AARON THE MOOR

After last night’s game there was a lot of upset about the way Edmonton played last night. I thought the game was much closer than the score, let’s have a look.

EXTRA SKATER (all numbers 5×5)

  • Corsi for: 37-35 Edmonton
  • Corsi close: 3-2 Edmonton
  • Top Corsi for % (F):  Sam Gagner 69.2
  • Top Corsi for % (D): Nick Schultz 71.4
  • Low Corsi for % (F): Luke Gazdic 28.6
  • Low Corsi for % (D): Andrew Ference 38.1

The comments section last night was rife with comments about Sam Gagner, and it does appear Oiler fans have found their next Horcoff. One of the items from last night:

  •  I simply don’t think he’s in a guy who would be considered a cornerstone or franchise player.

Agreed completely. Gagner is making $4.8M which ranks outside the league’s top 50 in terms of cap hit. When healthy, Gagner is a solid complementary player to the big guns—no more, no less—and we need to remember that  moving forward. Whatever the reasons for last night’s loss, I don’t think Gagner’s 69.2 Corsi for % is a main culprit last night, and would encourage you to evaluate Gagner bassed on what we’ve seen in the past—he has value, but is not an impact player. I thought we knew this, folks.

REASONS

eakins11

  1. Dallas Eakins got caught out there (by eye) with poor matchups. Not just the Acton line against the Tsar Bomba too many times, but the weakest defense pairing out there too.
  2. Andrew Ference did not have a good game.
  3. The special teams abandoned them.
  4. Sometimes you have to give the other man his due.

That’s it. Sucks that there aren’t more villains in the piece, but not everything is Shakespeare. Now back to turning Gagner into Aaron the Moor…..

DEFENSEMAN

Phoenix Coyotes v San Jose Sharks

It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out the Oilers are looking about for defensive help—there were three Oiler men at an OHL game the other day in which the only real prospects of note were already drafted players like Matt Finn, Ben Harpur and Radek Faksa. I love those first round picks in the top 10 as much as anyone, but at this point if MacT can grab a quality top pairing blue who is signed to a contract with some term, I’m good to go.

Today.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

American Actress Katharine Ross

A very busy day, expect some fluidity in regard to guests. 10am, TSN 1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Reynolds, Copper and Blue. We’ll talk Oiler loss, and the general state of the team.
  • Corey Pronman, ESPN and Hockey Prospectus. We’ll talk Subway Series and 2014 draft.
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Bruce had a bird’s eye view of last night’s action and we’ll discuss.
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. We’ll talk about the Curt Bennett (and others) lawsuit against the NHL.

10-1260 via text and @Lowetide_ on twitter.

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146 Responses to "AARON THE MOOR"

  1. justDOit says:

    I too thought it could have been closer in the first period.

    Now to really bring everyone down:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=693152&print=true

  2. wunderbar says:

    So, it appears that Rogers now owns hockey in Canada. With all due respect to the SN hockey folks, especially the Oilers broadcasters, the NHL just gave the keys to a second tier sports broadcaster.

  3. Gret99zky says:

    The Oilers may not have played/looked as bad as people thought however Chicago took their foot off the gas after the 4th goal.

    When the other team stops really trying, doesn’t that make the Oilers look less bad?

  4. gcw_rocks says:

    The issue with Gagner is, and likely always will be, his play at centre. His face-offs are weak but more importantly he likes to puck watch in the defensive zone. Look at the second goal last night. Gagner lets Toews go. Toews was Gagner’s man and he was puck watching as Toews goes right past him and hard to the net. We have seen that over and over with Gagner. He does not have the defensive chops to play centre at the NHL level. He is a fine offensive talent and I believe it would be a terrific RW.

    But the Oilers RW is damn crowded. One of Gagner, Eberle or Yakupov has to go to get the top pairing defenceman the Oilers need. The remaining two become the 1st and 2nd line RWs for the long term. Out of those three, I would move Gagner myself. Eberle’s offence is a little better and I like his chemistry with Hall and RNH. Yak has much bigger upside than Gagner. That said, for the right defender I would trade any one of those three players.

  5. Ca$h-Money! says:

    wunderbar,

    TSN had been paying about $40 million per season for the broadcasting rights and apparently didn’t want to pay much more than that. Sportsnet was (to the best of my knowledge) paying a little less than that for their portion.

    The new deal pays between $300 million and $500 million per season. The NHL handed the keys over to the #2 guys because they made the type of commitment that tells the NHL they are going to make sure they provide top notch coverage, because lets be honest they are going to need to generate some ratings to justify the cost.

    I’m really curious to hear about what this means for all of the dedicated hockey group at TSN. I’m even more interested to see what this does for the salary cap. Safe to assume it will be going up over the next few years now with this news.

  6. justDOit says:

    2nd tier? I don’t see where that comes from. I see them as a solid 3rd out of three.

    But hey, it’s only for a little while – just to see if they can do a better (I didn’t say good) job of broadcasting hockey. Twelve years.

  7. Maestro Fresh Mess says:

    Karma for the bush league move of stealing the HNIC theme song. I cringe every time I hear the cheap rendition of that tune on TSN broadcasts. It went from being lush and majestic to sounding like a guy is behind a curtain playing it on a casio keyboard.

  8. russ99 says:

    The new TV deal brings to mind one question – how much is the cap going up next year?

  9. 42 percent body fat says:

    gcw_rocks,

    The second goal was on the PP. You dont play man to man on the PK. Look at behind the net last year. Gagner was our best PP and PK guy last year. Yes 5 on 5 he lacks a defensive game. But on the PK he is one of the best and one of the few we have with experience now.

    Gagners Ice time has been cut big by the new coach. No more first line pp (which is stupid considering last years numbers are not even in reach by anyone this year at the moment. The other oilers were all given 15 games to be horrid under the new system, Gagner sucked at first also but considering injury is catching on quicker than the other guys.

    IF anyone think Arco can replace Gagner you are high. People are just haters and looking for an excuse to cut the guy. You want bigger, fine. But that is not Arco. IF you want to make a real difference do not drop center depth buy replacing your second longest tenure oiler. The one who is the bridge for the kids to the veterans. The one that has bleed copper and blue for 7 years despite an awful team. If you want to make a statement you trade Eberle. He will not live up to his contract and has high value right now. Imagine if the Canucks traded Morrison the year he Naslund and Bertuzzi were lighting it up. Could have got a tonne. Now Im not saying Eberle is Morrison but the situation is the same. His linemates are raising his value. We have guys who can slot into a skilled wing position more than center. Arco, Omark, Rajala, HArtikainen, etc. Easier to replace wingers than center. If you can use Eberle to get a great center than you move gagner over or trade him.

    We can not afford to deplete our center depth at all.

  10. justDOit says:

    Twelve years of Coach’s Coroner, with Kypreos and Doug McLean. Twelve.

  11. wunderbar says:

    russ99,

    Probably quite a bit. I’m not sure how much CBC pays under the current deal but I believe TSN’s deal was for $40 million a year. the new deal is almost $450 million per season. There’s no way CBC was paying north of $100 million for their broadcasts so the deal is probably at least triple what it was before.

  12. B S says:

    Wait, were people seriously blaming Gagner? That line (Gags, Hemsky, Yak) were getting the soft minutes, but they, as a line, didn’t give up a damned thing and were buzzing around the opposing net more than anyone. Gagner looked good last night. You want to blame someone, blame Hall, Nuge and Ebs, they were -2 last night so clearly they must have been half the problem. Near as I can tell the Oilers were simply outclassed last night. They didn’t come out with the same fire as the previous game and Chicago never let them dictate the game for more than a shift or two. I saw a team pushing hard against superior opponents and just have the bounces go the other way.

    That shorty by Toews was really telling about the game. Yak could have stepped up to grab that puck earlier, but it was bouncing all over the place and Toews ended up with it. I don’t generally describe things as bad luck but that (and the Potter selfy) were just bad bounces.

    Aside from a couple of brain cramps from Belov and Petry, who otherwise had solid games, I thought the Oilers played much better than their last game against Chicago when the Oilers were spending days in their own end.

    Gret99zky,

    And I disagree with you on Chicago lazing about. The were playing a lot of neutral zone trap and keeping the shots to the perimeter in the 2nd and 3rd periods because they didn’t want to lose, so while that might have lent itself to an unrepresentative edge in Corsi by the Oilers, it also shows a team that was taking them seriously all game long.

  13. icecastles says:

    My main question/point from last night remains though – if he’s not a cornerstone player, why give him an NTC starting next year and a gentlemen’s agreement not to move him this year?

    True the paycheque doesn’t indicate franchise guy (though I’d argue it’s more than one would/should pay a non-impact player), but doesn’t the NTC (along with bullish comments by MacTavish in the offseason) indicate that’s exactly how the team sees him?

    At the end of the summer you were a big fan of Gagner being made captain, and last year, you said he is “an excellent young player”. So clearly you were seeing him as at least the next Teows.

    Okay, I’m kidding. But seriously, let’s not shift the narrative and engage in revisionist history.

    July 2013:
    “Those who question Gagner’s value would be in for quite a surprise next July, as Gagner the free agent–with 7 years (by that time) NHL experience and only 24 (next July)–can sign for only money. The number and term could be explosive.”

    He’s a desirable guy, but I don’t think, given free agency, teams would be explosiving to get him. He would absolutely be picked up – he’s a very good player. I just maintain he’s not a player you paint yourself into a corner with by gtiving a no trade clause to. Especially when you are wanting to make ‘bold moves’ and have stated numerous times that the core (presumably Nuge, Hall, Eberle, Yak… Nurse?) is not going anywhere.

  14. icecastles says:

    wunderbar: the NHL just gave the keys to a second tier sports broadcaster.

    So Rogers doesn’t even buy tickets to games? Lowe can’t be happy about this deal. :)

  15. TheOtherJohn says:

    Gagner is a good opportunistic offensive player. He is a shitty defensive player. One of the arguments for keeping him was that we have invested so much time into his development, why let him go elsewhere at the point in time that he has developed. The things he is not doing now, he was not doing 5 years ago. He is disinterested in applying himself to the defensive game.He is as crappy on draws today as he was 5 years ago. If he has a NMC next year, he should be moved out this year

    Chicago has a very nice team and for those commenters that talk about Oiler injuries, Chicago was without Hossa and Bickel in their top 6 and Rozival on their D. Did not matter

  16. TeeVee says:

    Maestro Fresh Mess:
    Karma for the bush league move of stealing the HNIC theme song.I cringe every time I hear the cheap rendition of that tune on TSN broadcasts.It went from being lush and majestic to sounding like a guy is behind a curtain playing it on a casio keyboard.

