A look ahead to next season...

Jason Gregor
January 23 2009 12:30PM

Looking ahead to next season and how the salary cap, more than performance, will affect some of Steve Tambellini’s decisions.

JW doesn’t think a Roloson/Deslauriers combo is very reassuring to start next year.

Why not? Most fans want so many other young players to get a shot; why not Deslauriers? His numbers, in limited time this season, are just as strong as Roloson's. Roli's proven that if he goes long stretches without playing he can come in and be effective, and he is competitive enough to still want to push to be #1 next season. Add in the fact he will sign a one-year deal, for no more than $1.5 to $1.9 million and it makes perfect sense.

There is nothing to say that Deslauriers won't continue to progress. His mental toughness is the area he has worked on the most, and his size, agility and quickness make him a pretty good prospect to continue that curve. Having an experienced goalie to push him and possibly back him up is a good scenario for the OIlers.

Plus look at the salary cap. Unless the Oilers fail to sign Cole -- which would hurt them since they have no one in the organization that plays his style of game and can score -- I don't see how they would have the money to sign a top-end free agent goalie.

Horcoff adds $1.9 million to the cap for next year, and Smid and Brodziak will need a bit of a raise. Roloson re-signing for let's say $1.7 million makes up the difference of Horcoff’s increase, and then they will look to keep Cole for the same $4 million.

He has done nothing to show he deserves more, since he got $4 million a season scoring 30 goals... Even if he has a red-hot second half I don't see him getting to 30, so I'd be surprised if he got more even on the open market.

Contrary to some reports, his family does live here, and he made a back-yard rink for his little boy, and his kids and family like it here. I'm not saying it is 100 per cent that he will re-sign, but if the team continues to improve I could see him staying here. The fact that Hemsky is on the verge of becoming a superstar should have a positive influence on whether Cole decides to stay here.

Signing Grebeshkov will be more difficult. Don't undervalue is ability to the team. I like Smid a lot, but he is better suited to replace Staios than Grebeshkov. The Oilers will probably bite the bullet and keep Wanye’s favourite player rather than deal him at the deadline and hope they can re-sign him in the summer. He's an RFA, so unless someone makes a stupid offer they do have some leverage to keep him. Arbitration is probably where he will go.

Keeping him -- and I'm guessing $3 million a year is what he would be looking for -- means they have to rid themselves of some dollars elsewhere.

Staios (at $2.7 mill), and Pisani (at $2.5 mill) are options, and their contracts expire at the end of next season, right before the alleged drop in salary cap for the 2010–11 season, so that might make it easier to deal one of them.

Another option would be Nilsson, due to his $2 million cap hit. If the Oilers want to keep Grebeshkov, they have to free up at least $1.5 million to cover off the extra money he will get next season.

The Oilers don’t have much flexibility under the cap heading into next year. They already have $44.2 million committed to 17 players:

  • Visnovksy $5.6 million
  • Horcoff $5.5 million
  • Souray $5.4 million
  • Penner $4.25 million
  • Hemsky $4.1 million
  • Gilbert $4.0 million
  • Staios $2.7 million
  • Pisani $2.5 million
  • Nilsson $2.0 million
  • Moreau $2.0 million
  • Gagner $1.625 million
  • Cogliano $1.33 million
  • Pouliot $825K
  • Stortini $700K
  • Deslauriers $625K
  • MacIntyre $537K
  • Jacques $525K

They have to resign, Cole ($4.0), Grebeshkov ($3.0), Brodziak ($1.3), Smid ($1.3),

Brule ($1.0, he was making $833K this year) and then a goalie Roloson ($1.5) and they would still need a seventth D-man. Strudwick for another $625K?

That would add $12.7 million in salary and put them at a $56.9million cap hit, which is too close to the cap ceiling and would handcuff Tambellini from making any moves throughout the season.

If the Oilers do make a push for a UFA goalie -- Backstrom, Thomas or another -- then they are looking at a contract around $3.5-4.5 million. If they go that route, then either Cole or Grebeshkov are gone for sure, and possibly both.

