Fore!: Mind if we play through?

Robin Brownlee
January 04 2010 06:03PM

The Edmonton Oilers had golf and a little rest and relaxation planned for four-day break between games on this upcoming homestand, but coach Pat Quinn has decided the time would be better spent on the ice at a two-day mini-camp than studying putts on lush greens in California.

Nine losses in the last 10 games and a glance at the standings that shows the Oilers sitting 29th overall prompted Quinn to cancel a team golf junket to Palm Springs, like the one hosted by owner Daryl Katz last season, in favour of two days of toil at Rexall Place this weekend.

"There was a plan, and a good one by our management and ownership, to pay attention to some important people in this business," Quinn said.

"That's our fans and our sponsors. And, then, also give the players a little bit of a break, which seemed pretty smart in August, but doesn't feel, as a coach, very smart right now."

Whether Quinn made the call or it actually came from higher up by way of president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, GM Steve Tambellini or even Katz, it doesn't matter. A getaway now would've gone over about as well as diarrhea at a pool party.

It's the right move.

Entitle this...

Optics being what they are, now isn't exactly the best time for the Oilers to take a break from the grind and trade their skates and sticks for spikes and drivers at some swank resort. "What did you have on that hole, Ethan?" Or, "Where's the cart girl, I could use a cold one." You get the drift.

Quinn didn't get into specifics about the cancelled team function when he met with reporters. He instead framed the four-day break as a good time to go back to work and sort some things out.

Given recent events, notably all of the bad press the Oilers got for their run-in with publicity-hungry Maurizio Terrigno, the owner of the Osteria de Medici restaurant in Cowtown, and the ongoing on-ice struggles that have the team sitting 29th in NHL standings, that's not a bad idea.

What fans want, and have every right to expect after 42 games that have the Oilers sitting 15 points out of a playoff spot without any hope of getting back into contention, is a couple days of honest sweat in practice.

If players want to squeal about that, and my guess is they have and will, and Quinn has to wear the black hat, so be it. What, pray tell, could be the possible argument against putting in two days work to try and get things straightened out? Golf season, after all, will be here April 12, which is soon enough.

Say what?

It's mind-boggling to me that it's 42 games into the season and the Oilers, it seems, still haven't grasped the systems Quinn and his coaching staff have been trying to implement since pre-season. At least, that's my take based on what I saw and what Quinn said today.

The Oilers were on the ice for about 90 minutes at Rexall Place, and they spent almost as much time gathered around Quinn and Tom Renney, who diagrammed drills on a white board, as they did practising.

"I'm not copping out here, but we had one practice day before we played an exhibition game," Quinn said. "Never have I not had time to instil the basics. I had more time going to the Olympics than I did with this team.

"We've been working at bringing the system of play in... you saw us 15 minutes at the board at one time, asking questions we've been talking about for three months. You think, holy smoke, we've been working on this for three months? What have we missed here? We're going to do some work."

-- 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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#101 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 05 2010, 10:29AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

You cant say what wont come here based on what hasnt come here in the last couple of years. The fact is that the trade route has been consistently open to the Oilers. Whether that be trading to acquire Pronger, Visnovsky or Roloson, or even the bad trades like Brodziak for a 5th rounder, trades have been available.

I get the feeling your still holding out on some stars being traded for cap reasons this summer.

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#102 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 10:30AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

not holding out, but I'm not ruling out either.

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#103 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 05 2010, 10:32AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

You cant say what wont come here based on what hasnt come here in the last couple of years. The fact is that the trade route has been consistently open to the Oilers. Whether that be trading to acquire Pronger, Visnovsky or Roloson, or even the bad trades like Brodziak for a 5th rounder, trades have been available.

anyone in the top tier

so pronger..... and pronger...... and pronger..... and?

why would anyone holding a NTC or NMC, and most top players do, waive it to come to this sh** show?

yes, in theory, it is possible.

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#104 rubbertrout
January 05 2010, 10:34AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

So what do you recommend we do about it?

~Let's trade him for Crosby straight up~

or

~Let's trade him for Robbie Schremp~

Both of which are equally unlikely.

