Framing the Issue

Lowetide
October 20 2010 08:08AM

This is Henry Fonda in "12 Angry Men." Along with wonderful phrases like "the New Jersey hair-splitting convention" the movie is a compelling look into the meaning of reasonable doubt and the power of bias and prejudice. It's one of my favorite movies. 

There a slight disconnect between most of the msm and the blogosphere on a very important issue involving the Edmonton Oilers. Bloggers have been spending a lot of time discussing Taylor Hall's future, going into great detail in regard to important issues. Keeping Taylor Hall in the NHL now allows him to leave via free agency (if he wishes) at age 25; if he's sent back now the Oilers would enjoy his playing rights until age 27. That's a big deal.

Also, many secondary issues (why on earth can't these kids play in the AHL at age 18? that is something the league needs to adjust) have been brought up across the blogosphere and at the very least make for an interesting discussion.

The mainstream media appears to be using this discussion as a platform to call out "crazy fans" for being fickle. The radio has been full of diatribes about the silliness of sending Hall away ("give your head a shake") and not at all discussing the actual issue: are the Edmonton Oilers better off starting the contract clock a year (or two years) down the line. For the record, I haven't talked to one fan in panic nor a crazy person about Taylor Hall. The Edmonton fanbase is taking a kicking here, and they don't deserve it.

The fact is that there is an issue here that should be addressed: should Taylor Hall be sent to junior in order for the Oilers to get the most out of his pre-UFA career?

My own opinion is here. In that post (and quoting myself, good grief) I said:

  • I've always believed (and Earl Weaver taught me) that when a young player is ready to compete at a certain level the best thing to do is elevate him to that level immediately. Don't put him in a position to fail, but rather take the things he does well and place him in ideal circumstances at the higher level. I think the monetary argument is a secondary consideration (honestly) and that player development should be the only real concern. If Taylor Hall is ready to score 20 goals in the NHL at his age, I believe he'll be a better player one year from now because he was able to handle the extreme challenges at speed. It is a major step, and if he can do it at this age we may be staring at a Steven Stamkos. That's what I believe.

Still do. If the Oilers are any good at all when Hall turns 25 he may well sign here again, and the Oilers are going to pay through the nose if he develops so here's hoping. This is an issue that has enjoyed a longer than normal shelf life--certainly longer than it warrants--partly because the msm isn't listening.

So let me be clear: these are not panic stricken thoughts of youngsters who hold their hockey cards in their hands while drifting off to sleep, these are not the idiot ramblings of unemployed, middle aged men with Cheesie bags and giants bottles of Coca-Cola.

These are well thought out arguments by adults that have benefits and are worthy of discussion.

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 Team 1260.
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#101 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 20 2010, 11:38AM
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@Bar Qu

I don't know Kovalchuk's cap hit is 3mil less then Ovechkin's who signed 2 years ago. Chara is taking less money then his previous contract, so is Thornton.

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#102 Steve Smith
October 20 2010, 11:39AM
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I'm just finishing up law school, and will be beginning my articles with a criminal defense firm this spring. My favourite thing about Twelve Angry Men is that the accused is probably guilty. The odd time you get a pro-defense movie or TV show, it usually turns out that the accused is innocent, and needs to be acquitted on that basis; Twelve Angry Men makes the point that our legal system requires us to acquit some guilty people, and that that's a good thing.

(I've also got all sorts of opinions about this Hall business, but I find that when I discuss them around here, things quickly descend into incivility (on my part as well as others'), so I'll refrain on this occasion.)

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#103 Clyde Frog
October 20 2010, 11:45AM
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Bar Qu wrote:

I think those who project massive salary increases for players when Hall is 25 are dreaming in technicolor. Just ask homeowners who paid massive prices 5 years ago about rising values over time. Just ask all those free agents priced out of the market this year.

Past behaviour is the best predictor of future events. Salaries for star players have increased every year since the 90's, ergo it is reasonable to assume they will continue to increase.

That is false, sorry to say... Star players were making more pre-lockout and actually took a hit going into the new CBA.

You also have loopholes that have exploited to raise individual salaries while avoiding cap impact closing up just this very year. It will be a very interesting next few years to see how salaries re-adjust.

You can also point to how many RFA's were lowballed this offseason and not signed until the end as apposed to receiving FA money on day one.

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#104 russ99
October 20 2010, 11:45AM
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The other side of the coin is this:

Say the Oilers have any interest in sending Hall back to Windsor and Paajarvi to Timra after 10 games.

Who on the Oklahoma City roster would be brought up? Truth is none of our other prospects are ready to contribute to the expected level of Hall and Paajarvi either.

So it makes no sense to do that move - both for this year's success or for their future, i.e. let these guys play and make their mistakes now when there's no pressure to ice a playoff roster.

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#105 Cervantes
October 20 2010, 11:50AM
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It's all ridiculousness anyways. Everyone is running around like headless chickens, lumping UFA Hall in the same boat as radiation from chest xrays and nearby asteroids crashing into their living room.

So bloody what if he's UFA at 25 or 26 or 27? We'll still be paying him, and MPS, and Eberle, market value + The Edmonton Tax. And somehow these players are going to crush us under the cap and we'll be doomed? Pittsburgh seems to be doing just fine, and they have Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fluery, and until recently Gonchar, plus a good set of utility 3/4'th liners (or, as I like to call them, "Oilers"). Fact is not all 3 of these kids are getting $10M deals, so, in the words of my father, quitcherbitchen.

