IT’S OVER

We begin the discussion of the 2013-14 Edmonton Oilers this evening by having a look at center ice. There’s plenty of murmurs from the broadcast rights holder about Shawn Horcoff delaying the future, so with that nugget we can start to piece together the thinking of Edmonton’s brain trust as we bleed out on another season.

  • #1 Center: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I think we’re beginning to see the Nuge as a player: more complete than we might have thought on first blush, but perhaps not the elite offensive player those PP numbers suggested during his rookie season. The Nuge can be #1C on my team any time, and if there’s one thing this year’s tough (and long) minutes are showing it’s that the kid is going to be able to help push the river against very good competition.
  • #2 Center: Sam Gagner. I think there’s a chance Samwise is pricing himself off the team as we speak. The Oilers have always seen him (imo) as a part of the future, but up until now Gagner could reasonably fit into that second line role in terms of playing time and cap dollars. Now? His agent is going to do his job and if Gagner is anywhere near a point per game he’s looking at a big raise. $3.2M this season and a point per game? He’s going to cost a lot, folks.
  • #3 Center: Shawn Horcoff. It never occurred to me that the Oilers might buy him out, but reading the tea leaves today I’m thinking this may already be in the works. I’m at a loss to explain it, and the reasons given are vague and not well formed. So, maybe I’m wrong. If the Oilers do buy him out without getting someone to help this young group it will be stunning in its short sightedness. Stunning.
  • #4 Center: Eric Belanger. Signed to one more year, and based on that rookie pass into the Oilers slot last night I can’t see anyone wanting him at the deadline. He’s improved from last season, but is also limited offensively and unable to handle the workload since Horcoff went down (and who can blame him?). Like most of the Oiler veterans, he is fading and could spend much of next season in the pressbox.
  • #5 Center: Anton Lander. I suspect the Oilers see him as a big part of next year’s club, and if that Nordic line can play as they did in short spurts this season then maybe there’s a future there. However, Lander won’t need waivers a year from now so sending him out is an option and there’s absolutely no reason to rely on him next year. His offense did not come with him to North America.
  • WILD CARD: Taylor Hall. As we get into the wingers, one of the main questions for 13-14 surrounds RW (Hemsky, Eberle, Yakupov) versus LW (Hall, Hartikainen, Paajarvi, Smyth). If Hall moves to C–and I think that’s probably the plan if Horcoff is leaving–then will the Oilers spend their lottery selection on a LW (say Drouin, Nichushkin or Mantha)? It makes a certain amount of sense, especially if they can lose consistently enough to get into Drouin territory.

POSSIBLE C DEPTH CHART 13-14

  1. Taylor Hall-tough minutes and pushing the river
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-tough minutes and calming the waters
  3. Anton Lander-lesser minutes Nordic line possible
  4. Eric Belanger-penalty killing and bit part as he rides off into the sunset

It’s over, folks. When a Roman Hamrlik is available for money and the organization passes on the opportunity, and the broadcast rights holder is hinting than Shawn Horcoff is blocking the future, it’s over. It’s over, it’s over, it’s over.

It’s over.

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106 Responses to "IT’S OVER"

  1. Smarmy says:

    Originally, I figured the Oilers would finish in a place where drafting Shinkaruk would make sense and they’d slot Hall over to Center.

    Now it looks like they can get an even better player in the draft so… yay?

  2. stevezie says:

    Passing on Hammer didn’t bother me as much as it did many here- there are a lot of defenceman who looked good two years ago but can’t play right now. If he is better than Potter we should have done it, but really we already have four bottom-pairing guys, can’t we save up and buy a top four guy?

    True, there is no sign this is the plan, but I see that as a separate (and more pressing) problem. I’d sooner call up Brett Clark. If he doesn’t clear waivers, that sucks for Todd Nelson, but whatever.

    As far as Horcoff goes- look I like Bob Stauffer, but what he was saying the other day about Chicago and Pittsburgh “clearing the way” for their young core to take over and we should go and go likewise was such unimaginable horseshit…

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    I thought claiming Hamrlik would have allowed us to move Whitney for a pick(sooner, rather than later)but maybe there is no market for him at the moment.

    If they dump Horcoff before they have a replacement for the tough minutes this org is crazy.

    Depressing times for the fans that cheer for our little team.

  4. Rocknrolla says:

    I agree, not only based on those two tells, but the fact that the team would need to go 17-9 down the stretch.

    Folks it’s just not gonna happen.

    I had high hopes, but this team is far from ready to push for the playoffs.

    I expect a rough finish to the road trip followed by just above 500 finish, hopefully ending the season with the last games on a 4-1 last 5.

    We will draft top 10, be sellers and hopefully move some dead weight like Whit, khabby, Belanger, eager, etc at the deadline.

    There’s always next year right?!?

  5. hags9k says:

    Well, fuck.

  6. stevezie says:

    Consider:

    A) Toews and Crosby are unique players. It doesn’t make sense to assume that because they wre young and good, and our guys are young and good, that our guys are also cpaable of leading a hockey team at 20. The vast majority of cup-winning hall-of-famers did not do this. History is filled with many more Lecavaliers than Toews.

