Another opinion for Grebeshkov?

Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009 08:02PM

It's obvious the Edmonton Oilers and defenceman Denis Grebeshkov aren't as close to a done deal fans as we've been led to believe in reports that have been circulating for weeks.

While there's been talk since before the season ended that Grebeshkov and the Oilers were closing in on a multi-year contract -- that it, in fact, was done and the ink was a formality -- a list of 20 players who have requested salary arbitration was released by the NHLPA today and Grebeshkov's name was on it.

From the NHLPA:

20 PLAYERS ELECT SALARY ARBITRATION

TORONTO (July 5, 2009) – The following players have elected Salary Arbitration:

Anaheim Ducks

James Wisniewski

Atlanta Thrashers

Colby Armstrong

Boston Bruins

Matt Hunwick

Buffalo Sabres

Clarke MacArthur

Carolina Hurricanes

Tuomo Ruutu

Chicago Blackhawks

Aaron Johnson

Columbus Blue Jackets

Marc Methot

Detroit Red Wings

Jiri Hudler

Edmonton Oilers

Denis Grebeshkov

Minnesota Wild

Kyle Brodziak

Montreal Canadiens

Tomas Plekanec

New Jersey Devils

Travis Zajac

New York Islanders

Nate Thompson

New York Rangers

Ryan Callahan

Nikolai Zherdev

Phoenix Coyotes

Nigel Dawes

Daniel Winnik

Tampa Bay Lightning

Matt Smaby

Vancouver Canucks

Kyle Wellwood

Washington Capitals

Milan Jurcina

The deadline for Club-Elected Salary Arbitration notification is July 6, 2009 at 5 p.m. ET. Hearings will be held in Toronto July 20 to August 4, 2009.

WORK TO DO

Grebeshkov, 25, is coming off a season in which he scored 7-32-39 and was paid $1.5 million in the final year of a contract he signed with the Oilers after having his rights obtained from the New York Islanders in the Marc-Andre Bergeron trade. He averaged 21:10 per game in ice time and was plus-12 in 2008-09.

Grebeshkov's 39 points was third among Oilers defencemen behind Sheldon Souray (53) and Tom Gilbert (45). His ice time ranked behind Souray (24:50), Gilbert (21:58) and Lubomir Visnovsky (23:00).

Obviously, Grebeshkov feels he's worth more than the Oilers have been offering until now -- speculation has been he'd come in at a salary of about $3 million. It's not known how large a financial gap the Oilers and Grebeshkov have to bridge, but it's considerable enough he's included on the NHLPA list of 20 players opting for a hearing.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Mike76
July 05 2009, 08:11PM
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I wonder what an arbitrator would have given Horcoff last year.

Probably 3 - 4 million.

Why won't they open the vault for this solid d-man?

Oh! because there is nothing left. Penner and Horcoff have all the cap space.

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#2 TonyT
July 05 2009, 08:18PM
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I wonder is this is all part of the snowballs effect that has been our off season and our pursuit of Heatley.

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#3 GSC
July 05 2009, 08:20PM
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TonyT wrote:

I wonder is this is all part of the snowballs effect that has been our off season and our pursuit of Heatley.

I was thinking the same thing.

With Tambo wanting to move contracts and the salary cap likely declining after next season, maybe Grebeshkov's agent sees this as the last opportunity to really cash-in?

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#4 The Menace
July 05 2009, 08:22PM
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@ TonyT: Greb's extension talks were in the works long before free agency started. I'm not sure where you're going with that.

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#5 Mike76
July 05 2009, 08:33PM
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i see the guy from Chicago managed to get his paperwork in on time to file. Too bad the team is not as efficient with their qualifyng offers.

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#6 Archaeologuy
July 05 2009, 08:44PM
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Watch for Jiri Hudler. The Wings might be in a Salary Cap pickle if he gets a decent settlement for arbitration and ,if i remember correctly, he would be a UFA if the Wings dont accept the arbitrated salary. I think.