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#105 Jayman
January 05 2010, 10:36AM
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Hi, I've never posted here, but I can't stop laughing. I'd like to thank the guy that said Horcoff is gonna get 20 goals this season for making my day with that knee slapper.

Keep up the good work Oilersnation!

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#106 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 05 2010, 10:36AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'm actually having a mini-camp for my players this wknd to see if they can turn it around.

Well played, sir.

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#107 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 10:37AM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Vis is 2nd in team scoring and Roloson played amazingly well for this team.

Why does the trade need to be for a top 5 player in the league? Not every good player has a NTC.

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#108 rubbertrout
January 05 2010, 10:39AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

You cant say what wont come here based on what hasnt come here in the last couple of years. The fact is that the trade route has been consistently open to the Oilers. Whether that be trading to acquire Pronger, Visnovsky or Roloson, or even the bad trades like Brodziak for a 5th rounder, trades have been available.

Yeah trading for Pronger worked great for a year and then sent the team into a tailspin when he decided that he didn't want to stay.

Roloson was a backup in Minny and had been forever. He was happy to get the chance to play and then was offered a substantial raise for a decent term as part of a squad that went to the finals. If he had known Pronger wasn't sticking around do you think he would have made the same decision?

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#109 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 05 2010, 10:39AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Vis is 2nd in team scoring and Roloson played amazingly well for this team.

Why does the trade need to be for a top 5 player in the league? Not every good player has a NTC.

how many teams have won the stanley cup in this CBA without at least one "superstar"?

hint: the answer is less than one

how many superstars do the oilers have?

how do the oilers get one?

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#110 postal
January 05 2010, 10:42AM
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Good on Oilers pulling the plug on this useless junket. Team bonding and all the other excuses they use for these trips are moot at this point in time. None of these players should feel comfortable and hopefully they don't. And yesterday why couldn't Tambo have been on the Oiler's lunch instead of Klowe. It looks as though Lowe is still GM and Tambo is a front for him. Kind of like Castro and his brother in Cuba

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#111 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 10:43AM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Ok, yet again. What do any of your concerns have to do with debunking the trade route as an option to get better? I am not specifically concerned with getting a superstar. This could be in acquiring ANY player that could help the team and conceivably require cap space to attain.

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#112 postal
January 05 2010, 10:45AM
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Why not see what Oilers could get for any player on the roster. Doesn't hurt to field offers.

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#113 Bucknuck
January 05 2010, 10:46AM
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Jayman wrote:

Hi, I've never posted here, but I can't stop laughing. I'd like to thank the guy that said Horcoff is gonna get 20 goals this season for making my day with that knee slapper.

Keep up the good work Oilersnation!

he has nine in 38 games... getting another 11 this year in 40 games isn't a stretch.

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#114 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 10:47AM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Are we really worried about winning the cup? Add one superstar to this team and we are still a few years away from being a cup contender.

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#115 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 05 2010, 10:48AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

he has nine in 38 games... getting another 11 this year in 40 games isn't a stretch.

It is if he keeps playing with Frankenshoulder.

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#116 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 05 2010, 10:49AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Are we really worried about winning the cup? Add one superstar to this team and we are still a few years away from being a cup contender.

adding a superstar is one step closer than they are now, and IMO, it is the hardest piece to get.

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#117 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 05 2010, 10:50AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ok, yet again. What do any of your concerns have to do with debunking the trade route as an option to get better? I am not specifically concerned with getting a superstar. This could be in acquiring ANY player that could help the team and conceivably require cap space to attain.

i never debunked a trade to get better.

anyone in the top tier

should i put it in caps for you?

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#118 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 10:51AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

adding a superstar is one step closer than they are now, and IMO, it is the hardest piece to get.

I rather build a solid foundation and try add one later, we've tried so many times before to get on and they just don't seem to be that easy to acquire. Who knows in 3 years maybe we have one from within?

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#119 postal
January 05 2010, 10:51AM
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Why would someone trade a superstar? Does that really happen anymore?

