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, Sportsnet, 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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#1 ScubaSteve
June 29 2009, 06:06PM
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I am counting down to 10:01 am then, please replace Roli!!! Let's move forward, not pay a 40 year old 3.6mil to be average. We can get average for far less than that.

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#2 West Coast Oil
June 29 2009, 06:08PM
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I would assume what hurt Kotalik the most is our glut of top six players and the fact we need to shed some via trade first. I would also assume that Kotaliks agent threw a number out and the Oilers didn't find it a steal. The Roli situation bothers me because unless Dubnyk or Deslaurier are reafy to start next year we are in the same boat goaltender wise with potentially less FA options

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#3 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 06:13PM
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@ West Coast Oil:

There are plenty of UFA options and almost nobody needs goalies outside of Edmonton. This is a manageable situation, I think.

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#4 Jay Gray
June 29 2009, 06:23PM
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I'm with ScubaSteve on this one...Roli has been a good soldier, but if it's anything beyond a one year deal, it's most definately time to move one.

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#5 Harlie
June 29 2009, 06:24PM
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who would've thunk it that our number 1 pending UFA siging going into the 2009-2010 season would be a 34 year old utility player. I don't know if I should laugh out loud or cry out loud on that one!

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#6 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 06:25PM
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@ Jay Gray:

It's a one-year deal.

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#7 Alan
June 29 2009, 06:28PM
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Why is this big news now? Gregor has been saying it for weeks that the Oilers have offered a one year deal. To me it looks like the Oilers just want us to know they tried to sign Roloson. I'm with Scubasteve and JayGrey..Good luck Rollie, but we have to move in a different direction.

What about Smid and Grebeshkov?

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#8 Copperflyer
June 29 2009, 06:30PM
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I know this doesn't have anything to do with your post but I'm just wondering your view. Hey Jonathon i listened and watched the draft like every other die hard oilers fan and i also did some reading up on the players being drafted but i just have a question. Understandably the oil tried to trade up to draft John Moore an extremely mobile d man with good size and skill. My question is why didn’t they try that hard to trade up for Carter Ashton? Nothing against Mr Moore but American boys really haven’t done that great here. This organzation is trying to build up it’s farm and they pass on a 6′3 200 pound western Canadian kid who was picked 29th. His skating and offensive creativity have improved and he is a goal scorer. The knock on him is the use of his size physically and compete level. Don’t label a 18 year old kid that easily. I feel that the bolts got a real steal with this kid and i will be following his career close. He may not turn out as well as i think he can but you never know. Look at my favorite player in Mike Richards. The oilers could have easily drafted him but missed out by taking BOOliot while the flyers have their captain for years to come, and they also had drafted Jeff Carter earlier. Sometimes i hate being an oilers fan.

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#9 Shifty203
June 29 2009, 06:31PM
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I can't believe there is still so many Roli haters in this town. The guy was arguably the best oiler on the ice last year and everyone wants to toss him aside just to replace him with someone who "may" be as good. And why? Just cause some morons think he's too old? Pfft... They said that last year too and that Garon was the future.

Roli is the best goalie available, and unless Tambi dumps a ton of ton of contracts, we aren't seeing any massive roster changes next year. Maybe some, but far from an overhaul. Thats why I think we should stick with Roli, and if hes willing to sign a one year deal, be thankful that he's willing to stick around while we find a replacement for next year.

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#10 Librarian Mike
June 29 2009, 06:32PM
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Hey, I just saw on ESPN that Ed Belfour want to come back and play. Any takers for the Billion Dollar Baby?

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#11 EMAC
June 29 2009, 06:33PM
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We probably don't need Oduya, but I would love to see him on the Oilers. He's such an underrated d-man.

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#12 Robin Brownlee
June 29 2009, 06:43PM
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@ Copperflyer: The Oilers did not try to move up to take Moore.

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#13 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 06:44PM
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Copperflyer wrote:

My question is why didn’t they try that hard to trade up for Carter Ashton? Nothing against Mr Moore but American boys really haven’t done that great here. This organzation is trying to build up it’s farm and they pass on a 6′3 200 pound western Canadian kid who was picked 29th. His skating and offensive creativity have improved and he is a goal scorer. The knock on him is the use of his size physically and compete level. Don’t label a 18 year old kid that easily. I feel that the bolts got a real steal with this kid and i will be following his career close.

Carter Ashton gets knocked for not playing in all three zones and not playing consistently, but that's only part of it. The fact of the matter is that he only had fifty points in his draft year before he disappeared entirely in the playoffs.

I don't mind the pick at 29, but his offensive production isn't that good and I've seen at least three scouting reports that say he can't generate offense on his own. From everything I've read and heard he sounds like a bottom-six guy in the NHL because he doesn't have the offense to play top-six, but given his consistency and defensive issues I have to wonder if he can adapt to being a bottom-six guy.

