Josh Harding To Be Dealt

Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009 10:23AM

Harding

It has been obvious since the Wild re-signed Niklas Backstrom that backup goaltender Josh Harding would be available for trade.

Last week, Jim Matheson floated the idea that Minnesota was talking to Edmonton about the young goaltender, with the Oilers possible offering up Robert Nilsson or Rob Schremp and a draft pick, while the Wild would be asking for Patrick O’Sullivan. This week, he’s not floating anything:

Minnesota has targeted four teams - the Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers - to try and trade backup goalie Josh Harding, who had a 2.21 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 19 games in the 2008-09 season. The 2002 second-round draft pick played for Rob Daum when he coached the Wild's AHL farm club in Houston, should they need a scouting report. The Wild will try to get a second-line forward back for Harding, who turns 25 on June 18.

In other words, those deals that Matheson mentioned last week are certainly being discussed.

Even though the Oilers have a surfeit of second-line players, I wouldn’t like to see them move O’Sullivan in exchange for Harding. Here’s what I said about that possibility last week:

As for Patrick O'Sullivan, while the trade might be fair value for the Oilers, we've seen how little goaltenders have fetched on the trade market, and so that would likely be an overpay (and have a better chance of coming back to haunt them, too). If the Wild won't play ball on a spare parts offer (some combination of the above players or any of Pouliot, Brodziak, Staios, Brule, Potulny and Deslauriers) than the Oilers might be well-advised to try for a player like Jaroslav Halak or Ondrej Pavelec.

I haven’t become any less convinced of that point in the time since; if anything, I’ve become more certain that O’Sullivan for Harding would be a mistake. Tyler gave his opinion on the goaltending market on Friday, and I tend to agree with him:

If Philadelphia goes ahead and signs Emery, by my count that leaves two teams without a clear starting goaltender: Edmonton and Colorado. Otherwise, it’s backup jobs available, unless some team is willing to eat a pile of money. There are a ton of competent or better goalies available: Craig Anderson, Nikolai Khabibulin, Dwayne Roloson, Martin Biron, Manny Fernandez and Manny Legace probably top the list. You can probably toss Scott Clemmensen onto the list, although I don’t find him that interesting. All of those guys presumably want to be starters. None of them really have much in the way of palatable options. The talk from guys like Robin Brownlee is that Dwayne Roloson wants a two year deal. If the Oilers end up giving it to him, they’ve almost certainly failed to maximize their leverage.

On top of that list, there are trade options like Harding, Halak and possibly one of the Thrashers goaltenders (Lehtonen or Pavelec). Ken Holland was well ahead of the game on this one when he said that it made little sense for teams to sign above-average goaltenders to big-money contracts; there’s a lot of fluctuation in goaltender performance year over year (hello, Mathieu Garon) and there are plenty of effective goaltenders. Let’s just take a look at the average save percentage of goaltenders who might be available over the past three seasons.

  • Anderson: .928 SV% (.931, .935, .924)
  • Harding: .922 SV% (.960, .908, .929)
  • Biron: .913 SV% (.899/.908, .918, .915)
  • Khabibulin: .909 SV% (.902, .909, .919)
  • Roloson: .909 SV% (.909, .901, .915)
  • Conklin: .909 SV% (.871/.892, .923, .909)
  • Clemmensen: .909 SV% (.889, .839, .917)
  • Garon: .908 SV% (.907, .913, .895/.894)
  • Gerber: .907 SV% (.906, .910, .899/.905)
  • Fernandez: .906 SV% (.911, .832, .910)
  • Labarbera: .906 SV% (.910, .893/.915)
  • Legace: .904 SV% (.907, .911, .885)
  • Boucher: .904 SV% (.884/.866, .932, .917)

It’s important to keep in mind that Craig Anderson played very few games over the past three seasons, while Josh Harding also played very few games and played them for Minnesota; something that was bound to push his save percentage in a positive direction. I’m rather surprised to say that Martin Biron is probably the best available goaltender (why Philadelphia would dump him to pursue Ray Emery is beyond me) and someone Edmonton should seriously consider. Players like Anderson, Roloson, and Clemmensen might also be of interest, but with so many names available I think the Oilers would be well-advised to go with a true tandem next year, even if that means that Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers is playing somewhere else next season.

