Do you see what I see, edition VII

Jason Gregor
March 29 2010 10:06AM

With less than two weeks to go in the season, how much can we take out of these final games?

Are five consecutive solid starts enough that the Oilers need to be concerned that a team will claim Devan Dubnyk next year? Or are they enough that the Oilers will keep him and waive Jeff Deslauriers? Or is trading one of them the best option for Steve Tambellini?

If he trades one then they have zero depth in the organization and with Nikolai Khabibulin’s age and recent back surgery I don’t know if that's the best option. The only way they trade one of them is if they can sign a journeyman veteran who won’t get claimed on waivers.

I don’t think Dubnyk has shown enough for a team to grab him and keep him as their back up next season.

Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan are exact replicas. Soft and inconsistent yet they can tantalize you skill that gives you a false sense that they have turned the corner. O’Sullivan is a bit grittier, but like his consistency that facet of his game only appears from time-to-time. Does Tambellini keep one of them, or both?

Both of them are under 26 years of age, so they can be bought out for 1/3 of their salary, but I don’t see both of them getting the pink slip. If I had to choose I’d get rid of O’Sullivan first, but I bet the team parts ways with Nilsson.

Can the Oilers move forward with Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano as centremen? Not if they want to be a contender some day, but Cogliano has put up some decent numbers since being promoted off the 4th line. He has four goals and nine points in his last 11 games, after scoring five goals and 14 points in the first 64.

I think his promotion has been a showcase and he’ll be moved this summer. I like his game and I think he’ll be a 20-goal man very soon, but he just doesn’t fit in the long term plans with Gagner and Tyler Seguin in the mix. Yes, I said Seguin. I think that is who the Oilers should choose on June 1st, if they get the first pick.

The Oilers will move Cogliano for a winger with size or a solid D-man.

The more I think about it, the more realistic it seems that the Oilers might move Ales Hemsky. Hemsky likes Edmonton, but he is tired of losing. Either they move Hemsky or they improve his supporting cast so this team can make the playoffs. I don’t think the latter is that easy, so Hemsky might be dangled.

I know a majority of fans are dreaming of getting the top two picks, but that slim, and I mean slim, possibility will only happen if Boston or Columbus is the other team in the top two. Carolina, Tampa and the Islanders won’t trade the pick, but Boston and Columbus would at least consider it. Scott Howson and Peter Chiarelli need to win next season, while the other three can be patient.

Once again it looks like the east will have four of the top five picks. It’s no wonder many of the top young stars play in the east. Since the 2000 draft only once, 2007, has the west had three picks in the top five. Every other year the east has had at least three choices, and three times they have had four of the top five picks.

Here is who the east and west have drafted since 2000.

East West
Rick Dipietro Marian Gaborik
Dany Heatley   Rostislav Klesla
Raffi Torres Stanislav Chistov
Ilya Kovalchuk Rick Nash
Jason Spezza Nikolai Zherdev
Alexandr Svitov Cam Barker
Stephan Weiss Blake Wheeler
Kari Lehtonen Bobby Ryan
Jay Bouwmeester Benoit Pouliot
Joni Pitkanen Erik Johnson
Ryan Whitney Jonathon Toews
Marc-Andre Fleury Patrick Kane
Eric Staal Kyle Turris  
Nathan Horton Thomas Hickey
Thomas Vanek Drew Doughty
Alex Ovechkin  Alex Pietrangelo
Evgeni Malkin   Matt Duchene
Sidney Crosby  Brayden Schenn
Jack Johnson  
Carey Price  
Jordan Staal   
Nicklas Backstrom  
Phil Kessel  
James Van Riemsdyk   
Karl Alzner   
Steven Stamkos  
Zach Bogosian  
Luke Schenn  
John Tavares   
Victor Hedman   
Evander Kane  

The western teams need to learn how to suck better down the stretch. The Blue Jackets are 6-2-2 in their last ten and are now out of the bottom five, and if they keep rolling them might find themselves drafting 9th. Just more proof that you can’t get teams to purposely tank it down the stretch. The Jackets beat the Hawks twice in the last week.

