THOUGHTS DE LA GREGOR..UPDATED

Jason Gregor
July 13 2010 09:57AM

 

What does it mean that Devan Dubnyk signed before Jeff Deslauriers? How much will Gilbert Brule be asking for in arbitration? Should it really cost $12.5 million to get a leader?

Dubnyk signed a one-way, two-year deal worth $800,000/season and many are speculating this signals the end of Jeff Deslauriers as an Oiler. Since the end of the season I thought the Oilers would go with DD instead of JDD as the back up in 2010/2011, and I still do, but I don’t think this signing guarantees that.

Deslauriers has filed for arbitration and his case is scheduled to go August 4th, unless he and the Oilers reach an agreement before then. Deslauriers is in a tough spot. If he wins his case with a contract of more than one million the Oilers can just walk away from the ruling and he will become an UFA .

The problem with that scenario is that by August 4th most teams will have two or possibly three goalies locked up, so I’ll be stunned if Deslauriers doesn’t agree to a contract before then. 

The other interesting angle for him is that Nikolai Khabibulin’s court date is July 22nd, and the Oilers will know what punishment their veteran will be awarded. If they throw the book at Khabibulin (which I doubt they will) then maybe they keep both the kids.

If Deslauriers can get a one-year, one-way deal from the Oilers he will almost surely take it. He’ll get something similar to Dubnyk, if not a bit less.

BRULE AND JACQUES ALSO ARBITRATION BOUND

Twenty one players filed for arbitration and the three were Oilers. Brule and J.F Jacques have also filed, but I’d expect Jacques to get a contract before his July 21st arbitration date.

Update: JF Jacques has signed a one-year deal worth $615,000. He won't be going to arbitration.

Jacques’ back is progressing nicely and if he can stay healthy he is good bargain at that price. After years of struggling to find his niche on the team, he finally realized he needs to be physical. Despite only playing 49 games he led the Oilers in hits with 158. Only Zach Stortini (144) and Gilbert Brule (115) had more than 100 hits. Jacques’ +/- wasn’t good, but his mix of size and speed makes him appealing for at least another year.

Brule’s case is set for August 3rd, and he has the best case and will be looking for around $2 million/season. Brule was 2nd on the Oilers in goals, 17, was one of only two players to be in double digits with five-on-five goals, 15, and was tied for the team lead with three GW goals.

In many arbitration cases teams have argued that PP goals are less important, so Brule’s camp will be using his strong EV production in their favour. I’m not sure what the Oilers will be offering, but Brule has a solid case and could be the first Oiler since Jason Smith in 2002 to go before an arbitrator.

COSTLY LEADERSHIP?

Ryan Rishaug from TSN and Brownlee are both in favour of bringing back Ryan Smyth. Their argument that his leadership and work ethic is exactly what the young Oiler forwards need to see is a valid one, but I wonder if the he is worth it. 

Smyth has a $6.25 million cap hit for two more years, but he gets paid $5.5 million next year and $4.5 million in his final year. That’s a lot to pay a guy just because you think he’ll be a good influence on the young guys.

His work ethic and desire will never be questioned, but how much does he have left to contribute on the ice? 43% of his career goals have come on the powerplay, but do you want him to play more than Dustin Penner and Taylor Hall on the PP? 

The Oilers could put Smyth beside Shawn Horcoff and use them as a checking/scoring line so the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Gilbert Brule and Sam Gagner could get easier minutes, but if they don’t produce then you’re paying $11.75 million to be defensive. That’s too rich for my blood.

The Oilers would be doing cartwheels if they could land Smyth for Sheldon Souray, but there is no way Dean Lombardi makes that deal even if the Kings sign Ilya Kovalchuk. They’d rather keep Smyth’s contract than take on Souray’s, because the Kings young guys would benefit more from having Smyth around.

I respect Smyth’s game, and his passion and tireless effort would be a great example for the young kids, but his contract combined with lots of hard miles on his body make him more of a risk than a reward in my mind.

ARBITRATION CASES

Here is the list of players who filed for arbitration along with their hearing date.