    2. Point A is moot because what Bob said DIDN”T FUCKING HAPPEN!!! The first year Crosby went deep he was playing with Gonchar, Sykora, Malone, Ruutu, Roberts, Laraque… and Toews had Havlat, Campbell, Sharp, Pahlsson, Burish, Sopel…. The idea that veterns are somehow in the kids’ way is obscene and based on nothing.

    iii: Some are born great, others are made great, and some have greatness thrust upon them. No has challanges conveniently cleared out of the way for them so that greatness can be presented on a silver platter for them.
    Has the malaise of Horcoff’s periods of sustained abscence not made it clear that he is not the problem?

  7. Jon K says:

    I really think that at season’s end we will hear that RNH is heading for surgery and that his shoulder has been hampering him this season. His shooting seems to lack the same velocity we saw last year, such as when we saw him beat Lundquist clean on the far side,

  8. stevezie says:

    Rocknrolla,

    No playoffs is a certainty, but I don’t think we’ll finish lower than fourth-last. There are other orgs that will want it more. CBS still starts Mason for Odin’s sake. Start scouting Barkov.

    I could believe as high as tenth.

  9. Kris11 says:

    ” If the Oilers do buy him out without getting someone to help this young group it will be stunning in its short sightedness. Stunning.”

    Let it be written. Let it be done.

  10. Kris11 says:

    Whitney and Khabbi have trade value?

    If I were Katz, I’d have traded the first round pick (maybe the second too) this year for a solid roster player (or a star, if you could swing it) just to send a message to the GM’s and the fans. If we lose, you’re fired. There is no consolation, nothing good that comes from losing anymore. If you just miss the playoffs, or go four and out, we’ll talk. But a low finish means bye-bye.

  11. FastOil says:

    Perhaps I’ve become immune to the hope of playoffs, but it seems clear (IMO from the inactivity last summer) that no real hope was held for this season. More that a lot of lady luck and they might make it, like a bonus.

    Fine, it is what it is. So now as a fan I want to see some coldly calculated moves to maximize the future. For me, that means having a serious go at CBJ’s or Florida’s first. With a new CBJ GM that isn’t into collecting coke machines and is European and is in desperate need of offense, I think there is an overpay there that has a shot. And Tallon is a maniac so there’s that.

    Offer Omark, Hemsky and Jones to Capt. Kerk. Perhaps take one of his coke machines back. That offers a lot of offense to a team that has reasonable defense and depth at centre. At least try. Their team would be a lot better and Cpt. Kerk may see that and wouldn’t mind sideburns.

    In this draft there are defensemen and centres, exactly what the Oilers need. To me it is imperative they do as much as possible to acquire as much talent as possible this draft and move forward. Hemsky is brilliant, but the window for him on this team is almost closed. I also don’t like sending him to the dregs, but to get better, fuzzy feelings are in the way of team success.

    I would also clear the logjam by dealing any marginal player that can be moved and using the buzz around the team to sign lower light but competent and better replacements. We all have ideas of who those players are, and they don’t have to be name players to do a basic job.

    As for Horcoff and Belanger, they should be kept and worked like rented mules in the sake of developing well the future, which I think both guys would be happy to do. I would run my new top end centre with one of them, alternating him to the wing and middle as he learns the trade.

    Then for all that is worthy, sign at least one other “competent” defenseman, who can skate with the puck and look up at the same time. No goals for necessary.

  12. Kris11 says:

    LT,

    Can you change the blog to a CBJ blog now?

    I’m tired of these loser managers who try to lose. Must suck being a pro-athlete for a team that tries to lose.

  13. VanOil says:

    If it were not for the contract Horcoff would be a much better option than Belanger. If it is over, I hope they clean house and make room for the next batch to prove them selves or fade away.

    I see Paarajvi as a viable winger to convert to center as well. Maybe a 3d line center not a 1st line like Hall. If one of two can make the switch the organizational weakness at the position would be drastically reduced. They are both good hockey players with bright futures, which can only be said of two of our current centers.

    A 3 game winning streak would change my mind if it happened right now. The odds of that look bleak so for the rest of the season I hope we can hold on to the talent we have and look forward TO THE BEST DRAFT EVER.

  14. godot10 says:

    If they buyout Horcoff, money for Gagner and Smid under the cap.

  15. jake70 says:

    RIP Stompin Tom Connors.

  16. godot10 says:

    godot10,

    And another top 4 D via trade or UFA.

  17. VanOil says:

    Jon K:
    I really think that at season’s end we will hear that RNH is heading for surgery and that his shoulder has been hampering him this season. His shooting seems to lack the same velocity we saw last year, such as when we saw him beat Lundquist clean on the far side,

    If this is true, and I suspect it might be I hope they shut him done by the end of the month so ha has time to rehab for next year. It seems to be a 6 to 8 month thing that is best not rushed.

  18. Kris11 says:

    FastOil,

    I stand by my claim at the the start of the season that the season hinged on Hemsky and Whitney playing at their past levels of excellence, or barring that, trading picks and propsects to add tough-minute, excellent veteran players, maybe even on bad contracts.

    Hemsky has been okay, but not what he was once. -15 Corsi, -6 Rel Corsi, and nowhere near a 70 point pace, over 82 games. Whitney is truly awful, AHL-level. That’s the story of the season: we needed those two to be star contributors, and they aren’t.

    Indeed, I think Hemsky may be a bigger story than we’ve yet explored. The kids are taking the toughest assignments and winning, and Hemsky should be doing better than the past, but isn’t. (Step one when Horcoff is back is to reunite Hemsky and Horcoff, at the very least to get Hemsky back on track for next year.)

