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.

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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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#151 Ender
October 20 2010, 02:54PM
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Tyler wrote:

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.

About Staios in particular. Don't be deliberately obtuse.

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#152 Woodguy
October 20 2010, 02:55PM
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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.

Many gave Tambellini props for clearing out more of the "deadwood" players than most thought possible.

The fact that he is actually building a player development system and spending money in OKC is great. (he said himself that the Oiler's did not have a player development system before he came, and he was right)

This doesn't give him a walk from some terrible decisions though.

Just this offseason he gave contracts to:

JFJ JDD (a contract higher than many vets are getting and certainly higher than players of his stature. All of this in an over saturated goalie market) Smac Strudwick

Took on Vandemeer instead of a straight buyout of O'Sully. It saved some $$$ buy hurt the hockey team in terms of competitiveness.

None of these players help the team win, and we can be pissed off about it.

Another mistake is signing Foster and giving Renney no choice but to plug him in the 4 hole, even though last year Foster was either 3rd pair or PB (on the 1 PP though) Signing Foster is and of itself isn't bad, but expecting him to play above a level than he every has in his career is. If he was slotted for the 5-6 hole, its probably a good signing, but he's not, and its not.

This team has needed a 3C who can PK and win draws for 3 freaking years now, and they still stick with players they know cannot fill that role. That's not smart management.

Tambellini's additions to the team are inadequate especially in the light of what GM's like Tallon and Tampa added to their team this year. Neither of these GM's enticed free agents with "come play for a winner", but rather added decent NHL players who help when on the ice, and not hurt the team's chances. Magnificent Bastard Stu is adding some great kids to this organization, but the GM of the team isn't doing his job to surround these kids with the support they need.

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#153 Tyler
October 20 2010, 02:58PM
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@Ender

I'm genuinely confused - you think people were criticizing him for not trading Staios earlier?

I can only speak for myself but I figured he was stuck with that deal.

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#154 Tyler
October 20 2010, 02:59PM
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My point about being stuck with the deal being that it would be stupid to criticize him for not having done something earlier about it.

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#155 VMR
October 20 2010, 03:00PM
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@dawgbone

How much are you planning on paying Eberle, Paajarvi and Hall when they come up as RFA's?

Are they going to be in the same payscale as Cogliano (@$1million), Gagner (@$2.25 Million), or a Bobby Ryan (@$5Million). How can you adequately plan for a range of anywhere between 3 and 15 million dollars for the 3 of them? You cant, all you can do is leave yourself flexibility to manage them and see how things develop. Having their RFA contracts come up in different seasons isnt the only way to get that flexibility and they've shown they're willing to eat a $4.5 million contract by playing Souray in the minors so I think they can find better options rather than risk hampering a players development.

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#156 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 03:03PM
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D-Man wrote:

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.

I'm not forgetting that at all. The biggest part about the trade was to save the cap space, and it turns out the Oilers don't need it. The 3rd round pick is nice to have, but the reason people wanted Staios gone was because he made too much money for what he provided. We haven't fixed that issue... the guy we are paying to replace him still makes too much money for what he brings. All we did is get an extra 3rd round pick out fo the deal which ultimately holds little value.

You can't crap on Pendergrast while also mentioning Petry and Omark as part of the future (he was the head scout when those picks were made).

Getting their scouting right is only one piece of the puzzle. That seems to be paying dividends. The other aspects of the decision making haven't followed that same path though.

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#157 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 03:11PM
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VMR wrote:

How much are you planning on paying Eberle, Paajarvi and Hall when they come up as RFA's?

Are they going to be in the same payscale as Cogliano (@$1million), Gagner (@$2.25 Million), or a Bobby Ryan (@$5Million). How can you adequately plan for a range of anywhere between 3 and 15 million dollars for the 3 of them? You cant, all you can do is leave yourself flexibility to manage them and see how things develop. Having their RFA contracts come up in different seasons isnt the only way to get that flexibility and they've shown they're willing to eat a $4.5 million contract by playing Souray in the minors so I think they can find better options rather than risk hampering a players development.

You plan for the upper range.

If it doesn't pan out, what have you lost exactly?

Worst case scenario you are crappy hockey team (which you'd be if you didn't plan it out and they ended up like that).

Best case scenario they've panned out and you are in a position to compete.

