G48 Sharks at Oilers

For a team with very little history, the San Jose Sharks have done some impressive things. Three seasons of 50 or more wins, another of 49 and another of 48 wins, all of which have come in the last 5 seasons. The Sharks consistently drive deep into the post-season and although their window should be closing soon the management is doing an excellent job of adding talent annually.

They are a very strong organization.

San Jose fans certainly have their moments of frustration (they were supposed to have a Stanley by now) but for Oiler fans–looking at another 8 months arguing in circles and at each other’s throats–the plight of the Sharks would be a welcome relief. The rebuild may look fabulous five years down the line, but right now it feels like the only thing on television is Groundhog Day. What’s more, Terry Jones has the news this morning: Steve Tambellini is about to get a contract extension on the strength of drafting and OKC’s performance. As Terry notes in his article, Tom Renney’s status is not as concrete. We’ve talked about this being a possibility here and other spots along the way, and I think coach Todd Nelson in OKC is a person of interest going forward.

Ryan Whitney is 80% and could be back, I’d estimate Horcoff at about 50% but the bugger’s hanging in as always. I know he’s not earning the moolah, but he sure as hell puts in a full day’s work. Taylor Hall will have 20 more camera’s on him tonight and Jordan Eberle always seems to post a crooked number. I think Jeff Petry is getting more confident, he might be a guy we can count on in a year or two.

The next time the Edmonton Oilers are as good as the San Jose Sharks are now, I pledge to you I will be a glib, unforgiving dink to every fan of every losery team on the freaking planet.

As things currently stand, watching the Oilers makes me a little crazy. Like I want to head for the Korova Milkbar.

 

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170 Responses to "G48 Sharks at Oilers"

  1. Henry says:

    So this means that Tambellini is still the right guy for his job, but MacT then Quinn then Renney were the wrong guy for the team? Who made the call on those guys? Is the next savior going to be the right call?

  2. Travis Dakin says:

    I want to know what it says about a management group whose AHL team is the best in their league, but whose NHL team is pretty much the worst in theirs…. No really, I don’t quite know what that means.

  3. Downright Fierce says:

    I wonder if Toonces’ extension might be of the Wonderbra variety: lift and separate. While he wouldn’t be put into Lowe’s seat (there’s still a giant ass in it), I could see him getting a “promotion” that “allows” him to focus on drafting & development.

  4. Woodguy says:

    1) Fire Coach after finishing 11th in WC
    2) Hire Old mentor, hire old goalie, try to get Heatley, spend to the cap finish 30th
    3) Fire Old mentor, call old goalie MVP, spend as little as possible, get rid of old ineffective vets, hire flotsam and jetsam, finish 30th
    4) Hire new ineffective vets, talk about the playoffs. Finish 29th or 30th.
    5) New contract extension

    Nice work if you can get it.

    Is this clarity?

    I supposed this is an example of “expect the unexpected”

    Glad I didn’t renew my season tickets.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Downright Fierce:
    I wonder if Toonces’ extension might be of the Wonderbra variety: lift and separate. While he wouldn’t be put into Lowe’s seat (there’s still a giant ass in it), I could see him getting a “promotion” that “allows” him to focus on drafting & development.

    That would be nice.

    Dare to dream!

  6. rickithebear says:

    Phili loking to REPLACE Chris Pronger with Gleason. There pro scout Department? Can we get it.

  7. stevezie says:

    Tonight is my lady’s first live Oilers experience. I think we can all agree that the best realistic scenario is that she wins the 50-50 and decides to spend it all on me.

  8. Clay says:

    So, serious question – is anyone here actually going to watch this game live, or just set the PVR, wait to see what the score is, then delete it once you see the ticker on your iPhone say 4-0 SJS after the first period?

  9. pboy says:

    Woodguy: 1) Fire Coach after finishing 11th in WC2) Hire Old mentor, hire old goalie, try to get Heatley, spend to the cap finish 30th3) Fire Old mentor, call old goalie MVP, spend as little as possible, get rid of old ineffective vets, hire flotsam and jetsam, finish 30th4) Hire new ineffective vets, talk about the playoffs. Finish 29th or 30th.5) New contract extensionNice work if you can get it.Is this clarity?I supposed this is an example of “expect the unexpected”Glad I didn’t renew my season tickets.

    I don’t love the job that Renney has done in his time here but if he suddenly morphed into 1970′s Scotty Bowman, how much higher in the standings would this team be? MacT, Quinn and Renney have all been given shit to work with and they have all been sacrificed at the altar of misguided management. How long did LT say it took for Illitch to figure things out in Detroit?

    How

  10. FastOil says:

    I love the CWO reference. You won’t be alone heading to the milk bar, but you never seem to get into a bit of the old ultra violence with your droogies in the comments section!

  11. Travis Dakin says:

    stevezie,

    You screwed up dude. I took my wife to her first Oilers game a couple of years ago and it was against the Sharks as well. She sat there the whole game asking me questions like these…..

    “Why aren’t the Oilers trying as hard as the Sharks?”

    “Why don’t they try to take the puck away from them?”

    “Who is that #19 Thornton guy? The Oilers are afraid to go near him… They just let him do whatever he wants with the puck!”

    “It looks like they are trying to lose….”

    This all coming from a non-hockey fan.

  12. Woodguy says:

    pboy,

    Some of the best coaches in all sports have all said the same thing at one time or another.

    The best coach is the one that gets off the bus with the best team.

    I was simply listing what he has done.

    He’s fired 2 coaches and the results speak for themselves.

    Probably not the coach.

  13. hunter1909 says:

    Where’s Batman?

    If both Tambellini and Renney’s contracts expire, that’s the way business oughta be.

    If either is extended, other than in a brand new capacity somewhere in the Kafka-like management I’ll be seriously pissed.

    Re Tonight’s Game: Haven’t watched much oilers hockey lately :P Sharks and everyone from now on will rightfully see the oilers as an easy W.

    PS: From now on, nobody use a large case letter O when writing the oilers. If a lot of fans do it, then sooner or later the national press, even newspapers that Kevin Lowe reads will make it a newsworthy, if light piece of media entertainment. It’s not like the oilers deserve a large case O, is it?

  14. shane leavitt says:

    Woodguy,

    As we all know, Renney may be deserving of being fired, but not before Tambellini fantastically absolutely does. This apparent Oliers/media brainwashing being perpetrated is mind blowing.

  15. stephen sheps says:

    Since I’m now in the middle east doing my research, I’ve taken to using the lovely “condensed game” feature on gamecenter. It makes watching the unbelievable ineptitude a bit easier to handle. All you really need is a 10-12 minute snapshot to understand the suck.

    @WG, I’m inclined to agree. It’s not the coach, it’s not even the system the coach is using (considering the improvement on special teams, I’m inclined to think the system isn’t actually all that bad), but the players brought in don’t necessarily fit the scheme. I was reading somewhere over the weekend, probably here but I never really remember anymore, about the idea of fitting players to idealized conceptions of lines, rather than players to each-other. It seems that’s what Renney has done with the team this year, not necessarily because he wants to, but because of the hand he’s been dealt. He shouldn’t have to fall on his sword, he shouldn’t be rendered “homo sacer” either (which is to say he shouldn’t be deemed worthy of being killed but not worthy of being sacrificed). It’s not the coach…

    On the other hand, Tambi’s done a few good things to build underneath the big club, which is commendable, and we all love MBS around these parts, but the pro player acquisition side of his job is not being handled well. He’s not fixing the weaknesses that are so glaring even our next captain has said the D is a mess, publicly. Yes I’m saying Eberle, not Hall, will wear the C next, but what the hell do I know? If a 21 year old kid and the rest of us can all see what the team needs, why on earth should we, the ticket buying masses have any faith that Tambi is the man to right this sinking ship?

    I’ll watch the condensed version of the game again tomorrow morning (I’m 9 hours ahead of the Edmontonians among us), but I doubt very much it will be worth my time to invest anything more than the 10 minute version. My patience is running out.

  16. pboy says:

    Woodguy: pboy, Some of the best coaches in all sports have all said the same thing at one time or another.The best coach is the one that gets off the bus with the best team.I was simply listing what he has done. He’s fired 2 coaches and the results speak for themselves.Probably not the coach.

    I agree completely. Until Katz pulls his head out and figures out that Lowe is the issue, we will keep seeing the same bullshit organization but keep hearing that the results will be different this time. Firing v.03 or Renney might result in some improvements but the root cause would still be unaddressed.

  17. ashley says:

    SJ has a great fanbase too, and right out of the gate when they got a team. They had some early success which certainly helped, then some down years, but the fans stayed right with them. Of all the expansion mistakes the NHL has made, this was not one of them.

