A Good Day for Horseshoes

Early this morning the world got word that the Oilers are close to signing Andy Sutton to a one year contract extension. If you work real hard, you can find a way to be pleased with the rumor, but there’s also a dark cloud in the numbers.

First things first. As of yesterday, Sutton had been in the rumor mill as a player of interest for several teams. We’ve talked about this before, but at the deadline veteran blue have miles of value because teams are buying insurance against injury. Remember how many defensemen Buffalo lost in the spring of 2006? It was horrible. Well, a team like Chicago has a shopping list and with each loss the pressure to do something builds.

So there are two items of interest for me this morning. One, the rumor:

Second item: Chicago has lost 5 in a row and are not out of the woods in terms of playoffs:

Among the “outside looking in” group Dallas has a couple of games in hand and Calgary is finding a way to get things done. Chicago is still in good position for the second season but there has to be some desire on their part to improve things. Goaltending, yes. But also defense. Chicago has some nights when they are an absolute mess, and they must be a team on the lookout for help. Adding Sutton would allow them to sit John Scott, and based on showings this year that one move might be worth 500 goals this season. I kid, Scott barely plays altough he is listed by tsn as being on the roster.

We’ll know in a day or two, but sometimes a rumor like this turns out not to be true (the money Kypreos mentioned is dear, Sutton should sign that rfn) and perhaps the Oilers get lucky and the Hawks cave and make a deal that brings back useful things.

There are a couple of additional reasons to like this news:

  1. It makes it far less likely that the team will push a Klefbom, Marincin, Musil into the NHL and turns guys like Chorney, Plante and Teubert into callup options. It isn’t perfect, but the depth will be better.
  2. This isn’t a strong enough move for them to avoid the elephant in the room (Whitney’s injuries impacting his effectiveness) so the moves aren’t done by a long stretch.
  3. Sutton addresses the back of the roster. 5-6-7, although he can play a little higher in a pinch because of PK prowess. The top 4D of Whitney-Petry, Smid-Gilbert should get an addition, meaning that Sutton, Potter and Peckham will be fighting for two spots. If the Oilers risk waivers on Peckham or Potter, would the world end?
  4. Finally, it’s a strong indicator that the Oilers aren’t just trying to add bullets for Stu. At some point, signing Sutton becomes a good idea if only because the club will have more experience at the position. If he sits 30 games on merit, so be it.

Now the clouds. Sutton’s zone start this season is on the tough side of 50%, but honestly the blue is fairly tightly bunched:

That’s 5×5 and I think we could argue the gap from top to bottom is close enough that we might even call the difference random. Is that fair? He has a nice CorsiRel (4.0, third best on the club behind Potter and Gilbert) but the storms come in these two indicators:

  • PDO of 1016
  • SP of .926.

Signing men who are running luck usually means the money will be misspent. Here’s hoping the rumor serves to raise his value and the Oilers get something useful in return from Chicago.

That’s the best case scenario from my pov.

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140 Responses to "A Good Day for Horseshoes"

  1. neojanus says:

    The problem here is that the Oilers need to start making major improvements next year in the standings. I doubt that they get anything but a pick and inexperienced d-man for Sutton. I’m not sure that further unproven d-men are right for the team. They need that sense of stability (something woefully missing this year).

    The Barker project is a failure (likely) and Sutton has been effective at times… but most importantly, it’s a returning d-man with experience and a solid 5-6-7 placement.

    If Sutton improves the physical part of his game and doesn’t get suspended for 30 games next season, this is a good fit because he can slow the play down. The Oilers need that more than anything.

    I expect the market’s been tested and Tambellini doesn’t like the return offered. Surprise surprise… that’s what happens when you are bottom 4. You lower your value (with the young forwards an exception).

  2. The Duke of Hafford says:

    I have been thinking about this trade for awhile…do you think Chicago would do something like Sutton and a third round pick for Kyle Beach (or something a little more)? Picking up someone like Beach would give the Oilers a Lucic type prospect that we don’t have but dearly could use in the system.

  3. DBO says:

    I like a one year Sutton deal for one reason. – no Barker. I pray this spells the end of the Barker experiment. Petry has made him redundant and has passed him on depth chart. I know a true number one is unlikely but if the Oil sign someone like Boychuk then we have depth. Sutton said in the journal he knows his role and may sit a few games here and there. Makes him a solid 6-7 dman.

    Gilbert – Boychuk
    Smid – Petry
    Whitney – Potter
    Sutton

    I’ll take that and be happy going forward, especially since it means no kids in the lineup to start the year on the backend.

  4. spoiler says:

    Excellent signing if it comes off. Sutton is an actual NHL player. Our D lacks those in numbers. He’s been better than Potter on many nights, and adds that element of physical threat.

    The numbers and term are damn near perfect. One only needs to look at the Gill and Mitchell contracts to see that.

    Dunno why you wouldn’t be behind this LT. Strange way to frame the issue. I’d like Beach or Saad too, but there’s no way a Sutton rental is getting that deal done. And he’s more useful than a 3rd rounder.

  5. Lowetide says:

    spOILer: I don’t hate it, but 1.75M for Sutton is way too much and as mentioned he’s riding the wild surf. And I did mention that it increases the number of actual NHL players which is always a good thing.

  6. spoiler says:

    Point #3 just seems wrong, like you’re setting the Oilers up for failure. How in the hell are they going to add another top 4 LHS defenseman to the existing group?

  7. DBO says:

    As for the Hawks. At this point you can still deal Peckham and Bulin and receive a 2 nd or a decent prospect. Or perhaps a pick and we take Frolik back. We prob need to take money back, but he gives us a 24 yr old RW who may score 20 and has a cap hit of $2.3 for 2 more years (when Nuge gets paid). Not a bad risk and it frees up the goaltending spot for Dubnyk as well ad a possible 2 nd or 3 rd round pick. That is the only way we move Bulin’s deal.

  8. spoiler says:

    I don’t know how it could be framed as too much when it is less than his comps and a $500k cut from this year. That’s what those big guys get paid everywhere else, even on the bottom pair. It doesn’t create cap issues and you make it back on Peckham and Potter. Do you have any reasons for it being too much? So far you have only made a statement, LT.

    And he’s hardly riding the wild surf from his numbers. Zone shift and Corsi #s and QoC/T all very solid.

  9. jb says:

    Sutton on a one year contract is more valuable than Sutton as an upcoming UFA obviously.. Either way a good move for sure.

    I assume we’ll be selling at the deadline, then adding again in the offseason. Hopefully it’s another top 4 defense, and it better be something damn good if Hemsky is shipped off. (still unlikely IMO)

  10. spoiler says:

    This could also mean it is Peckham who is being traded, and he’s far more likely to bring another RFA classed player like Beach back.

  11. spoiler says:

    And w.r.t. #3 above, I’d be overjoyed if they added another top 4 Dman, I just don’t see how it is possible without one of the exisitng ones leaving.

  12. Matt.N says:

    Sutton type players and Sutton himself are available on July 1st. Why not move him? You are not trying to save the rest of the season.

    Trade him for assets and bring up Tuebert. There is a negligible drop in talent between the two.

  13. Lowetide says:

    spOILer: If they start 12-13 with Whitney-Petry, Smid-Gilbert as the top 4, then they run the risk of a Whitney injury (a very good chance) forcing someone else into the top 2 pairings.

    Sutton doesn’t address that. #3 is the biggest point.

  14. DeadmanWaking says:

    Staples gives the thumbs up: Good move by Oilers: Andy Sutton to sign a new one-year deal, reports Kypreos

    I recall, perhaps around the time of the first big road trip, a quote from Khabi that he liked playing behind Sutton, to the effect that Sutton calmed things down. Well, you don’t have to look in his direction too often to know where he’ll be. The SP factor might not be 100% hot air.

    I don’t think Tambi can afford to be caught short. I see this mostly as a “better one too many than one too few”. Sutton is a livable one too many. One of the reasons we get apprehensive about this kind of move is that we’re constantly trying to guess the plan that follows, since the communication from the GM suite is abysmal. A good signing can be a bad tea leaf at the same time, depending on what additional dominoes one images will fall, and how much those moves inflame your ire. Or the other way around: I see this as a good omen, as the first sign that Tambi realizes his chain is too short to risk another October a few good men shy of any semblance of balance.

    Here’s a line from Bruce’s game grades about MPS: “impressed me with a good decision to eat the puck along the side wall and absorb the contact rather than move the disc into near-certain trouble”. Nice. Bruce is reporting the dog that didn’t bark. These are the small touches that I’d like to see a bit more in the Willis editions.

