SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN

After last night’s loss to a clearly superior St. Louis Blues team, the Edmonton Oilers have an 8.7% chance of making the playoffs, only 18 games to climb past 5 teams who are playing well and about about one week to decide their direction at the deadline. The good news? Last night’s loss is an extreme “tell” in terms of deadline direction.

Sunday morning in Oilers Nation means the usual chatter after getting drilled by a superior team: Oilers are too small. I’ve never bought into that theory, the problem (and I’m sorry for repeating it) involves not having enough NHL players. What’s that old line about the size of the dog in the fight versus the size of the fight in the dog? The Oilers don’t lack heart, they lack ability.

And even at that they lack ability only in the support roles–Ryan Smyth is too old, Eric Belanger is too far gone, Lennart Petrell is too ginger, Ryan Whitney is too unable, and on it goes. I’m not blaming the players, to my eye the effort was there, the spirit was willing but the feet of clay held sway.

Where does the blame lie? You know, we all know. The question becomes “when” as opposed to “if” the Oilers make a change. Steve Tambellini can’t fire another coach, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish aren’t going to take the GM job (why on earth would they?) for this hockey club. I remain convinced Scott Howson will slide into the chair at some point, but am unsure it’ll be this summer.

bates

 

Elliotte Friedman mentioned last night during the HNIC marathon close that Steve Tambellini said the Oilers had “serious talks” with Ladislav Smid but would not elaborate on the nature of the talks. One imagines they are offering a short term and a long term deal, with the friendly cap hit being on the longer deal. From here, it looks like the club is not convinced he’s a building block and I suspect there is a real chance he is dealt away this week.

Bruce Garrioch has his Western conference trade deadline primer out today, and here’s the Oiler entry:

  • EDMONTON OILERS: GM Steve Tambellini has a decision to make: Does he buy or sell? The Oilers have a shot at the playoffs, but can they stay there? None of the young players are available so no need for teams to ask. D Ryan Whitney is available and so is C Sam Gagner, who could fetch help.

The Gagner item doesn’t ring true, but Garrioch has plenty of connections and I have none. So, we’ll put him on our list, beginning with the most likely to go:

  1. Ladislav Smid (UFA): Edmonton hasn’t signed him yet and that might mean there’s a gap between agent and team in terms of zero’s on the contract. Smid is going to get paid, the Oilers have to figure out if they want to be the team to pay him.
  2. Ryan Whitney (UFA): Defensemen always have increased value at the deadline, Whitney is a veteran and a team with depth who could play him on the 3rd pairing plus PP might want him for that role. My guess is they surprise everyone and get a 3rd rd pick for the veteran.
  3. Mark Fistric (UFA): I think the Oilers sign him in the next few weeks, it is clear they like Fistric plenty. However, if a team came calling and management were of a mind to trade him I doubt the club would get less than the pick they gave up for him (3rd rd pick).
  4. Ryan Jones (UFA): He’s coming off an eye injury, but his wheels are fine. An NHL team might want to increase their offense in the bottom 6F and have a guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, either.
  5. Nikolai Khabibulin (UFA): Extreme longshot to play in another city at this point. Will the Oilers re-sign him?
  6. Ales Hemsky (UFA 2014): The Oilers were not getting strong offers for him a year ago (the rumored return was a 2nd and a 4th from Nashville).
  7. Ben Eager (UFA 2014): One year left at $1.1M and the concussion issues are a concern. Plus he’s been on waivers.
  8. Eric Belanger (UFA 2014): Makes $1.75M and might fill a need for a 4line C, faceoff guy and penalty killer.
  9. Sam Gagner (RFA 2013): Oilers could get a strong return for Gagner, I imagine this would be a PF return or perhaps the elusive defenseman. Seems like a summer/draft day deal, but Garrioch is connected.
  10. D Theo Peckham (RFA 2013): Forgotten man among the Oilers, but he’s a defenseman with NHL experience and that has value.

arterton1

We should find out about a few items this week: some of the very good college free agents will sign, the Oilers have opened the window for signing graduating juniors and have Gernat and Rieder out there to sign. Also, I think we might see some roster shuffling, Nuge is apparently better and that may mean Harski getting sent down. I wonder if we’ll see a late season callup or Rajala, Fedun or Marincin to get a “cup of coffee” as Tambellini begins offloading assets.

IT’S OVER, ISN’T IT?

JOHANSSON

 

It was over the moment the broadcast rights holder began talking about Shawn Horcoff blocking the future. Losing organizations all have one thing in common: an unerring ability to blame the wrong guy.

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95 Responses to "SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN"

  1. loilfan says:

    It wasn’t just about playing a superior team in the blues(who are my pick to take the cup), the oilers couldn’t take or give a pass all night. I hope they are skating laps today.

  2. Halfwise says:

    I liked the effort, but not the brains. Hitchcock-coached teams will make their opponent do strange things, but the four clowns in a minicar moment at the Blues blue-line during that power play captured the whole evening for me.

    It must be disheartening as an Oiler player. It sure is, as a fan, to watch the inevitable consequences of 50 NHL contracts worth of roster decisions by the Oilers Brain Trust (TM).

    I truly believed that Daryl Katz would not settle for this kind of management performance. I must have been wrong.

  3. LP says:

    I disagree on Howson becoming GM. He’s good in certain things but his GM experience in Columbus should be enough to make the Oilers think long and hard about hiring him as GM.

    On Smid, my take is that they are going to sign him. He wants to be here (wife from EDM, young stars, etc), but its perhaps taking longer than expected.

    At the very least after the Oilers miss the playoffs again, perhaps Katz decides a change in management is required. Let’s hope it’s a step forward and not backward, as Howson as GM is a step backward imo.

    On another note, where will EDM draft in June?

  4. dessert1111 says:

    I don’t really buy the size argument for the most part, but I can’t deny that I saw the Oilers get pushed off the puck an awful lot last night, sometimes seemingly effortlessly. There was one sequence in particular where, instead of cycling the puck, the Blues D-man was content to keep dumping it behind the net when they were in full possession of it in the offensive zone because he has confidence in his team winning the puck battle and getting it back. Guess what — they did each time.

    Is it size? I don’t know, but being strong on the puck seems like it has something to do with it. Several of the young guys show the ability to win puck battles intermittently, but few have any consistency. It’s another reason why I wouldn’t want to trade Jones right now — he’s one of the only Oilers who consistently battles for the puck and gets possession.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but something’s not working. Will trading 2 skill players for 2 guys who can play with skill and win puck battles make things better? Maybe. This team has a lot of holes, and they look fine when playing some teams like Chicago, but playing teams with the style of the Blues they normally look terrible, and that’s a huge concern.

  5. regwald says:

    I am not sure about Smyth. He looks like a spent force, but how much of it is not being able to be as ready as he normally would for the season with a regular training camp. He looks, tired. The 2 on 1 sequence in the third where he and Yak were coming down the wing and all he does is bury his head and fire that 80 mph slapper into Halak’s pads was awful.

    He didn’t even try to work the two on one to give himself options on the play. Is this an example of vets don’t want to give the kids the chance ? or was this Smyth tired and worn out just going through the motions.

    Your choice for the song today. Love it. one of my top 25 played on my iPod. What a great song.

  6. HugThePost says:

    It seems like it is the same old thing with this team. Strange strange decisions made by management on a frighteningly consistent basis. Inventing new ways of losing games in those games they actually get a lead. A few bright spots on the roster but otherwise a roster with enough parts pulling in different directions to disrupt the overall effectiveness of the team. Ongoing losing and the ever-present potential that the losing will break the Wonder Kids’ spirit.

