Back to the Future

Lowetide
July 30 2010 07:53AM

In the next 12 months or so, we're going to hear a lot about Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky. Both make north of 4M per season and both will be UFA 2012 summer, and both can create offense on their own. There's every chance one (or both) will be gone by 2012 

The Oilers are blessed and cursed with two lottery picks (Gagner, Hall) and more on the way--possibly two more by summer 2012. Those entry level contracts aren't cheap, and Shawn Horcoff's cap hit will be rolling along too. Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Nikolai Khabibulin will also be on the books for 2012-13.

It may come down to one or the other.

Hemsky

By The Numbers

  • 06-07 5x5 per 60m: 2.09
  • 07-08 5x5 per 60m: 2.36
  • 08-09 5x5 per 60m: 2.08
  • 09-10 5x5 per 60m: 2.85

By The Numbers

  • 06-07 5x4 per 60m: 5.45
  • 07-08 5x4 per 60m: 5.93
  • 08-09 5x4 per 60m: 5.00
  • 09-10 5x4 per 60m: 4.71

By the numbers, Hemsky is extremely consistent. His EV numbers come on an addled team and his PP numbers are exceptional considering the help. Ales Hemsky is an injury concern and he is not a tremendous player without the puck, but he is a demon with it and has little fear. He creates so much offense (and room) that it is hard to imagine 83 on another team. Then again, I expect a long lineup if Tambellini makes him available. He's a beauty player.

Penner

  • Boxcars: 82gp, 32-31-63
  • Shots: 203
  • Plus Minus: +6
  • Corsi (Rel): 16.8 (1st F)
  • GF/GA ON: 58-48
  • 5x5/60: 2.43 (1st F)
  • 5x4/60: 3.97 (4th F)
  • Quality of Competition: 9th F
  • Quality of Teammates: 3rd F
  • FO Percentage: 47.6% in 420FO's
  • OZone FO %: 45.4 (toughest F)
  • Cap Hit: $4.25M

Considering the team he played on, this is like looking at Johnny Bench's 1970 APBA card. The only slight question mark is quality of competition, and that was such a moving target this season you can make a case for disregarding it entirely. His RelCorsi is all world--and doing it with the Edmonton Oilers 09-10 was spectacular.

Late in the season, the Oilers were playing Dallas on PPV. Stars 3, Oilers 0. Penner got the puck down low early in the second period and created a powerplay. The Oilers didn't score, but kept the puck in the Dallas end for the first time in the game. Later, he caught a break on a turnover at the Edmonton blueline (Cogs sent him away) and he scored on a breakaway. After that, he manhandled two Stars defenders, created another powerplay, but the Oilers never got it because he dished to Pouliot who scored on the play.

That sequence--and the numbers above--tell us Dustin Penner is an above average player. He may end up at center, or on the wing with gifted linemates, but he will be the one carrying the mail.

The Oilers may have to make a choice between these two talents by summer 2012. Or maybe they'll deal away one of those lottery picks instead. It's going to be interesting.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 Just saying...
July 30 2010, 07:59AM
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Fist! Good read LT

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#2 vishcosity
July 30 2010, 07:59AM
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Smid has great numbers for last years team too near Penner for corsi ratings. You think the Oilers are going to need to make one of these decisions on him too? Or is the point production the only determining factor?

(FIST!)

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#3 Dodd
July 30 2010, 08:02AM
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Fist! First! Flossed!

Seriously. Tough decision. I vote keep Penner.... I can't believe I'm saying that.

Ugh... probably not first now.... :(

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#4 Pajamah
July 30 2010, 08:02AM
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I like how after the "Phoebe Cates" scandal~ you decided to not use Michael J Fox or Christopher Lloyd for your "Back to the Future" article

well played LT, well played

*Take that Eve Stambellini*

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#5 Renegade
July 30 2010, 08:04AM
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If we had to choose to keep one, it would be hard to say which one. I would say that if the choice had to be made now, I would keep Hemsky, as he has been consistant. As for Penner, he was great this year, but hasn't really showed up for the first two seasons before hand.

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#6 Stone Hands McOsta
July 30 2010, 08:04AM
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LT,

Great post and a very interesting topic, I could very easily see both Hall and MPS outshining Penner by year end, definitely by 2011-2012 season. Do you think the Oilers will try to get rid of Penner before this happens (perhaps by the end of this season) to salvage some value?

