SUNSHINE

The Edmonton Oilers signed Sam Gagner today, three years and $4.8M cap number. That’s a fine deal, the only negatives being term (a little longer would have been nice) and one of the three years is a NMC. That’s being picky though, this contract shows some real creativity on both sides.

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THE MACT LIST

  1. Top 4 defender (signed Ference, that’s the big move this summer)
  2. Sign Sam Gagner to a multi-year deal that has begins with a number in the 4′s (done, and done today. Outstanding)
  3. Get Paajarvi signed and then find a role that suits him (suspect it’s 3line). It was St. Louis instead.
  4. NHL goalie (LaBarbera was a nice option)
  5. Find a 2line L who can complement Gagner-Yakupov with puck retrieval, blocking out the sun, etc Perron, a very nice fit
  6. Find a 3line R Joensu is the option I’ll pick, but it would be foolish to exclude Ryan Jones based on salary
  7. Find a 3line C (Gordon an ideal fit)
  8. Find a 4line C
  9. Deal Hemsky for immediate help (even if its a checker).
  10. Deal Horcoff or slot him into the 3line job for which he is actually ideal. Continued to improve D depth.
  11. Decide on Lander/Belanger or other for 13F. Lander it is!
  12. Better blue depth MacT has done this with Belov and Larsen, plus Klefbom/Fedun/Marincin plus a late Gresbeshkov
  13. AHL #1/NHL #3 goalie Bachman is an outstanding solution
  14. Sign Paul Ranger should have said ‘sign Marlies–Hamilton, Acton, coach

Damned if he didn’t do all of it, and the truth is the 4line C job I didn’t cross off may end up going to Will Acton (Rob Soria mentioned that on the show today) or Anton Lander (and in-house option). Dealing Hemsky didn’t come to pass, and frankly that’s a good move all ways, because sure as hell 83 will spend some time on the big lines come the fall.

 2013-14 PROJECTED LINEUPS

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky
  • Lander-Joensuu-Jones
  • Mike Brown
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • N Schultz-Larsen
  • Belov-Grebeshkov
  • Dubnyk-Labarbera

That’s 9 changes by my count, you could substitute Will Acton for a defenseman if they keep 7 blue. I like this group, they’re stronger on defense (losing Whitney and adding Ference is a very good thing, plus the depth is such a breath of fresh air) and they’re going to be more reliable in goal.

Up front, the top 2 lines are  going to be hell to defend, and that should mean two effective powerplay units too. I think the maturing of the #1′s along with the Perron addition are going to represent a  major increase in firepower and that will be reflected in the RE (which begins Friday). The third line and the fourth line are a jumbled mess of  broken oars and leaky boats, with Boyd Gordon the only player who you can build around (imo) for the 3line.

CENTER ICE

backstrom

When I was a kid, the Montreal Canadiens were so strong up the middle it was insane. Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard and Ralph Backstrom (in photo) were the veterans, and then Jacques Lemaire came along and (famously) stole Henri’s job for a time (in typical Habs fashion Montreal fired coach Al MacNeil). When one impact center retired, they’d bring another in from junior or the farm or the other farm (Detroit, that’s where they got Peter Mahovlich) and man they were strong up the middle.

MacT’s going to improve this team up the middle, and now that Gagner’s signed I think we see the vision. It’s going to take some time to get there, but one suspects center to be a position of strength for the next decade in Edmonton.

THE DEPTH CHART

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. 
  2. Sam Gagner: An above average 2line C (#44) and here for at least 3 more years
  3. Boyd Gordon: The Cadillac of defnsive centers, and miles from his past due date
  4. Anton Lander: Not established, maybe not ready, but a defense first defender–a nice item for the 4line.
  5. Mark Arcobello: First skill callup, he’s not going to get heavy 6F minutes but could play a significant role this season.
  6. Will Acton: The signing of Acton gives Edmonton an option for the 4line should Lander prove a little shy during the fall. Similar player, more experienced.
  7. Andrew Miller: Impressive college numbers, tough to say where he fits but he has NHL potential based on boxcars. Small C. MacT mentioned on Jason Gregor’s show that “he’s a highly skilled player with a keen intellect to play the game.” I’d say Miller is a hair behind Arcobello on the skill list.
  8. Travis Ewanyk: They used to call them energy guys. Ewanyk needs to post more offense if he’s going to make the NHL. That seems unlikely.

