.

    Fuck the hell off.

  80. RiversQ says:

    Willis: The Oilers just sorely lack good forwards and it has been that way since the Summer of '06. Really if they added a quality forward at any slot it would help quite a bit.

    Who are the three LWs by the way? Penner can do it with Horc and Hemsky, but I'm not sure you could hope for more than a sawoff from the rest of them.

  81. RiversQ says:

    LT: I'm really not sure it's that easy. Most of the names tossed around have been fairly borderline players. The Oilers need the Tanguays, Malhotras, Dvorak from 2005 – those guys get paid a little and want to win so they require a little reshuffling and the Oilers have already boxed themselves in.

    I understand the frustration, but they made their mistakes earlier. You know, it's a little like the Smyth thing – they made their bed long before the deadline came.

  82. knighttown says:

    Listen, I'm no Oiler management apologist, but it needs to be said. People do realize Manny Malholtra did not offer his services to Edmonton for 700k, right?

    He fucked up the Khabibulin thing no doubt but you can't blast him for overpaying in one spot then blast him for not being willing to overpay elsewhere. If the rumours are true then signing Malholtra would have been north of 2 million with term of 4 years (refused in Atlanta). Is that what we want when we're 9 pieces short of even competing for the division?

  83. knighttown says:

    The only plausible explanation for Comrie is asset management. He's cheap, we can all agree, and if the rumoured Nilsson for picks deal goes through then I suppose:

    Nilsson for Comrie + draft pick + 1 million in cap space

    Baby steps? (what's smaller than a baby)

  84. DBO says:

    Wow. Great thread today. i may be drunk, a little upset about losing a football game today, and just a bit annoyed i have to go to dinner with friends when i'm already drunk and am sure to embaress my wife (I've already warned her), but how can we be that optimistic about this team? I bucked up large this year paying a lot of money for great seats and I want to see a playoff team. And when the team signed Bulin i thought it was the start of the "retooling" our GM mentioned that had to happen. let's review his priorities from his year end presser:

    1. get bigger.
    2. get grittier
    3. let the dogs loose and get the guys who can play an up tempo style.

    Let's see how he did:
    1. nope
    2. Nope
    3. you can argue we may or may not have the players to play run and gun. I would propose that while we have the potential to play run and gun, we lack poven players to play that game.

    And to be honest i think Quinn realizes this team is a "tweener" team. We are in between a tough team and a skill team. not enough skill to play a detroit style and not enough size to play an in your face style.

    maybe it's the sudden arrival of fall this afternoon at 2 pm (exactly after we lost a playoff game in football), but I am worried about this team. I would sooner have a management team that decisively made moves to address needs instead of year after year of evaluating our "team" and then making moves at the deadline.

    be decisive Tambellini. Move one of Cogs or gagner and decide on a direction. move an offensive dman for the other pieces. Hell, one team can address all of our needs.

    Trade Coglinao and Gilbert/Grenbeshkov along with a prospect to florida
    for
    Horton, Campbell and Allen.

    You give up a lot for those players, but in Horton you get a 1LW. in Campbell you get a tough, gritty 3C and in Allen you get a solid mean stay at home Dman who can play in your top 4. Balance in your team, size on each line, and more toughness on your back end.

    Now off to have another beer and prepare for a "fun" evening.

  85. Lowetide says:

    People keep talking about Malhotra as if he's the only man on earth who can do the desired job. Not true. The Oilers not only didn't get him, they apparently weren't in the market.

    The enemy is gathering at the border as we practice our retreat. We're the French in World War Two.

  86. PunjabiOil says:

    5. We need a veteran back up goalie.

    Nonsense. We need a good number two. Whether they are a veteran or not matters not a wit. The question marks are really about JDD. .

    You pretty much contradicted yourself here.


    By all accounts he is pretty good at keeping himself upbeat and being a good team mate.

    Based on what exactly?


    He is a battler though not blessed with good fundamentals (which can be taught).

    He's 7 years removed from his draft class. What you see is what you get.


    Most importantly though, his team mates love him.

    Most important is preventing the puck from crossing the goal line. He hasn't done that enough in his career.


    They'd play their hearts out for him if he was forced into the #1 job and that matters a lot. Overall he isn't much better or worse than the other options you all keep touting
    .

    This is the stuff you expect to read on HF.

  87. the 0 in 0rca is for 0 cups says:
  88. pboy says:

    Does anybody know what's happening with Robert Lang? Has he retired, is he physically unable to play or has no team looked at him? I know he's turning 40 this year but he could be a fit at center on a cheap 1 year deal.

  89. PunjabiOil says:

    I believe Lang was invited for a try-out in Montreal. Not sure how that went down.

  90. slipper says:

    What has it been, 1100 days since the Chris Pronger trade demand was splashed over the front page of the local dailies?

    Has there been a single positive Oilers related headline since then that wasn't just smoke and mirrors?

    1100 plus days and just one F-bomb… LT has the patience of a saint.

  91. dwillms says:

    So the Flyers today put Randy Jones and his $2.75 mil cap hit on waivers (to make room for, interestingly enough, Danny Syvret).

    Think there's any chance we might do the same thing & bury Staios with his $2.7 mil hit in Springfield as well?

  92. PDO says:

    … Whitlock :-).

  93. PunjabiOil says:

    Think there's any chance we might do the same thing & bury Staios with his $2.7 mil hit in Springfield as well?

    Peckham, Chorney, Motin, etc. are inferior options than Staios at the moment. The only reason you do this move is if you need cap space.

    What purpose would vacent cap space provide for the Oilers?

  94. Bling says:

    Rivers/Willis:

    Gagner's goal differential per 60 minutes was in the black last season, and so was Nilsson's. The latter, btw, has done it two seasons in a row.

    If we make a list of forwards who we can expect to outscore, based on past performance, it would look like this:

    O'Sullivan Horcoff Hemsky
    Comrie Gagner Nilsson
    Penner (blank) (Stortini)
    (blank) (blank) (blank)

    Potulny would look good at one of the C spots; limited sample size, but his Corsi and GD from last season are pretty encouraging.

    Fun fact: Blogosphere golden boy Marc Poliout hasn't posted a positive GD for two years running. This, while not playing tough minutes for any extended period of time.

    And you guys want to ditch Nilsson? Hilarious.

  95. Bling says:

    I should add that Pisani and Moreau should get some slack for taking on decent minutes with an inexperienced center in Cogs.