Eating a $4.5 mil salary isn't something that this club wants to do. They may be able to tolerate it this year while they have a lower payroll (and don't have as many front loaded contracts), but what about on a year they are spending well over the cap $$ wise?

How willing are they going to be to bury another contract in the minors later on if this doesn't pan out for them?

Having a plan for 3 years from now doesn't mean burning all your bridges and signign offer sheets to players expecting a cup in 2014. You can plan with flexibility in mind. I'd much rather have a plan in place and adapt as opposed to thinking on my feet at the moment you need to make a decision.

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#158 Bar Qu
October 20 2010, 03:23PM
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It's nice to know that you only get to comment or discuss the team if you plan on saying nice things about their good decisions, unless of course you want to be labelled a 'whiner who knows better than professional managers' (paraphrase).

The whole blogosphere exists to give fans a voice and if people don't like what the fans say, too bad. And if you don't like that people don't agree with you, that's too bad too. I certainly am willing to take my lumps for the dumb things I do in the public sphere, so why can't GMs of hockey teams? or other commenters for that matter?

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#159 Ender
October 20 2010, 03:27PM
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Tyler wrote:

I'm genuinely confused - you think people were criticizing him for not trading Staios earlier? I can only speak for myself but I figured he was stuck with that deal . . .

. . . it would be stupid to criticize him for not having done something earlier about it.

Yes, and I agree completely. Feel free to read back through the previous year and more of posts. Heck, use the search function. You can find any number of 'trade Staios' tirades. As though Tambellini had no idea what he had in Staios and was simply foolishly sitting on him . . .

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#160 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 03:33PM
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@Ender

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?'

The ability to understand the CBA?

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#161 madjam
October 20 2010, 03:34PM
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How SERIOUS is MANAGEMENT about trying to make us a competitor this year or next ? They seem committed to long term futility , and i'm not sure they want it any other way . Are they hoping youngsters fare no better than Gags group over next 3 years so they can sign them back on cheaply like Brule , Cogs and Gagner ? Maybe that is part of reason we have so much cap space and multiple bubble players on squad ?

I'm not sold they want to be competitive this year or next to be honest . Maybe that also explains why only 3 youngsters made squad this year as well . I think maybe management are maybe being less than candid with the fans .

The cap 3 years from now should not be a problem unless all 3 turn into Stamkos next season, or year three . That should not happen if they continue to run bubble players - which seems to be their reasoning and modus operandi here for some odd reason . I suppose if this sort of action has approval of Katz then there is little the fans can do , but grin and bear it .

The kids are doing okay and will continue to get better up with the big club , but i feel sorry for them management has far to many bubble players to help them expediate the process of their growth !

I feel the reason we have not anyone of note is because management does not want an expedited building process to begin with . Either that or they cannot make a deal of anysort that would strenghthen club - which is not out of the realm of impossibility as we have have witnessed over last couple of seasons and this one looks no different to be honest ?

My question is: are they putting the best club forward on the ice or not, or playing mind games with the fans ? With cap space we still can't make a reasonable addition - something peculiar and funny about that if you don't mind me saying ?

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#162 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 03:36PM
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Ender wrote:

Tyler wrote:

I'm genuinely confused - you think people were criticizing him for not trading Staios earlier? I can only speak for myself but I figured he was stuck with that deal . . .

. . . it would be stupid to criticize him for not having done something earlier about it.

Yes, and I agree completely. Feel free to read back through the previous year and more of posts. Heck, use the search function. You can find any number of 'trade Staios' tirades. As though Tambellini had no idea what he had in Staios and was simply foolishly sitting on him . . .

Are you talking about the commenters now? There's a big difference between the 2 groups isn't there?

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#163 Mitch
October 20 2010, 03:36PM
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@ lowetide

Keeping Hall at the NHL level is a no brainer, there is nothing more to prove at the major junior level. This young man is not 5'8 142lbs soaking wet, and they brought MacIntyre back for good reason. Taylor is going to show his inexperience many times over, as the season goes along. The positives far over weigh the negatives clearly. Like a horse trainer that must train a young horse there is levels of progress that must be reached, this kid has what it takes, understands what it takes. Taylor Hall needs time, he's his own player no need for comparisions, just let him play the game, enjoy the fans and the city it will all workout in the end.

