CLOUDS

It’s funny: no matter how hard we try to grab control of things, major events that impact our lives often occur with us in the next room. I hope Sam Gagner gets what he wants today and do hope whatever happens he’ll land in a good spot and enjoy a productive career. He’s worked hard for this moment, and he’s earned it.

Sam Gagner is a wonderful hockey player, his passing ability is incredible and 89 has that thing–that special thing–that allows his brain to recognize when the timing is right and the pass should be made. I’ve seen him make passes to wingers too surprised to react, and the puck sails through the infield, out of harm’s way. I’ve seen him make a headman pass to a screaming winger tape to tape, on the fly and that winger never had to break stride. I’ve seen him say to hell with it and start a fight–the act of a crazy man–and I’ve seen him put on a display that will never be forgotten. I’ve also seen him adjust to being a secondary player–a difficult thing to do for such a talent–and I’ve seen him grow into the older brother role on this team.

If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, he lit the match that sparked the flame in the acquisition of Justin Schultz, and he has posted some nice boxcars since he arrived here in the darkest days of the on-ice franchise. If this is a sail on, then it’s a fractured one, way to soon for everyone, and a damn shame.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

 mystery train

We’re back! After one week of completely ignoring the Oilers, I’m back and fresh as a daisy. There’s not much happening–we’re in the dog days of summer–but there might be a story or two we can jump start long enough to fill two hours. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey. He is going to be ‘ranty’ but I promise to say the words ‘Sam Gagner’ before he goes off.
  • Lance Achtymichuk from the Humboldt Broncos. Lance is a scout and I’m going to trick him into telling me things. Important things. We’ll talk about the scouting process, advance stats, I’ll get his pin #, should be good.
  • Rob Soria from Oil Drop. Rob doesn’t believe Sam Gagner is a good fit long term on a $5M deal, and I’m going to yell at him, play sound effects while he talks and speed up his voice. I wouldn’t do any of that, but I’ll be THINKING it as we talk.
  • Cody Nickolet from WHL from Above. Cody does an outstanding job with draft eligibles each year, we’ll talk about the Oilers WHL picks, the surprises overall and get a nice start on the 2014 draft.
  • Jill Horbay from FC Edmonton. Eddies are back for the second half, we’ll talk about new recruits, offense and winning the second season.

@Lowetide_ on twitter, 10-1260 via text and the world could crash in so there may be other guests. If Dellow’s on for more than an hour send the cops.

 

 

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268 Responses to "CLOUDS"

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  1. Woodguy says:

    stevezie:
    Woodguy,

    No Dan Girardi? How is this possible?

    Given that Alzner, Hamonic and Methot got an invite you can certainly make a case for Giardi.

  2. Woodguy says:

    I don’t know how you invite Kunitz over Jamie Benn.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Given that Alzner, Hamonic and Methot got an invite you can certainly make a case for Giardi.

    Methot had me making curious faces. I wonder if that possible trade from 2012 would have worked out for us?

    I recall many being against chasing him at the time.

  4. Gino says:

    I like Gagner glad it’s done, Great value contract Mac T.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    I don’t know how you invite Kunitz over Jamie Benn.

    Eastern bias?

    Someone in the building hates size?

  6. Numenius says:

    watchtower64:
    What would be the logical chances of Hemsky being sent to New Jersey?
    Jagr and Hemsky… it could fix potential scoring needs for the Devils.
    Anyone other than Larsson? Josefson maybe? M. Tedenby?
    Oil could eat a bit of hemsky’s salary and still have a bit of wiggle room.
    Thoughts?

    Of the realistic options, I’d choose Carter. He’s a big, tough LW who can also play C and win faceoffs. Point-wise he looks to be trending upwards too. The previous regular season was low, 65 4-4-8 (’11-’12), but he started trending in the playoffs (24 2-5-7) and last year he was 48 6-9-15 (’12-’13).

    My other choice would be Bernier, which might make sense for NJ because he’s a RW and Jagr and Hemsky would be taking two spots.

