"Some Guys Are Separating Themselves"

I suggest hanging around the Oilers website at least once a day for the next 7 days. Pat Quinn is leaving some “copper and blue clues” all over the place and really gave us some good information today.

I’m not certain what he means with regard to “veterans” but whoever they are they’re in a bit of trouble. He could be talking about Fernando Pisani and Ethan Moreau, but he could also be talking about Marc Pouliot and Robert Nilsson.

When he uses the word “veterans” I’d really like to know specifically the group he is identifying. It’s important.

Quinn said today that “some guys are separating themselves” and we can probably make a list of forwards who are doing just that (O’Sullivan, Comrie, Stone, Horcoff) in a good way. We can also make a list of men who are not impressing by estimates from certain quarters (Pouliot, Nilsson, Hemsky, Moreau).

The key comes in the dividing line between “tolerable slow starts” and the point at which it is an issue. We’ll find out this week, but it looks to me like the names Marc Pouliot, Robert Nilsson and Fernando Pisani (apparently he tweaked a groin today) are about to test the exact meaning of the word “tolerable” with Pat Quinn and the coaching staff.

The money quote from the head coach today was this one:

  • “We have contract issues, a lot of things come into play when it comes to decision time and obviously I think there will be a point as we thin down that the veterans will have to be confronted with their performance. Some of them are way off.”

I would give money to know the names of the veterans in the “way off” category and am more convinced than ever that some of those waiver eligible forwards are about to find out if another NHL team wants them.

The next logical question becomes: are there any waiver-wire forwards in other towns who can address need in Edmonton?

Curiouser and curiouser.

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78 Responses to ""Some Guys Are Separating Themselves""

  1. Scott says:

    I love that Quinn actually gives some insight. It was something I had worried about when MacT left (I never followed the Leafs close enough to listen to post game pressers).

    If I were a Calgary journalist, I'd be waiting to stick a knife in D Sutter's back whenever he leaves. The guy's a terrible interview and his brother's not much better.

  2. jdrevenge says:

    Dustin Penner? Didnt really see him do much in the last few games. Had a lazy play in the Saskatoon game that reminded me of last year. I really hope this guy can turn it around.

    I'm glad he's not giving anybody freebies.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Well there are probably 9 or 10 slots up front that are absolutely going to Horcoff, Penner, Hemsky, Gagner, Cogliano, O'Sullivan, Comrie, Pisani, Moreau and Stortini.

    It's the final 4 up front that we're waiting on. I believe the jobs will go to Pouliot, Jacques, Stone and Nilsson.

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Remember. Quinn was responding to specifc questions from those hard-hitting media guys.
    They've all agreed that the failing veterans are the big story at camp.
    [along with pointless Eberle being the best player!]

    Quinn has said positive things about Pouliot.
    So I'm not sure he's on the alleged shit list.
    Hell, even Matheson, no Pouliot fan, admitted Pouliot's ahead of Brule at this point.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    Like I'm saying Pisani is more and more like 2006 playoff Rem Murray – hanging around "because" more than on performance.

    Pisani back on IR lol, frees up a roster spot for a youngster. And before everyone jumps down my gob, I'm sure he's quite happy sitting at home counting his guaranteed millions.

    Which is the fucking problem for the past how many years…too many "because" players and not enough performing ones.

    Quinn is about to boot some cushy "veteran" into hyperspace from the sound of it.

  6. Smarmy Boss says:

    Wait Dustin Penner played on Sunday? I didn't see him. That game was even worse then I thought…

  7. Lowetide says:

    When Pisani is healthy (and that hasn't been often I know) there aren't many Oilers who are better. I wanted them to acquire a backup plan this summer but that doesn't mean he is without value.

    Plus, where did you get that Pisani is on the IR? Is this something you read or did you jump from "tweaked a groin" to "injured reserve" without stopping?

