The Copper & Blue Mile

Lowetide
January 24 2011 09:40AM

Hockey rumors have become big business on the internet. Some yahoo in Philadelphia makes gobs of coin (apparently) by tapping into that small segment of the population that has been assigned to make certain the words of P. T. Barnum live on (those words being "there's a sucker born every minute,") However, when the big boys start talking about dealing Hemsky and Penner, I believe where there's smoke there's fire.

Elliotte Friedman is a respected report of national stature. He works for the #1 sports show in the nation (HNIC) and his 30 thoughts are a "must read" for hockey fans. So it certainly caught my attention when Friedman wrote the following this week:

  1. There is a feeling around the league that Ales Hemsky (who has concussion issues) and Dustin Penner are available for the right price. Of course, the Oilers need what everyone needs - centremen and defencemen. A healthy Hemsky gets you more than Penner, but there is no doubt Penner's play on a bad Oilers team over the past two years has changed a lot of the negative perceptions about him.

Friedman's 30 thoughts are here. I think the Oilers could get a lot for either player, but Hemsky's injuries are a worry. Friedman's comments about team needs are also spot on, so this looks legit. It should be an interesting deadline.

Some names we've discussed in the past are C's Stephen Weiss, Steve Ott, Joe Pavelski and Martin Hanzal. As for defensemen, I think we've discussed all of them.

Seriously.

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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 Team 1260.
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#1 BUCK75
January 24 2011, 09:45AM
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17 play-off points during our cup run should make Hemsky more of a commodity too.

Hall looks like the real deal, Eberle & PRV are improving every game, I would trade Hemsky depending on what the return is. I don't think it would be a guy like Schenn, but you could probably get a solid prospect.

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#2 VMR
January 24 2011, 04:12PM
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book¡e wrote:

I think we should look for 2-3 guys who were first round picks who are somewhat enigmatic and never lived up to the hype so that they can come here and regain their confidence and then fulfill their potential.

Its a guaranteed win!

Ahh the Brule* maneuver, brilliant!!!!

*previously known as the O'Sullivan** maneuver

**previously known as the Pitkanen ***maneuver

*** previously known as the Lupul ****maneuver

**** previously known as the Nilsson *****maneuver

***** previously known as the Isbister maneuver.

ps. warning some of these previouslys may not be in exact chronological order if you are the type of person who cares deeply about that kind of thing please go f*** yourself.

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#3 Zed
January 24 2011, 10:56AM
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I've never really understood the logic in getting rid of your teams best players to make a better team.

Yeah I get you have to give up value to get value, but your best players???

Maybe this concept will work with bottom feeding teams.

If it happens and we get something shiny for Penner or Hemsky, I guess we'll see. I personally would prefer ST to analyze the situation regarding those two.

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#5 book¡e
January 24 2011, 12:10PM
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I think we should look for 2-3 guys who were first round picks who are somewhat enigmatic and never lived up to the hype so that they can come here and regain their confidence and then fulfill their potential.

Its a guaranteed win!

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#6 BRIdub
January 24 2011, 12:31PM
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So we want to trade a first line forward, who would be a first line forward on 90% of the teams in the league, not just the oilers, for a 3rd line center? That seems really smart to me.

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#7 book¡e
January 24 2011, 02:20PM
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I bet we somehow get Jagr!

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#8 Racki
January 24 2011, 04:01PM
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Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child wrote:

I have been suggesting for the longest time that the oilers should offer up Hemsky for Hanzal and I always get the same response! "Hemsky is worth at least a top 5 pick"..."You are way undervaluing Hemsky here".."Hanzal doesn't meet the immediate needs of the oilers" Seriously if the oil could somehow pry Hanzal out of phoenix for Hemsky, Tambo would become GM of the year. Hanzal is exactly what this team needs! A 6 foot 6 fast, defensively competent centerman, who is great in the dot and can put up 45-50 points. Oh and guess what he is still young and growing as a player!

Oi... I sure as hell hope that the major piece coming our way for Hemsky or Penner isn't one of the names being thrown around in here. Count me out.

