One-way tickets?

Robin Brownlee
March 02 2009 01:00PM

Watching the Edmonton Oilers file out of Kinsmen Arena on their way to the airport after this morning's skate, I couldn't help but wonder which players wouldn't be making the return flight from a four-game road trip.

Uh, Robert Nilsson? You didn't send out any dry cleaning, did you? And Erik Cole? How are those talks about a contract extension going with GM Steve Tambellini? I thought so.

With the NHL trade deadline looming Wednesday, most players will tell you they don't think about it too much. I've always thought that's sort of like a frat house senior saying he doesn't think about beer and chicks. What's wrong with you, boy?

Of course players think about the trade deadline. Like, if you could end up in Carolina, where you won't have to wait until April 11 to book tee times, or Florida, where hockey is Page 5 until the Stanley Cup final, you'd be thinking about it, too. No?

I mean, if Dan LaCouture can be traded for Sven Butenschon, anybody can be traded, right?

What, me worry?

"You can't focus on it," said Nilsson, whose value right now makes him nothing more than a throw-in or sweetener as part of any deal. "If there was something you could do about, then you'd focus on it. But there's nothing you can do. You just have to play your game."

Or you can sit in the press box and wait -- although, with captain Ethan Moreau out with an eye injury (more on that later), Nilsson could be back in the line-up against Nashville Tuesday.

"You hear things from guys on different teams and stuff like that," admitted Cole. "You play with enough guys over the course of your career, there's guys around the league you're friends with. The way text messaging is, you get a lot of those. You've got to be prepared for whatever happens."

While I was tempted to ask Cole if he'd received any messages from Tuomo Ruutu in Carolina inquiring about house rentals in Edmonton or notes like, "Just thought I'd drop a line to see how you're doing" from Jim Rutherford, I resisted the urge.

Then, there's Sheldon Souray, who isn't going anywhere. Not a chance. No way. Right?

"Anybody who has been in the league for a few years has been involved in a rumour," Souray said. "Guys watch. I don't think guys are looking at the deadline as wanting something to happen. You just have to go about your business. Guys get paid to play, not make personnel decisions."

Fingers crossed

We keep getting bits and pieces of positive news about the state of Moreau's right eye, damaged by Antti Miettinen's high-stick in the final seconds of Saturday's 3-2 win over Minnesota.

Moreau's home resting after spending Saturday night in the hospital. And, while there's no iron-clad prognosis, yet, and specialists will monitor Moreau closely in coming days, it appears, thankfully, we're not looking at a repeat of a Bryan Berard-type situation.

"He saw the doctor again today and everything went well," said coach Craig MacTavish. "All the news so far has been really positive. It's hard to completely anticipate and project how it's going to go, but everything to this point has really gone well.

"Everything looks to be pointing to a complete and full recovery, so far. How long that is, depends on the next few days. There's an obstacle every couple of days to get over. So far, he's doing well."

Around the rink

Ales Hemsky didn't skate today after taking a shot in the foot against Minnesota. He'll be ready to go in Nashville.

Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe didn't accompany the team to Tennessee. They're flying directly to Ottawa and will meet the team there.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Peter Pan
March 02 2009, 12:24PM
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Bye bye Mr.Cole. Best of luck Biatch!

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#2 Harlie Chuddy
March 02 2009, 12:27PM
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Hi Robin...thanks for the article/updates. In regards to Klowe and Tembellini are they flying out today or on Thursday? ie - sticking around town to man the phones over the trade deadline or doing it all in a hotel room in Ottawa? Just wondering..

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#3 B-rad
March 02 2009, 12:31PM
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Well I hope they don't trade any picks and prospects to try and win the cup this year....

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#4 Matt N
March 02 2009, 12:34PM
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I am feeling more and more like the Oil are going to keep Cole in a misguided push for the playoffs, then watch him walk for free.

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#5 swany
March 02 2009, 12:36PM
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If the rumours are true that they WON'T trade away the future I doubt any picks will be moved either. The only players I see beeing avalible are Penner, nilsson, and Prospects so nothing will happen deadline day. The team we have is the team we will have after TD

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#6 Monday Guy
March 02 2009, 12:37PM
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i know you joked about it, but does anyone know if there indeed have been contract talks with Cole ?

