PAT QUINN: THE RIGHT MAN

Robin Brownlee
May 26 2009 05:34PM

HOCKEY-WORLD JUNIORS/

People fixated on his birth certificate or his grey hair are already second-guessing the choice of 66-year-old Pat Quinn as the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.

Of course, those who call the big Irishman old school and characterize him as some sort of dithering overseer without a grasp of the fineries of Xs and Os and the nuances of strategy in a game that's changed considerably since he broke into the NHL as a lumbering defenceman five decades ago, know not of what they speak. In simple terms, they're so far off, they don't know what they don't know.

Fact is, Quinn is one of the more progressive thinkers in the game. He is a tactician and a teacher, a believer in systems play, of tailoring his philosophy to the talent at his disposal and a consummate team builder. Don't be fooled by the pin-striped suits and cigars.

Quinn began learning his trade under Fred Shero with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1977-78 season before taking over as the head coach in 1978-79. He's been drawing up game plans and tweaking defensive zone and forechecking systems since. Hell, Quinn was utilizing videotape to break down opponents with the Broad Street Bullies long before Roger Nielsen was dubbed Captain Video.

So, while GM Steve Tambellini doesn't need my stamp of approval, he's got it after unveiling Quinn and Tom Renney as his associate coach at Rexall Place today. Quinn is the right man for the job and the right fit for the Oilers.

Just you watch.

A BOOK BY ITS COVER

Quinn, a two-time Jack Adams Award winner as NHL coach of the year (1979-80 with Philadelphia and 1991-92 with Vancouver) with a career regular season record of 657-481-154-26 in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Toronto, laughs off the tag he's a throwback and a fossil.

And he should. Anybody who has been around the NHL game awhile knows there are young men who are old thinkers and old men who are young thinkers -- the birth certificate has nothing to do with it. "I feel like I've been ahead of the curve in a lot of approaches," smiles Quinn when asked about his coaching style. "Heck, I was sending people out of the (offensive) zone, we call it the stretch now, in 1979. That's why we went 35 games without a loss (in Philadelphia)."

Off the NHL coaching carousel since 2006, Quinn coached Canada to a gold medal at the 2008 World Junior Championship. Having dealt just fine with a roster full of pimply-faced teenagers, I don't see a generation gap being a problem with the likes of Oilers youngsters Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano or Patrick O'Sullivan. At the same time, Quinn will lean on his veterans, but not with no questions asked. He'll do his homework on who's who and what's what when it comes to veterans and the question of leadership before scratching out a pecking order. That, I'm guessing you'll agree, is a good thing.

"I have to do some research on some of the players," Quinn said. "I must admit I haven't watched a lot of them in the past couple of years. I've been concentrating on junior hockey. "I have some learning to do about the individuals with this organization, but I do know there's talent there. The talent did not become a team like everybody had hoped it would.

"Maybe there were too many similar kinds of players. Good teams have a mix, just like we hope we're a good team here at the coaching level with different assets and different ways to make contributions. The players on the ice have to have that same sort of mix."

SORTING IT OUT

From a tactical perspective, Quinn favours a puck-possession game and he'll blend all the offensive talent he can get his hands on with grinders and role players who fit the mix. Quinn's a proponent of having his team play his way and making opponents adjust as opposed to constantly changing things up based on the opposition. He doesn't regularly match lines, opting instead to use a shutdown pairing of defencemen and a maybe a defensive forward. Of course, the former Oil King also likes toughness in his line-up, which is no surprise given how he played.

Quinn, for those who weren't even born at the time, once knocked Bobby Orr so goofy with a wicked hit he almost started a riot:

He and Steve MacIntyre will get along just fine.

"You set up a style of play that is best suited to give the talent you have the opportunity to win," Quinn said. "We will do that. We'll give a system of play that, hopefully, encompasses our look at all of our players. At the end of the day, whatever you have, you still have to win and that's the bottom line. We'll find ways to help these guys become a team."

There's one other thing those who don't really know squat about Quinn don't understand because you can't attach a number to it, and that's his passion for the game. Quinn has as much fire in him to succeed now as he ever has, and that was apparent today.

