Dwayne Roloson Gets An Offer; Ales Kotalik Does Not

Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009 05:49PM

roli2

With three significant players heading to free agency - including their number one goaltender - the Oilers have made decisions on each of them, and those decisions have been made public. Terry Jones reports that free agent goaltender Dwayne Roloson has been offered a one-year contract in the same range as his previous deal.  It also appears that Steve Tambellini has wisely chosen to make this his line in the sand:

In the event the 39-year-old Roloson decides to test the waters of free agency, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini told Sun Media, the Oilers will make replacing him their top priority at 10:01 a.m. Wednesday, when the free-agent action begins.

The outlook is even bleaker for winger Ales Kotalik, who Rob Tychowski reports has not recieved an offer from the Oilers.  Despite this, Assistant GM Rick Olczyk made concilliatory noises:

"Players have signed with their respective clubs after July 1.  Either the team steps up or the player realizes there's not as much interest out there as I thought, I want to talk again."

That's a funny comment given that the Oilers haven't made an offer; my take on it is that the team has decided that Kotalik isn't a good fit on the top line, but that they aren't opposed to talking to him later in the summer if a) their other options don't work out and b) Kotalik is still available.

Finally, in the same article Tychowski confirms something which has been pretty much common knowledge for a while - that the Oilers wish to retain Jason Strudwick.  He quotes Olczyk:

"He's definitely on the radar to get done.  If it gets done before July 1, great, if we don't, we'll make sure it gets done shortly thereafter."

I'm assuming that Strudwick isn't the priority, but he isn't going to be in demand everywhere either, so the Oilers should be able to sign him to a modest contract to play the 7th defenseman/14th forward role on the team.

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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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#101 Jonathan Willis
June 30 2009, 11:27AM
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@ Chester Copperpot:

Anderson and Harding will both get less than 3MM. Probably the other two as well; there just isn't enough demand to push their contracts higher IMO.

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#102 esa tikkanen
June 30 2009, 11:30AM
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Many here, including me, have suggested the Oilers will go after Blair Betts because he played for the Rangers last year with Tom Renney. It is suggested he would be an upgrade on Brodziak in the toughness department. However, he has never had 40 pims in his career, including junior. He gets less points than Brodziak, and has a lower faceoff winning %. How is this an upgrade? Can't be that tough a guy with 25 pims per season. Or was Brodziak looking for $1.0 million +?

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#103 Alon
June 30 2009, 11:34AM
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@ Chaz:

Horc and Garon were our MVPs in 2007-2008. One guy has handicapped the team with a 5.5 mil cap hit for 5 seasons, and the other was uncermoniously dumped, craped on and traded.

The best indicator of the future is the past, and Roli's past screams inconsistency when it comes to performance. Another indicator is that the ability of an athlete to perform is diminished over time. Even Hasek wasn't the dominator at 40. Roli at 40 provides risks with inconsistency, and a bigger risk of injury than a younger goalie would have, and it would be a nightmare for this team if Roli went down.

I like Roli, I like his spirit, and I like what he did in the playoffs and last year, but there are much better options available out there than Roli.

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#104 Victoria
June 30 2009, 11:38AM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

Victoria wrote: The bitterness directed at Roli is amusing. Ender the Dragon wrote: Why are people unhappy with this? I figure that Roli will see the writing on the wall and accept this offer fairly soon. For anyone who thinks this is a mistake, your memories are all very short. For one season, there is no reason to think Roli cannot deliver the same performance as last year It’s not bitterness, it’s business, if we can get the same caliber tender for less, who is younger, and may have a higher potential, why would we not do it? Because of some misplaced loyalty for a player that has been her for 3 seasons? You see what that has gotten us in the past, bad contracts for Staois and Pisani just to name a couple. My memory is just fine, and I remember not only last season, but also the season before when Roli was the worst starting goaltender in the league, and there is no reason to think that he won’t repeat THAT performance.

Really? have your read all the posts or are you just speaking for yourself? Because if the former is the case, that's the b**chiest business talk I've ever heard. Besides, my point isn't limited to this discussion, if you take a look at almost any discussion about Roli, folks are looking for any excuse to rip on the guy.

