The Eight

The Edmonton Oilers used to be able to find useful defensemen at midnight in a snowstorm. Seriously. MA Bergeron might not get a Christmas card from Craig MacTavish every year but the fact remains the Oilers found him after he was passed over at the draft and he’s had a career. Steve Staios was discarded by the Thrashers, Jason Smith offed by Toronto and on it went. Jan freaking Hejda.

The Edmonton Oilers have four NHL defensemen signed for next season (Whitney, Gilbert, Smid and Potter) and a UFA in Andy Sutton. Their three RFA’s of note are Jeff Petry, Theo Peckham and Cam Barker plus there are bit players like Alex Plante and Taylor Chorney. AHL hires who might end up having careers include Colten Teubert and of course the draft bullets spent on blueliners in the past few seasons are on the way.

When the Oilers won the Stanley in 1984, they did it with a very interesting blue. Paul Coffey and Kevin Lowe were former first round picks, Randy Gregg was signed as a free agent after playing in Japan (kind of misleading, he was pursued by NHL teams), Charlie Huddy (signed as a minor league free agent after passing through the entry draft), Lee Fogolin (acquired because Buffalo made an idiotic expansion draft decision), Don Jackson (trade pickup from the North Stars), Larry Melnyk (trade acquisition from Boston) and Rick Chartraw (acquired from the Rangers for a draft pick that would turn into someone named Heinz Ehlers).

This is Heinz Ehlers. I don’t really have a reason to include him but if you google him this comes up. He was the first Danish player ever drafted by an NHL team and played  pro hockey for 20 years.


The Oilers after the first expansion draft went about building a quality defense and then kept them until they started to fade or demand their value:

  • Paul Coffey (80 to 87)
  • Kevin Lowe (79 to 92)
  • Charlie Huddy (80 to 91)
  • Randy Gregg (82 to 90)
  • Lee Fogolin (79 to 86)
  • Don Jackson (81 to 86)

That’s a pretty consistent blueline, and a fine one. As I write this, I’m struggling with what would be the choice as “worst day to be an Oiler fan” for this group. When Coffey was traded I was mad as hell, but when Fogolin left it was like we lost part of the family. I don’t know if that explains it, but both were awful days.

The Oilers have Smid-Gilbert, an injured Whitney, I think a real comer in Petry and an assortment of prospects, suspects, also-rans, incoming, outgoing, ruffians, undersized skill guys, really young guys. I’d count only two (Smid-Gilbert) with one possible addition for the next Boys on the Bus group at the NHL level, and am very hopeful about Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat and Musil (plus some others). History tells us not all of those kids will develop, but the Oilers could use a little luck.

What say you? What are your choices for the eight?

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40 Responses to "The Eight"

  1. jonrmcleod says:

    My eight in 2013-2014:
    1. Gilbert
    2. Smid
    3. Petry
    4. Klefbom
    5. Musil
    6. Marincin
    7. Mystery guy #1 acquired by trade
    8. Mystery guy #2 acquired by trade

    Hopefully, numbers 7 and 8 will be top 4 guys. Wishful thinking?

  2. Jordan says:

    Hmm… Both Marincin and Gernat have lloked good in stretches, but neither seems to be able to play consistently at their highest levels in the WHL. I’d bet that one of the two ends up being able to transition to the NHL, and the other traded at some point for an upgrade on the D line.

    Klefbom I’ll bet makes it as a #3 Dman. Kid’s got smarts, size and really good decision making.

    Petry is a very nice peice moving forwards. I’d say he’s about a year or two away from being somewhere between Smid and Gilbert – that’s a hell of a player.

    I like potter in the bottom 6 – makes the right play most of the time, very little chaos in his game. That’s what a team hunting the stanley needs there.

    I’m still not sold on Musil – lots of positives, esp. his father’s history with the org. but by my eye he looks like he’ll top out at a 4-5 Defensive D man. Good to have, easy to replace.

    Peckham’s a 7 on a contending team, and I’m not fussed if hs stays or goes. Sutton’s been nice and has been putting up points – sure hope he brings us a nice draft pick. Plante and Chorney stopped being prospects on my radar last year – good to have forOrg. Depth, but they aren’t going to have carreers except as tweeners.

