SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE!

The long road trip is over, Horcoff is back to being Horcoff, Chance has found an extra gear and Samwise is streaking. And your Edmonton   Oilers are in a playoff race. Swear to God.

The western conference of the NHL is a study in hope, despair, dismay and impossibles as we sit shoveling our driveways:

mar 14

 

There’s only a six point gap between third and 15, which is incredible. Someone is going to rip off a brilliant winning streak in the next three weeks, might as well be the Oilers. The long road trip is finished, Horcoff is healthy and the team finished the road trip with two solid victories in must win games.

Are the Oilers starting to play better because they have that talk the other day, or do you think they’re going to fall back on Friday? I don’t know, but have seen young teams (young Oiler teams, and recently) put it all together in stretches and this Oiler club has enormous advantages (three #1′s, more home games than road games, a shooting percentage that needs to catch up).

Ben Eager is on waivers, I think he’ll get picked up on reputation. Based on his quality of play since arriving in Edmonton, I don’t think he’s an NHL player at this point. However, he’s a first round pick with a Stanley Cup ring and those guys get more opportunities than the Stones in the 1970′s. I won’t do a sail on, because he didn’t qualify. Wish him best of luck though, and sincerely hope he retires before those concussions do damage to the rest of his life.

Trade deadline is coming up, here’s my predictions based on how likely they’ll be dealt:

  1. D Ryan Whitney 90%: Kevin Allen joins other msm in naming Whitney, who has been performing well of late. It’s kind of a tough item for Oiler fans, as he’s clearly a top pairing option when healthy. However, I think there are teams–like Boston–who could employ him on the third pairing and #1PP, something Edmonton can’t afford to do (they need six guys who can play elevated minutes on any given night because they don’t have an impact pairing). 
  2. D Ladislav Smid 75%: Reading online last night looks like many of the msm think this thing gets done. I hope so, but we’re a little over two weeks from the deadline and there’s been crickets. I suspect each side might have an idea about the other’s position, and the gap is very wide. Smid’s side might be asking for well over $4, Oilers may be offering low 3′s. If they come up to $4M does that get it done? Smid might get more in free agency, he’ll be an attractive free agent if he gets there.
  3. R Ryan Jones 50%. Veteran is in a little trouble here, as it appears the coach has had him sit a few times and the kids are emerging. I can see the Oilers offloading him if the offer is strong enough.
  4. R Ales Hemsky 30%: I think he’s in play because other NHL teams feel a need to add offense and a healthy Hemsky is instant offense. St. Louis has been rumored and that makes a ton of sense from their end, I’m not sure what the Oilers could get in return to make the deal equal. Chris Stewart has been mentioned, but is that fair value? I’d prefer Hemsky.
  5. G Nikolai Khabibulin 25%: The problem for Khabibulin is health, I don’t think a team can trust that the veteran will be able to answer the bell through the post-season.
  6. C Eric Belanger 20%. I think he has value, but in a very specific role. The deadline is about expiring contracts, and Belanger has another year which could kill his trade value.

I am encouraged by Steve Tambellini’s words about not giving up youth for a quick fix, but am also mindful of the fact that he has said one thing and done another during free agency and trade deadlines.

We wait.

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97 Responses to "SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE!"

  1. Mark-LW says:

    Please, God.

  2. Ice Sage says:

    Red Wings aging worse than Lauren Holly, gotta take advantage.

  3. DBO says:

    LT, do you fear that the org will look at Whitney’s improved play, in a pairing with Shultz the younger, and look to re-sign him? Starting to think he gets a 2 yr deal, and the management doesn’t look to fill the #1 LD spot since Whitney is turning a corner (ironic since he can’t turn on the ice).

    AS for Smid, Woodguy’s blog was depressing. I’m not near as down on JJ as most of you, but it’s where I see the org going. i think we all have to expect to see our LD depth next year become Johnson, Whitney and Shultz the elder. 3 $4 mill plus overpaid vets (although JJ is still young enough to improve). Man I hope they don’t go that route, but I can see them talking each other into “puck moving, size, international experience, leadership, etc.” (as Woodguy pointed out).

    If they do just keep the LD as Smid, Whitney and Shultz, then they really need to improve Potter. Because I can live with those LD if Potter is upgraded since he is an AHL player. Have Fistric as out 7 D.

  4. Hammers says:

    I’m with you on Tambellini . Not sure what will happen . I do hope a deal gets done with Smid. . Ales needs to stay unless there is a legitament player coming back .Whit , Jones , Belanger & Habby can all go from my point of view .

  5. Truth says:

    I sure hope you’re wrong about Smid. Hemsky at 75% and Smid at 30% should be Tambellini’s mindset. Unless Smid really is playing hardball in contract negotiations, which I can’t see given his history wanting to be an Oiler, marrying an Edm gal, and so on.

    Smid or a direct replacement is required to make any noise (actually a couple of them). Hemsky is a hell of a player but will not fit in when Yak and J Schultz need a contract. It would be beneficial to trade him while he has the value of an extra year on his contract. Plus, he has made the highlight reels quite a few times this year.

    By all accounts Ryane Clowe is available after starting pretty poorly. Any possibility of selling high on Hemsky and buying low on Clowe? (sorry)

    Clowe is a great fit in the top 6 or 9. Historically he puts the puck in the net while taking absolutely no BS.

  6. DBO says:

    Truth,

    Clowe is a UFA next season. You don’t deal a Hemsky with one more year on his deal for a pending UFA. MAybe you try for a prospect or pick only, otherwise you wait until off season. But based on a previous threads conversation, not sure if Clowe is the good fit we hope him to be as he is getting older and his production has been steadily falling.

  7. Jonathan Willis says:

    The Oilers likely need 30 points in their final 22 games to make the post-season.

    15-7-0 would do that. So would 14-6-2 or 13-5-4.

    It’s going to take a heck of a run.

  8. wheatnoil says:

    Contract lengths are of 3 different lengths really. Short contracts are 1-2 years, Medium length are 3-4 years, and long-term are 5+. I say, Smid should ideally be signed to a 3-4 year contract.

