Denis Grebeshkov and the Defense

Jonathan Willis
May 28 2009 10:21AM

Grebeshkov celebrates

The Edmonton Journal is reporting today that Denis Grebeshkov is likely to return to the Oilers and is close to signing a three-year deal worth a shade over 3-million dollars a season.

This is excellent news, as the 25-year old emerged as a legitimate top-four defenseman last season, recording 39 points and leading the Oilers with a +12 rating. The dollars are around what I expected to see; a little higher than I’d hoped but reasonable, and the term is encouraging as well. There’s some worry here about sustainability, since Grebeshkov is being paid based on one excellent campaign (he improved his two-way play to end 2007-08 but it’s his offense that’s bringing in the money) and he wasn’t exactly called upon as the team’s premiere shut-down defenseman.

Grebeshkov also benefitted from an above-average on-ice shooting percentage (20% better than team average at even-strength). I don’t think that will continue, so his offense may dip a bit next season, but he should still be good for 30 or so points, and may maintain his current offensive pace if he gets more powerplay time.

Also in today’s Edmonton Journal, John MacKinnon suggests some changes to the Oilers’ blueline:

On the back end, Denis Grebeshkov, Tom Gilbert, Lubomir Visnovsky, and young Taylor Chorney are similar players. A careful cull is required here, too. So is acquring a genuine, banging, stay-at-home defenceman or two, preferably, to help out Ladislav Smid and one of, but not both, Steve Staios and Jason Strudwick.

I notice that Sheldon Souray, who just had (rather improbably) the finest season of his career at the age of 32, was not mentioned on that list. Souray was the subject of trade rumours at points after the season (pointed out by OilersNation’s own Robin Brownlee, if I’m not mistaken) and while he denied them, he has voiced public displeasure at various points druing the season. The San Jose Sharks, who supposedly pursued him as a free agent two summers ago, would be one team that might be a good fit for the hard-nosed defenseman.

Despite his (rather dominant) season and the new coaching tandem, I don’t think Souray should be perceived as untouchable. He’s a big-money, long-term contract on an Oilers team filled with them, and on top of that there should be some real questions about whether a repeat performance of this past year will happen.

Both Steve Staios and Jason Strudwick had somewhat disappointing seasons; they were sheltered on the third pairing and given a ton of offensive zone draws, but still were outscored and outshot at an alarming rate. Neither is a strength right now, and Staios in particular is a concern because of the length and and cap hit of his contract. Strudwick was repeatedly praised for his work ethic, physical game, and character but on a good team probably isn’t higher than #7 on the depth chart.

Tom Gilbert’s name is frequently mentioned in trade rumours, and he’s a player that gets criticized for playing a soft game. It’s worth noting that while he isn’t a big hitter, especially for his size, he did block 136 shots this season, good for second on the team and roughly twice as many as Sheldon Souray, who played similar ice-time; and this despite the fact that Souray waso n the ice for more shots against. I think it would be wrong to ignore that when discussing Gilbert’s willingness to pay a physical price.

As a G.M., I’d probably look at moving one of Gilbert or Souray for help up front, and I’d try to move Staios. I wouldn’t be against retaining Strudwick if he comes cheap (in the #7 role). Visnovsky, is in my opinion the best defenseman on the team, and Denis Grebeshkov brings good value for his contract (assuming those numbers are correct), so they’d both stay, as would young Ladislav Smid. That ideally leaves two spots, which I would try to fill via trade or free agency with a physical second-paring defenseman and a reliable third-pairing type (perhaps Daniel Tjarnqvist or Matt Walker, although there are plenty of options out there). That should save some much needed cap space while allowing prospects like Theo Peckham and Taylor Chorney to learn the game more fully in the AHL – there’s no need to rush these guys into the lineup; the odds are good that they’ll play when injuries strike anyway. Chorney in particular is not ready for the NHL game.

That’s my personal feeling, based on a few premises that I think are reasonable:

  • Veteran players are more dependable than prospects
  • Prospects with significant time invested in them (Smid) should not be lightly discarded
  • Players having career-best seasons in their mid-thirties should be regarded with some caution
  • Cap space should be saved wherever possible

Thoughts?

