It’s Coming From Quinn, But…

Jonathan Willis
September 29 2009 09:04PM

change

A lot of the things being said around training camp the last few weeks could easily have come from former coach Craig MacTavish. Let’s look at what Quinn has stressed in his press conferences over that time span.

On playing defence…

“From Day 1, I said to them, ‘You ensure against defeat first, and that is by playing good defence.’ You cannot win a Stanley Cup without attack, but we have to make sure we’re defending properly first and then we’ll attack. We have some attack weapons, but we don’t want to get into a game where we’re giving up more chances to the opposition.”

“Some of the guys who think they’re offensive players are a little frustrated because they don’t think they’re getting their offence.”

“It’s hard to carry a guy who plays a one-way game in the NHL.”

“I don’t want three risky guys that do play run-and-gun and don’t always care what’s going the other way. They care about it, but not enough to be in the right spots.”

"We've got great skill, but we don't know how to win. They don't know how to play yet."

“I don't see a lot of checkers here. I don't see a lot of shutdown centres.”

On young players…

“18-year olds often don’t know squat except about themselves and the puck and trying to do lots on their own. If they’re open and they have good brains, then they start to learn how to use their skills better in a team environment.”

“But, interestingly enough, two years ago we all remember the kids being real good, but there were 19 overtime games where this team picked up a point. And 15 of those were shootouts. That might have disguised how good they played a little bit. What they need to do is get back to the basics of the game and continue to grow and be more responsible on the defensive side of the game.”

On jam, crust and other bread-based grit metaphors…

“We're going to have some bigger guys, or some crustier guys.”

“We still don't win those loose pucks.”

On blending the lines…

“One thing it looks like we might have is some flexibility on who plays with who at any given moment.”

None of this is to say that Quinn isn’t implementing a new (and different) system, or that he’s approaching the players differently, or even that it wasn’t to the Oilers’ advantage to fire MacTavish.

No, the point is the same point that I made back in April:

The point though, isn’t that defense is what wins; it’s that defense is what virtually every NHL coach preaches. And the simple fact of the matter is that when Craig MacTavish eventually leaves (be it this year or further down the line) his successor isn’t likely to turn back to the days of Glen Sather (and Gretzky, and Messier, and Kurri, and Coffey…). Instead, his successor is likely to say the same things that MacTavish does. He won’t be a clone, but one thing is all but certain: he’ll still emphasize that at the end of the day it’s all about what a player creates versus what he gives up.

Fans expecting that Quinn will run three offensive lines, turn back the clock, and win games 7-6 just haven’t been paying attention.

Fernando Pisani’s Injury Woes

From Robin Brownlee’s article yesterday:

[T]here is a concern Pisani’s bad back could keep him out long term. He had an MRI Monday and the team’s medical staff is awaiting results. If Pisani has structural damage, like a herniated disk, he could be on the shelf awhile.

This latest news is just the most recent example of the injury bug that has afflicted Pisani over the last three seasons, during which time he has:

  • broken his left ankle (42 games missed)
  • suffered a back injury (2 games missed)
  • fought through ulcerative colitis (26 games missed)
  • and experienced a concussion (5 games missed)

It’s been suggested on this site (and elsewhere) that a guy like Liam Reddox or Ryan Stone could easily step into Pisani’s roster spot. That’s nonsense, of course. For those of you who don’t buy Gabe Desjardin’s Quality of Competition measure, here are the ten forwards that Pisani played the most against last season:

  1. Jarome Iginla
  2. Ryan Getzlaf
  3. Milan Hejduk
  4. Daymond Langkow
  5. Todd Bertuzzi
  6. Ryan Smyth
  7. Corey Perry
  8. Mike Cammalleri
  9. Tyler Arnason
  10. Paul Stastny

Liam Reddox and Ryan Stone are both fringe NHL’ers; they simply won’t perform well against those sorts of players. Unfortunately, neither will Pisani unless he’s healthy (as he showed last season) and aside from Ales Hemsky the Oilers don’t have a lot of guys on the right side who can handle those minutes.

This latest injury is seriously bad news for the team, and it isn’t going to be solved with some random fourth-liner, however much Oilers fans might wish it would be.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Mills
September 30 2009, 09:18AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I'm not saying either plan is optimal, but I think the fans can get behind the Jacques move more easily because we've seen him play a few good games on that line already.