Josh Harding is still a player I think they should be interested in, but with this many options he isn’t a player they should pay dearly for. Spare parts like Nilsson and Schremp would be fine; a player with O’Sullivan’s track record would not be.

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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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#1 Archaeologuy
June 07 2009, 10:38AM
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I understand the desire to keep a guy like O'Sull, who will probably be better next year than what he showed in his time here. However, moving him will also help shed a little salary from the books. Personally, I think O'Sullivan might be better used as bait to move up in the draft.

Matheson also suggested that Kessel might be moved out of Boston because of contract issues. He's young (21) and coming off of a carer year. His numbers almost doubled this past season from the season before. Is it the natural progression of young player in his 3rd year, or the product of some good luck in a contract year? Could O'Sull be used as part of a deal to acquire Kessel as the Bruins are looking for a guy in the 3 mill range who can play in a variety of situations? Just throwing that out there.

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#2 Prop Jay
June 07 2009, 10:40AM
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I agree. O'sullivan would be nice to keep. I haven't really gotten a good read on him but after all of the commenst I have read on him it would be a mistake. Especially as we picked him up with our trade of cole.

I still wish we wouldn't of traded that second for kotalik. I struggle to see his value like others do.

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#3 RossCreek
June 07 2009, 10:56AM
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I would be hesitant to move O'Sullivan for Harding. I also wouldn't hesitate to deal for Harding. (Does that make sense?) JDD and a pick? IMO Harding's more advanced at this point & ready to be a starter. Harding is still young and Dubnyk's coming down the pipe, so moving JDD wouldn't be a bad thing.

My targets: Josh Harding Kari Lehtonen Antero Nittymaki

What about a package out of Atlanta that brought back Kari Lehtonen, Colby Armstrong & Garnet Exelby? I think Atlanta would be 1 of the few teams that may bite on Nilsson.

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#4 Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009, 10:59AM
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@ RossCreek:

I'd love to see something like Schremp/JDD for Harding, but that's a pipe-dream. Nilsson/JDD might get it done, though.

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#5 Archaeologuy
June 07 2009, 11:01AM
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RossCreek wrote:

I think Atlanta would be 1 of the few teams that may bite on Nilsson.

Try Florida while they still dont have a GM. Nilsson for the rights to Bouwmeester, Bouwmeester's rights to Montreal for ?.

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#6 RossCreek
June 07 2009, 11:01AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

why Philadelphia would dump him (BIRON) to pursue Ray Emery is beyond me

My understanding is that the Flyers are looking at Emery as a cheap 1A/1B type thing, and that Martin Biron remains in their plans if they can get him to take a bit of a paycut. And if that fails, then I'd assume they plan on finding another partner (perhaps even Nittymaki) to platoon with Emery (at least until 1 stepped up as the true #1).

I don't think the Flyers are just handing Emery the reigns as their go-to guy.

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#7 RossCreek
June 07 2009, 11:02AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Try Florida while they still dont have a GM. Nilsson for the rights to Bouwmeester, Bouwmeester’s rights to Montreal for ?.

Not sure how serious you are, but how exactly do you make a trade with a team that doesn't have a GM?

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#8 Archaeologuy
June 07 2009, 11:03AM
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@ RossCreek: someone is running that team, and i'm only 10% serious.

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#9 RossCreek
June 07 2009, 11:10AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ RossCreek: someone is running that team, and i’m only 10% serious.

You're lucky, cuz if you were more than 12.5% serious, we woulda been putting our dukes up (lol). Bill Torrey is in search of their next GM (Randy Sexton is their Asst. GM) and I'd have to think its a pretty safe bet that no deals will be made until a new GM is hired.

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#10 Jay Gray
June 07 2009, 11:11AM
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I'd love to have Harding come over to Oil Country. He's a blue chipper who is just coming into his prime, O'Sullivan may too steep of a price to pay, but IMO we really should act on this before he ends up in Colorado.

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#11 Archaeologuy
June 07 2009, 11:14AM
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RossCreek wrote:

I’d have to think its a pretty safe bet that no deals will be made until a new GM is hired.

