SNOW

The Oilers lost in Vancouver to a Canucks team that looked much better than the Saturday night club we saw at Rexall. Oilers have a 27.4% chance of making the playoffs and Sports club stats does a nice job of identifying the team Edmonton needs to be chasing:

SPORTS CLUB STATS CHANCES OF MAKING THE PLAYOFFS

  1. Chicago 100
  2. Anaheim 100
  3. Los Angeles 98.5
  4. Vancouver 97.5
  5. San Jose 93.4
  6. Minnesota 91.5
  7. St. Louis 83.0
  8. Detroit 62.0
  9. Edmonton 27.4
  10. Columbus 19.0
  11. Phoenix 17.0
  12. Nashville 6.9
  13. Dallas 3.2
  14. Calgary 0.1
  15. Colorado 0.0

It looks like Edmonton will finish somewhere 8-11 based on these numbers. I don’t think anyone catches St. Louis, and from Nashville back they look done. The Oilers are two points behind Detroit, same number of GP. I think they need to win one of the games on the coast this weekend. However, if you’re thinking of jumping off the bandwagon, I suggest you hang on for another week.

The Edmonton Oilers have a real chance to win the second season. Seriously.

Michael Parkatti’s doohickey has Ryan Jones as the most effective Oiler last night, and that’s about right. Here, let’s run down the forwards:

  1. Jones 14-2
  2. Horcoff 11-2
  3. Yakupov 13-4
  4. Smyth 9-8
  5. Nugent-Hopkins 14-13
  6. Hall 13-13
  7. Petrell 6-6
  8. Eberle 13-16
  9. Hemsky 3-11
  10. Paajarvi 4-14
  11. Brown 3-8
  12. Gagner 3-16

Good job by the Horcoff line and I’ll suggest the Hall line had some chances but nothing rhymed. I don’t really have a quarrel with the 4line–but the Gagner line continues to baffle. I know Paajarvi wasn’t himself and Gagner took some lumber to the jaw late, but there’s something about Gagner-Hemsky that just isn’t clicking. I know we’ve looked and looked and looked at it, and brighter minds than mine like Tyler Dellow have sifted through the wreckage, but at some point I’m of a mind to trash the experiment and move on.

Gagner-Paajarvi-Yakupov?

I think this is the reason one of Gagner or Hemsky won’t be back. I’m not trying to me melodramatic–I love Hemsky and Gagner as players–but they should be doing better.

cor relGagner’s 5×5/60 is fine (2.10), Hemsky’s less so (1.47). I don’t have an answer, but at some point I think the Oilers will stop asking the question. As an aside, look at that top line!

I wrote a Nation Profile on Ryan Smyth, it’s up this morning.  I don’t know if this is his last season–it might be–but looking back on his career is an extreme pleasure for this Oiler fan. I’m glad he’s part of this young team for a time, and I’m going to miss him for a long, long time when he’s done.

Why haven’t the Oilers signed Martin Gernat?

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133 Responses to "SNOW"

  1. G Money says:

    First, ever? Yay me!

    Lowetide sez: “The Edmonton Oilers have a real chance to win the second season. Seriously.”

    And lets remember once again – at the beginning of the season, a rational expectation was to have a chance. Barring a no-more-wins kind of losing streak, mission accomplished.

  2. TheOtherJohn says:

    Think they plan on parking Gernat in Europe for a year.

  3. Bos8 says:

    I would like to commend the troops on last night comments. During a losing game some excellent, excellent material. Made the medicine go down.

    In my life I didn’t pay enough attention (make that any attention) to Pachelbel – Who? – Pachelbel. I rest my case.

  4. pboy says:

    I agree that one of Gagner and Hemsky is gone for next year and that player will be Hemmer. He’s a sublime talent but not the easiest guy to play with. He’s older, he has an injury history and he’s going to be an UFA after next season. I expect to see him in greener pastures right after the draft.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Speaking of the kids that need signing… what happened to all those college guys we were looking at:

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/3/24/pleasant-valley-sunday-2

    there are only 4 teams left and most of these guys aren’t on them…

  6. bookje says:

    G Money:
    First, ever?Yay me!

    I don’t think you understand what a monumental fail this is.

    Hint – look for the props button

  7. Doug McLachlan says:

    G Money: First, ever? Yay me!Lowetide sez: “The Edmonton Oilers have a real chance to win the second season. Seriously.”And lets remember once again – at the beginning of the season, a rational expectation was to have a chance. Barring a no-more-wins kind of losing streak, mission accomplished.

    Exactly. Would have loved a win last night – and couldn’t concentrate on much else leading up to the game – but the point of this season was to turn the corner on the basement-dwelling past few years and a we are certainly moving in the right direction.

    By eye, I have to agree that Hemsky-Gagner is not working so I hope we see the switch-up we are expecting starting Saturday:

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    MPS-Gagner-Yakupov
    Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Jones-Smithson-Brown

    Horcoff, Smyth and Hemsky know each other so well now that I think they can recreate some magic for three more weeks (hopefully with an option to re-up the magic for the post-season) but I’m less concered with how to best use Hemsky at this point (he’s a solid vet and will find a way to contribute here one in and, sadly, I expect he will not be wearing Orange and Blue next October) but I want to find some way to free Yakupov to unleash 8+ shots a game from here on in. I swear I am almost more impressed by his “almost” goals than the one’s he scores. In the Monday’s game against Calgary a wrister missed, not by much, and came off the back boards so hard it was still too-hot-to handle when our D was picking it up behind our own net. On Wednesday’s game, in the second, he put one through MacDonald’s equiptment that almost trickled by him. MacDonald didn’t get “a piece” of the shot – he got the whole thing, didn’t matter.

    Seriously, the puck jumps off Yak’s blade sooo fast it surprises goalies – as it did Schneider last night – with both the speed it arrives and the weight behind those shots. He is going to hurt people with that thing and I can’t wait for it to happen with regularity.

  8. Hammers says:

    As for Gernat I thought they had untill Oil Kings season ends . As i said a few days ago it was time to reunite Horc , Hemsky & Smyth putting Yak with Gags . As much as we all would like the Oil to be in the playoffs , realistically I see us at no better than 10th indicating once again management risked getting draft picks for at least 4 players & 2 proved last night , Habby & Whitney it was a mistake.

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think it’ll be Hemsky that is moved this summer. If they can get a UFA to sign (someone from the Iginla/Horton tree-an established RW that can play tough comp and bring a little physical play) they can package Hemsky and Schultz Sr for that LH top 4 Dman they require.

    I like Hemsky a lot but I can see that happening.

  10. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    So many teams were taking a step back in the west….Detroit losing Lidstrom and getting older. Dallas getting older. Nashville losing R. Suter. Calgary was on a downward slope for the last two years. Colorado is rebuilding like us…..Phoenix in purgatory and Doan is older.

    Ryan Whitney can’t skate. He couldn’t skate in week 1 or in week 4 and he still can’t skate.

    Our 4th line bleeds chances like crazy….same old, same old.

    Yes, our top 4 forwards are getting more experienced and developing. Our 1st line is the BOMB – That is a given.

    Just not sure anyone can’t point to any progression besides our 1st overalls and DD has been good. ( maybe MPS showing signs of life )

    Here is the Edmonton Journal and it summarizes it perfectly.

    After 35 games, Nate had the count 554 chances for the Oilers, 677 against, which averages to 15.8 chances for the Oilers per game, 19.3 against.

    Willis had the exact same ratio of chances for to chances against.

    My count was the Oilers averaging 16.2 chances for and 19.0 chances against.

    In other words, the three of us all have studied this and conclude that the Oilers are getting out chanced by about three chances per game this year.

    You give the opposition three more hard shots on net from the slot than you get each game, you’re in trouble, at least in the long haul. Sure, you can win some games, but over time you’re not going to win more than half of your games.

  11. steveb12344 says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    It is amazing how that kid shoots the puck. I’ve noticed over and over again that when he unleashes it you literally can’t see it. Even in the slowed down replays, I’d like to say it’s a blur, but you really don’t even see that.

    When this kid gets a little more confidence and experience, goalies will be at his mercy. They will just have to get in position and hope it hits them.

  12. Cobbler says:

    denny33,

    This assuming your goaltending is average or below average. Above average goaltending will cancel out those extra chances against.

    Dubnyk and Khabibulin at .922 and .923 have provided above average goaltending which diminishes (I am not sure how much) the affect of those chances against.

  13. TheOtherJohn says:

    Cobbler: denny33, This assuming your goaltending is average or below average. Above average goaltending will cancel out those extra chances against.Dubnyk and Khabibulin at .922 and .923 have provided above average goaltending which diminishes (I am not sure how much) the affect of those chances against.

    No it doesn’t

  14. Cobbler says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Well that’s a conversation killer :)

  15. jfry says:

    Did tambo know smithson’s wife was pregnant? Seriously? Every game missed is making that 4th rounder look dumber and dumber.

