In Tambellini's Boots

Jonathan Willis
December 01 2009 07:27AM

Yesterday, Robin Brownlee mentioned briefly the moves he’d be working on in the G.M.’s boots (pictured above). The following is my list.  If I've had one rule in making up my list, it's this one: don't sell low.

Forwards

There are four forwards on the team who can be relied upon to keep their heads above water against almost anybody. They are Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Dustin Penner, and Sam Gagner. Those four will constitute the core of next season’s forward corps, and will be retained.

There are too many small, one-dimensional forwards in this group. Pick two of Cogliano, O'Sullivan, Nilsson, Comrie and Eberle who will be on the team next year. Given the relative trade values, at this point I'd lean towards keeping Comrie and O'Sullivan and sticking Eberle in the AHL, but there’s still plenty of time to make a decision, and the rest of the season should focus on which of these players to keep and which to move. For now though, I’d move out Nilsson and Cogliano.

This team has too many players who bring a physical edge but not much else; in reality there aren’t that many spots for these sort of players on a winning team (as none of the Oilers listed here can really handle a regular role checking top players). My list includes Ethan Moreau, J-F Jacques, Zack Stortini and Ryan Stone. Colin McDonald and Ryan O’Marra would also fit into this category, although I imagine both would clear waivers; I’d plan to store them as minor-league depth unless someone expresses interest in either of them or they impress as the season continues. Otherwise, I’d keep Stone and Stortini and move out Moreau and Jacques.

As for Gilbert Brule and Ryan Potulny, I think both can be useful NHL players. Again, part of the season would focus on evaluating Potulny, but I see him as a very good 13th forward for a playoff team. As for Brule, I’d test the market. He’s played very well, and frankly I like him a lot, but I don’t think he’s as good as we’ve seen to date. Right now he has a 20.0% shooting percentage mark; his career average is 8.9%. His on-ice shooting percentage is 11.6%, and his linemates aren’t that good. I see him as a good third-liner who can score some when called upon, but if he can put up 40+ points (he’s on pace for 58) I think he’ll get a contract as a scorer. There’s nothing wrong with the player; I’m just a fan of selling high and I think he’s as hot as he’ll be for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, I continue to believe Marc Pouliot can get the job done on the fourth line, perhaps between Stone and Stortini. He’ll have to use the stretch run to prove he deserves a spot in the lineup over Potulny; if not he’s a cheap reserve forward. Lastly, if Fernando Pisani shows signs he can come back from his latest bout of colitis, I’d pencil him in as a reserve forward.

Despite the high volume of moves I’m suggesting (five), that would leave only three spots available up front, assuming that all of the prospects/AHL’ers (O’Marra, McDonald, Eberle, Paajarvi-Svensson, Omark, etc.) fail to make the jump to the big leagues. As G.M., I’d be having my professional scouts look at defensive specialists from this summer’s free agent class. I’d also suggest that bubble players on other teams who might be cheaply available be brought over for a test run towards the latter half of this season. If at all possible, I’d also try to swing a trade to bring in a genuine third liner or two. 

Defencemen and Goaltenders

On the defensive side of things, I’d entertain bids for Lubomir Visnovsky and Sheldon Souray, but only move them if the return was particularly compelling. Lubomir Visnovsky is the team’s best defenceman and a vital part of the team; his injury last year hurt the Oilers a lot. Meanwhile, Sheldon Souray brings a unique presence to the team and when healthy has been invaluable. While I can’t help but think that age and injuries could catch up to either of these players, winning in the near future will depend greatly on them, and they can only be moved if the return justifies it. It’s also important to remember that either of these defencemen can block a trade.

Assuming that both of those players are kept, the Oilers still have too much money invested in their defence, so one of Tom Gilbert or Denis Grebeshkov should be moved if the first two are kept. Gilbert is signed to a long-term contract, and his value has never been lower than it is right now. Grebeshkov is a pending free agent. I don’t believe teams should move players for pennies on the dollar, so that rules out trading Gilbert, meaning that Grebeshkov should be moved. If Grebeshkov is willing to sign a three-year (or thereabouts) deal for reasonable money ($3.25 million per year or thereabouts) I’d consider keeping him, but otherwise I’d try and move him at the deadline.

Steve Staios costs too much money for a third-pairing defenceman, and should be moved. Ladislav Smid is still signed to reasonable dollars and should be kept. Jason Strudwick doesn’t bring anything irreplaceable; if someone were interested I’d move him, otherwise he could be allowed to leave as a free agent.

That leaves three spots on the back end to be filled, and all should go to cheap and dependable types. I one of Taylor Chorney or Theo Peckham steps up in a big way down the stretch, one of them could take an NHL job next year (not both, because if both do that leaves the team without enough depth), which would leave only two spots to fill. Physical and defensively reliable are what we’re looking for here.