Anyways. The guy can play. Maybe the Oilers have too many guys in the top 6 who arent dynamic already, but I wanna see his arbitration play out.

Grebs will get some decent money, but hopefully the arbitrator looks at what guys are signing to THIS summer and not last, because the money is way down.

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#7 psycloud
July 05 2009, 08:44PM
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It's amazing how Horcoff can come up no matter what the topic. In all fairness, that contract was given at a time when Horcoff was scoring at the same rate as Mats Sundin.

In any case, these things get sorted out quite often before they actually go to arbitration. They've still got time to get things worked out, and the fortunate thing (if I'm to understand correctly) is that an offer sheet is no longer a possibility.

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#8 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009, 08:51PM
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THIS FROM THE JOURNAL JUNE 18 - Grebeshkov is very close to signing. The two sides are only about $150,000 a year apart on a three-year contract. The final dollars could be in the neighbourhood of the Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler ($3.25 million).

Either Matheson was mistaken in the difference separating Grebeshkov and the Oilers or he miscalculated on the $3.25 million. I can see the Oilers thinking $3.25 is the right number, but I can also see Grebeshkov looking at how he stacks up against Souray, Visnovsky and Gilbert and thinking $3.5 million is more like it.

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#9 hatecrime
July 05 2009, 08:58PM
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toally off topic but what about kotalik?isn't he a ufa as well?

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#10 psycloud
July 05 2009, 09:00PM
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Kotalik is still a UFA. Only RFAs can file for arbitration.

It's looking more and more like he'll end up elsewhere.

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#11 hatecrime
July 05 2009, 09:04PM
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well than i don't know what the oilers are treying to do.if they can't sign you know who than why not try to sign the one person who looked good playing with hemsky.

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#12 psycloud
July 05 2009, 09:09PM
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Kotalik was effective at the point on the powerplay (we've got plenty of that), and played really well with Gagner and Nilsson. The majority of his points came in those two situations.

With Hemsky and Horcoff, he was on about the same level as Penner.

http://www.oilersnation.com/2009/04/ales-chemistry/

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#13 David S
July 05 2009, 09:11PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Grebs will get some decent money, but hopefully the arbitrator looks at what guys are signing to THIS summer and not last, because the money is way down.

Might this be why the Oilers haven't come to terms with Grebs. Maybe they think the arbitrator will come back with a lower offer.

As an aside. Can one of you guys explain the arbitration process? I'm not exactly sure what the process and Grebs going to it means. *not a hockey fanatic*

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#14 Jay Gray
July 05 2009, 09:16PM
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I really hope they can get this done and make it work for the long haul, not just a quick fix for this upcoming year.

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#15 jt in Oilertown
July 05 2009, 09:27PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

THIS FROM THE JOURNAL JUNE 18 - Grebeshkov is very close to signing. The two sides are only about $150,000 a year apart on a three-year contract. The final dollars could be in the neighbourhood of the Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler ($3.25 million). Either Matheson was mistaken in the difference separating Grebeshkov and the Oilers or he miscalculated on the $3.25 million. I can see the Oilers thinking $3.25 is the right number, but I can also see Grebeshkov looking at how he stacks up against Souray, Visnovsky and Gilbert and thinking $3.5 million is more like it.

If your spidey sense is correct, Robin, I find it interesting that there's a possibility of arbitration over $250K. Then again, $100K was apparently enough for the moo-lay to leave town.

Could it have something to do with term? IIRC, arbitration decisions are two years maximum. Maybe Grebeshkov isn't as interested in a longer term deal. Maybe he thinks the economy will turn around in 12-18 months, meaning the cap will go up, meaning teams will be spending more, meaning monkeys will fly out of my....well, you get the idea.

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#16 TonyT
July 05 2009, 09:53PM
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The Menace wrote:

@ TonyT: Greb’s extension talks were in the works long before free agency started. I’m not sure where you’re going with that.