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#164 D-Man
October 20 2010, 03:37PM
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@dawgbone

I stand corrected over Omark and Petry, but it was still an excellent dismissal... You are right that Vandermeer does get too much, but the piece I believe you're missing is time. We can't 'rebuild' in one year. You can't realistically shed all of the 'overpriced' and 'bad contracts', unless of course you want more rookies in your line-up.

I think we can agree that you 'rebuild' a team through the draft which I believe you can give the Oilers mgmt an "A" grade. Their free agent signing need work, but I believe alot of the over payments are due to the fact that we are a 30th place team. Many players won't want to come here without getting more $$. Until we become a true 'winning' organization, I think we'll have to put up with the odd bad signing. But then again, some of our questionable signings like Strudwick and Jacques (which I also for the record don't mind) were one year deals... Again more space freed up for the available talent we have on the way (like Petry and Omark)...

The path on where we're going is clearer than its ever been. Does that give Tambo a pass? No - but I believe it does give him a bit more time to show us a bit more on where we're going... He's going to show us that at the trade deadline and at the 2011 draft...

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#165 Tyler
October 20 2010, 03:39PM
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@ender

Speeds was talking about bloggers. That's what go the response about Staios. What bloggers (that anyone reads) were ripping Tambo for failing to trade Staios?

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#166 Mike
October 20 2010, 03:42PM
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Bar Qu wrote:

It's nice to know that you only get to comment or discuss the team if you plan on saying nice things about their good decisions, unless of course you want to be labelled a 'whiner who knows better than professional managers' (paraphrase).

The whole blogosphere exists to give fans a voice and if people don't like what the fans say, too bad. And if you don't like that people don't agree with you, that's too bad too. I certainly am willing to take my lumps for the dumb things I do in the public sphere, so why can't GMs of hockey teams? or other commenters for that matter?

Yes, but when people question a few of the "genius" bloggers you get defensive.

And it is very easy for bloggers and fans to say things like the Oilers just should of signed this guy or that guy.

I've read many bloggers suggesting Tambellini is an idiot for not signing this guy or that guy, thinking that because it didn't happen Tambellini didn't think about it or try it.

And it isn't as easy as just signing certain players as some of the bloggers think.

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#167 D-Man
October 20 2010, 03:45PM
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@madjam

I don't think the intent is to be a competitor this year as you've indicated by adding three rookies to the lineup... That's the purpose of this rebuild. Let the kids strengthen their play and become the core of this team. You seem to forget that being a 30th placed team doesn't give us too much of a luxury on signing good FA's without overpaying - which of course is a bad move for our future. The bubble players you refer to - which I assume are Jones, Jacques, Strudwick, Vandermeer and Stortini are all 4th line players who aren't going to hurt this team in the long run... If we have to rely on these bubble players to win us hockey games - we're in alot more trouble that you refer too...

Are mind games being played?? No... Does the average fan need to have more patience? Yes...

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#168 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 03:55PM
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D-Man wrote:

I stand corrected over Omark and Petry, but it was still an excellent dismissal... You are right that Vandermeer does get too much, but the piece I believe you're missing is time. We can't 'rebuild' in one year. You can't realistically shed all of the 'overpriced' and 'bad contracts', unless of course you want more rookies in your line-up.

I think we can agree that you 'rebuild' a team through the draft which I believe you can give the Oilers mgmt an "A" grade. Their free agent signing need work, but I believe alot of the over payments are due to the fact that we are a 30th place team. Many players won't want to come here without getting more $$. Until we become a true 'winning' organization, I think we'll have to put up with the odd bad signing. But then again, some of our questionable signings like Strudwick and Jacques (which I also for the record don't mind) were one year deals... Again more space freed up for the available talent we have on the way (like Petry and Omark)...

The path on where we're going is clearer than its ever been. Does that give Tambo a pass? No - but I believe it does give him a bit more time to show us a bit more on where we're going... He's going to show us that at the trade deadline and at the 2011 draft...

I'm not missing time.

Staios's contract ends this summer as does Vandermeers. Whether we overpay one or the other we are still over paying one. Whether we are overpaying by $300k or $1.8 mil is irrelevant because the Oilers are under the cap by $10mil.

Your rebuild a team by replacing things that don't work with things that do. Part of that is through the draft while the other part is trading and free agency. You could have a bunch of top 10 picks over 10 years and never truely rebuild (see Atlanta, Columbus).

Signing bad deals and limiting them to only a year doesn't really solve problems though. What I'd like to see is them being able to consistantly bring in players who can cover their bet. They don't need to be allstars but quality bottom 6 players for the same money that they are paying guys like Strudwich and whoever their 3rd goalie is.