    I’m still bitter about that.

  17. wintoon says:

    When you ice a team with a 2C that can’t win a face off, can’t play physical, has no defensive awareness and is, at best a complementary player, you are destined to finish in the lower half of the standings. Pray tell, what does he bring to the table that you couldn’t get from a much cheaper player? Until the Oilers have strength down the middle they are going to be also rans. Gagner is a veteran and he plays like a soft rookie.

  18. justDOit says:

    Maestro Fresh Mess:
    Karma for the bush league move of stealing the HNIC theme song.I cringe every time I hear the cheap rendition of that tune on TSN broadcasts.It went from being lush and majestic to sounding like a guy is behind a curtain playing it on a casio keyboard.

    HNIC chose not to re-up the license fee for the song, so I wouldn’t characterize TSN’s move as ‘stealing’, but it didn’t seem right.

  19. Thinker says:

    We might as well wait on the big name dman deal. We won’t be competitive this year, and in all honesty, probably just a playoff contender next year. By the time we are competitive some of these top d options will be on the back 9, which for most defensemen happens in early thirties. I would just hold on to the pick, and wait for the right deal in three years. Take some free agent shots, and hope a prospect or four pan out.
    In my mind, gagner has lost his spot as part of the cluster to perron, and the eventual first round pick. I think the oil had better take a centre, because the risk of drafting a d high is still too great. I would play garner a lot, then trade him for a petry type at the deadline. then I would play arcobello into the ground, and flip him at the draft. I love arcobello, but the organization has proven itself to be pig headed, and are willing to play dregs like acton and gazdic over arcobello because of six inches. I also think the time has come to go big game hunting (like the hawks with hossa and campbell). A gagner trade could free up cap space, and i suspect with less teams able to spend, that a deal or two could be found for a long-term player.

  20. Old School G says:

    From my perspective when I look at Gagner as our #2C, I badly want him to be 6’3” 210 lbs Mac truck on the ice, playing a 200 foot game, taking his space in front of the net, working the corners, fighting when necessary, complementing the Oilers vast skill with some grit and generally making the Oilers a really tough team to play against. Sammy is not 6’3” 210 lbs and does not make us a tough team to play against, he’s not the #2C that I want to see out there. Every season there’s a goat…

  21. icecastles says:

    B S: Wait, were people seriously blaming Gagner?

    I think it’s misleading to say people are blaming Gagner. I think it would be more accurate to say people don’t think he’s the player (a) we hoped he would become, or (b) the player we need to build a championship team.

    It’s a given that to bring in talent, we have to send out talent. And if Gagner is being made untouchable, that’s cause for concern.

    Let’s look at the things I think we are all more or less agreed on:

    - The team needs size and defensive acumen.
    - To start winning, the team needs to look beyond the draft to established players, via eitehr trade or free agency.
    - We are in a cap era. There is only so much money available, and only so many roster spots.
    - Centre continues to be a position of weakness on the team.
    - The core isn’t going anywhere, nor should it.

    None of that means Gagner is a crappy player. But I think it does make it damn hard to justify Gagner as an untouchable.

    The level of discourse is wonderfully high on this blog. Let’s stop throwing out rational debates about players by saying “you hate Hemsky”, “you hate Gagner”, “fans have found their new Horcoff” etc. It reduces intelligent and insightful debate into ad hominem arguments and emotion-based diatribes.

    Sure there are folks who say Gagner is a bum. Indeed, you’d be hard-pressed to find a player on the team who’s not had this criticism levelled at them, even Hall (seriously: WTF!?). I like to think we’re above debating the trolls. Let’s just not class anyone who disagrees as an automatic troll.

  22. Clarkenstein says:

    Taking pride in the defensive part of any sport takes “commitment”. Gagner does not understand this. It is one of the reasons the Oil haven’t had the opportunity to move him for anybody. Championship teams do not have Gagners on their rosters. Can you imagine his game playing for a Quenneville, Hitch, Ruff, Tippett et al? You MIGHT get a 2nd rounder for him from somebody desperate to get into the playoffs. Quite frankly he’s already at the point in his career when I see his value dropping steadily.

  23. icecastles says:

    justDOit: HNIC chose not to re-up the license fee for the song, so I wouldn’t characterize TSN’s move as ‘stealing’, but it didn’t seem right.

    I believe they didn’t want to pay what the licence holder was asking. So rather than take the proverbial hometown discount, they followed the dollar signs to TSN. The license holder was as guilty and greedy as TSN.

    On the flipside, I think from a purely musical perspective (throwing out the considerable weight and value of nostalgia attached to the old ditty), the new one is a superior tune.

    More importantly though, to my Oiler loyalist eyes anyway, it means that yet another hockey tradition (along with the Heritage Classic, singing O Canada during the playoffs, the on-ice team photo after the Stanley Cup, probably a few others) has its roots in Edmonton. Beauty, eh?

  24. delooper says:

    Old School G:
    From my perspective when I look at Gagner as our #2C,I badly want him to be 6’3” 210 lbs Mac truck on the ice, playing a 200 foot game, taking his space in front of the net, working the corners, fighting when necessary, complementing the Oilers vast skill with some grit and generally making the Oilers a really tough team to play against.Sammy is not 6’3” 210 lbs and does not make us a tough team to play against, he’s not the #2C that I want to see out there. Every season there’s a goat…

    The problem with this opinion is if you replace Gagner with a centre that has all that ability, you will have a team that will shortly break the salary cap. If you want someone better than Gagner you’ll likely have to pay him more, meaning one of Hall, Eberle, Yakupov or Hopkins would have to be traded away.

    The Oilers are configured so that the money is mostly on the wings. Maybe that’s not perfect and should be addressed eventually but it’s not the most pressing issue, either.

  25. jbfuzz says:

    This broadcasting agreement might help clean up the viewing eyesore that HNIC has become in terms of their on-air talent and panels. Pretty dreadful to watch.

    On the plus side, the Oilers have shown a willingness to spend in the past. If that continues, we might see the team dip their toes in again in a meaningful way. That might be positive, provided it’s not a 6 million/year contract for Clarkson type thing.

  26. DeadmanWaking says:

    There’s something about KR that doesn’t work for me. Likely the interocular distance. I’ve read that people find interocular distance similar to their own (or the nurturing adults of their childhood environment) most attractive, but not everything I read remains true ten years later, so I checked it out.

    Google felt I needed to read this:

    I have a decent physique, great hygiene (I’m really anal about this), great personality …

    Oh, man. Either he knows what he did there, or he doesn’t. Not good or not good. Chances are he either finds himself with a woman who spurned experience, or who spurned no experience–if he finds himself with a woman at all, which he professes to want. He[citation needed] goes on to describe himself as having close set eyes and a long nose. Perhaps he’s describing his face. Or perhaps it’s more of his unwittingly deliberate tubtext. No, I mean tubsext. No, I mean stubhex. No … oh, forget it.

    Yesterday I read a comic rant about the worthlessness of a post doc, which pointed out that you can be a post doc and you can do a post doc at the same time. This is actually fairly common.

    For example, how one parses a submarine sandwich depends on what you’re swimming beside.

    My bobs were once scrunched at an office party when I was still in my early twenties. This gorgeous, lanky young woman in a natty two piece–with long flowing black hair–engaged in an underwater stealth attack from sector six while I was standing shoulder deep in someone’s backyard pool, surrounded my office superiors lounging on lawn chairs in every direction.

    Fortunately she didn’t scrunch my eyebrows right off my forehead. Then she emerged from the water in front of me to catch my shocked expression, only there was a catch–wrong face. I’ve never seen a barely clad women turn hot pink quite so abruptly as she sputtered her apology–rather unconvincingly, I tried to convince myself. If that was inadvertently deliberate–was there any chance?–well then, “Sold!” to the mischievous mermaid. Vengeance was mine! Unfortunately, it was not to be. She never apologized for that apology, either. I guess it was my interorbular distance. Turns out I wasn’t her type, after all. Bye catch.

    This morning I found the close-set sea of 4s and 5s in Willis’ game grades extremely depressing. I didn’t follow the thread last night. There’s nothing more bleak to read than a uniform sea of mediocrity, twenty sardines to a can.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Whatever the reasons for last night’s loss, I don’t think Gagner’s 69.2 Corsi for % is a main culprit last night, and would encourage you to evaluate Gagner bassed on what we’ve seen in the past—he has value, but is not an impact player. I thought we knew this, folks.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8q6sR6yZCE

  28. icecastles says:

    Okay maybe people are blaming Gagner… I think I underestimated the vitriol out there. LT’s right… we have found our new Horcoff. Though I worry in a losing season, there may end up being a few Horcoffs before the end. Seeing a good bit of hatred toward Ference already, and we all heard the sonic boom from the speed with which fans threw Yak under the bus.

    (just to distance myself from the crazy here, I like Gagner. My beef is with his no-trade clause, not with the player himself)

    Sigh.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I can’t believe Bell didn’t outbid Rogers here.

    To an outsider this looks like: two networks each spending a ton of cash but with different priorities.

    Rogers wants the actual product. Full stop. Their deployment of that product and their efforts to make their product accessible are weak to terrible.

    Rogers is the equivalent of marrying the prettiest girl in town then dressing her up in rags and never taking her out.

    Bell wants to put on a flashy show with top talent coverage and they want to make their content available everywhere in as many ways as possible. But they don’t care very much about what that product actually is.

    Bell is the equivalent of marrying the ugliest girl in town then dressing her up to the nines and taking her out to the fanciest places every night.

  30. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    justDOit,

    CBC isn’t paying a dime on broadcast rights. Rogers gets the ad $ from HNIC and probably does all of the game camera work. So it will be very interesting to see just who ends up producing HNIC and stuffing high collared shirts with the undead.

    12 years of Spector. FUBAR.

  31. rickithebear says:

    Rogers controls Maritimes and ontario west! yeah!
    MLSE does not control there TV rights.
    NHL Network?

    Quebecor controls Quebec.
    No more Bell?
    Wonder what TVA paid for the Canadians and the (?new Quebec) team?
    433.33M-X
    Wonder what CBC paid for the Saturday Night Slot
    (433.33M-X)-Y)

    “the NHL says the agreement guarantees that there will be no further regionalization of games or local blackouts. ”

    All games except Franco Que 6.6M
    28.8M/35.3m 24 hr a day except 6-12 pm eastern saturdays.
    for ((433.33M -CBC) – Quebecor)

  32. justDOit says:

    icecastles:

    I believe they didn’t want to pay what the licence holder was asking. So rather than take the proverbial hometown discount, they followed the dollar signs to TSN. The license holder was as guilty and greedy as TSN.

