If The Oilers End Up With A Lottery Pick...

Jonathan Willis
December 07 2009 10:07AM

If this edition of the Edmonton Oilers manages to finish in the bottom five of the NHL, they'll have done something few teams have done in the salary cap era. 

This morning, Tyler Dellow looked at teams spending more than 90% of the cap who have managed to contend for a lottery pick.  The Oilers currently sit at 98.6% of the cap; only one team in the salary cap era (the 2006-07 Chicago Blackhawks) has managed to spend that much and earn a spot in the draft lottery, so if the Oilers can pull it off (and despite recent victories, that's plausible) it will represent an achievement of sorts.

In any case, Dellow looked at the nine teams to manage such woeful incompetence despite a relatively high payroll, and again with the exception of the 2006-07 Blackhawks (Khabibulin) all were plagued by lousy goaltending.  He also looked at the general managers of those teams; with the exception of Dean Lombardi, were fired or retired shortly thereafter.  Dale Tallon managed to hang on for two years before getting fired for other incompetence, while Larry Pleau managed to extend his job by bringing in a replacement. 

I strongly recommend reading Dellow's piece to get an idea of the true level of mismanagement involved in such a feat.  I'm of two minds on this one; I want to see the Oilers add a franchise talent via the draft lottery this summer, but I also feel that the current management group should be completely cleared out if the Oilers find themselves in that situation - Kevin Lowe's already on the fast track to the sunset, but such a poor performance would certainly warrant a full burn it to the ground and start from scratch approach in the front office.

Wouldn't it?

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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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#51 Rick
December 07 2009, 11:51AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Aside from giving Khabibulin two years too many for the liking of a lot of people, tell me how Tambellini spent his money poorly.

Tell me what salary or excess parts Tambellini had the opportunity to move. "Hey, it's the off-season" doesn't qualify as opportunity on its own when you have as many over-paid underachievers as the Oilers do.

And the "salary cap era" is, what, four seasons coming into this one? Nine teams over 90 per cent. The Oilers have done a poor job managing contracts under the new CBA, but they fall well short of stand-alone awful. Might be abn idea to wait more than 29 games to run this angle, no?

It's a tough question for someone without contacts to answer because "opportunity" suggests that it was something Tambellini was working on or was offered to him outright.

For us pee-on's stuck on the outside the best we can do is offer some comparable deals that indicate that it should have been possible to move some contracts.

I would suggest that heading into last summer, these are the contracts that were considered bad and ultimately got moved;

Jim Vandermeer - 2.3 mil / 2 years left Scott Gomez - 7.35 mil / 5 years left Ryan Smyth - 6.25 mil / 3 years left Aaron Ward - 2.5 mil / 1 year left Wayne Primeau - 1.4 mil / 1 year left Brad Lukowich * - 1.5 mil / 1 year left (but he came with a pretty good second player in the deal)

None the less, these are deals made since the summer started that run the gauntlet of bad to horrible and should be enough to show that contracts can be moved.

As for Tambellini's bad signings, it's not a signing and I have harped on it before but just to repeat myself - O'Sullivan counts in my books because Tambellini used Cole's expiring cap space to bring him in at 3/4's the price.

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#53 Ccubed82
December 07 2009, 11:57AM
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So what your saying is if a team overpays for a average/injury prone goaltender, and spends to the cap limit year in and year out, that the odds are good they will get a top 5 draft pick........ i think we have four years of high drafts picks headed our way. Let the rebuild begin, oh wait i just looked at the Oil's last 15 years of first round picks..... yikes!!

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#54 Ogden Brother
December 07 2009, 12:08PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@Ogden Brother:

On the other hand, perhaps the best way to look at this is dollars over replacement.

What I mean by that is that a cap floor team (40.8 million) could reasonably be expected to finish 30th in the NHL. If the Oilers (or any team, for that matter) finish in the bottom five with a payroll 15 million or so over it, we can argue that 15MM is money being spent uselessly; i.e. this team is 15 MM overpaid.

The fact that they aren't alone in being so overpaid is more a negative reflection on other G.M.'s than it is a defence of the Oilers, IMO.

