Trade Watch Day Three

This is Bill Hicke at (I believe) the 1967 training camp for the Oakland Seals. It was a crazy TC for the Seals, with Jacques Plante hired to coach and then playing so well in scrimmages he almost made the team in front of Charlie Hodge.

The Seals were star-crossed: Bill Masterton lost his life in a game against Oakland that first season, Hicke himself became very ill during the season and missed a tremendous amount of playing time, and young hotshot millionaire owner Barry Van Gerbig started losing a lot of his Standard Oil and Union Carbide dollars because no one liked the Oakland Seals.

It should be mentioned that the old Western Hockey League (a pro league like the AHL, not to be confused with the junior league) flourished for decades in cities like San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles and that there were fans in the area but the Seals were so bad no one wanted to watch unless they were being paid to do so (and even then many of the veteran Seals asked for a trade during the first season). It should also be mentioned that the fact Van Gerbig chose Oakland’s new arena over San Francsisco’s less attractive Cow Palace meant many in the Bay area weren’t going to come to home games. I don’t really understand the difference, but social and economic reasons kept many San Fransisco residents from attending Seals home games. It was a costly error.

I always cheered for the Seals. My Boston Bruins would often trade their good young prospects (Reggie Leach, Ivan Boldirev) to Oakland for veteran help (Carol Vadnais) so following Oakland became like paying attention to the Bruins farm team. I had all the hockey cards, and the fact is that the Seals drafted pretty well over the years (Stan Weir, Charlie Simmer, Dennis Maruk) but could never make it happen.

The Seals eventually became the Cleveland Barons and then folded into the Minnesota North Stars and the Gund family (Gord Gund the primary mover) eventually decided to move the team to California’s Bay area. NHL head man John Ziegler said no, but did allow the Gunds to sell the North Stars and then were awarded an expansion franchise for San Jose’s market. The Sharks played their first home games in the Cow Palace, incredibly a building the original Seals had rejected playing in back in 1967 because it was considered below major league standards.

I’m explaining all of this as a backdrop to the reason I cheer a little for the San Jose Sharks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an Oilers fan and the Bruins are still dear to me, but the Sharks are somehow an extension of the old Oakland Seals in my brain. So the trade yesterday that sent Dany Heatley to the left coast is fine by me, and if Joe Thornton and the teal brigade end up winning the Stanley then I’ll cheer like hell for them and I bet Bill Hicke will smile a little from heaven too. Perhaps they could bring back Dennis Maruk, Stan Weir and Gilles Meloche to sit in the stands on the night they win it, those men could offer wonderful muse about the Oakland Seals, the San Jose Sharks and the fact that some southern American cities do indeed love the game.

The Seals and Sharks offer us testimony to one important fact: winning does matter to the gate.

That big trade yesterday closes the book on a bizarre summer for the Edmonton Oilers organization but it doesn’t address the plethora of minute (read: mine-yute) men. The Oilers still have the following signed players on the roster:

  1. Jordan Eberle 5.10, 174
  2. Gilbert Brule 5.10, 180
  3. Liam Reddox 5.10, 180
  4. Andrew Cogliano 5.10, 184
  5. Mike Comrie 5.10, 185
  6. Robert Nilsson 5.11, 185
  7. Patrick O’Sullivan 5.11, 190
  8. Sam Gagner 5.11, 191
  9. Rob Schremp 5.11, 200
  10. Ales Hemsky 6.0, 192

Hemsky doesn’t play a small man’s perimeter style (I wish he did sometimes), and guys like Brule and Reddox aren’t really auditioning for a top 6 job. However, among the rest of these men all of Cogliano, Comrie, Nilsson, O’Sullivan and Gagner are possible top 6F’s and likely to make this roster as it stands now. Add in phenom Jordan Eberle and it’s 6 small skilled men looking for work and none of them would be considered “the next Marchant” in terms of their level of play away from the puck.

I do believe Patrick O’Sullivan is somewhat unique in that group, he has more pro experience and can play a more complete game. I also believe Gagner is stronger than he appears at times (Gagner can win puck battles, just not a bunch of them yet) but after that we’re still left with Nilsson, Cogliano, Comrie and Eberle who have skill sets that cover a narrow view.

