DEEP THOUGHTS XXIII: A LONG WINTER

Robin Brownlee
January 17 2011 02:40PM

The only thing as brutal as the Edmonton Oilers power play lately has been the weather around here. The good news is it's supposed to stop snowing and warm up. As for the power play, not so much.

While the mercury is headed north in the next couple of days, the Oilers power play has gone south and stayed there over the past 11 games, a stretch of futility in which its gone zero-zippo-nada-no cigar in 38 straight attempts after an 0-for-5 hummer in a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center Sunday.

It's a headlong lurch into the tank that's coincided, not surprisingly, with the loss of defenceman Ryan Whitney, who tore up his right ankle against the Buffalo Sabres back on Dec. 28.

Toss in the ongoing ineffectiveness of Kurtis Foster and you get what we've got. The Oilers couldn't even get a sniff with a six-on-three against the Ducks late Sunday after they yanked Nikolai Khabibulin while already enjoying -- wrong word, probably -- a 5-on-3 advantage.

With Whitney likely done for the season -- the Oilers won't confirm it but my information is he's having, or has already had, surgery on his ankle in Charlotte today -- the outlook isn't going to improve anytime soon.

After this 11-game toot into the porcelain, Edmonton's power play has sunk to 29th in the NHL, book-ending nicely with the penalty killing, which is 30th.

THE WAY I SEE IT

-- The Oilers will likely make an announcement about Whitney's surgery after tomorrow's morning skate in preparation for tomorrow night's game with the Minnesota Wild.

Like I said, the Oilers wouldn't confirm anything about surgery, but it makes absolutely no sense to have Whitney fly all the way to Charlotte to see the specialist-surgeon who has already worked on him, ship him home and then send him back to go under the knife.

-- The Oilers would be in bigger trouble than they're in now on the back end if rookie Jeff Petry hadn't stepped in as impressively as he has since getting the call from Oklahoma City Dec. 27.

Petry, 23, played 23:25 against the Ducks and looked as solid as the Canadian dollar. Before Whitney was injured, he had a lot of good things to say about the kid, and we're seeing some of those attributes now. Too bad for the Oilers we won't see them together, at least not for the balance of this season.

-- Speculation is Shawn Horcoff is just about ready to go after sitting out 17 games with a sprained MCL in his right knee. He is close and will skate again tomorrow, but my information is Horcoff hasn't been medically cleared to play and likely won't be ready against Minnesota. Best bet is Thursday against Dallas.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

-- With Horcoff and Jordan Eberle due back this week, the Oilers need to make a decision up front. If the Oilers look at sending Linus Omark back to OKC instead of making a call between J.F. Jacques and Zack Stortini, they're making a mistake.

I don't know why, exactly, coach Tom Renney has lost confidence in Stortini, but if I had a vote, he'd be staying and Jacques would be on his way to the AHL. In any case, I want a longer look at Omark.

-- Magnus Paajarvi played his backside off against the Ducks in what was easily his best game with the Oilers. Sam Gagner also showed a pulse after a tough stretch and Omark was on the go all night. I don't know about the long-term viability of this trio as a line, but they likely bought another game together with Sunday's showing..

-- I'm underwhelmed with Ales Hemsky 10 games into his return from a tweaked groin in terms of his effect on the power play. He's been very good 5-on-5, but he hasn't been the catalyst I thought he would be with a man-advantage.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 Quicksilver ballet
January 17 2011, 07:07PM
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@David S

FA aquisition, since when has anyone suggested we go this route?

The draft....is our one constant hope.

Trade Hemsky, Penner or Gagner. If it involved a lottery pick or Brayden Schenn, these are the only available assets we have that are worth anything, if it netted us one or two of these they'd be gone.

I can see by your responses David that you're backed into a corner, be better next time.

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#52 Robin Brownlee
January 17 2011, 07:14PM
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@Mitch

I think Hamonic will develop into a solid, stay-at-home, second-pairing defenceman, so offering Gagner for him is an overpay.

Hamonic likely won't be a point-producer at this level, so you're looking at him in a slot that I think Peckham already has covered.

With Whitney, Gilbert, Peckham and Petry here for awhile and Marincin in the system and on the way -- that's leaving aside Smid, adding free agents and using a stop-gap like Belle when need be -- do you really want to give up a second-line centre to get Hamonic based on what he's shown in 23 NHL games? I don't.

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#53 David S
January 17 2011, 07:27PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

FA aquisition, since when has anyone suggested we go this route?

