C13 - Pt1

Wanye
March 31 2010 05:00PM

It stands to reason that Ethan Moreau isn't going to be the Captain of the Oilers for much longer. Even if Dieciocho sticks around for the 2010-11 NHL season fulfilling the final year of his contract, sooner or later the reins are going to be handed over to a new proverbial chuckwagon driver to pilot the next leg of the journey. 

And hey - as luck would have it, not only is the heir to the Captaincy going to be the dreaded 13th Captain in the history of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, but he will be taking over a franchise that counts both its NHL and AHL affiliate as dead last amongst their on ice peers. 

In addition, the Big Club currently sports a dressing room so poor that Oilers brass recently decided to send superstud Jordan Eberle to the Springfield Falcons for seasoning, the theory being that "the Falcons might also be the worst team in their respective league, but at least Eberle will retain a will to live beyond 2011. This cannot currently be guaranteed in Edmonton."

C13

Captain 13 will be inheriting a room that is dead, a team that's in last place in the league and a meddling braintrust/coaching staff that numbers in the thousands - though the decisions they have actually made can be counted on less than a full hand of fingers. Free agents are shunning Edmonton with alarming regularity and a child was recently roughed up at a local school after being caught crying on the scoreboard at Rexall.

In short: things are dire in the OilersNation.

Sounds like it's time for someone to step up doesn't it?

This is something we are going to debate right into the ground over the summer and we thought we would kick it sooner rather than later. There is little else to get excited about locally - though it should be noted that the Rush have clinched a playoff spot in the NLL.

It has been so long since something Edmonton based made the post season we almost forgot how to appropriately cheer as we were in attendance last Saturday night, but luckily remembered at the last possible second and drank everything sold by everyone.

Anyway, back to the Oilers search for a Captain. There will undoubtedly be four separate schools of thought on the matter:

1. GO WITH YOUTH

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

                                  -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

There are a great many veteran players in the Oilers dressing room who may or may not buy into a new regime in the years to come. There are other veterans who may not want to wait around until the Oilers return to respectability, fearing it will come late in their careers when they will be long past their prime.

Going with a young Captain ensures that this player will be a key part of the new team. Many folks have been quick to jump on this bandwagon screaming things like "that's what Chicago did! That is also what Pittsburgh did!" and these points are valid for some teams looking to go with youth. 

It should however be noted that these two teams were looking at the Toews' and the Crosbys of the world in their internal search for the great big C - established premiere NHL players who can withstand the pressures of leadership and being called on to produce despite their young age.

Standout players of that magnitude aren't exactly growing on trees here in E-tizzy. In the absence of a guaranteed HHOFer (Croz) and one of the most intense players on the planet (Toews) certain Oilers could be considered to fall into the category of "Captain of the Youths." More on Eberle, Gagner, Cogliano, Hall and possibly even a Seguin later in this series.

2. GO WITH EXPERIENCE

"Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people."

                                  -- John D Rockefeller

The counter point to handing over the keys to one of the greatest franchises in Pro Sports to some punk assed kid is to tap a veteran player for the job. This would seemingly go against the "don't trust anyone over 28" segments of the OilersNation but might bear some further thought even if the team is looking to get younger for the 1,575th time in Franchise history.

Know what will be everywhere in the dressing room at RX1? Youth. Know who runs the show of youth quite effectively? Veterans. Perhaps the firm hand of experience is exactly what this team will need for the next few years.

3. TRADE FOR A CAPTAIN

"Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It's being able to take it as well as dish it out. That's the only way you're going to get respect from the players."

                                  -- Larry Bird

"Can't find a worthy replacement to Ethan Moreau on your current roster of not quite Superstars, unproven talent, bubble players and soon to be forgotten journeyman? Get on the old telematrix and make a deal for one then!" This is what we would suggest to the brain trust of the Oilers, should they ever return our daily letter to Central Command.

A year ago, a great many in the Nation would have been on board with this line of thinking. Virtually every single NHL team currently has a Captain* and with the Oilers shedding salaries like Arizonian Home Builders of late - money does exist to bring in a hired gun to take the helm.

