Oilers Mid-Season Report Card

Lowetide
January 12 2011 05:04PM

This is Ryan Whitney. Despite injury, he is in fact the Oilers first-half MVP. The Oilers have copious hope hidden under a cloud of win-loss misery. The mid-season report card offers us wonderful clues about the future. Some are staying, others not so much.
 

In doing a report card, the traditional A+-F route always seemed a little too school for me. Instead, I'd like to place dollar values on each player. If we started a hockey Rotoleague today and placed the cap for a single player at $100, that would represent an A+. An F would be less than $10. The dollar value given to each player is based on their season only and not their long term value. Anyway, without further explanation (that's how I roll) here are the grades for the 10-11 Oilers.

TOP DRAWER

  • D Ryan Whitney $84. 35gp, 2-25-27 +13. Whitney is having an impact season on a last place team. It happens. According to Hockey-reference the Oilers are a -23 hockey team at this time. If the Oilers ran three pairings at equal minutes, that would mean the average Oiler blue has a -8 (or so) number. You know those Pierre Mcguire whammo monsters? Whitney's a 3-wood better than them. Exceptional season.
  • L Dustin Penner $75. 41gp, 12-15-27 -6. The big man continues to deliver offense no matter the linemates. Dustin Penner has a value contract at this time and some of us thought that was impossible the day Kevin Lowe signed him. The MacT rips are a distant bell, and most of us feel a sense of calm when we see #27 jump over the boards. A fine NHL  player.
  • R Ales Hemsky $75. 28gp, 9-15-24 +2. Hemsky would be in contention for the team MVP honors save for yet another injury. We are reaching a point now where there should be some concern about 83's ability to stay healthy for an entire season. Missing 13 games in a lost season is one thing, but if the Oilers can't rely on him then signing that long term (and expensive) contract has to give the management group some pause. I'd still attempt to sign him to a long term deal. He's a very valuable hockey player.
  • R Jordan Eberle $71. 37gp, 9-14-23 -4. Top Calder candidate from the Oilers, he was in a slump before the injury but remained a useful player. That's an impressive sign of maturity at such a young age. Coach Renney must love the guy, he learns quickly and makes excellent decisions on the ice (and not just for a rookie, he makes the right play a lot. A LOT). If he gets anywhere near 50 points I think he'll be a strong contender to win the Calder. Wide, wide range of skills.

SOLID AS A ROCK 

  • C Sam Gagner $67. 41gp, 10-16-26 -6. Sam Gagner is a perfect example of that clock in every fan's head. When a player reaches the NHL (for our team or another) the clock starts ticking in terms of expectation. We "expect" a player to turn a corner after two or three years and when they don't we get impatient. Completely human thing to do. Sam Gagner is 4 months younger than Logan Couture, but our brains are set up to be impressed by Couture and bewildered by Gagner. Sam Gagner is progressing and he is going to be a very good NHL player (barring injury) for a long time. He is smaller (5.11, 191) than you'd like from your #1 center and he does get knocked off the puck too much. However, Sam Gagner can make things happen and is having a solid year. He's 21, folks. 21.
  • D Tom Gilbert $66. 41gp, 5-8-13 -12. If we use the median plus minus discussed in the Whitney paragraph then we can assume Gilbert is a little below average (-4 from the median). He's faced tough assignments (proof Qual comp via Desjardins here) and this blue is horribly overmatched every night. For those reasons and for his offense I rate him as the second best Oiler defenseman this season.
  • L Taylor Hall $65. 41gp, 12-11-23 -8. Watching him adjust to the giant leap that is the NHL has been a pleasure. Last night, another NHL goalie was exposed to the rocket that is his wrist shot and all over the league there's a growing scouting report on covering #4. He's getting muscled out of plays along the wall and taking more than his share of crosschecks. That's a tell, folks. He's on the radar, game 40.
  • C Shawn Horcoff $62. 24gp, 7-8-15 +4. Horcoff would be a team MVP candidate if he'd remained healthy. As it happened he missed almost half of the opening schedule (17 games) in what has to be something of a surprise. Horcoff has been extremely healthy since the lockout ended, playing in 90% of his team's game since the lockout (heading into this season). His value is proven every night #10 is out of the lineup, as the enormous hole at center is the talk of the town at this time.
  • G Devan Dubnyk $57. 13gp, 2.78 .918. Dubnyk has been so impressive the entire OilersNation is wondering why he doesn't play more. Dubnyk's SP would rank him well inside the league's top 20 if he'd played enough to qualify. As it is, his .918SP ranks 3rd among rookies who have played 10 or more games. He might be that elusive first round goalie selection who ends up being a quality starter.
  • L Ryan Jones $55 41gp, 10-3-13 -5. Jones was basically the replacement for Curtis Glencross on the Oiler roster. His is a terrific value contract. Those 10 goals are all at even-strength (he leads the team, one in front of Hall) and the guy looks dangerous no matter who he is playing with every night. We have to come to grips with something here: hockey players--when they're 26 years old--have no extra gear and their development time is done. So, in order for Jones to be a true 20-goal man, we have to establish this was his level of ability and that the problem had more to do with opportunity. There is evidence that he could score goals (60 in his final 84 NCAA games) and he ripped through the AHL (13 goals in 25 games) before making an NHL appearance. Ryan Jones might be an actual NHL player. I think he's worth another contract.
  • D Theo Peckham $51. 38gp, 2-5-7 -4. A large number of Oiler employees should take credit for Theo Peckham's development into a most useful player, and a legion of hockey people who helped before his draft day. Peckham himself has worked long and hard to become the player he is today. Along with those three gifted forwards--and with Omark and others on the way--this season is also about a rugged blueliner who takes no prisoners and makes the simple play. The Oilers could use another, and another after that.

