QTNA Episode VIII: Dressing room rifts? Omark signing? Hemsky trade?

Jason Gregor
May 05 2009 12:18AM

Hemsky

If you have any questions send them to Gregor at jason@justagame.ca.

With the reported rift in the dressing room last year, do you think there will be a change in the captaincy and the alternate captains for this coming year? In your opinion was the rift due to an age gap or MacT's obvious bias for some of the veterans? Do you think some of the younger guys need to be included in the leadership group to bridge the age gap and groom them for the future? Of the young guys, which one or ones do you see still playing for us next year that would be a good candidate for an A on his sweater? —Elsa

I really think the rift was overblown. I have spoken with a variety of veterans and young players, and none expressed there was a real rift. In fact, one veteran told me that on the road they hung out more as a team this year than they had in the past.

Few players get handed a leadership role unless they are prepared to take it on. I know for a fact that one time early in the season Moreau stood up and told the young players he wanted them to express themselves more. Not every player has to be vocal to be a leader. In fact, some of the best leaders don’t say much; rather, they make sure they are ready to play every night.

None of the young players strike me as great leaders right now. Gagner has the best chance. He has a quiet, competitive fire that should make him a leader down the road, but I don’t see it being next year. As for the captaincy, unless Moreau gets dealt I’d be surprised if the new coach stripped him of the "C."

Moreau and Souray are really close. I don’t think Souray would lead that much better than Moreau. In today’s game it's rare to have ONE leader; instead it's more of a group that leads and with Souray and Moreau being fairly tight, I don’t see how Souray would be that more vocal with a "C" instead of an "A."

Why didn’t the Oilers sign Omark? I’ve only seen him on YouTube highlights but he sure looks skilled. —Andy

The Oilers are currently at 50 contracts until July 1st, unless they make a two for one deal before then, so it was impossible to sign Omark. They could have agreed to a deal and not announced it the July, but from the conversations I’ve had with management, he was looking for a one-way deal.

The Oilers have too many contracts right now and they weren’t willing to give him a one-way deal. It is hard to evaluate how good he is because the SEL (Swedish Elite League) isn’t that highly regarded.

Fabian Brunnstrom, who many thought was better than Omark, signed a two-way deal with Dallas last year. I spoke to a European scout last week and he said Omark has loads of talent, but he needs to get stronger before playing in the NHL, and he (scout) said he heard Omark signed in Russia for the money but also to test himself. He signed a two-year deal with Moscow Dynamo, but with an out-clause after the first year. The Oilers will watch him closely and if he holds his own it sounds like they will find a way to entice him to come over next year.

I asked the scout if he thought Omark could crack the Oilers lineup this coming year and he said it was doubtful. I can’t comment on how good he is, because I have never seen him play a full game. I could care less about his sweet moves in the shoot-out, because those only help if your team gets to the shoot-out.

I really liked Jim Matheson’s idea of trading Hemsky. Would you trade him right now? —Brandon

I wouldn’t trade him for Brown and Greene, because you need skill to win, and if the Oilers trade Hemsky they are losing their most skilled player. Of course, if he was part of a package to acquire a proven sniper like Kovalchuk then I would do that deal.

I think Hemsky needs to be more consistent, and since I don’t see the Thrashers dealing Kovalchuk this summer, the Oilers should focus on getting another top-six forward with skill that is comfortable playing LW.

Hemsky is rare, in that he is willing to go in the tough areas, but at times he doesn’t seem willing to do all the little things that will propel him to great status. I think having a new coach will get his attention, but it will naturally excite him as well. He became frustrated last year, and even though he did squat after publicly stating he wanted to be the go-to-guy, I think he will come to camp with lots to prove this year.

The most important factor with Hemsky might be his contract. With the cap going down next year, the Oilers will need more players who outperform their contracts rather than those who underachieve. Hemsky’s contract will look even better if the cap figure is 47-50 million in 2010.

Do you think there is room for Peckham, Smid and Staios next year? —Darren in Millwoods.