In an era where many US cities are sweating bullets due to the economy, Edmonton has been mercifully spared the worst parts of the economic meltdown currently underway south of the border and is one of few teams with salary cap space and the ability to shoulder large contracts.

However if the embarassing summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009 have taught us anything, its that the Oilers are going to have a tough time luring free agents up this way until they start winning. Spare us the idea that "no one wants to play in Edmonton ever." If the Oilers start winning, the UFAs, RFAs and ZFAs will start arriving en masse.

But until that time the Oilers may elect to save us all from the 56th free agent rejection in the past 36 months and look inside the dressing room for C13.

*16 of 30 teams at last count

4. GO WITH AN INTERIM CAPTAIN

 

"To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way."

                                  -- Pat Riley

It has been ages since the Oilers did this hasn't it? This option effectively allows the team to hedge their bets between options 1, 2 and 3 allowing them to see what cream will rise to the top for a long term solution to the problem.

With all due respect to Jon Willis, a Jason Strudwick type player might just be what this team needs to elect as C13 until they can figure out the long term player to fill this role. Not the greatest player in the NHLPA, a Strudwick type player could still command the room with his grizzled veteran presence and allow the next generation of players (including the future C14) to develop free of the pressure of being the Captain of a losing NHL hockey team.

IN CLOSING

This is a matter that is going to be an awesome debate over the summer and we have taken a look at several players. Height, weight, turn ons, turn offs. This will be part two in the series.

In conclusion, we conclude.

Concludingly,

Wanye

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 The Real Scuba Steve
March 31 2010, 05:08PM
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I really don't know who to pass the C to? maybe if Souray stays give it to him.

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#2 BUCK75
March 31 2010, 05:13PM
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I really like the Comrie idea (thanks to whomever suggested that in the last thread), assuming we resign him.

Plays his ass off every night, scores, hits & even fights sometimes. He is a secondary(plug) type player & has been in the league for a long time so has probably heard every motivational speech ever made.

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#3 VK63
March 31 2010, 05:19PM
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Does it really matter?

*runs and hides*

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#4 Kyle S
March 31 2010, 05:20PM
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Has anyone actually shown any sort of leadership coming down the stretch? I sure have not seen anyone step up.

Of course, half of the opening night line-up are out with injuries right now, so maybe that's where C13 is.

I say go with an interim captain until someone proves themselves worthy to be C14. No clue as to who the interim C13 should be though. Maybe rotate the C around and see who steps up?

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#5 The Towel Boy
March 31 2010, 05:21PM
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Big sexy. Done.

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#6 BUCK75
March 31 2010, 05:22PM
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VK63 wrote:

Does it really matter?

*runs and hides*

~I guess it beats figuring out arguing about Charles Linglet's corsi & ev #'s.~

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#7 yegCopywriter
March 31 2010, 05:24PM
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Make Riley Nash captain so he finally signs.

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#8 Travis Dakin
March 31 2010, 05:30PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Big sexy. Done.

That's "BIG SEX" to you.

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#9 Travis Dakin
March 31 2010, 05:34PM
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BUCK75 wrote:

I really like the Comrie idea (thanks to whomever suggested that in the last thread), assuming we resign him.

Plays his ass off every night, scores, hits & even fights sometimes. He is a secondary(plug) type player & has been in the league for a long time so has probably heard every motivational speech ever made.

Remember that time we went to a party together and there was a guy there who made a very convincing case about the Comrie for captain thing? That guy was covered in awesome sauce.

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#10 The Pestival
March 31 2010, 05:36PM
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Do the old Minnesota thing of rotating Captains every month. Its retarded, but there really is no other option for now. Its pointless to slap the C on someone until they earn it. I say rotate it for one year and then decide.

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#11 The Towel Boy
March 31 2010, 05:37PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

That's "BIG SEX" to you.

I blame my blackberry thumbs.

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#12 Archaeologuy
March 31 2010, 05:39PM
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1) My kid reads those Captain Underpants books. They're good times.

2) It's a gamble, but I think the Next Captain of the Oilers should be Hemsky. I know what you're gonna say. "Arch, you're crazy. He's an ok 'A' but not a 'C'."