A couple of the names are talented.. but this team also needs size. You don't complain for 3 or 4 years about having small skill forwards and then trade off one of our large wingers (in Penner). And well, Hemsky's talent level + great contract making him better value than I think most people are putting on him, imho.

As for Hanzal, I wish people here had as much patience for Gagner who has put up better numbers as they do for the older Hanzal.

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#9 John Chambers
January 24 2011, 04:39PM
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@VMR

*****previously known as the Jochen Hecht and Marty Reasoner***** manoever

******previosly known as the Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice, Craig Fisher, and Louie Debrusk****** manoever

*******previously known as the Martin Gelinas and Jimmy Carson manoever*******

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#10 Dennis
January 24 2011, 06:46PM
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I think we all know that Lupul and Nilsson never really got a chance with the Oilers or otherwise they would have succeeded.

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#11 Phil
January 25 2011, 01:08AM
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The question is what's going to happen when the Oilers are ready to contend, and possibly need to have those few veteran pieces to push them over the top, and they've already let the Hemmers and Penners go, whether it was for good assets or not... do people believe quality UFA's will want to come to Edmonton for fair market value and play for a team on the cusp of being a contender?

It's a tricky situation, I'm still very skeptical of how to deal with Hemsky and Penner, dedication or injury history aside, if either one of these players want to stay or are willing to stay, Tambo should resign them. I don't think the Oilers will be able to get their Marian Hossa when the time comes. I'm just afraid of this management team, the track record speaks for itself. It is such a fine line.

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#12 FastOil
January 25 2011, 11:04AM
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@Chris.

True you can draft your high end talent but the chances of achieving a balanced roster through the draft are as slim as Forsberg making his 12th comeback. Trades are needed, even if just to open roster spaces for all the guys nearing ready.

I don't think you necessarily need to find a team in a bind and make them overpay, you have to be better at assessing talent. You can't always make the right call, but you need to be over 50% right to improve the team or hit an incredible home run.

Every team has players not working out, etc.. We have quite a few that are active players, Tambellini will make or break his rep, at least wit the Oilers, on how he handles the issues the roster has, and how he supports the very good young players he was fortunate to get.

If the team doesn't start showing forward progress next season, with all the great pieces they do have, it will be on Tambellini and what he couldn't do, or what he didn't make the right call on.

There is a decent coaching staff, a good young goalie, a few good D, lots of good forwards. From here, how hard can icing a playoff team be?

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#13 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 24 2011, 10:01AM
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Hanzel would be interesting, he's every bit as good as J Stall IMO (though not quite as much offense).

He would be a fantastic 3C that could match up with the leagues elite here for years to come.

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#14 Zamboni Driver
January 24 2011, 10:17AM
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Hemsky being injured all the time makes it more appealing to move him...but is it appealing for anyone to take him?

My bet is they try to move Penner for someone young, big and a chance to be good (probably someone still in junior)

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#15 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 24 2011, 10:18AM
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With Erik Johnson potentially on the market, what you think the ST would give up to get him?

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#16 Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child
January 24 2011, 10:19AM
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I have been suggesting for the longest time that the oilers should offer up Hemsky for Hanzal and I always get the same response! "Hemsky is worth at least a top 5 pick"..."You are way undervaluing Hemsky here".."Hanzal doesn't meet the immediate needs of the oilers" Seriously if the oil could somehow pry Hanzal out of phoenix for Hemsky, Tambo would become GM of the year. Hanzal is exactly what this team needs! A 6 foot 6 fast, defensively competent centerman, who is great in the dot and can put up 45-50 points. Oh and guess what he is still young and growing as a player!

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#17 Zamboni Driver
January 24 2011, 10:30AM
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@Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child

Sold!

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#18 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 24 2011, 10:30AM
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You didn't have to go to Friedman to get this info LT, we've been telling you this here for two months now. If there's something you want to know....just ask dude, don't be shy.

...budda boom.

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#19 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 24 2011, 10:35AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

With Erik Johnson potentially on the market, what you think the ST would give up to get him?

I'd think long and hard about swapping our 1st for him.

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#20 Zamboni Driver
January 24 2011, 10:57AM
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Especially this year when really there is no 'sure thing'.