NO DICE

Of course, some people will sniff the hiring of Quinn signals that the Old Boys Network is alive and well and that the only difference is it's Tambellini's old pals, not Kevin Lowe's, who get the jobs now. What, Tambellini was supposed to make Scott Arniel or Todd Richards the most important hire of his tenure as GM rather than go with somebody he knows, trusts and respects?

Please. That's naïve beyond words.

Call it a safe hire if you like -- I respect the opinion of colleague Jim Matheson immensely and he is leaning that way on the choice of Quinn and Renney -- but I wouldn't be rolling the dice on a promising but unproven newcomer right now, as tempting as it was, given the qualified candidates.

Quinn's the right guy.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. 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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#101 Mikey
May 27 2009, 02:52PM
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@ David S: It may be a case of too little too late though for some of them.

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#102 Librarian Mike
May 27 2009, 02:57PM
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David S wrote:

Or some of the skilled kids we have could learn to play “bigger”. From what I saw at the end of the year, Gagner is certainly starting to do this. I bet he comes to camp 20 lbs heavier with a chip on his shoulder.

This goes back to a comment made earlier about Quinn teams being kind of yappy with refs. After thinking about it, and with the above quote, it kind of felt at the end of last season that the team would quietly skulk off the ice after a loss. Maybe what they need is a little bit of bitchiness out there. Throw in a dash of crazy (i.e. Souray pushing Moreau aside to beat someone up) and you've got a team that people don't want to play against.

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#103 Archaeologuy
May 27 2009, 02:58PM
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@ Mikey: on my list the smallish Oiler forwards who have done the least are O'Sullivan and Nilsson. Who's on your list.

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#104 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 03:02PM
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Chris wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: All four “smaller” teams you listed, are harder to play against than the Oilers. Tambellini doesn’t need make the Oiler as tough as the Ducks… he needs to get them at least as tough as the Blackhawks…

Ya I agree, getting Penner back into the top 6 and a Nathan Horton as well should get us there.

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#105 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 03:03PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Do you flip Nilsson for Tootoo Tootoo = Usefull Nilsson = Useless The math is simple on that one. Ogden Brother wrote: Cogliano for Horton? Looking at the 2 I see Cogs potentially being able to duplicate what Horton is doing now. Keep in mind that Cogs has been buried on the 3rd line for both of his seasons. Now Horton is a beast of a kid at 6′2″ and 230 lbs. On the other hand, I think he’s elligible for UFA status in 2 years compared to 5 years for Cogs. It sure would upgrade the size of the team though. I just think that the best has yet to come from Cogs. This was a bad year to be an Oiler and Cogs only has 2 seasons under his belt. Maybe his 3rd year proves to be significantly better than the last and all of a sudden he can be used to get something better than Horton. I just dont like the idea of trading either of Cogs or Gags away because their stock is at a low right now.

Arrg, my point wasn't what a great trade Nilsson for Tooto would be... it's that Nilsson will get you next to nothing while Cogs will get you quality.

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#106 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 03:05PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Do you flip Nilsson for Tootoo Tootoo = Usefull Nilsson = Useless The math is simple on that one. Ogden Brother wrote: Cogliano for Horton? Looking at the 2 I see Cogs potentially being able to duplicate what Horton is doing now. Keep in mind that Cogs has been buried on the 3rd line for both of his seasons. Now Horton is a beast of a kid at 6′2″ and 230 lbs. On the other hand, I think he’s elligible for UFA status in 2 years compared to 5 years for Cogs. It sure would upgrade the size of the team though. I just think that the best has yet to come from Cogs. This was a bad year to be an Oiler and Cogs only has 2 seasons under his belt. Maybe his 3rd year proves to be significantly better than the last and all of a sudden he can be used to get something better than Horton. I just dont like the idea of trading either of Cogs or Gags away because their stock is at a low right now.

Horton has 4 more years on his contract. Cogs for Horton would be just what this team needs.