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#52 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 09:23AM
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Mills wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: I’m not saying either plan is optimal, but I think the fans can get behind the Jacques move more easily because we’ve seen him play a few good games on that line already.

And because it's Quinn, not MacTavish, doing it.

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#53 Chris
September 30 2009, 09:25AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Great article Willis. I had also thought it would be funny to assemble a montage of similar sounding quotes from both MacT and Quinn to use as ammo against basic trolls and haters... now I don't have to. Great job!

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#54 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 09:26AM
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Also, since some folks around here are just tossing things around without any evidence whatsoever, let me just add some facts to the conversation.

Fact:

Liam Reddox played 4:33 on the powerplay last season. For contrast's sake, that was less than Gilbert Brule (11GP). It was also just over a third of the amount of time Rob Schremp (11:18) got in 4 games.

Fact:

Gilbert Brule has only ever taken more than 100 faceoffs once at the NHL level - in 2006-07, when he posted a 45.9% success rate onm 268 attempts. There is no reason to believe that he is any different from the other centres on this team who can't win a faceoff. He's certainly not close to being in the same range as Kyle Brodziak.

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#55 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 09:28AM
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Joey Moss wrote:

I don’t care what Pat Quinn says to the media, I care how he executes his plan on the ice and keeps players motivated.

So do you think he's being disingenuous, or do you think he and MacT wanted to fix the same things but are going about them differently?

My vote's for the latter.

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#56 Reggie
September 30 2009, 09:42AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Again: where do you get the notion that Stone is particularly good in the faceoff circle?

Cause Quinn put him there in the Tampa game ? LOL

If Quinn says or does it, it must be true .... LOL

This will be a very trying first 20 games I think.

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#57 Chris
September 30 2009, 09:44AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I think the team we saw in the pre-season was eerily similar to the team we saw last year:

Slow out of the gate. Turnovers. Poor in the faceoff circle. Poor coverage on the PK. Inability to stick to any gameplan for the entire sixty minutes. And so on.

Don't get me wrong. I generally like how Quinn reshuffled the deck... but let's not forget that it's the same set of cards.

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#58 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 09:50AM
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@ Chris:

I'm a little more lenient because it's bound to take some time to adjust to a new system. And I generally think the things Quinn is doing are an improvement on what MacTavish did last year.

But, yeah: the real problem is the roster, and that problem hasn't been fixed.

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#59 Cool Beans
September 30 2009, 09:53AM
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My problem with Mac T was not commitment to defence, it was his brutal mismanagement of forwards, line combinations and lack of a plan for a forecheck.

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#60 Ender the Dragon
September 30 2009, 10:01AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Thank you for keeping the objective view on this. I made no secret last season that I thought MacT was doing the best he could with what he had. By the end, it was obvious that he probably needed to go, but not for the reasons many thought. As pointed out in this thread, whatever he did was going to be criticized by fans and players alike, regardless of whether it was good coaching or not.

For the record, I like the Quinn/Renney combination as well and I'm happy with the way things all turned out; I was pretty scared for awhile that the guy we brought in to replace MacT was going to be a poorer coach. Fortunately, that didn't happen.

For anyone who still thinks MacT was a lousy coach, I'd love to hear your thoughts as to why he was the first choice for Canada to coach the Spengler Cup team this fall. Just saying.

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#61 Ogden Brother
September 30 2009, 10:09AM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: Thank you for keeping the objective view on this. I made no secret last season that I thought MacT was doing the best he could with what he had. By the end, it was obvious that he probably needed to go, but not for the reasons many thought. As pointed out in this thread, whatever he did was going to be criticized by fans and players alike, regardless of whether it was good coaching or not. For the record, I like the Quinn/Renney combination as well and I’m happy with the way things all turned out; I was pretty scared for awhile that the guy we brought in to replace MacT was going to be a poorer coach. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. For anyone who still thinks MacT was a lousy coach, I’d love to hear your thoughts as to why he was the first choice for Canada to coach the Spengler Cup team this fall. Just saying.

X2

Glad we made the change, and glad we came away with the coaching roster we did. But I'm also confident MacT will go on to have a succesful NHL coaching career.

