Nice crystal ball...

Jonathan Willis
August 20 2008 10:21PM

Apparently Jim Matheson has too much time on his hands—he’s started responding to some of the crazier rumours that bounce around the message boards. Now, not all of the message board stuff is junk, but the posted rumour (here’s the link, if you like) was obviously junk:

EDM: Ales Hemsky, Denis Grebeshkov MTL: Chris Higgins, P. K. Subban, unnamed player

Now, depending on the unnamed player, I suppose the value could be theoretically close, but trading Hemsky would never happen unless the other team was overpaying, something Kevin Prendergast confirmed for Matheson:

"I don't think you'd consider anybody an untouchable these days but the deal would have to blow our socks off to get him out of here. I'd be in shock (if Hemsky was ever moved). We have talked to Montreal about other things, but it was not about moving any of our players. Who are we supposed to be getting for Hemmer, anyway?"

It’s the second crazy rumour about a top Oilers player this week. Earlier a few days ago, noted charlatan Eklund claimed that the Canadiens and the Oilers were discussing a trade that would send Shawn Horcoff to Montreal. Given that the Oilers just signed Horcoff to a six-year contract extension, and are already desperately short of veteran centres, it would be an act of insanity to trade him for anything other than a different first-line centre.

Here’s the thing about most of these anonymous types who offer trade rumours as their stock in trade—every so often, they’ll get one right, due to sheer volume, but outside of that, they’re worthless. Eklund is probably better than most, because after starting his site he’s made some legitimate media contacts, but he still laces his site with the “Patrick Marleau to MTL (e3)” kind of rumour that is a) total nonsense and b) something he’s been flogging since he started writing.

The unfortunate thing is that guys like these (and certain, unnamed, print reporters) tar their respective media with a reputation that the majority of them haven’t earned. Guys like Spector, and innumerable quality local media types, do a good job reporting legitimate trade talk, and it isn’t fair to label them the same way. For that matter, certain bloggers/message board commenters deserve respect for their consistently sanity and respectability. The important thing is to consider the individual source, not the medium.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Fiveandagame
August 20 2008, 11:13PM
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(e5)! Eklund is being traded to the Psychic Friends Network and singer Dionne Warwick will be taking over Hockeybuzz.com...

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#2 PaperDesigner
August 21 2008, 12:09AM
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I don't get this, whole "people who can't be trusted, but I won't name" thing. If they can't be trusted, shouldn't you be spreading the word? Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone knew?

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#3 The Towel Boy
August 21 2008, 07:30AM
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If you look close in the picture at that cyrstal ball...you can see Sundin in a Rangers jersey. Wait...no...that's crud on my monitor.

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#4 Jonathan
August 21 2008, 08:47AM
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don’t get this, whole “people who can’t be trusted, but I won’t name” thing. If they can’t be trusted, shouldn’t you be spreading the word?

Yeah, but I'm trying to limit myself to two personal attacks per post. Bruce Garrioch is one name worth mentioning, but there's others. Generally, they're fiarly easy to identify.

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#5 Wanye Gretz
August 21 2008, 09:14AM
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I wish someone would attack that RBC Bank Cartoon that is in all the Olympic ads.

You think you are so cute and helpful....

SMASH!

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#6 jdrevenge
August 21 2008, 10:23AM
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Bruce Garrioch is sooooooooooOOOOOOOOOO brutal. Spector of Spector's Hockey regularly bashes the guy's rumours with hilarity.

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#7 Matt
August 21 2008, 02:04PM
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Two schools of thought on the Hemsky and Horcoff rumors: 1) Important people in the organization leaked different stuff to different people to see what comes out on the other end. 2) People in the organization are actively spreading false rumors to disguise something else going on behind the scenes. This seems to me like it could be the Oilers trying to be a little more careful with what information they give up now that there's only one owner who knows what's going on, rather than several dozen.

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#8 oilrule83
August 21 2008, 10:25PM
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How about cogliano+shremp+1st+conditional 1st = gaborik+2nd sounds more plausible to me my trusted dog told me this one

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#9 Jonathan
August 22 2008, 08:17AM
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How about cogliano+shremp+1st+conditional 1st = gaborik+2nd sounds more plausible to me my trusted dog told me this one

E3.

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