Probably a more resonable way to look at it, but again your discounting the injuries. I hate the excuse, but can we really say this team is worse then last years? (and if we do, then what does that say for the MacT vs Quinn/Renney coaching?)

As for the cap floor argument. Their is only 5 teams that project to have payrolls under 50, and we would have to assume those teams would be significanly better if they added 1.5 - 7 million in salary.

My theory is: if they can spend it (ie those 5 teams have internal caps) they would... and from looking at their GM counter parts, they wouldn't spend it that wisely.

As for:

"The fact that they aren't alone in being so overpaid is more a negative reflection on other G.M.'s than it is a defence of the Oilers, IMO."

I would believe that was more a function of their environment... ie all of a sudden they didn't have 13% buffers (the amount the cap was rising annually) to help.

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#55 Hemmertime
December 07 2009, 12:19PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Cap figures change throughout the season. Are the numbers provided at the start of the season? At the 40-game mark? After the trade deadline? At the end of the season?

Tambellini should be fired after two seasons because he can't move awful contracts Lowe handed out? I think not. Blame him for not adding needed players to the roster and for over-reaching in length of term to Khabibulin, but for being up against the cap?

Or you could, ya know, compare him against his peers and see how little of a difference he has made vs their first 2 years. Also, Tambo shouldn't have come out saying "We will change the face of this team" and other goals. His failure to live up to the expectations he set for himself.

The fact we are so close to the cap does hurt his ability to make major changes, and for all we know Katz is too. Waiving players after filling holes would be a plan in the offseason but maybe Mr.Moneybags doesn't wish to bury salary in the minors. Getting rid of Nilsson would have freed up the money for 1-2 defensive players.

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#57 Hemmertime
December 07 2009, 12:23PM
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@Rick

O'Sullivan is paid what Cole was last year. On his new contract Cole is paid over 1mil less per year.

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#58 Hemmertime
December 07 2009, 12:25PM
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@Jonathan Willis

(in order: wash, wash, upgrade, downgrade)

I dont get that, Stone would be an upgrade on Mac/Reddox... and so would Khabby be one over Roli, I've read your articles agreeing with that. Now you backing out saying Roli is better? Or are you saying Reddox/Mac better than Stone?

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#61 Rick
December 07 2009, 12:29PM
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@Hemmertime

Cole was a 4 mil cap hit last year and O'Sullivan is 2.95.

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#62 Ogden Brother
December 07 2009, 12:32PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother:

I believe we can say that this team is comparable last year's edition. Last year's group had mostly the same roster, with Cole instead of O'Sullivan, Brodziak instead of Comrie, Reddox/MacIntyre instead of Stone and Roloson instead of Khabibulin (in order: wash, wash, upgrade, downgrade).

As for the coaching, I'd suggest that MacT's style of hard-matching suited the flawed roster a little better than Quinn's 'roll the lines' technique, and I'd further suggest that Charlie Huddy was pretty darn good at running out the defencemen. The only clear upgrade I see at this point is the Wayne Fleming power play. I don't mean that to knock the current group, just to say that the previous group was never as bad as most people figured.

So they paid for a 15 - 20 million team, which should cos 54.75 - 55 million ;)

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#63 Ogden Brother
December 07 2009, 12:33PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

So they paid for a 15 - 20 million team, which should cos 54.75 - 55 million ;)

*15 - 20 place team*

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#64 Chris.
December 07 2009, 12:37PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother:

Nonsense. You could run a cap team that missed the playoffs. I could run a cap team that missed the playoffs. Any idiot off the street could find a way to spend to the cap and miss the playoffs.

And that's the point really; if this team ends up with a lottery pick, that means that these guys are at the very bottom of the barrel in terms of performance: the random idiot level. Any random idiot could take an expensive non-playoff team and two years later still have an expensive non-playoff team. For the money, Katz may as well have hired you, me or Brownlee to run the team; we couldn't do much worse.

I could run the team better than Tambellini. Read my summertime posts if you don't believe me. I'd have given Roli a two year 3M dollar deal and not signed Comrie. The team would already be better off...

