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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#151 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 02:20PM
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Gotta love the endless Horcoff debate.

Can we not agree that he's a weak 1st liner/strong 2nd liner?

If he finishes this year at his current clip the argument can can change to weak 2nd liner/strong 3rd liner. But it's still way to early.

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#152 BarryS
December 01 2009, 02:21PM
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David S wrote:

This is ludicrous.

Sam is 5th in team scoring right now. Given that he's probably not 100% healthy and is a notorious slow starter, he's still trending to exceed 50 points. At 20.

What in all that's holy up above makes you conclude "he's not worthy of a NHL spot"? Surely you know he'd be claimed by any smart GM 30 seconds after he was placed on waivers, where he'd go on to score 70 points this year with a decent team.

might take a few seconds longer until the fist fight to get to the phone first is won.

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#153 Homie
December 01 2009, 02:22PM
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BarryS wrote:

I agree 40 points + 11 is worth the money, but are this years numbers worth a spot on the team today?

I remember when the great complaint about the NHL was players were paid on their past performance not their current abilities and younger better players got shafted.

It dosen't actually matter to me if Nash makes the team this year, but rather do you pick him on past performance over current performance over a player playing better right now, assuming for this discussion we make the choice today and Nash won't improve his numbers by Olympic picking time which he very well might.

The guy is tied for 7th in goals scoring this year (on pace for 47) and tied for 14th in points. He's only behind two Canadian wingers in goal scoring. Where is the problem with his stats other than +/-?

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#154 Crash
December 01 2009, 02:22PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Last season Penner was 7th among forwards on the team in PP and EV ice time so no he hasn't been getting first line ice time and PP time most of his Oilers career. But you're the numbers guy I figured you would have known that already. John Tavares wasn't an NHLer last year either so would you play Horcoff ahead of him? Brule I believe has shown that he has arrived and now needs the opportunity. You're right, Sam Gagner has yet to hit the 50 point mark but who do you think stands a better chance of being a point per game producer going forward, Gagner or Horcoff? I would hedge a bet that had Gagner played all season last year as the #1 center and had #1 PP duty that he would have had better numbers than Horcoff. Quite often if a player is playing on a team with lots more skill he may not receive the minutes that he might on a weaker team...O'Sullivan is young and developing and is a better option than Horcoff. Comrie was playing behind Spezza, Alfredsson and Heatley in Ott. I wouldn't expect him to get the minutes ahead of those guys.

My guess would be had Horcoff not been given all the minutes as the top line center on the top PP unit for all those years that his numbers wouldn't have avg 64 pts.

One last thing, I'm not talking about past years, I'm talking about now and going forward. I've watched Horcoff give the puck away numerous times unforced, I've watched plays die with him, I've watched him not be able to make offensive decisions quick enough, not be able to make a crisp pass or throw a saucer pass when needed. He never creates any offense with his skill, NEVER....Comrie does, Gagner does, Brule does, Penner does, Hemsky does, O'Sullivan does.

Don't give me this crap about hard work...

Lastly, no I wasn't a believer in Schremp, he did have puck skills but couldn't really skate...that makes it tough

What's wrong with the list I cobbled together?...why do you bring up the past? It's not about the past it's about now....the players I mentioned are one's who are developing and are better each and every year.

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#155 BarryS
December 01 2009, 02:24PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Gotta love the endless Horcoff debate.

Can we not agree that he's a weak 1st liner/strong 2nd liner?

If he finishes this year at his current clip the argument can can change to weak 2nd liner/strong 3rd liner. But it's still way to early.

Can we first discover just how injured Horcoff has actually been these last two years before assigning him to the junk yard. After all, the heros of the NHL play with broken arms, broken legs, broken ribs etc. and Horcoff is of that ilk.

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#156 BarryS
December 01 2009, 02:26PM
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Homie wrote:

The guy is tied for 7th in goals scoring this year (on pace for 47) and tied for 14th in points. He's only behind two Canadian wingers in goal scoring. Where is the problem with his stats other than +/-?

Might one of those two wingers be Penner?