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#105 Wanye Gretz
June 30 2009, 11:40AM
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@ Alon:

Oh is that how the draft works? Thank you for taking time out of your busy day at MENSA to explain it to me. Perhaps you could clearly articulate this inconsistency you mentioned without any supporting fact yet again.

You know, if you can put down the two rubiks cubes you are simultaneously solving.

2006-07 (27 wins)2.75 GAA 0.909 PCT 2007-08 (15 wins)3.05 GAA 0.901 PCT 2008-09 (28 wins)2.77 GAA 0.915 PCT

27 and 28 wins in his last two full seasons (when Garon wasn't messing with his starter's job) and a steady save % that improved last year.

He is actually remarkably consistent.

This team has a boat load of holes but goaltending isn't one of them.

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#106 Ducey
June 30 2009, 11:40AM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

@ Chester Copperpot: Craig Anderson, Halak, Nittymaki, just to name 3. Roli was 18th in sv%, 28th in GAA, and had only 1 SO. All these put him in the bottom half of the league. He was and is an average goalie, no need to keep him at this point in his career.

Save percentage is the proper way to seperate goalies. GAA has to include the team defence.

Roli .915 Clemenson .917 Halak .915 Brodeur .916 Lundqvist .916 Ward .916 Miller .918 Luongo .920 Niittymaki .912 (with same GAA as Roli) Fleury.912 Kipper .903 Price .905 Nabokov .910

Roli is a point or two within some pretty good goalies and better than many supposedly better guys. A percentage point or two would seem to be within the range of luck. I bet if you look at it he got a lot more shots per game than many of the guys on the list. If somehow you could look at the number of breakaways and 2 on 1 opportunities you would think that Roli would be left exposed a lot more times than a goalie on Minni, NJ ot Vancouver.

Roli is an ABOVE average goalie. If he signs it will be for a lot less than most of the guys on that list and will be for one year. After this year you can get a guy a lot cheaper when the cap comes down.

His signing looks to be a sound idea to me.

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#107 Victoria
June 30 2009, 11:44AM
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@ Alon:

Good options... like? I keep hreaing people talking about Anderson, yet i keep hearing how his inconsistency is keeping him from being a starter, yet that's your reason of why we shouldn't keep Roloson. Then there's Biron who wants more money and lost his starting position last year (doesn't sound like a step up to me). 'Bulin... heck no!. Clemmenson may have had a good year but it's his only good year and it was behind New Jersey's defence.

The reality is, the only people who don't see Roloson as a good free agent goaltender (compared to what else is out there) is some Oilers fans.

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#108 Librarian Mike
June 30 2009, 11:50AM
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@ Victoria:

I like Rolli and agree that he has been good for us, and is most certainly not the reason we've missed the last 3 playoffs. My concern however is the abyss of unproven talent that we have if he gets hurt, which is a very real possibility due to his age and workload. I'd be okay with keeping him for one more year AS LONG AS we give JDD or Dubnyk a real shot (i.e. more than 6 games). If they aren't good enough, we shop them for one who is.

Whether this is actually possible, I have no idea. But hey that's why Tambellini makes the big bux. haha.

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#109 ScubaSteve
June 30 2009, 11:51AM
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Victoria wrote:

The reality is, the only people who don’t see Roloson as a good free agent goaltender (compared to what else is out there) is some Oilers fans.

I'm not going to change anyone's mind, but IMO Roli is not the answer for this team. When Smyth was at the end of his (useful) career, we shipped him out, we can do the same with Roli, we gave him a bigger contract than he deserved last time, we have been good to Roli, it's time to move on, no point in hanging onto average players, we have enough of those.

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#110 Alon
June 30 2009, 11:51AM
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@ Wanye Gretz:

Nice.

You don't find Roli's drop in 07-08 (and subsequent rise this year) as some sort of an anomally or pattern.

Lets extrapolate:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=11373

with the exception of 02-04 Roli's numbers have always jumped around at the NHL level, especially his sv%. Why should we expect it to be any different now, especially in the twilight of his career?

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#111 Nick Dynasty
June 30 2009, 11:55AM
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Off topic but why have we still not signed Grebber and Smid with only 24hrs to go??? Both are potential offer sheet targets!

