Stop the presses: no news

Robin Brownlee
August 16 2009 02:20PM

no-news

So, Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini might be considering dipping into his depth on defence to facilitate a trade? Gosh, that had never occurred to me.

I'm not sure about you, but items this week suggesting Tambellini might deal from the back end don't exactly strike me as a revelation. I thought attempting to move one of Lubomir Visnovsky, Sheldon Souray, Tom Gilbert or Denis Grebeshkov was a given, dating back to before the last trade deadline. A no-brainer. Obvious. No?

Apparently there is something new in that. David Staples, in his Cult of Hockey blog over at The Journal:

"There's been a few mentions -- which I would take as strong hints -- from media guys close to the Oilers, such as Dan Tencer and Jim Matheson, that the Oil might be thinking about trading a defenceman... "

Again, not to put too fine a point on it -- or drag out excerpts from this site in recent months pointing out that dealing a defenceman for a first-line left-winger or a proven defensive centre makes sense -- what's new?

Of course trading one of the Big Four is a move that's coming. Gibberish from assistant GM Kevin Prendergast about standing pat notwithstanding, it's not a matter of if but when. And who?

What I'm waiting to see, is who will claim they called this one.

This and that

— All the above, of course, depends on trading money for money. That, as much as all the time that was tied up in the fruitless pursuit of Dany Heatley, is why Tambellini hasn't pulled the trigger on anything yet. The Oilers have too much salary tied up in their top four.

The other complicating factor has been the status of Visnovsky's shoulder. Will he be 100 per cent to start the season? Take Visnovsky out of the mix and it gets dicey dealing away one of the other three until you know exactly when he'll be ready to go.

— If you've been a fan of the Oilers for more than 15 minutes, then you know Matheson telegraphs a lot of trades ahead of time. Part of it is he's plugged in like nobody else when it comes to this team. Occasionally, he'll fly a trial balloon of his own.

So, given the Oilers need for a third-line centre -- competition between Marc Pouliot and Gilbert Brule aside -- what do we make of his multiple mentions of UFA Blair Betts in recent weeks?

I can tell you that Betts is somebody the Oilers are looking at, but my understanding is Tambellini is lukewarm on him. That's not new, either, but for fans thinking Betts might be a good idea, don't hold your breath. Then again, if Betts doesn't get another offer, why not invite him to training camp without a contract for a look-see?

— If Jerry Reinsdorf get the Phoenix Coyotes and Wayne Gretzky gets bumped out in the process -- which sounds automatic if Reinsdorf gets the team -- I wouldn't be surprised to see Craig MacTavish end up in Arizona.

— Players are filing back into town and lot of them will be on the ice this week at Perry Pearn's conditioning camp at K of C Arena.

A fine mess

— Speaking of a look-see, I find it amusing that some fans are screaming about nepotism over the revelation Mark Messier was interviewed for a coaching position. So what? What's the harm.

I've got to admit I was asleep at the switch on this one -- Larry Brooks wrote about it in the New York Post.

I heard Messier's name come up before Pat Quinn and Tom Renney were hired, but I dismissed it. I thought, and wrote here, it was unlikely Messier would end up as a coach with the Oilers. I always had him pegged as going into management. That said, I didn't know he'd actually been interviewed.

-- 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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#101 Faceoff
August 17 2009, 01:35PM
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@ Racki: I like the idea of signing Alex Tanguay to a one year contract to give him some motivation. He's only turning 30 this year so has some good years left. There has to be a team with cap space that could use one of our d-men. In return we get draft picks so there is no salary coming back. That frees up cap space for Tanguay.

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#102 BigE57
August 17 2009, 01:43PM
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@ Faceoff:

Butter soft? Doesn't hit anyone? How many ways can you spell Alex Tanguay?

Seriously though, I doubt the Oilers are clamboring to sign another small forward.

A better option IMO would be to sign Bertuzzi, though I have never been a fan of his, but he would bring size and grit to the top 2 lines and he does know how to put the puck in the net. From a strictly hockey point of view he is the type of player the Oilers need up front and he may even be able to mentor Penner a little bit.

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#103 Racki
August 17 2009, 02:21PM
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I still like the idea of Horton. He'd be a bit of a gamble though as he's expresseed some issues in Florida with not wanting to play (although rumor is it was just because it's a non-hockey town). Also his stats have been on the decline. So that's a concern. But he also lost a key component on his line. But he definitely has the size though. Horton on top line LW and Penner on the 2nd line would definitely make this team bigger in the corners, if the two show they want to play.