    By eye, it would appear that hemsky is becoming more and more difficult to play with. His flights into the zone have become predictable … Go wide and try to get around the dman for a back hand deak or cruise behind the net and come back out to the blue line. He used to have some sense of the cycle and how to find people in the slot. He’s been my favourite player for years and its gonna be tough to see him go, but he’s really the square peg right now, and playing with him must be very frustrating at times, as hall expressed in his rookie year.

  16. Beaker says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Think they plan on parking Gernat in Europe for a year.

    That seems totally backwards to me. Why take a player who is accustomed to the NA game out of the NA game?

  17. TheOtherJohn says:

    Cobbler when you are getting to the 2nd decimal point on your goalie save percentage and you are being outshot 3 shots a game, the math does not add up

  18. delooper says:

    Edmonton probably has a good chance with one of the games against Anaheim. Edmonton has a reasonably-mellow schedule heading into the Anaheim game but Anaheim will have a pretty relentless one before it. So there’s a chance Anaheim will be tired, or will be resting some of their better players, or will simply underestimate the Oilers.

  19. jfry says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Iggy can no longer play tough comp with aplomb. His game is simpler than hemsky’s but his days of pushing the river are over. Now he just skates up the wall and shoots off his back foot. Maybe that was ennuie from too much time in Calgary, but I hope we can do better than him at this point.

    Was going to brin up behindthenet, but it’s all skewed because he’s in Boston now.

    Check out his Corsi rel from last year

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=20&s=29&f1=2011_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=CGY&f7=5-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67+17+18+19+20#

  20. eidy says:

    re Gernat, I wonder if they are mad at him for the way the injury was handled this year. I hope not he is tracking well

    Talk about bad timing on a 4 game win streak and shooting percentage of 19.5%. It would have been much nicer to change the two Vancouver games. Maybe then Whitney and jones would be elsewhere. Harti would be up with the team. Maybe the offers we’re just too poor.

    I am mixed on the result I want. I think long term it would be best to play a few meaningful games than fall back to monahan territory. End the tambolowe era and move forward with nill from Detroit. Hopefully the Detroit model has some idea on incorporating advanced stats.

    Hemsky in the off season makes sense and for crying out loud separate hemsky and gags. Yakupov is much better there.

  21. wordbird says:

    Great Smytty piece on ON, Lowetide. think i might have to stream that Game 3 SCF video in the background at work today.

    Clearly #94 is in the twilight of his career, but man i hope he’s got enough juice/wisdom left to help these kids get into the dance.

  22. Cobbler says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    OK thanks. I see your point. Moving Dubnyk and Khabibulan to .918 (around league average for the top 30 tenders) I see their .922 has potentially saved about 5 GA so far this season.
    5 GA on 102GA. Not insignificant.

  23. Bag of Pucks says:

    Having a play with some of the calculators on Capgeek this morning (got to love a slow Friday) and noticed a couple things of interest.

    Site has a nifty page called Bargain Hunter where he ranks the top cap value players defined as cap dollars per point/assist/goal/minute of ice time per game. Top value player on the list currently? One Mr. Taylor Hall.

    Second, I was looking at the worst cap hits in the league to see who the Nucks could possibly have traded Luongo for, and I find myself wondering why in hell didn’t they trade him for Lecavalier?

    I know Lecavalier’s hit is substantially higher ($7.7 to $5.3) and his point production has seriously waned from his prime but….

    1) TB was desperately in the market for a tender as evidenced by their overpay for Bishop
    2) Supposedly both FLA teams were on Luongo’s list
    3) VAN was in desperate need of a 2nd line center.
    4) Surely Yzerman would’ve taken back some of Lecavalier’s salary to finally dump that contract and secure his starting goaltending for the next 5-7 years?
    5) Yzerman has a history with Luongo as his starter from the Olympic team

    This deal made too much sense for it NOT to happen. WTF

  24. Gino says:

    The officiating should have been much better in this game, high stick to Eberle & a stick to the side of Gagner’s head with no calls.

  25. Gerta Rauss says:

    jfry,

    That’s fair-my point is that I think we’ll have an easier time finding a UFA winger(to replace Hemsky) than a UFA center(to replace Gagner)

    I hope so anyway-getting an UFA with some tread left on the tires to sign in Edmonton is the next big step in the rebuild imo.

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jfry:
    Did tambo know smithson’s wife was pregnant? Seriously? Every game missed is making that 4th rounder look dumber and dumber.

    By eye, it would appear that hemsky is becoming more and more difficult to play with. His flights into the zone have become predictable … Go wide and try to get around the dman for a back hand deak or cruise behind the net and come back out to the blue line. He used to have some sense of the cycle and how to find people in the slot. He’s been my favourite player for years and its gonna be tough to see him go, but he’s really the square peg right now, and playing with him must be very frustrating at times, as hall expressed in his rookie year.

    I’m not sure the Smithson delay is as big an issue. Or, I don’t think you come close to winning last night if he’s in the line up. the bigger issue re: the moves of late are

    1) the overall delay on addressing need (too long to figure out we are weak at C)

    2) making the wrong needs assessments (targeting Volpatti and Brown for toughness)

    3) overpaying for assets acquired

    RE: Hemsky… I don’t buy this “they’ve figured him out” line. He’s one of the best oilers at entering the offensive zone:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/28/edmonton-oilers-zone-entries-part-2-which-players-drive-the-bus/

    the problem is (as we saw a few times last night), the synergy (to use RK’s infelicitous word) of that line in puck management, cycling and puck retrieval is very poor. part of that has to fall to Hemsky no doubt… but I don’t think it makes any sense to throw in the Hemsky towel.

    I’d look at tweaking his line, and/or mixing things up in practice. it’s been a season long issue.

    ALso…. did you not see him on the 3rd goal last night! he’s in position, isn’t responsible for the turnover and is literally the only one (excepting 15 who was holding back) to bust his injured ass to try and make a backcheck only to hurl himself into the endboards:

    http://video.canucks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=6&id=236021

    89 gives up skating and 19 stops after giving 83 a helping hand with his stick, 91 is completely out of the play (no fault).

    he’s a player.

    Also… i think that Hall quote has been wildly mishandled and overinterpreted by Hemsky’s detractors.

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    Outside the 2006 run when he finally bought in, Hemsky has ALWAYS been a difficult challenge for linemates. This team will take a big step forward when they finally deal Ales to balance the lineup elsewhere. Very disappointed the offers apparently weren’t significant enough again this deadline. You have to know the Oil are always dangling him. Maybe that’s part of the problem?

    Hemsky is that temperamental ice queen you know you shouldn’t be with. Your friends all hate her, she’s absolutely killing your bank account and her stress fests are leading you to an early heart attack. The problem is she looks like Megan Fox bending over the Camaro and every now and then she gives you an oral exam that would leave the Hulk spent.

  28. LMHF#1 says:

    I’ll always be slightly less impressed with Smyth than otherwise because of two things:

    - His stubbornness in using that useless Gretzky blade. Only one man has ever been able to use that thing well and I swear it cost him at least 50 goals throughout his career.

    - His performance in the ’06 finals simply wasn’t good enough. That should have been his time to shine and he did not.

    I understand the admiration of course. Just always saw him as not quite where he could have been. I mean, that 30mph slapper beats Andy Moog once and we have to see it nearly every game until the end of his career? No.

    Would much rather have him working with our young players than Buchberger though.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    There’s nothing quite like the smell of the knifes being drawn for Hemsky the morning after a demoralizing loss.

  30. Captain Obvious says:

    The single worst conceptual mistake the Oilers could make, and that those who talk about the Oilers do make, is that the Oilers can be improved by exchanging players. Excepting a steal trade where they rip off the other team a la Gaborik, they need to be adding players not exchanging them.

    Right now they need, at a minimum one more good forward and one more good defensemen. If they use Hemsky to get one of these players then they need to still need to replace Hemsky.

    So once again, the problem isn’t the players they have, it is that they don’t have enough good players. The only trades the Oilers should make are those that involve picks, prospects, and deadwood.

    The plan should be simple.

    1. Trade picks/prospects for good D from team in cap crunch.
    2. Sign best FA forward you can.
    3. Contend for Stanley Cup.

    It should be that easy.

  31. oilersfan says:

    For the entire time they have been here, Hemsky and Gagner have never played well together with the exception of a few games with Penner. For whatever reason, Hemsky has always played better with Horcoff. I am all for Hemsky back with Horcoff and Yak with Gagner. I would have loved for the Oilers to have traded eager for Jussi Jokinen at the deadline and had JJ play with Gagner and Yak. JJ could take the faceoffs and be the defensive, veteran presence. I understand he plays physical too despite being just average sized. MP with Horcoff and Hemsky could play the toughs leaving Hall for the secondary toughs and gagner with Yak to kill the thirds.

