RYAN WHITNEY: LONG WAY BACK

Robin Brownlee
December 19 2011 03:01PM

It doesn't take a vast intellect or astute observation skills to realize Ryan Whitney isn't near the top of his game, or to conclude that the playoff hopes of the Edmonton Oilers decrease with every game it takes him to ascend to that lofty lefty again.

If you've watched Whitney play more than about 15 seconds during the 15 games he's been healthy enough to get into on Tom Renney's blue line so far this season, you have probably deduced that something's wrong with the big defenseman. You'd be right.

While Whitney is 11 months removed from surgery to re-attach a damaged tendon in his right ankle last January, he told reporters after today's morning skate in preparation for tonight's game against the Detroit Red Wings that the ankle is causing him pain.

Enough of it, obviously, that Whitney has been a shadow of the player who had 27 points in 35 games when he went down with what would be a season-ending injury last December.

It's been frustrating for Whitney and damaging to hopes the Oilers have of staying in the race for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, given how Ales Hemsky has struggled at the same time to find his form after having shoulder surgery.

We've had inklings about the progress of Whitney's ankle since before training camp – I wrote about it here oilersnation.com/2011/8/24/ryan-whitney-about-that-ankle -- and his comments this morning confirmed that he's still not right.

CAN'T FIND HIS GAME

Whitney's ankle kept him out of the first four regular season games before he returned against Calgary Oct. 18. He played just four games before he fell awkwardly and sprained his knee against Vancouver Oct. 25.

The knee kept Whitney out for 13 games until he returned Nov. 25 against Minnesota. In 11 games since then, he's managed just two assists and hasn't looked like his usual self. Now, we know why.

"It's kind of a tough time," Whitney said. "I'm in a little bit of a battle zone just trying to get healthy and play some good hockey. I've got to be better. It's pretty simple.

"I think it'll come. I'm trying to really stay positive. It's not for lack of hard work. It's just about getting your game back. It's as frustrating to me as it is to anyone else."

There's obviously a big difference between playing with injury and playing with pain. While Whitney's ankle has held together since he returned against Calgary, it's clearly had an impact on his stride and mobility.

"You want to feel comfortable out there," Whitney said. "It's tough to feel comfortable when you're in pain. There's obviously a thought process you've got to have in getting by that.

"Obviously, I'm not playing as much. Every guy wants to play more, but that's just how it is. You've got to figure out ways to be productive and do your job whether you're playing 18 minutes or 25 minutes."

STRUGGLE CONTINUES

While there's a mental component to overcoming the surgery that Whitney had, or any surgery for that matter, it's not just as simple as sucking it up and playing through the pain. That's easier said than done.

"For me, it's not really looking at points," Whitney said of how ineffective he's been on the attack and the power play. "I mean, I'm not a two-points-in-15-games type player. That stuff should even out.

"It's just about feeling better overall with your whole game. It's physical. It's obviously a little mental, but it's physical when you take a stride and you feel pain. That's as physical as you can get. You've got to just be mentally strong to get through those things. A lot of guys are playing in pain."

After back-to-back 30th-place finishes, the Oilers talked this season about the importance of making progress by playing meaningful games in March and April. Fading fast with a 2-7-1 record in their last 10 games and a seven-game road trip looming, I don't like their chances.

Their other shortcomings aside, I'm not confident the Oilers will be playing meaningful games beyond January if Whitney doesn't get right – and soon.

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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#1 D
December 19 2011, 03:06PM
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RB, Just out of curiosity, at this point, how do you rate the Lubo trade?

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#2 Spaghetti - Team Facalto
December 19 2011, 03:06PM
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SIGH!!!!

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#3 The Farmer
December 19 2011, 03:09PM
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I feel for the guy, hemsky too for that matter. It is the best league in the world, and the separation between players is so small, that being just a little bit off puts you at a major disadvantage.

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#4 A-Mc
December 19 2011, 03:24PM
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It sucks that he feels pain but i am glad they are taking it easy on him with reduced TOI.

Pushing our fresh-off-IR players to the point of re-injury is a decision that would cost us dearly in the long run.

Even if Whitney cannot skate like he normally would, If he can make smart passes and keep good body position on guys, I think he'll still be a great asset to the team!

