PREDATORS AT OILERS G28 (12-13) 17.3.13

The Edmonton Oilers begin the day tied for 24th in the NHL standings. They are an improved season year over year but there’s an outstanding chance to move up the overall standings and push for the second season. One hopes the organization feels a need to reward their fans for their long suffering.

I’m not sure which team needs the W more, but the Predators are having a helluva time on the road and Edmonton should not be happy with their home record. If the Oilers can win tonight and grab points from the two games this week things should look better by the weekend. That takes us to just over a week from the deadline and perhaps there’s a chance to add someone who can help now and in the future:

  • Drew Stafford is available based on reports and that’s a big winger for a skill line. He’s a $4M cap hit for the next two seasons and is having a poor year (everyone in Buffalo outside Vanek is having a poor year) but might be an interesting addition. What would he cost? Are the Oilers a better team with Hemsky-Eberle-Stafford-Yakupov than they are now?
  • Ryan Clowe is also available, he’s UFA at the end of the year and I can’t imagine the Oilers would be willing to give up anything but a draft pick for a rental. At 30, Clowe might be at the end of his time as a top 9F option (he hasn’t scored yet this season) but if the price is right Edmonton would do well to consider him.

hemsky83

If the Oilers plan on moving Yakupov to his natural position and adding to the blueline via trade, I suspect Ales Hemsky is vulnerable to trade. Is that a good idea? I don’t think it is. In terms of offense, Hemsky’s skills create an enormous number of chances for his line, and he’s certainly finding a way to impact things (mostly on the PP this year). If you look at the 5×5/60 numbers among forwards, and assume the Nuge will climb back to top 6 eventually, who are you going to move:

  1. Taylor Hall 2.60
  2. Sam Gagner 2.26
  3. Ales Hemsky 1.70
  4. Nail Yakupov 1.58
  5. Magnus Paajarvi 1.47
  6. Jordan Eberle 1.47
  7. Ryan Smyth 1.24
  8. Shawn Horcoff 1.21
  9. Lennart Petrell 0.97
  10. Ben Eager 0.89
  11. Eric Belanger 0.78
  12. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 0.76
  13. Ryan Jones 0.57

Would I deal Hemsky? No damn way. I admittedly get stubborn on players, but my list of “must keep” forwards goes like this:

  1. Hall
  2. Nuge
  3. Yakupov
  4. Hemsky
  5. Gagner
  6. Eberle
  7. Paajarvi

Yes, Paajarvi. He won’t be expensive (and the rest of that list will be, believe me) and the Oilers have suffered through the growing pains so let’s keep him around to enjoy the good times.

So, you ask, how are the Oilers going to find a big body for their top 6? Well, I think Hartikainen could help in that area and also believe we’re at a point where Taylor Hall can be considered ‘bona fide’ and no longer in need of protection (save for pre-game skate). Also, I think it is established that the cost of adding a protector who can also play hockey is so dear that it’s impossible to attain, so beyond trading for a guy like Stafford the options are limited. Better to see if Harski can fill that role methinks.

And for heaven’s sake keep Hemsky and Gagner. The wasted money won’t be on those contracts, it’ll be on the goalie they’re bringing in to push Dubnyk or some other free agent signing. If the Oilers need to unload salary, Nick Schultz is the answer not Hemsky–and I don’t think there will be a cap crunch this summer anyway.

ASK RALPH

krueger3

Today, we begin a new feature called “Ask Ralph” in which a question about the roster is asked and we get to the bottom of the coach’s thinking. Today’s question: who do you consider to be your top 6 forwards? We begin by looking at this season’s even strength time-on-ice totals (10 games or more):

  1. Jordan Eberle 15:52 (up 1.5 minutes from one year ago)
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 15:43 (up 1 minute from one year ago)
  3. Taylor Hall 15:05 (identical to one year ago)
  4. Sam Gagner 14:31 (identical to one year ago)
  5. Ales Hemsky 12:57 (down 2.5 minutes from one year ago)
  6. Nail Yakupov 11:31 (rookie)

Ryan Smyth was in last year’s top 6, he’s at 11:18 this season and that is down 3 minutes from a year ago. Ralph is running the kids, looking for goals, and he believes those #1 overalls, Gagner, Eberle and Hemsky are his best bet. The best argument for trading Hemsky is that Yakupov is going to be an impact player sooner than later (we all see it), and if he’s going to play RW the club will be dealing Eberle or Hemsky. The age of the cluster dictates Hemsky is vulnerable.

One interesting item: since Horcoff has returned, it’s the Nuge who has seen his icetime reduced. That injury is impacting him, suspect he’ll have surgery as soon as the playoff hopes fade to zero. I suspect that by the end of the season we’ll see Horcoff in or close to the top 6 in even strength minutes.

gagner8

Signing Sam Gagner (and Ladislav Smid) should be a priority for the Oilers in the coming days and weeks. Let’s assume that the club signs those two players:

  1. G Devan Dubnyk ($3.5M)
  2. backup undecided
  3. D Ladislav Smid ($4.5M)-estimate
  4. D Nick Schultz ($3.5M)
  5. D Justin Schultz ($3.775M)
  6. D Jeff Petry ($1.75M)
  7. D Oscar Klefbom ($1.275M)
  8. D Corey Potter ($775k)
  9. undecided
  10. C Shawn Horcoff ($5.5M)
  11. C Sam Gagner ($5M)-estimate
  12. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($3.775M)
  13. C Eric Belanger ($1.75M)
  14. C Anton Lander ($900k)
  15. L Taylor Hall ($6M)
  16. L Magnus Paajarvi ($2M)-estimate
  17. L Ryan Smyth ($2.25M)
  18. L Teemu Hartikainen ($1M)-estimate
  19. L Ben Eager ($1.1M)
  20. R Jordan Eberle ($6M)
  21. R Ales Hemsky ($5M)
  22. R Nail Yakupiv ($3.775M)
  23. R Mike Brown ($737k)
  • 2013-14 CAP: $64,300,000
  • Estimate above: $63,859,000
  • That would leave $441,000 for a backup goalie and a top 4D. The Oilers are going to deal someone, now or at the deadline.

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249 Responses to "PREDATORS AT OILERS G28 (12-13) 17.3.13"

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  1. leadfarmer says:

    I like Smid but if he wants more than 4 million you have to walk away. Give him between 3.5-4 mil for 5 years. Like I said before might not be a bad idea to trade schultz the elder while he is regarded as a top 4 defenseman which he is not.

  2. RexLibris says:

    Could Belanger and Smyth be moved or bought out as well, to create cap space? Smyth is a longshot given the emotional commitment the team and city have for him.

    Sadly, I think the big top 4D that the organization will “acquire” will be bringing in Klefbom straight to the NHL after spending a year rehab-ing an injury.

  3. RMGS says:

    Can I nominate another question for Ralph?

    Why play Mike Brown (or Lennart Petrell) on your second forward unit facing PAVEL DATSYUK when the game is on the line?

  4. BlacqueJacque says:

    We are rapidly approaching the point where Tambellini has to have a decision made for him by Lowe as to whether we tank or not. Even though playoffs are way out of the question (we’d need to go 14-6-1 the rest of the season to get to the expected 55-point cutoff), I think we should only sell those we know we will not be here next year. Whitney is pretty likely to go, Belanger maybe – but only if the Oilers have solid, proven upgrades available. I like Lander and all that, but I’m not sure he’s a better 4th line pivot quite yet.

    For the right price, it may even be time to buy at the deadline.

    So for all intents and purposes, the rest of the season is more or less meaningless. Dropping in standings results in a better pick. Winning results in shedding the stench of failure.

  5. Ray says:

    LT, how are you getting to that cap hit on the ELC guys?

    I’ve seen places that mention bonuses not being included in the cap calculations but the $2.85M you use would only include some of the bonus levels not all.

  6. meanashell11 says:

    Smid needs to be resigned. If not, try to replace him with the crop of UFA’s and you soon see there are no better, cheaper options. I would try to get the AAV down by giving him term. I don’t think 5 years, 20mm is too much. If you can get him slightly cheaper ok but it is imperative that we resign him.

    Same goes for Sam.

    To seriously upgrade the D I think Shultz the elder and Hemmer are the price to be paid. As much as I love Hemmer, his skills are more easily replaced internally.

  7. Gino says:

    Player bonuses as I understand don’t count against the cap in the new CBA
    Nuge, Yak and Schultz at 2.85 bonuses x 3 = 8.55m
    Your above estimate : $60,587,000 – 8.55 = $52,032,000 this gives the Oil lots of cap space.

  8. steveb12344 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    You know with a win tonight we will wake up in tenth place tomorrow, just 2 pts back of 8th with 20 games left.

    I’d say playoffs are not exactly out of the question yet.

  9. gcw_rocks says:

    If you want an impactplayer to come to Edmonton you either have to trade this years’ 1st round pick or an good player. Unless OEL, Dougie, or Pietrangelo is coming back the other way I don’t think the Oilers should be trading that pick. Which means you likely have to be prepared to mve someone off the do not trade list. Assuming the plan is to draft a centre, you are looking at trading one of RNH, Gagner, Hemsky, Eberle, or Yakupov. I think its inevitable one of them goes.

    When cap space is factored in, I think MPS has played his way off the trade list.

  10. denny33 says:

    LT-that is a long list of players you would not trade.

    Nick Schultz is turning 31 this summer and is a team worst minus player. He appears to be on a steep decline for foot speed. When the Gilbert took place I thought it was a sideways move. After this year, I am not so sure about this deal…..I suspect the rest of the league sees Nick for what he is…

    If we expect ST to make a significant move in changing the composition of this team, we probably have to give him more chips to work with…

    I and the rest of the league are waiting for a significant move from the oilers.

  11. DBO says:

    Good post LT. Like your thinking on the roster. There are a few money savings things we can do quite easily.

    1- mentioned by Ray, but I think ELC bonuses are not counted the next few years of the CBA (just the 1st and last year of the CBA do they count against the cap) so Yak and Nuge will only have $.875k or so to count. Frees up another $4 mill.

    2 – Belanger can go bye bye. Either Lander, or an Adam Hall type (or Adam Hall for free, you know, easy moves) better fits this role and saves us more then $1 million.
    - those 2 moves/issues gives us close to $8 million in cap space. Lots of money to add a back up goalie, an upgrade on Potter (please upgrade him, he is an AHL player), and still have room to make a move to add a 1LD and a 2/3 LW with size.