    The kids are really great, and bad luck put a blanket on their boxcars, but they needed the right players around them, and that hasn’t happened, because management knows less about forming a winning team than many of the commenters here.

  19. Lowetide says:

    jake70:
    RIP Stompin Tom Connors.

    Amen to that. Crap I’m bummed about it. My Dad and I used to watch him and those songs of his, Bud the Spud, Big Joe Mufferaw, Sudbury Saturday Night.

    Man. I can’t believe it. For Canadians of a certain age, this is a blow. I guess I’m of that certain age. RIP.

  20. Kris11 says:

    Gregor has an interview up at ON where Tambellini speculates strongly at trying Hall at C at the beggining of a season. Seems like a good idea that could occur next year. Hopefully Smyth is gone. to pasture. Sadly, Horcoff will be gone. Happily, Khabyy and Whitney will be gone. That leaves a world of money to sign free agents, though the crop of D UFA’s is thin. Trades will be needed to form a good team, which Tambellini is incapbable of, so the team will lose again next year. Gagner will be traded lver his contract. They’ll find a way to keep Smid.

    Yak-Hall-Hemsky
    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    MPS-Belanger-XXX
    Eager-XXX-Jones
    XXX

    XXX(from Gagner Trade)-Jschultz
    Smid-Petry
    NSchultz-XXX
    XXX

    I’d base my team off of something like that if you move Hall to C and have to (or prefer to ) deal Gagner.

    Instead of signing vets to fill in those X’s, Tambellini will put kids in who aren’t ready: Klefbom, Lander, etc.

  21. madas says:

    Alright guys, where is this talk of buying out Horcoff smoking from?

    What did I miss in the radio today?

  22. jake70 says:

    Lowetide: Amen to that. Crap I’m bummed about it. My Dad and I used to watch him and those songs of his, Bud the Spud, Big Joe Mufferaw, Sudbury Saturday Night.

    Man. I can’t believe it. For Canadians of a certain age, this is a blow. I guess I’m of that certain age. RIP.

    Yep, agreed LT, some great old tunes. Complex songs they were not but catchy as heck. Brother in law with me tonight visiting, just playing some of his stuff, we’re having a great chuckle.

  23. Lowetide says:

    jake70: Yep, agreed LT, some great old tunes. Complex songs they were not but catchy as heck.Brother in law with me tonight visiting, just playing some of his stuff, we’re having a great chuckle.

    The lyrics to Sudbury Saturday Night are the ones I remember as being drop dead funny. I’ll tell you, he played to packed houses in Alberta for decades. He was loved, and entertained forever.

  24. sliderule says:

    Stauffer was ranting about Smyth before they signed him last summer.Hinting that he was a problem in the room.
    I assumed when he talked about morale problems he meant Smyth.when did Horcoff come into it?
    Did Horcoff see the writing on wall and his hand injury just isn’t healing?That would really piss Lowe off.

  25. bluenotenorth says:

    Lowtide

    Given the injuries to Horcoff and Lander, I expected Kruger to test drive Hall at centre for a few games. Could have left Belanger on the 4th line, a better option than Smyth. Kruger talked about it at the start of the season.. Surprised he did not make that move. Makes me think that Hall on LW is the long term plan.

    Would rather see Horcoff than Belanger in 2013-14.

  26. godot10 says:

    The Canadian dollar is falling out of bed. The cap might be not be going up for a while.

  27. BlacqueJacque says:

    Man this Ottawa-Toronto game is good. The crowd is into it, the scoring is there 5v5, all because of bad goaltending.

    We need bigger nets. Make goalies less automatic.

  28. Rocknrolla says:

    Anyone notice the sign in the back with the burnt out T…

    The Golden Nugge….it’s fate!

  29. madas says:

    Rocknrolla:
    Anyone notice the sign in the back with the burnt out T…

    The Golden Nugge….it’s fate!

    It is a sign!!!!! The Golden Nugge!!!!!

  30. Lowetide says:

    I’ve posted that damn picture 10 times hoping SOMEONE would notice! :-)

  31. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    I’ve posted that damn picture 10 times hoping SOMEONE would notice!

    You would have to photoshop Diane Lane in a bikini over the sign to get me to notice! -)

  32. pboy says:

    Yeah, I listened to Stauffer’s nonsense today about the leadership on this team needing to change. I couldn’t agree more with Big Bob. It’s time to completely clean out the management structure of this organization from the President of Hockey Operations to the GM to the Pro Scouts. Stu and his amateur scouts can stay, Kreuger can come back and there’s room on my team for #10. Both Stauffer and Spector are embarrassing to listen to.

  33. Scott says:

    This needs to stop. Management has shown that it cannot competently move through the rebuilding process in a logical manner. At this point I have no idea what direction they want to go, let alone what kind of team they want to build. They need to be shown the door and someone new needs to be brought in. It’s just ridiculous at this point.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spartacus:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiZdY9rw-uo

    “They drew first blood… they drew first blood!”

    great flic.

    terrible hockey team.

  35. bookje says:

    Stauffer gets more stuff wrong than right. I think the assumption that he is the voice of management is terribly incorrect and it has led to many unnecessary panics on this and other blogs.