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#7 Monday Guy
March 02 2009, 12:39PM
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swany wrote:

If the rumours are true that they WON’T trade away the future I doubt any picks will be moved either.

I think most would agree... the players we are willing to deal, wont bring the returns we want.

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#8 Harlie Chuddy
March 02 2009, 12:41PM
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@ Monday Guy:

this guy who knows this girl who knows her dad's best friend who works at a deli where this UPS guy who drops off packages knows a lady who knows Cole's wife's sister doesn't know if contract talks have actually happened. Then...of course...neither did this.

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#9 Dan from Wainwright
March 02 2009, 12:41PM
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@ Matt N: Matt N wrote:

I am feeling more and more like the Oil are going to keep Cole in a misguided push for the playoffs, then watch him walk for free.

Likewise. I have that same feeling. But those that would argue we don't trade him really must have their hearts set on that first playoff round with the inevitable exit in 6 games.

Any word on whether or not MacT is on the trade block (I wish it were possible).

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#10 Jonathan Willis
March 02 2009, 12:59PM
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I mean, if Dan LaCouture can be traded for Sven Butenschon, anybody can be traded, right?

And what a shocking blockbuster that was ;)

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#11 Fiveandagame
March 02 2009, 01:04PM
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I always like it when we get new Oilers. They always come in with such high expectations, all shiny and new.... then we get our hands on em and chase them out of town... So much fun. It's like dating in high school.

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#12 Rob
March 02 2009, 01:19PM
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Fiveandagame wrote:

Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe didn’t accompany the team to Tennessee. They’re flying directly to Ottawa and will meet the team there.

Egads. Lowe accompanying Tambo to Ottawa? The ONLY hope Oiler fans have is that Lowe fades to black. He has pulled too many boners at the trade deadline and draft. That's why the talent pool is 1" inch deep.

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#13 Deep Oil
March 02 2009, 01:21PM
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swany wrote:

If the rumours are true that they WON’T trade away the future I doubt any picks will be moved either. The only players I see beeing avalible are Penner, nilsson, and Prospects so nothing will happen deadline day. The team we have is the team we will have after TD

It is against league rules to pay another team to take your players - Penner is here not going anywhere and I can still here lowe on stauffer's show calling out Burke for being a moron. Mirror Mirror on the wall - please forgive me for getting bent over and signing theses sausages and wasting $15mm this year, next year and so on..... why oh why do true super stars avoid our city - is it me, is it our boring coach and his system dumbing creative scoring thinking..... at least we are sold out for now - the money is still coming in.... whew

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#14 Robin B
March 02 2009, 01:21PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I mean, if Dan LaCouture can be traded for Sven Butenschon, anybody can be traded, right? And what a shocking blockbuster that was

It did provide, however, one or the more memorable moments on trade deadline day. We were in Tampa Bay when LaCouture got word he was being traded. It was just before the morning skate. Danny was brought out to do interviews. He was always an emotional kid, and when the questions were done, we wished him good luck. Before he went back into the dressing room, he said, "Say goodbye to Mosser (Joey Moss) for me" and a big tear rolled down his cheek. It was a pretty honest moment.

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#15 Deep Oil
March 02 2009, 01:24PM
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Rob wrote:

Fiveandagame wrote: Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe didn’t accompany the team to Tennessee. They’re flying directly to Ottawa and will meet the team there. Egads. Lowe accompanying Tambo to Ottawa? The ONLY hope Oiler fans have is that Lowe fades to black. He has pulled too many boners at the trade deadline and draft. That’s why the talent pool is 1″ inch deep.

He is in Ottawa scouting Comrie - he knows that he has to apologize to him in the 12 step program - then off to Toronto for a hug and flowers to Burkie.

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#16 socaldave
March 02 2009, 01:37PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

why oh why do true super stars avoid our city - is it me whew

yep

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#17 jeanshorts
March 02 2009, 01:48PM
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Robin B wrote:

Before he went back into the dressing room, he said, “Say goodbye to Mosser (Joey Moss) for me” and a big tear rolled down his cheek.

And the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes that day...