  15. Woodguy says:

    That’s 5×5 and I think we could argue the gap from top to bottom is close enough that we might even call the difference random. Is that fair? He has a nice CorsiRel (4.0, third best on the club behind Potter and Gilbert) but the storms come in these two indicators:

    PDO of 1016
    SP of .926.

    Those numbers aren’t too far to the right side of the bell curve, and aren’t that big of a worry in terms of coloring his performance as better than it is.

    There are 45 goalies who have played at least 20 games in the NHL this year.

    The median 5v5 SV% is .925 (Bobrovsky)

    Dubnyk is next on the list (24th) with .924

    Nik is 30th with .916

    Sutton also plays 3rd pairing minutes, so he plays the dregs more often and you would expect his 5v5 ONSV% to be higher than average on the Oilers. (4th line players are always among league leaders in 5v5 ONSV% because everyone on the ice can only smack the puck square)

    Oiler’s D 5v5 ONSV%:

    RYANWHITNEY 930
    CAMERONBARKER 930
    ANDYSUTTON 926
    THEOPECKHAM 918
    LADISLAVSMID 915
    COLTENTEUBERT 912
    TOMGILBERT 910
    JEFFPETRY 906
    COREYPOTTER 893

    Certainly he’s had some of the good luck among the Oiler blue, but its not unreal (see: Cam Barker with ONSV% of .980 when he went down with injury)

    Like you mentioned, the signing is good in that it shows they wont’ force Tuebert or Klefbom in the NHL lineup.

    It also *probably* shows they are done with Barker. There’s no room for both of them.

    The money is faaaaaar to much for a #7, but its one year and the 7th leading scorer in the NHL is making $1.1MM, so there’s room. They should have used that room to add much better players, but I’m not in charge.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    spOILer: If they start 12-13 with Whitney-Petry, Smid-Gilbert as the top 4, then they run the risk of a Whitney injury (a very good chance) forcing someone else into the top 2 pairings.

    Sutton doesn’t address that. #3 is the biggest point.

    There is no question they need to add a top 4 (preferably top pairing) Dman.

  17. "Steve Smith" says:

    I’ll reserve judgment until I see what it means. If I squint really hard, I can imagine that the Oilers have a plan for building the defence. It is possible to conceive of a good plan that includes Sutton at $1.75 million, and it is possible to conceive of a bad such plan. People who are rejoicing that this means that we won’t qualify Barker, or that we’re not going to push young guys into situations that they can’t handle, are ignoring the latter kind of plan.

    The money’s a little much, but not completely nuts (and anyway, he’ll be off the books by the time we’re in cap hell for 2013-2014). Plus I enjoy watching Sutton, when he’s not trying to kill people. And I was advocating trying to get him years ago, when he actually would have been part of a top-four solution. So I’m happy about this, but I’m still not sure it’s a good thing.

    It does make you wonder: how does a veteran on the wrong side of his peak years go from not being good enough to crack a terrible defensive lineup to being worth $1.75 million over the course of a single game?

  18. DBO says:

    The more I look at Frolik, the more I like the idea of him for Bulin. He kills penalties, doesn’t turn the puck over (5) and takes it away(31). His zone starts this year are 40% or so O, and finishes closer to 48% O. The pucks moves in the right direction with him on the ice, he doesn’t shy away from physical contact (almost a hit per game)l. He is basically a younger more skilled version of ryan Jones and for $2.3 cap hit for 2 more years I like him as our 3rd line RW next year. Lets the kids develop in the minors (if they can’t force their way on the roster), and provides depth, especially if we move Hemsky (he played top 6 role in Florida, but in Chicago he is a 3/4 RW). His shooting % is low (5%), but his first 2 years, when given PP time he shot 13 and 9%. ANd he is turning 24 this year. Seems like a good fit. And he is 6’1, which is not huge but on this team he becomes a bigger forward compared to what we have.

    Bulin and Peckham (upgrades their 6th dman instead of Scott and Bulin gives them a better goalie. Never thought I’d say that)
    for
    Emery (may be interesting to see if he fits) and Frolik along with a 3rd rd pick or mid range prospect.

    Not a crazy offer I think. Chicago lost it’s 8th straight, and they may bite on Bulin (cup winner, old Hawk, etc.) in desperation to save their season and shake it up without moving an integral part of their team.

  19. DBO says:

    "Steve Smith",

    “It does make you wonder: how does a veteran on the wrong side of his peak years go from not being good enough to crack a terrible defensive lineup to being worth $1.75 million over the course of a single game?”

    Actually it was 2 games, and they were when Barker was in and Sutton sat. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone….. Oh Hemsky. Now I’m sad.
    .

  20. "Steve Smith" says:

    DBO:
    Not a crazy offer I think. Chicago lost it’s 8th straight, and they may bite on Bulin (cup winner, old Hawk, etc.)

    From what I remember of his stint with the Hawks, that might not be a point in his favour.

  21. "Steve Smith" says:

    DBO: Actually it was 2 games, and they were when Barker was in and Sutton sat.

    Yes – the “single game” to which I was referring was Ottawa.

  22. DBO says:

    “Steve Smith”: Yes – the “single game” to which I was referring was Ottawa.

    Right. Hopefully the 2 games were the nail in the coffin. If the Org signs both Sutton and Barker and runs with the whole “when we are healthy our defense is great” angle and opts not to add a top 4 dman in the off season, i may do something rash to the office. Not saying which office, just saying.

  23. Traktor says:

    When judging this re-signing 90% importance is the term and 10% is the dollars. Whether he is making 1M or 2M or 1.5M it doesn’t really matter. The dollars are not going to impact anything other than Katz bank account.

  24. Woodguy says:

    No way on God’s Green Earth that you pry Frolik out of CHI for flotsam and Jetsom.

    Tallon gave up on him, but Bowman is too smart to.

    He’s more than a complimentary player there.

    He better than Pajaarvi at this point in time. Do you give up Pajaarvi for Khabby and Peckham? Not even close.

    Steve Smith,

    What do you envision in terms of a “bad plan”?

    My version is that they don’t add any more D and run with:

    5-77
    6-58
    25-44

    My version of a good plan is:

    Garrison-77 (blue skying, I know)
    5-58
    6-44
    25

    5-58 are playing very well together and could be a very solid 2nd pair for a lot of years.

  25. Ducey says:

    I like magic beans so I am not overjoyed. But it would seem to spell the end of “Bob” Barker, and likely provides depth. Its nice to have a vet back there who can step up and play 5 – 10 games higher up the depth chart. He also likely provides some leadership and certainly toughness.

    Peckham is a favourite of mine. He would seem to be the odd man out if they are going to add anyone else next year. Sutton is the toughie ahead of him and Tuebert still has year on his ELC.

    It also signals a transition in the rebuild. They are actually trying to keep some people around.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: I think Potter will be the odd man out. He got a contract but lordy he’s got some holes in his game.

  27. DBO says:

    Woodguy: I disagree. He has been healthy scratched the last few games, seems to be shuttling between all the lines. He may be thought of highly, but their pressing needs outweigh the potential of a 3rd liner for them. The premise of that offer was the fact that the hawks are reeling, need a shakeup or at least need to add something. They need depth on D (Scott is playing almost every game, and Teddy is an upgrade) and Bulin is an upgrade on Emery, and maybe on Crawford at this point in the season (not long term, just looks like the Hawks have no confidence in their tenders, so they need to do something).

  28. knighttown says:

    Terrific post LT. One of your best of the year. I’m not going to qualify that with a “but”…full stop, great post. I do disagree with the last sentence however. I’m not sure how you can leap from all those positives to calling the best case scenario, dumping him on someone else.

    It’s easy to sit here and watch guys like Dominic Moore and Andy Sutton move each March for decent draft picks and just assume these guys are currency but Sutton the player really helped this team (if only by not hurting it) and if Cam Barker showed us anything, it’s that #6/#7 D who suck can really hurt a team.

    Also, the Whitney and Hemsky scenarios are a little different this year than last. WE don’t know but you’ve got to assume by season’s end the team doctors will have a lot more answers than last year about Whitney’s legs and Hemmer’s shoulders. For instance, if Whitney has become a guy that can only move at 80% and will have to play through some pain that’s actually easier to plan for…he’s essentially another bottom pairing defenseman. It’s easier to plan for than say, a Ryan Whitney that comes back as a 1/2 d-man but then gets hurt a lot. Do you replace him or not? IF the assessment above is what the docs see, you of course don’t count on him in your Top 4 and therefore you need someone to go into that slot.

    Top 3′s- Gilbert, Smid, ???