Look. The guy is a free agent in 2 years. There are rumblings he will test the FA market. He's already the Oilers' best forward. He's young but he's also a veteran. He could fit every every category listed by Wanye. If he's gone in 2 years he was only an Interim. He's young and a Vet, and he's the only difference making forward that plays with any consistency. It's just a thought.

EDIT: And maybe, if he is destined to leave, being a Captain adds to his trade value.

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#13 WhatdoIknow
March 31 2010, 05:58PM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

I really don't know who to pass the C to? maybe if Souray stays give it to him.

Souray is the antichrist. He is likely half of the problem in the dressing room. Although his offer to waive his no trade clause, if it would help the team, did show some leadership qualities - none of them good.

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#14 dragon
March 31 2010, 06:14PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

1) My kid reads those Captain Underpants books. They're good times.

2) It's a gamble, but I think the Next Captain of the Oilers should be Hemsky. I know what you're gonna say. "Arch, you're crazy. He's an ok 'A' but not a 'C'."

Look. The guy is a free agent in 2 years. There are rumblings he will test the FA market. He's already the Oilers' best forward. He's young but he's also a veteran. He could fit every every category listed by Wanye. If he's gone in 2 years he was only an Interim. He's young and a Vet, and he's the only difference making forward that plays with any consistency. It's just a thought.

EDIT: And maybe, if he is destined to leave, being a Captain adds to his trade value.

~ pause ~

~ pause ~

and he showed his leadership in the past...how?

I'd vote for Struds, as the option 4 suggested.

We get boatloads of kids coming in: give them time to sort out the locker.

Besides: am I totally out to lunch or Struds helped Chorney get a bit better lately?

Too bad Gags' not there yet...

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#15 Bombstradamus
March 31 2010, 06:30PM
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@Archaeologuy

I like Hemsky, and think he should be part of this rebuild which in my opinion is already in year three. I just dont like his work ethic.

Now if you want to gamble, how about Horcoff? He works hard all the time, and it seems that he's going to be here a while, a long while.

I miss Ryan Smyth.

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#16 David S
March 31 2010, 06:35PM
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Comrie.

/thread.

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#17 DDP
March 31 2010, 06:51PM
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Give it to Hocoff. He's going to be here for a while, has a great ethic & it's not like there's any fear of him getting any worse. This is rock bottom? Isn't it??

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#18 Maggie the Monkey
March 31 2010, 07:01PM
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Even though we're apt to take a lot of flak for it, I agree with Bombstradamus about Horcoff being the best candidate. Yes, he's had a horrible season, and yes, some consider him to be damaged goods (because of injury), but he was also an integral part of the most successful team in the past 20 years and has a strong professional work ethic by reputation. His intellect and communication skills also contribute to leadership abilities.

I'm not going to pretend otherwise: he's been one of my personal favourites for years and I hold out hope that he'll have a bounce-back season next year. Unless I'm mistaken, if Moreau is traded Horcoff will also be the longest serving Oiler, and history has to count for something.

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#19 oilerfan17
March 31 2010, 07:01PM
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I think the C should go to Whitney. He sounds like a guy that knows that there's something awful going on with the current team and wants to change it. He's also played a huge role on the team since coming in from Anaheim, doing just about everything you could ask of a defender on such a horrid team. He's not young but not a grizzled veteran and will likely be sticking around the team for a while.

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#20 Wanyes bastard child
March 31 2010, 07:03PM
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I say Comrie for a few years then hand it off to Gagner.

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#21 Pajamah
March 31 2010, 07:20PM
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oilerfan17 wrote:

I think the C should go to Whitney. He sounds like a guy that knows that there's something awful going on with the current team and wants to change it. He's also played a huge role on the team since coming in from Anaheim, doing just about everything you could ask of a defender on such a horrid team. He's not young but not a grizzled veteran and will likely be sticking around the team for a while.

Seconded

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#22 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 07:28PM
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It WILL be Horcoff.

