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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#201 BarryS
December 01 2009, 03:40PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
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...

As a fan, I am happy when we win and depressed when we lose. All this money talk ruins watching the game.

As a fan of the site, arguing about cap hits, player value, is fun.

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#202 Racki
December 01 2009, 03:43PM
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If there is any chance of moving Khabi.. Tambi should do it, no matter what the return (unless it's another horrible contract in return). That contract is ridiculously bad. The same can be said of Horcoff.

And btw, just for the record, I really like both of those guys. I'm not one of those on the Horcoff hate-wagon. Lets face it though, both contracts were poorly done. I know Horcoff brings a lot, and I know Khabibulin is our best shot right now, but did these guys do any research? Look at the list of goalies going UFA next year: Luongo, Turco, Nabokov, Mason, Theodore, Toskala, Ellis, Hiller, Hedberg, Auld, Lalime, Valiquette, Leighton, Rinne. There are a few bums on the list, but some really exceptional opportunities too. Of course guys like Luongo/Turco shouldn't be available but there's a few in there that will be. There's also some good RFA talent, although I would suggest trading for that.

At any rate, signing a guy for that much money when he can just up and quit (or get hurt) and stick us with the bill... wow.. not too smart.

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#203 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:51PM
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BarryS wrote:

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.

Pretty much, theirs actually only a handful of teams with more then 3/4 million in cap space, and as you said most are poor.

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#204 Homie
December 01 2009, 03:55PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

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

Exactly, but how do you evaluate a player's performance, which changes, against the cap hit, which never changes? You can't.

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#205 TigerUnderGlass
December 01 2009, 03:56PM
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BarryS wrote:

As a fan, I am happy when we win and depressed when we lose. All this money talk ruins watching the game.

As a fan of the site, arguing about cap hits, player value, is fun.

Your response doesn't appear to apply to my post in any way, so I have no idea how to reply.

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#206 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:56PM
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Racki wrote:

If there is any chance of moving Khabi.. Tambi should do it, no matter what the return (unless it's another horrible contract in return). That contract is ridiculously bad. The same can be said of Horcoff.

And btw, just for the record, I really like both of those guys. I'm not one of those on the Horcoff hate-wagon. Lets face it though, both contracts were poorly done. I know Horcoff brings a lot, and I know Khabibulin is our best shot right now, but did these guys do any research? Look at the list of goalies going UFA next year: Luongo, Turco, Nabokov, Mason, Theodore, Toskala, Ellis, Hiller, Hedberg, Auld, Lalime, Valiquette, Leighton, Rinne. There are a few bums on the list, but some really exceptional opportunities too. Of course guys like Luongo/Turco shouldn't be available but there's a few in there that will be. There's also some good RFA talent, although I would suggest trading for that.

At any rate, signing a guy for that much money when he can just up and quit (or get hurt) and stick us with the bill... wow.. not too smart.

Lots of guys seem to share that opinion. Theirs alot more to the equation then simply "good contract" "bad contract"

If they simply dump them, can the money be then spent better? ie can we get the same caliber of player for less or a better player for the same?

I doubt it.

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#207 TigerUnderGlass
December 01 2009, 03:57PM
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Homie wrote:

Exactly, but how do you evaluate a player's performance, which changes, against the cap hit, which never changes? You can't.

Are you serious with this? I have a hard time believing you actually mean what you are saying here.

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#208 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 03:58PM
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Homie wrote:

Exactly, but how do you evaluate a player's performance, which changes, against the cap hit, which never changes? You can't.

What's the point? What if his contract just paid him 5.5 the whole way through? You evaluate his play against his cap hit, because that's all that matters.

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#209 Dan the Man
December 01 2009, 03:58PM
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Racki wrote:

If there is any chance of moving Khabi.. Tambi should do it, no matter what the return (unless it's another horrible contract in return). That contract is ridiculously bad. The same can be said of Horcoff.