Jared Boll v. Columbus Blue July 20th

Derek Meech v. Detroit July 20th

Jannik Hansen v. Vancouver July 20th

Daniel Carcill v. Philadelphip July 21st

J.F Jacques v. Edmonton July 21st

Clark MacArthur v. Atlanta July 21st

Gregory Campbell v. Boston July 22nd

Nate Thompson v. Tampa Bay July 22nd

Fabian Brunnstrom v. Dallas July 23rd

Brad Richardson v. Los Angeles July 23rd

Mason Raymond v. Vancouver July 26th

Matt Moulson v. NYI July 27th

Blake Wheeler v. Boston July 27th

Tim Kennedy v. Buffalo July 27th

Anton Stralman v. Columbus July 28th

Tomas Fleischmann v. Washington July 28th

Patrick Kaleta v. Buffalo July 29th

Andrew Ladd v. Atlanta July 29th A

ntti Niemi v. Chicago July 29th

Ian White v. Calgary July 30th

Mark Fraser v. New Jersey July 30th

Peter Regin v. Ottawa July 30th

Gilbert Brule v. Edmonton August 3rd

James Wisniewshi v. Anaheim August 3rd

Ben Eager v. Atlanta August 3rd

Jeff Deslauriers v. Edmonton August 4th

Chris Campoli v. Ottawa August 4th

The most interesting cases, if they go before an arbitrator should be Raymond and the Canucks, Niemi and the Hawks, Moulson and the Islanders, Ladd and the Thrashers and Brule and the Oilers.

Last year five players ended up going to arbitration, Daniel Winnik, Kyle Wellwood, Milan Jurcina, Jiri Hudler and Nikolai Zherdev. The most interesting case was Hudler. Just as the case was starting the Wings agreed to terms Hudler’s camp wanted and paid him $5.75 million over two years, but Hudler had already agree do to go the KHL. I think the Wings were hoping if they agreed to Hudler’s terms then he might return, but that didn’t happen until this summer.

Zherdev’s case had the largest discrepancy heading into it. Zherdev wanted $4.7 million while the Rangers countered with $2.8. The arbitrator awarded Zherdev a one-year deal at $3.9 million, but the Rangers exercised their right to walk away from the ruling and Zherdev ended up signing in the KHL.

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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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#51 Tyler
July 13 2010, 12:20PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Bulin going to jail and missing the first part of the season isn't exactly a bad thing. It would give us a chance to take another look at our young goalie tandem.

I think it would be a very good thing. It would give the Oilers a pretty clean out if he was healthy and missing gmaes for jail.

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#52 Ducey
July 13 2010, 12:21PM
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I am not sure why people care so much what Brule gets at arbitration.

If it is too high, the Oilers can just pay it, and then trade him at the deadline for a pick or two. I makes no sense to walk away from it. They have tonnes of cap room.

Smyth makes no sense unless Souray moves. Lomabardi is very cautious and he will not take Souray. So are we going to give up actual assets for Ryan's beat up old body? This would be contrary to a rebuild.

Anyway, the only reason you take on a vet like this is to get 2/3 of a season for him to teach the kids and then flip him. Given the fact Ryan has another year at a big cap hit, this will be tough, especially if he is not gettting the PP time to pad his stats and he likely will be injured. Plus, there is likely to be some baggage around trading him again. Smyth is a great guy but so is Steve Staios. Smyth is just another 2 yr cap anchor. No thanks.

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#53 Chris.
July 13 2010, 12:21PM
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@ cableguy:

gagner for schenn?

Funny. One market would demand a top three player for Schenn; the other market would think that they are giving up a top three player for Schenn; and neither market would be happy with such a trade because their bottom feeding rosters are valued like diamond encrusted gold.

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@Tyler

Again what gives you the idea that the Oilers want out of his contract? I have to think that if they wanted out they would've signed someone to replace him this off-season. There were some decent cheap options out there.

Maybe if he is still hurt once jail is done the Oilers look at voided the contract, but I still doubt it.

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#55 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 13 2010, 12:26PM
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@cableguy-- team spaz

@DougWeightProblem wrote

Sorry to jump in but I think you both listen to Piere McGuire too much! Schenn is one of his favorite "Monsters" but if you are trading for Schenn then you are trading for potential. He is a second teir defenceman for his age group. I'm not saying he won't turn out to be a great defenceman but you are talking like he is of the Seabrook-Doughty ilk.

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#56 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
July 13 2010, 12:29PM
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Chris. wrote:

@ cableguy:

gagner for schenn?