    3 – Harsky’s not ready for top 9 minutes (by eye) and is not near skilled enough yet to play with Nuge and Eberle, so adding a Penner, Clowe or maybe Stafford on a trade is a good option if it is no more then a 2 year deal. Our cap issues start to happen in 2 years (if they do not buy out Horcoff and do re sign Hemsky), so next year is not an issue. I wonder (for those scared of a commitment to Clowe) if a 1 year overpay like Semin in Carolina makes sense. Gives him 1 year to see if he fits and you can sell him on it in order to drive his price up on a longer term deal by playing with Nuge and Eberle. He bridges the gap to Harsky becoming an impact player.

    4 – the biggest issue is 1 LD. Maybe Shultz the elder along with a draft pick and prospect may get us that player. I pray they do not count on Klefbom next year (AHL please). I expect them to sign Whitney (msm messages and posts seems to lean this way), so if he is our 3 LD, then 1 LD is needed. Keep Fistric for 6/7 D, send Potter back to the AHL and upgrade him from the UFA vets out there who are a clear upgrade on Potter, and do the magical 3 for 1 deal to add the last piece for the top D pairing.

  12. godot10 says:

    Horcoff is $5.5 on the cap.
    Nugent-Hopkins, Justin Schultz, and Nail Yakupov $3.775.

    Things I think:
    1) The Oilers will bring Fistric back.
    2) The team can really only afford to pay one of Gagner or Hemsky. Justin Schultz has to get one of those franchise contracts after next season. One gets traded for a D. If it is me, I keep Gagner, and trade Hemsky. I’m not as sentimental as most people. This is where one has to channel their inner Belichek. One has to look beyond just next year in looking at salaries and do a medium term chart.
    3) The Oilers will probably use a compliance buyout on Eager to get the contract back. They might have to save one for after next season for Horcoff. Right now Nugent-Hopkins is headed for a 2-year transitional contract, but if he goes supernova next year, then he gets one of those franchise contracts after next season too. Ditto Dubnyk. Ditto Petry.

    In two years potentially,
    Hall $6, Eberle $6, Schultz $5.5, Nugent-Hopkins $5.5, Gagner $5, Petry $5, Dubnyk $4.5, Smid (or replacement) $4. Yakupov (basically) $4

    9 players, $46.5 million

    Add 3 more D, $9.5 million

    4th line, 3 press box players, $6 million

    And one is at $56 million with still 4 forwards to pay (third line and one top 6), with a cap around $65 million.

    No way Hemsky fits.

  13. Henry says:

    This club has provided plenty of evidence that they aren’t ready to face tough comp and win without Horc. Can Eberle and Yakupov do it without Hemmer?

  14. Gino says:

    Whatever you give Smid we will have Petry asking for the same in the near future. You have to say to yourself are you comfortable with your top 3 being J.Schultz, Smid and Petry as your top 3. Thats not a very scary top 3.

  15. FPB94 says:

    I would trade RNH days before trading Hemsky.

    Not necessarily because I believe he’s a better player, but RNH will get you a king’s ransom; Ales Hemsky won’t, and it seems with the emergence of Gagner the Oilers could spare a kid, even if it’s generally a bad idea, I wouldn’t be against trading RNH for a bonafide defenseman at the same age.

  16. Gino says:

    FPB94,

    Did you just say you what I think you said?

  17. godot10 says:

    DBO:

    1- mentioned by Ray, but I think ELC bonuses are not counted the next few years of the CBA (just the 1st and last year of the CBA do they count against the cap) so Yak and Nuge will only have $.875k or so to count. Frees up another $4 mill.

    This is a wrongheaded idea.

    Only a contending team should consider not budgeting for a player earning their performance bonuses in the current year.

    If a player earns their bonuses, and you have not budgeted for them in the current year, they will screw up you available cap space the following year.

    One should only fiddle with the performance bonus buffer if one is a true contending team in hot pursuit, and going all-in in the current season.

  18. Lowetide says:

    I’ve fixed the original number, still a little wonky on Klefbom but will attack later when I get a chance.

  19. Gret99zky says:

    TBH, I don’t expect much movement at the deadline. Tambi isn’t comfortable making meaningful trades. He likes our chances next year when the kids are a year older and a couple more rookies in the lineup fill the holes. (Klefbom, Draft pick)

    I expect it won’t be long before Horcoff’s TOI increases into the top 3 basically making him, again, our #1 C.

    As far as playoffs, some would suggest we are one loss away from being in the Western basement. And some will suggest we are only 6 points (3 wins) from being tied with Minny for the Northwest Division lead, placing us 3 overall in the West.

    So we are either going to finish last, limp into the playoffs at #8, or win the division and have a comfy home ice advantage during the post season. I think that’s the way Tambi sees it. Other teams be damned.

  20. DBO says:

    godot10,

    you misunderstood me. They will prob hit their bonuses in dollars, but they do not count against the cap in middle CBA years. So while they may be paid $3.75 mill, their cap hit will stay at the rookie annual max (which is I think $.875 k or so). So that cap space is good to use.

    i’m pretty sure that is how it works, and that is why entry level players are so valuable to a team in a cap world.

  21. Gino says:

    So Lowtide Whitney is as good as gone by the trade deadline or isn’t re-signed.

  22. Gret99zky says:

    FPB94:
    I would trade RNH days before trading Hemsky.

    Not necessarily because I believe he’s a better player, but RNHwill get you a king’s ransom; Ales Hemsky won’t, and it seems with the emergence of Gagner the Oilers could spare a kid, even if it’s generally a bad idea, I wouldn’t be against trading RNH for a bonafide defenseman at the same age.

    I can’t imagine the prescription my doctor would put me on if I went in with this.

  23. hags9k says:

    If we are definitely sellers… Schultz and Hemsky for Dougie Hamilton. Doubt BOS could take on that much cash but maybe there is a deal out there for a nice young D. It is quite tough to see how Hemsky and his money fit past next year.

    Oh and trading Nuge is crazy talk.

  24. MrSmitty says:

    FPB94: I would trade RNH days before trading Hemsky.Not necessarily because I believe he’s a better player, but RNH will get you a king’s ransom; Ales Hemsky won’t, and it seems with the emergence of Gagner the Oilers could spare a kid, even if it’s generally a bad idea, I wouldn’t be against trading RNH for a bonafide defenseman at the same age.

    RNH and Hall are the only two absolutely I wouldn’t trade for anybody. If the other assets can’t get you what you need then you don’t do the trade.

  25. BlacqueJacque says:

    steveb12344,

    If we win tonight, we still need to go 13-6-1.

    That means that not only do we have to string two-game winning streaks after every loss, but at one point we must do what we haven’t done before – achieved a 3-game winning streak.

  26. godot10 says:

    DBO:
    godot10,

    you misunderstood me. They will prob hit their bonuses in dollars, but they do not count against the cap in middle CBA years. So while they may be paid $3.75 mill, their cap hit will stay at the rookie annual max (which is I think $.875 k or so). So that cap space is good to use.

    i’m pretty sure that is how it works, and that is why entry level players are so valuable to a team in a cap world.

    Where in the NHL CBA MOU does it say that performance bonuses don’t count against the cap if earned?

    Those performance bonuses aren’t applicable in two years anyway. One should budget for two years (the medium term) from now anyways, not for next season.

    Anyone that one signs for next season is going to affect the salary room for more than next season, so it is the medium term impact that is critical, not next season.

    The Oilers have offer sheetable players in Nugent-Hopkins and Justin Schultz and Nail Yakupov. The Oilers have to maintain a lot of cap flexibility two and three years out.

    And that is why both Hemsky and Gagner are NOT possible, IMHO. It is one or the other.

  27. jimbones100 says:

    Trade Eberle before Hemsky LT? I would have never considered that. What about the friendship he has with Hall?

  28. PerryK says:

    I think that we would be best to get rid of Hemsky RW (hate to see him go, but you have to cut that tie at some point!) and Eager LW and replace them with Penner on LW and Stafford on RW. About the same amount of money. And they are both available.

    It would make for a significantly more balanced roster and both of the new acquisitions have scored 30 before. Defensively they are both better.

    I am not certain that ST can pull this off, but one can dream!

  29. steveb12344 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I realize that winning tonight in not a given. Though Nash has been reeling, and with the tough loss to Det. still stinging. They have a pretty good chance.

    If they do win, as I said. They will be in 10th place, 2 pts back of 8th. Now i’m not saying it will be easy, or that they will make it. But in what world, with 20 games left would you consider making it to be “way out of the question”?

    Either way, as long as they don’t start blowing it right away, then the games can potentially be meaningful right down to the wire. Isn’t that all most of us were hoping for anyways?

  30. FPB94 says:

    MrSmitty,

    Why wouldn’t you? With Hemsky it seems the best you’ll get is probably some second pairing guy or some unhappy camper.

    My arguement is this: It’ll be hard/very hard to get 100 cents on the dollar for Hemsky, while RNH’s value is as it’s peak, and you know you’ll get more then what he’s worth.

    His shot seems to be very erratic and his game PP dependent. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think he’ll be a bad player, at all. I’m just not convinced he has the shot to ever break the value that he has right now.

    (Also you can get a primetime defender + )

  31. BlacqueJacque says:

    steveb12344,

    Yeah, I’d say a 10% chance to make the playoffs is way out of the question. Within the realm of possibility, but not likely and in fact significantly unlikely.

    Moreover, these Oilers have consistently shown that they’re not good enough. They’ve improved since the start of the season but have yet to win three in a row, have yet to establish scoring 5v5, have slipped on the power play, and are about as inconsistent as you’d expect a young team to be.

  32. ASkoreyko says:

    FPB94:
    I would trade RNH days before trading Hemsky.

    Not necessarily because I believe he’s a better player, but RNHwill get you a king’s ransom; Ales Hemsky won’t, and it seems with the emergence of Gagner the Oilers could spare a kid, even if it’s generally a bad idea, I wouldn’t be against trading RNH for a bonafide defenseman at the same age.

    Why do you hate RNH? First you wouldn’t draft him because he was going to be a bust (low Goals per Game!!!) and now you want to trade one of our only centres because we could get a good return?

    Generally when you get a good return on something it is because it is valuable, both to you and the other team. I don’t like the efficiency rating on trading from an area of need to address another area of need. To many ways it can backfire and it would require the Oilers GM to be the smartest guy on the phone, it doesn’t look promising.

    But seriously I couldn’t even imagine how bad the optics would look on that trade, even if you got back OEL.

    Just out of curiosity FPB94, what is your list of Dmen you would take for RNH?