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#107 Mikey
May 27 2009, 03:13PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Arrg, my point wasn’t what a great trade Nilsson for Tooto would be… it’s that Nilsson will get you next to nothing while Cogs will get you quality.

Your point is flawed if you think that Tootoo is nothing.

Archaeologuy wrote:

on my list the smallish Oiler forwards who have done the least are O’Sullivan and Nilsson. Who’s on your list.

Nilsson for sure but I believe some of our bigger players play like even bigger pussies than our small players (Penner, Pisani, Brodziak, Pouliout). If these guys would be grittier then this team would've been tougher to play against.

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#108 Archaeologuy
May 27 2009, 03:23PM
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@ Ogden Brother: I didnt look at his contract. Yikes. 4 mill a season for what Cogs makes is almost an addition of 3 mill a season on the Cap. Is there any way to package 2 other players for him? Will O'Sull and Nilsson do it? Probably not. I like the size he would add, but the Oilers are paying a lot of contracts of that size as it is. His contract makes me less willing to take him.

Sully: 2.925 Penner: 4.25 Hemsky: 4.1 Horc: 5.5 Souray 5.4 Gilbert: 4 Visnovsky: 5.6 HORTON: 4

That's 35.8 mill for 8 guys. Then consider that the Oilers dont have a starting Goalie and havent resigned Grebeshkov. I dont know about it.

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#109 David S
May 27 2009, 03:41PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Throw in a dash of crazy (i.e. Souray pushing Moreau aside to beat someone up) and you’ve got a team that people don’t want to play against.

THAT was definitely one of the coolest moments of the season last year. Certified loonie-bin nutz. We need more of that stuff for sure!

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#110 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 03:47PM
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Mikey wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Arrg, my point wasn’t what a great trade Nilsson for Tooto would be… it’s that Nilsson will get you next to nothing while Cogs will get you quality. Your point is flawed if you think that Tootoo is nothing. Archaeologuy wrote: on my list the smallish Oiler forwards who have done the least are O’Sullivan and Nilsson. Who’s on your list. Nilsson for sure but I believe some of our bigger players play like even bigger pussies than our small players (Penner, Pisani, Brodziak, Pouliout). If these guys would be grittier then this team would’ve been tougher to play against.

Good god, forget Tootoo.

Nilsson for a 5th or Cogs for Horton then.

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#111 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 03:49PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: I didnt look at his contract. Yikes. 4 mill a season for what Cogs makes is almost an addition of 3 mill a season on the Cap. Is there any way to package 2 other players for him? Will O’Sull and Nilsson do it? Probably not. I like the size he would add, but the Oilers are paying a lot of contracts of that size as it is. His contract makes me less willing to take him. Sully: 2.925 Penner: 4.25 Hemsky: 4.1 Horc: 5.5 Souray 5.4 Gilbert: 4 Visnovsky: 5.6 HORTON: 4 That’s 35.8 mill for 8 guys. Then consider that the Oilers dont have a starting Goalie and havent resigned Grebeshkov. I dont know about it.

I'm pretty sure Cogs is going to be making more then 1 million after this year.

You way under rate O'sully and way over rate Cogs, they really aren't that different.

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#112 Robin Brownlee
May 27 2009, 03:52PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Horton has 4 more years on his contract. Cogs for Horton would be just what this team needs.

Horton for Cogliano? Horton is bigger, is signed for four more years at a $4M cap hit, has seasons of 47, 62, 62 and 45 points and is better on face-offs than Cogliano, who has seasons of 45 and 38 points. Why, short of having gone completely insane, would Jacques Martin make that trade?

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#113 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 03:56PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Horton has 4 more years on his contract. Cogs for Horton would be just what this team needs. Horton for Cogliano? Horton is bigger, is signed for four more years at a $4M cap hit, has seasons of 47, 62, 62 and 45 points and is better on face-offs than Cogliano, who has seasons of 45 and 38 points. Why, short of having gone completely insane, would Jacques Martin make that trade?