ALL'S FINE STILL

 

  • W Magnus Pääjärvi  $45. 39gp, 4-10-14 E. The fact that Hall and Eberle are having top drawer rookie seasons somewhat hinders our view of Pääjärvi. Seen through the eyes of the trio, the young Swede may appear to be behind the curve. I'd argue it's more like caught in the middle. I think we get a better view about the three prospects when looking at their 5x5/points-per-60 minutes (Eberle 1.77; Hall 1.56; MP 1.34). He's shown flashes of brilliance and an idea about how to play without the puck and should be considered a major part of the future. His dollar value is low because 14 points isn't a lot of offense for 10 hours of NHL play. It should not be construed as a comment on his potential.
  • D Jim Vandermeer $40. 26gp, 1-4-5 +1. Started very poorly but picked up his game and had a strong run before getting injured. A player like Jim Vandermeer has value to NHL teams because they can help break in the kids and offer some insurance for the coach every shift. I very much doubt Vandermeer will be an Oiler after the deadline and despite the injury and poor start I suspect Edmonton fans will be happy with the return.
  • C Andrew Cogliano $35. 41gp, 4-9-13 -12. Andrew Cogliano turned pro in fall 2007; Tom Renney is his third NHL coach. It might be a blessing for the young speedster as the new coach seems to have found something in Cogliano that the others (certainly Quinn) missed. Cogliano is averaging 2 minutes a night on the PK for the first time in his career. His offense (or lack of, 1.23 5x5/60) is going to get him traded but Cogliano is a guy who is going to get chances with other teams.

NOT HAPPY NOW

  • D Ladislav Smid $20 35gp, 0-5-5 -10. Facing mid-level competition and the same calibre teammates, Smid's relCorsi/Competition numbers ranks 4/6 among the regulars (the original 7 minus Strudwick). He does not impact the game offensively and is becoming an increasing concern in terms of injury. I don't know where the Oilers go from here with regard to Smid. He's certainly young enough to have an NHL career.
  • R Gilbert Brule $10. 34gp, 6-2-8 -7. The first goal of this Oiler season belonged to Gilbert Brule. Since then, it's been a difficult time for the young man (he's still only 24). Brule has a terrific one-timer and a heavy shot, plus he plays a physical game (74 hits on the season). The difficulty comes with all of the other aspects of the game. Brule is on his second organization and unless he can rip off a hot streak (Brule is injured currently) he might be on team number three next fall.
  • R Zack Stortini $10. 27gp, 0-3-3 -3. One thing I'll remember from this season: the look on Zack's face opening night as he was introduced with the other healthy scratches. Stortini is in fact better than some of the other forwards, but you can't impact the game from the pressbox. I don't think he'll be back a year from now.