Funny. One market would demand a top three player for Schenn; the other market would think that they are giving up a top three player for Schenn; and neither market would be happy with such a trade because their bottom feeding rosters are valued like diamond encrusted gold.

haha, wouldnt that mean it is almost fair?

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@Ducey

On Brule.

If he ends up making too much money and isn't worth it come the deadline how many teams are going to want him?

I still match though and if he isn't worth the money try deal him or just let him walk.

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#58 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 13 2010, 12:29PM
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SurfacetoAirMissile wrote:

@cableguy-- team spaz

@DougWeightProblem wrote

Sorry to jump in but I think you both listen to Piere McGuire too much! Schenn is one of his favorite "Monsters" but if you are trading for Schenn then you are trading for potential. He is a second teir defenceman for his age group. I'm not saying he won't turn out to be a great defenceman but you are talking like he is of the Seabrook-Doughty ilk.

I'd put Gagner in that same boat at this time.

Might be a good needs based trade, I'd still be hard pressed to trade the potential first line center for the potential shut down dman though.

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#59 Woogie
July 13 2010, 12:29PM
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TSN is reporting Carcillo signed with Philly

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=327424

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#60 madjam
July 13 2010, 12:41PM
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Gagner seems to be a stay here player , while Cogs , Brule and Souray might not down the line . Package last 3 and save plenty of cap space for other alternatives that might turn out better . Example - Simmonds and draft picks or futures . Schenn another . St.Louis many to choose from including goalie prospect C. Pickart or a D.Perron perhaps . Ottawa has some worth considering as well .

Many options for reducing cap issues if we package Cogs , Brule and Souray . I'd like to see them upgrade in size over Cogs and Brule to be honest , but maintain Gagner .

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#61 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 13 2010, 12:45PM
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@ Original Ogden Brother - Team Hall

Agreed, and not to mention both teams have invested a lot of time in their own guy and probably value them higher than the other.

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#62 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 13 2010, 12:50PM
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@madjam

I think other than Cogs they have purged the small forwards from their lineups. Brule is not that big but at least when he is not scoring he is hitting. If you are Cogs and not scoring than you are just another small player like POS and Nilson. That is why I want to keep Brule.... Speed, skill, youth, Grit... However...... buying low and selling high has some merit too. This is probably as high as Brule's stock has been since his draft day.

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#63 Senator Theo
July 13 2010, 12:53PM
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Tyler wrote:

The Oilers can only walk away from JDD's arbitration award if it exceeds $1.042MM plus whatever amount the league average salary has increased by from 2007-08 to present. I've heard the figure $1.3MM kicked around there. I can't see any way that he beats $1.3MM on his arbitration hearing.

What's the basis for thinking that the book won't get thrown at Khabibulin? I'm not certain that there's no plea bargain but, based on my knowledge of how courts and lawyers work, if there was a plea bargain, I suspect it would have been arrived at already. If he gets convicted of extreme DUI, it's 30 days in jail minimum. That seems like having the book thrown at him to me.

Agreed - 30 days in jail might not sound like a lot, but I bet it seems like an eternity when everyone's trying to go 5-hole on you in prison.

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#64 DougWeightProblem
July 13 2010, 12:59PM
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Sorry ... gone for lunch.

Gagner for Schenn is starting to get reasonable, but why is Cogliano AND Brule so different from Gagner?

While I agree that I may be overvaluing Schenn, he fits the mould of young, shut down defenseman with potential that should work on our rebuilding roster. At best, I see him as a Seabrook-type, but I will certainly not be surprised if he maxes out below that lofty standard ...

Another thought ... why not ask a fan of, say, Vancouver or Ottawa about whether a trade of Cogliano and Brule for Schenn is realistic? Perhaps that eliminates our/Leafs fan bias.

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#65 Travis Dakin
July 13 2010, 01:01PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Again what gives you the idea that the Oilers want out of his contract? I have to think that if they wanted out they would've signed someone to replace him this off-season. There were some decent cheap options out there.

Maybe if he is still hurt once jail is done the Oilers look at voided the contract, but I still doubt it.

They signed Bulin to help lure Heatly and because they thought they were closer to competing. It has also been discovered since then that he is a lot more brittle than they once thought (not to mention the unknown hydration issue),

Why would they sign another goalie when they have the two kids to be signed and the fate of their number one goalie is yet to be determined? A four-headed monster would be awesome!

