11 FOR THE OILERS

The Edmonton Oilers have another spot open on their 50 man list (now at 46 if Nurse and Khaira slide) after Toni Rajala is taken from it. This spot could be filled in the spring by a college free agent, or maybe the Oilers make a deal during training camp for a roster player (in exchange for a pick, for instance). The other possibility? Grabbing one of the free agent names currently still on the board–there’s plenty of interest.

Let’s approach it from the pov that MacTavish–former coach–and Eakins (the current one) are satisfied with their G and D depth, and that they wouldn’t mind another C and another 2-way winger added to the group. The player acquired could be signed, invited to training camp, or sign a PTO depending on quality and competition for said player. Here’s my list.

  1. L Vinny Prospal: All kinds of possibilities–he could play on a skill line with Hemsky (and say Gagner) and he could also play on a 2-way line (with say Gordon and Hemsky). Prospal’s shot differential a year ago was solid, and despite being 38 years old the Czech winger still has the hands. Ridiculous he’s still available.
  2. L Mason Raymond: You can say that don’t need him, I don’t care. Skill guy, speed demon, he can play with skill. Sign the man.
  3. R Peter Mueller: Whenever I mention him there’s a bunch of reaction (soft, concussed, etc) but I think he’s worth a shot. Skilled, scores when healthy and he’s a bigger guy who can push the pace.
  4. L Guillaume Latandresse: A big man with skill, he’s bounced around a little too much (lollygagging, foot speed) but he’s an interesting player and there’s little doubt he can play with skill.
  5. R Chuck Kobasew: Played with dregs and didn’t have a good Corsi, but the WOWY shows there was some good things happening when he got a chance with actual hockey players. Can play either wing.
  6. C David Steckel: Man he played with some slosh last season. Big guy, center. He might be able to help, and it would mean Lander begins the season in OKC–and that’s a good thing.
  7. L Kaspars Daugavins: Big man has an unusual skill set that might fit this Edmonton roster. Agitates, can win puck battles and penalty kill. A goal he didn’t score for Boston will be in my memory for a long time, but he’s an interesting player.
  8. C Jarred Smithson: Bruce McCurdy wrote an interesting article on him and he’s been on my mind since. I think he’d be a nice option—not the first option–for the 4line job that currently belongs to Lander or Will Acton.
  9. R Anthony Stewart: A big man, he’s hung around the NHL for over 250 games with up and down results. Sometimes these big men blossom in their late 20′s and sometimes it happens in new surroundings. Worth a shot?
  10. R Nick Palmieri: Big man with some offensive ability, he’s very physical and has a plus shot. He appears to be a hockey player.
  11. L Stefan Della Rovere: Hasn’t done a blasted thing in pro hockey, and doesn’t have ideal size for the pro game. Still, if you’re looking to add grit via free agency he makes the list because he’s a game rooster.

I think it’s reasonable to expect that the Oilers–if they’re serious about the post-season in 2013-14–are in fact in conversation with some of the available free agents. Any of the available players catch your eye?

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41 Responses to "11 FOR THE OILERS"

  1. striatic says:

    VINNY. PROSPAL.

    According to this Czech article of Aug 22, he’s still being coy about his NHL future, which i assume means he’s persuadable.

    http://taborsky.denik.cz/hokej_region/osobnost-ceskeho-hokeje-i-nhl-vaclav-prospal-velel-nadejim-hc-tabor-20130822.html

    I think the way you persuade him, is via the Olympic Games.

    Looking here, the Analysts have Hemsky on the Bubble, and Prospal not on the list at all.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=678233

    The best way for Prospal to force his way onto the Olympic team, and indeed for Hemsky to secure a spot, is for the two to play together for half a season and prove their chemistry entering into the Olympic selection period.

    Judging by his most recent contracts, and the opportunity with Hemsky in Edmonton, i think you offer him a cool 1 year, 1.5 million and he’ll slide right into Edmonton’s remaining cap space.