They might make an exception to get something for a guy who definitely wont be signing in Florida next year and leaves for nothing in less than a month.

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#12 Mowzie
June 07 2009, 11:27AM
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IF Harding is brought it, I think it would be wise for Edmonton to let JDD continue his career elsewhere and bring in a cheap veteran as the 1B goalie. Would Fletcher bite on something like Gilbert and Nilsson for Harding and Clutterbuck, would we?

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#13 RossCreek
June 07 2009, 11:28AM
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@ Archaeologuy: True enough, but they'll most likely have a new GM in place by the draft. That still gives em a week to do something on that front.

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#14 KORY
June 07 2009, 11:30AM
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thats funny that shremp is mentioned as part of a trade with macT a possible coach for minny!

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#15 RossCreek
June 07 2009, 11:34AM
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Just checked out Eklund for sheets & giggles. PHANEUF TO HABS e2. You gotta be kidding me. I feel so dirty for even going there.

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#16 TonyT
June 07 2009, 01:18PM
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What do you guys think of Brodziak's trade value? Could he be traded for mid round draft pick? As far as I'm concerned I'm looking to trade at least Brodziak (too soft for the fourth line - which looks like his ceiling here), Gilbert or Souray (or a combination of both to maximize returns), and somebody from the second line (as we merely have a surplus of "second liners"). I also wouldn't mind dumping Pisani and/or Staios' contracts. That's alot of work but short of dumping Horcoff's 5.5, I believe these deals can be made.

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#17 Ogden Brother
June 07 2009, 01:25PM
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TonyT wrote:

What do you guys think of Brodziak’s trade value? Could he be traded for mid round draft pick? As far as I’m concerned I’m looking to trade at least Brodziak (too soft for the fourth line - which looks like his ceiling here), Gilbert or Souray (or a combination of both to maximize returns), and somebody from the second line (as we merely have a surplus of “second liners”). I also wouldn’t mind dumping Pisani and/or Staios’ contracts. That’s alot of work but short of dumping Horcoff’s 5.5, I believe these deals can be made.

~Think of all those extra games the team will win with all that unused cap space!~

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#18 Bob Cob
June 07 2009, 01:38PM
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Boy, you guys are on crack if you think trading JDD is a good idea. We bring in Harding, who backs him up? JDD is still super young, full of upside and has shown the ability to win games when called upon, just look at the games against Calgary, NY Rangers and the Devils. We trade him and we are in the same boat as Calgary, think guys. Start with offering up O'Sullivan or Nilsson and Schremp, keep JDD and use the tandem of Harding and JDD.

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#19 lenny
June 07 2009, 04:16PM
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Jonathan Willis, I’d love to see something like Schremp/JDD for Harding, but that’s a pipe-dream. Nilsson/JDD might get it done, though.

Why are you in such a ruch to get reed of talanted players? They never had a chance to proof themselves with McT. Just wait and give them a chance.

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#20 zig
June 07 2009, 04:31PM
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I have it from a great source (called "logic") that Minny isn't trading anyone till they get a coach.

Especially if they end up hiring MacT (as Matheson pointed out in today's article, MacT is the second runner up for that job) there is no way he would want Nillson or Schremp on his team.

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#21 Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009, 05:02PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

Boy, you guys are on crack if you think trading JDD is a good idea. We bring in Harding, who backs him up?

Any of the 30-or-so goaltending free agents out there. Honestly, if JDD's career is better than that of Kevin Weekes, I'd be shocked. Lousy AHL numbers, limited NHL time, and already 7 years removed from his draft; these aren't the things that generally indicate a solid NHL career.

Besides, if Harding falters, can JDD really take over? Probably not. If Harding's one goaltender, the other guy needs to be reliable - and JDD, right now, isn't.

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#22 Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009, 05:05PM
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lenny wrote:

Why are you in such a ruch to get reed of talanted players? They never had a chance to proof themselves with McT. Just wait and give them a chance.

So, of Cogliano, Gagner and O'Sullivan, which two do you clear out to give Nilsson and Schremp another chance?