    Horcoff is on the way out because Staffer said so?? He also said the Oilers were not drafting yak and were trading Hemsky as opposed to signing him.

    The guy has to fill a radio show with something.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    is there an update on harti and horcov?

    here’s the question on Gagner: if he is going to get paid by someone, why wouldn’t it be us? Or, how much can a cap-limit team expect to spend on a 2c (I can’t imagine anyone giving him the #1 spot)…. and if we aren’t going to spend it on Gagner… as in the horcov case… we better damn well find someone who deserves the money.

    so, if Gagner walks or is traded…. who is out there for 13-14? same question for horcov.

  37. BlacqueJacque says:

    Toews with a game-tying short-handed goal early in the third and right after his “celebration” he gives the death stare to some unfortunate Av.

  38. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    The Canadian dollar is falling out of bed.The cap might be not be going up for a while.

    NHL is expecting 72.2% of last years revenues despite only playing 58.5% of the games.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/thanks-emboldening-greedy-owners-nhl-fans-learned-150323183–nhl.html

    Hockey Night in Canada contract is up in the fall in 2014 and many expect Rogers and Bell to push out CBC like they did with the Olympics with large gobs of money.

    Current CBC contract is estimated to be $100MM/yr, I can easily see $150MM+ being the next price.

    The cap will go down next year because its stated to do so in the CBA.

    I expect it back to $70MM or over the year after.

    Book it.

  39. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy,

    Oilers will be less competitive as the US starts exporting oil. Ironic.

  40. ashley says:

    Gee, I dunno. We were second last in the league last year. We’re not going to be second last this year. We’re going in the right direction. It will take some Anaheim luck to get to the postseason this year…possible, but not probable at this point. Still, we’re making progress.

    However if expectations were playoffs or in the mix for a playoff spot up until the last few games, I can see where we would be disappointed.

    I recall many at the beginning of the season indicating that it would take some luck for this to happen, and a shortened season just might allow for luck to play out. There are two sides to luck though, and the shortened season has become our nemesis.

    This improving club would likely benefit from a longer season as they continue to learn how to beat high quality NHL teams. The track is going to run out on them this year.

    Next year will be better yet.

    I would be suprised if Whitney had any trade value. His name was faxed out to all teams as “available for trade” just a few weeks ago with no interest.

    The highly regarded July 1 deals signing Belanger, Eager, and Sutton with all of us crossing items off the shopping list are now a distant memory.

    The answer here remains time and patience. When it starts to roll, all will be forgotten.

  41. Woodguy says:

    bookje: Horcoff is on the way out because Staffer said so?? He also said the Oilers were not drafting yak and were trading Hemsky as opposed to signing him.

    I firmly believe that Stauffer had the right info re: Hemsky, but something changed late in the game

    He also had the right info that the scouts as a whole wanted Murray, that decision changed above the pay grade of the information source.

    Stauffer’s smoke is usually right, but sometimes the fire gets put out a different way.

  42. gcw_rocks says:

    I agree its over. Morbidly looking forward to the “get ready for next year” articles

    I don’t mid the Oilers flushing Horcoff if they spend the money saved wisely. Stephen Weiss would be nice.

  43. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    is there an update on harti and horcov?

    here’s the question on Gagner: if he is going to get paid by someone, why wouldn’t it be us? Or, how much can a cap-limit team expect to spend on a 2c (I can’t imagine anyone giving him the #1 spot)…. and if we aren’t going to spend it on Gagner… as in the horcov case… we better damn well find someone who deserves the money.

    so, if Gagner walks or is traded…. who is out there for 13-14? same question for horcov.

    Stauffer said the Russian infidel who is stepping on kids’ heads is due back in a week to 10 days.

  44. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: NHL is expecting 72.2% of last years revenues despite only playing58.5% of the games.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/thanks-emboldening-greedy-owners-nhl-fans-learned-150323183–nhl.html

    Hockey Night in Canada contract is up in the fall in 2014 and many expect Rogers and Bell to push out CBC like they did with the Olympics with large gobs of money.

    Current CBC contract is estimated to be $100MM/yr, I can easily see $150MM+ being the next price.

    The cap will go down next year because its stated to do so in the CBA.

    I expect it back to $70MM or over the year after.

    Book it.

    Nope.

    HRR would have to increase dramatically for the cap to rise that much.

    Remember the players share of HRR will be 50% not the artificially high cap that was negotiated for next season.

    The cap would likely be about $60 million next season if it was based on HRR.

    $65 million the season after is likely the outer marker.

  45. bluenotenorth says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Oilers projected cap space next year is $19.5M. Khabibulin, Whitney, Sutton and remainder of Souray buyout accounts for $11M of this. Lots of flexibility to sign the UFAs and look for other talent without a Horcoff buyout.

  46. Woodguy says:

    I guess the Oilers played a meaningful game in March for the first time since 06.

    Probably won’t press as hard to watch every game.

    Maybe when 10 comes back to see how RK arranges the lines.

    If I see that 4-93-14 and 91-89-83 are the lines at the morning skate will definitely make time to see those games.

    Oilers have 16 contracts signed for next year, with $19MM in space left for the other 7.

    If they buy out 10, that means they are keeping 89 and moving 4 to C.

    Everyone under contract:

    C’s – 93, 4, 89 (RFA), 20, 57
    LW – 91, 64,94, 56 (RFA), 55
    RW – 14, 83, 13

    LD 15,24
    RD 19,2,44

    24 could easily be flushed and 44′s could be waived.