In net, I’d move Khabibulin if a trade presented itself. I know Tambellini won’t because he just signed him, but he’s locked up for too long given his age and injury track record. Some would argue I’m creating an unnecessary hole, but the fact is that Khabibulin has missed almost 20 games per season every season for the past four years, and I’m not comfortable with a part-time starter. I’d also make a decision on JDD and Dubnyk. I'd be leaning towards keeping Dubnyk, but use Khabibulin's absence to add to the data. I know that's too short a span, but the Oilers must make a decision this summer and they might as well decide now. Trade the lesser of the two. 

Transactions

  • Move two of Cogliano, Comrie, Nilsson and O’Sullivan – probably Cogliano and Nilsson.
  • Move one of Jacques, Stone and Stortini – probably Jacques.
  • Move Moreau.
  • Move Brule, depending on return.
  • Move one of Visnovsky, Souray, Gilbert and Grebeshkov – probably Grebeshkov.
  • Move Staios.
  • Move Khabibulin, depending on return.
  • Move one of Deslauriers or Dubnyk – probably Deslauriers.
  • Aim to acquire two or three two-way forwards.
  • Aim to acquire a pair of solid defenceman, at least one of whom can play a shutdown role.
  • If necessary, take a goaltender back in exchange for Khabibulin, but preferably not. Acquire as many draft picks as possible.
  • Sign whatever of the above haven’t been added via trade when free agency starts.
  • Sign a starting goaltender to replace Khabibulin; by my count there are 11 possible starters hitting the market, not one of whom is older than 34.  As with last year, there are more goaltenders than there are teams.

I know this looks like a lot, but I’ve got the rest of this season and all next summer to make these moves, and that’s the list I’d be working from.  The important thing now is to use the time left to get firm reads on which players in each of the above groups to keep.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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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#53 David S
December 01 2009, 11:16AM
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Bob Cob wrote:

I thought you were out to lunch on most things Willis but when I read that you would keep Marc Pouliot, yes the very same Marc "I played with Sidney Crosby so thats got to be worth something" Pouliot, over Brule, I almost fell of my chair. I mean, C'MON MAN. Pouliot brings nothing to the table, doesn't hit, doesn't score, doesn't defend well at least Brule creates energy if nothing else. We have been lamenting for a while over losing Glencross, well Brule is a small faster version of him in my estimation and should be a mainstay on the 3rd line for a while.

Well I think Jonathan has a pretty decent grasp of the game. But I agree that there's this love for Pouliot that's beyond my comprehension. If we're talking about fringe NHL'ers, I'd take Brule over him any day as he's carved out a niche. At least you know what you're going to get from Brule, but what the heck is Pouliot bringing?

However, I'd really rather see both of these guys gone for an NHL'er with a couple of hundred games in his back pocket. This endless procession of development players is what's really killing this team.

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#54 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 11:16AM
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Why would you move Brule? Clearly, he's passed Cogliano on the depth chart and joined Gagner as young, untouchable building blocks.

Lines for the next 15-20 games...

Penner-Gagner-Brule

O'Sullivan-Horcoff-Cogliano

Jacques-Potulny-Comrie

Stone-O'Marra-Stortini

Give Cogliano a look in the top 6 for 15-20 games and then move him unless he looks like a legitimate top 4 winger.

Who's better suited as a center, and who's better suited on the wing between Gagner & Brule? Sam had his biggest successes as a RW, did he not? I wonder if he's better suited as a 2nd line RW behind Hemsky in the long run, with Brule as a C.

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#55 dragon
December 01 2009, 11:21AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Bob Cob:

I thought you were out to lunch on most things Willis but when I read that you would keep Marc Pouliot, yes the very same Marc "I played with Sidney Crosby so thats got to be worth something" Pouliot, over Brule, I almost fell of my chair. I mean, C'MON MAN. Pouliot brings nothing to the table, doesn't hit, doesn't score, doesn't defend well at least Brule creates energy if nothing else.

What does Pouliot bring back in a trade? A 7th round pick, maybe?

What does Brule bring back in a trade? I seriously think his value could be a mid-first round pick; I don't know that, but I'd bet there are GM's out there who would rate him that highly.

Return matters here as well; Pouliot doesn't bring much and he's actually a cheap, above average 4th liner who won't earn dollars next year, whereas Brule's a developing 2nd/3rd liner who will earn dollars - particularly given the minutes he's likely to get the rest of the way.

Obviously Brule's the better player. But you don't sell low.

Seriously Wills, what do you see Pouliot's 4th line being capable of doing: no energy, no forechecking, no shot-down, no scoring?

What do you think he brings to a 4th line that makes him above-average 4th liner?