Good question. It seems obvious that one of Souray, Gilbert, Visnovsky or Grebeshkov will be dealt. If that happens and they get a forward in return then yes all three could be here. I get a sense that Steve Staios will be the veteran on the move this summer. Smid’s game has improved to the point that he can replace all the intangibles that Staois brings, and he is a better passer.

Even with one of the big four getting dealt, I still see Staios being moved. While some think he is overpaid, his $2.7 salary isn’t that scary, and if he isn’t asked to play more than 19 minutes a night I think he can still be effective.

Would there be room for Smid, Staios and Peckham? Yes, but I don’t see all of them being here when the Oilers return to the ice in mid September.

Parting shot

I highly recommend reading this article from Mike Wise. It is rare to have an athlete divulge this much information on what has to be a very touchy subject. Many fans don’t like Brashear, but it would be hard not to respect him after reading what he has had to overcome. It is a wonderful piece of journalism by Wise. I’ve always said being a heavyweight is the hardest job in sports, but his role pales in comparison to what he endured as a child.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Wanye Gretz
May 05 2009, 12:49AM
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That Mike Wise article is an absolutely tremendous read. More features like this should be done on players. I see a totally different Brashear now having read it.

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#2 Robert....
May 05 2009, 06:55AM
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I'm with Wanye, but some people aren't fit to be parents. Tough read, tough life, tough guy.

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#3 Death Metal Nightmare
May 05 2009, 07:55AM
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this is just in general, not in response to Gregor really:

Hemsky needs a core. Even Crosby and Malkin have a "core" of players to help them elevate their drive to compete. yeah, they got their points but what did it take for them to start winning games to get back in the playoff picture? Guerin, Kunitz, Gonchar coming back, etc, etc... throw Crosby on the Oilers and theyd still miss the playoffs.

Horcoff and Penner are not a core (but theyre paid like they are). Gagner took 75% of the season to get over his NHL 09 rating. Run down the roster and you catch my drift. Hell, on some nights it took Souray to come storming down the boards forechecking to create something. Hemsky is playing with garbage or skilled players who arent mature enough - and he is still close to a point per game.

It's popular in the Edmonton media that theyll play soft ball (aka no balls) this off-season and just get gap fillers to hope for a possible low seed playoff cash grab. there goes one more year of that "sweet deal" down the tubes. so why should Hemsky be Mr. Chipper when he's playing for about 70% of his market value with turds? oh yeah, its the "noble" thing to do.

anyhow, when Hemsky's sweetheart contract runs out and we look back on that era, dont try to blame him for their inability to be successful.

no REAL core was ever put WITH him (not AROUND him) to do so. you have a bunch of above 27 year old flunkies who have the skill level of AHL players and some fake ID kids who are borderline AHL at times. yeah, we all get that you need role players but when youre more hellbent on getting those players than a core of consistent players to make you effective every night and who Hemsky can work with... wow.

Elite team, bro.

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#4 DBO
May 05 2009, 08:17AM
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Gregor; good post. heard the show yesterday and the discussion about dealing hemksy. The thing that scares me is if you put him as the #2 on a team he's propbaly a 90 point player. Our problem is that I'm not sure we can get anyone better then Hemsky, and Hemsky will continue to be our offensive leader when he should be our offensive distributor. Kovalchuk is ideal, but unfortunately unrealistic. We can't move Horcoff (who I like) or Penner (who will certainly have a better year this year), so you move forward and try and improve your team by addressing needs. this team will not be able to compete for a cup, and it will not go into rebuilding mode so we'll be stuck in the 8th seed limbo again. That being said, you find an upgrade at 1 LW, an upgrade at 3C, and bring some more grit and this team is more competitive, funner to watch, and at least makes the playoffs.

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#5 The Towel Boy
May 05 2009, 08:26AM
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That Brashear article was pretty darn good. I no longer view him as a just a crazed, psychopathic, face-pummeling monster. Tough life he had, for sure. Hats off to him for making something of his life coming from all that.

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#6 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 08:35AM
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@ The Towel Boy:

I still view him as a crazed, psychopathic, face-pummeling monster because that's what he is. I do have more respect for him now though (in a non-hockey kind of way).