The Edmonton Oilers need to make a trade soon to address this issue.

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73 Responses to "Trade Watch Day Three"

  1. Christopher says:

    Good read LT. However, when considering the size of Oiler players one could also mention Grebeshkov at 6'0", Visnovsky at 5'10" and Chorney at 5'11". Put several of these players on the ice together and!!! The picture in the post below depicting Nash and Hemsky says it all.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Christopher: Absolutely. I do think the Oilers have some size issues on the blue too, which only makes the F situation more difficult.

    I think Quinn will see that soon, he's already talking about faceoffs being a concern in today's paper.

    We'll be fine, because they're going to make a trade.

  3. Traktor says:

    Which one of Cogliano/O'Sullivan/Gagner do you want to trade because that's what it comes down to.

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Cogliano Comrie Gagner
    Moreau O'Sullivan Pisani
    JFJ Pouliot Stortini

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Yesterday, Quinn mentioned the big boys on the Rookie team.
    Bates, I guess.

    I still say its likely [not unlikely?] that one of the Big Falcons ends up with the Oilers.

    A job is there if McDonald or one of Paukovich can step up

  5. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: I don't think you need to trade any of those three BUT you can't keep any of the other small F's aside from Comrie. Here's a list that I think could work:


    Nilsson odd man out and that's not a terrible thing. I think the key is O'Sullivan. He's either 1line L or 3line C.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Me Debakey: Agree completely. My list of possible surprise Coke machines is this (assuming Stortini and Jacques make the club or wouldn't be considered a surprise):

    1. Ryan Stone
    2. Colin McDonald
    3. Geoff Paukovich
    4. Kip Brennan
    5. Jamie Bates

  7. Traktor says:

    "A job is there if McDonald or one of Paukovich can step up"

    How do you figure?

    Stortini is a lock and neither of those players are in JFJ's league. I can't see Quinn replacing Sledgehammer with a useless slug no matter how vanilla Pouliot is.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: I think the team will take on a different look. I had the same discussion with Tyler the other day, he thinks they'll just keep everyone under contract.

    But if you look at the roster and then listen to Pat Quinn, these are not trolley-track matches:

    1. The Oilers are small but Pat Quinn says: "we'll play a puck possession style."

    2. The Oilers have Horcoff and chicken wire in the FO circle and Pat Quinn says "the concern about faceoffs is legitimate..whether we're missing in mechanics or determination, I don't have the answers yet."

    Here's another. Let's play a game with this one. We'll read the quote and then pick the names that DON'T fit what he's talking about:

    "Our forwards have to compete better to help the defense and keep the puck out of our zone. Everybody seems to be worrying about scoring. The reason you don't score is you don't have the puck and you're always chasing it."

    That's a tremendous comment because there are lots of players who will/might struggle with that style. Hell, I don't know if JF Jacques can play that style, he's not a puck possession player that I do know.

    So, if you are a winger the role has changed from a season ago. David Staples has an excellent article up about Hemsky today, I do think Quinn will find a way to get him to buy in without hampering his game.

    But the other wingers? Penner should do well in this, Horcoff and Pisani, Moreau, Stortini should be fine.

    But there's a laundry list of players who don't fit and I think it'll be a different roster.

  9. bookie says:

    LT – don't be surprised if this team starts the season with no trade. Ifthere is a trade, I suspect that it is a small one.

    The Oilers won't trade most of these guys until they see them under a different coach (or until Thorton doesn't smile just right at Heatley resulting in a trade demand).

  10. Traktor says:

    LT: I think Tambellini is up to something bigger than Nilsson for a pick. It frightens me.

  11. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Ir's impossible to marry the Quinn quotes with the team that has gathered at Rexall.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: I think Tambellini is way more capable than Lowe in terms of making a trade. I wasn't in favor of the Heatley-Cogliano deal but any fool could see it would improve the team short term.

