GETTING TO CRUNCH TIME

Jason Gregor
September 28 2010 02:35PM

WIth only three preseason games left, the bubble boys have precious time to try and convince Tom Renney to keep them here or receive, what is most likely a one-way ticket to the OKC. Depending on injuries, most of the remaining cuts won't see the light of Rexall Place again this season, so they need to be at their best Wednesday and Friday.

The reality is that even their best won't be good enough.

The Oilers were on the ice for just under two hours this morning at Millenium Place in Sherwood Park, and here's how the lines look to shape up for tomorrow's tilt v. Phoenix.

Ales Hemksky/Sam Gagner/Magnus Paajarvi
Dustin Penner/Andrew Cogliano/Gilbert Brule
Liam Reddox/Colin Fraser/Ryan Jones
Alex Giroux/Ryan O'Marra/Colin McDonald

Ladislav Smid/Alex Plante
Taylor Chorney/Tom Gilbert
Richard Petiot/Kurtis Foster

Jeff Deslauriers
Martin Gerber

TALKING LINEUPS

Look for Deslauriers to play the entire game. He has only faced eight shots so far this preseason and the Oilers need to see how he looks. Renney liked how he played in his 30 minutes against the Canucks, but this will most likely be Deslauriers only chance to shine. He needs to play well tomorrow, but even if he does I still think it won't be enough. Renney said he has tried to evaluate his goalies based on how they play this camp, so JDD needs to play well tonight of Renney will have an easy decision on his backup.

The top two lines seemed destined to start the regular season together, and don't be surprised to see Brule and Penner take some of the draws in place of Cogliano. Brule will most likely take the draws on the right side of the ice, because he'll be on his backhand, while Cogliano/Penner will take the draws on the left side. Renney will give Cogliano a chance to show he can win draws, but Brule told me today that he and Cogliano have already discussed some faceoff strategy that should put both of them in a better position to win draws.

It will be interesting to see how Reddox and Jones play. Only one of them will make the opening night roster, and maybe neither if Renney's dresses Steve MacIntyre v. Calgary, but Jones and Reddox are battlling for the RW spot on the 4th line. Ryan Rishaug mentioned on my show yesterday that he thinks there might be a slight disconnect between the coaches and management when it comes to Reddox and Jones.

Renney really likes Reddox, while management picked Jones off waivers last year so they would like to see what he can do. Ultimately it will be Renney's decision, but I can see how the politics/protect assets argument will come into play. Reddox is a better penalty killer, and at this point I'm not sure what Jones does better to be honest. He isn't an agitator, he isn't big enough to be a banger and he doesn't fight. He might be better suited as a 3rd line winger, but that won't happen on this team.

I don't see Giroux, O'Marra (sorry LT) or McDonald being in the mix at all. Giroux hasn't shown the offence needed to stick, while O'Marra and McDonald have just been okay. Neither one has stood out to this point, and I don't see them sticking through the weekend.

The blue line has three pairings with guys who are locks to make the team in Smid, Foster and Gilbert, while the other three are longshots. Petiot played well with Gilbert last Thursday, and he needs to continue playing the same way. "He can play. If we can see some consistency in some of the things that have been lacking in the past, he's got a shot to play in the NHL. I like his mobility, he passes it well, he shoots it well and I think what he has to do is be real confident and assert himself," said Renney.

Plante has shown lots of improvement since last year, but he is still a year away from really pushing for a job. Chorney, in my mind, has fallen down the depth chart and I don't see him being a part of the future of this team. Jeff Petry has surpassed him as a puck mover, and Chorney isn't big enough to play a physical game. You can never have too many puck movers, but Chorney hasn't stood out at all in this camp and is probably 10th or 11th on the depth chart now.

QUICK HITS

  • Ryan Whitney didn't skate today. He rode the bike for brief stint before practice, but he still has a slight headache from taking that puck in the face on Sunday. He doesn't have a concussion, but they are going to ease him back in to the daily routiine. Renney expects him to be fine by the weekend.
     
