This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps

The Nuge is down for 7 to 10 days and the Oilers have recalled Paajarvi. The hyphens are getting a workout today as word gets out: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson called to the show.

The Oilers are probably being very cautious with the kid, after all there’s nothing more important to this organization than his future–providing Taylor Hall is bubble wrapped in safety.

I don’t like the Swede-Finn recall. Magnus needs to play a lot in the heart of the order, and we know how the coach feels about him. Unless he’s shaved those sideburns–hell, at this point he better show up as a mexican hairless–he’s going to get a healthy dose of riding shotgun for 6′s and 7′s.

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58 Responses to "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps"

  1. ItsTheBGB says:

    Do they honestly expect us to believe that RNH’s shoulder injury isn’t the same damn thing as before?
    What a brutal situation. not even through his first year and already a re-occuring injury.

    Only on the Oilers.

  2. "Steve Smith" says:

    A reference to my favourite movie on my favourite blog? Man, now you just need to mention Neil Young, and I’ll be in heaven. What’s that? You do that all the fucking time?

    I love this place.

  3. "Steve Smith" says:

    (Although it’s been a while since we’ve had a good Catch-22 thread. Who was it we decided was Assyrian, again?)

  4. DBO says:

    Side note. Frans Neildon, two way centre for isles signs 4 yr extension. $2.75 mill Cap hit. I assume that puts Gagner closer to $3.5 per yr to start. 4 yrs $4 mill too much? Probably, so do you move him or does that kind of deal for Neilson mean they try to sign him now and if he wants too much you move him. Same goes for Hemsky.

  5. "Steve Smith" says:

    DBO,

    It’s irrational for a guy with almost five years in the league, but I think Gagner’s asking price depends a whole lot on what happens in the next twenty-nine games. If Gagner scores, say, twenty points, I’d be really surprised if we got him for $3.5 million. If he gets ten, $3.5 strikes me as high.

  6. Lowetide says:

    I sign Hemsky and I sign Gagner. Then I hire Neil Young to call up Steve Tambellini and deliver the money line from Ambulance Blues.

  7. DBO says:

    SS – agreed that $4 mill is a lot, but I wonder if you are Gagners agent if you fill his head with talk of #1 centre so #1 money. That scares me. The org better be proactive and make an offer and stick by it.

  8. "Steve Smith" says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    (Although it’s been a while since we’ve had a good Catch-22 thread.Who was it we decided was Assyrian, again?)

    In answer to my own question it’s not clear.

    (That’s a link to the Google cache, because the url now redirects to the new website, to which the post has migrated but the comments have not.)

    Lowetide:
    I sign Hemsky and I sign Gagner. Then I hire Neil Young to call up Steve Tambellini and deliver the money line from Ambulance Blues.

    As somebody with many such friends, let me tell you that Neil’s overrating it.

  9. "Steve Smith" says:

    DBO,

    Oh yeah, I think that’s a real danger. But I think it’s an exponentially* greater danger if he finishes strong than if he tails off considerably, even if those twenty-nine games would not inform a rational assessment that dramatically.

    *In the colloquial sense, not the mathematical.

  10. Lowetide says:

    HA! Reading that thread is funny. Mr. Zona over at C&B has a post up saying that I consistently suggest Mark Messier will be the next GM of the Oilers. Actually, it’s Kevin Lowe that I’ve suggested was the odds-on for next GM, and there it is in that comments section.

  11. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    And to bring things full circle (well, to complete some kind of a closed figure, anyway – might be more of an irregular heptadecagon), that thread included a Big Lebowski reference, too. Points* for finding it.

    *Not redeemable for valuable prizes.

  12. PDO says:

    $20 that he plays with Belanger.

    Anyone?

    Sigh..

  13. Woodguy says:

    DBO:
    Side note. Frans Neildon, two way centre for isles signs 4 yr extension. $2.75 mill Cap hit. I assume that puts Gagner closer to $3.5 per yr to start. 4 yrs $4 mill too much? Probably, so do you move him or does that kind of deal for Neilson mean they try to sign him now and if he wants too much you move him. Same goes for Hemsky.

    That’s a key signing for the Isles.

    His name was near the top of free agents that everyone was interested in.

    Love the player. Should have won the Selke over Kessler.

    Also,

    Stauffer said 91 would ride shotgun with 10,83. Stauffer usually has the goods on this, but I expect Renney to run it for about 1/2 a period then put 94 up there.

    29th place team and Renney is running the old men (10,94) out there as much as he can and 91 wanders in the desert.