  18. rich says:

    When you’re the GM, you’re allowed to spin things to your hearts content.

    I’m not convinced that Renney is (or is not the right person) at this stage of where things are. He’s had a reputation as a teacher and a nice guy. After the mirage that was the start of the season, the team came back to find it’s level – and is now suffering because of key injuries and a lack of actual NHL d-men. That said, if Todd Nelson becomes the coach next year I would not be upset.

    I am convinced that 3.2 is getting the benefit of MBS draft record and the fact that in the AHL, if you are willing to spend a little more money than the other guy it’s possible to build a successful team.

    But if you’re going to give him credit for those things, he deserves all the criticism for bad pro scouting and his horrible trades.

    Did like Terry Jones snarky comment that 3.2 is being allowed to learn on the job. Stinks if you’re season ticket holder and fan, but they are not the primary concern which is what ultimately pisses me off.

  19. DBO says:

    So twitter blowing up with a possible 4 year deal for Tambellini. It hurts inside. At this point how can you justify it? How involved is Katz? And if he isn’t shouldn\t KLowe get his checque book taken away and a new management team brought in. Hall getting pissed, the kids must be counting the days until they can leave because what have they done to inspire confidence in the kids minds that the team will ever get better. And with this extension I bet Tambellini plays hard ball with Smyth and we don’t get him resigned. Seriously, at this point is that a stretch? Anything is possible right, well anything shitty is now truly possible, and I doubt i’m in the minority when I say that I expect no real movement at the deadline and to hear talk form the Org about competing in 3 years once the “5″ year rebuild is over. 3 more years?!? Sad day Oil fans sad day.

  20. Captain Obvious says:

    The problem is that Renney has a large hand in who plays on the roster.

    Who benched Omark one game into the season? Renney.

    Who thinks Josh Green is a better hockey player than Hartikainen? Renney.

    Who wanted Hordichuk to take up a roster spot and then not play? Renney.

    Who thinks having a useless fourth line is a good idea? Renney.

    Who thought Petrell should make the team? Renney.

    Who continues to play Belanger on “scoring” lines? Renney.

    Tambellini is nobody’s idea of a good GM but Renney has had a large hand in constructing this roster. If this team sucks, and it does, one of the main reasons is that Renney has no idea how to construct a roster.

    This team has taken a giant step backwards this year and a lot of that is horrible talent evaluation and usage by the coaching staff.

  21. stephen sheps says:

    DBO,

    terrible. Yet another reason to not get on twitter…

  22. DBO says:

    stephen sheps:
    DBO,

    terrible. Yet another reason to not get on twitter…

    Agreed.

  23. JAG-041 says:

    To quote my Calgarian friend’s facebook status today

    “You know, as much as we have had our differences in the past, I think it’s cute that the Edmonton Oilers still think that they’re a professional Hockey Team.”

    I was so mad
    but I can’t argue with him
    I hate it
    but I can’t stop loving the oilers (notice lower case “O” (even an “O” on it’s own deserves capitalization))
    someone please delude me with some kind of hope, even if it’s totally false
    you guys are good with numbers, give me anything!

  24. bookje says:

    For those who want Tambellini fired, this is the logical first step. Tambi and Katz developed a rebuild ‘vision’. That vision was on track for 1.5 seasons finishing last (WG – note I said 1.5 seasons – not 2). That vision got off track this year. The team is failing to achieve the goals set out for this season (development, dressing room culture, improvement). In such situations, the GM gets to fire his coach to try and fix the problem. If that doesn’t work, then the GM is next.

    As Devil’s advocate, it might be worth noting that the Quinn-Renny combo were brought in under ST 2.0, which we suspect is when the team was fully managed by Katz and Lowe with Tambellini being a puppet. Maybe Tambellini is really a genius and Renney and Quinn were the problems and once Tambellini gets to pick his own coach, the team will be on it’s way to Stanley!

    If the team loses 3 more games and the building gets emptier – Renney is gone – book it!

    Or there could be a trade to address some of the problems on the team roster (no seriously, the coach is going to be fired).

  25. FastOil says:

    I am not an Oiler apologist. Katz clearly knows how to run large businesses, and has said publicly he loves making deals, which made him successful in growing Rexall. I would imagine when he took control of the Oilers he assessed the situation and at some point set in place the “plan” with his managers.

    The length of rope Lowe and ST have been given I would think has to do with mitigating factors. Lowe ran the team into the ground, but was it his fault or EIG? Katz likely has a long term view of his team, so I imagine he expects plenty of rough years before things are rectified. Progress has been made in the organization – the farm is class, scouting apparently better, efforts are in place to address the physical and mental health of players, etc., so ST is doing his job there.

    So the question is are we seeing the plan unfold or is losing someone’s incompetence in play? IMO we won’t know this year. There are public statements of the intent to win but no evidence of serious positive management efforts. There have been no significant acquisitions made outside of the draft.

    For me it comes down to this: if the plan is to take a good run of lottery picks I am not on board. There is too much risk in losing the current rising stars if the rebuild takes too long, and I don’t want to watch this anymore. Another concern is that enough players develop to take the team out of lottery contention but the core isn’t solid and they go back to struggling for eighth place and first round exits.

    The other way is for an active and competent GM to wheel and deal his core into place and flesh the team out from there. That can be done through trades for players or for extra lottery picks (which would speed the pace up if that’s the route) or both. I think enough has changed and there is enough buzz around the Oilers again that players not wanting to come to Edmonton can’t be used as a blanket excuse anymore.

    So either Tambellini starts actively building his core, or he’s not good at his job to me. I would think Katz wants a good deal making GM because he likes making good deals himself. He should know what that looks like. If ST is following orders to go through the draft only, then from Katz down they are misguided, and we are going to see a lot of lousy hockey for a long time.

  26. bookje says:

    Fastoil – I believe that players like Belenge and Eager were meant to be some of the first non-draft parts of the rebuild. Barker was a ‘try a reclamation and see if it works’, but those other two were meant to be key elements (3rd and 4th line) of the competitive team of the future. Their failure to do anything has probably caught Katz’ eye and both Tambellini and Renney are feeling heat because of it. Added to this, I suspect Katz is questioning the wisdom of the pick up of Whitney.

    In other words, Katz can overlook the failings of Horcoff, Dubnyk, and others that were in place prior to ST really being in control (3.0). He can ignore the failed reclamation projects (Brule, Barker, etc.), but as the team is supposed to shift gears from losing to winning and the new components are not looking like they should – he might be starting to wonder.

  27. oilersfan says:

    Woodguy

    I just wanted to take a minute to play devil’s advocate. First of all, you are 100% right, and I just wanted to make a couple of points.

    I read a column by Eric Francis about a year ago, where he claims he spent some off the record time with Tambellini during the 2009-2010 season where, according to Francis, tambo basically said (and I am paraphrasing from a column I read 2 years ago so I may be off) off the record that after the first year assessing the Oilers current NHL team and the state of the prospects, that he recommended to blow it up, but that Lowe and Katz thought the team was good enough to try to make the playoffs and they instructed him to get a veteran goalie and Heatley. When the season went sour he convinced them to blow it up. If that is the case, one must admit he has done a good job getting rid of bad contracts and setting up a really good farm team/development system.

    Secondly, upon looking at the current team, and the state of where they are blowing it all up, one must draw a few conclusions:
    1) they still do not have the pieces to make a stanley cup contender, obviously
    2) as such, they still need, at a minimim: 1 franchise d and another quality second pairing dman
    secondary scoring, including a high end second line and a very good third line, and a power forward or two, and a goalie.

    so given all of our frustrations, I think we can all agree that is what is needed, at least.

    so now ask ourselves, despite the fact we have sucked for three years as the worst or second worst team in the NHL, and the three years before sucked as a mediocre (at best) team, what is the best solution going forward for the next two seasons to become a Stanley Cup contender for 10-15 years after that?

    I hate to say it, but the answer is obvious to me: at least one more year with a lottery pick next year (2012-2013). then a top ten pick. then go for the playoffs in 2014-2015. Maybe I am wrong and they can go for the playoffs in 2014.

    How else will these guys get the players they need? Remember, it is not just about the first round, but the late first round and early second round picks like Klefbom, Marincin, Pitlick, Hamilton and Musil. Those players are not elite so they need the 2-5 years to develop before they can make a difference while the elite players get their feet wet and become leaders when these second tier, but very good players, come to the team.

    While it is painful to live through, I think that is the plan, and as such, why Katz is not firing Tambellini.