    Well, according to wiki, the CBC paid between $2000 and $10000 per year, until she got an agent and the fee was upped to $500 per airing. She’s not retiring off of that kind of money, nor is it out of line with other notable song licensing fees. Greedy?

    Then in the mid-2000s, they filed suit against CBC, claiming that they were using the song for other types of broadcasts, and for rebroadcasts, that were not included in the agreement. I believe that’s called stealing, but the case hasn’t been settled yet.

    So yeah, she refused to give the company that she claims stole from her, a ‘home town discount’, and the CBC balked at re-upping at a very conservative fee. TSN licensed the song forever – in perpetuity. So I can’t think that the sum of money would have broken CBC’s bank account – they just made a bad decision, and TSN grabbed the opportunity to use a great song for their hockey broadcasts.

  33. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    rickithebear: Wonder what CBC paid for the Saturday Night Slot
    (433.33M-X)-Y)

    Nothing for the rights. Rogers sells the ads on HNIC and pockets the $. Same thing in Quebec. Rogers pnws all.

  34. justDOit says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴,

    CBC radio reported that all control of the on-air product is Rogers’. So yes, HNIC will still go on, but under control of the same people who put Kypper, McLean and Waters on camera.

  35. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    justDOit,

    They need to run all the live game cameras, so one production company isn’t a surprise.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴,

    CBC radio reported that all control of the on-air product is Rogers’. So yes, HNIC will still go on, but under control of the same people who put Kypper, McLean and Waters on camera.

    I think we have to hope that Rogers personalities are a product of their limited national reach prior to this agreement (they really focus on local markets).

    This new agreement is so expansive, one has to assume they will spruce up the place and the on-air talent will change accordingly… one can hope!

    also, the write up:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=693152&navid=DL|NHL|home

    mentions no more local blackouts… so that might be a tell that the coverage is going to be nationalized, or at least more accessible.

  37. Old School G says:

    delooper: The problem with this opinion is if you replace Gagner with a centre that has all that ability, you will have a team that will shortly break the salary cap.If you want someone better than Gagner you’ll likely have to pay him more, meaning one of Hall, Eberle, Yakupov or Hopkins would have to be traded away.

    The Oilers are configured so that the money is mostly on the wings.Maybe that’s not perfect and should be addressed eventually but it’s not the most pressing issue, either.

    Good rebuttal, very valid points, we need to spread the money around, get a little balance going to stabilize this teeter totter. I found a couple C’s that play the game I’m after from a #2C. Martin Hanzal would be perfect and has a few years left on a contract that pays him just over 3 mil per season. Sean Couturier is locked in for a couple more seasons earning less than 2 mil per season. Can we actually get these guys? I have no clue but these are just two of I’m sure a larger group of players out there that are better suited for the #2C slot and actually earn less than Gagner per year.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nhl.com is streaming the PC on the deal.

  39. Caramel Obvious says:

    Last night was a strange game to pick on Gagner.

    It’s like wearing a sign that says “I have no idea what I am watching. Please ignore my ill-considered opinions. I am a deeply prejudiced individual incapable of thought.”

    Gagner was better last night. By eye (those that are connected to brains) and by number.

    Yakupov had his best game. Not even close really.

    Things are coming around. Next project, fix the fourth line. And I don’t mean simply substituting Arcobello for Acton. The whole line needs to be filled with real players. Other teams do it. Every good team anyway. It’s the last major blindspot on the team.

  40. 42 percent body fat says:

    Alexander steen is reaching his potential at the age of 29. Gagner is 24 and has tracked well ahead of Steen in his career.

    You must be careful in trading an asset like Gagner. All the talent in the world. Just needs to put it together. One day it will consistently come together. We have seen it before, just not at a consistent level.

  41. icecastles says:

    justDOit,

    Wow, interesting. I knew they were using it without permission on web transmission, but I imagine there are bazillions (+/- a million) of old licensing deals that don’t account for digital transmission.

    If that’s what they were paying her, that’s criminal. Glad to see she got paid… usually these things lapse into public domain and broadcasters get the property for free eventually, paying and crediting nobody.. Guess CBC had to save their cash horde for Don freakin’ Cherry. >:(

    Anyway, thanks for the info. I never the rest of the story.

  42. Caramel Obvious says:

    This is hilarious.

    Sid Seixeiro ‏@Sid_Seixeiro 9m

    Rogers signs 12-year, 5.2 billion dollar deal with the NHL. I really hope we don’t hire Pierre McGuire.

  43. justDOit says:

    icecastles,

    Well all that is according to wiki, but I read about this situation years ago, and it seems to agree with what wiki posted.

  44. TheOtherJohn says:

    You could get a very very good 2C centre for $4.8m. I’d take Mike Fisher, Hanzal, Jeff Carter, Dubinsky, Stepan over Gagner. Marleau as a UFA next year

  45. Derek says:

    42 percent body fat:
    Alexander steen is reaching his potential at the age of 29.Gagner is 24 and has tracked well ahead of Steen in his career.

    You must be careful in trading an asset like Gagner.All the talent in the world.Justneeds to put it together.One day it will consistently come together.We have seen it before, just not at a consistent level.

    Alex Steen isn’t “reaching his potential” at 29 years of age. He’s getting lucky. If he was shooting at his career average he’d have 7 goals, rather than 19.

  46. justDOit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    This new agreement is so expansive, one has to assume they will spruce up the place and the on-air talent will change accordingly… one can hope!

    I can’t help but think that by overpaying for the rights, that dollars will be scrimped elsewhere, but I could be wrong (or biased against the worst hockey broadcaster Canada has come to know in 50 years!).

    There should be some talent from TSN that shakes loose and crosses over to the dark side – lets hope they start with directors and producers.

  47. justDOit says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    This is hilarious.

    Sid Seixeiro ‏@Sid_Seixeiro 9m

    Rogers signs 12-year, 5.2 billion dollar deal with the NHL. I really hope we don’t hire Pierre McGuire.

    Hilarious on so many levels – the least of which, is that PM would be a step up on any Rogers broadcaster!

  48. icecastles says:

    Caramel Obvious: Last night was a strange game to pick on Gagner.
    It’s like wearing a sign that says “I have no idea what I am watching. Please ignore my ill-considered opinions. I am a deeply prejudiced individual incapable of thought.

    And to think I was concerned about ad hominem attacks.

    I’ve always been puzzled by saying a given night is a bad night to pick on (or for that matter to praise) a given player or tactic. I think we are talking about career trajectories and long-term trends here, not single-game samples. Stand-out games come for players, both good ones and bad ones. Are you proposing that a sample size of one changes the outlook on a player’s career? (I know you’re not; it’s rhetorical to make a point)

    I see what you’re saying, and I agree that he had a very good game (also agree that Yak looked fantastic – his passing in particular was a thing of beauty). I don’t agree that single games can or should dramatically alter the narrative.

  49. Hammers says:

    Skipped right to comments and I totally agree LT ..I had hoped for a 4-2 or 4-3 loss but I knew it would be a loss . Am I still disappointed with certain lines and pairings . Yes as basically we are far from being a playoff team . Unless McT can pick up one of the best 30-50 “D” playing today and that probably won’t happen it’s time to give Klefbom & Marincin a bunch of games like 15 or so . Lets them see what they need to do & management has a better idea of what they have .

  50. icecastles says:

    42 percent body fat: All the talent in the world. Just needs to put it together. One day it will consistently come together. We have seen it before, just not at a consistent level.

    It’s his seventh season.

    Seventh.

    I like the player he is, but I think we’re fooling ourselves to think he will become something else.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Sounds like they are going to nationalize a lot of games (at least on Sat.) and some of them will (beyond CBC which is already) be over the air (i.e., for HD antennae)

  52. russ99 says:

    Too many people are drinking the “everyone has to play defense to X level” kool-aid that Eakins is selling.

    We’re not Boston, New Jersey, LA or Nashville. We’re the Oilers and we should have room for a quality center who doesn’t play defense to the level of the clubs mentioned.

    Every player is different, so why are we expecting them to all play the same? Even the Soviets at their most “robotic” appreciated individual skill.

    Pat Kane is the perfect example. Are all the Hawks fans dumping on him, wanting him traded because he’s a smaller forward and doesn’t defend to the level some of you are expecting everyone to play at? No.

    I’d much rather have a team with a Hemsky, Yakupov, Eberle and Gagner than sell our collective souls for a team of big checkers who like Nashville and Phoenix seem to usually make the playoffs but don’t have the skill to progress.

    I’d rather see the Oilers bring in players who can play defense to the 3rd line and 2nd pairing than try to force some impossible ideal on all our current players.

  53. Caramel Obvious says:

    icecastles,

    One game shouldn’t change the narrative. Completely agree. In fact, I’m not in love with Gagner myself, especially this year. However, the converse is also true. The narrative shouldn’t be read into every game. And when you read the game threads that’s what you consistently see. People lose their minds.

    So I guess I am calling for clearer vision, for everyone. Don’t see your expectations. See what is there. It is possible.

  54. Tapdog says:

    @DarrenDreger: NHL rights: average of $15 million per club per year. But, a portion is taken off top and paid to 7 CDN teams in the form of invasion fees.

  55. Caramel Obvious says:

    russ99:
    Too many people are drinking the “everyone has to play defense to X level” kool-aid that Eakins is selling.

    We’re not Boston, New Jersey, LA or Nashville. We’re the Oilers and we should have room for a quality center who doesn’t play defense to the level of the clubs mentioned.

    Every player is different, so why are we expecting them to all play the same? Even the Soviets at their most “robotic” appreciated individual skill.

    Pat Kane is the perfect example. Are all the Hawks fans dumping on him, wanting him traded because he’s a smaller forward and doesn’t defend to the level some of you are expecting everyone to play at? No.

    You said this in the last thread. It’s just as absurd today as it was yesterday. It reads like satire. As if the Oilers’ problem is that they are too focused on playing defense.

    Of all the irrational criticisms of Eakins this one has to take the cake. I can just see the MacTavish press conference after firing Eakins.

    “His problem was that he expected everyone to play defense. I”m going to make sure that the next coach has no such expectations. What we are looking for in a coach is someone who allows the players to express themselves. Every player is a snowflake and it is our job to provide an environment in which they are able to fully realize themselves as the individuals they really are.”

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Tapdog: invasion fees

    I gather that is some kind of corporate broadcasting speak… but, man, that is some hilarious jargon.

    You want to invade my house? There’s a fee for that.

  57. justDOit says:

    russ99:
    The new TV deal brings to mind one question – how much is the cap going up next year?

    And then, will the settlement of the concussions lawsuit be taken out of the cap?

