AUTUMN LEAVES

We’re into September now, leaves are turning and the mosquito population has lost their annual battle with cool nights and the dragon fly.

We began the summer with a list of things we wished the Oilers to do:

  1. A top pairing defenseman capable of delivering big minutes at evens and at least one of PK and PP. 20+ overall.
  2. A better Renney.
  3. Justin Schultz or similar.
  4. A reasonable goaltending option for the Khabibulin free fall.
  5. An established 2-way winger to mentor the young players who will compete for bottom 6 roles (Lander, Hartikainen, Pitlick, etc). 
  6. Ryan Smyth or similar.
  7. Get the rfa’s signed.

Here’s what the Oilers did:

  1. A top pairing defenseman capable of delivering big minutes at evens and at least one of PK and PP. 20+ overall. Ryan Whitney would appear to be the solution. Robin Brownlee’s recent Oilers Nation article is a positive, but the blue remains a major area of concern–as it has been since Chris Pronger left Dodge City. 
  2. A better Renney.Ralph Krueger has good curb appeal. We wait. 
  3. Justin Schultz or similar. Home run of majestic proportions. I expect we’ll look back on this signing with great fondness.
  4. A reasonable goaltending option for the Khabibulin free fall. Reasonable varies from person to person, but I’m on board with the AHL goalie of the Year (Yann Danis) as a suitable backup to Dubnyk.
  5. An established 2-way winger to mentor the young players who will compete for bottom 6 roles (Lander, Hartikainen, Pitlick, etc). Interesting options here. Ryan Jones might be the solution, but Krueger mentioned that Shawn Horcoff might play some wing, and that brings up a possible veteran checking line (say Belanger-Horcoff-Smyth). Stay tuned.
  6. Ryan Smyth or similar.  As with the Schultz signing, this is a perfect fit for this team. Ryan Smyth must look like an old leather boot next to these new high quality custom fits, but  this is an NHL player of value.
  7. Get the rfa’s signed.Got it all done, although I do wonder about the terms on some of the deals.

The Oilers also took the time to sign their first two impact forwards, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. Lots of verbal from all quarters over the last couple of days on the subject, but the real questions are:

  1. Can the Oilers sign all four kids up front to this contract and survive?
  2. Does the Eberle contract mean he’s the one among the four who is likely untradeable?

I believe the answer to both questions is yes, your opinion matters and I hope you share it.

NATION RADIO hits the air at Noon today, Team 1260. Emails welcome at nationradio@theteam1260.com or you can leave comments below. Twitter is likely the best spot, @ItsNationRadio and @Lowetide_ works.

Scheduled to appear:

  1. David Staples from the Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk about the Hall-Eberle signings, estimating point totals and the CBA negotiations.
  2. Gus Katsaros from McKeens and Leafs Nation. We’ll talk about the Leafs 12-13 season, projecting numbers for individual players and the best way to develop draft picks.
  3. Robert Cleave from Jets Nation and Flames Nation. We’ll discuss the Bogosian injury and recovery timeline, along with the Jets prospects for the second season in 12-13.
  4. Kent Wilson from Flames Nation. We’ll discuss the Flames in 12-13 (Kent did an exceptional job sussing things out here) and chat about NHL Numbers

There are a couple of other irons in the fire, hope you can join us.

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59 Responses to "AUTUMN LEAVES"

  1. sliderule says:

    My thought is only three of the four kids will be here in five years but that should be enough to do some good things
    Eberle will possibly have one down year in next five but his shot totals will go way up so he should be able to deliver 70plus points in the other four years.

  2. fuzzy muppet says:

    Good morning from the windy plains of North Dakota. Any thoughts on who you’re going to track in the upper right corner this year?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Well, I had Klefbom there a year ago but that was dull as dishwater. Moroz? Khaira? Gustafsson?

  4. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Well, I had Klefbom there a year ago but that was dull as dishwater. Moroz? Khaira? Gustafsson?

    Given the polarizing force the Moroz pick was amongst OIler fans, I think he’d make a great choice to follow all year.