And btw, just for the record, I really like both of those guys. I'm not one of those on the Horcoff hate-wagon. Lets face it though, both contracts were poorly done. I know Horcoff brings a lot, and I know Khabibulin is our best shot right now, but did these guys do any research? Look at the list of goalies going UFA next year: Luongo, Turco, Nabokov, Mason, Theodore, Toskala, Ellis, Hiller, Hedberg, Auld, Lalime, Valiquette, Leighton, Rinne. There are a few bums on the list, but some really exceptional opportunities too. Of course guys like Luongo/Turco shouldn't be available but there's a few in there that will be. There's also some good RFA talent, although I would suggest trading for that.

At any rate, signing a guy for that much money when he can just up and quit (or get hurt) and stick us with the bill... wow.. not too smart.

3.75 mil is not "ridiculously bad" for a legit #1 goalie. It may be in the final year of his contract but for now it is pretty good value.

Of the goalies you mentioned, Luongo, Turco, Nabokov, Mason, Hiller, and Rinne will in all likelihood have new contracts and not be UFA's and the others you can't honestly say would be an upgrade on Khabibulin.

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#210 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 04:01PM
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Homie wrote:

Exactly, but how do you evaluate a player's performance, which changes, against the cap hit, which never changes? You can't.

I'm going to go on a soap box here:

Do people not realize that front loading was actually better for the team?

The last few years when he's only making 3 million (assuming he's still a relavant NHL'er) he will be more attractive to teams that can't spend up to the cap... ie teams with internal bugdets.

So: If they would have given him a 5.5/5.5/5.5/5.5/5.5/5.5 salary structure the whole way through, we would actually be WORSE off... ie he would have basically no "tradability" the last year or two, while now teams with budgets may be interested.

Yet because the chose to front load, the mases are fixated on the 7 number

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#212 Racki
December 01 2009, 04:07PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

3.75 mil is not "ridiculously bad" for a legit #1 goalie. It may be in the final year of his contract but for now it is pretty good value.

Of the goalies you mentioned, Luongo, Turco, Nabokov, Mason, Hiller, and Rinne will in all likelihood have new contracts and not be UFA's and the others you can't honestly say would be an upgrade on Khabibulin.

Dan,

It's not that it's a bad contract for now... it's that he's signed for 4 years and can retire on us at any moment (not to say he will necessarily) and the Oilers will still be on the hook for that full salary. That's why it is ridiculously bad. It's more the term of the contract that is bad.

I'd rather they had stuck with the devil they knew for another year or two.

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#213 David S
December 01 2009, 04:07PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:
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.

..and that's why Tambellini deserves any crap he takes the rest of the way.

Moved Brodziak for little. Swing and a miss on Heatley. Swing and a miss on Neil. Signed Khabibulin. Signed Comrie.

Everything we see now (aside from just plain bad luck, ala injuries to Hemsky, Comrie and Souray) goes back to a summer where the G.M. made no effort to bring in competent players to fill lines two and three. Pisani's condition was pre-exisitng. Khabibulin's a constant injury risk. The players not getting it done now are the same players who couldn't get it done before.

The summer was the time to reset the team, and Tambellini chose not to. Now it's all about making the best of a bad situation.

And Comrie pretty much fell in his lap.

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#215 Mr DeBakey
December 01 2009, 04:12PM
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"The summer was the time to reset the team, and Tambellini chose not to. Now it's all about making the best of a bad situation."

But you forget P. Quinn was coming with his new magical system to save the day.

"It's not that it's a bad contract for now"

Its a bad contract now too Colorado got their starting GK for $2 Million less than the Oilers Long Island got Roloson & Biron for what the Oilers ar paying "The Wall"

Plus, as you point out, the 4 years was AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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#216 Chamucks Deluxe
December 01 2009, 04:12PM
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I really think Brule can be a consistent 50 point guy, he's got all the tools, he drives to the net, he shoots. Hell, that pass to Penner against Van was one of the best heads up plays we've seen so far this season. I love the guy and love watching him play.

If we can sign him for a Patty O'Sullivan rate, why wouldn't we? If you trade for the 15th+ overall pick you are not by any means guaranteed this level of NHL player (or one at all), so why take the chance when you've got a guy right now who can play? This is the only place in your article I disagree, everything else is backed up to an unbreakable level, but trading Brule because he's going to be a solid 15G 45PT guy at 22-23 years of age doesn't make sense to me. The one case I wouldn't trade a guy simply because his value is high, because a 1st round pick return doesn't match what we give up. You won't get this kind of player with a mid first rounder and if you do, you're lucky and you still have years of development before you see it.