  2. jp says:

    I like this slant on the Rajala move. If it was in part motivated by opening up a spot to sign a real NHL player, that at least partly offsets cutting ties with a very talented player. I’m gonna assume this was the case until proven otherwise since the alternative is much less attractive.

    Prospal and a number of others on that list would certainly improve the look of the bottom 6 in a hurry. There’s a few more guys you didn’t list too. Among them I think Dan Cleary would be an upgrade on the 3rd line, and it would be kinda cool if he came back after all this time. Not sure how he liked Edmonton.

  3. striatic says:

    and my final argument for Prospal is this goal against Detroit last year.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4BuAT_S5UQ

    he has skill, creativity, and most importantly he still has the speed to keep up with the play and put pressure on a defense.

    and finally, his Vollman looks very decent for a 3rd liner.

    http://public.tableausoftware.com/shared/TCDT84TGK?:display_count=yes

    Excellent Corsi Rel and although he was playing somewhat sheltered minutes and would see tougher zone start with Gordon and Hemsky, i think Gordon and Hemsky should be better than his most common linemates last year, Letestu and Brassard.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_time_on_ice_stats.php?ds=8&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f5=CBJ&c=0+1+3+5+8+9+10+11+12+13+14+15+16+17+18+19+20+21+22+23+24+25+26+27+28

  4. B.C.B says:

    My list is 1- Danny Cleary LW (~ 2.5 million for one season), 2- David Steckel C (no more than a million / single season), 3- Vinny Prospal LW (1.5-2 million for one season), 4- any other centre with minimum 125 games of NHL experience (league minimum). If the Oilers need to get any two of that list, well 1 & 3 would be redundant but 1 & 2 or even 2 & 4 would be wonderful, and their bottom six might just get through that early round trip without suicidal thoughts.

    just thinking about a line with Hemsky and Gordon on it: maybe David Perron would look good on it? Especially late in the 1st season (desperate) or at home (last change) when they could be asked to take the defensive zone draws / hard competition / both. Hemsky, the individualist, could still provide offense. Perron is the shooter and can help out hemsky with a cycle / take a pass. Gordon is only left to win all the draws and play in the neutral zone. This line could legitimately take on the tough competition, and not post negative numbers all across the board. Maybe only 13-14 EV minutes a night, and the players ‘balance out’ their minutes on special times . . . all three playing 17-19 minutes a night. If Eakins wants to hide the top line from the hardest minutes, Gordon-Perron-Hemsky is the only trio capable (and proven) that could do it at this point.

    Thoughts like this make me wish that MacT would sign a LW Pisani or maybe Cleary / Prospal.

  5. VanOil says:

    A Gordon, Hemsky, Prospal 3d line

    A Malhotra, Smyth, Joensuu/Jones/Brown/Eager 4th line

    Add Vigneault-esque zone starts and crazy ice time for the top line.

    And the playoffs might not be out of reach.

  6. striatic says:

    VanOil,

    i don’t think the cap room exists to sign Malholtra *and* Prospal, unless they both sign for around league minimum.

  7. Numenius says:

    Is there anything wrong with Brad Boyes? He seems like the perfect fit because he’s RW and he scored at a nice clip last season.

    I’d prefer to leave LW alone and give Smyth, Joensuu, Jones, and R. Hamilton a chance fight it out. Plus, Hemsky will be leaving soon, so it’s RW that needs help.

    Or would Boyes would cost too much? I’d imagine he’d like a raise on the $1 million he made last year.

  8. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Worth noting that Peter Mueller is a natural centre although he has not played the position recently.

  9. matt says:

    I suggest the Detroit solution, inspired by Vancouver.

    Can’t trade Hemsky? Keep him. Trade Eberle ($6M/6 years) and random prospect/Eager to Detroit for Franzen ($3.9M for 6 more years) and Abdelkader ($1.85M for 2 more years). Sign Cleary ($1.5M would fit under the cap; otherwise creativity may be required to find an extra $0.5-1.0M).