  • Renney hinted that he'd like to give JDD, Khabibulin and Dubnyk a full game each in the remaining three. I wonder if he'll play Khabibulin on Friday and if he plays well go to Dubnyk on Sunday, but if Khabibulin struggles maybe he'll get a third start just to be sharpen up for the season. We will see.
     
  • Steve Tambellini didn't want to discuss if he's had conversations with Minnesota regarding goaltending, but Jim Matheson asked him so I wonder if the Wild are sniffing around now that Josh Harding is out for the year.
     
  • Renney is really big on leadership, so expect Jason Strudwick to make the team. It is an intangible that many don't understand, but Renney loves how Strudwick can make the rookies feel welcome and comfortable, but also help the leaders lead.
     
  • Shawn Belle and Theo Peckham will most likely play Friday v. the Flames. Both guys need to play better than they have, but I still think Peckham has a slight edge as the number seven.
     
  • There has been so much focus on the rookies so far, and they have delivered, but I can't help but think Gagner is a guy who needs to emerge this season. It looks like he'll start with Hemsky and Paajarvi on his wings. He has slimmed down and looks quicker, but he needs to make an impact on the ice this year and he won't get a better opportunity than starting with Hemsky.

FINAL WORD

I was scanning the blog world yesterday and came upon David Staples article that referenced this article on MC79hockey.com I've seen many bloggers question the thoughts of other bloggers or MSM guys, so I thought I'd chime in on Dellow's idea to send down Hall and Paajarvi.

I had tried to go to his site this morning and read the article in it's entirety but kept getting an error message saying that the bandwidth for the site had been exceeded. I guess writing a bunch of inaccurate statements and having it referenced at the Journal brought the house down.

Anyways, here is his opening line courtesy of Staples' site.

 "I’ve made the argument about burning years off the entry level contracts of rookies before. It’s a simple enough proposition: you only get three years with these guys on entry level contracts and you might as well use them when the player in question is a stronger player.

As I’ve pointed out before, on teams like Detroit and New Jersey, teenagers virtually never make the team. There was lots of talk, when the Oilers installed Tambellini as general manager, that they were moving towards more of a Detroit model. I made this point then, but there’s more to doing what Detroit does than having a lot of people in your management group. They do smart things, like not forcing teenagers into the lineup and wasting their cheap years on 45 point seasons."

Comparing what the Devils and Red Wings have done with their kids to Hall and Paajarvi is inaccurate and completely off-base. Since 1992 the Wings haven't had one pick in the top twenty, Jakub Kindl went 19th in 2005, while the Devils have only had one Zach Parise, 17th overall in 2003, top twenty pick since 1996. And FYI, Zach Parise spent one year in NCAA and then his ECL kicked in when he played in the AHL during the lockout. So I can't help but think that  the Devils did the exact same thing with Parise that the Oilers are going to do with Paajarvi.

And come on - of course the Wings haven't rushed any players, because none of them were ready to play in the NHL at 18. A perennial top-five hockey team is blessed with lots of talent and then can bring along players slowly. Bottom feeder teams don't have that luxury.

Suggesting the Oilers send Hall down, and Paajarvi back to Sweden so they get a more mature player is nothing more than speculation. 

Sure players will be a year older, but by playing in lower leagues will their games get better and prepare them more for the NHL? I don't see how Hall would be able to adapt to the speed and quickness of the NHL next year any better than this year. He needs to experience it first hand and adjust accordingly. And if he is ready now, let him play.

And can anyone name the last top-ten pick who stayed a year in Europe after being drafted, then came to camp as a 19-year-old, had a great preseason, but then was sent back to Europe, just to delay the start of his ELC? It doesn't make sense on so many levels. You don't send a player back to Europe who is better than the guy you would keep in his place, just to delay the start of his contract.

Another FYI...Datsyuk scored 35 and 51 points his first two years in the league. So even having him come over as 23-year-old didn't prevent the Wings from avoiding wasting his "cheap" years on 45-point seasons. Zetrterberg was a 22-year-old rookie and tallied 44 and 43 points his first two seasons. Again those "cheap" years still garned around 45 points.