    Edit: I see that Carter was even invited to the Canadian Olympic Camp.

  7. godot10 says:

    stevezie:
    Woodguy,

    No Dan Girardi? How is this possible?

    Dan Girardi shoots right, and plays the right side, which is Canada’s strong side defensively.

    Doughty, Weber, Subban, Letang, Seabrook, Pieterangelo…good effing luck to anybody else on the right side. Which one of those six can play on the left side.

    A lot more chance for a young new guy to break through on the left side.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Holtby is another interesting choice. young blood?

  9. Rondo says:

    It will be tough for Canada to win the Gold.

    I recall Jagr was asked if he would play in the Olympics, he responded probably not because it would take him something like 3-4 mths to get use to the larger ice surface.

    If Jagr has concerns over the larger ice surface Canada will definitely have concerns.

  10. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy,

    Only guy in the world to have real chemistry with Crosby?

  11. Zipdot says:

    Young Oil: Are people who are not named to the preliminary roster still able to make the team?

    Yes, I think so; on one of the Team 1260 shows this morning, they mentioned that late invites are possible for players who are blowing up the first half of the league season.

  12. Numenius says:

    Edit: I see that Carter was even invited to the Canadian Olympic Camp.
    —–

    I’m an idiot. Wrong Carter.

  13. bookje says:

    I was curious about the differences between International and NA rinks and came across this great diagram linked here.

    http://thewoodercooler.com/2012/10/01/nhl-lockout-where-did-al-the-goals-go/rink-size/

  14. striatic says:

    Tencer didn’t trot out his “tough guy’ voice, which means the Oilers did something good.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bookje:
    I was curious about the differences between International and NA rinks and came across this great diagram linked here.

    http://thewoodercooler.com/2012/10/01/nhl-lockout-where-did-al-the-goals-go/rink-size/

    I knew the rink was wider… but I didn’t realize the Off-Zone was so much shorter. interesting.

  16. spoiler says:

    I believe Belov’s contract is a two way, so he might be getting the shitty end of the stick and find himself in the A not on merit but on cap effect.

  17. Zipdot says:

    spoiler: I believe Belov’s contract is a two way, so he might be getting the shitty end of the stick and find himself in the A not on merit but on cap effect.

    I worry about this, because if we promised him ice time, then we break that promise, does that quickly close the valve on our Russian player pipeline? Plus, if Belov is anywhere near what people say about him, and if he can pick up the NA ice size over the summer, we might have an expected high performing D on a value contract, and high performers should get TOI.

  18. striatic says:

    spoiler: I believe Belov’s contract is a two way, so he might be getting the shitty end of the stick and find himself in the A not on merit but on cap effect.

    Grebeshkov gets waived before that happens.

  19. rickithebear says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I knew the rink was wider… but I didn’t realize the Off-Zone was so much shorter. interesting.

    i posted on this last week!
    Got tired of the can belov handle the euro surface BS.
    Here we go again.
    - sqre footage of oz one is 5713 to 5440. about 4.8% variance.
    -the box is almost exactly the same.
    -d men have the same kill zone area to protect.
    - the variance is in the free puck area.
    more depth so harder for forwrds to pressure point in NHL.
    the extra width on the side boards changes how our forwrds react to pocession on the euro ice.

    Belov’s box protection skills will translate quite well to the NHL.

    when it comes to olympics, there is no point rotation.
    our forwards have to be skilled in dealing with cross ice lane and gap.

  20. spoiler says:

    Zipdot: I worry about this, because if we promised him ice time, then we break that promise, does that quickly close the valve on our Russian player pipeline? Plus, if Belov is anywhere near what people say about him, and if he can pick up the NA ice size over the summer, we might have an expected high performing D on a value contract, and high performers should get TOI.

    If he was only offered a two way, I doubt that there was much of a promise.

  21. theres oil in virginia says:

    spoiler: If he was only offered a two way, I doubt that there was much of a promise.