If I can run the team better than Tambellini... Why is he on the payroll..?... I am the exact definition of "any idiot off the street." Give me the job. I'll shut out Lowe, do everything Quinn says, and draw big cheques to make excuses to the media. I'm available every second friday.

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#65 BarryS
December 07 2009, 12:38PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

"Wouldn't that render that comparison pointless?"

No it shows that there is more than one team in the league that is poorly managed. Do you really think that makes it ok for the Oilers to be as well?

I would suggest there is very little difference in the overall level of team management competence than mere chance and distance travelled by teams over the season wouldn't account for. Even mighty detroit seems to be coming to its knees over issues out of management control.

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#66 Hemmertime
December 07 2009, 12:41PM
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Rick wrote:

Cole was a 4 mil cap hit last year and O'Sullivan is 2.95.

ah yes, I always think hes 4 mil cap hit but that was just actual salary last year.

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#67 Petr's Jofa
December 07 2009, 12:41PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Hemmertime:

Stone's an upgrade, but 2009-10 Khabibulin is a downgrade on 2008-09 Roloson.

I think you could also say that 2009-10 Khabibulin is a downgrade on 2009-10 Roloson

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#68 BarryS
December 07 2009, 12:42PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Of the seven Western Conference teams to miss the playoffs in 2007-08, six either made the playoffs last year or are in contention as we speak. The sole exception is Edmonton.

If we look East, only Florida, Toronto and the Islanders are on pace for their third straight year out of the playoffs.

So, since Tambellini took over as G.M., the only teams who look to be out of it again are Florida, Toronto, NYI and Edmonton.

And the team giving up on the coach had nothing to do with it? Until they selfdestructed, they were in the playoffs and after draft day the GM can doing nothing about it.

Also, wanting to make changes and having other GM's go along are different things. If no one will trade with you, or sign with you at a resonable price, you can't make changes either.

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#69 Ogden Brother
December 07 2009, 12:46PM
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BarryS wrote:

I would suggest there is very little difference in the overall level of team management competence than mere chance and distance travelled by teams over the season wouldn't account for. Even mighty detroit seems to be coming to its knees over issues out of management control.

Great example about Det, a year ago everyone was parading Det as the greatest managment in the league.

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#70 David Staples
December 07 2009, 12:47PM
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Tamby's problems?

Well, along with the Khabibulin issue, which is a big one, not a small one. . .

How about that pick up of O'Sullivan, two years at $3 million for another too soft small guy who doesn't score enough.

Trading an expiring contract in Erik Cole, a guy who could help in the stretch run, filling it with a player who replicates other skillsets on roster, instead of using cash in summer to fill real needs.

Or letting Mathieu Garon go, a capable back up, in favour of JDD?

Or moving to trade Penner, Smid and Cogs for a superstar who clearly doesn't want to be here (and isn't the right player for this team, as it needs a serious rebuild, not one older superstar).

I've yet to be thrilled by the guy. Seems to be more of the same old, same old Toronto Maple Leaf-itis, over-spending in a fight to be mediocre, rather than building the right way, through the draft.

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#71 Hemmertime
December 07 2009, 12:51PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Hemmertime:

Stone's an upgrade, but 2009-10 Khabibulin is a downgrade on 2008-09 Roloson.

Due to his injury I can agree otherwise the difference between Roli's 0.915 last year and Khabbys 0.909 isn't that large. However since Roli has continued his save % failing to sign him looks like a mistake on Tambos part. Still though, Id rather have Khabby in net than Roli.

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#72 Gregors dirty 'stash
December 07 2009, 12:53PM
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Who was it that the Oil wanted to trade big sexy aka Souray to on a four player deal?

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#73 Hemmertime
December 07 2009, 01:02PM
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David Staples wrote:

Tamby's problems?

Well, along with the Khabibulin issue, which is a big one, not a small one. . .

How about that pick up of O'Sullivan, two years at $3 million for another too soft small guy who doesn't score enough.