    I wonder if Gagner doesn’t play well with Hemsky because Gagner is a righty and he has a hard time passing to Hemsky in full speed on his backhand? also both are playmakers not shooters. Whereas Horc is a lefty so passing between him and Hemsky goes more smoothly.

    I have always loved Hemsky but man does he drive me crazy when he either goes offside or dangles at the last second at the blue line to put his teammate offside. It happened once of each of those examples last night. The Oilers are such a poor cycle team they need to get thei rpoints off the rush. Both of the examples last night were odd man rushes where Hemsky either went offside or put his man offside by stopping in full flight at the blue line. Who knows if a 1-1 tie might have made a big difference but I think it would have/.

  32. Bag of Pucks says:

    CO, three elite RWs is not a luxury a team can afford when they’ve got substantial holes elsewhere in the lineup. This team needs a top two way center that can win faceoffs and dominate the toughs for the 2C slot, a Top 4 D, and arguably a power forward. Gagner and Hemsky have to be the chips to help acquire some of those assets as they simply don’t fit the blueprint.

    As for replacing Hemsky, the goal of any org should be to have prospects bubbling under that will eventually push the vets out the door.

    You don’t haul the garbage to the dump in your Porsche because you have 3, you buy a damn truck.

  33. Cobbler says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I also calculate that if our SA were closer to the league average of ~27, instead of 30 then Khabi and Dubnyks 0.922 would have possibly resulted in 7 fewer GA.

    I am not arguing the importance of chances against, just that goaltending has a significant impact on the outcome of those chances and that Dubnyk and Khabi have held the fort well.

  34. Bag of Pucks says:

    RA, timing of the loss has nothing to do with my apathy about Hemsky.

    We all love the fancy dangle goals every 4th game, but if we want to win the Cup, our Top 6 needs to consistently dominate the opposition. I’d place my bet that Yak is the player to do that over Hemsky come Cup time.

  35. TheOtherJohn says:

    Agree with CO

    The easiest way to improve this team is to improve EVERYBODY outside of the core group: Hall, RNH, YAK, J Schultz, Smid, Perty, Gagner, Dubnyk & Paajarvi. That is get a better player in to do what they are currently doing. Not hard, unless you cannot ID superior pro players.

    Thought we could get Giardano & possibly GlenX out of Calgary because some of our prospects would shorten the time of Calgary’s rebuild but if Murray Edwards thinks he has a playoff team next year he is on crack

  36. jimbones100 says:

    Lowetide I appreciate you calling out the under performance of 83 and 89. I know these are clearly players that you like but the Math does not lie. I agree that we are at a point where we can’t continue to nlame their linemates and question their true value to this team.

  37. jfry says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Agreed completely.

  38. VanOil says:

    Given the bizarre nature of the one year dip in Cap I do not believe teams will be willing to take on Hemsky salary. If they do it would likely mean the Oilers taking some one older, and more expensive back. The old and expensive should be easy to pick up free and cheaper due to compliance buyouts.

    For the rest of this year I would like to see: Gagner-Paajarvi-Yakupov as a 2nd/3d line getting softish minutes. Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky as the tough minute shut down line still capable of occasionally terrorizing in the Ozone.

    Next year I would hope to see Hartikeinen or Penner in Smyth’s spot. Smyth being penciled in as a 4th line player capable of moving up that plays 50 to 60 games. That might mean only seeing Brown for 20 to 30 games next year and I am OK with that.

    ROMULUS APOTHEOSIS my favorite part of the Hemsky hustle back last night is the push I believe Schultz Sr gives him in the neutral zone. Roller Derby tactics!

  39. remlap says:

    I think for the most part people need to chill out.

    Did we really expect this team to win the remaining 12 games on the schedule? They lost to the now division leading Canucks. They were also on the 2nd of back to back games, which is tough for any team.

  40. jimbones100 says:

    89 looks real fine those twenty games a year when the game is wide open. However when the games become tight checking ‘playoff style’ games 89 seems to bleed at an alarming rate. I hate to admit it but I’m not sure I sign that player to a long term big money contract.

    Of course it is easy to say “trade 89″ but who are we going to replace him with? And I don’t want to hear any more BS about moving one of the best wingers in the world to center.

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    Michael Parkatti’s doohickey has Ryan Jones as the most effective Oiler last night

    If that’s true then Jones must be playing Left Guard. Apparently if you never hear those guys names mentioned they’re doing the job.

    I’m more onside with “if Jones is our most effective player any given night it’s a sad statement on the team”, OR Parkatti was doing some excellent Peruvian flake while playing with his doohickey.

    Jones is crap. Worst F on the team imo simply because he does fewer things half decently than Petrell. Every game he does one or two things that make me chuckle out loud. Last night it was the icing when he had a free lane to make one short stride before dumping it in. Apparently he hasn’t received the must be over the red line first memo.

  42. jfry says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    We’re going to disagree a little on this. As I said, he’s been my favourite player for years.

    He has an ability to enter the zone…no argument. But it’s him entering on his own with complete disregard for the fact that he’s got line mates. For a passer, he passes very little. Hall had a tough time with him. Hemsky completely ignored yak when they played together, which is absurd given we all thought it was going to be the set up connection between the two.

    Love the player, but…he has a tough time gelling with anyone.

    I’d rather him play hard minutes with horcoff and ignore any offence he needs to bring. Drive the puck out of our end. Get a whistle and put the kids on. I could watch him used like that all day against tough comp.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VanOil: ROMULUS APOTHEOSIS my favorite part of the Hemsky hustle back last night is the push I believe Schultz Sr gives him in the neutral zone. Roller Derby tactics!

    it was Jr. I liked it too… just wish he kept skating (although, to be fair he had pinched so far in there was no way he could get back in the play)

  44. Kitchener says:

    IF 89 or 83 gets moved, keeping 89 makes more sense. But that’s a big IF.

    A 3rd line of Smyth-Horc-Hemsky is nothing to sneeze at. Other than the $$ and opportunity cost of a Hemsky trade (what could we get in return?), this 3rd line would be our best in years. The fact that they can play together raises everyone’s value. Then play 91-89-64 as the 2nd line.

    I like the Oil with 83 better than without. On the flip side, Hemsky’s been healthy all year, which puts his trade value back where it should be.

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    RA, timing of the loss has nothing to do with my apathy about Hemsky.

    We all love the fancy dangle goals every 4th game, but if we want to win the Cup, our Top 6 needs to consistently dominate the opposition. I’d place my bet that Yak is the player to do that over Hemsky come Cup time.

    Fair enough. You don’t like him period.

    I’m at a loss re: that position.

    His #s are down this year. His line is being outchanced and looks rough.

    But he’s not problem with this team IMO. For me, he’s firmly in the “needs to get better” camp rather than the “needs to be replaced” camp.

    I expect he will be traded or not renewed next year but I remain highly dubious we will come out ahead because of it.

    I’m also very reticent about the two common arguments:

    1) he’s too old for the cluster. I can’t recall a winning team that walked away from a very good 30 year old because he was “too old”… if he was 35+ I might bite… but this argument makes no sense to me

    2) he’s too expensive. with the new cap situation and his decline (if it continues) that may be so… but i suspect his contract is going to whomever takes his place. getting rid of him doesn’t solve the problem of having to pay top 6 forwards… only ELCs and finding gems in the rough do that.

    (i’m not saying these are your arguments… just carrying the conversation forward).

  46. Kitchener says:

    A question for the stat-munchers: do championship teams also have a handful of players with ugly individual advanced stats?

    Restated, is this assumption true: there are a handful of Oilers with lousy advanced stats, therefore the Oilers need to replace/upgrade those players to win a championship?

    I’m not being a shithead on purpose. MGMT seems to ignore advanced stats & we like to pounce on them for that. BUT, do the top teams have stinkers in the mix too? What is the advanced stat profile of championship teams?

  47. Captain Obvious says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    CO, three elite RWs is not a luxury a team can afford when they’ve got substantial holes elsewhere in the lineup. This team needs a top two way center that can win faceoffs and dominate the toughs for the 2C slot, a Top 4 D, and arguably a power forward. Gagner and Hemsky have to be the chips to help acquire some of those assets as they simply don’t fit the blueprint.

    As for replacing Hemsky, the goal of any org should be to have prospects bubbling under that will eventually push the vets out the door.

    You don’t haul the garbage to the dump in your Porsche because you have 3, you buy a damn truck.

    I disagree with the analogy. There is no equivalent of hauling garbage to the dump in hockey. Everyone’s job is the same: to score more than they give up. This is as a true on the third line as it is on the first.

    So I disagree we need a tough two-way center. The Oilers have three good centers right now. If I agree that the Oilers need a new center that means trading both Gagner and Hemsky. I can see no way that shuffling the deck chairs in this way could ever improve the team since the new players you brought in would be worse than the players you shipped out.

    Now the Oilers absolutely do need a top 4 Dman. My preferred target is Tyutin. If that cost Hemsky I wouldn’t be devastated though I’d prefer to trade picks or prospects other than Klefbom.