While I don't expect Grebeshkov to actually reach arbitration, with the Oilers in need of a roster overhaul and the relative lack of movements so far. I would presume that because of our proximity to the cap and if they do indeed intend on adding 2.5 mil in the Heatley trade, it affects the Oilers ability to finalize numbers for new contracts. I would hope that the Oilers relative inactivity is not a sign that they were really caught off guard by Heatley and are still formulating a back up plan.

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#17 rick
July 05 2009, 09:58PM
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As for #37 who cares really if he goes not sure its any huge loss. My concern is look at Klowe has left this team with? bad signings worse trades and lets not even go there with not having a farm team for years this guy has really killed this team. Both us and our friends down south are up against the cap who has the better team?? Again not close now Tambo has no room to work with. I Before we worry about #37 leaving or not maybe it's time to make Klowe accountable for the dog droppings he left behind.

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#18 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009, 10:03PM
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@ jt in Oilertown: Except it's not really $250K. Even if that was the number on one year, that's $750,000 over a three-year term. That's still a lot of money in the real world. And if Grebeshkov was thinking he wants $3.5 million over three years and the Oilers were offerin $3.1 million, then you're talking $1.2 million over three years. Again, a lot of money. Whenever we forget the real value of dollars when teams and millionaire players start throwing huge numbers around, I like to put it into working guy terms for clarity. It takes a Joe like you or I 10 years of earning $100,000 a year to make a "mere" $1 million. That's pretty good coin because I can tell you that I can count the hockey writers in this country who make $100,000 a year on one hand. So, even for a guy like Grebeshkov, $750,000 to $1 million over three years is worth fighting for.

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#19 Smokin' Ray
July 05 2009, 10:13PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

So, even for a guy like Grebeshkov, $750,000 to $1 million over three years is worth fighting for.

But is it really? Of course I have never been in that position, but really? To me, anything over a million a season would be freaking awesome.

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#20 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009, 10:14PM
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rick wrote:

As for #37 who cares really if he goes not sure its any huge loss. My concern is look at Klowe has left this team with? bad signings worse trades and lets not even go there with not having a farm team for years this guy has really killed this team. Both us and our friends down south are up against the cap who has the better team?? Again not close now Tambo has no room to work with. I Before we worry about #37 leaving or not maybe it’s time to make Klowe accountable for the dog droppings he left behind.

It doesn't matter? Please. A bit of an overstatement? You sound like some of the drive-by guys who are determined that somehow, someway you're going to get your pound of flesh from Lowe. That's not going to happen. Lowe has been backed off from the point now that he's the president of hockey operations. Lowe made many questionable deals and decisions made during his tenure as GM, no doubt, but what is it that you expect to happen now? Reporter: "Hey Kevin, you really screwed up with Penner." Or, "Hey, why didn't you cough up the extra $100,000 for Smyth?" Or "What the hell were you thinking with Horcoff's contract?" There are legitimate questions about moves he made -- and many if not all of them have been asked, contrary to the selective memories of those who insist he was NEVER taken to task -- but that inquisition is not going to happen now.

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#21 mjsh
July 05 2009, 10:31PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

rick wrote: As for #37 who cares really if he goes not sure its any huge loss. My concern is look at Klowe has left this team with? bad signings worse trades and lets not even go there with not having a farm team for years this guy has really killed this team. Both us and our friends down south are up against the cap who has the better team?? Again not close now Tambo has no room to work with. I Before we worry about #37 leaving or not maybe it’s time to make Klowe accountable for the dog droppings he left behind. It doesn’t matter? Please. A bit of an overstatement? You sound like some of the drive-by guys who are determined that somehow, someway you’re going to get your pound of flesh from Lowe. That’s not going to happen. Lowe has been backed off from the point now that he’s the president of hockey operations. Lowe made many questionable deals and decisions made during his tenure as GM, no doubt, but what is it that you expect to happen now? Reporter: “Hey Kevin, you really screwed up with Penner.” Or, “Hey, why didn’t you cough up the extra $100,000 for Smyth?” Or “What the hell were you thinking with Horcoff’s contract?” There are legitimate questions about moves he made — and many if not all of them have been asked, contrary to the selective memories of those who insist he was NEVER taken to task — but that inquisition is not going to happen now.