    Of course we need to slot some poor 18 year old who’ll be the face of marketing campaign and then thrown to the wolves. Probably a C.

    They love Lazar, but may not take him if they end up to 8 or so.

    *sigh*

  47. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy: Nope.

    HRR would have to increase dramatically for the cap to rise that much.

    Remember the players share of HRR will be 50% not the artificially high cap that was negotiated for next season.

    The cap would likely be about $60 million next season if it was based on HRR.

    $65 million the season after is likely the outer marker.

    The last time you told me I was wrong about the cap going up, it never stopped going up.

    *sigh*

  48. BlacqueJacque says:

    This NBC broadcast of the Avs-Hawks game is fantastic.

  49. BlacqueJacque says:

    Carcillo puts the Hawks ahead with minutes to spare.

    The 2013 Blackhawks are carving their names into history books.

  50. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: The last time you told me I was wrong about the cap going up, it never stopped going up.

    *sigh*

    When was that?

    With the Canadian dollar falling and the players’ share of HRR dropping to 50 % it would likely take a hike of 20% to get the cap to where you are predicting.

    Won’t happen.

    30-22

  51. Lowetide says:

    Chicago is invincible.

  52. BlacqueJacque says:

    What a city. First the 72-10 Bulls, now this?

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Tuned in to my beloved “Coast to Coast AM” right now and it’s being bumped for Toronto Post Game…

    all these callers have convinced themselves “toughness” and Frazer McLaren are the keys to success… this guy:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8473712

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=658948&navid=nhl:topheads

    Gary Clark Fan Club.

  54. Racki says:

    I’m not really sold on anything about Horcoff being a bad leader, or locker room problem. But I do think we need to clear out the bottom six as our next priority. Rebuff that completely. I don’t even think our defense is as big an issue as it used to be. Once we move Whitney, the defense isn’t quite so bad. The Oilers also need another G, now that Khabi’s prison sentence with us is over… er, his contract, rather.

    But that bottom six, aside from Jones, I’d totally tear it apart and find some guys who can contribute in more than one way.. need some good 2-way players in there and dump that guys who are only given ice time as either a courtesy or to kill time while the top 2 lines rest up.

  55. Rondo says:

    Simple answer if your objective.

    Fire Lowe, and then fire Tambo. Cut your losses and start building a team.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy: When was that?

    With the Canadian dollar falling and the players’ share of HRR dropping to 50 % it would likely take a hike of 20% to get the cap to where you are predicting.

    Won’t happen.

    30-22

    $2.4B in 58.8% of the games straight lines to $4.1B

    It won’t be a straight line though, a reasonable estimate is $3.9B

    7% increase is $4.2B which is a $70MM cap.

    US economy isn’t coming to life, its starting to roar to life.

    Building material commodities, always the first to go up are rising daily.

    Dow Jones hit a new all time high.

    HDTV is creating a new generation of US hockey fans because its not painful to watch on TV for the new viewer.

    John Collins has the NHL’s shit together in a very good way in terms of US marketing.

    Canadian dollar is a bogey, but the US is going to keep printing $ to devalue its debt and dollar with it, so don’t expect US$0.90 =C$1 any time soon.

  57. bookje says:

    Woodguy: I firmly believe that Stauffer had the right info re: Hemsky, but something changed late in the game

    He also had the right info that the scouts as a whole wanted Murray, that decision changed above the pay grade of the information source.

    Stauffer’s smoke is usually right, but sometimes the fire gets put out a different way.

    Or he’s actually wrong a lot and then people create stories in their mind that fits their narrative. The same thing happens to cult followers when doomsday doesn’t arrive “Oh, maybe we were not supposed to count leap years in our calculations – wow, ok, so now doomsday is on Oct 21, 2017 not 2012.”

    Occam’s razor and the concept of parsimony warn against creating complex scenarios (Hall told Hall’s kid that he would not sign his friends cards anymore if his dad didn’t make Lowe make Tambellini sign Hemsky). Or, The Oilers wanted to keep Hemsky because he is a good player (which they are lacking) and they just didn’t want to pay to much because it affects their overall salary structure.

  58. Woodguy says:

    Racki,

    I’m not really sold on anything about Horcoff being a bad leader, or locker room problem. But I do think we need to clear out the bottom six as our next priority. Rebuff that completely.

    Having 94, 20, 55, 13, 44 all on contracts for next year is a firing offense.

    That’s $6.5MM, or just over 10% of the total cap on bottom of the roster under performing players.

  59. Zelepukin says:

    Lowetide:
    Chicago is invincible.

    I’ve watched almost every Hawks game and it’s amazing how well every single player has been playing. Rarely do you see anyone making stupid decisions or forcing the puck into areas where there isn’t support.

    Chicago really is a team model we can look up to. They only have 5 to 6 guys who have ever played outside of their organization and some are guys like Sharp who have been there for 7 years. They’ve been fortunate to have all of their best prospects come into this season and play consistent, solid hockey. Their top 6 produce and are also their best defensive players.

  60. Woodguy says:

    bookje,

    A few people who post here from time to time know more than speculation and don’t create narratives.

    Edmonton is not a large city.

    Are you on twitter?