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#157 Dan the Man
December 01 2009, 02:26PM
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BarryS wrote:

I agree 40 points + 11 is worth the money, but are this years numbers worth a spot on the team today?

I remember when the great complaint about the NHL was players were paid on their past performance not their current abilities and younger better players got shafted.

It dosen't actually matter to me if Nash makes the team this year, but rather do you pick him on past performance over current performance over a player playing better right now, assuming for this discussion we make the choice today and Nash won't improve his numbers by Olympic picking time which he very well might.

So based on last years numbers you feel Rick Nash should make the team but NOT based on this years numbers?

Nash is on pace this year for a career year - 47 G 41 A 88 Pts projected over 82 games.

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#159 Crash
December 01 2009, 02:30PM
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BarryS wrote:

Can we first discover just how injured Horcoff has actually been these last two years before assigning him to the junk yard. After all, the heros of the NHL play with broken arms, broken legs, broken ribs etc. and Horcoff is of that ilk.

For the record I don't hate Horcoff and don't feel he should be assigned to the junk pile...I think he makes a very valuable shutdown center and PKer just not a guy for creating offense.

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#160 BarryS
December 01 2009, 02:32PM
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Crash wrote:

For the record I don't hate Horcoff and don't feel he should be assigned to the junk pile...I think he makes a very valuable shutdown center and PKer just not a guy for creating offense.

This wasn't meant as a personal attack at you, rather at the subject of Horcoff in General. If he is doing what he is on one shoulder, then it is a wonder he has any points at all.

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#161 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 02:38PM
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@BarryS

I'm still curious what kind of points is needed by Horcoff to be considered a top 6 forward. Even last year his 53 points was 87th overall which would give him first line production, yet he still considered a checking line center.

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#162 Homie
December 01 2009, 02:40PM
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BarryS wrote:

Might one of those two wingers be Penner?

No. He's tied with Penner, and behind Iginla and Heatley. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that he is ahead of Penner by the end of the week, though.

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#163 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 02:42PM
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Crash wrote:

Last season Penner was 7th among forwards on the team in PP and EV ice time so no he hasn't been getting first line ice time and PP time most of his Oilers career. But you're the numbers guy I figured you would have known that already. John Tavares wasn't an NHLer last year either so would you play Horcoff ahead of him? Brule I believe has shown that he has arrived and now needs the opportunity. You're right, Sam Gagner has yet to hit the 50 point mark but who do you think stands a better chance of being a point per game producer going forward, Gagner or Horcoff? I would hedge a bet that had Gagner played all season last year as the #1 center and had #1 PP duty that he would have had better numbers than Horcoff. Quite often if a player is playing on a team with lots more skill he may not receive the minutes that he might on a weaker team...O'Sullivan is young and developing and is a better option than Horcoff. Comrie was playing behind Spezza, Alfredsson and Heatley in Ott. I wouldn't expect him to get the minutes ahead of those guys.

My guess would be had Horcoff not been given all the minutes as the top line center on the top PP unit for all those years that his numbers wouldn't have avg 64 pts.

One last thing, I'm not talking about past years, I'm talking about now and going forward. I've watched Horcoff give the puck away numerous times unforced, I've watched plays die with him, I've watched him not be able to make offensive decisions quick enough, not be able to make a crisp pass or throw a saucer pass when needed. He never creates any offense with his skill, NEVER....Comrie does, Gagner does, Brule does, Penner does, Hemsky does, O'Sullivan does.

Don't give me this crap about hard work...

Lastly, no I wasn't a believer in Schremp, he did have puck skills but couldn't really skate...that makes it tough

What's wrong with the list I cobbled together?...why do you bring up the past? It's not about the past it's about now....the players I mentioned are one's who are developing and are better each and every year.

I honestly can't believe you are trying to argue with Tavares.

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#164 Rigger
December 01 2009, 02:42PM
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David S wrote:

This is ludicrous.

Sam is 5th in team scoring right now. Given that he's probably not 100% healthy and is a notorious slow starter, he's still trending to exceed 50 points. At 20.