    Currently, Smid plays the role of Top 4 D-man (hard-nosed defensive subtype). Let alone someone coming along and taking his role, there’s nobody in the Oilers pipeline that will be challenging any spot in the Top 4 for at LEAST 3 years.

    If you look at the potential future Top 4s in the Oilers prospect system, you end up with Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat, and Musil as having the highest probabilities (arguably). Out of those four, chances are only one will end up in the NHL and if the Oilers are very lucky, they might get two. None of them have played a single NHL game, even in a depth role. Three of them have never played a professional game in North America. Even if one of them plays in the NHL next year, it will not (I sincerely hope) be as a top 4 option and likely it will take 2-5 years before they can be relied on in that capacity.

    In summary, THERE’S NO ONE COMING TO SAVE THE DAY! Sign Smid! There’s not going to be anyone better available for cheaper on July 1st and the Oilers haven’t won a trade for a defenseman since they acquired Pronger. If they do acquire a Pronger, Smid is a wonderful trade chip to use in a package deal, but would be even more valuable if he was signed beyond this season.

    To quote LT: Sign the man!

  9. Clay says:

    Ugh, the thought of shipping Smid out after so many years of letting him play AHL hockey in the NHL is nauseating. It’s the same sort of story as trading Hemsky – once he’s gone, you’re immediately looking for a player just like him.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I would have thought the Bettman points and the short season were artificially floating a lot of marginal teams (Hello, is it me you’re looking for?). However, if you take the points away, the West looks like this (I haven’t listed GP or bothered with division leaders)

    Chi – 42
    Ana – 38
    LA – 28
    STL – 28
    Van – 24
    PHX – 26
    MIN – 26
    DAL – 24
    DET – 24
    SJ – 22
    NSH – 22
    EDM – 20
    CBJ – 20
    CAL – 20
    COL – 20

    A couple of teams have biggish switches (VAN, DET), but mostly it stays the same. EDM is now 4 points out of the POs instead of 3, but the bottom group is still only 4 points or less from the POs.

    I expect you need a much larger sample of games for these Bettman points to make a bigger difference.

  11. pboy says:

    Harry: I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.

    Lloyd: I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver’s full of shit, man.

    That’s the best.

  12. raventalon40 says:

    DBO:
    Truth,

    Clowe is a UFA next season. You don’t deal a Hemsky with one more year on his deal for a pending UFA. MAybe you try for a prospect or pick only, otherwise you wait until off season. But based on a previous threads conversation, not sure if Clowe is the good fit we hope him to be as he is getting older and his production has been steadily falling.

    Not unless San Jose pulls another Setoguchi and signs Clowe and trades him the exact next day.

    The less “douche-y” method of the sign and trade I guess is to get permission from San Jose to find out from Clowe’s agent if he has any intention of signing with the Oilers if he were acquired.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Ben Eager is on waivers, I think he’ll get picked up on reputation. Based on his quality of play since arriving in Edmonton, I don’t think he’s an NHL player at this point. However, he’s a first round pick with a Stanley Cup ring and those guys get more opportunities than the Stones in the 1970′s. I won’t do a sail on, because he didn’t qualify. Wish him best of luck though, and sincerely hope he retires before those concussions do damage to the rest of his life.”

    Perfectly sums up my thinking. Eager either never got the chance or never took it to grab the emotions of this fan. With less to work with Darcy made more of an impact on me as a fan (not in terms of performance… I mean strictly in the emotional, are you attached to the player in some meaningful way sense) Hell, Brule was more of an Oiler in this sense to me at any rate.

    Still, you’ve got to feel for a guy who’s been told for a long time “you’re awesome, big and fast” to see it all fall apart after you’ve been assigned a fighter role that has left you broken and frustrated.

    I wish his future car dealership well.

  14. Hayek says:

    Smid at anything over $2.5M/season is an overpay, and the team will regret it. People base salaries too much on peak performance instead of average performance. If you take last season out of the equation for Smid, how much is he worth?

    Willie Mitchell, Hal Gill, Nick Schultz, Volchenkov, Regehr. All these guys lack offence and were signed to big deals, and I assume the teams regretted it afterwards. Being a good defensive d-man is only half the job. Offence and puck movement is also part of being a good d-man, of which Smid is not.

    Defensive ability and performance actually has a lot of variance associated with it, probably even more so than points. Smid wont have the opportunity to shake off poor defensive years by saying at least his offence was there, or at least he is a good puck mover.

    If you put aside this “warrior” bullshit and stop counting the number of shot blocks he has (why are shot blocks important for a d-man? They should be marking their man in front of the net, not going down and allowing forwards free shots at rebounds), Smid is highly overrated by hometown fans.

    It’s not that he is not good, but look at the replacement we could get at $3M/season, (or $4M/season if he actually thinks he could get that laughable sum)

  15. Clay says:

    …that said, I honestly think there is something to Smid asking for a big payday. He’s set to become the second youngest UFA on the market this summer, in a league where actual NHL defensemen with some tread left are in high, high demand.

    Regehr *spits* got a 5 year, $4.02M contract when he was 28, my guess is Smid is looking for north of that, but is he worth it? I’d love to keep him, but at something more reasonable.

    I wonder if he’d take less in exchange for term.

    (sorry about the double post).

  16. Lois Lowe says:

    I think Marc had it right in yesterday’s thread. Not negotiating with Smid is a tactic, if he wants to stay then they’ll leverage that desire into a more workable deal. I also think that they are unlikely to offload him this trade deadline for that reason, if he wants to stay then the Oilers have a sizeable window after the season is over before free agency to get a deal done. I think the only question really is term, I would likely go as high as 4.25 x 5; which if I am not mistaken is essentially Whitney money.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Whitney. I just hope we get something for him and that he enjoys playing in his home town.

    Smid. I think you need to give him term and wrangle a sweetheart deal out of him. 20M 5years.

    Jones. Getting anything for him would be one of the rare wins in the asset management dept. He’d need to be showcased a bit more though.

    Hemsky. guy needs to stay put. the best thing they did last year was that signing. Don’t trade good players. If STL or DET can use him, you need to rethink why you’d ever trade him.