This team has no more room for smallish forwards who need to be carefully sheltered. We're six years away from Nilsson's draft, and five years away from Schremp's. I defended Nilsson today, but the fact is that there are only so many roster spots for small forwards without much of a defensive game, and he isn't close to being as valuable as any of the three guys I mentioned above. Schremp's even worse off since he's struggling at the AHL level right now.

This team has needs. Nilsson and Schremp don't fit the bill; why not move them for different talented youngsters who might?

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#23 Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009, 05:07PM
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zig wrote:

Especially if they end up hiring MacT (as Matheson pointed out in today’s article, MacT is the second runner up for that job) there is no way he would want Nillson or Schremp on his team.

I think MacTavish was actually fairly forgiving of Nilsson down the stretch; he wasn't earning his keep but he found himself in the lineup over guys like Pouliot, Reddox and Jacques.

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#24 lenny
June 07 2009, 05:16PM
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Jonathan Willis said: I think MacTavish was actually fairly forgiving of Nilsson down the stretch; he wasn’t earning his keep but he found himself in the lineup over guys like Pouliot, Reddox and Jacques.

Mayby because he is about 5 times better then all of them together?

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#25 Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009, 05:27PM
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@ lenny:

If Nilsson's not scoring, what does he bring to the lineup?

I'm going to oversimplify, but the short answer is something like this: nothing. That isn't the case with the other three.

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#26 lenny
June 07 2009, 05:32PM
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I am not trying to argue with you. Please remember that Oilers were not only fighting for play-offs but McT was fighting for his job to, so if he played Nilson over others it can only mean Nilson is better. Why not trade Pouliot, Reddox and Jacques and save some money so people like Nilson can play under different couch and finally show what they can do.

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#27 BigE57
June 07 2009, 05:42PM
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It all comes down to the Oilers packaging up spare parts and broken wheels to get something of value. At this point clearing some salary cap room is crucial and no one can realistically see Schremp or Nilsson playing on the Oilers second line.

Harding is probably only going to cost marginally more than JDD and getting rid of Nilsson clears away nearly 2 million in cap space.

You look down the Oilers line up and it is pretty evident that next seasons team will be very different.

The first line needs work, there are too many second line players and there are 8 guys left over to fill 6 spots on the third and fourth line, assuming the Oilers were to resign all their RFA's and Ales Kotalik. Do the Oil really need both MacIntyre and Stortini? Assuming Moreau, Pisani are going to be on the third line why do the Oil need to keep Jacques and Pouliot, I would suggest that Ryan Potulny is a better option than both of those guys at this point. And what of Reddox and Brodziak after last season it's hard to imagine the Oilers making the playoffs with these guys.

I know they can't dump them all but as I said before there are a lot of spare parts available in this organization and Steve Tambellini has more owrk to do than just finding a serviceable goaltender and and a bona fide goal scorer.

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#28 Bob Cob
June 07 2009, 05:45PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Your aguments dont hold water, you probably thought the Roloson trade was a bad one to because he had never been a number one goaltender on any teams and had been traded a few times. Players take time to develop and I guess I am more of an optimist than you are when it comes to JDD. His numbers will be better than Weekes by the time his career is over he just needs time to play. And one more thing if you bring in Harding and one of the guys off the list to back up, you will have the same problem we had last year with Garon and Roloson and we all remember how much fun that was. The Tandem goaltending situation doesn't work and we saw that last year first hand. You need a number 1 and a back up and thats why I would stay with JDD and spend the money on a number one goalie. You probably thought Mac T was an awesome coach to.

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#29 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 05:51PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Any of the 30-or-so goaltending free agents out there. Honestly, if JDD’s career is better than that of Kevin Weekes, I’d be shocked. Lousy AHL numbers, limited NHL time, and already 7 years removed from his draft; these aren’t the things that generally indicate a solid NHL career. Besides, if Harding falters, can JDD really take over? Probably not. If Harding’s one goaltender, the other guy needs to be reliable - and JDD, right now, isn’t.

I, for one, 100% agree with this.. The only reason JDD was with the big club so long this year was because of his one-way deal. Even in training camp, Dubnyk was far and away the better of the two. But they couldn't let Deslauriers go for free without taking a look at him.