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#5 steelymac
December 19 2011, 03:25PM
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Im having a hard time holding our hopes on a player we have labeled "our best defenceman".Whether or not Whitney can get back to being the player he was Pre tendon injury is anybodys guess.If we are ever to become a contender or even a playoff hope we had better start finding players who are durable and not the type that only play 40 or 50 games a year.I know its a hard physical game and its real easy for me to talk tough behind my keyboard but we as fans have waited for the Hemsky's and Whitney's to return and 15 games later we are still waiting for them to return.

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#6 glenn
December 19 2011, 03:29PM
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He will be better as will the Oil. Mark my words they will be lights out in the second half. Hemsky looked better against the Sharks, if both those guys pick it up and if the kids keep it going and...... crap maybe no playoffs that's alot of ifs lol. Come on boys I'm counting on you PLAYOFFS can happen RB gotta believe

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#7 bdiddy18
December 19 2011, 03:31PM
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At this rate Ryan Whitney may soon have to realize he is going to suffer the same fate Peter Forsberg had. Early retirement due to foot problems.

Probably just as frustrating as Forsberg too... knowing you have the all the ingredients to play high level but your damn feet in a boot won't let you. (sniff sniff that was my problem too flat feet in the 80s before the custom boot and orthotics era)

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#8 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 19 2011, 03:31PM
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Ryan is another one of those veterans unlikely to re-sign here when he's up for renewal in 16 months.

Put him in the damaged goods shopping cart along with Hemsky and try and get something for him. 4 mill this yr and next for a top 3 dman is affordable for a club looking for a decent depth on the backend if he can stay healthy.

The Oilers are better off with a lotto kid with some sortof committment here for 7 yrs'ish.

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#10 michael
December 19 2011, 04:08PM
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IF. The team continues to struggle after Christmas what are our options? If this season turns into a lottery pick situation I won't be happy. Neither will I be unhappy.The unhappy part comes in the form of a franchise dman or one of the best skilled forwards available. The happy part is that Mr Dithers will not be dithering anymore for the Edmonton Oilers.

Ryan Whitney's foot may never be 100% again. Injuies are part of the game. someone needs to step up and pick up the slack for Whitney. Good luck with that Tom Renny.

Oilers win tonight 5-3. Were due and Detroit is the perfect team for an Oilers team that needs a high caliber opponent to push them to thier limits. Smyth gets 2 points.

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#11 Rama Lama
December 19 2011, 04:13PM
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Is there no provision for sending him down to the AHL..........for the purposes of conditioning?

He is no better than anyone else at this point, so my thinking suggests that we give some quality time to some of the guys in the AHL.

This would give Whiteny some time to try and find his game somewhere where there is less press on him?

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#12 nofool6110
December 19 2011, 04:54PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Is there no provision for sending him down to the AHL..........for the purposes of conditioning?

He is no better than anyone else at this point, so my thinking suggests that we give some quality time to some of the guys in the AHL.

This would give Whiteny some time to try and find his game somewhere where there is less press on him?

The provision would be having a defence that didn't have him and instead had the dreaded combo of Teubert-Peckham return.

*shudder*

I actually have no clue, but I do think that since he's playing in the NHL, conditioning might not work...

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#13 A-Mc
December 19 2011, 05:00PM
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Wouldn't you want whitney playing the hardest opposition available to him to get him back into game shape?

If a player needs more ice time to develop and condition, you send him to the OKC (ie: Paajarvi). But That isn't where Whitney is at. His ice time is limited on purpose. He needs to get used to the pace of the game again and playing in a slower AHL league wont afford him that luxury.

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#14 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 19 2011, 05:01PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Is there no provision for sending him down to the AHL..........for the purposes of conditioning?

He is no better than anyone else at this point, so my thinking suggests that we give some quality time to some of the guys in the AHL.

This would give Whiteny some time to try and find his game somewhere where there is less press on him?

Yes there is (as far as I know). Players (I believe) can be sent down for a limited conditioning trip without being exposed on waivers.

I brought this up the other day too and it's a real curiosity. As a baseball fan too, I am readily accustomed to the idea of conditioning stints which are basically an everyday occurrence in the MLB and it's largely unheard-of for people to not warm up in AAA for a few games.

My guess is NHL teams worry about exposing players in a contact sport to lower levels of competition. The skill might be lower but the contact is still there so the incentive maybe isn't the same as in baseball.