The draft....is our one constant hope.

Trade Hemsky, Penner or Gagner. If it involved a lottery pick or Brayden Schenn, these are the only available assets we have that are worth anything, if it netted us one or two of these they'd be gone.

I can see by your responses David that you're backed into a corner, be better next time.

The draft isn't the quick fix you're looking for. Maybe...MAYBE it works. We got lucky with Hall - a solid #1 BPA. Eberle, Omark and PRV were/are projects.

The draft isn't pegged to be as good as last year's (or so I hear). And even at that, you're still waiting a number of years for the great prospect to pan out.

The draft is also one of several tools at our disposal. I mean, nobody thinks we're going to draft our entire team, do they? C'mon man.

On top of which you want to ditch our developing/developed assets for yet another "maybe"? Really? At what point does this stop being a repetitive cycle of "development".

Hmmm...So you want results now, yet advocate using the draft as "our one constant hope" - knowing full well the odds are long drafts will pan out like Taylor Hall.

Looks like someone is backed into a corner.

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#54 Oilers4ever
January 17 2011, 07:41PM
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theoil wrote:

How is the coaching staff responsible for our 'quarterback' being completely ineffective on the power play... when was the last time the team had a power play that was better than 20th?? Was Hemsky even a part of it?? Yes the coaching staff is partly to blame for being so stubborn when it comes to the formation but man, what are you supposed to do if their best players are the problem???

What? You're gone... If you don't think the players I listed in a 6-3 are enough talent to score then this team will NEVER have enough talent. PERIOD. It's the strategy the coaches are using... there are teams with less talent than the Oil who have a higher rated powerplay. WHY? Because they shoot the f'in puck instead of looking for the pretty play all the time. You'd think there were six friggin ballerina's on the ice in tutu's trying to score in that 6-3. Drive the fricking puck at 95 miles an hour from the point. With a 6-3, at best, you have a 4-2 lookign for a rebound out front, and one of the two is the goalie. If you can't execute a 6-3 for 30 seconds (and the actually won the faceoff to boot), you don't deserve to be in the league.. not a coaching level, not at a playing level. PERIOD.

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#55 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 17 2011, 07:52PM
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Ender wrote:

8 months ago, Souray was a decent player who had a bad contract. After playing half-a-season in the AHL and not even being one of the best defencemen on his own team, much less in the league, now he's become a bad player.

He's not the same Souray we once knew. Age, injuries, loss of self confidence, bad bounces, whatever . . . the odds of him even tearing it up in the AHL next year are long. The odds of him ever being an impact player in the Show again . . . even longer.

You said:

"And if the Oilers take on another bad contract just to dump him, well, what's the point?"

And I'm saying who cares if the the guy (the hypothetical bad contract guy we are trading Souray for) has a bad contract (as long as it's short) Souray in the minors has no value to the Oilers NHL team, if we can parlay that into something that can play a competent role, bad contract or not, then the trade should be made.

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#56 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 17 2011, 07:57PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

FA aquisition, since when has anyone suggested we go this route?

The draft....is our one constant hope.

Trade Hemsky, Penner or Gagner. If it involved a lottery pick or Brayden Schenn, these are the only available assets we have that are worth anything, if it netted us one or two of these they'd be gone.

I can see by your responses David that you're backed into a corner, be better next time.

So we trade him for a Lotto pick, you either draft his clone in RNH or go with Couturier.

I don't really like those odds of improving on our situation (especially considering you want to give valuable assets over and above Gagner)

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#57 Quicksilver ballet
January 17 2011, 08:02PM
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David S wrote:

The draft isn't the quick fix you're looking for. Maybe...MAYBE it works. We got lucky with Hall - a solid #1 BPA. Eberle, Omark and PRV were/are projects.

The draft isn't pegged to be as good as last year's (or so I hear). And even at that, you're still waiting a number of years for the great prospect to pan out.

The draft is also one of several tools at our disposal. I mean, nobody thinks we're going to draft our entire team, do they? C'mon man.

On top of which you want to ditch our developing/developed assets for yet another "maybe"? Really? At what point does this stop being a repetitive cycle of "development".

Hmmm...So you want results now, yet advocate using the draft as "our one constant hope" - knowing full well the odds are long drafts will pan out like Taylor Hall.

Looks like someone is backed into a corner.

Like it or not the draft is the only "quick fix" here in Edmonton. Till things get turned around with an adequate nucleous we're on our own and this is the only (not several) tool we have at our disposal. Sure we may lure the odd boffo free agents such as Fraser,Foster or MacIntyre like we did last off season, maybe they ended up here because they had few/no other offers.