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#62 Reggie
September 30 2009, 10:10AM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

For anyone who still thinks MacT was a lousy coach, I’d love to hear your thoughts as to why he was the first choice for Canada to coach the Spengler Cup team this fall. Just saying.

Doug Gilmour coached at the Spengler Cup - 'nuff said.

I'm not saying that to bash MacT, I'm just pointing out the flawed logic there.

MacT hit his expiry date in Edmonton, simple as that.

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#63 GSC
September 30 2009, 10:22AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

GSC wrote: Brule: upgrade on Brodziak in terms of grit and faceoff ability. Brule: downgrade on Brodziak in terms of size and faceoff ability. Seriously, where do you get the notion that Brule is better than Brodziak in the faceoff circle? Stone: can jump in as a centre in a pinch, known for faceoff ability and grit. Stone: minor-league winger to date, when he played centre in preseason he (cleanly) lost the faceoff that led to the winning goal against in Tampa Bay. Again: where do you get the notion that Stone is particularly good in the faceoff circle?

I didn't say anything about Brule's size in relation to Brodziak, JW. I said grit, or "crust" if you're Quinn. Brule has the potential to fill in for Brodziak in the circle.

Stone lost A faceoff in a preseason game to a seasoned vet (Lecavalier)...whoopde frickin' doo. Lecavalier was a dominant 58.5% on powerplay faceoffs last season and was a solid 54.6% in the such situations in the 07-08 season. Well duh, Stone is likely to lose a draw in that scenario.

I also said Stone could jump in and take a draw "in a pinch." He's not lights-out in the circle, but he isn't horrible, either.

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#64 smiliegirl15
September 30 2009, 10:24AM
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A change is as good as a rest and it was definitely time for a change with the Oilers coaching staff. I think MacT was not effective in managing his players both on and off the ice. He seemed to make it personal; there is no room for personal on the ice. Jason Gregor had a great article here that identified how poorly MacTavish handled his players, all laid out nice and neat (in Feb I think). When your players cannot respect you any longer, it doesn't really matter how good of a coach you are.

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#65 GSC
September 30 2009, 10:26AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Brule: downgrade on Brodziak in terms of size and faceoff ability.

Seriously, where do you get the notion that Brule is better than Brodziak in the faceoff circle?

Stone: minor-league winger to date, when he played centre in preseason he (cleanly) lost the faceoff that led to the winning goal against in Tampa Bay.

Again: where do you get the notion that Stone is particularly good in the faceoff circle?

I didn’t say anything about Brule’s size in relation to Brodziak, JW. I said grit, or “crust” if you’re Quinn. Brule has the potential to fill in for Brodziak in the circle.

Stone lost A faceoff in a preseason game to a seasoned vet (Lecavalier)…whoopde frickin’ doo. Lecavalier was a dominant 58.5% on powerplay faceoffs last season and was a solid 54.6% on PP draws in the 07-08 season. Well duh, Stone is likely to lose a draw in that scenario.

I also said Stone could jump in and take a draw “in a pinch.” He’s not lights-out in the circle, but he isn’t horrible, either.

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#66 GSC
September 30 2009, 10:27AM
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I just completely butchered the quoting in those two reply posts to JW...

I'll use the Wanye excuse: I was drunk.

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#67 Lofty
September 30 2009, 10:31AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

But, yeah: the real problem is the roster, and that problem hasn’t been fixed.

If Pisani is going to be on the IR for a long time why cant the Oil sign a PK/faceoff guy and then bury Pisani when he gets healthy?

I understand that Pisani is a good player but he is taking up space and money sitting in the training room every year. He's a UFA next year so why not bring someone in that can play the whole year rather than just half?

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#68 swany
September 30 2009, 10:34AM
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This team was in 6th place with 10 games to go if they could've went 500 over those last 10 games we would have made the playoffs. They quit on each other and on Mact it was time for him to go. Every coach wants D first but Quinn has new systems, a new approch with players, he lets the offence go but if you turn it over be the first one back. I'm excited to start the year, I think there will be a few BIG surprises this year. Every team has a couple guys that turn heads this year we see JFJ score 25-30 for 55 points Penner regains his form on the second or third line and hits 25-30 goals again Comrie is going to get 70 points, and with JFJ on the other side creating all that space Hemmer hits the PPG this year we make the playoffs in 6th spot.