The best scenario for the Oilers is that Deslauriers gets in at least 10-14 games down the stretch and shows he is consistent enough to up that to at least 40-45 games next season. If he does, that allows them much more flexibility to sign Cole, Grebeshkov or at least a UFA player that can replace them, because they have no one in the system that is capable right now of replacing either one.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 05:52PM
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Dennis wrote:

The only numerical leg anyone can stand on when it comes to JDD - and you’d be an ignorant fool to dispute that the best NHLers are guys who posted the best numbers at the junior and minor pro levels (relative to their age) - is that his A numbers didn’t look the best because of the circumstances in which he played. Now, could that be the most salient point? Perhaps. But at some point you look past excuses and you look to the numbers. The NHL won’t give you additional points because you’re trusting a goalie who perhaps didn’t develop; be it through no fault of his own.

And there it is. Deslauriers may be a significantly better goalie than his numbers show, based on the chaos in Springfield, but you don't want to bet the farm on it.

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#52 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 05:59PM
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Ol goalie wrote:

Really, this is cause for optimism. Don’t insult our intelligence. Every indicator of success you list here applies to many AHL and fringe NHL goalies most of whom can’t cut it. BTW, how was JDD’s play in the A this season? Did he do as well as a real NHL starter would’ve? If some other team’s AHL goalie had a similar record, would you want to trade for him so he could be our starter next year? I doubt it.

Tell me where I said I think it is a good idea. I wrote that is the best scenario for the Oilers based on SALARY more than anything. In a salary cap era every team will have a void somewhere and need a young or cheap player step in and fill it.

It isn't the best scenario, but in order for the Oilers to be competitive next season and continue to progress it seems the most probable option. I could have wrote a "fantasy article" about which goalie they might sign. Rather I looked at the numbers and said realistically these are the options.

As for Deslauriers in the A, his game was fine according to those who saw it. Do you think he was supposed to win every game, when the team can't score to save its life? I said that Deslauriers' numbers so far have been good, and if continues to play consistent down the stretch then he could be a 40 game guy...I never said starter. Point out where I said he would be a great goalie. I said there is nothing to show that he won't continue the progress that he has made so far.

Are you one of the Schrempfanatics who have long cried he never got a shot? If so, then why does Deslauriers have to prove himself anymore than #88? And I would say that Deslauriers has shown more improvement in his overall game since joining the Oiler organization.

Read what I wrote not what you THINK you read. I said right now based on finances, he and Roloson look like their only real option. Not one that has 8 trades thrown in, or one that says get rid of all the bad salaries the Oilers have.

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#53 Pokie Reddik
January 23 2009, 06:19PM
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I figured Pete Peters would be salvating over Sabourin? A potential goalie of the future. Him and JDD next year. Pete has done an fantastic job here in the past he can turn these two into a 1 and 1A tandem next year. Just look at the job he did with Desjairls and now Fisher, and Dubnyk who will be too worn to learn. I would like to see Garon back, He truly loved Edm. Him and JDD have the same style they can feed off of each other. Backstrom will be over priced and Roli wants a cup contender. The Oilers have some important RFA's coming and they can't spend too much in goal, They may want to look at Detroit again as a model, like the puck possession, managment, they supposed took this year from them. Now add they goaltending with 2 back ups , Osgood, and Conklin. One will emerge. So again I propose Garon and JDD. won't cost much either, and with Garon going 1 good year 1 bad year in play he is do for a good year and by then JDD will be ready.

Pokie

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#54 Smokin' Ray
January 23 2009, 06:21PM
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Is Roli going to get that much older by next year? He's great right now. Why not next year? Or is there an expiry date?

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#55 Pokie Reddik
January 23 2009, 06:34PM
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The Oilers are also looking at Mike Fisher who's salary is 4M+ so where would that put them on the cap, say you replace... Nilson?(-2M) and Schremp?(rfa)? How about Emry next year with JDD.

Pokie

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#56 Pokie Reddik
January 23 2009, 06:36PM
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The Biggest Question is Who will be the Head Coach next year?

Pokie

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#57 David S
January 23 2009, 06:37PM
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JDD and Sabourin as 1 and 1A.

Next year.

Are you frickin kid...

Ahhhh...nevermind. Hopeless.

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#58 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 06:43PM
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shakey wrote:

Jason, If you had to pick one, who would it be, Cole or Grebeshkov? Considering who we have in the organization that could come close to filling their respective roles on the team.

It is a good question, and at first impulse I would have said Cole, based on the Oiler D...but the more I think about it, Grebeshkov is younger and has been more consistent this season than Cole. Of course there are areas of both of their games that need to improve, but today I'd take Grebeshkov. I also say that believing the Oilers are hell bent on signing a scoring forward this off-season, and then Cole won't return due to cap restrictions.