  96. Lowetide says:

    Bling: For the 1,000 time, Nilsson isn't going to play a role similar to Pouliot so comparing them is silly.

    Nilsson's competition is Comrie, Gagner, Cogliano, Stone, Jacques blah blah blah.

    Pouliot is in appliances, Nilsson is in perfume. Not similar.

  97. PDO says:

    And Penner is in frozen goods?

  98. Lowetide says:

    Penner is in "religious book binding." I hate the SK Roughriders.

  99. PDO says:

    Neither team deserves to win.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Eskimos will win this game but I do agree they've left a ton on the table.

    No yards. Frick. Do these Americans know the GD rules?

  101. PDO says:

    LT:

    That was Nowaki ;).

    Horse shit call thouogh.

  102. Lowetide says:

    Damn Sam anyway.

  103. NBOilerFan says:

    Eklund is reporting a source claiming its 90% that Forsberg is returning the the NHL.

    … they chased Jagr?!?

  104. Lowetide says:

    I doubt Forsberg comes here, plus the Oilers are at the cap.

  105. PunjabiOil says:

    Ricky 'inconsistent' Ray with another sub-par performance.

    6-6 record so far. Maas couldn't be much worse than that.

  106. NBOilerFan says:

    I thought they were moving Nilsson for a pick?

    ;D

  107. bookie says:

    How can you question the management's performance when they have such glowing resumes?

    You can question their performance, but the statement that I was responding to was that they "have no plan". It's somewhat silly to suggest the management of a company with 100million+ in annual revenue "has no plan".

    Seriously, some of you are suggesting that these guys are idiots. Is it not possible that they see things differently that you do? I see things differently, is that ok? Or does that make me an idiot?

    I think they have a plan, I think that they have made some mistakes. I think keeping MacT on for years past his past due date was a critical problem that has cost them dearly. I don't think that the key issue has been the lack of a third line centre.

  108. bookie says:

    What's the definition of insanity again?

    Keeping the same coach year after year, even when your team has been built in a style that the coach does not believe in?

    Oh, wait, you liked MacT so that change doesn't count.

    That's right, the only problem with this team was the loss of Reasoner…

  109. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Let me ask you a question. Where do you think EDM will finish in the West this year 1-15?

  110. Jonathan Willis says:

    Rivers:

    I like O'Sullivan as a saw-off and I think Moreau can do it to – maybe. He got killed by SC last year, but he was playing with lousy guys against some decent comp, and I think with a less tilted ice surface he'd be okay.

  111. bookie says:

    1. get bigger.
    2. get grittier
    3. let the dogs loose and get the guys who can play an up tempo style.

    He actually said he wanted to see if he could get more compete, grit, and toughness out of the guys in the room!!!! How is that so hard to understand?

    People keep forgetting that part.

  112. slipper says:

    People just aren't putting enough faith in the brand new system.

    It changes everything.

  113. bookie says:

    bookie: Let me ask you a question. Where do you think EDM will finish in the West this year 1-15?

    I think they will make the playoff, but not by a lot, so lets say 6-8th.

    Let me ask you this, why do you think they are dramatically worse than last year? Is it because you think think Quinn and co will be much worse than MacT?

    Last year, you predicted 6th…

    I think you actually nailed it earlier in the thread when you said, the Oilers don't need a really big change. I agree.

  114. bookie says:

    It changes everything.

    It changes something, right?

    Have teams never improved under a different coach? Even Pittsburg, with all of its talent, was made to suffer dreadfully under one coaching regime only to emerge better under another.

    (and no, I don't think we are Pittsburg, but it is an example that coaching does actually play a role in the game).

  115. bookie says:

    Eskimos will win this game but I do agree they've left a ton on the table.

    LT- Clearly, its just a day to not trust your own judgement :)

    I knew they were going to blow it, so you can relax with my other predication that the Oilers will address your concerns about balance and that they will make the playoffs…

    How many days until the start of the season?

  116. Lowetide says:

    That's my point, really. The Oilers could bring in a couple of veteran forwards and be a real threat to one of VCR and CAL.

    Veteran RH center, Pisani insurance, veteran G to make sure JDD/DD are ready.

    But no. We're going to start the season shorthanded and bleed L's because Steve Tambellini is unsure. Jeebus.

  117. Jonathan Willis says:

    Bling:

    I actually quite like Nilsson. I think he's caught in the numbers game though, and his EV PTS/60 last year didn't help anything.

    I'd be open to keeping Nilsson, but then the team has to deal someone else, and I'd need to know what the return would be on Cogliano.

    As for Pouliot, I think he's a bit of a headcase but he's an above-average 4th liner, and he's cheap. Two things this team lacks are:

    a) guys who are better than average at their slot
    b) cheap

  118. Jonathan Willis says:

    Deslauriers isn't a problemn, really, except that the team found the second-oldest, most-injury prone goaltender on the market this summer.

    And it's developing a guy at the NHL level when he hasn't excelled at the AHL level.

  119. bookie says:

    That's my point, really. The Oilers could bring in a couple of veteran forwards and be a real threat to one of VCR and CAL.

    Veteran RH center, Pisani insurance, veteran G to make sure JDD/DD are ready.

    But no. We're going to start the season shorthanded and bleed L's because Steve Tambellini is unsure. Jeebus.

    See, we are really not so far apart in opinions. I think the trade may be bigger than we are expecting with one of key defensmen + a talented smurf going for some of the needed things.

    I also think that this trade will take place much later than you think (and would like), but I think we will be OK until then for the following reasons.

    If Vish is ok, this will be a big boost.

    I think Comrie will surprise.

    I think Cogs and Gagner will have a stronger start (sophomore season over).

    I think Penner will be stronger in the new coaching regime.

    I think Moreau will cut his penalties by a bit.

    I think Khabi/JDD will be as good as what we had last year for the first half of the season.

    I think POS will be as good or better than Cole.

    I think the only player that may have a worse year than last year is Staois.

    I think Horcoff and Hemsky will perform about the same or maybe slightly better under Quinn.

    I think we have the same problems (meaning that nothing has gotten worse).

    Some keys – we could lose Vish and Khabi to an injury – that would be a huge blow. Also, a 4-5 game losing streak could 'get in our heads' and remove the 'new coach smell (onions?)' etc…

  120. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Agree on everything, except:

    2 points in October counts the same as 2 points in March.