    There’s lots of comments around the blogs that the Oilers are the next Chicago….just everyone wait. The difference is that when Chicago was in the crapper, they were drawing perhaps 8000 fans out to each game and bleeding money. They HAD to improve the product on the ice. Here, Rexall is sold out, regardless of what slop is served up on any given night. And we are told the usual platitudes in the post-game: ‘it was a hard but needed lesson’ ‘I like the spirit in the room’ ‘we just didn’t have any puck luck tonight’ etc. etc.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  7. maudite says:

    I would trade Jones in a heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong he’s a functional 4th liner but we’re paying him like a third liner in the new cap world. I don’t think he ends up on a third line for a good team.

    I won’t reiterate my concerns with contracts and cap structure.

    The whole size thing irks me as well. We didn’t lose because of size. Our highest paid dman got owned among many other problems. I seriously think a lot of our problems go away if he manage to put together a serviceable d core…and have 4 actual centers.

    I didn’t like the smyth deal when it was signed (the 2nd year seemed absurd, moreso with the idea that the CBA negotiations were on the horizon and all bets were off) but it’s pretty unfair to him to judge much based on him playing center. That position can usually cover a lot more ice and being unfamiliar playing it, likely doublely so. He’s had periods on the wing were he’s looked just fine. Center has not suited him well.

  8. admiralmark says:

    Beginning of this season i felt 10th to 12th in the west. Why? Well because Tambellini did basically squat in the off season. This team has glaring deficiencies in both bottom 6 and D. News to anyone? We have a team that has some budding stars surrounded by players that are playing at least one line or 1 pairing above their abilities. We need 2 top 4 D men added… to enable sliding down the d men currently playing above their heads. We need 1 top 6 player with some skill. And we need at least 3 “NHL” players added to our 3rd and 4th lines. All of these needs are known and obvious to just about all of us for some time now.

    Lack of movement to fix these issues tells me.. That they simply are waiting for when they feel the “Right time” is to start making these moves. I wholeheartedly believe this management is not intent on making playoffs this year. It’s obvious by their utter disregard that playoffs were not a goal. By that same token I believe that between this trade deadline and this coming summer.. The green light “HAS” to be given to finally address these areas. Surely enough is enough even for the most clueless GM out there? Who knows.. maybe due to the shrinking cap other teams will be selling quality players cheaper then the usual price this summer just to meet cap obligations?

  9. maudite says:

    The NHL also needs to change contracts to percentage of cap…Realize they can’t, but it would make things way easier.

  10. Brett Gee says:

    Re-signing Khabibulin would be the cherry on top of the sad, laughable, heartbreaking frustration that is this management team.

    If they put Jones on waivers, would anyone bite? I think not.

    Smyth can be back next year, but only as a 4th line winger. He’d be good in that role. Unfortunately, when he’s our 3rd line center, he’s not as effective for some reason.

    If Smid isn’t a building block for this team then good night to us all. This will never end.

  11. Roughneck says:

    About that rights holder and the unerring ability

    amazing stuff

    simply amazing

  12. asiaoil says:

    No need to come down when you were never up to begin with, and I fully expected the Oilers to getted owned last night. The clowns upstairs are throwing the season again as it’s all too obvious to see. Doing nothing of note in the summer to address the problems on defense and the bottom 6. Doing nothing when our centers got hurt. Ignoring zero cost waiver options to help address the issues at center and defense which were not great but better than anything else on the roster. They are throwing the season and it’s beating down the young guys. Hard to give 110% when your organizational leaders are giving 10%. I’ll give the team this though, they didn’t quit last night even when they were down 3 and hopelessly out-matched.

  13. Bad Seed says:

    admiralmark,

    I think you’re spot on. They’ve been talking, until very recently, that this is the best draft since 2003. That’s like a glass of whiskey in front of an alcoholic to these dicks in mgmt here. I have to be honest, they’re not going anywhere even if they made the playoffs, so I hope they drop enough that they can pluck McKinnon or the finn. Maybe that’s why Gagner is on the block? The fuckos in mgmt think, or know, they’ll be picking top 4.

  14. pboy says:

    Guy Boucher was let go this morning by TB. If Yzerman is doing it………….uh oh

  15. eidy says:

    How do you expect to win this shorthanded. How can anyone expect to win with Smyth playing 7 games at centre (sometimes 3rd centre) and vandevelde playing 11 games in the NHL. Add that to Petrell, belanger, eager, brown….. yikes. I don’t know why we fear losing anyone on waivers.

    Then our defense is similarly light on talent. I can’t believe that the management team can’t see ways to improve this. Roszival was available in September. Now they feel the best way to improve the team is to shop/ play hard ball with Smid. Maybe they can get a top 4 defender who plays against top opposition and keeps his head above water. man, if only they could find one of those….

    My only hope is that Lowe talks to Yzerman (who is in a firing mood) and gets the OK to let tambellini go. Maybe at the same time Yzerman suggests to KL to jump on the sword as well. Seeing Tambo look confused as we win the lottery again would be humorous, but moving on with competent management would be my preference

  16. Thinker says:

    Hemsky likely has to be dealt at some point, the questionis when does he have the most value. I tend to think he is probably moved at the draft unless someone blows our socks off. About half the roster needs thinning out, but ryan jones isn’t part of that. Why trade a perfectly able player? We bitch anmoan about glencross and brodziak, yet we’ll trade another scoring depth player? I basically see the current roster divided into three groups, the players who need to be kept, the players who need to go, and the ones in between. Then theres smyth, who you dont want to get rid of but…
    Keep: Hall, Nuge, eberle, yak, j schultz, petry, dubnyk, smid, paajarvi, jones, gagner, hartikainen, brown(dont like the player type, but hes fine at it), fistric,
    Basicall this is the group of players who are good enough to play in the role they are in
    Toss: whitney, peckham, potter, belanger, petrell, khabibulin
    Burdens to the team
    In between: horcoff(cap hit), smyth(age), hemsky(taking minutes from yak)
    Players who do a bit of both

  17. Rondo says:

    STL was a team that wanted to win, they played a playoff type game. Can you imagine a best of 7 against the Blues. Oilers like all star game checking, not playoff. When teams play them tight it exposes their weaknesses .

    Fans jump on the Oilers and want trades. The question is it the players or is it the type of players have on this team.

    Management is building a team for regular season, and they have been doing this for years. When teams play playoff type hockey Edmonton is lost.

  18. bluenotenorth says:

    How teams need to perform to make the playoffs if the cut is either 51 or 53 points.

    Win to Get In %
    51 Pts 53 Pts Last 10
    CHI 0.000 0.056 0.700
    ANA 0.083 0.139 0.800
    MIN 0.361 0.417 0.800
    VAN 0.382 0.441 0.600
    STL 0.417 0.472 0.600
    LA 0.441 0.500 0.500
    DET 0.471 0.529 0.600
    SJ 0.528 0.583 0.400
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    DAL 0.529 0.588 0.550
    NAS 0.594 0.656 0.450
    CBJ 0.594 0.656 0.800
    EDM 0.611 0.667 0.450
    PHX 0.618 0.676 0.350
    CAL 0.658 0.711 0.400
    COL 0.694 0.750 0.300

    Chicago, Anaheim, Minnesota, Vancouver, St Louis, Los Angeles and Detroit consistently have been above the performance level needed for them to get at least 53 points. Last 10 for these teams show no significant drop, aside from LA – down from 0.581. Barring a total collapse they are all in.

    San Jose has been better – 0.553 over the season, but has dropped off lately – Last 10 is only 0.400. They will need to return to early season form to have a chance.

    Dallas continues to perform near their seasonal average of 0.532 – so 51 points is doable. It will be close if the cut is 53 points.

    Nashville’s seasonal average is 0.500. Last 10 is 0.450. Unlikely they reach 51 points.