As far as tough Canadian kids go, I'd have rather had Ethan Werek.

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#14 West Coast Oil
June 29 2009, 06:47PM
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@JW I just reread my post and realised my point regarding Roli did not come across properly. What i was trying to say is, if we sign Roli to a 1 year contract for 09-10 we will be in this situation next year unless one if our young guys can take the reins. I dont know what is available next year for goalies so I am wondering if we are better off signing someone long term this year so we dont have an issue in 10-11

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#15 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 06:49PM
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@ West Coast Oil:

I'd like to see the issue addressed long-term, but I don't think the UFA guys are the answer (maybe Anderson, maybe Biron - although Brownlee's said that the latter is too pricey), so maybe trade is the route to go. Kari Lehtonen (if available) would be one option; others might be J-S Giguere or Cristobal Huet.

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#16 dunciano
June 29 2009, 06:53PM
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anyone know who we qualified? (Rfa's)

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#17 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 06:54PM
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dunciano wrote:

anyone know who we qualified? (Rfa’s)

Robin, Jason? I can't seem to find this info anywhere.

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#18 Death Metal Nightmare
June 29 2009, 07:05PM
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im glad theres no offer to Kotalik. he's not worth getting into a term with. theres enough players to take on second/third line roles on this team. they need to get a legit top liner (if ever) to make the work load distribution more fluent down the "pecking order" of minutes.

i wouldnt mind them getting Komisarek if they could dump one of the undersized puck movers. probably a pipe dream but he'd bring an big load of toughness to the top-4.

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#19 Copperflyer
June 29 2009, 07:05PM
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JW thanks for the reply and the good writes. Thumbs way up for you. Keep it up.

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#20 Copperflyer
June 29 2009, 07:13PM
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Well excuse me Robin but that's what was being said on the radio that the oilers were trying to move up to get John Moore.

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#21 West Coast Oil
June 29 2009, 07:23PM
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Im thinking based on numerous Internet reports that the Oilers want to keep Gagner, Cogs and I would assume Patty O as Tamby traded for him so I am assuming he sees something there that he likes and will give him a proper chance to prove himself. I think it is also safe to say that Hemsky and Horcoff aren't going anywhere. So that is 5 of the top 6 accounted for and I have a hard time seeing them trade Penner unless it is in a package for Heatley. So unless I am way off base here will we really see much change this off season? I think Tamby is happy with the team and figures we need more of a tweak than a rework.

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#22 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 07:26PM
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Copperflyer wrote:

I know this doesn’t have anything to do with your post but I’m just wondering your view. Hey Jonathon i listened and watched the draft like every other die hard oilers fan and i also did some reading up on the players being drafted but i just have a question. Understandably the oil tried to trade up to draft John Moore an extremely mobile d man with good size and skill. My question is why didn’t they try that hard to trade up for Carter Ashton? Nothing against Mr Moore but American boys really haven’t done that great here. This organzation is trying to build up it’s farm and they pass on a 6′3 200 pound western Canadian kid who was picked 29th. His skating and offensive creativity have improved and he is a goal scorer. The knock on him is the use of his size physically and compete level. Don’t label a 18 year old kid that easily. I feel that the bolts got a real steal with this kid and i will be following his career close. He may not turn out as well as i think he can but you never know. Look at my favorite player in Mike Richards. The oilers could have easily drafted him but missed out by taking BOOliot while the flyers have their captain for years to come, and they also had drafted Jeff Carter earlier. Sometimes i hate being an oilers fan.

Deja Vu ?

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#23 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 07:33PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Deja Vu ?

No. A quick comparison:

Mike Richards: 67GP - 37G - 50A - 87PTS Jeff Carter: 61GP - 35G - 36A - 71PTS Carter Ashton: 70GP - 30G - 20A - 50PTS

Ashton played more games, scored less goals, less assists, and less points.

What about the playoffs?

Mike Richards: 21GP - 9G - 18A - 27PTS Carter Ashton: 11GP - 1G - 2A - 3PTS Jeff Carter: 4GP - 0G - 2A - 2PTS

Carter only played in four games. Ashton was stone cold in the playoffs, while Richards continued at his regular season pace.

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#24 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 07:34PM
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Once more on Ashton - so far, through 30 WHL playoff games, he has one goal.

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#25 Robin Brownlee
June 29 2009, 07:53PM
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Copperflyer wrote:

Well excuse me Robin but that’s what was being said on the radio that the oilers were trying to move up to get John Moore.

Must be true then . . .

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#26 heavyd
June 29 2009, 08:27PM
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Man do I love when robin comments on here. He makes people look stupid, its great.