    4/5′s – Petry, Whitney

    6/7/8/9/10- Sutton, Potter, Peckham, (Plante-1 year older), Teubert (1 year older), Klefbom, Marincin, Chorney

    I’d add one Top 3 and have massive competition all year for those 9/10 spots.

  29. Traktor says:

    Ducey:

    It also signals a transition in the rebuild.They are actually trying to keep some people around.

    Given that Edmonton is holding onto Sutton instead of adding a bullet as LT like to say, I wonder if Hemsky priced himself out of town. We know that he said he is open to staying but we know he also said it depends on “term and stuff”.

    He’s been my favorite Oiler since he was drafted but he would be dumb not to sign for as many years as possible given his recent injuries and his poor season this year will probably looked at as a one-off to some of the bidding teams.

  30. Lowetide says:

    KT: If we can be sure that Whitney is healthy, then I’m pretty happy with the top 4–remember, Petry still has some chaos but the other three at the top are experienced men and Whitney or Smid should be able to cover some of those mistakes of youth from Petry.

    Plus Gilbert is kicking the world in the nuts this year, so hopefully we’ll get another like this one.

    But I don’t know anyone who believes Whitney will be good for 60+ quality games. He’s back, but not all the way and that’s for sure.

  31. DBO says:

    Traktor,

    good point. His agent certainly is going for term as much if not more then dollars. And if you are the Oil you are probably going no more then 2 years (less risk, and RNH gets a huge raise once the deal falls off).

  32. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    So would it make more sense to run

    Gilbert-Whitney
    Smid-Petry

    Gilbert can make up for a less then healthy Whitney, covering his lack of mobility but allowing the Oil to run out a top 4 who can play against almost anyone (Smid’s progression may be the most important factor, since it allows us to play him with a Petry and let the kid makes mistakes since Smid will always be there to back it up)

  33. Woodguy says:

    DBO:
    Woodguy: I disagree. He has been healthy scratched the last few games, seems to be shuttling between all the lines. He may be thought of highly, but their pressing needs outweigh the potential of a 3rd liner for them. The premise of that offer was the fact that the hawks are reeling, need a shakeup or at least need to add something. They need depth on D (Scott is playing almost every game, and Teddy is an upgrade) and Bulin is an upgrade on Emery, and maybe on Crawford at this point in the season (not long term, just looks like the Hawks have no confidence in their tenders, so they need to do something).

    So who does he push down the depth chart, Harski or Omark?

    If Jones wasn’t under contract, I’d be for it, but I still doubt they are giving up on him.

    Looks like Shaw is the one eating his lunch.

    Its funny because Frolik has the 3rd toughest CorQC on the team.

    Can’t give him softer minutes because Hossa and Kane are ahead of him.

    They also haven’t won in 7 games or so.

    I guess you never know.

    Good info. I take Frolik every day of the week, but I’m still not sure Khabby and Peckham get that done.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    KT: If we can be sure that Whitney is healthy, then I’m pretty happy with the top 4–remember, Petry still has some chaos but the other three at the top are experienced men and Whitney or Smid should be able to cover some of those mistakes of youth from Petry.

    Plus Gilbert is kicking the world in the nuts this year, so hopefully we’ll get another like this one.

    But I don’t know anyone who believes Whitney will be good for 60+ quality games. He’s back, but not all the way and that’s for sure.

    If his play since his return is any indication, he might be done as a top 4 Dman.

    A smart GM doesn’t bank on him playing top 4 minutes next year.

    3rd pairing and PP work.

  35. Lois Lowe says:

    I like the idea of signing Sutton. The term is short and the money is less than we’re paying him currently. It also means that he likes playing for the organization and he likes playing in Edmonton. Sutton has to know that he’s not getting a long-term deal, but he’s taking a pay cut to stay with the org. As a 5-6-7 he’s a good bet and helps with defensive depth, it also means that Plante, Teubert, Kelfbom, Marincin et al have to make the team on merit at TC next year. That is a good thing.

    We still need Whitney insurance though.

  36. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Well, hold on – he’s not taking a pay cut because he likes the city or the organization (though you’re right that he must like them at least a little bit, or he wouldn’t re-sign): he’s taking a pay cut because he has no choice but to take a pay cut, because nobody’s going to pay him his current salary. In fact, it’s very possible (as Lowetide suggests) that he’s taking less of a pay-cut to stay with the Oilers than he would on the open market.

    Woodguy:

    What would a bad defensive plan with Sutton re-signed look like?

    Gilbert-Smid
    Whitney-Barker
    Petry-Barker
    Sutton

    With Peckham traded to Chicago or not qualified or waived or something.

    Basically, it would look a lot like this year.

  37. Ryan says:

    Wow. I had been thinking about Sutton yesterday. This recent comminique is absurd and goes against any conceivable grasp of “sell high / buy low” by Oilers management.

    Bottom of the roster dmen can be had via the open market in the off season for minimal dollars and no asset cost.

    With roster limits, injuries, etc, all of a sudden bottom of the roster dmen (as LT has well articulated) experience a surge in value near the trade deadline.

    If I were a GM for a playoff contender Sutton would have huge appeal as a depth dman given his usefulness on the PK, not to mention ridiculous size / toughness and expiring contract. He’s a vet that’s getting old, but still a serviceable player.

    Sutton for a 3/4 pick and address the lack of top 4 dmen on this team in the off season would seem to make far more sense to me.

  38. Gerta Rauss says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    You like Barker so much you’re signing him twice..?..:)

    Agree though-that looks a lot like this year’s D and I don’t like it one bit.

  39. "Steve Smith" says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Well, I’m drunk. The first of those Barkers should be Sutton, and the Sutton that is there should be Potter.

  40. Lowetide says:

    We’re going to have trouble communicating when we’re old.

  41. DSF says:

    Kypreos has Vancouver as the most likely destination for Jeff Carter.

    To make that deal, Gillis would have to move a defenseman (likely Ballard) opening up a spot for a cheap depth defenseman like Sutton.

    What would it take for the Oilers to deal Sutton to the Canucks?

  42. Lowetide says:

    Tanev.

  43. Lois Lowe says:

    It just seems silly to bemoan a depth signing which fulfills a team need (actual NHL defender who can PK and play physical) when the term and the dollars work with the current roster. Everyone is so worried about cap implications when there isn’t really an issue, even if Sutton would only be able to get 1.25 on the open market, why bitch about paying $500,000 when it doesn’t matter?

  44. Lowetide says:

    Lois: The upset is twofold: the Oilers are filling a slot that isn’t a huge priority before dealing with the real problem–which is what the hell do we do about Whitney?

    And secondly, they are throwing away at least half a million the same week they are going to tell us Hemsky isn’t affordable.

  45. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lois Lowe

    Because salary management is one of 4 or 5 skills a GM has to master to be successful.3 to 4 to 5 contracts where we overpay 500K and we lose out on the ability to sign a necessary piece on a good team

    I have no strong feelings one way or the other on Sutton. None but if you could get something for him at the time of the year that his value is highest -the trade deadline and replace him at free agency (with Sutton or Sutton 2.0) Why again are we resigning him now?

    If the Oilers are going to rely on Whitney to play top 4 minutes next year,they are being unbelievably optimistic

  46. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    Tanev.

    Right.

  47. DSF says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    And, when you also factor in the unnecessary extension of Potter (-16 and sinking fast), it soon become death by paper cut.

    It’s been the Oilers’ way for years.

  48. "Steve Smith" says:

    DSF,

    Potter is both the right price and the right skill level for a number seven defenceman (you can sit him a bunch without worrying about his development). I’d be entirely happy with his signing if I didn’t have the nagging feeling that the Oilers planned on using him as more than that.

  49. Gerta Rauss says:

    DSF,

    Well,we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves-I think this is more Gaslight than anything-if the Kypreos tweet puts the feet to the fire of any potential suitors then it was a good move.

    I don’t disagree with the paper cut comment,but let’s see how this plays out first.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Potter’s deal isn’t a bad one, they can send him to the AHL on a one-way and recall if needed. I don’t think that contract has any real impact if he doesn’t make the team this fall.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide:

    And secondly, they are throwing away at least half a million the same week they are going to tell us Hemsky isn’t affordable.

    I’m not sure this is apples to apples-if Hemsky agrees to a 1 year deal–like the proposed Sutton deal–then I’d give him the half mill….I think the sticking point with the Hemsky deal is going to be term.

  52. Gerta Rauss says:

    Agree on the Potter deal-the money and term is fine. Like SS I’m more concerned that they have top 4 minutes planned for him.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Potter’s been horrible since the injury so maybe that’s a factor, Jonathan Willis had something up on that recently. I think it was Jon, anyway.