At what point do we stop the repetitive cycle of developement? As soon as we can continue to draft the likes of an Eberle or a Hall. These kids are already playing at a level that surpasses that of a Cogliano or a Gagner in only their first season.

As always, you draft for core players and trade/sign UFA's/ RFA's/FA's for deficiencies.

The chances of netting a Cogliano or a Gagner are greatly reduced the higher you select in the draft, all the more reasons to liquidate these near misses into another shot in that top five. Gagner at 6th has left us all wishing he was better.

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#58 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 17 2011, 08:22PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Like it or not the draft is the only "quick fix" here in Edmonton. Till things get turned around with an adequate nucleous we're on our own and this is the only (not several) tool we have at our disposal. Sure we may lure the odd boffo free agents such as Fraser,Foster or MacIntyre like we did last off season, maybe they ended up here because they had few/no other offers.

At what point do we stop the repetitive cycle of developement? As soon as we can continue to draft the likes of an Eberle or a Hall. These kids are already playing at a level that surpasses that of a Cogliano or a Gagner in only their first season.

As always, you draft for core players and trade/sign UFA's/ RFA's/FA's for deficiencies.

The chances of netting a Cogliano or a Gagner are greatly reduced the higher you select in the draft, all the more reasons to liquidate these near misses into another shot in that top five. Gagner at 6th has left us all wishing he was better.

I really wish you'd have a peak at the hits and misses in the 3, 4 and 5 slot so we can put this non-sense behind us.

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2005

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#59 David S
January 17 2011, 08:25PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Like it or not the draft is the only "quick fix" here in Edmonton. Till things get turned around with an adequate nucleous we're on our own and this is the only (not several) tool we have at our disposal. Sure we may lure the odd boffo free agents such as Fraser,Foster or MacIntyre like we did last off season, maybe they ended up here because they had few/no other offers.

At what point do we stop the repetitive cycle of developement? As soon as we can continue to draft the likes of an Eberle or a Hall. These kids are already playing at a level that surpasses that of a Cogliano or a Gagner in only their first season.

As always, you draft for core players and trade/sign UFA's/ RFA's/FA's for deficiencies.

The chances of netting a Cogliano or a Gagner are greatly reduced the higher you select in the draft, all the more reasons to liquidate these near misses into another shot in that top five. Gagner at 6th has left us all wishing he was better.

Wait. A play-making pass maestro who projects to score 50-60 points this year - at 21 - is a bust?

Just exactly how good does a 6th draft pick have to be to pass your acid test? You know we're not realistically going to have a team of Eberle (drafted #22 BTW) and Hall's, right?

An argument could be made that we already have a pretty decent nucleus. We add one more decent top niner and fill out the bottom with actual NHL'ers and this team competes for a playoff spot next year, which I believe is the one teaching tool we absolutely have to accomplish for this young group.

We're tanking this year, so we've probably got 5-6 players that wouldn't normally be on an NHL team that intends to compete. The task of filling in those holes isn't nearly as tough.

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#60 Quicksilver ballet
January 17 2011, 08:34PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I really wish you'd have a peak at the hits and misses in the 3, 4 and 5 slot so we can put this non-sense behind us.

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2005

Go ahead OB1, all the more reason to shoot for that1 or 2 spot....if you look in the rear view mirror i'm sure you could dress that list up so it looks real bad if you leave out the ones that made it. The ones coming down the chute this year are the only ones that matter.

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#61 Senator Theo
January 17 2011, 08:42PM
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David S wrote:

*I should be clear that this whole "Sam is our first-line C savior" thing is unlikely to happen. But writing him off because he isn't the hockey Jesus seems a bit harsh if you ask me. He's going to be a very good player, there's no debate. How far he goes is up to him, but I'm not prepared to write the kid off at this point in time. Nor would I trade a bird in the hand for two in the bush. That's idiot talk.

"Idiot talk" is right. The best is yet to come with Sam.

I don't know what kind of short-sighted buffoon would expect him to have hit his prime already at 21 - Lecavalier didn't become a PPG player until 26 (2006/2007)...should TB have given up and traded him for spare parts at 21?

I can't understand what people expect out of players this early in their career. He may never be a first line center and that's fine - we also need a gifted second line center.