FAIL

  • D Kurtis Foster $9. 39gp, 3-8-11 -8. So far, the Kurtis Foster bet is a bad one. He is not alone, but he has been a severe disappointment at a position of great need for the Oilers. Foster signed a two-year deal and the hope for both sides was for him to emerge as a solid top 4 option. The most damning thing I can say about Kurtis Foster is that his coach considers him the least trustworthy EV defender on the roster (save Taylor Chorney was has played in one game).
  • C Colin Fraser $9. 41gp, 2-1-3 -2. speeds has mentioned a few times that he thought the Fraser signing was a good bet and I agree with that point. Fraser did play 4line minutes with Chicago a year ago and is young enough to move up the depth chart. It should have been a good match but it wasn't, owing to all kinds of issues (including performance, teammates, etc). Fraser has an entire half season to improve and his most important areas of focus should be PK and the FO circle. He gets a failing mark at this time.
  • L JF Jacques $5. 19gp, 2-0-2 -1. There was a time when I thought the big Coke Machine would have a career but he doesn't have enough skill at this point in time to be a factor. All those back problems have made Jacques a one dimensional (stick optional) player and unless he's still recovering from the back then he's unlikely to have a career in the NHL.
  • R Steve MacIntyre $4. 11gp, 0-1-1 E. It's tough to pick on a guy who plays 4 minutes a game but MacIntyre is not an NHL player. He is more than qualified for the role he's been given and I'll leave it there.
  • D Jason Strudwick $4. 20gp, 0-0-0 -8. It's been a helluva run for Strudwick. Many players with greater natural talent have been left behind over the years and he's carved out a niche for himself in the big leagues. Another lost step suggests he's near the end, and a plethora of HS's with so many rookies is an overwhelming tell.
  • G Nikolai Khabibulin $1. 28gp, 3.47 .894. A poor first half combined with injury makes NK a shaky bet moving forward. Among NHL regulars, he ranks 40th of 46 NHL goalies in SP. I know the contract rolls on, but he looks done based on performance.

JURY IS STILL OUT, BUT WE'RE HOPEFUL

  • L Linus Omark Incomplete. 12gp, 1-5-6 -3. Showed outstanding skill and worked hard. I hope he gets all 41 games in the second half to show what he can do at the NHL level..
  • C Ryan O'Marra Incomplete. 9gp, 1-2-3 E. Had a solid 9 games in the NHL in this season's first half. I remain doubtful that he can put up enough offense to play in the top 9F of a successful team, but he showed some things while with the big club.
  • L Liam Reddox Incomplete. 4gp, 0-2-2 -1. The biggest tell so far is that the coach is already using him for 2.5 minutes a night on the PK. He's averaging a couple of shifts a game and doing what he always does: forecheck like a demon and play balls out.
  • D Jeff Petry Incomplete 6gp, 0-1-1 -1. Big defender with size and wheels? Yes, please. Petry has impressed in his first look-see and I don't know that the organization can afford to send him back to the AHL. Defensemen ALWAYS get sent back, so that's an early tell if he remains with the big club.
  • D Shawn Belle Incomplete. 5gp, 0-0-0 -2. Belle played well during his time with the Oilers but struggled in his final game before being sent down. That may mean we don't see him again this season.
  • G Martin Gerber Incomplete 2gp, 1.50 .950. Lordy he played well (winning twice) while with the Oilers. He's earned another shot although it may not come.
  • D Taylor Chorney Incomplete. 1gp, 0-0-0 -1. Credit to him, he played well enough in the AHL to earn a callup to the show. Seemed to have more jam along the boards and in front of the net and can move the puck well.