  58. bookje says:

    You know, I don’t want to pile on Gagner, but has anyone noticed how bad his body language is lately. I think he also holds his stick wrong, but that’s probably because he is a bit of a square peg in a round hole. You can also tell he just isn’t into it because he is always the first off the ice in practice. I suppose the massive overpay contract is part of that.

  59. Tapdog says:

    russ99,

    “We’re the Oilers” you say this like it is the 80′s or something!
    Sure we can accomodate your fantasy if the rest of the team was not Gagner like! The difference is that at least they are providing in other areas.

    Hawk fans do not have to complain about Kane when the rest of the team plays the way it does. Not the case here. Yes he is a smaller guy but a heck of a lot more size thoughout the lineup.

  60. nqmt says:

    Darren Dreger‏@DarrenDregernow
    Phx places R.Klesla and Pitt places M.D’Agostini on Waivers.

    LT, do you have time for Rusty Klesla?

  61. Tapdog says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Had a chuckle over the wording myself and is really why I posted it.

    I agree with you, invade away, I will even leave the door unlocked. $$$

  62. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Sounds like they are going to nationalize a lot of games (at least on Sat.) and some of them will (beyond CBC which is already) be over the air (i.e., for HD antennae)

    Expect the Leafs to be on a Rogers cable channel every Saturday night. Whichever one they don’t provide to Bell.

  63. justDOit says:

    Rogers… Gagner… HNIC… we’re really going off a cliff today!

    http://i.imgur.com/YqkLVSc.gif

  64. sliderule says:

    The umbrella power play with all forwards on the ice is susceptible to giving up breakaways.

    In the last few games you could see the PK playing up high on the oilers and Eakins or Bucky or whoever is running the PP should have been expecting what happened.The first few games it was very effective but by now when you see the five forwards the opposition licks their chops and says here comes the umbrella.

    The coaches have to take some blame for the goal that started the landslide.

  65. TeeVee says:

    Am I the only one who’s pissed off by Andrew Shaw’s face?

  66. slopitch says:

    Spectors is a good spot.

    The Rogers bid is interesting because the cable market is drastically changing. Having exclusive rights is a great purchase. If they go towards interactive TV there is tons they can do to make the game interesting and find ways to monetize outside traditional advertising. Does anyone really watch the games live anymore? And if they do, the second it goes to commercials they are on twitter. I was actually hoping google or someone more innovative would tap into the NHL market. I know google has their eyes on NFL Sunday night.

  67. icecastles says:

    Caramel Obvious: Don’t see your expectations. See what is there.

    So so so true. This is very much what I’m thinking when I see people repeatedly say player X will break through and become player Y (consistent, physical, defensive, frequent shooter, whatever the ailment happens to be). We create a benchmark then when they don’t reach that benchmark, we blame the player and forget that the initial projection was based on a million fluctuating variables.

    Funnily enough, I linked an article (29 Dumb things Financial People Say) here before the game yesterday that talks about exactly that:


    3. “Earnings missed estimates.”

    No. Earnings don’t miss estimates; estimates miss earnings. No one ever says “the weather missed estimates.” They blame the weatherman for getting it wrong. Finance is the only industry where people blame their poor forecasting skills on reality.

    4. “Earnings met expectations, but analysts were looking for a beat.”

    If you’re expecting earnings to beat expectations, you don’t know what the word “expectations” means.

  68. Caramel Obvious says:

    I read that yesterday. Those are some good lines.

    Though Finance isn’t the only industry in which people blame reality for not meeting their expectations. It’s a distinctive feature of the narcissistic character of modern life. But I digress.

  69. Caramel Obvious says:

    That Klesla move surprise me. He’s a plus possession player (2nd highest on the team) with neutral zone starts. I’m sure he isn’t getting the tough competition but I don’t see why a team would waive him.

    $3M for the rest of this year then an UFA. This is where the contract limit hurts.

  70. icecastles says:

    bookje: but has anyone noticed how bad his body language is lately. I think he also holds his stick wrong

    It’s been three years, man. Let it go. I miss the old optimistic Bookje. Bitter, cynical Bookje is no fun.

    Though the irony is not lost on me that I’m unhappy about the fact that you’re unhappy about people being unhappy because they think a player is unhappy.

    My head hurts now.

  71. icecastles says:

    Caramel Obvious: Though Finance isn’t the only industry in which people blame reality for not meeting their expectations. It’s a distinctive feature of the narcissistic character of modern life

    I noted that too. It’s amazing how so many industries, groups and practices think they are unique in their idiosyncrasies.

    Indeed, the genius of the article is that much of the commentary is so broadly applicable.

  72. rickithebear says:

    Gagner:
    He was top 40 PP center and 10Pk (3.13) center last year.
    This year he is 8.17GF/60 39th for centers right there with
    RNH #31 8.54
    malkin #32 8.51
    Crosby#38 8.23
    though he gets 3.5min /gm less than crosby and Malkin.

    till last nights PKGA he was 5.27GA top 25

    He will never be a first comp Forward.
    but last year he handled 2nds

    this year he is facing 2nd’s again.
    first 6 games og 1A -9
    last 6 1G 3A +1 2.00EVP/60
    he is a 1.95EVP/60 center which ranks 45th most years.
    37 EVP a 15Min 75 gm season.

    you look at him last few years he is a

    A sttrong Pk and guy gets around 1.5-1.7M

    A 3rd line strong PP guy is around 2-2.5M

    2nd line PP guy is around 3.25 to 4.5M

    Does not require zone start protection.
    His FO is not Center calibre.

    when he gets top 30 PP minutes on another team he will be a 30PPpt player.
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    cbc advertising?

  73. icecastles says:

    justDOit: Does it hurt this much?

    I think I just frightened the guy in the next office laughing. Thanks for that. :D

  74. nelson88 says:

    TSN has great talent and it’s a shame we are likely to lose some of it. Let’s hope the Roger’s investment encourages them to take the on-air product more seriously.

    The battle between “content” providers and “distributors” of the product is fully engaged in the U.S. market; particulary in relation to sports programming that folks are less likely to PVR. The proliferation of sports networks (Fox, NBC, etc.) is a continuing attempt to siphon off some of the substantial profits ESPN spits out. Dodegeball on ESPN Ocho…maybe not that far fetched given the demand for content is so high I can now watch the CFL on NBC’s sportsnetwork. Will be interesting to see a financial analysis of the deal but if they can grow the game even marginally in the U.S. I suspect the price paid will look relatively cheap in short order.

  75. nelson88 says:

    To clarify. I realize Roger’s does not have rights to broadcast in the U.S. Point of the last sentence being that if Hockey in general becomes more of a mainstream N.A. sports product; and it has been on that trajectory for awhile, the cost of the content in relative terms is going to look cheap

  76. LMHF#1 says:

    Has anyone seen how much of the new TV deal money will go directly to the Canadian NHL teams? It should be a lot and is the only positive out of this whole thing.

    Having a hard time seeing why Bell/TSN didn’t go to the mat for this one. Hockey is, was and always has been their bread and butter. They’re in trouble now. Only positive would be if they finally just became ESPN.

  77. icecastles says:

    LMHF#1: Having a hard time seeing why Bell/TSN didn’t go to the mat for this one.

    No heart. Soft play. Too small. Not fast enough. Wait are we talking about TSN or Gagner?
    trololol

  78. Melman says:

    Everyone screaming against Gagner’s NTC has an incredibly short memory. Gagner could have signed a 1 year and walked at the end of this season as a UFA. He was holding all the cards and based on his bargaining position and his experience/level pf play the team and player signed a win-win deal. Without the NTC he wouldn’t have signed for under $5M, instead you’d be screaming about poor asset management & how could a team possibly develop a guy for 7 years and then let him become the youngest UFA in NHL history.

  79. godot10 says:

    DeadmanWaking:

    This morning I found the close-set sea of 4s and 5s in Willis’ game grades extremely depressing.I didn’t follow the thread last night.There’s nothing more bleak to read than a uniform sea of mediocrity, twenty sardines to a can.

    JW is a brilliant analyst.

    Chicago is leading 4-1 in the 3rd period. Justin Schultz participates in a rush up ice an gets caught on the 5th goal. So JW docks Justin Schultz’s grade for the error.

    Yep, trying to start/ignite a comeback is worthy of getting your game grade docked. Losing 4-1 and not trying to win is much better than losing 5-1 and trying win.

    Yet, JW and most other stats guys thinks Dallas Eakins is brilliant for pulling his goaltender early when behind by a goal late in the game.

    For guys who are supposed to know about score effects…

    JW is a brilliant analyst.

  80. OilClog says:

    If P.M. is brought to sportsnet and were subjected to his ball gobbling..

    Sportsnet hopefully does a 180 with their product and puts an end to their beer league product.

    What happens to Gino and that’s hockey?!?

  81. russ99 says:

    Tapdog,

    Proves my point precisely. We need players like the Hawks that can play defense against tougher comp, not expect everyone to play at a Selke level when it’s indisputable that some players are good at defense and some aren’t.

    The real question is: is Gagner one of the skill guys you don’t flush when bringing in players who can play defense? I think so, and so does MacT since he could have dealt him this summer and signed one of those 2-way lunch pail centers that some fans are clamoring for.

    Caramel Obvious,

    No, Eakins should coach the players he has, not mess them up expecting them to all confirm to a standard that isn’t realistic. I want a flexible coach who can adapt to he players he has over a guy who’s first year in the league seems to be all about him knowing everything and being unbending despite failure and poor hockey. Btw: I hated this in Renney as much as I hate it now in Eakins.

    Besides, the whole Keenan/Hitchcock mentality that Eakins is obviously trying to emulate only works so long before the players tune it out.

  82. icecastles says:

    Melman,

    If you rewrite that, you might be able to get even more wild assumptions into your post. Thanks for the hyperbole, though.

    Let’s look at your logical leaps:
    1 – Without the NTC he would only have signed a one-year deal.
    Likely true, but that’s far from proven fact. Don’t state it as if it were. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to get a contract signed.

    2 – He would not have signed for under $5 million.
    See rebuttal to point one. Likely true and actually true are not the same thing. You’re guessing what the terms were, exactly where both sides were, and who was willing to move on what points.

    2 – He held all the cards and the Oilers had no bargaining strength.
    You know he wasn’t a UFA yet, right? Gagner was in a strong negotiating position, but let’s not go crazy overstating it.

    3 – People would be “screaming” about poor asset management.
    You like saying people who disagree with you are “screaming”. If the Oilers signed a bad deal, yes, people would be unhappy. What would you expect? Making your opponent sound extremist tends to backfire and make the debater seem desperate and appear to have their back against the wall. Debate the point, not the emotion. And your point seems to be that you know how people would react. Depends on the contract, and neither of us know what other scenario would have taken place.