With four straight wins it looks the Sharks have woke up and will get home ice advantage in the west. They won’t face Detroit in the first round, so I will pick the Sharks to represent the west in the Cup. I know they have Joe “I can’t play with emotion” Thornton, but I believe the Olympic experience will help him and with Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau all winning the gold, the Sharks will finally make it to the fourth round.

I don’t like the Hawks goaltending, and I don’t think Vancouver’s defence is deep enough to win three rounds.

And it will be sweet to watch the Flames scratch and claw their way to 9th place in the west. They are dreaming if they think they will catch Colorado. They play each other this Friday, but it won’t matter. The Avs have five of their seven remaining games at home where they are 23-11-2. Sorry Flamers you won’t be going to the dance.

I wonder if the Flames would be in the playoffs if they showed as much fire as Jim Playfair, the head coach of their AHL team in Abbotsford.

Playfair lost it over the weekend. To bad he didn’t rip off his shirt,that would have been even funnier.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 29 2010, 10:19AM
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I'm thinking (hoping) Nilsson has produced his way off the buyout option and into trade contention.

Lets send him to Atl/Carolina/Nashville/Columbus for a late pick.

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#2 Ender
March 29 2010, 10:19AM
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OK, that Playfair thing made my day. What an oxymoron.

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#3 RossCreekNation
March 29 2010, 10:27AM
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I know a majority of fans are dreaming of getting the top two picks, but that slim, and I mean slim, possibility will only happen if Boston or Columbus is the other team in the top two. Carolina, Tampa and the Islanders won’t trade the pick, but Boston and Columbus would at least consider it. Scott Howson and Peter Chiarelli need to win next season, while the other three can be patient.

With a small tweak, I'd think this to be true... I don't think the Bruins move the pick, but wonder if Tampa might. Adding a reasonably priced playmaking winger to play with Stamkos could be somewhat intriguing to them, no? Had Columbus continued to fall, I'd say maybe even them.

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#4 Archaeologuy
March 29 2010, 10:30AM
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Picking San Jose to be in the Finals is like peeing on an Electric Fence. You know you shouldnt but part of you wants to do it every time you have the opportunity.

Dont pee on the electric fence JG.

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#5 Rusty Duggan
March 29 2010, 10:34AM
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I've kind of started to believe that Seguin is the guy too. I get an odd Pronger/Heatley'esque shiver when I think of how Hall may be in the future character wise.

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#6 Pokey Reddock
March 29 2010, 10:43AM
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Rusty Duggan wrote:

I've kind of started to believe that Seguin is the guy too. I get an odd Pronger/Heatley'esque shiver when I think of how Hall may be in the future character wise.

Just wondering what makes you think this about Hall?

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#7 Jay
March 29 2010, 10:45AM
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I'm not sure why people are leaning more and more towards Seguin if we get #1. I understand that a centre would be more beneficial, but I just don't believe the players are as equal as everyone thinks. The other night Seguin had 4 points which included two 2nd assists on the PP, and an EN goal - hardly earth shattering. He didn't make the World Jr team (which was deep at C, granted), and showed nothing in the Top Prospects game.

I also don't buy the argument that he plays on a worse team, so his numbers would be better than Hall's if all was equal. If there was any truth to that, Marc Pouliot's good numbers on a bad Rimouski team would have been better than Ryan Getzlaf's on a good Calgary team...I just think Seguin is a much bigger gamble, and I worry about risking taking the next Alex Daigle (slick centre who scored in junior). He could end up better in the end, but I think people are too quick to jump in his camp - especially before the pending series between Windsor and Plymouth.

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#8 BUCK75
March 29 2010, 10:52AM
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I think the easiest trade for Hemsky would be CLB. I'm not sure what we would want back, but Nash/Hemsky duo would be SIC! Antoine Vermette would be a good start for a first line, was almost 58% on face offs 08/09 & almost 55% this year. As long as we could ship Cogs there too.