Same reason he traded Loungo/Jokenin

1. He may be insane

2. He may want out like Luongo/Jokenin (TSN reports from Jan/Feb that he was considering retiring and or wanting out)

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#114 Mikey
May 27 2009, 03:56PM
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@ Ogden Brother: I understood what your point was.

I agree I think the fans here undervalue what O'Sullivan can bring. But I don't think Arch overrates Cogliano. This guy had sh*ttier linemates than Hemsky and didn't get a sniff on the powerplay yet he was 3rd in goals amongst Oiler forwards.

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#115 Archaeologuy
May 27 2009, 03:57PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I’m pretty sure Cogs is going to be making more then 1 million after this year. You way under rate O’sully and way over rate Cogs, they really aren’t that different.

Except O'Sull is 3 years older and has less than 1/2 the shooting % of Cogs. I am willing to accept the accusation of over-valuing Cogs, but I have qualified why I value him so high. So why should I value O'Sullivan more than Cogs. And if they're essentially the same player (which i disagree with) then why would the Oil keep O'Sull, who is older and makes more money?

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#116 Harlie
May 27 2009, 04:00PM
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David S wrote:

Librarian Mike wrote: Throw in a dash of crazy (i.e. Souray pushing Moreau aside to beat someone up) and you’ve got a team that people don’t want to play against. THAT was definitely one of the coolest moments of the season last year. Certified loonie-bin nutz. We need more of that stuff for sure!

and here I thought the Private Eyes CLAP CLAP was the coolest moment of last season. Shame on me!

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#117 Mikey
May 27 2009, 04:02PM
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Harlie wrote:

and here I thought the Private Eyes CLAP CLAP was the coolest moment of last season. Shame on me!

Will the new coaching staff allow this to continue or now that Renney is here are they doomed to "Sweet Caroline"?

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#118 Archaeologuy
May 27 2009, 04:04PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Why, short of having gone completely insane, would Jacques Martin make that trade?

I was struggling with that problem as well, but is it more possible that Martin trades Horton to the Oilers for one of the Smallish guys + Gilbert?

Plus isnt it a quota for one of the Florida teams to do something totally bat-sh*t crazy every year? Last year was Tampa's turn, so this year the Panthers are due.

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#119 David S
May 27 2009, 04:05PM
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Actually, I was pretty disappointed by O'Sullivan given all the hype that was thrown his way. I can see Cogliano being a MUCH better player in a couple of years. The guy is just learning how to use his speed to maximum effect. Some of hos goals last year were absolute all-world beauties. He gets a couple of decent linemates and we're cooking with gas. OTOH, O'Sullivan is turning into a big meh.

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#120 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 04:06PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: I’m pretty sure Cogs is going to be making more then 1 million after this year. You way under rate O’sully and way over rate Cogs, they really aren’t that different. Except O’Sull is 3 years older and has less than 1/2 the shooting % of Cogs. I am willing to accept the accusation of over-valuing Cogs, but I have qualified why I value him so high. So why should I value O’Sullivan more than Cogs. And if they’re essentially the same player (which i disagree with) then why would the Oil keep O’Sull, who is older and makes more money?

1. He wont be making much (if any) more money in another year.

2 Their #'s ... save shooting % are almost identical.

I'm not saying move Cogs over O'sully, it's just silly to have Gagner/Cogs in the "untouchable" catagory. No one is untouchable depending one what is returning.

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#121 David S
May 27 2009, 04:07PM
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^ "hos" should be "his". Jeeeez!

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#122 Librarian Mike
May 27 2009, 04:12PM
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David S wrote:

^ “hos” should be “his”. Jeeeez!

Aha. I was thinking you REALLY don't like that guy. Haha.

I have to say that I didn't really think much of either O'Sullivan or Kotalik since they arrived. They didn't really stand out, but I'm of the mind that they deserve a shot with the new coaches at the very least. I certainly wouldn't cry if they were used as bait for someone else though.

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#123 Archaeologuy
May 27 2009, 04:14PM
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@ Ogden Brother: Yeah their numbers are similar. Except O'Sull did that with 2nd line time and PP time, and Cogs did it 3 years younger on 3rd line time and with no PP time.