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#7 Cam
May 05 2009, 08:59AM
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DBO wrote:

this team will not be able to compete for a cup, and it will not go into rebuilding mode so we’ll be stuck in the 8th seed limbo again.

How can you truly say that until we see what comes to the table next year. they have a one in thirty chance. No one thought they would compete for a cup in 2006, but there they were anyways.

The Oilers didn't play as a team last year, and players underperformed, but that doesn't diminish the assets overly. I think Tambo has some quality trade bait to play with, and I would prefer to wait until we see what gets done this summer before I pronounce doom and gloom.

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#8 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 09:16AM
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@ Cam:

I'm not pronouncing doom and gloom yet but I have to agree with DBO here. New GM, new coach, new systems, new goalie, more new players.....the oil have a pretty tall order to fill to become a playoff team over one summer if you ask me. I just hope Tambo can lay a good foundation so we can at least make the playoffs next season and continue to improve over the next 3 or 4 years. I wish I had the optimism of Mact and Lowe in thinking that you can go from a non playoff team to a division title holder in one summer. Lots of work to do in my opinion.

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#9 Harlie
May 05 2009, 09:25AM
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the Brashear article is eerily similar to the story about O'Sullivan. It really shows that these guys are human beings and not just a big cheque skating up and down a surface of ice. Great article and good on Donald for persevering. Also good luck to him in his future when he hangs up the blades and tries to integrate back into society with his past still shadowing over him.

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#10 speeds
May 05 2009, 09:25AM
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Gregor:

There's no way for the Oilers, or anyone else , to give Omark a one-way deal . It's part of the CBA that a player in his situation HAS to have a two way contract. That is not an issue.

What seems to be an issue is whether Omark is willing to play for an extended period in the AHL, making 65K, when he could be making much more in Europe, in the case where Omark doesn't make the team.

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#11 smytty777
May 05 2009, 09:32AM
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speeds wrote:

Gregor: There’s no way for the Oilers, or anyone else , to give Omark a one-way deal .

Speeds, my understanding is that Omark's agent wanted an assurance from the Oilers that the agreement would be "one-way" in the sense that the Oilers would provide assurance that Omark would not be sent down at any point during the year, even though all entry-level deals are two-way.

So I agree with your characterization of the issue, Omark risks getting 65K in the AHL by coming over versus millions in Russia. It will be the same issue next year though, although maybe if Omark lights up the Russian league he can be assured a roster spot next year.

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#12 Ender the Dragon
May 05 2009, 10:01AM
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I get a kick out of the Omark question. We should definitely ice our team next year based on the number of YouTube hits they get, with a bonus structure tied to the number of comments. That's the only real way to recognize top talent; isn't that right Robbie Schremp?

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#13 Digger12
May 05 2009, 10:40AM
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I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong on this, but doesn't the CBA stipulate that all rookie deals HAVE to be 2 way?

If that's the case, then how can the Oilers say he was wanting a one way deal when it wasn't even possible to sign such a deal?

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#14 Jason Gregor
May 05 2009, 10:53AM
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Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

It’s popular in the Edmonton media that theyll play soft ball (aka no balls) this off-season and just get gap fillers to hope for a possible low seed playoff cash grab. there goes one more year of that “sweet deal” down the tubes. so why should Hemsky be Mr. Chipper when he’s playing for about 70% of his market value with turds? oh yeah, its the “noble” thing to do.

If Hemsky is whining about his deal, like you alluded to then I'd say screw him. He signed the deal, so live with it, although I've never heard from anyone that he complains about it.

I agree Hemsky doesn't have a great supporting cast, but if he wants to be in the elite he has to produce without other great players around him.

The year Iginla won the scoring title, with a measly 96 points in 2001/2002, only four other players had double digits in goals. He made Craig Conroy a 75 point player.

I'm not saying Hemsky is Iginla, but at some point if Hemsky wants to get in the conversation of top-end players he has to do it, regardless of who is on his team.

He was averaging more than a point a game halfway through the year. He tailed off in the final 40 games, with the same linemates.

Hemsky is the Oilers' best forward, but if he wants to move into the upper echelon of forwards he needs to produce with whoever he plays. That is what the really good to great players do.