    4 – Gagner would have become the youngest free agent in history.
    This would have set the table for it to happen, but it is incorrect to say that it would automatically happen. The team could still negotiate a new deal with him before this came to pass.

    5 – They signed a win-win deal.
    The Oilers are paying close to $5 million a year for someone who even his fans seem to now acknowledge is a “non-impact player” (LT’s words). And are no longer able to trade him should need or opportunity arise. At best you can argue the Oilers avoided losing Gagner, but I think it’s difficult to defend the signing as “win-win”. Furthermore, if you believe Gagner held “all the cards”, it seems strange that a contract would have been signed that was a win-win.

  83. gcw_rocks says:

    42 percent body fat,

    What part of “That said, for the right defender I would trade any one of those three players.” did you not understand? You gotta pay to play and the Oilers need to spend one of those three assets to get a top pairing defender.

    We can disagree on letting Toews walk in like that, PP or not. It’s just one example of many where Gagner has blown coverage.

    I am not high. This team would be a better team with Ehrhoff on the top pairing and Arco at 2nd line centre putting up 40-45 points than with Gagner putting up 55-60 points and Ference on the top pairing. If Arco had not shown so well it might be different, but the reality is he has shown he can play at the NHL level and therefore it is worth the risk to move Gagner to get a top pairing defender.

    Plus, as LT has talked about many times, forwards are easier to predict at the draft and take a shorter period to get up the learning curve, so replacing Arco in a year or so with a centre drafted this year is a much more viable strategy than waiting for a drafted defender to develop.

    It’s a chess match and you have to look two moves ahead. The fact that Gagner has been around over seven years is irrelevant. And this isn’t about making a statement. A statement about what? Who cares about statements. What’s relevant is (a) the Oilers need to spend an asset to fill a greater need; and (b) a viable short term replacement exists on the roster today; and (c) its a better bet to draft Gagner’s replacement than to draft a defender.

  84. VanOil says:

    By Chris Wescott – edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers Blog

    There are some line shakeups this morning at practice at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

    Forward lines by jersey colour:

    Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle

    Joensuu-Gagner-Hemsky

    Smyth-Gordon-Perron

    Gazdic-Acton-Jones (Arcobello as the extra forward)

    Nail Yakupov is absent, while Larsen (undisclosed) is participating.

  85. gcw_rocks says:

    Melman:
    Everyone screaming against Gagner’s NTC has an incredibly short memory.Gagner could have signed a 1 year and walked at the end of this season as a UFA.He was holding all the cards and based on his bargaining position and his experience/level pf play the team and player signed a win-win deal.Without the NTC he wouldn’t have signed for under $5M, instead you’d be screaming about poor asset management & how could a team possibly develop a guy for 7 years and then let him become the youngest UFA in NHL history.

    Or they could have traded him for a top pairing defender last summer, when his value was at an all time high, and signed Grabovski as a replacement for $3-4M. You know Grabovski, the tough minutes centre with 19 points this season.

    That knife cuts both ways.

  86. icecastles says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Everything you said. Seconded. Excellent post.

    Edit: Both of them.

  87. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Part of the reason Gagner is taking some heat is that Arocbello played the role at the front end of the year and simply did it better. I’m still not sure the justification for tugging him and sitting him, but how many more games do we go before the “Gagner came back too early and needs to get his game back’ rationalizing dissipates? Arco isn’t our salvation – that role still needs to be fixed, but it sure illustrated to me that Gagner definitely isn’t the answer and with enough time as a bonafide professional, not much will change with Gagner. He is what he is and Arco already played a better game and in my opinion, Gagner slots behind him. This could be argued/debated, but do the numbers not support it? I fear as many have already articulated, that we are stuck with the NTC and big salary with Gagner.

    Gagner is fully paid as a top flight 2C would be paid. There isn’t a premium that has to be paid above $4.8 MM to get the prototype 2C we aspire to. I don’t think this is a cap issue for the team – the role is fully funded already. All said and done, I think the evidence says he needs to be moved to set the stage for what we really need and that seems really difficult with what MacT did on his contract and the handshake/wink wink commitment to each other. This is a tough one.

  88. Caramel Obvious says:

    russ99,

    On a particular level, the image you have of Eakins exists only in your head.

    On a general level, the underlying conceptual idea you are advocating is an absurd model of education. The point of education (and coaching is a form of education) is precisely not to accept the student as what they are (in their present givenness) but to cultivate what they could be.

    So while a good teacher has to be able to adapt to individual souls the point of this adaptation is not to accept or to affirm them as they are, but to change them.

    The presupposition of all education is that the student being educated does not know what it needs. A teacher who does not accept this, who allows the student to dictate the terms of education, is not a teacher at all.

  89. Bag of Pucks says:

    A favourable labour agreement. Favourable arena deals. The Forbes Report. And now the motherllode from Rogers. These are truly the salad days for NHL Owners.

    If I’m Katz, I’m having a courtesan and a courvosier and then I’m having another!

  90. Caramel Obvious says:

    gcw_rocks: Or they could have traded him for a top pairing defender last summer, when his value was at an all time high, and signed Grabovski as a replacement for $3-4M.You know Grabovski, the tough minutes centre with 19 points this season.

    That knife cuts both ways.

    Just yesterday you suggested trading Gagner for Ehrhoff. This idea is so ludicrous it undermines all of your comments concerning what would be a reasonable thing to do.

    Gagner is not good enough now, nor was he then, to get a “first pairing” defender.

  91. justDOit says:

    gcw_rocks: Or they could have traded him for a top pairing defender last summer, when his value was at an all time high, and signed Grabovski as a replacement for $3-4M.You know Grabovski, the tough minutes centre with 19 points this season.

    That knife cuts both ways.

    I must have missed the market bubble that had Gagner = TPD (top pairing dman). When did this occur again?

    Assuming Grabovski wanted to sign in the west, let alone with the perennial last place team, is a stretch.

  92. icecastles says:

    Caramel Obvious:This idea is so ludicrous it undermines all of your comments concerning what would be a reasonable thing to do.
    Gagner is not good enough now, nor was he then, to get a “first pairing” defender.

    Good thing he’s an untouchable then, eh.

    I think GCW was suggesting he could be moved as part of a package, not a 1 for 1 trade.

    What is with everyone overstating each other’s cases today to make them look bad? If we’re confident in our respective positions can’t we back them up without all the hyperbole and calling each other “ludicrous”?

    Folks are making good points and couching them in such bile that it kills any intelligent debate.

    GCW made the point that Gagner was at an all-time high, and I agree. Too many times the Oilers have seen a player have an excellent season and rather than moving them while their value is inflated, sign them to a contract that completely hogties them. Souray and Horcoff are probably two that are most frequently referenced. we have to stop falling in love with middling players and buying high selling low.

  93. David says:

    justDOit: I must have missed the market bubble that had Gagner = TPD (top pairing dman). When did this occur again?

    Assuming Grabovski wanted to sign in the west, let alone with the perennial last place team, is a stretch.

    Grabovski was sitting without a contract for quite awhile if I recall correctly. I think he would’ve signed had the oilers offered him the contract they gave Gagner.

    Ever since Gagner Cogliano Nilsson turned out not to be our saviours people have irrationally hated Gagner. Comparing this hate to Horcoff is spot on. Gagner is not a superstar, but he’s a good player and not the trouble with this team.

    If the Oilers fix their actual problems # 1 being defence, #2 being defence, #3 being defence… (And ice a fourth line that’s not garbage) they will be able to win. Despite the silly notion that no team with Nuge and Gagner as their top 2centers could ever win the cup. This is the most baseless conclusion I’ve ever heard such a mass of people believe so emphatically.

  94. icecastles says:

    David: This is the most baseless conclusion I’ve ever heard such a mass of people believe so emphatically.

    You have never been to an NRA rally.

  95. Bag of Pucks says:

    RE Gagner: MacT is really paying the price for the previous regime giving Gags cherry soft mins and pp time. Doing so grossly inflated the current contract compensation. He’s now signed at a price that will make him next to impossible to deal for comparable value this season and then the NMC kicks in. So, handcuffed with ‘Bryan Little-esque’ as our 2C for the next 3 season when what we needed was Logan Couture-ish. Nice one MacT.

    I do believe MacT recognizes the obvious flaws in the player, but there’s still a massive disconnect btw how the Oilers likely view the player (6th ov pick with 6 years development) vs how the rest of the league sees him (Ales Hemsky redux). The item out of Philly earlier this week says it all. Oilers management overvalues their players. Until that changes and this management team stops re-upping mediocre players, we is doomed I’m afraid.

    This team really needs a Luke Schenn (i.e. failing prospect) for James Van Riemsyk (trending prospect) trade in the worst way.

  96. David says:

    icecastles: You have never been to an NRA rally.

    Touché.

  97. godot10 says:

    Re: Rogers-NHL deal

    Thought #1: Rogers bought Saturday Night on CBC. i.e. CBC privatized Saturday Night via a licensing deal. It is potentially an interesting new model for the CBC. Piecemeal privatization.

    I wonder how long it will take the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting to figure this out! or the CRTC -). -).

    Saturday is all new revenue for Rogers. For Bell, it would have been revenue substitution, since they have other programming on Saturday Nights. Sunday nights are revenue substitution for both Rogers and Bell, but hockey revenue will be much more profitable on Sunday night for Rogers than it would be for Bell. Bell, for example, has NFL Sunday Night Football plus a stronger Sunday Night schedule on the main network.

    Thought #2: Rogers is reliant on cable TV subscription revenue more than Bell, And cable TV is nearing the tipping point between life and death. In the United States, the tipping point may have already been reached. Cable TV would already be dead if not for live sports. Rogers was buying time to slow cable cutting, and to control the pricing of the key product away from cable. Rogers owns 4.5 of the 7 Canadian teams local broadcast rights also, so eliminating local blackouts enhance the value of its regional sports channels, again slowing cable cutting. One will now be able to watch OIler and Flames games on Sportsnet West in Toronto or Ottawa. Before I moved and ditched Bell Fibe TV, I didn’t even bother with the Sportsnet channels, because even if I paid for Sportsnet, the OIlers games would be blacked out on Sportsnet West.

  98. David says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    RE Gagner: MacT is really paying the price for the previous regime giving Gags cherry soft mins and pp time. Doing so grossly inflated the current contract compensation. He’s now signed at a price that will make him next to impossible to deal for comparable value this season and then the NMC kicks in. So, handcuffed with ‘Bryan Little-esque’ as our 2C for the next 3 season when what we needed was Logan Couture-ish. Nice one MacT.

