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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#1 oil fan
August 16 2009, 02:24PM
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good read

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#2 Chris
August 16 2009, 02:25PM
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No news is good news...

No wait; I always thought that saying was stupid.

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#3 oil fan
August 16 2009, 02:32PM
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I would like it if Staios was traded to drop salary. Do you think we would get any buyers ? I think we would have to package Pouliot in the trade to get a prospect of picks. I'm still not sold on the fact the Oilers are out of the Heatly trades. The lack of trades and signing tells me 1- Tambo likes the team we have 2- Tambo has a couple more trades in the making

I like the team no matter who we have or get. If they do trade a d-man I hope its not Souray. Gilbert is a good young d-man and maybe able to attract some trades.

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#4 oil fan
August 16 2009, 02:43PM
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Robin who do you think the Oil will trade ? if they were to trade. Also what about the goaltenders, any possibility of a trade? I really dont see how a team can trade a top 4 d-man for a checking line center. We already have Horcoff lol.

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#5 bingofuel
August 16 2009, 02:48PM
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Guys, you have no way of knowing this, but I hate when people's only comment is the order in which they commented.

Don't post "first," or "second," or whatever. We can all see the order in which you commented.

Try instead to add to the conversation.

KTHXBAI

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#6 humantorch
August 16 2009, 02:56PM
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sixth!

oil fan wrote:

The lack of trades and signing tells me 1- Tambo likes the team we have 2- Tambo has a couple more trades in the making

God help us all if door #1 is the answer. If so, hello missed playoffs once again.

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#7 Cam
August 16 2009, 03:15PM
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I hope that no deal involves Visnovsky. I would rather them trade Souray, though a healthy Souray is a force I don't want to part with either.

Sad part is I don't want to part with any of the top four. Grebs actually played gritty and offensive and just lpain stellar last year at times. And Gilbert is so cool under pressure and moves the puck so well that I don't want to see his back either.

Having said all that, I believe the best return would come from Souray, and he is at his highest trade value right now, and he has been injury prone, so if they are going to move anyone I hope it is he.

Souray for Brown out of LA would be a great move if LA was willing.

Or if they move anyone to NYI for a first round draft pick that would be a real good one to make.

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#8 Librarian Mike
August 16 2009, 03:19PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

The thing with Messier is that even if he became the coach here (god forbid), I just can't see him living here again. I love Edmonton to death, but there's no way he goes from New York to here as a coach.

Then again, this is the 21st century so maybe they could set up a laptop at the bench and he could teleconference in like Barry Fraser used to do on draft day. ;)

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#9 David S
August 16 2009, 03:23PM
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"competition between Marc Pouliot and Gilbert Brule aside"

Ha Ha! I could not agree with this statement more. I know things are slow around this time of year, but the amount of comments talking about dubious prospects, EA Sports fantasy trades and Oilers "who cares" guys has been astounding. I'm stuck with a 'puter that doesn't have speakers for the next few days so I can't check out Gregor's latest podcasts, but his Sean Horcoff interview and Jonathan's article on the state of Visnovsky's shoulder would seem to be more important than wondering endlessly about fringe players like Schremp who matter jack in the large scheme of things.

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#10 Harlie
August 16 2009, 03:24PM
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insane Bolt beats Gay on his way to new world record.

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#11 OvenChicken8
August 16 2009, 03:28PM
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oil fan wrote:

Robin who do you think the Oil will trade ? if they were to trade.

The one that makes the most sense is Gilbert. Unless we are trading with someone in Cali, then Souray would be our best bet, imo.

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#12 Librarian Mike
August 16 2009, 03:30PM
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Harlie wrote:

insane Bolt beats Gay on his way to new world record.

I really hope for the sake of that sport that Bolt isn't juiced. Amazing run.

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#13 jeanshorts
August 16 2009, 03:30PM
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So, are people still holding out for Heatly, or......

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#14 viss.99
August 16 2009, 03:31PM
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Tambellini should of had a plan B while the Heatley saga was playing out.

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#15 Andrew W
August 16 2009, 03:34PM
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@ David S: David S wrote:

"I’m stuck with a ‘puter that doesn’t have speakers"

Speakers, eh? Maybe this is why my "puter" doesn't cooperate. I'm not sure how listening to tunes or old Oilers' games would help me on the greens, though.

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#16 oil fan
August 16 2009, 03:34PM
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Judging by Horcoffs play last year after his shoulder surgery. I hope Vish doesnt have the same result. As for Souray he too has have injury problems and brings a aspect to the game that the rest of the d-man dont.