    I think that was all they could offer him – ELC.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: If he was only offered a two way, I doubt that there was much of a promise.

    theres oil in virginia: I think that was all they could offer him – ELC.

    I think that is right. I also think it’s highly unlikely he gets sent down. LT has speculated he would flee back to the KHL before playing in the AHL.

    I don’t know if that is possible, but I don’t know what would stop him either.

    I also just think the team values him a lot more than some think.

  23. Dominoiler says:

    Can’t believe people are complaining about this signing, whining about gagner still having all the leverage.. wake up, performance drives up leverage.. becoming a better player is a good thing for him and the team.. and a nmc doesn’t mean he can’t be traded, just that he retains a voice in where he goes.. a respect move, imo.. nice contract, fair for both sides.. and Cmon, the team is in better shape now than it was last night.. whiners just gotta whine..

  24. bookje says:

    Dominoiler:
    Can’t believe people are complaining about this signing, whining about gagner still having all the leverage.. wake up, performance drives up leverage.. becoming a better player is a good thing for him and the team.. and a nmc doesn’t mean he can’t be traded, just that he retains a voice in where he goes.. a respect move, imo.. nice contract, fair for both sides.. and Cmon, the team is in better shape now than it was last night.. whiners just gotta whine..

    Who’s whining? Not much whining going on here, maybe a couple of people, but the majority seem to think its a pretty good deal, particularly after it was clear that the NMC does not exist in year 3 of the contract.

  25. remlap says:

    bookje: Who’s whining?Not much whining going on here, maybe a couple of people, but the majority seem to think its a pretty good deal, particularly after it was clear that the NMC does not exist in year 3 of the contract.

    There’s quite a bit of whining going on at other Oilers fan sites & blogs..

  26. Ice Sage says:

    Looking forward to the Olympic decisions and how much generational change there is. I’d be thrilled with a team where Crosby, Weber and Toews were the ‘veterans’ and players such as Hall, Pietrangelo & Tavares got a chance to cut their teeth and maybe win a medal (gearing up for 2018 when the maple leaf crushes all). Young legs = better on big ice.

    But, somehow, Kevin Lowe is part of the admin staff, so it’ll be all messed up

    (it’s still OK to pile on KLowe, right? We’re running out of scapegoats around here!)

    PS – Sweden wins gold.

  27. spoiler says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    I know they were under the old CBA. Have no idea under the new. It’s not a frequent occurrence since most NA playing 18 yos aren’t eligible for the AHL.

  28. bookje says:

    remlap: There’s quite a bit of whining going on at other Oilers fan sites & blogs..

    Well if you go slumming like that, what do you expect?

  29. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think that is right. I also think it’s highly unlikely he gets sent down. LT has speculated he would flee back to the KHL before playing in the AHL.I don’t know if that is possible, but I don’t know what would stop him either.I also just think the team values him a lot more than some think.

    I value him highly too and hope this isn’t the move they end up making (hiding Belov in the A for a poorer player on a one way).

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: I value him highly too and hope this isn’t the move they end up making (hiding Belov in the A for a poorer player on a one way).

    It’s a curious situation to be sure… all that D depth!

    We’re all just guessing at this point, but I still feel like someone is leaving to make room (in both $$ and roster spots).

  31. theres oil in virginia says:

    spoiler: I value him highly too and hope this isn’t the move they end up making (hiding Belov in the A for a poorer player on a one way).

    I was kinda thinking, and hoping, that all of this competition for spots signaled the end of that behavior, and that they weren’t afraid to lose any of the lower end guys on waivers. Right now, if Potter, Larsen, or Grebeshkov get waived, does anyone care? There’s plenty of NHL talent on the roster besides them, and there’s depth in the AHL for injury call-up. I’m also thinking you may see more waiver activity across the league at the start of the season than usual. Seems like there’s still a lot of roster volatility with the cap coming down.

  32. Bar_Qu says:

    I do find it interesting Belov isn’t an Olympic invitee. Hope that doesn’t reflect on his ability as much as it does the D depth in Russia.