    It has been said, well, any idiot can finish last place. That is true. I think the challenge to Tambellini in these purposeful last place years is to convince Hall and RNH, and to a lessor extent the fans, that they are not trying to be the worst team, so they will keep trying the way they do.

    Stauffer started the year saying he expected the Oilers to finish 10 points higher in the standings than last year but to still be a lottery team. He has also said a few times, that the difference between the Pittsburgh and Washingto suckage vs Columbus etc was the Columbus only got ok players by drafting 8th so often, whereas Pitt got elite players drafting 30th.

    If there is one person who is representing the Oilers to the fans it is stauffer not Matheson.

  28. Traktor says:

    Bryan Murray hired and fired 3 coaches before he found what appears to be the right man for the job.

    Ottawa, like Edmonton, were projected to finish in lottery again this year but currently sit only 4 points out of first in the conference. The biggest difference is Ottawa’s veterans come to play every night and MacLean gets a solid contribution from his 4th line.

  29. jake70 says:

    -Hall embarrased about the other night (Oilers site)

    -I think the tank was on from the getgo this season, if they surprised and climbed the standings, that’s alright too. If he is following orders, what can he do?

    -They HAVE to make some progress (defined I guess by playing games that mean something beyond the 3rd week of January) next season.

    -If they must extend Tambellini, going over 1 year IMO is insane. Let him have a whirl at this year updating the roster to be competitive all season long, but 1 year only. No progress, bye bye. I would hope that Oilers are in the driver’s seat in terms of contract length for ST (and not Tambellini only signing if > 1 year).

  30. Ducey says:

    oilersfan,

    Very good points.

  31. LMHF#1 says:

    We’re still missing the Glen Sather style coach than can get an emerging team out of its own way. We’re also missing a Glen Sather style GM who knows what buttons to push and when to bring in that guy from the other side of the planet who will fit in just right.

    Glen isn’t that guy anymore, but there has to be SOMEONE out there who is capable.

  32. Ducey says:

    -If they must extend Tambellini, going over 1 year IMO is insane. Let him have a whirl at this year updating the roster to be competitive all season long, but 1 year only. No progress, bye bye. I would hope that Oilers are in the driver’s seat in terms of contract length for ST (and not Tambellini only signing if > 1 year).

    You can’t have GM who is on a year to year contract. Human nature means he is going to start making decisions for now, in priority to the longterm. That may satisfy the fanbase’s short sighted desire to become Flames North, but isn’t how to build longterm excellence.

    I expect Tambo will get a three year deal. They can always fire him before then.

  33. stephen sheps says:

    LMHF#1:
    We’re still missing the Glen Sather style coach than can get an emerging team out of its own way. We’re also missing a Glen Sather style GM who knows what buttons to push and when to bring in that guy from the other side of the planet who will fit in just right.

    Glen isn’t that guy anymore, but there has to be SOMEONE out there who is capable.

    You know who is that style though? Oddly enough, it’s Torts… The Rangers aren’t exactly an old team, especially on D. Renney coached many of them through their very raw early years, and now Torts is getting the slightly more broken in version of the same core (Plus Richards and Gaborik, whose roles can’t be underestimated). Yet Torts has gotten the most out of that team, doing exactly what you suggest, having an emerging team get out of it’s own way. He did a similar thing in TBay in the early aughts as well.

  34. Woodguy says:

    oilersfan,

    Is Tambellini adding good players other than draft? No. His record is poor.

    Can a team be made up solely of draft picks? No. Dmen mature much slower and by the time Marincin, Klefbom etc can handle tough NHL assignments (if ever) the forward group is in free agency.

    Everyone and their dog looked at this team in the summer and thought, “They need to shore up the D”

    Tambellini trades Foster for Sutton (slight positive) and signs Barker (negative). I’m ok with taking a shot at Barker if that’s all it is, but they put all their eggs in that basket. Word is they want to re-sign him too.

    Tambellini is trying to make this team better and failing.

    There is a window before Eberle, RNH and Hall are going to get paid more and its about to close with the Oilers not making the playoffs.

    Smart GM’s would have taken advantage of that, not piss it away.

    I’m not saying that will be their only window, just that the next window will be different.

    This window had the 7th leading scorer in the NHL taking up 1.8% of team’s salary cap and the team was in 25th place.

  35. rickithebear says:

    I am not an Oiler apologist. Katz clearly knows how to run large businesses:

    there are two Business industries you can be a totat F*** up and Still make money. Sports(hockey)and Pharmaceuticals. A continuing line of people wanting your product and willing to pay.

  36. oilersfan says:

    Woodguy

    I want to start by saying I love your posts and do not want to get in a quarrel with you just to be a dick like DSF.

    You need to change your paradigm of evaluating Tambellini. If what Francis has said is true, and if what Stauffer and Tencer are saying is true, and it is Katz’s goal to win the Stanley cup over and over in the future, and Tambo or somebody convinced him the only way to do that is to finish bottom five for 4-5 years, then Tambellini’s job IS to finish in the bottom 5, WHILE NOT ADMITTING IT IN PUBLIC OR TO THE PLAYERS. So stop evaluating him as a guy whose job is to make the playoffs. It isn’t. If it were, he would be getting fired. Hi s job is to pretend he is not sucking on purpose so his players don’t quit and the fans buy tickets. then to give his best players NHL experience with some mediocre vets as transitional players.

    If I am right, he is doing a good job. If he is actually trying to do a good job to make the playoffs this year, for sure he is a total idiot. I am simply of the opinion, that is not his job right now. His job is to say “what would a team that will win 3-5 stanley cups look like, and how can I get those pieces”.

    If the process includes sucking for 4-5 years, after the process started, yes we are unfortunately only in the third year of that time. Despite the fact we sucked for 3 years before they admitted it, and got 2 players in Gagner and MP in 2 of those prior 3 years that may not be materially good enough to be important players on a team that contends for the Stanley Cup every year. I have a sinking feeling that in that vision of what the team will look like, that Gagner and MP don’t really fit, and if they do, only as bit parts. Hopefully I am wrong on MP but it looks to me like Gagner will bite the bullet within 18 months or sooner.

  37. oilersfan says:

    As for RNH and Hall going to get paid more. really?? their cap hit now is 3.75 million. If the Oilers can sign them to Tavares like contracts their raises get paid for simply with Ryan Smyth’s contract going down to $2 million. The only player that will get a materially bigger cap hit is Eberle. his contract will be paid for by Horcoff leaving town in 18 months when his real salary is low and a floor team takes him for a 4th rounder. Hopefully Lander is ready to take those minutes by then.

  38. Captain Obvious says:

    Cam Barker is an important litmus test. If they re-sign him then management has declared they are incompetent forever more. By eye Cam Barker is the worst hockey player in the NHL. Anyone who doesn’t realize this has no idea what they are doing.

  39. VOR says:

    I loved Clock Work Orange, the final scene has to rate right up there with the greatest movie moments of all time. Kubrick gave us some great ones of course. He did love to mess with the audience’s head.

    In that tradition, given you are debating whether ST is a terrible GM lets try a thought experiment:

    Would you fire a GM who a) had the following record, and b) insisted on keeping the same coach despite teh fact there were times the team clearly gave up on him.

    63 points
    70 points
    80 points
    69 points
    74 points

    lottery team all five years, out of the playoffs (usually by quite a large margin).

    So would you resign the GM and coach to new long term deals?

  40. cabbiesmacker says:

    Captain Obvious:
    The problem is that Renney has a large hand in who plays on the roster.

    Who benched Omark one game into the season?Renney.

    Who thinks Josh Green is a better hockey player than Hartikainen?Renney.

    Who wanted Hordichuk to take up a roster spot and then not play?Renney.

    Who thinks having a useless fourth line is a good idea?Renney.

    Who thought Petrell should make the team?Renney.

    Who continues to play Belanger on “scoring” lines?Renney.

    Tambellini is nobody’s idea of a good GM but Renney has had a large hand in constructing this roster.If this team sucks, and it does, one of the main reasons is that Renney has no idea how to construct a roster.

    This team has taken a giant step backwards this year and a lot of that is horrible talent evaluation and usage by the coaching staff.

    CO..I don’t think much of what you mention matters much when the variance between one player and his replacement is minute at best. We just flat out do not have the depth or quality required where making lineup tweeks will impact results to any great degree. Would there be even a 4 point difference for this team if the things you mention had/had not happened? I doubt it.

    The GM not the coach is responsible for the players lacing them up on game day. Lets put the blame firmly where it lies. The Lowe Expectations / ST management team. Both should be down the road, …but…but…it’s just so damned hard to bid adieu to one of the heros of the 80′s around these parts.