    I don’t blame him as MacTavish ran with those he could trust most as well (as do most coaches), but the season is lost, if you bringing 91 up, give him the at bats and let him swing away.

    Based on the way Stauffer was talking today, Hemsky is gone and Barker is going to get re-signed.

    Hemsky is horrible for his -4 (Watch Hemksy The Bad be in position and doing his job on every goal against while the D and kids run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

    Barker, directly responsible for 3 goals against, should be given the benefit of the doubt.

    Best Oiler since Weight is Bad. Buy-out Barker is Good.

    Hemsky gone. Barker to stay.

    Glad that’s cleared up.

    Bill Torrey would take Tambellini out behind the woodshed. You add good players and subtract bad ones, not the other way around.

    Torrey traded Tambellini after the first cup with Reash for Mike McEwan, who played D on the next 3 Cup Championship teams.

    Will Tambellini trade Hemsky for a key piece of the future? Odds are against it.

  14. Lowetide says:

    I was thinking about this yesterday. What if Hemsky ends up in Calgary? I cannot cheer against the guy, it’s just not going to happen. Vancouver? Same thing. Toronto? Montreal? ditto and idem.

  15. DBO says:

    The Barker love is killing me from the org. He was beyond brutal and exposed repeatedly for his lack of mobility. He can make a pass out of the zine, but so can I and I can’t skate. At this point I should get a deal if it looks like I’m trying and I can do one thing well.

    Now to July 2nd is the biggest time for this team. It will impact the next five yrs and determine if we take one or five yrs to compete. It’s that simple. Solid draft Pick, two nhl dmen and keep your best under 30 plus Smyth and we may compete. Flush Gather and Hemsky for pick and preach the future and it better mean the end for this management team. Especially if Barker gets more then Potter, cause that is the most he is worth.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    I was thinking about this yesterday. What if Hemsky ends up in Calgary? I cannot cheer against the guy, it’s just not going to happen. Vancouver? Same thing. Toronto? Montreal? ditto and idem.

    How can you cheer against him?

    As a season ticket holder for all the out of the playoff years except this one, he was often the only reason to go watch the games.

    He worked and worked and worked and got killed by the Reghr’s of the world while the team was 1/2 AHL players.

    Its funny to watch the MSM dirt the guy on the way out. They do it every time and deny it every time.

    I’m cheering him wherever he goes. He was a very good soldier during very dark years.

  17. Woodguy says:

    The Barker love is killing me from the org.

    Its bizarre isn’t it?

    Is it an ego thing? Barker was Tambellini’s prized signing this past summer. Perhaps it’s ego.

    Whatever it is, its not driven by real hockey decisions.

    For all we know they won’t re-up him and just playing nice until the end of the season.

    It would be just like Tambellini to re-up Barker for $3M while letting go Grebseshkov because of the same money.

  18. godot10 says:

    ItsTheBGB,

    Evander Kane, misdiagnosed concussion.
    Sidney Crosby, misdiagnosed neck injury.
    Pierre-Marc Bouchard, misdiagnosed concussion.

    Medicine is hard.

  19. sliderule says:

    If they resign Barker then the story Puck but a curse on the team is true.

  20. delooper says:

    Hemsky goes to Calgary, and we discover he’s *exactly* the guy Iginla has been looking to play with all his life. They have consecutive 50-goal seasons… no that future can not be allowed to happen.

  21. Captain Obvious says:

    Woodguy,

    I posted this on the last thread but it is worth a repeat. Here is some actual analysis of who is at fault on the Lombardi/Kessel goal. Note, it is not Hemsky. http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2012/02/07/systems-analyst-nugent-hopkings-petry-and-barker-cant-get-untangled-in-low-coverage/

    Some choice quotes:

    “Just take stock of how bad this attempt at defense is right now. As of this second, nobody is within a stick’s length of their (or any) guy. They’ve barely sorted out who has who – I’ll assume Petry is playing soft (?) on Kessel and waiting for him to come to him. Barker, on the other hand, defends ice this entire shift instead of players. When the third forward enters the play here, he doesn’t go through with him. All in all, it’s the exact type of non-physical defense six-foot skill guys drool to play against, and kill.”

    “so Connolly pushes low and goes east-west. He grabs the puck, and Cam Barker still hasn’t decided who or what to cover, so he heads to the front of the net as most d-men do.”

    “Take a moment to reflect on Petry’s shift so far. Passes up a hit. Make a wrong guess. Covered for by RNH. Beat by the Lombardi rim coming back. Still hasn’t really had a check. And now he’s….dogging it out of the corner while Kessel heads to the net.”