*facepalm*

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#62 Mitch
January 17 2011, 09:05PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I think Hamonic will develop into a solid, stay-at-home, second-pairing defenceman, so offering Gagner for him is an overpay.

Hamonic likely won't be a point-producer at this level, so you're looking at him in a slot that I think Peckham already has covered.

With Whitney, Gilbert, Peckham and Petry here for awhile and Marincin in the system and on the way -- that's leaving aside Smid, adding free agents and using a stop-gap like Belle when need be -- do you really want to give up a second-line centre to get Hamonic based on what he's shown in 23 NHL games? I don't.

I think having another shutdown guy like Peckham along with what's coming and what is here isn't that bad of a idea, I realize that given only 23 games of experience can raise some red flags. I hate free agency, seems the only free agents that work are signed at leauge minimums. I'm just not sold on Gagner as a second line centre. I like the Hall experiment, Horcoff has bounced back and fits as a good second line centre. I wouldn't mind that depth on the defence, I would welcome it. There's many thoughts that must creep into Tambellini's head during the day, no question this team is in the best spot moving forward since 06.

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#63 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 17 2011, 09:36PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Go ahead OB1, all the more reason to shoot for that1 or 2 spot....if you look in the rear view mirror i'm sure you could dress that list up so it looks real bad if you leave out the ones that made it. The ones coming down the chute this year are the only ones that matter.

You can include the ones that did make it and it still doesn't look that great.

Sure the ones coming down the chute are the ones that matter, unfortunatly for you though they seem to be a weak group.

~Boy I'd love to trade Gagner and Penner for the next Cam Barker, Joni Pitkanen or Benoit Pouliot.~

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#64 OilBaron
January 17 2011, 09:56PM
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I've never understood this love affair with Zach Stortini. He can't play, can't fight, can't skate, has little offense and less defense. Sure, Jacques hasn't proven anything consistently, but he's also coming off of two major injuries. His upside is huge where Storini has peaked, the bloom is off the rose.

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#65 sledhed
January 17 2011, 10:03PM
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i don`t understand how a lot of you posters out there are ready to trade away the whole team, or at least a good portion of our lineup. RELAX!!! people, this rebuild will take at least THREE years, maybe more before this team will contend. and we will need these kids to do that! Gagner will be a great player, and he is just starting to realize how he needs to play.yes i agree our defense needs work, and we need to add grit to our 3rd/4th lines, but that will happen in the next couple seasons. then when this team starts to stay above the playoff cut line, the free agents will come, and then we will have something. so just suck it up, watch the average hockey right now and wait for ST to fill out this team. OILERS IN 2013!!!!

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#66 David S
January 17 2011, 10:28PM
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OilBaron wrote:

I've never understood this love affair with Zach Stortini. He can't play, can't fight, can't skate, has little offense and less defense. Sure, Jacques hasn't proven anything consistently, but he's also coming off of two major injuries. His upside is huge where Storini has peaked, the bloom is off the rose.

I'm sorry dude, but I can't resist.

What is this "upside" you speak of and why have we not seen it in any of the 1,295,582 chances he's had to date? By comparison of those chances, Robert Nilsson, POS and Joffery Lupul (combined) got screwed. And I liked Nilsson.

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#68 Wanyes bastard child
January 17 2011, 11:05PM
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@David S

I liked Nilsson too...

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#69 Wanyes bastard child
January 17 2011, 11:08PM
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@Robin Brownlee

"Aside from being a big guy who can skate, what has Jacques done that prompts you to speak of this "upside?" Do tell."

~Umm, Jacques is taller?~

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#70 They're $hittie
January 17 2011, 11:09PM
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David S wrote:

Wait. A play-making pass maestro who projects to score 50-60 points this year - at 21 - is a bust?

Just exactly how good does a 6th draft pick have to be to pass your acid test? You know we're not realistically going to have a team of Eberle (drafted #22 BTW) and Hall's, right?

An argument could be made that we already have a pretty decent nucleus. We add one more decent top niner and fill out the bottom with actual NHL'ers and this team competes for a playoff spot next year, which I believe is the one teaching tool we absolutely have to accomplish for this young group.

We're tanking this year, so we've probably got 5-6 players that wouldn't normally be on an NHL team that intends to compete. The task of filling in those holes isn't nearly as tough.

agreed,

gagner 18 years old 49 points on a team with no offence skill except hemsky

eberle 21 years old and only 6 months youger than gagner on pace (with full season) for 55 points the same as Gagner for the same age, and with a lot more talent to play with.