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#120 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 10:53AM
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postal wrote:

Why would someone trade a superstar? Does that really happen anymore?

Not often, but depending on what happens with the cap there could be a couple borderline superstars available this off-season.

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#121 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 05 2010, 10:54AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Not often, but depending on what happens with the cap there could be a couple borderline superstars available this off-season.

Heatley was traded this past summer. It was easy to miss, though - there wasn't much coverage on it.

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#122 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 05 2010, 10:55AM
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Jayman wrote:

Hi, I've never posted here, but I can't stop laughing. I'd like to thank the guy that said Horcoff is gonna get 20 goals this season for making my day with that knee slapper.

Keep up the good work Oilersnation!

What? he's got 9 goals in 38 games. That puts him on a 20 goal pace.

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#123 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 10:59AM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

That's one guy in the last how long? That is why I said not often and usually because of outside issues. Pronger was another.

Heatley doesn't get traded because Ottawa doesn't need him it's because he wanted out. Pronger was dealt because Ana had no room with Nidermayer coming back. Richards was dealt because Tampa had money problems.

Not often is there a trade of a superstar just for the sake of trading one.

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#124 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 11:00AM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Then I dont know why you're arguing with me

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#125 postal
January 05 2010, 11:01AM
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Anyone out there hear an update on Bryn and Jake?

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#126 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 05 2010, 11:01AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

It is if he keeps playing with Frankenshoulder.

Oddly enough his pace has picked up since he officially hurt his shoulder. 7 goals in 23 games since he was out for a few.

a 25 goal pace.

(also odd: it's also picked up since he was sepperated from Hemsky)

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#127 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 05 2010, 11:02AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

adding a superstar is one step closer than they are now, and IMO, it is the hardest piece to get.

6 more months :)

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#128 rubbertrout
January 05 2010, 11:03AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Not often, but depending on what happens with the cap there could be a couple borderline superstars available this off-season.

See the following Heatley, Danny (to Ottawa and San Jose); Pronger, Chris (to ANH and Philly; Richards, Brad (OK not really a superstar); Hossa, Marion (From OTT and ATL); Luongo, Roberto; Bouwmeester, Jay (his rights anyway); Thornton, Joe; Kessel, Phil (again not quite a superstar)

This is just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more.

We have short memories don't we?

Edit: it isn't supposed to be formatted like that but I lack the tech savvy to fix it

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#129 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 05 2010, 11:04AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

That's one guy in the last how long? That is why I said not often and usually because of outside issues. Pronger was another.

Heatley doesn't get traded because Ottawa doesn't need him it's because he wanted out. Pronger was dealt because Ana had no room with Nidermayer coming back. Richards was dealt because Tampa had money problems.

Not often is there a trade of a superstar just for the sake of trading one.

Seems like theirs a superstar traded every 18 months or so, with 1-2 "stars" (ie a Vishnosky type) moved every 12 months.

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#130 Dominoiler
January 05 2010, 11:08AM
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Haha, great pic Robin...

And thanks for the article.. I had no idea these goof's have been running around without knowing what the coaches are trying to implement...

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#131 Jayman
January 05 2010, 11:09AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

What? he's got 9 goals in 38 games. That puts him on a 20 goal pace.

Hey sorry, I was just saying thanks for the laugh. I seriously couldn't stop. You think what you want and I'll think what I want.

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#132 postal
January 05 2010, 11:13AM
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There was a comment on Team today a guy thinks WJHC is getting a bit irrelevant, just like the women's tourneys. A few teams have success and everyone else there are just warm bodies. I think it was a good point, what do you guys think?

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#133 Dominoiler
January 05 2010, 11:14AM
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Ok, People,.. get over the idea that a trade is going to help the oil out...

Who are the oil going to swindle a difference maker from, why would a difference maker be traded?, for what?!?.. C'mon...

If anything a 2nd tier starter should be brought in to share the load w JDD.. other than that it is off loading, with perhaps the chance of a mutual salary dump/exchange of expiring, next to worthless, garbage...

They (Management) had all summer and f**k*d off.. Filling out the roster with 'serviceable vets' will have to wait...