Beyond that, I’d say we can follow Roy, Khaira, Yakimov, Chase below the pro level and of course there will be centermen drafted next summer. Overall, moving out Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger while moving in Gordon, Acton and Miller gives the team more youth and a very specific checking role for men like Gordon, Lander and Acton.

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70 Responses to "SUNSHINE"

  1. SpotTheLoon says:

    I think we can all collectively breathe a sigh of relief. Overall, a great signing. Is it September yet? I’d still like to see a couple different third and fourth line players but, overall, there is no denying that MacT has transformed the team and there has been significant progress this off season. It’s a work in progress but much closer to a competitive team than the team that finished the season.

  2. wheatnoil says:

    LT,

    Still not projecting Hemsky into the starting line-up? Is that an oversight or do you still think he’s gone for sure?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Oversight, I’ll correct.

  4. Tarkus says:

    I hope the next instalment of these atmosphere-related posts is entitled “METEOR”.

    As in, “By signing David Steckel, the Oilers have gotten METEOR up the middle”.

  5. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Oversight, I’ll correct.

    I don’t know how Eakins will run that 3Line but it’s nice to see Hemsky in the line-up. Really helps give some punch and danger to the bottom 6.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Well Gordon’s lack of offense comes (partly) from severe zone starts. I think we’ll see a dip in offense from the 3line this coming season, but mostly because of how they’re used. If Gordon gets better zone starts, then good things can happen. Gordon’s 5×5/60 (1.18) isn’t crazy bad compared to Horcoff (1.34) and Gordon’s zs (32.6) compares well to Horcoff (42.1).

  7. DBO says:

    I expect a few veteran training camp invites or a real discount one year deal signed close to camp to flesh out our centre depth. Steckal fits, although zero offense. At this time I wonder if there is a shot for our 3rd line to be solid.
    - Ryan Smyth: aged grinder who may have a surprise few extra miles with a full camp and clear role. i think he can still play effectively, and if they plan on keeping Hemsky, Smyth with Gordon (Horc esque) are the only 2 guys to ever really effectively play off of Hemsky. Gives us a solid vet line with the ability to score.
    - Boyd Gordon: exactly what we needed. For us to be a cup contender he may have to be your 4th line centre, but if he runs with Hemsky and Smyth, he’ll be needed to win faceoffs and play in his own zone, not score much.
    - Ales Hemsky: enigmatic, tough as nails (he is damn tough people), possibly bat shit crazy, skilled player who for far too long was the only Oiler to get you excited. We need him to be a good, healthy player this year. If he is, we have a heck of trade piece, however if he is playing well it means we are playoff bound.

    For so long our season may have rested on Hemsky’s shoulders, and it may again this year. He is the wildcard. The rest of the team will perform around expected levels with a small variance, Hemsky is the true difference maker because he could be a 70 pt guy, or a 20 pt in 40 game guy.

    Dammit, the playoffs depend on Hemsky.

  8. Captain Smarmy says:

    Steckell would look nice in that fourth line center role. Have Lander be first call up or whatever.

  9. OilClog says:

    N Schultz Larsen

    I would put them in the 7-8 spot.

    Belov Grebs 5 – 6, I can’t see them coming over to press box it, at least at the start of it all.

  10. Mr DeBakey says:

    that list of Oilers’ Center is not labeled correctly.
    Shallow Chart.
    Will Acton?
    .317 AHL PPG is not part of the solution.

  11. Spydyr says:

    The Gagner-Perron-Yakupov should be high scoring for both teams.Is a point a period for one team or the other sound about right?