    “Between Hemsky, Petry, Barker and Smyth, they’ve left a comically big soft spot. You’ll notice where Nugent-Hopkins is looking – directly at the puck, and he forgets his guy for just a second. Please note the amount of contact that has been made, which is precisely none. These Leafs forwards might as well be at McDonald’s, cause they are LOVIN’ IT. Also note that Petry/Barker have taken turns defending the crease, despite there not being any Leafs there.”

  22. Captain Obvious says:

    All of this being said I refuse to believe the Oilers will actually re-sign Barker, especially on a qualifying offer. It’s impossible. However, if they do re-sign Barker it will release a lot of tension with the fanbase. The Oilers will move in theatre of the absurd and we can finally give up whatever hope we have left and just enjoy the Oilers as a parody of a hockey team.

  23. godot10 says:

    There isn’t enough salary cap room for Hemsky.

    The Oilers have to try to go for a minimum of 7-year deals on Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins next contracts (3 UFA years), which will up their cap numbers into the 7-handle range. Extra years on their second contracts is far more important than signing Hemsky. Plus, offer sheets are possible on these guys.

    Can’t have Hemsky with a 6-handle as a 2nd line RW. For one year, next year, yes. But not longer.

  24. danny says:

    The comments from the old site are being imported, very slowly. Google is having issues with this, and havent paid much attention to the problem for the past couple years. Once a week I do a new import and we get a few hundred old comments recovered to their respective posts, but a few hundred in a sea of hundreds of thousands, isn’t much progress.

    When we did a SEO mapping of the old blog to the new one, we lost the ability to visit lowetide.blogspot.com’s comments archive, which sucked due to the missing comments on the new site… but it was a necessary evil.

    Steve Smiths google cached solution is something that never crossed my mind at all. Its a great patch until we can get all of the comments here.

    With LT’s blessing, I’ll probably add a FAQ page here that explains how to do things like that, and other useful terms / links / instructions etc.

  25. cabbiesmacker says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Looks like an episode of Benny Hill CO. That’s exactly why reverting to numbers only to analyze a player is so difficult. Seldom is a goal just one players fault. In this case there was more than one goat. Petry was the biggest of the three but Barker’s limitations didn’t help much. Simple play goes south in a big hurry.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Danny,

    You may proceed with the above, whatever it is. (I feel like the WKRP station manager).

  27. hunter1909 says:

    And I thought everyone was happy after the Wings game.

    I noticed MPS taking it to heart once he got flattened a couple of times last season. Welcome to North American hockey, kid.

    MPS could grow a pair and start attacking the net, or else he can stagnate. It’s up to him. Weird thing is, he already plays impeccable defence. Selke potential-like.

    The real problem is goal/defence, of course. The current lineup stinks like a meat packing plant.

    Corey Potter was absolutely pathetic last night, imo.

    Ironic. One is Renney’s whipping boy, the other one being Renney’s special after school pet.

  28. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Resorting to numbers only to apportion responsibility on a specific goal would be stupid. Relying on them to examine a player makes far more sense than any single alternative. Unless that player has only been involved in one play in his career.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    delooper:
    Hemsky goes to Calgary, and we discover he’s *exactly* the guy Iginla has been looking to play with all his life.They have consecutive 50-goal seasons…no that future can not be allowed to happen.

    Flames would probably injure their new boy Hemsky during practice. Just for the hell of it.

  30. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    Danny,

    You may proceed with the above, whatever it is. (I feel like the WKRP station manager).

    Are you still convinced turkeys can fly?

    Made me think of Paajarvi for some reason. :)

  31. spoiler says:

    DSF: Are you still convinced turkeys can fly?

    Made me think of Paajarvi for some reason.

    That might be my favorite moment in American television. Major major major funny. And to stick with a theme, I think the turkeys were told to jump by that naive bombardier.

  32. delooper says:

    Lowetide: my dad just e-mailed me to tell you, the Oilers are saying RNH is out for 7-10 days. At the start of this thread you say 7-10 *games*. Not quite the same.

  33. Lowetide says:

    delooper,

    Quite right, and changed. Thanks!

  34. Gerta Rauss says:

    Mackenzie has a draft special on TSN starting in 30 minutes if anybody is interested…Alan Thicke is on Off The Record right now-set your PVR.

  35. Bos8 says:

    Another midge on the horizon. Rieder with with 2G/2A.

    On another note – Watching that abortion in TO. Anyone want to whack Smith upside the head as the D coach. Anyone?

  36. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    There isn’t enough salary cap room for Hemsky.

    Why’s that?

    You really think all 3 kids are going north of $7MM in the 2nd contract?