  61. Gret99zky says:

    Re: Tambi

    When you look into his eyes it comes to you as no surprise, it’s always the same.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMLHPnxkOwA

    The last two games showed that the kids are just too young and unable to compete effectively against the competition. When you are 18 & 19 years old and the 24/25 year old men want your lunch money, they are going to get it.

    Luckily it won’t always be this way. The facial hair will start to come in and the courage to engage night after night will also.

    If RNH really needs surgery, why not get it done now?

    I worry that the playoffs will be further postponed until Lowe and Tambi are shown the door or the new arena gets built.

    If the ship doesn’t start turning soon Big Bob may be hinting that a certain first overall pick is quietly asking for a trade outta here.

  62. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: $2.4B in 58.8% of the games straight lines to $4.1B

    It won’t be a straight line though, a reasonable estimate is $3.9B

    7% increase is $4.2B which is a $70MM cap.

    US economy isn’t coming to life, its starting to roar to life.

    Building material commodities, always the first to go up are rising daily.

    Dow Jones hit a new all time high.

    HDTV is creating a new generation of US hockey fans because its not painful to watch on TV for the new viewer.

    John Collins has the NHL’s shit together in a very good way in terms of US marketing.

    Canadian dollar is a bogey, but the US is going to keep printing $ to devalue its debt and dollar with it, so don’t expect US$0.90 =C$1 any time soon.

    You take the over on $65M and I’ll take the under.

  63. bluenotenorth says:

    Woodguy,

    The $19.5M in cap space not only has to fill 7 positions on the Oilers roster, but roughly 10 more vacancies on the Barons and a few 2013 draft picks. I doubt that is enough $. I suspect Horcoff is gone.

  64. Rondo says:

    Gret99zky,

    It’s unfortunate that Daryl’s only friend is Kevin Lowe. He has let his friendship cloud his mind.

  65. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    bookje,

    A few people who post here from time to time know more than speculation and don’t create narratives.

    Edmonton is not a large city.

    Are you on twitter?

    I am on and off twitter – don’t have time to keep up with it (this site is my procrastination hub). However, I think that Stauffer is tuned into some elements of the organization and picks up on rumours and comments made by people who are close to management, but I don’t think he is IN THE ROOM and as such gets things wrong. I also think he is a radio host who has oodles of time to kill on the radio. I think he says stuff he knows is wrong because it will get a response. So, the point I am making is 5 days ago, LT and others felt that Horcoff was pretty safe. Today the assumption is he is being bought out because Stauffer said some stuff. Eight months from now, Horcoff will probably be taking faceoffs on the third line without the C. My point is that there is no need to overeact to radio rumours.

  66. bookje says:

    Gret99zky,

    The kids are doing very well against the ‘men’ they are facing – every stat indicates that. The rest of the team is the problem.

  67. Woodguy says:

    bluenotenorth:
    Woodguy,

    The $19.5M in cap space not only has to fill 7 positions on the Oilers roster, but roughly 10 more vacancies on the Barons and a few 2013 draft picks. I doubt that is enough $. I suspect Horcoff is gone.

    No all AHL contracts count towards the cap.

    Its only the contracts that are the AHL minimum + $375K that count.

  68. jb says:

    Wow this blogs gone off the deep end. You guys keep listening to Stauffer and enjoy the emotional BS rollercoaster.

    We didn’t pick up someone else’s trash off the waiver wire so we’ve concluded the season is done?
    The MSM moron that’s proven on too many occassions that he’s full of shit says something about Horcoff and we’ve erased his name from next years line-up..

    WTF is going on?

  69. Gret99zky says:

    bookje,

    The stats say they are doing okay. The looks on their faces and the areas they go to on the ice say otherwise. To me they look timid out there. They try hard not to piss off the grown ups.

  70. Racki says:

    bluenotenorth:
    Woodguy,

    The $19.5M in cap space not only has to fill 7 positions on the Oilers roster, but roughly 10 more vacancies on the Barons and a few 2013 draft picks. I doubt that is enough $. I suspect Horcoff is gone.

    Not sure what you mean by that having to fill 10 more vacancies on the Barons, since a player making under $900,000 in the AHL doesn’t count against the NHL salary cap.. or did I misunderstand what you mean?

    WG beat me to it, although I’m not sure what number is the correct one. I had to Google the number, but can’t say whether the site was correct or not.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jb,

    in the last week some moves:

    1) waiver attempt on Volpatti
    2) no waiver on Sestito (same player)
    3) lose a 4th, maybe a 3rd, for Gary Clark (same as above)
    4) don’t attempt on Hamrlik

    that’s a horrible series of moves/non-moves.

    1) identify the wrong problem.
    2) overpay on said problem, i.e., not only are you firing in the dark, you’re using heavy artillery
    3) fail to grasp actual NHLers who will actually help the team FOR NOTHING

  72. bookje says:

    jb:
    Wow this blogs gone off the deep end. You guys keep listening to Stauffer and enjoy the emotional BS rollercoaster.

    We didn’t pick up someone else’s trash off the waiver wire so we’ve concluded the season is done?
    The MSM moron that’s proven on too many occassions that he’s full of shit says something about Horcoff and we’ve erased his name from next years line-up..

    WTF is going on?

    Its a symptom of losing a lot of games recently – everyone loses their mind.

