A Dodged Bullet/I’m Suddenly Thrilled Tambellini Signed MacIntyre

Jonathan Willis
July 05 2010 02:27PM

ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Derek Boogaard #24 of the Minnesota Wild eyes an attacker during the first period of a preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on September 18, 2009 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

During his time as General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers, Kevin Lowe had his share of dodged bullets. The failed pursuit of Michael Nylander stands out in that category, as does the decision by the Buffalo Sabres to match Thomas Vanek’s offer sheet (thus sparing the Oilers the loss of four consecutive first round draft choices).

We can now add a dodged bullet to Steve Tambellini’s resume.

Just a few short days ago, I offered praise to Tambellini for not ponying up the money to match Glen Sather’s wild four-year/$6.6 million dollar offer to unrestricted free agent Derek Boogaard. After all, there’s no shame in backing out of a bidding war – even for a necessary piece – when the price becomes prohibitive.

Thanks to Larry Brooks, however, we now know that Tambellini wasn’t the one who did the backing out. No, it was Derek Boogaard, who left Oilers money on the table to sign on with the New York Rangers:

Boogaard's four-year, $6.6 million contract seems wildly excessive and will challenge coach John Tortorella's familiar assertion that paychecks don't influence lineup decisions. It is a fact, however, that Edmonton actually offered Boogaard -- who is going to Russia this summer to train with Pavel Datsyuk --$7 million over four years.

Leaving aside the question of whether an enforcer without the skill to play a regular NHL shift is a help or a hindrance to his NHL club, does that seem like a remotely defensible deal?

Putting it in perspective, that means Edmonton valued Boogaard at a rate:

  • 3.5 times as high as Steve MacIntyre
  • 3.4 times as high as John Scott
  • 2.9 times as high as Raitis Ivanans
  • 2.9 times as high as Zenon Konopka
  • 2.2 times as high as Brandon Prust
  • 1.6 times as high as Jody Shelley

It’s also worth mentioning that deal would have seen Boogaard under contract for twice as long as any of the players listed above, and four times as long as the player Edmonton eventually signed.

Is Boogaard worth 3.5 Steve MacIntyres for four times as long? He may be the premiere enforcer in the game but he is also a player with a lot of recent injury trouble and no goals over his previous four seasons.

I don’t see how Boogaard was worth either the dollars or the term he was offered, given his health, other on-ice contributions, and the deals being signed by other fighters. It’s just fortunate that Glen Sather was around to offer up a comparable figure, and even more fortunate that Boogaard preferred the New York offer.

UPDATE: Many of you have commented on the credibility of Larry Brooks as a source.  As he is the sole source of this information, it's entirely plausible that the information he provides is incorrect.  That said, the fact that he states it so strongly ("it is a fact" rather than "I've heard" or something similar) as well as the fact that we know the Oilers pursued Boogaard have me inclined to believe the report is correct.  I also don't think there's any definite contradiction between Brook's report and Ryan Rishaug's; it's entirely possible the Oilers tabled that deal and chose to end negotiations (hypothetically, if Boogaard's agent advised them there was a greater premium needed, or if there was a time limit attached to the deal, etc.).

With all of that said, readers must use discernment, and Brooks' word carries different weight with different people.  I appreciate that readers have brought this up in the comments, as it is a highly relevant point.  With any luck, we'll get some further light shed on this from another source.

 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 I'm a Scientist!
July 05 2010, 02:38PM
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This is like taking a girl out for a night on the town. You send her a dress before hand, you buy her flowers, buy her a wonderful seafood dinner, wine, chocolate dessert, go to a play, you schmoooze all night long. Then when you lean in to kiss her good night, she slaps you for being cheeky. Costs you all that money and you don't even score. Sure, you get the physical play, but not the right kind.

Thank the hockey gods! If indeed we DO need this type of player on the team, then SMACK will work just fine, and would probably put out even if you just took him to the dollar theatre and split some popcorn.

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#2 Matt Henderson
July 05 2010, 05:06PM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I think thats what Mondays are for them. They're mad they're at work and they vent on Klowe and Tambi. Did you read RB's last article?

Did YOU read RB's last article? He wasnt negative towards KLowe at all.

