Job Market 2 (Beware the Ginger)

Lowetide
October 02 2010 07:24AM

A dozen days ago we looked at the Oilers depth chart and made some bets. These 12 days later, how many of those bets look like they'll pay off? How many are still up in the air? How many have gone south? 

The answers may surprise you.  

Lets begin by listing the "sure things" to see if there has been any movement there:

  1. Nikolai Khabibulin: Playing, but looks rusty.
  2. Tom Gilbert: Healthy and effective.
  3. Ryan Whitney: Looks good. Calm feet.
  4. Kurtis Foster: Some chaos, some strong offensive play.
  5. Ladislav Smid: He's had a nice camp.
  6. Jim Vandermeer: Tough individual, big hitter.
  7. Dustin Penner: Quality veteran looks faster.
  8. Ales Hemsky: Mr. Excitement.
  9. Sam Gagner: Faster, stronger.
  10. Shawn Horcoff: Looks like a new man.
  11. Taylor Hall: Ridiculous skill. Very young.
  12. Gilbert Brule: Solid offensive player.
  13. Andrew Cogliano: Fast as lightning.
  14. Ryan Jones: Injuries have placed his spot in jeopardy.
  15. Colin Fraser: Hasn't played especially well.
  16. Zack Stortini: Solid camp.
  17. Steve MacIntyre: He's done the job required with aplomb.

Of the 17 "safe" jobs there's just one that looks wonky. Ryan Jones got a late start, and that allowed Liam Reddox a window of opportunity. The ginger is certainly in the conversation. Here are my original 6 "bubble" winners:

  1. Devan Dubnyk: Appears to have the inside track on the 2G job.
  2. Jason Strudwick: Veteran has delivered and his job looks safe.
  3. Theo Peckham: Chaos reigns and his job is in doubt.
  4. Magnus Pääjärvi: Has delivered an outstanding performance.
  5. Jordan Eberle: Impressive young player solidified his position.
  6. Ryan O'Marra: Hasn't done enough to win the day despite outstanding opportunity.

I count Peckham as being the disappointment here. His skills are a perfect match for the team's needs at the 5-7D position, he has some things going for him (waiver eligible) and yet he's lost ground over these 12 days. O'Marra's position on this list was perhaps untenable, but I felt his skills (faceoffs, penalty kill) would give him an enormous advantage over the competition.

However, early reports from TC had his conditioning as a point of interest, and I don't think he's delivered enough to hold on to that job. Both players in bold have to be considered disappointments at this point in time.

Now for the contenders and how they've fared: 

  1. Jeff Deslauriers: Has been outplayed by Dubnyk.
  2. Martin Gerber: Sent down after an impressive TC. He could be back.
  3. Olivier Roy: Sent down early, as expected.
  4. Shawn Belle: Has played well enough to be in the conversation.
  5. Taylor Chorney: Sent down 10 days into camp. He needs time in the minors.
  6. Alex Plante: Had a solid camp, the organization seems pleased with his progress.
  7. Jeff Petry: Impressed many, he's moving up the depth chart.
  8. Richard Petiot: A very pleasant surprise, he has a strong chance.
  9. Johan Motin: Cut one week into camp, he's at the end of the prospect list at the pro level.
  10. Linus Omark: An impressive camp has him in the mix.
  11. Alex Giroux: Caught fire later in camp, has a very slight chance of making the roster.
  12. Liam Reddox: All out effort every shift. Why would we be surprised? 
  13. Brad Moran: Sent down early (7 days in).
  14. Greg Stewart: Was among the early cuts.
  15. Ben Ondrus: A strong performance has him in the mix.
  16. Chris Vande Velde: Young man has impressed with wide range of skills.
  17. Teemu Hartikainen: Sent down early, he has talent.
  18. Tyler Pitlick: The early talk of TC, he'll be back to stay in the next couple of years.
  19. Cameron Abney: Did some nice things before being sent back to junior.

A quick note on Colin McDonald: I didn't list him because he had no chance to make the team. He did however play very well and I think he might get a call sometime this season.