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#59 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 06:47PM
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RobinB wrote:

f he finishes the season without showing any signs the wheels are falling off, why not offer him a one-year deal?

I agree, that's what I said. Is your head still in Phoenix dreaming about that Baracuda...I wouldn't blame you if it was. That car was sick. No chance any team offers him more than one year, due to age and possible retirement and due to the expected cap dip for 2010/2011.

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#60 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 06:49PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

If cap space in net is that big of a concern, perhaps Deslauriers could be dealt (especially given that Dubnyk’s waiting in the wings) and Roloson could return with a Garon-type (Gerber, Labarbera, Legace, etc.) and then there’s a little bit better safety net if one of the two falters.

JW,

Deslauriers makes a paltry $.625, how does moving him clear cap space? And Gerber is a flake, Labarbera a journeyman and both would still cost more than Deslauriers.

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#61 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 06:51PM
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Ol goalie wrote:

If you want to hope that JDD will make it, that’s fine, but don’t try to con us into believing we have reason to believe he’ll succeed. T best we can say he has a chance at being an average NHL backup, and a tiny hope of being something better.

Based on what? Because he didn't make it right away? Where is the basis to your argument that states surely he can't improve? You have nothing? He has overcome being in crappy situations with this organization and continued to improve. Once again, I will repeat myself...I never SAID he would be a great goalie, I said the Oilersn NEED him to become one due to cap restraints...

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#62 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 06:58PM
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Rick wrote:

Not that it makes a huge difference but I believe that since the CBA is not being re-opened by the NHLPA the rookie bonuses won’t count againt the cap next year. Therefore Gagner and Cogliano will only count against the cap at 850K each.

Actually Rick you are incorrect, the signing bonus still counts. They haven't changed anything from THIS season's agreement by agreeing not to change for the next two years. I spoke with Rick Olyzck and SB still counts against the cap.

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#63 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 07:11PM
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Malc wrote:

When it comes to the D, I am sold on Visnovsky, Gilbert, and Smid for the future. Souray has been fantastic, but if he can be traded while he’s hot, and healthy, the oil could possibly free a lot of cap space for a decent return.

Are you even watching the games? Trade the Dman who brings offence, decent defence and great toughness. Trust me his to KOs in the past week spread like wild fire and he will get even more room now. Trading him would be asinine.Malc wrote:

Any speculation on the goalies should wait until we can see what JDD can do for the rest of the season.

It is not speculation. I presented a real scenario. Fact Oilers have 44.2 million towards cap next season. Fact: they won't be making four trades to rid themselves of all the players you guys listed to bring in all the ones you dream about.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don’t care if Moreau is the heart of the team or not; he’s well overpaid, and replaceable for less money.

Overpaid? Really? He has 10 goals and makes 2 million dollars. How is that overpaid? Penner is overpaid...fewer goals, and most of his come on the PP that is overpaid.

And if you think replacing heart is that easy then you have never played on any team. Character guys mean a lot, and anyone who down plays is kidding themselves. I'm not saying it kills the team to trade Moreau, but his replacement would make at least 1 million and probably more, so how is that a great savings?

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#64 Jason Gregor
January 23 2009, 07:34PM
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Dennis wrote:

My solution would be to have the GM open to moving some of Souray, Moreau, Staios and Nilsson. Souray: keeping his head at even playing the toughs but he’s not excelling. You have all of 37-71-77 who could keep the PP moving and history suggests that a guy like 44 can’t re-invent himself at this age to stay healthy and play tough min. We had 44-71 starting out playing the tough and now we have 44-77. What if we had 71-77 take on the toughs and then 37-? take on the secondary min? Is that something a 5 could ascend towards? Or if not, could we pick up a Sauer type who could do so?

Your post made lots of sense based on that Deslauriers would be a risk, and I agree it would. But lots of teams take chances and it pays off. Having Roloson as a back stop is fine, and if Deslauriers bombs, you have another you guy in Dubnyk who they bring up and see what he has. They need to find out what these two can do. They have been around long enough where it is sink or swim.

But I don't see how you can then believe that 71-77 would be a good shut down pair. If you noticed 71's play improved when he was split up from Souray, so he didn't have to play the tough minutes. And Gilbert and he don't bring any physical play. You don't have to be tough, but at least be physical and they don't. 71-37 have proven you don't need it as a #2 necessarily, but I don't want to get rid of my main toughness on the backend.