    Columbus has been on a roll. Based on their Last 10 they would easily reach 53 points, passing San Jose and Dallas. Doubtful they can sustain 0.800, but is 0.656 possible?

    For those holding out hope, Oilers are 0.667 since Horcoff’s return. Sustaining that rate gets them 53 points. However 11 out of their remaining 18 games are against teams in the top 8. Oilers should be sellers if they do not get at least 7 points from their 5 games before the trade deadline. Sell Whitney no matter what – please!

    Phoenix, Calgary and Colorado already know they are sellers – unless they subscribe to the Feaster rebuild model.

  19. sliderule says:

    If the oil are not already in full tank mode they will be after back to back road games.

    The question is whether they can tank enough to get to fourth pick were they would have a shot at Barkov and MacKinnon..They need a center as they are weak there and I worry about Nuges ability to stay healthy.

    The tank
    Trade Whiney for second or third.
    Sign Smid or trade for first or a good young playerand a pick
    Trade Hemsky if you can get a young defender or pick.Yakupov has to take his spot and play more like 18 minutes rather than 12.
    If you can find a team to take Eager or Peckham good luck.
    Belanger you have to keep untill you sign Barkov.
    Sign Gagner.

  20. maudite says:

    On a lighter note, of different sad times being with an oiler fan:
    http://zardex.com/pals/winters/index.html

    Also, can we please not credit them with being intelligent enough to realize the plan was to likely bottom feed again this year? I don’t buy it. It’s a nice narrative but I don’t buy it.

    If the point is to tank you don’t go out and get these hordichuck, barker, belanger, eager, smyth extension type stuff. Yes these aren’t full stop compete moves but they were all attempts to bolster the roster somewhat. Every bet they lay on the table has been a bad one for a pretty long time. And in the process it’s still costing them millions. From trades to free agent acquisitions, these guys are out of their depth.

    Pile on wasted asset value: souray, omark
    Improper development curves: stacking your farm team with AHL ringers is not indicative of player solid player development. Landers curve, PVR bouncing around more to due with waiver eligibility than actual talent (He was a player 2 years ago, last season he basically spent getting confidence smashed and jerked around…this is not development)

    These guys are just out of their depth and it’s been glaringly obvious for way too long. If ST takes the fall without Klowe being promoted to something that has absolutely no involvement in hockey decisions and Mac T or Howson get the job…we are likely just spinning our wheels.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still wouldn’t mind Mac T being a coach (I can’t fault him for finally losing his marbles trying to ice a competitive team with an incomplete roster) and I don’t think Howson wouldn’t be a decent assistant GM but we need completely new blood. I want someone that isn’t an ex hockey player. That understands the CBA and isn’t anywhere close to the Glenn Healy like reaction to the possibility that looking at more analytical angles to his sport somhow is a laughable idea. Get a manager. Let that manager work on surrounding himself with the right people to cover any deficiencies he is intelligent enough to realize he is out of depth on. Let that manager remove any cronyism in the pro scouting as this is one of the most glaring deficiencies we presently have.

  21. asiaoil says:

    maudite,

    This……

  22. Gret99zky says:

    maudite,

    great post. so true.

  23. Gret99zky says:

    Katz: Do whatever you have to but I don’t want this team in the playoffs until my new arena is ready. Got it?

    Tambilowe: Understood.

    Katz: If you need me I’ll be in the Vancouver hide out.

  24. Spartacus says:

    Over?

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI

  25. LP says:

    Maudite, you are 100% spot on.

    1. Could Lowe really ‘loose’ his position?
    2. Could Tambellini really be fired?

    Being an Oilers has made me cynical. Please, someone do something.

  26. justDOit says:

    Spartacus,

    TO-GA! TO-GA! TO-GA! TO-GA!

  27. BlacqueJacque says:

    If Lowe and Tambo aren’t gone, I’m just going to do my 1992-1997 impression of oilers fandom – head in the sand.

    if they fucking hire fucking howson (he of the 30th place jackets that have rebounded from failure into near-playoffs without him), I will burn every bit of Oilers gear I have in front of HQ and start cheering for the Leafs.

  28. Ducey says:

    I am glad Speeds, LT and some of the rest of you have joined me in the “next year club”.

    Being buyers at the deadline was always a bad idea.

    I am not really as upset at management as most are as I think incremental improvement was the plan along. Everyone likes to attribute the current state of affairs to management being idiots. I think its instead a very conservative approach. I don’t think they really expected to do much better than 20th. Its enough to show progress but not enough to require moving future for short term fixes.

    This is why they don’t make waiver picks, trade for C help, get in a backup tender etc.

    It may have backfired a little as the media and fans started dreaming of playoffs after the kids lit up the AHL. It would appear those expectations were unrealistic and I don’t think that managment ever really believed them..

    Tambo’s job is safe because he is just following the plan they mapped out four years ago to be very patient.

  29. Gino says:

    It’s hard after sitting threw a game like that to be clear minded about the overall picture of this team. Here comes another top 10 draft pick in the first round.
    As playoffs are becoming something beyond your reach and the only positive is the interview with Sam Gagner on after hours I see the only hope is to keep the core of youth and some of the guys who have been threw the pain of giving it all during this process. We just have to keep Gagner and Smid these guys give a shit and need to be retained.
    I’m not saying offer them the moon and the stars but be reasonable.
    I don’t really know where Hemsky fits into things moving forward, he dangles and passes with ease and so much skill. But we have all that with the new youth and I believe it’s time to get something for him and move on.
    Whitney, Belanger, Khabibulon and Eager are a shadow of their former self’s and their time is up. Fistric is a guy who brings it every game and being paired with Whitney lately covers up for many of Whitney’s mistakes.
    Ryan Jones works hard and seems to be trying his best but can we still improve with someone who can bring us more. I want more than what he shows me and if he can’t do it get someone who can.
    I would hate to see Peckham cut loose instead of Potter but you could flip a coin to decide who you keep as your 7th d-man.
    And please have available a fifth center man as your extra forward next year.

  30. FastOil says:

    It would be a shame in a draft deep in centres to draft a defenseman first round (other than Jones) by finishing too high after another bungled year. Zadorov or Nurse? I say they’ll take Nurse.

    The blockbuster we have all been waiting for: Gagner and Smid for Dubinsky and Johnson.

  31. Ducey says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    if they fucking hire fucking howson (he of the 30th place jackets that have rebounded from failure into near-playoffs without him), I will burn every bit of Oilers gear I have in front of HQ and start cheering for the Leafs.

    Aren’t the Jackets an improved team based on the moves that Howson made?

  32. BlacqueJacque says:

    Ducey,

    No. They finished 30th in his last year. And not much better in his previous years there. He got a good package for Nash but I’m dubious that that is what improved them this year. The new GM has yet to put his stamp on the team so the conclusion we are left with is that Howson’s mere absence is a boon to the team.

  33. LP says:

    FastOil:
    It would be a shame in a draft deep in centres to draft a defenseman first round (other than Jones) by finishing too high after another bungled year. Zadorov or Nurse? I say they’ll take Nurse.

    The blockbuster we have all been waiting for: Gagner and Smid for Dubinsky and Johnson.

    Agreed, it would be a shame to not address the lack of centres.

    Although I like Dubinsky, that would be a bad trade for Edm. I think Smid > Johnson, and Gagner has more offensive potential than Dubinsky.

  34. Factotum says:

    Maudite, excellent post.

    Factoid that may interest only me:
    In 2008, with 18 games to play the Oilers were one game below “.500″ and finished 6 games over. (Their record in the final 18 games was 12-5-1.) Most likely they will need to it again. Are there any signs that this roster is capable of it? I don’t see any.

    Seven years of this $#!+ and no apparent accountability at the top. It defies comprehension.

  35. Clay says:

    “You can’t teach size”.