 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 Archaeologuy
January 12 2011, 07:03PM
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I give Kurtis Foster a complete season to get his head right. A complete season. My daughter was born just a couple weeks after the Fosters had their family tragedy. Honestly, if the roles were reversed I probably wouldnt be able to get out of bed every day. He has a free pass for me.

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#2 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 13 2011, 09:04AM
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Anyone else seen enough of the "penis riding" comments on this site?

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#3 Ender
January 13 2011, 09:39AM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

Kip, the spelling, the attachment to disturbing or offensive imagery, the deliberate choice of provocative names and avatars, the attacks on other commentators . . .

Never mind who you're offending, Kip; the biggest person losing out here is you. When you say and do these things, it destroys any credibility your insight and comments might actually have. You can have five really good thoughts in a comment but people will ignore every one of them if you come across as a classless buffoon in your opening statement. If you want people to listen to you, try getting them to respect you first. It's fine to have people on here who disagree with us all the time, but it does no good at all to give any of them the impression that one is a time-wasting and offensive troll.

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#4 KenMcC
January 13 2011, 10:20AM
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Hi Wanye, Jonathan, Lowetide, Robin, or Jason:

Please consider banning HBMW and any others who show blatant disrespect of the purpose of the Oiler's Nation blog.

I recognize that I can simply ignore the posts, but I wish I didn't have to. I used to read nearly every post on most articles, because I was either educated or entertained, but that is not the case today. Last week was bad, too.

It's one thing to say "The ref f##$@ked us over." or "We played like sh(*^)tholes". It's quite another to infer that me or any other reader is a PR because we like how No. 10 is playing this year.

What are your thoughts? Please note that I said "consider". There are many great things about this blog. You will not lose me as a customer.

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#5 Ender
January 12 2011, 05:06PM
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~What? No one has commented on what a waste of skin Horcoff is yet?~

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#6 Woodguy
January 12 2011, 07:11PM
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So lets have a look at the players who failed:

Foster

Fraser

JFJ

Smac

Struds

All of the above were Free Agents given contracts last summer by Tambellini.

Fraser was a RFA when his rights were traded to EDM, JFJ was RFA, the rest UFA's. Oilers walked from some RFA's last year so offering a RFA a contract is not a given.

The other:

Khabby

Was given a ridiculously long contract over 35 years old (read:millstone) by Tambellini

That contract looked bad last year, terrible this year and one only wonders what kind of superlatives we'll have to come up with to describe it in the next two years.

Tambellini's worth: $4.50

Fail.

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#7 David S
January 12 2011, 07:30PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I don't hand'em out all willy nilly like some do, i'll giive you a B+ for your efforts sir. Not as sold on Gagner as yourself, i could be wrong, but that's not likely.

I don't post all willy nilly like some do, but I'll give you D- for your comment sir. Unlike yourself I'm very sold on Lowetide, as are the people who frequent his site, to the tune of 60,000+ page views per week. He could be wrong, but that's not very often.

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#8 Ender
January 13 2011, 09:13AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Yes, I have. Let me be the FIST one to prop your comment. I think we should give that guy an IP ban for not being a "penis rider". How dare he have an opinion?.!.. Us followers need to stick together and prop each other to be right. Enough is enough. I dont think it fair to leave OB1 hanging here, help him out brothers.

I don't know what's more sad, Kip; the fact that you seem incapable of having a thought without the word 'penis' attached to it, or that's it's such an obvious problem that we know who you are even when you change your name and avatar.

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#9 Jamie B.
January 13 2011, 02:36PM
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"Sam Gagner is 4 months younger than Logan Couture, but our brains are set up to be impressed by Couture and bewildered by Gagner."

I feel like every Oilers fan should print that out and tape it to their TVs and computer screens.

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#10 Quicksilver ballet
January 13 2011, 03:28PM
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Jamie B. wrote:

"Sam Gagner is 4 months younger than Logan Couture, but our brains are set up to be impressed by Couture and bewildered by Gagner."

I feel like every Oilers fan should print that out and tape it to their TVs and computer screens.

And Logan Couture will score more goals in his rookie season than Sam has scored in his first 3 yrs combined. They both play center but that's where the comparisons end.

....just sayin.