And Souray is proof that you don't need good junior or AHL numbers to improve them in the NHL. In junior, he had one season of more than ten goals, and in his first five years in the NHL he never scored more than 3 in any year. Now he has had 15,12, 26 and now 12 in the past five years. Numbers don't always tell the story.

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#65 RobinB
January 23 2009, 07:44PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Numbers don’t always tell the story.

Blasphemy.

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#66 Pokie Reddik
January 23 2009, 08:09PM
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David S wrote:

JDD and Sabourin as 1 and 1A. Next year. Are you frickin kid… Ahhhh…nevermind. Hopeless.

That was a joke , how good do you think Pete Peters is a coach, The same peters who let in 4 of Gretzkys 5 Goal nite

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#67 Dennis
January 23 2009, 09:15PM
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Gregor: Well, then, 44 is an outlier and I'd need to see a couple of guys who came up offensively once they hit the big time.

As far as the D are concerned, I'd wager a healthy amount that 77/71 could do just as good a job - if not better - playing the tough min than have 44-77. Ralfaski/Lidstrom form a non-physical tough min pairing in Det and they make out just fine. Now, no one else is as good as Lidstrom but as long as guys are good defenders - and defending can be executed in more than one fashion - things will work out.

I believe 44 has a NMC that's vaild until the end of the 2010 season - so that probably makes my suggestion moot - but I've seen enough minus numbers from him and low GP numbers that I'll need to see two seasons like this one before I'm turned around.

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#68 DrPow
January 23 2009, 11:58PM
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@ Gregor and/or RobinB

"The best scenario for the Oilers is that Deslauriers gets in at least 10-14 games down the stretch..."

I agree that this would be optimal, but do you guys really think that he will get to start that many games down the stretch? Off the top of my head I believe we have 36 games left (may be inaccurate), I just cant see MacT give a 1/3 of the remaining games to JDD unless Roloson completely tanks. But given the fact that Rollie has been playing good, and we will most likely be fighting for our playoff lives as per usual, I cant see it happening. I dont know how many back-to-back games we have left this year, which will obv help JDD's chances to get some games in, I just think that 10-14 may be a stretch.

I was just wondering what you think are the actual chances of this happening this season, and the reasons as to why you think so.

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#69 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 12:02AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

JW, Deslauriers makes a paltry $.625, how does moving him clear cap space? And Gerber is a flake, Labarbera a journeyman and both would still cost more than Deslauriers.

I meant compared to running at a Backstrom or Vokoun.

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#70 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 12:20AM
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RobinB wrote:

Jason Gregor wrote: Numbers don’t always tell the story. Blasphemy.

Fun story. There was another fellow a few years back- the Oilers needed a safe pick, a surefire NHL'er, so the scouts selected... Jason Bonsignore. (This despite the fact that his numbersweren't great- but hey, a 6'4" forward with that kind of skill, the scouts couldn't pass on him, could they?) Funny thing was, even after he crashed with the Oilers, the Lightning still wanted him, because I mean he's 6'4" and he knows what to do with the puck, right?

Thing is, the numbers aren't always right (and I don't think anyone's claiming they are), because we're dealing with human life, with all of the variables that are part of it. Still, the "watch the game" crowd aren't always right either - look at the lousy draft picks, the free agent flops, and so on, that use of the numbers (and some thinking) would have prevented. Vrbata comes to mind, and while I'm at it, I don't recall much dissension in the media about the Penner RFA signing, although most of the numbers guys were awfully upset.

Then of course, there's that decidedly non-numbers guy who a few weeks ago suggested the Oilers should waive Roloson and run Garon/JDD out there, ignoring Garon's inconsistent career and JDD's middling AHL track record.

But hell, if they're wrong, at least they weren't using math, or numbers, or any of those effete things. They were still wrong, but in an accepted way. And that's so much better than sometimes being wrong in a less traditional way.

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#71 Drago
January 24 2009, 01:35AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

that's your defense? You bring up a colossal first round BUST. As for Vrbata, any sane hockey mind knew that him leaving Phoenix was a bad career choice that all too many players make. They have a good year with one team because its within the particular system or with certain players then cash in a big contract with a different team that is a bad fit from the beginning.