  33. jp says:

    MrSmitty: RNH and Hall are the only two absolutely I wouldn’t trade for anybody.If the other assets can’t get you what you need then you don’t do the trade.

    I agree 100%. RNH has a chance to be Datsyuk. Aside from that, long term center depth is non-existent (worse than long-term D depth).

  34. FPB94 says:

    ASkoreyko,

    Hey hey there. I’m not advising against trading him for a pair of shoes. Only the very best would fetch him. Here’s a shortlist (guys like Karlsson who’ll never be traded aren’t included, also marked with a + guys i’d demand something else)

    I’m not advocating to trade him for a shinebox, only I think he’s one of our only ways of getting a true franchise defenseman.

    P.K Subban +
    Kevin Shattenkirk +
    Alex Pietrangelo
    Oliver Ekman-Larsson
    Shea Weber
    Slava Voynov ++
    Dan Hamhuis +
    Victor Hedman +
    Tobias Enstrom +
    John Carlson ++
    Dougie Hamilton ++
    Ryan Mcdonagh +

    All the (++) have to come with a capable center and 1st round draft choices / equivalents.

  35. Gret99zky says:

    FPB94,

    I trade Eberle before RNH. The Nuge is a center, he is better on the PP, and more responsible defensively. Ebs is likely hurt but his unsustainable is becoming just that.

    Just trade Hemsky. Manifest Destiny has him settling in Detroit and a Stanley.

  36. FPB94 says:

    Gret99zky,

    If Eberle has equal value then go. I’m just not convinced. And I know Hemsky (With this terrible management) will probably get a poo poo platter like Robyn Rheghr a 3rd round pick and Marek Zagrapan.

  37. DBO says:

    godot10,

    Was sure I had heard that. if not, obviously it means they should be more careful. That’s also why I wondered if a 1 yr overpay would work in order to bridge the gap between young and old. Add a better 2LW to play with Nuge and Eberle and this team suddenly has depth.

    Hall-Horc-Hemsky
    Clowe-Nuge-Eberle
    Paajarvi-Gagner-Yakupov
    Smyth-Lander-Brown/Harsky

    That is a solid lineup, size on all lines and some grit while still having 3 scoring lines. Clowe may be declining, but he still hits, fights and can chip in. he would be a better fit then Harsky, and on a one year deal there is no risk as if we are out of it he can be dealt, it does not hinder our cap in 2014 (thereby allowing us to ensure no RFA offers to Shultz and Nuge), and if he rebounds we are prob in the playoffs. And we have first shot to re-sign him if he fits. If not, no worries, with Clowe, Hemsky, Shultz the elder coming off the cap and the option of buying out Horcoff we will have a ton of cap space available.

  38. BlacqueJacque says:

    If you guys aren’t watching Boston-Pittsburgh, you can’t call yourselves hockey fans. :)

    Look at that Crosby kid. What a bust. So much talent, but too small for the NHL. 5’10 and 200lbs.

  39. FPB94 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    That’s like if i would be saying gotta watch the Dys vs Flames.

    I can’t be happy about that game, I want both of them to lose.

    I could be happy if only Matt Cooke, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Brooks Orpkin would crash together and all injure themselves for the season.

  40. DBO says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Conference final preview. If we want to be a playoff calibre team, the intensity in this game is what we need every game. Don’t need monsters on the ice, but fight, grit, effort, etc. makes us play bigger then we are. That is a big reason I hope they keep both Gagner and Smid. Both bring it pretty much every game.

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    FPB94:
    I would trade RNH days before trading Hemsky.

    That’s about the worst idea possible. With zero reasoning for it to happen. Even Oiler management isn’t that dumb.

    I think

  42. cabbiesmacker says:

    So we shouldn’t trade anyone on the team other than the trash nobody else would want. This is Oiler managements plan.

    We’ll just wait until the kids are mature enough to drive the victory bus. Of course we won’t be able to afford them all when that time comes but what the heck. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

  43. rickithebear says:

    FPB94:
    I would trade RNH days before trading Hemsky.

    Not necessarily because I believe he’s a better player, but RNHwill get you a king’s ransom; Ales Hemsky won’t, and it seems with the emergence of Gagner the Oilers could spare a kid, even if it’s generally a bad idea, I wouldn’t be against trading RNH for a bonafide defenseman at the same age.

    Whileinteresting Bravado.

    RNH is 8 seasons from starting peak player period of 27-31
    with the average speed of the game were irt is 32-36 will be the 335-38 years of post o4 lockout.

    So hemsky has 2-3 more seasoms before the decline.
    RNH has 13 years before the decline starts.

    You might want to think what bubbles in the system and could cover current assets.

  44. geeker99 says:

    That’s right, let’s trade our best center before he hits puberty. Hemmer goes before Nuge. I agree that eberle goes before Nuge.

  45. jp says:

    LT:
    “Ryan Clowe is also available, he’s UFA at the end of the year and I can’t imagine the Oilers would be willing to give up anything but a draft pick for a rental. At 30, Clowe might be at the end of his time as a top 9F option (he hasn’t scored yet this season) but if the price is right Edmonton would do well to consider him.”

    I’ve seen the idea that Clowe is done or in steep decline thrown around quite a bit lately. I believe I’ve seen it said he’s been declining for years. Obviously he’s having a terrible season this year, but is there any evidence that his play was in decline prior to that (aside from his boxcars being down in 11-12 relative to his career year in 10-11)? I suspect it’s been discussed here already, but if so I missed it.

    The guy is only 30 years old. Some numbers from 2008-09 to present season.

    1st column: Shots per game
    2nd column: QoC (rank among Sharks forwards with >40GP or >10GP this year – 1st is most difficult)
    3rd column: CorsiRel (actual number and rank among Sharks Fs)

    2008-09 2.27 4/13 4.5 (6/13)
    2009-10 2.30 6/12 4.9 (6/12)
    2010-11 2.47 9/12 13.5 (1/12)
    2011-12 2.37 5/12 2.2 (6/12)
    2012-13 2.36 12/14 4.9 (6/14)

    Shots have stayed very stable. CorsiRel has been positive and 6th among Sharks Fs every year except 10-11, when he faced weaker competition. Faced 2nd line competition except for 10-11 and this season. Should have been better against very weak competition this season, but looks to me like a player who’s very likely to rebound and start scoring again.

    He’s an upgrade over Harski or Smyth in the top 6, and he might well have a bunch of miles left in him yet. I’d love to see the Oilers give him a shot if the price isn’t too crazy.

  46. Hayek says:

    Smid @ 4M being a good deal? So this deal would put his salary among top 50 defenders in the NHL. That would be terrible! Schultz at $3.5M is bad, Smid at anything above $3M will be regretted.

  47. justDOit says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    If you guys aren’t watching Boston-Pittsburgh, you can’t call yourselves hockey fans.

    Look at that Crosby kid.What a bust.So much talent, but too small for the NHL.5’10 and 200lbs.

    And all those injury problems – pass!

  48. justDOit says:

    As heartbreaking as that loss was to Detroit, it was equally enjoyable to watch them disassemble the Dys ( and don’t even know what Dys means).

  49. VanOil says:

    This post has lifted my spirits. I hope Oilers heed the advice and keep the talent and trade the trash. I normally watch the opposing team coverage and every single opposing team broadcast starts with them praising the Oilers young talent. So keep it. What we lack is experienced talent that can play with them. Only Hemsky and Horcoff can do so now that Smyth odometer has run out. So keep them. I also firmly agree with LT “I think it is established that the cost of adding a protector who can also play hockey is so dear that it’s impossible to attain” So don’t bother. I also think this apply’s to a top pairing defenseman. Hopefully Brown has satisfied the emasculation the Oilers brass were feeling having a skilled team and we will no longer chase grit above all else.

    Given that we have the cap room to add some free agents as pointed out above this team can be better next year. Plus, another year of seasoning and give or take a Nuge shoulder they could be a lot better. I would spend the 9 million odd LT has identified (i think the odd million could also be freed up from clearing out some deadwood at the bottom) by adding a Backup G $2.5M, #4D $3.5M and 3M on a player like Penner or a Belanger replacement/upgrade. I know opinion is divided on Penner, and MacT hates him, but a team with Penner as a 3d line winger is a good team.

    I am less optimistic about the rest of this year. As much as I want the kids to get used to playing meaningful games if Nuge needs a should fixed. The sooner the better.

  50. justDOit says:

    steveb12344:
    BlacqueJacque,

    You know with a win tonight we will wake up in tenth place tomorrow, just 2 pts back of 8th with 20 games left.

    I’d say playoffs are not exactly out of the question yet.

    As has been pointed out here and on ON, this ‘only x points back’ argument is deceiving. What you have to look at is points required to secure 8th (about 56 or 57), and the winning percentage required by the Oilers to get that, which is roughly 0.75. Win 3, lose 1 – for the remaining games, and they might be in. Doesn’t look good, but that’s why they play the games.

  51. DBO says:

    Target teams who need something even our trash brings. Belanger is very good at 2 things – faceoffs and the PK. Always valuable to a team in the playoffs. The issue of course is the extra year on his deal. however, a team like Boston may consider him since they lost Kelly and need an upgrade at 3/4 C. They are also a team that could shelter Ryan Whitney (Boston kid) and allow him to help on their PP. Both could be moved together and we could get a solid prospect and a 3rd rd or even a 2nd rd pick. Chicago is another team that has mentioned needing a vet centre who can win faceoffs and kill penalties. I truly hope Tambo is on the phone trying to get anything at all.

    Petrell is good at only one thing, the PK. Someone may want him, but I expect we’ll keep him and hopefully not sign him this summer. With Harsky and Paajarvi having to pass through waivers next year, they are up with the club the whole year so clearing space is needed (not to mention contracts).

  52. SK Oiler Fan says:

    When is the last time Tambolowe were clear winners in a trade or made a UFA signing that clearly upgraded the team (besides J Schultz)? They’re Islanders West until there’s change at the top and any rational trade ideas are pointless

  53. Captain Happy says:

    Vancouver kicks off the signings of NCAA free agents by inking Kellen Lain:

    “His main asset is his physical game, at 6′6′’ 222 not only is he tall and strong but tough as well. He’s a big center who can win battles and make opposing defensemen aware of his presence on the ice. He also skates at a decent level for a man his size. Lain doesn’t have a whole lot of offensive upside, notching 39 points over 108 NCAA games, but he does have some defensive value and I think he can stay at center at the pro level. He actually led Lake Superior in face off % this season, winning 56% of his 571 draws. (Hockey Prospectus)”

    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2013/03/16/canucks-sign-college-free-agent-kellan-lain-hulking-centre-and-batman-fan/

  54. steveb12344 says:

    justDOit,

    All I ask for is a sniff of a playoff race. Something we havn’t had in 4 years now. Regardless what your crazy gorilla math tells you, a win tonight and we are in the race.