  12. gogliano says:

    Someone might have mentioned this last thread but I suspect Gagner got a gentleman’s no-trade clause for his RFA year. Probably goes without saying and all that but I think he is in pen until two years out–when Yakupov shakes free for more dollars. Nice timing on the no trade by MacT.

    Also, I’d be happy building my 3rd line around Ales Hemsky any day. Though after Hemsky and Gordon it is basically chickenwire and plaster.

  13. dessert1111 says:

    You might’ve forgotten Martindale with the C depth chart LT, if you’re going to include Ewanyk. I think he’s close to a write-off at this point though.

    I would rather Arcobello (or even Miller or R Hamilton) in the 13F slot instead of Brown. Brown doesn’t seem like an LT kind of guy — do you think he gets waived/traded?

    If the NTC is only in the 2nd year of the Gagner deal, I am happy with it. Leaves flexibility, which is crucial with all the emerging stars needing contracts.

    I still think a move or two is forthcoming. It’s going to be a comparatively slow next 6 weeks though.

  14. Lowetide says:

    I LOVE Mike Brown, most important guy on the team! If Mike Brown falls out of favor they’re going to trade ANOTHER draft pick for an enforcer.

    Mike Brown. He’s great!

  15. speeds says:

    gogliano:
    Someone might have mentioned this last thread but I suspect Gagner got a gentleman’s no-trade clause for his RFA year.Probably goes without saying and all that but I think he is in pen until two years out–when Yakupov shakes free for more dollars.Nice timing on the no trade by MacT.

    Also, I’d be happy building my 3rd line around Ales Hemsky any day.Though after Hemsky and Gordon it is basically chickenwire and plaster.

    https://twitter.com/reporterchris/status/359445528662126593

    Craig MacTavish tells Prime Time Sports that he's made a verbal promise to Sam Gagner that he won't be dealt before NMC kicks in next summer— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 22, 2013

  16. DBO says:

    Dan Tencer ‏@dantencer 1m
    On Ales Hemsky, Craig MacTavish says whichever team gets him will be very happy and get a motivated guy. Says it could very well be Edmonton

  17. Big Dan says:

    I agree with everything you said except… more reliable in goal?

    Ok, health wise yes. Labarbera won’t throw out his back every time he makes 30 saves. However, he is a bad goalie sheltered by a Phoenix team. He has had quite honestly one good year in his career.

    That’s one of the few moves I wasn’t impressed with by MacT. I would have preferred someone with some upside to challenge Dubnyk like Khudonin or Greiss.

    The more I think about it, the more I think Anton Lander is a good idea on the 4th line. Steckel may be another Belanger= 4th liner on his last legs whose only use is winning faceoffs. Let’s throw the kid in; he showed a lot of improvement in the last 1/2 of the AHL season. And we need an agitator.

    It’ll be interesting to see how some of these wild cards like Belov and Jonesuu do. Is Jonesuu going to be sent down and be an injury callup, if those Kyle Clifford rumors are true?

    I also read a rumor about Jeff Petry for Justin Abelkader. I think that’d be a fair trade for both sides. We could then sign Tom Gilbert for $1.5M to replace Petry’s spot as those two RD are about equal IMO.

    Either way, since MacT is up against the cap, he’s going to need to find a new home for Nick Schultz. If he can’t, then the Denis Grebeshkov signing was a huge waste of a roster spot and the little cap space needed in case of injuries.

    The only reason I can think of for signing Grebeshkov after his play has fallen off a cliff is for Belov. Help him acclimatize to North America. I think Grebs here will be like Slegr in Detroit some years back= he’ll play very little (23-1-3-4?) because you just never know when somebody’s going to get hurt.

  18. spoiler says:

    2. Sign Sam Gagner to a multi-year deal that has begins with a number in the 4′s (done, and done today. Outstanding)

    Tempest in a blogospheric teapot. Either he wanted to play for the Oilers or he didn’t. It was just a matter of finding a deal that respects both sides. I would have preferred an extra year too, but at least in 3 years we will have a better idea of cap ceilings, Sam’s ceiling, RNH’s development, the prospects in the system etc. Very good deal.