Lets focus on what's best for the player, and not a mythical maybe savings of one or two MM down the road.

And lets also remember that punting the kid back down to the CHL (where I don't believe he will earn his million dollar payday, plus 2.something in bonuses) when he wants to play in the Bigs is something he's going to remember when he hits UFA status.

That said... he's 0-1-0 and -1 in 4 games with 7 shots (if I recall right). If he's not living up to the Hockey Jesus billing in another 5 games, then it's worth a serious discussion of whether a demoralizing year in the NHL is better or worse than a commanding year in the CHL (learning Centre, I hope).

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#106 Steve Smith
October 20 2010, 11:50AM
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@russ99

You're probably right (though I don't see much reason to believe that Hall's more NHL-ready than Omark, who's already moving towards UFA status), but the fact that management has brought us into the year in a situation in which we have to carry all three rookies because there's no one else available is rather damning on management.

(I'm still making no comment on whether carrying rookies is a desirable course of action, just saying that good management would set the team up in such a way that it could at least make the choice.)

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#107 Hemmercules
October 20 2010, 11:50AM
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russ99 wrote:

The other side of the coin is this:

Say the Oilers have any interest in sending Hall back to Windsor and Paajarvi to Timra after 10 games.

Who on the Oklahoma City roster would be brought up? Truth is none of our other prospects are ready to contribute to the expected level of Hall and Paajarvi either.

So it makes no sense to do that move - both for this year's success or for their future, i.e. let these guys play and make their mistakes now when there's no pressure to ice a playoff roster.

I believe alot of Oiler fans would be happy to see Hall and MP sent down, and have Omark on the team right now.

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#108 VMR
October 20 2010, 11:52AM
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C-DOG wrote:

This argument should be about 3 years from now not 8,but if the Oilers were thinking 7 years down the road more often then maybee they wouldn't of signed Horcoff to a six year extension with a full year to go in his previous contract, instead of just saying the cap will just keep going up.

Not thinking far down the road is just irresponsible in the cap world.

Isn't signing Horcoff to a long term contract long term thinking? They thought that long term he would improve and the cap would keep going up so $5 million for him would be a deal. In the end things changed, injuries hampered his play the economy tanked and the cap went sideways.

That's the problem with long term thinking in the sports world where things are always changing. That is exactly the problem with trying to save on the cap years in the future and not thinking enough about the present. You are not considering what it will take to get from here to there.

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#109 Adam D
October 20 2010, 11:55AM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Why do you have to be so rude, Ender? This is an open forum for people to opine .. stop responsing to contrary viewpoints so aggressively.

As a lesson I dressed you down in Comment #67. I didn't do it because I wanted to show that I could pee further than you could, i did it because you basically accused me of being an idiot in a previous post.

Now that you realize that some of your points are fallible, why don't you cut OilFan some slack.

We'll all shake it off and show up for work the next day.

Except you didn't "dress him down". Your post was pretty laughably incorrect.

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#110 Cervantes
October 20 2010, 11:55AM
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Bar Qu wrote:

I think those who project massive salary increases for players when Hall is 25 are dreaming in technicolor. Just ask homeowners who paid massive prices 5 years ago about rising values over time. Just ask all those free agents priced out of the market this year.

Past behaviour is the best predictor of future events. Salaries for star players have increased every year since the 90's, ergo it is reasonable to assume they will continue to increase.

Tell that to Mike Comrie. Or Bill Guerin. Or Doug Weight. Or Grebs. Or Turco. Or Niemi. Or Thorton. Or Chara.

Now that the cap is truly settling in, teams are having to adjust, and salaries are balancing out. You can't have half a dozen 6MM+ salaries and then try to fill out your other 20 skaters with the remaining 16MM. Teams need balance of ability, they're realizing that, and salaries are adjusting to recognize it. In a few years, it'll be one superstar at 8MM, maybe 2 or 3 proven stars around 5-6, and then a flushed complement of players around 2 - 3. A team is better with four solid lines than it is with a superpower line and a 4th that can't remember which end to skate towards.

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#111 PabstBR55
October 20 2010, 11:55AM
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@Ender

No worries, mate. You bring a lot to the forum - i just think it's important to let everybody speak their minds without fear of being attacked.

Keep up the solid posting. I find yours tend to make me think - which by my definition is a worthy contribution.

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#112 Cervantes
October 20 2010, 11:59AM
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Hemmercules wrote:

I believe alot of Oiler fans would be happy to see Hall and MP sent down, and have Omark on the team right now.

Hall and MPS down and Omark on the team?

I'd be happy to see Strudwick moved off the roster, and Omark on the team.

Or JDD/DD sent down/traded, and Omark on the team.

Or Struds AND JDDDD moved, and Omark and Belle/Petiot both up here, so we have some flexibility in the team we ice.

Unfortunately, all of that is as likely as JFJ having a 20 goal season...

... or Hall or MPS being sent down.

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#113 D-Man
October 20 2010, 12:07PM
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Bar Qu wrote:

I think anyone raising the cap issue would agree with your first sentence. Where you (and most commenters here) are losing track is that cap and fiscal efficiency should be part of management's though process.

