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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#51 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 03:56PM
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Chickenplucker wrote:

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.

But you have to get what you can for the assets that you have. If you want to let Cogs die on the vine so be it but that isn't very smart for a GM to do. If you want to get something for him in a trade (and thus at least get some value for him) you have to play him.

Again I'm saying if they deserve to be on the big club then they should be there. I just have an issue with Gregor calling the article "nonsense" without considering everything that was written (or in fact reading everything). There are valid points there.

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#52 Dyckster
September 28 2010, 03:57PM
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dawgbone wrote:

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.

Fair enough, but the future outlook for Eberle, hall, and MP is anywhere from excellent to off the charts. Although not inevitable, the chances that all three of these young men are in for healthy raises in 2-3 years is quite high. As I stated earlier, somewhere along the lines we'll be carrying all three of there non-elc type salaries. If they're capable of playing at this level RFN, I don't see any reason why we wait.

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#54 Bar Qu
September 28 2010, 03:59PM
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Arguing the development side of the thing ignores the point of the article. The team is not going to win this year so having them here uses up a cheap year on a bad team. If you keep them here then you have a bunch of guys that need to be resigned all in the same year leading to a sell-off of talent at less than 100 cents on the dollar. This is bad asset management, plain and simple. Which was the point of the article (for those who actually read it, instead of merely commenting on something that they didn't fully understand).

This not to say I agreed with his point, but it is a correct and factual one, and as Dellow put it, likely one that was not even discussed or considered by the management who are purportedly being paid to do just that. Blind selling of hope is what lacklustre franchises in the distant south do, who cannot attract fans (or in Leaf-land where nonsense reigns supreme). We as fans could hope that the management of our team recognises the building will still fill up, the fans will still watch and support new building projects if teenagers don't make the team.

But we see a continual lack of vision or foresight from ST in how he approaches this team (NK signing, JFJ, Smac signings, etc, etc, etc).

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#55 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 04:00PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Maybe maybe not. What it does do for sure is slide his entry level contract for one year so we don't have Magnus PI and the Golden Child both coming off entry level contracts at the same time as Eberle.

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#56 dawgbone
September 28 2010, 04:01PM
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Chickenplucker wrote:

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.

That's year 2.

How much worse off would he have been if that was his rookie year?

How much worse would Tampa have been if that was his rookie season?

The answer to both is probably none. So what if Stamkos only scores 30 his second year, does that hurt the lightning at all?

Probably not. In fact it probably helps them more in 11-12. Where instead of being on the first year of a new deal paying him in the neighbourhood of $7 mil he'd be on his ELC. That could have represented an opening the Lightning could have shot for to make another cup run. Allowed them to add couple of key veterans.

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#57 Bar Qu
September 28 2010, 04:02PM
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BBOil wrote:

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.

How is losing a lot of good players for nothing a good plan? Very few teams could or would survive the gutting that Chicago went through, and neither will Chicago if they have to do it again next summer.

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#58 Ribs
September 28 2010, 04:03PM
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Why wait a year. What purpose does it serve?

Did you not read the article?

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

You don't think they're any worse off than last season?

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#59 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 04:05PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I didn't focus on saving a year, because that wasn't the main point for me. But thanks for the clarification.

Comparing the OIlers to the Wings isn't accurate at any point in my mind, but when their guys came in after more seasoning they still didn't put up big numbers.

If after nine games both kids are struggling mightily they could get demoted, because they have proven they can't play, not because they save a contract year. THat would just be a bonus.

They didn't put up big numbers because when they came up the team still had a host of capable veterans. They had a host of capable veterans because they have managed the cap well for a long time.

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#60 IceDragoon
September 28 2010, 04:10PM
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@Jason Gregor

I don't think Z & D gave back as many points as 18 & 19 year olds do, Jason.