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#30 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 05:55PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

And one more thing if you bring in Harding and one of the guys off the list to back up, you will have the same problem we had last year with Garon and Roloson and we all remember how much fun that was. The Tandem goaltending situation doesn’t work and we saw that last year first hand.

The goalies last year were pitted against each other to see who would take the number one job and run with it. If two goalies are brought in and it is made clear from the start that they will be a tandem, then you certainly won't have the same issues. I guarantee you that Harding would welcome playing 40-45 games a year as part of a tandem as opposed to the 15-20 he'd get in Minnesota as a back-up.

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#31 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 05:58PM
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BigE57 wrote:

Do the Oil really need both MacIntyre and Stortini?

I actually really like this argument.. Which one do you keep? Stortini impressed me this year with his marked improvement in fighting skills, plus he brings the agitator(sp?) role too. However MacIntyre is ridiculously big and just a few big league scraps away from being the leagues supreme heavyweight (IMO, anyway).

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#32 Chris
June 07 2009, 06:00PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

This years entry draft has 3 or four special player and then a drop off. Another five super solid prospects, then another drop off. Since Stu just missed that last higher tier anyway... why not gamble swapping picks with Minny for Harding? If someone picks off the map and the Oil miss on Kulikov... that would suck. But chances are the guy they are targeting might still be available at twelve and you get Harding for free....(Guys like Glennie, Kassian, and Ellis will probably be available at twelve... are they that much worse than Kadri/Shroeder?)

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#33 Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009, 06:07PM
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@ Chris:

Now that is an interesting idea.

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#34 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 06:09PM
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@ Chris: but chances are Minnesota is thinking along the same lines. Harding is coveted by at least 4 teams (by the sounds of it). Would they be foolish enough to swap picks and give him up?

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#35 Jonathan Willis
June 07 2009, 06:14PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: Your aguments dont hold water, you probably thought the Roloson trade was a bad one to because he had never been a number one goaltender on any teams and had been traded a few times.

If you traded for Dwayne Roloson at 25 (the age JDD is at now) you'd be waiting for years for him to contribute at the NHL level.

If on the other hand you're referring to when the Oilers traded for Roloson, he'd been a 1A goaltender on five different occasions for two different teams.

Either way, the situations aren't remotely comparable. And FYI, I was a big fan of the Roloson trade, since I believed in the 05-06 Oilers.

Speaking of which, of the two of us, who is saying we should hang on to the 25-year old prospect and who is saying we should acquire the older 1A/1B guy? You're making my argument for me.

Players take time to develop and I guess I am more of an optimist than you are when it comes to JDD. His numbers will be better than Weekes by the time his career is over he just needs time to play.

Optimist is the word.

Incidentally, by 25 Weekes had played 78 NHL games and had already been a starting goaltender for one season. Deslauriers is well back at this point; it isn't close.

And one more thing if you bring in Harding and one of the guys off the list to back up, you will have the same problem we had last year with Garon and Roloson and we all remember how much fun that was. The Tandem goaltending situation doesn’t work and we saw that last year first hand. You need a number 1 and a back up and thats why I would stay with JDD and spend the money on a number one goalie.

The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup last season and are likely to do it again. Perhaps you should let Ken Holland know that the tandem system doesn't work.

You probably thought Mac T was an awesome coach to.

Nicely done. Do me a favour and look up "non sequitor".

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#36 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 06:16PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Well said.

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#37 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
June 07 2009, 06:31PM
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Here is my list of players that i think will be here come September. Horcoff no brainer he basically has a no trade clause Penner I see him having a good year Hemsky will be hear good contract Gagner still young and played well towards end of year Osullivan lets not give up on him Cogliano will have to switch to wing Neilson gone at trade day Kotalik gone he will not be resigned Moreau I think come September our captain will not be here,this team lacked leadership last season and he should of stepped up to the plate and didnt Pisani will be here, going into his option year Brodziak will be our third line center Pouliot should have been gone last year Reddox see above Jacques will be here Stortini will be here MacIntyre will be here will, play in a limited capacity Staios will be traded Smid will be here Visnosky will be here,he will be our pp quarterback Souray will be traded for a physical d man and a top line player Gilbert to young to trade him will get better Grebeshkov will be here with a new contract

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#38 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
June 07 2009, 06:37PM
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Strudwick will be gone Peckham will be here JDD will be here Rolison will not be here

I think this team come September will go in a new direction, the players better be prepared to play or their time here will be short,Quinn and tamballini will not put up with the same BS Mac T fed us these past few years.