    As for our drafting record I’ll give credit where it’s due. The Eberle pick was a damned good one. Bobo the chimp makes the two first OV’s. I suspect Bobo would make the right choice with this years first OV as well but I have far less confidence the dynamic duo will. Betting the DD is hoping we fall a little so the possibility of a Russian being the logical pick is off the table.

  41. Woodguy says:

    oilersfan,

    I disagree that sucking for 5 years is a guarantor of success in the future.

    I disagree that good players only come from the lottery (no question the best are at the top, but how many do you need? How many can you afford to keep long term?)

    I do not believe that they set out to pick in the lottery this year.

    I don’t think that they kidded themselves that they were playoff contenders, but I can’t see them setting out to tank again.

  42. oilersfan says:

    Captain Obvious.

    Truthfully I did not watch Barker in detail enough to know he was the worst player in the NHL. More than anything I trust the COH’s scoring chances, and according to that, for sure he was pretty bad.

    He hasn’t been re-signed yet.

    I was hoping he would be healthy and the Oilers could trade him to a contender for defensive depth.

    Is Barker not good enough to be a third pairing guy?

    Like I said, i hadn’t watched him enough to comment intelligently. I had thought the Oilers tried him at second pairing, which was over his head, thus the bad numbers, but at third pairing he could be ok. Maybe they think over time he will develop into second pairing.

    Question to group: How does that guy get picked third overall?? 2004 was a brutal year as Dubnyk and Schremp will attest to for Oilers fans.

    VOS, can I guess that was Pittsburgh’s recortd from 2002-2006 or something/?

  43. bookje says:

    LMHF#1: GM

    I am pretty sure that my dog could have coached or GMed that team to a few Stanley Cups and I don’t even have a dog.

  44. Woodguy says:

    oilersfan,

    I’ll bet with you on Hall’s and RNH’s next contract.

    I say they will both be over 3.75MM.

    Are you taking the under on both?

    Also, Horcoff will not be easily traded for at least 2 years, if then.

    I like Horcoff a lot, but his cap hit gets worse every year he gets older.

    1 amnesty buy-out this summer (if they include that in the new CBA) is the only hope for immediate help there.

  45. cabbiesmacker says:

    oilersfan:
    As for RNH and Hall going to get paid more. really?? their cap hit now is 3.75 million. If the Oilers can sign them to Tavares like contracts their raises get paid for simply with Ryan Smyth’s contract going down to $2 million.

    $2M for Smyth? Not a chance that happens nor should it. Try $6M over two years at the absolute lowest and thats a stretch.

  46. bookje says:

    rickithebear:

    Everybusiness is like that if you ignore the fact that others are competing for your $$ – groceries, coffee, beer, carpet sales, marshmellows, etc.

  47. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    oilersfan,

    I disagree that sucking for 5 years is a guarantor of success in the future.

    I disagree that good players only come from the lottery (no question the best are at the top, but how many do you need?How many can you afford to keep long term?)

    I do not believe that they set out to pick in the lottery this year.

    I don’t think that they kidded themselves that they were playoff contenders, but I can’t see them setting out to tank again.

    I believe ‘The Plan’ was 20th to 25th. Every team need to find a few ‘gems’ through good trades, Free Agency, Reclamation projects, etc. to compliment their draft picks, otherwise their draft picks wither away because the rest of the team is too easy to play against.

  48. Ducey says:

    Tambellini trades Foster for Sutton (slight positive) and signs Barker (negative). I’m ok with taking a shot at Barker if that’s all it is, but they put all their eggs in that basket. Word is they want to re-sign him too.

    Tambellini is trying to make this team better and failing.

    I have never agreed with this. They wanted toughness (Sutton, Eager, Hordichuk) and to shore up the D and third line C. Its not like they went all Buffalo/ Columbus and went after big fish. They did not know what they would have in RNH. It wasn’t really foreseeable he would be as good as he has been.

    If we know one thing about KLowe its that he loves the big fish. If they were really trying to make this a playoff team, or really improve the D they would have gone after someone big and expensive (probably the wrong guys mind you). They didn’t. They were content to see what would happen this year.

    I think this team would be 10 pts better if they didn’t have Whitney and Hemsky MIA. I don’t think either loss was forseeable. A D corp of Whitney (assuming career ave) Gilbert Smid Sutton Petry Peckham Potter Barker would not be world beaters but should have been able to be at least close to average.

  49. Smarmy says:

    I don’t know. A pile of lottery finishes and sellouts every night is probably worth an extension in an uber rich dudes view of things.

  50. bookje says:

    Ducey,

    I think that the loss of some key players is pretty normal – maybe not quite as many as we have, but all teams get hit by injury and Hemsky and Whitney were question marks going in.

    Like WG – I do think the plan was to be better, but not a lot better – the problem is that they are not only looking to be 30th overall right now, but there are some cracks in the new Dressing room culture that they worked so hard to build. It’s possible to look at this team from the ‘I buy into the rebuild’ point of view and still wonder if they are off track.

  51. oilersfan says:

    I think Barker was a low risk gamble to see if a lottery pick slow developing dman develops. looks like he hasn’t so far anyways. sort of a pat fallon type gamble.

    Woodguy, I am saying Hall and RNH will likely get 5.75 like Tavares did. That is a 2 million raise each, so covered by smyth getting 2 million which is a 4 million pay cut.

    Horcoff maybe they will want to keep him but for money only purposes, after 2012-2013 he will make 4 million then 3 million, so teams at the floor will maybe pay him 3.5 over 2 average to get the 5.5 million cap hit. The Islanders took Rolston, so something like that. That being said, if he can hold his own as a third liner maybe they just keep him as a character guy.

  52. VOR says:

    Without boring you with all the math it is a fairly straight forward calculation to work out that the Oilers need to be about 34% better to be a true NHL power.

    If we want to think of it this way we need to upgrade at least half our roster, and those upgrades need to be signifiicant (60+%). Presumably some of the needed improvement can come from the younger players getting better. So I’ll be kind and say the Oilers need 1 generational talent out of this draft, three of the under twenty fives to get at lest 34% better, and 6 veterans who are above average NHL players. Maybe an injury free Horcoff or a re-signed Hemsky rebound and fill two of those roles but we would still be miles away.

    I don’t think I am alone in doubting Tambellini or Lowe is up to accomplishing that sort of upgrading.

    However, in my question above, David Poile and Barry Trotz turned out to be up to a very similar challenge. Though there was no reason to believe five years in to Nashville’s build that they were. I used them as the example since people here keep saying we need to replace Renney with Trotz. Yet we can see how poorly Trotz preformed when he didn’t have the players.

  53. oilersfan says:

    maybe the plan was for 20th-25th but given the recent scouting report comparing Ryan Murray to Tom Gilbert, as much as I like Gilbert and the outlook for Murray, I think the Malkin light Grigorenko providing elite scoring to be 1a /elite 2 center, i will take Grigorenko.

    Where will the D come from? I think that will have to be traded for or a flukey second rounder like Marincin developing.

    I prefer for the Oilers to re-sign Hemsky, but if a team like Pittsburgh trades their first rounder for him, maybe 20th overall in this super defenceman draft gets a dman almost as good as Murray at 20th?

  54. FastOil says:

    bookje,

    It is hard to know what to make of things at the moment. Belanger it could be said was a signing that might improve the team in a impactful way, but no other forward. The part that makes me say this was intended as a tank year is that nothing was done with the D. No way Sutton, Barker, Potter change things much. The chances of Whitney coming back and playing like he did were slim at best after what he’s gone through in that time frame.

    If losing wasn’t the plan (which I find hard to swallow) , we might see a new GM. If ST stays we have a clear indication that what is happening was not unexpected. Who is at fault will become easier to discern then.

  55. stevezie says:

    Hey LT, Jeff Marek just declared you the best (or possibly just his favourite) Oilers blogger on the internationally renowned Puck Daddy Podcast.

  56. hunter1909 says:

    Re: Tambellini+Renney extentions:

    Just wait until Shawn freaking Horcoff gets put up for an oilers management position. Katz so far has shown himself to be out of touch with the fanbase(publicly announcing his but buddy MacT will not be fired regardless of the baying mob forming outside Cartel Rexall’s HQ).

    Katz = secretive as any Juarez Cartel drug baron; coupled by the arrogance of the nouveaux rich = appears to be learning his trade from the James L. Dolan school of ownership.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    I’m lucky enough to remember the Oilers when they mattered.

    These KatzClowns’ oilers deserve nothing but scorn.