    Also,

    v4.1 was on Spector’s show yesterday and said they are still in the market for another vet Dman via trade.

    That was pure music to this cynic’s ears.

    I’d like to see someone unspectacular but steady with an expiring contract (read:cheap to obtain)

    Someone like Jordan Leopold. $3MM/yr 1 year left, won’t cost anything key to acquire and can bolster the D in the tougher minutes.

    If they want to make a big play for a #1 Dman, this is not the year to do it, but a slight bolstering to make sure the D doesn’t fall on its face like it did last year is a good idea.

  5. Dave Casselman says:

    Jordan Eberle has had detractors at every level of hockey he’s ever played and he’s always overcome them. Always.

    LT I know you like JE but I don’t know that you like him enough. The kid has always been money each and every league and tournament he’s played in and frankly, I don’t see that changing very much. (Maybe an off-year or two awaits in future but an off-year with the kind of talent these Oiler kids have might mean instead of 76 points he only tallies 75.)

    For someone with but 2 years of NHL experience it’s a lot of money. I’m guessing by contract’s end it’ll be universally recognized as money well spent.

  6. fuzzy muppet says:

    Lowetide,

    I’d say Moroz our Zharkov

  7. steveb12344 says:

    i thought i would do a little of my own math on Ebs.

    He was tied for 15th in goal scoring last year. since that is right in the middle of 30, i decided to use the top 30 goal scorers from last year for this excercise.

    We know Ebs shot 18.9 sp%. The average of the top 30 was 13.62. applied to Ebs 34 goals that would bring it down to 24.5 goals.

    When using sp% i think it is important to also factor in number of SOG.

    Ebs took 180 shots on goal last year. The average of top 30 was 261.41. That works out to 1.45 times as many SOG as Ebs took.

    We take his SP adjusted number of 24.5 goals and adjust to the average SOG and that brings it up to 35.5 goals.

    There are other factors such as Ebs TOI/game of 17.35 compared to 19.57 for entire top 30 group.

    Also Ebs played 78 games, while this group as a whole averaged 79.56

    I also added it using only the top 16 goal scorers, up to and including Ebs. with those numbers it came out to 40 goals. I thought it would be more fair to use top 30 as most anyone who watches all the Oiler games can probably agree he is a top 30 skilled goal scorer in this league.

    My point of all this is that SP numbers aren’t the be all and end all. James Neal after all had a 12.2 SP, and scored 40 goals.

    My prognosis is that if Ebs SP regresses to the mean, than so too should his SOG totals come up to the mean, thus evening everything out. Meaning we can expect more of the same, and maybe even more, if him and his younger, highly skilled linemates, can improve thier own skills and chemistry as time goes on.

  8. Lowetide says:

    1. 3.08 5×5/60, ranking him 2nd in the NHL. He’s a fine young player, but it is not reasonable to expect the same performance next season. He was tied for 7th in the entire NHL in even strength points.
    2. His zone start was 60%. We can’t assume he’ll get the same treatment this coming season. What if Yakupov gets the push on a line without Eberle? It could happen
    3. Eberle’s shooting percentage was a huge leap from his rookie year. It is not reasonable to assume he can sustain it.
    4. The PP. He went 10-10-20 on the PP. With Hemsky healthy and Yakupov’s shot also available, we can’t assume Eberle will score at that level this coming season. Eberle was tied for 43rd in PP points this past season.

    I love the Eberle story, he’s the poster boy for what I believe is a key part of the rebuild (MBS and the scouts). But as much as we can believe in him as a player and as much as he clearly has ability, it’s also true a lot of things fell in his favor last season.

    God I hope he scores 40 goals this season. Oiler fans eat their young.

  9. Cactus says:

    LT, I read trhough Kent’s wonderful preview of the Flames and it seems he’s as down on Scott Hannan as I am. To settle a disagreement around these parts, could you ask Kent about Hannan and his prospects? Specifically, I’d love to know if Kent thinks Hannan is better than someone like Andy Sutton right now.

