Entry Draft possibilities

Jason Gregor
June 04 2009 02:14PM

Oilers' Scout Stu MacGregor

The NHL entry draft is three weeks away and for the second time in two years the Oilers have a top ten pick. There have been whispers that the Oilers would like to move up at least a few spots, but since they’ve never moved up into the top 20 that remains a long shot.

In 2007 the Oilers moved up to 21 to take Riley Nash, but that’s as close as they’ve come to moving up in the top 20. Currently the Oilers own the 10th, 40th, 71st, 101st and 131st in the first five rounds. (The Rangers get the 47th pick as "compensation" for the untimely death of Cherapanov, which means there are 31 picks in the second round.)

If the Oilers do want to move up they will need to offer up players as well as their 10th pick.

Stu MacGregor, the Oilers’ head scout, is the man in charge of this draft.

“We work as a group, but in the end, I will have the final say after sorting through all the information from all the scouts. It comes down to what I finally decide after they’ve given all their input. I’m the guy who gets tarred and feathered if it doesn’t work out.”

One of the biggest misconceptions is that the GM has the final say on draft picks, and that isn’t the case. Sure the GM has input, but Tambellini will not trump MacGregor on draft day. MacGregor said he will have seen every player they take in the first three rounds anywhere from five to 15 times live, while also watching plenty of video. With the later round picks, specifically European players, he will rely more on the opinion of Kent Nilsson and other Euro-based scouts.

I had MacGregor on my show yesterday and I knew he wouldn’t tell me which player he was leaning towards, but he did offer some insight into five players that should be around when the Oilers stroll to the podium with the 10th pick.

Nasim Kadri

“Has to be a player that needs to get stronger and improve the power part of his game. He has a very high skill level and he will be a point producer. He has to improve his shot, because at this point in time he doesn’t have a powerful shot and in order to score in the NHL you have to really be able to shoot the puck.”

Zach Kassian

“He has to provide more consistency to his game. He has the physical attributes and probably will be a solid 3rd line player with opportunities to develop into a second line player. He is very strong, physical and tough, but he has to add that ‘Every Night I’m coming to play’ attitude to his game.”

Jordan Schroeder

“There is not a lot Jordan needs to improve on; unfortunately he is only 5’8”. You have to determine if he has enough high end skill to overcome his lack of size.”

Scott Glennie

“Scott just has to mature as a young man. He is a high-end talent with tremendous upside. He can score goals; he can do a lot of positive things that will be an impact in the NHL.”

Ryan Ellis

“He provides exceptional hockey sense, and he is a powerplay player. You have to determine in your own mind if Ryan can provide more than that. Will he be able to play five-on-five, will he be able to defend and as the game is getting bigger and the players getting stronger, will he be able to play in those situations? It is very difficult to play in the NHL and be a one-trick pony and just be a powerplay player. You have to be able to balance that out and determine if he can be more than a specialty player.”

MacGregor was also very high on Jared Cowan and suggested he’ll be a top-five pick for sure, and if he hadn’t been hurt he might have been considered along the same lines as the top three Tavares, Hedman and Duchene.

I’ve said all year that Ellis is too big a risk for the Oilers to take at this time. They need this pick to pan out and be a contributor. They can’t afford another Steve Kelly, Boyd Devereaux or Jason Bonsignore type of pick. They need a guy who becomes a top-six forward or a top-four D-man.

I don’t see them taking Kassian if they have him projected as a solid 3rd liner with potential to become a top six. I know they really like Kadri and Glennie, but MacGregor feels that after the top three, there is a group of five or six, which caps out at the #9 pick. If he believes that strongly in the top-nine, don’t be surprised to see the Oilers try to move up one to three spots.

Evander Kane is someone they would love to get, but they might have to move into the top five to get him. The Thrashers and Kings are both high on him and I doubt he’ll slip out of the top five.

Like MacGregor said he’ll be tarred and feathered if this pick doesn’t pan out, and looking at the past 20 years of players who went 10th overall the odds are about 50 per cent that the Oilers will land a solid NHLer. Getting a great pick at #10 seems a bit unlikely based on the history of the draft. The best #10 pick ever would be Teemu Selanne in 1988. No one comes even close to the Finnish Flash.

Here are the players chosen 10th overall in the past 20 years.