  58. DBO says:

    Up front I wonder if they roll with current players next year. The talk will be “the kids are improving and getting better with more time, so well start the year with younger players playing prominent roles and fill spots where needed once we evaluate the roster”. … punches self in face

    Next years roster without Hemsky

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Smyth-Gagner-Hartikainen
    MPS-Horcoff-Lander
    Eager-Belanger-Jones

    Super.

  59. Traktor says:

    Assuming that every team has interest in acquiring a good UFA then Edmonton would have a 3% chance of acquiring any individual player.

    Its not as easy as just snapping your fingers and UFA defensemen are going to flock to Edmonton. As Buffalo and Columbus has shown recently it often involves giving ludicrous contracts that require up to 10 year terms. The worst possible thing Tambellini could have done is give out a long-term contract for an average player. Horcoff, Pisani, Moreau, Bulin ect are proof where that gets you.

    An argument can be made that Edmonton could have signed a player like Ian White but I don’t buy it. On a short-term contract how many #4ish level defensemen are going to choose a place like Edmonton over a perennial contender like Detroit and have chance to pair up with Lidstrom? Signing a short-term deal with Edmonton is career suicide because more than likely you are going to get exposed on a lottery level hockey team. Ian White is now playing himself into big payday after the year he is having in Detroit.

    Could we have convinced Ian White to sign here for 4 season and 4 per? I think its possible but I’m not sure that is a smart long-term plan.

    The only player I could have seen being a realistic destination for Edmonton is someone like Scott Hannon or Steve Staios. Upgrades over our kids but they aren’t much of a solution to our backend. Personally I would prefer to take a gamble on someone like Barker but understand those who disagree.

    Edmonton is likely going to need to trade for a defensemen if they want to find the right fit and the right contract. The thing that I don’t get with the fans that complain about a lackluster d-core is most of them don’t want to trade Hemsky or Gagner to help achieve that goal. And then when reports that Edmonton might be interested in Suter many fans cry foul.

    I’m disappointed that Tambellini hasn’t brought a legit solution to help our D but I’m at least positive that we are building some decent depth at the junior ranks and for the most part he hasn’t crippled our flexibility with bad contracts or trading futures for a quick fix to appease the fans.

    I think the biggest reason many fans are disappointed that Tambellini is going to be re-upped is that his is eventually going to taste the fruits of his labor and most don’t agree with his process.

  60. FastOil says:

    rickithebear,

    I think all of the losing is making you a cynic Ricki. Whether or not Katz can run a hockey team we’ll see, but it’s not a fool who grows a business like Rexall and keeps it afloat. Of course now someone will tell me it’s on the ropes with RIM and Katz and Ballsey are best friends.

  61. iwin76 says:

    Hey Lowetide, is there any evidence that Horcoff is hurt?

    re: “I’d estimate Horcoff at about 50% but the bugger’s hanging in as always.”

  62. Ducey says:

    DBO,

    DBO, I don’t want to dissuade you from punching yourself in the face but Grigorenko is missing from your lineup. He could play 2nd line C with Smyth and Gagner. (the Grigs, Gags, Guts line TM)The way Hemsky has played, Grigs might outscore Hemsky’s last two years in his first year.

    If they kept Hemsky that could be a fantastic top 6, but that assumes we see the pre 2012 Hemsky. That assumption is pretty specious. Hemsky is already gone in his own mind.

    Hemsky is the saddest part of this years Oilers team. Maybe he is hurt, maybe he is a pussy because he has been hurt many times before, or maybe he is sulking. We obviously can’t know which. It would have been nice to keep him around and build a team around him, but I can’t see him ever playing with any fire in an Oiler’s jersey.

  63. Ducey says:

    Eberle added to the All Star game.

  64. FastOil says:

    Ducey,

    IMO any GM that expected many games out of Whitney and Hemsky has been sneaking into the owners well stocked bathroom cabinet. The surprise would be that they played 75%.

  65. iwin76 says:

    I watched the last game in fast forward (Pretty sure PVR was invented by an Oiler fan with foresight that realized that actually watching this shit at regular speed would kill them), but has Hemsky every looked so bad? Guys who carry the puck will always give it away more than average, but he was awful. Moreover, he used to bust back and try to strip the puck back…not so much last game. Just wide circles and back to the bench. Hemsky was my favorite Oiler forever, but if that’s the new norm….

  66. stephen sheps says:

    iwin76,

    precisely why I’ve been watching the condensed version (well, that and the game starting at 6AM for me…on the other hand maybe I’ll watch the 2nd live with my coffee before class)

  67. Traktor says:

    iwin76:
    Hey Lowetide, is there any evidence that Horcoff is hurt?

    re: “I’d estimate Horcoff at about 50% but the bugger’s hanging in as always.”

    Horcoff hurt his shoulder about a month ago. He never missed any action but for 1 game he played wing instead of center so he wouldn’t need to take draws. He probably isn’t 100% but nobody at the NHL level is ever 100%.

  68. Traktor says:

    Belanger PPG since the lockout: 0.49
    Belanger PPG this season: 0.22

    Hemsky PPG since the lockout: 0.91
    Hemsky PPG this season: 0.50

    Horcoff PPG since the lockout: 0.69
    Horcoff PPG this season: 0.48

    I know Tambellini hasn’t assembled the greatest team but when our 2C, 3C, 1RW are under performing this badly its not hard to imagine why Edmonton sits where the do in the standings. The kids playing at a near PPG pace has all been nullified by the play of Edmonton’s veterans. Two of them weren’t even Tambellini signings.

  69. Ducey says:

    FastOil: Ducey, IMO any GM that expected many games out of Whitney and Hemsky has been sneaking into the owners well stocked bathroom cabinet. The surprise would be that they played 75%.

    The seems a little 20/20 hindsightish to me.

    Hemsky has played almost all the games this year. He has played the worst he ever has as a pro. This was forseeable? LT had him at 54 pts in 57 games.

    Whitney had one foot fixed and it was a success. His other foot was done and he expected the same result. Who knows what the doctors said? Presumably they were expecting a better result.

  70. DBO says:

    Through all the pain and anger right now, we must remember there are some good to great pieces here.

    Centre: RNH, Gagner, Horcoff, Belanger.
    - That is a solid 4 centres, with Lander as the next in line. I think that has potential, with Gagner solidly at 2C, 2 tough minute vets in Horc and Belanger and RNH is a star in the making.

    RW: Eberle, Jones, Omark
    - No size (Jones isn’t small, but not big either). Hartikainen can play here, and may need to in order to add needed size.

    LW: Hall, MPS, Smyth?, Eager
    - That is a solid LW set up. Eager is a good 4th liner (has way more speed then I thought). Smyth is a 2/3 LW right now, so is MPS. Hall is a gamebreaker. And all have size (only Eager plays big, and Hall is slowly evolving into Messier nasty I hope). And Hartikainen is the other fill in. All in all RW is solid for a few years anyways.

    D: Won’t even bother naming them all. A healthy Whitney and Gilbert, along with another true top 4 and our D goes from weakness to solid. Not strength, just solid. San Jose has 8 NHL defenseman, 8. That is the depth you need to compete.

    G: Bulin old and hope he gets moved for anything. Dubnyk is at best a good backup (at this point). IN the org we are years away from Roy or Bunz making an impact.

    Need a top end dman, a true #1 goalie and a big impact body at RW. That is a hell of a shopping list for the off season. Colour me not hopeful for it to work out.

  71. FastOil says:

    Ducey,

    “The seems a little 20/20 hindsightish to me”

    Fair enough, but it isn’t. Last year I commented Whitney would likely take a year to recover and upset a blogger (not LT) because I’m not a surggeon (officially). Commentor Ashley (here I think) also thought Whitney would have a long road. While the surgery was a success he had trouble with the first foot, number two wasn’t going to make things easier. There is still as good a chance he never recovers fully as that he returns to form. The guy had his feet reconstructed after all.

    Hemsky’s injury history alone is a reason to think he wouldn’t play all the games. Previous injury is the best predictor of future injury according to a Cult of Hockey piece that I don’t have a link to anymore. I think the vast majority of fans expect Hemsky to get hurt from what I read. And while he has played most of the games, he probably shouldn’t have been in a fair few of them by how his arm was hanging.

  72. DBO says:

    DMen available as UFA’s (and yes I know we will overpay)

    Top End who will get money everywhere, so hard to see here:
    - Suter, Carle, Wideman, Liles (arguable, but someone will pay him $4 mill),

    Stay at home types
    - Kubina, Stuart, Jackman, MItchell, Gleason, Allen, Zanon, Boychuk (more offense then most), Grossman, Sutton, White, Hannan,

    Offensive types with warts
    - Kuba, Campoli, Foster, Jones, Spacek,

    RW with size
    - Ruutu (ideal but he’ll cost $4 mill), Doan (old but still useful), Kostitsyn, Stempniak (not too big, but he at least competes), Moen (he can play RW or LW),

    RW is dry. Defense has many options. Shocker, but Hesmky is the best RW available.