The argument is this: if Hall is ready to play and will develop let him play in the bigs. But if by playing in the bigs this season it seriously handcuffs the team financially in 3-5 years, then there needs to be a discussion about how the team deals with that situation. And if the outcome of the discussion is 'well, we really don't know how we can have a competitive team at that point' then management needs to at least consider sending him back to junior.

There is nowhere no evidence that management has even begun to think about what is best for the team this year, let alone about how to best manage the cap in the future (how about sign a couple of no-future back-up goalies, and a 8th d-man who won't play at all?). This discussion being raised by certain sectors becomes valid simply because it is not part of the thought process for people are supposedly paid to do just that.

Agreed that the cap and fiscal efficiency should be part of the management's thought process. However, there is evidence that mgmt has thought about what was best for the team this year or how to manage the cap. Can you say Moreau, O'Sullivan, Nillson or Souray?

Without those buyouts, we'd still have another $10 million or so tied up in cap space. You would also have negative energy in the dressing room from the 'old veteran regime'... Although I'm not sure why we haven't waived one of the backups, signing him to sit is still better than losing him for nothing.

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#114 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 20 2010, 12:07PM
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Bar Qu wrote:

I think those who project massive salary increases for players when Hall is 25 are dreaming in technicolor. Just ask homeowners who paid massive prices 5 years ago about rising values over time. Just ask all those free agents priced out of the market this year.

Past behaviour is the best predictor of future events. Salaries for star players have increased every year since the 90's, ergo it is reasonable to assume they will continue to increase.

You could change that to the 1890's and still be correct.

Still suprised people argue long term inflation.

Edit: Not talking year over year, but over the mid to long term

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#115 DN
October 20 2010, 12:09PM
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Although Oilers nation is keen on this subject, based on the number of postings, the decision has already been made according to Ryan Rishaug on the T1260. Apparently Hall has been given the green light to get permanent lodging.

I hope Lowtide keeps us informed on who is playing well enough on the farm to be the next call up as a semi regular feature.

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#116 OilFan
October 20 2010, 12:13PM
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Ender wrote:

OilFan wrote:

Why would I ask Wayne ? People will buy other jerseys. Last seasons average attendance 16,839, list season so far 16,839 seems like the same number. http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

In the first place, if you have to wonder why Wanye's input is relevant then you've already missed the reference and the point is lost on you.

In the second place, you're arguing that the sold-out numbers this year with Hall in the line-up help to prove that Rexall will continue to sell out without Hall. I'm missing your path in logic there.

My point was that they sold out games last year with out Hall.

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#117 OilFan
October 20 2010, 12:16PM
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DN wrote:

Although Oilers nation is keen on this subject, based on the number of postings, the decision has already been made according to Ryan Rishaug on the T1260. Apparently Hall has been given the green light to get permanent lodging.

I hope Lowtide keeps us informed on who is playing well enough on the farm to be the next call up as a semi regular feature.

Or if you read the paper and Renney said Hall is staying with the team all season if he gets the final say.

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#118 James
October 20 2010, 12:18PM
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The MSM in this city seems more preoccupied with supporting the Oilers management's decisions rather than critiquing them. They're little more than the PR arm of Katz/Tambellini/Lowe. I realize that makes me sound like a cheesie-muncher, but the tough questions simply are not being asked.

Incredibly disappointing.

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#119 offside
October 20 2010, 12:37PM
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Has there been any indication from the Oilers that they are considering sending Hall down or is this just people defending what they think will be best for Hall and the Oilers? My guess is Hall is here to stay so quite frankly any discussion on sending him down is irrelevant.

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#121 James
October 20 2010, 12:48PM
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LT, I'm curious to hear your take on why the tradmed expresses unsourced sentiments on what the average fan "thinks", and attempts to marginalize them so dismissively?

Laziness? An institutional closeness to the subject they're covering (i.e. the Oilers and their management), resulting in a tendency to "stick up" for their friends in the organization?

I'm not saying that no one in the tradmed does good work - but it seems we don't have the bulldog critic (outside the blogosphere) in any place of prominence.

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#122 The Other John
October 20 2010, 12:48PM
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I think Rishaug is right in asking whether Hall will develop more here than after a year of junior. But the question is develop to what level: 15 goals and 18 assists? because if the Oil burn a year eligibility for that type of performance that is not a great deal. If junior on the other hand actually stunts his development...ie he will not, at age 26 be a comparable player, that is a very legitimate argument.

The difficulty I have with this entire argument is twofold: firstly, the Oilers have decided he is staying (and they NEVER change their mind once it is made up-- see Sheldon Souray); and secondly they refuse to comprehend that salary cap management is an asset in the cap world. The extent of the Oiler promouncements in this regard is to trumpet they are under the cap "this year".

Successful teams manage their caps in the 3 pro sports that have a cap...like magicians. Us, not so much. The Oilers roughly spent to the cap last year with a 30th place team. That is so so embarassing that if not fired, someone should have volunteered to resign.

Now, they are visibly proud of being $8-10 million under the cap in a year that they are targetting another bottom 10 finish. Or at least that is what they say when they rationalize not finding a RH center that can win face offs and kill penalties. Ditto if you were trying to develop young guys they would have a younger player as their 7th D man.