  • 1989: Bobby Holik to Hartford and he played over 1000 games. Solid player.
  • 1990: Drake Berehowsky to Toronto and he played 549 games. Decent career.
  • 1991: Martin Lapointe to Detroit and he played 991 games. 4th most points in top ten.
  • 1992: Andrei Nazarov to San Jose and his 517 GP 7th most in first round, weak draft.
  • 1993: Jocelyn Thibault to Quebec became a serviceable goalie who played 596 games.
  • 1994: Nolan Baumgartner to Washington and was a bust with only 131 games.
  • 1995: Radek Dvorak to Florida. He has most GP and 5th most points of first rounders.
  • 1996: Lance Ward to New Jersey and became a journeyman for 209 games.
  • 1997: Brad Ference to Vancouver and played 250 games. Journeyman.
  • 1998: Nick Antropov to Toronto and is a top ten player in his draft year of 1st rounders.
  • 1999: Branislav Mezei to NYI. Played 240 games, in a weak draft and he’s out of NHL.
  • 2000: Mikhail Yakubov to Chicago. First of two straight dud picks with Vorobiev going 
 11th to the the Hawks.
  • 2001: Dan Blackburn to the Rangers. Rare nerve injury to his shoulder cut career short.
  • 2002: Eric Nystrom to Flames, it took six years to become regular. Suspect pick to date.
  • 2003: Andrei Kostitsyn to Habs and he is starting to play well but weakest in top ten.
  • 2004: Boris Valadik to Thrashers and cracked lineup this year. Jury is still out on him.
  • 2005: Luc Bourdon to Canucks, looked like a very good pick until motorbike accident.
  • 2006: Michael Frolik to Panthers, had 21 goals in first NHL season last year. Good pick.
  • 2007: Keaton Ellerby to Panthers and he might crack lineup this year. Too early to tell.
  • 2008: Cody Hogson to Canucks. Love this pick he looks like a great prospect.
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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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#51 Archaeologuy
June 04 2009, 11:29PM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

Lastly: Johan Franzn >>> Hemsky Easy. If I was Detroit, it would take Hemsky + to get him.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?

You might as well have said: vanek>>>>>>>Hemsky, it would take Hemsky+ to get him.

That is a meaningless comment. It has no bearing on anything. You dont even pretend to have a clue do you?

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#52 Archaeologuy
June 04 2009, 11:31PM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

In the long run… yes. And in the short run, the Oilers free up cap room to sign a guy like Bouwmeester.

???!!!

Because the Oilers need another high priced puck moving Dman? That will put them over the top?

Sure, no one will be able to receive their passes, but what a good blue line the Oilers will have.

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#53 Austin Ayala
June 04 2009, 11:47PM
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Bouwmeester* Souray Visnovsky Grebeshkov Gilbert Komisarek*

UFA acquisitions.

Ridiculous.

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#54 David S
June 04 2009, 11:48PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

That is a meaningless comment. It has no bearing on anything. You dont even pretend to have a clue do you?

Arch - this guy is either baiting you or some kid in junior high. Either way, the more you respond to him, the more he'll spout off idiocy. Is it worth speeding up that stroke?

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#55 Archaeologuy
June 04 2009, 11:56PM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

Bouwmeester* Souray Visnovsky Grebeshkov Gilbert Komisarek*

How much do you plan on spending on your Blue Line?

5-6 Bouwmeester 5.4 Souray 5.6 Vis 3(?) Grebeshkov 4 Gilbert 4.5-5.5 Komisarek

27.4-29.4 on the Defense. Not including Smid.

Maybe you just woke up from the Coma two days ago, but there's a salary cap in the NHL now. And spending more than half of it on 6 guys, leaving the other half to pay for 12 forwards and a goalie, (assuming 0 injuries or extra players) isnt a good idea.

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#56 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 12:02AM
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David S wrote:

Arch - this guy is either baiting you or some kid in junior high. Either way, the more you respond to him, the more he’ll spout off idiocy. Is it worth speeding up that stroke?

Dont you worry, my high fat-low excercise lifestyle will ensure that stroke comes no matter how angry/calm i remain.

I probably am being baited. I need to walk away, if only so I can have a running start for the next time.

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#57 Jason Gregor
June 05 2009, 12:19AM
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TonyT wrote:

@ Gregor: Also, what are the odds of the Oilers picking up a goalie in this draft? Specifically Olivier Roy with their 40th?

I don't see them taking a goalie in the 2nd round...I suspect they will take one, but probably not that early.

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#58 Jonathan Willis
June 05 2009, 12:44AM
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@ Austin Ayala:

You have to be very, very deluded to believe that Ales Hemsky is a second-line forward. Since the lockout, for example, he's finished 34th in the league in pts/game; there are 90 first-line forwards in the league so you do the math.

Stop trolling.