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#217 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 01 2009, 04:15PM
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@Jonathan Willis

The worse thing is throughout that whole deal there isn't going to be one year where he is actually worth either the cap hit or actual salary. I believe the final year is what 3mil, what are the odds he is worth that in 6 years? He is barely worth much more than that right now.

Now if they would've tacked that 1mil on things would've changed.

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#219 Ogden Brother
December 01 2009, 04:17PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:
Do people not realize that front loading was actually better for the team?

That's my pick for comment of the month (I know it's early...).

This team is better off with Horcoff making 7MM right now than they would be if he had the same cap hit and was making 5.5MM. Tacking on one more year at 1 MM would be better yet.

It's honestly mind numbing how many people can't grasp this.

I've said it before (and you refrenced it) what they really should have done was gotten tricky and tacked 3 more years on at 666K to give him a 3.9 cap hit.

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#220 Chamucks Deluxe
December 01 2009, 04:19PM
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@Ogden Brother

I just ignore it these days, so many people have spelled out how average cap hit is awesome. Look at Hossa's deal 5 mil cap hit, I think he makes 11 million this year.

3 more years at that rate would be magical.

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#221 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 04:25PM
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Speaking of frontloading...

Sources tell TSN that Boston forward Marc Savard has agreed with the Bruins on a seven-year contract extension with an annual cap hit of around $4.2 million per year. - http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=300651

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#222 Gunner
December 01 2009, 04:26PM
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I hate to beat a dead horse(Horcoff), but this guy has 11 points. To hear Quinn talk about earning ice time and watching Horcoff take the ice every single power play is laughable. He may HAVE been a good 1st/great 2nd line guy but he isn't anymore. Obviously his shoulder is hampering him right now so my question is this: Given the where the Oilers are situated and where they will likely finish, why don't they get him fixed up once and for all? Have surgery, if needed, and try and get him back to 100% so maybe we will see the Horcoff we saw a couple years back. Especially since his contract can never be moved.

I have to agree with Crash; the play dies on his stick far too often and he creates next to nothing in the offensive zone. Something needs to give...

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#223 Gunner
December 01 2009, 04:30PM
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And as for the original intent of this thread, I would agree with most of what you put down Jonathan. Only disagree on Brule/JFJ front.

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#224 Dan the Man
December 01 2009, 04:45PM
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Racki wrote:

Dan,

It's not that it's a bad contract for now... it's that he's signed for 4 years and can retire on us at any moment (not to say he will necessarily) and the Oilers will still be on the hook for that full salary. That's why it is ridiculously bad. It's more the term of the contract that is bad.

I'd rather they had stuck with the devil they knew for another year or two.

Sure he COULD retire and the Oilers would be really screwed since you can't even buy out a player who signed a contract after the age of 35 to reduce the cap hit BUT he could also continue playing like has last year and the first 20 games this year.

A lot of things can happen, I don't think many people could argue that Khabibulin was the best goalie available during the summer. I'm guessing he wouldn't take a 2 or 3 year deal or I'm sure that's what the Oilers would have offered.

This team clearly didn't want Roloson back for whatever reason

Biron hasn't ever proven he can be a competent number 1 over an extended period of time.

Anderson was a complete gamble since he has limited experience.

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#226 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 05:09PM
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@Jonathan Willis

How does Antero Nittymaki stack up? He too was available and signed a small deal early.

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#227 David S
December 01 2009, 05:12PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Dan the Man:

This summer, Khabibulin commented that the Oilers' initial offer was a four-year deal. We can argue about what it would take to land Khabibulin, but the fact the Oilers didn't even try to negotiate something of less length is mind-boggling.

As for not wanting Roloson back, how is that a defence of the team? Is there a good reason?

Finally with regard to Biron, here's a comparison of his and Khabibulin's post-lockout numbers:

Biron: 100-67-22, 2.79 GAA, .912 SV% Khabibulin: 97-89-26, 2.83 GAA, .904 SV%

Post-lockout, he's every inch as established a starter as Khabibulin.