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#15 Jason Gregor
May 05 2009, 10:57AM
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Digger12 wrote:

I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong on this, but doesn’t the CBA stipulate that all rookie deals HAVE to be 2 way? If that’s the case, then how can the Oilers say he was wanting a one way deal when it wasn’t even possible to sign such a deal?

Yes, but he wanted the "guarantee" that he would play in Edmonton and not the AHL...where he would earn a whopping $65-80,000...It was a verbal agreement that they were interested in. He wouldn't be the first player to ask for this type of guarantee.

And the Oilers weren't prepared, nor from what I was told do they think he is ready to be a guaranteed NHLer just yet. The out clause in his Moscow Dynamo deal will allow both sides to re-evaluate his stock next summer.

He would get an bonus laden contract with the Oilers if he comes next year I would guess, so he could at least match the $1.4 that he will be guaranteed with Dynamo.

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#16 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 11:05AM
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DMN said: It’s popular in the Edmonton media that theyll play soft ball (aka no balls) this off-season and just get gap fillers to hope for a possible low seed playoff cash grab.

@ Gregor Do you think that Tambellini will play soft ball this summer like he seemingly did all year?? During the presser he held about Mact, he sounded like he was ready to play hard ball from what I heard. Will Katz be pushing him to sign a 8 million dollar guy or will Tambo do what he wants to??

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#17 Nanook
May 05 2009, 11:11AM
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Great article on Brashear. Thanks for the link.

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#18 Digger12
May 05 2009, 11:15AM
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OK Jason, thanks for the clarification.

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#19 #Swiss Oil Fan
May 05 2009, 11:17AM
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Hey guys, we haven't yet spoken about UFA defenseman Jason Strudwick. Should we sign him for next year or let him go? In my opinion, he was a good warrior and we could use his experience (and leadership to a certain degree...) in the team.

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#20 Cam
May 05 2009, 11:18AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

I’m not pronouncing doom and gloom yet but I have to agree with DBO here. New GM, new coach, new systems, new goalie, more new players…..the oil have a pretty tall order to fill to become a playoff team over one summer if you ask me... ...Lots of work to do in my opinion.

I definitely agree with you... it is a tall order. However it is not outside the realm of possibility. Other teams have managed it (like Vancouver), so I am not ready to get pessimistic just yet. There is too much upside and youth ready to get better for me to go there.

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#21 West Coast Oil
May 05 2009, 11:22AM
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Regarding the comments that you cant go from being a basement dweller to contender does anyone remember the Flyers from a couple years ago? A few savy trades and any team can compete.

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#22 Jason Gregor
May 05 2009, 11:24AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

@ Gregor Do you think that Tambellini will play soft ball this summer like he seemingly did all year?? During the presser he held about Mact, he sounded like he was ready to play hard ball from what I heard. Will Katz be pushing him to sign a 8 million dollar guy or will Tambo do what he wants to??

With the cap going down no one is worth being an 8 million dollar guy. The big tickets will be Bouwmeester, Gaborik and Hossa, and it sounds like Hossa is staying in Detroit. If he signs for a cap hit of $6.1 or so, then Gaborik shouldn't get more on the open market.

If the Oilers sign Bouwmeester, then every team in the league knows they will have to giveaway one, and probably two D-men for less than market value.

Signing a big ticket guy doesn't guarantee you success.

Hossa, Savard, Niedermayer and Chara have worked out. Campbell, Huet, Sundin and Nylander haven't. I'm using examples from teams still in.

Drury, Gomez, Smyth, Rolston, and Briere are just a few other big ticket players that haven't come close to living up to their deal.

It seems mid range UFA's bring you more bang for your buck.

The Oilers don't have a lot of cap space. They already have eleven guys signed for a combined $39.15 million for the 2010/2011 season.

Vishnvosky $5.6 million Horcoff $5.5 Souray $5.4 Penner $4.25 Hemsky $4.1 Gilbert $4.0 O'Sullivan $2.925 Staios $2.7 Moreau $2.0 Nilsson $2.0 Stortini $.700

If they are going to go out and sign a decent sized contract then they have to rid themselves of two or three from the aforementioned list. Even if Tambellini wanted to make a splash, his hands are tied a bit due to the contracts he inherited.