Someone else (can't remember) mentioned that the NHL basically suffers from a stigma about the AHL... and you only have to look at the rigamarole surrounding the decision to send MP down to know that is true.

It's a shame because it could be a valuable tool in organizational pockets. I hope it's something we start to see teams try.

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#15 D
December 19 2011, 05:04PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I like the thinking behind the trade as much now as I did when it was made -- get a younger player who is capable of 45-55 points, is in his prime and costs less money.

The wrench in the works is the ankle sewered Whitney last season and it has to be considered a question mark from here on out. Visnovsky and Whitney have missed a lot of games this season.

All told, I'll take the 28-year-old with a $4 million cap it over the 35-year old with the $5.6 million cap hit through the end of their contracts in 2012-13.

Thanks RB.

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#16 bcoil
December 19 2011, 05:28PM
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Would some one tell me why this team keeps playing injured players which ends up costing us games when there are healthy Bodies in the AHL or are passing thru waivers.Nobody can convince me that Whitney on one leg is better then some of the other talent in the system or off the waiver wire....or that Hemsky wandering around out there afraid to go into a corner is better then some of the young talent playing in Oklohoma ............Management is trying for another Loto choice I am thinking .

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#17 Wanyes bastard child
December 19 2011, 05:33PM
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@bcoil

I dunno, I'd rather have a one-legged Whitney over Plante myself and a hesitant Hemsky over Cornet any day.

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#19 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
December 19 2011, 05:58PM
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@bcoil

It is not "Oklohoma". It is more like

OKLA v HOMA*

* see Lowetide's blogs on the farm team

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#20 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 19 2011, 05:59PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

I dunno, I'd rather have a one-legged Whitney over Plante myself and a hesitant Hemsky over Cornet any day.

Agreed in the abstract. But I think for brief periods (3 to 5 games) it could be a mutual benefit (player easing back in; team without a question mark). There are time/game limits in the MLB for conditioning stints and various rules so you can't simply send a bad performer down (ie. waivers just like in the NHL)

Incidentally, looks like Turris got the treatment earlier this year... so maybe it will become more normal:

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/23/turris-to-ahl-for-conditioning-stint-starting-sunday/

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#21 RexLibris
December 19 2011, 06:39PM
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I think LT might have been the happiest man on the planet when the Oilers teamed up with OKC, just so he could show that picture (OKLA v HOMA) several times a year. Not that there's anything wrong with that... My concern over Whitney is, at this point, more based on his personal well-being than that of the team. This roster, while in need of a Whitney, is more than just one top d-man away from being good, or even better, at this stage. My guess is that Whitney will need the rest of this season to partially recover. And I have to wonder how easy it is to recover while playing a fast contact sport at the highest level in the world. Next season might be the better bellwether for Whitney's health and career. Perhaps he'll decline a bit in his play and from this point on is best played as the 3rd defenceman in the rotation with some PP time. His injuries aside, Whitney's leadership and drive to get the best from his teammates (from what I have seen) is a reason to want to keep him. We'll see. Now if we had a spare Turris hanging around to trade for a Rundblad, then we would be better insulated against these injuries.

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#22 Bill Rizer
December 19 2011, 06:41PM
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What are people's expectations of Whitney? If you think he's a 55 point guy I think you're dreaming. Plus he hasn't been that exceptional defensively in his career. I admit he's below where I had him, but not nearly as far as some. I would have been happy with 40 points.

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#24 VK63
December 19 2011, 08:56PM
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Gotta feel for #6. Give away 160 ft from his net and like slow torture..... it will happen. This team just seems incapable of picking each other up.

Its sad really.

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#25 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 19 2011, 10:16PM
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VK63 wrote:

Gotta feel for #6. Give away 160 ft from his net and like slow torture..... it will happen. This team just seems incapable of picking each other up.

Its sad really.

Most if not all the veterans have never been leaders their whole career. They may have borrowed the limelight for a week or two at a time earlier but we can't expect them to change now. This roster is chaulk full of followers and not much more. Fortunately the Oil have 3 new kids who look to be capable of leading or doing the so called heavy lifting. The total collapse of the veteran support on this club isn't a surprise, it's what has become acceptable here since 2007.

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#26 keilan
December 20 2011, 09:07AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Most if not all the veterans have never been leaders their whole career. They may have borrowed the limelight for a week or two at a time earlier but we can't expect them to change now. This roster is chaulk full of followers and not much more. Fortunately the Oil have 3 new kids who look to be capable of leading or doing the so called heavy lifting. The total collapse of the veteran support on this club isn't a surprise, it's what has become acceptable here since 2007.