And talking about opportunity cost: are you willing to take away th chance of a young or new guy to show what he had in order to keep MP there?

Sorry, I'm missing the upside to this.

With Brule, at least you might get surprised, there's a remote chance he develops well. With MP, you have a certainty there's nothing there.

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#56 misfit
December 01 2009, 11:21AM
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This post is a lot closer to what I would do as GM for the season than Brownlee's post yesterday.

Moreau and Staios - At the deadline, guys like Staios usually draw a lot of interest, and I don't think the extra year on his deal will hurt things much at that time. Moreau should be moved as well, but unlike Staios, I think the extra year at $2M (cap hit) could scare some teams off. I think we may be stuck with him until next year's deadline at the earliest.

I'd keep O'Sullivan as well. He's got a lot of Radek Dvorak in him in that he'll probably never produce the kind of offense people expect of him, but he does a lot of things well, and you can put him just about anywhere in the lineup without worry. For a team with as many one-dimentional players as we have, it's nice to have a guy who can do a few different things.

I'd also move Brule. He's setting himself up very well for some Nilsson-like backlash from fans next year after a healthy raise on his contract and an almost definite drop in production. I don't see him toning down his physical play, so that might earn him a smaller pair of goat horns (though it didn't seem to help Torres much). His value around the league likely isn't going to get better in the future.

Cogliano I like a lot, and I think he's the most likely candidate to come back to haunt us if he's traded, but the more I try to put a roster together, the harder time I have findind a spot for him. I think you keep him, but if someone offers something you can't say no to, then you take it (which is basically true for anyone).

Gilbert/Grebeshkov - I really don't see any reason why we can't keep them both. If we can replace Staios with a much cheaper vet for the 3rd pair (ditto for Moreau), and lose Nilsson's $2M, with Pisani's $2.5M off the books next year, new contracts should be simple enough to fit in for Gagner and Grebeshkov (and Cogliano if he's still here). That said, if Smid can build on this year's strong play, then one of them will be on the bottom pair, which makes them a little pricey for the role.

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#58 BarryS
December 01 2009, 11:27AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Only a couple small quibbles. By your reasoning with Brule we should trade Penner as well. I think both are increasing value assets and should be shopped with care.

I can't quite fathom this tendency to trade the more known quantity, JDD and keep the unknown quantity, DD. AHL success does not always translate to NHL success, especially in goal tenders. At the moment, the risk of loosing DD is less than JDD, given both will sign for next year since either one would have to go on the playing roster. I think you are overvaluing each of them in terms of league value.

Personally, at the moment I don't see any mrket for trades at all. I can see a couple buy outs at year end, Staios, for example, an outright release or two, Nilsson, but few actual trades baring major injuries to other teams along the way.

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#59 BarryS
December 01 2009, 11:34AM
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@GSC

Please get off the Glencross bandwagon, the guy chose Calgary over Edmonton signing for the same money Edmonton offered. We didn't "loose" him, he ran away.

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#61 David Staples
December 01 2009, 11:42AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Trade Brule now?

What is the rush?

Let's just follow your argument here . . .

If Brule is going to get cold, and he very, very likely will, it will happen this year.

So you won't have to break the bank to sign him if he only puts up 40 points in the end.

If he doesn't get cold, and he puts up 55-60 points, and he demands too much over a long term, then he still has real value, maybe even more value, and you trade him this summer.

But trading him now, just because everything he has looked good and everything he has put on net has turned to gold?

Well, I'm not convinced.

He's young, he's fast, he's tough, he's a hard worker, he's got some skill, he might well be signed for a reasonable amount over a long term.

And he might well be a player you can win with in the long-term.

You really want to deal him away just now?

Trading him now, based on the fact that he's been lucky in recent games and he will regress and just maybe you cash in on his possibly inflated value, well, it strikes me that this is a cae of far too much weight being put on a statistical theory.

Let's see how he does, let's see how much money he wants. Then a decision can be made.

There's no rush here.

Now if Ethan Moreau gets hot and puts up some points, trade him. . . .

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#62 BarryS
December 01 2009, 11:42AM
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@BingBong

At the moment Brule is even on +/-. And don't go trying to lay math and terms like subjective on me. Nearly every game has at least one goal or assist given or taken away on subjective judgement by the official scorer. The point is, teaching defence to a player who is an even player is likely easier than to one who is a high minus.

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#63 Hemmercules
December 01 2009, 11:44AM
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BarryS wrote:

Please get off the Glencross bandwagon, the guy chose Calgary over Edmonton signing for the same money Edmonton offered. We didn't "loose" him, he ran away.

From my understanding we offered him slightly less than Calgary and weren't choosing to sign him until Hossa gave us the nod that he would play here. Always waiting for guys that don't want to be here and casting out the ones that do. Now we have neither.