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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 Ogden Brother
May 28 2009, 11:18AM
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DBO wrote:

JW. on the Souray thing. Would you deal Souray and Cogliano to SJ for Clowe and Marleau? Marleau is a big cap hit, but he’s off the books next year, can score and play wing with Hemsky. And Clowe is exactly the kind of player we need, and slides nicely onto the 2nd line. you sacrifice Cogs i know, but it is essentially Clowe for Cogs, and Souray for Marleau. While Marleau might not be the “leader in the playoffs”, he puts up goals and he helps us get to the playoffs a whole lot faster. And not to mention his cap hit comes off the books when the cap drops and we need to pay Gagner, and if he has success maybe we get him at a discount. marleau-horc-hemsky Clowe-Gagner-O’Sully Penner-new C-pisani Moreau-Brod-Storts A lot more size and balance in that lineup

I doubt mind the premise, but it would be pretty disapointing to trade both Souray and Cogs for what may turn into just Clowe.

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#52 Mikey
May 28 2009, 11:20AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

When he’s healthy and playing he’s filling in his role on the team no problem

Pisani played 38 games this season and had 15 points. He doesn't hit and has next to no grit. We all know that Horc's line was matched up against the other teams top line this year so what was his role this year and why is everyone so confident in his ability to play this role?

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#53 DBO
May 28 2009, 11:23AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I doubt mind the premise, but it would be pretty disapointing to trade both Souray and Cogs for what may turn into just Clowe.

yeah i agree it would hurt, but in a cap world I wonder if that makes the most sense. it also allows us to spend Souray's long term money on a top LW or defenseman who is younger. You essentially lock Clowe in long term, also lock new defenseman (maybe komisarek) in long term.

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#54 Ogden Brother
May 28 2009, 11:25AM
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DBO wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: I doubt mind the premise, but it would be pretty disapointing to trade both Souray and Cogs for what may turn into just Clowe. yeah i agree it would hurt, but in a cap world I wonder if that makes the most sense. it also allows us to spend Souray’s long term money on a top LW or defenseman who is younger. You essentially lock Clowe in long term, also lock new defenseman (maybe komisarek) in long term.

Cross off any plan that is contingent on using the $$ saved to bring in another UFA.

We tried that with Smyth... we've all seen the results.

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#55 Mikey
May 28 2009, 11:25AM
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DBO wrote:

You essentially lock Clowe in long term, also lock new defenseman (maybe komisarek) in long term.

How old is Komisarek though? I think it would be better (for the Oilers) for a player like that to sign only a 3 year deal if at all possible.

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#56 scorcoff hemmercules
May 28 2009, 11:29AM
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@ Mikey:

Gotcha, trade that useless bum.

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#57 Mikey
May 28 2009, 11:31AM
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@ scorcoff hemmercules: ~Yep. Those were my exact words too.~

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#58 JRocks247
May 28 2009, 11:33AM
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Gilbert, Schremph, O'sully, Rowbert or Cogs, our first rounder and the rights to Linus Olmark for the Islanders 1st overall (Tavares) and parts. Sign Bouwmeester Sign Zanon Dump Staios Trade remainder of Rowber/Cogs/O'sully for a faceoff winning third liner

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#59 DBO
May 28 2009, 11:35AM
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Komisarek is 26 years old. Just entering the prime of his career and based on past similar players can conceivably improve a bit and sustain that level for at least 5 - 7 years. i would be happy with a 5-6 year deal for close to $4.5 - $5 mill. he's basically Robyn Regher, and as much as i hate Regher he's exactly the type of player we need in our top 4.

if you move Souray and Cogs for those 2 players (also allowing us to keep Gilbert) and sign Komisarek and a 3C, then I think we can compete for a playoff spot this year and are set up nicely for the future. Not to mention it also allows us to play Marleau at 1C, with Horcoff at 3C. And if possible you move Staios and that contract for anything and sign a $1 mill replacement.

Penner-Marleau-Hemsky Clowe-Gagner-O'Sully Moreau-Horcoff-Pisani Jacques-Brodziak-Stortini

Vish - Greb Gilbert-Komisarek Smid-Staios/new D

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#60 smytty777
May 28 2009, 11:35AM
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@ Mikey: Pisani quality of competition trailed only Horcoff this year (ahead of Hemsky or Penner). So he did his fair share of heavy lifting. He was also statisically the best penalty killer for the Oilers this year.