Your numerical hate for role players such as Strudwick, Moreau and Staios is laughable. They bring something to the team that no numbers could ever measure. They're the type of player that will throw any appendage of theirs in front of a puck. They're the type of player that gets the team riled up with a big hit, a timely fight or an unexpected goal. They're the type of player that will go to battle when the time comes and that is critical come the stretch drive and playoffs.

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#72 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 07:59AM
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Drago wrote:

Your numerical hate for role players such as Strudwick, Moreau and Staios is laughable. They bring something to the team that no numbers could ever measure. They’re the type of player that will throw any appendage of theirs in front of a puck. They’re the type of player that gets the team riled up with a big hit, a timely fight or an unexpected goal. They’re the type of player that will go to battle when the time comes and that is critical come the stretch drive and playoffs.

Yep, and Moreau and Staios used to be the kind of player who could do that while putting up good results. Staios, for instance, was basically tarred and feathered by the masses last season, whereas those of us looking at his numbers saw that he was getting tossed out for better than 100 more defensive zone than offensive zone draws, and playing the toughest bad guys while lugging around kids most of the season.

So last year, while the fans were lynching him, were we right and they wrong?

The point is that "you numbers guys are sometimes wrong" isn't an argument; the "well, I'm watching him play and he's big and looks good and I've got a great feeling about him" crowd is wrong plenty too - they're just wrong in established ways. The real question is who's right more often.

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#73 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 08:03AM
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@ Drago:

To quote myself on Staios:

April 26, 2008 -

Staios was captain of the Atlanta Thrashers, and has been a heart-and-soul guy for the Oilers ever since being signed. Thinking back to that 2005-06 team, one of the moments that really stands out in my mind was Staios blocking a shot with his face, and then staying on the ice because the Oilers were penned in their own zone. He's as tough as they come, he backs down from nobody, and both the Oilers and Team Canada are lucky to have him.

To imply that because I think you can learn a lot about the game by using statistics (which are after all, basically the sum of observations compiled numerically) means that I can't recognize a player who leaves it all on the ice is just blindingly stupid.

Every team needs character - but if you're paying through the nose for that character, they'd better be able to play the game too. At this point, Staios is an OK third-pairing guy, and he's getting paid to be quite a bit more than that.

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#74 Dropping Deuces
January 24 2009, 08:14AM
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RobinB wrote:

Dropping Deuces wrote: I would not trade Moreau, you lose to much heart. Someone has to teach the kids to bleed oilers colors. First, what does that mean, exactly? Second, how does bleeding Oilers colors translate to performance on the ice?

I do not have the same access to the team as you but I assume Moreau has a big influence in the dressing room. Also, the forwards we have are mostly pussies so it is nice to have someone who will hit and stick up for his teamates.

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#75 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 08:15AM
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Drago wrote:

As for Vrbata, any sane hockey mind knew that him leaving Phoenix was a bad career choice that all too many players make. They have a good year with one team because its within the particular system or with certain players then cash in a big contract with a different team that is a bad fit from the beginning.

No - that's wrong. Over the course of his entire NHL career Vrbata scored 18, 16, 12, 15 and 14 goals. than in 2007-08, he scored 27.

Even without looking at his run of the mill advanced statistics, I can tell you which of those seasons was the exception. Players, when they have a peak vlaue season, usually revert back to their established level of performance - not always, but usually.

Those Tampa Bay scouts and management who figured that 27 goal season was the "real" Vrbata got caught up too much in what they saw that one year - and it obviously wasn't a smart bet.

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#76 Dropping Deuces
January 24 2009, 08:19AM
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As far as the Penner contract goes I am not one who thinks it that bad. Sure he is overpaid but I remember when Lowe signed him I was glad he was trying to improve the forwards. I still see potential for him to improve and grow into that contract. Watching him steam roll Wilson was worth at least 2 mil.

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#77 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 08:34AM
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Dropping Deuces wrote:

Watching him steam roll Wilson was worth at least 2 mil.

Yeah, that was pretty cool. Pretty sure he's still on IR with an "upper body injury".

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#78 Jason Gregor
January 24 2009, 10:14AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Yep, and Moreau and Staios used to be the kind of player who could do that while putting up good results.

So how is Moreau not putting up decent numbers again? He has 10 goals all on EV or SH, and the only forwards with a better +- are Penner, Horcoff and Hemsky. And when Hemsky was out for 10 games Horcoff was -2 and Penner -6 in those games. In the last two games when Hemsky carried the team Horcoff +5, Penner +4...so really outside of those two games, Moreau is right on par with every forward in +-. A stat you like to use. So how is he not effective, because of PK? And how is he overpaid?