    4. NHL goalie (LaBarbera was a nice option)

    It came out in Matheson’s column this weekend that LaBarbera has been Dubnyk’s workout partner for the past few years and they are good friends. I’d say that signing is an indication they are giving Doobie every chance to find a comfort level and thus success as the starter. Very smart acquisition that keeps the room tight and the goalies loose.

    8. Find a 4line C

    MacT says he’s done looking on this matter, but I don’t ever trust a word of verbal from the lips of a Major League sports executive. Still, considering the present cap situation, and players under contract, I think it is likely MacT will go to camp with the cards he’s holding.

    9. Deal Hemsky for immediate help (even if its a checker).

    There are still some possibilities out there… Phoenix, Nashville, Ottawa could all use some scoring help on the wing and skill on the power play. But the market isn’t exactly crowded with buyers so this is probably the wrong time to extract value from a deal.

    Besides, Hemsky is still a legitimate game-breaking option, the kind of player like a Gaborik or a Bure who can manufacture a goal with little help from his linemates and turn any game’s momentum ass over tea kettle. A threat every time he steps on the ice. This type of player cannot be traded for bottom 6 help or for a pick worse than a 1st rounder.

    It’s a real pleasure to have a GM who has coached before and knows what it is like to go to battle with poor equipment and unbattle-tested soldiers. We haven’t seen a defense with this depth since he last commanded the troops.

  19. wheatnoil says:

    I think a lot of this line-up hinges on MacT gambling that one of Smyth, Jones, or Joensuu being able to play 3LW. If Gordon-Joensuu-Hemsky can play 40% zone starts and break even, then Lander-Smyth-Jones looks not half-bad as a 4line. If the Finn with skill can’t do it, then one of Jones or Smyth has to. If none of them can or if Gordon gets injured, MacT will have to try to convert one of his depth D or a draft pick for a bottom 6er. It’s not the worst gamble in the world and if he’s right this team may challenge for the second season. Let’s hope he doesn’t roll snake eyes.

  20. stevezie says:

    wheatnoil,

    That’s what I like about being overstocked with D. MacT didn’t just sign Grebs, he signed a tradeable asset (either Grebs or whoever he replaces). He may have even signed a draft pick. Who cares? It’s not our money!

    DBO: On Ales Hemsky, Craig MacTavish says whichever team gets him will be very happy and get a motivated guy. Says it could very well be Edmonton

    How delightfully non-commital. Paving the road for a return while leaving himself room to accept a good deal- If GMing doesn’t work out he may yet make a decent politician.

  21. Rocknrolla says:

    Pretty amazing how MacT knocked out almost everything on that list…I hope he is reading these blogs! A couple more bigger players would be nice. A big C like Boyle and another big wing would go a long way…

  22. dessert1111 says:

    Lowetide:
    I LOVE Mike Brown, most important guy on the team! If Mike Brown falls out of favor they’re going to trade ANOTHER draft pick for an enforcer.

    Mike Brown. He’s great!

    I am happy with him if it’s a done deal that they have an enforcer; but is it? I think I read somewhere about MacT emphasizing skill… :D

  23. Woodguy says:

    spoiler,

    It’s a real pleasure to have a GM who has coached before and knows what it is like to go to battle with poor equipment and unbattle-tested soldiers. We haven’t seen a defense with this depth since he last commanded the troops.

    Agreed.

    I think the last time the Oilers had a Dcorps this deep was 09/10

    Sheldon Souray 81gp 24:50
    Lubomir Visnovsky 50gp 23:00
    Tom Gilbert 82 21:58gp
    Denis Grebeshkov 72gp 21:10
    Steve Staios 80gp 19:48
    Ladislav Smid 60gp 14:57
    Jason Strudwick 71gp 12:37
    Theo Peckham 15gp 11:37

    I think this year’s Dcorps is better than that one.