  8. bookie says:

    Quinn also had some positive things to say about Brennan which suggests to me (again) that Smac may well be on his way to the AHL or ECHL again…

  9. bookie says:

    I think that some of Quinn's comments relate to a differnt concern on this team – 'entitled vetrans'. Some of the comfortable guys presume that the pecking order is from the oldest to the youngest. They are going to get reminded that in the NHL its production that counts. I bet Crosby gets to sit in the best seat on the plane!

  10. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Yeah, he wants some big men here who can play. That is probably good news for one or more of Jacques, Stone and Brennan. Stone isn't big but does play a rambunctious style.

  11. Yeti says:

    Given that JFJ is playing with Horc and Hemmer tomorrow night, seems like he is being given every opportunity to claim a place.

  12. Grog says:

    Any word on the extent to Pisani? Considering that what this team lacks are reliable NHL forwards/penalty killers, that he's getting some of the biggest criticism is unbelievable. I think that he could get a little nastier (along with 90% of this team), but Pisani can play and I hope that Quinn comes to realize that sooner rather than later.

  13. Lowetide says:

    I think Quinn may have benched Pisani in the first game because of a turnover in the first game. Pisani played better in the second game and one would expect all is well but the name is out there now so we keep repeating it and there you go.

    Barring injury, Fernando Pisani is one of the things the Oilers shouldn't worry over imo.

  14. PunjabiOil says:

    I'd say it's more bluff than anything.

    I can't see Moreau/Pisani/Penner being sent to the minors unless there is a trade lined up.

    The only possible players with one way contracts or have to clear waivers include Nilsson, Brule, and Jacques. In other words, hardly big losses in the grand scheme of things.

  15. NBOilerFan says:

    "Barring injury, Fernando Pisani is one of the things the Oilers shouldn't worry over imo."

    I'll second that.

  16. bookie says:

    Quinn forgot his Onion today, that interview sounded a lot like he knew a lot about this team and had seen a lot of tape…

  17. Asiaoil says:

    Ruthless and obviously unrealistic for this team – you put Nilsson, Moreau and Staios on waivers and then pull them back up if nobody bites. At best you lose both contract years, less good is you lose 50% or end up keeping them – but either way the sense of "entitlement" is gone. All 3 have 2 years left on their deals and we should have worked hard this summer to off-load at least 1 or 2 of these guys. If we lose a young guy who goes on to play well elsewhere because of this – we ll it's just more evidence that this mgmt team are dim and dimmer – and it's not getting any better next year capwise.

  18. flamingpavelbure says:

    I love how you guys are ready to throw Nilsson the the Sharks after getting a bad Sophomore season, (A Syndrome in the NHL). But in the first year it was all perfect.

    Bandwagon !

  19. bookie says:

    I am glad we kept Nilsson through the summer, I want to see him through the season.

    I think a lot of guys here long felt that Nilsson has problems…

  20. Lowetide says:

    No one wants to throw Nilsson under the bus, but the numbers tell us someone is leaving. Why do you keep talking about this as though we're flogging Nilsson?

    He's gifted and inconsistent. Not exactly unique on this roster and thus the reasons we're contemplating his future.

  21. oilersinsider says:

    There is a very good possibility that if certain players are waived, that teams just can't make a move to claim them. Tambellini said it today and another reporter from Columbus confirmed how difficult it's been for GM's to move anyone out of sheer fear of the salary cap and getting stuck.

    Even if you claim a player like Staois, Moreau, Nilsson or Pisani on waivers you pick up more salary than you likely want if your a number of teams in the NHL right now. There are some far better players still on the UFA market at a cheaper rate.

    It makes sense for the Oilers to consider it if they need to send a message. The risk of losing some of these guys is small considering other teams have similar decisions with their own rosters to make.

  22. Peter says:

    Asia – I totally agree. I've been quietly praying for Staios and Moreau to be dealt – sooner rather than later. They don't deserve the boot, cuz they're good team guys that have served well, but the fact is that they can't contribute much to a rebuilding squad. They'd have more value on a playoff contender that needs experienced, gritty guys.