Jonathan Willis wrote:

The real question is who’s right more often.

Who is right more? The great thing about stats is we can almost always find one to back our point, but that doens't make us 100% right. I think the point some are making is that by ignoring the intangibles(that don't have a statistical backing) and believing that stats always tell the truth is a bit narrow-minded.

Stats can tell a great story, but they like intangibles, they don't always tell the whole story.

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#79 Drago
January 24 2009, 10:37AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Drago wrote: As for Vrbata, any sane hockey mind knew that him leaving Phoenix was a bad career choice that all too many players make. They have a good year with one team because its within the particular system or with certain players then cash in a big contract with a different team that is a bad fit from the beginning. No - that’s wrong. Over the course of his entire NHL career Vrbata scored 18, 16, 12, 15 and 14 goals. than in 2007-08, he scored 27. Even without looking at his run of the mill advanced statistics, I can tell you which of those seasons was the exception. Players, when they have a peak vlaue season, usually revert back to their established level of performance - not always, but usually. Those Tampa Bay scouts and management who figured that 27 goal season was the “real” Vrbata got caught up too much in what they saw that one year - and it obviously wasn’t a smart bet.

So what exactly are you arguing here? Because to me it looks like the same thing. I used words you used numbers.

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#80 Drago
January 24 2009, 10:48AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Yep, and Moreau and Staios used to be the kind of player who could do that while putting up good results. Staios, for instance, was basically tarred and feathered by the masses last season, whereas those of us looking at his numbers saw that he was getting tossed out for better than 100 more defensive zone than offensive zone draws, and playing the toughest bad guys while lugging around kids most of the season. So last year, while the fans were lynching him, were we right and they wrong? The point is that “you numbers guys are sometimes wrong” isn’t an argument; the “well, I’m watching him play and he’s big and looks good and I’ve got a great feeling about him” crowd is wrong plenty too - they’re just wrong in established ways. The real question is who’s right more often.

It was the vocal minority, The Troglodytes as I call them, who hear one person say something (MacT should be fired, Schremp is a God, Staios sucks, Moreau is a terrible leader etc.) and then like sheep they fall in line and light up the talk shows with their incessant nonsense. I really feel for Gregor, Corey and Tencer who have to deal with these clowns on a daily basis.

How are they overpaid exactly? Staios has a cap hit of 2.7 mil and along with Smid are the only "defensive" dmen they have. Sure he started out of the gate really bad, but if you remember correctly he had a family issue that he had to leave the first road trip for. I am not going to begin to speculate what it was or even claim to know what it was but its human nature that if someone has a family issue its going to effect their work, no matter who you are (even Ovechkin started out slow due to his ailing Grandfather). He has turned it on as of late and is back to his old reliable self. Gregor already got into Moreau and I have nothing else to add on that.

I am beginning to see here that while you have an abundance of "book smarts" you don't have a lick of common sense. But what do I know, I'm just a guy who watches the games instead of burying my head in stats sites and books.

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#81 Rick
January 24 2009, 10:52AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Actually Rick you are incorrect, the signing bonus still counts. They haven’t changed anything from THIS season’s agreement by agreeing not to change for the next two years. I spoke with Rick Olyzck and SB still counts against the cap.

I don't know if there is confusion in how I worded it or if there is confusion elsewhere in the media but something doesn't seem to add up.

It wasn't signing bonuses that I was referring to but from what other media is reporting the cap hit above their contract amounts of 850K are rookie performance bonuses.

Those bonuses will count against the cap in any instance that they are achieved but the difference between this season and next season is that because it was unconfirmed whether or not the NHLPA was not going to re-open the CBA the teams needed to account for the bonuses in their cap for this year because this season was being treated as the last year of the CBA.

Next year, because multiple years will remain on the CBA, they don't need to account for the bonuses until the players actually reach those milestones at which point it will count against the cap the following season. For guys like Cogliano and Gagner it's unrealistic that they reach those milestones.

It's not a huge amount of money so it's not like it makes a huge difference and obviously Olyzck is the expert I am just relaying what guys like Bob MacKenzie were reporting and I wanted to expand because there seemed to be some confusion in how I worded my post.