    Here’s the Dcorps from 05/06:

    Chris Pronger 80gp 27:59
    Jaroslav Spacek 31gp 24:37
    Marc-Andre Bergeron 75gp 21:13
    Steve Staios 82gp 20:52
    Jason Smith 76gp 19:38
    Dick Tarnstrom 22gp 16:58
    Igor Ulanov 37gp 16:27
    Cory Cross 34gp 12:46
    Matt Greene 27gp 11:13

    There is no one on the roster as good as the top 2, but this year’s team is deep after that.

    That top 2 were just horses.

  24. striatic says:

    Joensuu on Finland’s Olympic list.

    then again, so is Petrell.

    though i hate to beat up on Petrell.

  25. Lowetide says:

    striatic:
    Joensuu on Finland’s Olympic list.

    then again, so is Petrell.

    though i hate to beat up on Petrell.

    Harski too. I love the Finns. Joenssu better make the damn team.

  26. Bruce McCurdy says:

    •Nuge-Hall-Eberle
    •Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
    •Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky
    •Lander-Joensuu-Jones
    •Mike Brown

    LT: I find it reassuring that your depth chart up front is identical to mine.

    Other than I have Brown ranked somewhere between 13th forward & 130th. :|

    Same top 4 D as well, I had Potter listed in the third pair for seniority reasons though I see he’s persona nonexistent in your current line-up. Still and all, what I like most is there is now a logical hierarchy to the line-up that has been absent for quite some time that allows different observers to reach similar conclusions.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Potter knows what he did. :-)

  28. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: I think the last time the Oilers had a Dcorps this deep was 09/10

    That was ’08-09 wasn’t it? Quinn didn’t trust Lubo for any 23 minutes a night.

  29. striatic says:

    Lowetide: Joenssu better make the damn team.

    Finland invited just a ton of guys to their camp. 30 forwards! 16 defense! 9 goalies!

    ridiculous.

    their Goaltending depth is stupid good though, 3 of those 9 guys would have a legitimate shot at starting for Canada. Rinne, Rask, Lehtonen. then you have Niemi and Backstrom on top of that.

  30. RexLibris says:

    My belief is that the Oilers management (Lowe primarily, but also MacTavish) have held the Montreal model as their ultimate goal as much as the oft-cited Detroit, Chicago or Pittsburgh ones.

    Montreal got on top and stayed on top by never allowing any single player to become more important than the team, and they always had a body ready to step in and fill the gap. They had the depth and systemic continuity to send away talent because they already had everything they needed.

    Now, if they can just rig some drafts the way the Canadiens did in the expansion 60s we could be all set.
    ;)

  31. Lowetide says:

    Lubo. It’s like getting the most special gift in the world but your Dad says it has to go back.

  32. raventalon40 says:

    WTF… why is Alexander Steen on Team Sweden? He’s from Winnipeg, Man, Canada. Does he have dual citizenship?

  33. Captain Smarmy says:

    Lowetide:
    Lubo. It’s like getting the most special gift in the world but your Dad says it has to go back.

    This reminds me of the time I got a table hockey set for xmas but there was a defect with the playing surface wood being warped and he took it back and got me nothing….

  34. raventalon40 says:

    striatic:
    Joensuu on Finland’s Olympic list.

    then again, so is Petrell.

    though i hate to beat up on Petrell.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2013/07/22/sp-nhl-finland-olympic-camp-roster.html

    I don’t see Joensuu

  35. striatic says:

    am i the only person here who would rather have Jones, warts and all, as 3LW over Smyth?

  36. "Steve Smith" says:

    striatic,

    I’d hate to have to decide between them, although Eakins probably will. I don’t think either of them plays above the fourth line on a good team.

  37. Bar_Qu says:

    RE on Friday! RE on Friday!

    I look forward to the many accusations you hate a player because you put his RE too low. ;-)

  38. fifthcartel says:

    Oilers are oddly 6th closest to the cap. Then again, Hemsky might be gone (5M), and doubt they carry 9 D around.

  39. "Steve Smith" says:

    Bar_Qu:
    RE on Friday! RE on Friday!