  73. DBO says:

    UFA goalies:
    - Josh Harding (potential #1).
    - Michael Leighton (solid vet).
    - Jonas Gustavsson (Monster, no thanks)
    - Dan ellis (solid vet)
    - Al Montoya (interesting option)
    - Ray Emery )interesting. Maybe he’ll add team toughness)
    - Curtis Sanford (playing well on a crappy Columbus team).

    A few choices, and the one thing we may have to offer is playing time if we deal Bulin.

  74. DBO says:

    Sign Harding (3 years $2 mill per. Overpay yes, but hell we are 3 years from Bunz so got no choice)
    Sign Boychuk (5 years $3.5 mill. Overpay, but he adds a huge part to the team and is entering his prime. Can PP and PK)
    Sign a Zanon type (2 years $1.5 mill per. old LT favourite from a few years ago).
    Make a big offer to Ruutu (can always use more Finns. 4 years $4.0 mill. what you would pay Hemsky but he won’t come back so try for Ruutu).

    Make believe is fun. Hope springs eternal. etc. etc.

  75. stephen sheps says:

    DBO,

    I’ve wanted Harding on the oilers for years, and Montoya is interesting.

  76. PeOiler says:

    bookje,

    I do hope Tambi’s coach is not Mark Crawford.

  77. Traktor says:

    DBO:
    Sign Harding (3 years $2 mill per. Overpay yes, but hell we are 3 years from Bunz so got no choice)
    Sign Boychuk (5 years $3.5 mill. Overpay, but he adds a huge part to the team and is entering his prime. Can PP and PK)
    Sign a Zanon type (2 years $1.5 mill per. old LT favourite from a few years ago).
    Make a big offer to Ruutu (can always use more Finns. 4 years $4.0 mill. what you would pay Hemsky but he won’t come back so try for Ruutu).

    Make believe is fun. Hope springs eternal. etc. etc.

    That team still doesn’t make the playoffs and you’ve done a number on our flexibility. 5 years is way too long to give a player like Boychuk. I would rather him 1 year at 6M. Overpaying in term is a cardinal sin imo. 4×4 for Ruutu seems very unlikely. Leino just got 4.5×6 and Ruutu is a better player.

  78. pboy says:

    Pretty lively comment section today. I like the idea of having all the fans in Rexall walk out at a pre-arranged time during a game to protest this clubs ongoing futility. It would never happen but it would make for great press and it could even drive Batman out of his cave. I would credit whomever had the idea but I can’t remember and I’m way to lazy to go back and check.

  79. Denniss says:

    People, people, people!

    kevin lowe is the ultimate shot-caller with the brass. Tambellini’s a puppet who couldn’t get a GM job anywhere else. Lowe gets to move the pieces around using Tambo’s hand and also gets to put Tambo’s ass to the fire when the thunder rolls.

    Katz is enamoured with Lowe and allows this to happen and Lowe to call the shots.

    So, why would Lowe fire Tambo?

  80. Jordan says:

    Had a great conversation with a long-time old school Oiler fan a couple days ago. His belief is that the Oilers will move 4 forwards and 2 defenseman at the deadline this year off the roster, and do their best not to add any prospects to that (but maybe a suspect or two like Chorney).

    We both agree that the goal in moving out those players is:
    A top pairing defenseman (the nashville longshot)
    At least 1 first round draft pick and likely another 2nd or 3rd
    Filler for the rest of the season

    Who is likely on the move?
    F – Hemsky (shocker, I know), Smyth (if he wants to make a run – will offer contract in summer), Gagner (if they go whale hunting), and Belanger (if they can find a taker)
    D – Sutton (has value for depth) & Petry or Peckham (depending on the whale, or if they are playing numbers)

    He also beleives they’d move Khabbi if they could get a decent 2a backup in one of the trades. Despite his poor showings recently, there is a market for the man.

  81. rickithebear says:

    Bookie: Products you and i cannot Make: Garden, Dad bilt our fitrst color TV.

    Everytime i think Horcoffs contract is unbelievable awful: i look at Zone start, Quality of Comp, Corsi, Ga adjust for Save %, Point production. for Centers in that situation. There are 10 Centers in tough Situation and 5 in the leagues worst situation surprisingly similiar results:
    Leagues worst;
    Horcoff, Umberger, Laich, Bolland, Pahlson average Salary 4.1M

    Significant softer comp similiar toughs:
    B. Sutter, Sobotka, Brodziak, Moore, Thompson. Average 1.4M

    Versus pears his salary is still not that Bad.

    I looked at Allstar selesctions and how they ranked offensively the three major Categories:

    Eberle, one of 7 forwards top 20 in all.
    Malkin, Giroux, Lupul, Hossa, D. Sedin, Tavares, Eberle.
    RNH one of 15 Forwards top 40 in all
    Kessel, Spezza, Seguin, Pomminville, Backstrom, Elias, Ericksson, RNH
    Hall one of 24 Forwards top 60 in all and top 20 in Goals
    Stamkos, Toews, Moulson, Sharp, Kovalchuk, Versteeg, Hall, Marchand, Vanek

    Lok at the former Chicago and Pitssburgh:

  82. Jordan says:

    rickithebear,

    I think Tyler might be beating Taylor. I bet Taylor’s pretty pissed about it too.

    I know I would be.

  83. stephen sheps says:

    pboy:
    Pretty lively comment section today. I like the idea of having all the fans in Rexall walk out at a pre-arranged time during a game to protest this clubs ongoing futility. It would never happen but it would make for great press and it could even drive Batman out of his cave. I would credit whomever had the idea but I can’t remember and I’m way to lazy to go back and check.

    Occupy Rexall?

  84. sliderule says:

    I keep saying this until my head spins but this team is built wrong
    We have had amateur scouting who picked lady byng types and off the wall picks
    We missed out on 2003 one of the best draft years ever.We trade away durable players and sign or trade for injury prone and soft players..
    We have had two number ones who look like studs along with Eberle a small forward with great skill.
    Despite al this we cannot cycle the puck because we are too small or soft.
    During the off season we do not sign or trade for a good defenceman or goalie despite having a number of drafted prospects.
    You tell me we should be extending any of our management?

  85. hunter1909 says:

    Why not pry Barry Trotz out of Nashville? He acts like a good hockey coach, and the defense he runs have this really weird un-oiler habit of defending their goal.

    A monkey will be able to run the top six next year, if Grekorenko/Yakupov show up. Simply take the top 4 superstars, and then plug in any 2 players on a rotating basis, lol.

    This oiler fan wants to see heads roll.

  86. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    Re: big fish.

    They don’t need big fish. (although a 1D would be nice)

    They need players that don’t bleed chances against because they kids bleed chances against and will until they mature.

    They are adding more flotsam when surer, not sexy bets are available.

  87. Woodguy says:

    Traktor:
    Assuming that every team has interest in acquiring a good UFA then Edmonton would have a 3% chance of acquiring any individual player.

    Its not as easy as just snapping your fingers and UFA defensemen are going to flock to Edmonton. As Buffalo and Columbus has shown recently it often involves giving ludicrous contracts that require up to 10 year terms. The worst possible thing Tambellini could have done is give out a long-term contract for an average player. Horcoff, Pisani, Moreau, Bulin ect are proof where that gets you.

    An argument can be made that Edmonton could have signed a player like Ian White but I don’t buy it. On a short-term contract how many #4ish level defensemen are going to choose a place like Edmonton over a perennial contender like Detroit and have chance to pair up with Lidstrom? Signing a short-term deal with Edmonton is career suicide because more than likely you are going to get exposed on a lottery level hockey team. Ian White is now playing himself into big payday after the year he is having in Detroit.

    Could we have convinced Ian White to sign here for 4 season and 4 per? I think its possible but I’m not sure that is a smart long-term plan.

    The only player I could have seen being a realistic destination for Edmonton is someone like Scott Hannon or Steve Staios.Upgrades over our kids but they aren’t much of a solution to our backend. Personally I would prefer to take a gamble on someone like Barker but understand those who disagree.

    Edmonton is likely going to need to trade for a defensemen if they want to find the right fit and the right contract. The thing that I don’t get with the fans that complain about a lackluster d-core is most of them don’t want to trade Hemsky or Gagner to help achieve that goal. And then when reports that Edmonton might be interested in Suter many fans cry foul.