    Top 6: RNH, Hall, Yak, Gagner, Perron, Hemsky.
    Bottom 6: Franzen, Cleary, Smyth, Gordon, Jones, Abdelkader.
    Pressbox: Joensuu, Brown.
    AHL options: Lander, Arco, Hamilton, Acton, Eager

  10. nelson88 says:

    matt,

    You are suggesting trading Eberle for Franzen and Abdelkader? If MacT does that deal he should be taken out back and shot.

  11. OilLeak says:

    My guess is that Nultz will be traded during training camp once teams realize what their roster make-up looks like and the inevitable injuries that arise during the preseason. Nultz should have more value at that time and the free cap space will be used to bring in another center. At least I hope that’s the plan, because if I see Lander playing 2nd line center half way through the season I might cry.

  12. OilLeak says:

    Peter Mueller sounds like a decent bet is still young(25), good possession numbers on an awful Panthers squad and can play center or wing. Injuries are a concern, but Mueller is the type of gamble the Oilers to roll the dice on instead of Jones and the other scrubs. If I see Jones on the 3rd line or higher I’m going to cry…. again.

  13. OilLeak says:

    Also on Mueller, he was 39th in the league in shots this past season with 131, for contrast Eberle was 34th with 133. Avg TOI for Mueller was 16:15 and for Eberle 18:59.

  14. matt says:

    nelson88,

    Well, I guess you agree that Detroit would probably go for the deal then. The Oilers are hard up down the middle. They are flush on the wings. They would be subtracting from a position of strength to address a position of weakness. Unless there’s a GM in a similar (reciprocal) condition MacT can’t expect to get fair value on the trade. I’m all ears if you can point that situation out. But consider that Franzen is exactly what the Oilers need. Big 2-way centre with character that can play with skill or play a shutdown role. That bottom 6 looks pretty good to me.

  15. Reg Dunlop says:

    matt,

    I can’t see Detroit making this deal. They would become younger but also substantially smaller and easier to play against. Also, adding two wingers does nothing to help the oil down the middle. This deal fits like a BMW convertible in Suncor’s employee parking lot. I don’t think Franzen is a centre.

  16. jp says:

    matt:
    I suggest the Detroit solution, inspired by Vancouver.

    Can’t trade Hemsky?Keep him.Trade Eberle ($6M/6 years) and random prospect/Eager to Detroit for Franzen ($3.9M for 6 more years) and Abdelkader ($1.85M for 2 more years).Sign Cleary ($1.5M would fit under the cap; otherwise creativity may be required to find an extra $0.5-1.0M).

    Top 6: RNH, Hall, Yak, Gagner, Perron, Hemsky.
    Bottom 6: Franzen, Cleary, Smyth, Gordon, Jones, Abdelkader.
    Pressbox: Joensuu, Brown.
    AHL options: Lander, Arco, Hamilton, Acton, Eager

    I’d do that trade if Franzen were 28 rather than 33. He is 33 though, and that 3.9M/per cap hit will take him to age 40. And Reg is right, he’s not a C. I guess you’re counting Abdelkader as the C? He has played there some – as high as 4th on the Wings in draws over the last few years, though 6th last season.

    In general I agree with your point though. If the Oilers are the only team that knows Hemsky has value, keep him. If you keep him, and can move someone else for a big haul, maybe that makes sense.

  17. oilswell says:

    jp: I like this slant on the Rajala move. If it was in part motivated by opening up a spot to sign a real NHL player, that at least partly offsets cutting ties with a very talented player. I’m gonna assume this was the case until proven otherwise since the alternative is much less attractive.

    But it sounds like wishful thinking unless you think, of all the players on the Oilers’ list — including Kessey, Abney, Tuohimaa and Bunz — Rajala is both (a) the least likely to be valuable to the Oilers and (b) the least likely to be valuable to other teams. It seems likely that there’s either legitimate extenuating circumstances or a significant disconnect between the rankings of LT and the Oilers.

