For Pat Quinn

















I was lost and double crossed
With my hands behind my back
I was long time hurt Thrown in the dirt
Shoved out on the railroad track
I’ve been used, abused and so confused
And I had nowhere to run
But I stood and looked And my eyes got hooked
On that beautiful morning sun
And it seems like, and it feels like
A Brand new day.

-Van Morrison

Listening to Pat Quinn’s media conferences and comparing them to the early days (his first pc’s) is kind of like watching a man give up hope. It reminds me of Ray Milland in Lost Weekend. I don’t know how much they’re paying Pat, but it isn’t worth it. And I’m certain Craig MacTavish is sleeping better.

A quick note to Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe: it isn’t working. Patience my ass. Do something. A quick note to Daryl Katz: You are the owner, you know. Loyalty and staying the course are admirable qualities, but so is fixing what is broken. Just saying.

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105 Responses to "For Pat Quinn"

  1. CM says:

    If the oilers miss the playoffs than Tambo should get canned…

    There is no excuse for not making a move that would better this hockey club…and no I don't care that he's tried or put in a good effort…

    I don't get judged on effort at my job I get judged on results (how much money I bring into the company)…The results for Tambo if they miss the playoffs aren't good…and he watched it happen on his clock…he'll be 3 seasons in and have made almost as many trades…

    Tambo has no one but himself to blame that this is still K-Lowes team…

  2. rickibear says:

    Pat Quinn: MacT was a genius!

  3. dawgbone says:

    The problem is what move can you make?

    There's a list of about 8 or 9 guys that the Oilers can't trade, but they also happen to be the first 8 or 9 guys other teams ask for.

    In reality, it's too late now. Moves needed to be made in the off season and they weren't.

  4. Rob Gilgan says:

    We seem to have lost sight of this team when it's healthy. When players and coaches say "injuries are no excuse", they're just repeating an old cliché, just like "we'll give 110%" "the only thing he didn't do was score a goal" (referring, of course, to a goaltender).
    This team is ravaged by the flu and has some key injuries. Simple as that. Will they make the playoffs if they get healthy? That depends how soon that happens and whether they can remain that way.

  5. DBO says:

    dawgbone: why can't we trade them? When it isn't working you can't make superficial moves by getting rid of your 4th liners. this team has needed a heart transplant for a few years, and with last years "leadership" issue still not addressed, there needs to be an overhaul. Why can't they make a big move. tambellini has tried for the big move in the past, and while most people did not like the Heatley deal, he did try something. however, as per usual it did not address this teams needs.

    So let the speculation begin, but what kind of deals can we make that the other team may actually want? Means we have to target teams having bad years that are also in need of a change.

    Needs:
    - two way center with size and grit that can win a faceoff
    - solid physical top 4 defender
    - scoring winger with size

  6. kris says:

    Hey Dawgbone,

    I respectfully dissent

    Only nontradeable guys:

    Hemsky, Gagner, MPS, Eberle

    Tradeable but need better player in return, i.e. almost untradeable:

    Horcoff
    Visnovsky
    Souray
    Penner

    Valuable Tradeables:

    O'Sullivan, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Cogliano, Pisani, Smid, Brule, Pouliot, lots of young guys, etc.

    Unwanted but have to go:
    Nilsson, Moreau, Staios, SMac

    The one rule you need to follow is: don't give away too many young players, e.g. don't trade two more young guys out than you get back in.

    Lots of moves that you can make with those pieces.

  7. Simon says:

    I don't know, I think I disagree slightly with Lowetide. I think that they definitely missed filling the gap at center, but I also think the bigger problem right now is the flu / injury bug.
    Besides, what are they going to trade for? And give up?
    Do not say Ales Hemsky. And no one is going to take the overloaded contracts.

  8. DBO says:

    Teams to target that need a change or would add a piece (vet) for a run:

    Florida (need a change):
    - Horton, Seidenberg, Campbell
    Nashville (need offensive players):
    - Hamhuis
    Carolina (need a change):
    - Ruutu, Gleason
    Chicago (will have to make moves)
    - Sharp, Byfuglien
    Boston (need a shakeup):
    - Wheeler
    Buffalo (need an offensive dman):
    - Stafford, Gaustad
    Atlanta (need some vets):
    - Armstrong
    Washington (need some vets):
    - Steckel, Gordon
    Columbus (need an offensive dman):
    - Klesla, Modin, Umberger, Tyutin

  9. Woodguy says:

    Colorado has lost more man games to injury than the Oilers.

    Vancouver more key players on the shelf than the Oilers.

    Both these teams continue to win.

    There seems to be rot on this team. Quinn alluded to this when referring to his team's body language.

    No one seems to give a shit.

    I thought that getting a billionaire owner would be a good thing for the Oilers.

    But if there is a lack of accountability of the management of this team due to personal relationships, then this disaster will continue.

    The EIG wanted to fire Lowe, and I'd it wasn't for Nicholls, they would have.

    The MSM seems to toe the line because no one is talking about the lack of depth on this team.

    Every team gets injuries. When Steve MacIntyre draws in when Horcoff is out that is mismanagement and nothing else.

  10. commonfan13 says:

    If we're ever going to finally embrace a true re-building effort, only our youngest and best prospects should be untouchable.

    A full shift to that philosophy would mean admitting that they missed their window to compete with Hemsky, and using him as an asset to help re-stock the shelves.

    In a true re-building plan, any trade that frees up cap room, makes them worse in the short-term and brings back picks and/or prospects is a good one in the long-term.

  11. Jfry says:

    small things like keeping Smac on the roster when we're down to scraps because of injuries…wow.

    i understood keep big george around for PR, but Smac and his bow hunting aren't getting it done.

    good teams wouldn't do this. among other things.

    how powerless is quinn? every interview with him he keeps saying "well, mike signed here and wants to play wing, so that's how it's going to be."

    our management is starting to remind me of Animal Farm meets Life of Brian.

  12. Jon says:

    I got this dialogue from the movie traffic but it seems fitting for here.

    When Kruschev was forced out, he
    sat down and wrote two letters and
    handed them to his successor. He
    said "When you get into a situation
    you can't get out of, open the
    first letter and you'll be saved.
    And when you get into another
    situation you can't get out of,
    open the second." Soon enough this
    guy found himself in a tight place.
    So he opened the first letter. It
    said, "Blame everything on me." So
    he blamed the old guy and it worked
    like a charm.