Cogs/Hemsky for CLB top pick this year & Vermette. Maybe we don't get the second pick, but would proably have a good chance at 3-5 pick, maybe Fowler?

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#9 Evil Ginger
March 29 2010, 10:54AM
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@RossCreekNation

Do you think it would take a hemsky and something else to do that then? What do you think the GM would think about giving up the second overall pick to the team that has the first? Do you think it changes the deal in their mind and they try to get more for the pick then if the 17th overall is trying to acquire it?

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#10 David S
March 29 2010, 10:55AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I'm thinking (hoping) Nilsson has produced his way off the buyout option and into trade contention.

Lets send him to Atl/Carolina/Nashville/Columbus for a late pick.

Because what we really need to do is ditch guys who produce in favor of late picks who might/may/could possibly/some day/we hope produce.

Put Nilsson on a line with actual NHL players that can finish and he's a 50 point man. Its not that we're so loaded up with talent that we can afford to piss these guys away. Development is great and all, but do you really want to go through another season like this one? I bet management doesn't, nor do the season ticket holders.

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#11 Milli
March 29 2010, 10:55AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Picking San Jose to be in the Finals is like peeing on an Electric Fence. You know you shouldnt but part of you wants to do it every time you have the opportunity.

Dont pee on the electric fence JG.

Love it! that is so well put. Don't pee on the fence, go with the red hot wings...and that is something I didn't think I'd be saying!!!!

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#12 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 29 2010, 10:57AM
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David S wrote:

Because what we really need to do is ditch guys who produce in favor of late picks who might/may/could possibly/some day/we hope produce.

Put Nilsson on a line with actual NHL players that can finish and he's a 50 point man. Its not that we're so loaded up with talent that we can afford to piss these guys away. Development is great and all, but do you really want to go through another season like this one? I bet management doesn't, nor do the season ticket holders.

Are you really wanting to bank another season on a bunch of small one dimensional forwards? You could say the exact same thing about O'sully/Cogs/Potulny. Seriously man, lets move on from him (or at least 2-3 of those guys) and bring in someone that can give you the same production that can actually play physicaly and defensively.

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#13 Ender
March 29 2010, 11:06AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Picking San Jose to be in the Finals is like peeing on an Electric Fence. You know you shouldnt but part of you wants to do it every time you have the opportunity.

Dont pee on the electric fence JG.

I get zapped every year. I just can't do it again. It hurts too much.

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#14 Crash
March 29 2010, 11:10AM
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Jay wrote:

I'm not sure why people are leaning more and more towards Seguin if we get #1. I understand that a centre would be more beneficial, but I just don't believe the players are as equal as everyone thinks. The other night Seguin had 4 points which included two 2nd assists on the PP, and an EN goal - hardly earth shattering. He didn't make the World Jr team (which was deep at C, granted), and showed nothing in the Top Prospects game.

I also don't buy the argument that he plays on a worse team, so his numbers would be better than Hall's if all was equal. If there was any truth to that, Marc Pouliot's good numbers on a bad Rimouski team would have been better than Ryan Getzlaf's on a good Calgary team...I just think Seguin is a much bigger gamble, and I worry about risking taking the next Alex Daigle (slick centre who scored in junior). He could end up better in the end, but I think people are too quick to jump in his camp - especially before the pending series between Windsor and Plymouth.

X2

I totally agree with you...I don't understand the love for Seguin over Hall...everyone is getting caught up in this one season and also getting caught up in the we need a center thing...

Hall IMO is a better bet to become a superstar over Seguin...Hall plays an NHL style game, hard in the corners, hard to the net. Having seen them both skate Hall is the much more explosive player. Hall has been consistent and like you said was on the world jr. team (voted top 3 on the team by the coach)...he also won the memorial cup mvp award last season.

What if Seguin is having the season of his life this season and can't duplicate this level again? He's had one good season, Hall has had 3 straight.

I agree with you...Seguin is a riskier pick and IMO the Oilers should only take Seguin if Hall is already gone.