Considering that Sam was playing in a much harder league than jordan was for the last three years lets give him the benefit of the doubt.

Sedins did not hit 50 points until they were 24 or 25.

Why cant we just stop jumping on our draft picks and hope they can gel and develop together.

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#71 Travis Dakin
January 17 2011, 11:20PM
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First pick this year for a sign and trade of Weber!

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#72 Quicksilver ballet
January 17 2011, 11:43PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

You can include the ones that did make it and it still doesn't look that great.

Sure the ones coming down the chute are the ones that matter, unfortunatly for you though they seem to be a weak group.

~Boy I'd love to trade Gagner and Penner for the next Cam Barker, Joni Pitkanen or Benoit Pouliot.~

Good luck with those three for Penner and Gagner, give your head a shake.

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#73 Wanyes bastard child
January 17 2011, 11:59PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Good luck with those three for Penner and Gagner, give your head a shake.

You've been trolling ON for how long and you still don't know what the "~" stands for?

Give your head a shake.

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#74 Quicksilver ballet
January 18 2011, 12:04AM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

You've been trolling ON for how long and you still don't know what the "~" stands for?

Give your head a shake.

Doesn't say sarcasm as far as i'm concerned. Can you show me in the mans guide to the internet where it states this sir?

I didn't think so....Good luck, try again...thanks for playing.

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#75 Wanyes bastard child
January 18 2011, 12:15AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

So you know that it denotes sarcasm here on ON yet in your tiny deluded world you choose to ignore the fact that we all know what it means and ignore it, then try and make myself as well as OB1 look like intellectual inferiors to your vast ~knowledge~ of the internet.

I refer to my post in the polls comments #14 and if you have no answer to that then I may as well just bang my head against a wall along with many other posters here because you are to stubborn and unwilling to admit that yes, you may have been wrong once (ALOT) in your lifetime.

But i'll leave you to it to try and take the high road and have everyone else call you on your bull$#!t. Happy trolling :)

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#76 Quicksilver ballet
January 18 2011, 12:20AM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

So you know that it denotes sarcasm here on ON yet in your tiny deluded world you choose to ignore the fact that we all know what it means and ignore it, then try and make myself as well as OB1 look like intellectual inferiors to your vast ~knowledge~ of the internet.

I refer to my post in the polls comments #14 and if you have no answer to that then I may as well just bang my head against a wall along with many other posters here because you are to stubborn and unwilling to admit that yes, you may have been wrong once (ALOT) in your lifetime.

But i'll leave you to it to try and take the high road and have everyone else call you on your bull$#!t. Happy trolling :)

So, i'll take that as a no?

You may take a couple more days if you like, well i guess it's obvious you may need these couple days to back up this fact/fiction, or maybe you're just making up the rules as you go to suit your needs this evening?

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#77 jeanshorts
January 18 2011, 12:51AM
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@Wanyes bastard child

You know, maybe you're being too harsh on the guy. Anyone who's like 55 years old and has nothing better to do than start nonsensical arguments with nonsensical opinions and then change the game on the fly probably has a pretty mediocre home life. This is also the same guy who "Likes" Jason Strudwick as per Facebook. Clearly there's a few pistons missing from his motor.

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#78 robinrussia
January 18 2011, 01:58AM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

"Aside from being a big guy who can skate, what has Jacques done that prompts you to speak of this "upside?" Do tell."

~Umm, Jacques is taller?~

Better looking too

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#79 robinrussia
January 18 2011, 02:20AM
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I think that keeping JFJ is a waste of a roster spot. Skating ability is overrated as point of comparison so I'm baffled by T.R.'s comments about him being a better skater than Stortini.

JFJ is a very one dimensional player at the NHL level. He doesn't PK, PP, Score, Fight too much.

Stortini can be physical, a pest and draw penalties, a little PK, score some dirty goals etc. He's not on my list to go down.

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#80 stevezie
January 18 2011, 05:29AM
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I do not believe that Quicksilver Ballet is giving genuine opinions; I think they are calculated to get a rise out of people.
I do not begrudge him his good time.

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#82 Quicksilver ballet
January 18 2011, 07:25AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

You know, maybe you're being too harsh on the guy. Anyone who's like 55 years old and has nothing better to do than start nonsensical arguments with nonsensical opinions and then change the game on the fly probably has a pretty mediocre home life. This is also the same guy who "Likes" Jason Strudwick as per Facebook. Clearly there's a few pistons missing from his motor.