  73. VanOil says:

    JB, I admit that the last two games has me emotionally feeling the sky is falling. But rationally I also look to sources that I have learned about on this blog site such as http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html that list the current odds of the Oilers making the palyoffs. Tonight it is at 16.5%. So its not impossible yet but its highly unlikely. The next 3 games are Det, Nas, Chi. All teams that are likely to beat the Oilers even if they were not at the backend of a long road trip, fielding and useless 4th line and in a slump. By Sunday the odds could and probably will be much worse.

  74. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    We’re through the oh hell read this
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/03/nhl-teams-ready-to-embrace-advanced-statistics.html

    Wow, out of the darkness there is a light. Let MacT’s actions with 91 prove that it is more than words.

  75. BlacqueJacque says:

    VanOil,

    What did MacT do with Magnus?

  76. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    We’re through the oh hell read this
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/03/nhl-teams-ready-to-embrace-advanced-statistics.html

    Can someone quickly send the Vollman on Horcoff to MacT – Quick!!!

  77. Woodguy says:

    Racki: Not sure what you mean by that having to fill 10 more vacancies on the Barons, since a player making under $900,000 in the AHL doesn’t count against the NHL salary cap.. or did I misunderstand what you mean?

    WG beat me to it, although I’m not sure what number is the correct one. I had to Google the number, but can’t say whether the site was correct or not.

    I got my number here:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/lesser-known-gains-for-nhl-players-in-the-new-cba/article7029965/

    Perhaps I misunderstood and its NHL min +$375, which is close to $900K

  78. Woodguy says:

    bookje,

    I think he gets some solid stuff and other is speculation.

    You can usually tell which is which.

    Solid info doesn’t always come to fruition and I don’t think that gets much from the big corner offices.

    What;s your twitter handle?

  79. gcw_rocks says:

    bluenotenorth,

    $19M with up to 10 roles to fill (replacing or re-signing Gagner, MPS, Jones, Harti, Petrell, Whitney, Smid, Sutton, Fistric, and Khabby) for an average of $2M per. It’s not as much money as it sounds.

  80. Gret99zky says:

    Flames taking advantage of another team on the second game of a back to back. 3-1 Calgary. What the hell happened to San Jose?

  81. bluenotenorth says:

    Racki,

    Thanks for the cap education. $19.5M should be enough room for 7. If Kefbom is in the mix next year at $1.275M that leaves $18.225 for 6.

  82. VanOil says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    MacT is quoted frequently in Friedman’s article asserting that advance stats play a role in the Oilers decision making process. He gives the impression that the Oilers are quite progressive in this field. Due to some other recent quotes from MacT I am not convinced he has fully bought in to the concept.

    I believe watching how the Oilers proceed with Magnus will be a good indicator of how much advanced stats are actually influencing Oilers management decision making. There seems to be very divergent opinions on the player; some in the ‘soft euro’ crowd and those of us influenced by WG reasoned arguments. I ‘feel’ Magnus will be the litmus test for the competing schools of thought for the Oilers, though I have no stats to back this up!

  83. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    Every time I read MacT talking about advanced stats I can’t help feeling he isn’t bought in. His MBA training is likely telling him to embrace, but the hockey player inside is probably telling him its all bullshit.

  84. Racki says:

    bluenotenorth:
    Racki,

    Thanks for the cap education. $19.5M should be enough room for 7. If Kefbom is in the mix next year at $1.275M that leaves $18.225 for 6.

    No problem.. I had a pretty good handle on the last CBA, and then they had to go and change it ;)

    WG: Ya I do believe when I first heard about this change that it was NHL minimum + whatever set amount, so that makes sense.

  85. bluenotenorth says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Assuming Whitney is gone, and Klefbom replaces him, there would be about $18M for the other 6. Only Gagner and Smid have a chance at $3M+. PRV, Jones, Fistric, Petrell (or their replacements) will not see that kind of $.

  86. wheatnoil says:

    gcw_rocks:

    Every time I read MacT talking about advanced stats I can’t help feeling he isn’t bought in.His MBA training is likely telling him to embrace, but the hockey player inside is probably telling him its all bullshit.

    I don’t necessarily mind that viewpoint. I’m a fan of advanced stats, but stats only tell you part of the story. In medicine you talk about “treating the patient, not the numbers”. Obviously the numbers tell you something about the patient, but you have to put it in the context of everything else you see. I think the same is true of advanced stats. Most of the time, what I see in advanced stats matches up with what I’m seeing in the game. The times that it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean what I’m seeing is wrong or that the stats are wrong. Rather, it’s more of a “huh, that’s interesting” response and we need to take a closer look at what that means.

    So, if Oilers management thinks “You know, I think Horcoff is expendable”, what I’d like them to do is to check the stats. If the stats agree with them, great. If not (and they don’t), then the response I’d like is “Huh… that’s interesting. Am I seeing something the stats are missing or are the stats finding something that I’m not seeing?” Just going through that process would be a huge step forward and lead them to where the true benefit of statistics lie: the ability to either support what we believe or make us examine our beliefs a little more closely, hopefully making us understand what we’re seeing at a richer, more textured level.

  87. "Steve Smith" says:

    madas: What did I miss in the radio today?

    “All I’m saying is find me the successful fire department staffed largely by women – it doesn’t exist.”
    - Mark Spector, digging up

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Steve Smith”: “All I’m saying is…”

    is the new “I’m not racist but…”

  89. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: is the new “I’m not racist but…”

    No offense but…

  90. Gret99zky says:

    wheatnoil,

    Good Post. Thanks.

