The Numbers Game

Jason Gregor
June 09 2009 11:59AM

numbergame

Growing up 17 was my favourite number. I really don’t know why. Jari Kurri wasn’t my favourite Oiler; Glenn Anderson was, but I never liked the look of single digits on a jersey. And very few scorers wore single digits so I didn’t.

I tried to get 17 on every team I played for, thinking that I would play better if I had that number. Since I never went on to the NHL or anywhere close, clearly that wasn’t the case.

Some guys are really superstitious about their number, while others happily take whatever they get when they get to the next level. Some players like Visnosky just reverse the number when they go to a new team. He couldn’t wear #17 with the Oilers, so he just switched to #71.

A recent trend has offensive guys wearing their birth year like Hemsky and Gagner, but that trend will clearly stop in 2018, because I doubt offensive guys will be wearing 00, or 01. You might see it in 2022, if a forward wants to emulate Jean Beliveau or Vinny Lecavlier and wear #4. And again in 2025 when #7 is an acceptable number for an offensive guy considering Hall of Famer and three-time Hart Trophy winner Howie Morenz wore it.

My oldest nephew, Liam, is entering bantam and his favourite player is Patrick Kane, so he tries to get 88 whenever possible. It isn’t just kids who wear their favourite player’s number. Marty Reasoner wore 19 because of Joe Sakic…Okay that isn’t true, but I bet he liked the comparison.

Numbers are an intriguing part of sport. How many of you remember that Paul Coffey wore 74 when he played for the Bruins because both 7 and 77 were already retired? Or that Glenn Anderson wore 36 because it was a multiple of nine and when added together they equaled nine?

Or that Dustin Penner broke in to the NHL wearing #76. When you get a random high number like that at camp you normally aren’t expected to be a mainstay.

Number 15 has been worn by 28 different Oilers, the most in their history, and it is easy to see why since none of them lasted very long in Edmonton. Kent Nilsson was the best out of the group, but Kurt Brackenbury was the most memorable in my mind. I got the numbers from the Oilers media guide and I did find this link online.

** I should point out that the online link has a few that the Oilers media guide doesn’t so I’ll go with the Oiler media guide. They have Buchberger wearing #15, but he only wore #16. When he got called up Steve Graves was wearing #15. Kyle Brodziak also never wore #22, but the online list is still fairly accurate.***

There are 17 days left until the draft, and in that time we will probably hear 1700 different scenarios in how the first ten picks will pan out.

It doesn’t sound like the Oilers will get into the top three, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, but the possibility exists to move up from the ten slot. Most think the top three will be Tavares, Hedman and Duchene and they are probably right, but I spoke with a scout from Colorado and he was raving about hulking D-man Jared Cowan. I got the impression that they will at least entertain him, but considering the Avs took two D-men and a goalie with their first three picks in 2007 and a D-man and goalie with their first two picks in 2008 the good money is that they’ll take the forward Duchene.

All the speculation about which team will move up or down won’t happen until the morning of the draft. Very rarely do trades happen a week in advance of the draft. Why would you try to move up now when no one knows how the draft will play out? The deals will come the morning and afternoon of the 26th.

Currently none of the top five teams are willing to part with their picks, but that could change on the 26th. Brian Burke is telling every one in The Leafs Nation that he wants to move up, and when it doesn’t happen he can say, “I tried.” The cost to move into the top three, if you aren’t NYI, TB or COL will be a lot, and the risk doesn’t match the reward. If Burke wants in the top two it will cost him Luke Schenn and the #7, why would he even consider that?

A keeping with 17 it is nice to see that two of the best sharp shooters, Kovalchuk and Carter are wearing it. Outside of Brind’Amour, Kesler, Dubinsky, Lucic, and Mike Rupp I can’t think of any others. Nope, just remembered Laraque wore it in Montreal this year. I’m sure there are others, but without looking I can’t recall them. When Kovalchuk is done playing he’ll be close to Kurri’s 601 goals, but I don’t think he’ll be in the same category as overall player. But it’s nice to see a sniper pulling on #17.