What in all that's holy up above makes you conclude "he's not worthy of a NHL spot"? Surely you know he'd be claimed by any smart GM 30 seconds after he was placed on waivers, where he'd go on to score 70 points this year with a decent team.

Thanks for pointing this out. I don't think Sam is 100% yet. I was at the game last week against Phoenix, and he was constantly flexing that one hip and stretching it out, especially before faceoffs. I saw him do it in the pre-game skate too. I think it's still bugging him a bit, as I think there are a lot of our players not fully healthy.

I really don't get why some people think that he isn't producing very well. Like JW said, for his age, Gagner is showing very good results. I think a lot of people expect far too much in too little time here from these young boys. I've seen far too many times on the Oilers message board board, people ripping on Sam for not generating offense, but giving people like Cogliano or O'Sullivan a pass, when they aren't doing any better. It seems like a lot of pressure for a kid who is not even old enough to order a beer in the States.

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#166 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 02:44PM
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@Jonathan Willis

So Horcoff is a Nazi now? Very interesting.

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#167 BarryS
December 01 2009, 02:45PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I'm still curious what kind of points is needed by Horcoff to be considered a top 6 forward. Even last year his 53 points was 87th overall which would give him first line production, yet he still considered a checking line center.

If we had seven forwards in the top 180 in the league, then Horcoff could be a checking center on a really good Oilers team. We aren't, they don't, as I remember, then he is top 6 because we have nobody else and are not likely to be able to trade for one.

Personally, I think he's injured more than anyone will let on and should be put on the IR until time or surgery fixes the problem.

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#169 Homie
December 01 2009, 02:46PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I agree. Horcoff was very good that year and got derailed by an injury. However, I'm not saying he needs to be ppg player, but at his salary ($7 million) he needs to be a 60 to 70 point guy. In four years, when is salary is down to $4 million, then I can live with 40 to 50 points.

He's paid as a TWO WAY forward. If he was just expected to play tough minutes as a shut down guy, he wouldn't have gotten the contract he did. Offense has to be part of the equation for him to come close to living up to his obligations.

EDIT - These are the other centres being paid the same thing Horcoff is this year (some more some less): Brad Richards $7.8, Joe Tornton $7.2, Paul Stastny $6.6, Patrick Marleau $6.3, etc., etc.

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#170 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 02:48PM
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@BarryS

I kinda questioned whether or not he was injuried before he went down the first time. His faceoff % dropped to the twenties and thirties and that is something that just doesn't happen to a healthy Horcoff. Now that he isn't taking as many draws it is apparent he is still hurt. I also mentioned that after what happened to Hemsky it would be in the teams and Horcoff's best interest if he sat out until he was a 100%.

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#171 Crash
December 01 2009, 02:49PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I honestly can't believe you are trying to argue with Tavares.

Sorry, it was the first name that came to mind that didn't play in the NHL last year so why should he receive top six minutes using the logic of others. ie Brule was in the AHL last year so he couldn't possibly be good enough to warrant top six ice time with the Oil.

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#172 BarryS
December 01 2009, 02:51PM
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Homie wrote:

No. He's tied with Penner, and behind Iginla and Heatley. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that he is ahead of Penner by the end of the week, though.

Personally I don't bet, I give to charity when I'm feeling flush. Get the same physical reward, nothing.

All the offer to bet means is you like Nash more than Penner. Fair enough.

Even if I did bet, I wouldn't take it. To many idiot players in the league who seem to take joy in giving out concusions instead of scoring goals.

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#173 BarryS
December 01 2009, 02:53PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I kinda questioned whether or not he was injuried before he went down the first time. His faceoff % dropped to the twenties and thirties and that is something that just doesn't happen to a healthy Horcoff. Now that he isn't taking as many draws it is apparent he is still hurt. I also mentioned that after what happened to Hemsky it would be in the teams and Horcoff's best interest if he sat out until he was a 100%.

So we agree, I take it.

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#174 Antony Ta
December 01 2009, 02:59PM
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@Homie

There isn't anybody on this team making 7 million.