In the years ahead we will have to make hard decisions as a result of Eberle, MPS and Hall's contracts all coming up at the same time and the MSM will, I am sure, be saying well thats jusr part of the business. That is entirely true, partuliarly if you do not recognize and manage your cap space YEARS in advance.

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#123 VMR
October 20 2010, 01:08PM
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@The Other John

Dude you always have to manage your cap space and you cant do much planning for the future since you never know what you'll have and what you'll need. They will always be making decisions on who they can afford on the team and what free agents they try and sign there is no way to get around it. Shifting which years players become free agents and need to be resigned just shifts around what else you can do in those years.

It's not a 4 or 5 piece puzzle. They've got a 23 man roster that has to work out to whatever the cap is at the time and a lot of holes to fill at this point. There is a lot of flexibility and a lot of things to be considered. When these players do come up it may or may not be a problem but it's not one you can deal with now.

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#124 Woodguy
October 20 2010, 01:09PM
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James wrote:

The MSM in this city seems more preoccupied with supporting the Oilers management's decisions rather than critiquing them. They're little more than the PR arm of Katz/Tambellini/Lowe. I realize that makes me sound like a cheesie-muncher, but the tough questions simply are not being asked.

Incredibly disappointing.

Agreed.

It would be nice to hear some MSM member ask Tambellini exactly why they are carrying 3 goalies.

Brule tweaks his ankle and needs a night off and the 3 choices in the PB are Smac, Strudwick and an AHL goalie.

That's some quality roster management there.

Oh, I'm sorry, I'm supposed to be patient.

Also,

"Tell that to Mike Comrie. Or Bill Guerin. Or Doug Weight. Or Grebs. Or Turco. Or Niemi. Or Thorton. Or Chara.:"

Players get paid less as they get older, especially on the north side of 33, the goaltender market is over saturated, and Chara's 8.5M salary and 1M signing bonus from next year say hello.

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#125 Crash
October 20 2010, 01:14PM
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BarryS wrote:

I think those who project massive salary increases for players when Hall is 25 are dreaming in technicolor. Just ask homeowners who paid massive prices 5 years ago about rising values over time. Just ask all those free agents priced out of the market this year.

Until the NHL gets major new sources of income the pressure on salaries will be down, not up, the next few years. The seems to me the days of rich owners using sport as a source of deductions for massive profits in others of their businesses are over for the time being, given current economic trends.

Hall and the others may get raises or may not. Did Gagner, Brule, and Cogs get massive raises or offer sheets tbis year? Did any of this years free agents?

There are enough worries today without worrying about seven years from now. To many unknownns to worry about it. Until the new CBA, not even the rules can be known, nor even the number of teams seven years from now.

The basic assumptions behind the send them down are, they will be healthy at free agency, salaries will go up, there will be as many or more teams, revenues will increase, after tax revenue will go up, teams will still have 23 man rosters and 50 contracts and no doubt many more I'm to lazy to think up.

The rookies can play, let them play.

Props to you for your post...this is the best post of the bunch....

You are so right....there are enough worries now without worrying about 7 yrs from now.

You sir are correct, the rookies can play, so let em.

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#126 GSC
October 20 2010, 01:31PM
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TSNRyanRishaug wrote:

So what in your mind is a "bulldog critics" role? To automatically question everything and be negative about every decision so that listerners and viewers think "wow, is that guy tough!".. or to think objectively, ask thoughtfull questions on relevant topics, and try to tell quality stories. What is the burning question that needs to be asked that hasn't been asked? They've decided they're keeping him, theyve explained why, and in this instance, I, along with most other MSM members happen to agree with the strategy. There are other cases in which we don't, so we ask questions and state our opinions on the radio. Why, because we don't happen to agree with this wave of fury in the blogosphere are we all of a sudden not doing our jobs? You don't think Robin Brownlee, Jason Gregor, Stauffer, Tychkowski, myself or other MSM members can't ask tough questions, or confront them on ideas? We do it every day. So just because our opinions differ on Hall, don't think there's some pedastal available for you to step up onto and chastize MSM members. Because if you do, I'll throw it right back at you.. when was the last practice you watched? the last conversation you had with a scout, or with Taylor himself? the last time you asked a teammate of his how he thiought taylor was adjusting? Proffesionalism is asking the questions, gathering the information, telling the stories, and when participating in an opinion based forum such as radio, giving our opinions.. Not to take the popular route you seem to thirst for in the form of being a "bulldog critic".

That's the way the "Oilogosphere" works: if you agree with management and/or the MSM, 9 times out of 10 you're a sheep and don't have the ability to think for yourself.

Welcome to the flock, Shauger.

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#127 ubermiguel
October 20 2010, 01:33PM
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BarryS makes a good point. Assuming the CBA remains for the most part the same as it is now, there will be pressures to keep salaries reasonable.

Also, is part of the issue that people are worried about Hall not resigning here when he's a UFA? Are we still suffering from NHL-inferiority complex?

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#128 Jason T
October 20 2010, 01:39PM
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Personally, I don't get why some Oil fans are so hung up on the money, 7-8 years from now.