    I’d be thrilled if we are still in it 10-12 games from now, and whether they make it or not, at least it will me much better than ELPH!

  55. justDOit says:

    steveb12344,

    I’m with you, from an emotional standpoint, but rational me says ‘steep climb’.

  56. "Steve Smith" says:

    justDOit: ( and don’t even know what Dys means).

    It’s short for “dynasties”, a reference to their years of unchallenged dominance and multiple Stanley Cup wins. I think maybe it’s a Dennis-ism, but I can’t remember for sure.

  57. justDOit says:

    Interesting segment on CBCs Hotstove Tonight last night. Friedmann talked about how all the GMs have been complaining about asking prices for players being extremely high, therefore squashing the trade market. They point to how close all the teams are in the west as the reason behind the prices. I believe he also mentioned that Van had been looking for center depth, but wouldn’t pay the price.

    So I should probably give McTambelLowson a break in that regard, but there’s absolutely no excuse for clogging up the 50 contract list with things like Hordichuck.

  58. rickithebear says:

    By results and comp
    our top 6 is

    hall-horc-Hemsky
    Mp-Gagner-XXX

    Bowman talks about offensive pairs.

    Since day 1
    ihave said
    Hall-Horc-XXX
    Smyth-Gagner-XXX
    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    MP has supplanted Smyth as a pair with Gagner.

  59. justDOit says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Thx for that. About the only thing I could think of, was it stood for ‘dysfunction’ in regards to their Cup final appearances.

  60. Ryan says:

    Wouldn’t a better questions be:

    When was the last time that Tambolowe made a trade or UFA signing that didn’t clearly downgrade the team?

    SK Oiler Fan:
    When is the last time Tambolowe were clear winners in a trade or made a UFA signing that clearly upgraded the team (besides J Schultz)? They’re Islanders West until there’s change at the top and any rational trade ideas are pointless

  61. OilClog says:

    Trading Hemsky was ridiculous last year, and even more ridiculous this season. Hemsky is our clear #1RW option, Ebs is good but come on.. He can’t push it like Hemsky does. Trading Hemsky will not improve this team, franchise, or fanbase relations. They will never get anywhere near equal return for him, it’s ludacris to continue to think trading Hemsky makes sense.

    A good GM can get Stafford out of Buffalo without selling any of the important “now” pieces to the team. Higher end prospects and draft picks will land you Stafford if you go about it right, Oilers don’t need to be eliminating the current forward pieces in the top 9 to improve the forwards ranks. Good to great GM’s would be able to add to this cluster without subtracting the pieces that are in place.

    10,4,83
    89,91,64
    93,Stafford,14
    XXX,94,13 … A real 4th center would be huge going forward.

    5,2
    XXX,19
    Reghier(sp?), Fistric

    If I’m doing a big WOW trade with Buffalo contrary to what I’ve said, it might for me look something like this..

    Stafford, Grigrenko, Reghier in exchange for Gagner, Whitney, Schultz sr, 2nd.

    Yakupov and Grig could be a ridiclous combo as a 2nd line unit behind Hall and Company. I know replacing Gagner with Grig would set us back a season.. but if we had a GM that knew how to bridge gaps, it’d be fine.

  62. steveb12344 says:

    justDOit,

    Of course it’s a steep climb. As it is for just about everyone else too.

    My point is not the chance of making it, but the chance of being in the race and playing meaningful games.

    A win tonight will put the standings as follows…

    3: Min. 32pts.
    4:St. L. 34 pts
    5: Det. 33 pts
    6:L.A. 32 pts
    7: Van. 32 pts
    8: S.J. 30 pts
    9:Phx 30 pts
    10: Edm. 28 pts…. 2 other teams tied with 28 but we have games in hand.

    Now, you tell me how this could be construed as anything other than “being in the playoff race”?

  63. Lois Lowe says:

    Hayek:
    Smid @ 4M being a good deal?So this deal would put his salary among top 50 defenders in the NHL.That would be terrible!Schultz at $3.5M is bad, Smid at anything above $3M will be regretted.

    What is Smid’s replacement cost if the Oilers don’t re-sign him though? Who steps into his minutes? Do the Oilers get that player via free agency or the trade market?

  64. Lowetide says:

    Dave Molinari from Pittsburgh Gazette mentions THREE Oiler defensemen as deadline possibilities:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/penguins/on-the-penguins-17-shopping-days-remain-679687/

  65. Captain Happy says:

    steveb12344:
    justDOit,

    Of course it’s a steep climb. As it is for just about everyone else too.

    My point is not the chance of making it, but the chance of being in the race and playing meaningful games.

    A win tonight will put the standings as follows…

    3: Min. 32pts.
    4:St. L. 34 pts
    5: Det. 33 pts
    6:L.A. 32 pts
    7: Van. 32 pts
    8: S.J. 30 pts
    9:Phx 30 pts
    10: Edm. 28 pts…. 2 other teams tied with 28 but we have games in hand.

    Now, you tell me how this could be construed as anything other than “being in the playoff race”?

    You could argue the 12th horse in a 14 horse race is “in the race” but your horse has to have enough kick down the back stretch to finish ahead of a lot of other horses.

    If the Oilers win tonight, they may be only 2 points out of 8th but, while they wait to play again on Wednesday, the following will occur.

    CAL@DAL

    CHI@COL

    MIN@VCR

    SJS@ANA

    PHX@LAK

    NSH@CLB

    STL@VCR

    PHX@LAK

    MIN@DET

    DAL@COL

    CHI@ANA

    Someone is going to win those games and more than a few are likely to be 3 point games.

    So, theoretically, even if the Oilers win tonight, by Wednesday they could be further back from the playoffs than they are right now.

    If the Oilers were to win their next 3 in regulation, (NSH, STL, NSH) they would have 31 points but still wouldn’t be in a playoff position.

  66. speeds says:

    LT: all of 19, 93, and 64 have cap hits of 3.775 mil, and the bonuses count against the cap. EDM couls spend above the cap with the bonus overage, but that is a limited overage.

  67. speeds says:

    Do you agree it makes sense to look at trading all 3 of those guys if they can’t get them signed to extensions?

  68. justDOit says:

    steveb12344,

    I’m not saying they’re out of the playoff race at this point, but merely trying to point out the reality behind the race. If we go back to the Chicago game, they are 2-0-1, meaning that if they get another Bettpoint tonight, they’re still on a pace of 0.75 over those four games (6 points out of a possible 8). But it’s also important to realize that the projection of 56 or 57 points to get in is only an estimate – it could go higher!

    Let me ask you, as a rational fan: Do you really think this team is ready to go on a ‘win 3, lose 1′ pace for the next 20 some games? Because that’s what it will take to really be in the race.

    Yes, playing meaningful games down the stretch is a good thing for this team, and so is the fact that 13 of the last 21 games are on home ice. If they don’t turn around their current home ice record of 4-4-3 though, the games won’t mean much soon.

  69. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    OMGOMGOMGOGMGOMG. Cant wait to see the numbers he puts up in the AHL.

  70. loosemoose says:

    RNH is worth a king’s ransom because he is a King. You don’t trade those guys. That’s like saying Detroit should trade Datsyuk to offset the loss of Lidstrom….makes no sense.

  71. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    LT: all of 19, 93, and 64 have cap hits of 3.775 mil, and the bonuses count against the cap.EDM couls spend above the cap with the bonus overage, but that is a limited overage.

    they COUNT against the cap? I thought they didn’t. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

  72. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Do you agree it makes sense to look at trading all 3 of those guys if they can’t get them signed to extensions?

    Yes. Absolutely. I think the Oilers could probably deal Smid for a useful defenseman they could include in their top 6 next season, and then get picks for Whitney and Fistric.

  73. Captain Happy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Captain Happy,

    OMGOMGOMGOGMGOMG.Cant wait to see the numbers he puts up in the AHL.

    Looks like a good bet to become a 3rd line centre and cost absolutely nothing except an AHL deal.

    It’s what smart GM’s do.

  74. speeds says:

    Lowetide: Yes. Absolutely. I think the Oilers could probably deal Smid for a useful defenseman they could include in their top 6 next season, and then get picks for Whitney and Fistric.

    Lowetide: The Edmonton Oilers begin the day tied for 24th in the NHL standings. They are an improved season year over year but there’s an outstanding chance to move up the overall standings and push for the second season. One hopes the organization feels a need to reward their fans for their long suffering.

    This is kind of off topic:

    I know many are looking anxiously for a day when the team is competing, but you can’t* force it. It’s easy to be frustrated with how long the rebuild is taking, and to note that there will come a time when EDM should be looking to add, but that doesn’t mean that time is now.

    This deadline is potentially an opportunity for EDM to really clean things out for next season, and as much fun as the playoffs would be you can’t will that to happen.

    Moving as many of 28, 20, 55, 16, 37, 44, 24, 45, 6, 35 as possible isn’t exactly going for it, but doesn’t really kill your team this season (let’s face it, if they make the playoffs it likely won’t be due to these players – even the call ups that would replace them aren’t generally likely to be an enormous downgrade) and puts you in a way better position going forward. If it does cost you a couple points in the standings, well, not the end of the world if you’re going to miss the playoffs anyways – that only matters if the lost points cost you the playoffs.

    They won’t know for sure if that will be the case by the deadline, but they’ll be in a better position to assess.

    * shouldn’t

  75. Clay says:

    Lowetide: they COUNT against the cap? I thought they didn’t. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

    I’ve been hearing all along that the bonuses DON’T count against the cap. That sure makes a helluva difference.

    No way Smid is worth $4.5M. I understand that he may get such an offer on the open market because dmen are in high demand these days, but that’s a cap-busting number for a guy who is a decent shut down guy but only adds ~ 10 points per year.

    I’d rather have Fistric at ~ $1.75M than Smid at ~ $4.5M.

  76. speeds says:

    Lowetide,

    they don’t count against the floor, they do count against the cap

  77. Lowetide says:

    speeds: I agree, but the Oilers are not an organization that makes those kinds of forward thinking moves. I suspect it’ll be Whitney for a 4th at the deadline, and they’ll re-sign Jones or some damn thing.