    Perhaps, one day, the advanced stats will help management deal with sideburns and body language.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzpk5dMhVE4

  91. wheatnoil says:

    Gret99zky:

    Good Post.Thanks.

    Perhaps, one day, the advanced stats will help management deal with sideburns and body language.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzpk5dMhVE4

    I’m sure advanced stats will one day be able to predict sideburn length. If x = sideburn length, y = number of times first off practice, z = thunderous body checks, then I imagine we could start the equation with:
    x = 2y/z (x 3 if European, unless Finnish)

    I’m sure there’s other variables, but that’s got to be a start!

  92. Ribs says:

    Great Friedman article. I love the confirmation that Bruce and the gang have a voice in the room. However small it may be.

  93. BONVIE says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Very well put.

  94. BONVIE says:

    VanOil,

    MPS is one of the few examples of a player really developing this year. His game this season has improved especially as of late you can see him really going to the net both with and without the puck. I noticed this early in the season and said he would have a break out if he continues to play this way.

  95. BlacqueJacque says:

    VanOil,

    For a team that’s “advanced” in stats, it’s a bit odd for this to be our first geekapalooza to send representatives to.

  96. sliderule says:

    I don’t think the oil will buy out anyone until after the draft.

    If oiler luck continued and we get a chance at jones there is no way they can but out Horcoff .Right?

    If they draft Monahan or Barkov they probably would think of a buy out .

    Neither of these two are ready for NHL but the oil would try to force them into the lineup to sell more hope.

  97. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy: You take the over on $65M and I’ll take the under.

    If we are talking about the 14/15 season then yes.

    Booked!!!

    Same terms as Hemsky/Brown.

    Agreed?

    Also,

    Very disappointed in 83 in the last half of last season and parts of this season.

    I thought I had a good edge with 83 playing 2nd comp since about game 60 of last year.

    Dammit.

  98. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    VanOil,

    For a team that’s “advanced” in stats, it’s a bit odd for this to be our first geekapalooza to send representatives to.

    I don’t think the Oilers are very advanced in stats.

  99. oilersfan says:

    Everything I have read is that both Barkov and Monahan are NHL ready. Monahan is being compared to Jordan Staal/Sean Couturier, and Barkov to a more skilled MIkko Koivu, sort of a M. Koivu/Joe Thornton combo.

  100. jbfuzz says:

    The Oilers are remarkably depressing for “entertainment.” Curious – if Tambellini is relieved of his duties, do things improve? Is it a Lowe or a Tambellini issue, or some combination thereof? Further question – did the Oilers interview anyone other than RK in the offseason?

  101. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: If we are talking about the 14/15 seasonthen yes.

    Booked!!!

    Same terms as Hemsky/Brown.

    Agreed?

    Also,

    Very disappointed in 83 in the last half of last season and parts of this season.

    I thought I had a good edge with 83 playing 2nd comp since about game 60 of last year.

    Dammit.

    Done.

    And Hemsky should be due for his season ending injury which I factored into my thinking.

  102. tlatos says:

    If bought out can Horcoff be re-signed at a cheaper amount or are the Oilers restricted from signing him?

  103. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy: Done.

    And Hemsky should be due for his season ending injury which I factored into my thinking.

    Me over $65MM for the cap 14/15>

    Booked!

  104. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:

    US economy isn’t coming to life, its starting to roar to life.

    Building material commodities, always the first to go up are rising daily.

    Dow Jones hit a new all time high.

    Just getting caught up on some old threads I missed and this made me laugh.

    I’ll believe the US economy is improving when:

    1. The Fed stops monetizing half of all USG debt issued and the economy doesn’t crash because of it
    2. When the economy can survive without an injection of $85B of new money every single month
    3. When the Dow Jones can hit new highs without the banks being given that $85B of new money every single month
    4. When credit card and student loan delinquencies stop rising
    5. When the US economy can build more than the 10-15000 new homes per month for the ENTIRE 350M PERSON COUNTRY it has been doing recently
    6. When the Housing Foreclosure channel is finally empty (years to go yet)
    7. When the U-6 unemployment rate can drop below 14% after adding back all the citizens that magically disappeared from the labour force over the past 5 years. And when we get jobs reports less mediocre than today’s.
    8. When real disposable incomes at the median actually recover from 1989 levels
    9. When the European sovereign debt crisis finally ends (can’t under present rules and one currency)
    10. When household consumption can return to the levels the economic capacity is based on

    That said, the NHL will probably make the level of revenue required for a $65M+ cap hit sheerly based on the Fed’s inflationary expansion of the money supply. I’m pretty sure the the numbers built into the CBA aren’t real or bench-marked dollars and some of the hot money the Fed is printing will find its way into the media and sports worlds.

    And, it is unlikely the Canadian dollar can get hammered too badly while QE4evah! remains the only game in town, while the Japs are intent on destroying their elderly, while China refuses to let their currency rise, while Carney is head of the BoE, and while Europe knows it’s devalue or destroy their grand experiment at the periphery even quicker. In a sad mercantilist world of competitive currency devaluation, the CAD, as measured against the USD, should be okay.

    A housing crash in Canada would be the one game changer, and there is not an insignificant possibility of such an event.

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