    Whitney is a great player, he just can’t stay healthy. Hard to have that kind of player in the lineup and win a cup. Dead (or near dead) cap space.

    So, that means…
    XXX – Gilbert
    Klefbom – Smid
    Marincin/Gernat – Petry
    Potter – Musil/Peckham

    Hopefully, the prospects that don’t make it are traded away to acquire XXX. Would Whitney, Peckham and Marincin be a strong enough offer to get a #1/2 D to play with Gilbert?

    There’s a lot bubbling under at this position – there is definitely the seeds here for an outstanding D-corps if they can find XXX and the players don’t have bad setbacks.

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    When looking forward, remember
    Whitney & Smid are UFA after next season.
    Gilbert the season after

    Have a nice day

  4. Ducey says:

    They might be drowning in defencemen in two years. Not only do they have all the draft picks coming (Klefbom, Marincin, Musil, Gernat, Bigos, Blain, Davidson, Teubert, Simpson) but if they trade Gagner for a D, draft Murray/Reinhart, and flip Hemsky for a D, it would get crowded. Somehow I doubt they do all of that, but its possible.

    I think Potter is a good guy to keep around and they need the toughness Peckham brings.

    Gilbert, Smid, Petry, Potter, Peckham, Klefbom, (in no particular order) and then two guys brought in by trade/ draft.

    Hopefully if they are looking to deal Gagner, that means they will keep Hemsky.

  5. Bos8 says:

    It’s almost if we should be pulling for a walkout for a year. This would compress the transition period for the kids. I would suggest that Klefbom, Marincin and Gernat are untouchables until they are at least in the AHL for a year due to offense, size and skating ability. Those are very rare in this day and age. I actually listened to a couple of Regina games and in one Marincin went through a whole team and scored. There was a lot of talk about his reach, poke checks, neutralizing rushes. Kind of a new perspective listening to a game.

    Off topic, Reider is starting to pique my interest. Playing last night against London, top team in the CHL, Reider had two unassisted goals, one SH. A speedy penalty killer that can score – Hello.

  6. cc says:

    Based on Staples story on Cult of Hockey yesterday, I hope that Tambellini is looking into Subban. I think that a deal involving Subban and PRV or Gagner as the centerpieces of the deal could get done. The Oilers would need to add an additional piece(s) to get it done such as a 2nd rounder and/or a 2nd tier prospect like Teubert, Pitlick or Marincin. I would not give up our first this year, maybe next years first.

    But I’d be happy with a top four next year of; Gilbert-Smid-Subban-Petry with the others being Whitney, Potter, Teubert & Peckham or Insert random gritty free agent d-man here. If Whitney is healthy that’s a hell of a good D.

    It would also give us time to develop our D prospect core of Klefblom, Marincin, Musil and potentially our 2012 draft pick. Plus potentially one of Fedun, Bigos, Gernat, Blain, Davidson, Simpson, Plante. The odds are two maybe three of those players is going to play in the regularly.

  7. jonrmcleod says:


    Upon further review, 3 rookie d-men is probably too many. But keep in mind that this prediction is not for next season. Perhaps I could add one of Peckham, Teubert, or Potter. When is Klefbom expected to come over to NA? Is there any chance he could be in the NHL next year?

  8. hags9k says:

    If we deal away 89 instead of 83 then we better be planning on taking Grigorenko. With 89 gone we are atrocious at center. (if we aren’t already.) I wonder how much trade value Whitney would have? What could we get for Whitney and the pick?

  9. Clay says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    You bring up an important issue, sir. Given the team’s track record with Smyth and now Hemsky, I think that if we see Smid go into training camp next year without an extension in place, we worry. Same thing with Gilbert the year after.

    So many minutes were given these kids to develop at the NHL level, and to lose them right when they’re at the cusp of being great would be more big blows for fans who have seen their team’s best players leave in their prime for the past 20+ years.