Assuming JF Jacques begins the season on the IR, we're down to four battles:

  1. Dubnyk versus JDD: It looks like the big man has won the day.
  2. Peckham fighting Belle and Petiot: I think Petiot may win this contest.
  3. Ryan Jones versus Liam Reddox: I don't know how they send Reddox away.
  4. O'Marra versus the world: I really felt O'Marra would have the advantage here. He can PK, win faceoffs and if he spends some nights in the pressbox it wouldn't hurt his development (as it might with someone new to the pro game, like Vande Velde). However, Omark, Giroux, Ondrus and Vande Velde are all in the mix here, and the question is no longer "what center can win the extra job" its about spending the last roster spot on an energy forward. The loser of the Jones/Reddox match could also grab this job.

I wonder if Peckham and O'Marra will ever get another chance like this one. Arriving in training camp with a team in dire need of your skill set and without a lot of competition. At a time in your career when you could catch on and have a nice run if things break right. Remember a few years ago when Kyle Brodziak arrived in camp and pushed aside all the first rounders (Schremp, Pouliot, etc)? 

Well it looks like Liam Reddox is doing the exact same thing. "Undersized ginger eats everyone's lunch" wasn't the headline expected, but its the story this morning.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 RossCreekNation
October 02 2010, 02:08PM
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@Marc

McDonagh's biggest strike against him could be his 1.3M contract (coupled with the fact he doesn't have to clear waivers, as you mentioned). McKenzie has already stated that that may keep him off their roster to start the season if they have a cheaper option.

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#52 Spartacus
October 02 2010, 02:09PM
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@Rob...

That Messier avatar is so great. It's like he doesn't even have eyes; just forehead. And afthead. No midhead at all.

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#54 Wanyes bastard child
October 02 2010, 03:45PM
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For those of you who missed Wanye's "history of rap" before youtube had it pulled I found it here..

http://www.spreadit.org/jimmy-fallon-history-of-rap-justin-timberlake-video/

It's good stuff!

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#55 c_tux
October 02 2010, 04:16PM
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@Lowetide

LT, I completely agree with picking up Hordichuk off the waiver wire. Think about it people; who would you rather have as your 14F/tough guy, Hordichuk or S-Mac?

If you chose the latter, well then... *facepalm*

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#56 book¡e
October 02 2010, 04:16PM
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Rob... wrote:

Pedigree: A list of ancestors.

Used correctly it could be used when commenting on Nilsson or Gagner and any expectations due to their lineage.

My apologies if, in fact, Dubnyk's great uncle was a superb goaltender in some pro league.

Language evolves, get that onion off your belt and adapt already!

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#57 Jmask5
October 02 2010, 04:44PM
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I would say 4 guys have made things tough on management.

1.Liam Reddox 2.Richard Petiot 3.Linus Omark 4.Chris Vande Velde

2 Guys had a chance and ruined it.

1. Pekham 2. Omarra

The problem is the 4 guys who have made a case for themselves don't really fit the need of the team. In a perfect world Omarra and Pekham would have seized their opportunity.

Also Jones and Fraser have been pretty lackluster to say the least.

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#58 a lg dubl dubl
October 02 2010, 04:54PM
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what if the oilers claimed Hordichuk on waivers and then put Stortini on waivers, THAT my friends would be fan-freakin-tastic. We would have Hordichuk and Smac protecting the rook's, Stortini couldn't fight his wasy out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it!

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#59 Dan the Man
October 02 2010, 05:14PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

what if the oilers claimed Hordichuk on waivers and then put Stortini on waivers, THAT my friends would be fan-freakin-tastic. We would have Hordichuk and Smac protecting the rook's, Stortini couldn't fight his wasy out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it!

Are you kidding me? Have you even seen Stortini fight? Did you see him fight Hordichuk?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5kVC_Lqqnk

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#60 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 02 2010, 05:16PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

what if the oilers claimed Hordichuk on waivers and then put Stortini on waivers, THAT my friends would be fan-freakin-tastic. We would have Hordichuk and Smac protecting the rook's, Stortini couldn't fight his wasy out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it!

i would love to see you stand toe to toe with him on the ice...

unless of course you are suggesting you rank somewhere below a "wet paper bag with a hole in it"

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#62 Steve
October 02 2010, 05:46PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

what if the oilers claimed Hordichuk on waivers and then put Stortini on waivers, THAT my friends would be fan-freakin-tastic. We would have Hordichuk and Smac protecting the rook's, Stortini couldn't fight his wasy out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it!