    NIK. I think his value this year skyrocketed (when he finally played and played well) only to dwindle when he showed he couldn’t stay healthy… I think a team looking for depth wouldn’t want a dead tire.

    Belanger. If I were ST I’d be showing teams tapes of Maholtra’s usage and saying Belanger can fill the same role. Hell maybe VAN wants him.

  18. Hayek says:

    Lois Lowe,

    5 year deal, $4.25M? Um…..wtf. He has been terrible this year, and you want to give him 5 years? And wait, he provides no offence, and you want to give him $4.25M. Wow do hometown fans overestimate a player’s value.

    $4.25M would make him the 31st highest paid defenceman in the league right now, and that is based on the current salary cap. It is decreasing next year.

  19. Hayek says:

    Oh, just for reference, the 50th highest d-man salary in the NHL this year is $3.9M

  20. Hayek says:

    Oh, and Victor Hedman signed a 5 year extension for $4M/season. No way Smid gets anywhere close to Hedman money.

  21. BlacqueJacque says:

    Ice Sage:
    Red Wings aging worse than Lauren Holly, gotta take advantage.

    Red Wings took the Flames out back into an alley and did unspeakable things to the Flames with – if police reports are to be believed – *no lube*. Then Gustavsson let them down while Kipper stood on his head.

    So you know two things:

    1. We are going to face Howard.
    2. The Wings are gonna be spitting mad.

    Given that the Oilers success still depends in great part about how motivated other teams are to play them, I’m going to make plans for Friday that don’t involve getting drunk, depressed, and watching the Oil.

  22. wheatnoil says:

    Hayek:
    Oh, and Victor Hedman signed a 5 year extension for $4M/season.No way Smid gets anywhere close to Hedman money.

    Hedman is an RFA. For better or worse, the economy for RFAs in the NHL is different than for UFAs for all except the highest end players. It’s unfair to make direct comparisons of one to the other. That doesn’t mean you’re correct or incorrect in thinking that $4M/season is too high for Smid, but rather that using Hedman as a comparable isn’t necessarily appropriate given the practicalities of the NHL free agent market.

  23. BlacqueJacque says:

    Hayek,

    Smid is UFA.

  24. Lois Lowe says:

    Hayek:
    Oh, and Victor Hedman signed a 5 year extension for $4M/season.No way Smid gets anywhere close to Hedman money.

    Smid does get close to Hedman money on a third contract, either the Oilers pay him or someone else will. How much does a veteran, mobile 27 year old defenceman with almost no injury history get on the open market? I am not saying I am right on the dollars but if you think he’s not due for a sizeable raise from his 2.25 you’re kidding yourself.

    Edited to add – Nick Schultz is a great comparable and he’s making 3.5 which was signed a number of years ago.

  25. bookje says:

    I think Eager has realized that it’s his health vs his career at this point and has decided to do his best to ride out his time in the NHL and try and get a foothold as a player. Good for him. Smart Choice. I think its terribly unfortunate that the great game of hockey forces people to make these choices.

  26. bookje says:

    Here is my guess – Smid at 3.4 million for five years with a limited NTC.

  27. Lucinius says:

    Hayek,

    You will can not get Smid signed for anything less than 3.5 million. Not with the defense market out there. Not only that but Smid hasn’t been “terrible”. He’s had an off year (and by my eye much of that was due to him over-extending himself to make up for the fuck ups of others, Petry, Belanger and Gagner in particular). The man is the single best defenseman the Oilers have in their own end, even this year. He has a skill set very few other Oiler D have (can skate, hit, block shots, clear the crease, bit of a mean streak, usually not a big penalty minute getter, resilient[!!!] and is a leader in the room).

    He’s a player the Oilers need to re-sign if they want to make the play off push this year or next. More than that, there is no way to trade Smid and improve this team on the back end. It simply isn’t possible.

    Lastly, there is no way Smid receives less than at least one offer for more than 4.5 million if he hits the UFA market. The market is incredibly tight. Hell, you have Detroit practically begging for a UFA D signing given how they missed out on Suter last year and Lidstrom retiring.

    This isn’t to say that you sign Smid whatever the cost. If he’s asking for more than 4 million from the Oilers.. you trade him for what you can get — perhaps a sign-and-trade with another team so they aren’t getting a UFA. But if its 4 million or less? You sign him. The more term you add, the less you try to pay him.

    I think he wants to stay here. I think he’ll take a small discount to stay here. Questions are if that’s enough or if it matters at all the the organization.

  28. Gerta Rauss says:

    bookje:
    Here is my guess – Smid at 3.4 million for five years with a limited NTC.

    I agree about the NTC…I think(hope) he’ll give us a hometown discount with some security for him(term and some form of NTC)

  29. Truth says:

    DBO,

    Thanks, didn’t look into it enough to see that he’s a UFA. I would agree, prospect or pick, plus I would want to talk to him prior to making the trade if there was any possibility of a deal being reached prior to free agency.

    Clowe’s production dropped from 2010/2011 – 2011/2012 and he has had a rough start this year, prior to that he was steadily increasing in production (up to 24G, 62 PTS, 100 PIM in 10/11). He is 30 years old and has 72 PIM this year already. The three years prior to the lockout he was averaging around 115 PIM in a full season, so I would guess he has been taking on a little bit different of a role this year.

    I would risk a pick/prospect on him for the remainder of this year and having the first crack at locking him up, provided he’s not set on testing the market. Even if he does sign elsewhere the experiment would be worth it. He is the type of player they’ve been lacking for as long as I can remember. If it fails it would quiet many of the pundits commenting on the lack of size and grit in the top lines, including myself. If it works, well I would be right.

  30. Wolfpack says:

    Clay: Ugh, the thought of shipping Smid out after so many years of letting him play AHL hockey in the NHL is nauseating. It’s the same sort of story as trading Hemsky – once he’s gone, you’re immediately looking for a player just like him.

    I could not have said it better myself.

    I would like to see Smid signed, and I would be okay with something in the range of 4-5 years at $4 million. Anything north of that is getting pricey. I completely understand the arguement of teams signing stay-at-home guys to significant dollars and later regretting it – but would the Oilers regret it more than letting Smid go and having to try and replace those minutes and that skillset? I don’t think it is that easy – especially since the Oilers’ pro scouting department hasn’t exactly shot the lights out in the past. The Oilers have put all this time into developing a really good shut-down d-man. They need to find a way to keep Smid.