  121. grahaeme says:

    i know how much is discussed about centermen taking faceoffs and how important that is, and jebus is it important. but what about veteran influence over the younglings. Horcoff, moreau and pisani are the forward core of vets and that does not cut it. gags, cogs and hemsky, to an extent, need men to look up to and emulate(emmulate?). they need role models and men they want to turn into surrounding them.

    i think the veteran presence like oates had on the team in terms of learning and leadership is vital.

    the d-men are sorted, but there is a real difference in a room between forwards and d, and there needs to be better role models upfront for the kids.

    god i hope tambelowni has a plan.

  122. RiversQ says:

    You can question their performance, but the statement that I was responding to was that they "have no plan". It's somewhat silly to suggest the management of a company with 100million+ in annual revenue "has no plan".

    This may shatter your faith in capitalism, but this happens all the freaking time. There are many companies much bigger than the Oilers that have questionable and/or negligible business plans.

    The Oilers management can be judged by their performance and their decision map that got them to that point. The results are poor and the way they got there is highly inconsistent. Call them savants if you want.

  123. Lowetide says:

    eg. XM Satellite radio.

  124. Jonathan Willis says:

    RiversQ:

    Good point.

    I work (indirectly) for the 6th-largest company in the world. They decided they wanted an oilfield manufacturing company, and bought us out.

    In the four years I've been with the company, we're on our third CEO and countless executives have been fired.

    The first president was fired after covering up a 50MM-dollar screwup.

  125. bookie says:

    2 points in October counts the same as 2 points in March.

    That’s just crazy talk. What about the playoff temporal gravitation multiplier effect?


    The first president was fired after covering up a 50MM-dollar screwup.

    That is clearly evidence of having a plan, so really it backs up my point that it is ludicrous to presume that Lowbelleni do "not have a plan".

  126. Black Dog says:

    bookie – what is the plan then?

    you've been going on all day defending thse guys to the hilt

    tell me what the plan is either than hoping that guys get better and play bigger?

    what is the plan for next year when they have serious cap issues and have to sign Cogliano, Gagner and Grebeshkov?

    remember this is the management team that did not sign Smyth in the spring and then said in the summer that if they had known the cap was going to go up then they would have signed him

    the guys that two years ago had a pretty decent goaltending tandem for about five million bucks signed through this past season (cap flexibility) and now have nearly four million tied up in a guy who is injury prone with a backup who did nothing in the AHL

    the guys who traded one of the best defencemen in the league and their best forward in less than a year and of the four players and prospects they have received for them are now likely down to Smid as the only remaining one

    Do I need to go on and on?

    The lack of experienced defencemen three seasons ago. The lack of experienced forwards and defencemen two seasons ago. The lack of experience up front last season. The failure to replace the four NHL forwards they moved out last summer with anyone but Cole.

    As for the fact that we should have faith in them because they have to know what they are doing because of the size of the enterprise, um, Doug MacLean? Mike Milbury? General Motors? Chrysler? Enron? How many gigantic banks that failed or almost failed one year ago? The government?

    Telling me that I should put my faith in someone just because they are in a position of authority seems awful strange to me. I mean the British generals in WWI were supposed to know what they were doing, right?

    I'm going to cheer for this club and I am optimistic that they will fight for a playoff spot and at least play an entertaining brand of hockey.

    But telling me that management knows what they are doing when there are no results for three years running now isn't an argument you're going to win with me.

  127. RiversQ says:

    Willis and LT: if we sit and think about it for a bit, we can probably name dozens. Heck, I wonder if I may work for one too and I don't think my company is that bad. I have friends I graduated with that have worked for far more bizarre management. I'm talking about companies with revenues rivalling the entire NHL.

    Uh oh, about that NHL plan in Phoenix? That has been going swimmingly.

  128. Black Dog says:

    Rivers how can you question Bettman and Daly? These guys run a league that generates billions of dollars in revenues.

    Plus they're lawyers!

    Give your head a shake man.

  129. Coach pb9617 says:

    you've been going on all day defending thse guys to the hilt

    It's his new thing.

    He reminds me of this guy

  130. Alice says:

    //It's somewhat silly to suggest the management of a company with 100million+ in annual revenue "has no plan".//

    The most powerful nation on planet earth re-elected George W. Bush, track record and all. And Mel Lastman, and so on.

    The notion that a 100M enterprise somehow accrues rationality beyond the best guesses of whatever half-dozen chancers sit on its board…

    Fact is, there's a few 3M's in this world, and there's also a lot of fricking chaos and venal stupidity.
    Not to say this bunch Aren't smart, but to deduce that they are simply because there's a decent-sized ship at stake is folly. You might have heard of Lehman Bros.?

    I agree with you actually, they're hamstrung one more year contract-wise, and they wanted to see what they've got first before succumbing to the grass is always geener syndrome – Cole, Owen Nolan, etc.

    But don't suggest there must be wisdom because they've found themselves in charge of something. That's a crazy assumption to make, though we and our economics texts imagine things were so.

  131. bookie says:

    bookie: Agree on everything, except:

    2 points in October counts the same as 2 points in March.

    More seriously, I think that our assets may be worth more in a few months and we will avoid trading away Miro Satan because of some patience.

    If we get a better return when we trade Cogs and Grebs (or whoever) we could end up gobbling up a few more points in Jan-Mar than we would have (overall) by signing Betts and waiving Nilsson in the fall.

  132. knighttown says:

    The Oilers management can be judged by their performance and their decision map that got them to that point. The results are poor and the way they got there is highly inconsistent. Call them savants if you want.

    The new book on Oilers management opened sometime within the last year. Every thing before that is on Kevin Lowe.

    Tambellini's body of work includes:

    -Cole for O'Sullivan
    -2nd for Kotalik
    -Garon for Stone
    -Fire Craig MacTavish
    -Draft
    -Trade Brodziak for Bigos and Roy
    -Sign Khabibulin
    -Trade Cogliano, Smid and Penner for Heatley
    -Sign Comrie

    I'm at least neutral on all those except the Khabi signing.

    I never thought I'd say this but look at the Leafs. They'll likely miss the playoffs again but no one would argue that their arrows aren't pointing in the right direction. Tambo inherited absolute shit and I see no signs that he can't do the job. If his name was Brian Burke he'd be given more leash…that we can agree on.

  133. RiversQ says:

    bookie said…
    He actually said he wanted to see if he could get more compete, grit, and toughness out of the guys in the room!!!! How is that so hard to understand?

    I dunno, people are hard to change. I think most people find it is unlikely that a coaching change will just peel the stripes off all those leopards. Isn't it more likely that a lot of these players are still exactly what they were last year?