Yeah! And neither can Colin Fraser, so let's see if we can replace him with Colton Orr, and maybe replace Gilbert Brule (who also can't fight) with Derek Boogard, whose cap hit is about the same. *Then* maybe we'll be a playoff team (though we might still need to unload Hemsky, since he seems a little soft).

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#63 Steve
October 02 2010, 05:58PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think Stortini has become a pretty effective low event 4th liner. Stortini isn't close to the problem on this roster imo.

Nice strawman, old man - switching the subject to Stortini's ability to play hockey, as if that's somehow relevant in evaluating whether he should be on our hockey team.

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#64 Jmask5
October 02 2010, 06:11PM
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I'm starting to wonder about this protecting the Rookies crap. I mean both Paajarvi and Hall got hit hard yesterday and no one did anything. Even though we had a pretty tough lineup.

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#65 Steve
October 02 2010, 06:14PM
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Jmask5 wrote:

I'm starting to wonder about this protecting the Rookies crap. I mean both Paajarvi and Hall got hit hard yesterday and no one did anything. Even though we had a pretty tough lineup.

What game were you watching? MacIntyre exchanged punches with Raitis Ivanans, which needless to say intimidated Robyn Regehr from trying anything, because he knew that if he did MacInture and Ivanas might exchange punches again. We won the game as a direct result.

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#67 Jmask5
October 02 2010, 06:40PM
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Steve wrote:

What game were you watching? MacIntyre exchanged punches with Raitis Ivanans, which needless to say intimidated Robyn Regehr from trying anything, because he knew that if he did MacInture and Ivanas might exchange punches again. We won the game as a direct result.

True say. I didn't think of it that way.

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#68 RossCreekNation
October 02 2010, 06:44PM
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Wow! I'm no Oiler fan & I am a FORMER Stortini basher, but dude has improved immensely since his 1st year - as a fighter AND as a hockey player. I like Hordichuk & think he can play a bit better than Smac, but I wouldn't get rid of Zack for Hordichuk & I doubt the Oil would take Hordichuk over Smac.

@Robin

Do you think the Oil take a shot at O'Brien? He's better than Peckham, no? And he brings the toughness element they were hoping Peckham would supply.

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#69 Crackenbury
October 02 2010, 06:47PM
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Lots of crying over 1 pre-season loss. I was at the game, thought they played reasonably well until the 3rd period. Peckham didn't impress me very much though. I like the size of our defense this year. It should pay dividends as the season progresses.

The guy I want to see more of is Giroux. He really stood out in the previous game and I like his size down the middle. It will be interesting to see him compete against an actual NHL lineup tomorrow, if he gets a chance.

Our overall size on the top three lines is still a concern. Last night might have Renney thinking the same thing.

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#70 db7db7db7
October 02 2010, 07:43PM
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@Marc

Looking into the Rangers, I think there could definitely be a trade there. But, I think it would look more like this: Drury and McDonaugh for Souray and Cogliano. I know Drury is a winger, but it could be worked out. $ wise it seems to make sense for both teams. Note: Drury $7,050,000 for 2 more years.

Plus, his salary would take the heat off of Horcoff.lol

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#71 Rob...
October 02 2010, 07:59PM
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book¡e wrote:

Language evolves, get that onion off your belt and adapt already!

If everyone had an attitude like that I'm sure "there" would soon replace "they're" and "their", and "to" will be an acceptable substitute for "two" and "too". Languages may evolve, but standards shouldn't. You must be like a young co-worker of mine that currently uses the word 'random' as a substitute for a tenth of the words in the dictionary.

@Spartacus

Thanks for the Avatar comment. There's been a lot of talk lately about the 'tough guys' and how they didn't necessarily need to fight to be effective; they could do as much with a few words or a glare. Very few did the glare as well as Messier.

