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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#1 Mike Krushelnyski
January 23 2009, 12:43PM
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Horcoff $5.5 million Penner $4.25 million Hemsky $4.1 million

No matter how many times I see it it's still funny. At least Lowe's strategy of throwing huge, long-term deals at guys who had a good year works some of the time!

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#2 shakey
January 23 2009, 12:49PM
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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.

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#3 Mr DeBakey
January 23 2009, 01:06PM
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Can the Oilers find a physical, 4th-line LW to play for less than $2 million?

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#4 RobinB
January 23 2009, 01:09PM
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Jason: If the NHL made sense, Cole could be had for the money you talk about, but it doesn't so I doubt he'll sign for that. We've seen so many signings of players to long-term deals for big money, even when they're coming off sub-par seasons, that I have little faith he'd stay for $4 million as a UFA. Even with a downturn in the economy and cap that's likely to go down, there'll be a Jeff Finger offer out there somewhere. If Cole scores 20-25 goals and plays like he has in the last month, somebody will offer him $4.5-$5.5 a season. Would he take less to stay here? I don't think so.

As for Nilsson, I still think he's a goner at some point. History says he'll slack-off again and it's pretty obvious MacT won't have that. Plus, he's got the kind of talent that will tempt somebody to take a chance on him via trade.

With the goaltending -- and what do I know after pushing for Garon to play 60-plus games to start the season? -- Roloson is the perfect mentor for Deslauriers. You've seen him in the room. He's a pro. He competes. If he finishes the season without showing any signs the wheels are falling off, why not offer him a one-year deal?

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#5 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 01:10PM
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JW doesn’t think a Roloson/Deslauriers combo is very reassuring to start next year. Why not?

I'm not going to say it won't work, but I have two problems with that tandem:

1) Dwayne Roloson will be 40 next season; I hate to rely on a guy that old to play a significant role in net. 2) Jeff Deslauriers (who I like as a prospect) has posted a .912 and .908 SV% in his last two AHL seasons. He has a .915 SV% in 6 NHL games and a .906 SV% in 5 AHL games this year, so I haven't seen enough to convince me that he's ready. He's been good when called upon, but until he plays well over twenty or thirty games, I'm not sold on him.

Maybe that tandem works out OK, but maybe it doesn't. It's a huge question mark at the most vital position on the team.

I like Deslauriers, but if he's going to be one half of the tandem, I'd be much more comfortable with an established starter not in his twilight years than I am in Roloson.

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.

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#6 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 01:11PM
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@ RobinB, Jason Gregor:

Have you guys seen enough of Deslauriers to be sold on him playing 35-40 games?

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#7 Ol goalie
January 23 2009, 01:11PM
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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.

Jason, you should sell snake oil.

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.

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.

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#8 mjsh
January 23 2009, 01:13PM
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With those numbers, how in the world does this team ever get to the next level. Somewhere, some how, they have to unload some salary and get some more people who play over their contracts. I for one think that Rolly will be fine for at least another year and I want Grebs back. I still think he has more potential than Gilbert.

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#9 RobinB
January 23 2009, 01:14PM
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Mr DeBakey wrote:

Can the Oilers find a physical, 4th-line LW to play for less than $2 million?

I'd suggest Aaron Voros. He's big, he's physical and he's got some offensive talent. I don't know if he fits with the Rangers. He's signed through the 2010-11 season at $1 million per year. Has enough game to see spot duty on the third line.

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#10 Ender the Dragon
January 23 2009, 01:22PM
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JDD may very well turn out to be the stopper everyone hopes he can be. I just think Oiler fans are a bit gun-shy when they reflect on other young goalies who we hoped would step up and never panned out here (Conklin, Morrison, Gage, etc.) A proven stopper is a little easier on the average fan's remaining nerve.

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#11 Rick
January 23 2009, 01:23PM
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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.

As for the goalie situation and resigning Cole and or Grebeshkov I would like to see the Oilers spend their money on an elite goaltender first if they can find one.

If they can lose some money elsewhere (Nilsson for starters) to resign the skaters then great but a top flight goalie would be more of difference maker than either of those guys.