  33. supernova says:

    justDOit:
    supernova,

    We’ve had reverse osmosis 5-stage for years now, which I believe gets everything out. The downside to that is that it removes all the minerals from the water too.

    Ok – now I’m really off to work. Really.

    justDOit,

    yes, you can use these and a few other things to add the minerals back in.

    http://www.bioartz.com/biowater/benefits.html

    I am a bit of a “survivalist”. I live in southern alberta currently and with the recent floods, i have had alot of my friends and colleagues asking and learning about water and other things.

  34. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    USA Hockey announces camp invites:

    http://olympics.usahockey.com/news_article/show/272491?referrer_id=844349

    No Petry but Danny Dekeyser is on the list.

  35. Woodguy says:

    In regards to Gagner’s friend who graduated from medical school, Bob Stauffer asked that question today.

    Here the link: http://www.630ched.com/Podcasts/Episodes.aspx?PID=2254

    He asks it at 4:19 left in the first hour of July 22nd.

    I think we can infer what Sam is thinking when he starts his response with “family is important”

  36. admiralmark says:

    remlap: There’s quite a bit of whining going on at other Oilers fan sites & blogs..

    There’s also quite a bit of trolling going on. Signing was fair and less then market value= great Signing by MacT. I don’t think you’ll hear much negativity at all from the intelligent posters out there?

  37. khildahl says:

    For the movie buffs around here, I just heard Dennis Farina died today.

  38. Woodguy says:

    khildahl:
    For the movie buffs around here, I just heard Dennis Farina died today.

    Saw this linked to on twitter today.

    Dennis Farina tribute of sorts.

    Warning: Strong Language: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ry0g4W0_ZI

  39. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle 3m

    Jets re-sign Bryan Little. Five-year contract worth $23.5 million.

  40. Vaclav says:

    khildahl:
    For the movie buffs around here, I just heard Dennis Farina died today.

    “Don’t say a word to me me Sidney, don’t you say a f-ckin’ word or I will get up and bury this telephone in your head”

    “You and that other dummy better start getting more personally involved in your work or I’m gonna stab you through the heart with a f-ckin’ pencil”

    RIP Jimmy Serrano

  41. Bank Shot says:

    Bryan Little compared to Gagner had worse zone starts, tougher comp, similar career production, better faceoffs and his last season’s production wasn’t based on a crazy high, unsustainable PP scoring rate.

    The Jets got him for less money and longer term.

    Jebus.

  42. Puckberger says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    USA has a decent roster, good on defense, elite in net …..I dont think they have the same firepower upfront however as the Russia or Canada, but they might be fine playing a tight trap style , who knows , they shocked everyone in Vancouver and could do the same in Sochi !

    petry should feel a bit slighted there too

  43. Puckberger says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Goaltending scares the shit out me for Canada, you can eaasily walk away with Gold with a hot goalie and sound defense alone, see Nagano

  44. Dominoiler says:

    Bookie, my post about whiners was a bit of a knee jerk resp to some early negative posts (that got under my skin).. most resp have been positive.. next time ill just have to mentally file those posts under ‘disregard’..

  45. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bank Shot:
    Bryan Little…’s production wasn’t based on a crazy high, unsustainable PP scoring rate.

    Was Gagner’s?

  46. Professor Q says:

    I told LT that Eberle would be invited as well as Hall ;)

  47. supernova says:

    Woodguy,

    I think we are saying the same thing, I am just saying until he is actually married, anything can happen.

    I think we as fans usually discount this aspect of the players lives. Most players want to play with players they like as friends and can win with, after Hockey is over the want to go home to a happy life.

    As the saying goes “happy wife, happy life”

    It is in the best interest of the Oilers and us as fans if the young guys were able to find brides from Edmonton. If all the young guys were to do so, and have kids the factor in them leaving becomes less about the city and more about the team and winning.

    Without delving to much into each players personal lives. If a player can find a “friend” who then is a “girlfriend” then a “wife”. The chances that the Oilers, have committed and happy and more likely home town discounts.

