The guessing game: what's the big hurry?

Robin Brownlee
September 21 2009 03:56PM

riddle-me-that

I don't know about you, but for me nothing says, "I'm a dork" like the mindless tool who opens the comments section on an item thread by posting, "First!"

First, apparently, is best, even if the person has jack-poop to contribute in terms of insight or comment. It's only right, then, that we scold, tsk tsk and otherwise demean those who insist on jumping the gun in the name of, well, jumping the gun.

I've got to admit, I find a rush to judgment on the Edmonton Oilers roster almost as grating when framed in the context of the "clean slate" coach Pat Quinn is supposed to be working with this pre-season. We've had a couple of examples of it already here at OilersNation.

Today, with three pre-season games left to play and almost two weeks to go before the Oilers open the season Oct. 3 against the Calgary Flames, we've got Jason Gregor and Ryan Rishaug offering their takes on what the roster will look like.

As premature as their clairvoyance is, they're a week late compared to Jonathan Willis, who laid everything out for Quinn and his coaching staff Sept. 17 after the Oilers had played two pre-season games. Two.

Given how cut-and-dried the decisions apparently are, I'm surprised Quinn didn't waive the end of camp to focus on whipping the 2009-10 edition into shape by putting his final line combinations through their paces instead of wasting time keeping extra bodies around. Then again, no.

What's the big hurry?

Getting it right

I'm not necessarily taking issue with the guesstimates offered up by Willis, Rishaug and Gregor because most of the names they've tossed out for the 23-man roster are safe picks based on common sense, experience and, maybe most importantly, contracts.

That said, given that media types have been among the first to piss and moan in the past when it was perceived Craig MacTavish and his staff had their team pretty much picked regardless of what transpired at camp and in pre-season, I want to see this clean slate concept through. I want to see the process of picking the team play out.

I want to take all eight pre-season games, and maybe as many as nine games during the regular season, to see if Jordan Eberle deserves a roster spot -- burning a year of his contract or making tough calls on veterans like Fernando Pisani and Robert Nilsson be damned.

I want to know where Mike Comrie fits. It's obvious he'll make the team. It's not so obvious, at least to me, where he'll fit, although alongside Patrick O'Sullivan seems a good guess right now. Let's take three more games and the days we have at hand to find out, shall we?

I want to see if Rob Schremp can show enough to stick around before he hits the waiver wire and gets claimed. I want a full look, even if I suspect it's the last look.

You, no doubt, have put together your own line-up already. At least you've got an idea of how it's shaping up. If you're like me, though, there's still a handful of personnel decisions up in the air.

Gilbert Brule or Marc Pouliot? Dustin Penner with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky? Can Quinn keep Zack Stortini, JF Jacques and Steve MacIntyre? That's what the next three games are for. It's the process.

Seeing it through

The only thing I want as much as seeing the process played out is for Quinn and his staff to pick the best team based, within reason, on what they've seen -- not on contracts or waivers. The "within reason" caveat applies to Hemsky. Let's face it, he hasn't done much.

If Eberle shows he's ready to play (against real NHLers), like Sam Gagner did a couple of camps ago, then he stays. Same with Schremp. Same with whoever is rattling around in Quinn's head right now.

Even with eight more assignments today to bring the roster to 34, the tough calls, the decisions that will really shape the team, have yet to be made.

Those decisions, it says here, will take three more games and several more days to assess who has done what and where they fit -- if Quinn is really serious about filling that clean slate of his and getting it right. I trust that's the case, regardless of the me-first contingent.

The other way, as we've seen time and again, doesn't work so well.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and 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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#201 jeff84
September 22 2009, 11:59AM
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@ RossCreek: I don't think anyone will, one thing to watch though is Chicago now has Burrish out and they could be looking for 4th line center. Now I'm not saying Pouilot or Brule will get picked up, but the injuries have started so maybe the odds go up now?

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#202 smiliegirl15
September 22 2009, 12:05PM
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Q: How long does it take for a player to clear waivers? A: It depends on the day of the week that waivers is requested.

The above is from http://www.nhlscap.com/waivers.htm

Can anyone actually provide an answer for this? I did a google search but most of the links are blocked (working sucks sometimes).

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#203 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 12:26PM
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@ jeff84: Brule would get picked up, Potulny, not so much.

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#204 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 12:26PM
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@ jeff84: And yes, injuries could play a factor.

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#205 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 12:28PM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

How long does it take for a player to clear waivers?

I do believe its either 24 or 48 hours.

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#206 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 12:35PM
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Here's something I found at the link provied by smiliegirl15: Players designated for a conditioning assignment are not subject to waivers, regardless of their waiver status; such assignments may not be longer than fourteen (14) days.