    In a contact sport, a super skilled small guy can lose out to a less skilled big guy in a one on one battle. That’s why everyone is in love with big players, and why big skilled players are the most coveted asset in hockey.

    If Penner was 5′ 10″ and 175lbs, does anyone really imagine he’d even make the NHL, let alone have a career as long as he has?

    Conversely, if Eberle was 6′ 3″ and 220 lbs, would he not be considered one of the best players in the game?

    Everything you can do with high skill, you can do it better with high skill and size.

    That’s why the topic of “the Oilers are too small” keeps coming up. It’s the only real hockey dimension that isn’t covered off by the cornerstone young players. AND, as fans we’re fed up with watching our good players get plastered into the boards and off the puck every other shift.

    I don’t question Gagner’s heart, just the length of his sword arm…

  36. maudite says:

    The saddest part:

    If you had a competent management team and are under the 50 player max, this summer is huge. I would shed any contract I could almost in the deadline at this point. and pile up picks. 2nd and third rounders will do.

    Under 3.3 mil is a 2nd round pick compensation.
    Under 1.68 mil is a third rounder

    With the cap going the way it is, a savy seller could offload contracts for picks now and target the bottom 9/4-7 dman RFA’s hard. There is going to be some crazy exposure going on due to the cap dropping and teams will be struggling to match even these deals. I’d be pretty confident I could do better with the belanger, smyth, jones, eager, hordichuck, whitney money in this market if I had the picks to really go on the hunt. Great opportunity to steal 21-25ish year old players that would fit well agewise with the cluster. I doubt it happens but you could really do some damage. Perfect storm if you were smart enough.

  37. VanOil says:

    As ‘I have no way of holding my head in a way it won’t hurt’ contemplating what moves the ‘Oilers Brain Trust (TM)’ will or won’t make, I will look at this instead. Inspired by Deadmanwalking’s somewhat recent post on the great Eskimo teams of the late 70′s I recommend a Wilkinson Moon solution.

    As I recall (and some of the older commentators may correct me) near the end of Tom Wilkinson’s hall of fame career his mind and craftsmanship were as good as ever he just lacked the physical ability to play at the highest levels of the modern game. Enter Warren Moon a raw rookie with the physical gifts that would make him one of the all time great quarterbacks in any league. It was still Wilkinson’s team, he was still the starter but the rookie got more and more snaps providing opposing teams a nightmare scenario where they had to prepare for both guile + wisdom and youth + speed. Not to mention the Old man got to rest up and save his legs for when it mattered most.

    I would love to see Smyth used in this way for the remainder of his contract (I doubt we are getting rid of him). Instead of beating a deadhorse with him as we have been doing this year playing him out of position and way too much. He has clearly lost a step and it was not a fast dance to begin with. Smyth’s guile and wisdom could best be deployed next year playing him for around 50 game about 10 minutes a night, mentoring the young kids in practice and showing leadership in big must win games with well rested legs. Kind of like how the great Ryan Giggs is used now by ManU. Smyth might not be an all time great like Wilkinson or Giggs but used right (a lot less) he might allow us to develop A New Moon. With or with our sparkly vampires depending on your preference.

  38. dangilitis says:

    Really like your work LT, but I really have objections to these comments on Smyth. Maybe next year will be another story and he finally gives out, but I think it is unfair to judge him based on this season’s work because of (a) prolonged layoff and condensed schedule makes everyone over 35 not named Brindamour, Selanne, Whitney or Jagr look beat, (b) he’s been put with players that cannot generate offense or play defense, and (c) he is playing as a center with more defensive responsibilities. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks, and he is not meant to play there. Jonathan Willis wrote a nice piece on this, comparing Smyth the winger to Smyth the center. He hasn’t blown away at winger either, but again Willis makes the point that he was playing against tough competition as a winger and holding his own defensively. You want fight in the dog and veteran leadership on this team and yet you want to cast him off? I say he needs 20-30 games consistently at winger before you write him off, we owe him that much. And not from a nostalgic Smytty fan perspective, from a “we can afford him and he could still be quite useful as a checking winger” perspective

  39. Hammers says:

    Sorry but your about to see a team fold . Forgeting our talented kids ( Hall , RNH , Yak , Ebs , Schultz, Magnus & Gags ) I don’t see any character players with the exception of Horc and that’s on management and ownership . Some decent players in Hemsky , Dubnyk , Petry, Smid but the mix seems way off in all the other pieces and that’s 10-12 players.

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Lennart Petrell is too ginger”

    I love this line. I like the idea that the situation is so far gone you don’t even need to bother with giving a serious account of failure anymore. Anything will stand in as a reason.

    Jones: “he hates soup”
    Belanger: “he’s a mystic”
    Whitney: “bad case of apple-thumb”
    etc.

  41. VanOil says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    I will burn every bit of Oilers gear I have in front of HQ and start cheering for the Leafs.

    I have no problem with the implied arson, but cheering for the Leafs, come on BlackJack the sun will rise tomorrow no need for armageddon talk, this is a fate worse than death.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Lennart Petrell is too ginger”

    I love this line. I like the idea that the situation is so far gone you don’t even need to bother with giving a serious account of failure anymore. Anything will stand in as a reason.

    Jones: “he hates soup”
    Belanger: “he’s a mystic”
    Whitney: “bad case of apple-thumb”
    etc.

    Ahaha. Those are all excellent.

  43. rickithebear says:

    BlacqueJacque: f they fucking hire fucking howson (he of the 30th place jackets that have rebounded from failure into near-playoffs without him), I will burn every bit of Oilers gear I have in front of HQ

    My dear TSN Analysis love child!
    Burn it all now!

    PS: Dedicated oiler fan since 1994.

  44. Clay says:

    maudite:
    The saddest part:

    If you had a competent management team and are under the 50 player max, this summer is huge.I would shed any contract I could almost in the deadline at this point. and pile up picks.2nd and third rounders will do.

    Under 3.3 mil is a 2nd round pick compensation.
    Under 1.68 mil is a third rounder

    With the cap going the way it is, a savy seller could offload contracts for picks now and target the bottom 9/4-7 dman RFA’s hard.There is going to be some crazy exposure going on due to the cap dropping and teams will be struggling to match even these deals.I’d be pretty confident I could do better with the belanger, smyth, jones, eager, hordichuck, whitney money in this market if I had the picks to really go on the hunt.Great opportunity to steal 21-25ish year old players that would fit well agewise with the cluster.I doubt it happens but you could really do some damage.Perfect storm if you were smart enough.

    Unless they changed it with the new CBA, a team can only use it’s own draft picks for offer sheet compensation.

    It wouldn’t matter how many other teams’ draft picks they had, the Oilers couldn’t use those picks for offer sheet purposes.

  45. FastOil says:

    If they sign Smid expect no changes on D except the Bomb. Whitney walks, Sutton’s retired, Peckham gets a two way, Fistric re-ups, Klefbom comes over and is gifted a spot because they have to see what he’s got before RFA.

    Very hard to imagine what they do up front given what they say. I’m not sure Hemsky has scored enough to get a decent return. If yes I’d say he’ll move. I think they would deal Gagner for size and it’s hard to imagine they’ll win that one. Hemsky and a prospect or non 1st pick would be better, sign Gagner with term.

  46. FastOil says:

    LP: Agreed, it would be a shame to not address the lack of centres.

    Although I like Dubinsky, that would be a bad trade for Edm. I think Smid > Johnson, and Gagner has more offensive potential than Dubinsky.

    I wouldn’t want that, but I could see that deal being perceived as trading two offensive players in Gagner and Johnson and two defensive. Of course we lose because Johnson is bigger MAB and defensive low scoring centres can be found. In fact we already have two!