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#61 BBOil
September 28 2010, 04:13PM
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@Bar Qu

I'll answer the question with a question. What is the goal of every NHL team each year? Win the Stanley Cup. Yes Chicago lost some good players, but I'd rather win the cup, and lose the Versteegs, Byfugliens, Eagers, Niemis, etc.... for next to nothing, and move on with the guys I mentioned long term. Core of the team is still in tact for a long time too. Toews 5yrs, Kane 5yrs, Hossa infinity, Sharp 2yrs, Bolland 4yrs, Campbell 6yrs, Keith infinity, Hjarlmarrson 4yrs. Seabrook and his 1yr is the only core guy they have to worry about losing, and they can either do that via trade and get huge return, or they can get creative as they seem to do, and find room.

Either way, I'll put my faith in a core like that for the next 4-5 yrs, as it looks a heck of a lot better than what most teams have.

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#62 King Mob
September 28 2010, 04:14PM
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Hall has nothing left to accomplish in the AHL. Sending him back would be Sutter Brother retarded.

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#63 King Mob
September 28 2010, 04:14PM
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err, *OHL

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#65 The Hall Way
September 28 2010, 04:18PM
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King Mob wrote:

Hall has nothing left to accomplish in the AHL. Sending him back would be Sutter Brother retarded.

Sutter Brother retarded... hahahahaha i'm using that one

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#66 rookie
September 28 2010, 04:18PM
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@rubbertrout

and i think that was one of Gregors points...because they had so many decent players, they didn't have to bring rookies into the fold by the boat loads and because they didn't bring them in, they could spend more time developing, which they needed because they were not high draft picks, because Detroit never finished at the basement....which is a nice circle to have and not at all comparable to the oilers

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#67 rubbertrout
September 28 2010, 04:21PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Sorry man...there was no cap in place when they came in the league. The Wings spent over 60 or 70 million..

Fair enough. Brain fart. I'll own that.

They did have capable veterans though which would have impacted the amount of points that they could get and the minutes they would play.

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#68 DoubleJ
September 28 2010, 04:22PM
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Good read Jason.

You dress the best team possible to win. Even in a rebuild.

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#70 Cru Jones
September 28 2010, 04:28PM
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To me, the issues of delaying the rookies another year and another year in the cellar to get another top pick have the same problem: at some point, you have to start trying to win, at since it's not going to be instant, you might as well start it sooner than later.

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#71 Zach
September 28 2010, 04:29PM
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I think that Dellow distracts from his main point when he brings up the question, WWDD (What Would Detroit Do)? Comment #5 is probably right, in that comparing Hall's situation to Datsyuk's is comparing apples to oranges (in a whole lot of ways, given that Datsyuk is probably the best forward in the conference). Detroit may very well have kept Hall in their lineup on opening night, had they drafted him.

But (and this is a big but), that would not necessarily make it the right choice (at least according to the logic Dellow has set out). Forget about Detroit. Forget about New Jersey. This is not the point.

The point is this: the team who wins the Stanley Cup is the team who gets the most value for every cap dollar spent. This is essentially an aphorism, one I hope we can all agree on. Probably the easiest way to accomplish this is to pay ELC dollars to a superstar.

Dellow suggests (and I think he is right) that perhaps the best chance that the Oilers will have to win a Stanley anytime soon is the final year of Hall's (and Pääjärvi's) ELC, whenever that comes. The goal should be to have the rest of the team ready to win by that point. Hall's development doesn't matter all that much in this scenario (let's assume that an extra year in junior neither helps nor hurts him -- for the sake of argument, his third year stats are identical, whether he starts this year or next). The real question is whether the rebuild will be finished and the team ready to compete for a cup three years from now. No one around here really seems to think so, and management certainly seems to talk about this as an extended process. Dellow's point, then, is this: why pay Hall (and Pääjärvi) more than we absolutely need to when we are finally ready to compete?

We all know that (unless something goes seriously wrong) the second contract will be a fairly rich one. Why not try to push it back as far as possible? Why not try to get the most value?

Of course, there are other ways to get value on a contract. Keeping Hall and Pääjärvi happy by showing 'loyalty' and letting them play now could perhaps eventually result in a hometown discount (but, to be honest, no one in management has shown themselves terribly adept at negotiating discount contracts: for Lowe, there are too many instances to name and for Tambellini, Khabibulin is such a stunning disaster that it is almost as bad as all those contracts Lowe gave out after the Cup run combined).