To say he is not fulfilling his role is incorrect. If someone is available cheaper than Pisani who can fill the same role than I have no problem letting Pisani go. But who is it and how much do they cost?

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#61 scorcoff hemmercules
May 28 2009, 11:37AM
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@ Mikey:

I'm just messin. As far as I know he's healthy again and his illness is under control thus allowing him to play most of next season and probably put up 20 to 40 points. And I never said he was "the" shutdown guy on the team, just on his line. If he can play a little tougher that would be great I agree. You clearly want nothing to do with him and I like him, lets leave it at that.

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#62 Mikey
May 28 2009, 11:42AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

You clearly want nothing to do with him and I like him, lets leave it at that.

That isn't the case and now this Pisani thing is getting out of hand. I like him but I think he, like many Oilers, is overrated by the fanbase here. His contract is bad. For what he does we should have someone cheaper but that hangs on KLowe.

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#63 Moose
May 28 2009, 11:43AM
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All of these roster make-overs that people throw out (i.e. trading our defensemen and then signing Komisarek or Bouwmeester) are based on the premise that those players would sign here. If only it were that easy.

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#64 Mikey
May 28 2009, 11:47AM
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@ DBO: I thought he was closer to 30-31 but in that case I would think the Oilers don't need to worry about his play trailing in the final years of a 5-6 year contract. I would absolutely love to have him here.

I think that your line-up is solid except I could see Gilbert and Grebs together and Komisarek and Vish together. I think that would be better depending on how Quinn deploys the D against the other teams top line.

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#65 Cam
May 28 2009, 11:54AM
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Mikey wrote:

That isn’t the case and now this Pisani thing is getting out of hand. I like him but I think he, like many Oilers, is overrated by the fanbase here. His contract is bad. For what he does we should have someone cheaper but that hangs on KLowe.

Are you guys forgetting that Mactavish played Pisani out of position for part of his 38 games?

Also coming back from injury does affect your game. Pisani's stock is at an all time low so it is a terrible time to trade him since you will get nothing back, and he is a quality person and an asset to the team so why bother. A healthy Pisani is a blue chip for 15 goals on a crappy oilers team, and could get 20 with better linemates, and he doesn't play soft minutes.

He doesn't smash guys, but he does check them steadily and can get a puck out of a corner with his ethic and body positioning. Trading a guy like that when he has virtually no downside and is a local boy and a hero from 2006? I dunno. I think it would be a bad move; particularly with his stock being low right now.

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#66 Bob Cob
May 28 2009, 11:58AM
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@ JRocks247: The Islanders are not going to trade the rights to choose Hedman or Tavares first overall for anything, and I dont care if your name is Brian Burke, its not going to happen. Besides it would take too much to get Tavares, a guy who may be as over hyped as Alexander Daigle was.

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#67 Ogden Brother
May 28 2009, 12:02PM
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Mikey wrote:

scorcoff hemmercules wrote: You clearly want nothing to do with him and I like him, lets leave it at that. That isn’t the case and now this Pisani thing is getting out of hand. I like him but I think he, like many Oilers, is overrated by the fanbase here. His contract is bad. For what he does we should have someone cheaper but that hangs on KLowe.

Could you imagine the riots that would have went down if Pie walked away following Samsonv/Peca/Pronger that year?

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#68 sittingatmydesk
May 28 2009, 12:04PM
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@ JRocks247: yo, seriously are you that dumb... why dont you throw kovalchuck in there as well

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#69 Oiler84
May 28 2009, 12:05PM
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Ok Firstly Horcoff's huge and ridiculous salary have to go. I'd love him as a 2nd C but at half the money. I love what Souray can do but Visnovksy is better. Trade him. Cogs is good but not at C, can't win draws. Trade him. Staios is a bit over paid but still a good vet. Trade him. I think Quinn and Renny can help the rest reach potential. And sign Fernandez to a 2-3 year deal and give JDD 20-30 starts. Thats my opinion.

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#70 Jason Gregor
May 28 2009, 12:10PM
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Sorry to ruin the party boys, but all of this talk involving three or four trades and BOOM everything is solved is wishful thinking.

Look at 2010/2011...The Oilers already have $39,185,000 million dedicated to eleven players. The Wings have basically the same to 12 guys.