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#69 MattL
September 30 2009, 10:39AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

WILLIS IS ON FIRE TODAY! Don't stop with the fact-attack.

Now quit pointing out our hypocrisy toward MacT and Quinn, nobody likes cognitive dissonance. If mindless MacT haters understood what you were saying, several heads would be exploding around town, and we can't have that, can we?

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#70 Chris
September 30 2009, 10:39AM
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Lofty wrote:

If Pisani is going to be on the IR for a long time why cant the Oil sign a PK/faceoff guy and then bury Pisani when he gets healthy?

The entire Oiler organization is working hard to reverse it's negative image with the players, that's why.

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#71 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 10:40AM
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@ GSC:

I saw that you said grit, but grit and size go hand in hand and while Brule's an upgrade on one, he's a significant downgrade on the other. Thus it's very fair to question if Brule will be any more effective than Brodziak in the same role.

As for faceoffs, you said Brule was a "upgrade" when he's clearly a downgrade.

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#72 Oilersordeath
September 30 2009, 10:44AM
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I'll take Brule over a Brodziak any day of the year! Brule is faster, alot more feisty, finishes his checks and more skilled. Face offs is Brodziak brings E-fum!

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#73 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 10:45AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

MacTavish had issues. But a lot of people are going to find that things they hated about MacTavish will continue under Quinn

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Can you imagine the pandemonium around here if Craig MacTavish stuck a guy with one point in sixty games on the top line? Gimme a break. Reddox’s 28 minutes – and seriously, that’s it – with Ales Hemsky is the most overplayed talking point around.

Ogden Brother wrote:

JFJ on the first, Stone on the second, Gagner on the 4th would all have peopel flapping around.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

MacTavish would have been harped on mercilessly.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

GSC wrote: Brule: upgrade on Brodziak in terms of grit and faceoff ability. Brule: downgrade on Brodziak in terms of size and faceoff ability. Seriously, where do you get the notion that Brule is better than Brodziak in the faceoff circle? Stone: can jump in as a centre in a pinch, known for faceoff ability and grit. Stone: minor-league winger to date, when he played centre in preseason he (cleanly) lost the faceoff that led to the winning goal against in Tampa Bay. Again: where do you get the notion that Stone is particularly good in the faceoff circle?

Jonathan Willis wrote:

And because it’s Quinn, not MacTavish, doing it.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Fact: Liam Reddox played 4:33 on the powerplay last season. For contrast’s sake, that was less than Gilbert Brule (11GP). It was also just over a third of the amount of time Rob Schremp (11:18) got in 4 games. Fact: Gilbert Brule has only ever taken more than 100 faceoffs once at the NHL level – in 2006-07, when he posted a 45.9% success rate onm 268 attempts. There is no reason to believe that he is any different from the other centres on this team who can’t win a faceoff. He’s certainly not close to being in the same range as Kyle Brodziak.

MattL wrote:

WILLIS IS ON FIRE TODAY! Don’t stop with the fact-attack.
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#74 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 10:48AM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

I’ll take Brule over a Brodziak any day of the year! Brule is faster, alot more feisty, finishes his checks and more skilled. Face offs is Brodziak brings E-fum!

Do you take Pouliot over Brodziak? Stone over Brodziak? Brody's a guy that could've moved to the wing in the top 9 if need be and he could've still took faceoffs. Gettin rid of him - another Glencross type move.

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#75 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 10:53AM
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I'm actually past the Brodziak decision, given the money he got from Minnesota.

All I'm saying is that we shouldn't expect vast improvements in the position because the guys taking over the spot also have issues.

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#76 BingBong
September 30 2009, 10:59AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ GSC: I saw that you said grit, but grit and size go hand in hand and while Brule’s an upgrade on one, he’s a significant downgrade on the other. Thus it’s very fair to question if Brule will be any more effective than Brodziak in the same role. As for faceoffs, you said Brule was a “upgrade” when he’s clearly a downgrade.