Not so mind boggling as you might think. It just tells you that there was a desperate need to get him signed, so they went all-in first time around. Something tells me the signing was another Souray situation, where there was a burning desire to sign someone noteworthy and prove to the fans something positive was happening.

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#228 Homie
December 01 2009, 05:16PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Dan the Man:

This summer, Khabibulin commented that the Oilers' initial offer was a four-year deal. We can argue about what it would take to land Khabibulin, but the fact the Oilers didn't even try to negotiate something of less length is mind-boggling.

As for not wanting Roloson back, how is that a defence of the team? Is there a good reason?

Finally with regard to Biron, here's a comparison of his and Khabibulin's post-lockout numbers:

Biron: 100-67-22, 2.79 GAA, .912 SV% Khabibulin: 97-89-26, 2.83 GAA, .904 SV%

Post-lockout, he's every inch as established a starter as Khabibulin.

Agreed. Khabibulin has really exceeded my expectations - until he got hurt, which met my expectations - early this season based on his mediocre numbers since the lockout. People forget that Chicago put him on waivers at the beginning of last year.

There were cheaper, younger options out there with every chance to be as successful as Khabby.

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#229 Word
December 01 2009, 05:46PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:
Do people not realize that front loading was actually better for the team?

That's my pick for comment of the month (I know it's early...).

This team is better off with Horcoff making 7MM right now than they would be if he had the same cap hit and was making 5.5MM. Tacking on one more year at 1 MM would be better yet.

That's a good point. Would the NHLPA frown on a guy like Horcoff agreeing to the addition of an extra year at $1 million for the sole purpose of dropping the team's cap hit (and appeasing some rabid fans in the process) so that the Oil could make moves at the deadline?

Obviously his agent (and likely Horc himself) would say "no way", because they believe that his worth will be substantially greater than that, but it could be like a belated hometown discount.

Although there's no way in fark that we'll see any Oilers doing it, will we start to see teams on the cusp of championship using this plan in order to keep promising teams together? Ie. Would Campbell add a year at $1 million so that it's easier for the Hawks to sign both Toews and Kane?

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#230 Bob
December 01 2009, 05:51PM
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Ok, the reality is that IQ, like hockey skill, is also a natural distribution. Those people who don't get that the number that matters is the cap hit, either simply lack the ability to think logically or they are lacking knowledge with regards to how payments under the cap system works. The latter is easy to fix and has been presented many times. As such those that continue to make that argument clearly belong to the former group and thus deserve to be politely ignored.

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#232 Word
December 01 2009, 06:04PM
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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.

Turns out Hemsky was doing "OK" offensively on one shoulder.

I don't get the fascination with the "optics" of success. Horcoff puts up no numbers, but it looks like he's trying, so there's a large group of apologists. Hemsky puts up good numbers and looks like a lazy donkey while doing so, and there's a large group of people who say he's a cancer in the room.

I asked this once before and I'll ask it again:

Statistically speaking, who are the players that the Oilers need in their lineup for the most important stats of all: WINS.

I want to see the Oiler record with Hemsky vs. Without Hemsky; With Horcoff vs. Without Horcoff; With Souray vs. Without Souray; With Lubo vs. Without Lubo; If it can be adjusted for overlap, that would be even better.

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#233 Word
December 01 2009, 06:11PM
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Thanks JW.

To make sure I'm following, could Horcoff potentially sign a 1 year contract extension right now for $1 million?

If so, do you expect to see more of this as rich veterans try to drive towards championship teams? We're already seeing more and more players take a discount to go where they have a chance at the cup (see San Jose Sharks). I think we're going to start seeing those teams preserved through hometown extension discounts on a regular basis, followed by post-cup contract greed exoduses (ride your value while it's high).

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#234 Word
December 01 2009, 06:13PM
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Sorry for spamming the board. #232 wasn't supposed to be directed at OBJ, but rather BarryS regarding a comment that Horc was playing on one shoulder.

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#235 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 06:16PM
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Word wrote:

Thanks JW.