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#112 Alon
June 30 2009, 11:56AM
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@ Victoria:

I don't really see anyone other than Halak or Harding as viable options. Anderson and Biron and more risk/reward scenarios that may or may not work out.

I don't like it, but I could tolerate inconsistency, the age is the biggest problem for me.

But I would also like to point out that Biron's and Anderson's inconsistencies are much less pronounced then Rolis

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#113 Alon
June 30 2009, 11:57AM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

Victoria wrote: The reality is, the only people who don’t see Roloson as a good free agent goaltender (compared to what else is out there) is some Oilers fans. I’m not going to change anyone’s mind, but IMO Roli is not the answer for this team. When Smyth was at the end of his (useful) career, we shipped him out, we can do the same with Roli, we gave him a bigger contract than he deserved last time, we have been good to Roli, it’s time to move on, no point in hanging onto average players, we have enough of those.

Amen Brother

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#114 Wanye Gretz
June 30 2009, 11:58AM
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@ Librarian Mike:

See THIS statement I agree with completely. There is an absolute vacuum of goaltending prospects in the system behind Roloson - who will not be an option as a starter in a couple of years simply due to his age and the physical demands of being a starting goalie 55 games + per year. If you look at the players currently in the system and ask "how is goaltending in 4 years" the answer is "probably crappy."

If someone wants to say this is a real problem for the team in the goaltending department I can see this. But all this Roloson criticism of his current play is absolute garbage.

We don't have to sit here and argue that he is Vezina material year after year - fine. But to say that Roloson is in some way responsible for the problems on the ice these past three years is nonsense.

If I was Roloson and I knew how I had performed as an Oiler and I saw how fickle the fans here are - alternating between standing ROLI chants and demanding he be sent out of town on the next thing smoking - I would tell my agent to send me to a better team with a more stable fan base where I could play out my career in peace with an outside chance of winning the Cup.

But no, instead Roloson actually wants to remain here despite the shabby treatment from the Coaching Staff and large sections of the fan base.

Yeah, he is the problem. It's clear to me now.

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#115 Alon
June 30 2009, 12:02PM
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@ Wanye Gretz:

Ah now it makes sense. Sorry Wanye we had a missunderstanding. By no means do I think Roli was our problem last year. I thought he was in 07-08, but that's not the question. What I am trying to say is that Roli's inconsistencies might present a very big potential problem in the upcomming season.

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#116 Alon
June 30 2009, 12:02PM
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@ Alon:

inconsistencies and age*

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#117 Ogden Brother
June 30 2009, 12:04PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

@ Librarian Mike: See THIS statement I agree with completely. There is an absolute vacuum of goaltending prospects in the system behind Roloson - who will not be an option as a starter in a couple of years simply due to his age and the physical demands of being a starting goalie 55 games + per year. If you look at the players currently in the system and ask “how is goaltending in 4 years” the answer is “probably crappy.” If someone wants to say this is a real problem for the team in the goaltending department I can see this. But all this Roloson criticism of his current play is absolute garbage. We don’t have to sit here and argue that he is Vezina material year after year - fine. But to say that Roloson is in some way responsible for the problems on the ice these past three years is nonsense. If I was Roloson and I knew how I had performed as an Oiler and I saw how fickle the fans here are - alternating between standing ROLI chants and demanding he be sent out of town on the next thing smoking - I would tell my agent to send me to a better team with a more stable fan base where I could play out my career in peace with an outside chance of winning the Cup. But no, instead Roloson actually wants to remain here despite the shabby treatment from the Coaching Staff and large sections of the fan base. Yeah, he is the problem. It’s clear to me now.

Bingo, I'd paraphrase that and extended it to (almost)all current and past Oilers.

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#118 Wanye Gretz
June 30 2009, 12:07PM
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@ Alon:

Ah.

I can see this potentially being the case, but there is little to suggest to me that Roloson isn't capable of a couple more seasons provided that he isn't worked to death in the process - like MacT throwing him in net the last 81 games in a row of the "playoff drive" last year."

My apologies Alon. I had you pegged as one of these folks who lay the shitanusly mediocre crap we have been forced to watch since 2006 at the feet of ol' Roli.