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#169 Quicksilver ballet
October 20 2010, 04:07PM
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Crackenbury wrote:

If the Khabby signing is the worst thing the Oilers have done in recent memory for many of the posters here, I'd say it's safe to say management has been doing failry well recently.

The Horcoff deal is worse than the Khabibulin deal. Horcoff is due to be overpaid more than Nikolai will make in his four years combined.If Horcoff was a UFA last summer he would have netted only 1.5-2.5 per, thats a 4 million dollar overpayment this year alone, and we're still stuck with him for another 5 years. Shawn Horcoff is the largest monetary mistake the Oilers have ever made. Tambellini's choosing Khabibulin over Roloson finishes two spots behind Lowe's epic blunder. Top 3 Oiler blunders (1) Horcoff (2) Sheldon Souray (3) Nikolai Khabibulin over Roli.

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#170 D-Man
October 20 2010, 04:10PM
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dawgbone wrote:

I'm not missing time.

Staios's contract ends this summer as does Vandermeers. Whether we overpay one or the other we are still over paying one. Whether we are overpaying by $300k or $1.8 mil is irrelevant because the Oilers are under the cap by $10mil.

Your rebuild a team by replacing things that don't work with things that do. Part of that is through the draft while the other part is trading and free agency. You could have a bunch of top 10 picks over 10 years and never truely rebuild (see Atlanta, Columbus).

Signing bad deals and limiting them to only a year doesn't really solve problems though. What I'd like to see is them being able to consistantly bring in players who can cover their bet. They don't need to be allstars but quality bottom 6 players for the same money that they are paying guys like Strudwich and whoever their 3rd goalie is.

But the players you're referring to aren't getting a regular shift to begin with. Arguably, our bottom six right now based on our lineup would be Hall, Cogs, Brule, Stortini/Macintrye, Jones and Fraser. I would argue that we really aren't overpaying any of these guys based on their past or present play... Our bottom two defense are Peckham and Vandermeer. Is Vandermeer a bad signing? You bet - but he's only a 'fill in' for O'Sullivan and will most likely be gone next year. I've excluded Strudwick as he's making less than $1.0 million and has yet to play a game.

Out of those players I've listed - who would you say isn't a quality bottom 6 player??

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#171 Death Metal Nightmare
October 20 2010, 04:15PM
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"these are not the idiot ramblings of unemployed, middle aged men with Cheesie bags and giants bottles of Coca-Cola."

gotta love that bias and prejudice on who deserves to be heard based on economic conditions and consumer choices, hey? whoops. lame.

if this is about spending money (it is), why arent they at the cap floor and salary floor for that matter? why waste more money than you need to for a rebuild? this isnt just about Taylor Hall but maximizing the franchises FUTURES. we all know this team blows and their "high end" players are third wheels on most lines in the NHL. so cut them out too. theyre not here for the long haul. lets save money so when Hall comes back from juniors and starts that contract status later - were going to be ready to Spend Hard Nucka.

Horcoff is a lame duck. Penner and Hemsky (if theyre even here) will be heading into lame duck status in the twilight of their 'abilities'. why are we wasting our time and money watching this? oh yeah, TV RATINGS and "obsession". sorry.

/sarcasm

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#172 Mr. Pederson
October 20 2010, 04:16PM
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dawgbone wrote:

This argument has come up several times and I don't think it holds up.

Is there a single example of a player who did this? His team held him back and he bolted first chance he had because of it?

I can't recall one.

But I do know 2 players who were kept out of the NHL (one was for contract reasons) who looked pretty ready. Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan, both of whom signed long term deals with the teams who held them out.

Your point is noted and is reasonable. I suppose my second paragraph is really secondary to what I was trying to say in the first paragraph: that I agree with LT and other posters who believe the first consideration should be what is best for the development of the player, and the contract implications should come after.

From what I've seen, I don't think he's in way over his head at the NHL level. In my opinion, he would benefit more from the jump to the NHL, as is happening right now, than spend another year in junior.

I haven't read all the comments so I'm not sure how you feel about the issue, but I suspect that perhaps we disagree?