As far as this one goes, if the report is true (Tambi offering Boogard huge coin) then it makes you raise an eyebrow. If it doesnt then I'd be suspicious of your mental function.

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#3 Matt Henderson
July 05 2010, 05:57PM
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@Crackenbury

Something to talk about like the new young face of the franchise that just signed his first pro contract and how he may relate to building a bridge between the glory years and the present, or something to talk about like a commentary on an interesting bit of information that has literally just come out regarding the team's attempts to add an enforcer for more than the going rate?

What do you want them to do? They're commenting and writing news items as they happen. Tomorrow Hall begins rookie camp, I'm sure what number he is assigned will be a matter of interest. The Brooks gossip is hot off the presses. There isnt anything monotonous here. This is all up to the minute commentary.

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#4 Fartknocker
July 05 2010, 06:45PM
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@Ender

You never know...

For the record - I would have passed on Boogard for almost 7 million for four years....not worth it.

I can't say Tambellini or Sather are "stupid" because it's a chemistry thing. If you think that somehow a player could be the catalyst for good things you might overpay a bit to make it happen (for better or worse).

I think it's awesome that we signed Big Mac. What better than for Hall, Eberle, and MPS to look down the bench and know that MacIntyre has got their back?

Boogard....Boogard would be better.

He is a better fighter and everyone in the league knows he's the baddest....including the new kids. MacIntyre is a gamer but he gets hit a lot and doesn't fight with as much skill as he should.

It's one thing to know that a tough guy has your six. It's another thing to know the toughest guy in the league is there to back you up. Same goes for the deterrent factor....who do players worry about more? Big Mac? The Boogeyman? What's it worth to the Oilers to have Boogard riding shotgun?

Could it be that as Oilers fans we have grown so tired (to a fault) of bloated contracts and now can't even consider a somewhat overpaid player? Are we jaded because of our disappointment with Oilers management recent history (the last decade) that we couldn't give them credit for at least potentially having a more advanced idea of a fighter's role on a hockey team?

The question for any player is: Did they earn their pay?

You never know. I'll wait to see how the Rangers do.

Welcome back Big Mac. (Please move your head more after you drop the gloves)

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#5 jake
July 05 2010, 02:30PM
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Disturbing numbers.

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#6 Ender
July 05 2010, 02:32PM
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When I first read the comment by Brooks earlier this morning, I assumed it was incorrect. I still do. Lowe/Tambi couldn't really be that stupid. To hold on to my sanity, I have to believe that.

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#7 Max
July 05 2010, 02:35PM
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We have no idea if this is factually accurate.

Sather took a lot of heat on the signing on July 1 and 2nd. It was known that the Oilers were in the hunt. Is it not possible that Sather fed Brooks some "info" about what Tambo bid to make his bid look more reasonable in comparison?

I would say that is at least probable, if not likely.

I don't trust that report at all.

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#8 corsby31
July 05 2010, 02:40PM
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So here we all are basking in the glory of Tambi (myself included) due to the fact that some good moves have been made lately, and then we find out that they seemed to have learned nothing. 4 years 7 mill??? WTF you gotta be kidding me? Thank God that didn't happen. The other thing I'd like to point out is the current situation that is Sheldon Souray. Please K-LOWE and Tambi remember the Pronger deal when deciding what your going to do with Souray (like you said you would in the oil change documentary). If you put him in the minors and hope someone will pick him up at 2.5 mill on re-entry waivers that would prove that, yet again that you learned nothing. I say make him start the year here. Showcase him and hope his value goes up. Maybe he even likes playing with this new team we have, you never know...look at Penner!! Go Oil!!

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#9 magisterrex
July 05 2010, 02:40PM
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Jonathan, I suspect bias is showing through here, as you're basing your article on a dubious source, IMO. Sometimes it's just too good to pass up, even when you really should...

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#10 Ender
July 05 2010, 02:41PM
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If we had actually signed the Boogeyman to that deal, can you imagine how pleased our new Senior Hockey Advisor would have been? All of his hopes and dreams finally coming true . . .

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#11 Dyckster
July 05 2010, 02:41PM
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Ender wrote:

When I first read the comment by Brooks earlier this morning, I assumed it was incorrect. I still do. Lowe/Tambi couldn't really be that stupid. To hold on to my sanity, I have to believe that.