I think it will be a major struggle to fit either or both of these players into the 2012-2013 Oilers roster, surely Hemsky will command much more then the pay check he is receiving right now.

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#7 Oil_Loc8or
July 30 2010, 08:14AM
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Why do we have to choose one ? I like them both and see no reason to trade either guy. Is it because you feel they will want to be traded ? This to be followed by a article from Robin about how Hemsky won't re-sign here lol. Just like JDD will be the future Oilers tender, just like the Oilers were to draft Seguin ? Since Hall wasn't the best player available ? Since he plays a style the Oilers didn't want, even after mentioning the style Tambo likes at the year end presser.

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#8 Oil_Loc8or
July 30 2010, 08:17AM
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@Stone Hands McOsta

You can see two rookies that have yet to make the line up outshining Penner by year end ? Struggle to fit both players into the Oilers roster ? What if the rookies don't pan out ?

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#9 The Other John
July 30 2010, 08:20AM
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LT

Wife looked over my shoulder this a.m. and complained I was a misogynist bustard and why was I looking at the picture of a beautiful young Ann Margeret???

My reply: "lucky guess and quit looking over my shoulder"

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#10 PabstBR55
July 30 2010, 08:22AM
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Let's see how many eclairs Penner wolfs down this summer before we start calling him a franchise player.

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#11 BRIdub
July 30 2010, 08:28AM
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IF it's one vs. the other I would keep Hemsky only because I think Penner is less likely to re-sign as a free agent, and also due to nostalgia with Hemsky being an Oiler draft pick.

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#12 Ryan14
July 30 2010, 08:28AM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Let's see how many eclairs Penner wolfs down this summer before we start calling him a franchise player.

I didn't see the words "Penner" and "franchise player" anywhere. Did I miss something?

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#13 Stone Hands McOsta
July 30 2010, 08:36AM
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@Oil_Loc8or

You have a valid point, possibly wishful thinking on my part indeed, I won't argue that.

I will point out that we've got one good year out of Penner and two prime prospects ready to fill his spot. Remember what one good year did for Horcoff? Can you not see Penner back peddling this year?

And don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Hemmer stay, he's been my favorite Oiler since Dougy Weight departed. But I think it'll be a tight squeeze, especially if at least 2/3 prospects remotely pull through (don't forget about Sammy Wonder either).

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#14 Stone Hands McOsta
July 30 2010, 08:37AM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Let's see how many eclairs Penner wolfs down this summer before we start calling him a franchise player.

LOL good call.

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#15 Panda13
July 30 2010, 08:38AM
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Why not choose to keep both for this year. Re-negotiate contracts with them next summer while each have one year left and are still tradeable assets if a longer term extension can't be worked out that fits in the organizations plans. Just don't back up the bank vault like we did with Horc the year before he was a free agent.

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#16 Oil_Loc8or
July 30 2010, 08:45AM
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@Stone Hands McOsta

Why would I think Penner would be back peddling this year ? Yes the prospects would have to pull throuh but that has yet to be proven also Sammy is still developing and has yet to proven he will be a top line center. Penner will be considered to play center this year on the top line.If we dump both Hemsky and Penenr at the end of the up coming season we will be a lottory pick again don't you see that. To bank on players that haven't even played a NHL game yet seems crazy to me.

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#17 Marsha
July 30 2010, 08:47AM
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This is a no-brainer, you keep Hemsky. He's the better player. But the Oilers may not have a choice if one or both decide not to sign an extension next summer. I think they both can be kept if the upcoming season sees the team take a step forward. If that's the case, you make a big play for Hemmer's extension. Every time that man has the puck, I get excited.

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#18 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 30 2010, 08:50AM
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I hope you aren't sugesting that the team needs to move one of them for cap space reasons.

I wouldn't doubt if one or both were gone because they begged to get out before UFA day (or simply walked away on July 1, 2012.

I could also see one more to adress weakness on the back end.

Highly unlikely it's cap space that costs the team one/both of them.

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#19 Librarian Mike
July 30 2010, 08:51AM
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*Looks at picture*

Man, remember when Jane Fonda was hot?

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#20 stilldrinkingthekoolaid
July 30 2010, 08:53AM
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The Other John wrote:

LT

Wife looked over my shoulder this a.m. and complained I was a misogynist bustard and why was I looking at the picture of a beautiful young Ann Margeret???