Oil droppings

  • Expect an announcement on who the Springfield coach will be next week, and I’ll be shocked if it isn’t Rob Daum. He deserves it, and many of the players liked what he brought for the final two months last year.
  • I can’t see the Oilers offering Matt Roy, Glenn Fisher, Stephane Goulet, Carl Corazzini, David Rohlfs or Sebastion Bisaillon contracts this summer. They really want Ryan Stone and Ryan Potulny back. Look for them to go after guys with size and skill this summer.
  • Expect Rob Schremp to sign a one-year deal. After that he would have to clear waivers, and he can force them to keep him. I would expect a one-year deal for Brule as well.
  • Jason Krog’s name keeps coming up as a guy they should go after because he is a scoring stud in the AHL, but look for him to sign a contract in Russia similar to what Omark received; $1.2 million a year.
  • All of the speculation about an Oilers/Kings deal is just that right now. A source within the Oilers said there hasn’t been any discussion to this point, and in fact he be surprised if the Kings moved their 5th pick.
  • I still have no clue on who the second assistant coach will be for the Oilers, if they sign one, but Perry Pearn won’t be the guy. Look for a younger guy, who is good at breaking down film to get the nod.
  • The Panthers are looking to move the rights to Jay Bouwmeester, similar to what Nashville did with Hartnell and Timonen a few years back, and they’ll settle for a 2nd rounder even though they would love a 1st. They might have to take some salary in return to make it happen, but Bill Torrey has the green light to make something happen if he can.
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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 speeds
June 09 2009, 12:08PM
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Gregor:

Schremp will have to clear waiver to go to the AHL this fall as well.

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#2 Moose
June 09 2009, 12:08PM
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Dany Heatley has asked for a trade (per TSN), let the speculation run rampant.

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#3 one off
June 09 2009, 12:13PM
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Gilbert, Cogliano and a first round pick in 2011 for Heatly. Thats a competitive deal that Ottawa would do. None of this "Horcs and Shremp for Heaters!" crap.

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#4 dyckster
June 09 2009, 12:17PM
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Souray & _______ (fill in who you'd like) for Heatley, we need to create some cap space. He doesn't come cheap. Man, he would look AWESOME in Copper and Blue.

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#5 Hunter
June 09 2009, 12:20PM
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@ one off:

Or, what about Souray (or Visnovsky) and Nilsson to OTT for Heatley? OTT gets the top D man they've been missing since they let Chara walk, a bit of scoring in return, and we get our guy to play with Hemsky. Clearing Souray and Nilsson's salaries would almost make this a match salary wise, would it not?

Heatley might accept EDM being a CGY boy. He might prefer CGY, but they would have to do some cap dancing to fit him would they not?

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#6 MattN
June 09 2009, 12:20PM
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Re: Heatley

7.5M cap hit for the next 5 years.

I like the guy, but wow. That would be tough to swallow.

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#7 MattN
June 09 2009, 12:22PM
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I really hope they clean up the mess in Springfield this year. The Oilers prospect development system is in bad shape.

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#8 one off
June 09 2009, 12:24PM
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If Ottawa looses Heatly, they are officially in rebuild mode (if they weren't already). They need D badly, but they probably don't want a 31 year old with a history of injury and a 5.4 cap hit. That's not contusive to rebuilding. They are going to go for youth, and a lower cap hit. They won't be helping the oil out on this trade by taking back salary. If the oil don't figure out how to make his cap hit fit, then someone else will.

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#9 Chris
June 09 2009, 12:27PM
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Number 15 has been worn by 28 different Oilers? I sure hope come training camp we have a new #15 in Oiler Silks. (Even if he comes with a 7.5 million cap hit)

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#10 RossCreek
June 09 2009, 12:29PM
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So why would Souray waive his no-trade to move further away from his kids? Visnovsky also has a NTC if I'm not mistaken. It would take Gilbert and Cogliano plus IMO. LA could move a couple of Johnson, Frolov or even Brown. Heater wants to go Hollywood.

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#11 RossCreek
June 09 2009, 12:33PM
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The Sharks have guys like Marleau, Michalek, Clowe, Cheechoo, Pavelski, Ehroff, etc. to dangle too. Step your game up Oil fan. If you really want him Souray and Nilsson just doesn't cut it.

