UPDATED: Moreau Claimed, O'Sullivan Traded

Jason Gregor
June 30 2010 06:57AM

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Edmonton Oilers' fans cheer during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Tomorrow the free agent frenzy begins, and once again we will see some GMs lose their marbles and overpay a first liner, a 4th D-man or even a 3rd line plugger with the hopes that player will put his team over the top.

Rarely does that happen, but that won’t stop teams from opening up the vault and fans from believing that an Ilya Kovalchuk or Colby Armstrong or Paul Kariya will put their team over the top.

For the past two Julys the Oilers and their fans chased the superstar dream, but this summer sanity has replaced fantasy and Steve Tambellini will focus more on role players than a big-ticket-over-priced superstar.

Of course there is only one superstar available this summer, Kovalchuk, but let’s assume the Oilers search for role players is more strategy than circumstance.

Up until this past weekend many wondered if Tambellini would ever make a move, or if he’d continue to be indecisive and slow moving. In the past four days, Tambellini has added Colin Fraser and Jim Vandermeer and said goodbye to six players: Ethan Moreau, Patrick O’Sullivan, Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot, Ryan Potulny and Riley Nash and in the process he might have shed his “Tentative Tambellini” moniker.

It will take more than a few decent decisions to erase past blunders, but Tambellini could earn more love amongst Oilernation if he can add a few more pieces to the puzzle starting Thursday.

PRESSING NEEDS

With Sheldon Souray halfway out the door, Jason Strudwick and Mike Comrie uncertain to return, only Shawn Horcoff (31) and Nikolai Khabibulin (37) are older than 27. It is clear Tambellini needs to add a few veterans to this youthful rebuild, and he should do so by adding at least one or possibly two defenders and a solid 3rd liner. One physical defender and one puck mover would be ideal, and Tambellini needs to find a forward with some size.

The list of candidates that fit the Oilers’ needs isn’t that long. Keep in mind these suggestions are for a team that is still rebuilding, not looking to make a deep run in the playoffs.

D-MEN

Aaron Ward: He’s won a Cup, is outspoken and won’t cost more than $1.8 million.

Nick Boynton: Tough, physical but not a great skater. He just won a Cup in Chicago, and might stay in the Windy City, but for $1.5 million he’d help.

Brett Clark: He was overpaid in Colorado last year raking in $3.5 million, but the 33-year-old will take a pay cut, and for $2 million the Oilers might look at him.

John Scott: Brownlee has been pumping his tires for months, so I’m guessing the Oilers will be talking with him. He’s big and could play 50 games.

Denis Grebeshkov: Kidding. Seriously the Oilers should just keep moving along. Rarely does re-kindling the fire with your ex work out, and I feel the same way about bringing players back for a second tour of duty. It’s comfortable, but you regret it quickly.

Derek Morris: He is physical, can move the puck and has a good reputation in the room.

Daryl Sydor: He’d love to play in his hometown, but if Strudwick comes back he doesn’t think there will be room for both of them.

Willie Mitchell: If no playoff contender calls his agent, Mitchell could help on the backend. He struck it rich a few years ago in free agency, and I don’t see him coming close to another $3.5 million salary.

Henrik Tallinder: He’d be a great signing, but playing in the east for so long, I’m guessing he stays there. He will be in high demand and will probably end up outside the Oilers spending range.

Kurtis Foster: He recovered nicely from his gruesome leg injury a few years ago. He has a bomb of a shot, is a decent passer and is big enough to get in the way.

FORWARDS

Zenon Konopka: I can’t believe the Lightning hasn’t re-signed him yet. He is a great team player, willing to fight anyone and has worked hard on improving his game. He can’t be a 3rd liner, but he would help protect the young guns.

Arron Asham: He played in the top-nine on a deep Philadelphia team. He is physical, tough and not a defensive liability. He only made $640,000 last year, so if the Oilers offered him one million they might land him.

Adam Mair: He won't cost a lot of money, and plays with a bit of grit. He is a veteran who can kill penalties and can play wing and centre.

Colby Armstrong: Is exactly what the Oilers need, but he’ll be a hot commodity and command Steve Ott money, $2.9 million. Would you pay him that much? I would.

Saku Koivu: He’s a great leader who competes hard, but I doubt he wants to be part of a rebuild. He’ll probably sign with his brother in Minnesota.