  18. Lewis Grant says:

    Franzen’s contract was structured to circumvent the cap rules. With cap recapture coming into effect, Detroit should be paying us to take Franzen’s contract. Otherwise they’ll be paying the league when he retires. (Zetterberg is also signed until 40, which is not quite as bad, but still bad.) People think that Burke pushed for cap recapture to punish Vancouver, but it’s going to hit Detroit hard with those two.

  19. Racki says:

    Reg Dunlop:
    matt,

    I can’t see Detroit making this deal. They would become younger but also substantially smaller and easier to play against. Also, adding two wingers does nothing to help the oil down the middle.This deal fits like a BMW convertible in Suncor’s employee parking lot. I don’t think Franzen is a centre.

    I can’t read past the first two sentences. I can’t see Detroit making this deal because MacTavish would have to be an idiot to make it… and he’s no idiot. Detroit would do that deal in a heart beat because Jordan Eberle, despite being in the oddest trade proposals in Oil town, is a young future star. Now that his wrist should be 100%, I figure this year he’ll stop the silly trade ideas.

  20. commonfan14 says:

    Lewis Grant,

    Detroit’s also very lucky that Datsyuk’s mother didn’t deliver a couple weeks earlier. That means they were able to sign him to that (kind of crazy for a guy his age? even him?) extension just before his 35th birthday, or things would be even worse.

  21. Gerta Rauss says:

    striatic:
    VINNY. PROSPAL.

    According to this Czech article of Aug 22, he’s still being coy about his NHL future, which i assume means he’s persuadable.

    http://taborsky.denik.cz/hokej_region/osobnost-ceskeho-hokeje-i-nhl-vaclav-prospal-velel-nadejim-hc-tabor-20130822.html

    I think the way you persuade him, is via the Olympic Games.

    Looking here, the Analysts have Hemsky on the Bubble, and Prospal not on the list at all.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=678233

    The best way for Prospal to force his way onto the Olympic team, and indeed for Hemsky to secure a spot, is for the two to play together for half a season and prove their chemistry entering into the Olympic selection period.

    Judging by his most recent contracts, and the opportunity with Hemsky in Edmonton, i think you offer him a cool 1 year, 1.5 million and he’ll slide right into Edmonton’s remaining cap space.

    Yes please.

    If they only make one move before the season starts this one makes the most sense. He plays LW primarily but I think he’s played C as well,so he could serve as Nuge insurance to boot.

    If they bring in a 4C it gets a little trickier with the cap space and would require another move-not impossible but less likely imo.

    I’ll be disappointed if they do nothing-I think there is tremendous value in the UFA market right now–and leverage–I think a lot of guys would be happy to sign 1 year deals right now.

  22. BlacqueJacque says:

    Letting Rajala go is just… I dunno, of all the guys on your 50-man list who could go, you dump your top scorer?

  23. Young Oil says:

    Didn’t Prospal state publicly that he only wanted to play in Columbus?

    For me, I’ve been saying it all summer, I would love to see Palmieri in Oiler silks. 24 years old, 6’3”, 220 lbs, 25 points in 87 games. Has a good shot, is physical when he needs to be, and seems great on the forecheck and in front of the net. Might need someone to drive the play at times, but seems like someone who can move up and down the lineup, and will likely sign a two way contract so he can play in the AHL if needed.

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

    Please watch this highlight package, and tell me that he wouldn’t be able to help this team.

  24. Reg Dunlop says:

    Racki,

    I hope you are correct regarding Ebs health but Ebs’ in the oddest trade proposals’? I can’t forsee a competitive team with 5 guys making 6 mil each(Hall, Ebs , Nuge, Schultz and Yak). Someone will have to go to bring balance on the ice and on the payroll. Seems like Ebs is the most likely candidate.

    Do you not see the oil being better with Abdelkader and Franzen next year? I do, even though this trade proposal is only a function of having no hockey news to discuss.