  78. Woodguy says:

    You don’t have to lose Hemsky for cap reasons.

    The Oilers are not in trouble next year and the year after it will be near or at $70MM

    He’ll be 31 at the start of the 14/15 season.

    Its not unreasonable to offer Hemsky a tailing contract.

    Figure out how long he wants to play and put in a tail.

    Ask him to take less than his going rate in exchange for a NMC for 3 years.

    Its very probable that he wants to stay in Edmonton and would agree to these terms.

    You could probably get him for a caphit of less than $4MM

    Its well known that Hemsky doesn’t want to leave Edmonton.

    By the time his next contract starts he would have made over $35MM in his NHL career he’s a not a guys who spends a lot of money, so I don’t know that it means that much to him.

    I think he’d do it.

    Get good players, keep good players.

  79. pboy says:

    David Krejci and Kris Letang both left the ice in pain for their respective teams today. Possible landing spots for Belanger and Whitney if either of the above are out for a significant period of time. Whitney would be a good pickup for the Pens but I assume every team in the league has noticed how far Belanger’s game has slipped.

  80. Woodguy says:

    speeds,

    This deadline is potentially an opportunity for EDM to really clean things out for next season, and as much fun as the playoffs would be you can’t will that to happen.

    Agreed 100%.

    Remember when Tambellini cleaned out Lowe’s chaff of Staios, Moreau etc.

    Now Tambellini has a long list of sub-replacement players to clear out again.

    Except this time he’s the one who signed them.

    The list is much longer this time than last time.

    Great job Steve!!

  81. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    You don’t have to lose Hemsky for cap reasons.

    The Oilers are not in trouble next year and the year after it will be near or at $70MM

    He’ll be 31 at the start of the 14/15 season.

    Its not unreasonable to offer Hemsky a tailing contract.

    Figure out how long he wants to play and put in a tail.

    Ask him to take less than his going rate in exchange for a NMC for 3 years.

    Its very probable that he wants to stay in Edmonton and would agree to these terms.

    You could probably get him for a caphit of less than $4MM

    Its well known that Hemsky doesn’t want to leave Edmonton.

    By the time his next contract starts he would have made over $35MM in his NHL career he’s a not a guys who spends a lot of money, so I don’t know that it means that much to him.

    I think he’d do it.

    Get good players, keep good players.

    This team is going to crush you by the end of the decade. :-)

  82. Woodguy says:

    Clay,

    No way Smid is worth $4.5M. I understand that he may get such an offer on the open market because dmen are in high demand these days, but that’s a cap-busting number for a guy who is a decent shut down guy but only adds ~ 10 points per year.

    Agreed.

    I have no idea what Smid’s camp is asking for, but paying a Dman who brings no offense over $3.5MM is not good and should not be done.

    Smid is a Scuderi ($3.5), Tallinder ($3.375), Oduya ($3.38) type of player.

    Smid brings less offense than the above other than Scuderi as well.

    Oilers are at a spot now where where they have significant leverage on a player like Smid.

    They need D who can move the puck and that’s not Smid.

    5 years and 16.25MM is probably as high as I would go.

  83. DBO says:

    Krejci out, yep better offer Belanger for pretty much anything. Him off the roster adds more then him playing. And Whitney will have value, dmen always do at the deadline. I do hope they get something for him. Same with Jones and Petrell and Fistric if he wants much more then $1.5 for 1 year. Move them out to clear space. We need a 2/3 LW , a 1 LD and 3 RD, as well as a backup goalie. Clear the rubble to add better pieces to strengthen the foundation of the kids. This deadline should be as much about adding a piece or two on value (salary dumps ie. Stafford) as it is about getting anything for all the failed pickups we have had the last few years.

  84. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: This team is going to crush you by the end of the decade.

    I have low expectations of the current management group.

    You need to have high expectations in order to be crushed.

    I’ll just continue to be frustrated and disappointing like I have for the last 7 years.

  85. speeds says:

    Lowetide,

    They will be tight to the cap, but EDM can reasonably use a good chunk of their bonus overage room with very little worry about losing cap space the following season.

    The maximum bonus overage allowed is ~4.8 mil, while EDM has ~8.5mil in bonuses tied up in their 3 ELC players. That means that even if they maxed out their bonus overage, they’d only start losing cap space in the 14/15 season if those 3 players earned more than 3.7 mil in bonuses To do that, one of the players would need to be earning his “B” bonuses which is pretty rare, for 2 or all 3 to do it would be extremely unlikely. And that’s ignoring that EDM probably wouldn’t be looking to max out their overage usage to begin with. But going 2 mil over the cap is a lower risk proposition.

    That said, if you ran into injury problems that number could creep up, so I’m guessing EDM wouldn’t really want to be flirting with using a ton of that room, but they might consider using a bit of it.

  86. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Lowetide,

    They will be tight to the cap, but EDM can reasonably use a good chunk of their bonus overage room with very little worry about losing cap space the following season.

    The maximum bonus overage allowed is ~4.8 mil, while EDM has ~8.5mil in bonuses tied up in their 3 ELC players.That means they’d, even if they maxed out their bonus overage, they’d only start losing cap space in the 14/15 season if those 3 players earned more than 3.7 mil in bonusesTo do that, one of the players would need to be earning his “B” bonuses which is pretty rare, for 2 or all 3 to do it would be extremely unlikely.And that’s ignoring that EDM probably wouldn’t be looking to max out their overage usage to begin with.But going 2 mil over the cap is a pretty low risk proposition, IMO.

    So if they go over it just punishes them the following season? Ah, okay. Thanks!

  87. SK Oiler Fan says:

    justDOit: steveb12344, I’m not saying they’re out of the playoff race at this point, but merely trying to point out the reality behind the race. If we go back to the Chicago game, they are 2-0-1, meaning that if they get another Bettpoint tonight, they’re still on a pace of 0.75 over those four games (6 points out of a possible 8). But it’s also important to realize that the projection of 56 or 57 points to get in is only an estimate – it could go higher!Let me ask you, as a rational fan: Do you really think this team is ready to go on a ‘win 3, lose 1′ pace for the next 20 some games? Because that’s what it will take to really be in the race.Yes, playing meaningful games down the stretch is a good thing for this team, and so is the fact that 13 of the last 21 games are on home ice. If they don’t turn around their current home ice record of 4-4-3 though, the games won’t mean much soon.

    Playoffs? Playoffs?
    this team can’t string together 3 good periods let alone 3 games. Plus, they’re due for another run of injuries and are likely to trade away some borderline NHL players only to replace them with borderline AHL players.

  88. FastOil says:

    godot10:
    Horcoff is $5.5 on the cap.
    Nugent-Hopkins, Justin Schultz, and Nail Yakupov$3.775.

    Things I think:
    1) The Oilers will bring Fistric back.
    2) The team can really only afford to pay one of Gagner or Hemsky.Justin Schultz has to get one of those franchise contracts after next season.One gets traded for a D.If it is me, I keep Gagner, and trade Hemsky.I’m not as sentimental as most people.This is where one has to channel their inner Belichek. One has to look beyond just next year in looking at salaries and do a medium term chart.
    3) The Oilers will probably use a compliance buyout on Eager to get the contract back.They might have to save one for after next season for Horcoff.Right now Nugent-Hopkins is headed for a 2-year transitional contract, but if he goes supernova next year, then he gets one of those franchise contracts after next season too.Ditto Dubnyk.Ditto Petry.

    In two years potentially,
    Hall $6, Eberle $6, Schultz $5.5, Nugent-Hopkins $5.5, Gagner $5, Petry $5, Dubnyk $4.5, Smid (or replacement) $4.Yakupov (basically) $4

    9 players, $46.5 million

    Add 3 more D, $9.5 million

    4th line, 3 press box players, $6 million

    And one is at $56 million with still 4 forwards to pay (third line and one top 6), with a cap around $65 million.

    No way Hemsky fits.

    His age alone says he should be the one to go. He is going to be declining just as the team should be coming on. N Schultz as well. Trade deadline or summer if anyone will give something decent for him/them they should take it. It’ll be the last kick at the cat with NS in getting any value back, and really lots of bottom tier guys could replace his level of play at this point, and he and Hemsky are not part of the future.

    For me, this is what good GM’s do. Players move, is the GM proactively doing this or reactively, and continually losing quality like someone we know, well.

  89. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    There are many things you can complain about this team not doing, but since they signed the top college FA from last year, that is one thing you cant complain about.

  90. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I have low expectations of the current management group.

    You need to have high expectations in order to be crushed.

    I’ll just continue to be frustrated and disappointing like I have for the last 7 years.

    I think we’ll see some unusual activity beginning at the deadline, things that we didn’t anticipate. Which is bad, because the team should be making extremely predictable moves at this point

  91. jp says:

    Captain Happy: Looks like a good bet to become a 3rd line centre and cost absolutely nothing except an AHL deal.

    It’s what smart GM’s do.

    I know you’re just being difficult, but geez. Tanner House and CVV outscored Lain about 2:1 in college. Pitlick scored more as an 18 yo than Lain at 23. McCarron, Bigos, Fedun and Simpson all scored more at a younger age than Lain. How many top 9 forwards or legit NHL D are in that group. Maybe Simpson, but he’s still only 20 and has outscored Lain from the back end 3 seasons in a row. And there’s a common theme among the forwards – not enough offense. I only looked at guys in the Oilers system here because a comprehensive list of non-NHLers who scored more than Lain in college would be many hundreds, maybe thousands of players long.

  92. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Woodguy: speeds, This deadline is potentially an opportunity for EDM to really clean things out for next season, and as much fun as the playoffs would be you can’t will that to happen.Agreed 100%.Remember when Tambellini cleaned out Lowe’s chaff of Staios, Moreau etc.Now Tambellini has a long list of sub-replacement players to clear out again.Except this time he’s the one who signed them.The list is much longer this time than last time.Great job Steve!!

    This made me laugh – great summary of the past 7 years.
    It’s getting less frustrating and more comical as the years pass.

  93. speeds says:

    Lowetide,

    It only punishes them if the bonuses are earned, and because they have as many bonuses as they do above the overage limit, it only potentially punishes them if they earn more than 3.7 mil in bonuses.

    I do think I might have undersold (actually, not mentioned) the injury risk in doing so initially, so I went back to edit that but only got in some of the changes I wanted to make. So when I initially wrote, “very little worry” that might be underselling the risk depending how much of the overage room they’d intend to, and actually, use.