Brodziak might be bigger, but the guy refused to use his size. Brule - from what I've seen in preseason mind you - definately has more "grit". Brodziak could have been a very effective player if he used his muscle along with his half-decent offensive abilities, but on most nights he was basically invisible. Brule hopefully will at least bring the "grit" on a nightly basis. That of course remains to be seen. As someone posted before - sorry, I forget who - Stoll and Glencross are not easily replaceable. Brodziak, however, is.

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#77 Oilersordeath
September 30 2009, 11:04AM
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RossCreek wrote:

Oilersordeath wrote: I’ll take Brule over a Brodziak any day of the year! Brule is faster, alot more feisty, finishes his checks and more skilled. Face offs is Brodziak brings E-fum! Do you take Pouliot over Brodziak? Stone over Brodziak? Brody’s a guy that could’ve moved to the wing in the top 9 if need be and he could’ve still took faceoffs. Gettin rid of him – another Glencross type move.

Ive never been a fan of MAP, Brodziak, or even Pisani. I cursed those three relentlesly last year! But I like what Stone is showing me so far, he wants to put the opposing player through the glass every goddamn shift! Thats the kind of players this team needs more of!

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#78 nickxero
September 30 2009, 11:15AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Do you have any info on Brule's FO% last year in Springfield?

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#79 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 11:16AM
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BingBong wrote:

Brodziak might be bigger, but the guy refused to use his size.

My opinion on that is if he were moved to the wing, he would've used his body more. Playing center, you have to skate more and can't be running around looking for hits. I guarantee he would've taken the body more on the wing. And HE could've been Pisani's replacement.

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#80 GSC
September 30 2009, 11:29AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ GSC: I saw that you said grit, but grit and size go hand in hand and while Brule’s an upgrade on one, he’s a significant downgrade on the other. Thus it’s very fair to question if Brule will be any more effective than Brodziak in the same role. As for faceoffs, you said Brule was a “upgrade” when he’s clearly a downgrade.

Grit and Size DO NOT go hand-in-hand. If that held true, then Theo Fleury wouldn't have become famous for his reckless abandon on the ice. Brodziak is a perfect example of the opposite. He never played like he was 6'2" 209, not anywhere close.

Last season, Brodziak registered only 60 hits. Cogliano put up 57. The gargantuan 5'10" 180 Liam Reddox threw 61 hits and played in 33 fewer games than Brodziak. You're big on stats, explain those?

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#81 Dominoiler
September 30 2009, 11:29AM
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Ah.. to cry over brodziak is but a few tears in a bucket filled to the brim with the woefully cries of losing glencross..

If glencross was in the picture, brule's stock wouldnt be inflated in this comparison w brodz... Brule isnt better, yet, but brodz wasnt bringing what they wanted for the position (which is silly cus he did pretty decent w the dregs & his FO ability)

long story short, neither fill the role as defined by a FO winning centreman-glencross clone...

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#82 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 11:37AM
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@ GSC:

I don't have to explain why Brodziak threw fewer hits, since I never argued that he was grittier than Brule.

What I said was that he was bigger. Meaning that when he went into the corner to fight a puck battle, he had a built-in advantage over someone like Brule. And yes, he did go into corners and fight puck battles.

In the preseason, Brule threw a big hit on Martin St. Louis. I was flabbergasted when St. Louis came away with the puck.

The point here is that when it comes to gaining possession, Brule's going to win some battles because he's gritty and fearless. Brodziak's going to win some battles because he's big and strong.

I'm not convinced that Brule wins a ton more than Brodziak.

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#83 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 11:39AM
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The real question is who is going to take Brodziak's 200-odd even-strength defensive zone draws.

Brodziak and Horcoff got the job last year after Stoll and Reasoner were shipped out of town. Brodziak wasn't ready for the job - and I don't see anyone on this team who is.

Pouliot's probably closest (he did okay with half as many last year).

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#84 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 11:48AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: I know your a bit of a Pouliot fan, but all things being equal, who would you have kept - Pouliot or Brodziak? Brody's a tad bigger & a tad more aggressive, and given the fact that he was drafted in the 7th round the same year Pouliot was taken in the 1st round, he accomplished a lot more. Both are just as versatile and Brodziak showed he was a capable faceoff man. I don't doubt the Oil would've kept Brodziak over Pouliot if given the choice, but Minnesota obviously had the interest in Brodziak.