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#11 jake
January 12 2011, 10:05PM
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Lowetide, can I use Canadian Tire or Monopoly money to rate some players? Oh nevermind, O'Sullivan is gone. :)

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#12 magisterrex
January 13 2011, 05:38AM
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I'm not a rabid anti-Khabi fan, but watching Roli shut out the Capitals TWICE in a week really irritates me.

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#13 Dyckster
January 13 2011, 09:19AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Yes, I have. Let me be the FIST one to prop your comment. I think we should give that guy an IP ban for not being a "penis rider". How dare he have an opinion?.!.. Us followers need to stick together and prop each other to be right. Enough is enough. I dont think it fair to leave OB1 hanging here, help him out brothers.

Healthy FACT BASED debate is the cornerstone of this site. You are certainly allowed an opinion, you'll likely gain more traction by leaving the MVPR stuff out of your comments.

As far as Horcoff is concerned, Hall's production has dipped somewhat since 10 got injured, that in itself makes him valuable. Add that to the fact he was +4 on a team that's collectively in the -20 range makes him a strong, albeit early MVP candidate. IMO

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#14 Quicksilver ballet
January 13 2011, 10:02AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

Every time I do make a post that disagrees with the author or goes against the grain, I am attacked for being me or for making a spelling mistake. Most of the time it is the same few people. I am simply stating my opinion and asking questions. I never disrepect anyone personally, but often the people that come at me do so without me even saying anything to them or about them.

It's mob rules here HBMW, the regulars here will swarm you like a pack of wild dogs and beat you down if they don't agree with what you say. Choosing to take the path with the most resistance is admirable. This place needs more lone wolves and less sheep.

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#15 Milli
January 13 2011, 10:49AM
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And I sure hope someday soon we can quit trashing Horc and Gagner, because anyone watching this season can see the value they bring.

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#16 Steve Smith
January 12 2011, 08:22PM
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I hope steve tambellini isn't around when this team starts winning.

I think that's a safe bet.

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#18 Steve Smith
January 12 2011, 09:08PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Once you're admitted to the second circle, they teach you to spell "disciple".

They don't cover the meaning of that squiggly red line under words you type until you're an exalted knight, though.

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#19 pelhem grenville
January 13 2011, 06:30AM
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magisterrex wrote:

I'm not a rabid anti-Khabi fan, but watching Roli shut out the Capitals TWICE in a week really irritates me.

being a huge Rolison fan...i second that irritation...we got nothing for him and that's a crying shame cuz he coulda still been here being Roli The Goalie...wtf

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#20 Aleslav Smidsky
January 13 2011, 08:44AM
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I am glad ST is the GM, and not this Lowetide.

Sam Gagner is your first solid rock? Really? GTFOOH! Gagner is a good side-kick at best. He does nothing on his own. He has no special attributes. His points much like Horcoffs are due to his line-mates success and abilities. Only thing I expect from Gagner is a good return in a trade. I'll give you that he is 21, because he is 21. I would like your "expert" opinion as to in what areas Gagner is and has been progressing because I dont see progression when I look at Gagner.

Horcoff would have been the MVP? MVP? Extremely healthy since the lock-out? I though he had such shi!tty numbers last year due to his injured shoulder, no? What is this enourmous hole you speak of? "leadership for the kids"?

I dont think you thought this through much before you put it together, so I dont care to go much more into it. This has nothing to do with rating, and more to do on how much you like certain players. For $67 I can get a 0.63 PPG player or I can spend a extra $8 dollars and get a 0.85 PPG.

How do Paajarvi and Gagner compare if you are looking at their 5x5/points-per-60 minutes?

$35 for Cogliano and $10 for Brule? C'Mon Man.!..

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#21 Dyckster
January 13 2011, 09:07AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I am glad ST is the GM, and not this Lowetide.

Sam Gagner is your first solid rock? Really? GTFOOH! Gagner is a good side-kick at best. He does nothing on his own. He has no special attributes. His points much like Horcoffs are due to his line-mates success and abilities. Only thing I expect from Gagner is a good return in a trade. I'll give you that he is 21, because he is 21. I would like your "expert" opinion as to in what areas Gagner is and has been progressing because I dont see progression when I look at Gagner.