  134. flamingpavelbure says:

    Bookie: Yes great idea, waive a PPG guy with +2 in the preseason for a 4th line center while you could waive guys having bad camp like Pouliot, or just guys that are pretty much rendered useless at that point (Moreau,Staios).

    I mean cmon, 4th Liner in = 4th liner out.

    Jacques-Betts-Stortini

    Doesn't sound shabby for a 4th line.

    Can Jacques do PK?

    Or we just pair up Betts with Pisani and Horcoff and a Jeeyaboo?

    Btw Blair Betts = Will never be a viable 3rd center.

    He was 4th center on the worst offensive team last year. I mean there's liking grinders and THAT.

    Anyways Choo Choo! I'm officialy a Zebra now ! (Got my referee liscence =D)

  135. bookie says:

    what is the plan for next year when they have serious cap issues and have to sign Cogliano, Gagner and Grebeshkov?

    Actually, my argument is that they will do a lot of the things that many of you (including LT) are calling for, but that they will do it via trade during the season as opposed to over the summer and here is why I think Tambelleni is doing this.

    I think Tambi felt that he could not assess where guys like Cogs, Gagner, Nilsson, Penner, Horcoff, JFJ, and even Moreau were at because they were in a very very strange year for the team with strange coaching decisions (and other things).

    I also think that Tambi felt that some players, like Nilsson may do well under Quinn, so later in the season, Tambi will be able to sell a player like Nilsson much higher than if he traded him this past summer. Even a player like Cogs could have much greater value.

    Most of my defence here today has been with regards to the current regime. I think Lowe was a little out of his league at times and I think moreso he was overwhelmed following the 06 run and was not able to keep up with the decisions he was making. I think some bad decisions were made. I think its fair to be critical of things like the Khabibulin signing or JFJ on the first line (though this has not happened yet).

    I just think that some pretty dramatic statements are being made here about how terrible these guys are because they didn't make a big splash over the summer. I will give Tambi and Katz at least a full season before I start to crucify them. To put it in stats terms, the sample size is too small.

    Maybe Tambi has looked at 4-5 teams that are going to have a real problem on defense and he hopes to take advantage of them come November. If Nilsson is on a bit of a run, perhaps we ship him and a D-man for all of the help we need. Maybe we send Cogs out to reduce the problems we face in signing that group.

    I guess what I am really saying is I think preseason is a little early to be calling it a bust.

    I think some of you are emotional about lost seasons from 1992 onwards and are not really analyzing this season. I just can't believe that its all about Blair Betts…

  136. bookie says:

    I dunno, people are hard to change. I think most people find it is unlikely that a coaching change will just peel the stripes off all those leopards. Isn't it more likely that a lot of these players are still exactly what they were last year?

    That's a perfectly fine argument. My point was that Tambi didn't say he was going to make trades to make the team larger and tougher. Many people are saying that Tambi promised trades, he didn't.

    I think I have overposted today…I gotta get back to my work.

    Seriously, see you guys tomorrow on the GDT… :)

  137. bookie says:

    What a fun thread though, great post LT!

  138. RiversQ says:

    Knighttown: this is a decent way of looking at it, except for a few things:

    - Lowe is still his boss and therefore still involved.
    - He did deal Brodziak without a replacement plan.
    - The team still has big holes. Do it's also about what Tambellini hasn't done.
    - Khabibulin's deal was insane. Insane.
    - The Leafs suck and are several years from being any good. If our expectations are that low, then yeah I agree with you.

  139. kris says:

    It's possible the Oil are thinking like this:

    "If we sign a 3C, we still aren't very good. We're better, but we still don't have a chance of winning crap all.

    So, maybe it's better to give a young guy a shot. Keep more of our youngsters, see if 1-3 emerge as good players."

    If so, what is wrong with that strategy? It means we're developing more and are less likely to make the playoffs, where we're going to get destroyed regardless.

    I agree that they're making mistakes, but I think they do have a plan and are following it. Moreover, the other two possible plans: tanking and drafting to win big in 5 years, and trading youth for veterans to win now.

    They've taken a middle course, which is bound to be ugly, but the average fan wouldn't settle for anything else, IMO.

  140. kris says:

    I meant to write the other two plans are not possible, given the fans in Edmonton.

  141. linnaeus says:

    I'd like to take a moment and return to JDD. I think you are all continuing to focus on the individual and not the team. Individuals may not change but teams do. I've coached teams sports for thirty five years and trust me on this, teams change even when the personnel don't.

    In response to Punjabi Oil would anybody be crying for a veteran backup goaltender if we had Harding as our #2 or Halak? Thus I contradict myself not at all when I said that the problem isn't that we lack a veteran backup but that our backup is JDD.

    I then went on to say that compared to much of the stale dated never was never will be starting NHL goaltenders playing backup in the league (I didn't think I needed to list them) JDD isn't very much better or worse. You went on to point out what you believe to be a truism about goaltenders which is the job is all about keeping the puck from crossing the goal line. I'd guess you aren't a member of the goaltenders union (I have been for forty six years and counting). We like to say that what matters is winning and that is a team activity.

    The goaltenders job, as Ken Dryden is fond of pointing out, is to stop all the ones he should and some he shouldn't. JDD has nights where he does that, he also has nights, like his last start, where he fails. My point is that most backups do, which is why they are #2.

    Let me try a different sport to see if I can make it clear. This one is for lowetide. Who do you want starting for you, Steve Rogers or Bill Lee? Rogers had by far the better lifetime era. Lee had a better winning record. Maybe Rogers just has bad luck or maybe his team mates didn't like his attitude. Me, I will take winning every time.

    I think we keep missing that far more important than who plays what position and how much experience they have or don't have ultimately how the Oilers perform as a team depends largely on how they feel about each other. In a team sport the dynamic social interactions are vital. They don't have to like each other, look at Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter and the Oakland As. In hockey it is simple, teams just have to be prepared to die for each other in pursuit of shared excellence.

    The Oilers dressing room was broken last year and in the end it ate them alive. If Quinn can change the culture he can work miracles. According to Matheson, and Hrudey (not to mention MacT) JDD's team mates like him and respect him for a great attitude and tremendous work ethic. In hockey intangibles matter so JDD might be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

  142. pboy says:

    If you guys want to take a look at some seriously fucked up companies, you don't have to look much further than the Oil Sands companies up North. I work with all 4 of the major companies up here in Ft. Mac and trust me when I say that each and every one of them make money in spite of themselves. Except CNRL of course, they are the world's largest money pit…..