    I don’t know if anyone else has taken a look at the Flames and wondered: is it possible that this is the 2009-10 Oilers? i.E., a team that’s spending and trying to compete but that’s about to fall off a cliff?

  10. steveb12344 says:

    I understand what you are saying L.T. I can’t disagree with most of it either.

    Do you feel that all that adds up to him averaging close to the 180 SOG he put up last year?

    To say that it is significantly less than what the other top goal scorers are putting up, would still be an understatement.

    As i said the average was almost 1.5 times his total, there were a few guys with nearly double.

    Why is it not reasonable to suggest that as he gets older,stronger,and presumably more skilled as he is not even close to entering his prime. That his SOG totals should increase significantly.

    As long as they don’t drop him off the top two lines, than i don’t think we have to worry about the quality of his linemates, regardless where Yak plays.

    I don’t know about you,but i think that a guy in his rookie year, being centered by Horc, should reasonably have a much lower SP, than Same guy a year older, and more experienced. Taking sweet passes from The Nuge.

    I would think things are shaping up to be closer to year 2 than year 1 moving forward.

  11. speeds says:

    Cactus,

    Based on their goal differential, Kiprusoff’s up and down seasons, the general aging of Kiprusoff and Iginla, I think it’s possible they are a lottery team.

    LT, can you ask Kent how likely he thinks it is that CAL will finish in the lottery (given a season is played), and if ultimately he thinks that would be a good thing or a bad thing vs. continuing their results of the last couple seasons?

    Thanks!

  12. Lowetide says:

    Steveb12344: I think Eberle will be a better player a year from now than he is today. I’m not convinced his boxcars will reflect it and am convinced the Oiler fanbase will begin to sour on him. jmo.

  13. steveb12344 says:

    When i was looking at shooting percentages i noticed something interesting.

    Looking back at the glory years i noticed, Kurri started out his first two years at around 15% or so. Then once he broke out he was between 20.6 and 28.8% for the next 6 years until Gretz left.

    After that he had one more year at about 20, then spent the rest of his career at around 14-15.

    I know you can say it was the team or era or whatever, but i looked at Glenn Anderson during the same period who spent most of his time paired with Mess. ( No slouches for sure). He only broke 20% once and spent the rest between 14, and 19%. Then went way lower, mostly in the 12′s and 13′s the rest of his career.

    I’m not saying Nuge will be Gretz. But i think we all agree that his dishing ability is something special. With Ebs sick mitts (should be no arguement there) As long as those two stay linked together, as Kreuger has suggested. I think he will be able to defy his critics with an “unsustainably ” high shooting percentage. At least for 6 or 7 years or so.

  14. Lowetide says:

    I think we need to wait until we have an established level of ability. Eberle’s two seasons in the NHL are so different from each other it is genuinely difficult to bring him into focus. Hopefull this season he scores 90 points and we all celebrate.

  15. regwald says:

    is that 90 points pro-rated to a 60 game season ? Bettman does not seem interested in starting hockey any time soon.

  16. spoiler says:

    Something funny about the clouds in that decidedly non-autumn blue sky pic above…

    I can’t see Edmonton fans turning on Eberle if he has one bad season. He owns Edmonton right now and for good reason. It will take more than one mediocre regular season. If he even has one…

    Last summer his mission was to work on his shot. The following season his shooting percentage goes up. This is the kind of player Eberle is and always has been. Goal-oriented with utmost faith in his tremendous abilities–and that is what his promoters have been saying about him since the day he was drafted, and that is what the more conservative commentators fail to accord enough significance. Eberle wants to be The Man.

    There is no chance that the Edmonton fanbase turns on a player who plays as smart or works as hard as Eberle does, no matter what happens. The clouds in the blue sky pic above are fake, artificial, a man-made construct.