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#17 Robin Brownlee
August 16 2009, 03:36PM
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UPDATE: As per the mention of Perry Pearn's conditioning camp . . . Just had a chat with Mike Comrie over at his brother Paul's house and he's skating at K of C. Sessions start Monday, so we'll be able to get some actual words from players in the upcoming days. Mike's a UFA and biding his time (he won't be coming back here), so maybe I'll pick his brain this week.

Librarian Mike wrote:

Then again, this is the 21st century so maybe they could set up a laptop at the bench and he could teleconference in like Barry Fraser used to do on draft day.

I've been covering the Oilers from an abandoned mansion in the hills above Scottsdale for almost two years now. Winter? I think not. Heading south in a month.

oil fan wrote:

I really dont see how a team can trade a top 4 d-man for a checking line center. We already have Horcoff lol.

There's checking line centres and then there's checking line centres who win face-offs, kill penalties and chip in 12-18 goals a season. Don't underestimate the value of a veteran, proven third-line player.

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#18 oil fan
August 16 2009, 03:40PM
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what are you talking about @ jeanshorts:

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#19 mike smith
August 16 2009, 03:41PM
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I tend to agree.....it seems that Staios is the "odd man out" for the Oil. I think there could be a market for him...someone seeking veteran presence and leadership on the defense. And, at 2.7 million, he could be the salary dump we need to get a third line centre....(Malhotra) I strongly feel that Tambi should keep the rest of the defensive core together. It matches or betters any other teams top four.@ oil fan:

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#20 oil fan
August 16 2009, 03:54PM
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Robin do you feel Malhorta can pitch in 15 to 20 goals playing that role ? What about Marcel Goc or Dominic Moore ? I think dropping Staios or Nilson would get us the cap space needed.

I like Nilsons skating and shot just need to see him show some effort. As for Staios I think his best years are well behind him. I will say it will be hard to get a d man hat blocks shots and plays net LOL.

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#21 Robin Brownlee
August 16 2009, 03:56PM
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mike smith wrote:

I tend to agree…..it seems that Staios is the “odd man out” for the Oil. I think there could be a market for him…someone seeking veteran presence and leadership on the defense. And, at 2.7 million, he could be the salary dump we need to get a third line centre….(Malhotra) I strongly feel that Tambi should keep the rest of the defensive core together. It matches or betters any other teams top four.@ oil fan:

With Staios, he'll need a specific fit. While any one of the Oilers top four would fit in the top four of any team I can think of, that's not the case with Staios. He'll need a team that is either thin in the top four or a team that can justify spending $2.7 million on a third-pairing guy. It's not huge money, but it's pricey for a 5-6th defenceman. And, of course, that team will have to have something the Oilers want and need.

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#22 oil fan
August 16 2009, 04:14PM
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What is the process with buying players out ? Does it go against the cap?

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#23 LowOnOil
August 16 2009, 04:15PM
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RB, I have to agree with you that I've heard mumblings of this nature for months now which were only interrupted by the failed Heatley trade--as many of us are painfully aware.

Are all Betts off on Betts? I am not quite sure, but it certainly seems that there's a fire sale on UFA's going on right now.

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#24 Ulanov
August 16 2009, 05:10PM
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oil fan wrote:

What is the process with buying players out ? Does it go against the cap?

The buyout period was June 15-30 (unless a team has a player that took them to arbitration, but that window has now closed too), and yes buyouts count against the cap (2/3 of the salary X twice the length of the remaining contract). Staios would be much easier to trade if he only had 1 year remaining on his deal instead of 2. With next years cap uncertainty, few if any teams are interested in having a contract for a player of his calibre on the books. Especially when there free agents of his calibre that can be had for less money on a one year deal.

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#25 oilFan
August 16 2009, 05:14PM
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Thanks Ulanov

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#26 Andrew W
August 16 2009, 05:37PM
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@ oilFan:

I think their best chance to trade him will be at the deadline this season. It's harder to pick up players then, and if there's a team that's fighting for a playoff spot with an injury or two and cap space on the back end they might take him on. St. Louis or Columbus come to mind, especially the latter with the Howson connection. For the past couple of years Staios has played better down the stretch, too, and this could be a good selling point.

As much as his effort and grit are inspiring to watch, moving his contract would help the cap situation immensely. My intuition is that it's too hefty to move and that he'll play it out with the Oilers, though.