Two things, I do not like the drive by guys either. The second thing is that I still believe the Smyth move was the right move. He fits in LA right now because they were a long way from the cap. People complain about Horcoff's contract but I think Smyth's was worse.

Oh, well, lets try for a third. I wonder how Penner's first few years in the league compare to Bertuzzi's in Long Island. If Penner ever gets it, he could be as good as Big Bert ever was.

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#22 Hemmertime
July 05 2009, 10:32PM
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mjsh wrote:

. If Penner ever gets it, he could be as good as Big Bert ever was.

Perhaps bring in Bert for 2.5 to show him?

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#23 Hemmertime
July 05 2009, 10:33PM
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And Brownlee must hate 45% of us, that "Do you want Heatley" poll just keeps climbing. If he does sign expect 10% higher, by start of season 10-15% higher. When he scores his first goal I think 85-90% of us will be on the Heatley bangwagon

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#24 John K
July 05 2009, 10:33PM
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rick wrote:

As for #37 who cares really if he goes not sure its any huge loss. My concern is look at Klowe has left this team with? bad signings worse trades and lets not even go there with not having a farm team for years this guy has really killed this team. Both us and our friends down south are up against the cap who has the better team?? Again not close now Tambo has no room to work with. I Before we worry about #37 leaving or not maybe it’s time to make Klowe accountable for the dog droppings he left behind.

Statistically Grebeshkov ranked among the top ten defenceman in terms of scoring rates, and goals for/goals against rates vs. ice time. We are talking top ten in the league. Of course he didn't play the toughest opposition, but anyone who says 'who cares' should probably watch a bit more Oilers hockey. Subjectively and objectively, I believe he was our second best defenceman behind only Visnovsky.

In terms of the arbitration hearing, this is simply status quo. While some of the players who filed will actually get to arbitration, I do not expect Grebeshkov to be one of them. Unless the Oilers completely flub the deal (and I mean completely), and then decide walk away from the arbitrators number (really its unthinkable) Grebs will be an Oiler for another year.

In addition, he cannot receive an offer sheet from any team now.

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#25 mjsh
July 05 2009, 10:36PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

mjsh wrote: . If Penner ever gets it, he could be as good as Big Bert ever was. Perhaps bring in Bert for 2.5 to show him?

LOL. where would he play? I would sign him for half of that. I think he left most of his game in Vancouver.

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#26 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009, 10:39PM
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@ mjsh: There's lots of room to debate Lowe's moves as GM, but those looking for him to be kicked to the curb now for his mistakes are going to be disappointed. Daryl Katz was well aware of the moves Lowe made as GM and he still opted to bump him sideways and out of the spotlight with the job change rather than move him out. I hated the Penner offer sheet. I've had issues with other moves. Remember how thrilled I was with Dopita? That said, Katz isn't going to wake up any time soon because some fans/bloggers/media types are braying about past mistakes and say, "Gish, I've changed my mind. Kevin, you're fired."

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#27 Tyler
July 05 2009, 10:39PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

There are legitimate questions about moves he made — and many if not all of them have been asked, contrary to the selective memories of those who insist he was NEVER taken to task — but that inquisition is not going to happen now.

I don't want to make this about this topic but I was reading Barnes today, in which he trashes Heatley, and was wondering why I'd never read something of a similar tone about Lowe. It's hard to blame guys who have options who don't want to sign on with the S.S. Capped Out and Kind of Crappy.