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#173 Crackenbury
October 20 2010, 04:25PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The Horcoff deal is worse than the Khabibulin deal. Horcoff is due to be overpaid more than Nikolai will make in his four years combined.If Horcoff was a UFA last summer he would have netted only 1.5-2.5 per, thats a 4 million dollar overpayment this year alone, and we're still stuck with him for another 5 years. Shawn Horcoff is the largest monetary mistake the Oilers have ever made. Tambellini's choosing Khabibulin over Roloson finishes two spots behind Lowe's epic blunder. Top 3 Oiler blunders (1) Horcoff (2) Sheldon Souray (3) Nikolai Khabibulin over Roli.

The Horcoff deal only becomes bad in hindsight. When signed it was looked at as a first step for the Oilers finally locking up some of their talent long-term. The reviews were quite positive when it happened. It may not make sense now in today's market, but it did at the time.

I don't bother going back into the archives to criticize past moves. What's done is done, nothing can change it and if I didn't criticize it at the time it's pretty hypocritical to do it now.

For the record, I wasn't overly thrilled about the Horcoff signing at the time but understood why they did it. I liked the Khabby signing, he's the best goaltender we've had in many years. Souray seemed like an extreme overpayment at the time, but he did have a year where most people, myself included, thought he was going to be the next captain.

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#174 book¡e
October 20 2010, 04:29PM
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Whatever you guys are debating at comment number 169, I would just give it up. Everybody else gave up reading hours ago after the 50th full page comment was posted.

Its a pretty nice fall day out there - go outside or something...

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#175 VMR
October 20 2010, 04:41PM
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dawgbone wrote:

You plan for the upper range.

If it doesn't pan out, what have you lost exactly?

Worst case scenario you are crappy hockey team (which you'd be if you didn't plan it out and they ended up like that).

Best case scenario they've panned out and you are in a position to compete.

Eating a $4.5 mil salary isn't something that this club wants to do. They may be able to tolerate it this year while they have a lower payroll (and don't have as many front loaded contracts), but what about on a year they are spending well over the cap $$ wise?

How willing are they going to be to bury another contract in the minors later on if this doesn't pan out for them?

Having a plan for 3 years from now doesn't mean burning all your bridges and signign offer sheets to players expecting a cup in 2014. You can plan with flexibility in mind. I'd much rather have a plan in place and adapt as opposed to thinking on my feet at the moment you need to make a decision.

No one says they dont have a plan in place but your plan has to be flexible and they can easily make the numbers work if all 3 are making 5 million in 3 years or if only 2 of them are and one is still on an entry level deal. Hall's ELC is a $3.75 mill cap hit if he's hitting his bonuses and if he's going to be worth $5 million on that second contract he'll be hitting his bonuses. So for all the brilliant cap management you save maybe $1.25 million in that one season.

If the coaches thought he could use another year in the minors or if he was too small for the game or if he wasnt doing anything in the games he's played then maybe there'd be a case to send him down. But for a marginal cap savings in year 3 and one extra year till he's a UFA I dont see the benefit.

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#176 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 20 2010, 04:56PM
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Ender wrote:

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.

i agree.

~are you implying that watching something on tv alot DOESNT make me an expert?~

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#177 magisterrex
October 20 2010, 04:58PM
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Mr. Pederson wrote:

Remember that Staios (Aging 3rd pairing D) got us a 3rd rounder and a few months of Aaron Johnson, and getting Vandermeer (slightly younger 3rd pairing D) allowed us to get rid of POS without having to buy him out.

So for this year, instead of Staios for $2.7 mil and POS frustating us by hitting the goalpost, skating around like a lazy donkey and just generally taking up a roster spot, we end up with Vandermeer at $2.3, a 3rd rounder and no buyout for Staios or POS. All for just this year.

This is good, no?

Shh...you're making too much sense.

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#178 Ender
October 20 2010, 05:06PM
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@ dawgbone
@ Tyler

Of course I agree that there is a difference between bloggers and commentators. As evidenced in my reply to Speeds (#126) where I pointed out "While certain Voices will put up articles that are positive in tone, actual Citizen comments seem to be generally far less enthusiastic." If anyone assumed I was trying to argue that bloggers like Willis or LT were any more negative or hard on the team than they should be, well, that's a whole different debate that I wasn't a part of. Sorry for the misunderstanding. We'll do that one another day.

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#179 Jonathan Willis
October 20 2010, 05:07PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

You've got me there - I'm assuming to some degree. But the idea that the first overall pick should be in the NHL as soon as possible seems to be the general consensus - both among fans and the mainstream media.