Horcoff would have been the MVP? MVP? Extremely healthy since the lock-out? I though he had such shi!tty numbers last year due to his injured shoulder, no? What is this enourmous hole you speak of? "leadership for the kids"?

I dont think you thought this through much before you put it together, so I dont care to go much more into it. This has nothing to do with rating, and more to do on how much you like certain players. For $67 I can get a 0.63 PPG player or I can spend a extra $8 dollars and get a 0.85 PPG.

How do Paajarvi and Gagner compare if you are looking at their 5x5/points-per-60 minutes?

$35 for Cogliano and $10 for Brule? C'Mon Man.!..

Troll alert.

Somebody actually propped this comment?

"I dont think you thought this through much before you put it together, so I dont care to go much more into it"

Ditto to your factual based, intellegent commentary....

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#22 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 13 2011, 09:19AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I am glad ST is the GM, and not this Lowetide.

Sam Gagner is your first solid rock? Really? GTFOOH! Gagner is a good side-kick at best. He does nothing on his own. He has no special attributes. His points much like Horcoffs are due to his line-mates success and abilities. Only thing I expect from Gagner is a good return in a trade. I'll give you that he is 21, because he is 21. I would like your "expert" opinion as to in what areas Gagner is and has been progressing because I dont see progression when I look at Gagner.

Horcoff would have been the MVP? MVP? Extremely healthy since the lock-out? I though he had such shi!tty numbers last year due to his injured shoulder, no? What is this enourmous hole you speak of? "leadership for the kids"?

I dont think you thought this through much before you put it together, so I dont care to go much more into it. This has nothing to do with rating, and more to do on how much you like certain players. For $67 I can get a 0.63 PPG player or I can spend a extra $8 dollars and get a 0.85 PPG.

How do Paajarvi and Gagner compare if you are looking at their 5x5/points-per-60 minutes?

$35 for Cogliano and $10 for Brule? C'Mon Man.!..

Also, Gagner is a top flight passer. Considering we have one for sure, and maybe even 3 good to great goal scorers making headway, a top end passer is probably something we're going to want in the top 6.

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#23 The Othe John
January 13 2011, 10:29AM
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Ryan

That is not factually accurate. Belle had a great start to the year in the AHL. There was no suggestion by anyone in MSM, radio, tv, net that Petry was carrying Belle. Since being sent down after 4 games here Belle did not score much. With Petry. They have very similar numbers both at AHL and in NHL and one is the apple of the organization's eye for D men. The other appears done and that seems shortsighted

That is illogical unless the difference in age accounts for it.

And Foster, Strudwick and JVDM have also made numerous STUPID plays and are still here

It is the after the fact rationalization by management that drives me nuts. A la Khabby was our MVP till he was injured last year. Not true either but repeated often enough by the organization often enuf that it takes on a life of it's own

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#24 Crackenbury
January 13 2011, 11:24AM
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Agree with most of the ratings. Can't understand the $1 Khabibulin rating. There was a pretty good stretch when he was the best player on the ice most nights. Rating guys like JFJ and Mac ahead of him seems more like a personal vendetta than a realistic view of team contribution.

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#25 Chris.
January 13 2011, 11:26AM
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I want to see Alex Plante. I know he has had a tough year in OKC... but some players inexplicably seem to perform better at the NHL level. (ie Peckham) Last season Plante was a minus machine in Springfield but was called up anyway and showed well in Edmonton. We are all so busy geeking out about Maricin we sometimes forget that there is a 15th overall pick with size and aggression available with just one phone call.

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#26 Alex Hemsky
January 13 2011, 04:48PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

And Logan Couture will score more goals in his rookie season than Sam has scored in his first 3 yrs combined. They both play center but that's where the comparisons end.

....just sayin.

Gagner scored 44 goals in his first 3 seasons. Couture is on pace for 35 goals this season.

Gagner put up 49 points in his rookie year. Couture is on pace for 51.