    Tambellini has three things to address:

    1. The team doesn't match Quinn's quotes
    2. The team has multiple RFA's next summer
    3. The team has too many contracts.

    So, if we were to make a trade proposal, it would be a good idea to think about a big winger with grit on a team with cap trouble.

    Ryan Clowe.

    Next up we talk about the multiple rfa's and that list would include Cogliano, Grebeshkov and Gagner among others. So the trade chip probably comes from that list.

    And the final item is too many contracts and that's Nilsson and Schremp.

    So: Clowe in, an RFA and small forward out.

    That would be my guess.

  13. DBO says:

    So will it be a youth for veteran deal then? Another 3 for 1 deal ala the heatley deal? Or just a tweek, one of our young smurfs for one of your coke machines that can win a faceoff?

    I've made my case for dubinsky enough times, but the rags are loathe to give him up. LT Campbell is an interesting choice. Any other players out there that fill our needs?

    And not to beat a dead horse, but Manny malhotra is still out there with no deal, and has size and is a top 5 faceoff/PK guy in the whole league. Doesn't he fill our biggest need? Send Nilsson to the minors and sign malhotra to his deal or even less.

  14. DBO says:

    LT: Clowe is interesting. Not sure if he'll ever outperform his deal. How about Callahan from the rags? Sather is always enamoured with skill. Would anyone other then Hemsky work? Would a cogliano for Callahan deal be good? callahan was 4th in the league in hits. he's not huge (5'11, 190 lbs) but he plays bigger and he scored 22 goals as a 24 yr old, and he's signed for $2.3 mill for 2 yrs then RFA, whereas Clowe is signed for $3.625 for 4 yrs then UFA

  15. flamingpavelbure says:

    LT: Clowe? Why would the Sharks give up on him? Maybe at the end of the year due to salary issues, but it would be surprising considering the 4 years deal they just gave to him

    DBO: On the spot, Callahan is a train, and has tremendous speed.

    I believe the Rangers could use some Depth. Schremp and Nilsson in broadway? Good lord that would be so ''Rangers''.

  16. mike w says:

    The Edmonton Oilers need to make a trade soon to address this issue.

    Everytime you write some variation of this, the Oilers rarely follow through.

  17. Lowetide says:

    It doesn't make it any less obvious. Can you make an argument that this team is balanced? Reflects Quinn's requirements?

  18. pboy says:

    You guys are worried about nothing. You see, we are going to have 3 scoring lines this season, so it will be kinda like a video game…….

  19. FlamingPavelBure says:

    LT: Heh? Quinn's requirements? It's not synonymous of balanced.

    Is the team balanced… hmmm?

    Maybe if you swap Mike Comrie with Robert Lang.

    Line 1
    Horcoff provides the size on the line, it's not a too small line, at average 6''0. Let Hemmers and Mini do the magic.

    Line 2

    Penner brings the size, the other 2 some razzle dazzle.

    Line 3

    Balanced 2 way line, can score and keep the other guys at bay.

    Huh, i guess Lang would have fixed a bunch of holes…!

  20. pboy says:

    There is so much interesting NHL news out there that is stuck behind the Coyote's headlines. Apparently the situation for the Florida Panthers is every bit as bad as the situation in Phoenix. The current owner wants out badly and there is no one interested in owning that team. The NHL would be so much better off contracting by 2 teams but that would never happen with GB in the commish seat. The agent for Zherdev has approached the Rags and let them know that they will accept the 3.25 mill the Rags were offering at arbitration but the Rags are no longer interested. Dubinsky is still unsigned in NY, he is being offered $700,000 but he wants 1.4 a year. I feel like Larry Brooks….

  21. flamingpavelbure says:

    Pboy: I went to a florida Panthers game in the 08 spring break.

    The arena is not the problem, it's arguably the most beautiful arena league wide. It owns popular places like the Bell Centre by a mile wide. It's near a shopping centre, perfectly place, you can go shop and eat before the game. So location's not a problem. Even in the playoff bubble no one seemed interested.

    It's the first time i was offered low seated tickets, for the price of upper deck tickets because ''No one will buy them anyway'' Quoting the lady at the ticket booth.