Eric Nystrom: He’s only 27, and could be looking for an expanded role. The former 10th pick overall in 2002 might flourish with a change of scenery. Moreau was the 14th pick his draft year, and realized he’d be more productive as a checker/energy guy. Could Nystrom replace Moreau?

Owen Nolan: The 38-year-old potted 16 goals last year in Minnesota. He has Old Man strength, and Kyle Brodziak told me he was an incredible leader. He was a two time 40-goal man so he could give the offensive guys scoring tips, and he is still tough enough to earn the respect of the opposition. I’d sign him for one-year in a heartbeat.

Raffi Torres: Is the type of forward the Oilers need, but that goes against my “don’t date your ex” philosophy. Torres isn’t old or mature enough to be a leader, but his physical play combined with 20-goal potential is the exact type of player the Oilers need. Too bad there isn’t another UFA similar to him.

Mike Modano: It might be a pipe dream, but Modano can play offence and is decent defensively. He can still skate, and would take some pressure off the young kids. He probably has no interest on being part of a rebuild, but if I'm Tambellini it can't hurt to make a call.

Derek Boogaard: He won’t give you any offence, but if you believe you need the Oilers need a bodyguard for their kids he fits the bill.

Raitis Ivanans: Read Boogaard

Eric Boulton: Read Boogaard, except Boulton isn’t as tough, but he skates a bit better.

A REBUILD IS THE ONLY OPTION

After seeing the list of available free agents, it is obvious that Tambellini will have a hard time deviating from his plan to rebuild. If he can land one or even two of the aforementioned players, he’ll be happy. It’s possible he might have to dip to the C or D pool of free agents to fill the voids on the roster.

I suspect he will re-sign Jason Strudwick and Mike Comrie. Strudwick will be a good influence on the young guys, and can fill in for 40-50 games. Comrie is a competitor and he will ensure the young kids earn their icetime. He liked it in Edmonton last season, and told me before he left he’d love to come back. He has talked with the Oilers, and I suspect he’ll be back, especially if Tambellini can’t land a free agent.

Moreau speaks: UPDATE COLUMBUS CLAIMS HIM

Moreau returned my call last night when he landed in Vernon. He didn’t have to, but showed his class in doing so.

“I think it was time to part ways. I’m happy to get a fresh start, but it’s also a sad day because I’m leaving a great city. My kids were raised here, went to school here and our family has met a lot of great people. I will miss Edmonton,” he said about how he felt after speaking to Tambellini.

Tambellini actually gave him some leads on some teams his agent should call starting July 1st based on conversation he had had at the draft. Moreau didn’t have any hard feelings, and he was happy that he got a buyout rather than being traded in the last week. Now he can chose choose where he gets to play.

I'm guessing this is a major surprise for Moreau. As of last night he sounded like a guy who was going to be a free agent. This helps the Oilers in a big way cap wise, because Columbus claimed him on waivers, not re-entry waivers, the Oilers are free of Moreau's salary. It is clear that Scott Howson thought Moreau wouldn't sign in Columbus so he claimed him rather than wait until tomorrow to sign him as a free agent for less money.

It was clear it was the right time for Moreau to leave, but my only question is why the Oilers didn’t let him have a press conference to say goodbye. It is clear that both sides were okay with the decision, so why not let him speak? Unless they were worried he would follow in Pat Quinn’s footsteps and not tow the company line.

UPDATE ON POS TRADE

The Oilers have traded Patrick O'Sullivan to the Phoenix Coyotes for Jim Vandermeer. Vandermeer is a $2.3 million cap hit for next season. I'm going to guess that Phoenix might end up buying out O'Sullivan and saving money. The Oilers get Vandermeer for this season, but won't have his salary (at least not at $2.3 million) or the O'Sullivan's buyout salary for next season. Plus it gives the Oilers some added toughness on the backend and solid #5 D-man.

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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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#151 knobert
June 30 2010, 11:51AM
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Two down one to go....... Any news on Bobbie?

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#152 Bill Rizer
June 30 2010, 11:52AM
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Maybe we should grab Tom Preissing off waivers for a season?

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Oh ya, the Pronger, Lupul, Pitkanen, Cole, O'Sullivan is still alive.

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#154 MrCondor
June 30 2010, 11:53AM
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I'm actually shocked at the amount of confusion from the media over the last few days. Many reported POS, Nillison and Moreau were bought out when they were only put on waivers. Most "insiders" do not seem to have a solid understanding of the NHL waiver/buyout process - conflicting reports everywhere.