If you've gotten to this point, you get to read me finally acquiescing to the majority opinion (sort of). We all know (Dellow too, I presume) that there is not really any way the Oilers can hold Hall and Pääjärvi back a year. The team (as a business) needs the positive press these players bring, press that the MSM seems all to happy to dole out (has there ever been more enthusiasm for a team that finished 12 points back of 29th?). And of course, hockey is a business first and foremost. What's more, as Gregor says, no team will hold back for contractual reasons a player who is better than the other options available. This much is clear. But that doesn't make it the right choice, not if the only goal is to maximize the team's chances to win a Stanley.

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#73 longbottom/P.Biglow
September 28 2010, 04:40PM
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@Bar Qu

I am glad you brought up this point of view, which in my mind is totally wrong. your saying Steve Tambellini has a short sighted vision for signing NK,Big Mac,JFJ,etc.etc.etc. Well I think you should step back and take your personal feelings out of it or continue cheering for Burke,Sutter. As an Oiler fan I feel if the three first rounders are ready to make the jump to the NHL then let them try and make their mistakes. I would be pissed if they put these players down for budgetary reasons. As for signing Big Mac it is a signing that needed to happen even if he plays 6 mins a night everyone else on the team plays 4 inches taller and more aggressively.

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#74 Ribs
September 28 2010, 04:41PM
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Well put, Zach.

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#76 Chris.
September 28 2010, 04:43PM
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This whole debate is predicated on the assumption that all three young guns emerge as viable NHL players deserving of large contracts in three years time... God we would be so lucky to have that problem.

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#77 pat
September 28 2010, 04:45PM
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Jason, fantastic article

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#78 YasBoi
September 28 2010, 04:50PM
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I'm not a huge supporter or Greggors' opinions and in fact think he's flat out wrong on many occassions.

But you absolutely crushed that last argument.

Congrats.

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#79 DK0
September 28 2010, 04:52PM
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I completely agree with "Ice the best team possible at all times" with the exception of not icing Souray or a similar situation to that.

As much as it rocked to grab Hall this draft, do you think our future would be completely bleak without him? Are Eberle and Paajarvi any less impressive without Hall? If we didn't draft Hall, hey look Omark fits on the roster now.

My point is that as long as you have a decent group of young players, and a scouting staff you can trust to grab some gems, there is no reason to tank on purpose in order to get a player. We were in a position that it made sense last season but that was due to Pendergast leaving a huge hole in the stream of useful players being developed, coupled with the insane man-games lost to injury.

If we ice an exciting team that ends up pressing for a playoff spot or even falls and gets 5th pick overall, are we really completely screwed? Can we not trust the magnificent bastard to grab an Eberle or a Paajarvi quality player in those rounds?

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#80 Cru Jones
September 28 2010, 04:53PM
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@DK0

Yeah, what he said.

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#82 Zach
September 28 2010, 05:11PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Interesting points, and well said.

I just don't see how in three years the Oilers will have their best chance to win. I just don't see their backend being that good. Lots can change of course, but I still think the Oilers lack a true number one Dman, and in three years we have no clue who their goalie will be.

To win you need two of three things. A great goalie, or a dominant 28 minute/night D-man, maybe two and of course three elite forwards.

The Oilers could have the forwards, but the other two are big questions. And that's why I don't see them winning during the ELC of the kids.

The key will be how they use their money in the next few years and surround the kids with solid pieces...

I think that's exactly it: in three years, the Oilers won't be ready to win. If you give them another year (and give management another year to acquire that dominant goalie or d-man), they might be closer. Close enough? Who knows. Maybe not, and maybe it ends up making no difference.

But, as many have said, there is a good deal of logic to Dellow's post, even if it seems to go against so many of our assumptions about sport in general and the business of hockey specifically.

DKO's point gets at this: always ice the best team possible. We all can understand this mentality. Some might even say that this is the most fundamental responsibility of management (at any level of sport). The only issue is that icing the best team possible right now (when there is no chance of winning), might make it more difficult to ice the best team possible in three or four years (when the chance of winning is significantly increased, or so we all hope).