To make sure I'm following, could Horcoff potentially sign a 1 year contract extension right now for $1 million?

If so, do you expect to see more of this as rich veterans try to drive towards championship teams? We're already seeing more and more players take a discount to go where they have a chance at the cup (see San Jose Sharks). I think we're going to start seeing those teams preserved through hometown extension discounts on a regular basis, followed by post-cup contract greed exoduses (ride your value while it's high).

No. Contracts cannot be altered in any way once they are signed, and extensions cannot be signed until July 1st of the final year of their current contract.

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#236 Word
December 01 2009, 06:17PM
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Thanks Ross. I guess that's for the best in preventing rolling discounts to create dynasties.

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#237 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 01 2009, 06:17PM
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Word wrote:

Thanks JW.

To make sure I'm following, could Horcoff potentially sign a 1 year contract extension right now for $1 million?

If so, do you expect to see more of this as rich veterans try to drive towards championship teams? We're already seeing more and more players take a discount to go where they have a chance at the cup (see San Jose Sharks). I think we're going to start seeing those teams preserved through hometown extension discounts on a regular basis, followed by post-cup contract greed exoduses (ride your value while it's high).

no, horcoff cant sign another extension until he is in going into/in the last year of his deal.

edit: arg, beat to the punch by the dreaded flames fan who doesnt have TSN2!!!

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#238 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 06:19PM
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RE: Marc Savard...

... as per twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie

Marc Savard deal official now. He gets $7M, $7M, $6.5M, $5M, $1.5M, $525K, $525K. That's $25.5 for first four years.

~I can't believe Savard is a $7million dollar player for the next 2 years~

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#239 RossCreekNation
December 01 2009, 06:20PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

:-p

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#240 BarryS
December 01 2009, 06:22PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:
Do people not realize that front loading was actually better for the team?

That's my pick for comment of the month (I know it's early...).

This team is better off with Horcoff making 7MM right now than they would be if he had the same cap hit and was making 5.5MM. Tacking on one more year at 1 MM would be better yet.

What I want to know which nobody seems to be able to answer, or I missed it. In these long term contracts in which the last years pay relatively little, does the contract still count against the limit of fifty contracts as it does against the Cap. Could you end up with two or three or more full contract spots with no active player to fill them?

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#241 GSC
December 01 2009, 06:24PM
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David Staples wrote:

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. . . .

In no way should anyone refer to Brule as the next Marc Savard. That's just stupid, he isn't that type of player.

He's more of a Glencross type, only he's a centre. If he puts up 30-40 points per season with 3rd line minutes from here on out, he'll be a valuable commodity that good teams DON'T TRADE.

One way for Tambo to prevent things from getting crazy in contract talks is (GASP!) to re-sign him to a good rate for 2-3 years before the trade deadline. We'll see how proactive he is...I have my doubts.

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#242 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 01 2009, 06:25PM
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@BarryS

did you have a seizure while typing that last sentence?

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#243 GSC
December 01 2009, 06:26PM
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Digger wrote:

I've seen this argument a ton over the interweb these days when people talk about Brule's production being a mirage, that he has this unsustainable shooting percentage that is overly inflating his value.

Interesting, kinda like when Pisani and Glencross had overly high shooting percentages early in their NHL careers...did those percentages make these players out to be paper tigers? Of course they didn't sustain their percentages, but did they not turn into pretty damn valuable players to have around that the Oilogosphere wish were either still Oilers or healthy?

As for Brule specifically, I do think it's fair to note that he'd already had 157 NHL games to his record that say he's "terrible", as RiversQ so eloquently put it recently. However, I also think it's fair to say, and to be honest I thought this would be rudimentary and not need to be even said, that not all NHL games are created equal when it comes to player development. To simply throw around shooting percentages and number of games played seems a bit simplistic to me.

For myself, I'm not really focusing on Brule's 17.9% shooting (funny how some bleat "20%!" when it's not even that), but the 10 assists that I'm fair sure have little to nothing to do with unsustainable shooting percentages. I seem to recall a very talented setup by him to Penner in the Vancouver game that didn't go off anybody's keister or bounce off a skate. Did he just throw that puck out blindly, and it happened to go perfectly on the blade of Penner's stick?