IMO, a lot of the Oilers current problems were from K-Lowe hedging his bet with contracts, trying to get a "cap deal" on guys, rolling the dice. Gilbert. Horcoff. Penner. Hemsky. Out of those 4 deals, only 1 is a deal today. And Penner will never cover his bet with the start of his deal. I like him, but contractually he won't cover that bet.

I really hope in the future this management pays guys for what they are. Not what they might be. If it costs you more money, that means the player actually performed to that level. A novel concept for the previous Oiler management IMO.

Hall will get his money, who cares? 7-8 years down the road, worrying about entry level this and that? It's absolutely rediculous.

I want Taylor Hall to become a $10 million a year player myself, and as fast as possible. If/when towards the 2nd half of the season as this player addapts to the new environment, he'll be fine. Just like Gagner, Stamkos, and all the rest.

To keep him in junior for cap reasons 7-8 years down the road is the most rediculous notion I've heard in some time.

Watch him develop and enjoy the show. :)

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#129 speeds
October 20 2010, 01:44PM
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GSC wrote:

That's the way the "Oilogosphere" works: if you agree with management and/or the MSM, 9 times out of 10 you're a sheep and don't have the ability to think for yourself.

Welcome to the flock, Shauger.

That is absurd. Many bloggers disagree with some of the things management does, and many bloggers are perhaps shown to be right as seen by management's results - spending more than the cap and finishing 30th in a 30 team, by a wide margin.

Off the top of my head, I don't recall seeing anyone criticize the Staois trade, and very few that criticized the Fraser trade, or Foster signing. Maybe those will turn out to be good moves, maybe they won't, but I don't understand the criticism that everyone is uniformly negative.

Has the possibility occurred to you that, maybe, there is a lot of criticism made by bloggers because there have been a number of mediocre moves being made by a management group that has missed the playoffs four straight seasons, with an eye on number five?

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#130 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 01:53PM
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VMR wrote:

Dude you always have to manage your cap space and you cant do much planning for the future since you never know what you'll have and what you'll need. They will always be making decisions on who they can afford on the team and what free agents they try and sign there is no way to get around it. Shifting which years players become free agents and need to be resigned just shifts around what else you can do in those years.

It's not a 4 or 5 piece puzzle. They've got a 23 man roster that has to work out to whatever the cap is at the time and a lot of holes to fill at this point. There is a lot of flexibility and a lot of things to be considered. When these players do come up it may or may not be a problem but it's not one you can deal with now.

You can't plan everything perfectly because something will happen to change part of it.

Someone will get hurt and not pan out, someone will become a surprise and exceed expectations, etc...

That being said that doesn't mean you shouldn't be planning. The Oilers should have a plan together for what happens between now and 2015-2016. They should have a plan in place for when they plan to be competetive.

Shifting around the years in which players become free agents does more that just shift around what else you can do in those years. It also gives you an opportunity to build yourself a window of opportunity. A point in time where you aren't paying top dollar to all your young talent which may allow you other options to bolster your team.

Rebuilding isn't just about slapping an Oiler logo on a bunch of players under 22 and saying see you in 3 years. There has to be a plan in place. There has to be a plan for what to do with Hemsky and Penner. There has to be a plan for how to build the defence.

The last thing you want to do is hamstring your team in the future because you didn't bother to think far enough ahead to see potential outcomes.

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#131 GSC
October 20 2010, 01:53PM
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speeds wrote:

That is absurd. Many bloggers disagree with some of the things management does, and many bloggers are perhaps shown to be right as seen by management's results - spending more than the cap and finishing 30th in a 30 team, by a wide margin.

Off the top of my head, I don't recall seeing anyone criticize the Staois trade, and very few that criticized the Fraser trade, or Foster signing. Maybe those will turn out to be good moves, maybe they won't, but I don't understand the criticism that everyone is uniformly negative.

Has the possibility occurred to you that, maybe, there is a lot of criticism made by bloggers because there have been a number of mediocre moves being made by a management group that has missed the playoffs four straight seasons, with an eye on number five?

That's the attitude that pisses me off to no end. Who cares if the bloggers are right when it's all said and done? Are they in control of what the franchise does? Do they call the shots? All rhetorical questions, and everything that's discussed in that realm is trivial. It isn't going to change a thing.

And yes, that possibility has occurred to me. Don't talk down to me like I haven't been critical of Oiler management myself, or don't understand where it comes from. I'm well aware of its origins.

As for the bloggers agreeing with management on some issues, I remember a certain blogger who called the offseason moves that Tambellini made the "easy part." I guess re-vamping the franchise from top to bottom at every level is "easy." It's never good enough, is it?

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#132 GSC
October 20 2010, 01:55PM
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Ender wrote:

Unfortunately, you're kind of right on this, GSC. While there are some people who post here regularly that aren't afraid to stick up for management when they do something right, it is definitely going against the grain in most cases. In addition, if you're going to state that management made the right choice, you'd best have some pretty solid arguments why.

It takes work to figure out why someone else's choice out of all the ones available was the right one; it takes almost no thought at all for someone to examine the surface issues and decide that their first instinct is superior to management's decision.

I welcome those who look at all the angles and come up with the right solution, even if it's the one Tambi and Company already came up with. I really respect the ones who aren't afraid to say it and defend it publically.

Hear, hear.