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#23 OilFan
March 31 2010, 07:53PM
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Stortini he is the only guy that never takes a shift off. But I think it will be Horcoff. Is Moreau gone ? I think we should wait to see if they do trade/waive Moreau

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#24 Biowolf
March 31 2010, 07:54PM
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@Pajamah

Bingo

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#25 OilFan
March 31 2010, 07:55PM
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@RossCreekNation

Who do you think Calgary is going to replace Iggy with ? Staios ? I think Sutter has to trade Iggy or Reger at the draft to save his job. Firing your coach every years hasn't seemed to work

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#26 Biowolf
March 31 2010, 07:59PM
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This organization needs a new face. Get rid of the people who created this mess. Everything else is secondary.

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#27 6 ring circus
March 31 2010, 08:07PM
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The organization needs to go in a new direction,I say they should make Whitney the new captain,he is out spoken and he has said on more than one occaison he wants to be here as the team rebuilds,some of the other suggestions are good to, but how much longer will these players remain with the organization?

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#28 Adam D
March 31 2010, 08:10PM
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Comrie.

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#29 Scott in Grande Prairie
March 31 2010, 08:34PM
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How about Pisani?

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#30 idontknow
March 31 2010, 08:48PM
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i would give the C to either hemsky, whitney or souray if hes staying..but not struds, pisani, horcoff..

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#31 idontknow
March 31 2010, 08:48PM
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i would give the C to either hemsky, whitney or souray if hes staying..but not struds, pisani, horcoff..

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#32 SirFozz
March 31 2010, 08:57PM
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Quinn. C14 is the one who can take it away by force. Like king of the castle.

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#33 Moop
March 31 2010, 09:05PM
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I vote no on Strudwick. It's not that I don't think he'd be a good leader...it's just that I don't want him on the team at all next year.

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#34 Hemmertime
March 31 2010, 09:18PM
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Hemsky is my favorite player, and the last person I would ever strap a C to. He is the first off the ice every practice, takes his own hotel room instead of sharing... I think maybe accepted Lubo as roomie this year (but I think he did with Smid). Let him sit in the corner quietly like he does and leave him be.

Horcoff will be our captain, and deservedly so - he worked himself up from 4th line to 1st line so shows by example what hard work can earn (5.5 mil a year). He represents Edmonton well in any interview, was our all star last year (Hemsky snubbed? poor choice I think) and will be around awhile.

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#35 Heavyd
March 31 2010, 09:28PM
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COMRIE 4 LYFE. CAPTAIN FOR THE NEXT 11 YEARS.

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#36 Archaeologuy
March 31 2010, 09:45PM
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Bombstradamus wrote:

I like Hemsky, and think he should be part of this rebuild which in my opinion is already in year three. I just dont like his work ethic.

Now if you want to gamble, how about Horcoff? He works hard all the time, and it seems that he's going to be here a while, a long while.

I miss Ryan Smyth.

I've never had a problem with his on-ice work ethic. Plus, what better way to push a guy than make him the Captain? (not entirely serious, please keep that in mind before you respond)

Seriously, I dont know if this team has a captain, and I dont think slapping the C on someone who doesnt want it will help*. Maybe this team goes without a Captain next season.

I am fundamentally opposed to Horcoff getting the C. How are the Oilers going to take it away from him before his never-ending contracts runs out? Plus effort is one thing, but why should effort alone qualify someone as the Captain? Horc isnt a difference maker anymore. He had a good 50 game stretch a couple years ago but that's over. If effort was good enough then I'd take Stortini over Horcoff.

*See Oilers leadership under Moreau

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#38 Ryan
March 31 2010, 10:15PM
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Bring back Stoll or Green and give it to them. I had been hoping for Ott as a free agent but that ship has sailed.

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#39 Hamburgler
March 31 2010, 10:25PM
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"Concludingly"

Bravo Wanye.....Bravo. Mad Propz.

If only someone in the NHL had the last name Stubing, we could trade for him, make him captain and let the comedy roll.

Seriously though, I think they just roll with the A's next year.

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#40 m3sh
March 31 2010, 10:35PM
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ya if they give it to Horc it's not really an interim choice.

Concludingly == gold.

Whitney I say, he's a new face, he's outspoken and has shown early signs of some actual desire to lead.

Almost better just to not have a captain till someone shows de facto ownership of the title.

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#41 m3sh
March 31 2010, 10:39PM
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Aside, the Avs are hellbent on giving the Flames a chance at another first round exit. I may even watch their upcoming tilt.