  48. G Money says:

    Dominoiler: next time ill just have to mentally file those posts under ‘disregard’..

    This is a wise strategy for most of the interwebs in general.

    Gagner – good contract, obviously tough negotiating. $4.4M for RFA year is about right, $5M is about a $0.5M discount, for the short term, and presume NMC/NTC appear to be the compensation. Not a clear win for either side but not a loss either, but that’s usually the outcome from good negotiating. It gets the Oilers a 2C at a cap hit starting with ’4′, and that’s a solid outcome.

    I expect that given his age and playing between Perron and a second year on-wing Yak (instead of an ailing Hemsky and an off-wing rookie Yak), Gagner may put up some pretty crooked numbers next year.

    The good news is – when his contract is up, the team *will be a contender, and signing players at a discount becomes a possibility.

    * The timeline now is: playoffs next year, fill the remaining newly-identified gaps next summer, become a contender in years 2 and 3. If we’re not a contender in year 3 – blow that sh*t up! Kidding… or am I?

  49. Bank Shot says:

    theres oil in virginia: Was Gagner’s?

    Yes. Gagner scored at a rate of 6.15/60 on the PP last year. His historic rates are pretty up and down in comparison.

    In 2011/2012 only 9 players were over 6PPP/60 on the PP at the end of the season.

    It’s probably not going to be sustainable, especially since he’s in tough to make the first PP unit, and Eakins probably won’t divide the time fairly equally between first and second unit like Krueger did. I think that was pretty atypical for an NHL coach.

  50. Rondo says:

    Bank Shot,

    Yeah, he was playing #1 center and should be a #2. I’d take Little over Gagner any day

  51. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bank Shot,

    Some time back, I looked at Gagner’s boxcars and figured out his 5-year average prior to last year and compared it to his numbers last year, projected to 82 games. Here are the increases:

    GLS AST PTS PPG PPA
    1.55 1.43 1.48 1.37 2.35

    The only anomaly I see is PPA. The rest are still significant increases in production over his previous 5-year averages. The second biggest increase in total goals. The lowest increase is PPG.

    Bryan Little has had some good years. 30 goals and so young? Wow. He’s had some off years too. What gives?

    Gagner doubled Little’s G and PPG last year. How many years before Little was UFA?

  52. Dominoiler says:

    Rondo,

    So let’s just go on pretending MacT had that option?!..

  53. Rondo says:

    Dominoiler,

    I did not realize anyone did.

  54. GordM says:

    Gagner is 21 months younger (an important 21 months from an NHL player development standpoint I believe) than Little.

    I tihnk sometimes we forget just how young this player is.

  55. Tarkus says:

    Man…the NHL arbitrators’ services are being used about as often as the Maytag Repairman’s.

  56. spoiler says:

    Avi: Eighty-six carats.

    Rosebud: Where?

    Avi: London.

    Rosebud: London?

    Avi: London.

    Avi’s Colleague: London?

    Avi: Yes, London. You know: fish, chips, cup ‘o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins… LONDON.

    ….

    Customs official: Anything to declare?

    Avi: Yeah. Don’t go to England.

    RIP Mr. Farina.

  57. Bank Shot says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Bank Shot,

    Some time back, I looked at Gagner’s boxcars and figured out his 5-year average prior to last year and compared it to his numbers last year, projected to 82 games.Here are the increases:

    GLS AST PTS PPG PPA
    1.551.431.481.372.35

    The only anomaly I see is PPA.The rest are still significant increases in production over his previous 5-year averages.The second biggest increase in total goals.The lowest increase is PPG.

    Bryan Little has had some good years.30 goals and so young?Wow.He’s had some off years too.What gives?

    Gagner doubled Little’s G and PPG last year.How many years before Little was UFA?

    Wow. Production increases all the way around for Gagner. That will make for a tough encore.

    Little was in the same boat as Gagner. One more RFA year, and then UFA. He also played on some loser teams, although not quite so bad as the Oilers.