    Why can’t I shake the feeling that, by this time next year, we’ll be discussing what sort of return Smid will bring back at the deadline?

  10. Clay says:


    Klefbom has said in the past that he wants to play out his contract with Färjestad BK, which has one more year on it.

  11. speeds says:

    I think it’s too early to tell what EDM might be looking to do with the D, we need to see the deadline activity. If they move Hemsky (or Gagner, I suppose), do they bring a D back in the deal?

    The Oilers could well attempt to move any or all of Whitney, Sutton, Peckham, and Barker at the deadline, depending on return. I’d be kind of surprised if they were actively shopping Whitney, but if he does look healthy and teams are looking for a D he’d be arguably the best available at the deadline (assuming NSH isn’t moving Suter). Would the Oilers consider moving both Hemsky and Whitney at the deadline if they could get a prospect + 1st for each? Maybe. Even with Smid, as noted above, is it possible EDM would look at moving him? Depends on the market, would EDM turn down a package like the one they got for Penner, if someone offered that for Smid?

    I’d expect EDM has 5 guys mostly written into their plans for next year, in Smid, Gilbert, Whitney, Petry, and Potter. After that, I think it kind of depends on the deadline, whether they plan on carrying 8 D*, and just how much they want to improve the D for next year, via trade/UFA.

    Maybe they bring one of Barker/Sutton back, and look at something like:

    Smid, Gilbert, 4 or 5 mil UFA, Whitney, Petry, Potter, Sutton or Barker, Peckham.

    And if they end up drafting a D, one that they want to keep next year, I suppose that’s another possible wrinkle. Not that you’d count on that player, but just something to consider.

    * I repeatedly mention 8 D, but I do think it makes a lot of sense for EDM, especially if they bring both Sutton and Whitney back, along with general injury concerns.

  12. Peacecountry says:

    I’ve seen Vacnouver utilize thier Long Term injured reserved to help alleviate thier cap troubles for years. Can’t Edmonton use the same philosphy for Whitney. Put him on the LTIR for the first 60 games and then bring him in with 20 to go and pay only a quarter of his salary towards the cap?

    As for the future 8?
    Petry/ externally filled
    Peckam/AHL callups – Maracin, Klefbom, ect

  13. ashley says:

    Nice analysis speeds. Only one nitpick: As I see it, Whitney has zero value, and arguably negative value. I don’t see anyone offering anything and certainly not a first round pick or prospect for the opportunity to pay him 4 million a year on the IR. That he keeps coming up on depth charts in the number one slot and is talked about as a trade option is blue-sky stuff. A first and a prospect for Lubo? Well we might just see that at the trade deadline, and he’s 3 years older than when we had him.

  14. dawgtoy says:

    Just love the part during the car chase, when buddy take the time to rolls down the side window of the charger, then preceeds to shoot at Steve Mcqueen with the shotgun. #Nevertheless a classic!

  15. Woodguy says:

    They might be drowning in defencemen in two years.Not only do they have all the draft picks coming (Klefbom, Marincin, Musil, Gernat, Bigos, Blain, Davidson, Teubert, Simpson) but if they trade Gagner for a D, draft Murray/Reinhart, and flip Hemsky for a D, it would get crowded.Somehow I doubt they do all of that, but its possible.

    I think Potter is a good guy to keep around and they need the toughness Peckham brings.

    Gilbert, Smid, Petry, Potter, Peckham, Klefbom, (in no particular order) and then two guys brought in by trade/ draft.

    Hopefully if they are looking to deal Gagner, that means they will keep Hemsky.

    They may be drowning in Dmen, but not Actual NHL Dmen at that point.

    Smid is finally a NHL Dman this year. He’s 25 and was a 9th overall pick.

    Duncan Keith was a rookie at 22. He was picked 54th overall.

    Brian Campbell didn’t become a full time NHLer until he was 23.

    All the Dmen you are refering to are 19 or 20.

    If we reach for the stars and say they are reasonable NHLers at 23, Eberl, and Hall are 1 or 2 years away from Free Agency.

    The window to surround the high end forwards with Real NHL Dmen is way shorter than the Oiler management is intimating.