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#177 TigerUnderGlass
December 01 2009, 03:01PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

So Horcoff is a Nazi now? Very interesting.

Not exactly, he is just the Oiler's Hitler.

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#178 esa tikkanen
December 01 2009, 03:03PM
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jonathan I agree with everything except Brule. I think he could be a special palyer.

Cogliano would have some value. Comrie just keep him he is not worth anything and we can just let him go. Unless we can get a third or something at the trade deadline as he is a UFA.

I wonder about Dean Arsene. He has looked good when he played. I wonder if he is not another Jan Hejda?? Buried in the minors (or in Hejda's case the Czech Republic..) under the radar but excelled at every level he has played at as a defensive dman. Reminds me of Lee Fogolin.

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#179 BarryS
December 01 2009, 03:04PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Has nothing to do with whether I like it or not, just understand it. I've read here and in other posts you arguing that the league screws up goals and assists and related that to plus/minus. That is wrong. The guy is on the ice, whether he gets a point or not is irrelevant.

Who said anything about a 30 point player who is -8 being worth 6 million??? If you are referring to Horcoff, he was never a 30 point guy when he got that contract. So once again, you aren't mentioning something factual.

Not a drive by smear, rather pointing out facts.

Actually, the debate was about Nash. Last year he was worth it, being plus 11 and having a ton of points. So far this year he has a ton of points but is - 8.

Since much of the debate about Horcoff and the money he's paid today, vs points and +/-, - 10 last time I looked.

Why, other than he doesn't play here is nobody complaining about Nash today.

Bye the bye, I doubt Nash will stay a - and if Horcoff ever heals up, he's likely to have more points and a + rating.

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#180 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 03:10PM
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From Bob MacKenzie on Keith Ballard over @ TSN (http://tsn.ca/blogs/bob_mckenzie/?id=300670)

I am sure the NHL and the Panthers believe Ballard's punishment for this misdeed is simply being mortified that his temper tantrum resulted in a pretty significant injury to a teammate. Just having to watch that highlight over and over and over again should be punishment enough for Ballard.

The good news is that there doesn't appear to be any injury to Vokoun beyond the ear-area laceration. Vokoun apparently felt well enough on the plane last night to talk to Ballard and tell him to forget about the incident, although Vokoun might have mentioned that Ballard owes him a number of free dinners.

As for their teammates, as soon as it became apparent Vokoun was going to be okay, it would be fair to say the Panther players are having much fun at Ballard's expense and the ribbing has already begun.

That's probably the best therapy for Ballard, who was naturally devastated after the incident.

Obviously a stupid play, it was completely an accident but for some to be insinuating that this makes Ballard a bad team guy is downright wrong.

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#181 TigerUnderGlass
December 01 2009, 03:10PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Homie:

$5.5 million is the cap hit; that's the number I'll be using throughout.

I can't even begin to explain how tired I am of people saying he is getting 7 million.

Heatley got 10 last year and 8 this year and next, but people manage to remember his cap number of 7.5.

Spezza gets 8 this year but do you ever hear anything but 7 in discussions about him?

Why does nobody call out Lecavalier for not earning his 10 million?

Every player in the league seems to deserve to be evaluated on their cap hit except Horcoff. Can anybody tell me why?

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#182 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:11PM
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Crash wrote:

Sorry, it was the first name that came to mind that didn't play in the NHL last year so why should he receive top six minutes using the logic of others. ie Brule was in the AHL last year so he couldn't possibly be good enough to warrant top six ice time with the Oil.

1. Theirs a huge difference between Tavares and Brule (or any other prospect on the team)

2. Though not by alot, the Oilers are (or at least were) deeper then the NYI

Superstar prospects get different treatment then good prospects.

Tavares wouldn't get 1st line ice time (at least at center) on Pits

It's all relative.

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#183 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:14PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother Jr.:

I wonder how Horcoff's offensive performance compares to his faceoff performance? I.e could we get a measure of the differencei n his performance healthy vs. injured from faceoffs?

I might have to look at that.

His offense seemed to take off when he quit taking FO.