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#23 Joel Quenneville's Moustache
May 05 2009, 11:30AM
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"Even if Tambellini wanted to make a splash, his hands are tied a bit due to the contracts he inherited"

And Oiler fans get all over Brian Burke for supposedly doing a crappy job........

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#24 Ogden Brother
May 05 2009, 11:34AM
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Cam wrote:

scorcoff hemmercules wrote: I’m not pronouncing doom and gloom yet but I have to agree with DBO here. New GM, new coach, new systems, new goalie, more new players…..the oil have a pretty tall order to fill to become a playoff team over one summer if you ask me… …Lots of work to do in my opinion. I definitely agree with you… it is a tall order. However it is not outside the realm of possibility. Other teams have managed it (like Vancouver), so I am not ready to get pessimistic just yet. There is too much upside and youth ready to get better for me to go there.

Bingo, the team was only a handfull of points away from being in the thick of the 6-8 race. If Gagner can play 80 (or even 60) like he played the last 25 over the past two years, the team will be battling in that slot.

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#25 Ogden Brother
May 05 2009, 11:38AM
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Joel Quenneville's Moustache wrote:

“Even if Tambellini wanted to make a splash, his hands are tied a bit due to the contracts he inherited” And Oiler fans get all over Brian Burke for supposedly doing a crappy job……..

He left the Ducks with 22 million in only 6 guys, so it's not like their in a far better position.

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#26 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 11:41AM
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@ Cam: @ West Coast Oil:

I can't deny that it's possible, I guess I'm just used to the mediocrety surrounding the oilers over the years. I was fooled last summer into thinking we would contend for the division and I won't make that mistake again. The only expectation I have for next season is to see a team effort and a little bit of heart.

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#27 West Coast Oil
May 05 2009, 11:47AM
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@scorcoff

I agree completely but also dont forget we played ourselves out of a playoff position this year. We all agree the team was dismal this year in a lot of areas but they were still good enough to hold a play off spot for the majority of the season

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#28 DK0
May 05 2009, 11:55AM
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@ West Coast Oil: There is also the fact that players like Sully, Gags, Cogs, and Hemmer are only going to get better with each year. Even if we made 0 trades and resigned everybody I think we would have a better year next year. Removing a couple weaker players and replacing them with some gritty, defensive players could really give the kids some room to work. Throw in a partner for Hemsky and you've got a pretty solid team.

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#29 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 11:56AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Thanks for the reply. I agree that signing the big ticket guy doesn't guarantee success but you don't know unless you try right?? I think it would be a mistake to sign Jagr or Gaborik for big money at this point but the oilers never cease to amaze me. Like you showed though, our cap doesn't really permit a big money player at the moment unless we move a couple guys.

Are we even considering Bouwmeester right now??

@ #Swiss Oil Fan: Strudwick seems like a great guy but I really can't see him bringing anything to the table that Peckham can't. Struds won't be back IMO.

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#30 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 12:09PM
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@ West Coast Oil:

Were we holding a playoff spot for the majority of the season?? I seem to remember us in and out all year. We only really held that playoff position a couple times all year and it was only for a few days.

The impression I get from alot of people is that Gagner, Horc, Hemmer, Penner, Cogs and a few others are going to have far better season next year than this year for some reason. Why is that?? Hope and speculation. Were pretty much banking on that, plus grabbing a couple players a new goalie and all will be right again. I'll believe it when I see it.

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#31 Lofty
May 05 2009, 12:11PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

He left the Ducks with 22 million in only 6 guys, so it’s not like their in a far better position

Other than the fact that they have made the playoffs every year since the lockout, won a cup and are playing the wings hard.

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#32 Ogden Brother
May 05 2009, 12:12PM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

@ West Coast Oil: Were we holding a playoff spot for the majority of the season?? I seem to remember us in and out all year. We only really held that playoff position a couple times all year and it was only for a few days. The impression I get from alot of people is that Gagner, Horc, Hemmer, Penner, Cogs and a few others are going to have far better season next year than this year for some reason. Why is that?? Hope and speculation. Were pretty much banking on that, plus grabbing a couple players a new goalie and all will be right again. I’ll believe it when I see it.