    I do believe MacT recognizes the obvious flaws in the player, but there’s still a massive disconnect btw how the Oilers likely view the player (7th ov pick with 7 years development) vs how the rest of the league sees him (Ales Hemsky redux). The item out of Philly earlier this week says it all. Oilers management overvalues their players. Until that changes and this management team stops re-upping mediocre players, we is doomed I’m afraid.

    This team really needs a Luke Schenn (i.e. failing prospect) for James Van Riemsyk (trending prospect) trade in the worst way.

    I thought that the news Edmonton “overvalues” their players was good news. It means MacT won’t be the one giving up a Van Riemsdyk for Schenn. Plus the “overvalues” is subjective for the other teams who are surely circling like sharks looking to prey on the Oilers.

  99. G Money says:

    Warm Thought for the Day #1:

    (I’m titling my posts today “Warm Thoughts” NOT because I like and miss you guys, I don’t :-), but because I’m in California this week)

    Mulling on the unfairness of life … here we sit, dedicated, knowledgeable (to varying degrees, again :-)), and undyingly loyal Oiler fans, arguing over what it is that is making our shitty team especially shitty this weak.

    Meantime, I am in California (mostly the Bay Area but also Southern Cali), where I’ve spent at least a week or two, once or twice a year, every year for the last 20 years.

    Here, they are blessed with two outstandingly good teams and one occasionally really good team.

    In my twenty years of visiting, with the exception of my friends and family (Western Canadian transplants all) I have NEVER MET a Sharks, Kings, or Ducks fan. Not a one.

    It’s not just the players that the Hockey Gords like to fuck around with.

  100. Melman says:

    icecastles,

    OK sure “screaming” is too harsh a word – I wasn’t speaking to you directly on that as I didn’t know we were opponents on the point. How about very upset, frustrated, angry with mgmt.? I don’t think the requirement for the NTC was much of a leap, the alternative I suppose could have been a longer deal – not sure folks would like that either. Maybe he would have taken it, but it’s a more than fair assumption that a lower $ figure and short time period was agreed to in exchange for the NTC. There was though a significant amount of angst last summer and IIRC LT did an entire blog about how Tambi’s pièce de résistance as a GM was the lousy position they were in with Gagner’s impending UFA status. OK he didn’t hold all the cards, just the face cards.

    He is not the player fans want to have in the 2C position, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a legit 2C. How many teams have 2C’s that are impact players? 10-15?

    Is he the ideal 2C? No. Is he somewhere between the 45-60 best centres in the league? More than likely. Based on the NTC situation if you could move Hemsky ++ and bring in a better 2C and shuffle Gagner to the wing that would be a better line up and give the club added C depth. Personally though i think a true top pairing D is a greater priority.

    gcw_rocks,

    If you’re saying he’s a sub-par 2C how could he have brought back a top pairing defender when he had 1 year arbitration rights on his way to UFA status. Would you have made that trade if you were the GM sending out the D man?

  101. Bag of Pucks says:

    David: I thought that the news Edmonton “overvalues” their players was good news. It means MacT won’t be the one giving up a Van Riemsdyk for Schenn. Plus the “overvalues” is subjective for the other teams who are surely circling like sharks looking to prey on the Oilers.

    If having your house sit on the market for years not selling because you’re asking an unrealistic price is a good thing, than yeah, I guess it’s good that our GM doesn’t have a proper read on the market.

  102. ashley says:

    This Gagner trade stuff is all hypothetical. Probably not worth getting too worked up about. He has a handshake deal to remain in Edmonton for his girlfriend’s residency, and that will have him here until 2015.

    We are better off debating just about anything else. Maybe we could recount the number of players who have become two way centers part way through their careers? I’m sure it’s been done at least once.

  103. finn_fann says:

    It seems like Arcobello’s small sample size has given people the belief that he can be Gagner-lite (or simply a Gagner replacement). Not sure if I agree with this – we haven’t seen enough of him to say he can be relied upon for full-time second-line minutes. It’s easy to project Arcobello based on one good stretch, but I think trading 3 years of Gagner under the assumption that he can take his place is the type of move that the Oilers kept making under Tambellini’s tenure.

    If Arcobello doesn’t cover that bet, then all moving Gagner accomplishes is digging one hole to fill another. You could say that it would be worth it to get a top-pairing D-man, but that is not what you’re going to get for Gagner. Something like a 3-4 d-man is more likely, and that is not a trade that is worth it for the problems it creates down the middle imo.

    Also agree with LT, the comments last night were crucifying Gagner, and yet he played a sound game by my eye and by most of the stats. Looking at Parkatti’s corsi stats for each line at boysonthebus, 64-89-83 were dominant – including when they were out agains Toews and co. – with Gagner having the best results of them all. Gagner had an even +/- of 0 with 67% faceoffs won. Why focus on how terrible he is? Why don’t we talk about the fourth line’s continued aborrhent play? Why not single out Belov for laying down on the ice and sliding into the corner for a nap on the 5th goal? How about Correy Potter’s bunt to put the Hawks up 3-0 and basically seal the game?

    tldr; The hate on Gagner for this game was craziness, and trading him (most likely for magic beans) would be a mistake!

  104. icecastles says:

    Melman,

    Very good points. I don’t think there’s anything there I can disagree with.

    I like your statement that just because he’s not the 2C we would like, it doesn’t mean is is not a legitimate 2C. There’s some real truth to that.

    As to Tambo messing up on only giving Gagner a one-year deal… it’s so right. I suppose a 2-year would have been even worse, but buying some free agent years earlier would have gone a long way to negate the current situation. I understand his thinking of having another year to evaluate 89, but there was no rational outcome to that. Either he shows good and they have to pay him more, or he shows poor and you can’t move him for anything you actually need. Sign him 2 years ago to a 4 or 5 year deal at reasonable dollars and I think he’d have been happy, the team would have been in a good spot and you’d have a value contract for a guy who wants to be here and a decent trading asset.

    The catch is that he nearly went to arbitration on that contract, but I still think the deal would have been cheaper when Tambo had it on his desk than the one he signed at the beginning of this season.

  105. justDOit says:

    Bag of Pucks: If having your house sit on the market for years not selling because you’re asking an unrealistic price is a good thing, than yeah, I guess it’s good that our GM doesn’t have a proper read on the market.

    Or if you start out with a high price, and have time to wait a while, you can ‘give in’ to counter offers, and they can think they won the deal.

  106. finn_fann says:

    bookje,

    That’s what happens when you pair a guy with Hemsky

  107. godot10 says:

    1) The Oilers probably have a 50% chance to pick in the top 3 next June, a 75% chance to pick in the top 5, and a 99% chance to pick in the top 10. This season is lost. If the 2014 pick is to be traded, it should be traded in June when Eckblad or a eventual Gagner replacement are no longer available on the board. No defensemen the Oilers can trade for right now is going to change this basic outcome.

    2) Gagner is likely not here after this contract. He is now merely a placeholder. If used properly, he is a very useful player, especially if one has Nugent-Hopkins, Gordon, and a competent 4th line centre.

    3) Eakins made a horribly awful decision about how to use Hall to start the season, and he made a similarly horribly awful decision on how to use Gagner in his first 10 games back from a serious injury. It took Eakins a full training camp and 20 games to figure out the Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky was the optimal configuration of the Oilers forwards. Basically where Krueger was at game 1 with no training camp. Note, optimal is not a synonym for good.

  108. icecastles says:

    ashley: We are better off debating just about anything else.

    I’m with you.
    Jews versus Catholics… go!

    ashley: Maybe we could recount the number of players who have become two way centers part way through their careers?

    Oh yeah… this is probably a better topic.

  109. godot10 says:

    Kulikov:

    1) Petry and Justin Schultz are unsigned.
    2) Kulikov is 2 years away for UFA status, and thus, if one trades for him, one quickly has to make a long term commitment, just like with Petry and Schultz this summer.
    3) One won’t have a lot of time.
    4) One will be competing with Russian KHL oligarchs. Kulikov is a flight risk. He can go for a big Russian payday for two years, and then come back to the NHL team of his choice as a UFA.

    Conclusion: Bryan Campbell would be a pricier but safer bet, and fits better with an eventual transition to Nurse, Klefbom, and or Marincin.

  110. FastOil says:

    David: I thought that the news Edmonton “overvalues” their players was good news. It means MacT won’t be the one giving up a Van Riemsdyk for Schenn. Plus the “overvalues” is subjective for the other teams who are surely circling like sharks looking to prey on the Oilers.

    True. I thought is it the Oilers overvaluing players or the Flyers? Outside of Giroux they don’t have anyone that special who isn’t 150. Gagner is worth any player on their roster except Giroux. Hemsky + is as well.

    I am a Couturier proponent but only because I think the Oilers need more 200ft players and less one dimensional offensive players even if it means less offense to a degree. What makes the Oilers easy to play isn’t size it’s being dogged on the puck for which there is who, Gordon and Perron?

  111. Bag of Pucks says:

    This issue I have with the “finding the next Horcoff” and “we knew this” school of thought is A) patience IS a good thing but B) winning orgs don’t stay trapped in ‘status quo land’ cos they’re afraid to part with mediocre players at a discount. They cut ties and move on.

    Try as I might, I can’t envision a GM like Chiarelli, Wilson or Holland starting the season, year after year, with Gagner as his 2C, Dubnyk as his 1G and Smid as his 2G. If you truly want to compete, you identify the players who will never be championship calibre, and you either push them down the depth chart to the salary range they belong in or you cut them loose.

    The New England Patriots have been the best team in the NFL the last 15 seasons and they have one untouchable on their team (Tom Brady). The Oilers are perennial cellar dwellers and some posters would have us believe their untouchables number in the half-dozen or more? Wtf is wrong with that picture?

    The difference between Glen Sather and current Oilers management, is Slats recognized the Walt Poddubnys and Tom Roulstons for what they were and moved on when the time was right. LoweMacBellini by contrast hold onto their stock certificates until they well and truly are wallpaper.

  112. G Money says:

    Warm Thought #2:

    Re: Gagner.

    For those arguing that he is a bad player, an overpaid player, an inadequate player, etc.

    What are your “earnings expectations” for a good 2C, anyway? What exactly do you expect from a good 2C i.e. one that you would expect on a contender, and what do you expect him to get paid?

    I’ve heard “Carter for $4.5M”. Dumb. Might as well say “I expect Crosby for $6M”. Same fantasy.

    For the record, here are my expectations:

    - About .667 ppg, or about 50 – 60 points in a full season. In 2011-12, the average 1C put up .88 ppg, or 71 pts in a full season, and the average 2C put up .65 ppg, or 53 pts in a full season. The numbers are fairly stable through last years partial season.