I think the need for speed required for breaking a story on twitter is being put before accuracy.

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#155 Boundz
June 30 2010, 11:53AM
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Good move for Vandemeer:

"Pierre LeBrun Real_ESPNLeBrun Just got a text from Oilers GM Steve Tambellini: they are NOT buying out Vandermeer. They are keeping him. ``need his physical presence.''

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@MrCondor

Did anyone actually say they were bought out or that they were going to be bought out?

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#160 stook44
June 30 2010, 12:01PM
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From Bob Mackenzie

An interesting rumour, and I stress rumour at this point: Edmonton possibly moving defenceman Sheldon Souray to St. Louis with blueliner Eric Brewer coming back the other way. Souray is a $5.4 million cap hit who will make $4.5 million in each of next two seasons. Brewer is $4.25 million cap hit with a salary of $4.5 million for the coming season. The Oilers obviously must move Souray - he can't play there now - but will have to take some money back. Could a Souray-Brewer trade be the answer?

- Darren Dreger spoke with Souray, who pointed out that his no-trade clause lifts July 1st, so the Oilers can consider any interested teams. Souray still needs additional strengthening in his surgically-repaired hand, but vows to be ready for the 2010-2011 season and will provide his medical records to any interested clubs. Souray also noted, if there's interest, he's happy to return to Edmonton.

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#161 Ender
June 30 2010, 12:01PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

They weren't false. The Oilers had all the intentions to buyout Moreau. Moreau himself thought he was getting bought out. The CBJ claim surprised them, and it came down before the actual buyout could have occured.

O'Sullivan was going to get bought out, but Tambellini found a partner in Phoenix. The Coyotes were going to buy him out, but now they will buy out POS instead. The Coyotes save money, while the Oilers get a guy who can help them.

Some will wonder why didn't the Oilers just wait and sign Vandemeer as an UFA? Here's why.

They needed another D-man, and it would have cost them at least $1 million if not more to get one. This way they get rid of POS and get the D-man.

Had the Coyotes bought out Vandemeer there is no guarantee he would have signed here. The Oilers were prepared to buyout POS and when you add the cost of his buyout with at least $1 million to sign a D-man, Vandemeer at $2.3 actually saves them about $100,000...

Not only do they save a few nickels, I'd like to think Vandemeer will be a better blueliner than the free-agent who agrees to sign in Edmonton for $1M.

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#162 I'm a Scientist!
June 30 2010, 12:01PM
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Color me ignorant, but this buyout thing seems much more prevelant this season than in seasons passed. Are this many players in the NHL usually slated for buyout and i just don't hear about it, or are there just a larger than normal amount?

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#163 wyseguy
June 30 2010, 12:02PM
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things are starting to take shape. I'm excited to see what shakes down with Souray and Cogliano. This is sure a different looking team, hopefully this means the "attitude" issues are taken care of too.

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@Jason Gregor

Ya but mine has a longer list.

When is the last chance to buyout Nilsson on this buyout period?

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#165 Tracie
June 30 2010, 12:04PM
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Jeez this is awesome!!! If I knew the rebuild was going to be so exciting, I wouldn't have complained so much during the season! Vandermeer is expensive, but exactly what we are looking for on the backend - a defensive, tough, dman that will be hell to play against!

Glad Moreau got picked up! Great guy and great Oiler, no so good captain and just didn't fit on the team anymore. Thanks for the memories and the grit and effort Chopper!

I wonder if this gives Nilsson a reality check now...the most skilled guy that the Oilers put on Waivers and still no one wants him...hopefully you wake up buddy!

So far, totally impressed with Tambo's work! Keep it up big guy!

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#166 Dyckster
June 30 2010, 12:04PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Ya but mine has a longer list.

When is the last chance to buyout Nilsson on this buyout period?

Wouldn't he have top be bought out before the UFA period officially begins? Like, 12:01 Thursday morning or whatever?

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#167 Bandwagon jumper
June 30 2010, 12:05PM
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Souray, make up your mind. I wonder if all the potential "New kids on the block" have peeked (sp?) Sheldon's interest?

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#168 freeze
June 30 2010, 12:06PM
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knobert wrote:

Two down one to go....... Any news on Bobbie?