    I've been hoping guys like Nilsson and Brule would give a little extra this TC, but from the sound of it, that isn't happening. Brule is still young (22), and I think he can learn to play a more complete game, plus he's fairly cheap. I'd give Nilsson the boot. He's 24, makes 2M, and he's had several chances. With Comrie, O'Sullivan, Gagner and Cogliano, I don't think we need the inconsistent scoring depth he provides.

  23. Coach pb9617 says:

    I hate to admit this, but Vic was right. Signal has been lost. Noise rules.

  24. Lowetide says:

    I actually was surprised Schremp didn't make tomorrow night's game.

  25. kinger says:

    I think Comrie is too old for this team, let's deal him too.

  26. Schitzo says:

    Which is the fucking problem for the past how many years…too many "because" players and not enough performing ones.

    Yes, god knows that what this team needs to do is flush vets and bring up some kids whose hearts are in the right place.

  27. HBomb says:

    Not to thread hijack, but further to the earlier "travel" discussion, this is what I am looking at potentially getting in on.

    Seems like a good sampling of what Europe has to offer, no?

  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    HBomb – less Italy, more Croatia.

  29. Lowetide says:

    If I got packaged out my first choice would be to pick an MLB team and follow them through the playoffs. I could blog about my drinking in the stands and discuss the Jim Fregosi trade and why it killed the Mets.

  30. mc79hockey says:

    Funny thing – I'm off to Croatia to hang out on a boat in four weeks. I'll post the odd picture at my site. So much the funnier if winter comes early to Edmonton.


  31. Doogie2K says:

    Plus, where did you get that Pisani is on the IR? Is this something you read or did you jump from "tweaked a groin" to "injured reserve" without stopping?

    To be fair, we've been talking for days about convenient injuries giving Eberle another nine games with the Oilers for some reason. I can see the logical leap there, even if it's about a week early.

  32. Coach pb9617 says:

    Funny thing – I'm off to Croatia to hang out on a boat in four weeks.

    Fishing boat, eh? Good for you, hard work is good for the soul.

  33. godot10 says:

    //I actually was surprised Schremp didn't make tomorrow night's game.//

    It's Calgary. Quinn wants to win.

  34. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: a baseball trip is an interesting but expensive idea.

    That being said, I'm doing a weekend in Boston to see Fenway park either in 2010 or 2011. Places I've been told to watch a ballgame include there, Wrigley Field, and Safeco Field in Seattle.

  35. Lord Bob says:

    Fenway Park, and to a lesser extent Wrigley Field, are genuinely and truly awful places to watch a baseball game in every sense except "ooh, history of a big-market team."

    Safeco is legitimately magnificent, though.

  36. Gord says:

    Don't listen to them HBomb…

    Go hot & humid – jungle – Guatemala or Indonesia. Inexpensive, swimming in streams, fishing, good looking babes, etc…

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

    i think quinn should make his picks soon and start running lines. i'd be surprised if we got someone now. they're probably done til the trade deadline.

  38. Hockey Noob says:

    Lord Bob,

    I doubt you will actually believe me, but this is no lie… I had a business acquaintance in the US whose last name was Parks. He named his son, Fenway. The kid is supposed to be a decent baseball player too.

  39. B.C.B. says:

    HBomb: I used to live in Italy, and personally couldn't get enough of it. But the best parts aren't on it: the small town, especially in Tuscany (but I do love Roma, I'd move there in a nano-second). Venice sucks, and so does Floraence, IMO. Munich is kinda crappy too, but Berlin is great. Just go and hang out places, if you don't like it keep moving. Tours are restricting, and there are beautiful girls every where (or try a hostel, that is the same as the tours).

    Oh, hockey, I am betting both Nilsson and Stone make the team.