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#83 Peter
September 28 2010, 05:24PM
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Gregor,

I have to commend you on your article and thought out response. You didn't take personal shot and just laid out the facts. Your points carry much more weight that way. Even your responses to posters was legit.

You've become a voice of reason and wanted to say thanks for all your input on here. I used to rip you and still disagree with stuff you say, but when you open up a debate and don't call names like lots of guys it makes it great reading and educational.

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#84 BarryS
September 28 2010, 05:26PM
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Worrying about the cap and offer sheets in three years is like waiting three years to go on a holiday in hopes it will be cheaper, you might be dead by then.

Assuming contracts, and cap limits will rise in three years is silly at best given how many players from last year don't have contracts today and how many who took far less.

Offer sheets are not common things and are never likely to be. First off a team has to have the money and room to make an offer the home team won't match.

In any event, it would be a wonder if all three commanded the same large contract in three years, their relative position and values will work itself out during the period. Current example Gagner, Gogliano, and Nilson. One signs two years at a raise, one signs one year at less, and one is gone.

Play the kids if they can play and let three years from now look after itself.

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#85 dawgbone
September 28 2010, 05:34PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

But that is part of their development process. And considering they were on a great team, compared to a 30th place team that makes a difference.

The point was that delaying their entrance into the league doesn't ensure more points.

No it doesn't ensure more points.

What it does do is ensure you aren't burning contract years unnecessarily. Datsyuk and Zetterberg basically had to play in the NHL at that point in time, so they did.

What does playing Hall this year do for the Oilers as a team on the ice? Will it make them a playoff team?

If the answer is no (and it essentially is), what have the Oilers gained as a hockey team from this?

You say the Oilers won't be in a position to compete for the cup in 3 years. There's a damn big problem with that because that looks like the Oilers best shot to compete for one. If they aren't planning on getting a team together for that cup run they are going to miss out on a huge opportunity if these kids are as good as touted.

3 and 4 years from now are the Oilers best shot at winning a cup. They will have a bunch of good young players entering or in the primes of their careers, all on relatively cheap deals (if they play it right). That is a great time to be competing for a cup.

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#87 dawgbone
September 28 2010, 05:38PM
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BarryS wrote:

Worrying about the cap and offer sheets in three years is like waiting three years to go on a holiday in hopes it will be cheaper, you might be dead by then.

Assuming contracts, and cap limits will rise in three years is silly at best given how many players from last year don't have contracts today and how many who took far less.

Offer sheets are not common things and are never likely to be. First off a team has to have the money and room to make an offer the home team won't match.

In any event, it would be a wonder if all three commanded the same large contract in three years, their relative position and values will work itself out during the period. Current example Gagner, Gogliano, and Nilson. One signs two years at a raise, one signs one year at less, and one is gone.

Play the kids if they can play and let three years from now look after itself.

The inherent problem with that line of thinking is that you end up shooting yourself in the foot.

If Chicago hadn't of used that line of thinking, they probably don't have Brian Campbell at $7mil and instead have Mark Streit at $4, which would also allow them to keep Byfuglin right now.

That line of thinking caused Chicago to say, screw it, this is the guy we want and we'll get him no matter the cost.

3 years later it's looking like a terrible contract and it's basically hamstrung their team.

If the Oilers aren't looking 3 years into the future they are screwing up an awesome opportunity.

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#88 rookie
September 28 2010, 05:40PM
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@dawgbone

but what good does it do sending hall to junior? He can't get better against the same guys/boys he has been going up against. did your teachers hold you back in class because you didn't need to be in the next grade yet?? no! you go to the next level to get better, when you are ready. hall is ready!!!

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#89 rookie
September 28 2010, 05:42PM
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Why does everyone act like hall, or any of the other talent, wont return after their elc? when you have the names, others will come, and then the names re-sign. 3 yrs from now is not our deadline.

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#90 Wäx Män Riley
September 28 2010, 06:03PM
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BarryS wrote:

Worrying about the cap and offer sheets in three years is like waiting three years to go on a holiday in hopes it will be cheaper, you might be dead by then.

Assuming contracts, and cap limits will rise in three years is silly at best given how many players from last year don't have contracts today and how many who took far less.