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#59 MattN
June 05 2009, 07:42AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

TonyT wrote: @ Gregor: Also, what are the odds of the Oilers picking up a goalie in this draft? Specifically Olivier Roy with their 40th? I don’t see them taking a goalie in the 2nd round…I suspect they will take one, but probably not that early.

http://puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=125

A nice article about the success of drafting goaltenders.

The short version being that, historically speaking, there is as much value from late round / undrafted players as there is from early round picks. Don't waste high picks on goalies.

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#60 Heazues
June 05 2009, 08:20AM
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@jonathan willis

im not as familiar as some when it comes to draftee's but with sabourin available to be signed again for the AHL is there any goalies in there that would make it even worthwhile to draft one at this point?

with JDD here now, waiting for a chance to prove himself, and a bluechipper in the AHL (not my words but so i have been told, im not sold on dubnik yet) should it even be a consideration right now to draft another? or should they wait on that and try to beef up springfield first with solid skaters?

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#61 Austin Ayala
June 05 2009, 08:41AM
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I don't get it.... How is Stu the man when he authorized drafting MA Pouliot, Jesse Niinimaki, and Jordan Eberle?!?

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#62 Austin Ayala
June 05 2009, 08:44AM
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MattN wrote:

Historically speaking, there is as much value from late round / undrafted players as there is from early round picks. Don’t waste high picks on goalies.

Please don't present this argument like it's a fact.

- Martin Brodeur - Cam Ward - MA Fleury - Rick DiPietro - Kari Lethonen

ALL drafted in the 1st round and all of those are bonafide starters. I think the Oilers should burn a 2nd rounder on a starting goaltender rather than waiting for the 5th round like they always do and draft a Jussi Markkannen type player who can't hack it in the Stanley Cup Finals.

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#63 Austin Ayala
June 05 2009, 08:48AM
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What about Miller? How about Backstrom? L-U-C-K

I'd rather the Oilers make sure they have a #1 goalie rather than rolling the dice on another Deslaurier or Dubnyk

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#64 Travis Dakin
June 05 2009, 08:57AM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

MattN wrote: Historically speaking, there is as much value from late round / undrafted players as there is from early round picks. Don’t waste high picks on goalies. Please don’t present this argument like it’s a fact. - Martin Brodeur - Cam Ward - MA Fleury - Rick DiPietro - Kari Lethonen ALL drafted in the 1st round and all of those are bonafide starters. I think the Oilers should burn a 2nd rounder on a starting goaltender rather than waiting for the 5th round like they always do and draft a Jussi Markkannen type player who can’t hack it in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Austin Ayala wrote:

I’d rather the Oilers make sure they have a #1 goalie rather than rolling the dice on another Deslaurier or Dubnyk

You do know that Dubnyk was drafted first round, 14th overall in 2004 and Deslauriers was taken at 31 at the start of the second round in 2002 right? right.

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#65 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 09:05AM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

I think the Oilers should burn a 2nd rounder on a starting goaltender

Austin Ayala wrote:

I’d rather the Oilers make sure they have a #1 goalie rather than rolling the dice on another Deslaurier or Dubnyk

Yeah, The Oilers need to burn a 1st rounder on a goalie...oh wait, they already did on Dubnyk. Well then they should burn a 2nd rounder on a goalie...oh wait, they already did with JDD.

So the Oilers should NOT roll the dice on another JDD or Dubnyk by doing EXACTLY what they did to get JDD and Dubnyk? That's some good thinking youve got going on.

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#66 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 09:10AM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

How is Stu the man when he authorized drafting MA Pouliot, Jesse Niinimaki, and Jordan Eberle?!?

Stu has only been the Head Scout of the Oilers since September 2007. He wasnt responsible for Pouliot or Niinimaki. And Jordan Eberle hasnt proven himself to be a flop at all. The least you can do is type in Stu MacGregor into google and even THAT much would show up.

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#67 The Pestival
June 05 2009, 09:11AM
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The problem with this site getting popular is thats its starting to attract idiots who spout off whatever they want...and not in the funny "I peed/ crapped myself this one time" kinda way. Nothing more annoying than some random fool spouting off ridiculous trade proposals that will never, ever, ever happen. Seriously, has anyone ever seen a troll accurately predict a trade??

Damn you interwebs and your ability to make me angry!

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#68 scorcoff hemmercules
June 05 2009, 09:23AM
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Change the name of this site to Austin vs. The Nation.......

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#69 Cam
June 05 2009, 09:37AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

Change the name of this site to Austin vs. The Nation…….

As irritating as it is, it shows the rest of us that we all have some common ground. Some days it feel like we all disagree on everything, but with the kind of trolling we have seen the last few days it seems that there are a lot of things that the Nation all agree on. That makes me happy in a strange kind of way.