  94. Captain Happy says:

    jp: I know you’re just being difficult, but geez. Tanner House and CVV outscored Lain about 2:1 in college. Pitlick scored more as an 18 yo than Lain at 23. McCarron, Bigos, Fedun and Simpson all scored more at a younger age than Lain. How many top 9 forwards or legit NHL D are in that group. Maybe Simpson, but he’s still only 20 and has outscored Lain from the back end 3 seasons in a row. And there’s a common theme among the forwards – not enough offense. I only looked at guys in the Oilers system here because a comprehensive list of non-NHLers who scored more than Lain in college would be many hundreds, maybe thousands of players long.

    I seriously doubt the Canucks are looking at a 6’6″ 225 centre for his scoring ability.

  95. Clay says:

    SK Oiler Fan: This made me laugh – great summary of the past 7 years.
    It’s getting less frustrating and more comical as the years pass.

    It alternates between frustration/anger and comedy for me, depending on two variables:

    1) How much rum I’ve had, and

    2) How much rum is left.

  96. ASkoreyko says:

    FPB94,

    Those are some nice players but then who do you have playing 2C? I know Gagner is ripping it up this season but I am not sure its safe to consider the new normal.

    I agree the Oilers need a legit #1-2 dman that can push everyone down a spot, I just don’t know if that is worth giving up RNH.

    Add in the propensity of people to value what they have vs. what others have and the Oilers would have to clearly win the trade to justify to the external audience.

    Hemsky seems like a much more likely scenario.

  97. delooper says:

    I’ve got a good feeling about tonight’s game. Hall is starting to go ballistic. If he drags a couple players along with him, the Oilers will win.

  98. jp says:

    Captain Happy: I seriously doubt the Canucks are looking at a 6’6″225 centre for his scoring ability.

    Certainly true, but as I’m sure you know, no matter how big a player is there needs to be some hockey playing ability there. If you’d said “looks like a good bet to become a 4th line centre” you’d still probably be wrong, but at least that’s somewhat plausible. 3rd line centers generally have the skill to score 25 points or so in the NHL. I think it’s fair to say Lain’s extremely unlikely to ever do that.

  99. gogliano says:

    I, for one, am happy to hear that the Canucks are looking at a fridge who can’t score for their 3C going forward.

    Changing of the guard may not have happened this season but it’s coming folks.

  100. ASkoreyko says:

    Captain Happy: Looks like a good bet to become a 3rd line centre and cost absolutely nothing except an AHL deal.

    It’s what smart GM’s do.

    Or trade Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian?

    How is that trade working out for this smart GM now?

    Pretty sure they could of used that C depth this season.

  101. Ducey says:

    Captain Happy: I seriously doubt the Canucks are looking at a 6’6″225 centre for his scoring ability.

    No doubt he scores well in the face wash and diving metrics.

  102. Captain Happy says:

    jp: Certainly true, but as I’m sure you know, no matter how big a player is there needs to be some hockey playing ability there. If you’d said “looks like a good bet to become a 4th line centre” you’d still probably be wrong, but at least that’s somewhat plausible. 3rd line centers generally have the skill to score 25 points or so in the NHL. I think it’s fair to say Lain’s extremely unlikely to ever do that.

    Only one way to find out.

    The Canucks have an excellent track record of finding and developing players who no other GM bothered with.

    Who ever thought some undrafted yappy dude from the Greenville Growl of the ECHL would end up scoring 35 goals in the NHL?

    Or that some undrafted NCAA defenseman would become a mainstay on the Canucks’ blue line at the age of 23?

    Worth noting that Tanev has played every game this season, has as many points as the much older Jeff Petry and is +5 on a team barley above even.

    Point is, the draft is not the only place to find NHL players and good GM’s explore all the options.

    Very low risk, very high reward ratio.

    Holland, Burke and Gillis have been very active in doing this.

  103. Hayek says:

    Woodguy: Woodguy

    Thank you, finally someone not in their head in the clouds with Smid. The guy is not a top pairing defenceman, and his defensive play has fell off from one great defensive year. We should be more talking about $2.5M or at most $3M, and not these ridiculous $4 or $4.5M contracts for a 2nd pairing defencemen, with no offence, and a terrible first pass.

    This year, the 50th highest cap hit for d-men is $4M. Why are we talking as if Smid is anywhere close to a top 50 d-man in this league?

  104. Captain Happy says:

    ASkoreyko: Or trade Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian?

    How is that trade working out for this smart GM now?

    Pretty sure they could of used that C depth this season.

    Not a GM in the league that hasn’t made a mistake although that one remains to be seen in the long term.

  105. justDOit says:

    Ducey: No doubt he scores well in the face wash and diving metrics.

    Coming out of the US college system, I highly doubt it, but the ‘Nucks have an assistant coach just for those things.

  106. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    I think you are not channeling your inner Belichek enough. :)

    1) Schultz – Dmen’s salaries don’t rise as quick as forwards. Assuming Schultz gets $5.5 after next year is real stretch. A 2nd contract like Seabrook or Keith is much more likely.

    My guess is 2yrs x $3MM for next contract, then you can talk $5MM+ if he performs.

    2) Budgeting Petry at $5 after 2 years is a big stretch too. OEL just got 6yrs x 5.5. Putting Petry in that class of Dman isn’t prudent

    My guess is 5 yrs x $4MM next contract

    3) $4MM for Smid or Smid replacement is also off by at least $500K, maybe up to $1MM/yr

    4) 3 more D at $9.5MM. You have Petry, Shultz and Smid making $14.5MM and suggest adding $9.5MM for the other 3?

    That’s $24MM for a Dcorps.

    VAN has the most expensive Dcorps with top 6 salaries totaling $22.375

    Here’s some very good teams (based on this year’s standings) and the cost of their top 6 paid Dmen:

    LAK – $18.4MM
    CHI – $21.46MM
    PIT – $ 16.11MM
    MON – $20.25 (included Kaberle’s 4.25 boat anchor)
    BOS – $18.8MM (includes bonuses from Hamilton contract)

    PHX has a very good Dcorps. Their top 6 cost next year is $21.57MM

    Seems like $20MM is a reasonable budget.

    I like shooting for $18MM since you have some high priced forwards and the young ones coming on ELCs to play in bottom pairing will help that.

    Found your Hemsky money.

  107. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I think we’ll see some unusual activity beginning at the deadline, things that we didn’t anticipate. Which is bad, because the team should be making extremely predictable moves at this point

    Unusual?

    Speculation please.

  108. bendelson says:

    There have been many a long dark night where Hemsky has been the lone beacon of light for the Oilers… this I acknowledge wholeheartedly.

    That being said, I find it hard to believe that the Oilers wouldn’t benefit from trading Hemsky for the long-discussed Pisani-type player. Let’s say he’s a 25-26 yr old established two-way player that can put up 40 pts., play multiple positions on the third line (and move up the the second if so desired), play the physical game, skate well, PK etc., etc…. for less than 3M/year (for multiple years). Do such players exist? Yes, of course they do. Could the Oilers get such a player for Hemsky today? I don’t know but suggest it should be strongly considered.

    The alternative as I see it, is the Oilers hold on to Hemmer, hope he stays healthy through next season (and beyond), hope he wants to take a pay reduction to stay with the club longer term, and live with the results, whatever they may be.

    Not an easy decision but I’d be looking around for that trade. It may not be the ‘sexy’ move (three ‘offensive’ lines sure is sexy on paper) but it’s seems to be an entirely functional option for what could be considered a significantly dysfunctional organization.

  109. Woodguy says:

    Capt. Happy: Looks like a good bet to become a 3rd line centre and cost absolutely nothing except an AHL deal.

    It’s what smart GM’s do.

    Dan DeKeyser is the top rated college UFA this spring.

    Where do you think he signs?

    I think the wasteland of Edmonton’s Dcorps and good young F’s might prove to be as appealing to DeKeyser as it did to J.Shultz.

    Maybe Smid is moved because they have a verbal with DeKeyser?

    Trading a vet to make way for a rookie is a very Because Oilers thing to do.

  110. DBO says:

    Woodguy,

    and that makes me sad and hurts cause it’s true. See MAP vs Brodziak

  111. FPB94 says:

    It’s not like trading RNH and Hemsky is going to net the same tier of players. Some people acting like it’s a straight up choice that only affects the Oilers and not the return, if you want elite prospects on one end, you have to give some. (Unless you’re dealing with drooling morons like TOR did with Franson or Gardiner)

    Actually Edmonton should be pouncing on TOR to get Gardiner; they don’t have a veteran backup to ice it in the playoffs =P.

  112. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: Dan DeKeyser is the top rated college UFA this spring.

    Where do you think he signs?

    I think the wasteland of Edmonton’s Dcorps and good young F’smight prove to be as appealing to DeKeyser as it did to J.Shultz.

    Maybe Smid is moved because they have a verbal with DeKeyser?

    Trading a vet to make way for a rookie is a very Because Oilers thing to do.

    Hard to say where he will sign but apparently Detroit is in the hunt and DeKeyser is a Michigan boy.

    A good article on the NCAA FA crop here:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/86005/laganiere-dekeyser-among-ten-ncaa-free-agents-that-could-be-nhl-bound/

  113. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Unusual?

    Speculation please.

    I think the Oilers might go shopping early. By that I mean maybe Ottawa is looking for a defenseman and maybe the Oilers are willing to deal Smid but part of the ask is Ben Bishop. The appeal for Edmonton in adding draft picks is much less than in the past, so it’s reasonable imo to expect we’ll see player for player deals at the deadline.

  114. gogliano says:

    FPB94:
    It’s not like trading RNH and Hemsky is going to net the same tier of players. Some people acting like it’s a straight up choice that only affects the Oilers and not the return, if you want elite prospects on one end, you have to give some.(Unless you’re dealing with drooling morons like TOR did with Franson or Gardiner)

    Actually Edmonton should be pouncing on TOR to get Gardiner; they don’t have a veteran backup to ice it in the playoffs =P.

    I wouldn’t trade RNH for the Gretzky return (let’s not think of that Messier return).

    THAT’s the point. Elite players rarely bring back anything close to fair value. The higher you go in player quality the less likely you are to get fair return.

    [Why is that the case? Maybe because other teams assume that anyone dealing said King or Ace must know something about the player the other team doesn't. Like when you get a Jack d-man that turns out to have gimp ankles. Or maybe teams underestimate how much play is driven by the elite players. I don't know.]

  115. bluenotenorth says:

    Getting to $64.3M next year is doable, if

    Sign Gagner $4.8M, Smid $3.5M, Paajarvi $1.8M, Fistric $1.65M and Hartikainen $1M – total $12.75M

    Move Whitney.