  143. RiversQ says:

    Me, I will take winning every time.

    oh boy…

  144. Doogie2K says:

    Me, I will take winning every time.

    It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.

    Wins and losses for pitchers and goalie alike are too team-dependent be worth the paper they're printed on. Chris Osgood had a fantastic regular season W-L record despite awful numbers last year, while Mike Smith had an abysmal W-L record despite pretty solid numbers. I'll take the guy doing his job well over the guy whose teammates are getting him his results every time.

  145. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Linnaeus: Your god damn right. Nothing makes you want to sacrifice yourself more, than to know the other guy next to you will do the same for you.

    I have been part of 2 Season Champions team in Minor Hockey. Surprisingly we didn't go by the Quarter finals. Because most of the time, Clans we're made inside the team.

    I have won 2 tournaments, 1 League Playoff championship and 1 Regional Championship.

    All that with 2 teams ,500% or under.

    We won because we sacrificed ourselves, and played full tilt each time we played the ''Detroit'' or ''San Jose'' of our league.

    To accomplish that, you generally have:

    Balanced lines (So no one bitches on the other lines, and seperates the room)
    Players who know theyr role.
    And the last but not least, try to keep the roster as intact as possible. When the fugde is pudged, there's no real need to change.

  146. Jonathan Willis says:

    Doogie's got it.

    On an NHL team, there are 19 players on the ice every night; more if the backup goes in.

    To judge one player based on a record created by the efforts of 20 is absolute madness.

    Or is Henri Richard the greatest player in the history of the game?

  147. Jonathan Willis says:

    Did you know that prior to winning the cup, Mario Lemieux made the playoffs once in six seasons?

    Did he suddenly blossom into a brilliant leader and teammate in the seventh season? Or did his team just stink the first six?

  148. Icecastles says:

    linneaeus said…
    think we keep missing that far more important than who plays what position and how much experience they have or don't have ultimately how the Oilers perform as a team depends largely on how they feel about each other
    .

    Like you, linneaeus, I have spent years in positions where the bottom line of my job has been bringing talents together, nurturing them and trying to turn them into something where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You speak the absolute truth, but on this forum, there are voices you will just never ever convince of that.

    There are some people who would rather point to hard metrics that allow them to feel they understand something than to accept that the soft intangibles, such as leadership, motivation, cohesion and team dynamic are the things that bring the cold statistics to live and give them context. They are the people who will defend their positions with stats until they are blue in the face, knowing that there are enough statistics and perspectives on them that if a certain metric proves them wrong, there will always be another to prove them right.

    It's because I don't buy the stats as the be-all end-all of understanding a dynamic team game like hockey that I have faith in this group under Quinn, even though it is largely the same team as last year with the same holes.

    As to the goaltender's job, any goalie will tell you that 'keeping pucks out of the net' is about as adequate a description of the job as saying a forward's job is to "score goals". A goalie helps direct the play in his own zone and needs to be able to communicate with his teammates about where to be and how a play will develop – this is one area where Roli was outstanding.

    Also by his positioning and ability to read a play as it develops, he should be able to not only stop shots from going in, but prevents scoring chances from even developing, which is a much more involved task.

    As a famous goalie once quipped (I forget who) when a shooter said he'd beaten the goalie, but hit the post, "No, all I gave you was the post."

  149. bookie says:

    Multicausality (definition) – This perspective acknowledges that more than one variable can be the cause of an effect.

    Leadership, mix, coaching, luck, injuries, skill, fit, experience, etc….

    Some of these things have changed since last year, some have not.

  150. kris says:

    I'm sorry bookie, I'm a little more optimistic about the team than LT, MC79, BDHS, and others, but that's not much of a reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

    You seem to be saying that there are lots of factors that go into winning and maybe some of those factors have changed, even though we have all the same problems in the lineup. That's not even a wing and a prayer. It's just a prayer, and maybe even only a mumbled prayer at that. :)

    I think we miss the playoffs, but not by much. I suppose this is the Willis position.

    Future years depend on how well Cogs, Gagner, Gilbert, Grebs, and POS turn out, and we should get a great sense of that this year. Moreover, we'll get a sense of whether some of the lesser, younger guys can be full-time role players, e.g. Jacques, Pouliot, Smid, JDD (as a backup), etc.

    I'm optimistic we'll see good things from our young guys, but you never know with developing players, and quite frankly they're not quite as promising and pedigreed as some other teams' youngsters. (That's the problem of trying to rebuild without making 3-4 lottery picks over 3-4 seasons.)

    If too many of them stagnate, we're in trouble for a long time.

  151. linnaeus says:

    icecastles – I hear you. I understand I will never convince them. It isn't that I am opposed to the use of stats and I find some of the analysis posted here and at other sites fascinating. It is that like you life has taught me that human interactions and team dynamics are not simple abstractions.

    If I can't get people to work together, to struggle towards a common goal, whether I am coaching, playing goal, or working at my day job (I am never sure how to describe what I do, my business card says CEO, yes I am one of those evil fools, but it doesn't quite convey it, I spend most of my time recruiting and teaching) I fail.

    I refuse to reduce people to a metric. I have always had a soft spot for the underdogs, the people who have failed reperatedly but picked themselves up and tried again and again until ultimately they succeeded. Bottom line is I love gamers (the Bill Lees of the world).

    Gamers like Billy Smith or Chris Osgood may not have great stats or look spectacular but they win Stanley Cups. Yes, they do it playing in front of great teams. However, whether the other posters want to admit it or not, the team in front of them plays great in part because they are in net. It is a symbiotic relationship.

    I am alone, I'm sure, in thinking this team is just one metronomic personality, one catalyst away from greatness. The problems don't matter. All teams have problems. Great teams hack around their problems.

    All this team needs is a true believer to emerge from their ranks to lead them to greatness.

  152. hunter1909 says:

    Shortest book online(or anywhere) – Steve Tambellini's Year of Glory, Over a Year of Running the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club.

  153. hunter1909 says:

    'To add insult to injury, you have that clown Patrick LaForge spewing nonsense on a daily basis, including implied threats that the Oilers could move without a new arena.

    We've reached a new low for the Edmonton Oilers organization. It's quite sad, actually.'

    Best Oilers quote of the decade.

  154. kris says:

    For examples of smart people with tons of education, prestige, and experience doing insane, irresponsible, stupid things look no further than the Enron scandal.