  40. pboy says:

    Fenway is not an awful place to watch a game. The bleacher seats are unbelievably small, the concourse is ancient, bathrooms are old and the Fenway Franks are the worst hot dogs I've ever eaten but Fenway is an amazing place to see a ball game. First of all, the fans are actually there to watch a ball game, they aren't a bunch of corporate suits who show up in the 4th inning and leave in the 8th. They have done massive reno's to the place, so as long as you are sitting somewhere besides the bleachers, the seats are much more modern and comfortable. The experience outside of the stadium before and after the game is as much a part of the experience as the game itself. Lastly, there is a great bar right inside Fenway where the beer is cold, the wings are cheap and all of the waitresses have perfect New England accents. Blasphemy Lord Bob, blasphemy.

  41. HBomb says:

    Anyone have any thoughts on a) Thailand or b) Australia?

    I'm taking any and all travel recommendations here. I haven't been anywhere outside of Canada since 1992 (since September 2000 it's either been engineering classes or engineering job – this is my first substantial amount of time off since the two months between high school and college).

  42. Black Dog says:

    Well, you can read anything you want into these comments, imo.

    Maybe he's just telling the vets its time to get going.

    Who are the vets? If Nilsson and Pouliot are, then is not Gagner? Haven't heard a lot good from him so far and Quinn was directly critical of a play he made in one game, iirc.

    Obviously he isn't going anywhere but Quinn may be sending a message to him. And Hemsky hasn't done much either. Grebeshkov too.

    One thing in the interview I listened to was a comment he made about guys being only interested in offence. So not sure who that was referring to.

    Hard to say. The other day Matheson started the whole Pisani thing and then in the same article quoted Quinn as saying that Fernando needn't lose any sleep.

    I guess we'll see but I think Quinn is just serving notice to the club that they ahd better start getting ready and now.

    Ty – you have a good trip now, nothing to worry about

    Actually, can I have your keys? I'm going to tell the wife i have to feed your cats and that you live in Oakville.

    Nap time, God I need it.

  43. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT, did you listen to the end of that Quinn interview, when he was talking about Eberle? He praised how he was a small guy willing to go into areas to win the puck, while some other veterans aren't.

    To me, that sounds like Hemsky, Nilsson, Gagner and maybe Pouliot. Only two of those guys are in danger of losing a job.

  44. Jonathan Willis says:

    And I see Pat and I are on the same page.

  45. Jonathan Willis says:

    Somebody should put up some Travis Green press clippings in the locker room.

  46. Hockey Noob says:

    JW, I can see Hemsky and Quinn having some issues down the road, though I doubt that we will hear much about it.

    Does anyone have a link for the Oilers lines tomorrow?

  47. Woodguy says:

    Was at Chase Field in Phoenix earlier this year when it was cool enough to have the roof/walls open.

    What a great place to watch a ball game. I hear its not quite as good when the roof/walls are closed due to heat.

    Ballpark at Arlington was good too (was one of the 1st retro old timey parks, others have surpased it)

    Camden yards in Baltimore is a treat.

    Was at the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis, haven't been to the new one, but hear its great the cream of the crop now.

    Go to Wrigley for an afternoon game in the summer, but LT is right its old and somewhat cramped. Chicago is a great town though, stay near on/near the magnificent mile and tour for 3-4 days if you've never been.

  48. Hockey Noob says:

    Sorry, it's already on the Oilers site–I didn't see it earlier.


  49. flamingpavelbure says:

    Fenway Park? A bad place to go watch a game? The Park is full, and the view is nice from all sides of the park due to the limited size. Plus you can't beat the crowd, everyone's in the game and everyone's nice to each other. Everyone in the row just shared the peanuts. I absolutely loved it as a baseball fan. A contrast from the Cavern (Olympic Stadium), (It had it's charms tough), i was used to .

  50. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: Well if Pouliot's job is in trouble I hope to God Brule's a better player than he's showing.

    As for the Eberle comments, they have to send him down. Adding ANOTHER imp is batshit crazy.

  51. flamingpavelbure says:

    Jordan Eberle: 0G 0P 0P -1

    In 3 games while being on top lines… I know it's dicey but god, he was on top lines agaisnt scrubs.

    Send Him Down! He's not ready !