I'm not saying he's untouchable, but what you could get for him now might be 3/4 of what you could get if he continues to progress. Sure its not a given that he will be an All-Star, but he just finished his sophomore season. Cogs today wont get you what he could if he even had 10 more PP points, earned by not being buried by the coach.

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#124 Librarian Mike
May 27 2009, 04:23PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

I'm not saying Cogliano's a comparable player, but Iginla didn't really break out until he was well into his 20s. Some players need time, and I see no reason why anyone would be willing to give up on him so quickly.

He just needs Youngblood's dad to teach him how to fight.

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#125 David S
May 27 2009, 04:34PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

I’m not saying Cogliano’s a comparable player, but Iginla didn’t really break out until he was well into his 20s. Some players need time, and I see no reason why anyone would be willing to give up on him so quickly. He just needs Youngblood’s dad to teach him how to fight.

Agreed LM! The Red Wings probably would have kept Cogliano playing in juniors until 23 or 24. Then he'd come up and be the next (insert favorite Red Wing player here) inside of two years.

BTW - wasn't Youngblood's dad played by Eric Nesterenko (sp)?

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#126 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 04:45PM
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Because it has nothing to do with "giving up" on anyone. It's not "trade this guy because we don't mind losing him" it's trading from a position of strength to shore up a postion of weakness

Trading a Cogs is going to land you something tangible. If he'll get you something proportionatly better then O'Sully would, then you trade Cogs.

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#127 Oilersordeath
May 27 2009, 05:04PM
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@ David S: We might be a little overly critical about O'Sully I mean look at what happened to him last year, he went from a horrible team to an absolute mess of a team!! I think he deserves a chance to prove what he's capable of doing. Cogs on the other hand I'd hate to trade away young talent like that and the Oilers always do, trade away young talent that blossom into very good players!Arnott!

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#128 David S
May 27 2009, 05:16PM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

We might be a little overly critical about O’Sully I mean look at what happened to him last year, he went from a horrible team to an absolute mess of a team!! I think he deserves a chance to prove what he’s capable of doing. Cogs on the other hand I’d hate to trade away young talent like that and the Oilers always do, trade away young talent that blossom into very good players!Arnott!

Jeez man. You squeezed alot of good points in that post. Thing of it is, from what I saw yesterday in the press conference, my gut tells me "good enough" guys and guys with limited potential will be making an exit from this team over the summer. It really sounded like Tambo was just getting started with the changes. I bet Katz has given him some pretty tall orders.

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#129 Oilersordeath
May 27 2009, 06:00PM
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David S wrote:

“good enough” guys and guys with limited potential will be making an exit from this team over the summer. It really sounded like Tambo was just getting started with the changes. I bet Katz has given him some pretty tall orders.

I am all for getting rid of those guys my friend, its just for some reason Cogs and O'sully would not be in MY top 5 as guys to move. I just have this sick feeling that if we did trade Cogs he'll score 35-40 goals! I really hope Katz and Tambo make our Oil the team we've been craving since 06'

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#130 Dennis
May 27 2009, 07:27PM
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I dare say Brownlee will either end up being the final piece of the coaching staff or there'll be pistols at dawn;)

I like the idea by Tambo; I don't think it's been done anywhere else and even though it's being tried with two older guys who you'd think would be set in your ways, it looks like it's been all laid out and both guys are ready to give it a shot.

I don't buy Quinn as a tactician because I can't remember it being written anywhere else but I believe he's got some great old timey stories and is respected and he'll be able to motivate the vets and inspire the kids. I don't think anyone outside of the Wings can win without having the best goalie but I remember Quinn's Leaves as having a good PP and winning because CuJo or Belfour was better than their counterpart.

Meanwhile, Renney's a guy with a great PK rep and the Oil were good enough at EV last year to make the playoffs but the PK just kicked the nuts off them.

I like the approach and I think it will work.

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#131 David S
May 27 2009, 07:29PM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

I am all for getting rid of those guys my friend, its just for some reason Cogs and O’sully would not be in MY top 5 as guys to move. I just have this sick feeling that if we did trade Cogs he’ll score 35-40 goals!