  25. Gerta Rauss says:

    Young Oil:
    Didn’t Prospal state publicly that he only wanted to play in Columbus?

    I’ve read that all summer on the internet but I can’t comment on its validity.

    It’s late August now, perhaps the calender, the Olympic angle striatic mentioned and Hemsky saying nice things about playing in Edmonton might swing his decision in our favor.

  26. Racki says:

    Reg Dunlop:
    Racki,

    I hope you are correct regarding Ebs health but Ebs’ in the oddest trade proposals’? I can’t forsee a competitive team with 5 guys making 6 mil each(Hall, Ebs , Nuge,Schultz and Yak). Someone will have to go to bring balance on the ice and on the payroll. Seems like Ebs is the most likely candidate.

    Do you not see the oil being better with Abdelkader and Franzen next year? I do, even though this trade proposal is only a function of having no hockey news to discuss.

    I actually personally think Abdelkader is the flavor of the week. As far as Franzen, he’s a good player when he’s on his game, but tends to disappear during points of the regular season. That said, I still like him though.. but he’s nearing that point where he’ll start to deteriorate, whereas Ebs is a wopping 23 years old and the arrows are pointing up. That’s just bad asset management to move a young player who hasn’t even hit his prime yet but is already firing quite well for a checker and a player that is signed for all eternity but doesn’t have anywhere near that many high end years in him. I’d be fine with moving one of the young players, but they need to be smarter about that move.

    Also, the cap is going to go up a fair amount by the time Yakupov’s ELC is done. Plus Hemsky and his $5M will be long gone by then, as will Nick Schultz’s $3.5M. I can EASILY see Hall, Ebs, Nuge and Yak making their $6M together and having enough room for everyone else. As far as Schultz, even if he made $6M, this team could be OK, but he shouldn’t be getting $6M. Shattenkirk’s deal is the measuring stick for Schultz’s deal, imho.

    Elliotte Friedman figures the cap will hit $80M within 4 years. Of course that is too long away for the Oil to benefit now, but some have speculated the cap will even be $70M next year. I think the Oil can fit these guys in long term.

  27. jp says:

    oilswell: But it sounds like wishful thinking unless you think, of all the players on the Oilers’ list — including Kessey, Abney, Tuohimaa and Bunz — Rajala is both (a) the least likely to be valuable to the Oilers and (b) the least likely to be valuable to other teams.It seems likely that there’s either legitimate extenuating circumstances or a significant disconnect between the rankings of LT and the Oilers.

    In the last sentence of my post I was trying to say that I’m choosing to believe that this might be part of something positive for the organization (bringing in a player to strengthen the bottom 6) rather than just a complete negative (the team perceiving Rajala’s value as zero). So yes, it is wishful thinking, though I do also think it’s plausible.

    I actually think extenuating factors most probably did play a big role in setting Rajala free. It sounds like Rajala wants to head back to Europe for whatever reason. With Omark we heard about wanting a real chance to play in the NHL – we haven’t heard anything like that in this case. This wasn’t a trade request, it was a mutual agreement to terminate a contract . If Rajala actually is set on returning to Europe, he has no value for the Oilers, and no value to any other teams in terms of trading him.

    In terms of why Rajala if the team wanted to open up a 50 man roster slot – I’m not sure, but there are a few of possibilities:
    1) He really does want out.
    2) The others can’t be bought out ( I’m not sure of the rules, but it may not be possible to buy out a player from his ELC).
    3)Maybe they really do think he’s worth nothing. I have a hard time believing that though. For that matter, a PPG AHL player is worth the money he’s making on a 2-way contract even with zero chance of making the NHL. There has to be something else involved here.

    Whether there are more NHL roster moves coming for the Oilers or now, who knows. Here’s hoping though.

  28. striatic says:

    matt: The Oilers are hard up down the middle. They are flush on the wings.

    i hate, hate, hate this Myth.

    the Oilers are no deeper at Wing than they are at Center. if anything, they are deeper at C than at wing.