    From what I can tell, no matter how weirdthe Enron guys seemed to behave, no matter how risky the moves they made seemed, no one would criticize them, because they were the experts, the geniuses, the "smartest guys in the room." (To quote the title of the book and movie about Enron.)

    So yeah, I wouldn't give Tambelinni, Lowe or anyone else any benefit of the doubt for expertise, etc.

  155. RiversQ says:

    Besides the slightly crazy sales pitch for an MBA program, I found this particularly interesting:

    Also by his positioning and ability to read a play as it develops, he should be able to not only stop shots from going in, but prevents scoring chances from even developing, which is a much more involved task.

    I'd love to hear how this works.

  156. RiversQ says:

    All this team needs is a true believer to emerge from their ranks to lead them to greatness.

    Who could argue with this?

    Even I must admit this team is just one Jesus Christ away from the Cup. Maybe even two Cups. In a row.

  157. speeds says:

    Kris wrote:

    It's possible the Oil are thinking like this:

    "If we sign a 3C, we still aren't very good. We're better, but we still don't have a chance of winning crap all.

    So, maybe it's better to give a young guy a shot. Keep more of our youngsters, see if 1-3 emerge as good players."

    If so, what is wrong with that strategy?

    How does that strategy coalesce with the signing of Khabibulin?

  158. kris says:

    Rivers:

    1.) I think he's talking about rebound control, and how bad rebounds create chances. Thus good goalies limit chances.

    Or maybe he's talking about the mythical goalie stance that can actually stun any opposing player who happens to look at it. The 'hypnostance' they call it. Pelle Lindbergh could do it. Some theories suggest he did it to himself while looking in his rearview mirror, thus causing the car accident that killed him. (Please forgive this tasteless joke, but Lindbergh has been gone a long time now.)

    2.) Jesus comment = Pure Gold

  159. kris says:

    Speeds,

    Fair point.

    But I did say they've made mistakes. The Khabibulin signing and other overpays are the worst mistakes, IMO. The only way to fix this is to drop salary where possible: Staios, Moreau, Nilsson play no better than 700,000 players. So swap those three for 700,000 guys and you save 4.6MM in cap space.

    Pay Pisani less and save another 1MM.

    Use that 5.6 MM to give Gagner a raise.

    It's also going to be necessary to move out one of POS, Cogliano, or Grebeshkov, once Cogs needs a raise. Unless you move Souray for something cheaper, which might be wise if Grebs and Gilbert continue to improve.

    Long term, the rebuild is working as this team is getting better through the draft. It's just taking a long time because we're only spending half our efforts on developing, the other half on being minimally competitive. (Again, that's necessary, because Edmonton fans have shown they won't come to games if the team sucks badly enough for long enough.)

  160. kris says:

    I mean use the money to give Gagner a raise and upgrade the lineup.

  161. Coach pb9617 says:

    I guess the drugs aren't working anymore.

    The Oilers management can be judged by their performance and their decision map that got them to that point. The results are poor and the way they got there is highly inconsistent. Call them savants if you want.

    oh boy…

    Besides the slightly crazy sales pitch for an MBA program,

    Who could argue with this?

    Even I must admit this team is just one Jesus Christ away from the Cup. Maybe even two Cups. In a row.

    This has to be said:

    The world needs more RiversQ.

  162. Coach pb9617 says:

    Lee had a better winning record. Maybe Rogers just has bad luck or maybe his team mates didn't like his attitude. Me, I will take winning every time.

    Me? I'll take Jim Deshaies over Nolan Ryan every time.

    Results-oriented thinking kills puppies.

  163. speeds says:

    kris:

    doesn't how recently they signed Khabi tell us it's more likely that what you describe isn't their plan?

    I'd be more willing to believe you with respect to that plan if EDM traded Moreau and Staios away, and went with Dubnyk and Deslauriers in net.

  164. RiversQ says:

    The world needs more RiversQ.

    I keep telling people this but it never gets taken seriously.

    Anyway since that rundown already establishes that I'm kind of a jerk, I'll continue. I find it funny that we had several posts in this thread trashing the management of major companies, followed by a handful of posts that sounded just like mission statements. I love mission statements. Nothing says an organization is out of touch with reality like a really vague bloated mission statement.

  165. Coach pb9617 says:

    I keep telling people this but it never gets taken seriously.

    I would vote for you for something.

    Anyway since that rundown already establishes that I'm kind of a jerk, I'll continue.

    You say jerk, I say realist.

    I find it funny that we had several posts in this thread trashing the management of major companies, followed by a handful of posts that sounded just like mission statements. I love mission statements. Nothing says an organization is out of touch with reality like a really vague bloated mission statement.

    Touchy-feely strikes a chord with people.

  166. Rick says:

    What, one funky preseason game against Calgary and everyone hates Khabibulin?

    The guy's a warrior. I have zero worries, well at least through year two of his contract.

    If JDD plays over 25 games this year, I'll be shocked.

    And as for the cap issue next year, let's worry about that next year.

    Regardless, I doubt they'll keep both Grebeshkov and Gilbert (with Vish and Souray) at high numbers, so this season could tell a lot about who to keep.

    Besides, Pisani & Comrie are UFA's and besides Grebs, Cogs and Gagner, we only have AHL guys to re-sign as RFA's. There will be some cap room.

  167. kris says:

    Speeds:

    Here's the thing. The plan isn't just to rebuild. It's to rebuild and be competitive at the same time.

    I get it. It's a crappy plan, which is bound to result in a lot of pain, and from a hockey point of view, it's wholly irrational. Nonetheless, it's the only plan they could go in for.

    A real, Pittsburgh style rebuild wouldn't work in this town. Fans would stop going to games. (Don't foget this has happened in the past.) Remember the angst over Smyth leaving town. Imagine if they'd shipped the other vets out too and we'd gone 3 seasons playing like the Islanders. Seats go empty. Then, pretty soon people start saying hockey doesn't work in Edmonton. Too small market, too cold for NHL'ers, too little money for high ticket prices, etc. (They were saying all of this in the very recent past.)

    Now, they could've also tried to quickly rebuild, which I think was Lowe's initial plan until he realized he didn't have the assets to even manage a half-assed rebuild of the defence. Remember, he tried for months and months. Sending out Smyth signalled that we couldn't quickly rebuild the team, post Pronger, and we'd have to do it through the draft and through trades over years. (The annual, white whale, UFA hunt is an attempt to try a quick rebuild too.)