Yeah. I get that. Although I couldn't make a qualified statement to that effect (that's what I trust Gregor and Brownlee for), I think if Quinn is half as good as he seems to be he'll figure out pretty fast who has the potential and who doesn't. He did make it really clear that everybody will have to measure up to his expectations or they'll be gone.

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#132 Chris
May 27 2009, 07:55PM
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@ Librarian Mike:

Sometimes you move a good player to address a need, or better balance your roster... Trading someone doesn't mean you've "given up" on them. In fact, if a player is so far gone (Schremp) that even the Oilers have given up on him; that player has NO value in a trade.

Neither Cogliano, nor Gagner is ready to play first line minutes. Neither player has been particularly successful on the wing. Neither player is suited to a shutdown third or fourth line role...There is only ONE slot on the depth chart for a Cogliano/Gagner type center. MacT already wasted a full year of Cogliano's entry level contract playing the poor guy where he didn't belong simply because Oilers management can't decide which guy is their centerman of the future... The hard fact is, if this team is going to move forward, a decision needs to be made.

I say trade Cogliano. If the guy coming back has comparable upside while addressing a need; the team will be better off, and us fans will get over it. It's my belief that: a) Gagner will eventually be the better player b) There are many, many centers who would be more effective than Cogliano playing those third line minutes. If you hang on to a good young player without putting him in the best possible position to succeed you risk devalueing the asset, and ruining the players confidence/overall development. Besides, if the Oilers were to sign a player like Saku Koivu, Jager, or any other legit center, who do you think would be the odd man out anyway?

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#133 Chris
May 27 2009, 08:09PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Cogs today wont get you what he could if he even had 10 more PP points, earned by not being buried by the coach.

Should MacT have "buried" Gagner instead?

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#134 Librarian Mike
May 27 2009, 08:15PM
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@ Chris:

I get what you're saying, and I'm not absolutely opposed to the possibility of Cogliano being traded, or anyone else for that matter. My concern is that he was only drafted a couple of years ago, and I'm not sure he has the value around the league that we (as fans who see him play regularly) have placed on him (SEE: Marchant, Todd).

Hey, if getting a gamebreaker that makes our team better means sending Cogliano away, I'll help him pack.

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#135 Chris
May 27 2009, 08:42PM
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@ Librarian Mike:

I don't normally pitch trade ideas... it's easier to shoot them down.

Why not Cogliano for Wolski? Both are young with tremendous upside. Both are late first round draft successes. Both are under contract next season, and will be RFA's the following year. Most importantly, with Smyth under contract, Wolski is being held back. Similarily Cogliano is being held back in Edmonton by Gagner... Both teams/players would benifit from a swap. The Avalanche will need a speedy/skilled cap efficient center to slot in behind Stastny after Sakic retires. Wolski, on the other hand, is a natural left winger with both size and finesse. Wolski could be a fit to play with Hemsky on the first line.

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#136 yo
May 27 2009, 09:03PM
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R.B. - What I don't get is the seeming phenomenon of some Edmonton fans wanting Oil management to bring in some unproven and inexperienced coach so they can then chew them a new buttcrack if the team doesn't win. I have never seen a bigger bunch of second-guessers. They criticize Quinn for no Stanley Cup wins. How many has Jeff Ward or Todd Richards won? It smacks of total arrogance. Apparently they know better than Steve Tambellini or for that matter Kevin Lowe when it comes to organizing a rather disorganized hockey organization (too many contracts/jammed to the cap/minor league gong show, etc.).

Pat Quinn and Tom Renney come in here with more experience than ANY coaches in Oiler history that I can think of. The Oil have a habit of hiring inexperienced-novice-insider-coaching/GM staff and nobody says anything. That is in large part the reason the Oiler organization is in the shape it is in today. Give Tambellini/Quinn/Renney et al a chance folks. You gave MacT 8 yrs of support and he had rather meagre results to say the least. Does Quinn deserve less of our patience to see what a world class coaching staff can do? Take a deep breath. In my opinion this is a solid move.