    He got into another situation he
    couldn't get out of, so he opened
    the second letter, which read, "Sit
    down and write two letters."

    Right now, it seems like the fan base is still in their blame Lowe phase; however, it has been a year and half since Tambo took over and nothing has been done to correct the obvious holes on this team or put his stamp on the Oilers.

    If Tambo does not take charge soon he will be writing two letters of his own.

  13. Steven says:

    I hope they do nothing, or at least nothing good, so that we tank it this year and pick up a good draft pick.

  14. Steven says:

    Jfry, the Pens keep Godard on the roster. He didn't play a single game in the playoffs last year.

  15. kanadienkyle says:

    I am with the majority here. A move should be made, knee-jerk or not, to shake the complacency from the team. This group has seemingly lost its way, flu or no flu, and needs to be rousted from whatever this is.

    No one is un-tradable. What we have here isn't working anyways, and there is no point in being sentimental in hockey. There has to be at least other GM in a similar position, and change of scenery might be useful for all parties involved.

  16. DBO says:

    Here is the lineup i would keep, with the ??? the spots for new players.

    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
    ???-Horcoff-O'Sullivan/Comrie
    ???-???-Pisani
    Jacques-Brule-Stortini

    Vish-Smid
    Souray-???
    Gilbert/Greb-Staios

    Stone may be the guy on that 3rd line checking role. Comrie has played well, but does he fit? We need some size. And we desperately, for the 3rd straight year, need a 3rd line checking centre/physical centre who can actually win a faceoff and play in his own end. And it's become even more evident we need a tough as nails #3/4 dman to play heavy minutes.

    Guys who can be moved:
    Cogliano, one of Comrie/O'Sullivan, one of Gilbert/grebeshkov, Moreau, Staios (but no one will take him).

  17. Stuart van says:

    Oilers should lose bad this season and then draft high. No sense sellling the future for a bandaid.

  18. jdrevenge says:

    I'm cheering for Smytty this year.

  19. pboy says:

    Jfry, the Pens keep Godard on the roster. He didn't play a single game in the playoffs last year.

    Your talking about the Penguin's team that was running out Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc Andre Fleury, Jordan Stall, Bill Guerin, Sergei Gonchar….

    When you have a core players like that, you can afford to have a lump like Godard wasting a roster spot. When you have a roster full of holes and not ready for Primetime players, you can't afford to piss away a roster spot.

  20. Vic Ferrari says:

    LT said:
    A quick note to Daryl Katz: You are the owner, you know. Loyalty and staying the course are admirable qualities, but so is fixing what is broken. Just saying.

    I think you're taking your eye of the ball. What does this have to do with the new arena?

  21. Gret99zky says:

    Tambo has spent too much time trying to land the big fish (Heatley, Jagr, Hossa) and not enough time getting rid of dead weight (Moreau, RowBear, SMac) and plugging the holes on this team.

    His only move seems to be "holding pattern".

  22. jon k says:

    The team would certainly benefit from moving one of the puckmoving defensemen for a shutdown guy and acquiring a checking centre.

    Rutherford in Carolina is a familiar face who is looking to shake up his team. Whether Gleason is available or not he might be worth looking into.

    Peca remains unsigned and would probably still be able to contribute something.

    The team can lament cap and roster space all they want but what do they stand to lose by sending Nilsson to the minors? One day on waivers and we lose 2 million and free up a roster spot.

  23. oilerdago says:

    This season is not worth saving if in fact they continue to be this bad once some of the injured/ill are back.

    But I sense very few have the patience (or taste) for a true re-build here and what happens is management grasps at even more straws.

    But while Lowe created this mess, Tambo has not done anything to solve it or instill confidence in teh fan base that he can master the situation. I'm starting to think there was a real reason behind him not ever being the prime mover (or seriously considered when change happened) in Vancouver.

    How soon after the prospects update are you starting to look at draft possibilities LT?

  24. bookie says:

    This team is ravaged by the flu and has some key injuries

    I agree that this is a possibility. It supports my past claim that this team is a decent team (6th place) by design.

    However, as the flu fades from the room, there is an argument to be made that the team was fragile and that expectations of a healthy season are a poor way to design a team.

    So, simply put, I am waffling because I don't know how big of a hit the flu bug has been.

  25. John says:

    This is not really hard to figure out. The Oilers have:
    1) 5 offensive defensemen;
    2) 1 game battler of a D man (Staios);
    3) a single defensive D man..Smid;
    4) no first line centre
    5) a plethora of skilled smurf forwards who with the exception of Comrie and Brule refuse to play bigger than their size;
    6) we have 1 atrocious contract in Horcoff —good player but bad contract;
    7) we have a series of centres who cannot win a draw to save their life. It is not even that we lose the draw it is that it gets fired out of the dot to the opposing D at the points for a shot on goal.
    8) a number of BAD contracts for their level of contribution- Pisani, Moreau, Staios, Pouliot, Nilsson
    9) very few good contracts-Hemsky and Comrie
    10)We, as a team, play like butter…we are soft and easy to play against

    Item 8 affects everything. By having so many bad contracts we can not overpay for a need. The other lesson that we are just now fully comprehending is that by overpaying for anyone not in your top 10 players it has a significant ripple effect throughout your team. It is also idiocy.That is why to overpay for 3rd and 4th line forwards or 4-5-6 man D makes no sense in a cap world

    If the plan is to struggle along at 10th or 12th in the Western conference count me out.

    I am willing to end up LAST if we can get a truly dominant player out of it.But don't screw that up and end up 23rd….if we are going to lose and it certainly looks that way…..LOSE BIG!!!

    Trade for someone…..anyone who can win a draw….bring Yannick Perrault out of retirement even if he is 45 yrs old

    Trade one or even 2 of our offensive D for another defense only D man….it is ridiculous how bad Grebs and Gilbert look playing together because trust me their individual skills are NOT complementary

    Oh yeah, simply identify which of the 2 or 3 smurfs you want to keep and blow the rest out. Also give serious consideration to putting the bad contracts on waivers and see if anyone bites

    And if Tambellini is too afraid or unable to to fix it….he is then part of the problem

  26. shanetrain says:

    We are watching a bad movie. Its like they pressed pause at the conclusion of last year and went ahead and pressed play at about game 8 this season.