Trading an expiring contract in Erik Cole, a guy who could help in the stretch run, filling it with a player who replicates other skillsets on roster, instead of using cash in summer to fill real needs.

Or letting Mathieu Garon go, a capable back up, in favour of JDD?

Or moving to trade Penner, Smid and Cogs for a superstar who clearly doesn't want to be here (and isn't the right player for this team, as it needs a serious rebuild, not one older superstar).

I've yet to be thrilled by the guy. Seems to be more of the same old, same old Toronto Maple Leaf-itis, over-spending in a fight to be mediocre, rather than building the right way, through the draft.

Trading Cole for O'Sullivan was a fantastic deal. Landing a guy under 25 that the previous season had over 50 pts for a pending UFA was a steal. Saying Cole would have been better for the stretch than Osully AND Kotalik makes it sound like he had more than 27 pts in 63 games. It was a deal that 29 other GMs probably would have pulled given the chance. Sure, O'sully has been crap here so far but it was a smart move.

Or letting Mathieu Garon go, a capable back up, in favour of JDD?

With Dubnyk and JDD keeping Garon didnt make sense if we want to develop one for the future. As for "capable backup" Garon is under 0.900 SP this year so far while JDD is 0.910. Garon was also under .9 last year before trading him so I dont see how capable he was. We got Stone, and a toss in goalie in Sabourin. Another good deal (I wouldn't have minded targetting a backup in the goalie flush UFA this year but Garon is not someone to rely on).

Or moving to trade Penner, Smid and Cogs for a superstar who clearly doesn't want to be here (and isn't the right player for this team, as it needs a serious rebuild, not one older superstar).

This would have been the biggest trade in Oiler history (player coming OUR way not leaving) and would have got rid of contracts and given us a top 10 player in the NHL. As for "older superstar" the dude isnt even 30 for 2 more years. So you are getting 5-7 years of him in his prime. He is not old. I dont like how long we hung on to the idea of getting him but had the trade gone through it would have been one of the better ones for our team.

I love pretty much all the moves Tambo DOES make, its the ones he Doesnt that piss me off. Especially when he makes speeches identifying the same problems he fails to fix.

*edit* and building through the draft just works FANTASTIC, look at NYI, FLA, and many other teams with plenty of top 10 picks over the last decade. For every Pitts WSH CHI or LA there is 2 teams with fck all to show for it. You can also build through the draft by scouting well and luck, look at Detroit. Sure they are a good destination for UFA's but they also have plenty of drafted players they develop into great players. The Oilers not having a dedicated minor team for so many years and having crappy management is to blame.

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#74 Hemmertime
December 07 2009, 01:08PM
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Its like Tambo is afraid to make a bad deal so he waits for something overwhelmingly in his favor before he even considers the move.

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#75 Senator Theo
December 07 2009, 01:12PM
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David Staples wrote:

Tamby's problems?

Well, along with the Khabibulin issue, which is a big one, not a small one. . .

How about that pick up of O'Sullivan, two years at $3 million for another too soft small guy who doesn't score enough.

Trading an expiring contract in Erik Cole, a guy who could help in the stretch run, filling it with a player who replicates other skillsets on roster, instead of using cash in summer to fill real needs.

Or letting Mathieu Garon go, a capable back up, in favour of JDD?

Or moving to trade Penner, Smid and Cogs for a superstar who clearly doesn't want to be here (and isn't the right player for this team, as it needs a serious rebuild, not one older superstar).

I've yet to be thrilled by the guy. Seems to be more of the same old, same old Toronto Maple Leaf-itis, over-spending in a fight to be mediocre, rather than building the right way, through the draft.

I think the Garon deal actually worked out pretty well. We had to get rid of a goaltender in a market where they had no value. Tambo did it and got back a great role guy like Stone in the process.

To me, that deal is a feather in his cap, rather than the black eye that you suggest.

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#76 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 01:13PM
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@Hemmertime

With all the young assets we have I have no problem if he somewhat overpays in a trade, that is if he is getting that superstar.