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#12 RobinB
January 23 2009, 01:25PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Yes. I've known JDDsince draft day and saw his every game with the Roadrunners in the AHL during the 04-05 season (I travelled with the team and we treated them like the Oilers coverage-wise during the lockout).

He's grown in leaps and bounds since then, especially emotionally, as you'd expect with the natural maturing process. He tended to have big emotional swings back then and I don't see those now.

For instance, there was a game at The Pond in Anaheim against Cincinnati in which Deslauriers gave up the winning goal after he wandered out of the net and blindly cleared a puck onto Joffrey Lupul's stick in the slot. Lupul fired it into the open net and Deslaurier was a wreck, to the point of tearing up, after the game. He was in a funk for awhile after that. He's also battled through tough circumstances with the Oilers not having their own AHL level team and come through fine.

I always thought JDD had the physical tools but I questioned his mental make-up when he first broke in. I don't have questions about that anymore.

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#13 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 23 2009, 01:37PM
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I think this is all hinged on this years success, if we want to resign players and keep the team in the shape it is now. Lowe himself has said a team usually takes a 10-15% turnover after the season. So who is gone? Depending on how we finish this year, do we want to resign all these guys? Were not a Detroit nor a San Jose, so why would we want to keep everyone from this year? Also what happens at the deadline?

Personally, I dont see how we can afford Cole AND the forwards and defense we already have signed going into next year. If the cap goes down in 2010-2011, and everyone is near or at the cap now, the next year if it goes down 6-8 million, its going to be a shît show trying to deal guys. Tabelinni cant expect to spend to the cap for next year in the hopes of being able to deal some players down the road if the cap goes down, because 26 teams will be trying to do that.

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#14 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 01:47PM
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@ RobinB:

Don't get me wrong - I like Deslauriers, and I'd be fine with him as a backup to a decent starter next season.

He's struggled through some really lousy developmental stuff (stashed in the ECHL because there was no AHL team, loaned to a Canadiens AHL team full of goalies, etc.), but if Roli struggles, I'm not sold on him as a starter next season. If Roloson gets hurt, or his play drops off, and suddenly Deslauriers is expected to play 60 NHL games at a high level, can he do it? Would you give him 50/50 odds, even?

I don't mind gambling on D or up front, but I get awfully nervous when they do it with goaltenders.

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#15 RobinB
January 23 2009, 01:55PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Deslauriers is ready. I would have said he's ready had he played 20 games as Garon's back-up this season or if he ends up with 20 games behind Roloson.

At some point, you have to find out about him as a starter and stop protecting him by hedging your bets and hiding him as a back-up. It's not like he's 21 and a second-year pro. If he can't hack it as a starter as a 25-year-old next season, then he can't hack it.

Time to find out.

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#16 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 02:04PM
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@ RobinB:

It may very well be time to find out, but is it worth risking the playoff chances of this team to do so?

I wouldn't.

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#17 APE
January 23 2009, 02:11PM
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If anything Roloson should be the back-up next year. I think that they need to give JDD a real look. Now's the time while we have a 73 year old back up. If it doesn't work then you ride Roli out in a blaze of glory because surely his time in the NHL is numbered given his age.

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#18 Mike Krushelnyski
January 23 2009, 02:22PM
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Deslauriers has to get a decent look down the stretch doesn't he? Roli is 39, he's only played more than 60 games once in his career and his numbers weren't good that season. If we're planning on making a playoff run with Roli in net I wouldn't want him playing much more than 50 this season. 21 more games would put Roli at 50 for the season which leaves 15 for JDD. That should be enough to form a decent idea about what he can do in the NHL.

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#19 B.C.B.
January 23 2009, 02:42PM
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I understand that it is logicaL to keep some cap room for possible trades, but how much do you really need. I used to think going in to the season with a bunch of free change is a good idea, because maybe someone like Thorton might become avialable. But since that has only happened once, and all the big money players are traded in the off season, is more the $1.5 million need. At the trade deadline, $1.5million could buy up to $3.8 million in salary, and only a few players making that become avialable. Why not spend closer to the cap?