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#39 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 06:38PM
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I think the team will be even more overhauled than you have it pictured... But it will for sure be a different direction

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#40 BigE57
June 07 2009, 06:49PM
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Cory Dakin wrote:

I actually really like this argument.. Which one do you keep? Stortini impressed me this year with his marked improvement in fighting skills, plus he brings the agitator(sp?) role too. However MacIntyre is ridiculously big and just a few big league scraps away from being the leagues supreme heavyweight (IMO, anyway).

From what we as fans get to see MacIntyre is a great guy and good in the community. He showed some ability last year as a defenceman and on the fourth line and he would need to continue to develop as a player IMO for the Oilers to keep him ahead of Stortini.

The reason being that I would hate to see the Oilers go down the road of the Minnesota Wild employing a guy like Derek Boogaard who would basically have a hard time playing Senir 'A' hockey and is just a goon. Having a guy like that is a waste of cap space in my opinion but as I said I think MacIntyre is already ahead of Boogaard in playing ability so it will likely be up to Mac and Stortini to outplay the other for the roster spot.

Personally I like the energy that Stortini brings to the 4th line.

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#41 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 06:54PM
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On another note... Is anyone watching basketball right now? What a terrible game this is. And I actually like playoff basketball for the most part

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#42 Chris
June 07 2009, 07:30PM
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Cory Dakin wrote:

@ Chris: but chances are Minnesota is thinking along the same lines. Harding is coveted by at least 4 teams (by the sounds of it). Would they be foolish enough to swap picks and give him up?

Maybe. Who knows what they are thinking? Maybe Fletcher would be willing to gamble that one of those upper tier players falls down to ten. (Throw in a sweetener if necessary) The Oilers need help in net now. I'd rather drop two spots in the draft than give up O'Sullivan. If the Oilers were picking eighth or nineth, that would be differnt.

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#43 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 07:32PM
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@ Chris: i agree completely, but colorado also needs help in net and has a better pick. Ideally that could happen, I'd be more than happy to drop two spots to fill a hole in net if I was the GM

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#44 Funny Shirts
June 07 2009, 07:45PM
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Just found this blog while searching for something else. Nice post. I'm subscribing to your feed.

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#45 Chris
June 07 2009, 07:51PM
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@ Cory Dakin:

There is NO WAY Colorado is going to give up on either Duschene, or Tavares to secure Harding... Colorado has little to offer by way of trade either... IMO Greg Sherman (Who?) will need time to evaluate his roster before making trades; He may be tempted to go the UFA route in net.

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#46 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 07:52PM
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Chris wrote:

IMO Greg Sherman (Who?)

HA!

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#47 Cory Dakin
June 07 2009, 07:55PM
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On a different topic.. Who would love to be the Islanders right now? You're getting either Hedman or Tavares, and you know that the Lightning desperately need Hedman. Wouldn't you let it fly to the media that you're thinking of taking Hedman first? Why not get Tavares and something from Tampa as opposed to just getting Tavares?

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#48 Chris
June 07 2009, 08:06PM
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@ Cory Dakin:

I wonder if the fate of LeCavalier will be determined by this draft... Get Hedman; keep Lecavalier. Get Tavares; move Vinny for a stud D-Man and change. (Just a pet theory)

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#49 Jolene L Fendelet
June 07 2009, 08:06PM
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I am not sure if i like that idea keep sully and go for penner not that would be a good deal if you ask me.

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#50 lenny
June 07 2009, 08:08PM
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J. Willis, I am not trying to argue with you. Please remember that Oilers were not only fighting for play-offs but McT was fighting for his job to, so if he played Nilson over others it can only mean Nilson is better. Why not trade Pouliot, Reddox and Jacques and save some money so people like Nilson can play under different couch and finally show what they can do.

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