The youngest of 5 daughters she wanted to keep her Schmidt maiden name, hope this doesn't make me less of a man allowing her to do so. Where do you find info like this Jeanshorts, did you find it in her obituary?

I noticed you changed your original post as well as your initial attack there Jeans. Jason Strudwick has been thrown under the bus here so many times i thought he could use another friend.

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#83 Ender
January 18 2011, 08:05AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

You said:

"And if the Oilers take on another bad contract just to dump him, well, what's the point?"

And I'm saying who cares if the the guy (the hypothetical bad contract guy we are trading Souray for) has a bad contract (as long as it's short) Souray in the minors has no value to the Oilers NHL team, if we can parlay that into something that can play a competent role, bad contract or not, then the trade should be made.

No, I really don't think so. You're looking at this from the opposite angle.

While it's true Souray isn't helping the team anymore, it's also true that he's not hurting it. He has zero cap-hit to the team. The only way he even remotely affects the Oilers is that his salary might make the owner sigh once in awhile between chip shots. Other than that, the organization can pretty much pretend he doesn't exist and go about building a good team.

A bad contract hurts the team every day. It eats up cap-space that could be used to bring in another player. No amount of bad contracts are ever a good thing, not even one. Since Souray isn't hurting us, why trade him for someone who would?

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#84 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 18 2011, 08:52AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Good luck with those three for Penner and Gagner, give your head a shake.

Good luck to you, sir. You are the one lobbying to trade Penner/Gagner for a pick that has decent odds of turning into one of the three above.

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#85 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 18 2011, 09:01AM
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Ender wrote:

No, I really don't think so. You're looking at this from the opposite angle.

While it's true Souray isn't helping the team anymore, it's also true that he's not hurting it. He has zero cap-hit to the team. The only way he even remotely affects the Oilers is that his salary might make the owner sigh once in awhile between chip shots. Other than that, the organization can pretty much pretend he doesn't exist and go about building a good team.

A bad contract hurts the team every day. It eats up cap-space that could be used to bring in another player. No amount of bad contracts are ever a good thing, not even one. Since Souray isn't hurting us, why trade him for someone who would?

One question: Do you see the Oilers spending to the cap next year, without the hypothetical Souray return?

The goal isn't to have the most good contracts possible, it's to ice the best team you can within the current cap limit.

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#86 Ender
January 18 2011, 09:17AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

One question: Do you see the Oilers spending to the cap next year, without the hypothetical Souray return?

The goal isn't to have the most good contracts possible, it's to ice the best team you can within the current cap limit.

If they don't, then you're right; overpaying someone to play on the team and eat up the unused cap money wouldn't make any difference.

On the other hand, I'd rather see the team be aggressive in free agency and try and make every one of those cap dollars count before they deliberately take on a contract they know is bad just to get rid of a 'problem' that's not hurting them. A free agent in theory has a positive contract value. Almost by definition, any contract brought in by way of Souray trade is going to have a negative value.

In principle, I just can't see why you'd want to take a bad contract you didn't have to.

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#87 Buchburgler
January 18 2011, 09:52AM
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Brownlee (or anyone really):

Just looking at the powerplay and your comments about Hemsky ... but I noticed since Hemmer and Hall got put on a line it has been Hall controlling the Puck on the halfboards and hemsky being sort of a 'rover'.

First of all I havent liked what ive seen from hall on the PP. He holds on to the puck too long and then often just gives it away. I would like to see hall in more of a shooters role (I think it would suit him better) and leave Hemsky to do what he is good at and control the play. Omark has also been awesome on the PP, the second unit seems to be doing ok and generating chances, they just don't get sent out very much (and often peckham or smid are on D, try out chorney or a F maybe).

Anyone else seeing what I am or am I just crazy?

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#88 gcw_rocks
January 18 2011, 10:23AM
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This years draft is reported not to contain the elite talent of recent drafts, but is supposedly deeper (from what I have read).

Regardless, the team can't solely rely on the draft. The Oilers need to leverage strength to address weaknesses.

Key weaknesses: 1) top 2 centre positions. Gagner too small and weak defensively and in faceoffs to be a centre. Should be RW. Hope in the system for second line centre with Pitlick/Martindale after Horcoff goes

2) Top pairing d-man who can clear the front of the net and punish forwards in the corners. Only real hitter now is Peckham and he is not top pairing material.