  17. Wolfie says:

    Lowetide:
    1. 3.08 5×5/60, ranking him 2nd in the NHL. He’s a fine young player, but it is not reasonable to expect the same performance next season. He was tied for 7th in the entire NHL in even strength points. 2. His zone start was 60%. We can’t assume he’ll get the same treatment this coming season. What if Yakupov gets the push on a line without Eberle? It could happen 3. Eberle’s shooting percentage was a huge leap from his rookie year. It is not reasonable to assume he can sustain it. 4. The PP. He went 10-10-20 on the PP. With Hemsky healthy and Yakupov’s shot also available, we can’t assume Eberle will score at that level this coming season. Eberle was tied for 43rd in PP points this past season.

    I love the Eberle story, he’s the poster boy for what I believe is a key part of the rebuild (MBS and the scouts). But as much as we can believe in him as a player and as much as he clearly has ability, it’s also true a lot of things fell in his favor last season.

    God I hope he scores 40 goals this season. Oiler fans eat their young.

    If I’m coaching and I’m seeing Eberle got 60% zone start push and I look at his results, why on earth would I cut that down? He’s successful in those situations and as much as Yakupov might need OZ starts I’m not taking them away at Eberle’s expense. If anyone is going to suffer OZ starts it will be guys like Hemsky, Jones and Paajarvi to get Yak those minutes.

  18. steveb12344 says:

    Lowetide,

    His first season was his rookie year, and the last year of the PNE (Pre Nuge Era)

    How many of the high-end offensive players in the NHL established thier career level of ability in year 1?

  19. regwald says:

    spoiler:
    The clouds in the blue sky pic above are fake, artificial, a man-made construct.

    Actually, those aren’t clouds. That is the lens flare from the sun.

  20. Dominoiler says:

    How does Eberle’s contract make him the least likely to be traded?..
    Honestly, I dont see either Eberle or Hall (or Nuge) being traded.. Yak, perhaps.. but that will prob change once we get to see him succeed with the other elite oil..

    Are you insinuating that Eberle’s contract is an overpay?..
    hmmm, not sure what else you could mean..

  21. leadfarmer says:

    My vote would be for Reider.

    Lowetide,

  22. steveb12344 says:

    leadfarmer,

    I would bet Reider could score alot of goals if was was taking sweet feeds from 93.

    In 81 and 82 Semenko scored 11 and 12 goals with a 26.2 and 22.2 shooting % respectfully.

  23. Bar_Qu says:

    I think Zharkov would be fun to watch (more fun than Moroz), but Reider would be the most relevant only from a development standpoint.

    Three Eberle thing is a real test of gut-feeling versus numbers, IMO. The main reason I want this season to start in time is just to see what he does. Otherwise I am happy to just take my boys to Hitmen games while the NHL is wringing its own neck (to refer back to last thread). I know too many kids who will play in that league over the next few years to care less about it than the NHL.

  24. spoiler says:

    regwald: Actually, those aren’t clouds. That is the lens flare from the sun.

    Eberle as Apollo. I like it.

  25. Traktor says:

    Eberle a New York minute from being the worst contract in hockey. LOL

    LT is trolling harder than silver fox.

    Inb4 Lowetide trades Mike Trout for a veteran arm.

  26. steveb12344 says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I like both of those options.

    It brings up an interestion question: Who between Reider and Zharkov is most likely to have a career with the Oil?

    I would take Zharkov myself. While i really like Tobias, I think unless he somehow becomes a Hemsky replacement, then he may end up with a case of Omarkitis (no room in the top 6)

  27. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    God I hope he scores 40 goals this season. Oiler fans eat their young.

    When Eberle is taking the same number of shots and shooting even 14% there will be article “Is Jordan Eberle being crushed by the expectations of his new contract?”

    I took Spector writing it in the pool.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    God I hope he scores 40 goals this season. Oiler fans eat their young.

    When Eberle is taking the same number of shots and shooting even 14% there will be article “Is Jordan Eberle being crushed by the expectations of his new contract?”

    I took Spector writing it in the pool.

    lol.

  29. Traktor says:

    Eberle scores 34 goals again.

    Still no good. Cheats for offense.

  30. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Well, I had Klefbom there a year ago but that was dull as dishwater. Moroz? Khaira? Gustafsson?