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#77 Senator Theo
December 07 2009, 01:15PM
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I would say the deal that looks worst on Tambo is the 2nd rounder that we lost for the use of Kotalik last year. I know he was trying to make the playoffs, but that seemed/seems like such a waste to me. He didn't fit, and we lost a higher round pick in a pretty decent draft.

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#78 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 01:16PM
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@Senator Theo

I can't believe anyone would complain about the Garon deal. Last year just about everyone wanted one of our goalies dealt, no one really cared who just as long as we got rid of the three-headed monster. Now we are going to complain when we got a role player and fourth rounder?

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#79 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 01:19PM
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@Senator Theo

Didn't we end up trading Carolina's which ended up being a late 2nd rounder.

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#81 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 01:25PM
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Since the only real time for a GM to significantly change his team is during the trade deadline and during the summer after free agency, I think it's fair to evaluate Tmbo on what he did during those times.

At the trade deadline he brought in POS and Kotalik for Cole I think this was a good move. I don't see how having cap space is better than having O'Sullivan so I'd give him a B- here.

Over the summer, the deletions included Brodziak, Kotalik and Roloson while the additions were Khabibulin and Comrie. I'd probably give a D- for the summer since the teams major weakness was not addressed. I don't honestly care too much about the attempted deals that didn't work out because the bottom line is that they didn't pan out. Close doesn't count in hockey.

The one caveat I'd add is that just because players signed elsewhere for discounts does not mean they would have done the same here. I can't think of a single player that has before. Even Ryan Smyth, who supposedly bled Oiler blue, would not take a "home town discount".

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#82 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 01:26PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I can't believe anyone would complain about the Garon deal. Last year just about everyone wanted one of our goalies dealt, no one really cared who just as long as we got rid of the three-headed monster. Now we are going to complain when we got a role player and fourth rounder?

X 2

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#83 RossCreekNation
December 07 2009, 01:27PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Trading Cole for O'Sullivan was a fantastic deal. Landing a guy under 25 that the previous season had over 50 pts for a pending UFA was a steal. Saying Cole would have been better for the stretch than Osully AND Kotalik makes it sound like he had more than 27 pts in 63 games. It was a deal that 29 other GMs probably would have pulled given the chance. Sure, O'sully has been crap here so far but it was a smart move.

Or letting Mathieu Garon go, a capable back up, in favour of JDD?

With Dubnyk and JDD keeping Garon didnt make sense if we want to develop one for the future. As for "capable backup" Garon is under 0.900 SP this year so far while JDD is 0.910. Garon was also under .9 last year before trading him so I dont see how capable he was. We got Stone, and a toss in goalie in Sabourin. Another good deal (I wouldn't have minded targetting a backup in the goalie flush UFA this year but Garon is not someone to rely on).

Or moving to trade Penner, Smid and Cogs for a superstar who clearly doesn't want to be here (and isn't the right player for this team, as it needs a serious rebuild, not one older superstar).

This would have been the biggest trade in Oiler history (player coming OUR way not leaving) and would have got rid of contracts and given us a top 10 player in the NHL. As for "older superstar" the dude isnt even 30 for 2 more years. So you are getting 5-7 years of him in his prime. He is not old. I dont like how long we hung on to the idea of getting him but had the trade gone through it would have been one of the better ones for our team.

I love pretty much all the moves Tambo DOES make, its the ones he Doesnt that piss me off. Especially when he makes speeches identifying the same problems he fails to fix.

*edit* and building through the draft just works FANTASTIC, look at NYI, FLA, and many other teams with plenty of top 10 picks over the last decade. For every Pitts WSH CHI or LA there is 2 teams with fck all to show for it. You can also build through the draft by scouting well and luck, look at Detroit. Sure they are a good destination for UFA's but they also have plenty of drafted players they develop into great players. The Oilers not having a dedicated minor team for so many years and having crappy management is to blame.

Point --> Hemmertime

Score: one-love

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#84 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 01:28PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Didn't we end up trading Carolina's which ended up being a late 2nd rounder.

That's correct, we flipped the pick we received from Carolina in the Cole trade.

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#85 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 01:32PM
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Another thing that Tambo should get credit for is not signing Grebs to that long-term deal.