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#22 spOILer
January 24 2011, 11:14AM
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LT, I think the comment above yours is more in the vein of trading Hemsky or Penner for help, along with the possiblity of a pick, because this draft is weak at the top end.

This Friedman quote is big. Elliot doesn't throw bird guano at walls to see what stick. If he's right, and the Oil are quietly listening to offers, it would be tough to speculate who they're specifically after, since it sounds like they're polling all the teams.

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#23 Bucky
January 24 2011, 11:30AM
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I think the Oil would be more interested in picks for either or both of those guys. This years draft is seen as a weak pool, however, after the first 5 or so, the next grouping is all a toss up. There top 4 or 5 ought to be able to play in the NHL right away, but the rest will need more seasoning. This would fit with the timing of the rebuild.A big D-man taken somewhere around 15th and a year or two in the AHL for seasoning might be just what they need.

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#24 Westcoastoil
January 24 2011, 11:36AM
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I love Hemsky and having Penner in the playoffs with his size would be an important piece, but when you're staring 30th place square in the eye...again...it's foolish not to examine all your options. The return better be an excellent NHL player who fits a need though.

In order to do that though the smart play would be to give Hall another 30 reps at C to find out what it is you want. Hall, Gagne, Horc down the middle or Horc, Gagne, Hanzal (for eg.)

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#25 sloppy joe
January 24 2011, 11:55AM
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Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child wrote:

I have been suggesting for the longest time that the oilers should offer up Hemsky for Hanzal and I always get the same response! "Hemsky is worth at least a top 5 pick"..."You are way undervaluing Hemsky here".."Hanzal doesn't meet the immediate needs of the oilers" Seriously if the oil could somehow pry Hanzal out of phoenix for Hemsky, Tambo would become GM of the year. Hanzal is exactly what this team needs! A 6 foot 6 fast, defensively competent centerman, who is great in the dot and can put up 45-50 points. Oh and guess what he is still young and growing as a player!

I totally agree. Couldn't have said it better.

He's not putting up 45-50 points yet, but he's got a lot of upside, I believe he can and will become a 45-50 point player (maybe better), he's big, he hits, he wins faceoffs, he's got a mean streak, he can play PK, PP, etc.

Hemsky may be roughly a ppg player, but it's starting to look like he's a 60 game per year player too.

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#26 IHeartHemsky
January 24 2011, 12:22PM
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What IF the Oilers are in the exact same spot next year at this time?

Can the fans deal with 3 years of this?

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#27 rent a goalie
January 24 2011, 12:30PM
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Not sure, phx would give up Hanzal as they're trying to compete now.

Maybe Turris?

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#28 Captain Obvious
January 24 2011, 12:33PM
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The Oilers aren't going to get a player as good as Hemsky or Penner (otherwise why would the team be trading for them).

That means they have to get two players with the potential of being as good starting next year.

For me the floor is one young NHL player and one high end prospect. Something like Wayne Simmons (I know he's not a center) and Teubert from the Kings. That's the floor. Anything less than that kind of return and they are just spinning their wheels.

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#29 spOILer
January 24 2011, 12:56PM
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From Sunday's Hockey World by Matheson:

Richards might want to play for his old Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella, now behind the bench of the New York Rangers, but forget the talk of trading “the smart, cerebral” Richards at the deadline. “Not going to happen,” said one highly placed NHL executive. “Any time you trade those unrestricted guys, you don’t get fair value. What did Ilya Kovalchuk really bring Atlanta? Or Marian Hossa bring Atlanta? You get a lot of pieces, but that’s it.”

This might be why the Oilers are feeling out offers now.

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#30 @NateInVegas
January 24 2011, 12:58PM
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Maybe the Oilers and Rangers have something in the works...?

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#31 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 24 2011, 01:05PM
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BRIdub wrote:

So we want to trade a first line forward, who would be a first line forward on 90% of the teams in the league, not just the oilers, for a 3rd line center? That seems really smart to me.

When theirs 5 years, a dozen injuries and pending UFA status... it kind of does.

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#32 88MPH
January 24 2011, 01:13PM
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Interesting that Freidemann is starting to mention it now, that at least brings some more validity to the argument and should bring a little more value to trade discussions amongst fans.