    Even though LT hates him. :)

  31. MrSmitty says:

    Eager clears waivers

  32. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Deadline Day:

    Tambellini: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Kotlowitz. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

  33. RMGS says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    The Oilers likely need 30 points in their final 22 games to make the post-season.

    15-7-0 would do that. So would 14-6-2 or 13-5-4.

    It’s going to take a heck of a run.

    I read this through C&B: http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2012/1/23/2722089/score-adjusted-fenwick, which describes yet another metric with reasonable predictive power painting an ugly picture for our glorious team.

    Still, in a shortened season luck and roster changes play a bigger role. The team’s luck has room to rise, but you can also see how doing nothing to replace the Kaptain for a month is even more egregious.

    As an Oilers fan, I say there’s a chance for 8th and that a heck of a run is possible. But, only as a fan (or as a gambling addict) would you take those odds. Here’s to hoping luck and that overpaid bum’s presence work their magic (until they give away Smid and/or Hemsky, of course)!

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=418167

    does the NHLPA still have to approve this?

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    MrSmitty:
    Eager clears waivers

    odd.

    is he subject to re-entry waivers? what are the odds he returns and how much do we think Nelson will use him? has Darcy even played a game down there?

  36. CrazyCoach says:

    pboy: Harry: I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.
    Lloyd: I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver’s full of shit, man.
    That’s the best.

    It sounds like Lowe and Tambo driving into Regina!

  37. In the Grease says:

    Really LT? you wouldn’t trade Hemsky for Chris Stewart? 25 years old, 6’2″, 232 lbs, solid boxcars at 11-12-23 +1 and exactly the type of size and skill we supposedly need to balance out our top six mix….

    I’m sure I’m missing some advanced stats deficiencies, but making 3 mil this season, and then RFA…. I think I would do that deal straight up.

    Or, if Whitney is also in the mix (St. Louis was supposedly interested, weren’t they?) try to push Hemsky + Whitney to St. Louis for Stewart and a 2nd (one can dream) or 3rd round pick?

  38. Gret99zky says:

    Lowetide said:

    Someone is going to rip off a brilliant winning streak in the next three weeks, might as well be the Oilers. The long road trip is finished, Horcoff is healthy and the team finished the road trip with two solid victories in must win games.

    Oilers are in a playoff race. Swear to God.

    @Lowetide

    Forrest Gump couldn’t go on a run like that.

    How is it that must win games aren’t listed before the game but after they are won?

    I love the eternal optimism but to disregard the math that JW pointed out and RMGS included above says you are a fan first and a math guy second.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :)

  39. Lucinius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    No, the NHLPA already signed off on it. It gets revisited in a couple years, though.

  40. LMHF#1 says:

    Remember when playoff revenue was such a big deal? There were a lot of negatives associated with that, but also some pretty positive impacts on roster decisions.

    If we’d have added some depth fairly early in the year it wouldn’t have taken much to be sitting in a pretty comfy spot right now.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lucinius: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=418167

    Ahh… the tsn article just said the NHLPA gave “input” into the process, they omitted any mention of agreement, hence my confusion.

    The NHL website clears it up:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=660138&navid=DL|NHL|home

    “The National Hockey League Players’ Association has given its consent to play under the new Alignment and Playoff System for a minimum of three seasons, through the 2015-16 NHL season.”

    Now, let’s see if they can sort out no touch, or at least hybrid icing before next season starts.

  42. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/03/13/despite-back-to-back-wins-edmonton-oilers-still-have-an-uphill-slog-to-make-the-playoffs

    The latest from Terry Jones with a couple of quotes from management.

    A nice run from the team towards a playoff spot would be well….nice, but at this point even I’m not advocating trading off pieces of the future to get some immediate help(they should have done that 4 weeks ago)

    If the current group can put together a run, great. If not, we’ll see y’all at the draft.

  43. hunter1909 says:

    Gerta Rauss: A nice run from the team towards a playoff spot would be well….nice, but at this point even I’m not advocating trading off pieces of the future to get some immediate help(they should have done that 4 weeks ago)
    If the current group can put together a run, great. If not, we’ll see y’all at the draft.

    Four weeks ago MPS was a permitter player, probably not worth very much whereas now he’s climbing up the inner-Oiler roster standings. This season is an anomaly.

    Eberle/RNH/Petry/Whitney/Smyth and too many others to list are having sub-par seasons. Tambellini hates making decisions during anytime they play hockey games. He’s strictly end of season, including this year when he might be sacked, or promoted.

    “At Rexall Place we don’t just sell meds, we take them ourselves, lots of them, all of the time and they’re great! Really great!”.

  44. admiralmark says:

    In the Grease:
    Really LT? you wouldn’t trade Hemsky for Chris Stewart? 25 years old, 6’2″, 232 lbs, solid boxcars at 11-12-23 +1 and exactly the type of size and skill we supposedly need to balance out our top six mix….

    I’m sure I’m missing some advanced stats deficiencies, but making 3 mil this season, and then RFA…. I think I would do that deal straight up.

    Or, if Whitney is also in the mix (St. Louis was supposedly interested, weren’t they?) try to push Hemsky + Whitney to St. Louis for Stewart and a 2nd (one can dream) or 3rd round pick?

    I’ll take one order of this please!

  45. Ribs says:

    Chris Stewart seems to get mentioned a lot out of St. Louis. What are some thoughts on Patrik Berglund? He’s RFA as well this summer, big, plays center. Does he maybe come with a cheaper price tag?

  46. gogliano says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    The Oilers likely need 30 points in their final 22 games to make the post-season.

    15-7-0 would do that. So would 14-6-2 or 13-5-4.

    It’s going to take a heck of a run.

    Using 50/50 method, SPS has it at ~95% chance with 30 points. But still a 50/50 coin flip with 28 points (14-8). And a non-negligible chance (~15%) at 27 points (13-8-1).