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#27 Oilcruzer
January 13 2011, 05:24PM
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Plz don't feed the trolls - don't respond to this post either because then we are still talking or feeding the troll.

Choose to Ignore - their heads will explode.

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#28 David S
January 12 2011, 05:13PM
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Ender wrote:

~What? No one has commented on what a waste of skin Horcoff is yet?~

My over/under is 8 comments.

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#29 Big Perm
January 12 2011, 05:13PM
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Good call going with dollar values and not the Mickey Mouse school-grade system, LT.

I think Foster should be about 6 bucks.

Big Mac and Struds at a buck with Khabby.

Also would like to see my Buddy Teddy Peckman a little richer, but overall nice ratings.

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#30 Ender
January 12 2011, 05:24PM
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I can get onside with all of the ratings except Magnus PI. He needs a few more dollars in his pocket. While I don't think I'd claim that he's every bit as good as the other two rooks to this point, I would argue that his linemates have not exactly helped him to the same level as those other two through his 10 hours of TOI either. Coaching decisions play a factor in this grade. If I was forced to shed one of either Jones or Pääjärvi, I don't think the gap is quite as big as this report card might indicate.

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#31 Quicksilver ballet
January 12 2011, 05:27PM
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I don't hand'em out all willy nilly like some do, i'll giive you a B+ for your efforts sir. Not as sold on Gagner as yourself, i could be wrong, but that's not likely.

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#32 Horcsky
January 12 2011, 05:28PM
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Not bad LT, not bad. Disagree on Khabby though. He's had enough good nights to be more valuable than Jacques, Big Mac, Fraser, Foster, Struds, and Brule IMO.

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#33 Buchie's Heroes
January 12 2011, 05:37PM
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Great analysis LT. I would give Peckham and Hall 10 more bucks each and maybe take a fiver or two away from Smid and Brule; but, overall, I think you nailed it, no need to split hairs. I gotta ask: Why at 8-18-2, 3.47 and .894 is Khabby being sent out every night? I mean, I kind of understand getting the nod for the Canucks game (you know, the whole Division game thing) but the Stars game? No way. His angles look way off, his rebound control nil, his footwork a tad slow, and he's not the Remax Outstanding player anymore (Thank you Jonesy). I'm not even sure he's worth the buck you gave him!

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#34 Bucknuck
January 12 2011, 05:59PM
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I don't think I can argue with your gradings much. I am not as worried about Smid as you seem to be. Smid isn't a top four guy, but that doesn't make him a bad player to keep on hand. He big, tough to play against, a good skater, and has hands of stone. Plus he's missing teeth. You have to like that.

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#35 Karl Hungus
January 12 2011, 06:00PM
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Maybe its just me, but it seems like for the last 20 games or so gagner has been winning more battles for the puck. Good sign.

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#36 Bucknuck
January 12 2011, 06:23PM
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Karl Hungus wrote:

Maybe its just me, but it seems like for the last 20 games or so gagner has been winning more battles for the puck. Good sign.

I agree with that. He seems to be learning a few tricks... and perhaps is getting more man-sized musculature..

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#37 LoDog
January 12 2011, 06:29PM
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Gerber/Dubnyk = a hell of lot closer to that playoff spot Renney dreams of.

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#38 Maggie the Monkey
January 12 2011, 06:29PM
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Two things:

1) What's not happy about Frank Zappa? That's dirty love.

2) The jury came back about ten years ago: Jennifer Aniston's career is in terminal decline, and she probably shouldn't have had one to begin with.

(Perhaps needless to say I don't get some of the visual references...)

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#39 russ99
January 12 2011, 06:49PM
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Good article.

I was kind of hoping you'd use $1.98 for Khaby, like in that old Rip Taylor $1.98 Beauty Show...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S85KxsmxLBI

Also, I'm going to rein in the Gilbert ripping for now, he's done much better with a huge workload with Whitney out.

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#40 Horcsky
January 12 2011, 07:38PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I give Kurtis Foster a complete season to get his head right. A complete season. My daughter was born just a couple weeks after the Fosters had their family tragedy. Honestly, if the roles were reversed I probably wouldnt be able to get out of bed every day. He has a free pass for me.