  22. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: you seem to imply Cogliano plus something for Ryane Clowe.

    Clowe would be a useful piece, but that would be a massive overpay.

    I'd offer San Jose Staios and Nilsson, however…..

  23. raventalon40 says:

    I think O'Sullivan makes more sense between Moreau and Pisani than Cogliano, based on experience alone.

  24. raventalon40 says:

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Brandon Dubinsky is an Oiler at some point.

  25. Dallas says:

    There us three young guys u don't want to see traded besides hemsky and the prospects please oilers do not move Gagner Cogliano or Grebeshkov. But who I would like to see them trade for is Horton or Martin Hanzal or Stafford or Bobby Ryan I really like Hanzal though and think he could be had for Penner and Souray

  26. GorillazXL says:

    This "issue " taht exist is a direct result of MacT. ;-)
    Jokes aside the organization has not had a good track record of developing players. At this point in time both Nilsson and Schremp sholud already have been used a trade bait because they should have been played soft minutes to inflate their stats. MacT could not work with the tools he had and ultimately screwed the the organization. Next I'll relate how MacT was the reason why the DoDo birds disappeared.


    ps. There's alot of hidden truth in sarcasm.

  27. raventalon40 says:

    who I would like to see them trade for is Horton or Martin Hanzal or Stafford or Bobby Ryan I really like Hanzal though and think he could be had for Penner and Souray

    You're kidding right? Penner or Souray for Hanzal?

  28. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: I worded it badly. I'm not in favor of dealing any of those three either.

    btw, Tencer is reporting Lubo's not 100% yet.

  29. Hawerchuk says:

    It should also be mentioned that the fact Van Gerbig chose Oakland's new arena over San Francsisco's less attractive Cow Palace meant many in the Bay area weren't going to come to home games. I don't really understand the difference, but social and economic reasons kept many San Francisco residents from attending Seals home games.

    It's important to remember that the subway system (BART) now goes directly to the Oakland Arena, which is important for bringing in far-flung fans. But it didn't open until 1974 – I've never driven to an A's game, so we can't discount its impact.

    But fundamentally, San Franciscans don't want to go to Oakland. When you had the good teams in Oakland 6 or 7 years ago, you could get playoff tickets from the ticket window at game time. The Giants will sell out when they're 40 games below .500.

    And in 1967-70, San Franciscans didn't want to go anywhere. The attendance for Giants games at Candlestick – in a horrible neighborhood – was around 10,000 even though the team was really good. The 1972 A's won the World Series – and drew less than 1,000,000 fans. The 1967-68 San Francisco Warriors, playing at the Oakland Arena, drew fewer than 5,000 fans per game, which was more than they had drawn two seasons earlier in San Francisco. (Though the Raiders drew 40-50,000 a game back then.)

    There's some snobbery here (like New York vs New Jersey; Toronto vs Hamilton; Winnipeg vs Saskatoon…) but I just don't think sports were very profitable in the Bay Area at the time.

    The Sharks exist independently of San Francisco and Oakland. All of the fans come from within 25 or 30 miles of San Jose. The SF papers don't even cover them until the playoffs.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Thanks, Gabriel. It's appreciated, that situation has long been a mystery for me.

    How far is San Jose from Oakland/SF?

  31. Shelle says:

    Sometimes I read this webpage out loud to my boyfriend and he has to correct my pronunciation of the players' names.

    Just wanted to say hey :)

  32. Hawerchuk says:

    San Jose is 55 miles from San Francisco and about the same from Oakland. You can take the train from San Francisco directly to the Sharks games (if you don't mind getting home at midnight). There's no good way to get from Oakland to SJ after work, though it might get built by 2018.

    My sense is that the Sharks did an absolutely incredible job selling those teal jerseys in 1992 and created a real brand-new fan base. The guys I play hockey with will go see 2 or 3 games a year because SJ is so far away, but people I work with who live closer – and have no connection to hockey but just love sports – will go see 10. Having the players skate out of a shark head through a smoke show seemed cheesy the first time I saw it, but it made me realize that perhaps the spartan Winnipeg Arena was not the best example of marketing hockey to the public.