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#15 roughneck
March 29 2010, 11:12AM
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@Jay

I wouldnt worry too much about Seguin being the next Daigle, Tyler knows where his end of the rink is, Daigle needed a map.

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#16 madjam
March 29 2010, 11:16AM
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Oilers a fair weather club that likes to go into hiberrnation over the winter months . Problems solved .

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#17 Twiggs
March 29 2010, 11:18AM
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@madjam

Ummm if anyone has a madjam/english dictionary I could use it about now...

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O'Sullivan drives me nuts, the talent that he has and he just doens't bring it. I wonder if he like Horcoff would play better in a different role.

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#19 Milli
March 29 2010, 11:30AM
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I'd be happy to see Nilson and Osully both gone. Too small, inconsistent. Ya every now and again they'll show you something, but, we need a team of players that compete. That is the thing I have noticed about Sam gagner, the kid wants to win and he competes always. Cogs, I like him, I hope he gets traded (to the east) and lights it up. This summer, and probaly next, we need to really transition this team into a competitive team that isn't butter soft to play against, find a goalie to replace DUI......

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#20 madjam
March 29 2010, 11:31AM
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We are talking Oilers here gentlemen , does it really matter whom they choose first - they can destroy anyone (tongue in cheek ) equally ! I like Hall to be honest . After J. Bonsignor ,and S.Kelly over Doan i wait in apprehension as to how they might screw this one up . Maybe Bettman has the lottery balls stacked up and weighted to give Oilers second pick (latest conspiracy ), then whom do we want ?

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#22 I'm a Scientist!
March 29 2010, 11:32AM
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So what sorts of action do y'all see happening in the off season? Do we get rid of Souray? Trade for higher picks? Get rid of Cogs/POS/Moreau/Pisani/Dubnyk? There are so many possible options of things to do to make the team better, but the history of this organization has shown that very little will happen. Will this be Tabmos last season?

I really need to get the SuperComputer fixed so that i can answer these questions without having to bother all of you.

*insert musical montage of the "Good Ol' Days" between I'm a Scientist and his SuperComputer*

Sigh.

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madjam wrote:

We are talking Oilers here gentlemen , does it really matter whom they choose first - they can destroy anyone (tongue in cheek ) equally ! I like Hall to be honest . After J. Bonsignor ,and S.Kelly over Doan i wait in apprehension as to how they might screw this one up . Maybe Bettman has the lottery balls stacked up and weighted to give Oilers second pick (latest conspiracy ), then whom do we want ?

If we get second we take whoever doesn't go first, Hall or Seguin are going first so whoever is left we take.

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#24 OilFan
March 29 2010, 11:35AM
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On Sportsnet yesterday they said no chance that Boston trades the pick for Hemsky.

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Jason Gregor wrote:

I said Columbus would do it....hellooooooooo.

Tampa won't because they want to build a young stud with Stamkos, or if they get top third they want Fowler. They'd love another young D-man along with Hedman, preferably one more offensive like Fowler.

I'd be very curious to see if CBJ has the money to take on Hemsky or if we have to take on some money to make that happen.

I also question if a team like Florida pulls the pin and decides they want another top 5 pick. Trade Vokoun and their 2nd in a package to TB.

I guess it really depends on what teams get the green light to spend and which ones are told to cut.

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#27 Lofty
March 29 2010, 11:41AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

O'Sullivan drives me nuts, the talent that he has and he just doens't bring it. I wonder if he like Horcoff would play better in a different role.

POS should be the first to find his way out of town. He's a floater that shoots a lot but yet cant shoot. POS's 16mph shot is essentialy a turnover because its handled easier than a pass for most NHL Dmen and goalies. That combined with his actual turnover stat adds up quick. Thats why his +/- is SOOOO bad.

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#28 Let's Rebuild
March 29 2010, 11:45AM
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Lofty wrote:

POS should be the first to find his way out of town. He's a floater that shoots a lot but yet cant shoot. POS's 16mph shot is essentialy a turnover because its handled easier than a pass for most NHL Dmen and goalies. That combined with his actual turnover stat adds up quick. Thats why his +/- is SOOOO bad.