    Replace Peckham with Klefbom, and Jones, Petrell, and Khabilulin with entry level – total $3.825M

    Buy out Belanger. Replace with Lander – total $0.9M

    Added to the existing $46.5M totals about $64M.

    Hall, Horcoff, Hemsky
    Hartikainen, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Paajarvi, Gagner, Yakupov
    Smyth, Lander, Brown
    ? ?

    Smid, Petry
    N Schultz, J Schultz
    Fistric, Klefbom
    Potter

    Dybnyk
    ?

  116. BlacqueJacque says:

    bluenotenorth,

    Holy shit that’s a scary scenario. Gagner won’t like $4.8m and I suspect Smid knows he’s getting more than $3.5 on the open market.

  117. Lowetide says:

    http://www.discovermoosejaw.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28306&Itemid=903

    OKC signs a player, McFaull from Speedy Creek. Article suggests the Oilers like him. Good lord, they’re going to have to start trading some defensemen soon!

  118. bluenotenorth says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Other temas are facing worse scenarios – Phili, Chicago.

    If Gagner gets an offer sheet over $5.1 then do you take the 1st, 2nd and 3rd draft picks as compensation?

    I cannot see Oilers signing Smid for much more than $3.5M.

    Want to upgrade the Dand/or retain Gagner and Smid means a high level contract must go.

  119. Gret99zky says:

    Lowetide: I think we’ll see some unusual activity beginning at the deadline, things that we didn’t anticipate. Which is bad, because the team should be making extremely predictable moves at this point

    Three for One!

  120. RickDeckard says:

    bluenotenorth,

    Cap is going down so offer sheet compensation levels should be changing too, right?

  121. bluenotenorth says:

    RickDeckard,

    Not sure. Was the last CBA compensation based on cap or a fixed number for the term?

  122. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    I’d rather gire them Schultz the elder. I don’t hate the guy, but kudos to you for starting the “if someone has to go, let it be Nick” bandwagon.
    Especially since I’m already a founding member of the, “You guys are alarmists; Smid maxes out at 3.5 and probably gets less than that” club.

    FPB94,

    You’re completely right. Listen, critics of FPB, no one is saying trade Nuge. “Retain good players” has been what I’ve been screaming at Hemsky rumours for years.
    BUT- If the team reaches the point where you decide to move a forward to get a defenceman then they guy you want to move is the one whose trade value is highest compared to his on-ice value, and that ain’t Hemsky. It’s either Nuge or Eberle.

    And don’t say, “Nuge might be the next Datsyuk!” because that only matters if you don’t get value for him. What if we move him for the next Chelios and a first? Is trading a hundred dollar bill for a different hundred dollar bill a bad idea?

    Why couldn’t we just have done the prudent thing and waited until this summer to negotiate with Ebs? Did Tambo not know that he was an RFA? I still believe in him as a hockey player (as do we all), but he is in prime position to get Horcoffed.

  123. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    godot10,

    I think you are not channeling your inner Belichek enough.

    1) Schultz – Dmen’s salaries don’t rise as quick as forwards.Assuming Schultz gets $5.5 after next year is real stretch.A 2nd contract like Seabrook or Keith is much more likely.

    My guess is 2yrs x $3MM for next contract, then you can talk $5MM+ if he performs.

    2)Budgeting Petry at $5 after 2 years is a big stretch too.OEL just got 6yrs x 5.5.Putting Petry in that class of Dman isn’t prudent

    My guess is 5 yrs x $4MM next contract

    3)$4MM for Smid or Smid replacement is also off by at least $500K, maybe up to $1MM/yr

    4) 3 more D at $9.5MM.You have Petry, Shultz and Smid making $14.5MM and suggest adding $9.5MM for the other 3?

    That’s $24MM for a Dcorps.

    VAN has the most expensive Dcorps with top 6 salaries totaling $22.375

    Here’s some very good teams (based on this year’s standings) and the cost of their top 6 paid Dmen:

    LAK – $18.4MM
    CHI – $21.46MM
    PIT – $ 16.11MM
    MON – $20.25 (included Kaberle’s 4.25 boat anchor)
    BOS – $18.8MM (includes bonuses from Hamilton contract)

    PHX has a very good Dcorps.Their top 6 cost next year is $21.57MM

    Seems like$20MMis a reasonable budget.

    I like shooting for $18MM since you have some high priced forwards andthe young ones coming on ELCs to play in bottom pairing will help that.

    Found your Hemsky money.

    1) Only 2 of those OEL contract years are unrestricted. Schultz looks to be in the ball park for an offer sheet in the range of the OEL contract.

    2) On Petry’s next contract, one will be buying unrestricted years for everything beyond two years.

    3) I gave a medium term projection 2 years from now. You are comparing apples and oranges. A projection two years out with what teams are paying today. Do a two year out projection for those other teams, and unless one has more than one ELC, competitive to contending teams will be spending $25 million on D. Salary cap planning demands medium term planning. One will be doomed if one only looks at next year, and not two to three years out. The going price for a veteran top 4 D which brings some offense is going to be $5 million. A veteran third pairing defensive D commands $3-3.5 million today. Smid will get a $4 handle if he hits the market July 1.

  124. justDOit says:

    Woodguy: DeKeyser

    Marc Fakler, a former Western Michigan University assistant coach, is credited with discovering DeKeyser. Here’s what he said about DeKeyser, in a quote obtained from broncohockeyhotstove.com:

    “When I saw him at Sioux City’s camp (USHL), I saw a kid who had a long reach, nobody could go around him, he had tremendous poise and just made great decisions with the puck all the time — it was just effortless. If you watch, he isn’t the prettiest skater, but he has that long stride and big base and he just has a presence about him and I think that’s what I liked about him at that camp. He was a tall, gangly kid who continued to develop and he went out to the Trail league, the B.C. (British Columbia) league. While he was out there, he sent me an e-mail and said he had a strong interest in becoming a Bronco. If Danny has a deal to play immediately in the National Hockey League, I don’t know how you can look that kid in the eye and say don’t do it, don’t fulfill your boyhood dream of playing in the National Hockey League. It’s all about opportunity and going where you’re wanted, when you’re wanted. It’s about timing of things, and if now is the right time for one of those organizations, whether it’s Detroit or whoever, if he can start his NHL career right away, more power to him. Hopefully in the situation they’re in at Western they’re kicking him out the door instead of holding him back.”

    Fakler mentions poise pretty much right away in that report. It’s a lock. Count Dekeyser’s cap hit at rookie max next year.

    Do we get a pool going on which former Oiler phones/visits this kid before he signs? I’m guess that Gretzky shows up at his door and brings Paulina.

  125. Ducey says:

    Lowetide:
    http://www.discovermoosejaw.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28306&Itemid=903

    OKC signs a player, McFaull from Speedy Creek. Article suggests the Oilers like him. Good lord, they’re going to have to start trading some defensemen soon!

    Oops. Now there’s a diver…

  126. godot10 says:

    After next season, Chicago has Hjallmarsson and Leddy to re-up to current salaries.

    After next season, LA has everybody except Doughty to re-up to current salaries.

    After next season, Montreal has everyone except Gorges to re-up to current salaries, including a mega contract coming for Subban.

    After next season, Pittsburgh has everyone except Paul Martin to re-up to current salaries including a mega contract coming to Letang.

    Like I said….an contending defense is going to cost $25 million in two years.

  127. FPB94 says:

    Stevezie: Exactly. Get fair trade or don’t trade.

    @LT: Chip Kelly was at Oregon, if they skip over his old friend for a QB maybe he knows something.

  128. Lowetide says:

    FPB94:
    Stevezie: Exactly. Get fair trade or don’t trade.

    @LT: Chip Kelly was at Oregon, if they skip over his old friend for a QB maybe he knows something.

    Could be, but the Eagles aren’t exactly the draft Gods.

  129. speeds says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers might go shopping early. By that I mean maybe Ottawa is looking for a defenseman and maybe the Oilers are willing to deal Smid but part of the ask is Ben Bishop. The appeal for Edmonton in adding draft picks is much less than in the past, so it’s reasonable imo to expect we’ll see player for player deals at the deadline.

    I don’t think picks are that bad an asset to acquire, if it ends up EDM moves Smid. There’s nothing that says you have to draft with them, they should be a pretty liquid currency in addressing needs as the draft approaches, probably more liquid than trying to find a team that needs Smid and also has what you’re looking for in exchange.

  130. Woodguy says:

    Captain Happy: Hard to say where he will sign but apparently Detroit is in the hunt and DeKeyser is a Michigan boy.

    A good article on the NCAA FA crop here:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/86005/laganiere-dekeyser-among-ten-ncaa-free-agents-that-could-be-nhl-bound/

    I remember reading DET being the “obvious choice” for him given their need and his background.

    Will be interesting to see.

  131. FPB94 says:

    Lowetide,

    I do agree it seems a weird draft to get a QB, but I do like Barkley out of USC, tough picking him there would be a reach.

  132. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers

    #Oilers lines in warmup Paajarvi-Gagner-Yakupov, Jones-RNH-Eberle, Hall-Horcoff-Hemsky, Brown-Smyth-Petrell, with Fistric returning

    Hartikainen with the sideburns now.

  133. FPB94 says:

    Lennart Petrell might hold the record for most games played by default. It’s like guys out of the lineup have to be better than their expectation rather than, Lennart Petrell.

  134. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    After next season, Chicago has Hjallmarsson and Leddy to re-up to current salaries.

    After next season, LA has everybody except Doughty to re-up to current salaries.

    After next season, Montreal has everyone except Gorges to re-up to current salaries, including a mega contract coming for Subban.

    After next season, Pittsburgh has everyone except Paul Martin to re-up to current salaries including a mega contract coming to Letang.

    Like I said….an contending defense is going to cost $25 million in two years.

    CHI – Hjarlmasson is already making 3.5, can’t see to big a raise there. Leddy might go up from 1.1 to 3 or so

    LAK – MItchell will be gone, Scuderi isn’t getting a raise from 3.4MM at his age and Greene might be gone/won’t get a raise either.

    MTL- Markov will get less if he still plays, Kabele’s 4.2MM is gone and no one else on the roster should make more. You can get bottom 3 Dmen for less than 2MM.

    PIT – Letang gets a raise, but no way Martin gets close to $5M again and Orpik doesn’t need a raise either as he’s about as high as you can pay that type (Smid type) at $3.75 and probably gets a bit of a hair cut.