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#86 Senator Theo
December 07 2009, 01:33PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Didn't we end up trading Carolina's which ended up being a late 2nd rounder.

That sounds right. It's easy to say now, but wouldn't you have rather had that pick?

I admit to being excited at the time, but I'm not a GM - I expect them to be more level headed about these kind of deals!

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#87 Hemmercules
December 07 2009, 01:35PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Hemmertime wrote:

Due to his injury I can agree otherwise the difference between Roli's 0.915 last year and Khabbys 0.909 isn't that large.

The average starter faces 1611 shots, meaning that the difference is equal to 10 more goals against, assuming that Khabibulin had been healthy.

Still, performance isn't the reason I'm upset with the Khabibulin contract.

I wasn't excited about signing Bulin either, and not because of is performance. The guy is guaranteed to get injured at least once per season and the oil are stuck with him for 4 years. I would have taken Roloson for 2 years over Bulin for 4 years in a heartbeat.

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#88 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 01:40PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

That sounds right. It's easy to say now, but wouldn't you have rather had that pick?

I admit to being excited at the time, but I'm not a GM - I expect them to be more level headed about these kind of deals!

I remember thinking the exact same thing in the summer when we didn't re-sign Kotalik. I thought "what a waste" but weren't we still in a playoff position at the deadline?

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#89 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 01:41PM
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@Senator Theo

Yes and no. Sure if I would've know we were going to miss the playoff I would want that pick back, but with that said read the comments on this site. It's all about how Tambo did nothing, last year at the deadline we had a weakness and he went out and did something. It didn't work out, oh well. It cost us Cole who wasn't going to re-sign here anyways and we ended up with Kotalik and O'Sullivan.

People bash Tambo, but he saved Lowe's ass on that trade. Lowe traded Pitkanen for a UFA Cole, Tambo realized he was going to lose an asset in Cole and he turned around and got us something. Sure it may not what we need, but it gives us another asset to trade in the future.

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#90 Senator Theo
December 07 2009, 01:46PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

The Cole for Sully deal is not was I was referring to - I liked how Tambo was able to get value back in that trade.

What I was talking about was strictly the Kotalik aquisition.

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#91 Ogden Brother
December 07 2009, 01:50PM
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David Staples wrote:

Tamby's problems?

Well, along with the Khabibulin issue, which is a big one, not a small one. . .

How about that pick up of O'Sullivan, two years at $3 million for another too soft small guy who doesn't score enough.

Trading an expiring contract in Erik Cole, a guy who could help in the stretch run, filling it with a player who replicates other skillsets on roster, instead of using cash in summer to fill real needs.

Or letting Mathieu Garon go, a capable back up, in favour of JDD?

Or moving to trade Penner, Smid and Cogs for a superstar who clearly doesn't want to be here (and isn't the right player for this team, as it needs a serious rebuild, not one older superstar).

I've yet to be thrilled by the guy. Seems to be more of the same old, same old Toronto Maple Leaf-itis, over-spending in a fight to be mediocre, rather than building the right way, through the draft.

I'd add Grebs contract to Tambs list of "bad moves"

Mid range guys were in far higher supply the demand this year see Tanguay/Prospal/Lang amoungst others going for dirt cheap (though I may take that back with further analysis of the defensmen market). Cam Barker in Chi also got the same $$$ with a more proven track record and a more rounded game...and the negotiating leverage of early UFA status.

Competitive bids for Grebs were likely few and far between. The team should have had the hammer.

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#92 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 01:54PM
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@Ogden Brother

Remember that Grebeshkov had asked to go to arbitration so I'm sure that factored in to his contract somewhat.

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#93 Ogden Brother
December 07 2009, 01:57PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Remember that Grebeshkov had asked to go to arbitration so I'm sure that factored in to his contract somewhat.

Ya, I'm more nit-picking then anything. But for a fan base that gets so worked up over .5 million over-pays, Grebs probably falls in that catagory as well.

This past summer (and likely the next) really is the best bargin hunting for role players up to mid range talent we've seen since the cap was implemented.