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#12 dyckster
June 09 2009, 12:34PM
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@ one off:

Eugene Melnyk doesn't come across (to me anyway) as an owner who'll want to go through a rebuilding stage. IMO if he has to give up Heatley he'll gladly take some high priced talent in return. Wishful thinking maybe on my part...

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#13 Red Tide
June 09 2009, 12:39PM
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I hope Tambo is on the Phone to Bryan Murray right now. Gilbert, Schremp, Cogs and a 2nd rounder this year should get us Heatley.

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#14 Chris
June 09 2009, 12:42PM
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@ RossCreek: When a player demands to be traded, the return value is diminished. Ottawa would be lucky to get Cogliano, Gilbert, and a pick. Ottawa needs a PMD. Not many teams have depth in that regard... The biggest question is: would Heatley waive his no-trade to move to Edmonton? If he wants nice weather: No. If he wants to contend: No. If he really, really likes Donairs and wants 1000 different stores to choose from: YES!

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#15 one off
June 09 2009, 12:43PM
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@ dyckster:

They don't need to publicly state they are in rebuild, but really, look at their roster, outside of their big 3, they don't have much going on. They can fluff the PR side of it by saying they are "adding depth and addressing positions of weakness" how many time did we oilers fan hear those words in the late 90s and early 2000s? We knew what it really was, but at the time, we drank the kool-aid to make ourselves feel better.

@ RossCreek:

My thoughts exactly. I think LA is the team to watch in this one. They can part ways with one of Doughty, Johnson, or Quincey, as well as Frolov.

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#16 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 12:44PM
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MattN wrote:

Re: Heatley 7.5M cap hit for the next 5 years. I like the guy, but wow. That would be tough to swallow.

For 40 - 50 goals that's a bargin.

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#17 The Menace
June 09 2009, 12:50PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

MattN wrote: Re: Heatley 7.5M cap hit for the next 5 years. I like the guy, but wow. That would be tough to swallow. For 40 - 50 goals that’s a bargin.

And I would bet Hemmer's point totals would also go up significantly.

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#18 dyckster
June 09 2009, 12:53PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

All good points. right now it's all pure specultaion. My guess is there are, oh lemmee see, 29 GM's (28 if you take away Florida) throwing around trade for Heatley scenarios. Let's hope his Alberta roots puts us on the short list of places he'd like to play. I betcha when R.Brownlee puts in his 2 cents (please do so) it won't be far off what actually happens. The guy is a freakin hockey genious.

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#19 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 12:54PM
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The Menace wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: MattN wrote: Re: Heatley 7.5M cap hit for the next 5 years. I like the guy, but wow. That would be tough to swallow. For 40 - 50 goals that’s a bargin. And I would bet Hemmer’s point totals would also go up significantly.

I wouldn't

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#20 dyckster
June 09 2009, 12:54PM
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Sorry, the "good points" statment was directed towards one off's reply to me. PDD (poor dumb dyckster).

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#21 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 12:56PM
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dyckster wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: All good points. right now it’s all pure specultaion. My guess is there are, oh lemmee see, 29 GM’s (28 if you take away Florida) throwing around trade for Heatley scenarios. Let’s hope his Alberta roots puts us on the short list of places he’d like to play. I betcha when R.Brownlee puts in his 2 cents (please do so) it won’t be far off what actually happens. The guy is a freakin hockey genious.

Supposedly he wants to go to the WC, take out the handful of teams with no $$, and those that likely wouldn't be interested (Det maybe Chicago) and you are down to 8 - 10 teams. Also, the supposed bidding war for stars rarely seems to happen (at least in the sense of driving up value like fans seem to think)

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#22 RossCreek
June 09 2009, 12:59PM
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@ Chris Your thoughts of a diminished return are somewhat true, but not entirely. This IS a 40/50 goal scorer we're talking about and if all teams know whats going on (something that wasn't the case with your earlier Joe Thornton argument) then a bidding war could occur. If Heatley only has 4 or 5 teams he'd consider and that list gets public, that is where the diminished return kicks in. The more teams he's open too, or if his list doesn't become public, then all is fair. Don't you think San Jose could step up with a much better deal than your proposed Oil deal? I think the Oil could land him if they want to (are willing to), but I think there are other teams that will put up more competitive offers than most of the ones I've seen Oil fan throw out. Oh, and interesting that no one has mentioned the Sutter news. Brent officially stepped down earlier this morning for those unaware.