    They definitely need a run to have a shot but it still seems like it is within the realm of possibility.

  47. godot10 says:

    Clowe is a good asset to add to a a contending team, but not to an ascending team. He is too old. His performance is going to be declining just as you need it to be improving.

    Plus, he will never be value-for-money on his next contract. He is only of value to a contending team with salary room.

    Probe the bottom of NHL rosters, and the AHL for the next Clowe. These are the guys who will be value-for-money.

    Stay away from long contracts and no move or no trade contracts. Long contracts should be only for you absolute core players. Contracts can no longer be buried. One bad contract can kill a rebuild.

    4 years would be my limit for Smid.

    I’m not too concerned yet about the Smid situation. You don’t start negotiations early when there is a huge gap between the bid and the ask. It just gives time for positions to harden and feelings to get hurt. The last thing this negotiation needs is a lot of posturing. A short negotiation is more likely to successfully reach a compromise.

  48. spoiler says:

    Gerta Rauss: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/03/13/despite-back-to-back-wins-edmonton-oilers-still-have-an-uphill-slog-to-make-the-playoffsThe latest from Terry Jones with a couple of quotes from management.A nice run from the team towards a playoff spot would be well….nice, but at this point even I’m not advocating trading off pieces of the future to get some immediate help(they should have done that 4 weeks ago)If the current group can put together a run, great. If not, we’ll see y’all at the draft.

    I agree with most of what was said by management types in that article, except for one… the notion that all the Kings and Jacks are here. I don’t think so. This team desperately needs a Hoss on defence.

    Go after OEL, Burns, Myers — someone of this ilk from a poor-revenue or cap-strapped team — and bring them here.

    For eg. 2014 1st, 2013 2nd, Smid and Jones and a good prospect for OEL. Phoenix is teeming with defensemen and OEL is going to be expensive and his agent might not want him to lock in his future with a team in hockey limbo.

    Instead I think we will end up with someone like Jake Gardiner, which to me is a sideways move despite the rel’p with PFC Schultz. (Nick being Sergeant Schultz, Justin promoted from mere Private).

  49. spoiler says:

    Ribs: Chris Stewart seems to get mentioned a lot out of St. Louis. What are some thoughts on Patrik Berglund? He’s RFA as well this summer, big, plays center. Does he maybe come with a cheaper price tag?

    Maybe. I think the Blues quite like Berglund though. He’s got a wicked shot, but isn’t much of a playmaker. 17 mins TOI per gm this year and last. I think the coach would be unhappy if you took that away without a decent replacement.

  50. jfry says:

    It’s funny watching fans throw around UFA dman numbers in a brand new cba. Seriously, this thread is worse than listening to talk radio.

    Hayek is most on point. Smid has exactly 70 games of acceptable NHL play. And while d is our weakness, signing him to a bloated contract fucks our flexibility moving forward.

    We don’t need to talk about other dman making the 3.9m salaries. What we should be discussing is replacement level option at a better salary. I’m not going to go all dsf and suggest wellwood is gagner, but it’s options like that we should be talking about.

    Let smid get his UFA payday. Lets find a replacement in the 1.8 million range, which do exist — petry comes to mind as a quality dman in that range, for instance.

    The happiest person in the room if smid makes 4m on the oilers, will be horcoff — all of a sudden he looks like a bargain.

    For fans of a team that has finished last for so long, I don’t get why we insist on keeping some of these players and then overpaying them. I thought we were all smarter than the mgt, aren’t we? ;)

  51. crude says:

    spoiler,

    Nobody freak out, but would Ebs + Smid (+?) get OEL?

    Or would everybody freak out?

  52. Mr DeBakey says:

    I know that Chris Stewart is exactly what the Oilers be needing.
    Jones mentions gritty jamminess in his column referenced above.
    I just heard someone mention Big Bodies on the Spexshow.
    Anyone wonder why Stewart is available for the 2nd time his fairly young NHL career?

    Speaking of the Spexshow,
    Yesterday, a spexspurt stated that the PA was told discussions of the NHL at the next Olympics would begin right after the new Divisional Alignments were approved.

  53. dwillms says:

    spoiler,

    I think there’s as good a chance Phoenix deals OEL as us trading Hall.

    Really hope they’re going after Gardiner, especially since the whole Twitter fiasco with his agent this week might make the Leafs more interested in moving him.

  54. Mr DeBakey says:

    Nobody freak out, but would Ebs + Smid (+?) get OEL?

    Yes, many [plus de many] would freak out.
    I can’t see Phoenix taking a UFA though, it’d have to be a signed Smid.
    Marincin maybe.

  55. 106 and 106 says:

    I can’t believe we’re letting Smid go, even if he wants too much money, management should have known this earlier and gotten some real value out of this player.

    *Stamps feet*

  56. RickDeckard says:

    spoiler,

    I would do that trade with Musil as the prospect. Then trade Eberle+Marincin+Nick Schultz for Fowler (Anaheim will need to replace Perry this offseason) and draft Jones or Barkov.

    OEL-Petry
    Fowler-Jones
    Klefbom-Schultz

    Thats a defence corps.

  57. Woodguy says:

    Great Horcoff interview on Oilers Now today.

    Do yourself a favour and listen to the podcast.

    Hockey 101 lesson from the mad Russian.

    eve

  58. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    Great Horcoff interview on Oilers Now today.

    Do yourself a favour and listen to the podcast.

    Hockey 101 lesson from the mad Russian.

    eve

    That guy is just a shifty-eyed, nervous, sweating, liar.

  59. LMHF#1 says:

    Is there any way they go back to Smythe, Norris, Adams and Patrick for the division names?

  60. bookje says:

    LMHF#1:
    Is there any way they go back to Smythe, Norris, Adams and Patrick for the division names?

    No, they checked with the marketing people and nobody knows who any of those people are.

  61. justDOit says:

    MrSmitty:
    Eager clears waivers

    Todd Nelson’s agent just tweeted: /#FREETODD

  62. hags9k says:

    If we are going to come close to a 15-7 finish and get in, #1 we need Dubey to play at a higher level than he’s touched yet. But after goaltending then I think it comes down to 93 and 14 catching fire, especially at home. A combined 4 EV goals between them so far. Ouch that’s the 1st line folks! If they freak out and go white hot, we a chance. If they continue to sputter and bump along we are out. GOILERS!!