    - Positive ES Corsi (on a contender, the 2C has to more than hold its own at even strength)

    - Positive GD at ES (again, the first line can drive the bus but the second line has to be able to hold its own)

    - a quick look at the salary charts suggests that a 55 pt player will cost you between $4.5M and $5M

    I didn’t bother to put up FO% because the FO% is not a result on its own. A player with a great FO% can afford to be a weaker player, a player with a lousy FO% must be a better player without the puck. Either way, the expectation is to achieve the standard for points, GD, and Corsi.

    For the record, the last five games for Sammy (also for the record, it was five games in that I posted that I thought Sammy, who was clearly suffering the effects of his injury, was just starting to turn the corner. Unsurprisingly, his numbers also show a stark turnaround from the first five to the last five):
    4 pts (0.8 ppg), 5×5 CF% 51.5%, ES GD +1

    Small sample, but I would guess he’ll end up on track to finish the season at about .65 ppg with neutral Corsi and neutral ES GD. So he’s on track for about what you’d expect, at a cost of what you’d expect.

    I have no issue with the idea of trading Sam for a 1D if that could ever happen. A 1D + Arco at 2C would be an upgrade, without a doubt.

    But let’s be honest for a moment. The real issue isn’t Sammy. He’s doing fine, and he’s costing about what a mid-pack 2C costs.

    If you’re blaming him for what ails the Oilers, you’re just mindlessly venting. The biggest issue is and remains the lack of a 1D.

  113. Gret99zky says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    This issue I have with the “finding the next Horcoff” and “we knew this” school of thought is A) patience IS a good thing but B) winning orgs don’t stay trapped in ‘status quo land’ cos they’re afraid to part with mediocre players at a discount. They cut ties and move on.

    Try as I might, I can’t envision a GM like Chiarelli, Wilson or Holland starting the season, year after year, with Gagner as his 2C, Dubnyk as his 1G and Smid as his 2G. If you truly want to compete, you identify the players who will never be championship calibre, and you either push them down the depth chart to the salary range they belong in or you cut them loose.

    The New England Patriots have been the best team in the NFL the last 15 seasons and they have one untouchable on their team (Tom Brady). The Oilers are perennial cellar dwellers and some posters would have us believe their untouchables number in the half-dozen or more? Wtf is wrong with that picture?

    The difference between Glen Sather and current Oilers management, is Slats recognized the Walt Poddubnys and Tom Roulstons for what they were and moved on when the time was right. LoweMacBellini by contrast hold onto their stock certificates until they well and truly are wallpaper.

    Great post.

    I agree with this.

    Slats fired his friend Bryan Watson because the team came first.

    Edit: BW was also a coach and this org is great at that.

  114. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money:
    Warm Thought #2:

    Re: Gagner.

    For those arguing that he is a bad player, an overpaid player, an inadequate player, etc.

    What are your “earnings expectations” for a good 2C, anyway?What exactly do you expect from a good 2C i.e. one that you would expect on a contender, and what do you expect him to get paid?

    $5 mil per is fair. The problem is the Canucks are paying that for Ryan Kesler. The Oil are paying just shy of that for Sam Gagner.

  115. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks: with Gagner as his 2C, Dubnyk as his 1G and Smid as his 2G.

    100% agreed. Any team that has Smid as the backup goalie is in serious trouble. No matter how many shots he blocks.

  116. Traktor says:

    Gagner IS the new Horcoff. Overpaid by Edmonton and overrated by most of the blog writers.

    4.8 Million for a complementary I can deal with but who exactly is Gagner complementing? He is the 7th best “skilled” player on the team (Yak, Hemsky, Perron, and the big 3 ahead of him) even Arcobello has shown in a small sample that he can produce at the NHL level playing with talent (it probably isn’t all fluke considering his AHL numbers). Gagner has a limited range of skills.

    I don’t mind what MacT has brought so far but Gagner for help on D would have been a much better play in the summer.

  117. G Money says:

    Warm Thought #3:

    Some of the venting at Gagner masks what is *actually* troubling this team – other than the obvious lack of a 1D and a fourth line: namely, Taylor Hall.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I am NOT blaming Taylor Hall for anything.

    But here are some facts: Taylor Hall is the best player on the Oilers, and often the best player on the ice. As goes Taylor, so go the Oilers. Taylor Hall is an ice-tilting Corsi-eating chance-creating beast.

    Except since he came back from his injury, he has in all honesty been none of those things.

    We are seeing Taylor Hall’s shadow, not Taylor Hall.

    When if was first identified that he’d injured his MCL, a few of the more medically savvy posters suggested that this could be an injury that would affect Hall’s speed and acceleration for the entire season.

    I sure hope not. But that is what it looks like.

    Last year, the Hall-RNH-Eberle line was constantly tilting the ice. The second (Gagner) line was offensively creative but gave up more than it created. The third and fourth lines were black holes of suckage.

    This year, the second line is now creating more than it gives up most nights. The third line is holding its own against brutal zone starts and often tough opposition. The fourth line is still a black hole of suckage. But the first line just isn’t tilting the ice. It looks more like the second line looked last year. And by eye, the guy struggling the most is Taylor Hall.

    Discuss.

  118. Bag of Pucks says:

    FastOil: True. I thought is it the Oilers overvaluing players or the Flyers? Outside of Giroux they don’t have anyone that special who isn’t 150. Gagner is worth any player on their roster except Giroux. Hemsky + is as well.

    Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn

  119. Bag of Pucks says:

    icecastles: 100% agreed. Any team that has Smid as the backup goalie is in serious trouble. No matter how many shots he blocks.

    Lol. Meant 2D obviously.

  120. Melman says:

    icecastles,

    Totally. It was the 1 year deal 2 years ago that pooched things up.

  121. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: $5 mil per is fair. The problem is the Canucks are paying that for Ryan Kesler. The Oil are paying just shy of that for Sam Gagner.

    This is called “cherry picking”. You can always find an outstanding value player like Kesler out there. For every Kesler, there is, say, a Jordan Staal (who most folks would have fallen over backwards to sign a few years ago as a 2C), who’s putting up 8 pts in 24 games so far at a cap hit of $6M.

    It’s why I posted the average points and salaries. If your point of comparison is to take a single player who is providing outstanding value, there will only ever be two or three players at each position in the entire league who will ever look good.

  122. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: This is called “cherry picking”.You can always find an outstanding value player like Kesler out there.For every Kesler, there is, say, a Jordan Staal (who most folks would have fallen over backwards to sign a few years ago as a 2C), who’s putting up 8 pts in 24 games so far at a cap hit of $6M.

    Ok, how bout Patrice Bergeron ($5mil) or Logan Couture at $2.8 or O’Reilly at $5mi or M Richard at $5.7 or Sharp at $5.9, etc.

    I think the larger point you’re missing is the good teams find a way to procure players that provide outstanding contract value (Kesler) while the bad teams don’t (J Staal). I’d prefer that Oilers management perform more like the good teams than the bad.

    If you’d prefer they perform like the average, fill your boots.

  123. FastOil says:

    Bag of Pucks: Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn

    As I see it Gagner (cap aside) is a straight up with any of them at least. None are elite, Schenn is dubious, Simmonds has less offense and is a winger, Voracek same offense and is a winger, centres having more value.

    The reason the Flyers aren’t great is that they don’t have elite players anymore outside of Giroux, apologies to Vinny.

  124. justDOit says:

    Edmonton OilersVerified account ‏@EdmontonOilers

    Bryzgalov will start vs. Nashville on Thursday. Coach Eakins adds he’d also like to get Jones and Arcobello back in the lineup.

    So MarcoArco in, but Jones as well? Maybe he’ll score against his old team?

  125. justDOit says:

    TSN to retain some local Leaves and Jets broadcast rights for a few seasons, and they are KEEPING the theme song. Yes!

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/tsn-to-keep-hockey-night-theme-tune-1.2440965

  126. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: If you’d prefer they perform like the average, fill your boots.

    I would be happy at this point if the Oilers were to improve markedly and thereby become average, yes.

    The cherry picked comparisons that you point out do not grow on trees, they are not easy to draft, and they are not easy to trade for. What we have is Gagner, and Gagner is a perfectly serviceable 2C.

    Even to strive to achieve average, there are other areas of this team that need a great deal more attention.

  127. spoiler says:

    icecastles: ashley: We are better off debating just about anything else.

    I’m with you.

    Jews versus Catholics… go!

    I thought this was what this play was all about? I’m just having a tough time figuring out who is Titus and who is the Goth girl.

  128. Gerta Rauss says:

    godot10:
    1) The Oilers probably have a 50% chance to pick in the top 3 next June, a 75% chance to pick in the top 5, and a 99% chance to pick in the top 10.This season is lost.If the 2014 pick is to be traded, it should be traded in June when Eckblad or a eventual Gagner replacement are no longer available on the board.No defensemen the Oilers can trade for right now is going to change this basic outcome.

    Can you explain to me how you arrived at these conclusions.

    Please show your work.

  129. G Money says:

    G Money: But the first line just isn’t tilting the ice. It looks more like the second line looked last year. And by eye, the guy struggling the most is Taylor Hall.

    Discuss.

    OK, so today is the first chance on the Cali visit that I’ve had to sit at the PC and catch up on my Oiler blogs (the wife is out shopping and the kids are playing amongst themselves).

    Naturally, my first stop is the friendly confines of Lowetide, catching up on last nights game thread – which I could not watch in this hockey coldbed – and then today’s “Gagner is the new Horcoff, we won’t miss him until he’s gone” thread.

    After LT, I visited the others on my list: CoH, BOTB, ON (articles only), mc79, C&B.

    Naturally, I discover that McCurdy (shakes fist) has posted a detailed blog on exactly what I just whined about, a couple hours earlier.
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/26/taylor-hall-needs-to-pick-up-his-game-for-edmonton-oilers-to-climb-standings/

    Had not read it when I posted what I posted, honest!

    Great minds? Fools seldom?

  130. Henry says:

    justDOit:
    Edmonton OilersVerified account ‏@EdmontonOilers

    Bryzgalov will start vs. Nashville on Thursday. Coach Eakins adds he’d also like to get Jones and Arcobello back in the lineup.

    So MarcoArco in, but Jones as well? Maybe he’ll score against his old team?

    Good news. I hope we see what a Smyth, Arcobello, Hemsky/Eberle/occasional Gazdic fourth line looks like with 12 minutes of playing time.

    Quennville put Kane on with the fourth line for a few shifts and they ate up the Oiler’s fourth line.

  131. justDOit says:

    Eakins’ post practice presser: http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=495311&lang=en&navid=DL|EDM|home

    Yak not skating with a banged up foot/ankle.