    Smart writers like Cam Cole discussed this very fact on Spector’s show.

    Its great that there are some Dmen in the pipe, but RNH, Eberle and Hall are contributing to the NHL team now and need to be supported by Real NHL Dmen now.

  16. Woodguy says:


    Klefbom has said in the past that he wants to play out his contract with Färjestad BK, which has one more year on it.

    At the World Junior Tourney Klefbom intimated he may come over next year.

    Tambellini probably begged him, while Lowe hypnotized him by slowly swinging his 6 rings on a chain in front of his eyes.


  17. speeds says:

    Nice analysis speeds.Only one nitpick: As I see it, Whitney has zero value, and arguably negative value.I don’t see anyone offering anything and certainly not a first round pick or prospect for the opportunity to pay him 4 million a year on the IR.That he keeps coming up on depth charts in the number one slot and is talked about as a trade option is blue-sky stuff.A first and a prospect for Lubo?Well we might just see that at the trade deadline, and he’s 3 years older than when we had him.

    I’d have a hard time trading a package like that for Whitney as well, were I an acquiring GM. He’s a piece EDM seemed to be looking at as a building block, I do think they’ll hold onto him for a variety of reasons, one of which would be not being offered enough to trade him by the deadline.

  18. Jordan says:

    We should get a better idea about Whitney over the next few months. If he’s playing, whether he looks like Good Whitney, 50% Good Whitney, or somewhere in between, then at least we know what he is, and can plan accordingly. If he’s not playing, that’s when it’s a bigger issue, because you;ll have had him for 2 years and still won’t know what he is (other than an injury liability).

    Presuming you can’t trade the man because of this uncertainty, the best plan is to plan to play him at 5D next year, and let him eat the soft minutes – this way, if he is injured or just not very good, you’ve already got 4 D men in the top 4 to handle it (until Injuries) and IF he’s playing well, it’s a bonus.

    But that means you need to add 5-10M in salary for 2 more top 4 D men, and his salary may or may not be dead cap space. While I can see the value in it on some level, it’s not ideal.

    Maybe he’s just the Oilers version of Sami Salo?

  19. edwards_daddy says:

    Watching those dead souls skate around in the wilderness every night is like watching an atrocity exhibition. What this club needs are the eternal heart and soul leaders of men.
    Love Joy Division

  20. Yeti says:

    Whitney looks healthy the same way that Keith Richards does. There isn’t any GM who’s gonna trade for him, even for a low pick.

  21. Thinker says:

    Blank- offensive stud plays in all situations(weber type)
    Whitney- number two if comes back to form, or possibly a replacement of equal calibre.
    Gilbert-number three, quality d,can play all situations, and is good puck mover plus shot blocker
    Petry-number four, puck mover, range of skills
    Smid-established himself as nhl calibre defenceman, like to see him removed from offensive pairings though
    Klefbom/musil-different players, but one will grab job. Musil is defencive, while klefbom would be more versitile.
    Marincin/gernat- one or maybe both make it as physical dman with offensive upside
    Peckham/teubert- one establishes themselves as a physical, tough, sutton type defenceman capable of making passes.

    A lot of problems would be solved by adding a de facto number one, and the ripple effect will increase the odds of having enough prospects hit the big time. A lot of depth would be available in the ahl with th just short prospects as well.

    Blank whitney
    Gilbert petry
    Smid musil/klefbom/marincin/gernat

  22. russ99 says:

    We can’t expect Klefbom to come over here and put in top 4 quality minutes right away. After he’s done in Sweden, he’ll need at least a half season in OKC to acclimate to the north American style of play and then we end up with a green kid akin to Petry, albeit with more upside.

    I’d like to see the Oilers get that #1 guy and also get a solid veteran defender for the second pairing so the kids break into that level when they’re ready.

    Also I hope the Oilers address C and G in upcoming deals/FA and not only focus on the need position as it is now. More about big picture…

  23. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: So, metaphorically you’re saying that, oilers with Katz/ Lowe/Tambellini/Renney are taking us for a ride, like the guys who end up chasing Steve McQueen?