  33. bookie says:

    LT – I take the Quinn comments in stride for a few reasons. One, this whole management group is taking big efforts to temper expectations (as opposed to coach and GM last year). Two, trades can be made after the season starts. Lastly, comments again come down to interpretation (and lets face it, coaches and GMs are never quite honest or clear in what they are saying to the media).

    Most people took Tambolini's comments at the end of last season to mean that we were going to trade a bunch of smurfs for a bunch of power forwards. I took it as a "We don't really know what we have in terms of competativness and toughness because of the coaching fiasco". When I heard Tambi talk it was clear (maybe only to me) that he had absolute disdane for MacT's approach to things this past season.

    When you read Quinn's comment "the concern about faceoffs is legitimate..whether we're missing in mechanics or determination, I don't have the answers yet." You interpret it to mean they will trade for a faceoff center, wheras I hear "Lets see if Silinger and a kick in the pants can fix this crew that we have, and if not we may need to go the trade route".

    As per puck possesion, it is not all about size, some of it is skating agressivness (chasing the puck and forchecking instead of hanging around and waiting to defend), so again, I don't see the quote as definitive.

    Anyway, I think that Quinn may even be indicating with emphasis that "WE NEED A TRADE", but I suspect that Tambi is saying. "Ok, lets give it a go for a month and then if things are not working out with the 'three scoring lines approach' then I will go out and get you what you need. Afterall, with the defensemen that we have, it should be easy to pick up a few two-way players to address the need in exchange" (+ whatever balances the deal out.

    Anyway, much of it also depends upon what is available at any point in time. The Oilers need is only half of the equation.

    Either way…we wait and see…Tradewatch day 4 tomorrow…

  34. bookie says:

    LT – I could see something like the Clowe trade you mention happening. I just think its not a certainty.

  35. Lowetide says:

    bookie: And God forbid the Edmonton Oilers start a season balanced. Do you see this kind of silliness with the Flames?

    No. No you don't. Do you know why? Because the Calgary Flames have figured out that games in October are as important as games when you figure out what the hell you've got.

  36. bookie says:

    Oh yeah, and for those people who call the Oilers the "Worst Managed Team in Hockey" at least our coach will show up for day 1 of training camp.

  37. Rick says:

    If we get an average of 50 points apiece from the "small" top 6, will some Oiler fans still be whining about size and grit?

  38. bookie says:

    bookie: And God forbid the Edmonton Oilers start a season balanced. Do you see this kind of silliness with the Flames?

    What they SHOULD do is a whole different discussion than what they WILL do.

    As per the Flames, they hired Mike Keenan as a coach and thus as long as the GM that hired him is still in charge, I cannot take anything that they do seriously. Even if they are perfectly balanced, I have no doubt they will underperform their skill.

  39. Black Dog says:

    If they're all minus players and the PK sucks, then yeah, maybe for good reason people still will.

  40. pboy says:

    Unbelievable finish in the Broncos-Bengals game. One of the most boring games I've ever watched and then in the last 2 minutes of the game, both teams score ridiculous touchdowns and the Bronco's pull off a crazy win.

    LT couldn't have said it any better, the wins in October are just as important as wins late in the season and unfortunately, that seems like a concept this organization still can't wrap their minds around. Ever since Stoll went to L.A. and Reasoner was let go, there has been a whole in this line-up and it has yet to have been filled. We are all aware that tweaks and adjustments can be made to a team during the year but that doesn't mean a GM shouldn't be trying to put a balanced line-up on the ice for the first game of the seaosn. Frankly, the best player we had to fill the 3C spot was traded to Minnesota for a pick and I still can't understand why?