  47. Gret99zky says:

    FastOil,

    If Whitney walks it will be his decision. I fully expect the Oilers to sign him to a value contract next year. They could give Smid the money they save signing Whitney.

  48. Minister D- says:

    Ducey,

    Patience can be a nice way of making incompetence look like there’s actually a plan in place. The worry for me is whether management is actually competent enough to make decisions that facilitate the crucial transition from patience to actual results.

    I think I’d buy the “conservative” over “incompetence” argument if the rebuild models that Oilers management claims they’ve been following-Pittsburgh, Chicago-were similarly patient, but at a certain point these organizations made choices that tipped the scales from NYI’s Hegelian bad-infinity perma-rebuild style to Stanley Cups. Ok, I’m oversimplifying, but both Pit and Chi drafted high, sacked management, and proceeded to make both ‘home-run’ type deals for high-end or decent skill guys (Hossa x2, Campbell, Gonchar, Fedotenko) and bring in effective role players (Ladd, Sopel, Madden, Kunitz).

    Point is, there came a time in both of these franchises’ rebuilds that management/ownership stopped being ‘patient’ and made moves that actually improved their teams significantly. It’s worth pondering when/if the current Oilers management team is willing or capable of making these kinds of decisions, and if so, whether they’ve shown us enough to suggest that the decisions they do make will be be good ones. Given their track record, I doubt it.

  49. TheOtherJohn says:

    If Oilers managment was smart……just to type that statement hurts my brain, they should, sequentially, offer sheet (1) Pietrangelo, then (2)Chris Stewart & then (3) Berglund. St Louis does not have the money to sign all 3 to real $$ contracts. An asset we do have! We either get a real stud D, a real good power forward or a very nice sized 2nd line C/W.

    Am sure Oiler management thinks this way (NOT!!!) Because if they are going to take that part of the season off between September 1 all the way thru May 15th I am sure they are thinking when they return to work of crearive ways to get better.

    Or are we tanking next year too?.

    Are there any other jobs you know of, other than Oiler management, that only do work between May 15th and Sept 1?

  50. PunjabiOil says:

    dangilitis,

    Problem is, Smyth was already on the downtrend in the last 50 or so games last season.

    Smyth is slower, fighting the puck, not exactly great defensively, etc.

    It happens to everyone.

  51. PunjabiOil says:

    The team’s biggest needs are:

    1. Improving the bottom 6. Belanger, Smyth, Petrell, Jones, Brown – all players who can be easily replaced and then some.

    2. Two top 4 defencemen. Grebeshkov would be 1. Need 1 legitimate top 2 option.

    3. A 1B goaltender.

    4. Most importantly, new management.

  52. ashley says:

    Clay,

    All true about size, but performance is the ultimate proof of any players ability to help a team win. You don’t have to look at the height and weight. If the player can score ppg at 5’8″ (Marty StL), then he will help you win games. There is no real argument as far as I can see. If you trade a guy like StLouis or Theo Fleury in their prime for Ben Eager or Petrell, you’re going to lose more games.

    It’s kind of strange how the media and broadcasters put up graphics comparing the size of the top 9 of another team (usually the biggest one they can find) vs the Oilers. The wingers don’t really even interact with each other in a hockey game, but rather the interact with the defense. There is nothing wrong with the size of the Oilers defense, and if size wins puck battles, then why can’t the Oilers win them in their own end? Could there be some more advanced analysis required besides height and weight?

    The Oilers should be sellers at this point. You have to know when to fold, and continuing on now would be a triumph of hope over experience. We’ll get ‘em next year.

  53. maudite says:

    RE: Own draft picks for RFA’s

    Argh, you are probably right…if that is the case, trading our 3rd rnd pick for fistric really screws us taking a run at anyone. Scratch that, you are definitely right. Because you would have to be stupid not to consider the implications of losing that pick coming into an off season where you very specifically need to start turning the corner on things, in exchange for a 5/6 pending UFA dman…Which means likely that is the case. Again, there is nothing in the pattern of management that suggests they are not on the lowest end of the pool. Can we please stop assuming patience or 7 yr plan or whatever is valid.

    I forgot to mention mismanaging roster all the way through as well as one of their many charms (too many d, too many goalies….no spare center, etc). These guys by ever measure fail.

  54. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ashley

    Good big man beats a good little man. In just about everything. Clearly not Cox in men’s 8 rowing

    If you are trading Martin St Loius or Theo Fluery for Ben Eager you really ought not to be doing your job as an NHL GM . Can probably get hired in Edmonton though.

    Do not think anybody is talking about acquiring Coke machines but if we have a selection between MacKinnon or Drouin from the Q with our roster I take size. St Louis, Vancouver, Chicago, LAK, SJS are all teams we could play in playoffs. If you have a team of small forwards & you play big, skilled teams for.2-3 series getting to the finals will be very very physically demanding

  55. Lowetide says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 54s

    NHL teams will be full-court press trying to sign Western Michigan’s DeKeyser. EDM owner Daryl Katz has already phoned the UFA defenceman.

  56. PunjabiOil says:

    MC79 has a piece up on Taylor’s Hall’s comments after last night. You wonder if accepting losing has become part of culture after reading that….

  57. Henry says:

    The Oilers may need to be sellers realistically, but I can’t see how management can plan to remain employed while giving up on another season.

    On the other hand the Ewanyk signing backs them further into the 50 contract limit so it limits their options to add for pick(s) if that is what the seller wants.

    I don’t get it.

  58. Bad Seed says:

    Lowetide,

    Maybe DeKeyser should talk to Schultz the Younger to see how that’s working out for him. I wonder how the Oilers can approach a free agent & talk about building a winning team? Just you wait, you may be playing with Seth Jones or setting up McKinnon on the power play! And who’s up in next year’s draft class?

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 54s

    NHL teams will be full-court press trying to sign Western Michigan’s DeKeyser. EDM owner Daryl Katz has already phoned the UFA defenceman.

    ummm… is that typical of an owner?

    also, does anyone else assume the Oil were in a crowd that started running in one direction and confusedly followed?

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bad Seed:
    Lowetide,

    Maybe DeKeyser should talk to Schultz the Younger to see how that’s working out for him.I wonder how the Oilers can approach a free agent & talk about building a winning team?Just you wait, you may be playing with Seth Jones or setting up McKinnon on the power play!And who’s up in next year’s draft class?

    I wonder if Schultz wished he stayed in ANA. I certainly might at this point.

  61. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    That is good news.

    Missed the game last night, so maybe I am more objective then some, but man if you really wanted to make run obviously the culture has to change. One thing to remember, Horcoff and Smyth are here next year. for sure, so everyone can stop trying to trade, buyout or retire them. they will be back, and both are serviceable in proper roles (Horc 3C, Smyth 4LW). We need to upgrade our compete level. Not our talent, not our size even, it is our compete level and two way ability. We have too many specialists. Specialists are great to add one or two spots, but not 5 or 6. Two way competitors, regardless of size, are the best way to fill out a roster (see Paajarvi as an example of what we need).

    We have stock piled picks and prospects, and now have a glut of “talent”. We need compete and two way players to push us over the hump. And we also need an eye on the cap in the next few years, so if you can move a player with high dollar with value (Hemsky) and get back a more complementary cheaper player that adds something we lack (Brouwer) you do it. Skill decrease overall effectiveness increase. You clear out anyone not here in 2 years who we can move (not Smyth and Horc, they are loved by the owner so just accept it).

    Jones, Petrell, Belanger, Eager, Whitney, Potter, Shultz Sr, Peckham, Bulin all gone for prospects or young NHL players. Any picks we get should be packaged with the above players to get actual NHLers who fit our needs.

    And be proactive and deal high pick and solid prospects for elite talent. use the cap space we have to make us better.