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#20 Dropping Deuces
January 23 2009, 02:59PM
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Would it be possible to find someone who will take horcoff's contract off our hands. I like Horcoff and everything but 5.5 cap hit over 6 years is whacked. Eventually Ganer and Cogs need to be the 1st and 2nd line centres and it shouldn't take 6 years but who in their right mind would pick that contact up.

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#21 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 03:02PM
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Here's a simple salary cap relief solution:

1) Trade Moreau 2) Trade Staios 3) Trade Nilsson

Voila! 6.75 million in cap space, and nobody playing a really important role on the team needs to leave.

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#22 Grumpy Owl
January 23 2009, 03:03PM
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Given the NHLPA is calling in 25% of the rest of the year's salaries as a hedge against the NHL not making enough money this year, it seems to me any thoughts of the Cap being anywhere near what it was this year, is a pipe dream. I doubt the cut will be anywhere near 25% but a 10 or 15% self imposed cut (even if the league presists in it's dream world) would be prudent for any GM worth the title. I expect the players being free agents would rather take 10% less on their new deals and actually be able to keep it would be the way they would go. I mean, if your 10 Million dollars suddenly turns into 7.5 million what's the point?

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#23 deep oil
January 23 2009, 03:04PM
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Mr DeBakey wrote:

Can the Oilers find a physical, 4th-line LW to play for less than $2 million?

yes his name was curtis glencross for 1.3mm per year - touted as a fourth liner - but gives you 3rd line or higher performance with respect to relative earned icetime...... lowe was too cheap with his nickels while throwing dollars at horcoff ???? amazingly overpaid same for penner, nilsson, pisani - same old rant - lowe loves to handcuff opportunity via the cap - but if he was at $45mm - we would be complaining that he was cheap so it is perplexing - just not the right deals, the money is not going to the right players

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#24 deep oil
January 23 2009, 03:06PM
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Grumpy Owl wrote:

Given the NHLPA is calling in 25% of the rest of the year’s salaries as a hedge against the NHL not making enough money this year, it seems to me any thoughts of the Cap being anywhere near what it was this year, is a pipe dream. I doubt the cut will be anywhere near 25% but a 10 or 15% self imposed cut (even if the league presists in it’s dream world) would be prudent for any GM worth the title. I expect the players being free agents would rather take 10% less on their new deals and actually be able to keep it would be the way they would go. I mean, if your 10 Million dollars suddenly turns into 7.5 million what’s the point?

this should be looked at as woulda shoulda coulda ....right hossa, not many teams even the oil are going to offer a 7 year deal this summer - pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered..... right Jason ...you are from the farm

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#25 Ducey
January 23 2009, 03:13PM
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If I am GM I trade Visnovsky and keep Grebs. The Oilers are strong in the puck moving defenceman area. Trade from a strength and when a player is playing well for once!

I trade Staios and keep Smid and bring up Peckham. This adds some toughness and size.

You wind up with Souray, Gilbert, Grebs, Smid, Peckham. The sixth guy could be a FA stay at home type or a young up and comer yielded in a trade. Strudwick or some other vet would be #7.

I would also deal with the Smurf surplus up front and deal Nilsson and Schremp.

Out 5.6 + 2.4 + 2.0 = 10 million

I then 1)pay $7 - 8 million to one FA center superstar to play with Penner and Hemmer or 2)keep Cole and bring in a 2nd line forward with some size, hands, and toughness.

If I go the Cole/toughness route, I then deal Moreau and free up another $2.0

I like the goalie solution as you have suggested.

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#26 deep oil
January 23 2009, 03:18PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Here’s a simple salary cap relief solution: 1) Trade Moreau 2) Trade Staios 3) Trade Nilsson Voila! 6.75 million in cap space, and nobody playing a really important role on the team needs to leave.

i believe option one is the heart of the team, while option two and three are non factors - how about not signing horcoff, pisani, and penner - most of us missed the cap hit affect with penner and were basking in the lowe - burke feud - shame on us - this was an unneccasary inflationary exercise in UFA expenditure as Penner was not needed - he was wanted - that is a big difference

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#27 deep oil
January 23 2009, 03:21PM
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Dropping Deuces wrote:

Would it be possible to find someone who will take horcoff’s contract off our hands. I like Horcoff and everything but 5.5 cap hit over 6 years is whacked. Eventually Ganer and Cogs need to be the 1st and 2nd line centres and it shouldn’t take 6 years but who in their right mind would pick that contact up.

yes - ottawa - we would have to take fischer back and another player - how about heatley for horcoff and nilsson PLEASE..... are you questioning lowe's contract decisions shame on you - resistance is futile - get over it - we are stuck with this overpaid debacle called HORK

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#28 deep oil
January 23 2009, 03:23PM
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RobinB wrote:

Mr DeBakey wrote: Can the Oilers find a physical, 4th-line LW to play for less than $2 million? I’d suggest Aaron Voros. He’s big, he’s physical and he’s got some offensive talent. I don’t know if he fits with the Rangers. He’s signed through the 2010-11 season at $1 million per year. Has enough game to see spot duty on the third line.

another ghost form our past MIKE GRIER as a fourth liner who can shake things up.... but not my choice

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#29 Darcy
January 23 2009, 03:36PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Here’s a simple salary cap relief solution: 1) Trade Moreau 2) Trade Staios 3) Trade Nilsson Voila! 6.75 million in cap space, and nobody playing a really important role on the team needs to leave.

Pretty much.

Does Loweballi have the balls to move 1 & 2??

Do they care about the optics of trading a "heart & soul" / "blood & guts" player?

Peckham is ready to replace Staios (probably without a discernable loss of performance, the Washington game notwithstanding)

Moreau has been an easy whipping boy for most of the year, but he still has the 2nd best GF/60 5v5 among forwards, behind Hemsky. He's a little pricey, but I think everyone has really gone overboard against him. Myself included.

Staios and Nilsson can go tomorrow and the team wouldn't miss a beat.

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#30 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 03:37PM
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deep oil wrote:

i believe option one is the heart of the team, while option two and three are non factors - how about not signing horcoff, pisani, and penner - most of us missed the cap hit affect with penner and were basking in the lowe - burke feud - shame on us - this was an unneccasary inflationary exercise in UFA expenditure as Penner was not needed - he was wanted - that is a big difference

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

Here's the thing with the three players you mention - who replaces them if they're dealt? This team desperately needs another veteran centre behind Horcoff, and it seems they've decided to grow their own. Fair enough, but somebody needs to be an everyman while the kids grow into their roles, and Horcoff fits it nicely. If Penner's moved, this team gets even weaker at LW - Nilsson, Moreau, Pouliot, MacIntyre is scary, but for the wrong reasons.

This team was and is weak at LW - Penner wasn't the route I would have taken (although it beat the hell out of Bertuzzi for the same money) but the only way he gets sent out is if an upgrade comes in at the same time.

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#31 RobinB
January 23 2009, 03:39PM
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@ deep oil: Rosy is 34 now. Why would you even bring up the name when you could get younger, cheaper players like Voros or Zenon Konopka? Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ RobinB: It may very well be time to find out, but is it worth risking the playoff chances of this team to do so? I wouldn’t.

There is caution and due diligence and then there is being paralyzed by what might go wrong. Would the Oilers be risking their playoff chances if Deslauriers was a complete flop and Roloson turned into the Colorado version of Tommy Salo at the same time? Yes.

Would the Oilers be in great shape if Deslauriers dazzled with the the opportunity and Roloson acted as a competent overseer? Yes. You asked and I answered -- I see nothing that leads me to believe Deslauriers can't handle at least half the workload next season. And, as I said in a reply to Gregor in these comments, the only caveat is I keep and eye on Roloson the rest of this season to make sure he doesn't go all Tommy on us.

Caution is fine, but you can't walk through life, hockey or otherwise, staring at your shoes and being scared to cross the street because somebody MIGHT hit you. Look both ways and step of the curb.

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#32 Bruthah
January 23 2009, 03:44PM
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If the team wants to 'try JDD out', why not put him in the pressure situation of having a playoff spot. Do they want to pander to him and give him 'easy' games or treat him like an adult, a real nhl player and give him the workload.