Has Alexandre Picard hit waivers in Columbus?

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#85 Dominoiler
September 30 2009, 11:50AM
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which was why it was surprising that he got shipped out (for next to nothing, with no replacement - but we all know this)

do you want to compound the issue with the thought of pisser being shipped.. than the discussion can expand to pk futility as well..

it seems like your hard lining for a 'this team is fukkd' conclusion JW..

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#86 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 11:56AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Just read your piece on Matt Lashoff. What is Tampa thinking? I said yesterday somewhere in the comments that surely he gets picked up. Did/Will he?

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#87 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 11:58AM
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Pittsburgh has picked up Chris Bourque (Ray's kid) off waivers from Washington, and Phoenix has picked up Paul Bissonette off waivers from Pittsburgh...

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#88 Ogden Brother
September 30 2009, 12:02PM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: I know your a bit of a Pouliot fan, but all things being equal, who would you have kept – Pouliot or Brodziak? Brody’s a tad bigger & a tad more aggressive, and given the fact that he was drafted in the 7th round the same year Pouliot was taken in the 1st round, he accomplished a lot more. Both are just as versatile and Brodziak showed he was a capable faceoff man. I don’t doubt the Oil would’ve kept Brodziak over Pouliot if given the choice, but Minnesota obviously had the interest in Brodziak. Has Alexandre Picard hit waivers in Columbus?

I think the fact that Brodziak was due for a raise and MAP was under contract also influenced the trade.

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#89 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 12:04PM
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@ RossCreek:

I don't believe Lashoff has been claimed.

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#90 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 12:05PM
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Dominoiler wrote:

it seems like your hard lining for a ‘this team is fukkd’ conclusion JW..

No, I just don't expect much more than last year. This is a bubble team, and it didn't have to be.

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#91 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 12:05PM
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RossCreek wrote:

I know your a bit of a Pouliot fan, but all things being equal, who would you have kept – Pouliot or Brodziak?

Probably Brodziak.

Given the price tag though I would have kept Pouliot.

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#92 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 12:06PM
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@ Ogden Brother: That was likely a big factor. Should it have been?

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#93 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 12:09PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: @ RossCreek: Only 0.3M difference. Was it worth 300 to downgrade the faceoffs even more? Or the fact that he was likely the best (only) replacement for Pisani at half the price.

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#94 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 12:09PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Has Alexandre Picard hit waivers in Columbus?

Yep.

Too bad, his NHL stats line (58GP - 0G - 2A - 2PTS)eerily resembles that of one J-F Jacques.

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#95 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 12:10PM
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Well look at that. Now I'm responding to myself. Meant "The Original Ogden Bro".

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#96 Jonathan Willis
September 30 2009, 12:11PM
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@ RossCreek:

Pouliot's also a full year younger than Brodziak.

I don't see much difference between them, though. Not even 300K worth.

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#97 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 12:14PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: IIRC, your not too big on Stone. Not that I see it happening, but would you take a look at Picard instead if you were calling shots? Picard is the type of guy (read 1st round bust) that I was thinking the Oil should've tried trading Schremp for. Obviously it takes 2 to tango, so maybe Columbus had know interest (with Howson & Hitchcokc, I doubt they did).

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#98 Ogden Brother
September 30 2009, 12:21PM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: That was likely a big factor. Should it have been?

Good question, I guess you'd need to be involved in the negotiations between the team/Brodziak to really get a senses.

I didn't mind letting him go, he just shoul have been replaced with a grittier vetran version of himself.

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#99 Oilersordeath
September 30 2009, 12:23PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Dominoiler wrote: it seems like your hard lining for a ‘this team is fukkd’ conclusion JW.. No, I just don’t expect much more than last year. This is a bubble team, and it didn’t have to be.

Jonathan, I know in just watching this years pre-season games compared to last years which made me sick to my stomach. The Oilers have a little more hussle, a better breakout game, and have actually won more puck battles. Isn't that something to be a little optimistic about?

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#100 RossCreek
September 30 2009, 12:25PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

he just shoul have been replaced with a grittier vetran version of himself.

Either that, or he could've been the younger replacement for an aging veteran .

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