    Something has to happen soon .. doesnt it? Management should reverse the trend. Forget about the big fish and start looking to add the Callahans and Keslers etc.

  27. bookie says:

    Following up on my earlier comment. By this time of the year, I would have expected a little more Pennerasiatis to have hit a few players (Nilsson, Cogs, etc..), but there is lackluster play or lackluster results from too many players. It could be due to the flu bug. It also could be that the coaching change has not yet drawn it out of these guys (change takes time), but again its worth considering that some of these guys just don't have it in them.

    I still remain an optimist – I think we will see improvements again in the next few weeks – don't unplan that Stanley Cup Parade Route yet…

  28. bookie says:

    I am willing to end up LAST if we can get a truly dominant player out of it.But don't screw that up and end up 23rd….if we are going to lose and it certainly looks that way…..LOSE BIG!!!

    Trying to lose is never a path to sucess.

  29. Cam says:

    Rob Gilgan said…
    This team is ravaged by the flu and has some key injuries. Simple as that.

    No, sorry Rob, it's not as "[s]imple as that". I just can't let a comment like that slip by.

  30. Ribs says:

    Rangers scouting Forsberg?

    Think we have anyone over there doing the same? Hemksy-Forsberg would be nice.

  31. quain says:

    If we just trade all of the sick players to other teams for magic beans, we can spread the flu throughout the National Hockey League and take our rightful place atop the throne! Semper Fidelis Tyrannosaurus!

  32. misfit says:

    The one rule you need to follow is: don't give away too many young players, e.g. don't trade two more young guys out than you get back in.

    OK, I get the need to have cheap young players on the roster to both keep the total cap hit down, and to replace the older guys down the line, but since when is having lots of young players a must? And since when has it been a proven method for success and not almost the exact opposite?

    Yes, having good young players is good, but you also can't have 6 or 7 of them learning to play the NHL game all at once and expect to have any sort of success.

  33. Smytty777 says:

    Oilers should trade for a physical d-man with a bullet shot who can spark our power play and can also kill penalties and play against the other team's best.

    They should also trade for a first line center with an all around game that can win faceoffs and outscore tough opposition.

    Oilers would be way better if they had players like that.

  34. John says:

    Bookie

    "Trying to lose is never a path to success."

    You are right Penguins getting Fluery, Malkin and Crosby has little or nothing to do with their lack of success.

    Ditto Washington with Ovechkin and Backstromm

    Chicago with Toews, Kane, Seabrook

    Or we can stumble along at 20th-22amd as we have over 4 of the last 6 years and have Sam Gagner to show for it. Would you take him over anyone of the above players?

  35. Mr DeBakey says:

    6) we have 1 atrocious contract in Horcoff —good player but bad contract
    and
    8) a number of BAD contracts for their level of contribution- Pisani, Moreau, Staios, Pouliot, Nilsson

    Gotta disagree with those two.
    Its not the absolute value of the contract that is measured, it’s the difference to its replacement.
    Horcoff’s contract isn’t great – but how much too high is it? I’d use Legwand’s $4.5 and Fisher’s $4.2 as comparables.
    The contracts of Khabibulin, Pisani, Moreau, Staios, & Nilsson are just as bad if not worse than Horcoff’s.
    As for Pouliot, you can argue that he isn’t a player.
    But, its impossible for an $825,000 contract to be really bad.

  36. Bruce says:

    Oilers should trade for a physical d-man with a bullet shot who can spark our power play and can also kill penalties and play against the other team's best.

    Smytty777: Right you are. This team misses Souray badly. With that one "accident" defence went from a strength to a weakness on this club. Doesn't help that the Glimmer Twins have completely screwed the pooch when given the opportunity to step into a bigger role. Their play has been very disappointing to say the least.

    They should also trade for a first line center with an all around game that can win faceoffs and outscore tough opposition.

    We've only seen one game with Horc out of the loop but his loss is apt to have a similar impact up front. And we've only seen two games without our #1 'keeper, while our opponents run their backups out there with impunity.

    8) a number of BAD contracts for their level of contribution- Pisani, Moreau, Staios, Pouliot, Nilsson

    How does O'Sullivan keep getting omitted from lists such as this?

    I'm still hoping that the flu is responsible for what seems like a team-wide energy drain. If what we're seeing is anything close to the true compete level of some of these dudes, it's time to clean house.

  37. Black Gold says:

    Oilers should trade for a physical d-man with a bullet shot who can spark our power play and can also kill penalties and play against the other team's best.

    it'd be nice if he could fight, too.
    and some on ice leadership..

  38. John says:

    Smytty777

    Did we just trade for Anton Volchenkov and Patrick Sharp….because those would be very good trades indeed

    The return of Souray will make us better. He would make every team in the NHL better…… the question is how much better and would we be better than 18th to 20th. Because if that is how good we are with his return that is going absolutely nowhere

    In looking back…..we did ZERO in off season except for replacing Roloson (with, I think,a slight upgrade) and expected a different result

    Maybe in the offseason we should abandon trying to hit the home run by signing the best free agents available and instead pile up a whole series of incremental advantages like GlenX, Rene Bourque, Jan Hejda etc

  39. pboy says:

    The problem with the Glimmer twins is that they don't play well together but every game they keep get thrown over the boards together. OTC has been talking about having a physical presence on each line but I think a defensive unit needs to be built with the same philosophy. Have a puck mover play with a stay at home guy.

    Gilbert-Souray
    Vish-Smid
    Grebs-Staios

    If it was me, I would be throwing out:

    Vish-Smid
    Grebs-Staios
    Gilbert-Chorney/Strudwick

  40. Jfry says:

    @steven

    the pens won the cup. the pens constantly shuffle through million dollar players to fill a roster around the best players in the world.

    i'm assuming you were kidding right? that's total cherry picking and misses the point. zach is fine as our fighter. Smac on the other hand isn't great as our 4th line energy guy.

  41. Bruce says:

    Smac on the other hand isn't great as our 4th line energy guy.

    I prefer kinetic energy over potential energy.

  42. Schitzo says:

    Trying to lose is never a path to sucess.

    Tell that to Pittsburgh

  43. Black Dog says:

    John – you forgot to mention shedding Kotalik and Brodziak

    The single biggest issues since June of 2006 have been management's dispersal of veteran NHL players and, more importantly, their refusal to replace them.

    You can argue that Torres had to go but he was a guy with a number of seasons under his belt who played tough minutes in the Cup run. Who replaced him? Smyth? Glencross? Reasoner?