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#64 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 11:45AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Let me rephrase this. Let's consider 24-game segments, among guys all highly regarded as amateur players:

Brule (age 22, 08-09): 24GP - 8G - 9A - 17PTS, even

Gagner (age 18, 07-08): 24GP - 8G - 18A - 26PTS, -6

Nilsson (age 23, 08-09): 24GP - 4G - 15A - 19PTS, +8

Cogliano (age 20, 07-08): 24GP - 9G - 11A - 20PTS, +6

I took a lot of crap from people who told me the "Kid Line" was coming into their own, Gagner should be first line centre, blah, blah, blah, blah. The fact was those last three examples were getting outshot, but their on-ice and personal percentages were high.

So don't tell me that based on 24 games, Brule's untouchable. I see a lot of people telling me the Oilers need to avoid making the same mistakes (i.e. don't trade another useful physical player). I agree with the principle - don't put faith in a guy who has pretty percentages and lousy shot rates. Last time they did it, it messed the team up in a big way going forward.

I agree he shouldn't be untouchable. However I don't think I'd trade him for maybes.

If he could be part of a package for Volchenkov or Horton, then sure.

But to flip him for more maybes?

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#65 Crash
December 01 2009, 11:45AM
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My 2 cents...1st off I agree with Gregor and most others about keeping Brule. So if I was GM I would:

Move Staios and Moreau if I can at this years trade deadline or sooner likely with small returns such as later round picks or someone else's pending UFA's who I don't have to resign.

The June draft would net me Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin as the Oil are finishing bottom 2 probably just ahead of Carolina. Then I make my move for Cam Barker or Brent Seabrooke, whichever one Chicago needs to unload so they can finally announce the signings of Kane, Toews and Keith. Chicago won't want a lot of salary in the deal so I offer up Cogliano and a 2nd rounder. I include Grebeshkov if I have to. I then use Tom Gilbert as trade bait to try to land someone like Drew Stafford. It doesn't have to be Stafford, just someone like him but I'll use Stafford in this example ..then on July 1 if I can't sign Kovalchuk or Marleau as a UFA which I probably can't then I go fishing for some cheaper FA's to fill my holes and needs.

If I managed to trade Staios earlier then I look at signing a serviceable number 6 or 7 d-man such as Dan Hamhuis, Andy Sutton or Wade Belak (for added toughness). I also target both Jordin Tootoo and Colby Armstrong as well as a 4th line center who can win faceoffs such as Manny Malhotra, David Steckel, Ryan Johnson, Matt Cullen, John Madden...someone anyone who can win some defensive zone faceoffs.

My players to choose from for next year would look like this...

Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, Jordan Eberle, MPS, Stafford, Hemsky, Gagner, Penner, Brule and O'Sullivan as top six possibilities.

You'll notice the absence of Horcoff from the top 6 list..yes, Horcoff is a useful player but this team is going nowhere as long as he is playing in a top 6 role. I use him as a shutdown center on a checking line. So the bottom 6 forwards would have the names Horcoff, Stone, JFJ, Tootoo, C. Armstrong, Moreau (if not already traded), one of Malhotra/Madden/Steckel/Cullen (whoever I manage to sign)

Defense would like something like this: Souray, Vishnovsky, Barker or Seabrooke, Chorney, Smid, Peckham and one of (Hamhuis/Sutton/Belak) if I traded Staios.

You wouldn't be able to move Khabby so I just stick with Khabby and I go with Dubnyk as #2

I haven't done the figuring but I'm thinking in order to get under the salary cap the following would have to be traded, left unsigned or just plain waived. I'm in agreement with the vast majority. Move Pouliot, Nilsson, Pisani and Strudwick out and there may be no room for Stortini if I can sign both Armstrong and Tootoo.

I believe this would give me a balance of scoring, size, toughness, some in your face players who can also skate and play, a good PK and PP and people who can win faceoffs and it's all realistic I figure. I think the goaltending would be ok. I also figure all the players I acquired would be happy to play here.

Thoughts?

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#67 Bob Cob
December 01 2009, 11:46AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Bob Cob:

I thought you were out to lunch on most things Willis but when I read that you would keep Marc Pouliot, yes the very same Marc "I played with Sidney Crosby so thats got to be worth something" Pouliot, over Brule, I almost fell of my chair. I mean, C'MON MAN. Pouliot brings nothing to the table, doesn't hit, doesn't score, doesn't defend well at least Brule creates energy if nothing else.

What does Pouliot bring back in a trade? A 7th round pick, maybe?

What does Brule bring back in a trade? I seriously think his value could be a mid-first round pick; I don't know that, but I'd bet there are GM's out there who would rate him that highly.