Would you disagree with my characterization here? Do you feel that most journalists covering the team believe Hall deserves no special consideration based on his draft status?

That hasn't been the impression I've gotten, but if I'm wrong please let me know. Also, I'm not criticizing here; just stating the belief I feel underlies many pieces on the subject.

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#180 Wax Man Riley
October 20 2010, 05:07PM
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@Death Metal Nightmare

I can agree with the prejudice on who deserves to be heard, but I can't agree with the idea of our top players being third wheels om most teams. I am sure teams would be lining up for a defensively responsible (save for last years' horrible one-off) 2-way center that is happy, willing and more than capable of leading a third line. Or a smooth skating play-maker that has the ability to stick-handle through tight spots and sift buttery smooth passes through traffic. Or a flying fridge that can dangle. Or future stars and leaders in their first year of big-league hockey. Or maybe an Olympian on defense (fair enough, only 1 real good D-Man). But this is why it is a rebuild.....

Unless the whole paragraph is sarcasm, which in that case disregard everything except my first line

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#181 Jonathan Willis
October 20 2010, 05:57PM
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On the Staios deal/criticism:

Absolutely the Staios trade was an excellent move on Tambellini's part, and I don't recall anyone arguing it at the time.

But while I understand the desire to accentuate the positive, the fact is that this is a rebuilding team, and it's a rebuilding team because a series of bad decisions made by management turned it into one. The only question on that front is what percentage of the blame belongs to the guys who've been fired (MacT, Quinn, Prendergast, etc.) and how the rest should be distributed between Tambellini and Lowe.

Speaking for myself, I've tried to give Tambellini credit when he's made moves I view as good (and I was highly optimistic about Tambellini until July 1, 2009) but unfortunately I disagree with much of the strategic direction of this team. Tambellini may be wrong or I may be wrong, but I can't just ignore my personal thoughts on the matter in favour of an 'as an NHL GM, Steve Tambellini undoubtedly knows what he's doing' line of reasoning. It's part of my job here to look at the facts as we know them and present my own conclusions, which may or may not be in favour of the latest move.

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#182 Jason Gregor
October 20 2010, 05:58PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Jason Gregor:

You've got me there - I'm assuming to some degree. But the idea that the first overall pick should be in the NHL as soon as possible seems to be the general consensus - both among fans and the mainstream media.

Would you disagree with my characterization here? Do you feel that most journalists covering the team believe Hall deserves no special consideration based on his draft status?

That hasn't been the impression I've gotten, but if I'm wrong please let me know. Also, I'm not criticizing here; just stating the belief I feel underlies many pieces on the subject.

He doesn't deserve special consideration, but if a player is ready to play in the NHL then he should play? Shouldn't he? It isn't based on special consideration, rather than if they can play.

If the 1st pick showed he wasn't ready or was completely overwhelmed I don't think teams would keep him. I haven't seen a case of that in recent memory.

Hall has proven he can play. The guy has had some great chances, and if had buried even one of them, I doubt anyone would even suggest he goes back to junior.

The kid can play in the NHL, he likely won't dominate this year, but I don't think anyone expected the only way he should be here is if he is dominating.

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#183 Jason Gregor
October 20 2010, 06:09PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

On the Staios deal/criticism:

Absolutely the Staios trade was an excellent move on Tambellini's part, and I don't recall anyone arguing it at the time.

But while I understand the desire to accentuate the positive, the fact is that this is a rebuilding team, and it's a rebuilding team because a series of bad decisions made by management turned it into one. The only question on that front is what percentage of the blame belongs to the guys who've been fired (MacT, Quinn, Prendergast, etc.) and how the rest should be distributed between Tambellini and Lowe.

Speaking for myself, I've tried to give Tambellini credit when he's made moves I view as good (and I was highly optimistic about Tambellini until July 1, 2009) but unfortunately I disagree with much of the strategic direction of this team. Tambellini may be wrong or I may be wrong, but I can't just ignore my personal thoughts on the matter in favour of an 'as an NHL GM, Steve Tambellini undoubtedly knows what he's doing' line of reasoning. It's part of my job here to look at the facts as we know them and present my own conclusions, which may or may not be in favour of the latest move.

That's fair...but when you suggest the Oilers should have signed Frolov and others, like it is easy I think you are mistaken. It is easy to say, they should have signed this guy or that guy, but what if they tried and the guy said no? Teams will never divulge on every player they struck out on.