    Cole struggled while here (partially because they played him with Moreau and Brodziak, not really quality offensive linemates) but he was a veteran and he could do a lot of little things right even when he was not scoring.

    The trade for Lubo was a good one, imo, but again who replaced Stoll? Spacek? Peca? Dvorak?

    The list is endless.

    And this summer just saw more of the same. Brodziak was replaceable but they didn't bring in anybody to replace him.

    Brutal.

  44. doritogrande says:

    Trying to lose is never a path to sucess.

    See Pittsburgh Penguins, 1983-84 season.

  45. Phil says:

    I think that a simple change of captaincy would go a long way in changing the morale on the team. Moreau is leading by example right now, and it's a terrible example to follow (has been almost since he got the 'C').

    I'm so tired of hearing his post game interviews, where he criticizes everyone but himself, when he's close to the worst player out there.

    You know that his BS must drive everyone else nuts.

    Who do you give the 'C' to, though?

  46. Woodguy says:

    Oilers should trade for a physical d-man with a bullet shot who can spark our power play and can also kill penalties and play against the other team's best.

    They should also trade for a first line center with an all around game that can win faceoffs and outscore tough opposition.

    Oilers would be way better if they had players like that.

    So how is Vancouver is 7-3 in their last 10 without Sedin, Salo (back now), Grabner, Luongo (played some of the last 10), Demitra, Bolduc, and Hansen?

    Yes, the Oilers miss Horcoff (only 1 game missed so far….explain the last 6 games with him) and Souray, but every team misses their injured players.

    Having depth in what we are bitching about.

    This team has none.

    Except in goal, but they won't play him.

  47. John says:

    DeBakey

    "Gotta disagree with those two.
    Its not the absolute value of the contract that is measured, it’s the difference to its replacement.
    Horcoff’s contract isn’t great – but how much too high is it? I’d use Legwand’s $4.5 and Fisher’s $4.2 as comparables."

    Agree to disagree. Horcoff is paid like a good first line center and is a very good 2nd line center. Nor are your comparables accurate:
    Legwand is 2 years younger, has 28 more points and is signed for this year and 4 more years at 900k less. Much better value.

    Fisher is 2 years younger, is truly a 2nd line center, is 55 points behind Horcoff (which he will meet and exceed at the same age) and is signed for this year and 3 more at $1.2 million less for his prime years. Arguable that Fisher is the best comparable player for Horcoff at $1.2 cheaper

    And if we use Patrick Sharp who is 3 years younger, signed for this year and 2 more at $3.9 m such that he is $1.5 cheaper for much shorter period of time and you get the best the player has.

    Repeat: I like Horcoff. Very very good 2nd line center. but he has a bad contract for way too long.

    Better question if you are the Ottawa, Chicago or Nashville GM and are offered Horcoff for any one of those 3 players…. you hang up. You don't ask questions, you don't add players to deal…. may not even say goodbye.

  48. mjsh says:

    I went to bed last night wondering if this team will ever win another game. Kinda like the last time Horcoff was injured.

    I woke up this morning a bit more optomistic. The Oil were missing two of their top four players in Horcoff and Souray. Also missing were three of the guys that brought the physical side to the game in JFJ, Stone and Smid.

    PLus you have Pisani working his way back into the lineup after another injury along witn Steady Steve.

    LT is right that this team does not have enough actual NHL players. And the sky is not falling. This is a long season and the Oil are in range of the playoffs right now.

    There is a need to deal with the overabundance of smurfs and the fact that S-Mac is not a hockey player. Do you trade now when every one is at the bottom of their value or do you wait till the team is back at full strenght and go on a bit of a run?

  49. Woodguy says:

    And this summer just saw more of the same. Brodziak was replaceable but they didn't bring in anybody to replace him.

    BD,

    His replacement has some sort of pubic thing.

  50. Black Dog says:

    Woodguy – another kid though

    All of those guys who got sent out – what veteran guys came in?

    Souray. Sykora for a season and then he was gone. Cole for less than a season, replaced by a kid. Visnovsky.

    Comrie, a guy whose skill set is replicated up and down the lineup by more kids.

    If you are going with kids then you had better have some really really special ones in the mix. And you had better hope to be lucky.

  51. SK Oiler Fan says:

    IMHO:
    Injuries / Flu are valid excuses, but even healthy this team had issues. There's just too many young players who don't play a complete game.

    This team lacks depth in all areas, but most notable at center ice. You can hide young, small players on the wings, but not at center in the Western Conference.

    Horc, Stoll, Peca, None of these guys were world beaters, nor cap killers, but it's a coaches dream. Vet centers who can win a draw, PK, PP, and play on both sides of the puck at evens.

    I'm going to get my head bitten off for this, but Hemsky is obviously the guy with the most value here. He's about the only guy where the Oilers could potentially get an overpay.

    I hate trade proposals and not saying you get these exact players, but could you get a Kesler and a Seabrook for Hemsky?

    For anything to happen they first have to dump the dead weight salary which also happens to include most of the so called leadership group: Moreau, Staios, Nilson, even Sully. Salvage whatever they can out of this group. Draft picks or prospects who have lost their way will do. Salary dump is the key here.

  52. Woodguy says:

    BD,

    Agreed.

    It would be nice to work with only 2-3 forwards and one defenceman a year who have less than 250 NHL games.

    Is 250 games a good rookie/NHL'er test?

    How many games makes an NHL player?

    I pulled 250 out of my ass because that would usually put the player in year 4-5 as an NHLer assuming they didn't start playing the full slate of games as a rookie.

    Is 250 fair, or should it be a different number?

  53. bookie says:

    Trying to lose thing.

    Some teams that have sucked for 2-3 years in a row have benefited enormously through the draft because of it. I am not certain that they purposely were trying to lose. Though it could be argued that they were 'rebuilding' intentionally.

    With that said, some teams have had success with winning formulas over longer periods of time.

    Does anyone have a statistical analysis identifying if losing is any better strategy towards future winning than other approaches.

    I think that identifying Pittsburg and Washington may be cherry picking the stats. Columbus and Tampa Bay have not had similar outcomes.

  54. BRIdub says:

    Tampa Bay has won the cup more recently than us, and I recall Lecavalier, a #1 pick, being a big part of that.

  55. Dennis says:

    As long as the stadium's full, there's no real reason for Katz to replace anyone.