Areas of depth: 1) LW - Hall, MPS, Penner 2) RW - Hemsky, Gagner, Omark 3) Puck moving d-men - Whitney, Gilbert, Petry

Targets: 1) Brayden Schenn (LA, need to win now, struggling) 2) Eric Gudbranson (FLA, contract squabbles) 3) Joe Colbourne (BOS, possible if strong second half in AHL. Too much centre depth ahead of him in Savard, Bergeron, Kreji, and Seguin)

Schenn and Gudbranson should be no brainers. If some of Hemsky, Penner, Gagner and Gilbert could be turned into those two players, the Oilers would be an elite team in 2 - 3 years. I wouldn't offer as much for Colbourne as the others, but he should be gettable and should be pursued as well.

Future line up:

1st line: Hall - Schenn - Eberle 2nd line: MPS - Horcoff/Pitlick/Martindale - Omark/Pitlick 3rd line: Hamilton/Hartikainen - FA (Sutherby/Belanger types) - FA (Asham/ Upshall types) 4th line: Van Velde plus anybody not named Jacques, Macintyre or Stortini

1st pairing: Whitney - Gudbranson 2nd pairing: Petry - Larsson 3rd pairing: Peckham - Plante/Marincin

Looks pretty good to me even if you had to spend all 4 (Hemsky, Penner, Gagner and Gilbert) to make it happen, though I doubt you would .

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#89 Quicksilver ballet
January 18 2011, 10:58AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Good luck to you, sir. You are the one lobbying to trade Penner/Gagner for a pick that has decent odds of turning into one of the three above.

Thanks OB1, you have a good one as well.

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#90 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 18 2011, 10:59AM
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Ender wrote:

If they don't, then you're right; overpaying someone to play on the team and eat up the unused cap money wouldn't make any difference.

On the other hand, I'd rather see the team be aggressive in free agency and try and make every one of those cap dollars count before they deliberately take on a contract they know is bad just to get rid of a 'problem' that's not hurting them. A free agent in theory has a positive contract value. Almost by definition, any contract brought in by way of Souray trade is going to have a negative value.

In principle, I just can't see why you'd want to take a bad contract you didn't have to.

I agree that you wouldn't make the trade if you could spend every available dime on competent NHL'ers, but I doubt that's the plan and I also doubt they'd even be able to attract enough quality guys to use it effeciently if they wanted to.

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#91 Bob Sacamano
January 18 2011, 11:07AM
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Robin,

The Oilers already have lots of cap space this season, and if Whitney goes on LTIR, they'd have even more. Do you see them making any deals at the deadline to basically sell cap space, similar to the Malakhov deal years ago and the deal Toronto made last year? Maybe get a 2nd round pick to take on a bad contract that a team looking to make other deadline moves needs to rid themselves of.

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#92 Pajamah
January 18 2011, 11:28AM
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I think the best thing we can do as Oiler fans to help the powerplay......

...Always be yelling "shoot" regardless of the positioning, lanes, or scoring chance the player with the puck has.

~I mean,because us fans know better than the players ~

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#93 Quicksilver ballet
January 18 2011, 11:39AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Your MO seems to be to needle, irritate and take a contrary position no matter what other people offer on any given topic.

Maybe you need a break from Oilersnation for awhile.

Stevezie: I do begrudge him that.

I thought that this was a forum to discuss varying opinions Robin. Just because someone puts a thought up it doesn't mean it can't be challenged or see it from a different angle?

I don't feel it's fair, this keyboard justice thing we have going on here, where are these guidelines when other members throw JFJ or Jason Strudwick or Dustin Penner under the bus?

If i've put myself above anyone else here or participate in any slap fests then i can understand, i've only made an effort to defend the other side of the arguments here. I'm not aware of any harm in knocking Gagner of his pedestal when it happens to others here with regularlity.

Just doing my best to drive up the post count here, if i've raised some blood pressures that would just be a bonus.

Is four weeks on the LTIR enough of a break for you guys Robin, i could change to Quicksilver light...would this be okay?

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#94 David S
January 18 2011, 11:59AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I thought that this was a forum to discuss varying opinions Robin. Just because someone puts a thought up it doesn't mean it can't be challenged or see it from a different angle?

I don't feel it's fair, this keyboard justice thing we have going on here, where are these guidelines when other members throw JFJ or Jason Strudwick or Dustin Penner under the bus?

If i've put myself above anyone else here or participate in any slap fests then i can understand, i've only made an effort to defend the other side of the arguments here. I'm not aware of any harm in knocking Gagner of his pedestal when it happens to others here with regularlity.