Return matters here as well; Pouliot doesn't bring much and he's actually a cheap, above average 4th liner who won't earn dollars next year, whereas Brule's a developing 2nd/3rd liner who will earn dollars - particularly given the minutes he's likely to get the rest of the way.

Obviously Brule's the better player. But you don't sell low.

Right about now, I would take a 7th round pick for Pouliot, one shot in the dark draft pick for another.

Get rid of Pouliot at all costs, like I said he brings nothing and what is the point of filling a roster spot with him just because he is cheap. Brule, and this is just gut feeling, is starting to find his niche, I know he is an RFA, but you don't trade potential. He got off the track in Columbus, I would personally stick with him. If he shows he can play the minutes and produce with Hemsky out then why not sign him but not overpay for him.

I dont think you sell low either, but thats what you'll do if you trade Brule this year.

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#68 BarryS
December 01 2009, 11:49AM
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@Jonathan Willis

If your comparison stats are to have any actual meaning, in my opinion, the ones to compare are all at the same age, other wise you seem to be picking and choosing to make your point. Given none of the others made the league at 18, and Gagner is not yet 23, you may have a problem there. Given there is usually a great difference in physical maturity between 18 and 23, don't see any purpose to these stats as they exist anyway.

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#70 AO
December 01 2009, 11:52AM
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Forget buying low and selling high... The correct strategy, buy high sell higher, sell low buy lower.

Choose who you think is on an upward path and keep them, ditch those that are on the downward path even if the return looks bad. Because in 2 years that return is going to look a lot worse than what you could get today.

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#71 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 11:53AM
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BarryS wrote:

If your comparison stats are to have any actual meaning, in my opinion, the ones to compare are all at the same age, other wise you seem to be picking and choosing to make your point. Given none of the others made the league at 18, and Gagner is not yet 23, you may have a problem there. Given there is usually a great difference in physical maturity between 18 and 23, don't see any purpose to these stats as they exist anyway.

It gives a pretty good picture of how our opinions can be skewed by short term results.

Doesn't matter if a guy is 18 or 28 for that to happen.

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#73 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 11:54AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother:

I don't think we disagree (except perhaps on the value of a mid-first rounder). I'm not saying give him away. I'm saying his value is going to be high this season, probably higher than it should be, and if you can bring in something useful do it.

It's entirely dependant on what kind of value he has. It only takes one GM who really likes him to make it worth doing.

So given the track record of mid range 1st rounders, why would you value them that highly?

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#74 Darren
December 01 2009, 11:54AM
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I don't agree with trading Brule - at all.

His NHL stats include the time he wasn't supposed to be in the NHL at all - when he was too young, not matured yet and not ready to play up in the bigs. His confidence was shot and it was a right-off early on in his career.

Now, thanks to the patience shown by the Oilers' brass, he IS ready. Don't look at his total stats for NHL games played to get an accurate read on what kind of player he is going to be in the NHL...look at what he has done since returning to the NHL now that he is ready.

2005/06 - 2007/08 Columbus Blue Jackets 146 G.P. - 12 G 20 A 32 Points .219 Points per game

2008/09 - 2009/10 Edmonton Oilers 35 G.P. - 10 G 10 A 20 Points .571 Points per game

This is a small player who plays a big game, bigger than his size, to his credit. He needed time physically to be able to play his game at this level.

That's my take on his play, anyway. I can't say how good he is going to be, but I can say he is just now approaching his potential in the NHL, and that is a treat to see on a team that in all likelihood will be difficult to watch for a while.

I don't think we should trade guys like Brule or Penner, guys that are playing hard despite the season we are having. To me that tells me something about those guys. (I know you didn't say you'd trade Penner, just sharing the type of guys I'd hang onto no matter what on this team!)

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#75 BarryS
December 01 2009, 11:56AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ BarryS:

Only a couple small quibbles. By your reasoning with Brule we should trade Penner as well. I think both are increasing value assets and should be shopped with care.

Absolutely on "shopping with care". If the return isn't there for Brule, you don't move him. The difference between the two is that while Penner has favourable percentages too, his NHL track record isn't all that bad; he's a useful powerplay guy, and he's got a pretty consistent record of moving the puck in the right direction.

I can't quite fathom this tendency to trade the more known quantity, JDD and keep the unknown quantity, DD. AHL success does not always translate to NHL success, especially in goal tenders. At the moment, the risk of loosing DD is less than JDD, given both will sign for next year since either one would have to go on the playing roster. I think you are overvaluing each of them in terms of league value.

I agree that neither of these guys is likely to bring in much of a return. That said, I don't know that they would clear waivrs; I could see a team like Dallas jumping on one or the other.

The return's likely to be low, but there's only room for one. I like Dubnyk now, but I'd like to see him get more games before making a firm decision.