Not counting the number of shots from POS that miss the net, hit the endboards and go sailing out of the zone.

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#29 Jodes
March 29 2010, 11:45AM
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Jason, just have to give you and the ON a big thanks for the Cheap Trick tickets last Friday.. They put on a pretty good show!

Also Jason, what do you honestly think we can get for Souray? Will he go for just picks or do you think we might be able to get any roster players in the deal?

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#30 MattL
March 29 2010, 11:46AM
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@Gregor

How on earth to you see O'Sully being grittier than Nilsson? Nilsson has thrown some decent checks this season, Sully had zilch in the physical department except in about 5 games after he was called out, and started to play in the corners for a brief period. He gets knocked around almost as much as Cogs.

I keep Nilsson any day over Sully. Higher end skill, similar PPG and GPG over the last two years. Seems to like it enough here, more fun to watch, chemistry with the team's young core, I don't see any arguments for POS.

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#31 mattyfinch
March 29 2010, 11:50AM
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Kepp sulli one more season.

Dump nillson for the love of god

I agree that seguin should be our pick, and i would love to get the 2nd pick as well.

The best part of the video is the 2 players on the right laughing their aces off @ playfair

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#32 Giggsunited
March 29 2010, 11:51AM
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whatever happened to Kyle Turris? he's not anywhere to be seen on hockeys future for Phoenix?

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#33 David S
March 29 2010, 11:52AM
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MattL wrote:

@Gregor

How on earth to you see O'Sully being grittier than Nilsson? Nilsson has thrown some decent checks this season, Sully had zilch in the physical department except in about 5 games after he was called out, and started to play in the corners for a brief period. He gets knocked around almost as much as Cogs.

I keep Nilsson any day over Sully. Higher end skill, similar PPG and GPG over the last two years. Seems to like it enough here, more fun to watch, chemistry with the team's young core, I don't see any arguments for POS.

Agreed on all counts. I get the sense Nilsson is trying to improve his game. POS? Not so much.

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#34 Twiggs
March 29 2010, 11:53AM
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Keep Nilsson, trade POS, pick Hall. IMO

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#35 yegCopywriter
March 29 2010, 11:57AM
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@Lofty

Actually, I'd say that POS has one of the hardest snap shots on the team. He just doesn't seem to pick his spots and they usually end up being easy saves.

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#36 OilFan
March 29 2010, 11:58AM
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POS = POS. I'd take Nilsson any day over Patty O. I really like to cut ties with both players and keep cogs.

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#37 Crash
March 29 2010, 11:59AM
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I move both POS and Nilsson out, there isn't room for either IMO.

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#38 Lofty
March 29 2010, 12:00PM
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yegCopywriter wrote:

Actually, I'd say that POS has one of the hardest snap shots on the team. He just doesn't seem to pick his spots and they usually end up being easy saves.

Not a chance

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#39 cambosmash
March 29 2010, 12:04PM
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The only reason anyone is leaning towards Hall instead of Seguin is because you "saw him good" at the WJC. Seguin has almost twice as many even strength goals as Hall (34 to 19). Twice as many! He's an even strength game breaker, unlike Hall and Rob Schremp who rack up points on the pp and into an empty nets.

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#40 Reggie
March 29 2010, 12:05PM
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Giggsunited wrote:

whatever happened to Kyle Turris? he's not anywhere to be seen on hockeys future for Phoenix?

Off-season back surgery similar to Lupul and Smid.

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#41 Let's Rebuild
March 29 2010, 12:07PM
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If I'm not mistaken they have been using Nilsson on the point for the second PP unit. That adds a lot more of a dynamic playmaker on the point than POS.

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#42 BUCK75
March 29 2010, 12:08PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

That's why I think we should take a stab at Vermette for Hemsky straight up. Pad up with Cogs & other 'prospects/suspects' for the pick. Vermette is slightly cheaper than Hemsky.

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#43 Twiggs
March 29 2010, 12:14PM
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@cambosmash

So special teams goals don't count for as much on the scoreboard? I found after watching them both play Hall seemed like a much quicker, more dynamic player.