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#137 Robin Brownlee
May 27 2009, 09:13PM
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@ yo: I wouldn't have gambled on Ward, Richards or Arniel, to name three, as my head coach at this point. No chance Tambellini is going to take that gamble at this point. What I did wonder, once I got a whiff that Tambellini was looking at Quinn as head coach and Renney as the associate a few weeks back, is if one of the younger guys might have been a good fit as associate under Quinn. Instead, Tambellini loaded up with experience in both positions, and I have no problem with that.

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#138 yo
May 27 2009, 09:16PM
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Jonathan - How the heck can you question Quinn/Renney's credentials? You were apparently quite pro-MacT during his tenure and he came to the Oil with next to no experience. You couldn't question MacT's ability or coaching accomplishments because 'HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY'!!!You never once questioned MacT's fitness to coach and he has won nothing. Your misgivings about Quinn come across as mealy-mouthed criticism. Pull out the knives this time next year when you have something concrete to assess. Then your comments are something more than casual speculation.

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#139 Chris
May 27 2009, 09:56PM
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@ yo:

In fairness to Willis, last January or early Febuary, he did write and post a piece on this very site entitled: Fire MacTavish.

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#140 Ogden Brother
May 27 2009, 10:31PM
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Chris wrote:

@ Librarian Mike: Sometimes you move a good player to address a need, or better balance your roster… Trading someone doesn’t mean you’ve “given up” on them. In fact, if a player is so far gone (Schremp) that even the Oilers have given up on him; that player has NO value in a trade. Neither Cogliano, nor Gagner is ready to play first line minutes. Neither player has been particularly successful on the wing. Neither player is suited to a shutdown third or fourth line role…There is only ONE slot on the depth chart for a Cogliano/Gagner type center. MacT already wasted a full year of Cogliano’s entry level contract playing the poor guy where he didn’t belong simply because Oilers management can’t decide which guy is their centerman of the future… The hard fact is, if this team is going to move forward, a decision needs to be made. I say trade Cogliano. If the guy coming back has comparable upside while addressing a need; the team will be better off, and us fans will get over it. It’s my belief that: a) Gagner will eventually be the better player b) There are many, many centers who would be more effective than Cogliano playing those third line minutes. If you hang on to a good young player without putting him in the best possible position to succeed you risk devalueing the asset, and ruining the players confidence/overall development. Besides, if the Oilers were to sign a player like Saku Koivu, Jager, or any other legit center, who do you think would be the odd man out anyway?

Bingo

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#141 Archaeologuy
May 28 2009, 12:45AM
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Chris wrote:

Should MacT have “buried” Gagner instead?

That's not the point. The point is he was played in the wrong situations with the wrong players. I know there were few if any choices other than him but that doesnt matter.

And you brought up trading from a position of strength. Well the Oilers only have 1 position of strength and thats puck moving defensemen. The forwards are not a strength position. After Hemsky there is no one of value. Gagner might get there, Cogs might get there. The rest we can pretty much expect what theyve already given. Horc isnt getting any better, Pisani and Moreau, not getting younger, Penner is good for about 20-25 goals on the 1st line, O'Sullivan might get 50 points in the right situation.

How did we get to this conversation? Oh yeah, the Horton trade deal.

Chris wrote:

If you hang on to a good young player without putting him in the best possible position to succeed you risk devalueing the asset, and ruining the players confidence/overall development. Besides, if the Oilers were to sign a player like Saku Koivu, Jager, or any other legit center, who do you think would be the odd man out anyway?

O'Sullivan and/or Nilsson and their over-priced contracts.

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#142 Archaeologuy
May 28 2009, 12:59AM
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Chris wrote:

Why not Cogliano for Wolski?

Wolski's points and goals have declined every year for the last 3 years. I dont know much about him as a player but (and i could be wrong) i think i heard that the Avalanche were really getting discouraged by the kid. I'm no scout though, maybe his points have been in decline because his team has been getting progressively worse every year he's been there. I just dont get trading one potential for another. What's the point?