Hemsky is by FAR my favorite player in the league (jersey, autographed gloves, general unhealthy obsession with You Tube highlights), but team-first. He is still a valuable player in the league right now and with his injury history, his prime may be passing by us as we speak. I would almost go as far as saying that these decisions are a lot more critical than drafting, as you already know what you have.

Penner... harder to say. Big healthy player who has played on pretty bad team and played 'well'. I would really like to see how he pans out, I would say its a harder decision for the Oil... making him a little more valuable.

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#33 Dennis
January 24 2011, 01:34PM
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we knew this was a possibility given their contracts plus the fact that the holes we need filled are ones that Lowe and Co. haven't been able to do through little trades or little signings.

So now I guess it's the big chips that go to the table.

27's been through all this before because was traded once before for Heatley but this will be new to 83. In any case it's about to be news if Friedman's taking it national.

I'm not optimistic about how this will go because if these guys can't even fix the PK with a little move here or then then how can we expect them to get value for a big piece?

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#34 Chris.
January 24 2011, 01:56PM
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IHeartHemsky wrote:

What IF the Oilers are in the exact same spot next year at this time?

Can the fans deal with 3 years of this?

Do we have a choice?

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#35 FMS
January 24 2011, 02:00PM
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I still think the team to target is Columbus. Howson knows Hemsky well and supposedly has ownership breathing down his neck to bring in some playoff revenue. Everyone from Voracek and Brassard down to their prospects is supposedly available at the right price. Hopefully we can profit off of their desperation

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#36 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 24 2011, 02:10PM
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FMS wrote:

I still think the team to target is Columbus. Howson knows Hemsky well and supposedly has ownership breathing down his neck to bring in some playoff revenue. Everyone from Voracek and Brassard down to their prospects is supposedly available at the right price. Hopefully we can profit off of their desperation

Good point, they've got a few young NHL'e rounding into form that would be nice pieces here.

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#37 Saved by the Hall
January 24 2011, 02:28PM
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Does anybody think that Penner's next contract will be a higher cap hit then it currently is? I can't see it which is why I would keep him moving forward.

Although Hemsky is injury prone the last few seasons, there is no way he would take a cap hit less or equal to his current cap hit. That's why I would look at trading Hemsky. And I think he has more value if he could prove to be healthy for a period of time.

The Oilers need to keep some veteran presence around the young guys and I think Penner is the guy. That's why Tambo needs to find out ASAP if Penner is interested in signing an extension sometime next year.

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#38 John Chambers
January 24 2011, 03:17PM
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@Saved by the Hall

I agree with you for a couple of reasons:

First, I think Penner has a unique asset in size. The Oilers are going to be skilled up the ace, but you can never have a surplus of guys who are big and are a load on the puck.

Second, I think Hemsky attracts a better return than does Penner in a trade. Some of the deals mentioned above seem realistic - like the ones for Hanzal, for Simmonds and Teubert, or for Derrick Brassard.

The Oil have a surplus of talented wingers. Dealing one for a younger Center or Defenseman is a move I applaud. Ultimately, I measure Steve Tambellini based on how he executes this deal.

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#39 spOILer
January 24 2011, 03:22PM
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Another reason why this might be happening now is the draft. Who they take may depend on who is traded and for what. For example, Hemsky for a Dman might remove Larsson from the equation. Hemsky for a young centre might remove SC and RNH from the equation. And Hemsky just going might raise Landeskog's stock.

Matheson wrote in this Sunday's Hockey World that he thought the ranking the Oilers would give the top prospects is Larsson, RNH, Landeskog, Couturier. He also said the Oiler Brass is very impressed with RNH's ability to show up in big games. I blame Eberle for this philosophy. And he also said the Oil were big on Dougie Hamilton too.

(I think it would be a mistake to leave Murphy out of the equation then. Despite being a SMurph, he has by far and away the most offensive talent of any defenseman in the draft.)

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#40 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 24 2011, 04:04PM
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Racki wrote:

Oi... I sure as hell hope that the major piece coming our way for Hemsky or Penner isn't one of the names being thrown around in here. Count me out.