    I’m disappointed that Tambellini hasn’t brought a legit solution to help our D but I’m at least positive that we are building some decent depth at the junior ranks and for the most part he hasn’t crippled our flexibility with bad contracts or trading futures for a quick fix to appease the fans.

    I think the biggest reason many fans are disappointed that Tambellini is going to be re-upped is that his is eventually going to taste the fruits of his labor and most don’t agree with his process.

    Nice post Traktor.

    Many of us talked about short term overpays to get the White’s of the world. Some may have gone for it. 2 years at more than what others were willing to pay. Maybe at the end they want to stay. Short term though, not the ridiculousness of BUF and CBJ. You won’t get the A-list UFA’s, but you might get 1 or 2 B listers.

    The efficiency game that the NHL has turned into with Free Agency at 7 years/27 years old and a salary cap has changed the game completely and some GM’s don’t get it yet. The big ticket FA must be done when close to winning, if at all.

    If you show that you are a good team with solid players locked into long term contracts then the big fish will take discounts like Hossa, half of Vancouver, most of Detroit etc.

    The rest of the team gets built through the draft and improving at every chance you have to upgrade every roster spot. Often though smaller trades and smaller UFA signings.

    I disagree that the vitrol stems from not wanting Tambellini to see the fruits of his labour. Based on the way the team is built, it may Spring of 2014 before the make the playoffs if he can’t add players that don’t bleed.

    I don’t think he can. He hasn’t shown it yet and its been 4 years.

  88. Woodguy says:

    Dave Hodge wants to know what you think the Oilers need.

    I think it might be interesting to see what Hodge publishes.

    Most here have interesting opinions.

  89. Lowetide says:

    The Oilers went out in the summer and picked up Andy Sutton, which is fine because if he’s on the third pairing and one of Petry or Peckham is sitting then that’s cool. If both kids play well, the old man sits. Hell, that’s a nice upgrade from Strudwick.

    Now, if Ryan Whitney had been healthy, then adding a legit top 4D to #6 and Gilbert-Smid means you’re cooking with petrol. Not the ’77 Habs but they’re doing alright.

    And they got a nice break on depth, with Potter and Fedun showing well and giving the team plenty of options.

    But when they hired Cam Barker the plot became murky. Because you knew he was their option for top 4D and yet there had never really been evidence. Hell, in Minny kid blue no better than Petry were passing him life a house on the side of the road.

    So you’re already in trouble a little before the physicals at TC. Now along comes Whitney with his magic feet and that’s all she wrote.

    Depth. Balance. These are words with meaning.

  90. bookje says:

    stephen sheps: Occupy Rexall?

    Yes, like impact that the massive Fire MacT rally organized by facebook had.

  91. bookje says:

    Is something wrong with my computer updates or has no-one actually posted over the past hour?

  92. bookje says:

    Weird, it looks like it is just me – I am not watching the game (have the PVR on while my kids plays Toy Story on the Wii, but I assume its an awesome game because no one is commenting.

  93. bookje says:

    Wait – maybe something really horrible happened and people are just too freaked out to comment. Did somebody step on somebody’s head with a skate or something (sorry for the gruesome thought, but I just thought of a crazy, weird, impossible occurrence)?

  94. OilClog says:

    was that Hallsy…”Fucking Cock Sucker”

    Gord Miller.. Commercial break.

    YES!!!

  95. Gret99zky says:

    “If (insert player name) can stay healthy,” (when clearly the named player has never, ever stayed healthy) “then the team should be a contender next season.”

    It never happens so WTF?

    Maybe Tambi should plan for the usual 10-15% of missed regular season games from every single one of the players in his line-up and prepare for that instead.

    Injury excuses are as comforting as re-build excuses.

    Can’t wait for Tambi to strut up onto the stage in June with his new contract tucked neatly in his pocket and tell everyone in Pittsburgh and the Oilers’ annual draft party how “proud” he is to select another #1 pick.

  96. danny says:

    Is the site being troublesome again?

  97. slipper says:

    One time Douglas Murray went to frat party with a hammer and nail and proceeded to shotgun an entire pony keg of beer.

    The last words he was heard to mumble before passing out blind were: “I invented that”.

    Historically accurate story.

  98. bookje says:

    danny:
    Is the site being troublesome again?

    It wasn’t being troublesome for me, but maybe I was the only guy. I was worried that I would have to do it all myself – carry the load – you know what I mean – Like “Horcoff sucks – No Horcoff doesn’t suck he plays the toughs, the Math says so – Math is stupid, watch the game, he sucks – No, he doesn’t, he is just overpaid - Yeah, damn right he is, that’s why he sucks

  99. Gret99zky says:

    Who do the stats guys count as “the toughs” when a team plays the Oilers?

  100. DSF says:

    Tambellini speaks…McKinnon polishes the turds.

    http://goo.gl/wBYtO

  101. OilLeak says:

    Gret99zky,

    An opportune time to pad opposition player’s stats.

  102. "Steve Smith" says:

    This is a lot like the last game, in that you can see this remaining 0-0 until late in the third, but the ultimate outcome is not in any doubt.

  103. "Steve Smith" says:

    In other news, that move was a solid 65% of Belanger’s year-to-date offensive acumen.

  104. Jordan says:

    Yup, that’s thanks to the great play of thefuturecaptainjordaneberle

    @ Gret99zky

    Such a thing doesn’t exist. When a team plays the oilers, the opposing team plays the softs, the mushies, and the Mrs. Butterworths.

  105. "Steve Smith" says:

    Prediction: this will not in fact remain 0-0 until late in the third.

  106. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I like watching 14 play hockey.

  107. spoiler says:

    Is there a Shrine of Eberle at which I may disembowel chickens and otherwise give thanks?

  108. OilLeak says:

    Not sure what Hemsky was thinking on that last play.

  109. pboy says:

    I was just reading Brownlee’s article at ON and basically, he says that the Oilers are just as well off not extending or firing either of them until after the season when they can be evaluated by Katz and Lowe. My question is, who the fuck evaluates the job that Lowe has done for the last decade? It’s like Casey Anthony being the new judge on America’s Best Parents. I just can’t grasp how Kevin Lowe not only retains his job and his authority but seemingly escapes all criticism from the MSM.

  110. OilLeak says:

    No comments again? Testing, testing 1, 2, 3.

  111. godot10 says:

    OilLeak,

    What was Hemsky thinking?

    “Trade me to San Jose. I will deliver tape-to-tape passes to Joe Thornton. I’m healthier than Havlat.”

  112. spoiler says:

    Oil could use a hit like that every couple of games. And they don’t all have to be by Sutton either.

  113. doritogrande says:

    I haven’t been able to watch an Oilers game in what seems like forever, and I’m glad I caught one where they aren’t getting completly embarassed. One thing I’ll mention is that, lucky assist aside, I’m seeing Petry bad tonight. He’s a bit gunshy and has the yips in the defensive zone. Is this something that’s become a trend or one bad game?

  114. spoiler says:

    Good tough out shift by Magnus.

  115. Gret99zky says:

    massive elbow to the head of PRV.

  116. loosemoose says:

    Say what you want about his footspeed, Andy Sutton knows how to hit.

    Classy move by McGuinn too. Got hit, got up, gave Sutton the nod. That’s some old school respect you don’t see often enough nowadays.

  117. Lowetide says:

    Seems fine from here, Danny. One thing that didn’t come over? Those Chinese language threads. Kinda relievered, I was never really sure what they were on about and they were still going on a year later.

  118. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Doubglas Murray running into MPs head isn’t going to make MP any bolder

  119. spoiler says:

    SKOF

    Obviously your father never beat you enough.

    I keed. I keed.

  120. "Steve Smith" says:

    Bob McKenzie says we’re in year four of the rebuild.

    So we’re contending for the Cup next year, right?

  121. doritogrande says:

    Somebody better tell Bob we’re actually in year 2. Maybe he’ll change his tune.

    Or go crazy. I’m not sure.

    Also, Darren Pang quick to point out the great job the Oilers have done in OKC. Did NOT mention Tambo, but gave the credit to Olczyk. Maybe the Edmonton Media could provide a decent spin on that?

  122. spoiler says:

    What the???
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Danny, I demand the right to have as many spaces between lines as I feel is poetically necessary,lol.

    Within reason of course.

    ;o)

  123. Lowetide says:

    What is the math on the Oilers keeping this lead? Getting one point? Gotta be less than 40%

  124. spoiler says:

    LT, based on Law of Averages, continuation of trend, in-game Corsi, scoring chances? I think one could pick their predictor and get whatever answer they wanted. I liked their chances till this penalty though.