RT @DarrenDreger Nice move by the Oilers trading O'Sullivan. Sources say Edmtn is trying to find a similar fit for Nilsson. If (cont) http://tl.gd/27pkmq

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#169 JackBauer
June 30 2010, 12:07PM
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MrCondor wrote:

I'm actually shocked at the amount of confusion from the media over the last few days. Many reported POS, Nillison and Moreau were bought out when they were only put on waivers. Most "insiders" do not seem to have a solid understanding of the NHL waiver/buyout process - conflicting reports everywhere.

I think the need for speed required for breaking a story on twitter is being put before accuracy.

I agree with that 100%. The only people that didnt actually say they have been bought out was Jeff Marek on HNIC who always said, "wavied for the purpose of buying out"

I guess were splitting hairs here. They were doomed to be gone regardless. We just got lucky someone wanted these guys.

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#170 JackBauer
June 30 2010, 12:08PM
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OH my next question, do these guys still need to clear waviers/re-entry waviers?

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#171 Chris.
June 30 2010, 12:10PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Did anyone actually say they were bought out or that they were going to be bought out?

Yes... This taken from the Cult Of Hockey Blog:

Update: Mark Spector of Sportsnet is reporting that Moreau's agent confirms Moreau has been bought out.

Moreau's agent got it wrong and Spec passed it along.

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#172 Spence.
June 30 2010, 12:12PM
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JackBauer wrote:

OH my next question, do these guys still need to clear waviers/re-entry waviers?

No. They cleared waivers already...

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#173 JackBauer
June 30 2010, 12:16PM
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Spence. wrote:

No. They cleared waivers already...

Does Vandemeer have to clear re-entry waviers to be on the team?

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#174 Harlie
June 30 2010, 12:18PM
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stook44 wrote:

From Bob Mackenzie

An interesting rumour, and I stress rumour at this point: Edmonton possibly moving defenceman Sheldon Souray to St. Louis with blueliner Eric Brewer coming back the other way. Souray is a $5.4 million cap hit who will make $4.5 million in each of next two seasons. Brewer is $4.25 million cap hit with a salary of $4.5 million for the coming season. The Oilers obviously must move Souray - he can't play there now - but will have to take some money back. Could a Souray-Brewer trade be the answer?

- Darren Dreger spoke with Souray, who pointed out that his no-trade clause lifts July 1st, so the Oilers can consider any interested teams. Souray still needs additional strengthening in his surgically-repaired hand, but vows to be ready for the 2010-2011 season and will provide his medical records to any interested clubs. Souray also noted, if there's interest, he's happy to return to Edmonton.

VIDEO of Souray getting his hand and wrist fixed

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

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@Chris.

I believe that was corrected by others shortly after.

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@JackBauer

nope

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@Jason Gregor

Is it two? And I think you are wrong, either wrong of someone came close to using it last year or the year before.

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#179 TonyT
June 30 2010, 12:26PM
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1) Good for Ethan Moreau. Thanks for the memories and good luck. 2) I vote for no captain this year, the kids are the future, wait till one of them claims it. 3) O'Sullivan for Vandemeer is a pretty good trade. I was always annoyed with him when he was in Calgary, hopefully it'll give the Oilers someone annoying to play. 4) If Vandemeer is here, what happens to Strudwick and Johnson?

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#181 JackBauer
June 30 2010, 12:29PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He would need to report to an AHL team, and then get recalled to be on re-entry waivers. He is in Edmonton. No player gets put on re-entry waivers until the season starts.

So there is a chance that someone will claim him and we will be on the hook for half his salary?

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@Jason Gregor

Come on Gregor. Players do get put on re-entry in the summer. It's another way to avoid the buyout.

Like won't and like have, I think no needs to be replaced with another word, rarely.

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#183 Spence.
June 30 2010, 12:30PM
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Hey Gregor...

Any chance you can round up Vandemeer for the show?

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#184 Chris.
June 30 2010, 12:31PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I believe that was corrected by others shortly after.

But it was still reported. I read the Cult Of Hockey blog, did a small job, talked some hockey with some friends (Telling them we bought out our Captain); and went back online only to read the correction later. Blog stories are living, breathing, always evloving organisms... that's why it's so fun... miss ten minutes: miss the new story! (Bye bye print)

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#185 Spence.
June 30 2010, 12:31PM
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@ Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Lynda Steele

Gregor mentioned that they dont get put on re-entry until the season starts.