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#23 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 01:04PM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Chris Your thoughts of a diminished return are somewhat true, but not entirely. This IS a 40/50 goal scorer we’re talking about and if all teams know whats going on (something that wasn’t the case with your earlier Joe Thornton argument) then a bidding war could occur. If Heatley only has 4 or 5 teams he’d consider and that list gets public, that is where the diminished return kicks in. The more teams he’s open too, or if his list doesn’t become public, then all is fair. Don’t you think San Jose could step up with a much better deal than your proposed Oil deal? I think the Oil could land him if they want to (are willing to), but I think there are other teams that will put up more competitive offers than most of the ones I’ve seen Oil fan throw out. Oh, and interesting that no one has mentioned the Sutter news. Brent officially stepped down earlier this morning for those unaware.

Yet history tells us that the trade for the "star" almost always leaves fans wondering why so little was recieved for him.

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#24 Chris
June 09 2009, 01:06PM
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@ RossCreek: Yes but Wilson may be more reluctant than Tambellini to gut out the heart of his current roster. I'd personally be willing to give Ottawa it's pick of the PMD's and it's pick of O'Sully, Cogs, and Gags; plus an AHL prospect. (But I doubt Edmonton is on the shortlist... and I doubt the team Heatley goes to will have to pay this much)

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#25 King Mob
June 09 2009, 01:09PM
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a hilarious potential scenario:

Schremp and a pick/prospect to Minnesota for Harding, and 2 weeks later they sign MacT as head coach.

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#26 one off
June 09 2009, 01:09PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

I almost every team in the West would have interest. (again, Detroit would maybe be the one exception) Otherwise, it comes down to how much interest. I don't think money is that great a concern necessarily. If you can get him, and are willing to part ways with the pieces to make the trade happen, then you do it and then worry about the cap. For some teams, the worrying about the cap will be easier then for others. No team truly has room for his salary. Either they are close to the cap, or below it intentionally such as a self imposed cap due to revenue. No one keeps 8 mill kicking around "just in case".

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#27 The Menace
June 09 2009, 01:12PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

The Menace wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: MattN wrote: Re: Heatley 7.5M cap hit for the next 5 years. I like the guy, but wow. That would be tough to swallow. For 40 - 50 goals that’s a bargin. And I would bet Hemmer’s point totals would also go up significantly. I wouldn’t

would he pass himself the puck to score those 40-50 goals? it's wouldn't be defense-heatley-back of the net 40-50 times.

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#28 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 01:12PM
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Chris wrote:

@ RossCreek: Yes but Wilson may be more reluctant than Tambellini to gut out the heart of his current roster. I’d personally be willing to give Ottawa it’s pick of the PMD’s and it’s pick of O’Sully, Cogs, and Gags; plus an AHL prospect. (But I doubt Edmonton is on the shortlist… and I doubt the team Heatley goes to will have to pay this much)

Agreed, but I'd probably hold Gags back and possibly include a pick.

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#29 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 01:13PM
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The Menace wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: The Menace wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: MattN wrote: Re: Heatley 7.5M cap hit for the next 5 years. I like the guy, but wow. That would be tough to swallow. For 40 - 50 goals that’s a bargin. And I would bet Hemmer’s point totals would also go up significantly. I wouldn’t would he pass himself the puck to score those 40-50 goals? it’s wouldn’t be defense-heatley-back of the net 40-50 times.

It hasn't matterd who he's played with, he's been roughly .95 PPG since the lockout, sure he might get an extra 5-8 points, but is that Heatly or Hemsky hitting his prime?

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#30 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 01:16PM
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one off wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: I almost every team in the West would have interest. (again, Detroit would maybe be the one exception) Otherwise, it comes down to how much interest. I don’t think money is that great a concern necessarily. If you can get him, and are willing to part ways with the pieces to make the trade happen, then you do it and then worry about the cap. For some teams, the worrying about the cap will be easier then for others. No team truly has room for his salary. Either they are close to the cap, or below it intentionally such as a self imposed cap due to revenue. No one keeps 8 mill kicking around “just in case”.