    If you get rid of Tambo, then you get rid of the guy who picked him; the same guy who's out there eating breakfast eight days a week pimping for money for the new arena.

    So, I don't see anything happening with MGMT unless Quinn quits coaching and goes upstairs as council and then all the lemmings who thought the Oilers were following the Wings model with all the advisers can trumpet the latest edition to the round table.

    I think the only improvements with this club will come in-house when a couple of guys get healthy and outside of that; maybe you deal off 37 or 77 or 13 but who else has real value?

    The other way to give us a bump is to change the culture a bit by shelving 18 in the minors or maybe 34 as well if he keeps sucking. And then of course

    But until we see a team stash a contract in the minors, we should assume that they won't.

  56. NBOilerFan says:

    I thought we played pretty well last night and certainly had our share of oppurtunities to win the game…. we just don't capitalize on our oppurtuniities. And we just don't have the talented firepower up front. Look at Vancouver's first 3 goals last night, all nice sniper shots. We need more of that.

    But don't worry… help is coming, just be patient…

    As per Spector…

    NEWSDAY: Steve Zipay reported on his Twitter account yesterday Edmonton Oilers assistant coach Tom Renney admitted former NHL star Jaromir Jagr remains on the Oilers radar.

    SPECTOR'S NOTE: The Oilers made a generous offer to Jagr before he opted to sign with Avangard Omsk of the KHL of which he was very appreciative so it's possible once his contract is up with the KHL he could return to the NHL and possibly with the Oilers. Cap space both this year and next would be a problem and if Jagr were to return during this season he'd have to pass through waivers.

    FYI – Also Spector has a note about Jim Kelley reporting that Peca is looking to sign with a winning club… so please, lets forget about Peca. He doesn't want to come back to Edmonton, I'd bet money on it.

  57. Mr DeBakey says:

    "Horcoff is paid like a good first line center"

    He is not.

    If he were getting paid like a good 1st line Center,
    He'd not be making $7mm this season,
    he'd be making $7mm every season.

  58. Woodguy says:

    As long as the stadium's full, there's no real reason for Katz to replace anyone.

    That's the scary thing Dennis.

    The waiting list of season tickets still numbers in the thousands. (who all get the privilege of paying $50 to be on the list)

    If Katz is drinking the LoweAide and believing that "just wait until the young guys get better", we may see mediocrity for a while.

    Season 11/12 will have MPS and Eberle in their 2nd year (its the Oilers, both make the team next year).

    Gagner/Cogliano/Brule will be actual NHLers.

    It will the last year before FA for Hemsky, Penner, and Souray, so they might have career years.

    Maybe they'll make the playoffs then?

  59. Rob Gilgan says:

    And Jagr (or Peca) can't help the team in its current condition – healthy? Different story.

    All of the things I've seen (body language particularly) are indicative of players working through sickness. Sometimes they're just too sick to go (Smid). Other times they play because somebody has to.

    I agree that using Smac last night seemed suspect, but I don't know the logistics of bringing someone else in for a single non-division game.

    I think Kris comes close to nailing it: when you analyze who stay, who goes, it comes down to four players have to go. The worst of the rest are Valuable Tradeables.

    I'm sticking to my story. Once the injured players are back and the room is all healthy (flu-wise), this will be a competitive, entertaining team again. Until then – well, you saw it last night.

  60. NBOilerFan says:

    Also, sure glad we got rid of that bum Kotalik and his 6'-1", 227lb frame and 6-9-15pt stats this year. Who also went 7-4-11pts in 19games for us last year and had 20-23-43pts total in 08/09.

    Why would we want to pay him $3mil when we have a $2mil, 5'-11" 185lb, 1-2-3pt player and went 9-20-29pts last year?

    …… craziness.

  61. NBOilerFan says:

    … oh yea, and why would we want to go outside the organization to replace our second highest faceoff man of last year with a 51.6% FO%.

    …. craziness.

  62. knighttown says:

    Tis "trying to lose to get a good draft pick" shit pisses me off. It's such a nieve point of view that ignores the difficulties a franchise goes through to be terrible.

    Pittsburgh won the Cup. Yay! They also drafted 5th, 1st, 2nd, 1st and 2nd to get a nucleus of Whitney, Fleury, Malkin, Crosby and Staal. This isn't XBox where you simulate a season in 5 minutes. That 5 year stretch at the basement of the NHL damn near cost Pittsburgh their NHL team. Add to that, finishing that badly often isn't enough. They got extremely lucky to nab two of the top 3 players of this generation in Crosby and Malkin. If those two picks are (more typically) Pat Kane and Bobby Ryan there is no Cup yet in Pittsburgh.

    Let's take the team who turned rebuilding into an art form, the Columbus Blue Jackets. They drafted in the Top 8 for an NHL record 9 consecutive years. The list is Klesla, Leclaire, Nash, Zherdev, Picard, Brule, Voracek, Brassard and Filatov. It's a nice list and there's not too much there to mock but that team, although improved, is just another bubble NHL team.

    Chicago? Worst franchise in professional sports for a decade. Laughing stock that drew less fans than its AHL affiliate. Finishes last and gets Kane and Toews, which has helped, but make no mistake, this team is elite in small part because they were so shitty, but in large part because they made good personnel decisions with their incredible support players. But guess what? The window to compete with kids isn't a decade anymore thanks to the Kevin Lowe/Penner situation and there's every chance that this season is Chicago's best to win the Cup. If you haven't read Ken Campbell's article on the sure explosion of the Blackhawks next year, you should.

    So to answer Bookie's question, I would say there IS a relationship between losing 5 years ago and contending today. It's just that its a negative correlation not a positive one as many fans assume.

    The best way to win in 5 years?

    Win now.

  63. T. says:

    Seems we've had some narrow windows to trade people (lately) since (unless I'm wrong and correct me if I am) we can't trade the ones on IR… not that it's an excuse not to have made a move, just another complication.

    Also – it's $250 to get on that season seat registry. $200 one time fee that's refundable if you opt out and $50 per year that's not to stay on the list. Now this just bugs me on principle because if there's 1000 folks on that list, that's $250,000 just sitting earning them interest.

  64. kris says:

    You only tank when you need -to use a KLowe phrase- assets.