Offer sheets are not common things and are never likely to be. First off a team has to have the money and room to make an offer the home team won't match.

In any event, it would be a wonder if all three commanded the same large contract in three years, their relative position and values will work itself out during the period. Current example Gagner, Gogliano, and Nilson. One signs two years at a raise, one signs one year at less, and one is gone.

Play the kids if they can play and let three years from now look after itself.

I have a feeling that Bobby Orr had anticipated this and as a power move, advised Taylor not to attend the world junior camp. On the agent side, he wants Hall to play this year and "burn" a year on the ELC, so he can demand more sooner. When Hall decided not to go to the camp, it pressured the Oilers brass to keep him on the team regardless.....

....not to mention he is NHL ready in his competition level and drive, and has nothing left to prove or accomplish in junior. What? Will he want to go back for a 3rd Memorial Cup, MVP and so he can score 130 points instead of 106?

And Pääjärvi is very ready for the NHL.

It is unfortunate that all 3 contracts will be up at the same time, but who knows what the league will look like at that time, as BarryS says. Will we need to pay Penner or Khabby 5 mil if the Regulators (Young Guns) are scoring at the clip they are expected to?

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#91 Wäx Män Riley
September 28 2010, 06:08PM
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PS. I know Khabby won't be back, but just making a point that there is money tied up right now, and by then we hopefully will have to redistribute that money to keep the 3 or 4 kids. I say hopefully because if we have to pay them more, they have done well.

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#92 Racki
September 28 2010, 06:15PM
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*Slow clap for the Final Word section*

I did a write up on my blog on the 1st overall picks, who was successful going into the NHL right away... who was held back a year. Actually, that's partly true. One of the other writers on my blog who is for sending these guys down did the research in hopes it would prove a point for sending them down, and it didn't.

Really, I say let them play. Especially Paajarvi. He is the most physically developed of the 3, and has been playing against other men for a few years now. He even seems to be well ahead of Hemsky's development curve (at the same age). To send him down to the AHL doesn't really make sense. Yes, it is nice to save a year of ELC, but I don't think it's doing anything other than delaying the cup parade (kidding on that part).

Of course if this team has a blowout of injuries again, and we miss the playoffs, we'll be sure to hear about it from those that say Hall should have gone back as though that was the root cause of the problem.

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#93 David S
September 28 2010, 06:16PM
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Hey Jason - I caught the last few minutes of your show today just as you were mentioning Zack called in unscheduled. I love his phone calls. What hour did his call come in?

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#94 Marco
September 28 2010, 06:24PM
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Hey hey, ho ho, Jason Strudwick has got to go!

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#95 dawgbone
September 28 2010, 06:33PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Did Patrick Kane coming in as an 18 year old and Toews as a 19 year-old, and have them miss the playoff hurt the Hawks? Or did it help those two become dominant stars two years later??

How can you say that in three years this team should be able to compete for the cup? Based on what? What other parts do they have to make you believe that is realistic?

It's hurting the Hawks right now. Imagine the roster they could ice this season if Kane and Toews were still on their ELC's.

And are you suggesting they wouldn't have been dominant stars last year with an additional year before they hit the NHL? Is there any evidence that suggests this? Again, there's the whole 2003 draft class that suggests it's not a bad developmental move.

As for your second part, I can say it because they've got (or allegedly have) a fantastic crop of young players, who should be able to provide some fantastic value if utilized correctly.

As for it being realistic, that all depends on what the team does between now and then. If they aren't planning that far ahead they are going to miss out. I'm suggesting they should be looking at this like an opportunity to compete for a cup in 3 years time. They should be planning on competing for the cup at that point in time. That means doing things like not letting players burn ELC's and looking to make moves that will allow the team to add the players they need over the next couple of years.

There is no reason why a team in a cap environment can turn their franchise around in 3 years, especially with the crop of young talent the Oilers have. If they take the approach you are suggesting, they are going to miss out because they aren't going to be able to afford everyone. By the time they get 25+ minuter per night defenceman they'll have a bunch of these kids making $5+mil. If that happens they are less likely to be able to afford the depth required to win the cup. The same depth Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Anaheim and Carolina had and subsequently lost.