It really is something the team needs to take advantage of.

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#94 RossCreekNation
December 07 2009, 01:57PM
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@Ccubed82

oh wait i just looked at the Oil's last 15 years of first round picks..... yikes!!

Let's take a look-see...

2009 - Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (top prospect, too early to tell, but looks like a good bet)

2008 - Jordan Eberle (see MPS)

2007 - Sam Gagner (solid NHL player)

- Alex Plante (potential 4-6 D-man, few years away)

- Riley Nash (oh... we'll see, big ??)

2006 - N/A (Roloson deal)

2005 - Andrew Cogliano (solid NHL player)

2004 - Devan Dubnyk (goalie of the future?)

- Rob Schremp (BUST)

2003 - Marc Pouliot (capable NHLer, poor pick)

2002 - Jesse Niinimaki (OUCH! BUST)

2001 - Ales Hemsky ('nuff said, Great Pick)

2000 - Alexei Mihkinov (Barry Fraser's "parting gift", BUST)

1999 - Jani Rita (Ooops, BUST)

1998 - Michael Henrich (Ummmm, BIG BUST)

1997 - Michel Riesen (BIGGER BUST)

1996 - Boyd Devereaux (poor pick, but an NHL veteran of 600+ games)

- Matthieu Descoteaux (G-Zus H. BUST)

1995 - Steve Kelly (boy he was fast *DOAN!DOAN!DOAN!* BUST)

1994 - Jason Bonsignore (boy he was big, BUST)

- Ryan Smyth (Great pick)

1993 - Jason Arnott (Great pick, my personal all-time fave Oiler, why'd you guys run him outta town?)

- Nick Stadjuhar (~didn't want to play in Edmonton and promtly retired)

I count 10 BUST's out of 22. I doubt their success rate is nearly as bad as most people believe. Obviously, some are still undetermined. I think what makes things look worse is that the BUST's have been as big as they have. Like 500lb. man jumping off a 13 storey diving board 'belly-flop style' big. The Swiss miss & off-the-board Finn are stuff of nightmares. Aside from Barry Fraser's last 4 picks, their record probably isn't that bad. I mean, if you'd like, I can take a look back at the Flames during that same period of time and see some equally disturbing picks (Jesper Mattsson anyone?)

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#95 TigerUnderGlass
December 07 2009, 01:57PM
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The issue, from my perspective, seems to be a lack of awareness from management in how to go about turning things round. There is a distinct lack of a discernible plan.

The team needs to take lessons from other leagues which have had salary caps form longer than the NHL has had one.

When a team reaches the cap and it becomes clear they will not have what it takes a rebuild is in order. That does not mean a complete blow-up of the roster and becoming entirely dependent on getting lucky in the draft.

It means making moves to gain the flexibility to allow your team improve. If you are at the cap it is too difficult because you butt your head against the cap with every move you make.

Counting on successful drafting is a bad decision simply because of the unpredictability of picks. With our luck we'd end up with the next Stefan or Daigle.

You have to shed contracts to give yourself the cap room to make moves. I have no idea why NHL GMs seem to undervalue expiring contracts, but I think it could be an effective tool in a quick rebuild. NHL managers seem to be so caught up in not wanting to let assets walk away that they fail to see the advantage.

In short, we need to clear cap space, not so that we aren't overpaying, but to gain flexibility.

To help speed along the rebuild I believe the Oilers need to deal for expiring contracts, which seem to be undervalued leaguewide, rather than attempt to deal our bad contracts for picks. Picks wont fly because to take our salary they need to get rid of salary. We simply take back anybody, as long as their contracts expire at the end of the year.

The first player that comes to mind is Modin in Columbus. He has been a terrible contract for them because he is always hurt. Could a player like O'Sullivan help them get into the playoffs? Staios? It becomes a potential win win because they get a player that might help with a playoff push and shed a few hundred thousand in salary and we get an expiring contract.

Truth is I haven't really taken the time to look and see what is available in expiring deals, I'm mostly just trying to say that there seems to be little recognition around the league of the value of expiring contracts and I have wondered for a while if there might be an advantage to b gained because of it.