Still don't think anyone will claim an AHL goalie to spend the season on the big team. Who we got below Dubnyk to seriously challence for the AHL job at the moment? This comes into the figuring as well. Trading either, always assuming they will resign, of course, and then having to trade for another goalie makes little sense to me.

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#76 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 11:57AM
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@Crash

The decision between Seabrook & Barker is an easy one. The Hawks WON'T move Seabrook. He's damn near an Olympian!

Ummm... mentioning Dan Hamhuis in the same sentence as Andy Sutton & Wade Belak? Hamhuis a 6 or 7?

Like it or not, Horcoff IS a top 6 forward.

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#77 Mr DeBakey
December 01 2009, 11:58AM
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"Trade Brule now? What is the rush?"

JW said "Move Brule, depending on return" ...DEPENDING ON RETURN... He did not advocate letting Brule walk.

He also gave a reason why - high value due to high shooting percentage.

Jayzuzz, you're all proving JW's point, people can't see Brule clearly due to that 20%. Will other GMs feel the same way?

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#78 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 12:00PM
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Does Brule have a lot of value around the league? I mean we got him for Torres, would you trade Brule for Torres? Granted Brule is a bit better, it's only been 20 some games. And yet Torres was an injury prone player when we traded for Brule.

Not sure why we are afraid of losing DD or JDD via waivers, neither guy has proven anything. What would we even get via trade a 4th rounder? I rather just waive one of them and hope that they clear.

As for Pouilot, I still think he or Nilsson will show something with all these injuries.

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#79 BarryS
December 01 2009, 12:03PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ David Staples:

I don't disagree. In an earlier comment I mentioned that he's likely to get minutes this year that he wouldn't get on another team.

My point is that if there's trade value there, I'd move him before next season.

Your trade while the trade is there idea will end your team as the bottom team forever. Teams need a certain stability to form and grow. All this trading will hinder team growth. Ideally a team should turn over no more than one or two players a year to keep growing while remaining basically stable. This is what makes Tambo's job so hard, which two guys should be changed this year, either through trades or promoting a minor leager or draft choice. In my opinion, the chief defect in Mr. Lowes tenure was to many trades, not to many bad contracts.

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#80 BingBong
December 01 2009, 12:04PM
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BarryS wrote:

At the moment Brule is even on +/-. And don't go trying to lay math and terms like subjective on me. Nearly every game has at least one goal or assist given or taken away on subjective judgement by the official scorer. The point is, teaching defence to a player who is an even player is likely easier than to one who is a high minus.

Defense can definately be tought - my worry is that most of our team (defensemen included) don't know how to play defense. Gagner, O'Sullivan, Brule, etc. This team is filled with guys who really don't bring much aside from the potential to score. When they don't score, they're liabilities. Brule finally looks like he can perhaps have an NHL career, but he's far from untouchable IMO. I'd definately trade him for a 1st rounder.

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#81 David Staples
December 01 2009, 12:07PM
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Well, it's a provocative idea anyway, Jonathan.

And I agree, if Brule has a great season, but the Oilers GM isn't sure if he can sustain that kind of production and Brule gets crazy in his contract demands, then trade him. . . . .

He is still weak on defence and even if he puts up 60 points, that doesn't mean he's the new Marc Savard.

The Oilers should be careful about rewarding him with a long term deal, even if does manage to sustain a good scoring pace. . .

If that's your point, and it seems to be, you're damn right . . . . We need only look at Robert Nilsson to see the folly of rewarding a player who has had a hot streak. . . .

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#82 Hemmercules
December 01 2009, 12:08PM
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BarryS wrote:

Still don't think anyone will claim an AHL goalie to spend the season on the big team. Who we got below Dubnyk to seriously challence for the AHL job at the moment? This comes into the figuring as well. Trading either, always assuming they will resign, of course, and then having to trade for another goalie makes little sense to me.

If one were claimed they would be a backup for sure, no one is saying a team will grab them off waivers to be their starter, thats just rediculous. And JW's plan isn't to trade one of them and make another trade for another goalie. It's lose either JDD, DD or Bulin and sign a feee agent goalie. In my eyes JDD and DD arent the future of this team, and Bulin obviously can't handle the work load.

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#83 Jay
December 01 2009, 12:09PM
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Willis, you know what your problem is? Your arguments make too much sense! :)

Good thoughts all around, I agree with you entirely as usual.

cheers!

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#84 BarryS
December 01 2009, 12:10PM
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BingBong wrote:

Defense can definately be tought - my worry is that most of our team (defensemen included) don't know how to play defense. Gagner, O'Sullivan, Brule, etc. This team is filled with guys who really don't bring much aside from the potential to score. When they don't score, they're liabilities. Brule finally looks like he can perhaps have an NHL career, but he's far from untouchable IMO. I'd definately trade him for a 1st rounder.