    Re: Hemsky. The term has to be 1-3 years, right?

  54. Gerta Rauss says:

    My line in the sand is 2 years…maybe 3 if he’s not asking for the moon price wise.

    I was fine with moving him at last years deadline but his value has dropped so much that it now makes more sense to sign him-provided the contract make sense.

    If he is asking for 5 years as was mentioned last week I pass.

  55. cabbiesmacker says:

    The Duke of Hafford:
    I have been thinking about this trade for awhile…do you think Chicago would do something like Sutton and a third round pick for Kyle Beach (or something a little more)?Picking up someone like Beach would give the Oilers a Lucic type prospect that we don’t have but dearly could use in the system.

    Beach is a ways down the list of Hawk prospects I’d be asking for in a trade. 22 years old with no NHL time?

    Hawks are a hurting unit on D right now. Kodiacs alumni Dylan Olsen was called up recently

  56. hunter1909 says:

    Good to see oilers giving out a one year deal for a change. Star players aside, a team like oilers should offer one year deals as a normal business practice.

    Great to see MPS finally catch fire on the Horcoff/Hemsky line. I hope Renney plays the three together for the rest of the season.

  57. Woodguy says:

    DSF:
    Kypreos has Vancouver as the most likely destination for Jeff Carter.

    To make that deal, Gillis would have to move a defenseman (likely Ballard) opening up a spot for a cheap depth defenseman like Sutton.

    What would it take for the Oilers to deal Sutton to the Canucks?

    Howson would take Ballard in exchange for Carter?

  58. Lois Lowe says:

    LT – I don’t see how waiting until summer to deal with the other parts of the roster changes the Whitney situation. I would take this as a sign that management knows that they need more defensive depth. Sutton is never going to be Whitney insurance but he can be a part of a larger solution for next year which includes an upgrade somewhere in the 1-2-3 dman range.

    With respect to Hemsky, I think it’s safe to make a direct comparison to Whitney. If we sign him long term (and I don’t believe he’s signing anywhere for less than 5 years), there is a substantial risk that he becomes our next elephant in the room. We have seen from Whitney just how much chaos comes from not being able to rely on a player to both stay in the line up and stay effective when playing. Both Hemmer and Whitney have been shadows of their former selves this season and while I believe Hemsky’s performance this season is an outlier, I also remember Mike Grier’s recurring shoulder injuries and am hesitant to lock someone with similar issues in long term.

    TheOtherJohn – It’s a one year deal. Repeat. A one year deal. It won’t make a difference next year. Let’s not start projecting so far into the future.

  59. DSF says:

    Potter’s contract isn’t bad…it was just unnecessary to sign him for two years after a 40 game stretch in the NHL.

    Unless he has some leverage I haven’t heard about.

  60. Lowetide says:

    DSF: Good point on Potter’s deal.

    Lois Lowe: It’s a problem when Whitney can’t play big minutes. Then the Oilers will have about 6 bottom pairing guys.

  61. DSF says:

    Woodguy: Howson would take Ballard in exchange for Carter?

    I’m sure there would be much more involved.

    Start with Ballard and Mason Raymond and likely Vancouver’s first.

    Howson is desperate to rid himself of Carter’s contract, desperately needs a D man who can move the puck, which Ballard can do, and Raymond has become expendable in Vancouver.

    I’m not sure how Carter fits on the Canucks TBH unless Kesler moves to wing but am merely reporting what Kypreos said.

    Gillis has Tanev and Connauton ripening in Chicago but I would think a tough bottom pairing defenseman like Sutton would be ideal depth for him in the playoffs.

    I wouldn’t think Gillis would re-sign Sutton in the offseason so the Oilers could always take a shot at him in July.

  62. Doogie2K says:

    Remember how many defensemen Buffalo lost in the spring of 2006? It was horrible.

    I remember that despite that, they were within a delay-of-game penalty of winning the East and, arguably, the Stanley Cup. That was a damned good team that stopped catching breaks at exactly the wrong time.

    Second item: Chicago has lost 5 in a row and are not out of the woods in terms of playoffs:

    They’ve actually lost eight in a row, the last five in regulation. Yikes.

    Woodguy:

    Those numbers aren’t too far to the right side of the bell curve, and aren’t that big of a worry in terms of coloring his performance as better than it is.

    There are 45 goalies who have played at least 20 games in the NHL this year.

    The median 5v5 SV% is .925 (Bobrovsky)

    Dubnyk is next on the list (24th) with .924

    Nik is 30th with .916

    Not sure I’d put too much stock in that, simply because I don’t think those are necessarily indicative of true talent. Nik’s numbers are still being buoyed to a degree by the early season, and Dubnyk is still an open question.

  63. Captain Obvious says:

    I don’t see the problem with the Sutton deal. If they don’t re-sign him now they’ll just have to get someone like him in the summer. I’d rather have the guy I already know. So the only real cost is what they can get in trade. As far as I’m concerned a third round pick is worthless so I’ll just take Sutton.

    Love the Frolik trade idea. But the Oilers would have to be trading with themselves to get a deal that good.

  64. Woodguy says:

    Did everyone have a look at the scoring chances yesterday?

    Kids playing against 1st pairing D:

    Hall 4-12 = -8
    Gagner 2-9 = -7
    Eberle 2-9 = -7

    Since Gagner’s big night, the kids have seen 1st pairing D every night except the DET game immediately following the CHI game. DET put 1st pairing D out against them in DET after the TOR game.

    Including last night, their scoring chances facing 1st pairing D has been (TOR, DET, OTT)

    Hall -11
    Gagner -10
    Eberle -9

    When Hemsky came back from injury, the opposing coaches put out their 1st pairing D against his line, leaving the kids to meet and beat the softs. They are having pretty good results because of it.

    What we’ve seen in the last 3 games is what we can expect once Hemsky is gone.

    They’ll see 1st pairing D all the time, and then the MSM will start wondering why their scoring has dried up.

    I imagine that once Hemsky is gone and 93 is healthy, the soft minute line would look like 91 and 23 centered by 89.

    They won’t have the success that 4,93.89, 14 did against the softs because they simply aren’t as good as those guys.

    It might help negotiate the 2nd contracts of 4,14 because next year will be a big pts/60 regression year due to quality of competition.

    Seeing that coming, I fully expect v3.2 to announce extensions for both 4 and 14 this summer.

    The MSM narrative will be the kids are wilting under the pressure of living up to the big contracts.

    In reality playing against the Seabrooks and Keiths of the NHL world is much tougher than playing against the Hjalmarssons and Leddys of the NHL world.

    Most of the secondary scoring will probably rely on 91 and 23 next year.

    Lordy.

  65. Woodguy says:

    Doogie2K: I remember that despite that, they were within a delay-of-game penalty of winning the East and, arguably, the Stanley Cup. That was a damned good team that stopped catching breaks at exactly the wrong time.

    They’ve actually lost eight in a row, the last five in regulation. Yikes.

    Not sure I’d put too much stock in that, simply because I don’t think those are necessarily indicative of true talent. Nik’s numbers are still being buoyed to a degree by the early season, and Dubnyk is still an open question.

    I was stating Nik and DD’s numbers just for interest.

    The point of that was to show that Sutton had about average NHL 5v5 SV% behind him this year.

    I think the median 5v5 SV% of 45 goalies is pretty close.

  66. Woodguy says:

    DSF: I’m sure there would be much more involved.

    Start with Ballard and Mason Raymond and likely Vancouver’s first.

    Howson is desperate to rid himself of Carter’s contract, desperately needs a D man who can move the puck, which Ballard can do, and Raymond has become expendable in Vancouver.

    I’m not sure how Carter fits on the Canucks TBH unless Kesler moves to wing but am merely reporting what Kypreos said.

    Gillis has Tanev and Connauton ripening in Chicago but I would think a tough bottom pairing defenseman like Sutton would be ideal depth for him in the playoffs.

    I wouldn’t think Gillis would re-sign Sutton in the offseason so the Oilers could always take a shot at him in July.

    Isn’t Ballard universally acknowledged as way overpaid and a bit of bust?

    A minus player, playing the dregs with the dregs on a very good VAN team.

    I guess it depends how desperate Howson is.

    Might get more in the summer.

  67. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: We’re going to have trouble communicating when we’re old.

    When?

    Ducey: I think Potter will be the odd man out. He got a contract but lordy he’s got some holes in his game.

    Well, he is leading the D in Rel Corsi. In a third pairing with Sutton he can step up and play PP minutes while Sutton can do the PK work.