  41. Bruce says:

    So far Tambo's track record doesn't speak to trading smurfs for power forwards. Au contraire:

    Traded Erik Cole 6'2, 205 for Patrick O'Sullivan, 5'11, 190

    Traded for Ales Kotalik 6'2, 227 but let him walk as an UFA

    Traded Kyle Brodiak 6'2, 209 for picks

    Signed UFA Mike Comrie 5'10, 185

    Offered Dustin Penner 6'4, 245, Ladi Smid 6'3, 226, and Andrew Cogliano 5'10, 184, for Dany Heatley 6'3, 220

    Say what you want about Heatley — and I for one have been saying quite a lot, under my breath — but that trade makes the Oilers smaller, just as the deadline deal and the off-season movements both did.

    We have, however, gotten bigger in goal. :p

    I was impressed with Tambellini's speech but the cold hard facts suggest taht to this point he has done exactly the opposite.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: The O'Sullivan deal is just terrific value (giving up a UFA for a useful skill player) and I don't think they let Kotalik walk so much as decided not to get Sather-stupid on a contract.

    The Brodziak trade makes little sense, I agree. I'm also not convinced the Comrie signing was a Tambellini move.

    Either way, adding Comrie means they're way to small in the top 6F.

  43. Shannon says:

    I think if a trade is going to happen, it will be before the regular season starts. The coaching staff will have assessed the players and identify any missing holes. The problem with the salary cap world is there is so little player movement during the year except for the odd like tweak until trade deadline day. That's a long time to wait to fix any holes. It happens in the next 3 weeks or it just won't happen in my opinion.

  44. Bar Qu says:

    be careful using the Flames as a comparison for wins in October. Every year the media here in Calgary gets on the case of the team for giving away games until November.

    But, I agree with your point about balance. It would be nice to go in not having to hope someone surprises with new-found skills that weren't present last year.

  45. godot10 says:

    //The Brodziak trade makes little sense, I agree.//

    Brodziak is a 4th line centre. Pouliot is a 4th line centre. Brule and Potulny may be 4th line centres. How many 4th line centres does a team need. Editing makes perfect sense.

    Pouliot had the advantage of being signed with only one year left on his contract And maybe Minnesota was more interested in Brodziak.

    Turning surplus 4th liners into draft picks is a good thing.

  46. Bruce says:

    Bruce: The O'Sullivan deal is just terrific value (giving up a UFA for a useful skill player)

    LT: Is POS as useful as he is expensive? He came with a nice fat $2.925 MM cap hit for two years. A couple fewer contracts like that and we could have gotten Alex Tanguay for less money.

    Nothing against POS, just sayin'. An expiring contract is not a disaster in the cap era; it can be turned into an asset at the deadline, and/or the cap space can be turned into one in the summer.

    and I don't think they let Kotalik walk so much as decided not to get Sather-stupid on a contract.

    Agreed. I showed that as a neutral pair of transactions, in and out, though the latter occurred after the speech if you see that as the defining moment of the "harder to play against" paradigm. But I agree no way could we pay that kind of dough or term for the guy.

    The Brodziak trade makes little sense, I agree.

    I've been baffled by that since draft day, we were already short of what Brodiak brought down the middle (size, faceoffs, PK) and nothing that has happened since has in any way addressed the hole which was enlarged by his departure.

    I'm also not convinced the Comrie signing was a Tambellini move.

    Neither am I, I've thought from the beginning that deal has a new arena smell to it.

  47. blackadder says:

    We'll have a better idea as training camp ends whether Quinn has managed to get this crew motivated. More importantly, we'll have a good idea what kind of players we have in Gagner, Penner, Cogliano, O'Sullivan, Nilsson, and Pouliot. If they don't show up in the best shape of their lives and completely focused on the game, we're in deep deep trouble. As for trades, well, given all the UFA's out there that can be brought in for next to nothing, what team is going to be in the market for a twenty something talented but soft underachiever playing like he just can't wait to see what life in Switzerland is like?

  48. Smarmy Boss says:

    Were the Flames ever really balanced? I saw plenty of teams that were top heavy and had terrible depth.

    Flames might have trouble generating consistent offense this year. Have to see how Sutter plays it.

  49. bookie says:

    Brodziak must have slept with Tommy Salo's wife…

  50. Bar Qu says:

    //Were the Flames ever really balanced? I saw plenty of teams that were top heavy and had terrible depth//.