  63. asiaoil says:

    hags9k:
    If we are going to come close to a 15-7 finish and get in, #1 we need Dubey to play at a higher level than he’s touched yet.But after goaltending then I think it comes down to 93 and 14 catching fire, especially at home.A combined 4 EV goals between them so far.Ouch that’s the 1st line folks!If they freak out and go white hot, we a chance.If they continue to sputter and bump along we are out. GOILERS!!

    DD is tied for 9th in SP with Lundqvist so he’s doing his job – defense and forwards need to do theirs better if you expect any further improvement

  64. hags9k says:

    asiaoil,

    Dubey has been fine I agree, but I should clarify, I don’t foresee the defensive play improving much, as we’ve been waiting for that for years. I think Dubey will need to play better to compensate. He has been good, but will need to be great to drag this lot into the loffs.

  65. BlacqueJacque says:

    bookje,

    Dude, did you even read my reply?

  66. bookje says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    bookje,

    Dude, did you even read my reply?

    Relax, this was meant solely in good humour. Henceforth, the dirty Russian shall be known as Horcov the Liar

  67. BlacqueJacque says:

    bookje,

    Hah, k.

  68. Bar_Qu says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    bookje,

    Dude, did you even read my reply?

    Who has time to read other people’s posts before blasting off a denunciatory reply? C’mon now.

  69. pboy says:

    Hall – Horcoff – Hemsky
    MPS – Gagner – Yakupov
    Smyth – RNH – Eberle
    Hartkikanen – Lander – Brown

    Smid – Petry
    Whitney – J Schultz
    N Schultz – Fistric

    DD
    NK

    Is this the best line-up the Oiler’s can ice with who we have in the organization currently? It is to my eye, unless Belanger subs in for Lander but I haven’t been a fan of Belanger’s play since the road trip started. This would keep Jones, Petrell, Belanger, Potter and Peckham in the press box.

  70. denny33 says:

    Hayek,

    You need to take a look at what some teams are paying their 2nd pairing guys….Smid is our 1st pairing defenceman. Johnny Boychuck gets over 3.3 million.

  71. denny33 says:

    bookje,

    Philip Kuba mkes 4 million. Johnny Boychuck 3.3 million.. Keith ballard 4.2million…Finally, James Wisnieski makes 5.5 million dollars to play defeence.

    I think Smid could end up with a significant payday if he wanted to test UFA market.

  72. eidy says:

    “there is a chance” I would like johnson on the team…. never at the earliest

    “there is a chance” I would take chris stewart, if the cost was whitney and omark/teubert/etc. I mentioned about a week ago that whitney would be better with shultz and he has been. hopefully that has increased his value.

    “there is a chance” I would trade Hemsky if the return was Yandle. He is not perfect, but he is perfect enough to be number one on our team. Pheonix is going to need to pony up for OEL and they are short on forwards that can score. our strength at wing for theirs at defense.

    “there is a chance” that this would happen, but not great. I chose pheonix and St.louis because pheonix will have to pay for OEL and if they pay him what he is worth and keep the rest over 40% of their salary will be in D and 80% of what they spent this year will be tied up in 12 players. St Louis has 7 RFA and one of them (Pieterangelo) will really need to get paid. I think you try to get these players for below market value. Having Yandle sounds infinitely better than Johnson

    RNH-Hall-Ebs
    Gagner-MPS-Yak
    Horcoff-Smyth-Stewart
    belanger-Harti- brown

    Yandle-Schultz
    Smid-Petry
    Shultz-Fistric
    extra: potter/peckham

  73. denny33 says:

    crude,

    No, only oiler fans…

  74. denny33 says:

    LMHF#1,

    I will second that…

  75. PaperDesigner says:

    I’m not sure what all the talk about giving Smid four or five years is about. Yes, he’s entering his prime years, but really, is he a hot enough commodity that he demands a long-term contract like that? I might consider four years. Five? Not so much.

    What about three years totalling eleven million? That would put his per year pay at about three and two thirds million dollars per year. Close enough to four, and if you’re overpaying him a bit for being a #3 defenceman (which I think he is… I think you can feel safe if he is on your top pairing, but you shouldn’t start him there. You know, actually construct your roster with enough depth so that you have players capable of playing further up the line-up than where they are slotted in case of injuries and slumps? Not that management would ever do such a thing, but I digress…), but at least you’re getting what might be the best three years of his career out of his contract. It might also be enough time to let a younger player like Klefbom emerge into the role in a best-case scenario kind of way, and you can always look at extending him another two or three years at the end if one of the prospect blue-liners hasn’t emerged in a big way.

  76. crude says:

    denny33,

    In that it is an over-pay, or that Oil fans are a bunch of spazzes?

  77. hunter1909 says:

    bookje: No, they checked with the marketing people and nobody knows who any of those people are.

    Why waste time? Rename them: Facebook/Twitter/Homeland Security/Disney divisions.

  78. B S says:

    PaperDesigner,

    Preferably you would want the next contract to take him past his prime, not to it. If his next 3 years are his best, imagine how difficult it would be to keep his salary low enough to keep him on the team. If, on the other hand he starts to slip in the final year of his contract you can negotiate a reasonable salary for a solid, but declining commodity. If you don’t intend to resign him at the 3 year mark (i.e. he’s all used up), the extra year will make a valuable trade commodity in the offseason.

    That’s also slight absurd anyway as many D-men don’t peak until they are 30 or more, 4-5 years puts Smid into this range, as well as keeping his cap hit low across the years when this team is ‘supposed’ to be contending for a cup. $4 Mil. will be a damned good price for a #4-5 Defenceman in 5 years.

  79. hunter1909 says:

    Canadian fans can also reclassify the NHL according to it’s own whims, merely publishing the team’s from say, a hypothetical Canadian division with all the Canadian teams, but each still using the points gained from actual play.

    For trainspotters like Lowetide and Woodguy, there could be a similar divisional setup, but weighted according to some mental mathematical calculus into a virtual nightmare – so they’re both going to love it, really.