As far as the arbitration stuff goes...I'm not as up on the comps as other people are but it seems to me that it's difficult to compare him to Gilbert, given that Gilbert sold a bunch of UFA years to get his $4MM. I'd guess that this ends up settling at a number somewhere in between wherever they're at now.

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#28 Ogden Brother
July 05 2009, 10:41PM
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psycloud wrote:

It’s amazing how Horcoff can come up no matter what the topic. In all fairness, that contract was given at a time when Horcoff was scoring at the same rate as Mats Sundin. In any case, these things get sorted out quite often before they actually go to arbitration. They’ve still got time to get things worked out, and the fortunate thing (if I’m to understand correctly) is that an offer sheet is no longer a possibility.

Haha, just thinking the same thing.

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#29 Ogden Brother
July 05 2009, 10:45PM
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rick wrote:

As for #37 who cares really if he goes not sure its any huge loss. My concern is look at Klowe has left this team with? bad signings worse trades and lets not even go there with not having a farm team for years this guy has really killed this team. Both us and our friends down south are up against the cap who has the better team?? Again not close now Tambo has no room to work with. I Before we worry about #37 leaving or not maybe it’s time to make Klowe accountable for the dog droppings he left behind.

This has to be the most hilarious fan base in the league. Last year at this time everyone was high on the team, looking for a division tittle with basically no moves, now again with basically the same roster it's all doom and gloom.

Get a grip people, the catalysts for this team are all young and on the up swing. To top that off, teams will move drastically up and down in the standing dispite what the majority think. See Boston/Montreal this past year.

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#30 mjsh
July 05 2009, 10:46PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ mjsh: There’s lots of room to debate Lowe’s moves as GM, but those looking for him to be kicked to the curb now for his mistakes are going to be disappointed. Daryl Katz was well aware of the moves Lowe made as GM and he still opted to bump him sideways and out of the spotlight with the job change rather than move him out. I hated the Penner offer sheet. I’ve had issues with other moves. Remember how thrilled I was with Dopita? That said, Katz isn’t going to wake up any time soon because some fans/bloggers/media types are braying about past mistakes and say, “Gish, I’ve changed my mind. Kevin, you’re fired.”

All Gm's make mistakes, and Dopita was a big one. I remember being excited that he was coming. Oh well. I was excited about Vanek as well. I remember reading that he played some hockey in Alberta as a kid and thought he would be a good fit. Still think so. Penner, I am not so optimistic, but I bring up Big Bert to stoke the hope.

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#31 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009, 10:47PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

And Brownlee must hate 45% of us, that “Do you want Heatley” poll just keeps climbing. If he does sign expect 10% higher, by start of season 10-15% higher. When he scores his first goal I think 85-90% of us will be on the Heatley bangwagon

Polls like the one you're talking about don't move me to any stronger emotion than amusement. Like trying to vote a ham-and-egger like Rory Fitzpatrick into the all-star game, polls like the Heatley questions have little do do with common sense.

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#32 Ogden Brother
July 05 2009, 10:53PM
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mjsh wrote:

Robin Brownlee wrote: rick wrote: As for #37 who cares really if he goes not sure its any huge loss. My concern is look at Klowe has left this team with? bad signings worse trades and lets not even go there with not having a farm team for years this guy has really killed this team. Both us and our friends down south are up against the cap who has the better team?? Again not close now Tambo has no room to work with. I Before we worry about #37 leaving or not maybe it’s time to make Klowe accountable for the dog droppings he left behind. It doesn’t matter? Please. A bit of an overstatement? You sound like some of the drive-by guys who are determined that somehow, someway you’re going to get your pound of flesh from Lowe. That’s not going to happen. Lowe has been backed off from the point now that he’s the president of hockey operations. Lowe made many questionable deals and decisions made during his tenure as GM, no doubt, but what is it that you expect to happen now? Reporter: “Hey Kevin, you really screwed up with Penner.” Or, “Hey, why didn’t you cough up the extra $100,000 for Smyth?” Or “What the hell were you thinking with Horcoff’s contract?” There are legitimate questions about moves he made — and many if not all of them have been asked, contrary to the selective memories of those who insist he was NEVER taken to task — but that inquisition is not going to happen now. Two things, I do not like the drive by guys either. The second thing is that I still believe the Smyth move was the right move. He fits in LA right now because they were a long way from the cap. People complain about Horcoff’s contract but I think Smyth’s was worse. Oh, well, lets try for a third. I wonder how Penner’s first few years in the league compare to Bertuzzi’s in Long Island. If Penner ever gets it, he could be as good as Big Bert ever was.