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#18 swany
March 02 2009, 02:03PM
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NOT one single rumour about the Oil, not even the stupid ones, does this mean a big deal or no deals, it seems like the little ones always leak out while the big ones never do, Cole staying??? Gregor said Buyers, what's the good word Robin what can the Oilers buy with the poo we are willing to deal. It's been said they will not part with Gagner, Cogs, Gilbert the youth of the team What's left???? Nilsson, Penner not much there.

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#19 BURKEtheTURD
March 02 2009, 02:19PM
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@ swany: i think your right, now much there to work with. I think the Oils will be playing the cards they where dealt with.

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#20 Robin B
March 02 2009, 02:21PM
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@ swany: It's "been said?" By who? Tambellini and Lowe have not talked in days. They make the decisions, so what anybody else says doesn't matter one squirt. Are you reading credible sources?

History tells me that the quieter it is before the deadline, the likelier it is the Oilers will do something. And the big ones sometimes do leak out -- I got Samsonov in 06.

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#21 King Mob
March 02 2009, 02:26PM
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I would love to see Cole + Pouliot for Ruutu.

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#22 Stall35
March 02 2009, 02:28PM
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Dan from Wainwright wrote:

Any word on whether or not MacT is on the trade block (I wish it were possible).

TSN reports that there are a few offers but so far, the best one so far is for two of the old square nets and a shooter tutor.

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#23 Robin B
March 02 2009, 02:30PM
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@ King Mob: Cole and Pouliot. Cole and Nilsson. Cole and Schremp. It'll take something to pry Ruutu out of Carolina, even if Rutherford is certain he re-sign Cole.

The wildcard in all of this is the effect of Moreau's injury. They get Grebeshkov back, which sets aside one set of issues, then lose Ethan. Tambellini and Lowe aren't saying anything right now . . .

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#24 swany
March 02 2009, 02:34PM
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Robin B wrote:

@ swany: It’s “been said?” By who? Tambellini and Lowe have not talked in days. They make the decisions, so what anybody else says doesn’t matter one squirt. Are you reading credible sources? History tells me that the quieter it is before the deadline, the likelier it is the Oilers will do something. And the big ones sometimes do leak out — I got Samsonov in 06.

Ryan Rashug(sp) on TSN in his little blog says the Oilers WILL NOT trade the future and that's what they are getting asked for and reports it could be a very quite day in Edmonton, If you think otherwise which one of the kids would they part with if a top LW was avalible. Rreports are they have already turned down a deal for Olli when he was in Florida because they wanted Cogs (from tencer) and he also stated that if Edmonton WAS inquireing about Jay-Bo Florida started at Cogs and the Oilers wont go there, just telling you what has been said. On a side note Ryan did say that Gilbert could be in play, but from where I sit this would have to happen in the summer as Vis is gone for the year and that would really be plugging one hole and creating another

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#25 Jonathan Willis
March 02 2009, 02:41PM
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@ Robin B:

I always liked Lacouture. Not much of a talent (at the NHL level anyways) but a fun player to watch. I was happy when Carolina signed him in the off-season.

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#26 rindog
March 02 2009, 02:42PM
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@ Robin B:

How much inside knowledge would Bruce Macgregor have?

I heard some information (and the exact souce) of a deal that didn't happen and was just wondering if MacGregor would have any more access to information than others?

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#27 BUCK75 - FMNF
March 02 2009, 02:43PM
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This morning on the radio Bryn was saying 2 of the 3 kids would be on way out if something earth shattering was going to happen. Depending on who you get back, salary etc I would be willing to give up Gags & Nilsson. Cogliano looks to be the most consistant lately. That being said, not trading 2 of them for JBow or something dumb like that...I would give up on them for Spezza.

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#28 Robin B
March 02 2009, 02:45PM
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@ swany: Jokinen will come cheaper now. As for Gilbert, if the Oilers are going to take any kind of run at Bouwmeester, they'll have to unload Gilbert's $4 million, and then some, to be legit bidders.

"We won't trade the future?" What GM hasn't said that? Really. If Tambellini could land Kovalchuk or Spezza for a package of young players, a piece or two of that future would be out the door so fast your head would spin.

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#29 Robin B
March 02 2009, 02:46PM
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@ rindog: Yes, he would know about anything the Oilers are doing.