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#72 Mr. Pederson
October 02 2010, 09:12PM
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@Steve

Hilarious! I like your style, Steve

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#73 a lg dubl dubl
October 02 2010, 09:33PM
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Sure Stortini has come along way since his first yr I will give him that, but my qoute of "couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it" was for the fact that even though he might have "won" some of the fights he was in by hugging them til they fell to the ice, he sure as hell couldn't keep the other teams from running our star players into the boards. My whole point was if the Oilers bring in Hordichuk they bring him in to do the job Stortini does right now and can fight better than Zack.IMO Id rather have the likes of Smac, and Hordichuk running around letting thier fists do the talking instead of thier mouths(Stortini)

Yes Im not a fan of "huggy bear" on the ice never have never will be*

*and yes ill stand toe to toe with Zack and tell him the same thing that he stinks as a hockey player

Just wanted to rectify what i wrote earlier

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#74 lenny
October 02 2010, 09:40PM
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Have you noticed how Omark got a fare chance against Flames and was able to prove himself and scored 3 goals and an assist. Oh wait it was another Swede and another game and Omark only played 1 game in preseason! This is a FARE CHANCE?

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#75 Shapeman
October 02 2010, 10:28PM
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lenny wrote:

Have you noticed how Omark got a fare chance against Flames and was able to prove himself and scored 3 goals and an assist. Oh wait it was another Swede and another game and Omark only played 1 game in preseason! This is a FARE CHANCE?

Are you living a day ahead of us? Can I borrow your time machine?

*edit* although now that I re-read it I see how you were trying to make a point about this game not the next *edit*

also to the post above saying Drury is a winger he is not, he is a center and very good in the draw at that

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#76 c_tux
October 03 2010, 02:07AM
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@lenny

Wow, Rob is going to ~looooove~ this post.

On a serious note, Stortini is a legitmate 4th liner on this club and many others. There is NO way Hordichuk could/would take his place. If memory serves me correctly Storts was on the good side of the +/- line last year.

If and when injuries strike (or when things go south), I can see Renney giving Storts a bigger role including some PK time.

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#77 Marc
October 03 2010, 05:41AM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Looking into the Rangers, I think there could definitely be a trade there. But, I think it would look more like this: Drury and McDonaugh for Souray and Cogliano. I know Drury is a winger, but it could be worked out. $ wise it seems to make sense for both teams. Note: Drury $7,050,000 for 2 more years.

Plus, his salary would take the heat off of Horcoff.lol

I think something along the lines of White and Eminger for Souray and Peckham or Chorney is more likely. Reading through some of the Rangers blogs it seems that neither White nor Eminger have had particularly good camps and both might be waived. They make about $3.5M combined so Souray would only cost the Rangers $1M in real money (though $2M in cap space) this year.

Both White and Eminger are UFAs after the season though, whereas Souray has two years left, so I think the Oilers have to give up at least a decent prospect - and I suspect the Rangers would be actually pushing to get a young roster player instead of or in addition to a prospect - to compensate the Rangers for taking that extra year of Souray's contract.

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#78 Ashley
October 03 2010, 07:03AM
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Word on the street down South from an organization insider is that Reddox has done more than impress the OilersNation. Columbus and Minny are very interested and hoping that the Oil waives him. Apparently there is some concern that the Leafs might grab him (unlikely IMO). It looks like Reddox has won himself an NHL job this year, Oilers or elsewhere. Good for him, he deserves it.

Also, NYI and NYR have apparently both scouted solid bottom pairing defensemen with "upside potential" on the Oilers roster and are looking forward to the waiver wire, although my source did not know which blueliner they had in mind. Peckham I would assume based on the description.

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#80 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 03 2010, 08:11AM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Looking into the Rangers, I think there could definitely be a trade there. But, I think it would look more like this: Drury and McDonaugh for Souray and Cogliano. I know Drury is a winger, but it could be worked out. $ wise it seems to make sense for both teams. Note: Drury $7,050,000 for 2 more years.

Plus, his salary would take the heat off of Horcoff.lol

isnt drury out for another month still?

and, with his NMC, the chances of him waiving to come to the oilers is, well, slim

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#81 dawgbone
October 03 2010, 09:07AM
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If we are being honest, Belle and Petiot should look better than Peckham at this stage of thier careers.