  80. B S says:

    bookje: No, they checked with the marketing people and nobody knows who any of those people are.

    Same thing happened when someone suggested John, Paul, George, and Ringo as the conference names, but I like:

    hunter1909: Why waste time? Rename them: Facebook/Twitter/Homeland Security/Disney divisions.

    The realignment is a joke, so the Conferences might as well be too.

  81. hunter1909 says:

    Then there’s the ultimate fan App: it goes into your phone and now “Steve Smith” can log in and hear Lowetide’s bloggers, each with their own distinct voice, and “Steve Smith” can while away endless hours of clean wholesome fun when he hears the App turn itself on with the distinct voice of whatever blogger has posted in real time; giving “Steve Smith” the chance to see whether he can correctly guess the identity of the Lowetide blogger from the sound of the App/voice.

    “It’s just the kind of App “Steve Smith” has been looking for, and now his phone need never be turned off again for the rest of “Steve Smith’s” life.

  82. hunter1909 says:

    B S: The realignment is a joke, so the Conferences might as well be too.

    How about having different rules for each division, rigorously enforced/ignored by the refs?

    Eg, one division can ban fighting, another one can legalise bench clearing brawls etc. Then, home team’s rules in effect when teams meet from different divisions.

    Another division bans helmets, while another division hands out free hotdogs every time the away team scores.

  83. BlacqueJacque says:

    Can someone explain the source of the Stewart rumours to me? He’s the Blues’ leading pointgetter, decent +/-, big body, etc. Only downside seems to be streakiness and that he plays right wing where the Blues are stacked. So Hrmsky is y a help there…

  84. B S says:

    hunter1909,

    Wait…. I thought that’s what it was already. Otherwise, what the hell is going on in the Eastern Conference? I mean they have this “interference” penalty over there, and brawls every other game.

  85. B S says:

    hunter1909,

    oh, and there could be mandatory goaltender substitutions in the second intermission, but only in the pacific/Disney conference. Knee-on-knee is legal in the Twitter conference. I think you might be onto something.

  86. Woodguy says:

    justDOit: Todd Nelson’s agent just tweeted: /#FREETODD

    Justdoit win the thread.

  87. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Can someone explain the source of the Stewart rumours to me?He’s the Blues’ leading pointgetter, decent +/-, big body, etc.Only downside seems to be streakiness and that he plays right wing where the Blues are stacked.So Hrmsky is y a help there…

    He’s in trade rumours becuase Armstrong is very smart and is probably selling high.

    Stewart is shoot over 18% and only scored over 20 goals once in his career.

    Gets outshot attempted regularly.

    He big and shiny and Armstrong will try to turn him into a better player.

    He has lots of good forwards, so trade the a weak one when he’s killing the percentages.

    Everyone loves a big gritty forward with hands, but historically he’s no where near the results he has in the first 25 games this year.

  88. Danenbaum says:

    As a member of the media, I cannot comprehend why NO ONE from the MSM has asked Tambellini about Smid when given the opportunity. He had TWO interviews last week (a scrum at Rexall about Brown and a 1-on-1 with Gene Principe during intermission of the Avalanche game) and there was not one question about Smid’s pending UFA status. That’s brutal. Does anyone know if Tambo has been clipped on this in the past couple weeks?

  89. "Steve Smith" says:

    Bar_Qu,

    9-11 was NOT an inside job, you conspiratorial nutjob.

  90. "Steve Smith" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    is he subject to re-entry waivers?

    Re-entry waivers have been (mercifully) abolished under the new CBA, so no.

  91. ASkoreyko says:

    Woodguy: He’s in trade rumours becuase Armstrong is very smart and is probably selling high.

    Stewart is shoot over 18% and only scored over 20 goals once in his career.

    Gets outshot attempted regularly.

    He big and shiny and Armstrong will try to turn him into a better player.

    He has lots of good forwards, so trade the a weak one when he’s killing the percentages.

    Everyone loves a big gritty forward with hands, but historically he’s no where near the results he has in the first 25 games this year.

    The last sentence is not totally accurate WG. Same with the 20G mention.

    Stuart was at .83PPG in 09-10 and .85PPG in 10-11 (he is currently at .88PPG in 13). So I guess it depends what you think is the anomaly, his 09-11 play or his 11-12 play.

    Also he was sitting at a 22.4 S% in 10-11 when he came over to the Blues and appears to be back at that level again this year. Again it depends on what you think the anomaly is.

    Also Stuart has broken the 20G mark 2 out of his 4 seasons so far in the league. His career average pace would be about 26G a season (assuming he plays the whole 82 games).

    I agree the Corsi numbers are not the most flattering for him but Hemsky is not exactly killing it this year either.

    I guess it comes down to how much does a team value the “big body” who looks like he can score at a decent clip and is even willing to drop the gloves. I know that hits does not equals wins and we want better players over all else. That being said is Tambo decided to go truculence trolling he could do a lot worse than someone like Chris Stewart.

  92. stevezie says:

    denny33:
    bookje,

    Philip Kuba mkes 4 million. Johnny Boychuck 3.3 million.. Keith ballard 4.2million…Finally, James Wisnieski makes 5.5 million dollars to play defeence.

    I think Smid could end up with a significant payday if he wanted to test UFA market.

    Which one of these guys are you arguing Smid is better than? I don’t think Wisniewski counts because he got a CBS special- and in any case he had conventional stats on his side.

    Smid has no stats. When Regher got 4 million he was arguably the best defensive defenceman in the league. Smid is a good number 4.

    The only way he gets more than 4 is if some team looks at the UFA market and panics, but I don’t even an NHL GM would pony up more than 4.5.

    Put me down for three years for 10 million. Remember that NHL GMs really like conventional stats.

  93. Captain Obvious says:

    B S,

    What possible objection could you have to realignment? Certainly no rational one. Realignment is the best idea the NHL has had in years.