And for the record, the difference between this horrifically unsustainable shooting percentage and 12.8%? All of 2 goals. I dunno, it all seems a bit silly to me.

I'm not saying he's a star in the making, but I think at this point it'd be shortsighted to cash him out before knowing full well what we have in him.

If the Oilers sign him to a 3 year deal and he turns into another Torres, that would be annoying but it's not like they couldn't find somebody to give him another chance, heck it's how they got Brule in the first place.

THIS.

And for the record, this is why I put absolutely ZERO stock into what RiversQ has to say. To call Brule "terrible" is beyond idiotic.

In fact, it's retarded.

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#244 BarryS
December 01 2009, 06:28PM
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Word wrote:

Sorry for spamming the board. #232 wasn't supposed to be directed at OBJ, but rather BarryS regarding a comment that Horc was playing on one shoulder.

All I know is Hemsky didn't take faceoffs and Horcoff took to many. I expect, taking a faceoff with a bad shoulder is likely harder than shooting with a bad shoulder, not I would want to do either.

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#245 Racki
December 01 2009, 06:30PM
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BarryS wrote:

What I want to know which nobody seems to be able to answer, or I missed it. In these long term contracts in which the last years pay relatively little, does the contract still count against the limit of fifty contracts as it does against the Cap. Could you end up with two or three or more full contract spots with no active player to fill them?

I'm not sure I follow exactly what you mean. Do you mean if the player is still with the team, and his contract pays him "NHL chump change" towards the end, does it still count towards the 50 player contract limit? If that's what you're asking, then yes, of course it does.

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#246 BarryS
December 01 2009, 06:32PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

did you have a seizure while typing that last sentence?

No, talking on the cell and considering my replies, watching a Tangerine Dream DVD, listening to the team, and Thinking about the sentence I was typing and it seems none of them well.

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#247 BarryS
December 01 2009, 06:33PM
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Racki wrote:

I'm not sure I follow exactly what you mean. Do you mean if the player is still with the team, and his contract pays him "NHL chump change" towards the end, does it still count towards the 50 player contract limit? If that's what you're asking, then yes, of course it does.

No I was wondering what happened if he retired.

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#248 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 01 2009, 06:35PM
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BarryS wrote:

No I was wondering what happened if he retired.

if he retires, his contract goes away. no cap hit, no roster spot. nothing.

IF the player is over 35 when the deal is signed, that opens a whole different can of worms.

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#250 Dan the Man
December 01 2009, 07:09PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Dan the Man:

This summer, Khabibulin commented that the Oilers' initial offer was a four-year deal. We can argue about what it would take to land Khabibulin, but the fact the Oilers didn't even try to negotiate something of less length is mind-boggling.

As for not wanting Roloson back, how is that a defence of the team? Is there a good reason?

Finally with regard to Biron, here's a comparison of his and Khabibulin's post-lockout numbers:

Biron: 100-67-22, 2.79 GAA, .912 SV% Khabibulin: 97-89-26, 2.83 GAA, .904 SV%

Post-lockout, he's every inch as established a starter as Khabibulin.

I hadn't heard that it was the Oilers initial offer, if that's the case then it was a poor decision on the Oilers part.

I wasn't offering the Oilers decision to part ways with Roloson as a any sort of reason aside from the fact that they clearly didn't want him back. It may have been age, attitude, contract demand or all 3. I don't really know but they didn't want him so he wasn't an option for the Oilers.

I can't argue with Biron's numbers, they are solid but for this current season given the choice between the 2 goalies I think Khabibulin is the better of the two. If we look at more recent history (i.e. last year) Khabibulin is the one who comes out on top. (2.33 GAA and .919 SV % in 42 games vs 2.76 and .915 in 55 games for Biron).

I also don't think anyone prior to July first would have expected Biron to sign for the amount he did. The Oilers needed a starting goalie and they couldn't gamble and wait to see how the summer went.

Is Kahbibulin's contract too long? Yes.

Is it a ridiculous overpayment for this year? Absolutley not

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