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#119 Victoria
June 30 2009, 12:07PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

@ Victoria: I like Rolli and agree that he has been good for us, and is most certainly not the reason we’ve missed the last 3 playoffs. My concern however is the abyss of unproven talent that we have if he gets hurt, which is a very real possibility due to his age and workload. I’d be okay with keeping him for one more year AS LONG AS we give JDD or Dubnyk a real shot (i.e. more than 6 games). If they aren’t good enough, we shop them for one who is. Whether this is actually possible, I have no idea. But hey that’s why Tambellini makes the big bux. haha.

That's certainly a valid concern, but looking at last year there was a plethora of goalies injured, yet Roloson wasn't one of them. I couldn't imagine him getting very frail in the next season.

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#120 Librarian Mike
June 30 2009, 12:10PM
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@ Victoria:

What can I say, I'm a 'safety net' guy. That's why I work for the city.

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#121 Wanye Gretz
June 30 2009, 12:12PM
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This weather has me going crazy. Anyone else?

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#122 Victoria
June 30 2009, 12:15PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

@ Librarian Mike: See THIS statement I agree with completely. There is an absolute vacuum of goaltending prospects in the system behind Roloson - who will not be an option as a starter in a couple of years simply due to his age and the physical demands of being a starting goalie 55 games + per year. If you look at the players currently in the system and ask “how is goaltending in 4 years” the answer is “probably crappy.” If someone wants to say this is a real problem for the team in the goaltending department I can see this. But all this Roloson criticism of his current play is absolute garbage. We don’t have to sit here and argue that he is Vezina material year after year - fine. But to say that Roloson is in some way responsible for the problems on the ice these past three years is nonsense. If I was Roloson and I knew how I had performed as an Oiler and I saw how fickle the fans here are - alternating between standing ROLI chants and demanding he be sent out of town on the next thing smoking - I would tell my agent to send me to a better team with a more stable fan base where I could play out my career in peace with an outside chance of winning the Cup. But no, instead Roloson actually wants to remain here despite the shabby treatment from the Coaching Staff and large sections of the fan base. Yeah, he is the problem. It’s clear to me now.

Exacly!

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#123 Alon
June 30 2009, 12:17PM
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@ Wanye Gretz:

lol no problem. I like Roli, but I also want to see whats out there

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#124 Librarian Mike
June 30 2009, 12:18PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

This weather has me going crazy. Anyone else?

Rainy day sun. That means Dustin Penner will need 6 weeks to get in shape rather than 4.

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#125 Victoria
June 30 2009, 12:19PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

This weather has me going crazy. Anyone else?

It's beautiful here in Vancouver. : P

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#126 dyckster
June 30 2009, 12:20PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

This weather has me going crazy. Anyone else?

Ditto, but I'd also probably be complaining if we were in a 10 straight day run of 30 degree plus days. Guess I'm your typical fickle Oiler fan. Nothing is ever good enough. :)

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#127 Librarian Mike
June 30 2009, 12:23PM
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@ dyckster:

Hahaha. "And I remember back in the 80s, it was sunny every day!"

Sound familiar?

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#128 dyckster
June 30 2009, 12:27PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Hahaha. “And I remember back in the 80s, it was sunny every day!” Sound familiar?

Definately, only difference was, in the 80's I was a Wpg Jet fan dying for something good to happen. We had our sunny moments, but more often then not it was cloudy with showers. DOH.

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#129 RossCreek
June 30 2009, 12:32PM
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@ Wanye Gretz: Familiar with Martin Lawrence AKA Sheneneh and Jamie Foxx AKA Wanda?

SKANK ROBBERS

hXXp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGbLl8K13Oc

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#130 Jorge
June 30 2009, 12:38PM
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Why does TSN figure calgary can get both heatley AND Bouwmeister and we aren't in for getting either?

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#131 RossCreek
June 30 2009, 12:44PM
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Jorge wrote:

Why does TSN figure calgary can get both heatley AND Bouwmeister and we aren’t in for getting either?

Well they may figure they can do it, BUT only if they trade Phaneuf for Heatley. At this point in time, Ottawa takes that trade in a heartbeat. From a Flames perspective, if the get Bouwmeester signed, some feel they should move Dion for a scoring forward to replace Cammalleri. Not sure what that would mean for a Olli Jokinen (who should be able to replace a chunk of Cammalleri's goals) or Daymond Langkow, but it could mean 1 of them also gets moved.