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#27 oil fan
August 16 2009, 05:43PM
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Even if the Oilers are in a playoff spot. I think they should trade him if possible.

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#28 Librarian Mike
August 16 2009, 05:47PM
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Staios has been a great Oiler, and by all accounts is a really nice guy. That said, there really isn't much of a place for him. It's time to trade him or for him to start working at Mr. Plywood.

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#29 Jodan
August 16 2009, 05:49PM
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Does anybody else feel like Staios is becoming more and more of a defensive liability every game? I really hope the Oil move him before camp. I just don't think that I could handle another year of Staios on the team.

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#30 Jodan
August 16 2009, 05:50PM
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Even if we waive him.

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#31 Ulanov
August 16 2009, 05:52PM
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As far as trading one of our top d-men goes, it is most likely that Souray is the one being shopped. Truth be told, by the time the likes of Gagner, Cogliano, Smid, and Grebeskov etc. really come into their own to the point where the Oilers can truly become contenders, Souray will be done here anyways. The fact that he has been here for three years now and his family still hasn't moved here from L.A. is telling - as is the for sale sign on his front lawn. Nobody should be surprised if he has already played his last game as an Oiler. Coming off a rare healthy season, his trade value may never be higher either.

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#32 Jodan
August 16 2009, 06:08PM
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Personally I really like Souray and what he brings to the team. I love the shot and grit and dedication. He has been professional the whole time he has been here, even though he has faced some adversity, and really you can't ask for much more. However, I really think that Souray would be the best option, based on skill and salary, to bring in a piece that would really benefit the team. I doubt he would be enough to get Brown out of L.A. though.

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#33 Robin Brownlee
August 16 2009, 06:11PM
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Ulanov wrote:

As far as trading one of our top d-men goes, it is most likely that Souray is the one being shopped. Truth be told, by the time the likes of Gagner, Cogliano, Smid, and Grebeskov etc. really come into their own to the point where the Oilers can truly become contenders, Souray will be done here anyways. The fact that he has been here for three years now and his family still hasn’t moved here from L.A. is telling - as is the for sale sign on his front lawn. Nobody should be surprised if he has already played his last game as an Oiler. Coming off a rare healthy season, his trade value may never be higher either.

You're trying to come off as something of an authority here but you're not. -- Based on your premise of Souray "being done" by the time younger players develop, Visnovsky is just as much of a candidate, no? More, if you consider he's older. -- Souray has been here for two seasons, not three, and him selling his house has nothing to do with anything. Neither does his "family" not moving here from Los Angeles -- he and his wife are divorced. -- Finally, when somebody asks me a question, don't feel the need to jump in and answer it for me.

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#34 Ogden Brother
August 16 2009, 06:12PM
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Jodan wrote:

Does anybody else feel like Staios is becoming more and more of a defensive liability every game? I really hope the Oil move him before camp. I just don’t think that I could handle another year of Staios on the team.

I think we'd have the same "sellers remorse" that we did with Reasoner if Staios is ditched (and not properly replaced)

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#35 oil fan
August 16 2009, 06:13PM
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Vish hasnt sold me on his 7 million dollar contract too. I say if they have to trade souray or Vish. Vish goes, coming off a injury. Souray had a rare season with out injury, making it possible to have another. Souray should be our captian. Moreau should be on the fourth line no place for a captain.IMO

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#36 99thoilerfan
August 16 2009, 06:16PM
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Robin,

Do you think a trade, would come before any free agent signing? Is there still a real chance of a trade now, or later in the year, like at the 20/40/60 game marks?

Cheers!

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#37 typol99
August 16 2009, 06:21PM
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Im sorry 2 say to all the oil faithful, but its not a big seceret.. if we do not get another reliable pk specialist and centerman we are not going to be in the top 8 in the west.. habby aint gonna stop them all and r d-men cant be the second line like last year.. c'mon tambo make a move buddy i no u tried with heater but just please sign a top six forward, centerman pk specialist...if not..its gonna be another long year

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#38 Jodan
August 16 2009, 06:22PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Jodan wrote: Does anybody else feel like Staios is becoming more and more of a defensive liability every game? I really hope the Oil move him before camp. I just don’t think that I could handle another year of Staios on the team. I think we’d have the same “sellers remorse” that we did with Reasoner if Staios is ditched (and not properly replaced)

I have an extra pylon I could lend the Oilers if they move him. ;)