So, is it possible that the Oil may buy themselves 2 weeks, especially if they do in fact consider keeping Eberle around for 9 games. WHY NOT? Could the phrase "Bobby Nilsson has been assigned to Springfield on a 2 week conditioning stint" be considered as a way of not only buying time before a waiver decision is made, it could also buy time to work out a trade, or buy time to give Eberle his shot at the regular season without actually risking losing yet another player on waivers. If Eberle makes the most of things and proves he belongs, then you can waive Nilsson at that time. If it becomes clear that he needs another year of junior, then you've got Nilsson, who has been playing in the minors for 2 weeks coming back with one FINAL chance to prove something.

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#207 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 12:43PM
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@ jeff84: Also I like the cool new name.

LOL

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#208 jeff84
September 22 2009, 12:50PM
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@ RossCreek: I don't think he could be sent on a conditioning stint this early in the year. If he were injuried then maybe, but I just don't think you can do that yet.

And waivers are 24 hours.

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#209 The Menace
September 22 2009, 12:57PM
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@ jeff84: I'm loving the new (improved?) jeff84. Much more distinctive than plain old Jeff.

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#210 The Menace
September 22 2009, 12:58PM
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@ The Menace: no offense to plain old Jeff.

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#211 jeff84
September 22 2009, 01:03PM
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@ The Menace: jeff. Jeff is a different guy all together.

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#212 The Menace
September 22 2009, 01:06PM
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jeff84 wrote:

@ The Menace: jeff. Jeff is a different guy all together.

I think I did mean Jeff. jeff was you, right?

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#213 jeff84
September 22 2009, 01:09PM
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@ The Menace: yep

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#214 Jeff
September 22 2009, 01:28PM
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@The Menace

none taken lol

This conversation has derailed a bit.

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#215 Fish
September 22 2009, 01:31PM
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Jeff wrote:

This conversation has derailed a bit.

Amen.

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#216 The Towel Boy
September 22 2009, 02:03PM
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Wow, the last 5 or 6 posts read something like that "Who's on first" comedy bit.

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#217 Matt Hanson
September 22 2009, 02:03PM
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if Schremp doesn't make it on this team this year? Is he gone? or will he stay?

Also I was wrong about Comrie, I think he will actually do well with the Oilers.

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#218 Jeff
September 22 2009, 02:20PM
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What do you mean gone?? If he doesn't make the team he will be sent down which means he has to be put on waivers. If no one claims him than he's off the Springfield.

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#219 David S
September 22 2009, 02:45PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Wow, the last 5 or 6 posts read something like that “Who’s on first” comedy bit.

Imagine if we had member post counts and avatars. These guys would be "NHL veteran" status in a month.

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#220 Ender the Dragon
September 22 2009, 03:51PM
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David S wrote:

Imagine if we had member post counts and avatars.

Oooooh, ooooooh! Avatars! Wanye, are you paying attention? This man has something you should listen to here. New site? Redesign and all? Definitely avatars.

Regarding post count, couldn't care less. Some people will always be morons, and the number of times they've demonstrated it doesn't really matter much to me. Similarly, I don't need to see '7146 posts' next to someone's name to make me believe they're smart; they just need to say something smart.

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#221 Robin Brownlee
September 22 2009, 04:15PM
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David S wrote:

Imagine if we had member post counts and avatars. These guys would be “NHL veteran” status in a month.

Can we have finger paints, chocolate milk and a nap time, too?

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#222 bingofuel
September 22 2009, 04:19PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: @ David S:

Nap time was hours ago. And RossCreek stole my chocolate milk.

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#223 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 04:23PM
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@ Robin. Does my waiver theory earlier (206) hold up in your eyes? Could you assign one of the players that has to clear waivers on a conditioning stint to start the season to buy 2 more weeks to take a longer look at somebody (Eberle)?

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#224 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 04:26PM
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I would never, EVER steal Sir bingofuel's chocolate milk!

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#225 Shapeman
September 22 2009, 04:29PM
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@ Dallas: OH OH spelling error im not teh only one IM NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!!

*keeps telling himself hes not insane when clearly he is*

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#226 bingofuel
September 22 2009, 04:29PM
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@ RossCreek:

Then it was probably one of the dozen or so Ogden Brothers...

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#227 Shapeman
September 22 2009, 04:30PM
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@ RossCreek: oh but i would

*wipes off the choclate milk mustache then realizes that its his own mustache*

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#228 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 22 2009, 04:32PM
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@ bingofuel: Not a fan of choclate milk must be the other one.

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#229 Ogden Brother
September 22 2009, 04:39PM
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bingofuel wrote:

@ RossCreek: Then it was probably one of the dozen or so Ogden Brothers…

Mother and Father were very fertile.