    So I’d be fine with trading Hemsky for someone good on D but then you need two forwards out of free agency and I don’t see the Oilers ever getting that done.

  48. freedomisamyth says:

    Captain Obvious,

    From my perspective, one of the biggest conceptual mistakes people make is to think that players are equivalent by looking at stats. Stats are great, but using them to compare players in much different situations is a mistake in my view. Therefore, I don’t agree that it’s a mistake to think that the oilers can improve by exchanging players. You exchange a player who isn’t a fit in their current situation (Hemsky?) for a player who isn’t a fit in their current situation, but fits better in your situation. As much as it seems to be a common trope with many (especially those who trust stats a bit too much), you can’t just throw players together on a line that don’t fit together, even though in different situations those players come out strongly in the stats department. Also that argument doesn’t take into account cap hits either, and the balancing act you have to do there, and not to mention that your post completely neglects the opportunity to add picks and prospects to an ‘exchange’ to upgrade a player too. I think your argument for that to be the ‘biggest conceptual mistake’ is pretty slim there.

    Not that I disagree with your ‘plan’ though, but I think you still need to balance the lineup a bit more especially when you have to consider the cap. Adding a top FA forward and a top 4 dman without dropping any salary is going to be tough…

  49. cabbiesmacker says:

    Kitchener:

    A 3rd line of Smyth-Horc-Hemsky is nothing to sneeze at. —-the 3rd line would be our best in years

    Is Smyth using a walker next season or an electric wheelchair with a stride/glide setting?

    I respect the hell out of the guy but man, if the falloff in 13/14 is at the same rate as 12/13 it could be real ugly.

    I guess I’m alone in my thinking that Yak with Gagner is an edge of your seat proposition right now. To my eyes Yakupov always looks a little lost out there. when he and the puck manage to cross paths good things seem to happen but the rest of the time? It’s like he’s looking for the breadcrumb trail.

  50. Bos8 says:

    Gagner needs his wingers to look good. Both Hemsky and Paajarvi are nursing injuries. Besides they can’t play center for him.

    Mind you I’ve been on the “Paajarvi to center” wagon for a long time. How about that straight arm by PRV last night. He’s slowly buying into “Better to give than receive”.

    The thing is that the game has changed, a lot more information available to coaches and players. Better defensive systems are in play. You’re not going to score as often, as years past, so if you have a player/s that can recognize and take advantage of a situation developing he/they are gold.

  51. Captain Obvious says:

    One way to improve the team would be to trade a second or third round pick for Tyutin and Umberger. Umberger’s contract has negative value and the Blue Jackets have a low internal budget so I think they’d jump on it. It would make the Oilers instant contenders solving two holes at once but it would be a big risk.

    After adding Umberger and Tyutin the only huge hole on the team would be for a fourth line center. Now considering the inevitability of injuries this is a pretty significant hole. The goal of a good team should be to have their fourth line be the equivalent of other teams third lines.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Captain Obvious: Now the Oilers absolutely do need a top 4 Dman. My preferred target is Tyutin. If that cost Hemsky I wouldn’t be devastated though I’d prefer to trade picks or prospects other than Klefbom.

    I think that’s a trade we all make. Tyutin’s on a lot of Oil lists… I wonder if it’s on Gare and Semenko’s?

    There was a lot of speculation about Methot before he got traded and then JJ… but I don’t recall any actual rumors about scouting CBJ for Tyutin… one can dream.

    also… it’s really too bad that Kulikov rumor didn’t pan out… that would have been worth hemsky.

    both those deals though probably needed some sizeable +s going the other way.

  53. Bos8 says:

    cabbiesmacker: Is Smyth using a walker next season or an electric wheelchair with a stride/glide setting?

    I respect the hell out of the guy but man, if the falloff in 13/14 is at the same rate as 12/13 it could be real ugly.

    I guess I’m alone in my thinking that Yak with Gagner is an edge of your seat proposition right now. To my eyes Yakupov always looks a little lost out there. when he and the puck manage to cross paths good things seem to happen but the rest of the time? It’s like he’s looking for the breadcrumb trail.

    QFT

    Playing two men short in your own end.

    “The oppo have the puck – Spread out Maggie, spread out.”

  54. DBO says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Love that lineup. best with what we have.

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    MPS-Gagner-Yakupov
    Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Jones-Smithson-Brown

    Our main issue is the D. Potter has played better of late, so maybe it’s time again to sit Whitney, which will not happen since he is so important according to management. Would like to see Fistric in with Potter to add some meanness to our rematch against the Flames who will be taking runs all night tomorrow. Smithson, Fistric add a toughness we will need. The kids will decide it, but I would like to see some Flames players looking over their shoulders more just to return the favour of guys taking runs at our kids.

    on that note, anyone else loving the chippy play of Yakupov? That kid has some fight and grit. If he was Canadian Grapes would be singing his praises.

  55. hags9k says:

    There just must not be much of a return for 83 on the trade market. Obviously he won’t bring back the top LH D that we need. Therefore, I’d like to see him stay and play more defensive 3rd line minutes with Horcoff as Romulus suggested. Yak is clearly going to need to play bigger minutes at RW soon. If he is happy to play less and for less cap past next season, keep him. If not, sail on Pardubice Prince. The D man (men) we need will have to come from free agency.

  56. Captain Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The Blue Jackets have a lot of RFAs coming up, they need to shed salary, and they have an excess at D. I’m sure they’d rather trade Umberger, Wisniewski, or Johnson. However, unless someone is stupid they won’t be able to. My price for taking Umberger is Tyutin and even then I’d be nervous. If I could muster the courage I think the Blue Jackets would jump and down to shed nine years of salary commitments.

    The x factor is that they may be able to shed salary another way. If not, the Blue Jackets are the perfect fit for the Oilers.

  57. DBO says:

    never looked at Oilers Nation (Lowetide is first stop most days), but looks like Willis had same thought about Whitney as I did. Except he is smarter and backs it up with facts.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/4/5/ryan-whitney-and-corey-potter

  58. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Are the Oilers still in the hunt for Antoine Laganiere ?

  59. hags9k says:

    I’ll add that while saying Hemsky should roll with 10 on the 3rd line I am looking more towards next year. I like the idea of 91-89-64 but reality is that they will bleed right now… So this year take your pick, 89-83 a little awkward or 89-64 a little lost.

    You guys ever get the feeling that the roster may be out of balance or something? Maybe there is a 3 for 1 deal out there…

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Well… here’s to hoping. I’m worried that WG had it right and they are targeting the wrong CBJ players.

    With Howson not there anymore… the fit might not be as smooth, but from a needs perspective it certainly works.

    This offseason is going to be critical… I bet when the draft rolls around ST wishes he had flipped a few of his expiring contracts into picks he could have bundled.

  61. Bag of Pucks says:

    Captain Obvious: I disagree with the analogy.There is no equivalent of hauling garbage to the dump in hockey.Everyone’s job is the same: to score more than they give up.This is as a true on the third line as it is on the first.

    I’m sorry, but that is just dumb. A team is a collective, not a collection of automatons all performing the same identical function to produce a widget at the end of the assembly line.

    An effective scoring line for instance can be composed of three individuals with highly disparate yet complimentary skills sets. A) winger who absolutely owns the boards and retrieves pucks for B) sublime passer who creates space and threads the needle to C) superlative one shot sniper who cashes the cheques on the superb plays created by his line-mates actions.

    Clearly in the above example, the jobs are not the same nor the skillsets. Yes, it is all about the final score, but if what you’re saying was true, the team with the best stats on paper would always win the Cup and we know how often that actually happens.

    An effective team CAN actually perform to higher levels than the sum of its individual parts might indicate.
    Synergy is a buzzword I typically despise but it does apply here. Teamwork and complimentary skills matter.

    Hemsky is sublimely skilled but his report card consistently says ‘does not play well with others’ Unfortunately, I suspect the rest of the league sees this as well so 3rd line duty is probably the best available option.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hags9k: You guys ever get the feeling that the roster may be out of balance or something? Maybe there is a 3 for 1 deal out there…

    I always thought the 3-1 involved mostly non-roster players like Marincin or Musil.

  63. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Nice to see the Yak celly zone in this:

    https://twitter.com/Datsyuk13/status/319833527606718464/photo/1

  64. denny33 says:

    jimbones100,

    I agree and there are other forwards on this team that are very similar – when we play
    ‘heav’y teams or the tough gets going – some of our forwards fade into the background.

    Similar to playing against St. Louis – I think we send Sam and a couple of other forwards to check K. Bieksa or R Suter and they will NEVER get that puck back.

    Here is David Staples Breakdown of Sam’s last 9 games..remember we played Calgary twice.

    But Gagner hasn’t been able. He’s again on the fritz, highlighted by his worst game of the year on Thursday night in Vancouver, where he helped create not one hard shot on the Vancouver net from the slot, but made mistakes on eight such scoring chances against his own net. He was forever losing his man in the slot or on the backcheck.