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#33 Dropping Deuces
January 23 2009, 03:48PM
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I would not trade Moreau, you lose to much heart. Someone has to teach the kids to bleed oilers colors.

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#34 Bruthah
January 23 2009, 03:54PM
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Dropping Deuces wrote:

I would not trade Moreau, you lose to much heart. Someone has to teach the kids to bleed oilers colors.

Souray is showing lots of people how to bleed lately. :D

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#35 RobinB
January 23 2009, 03:54PM
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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?

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#36 sitting_at_my_desk
January 23 2009, 03:56PM
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Roloson and JDD will be a good combo Roli is 40, but the first half f his carrer he was a back up.His body should be like a 30 year goaltender iwould like to see Backstrom here, but way too risky hey Robin ; i really liketh eidea of voros coming here hes strong and can play....

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#37 Klima85
January 23 2009, 03:56PM
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You can look the NHL and there are plenty of starting goalies that were drafted around the same place as JDD, or lower, that no one knew how good they could be untill they got in. Lunquist, Miller, Ellis, Bryzgalov, Huet... maybe Huet's not much of a starter. But the point is how can you write a guy off without giving him a chance. To bring in another goalie next season along with Roli (should they re-sign him) would be an admission of failure. Why draft, then develop, the sign to a pro contract a guy you dont think is good enough to even back up at the NHL level

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#38 Chris
January 23 2009, 04:01PM
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Deslaurier had better get some playing time soon. Deslaurier has already cost this organization a first round draft pick, countless development hours, and the services of Garon. At this price we need to know what we have. I hope MacT doesn't wait until Roli slumps before giving Deslaurier a good look. It's best to keep the pressure off the youngster and the rest of the team.

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#39 Chris
January 23 2009, 04:03PM
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Sorry. I ment to say 2nd round pick.

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#40 Malc
January 23 2009, 04:09PM
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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.

Between Cole and Grebs, Cole has to be re-signed. There is no one on this team who can play his style and bring what he brings to the team. Grebs has come a loooong way, don't get me wrong, but still...

Other players that need to be weeded out include Nilsson and Staios. Maybe a package deal could be worked out to bring in a guy like N. Schultz. It would be nice to see Pisani healthy again before assessing him - he does bring a lot to the PK.

Any speculation on the goalies should wait until we can see what JDD can do for the rest of the season. Then again, why have we still not seen him play? It's mind-boggling. I was one of those people who wanted to see Garon play a lot more. There were a lot of games there where he was hung out to dry by the team. I guess the difference was, when the team did the same to Roli, he stole a win.

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#41 Sean
January 23 2009, 04:10PM
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I've been hard on Moreau but I'm not so sure he's the guy to be looking at trading first. This team lacks jam and could use more ... cheaper is better but Moreau for picks is a step back and this team finally made a step forward in the last 10 games.

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#42 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 04:10PM
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@ RobinB:

There's paralysis, and then there's prudence.

Signing or trading for a starter (Backstrom, Thomas, Lehtonen, whoever) and placing JDD in a backup role would be fine.

Trading Deslaurier and signing a 1A/1B guy (Legace, Labarbera, Gerber, whoever) to tandem with Roloson in the hopes that the two of them can provide effective goaltending would be fine.

Setting a team's playoff hopes on a tandem consisting of a prospect with middling AHL numbers and a 40-year old 1A/1B goaltender isn't prudent.

We aren't talking a blank slate here; Deslauriers has played nearly 150 games in the AHL, and he hasn't wiped the floor with the league - in his best year, he posted a .912 SV%. Mike Leighton had a .931 SV%, and this year he's an NHL backup posting an .897 average. Dany Sabourin was a .922 SV% AHL goaltender three seasons ago; he's an average or sub-average NHL backup. Even Craig Anderson, who has been outstanding in Florida, had four seasons of AHL numbers superior to Deslauriers and two bad NHL campaigns before posting decent numbers in Florida.

Based on what Deslauriers has done over full seasons in the past, there is no reason to believe he's ready for anything other than a try-out as a backup goaltender.