IMO there are other moves to be made before trading Brule. I doubt you will get a first rounder now Burkie has given away his next two.

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#85 Crash
December 01 2009, 12:13PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

The decision between Seabrook & Barker is an easy one. The Hawks WON'T move Seabrook. He's damn near an Olympian!

Ummm... mentioning Dan Hamhuis in the same sentence as Andy Sutton & Wade Belak? Hamhuis a 6 or 7?

Like it or not, Horcoff IS a top 6 forward.

Yes more than likely it will be Barker but keep in mind Barker is signed for another 2 yrs at around 3.1 mil whereas Seabrook is an RFA after next season and if he's the Olymipian you say he is then he's up for a big raise that CHI might not be able to afford unless they have a 5 mil plus player they'd be willing to move to make room.

When I mentioned 6 or 7 I wasn't referring to depth chart I was referring to the number of d-men.

And NO Horcoff isn't a top 6 forward he's just being used as one...and as soon as it is realized here that he isn't one the better it will be.

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#86 BarryS
December 01 2009, 12:16PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

If one were claimed they would be a backup for sure, no one is saying a team will grab them off waivers to be their starter, thats just rediculous. And JW's plan isn't to trade one of them and make another trade for another goalie. It's lose either JDD, DD or Bulin and sign a feee agent goalie. In my eyes JDD and DD arent the future of this team, and Bulin obviously can't handle the work load.

You don't think there's a reason free agent goalies are free agent goalies? Teams don't give away players who don't have some sort of defect they can't live with any more, or in Khabbi's case, signed the wrong goalie to a big contract. Such things are rare, even though I think we paid to much for Khabbi, it is still likely the only reason we signed him.

And you base your opinion of JDD and DD on what, the fact Willis doesn't like them?

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#87 David Staples
December 01 2009, 12:19PM
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Of course, Mr. DeBakey, ALL trades are dependent on the return, so it's not exactly a helpful comment or caveat when talking about any deal . . . . It's assumed that this is part of the equation.

I'm not so sure you will get some great, sure thing player for him now, just because he's on a hot streak.

Give Brule some time. He may be a good player and he may not want too much money; he might take a discount because this is where he got his chance and this is where he is thriving.

There is no rush.

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#88 BarryS
December 01 2009, 12:20PM
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Jay wrote:

Willis, you know what your problem is? Your arguments make too much sense! :)

Good thoughts all around, I agree with you entirely as usual.

cheers!

They only make sense if you buy the underlying assumptions which seem to be trade for trades sake, and someone will take the players we offer and willingly give us something better in return. The first is the road to ruin, the second goes against the history of the NHL, teams do not willingly give up better assets than they get.

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#89 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 12:22PM
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@BingBong

Well O'Sullivan half ass knows how to play defense so I won't put him there. But if you look at Gagner, Brule, Cogliano and others like them why would it be expected that they can play defense so early in their career? Remember Quinn talking about how young guys still think they're in junior and don't have to play defense? Well that is what we have, guys still playing like they're in juniors.

You know if all our young players learnt was where to be and just stood there we would be a better team, but instead we have guys skating around thinking they know where to be but in reality they aren't.

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#90 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 12:26PM
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@David Staples

"Of course, Mr. DeBakey, ALL trades are dependent on the return, so it's not exactly a helpful comment or caveat when talking about any deal . . . . It's assumed that this is part of the equation."

I don't know, the general theme here from the peanut gallery seems to be

"trade the bad players, keep the good players!!"

With basically zero consideration for the return.

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#91 BarryS
December 01 2009, 12:28PM
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Crash wrote:

Yes more than likely it will be Barker but keep in mind Barker is signed for another 2 yrs at around 3.1 mil whereas Seabrook is an RFA after next season and if he's the Olymipian you say he is then he's up for a big raise that CHI might not be able to afford unless they have a 5 mil plus player they'd be willing to move to make room.

When I mentioned 6 or 7 I wasn't referring to depth chart I was referring to the number of d-men.

And NO Horcoff isn't a top 6 forward he's just being used as one...and as soon as it is realized here that he isn't one the better it will be.

Horcoff is a top 6 forward because he plays top 6 forward. That's what top 6 forwards are, players who play top 6. Are their other players in the league who can play top 6, quite likely, but they aren't so they're not top 6 forwards and can't be claimed to be. There are only 180 spots and they don't have one of them.

Sorry, players aren't born with future top 6 forward stamped on their butts. Is he the best top 6 forward in the league, not likely, but he is one of the 180 top six forwards in this league, on this team and likely several others. When someone finally beats him out of the top six, then he will no longer be a top six forward.