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#27 Clarkenstein
June 29 2009, 08:49PM
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It's seems to be no secret that Roli wants at least 2 yrs. The Oil offer him one year at last year's price just so they don't look classless. They don't want to build a young team with a 40 year old tender. Who would? He will get 2 yrs. with somebody, just not here.

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#28 DonDon
June 29 2009, 08:49PM
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@ West Coast Oil: If this is correct, God bless us. Another miserable season. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again but expecting different results. Tweaking the lineup is an example of insanity. The ghost of Kevin Lowe lives on in Steve Tambellini.

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#29 BigE57
June 29 2009, 09:06PM
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Any validit to the Phanuef for Heatley rumor that Mark Spector is floating?

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#30 rindog
June 29 2009, 09:06PM
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I say let Roli go to UFA. He will then see how little interest there is in his services and then we can give him a one year deal at around 2mil.

If by chance there is another team that is dumb enough to offer him a 2 year deal....will we really miss him?

He had a good year last year but is that the exception or the norm?

On another note:

What are people's thoughts about bringing in Jay McKee after he gets bought out?

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#31 Victoria
June 29 2009, 09:09PM
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The bitterness directed at Roli is amusing.

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#32 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 09:19PM
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rindog wrote:

What are people’s thoughts about bringing in Jay McKee after he gets bought out?

Into Calgary.

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#33 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 09:19PM
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Victoria wrote:

The bitterness directed at Roli is amusing.

+1

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#34 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 09:21PM
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DonDon wrote:

@ West Coast Oil: If this is correct, God bless us. Another miserable season. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again but expecting different results. Tweaking the lineup is an example of insanity. The ghost of Kevin Lowe lives on in Steve Tambellini.

Lowe couldn't change one thing without changing eight things. He never had a slow summer.

People forget that the Oilers problems haven't been the result of a lack of change. Pronger, Penner, Hossa - these aren't incremental shifts.

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#35 BigE57
June 29 2009, 09:22PM
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@ Victoria:

Yeah, give your all for a team and this is the thanks.

I don't question the fact that he's got some wear on the tires but at the 39-40 he's probably still good for 50-55 games while helping bring along JDD, It's not like it was Roli's fault JDD didn't get more games last year that decision fell to the coaching.

Considering what's on the market a 1 year deal for Roli isn't all that bad.

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#36 Danrocks
June 29 2009, 09:24PM
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Oilers kind of wasted the 2nd round pick they gave up for Kotalik. I'm not saying we should sign him given the number of "top six" forwards we already have but why give up the 2nd round pick in the first place considering the lack of prospects currently in the system?

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#37 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 09:25PM
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Mark Spector wrote:

"... rumours persist that Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini is shopping one of his four offensive defenceman in an attempt to kickstart the rebuild in Edmonton. We’re hearing Sheldon Souray to Los Angeles — where his children live with his ex-wife, a long distance relationship that Souray has found taxing through two seasons in Northern Alberta. The package coming back would include defenceman Jack Johnson, and we’re guessing a forward with some grit, like a Wayne Simmonds. The Oilers trade of Kyle Brodziak to Minnesota for a couple of later round draft picks was a clear message by Tambellini. The younger players in that Oilers dressing room have a sense of entitlement that is unhealthy, and a big fourth-liner like Brodziak who constantly passed up hits and lacked energy was the first one to be moved."

sportsnet.ca/hockey/blogs/2009/06/29/spector_heatley_phaneuf/

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#38 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 09:28PM
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^^ Jack Johnson's taken a bit of a beating here. What would Oil fans think of this. If Boston is looking for a d-man, could you then flip Johnson+ fot Kessel?

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#39 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 09:39PM
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Nice to hear Corey Graham back on The Team 1260 regularily weeknights @ 9!

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#40 Jonathan Willis
June 29 2009, 09:42PM
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@ RossCreek:

Pass on Kessel. Pass on Johnson. Make it simpler and ask for Frolov from LA.

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#41 Hemmertime
June 29 2009, 09:48PM
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The wife will be upset if we lose Roli, I am sure my mother will be too. The tacticians in us are waving bye to Roli but a lot of fans would name him one of their favorite Oilers. I enjoy his baseball whack of the puck up the ice, his tossing off his helmet vet maneuver along with the competitiveness he has. He played too many in a row last year but that wasn't his fault (who wants a goalie who says "No I am too old to play this many in a row?" - its the coaches call ofc he will say he is rdy). 3.6 may be a little high, by about 600k or 1% of our cap, so I would accept a one year deal, 2 years would be foolish. We are at a time right now where there appears to be 35-40 capable goalies to play #1, if Roli falls on his face we could eat his salary in the Minors worst case and bring in a replacement then. Even if we get Hardings rights he isn't going to be an expensive goalie. Unless he has the best agent in the world. He is a goalie that is 17-27-4. Sure his Save % is good on a very defensive team. I would rather the Oil sign Roli 1 year and have our goalie in our pocket when other teams trying to trade and goalies are trying to find jobs then go out for a younger guy long term to find he cant play in a different system (NJ,Min). Albeit NJ has gotten more offensive. People see signing Roli as saying "we have stopped looking for a goalie" but I give Tambo a little more credit than that.