    Oilers depth at C:

    RNH – Legitimate 1st Line C
    Gagner – Legitimate 2nd Line C
    Gordon – Legitimate 3rd Line C
    Lander – No.

    Oilers depth at LW:

    Hall – Legitimate 1st Line LW
    Perron – Legitimate 2nd Line LW
    Smyth – No. Gone next year anyway.
    Joensuu – No.

    Oilers depth at RW:
    Eberle – Legitimate 1st Line RW
    Yakupov – Increasingly Legitimate 2nd line RW
    Hemsky – Legitimate 3nd line RW. Gone next year.
    Jones – No. Gone next year anyway.

    This “flush at wing” narrative is a myth. The Oilers aren’t deep enough on wing this year, and things only get WORSE after Hemsky and Smyth leave, which will be pretty damn soon.

    The Oilers have major personnel issues at all 3 Forward positions, but wing is where the present and future depth is worst of all.

    Trading Eberle means forcing sophomore Yakupov to play 1st line minutes with only 48 games of NHL experience, many of those at very low TOI.

    This is insanity.

  29. striatic says:

    at this point, the future of the Oilers cannot be improved via trading forwards unless they exploit a cap tight team like St. Louis and upgrade a low paid decent ELC player like PRV – and the Oilers are fresh out of those now that they’ve moved PRV in that deal.

    the future will be acquired is via Prospects and depth UFAs.

    the Oilers need to develop more PRVs and flip them for more Perrons. there are no budding PRV level forward prospects currently bubbling up, but there are a handful of PRV level defense prospects bubbling up. these are the guys you trade, or develop to the point where they allow players like N. Schultz to become tradable assets.

    the Oilers need more time to replicate what they did this summer. acquire best of breed depth players like Gordon, and flip low priced youth for higher priced players in their primes, ALA PRV/Perron.

  30. striatic says:

    Reg Dunlop: I can’t forsee a competitive team with 5 guys making 6 mil each(Hall, Ebs , Nuge, Schultz and Yak).

    inflation is, in this case, a wonderful thing.

    sure, 5 guys making 6 mil each is a boat anchor right now, but in years 4,5,6 these will be outrageous value contracts.

  31. DeadmanWaking says:

    I watched a few episodes of Inside the Actors Studio on YouTube last night. Michael J. Fox had some good lines: “If 2+2 equals 4 every time, what good is it?” My perspective is that those who fail to study algebra are doomed to repeat it. You might think you’re putting your own creative stamp on the situation, while converging to the same solution everyone else discovers in the same chop. True creativity only begins once algebra is exceeded.

    Here he is again, about auditioning for a part where they were looking for a bright ten-year old: “Given that I was fifteen, I was the brightest ten-year old they were ever going to meet.” He got the part.

    There are two extremely common themes on this show.

    The first is listening to the other actors. To seem real, the actors must react to each other in the moment. Presumably they mean precisely what didn’t take place between Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen. I don’t know if that scene could possibly be as wooden as I recall it, but I’m waaay not brave enough to watch that movie again to find out.

    The second is about letting the subconscious self shine through. The actors prepare, but mainly to become so comfortable with the character and motivation that the acting transpires completely in the moment.

    This for me is what I’ve been calling “the ants”. It’s such a weird experience. I find myself almost taking dictation from a mental process supplying the words that I have hardly any access to. Stuff just comes up. Sometimes multiple streams at the same time. It’s not a trivial matter to consciously register what the ants are saying. Weirdest of all: sometimes I actually mis-hear what the ants are telling me, and transcribe it wrong. Later I think to myself “that one word just wasn’t right” and suddenly an ant pipes up “it wasn’t actually that word, it was this word instead”. And the alternate word fits perfectly, like it was designed to go there.