No I mean actual dollars spent, Coyotes are obviously out of the picture, probably Nashville and Columbus as well, I can't see Calgary overly interested and unless Chicago did some serious juggling they'd have a real risk of losing one or more of Toews/Kane/Seabrook/Kieth if they brought him in.

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#31 Chris
June 09 2009, 01:19PM
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Let's say Tambellini aquires Heatley through a massive overpay: For example, Visnovsky, Gagner, and our Tenth overall pick.

Tambellin could then maybe trade O'Sullivan for Harding (Again an overpay). Cogliano would become the second line center. Smid and Peckham would both move up the depth chart. There would be over 10 million dollars left to sign a UFA third line center; and to resign Brodziak, Smid, and Grebs.

H-H-H Pens-Cogs-Nilsson/Brule Moreau-UFA-Pisani JFJ-Brodziak/Pouliot-Stortini

Grebs Souray Smid Gilbert Staios-Peckham/Struds

Harding JDD

Conclusion: even with this massive series of overpays... the Oilers improve.

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#32 one off
June 09 2009, 01:20PM
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@ RossCreek:

Agreed. The big catch is where does he want to go. I think it is reasonable to think that if Edmonton is an attractive destination for Heatly, then the Oilers will put an awful lot on the table to try and land him.

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#33 The Menace
June 09 2009, 01:21PM
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Playing with a legitimate scoring forward like Heatley would be a lot different than playing with Reddox, Penner, Cole, Smyth or anyone else the Oil has paired with Hemmer post-lockout. He hasn't been with anyone close to being a consistant 40-50 goal guy.

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#34 Steele
June 09 2009, 01:23PM
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A comment to the earlier portion of your scribe:

DUSTIN PENNER WEARING #27 FOR THE OILERS IS A DISGRACE.

The OilerCognoscenti should have known he is/was a bust when he had the audacity to don that number.

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#35 Pigeon
June 09 2009, 01:23PM
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Apparently people believe that Vis or Souray will waive there NMC to go Ottawa... No

If the oilers even want to be in talks for one of a handful of 50 goal scorers in today's Nhl they will need

gilbert, cogs, eberle, nash , 2 draft picks

Stop dreaming if you think we arent going to have to give up a lot to get a guy like heatly

coo, coo simple pigeons

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#36 RossCreek
June 09 2009, 01:24PM
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Here is a scenario I could playing out. The Sharks land Heatley (i dunno say for a package including any of Clowe, Cheechoo, Michalek, Ehroff, Vlasic, Couture) and then decide to move Marleau to replace SOME of what they lost in terms of depth. The Oilers should then get in on Marleau.

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#37 Chris
June 09 2009, 01:28PM
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Could you imagine the sheer magnitude of the pressure that would be placed on Horcoff if he were to center the triple H line? Neither Hemsky or Heatley backcheck... Horc would have to skate 1000km's a night; while being expected to produce like a 7million dollar man. Playing with those two might not be as fun as you would imagine.

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#38 one off
June 09 2009, 01:28PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

I'll agree with you on most of that. However, regarding Phoenix, they could go out and get Heatly to try and increase the cost of/interest in, purchasing the team. The team will loose more money due to increased player costs, but the interest in buying the team to either stay in Phx or to move, will be increased. Moyes isn't paying the bills anymore, so what does he care?

Not likely, but interesting.

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#39 OvenChicken8
June 09 2009, 01:29PM
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@ Pigeon: Just like the Ducks had to overpay for Pronger when he wanted out of here right. ;)

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#40 one off
June 09 2009, 01:37PM
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OvenChicken8 wrote:

@ Pigeon: Just like the Ducks had to overpay for Pronger when he wanted out of here right.

Touche.