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#96 dawgbone
September 28 2010, 06:38PM
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rookie wrote:

but what good does it do sending hall to junior? He can't get better against the same guys/boys he has been going up against. did your teachers hold you back in class because you didn't need to be in the next grade yet?? no! you go to the next level to get better, when you are ready. hall is ready!!!

Sure he can.

Were guys like Richards, Carter, Perry, Getzlaf, etc... not able to get better going up against the same guys/boys they had already been facing?

Your school analogy is utterly ridiculous. Not only is there absolutely no relation, but in school you stay with the same peers which you just argued against. The equivilant would be jumping to University from Grade 10.

And what on earth makes you think Hall is ready!!!! ? Ready for what? Ready to be a difference maker in the NHL this year? I doubt it.

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#97 erixon
September 28 2010, 06:50PM
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Gregor,

The Wings actually did have a lot of players back before they were good, that started at young ages. For instance, that core group of players, who got them to the cup all those years, and allowed them to slowly develop prospects, all started at very young ages. Take a look at some of them:

Steve Yzerman - Straight from Junior Hockey, to the Detroit Red Wings the same year he was drafted. Sergei Federov - 20 years old, from Russia straight to the NHL Brendan Shanahan - jumped to the NHL in his draft year out of junior, no it wasn't with the Wings, but the fact remains it didn't ever hurt his development (Oh, and it just so happens that team he played for when he was 18, is the other team in questions the DEVILS). Vyachaslav Kozlov - brief one year stay in the AHL, and was an NHL regular with the Wings at 21. Niklaus Lidstrom - Straight from the SEL to the NHL at 21 (and that is even a D-man) Chris Chelios - Straight from NCAA to the NHL Larry Murphy - Straight from Junior to the NHL in his draft year.

While all these players didn't start necessarily with the Wings, they all started their careers mainly out of Junior or European leagues. The ones that the Wings did draft, were started at the same age as the kids in Edmonton. When the Wings were faced in a similar situation as the Oilers, they basically did the exact same thing, all this extra development stuff is garbage. Totally different circumstances.

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#98 PaperDesigner
September 28 2010, 07:07PM
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@dawgbone

Do you honestly think that Stamkos would have been challenging for the Richard trophy as a rookie at 19?

If you do, then I don't think your version of reality is reconcilable with mine. Pro experience was critical, IMO, to Stamkos' success this year.

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#99 jr_christ
September 28 2010, 07:13PM
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I'm sorry but that article is comparing oranges to apples. His comments make sense for a hockey team which has been situated to make the play offs 8 out of 10 times in a decade. These teams are not in a situation where they've missed the play offs 4 straights years in a City which ONLY has hockey in their minds.

The economics of his agruement does NOT reflect the real business model of a bottm team which is dependant upon selling out games to continue to success.

Let me ask the writer this question as a professional accountant:

What is worse for the hockey club's finances?

(a) The City having to spend MORE money on 3 players in 3 years taking into account a potential 6% impact on nominal dollar value (which may be considered material based on the fact we are talking 6 figure salaries)?

OR

(b) Keeping your players in the minors while the team is TERRIBLE to watch creating a significant decreases in both television viewing AND attendance at arenas. Sportsnet is likely selling advertising space on the fact that they guarantee a certain number of viewers each game - and not being able to meet this quota begs to ask the question HOW this will impact future potential earnings from TV contracts. Further, ticket AND jersey sales reach a 10 year low. Lastly, after another dismal season some of our current talent (Penner, Gagner and Hemsky) MAY chose to fly south of the border and at least lose hockey games in plus 30 celcius weather.

Hmmm... I wonder which situation is economically worse for the City? This was one of the worse comparisons I've ever read based on the fact that opportunity cost of HIS proposal was not accurately accessed.

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#100 rookie
September 28 2010, 07:14PM
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@dawgbone

no analogy is pure but the school one still works because the peers you move up with are also ready for that step. staying another year in junior, like repeating a grade, everyone one else is younger and you already have the upper hand on all of them, being that you have been their before.

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