    The last two years definitely weren't. Too little scoring after Iginla and a defence that wasn't all that defensive after Regehr. Fortunately it turned out to all be Keenan's fault.

    Gregor's post over at ON give some hope, though. Will Mr. Penner really be that much slimmer and hungrier (natch)? Will Sully be the long-sought winger for Hemsky?

    Will LT or Willis crush these hopes with the implacable logic of math? Spuriu!

  51. RiversQ says:

    You know the size thing is mostly a red herring anyway.

    The problem is that the Oilers have a plethora of forwards that either have a track record of giving up more than they get or have little track record at all.

  52. Lowetide says:

    RQ: A lot of that is a sign of just how young this team is up front. If Gagner can take a big step forward then things look a lot brighter.

    Interesting quote from Quinn today on Nilsson (who had a very good day):

    "From what I see, he has tremendous talent. What happened to him last year might be less than what the expectation might be for that skill level. He's in tight. We have more contracts than can play on our team right now. He's going to be challenged for position."

    Here's a question: what if he flat out beats Comrie for the job?

  53. Sir says:

    Ship Moreau give Pisani the 'C'


    Penner O'Sully Hemsky

    Cogliano Horcoff Pisani

    JFJ Comrie Gagner

    Rotating Brule Stortini

    Visnovsky Souray

    Gilbert Grebeshkov

    Smid SS


  54. NBOilerFan says:

    Lowetide said…
    Either way, adding Comrie means they're way to small in the top 6F.

    Should we be assuming Comrie will be in the top-6? I know Comrie might not have a stellar record on the dot, but I still think he is a better option then Cogliano or, as suggested by Tambellini, O'Sullivan.

    The more i think about it, the more I'd like to see these two sets of lines;

    (1) Nilsson in/Jacques out


    (2) Jacques in/Nilsson out


  55. bookie says:

    Here's a question: what if he flat out beats Comrie for the job?

    I actually think that is the question that the Oilers were willing to seek an answer to when they signed Comrie. Lets get a whole bunch of bubble boys, some with a lot of talent, and then lets shake them around for a while and see which ones rise to the top.

    The rest…traded or sent down.

  56. bookie says:

    I think the belief in Penner and Nilsson were always much greater at the management level than they were at the coaching level.

    I actually think one of the reasons that Reasoner was not re-signed was an effort to make the coach utilize the players that the management wanted (as opposed to having Reasoner out in offensive roles late in close games).

    I admit that I am biased towards wanting to see basically the same team under another coach. To me the experiment is cleaner if you have the same group.

  57. RiversQ says:

    I don't mind the clean experiment either. I doubt the coaching staff will have much impact on the performance.

    Of course, I'm a fan, so I'd rather they had better personnel and a better chance at winning.

  58. Hockey Noob says:

    Pat Quinn was recently quoted on Global News as suggesting that he's considering splitting up Horcoff and Hemsky and running 4 'balanced' lines instead of having a traditional top line.

  59. Lowetide says:

    Quinn will probably try all kinds of things (goodness knows MacT did) but I agree with RQ the chances of being better relate to improved personnel.

    Which basically means Gagner stepping forward as a more complete player and all the other kids improving just a little.

  60. trader says:

    LT: where were you today, missed you at training camp.

  61. flamingpavelbure says:

    I think that 4 line concept, is pretty much giving the kick to Macintyre, i don't think he will make it. As for Stortini, it's one of the only fighters i respect, cause he seems to actually know a bit what he's doing.

    Again, Lowetide, Flames are NOT an example, hiring Keanan? duh? And they managed to have one of the worst powerplay league wise, that with having Jokinen,Cammaleri,Iginla,Phaneuf+Jeeyaboo on the 1st unit. Heh, underperforming much?

    Why are you guys so scared of the 3 scoring lines? Have you even tried? Isn't that what the 80's Oilers we're all about?

    I don't know, sometimes you guys feel pretty weird.

  62. Lowetide says:

    trader: I wanted to make it out but life got in the way. Both kids had things they needed to do so both cars and both parents were on the run.