And last, admitting that he made a mistake in signing him is something Tambo is probably not willing to do. Having a nice "legally forced" way out of this ridiculous contract would save face for the organization.

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#66 Travis Dakin
July 13 2010, 01:03PM
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DougWeightProblem wrote:

Sorry ... gone for lunch.

Gagner for Schenn is starting to get reasonable, but why is Cogliano AND Brule so different from Gagner?

While I agree that I may be overvaluing Schenn, he fits the mould of young, shut down defenseman with potential that should work on our rebuilding roster. At best, I see him as a Seabrook-type, but I will certainly not be surprised if he maxes out below that lofty standard ...

Another thought ... why not ask a fan of, say, Vancouver or Ottawa about whether a trade of Cogliano and Brule for Schenn is realistic? Perhaps that eliminates our/Leafs fan bias.

Stop the Gagner talk.

He is 20!!!!!!!!!! going into his 4th season. Don't even think about trading him. Silly kids.

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#67 smiliegirl15
July 13 2010, 01:03PM
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I don't think prison beds will help Bulin's back any - too bad he couldn't get the Lindsay Lohan treatment and be kept separate from the general population for everyone's safety.

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#68 DougWeightProblem
July 13 2010, 01:06PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Stop the Gagner talk.

He is 20!!!!!!!!!! going into his 4th season. Don't even think about trading him. Silly kids.

Not saying we should trade him. Just saying it's a place to start the conversation. I'm on your side ;-)

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#69 Ducey
July 13 2010, 01:08PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

On Brule.

If he ends up making too much money and isn't worth it come the deadline how many teams are going to want him?

I still match though and if he isn't worth the money try deal him or just let him walk.

The trade deadline is at about the 60 game mark so the new team would be responsible for 1/4 for Brule's salary.

If he was making 2M they would have to pay 500K (the Oilers 1.5 M)

If he was making 2.4M the new team would have to pay 600K. (the Oilers 1.8M)

$100K is not going to make any difference to the acquiring team at the dealine. $300K is not that much difference to the Oilers over the course of the season, especially if the reward is another pick.

In a situation like Brule's where you don't quite know how a guy might fit on your team, and you have young guys that may be able to replace him, managing assets on the short term this way is a lot better idea than signing multi year deals.

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#70 madjam
July 13 2010, 01:08PM
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SurfacetoAirMissile wrote:

@madjam

I think other than Cogs they have purged the small forwards from their lineups. Brule is not that big but at least when he is not scoring he is hitting. If you are Cogs and not scoring than you are just another small player like POS and Nilson. That is why I want to keep Brule.... Speed, skill, youth, Grit... However...... buying low and selling high has some merit too. This is probably as high as Brule's stock has been since his draft day.

Eberle and Omark to replace Cogs and Brule are still not overly big if you get the picture . Neither is Gagner and a few others like pepperpot Reddox . All will be worth some consideration , but not all on team at same time or we run into last years problems again .

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#71 LOIL
July 13 2010, 01:14PM
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"perhaps only the crabby leaf fans are out, and it is a relatively small sample size to go from. only about 20 replies thus far.

problem is, all 20 have been, shall we say, negative"

Ask them if they would take Hemsky and Brule for Schenn. THEY WILL SAY NO. Asking leafs fans about a "fair trade" and expecting an unbiased response is a waste of time.

LOIL

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#72 Chris.
July 13 2010, 01:19PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Stop the Gagner talk.

He is 20!!!!!!!!!! going into his 4th season. Don't even think about trading him. Silly kids.

Stop the Schenn talk.

He is 21!!!!!!!!!! going into his 3rd season. Don't even think about trading him. Silly kids.

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#73 LOIL
July 13 2010, 01:22PM
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Just like to mention I am a pround new Oiler season ticket owner !! Section 304 - 5 rows from the top weehooo !! 4 year wait killed me ha.

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#74 Chris.
July 13 2010, 01:26PM
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LOIL wrote:

Just like to mention I am a pround new Oiler season ticket owner !! Section 304 - 5 rows from the top weehooo !! 4 year wait killed me ha.

Congrats. May you witness better hockey over the next four years than the rest of us suckers sat through during the last four years. You may have timed things exactly right my friend!