  132. LMHF#1 says:

    How have the Oilers not claimed Klesla yet? Or maybe they have and just have to wait to make sure Buffalo doesn’t?

  133. russ99 says:

    LMHF#1,

    Klesla probably got injured on the way to the waiver wire.

    No thanks. We need someone better than Potter or Larsen, but no reason to take a guy who’s only marginally better than what we have, but can’t stay healthy.

    Plus we’re at 49 contracts. I don’t think they’ll take a risk on Klesla as #50, discounting them from future acquisitions from the waiver wire.

  134. justDOit says:

    LMHF#1:
    How have the Oilers not claimed Klesla yet? Or maybe they have and just have to wait to make sure Buffalo doesn’t?

    They may have put in a claim, but nothing is final until the end of Rusty’s waiver period.

    And it’s not just ‘worst to first’, as far as the waiver wire batting order. From what I’ve read, teams that put in a claim move to the bottom of the list, and remain there. I’ve looked for the current waiver order list, but can’t find it. They claimed SMac (again – yay!), so maybe the Oilers are next to last on the list?

  135. VOR says:

    In 2012-2013 the average NHL 2C (as defined as the center who played the 2nd most minutes on the 29 other teams) earned $4,180,000. Last year they average 41 games played 10 goals 15 assists 25 points, minus 3. Gagner was 48 games 14 goals 24 assists 38 points and minus 6. Make of that what you will but his contract was not a large overpay based on the evidence available at the time of signing.

  136. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Teams that are lucky enough to have the players they sign preform to or above expectations (Chicago) become good and teams whose signings recede become bad (Carolina with Staal)?

  137. Pablo Aimar says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Last night was a strange game to pick on Gagner.

    It’s like wearing a sign that says “I have no idea what I am watching.Please ignore my ill-considered opinions.I am a deeply prejudiced individual incapable of thought.”

    Clown.

  138. ohhell says:

    Lots of opinions on what the problem is with the Oilers so I’ll offer my non-professional opinion:

    Defense: Some would argue that our problem is Defense. While I agree that Defense is a large contributor to Oiler woes, it is not our only problem. The Oilers need at least one defender that pushes everyone down the food chain. Others would argue that we need two defenders to push everyone down the chain, but the cost of obtaining that without home grown talent is extremely high and may create holes elsewhere.

    Goalie: Others argue that goaltending is responsible for the Oilers demise. It is clear the MacTavish is concerned about goaltending and has made it a priority for the short and long terms. I think we can agree that selecting the right goaltender for the right value is a tricky bit of science that can go badly wrong so one hopes that MacT treads carefully here.

    4th Line: Lots of griping about the 4th line and for good reason. I am not sure we have had much of a 4th line since the Brodziak, Glencross, Stortini days. One would think this would be an easier problem to solve but the Oilers have not solved it. To a large extent, I blame drafting on this.

    Top Six: Plenty of Gagner animosity going on right now but the way I see it, our entire top six is a problem. Sure we have piles of “enviable” talent but we have a few significant problems by my observation.

    - The first is puck retrieval on the fore-check where we always seem late to the party and generally get angled off the play easily so teams transition fairly easily against this group.

    - Second is back-check support where we do not do a good enough job supporting our defense and providing creative alternatives to the “dump it along the boards” method of zone exit. Further to this, what’s with all the free perimeter play we give to the opposing team from the blueline to the faceoff dots? Other teams are not giving us that kind of space. The forwards own this area.

    – Third is our battle level – try playing this game while watching a few Oilers games: count the number of times two or more players from opposing teams come together on the boards to battle for a puck then count the number of times the Oilers come away with possession. It is not a flattering number.

    To summarize the top six, we have a LOT of skill, but we lose an enormous number of battles so unless the highend skill is capitalizing on a high percentage of plays, they are giving up more than they are getting. This group needs help so some parts may need to be moved out.

    3rd Line: As is sits right now, the third line is pretty solid thanks to Gordon and Perron and an experienced, but fading Smyth.

    As far as I can tell, MacT needs to stabilize goaltending, find at least one top defender, build a competitive 4th line and find a way to improve the battle level of the top 6 with sacrificing too much skill. This is not an easy task although many on here feel like MacT can just pick up a phone and make one or two trades to solve all these problems. How did that work for the Blue Jays this past season?

    As I see it, the central problem of the Oilers lies squarely with their drafting over the past decade where they have generally failed to produce much outside of the 1st round (exception for Petry) and have struck out a lot in the 1st round (exception Eberle). The team has lacked depth for ages and the near term pipeline for forwards is troubling.

    Realistically, the best road to recovery may lie with continued incremental improvements through trading and free agency (Belov, Gordon, Perron) and improved drafting. That implies that the rebuild still has two or three years left in the tank. Gord help us.

  139. art vandelay says:

    That Klesla move surprise me. He’s a plus possession player (2nd highest on the team) with neutral zone starts. I’m sure he isn’t getting the tough competition but I don’t see why a team would waive him.

    Is that sentence meant to be satire? If so, needs more Volhammer.

  140. justDOit says:

    ohhell,

    Geez – couldn’t you just call someone else a clown, and save me a lot of reading?

    I kid. Your summary is probably correct – a few years to go to respectability, providing MacT doesn’t make a backwards move.

  141. jake70 says:

    NBC pays 2B for 10yrs national rights. 23 teams
    Rogers pays 5.2B for 12 years national canadian rights. 7 teams.

    I am probably over-simplifying things above with that comparison, but that is one boatload of money. Looks like canadians like their hockey eh? Go Gary Go.

  142. maudite says:

    Any plan that has us parlaying some of our strength on the RW to center or D is a solid one IMO.

    Pick two:
    Eberle
    Yakupov
    Gagner
    Hemsky

    What two do you want on your top 2 lines and PP units?

    If I’m Hemsky, I don’t resign prior to testing the open market, especially at a price that factors in any sort of discount.

    I have no problem with Sam but I don’t want him at center ice anymore. If not for our lack of depth in the middle, he would likely have long ago been converted. If there is a word of mouth agreement on the NTC, I would honour it to some degree. But I would have a conversation whether or not he would provide a list of teams that might be acceptable. Not that it’s guaranteed you are looking to trade him, just you are looking at all possible options.

    We do need better balance. It’s that simple. To refuse to even consider the idea that the likes of Erhoff for a package that involves anything seems counterintuitive.

    Gagner, Klebom and Musil/Simpson or Gagner + 1st and change for Erhoff. In that ballpark.

    If it’s Eberle. due to perceived value I push for Eberle + Gernat + Musil type deal. I like Ebs a lot but the drop in RW quality is far offset by the gain in defense quality.

    Hall – RNH – Gagner
    Smyth – Arco – Yak
    Perron – Gordon – Hemsky
    JJ – Acton – Jones

    -Feed that 2nd line easy minutes, hide that 4th line as best you can.

    Erhoff – Petry
    Belov – Shultz
    Nultz – Ference

    Trade deadline, Hemsky and Nultz gone and maybe we can pick up some small change for Smyth. (or even Jones if he manages to pot 10 goals). Break in Klef or Marincin next year. Try to sign Belov on a bridge type 3 year deal. Work in Marincin and Nurse the following. Erhoff and Belov give you time to work in our defense potential and be competitive. While the season may be lost, if we don’t really still come strong and show up on the radar we are skunked in the summer FA market….WE are bordering on Atlanta here or at best NYI. This team needs to start turning the corner somehow. The very idea you bench a guy like Arco, who might have ended up in the race for rookie of the year, is crazy. It just is. Even if you just use him like conacher in a trade we are once again damaging value for nothing.

  143. spoiler says:

    maudite: Any plan that has us parlaying some of our strength on the RW to center or D is a solid one IMO.Pick two:EberleYakupovGagnerHemskyWhat two do you want on your top 2 lines and PP units?If I’m Hemsky, I don’t resign prior to testing the open market, especially at a price that factors in any sort of discount.I have no problem with Sam but I don’t want him at center ice anymore. If not for our lack of depth in the middle, he would likely have long ago been converted. If there is a word of mouth agreement on the NTC, I would honour it to some degree. But I would have a conversation whether or not he would provide a list of teams that might be acceptable. Not that it’s guaranteed you are looking to trade him, just you are looking at all possible options.We do need better balance. It’s that simple. To refuse to even consider the idea that the likes of Erhoff for a package that involves anything seems counterintuitive. Gagner, Klebom and Musil/Simpson or Gagner + 1st and change for Erhoff. In that ballpark.If it’s Eberle. due to perceived value I push for Eberle + Gernat + Musil type deal. I like Ebs a lot but the drop in RW quality is far offset by the gain in defense quality.Hall – RNH – GagnerSmyth – Arco – YakPerron – Gordon – HemskyJJ – Acton – Jones-Feed that 2nd line easy minutes, hide that 4th line as best you can.Erhoff – PetryBelov – ShultzNultz – FerenceTrade deadline, Hemsky and Nultz gone and maybe we can pick up some small change for Smyth. (or even Jones if he manages to pot 10 goals). Break in Klef or Marincin next year. Try to sign Belov on a bridge type 3 year deal. Work in Marincin and Nurse the following. Erhoff and Belov give you time to work in our defense potential and be competitive. While the season may be lost, if we don’t really still come strong and show up on the radar we are skunked in the summer FA market….WE are bordering on Atlanta here or at best NYI. This team needs to start turning the corner somehow. The very idea you bench a guy like Arco, who might have ended up in the race for rookie of the year, is crazy. It just is. Even if you just use him like conacher in a trade we are once again damaging value for nothing.

    I would say that Smyth isn’t going anywhere unless he agrees to be traded to a legit Stanley Cup contender. He will determine his fate. If he’s retiring then maybe a trade is do-able. If he’s playing for another contract at home, then no chancey.

    My problem with the Erhoff trade is that Buffalo has reasonable money backing their team, so why would they trade a stabilizing force for the rebuild like Erhoff?

    No way I give up a top 5 pick AND an NHL player of 2nd line/pairing quality for what would amount to 4 years of Erhoff. If the pick doesn’t do it by itself, then I go a decent prospect or two too, but no more. The player is really not for sale if that’s what it takes. And if you’re trading to a re-building team, it should because they’re looking for quality prospects. 1st, Marincin & SImpson for Erhoff. Simpson because he doesn’t add a contract from the 50 limit right now so doesn’t take any flexibility from Buffalo.

    The top 5 pick alone is more than what NJ gave up for Schneider. If I’m going to overpay, it’s with blocked prospects.

  144. maudite says:

    spoiler,

    I like that price and yeah on second glance I’m definitely in overpay a bit. Just not an easy thing to acquire and never many out there that possibly could get traded in general. Price seems like it would be set fairly steep.

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