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#104 jeff
August 17 2009, 03:16PM
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@ Racki:

Not sure if we could just get picks for Gilbert, but what if we took on 2mil in the deal? Kinda like Toronto had to take Van Ryn in the McCabe deal.

As for Horton. If you grab Horton we need to start moving bodies up front.

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#105 Ogden Brother
August 17 2009, 03:18PM
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jeff wrote:

@ Racki: Not sure if we could just get picks for Gilbert, but what if we took on 2mil in the deal? Kinda like Toronto had to take Van Ryn in the McCabe deal. As for Horton. If you grab Horton we need to start moving bodies up front.

Why on earth would we be trading a 45 point dman for cap space?

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#106 jeff
August 17 2009, 03:27PM
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@ Ogden Brother: He won't be 45 points if the other guys are healthy. We will also need to clear space up for next year. I'd prefer if we were moving him for a defensive d-man, but at some point in the next year one of these offensive d-men have to be moved.

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#107 cableguy
August 17 2009, 03:33PM
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jeff wrote:

He won’t be 45 points if the other guys are healthy

given the past couple seasons, is there any reason to believe the d-core goes through the season with no injuries?

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#108 jeff
August 17 2009, 03:37PM
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cableguy wrote:

jeff wrote: He won’t be 45 points if the other guys are healthy given the past couple seasons, is there any reason to believe the d-core goes through the season with no injuries?

This is true too. Yet another reason we should seriously listen to offers we get for Souray and Lubo.

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#109 Quicksilver ballet
August 17 2009, 03:42PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Quicksilver ballet wrote: I’d add Gilbert or Grebeshkov to that list. You think Gilbert and Grebeshkov have to go? Really?

May i draw your attention to the word seperating those 2 names sir.

Anyone else see a problem with allocating 75% of your cap space to your top 10 skaters (6 forwards and 4 d'men).....the rest of the team consist of utility players or chemistry guys.

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#110 Racki
August 17 2009, 03:43PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

jeff wrote: @ Racki: Not sure if we could just get picks for Gilbert, but what if we took on 2mil in the deal? Kinda like Toronto had to take Van Ryn in the McCabe deal. As for Horton. If you grab Horton we need to start moving bodies up front. Why on earth would we be trading a 45 point dman for cap space?

As the topic is about trading a d-men, I narrowed down the selection a bit because lets face it, if we want anything in return we likely need to free up some cap space. I'm not saying trade Gilbert for picks and call it a day. There would be more after that, one of which SHOULD be a faceoff man which we can acquire through free agency.

The cap issue then limits our choices down to Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Staios, Souray, Visnovsky. I know a lot of people are (oddly) anxious to trade Souray, but I'm not one of them. He outscored everyone but Hemsky. He's one of few players we can rely on. I also think Visnovsky is our best d-man overall. Grebeshkov blossomed last year, and I consider him untradeable. Staios.. well, he's untradeable for another reason, but if a team would pick him and his 2.7 cap hit up, he'd be my first choice. So that leaves Gilbert. I don't consider him as someone I'd be dying to get rid of, but of our top-4, he would be the first to go for me just because his physical play is nearly non-existant. I also assume he's got pretty good trade value.

Again, not anxious to see him go, but of any of our expensive d-men (not named Staios) I'd pick him to go first.

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#111 Ogden Brother
August 17 2009, 03:49PM
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jeff wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: He won’t be 45 points if the other guys are healthy. We will also need to clear space up for next year. I’d prefer if we were moving him for a defensive d-man, but at some point in the next year one of these offensive d-men have to be moved.

We have no idea if we need to clear space or not.

Odds are one of the 4 dmen will spend at least a little time on the DL this year, I'd expect at least 40 missed games by the top 4. Also, Gilbert had 25 points in 50 games that the top 4 was intact (pre-vish injury).