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#41 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 01:44PM
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Chris wrote:

Let’s say Tambellini aquires Heatley through a massive overpay: For example, Visnovsky, Gagner, and our Tenth overall pick. Tambellin could then maybe trade O’Sullivan for Harding (Again an overpay). Cogliano would become the second line center. Smid and Peckham would both move up the depth chart. There would be over 10 million dollars left to sign a UFA third line center; and to resign Brodziak, Smid, and Grebs. H-H-H Pens-Cogs-Nilsson/Brule Moreau-UFA-Pisani JFJ-Brodziak/Pouliot-Stortini Grebs Souray Smid Gilbert Staios-Peckham/Struds Harding JDD Conclusion: even with this massive series of overpays… the Oilers improve.

That's because we have alot of quality assets... something people like to forget because the team underperformed by 3-4 wins ;)

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#42 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 01:47PM
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The Menace wrote:

Playing with a legitimate scoring forward like Heatley would be a lot different than playing with Reddox, Penner, Cole, Smyth or anyone else the Oil has paired with Hemmer post-lockout. He hasn’t been with anyone close to being a consistant 40-50 goal guy.

It's not like the first line now scores 45 more goals, they add 45 but subtract Smyth's/Penner's/Sykora's 25. So the first line scores 20 more goals. 5 Unassisted, 5 assisted by players other then Hemsky and 2-5 when they aren't on the ice together. leaving him with 5 - 8 more points then he would otherwise get.

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#43 Chris
June 09 2009, 01:49PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

That’s because we have alot of quality assets… something people like to forget because the team underperformed by 3-4 wins

Lot's of sugar but no Tea!

BTW. Willis has just posted re this subject. Let's all move the discussion to the appropriate blog-roll lest we have to re-type all our entrenched positions.

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#44 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 01:49PM
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Chris wrote:

Could you imagine the sheer magnitude of the pressure that would be placed on Horcoff if he were to center the triple H line? Neither Hemsky or Heatley backcheck… Horc would have to skate 1000km’s a night; while being expected to produce like a 7million dollar man. Playing with those two might not be as fun as you would imagine.

But but but but ;)

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#45 The Menace
June 09 2009, 01:54PM
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@ Ogden Brother: Isn't that a significant increase? That puts him at or above PPG status. I would also say that you are underestimating his impact - Penner hasn't scored 25 since he was an Oiler.

I think we can put this debate aside, and just agree that having him here would be an improvement to the team.

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#46 Jason Gregor
June 09 2009, 02:18PM
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speeds wrote:

Gregor: Schremp will have to clear waiver to go to the AHL this fall as well.

He needs to play 160 games in the NHL or have four years of pro hockey to clear waivers, next year he enters his fourth year as a pro so he doesn't have to clear waivers next year.

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#47 NBOilerFan
June 09 2009, 06:10PM
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#11 has been my favorite number since 1984 and yes, because of the player.

... my 4 yr old boy started soccer last night and the jersey he was given... none other then #11. You can imagine my delight.

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#48 speeds
June 09 2009, 06:46PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He needs to play 160 games in the NHL or have four years of pro hockey to clear waivers, next year he enters his fourth year as a pro so he doesn’t have to clear waivers next year.

I believe you are mistaken, but I'm not positive - could be me who is incorrect. He signed at age 19 and the CBA says he has to clear waivers once he has either played 160 NHL games (he hasn't) or once 4 years have passed since signing. It doesn't specifically say he has to have played 4 pro years.

If you sign at 18 you have 5 years, and if you sign at 20 you have 3. My guess would be the chart was set up that way so that there was no disadvantage to signing a player at 18 or 19, and then returning him to junior at 18 or 19; so that, either way, the player is waiver eligible once his ELC is over if he's played 3 years in the minors.

There is a clause inserted that says once a player has played 11 NHL games, even at 18 or 19, they only have 3 years of waiver in-eligibility, the 3 years on their ELC. Interestingly, that means that Brule is also waiver eligible this fall.

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#49 speeds
June 09 2009, 06:51PM
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I should add that the 2nd paragraph only applies to CHL players. Europeans and college players can play in the AHL at age 18 and 19 with no waiver or ELC consequences, provide they play 9 (or 10, can't remember which)games or less.

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#50 speeds
June 09 2009, 07:11PM
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9 (or 10) NHL games or less, that is.

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