That being said, if the name of the game is developing players, why on earth would you keep either of those 2 over Peckham?

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#82 dawgbone
October 03 2010, 09:35AM
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I like Shane O'Brien, providing he's across from the Oilers when they play against him.

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#84 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 10:18AM
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@Ashley

Bob McKenzie has gone on record saying that if the Oil waive Reddox, he'll be "campaigning" for other teams to put in a claim.

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#85 Eddie Shore
October 03 2010, 10:55AM
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Shane O'Brien not only makes too much money but he is fat. Last year in the playoffs the enitre Chicago bench was on him because of this. I will throw up all over myself if we put a claim in for him.

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#86 dawgbone
October 03 2010, 11:56AM
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Lowetide wrote:

db: lol. Agree. 1.6M. Wow.

Can you believe he was traded for a 1st round pick earlier in his career?

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#88 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 01:04PM
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I get the hate directed at Shane O'Brien. He's by no means a d-man that any good team should have at that price. Hence, the reason the Canucks waived him.

Having said that, has anyone seen the D-corps the Oil have? They have the cap room. It's a 1 yr commitment at that price. I'm sure SOB is coming to the realization that this could be it... his career could be flashing before his eyes. I don't see the harm in the Oil putting in a claim. Word is, the Rangers or Isles may... that could eliminate either of them from considering Souray (not comparing the 2 skill-sets, just that adding an NHL d-man may satisfy their appetite for looking at Souray, who is obviously better, but also more $$).

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#90 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 03 2010, 01:30PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I get the hate directed at Shane O'Brien. He's by no means a d-man that any good team should have at that price. Hence, the reason the Canucks waived him.

Having said that, has anyone seen the D-corps the Oil have? They have the cap room. It's a 1 yr commitment at that price. I'm sure SOB is coming to the realization that this could be it... his career could be flashing before his eyes. I don't see the harm in the Oil putting in a claim. Word is, the Rangers or Isles may... that could eliminate either of them from considering Souray (not comparing the 2 skill-sets, just that adding an NHL d-man may satisfy their appetite for looking at Souray, who is obviously better, but also more $$).

I'd take him over for our #6 in a heartbeat RC.

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#92 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 01:56PM
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@Lowetide

Jim Vandermeer, God love 'em, makes $2.3M. Money isn't an issue this year. I don't see how the Oil have a better option at this time. It's only a 1 year deal.

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#93 Eddie Shore
October 03 2010, 02:22PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I'd take him over for our #6 in a heartbeat RC.

Who is he better than? I'll concede Strudwick but O'Brien is not much, if at all, of an upgrade over what we've already got.

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#94 Team Hallsy
October 03 2010, 06:55PM
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Pass on SOB, imo not really better than Peckham, and more expensive. Hordichuk over Mac is an upgrade though. Not sure the pricetag, but he can play a bit.

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#96 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 03 2010, 08:11PM
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Lowetide wrote:

At 1.6 million? Really?

Of course, what on earth do we need the million in cap space for this year?

It's not about collecting the best contracts, it's about building the best you can for 58 million.

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#97 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 03 2010, 08:12PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Jim Vandermeer, God love 'em, makes $2.3M. Money isn't an issue this year. I don't see how the Oil have a better option at this time. It's only a 1 year deal.

Ya, I really don't get why so many people have trouble with this concept . The only person that should care what he makes on a one year deal is Katz.

I guess we're all bargin hunters at heart ;o

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#98 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 03 2010, 08:14PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Who is he better than? I'll concede Strudwick but O'Brien is not much, if at all, of an upgrade over what we've already got.

Right now I'd have him as our #6 for sure, and it's a toss up whether he's better then Vandemeer or not.

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#100 common sense
October 04 2010, 01:15AM
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I remember good ole Hordi dissing Stortini as huggy bear when Storts was starting out. I don't care if you're god's gift to hockey fighting which I don't think Hordi is but that kind of disrespectful mouthing off doesn't make good standing in my books and now mr. veteran Hordi is waived. Bye bye birdi hordi and see you later...

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