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#112 Ogden Brother
August 17 2009, 03:52PM
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Racki wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: jeff wrote: @ Racki: Not sure if we could just get picks for Gilbert, but what if we took on 2mil in the deal? Kinda like Toronto had to take Van Ryn in the McCabe deal. As for Horton. If you grab Horton we need to start moving bodies up front. Why on earth would we be trading a 45 point dman for cap space? As the topic is about trading a d-men, I narrowed down the selection a bit because lets face it, if we want anything in return we likely need to free up some cap space. I’m not saying trade Gilbert for picks and call it a day. There would be more after that, one of which SHOULD be a faceoff man which we can acquire through free agency. The cap issue then limits our choices down to Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Staios, Souray, Visnovsky. I know a lot of people are (oddly) anxious to trade Souray, but I’m not one of them. He outscored everyone but Hemsky. He’s one of few players we can rely on. I also think Visnovsky is our best d-man overall. Grebeshkov blossomed last year, and I consider him untradeable. Staios.. well, he’s untradeable for another reason, but if a team would pick him and his 2.7 cap hit up, he’d be my first choice. So that leaves Gilbert. I don’t consider him as someone I’d be dying to get rid of, but of our top-4, he would be the first to go for me just because his physical play is nearly non-existant. I also assume he’s got pretty good trade value. Again, not anxious to see him go, but of any of our expensive d-men (not named Staios) I’d pick him to go first.

I'm still not seeing a reason to trade him. Defensmen of his caliber are worth more then a 3rd line center and a DP

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#113 OvenChicken8
August 17 2009, 04:15PM
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@ Racki: The only issue with trading Gilbert is that after him our only right handed shot on the point is Staios. This really makes Gilbert valuable to the Oilers. Now don't get me wrong, he's the most likely candidate out of here imo. But I could see some issues arising if we do ship him out.

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#114 Clarkenstein
August 17 2009, 04:27PM
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BigE57 wrote:

@ Faceoff: Butter soft? Doesn’t hit anyone? How many ways can you spell Alex Tanguay? Seriously though, I doubt the Oilers are clamboring to sign another small forward. A better option IMO would be to sign Bertuzzi, though I have never been a fan of his, but he would bring size and grit to the top 2 lines and he does know how to put the puck in the net. From a strictly hockey point of view he is the type of player the Oilers need up front and he may even be able to mentor Penner a little bit.

What?? Bad penalties game in and game out from our "leaders" Moreau and Staios isn't enough?? You want more from Bertuzzi??

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#115 Archaeologuy
August 17 2009, 05:50PM
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@ Librarian Mike: so far i'm havin a blast, but the novelty WILL wear out eventually

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#116 Racki
August 17 2009, 08:50PM
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OvenChicken8 wrote:

@ Racki: The only issue with trading Gilbert is that after him our only right handed shot on the point is Staios. This really makes Gilbert valuable to the Oilers. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s the most likely candidate out of here imo. But I could see some issues arising if we do ship him out.

Good Point about the right handed shot... often forget about that lil fact (and another reason they should have picked up Boynton and moved one oft he top 4).

Ogden Brother wrote:

I’m still not seeing a reason to trade him. Defensmen of his caliber are worth more then a 3rd line center and a DP

Well, wait a year, and barring a miracle and salary being dropped in other ways you'll likely see a reason to trade one of our top 4 defencemen to free up cash (think Cogs and Gagner, as well as Grebs again). Which would you choose? Each of the top 4 are capable of the same point totals or better. You can say Souray, or Grebs or Visnovsky, but I don't see any of those guys being better options.

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#117 Racki
August 17 2009, 09:02PM
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Actually, I'm going to throw something else out there... Nashville is below the floor right now (38.9M according to NHL Numbers). They also have 5 D-men signed and all of them are in their 20s. Perfect fit for Staios, perhaps?

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#118 Ogden Brother
August 17 2009, 09:33PM
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Racki wrote:

Well, wait a year, and barring a miracle and salary being dropped in other ways you’ll likely see a reason to trade one of our top 4 defencemen to free up cash (think Cogs and Gagner, as well as Grebs again). Which would you choose? Each of the top 4 are capable of the same point totals or better. You can say Souray, or Grebs or Visnovsky, but I don’t see any of those guys being better options.

I'm saying you don't trade a valuable asset for something you can get for free (asset wise) (3rd line C)and a DP (baring a top 15ish pick). If theirs a 25 year old Mike Peca out there, then sure move Gilbert for him.

Thier are multiple ways to minipulate your cap, trading a prove puck mover just entering his prime (one of the few we have) for lesser lights should be down the bottom of the list of ways to do it.

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#119 me
August 17 2009, 10:23PM
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Looks like you were not asleep at the switch as according to your good friend Jim Matheson and Messier himself.

He was not interviewed for the job.