    I am going to try to get out there sometime tomorrow morning.

    flaming: You're kidding right? Do I really have to explain the difference between this team and the 80s Oilers?

    As for laughing at the Flames, I choose not to. They have more top end talent, more veteran talent, more balance and more actual NHL players.

    Keenan didn't work so they got a better coach. The Flames are a better run organization than the Oilers at this time.

    No question.

  63. misfit says:

    LT, you and I definitely agree that this team lacks balance (and has entered the last few seasons in the same way). We are also in agreement on what this team needs to achieve that balance.

    The problem is, while the Oilers have lacked balance in the past, they've also happily entered those seasons that way without making the necessary moves to address it.

    I just don't see what's different about this year. Maybe Quinn will see what we're missing during camp/preseason and tell the GM to get him what he needs, but Lowe/Tambellini didn't seem to care or do anything when MacT expressed the need to retain Reasoner and forced him to use Pisani in his spot.

    I definitely think you've got the right idea, I just don't share your confidence that Tamellini is going to make a move (at least one that'll help up).

  64. Lowetide says:

    misfit: I think even the Oilers have to admit that not making the playoffs for what is going to be half a decade soon is batshit crazy. As fanatic as Oilernation is, there is also a limit.

    Aside from that, you've got a senior citizen as coach. Development mode is over for this generation of Edmonton Oilers imo.

    The Heatley trade was a tell in that regard btw.

  65. trader says:

    LT: it was refreshing see the new coaching staff…also nice touch for the oilers to give everyone all the free popcorn, pop, coffee and hot chocolate they wanted.

  66. Lowetide says:


  67. trader says:

    I know i didn't believe it at first either, but for all 3 sessions you just walked up to the concession and you were told no money was needed.

  68. flamingpavelbure says:

    las Sure there's a difference, but, you have to admit, the goalies were terrible, like unbarable.

    Anyways, if your constantly pressuring the other guys and keeping them in theyr zone, it's not exposing your weakness in your own zone. Kind of like the Cup Running Hurricanes, (Oh please lord don't talk to me about size!). Theyr dmans we're downright terrible, but they could afford to pressure up and play more open, because they had a good backstopper (Regular season wise) in Gerber, then the plan fell off in that early Habs series, but Ward came in as a monster and it was fixed. I think that with Khabibulin you can afford that, if he doesn't break a leg, the Oilers should be just fine.

    Here's the size of that top 9 guys for the canes playoff wise.

    Staal: 6''3
    Whitney: 5''10
    Stillman: 6''0
    Brind'amour: 6''1
    Williams: 5''11
    Cullen: 6''0/6''1
    Adams: 6''0
    Larose: 5''8
    Weight: 5''11

    That's not superly superior to the Size of the Oilers'

    (Note that Cole was booted out since he only particpated in 2 playoff games)

  69. Schitzo says:

    Yeah, the free popcorn was a huge surprise. I'll be back tomorrow. God bless student life.

  70. Bank Shot says:

    I'm cautiously optimistic that the coaching change can have a noticeable impact on the team's fortunes.

    The Minnesota Wild have had some pretty pedestrian lineups since the lockout and they've finished with a positive goal differential in all four seasons.

    I doubt Mactavish was any better than replacement level as far as coaches go. Perhaps Quinn can still be better than average.

  71. bookie says:

    I missed free food????

    If you don't see me here again it is because this set me on a path to dispair that I never really recovered from.

  72. Bruce says:

    Why are you guys so scared of the 3 scoring lines? Have you even tried? Isn't that what the 80's Oilers we're all about?

    FPB: Nope, there were two scoring lines on the dynasty Oilers, namely:


    Some pretty good complementary players played the XX role (Pouzar, Krushelnyski, Tikkanen) and some other pretty good complementary players were YY (Lindstrom, Napier, Nilsson Sr., Simpson), but the third and fourth lines were mostly filled with pluggers. Any goals they contributed were a bonus.

    You're right about the 'Canes though.

  73. James L. says:

    Lemme make a prediction: We'll be up to "Trade Watch Day 100" before anything actually happens.

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