The last forward who was taken 1st overall who didn't play in the NHL in his draft year was Eric Lindros. He didn't play because he wasnt' good enough, it was because he refused to go to Quebec. And playing that extra year out of the NHL didn't make him realize he needed to keep his head up anymore now did it!

The reason first overall picks go straight to the NHL is because they can compete and are better players than guys picked late in the first round like or later rounds like the Wings have drafted. Not to mention the the teams that get the first pick rarely have more talented players to keep ahead of them.

Suggesting that the Oilers would get more bang for their buck by sending Hall and Paajarvi away just to delay the start of their contract in an attempt to stretch a dollar is just nonsense.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#1 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 03:33PM
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Calling the article and the suggestions nonsense without having read it in its entirety is kind of nonsense too isn't it?

Managing the cap hits of the members of the team isn't nonsense. Keeping an eye on what will be happening with the teams cap situation in subsequent years isn't nonsense.

Do I think we should send them down if they are ready to play with the big club? No. There are consequences if they decide to keep them up though and Tyler's article outlines some of this. There is logic to some of what he says and I don't think that dismissing it as "ridiculous" [EDIT: I meant "nonsense" here] is a fair comment. There is certainly merit to his suggestion that there is only so much playing time to go around might hurt the value of the last set of kids that everyone was so excited about.

I'm somewhat concerned that the team is wanting to focus on the bright and shiny new toys to distract the fans fromt he fact that the team has been abysmal for a long time. As much as sending someone down for contract reasons alone might be ridiculous don't you think that keeping someone up for fan perception purposes might also be a bad idea?

Just because somebody lights it up in the preseason (see O'Sullivan, Patrick and Comrie, Mike) doesn't mean that he is going to have a big season. I'm as excited as the next guy for what Magnus PI and the Golden Child represent for the future but let's keep things in perspective.

I hope they do keep the kids up because I'm excited to see them play but there is certainly an argument that contract management is a good thing.

The Oil has been terrible at managing the cap and contracts in the past and if they do keep all the kids up they have to be prepared for the contract situation that might arise because of it. If they are and have made this decision with their eyes wide open then so be it but I'd be surprised if this didn't have at least something to do with Katz wanting some buzz as he pushes for a new stadium and Tambo wanting to keep his job.

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#3 Chickenplucker
September 28 2010, 03:43PM
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@dawgbone

What's your criteria for being ready to enter the NHL. Stamkos had over 50 goals in year 2 so I would think that his first year in the league had an impact on his development.

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#4 Ribs
September 28 2010, 03:44PM
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I think Chicago's model broke pretty bad this summer.

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#5 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 28 2010, 03:58PM
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So does playing one more year of junior make a guy better then a 45 point player? Seems to me that at whatever age the majority of rookies aren't higher then that 45 point range regardless of age. It's almost as if they need a year in the NHL to go from that 45pts to the next level.

Is it not possible Hall plays one more year of Junior and then comes into the NHl as a 45 point player the following year?

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#6 BBOil
September 28 2010, 03:59PM
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Ribs wrote:

I think Chicago's model broke pretty bad this summer.

If by broke, you mean winning the cup, and still having names like Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, Sharp, Bolland, Campbell, Hjarlmarsson, and a hand full of decent young players and vets, give me the sledge hammer, and I'll smash the crap out of the Oiler's future plans.

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#7 D-Man
September 28 2010, 04:16PM
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Mike wrote:

That's kind of my point though. Kane and Toews (and Hossa) were the last pieces to that core group. Are Hall and MPS and Eberle the last pieces in our puzzle? Are we one solid free agent signing away from a real challenger?

If not, better to wait a year and hope that help is coming from youth.

Under your logic - we'd have to assume that we could get a couple pieces to supplement the kids first. Obviously, that can't be through the draft - so we'd have to go via free agency... No decent player would come without an over-inflated contract as we are a bottom feeder team... Free agents go where they have an opportunity to win...

Waiting a year with Hall in the WHL and MPS in Sweden does not make any sense, especially when they've proven to be elite players in their respective leagues... They're also significantly better than who we'd have in Oklahoma as well - so why not let them play??