  68. Denniss says:

    I think this means a few things:

    - 24 is done as an Oiler; maybe at the deadline but certainly by the end of the summer.

    - 44 isn’t on the solid ground he was a couple of months ago and at such an affordable rate could be in the AHL again.

    - Oilers have a lot of faith in 6′s health and return to form and he ability of 58 to be able to play top four min next year.

    - Oilers are overestimating their D.

    I’m not saying 58 can’t step up and be a good 4th D next year but look how long it took 5 to get there? I think Oilers would be better off suited having 58 on the third pairing with 6 and that means finding two more real D.

    That doesn’t seem to be the plan, though. Looks like 5-6-58-77 as the top four and 25-44-24 right now to fill out.

    That’s absolutely not good enough

  69. Lois Lowe says:

    LT – How many of the 6 bottom pairing guys are actual NHLers? You keep complaining that the Oilers are always pushing guys up who can’t consistently hit big league pitching above the Mendoza line. If the Oilers don’t resign Barker this summer (please God make sure they don’t), they have how many actual NHL defencemen?

  70. Denniss says:

    WG: I see media complaining about EVTOI for the kids and I’m wondering how in the jesus can you be paid to watch games and still not fucking understand that it’s about matchups?

    Fuck, by all means give the kids all kinds of TOI but just be prepared for them having to do the tough sledding and for a lot of multi-goal losses unless your PP is running at 40%.

  71. Lowetide says:

    Lois: I mentioned above that the Sutton signing would help in that way, adding actual NHL players. I’m not certain what else you want me to say on the issue. I think we agree.

    My point is that signing Sutton means that if Whitney can’t play the big minutes we’re once again stuck with who to play when the going gets tough.

    1. Whitney healthy
    2. Gilbert
    3. Smid
    4. Petry
    5. Sutton
    6. Potter
    7. Peckham

    Is just fine with me IF Whitney is healthy. But he isn’t healthy and despite what we’re hoping for there’s a good chance he’ll be giving a distressing interview to Robin Brownlee in September.

    So, that means playing Sutton or Potter in the 2nd pairing and we already know that Petry is going to make more mistakes than we’d like from someone playing the tough opponent. And if Whitney is on the third pairing at evens because he can’t skate, we have three guys for the top 4 and 4 guys for the bottom 3.

    Again.

    Good NHL teams address the bigger need first, and then fill in as able.

  72. DSF says:

    Woodguy: Isn’t Ballard universally acknowledged as way overpaid and a bit of bust?

    A minus player, playing the dregs with the dregs on a very good VAN team.

    I guess it depends how desperate Howson is.

    Might get more in the summer.

    Ballard is overpaid for his role on the Canucks (#6) but he’s not a minus player.

    But, if Howson is going to rid himself of Carter’s contract (10 years to go), Howson is likely going to have to take back another team’s problem.

    The deadline is generally when you can get the most value out of a deal like that.

  73. Bos8 says:

    Woodguy:
    Woodguy
    says: February 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    Did everyone have a look at the scoring chances yesterday?
    Kids playing against 1st pairing D:
    Hall 4-12 = -8
    Gagner 2-9 = -7
    Eberle 2-9 = -7
    Since Gagner’s big night, the kids have seen 1st pairing D every night except the DET game immediately following the CHI game. DET put 1st pairing D out against them in DET after the TOR game.
    Including last night, their scoring chances facing 1st pairing D has been (TOR, DET, OTT)
    Hall -11
    Gagner -10
    Eberle -9
    When Hemsky came back from injury, the opposing coaches put out their 1st pairing D against his line, leaving the kids to meet and beat the softs. They are having pretty good results because of it.
    What we’ve seen in the last 3 games is what we can expect once Hemsky is gone.

    I should tag this and trot it out every time people go into ecstacies about a game.

    Tough minutes should become context. They also serve….

    Thank you

  74. Denniss says:

    LL: well, I think that one option would be a 25-58 third pairing where the kid’s allowed to make his bones against lesser opp; this would mean we’d need excellent health from 6 and a real D to round out the top four. Still, that’s what I think we need

  75. DSF says:

    Lowetide:

    Good NHL teams address the bigger need first, and then fill in as able.

    Thus my comment on the Potter signing.

    There are always lots of Potters around.

  76. Ducey says:

    I guess it depends how desperate Howson is.

    Might get more in the summer.

    I would expect the Blue Jackets already have the moving van booked for Howson’s office. Only real question is whether he comes back to EDM is some capacity.

  77. Denniss says:

    thought of this last night but I wonder if eating Ballard’s contract is the first step towards Burke landing Schneider?

  78. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Interesting. When does Komisarek come off the books?

  79. art vandelay says:

    LT – How many of the 6 bottom pairing guys are actual NHLers? You keep complaining that the Oilers are always pushing guys up who can’t consistently hit big league pitching above the Mendoza line. If the Oilers don’t resign Barker this summer (please God make sure they don’t), they have how many actual NHL defencemen?

    2.5

    Gilbert, Smid and a one-legged Whitney.

    If Andy Sutton is dressing any more than every second game, your team is the proverbial pile of donkey sh!t. That alleged salary is a waste of whatever $1.75 minus the league minimum equals.

  80. art vandelay says:

    That is. 2.5 of every Dman in the Oilers organization are NHLers. They all look like bottom pairs to me.

  81. Ducey says:

    When Hemsky came back from injury, the opposing coaches put out their 1st pairing D against his line, leaving the kids to meet and beat the softs. They are having pretty good results because of it.

    What we’ve seen in the last 3 games is what we can expect once Hemsky is gone.

    Good points as usual Woodguy, but if its a only a matter of time before this happens anyway, isn’t it?

    In theory Hemsky should make the opposing coach think twice with Hemsky able to take advantage of the second tier when the coach matches against the kids. But with Hemsky almost always injured/ disinterested/ late for practice/ missing fire in his eyes, the Oilers might be stuck with a $5 million dollar player unable to take advantage of the softs. At least this is the risk.

  82. Woodguy says:

    Denniss:
    WG: I see media complaining about EVTOI for the kids and I’m wondering how in the jesus can you be paid to watch games and still not fucking understand that it’s about matchups?

    Fuck, by all means give the kids all kinds of TOI but just be prepared for them having to do the tough sledding and for a lot of multi-goal losses unless your PP is running at 40%.

    Yeah, that line was getting killed and everyone was yelling for more ice time.

    They’ll get more ice time, but until they can handle the toughs (if ever), they’ll be a net negative.

    Hall can handle toughs now, but he’s the only one, and only with help.

    Next year will be a bloodbath.

    When the Oilers are in the lottery for the 4th year in a row, maybe Tambellini will lose his job.

    I know its early and we can’t pronounce next year a lost year until we see the roster from TC, but unless they add a tough minute RW (assuming Hemsky is gone) tough minute C and 2 top D…and a goalie, I don’t see the playoffs happening.

  83. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    When Hemsky came back from injury, the opposing coaches put out their 1st pairing D against his line, leaving the kids to meet and beat the softs. They are having pretty good results because of it.


    What we’ve seen in the last 3 games is what we can expect once Hemsky is gone.

    Good points as usual Woodguy, but if its a only a matter of time before this happens anyway, isn’t it?

    In theory Hemsky should make the opposing coach think twice with Hemsky able to take advantage of the second tier when the coach matches against the kids.But with Hemsky almost always injured/ disinterested/ late for practice/ missing fire in his eyes, the Oilers might be stuck with a $5 million dollar player unable to take advantage of the softs.At least this is the risk.

    It will happen eventually, but good management doesn’t throw players to the wolves, and that’s what’s happening here.

    If they get better and earn it, then awesome.

    As for 83, the first 2 games against 2nd pairing D (TOR/DET), 10 and 83 didn’t take advantage of the situation.

    Against OTT, they won the game for the Oilers.

    83 has 13 points in the last 17 games. 3 of those games against 2nd pairing D, the rest against 1st pairing D.

    I have no idea how his shoulder will hold up over time, but there’s no one to take those minutes.

    I have no idea what the sticking point of a deal is, everyone thinks its term, and it might be.

    All I know is that they are much worse off without him than with him, given who is around to replace him.

    So far it looks like 23 is going to get the slot on the soft minute scoring line RW, but no idea how he’ll do.

    Eberle, Hall and RNH will be slotted to play hockey against a much higher level of opponent than their established NHL level.

    Where have I heard that before?

  84. godot10 says:

    Keeping Sutton on a 1-year deal is a good idea. The Oilers need more defensive depth.