A couple of the names are talented.. but this team also needs size. You don't complain for 3 or 4 years about having small skill forwards and then trade off one of our large wingers (in Penner). And well, Hemsky's talent level + great contract making him better value than I think most people are putting on him, imho.

As for Hanzal, I wish people here had as much patience for Gagner who has put up better numbers as they do for the older Hanzal.

We wouldn't be trading for Hanzel for points. Watch when he plays against elite players. The guy is spectacular defensively.

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#41 Harlie
January 24 2011, 04:07PM
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I've always thought that our team needed a guy like Mike Fisher. Gritty, solid in the fo, can produce, and has a famous wife. Bring some leadership and vet presence on the front end.

If it was my choice I'd keep Penner and deal Hemsky. He's more injury prone and could fetch more (from what I hear) and I remember Hemsky when he first broke in and I see everything that Hemsky had in Omark. Goodbye dangles. Hello spins-and-dangles!

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#42 andrewmk20
January 24 2011, 04:15PM
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has there actually been any inquiry into Joe Pavelski because it seems that the Sharks would want something substantial for this very good two way center.

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#43 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 24 2011, 05:46PM
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I don't see Dustin hanging around unless the Oilers are willing to overpay for him to stay here, meaning 5-5.5'ish on a multi year deal.

It would be interesting to see what happens to Dustins game if he had to put up with teams teeing off on him like they have Hemsky for the last few years. Teams just seem to let Penner weave his way through a game without agitating him. Tambellinis phone's probably ringing more so for Penner than Hemsky, have to think Hemsky's value is much less than it was 16 months ago.

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#44 canucknnv
January 24 2011, 08:05PM
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i would like Tambo to get to know ray shero better.

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#45 Cervantes
January 24 2011, 08:39PM
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Supposedly Devin Setoguchi is available. While I'm not a fan of not getting guys with size (he's 5'11"), Gooch has a helluva shot, success, potential, and plays tough. Worth a shot, with a few spots possibly opening up next year.

There's a lot of noise coming out of NY, and I'd still love to get my hands on Brian Boyle. 6'7" centre, 17 goals so far, takes most of their draws and is 48%, +10, 16 minutes a night, a tonne of time on their PK, 22 years old, not afraid to hit or drop the gloves... only downside is he's a leftie and not a rightie. Yeah, he's having a career year, but with a 13% shooting percentage, it's not likely he's just getting good bounces. Were I GM, he'd have a big shiny target on him. A big young kid like that could be an important part of the team going forward.

However, I expect Tambs will move a few parts out and try and get 2012 draft picks. We have a lot of players, and another handful of kids (plus a #1 pick) that are going to be fighting for ice time next year. If guys like Boyle and Johnson are available, you gotta grab them, but I don't think Tambo will look for that, and I can't think of a team that's got a stud defenseman but would rather have a top line forward.

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#46 DennisB
January 24 2011, 09:12PM
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I strongly believe that trading the likes of Hemsky sends entirely the wrong ,message to all of the young players we are trying to develop and turn into Oilers. what has 83 ever done to make the team want to trade him for an unknown quantity like a high draft pick? He has been developed by the Oilers man and boy. he plays in the tough areas and takes a lot of punishment to make good plays. he has not held out for every $ he could get at contract time. if you are trying to build a team that players will go to the wall for, then selling Hemmer is not as bad as selling 99, but how different is it really?

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#47 ricky p
January 24 2011, 09:53PM
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We need Penner's size. Please keep him. Trade Hemsky, Chorney, and Jones at the deadline for another big winger under longer term contract that can protect himself and his team mates.

The draft is not the total answer. NYI can confirm that.

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#48 ricky p
January 24 2011, 09:56PM
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@Dennis

If that was the case both players would be performing for their current teams. Lupul was a bust in Phil and not doing much in Ana. I know he was hurt, but he is a cherry picker that avoids any tough going.

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#49 BadSeed
January 24 2011, 09:58PM
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ricky p: I'm pretty sure Dennis was being sarcastic.

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#50 Dennis
January 24 2011, 10:17PM
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I Was being sarcastic:)

It was a narrative that I'd heard so many times from a certain someone that I figured I would throw it out there and everyone would get the joke:)

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