    However, we would have to rebuild while we also tried to stay competitive each season, which is nuts. But that's a fact of life for this team.

    Oddly, the team is getting better each year, which makes some of the anger here misplaced.

    Of course, we're still not good enough to make the playoffs this year without some luck, but 2010-11 should be a different story, especially if they can dump some salary over the next year.

    My two cents anyway. I'll shut up now.

  168. RiversQ says:

    I think the Oilers could make the playoffs as they stand right now, but it would take a few things to go right. Gagner and Cogs as difference makers, Khabibulin bucks his decline phase or at least puts it off for another year, and they get status quo out of the rest of the roster. It's not impossible.

    What gets me depressed is thinking about how and when thus org becomes a Stanley contender? How can you be so inefficient and have a chance at the cup?

  169. Doogie2K says:

    As a famous goalie once quipped (I forget who) when a shooter said he'd beaten the goalie, but hit the post, "No, all I gave you was the post."

    Sounds like Patrick Roy.

    Me? I'll take Jim Deshaies over Nolan Ryan every time.

    Results-oriented thinking kills puppies.

    Jesus Christ. I've heard of saving your pitcher's bacon with a little run support but that's ridiculous.

  170. HBomb says:

    Ricky 'inconsistent' Ray with another sub-par performance.

    6-6 record so far. Maas couldn't be much worse than that.

    Fact: Maas would be at best even, if not worse, than 6-6.

    If you think Ray was the reason that the Esks lost today, you need to get a clue – how is it his fault that Whitlock was completely ineffective outside of one 55-yard run, or that his receiving corps once again had a case of butterfingers that resulted in six dropped passes? Translation: Ray wasn't the reason the Esks lost this weekend's football game.

    Ricky Ray is about as much a problem with the Esks as Shawn Horcoff is a problem with the Oilers. In other words, way, WAY down the list of issues that need addressing.

    I'll give you this much though – you're loyal to the backup QB to a fault. I think the "Maas is better than Ray" club can hold their weekly meetings in a phone booth nowadays, there's so few people left trumpeting that lost cause. And rightfully so….

  171. spOILer says:

    THE PLAN!!!

    (how to give porridge some semblance of balance)

    Trade: Moreau, Staios, Pisani to SJS for Marleau. Throw in a 2nd if you have to.

    Reasoning: Sharks need bodies bad but can only spend about half million on cap space for each one to have a full roster at the end of camp. They're going to be running at the shinny bauble, so could use some vet players with leadership and SCF experience. Depth and a decent developer. Marleau's goals are more than replaced with this trio. Marleau is UFA after this year. SJS would not be locked into the vets beyond their window.

    Trade: Nilsson to whoever for a 2nd & 5th. Use a pick to obtain the rights to Babchuk from CAR.

    Reasoning: CAR isn't signing him it seems. Now he does have an unsustainable shooting percentage, but other than that his numbers aren't bad, good enough for the 4 hole, and he does have a great shot, excellent size and reach, decent mobility. He's the rare RH shot. Doesn't hit enough.

    Trade: Vishnovsky for Hejda/Tyutin

    Reasoning: CBJ wants a good offensive defenseman to run their PP and EV offenses without bleeding back. Lubo has world class talent so I'd offer whichever they would prefer to give up. I'm betting it's the older guy. They want more than just a straight PP guy or MAB would be there already.

    Sign: Manny Fernandez to a 1.5M x 1 deal. Sign Babchuk to a 2.5M x 1 deal.

    Waive: Brule Schremp for cap reasons. Waive or trade Delauriers.

    New balance in order of toughest minutes:

    COMR MARL HEMS
    PENN HORC OSUL
    JACQ COGS GAGN
    STON REDD STOR
    MACI
    POUL

    GREB SOUR
    HEJD GILB
    SMID BABC
    STRU

    KHAB
    FERN

    Flip Penner and Comrie if you prefer, maybe depending on the match up.

    Will Penner, Horc, and PaddyO be better at 2nd toughest than Moreau, Cogliano, Pisani? I gotta think so.

    Cogs and Gagn gain a gorilla with some skill, who also gets to benefit from cake minutes. They ought to have more room with JFJ out there, win a few board battles.

    Brule etc are still available for injuries–if they make it down through waivers, they should make it back up through waivers.

    For now at 4C Reddox is cheaper, seems smarter, and has a wider range of ability. If the Oil can't make a deal, he's most likely to be 4c just because of his 300k less cap hit.

    These moves translate into an extra 10M off the cap in only one year as opposed to taking 3 years to divest the same hit. That leaves plenty of space to pay the RFAs next summer, be a shaker in the value FA market next year, think about re-signing Marleau, etc.

    And this is a better shot at a playoff team, with balance, an improved PK, more size where it counts, and the ability to out-match.

    Just saying that I don't think we necessarily need to be eating porridge for breakfast. I think bacon and eggs is definitely do-able. But it seems to be beyond the abilities of the kitchen at this time.

  172. NBOilerFan says:

    bookie said…
    He actually said he wanted to see if he could get more compete, grit, and toughness out of the guys in the room!!!! How is that so hard to understand?

    I do agree with you here, Bookie. I think many here, me included, thought that Tambellini meant in his MacT firing press conference that we need to get bigger and grittier and harder to play against, that it meant trades were forthcoming in the off-season.

    But the reality is that he said the following;

    1) We need to address some of our personal (players)

    2) We need more strength and grit.

    3) Do we have what we need inside the organization?

    4) There needs to be changes from the leadership group in the dressing room.

    5) Its important that we take our time right now

    Putting those all together I think Tambellini has actually stuck to his game plan from back then with the emphasis being on item #5.

    I think he planned all along to basically wait till training camp to see what players listened and bought into the message they received by (1) seeing how they addressed their off season fitness levels and conditioning and how good of shape they are at and how they prepare for games at camp, do the things needed to be better for each and every game – item #4, and (2) evaluate if they can address items #3 and #2 in training camp along with a new coaching staff and fresh opinions.

    They very well make take a bunch of games in the regular season as well to continue that evaluation (item #1), but I would be shocked if we didn’t see any changes between now and Dec 1st.

  173. bookie says:

    NBO- Thanks, I was beginning to think I was crazy. Its not even so much about what should or should not be done, but rather that Tambi has a plan and that he really has not deviated that much.