    No matter how well the top line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle is playing, if the second unit led by Gagner has many more games like that, the Oilers have little chance of making the playoffs.

    The game was the worst of a bad run of games where Gagner’s offence has slumped along with his defensive game. In the last nine games, he’s been chipping in on just 2.1 scoring chances per game and making mistakes on 3.2 per game, for a rotten -1.1 scoring chances plus-minus for this period.

  65. denny33 says:

    Kitchener,

    Great question…..

  66. Rondo says:

    There was not much ice last night for the Oilers. Vancouver took them seriously and played 60 minutes. You take time and space from the Oilers and they are not much of a team. They don’t have the physicality in their top 6 forwards to make a difference.

  67. Captain Obvious says:

    I just went to capgeek and the Oilers can’t fit both Tyutin and Umberger in without shipping out someone like N Schultz and even then it’s tight. So that’s out.

    The point remains that the Oilers absolutely have to gear up for a deep run next year before the Hopkins new contract kicks in. Next year is the best chance the Oilers have to have a team with actual depth while coinciding with Hall and Eberle’s peak.

    They need to be a cap team and they need to be a cap team by adding good players. Making the playoffs next year isn’t good enough because the opportunity is never going to be better.

  68. nelson88 says:

    I still believe Smyth can make a contribution to this team and will be fine when he is back in a comfortable position.

    Hemsky is a very talented player and has been a good Oiler. That “soft” and “bad attitude” stuff is all crap but if you need to give up something to get something he is most likely the guy you move. And for god sake get him away from Gagner and back with Horc and Smyth!

    interesting article by Matheson the other day about how much the Oilers like Barkov. Finnish and boys on the bus connection with Kurri so likely some fire there. He will go around #5 and regardless of where the Oil finish I hope they take a serious run at trading up to get him or; failing that, Monahan. I would not hesitate to package the 2013 1st and 2014 1st to move to 5. Up until their recent roll the Flyers were at 5 and we all know they don’t believe in “rebuild” so perhaps you could package the 2013 1st and Hemsky and another prospect to get there.

    For the D I would like to see them target a player in the Sbisa, Josi, Kulikov range/age group. Even if that costs you a good D prospect (Marincin, Musil, Klefbom) and a 2nd round pick in return.

    The “window” opens in 2014 so no time like the present…..

  69. Captain Obvious says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    While what you are saying is technically true, it is of vanishing significance in comparison to the talent level of players. That is the value of synergy gained from combining diversity of skills<then the variation of talent amongst the sample.

    And that's even presuming that synergy is something you can identify. For instance, the common narrative of the synergy argument is that you have to have the "right mix" or you can't have too many of "the same type of players." And yet the most famous example of players playing well together, of having good synergy, is the Sedin twins, who are literally identical.

    Honest question, how much added value do you think can be gained by synergy?

    I would say it is pretty small and hard to identify. And while you are wasting time trying to identify it you are trading supposedly miscast players for players that are worse and who will be similarly miscast because you are hunting for unicorns.

    Get good players. Keep good players. Get more good players. That's all.

  70. Ice Sage says:

    delooper: Edmonton probably has a good chance with one of the games against Anaheim. Edmonton has a reasonably-mellow schedule heading into the Anaheim game but Anaheim will have a pretty relentless one before it. So there’s a chance Anaheim will be tired, or will be resting some of their better players, or will simply underestimate the Oilers.

    We also don’t know how these 2 teams will match up yet. Don’t mind trading chances with that club.

  71. Ice Sage says:

    Rondo: There was not much ice last night for the Oilers. Vancouver took them seriously and played 60 minutes. You take time and space from the Oilers and they are not much of a team. They don’t have the physicality in their top 6 forwards to make a difference.

    Agreed that Oilers were lacklustre. Canucks can play that stultifying style (their fans don’t complain, too busy ogling bure and the green men) and hold on if they get the first goal. If not, well… last Saturday can happen. Good humble lessons for an improving team.

  72. cabbiesmacker says:

    Captain Obvious:
    I just went to capgeek and the Oilers can’t fit Tyutin in without shipping out someone like N Schultz and even then it’s tight.So that’s out.

    Good. I don’t get the love for the guy at all.

    denny33: But Gagner hasn’t been able. He’s again on the fritz, highlighted by his worst game of the year on Thursday night in Vancouver, where he helped create not one hard shot on the Vancouver net from the slot, but made mistakes on eight such scoring chances against

    If you like Gagner you have to be willing to ignore extended periods of nothing, sandwiched between periods of amazing and periods of stinks. I trade the guy simply because he is going to cost as much or more than Hemsky and will garner more in a trade. Sign Ales for life when his current contract expires at a descending rate like $3.5, $2, all the Piccolino’s you can eat for life

    nelson88:

    For the D I would like to see them target a player in the Sbisa, Josi, Kulikov range/age group. Even if that costs you a good D prospect (Marincin, Musil, Klefbom) and a 2nd round pick in return.

    There’s likely zero chance you can touch any of those three. Especially for that return. Not often offering up NOTHING gets you SOMETHING.

  73. Gerta Rauss says:

    Captain Obvious:
    I just went to capgeek and the Oilers can’t fit both Tyutin and Umberger in without shipping out someone like N Schultz and even then it’s tight.So that’s out.

    I think that’s exactly what could/should happen. Schultz Sr is still a servicable D man. A team looking to shed salary/long term financial committments may look at Schultz as a decent replacement for a (Tyutin type) on a short deal in exchange for cap/financial relief.

    That leaves us looking for a replacement for Schultz Sr of course, but acquiring that Tyutin type of player is paramount this summer…we can fill in the 3rd pair after that is accomplished.

  74. DBO says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    A few things can be done. First, do not re-sign a the UFA’s we have unless they take hugely cap friendly deals (Jones $1 mill, Whitney $1.5). You still need a 2/3 LW and a 1/2 LD, along with a backup goalie. If this team squeeks into the playoffs, or just misses I believe we will have more of an opportunity to add some solid UFA’s. With the cap low, there will be a lot of decent players taking below $1 mill just so they have a place to play.

    Lander or Smithson type at 4 C = $.850k
    3/4 LW = $1 mill (Smyth will still be here and slot in at 3/4 LW)
    2 LD = that will cost, and form the looks of UFA’s will have to be a trade. But if we needed to sign someone, we could still look to $1.5 – $2 mill as our top end for a year.
    G – $1 mill will get a serviceable backup goalie.

    The real issue is the money that Gagner will make. If he takes $4 mill. Then keep him. if he wants more, then one of him of Hemsky has to go. Gagner will have more value ten Hemsky. And I do think Hemsky could be signed to a value deal after next season.

    Lowered cap means a lot of decent players getting low deals. The Oil can scoop a few up to improve our team at a low cost in the off season. And for the love of God, please buy out Belanger and probably Eager.

  75. delooper says:

    Here’s a challenge: can you put together a fantasy all-star NHL team that Ales Hemsky would look out of place on?

    He’s one of the best players in the NHL. He brings something that few other players in the NHL have, that ability to take the puck end to end, crashing the net in the process. If you’re looking to trim the fat on the Oilers, there’s so many other places more appropriate to start.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    Captain Obvious:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Honest question, how much added value do you think can be gained by synergy?

    Ever compared the results from a bad marriage to those of a good one?

    Synergy is too vague a word. Confining the conversation to sports, I think complimentary skillsets is a more definitive description of what you’re looking for here.

    In the case of Gagner, Hemsky, PRV, the initial indications are that adding Magnus (i.e. defensive responsibility and newfound willingness to fight for rebounds) helped. Gagner and Hemsky are both puck carriers first. I think the line benefits from swapping one out for a natural shooter (i.e. Yakupov).

    Ultimately, I think Gagner and Hemsky’s games have warts that you don’t want to live with in a championship contender. So in some ways, I’m in agreemet with you. From a pure production/talent pov, they’re not elite enough to stay in the this Top 6 if winning the Cup is your goal.

    Finally, Montana-Rice, Jordan-Pippen, Gretzky-Kurri, Tinkers-Evers-Chance, the history of sports has shown us that when true synergy does occur, the results are not only quantifiable, they’re paradigm shifting.

  77. gcw_rocks says:

    The Gernat question is an excellent one. What are they waiting for? There cannot be any question about signing the guy.

    Does someone need to send them an email and remind them he is about to go back into the draft this year?

  78. nelson88 says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    I think the cap decrease as well as team budgets will make a lot of people available.

    You are likely right on the “cost” to acquire them but a 23 or 24 year old D man with 200+ games (Josi is below that) would be worth an “overpayment” imo. The “window” will likely last 4 – 6 years and a top 4 of Schultz Jr, Sbisa, Petry and Smid would look pretty good in 14/15 and not be a cap killer.

  79. Gerta Rauss says:

    DBO,

    Agree that we’ll probably have to trade for the D man we need.