  62. justDOit says:

    As a fan, I’m starting to feel like Tina Turner when she was still with Ike. Let down time and time again, threatened with leaving, and then showered with shiny trinkets to try and make up for it all. Well after last nights’ black eye, I wonder what Ike has up his sleeve this time (besides a fist)?

    Note to ST/KL/CM/SH: It’s supposed to be league-wide parity – NOT PARODY!

  63. PunjabiOil says:

    Don’t know anything about DeKeyser but I think he’ll sign in Detroit simply because that’s his him town state.

    Wonder if he’ll get the entry level maximum.

  64. rickithebear says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I wonder if Schultz wished he stayed in ANA. I certainly might at this point.

    Yes so he could make AHL dollars in his first pro year!

    Ranks right up there with sure first rounders Staying in College footbal one more year!

  65. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 54s

    NHL teams will be full-court press trying to sign Western Michigan’s DeKeyser. EDM owner Daryl Katz has already phoned the UFA defenceman.

    This goes well beyond ‘facepalm’. This is ‘slams head on desk – repeatedly’. If/when it’s later revealed that Katz’s son was giving all the direction to KL and co, I won’t even flinch or blink.

  66. Bad Seed says:

    If I’m a ufa’s agent, I wouldn’t be doing my job unless I steered him away from losing organizations like this.

  67. Lowetide says:

    John Buccigross ‏@Buccigross 3m

    I hear Detroit, Edmonton, Anaheim, St. Louis, Nashville are final 5 for Western Michigan’s Dan DeKeyser. With fam in Michigan-Wings favorite

  68. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    rickithebear: Yes so he could make AHL dollars in his first pro year!

    Ranks right up there with sure first rounders Staying in College footbal one more year!

    He may have to wait longer, but D always get injured. After his year in the AHL he’d be pushing for a roster spot on any team in the NHL especially for call up duty.

    And… he’d be in a successful org.

    Ranks right up there with not languishing in EDM!

  69. speeds says:

    maudite,

    Fistric trade has no impact on possible a RFA offer sheet signing this summer – that trade was a 2013 3rd, for an offer sheet requiring a 3rd as comp it would be the 2014 3rd.

  70. DBO says:

    Hemsky for Brouwer
    Whitney and Belanger for Boyle
    Jones to Bruins for 3rd
    Bulin to parking lot for Big Bear Beer
    Petrell to Montreal for 5th
    Shultz Sr. to Pittsburgh for Joe Morrow (4th rated D prospect from Pens, so very possible)
    Eager to Blackhawks for futures

    Send hookers and blow and whatever else you need to DeKeyser to secure his services.
    Sign Smid to 5 years $3.85 per (a bit much, but that’s a hometown discount from Smid’s agents to get term)
    Sign Fistric to 3 year $1.5 per

    Lineup to finish the year

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    Paajarvi-Gagner-Yakupov
    Smyth-Horcoff-Brouwer
    Harsky-Boyle-Brown

    Smid-Petry
    DeKeyser-Shultz
    Morrow-Fistric

    Yes we are younger, but our D is more mobile, our forwards have more compete (Boyle and Brouwer bring it, have size and grit and fit our age need – 27). And more importantly we have turned the team over with only Horc, Smyth, Gagner and Smid with any ties to the crap fest of the past.. They have a shot at a run to the playoffs, or we fall back but get a hell of a 20 game education for our players and still have a decent pick to add to the stable. We have freed up cap space and spots for additions if available. you can make a run at Stafford, Penner, Clowe at the draft or off season with the added picks and some of our prospects. Maybe you take a run at Bowmeester with a Marincin and a 2nd and 3rd rd pick. Something like that gives us a true shot at the playoffs next year, gives us more cap contract flexibility and sets us up for a 2-4 year true run at the cup.

    Just have a true direction, clear the deadwood so you can add better pieces and if it means no playoffs this year to change the dressing room, then you do it. But if they just re sign Whitney, Bulin, Jones and keep Belanger then I may be done till 2014. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a true sign of insanity. And right now, this management team is on review and close to certifiable. Mr. Katz, please wake up and see the truth. Someone see what Kevin is feeding him, cause I think he may be drugged up with Rexall past due medicines.

  71. gogliano says:

    Lowetide:
    John Buccigross ‏@Buccigross 3m

    I hear Detroit, Edmonton, Anaheim, St. Louis, Nashville are final 5 for Western Michigan’s Dan DeKeyser. With fam in Michigan-Wings favorite

    Oilers’ strategy of being as putrid as possible re: depth as a way of attracting college UFAs seems to be working. Sounds like a longshot but being in the top5 speaks volumes for Tambo’s well-thought out strategy.

  72. speeds says:

    Would be really nice to see EDM land DeKayser, I hope that wouldn’t have any impact on re-signing Smid – even if DeKayser is ready to play EDM needs to improve their number of legit top 4 D, not that I’d be expecting DeKayser to be that come next fall anyways (although if they get him, and he can play top 4 D, great!).

  73. speeds says:

    The other nice thing about getting DeKeyser, IMO, would be that it probably doesn’t hurt the chances that EDM uses their 2013 1st on a F vs. a D

  74. TheOtherJohn says:

    Speeds did you look at his stats? What makes you think top 4 next year? Forgot, it’s Oilers top 4

  75. speeds says:

    I don’t think he’ll be a top 4 guy right away from what I’ve read. Would be a nice get, but the more I read the more likely it appears he’ll sign with DET. Not a certainty, but most likely.

  76. DBO says:

    And just an FYI. We are 2nd last in league in Score adjusted Fenwick (from Travis Yost).
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Travis-Yost/Score-Adjusted-Fenwick-Standings-3242013/134/50225#.UU9TTBysiSo

    Please, oh please clear out the deadwood.

  77. DBO says:

    speeds,

    And guaranteed the pitch is you will be on our roster the moment you sign, and will probably be sold on playing with Shultz as our 2nd EV unit from the get go. Chance to play solid minutes, with offensive partner. If you have SHultz Sr. and Fistric/Whitney as our sort of 2nd/3rd unit, Petry/smid as our 1st. you can play the college kids solid EV minutes with gravy zone starts. That should be the pitch.

    Paired with SHultz the younger. Some 2nd PP time maybe. Some PK time maybe. But NHL right away, which may be the biggest selling point. No AHL (he is 23 and should be Ok, hell a lot better then Whitney), and minutes with Shultz with the dream of the two of them together for a decade of playoffs. Most teams in the running may not have him in the NHL right away, so that is our biggest selling point. NHL right now.

  78. Lowetide says:

    That Yost article is top drawer, the guy is smart as a whip.

  79. TheOtherJohn says:

    You mean the article where he referred to the “legendary Lowetide” ……that article? Immediately thought there must be 2 Lowetide’s and he was referring to other guy

    It’s going to be neat to see the young “discover” Jackie Robinson

  80. Ducey says:

    DBO:
    And just an FYI. We are 2nd last in league in Score adjusted Fenwick (from Travis Yost).
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Travis-Yost/Score-Adjusted-Fenwick-Standings-3242013/134/50225#.UU9TTBysiSo

    Please, oh please clear out the deadwood.

    If those numbers are actually meaningful, then how do they explain ANA?

  81. shawwwood says:

    Could it be that the Oilers have known for a while they were a top contender for DeKeyser?
    Is that why they have been dragging thier feet on the Smid signing?
    If they sign DeKeyser they trade Smid.
    If they don’t they sign Smid.
    Or is Tambo waiting to the last minute because that’s what he always does?

  82. TheOtherJohn says:

    Suggest that you listen to Yost’sinterview by the legendary Lowetide from yesterday. Yost believes that ANA is an unsustainable anomaly. Realize you need to critique the data or else the press releases the Oilers send you may not be accurate

  83. Ducey says:

    justDOit: This goes well beyond ‘facepalm’. This is ‘slams head on desk – repeatedly’. If/when it’s later revealed that Katz’s son was giving all the direction to KL and co, I won’t even flinch or blink.