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#39 typol99
August 16 2009, 06:28PM
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Staios is a gritty guy, team grit of u will.. he is not a defensive liability because with what he lacs defensivly he makes up for in his strong positional play(blocking shots, taking bodies , being in the right defensive position) sorry 2 say but u dont anylize our team correctly nor do u no what ur talking about..Jodan wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Jodan wrote: Does anybody else feel like Staios is becoming more and more of a defensive liability every game? I really hope the Oil move him before camp. I just don’t think that I could handle another year of Staios on the team. I think we’d have the same “sellers remorse” that we did with Reasoner if Staios is ditched (and not properly replaced) I have an extra pylon I could lend the Oilers if they move him.
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#40 oil fan
August 16 2009, 06:29PM
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Is that suggesting that no team will take on a contract like his with out sending salary back ? If so it makes sense. Robin I have been working on the road and cant pick up 1260. I understand your on Gregors show on Thursdays. Are you able to listen online ? @ Robin Brownlee:

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#41 Morgan
August 16 2009, 06:34PM
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@ oil fan: So in all your wisdom your saying either Tambo makes a trade or he does not make a trade? How very astute of you. What else is left. Announcing a trade. Naming all the players to be traded then having the trade fall apart. Oppppps he already did that this summer

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#42 oil fan
August 16 2009, 06:37PM
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How can you say Staios is not a defensive liability ? Did you watch any games last year ? He was horrible at getting puck out of the defensive end ( only thing he did was dump the puck off the high glass ), unable to make a outlet pass. BLOCKING SHOTS! He blocked Rolli's view or ran over Rolli every chance he got.The Pylon would be better at one on one, he got burnt almost every time. He does have heart and will, but its not enough to take ice time away from better d-man. As I was told before you cant under estimate vet leadership. Staios is not a leader. I never could understand why the Oilers gave Moreau the captian C and Staios an A. I have always thought your captain and assistants have to play key moments in the game. I shake my head when both those players are on. @ typol99:

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#43 DangerMan
August 16 2009, 06:41PM
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I've been pondering this deal for a bit, but how about

Tom Gilbert and Marc Pouliot

to Buf for

Drew Stafford and Paul Gaustad

Cap hits would be close to even and it addresses a lot of needs for both teams.

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#44 typol99
August 16 2009, 06:41PM
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i agree with not taking icetime away and he can t thread the needle or anything but our forwards didnt help him out either.. i think your being to hard on him..but none the less i could part with stevie and not lose sleep@ oil fan

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#45 oil fan
August 16 2009, 06:42PM
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What makes you think Tambo had anything to do with the names being in the media ? I think it was obvious by listening to Tambo's interview, he is aware of the third line situation. @ Morgan:

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#46 typol99
August 16 2009, 06:44PM
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i think ethan is strait up brutal man...he will be gone or stripped of the c soon enough.. souray diserves it for sure...moreau is the worst captain since ron chipperfield@ oil fan:

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#47 Robin Brownlee
August 16 2009, 06:49PM
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99thoilerfan wrote:

Robin, Do you think a trade, would come before any free agent signing? Is there still a real chance of a trade now, or later in the year, like at the 20/40/60 game marks? Cheers!

A trade is far more likely. The Oilers have right around $1 million left before they're at the cap, so they won't want to take on salary without giving some up. I suspect Tambellini will do everything he can to make a move by the start of the season -- he knows what the needs are and he knows who he is willing to give up.

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#48 99thoilerfan
August 16 2009, 06:55PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: Thanks for your thoughts. I have read some items, suggesting a 20 game window, where some of the boys can impress the new coaching staff.. or try to anyways..

I was also thinking as the oil are heavy on D, that say 20 games in, a trading club may offer a deal to grab one of the boys, as they see their own short comings in there D...

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#49 Robin Brownlee
August 16 2009, 06:57PM
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DangerMan wrote:

I’ve been pondering this deal for a bit, but how about Tom Gilbert and Marc Pouliot to Buf for Drew Stafford and Paul Gaustad Cap hits would be close to even and it addresses a lot of needs for both teams.

I don't like Gaustad as much as David Steckel, but he's a big body who can fill some of the Oilers needs. The keeper is Stafford, who the Oilers wanted to draft. Tambellini is going to need lots of lube and a dozen roses if wants Darcy Regier to consider this one.

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#50 typol99
August 16 2009, 06:58PM
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were not moving tommy gee, lubo, shelly or garbagekov(i dont call him thay anymore cause he is acually pretty good)@ 99thoilerfan:

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