    This team has lots of assets already:

    Blue Chip Prospects/Kids: Cogliano, Gagner, MPS, Eberle,

    Decent Longshot Prospects: Chorney, Nash, Petry, Deslauriers, Jacques, Stone, Brule etc.

    Good Young Players with Decent Contracts: Grebs, Gilbert, Penner, Hemsky, Smid (these guys are all good, even if some are slumping or have slumped.)

    Good veterans in their Prime:
    Vis., Horcoff, Souray, Khabi?,

    Veterans and Filler Guys
    Pisani, Pouliot, Comrie

    Our problem is that the lineup is seriously TERRIBLY imbalanced. Young C's who are too small. Not enough veterans, too many kids. Too many soft puck movers who can't defend other teams cycle and forecheck. (Too many overpaid guys who can't play.)

    The solution is easy: Sell a few kids/ younger guys. Bite the bullet and duff at least one overpaid crap vet to add room for UFA's and waiver guys.

    Just ecause it hasn't been done, doesn't mean it isn't easy to do.

  65. Fogey says:

    Yes, having good young players is good, but you also can't have 6 or 7 of them learning to play the NHL game all at once and expect to have any sort of success.

    Check out the ages of the 1984 Stanley Cup champions

  66. kris says:

    Visnovsky, Souray, Grebeshkov, Gilbert, Smid, Penner, Hemsky, Horcoff, Gagner, Khabibulin

    I'm willing to say that our top 10 guys are very good, good enough to make the playoffs.

    It's the rest of the team, the depth guys, who are killing us.

    It should be easy to sell some youth -not even that much- for a couple of depth guys. Maybe sell one of our good, puck moving D, for a decent forward and a depth defenseman.

    Sorry to sound repetitive. I really think the things we saw early in the season are still there, we just need to make a few adjustments to have a team that can clear their own zone. Once we can do that, our talent will shine more, and there'll be a good chance at the playoffs.

  67. kris says:

    In the past, the Oil had bad attendance even at low-ish ticket prices, especially when they were losing.

    I don't live in Edmonton, so I don't know, but could this happen again if we keep losing? (Or are we more like Toronto now; no matter what the team is, there'll be people in the seats?)

    I really want to know.

  68. RiversQ says:

    I'd give them a good solid week to ten days to let the flu run its course and then re-assess.

    If I was Tambellini, I'd be really worried about getting it right considering the team from the first 7-8 games was riding the percentages and the team from the last 7-8 games is short-handed and has had a few guys obviously playing through the plague.

    So who are the real Edmonton Oilers? Well, in a nutshell they're the exact same bunch that MacT was stuck with. This is not a team that can hang with the best. This is a group that does just enough to stay in the 8-11 playoff place range and that's about it.

    The blame falls on management just as it has since 2006.

    You can get over injuries; you can get over the flu; you can get past mediocre goaltending; you can succeed in spite of bad coaching; but poor management in the NHL is crippling. You will never overcome that because they can pull the rug out at any time.

  69. bookie says:

    Tis "trying to lose to get a good draft pick" shit pisses me off. It's such a nieve point of view that ignores the difficulties a franchise goes through to be terrible.

    Knighttown – just to be clear, I agree with you TOTALLY and my original point was that losing to eventually win was a dumb strategy. I am in no way advocating losing to win, but rather was responding to others who suggested it.

    I am hoping that there are some stats guys who could perform some kind of analysis with regards to historical league finish vs long term success. I am betting that being in the playoffs on a regular basis is a better approach to winning a cup than totally sucking for 4-5 years.

  70. andy grabia says:

    As long as the stadium's full, there's no real reason for Katz to replace anyone.

    It's not just the stadium. It's the blogs, the forums, the PPV buy rates, the merchandise sales…all of it. Bottom line is there is no incentive for the company (the Oilers) to improve when the customer (fan) keeps forking over resources (time, money, effort, etc.). You want change at that level, Dennis? Find a new form of entertainment for a while. :)

  71. bookie says:

    Bottom line is there is no incentive for the company (the Oilers) to improve when the customer (fan) keeps forking over resources (time, money, effort, etc.).

    Well, only if there was strong evidence that such trends would continue indefinatly. Our market suffered significantly at times with a losing team. We are not Toronto with 8 million people in a 100 mile radius + fans accross the country. Also, with more demand (which a winning team creates) you can raise prices for tickets.

    Also, anyone that thinks Katz doesn't want to win hasn't been paying attention. Perhaps he does not know how to win, but that is different than not wanting to.

  72. HBomb says:

    Flu aside, it's the same thing I said weeks ago.
    You've got a closet full of shoes, and aside from a couple of chewed up slippers in Moreau and Staios, they're mostly nice shoes.

    Problem is, of the 20 shoes, 15 are for your left foot, and 10 are two sizes too small. There's also a couple in there that are a bizzare color that goes with one suit you own.

    In short – the individual goods have quality, but the overall mix is wrong.

  73. PDO says:

    "It's like a fog lifted." – Souray.

    Back to working out. Doing much better.

    Hopefully no more set backs and he's back by December.

    As for the Oilers?

    Would it fucking kill them to build from the bottom up instead of the top down? It's a hell of a lot easier to find a lot of guys who can play at the bottom of your roster, provide good depth, and make your team better than it is to find some mythical fucking whale….

    What do the kids call it these days? A real true #1 C?

    Lets just worry about getting real NHL players here instead of the likes of Jacques, Stone, Nilsson, Moreau, Staios, Strudwick, etc, etc.

  74. Woodguy says:

    Also, anyone that thinks Katz doesn't want to win hasn't been paying attention. Perhaps he does not know how to win, but that is different than not wanting to.

    I don't think anyone doubt's Katz's desire to win.

    The ability to separate personal relationships from doing what is right for the team (i.e. MACTAVISH IS GOING NO WHERE) is questioned.

    He is not a hockey expert. If he is relying on his friend Kevin Lowe to be that expert without independently assessing Lowe's ability as President (not the least of which is the ability of the GM he hired), then this team might be in trouble.

    Large gaping holes have been in this roster for a long time. If they persist without accountability in management, then the inmates are running the asylum.

    Given the demand for Oiler tickets in this city and the relatively robust economy (compared to the rest of North America, Western Canada is very busy compared to everyone else), the typical warning signs that the business is failing….decreased revenues…might be a ways off.

    This team could miss the playoffs this year and next year, and there would still be a waiting list for season tickets.