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#70 doritogrande
June 05 2009, 09:40AM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

I’d rather the Oilers make sure they have a #1 goalie rather than rolling the dice on another Deslaurier or Dubnyk

You misspelled Deslauriers.

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#71 scorcoff hemmercules
June 05 2009, 09:40AM
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On another note, wouldn't be weird if they hired MacT to coach in Minny! Talk about awkward moments. I look forward to Gene Principe's first on-air chat with him as coach of another team.

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#72 Cam
June 05 2009, 09:43AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

On another note, wouldn’t be weird if they hired MacT to coach in Minny! Talk about awkward moments. I look forward to Gene Principe’s first on-air chat with him as coach of another team.

It would be weird... and if Minny does better than the Oilers it would be demoralizing.

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#73 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 09:45AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

I look forward to Gene Principe’s first on-air chat with him as coach of another team.

I can write his crappy intro right now.

"Well guys tonight it will be WILD to see Craig MacTavish behind the opposition bench tonight in Minnesota."

ugh.

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#74 Ogden Brother
June 05 2009, 09:47AM
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Cam wrote:

scorcoff hemmercules wrote: On another note, wouldn’t be weird if they hired MacT to coach in Minny! Talk about awkward moments. I look forward to Gene Principe’s first on-air chat with him as coach of another team. It would be weird… and if Minny does better than the Oilers it would be demoralizing.

And yet oh so satisfying for MacT

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#75 Robin Brownlee
June 05 2009, 09:51AM
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MEN: Do everybody a favour and stop giving numbnuts AA an audience and a reason to keep spewing mindless crap. We have Wanye for empty-headed narrative, so there's no need to duplicate roles. This isn't the Oilers blue line.

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#76 Librarian Mike
June 05 2009, 09:58AM
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Thanks, Robin. Let's not feed the troll.

Anyway, I'm too lazy to look into it, but does Joe Sacco have any more qualifications than Tony Granato? Does this mean that the Avs are just as screwed as they were last year (fingers crossed)? Hopefully we can rise to the top of the Northwest on the strength of the other teams' turmoil.

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#77 Austin Ayala
June 05 2009, 10:00AM
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Brownlee, do you have a radio show? I'd like to sit down with you and have a little chat. Let me know when and where and I will call in.

- Austin

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#78 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 10:00AM
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@ Robin Brownlee: I just pictured you slapping me in the face like Leslie Nielson did in Airplane. Thank you. I needed that.

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#79 Austin Ayala
June 05 2009, 10:03AM
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To Atlanta: Ladislav Smid, Devan Dubnyk, Liam Reddox, 2nd round pick

To Edmonton: Ondrej Pavelec, Mart Reasoner

Then we get a bonafide starter for next season and a faceoff specialist and we wouldnt have to "burn" a second rounder to get this type of goalie. Problems solved

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#80 scorcoff hemmercules
June 05 2009, 10:03AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

scorcoff hemmercules wrote: I look forward to Gene Principe’s first on-air chat with him as coach of another team. I can write his crappy intro right now. “Well guys tonight it will be WILD to see Craig MacTavish behind the opposition bench tonight in Minnesota.” ugh.

Haha, Gene is such a tool. He must have no shame what-so-ever.

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#81 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 10:07AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

Haha, Gene is such a tool. He must have no shame what-so-ever.

That stripper who's working her way through Law school has more shame than Gene Principe. Though, if that's what it takes to work for one of the big sports stations, I'd sell my soul too.

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#82 Austin Ayala
June 05 2009, 10:16AM
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MONTREAL, PQ -- In a suprising turn of events, Edmonton Oilers head scout Stu MacGregor has vetoed the draft selection of Scott Glennie by general manager Steve Tambellini. Instead, they have drafted Czech forward Tomas Vincour with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 entry draft.

"Apparently he calls the shots at the draft", a concerned Tambellini mutters under his breath. Maybe this player will turn out into a good checking line player. Third line stalwarts are in short supply in Edmonton and no one seems to be more delighted with this pick than the man himself, Stu 'Da Man' MacGregor.

"When you're good, you're good. I haven't drafted anyone this special since that 3rd liner Riley Nash. He's fantastic. Or how about that time I drafted Alex Plante instead of Angelo Esposito... that was inspired." Time will tell if Vincour can be that 3rd line defensive specialist but all we know is that there is something not right in Edmonton.

Gene Principe reporting.

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#83 scorcoff hemmercules
June 05 2009, 10:18AM
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@ Austin Ayala:

1) Nobody wants Liam "red headed step child" Reddox. 2) Smid is one of our only decent up and coming defensive sided D-men, we need him IMO. 3) Pavalec is hardly an upgrade to Deslaurier. 4) Marty could probably be had for just the 2nd rounder.