    I look forward to the many accusations you hate a player because you put his RE too low.

    The trouble is that because there’s no such thing as going “too low” for Smid, his Smid-hate can be camouflaged. I’m on to you, LT, and will not hesitate to make these accusations anyway.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Smid RE 80, -10, -40, -50

  41. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide:
    Smid RE 80, -10, -40, -50

    So, optimistic this year?

  42. Lowetide says:

    Bar_Qu: So, optimistic this year?

    Well, he’s a veteran!

  43. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: Lubo. It’s like getting the most special gift in the world but your Dad says it has to go back.

    Lowetide(Quote) (Reply)

    Then there is the Pronger Model of that phenomenon.

  44. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide: Well, he’s a veteran!

    Glad to hear it.

    Does that also mean you’ll RE Eberle with the 100 pt season he deserves?

    I await with pitchfork at the ready.

  45. spoiler says:

    Bar_Qu: RE on Friday! RE on Friday! I look forward to the many accusations you hate a player because you put his RE too low.

    Well we know he hates Belov, lol. This guy isn’t in Smid’s doghouse… he’s sleeping in the dog garage of Smid’s doghouse, on a broken army cot under a scratchy wool blanket. I’m betting LT gives him the old 1-2-3 RE kick to the nads.

  46. TheOtherJohn says:

    Oiler depth at D consists of 3 guys who are 3-4 guys (we use Ference’s time on ice to justify him being top 4 but ignore his Vollman tack hammer) and a whole lot of 5-6-7-OKC guys. Maybe one of those guys will surprise. Hope so. 08/09 Souray & Lubo would be our top painting this year and Smid, Petry & Ference would be 4??-5-6-7 on Cup finals team. Someone said if you can’t get top 4D guys not a bad alternate strategy to have a strong 3rd pairing. Maybe we have the makings of a strong 3rd pairing/PB guy but we do not have the makings of a top pairing

    Lander has done nothing in the NHL level and did not have a strong AHL regular season. He doesnt score anywhere. Pencilling him in at 4C is wishful thinking particularly if RNH is out 1-2 months. Acton is the same age as Vande Velde, scores less … in college, at the AHL level. Acton scored 34 points over the last 2 seasons in the AHL total (not per season) total. If he’s our 4C he’d better of had the best development offseason summer in the history of pro hockey.

    Not sure who plays on a tough minute third line because only we have 1/3 of that line nailed down. Worry Gordon gets blame for his line underperforming. Maybe we can play Will Acton there.

    A stated goal for the offseason was to get bigger and to get a better bottom 6. Do not think we bigger and we added Gordon and a whole lot of maybes…. losing MPS. Expect it will be a whole lot of the same. Would Phx take Hemsky for David Moss?

  47. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Tim Wharnsby @WharnsbyCBC

    #Leafs avoid salary arbitration with Carl Gunnarsson with 3 yr deal at $2.85m, $3.15m & $3.45m.

  48. "Steve Smith" says:

    This is my favourite Leafs blog.

    Edit: Wait, does Down Goes Brown still count as a Leafs blog? It’s sort of gone pan-NHL. I really like that blog. But since it doesn’t have the single-minded focus on the Leafs that this one does, I’m going to stand by my original statement.

  49. Lowetide says:

    You guys, if stuff isn’t about the Minnesota Wild can you post it elsewhere? Thanks.

  50. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    "Steve Smith":
    This is my favourite Leafs blog.

    Edit: Wait, does Down Goes Brown still count as a Leafs blog?It’s sort of gone pan-NHL.I really like that blog.But since it doesn’t have the single-minded focus on the Leafs that this one does, I’m going to stand by my original statement.

    Macular degeneration doesn’t become you.

  51. sumaclab says:

    Easy day for Lowetide. Gagner signs. Ebs and Hall get the OLY invite. All in all a pretty good day for the middle of summer. Life is easy for a scribe to scratch out a living on days like these. the wags in Toronto following the Leafs only wish they had a GM like MacT .Next ???? Tommorow is a another day.