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#76 common sense
July 13 2010, 01:32PM
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They should let Jacques simply walk. A guy with a chronic back condition will likely have a chronic back for life no matter how great he's doing in the off season.

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#78 Archaeologuy
July 13 2010, 01:42PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Jacques has signed a one-year deal worth $615,000... He won't be going to arbitration.

Before or After he fired his agent for gross incompetence?

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#79 washed up
July 13 2010, 01:44PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Jacques has signed a one-year deal worth $615,000... He won't be going to arbitration.

Hey Jason, whould that be a one-way or two-way contract. Pretty sure 1-way, but not 100% sure

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#80 madjam
July 13 2010, 01:55PM
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common sense wrote:

They should let Jacques simply walk. A guy with a chronic back condition will likely have a chronic back for life no matter how great he's doing in the off season.

Does that mean Smid as well with his back condition ?

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#81 Bill up North
July 13 2010, 01:59PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

They signed Bulin to help lure Heatly and because they thought they were closer to competing. It has also been discovered since then that he is a lot more brittle than they once thought (not to mention the unknown hydration issue),

Why would they sign another goalie when they have the two kids to be signed and the fate of their number one goalie is yet to be determined? A four-headed monster would be awesome!

And last, admitting that he made a mistake in signing him is something Tambo is probably not willing to do. Having a nice "legally forced" way out of this ridiculous contract would save face for the organization.

Are these facts or just speculation? I've seen this on message boards before but haven't read anything about it in the media. If they didn't know Khabby's medical history prior to signing him, then everyone involved is guilty of gross incompetence.

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#82 Ducey
July 13 2010, 02:00PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Before or After he fired his agent for gross incompetence?

Live up to your name and do some digging.

That contract is right in line with what a 4th line banger with an extensive injury history should make.

Why is it that you always need to attribute negligence or incompetence to the actions of others when you don't agree with, or understand them?

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#84 Ender
July 13 2010, 02:01PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

They signed Bulin to help lure Heatly and because they thought they were closer to competing. It has also been discovered since then that he is a lot more brittle than they once thought (not to mention the unknown hydration issue),

Why would they sign another goalie when they have the two kids to be signed and the fate of their number one goalie is yet to be determined? A four-headed monster would be awesome!

And last, admitting that he made a mistake in signing him is something Tambo is probably not willing to do. Having a nice "legally forced" way out of this ridiculous contract would save face for the organization.

Exactly, Dakin. Nail on the head.

If Khabbi does spend time in jail, even just 30 days, I doubt he'll ever play another game as an Oiler. In the first place, I think Travis is right when he says that the Oilers would like to dump Khabbi but they need an excuse to save face. Second, Khabbi going to jail and missing even a single game would give them that excuse. Third, the impact of Khabbi's 'mistake' doesn't end as soon as he gets out of jail. Having a criminal record in the States could mean all kinds of problems for Khabbi crossing the border. Worst case scenario, he might only be available for home games or road games in Canada. You think the Oilers would just play around that?

If Khabbi is sentenced to 30 days on the 22nd, I can see the Oilers initiating having his contract voided on the 23rd and having a new goalie tentatively signed before the weekend is out, be that JDD and/or someone else.

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#85 Archaeologuy
July 13 2010, 02:03PM
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@Ducey

You again?

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@Travis Dakin

LOL. Although he did let Quinn go, so he can admit to mistakes.

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#87 Ball Buster
July 13 2010, 02:11PM
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@Ender

Excuse my ignorance of court proceedings in the State of Arizona but is it a given that Khabibulin will be found guilty and receive his sentence on the same day or will there be another delay?

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Any talk of Gagner's contract talks?

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#89 Ender
July 13 2010, 02:16PM
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@Ball Buster

You could be right. The timing could very well take longer than I've indicated.

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#90 David S
July 13 2010, 02:21PM
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Just the thought of DD and JDD sharing duties again next year makes me want to do this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWaLxFIVX1s

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@David S

So I take its your goal of this team is to make the playoff and anything less is a failure?

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#92 washed up
July 13 2010, 02:25PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

One-way deal...he had one-way last year.

Thanks Jason, i though he had a 1-way last year. Can a player be offered a two-way after having a 1-way contract the year before or is that a slap in the face and the player goes elsewhere. Plus the organization gets a bad reputation and do you think the J.F would be claimed by another team if the oilers tried sending him down.