The first player the Oilers called on July 1st was Manny Malhotra. He chose Vancouver at $2.5 million. If Tambellini had paid that in a rebuild I think it would have been the wrong move, but Malhotra politely said he didn't want to be part of a rebuild regardless of money, so the Oilers probably never got down to numbers.

You have critiqued Tambellini for signing MacIntyre, Jacques and Strudwick. These are 21st, 22nd and 23rd players on the roster. Will those players ultimately make them better on the ice regardless of who they are? MacIntrye is good at his role, and the Oilers feel it is a necesary role. I don't see many guys in that role that would be better or cheaper.

Strudwick is a 7th D-man, who won't play very much. His presence in the room is his best asset. Curious who you think would have been a better dressing room presence?

They signed Jacques for minimum because he has size and they don't have much. Sure he was a bandaid, but they signed him because they didn't want to just unload a guy when he was unhealthy. Jacques has told many people how grateful he was the Oilers gave him a contract despite not being 100% healthy. Maybe the organization is learning to treat players a bit better.

You have stated in the past you only care about what happens on the ice, and unfortunately that isn't realistic in sports. How teams treat their players makes a difference.

I think Souray made them look in the mirror a bit, and some constructive criticism can be a good thing sometimes.

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#184 Wanyes bastard child
October 20 2010, 06:14PM
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Hey Jason, where do I look for the (or is there one?) link for your show today with LT?

To be honest I don't listen to sports radio at all, working in construction I hardly hear the radio and usually have music going anyways, but this would be a segment i'd love to hear.

Thanks.

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#185 Heavyd
October 20 2010, 06:27PM
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Does anyone know where I can wacth the Oil change show? Its on tsn right know, but I missed it.

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#186 David S
October 20 2010, 06:32PM
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For those of you that missed it. Livetide!!!

http://s3.amazonaws.com/the-jason-gregor-show/highlight_reel/clips/Allan_Mitchell_-_Oct_20.mp3

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#187 Jonathan Willis
October 20 2010, 06:33PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

A lot of good points there.

On Hall, I've made my case a few times and I don't think there's much point in revisiting it. I will say that I don't think a team can decide if Hall's capable of playing based on a nine-game segment, but they can use a nine-game segment to justify a cap decision. Like you, I expect Hall's capable of playing at the NHL level, but I don't know if 'capable of playing' is setting the threshold high enough.

On the issue of player signings, I agree with you. When Malhotra went to San Jose last season for 800K rather than to Atlanta for a reported $2.0MM, it was an indication that a team like Edmonton couldn't sign him. Unfortunately, I don't know how every player feels on signing in Edmonton, so all I can do is suggest options and places in the roster I see holes. I'm aware of my handicap here, and I try not to ridicule the Oilers on the basis of one or two players; I do criticize consistent holes (as Robin did the other day, discussing the 3C position).

On the other three guys, I simply felt there were better options in terms of on-ice play. That's all. It isn't make or break, as I've acknoledged before, but I'd still prefer to see the best on-ice fit brought in.

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#188 David S
October 20 2010, 06:36PM
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Heavyd wrote:

Does anyone know where I can wacth the Oil change show? Its on tsn right know, but I missed it.

You can catch it at 9:00 on TSN2.

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#189 Wanyes bastard child
October 20 2010, 06:43PM
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David S wrote:

For those of you that missed it. Livetide!!!

http://s3.amazonaws.com/the-jason-gregor-show/highlight_reel/clips/Allan_Mitchell_-_Oct_20.mp3

Well sheet... my crappy internet connection is saying over 2 hours to download that..

But thanks dude! Looking forward to it :)

And no more David Staples comments from me now :P

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#190 Heavyd
October 20 2010, 06:44PM
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@David S

Thanks.

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#191 Heavyd
October 20 2010, 06:46PM
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@Wanyes bastard child

Hahah. Mine only took 5 seconds to download. I didn't realize people still had dial up internet.

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#192 David S
October 20 2010, 06:58PM
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Heavyd wrote:

Hahah. Mine only took 5 seconds to download. I didn't realize people still had dial up internet.

HA HA!! I was just thinking..."Dude. Dial-up?"

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#193 Heavyd
October 20 2010, 06:59PM
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@David S

I guess we will be waiting 2 hours for him to respond aswell.