It might not be next year, but in the next couple Gagner/Cogs will start to hit their stride, bringing the team up with them. We've probably seen the best we'll see out of the other three (with the possible exception of a more motivated Penner putting up #'s closer to 2 and 3 years ago).

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#33 dizzle
May 05 2009, 12:19PM
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From crunching some numbers here is what I think a possible way to keep our top 4 d around

Out Nillson, Staios = total 4.7

IN Halak 0.8 trade Labarbera 1 mill UFA Smid RFA 2 mill Grebs RFA 3.5 mill Brodz RFA 1 mill Veteran D 0.6 UFA Jagr 4.75 Mill UFA

Other than Jagr I do not see any of those numbers being a leap of faith

The line up:

Penner Horcoff Hemsky Sully Gagner Jagr Moreau Cogs Pisani Jaques Brodz Storts Reddox Pouliot

Souray Vis Grebs Gilbert Smid Peck Vet D

Halak Labarbera

All of these salaries combined with the relief from the baby bonus contracts (can exceed cap by amount of bonus contracts) would put us under the salary cap of 56 million.

No major moves had to be done and our top 4 d remain intact.

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#34 rickithebear
May 05 2009, 12:46PM
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//Hemsky is rare, in that he is willing to go in the tough areas, but at times he doesn’t seem willing to do all the little things that will propel him to great status.//

Gregor Know you are not a stats guy.

Hemsky's last 4 years were age 22-25. How many RW have achieved .9 points/Game or better in the last 15 years. With people wanting to trade him it must be a dime a dozen.

Lets look: the answer is 5 players in 15 years.

1--Jaromir Jagr---1995 to 1998---PIT---1.54 10--Ziggy Palffy---1995 to 1998---NYI---1.02 12--Jarome Iginla---2000 to 2003---CGY---0.95 14--Marian Hossa---2001 to 2004---OTT---0.94 15--Ales Hemsky---2006 to 2009---EDM---0.92

The guy IS a generational talent.

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#35 Claudio
May 05 2009, 01:09PM
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Greggor,

I think you have to look no further than the Phiadelphia Flyers or New York Rangers, who terribly overpaid guys like Gomez or Drury, when it comes to big ticket free agents.Doesnt always pay off. And if you ask me,of all the young guns on this team, Gilbert seems to have the strongest leadership qualities.For a guy we basically got for nothing (salo) Gilbert has turned into one of the Oil's strongest role players. I enjoy listening to your show every afternoon,and I have to say,the blonde chick from your website looks fantastic

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#36 dragon
May 05 2009, 01:12PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

scorcoff hemmercules wrote: @ West Coast Oil: Were we holding a playoff spot for the majority of the season?? I seem to remember us in and out all year. We only really held that playoff position a couple times all year and it was only for a few days. The impression I get from alot of people is that Gagner, Horc, Hemmer, Penner, Cogs and a few others are going to have far better season next year than this year for some reason. Why is that?? Hope and speculation. Were pretty much banking on that, plus grabbing a couple players a new goalie and all will be right again. I’ll believe it when I see it. It might not be next year, but in the next couple Gagner/Cogs will start to hit their stride, bringing the team up with them. We’ve probably seen the best we’ll see out of the other three (with the possible exception of a more motivated Penner putting up #’s closer to 2 and 3 years ago).

Form what I read so far it looks we forget there's gonna be a new coach in here. Maybe he'll revive both Horc and Penner, put Gags in a much better light and help Hemmer get over his streakiness. Possible? Sure. Probable? I hope so. Once the coach is in we'll know better. Also, instead of trying so hard for an old star, maybe some serious effort (money) should be directed to better scouting. Lower cap or not, solid drafting and free agent signing will built a more sustainable organization than couple of rentals would...

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#37 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 01:19PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

You're probably right but Gagner was given alot of rope this year and played against lesser competition the whole year, yet he had a worse year than the one before. Defensively better though. How does he significantly improve over a few months?? What would lead anyone to believe he wont be a second half player again??