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#44 Archaeologuy
March 29 2010, 12:16PM
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@BUCK75

Vermette for Hemsky? That's a bold move. Too risky for this anonymous commenter.

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#45 Sars
March 29 2010, 12:21PM
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I would keep Nilsson over O'Sullivan in a heartbeat. Sure, they're both inconsistent, but I think Nilsson is trying to improve, and add more elements to his game. O'Sullivan almost acts like he's entitled or something. When he was on the 4th line earlier in the year, he complained. Nilsson (as far as I know), did not. And I've noticed him trying to hit more, and go to the tougher areas of the ice.

That being said, I think Nilsson is more likely to be gone over O'Sullivan. And I also think Cogliano will be gone, and that makes me really mad. He has been one of my favorite players since his first season, and I dislike the lack of oppurtunity he's been given. Except that lately, he has been given a lot of oppurtunity, which makes me believe (like Gregor) that he is being showcased for trade.

As for the goaltending situation, I think Dubnky and JDD have both made strong cases to be here next year. I don't think Dubnyk would be claimed on waivers though, nor I think he'd bring much back in a trade. So I'm thinkinbg our goaltending for next season will start out the same as it did this season, with JDD as the backup.

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#46 Woogie
March 29 2010, 12:21PM
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BUCK75 wrote:

That's why I think we should take a stab at Vermette for Hemsky straight up. Pad up with Cogs & other 'prospects/suspects' for the pick. Vermette is slightly cheaper than Hemsky.

Give your head a shake my friend!

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#47 Crash
March 29 2010, 12:27PM
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Sars wrote:

I would keep Nilsson over O'Sullivan in a heartbeat. Sure, they're both inconsistent, but I think Nilsson is trying to improve, and add more elements to his game. O'Sullivan almost acts like he's entitled or something. When he was on the 4th line earlier in the year, he complained. Nilsson (as far as I know), did not. And I've noticed him trying to hit more, and go to the tougher areas of the ice.

That being said, I think Nilsson is more likely to be gone over O'Sullivan. And I also think Cogliano will be gone, and that makes me really mad. He has been one of my favorite players since his first season, and I dislike the lack of oppurtunity he's been given. Except that lately, he has been given a lot of oppurtunity, which makes me believe (like Gregor) that he is being showcased for trade.

As for the goaltending situation, I think Dubnky and JDD have both made strong cases to be here next year. I don't think Dubnyk would be claimed on waivers though, nor I think he'd bring much back in a trade. So I'm thinkinbg our goaltending for next season will start out the same as it did this season, with JDD as the backup.

I just got a signed Cogliano jersey so that pretty much seals that he will be gone I'm afraid :)

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#48 SirFozz
March 29 2010, 12:27PM
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The thing that scares me about Hall is that he was no problem going 100 mph into the tough areas and getting creamed to make a play. While this aspect of his game is easy to appreciate, the Oilers don't need another injury prone player.

That said, I still have no idea which way to go. Hope they choose right.

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BUCK75 wrote:

That's why I think we should take a stab at Vermette for Hemsky straight up. Pad up with Cogs & other 'prospects/suspects' for the pick. Vermette is slightly cheaper than Hemsky.

I don't do Hemsky for Vermette. Hesmky and Cogs for Vermette and their pick then I would have to probably do it, that is if that pick turns out to be a good one.

Don't get me wrong I really like Vermette and what he brings, but he is more of a #2-#3 center. This 60+ season seems like a real good year, but not something I'd expect out of him every year.

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#50 BUCK75
March 29 2010, 12:32PM
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@Archaeologuy

@ Woogie

If your're getting their first pick & if Colubus has to lose some salary.

That would be ridiculous to trade straight up. If Vermette was part of the deal, we would have to lose a center, like Cogs.

I think trading Hemsky for just a pick is riskier than getting back a player & a pick. It's tangible - you can see the player. People would be chastising a Hemsky for a pick deal forever if the pick didn't pan out the way us fans would want.

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