  52. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: You know that when the Pouliot club finally shuts down, I'll help you stack the chairs and turn the lights out. He shouldn't be in danger – certainly not from Brule – but the Quinn quotes point to things that have been issues with him and he's always come across – particularly in the Carbonneau quote – as a guy who doesn't really care for a defensive role.

    And I think Eberle's getting sent down. Tambellini said "it's not a race, he's going to have a long career" and I think that's the Oilers' mindset.

  53. devin says:

    Hbomb – Thailand is amazing, cheap, great food, hot girls, even Thais are looking to hook up and party (just make sure they are really female and not "working" unless that's your thing). It can be a grind, though, if you are out in the boonies for awhile.

    Australia is extremely guy friendly. The chicks know how to take care of themselves and are used to a really aggressive approach. Don't be Canadian and say "sorry" too much, and you'll be fine ;-)
    If you like the hot, friendly, party atmosphere you'll probably never come home.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: Who do you think will play center?

  55. Jonathan Willis says:



    is my guess.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: We agree on all 4.

  57. Black Dog says:

    I haven't seen much of the games but Quinn said Pouliot and Eberle were the two best players one game (Friday?) and I'm pretty sure he had good things to say about him at least one, maybe two other times?

    I think he's safe.

    I don't think Quinn and Hemsky will have issues. Some of the shit Quinn let his vets get away with in Toronto makes Ales' penchant for giveaways pale in comparison.

    I can't see how, unless Brule suddenly is terrific this last week, that they can keep him and keep faith with the team. The whole idea is to put the best club together. If you have a guy who has not done a thing, really, and keep him over someone who has had success in the NHL (Nilsson) or in the minors (Pouliot/Jacques) or who has had a better camp (Stone and pretty well everyone else) then what are you telling the team.

    Playing politics will undercut your credibility pretty quickly.

  58. Black Dog says:

    Sorry when I say Quinn had nice things to say about him I am referring to Pouliot.

  59. Jonathan Willis says:

    BDHS: Now that you mention it, that does ring a bell.

    I hope so; Pouliot looked fine to me and has an under-represented skillset on this team.

  60. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I only saw Staios for one preseason game, but that was enough to show that he belonged in the "Way Off" group.

    Chorney or even Arsene may be able to step in to his role for a fraction of the $$. Not sure how either is on the PK though? Arsene looks like he could replace the Staios grit and looked to play a less chaotic style.

    Pisani looked ok in Saskatoon by the way.

  61. Coach pb9617 says:

    Jonathan Willis said…



    is my guess.
    9:38 PM, September 22, 2009
    Lowetide said…

    Jonathan: We agree on all 4.

    Can I post my "Aw jeez, not this shit again!" guy?

  62. Gord says:

    I'm taking any and all travel recommendations here. I haven't been anywhere outside of Canada since 1992


    All of us can tell you where to travel based upon our preferences – the trick is for you to figure out your vacation of a lifetime.

    If there is some way to continue this discussion off of a public forum, I'll explain how you can figure it out – plus how to ensure you can get local tour guides at no cost…

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

    hbomb- also…thailand is full of swedish girls on vacation. they know hockey. they're swedish. they love canada.

  64. Jonathan Willis says:


    You know I want a third-line centre on this team as much as you do.

  65. Coach pb9617 says:

    JW – It's not directed at you two. It's directed at the franchise.

    And it's a second minutes center we're looking for here, not a third line center.

  66. Jfry says:

    I've spent lots of time in thailand. Get out of bangkok and go to an island like koh tao where you eat fresh barricuda bbqd on the beach and scooter around all day looking for hidden beaches. Beautiful tourists everywhere with many expats from all over opening restaurants. You can be in the middle of nowhere and go to a swiss bakery in the morning, italian at night etc. I prefer thai food, but sometimes you need options.

    Thailand caters to tourists and its pretty special. Vietnam is less touristy, but more prestine and less americanised. Bali is the new hot spot; you can rent a house with a maid and chef, a block from the beach for 250/month, but eating/drinking is much more expensive. Email me if you want more in on SE Asia. Blackberry is a ridiculous typing tool.