An older Hall or MPS might have another couple of pounds on their frames, but without another full year of NHL experience, they're still starting where they are now today...

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#8 RossCreekNation
September 28 2010, 04:20PM
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speeds wrote:

Gregor:

To expand a bit Louise's comment, Paajarvi wouldn't burn a contract year as long as he plays 9 or less NHL games this season. The start of his ELC would "slide" forward one year in that case.

And he'd probably sign an offersheet after 3 years with the Oil. There is something to be said for treating your players good. How do you think Paajarvi would feel about the Oilers if they jerked him around like that. Its just asking for another player to ask outta town.

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#10 DN
September 28 2010, 02:47PM
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If Horcoff stays healthy I think he will be the best center and the best LW & RW will eventually migrate to his line. I agree with the three good lines concept but not at the expense of of NHL top tier number one line.

or

I could be totally wrong !

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#11 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
September 28 2010, 02:48PM
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At this point how does Gerber clear waivers?

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#12 Fatboys
September 28 2010, 02:52PM
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Excellent read, and you are totally right Gregor on that non sense of a write up that David Staples wrote up....for shame David Staples, for shame!

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#13 ubermiguel
September 28 2010, 02:58PM
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Well put and excellent counter-examples in Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

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#14 Dan the Man
September 28 2010, 03:01PM
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Nice response to Dellow's write up Gregor. I couldn't agree more, he is using an apples to oranges comparison and I guarantee that if either team drafted Hall last year he would be on their opening night rosters.

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#15 Cal from Calgary
September 28 2010, 03:06PM
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Good call Jason

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#16 Mike
September 28 2010, 03:10PM
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On the Hall and MPS topic - For three years, and three years only, the two can be had for a cap hit of about 5.25 million.

How much will they make on their next deal? If we're wildly optimistic and they end up the next Toews and Kane, you're looking at more like $13 million between the two of them.

The question is whether Hall and MPS are the final pieces of the puzzle. If they are, it might as well be full steam ahead - you're only getting three cheap years no matter what, and Penner and Hemsky are here now.

If they're NOT the final pieces of the puzzle, then delaying them a year makes sense. Maybe another lottery pick gets added, maybe Petry or Plante is a little closer, maybe Pitlick and Lander and Roy are on the way.

You may not agree with the conclusion, but that doesn't mean it's foolish to at least have the discussion.

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#17 Dan the Man
September 28 2010, 03:16PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

At this point how does Gerber clear waivers?

That's the first guy I thought of when I heard about the Leighton and Harding injuries.

I think he's a guy Minny or Phily would want as a temporary fill in. Once they're injured goalies return they can just waive him.

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#18 nelson88
September 28 2010, 03:16PM
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Interesting comments on Vancouver team 1040 this morning w/r/t the goaltending situation.

Ray Ferraro asked the beat rider that handles the Wild for the local Minneapolis paper (Mike Russo?) about Hardings injury and the possibility the Wild claim Thomas Greiss off waivers or something similar.

Russo's response was something along the lines of "no interest in Greiss but sensed their was interest in JD if he popped up on waivers or if a trade could be worked out".

If I recall correctly the Wild head coash was also JD's coach in his time at Wilkes Barre so there is a history. Personally I think having JD claimed on waivers or traded for anything less than a 2nd or 3rd round pick is a mistake along the lines of the Brodziak trade (another Wilkes Barre alum) although I do love Roy as the player chosen with the pick(?)

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#20 Ribs
September 28 2010, 03:18PM
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I don't see how Hall would be able to adapt to the speed and quickness of the NHL next year any better than this year.

Seriously?

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#21 Gilmore Tuttle
September 28 2010, 03:18PM
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Maybe Tambi needs to pull out his ab-bac-kuss as Kyle Chase suggested this morning so he can figure out the line combinations. I know Chase was talking about golf's Fed Ex Cup but I couldn't resist a jab at a guy that can't even read questions written for him!