    A quick look at capgeek and the UFA crop and only Hainsey and Scuderi look (somewhat) interesting, and that’s assuming they even make it to free agency.

  80. delooper says:

    Bag of PucksIn the case of Gagner, Hemsky, PRV, the initial indications are that adding Magnus (i.e. defensive responsibility and newfound willingness to fight for rebounds) helped. Gagner and Hemsky are both puck carriers first. I think the line benefits from swapping one out for a natural shooter (i.e. Yakupov).

    Ultimately, I think Gagner and Hemsky’s games have warts that you don’t want to live with in a championship contender. So in some ways, I’m in agreemet with you. From a pure production/talent pov, they’re not elite enough to stay in the this Top 6 if winning the Cup is your goal.

    Unstated here is the implicit assumption that a championship team can only have two lines capable of scoring goals? You seem to be asserting that the only way Hemsky can stay on the Oilers is if he is a top 6 forward….

  81. godot10 says:

    Gernat is a 5th round draft choice that perhaps wants late1st round money. i.e. It is not a routine slam dunk negotiation when a later round draft pick outperforms his draft position. The injury complicated things, in that you want to make sure he is healthy. How many games do you have to see?

  82. Kitchener says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    I agree: Yak with Horc this year makes sense. Training wheels still needed.

    Call me optimistic, but Smyth playing 70 games of a de-compressed schedule and 3rd line LW minutes would result in a good final season with enough jump to earn his keep.

  83. godot10 says:

    Also, Gernat might want to go an play in the KHL for a couple of years for $500K plus per season (rather than for $50K in the AHL) and come to the NHL in a couple of years on a max 2-year entry level contract. There is a Slovakian team in the KHL, y’know.

    After a shoulder operation at 19, maybe one wants to guarantee one’s financial security before going to play in the AHL for $50K per season.

  84. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    It’s a good thing they signed Ewanyk early.

  85. cabbiesmacker says:

    Can’t believe nobody has queried what movie the boys were at when Hemsky got his ST pocket dial.

    I’d bet if it was Hall, Yak, and Nuge picking it was the Croods

    Whitney? Had to be Olympus has Fallen

    Jones? The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

    No word if Lowe was two doors over at Safe Haven or Tambo in the complex at Escape from Planet Earth.

    RK was def at Silver Linings Playbook

  86. Bag of Pucks says:

    delooper: Unstated here is the implicit assumption that a championship team can only have two lines capable of scoring goals? You seem to be asserting that the only way Hemsky can stay on the Oilers is if he is a top 6 forward….

    You raise a good point. There are many ways to skin this cat, but as the thread above amply demonstrates, you can’t have players that are supposed to be outscorers bleeding chances against.

    My case against Hemsky isn’t that he can’t thrive on the 3rd line? More, why would you want him to if you can parlay him in trade to fill a bigger need (2C or Top 4D)? It may very well be a moot point, as it appears clear no one is offering us for that for Ales at least not without a sweetener.

    Gagner, same thing. Not good enough in the dot or defensively to play in my Top 6, but his value may be high enough to bring back that more capable 2C or Top 4D?

    It’s a nice fantasy to think you can just fill out the top end of the roster, while retaining your ‘warts’ players in lesser roles. But this depends on A) being able to acquire those top assets without using these trade chips & B) getting cap friendly contracts and attitudes from these players in lesser roles.

    To be honest, I was effin amazed when Hall lobbied to keep Hemsky last year. His teammates do see something in him that’s worth the effort. Ready access to Czech models perhaps?

  87. godot10 says:

    Ryan Smyth is a 4th line player next year only.

    Don’t re-sign bad players. i.e. Jones, Whitney. Even without bringing in UFA replacements or acquisitions via trade, Hartikainen replaces Jones, and Klefbom replaces Whitney, but one really wants a proven Whitney replacement.

    Fistric is fine to re-sign as a #7D. (Potter #8D)

    The Oilers are not going to get better unless they move Smyth down the roster, and don’t bring back bad players.

  88. Ribs says:

    cabbiesmacker: Can’t believe nobody has queried what movie the boys were at when Hemsky got his ST pocket dial.

    They flashed Olympus has Fallen on the screen when they mentioned it on last nights tv broadcast.

  89. sliderule says:

    I don’t think there was any market for Hemsky at the deadline.

    His 5 million due next year scares teams off.

    Not all teams pro scouting is as bad as oilers.They can see his dangling isn’t producing enough results.

    If management keeps bumbling along and doesn’t address obvious needs like defense ,center and too many small or timid forwards we will trade him at next deadline as team will be lottery bound again.

    There will be a market for expiring contract rental player but don’t expect much more than 2nd rounder.

  90. cabbiesmacker says:

    delooper:
    Here’s a challenge: can you put together a fantasy all-star NHL team that Ales Hemsky would look out of place on?

    On the Flames or Panthers he’s clearly the #1 RW

    On the Eye Glow or Looks Like he Really Cares All Star teams he’s a 4th and sometimes HS

  91. "Steve Smith" says:

    delooper: Unstated here is the implicit assumption that a championship team can only have two lines capable of scoring goals? You seem to be asserting that the only way Hemsky can stay on the Oilers is if he is a top 6 forward….

    You may not be up on some of the latest hockey math: goals by the third and fourth lines don’t count, but their hits count double (which is to say 2*0).

  92. cabbiesmacker says:

    Ribs: They flashed Olympus has Fallen on the screen when they mentioned it on last nights tv broadcast.

    So Whitney’s seniority gave him dibs then. Probably misread the playbill and thought he was going to The Arches Have Fallen.

  93. delooper says:

    cabbiesmacker: On the Flames or Panthers he’s clearly the #1 RW
    On the Eye Glow or Shows Majr Interest All Star teams he’s a 4th and sometimes HS

    Certainly, on a team with the best possible NHL players, he’s a “4th liner”. But there’s no reason not to have him on that team, either.

    Another plus for Hemsky if you recall there were plenty of playoff games in the 2006 run where he carried the team on his back… well, with Pronger and Roloson. If the Oilers make it to the playoffs next year and he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think he won’t be that player again.

  94. FastOil says:

    Captain Obvious:

    So I disagree we need a tough two-way center.The Oilers have three good centers right now.If I agree that the Oilers need a new center that means trading both Gagner and Hemsky.I can see no way that shuffling the deck chairs in this way could ever improve the team since the new players you brought in would be worse than the players you shipped out.

    They have 3 good centres for maybe 2 years and then 2 good centres. It is really unfortunate that we will not be picking (barring more extreme lottery ball luck) in the top 6 because the needed quality centre would come free in this draft – no new holes required.

    Then Hemsky and whatever might be dealt for the blueline help.

    I listened to a CBJ game on Sirius and I think Tyutin (from the local commentators and guests) may not be the most consistent, low error player. Personally I am not a fan of high event defenseman, JS excepted. I prefer lower scoring calm ice type guys over high octane inconsistent types. We have enough offense, we need to get and keep the puck out of the D zone. I think any quality LH addition that pushed the depth chart down would help.

  95. delooper says:

    “Steve Smith”: You may not be up on some of the latest hockey math: goals by the third and fourth lines don’t count, but their hits count double (which is to say 2*0).

    :) I’m also confused how in a conversation where we’re talking about synergy and game-changing dynamics, we can’t imagine a team with three scoring lines.

  96. Bag of Pucks says:

    delooper:

    Another plus for Hemsky if you recall there were plenty of playoff games in the 2006 run where he carried the team on his back… well, with Pronger and Roloson. If the Oilers make it to the playoffs next year and he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think he won’t be that player again.

    Wow, was right with you until that ultimate ‘saw him good’ declaration. That’s fanboy speak, not impartial analysis.

  97. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    Can’t believe nobody has queried what movie the boys were at when Hemsky got his ST pocket dial.

    I’d bet if it was Hall, Yak, and Nuge picking it was the Croods

    Whitney?Had to be Olympus has Fallen

    Jones? The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

    No word if Lowe was two doors over at Safe Haven or Tambo in the complex at Escape from Planet Earth.

    RK was def at Silver Linings Playbook

    I’m much more concerned that they seem to have no grasp of theatre etiquette.

  98. delooper says:

    Bag of Pucks: Wow, was right with you until that ultimate ‘saw him good’ declaration. That’s fanboy speak, not impartial analysis.

    Care to name one person here who is impartial? I saw Glen Anderson good, too, much like my experience with Hemsky. Curious way to try to dismiss someone’s opinion.

  99. Bag of Pucks says:

    Hey, if your argument is ‘we gotta keep Hemsky cos if we make the Cup in another year or two, he’ll be awesome, cos he was 7 friggin’ years ago!’ Fill your boots.

  100. RMGS says:

    As LT points out, this team has a real chance at the post-season – this despite the constant mis-management and ‘interesting’ coaching decisions at times. Switching 83 and 64 may be worth a try. As much as possible, feed 10-94-83 the second toughs and 89-91-64 the easy comp.