Try thinking before you type, I don't know what else we can say?

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#84 scorcoff hemmercules
June 05 2009, 10:22AM
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@ scorcoff hemmercules:

Scratch #4, Marty could be had if we offer him 1.25 mil or even less, as he is a UFA this summer.

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#85 Robin Brownlee
June 05 2009, 10:23AM
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@ scorcoff hemmercules: Get with the program and leave the dimwit alone.

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#86 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 10:23AM
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@ scorcoff hemmercules: I've tried making sound and reasonable explanations as to why he's wrong about almost everything. Unfortunately, it doesnt matter. In almost every post he says something that isnt just stupid, its factually incorrect. There is no discussion to be had. He's like the Herpes of ON, you cant treat it.

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#87 scorcoff hemmercules
June 05 2009, 10:24AM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Yeah, I think I'm done with that now. Couldn't resist.

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#88 Austin Ayala
June 05 2009, 10:25AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

@ Austin Ayala: 1) Nobody wants Liam “red headed step child” Reddox. 2) Smid is one of our only decent up and coming defensive sided D-men, we need him IMO. 3) Pavalec is hardly an upgrade to Deslaurier. 4) Marty could probably be had for just the 2nd rounder. Try thinking before you type, I don’t know what else we can say?

Simplify

To Atlanta: Steve Staios, Jeff Deslaurier, JF Jacques, 2nd rounder

To Edmonton: Ondrej Pavelec, Marty Reasoner.

This way we get to keep Liam "No one wants you" Reddox, and Ladislav "Apparently people think i'm good" Smid and get back a faceoff specialist and an upgrade over Deslaurier. You win and I win.

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#89 scorcoff hemmercules
June 05 2009, 10:27AM
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Austin Ayala wrote:

scorcoff hemmercules wrote: @ Austin Ayala: 1) Nobody wants Liam “red headed step child” Reddox. 2) Smid is one of our only decent up and coming defensive sided D-men, we need him IMO. 3) Pavalec is hardly an upgrade to Deslaurier. 4) Marty could probably be had for just the 2nd rounder. Try thinking before you type, I don’t know what else we can say? Simplify To Atlanta: Steve Staios, Jeff Deslaurier, JF Jacques, 2nd rounder To Edmonton: Ondrej Pavelec, Marty Reasoner. This way we get to keep Liam “No one wants you” Reddox, and Ladislav “Apparently people think i’m good” Smid and get back a faceoff specialist and an upgrade over Deslaurier. You win and I win.

Brownlee said I'm not supposed to talk to you anymore.

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#90 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 10:27AM
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scorcoff hemmercules wrote:

Couldn’t resist

neither could i, but after about 3 days of this i've come to realize there is nothing that can be done.

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#91 Cam
June 05 2009, 10:35AM
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I wonder if we could trade a roster player (or two) for a 1st round pick without giving up our Number 10?

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#92 Archaeologuy
June 05 2009, 10:44AM
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NHL expansion to TO for the Toronto Legacy? BOOOO EXPANSION.

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#93 Boris
June 05 2009, 11:21AM
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Having season tickets to the OK's, I have seen Vincour play quite a bit, injuries accepted. I think he had some trouble with his growth spurts this past year and I think that he may be a nice pick with our 3rd rounder.

AA please do not respond to this, it was definately not meant for you. Sorry Robin, this is all I am going to say to the moron.

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#94 sittingatmydesk
June 05 2009, 11:47AM
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@ scorcoff hemmercules: seroiusly, get with the progam

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#95 Librarian Mike
June 05 2009, 12:48PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

NHL expansion to TO for the Toronto Legacy? BOOOO EXPANSION.

Almost half a century with no trophies: THAT is the Toronto Legacy! (ba-dum-tish)

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#96 Dominoiler
June 05 2009, 02:42PM
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At least in that list of # 10 selections there are a lot of NHL regulars... but of course me hopes the move up can be accomplished so that an 'impact' player may be found...

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#97 Chris
June 07 2009, 07:58PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

NHL expansion to TO for the Toronto Legacy? BOOOO EXPANSION.

The expansion dispersal draft would be fun to watch... The Oilers would probably lose nobody of value while teams like Detroit/ San Jose would be bleeding depth at every turn. It would be nice to see Ken Holland sweat for a change!

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#98 Archaeologuy
June 07 2009, 09:49PM
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Chris wrote:

The expansion dispersal draft would be fun to watch

I would rather see a contraction dispersal draft. 10th pick overall should see us land at least 1 player/prospect of value.

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