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#184 BarryS
December 01 2009, 03:17PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

From Bob MacKenzie on Keith Ballard over @ TSN (http://tsn.ca/blogs/bob_mckenzie/?id=300670)

I am sure the NHL and the Panthers believe Ballard's punishment for this misdeed is simply being mortified that his temper tantrum resulted in a pretty significant injury to a teammate. Just having to watch that highlight over and over and over again should be punishment enough for Ballard.

The good news is that there doesn't appear to be any injury to Vokoun beyond the ear-area laceration. Vokoun apparently felt well enough on the plane last night to talk to Ballard and tell him to forget about the incident, although Vokoun might have mentioned that Ballard owes him a number of free dinners.

As for their teammates, as soon as it became apparent Vokoun was going to be okay, it would be fair to say the Panther players are having much fun at Ballard's expense and the ribbing has already begun.

That's probably the best therapy for Ballard, who was naturally devastated after the incident.

Obviously a stupid play, it was completely an accident but for some to be insinuating that this makes Ballard a bad team guy is downright wrong.

I'm only glad it didn't happen on our team. That would be all we need.

I expect we can mark Ballard's actions to a learning experience. Tough on his goalie having to be part of it, though.

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#185 Crash
December 01 2009, 03:17PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

1. Theirs a huge difference between Tavares and Brule (or any other prospect on the team)

2. Though not by alot, the Oilers are (or at least were) deeper then the NYI

Superstar prospects get different treatment then good prospects.

Tavares wouldn't get 1st line ice time (at least at center) on Pits

It's all relative.

My point was simply that just because Brule was in the AHL last year doesn't mean that he can't have developed into a good enough player this year to play top six minutes with the Oilers which is what was implied. If it makes you feel any better, how about Ryan O'Reilly then?

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#186 Homie
December 01 2009, 03:19PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Homie:

$5.5 million is the cap hit; that's the number I'll be using throughout.

Why? I understand that its used for budgeting. But in terms of an expectation of performance, salary is a better number. Contracts are typically front loaded for two reason. One is to give the player more money up front but we saw this more often in the pre-cap and salary max days, such as the Fedorov and Sakic contracts. Now, with a guaranteed contract at a certain cap hit, its irrelevant.

The other is to compensate players for their expected performance compared to the other years covered by the contract. If I'm an owner, regardless of the cap hit, it is the salary that I am paying and I would expect a certain performance for that salary. I'm sure that Katz does not expect the same level of play from Horcoff when he's 36 as he does now, and his contract reflects that.

And as a fan, I look at his salary. If he was being paid according to what everyone but Lowe expected, say to $5 million this year (still high, but more reasonable), that would reduce his cap hit by about $350K WITHOUT reducing any of the other years.

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#187 BarryS
December 01 2009, 03:21PM
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Crash wrote:

My point was simply that just because Brule was in the AHL last year doesn't mean that he can't have developed into a good enough player this year to play top six minutes with the Oilers which is what was implied. If it makes you feel any better, how about Ryan O'Reilly then?

Brule is being given first line minutes at the moment, what he does with it will dictate if he stays or not.

Unless Quinn gets another idea like he had with Gagner after he started to shine with Hemsky, Penner.

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#188 David S
December 01 2009, 03:23PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Godwin's Law: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

Godwin's Law for Oilers Discussions: "As an Oilers discussion grows longer, the probability of an argument over Shawn Horcoff's relative value approaches 1."

That's awesome Jonathan!

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#189 Homie
December 01 2009, 03:24PM
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David S wrote:

That's awesome Jonathan!

That is great. I have forgotten what I even started arguing for/against!!!

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#190 Crash
December 01 2009, 03:27PM
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BarryS wrote:

Brule is being given first line minutes at the moment, what he does with it will dictate if he stays or not.

Unless Quinn gets another idea like he had with Gagner after he started to shine with Hemsky, Penner.

I hear ya...I hope that the youngsters retain the opportunity to shine just like the year when we were forced to use just the young guys due to all the injuries at the end of the year...The more important minutes our players of the future get now the better off in the near future...at least that's the way I see it.