    I think that’s a stretch. How many players have signed for that much in the 2nd contract? Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Stamkos….the kids have a ways to go to get into that neighbourhood.

    Look at some of the top teams and number of players over $4.0MM.

    VAN: 7 players

    Sedin 6.1MMx2
    Kessler 5MM
    Booth 4.25MM
    Bieksa 4.6MM
    Hamhuis 4.5MM
    Ballard 4.2MM
    Luongo 5.33MM

    BOS: 6 players

    Bergeron 5MM
    Lucic 4.08
    Savard 4.0
    Horton 4.0
    Chara 6.9
    Thomas 5.0

    CHI 5 players (almost 6 with Sharp 3.9)
    Toews 6.3
    Kane 6.3
    Hossa 5.27
    Seabrook 5.8
    Keith 5.5

    I’m not sure if they Oilers are going to try for a short term 2nd contract with the kids, then go for UFA years, or do like CHI did with Kane and Toews.

    If we pencil them in at Hall and Eberle at Kane and Toews money, there’s room. Its far to early to tell what RNH will be at in 2.5 years. Maybe he’s retired due to scrambled shoulder?

    At this point there are two players with contracts paying over 4.0MM when he kids come due, Horcoff 5.5 and Gilbert 4.0MM (last year of deal)

    Smyth will probably be around 3.0MM, not sure Whitney will be healthy enough to be re-signed, and if so at what $.

    There’s room to pay Hemsky. I wouldn’t do much more than 5.0, but there’s room.

    If the new CBA gives an amnesty buyout, then its likely only Gilbert will be under contract in 13/14 at 4.0MM.

  37. "Steve Smith" says:

    Woodguy,

    I basically agree with your analysis, but you’re forgetting Smid and Gagner, both of whom could plausibly be north of $4 million by the time Hall and Eberle sign their first non-ELCs.

  38. wuthering says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    Captain Obvious,

    Looks like an episode of Benny Hill CO. That’s exactly why reverting to numbers only to analyze a player is so difficult. Seldom is a goal just one players fault. In this case there was more than one goat.Petry was the biggest of the three but Barker’s limitations didn’t help much. Simple play goes south in a big hurry.

    I find much of these “stop it right there guys” (a la Millen) analysts nearly too much to handle. Particularly when phrases like “glaringly obvious” (in Petry’s case–unlike Barker’s) are used. Rather then trying to first give the benefit of the doubt to what the player may have been anticipating (something Bourne would have had a much easier time with in the ECHL) in light of their respective team systems, the initial analysis defaults to ‘glaringly obvious’ or some other mindless drivel. Of course Petry was partially responsible for a costly–but was he really that thick? His team had probably dissected it on video before Bourne had the chance to cue up his telestrator, and I highly doubt any of his teammates would’ve seen the play in those terms (though I’m sure 13 was not looking forward to the video.)

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    You mean some new sh!t has come to light? Our young trophy centre owes money all over town. He’s clearly holding himself hostage, man.

    LT you should see how ST reacts to Autobahn’s Nagelbett?

  40. Traktor says:

    If most people agree that Edmonton lacks a 1-3 defender then shouldn’t the first thing we do when projecting future salary charts is budget 5-6M in cap space for said player?

  41. Lowetide says:

    You mean the “Whitney” money?

  42. Traktor says:

    I was thinking in addition to Whitney. If he is healthy a 3-4 type would be fine but if his feet are fucked we’re going to need a Suter type. $$$$$

    Also, tack on another 3.5M if Edmonton stays in 29th place.

  43. Traktor says:

    Assuming that Columbus wins the lottery and drafts Yakupov who do you take?

  44. Ribs says:

    I can’t wait for the Tambellini “Cam Barker was our MVP this year” quote in the offseason.

    Paarjarvi still getting the Poo treatment, I see. Maybe The Linus Show will make an appearance soon and give him something to work with.

  45. Lowetide says:

    I take the other Russian, the center. I don’t think the Oilers do, though.

  46. ed says:

    cam barker + sheldon souray = 4.65

    I think that’d be a start.

  47. El Duderino says:

    Like man, all this analysis is way above me. I think everyone should just chill out, have a White Russian and bowl a few games.

  48. "Steve Smith" says:

    Well somebody‘s not into the whole brevity thing.

  49. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Actually using numbers solely to analyze a player longterm doesn’t mean much either. They’d be the beat all and end all if hockey was played one on one but not so much when there are 11 other possible factors involved on ice for every goal.

    That’s probably why most NHL HC’s don’t use them to anywhere near the depth they’re incorporated on the internet.