Seconded, I'm not privy to the bio's of all the NHL MSM guys, but there have been some who suggest Brooks is the NY version of Ecklund.

Edited: Wassup JW? it's not like you to base an entire article on the word of another media guy with the supposed reputation of this one?

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#12 fuck off
July 05 2010, 02:45PM
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TSN announced that "the Edmonton OIlers have[had] backed out of the bidding for Boogaard". Maybe Tambi tabled the 7 million offer but it seems clear to me that he thought twice and rescinded that contract.

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#13 Marc
July 05 2010, 02:46PM
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Jonathon

I know this makes a great story about how stupid Tambellini is, but is there any particular reason to believe that this is actually true?

This is, after all, the same man that reported on June 23rd that "the Flyers are talking to the Devils about Claude Giroux and James Van Riemsdyk for Martin Brodeur."

Perhaps not your most reliable source...

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#14 Ender
July 05 2010, 02:48PM
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fuck off wrote:

TSN announced that "the Edmonton OIlers have[had] backed out of the bidding for Boogaard". Maybe Tambi tabled the 7 million offer but it seems clear to me that he thought twice and rescinded that contract.

If the deal was tabled, then the story is valid. The crux of Willis's question is 'Just how stupid is our GM?'

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#15 RossCreekNation
July 05 2010, 02:52PM
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Off topic (sort of)... but speaking of enforcers, reports are circulating the twitterverse saying that Bob Probert has died. Here's the latest prior to these last couple tweets... http://tinyurl.com/2vddu9q

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#16 Dyckster
July 05 2010, 02:53PM
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Ender wrote:

If the deal was tabled, then the story is valid. The crux of Willis's question is 'Just how stupid is our GM?'

But, but, we don't know at what point Tambo backed out of the bidding? Maybe Sather was raging a $$ war against himself starting at $750,000/year? He might you know Ender, really, he could have, couldn't he?*

*Bows head, knows he wouldn't.

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#17 fuck off
July 05 2010, 02:54PM
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@Ender

I'd have to say pretty bright.
Overall he's done nothing but good. This is one supposed report that even if it was tabled he didn't follow through with it. Considering it was July 1st and maybe Tambi got excited and verbalized $7mil/4yrs but he sure didn't follow through with it and that shows his smarts ALONG with everything else he has done right thus far.

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#18 RossCreekNation
July 05 2010, 02:56PM
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We can now add a dodged bullet to Steve Tambellini’s resume.

Didn't Tambellini already dodge a bullet with the Chris Niel offer last year?

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#19 Canadian Maniac
July 05 2010, 02:57PM
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I think the only thing that matters is that Tambellini didn't pull the trigger on it. I honestly believe if Edmonton seriously put out the biggest money offer, we'd be the not-so-proud owners of one Derek Boogaard.

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#20 GSC
July 05 2010, 03:00PM
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So, Larry Brooks is to be trusted over Ryan Rishaug on this one?

I think not.

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#21 John
July 05 2010, 03:00PM
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Thank god this poor excuse for a hockey player does not deserve that as Macintyre can skate better and hey he is younger and has 2 goals lolol. I cannot imagine the Oil paying this kind of money to an enforcer who plays less than 2 mins a game ????

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#22 Jamie B.
July 05 2010, 03:02PM
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I think it's possible, but I'd still like to hear this reported somewhere else before I accept it as fact.

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#23 RossCreekNation
July 05 2010, 03:04PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Off topic (sort of)... but speaking of enforcers, reports are circulating the twitterverse saying that Bob Probert has died. Here's the latest prior to these last couple tweets... http://tinyurl.com/2vddu9q

Official. Sad.

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#24 Muji 狗
July 05 2010, 03:06PM
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I chohose not to believe Brooks.

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#25 Ender
July 05 2010, 03:07PM
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To reiterate, I have serious doubts that this deal ($7M over 4 years) was actually offered by the Edmonton Oilers.

On the other hand, if Tambi actually said this to Boogaard or his agent at any point in time, then there is no free pass even if he rethought it later. A GM who has any semblance of sanity laughs openly at that deal. Actually thinking it reasonable, even for a second, is a serious case for a complete mental evaluation by a trained professional.