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#30 swany
March 02 2009, 02:51PM
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Robin B wrote:

@ swany: Jokinen will come cheaper now. As for Gilbert, if the Oilers are going to take any kind of run at Bouwmeester, they’ll have to unload Gilbert’s $4 million, and then some, to be legit bidders. “We won’t trade the future?” What GM hasn’t said that? Really. If Tambellini could land Kovalchuk or Spezza for a package of young players, a piece or two of that future would be out the door so fast your head would spin.

I agree completely,I was just putting what Rashug said on your blog, as for Kovalchuk you and I hashed that one out in your last blog and I agree with you I would send Cogs, Nilsson, Gilbert and MAP schremp for Kovy, Reasner asap, if they were avalible, I just don't know if that would be enough for Kovy OR Spezza. Do you?

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#31 Peter Pan
March 02 2009, 02:53PM
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@ Robin:

XM Radio just announced that a trade between Oilers and NYI or Flyers is very, very close. Credible or not and just for the fun, if this has any chance of being true, what do you think it could be?

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#32 swany
March 02 2009, 02:54PM
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As for Olli I just don't want this team to trade for him to play LW, lets get a true LW to play with Hemmer, I know you said he is a winger playing centre but what side Robin, this better not be another Cole experiment.

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#33 King Mob
March 02 2009, 02:54PM
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Robin B wrote:

@ King Mob: Cole and Pouliot. Cole and Nilsson. Cole and Schremp. It’ll take something to pry Ruutu out of Carolina, even if Rutherford is certain he re-sign Cole.

this is true. honestly, If I were Steve i would make any one of those deals, and then pray to the hockey Gods that Ruutu and Hemsky develop some sort of fantastic chemistry (hey, don't we deserve it after everyone else we've tried?) and thus Ruutu would be more willing to sign with us, at least on a short term deal.

If I were a skilled LW with a scoring touch, I'd give my right something for the chance to play on a line with one of the game's elite passers. then again, i'm an oilers fan.

We've had a lot of bum deals lately and a brought in a lot of guys that simply havent lived up to their expectations. We're due to be on the winning side on trade deadline day.

sigh. if only life worked like that.

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#34 swany
March 02 2009, 02:55PM
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Peter Pan wrote:

@ Robin: XM Radio just announced that a trade between Oilers and NYI or Flyers is very, very close. Credible or not and just for the fun, if this has any chance of being true, what do you think it could be?

Greta he are the ones getting Billy Boy that fixs all our problems, why not bring back Smitty to and Weight back to the future

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#35 Jonathan Willis
March 02 2009, 02:58PM
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Peter Pan wrote:

XM Radio just announced that a trade between Oilers and NYI or Flyers is very, very close. Credible or not and just for the fun, if this has any chance of being true, what do you think it could be?

It's worth noting that the Oilers have had good trade relationships with the Islanders and Flyers. Outside of those two teams, I'd think only the Rangers and Blue Jackets have a closer relationship.

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#36 rindog
March 02 2009, 02:59PM
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@ Robin B:

So what would you say if I said that the Oilers offered Penner and Horcoff for Vinnie a while back?

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#37 humantorch
March 02 2009, 03:17PM
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rindog wrote:

@ Robin B: So what would you say if I said that the Oilers offered Penner and Horcoff for Vinnie a while back?

I don't know what Robin would say, but I can guarantee you what Jay Feaster would say.

"HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA *snort* HA HA HA HA HEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE HA HA"

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#38 swany
March 02 2009, 03:18PM
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rindog wrote:

@ Robin B: So what would you say if I said that the Oilers offered Penner and Horcoff for Vinnie a while back?

I heard this, but it was one or the other plus Nilsson, Omark Schremp and a D man Grebs or Gilbert.

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#39 swany
March 02 2009, 03:22PM
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humantorch wrote:

rindog wrote: @ Robin B: So what would you say if I said that the Oilers offered Penner and Horcoff for Vinnie a while back? I don’t know what Robin would say, but I can guarantee you what Jay Feaster would say. “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA *snort* HA HA HA HA HEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE HA HA”

Why would Fester say anything since he no longer has anything to say what TBL do.