I just can't stand the mentality that those of us who happen to agree with management and the MSM from time to time haven't done so through our own process of thought and analysis.

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#133 Ender
October 20 2010, 01:57PM
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speeds wrote:

That is absurd. Many bloggers disagree with some of the things management does, and many bloggers are perhaps shown to be right as seen by management's results - spending more than the cap and finishing 30th in a 30 team, by a wide margin.

Off the top of my head, I don't recall seeing anyone criticize the Staois trade, and very few that criticized the Fraser trade, or Foster signing. Maybe those will turn out to be good moves, maybe they won't, but I don't understand the criticism that everyone is uniformly negative.

Has the possibility occurred to you that, maybe, there is a lot of criticism made by bloggers because there have been a number of mediocre moves being made by a management group that has missed the playoffs four straight seasons, with an eye on number five?

The thing is, when mangement does something 'right', there is usually very little discussion at all. Few people take the time to write about how smart Tambi was to trade Staios to Calgary, unless they're using that trade to illustrate the weak points in a different trade.

People here seem to be much more excited to post about the Oilers perceived weaknesses and mistakes than they are about posting a fact when the Oilers are on the right track. While certain Voices will put up articles that are positive in tone, actual Citizen comments seem to be generally far less enthusiastic.

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#134 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 02:00PM
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Ender wrote:

Unfortunately, you're kind of right on this, GSC. While there are some people who post here regularly that aren't afraid to stick up for management when they do something right, it is definitely going against the grain in most cases. In addition, if you're going to state that management made the right choice, you'd best have some pretty solid arguments why.

It takes work to figure out why someone else's choice out of all the ones available was the right one; it takes almost no thought at all for someone to examine the surface issues and decide that their first instinct is superior to management's decision.

I welcome those who look at all the angles and come up with the right solution, even if it's the one Tambi and Company already came up with. I really respect the ones who aren't afraid to say it and defend it publically.

In fairness, this is a team that has made a whack load of questionable decisions over the years and has also missed the playoffs 4 times in a row, finished 30th last year and 25th two years ago.

It's hard to take managements side on some issues because 1). There's compelling evidence against it and 2). They don't have the best history of making solid decisions that make sense long term.

For every trading away of Staios there is a signing of Khabibulin. For every unloading of Ethan Moreau there is keeping 3 goalies on the roster.

Oilers management is getting questioned on every turn because this club has been a disaster for the last few seasons and they've shown little ability to think past the next couple of weeks.

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#135 GSC
October 20 2010, 02:02PM
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dawgbone wrote:

In fairness, this is a team that has made a whack load of questionable decisions over the years and has also missed the playoffs 4 times in a row, finished 30th last year and 25th two years ago.

It's hard to take managements side on some issues because 1). There's compelling evidence against it and 2). They don't have the best history of making solid decisions that make sense long term.

For every trading away of Staios there is a signing of Khabibulin. For every unloading of Ethan Moreau there is keeping 3 goalies on the roster.

Oilers management is getting questioned on every turn because this club has been a disaster for the last few seasons and they've shown little ability to think past the next couple of weeks.

And that's absolutely fair, they deserve to be questioned for their past moves (notably those made during the Lowe era).

There has to be give and take, and too often I don't see that amongst many in the "Oilogosphere." Too often it's the "I'm right, so Oilers management has to be wrong" mentality. It's tired.

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#136 Smokey
October 20 2010, 02:12PM
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I woke up today to realize people are not giving up on the Hall to junior. The organization is not talking about it, its a not starter. If he went backhand Saturday, were not talking about this. Get over it, let the kid develop. Enjoy the ride, lets move forward.

I hope he scores a goal to shut up the 10 percent of people who think they know better then everyone else.

Many first overall players have gone through this. Stamkos, Thornton are the two that come to mind. They struggled, and the point I am making is they were good enough to overcome the challenges.

Hes here to stay.

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#137 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 02:14PM
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Ender wrote:

The thing is, when mangement does something 'right', there is usually very little discussion at all. Few people take the time to write about how smart Tambi was to trade Staios to Calgary, unless they're using that trade to illustrate the weak points in a different trade.

People here seem to be much more excited to post about the Oilers perceived weaknesses and mistakes than they are about posting a fact when the Oilers are on the right track. While certain Voices will put up articles that are positive in tone, actual Citizen comments seem to be generally far less enthusiastic.

Lots of people wrote about trading Staios to Calgary and how it was a great trade. But ultimately all he did was save some cap space for this year he wasn't going to use. He utimately gave most of that money to Vandeemer anyways.

And the problem is we don't know if the Oilers are on the right track. Every good move is followed by a questionable one (or vice versa).

Until the Oilers start going year after year and actually coming out ahead in their changes, the fans have every right to be skeptical of what's happening.

Kevin Lowe got a free pass from me for a number of years before the lockout. He came out and made some fantastic moves in the summer of 05 and throughout the year. That benefit carried through for another couple of years.

But since the trade deadline of '06, this team has progressively gotten worse and there have been quite a few completely puzzling moves in that time. Even knowing some of these were questionable I stuck with it and waited to see what happened. He did it pre-lockout and I was expecting it to happen post-lockout as well.

It never did.

Now we are throwing a bunch of kids out there and expecting this same management group to get it right this time?

No wonder people aren't buying it.