The Flames have 12 guys at $38.5 million.. The cap will most likely be between $48-51 million. And when Grebeshkov is signed they will have 12 at $42.5, leaving them with less than ten million to sign 10 guys.

And the Oilers need to sign Gagner and Cogliano next summer.

The Oilers might have to basically give away some contracts in the near future, for lower end draft picks or projects.

Trading overpriced guys and expecting any sort of equal value is a pipe dream right now. Unless Katz is willing to swallow some big contracts and put them in the minors the Oilers will need to be very creative in trading players.

You mention that Souray has high value, but you don't see him sustaining his play over the term of his contract, then why would another team take on that big of a contract if he won't live up to it?

Right now they couldn't give away Robert Nilsson and his $2million contract.

I'm not saying they won't make trades, in fact I know that some guys will be dealt this summer, but the likely hood of a trade really benefitting the Oilers will be tough unless they get a big ticket player who's contract ends next summer.

Right now the trade talk fronts are very quiet. They will start to heat up around the draft, but right now no one has offered a top-six forward for one of the Oilers top D-men. They will for sure listen if an offer comes up, and one will before the draft.

Remember this team is damn soft. Trading Moreau makes them softer. They have no one in the system that plays the same way as him, so if they move him they'd have to find a young guy who can play with grit. When Moreau returned from the eye injury his stupid penalties became almost non-existent. Under Quinn I suspect he'll continue that.

Pisani is the most realistic to trade, but don't expect a lot in return. Nilsson is a throw in at best right now, and an expensive one at that.

We all know they have too many of the same type of forwards: small, non aggressive, with potential but not proven skill.

Right now the players teams ask about the most are Gagner and Cogliano, and the Oilers have no interest in moving them, especially because what is being offered isn't of interest to them.

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#71 Jason Gregor
May 28 2009, 12:12PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

Besides it would take too much to get Tavares, a guy who may be as over hyped as Alexander Daigle was.

Tavares is no Daigle. Tavares will be a very good to great player in the league. He has more heart and dedication than Daigle ever had. Not even close to being a bust as bad as Daigle.

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#72 speeds
May 28 2009, 12:18PM
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I would imagine EDM would like to move Staios and one of Moreau/Pisani to clear cap room. Of the two, I think Pisani is the better value, and he's on a shorter contract so, IMO, he's the guy you keep vs. Moreau.

As for Souray and Cogliano for Clowe and Marleau, here's a vague reply. I don't think I don't that if I were the Oilers, unless it were the best I could do, in which case I might, depending on what else I can do.

You'd be adding 2-2.5 mil in cap hit for 09/10, maybe conservatively considering Clowe is an RFA, but an RFA for only one year, UFA next summer, so it's not like you'll be signing him at a big discount. The only thing going for you in negotiating with Clowe, on a longer term deal, is knowing he might get pinched by a possible cap reduction. It would clear Souray from the books going forward, but I'm not sure that will be a big problem next summer provided he has a decent healthy season next year, as his NMC would be over and his salary would be lower than his cap hit.

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#73 JRocks247
May 28 2009, 12:19PM
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@ sittingatmydesk:

no, but the Islanders management is... BTW i meant O'sully OR Rowbert or Cogs.

That would clear alot of money, which will very soon be an issue. Tavares will be Toews with more skill...something we could use. The deal would immediately improve the Islanders and might help them out more longer term than Tav/Hed would.

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#74 roger
May 28 2009, 12:22PM
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what struck me about mackinnion's article was the comment on the oilers unloading all their tradable assets and building through the draft, essentially a rebuild. he stated that fans would have a hard time with that, i don't know if he is correct i remember the lean years when bolth bucky and weight were captains and oil fans stuck through it, especially after the ownership issue was corrected. fans want to see a winner and support one unshelfishly, but if the team is willing to work hard with consistency even if the talent level is not there i believe they can also expect support and some success as well. just my two cents.

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#75 Jason Gregor
May 28 2009, 12:24PM
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JRocks247 wrote:

The deal would immediately improve the Islanders and might help them out more longer term than Tav/Hed would.

You don't really believe this do you?

Gilbert and Cogliano are the guys with any proven track record right now you included. Schremp is a prospect at best right now. Omark is a youtube phenom who might be a decent NHLer and might not.