    But, this assumes that coach Krueger stops rolling lines, which may be too much to assume. Post trade deadline, we can now focus more on the coaching decisions and less on management’s inaction (though the latter remains unforgivable).

  101. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Now I know why you guys don’t like Hemsky.

    His FO% in 06 playoffs: 16.7%

  102. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Between the Rangers and apparently the Oilers – I am worried about what they both think they
    ‘see’ in that famous Columbus roster…that has been finishing at the bottom of the NHL for some time.

  103. Bag of Pucks says:

    Captain Obvious: I disagree with the analogy.There is no equivalent of hauling garbage to the dump in hockey.Everyone’s job is the same: to score more than they give up.This is as a true on the third line as it is on the first.

    So I disagree we need a tough two-way center.

    2012 LA Kings – Mike Richards/Jarett Stoll
    2011 Boston Bruins – Patrice Bergeron/Chris Kelly
    2010 Chicago Blackhawks – Jonathan Toews/Dave Bolland
    2009 Pittsburgh Penguins – Sidney Crosby/Jordan Staal
    2008 Detroit Red Wings – Pavel Datsyuk/Kris Draper

    Actually, you’re right about not needing one. Looks like we’ll need two ; )

    And yes, for the record, I think RNH can be the Datsyukesque player required to fill one of those spots.

  104. denny33 says:

    delooper,

    Hemsky is 141st in NHL scoring…behind the likes of Matt Stajan and Vinny Prospal

    Even former Oiler and 3rd line checker -Andrew Cogliano is tied with Hemsky …but of course Cog’s is a + player…

    Last year – Hemmer had 10 goals for the entire year..

  105. Bag of Pucks says:

    denny33:
    delooper,

    Hemsky is 141st in NHL scoring…behind the likes of Matt Stajan and Vinny Prospal

    And lest we forget, nearly every other team in the league laughed out loud at Tambellini when they gave him a $5mil per extension last year.

    Must find Megan, purple Hulk pants expanding!

  106. hockeyguy10 says:

    nelson88: cabbiesmacker, I think the cap decrease as well as team budgets will make a lot of people available. You are likely right on the “cost” to acquire them but a 23 or 24 year old D man with 200+ games (Josi is below that) would be worth an “overpayment” imo. The “window” will likely last 4 – 6 years and a top 4 of Schultz Jr, Sbisa, Petry and Smid would look pretty good in 14/15 and not be a cap killer.

    CapGeek ‏@capgeek 2h Fourteen #NHL teams have less than $1.8M to spend per open roster spot next season. Average salary is ~$2.45M. http://www.capgeek.com/payrolls/?charts_year=2013

  107. BlacqueJacque says:

    I think I’ve run out of excuses for Hemsky.

    On a sad day like this, I decided to visit Flames Nation and cheer myself up. Not only is Kent tearing ownership and management a new one, but some Oilers fan got a huge letter to the editor posted. Amusing.

    Not sure why LT expects st loo to make it. Their goaltending should keep them out. I’m more worried about the Jackets.

  108. denny33 says:

    FastOil,

    Could not agree more….seems to be a consensus that the top 4 players are ‘cornerstone’ type players ….
    Just one more dominant player up the middle …and I think we could then trade for a stud 1D man..

  109. denny33 says:

    Quick note as I have been commenting on the opposition TV crews all year and have been very surprised at how balanced they are….a few exceptions. San Jose, Minny and now Vancouver

    By far, the Vancouver crew was the most unprofessional….the play by play guy actually said on air:
    ” Are you kidding me? ” You have to be kidding me? to what he perceived was a blatant hook ( he was probably right ) …then a long pause, on air. ( very animated for a play by play guy )

    Brutal – even John Garrett, whom I like, wondered into explanations about the no-call…

    Brutal brutal stuff from a Sportsnet crew…

  110. Lois Lowe says:

    John Garrett is terrible. I live in Vancouver and have to suffer through him more than I would like.

  111. Scotty LaDouche says:

    Did the green men outside the penalty box in Vancouver get their inspiration from Baseketball?? Assinine sideshows like that have no place in pro sports outside of wrestling.

  112. asiaoil says:

    denny33:
    Quick note as I have been commenting on the opposition TV crews all year and have been very surprised at how balanced they are….a few exceptions. San Jose, Minny and now Vancouver

    By far, the Vancouver crew was the most unprofessional….the play by play guy actually said on air:
    ” Are you kidding me? ” You have to be kidding me? to what he perceived was a blatant hook ( he was probably right ) …then a long pause, on air. ( very animated for a play by play guy )

    Brutal – even John Garrett, whom I like, wondered into explanations about the no-call…

    Brutal brutal stuff from a Sportsnet crew…

    Yeah it was like sitting beside a couple of Dys fans in row 23 – total uncompromising homerism all game long and completely unprofessional.

  113. asiaoil says:

    I can accept not making any real moves at the deadline since that gives the existing group a vote of confidence given their improvement over the last 10 games. Not doing anything is similar to being balanced buyers and sellers and frankly more do-able for our mediocre mgmt team. What I still cannot accept is doing nothing when Horcoff got hurt and then bringing in Smithson so late on an overpay. If you overpay then you should have gotten him 6 weeks ago – plus the guys wife just had a baby so he’ll be a distracted mess.

    Next year I think you have to go for it a bit given the cap realities – and you have to think about putting the #1 pick on the table to get the right guys. Getting Dubinsky and Tyutin from CLB would make a huge difference – but there are other deals to be had – and Hemsky/Gagner are absolutely trading chips. Keeping Hemsky this year was good to give Yak a year to develop – but he should be much more polished by next year’s playoffs with almost 2 years under his belt. So you deal from strength and Hemmer has to go over the summer or at the deadline next year. If Gagner does not want to give the team a discount then he is gone – simple as that. The Oilers paid him for years when he was 90 lbs and getting destroyed by men – so if he doesn’t want to help the cap situation he’s moved. I’d trade him straight across for Dubinsky and would be happy with anything else we got over and above that.

    So bottom line – you can excuse inaction this year – but mgmt has to up their game to a level not seen since 2006 to achieve the possible success that awaits them next year. The cap does not recognize 10 year rebuild schedules and we have to make some hay next year while RNH & Yak are on entry deals.

    Hall RNH Eberle
    MSP Dubinsky Yak
    Harti Horcoff Hemsky/UFA
    Smyth Smithson Brown/UFA

    Tyutin Schulz jr
    Smid Petry
    Schulz sr Klefbom

    DD / UFA

  114. denny33 says:

    Scotty LaDouche,

    I saw that….

    I thought the NHL banned them from doing that?

  115. Troll says:

    asiaoil,

    I picked up that cheap welcome back gamecentre package and have been almost exclusively been watching the out of town broadcasts. (Could not stomach Garret though.)
    I’ve found that a high percentage of broadcasters are not only more balanced but more informed about plays, lines, backgrounds, roles etc: practically all the things we praise Ray Ferraro for.

    It’s funny there was a small freeze in the game feed last night and my stomach dropped, thinking that Quinn and Debrusk were going to break a play down between whistles. I was mistaken.

  116. asiaoil says:

    Troll,

    Yeah I’m on the west coast this spring and watching the SN Pacific team is groan inducing on a regular basis. Last night’s performance by Garret and Shorthouse was so small time and shallow…..

  117. Troll says:

    asiaoil,

    Yeah, I don’t quite get why the broadcasts are directed at the LCD all the time. Something, something popularity I guess.
    And why would anyone want to scare away all the ticket-buying Joe six-packs?

    But why is it that the ‘small market’ broadcasts in Nash, Det, Phx, Chi, etc all get a nice mix of professionalism and homerism?

  118. spoiler says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ever compared the results from a bad marriage to those of a good one? Synergy is too vague a word. Confining the conversation to sports, I think complimentary skillsets is a more definitive description of what you’re looking for here.

    That’s a helluva skillset you got there, laddie.

  119. Bag of Pucks says:

    Fun shooting the shit with you lads. Have a great weekend.

    And on the theme of hockey and the weekend, if you haven’t heard it yet – enjoy.

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

  120. rickithebear says:

    What a shit Article by reynolds.

    Goal Differential
    Edmonton 17th -0.060
    Special Teams GD
    Edmonton 2nd +0.405
    Even Goal Differential
    Edmonton 23rd -.465

    Question is how do we improve Even GD.
    Oh i do not know say get a guy who basically
    breaks even against the other team in a 30-36% zone start even play.
    So our high Scoring players can Get More O zone time.
    which will improve our Even scoring by .25G/GM
    that change would move us from 23rd to 16th.

    Who is top 7 for PK so he reduces the the 2nd PK unit to results by 2Ga/60 or .09G/GM
    then i dentify the -ve even forwards who are not on the PK or ST.
    Or a replacement that gets better Even without sacaficing PK,PP reaults.
    Like Smithson for Belanger.