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#138 freeze
October 20 2010, 02:21PM
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Awesome to hear Allan (LT) on the Jason Gregor Show today! That should be a recurring feature!

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#139 Crash
October 20 2010, 02:22PM
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dawgbone wrote:

You can't plan everything perfectly because something will happen to change part of it.

Someone will get hurt and not pan out, someone will become a surprise and exceed expectations, etc...

That being said that doesn't mean you shouldn't be planning. The Oilers should have a plan together for what happens between now and 2015-2016. They should have a plan in place for when they plan to be competetive.

Shifting around the years in which players become free agents does more that just shift around what else you can do in those years. It also gives you an opportunity to build yourself a window of opportunity. A point in time where you aren't paying top dollar to all your young talent which may allow you other options to bolster your team.

Rebuilding isn't just about slapping an Oiler logo on a bunch of players under 22 and saying see you in 3 years. There has to be a plan in place. There has to be a plan for what to do with Hemsky and Penner. There has to be a plan for how to build the defence.

The last thing you want to do is hamstring your team in the future because you didn't bother to think far enough ahead to see potential outcomes.

What if? Yes the what if is something that can affect even the best plan. You even stated it in your first paragraph that yes, you can't plan everything perfectly because something will happen to change part of it. But then you continued on to suggest all these things the Oilers should have a plan for. Things that all could easily have something happen to change them.

First off I'm thinking the Oilers do have a plan and it's a shift in philosophy that had them chasing high priced free agents before to todays plan. The plan now is to draft and build from within and develop our own players. I think how the rest of the plan plays out will likely depend on how good these players turn out to be and how quickly they reach their peak. These are unknowns and is part of the reason you can't have a plan for multiple years down the road as down the road can change depending on how the present turns out.

You said they should have a plan in place for when they plan to be competitive. So, how does one know when that will be? What if they turn out to be pretty competitive this year and it's fast tracked. That might change the overall plan for player acquisitions next year or even this year.

What if these young players are all better than everyone thinks? Or what if they are worse? What if at about game 25 everything comes together for Gagner, Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi along with the talents of Hemsky and Penner, the leadership of Horcoff, Whitney, etc?

What if the plan is to keep a happy Hemsky and Penner to be part of a winning team down the road and they are both on board only to have them change their minds later? Who is to say the Oilers don't have a plan for the defense? They are bringing another one in to the fold this year in Peckham...now you have to wait and see how Petry, Plante, Belle, etc pan out and then adjust accordingly. You can't just plan that 3 or 4 yrs down the road. Or what if a good trade falls into your lap later on this year, or say some UFA decides he'd like to be a part of this in the summer? Couldn't that change things?

Like I said I think the plan is in place. Rebuild and do it from within for the most part and then roll with the punches. See how it goes and adjust on the run. Kind of tough to see potential outcomes when there are so many different outcomes that could take place.

That's just my take. I see a plan, now if everyone could just be patient and let the plan run it's course things wouldn't be so venomous in here all the time.

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#140 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 20 2010, 02:23PM
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Smokey wrote:

I woke up today to realize people are not giving up on the Hall to junior. The organization is not talking about it, its a not starter. If he went backhand Saturday, were not talking about this. Get over it, let the kid develop. Enjoy the ride, lets move forward.

I hope he scores a goal to shut up the 10 percent of people who think they know better then everyone else.

Many first overall players have gone through this. Stamkos, Thornton are the two that come to mind. They struggled, and the point I am making is they were good enough to overcome the challenges.

Hes here to stay.

I don't really think anyone is advocating sending him down because he doesn't have a goal or two.

From what I've read, most question whether it's in the best LONG TERM interest of the club to have him here now. They aren't questioning whether his 4 games have been impressive enough or not.

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#141 Jason Gregor
October 20 2010, 02:26PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

It's been interesting to watch the transition from "if he earns a spot in camp with his play he needs to be here" to "it's early, give him time".

I think (hope?) we all knew he was unlikely to be worth his $3.75 MM cap hit this season. Combine that with the long-term UFA ramifications of having him play this year, and the fiscal/cap angle to this is clear: send Hall to junior.

Certainly I don't think Hall's entitled by right of draft pedigree to a spot, but many do, and I think that's where the MSM is coming from: that all first overall picks deserve a spot immediately.

Jonathon,

I'd like you to show me where someone said he automatically deserves a spot. I didn't see any players that were better than him in camp, that would have knocked him back to junior.

If a player is ready to play, then he should get the chance. Hall has had some great chancees, but he hasn't buried them. He hasn't looked overwhelmed. He's looked like an 18-year-old learning to play against the best players in the game. This experience will make him a better player.

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#142 D-Man
October 20 2010, 02:27PM
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dawgbone wrote:

Lots of people wrote about trading Staios to Calgary and how it was a great trade. But ultimately all he did was save some cap space for this year he wasn't going to use. He utimately gave most of that money to Vandeemer anyways.

And the problem is we don't know if the Oilers are on the right track. Every good move is followed by a questionable one (or vice versa).

Until the Oilers start going year after year and actually coming out ahead in their changes, the fans have every right to be skeptical of what's happening.

Kevin Lowe got a free pass from me for a number of years before the lockout. He came out and made some fantastic moves in the summer of 05 and throughout the year. That benefit carried through for another couple of years.