Why not put all three "kids" on the second line and let them play. Expectations shouldn't be too high anyway despite all of those fanatics competing with the newly emboldened Eskimo fans for lawn chair space on the parade route.

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#22 IceDragoon
September 28 2010, 03:23PM
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Good day, Jason.

Not that I'm advocating it, but just like Smid, Paajarvi could spend his 19 year old season in the AHL without using up one of his RFA years. Also, his entry level contract would slide forward one year.

L8r Louise

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#23 Woogie
September 28 2010, 03:24PM
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Nice rant Jason!

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#24 speeds
September 28 2010, 03:27PM
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Gregor:

To expand a bit Louise's comment, Paajarvi wouldn't burn a contract year as long as he plays 9 or less NHL games this season. The start of his ELC would "slide" forward one year in that case.

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#25 Dyckster
September 28 2010, 03:29PM
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Ribs wrote:

I don't see how Hall would be able to adapt to the speed and quickness of the NHL next year any better than this year.

Seriously?

I.E. How is playing in a league where he's already speedier and quicker than almost everyone going to help him improve? He needs to play against men in order to reach a man's level of play....period. I 100% agree with Jason. Not that what I say matters in the grand scheme of things. :-)

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#26 mike
September 28 2010, 03:31PM
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Staples got it bang on. Tyler overstated his case. Gregor's red herring about Detroit's hypothetical #1 is also overstated.

If Tyler stuck to not forcing a guy in when his development would be better elsewhere, Staples pretty much agreed. But Tyler's opening line says slide guys to get the best possible years out of the entry level contract. No one is going to meet that criteria. If he's not ready to contribute or doesn't meet the criteria to get the ice time and benefit from it here, send him elsewhere. But like Staples says that better be the reason. Set a standard to reach by Game 9 and work with him to track his progress to that standard.

Nothing wrong with a year at centre in the OHL if the reasons are for development not cherry picking the contract years.

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#27 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 03:36PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Does he need to get faster? No one says his speed is lacking, so how will another year in the OHL prepare him for the speed of the game?

How about trying him out at centre in the dub to see if that is something that could help? The team needs centres and there is precedent for a winger turning to a centre with some success.

I'd be willing to bet that Windsor would be happy to experiment with this if it meant they get the best player to go through the team in some time back for another year.

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#28 Ribs
September 28 2010, 03:37PM
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Does he need to get faster? No one says his speed is lacking, so how will another year in the OHL prepare him for the speed of the game?

Hall's body is still developing and another year of skating and playing hockey at any level will assuredly enhance his skillset.

Unless you figure he won't get any better than he is right now?

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#29 IceDragoon
September 28 2010, 03:37PM
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@speeds

Thanks for adding that important bit of info, speeds.

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#30 dawgbone
September 28 2010, 03:40PM
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I think the argument that 1st overall picks are ready to enter the NHL is a lot more fiction than fact.

Out of the forwards picked since Lindros in 1991 were ready to play in the NHL (in other words contribute to winning) at 18?

Daigle? No. Thornton? No. Lecavalier? No. Stefan? No. Kovalchuk? Maybe. He could score but he cherry picked for everything he got. Nash? No. Ovechkin? Yes. Crosby? Yes. Kane? No. Stamkos? No. Tavares? No.

2 generational talents were the 2 who you could argue that they were able to come in and help their team win games. 2 players who were able to provide enough offense or provide strong enough play in their own end.

Let's face it, these teams were selling hope which is why most of these kids made it. It wasn't because they were good enough to be impact players in the NHL, it was because they represented hope.

The whole 2003 draft class is a pretty strong example of the fact that letting these kids develop outside the NHL is a pretty good idea. How many of these kids stagnated because they weren't in the NHL at 18 or 19?

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#31 mike #18
September 28 2010, 03:40PM
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Not speaking for Mike #7.

Gregor, Tyler's second paragraph said nothing about Detroit #1's. That line was fine about not Detroit generally not forcing a guy in.

Tyler's worst argument is in the first paragraph where he suggests cherry picking the entry level contract. If he means that literally than Staples disagreed. It has to be because the guy can't get or won't benefit from 15 minutes of icetime.