    As to Chris Stewart, I’ve only run the numbers for last year, but last year he was a barely above replacement player. He contributed little offense, and poor shot differential on a very good team. Add it all up and I get an adjusted +/- of -10. In comparison the “bad” Hemsky of last year was still a +3,

    As for Smid, I get him as a +1 comparable in value and style to Barrett Jackman or Anton Volchenkov. Jackman got 9.5M over 3 years. Volchenkov got 6/25.5. I think steviezie has the right number and I’d be happy with that price.

  94. justDOit says:

    Some things to like about realignment.

    1) No more divisional seeding in the playoffs. That’s been dumb since before it was tried.

    2) The west gets a break in making the playoffs to make up for suffering almost twice as much travel as the east.

    3) Get to see every other team each year.

  95. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy,

    Thanks for the fantastic breakdown.

  96. DeadmanWaking says:

    I’m scatterbrained today. Not like yesterday when I was scatter-brained, or the day before when the ants were cart-wheeling over scattered brains; the difference between the morning after Custer’s last stand and a sun-bleached Georgia O’Keefe desert landscape is just a few ants and a few hours.

    What’s the ant’s secret that makes them the most efficient predators on earth, consuming more meat than lions, tigers, and wolves combined?

    They sure don’t look efficient from up close.

    Only ants and humans keep domestic animals. And these ants in Indonesia are the finest example of animal shepherds guarding and tending their flocks. The ants even coral their flock under large leaves when the sense the approach of a storm.

    Fierce, yet nurturing and protective and hard to shake off. “Even at one hundred times the force of gravity … the ants can still grip the glass surface.”

    The ant is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    She maketh me to lie down in green pastures; she leadeth me beside churning gorges and gives me a swirly.

    Ever have one of those days where it’s “none of the above” and “the above” extends from home plate to home plate, and encompasses everything in between? Left field, switch hitter facing a switch pitcher, in a no-decision. “Why don’t they just flip a coin at this point?”

    Today I have another Murakami quote, but this time via Jay Rubin’s book Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words:

    My style boils down to this: First of all, I never put more meaning into a sentence than is absolutely necessary. Second, the sentences have to have rhythm. This is something I learned from music, especially jazz. In jazz, great rhythm is what makes improvising possible. It’s all in the footwork. To maintain that rhythm, there must be no extra weight. This doesn’t mean their should be no weight at all–just no weight that isn’t absolutely necessary. You have to cut out the fat.

    When the trade deadline looms, I regress into my childhood. We all learn in childhood that we’re different and that normal is a moving target. What most of us also experience at some point is the rap, rap, rap of a profound difference: a difference anchored so deep that we’re left staring at the group and wondering why we didn’t get some essential memo. I’ve always been like that with politics. Politics is where all the monkeys sit at the bottom of the pole to all the bananas, and no monkey dares to climb the pole, because “that’s not how we do things here” even though not a single monkey remains who experienced the cold-water fire-hose deterrent first hand, and perhaps that hose dried up long ago, but hey don’t anyone rock the banana boat. I never got the memo on the circular systems of public perception.

    I was also late getting the memo about music. Here is Rubin commenting on the above quote:

    For Murakami, music is the best means of entry into the deep recesses of the unconscious, that timeless other world within our psyche. There, at the core of the self, lies the story of who each of us is: a fragmented narrative that we can only know through images. … The novelist tells stories in an attempt to bring out the narrative within; and through some kind of irrational process these stories send reverberations to the stories inside each reader. It is a wonderful process, as subtle as déjà vu, and just as indefinable.

    I never had much use for music until a friend lent me Switched on Bach in early high-school. A three-part fugue with clearly distinguished voices gave me something I had never experienced from music before: an inner sense of sufficiency. For me, too much is just right, and just right is not enough. Soon the four points of my musical Big Bipper were Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, and Bartók.

    Jazz musicians often cite Bartók as a huge influence on the form. Bartók comes the closest for me of fusing music with speech, or at least the cadence and contours of speech–maybe because Hungarian is different enough–the culmination being Bartók’s third quartet.

    The work is even more harmonically adventurous and contrapuntally complex than Bartók’s previous two string quartets and explores a number of extended instrumental techniques … The piece is widely considered to be the most tightly constructed of Bartók’s six string quartets, the whole deriving from a relatively small amount of thematic material integrated into a single continuous structure. It is also Bartók’s shortest quartet, with a typical performance lasting around fifteen minutes.

    I recall reading quotes from famous conductors that this little quartet packs a symphonic punch, equivalent to any two hours of Romantic lyricism. I used to have to build myself up to properly listen to that piece. I would listen to other difficult music for a long while, and drink way too much coffee, and generally get myself pretty cranked up. Then for fifteen glorious minutes I could almost keep pace–but even then not on the first loop through; usually not until the second or third. This was back when I was in my late twenties and my brain could still go there. As I’ve aged, I’ve gradually lost the ability to go there. The New 100% involves much less Bartók than back in my glory days. Many people don’t get this piece at all. It’s not beautiful to their ears. I’ll tell you why: Bartók never completely finishes a musical thought. His modus operandi is to suggest a thought, and trust the listener to hear the beauty of the continuation in his or her own mind, freeing Bartók to bounce off and up end the next tuffet of musical heaven. Beauty in Bartók is mainly left as an exercise for the listener. If you can’t go there, you won’t find it.

    I gave Glover a hard time yesterday for litanizing about “kids these days” and assuming the worst. His arithmetic method of close reading is just so Salieri, compared to Rubin’s Mozart. This again from Rubin:

    [Especially outspoken critic] Miyoshi regards Murakami as a cynical entrepreneur who never wrote a word out of any such old-fashioned motives as inspiration or inner impulse. To frighten off skittish academics who might be tempted to take Murakami seriously, he warns “only a very few would be silly enough to get interested in deep reading.”

    All right then, let’s get silly …

    I could be wrong, by all my instincts tell me to toss my hat with Rubin’s. When Glover dismantles Tolstoy, it all feels just so Salieri. What it comes down to is that we don’t all get the same memos.

  97. uni says:

    We need the Oilers to finish in the bottom 5 so Tambellini can be let go or ‘promoted’ to a VP position that oversees the AHL/amateur scouting etc. One ill-timed hot streak will just prolong his tenure. Over an 82 game season does anyone seriously think the Oilers are a playoff team?

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