  58. prairieschooner says:

    Mac T on Gregors show
    When asked if he was looking to pick some depth at centre in case Nuge is not ready replied
    “I think were are done” and then talked about Arcobello, and Miller having opportunities

  59. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bank Shot: Wow. Production increases all the way around for Gagner. That will make for a tough encore.

    Little was in the same boat as Gagner. One more RFA year, and then UFA. He also played on some loser teams, although not quite so bad as the Oilers.

    It might be tough to repeat, but it might be a sign of things to come. Either way, it makes for a big payday. I recently looked at Danny Briere’s stats from waaay back when he was Gagner’s age:
    YEAR G AS PTS
    00-01 11 04 15
    01-02 32 28 60

    Games played factors in there too, but I’m wondering if Gagner is on the verge of something similar. Lots of players seem to have an uptick around this age.

    I’ve not seen much of Winnipeg lately, but with Edmonton moving to more Pacific time zone starts, I’ll be looking for another team to watch during the earlier hours. Winnipeg looks to be a good one to follow. Last year I followed Buffalo. Yech! They were often hard to watch.

  60. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy:
    I don’t know how you invite Kunitz over Jamie Benn.

    I’d hope there would be room at pre-camp for any Canadian good enough to make the First All-Star Team.

    Though I personally would also invite Jamie Benn. But I have zero issue with the Kunitz invite.

  61. striatic says:

    Woodguy:
    I don’t know how you invite Kunitz over Jamie Benn.

    if bringing Kunitz along means continued chemistry with Crosby, you might put him on the team just to avoid some of the problems Crosby had in 2010.

  62. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Jesse: I feel like everyone’s really forgetting about the arbitrator here. The guy never gets to do anything! He’s like Joaquin Gage that one year. Never sees any action.

    Arbitrator’s name is Mike Zanier.

    Kudos to anybody under 40 who has any idea who TF I’m talking about.

  63. Tarkus says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Arbitrator’s name is Mike Zanier.

    Kudos to anybody under 40 who has any idea who TF I’m talking about.

    I’ll take “Glory Days Oilers 3rd-String Goalies” for $200.

    And I’m 38.

    Are there shipping and handling charges for these kudos?

  64. Bruce McCurdy says:

    BlacqueJacque: Satan

    BlacqueJacque:
    Woodguy,

    Yet somehow it’s only in Edmonton that the Tom Potis and Tom Gilberts and Miro Satand get chased out of town.

    Yeah, in other places it’s the Larry Murphys & Mikhail Grabovskis or (insert VERY long list) who get run out of town on a rail. If you think Edmonton is the only place that has whipping boys you are sadly mistaken.

    Honestly, folks, I don’t understand this constant need to bash Oilers fans like we are collectively an extraordinary brand of idiot. There are idiots everywhere. There are also smart people everywhere.

    Or, as George Carlin put it, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that!”

  65. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Tarkus: I’ll take “Glory Days Oilers 3rd-String Goalies” for $200.

    And I’m 38.

    Are there shipping and handling charges for these kudos?

    Either you had a razor sharp memory as a 9-year-old or you bought the collector’s set of Oilers DVD’s.

    Either way, kudos.

  66. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Or, as George Carlin put it, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that!”

    You’re forgetting the asymmetry of the 2×2 matrix. Also, I think George should have said: “Think of how stupid the median person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that!” Unfortunately, way more than half the people fall under the average intelligence bar.

    I think the “rabid hockey market” moniker is well earned.

  67. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Either you had a razor sharp memory as a 9-year-old or you bought the collector’s set of Oilers DVD’s.

    Either way, kudos.

    I had to “Google” it. That’s pretty cool.

  68. justDOit says:

    prairieschooner:
    Mac T on Gregors show
    When asked if he was looking to pick some depth at centre in case Nuge is not ready replied
    “I think were are done” and then talked about Arcobello, and Miller having opportunities

    This feels like either a bad hangover, or a great rollercoaster – just when I start feeling better, it all comes rushing back!

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