  24. ed says:

    I’m not convinced a stud is needed, just more quality depth.

    Smid Gilbert
    FA/Trade Petry
    Whitney Potter
    Peckham FA/Trade

    Find a quality vet to play with Petry and maybe another to push Potter out of the top 6 or replace Whitney. Don’t bring in any more rookie D until they’ve got 200 games of pro at lower levels. Keep 8 on the roster.

  25. TheOtherJohn says:

    Pretty sure Whitney is closer to retiring than returning to be “Good Whitney”. If Oiler management relies on Whitney coming back next year in the top pairing they are being unrealistically optimistic

    Ankles are like that. Fortunately no one knew before trading for him……..wait, some did you say….Pity!

    Really like Gilbert, Smid in middle pairing and Potter at 6/7. Bill James used to say (expect he still says it!) that hitting 30 home runs at 19 is demonstrably not the same as hitting 30 hr at age 23. Thats kind where I am on Petry. Intriquing skillset: Good sized body, some real nice passes but he is 24 yrs old. That is, he is 1 year younger than Smid and might be 2-3 years behind him in development. Trying to say: he might very well be a top 4 D man ??? but not for 2-3 years

    If Klefbom comes, great but I expect he plays 5/6/7 for a couple of years. Would still definitely hold a roster spot for him though

    I think the priority should be to find via trade or UFA/RFA a top 4 D man (or 2) at the draft or via Free Agency. NO attempt should be made now. D men are at an absolute premium right now (preplayoffs).

    If Oiler management think the draft is fixing this structural problem: experienced D men capable of playing tough minutes, they are simply wrong

  26. Lowetide says:


    Nice to see Bill James still gets quoted, loved the abstracts. In terms of defense, I don’t know that HR’s are the metric. For me, although we have no measurement, I’d suggest that Petry is among those who can snap off a tape to tape pass or exit the zone without losing the puck easily.

    Now mind you he still makes mistakes but there’s a player there. Petry is never going to hit home runs, but I think a better comparable is an up the middle infielder (say second base) who can turn the DP, get to his share of balls, establish a good range factor without an enormous number of errors and then hit enough, walk enough and hit with enough power to be a plus player.

    He’s not Jody Reed. Better.

    The age concern isn’t a big deal for me save for buying years of free agency.

  27. rickithebear says:

    Seeing Whitney play the Vancouver game , now I remember why he ranked top 20 dmen before he was injured.

    Watching Smid with Petry, It might be the strong pairing of Smid-Gilbert may have been about Smid. This guy needs to be Paid. But Gilbert with Smid is a top 5 pairing.

    Petry can clearly handle 2nd’s with a strong D partner.

    Potter! i concentrated on His Even game. He needs to be3rd pairing. it is his PP numbers. Top ten In GF/60, P/60. When you look at J-M-Liles numbers we are getting the Same Dman for alot less.

    Klefbom! Once Again WJC Allstar; 17 of 19 were in the NHl the next year.
    The list Againt: Suter, Phanuef, j. Johnson, Bourdon, E. Johnson, Letang, Daoghty, Hedmann, Karlsson, Subban, Pietrangelo, Carlsson, Ellis, Orlov, Klefbom, Gormely.
    Developing Dmen take 2-5 years against the League before we see the Jump. The Allstar players usually in Two years. Therefore the EL contract is gone before all Dmen are handling NH competition. So,I would rather bring in the young man who is apart of that elite list at 19 years so we are seeing A dman who can handle the Nhl from age 21/22 to 33/34 rather than Dmen who will be there age 25-27 to 33/34.
    Here is the Key! That is 3-6 years of not having to chase an elite replacement.

    So depending what Happens at the trade deadline but more likely at the Draft with Whitney.

    XXX /Whitney-Petry

    if Whitney Goes i want gleason plain and simple as the best tough comp Dman.
    if we chase an Upper 2nd Comp Dmen to Pair with petry: bryan Allen.