But since the trade deadline of '06, this team has progressively gotten worse and there have been quite a few completely puzzling moves in that time. Even knowing some of these were questionable I stuck with it and waited to see what happened. He did it pre-lockout and I was expecting it to happen post-lockout as well.

It never did.

Now we are throwing a bunch of kids out there and expecting this same management group to get it right this time?

No wonder people aren't buying it.

The only piece you're forgetting is the fact that we got Vandermeer for O'Sullivan, Staios became a 3rd round draft pick and additional cap space...

Although Oilers mgmt is far from perfect (the Khabby signing is brutal), I think they're at least starting to get it right - especially through the draft... Eberle, MPS, Hall, Omark, Pitlick, Petry - the future looks bright... To me, the best move made in the last two years was firing Prenderghast... Asides from Hemsky, he did nothing positive to our organization.

But you are right to be skeptical. The proof is in the pudding - if we aren't sitting as a legitimate playoff team in three years, I shudder to think how many 'SQUEEE's we'll be seeing on Oilersnation.

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#143 Randy
October 20 2010, 02:29PM
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This whole issue around burning a year before free agency is the biggest red herring out there. It is a goofy argument, how many very good young hockey players in the last 5 years have even gotten close???? If he is anywhere near as good as he is supposed to be he will have a 10 or 12 year contract before he is 22 years old.

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#144 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 20 2010, 02:34PM
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Randy wrote:

This whole issue around burning a year before free agency is the biggest red herring out there. It is a goofy argument, how many very good young hockey players in the last 5 years have even gotten close???? If he is anywhere near as good as he is supposed to be he will have a 10 or 12 year contract before he is 22 years old.

Jay Bowmester and Ilya Kovalchuk come to mind as two guys that hit the FA market as soon (or at least very close) as contractually possible.

I believe Mike Camillari would be in this boat as well.

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#145 mc79hockey
October 20 2010, 02:36PM
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The thing is, when mangement does something 'right', there is usually very little discussion at all. Few people take the time to write about how smart Tambi was to trade Staios to Calgary, unless they're using that trade to illustrate the weak points in a different trade.

Name names. Who, who isn't writing a site that none of you read, didn't say that trading Staios was a good move? Should there be weekly updates about this?

I remember a certain blogger who called the offseason moves that Tambellini made the "easy part." I guess re-vamping the franchise from top to bottom at every level is "easy." It's never good enough, is it?

Yeah, with an unlimited budget, getting rid of a bunch of the crappiest parts of a crappy team and firing a bunch of people who don't have long term deals is, actually, pretty easy. This, by the way, is apparently what's offended you:

I’ve thought that everything Tambellini has done so far has been pretty easy. It’s easier to recognize and clean up someone else’s mistakes than it is your own.

I don't demand that he have success yet, nor do I expect him. It seems pretty self-evident to me though that the easy part is getting rid of people and the hard part is building a team that's consistently amongst the elite.

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#146 Tyle
October 20 2010, 02:42PM
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When we're not sure, should we operate on the premise that the guys who have been doing this for a living for the last several years are automatically wrong, or should we start with the idea that maybe they know something we don't and try and figure out what it might be?

These "guys" you're talking about...these are the ones who have the worst record in the NHL over the past four years, despite having no shortage of money? These are the guys moves I should be rationalizing by asking myself what assumptions I can make to defend them rather than pointing to the obvious stupidity of them?

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#147 Tyler
October 20 2010, 02:43PM
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When the moves are stupid, of course - I should have qualified that. There's been the odd sensible one.

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#148 Tyler
October 20 2010, 02:49PM
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The volume of people that said nice things about the trade in the 24 hours after it happened is dwarfed by the massive number of negative comments during the year or more preceeding the trade.

You mean during the year in which the Oilers missed the playoffs, concluded it was the coach's fault and that this team was on the cusp of contention, hired Pat Quinn for multiple years, signed a goalie to a contract grossly disproportionate with the market on the basis of an anomolous year, didn't check any medical records before doing the deal, was surprised to learn that the goalie had dehydration problems, saw that goalie suffer an injury of the type that you might have expected if you were familiar with his medical history, and arrested and commenced a rapid descent to 30th place in the NHL?

Yeah, what a bunch of pricks criticizing him. Can't possibly imagine what he might have done to deserve some criticism. The Staios trade should have been praised as much as the previous year was panned.

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#149 Ender
October 20 2010, 02:52PM
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@Tyle

The question you need to ask yourself, then, is 'What makes you or I more qualified to make decisions for the team than the current management?'

Since no one is keeping tabs on the calls that you and I have made, I guess there isn't a good basis for comparison, but I suspect that if I was made the GM of the Oilers tomorrow, people would complain about my decisions more than Tambellini's. Perhaps the average fan isn't as qualified to make these decisions as they might indicate from behind their anonymous usernames.

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#150 Dan the Man
October 20 2010, 02:53PM
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Being that most would consider this a rebuilding year I think the development of the young players is the most important thing for Oilers this season.

If Hall will develop best by playing in the NHL then that's where he should be.

If developing our young players means we lose more games than we win I can live with that and of course there is always the chance of another top pick next year as a result.

How soon before we can start the "Inferior for Coutourier" chant?

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