Just doing my best to drive up the post count here, if i've raised some blood pressures that would just be a bonus.

Is four weeks on the LTIR enough of a break for you guys Robin, i could change to Quicksilver light...would this be okay?

Wow.

Gotta give you credit. The number of times you get pwned and just keep coming back for more - awesome! Taylor Hall could take lessons.

Quite hilarious actually.

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#95 FastOil
January 18 2011, 12:49PM
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@Senator Theo

*facepalm* - a difference of opinion is frustrating for both sides, but idiot?

If Gagner is like Lecavalier (that's my concern) then yes, trade him immediately in a deal only for a high first or special player.

Talent is not enough to win in the playoffs. Core players to me, on a strong team are impact players, and have multiple aspects in their game. They want to, and do dominate.

I don't see enough dominance in Sam, taking into account his age. I see it in Eberle and Hall, even Omark. Yes he will get 70 points someday. If he's our third line centre great.

With Hall at centre, and Horcoff unmovable and paid as our 2nd, can the Oilers keep him anyway? - only if he takes a lowball contract. We now need another top 6 LW or two (if the rumours on Penner pan out) depending on the success of MPS and Omark at LW, both prefer RW. And we still need our anchor on D and a tough who can play a regular shift well.

With Pitlick and Martindale in the AHL soon (with size and speed), somebody out of Cogs, Brule or Gagner likely go to the wing or have to get traded. All 3 see themselves it seems as top 6 offensive centres.

With Hartikainen, Hamilton and other wingers coming also to the AHL (more rounded players for 3rd or 4th line), somethings got to give in the next year or two if any of these new guys make the step to pro.

It's always a risk, and you have to give good to get good, but I think the time has come to move the excess players (centres, coke machines and marginal vet Dmen, hopefully a vet goalie), good players who aren't what we want (Gilbert,Smid?) and get what we need back or a lottery pick and draft it.

Over the next two years, a combo of 2-3 lottery picks/good trades will plug most of the holes and re-balance the team with quality players. Things will likely be a lot more difficult to change after that as payroll goes up, the team does better and drafts lower, and any young players we're waiting on don't pan out and lose trade value.

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#96 Senator Theo
January 18 2011, 01:42PM
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@FastOil

I think Quicksilver already came clean that it's not a difference of opinion, but disagreeing simply for disagreement's sake. I think that's been apparent to many of us for some time now.

As far as Sam goes, I'm not ready to pencil in players that have never played an NHL game in his spot yet. If we have players that come up and prove they can do the job better than him, I'm all for trading him.

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#97 Bucknuck
January 18 2011, 01:57PM
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I believe that the coaching staff know that this season is now a write off. As a result I think they are trying a few things to see what happens. The powerplay has been a weak point for years, so playing around with what has happened before doesn't seem like such a bad idea. Hemsky on the halfboards was somewhat effective when he had multiple right handed options that could pull off a one time (Horcoff & Souray). Without those options I am not surprised that Hemsky is a little lost.

I don't think sending Omark to the minors is the end of the world, but sending him when JFJ is still with the big club seems pretty boneheaded to me. As long as he is getting decent minutes and seems to be learning with the big club then keep him up here if you can. I don't want to lose assets to waivers in order to keep him up here, though. JF is hardly an asset in my mind, though.

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#98 FastOil
January 19 2011, 04:35PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

I think Quicksilver already came clean that it's not a difference of opinion, but disagreeing simply for disagreement's sake. I think that's been apparent to many of us for some time now.

As far as Sam goes, I'm not ready to pencil in players that have never played an NHL game in his spot yet. If we have players that come up and prove they can do the job better than him, I'm all for trading him.

That would be the sensible thing to do for sure.

I would really like to see them sort out the redundant players - I don't want to see the stagnation set in again where the team doesn't work and they won't change much.

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#99 Mitch
January 22 2011, 02:08PM
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@Brownlee

Deep Thoughts

Robin as I watch the oilers game after game,which really equals a whole pile of loses, what guys are buying into what the coach is selling? What we have here is a team that can't score on the powerplay, has terrible pk stats, and doesn't like to show up to a hockey game till it's well out of reach most times. As a manager or a coach do you just sit back and say "were a young hockey team, we'll be a heck of alot better next year." Given the fact that we have another lottery pick coming, I don't see a player that can step into the lineup and contribute from this draft. I'am concerned because I see to many repetive mistakes, at what point will a fan beable to say to himself this team is about to turn a corner? You can't continually replace the coach and the players.

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