It would mean walking away from assets, which seems to be very difficult for NHL managers to do, but it can really help speed up a rebuild.

I'm probably just stating the obvious, yet I have not noticed any managers taking advantage yet since the cap came into play. Why not?

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#96 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 01:58PM
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@Senator Theo

The first part about him going out and trying to give us that extra push at the deadline applies to Kotalik.

Sure it sucks, but if we would've done nothing and missed by 2 points how does that make Tambo look?

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#97 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 07 2009, 02:01PM
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@RossCreekNation

Our drafting hasn't be that bad as of late, even Pouilot at the time it was a good pick. The problem has been that we haven't gotten a top pick where we could've gotten a franchise player.

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#98 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 02:06PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

David Staples wrote a really good story on expiring contracts last week. In it he listed a bunch of contracts set to expire.

http://communities.canada.com/edmontonjournal/blogs/hockey/archive/2009/12/03/the-oilers-need-to-blow-up-this-team-and-trade-for-expiring-contracts.aspx

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#99 Ogden Brother
December 07 2009, 02:08PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:
oh wait i just looked at the Oil's last 15 years of first round picks..... yikes!!

Let's take a look-see...

2009 - Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (top prospect, too early to tell, but looks like a good bet)

2008 - Jordan Eberle (see MPS)

2007 - Sam Gagner (solid NHL player)

- Alex Plante (potential 4-6 D-man, few years away)

- Riley Nash (oh... we'll see, big ??)

2006 - N/A (Roloson deal)

2005 - Andrew Cogliano (solid NHL player)

2004 - Devan Dubnyk (goalie of the future?)

- Rob Schremp (BUST)

2003 - Marc Pouliot (capable NHLer, poor pick)

2002 - Jesse Niinimaki (OUCH! BUST)

2001 - Ales Hemsky ('nuff said, Great Pick)

2000 - Alexei Mihkinov (Barry Fraser's "parting gift", BUST)

1999 - Jani Rita (Ooops, BUST)

1998 - Michael Henrich (Ummmm, BIG BUST)

1997 - Michel Riesen (BIGGER BUST)

1996 - Boyd Devereaux (poor pick, but an NHL veteran of 600+ games)

- Matthieu Descoteaux (G-Zus H. BUST)

1995 - Steve Kelly (boy he was fast *DOAN!DOAN!DOAN!* BUST)

1994 - Jason Bonsignore (boy he was big, BUST)

- Ryan Smyth (Great pick)

1993 - Jason Arnott (Great pick, my personal all-time fave Oiler, why'd you guys run him outta town?)

- Nick Stadjuhar (~didn't want to play in Edmonton and promtly retired)

I count 10 BUST's out of 22. I doubt their success rate is nearly as bad as most people believe. Obviously, some are still undetermined. I think what makes things look worse is that the BUST's have been as big as they have. Like 500lb. man jumping off a 13 storey diving board 'belly-flop style' big. The Swiss miss & off-the-board Finn are stuff of nightmares. Aside from Barry Fraser's last 4 picks, their record probably isn't that bad. I mean, if you'd like, I can take a look back at the Flames during that same period of time and see some equally disturbing picks (Jesper Mattsson anyone?)

Good post RC

Going back to some numbers I ran a few weeks ago, 14-16 overall picks average to "bust" 65% (roughly) % of the time... with that as a base, I'm confident in saying Oiler drafting has been average at very worst.

Also, everyone always try's to pin it on Lowe, that should give a clear picture:

A. We can't even really Jugde Lowe's years for at least another 3-4 years

B. The prior regime was clearly the drafting problem

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#100 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 02:09PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Ya, I'm more nit-picking then anything. But for a fan base that gets so worked up over .5 million over-pays, Grebs probably falls in that catagory as well.

This past summer (and likely the next) really is the best bargin hunting for role players up to mid range talent we've seen since the cap was implemented.

It really is something the team needs to take advantage of.

Really good point, it seems like the top guys will still get their money in free agency but just about everyone else will have to take pay cuts.

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