  50. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    You evidently understand neither sample size nor idiom. I am finished with you, until the next time you say something that annoys me.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    Traktor,
    Assuming that Columbus wins the lottery and drafts Yakupov who do you take?

    I take the other Russian as well.

    Mackenzie(and the scouts interviewed) were pretty clear that it’s Yakupov at #1 and then all the rest.

    I know the Oilers need defenceman but I’m not convinced we’re going to solve our problems via the draft-we may look back 3-5 years from now and Marincin and Klefbom and Musil may be playing prominent roles on the team(fingers crossed) but there is a lot of hockey games between then and now.

    Taking another forward may cause a bit of a logjam up front but that’s a nice problem to have.

  52. Clay says:

    It has to be said …

    The Nuge Abides.

  53. stephen sheps says:

    Hello from the middle east everyone…

    not much to contribute on the hockey side of things, nothing really bares repeating or rehashing. The inevitable seems to be happening RE: Barker, Hemsky, MP(S), and injuries. What is even left to say? It seems like this organization is stuck in some sort of time loop or singularity of suck.

    However, LT, you actually referenced Ambulance Blues? That just made my day. The mid 70s trilogy of “on the beach” “time fades away” and “tonight’s the night” are easily my favorite Neil records, and Ambulance Blues is one hell of an under-rated gem.

  54. russ99 says:

    Can’t discuss the future cap implications without the elephant in the room:

    Horcoff at $5.5 through 14-15.

    If we can somehow remove that (NMC goes to 10-team restricted NTC this summer) then there’s plenty of room for all the kids, even if a 4th one pushes up to a $4M salary.

    The CBA negotiations will be quite interesting this year. The cap usually goes up every year, but we’ll have to see what happens this time. There may be an NBA-like amnesty or even a salary rollback to eliminate escrow…

  55. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Woodguy,

    I basically agree with your analysis, but you’re forgetting Smid and Gagner, both of whom could plausibly be north of $4 million by the time Hall and Eberle sign their first non-ELCs.

    No question some contracts are going to be signed between then and now to influence the list.

    I don’t think that Smid is ever a $4MM+ guy. The best “defensive defensemen” usually make about $3.5 right now (Scuderi, Orpik). He might be, but *just*.

    Gagnert is a ways from being a 4.0 man as well.

    There’s a lot of to happen in the next couple years, most importantly the new CBA.

    If the Oilers think that Omark can provide a lot of what Hemsy provides at a much cheaper rate, it may make sense to allocate that $ elsewhere, but that’s not a slam dunk either.

    I think the decision is between the dropoff from Hemsky to Omark + the $ savings vs. Hemsky’s future health. Both decisions require a good crystal ball.

  56. misfit says:

    When Horcoff’s contract actually gets in the way of the team making other moves or adding upgrades, the Oilers have more than enough ways to get around it. At the moment, it’s not hurting the club. They could go out and sign a $7M UFA in the offseason and still have lots of cap room. Then they could give Hall and Eberle $6M the year after that and STILL have cap room. After that is Horcoff’s final year. They could buy him out or bury him in the minors which would give them more than enough cap relief to give RNH a $6-7M deal as well as sign a Horcoff replacement. This is also all assuming the cap doesn’t go up over that time.

    I also don’t have a problem with Paajarvi being recalled. Sure he could benefit from more time in the AHL, but a few games in the NHL in the bottom 6 (though it sounds like he’ll be on the 2nd line) isn’t going to kill him.

  57. FastOil says:

    Unfortunately despite the fact we are “rebuilding” and that development should be the absolute priority, Tambellini will no doubt want to save and not finish last again, so Renney will play it that way. Columbus could catch up still, especially if their underlying numbers head toward normal. Pajaarvi and Omark will continue to pay the price for that. I’d rather finish last and trade down if they don’t want a Russian – free money! Always excel in what you do, so if that’s being bad, be really bad.

    As for constant re-injury, Brownlee chalked it up to bad luck, but how do you have it happen three times in one season, especially when two involved surgery to chronic problems? Decision making has to be playing a part in that. I also think that the Oilers old school “small guys playing big” mantra doesn’t help. Small players need to battle for pucks and go to scoring areas without hesitation (using brains and quickness instead of brawn), but getting hit too much or too hard might not work out in the long run, right Ales?

  58. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    cabbiesmacker,
    You evidently understand neither sample size nor idiom.I am finished with you, until the next time you say something that annoys me.

    Or until you attain a tad more “hockey” ?? I expected far more of a detailed rebuttal from a budding lawyer type to be honest, say a list of all the HC’s that do, but…I shall try to sleep at nights.

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