Come to think of it, is there a player on the entire team that got better this year?? I guess we can only go up since everyone on the team is looking for a rebound year next year!

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#38 Jonathan Willis
May 05 2009, 01:30PM
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Speaking of Omark, at least one (not quite so highly regarded) Swedish Oilers' prospect is coming ot North America: according to multiple reports, Johan Motin now has an entry-level deal and is looking forward to the AHL.

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#39 Ogden Brother
May 05 2009, 01:35PM
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dragon wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: scorcoff hemmercules wrote: @ West Coast Oil: Were we holding a playoff spot for the majority of the season?? I seem to remember us in and out all year. We only really held that playoff position a couple times all year and it was only for a few days. The impression I get from alot of people is that Gagner, Horc, Hemmer, Penner, Cogs and a few others are going to have far better season next year than this year for some reason. Why is that?? Hope and speculation. Were pretty much banking on that, plus grabbing a couple players a new goalie and all will be right again. I’ll believe it when I see it. It might not be next year, but in the next couple Gagner/Cogs will start to hit their stride, bringing the team up with them. We’ve probably seen the best we’ll see out of the other three (with the possible exception of a more motivated Penner putting up #’s closer to 2 and 3 years ago). Form what I read so far it looks we forget there’s gonna be a new coach in here. Maybe he’ll revive both Horc and Penner, put Gags in a much better light and help Hemmer get over his streakiness. Possible? Sure. Probable? I hope so. Once the coach is in we’ll know better. Also, instead of trying so hard for an old star, maybe some serious effort (money) should be directed to better scouting. Lower cap or not, solid drafting and free agent signing will built a more sustainable organization than couple of rentals would…

Bingo, scouting towards both drafting and trading is the way to go.

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#40 Ogden Brother
May 05 2009, 01:36PM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: You’re probably right but Gagner was given alot of rope this year and played against lesser competition the whole year, yet he had a worse year than the one before. Defensively better though. How does he significantly improve over a few months?? What would lead anyone to believe he wont be a second half player again?? Come to think of it, is there a player on the entire team that got better this year?? I guess we can only go up since everyone on the team is looking for a rebound year next year!

Well Gagner is eventually going to get there...or end up a bust. Either way it's only a matter of a couple of years before we know.

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#41 dragon
May 05 2009, 01:50PM
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@ Ogden Brother: Judging from his pedigree he will make it. It's only a matter of how soon, IMO.

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#42 Jason Gregor
May 05 2009, 01:55PM
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dizzle wrote:

Penner Horcoff Hemsky Sully Gagner Jagr Moreau Cogs Pisani Jaques Brodz Storts Reddox Pouliot Souray Vis Grebs Gilbert Smid Peck Vet D Halak Labarbera All of these salaries combined with the relief from the baby bonus contracts (can exceed cap by amount of bonus contracts) would put us under the salary cap of 56 million. No major moves had to be done and our top 4 d remain intact.

For argument sake the Oilers currently have 20 guys at $47.2 for next year...Exchange Nilsson and Staios for Jagr and it is 19 for $47.2

Smid, Brodziak and Grebeshkov under your numbers push them to $53.7 and 22 players. Remember they already have Deslauriers under contract. So the 23rd player is a goalie...

There will be way more moves than just Staios and Nilsson. They have too many forwards under contract, so expect a few more to move.

And why would you even suggest Labarbera? I'm perplexed why people think he is the answer, yet want to cast aside Deslauriers. Give the kid a shot and see what he can do. He didn't embarrass himself in the limited action he had last year.

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#43 rickithebear
May 05 2009, 02:01PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Well Gagner is eventually going to get there…or end up a bust. Either way it’s only a matter of a couple of years before we know.

Gagner made the NHL at age 18 and averaged over .5 pts/GM.