My reply: "lucky guess and quit looking over my shoulder"

Swing and a miss!

Jane Fonda in Barbarella

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#21 Crackenbury
July 30 2010, 08:53AM
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@The Other John

Tell her you're not looking at Ann Margeret. That's Jane Fonda as Barberella.

Too late.

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#22 Jodes
July 30 2010, 09:01AM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

*Looks at picture*

Man, remember when Jane Fonda was hot?

Yes I do, then she turned into a commie lover and started slagging on the military and that was it for that lust affair! lol

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#23 Matt Henderson
July 30 2010, 09:03AM
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This a decision I do not want to make. I choose to ignore the problem in hopes that it solves itself.*

*sticks head in sand and waits for everything to get better

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#24 Stone Hands McOsta
July 30 2010, 09:03AM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

Why would I think Penner would be back peddling this year ? Yes the prospects would have to pull throuh but that has yet to be proven also Sammy is still developing and has yet to proven he will be a top line center. Penner will be considered to play center this year on the top line.If we dump both Hemsky and Penenr at the end of the up coming season we will be a lottory pick again don't you see that. To bank on players that haven't even played a NHL game yet seems crazy to me.

Penner put up career highs last year on a team that had no other LW to fill first line/PP minutes. Quinn's next best option was JFJ and look how that panned out. He was left with no choice but to put Pilsbury Penner up there.

My point is, we have a #1 draft pick who will guaranteed take ice time away from Penner. There is no denying that. Then with the wheels MPS has, Penner will look like a pylon compared to the young fresh legs. Its only a matter of time before he slides down the depth chart. So before that happens, why not dish him off for another pick/asset? Another team surely could use him on the wing.

IF Penner plays center, that would mean for Horcoff to have another off year, and Gagner to continue flat lining in his progression. (very easily could happen, I know). This would be the only way Penner would be able to fit into the top 6 long term. I can't see Penner back checking as the first forward back in the defensive zone. The guy doesn't have the stamina to be a 2-way center, logging big minutes.

Whats wrong with another lottery pick? Its not like the Oilers have a playoff caliber roster, might as well try get a top 5 pick next year and grab a stud for the back end, while the kids attempt to develop.

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#25 Librarian Mike
July 30 2010, 09:03AM
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Jodes wrote:

Yes I do, then she turned into a commie lover and started slagging on the military and that was it for that lust affair! lol

Yeah, but she was in Coming Home, which gives her eternal 'awesome points'. That movie has some of the best performances I've ever seen.

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#26 Librarian Mike
July 30 2010, 09:03AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

This a decision I do not want to make. I choose to ignore the problem in hopes that it solves itself.*

*sticks head in sand and waits for everything to get better

*claps hands over ears*

LALALALALALALALA

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#27 madjam
July 30 2010, 09:08AM
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First off , scrap the stats obtained by both on crappy team to begin with over last few years . This will be a new team with a good chance of much better results in a year or two . Circumstances and team dynamics , etc . cannot help but make us better than the 30th place we are now !

Why should any Oiler fan be accepting of another season in basement of league ? That's for losers . We are building a winner here , not a bloody loser like last 3 seasons ! Just because it took the team 3 years to get it's head out of the ice ,is no reason to expect it should be a long process back . If team starts out slow then get the can opener going fast and change with a new managerial group long before seasons ending . They have had ample time to change the direction and assessment of the club over last three seasons and did little to affect change until they hit the basesment floor . Yeah , i guess it was time to change (tongue in cheek) .

If we don't start becoming a winner soon then Penner and Hemsky probably might not want to stay along with several others .

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#28 Jimmer
July 30 2010, 09:08AM
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Timing is everything. If the assumption is that we are going to need a boat load of money to pay Hall, Eberle, MPS when they come out of their entry level contracts then Penner and Hemmer are trade bait. They only way they stay is if they want to be "apart of a winning team" and take a discount to stay.

A discount to stay in Edmonton is something I thought I would never say or type in an email ever. Dare we dream.

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#29 MWA1991
July 30 2010, 09:15AM
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I think we have to wait and look to see what happens this year and possibly next to see if you send one, both, neither away.

If Hemsky finally gets the light bulb to turn on in his head and he becomes a 100 point player, he's your man.

If Penner continues to dominate this year and puts up 40-50 goals, he's your man.