And Garth Snow is not Mike Milbury. Snow hasn't made any horrible moves so far.

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#76 David S
May 28 2009, 12:27PM
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Thanks Jason. It's getting pretty tiresome wading through 50 posts of "we should trade 3 of our OK guys/boat anchors for elite player X - that'll work, right?".

How it is that we expect GM's who live in the NHL trade world every day will see any more value in our deadwood than we do as mere fans has always been beyond me.

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#77 JRocks247
May 28 2009, 12:29PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Ya you're right...would be nice though. If the Islanders picked up the phone. What do you think it would cost? I know it'd be alot, but we need to open up some roster spots and lose some salary

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#78 JRocks247
May 28 2009, 12:32PM
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Fine I'll stop. New Question: Did Tambo hire two coaches so one can distract Penner while the other steals his "between shifts" hoagie?

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#79 Cam
May 28 2009, 12:34PM
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@ JRocks247: I think the only way you could pry a #1 or #2 pick would be to offer up Hemsky+. I don't like that idea very much.

I believe Hemsky's points this year were much harder earned than in years previous and he was still almost at a point a game. I can only imagine how many points he might get if he was actually playing with another person worthy of 1st line status.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

I do wonder what it would take to pry Michalek out of San Jose, though.

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#80 The Menace
May 28 2009, 12:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Bob Cob wrote: Besides it would take too much to get Tavares, a guy who may be as over hyped as Alexander Daigle was. Tavares is no Daigle. Tavares will be a very good to great player in the league. He has more heart and dedication than Daigle ever had. Not even close to being a bust as bad as Daigle.

And we've already seen the chemistry between Tavares and Eberle. There's got to be a way we can manuever our way in there! #tavaresmaneuver *wait, that doesn't work here.

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#81 Librarian Mike
May 28 2009, 12:46PM
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I would bet that Doug Wilson is getting an itchy trigger finger to make changes after another failed playoffs. Maybe the Oilers can exploit that.

I kinda feel that what's more important than deciding who should be traded is for the team to finally make up its mind about what style it wants to play. That was the thing that really struck me about the team this year; they just seemed to have no real identity. For example, Anaheim may be a goon squad, but at least they know who they are and play to their strengths.

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#82 The Menace
May 28 2009, 12:49PM
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Maybe a package built arounf Souray would be enough. His value will never be higher than it is right now, and we have enough 'sweeteners' to drop around him in a deal. I wonder if anything like that would perk Garth Snow up?

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#83 Traktor
May 28 2009, 12:50PM
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"Grebeshkov also benefitted from an above-average on-ice shooting percentage (20% better than team average at even-strength)."

I'd say the better the transition the better the quality of chances.

Grebs has a world class transitional game so I'm not so sure as how much it was Grebs benefiting vs Grebs creating.

As for trading Souray.. he's the one player that exemplifies everything that Tambo said he was looking for. Unless you have Mike Komisarek inked trading away Souray would probably be the worst possible move this club could make (assuming you actually cared about creating a team with balance).

Visnovsky should be the guy to go. He'd bring the most back in return and he makes the most money.

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#84 Traktor
May 28 2009, 12:58PM
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Clarification on Souray: he’s got a massive cap hit, and I worry he won’t be able to sustain his play.

Strange. Horcoff's cap hit is larger yet and I've never once seen you call his cap hit "massive".

Also strange that you didn't worry about Horcoff maintaining his 18.3 shooting percentage - who'd you think he was, Cogliano? haha

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#85 The Menace
May 28 2009, 01:00PM
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@ Traktor: I'd be all over that - I think you can move one of Souray, or Vis, but not both. With the financial situation that JG touched on, I think we almost have to move one.