How many in the last 45 years:

1 Sidney Crosby 2006 2007 PIT 1.39 2 Dale Hawerchuk 1982 1983 WPG 1.22 3 Jimmy Carson 1987 1988 LAK 1.16 4 Ron Francis 1982 1983 HAR 1.14 5 Steve Yzerman 1984 1985 DET 1.1 6 Brian Bellows 1983 1984 MNS 0.95 7 Ed Olczyk 1985 1986 CBH 0.87 8 Bob Carpenter 1982 1983 WSH 0.85 9 Jaromir Jagr 1991 1992 PIT 0.84 10 Pierre Turgeon 1988 1989 BUF 0.83 11 Ilya Kovalchuk 2002 2003 ATL 0.81 12 Kirk Muller 1985 1986 NJD 0.76 13 Trevor Linden 1989 1990 VAN 0.72 14 Marian Gaborik 2001 2002 MIN 0.69 15 Rick Nash 2003 2004 CBJ 0.62 16 V Lecavalier 1999 2000 TBL 0.59 17 Sam Gagner 2008 2009 EDM 0.58 18 Craig Simpson 1986 1987 PIT 0.53 19 Patrick Marleau 1998 1999 SJS 0.5 20 Rick Hampton 1975 1976 CGS 0.5

How many in the last 15 years.

1-Sidney Crosby---2006 to 200---PIT---1.39 11-Ilya Kovalchuk---2002 to 2003---ATL---0.81 14-Marian Gaborik---2001 to 2002---MIN---0.69 15-Rick Nash---2003 to 2004---CBJ---0.62 16-V Lecavalier---1999 to 2000---TBL---0.59 17-Sam Gagner---2008 to 2009---EDM---0.58 19-Patrick Marleau---1998 to 1999---SJS 0.5

Yeah I am real worried about his less than perfect production rates at this age.

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#44 Quinn
May 05 2009, 02:11PM
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Thanks for the link on the Brashear article, though reading some of it made me sick. I don't blame the guy for protecting himself from all the people who hurt him or let him get hurt.

I think Omark in Russia is a good thing, since we will get to see how he does with big boys over there on someone else's dime.

I am sorry to hear Staios may be going this summer. If I had my druthers it would be Moreau seeing the door. Staios last half of the season made me feel he would be the best option for a 6-7 D on the team and provide leadership/continuity.

I agree on Deslauriers. Let him run as a back-up to a Halak or Anderson, or even send him to the AHL for some time there. And if someone picks him up on waivers, so what? Plenty of cheap 1B goalies out there this year.

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#45 West Coast Oil
May 05 2009, 02:19PM
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@Quin

My concern with Halak is we realy dont know if he is ready to compete at the NHL level consistently. People thought Price was and look at the position he is now in.In my eyes Deslaurier and Halak are in the same boat

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#46 Ogden Brother
May 05 2009, 02:23PM
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@ rickithebear:

You don't say.

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#47 DK0
May 05 2009, 02:25PM
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@ rickithebear: Thanks for the stats. I always loved Hemsky and Gagner but i always assumed most of that was because they are bright spots on my favorite team, now that I see they are in some pretty elite company even with their "not so impressive" seasons, I can rest easy. I hope they put up some videos of Gags working in the offseason. That one from last year was pretty cool. He definitely deserves some mad props for work ethic.

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#48 scorcoff hemmercules
May 05 2009, 02:37PM
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@ rickithebear:

Nice work. I guess I didn't really consider his age, he has alot of good years ahead of him for sure.

My point earlier about Sam wasn't to say that sucked or that I don't like him, it's just that I already hear people saying "this guy and that guy are going to way better next season". We haven't even hired a coach or even played a pre-season game yet! I personally think with the adjustments of new personelle on the team we will still be in an 8th seed battle at the end of next season. I'm keeping my expectations a hell of alot lower next year thats for sure.

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#49 Quinn
May 05 2009, 02:49PM
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@ West Coast Oil: Granted, but I suspect if we were to look at numbers (which is far beyond my capacity) we might see some comfort in what Halak provides.

I am firmly of the opinion that a couple of 1B goalies is what the team needs to use this year.

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#50 Archaeologuy
May 05 2009, 02:51PM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

I’m keeping my expectations a hell of alot lower next year thats for sure.

I think we were all burned this past season and i doubt too many people will be ready to pronounce the team a playoff anything until christmas.

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