September 04 2008 10:29AM
Now that it appears that the chances of Hossa coming to Edmonton are slim for the start of the season, we always keep a sharp eye out for stories of stars that are experiencing trouble with their current club. We all know that Katz wants to land a big fish, and salary cap restrictions aside he’ll have some dough to work with at the end of this season.
But here’s the trick, see: big name players are generally skilled. In most cases the GMs of the star don’t generally just let someone come and take their skilled player away without asking nicely or even trading someone back in return. Luongo to Vancouver is of course the exception to this rule.
To land a big fish you need four things:
- A player of skill... Who would consider leaving his team Who would come Chez Oil Who is single and has no plans to marry
- Room in the cap.
- Tradable assets.
- A solid gold fishing pole, preferably made of solid gold.
In our estimation, the Oilers have all four. All that Tambellini, K-Lowe, Katz, MacTavish, Olczyk, the usher in Section 112 and the rest of the decision-making staff need is a target fish. First we’ll take a little peek at ensuring there is room in the cap:
Erik “Eric” Cole will have to be re-signed at the end of the season and this option year will have everything to do with whether or not he receives a hefty raise on the $4 mil he currently declares to the government each year in taxes.
Shawn “Shawn” Horcoff’s rich contract kicks in next year. He jumps from $3.6 million this year to $7 million next year. Does that look right? Wow Horcoff, this is some career you have built for yourself.
Mathieu Garon needs to be locked up too at the end of the year. But that shouldn’t take the Oil above what they are currently spending on goaltending between him and Roloson—who will be off the books with his $3 million in salary next year.
Other than that, it’s going to be business as usual in the Payroll division of OilerCo. So the money exists although it may take a little doing and trading to make it work. But now what? Who’s the fish?
What about Marian Gaborik? There is an interesting piece on TSN today—we know it’s rare—stating that old Maid Marian seems to be waffling about signing a long-term deal in Minny.
"I am willing to stay here, but I also know what my options are if we won't agree on the terms," Gaborik told the Star Tribune. "I'm not saying I'm leaving. I'm not saying I'm staying. I'm saying I have one year left on my contract.”
It continues on with this:
While the Wild have reportedly offered Gaborik the richest, longest contract in franchise history, assistant general manager Tom Lynn described negotiations as "complicated" as the two sides try to agree on salary and term. But Wild general manager Doug Risebrough told the Star Tribune he is not willing to offer Gaborik the maximum contract of $11.26 million allowable for individuals under this year's salary cap.
Yikes. $11.26 mil is obviously a hair or two rich, but if that offer has been tabled to Gaborik’s camp and they haven’t responded with anything but “we are prepared to sign in blood,” money may not be the issue here. Marian Gaborik at 26 is three years younger than the old fish Marian Hossa. He understands two-way hockey and must display some sort of leadership being named Captain of the Wild. Now, we aren’t Lowetide and we aren’t Willis but here are some numbers that we care about:
701 GP, 299 G, 349 A, 648 Pts
75 GP, 25 G, 36 A, 61 Pts
485 GP, 206 G, 208 A, 414 Pts
29 GP, 12 G, 10 A, 18 Pts
While Gaborik may be a bit of a band aid, he’s also a sure-fire SniperBot 5000. This sort of thing matters to us. In our opinion he would be a better buy than Hossa, though not if he demands the one-year max of $11.26 million per season. You could buy 4.05 Fernando Pisanis for that. Imagine all that heart!
The big things on Daryl Katz’s horizon is “sign a big star to my beloved Oilers” as well as “fix leaky tap in bathroom #115 at the Katz Manor.” As the head of the OilersNation Helping Department™, we are prepared to assist Kay-Z in his efforts.
We heard recently from a dude who knows that said: “From what I hear, Hossa signed a one-year deal with Detroit to try and win the Cup. After this year he is looking to sign a long-term deal and was really impressed by how hard the Oilers went after him in the off-season. I wouldn’t rule out him taking a long look at signing with the Oilers at the end of the year.”
This may not be the best fish to land, but it’s nice to know that there are some targets circling the bait. It’s also nice to know that Vanek isn’t sucking up $10 million per year. That would have been lame.
If not Marian G or Marian H, who should the Oil chase over the next year?