  28. VOR says:

    How about we try putting in names:

    Petry/Gleason (FA)
    Peckham or Potter/Mark Stuart (trade)
    Barker/Potter or Peckham


    It is still not quite a top flight NHL D but it is getting closer and would be better than this year’s version. I have written Whitney out of this scenario (not trading him or playing him – LTIR or retirment. If he did recover then you would be much closer.

    The thing is I think the Oilers are beginning to have an identity. Push the attackers outside, get good goaltending, and counter punch. They aren’t executing it well and don’t yet have the horses but on a lot of nights it is holding us close against good teams. If we can’t acquire an established 1D and I think it unlikely, then we start going for the low risk solid D-men.

  29. TheOtherJohn says:

    Sorry for being less than clear.

    Petry is a wee bit old to be at the present stage of development for where he is. I, too, think there is a player there. Just think top 4 is farther away than some here think. Plus he should not be measured as a top 4 on this team, is he capable, over next 2-3 years of top 4 minutes on a team competing for SC?

    Do not think Gilbert/Smid are a legit top pairing group on a SC contending team. And I like them.

    P.S. if memory serves 19/23 HR commentary was about Mel Ott and 42 hr hit at 19 years old

  30. Captain Obvious says:

    Subban is exactly what this team needs. In order to get good you have to sooner or later take advantage of someone else’s stupidity. And that means getting someone who is much better than they are perceived as being. That’s Subban and right now the Canadians are the King of the Stupid.

    I’d trade almost anything for Subban. Gagner and Paajarvi sign me up though I doubt that it would take that much.

    Now this being Edmonton I’m pretty sure that Oiler fans will hate Subban. But that’s because Edmonton fans have no idea what makes a good hockey player (see Hemsky, Ales).

  31. spoiler says:

    Let’s keep in mind that no team looking to make a playoff run is going to trade an NHL defenseman back.

    A prospect is the best we could hope for at the deadline. In all likelihood, if Tambo is active, more actual dmen will be leaving the Oilers at that time than arriving.

  32. Captain Obvious says:

    Except the Canadians are criminally stupid. Taken advantage of teams that think they have a “problem in the room” is one of the best ways to improve.

  33. Rondo says:


    With the rumours from Darren Dreger re Sam Gagner.

    What would it take to get

    Jake Gardiner and Nkolai Kulemin for Sam Gagner + ?

  34. ohhell says:

    I believe the oiler defense requires a major face lift. I repeat major. We currently boast the league’s worst NHL defense and have owned that title for multiple years. Of the kids coming up, I would guess that Klefbom is the most likely, but realistically wouldn’t expect him to excel beyond the 3/4 spot and that is should take 3-5 years for him to achieve that. If he acheives it faster – bonus! Reasonable expectations from the department of planning.

    Whintney should be considered a write-off and plans should be made with that in mind. If he is able to return to older form (or close at least) then it should also be considered a bonus! He is no longer our building block – history has demonstrated that. It seems to me that it would be mismanagement of the team to presume that Whitney is your centerpiece. Personally, I would love to see him return to form, but I no longer believe that will happen. I would pencil him into the 5-6 hole and know that you have the parts to step into that spot when the inevitable injury occurs. Seems prudent to me.

    This team needs a bona-fide #1 – not a superstar – but a definite #1. It also needs a #2 that compliments the #1. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can add one piece to make this better. If our current defense structure (sams Whitney) simply dropped down a level it would give us a real shot at winning.

    Scenario 1 – Win Soon
    #1 / #2
    Gilbert / Smid
    Whitney / Petry or Potter
    Petry or Potter / Klefbom
    the rest

    If Klefbom can assert himself, he can push any player above him down the pecking order and that’s a good thing. If the 2012 top pick is a quality D-Man, it gives us more options. If Klefbom needs a year in the AHL, we still have options.

    How do we acquire the #1 and #2 that we need? Trade or UFA. Is is feasible? I believe it is for some GM’s. I lack that faith that our group could pull this off.