    Hopefully Klefbom will be more fun this year! Could try him again.

    Moroz is certainly relevant, and should spark some discussion as mentioned (be it good or bad). Make sure PIMs/Fights are there if it’s Moroz though.

    Kahira would be fun.

    You think Gustafsson will score enough? Not so sure he’ll be much better than the Klefbom dishwater. Laleggia should be good for a bunch of points again…

    The Reider suggestion is a great idea.

    May be Omark :)

    Is there room for all of them? Nice to have so many young guys worth following.

  31. jp says:

    steveb12344:
    Bar_Qu,

    I like both of those options.

    It brings up an interestion question: Who between Reider and Zharkov is most likely to have a career with the Oil?

    I would take Zharkov myself. While i really like Tobias, I think unless he somehow becomes a Hemsky replacement, then he may end up with a case of Omarkitis (no room in the top 6)

    I don’t know, Rieder apparently PKs and has a rep as a good 2 way player. Still hard to see a lot of room for another undersized scorer, but may be he becomes a better 3rd line option than Omark is/was.

    Zharkov obviously has some projectable tools, but he’s got a lot of work to do to put them together. I certainly hope he does, but my gut doesn’t that confident about it. Of the 2 I’d pick Rieder.

    On the other hand, I think a guy like Kahira (or dare I say Moroz) might well have a better chance of making it with the Oil than Rieder since they project obviously to a bottom 6 role where there’ll be more openings.

    Re: Zharkov. Since his goal is to be better than Yakupov, may be tracking his OHL points vs Yaks NHL points side by side would be fun.

  32. DSF says:

    Traktor:
    Eberle a New York minute from being the worst contract in hockey. LOL

    LT is trolling harder than silver fox.

    Inb4 Lowetide trades Mike Trout for a veteran arm.

    There’s a huge difference between criticizing management for playing their cards stupidly before they have to and evaluating a player.

    To my eye, Eberle is and will be the best of the young bunch.

    Hall will likely spend a lot of time on IR and Hopkins will get roughed up by the Big Boy Centres ® more in the future once they get a better read on him.

    Eberle’s contract makes sense right now if you think the cap is going to stay where it is but I think there’s virtually no chance that happens.

    Locking up Hall and Eberle now when the cap is poised to plummet is just a dumb as locking up Horcoff for 6 years when he was coming off surgery.

    It makes a statement to be sure, but it likely isn’t the right one.

  33. PunjabiOil says:

    Locking up Hall and Eberle now when the cap is poised to plummet is just a dumb as locking up Horcoff for 6 years when he was coming off surgery.

    A substantial drop in cap would likely come with a salary roll back

  34. DSF says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Locking up Hall and Eberle now when the cap is poised to plummet is just a dumb as locking up Horcoff for 6 years when he was coming off surgery.

    A substantial drop in cap would likely come with a salary roll back

    Who knows?

    That’s why it made sense to wait.

    It would also have been more prudent to see how Hall recovers from surgery and if Eberle’s season was an outlier or not.

    But, of course, the three blind mice just keep on truckin’

  35. Cactus says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Locking up Hall and Eberle now when the cap is poised to plummet is just a dumb as locking up Horcoff for 6 years when he was coming off surgery.

    A substantial drop in cap would likely come with a salary roll back

    Exactly. There’s no way that half the owners in the league will agree to shoot themselves in the foot by getting a reduced cap without some kind of salary rollback/expansion of escrow. When GMs around the league are locking up players for long terms at current rates, they’re not doing it with the threat that these contracts will be over-valued.

  36. hags9k says:

    LT, I really can’t imagine the fan base souring on Ebs as quickly as you think is possible. Those WJC goals have had more positive impact on his star than a couple 50 pt seasons could wipe out.
    I think for the most part where people are disconnecting with you on Ebs is your established level of ability. You are conservatively waiting for another big season before calling him a king. While on the other hand a lot of us (and mgmt) are satisfied and comfortable calling him the real deal right now.
    But none of it matters and all the trade, and fans’ souring talk at this point is silly! We just signed him through 2019 for Pete’s sake. Time for beer. Then more beer and all that. Let’s just enjoy this great player whose stick has been touched by JC. When this kid hits the finals, OHHHHH BABY!! The Conn Smythe is going to call to him in his dreams like the ring of power is in his pocket.