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#143 Sourcrouse
May 28 2009, 05:24AM
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@ Chris: And Katz said Mac T isn't going anywhere and Kane was sick with the flu against the Flames...come on man... you gotta take what these guys say with a grain of salt and read between the lines. The fans don't get the real story straight out of the horse's mouth. That's why sites like this exist!!!

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#144 Sourcrouse
May 28 2009, 05:43AM
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And as far as O' Sully goes. The kid is a real player. Don't just look at stats (especially not the brutal quarter he had in Edmonton - see Willis' article about the numbers). He is the real deal - just look at his ice time and the different situations he plays in. That means that NHL coaches (who, by my humble opintion, know just a little more about hockey than the rest of us) think he is a very capable player. I have seen him play live a handful of times (inluding in Houston) and he can really play the game in all ends of the rink. Just because we have seen Cogliano fly up and down the ice for two seasons doesn't mean he is any better.

I couldn't agree more that we need to move one of our smallish players and get bigger up front - but, please give the kids a chance to grow as hockey players. I can cite various players that got off to "slow" starts and have flourished. I think we can all agree Vinny is the real deal and we would all love to have him. His first 4 seasons??? 28, 67, 51, 37 points, respectively.

And as far as TooToo...wow, you guys are all still brainwashed from his performance in the world juniors and his big, cheap hits. His NHL points??? 8, 10, 9, 18, 16 points per season. Hardly what the Oil need - a cheap shot artist who can't score and offers no leadership. We need grit, but not from a 5' 9" guy with no offensive upside. JFJ can play that role just fine. I am no Nilsson fan, but moving him for TooToo would be straight up silly. Now...if Arnott was available...

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#145 Librarian Mike
May 28 2009, 07:37AM
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Sourcrouse wrote:

Now…if Arnott was available…

He's a good player and always has been, but Arnott coming back here is about as likely as Doug Gilmour coaching St. Louis. It will never happen.

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#146 Dan
May 28 2009, 08:09AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Horton has 4 more years on his contract. Cogs for Horton would be just what this team needs. Horton for Cogliano? Horton is bigger, is signed for four more years at a $4M cap hit, has seasons of 47, 62, 62 and 45 points and is better on face-offs than Cogliano, who has seasons of 45 and 38 points. Why, short of having gone completely insane, would Jacques Martin make that trade?

Do you think Horton for Gilbert is fair value? Their point totals were the same, contracts are identical in terms of years and cap hit, and they address weaknesses on each other's team.

Personally, I'd like to see a Horton and rights to JBo for Gilbert and O'Sullivan. Somebody I'm sure will be trading for JBo's rights.

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#147 Mikey
May 28 2009, 08:20AM
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Sourcrouse wrote:

And as far as TooToo…wow, you guys are all still brainwashed from his performance in the world juniors and his big, cheap hits. His NHL points??? 8, 10, 9, 18, 16 points per season. Hardly what the Oil need - a cheap shot artist who can’t score and offers no leadership. We need grit, but not from a 5′ 9″ guy with no offensive upside. JFJ can play that role just fine. I am no Nilsson fan, but moving him for TooToo would be straight up silly.

Who said anything about bringing Tootoo in to get points? His role would be to go out and bang every opponent that touches the puck.

When did JFJ figure out how to play like that? I think I've seen it for maybe two games. JFJ needs to figure it out or his time is up.

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#148 Chaz
May 28 2009, 08:22AM
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@ Dan: What do you mean for JBo's rights? Isn't he unrestricted?

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#149 Archaeologuy
May 28 2009, 08:26AM
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Has anyone else read Mackinnon's latest article where he thinks that Hemsky should be traded for a defensive forward if he cant play better 2 way hockey? Because that's what the Oilers need; Less players like Hemsky and more players like Horcoff. Hall of Fame writer...clearly content was less important than style.

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#150 Archaeologuy
May 28 2009, 08:28AM
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@ Chaz: The Panthers still own his rights until the 1st of July. So anyone can trade for his rights and have about a month to try and sign him before anyone else.

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