    If Sutton is #6, and Peckham is #7, and Potter is #8, this is good not bad. The second year on Potter’s contract means that he can probably be on the OKC shuttle without much risk of being claimed on waivers. Teubert #9, Plante #10, Chorney #11, Klefbom #12 (if he’s in OKC).

    This means they still have to sign one legitimate top 4 guy to go with Gilbert, Smid, and Whitney.

  85. Denniss says:

    LT: well, Kommisarek has one full year left on his contract after this one but as I joked last night to my Leads buddies, Jeff Finger’s contract is up after this season so the Leafs could farm Kommisarek for the 2014 season and he could rent that house that Finger bought across from the Riccho Coliseum;)

    WG: the worst thing I read lately was Stauffer saying 58 could replace 77 in a couple of years. Is there something wrong with having actual goddamn depth as to perceived depth, ie living in a dreamworld where all of the marincin and gernats and musils and klefbombs turn out great?

    As to a larger point, I full expect 20 to bounce back next year

  86. Lowetide says:

    In what world is it a good thing to know your number 8 defender before you know your top pairing?

  87. Denniss says:

    To note, if you have 14-83 as your top two RWs then I think me and LT could be the third and fourth liners on the starboard side; especially if we could kill penalties:)

  88. knighttown says:

    Woodguy,

    Re Matchups

    This really is the Caramilk secret to the woeful home/road splits that no one in the MSM ever seems to latch onto. Renney is running the bench fine at home but he’s really got two options on the road:

    1. Ice a balanced lineup with a mix of talent, youth, size and experience on each line OR
    2. Make a fucking effort to get your matchups. Only play the kids after the Sedins get off the ice. Put some of Horc, Belanger, Smid, Smyth on for every “risky” faceoff.

    “Line match or die” would be on my white board for every road game.

    And yes, it gets much uglier when 83 is gone in 20 days. The only way to get the Keiths and Seabrookes of Eberle’s back is to have 83′s line destroy the softs.

  89. Lowetide says:

    that’s what Lennart Petrell said!

  90. Downright Fierce says:

    I could live with the dollars, if I could believe in Toonces’ ability to keep the contract in his hip pocket right up until the deadline in order to entertain offers. Even though that appears unlikely, I would rather they acquire assets that could help push a deal through on draft day for a better d-man than Sutton.

    A little OT, but I know there’s some math whizzes on here that might appreciate this. I came across it on The Classical, an outstanding sports blogging site that I backed on Kickstarter. They broke the news of the Edmonton Euler t-shirt. It’s already successfully funded, but there’s 23 days left to get a tee & some decals for 25 bones. My knowledge of Euler is cursory from wikipedia, but I know there’s bigger brains out there that might dig on this.

  91. Denniss says:

    LT: slow clap

  92. maudite says:

    So, ~2.5 mil for Sutton and Potter….seems fine to me.

    ________
    Gilbert
    Smid
    Petry
    Whitney
    Sutton
    Potter
    Peckham
    Teubert
    AHL depth and cups of tea for some prospects

    Need someone in the top 4. Maybe not top but 1-3 and that isn’t the worst thing (bump that chart down two more would be great but pretty unreasonable imo).

    That name better not be Barker and I agree Sutton could have likely been cashed for a chip at the deadline, but so be it. I don’t mind another year of a fuctional 5-6 dman. I don’t see Suton and Potter signings as that bad.

  93. knighttown says:

    Lowetide:
    In what world is it a good thing to know your number 8 defender before you know your top pairing?

    What does one have to do with the other? Again, it’s really only a problem if they think 6 is a viable Top 3 guy. If they’ve got 58, 6, 25, 24, 44, 33 and 46(?) as their 4/5/6/7/8/9/10 spots, that part is done. Go get a Top 3 guy and you’ve finally got a defense that runs 10 deep***

    ***this assumes that Plante and Teubert are a year older and ready to contribute in some small way. Could be Chorney, Klefbom, Marincin or whomever in positions 9 and 10.

  94. Woodguy says:

    DSF: Ballard is overpaid for his role on the Canucks (#6) but he’s not a minus player.

    But, if Howson is going to rid himself of Carter’s contract (10 years to go),Howson is likely going to have to take back another team’s problem.

    The deadline is generally when you can get the most value out of a deal like that.

    BTN has him at -0.19/60
    Corsi -2.23, RelCor -13.9
    With the dregs, against the dregs

    Carter can be looked at as a 60-70pt guy, who outscores tough comp.

    His last year in PHI he had the tough minutes and came out ahead with 36g 30a 66pts.

    His deal at 5.5 is a great deal for the next 4 years. The 6 after that is an issue though.

  95. cabbiesmacker says:

    art vandelay:
    That is. 2.5 of every Dman in the Oilers organization are NHLers. They all look like bottom pairs to me.

    Glad you aren’t the GM Art. If you don’t see predictable higher than bottom pairing for Petry you’re obtuse.

    I’ll let you get back to trolling the universe now.

  96. Woodguy says:

    We should have a MSM narrative pool.

    Which narrative will they use for the reason the kids’ scoring regression next year?

    I’ll take “having trouble with the weight of the expectaions of the city and hockey club”.

    If they have new contracts you can throw that in there too.

  97. DSF says:

    Woodguy: BTN has him at -0.19/60
    Corsi -2.23, RelCor -13.9
    With the dregs, against the dregs

    Carter can be looked at as a 60-70pt guy, who outscores tough comp.

    His last year in PHI he had the tough minutes and came out ahead with 36g 30a 66pts.

    His deal at 5.5 is a great deal for the next 4 years.The 6 after that is an issue though.

    Behind the Net has Gilbert at – 0.17/60.
    I know he plays tougher competition (3rd) but he gets more help too (1st)

    Corsi means nothing when applied to an individual player.

    I would imagine Gilbert would be playing a similar role to Ballard in Vancouver given the quality of their top 4 so this is likely closer than first appearances.

    As stated, I think Ballard is too expensive to be playing #6, as would Gilbert, so I am sure Gillis would need to sweeten the pot considerably.

  98. Woodguy says:

    DSF: Behind the Net has Gilbert at – 0.17/60.I know he plays tougher competition (3rd) but he gets more help too (1st)

    Corsi means nothing when applied to an individual player.

    I would imagine Gilbert would be playing a similar role to Ballard in Vancouver given the quality of their top 4 so this is likely closer than first appearances.

    As stated, I think Ballard is too expensive to be playing #6, as would Gilbert, so I am sure Gillis would need to sweeten the pot considerably.

    Equating Gilbert’s minutes to Ballard is a huge stretch. Comedy like actually.

    I diagree that corsi tells us nothing. It needs context, but there is lots of context here.

    Ballard is anchor contract, Carter is an underpay for at least 4 years.

    If I’m Howson, I want you to throw in Kessler if I’m taking Ballard.

    :)

  99. Lowetide says:

    If I’m Howson, I’d need an actual job offer to make any deal. :-)

  100. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide:
    In what world is it a good thing to know your number 8 defender before you know your top pairing?

    I don’t see it as an issue. The test should be, basically, is there any way we’ll be looking back in six months and thinking “Man, I wish we hadn’t signed Corey Potter to that cheap two year contract?” I’m thinking there isn’t. Whatever we do with the top pairing – and I suspect it’s “leave it deficient” – the Potter contract’s fine.

    It’s a little more plausible to me that we’ll be saying “Man, I wish we hadn’t signed Sutton to a one year contract for $1.75 million”, but the Oilers needed to address their first pairing before that signing, and they still do. That signing (if it materializes) doesn’t help or hinder in that respect.

    Basically, I’m with Knighttown

  101. stevezie says:

    In a recent piece introducing bandwagon fans to the Canucks roster, PassittoBullis did a nice job of explaining the Ballard situation, I think (I don’t watch enough Van games to really disagree with him).
    It’s not that he sucks, he just really sucks at some things. He’s a great skater, he makes a lot of high skill plays and he throws nice hip-checks, but he’s also a bone head who’ll drive a coach crazy with turnovers and attempts at high skill plays that don’t work. Someone who takes that much off the table doesn’t have a lot of value in a deep organization like Vancouver, but I think Columbus could use his upside. I think a lot of teams could use his upside.
    Taking him off Vancouver’s hands would be doing them a favour- no one likes expensive players the coach refuses to play- but Howson could really scratch his own back by offering to absorb Ballard’s salary.
    He’s not pure anchor, is all I’m saying. Neither, however, is he Tom Gilbert.

  102. DSF says:

    Woodguy: Equating Gilbert’s minutes to Ballard is a huge stretch. Comedy like actually.

    I diagree that corsi tells us nothing. It needs context, but there is lots of context here.