    Its like Green Bay. Its the only big time pro game in town (no the CFL doesn't count), and if the population has money, the demand will be there.

    Don't forget that the bad crowds of the 90's were during an especially dark period of Edmonton's economic history, known as The Reimer Years.

  75. rickibear says:

    Well, in a nutshell they're the exact same bunch that MacT was stuck with.

    Ie: Mact was a Genius.

  76. Bruce says:

    I'd give them a good solid week to ten days to let the flu run its course and then re-assess.

    Wise words, RiversQ, and the one factor which is (mostly) tempering my own interpretations of what I would otherwise see as an unacceptable lack of compete in many recent games. I've got no time for that under any normal circumstances, but this is not a normal flu. I expect that there have been more than a few guys playing sick cuz others are sicker, and it's unfair to shit all over them if so.

    But surely to mother of fuck this thing has to run its course eventually?

  77. Bruce says:

    Would it fucking kill them to build from the bottom up instead of the top down? It's a hell of a lot easier to find a lot of guys who can play at the bottom of your roster, provide good depth, and make your team better than it is to find some mythical fucking whale….
    What do the kids call it these days? A real true #1 C?

    It's ironic to think that Oilers' current #1C started out as a guy providing good depth at the bottom of the roster.

  78. Woodguy says:

    Also, sure glad we got rid of that bum Kotalik and his 6'-1", 227lb frame and 6-9-15pt stats this year. Who also went 7-4-11pts in 19games for us last year and had 20-23-43pts total in 08/09.

    Kotalik is all powerplay though, and on a healthy Oilers team his spot is Souray's.

    Kotalik 5v5 -10.66 Corsi (-7.2 Rel Corsi)
    Kotalik 5v5 GFO/60 Diff -1.94 playing the dregs with the dregs.

    Interesting stat:

    Worst Relative Corsi on the Rangers is Chris Drury with -19.1 for his $7.05M cap hit.

    Why did Gainey bail Sather out?

  79. kris says:

    Bruce,

    I dunno about the flu excuse. ("Fluxcuse"?)

    I'm pretty sure H1N1 doesn't hit adults any harder -sometimes milder- than regular flu. (Which is pretty nasty) Our guys look fast enough, so the flu isn't hurting their endurance or speed, which is where it should show. (Can the flu make you play dumber?)

    Moreover, I've seen a lot of our guys play badly over a long enough period that there's no way the flu can explain it.

    All of the following have sucked, consistently for a long stretch:

    Nilsson, Moreau, Cogliano, Jacques, Grebeshkov, Gilbert, Strudwick, and O'Sullivan

    If they started the season with the flu, they should be over it, and if they got it recently, it doesn't explain their crappy start.

    Some of those guys should be better, e.g. O'Sullivan, some will be better, e.g. Grebs and Gilbert, and the rest were at least supposed to be okay fill-ins in the event of injury, e.g. Nilsson, Moreau, and Cogs.

  80. Jonathan Willis says:

    So who are the real Edmonton Oilers? Well, in a nutshell they're the exact same bunch that MacT was stuck with. This is not a team that can hang with the best. This is a group that does just enough to stay in the 8-11 playoff place range and that's about it.

    The blame falls on management just as it has since 2006.

    And that's it, right there. There aren't magic bullets, and as much as I've liked some moves Tambellini has made (I'll die on the O'Sullivan hill, thank you kindly, although Williams would have been nice too) the fact is that he looked at this roster and thought bringing in Dany Heatley and Chris Neil and moving out Kyle Brodziak was the way to fix it.

    I was behind the Heatley trade, but looking at the PK and the lack of quality bottom-sixers (something both Quinn and MacT complained about) and doing nothing about it really, really bothers me. Guys were available – Chris Gratton and Andy Hilbert, to name two – and the moves weren't made. It's early, but I wonder if they ever will be.

    Then again, maybe it's a learning curve thing and Tambellini will grow into it.

  81. Hockey Noob says:

    One lingering problem for the Oilers is the simple fact that we've added grit to our roster (Stone/Jacques) and they're both now out of the lineup. Stone's supposed to be back shortly, but a torn medial meniscus is quite a serious injury–I know as I had one.

    As for Steve MacIntyre, can someone explain to me why in the context of our injuries/illness, we're keeping a guy who plays 1:30 per game (if he actually starts) on the roster?

  82. Lowetide says:

    Just want to say that I agree with Jonathan, all the way down to defending the O'Sullivan trade. Folks, we need more men like him, not fewer. A nice range of skills, has some things that might make him more useful as time goes on.

    But we're using Jacques/Stone in roles where more experienced men are required. Kovalenko used to play on a line with Smyth, which made him better.

    Quinn doesn't have enough differnce makers (Raines-type) to make the complementary players (Wallach-type) any use at all.

    Fail. F. Again. Fuck.

  83. Hockey Noob says:

    The Montreal Canadiens just placed Alex Henry on waivers. I don't know much about him, but he's big 6'6/230 pounds, Cheap .5k cap hit, and 30 years old. He played for the Oilers back 2002 (3 games). Mostly a fringe NHLer and if Souray's coming back soon, perhaps nothing to really look at.

    Where's Flaming Pavel Bure when you need him? Thoughts?

  84. Dakin says:

    hen again, maybe it's a learning curve thing and Tambellini will grow into it.

    Jesus that is a scary thought…

  85. Lowetide says:

    He (Henry) was an Oilers pick late 90s, fairly high (I'm not going to look). Henry was an enforcer with defense rising and looked close to making the show when (I believe) Washington took him.

    Small l Leroux, as in Francois Leroux

  86. Hockey Noob says:

    LT,

    I certainly agree. My dad used to tell me that there are three types of people in this world–those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that ask WTF happened?

    As for the Oilers, we're far too thin on players that actually make things happen while we're chalk-full of those in the latter two categories.

  87. PDO says:

    LT:

    Esks are going to win 3 straight, in BC, in Calgary and in Saskabush.

    Just keep focused on that. It'll be good for the heart.

  88. Lowetide says:

    PDO: I'll have some of what you're having. :-) You are my friend, but that's not going to happen.

  89. PDO says:

    I think it's more likely than the Oilers making a trade to address a need… ;)

  90. Lowetide says:

    Agreed. :-) Plus, yellow snow. More likely than that, too.