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#230 The Menace
September 22 2009, 05:11PM
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David S wrote:

Imagine if we had member post counts and avatars. These guys would be “NHL veteran” status in a month.

Avatars might solve the age old jeff vs. Jeff. vs. jeff84 vs. Ogden Brother Jr. confusion.

As for post count, I whole-heartedly agree with Ender; Posting frequently doesn't make you any smarter.

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#231 David S
September 22 2009, 05:26PM
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The Menace wrote:

s for post count, I whole-heartedly agree with Ender; Posting frequently doesn’t make you any smarter.

I hear you there. On some of the car forums I follow, it gets to the point where guys are throwing up crap just to fatten up their post counts.

Hey - I'd be just fine with nothing more than an edit function. That and archived Brownlee "Irritants" audio clips (those are just plain funny).

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#232 David S
September 22 2009, 05:27PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Can we have finger paints, chocolate milk and a nap time, too?

Yeah. Probably had that one coming.

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#233 Matt Hanson
September 22 2009, 06:03PM
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i should have phrased that better, what I meant is that if Shremp doesn't make it with the Oilers, then do you think another team will pick him up, through something like a minor trade, or waivers etc, because it would obviously show that Shremp's time is up with the club

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#234 Hemmertime
September 22 2009, 06:08PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: Over the last 6-8 months you have become ornery. If you werent Robing F*cking Brownlee and wrote for the paper all those years your demeanor and bullying of commentators probably wouldn't be so generally accepted. Starting to turn into the Internet Tough Guy persona, which most 13-15 year old boys adopt when they start on the internet. I am hoping your internet pubescence doesn't take two years. Unless you'd really call people out so rudely in person... which I somehow doubt.

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#235 Travis Dakin
September 22 2009, 06:28PM
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@ Hemmertime: Suck it up princess.

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#236 Robin Brownlee
September 22 2009, 06:47PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Unless you’d really call people out so rudely in person… which I somehow doubt.

I don't know if you're joking or not, but I've never had much patience for smart-ass remarks directed my way, and I'm not going to apologize for that. Bullying? No. I just don't any crap -- especially in person, contrary to your assumption. I'm a LOT less patient eye-to-eye IF somebody starts talking sh*t to me. That seldom happens. Believe that.

You want to talk hockey, I'll talk hockey. You want to have some laughs, I'm for that. You want to disagree and make a reasoned counter-point, I'll listen. Look it up, right here in comments on this item.

But if you come here with the hack/lost-your-job/Lowe-ass-kisser/you're-an-idiot/you-don't-know-sh*t approach or generally try to antagonize me, you get what you get. Again, you can look it up, right here in comments on this item.

As for "calling people out" here, well, that's not exactly daunting. I spent my newspaper career doing exactly that, signing my name to it and then showing up at the rink the next day to see if anybody had a problem with it. I've been mocked here for pointing that out, but it's damn sure easier to talk big and hurl insults here than it is to carve somebody at an MSM outlet and then go look them in the eye.

Internet tough guy? You've got it backwards. I'm way more of a handful in person than I am here.

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#237 David S
September 22 2009, 07:27PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Unless you’d really call people out so rudely in person… which I somehow doubt.

No more I suspect than any of us treats the haters, idiots and loons we run across. Only difference is that online its multiplied by a factor of 10.

BTW - just catching the Pens-Leafs game on TSN. Must be nice when you're not interviewing 20 or so rubbydubs. Pretty intense game for-pre season.

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#238 Shapeman
September 22 2009, 07:28PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: or ur gonna have to get out the walker and hobble over to his house to open up a can of woop ass =D

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#239 BarryS
September 22 2009, 07:41PM
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I thought the purpose of this site was to take shots at various players, executives, refs, and not each other.

*Sighs heavily, staggers outside, fires up the trusty old ugly green ‘50 Studebaker Champion, roars off into the night in a cloud of blue smoke and rust dust.*

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#240 Shapeman
September 22 2009, 07:56PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: that is if he doesnt slip in the bathtub and forget who he is and where he was again

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#241 Robin Brownlee
September 22 2009, 09:06PM
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Shapeman wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee: that is if he doesnt slip in the bathtub and forget who he is and where he was again

Don't be ridiculous. I'm Arnold Schwarzeneggar and I'm in Caaaaaaalifornia . . .

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#242 Clarkenstein
September 22 2009, 09:51PM
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Yo Bingofuel... why don't you start deleting some of the bull$hit going on in here. I want to read about hockey in general and the Oil in particular. If some of these pussies want to chat then go to a chatroom. I come in for a quick read and then move on but if I have to sift thru the crap continuously I ain't coming back. Pros like Brownlee deserve better than some of the crap these punk ass, no hair on their nut$ $hitheads dole out. The last post was #241 and probably only 50 of them are on topic.

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