Interesting (but off topic) point about LA. Everyone still thinks they are in this wonderful cap situation:

Cap #'s for the scariest season ever (10/11)

Edmonton: 12 guys for 43 million

Top 6 forwards signed 4

Top 4 dmen signed 3

Starting goalie signed 1

LA: 14 for 41

Top 6 forwards signed 4

Top 4 Dmen signed 2?

Starting goalie signed 0

Are they really in such a great position vs Edmonton?

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#33 Harlie
July 05 2009, 10:53PM
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I wonder what the Wild offered Brodziak and what he'll fetch on arbitration..

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#34 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009, 10:55PM
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Tyler wrote:

I don’t want to make this about this topic but I was reading Barnes today, in which he trashes Heatley, and was wondering why I’d never read something of a similar tone about Lowe.

Your recollection is very selective, then. If you "never" read anything of a similar tone regarding Lowe, then stick with that. I'm not even slightly moved to start digging through my files and those of others (AGAIN) to convince you otherwise.

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#35 Ogden Brother
July 05 2009, 10:56PM
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On topic: Lets just hope it's a 2-3 year deal in the 3 - 3.5 range.

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#36 Robin Brownlee
July 05 2009, 10:59PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

On topic: Lets just hope it’s a 2-3 year deal in the 3 - 3.5 range.

I think $3.5 is a bit rich for Grebeshkov. I'd like to see his cap hit at $3.25 tops.

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#37 Ogden Brother
July 05 2009, 11:00PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: On topic: Lets just hope it’s a 2-3 year deal in the 3 - 3.5 range. I think $3.5 is a bit rich for Grebeshkov. I’d like to see his cap hit at $3.25 tops.

Looks good to me. Get Smid up until his last RFA eligible season for 1.25 and lets get on with the season

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#38 Tyler
July 05 2009, 11:20PM
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Given that Barnes called him "one-dimensional", "selfish" and "high maintenance" and suggested that, if Heatley did end up in Edmonton, "resentful" could be added to his other unfavourable characteristics (this is all just from a two paragraph chunk; there's more), I don't think I'm out of line in suggesting that I've never seen something similar written about Lowe.

Even when critical stuff is written about him, it's tempered with "Well, maybe if you assume this, it's understandable..." He never got a "This looks like a move made by a GM who's out of his depth..." or anything nearly as personal, even when it was richly deserved.

Not saying that I blame you guys - the media lives on access - but the standards of what gets written are obviously different. I didn't hear that Pronger was a huge dick in the room and to the media until after he left town; I assume that that's because at that point, staying on his good side didn't matter.

I still want Heatley to end up an Oiler but I'm kind of hoping that he ends up in Edmonton just to see what kind of relationship he has with the media - seemingly every guy in Edmonton has given him a whipping for his character without giving so much as a nod to the possibility that there might be legitimate, Oiler-related reasons that he doesn't want to be here. Current Oilers, both management and players, get extended a far more generous benefit of the doubt.