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#191 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:27PM
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Crash wrote:

My point was simply that just because Brule was in the AHL last year doesn't mean that he can't have developed into a good enough player this year to play top six minutes with the Oilers which is what was implied. If it makes you feel any better, how about Ryan O'Reilly then?

Actually Ryan O'Reilly is a great example.

He's playing 3rd line behind a proven 1st liner and an "elite prospect" even though he's out-performing him.

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#192 I'm a Scientist!
December 01 2009, 03:28PM
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Did y'all see that Gagner had a biopsy yesterday... Scary!

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#193 Ball Buster
December 01 2009, 03:29PM
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Back to the original post (and obviously very late to the party):

<>

<<Move two of Cogliano, Comrie, Nilsson and O’Sullivan – probably Cogliano and Nilsson.>>

Or more. The new rules(I guess they're old now) were supposed to open things up for the smaller guys. Maybe so but it only seems to work for the ones who are really talented at the NHL level or who play bigger than their size. I look at the list above and Nilsson is definitely neither. I honestly don't believe he brings anything unique to the table. I would rather have Pouliot get his ice time.

Comrie has value to this team right now so I can see moving him right at D-day to a team in the mix for a pick or AHL depth.

You pick one of O'Sullivan or Cogliano after the season is over. If they can both show that they can contribute as a winger then maybe you keep both but right now, they are 2nd line potential at best, and we can't accept mediocrity at those positions any longer.

The Oilers do not have and probably will not ever get a bonafide superstar via UFA or draft. Kill that dream and smell the real . . . compete with teams by rolling two balanced, effective 1b lines.

God have mercy on Tambellini should he repeat Lowe's summertime sins.

<<Move one of Jacques, Stone and Stortini – probably Jacques. >>

Given Quinn's preference for size on each line, I think you ride out all 3 guys to the season's end. I don't think they carry value on the market right now anyway and later in the season, a contender won't be in the hunt for their services when proven vets are available (a la Moreau or Staois).

<Move Moreau>

Agreed. If not to a contender late in the season, I think the SE div may be one of the more fertile trading grounds. If his recent play with Putolny continues, maybe package him up with one of our many smallish offensive forwards and a D-man to allow the Oilers an opportunity to entertain an immediate return (and no, I'm not talking about Stall or Kovalchuk).

<<Move Brule, depending on return.>>

Have to agree with a lot of other posters here and say "No" to this one. The goal is to put lipstick on a pig and go to market with a convincing smile a la Nilsson above. Brule is exactly the kind of return the Oilers should be satisfied with.

<<Move one of Visnovsky, Souray, Gilbert and Grebeshkov – probably Grebeshkov.>>

If nothing above is possible, I go bold and move both Visnovsky and Souray. Yes, the NMC are impediments but if you let them entertain teams on the rise or those contending right now, I can't see why either of these guys would want to stick around here for another year or two of rebuild when they can still cash in and have a chance to win something (and then maybe cash in again). Visnovsky especially - has he ever been on a team with a winning record? (Too lazy to look.)

I put my odds on Gilbert and Grebeshkov giving the team enough of the offense we need from the back end and move the two big money men for capable shutdown guys. It's obvious to everyone now that Lowe tipped the scale way too far the other way post-Pronger. The Oilers need to get back to a more defensive defense.

Fleet-footed Steve Staois clones (and 10 years younger) would be the ideal return here. Shot blocking bastages that like to mix it up but with less frequent brain cramps.

Enter Chorney next season, and with Strudwick allowed to walk, you can field balanced D-pairings: one offensive, one stay-at-home, with Peckham in the wings.

<Move Staios>

Maybe the Moreau scenario but most likely, no one takes the bait. The Oilers eat this one until D-day 2011. So, maybe he mentors the guys that are left over until that day.

<<Move Khabibulin, depending on return. >>

Not right now. Again, slide up to the buffet table for this one. He's a guy you can maybe move in the 4th year.