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#26 Oil Fever
July 05 2010, 03:07PM
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Bob Probert has appearently pass away at the age of 45 in a Windsor Ontario Hospital! Sad News!!

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#27 Garrett
July 05 2010, 03:10PM
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Since it was widely reported by every media type in edmonton and Tamby flat out said he backed out when the numbers got stupid why do you automatically assume he is the one lying, Glen Sather was a lying sack while he was in edmonton, nothing has changed, and Brooks is about as ignorant to the realities of hockey as sather. This article is almost as bad as anything Terry Jones writes. Poor Show

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#28 Senator Theo
July 05 2010, 03:20PM
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Sad news about Probert - really an incredible person by all accounts.

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#29 misfit
July 05 2010, 03:20PM
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Things could be worse yet. We could've had Neil for $2.5M

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#30 Senator Theo
July 05 2010, 03:25PM
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Tambo has done little to inspire confidence in anyone here, but that offer seems too ridiculous to be believed.

I also don't think that Boogard would pass up once-in-a-lifetime money like that, given his (relative) limited earning potential and window.

Are we really going to put our trust in Larry Brooks and the NY Post over Ryan Rishaug and TSN? I think that Tambo gets the benefit of the doubt from me, at least until we get some information from another source.

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#31 Eddie Shore
July 05 2010, 03:52PM
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No wonder Torts hates "Brooksie".

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#32 Oilman
July 05 2010, 04:00PM
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Lary Brooks....pffft! In a related story - Eklund said something about dominoes.

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#33 Canadian Maniac
July 05 2010, 04:05PM
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Oilman wrote:

Lary Brooks....pffft! In a related story - Eklund said something about dominoes.

Absolutely. You see, Chris Minard just signed a juicy new contract, a major domino that fell which clearly opens the door for the Penquins to trade Crosby to Philly since they were in on the Dany Heatley sweepstakes and ffffffffffffffffffffffffff (E5)

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#34 westy
July 05 2010, 04:07PM
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Condolences to Probert's family. The guy had his fair share of issues but was an absolute BEAST. I sure enjoyed watching him do his thing, even when it was poor Buchberger on the other end... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-vozebZEFA

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#35 madjam
July 05 2010, 04:07PM
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Remember "ignoring history and having to repeat it " lesson ? Do you , as i , already see same pattern for upper management that led us to the bottom ? Still hold that upper management is the most accountable/ responsible for our problems and continues to be so .

Somebody else should have been handling the new transition period , not the incumbents ! How long before the rest of you get on that bandwagon ? The sooner the better , and we'll see just how long and efficient this transition period can/should be .

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#36 esa tikkanen
July 05 2010, 04:20PM
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does anybody have reasonable info on how big Taylor Hall's signing bonus is? I know he makes $900,000 as salary, and can make up to close to $3 million in performance bonuses, but how much does he get to cash tomorrow?? I am assuming 250,000 or maybe $500,000

Just curious.

I am becoming a big Taylor Hall fan, will be buying his jersey once they give him his number.

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#37 esa tikkanen
July 05 2010, 04:25PM
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i googled John Tavares signing bonus and it looks like he only got $90,000 as a signing bonus. That sounds very low. After paying the agent and the income tax, Hall probably gets less than $50,000. Will have to finance the car for himself and his parents, sounds like

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#38 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 05 2010, 04:29PM
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madjam wrote:

Remember "ignoring history and having to repeat it " lesson ? Do you , as i , already see same pattern for upper management that led us to the bottom ? Still hold that upper management is the most accountable/ responsible for our problems and continues to be so .

Somebody else should have been handling the new transition period , not the incumbents ! How long before the rest of you get on that bandwagon ? The sooner the better , and we'll see just how long and efficient this transition period can/should be .

The fact that you are firmly in the "fire managment" camp is a pretty solid reason to take the opposite position.

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#39 Mouse
July 05 2010, 04:38PM
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esa tikkanen wrote:

i googled John Tavares signing bonus and it looks like he only got $90,000 as a signing bonus. That sounds very low. After paying the agent and the income tax, Hall probably gets less than $50,000. Will have to finance the car for himself and his parents, sounds like

Taylor Hall is now on the payroll with an annual salary of 900K, or $75,000 a month. His bonuses of about 3 million are payable at the end of the season when his results from the previous year are final.