Caveat on Hemsky will be if he gets injured for any length of time over the next 2 seasons. That could get him shipped out.

With Penner, conditioning and effort could get him sent away.

At this point, it's a wait and see the on ice product. With this team getting better talent this year and next, it could make these guys look even better for us or their suitors.

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LOL lowetide many good reads my friend, however have you signed a contract with Oilersnation that dictates you to do all the writing? Seriously you are carrying their weight right now! To all the fellow Oilersnation writers, get it together!

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#31 Mike Modano's Dog
July 30 2010, 09:23AM
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If I had to choose one, then it would have to be Jane Fonda in the above pictured movie over Phoebe Cates. I had no idea she was so hot once upon a time! (Note to self: watch this movie!)

As for my Oilers I believe the best course of action is to just let the year play out and see where D.P. and Hemsky fit into our rebuild.

I could also see Penner being passed by the kids, as mentioned already by Stone Hands McCosta. Why? As mentioned already he has had one good year out of the three he has been here only. Unlike last year he will have real competition for his position if (when) he goes in the tank again for long periods of time. There will be others to take over for him in the meantime.

Now before others (Oil_Loc8or - cough, cough) blow a gasket remember that this is my opinion, as well as others here. Just because they might not match your own doesn't make them wrong, so try not to make it sound like others views are off-base and crazy and only your opinion is valid, okay? Let's remember that this is a site that values everyone's opinions, and we should all be free to share our own.

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#32 Naughty
July 30 2010, 09:28AM
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I can't belive what I am reading. Hemsky has been one of the only bright spots for how many years now? How many times as oilers fans have you said "imagine if hemmer had a shooter to play with" lots im sure. Now lets talk about penner, I like the guy he saw what he had to do and worked hard to get there last year. But it was the tale of two seasons, he was great at the start and seemed to cool a bit towards the end (once they were last, I know i watched). His production seemed to go down once that other winger on his line got hurt, what was his name again? How quickly you people forget......

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#33 Jodes
July 30 2010, 09:30AM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Yeah, but she was in Coming Home, which gives her eternal 'awesome points'. That movie has some of the best performances I've ever seen.

I was unaware of that.. It just seems hypocritical now that for so many years she was against the US military.

Well maybe all those years with Ted Turner have smartened her up! lol

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#34 Woodguy
July 30 2010, 09:35AM
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If Hall and MP stay at LW, then the obvious choice to focus on is Hemsky as the only other RW top 6 prospect/player is Eberle.

If they move Penner or Hall to C then it complicates things, although in 2 years you'll have Pitlick, VV and Lander pushing for ice time at C with 10 and 89 (presumably) still under contract.

Given the shape of the roster, I think you focus on keeping 83, but between 83 and 27 I think 27 is the one to more likely to want to stay in Edmonton (pure guess based on various interviews)

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#35 Team Hall
July 30 2010, 10:06AM
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Why can't the Oilers ever be the team who gets good players, and keeps them forever? We always have to let good players go right as they hit their peak. We are the Toronto Blue Jays of the NHL. I hate it. Lets get creative, and keep our good players. How about that for an idea? I know, revolutionary. Now is the time to start dumping any and all contracts we can so that down the road we can keep together our young stars, while holding onto valuable vets. If any team ever asks about the following, we let them go: Souray, Horc, Khabby, Pump and dump. If Horc or Souray or Khabby starts having a good year this year and somebody wants him, let him go. And for heaven sakes, don't sign anymore aging UFA vets to long term deals. I'm looking at you, Kovalchukesque big fish.

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#36 madjam
July 30 2010, 10:13AM
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Gagner , Cogliano and Brule had better put up bigger numbers and roles than they have over last 3 seasons or all three will probably be gone for more toughness and size , and long before Hemsky and/or Penner .

Defensively , without Souray we suck still . Goaltending we are still at bottom of league to be honest . We still have a long way to go before season opener to become a decent team .

Still think it was wrong not to change upper management to handle changes required to change course and direction of club . Maciocia i see is doing well now ,isn't he . Hopefully Tams and companys fate will be better than the Eskimos .

So far our additions beyond the rookies is less than inspiring considering the marketplace that was/ should have been available to us . Some still is , and i am hopefull we may yet land the occasional upgrade . Mind you, any change over last season should almost automatically be seen as an upgrade - no matter how miniscule that might be . Not like we have been adding big names or role players so far to be honest .