    I think its totally legit to say – 'that plan sucks' – but its not legit to say the man failed to deliver on what he promised, etc…

    By the way, after clarification, its clear that LT is saying 'that plan sucks and it is the same plan the Lowe has used for years' which is a logic I can respect.

  174. flamingpavelbure says:

    Can't believe the urge of you guys throwing away a ,5 PPG guy in Nilsson. He's the most hated player, and even if he DID step up in TC, in shape, showed great things, you still bash on him!

    WHY?!

    Spoiler: Flaw in your plan.

    Babchuk signed in Russia. He accepted a deal with the OMSK avangard in the KHL.

    As for 1.5 MIllions per season

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/chroniques/282801.html

    (It's in french)

  175. PunjabiOil says:

    Fact: Maas would be at best even, if not worse, than 6-6.

    That's not a fact, that's a unsupported opinion.

    Here's a fact: In every game the Eskimos have lost, Ricky Ray has been sub-par (@ Montreal, vs. BC, @ Hamilton, @Calgary, Vs. Calgary, Vs. Saskatchewan).

    The poster boy of inconsistency.


    If you think Ray was the reason that the Esks lost today, you need to get a clue

    15-29 passing.

    Let's face the facts. The Esks put up 20 points yesterday. 7 of them were from the defence. Whitlock's run should solely be attributed to him, leaving 6 points that Ricky Ray put up yesterday. It's quite sad, actually.

    Gone now is the excuse that the offensive co-ordinator is to blame. With a more dynamic offense, execution is now an issue. With Ray's slow release time, and weak arm strength, the longer routes are being missed left and right. We saw that yesterday.


    - how is it his fault that Whitlock was completely ineffective outside of one 55-yard run, or that his receiving corps once again had a case of butterfingers that resulted in six dropped passes? Translation: Ray wasn't the reason the Esks lost this weekend's football game
    .

    Wes Cates was just as ineffective, but Darian Durant got the job done and put up points. Darian Durant OUTPLAYED Ricky Ray.

    I agree there were a few drops, but when you QB1 only puts up 6 points, at some points you have to stop giving him the benefit of doubt.


    Ricky Ray is about as much a problem with the Esks as Shawn Horcoff is a problem with the Oilers. In other words, way, WAY down the list of issues that need addressing.

    You are inadvertently acknowleding that at least to some extent, Ricky Ray is an issue.


    I'll give you this much though – you're loyal to the backup QB to a fault. I think the "Maas is better than Ray" club can hold their weekly meetings in a phone booth nowadays, there's so few people left trumpeting that lost cause. And rightfully so….
    .

    What an absurd sentiment.

    Ricky Ray apologists fail to realize that he's not the same QB before his NFL try-out (in which he couldn't even make the team as a 3rd stringer). 3rd, 4th, 4th, and 4th place finishes in the Western division over the past 4 years. It's not questionable, but rather a fact that Ricky Ray's performance has to at least some extent, contributed to the Eskimos woes.

  176. HBomb says:

    PJO – Durant and his three interceptions outplayed Ray? You really should stick to talking about hockey.

    15-29 passing with half a dozen simple drops. The receivers do their job, and guess what? Ray's in the usual 70% completion range.

    It's like this – if Ray's not stellar and only "OK", if he was today (call it subpar if you want, but the fact is that the guy is elite and has set a high bar for himself), the Esks never win. Only if he's stellar do they get the W. When is the time going to come that this team gets a performance from other players that helps Ray out on a day when he's not unconscious at QB?

    Plain and simple, quarterback is not what ails the Edmonton Eskimos right now. The only absurd statement is somehow claiming that putting in Maas for him would help. Some things never change, and it's quite sad actually.

  177. Jonathan Willis says:

    Going back to the insane goaltenders union:

    Tampa Bay won a cup, by your reasoning in large part because he was in net (although, during the cup run, Khabibulin had great numbers).

    Why couldn't he win in Chicago?

    I'd say it was because the team sucked, but that doesn't jive with your logic, because winners win, right?

  178. Jonathan Willis says:

    Rick:

    That's right. It was the one preseason game, and prior to that we were all enthusiastic about the Khabibulin signing.

  179. PunjabiOil says:

    PJO – Durant and his three interceptions outplayed Ray? You really should stick to talking about hockey.

    He wasn't much better, but he did finish his drives. Having outplayed Ray is indicative of Ray's performance more than the success of Durant's.


    15-29 passing with half a dozen simple drops. The receivers do their job, and guess what? Ray's in the usual 70% completion range
    .

    Many of those 'drops' were poorly thrown balls.

    In any event, you field a new excuse after every one of his poor performances.


    It's like this – if Ray's not stellar and only "OK", if he was today (call it subpar if you want, but the fact is that the guy is elite and has set a high bar for himself), the Esks never win.

    In a 8 team league, being 3rd or 4th best, elite is a push.

    The only absurd statement is somehow claiming that putting in Maas for him would help.

    In 2004, Maas's offence put up ~100 more points than Ray did in 2003.

    In 2005, it was Maas who cleaned up Ray's mess [Ray was pulled 3 consecutive weeks leading up to the Grey Cup game].

    Maas has looked good in his limited playing time lately. To suggest that's its clear cut that Maas couldn't perform better than an underachieving .500 QB1 is absurd.


    it's quite sad actually
    .

    Bonus points for originality.

  180. oil dude says:

    LT: I understand your testiness with the oilers prolonged inactivity with regards to holes. But I read this a little differently.

    Tambellini was brought in after the roster was set last year, and his only major action this year was to put "his guys" in charge of coaching the team. The new coaches represent a philosophy change from MacT and I don't think he wanted to make tinker to much before his guys could evaluate the team. Now that Tambo is getting evaluations that he trusts I believe the holes that weren't filled internally will be filled via trades, hence the Nashville rumblings.
    Your trade watch may not last much longer LT. Having said that if we are sitting here next year after missing the playoffs again with obvious holes then I will change my stance.

  181. IceDragoon says:

    Black Dog: … Icedragoon… she is connected…

    Only when they attach the electrodes, my dear.
    ;-)

    Connected?

    Somewhat. Tho, I expect to lose some connections to retirement in the near future. I'm old you know. ;-)

    Plugged in?

    Nope.

    That said, I do know that David Staples pretty much nailed it. Lowe did not sacrifice clout when he stepped up from the GM grind.

    Oh, and…

    Whatever bookie thinks about the Tambellini, MacTavish relationship… think the opposite. You'll be much closer to reality.
    ;-D

    L8r
    Louise

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