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#40 Slurve
March 02 2009, 03:23PM
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I wish the Oilers would take a chance to make a trade on Kovalchuk or Lecavalier. I mean a serious try. Oilers have to package (poor guy) Schremp in part of a major deal or he will rot on the farm.

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#41 speeds
March 02 2009, 03:25PM
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Not terribly excited to hear that EDM may be close to a deal with PHI, since I'd heard that EDM has at least considered acquiring Briere. Myself, I'm not even sure I would want the Oilers to claim him even if he were on waivers.

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#42 swany
March 02 2009, 03:29PM
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speeds wrote:

Not terribly excited to hear that EDM may be close to a deal with PHI, since I’d heard that EDM has at least considered acquiring Briere. Myself, I’m not even sure I would want the Oilers to claim him even if he were on waivers.

Maybe if Horcs or Penners monster contracts are going back

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#43 Dennis
March 02 2009, 03:32PM
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RB: did something happen to you when you were sick?;) You're back dishing all kinds of inside gear and, honestly, that's the kind of stuff I like to read and I'm glad you're sharing.

Lacouture was always a hard work and back then the Oilers started to draft and/or acquire a lot of guys who were playing US college hockey. Grier, Murray, Marchant, Weight, McGillis, Poti, etc, etc. He was part of that pile and you had to love him when he went after Drake after Drake concussed Boyd Devereaux.

So, is this a new thing that the Oilers are gonna have to sprinkle on a Cole package in order to bring back Ruutu? It's the first time I've seen you mention it.

BTW, can you detail how you found out about the Samsonov trade? Without burning any sources, I mean.

Ultimately, the Oilers are gonna have to trade some of their dmen in order to bolster their forward corps.

But do you make that kind of move now or do you want until draft day?

In terms of what you move, 44 and 71 are older with big contracts and 77 looks like a good bet to best last year's numbers plus he's playing top four min as well. The hope's that 37's gonna sign for close to bargain status and 5 doesn't have much of a leg to stand on in terms of asking for a raise. 43's serviceable and a 5-49 tandem for next year might not be too bad if you have a strong top four. Oilers have lots of puck-movers and 44's the best ruffian. 5-49 are ruffians but it's unlikely they'll be top four min ruffians.

So, once again, from all of that, do you try and make that big trade on wed or do you wait until June?

Personally, I think both 12-89 are just going through some tough-luck and it wouldn't shock me if they came back in 2010 to score a combined 50 goals. So I'm patient to the point of standing pat.

but you know katz wants to make a splash and Tambellini wants to make it look like he's doing something so I'm expecting something from the Oil come Wed.

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#44 Robin B
March 02 2009, 03:41PM
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@ Dennis: I'll with tough luck on Sam. Nilsson is a goner by next training camp.

They'll flog Gilbert in a nanosecond if they're in contention for Bouwmeester July 1

I've floated Cole plus a sweetener to Carolina before. Carolina wants Cole back, and that's reliable. The Oilers are the ones asking for Ruutu, and they have to hope Rutherford wants old No. 26 back bad enough to go for it.

Got Samsonov from the Boston end.

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#45 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
March 02 2009, 03:45PM
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Is this XM radio report true about the Oilers with NYI or Flyers?

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#46 Bob Sacamano
March 02 2009, 03:55PM
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Hey Robin, are you going to be on the Team all day Wednesday? Will you be posting this on the site during the day?

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#47 Robin B
March 02 2009, 03:57PM
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@ Bob Sacamano: I'm on the TEAM 10-2 and I'm writing for Canadian Press. Don't know if I'll be writing here during the peak hours.

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#48 swany
March 02 2009, 03:57PM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

Is this XM radio report true about the Oilers with NYI or Flyers?

Who off the Islanders would we want, I'm not one of the guys who think Billy or Dougie would be good here, and the only guy avalible in Philly would be Danny boy and his 8 mil contract, on a side note if Penner was going the other way maybe can Horc play LW with Danny boy in the middle with Hemmer on the RW?

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#49 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
March 02 2009, 04:03PM
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Im asking if its true that it was even said, or if there is anything there.

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#50 Robin B
March 02 2009, 04:24PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer: Sorry, haven't heard the report. If XM Radio can't even decide if it's the Oilers AND/OR the Isles or Flyers, it sounds like a radio version of hockeybuzz to me.

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