    Scenario 2 – Win in 3-5 Years (the LoweBellini method)

    Take a D-Man with our top pick and pencil him into your top 2 for 2015/16 season and beyond.
    Hope that Klefbom will become the partner on the top-pairing tandem. Or maybe the draft pick in 2013. Possibly one of Gilbert or Smid can continue to elevate to that top-pairing level. Maybe this:

    2015/16 Season
    – 2012 #1 / Gilbert
    – Petry / Smid
    – Klefbom / 2013 #1
    the rest

    2016/17 Season
    – 2012 #1 / Gilbert
    – Klefbom / Smid
    – Petry / 2013 #1

    Lots of assumptions and hope built into this scenario. All home-grown but full of risk. How do we keep our young stars engaged and bough-in through the conitnued losing in this scenario?

    What does it all mean?
    More wandering int he desert for the next few years and more exciting draft talk. More fear that we are losing the young stars. More empty seats.

    This team needs to find a way to acquire some real NHL defensemen to lead this team – not supporting players. We are currently a mirage of an NHL defense.

  35. DeadmanWaking says:

    Bullitt, I just learned, won an editing Oscar for Frank Keller. In the Wikipedia article Ralph Rosenblum is quoted on some of the challenges. Gosh, I was mentioning his book the other day, but I hadn’t seen his name in years.

    When The Shooting Stops … The Cutting Begins

    This was a real eye-opener for me in the early eighties about how the magic is done. He talks about two extremes. One was Anne Hall, where there was enough stupendous footage to cut several movies, and they had to find its heart, which turned out to be quirky Keaton, who would have guessed? They left better footage on the floor than most cuts begin with, including a basketball game featuring all the famous philosophers, some of whom freeze in the key. Rosenblum said the sequence was so funny it made you cry, but they just couldn’t find a way to shoehorn it in as the dramatic backbone took shape.

    The other movie, whose title I’ve long forgotten, I recall in dim ouline as a romantic comedy with religious overtones and a Murphy bed. The galleys were terrible. Nobody laughed at anything. Rosenblum was pretty good at blowing his own horn, but he portrayed it as an outstanding example of the chicken salad manoeuvre. He was forced to such editing extremes to save the movie, that audiences found it fresh and trendy.

    It’s been twenty-five years since I read the book, my recollection might be a touch wonky, so don’t shoot me if anyone reads the book and none of this stuff is there.

    He really opened my eyes to how context manipulates expectation and how quickly that process works.

  36. DeadmanWaking says:

    If cap issues ultimately force the team to trade away one of the three musketeers, I think we get more in return than a kick in the head.

    Esa Tikkanen for Doug Weight doesn’t have to be the end of the run.

    The whole problem with the last decade is this psychology that an Oiler rebuild is a one-night stand. If the young defensemen take a while, it’s OK, this is not the last time we’ll ever see a girl naked. Not if this rebuild is the full meal deal, for which there is some evidence boiling under in the prospect pipeline.

  37. cdean says:

    Long term 8 will look like this

    Gilbert, Smid, Petry, Potter, Klefblom, Musil, Murray, Marincin – not in any order

    The last 4 will not be here next year and some maybe a couple of years. Next year Whitney will still be with us and hopefully he overcomes his injuries. Bringing back Sutton would be a good choice too as I think he has helped the team as a veteran. I have read rumors that the Oilers are in the hunter for Suter and I pray this comes true. At this moment this team is missing that #1 offensive defenseman and hopefully one of these options will work out. This year as well as last year they should be carrying 8 defensemen on the roster.

  38. D says:


    Sorry about the late comment (I was travelling). But this one really hit home. I really felt the magic started to die the day Paul Coffey was traded.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, I know. I took my gf (now wife) to a game in maybe 1982 where Coffey was just flying, it was electric. I remember it as one of the most fun nights watching the Oil, always thought he was underrated (I know, he’s in the HOF) amongst all the other brilliant players.

    That trade was a tough one.

  40. D says:

    Interestingly, Gretzky once mentioned that he talked to Coffey prior to The Trade and Coffey was able to relay to Gretz that the move to Pittsburgh wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. I wonder if Gretzky would have left in 1988 if he was the first of the greats to leave instead of the second.

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