I am still optimistic that the younger talents like Smid , Gagner and group can break out bigtime this season. If not, then they better have a fast plan B to put in affect long before seasons end this time .

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#37 Dan the Man
July 30 2010, 10:14AM
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Per Oilers eNews release:

OILERS NAME RALPH KRUEGER ASSOCIATE COACH General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have appointed Ralph Krueger Associate Coach with the hockey club.

Krueger, 50, brings with him a wealth of experience as a coach in Germany and Switzerland and will complement Head Coach Tom Renney and assistants Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith.

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#38 hockeyboiler
July 30 2010, 10:16AM
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I'm not certain either will want to stay in Edmonton when they go UFA.

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#39 Dan the Man
July 30 2010, 10:20AM
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Penner was a dominant player for the first part of the season last year, I'm anxious to see if he will play that way again next year.

Hemsky has had the more consistent career though and I think he is the more likely of the two to want to stay here.

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#40 wangtaco
July 30 2010, 10:21AM
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@Dan the Man

Thanks for that Dan; for what it's worth, I really like this. I was really impressed with him during the worlds this past spring - coaching that Swiss team to elevate them well above their level. This might be considered minor news, but I think it's a really, really good pickup.

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#41 TigerUnderGlass
July 30 2010, 10:24AM
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I see very little chance that any rookie on this team will be better than Penner next year.

We are talking about guy who for much of the year looked like Rick Nash. Is it possible he will regress? Sure, but it is also possible he will progress.

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#42 commonfan13
July 30 2010, 10:29AM
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History tells us that the chances of Hall, MPS, Eberle, Lander, Pitlick and VV all panning out and becoming solid NHL players are slim and none.

It's a virtual certainty that at least one of them will completely flame out and that another one will become a journeyman plugger at best.

Let's not go ditching guys who we know are actually good to make way for a big group of prospects when it's beyond likely that not all of them will make it through the door.

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#43 loilfan
July 30 2010, 10:35AM
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Hemsky is consistent, we know what to expect from him. Penner with a new coach this year could go south ala MacT years or stay north ala Quinn last year. One year from now will give us a much clearer picture.

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#44 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
July 30 2010, 10:40AM
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I'm with archaeologuy on this one. I choose to ignore the problem and assume it will get better.

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#45 Jodes
July 30 2010, 10:56AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Per Oilers eNews release:

OILERS NAME RALPH KRUEGER ASSOCIATE COACH General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have appointed Ralph Krueger Associate Coach with the hockey club.

Krueger, 50, brings with him a wealth of experience as a coach in Germany and Switzerland and will complement Head Coach Tom Renney and assistants Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith.

Umm okay.. at least he's not an ex Oiler????

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#46 Aleslav Smidsky
July 30 2010, 11:03AM
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Sh!tty Post, Sh!tty Read. This story is not even news nor worth time. So, please tell me. Whats the point of it? Bunch of BullSh!t.?.

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#47 Librarian Mike
July 30 2010, 11:06AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Sh!tty Post, Sh!tty Read. This story is not even news nor worth time. So, please tell me. Whats the point of it? Bunch of BullSh!t.?.

What`s really a shame is how Bingofuel, Wanye, Brownlee, and Gregor all put a gun to your head and forced you to read it...

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#48 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
July 30 2010, 11:07AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Sh!tty Post, Sh!tty Read. This story is not even news nor worth time. So, please tell me. Whats the point of it? Bunch of BullSh!t.?.

No wonder you have no friends on facebook.

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#49 Matt Henderson
July 30 2010, 11:09AM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

I know LT must be reeling after your scathing review. It is, after all, his mission in life to keep Kip Drodry entertained and up to speed with only the most relevant material in the middle of the Edmontonian summer.

If he hasnt commited hari kari already then he has dishonoured himself and his family.

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#50 Quicksilver ballet
July 30 2010, 11:10AM
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Ignoring the problem only compounds this problem, make the decisions for these guys, don't grovel and hope they'll sign an extension here. Efforts have been made to move both of these players already (Penner in 2009 and Hemsky summer of 2010) the writing is already on the wall. The longer we wait on these two the less we'll get in return. If the trade deadline comes and goes, both these guys will be within a few games of being in the last year of their contract, much like the Thomas Kaberle scenario.....the clock is ticking, their departures should be imminent.

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