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#194 Wanyes bastard child
October 20 2010, 07:00PM
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Well... its not dial up but I live on an acreage between the city and the fort and its the best we can get eh.

SHUP all of you!!!

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#195 Quicksilver ballet
October 20 2010, 07:06PM
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5 games into the season and i'm already sick of the Minnesota Wild (watched the Phlegms game last night) I'd rather stick my finger down my throat than watch these guys 60 nights a year.

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#196 Oilcruzer
October 20 2010, 07:23PM
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This is being over thought.

Q. Where does Hall safely develop as an NHL player faster?

A. (insert obvious answer here)

Factor one other item... Another year of junior steals funds from Hall. Not as though he'll play an extra year in his NHL career if it starts it a year later.

Last item. FANS. They want to watch the development.

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#197 Mr. Pederson
October 20 2010, 07:36PM
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@dawgbone

Sorry dawgbone, didn't see your earlier post where you addressed the whole Staios out Vandermeer in question.

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#198 speeds
October 20 2010, 08:09PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

That's fair...but when you suggest the Oilers should have signed Frolov and others, like it is easy I think you are mistaken. It is easy to say, they should have signed this guy or that guy, but what if they tried and the guy said no? Teams will never divulge on every player they struck out on.

The first player the Oilers called on July 1st was Manny Malhotra. He chose Vancouver at $2.5 million. If Tambellini had paid that in a rebuild I think it would have been the wrong move, but Malhotra politely said he didn't want to be part of a rebuild regardless of money, so the Oilers probably never got down to numbers.

You have critiqued Tambellini for signing MacIntyre, Jacques and Strudwick. These are 21st, 22nd and 23rd players on the roster. Will those players ultimately make them better on the ice regardless of who they are? MacIntrye is good at his role, and the Oilers feel it is a necesary role. I don't see many guys in that role that would be better or cheaper.

Strudwick is a 7th D-man, who won't play very much. His presence in the room is his best asset. Curious who you think would have been a better dressing room presence?

They signed Jacques for minimum because he has size and they don't have much. Sure he was a bandaid, but they signed him because they didn't want to just unload a guy when he was unhealthy. Jacques has told many people how grateful he was the Oilers gave him a contract despite not being 100% healthy. Maybe the organization is learning to treat players a bit better.

You have stated in the past you only care about what happens on the ice, and unfortunately that isn't realistic in sports. How teams treat their players makes a difference.

I think Souray made them look in the mirror a bit, and some constructive criticism can be a good thing sometimes.

I have no trouble believing that certain players wouldn't have signed with EDM barring a monsterous overpay. For instance, since I brought up Frolov, it may well be that EDM tried to sign him, but he didn't want to sign here. I just don't believe that no one would have signed with EDM barring a monstrous overpay, in particular the guys who were without jobs come August 1st. People that were choosy on July 1 were probably far less so a month, month and a half later.

Besides which, as "evidence" we have the stuff we heard from Comrie, indicating that EDM wasn't interested in bringing him back because they wanted to play some younger players.

The "problem", if there is one, with signing Strudwick/Jacques/MacIntyre is not that you would necessarily do better filling the same role via UFA, but that you could have addressed needs further up the depth chart, and shoved everyone else down. I will say that IF you insist on having a goon, I MUCH prefer MacIntyre on a 500K, 1 year deal than Boogaard on a 4 year deal at 1.6 mil+ per year.

As for not wanting to unload a guy just because he was injured, I don't really buy that because they did let Ryan Stone go, and he was in a similar situation.

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#199 Jason Gregor
October 20 2010, 08:16PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Well sheet... my crappy internet connection is saying over 2 hours to download that..

But thanks dude! Looking forward to it :)

And no more David Staples comments from me now :P

Just go to my website...www.jasongregor.com and you can listen to Lowetide there. No download necessary.

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#200 Jason Gregor
October 20 2010, 08:20PM
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@speeds

Stone was healthy during the summer. He went to Flames camp and got injured. Jacques has a serious back problem, that might hamper him for life. I think there was a part of the organization that wanted to give him one final chance.

But the guys who are available wouldn't be better top-nine guys would they?

Comrie would potentially have taken minutes from Brule, Cogliano, Eberle and Paajarvi...never mind Hall. Sure he might have produced more, but is the goal of this rebuild to produce more, or give the young players experience and hope they mature and help bring wins. I would suggest it is the latter.

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