  52. TheOtherJohn says:

    Understand completely why Ryan Whitney is unsigned. He cannot turn to save his life. Thats an occupational shortcoming.

    Why is Tom Gilbert unsigned? Seriously, does he have leprosy? If I was an elite team I’d sign him on a 1 year deal, at worse he’s a 3rd pairing guy. He might be better than that & could be capable of making a real contribution to a good team,

  53. steveb12344 says:

    TheOtherJohn:

    Why is Tom Gilbert unsigned? Seriously, does he have leprosy?If I was an elite team I’d sign him on a 1 year deal, at worse he’s a 3rd pairing guy. He might be better than that & could be capable of making a real contribution to a good team,

    It’s highly unlikely that you know something about Gilbert that 30 NHL GM’s don’t know

  54. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: That was ’08-09 wasn’t it? Quinn didn’t trust Lubo for any 23 minutes a night.

    Sharp eye sir. I mis-typed.

    5 years without a real D corps.

    5 years in the wilderness.

    Not a spurious correlation.

  55. Woodguy says:

    steveb12344: It’s highly unlikely that you know something about Gilbert that 30 NHL GM’s don’t know

    So you think Gilbert won’t get a job in the NHL?

  56. Woodguy says:

    fifthcartel:
    Oilers are oddly 6th closest to the cap. Then again, Hemsky might be gone (5M), and doubt they carry 9 D around.

    Yeah, they have 24 players on the roster right now.

    I think N.Shultz is the one to move.

    MacT hiring 3 LHD this summer is pretty telling.

  57. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy: Yeah, they have 24 players on the roster right now.

    I think N.Shultz is the one to move.

    MacT hiring 3 LHD this summer is pretty telling.

    Either that or he’s penciled in Smid as the 3LW.

  58. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen 46m

    Last three seasons: Sam Gagner, 127 points in 191 games Bryan Little, 126 points in 198 games

  59. raventalon40 says:

    striatic: he’s listed here:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=678698

    Oh thanks!

    A more important question then would be why are we not inviting free agent Juhamatti Aaltonen to training camp? He is Finnish after all.

  60. VanOil says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen 46m

    Last three seasons: Sam Gagner, 127 points in 191 games Bryan Little, 126 points in 198 games

    Cap hits of 4.8M to 4.7M with a longer term. Both seem fair contracts at the going rate. I prefer the younger, bigger Gagner coming of a better season.

  61. Ducey says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen 46m

    Last three seasons: Sam Gagner, 127 points in 191 games Bryan Little, 126 points in 198 games

    Gagner – Age 23 – 2007 draft – 258 pts in 414 games.
    Little – Age 25 – 2006 draft – 227 pts in 404 games.

  62. G Money says:

    Bar_Qu: I look forward to the many accusations you hate a player because you put his RE too low.

    Why do you hate LT so much?

    Lowetide: Smid RE 80, -10, -40, -50

    I assume you let Dee Ess Captain Bouncy do that one?

  63. OilLeak says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen 46m

    Last three seasons: Sam Gagner, 127 points in 191 games Bryan Little, 126 points in 198 games

    The cat came back. They thought he was a gonner,
    But the cat came back. He just couldn’t stay away.

  64. Hammers says:

    Sorry LT but Belov & Grebs are playing ,probably 5-6 or very least 6-7. I still think either N.Schultz or Smid (hope not) will be gone . Actually if he needs cap space Schultz maybe bought out in the next week or so .This lets Hemsky be traded at the deadline if no deals come up but allows McT enough money to pick someone else up as things shake loose . Face it Hemsky has more value than N. Schultz . There really isn’t anyone else there to buy out that gives us about $5mill in cap space. 3.5 plus about 1.5 we have .

  65. Ribs says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen 46m

    Last three seasons: Sam Gagner, 127 points in 191 games Bryan Little, 126 points in 198 games

    Last three seasons: Kyle Wellwood, 75 points in 151 games *sad trombone*

  66. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy: That was ’08-09 wasn’t it? Quinn didn’t trust Lubo for any 23 minutes a night.