    That .32G/gm would move uds to 9th in GD/GM.

    Shots directed! Jesus.
    When? EV, PK, PP
    Were?
    How?

    Mine has a little more insight with 5 minutes of effort!

  121. denny33 says:

    asiaoil,

    My two cents – your questioning of the timing of obtaining of Smithson is more than valid. Add to the fact his wife is due AND the price we paid for him and you have a strange move….

    Even the local media can’t explain how an older and slower Smithson goes from being a 6th round pickup last year to a 4th rounder this year.?

    The intellectual framework behind that move is the same that is behind keeping UFA’s who are going to have NO impact on our final run. I would make a strong case removing Whitney would HELP (see the link to David Staples numbers ) our playoff chase. ( see San Jose without Douglas Murray )

    As someone else mentioned, like the Islanders carrying 3 goalies one year – what is the point of having 8 defenceman?

    The price paid for Mike Brown way too high.

    All of these moves – or non-moves – come from the same – scatter brained approach.

    Again, stealing from someone else, if ST can’t get the minor moves right – I am not sure I have any faith in him making medium or large moves.

    You bring it all together and besides the lucky ball and walking up to a podium – what -exactly – has ST done to further this organization in the last half decade. ( nobody can put their figure on the exact frameworkST is following )

    I agree with you that we have to decide one way or another on Hemmer and Gagner.
    ( but that is what I said that about Whitney, Belanger, Jones, etc as well – and literally nothing happened with those assests )

    Do we really trust ST to get fair value back in those possible deals?

  122. hunter1909 says:

    Scotty LaDouche: Did the green men outside the penalty box in Vancouver get their inspiration from Basketball?? Asinine sideshows like that have no place in pro sports outside of wrestling.

    There seemed to be more of these types in other areas of the arena, alternatively making a racket to keep the heavily sedated 1% crowd in cognisant of their “experience”, using out of work actors to camp it up along with “meaningful” 1980′s music piped in for the rest of the Vancouver elite, latte culture in attendance.

    Overall, the effect is like creating a giant metal ward day room. The fans don’t look particularly bright either, but that’s more or less a given with any rival fanbase.

    Compared to anywhere else, Vancouver’s just not any kind of a hockey town. Think of Nashville.

  123. hunter1909 says:

    mental* Darn the editing function that says 5 minutes but delivers 2 or 3 only.

  124. DeadmanWaking says:

    There were some interesting baubles in yesterday’s game thread, which I perused as I gingerly fluttered my rheum-bouldered lashes and emerged on the thin legs of nothing-but-coffee from my unsprung cocoon. Waking up on the Boost is like receiving a 30-minute blood transfusion from the Unsleeping Eye. I was actually thinking about the eye at the top of the pyramid, but it’s been used as a title for a book about abuses of the secret police and a science fiction novel from 1973 by D.G. Compton that I’d never heard of.

    Factotum posted a nice piece of typewriter art by E. E. Cummings which occasions much letter grade balloon-popping by the Department of English for any undergraduate who fails to conduct a thorough identity check on the club-foot tea kettle, itemizing all the usual suspects.

    Fie on received wisdom. Let’s give it the cold shoulder and see where it goes.

    in Just-
    frig’d when the world is ice-
    breccious the bristle
    mane balloonman

    whickers far and wee

    and bethandbertie hie
    sprawling for mittens and
    pyrogens and chill
    rings

    when the world is rimepelt-resplendent

    the quell
    cold balloonman whickers
    far and wee
    and isbelandteddie hie stamping

    for tug-scarf and thump-coat

    it’s
    keen
    and

    the

    gout-footed

    balloonMan whickers
    far
    and
    wee

    I’m playing with multiple inversions: melting/freezing, warming/cooling, human-goat/horse-human, sexual segregation/sexual pairing, coming/going, attracting/scattering, moist/dry (whistle to whicker), light-graceful/heavy-awkward (running and dancing vs sprawling and stamping).

    Sonically, I liked this version better:

    and bethandbertie hie
    sprawling for mittens and
    pyrogens and owl’s
    eider

    This really messes with the grammar and repetition unless one reads “owl’s” as “all’s” as in “all is”. This doesn’t really work on other levels, as “eider” is actually a type of duck and not just some Germanic prefix meaning “extra soft” down. I’ve always sort of suspected that “eider” was German for peach feathers. I guess I don’t know much about ducks.

    There’s really no convenient single-syllable word for winter to take the place of “spring” (which is also serves in the original as a gait and to imply perhaps a hope that the balloons break free). “and it’s spring” is a hard place to stick your chisel.

    “Frig” is a surprisingly ambiguous in Latin. It serves as the root for words meaning “cold”, but also “to roast”. “Frig” also conveys restless squirming (young boys “frigging around”), rumpus squirming (adult “frigging”), and reflexive squirming as in She never forgot the day she was caught frigging herself in the library. “Frigged” also means saddled with a nasty consequence or to find something in a state of disrepair with a desperately poor prognosis. “Frig’d” could be either “frigged” or “frigid”. Then there’s the Norse god Frigg who gave us Friday.

    The real subversion would be changing “balloonman” to “barsoomman”, from Burroughs’ Princess of Mars.

    In my version, the balloonman (horse above, human below) is either a Tikbalang (a Filipino creature famous for leading travelers astray by scaring them so badly they walk in circles) where the whiteness of the snow represents snow-blindness and disorientation or Hayagriva where the fresh white snow represents “the triumph of pure knowledge, guided by the hand of God, over the demonic forces of passion and darkness”.

    As for the typewriter art, I do like the way the two hyphens in “hop-scotch and jump-rope” are suggestive of ropes and chalk-marks, which is what lead me from “hop-scotch” to “tug-scarf”.

    The beat-skipping internal rhyme of “puddle-wonderful” seems to be the thumping heart of this poem. “rimepelt-resplendent” was a good try, but it’s just not the same, in exactly the way that drives one to drink.

  125. FastOil says:

    Denny33

    “My two cents – your questioning of the timing of obtaining of Smithson is more than valid. Add to the fact his wife is due AND the price we paid for him and you have a strange move….”

    I see it as smoke for the mirrors. Steve referenced playoffs when talking about him – faceoffs – suggesting to me they aren’t expecting help for now. If they make it they have their “ace in the hole”. Which is encouraging because even when he’s here, the chance of it changing anything is slim to buckley’s, so they seem to know that, which is good, right?

    I’ll bet Steve got in trouble for incautious speech.

  126. Lowetide says:

    I remember Len Frig. He played for the California Seals.

  127. G Money says:

    bookje: I don’t think you understand what a monumental fail this is.

    Hint – look for the props button

    I’m still trying to parse your posting …

    Is my monumental failure to have posted first and I should have waited until someone else posted?

    Or is your reference to a Props button implying that one should only crow about posting first on ON threads?

    In which case you should know

    a. I was mostly crowing about the fact that it was my first time posting first in a thread EVER, which I think does deserve some adulation given that I have never actually tried to do such a thing, and

    b. You hurt my feelings so I shall rain eternal damnation upon every post you ever make ever … because internet!

    :-)

  128. bookje says:

    G Money: I’m still trying to parse your posting …

    Is my monumental failure to have posted first and I should have waited until someone else posted?

    Or is your reference to a Props button implying that one should only crow about posting first on ON threads?

    In which case you should know

    a. I was mostly crowing about the fact that it was my first time posting first in a thread EVER, which I think does deserve some adulation given that I have never actually tried to do such a thing, and

    b. You hurt my feelings so I shall rain eternal damnation upon every post you ever make ever … because internet!

    When LT first started posting to ON, some of the regulars here at LT’s site got pretty upset with regards to ‘fists’ and ‘firsts’ starting to appear here (not me – I don’t really care one way or another). That’s all. It was more of a “he doesn’t understand what he has done” comment than anything.

  129. G Money says:

    bookje: When LT first started posting to ON, some of the regulars here at LT’s site got pretty upset with regards to ‘fists’ and ‘firsts’ starting to appear here (not me – I don’t really care one way or another).That’s all.It was more of a “he doesn’t understand what he has done” comment than anything.

    Well then …

    I shall TRULY try to blow the minds of those uptight first-hating regulars BY ALSO POSTING LAST IN THIS THREAD!

    *** I AM 100% CERTAIN THAT NEVER BEFORE HAS SUCH A THING BEEN ACHIEVED IN THE ANALS (not annals) OF THE INTERTUBES ***

    *** I AM ALSO 100% CERTAIN THAT NO-ONE HAS EVER USED ALL-CAPS TO REALLY ENSURE THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS THING IS THAT I AM SAYING ***

    Hate on that, b*tches!

  130. Lowetide says:

    lol.

  131. Lucinius says:

    And LT can’t even let him have his ‘last’.

    LT’s a petty, petty man who must always have the last word (wait, what does this say about me!?).

    Or somesuch.

    What were we talking about?

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