He does admit to having various conversations in the past few years with the Oilers but nothing formal.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=278726&sc=99

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#120 BigE57
August 17 2009, 11:13PM
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@ Clarkenstein:

I said he was a better option than Tanguay for what the Oilers need. Last season Bertuzzi registered 74 pm in 66 games. Figuring he probably fought 3 or 4 times means maybe he had 54 minutes in minor penalties. Not bad for a guy who can play on your top 2 lines and has an edge to his game. I'm not a big fan of his nor did I watch him alot with the Flames last season but he has attributes that the Oilers could use and if they can't find someone through the trade market than this could be an option.

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#121 Robin Brownlee
August 18 2009, 07:47AM
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"I heard Messier’s name come up before Pat Quinn and Tom Renney were hired, but I dismissed it. I thought, and wrote here, it was unlikely Messier would end up as a coach with the Oilers. I always had him pegged as going into management. That said, I didn’t know he’d actuallly been interviewed."

From Matheson today: While Messier, who captained the Oilers to their last Stanley Cup victory in 1990, had dialogue with buddy Kevin Lowe, the Oilers president, he denied a report in the New York Post on Sunday that said he had ever interviewed for the Oilers’ coaching job after head coach Craig MacTavish was let go in April. “That’s not necessarily true,” said Messier. “I talked to Kevin about working in the Oilers organization in some regard ... not just this summer, but for the last few years. We never really talked about the coaching, per se. We explored every possibility.”

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#122 jeff
August 18 2009, 07:58AM
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@ Ogden Brother: Why not trade Gilbert for high end picks/prospects and sign the C and defensive d-man.

I know you say not to trade just for cap space, but because we had none this year we weren't able to do anything to upgrade the team.

It might be a bad idea, but it could be a good idea.

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#123 Ogden Brother
August 18 2009, 08:03AM
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jeff wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Why not trade Gilbert for high end picks/prospects and sign the C and defensive d-man. I know you say not to trade just for cap space, but because we had none this year we weren’t able to do anything to upgrade the team. It might be a bad idea, but it could be a good idea.

We had plenty of cap space this past season, trades rarely happen until the trade deadline when your space is pro-rated, we had room to add almost anyone in the league last year.

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#124 jeff
August 18 2009, 08:26AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

jeff wrote: @ Ogden Brother: Why not trade Gilbert for high end picks/prospects and sign the C and defensive d-man. I know you say not to trade just for cap space, but because we had none this year we weren’t able to do anything to upgrade the team. It might be a bad idea, but it could be a good idea. We had plenty of cap space this past season, trades rarely happen until the trade deadline when your space is pro-rated, we had room to add almost anyone in the league last year.

I was kinda talking about this off-season. One of the reasons we never signed anyone was because we don't have the funds.

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#125 Ogden Brother
August 18 2009, 08:40AM
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jeff wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: jeff wrote: @ Ogden Brother: Why not trade Gilbert for high end picks/prospects and sign the C and defensive d-man. I know you say not to trade just for cap space, but because we had none this year we weren’t able to do anything to upgrade the team. It might be a bad idea, but it could be a good idea. We had plenty of cap space this past season, trades rarely happen until the trade deadline when your space is pro-rated, we had room to add almost anyone in the league last year. I was kinda talking about this off-season. One of the reasons we never signed anyone was because we don’t have the funds.

Is that Tambs trying to wait out the FA market, or is he not willing to lose MAP/Nilsson for something better??

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#126 jeff
August 18 2009, 09:10AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

jeff wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: jeff wrote: @ Ogden Brother: Why not trade Gilbert for high end picks/prospects and sign the C and defensive d-man. I know you say not to trade just for cap space, but because we had none this year we weren’t able to do anything to upgrade the team. It might be a bad idea, but it could be a good idea. We had plenty of cap space this past season, trades rarely happen until the trade deadline when your space is pro-rated, we had room to add almost anyone in the league last year. I was kinda talking about this off-season. One of the reasons we never signed anyone was because we don’t have the funds. Is that Tambs trying to wait out the FA market, or is he not willing to lose MAP/Nilsson for something better??

Not sure really.

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#127 David S
August 18 2009, 04:32PM
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Clarkenstein wrote:

You want more from Bertuzzi??

Apparently Detroit was OK with him.

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#128 Racki
August 18 2009, 06:15PM
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@ David S:

Yah and at $1.5M, I can't say I blame them.

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