    The thing about the ants is that they can be fiendishly clever, but they don’t really give a damn about being comprehended. If what I write is comprehensible (debatable when I press my range) that’s due to what my conscious mind supplies. My conscious mind has to fill the gaps in what the ants supply with enough clues and hints to enable the reader to follow along, without distracting too much from the ant-generated message, because all the fun comes from the ants.

    The ants are also devious. Sometimes they supply half a joke. I don’t mean a joke that only halfway works. I mean half a joke. The conscious mind does not even have a category for half a joke. It’s like some weird quantum-scale phenomena. Schrödinger’s punch line: anyone who hears it immediately divides in two. One half-self laughs, then notices the frown on the other half-self. “Hey, don’t you get it?” and begins to explain when the frowning half-self intervenes “Of course I get it! It’s just not funny.”

    When the ants supply a half joke, my conscious mind must somehow come up with the complex conjugate, and transform it onto the good-one number line. When it clicks, my conscious mind goes “that’s actually not half bad, but I could never have come up with that myself”. It’s a bit of a surreal inner dialogue.

    The actors all talk about how exposed one becomes when drawing from this inner, obscure place. Someone said to the assembled students “you all have enough emotion, you’re all complete beings, what we need from you as actors is the bravery to look foolish and let it out”.

    Mike Meyers recounted advice he received from acting coach Del Close. He credits Del with encouraging him to go out there and act “at the top of my intelligence, at the top of my reference level, with any knowledge I might have, yet at the same time be as silly as hell”.

    Snorkel indigo phlegm. Been there, done that. That post tapped into what must be two or three decades of collected detritus from peregrinations arcane. There’s a dig in there at just about every weird number system or language I’ve ever read about, and really, at the entirety of the modern human intellectual heritage from the first flaming tree branch to the first divine blessing received by a devoutly neglected hog’s head packed with fizzy tree fruit.

    Here’s the joke: the whole of human civilization is naught but five thousand years of collected detritus from peregrinations occult. The arcane and esoteric are merely obscure residues of the bell-bottom occult or the Afro-occult: faddish frenzies molted. We’ve no shortage of our own occult not yet sloughed off. 640 kB. Ctrl-Alt-Del. Those Unicode cat faces. “Dialing” a telephone. Wallets. Privacy.

    My post even contained a contagious cat cameo from the The Cartoon Raspberry Museum.

    Lucy: BLAH!
    Snoopy: BLEAH!
    Bill the Cat: Ack! THPTPTH!!
    Calvin: THBBPTHBPT!
    Calvin: THBPBPTHPT!
    Mac Hall: PTHHTHTHTPT

    Mine was just a little Gack PHTFH. Please Honour The Fine Thread. My Gack was an unfortunate fellow, permanently at odds with the prevailing wind (outdoors) or waft (indoors).

    In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift—an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the “ultimate perfume”—the scent of a beautiful young virgin.

    I read that nearly twenty years ago. It must have inspired my poor Gack, human magnet of all things hurled over penthouse balustrades.

    Somehow this was also about digesting my recent mousetraps. I was pleased with my post that ended on the word “ankle” which put the curled toes into my parody of prescriptive pontification, which I developed on the theme of talent versus technique. Walk away, walk away I said to myself. You won’t pull off a similar buzzer-beating wrap-around anytime soon.

    In the process, I figured something out about words. Here’s the thing: Humpty was wrong.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    Ah! But that only applies when you use a word once. Sly devil, that egg.
    One can’t build a proper mousetrap on Humpty’s aborted advice.

    “However, when I re-use a word,” continued Humpty Dumpty softly, in a less ornery tone, now that Alice was out of earshot, “it means all things I’ve chosen it to mean—yet also more and less.”

  32. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Letting Rajala go is just… I dunno, of all the guys on your 50-man list who could go, you dump your top scorer?

    Its not like MacT said “we need to open a spot on the 50 man, let’s dump Rajala!”

    Rajala came to them and said he wants to play in Europe.

    Because he’s under contract for next year he’d count on their 50 man, even if he was lent to a KHL/SEL team.