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#86 Ogden Brother
May 28 2009, 01:01PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Sorry to ruin the party boys, but all of this talk involving three or four trades and BOOM everything is solved is wishful thinking. Look at 2010/2011…The Oilers already have $39,185,000 million dedicated to eleven players. The Wings have basically the same to 12 guys. The Flames have 12 guys at $38.5 million.. The cap will most likely be between $48-51 million. And when Grebeshkov is signed they will have 12 at $42.5, leaving them with less than ten million to sign 10 guys. And the Oilers need to sign Gagner and Cogliano next summer. The Oilers might have to basically give away some contracts in the near future, for lower end draft picks or projects. Trading overpriced guys and expecting any sort of equal value is a pipe dream right now. Unless Katz is willing to swallow some big contracts and put them in the minors the Oilers will need to be very creative in trading players. You mention that Souray has high value, but you don’t see him sustaining his play over the term of his contract, then why would another team take on that big of a contract if he won’t live up to it? Right now they couldn’t give away Robert Nilsson and his $2million contract. I’m not saying they won’t make trades, in fact I know that some guys will be dealt this summer, but the likely hood of a trade really benefitting the Oilers will be tough unless they get a big ticket player who’s contract ends next summer. Right now the trade talk fronts are very quiet. They will start to heat up around the draft, but right now no one has offered a top-six forward for one of the Oilers top D-men. They will for sure listen if an offer comes up, and one will before the draft. Remember this team is damn soft. Trading Moreau makes them softer. They have no one in the system that plays the same way as him, so if they move him they’d have to find a young guy who can play with grit. When Moreau returned from the eye injury his stupid penalties became almost non-existent. Under Quinn I suspect he’ll continue that. Pisani is the most realistic to trade, but don’t expect a lot in return. Nilsson is a throw in at best right now, and an expensive one at that. We all know they have too many of the same type of forwards: small, non aggressive, with potential but not proven skill. Right now the players teams ask about the most are Gagner and Cogliano, and the Oilers have no interest in moving them, especially because what is being offered isn’t of interest to them.

One point on 10/11: Almost every team with the means to spend is in a similar situation as the Oil, the ones that aren't in that situation (TO/Mon/Van) have little to no key players signed for 10/11 (or next year for that matter).... so as the teams with the space for next year fill out their roster, they will join (or close to) the Oil/Flames/Flyers etc on the list of teams that have most of their wadd shot while still having 6+ spots to fill. In otherwords, almost everyone will be in the same boat.

Now, factoring that in. I would not be the least bit suprised to see the cap roof drop very little (or at all) for the 10/11... after all, most of the teams in trouble are the ones that actually provide the revenue for the league + a drastically reduced cap (roof) helps no one and hurts many (teams/players/league)

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#87 Ogden Brother
May 28 2009, 01:03PM
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roger wrote:

what struck me about mackinnion’s article was the comment on the oilers unloading all their tradable assets and building through the draft, essentially a rebuild. he stated that fans would have a hard time with that, i don’t know if he is correct i remember the lean years when bolth bucky and weight were captains and oil fans stuck through it, especially after the ownership issue was corrected. fans want to see a winner and support one unshelfishly, but if the team is willing to work hard with consistency even if the talent level is not there i believe they can also expect support and some success as well. just my two cents.

I remember a fairly empty building in the 90's.

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#88 Jonathan Willis
May 28 2009, 01:07PM
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Mikey wrote:

He doesn’t hit and has next to no grit.

If you seriously think Pisani has no grit than I'm fairly convinced you've never played the game. Look at where he goes on the ice; he's not killing people when he gets there but he goes to all the tough areas and does what he has to do.

People confuse grit with hitting. They aren't the same thing. Nailing an unsuspecting guy with a hit to the head looks impressive but isn't especially courageous; going after the puck and taking a hit while you cycle it is both, but at the end of the day some fans will call the first guy gritty and call the second guy gritless.

Pisani's only in the NHL because of work ethic, hockey sense and grit.

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#89 Jonathan Willis
May 28 2009, 01:08PM
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Traktor wrote:

Grebs has a world class transitional game so I’m not so sure as how much it was Grebs benefiting vs Grebs creating.

I thought the same thing, but I wouldn't put Grebs transitional game above, say Gilbert or Visnovsky, which is why I made the comment.

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#90 Jonathan Willis
May 28 2009, 01:11PM
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Traktor wrote:

As for trading Souray.. he’s the one player that exemplifies everything that Tambo said he was looking for. Unless you have Mike Komisarek inked trading away Souray would probably be the worst possible move this club could make (assuming you actually cared about creating a team with balance).

And if he hurts his wrist 20 games into next season? Or goes back to putting up his Montreal-era two-way play?

I like Souray; I really do. His play this year surprised and impressed me. But when a player does that for the first time in his career at 32 (i.e. putting up points and defensive play) you should take it with a grain of salt.