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#132 ScubaSteve
June 30 2009, 12:48PM
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Alon wrote:

@ Wanye Gretz: Ah now it makes sense. Sorry Wanye we had a missunderstanding. By no means do I think Roli was our problem last year. I thought he was in 07-08, but that’s not the question. What I am trying to say is that Roli’s inconsistencies might present a very big potential problem in the upcomming season.

+1

I agree that Roli wasn't the problem the last couple years, but now we have an opportunity to possibly upgrade, which I would look at in every position on the team. I don't dislike Roli, but if there is a better option, we should explore it.

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#133 ronaldo
June 30 2009, 12:57PM
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I don't know what everyone's problem with Rolo is, that is some damn good ice cream........oh, Roli. My bad. (Stupid lack of summer.)

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#134 Lofty
June 30 2009, 12:57PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

I agree that Roli wasn’t the problem the last couple years, but now we have an opportunity to possibly upgrade, which I would look at in every position on the team. I don’t dislike Roli, but if there is a better option, we should explore it.

IMO the upgrade needs to be on the offensive side of the line-up. The Oil need to spend more time on the attack and less time on the defensive.

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#135 JF
June 30 2009, 01:32PM
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on a side note,

hxxp://www.hockeyoutsiders.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=104:calgary-set-to-play-with-16-man-roster&catid=47:northwest-division&Itemid=70

heres to watching calgary get screwed over by injuries if this is true

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#136 Wanye Gretz
June 30 2009, 01:35PM
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@ RossCreek:

I loved seeing Jamie Foxx roll out that old character again. It used to slay me on in living color. Mind you I was about 11 when I used to watch that show and I was excited to see all 48 Wayans Brothers working together and I was even more excited just to be awake at 11 PM.

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#137 NW UK OIler
June 30 2009, 01:35PM
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Lofty wrote:

IMO the upgrade needs to be on the offensive side of the line-up. The Oil need to spend more time on the attack and less time on the defensive.

I agree, but still feel that a defenseman will have to be moved in order to to upgrade the offense with quality.

Also, on a side note, I find it somewhat worrying that Roli has been moved off the Roster Page on the official site! Suppose it could be nothing though ;)

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#138 Wanye Gretz
June 30 2009, 01:46PM
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NW UK OIler wrote:

Also, on a side note, I find it somewhat worrying that Roli has been moved off the Roster Page on the official site! Suppose it could be nothing though

I noticed that too. Kotalik isn't on there either. But Smid is, though he is an RFA....

HMMMMM

*insert dramatic music here*

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#139 NW UK OIler
June 30 2009, 01:55PM
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@ Wanye Gretz:

Lol, the tension mounts!

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#140 Jonathan Willis
June 30 2009, 02:01PM
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@ JF:

It's funny, but not true.

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#141 RossCreek
June 30 2009, 02:02PM
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NW UK OIler wrote:

Also, on a side note, I find it somewhat worrying that Roli has been moved off the Roster Page on the official site! Suppose it could be nothing though

Wanye Gretz wrote:

noticed that too. Kotalik isn’t on there either. But Smid is, though he is an RFA…. HMMMMM *insert dramatic music here*

Well the question is, is Jason Strudwick still there?

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#142 dyckster
June 30 2009, 02:07PM
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Did you guys know this - "Oilers unsuccessfully offered defenceman Tom Gilbert to move up at the draft"

(from Sportsnet http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/06/30/nhl_freeagent_spector/ )

I didn't, I don't think I've been sleeping in a cave since last Friday?

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#143 Ralor
June 30 2009, 02:44PM
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Ducey wrote:

ScubaSteve wrote: .... Save percentage is the proper way to seperate goalies. GAA has to include the team defence. ...

TOUCHE' It's about time someone, other than me, got off the GAA bandwagon.

Your are sooo correct that GAA is a TEAM stat!

When Dustin Schwartz was pulling down sub 1.2 GAA's, do you think his defence had anything to do with it? Hell, he was only getting 12 shots a game!!

Meanwhile Jamie McCaig was getting 40 or 50 a game at Lethbridge.

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