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#134 RossCreekNation
January 05 2010, 11:17AM
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postal wrote:

Anyone out there hear an update on Bryn and Jake?

http://twitter.com/bryngriffiths

Perhaps you'll be hearing more from him sooner than later. Just sayin ;-)

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#135 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 11:19AM
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@Dominoiler

the convo didnt start off by talking about how a trade is about to come and will make the Oil better, it started by simply stating that the Oil have and probably will continue to use the trade route to acquire players of all sorts, and eventually there will be a need to unload certain players who arent performing to contract standards. That is all.

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#136 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 11:21AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

See the following Heatley, Danny (to Ottawa and San Jose); Pronger, Chris (to ANH and Philly; Richards, Brad (OK not really a superstar); Hossa, Marion (From OTT and ATL); Luongo, Roberto; Bouwmeester, Jay (his rights anyway); Thornton, Joe; Kessel, Phil (again not quite a superstar)

This is just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more.

We have short memories don't we?

Edit: it isn't supposed to be formatted like that but I lack the tech savvy to fix it

So in 4 years you named 5 guys, so that would be not often then wouldn't it?

Edit, actually 6 years if you include the Hossa deal. I don't consider Bouwmeester either as he was a UFA.

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#137 rubbertrout
January 05 2010, 11:24AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

So in 4 years you named 5 guys, so that would be not often then wouldn't it?

Edit, actually 6 years if you include the Hossa deal. I don't consider Bouwmeester either as he was a UFA.

I'm not saying it happens every day. The comment I was responding to was the following:

Why would someone trade a superstar? Does that really happen anymore?

Obviously you don't have a revolving door of superstars but to say that it never happens anymore is just plain wrong.

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#138 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 11:25AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

So in 4 years you named 5 guys, so that would be not often then wouldn't it?

Edit, actually 6 years if you include the Hossa deal. I don't consider Bouwmeester either as he was a UFA.

those are just superstars, nevermind the guys in the 4-6 million dollar range that arent considered superstars but are still moved nonetheless.

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#139 Dyckster
January 05 2010, 11:27AM
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Jayman wrote:

Hey sorry, I was just saying thanks for the laugh. I seriously couldn't stop. You think what you want and I'll think what I want.

Oh dear..... Ok, so your company is building a house, when they stud a 160 inch wall on 16 inch centers, do they use 8 2x4s or 10? THE MATH suggests 10, we at the ON don't "think" when it comes to stats, stats dictate the actual or estimated result. Hence, 9 goals in 38 games leads to a mathematical estimate of 20ish goals for the season. Get it right rookie!

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#140 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 05 2010, 11:29AM
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Dominoiler wrote:

Ok, People,.. get over the idea that a trade is going to help the oil out...

Who are the oil going to swindle a difference maker from, why would a difference maker be traded?, for what?!?.. C'mon...

If anything a 2nd tier starter should be brought in to share the load w JDD.. other than that it is off loading, with perhaps the chance of a mutual salary dump/exchange of expiring, next to worthless, garbage...

They (Management) had all summer and f**k*d off.. Filling out the roster with 'serviceable vets' will have to wait...

I'm sure their will be a couple decent players that are young enough to help us now (meaning next year) and down the road that will be available this year.

Hawks have to move someone, hopefully Sharp but Buff or Barker would be nice additions too.

Flyers usually aren't that patient and theirs been lots of complaining about Carters play/work ethic, I could see Hartnell in play as well if the miss the PO.

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#141 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 05 2010, 11:31AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Oh dear..... Ok, so your company is building a house, when they stud a 160 inch wall on 16 inch centers, do they use 8 2x4s or 10? THE MATH suggests 10, we at the ON don't "think" when it comes to stats, stats dictate the actual or estimated result. Hence, 9 goals in 38 games leads to a mathematical estimate of 20ish goals for the season. Get it right rookie!

Ya I'm kind of baffled with that fellow as well.

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#142 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 11:31AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

those are just superstars, nevermind the guys in the 4-6 million dollar range that arent considered superstars but are still moved nonetheless.