Well said, I'm willing to wait on Foster too.

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#41 magisterrex
January 12 2011, 07:46PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I give Kurtis Foster a complete season to get his head right. A complete season. My daughter was born just a couple weeks after the Fosters had their family tragedy. Honestly, if the roles were reversed I probably wouldnt be able to get out of bed every day. He has a free pass for me.

From me, too.

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#42 jarihung
January 12 2011, 07:50PM
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I hope steve tambellini isn't around when this team starts winning. He signed 2 bad contracts in souray and khabibulin. I am still curious as to how much pull kevin lowe still has with the GM. Tambellini had a trade and kevin lowe shot him down in the "oil change" episode I watched.Anyway Sourays contract will be gone next year and then we'll be worrying about khabibulin. Don't forget he still has to serve time in jail. I hope they don't over pay jones he will be brule 2.0 next year.

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#43 Byron
January 12 2011, 08:24PM
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Do you think its possible that Khabibulin will be traded, and we go with a Dubnyk/Gerber tandem?

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#45 Wes Mantooth
January 12 2011, 08:41PM
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Whitney: fine half a season, but half a season does not make a season, I have serious reservations about this guy, has he played a full season in the last couple of years? His ankles are a major concern for me-Re: Peter Forsburg. How does a guy get ranked so high when he has not completed a full season, I dont know but 84 is pretty high. If it were me I'd rank these all by half if 100 is a complete season.

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#46 Quicksilver ballet
January 12 2011, 08:52PM
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David S wrote:

I don't post all willy nilly like some do, but I'll give you D- for your comment sir. Unlike yourself I'm very sold on Lowetide, as are the people who frequent his site, to the tune of 60,000+ page views per week. He could be wrong, but that's not very often.

What's wrong with a B+, it wasn't an insult to LT's efforts. I just didn't agree with his assessment on Gagner. I appologize David, i wasn't aware we were all to conform like sheep here on ON.

Are there any tangible benifits for being one of Alan Mitchells desciples David S?

How passionate about your comment are you there David, are there grounds for me to refer to you as He Hate Me from now on, eh, fellow Oiler fan..... spinoff suggestion to what David mentioned about posting, we really should have a post counter here on ON, inquiring minds may want to know who has the largest posts totals.

kiss kiss hug, kiss hug hug kiss, hug, kiss kiss hug lol.

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#47 Quicksilver ballet
January 12 2011, 09:15PM
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Lowetide wrote:

You also get a free car wash and a slurpee! Seriously. Slurpees all 'round!

Shoot, if i had known that Alan i would have conformed as well. Do you think if David gets a large he'll share it with me?

Sorry Mr. Smith, i wasn't finished editing that on my Commodore 64 yet.

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#49 Woodguy
January 12 2011, 09:29PM
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jarihung wrote:

I hope steve tambellini isn't around when this team starts winning. He signed 2 bad contracts in souray and khabibulin. I am still curious as to how much pull kevin lowe still has with the GM. Tambellini had a trade and kevin lowe shot him down in the "oil change" episode I watched.Anyway Sourays contract will be gone next year and then we'll be worrying about khabibulin. Don't forget he still has to serve time in jail. I hope they don't over pay jones he will be brule 2.0 next year.

Tambellini wasn't a part of the Oiler organization when they signed Souray.

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#50 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 12 2011, 09:48PM
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Woodguy wrote:

So lets have a look at the players who failed:

Foster

Fraser

JFJ

Smac

Struds

All of the above were Free Agents given contracts last summer by Tambellini.

Fraser was a RFA when his rights were traded to EDM, JFJ was RFA, the rest UFA's. Oilers walked from some RFA's last year so offering a RFA a contract is not a given.

The other:

Khabby

Was given a ridiculously long contract over 35 years old (read:millstone) by Tambellini

That contract looked bad last year, terrible this year and one only wonders what kind of superlatives we'll have to come up with to describe it in the next two years.

Tambellini's worth: $4.50

Fail.

Interesting, I was starting to warm up to Tambellini just a little... this drops him back to failure status.

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