  37. Lowetide says:

    hags9k:
    LT, I really can’t imagine the fan base souring on Ebs as quickly as you think is possible.Those WJC goals have had more positive impact on his star than a couple 50 pt seasons could wipe out.
    I think for the most part where people are disconnecting with you on Ebs is your established level of ability.You are conservatively waiting for another big season before calling him a king.While on the other hand a lot of us (and mgmt) are satisfied and comfortable calling him the real deal right now.
    But none of it matters and all the trade, and fans’ souring talk at this point is silly!We just signed him through 2019 for Pete’s sake.Time for beer.Then more beer and all that.Let’s just enjoy this great player whose stick has been touched by JC.When this kid hits the finals, OHHHHH BABY!!The Conn Smythe is going to call to him in his dreams like the ring of power is in his pocket.

    The fans turned on Paul Coffey, they turned on Mike Comrie. Hey, I do believe Eberle is already so popular that he’ll end up in the Lowe-Smyth ‘all time Oiler’ zone, but Oilers fans are notoriously vicious when a big contract doesn’t deliver.

  38. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Some Oiler fans are vicious, not all. I think the Hemsky contract is a good comparable to Eberle’s, 6 years @ <10% of the cap. some folks defended that contract as a bargain right thru Year 6 , even withy all the injuries. And Eberle's popularity right now is more than Hemsky's ever was. He'll be fine

  39. OilLeak says:

    How about following Pitlick? Or was he done already? With the lockout most of us will probably turn to watching some of the OKC Barons, and it would be interesting to see if Pitlick takes a step forward this season.

    If limiting to draft +1 prospects then Zharkov would be the most interesting because he may surprise many with a great season or fall apart completely. Moroz and Khaira are also interesting with their boom/bust potential.

  40. hags9k says:

    But neither of those guys were Rider fans…Seriously, I think 14 will deliver and remain in the good graces of the nation for a very long time.

    I think the Hall contract is slightly riskier obviously due to style of play/injury concern. But Hall seems already in that Lowe/Smyth zone because he actually LOOKS like Messier. It’s sort of uncanny.

    Question: Is Taylor Hall still worth that contract if he doesn’t give great interviews and look like a young Moose? He has been a beast on the ice as well absolutely but I do wonder how
    how much $ is handsome and well spoken worth? If he looked like Ricci and spoke like Hasek what would the deal look like?

    And I am going to worry most about how much staying power the fans will have behind a guy like Yak. I’m making the assumption he will eventually have a meaty contract too. I’m looking down the road a few years, maybe a poor playoff, an area of need….Sad to say but I can see a “flashy Russian factor” becoming a reality when we are talking about the masses. I see him as the first to fall out of favour with the nation and the likely first at the airport.

    GOILERS!

  41. Lowetide says:

    The worry about Hall is that he ends up having a Wendel Clark career. Clark was a terrific player, when healthy. But he was never healthy.

  42. hags9k says:

    Please Santa let Moroz or Khaira be the second coming…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7XgYSoK1go

    Only Leaf that ever mattered. Now that’s hockey.

  43. DSF says:

    Cactus: Exactly.There’s no way that half the owners in the league will agree to shoot themselves in the foot by getting a reduced cap without some kind of salary rollback/expansion of escrow.When GMs around the league are locking up players for long terms at current rates, they’re not doing it with the threat that these contracts will be over-valued.

    Interesting that some teams are sitting on the sidelines and not doing much of anything in the way of free agent signings or contract extensions.

    Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Florida and Toronto have been very quiet, among others.

  44. Traktor says:

    DSF: Interesting that some teams are sitting on the sidelines and not doing much of anything in the way of free agent signings or contract extensions.

    Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Florida and Toronto have been very quiet, among others.

    Chicago and Detroit both went hard after Parise and Suter and lost out to Minny.

    LA just won the cup and have no need for major changes.

    Florida isn’t a cap team and basically just rearranged their entire roster last year.

    That leaves Toronto. Perhaps Burke finally learned he needs to rebuild via the draft.

    That’s also leaving out the fact that aside from Parise and Suter this was probably the worst crop of UFA’s in NHL history.. probably because almost every team now (including Edmonton) locks up their core early and for often.

  45. commonfan14 says:

    DSF,

    But Detroit signed Suter. HockeyInsiderrr told me so.

  46. Woodguy says:

    I hope there is a lock out for a year so we can argue how much Eberle will/won’t score in an near infinite amount of permutations of TOI/PPTOI/SH%/IPP.

  47. Lowetide says:

    I love the guy. One of the few pleasures of being an Oiler fan over the last 4 years has been watching his progression.

  48. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    I love the guy. One of the few pleasures of being an Oiler fan over the last 4 years has been watching his progression.

    Big head. Cold blooded. Stick handles in a phone booth. Time moves slow for him. Love it.

  49. leadfarmer says:

    Yes lets follow, Toronto’s model for rebuilding. Andif you think Rnh is going to get pushed around you need to watch him again. He is never going to be a physical presence but he isn’t going to have trouble playing with the big boys. He has the same elusiveness that has allowed much smaller players to succeed in the league.

    The reason I suggested Rieder isn’t that he is more likely to be an Nhler, because he will most likely need a top 6 spot because of his size. He is more likely to be someone of significance, even if it is unlkely to happen.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Leadfarmer: The problem with big men is so very few of them can actually play. Rieder is a good bet to play more games than Moroz or Khaira.

  51. WheresYourTowel says:

    FWIW (and I’m not sure how much it is): I didn’t turn on Gagner when he struggled to start the season because I saw him working and fighting for chances.

    That being said, a lot of people did.

  52. commonfan14 says:

    leadfarmer,

    Agreed on RNH being able to handle himself well against bigger guys. Brenden Morrow has around 35 pounds on him and ended up on the IR after this game.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7t29tRMyxUg&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D7t29tRMyxUg&gl=CA#/watch?v=7t29tRMyxUg

  53. Traktor says:

    I know this much about RNH: he wouldn’t allow Brad Marchand to bitch slap him while he bobble-headed trying to draw a penalty.

  54. leadfarmer says:

    Yes, I agree. What i was trying to say is those guys can become 4th liners, while Reider will not have that option, so he will have to push someone out of a top9 spot. Thankfully he can PK so that will not limit him to a top 6 spot neccessarily, which will be next to impossible to get on this team for a long time.

    Btw. Did you have a beer and then another when eberle signed, i know I did.
    Lowetide,

  55. Lowetide says:

    Leadfarmer: I’ve been on holidays for most of the last two weeks. The river is dry!

  56. Schitzo says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Some Oiler fans are vicious, not all. I think the Hemsky contract is a good comparableto Eberle’s, 6 years @ <10% of the cap. some folks defended that contract as a bargain right thru Year 6 , even withy all the injuries. And Eberle’s popularity right now is more than Hemsky’s ever was. He’ll be fine

    But isn’t the million dollar question going to be the salary cap going forward? If we see a cap around $55M with no rollback, those $6M deals don’t look like much of a bargain anymore.

  57. Captain Obvious says:

    Things I know.

    1) Eberle’s shooting percentage will go down.
    2) Eberle will play more per game

    Things that might be true.

    1) Eberle becomes a better player and gets more shots.

    Things I think:

    Add these things up and Eberle scores fewer goals this year (assuming full season).

    He’s overpaid. This is the contract we’ll be ruing (unless RNH gets more then that’s the one). Hall and Yakupov are going to be better than Eberle and RNH.

  58. leadfarmer says:

    Except the proposals submitted have the cap rising quickly, so they will have an opportunity to be bargains in the second half.

    Schitzo,

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