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#43 deep oil
January 23 2009, 04:10PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

deep oil wrote: i believe option one is the heart of the team, while option two and three are non factors - how about not signing horcoff, pisani, and penner - most of us missed the cap hit affect with penner and were basking in the lowe - burke feud - shame on us - this was an unneccasary inflationary exercise in UFA expenditure as Penner was not needed - he was wanted - that is a big difference I don’t care if Moreau is the heart of the team or not; he’s well overpaid, and replaceable for less money. Here’s the thing with the three players you mention - who replaces them if they’re dealt? This team desperately needs another veteran centre behind Horcoff, and it seems they’ve decided to grow their own. Fair enough, but somebody needs to be an everyman while the kids grow into their roles, and Horcoff fits it nicely. If Penner’s moved, this team gets even weaker at LW - Nilsson, Moreau, Pouliot, MacIntyre is scary, but for the wrong reasons. This team was and is weak at LW - Penner wasn’t the route I would have taken (although it beat the hell out of Bertuzzi for the same money) but the only way he gets sent out is if an upgrade comes in at the same time.

JW - the train has left - but who would you rather have - glencross or penner - enough said and 3 million to the cap - and lowe had control of both - glencross is another shane doan mistake - really

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#44 Ender the Dragon
January 23 2009, 04:13PM
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Dropping Deuces wrote: I would not trade Moreau, you lose to much heart. Someone has to teach the kids to bleed oilers colors. RobinB wrote: First, what does that mean, exactly? Second, how does bleeding Oilers colors translate to performance on the ice?

Someone in that locker room took charge a half-dozen games ago, called a team meeting, and has fashioned a nice win-streak as a result. If that someone was El Capitane', then I hope there's someone else capable of picking up that role when you trade Moreau away. If it wasn't Moreau that organized that rally, then he's already overstayed his welcome and give the 'C' to whoever did.

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#45 RobinB
January 23 2009, 04:28PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: If you've already drawn your own conclusions, which you have, why ask me what I think and then simply repeat what you've already said as a counterpoint?

Jon: Do you like Deslauriers? Robin: Yes I do. Jon: I don't.

FFS man, like I said: asked and answered.

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#46 Tim S
January 23 2009, 04:45PM
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My fear if you give MacT Roloson to play next year then JDD won't get his chance. It took MacT forever to go to Garon last season and he was quick to hand him the job this year. If possible I think you need to take away that option and bring in someone new. Having said that, a couple of rounds in the playoffs would change my mind.

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#47 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 23 2009, 04:59PM
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@ deep oil:

The excited state decays by vibrational relaxation into the first excited singlet state-Yes, yes and merrily we go. Reduce atmospheric nitrogen by 0.03%-It is not much consolation that society will pick up the bits, leaving us at eight modern where punishment, rather than interdiction, is paramount. Please, cut the fuse.

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#48 Ender the Dragon
January 23 2009, 05:02PM
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@ Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer:

Nicely stated.

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#49 Dennis
January 23 2009, 05:03PM
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It would be going against the odds to have trust in JDD. I know you don't want to drop a former first round pick but do you hang onto him just because he WAS one? 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.

Plus, I understand taking chances walking across the street but if there was an intersection that you knew was dangerous and you could avoid it, wouldn't you? Now, consider that dangerous intersection to be trusting a guy who doesn't have the pedigree to inspire trust and there you go.

Gregor: nice work breaking down the contracts. That's the kind of things you won't see from the dailies and here's a guy with the access who's delving into the numbers and when the two are combined, that's when you have the best discussion.

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?

Moreau: consistently outchanced; that paints his EV scoring totals as an outlier.

Nilsson: inconsistent.

Staios: nothing more than a third pairing D at this point and being paid too much for that role. Yes, I'd move both 24-44 if I could get a Sauer type to slip into the top four. Then we pay 37 and next year we have 5 plus Peckham in the bottom pairing. They're probably only playing ~ 11 min at EV a night anyway, especially at home.

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#50 Jonathan Willis
January 23 2009, 05:08PM
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RobinB wrote:

If you’ve already drawn your own conclusions, which you have, why ask me what I think and then simply repeat what you’ve already said as a counterpoint?

I was hoping you'd toss out something that would change my mind.

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