  91. RiversQ says:

    Re: O'Sullivan. I get Bruce's point and it seems like he'll never be a finisher but he's a useful player for this bunch. He's not outperforming his contract and he is replaceable, but there are at least 5-6 forwards ahead of him on the list to be worried about.

    Vic described him as a little like Dvorak, which isn't quite accurate but they do have things in common like not scoring that much and helping to keep the puck in the other end.

  92. RiversQ says:

    LT: Pardon me for blowing your mind, but I can make yellow snow at pretty much any time.

  93. Vic Ferrari says:

    I'm with RiversQ on this.

    I can forgive a lot of the badness going on at the minute, it is a whack of injuries and the flu. When the Oilers were hit by the flu vs ANA in the playoffs they really struggled to win puck battles as well. Still seemed to be able to skate though. They were pretty badly outplayed in that series at 5v5 as well, the hockey gods were on their side, though.

    So I can believe that the perceived lack of effort is illness being magnified by the score on the board.

    The fact is, though, they were getting outchanced and outshot early, during the winning streak. Some of that came because they were leading in games, but even when it was still tied they weren't outplaying anyone very often. As MC79 keeps reminding us, history tells us that is a harbinger of things to come. Bad things.

    They still have a lot of players who should improve overall as the year wears on. And once this team gets healthy, that will need to start happening if we want to be watching them in the playoffs in April.

  94. Black Dog says:

    I work with a girl who's had some sort of flu for eleven days now. She was in bed for four days and the remaining seven days she came to work and then went home and straight to bed.

    And she's not playing professional sports.

    This club isn't as good as its start, we all know that.

    But I think the idea that one can just play through a flu is a little naive. I remember Pitkanen getting ragged on for not playing through one once, or that may have been sore hair, can't remember ;)

    In any case we will have a better idea once these guys get healthy. Its just a real bastard for sure.

    Doesn't forgive Tambellini or Lowe for leaving this roster short this past summer, again, but the club is not this bad.

  95. Woodguy says:

    Opinions please:

    Pull a number out of your ass.

    How many games until a guy is an "NHL'er"

    I have some spare time this weekend and may squint through a few stats, but I need a cut off and I"m not qualified to decide what it is.

    Your opinions please.

  96. Lowetide says:

    My line in the sand would be about 180 games. Just a little over two seasons, which means that Gagner is on time and we should worry about Cogliano a little.

  97. Black Dog says:

    Regarding Cogliano its becoming apparent that he is being, well I don't know if mismanaged is the right word, but misplaced in this lineup.

    He's a guy who needs some quality linemates (say Penner and O'Sullivan) and some reasonable opposition (softies)and I think then you'd see the 25 goals.

    Playing him with Moreau and Stortini is a waste. He's been pretty shitty but I think they need to put him in a position to succeed.

    Of course as is the case with this team there are only so many quality players. Play him with 27 and 19 and then its Gagner who gets the dregs which makes little sense too.

  98. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: I've always felt Cogliano would be a terrific player and although there have been periods where you could openly wonder about him there's just too much.

    But this season I'm wondering. If we made a list of players who have suffered with the coaching change I'd say he is near the top.

  99. Woodguy says:

    I think the key question with Cogliano is, who is deciding that he should play center in the NHL?

    On this team that is not the position that would benefit him and the team most, its 1/2 LW.

    Is it him, the coach, management?
    A combination?

    His presence at center doesn't give the opening to the mythical 3C/PK/face off guy this team lacks.

  100. Black Dog says:

    Agreed LT.

    Him and 77. And 12. But for Robert its same old I guess.

    Gilbert has been better since he had the flu but he and Grebs need to get split up permanently.

    Cogs needs some wingers. Or a centre.

    Of course Gagner got busted early and he certainly made an impact right away. Cogliano has not done that.

  101. PDO says:

    Hey LT:

    1 down :-).

  102. YKOil says:

    For me Cogs either heads to the wing or his numbers get pumped and he gets dumped.

    Simple as that.

    Oh, I am also okay with POS. Would like to see him signed if he was willing to take a shave on that cheque (say 2 – 2.25?).

  103. Bruce says:

    re: POS. I like the player, don't like the salary and term. (Sound familiar, LT?)

    Also you Dvorak fans (and count me as one): do you see Dvorak at any point in his career as a $3 MM player in 2009 dollars? (The out-of-body 2000-01 season excepted)

    O'Sullivan has a ways to go before he's as good as Dvorak IMO. Needs to get a lot more consistent for one thing. So that stipend is a little tough to swallow.

  104. Rick says:

    Seems obvious that the Oilers are waiting until Spuray and Smid are right before hitting the trade market.

    The worst thing we could do is move a puck mover now and end up with another AHL defenseman logging heavy minutes for the weeks left until they get right.

    Also it's November and not many teams want to deal unless they come out way ahead. Trades need two teams…

  105. Dennis says:

    Pat stole my idea;) but 13's a guy that's pretty easy to focus on now for a few reasons.

    First off, it's hard to keep it going with one line and 13's doing absolutely nothing right now and hasn't for a nice while going back to the end of last year.

    So, what's exactly going on with him? We hear from Quinn that 91 no longer wants to play pivot so is it a case with 13 where he doesn't want to play wing? He's really not improved – at least not by my eye – defensively as a centre and his faceoff pct is still poor so why are they keeping him there?

    He has to be dying given the quality of linemates he's received and I want to see him play with 10-83 just to see what he has. His play's been a huge disappointment to me but i want to see him tried as a scoring winger before I cut the chord on him.

    But, he doesn't appear to be much of a centre and as LT said, he could be one of the guys that get's lost in the new coaching shuffle; the ying to 27's yang if you will.

    Overall, I want to see us with 10-44 back in the lineup before I decide if they're a playoff team but one thing has been worrying me for a long and that's the lack of bottom sixers and/Tambo's refusal to go outside to try and find them.

    Let's say that 10-13-19-27-83-89 eventually make up the top six. Ok, where do we go from there? 67 and 91 are good bottom sixers but how about after that? 18's looks every bit done and 34 could be in the same pile. I love 22 but I think he's a guy that can't be left on his own and has to play with guys who he can follow from their examples. 46 works his nuts off but it's been a long time since I've noticed him playing a good game. 32 has looked OK but it's a small sample size.

    I mentioned a guy like Zigomanis the other day and why not call up the Leaves and bring him in? But maybe Tambo won't go outside to augment the scorers and that could be a problem even when everyone's healthy.

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