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#32 Chickenplucker
September 28 2010, 03:40PM
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@rubbertrout

But if the new 'kids' are better than the old 'kids' they should play. The arguement that you are inhibiting the development of another player in the original article that made little sense.

The best players should play.

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#33 Ribs
September 28 2010, 03:41PM
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I.E. How is playing in a league where he's already speedier and quicker than almost everyone going to help him improve?

There are a vast amount of things that he can work on other than his speed and quickness.

He needs to play against men in order to reach a man's level of play....period.

So why can't he do it a year from now?

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#34 Dyckster
September 28 2010, 03:42PM
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Managing the Cap is one thing, and something to consider for certain. But, this team is in rebuild mode, not cap managing mode. During the rebuild we want the future CORE of our team, aka the gents currently in their ELC's to develop to be NHL stars. The only onw who MAY benefit from some time in the minors, junior, Europe or where ever is Eberle. MP has nothing more to prove, Hall can only go to junior and that would be useless at this point.

I despise using (insert team here) "model" as a description of a teams direction. But in this case, we are well on our way to following Chicago's, why fix it if it ain't broke?

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#35 speeds
September 28 2010, 03:43PM
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IceDragoon:

I don't know if it makes a big difference, but it does mean they've got a bit of time with him at the NHL level before having to decide either way.

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#37 Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child
September 28 2010, 03:44PM
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I still think the wild would have more interest in a guy like Erik Ersberg from LA. He is older and cheaper than JD.

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#38 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
September 28 2010, 03:45PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Does he need to get faster? No one says his speed is lacking, so how will another year in the OHL prepare him for the speed of the game?

IMO if they sent Hall back to the minors for another year it would hinder his ability to adapt to the NHL speed.

Another year of slower and weaker competition may lead to bad habits that he should be shaking this year ie skating with his head down, long shifts. These are things that he would get away with in the OHL because he's Taylor Freaking Hall.

Keep him here and let him learn the game. If that means he needs a couple games up in the press box then so be it. In Renney we Trust!

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#39 esa tikkanen
September 28 2010, 03:46PM
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I totally agree with you.

By the way , seems to me Steve Yzerman played for Detroit the year he was drafted, the last time they had a top ten pick.

When Nick Lidstrom retires Detroit wont be the perennial top five team anymore, either. Sometimes being lucky is better than being good...as drafting Lidstrom in the fourth round was more fluke than skill otherwise the Wings would have picked him with their first pick if they thought he would be so good!

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#40 Dyckster
September 28 2010, 03:47PM
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Ribs wrote:

I.E. How is playing in a league where he's already speedier and quicker than almost everyone going to help him improve?

There are a vast amount of things that he can work on other than his speed and quickness.

He needs to play against men in order to reach a man's level of play....period.

So why can't he do it a year from now?

Why wait a year. What purpose does it serve? The ONLY benefit I see is having the three golden children's contract's expire during different years. Ultimately though, if the goal is to sign them to long term contracts after the ELC's are done, we're still on the hook for all three presumabely inflated salaries at the same time.

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#41 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 03:47PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The sliding of the contract isn't the issue. It was how he stated the Oilers should follow Detroit's model. Don't waste years on 45 points seasons, when in fact Zetterberg and Datsyuk averaged 43 points their first two seasons.

His comparison to the "Detroit Model" is somewhat tenuous I'll agree. But the whole tenor of his article is to get the maximum value from these players at the time that it matters most, and also to maintain the cap flexibility necessary to contend, sliding the contracts that you can makes sense.

@Dyckster

Eberle is in a different situation as his contract has already "slid" one year (as far as my understanding goes anyway).

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#42 The Hall Way
September 28 2010, 03:48PM
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Dyckster wrote:

I.E. How is playing in a league where he's already speedier and quicker than almost everyone going to help him improve? He needs to play against men in order to reach a man's level of play....period. I 100% agree with Jason. Not that what I say matters in the grand scheme of things. :-)

i agree with Dyckster.