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#39 Ogden Brother
July 05 2009, 11:28PM
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Tyler wrote:

Given that Barnes called him “one-dimensional”, “selfish” and “high maintenance” and suggested that, if Heatley did end up in Edmonton, “resentful” could be added to his other unfavourable characteristics (this is all just from a two paragraph chunk; there’s more), I don’t think I’m out of line in suggesting that I’ve never seen something similar written about Lowe. Even when critical stuff is written about him, it’s tempered with “Well, maybe if you assume this, it’s understandable…” He never got a “This looks like a move made by a GM who’s out of his depth…” or anything nearly as personal, even when it was richly deserved. Not saying that I blame you guys - the media lives on access - but the standards of what gets written are obviously different. I didn’t hear that Pronger was a huge dick in the room and to the media until after he left town; I assume that that’s because at that point, staying on his good side didn’t matter. I still want Heatley to end up an Oiler but I’m kind of hoping that he ends up in Edmonton just to see what kind of relationship he has with the media - seemingly every guy in Edmonton has given him a whipping for his character without giving so much as a nod to the possibility that there might be legitimate, Oiler-related reasons that he doesn’t want to be here. Current Oilers, both management and players, get extended a far more generous benefit of the doubt.

Theirs a big difference between taking a risk that may or may not work out vs demanding a trade, listing a team you'll go to and then refusing the trade.

Heatly's character is being questioned (by far more people then Edmonton media) and rightfully so. Why should Lowe's character be questioned?

- A better comparision would be like Heatly cheating at the red line during the SCF... I'm pretty sure you'd see similar critisisms for that as to what you seen Lowe recieve.

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#40 Tyler
July 05 2009, 11:39PM
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@Ogden - In fairness, I've always been consistent on the idea of players demanding trades. I don't have a problem with it. I was disappointed when Pronger decided that he didn't want to be here but if he's got the juice to swing a trade, that's life. People with greater abilities have more options than people with lesser abilities. The world has always worked that way and always will.

As far as the character issue goes, I think that we can all agree that there are plausible, understandable reasons for Heatley not to want to be in Ottawa. He doesn't like his boss. Lots of people switch their jobs because they don't like their boss. It's not necessarily reflective of a character issue. Similarly, there are very plausible reasons not to want to play in Edmonton, mainly the fact that the team has questionable management, hasn't gone anywhere for three years and probably has an (at least partially deserved) lousy reputation with players.

The stories I've seen don't acknowledge this though. I'm not saying that Kevin Lowe's character should be called into dispute - indeed, I've always thought part of his problem as GM is that he's a pretty lousy liar who isn't comfortable with the deception angle of the gig - the guy down south would mislead you about the weather while holding a press conference outside. When Kevin Lowe cocked something up though, the criticism, to the extent that there was any, was stuffed in between the plausible explanations and apologies.

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#41 rickithebear
July 06 2009, 12:00AM
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Mike76 wrote:

I wonder what an arbitrator would have given Horcoff last year. Probably 3 - 4 million. Why won’t they open the vault for this solid d-man? Oh! because there is nothing left. Penner and Horcoff have all the cap space.

Mike you know shit about hockey salaries! The agent would trot out information like horcoff Being one of 9 Centermen to face the tough competition and out scoring them:

That is his comparable group.

Datsyuk 6.8M Malkin 8.7m Zajac rfa contract should be 3.75-4.25m Sedin 6.1M Bolland 3.75M Thorton 7.2M Horcoff 5.5M Crosby 8.7M E. Staal 8.25M

Probably you should edumacate yourself boy!

Grebs was the fourth most productive dmen at even in the league.

One of only 9 Dmen to be top 30 EVPts, top30 PPpts production and below 2.50EVGA.

Not a bad group: Boyle Blake Listrom Rafalski Kuba Markov Green Keith

Give this young man his money!

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#42 Shifty203
July 06 2009, 12:06AM
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I have a fairly simple question. If he is the only rfa to file for arbitration, is it safe to assume the other rfa's are close to deals?

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#43 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 12:26AM
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@ Tyler: Do you work at being so patronizing or does it come naturally to you? "Not saying I blame you guys . . ." Give me a break. We don't need approval or agreement from the Oilers on anything that's written, but that's a tried-and-true hook with you and those with the same tired, broken-record take. We reporters just want to get along to stay on the gravy train. Yup. That's us.