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#42 SkinnyD
June 29 2009, 10:00PM
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Roli pretty much handed us our winning record last year (discounting OTL). Plus? The dude has style. Who else will do those crazy one-handed bats to center ice or flip off his lid to get a whistle so smoothly? Hopefully he comes to his senses, signs for the year, and brings JDD along into the Ken Dryden I know he can be - then we WON'T be in this spot next year and our starter will be known before the season begins. Roli...Roli...Roli...

Kotalik was a great fit on the right side with Gagner. I for one am sorry to see him go...but in Tambi I trust.

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#43 Hemmertime
June 29 2009, 10:01PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Pass on Kessel. Pass on Johnson. Make it simpler and ask for Frolov from LA.

Thumbs up on Kessel, Thumbs up to Frolov (probably slightly more attractive than Kessel). Id prefer Heatley more ofc, I wouldnt mind Ruslan Fedotenko either off UFA.

After much internal debate, I think I'd say Yes to Sedin sisters on a Detroit-esque structured long term deal. They are one of the few players to top 70 pts each season since the lockout. You could cut about 1 mil off each of their salaries per year because they wish to stay together. At a cap hit of 5.5 per sister I would do it. They would be great additions. Even if have to dump Penner to afford them, bring in Sedin Sisters and Fedotenko off of UFA for 13 mil hit. Move out Staios, Moreau, Nilsson and you cut off 6.7 there. Unfortunately to afford anyone of real interest to us we will have to part with either Gilbert or Penner for salary reasons. That would allow us to sign our goalie, third line C and hopefully Grebeshkov.

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#44 Ender the Dragon
June 29 2009, 10:10PM
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Copperflyer wrote:

Well excuse me Robin but that’s what was being said on the radio that the oilers were trying to move up to get John Moore.

Robin Brownlee wrote:

Must be true then . . .

Copper, I don't know what radio program you're referring to, but if you mean the 1260 coverage from the draft, then you are mistaken. The guys covering the draft (Dean Millard, Wil Fraser, and Guy Flaming) had a hard-on for Moore and they hoped and wished that the Oil would make a move (making many references to possible trading avenues the Oil might make use of) but they never had any actual information that the Oil were moving in that direction.

If you heard any other radio MSM personality intimate that he had inside information that the Oilers actively pursued this deal, I'd be interested to know who said it.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Terry Jones reports that free agent goaltender Dwayne Roloson has been offered a one-year contract in the same range as his previous deal.

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, and Roli earned his cheque last year. Let's put the puzzle piece in place, be happy the hole is filled, and move on to the real problems the Oilers still need to address.

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#45 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 10:10PM
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Of all the names out there, if I were the Oil I would take____?____

Vincent Lecavalier Dany Heatley Jason Spezza Simon Gagne Patrick Marleau Alex Frolov Phil Kessel Marian Hossa Martin Havlat Marian Gaborik

Of all the names out there, if I were the Oil I would take SIMON GAGNE.
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#46 Hemmertime
June 29 2009, 10:13PM
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Of all the names out there, if I were the Oil I would take Ilya Kovalchuk. *write in candidate. Otherwise Heatley

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#47 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 10:17PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Of all the names out there, if I were the Oil I would take Ilya Kovalchuk. *write in candidate. Otherwise Heatley

Well who's your write-in candidate?

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#48 Ender the Dragon
June 29 2009, 10:17PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Of all the names out there, if I were the Oil I would take____?____

I know it's unrealistic and we'd have to blow up the team to do it, but I get just a little rigid at the thought of an Oilers 3-on-2 flying down the ice featuring the top line of Hemsky and the Sedin sisters. I'd have to stop insulting them, of course, but thats a price I'm willing to pay.

For anyone out there who feels the need to point out the cap issues this would cause, don't bother. I still dream about Farrah too.

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#49 RossCreek
June 29 2009, 10:18PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Hemmertime wrote: Of all the names out there, if I were the Oil I would take Ilya Kovalchuk. *write in candidate. Otherwise Heatley Well who’s your write-in candidate?

Wooops read it wrong. Going to get bifocals rite now.

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#50 Hemmertime
June 29 2009, 10:21PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

I still dream about Farrah too.

Depending on your standards and $ to buy a plane ticket. I think your chances have never been better!

*slinks away to the groans

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