    What’s wrong with Katz calling him ?

    Maybe the interwebs are wrong and he didn’t. Maybe it was the 3rd call from various people with the Oilers. Maybe it wasn’t.

    Its at the point that no matter what the Oilers do or don’t do (real or imagined), some of you will find a problem with it.

    Lets imagine he goes elsewhere and Katz doesn’t call him. I can only imagine a few swipes about him in his cave in Vancouver.

  84. VanOil says:

    Landing DeKayser is a long shot. Expecting talented kids like DeKayser, Schultz Jr and Kelfbom to carry this team before they are 25 is unrealistic. I don’t mind having Vets like Schultz Sr around to mentor/bridge the gap until there more talented replacements are ready. Even if he is expensive relative to his ability. I do mind having unable or untalented vets like Whitney and Potter around taking up roster spots and costing us games.

    I would like to see the Oilers use there financial fire power (being a team that can afford to spend the cap and has a few years left with stars on cheap ETL contracts) to pick on teams that don’t. Yes I am still bitter about the 90′s sell off.

    How about relieving Tampa Bay of some of there costs. Trade Whitney and Teubert to Tampa for Eric Brewer. Brewer is older and has two years left. TB would gain both a offensive and defensive defenseman with no contractual obligations past the end of the season. Oilers would gain a vet who will cost some money for the next 2 years but would not cost us games the way Whitney has plus free up a roster spot. We could afford his cap hit even after signing Smid and it would provide some cover for our more offensive minded D prospects to develop. Heck he might even be available for free after a buyout in the off season. Mind you I am of the opinion after last night that giving up Whitney and having to take on salary is worth it.

  85. FastOil says:

    Gret99zky:
    FastOil,

    If Whitney walks it will be his decision.I fully expect the Oilers to sign him to a value contract next year.They could give Smid the money they save signing Whitney.

    You’re likely right but what do they do with all of these D? They better not until everybody good has shaken loose this summer.

    speeds:
    Would be really nice to see EDM land DeKayser, I hope that wouldn’t have any impact on re-signing Smid – even if DeKayser is ready to play EDM needs to improve their number of legit top 4 D, not that I’d be expecting DeKayser to be that come next fall anyways (although if they get him, and he can play top 4 D, great!).

    The Blues D is very young except Redden who doesn’t count and Jackman. I think if quality is high enough it doesn’t take 8 years in the league to become adequate. A year or two and a good player should be able to handle 2nd and down lines well with the odd screw up. I think we a re used to seeing guys that can’t stay healthy and aren’t really that good. Maybe the Bomb will make a difference sooner if his shoulders keep his arms attached.

    speeds:
    I don’t think he’ll be a top 4 guy right away from what I’ve read.Would be a nice get, but the more I read the more likely it appears he’ll sign with DET.Not a certainty, but most likely.

    I think there is a better chance at a Cup with the Oilers, but more risk of less playing time. Detroit has rep, but is an older team. Maybe the youth will entice him. Boy would Anaheim hate us if it happened.

  86. justDOit says:

    Ducey,

    What’s wrong with the owner calling him? What’s wrong with Wang nominating his then back-up goalie to be GM? Owners are owners because of ego, and that’s why they hire people like GMs, assistant GMs, associate GMs and all the other types of GMs necessary to perform the business of running the team.

    I have no beefs about having the owner being part of a pitch, as in the wooing of the Schultz, but to have just the owner call DeKeyser seems to say to me, “I have no confidence in Lowe, Tambellini, Howson (Edit: forgot MacT) or Olczyk to do this.”

  87. Ducey says:

    justDOit:
    Ducey,

    What’s wrong with the owner calling him? What’s wrong with Wang nominating his then back-up goalie to be GM? Owners are owners because of ego, and that’s why they hire people like GMs, assistant GMs, associate GMs and all the other types of GMs necessary to perform the business of running the team.

    I have no beefs about having the owner being part of a pitch, as in the wooing of the Schultz, but to have just the owner call DeKeyser seems to say to me, “I have no confidence in Lowe, Tambellini, Howson or Olczyk to do this.”

    You think its reasonable to jump to the conclusion that Katz called without coordinating it with the management team? I would think that they probably followed the blueprint they used with Schultz.

  88. justDOit says:

    Ducey,

    I’m only going by a tweet from BobM that states ‘Katz already called him’. If Katz is the first contact, something is wrong. I hope that this is not the case.

  89. Ducey says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Suggest that you listen to Yost’sinterview by the legendary Lowetide from yesterday. Yost believes that ANA is an unsustainable anomaly. Realize you need to critique the data or else the press releases the Oilers send you may not be accurate

    You mean the Oilers are not that good? I didn’t get that memo. Thanks!

    Gee, maybe they were never destined for the playoffs and shouldn’t be buyers at the deadline. Who knew?

    There are at least three other teams (NYR, CGY, TOR) that are “anomalies”. Think Torts will point out after the next loss that the NYR are 7th in score adjusted Fenwick ? Maybe Feaster should be buying!

  90. jp says:

    DBO:
    Hemsky for Brouwer
    Whitney and Belanger for Boyle
    Jones to Bruins for 3rd
    Bulin to parking lot for Big Bear Beer
    Petrell to Montreal for 5th
    Shultz Sr. to Pittsburgh for Joe Morrow (4th rated D prospect from Pens, so very possible)
    Eager to Blackhawks for futures

    Send hookers and blow and whatever else you need to DeKeyser to secure his services.
    Sign Smid to 5 years $3.85 per (a bit much, but that’s a hometown discount from Smid’s agents to get term)
    Sign Fistric to 3 year $1.5 per

    Lineup to finish the year

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    Paajarvi-Gagner-Yakupov
    Smyth-Horcoff-Brouwer
    Harsky-Boyle-Brown

    Smid-Petry
    DeKeyser-Shultz
    Morrow-Fistric

    Yes we are younger, but our D is more mobile, our forwards have more compete (Boyle and Brouwer bring it, have size and grit and fit our age need – 27). And more importantly we have turned the team over with only Horc, Smyth, Gagner and Smid with any ties to the crap fest of the past.. They have a shot at a run to the playoffs, or we fall back but get a hell of a 20 game education for our players and still have a decent pick to add to the stable. We have freed up cap space and spots for additions if available. you can make a run at Stafford, Penner, Clowe at the draft or off season with the added picks and some of our prospects. Maybe you take a run at Bowmeester with a Marincin and a 2nd and 3rd rd pick. Something like that gives us a true shot at the playoffs next year, gives us more cap contract flexibility and sets us up for a 2-4 year true run at the cup.

    Just have a true direction, clear the deadwood so you can add better pieces and if it means no playoffs this year to change the dressing room, then you do it. But if they just re sign Whitney, Bulin, Jones and keep Belanger then I may be done till 2014. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a true sign of insanity. And right now, this management team is on review and close to certifiable. Mr. Katz, please wake up and see the truth. Someone see what Kevin is feeding him, cause I think he may be drugged up with Rexall past due medicines.

    Largely agree. The excess of borderline/non-NHL players needs to be cleared. How much are Belanger, Whitney, Jones, Khabi, Eager going to contribute to a mythical playoff run anyway? Not much. Absolutely anything that can be gotten for these guys should be taken (in many cases even clearing the contract with no return would be a huge help).

    I wouldn’t jettison Hemsky or Schultz Sr. unless the return was worthy though. They are expendable to some extent, but they’re real contributors. Schultz on the 3rd pairing ready to slide up in case of injury would be ideal – he’s just not up for facing top competition full time.