    Ballard is anchor contract, Carter is an underpay for at least 4 years.

    If I’m Howson, I want you to throw in Kessler if I’m taking Ballard.

    You are vastly over rating Gilbert.

    Of course their minutes are not the same…one plays on a team with a top 5 defense and the other plays on a bottom 5 defense but, as you say, context is important.

    Gilbert would be a bottom pairing defenseman in Vancouver and, unless you think he could supplant Edler or Salo, there’s little doubt about that and opportunity often molds results.

    Every team in the league would jump at Carter if his contract had only four years remaining but it has ten…and that’s what has Howson in a bind.

    If the Oilers offered Gilbert, Gagner and their second round pick for Carter, would you do the deal?

    Would Howson?

  103. DSF says:

    stevezie:
    He’s not pure anchor, is all I’m saying. Neither, however, is he Tom Gilbert.

    Gilbert:
    29 years old
    University of Wisconsin
    378 GP 33G 124A 157P
    .41 PPG
    Best season: 4G 40A 45P
    Career Plus/Minus -28
    Cap Hit $4 million

    Ballard:
    29 years old
    University of Minnesota
    509 GP 36G 127PA 163P
    .32PPG
    Best season: 8G 31A 39P
    Career Plus/Minus -1
    Cap Hit $4.2 million

    You would have to think Gilbert has slightly more value right now because he’s getting prime time and Ballard is struggling to stay in Vancouver’s lineup but the similarities are almost eerie.

    Gilbert has the edge offensively but Ballard has more experience and has fared better keeping his head above water.

    Remember it was only a year ago the Edmonton fan base was ready to run Gilbert out of town.

  104. Bos8 says:

    What really rips me is that the Oilers not only lose Hemsky but also a lot of development time for MPS. He’ll have a few games with Horc and Hemsky and das it. Back to the also rans. So, that’s like taking out two top liners. To my mind, Hemsky should be the finishing school for each kid. “See kid, this is our only NHL hockey player, the finished product, when he’s about to be surrounded by three defenders that means open ice for you, and vice versa, etc. In time Little Grasshopper….”

    Instead, it’s “here kids, we;ve all got you playing together, now learn… From whom? And ELC waits for no man.

    As for Hemsky, “Well, Ales, we’ve got all these talented kids but we’ve got you with Horc and Smytty, we know you’re comfortable with them”.

    To misquote Leno “What the hell are they thinking”?

  105. Woodguy says:

    DSF: You are vastly over rating Gilbert.

    Of course their minutes are not the same…one plays on a team with a top 5 defense and the other plays on a bottom 5 defense but, as you say, context is important.

    Gilbert would be a bottom pairing defenseman in Vancouver and, unless you think he could supplant Edler or Salo, there’s little doubt about that and opportunity often molds results.

    Every team in the league would jump at Carter if his contract had only four years remaining but it has ten…and that’s what has Howson in a bind.

    If the Oilers offered Gilbert, Gagner and their second round pick for Carter, would you do the deal?

    Would Howson?

    That’s too much and creates a huge expensive hole with no one to fill it.

    I’d some sort of Gagner + for Carter, but you can’t trade the best Dman on a team bereft of Dmen.

    Since Gilbert only has 2 years until UFA, you’d have to think hard on it, but filling one hole (which Gagner partially fills) to create a hole no one on the current roster can fill isn’t good.

    Also,

    Are we talking about the same Edmonton fan base that loves Ryan Jones, ran Arnott out of town and booed Paul Coffey?

    Also,

    You are vastly under-rating Tom Gilbert.

  106. stevezie says:

    DSF,

    Some of the Edmonton fan base, yes. Ballard had a lot fans when he was playing in Florida, evidenced by the price Vancouver paid to acquire him. Once he got to Vancouver, however, perceptions changed. He was a healthy scratch at times during the cup run. I don’t think any coach running any d-core in the NHL would healthy scratch Tom Gilbert, even last year when some were sharpening their pitchforks. Last year he looked like a good #3 miscast as a #1. This year he has been a solid top pairing guy. Maybe on a great team he’s still a #3, but I don’t think anyone on Vancouver dwarfs him. Put it this way: If Tambo offered Gilbert for Ballard that deal would be accepted before the sentence was finished, and I’m sure you agree with that.

  107. hockeyguy10 says:

    DSF,

    Ballard was taken 11th overall.Traded twice before he ever played a game in the NHL.When he was traded to the Canucks that made his third team in six years since making the NHL. Gilbert was 129th overall and traded once.
    Gilbert covered his draft bet,Ballard not so much.There is usually a reason a player gets traded so much at a his age.It just isn’t public knowledge.

  108. DSF says:

    Woodguy,

    Woodguy,

    No, no I’m not.

    He’s played just over half a season at a level befitting his pay scale.

    Small sample sizes etc.

  109. DSF says:

    stevezie:
    DSF,

    Some of the Edmonton fan base, yes. Ballard had a lot fans when he was playing in Florida, evidenced by the price Vancouver paid to acquire him. Once he got to Vancouver, however, perceptions changed. He was a healthy scratch at times during the cup run. I don’t think any coach running any d-core in the NHL would healthy scratch Tom Gilbert, even last year when some were sharpening their pitchforks. Last year he looked like a good #3 miscast as a #1. This year he has been a solid top pairing guy. Maybe on a great team he’s still a #3, but I don’t think anyone on Vancouver dwarfs him. Put it this way: If Tambo offered Gilbert for Ballard that deal would be accepted before the sentence was finished, and I’m sureyou agree with that.

    Actually, I doubt it would be.

    The benefit Gilbert would bring to Vancouver’s bottom pairing would be pretty close to what Ballard brings.

    As stated, there is no way he replaces Edler or Salo on the second pairing so why would Gillis make the same mistake twice?

    Gillis is looking for size and truculence on his bottom pairing which is why I think Sutton would be a good choice for a cup run.

  110. DSF says:

    hockeyguy10:
    DSF,

    Ballard was taken 11th overall.Traded twice before he ever played a game in the NHL.When he was traded to the Canucks that made his third team in six years since making the NHL. Gilbert was 129th overall and traded once.Gilbert covered his draft bet,Ballard not so much.There is usually a reason a player gets traded so much at a his age.It just isn’t public knowledge.

    Wayne Gretzky was traded four times…yikes.

    In a cap world, players are often moved for reasons other than their performance.

    Ballard has certainly had questions about his game but so has Gilbert.

    Yes Gilbert has covered his draft ranking better but that doesn’t necessarily make him a better player.

  111. "Steve Smith" says:

    DSF: He’s played just over half a season at a level befitting his pay scale.

    I can’t speak for Woodguy, but I suspect that that’s the vast underrating he was talking about. The evidence you’ve cited that Gilbert didn’t previously merit his pay scale is that Oilers’ fans wanted to run him out of town. I find that unpersuasive, in that it’s not only an appeal to authority, but an appeal to a really stupid authority.

  112. godot10 says:

    DSF,

    Ballard’s good numbers were accumulated before his significant hip injury.

    Why don’t you post his stats pre and post injury?

  113. Rebilled says:

    Sutton deal is good if it’s real. Playoffy viable teams might be wary of the suspensions(he’s too tall).

    Peckham could go but I doubt it. He’d have to be packaged as he’s not developed yet. Do teams want undeveloped players for the playoffs?

    That being said, our defence is still borderline ridiculous.

    Gilbert-good
    Smid-good
    Whitney-two more years in his contract. In the last 5 years he’s had 28, 20, 62, 19, and 35 game seasons. he’s played 24 outta 55 this year. At $4mil a year we’re not really moving forward. I like him, not his injuries at his age.
    Potter-hopefully recovers in off season
    Sutton-keeps things steady
    Petry-developing
    Peckham-developing
    Barker-failed project

    If we ditch Hemsky for prospects I think I have an idea how long this rebuild takes.

    Nathan MacKinnon in 2013. Think I’ll quit my career and go traveling for a year.

  114. regwald says:

    DSF,

    DSF,

    Ya, that’s right Gillis, is paying Ballard $4.2M comparable to Bieksa ($4.6M) and Hamuis ($4.5M) so that he can play 3rd pairing minutes in a physical role ?

    That’s a bunch of bunk. He brought Ballard in to play in his top 4 and deliver quality minutes. It’s a telling sign when you are a healthy scratch in the Stanley Cup final.

    In short, he’s not one of their 4 best dmen, even though they are paying him like it. That’s where Gillis slotted him based on salary and that’s the way he’s paying him.