Now he'll give the tax man a little under 40% and 4% to his agent, but I am sure netting over 500 thousand for next year plus any bonuses is going to get him a nice car and house.

I am sure his Dad will be rolling in a hummer with 24" rims pretty soon. Seems like the type; and the hummer really complements those nice trees you don't get in Alberta

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#40 DC
July 05 2010, 04:39PM
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Thank goodness. He is not worth it. BBG!

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#41 druds
July 05 2010, 04:47PM
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JW your passion for the hate on Tambi is coloring your judgement...I don't see what's relevant here except for you to throw another dart at Tambi's face on your wall.

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#42 Aleslav Smidsky
July 05 2010, 05:02PM
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druds wrote:

JW your passion for the hate on Tambi is coloring your judgement...I don't see what's relevant here except for you to throw another dart at Tambi's face on your wall.

I think thats what Mondays are for them. They're mad they're at work and they vent on Klowe and Tambi. Did you read RB's last article?

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#43 Matt Henderson
July 05 2010, 05:02PM
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@Mouse

I think he has to actually make the club to get that money (minus the signing bonus), so he's gonna have to wait until October before the real coin starts to flow.

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#44 DC
July 05 2010, 05:07PM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I think thats what Mondays are for them. They're mad they're at work and they vent on Klowe and Tambi. Did you read RB's last article?

Really, ripping on RB here too. He was not ragging on KLowe Geez.

EDIT: Look what you made me do! I forgot the ol' BBG!

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#45 Mr DeBakey
July 05 2010, 05:28PM
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"Putting it in perspective, that means Edmonton valued Boogaard at a rate:

3.5 times as high as Steve MacIntyre 3.4 times as high as John Scott 2.9 times as high as Raitis Ivanans 2.9 times as high as Zenon Konopka 2.2 times as high as Brandon Prust 1.6 times as high as Jody Shelley

It’s also worth mentioning that deal would have seen Boogaard under contract for twice as long as any of the players listed above"

To complete this picture, all we need is a serious injury and an Extreme DUI charge.

Of course, a team's record would actually improve if Boogard had a long-term injury.

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#46 Crackenbury
July 05 2010, 05:47PM
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I realize writing articles for a living can get pretty monotonous at times and searching for something to discuss can be difficult. The last 2 ON articles are an example of that. At least it gives us something to talk about. Hopefully something newsworthy happens for tomorrow.

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#47 Ender
July 05 2010, 06:07PM
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@Matt Henderson

Well said. If people would rather stare at the wall than read what the providers here write, they're welcome to be bored. I found the articles here today more interesting than what I read elsewhere.

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#48 Crackenbury
July 05 2010, 06:12PM
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@Matt Henderson

The Brooks article is a pile of unsubstantiated crap that should have been left alone. The 2 articles today are both trying to make news out of nothing and show a certain level of disrespect for the people involved. Willis and Brownlee are both better than that.

Willis didn't write his article originally as a possible rumour. He wrote it as fact. There is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.

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#49 DSF
July 05 2010, 06:27PM
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Unfortunately, Tambellini hasn't dodged all that many bullets.

He took the Khabibullet right between the eyes.

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#50 magisterrex
July 05 2010, 06:43PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Something to talk about like the new young face of the franchise that just signed his first pro contract and how he may relate to building a bridge between the glory years and the present, or something to talk about like a commentary on an interesting bit of information that has literally just come out regarding the team's attempts to add an enforcer for more than the going rate?

What do you want them to do? They're commenting and writing news items as they happen. Tomorrow Hall begins rookie camp, I'm sure what number he is assigned will be a matter of interest. The Brooks gossip is hot off the presses. There isnt anything monotonous here. This is all up to the minute commentary.

You chose the correct term when you said "Brooks gossip" as it certainly appears to lack substance. I felt this piece wasn't up to JW's standards, and I suspect that it was a little too easy for him to believe "Brooksie" because it presented a negative picture of the Oilers' management team. You don't hit the target every time, so not a big deal in the end, really.

Brownlee's was just a little fluff to keep the keyboard lubricated before his next serious submission. No harm, no foul.

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