    Selling veteran players at the deadline doesn’t mean the team can’t be improved.

  91. DeadmanWaking says:

    Today I have Mating In Captivity by Esther Perels at the back of my desk. This book is a quick read, not the least because the copy near to hand (but not too near) reeks of sandalwood rub. It’s reassuring to know my fellow library patrons have put this tome to the ultimate test. Ordinarily, my fellow library patrons confine themselves to loose library slips, archival pizza crumbs, dog-eared corners, and pencil underlinings (usually minor, but sometimes every word for half a page).

    I once had a conversation with women in which a factoid from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader was reported and I responded with a smirk that I spied many of these on the shelf of a local used bookstore. She didn’t quite catch my drift. As she was a nurse I decided to apprise her of a rarely mentioned detail about the male anatomy: in between comfortably hung and uncomfortably numb (think polar-bear swim) is a dangerous attitude. I first discovered this in early adolescence when I plopped myself down to do my business and fired a powerful yellow jet through the gap between the seat and the bowl. Fortunately, this cleared my rumpled trousers by a country mile, as I had dead-eyed the gap, so there wasn’t a huge diffraction mist, either; just a small lake in the center of the bathroom floor that accumulated while I grappled like a deer caught in the headlights with that mysterious quasi-voluntary clamping-muscle. Beating a hasty exit, I threw down some paper towels so no-one would split their head. Pity the school janitor.

    Note to self: Always drop the pants to a safe remove. With the right foot position, the pants can be securely crumpled into a safe zone above the suspect floor, but well below the treacherous gap. Lesson learned.

    Subsequently I adopted the policy to “check” my attitude with the double long-finger tang depressor. This was somewhat akin to guying a young sapling, as well as personal admonition to get on with the process of becoming longer, stouter, and reliably pendulous.

    My story now takes an unexpected twist. One of my brain-fucked adolescent classmates decided one day to clamber up the cubicle wall and check out my private business, whereupon he witnesses my transitional system of checks and balances with much joy and hooting. He then proceeded to “share” this titillating tidbit with any classmate not yet astute enough to wonder what monkey-boy was doing clambering up cubicle walls to gawk at my peach-fuzz nut-sack. I didn’t wish to advertise my role in this escapade in any capacity, so I defaulted to the family code: just zip it. The real problem, I think, is that my parents didn’t let me watch the right movies. Now here’s a beautiful 40 second primer on how to deal with monkey-boy once and for all. Obtain a good book, retire regularly to the cubicle for a good read–all zipped up and ready for action–and poised to grind loose-lipped monkey-boy into the harsh steel framework of the masculine code.

    Monkey-boy was actually a calculating and industrious and often charming sociopath. I think his real motivation was to confirm his hypothesis that I came from a family where I was indeed not allowed to watch the right kind of movie. This was just one more entry in his lifetime almanac of exploitable human weakness. I think I represented a subliminal threat, that at any moment I might organize myself to draw the necessary conclusion, and having done so, to ruthlessly and effectively conceal any tells about the newly-level playing field. While I might have been excessively prone to taking no measures, I was certainly wasn’t going to rouse myself and then feel my way into a succession of ineffective half-measures. Bluster makes for a good deterrent if you’ve got the energy to keep it up. Lack of bluster makes for an even better deterrence if you catch the other guy with your pants up–and you only have to do it once.

    Okay, so back to the original “attitude” adjustment. It’s not necessarily true that a guy does his business entirely hands-off until the final act, by which point (one dearly presumes) The Bathroom Reader is set safely off to the side.

    Judging by my fellow library patrons, maintaining a faultless separation of church (clean hand) from state (pragmatic hand) while mindlessly flipping the pages is a dutiful lizard in short supply. Now women can go about their business without making an attitude adjustment (in so far as I’ve been informed) and so might not realize that the lizard’s in play here. My nurse friend was aghast that I had volunteered this new piece of information (and will never look at a Bathroom Reader the same way again). I was surprised by her reaction. As a professional, she deals with too much information on a daily basis, but she manages by allowing it to remain confined to its antiseptic tile box. She was displeased to learn something outside that box.

    As a curiosity, sometimes too much information runs both directions:
    * Bad taste #1
    * Bad taste #2

    Now finally back to Esther Perels, Chapter 6 Sex Is Dirty: Save It for Someone You Love, which begins with this quote from J. Edgar Hoover:

    I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.

    I don’t think I need to quote the passage where Perels paints the picture of the bi-polar attitude in America toward teenage sexuality, which demands abstinence from teens steeped to their cosseted gills in hyper-sexual marketing.

    Europeans, in contrast, view adolescent sexuality as a normal developmental stage on the way to healthy adult sexuality. Sex is not a problem; being irresponsible about sex is. Hence the European counter-slogan to “Not Me, Not Now” is “Safe Sex or No Sex.” It’s also worth noting that in Europe, teenagers engage in sexual activity an average of two years later than their American counterparts, and the rate at which teenagers give birth is a staggering eight times less.

    When is the right age? Does teenage fumbling better prepare a person for the full flower of adult sexuality? Do results build character, or does character build results?

    17 + war paint = ready for action

    There really are limits to how much one can rush maturity. Looking the part ahead of time is perhaps not a bad thing, if used to promote maturity rather than gauge it.

  92. Halfwise says:

    Maybe it’s just my imagination, but isn’t this the time of year when draft picks seem undervalued and roster players are overvalued on the trade market? And don’t some managers overvalue picks at the draft?

    Trade Whitney (“A Veteran Puck-Moving Defenseman on a Good Contract!!”) for a late second round pick between now and the deadline. Watch his rights change hands for a third or maybe just a fourth round pick at the draft. The difference is the value of the insurance to a contending team for the last segment of the season plus a bit of herd instinct amongst GMs competing for limited resources.

    So for a team going nowhere this season, clean out the roster, free up some contract room and stockpile some picks. Then turn those picks back into real NHL players at the draft. Buy low with the intent of selling high.

  93. FastOil says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    I get what you’re saying. But DeKeyser and Schultz will dominate because they are both from the US and don’t shoot the same side. They are both Aryan. I have this thought out. They may have even played together as kids or something, like Gagner and Tavares.

    And yes Aleksander Monahan will make the team.

  94. Kitchener says:

    Recipe for failure: Smyth being asked to play the wrong role.

    He’s being used as a multi-purpose player due to team bad depth. If he was just playing 3rd line wing on a team with balanced lines, even as an old dog he’s still be a coach & fan’s dream come true.

    Once upon a time he could plug holes on a roster, Captain the Red & White, etc. Now it’s time for others to fill those roles and for Ryan to just do one man’s job. If so, the 2nd year on the contract makes sense. If not, it’ll be an ugly ending.

  95. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: If those numbers are actually meaningful, then how do they explain ANA?

    Luck

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/3/18/pdo-numbers-by-nhl-team-mar-18

    PDO measures luck

    ANA has the highest team shooting % at 11.5% and the second highest 5v5 SV% .932

    Add em together and you get 1.047 where 1.000 is the base line.

    At the end of 82 game season most teams are grouped around 8.5% shooting percentage (ANA was 8.2% last year) and the median SV% is usually .920

    Hot goalies cover a multitude of sins as does shooting out the lights.

    Here’s ANA Forwards sh% of every forward who has scored a goal.

    Saku Koivu 23.5
    Andrew Cogliano 20.8
    Nick Bonino 18.5
    Patrick Maroon 18.2
    Ryan Getzlaf 17.2
    Bobby Ryan 15
    Corey Perry 14.3
    Peter Holland 13.6
    Matt Beleskey 12.5
    Kyle Palmieri 11.9
    Teemu Selanne 11.6
    Daniel Winnik 11.1
    Emerson Etem 4.8

    That’s pretty ridiculous.

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