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#82 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 10:55AM
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Drago wrote:

So what exactly are you arguing here? Because to me it looks like the same thing. I used words you used numbers.

From what I read, it looked like you were saying that the change in team and system was responsible for Vrbata's decline. What I said was that the decline would have come anyway, because he probably isn't as good of a player as that one season would lead you to believe.

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#83 Jason Gregor
January 24 2009, 10:57AM
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DrPow wrote:

@ Gregor and/or RobinB “The best scenario for the Oilers is that Deslauriers gets in at least 10-14 games down the stretch…” I agree that this would be optimal, but do you guys really think that he will get to start that many games down the stretch? Off the top of my head I believe we have 36 games left (may be inaccurate), I just cant see MacT give a 1/3 of the remaining games to JDD unless Roloson completely tanks. But given the fact that Rollie has been playing good, and we will most likely be fighting for our playoff lives as per usual, I cant see it happening. I dont know how many back-to-back games we have left this year, which will obv help JDD’s chances to get some games in, I just think that 10-14 may be a stretch. I was just wondering what you think are the actual chances of this happening this season, and the reasons as to why you think so.

That is a great question and really the reason why I wrote the piece. I think they have to, for a variety of reasons, including cap implications and if he can give them some confidence to believe he can be at least a 40 game guy next year.

They have five sets of back-to-back games so that is five games for him right there, based on Mactavish's belief to not play a guy in both games. I can see him getting at least five more...so yes I think he will play 10 for sure. Ideally I'd like it to be closer to 15. He has to and I think it is very likely he will play at least 12.

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#84 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 10:59AM
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@ Drago:

Staios has rebounded a ton since being separated from Strudwick. Maybe the personal issue had something to do with it, too, but he's trended up as of late.

But when trending up means going from a bad third-pairing defenseman to a good third-pairing defenseman, and the player gets paid 2.7 million a season and is getting older, common sense would seem to dictate that he's overpaid.

I like Staios; always have. But this team: a) probably isn't contending this year and b) needs to make some cap room for the kids

so it probably makes sense to take the short-term pain of trading Staios, sign someone cheaper and/or better (like Kurt Sauer this past summer).

I know that working out the value of cap space involves numbers and requires math, but I'd figure even a common sense guy like you would know that a third-pairing defensive defenseman should be paid less than 2.7 million a season.

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#85 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 11:00AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Ideally I’d like it to be closer to 15. He has to and I think it is very likely he will play at least 12.

That would help clear up any question marks around him for sure.

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#86 Drago
January 24 2009, 11:01AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I mean that it was because of the system and who he played with in Phoenix last year that he caught lightning in a bottle and had a career year. Like most players in all sports who do that, they cash in on free agency and its doomed from the start. I probably should've worded it better, it was late, I was tired, it made sense to me lol.

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#87 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 11:04AM
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Drago wrote:

Staios has a cap hit of 2.7 mil and along with Smid are the only “defensive” dmen they have.

Last I checked, Sheldon Souray's been a pretty darn effective defensive defenseman this season. Don't let the point totals fool you; anybody watching the games has seen how effective he's been in his own zone.

Wait, I'm a stats guy.

Looking at his Corsi, QualComp, EVTOI and EVGA/60, he's been darn effective in a defensive role this season.

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#88 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 11:05AM
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Drago wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: I mean that it was because of the system and who he played with in Phoenix last year that he caught lightning in a bottle and had a career year. Like most players in all sports who do that, they cash in on free agency and its doomed from the start. I probably should’ve worded it better, it was late, I was tired, it made sense to me lol.

No worries - one thing I hate about this kind of forum is that simple misunderstandings can evolve from mis-statements. We're on the same page there ;)

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#89 Drago
January 24 2009, 11:11AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Drago: Staios has rebounded a ton since being separated from Strudwick. Maybe the personal issue had something to do with it, too, but he’s trended up as of late. But when trending up means going from a bad third-pairing defenseman to a good third-pairing defenseman, and the player gets paid 2.7 million a season and is getting older, common sense would seem to dictate that he’s overpaid. I like Staios; always have. But this team: a) probably isn’t contending this year and b) needs to make some cap room for the kids so it probably makes sense to take the short-term pain of trading Staios, sign someone cheaper and/or better (like Kurt Sauer this past summer). I know that working out the value of cap space involves numbers and requires math, but I’d figure even a common sense guy like you would know that a third-pairing defensive defenseman should be paid less than 2.7 million a season.