Are we looking for a borderline star or a star? We already have borderline stars in Hemsky, Penner, Souray, Visnovsky and possibly Gagner in a year.

You can add Kovalchuk and Hall to this team, but if you don't fix the other issues that this team has had for 4 years or so, then there is little chance of going anywhere once it makes it to the playoffs.

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#143 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 11:37AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Are we looking for a borderline star or a star? We already have borderline stars in Hemsky, Penner, Souray, Visnovsky and possibly Gagner in a year.

You can add Kovalchuk and Hall to this team, but if you don't fix the other issues that this team has had for 4 years or so, then there is little chance of going anywhere once it makes it to the playoffs.

I agree. My whole point through this entire argument has been that the Oilers might want that 5.5 million in cap space back before the end of Horc's contract to spend on other people.

Then someone suggested that trades were out of the question. To which I disagreed. Their response was "NO Superstar will come here", which has nothing to do with needing cap space to spend on working parts.

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#144 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 11:40AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I agree. My whole point through this entire argument has been that the Oilers might want that 5.5 million in cap space back before the end of Horc's contract to spend on other people.

Then someone suggested that trades were out of the question. To which I disagreed. Their response was "NO Superstar will come here", which has nothing to do with needing cap space to spend on working parts.

And if that day shall come it is off to springfield for Horcoff, but until then it makes zero sense to put him there.

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#145 Bucknuck
January 05 2010, 11:40AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Are we looking for a borderline star or a star? We already have borderline stars in Hemsky, Penner, Souray, Visnovsky and possibly Gagner in a year.

You can add Kovalchuk and Hall to this team, but if you don't fix the other issues that this team has had for 4 years or so, then there is little chance of going anywhere once it makes it to the playoffs.

You ae absolutely right. This team has a lot of nice shiny parts that if they could put all the pieces together could work quite well. Phoenix has no stars and they are doing just fine.... as are a number of other teams.

How about:

1) less small forwards - trade a couple.

2) another faceoff specialist besides Horcoff.

3) another shutdown defenseman to replace one of the Dmen we are going to lose in a trade.

All of these would help the Oilers PK and help with puck posession. Two areas that the Oil defiitely need help with.

These are not earth shattering movements, which is why I am feeling more than a little pissed at Tambellini for not addressing them. These aren't new problems; they have existed since Stoll, Greene, and Cole left.

Fill the holes and I bet this team does a lot better.

Damn you Tambo!

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#146 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 11:41AM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

That's why I said he can stay here until next training camp, but no promises after that.

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#147 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 11:50AM
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@Bucknuck

I pretty much said the same elsewhere, trade a Grebs/Gilbert, 2 of Nilsson/O'Sullivan/Cogliano and try add a Stoll, Greene and Torres(when he was good) type players and we are probably a playoff team.

Granted even with that, missing Bulin and Hemsky for the remainder of the year still hurt us.

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#148 Bucknuck
January 05 2010, 12:01PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I pretty much said the same elsewhere, trade a Grebs/Gilbert, 2 of Nilsson/O'Sullivan/Cogliano and try add a Stoll, Greene and Torres(when he was good) type players and we are probably a playoff team.

Granted even with that, missing Bulin and Hemsky for the remainder of the year still hurt us.

I think you're pretty smart then, OBJ. :-)

Losing your best forward and your starting goaltender (and Souray for a month) is going to hurt, but not enough to account for last place in the west.

Am i the only guy worried about the impending three person goalie beast next season?

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#149 Archaeologuy
January 05 2010, 12:02PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I think you're pretty smart then, OBJ. :-)

Losing your best forward and your starting goaltender (and Souray for a month) is going to hurt, but not enough to account for last place in the west.

Am i the only guy worried about the impending three person goalie beast next season?

you wont have to worry that much when Khabibulin retires due to injury.

Avatar
#150 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 05 2010, 12:04PM
Trash it!
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trashes
Cheers
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cheers

@Bucknuck

No because even if Bulin retires like Archaeologuy says in the next post, Dubnyk won't be in the NHL next year. What has he shown that would make any team take him?

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