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#92 Hemmercules
December 01 2009, 12:30PM
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BarryS wrote:

You don't think there's a reason free agent goalies are free agent goalies? Teams don't give away players who don't have some sort of defect they can't live with any more, or in Khabbi's case, signed the wrong goalie to a big contract. Such things are rare, even though I think we paid to much for Khabbi, it is still likely the only reason we signed him.

And you base your opinion of JDD and DD on what, the fact Willis doesn't like them?

The only reason we signed Khabbi is because he costed too much??? Wow, the oil must really like overpaying guys. There were other options and the oil chose an aging/injured old man for too much money at too long of a term. And signing the wrong guy to a big contract isn't that rare, the oilers and other teams do it every year.

I find it hard to believe we couldn't land a goalie thats better than JDD and DD. What have they ever done to make anyone believe they can be NHL starters??? Not that either of them has played many NHL games but they aren't exactly blazin into the league with their talents.

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#93 Crash
December 01 2009, 12:35PM
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BarryS wrote:

Horcoff is a top 6 forward because he plays top 6 forward. That's what top 6 forwards are, players who play top 6. Are their other players in the league who can play top 6, quite likely, but they aren't so they're not top 6 forwards and can't be claimed to be. There are only 180 spots and they don't have one of them.

Sorry, players aren't born with future top 6 forward stamped on their butts. Is he the best top 6 forward in the league, not likely, but he is one of the 180 top six forwards in this league, on this team and likely several others. When someone finally beats him out of the top six, then he will no longer be a top six forward.

In my opinion he is not a top 6 forward on this team let alone the rest of the league yet he could play a key role as a shutdown centerman....does what you say mean that last year Reddox was a top 6 because he was playing top 6. Just because a player is being used as a top 6 doesn't make him a top 6...at the begining of the year JFJ was on the top line, does that make him a top six...what is your logic here?

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#94 BarryS
December 01 2009, 12:35PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

The only reason we signed Khabbi is because he costed too much??? Wow, the oil must really like overpaying guys. There were other options and the oil chose an aging/injured old man for too much money at too long of a term. And signing the wrong guy to a big contract isn't that rare, the oilers and other teams do it every year.

I find it hard to believe we couldn't land a goalie thats better than JDD and DD. What have they ever done to make anyone believe they can be NHL starters??? Not that either of them has played many NHL games but they aren't exactly blazin into the league with their talents.

What you or I believe is beside the point, and the point is free agent goalies are free agent goalies for a reason, and long term ability to be a starter is not one of them. Lots of ex-free agent goalies are off to good starts this year, but none have proved yet they have overcome whatever "defect" caused them to be turned loose. That is not to say they won't prove it, it's just they are no better be than JDD and DD, long term.

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#96 Hemmercules
December 01 2009, 12:42PM
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BarryS wrote:

What you or I believe is beside the point, and the point is free agent goalies are free agent goalies for a reason, and long term ability to be a starter is not one of them. Lots of ex-free agent goalies are off to good starts this year, but none have proved yet they have overcome whatever "defect" caused them to be turned loose. That is not to say they won't prove it, it's just they are no better be than JDD and DD, long term.

Its a cap world man, can't keep everyone. Some teams have goalies they can't afford to keep, some teams have two good goalies and one eventually has to go. There is also alot of decent goalies in the league right now and only so may spots for them.

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#97 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 12:42PM
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@Crash

Difference is Horcoff actually plays top 6 minutes throughout the season ES(1st), PP(5th), and SH(1st) so I'd have to say Quinn and company consider him a top 6.

What do you consider a top 6?

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#98 BarryS
December 01 2009, 12:43PM
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Crash wrote:

In my opinion he is not a top 6 forward on this team let alone the rest of the league yet he could play a key role as a shutdown centerman....does what you say mean that last year Reddox was a top 6 because he was playing top 6. Just because a player is being used as a top 6 doesn't make him a top 6...at the begining of the year JFJ was on the top line, does that make him a top six...what is your logic here?

They were top 6 while they played top 6, but since they not longer do, in the case of Reddox, at least, he is not. While I personally doubt JFJ will return to top 6, he was knocked off by injury, not play.

As for Horcoff, the only true judgement of his worth as top 6 would be if another team traded for him to play top 6. As there are no vacancies top 6 I am aware of at the moment, its not likely to happen.

Horcoff, no matter what we think, is top 6 because nobody on this team can get him off the top 6, nor does anybody on other teams seem to be available at a reasonable price to replace him.

Them's the facts, man, Horcoff is top 6 until someone knocks him permanently out of the top 6.

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#100 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 12:44PM
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@Hemmercules

Just thrwowing it out there but all the teams except Chicago could've afforded the goalies they loss, although Biron was an odd ball situation all together.

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