    I see no reason any of those teams will be at $25MM.

    The cap in two years will be right about where it is today, no need for the inflation.

  135. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m genuinely excited. These three lines all have scoring potential.

  136. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers might go shopping early. By that I mean maybe Ottawa is looking for a defenseman and maybe the Oilers are willing to deal Smid but part of the ask is Ben Bishop. The appeal for Edmonton in adding draft picks is much less than in the past, so it’s reasonable imo to expect we’ll see player for player deals at the deadline.

    Bishop isn’t enough.

    Smid + OIlers 2nd for BIshop and OTT’s 1st?

    PIT is interested in Smid too.

    What would the Oilers have to add to get Bennett?

  137. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    I’m genuinely excited.These three lines all have scoring potential.

    I know it sounds exciting, used to think so too. But, by the middle of the second period one of the lines will be playing fewer minutes and then shuffled. It’s just the way hockey works, I’m afraid.

  138. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers

    #Oilers lines in warmup Paajarvi-Gagner-Yakupov, Jones-RNH-Eberle, Hall-Horcoff-Hemsky, Brown-Smyth-Petrell, with Fistric returning

    Hartikainen with the sideburns now.

    Pump and Dump on Jones?

  139. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Pump and Dump on Jones?

    One hopes, but Jones probaby has a good batting average against his old team. Hanging by center ice will do that to a person.

  140. Captain's Log says:

    I’m not an expert by any means but I don’t really have a problem with Lennart Petrell. He’s dynamite on the PK and seems to work hard most nights. At the very worst he’s an extremely tiny part of why this team struggles.

  141. jp says:

    Captain Happy: Only one way to find out.

    The Canucks have an excellent track record of finding and developing players who no other GM bothered with.

    Who ever thought some undrafted yappy dude from the Greenville Growl of the ECHL would end up scoring 35 goals in the NHL?

    Or that some undrafted NCAA defenseman would become a mainstay on the Canucks’ blue line at the age of 23?

    Worth noting that Tanev has played every game this season, has as many points as the much older Jeff Petry and is +5 on a team barley above even.

    Point is, the draft is not the only place to find NHL players and good GM’s explore all the options.

    Very low risk, very high reward ratio.

    Holland, Burke and Gillis have been very active in doing this.

    No disagreement that teams should look for players wherever they can. And I’m not saying the Canucks shouldn’t have signed the guy. Lain may help the Wolves and could even impact the big club at some point. The suggestion that he has a decent chance of being an NHL 3C was the only issue. It’s the most extreme of longshots.

    Got me wondering how many players have scored at that level and gone on to play in the NHL. I found a list of all the former college players who played at least 1 game in the NHL last season here: http://collegehockeyinc.com/pages/former-collegians-nhl-2011-12
    184 of them are forwards. Keep in mind many of these guys are tweeners and 4th liners, so the number of top 9 players is far less.

    Of those 184 forwards, only 6 of them failed to score 20 points at least once in their college career (Lain was 32-8-8-16 this year in his age 23 season).
    2 are converted defensemen: John Scott (NHL totals 440-18-17-35) and Jay Rosehill (72-2-3-5).
    Another is Matt Watkins who scored 43-8-10-18 as a 21 yo and at age 26 has an NHL line of 1-0-0-0.
    The remaining 3 played in college during their age 17 or 18 seasons – Kyle Palmeiri (50-12-6-18), Jim O’Brien (58-8-3-11) and Victor Oreskovich (67-2-7-9). Palmeiri and O’Brien look like they might be real 3rd liners, but they scored at levels comparable to Lain when they were 5 years younger. Lain will not be a 3rd liner in the NHL.

  142. Gret99zky says:

    Lowetide: I know it sounds exciting, used to think so too. But, by the middle of the second period one of the lines will be playing fewer minutes and then shuffled. It’s just the way hockey works, I’m afraid.

    They’re calling it Wreck it Ralph on another site.

  143. Rebilled says:

    His clutch is a little stuck.

  144. Lowetide says:

    Dillon Simpson just scored for North Dakokta in their game against Michigan Tech. Huge goal in a big game.

  145. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Smyth just made an awful play.

  146. tcho says:

    Man 14 is snakebitten. (Sorry… just catching up on PVR)

  147. jake70 says:

    RNH,, you need to shoot the puck.

  148. Lowetide says:

    Gagner and Yakupov are beginning to find each other

  149. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ryan Whitney leading the Oilers in icetime in a period that has been played almost entirely at even strength.

  150. crude says:

    Yak looking good. He has a nice habit of blasting into the zone, button-hooking, finding a trailer with a good angle. Guy can pass a puck.

  151. Lowetide says:

    Sometimes I wonder why I look forward to the Oiler games. I could be at a movie.

  152. uni says:

    crude,

    Yakupov is a damn fine passer, something that we had no idea of leading into the draft. He also has the best shot on the team, and tries in all 3 zones. Makes you giddy to think of what he’s going to become as he matures.

    That 2nd goal in Detroit last game was exactly what you described, gained the zone with speed,hooked around, found the D entering late and hit him with a perfect quick hard pass for a shot as traffic raced to the net.

  153. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Lowetide:
    Sometimes I wonder why I look forward to the Oiler games. I could be at a movie.

    I’m sure Some of the Oiler players have the same thoughts some nights.

  154. "Steve Smith" says:

    SK Oiler Fan: I’m sure Some of the Oiler players have the same thoughts some nights.

    Why would they be concerned about whether LT was at a movie? They have bigger things to worry about.

  155. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Sometimes I wonder why I look forward to the Oiler games. I could be at a movie.

    I feeling the same thing after that, blah. Oh well, it is better than watching a matinee game versus Phoenix.

  156. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: Why would they be concerned about whether LT was at a movie?They have bigger things to worry about.

    hahahahaa. I read it twice because it didn’t make sense the first time! I was “yeah, what the hell?” Ah, good times.

  157. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    I swear, if I wasn’t able to feign ignorance in response to ambiguous phrasing, I’d find some of these games intolerable.

  158. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Lowetide: hahahahaa. I read it twice because it didn’t make sense the first time! I was “yeah, what the hell?” Ah, good times.

    I stand by my statement no matter how SS interprets it

    Lowetide:
    Sometimes I wonder why I look forward to the Oiler games. I could be at a movie.

    I’m sure Some of the Oiler players have the same thoughts some nights.

  159. Lowetide says:

    Paajarvi, just in time! Man. That is so cool!

  160. "Steve Smith" says:

    Pajaarvi only scores game-winners, so we should be in for a scoreless rest of the game.

  161. FPB94 says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Don’t say that. Or he’l sign a 5M$/year contract because he’s so ”clutch”

  162. VanOil says:

    Bloody Paajarvi interrupted my nap.

  163. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Magnus! Before that I was just thinking about going back to preparing the tax return

  164. Rebilled says:

    Awesome! 91′s dad in town to see that one.

  165. tcho says:

    Damn. Nice shot by Webber though.

  166. Lowetide says:

    Petry is hobbled and Justin Schultz has left the game. This third period is going to be tough.

  167. crude says:

    tcho,

    shya. Didn’t he score a goal in the Olympics that went clean through the twine?

  168. crude says:

    Lowetide,

    J Schultz out for good?

  169. uni says:

    I recommend Wreck-It Ralph, surprisingly enjoyable movie, especially if you liked old timey arcades.

  170. Lowetide says:

    crude:
    Lowetide,

    J Schultz out for good?

    Principe tweeted he was out, don’t know about the third period, though.

  171. Lowetide says:

    Nail Yakupov is going to score 500 goals if his arms don’t fly off.

  172. spoiler says:

    PFC Schultz returned right at the very beginning of the 3rd.

  173. spoiler says:

    Playoff chances go up to 15.2% if they win this game. Everyone else around them has theirs trimmed.

  174. tcho says:

    Preds taking it to us so far in the 3rd.

  175. Lowetide says:

    THAT was a tremendous sequence for the Oilers there, almost a goal for many but none could score.

  176. tcho says:

    Wow. What an awesome shift from 4-10-83.

  177. Thiru says:

    Lowetide:
    THAT was a tremendous sequence for the Oilers there, almost a goal for many but none could score.

    Yup haven’t seen anything like that for a few years now. Hemsky and Hall together is just unfair.

  178. Kris11 says:

    Oilers suck poop.

    After 30 some years, I’m gonna switch to rooting for, oh I don’t know, the Islanders maybe.

  179. crude says:

    Hall’s puck retrieval is really something.

  180. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Jones is terrible. This is all.

  181. VanOil says:

    I am so glad Nashville is staying in the west and we will still get to see this fabulous brand of hockey multiple time a year.

  182. Lowetide says:

    LENNNNNNNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

  183. spoiler says:

    Gagner skates himself into the slot and then passes to the decoy for the goal. Unbelievable.

  184. "Steve Smith" says:

    I’m sort of glad that I got lazy partway through typing a rebuttal to Captain’s Log’s earlier comment about Petrell.

  185. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Lenny! Lol, did kostysin just change on a 2 on 1 that was his fault? Hello bench

  186. Thiru says:

    Horcoff: Truly Fearless

  187. spoiler says:

    Smart by Magnus to get over centre before icing that one.

  188. tcho says:

    37 – Offensive dynamo!

  189. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Nashville Dman looked bad going off on the change on that goal…even if gags had gotten by him.

  190. VanOil says:

    No No No Ralph do not reward Petrell with Yaks spot with Paajarvi and Gagner. Buy him a green beer after the game instead.

  191. delooper says:

    Hall with good, experienced players looking near unstoppable.

  192. crude says:

    Captain’s Log:
    I’m not an expert by any means but I don’t really have a problem with Lennart Petrell.He’s dynamite on the PK and seems to work hard most nights.At the very worst he’s an extremely tiny part of why this team struggles.

    There’s your boy!

  193. spoiler says:

    Eberle shows Hall how that wrister is done.

  194. Lowetide says:

    Finally! Eberle scores another! A nice night at Rexall and they needed it!

  195. Rebilled says:

    Clutch!

  196. "Steve Smith" says:

    I’m kind of glad that I got lazy partway through typing that three thousand word anti-Eberle screed.

  197. GordM says:

    NSH PP….Here come the Oilers…they love to keep things interesting.

    The dreaded 2 goal lead!

  198. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Terrible positioning by schultz, but that’s not a hook either

  199. Suntory Hanzo says:

    O’Ebs from O’Hallsy!

  200. delooper says:

    If the Oiler can keep this up they might be turning the corner on their season.

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