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#93 terran
July 13 2010, 02:34PM
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I don't think anyone here thinks that DD and JDD are a valid 1/1A option, but I don't think it's fair to lay too much blame on them for last year. How many times did they make first, even second stops, only to be surrounded by opposing sweaters who proceeded to pot the second, or sometimes even third, whack at the puck. How many times watching the games on TV did we see only opposing sweaters in the frame, while JDD or DD scrambled trying to grab the puck?

I'm not saying either is a valid choice for starter, but to lay the blame on them for last year is unfair

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#94 Racki
July 13 2010, 02:40PM
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I realize I'm in the minority, but I like Jacques and glad he re-signed for cheap. It's a very low-risk contract.

He's far and above our best checker. He just needs to have a much better defined role. He's an energy/checker guy and only that. He's not a power forward, so they need to stop trying to make him one - bottom six only.

I do hate that he's pretty injury prone, but the way he plays it is no wonder. He's a very exciting player to watch when he's physical though. He takes no prisoners, often walks a thin line with some of his hits (i.e. read: borders on dirty), and he can fight well enough.

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#95 Ender
July 13 2010, 02:42PM
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terran wrote:

I don't think anyone here thinks that DD and JDD are a valid 1/1A option, but I don't think it's fair to lay too much blame on them for last year. How many times did they make first, even second stops, only to be surrounded by opposing sweaters who proceeded to pot the second, or sometimes even third, whack at the puck. How many times watching the games on TV did we see only opposing sweaters in the frame, while JDD or DD scrambled trying to grab the puck?

I'm not saying either is a valid choice for starter, but to lay the blame on them for last year is unfair

You're probably right about the number of people being happy with DD/JDD as a starting tandem. That they're both a ways away from being a starting NHL goalie aside, you can't give them a free pass for last year because of the Oilers' skaters. A bonafide NHL starter makes sure he absorbs and smothers the puck so that there isn't a second and third whack at it. High rebound totals are only good in the NBA.

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#96 RossCreekNation
July 13 2010, 02:44PM
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@Racki

You're right about it being low-risk. I see Jacques & Jones battling for the 12/13 spots.

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#97 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 13 2010, 02:51PM
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Racki wrote:

I realize I'm in the minority, but I like Jacques and glad he re-signed for cheap. It's a very low-risk contract.

He's far and above our best checker. He just needs to have a much better defined role. He's an energy/checker guy and only that. He's not a power forward, so they need to stop trying to make him one - bottom six only.

I do hate that he's pretty injury prone, but the way he plays it is no wonder. He's a very exciting player to watch when he's physical though. He takes no prisoners, often walks a thin line with some of his hits (i.e. read: borders on dirty), and he can fight well enough.

Decent 4th liner. Should have been an easy guy to upgrade though.

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#98 @TheCityOfChamps
July 13 2010, 02:53PM
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Edmonton Signed JF Jacques, One Year, $615,000 One Way.

Not Bad.

Question To All:

Is Brad Morgan, Ben Ondrus & A. Giroux On Two Way Deals?

What I Think: Morgan, Ondrus Are Two Ways, Giroux On A One Way..

Anyone Have A Link To The Answer?

Thanks

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#99 DougWeightProblem
July 13 2010, 02:55PM
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Racki wrote:

I realize I'm in the minority, but I like Jacques and glad he re-signed for cheap. It's a very low-risk contract.

He's far and above our best checker. He just needs to have a much better defined role. He's an energy/checker guy and only that. He's not a power forward, so they need to stop trying to make him one - bottom six only.

I do hate that he's pretty injury prone, but the way he plays it is no wonder. He's a very exciting player to watch when he's physical though. He takes no prisoners, often walks a thin line with some of his hits (i.e. read: borders on dirty), and he can fight well enough.

Fair comments. He did lead the team in hits last year, despite his injury shortened season. That should count for something, and I'm sure he'll battle for a fourth line spot in training camp.

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#100 Crackenbury
July 13 2010, 02:57PM
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I think the biggest difference between JDD and DD is their attitude off the ice. JDD looks and acts like a beaten puppy after a loss. DD just seems to shrug it off and looks forward to the next game. DD reminds me a bit of Fuhr on his mental approach to the game and for that reason I think he is the Oilers choice going forward.

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