When he signed his extension, which was after the cup run and after the Pronger fiasco, he was a Top 4 defenseman on this team. Sure looking at his age the deal may have been a little too long, but Lowe was rewarding his vets with long term deals (see Moreau, Pisani and Roli). It just so happened that they acquired Visnovsky and Grebeshkov, signed Souray and Gilbert progressed. If he loses his job to Chorney, Peckham, Petry or whoever then its obvious the teams hand will be forced to make a move, but until one of the kids steps up and knocks him out of his spot it is better to go with the devil you know than the devil you do not (signing a different older d-man).

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#90 Drago
January 24 2009, 11:14AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Last I checked, Sheldon Souray’s been a pretty darn effective defensive defenseman this season. Don’t let the point totals fool you; anybody watching the games has seen how effective he’s been in his own zone. Wait, I’m a stats guy. Looking at his Corsi, QualComp, EVTOI and EVGA/60, he’s been darn effective in a defensive role this season.

Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert and Grebeshkov are generally regarded as "offensive" defensemen...plus Staios brings a physical element that those (other than Souray of course) don't bring.

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#91 Jonathan Willis
January 24 2009, 11:29AM
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@ Drago:

It's pretty hard to argue that trading Staios makes this team better right now; he's filling his role, and whatever happens from here on out he'll always be one of the guys I'm pulling for on the ice.

But he probably isn't part of the plan going forward; he's got two seasons left on that contract and he's been passed by Grebeshkov and Gilbert, and knocked down bby Souray and Visnovsky. The worry is that he keeps sliding, and gets untradeable right about the same time the Oilers need to sign the kids.

I'd like to see him dealt while he can still fetch a decent return, and before the kids start getting paid, even though it means a bit of a drop off right now.

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#92 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 24 2009, 02:14PM
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What were the personal issues Staios had?

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#93 Tyguy
January 25 2009, 02:35AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: Yep, and Moreau and Staios used to be the kind of player who could do that while putting up good results. So how is Moreau not putting up decent numbers again? He has 10 goals all on EV or SH, and the only forwards with a better +- are Penner, Horcoff and Hemsky. And when Hemsky was out for 10 games Horcoff was -2 and Penner -6 in those games. In the last two games when Hemsky carried the team Horcoff +5, Penner +4…so really outside of those two games, Moreau is right on par with every forward in +-. A stat you like to use. So how is he not effective, because of PK? And how is he overpaid? Jonathan Willis wrote: The real question is who’s right more often. Who is right more? The great thing about stats is we can almost always find one to back our point, but that doens’t make us 100% right. I think the point some are making is that by ignoring the intangibles(that don’t have a statistical backing) and believing that stats always tell the truth is a bit narrow-minded. Stats can tell a great story, but they like intangibles, they don’t always tell the whole story.

Maybe an example of what those "heart & soul" guys... HOF #11-noted leader, "explained" to teammates 1) Never toss a Jersey on floor 2) Never walk on the Logo in Dressing room 3) Kick'n Door/garbage cans,etc. to get a point across 5) Follow me Boys! I will lead the charge !

Who is in the room now,leading the team ? #18 ? # 44 ? # 24 ? How much is that worth ? How much do you pay for a mentor/teacher ?

Can a stat +/- be found on that ? Would #24 block shots count ?

Hey, I'm just say'n, is all I'm say'n

"Stat guys" vs .....the world ! ; )

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#94 Grumpy Owl
January 25 2009, 06:42PM
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Re Goalie Expiry dates.

I remember a long time ago oilers had a goalie named Dave Dryden, Ken's brother. One spring he was a more than adequate goalie, the fallowing fall the wheels fell off and he couldn't stop a beach ball with a snow shovel as the old saying goes. He was gone before Christmas.

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#95 RobinB
January 25 2009, 07:24PM
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Grumpy Owl wrote:

Re Goalie Expiry dates. I remember a long time ago oilers had a goalie named Dave Dryden, Ken’s brother. One spring he was a more than adequate goalie, the fallowing fall the wheels fell off and he couldn’t stop a beach ball with a snow shovel as the old saying goes. He was gone before Christmas.

I wouldn't hold Dryden out as an example. You left out a significant detail -- in the spring, Dryden was "adequate" stopping pucks with the WHA Oilers. The following fall the Oilers were playing in the NHL. Big difference.

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