    You can think he’s as good as Gilbert or better, that’s fine, but you are not going to convince me that he’s covering his salary. Nor was he last year either. That’s now two years in a row, he’s overpaid and under delivered.

    And your last line is golden … you make a straight up comparison between the two dmen and then you say that just because he covered his draft ranking better, means he’s not better ? If you aren’t comparing the two players as equals, than I don’t know what that is.

  115. Bar_Qu says:

    Choosing Sutton over Gilbert in a trade for Ballard may be one more reason DSF is not currently an NHL GM.

  116. hockeyguy10 says:

    DSF,

    Silly me…..I thought we were comparing Gilbert and Ballard.Didn’t realize Gretzky was in the mix.But since you brought Gretzky in. He had 10 yrs in the league before his first trade.Ballard didn’t even get to his first training camp.Pretty unusual for an 11th overall pick.

    Something stinks about Ballard and I am guessing it’s more than his jock.

  117. Alice says:

    Lowetide:
    In what world is it a good thing to know your number 8 defender before you know your top pairing?

    It’s a great thing to know. It’s not more important, but the decision for it popped first so you go ahead and take that decision (sign or trade). I’m not pumping it one way or the other, but the notion that you’d leave it to the wayside until the other is sorted out is, well, Glencrossian.

  118. Denniss says:

    No one with a grain of sense was going to run 77 out of town

  119. Woodguy says:

    DSF:
    Woodguy,

    Woodguy,

    No, no I’m not.

    He’s played just over half a season at a level befitting his pay scale.

    Small sample sizes etc.

    I’d say last year he’s earned his pay.

    This year, he may be a value contract.

  120. russ99 says:

    I was all for moving 77 last deadline, and admit my mistake. We’d be so much worse now without him.

    I’m OK with Sutton getting an extension – as long as Tambellini doesn’t then think that we need one less defenseman in the offseason. Sutton/Potter should be seen as a 6 and 7, and nothing else.

  121. pboy says:

    DSF: Wayne Gretzky was traded four times…yikes.

    In a cap world, players are often moved for reasons other than their performance.

    Ballard has certainly had questions about his game but so has Gilbert.

    Yes Gilbert has covered his draft ranking better but that doesn’t necessarily make him a better player.

    Wayne Gretzky played for 4 different teams but he was traded twice. From Edmonton to L.A. and from L.A. to St. Louis.

    With that being said, Wayne Gretzky’s name isn’t usually lumped in with Tom Gilbert and Keith Ballard’s.

  122. Gerta Rauss says:

    New episode of Oil Change is out-I PVR’d it last night-Sportsnet Pacific has it on again at 11 tonight.Check your local listings if you’re intersted.

  123. Tortoise says:

    Link for the new episode about the mournful franchise:

    http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1443700801001.000000/episode-4-the-grind/

  124. VOR says:

    Rebilled,

    No offence, but you are confusing games with individual teams and seasons in regards to Ryan Whitney.

    He has had seasons of 68, 81, 76, 48 (20+28), 81 (19+62), and 35 games up until this year. To date this year he has played 24 games.

  125. oilersfan says:

    With Beachemin and Gleason signed for next season, who are the second pairing level dmen the Oilers can target?

    I think Greg Zanon in MInnesota would be a good complement for Petry. Defensive, some toughness, excellent on PK.

    Any thoughts?

  126. oilersfan says:

    Matheson has a story up that Sutton is re-signed for 1 year, 1.5-1.7 million.

    I think that Kypreos is as connected as any of Mackenzie or Dreger. Must know someone in the league office.

  127. DBO says:

    Saw the journal thing as well.

    Boychuk out of Boston would be top of my list for 2nd pairing dmen. Young enough, tough, has some offense and is solid in own end. Will cost at least $3 mill for 3-4 yrs. Or closer to $3.5 per. Gorges in Montreal got 6 yrs $3.9 but he is s top 2. Boychuk is 2nd pair so $3.5 should be plenty.

  128. Gerta Rauss says:

    Sportsnet had the Sutton signing up earlier today but it was just a rehash of the Kypreos tweet-that Matheson aritcle has quotes up from Sutton’s agent so it looks like a done deal to be announced tomorrow.

    Matheson on Sutton

  129. Gerta Rauss says:

    DBO,

    I like Boychuk too-being an Edmonton boy won’t hurt our chances either. I liked Beauchemin as well but he appears to be settled in Anaheim.

    I like Matt Greene out of LA as well if we’re trading with LA-I doubt they move him before a playoff push but maybe at the draft.

  130. VOR says:

    OILERSFAN,

    Shane OBrien, Barrett Jackman, Johnny Oduya, and Carlo Colaiacovo would all be good to outstaning partners for Petry. Though probably they will all be signed before the trade deadline. Of course teams do strange things from time to time so who knows. Only O’Brien is likely to be fair value for money. Colaiacovo could be a #1 in waiting and Oduya and Jackman are veterans who won’t be taking a pay cut any time soon.

  131. VOR says:

    I like Boychuk but think there could be a small sample size problem and some team effects. Still, based on this year he would be an outstanding signing – even at 3.5. He looks like he is finally getting it.

  132. FPB94 says:

    That’s an awful lot of talking for a 6th dmen.

    I’m okay with it as long as the money is low. If the return is lower than a 3rd i wouldn’t pull the trigger on it. Might as well keep his ass around.

  133. Woodguy says:

    From Matty’s piece:

    The Oilers don’t appear willing to give Hemsky a new four or five-year contract for between $4 million and $5 million a year — they might for two years — not with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all looking for bigger money down the road.

    So at the low end Hemsky is willing to do 4 years at $4MM?

    That’s a bet I’d take.

    Also,

    If FLA doesn’t resign him, the guy I’d want paired with 77 on the top pairing is Jason Garrison.

    He leads the very good FLA Dcorps in Corsi while taking on the toughest opponents.

    He outscores the toughest comp this year too.

    He played the toughest comp for a much poorer FLA team last year and was only -2.

    He’s a top pairing guy who outscores the toughs. Plays the PP as well.

    Makes only $675K this year.

    If I’m Tambellini, I make it known to his agent that I’m willing to give a multi-year deal around $4MM.

    He turns 28 next Nov and if his health holds, should be a quality top Dman for another 6+ years.

  134. wuthering says:

    IMO part of a good rebuild is a fine balancing act of playing your future as much as possible while remaining as competitive as possible. To suggest that line matching ought to diminish the kids’ ice-time is not a major concern in a season already lost. By giving the kids a chance to play against the toughs it shows them where improvement is needed in their own games, not to mention the ‘D’. For the most part, the kids have produced without the luxury of good breakout passes and controlled down-low systems. Let them play the toughs, but also give them some offensive opportunities too so that their confidence stays even-keeled. This is what it means to develop players that are winners.

  135. DSF says:

    pboy: Wayne Gretzky played for 4 different teams but he was traded twice. From Edmonton to L.A. and from L.A. to St. Louis.

    With that being said, Wayne Gretzky’s name isn’t usually lumped in with Tom Gilbert and Keith Ballard’s.

    No.No it isn’t…just illustrating a point that how often a player is traded is at best a sketchy way to assess his value.

    And, BTW, Gretzky was traded by the Indianapolis Racers to the Edmonton Oilers.

    How different hockey history would be if Nelson Skalbania was a better backgammon player.

    Serendipity.
    :)

  136. DSF says:

    Woodguy: I’d say last year he’s earned his pay.

    This year, he may be a value contract.

    -14?

    Oh, okay.

  137. Woodguy says:

    DSF: -14?

    Oh, okay.

    Look kids its Parliament!

  138. Tortoise says:

    Where’s Big Ben?

  139. stevezie says:

    I can’t speak for the Canucks, but I’d take Gilbert over Salo. I am factoring durability into that decision.

  140. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Lois: The upset is twofold: the Oilers are filling a slot that isn’t a huge priority before dealing with the real problem–which is what the hell do we do about Whitney?

    And secondly, they are throwing away at least half a million the same week they are going to tell us Hemsky isn’t affordable.

    This.

    I don’t have a huge problem with the deal in the abstract… but the timing is so weird.

    Why not dangle him on the market and see if you get a decent return from a panicky GM? What’s the rush? If nothing works out you can sign him after the deadline or in the offseason. How is this a priority that demands any of STs time when he’s got the Hemsky situation to run aground, a D-corps in need of real reinforcement and a lingering threat on the goalie front?

    Priorities? muddled as usual.

    And to cap it off… wasn’t the distance between the Oilers and Smyth about $500, 000? You won’t give it to a franchise player still in his prime, but you will to a plug and play D with suspension problems on the wrong side of 30?

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