    Ah, Pat Quinn, whose wonderful coaching led to such gems as Patrick O’Sullivan and Andrew Cogliano getting more icetime than any other forward not named Penner or Horcoff, Fernando Pisani getting scratched for “lack of effort”, and the oft-cited J.F. Jacques on the first line.

    How the hell did I manage to watch that whole season?

  67. knighttown says:

    It seems to be implied around the ‘sphere that the Oilers are going to run a Gordon-led line as a brutally tough minutes line against the toughest comp and the worst zone starts. In reality, there aren’t many teams that run this model anymore. Half of your games are on the road and in those games you dont control the matchups. Lets look at how that “should win” road game in Toronto might play out.

    Gordon-Jones-Hemsky vs Kadri-JVR-Clarkson-Fraser-Liles/Reilley

    This is a soft as hell Leafs line and defense pairing that we should be able to exploit but zero offence guys like Gordon and Jones aren’t likely to produce much against anyone. Maybe Hemmer does something amazing and maybe he doesn’t. A night of tough sledding for Kadri against Gordon and he probably doesn’t produce but that’s something the Leafs will allow.

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle vs McClement-Bolland-Kulemin-Phaneuf-Gunnarsson

    That oiler line is outstanding of course but that 5 man group for the Leafs is designed to take on such a matchup. No chance Oilers get scored on but there’s been lots of nights the checkers do their job and the Hall line can’t break through. Even the NHLs best producers try to avoid going against defense only guys and try to exploit guys who try and score the other way.

    Gagner-Perron-Yakupov vs Bozak-Lupul-Kessel-Gardiner-Fransson

    That Oiler line can produce in the right situation but this isn’t it. Kessel is outstanding and Lupul is not the guy you remember from Edmonton. Almost no chance they don’t outshoot and out chance the Oilers soft minutes line.

    I see the Leafs out chancing the supposedly better Oilers 7 games out of 10 if these are the matchups and it only gets worse against good teams. On the road the Oilers will be better off spreading the talent around making them less likely to be exposed in coaching:

    Nuge-Jones-Eberle-Smid-Petry vs Bozak-Kessel-Lupul-Gardiner-Fransson

    Challenging night for Nuge and co. but they’ll get their chances against this line and 93 is way better down low than 89. 14 is a true NHL star and don’t forget they’ll have Smid-Petry behind them. May not out chance but should keep it close.

    Hall-Gagner-Hemsky-Grebs-N. Schultz vs McClement-Bolland-Kulemin-Phaneuf-Gunnar

    Phaneuf/McClement will target Hall and do OK on some nights but this veteran group will still out chance handily.

    Gordon-Yakupov-Perron-J. Schultz-Belov vs JVR-Kadri-Clarkson-Fraser-Liles

    Excellent chance the Oiler have the guns to dominate this matchup especially against that D pair.

    A long post for sure but its worth highlighting that as sexy as Yak-Gags-Perron looks to us when we’re imaging them out against Calgary’s dregs we have to turn the coin over no picture them against Stamkos-St. Louis and Drouin.

  68. Colonel Obvious says:

    The expected value of any player three years down the line is less than their expected value today. Therefore a long term deal is always to the advantage of the player. The length of the Gagner deal is a big plus, and the Gagner deal is clearly better than the Little deal.

  69. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Not necessarily. I think age comes into this equation, as does cap inflation and salary inflation (not necessarily the same thing).

    When Hall signed at 6 I thought it was a somewhat good deal. When Ebs got 6 I thought it was a 1 million dollar overpay.

    After those signings we saw Semin @ 7, Getzlaf and Perry at 8.5ish, and guys like Patrik Elias (good but old), Travis Zajac, Jeff Skinner, Tyler Seguin etc. all sign for functionally even money. Now I see Hall as a HUGE value deal and Ebs as an even-money payment.

    Point: It’s never clear from the outset who wins by signing long term.

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