Common Flames, join us in purgatory. Embrace your mediocrity.

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#42 Hamburgler
March 31 2010, 10:43PM
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@m3sh

Maybe the Avs are just giving them a little tease......

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#43 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 10:48PM
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So according to capgeek.com:

Robert Nilsson is 24 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2010, putting the total buyout cost at $833,333 spread over 2 years. His contract was originally valued at $6,000,000 with an annual cap hit of $2,000,000 beginning in 2008 and ending in 2011. The following is a season-by-season breakdown of the buyout. A negative buyout cap hit number indicates a credit.

ROBERT NILSSON BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
2010-2011: $-83,333
2011-2012: $416,667

Patrick O'Sullivan is 25 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2010, putting the total buyout cost at $795,833 spread over 2 years. His contract was originally valued at $8,775,000 with an annual cap hit of $2,925,000 beginning in 2008 and ending in 2011. The following is a season-by-season breakdown of the buyout. A negative buyout cap hit number indicates a credit.

PATRICK O'SULLIVAN BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
2010-2011: $935,417
2011-2012: $397,917

See ya's.

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#44 DonDon
March 31 2010, 10:50PM
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Horcoff didn't work himself up to the first line. He got there by default. Natural overpaid 3rd line centre that had a great season in the run-up to the Stanley Cup.

Changing the subject about the next captain. What becomes of Pat Quinn next season as the Oilers get younger (and better and tougher, I hope). Same question about Renney. Is he the right fit to coach next season's squad?

What about Nash? Are the Oilers better off asking his agent what teams Nash is prepared to play for and then trading him for a ligit NHLer?

Now that the Oil has won the lottery, I live in fear that Tambellini will do something stupid (again), like trade the pick.

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#45 Twiggs
March 31 2010, 11:12PM
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If Horc or Struds gets the C, I will vomit on my pant suit. Big Sex or Comrie.

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#46 m3sh
March 31 2010, 11:21PM
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@DonDon

won the lottery? Did April 13th pass me by? I see your point though, basically guaranteed 1 or 2.

Let's pray Tambs isn't that dumb. I'm still in suspense as to who Tambs chooses, or if we lose the lottery and the choice goes to someone else.

Tambs is probably doing his best to fix the lottery with that very outcome in mind. Lottery loss = scapegoat for possible draft bust.

Must not be so negative though.

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#47 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 11:54PM
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FORWARD CAP HITS NEXT YEAR:

Horcoff, 5.500
Penner 4.250
Hemsky 4.100
Hall/Seguin ?3.75? (Tavares = 3.75, Hedman = 3.5, Duchene = 3.2)
Gagner 2.750, 2yrs
Comrie 1.750 1yr
Brule 1.625 2yrs
Eberle 1.1875
Pouliot 1.000 1yr
Potulny 0.975 2yrs
Jones 0.975
*O'Sullivan (buyout) 0.935417*
Pisani 0.750 1yr
Strudwick 0.700 1yr
Stortini 0.700
Jacques 0.5775 1yr
*Nilsson (buyout) (-0.083333)*
= $31.442

Package Moreau (2.000) with Cogliano (RFA, >1.246666) for something.

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#48 Cowbell_Feva
April 01 2010, 12:16AM
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DDP wrote:

Give it to Hocoff. He's going to be here for a while, has a great ethic & it's not like there's any fear of him getting any worse. This is rock bottom? Isn't it??

I know Edmonton has a bad history of rewarding stupidity (ie, KLowe now Prez- Danny Maccocia director of FB ops) but giving Horcoff the 'C' would take the cake. With any luck he WON'T be here much longer!

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#49 THEBIGD
April 01 2010, 12:41AM
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@Archaeologuy

Are you nuts?The best move the Oilers should make,but won't,is to trade Hemsky.And as soon as you can.As what has he done to help the Oilers?Nothing as he won't pass,shoot avoids the media by hiding?This guy could not lead my dog let alone the Oilers.Please tell me why they believe he is such a great player.He is not and will be good trade bait either for young players or draft picks.As this guy drives me nuts.

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#50 Big Dave Semenko
April 01 2010, 01:23AM
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Tobey Pedersen. Check and mate.

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