<<Move one of Deslauriers or Dubnyk – probably Deslauriers.>>

Agreed. They are both chances. Take the younger one since you can't move Khabibulin yet. And if you can never move Khabibulin, and Dubnyk actually develops into something in a couple of years, maybe you can get away with a cheap deal on your starter (Dubnyk) to counteract the huge overpayment on your backup (Khabibulin). Risky any way you go.

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#194 BarryS
December 01 2009, 03:30PM
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Homie wrote:

That is great. I have forgotten what I even started arguing for/against!!!

Seems to me a lot of us end up like that, me included. Still, when we keep name calling and personal insults out of it, it's fun.

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#195 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:30PM
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Homie wrote:

Why? I understand that its used for budgeting. But in terms of an expectation of performance, salary is a better number. Contracts are typically front loaded for two reason. One is to give the player more money up front but we saw this more often in the pre-cap and salary max days, such as the Fedorov and Sakic contracts. Now, with a guaranteed contract at a certain cap hit, its irrelevant.

The other is to compensate players for their expected performance compared to the other years covered by the contract. If I'm an owner, regardless of the cap hit, it is the salary that I am paying and I would expect a certain performance for that salary. I'm sure that Katz does not expect the same level of play from Horcoff when he's 36 as he does now, and his contract reflects that.

And as a fan, I look at his salary. If he was being paid according to what everyone but Lowe expected, say to $5 million this year (still high, but more reasonable), that would reduce his cap hit by about $350K WITHOUT reducing any of the other years.

Some contracts are front loaded, some are back loaded some are equal all the way through.

His could be set up as is, could be flipped or it could have been 5.5 the whole way through. Each having smaller positives or negatives, but nothing near as important as the cap hit.

Unless your team has a below cap budget the salary is irrelavant

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#196 Rogue
December 01 2009, 03:33PM
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Players who should be gone by next year, O'Sullivan, Comrie, Moreau, Staios, Pouliet, Gilbert,Pisani, Nilsson.

Players gone if the right deal comes along, Cogliano,Khabby.

And Stortini,Jacques and Stone are needed, but they also need to contribute on the offensive side.Somewhat.

But this is easy for me to say. Tambo has a whole wad of issues to wad through. Or are they going to continue to tell us what "Potential" these guys have?

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#197 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:33PM
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Homie wrote:

Why? I understand that its used for budgeting. But in terms of an expectation of performance, salary is a better number. Contracts are typically front loaded for two reason. One is to give the player more money up front but we saw this more often in the pre-cap and salary max days, such as the Fedorov and Sakic contracts. Now, with a guaranteed contract at a certain cap hit, its irrelevant.

The other is to compensate players for their expected performance compared to the other years covered by the contract. If I'm an owner, regardless of the cap hit, it is the salary that I am paying and I would expect a certain performance for that salary. I'm sure that Katz does not expect the same level of play from Horcoff when he's 36 as he does now, and his contract reflects that.

And as a fan, I look at his salary. If he was being paid according to what everyone but Lowe expected, say to $5 million this year (still high, but more reasonable), that would reduce his cap hit by about $350K WITHOUT reducing any of the other years.

Also, notice what changes when you bump his salary down? His cap hit.... ie what we actually want/need to control.

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#198 BarryS
December 01 2009, 03:35PM
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Anybody listening to Gregor at the moment will understand why there are not likely to be any trades before deadline day. Teams set there roster in the summer then because of the Cap, can't make changes until next the summer.

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#199 TigerUnderGlass
December 01 2009, 03:35PM
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@Homie

And as a fan, I look at his salary.

Nonsense. As a fan the ONLY number that matters is cap hit because it is the only number that has any team consequences as long as the team can afford the salary.

...unless you meant you are a fan of accounting...

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#200 BarryS
December 01 2009, 03:37PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Some contracts are front loaded, some are back loaded some are equal all the way through.

His could be set up as is, could be flipped or it could have been 5.5 the whole way through. Each having smaller positives or negatives, but nothing near as important as the cap hit.

Unless your team has a below cap budget the salary is irrelavant

I think all the teams are at or near the Cap, either the league one or the Team Owner one. Not every team has the resources to spend to the league cap.

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