Staying on Pronger's good side? Never gave it a thought. But you know what goes on in the dressing room -- Chris was called on his arrogance face-to-face more than once by me and others -- than we do, right? No, we didn't ever say anything critical of Pronger until after he left town because we're cowards.

And another thing, just because you don't recall something being written doesn't mean it wasn't written. You're flat-out wrong, so get the hell off it. Finally, you don't want to make this about this topic? What a load. That's exactly what you want to do. At least be honest. This is your one trick. It's your button-pusher. It's your cause.

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#44 jeanshorts
July 06 2009, 01:55AM
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A little bit off topic, judging from all the comments that range anywhere from, once again, the Horcoff contract to the media being so and so to Pronger, how incredible would it be if the Canucks had to pay Fatty McWellwood 2 mill plus a year? Why is he going to arbitration? Shouldn't he just be happy he still has a job in the league after what he went through last year?

And also I hope the Grebs thing is only within a few hundy thousand and they come to a middle ground right quick. It would be horrendous to lose a young talent like that.

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#45 brando
July 06 2009, 02:47AM
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@ rick:

how should we make him accountable? if i had to decide between signing a more than capable defensmen, or trying to find a way to hold kLowe accountable, i think our time would be better suited with Grebs

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#46 psycloud
July 06 2009, 07:34AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

...how incredible would it be if the Canucks had to pay Fatty McWellwood 2 mill plus a year? Why is he going to arbitration? Shouldn’t he just be happy he still has a job in the league after what he went through last year?

Well, while his point production wasn't outstanding, he would have been eleventh on our team last season in terms of points (tied with Robert Nilsson and Erik Cole, both of which make over 2 million) [that would be a tie for sixth among forwards, which could logically place him on the Oilers second line], and his 18 goals is tied with Cogliano for third on the team (a tie for second among forwards).

Now, I'm not arguing that he's in shape or anything, nor will I argue what he's worth (because with the way the market changes, it's really hard to say from one year to the next), but those stats certainly don't scream "you should just be happy you're in the league."

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#47 Peter Pan
July 06 2009, 07:44AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ Tyler: Do you work at being so patronizing or does it come naturally to you? “Not saying I blame you guys . . .” Give me a break. We don’t need approval or agreement from the Oilers on anything that’s written, but that’s a tried-and-true hook with you and those with the same tired, broken-record take. We reporters just want to get along to stay on the gravy train. Yup. That’s us. Staying on Pronger’s good side? Never gave it a thought. But you know what goes on in the dressing room — Chris was called on his arrogance face-to-face more than once by me and others — than we do, right? No, we didn’t ever say anything critical of Pronger until after he left town because we’re cowards. And another thing, just because you don’t recall something being written doesn’t mean it wasn’t written. You’re flat-out wrong, so get the hell off it. Finally, you don’t want to make this about this topic? What a load. That’s exactly what you want to do. At least be honest. This is your one trick. It’s your button-pusher. It’s your cause.

Easy Brownlee.

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#48 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 08:10AM
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Peter Pan wrote:

Easy Brownlee

That is easy. Instead of taking a stance as hall monitor, tell me I'm wrong. The item is about Grebeshkov, not Dellow's take on The Failures of the MSM, Edition XXXVII.

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#49 Reagan
July 06 2009, 08:16AM
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Robin, Loved Dopita... LOL :)

Yeah, I have a sneaky feeling that this was going to happen. I'm also betting the Oilers offered a decent amount of money, and player again wants more. The case will probably land the player with less than the original offer.

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#50 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 08:21AM
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@ Reagan: I'm not so sure. Grebeshkov had a very good season if you look beyond the boxcar numbers. Unless we know what the Oilers were offering, and I don't, it's difficult to say he'll come out lower than what was on the table.

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