    I guess that MacT thought it best to just cut ties today and grant Rajala his wish.

    If someone doesn’t want to work for you, its usually in your best interest to grant them their wish.

    I understand the point in keeping his rights, I just think the actual value is pretty thin given his desires to play on the Continent.

  33. Woodguy says:

    Was reading on a Caps site about the Grabbo signing.

    Needless to say, they are thrilled as it changes the depth chart to look like this:

    Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin

    Martin Erat – Mikhail Grabovski – Troy Brouwer

    Brooks Laich – Mathieu Perreault – Eric Fehr

    Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Joel Ward

    That’s a great set of forwards.

    What I also noticed that $3MM/yr man with 2 years left Joel Ward is slotted at 4RW.

    Caps are also thin on D.

    I wonder if you could pry him out of WAS for N.Shultz if you held on to some salary?

    WAS has 21 players signed with $2.6 left on the cap.

    I think Orlov makes the team and Wilson played well last year too.

    They also need to re-sign Johansson.

    I’ll bet McPhee would move Ward to get rid of contract $ and he’s better than any bottom sixer on the Oilers not named Gordon and Hemsky.

  34. striatic says:

    Woodguy: I wonder if you could pry him out of WAS for N.Shultz if you held on to some salary?

    so long as we’re talking *after* TC and some pre-season.

  35. FastOil says:

    Woodguy,

    I think you’re right, but if the Oilers retain 50% say (after capgeeking your ideas), is acquiring an old 4 RW a good use of 4.5M now and 3M next year?

    I would rather put that into a C and try to get to more than 4 with extras on wing.

    And deal Eberle for a first pairing RD. Gregor’s piece with Sather was interesting and seems to suggest that deals can be done, but the grease is eating cap. The Oilers can do this if Katz will and MacT gets creative in backing himself off of the cap.

    Given the depth at LD I don’t see the point in a deal there. Has to be RD. Petry is good, but an upgrade would really cement the back end. If only other teams liked Hemsky as much as Havlat and Erat.

  36. matt says:

    jp,

    I hadn’t thought Franzen was a centre either until I looked at TSN’s list of centres sorted by points. And I don’t watch enough (Detroit) hockey to have an informed independent view. After Reg’s post a bit of googling says that Franzen plays centre when Datsyuk and Zetterberg are placed on the same line. So if Franzen is not the second coming in the form of a two-way centre, then my idea sucks. In principle though, if the Oilers can’t trade Hemsky then they should play Hemsky. If that makes other positions and players surplus, then trade them to address other positions of weakness on the roster.

  37. matt says:

    striatic,

    It’s not insanity. It’s a disagreement about facts and, based on that, where to allocate risk.

    I think Hemsky/Yakupov between them can handle 1st/2nd line RW responsibilities. You don’t. You think that Gordon/Lander is a bad set of centres for 3rd/4th line centre responsibilities. In contrast, I think it’s immensely bad. I hence prefer to roll the dice with Hemsky and Yakupov as 1/2 (or 2/1) on wing rather than our current centre set up. You think keeping Eberle/Yakupov in the RW 1/2 positions outweighs the risk of fixing the 3rd line centre position. We agree that the 3rd and 4th line wings ought to be upgraded. I like doing that around better centres.

  38. Lowetide says:

    There’s no doubt in my mind that MacT improves center sooner than later. The question is how?

  39. matt says:

    Reg Dunlop,

    I think the Petrocan parkade has a lot of BMWs. My friend was forced to park next to a Mazerati for a while there. But maybe the angst that induced just proves your point.

  40. matt says:

    Reg Dunlop: Do you not see the oil being better with Abdelkader and Franzen next year? I do, even though this trade proposal is only a function of having no hockey news to discuss.

    Amen.

  41. gcw_rocks says:

    Raymond would be someone I would try and sign for sure. I think Palmieri is someone I might try to get to agree to a try out. With the weak competition, you would think he could be interested.

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