There are going to be a lot of people just assuming that he can repeat this past season; based on his career that isn't a good bet.

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#91 Jonathan Willis
May 28 2009, 01:14PM
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RE: Tavares vs. Daigle. Daigle could be compared to a lot of good prospects, but most of them don't implode like he did.

Based on what I've seen of his play, Tavares is absolutely lethal from the blueline in, and vanilla everywhere else on the ice. He isn't unique among young players in that sense, but he isn't close to being Crosby right now.

The fact that his offensive totals have been in decline for two years should be very worrisome; it may speak to character or it may speak to situational play, but whoever drafts him better know which it is. I'm not saying don't pick him, but if I have the first overall pick I'm going to dig before I do.

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#92 Ogden Brother
May 28 2009, 01:15PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Traktor wrote: As for trading Souray.. he’s the one player that exemplifies everything that Tambo said he was looking for. Unless you have Mike Komisarek inked trading away Souray would probably be the worst possible move this club could make (assuming you actually cared about creating a team with balance). And if he hurts his wrist 20 games into next season? Or goes back to putting up his Montreal-era two-way play? I like Souray; I really do. His play this year surprised and impressed me. But when a player does that for the first time in his career at 32 (i.e. putting up points and defensive play) you should take it with a grain of salt. There are going to be a lot of people just assuming that he can repeat this past season; based on his career that isn’t a good bet.

The funny part is everyone loves Souray and Hates Horc right now. The roles could easily be reversed this time next summer with Horc putting up 22/70 and Souray putting up 11/31 and a -27

Same thing a couple years ago with Horc vs Stoll.

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#93 DBO
May 28 2009, 01:16PM
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JW. Agreed about Souray. he's at highest sell high point, and if someone is willing to take him for a younger tough winger (ie. Clowe) then we have to take the deal if only to clear cap space.

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#94 Mikey
May 28 2009, 01:27PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Do you honestly think Pisani is tough to play against? Taking hits and rubbing guys out is not gritty in my books. Getting in people's faces, actually knocking guys off the puck, hell even fighting once in 4 years is being gritty. Sorry Jonathan, I actually don't think Fernando is all that gritty at all. But what do I know, I've never played so my opinion means nothing.

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#95 speeds
May 28 2009, 01:30PM
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I don't think Pisani is what most people would call gritty, and I'm not sure I'd say he's tough to play against in terms of physicality, but he's no fun to play against because he's in the right spots more often than not.

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#96 Traktor
May 28 2009, 01:31PM
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"The roles could easily be reversed this time next summer with Horc putting up 22/70 and Souray putting up 11/31 and a -27"

Last year Horcoff had more PP time than Crosby, Getzlaf, Spezza ect..

Quinn is a smart man though so I'd expect Horc's PP will be minimized.

Souray might end up playing like the bloggers (unsuccessfully) predicted but I really don't see how Horcoff will be put in the position to put up those kind of numbers if Edmonton management is serious about winning.

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#97 Jonathan Willis
May 28 2009, 01:32PM
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Mikey wrote:

Taking hits and rubbing guys out is not gritty in my books. Getting in people’s faces, actually knocking guys off the puck, hell even fighting once in 4 years is being gritty.

Pisani had a fight with Jarkko Ruutu either right before or after the lockout.

Grit is defined as "fortitude and determination"; Pisani has that. Fighting and big hits often come along with the package, but they aren't part of the meaning.

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#98 scorcoff hemmercules
May 28 2009, 01:33PM
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@ Mikey:

Have you really never played hockey?? If thats the case that speaks volumes.

@ Jonathan Willis:

You come accross like you think Souray can't possibly repeat his play next season, at least to me. Why is that?? Is there a book I havent read that states a 32 year old can't improve their game?? Was Souray having major wrist problems this year?? I know he wore that brace but he didn't miss hardly any games. Injury is always a concern with him though, I have to agree there, but with both shoulders repaired now I can't see why he won't be the same or better next year.

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#99 speeds
May 28 2009, 01:34PM
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traktor:

I've got to admit, Souray this past season was better than I thought EDM would get on the average season.

What about the year previous?

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#100 Mikey
May 28 2009, 01:36PM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

Have you really never played hockey?? If thats the case that speaks volumes.

If you can't understand sarcasm, that speaks volumes.

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