A wise man once said: "if you want a man to progress, you should not treat him as he is, but how you want him to become".

i think this is true in sports alot. If you play a weaker opponent you tend to play down to their level but if you are against those that challenge you, your are likely to learn and grow

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#43 rookie
September 28 2010, 03:49PM
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@ ogdeon brother junior I'm pretty sure gerber signed a 2 way contract and wouldnt need to clear waivers.

and i think paaravi's contract is one way isnt it? i thought thats why he stayed across the pond last year cause the oil wouldnt give him a 1 way then.

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#44 Dyckster
September 28 2010, 03:50PM
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Ribs wrote:

I think Chicago's model broke pretty bad this summer.

Shouldn't we wait to see how they fair in 2010-2011 before passing this type of judgement?

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#45 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 03:51PM
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@ Ovenchicken8

Keep him here and let him learn the game. If that means he needs a couple games up in the press box then so be it. In Renney we Trust!

If we have any of these kids sitting in the press box instead of playing I am going to freak out. The ONLY acceptable reason to sit these guys is if they have attitude problems that need correcting. Otherwise they should be somewhere they are playing be that the SEL, the AHL, or the WHL [EDIT: or the NHL of course].

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#46 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
September 28 2010, 03:52PM
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@rookie

Gerbers does need to clear waivers. His 2 way deal just indicates that he will make less money while playing in the AHL.

Paajarvi also has a 2 way deal, as all entry level contracts are I believe.

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#47 speeds
September 28 2010, 03:52PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The sliding of the contract isn't the issue. It was how he stated the Oilers should follow Detroit's model. Don't waste years on 45 points seasons, when in fact Zetterberg and Datsyuk averaged 43 points their first two seasons.

As for the Zetterberg/Datsyuk 45 point seasons, it's a bit different with those guys because their ELC's started whether those players were in the NHL or AHL. That's why Tyler didn't include Eberle in his article - his contract kicks in whether he's in the NHL or AHL so there is no compelling reason to keep him out of the NHL if he's ready to play there; the same benefit isn't there with Eberle that is there for Paajarvi (and Hall, for that matter).

Not to get sidetracked, but there were also some pretty good players ahead of Datsyuk and Zetterberg on the depth charts those years, so one might argue that their points totals could have been a bit lower than if they were on a different team.

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#48 dawgbone
September 28 2010, 03:53PM
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Dryckster, just because the team is in rebuilding mode now doesn't mean it can't be cap conscious for when it is ready to compete.

The worst thing the Oilers can do now is ignore future cap hits until they are ready to compete.

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#49 Quicksilver ballet
September 28 2010, 03:54PM
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More than 8 years into Deslaurier, time to let some of these Pendergast draft picks walk. With the length of the deals signed by JDD and DD it sure looks like they'd welcome losing Deslaurier in on waivers. Dubnyk having the 2 year deal might be enough to scare teams off. Sink or swim time for Devan, we should leave him in the A for the better part of the next 2 years till The AHL job becomes Roys. The only goaltender we have in the system that will push Khabibulin on a regular basis is Gerber, why have JDD or DD here if they're not going to push Khabby.

If one deserves another year or two of rope it's Dubnyk but if they both get picked up off the waiver wire, big deal, no big loss, a million dollars will get you a helluva lot better goalie than these two, is it even proper to still call them prospects after all these years?

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#50 Mike
September 28 2010, 03:54PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I said it was misleading when the opening paragraph referred to Detroit not wasting early years of contracts on 45 point seasons.

How will delaying Hall by a year guarantee that he will score 60 as a 19 year old? It doesn't. That was my point.

Maybe...maybe...maybe...Kane and Toews were ELC but they had Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, Sharp and many other guys who weren't. Do the Oilers have guys who are comparable as veterans to that? No, so holding Hall and MP back doesn't mean the vets will be closer a year from now.

That's kind of my point though. Kane and Toews (and Hossa) were the last pieces to that core group. Are Hall and MPS and Eberle the last pieces in our puzzle? Are we one solid free agent signing away from a real challenger?

If not, better to wait a year and hope that help is coming from youth.

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