  125. doritogrande says:

    So, a sprined knee is “Fucking Bullshit” to Hemsky?

    I disagree.

  126. "Steve Smith" says:

    I wish Hemsky was softer.

    And now the bastard’s the first off the ice during games too.

  127. SK Oiler Fan says:

    A major? For That?

  128. "Steve Smith" says:

    It’s going to be 4-1 Sharks by the end of this penalty.

  129. Wolfie says:

    Brutal, brutal call on Hemsky. Of course the Sharks score on that gift.

  130. LMHF#1 says:

    The ref had called tripping for those who didn’t see that part on TV. What a load of crap.

  131. Lowetide says:

    It would be nice to get an even up call here zebra’s.

  132. spoiler says:

    Has Paajarvi had a shift since the world went ding-a-ling? Or is that just because it’s all been PK.

  133. Wolfie says:

    I doubt Hemsky was even trying to get a piece of Burns. It looked to me like he was actually trying to kick the puck up to himself and caught Burns by accident. Talk about a reaction call to a guy going down. A major penalty! Give me a break…. Sometimes you have to take a look at who’s involved in the play and assess the likelihood of that particular player making that kind of play.

  134. doritogrande says:

    Rexall can get away with playing Limp Bizkit? Wow.

  135. "Steve Smith" says:

    doritogrande,

    If it wanted to, Rexall could get away with having congress with each fan’s mother.

  136. spoiler says:

    They sold that Zamboney.

  137. crude says:

    woo! fun shift. Harti with Hall and Ebs.

  138. Rebilled says:

    Give Dubnyk the ‘C’! (tonight)

    On that note, how have the Oilers done since letting captain Jason Smith go?

  139. "Steve Smith" says:

    Rebilled:
    On that note, how have the Oilers done since letting captain Jason Smith go?

    Or Todd Harvey?

  140. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Smith was done when he left Edmonton – ask Brian Murray

  141. "Steve Smith" says:

    Pull the goalie!

  142. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Ohhh – it’s Auger in stripes – somebody tell him Mac T is no longer part of the organization – I think I recall Mac T saying something about never winning a game that Auger called.

  143. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Renney better keep giving DD regular starts

  144. Lowetide says:

    The Oiler music guy could make an 8-track of AC DC, Zep and Stompin’ Tom on a loop and leave after the anthem.

  145. spoiler says:

    There’s the young laddie!

  146. "Steve Smith" says:

    Who will we see in the shootout? I’m thinking Gagner, Peckham, and Gord Mark.

  147. Lowetide says:

    lol. I’ll go Hall, Eberle and Horcoff.

  148. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Renney should pull the goalie for a 4th shooter.

  149. spoiler says:

    I’d start with Paajarvi. We don’t need the points and who knows, might score and turn him around.

  150. "Steve Smith" says:

    Man, why don’t we use that guy more often in shootouts?

  151. spoiler says:

    Bet no one saw Lander comin.

  152. "Steve Smith" says:

    That was weird – Tobey-Peterson-on-the-first-unit-powerplay weird.

  153. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I guess Griess hasn’t seen the Gagner reruns before.

    Renney really likes this Lander kid

  154. SK Oiler Fan says:

    DD drinks for free tonight.

  155. crude says:

    Good for Dubnyk! Bet he sleeps like a baby tonight.

  156. doritogrande says:

    Steve Tambellini should ask for an additional year on his contract.

  157. Lowetide says:

    Well all is well in Oilerville. Only 14 points out of the playoffs!

  158. DSF says:

    doritogrande:
    Steve Tambellini should ask for an additional year on his contract.

    Tracy
    TreenasOil Tracy

    Tambellini close to a 2yr deal wants 3 ..as per Garfield
    1 hour ago

  159. Lowetide says:

    She means Jeff.

  160. oilersfan says:

    could any technical hockey experts help me out on this simple question: why do the Oilers get so badly outshot?

    Is it basically because their defence cannot move the puck out of their own zone? Or because the forwards cannot maintain pressure? both?

    It seems to me that the Oilers don’t forecheck well or even often. Maybe that is a function of the defence being so bad they cant get out of their zone, and by the time they do the forwards just dump the puck in and go for a line change.

    I wonder if there is something inherent in the current system that does not call for forechecking , but tries to create neutral zone turnovers and create offence out of that. That is what it looks like to my untrained eye.While clearly it is a bit of the forwards not being as good as the other teams’ defence, and the Oilers’ defence being worse than the other teams’ forwards, it seems to me that the system is to blame as well.

    Whenever Switzerland plays they seem to want to get outshot, keep the shots from the outside, and get goals on fluky turnovers or special teams. I wonder if Ralph Krueger has a hand in a similar sort of system here, hoping good goaltending (mistake!) can bail them out?

    One thing I noticed against St. Louis and tonight that the games the Oilers get badly outshot like this one, the other teams’ defencemen shoot the puck a lot. It happened tonight, Boyle alone had 8 shots. Is this because the OIlers’ forwards don’t pressure the dmen enough?

  161. Ducey says:

    Jeff Petry played 26 minutes, second only to Smid. Renney seems to be running him out there in key situations. He might be a top pairing Dman before too long.

    Thought Harsky and Chorney looked good.

    Best part of the thread was Bookje talking to himself.

  162. D says:

    Lowetide:
    Well all is well in Oilerville. Only 14 points out of the playoffs!

    The sad thing is anyone can easily pick 5 games this season that the Oilers should’ve or could’ve won. Then we would be talking about how the Oilers were still in the playoff hunt.

  163. Dipstick says:

    I think that around the league, “the book” on the Oil is that they can be exposed when forechecked aggressively. Every game that this happens, they can not seem to get any offensive production. Tonight they got a fortunate bounce and Dubnyk had a great game.

  164. Rebilled says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    6 cups.

    Great job Dubnyk tonight,

  165. DeadmanWaking says:

    The tank began when our previously established assets of Whitney/Hemsky returned 25 cents on the dollar (a foreseeable risk, but not a sure thing). Three youthful steps forward, 1.5 veteran steps backward. Then another tango with the invisible gunman and we’re trading season-ending car accidents on rotten.com (I’m not about to check that it still exists).

    Plenty of people talking about “the” rebuild again. AORTA. Pick any four. We seem to have one tick mark already beside O for Oklahoma, and a preliminary tick mark on the first A for “Architect in the house”. And for R we have Taylor Hall’s Recruitment video for the upcoming off-season, now captioned “Are you with us or against us?” The T for teamwork is a smoking ruin. “Nobody’s perfect.”

    For those who missed it, in my original quadruple bypass, the letters were leaning toward:
    A = arena
    O = organization
    R = reputation
    T = talent
    A = arrows

    Quotes with a singular spin:

    Jazz is music that’s never played the same way once. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing. About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you’re fighting temptation.

    After LT lead me to Lolita, the path crossed with my recent interest in Christopher Hitchens, in a piece—as anyone with a brain might guess—is outrageously NSFW.

    As American as Apple Pie

    On temptation, I’m by nature from the Treebeard camp: don’t be hasty.

  166. DeadmanWaking says:

    I might add that the Vanity Fair photographic retrospective on Hitch was right beside (in strange conjunction) the same for Natalie Wood which IMHO was largely ruined by including so many shots of the shadowy figure she married.

    Once upon a time, I never turned down an episode of “It Takes a Thief”. I’m pretty sure I recall on my childhood tour of Universal the tour guide pointed to a drab, squat building and proclaimed “this is the one building he broke into in just about every episode”. The ultimate cookie jar.

  167. rickithebear says:

    Tired of the bitching about using up the EL contract. on Fwds:
    Cup Runs:
    EDM: Peca +5; Pisani +4; Horcoff +3; Samsanov +2; Torres +2; Murray Even; Moreau Even.
    ANA: Pauhlsson +10; R. Neidermayer +9; Mcdonald +6; Perry +5; Moen +5; Penner +4; Kunitz +1; Getzlaf +1
    DET: Zetterberg +16; Franzen +13; Datsyuk +13; Samuelson +8; Filpulla +7; Holmstrom +4.
    DET: Cleary +17; Zetter +13; Franzen +8; Fillpulla +8; Samuelson +7; Datsyuk +5; Hossa +5.
    CHI: Sharp +10; Hossa +7; Bolland+6; Versteeg +4; Ladd +4; Koepecky +2; Eager +2.
    VCR: Hansen +7; Torres +2; Lapierre +2; Higgins +1; Burrows Even; Kesler Even:

    What Stands out ;
    1. FWD lines 2-& 3 usually lead a winner.
    2. 2 very Dominate Even D pairs.

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