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#186 MrCondor
June 30 2010, 12:32PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I stated numerous times on my show that the Oilers were planning on buying them out. Of course it wouldnt' be OFFICIAL until today.

Lots of players have been put on waivers in the past, and then didn't get bought out. I reported that the Oilers had made their minds up to buy them out today.

CBJ claim shocked them and Moreau. POS trade was just good wheeling by Tambellini. He is trying same thing with Nilsson, and if he doesn't find a partner they will buy him out...

I agree with you that the intent was there. But being bought out and being placed on waivers is an important distinction.

If O'Sullivan and Moreau had been bought out, Oilers would have had a cap hit of around 2.7 million over 2 years.

As it turns out, we got a gritty defenseman and no additional cap hit.

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#187 VMR
June 30 2010, 12:33PM
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stook44 wrote:

From Bob Mackenzie

An interesting rumour, and I stress rumour at this point: Edmonton possibly moving defenceman Sheldon Souray to St. Louis with blueliner Eric Brewer coming back the other way. Souray is a $5.4 million cap hit who will make $4.5 million in each of next two seasons. Brewer is $4.25 million cap hit with a salary of $4.5 million for the coming season. The Oilers obviously must move Souray - he can't play there now - but will have to take some money back. Could a Souray-Brewer trade be the answer?

- Darren Dreger spoke with Souray, who pointed out that his no-trade clause lifts July 1st, so the Oilers can consider any interested teams. Souray still needs additional strengthening in his surgically-repaired hand, but vows to be ready for the 2010-2011 season and will provide his medical records to any interested clubs. Souray also noted, if there's interest, he's happy to return to Edmonton.

Is Souray playing nice to try and facilitate a trade or is there a real possibility of him returning?

Does picking up Vandermeer end any talk of bringing in Scott? It's assumed Strudwick will be back and I can see them having all three of those players on the roster.

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@Chris.

After doing some reading I see you are probably right, but depending if you are on twitter it was corrected. I'm actually shocked that gregor used the wording he did.

I have to ask though, does anyone here not follow the rest of the NHL? The whole buyout process has been made clear a few times in the last week by other teams that did what edmonton did yesterday.

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@Spence.

I'm looking into it, but I think he is wrong.

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@Jason Gregor

Well I'm questioning because obviously you have thrown some incorrect facts out.

You come close by waiving the player and once he clears you decide not to buy him out. I really don't feel like going through transactions for the past two or three summers to prove a point. Especially considering it's hard to find when guys were waived and ending up going no where.

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#192 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 30 2010, 12:39PM
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This is one of the rare occasions where the yesterdays news today format (Newspapers) may have had the upper hand on this interwebnetthingy. Don't get me wrong, i do much prefer this todays news today format here at Oilersnation.com, but i do believe Ethans agent was quoted yesterday claiming that Ethan Moreau has been bought out (past tense)

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#193 Spence.
June 30 2010, 12:41PM
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Why does everyone care about what was reported? It doesn't matter. It was fun today to get the news that in fact Moreau had been picked up off waivers and POS traded!

Makes the work day a whole lot better...especially when the Oil are making good sound moves.

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#194 Hemsky2011
June 30 2010, 12:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How can you come close to using it? Either a team uses it or they don't. Just because a team has two arbitration cases doesn't mean they have to USE it, it just means the option is there. No player has been bought out in August, that I recall so no one has used it. You don't come close to using it. Either you do or you don't. Simple.

11.18 of CBA...In the event that a Club has only one salary arbitration hearing pursuant to Section 12.3 (a) in a given League Year, such club shall NOT be entitled to exercise an Ordinary Course Buy-out.

Because your track records in matters like this is pretty pitiful?

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#195 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 30 2010, 12:42PM
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Note: OB and OBJ are two seperate people.

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Well show me where in the CBA it says re-entry waivers don't apply in the off-season?

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@Jason Gregor

I have researched re-entry waivers and show me where it says you can't put a guy on there so that instead of a buyout you only pay 50% of his contract?

Seriously I was just bringing up some points and you have yet to prove I was wrong. Sure maybe no one was bought out in that second period before, but I brought up that I thought someone just about used it last year or the year before.

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#200 Bandwagon jumper
June 30 2010, 12:47PM
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A couple of guys on here are sounding a lot like lawyers.

Bickering over the fine print.

Let it go already and focus on what matters...

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