    Hockey related: will it be easier to offsell our vets next year with only one year left on their contract? I think that with the decreasing sal cap, it's going to be damm near impossible to get rid of these vets moving forward, so we better get used to having them next year and blaming them for the loss of one of thekids we won't be able to resign. Ugh

  67. chartleys says:


    Spent a year and a half roaming around south and central america. If you're looking for just a few week type trip, I'd reccomend Costa Rica. Jungles, active volcanoes, carribean and pacific (solid surf schools) tons of stuff to do, one of biggest industries is tourism, not expensive by any means.

    Regardless of where you go, DO NOT TAKE A TOUR!!! You're going to hang out do whatever you feel like. There are always hostel or cheap hotels full of cool people coming and going to places that you end up roaming with or getting cool ideas from. Plus those tour bus folk miss out on some of the coolest things as there are too many folks they all lay siege to an area then get back on the bus…leaving the more obscure truly memorable moments of getting into hilarious amazing things with the locals to the dirty backpackers they leave behind.

  68. chartleys says:


    Thanks for keeping an eye on things as always. I'm not drinking the koolaid this year and am not really overly excited about many of our plays this off season…After a solid 20 years of living and dying on the david olivers of our little world, I think I'm finally seeing the light a bit more and hopefully can flee towards the exit. I will continue reading your blog but am not going to be scrambling around online to find a streaming site while working in Arkansas.

    Coaching will be interesting. Personally I'm most excited about dumping Peters more than anything else.

  69. PDO says:


    You, of all people, have never been to Vegas?

    My cousin went on a Contiki trip (60 days long) and couldn't rave enough.

    Judging by the pictures, your assessment seems pretty accurate (hot women, and lots of 'em, nobody over 30).

  70. Lowetide says:

    chartleys: Interestingly, it was during David Oliver's rise and fall that I took a sabbatical from the Oilers. Just took off one day and did other things (resulting in two children and an empty beer fridge for one calendar year btw) for a time.

    They hooked me again later in the decade, but it took awhile and I soured on Sather–something i never thought would happen. ever.

  71. NBOilerFan says:

    Jonathan Willis said…
    is my guess.

    Lowetide said…
    Jonathan: We agree on all 4.

    And we are heading down the same road to trouble down the middle on this club.

    Any change that Sundin would sign for half of what he got last year to play for Quinn again? I'd be happy to have him as a 3rd line C, and on the PP.

  72. Racki says:

    When we have JFJ and Stortini playing like people possessed now, how useful is a guy like Moreau these days?

  73. Racki says:

    I guess I'll also point out that he brings veteran leadership as well. I wonder if we can safely say we've got that covered. But I think he's a guy that should be taking hints to step up his game right now.

  74. George B says:

    Three things.

    PunjabiOil: Brule has a two way deal.

    Lowetide: Stone is listed as 6'2 and 207. I would consider that pretty big.

    All: That centre situation sucks.

  75. dawgbone says:

    George… Brule having a 2-way contract means nothing in terms of waivers.

  76. ian says:

    Could JF be being showcased as part of a package?
    It seems unlikely that based upon an OK training camp he is under serious consideration for the first line.
    I went to see the Cubs at one of the hospitality roof tops [thats those houses just outside the park where you walk up the back stairs 5 or 6 flights to the roof.They are set up with a mini bleachers and TV sets on poles for replays and on the back of the roof they are barbecuing everything your heart desires oh and refreshments too]It was a corporate hospitality gig our roof top was down the first base line and although we were outside the park, I think we were closer than the center field fans.Most of those buildings have something on them.

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

    'chris lee, where is this guy from? that is just brutal.'

    i love rod.

    eff these refs.

    sloppy seconds gets a gimme.

  78. Perry K says:

    Jonathan Willis said…


    is my guess.

    I would like to propose this:


    There! You guys are clamouring for a decent 3rd line Centre. You get arguably the best 3rd line Centre in the whole NHL!

    On the other hand, the 1st and 2nd lines would look a little less than great!

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