Finally someone who sees this team for what they are! I’ve commented from the outset of the season where the Oilers will struggle. The worst core veteran group in the league and that isn’t going to change until they’re moved out or they retire.

The architect of this re-build needs to be fired today, he has absolutely no vision of what a championship team looks like. Tom Renney doesn’t appear to have anyone’s attention on the team, the Oilers continue to “hot potato” with the puck. How long before the Hall’s etc tune him out?

Here’s my list of players that we can give away or trade

Ales Hemsky – made of glass Shawn Horcoff – 3rd line centre and PK – not enough Ryan Smyth – overrated, old and slow Sam Gagner – isn’t a top 6 forward here Tom Gilbert – brutal more nights then not Ryan Whitney – not nearly good enough this year

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#27 Harlie
December 20 2011, 09:31AM
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I know this from a little while back but it still does not bode well for Ryan's feet...

http://yfrog.com/h38pkpcj

ryanwhitney6 Ryan Whitney Oilers therapist chris davie deserves a raise working on these feet every day. #calvesofsteel #pterodactylfeet

10 Mar

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#29 FastOil
December 20 2011, 09:36AM
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There isn't a line in the league outside of whoever Crosby is playing with, that would be considered to be playing well if the were taking passes from the Oilers D core. Basically only Gilbert is the only experienced fully capable player. Whitney I am not counting because he hasn't been a factor in a long time, but IF he were healthy, he'd make two.

Hockey is a team game, and the good teams have capable defensemen and capable forwards. One without the other doesn't work against good teams. Look at the Preds, or the Canucks when they lose their defensemen every playoffs.

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#30 keilan
December 20 2011, 09:43AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Yes, finally.

Please submit this master plan to I'mAGenius@edmontonoilers.com immediately, assuring the franchise's return to glory. Thank goodness you and Moneypuck have put your heads together and come up with half a brain.

And your opinion on the players I mentioned is what? Or do you have one? If this organization had a clue in the past 15 years they’d be on the floor playing with it!!

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#32 OilFan
December 20 2011, 10:06AM
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Ryan Whitney will continue to cost the Oilers games one of the most over rated dman in the league hands down. Why would every team he has played for trade him if he was such a good young dman ? He can't skate ( we will use the injuries as an excuse) and when is the last time the play hasn't died or ended up on the other teams stick when he has the puck ? Whitney hasn't done anything for me to believe all his hype. I'd be ok with a depth dman in return for him since that what he is. Smid and Gilbert are above him Petry has outplayed him wow I will stop.

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#33 keilan
December 20 2011, 10:13AM
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keilan wrote:

And your opinion on the players I mentioned is what? Or do you have one? If this organization had a clue in the past 15 years they’d be on the floor playing with it!!

Yup, didn’t think you’d have an opinion! I’ve watched the Oilers since 1979, paid for my season tickets and bought my own refreshments!! Maybe that allows me to voice an opinion…….just saying :)

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#35 OilFan
December 20 2011, 10:22AM
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keilan wrote:

Yup, didn’t think you’d have an opinion! I’ve watched the Oilers since 1979, paid for my season tickets and bought my own refreshments!! Maybe that allows me to voice an opinion…….just saying :)

I'm an arsehole who comes here to try to get under Brownlee's skin, so I agree with you completely and disagree with everything RB says and ever will say. I don't really add anything to the conversation, I just come here to needle him and will do so until he blocks my IP.

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#36 A-Mc
December 20 2011, 10:52AM
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Should the Oilers be looking to draft a potentially great D-Man? or should they look at trading some picks + players for an established one?

I'm not talking theoretically: Weber isn't coming here so lets stop naming people we WISH could come here.

What are the chances the Oilers can pickup a good d-man that's already established? I'm going to assume top 2-3 is out of the question unless we develop a draft pick INTO one.

Is picking up a 4-5 D-Man good enough? or do we need much more than that?

I'm not sure of the best route for the Oilers to land a successful back end. If a Realist could describe to me the different options ahead i would greatly appreciate it.

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#37 keilan
December 20 2011, 11:05AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Let’s get something straight regarding my comments of the Oilers – They’re here on this site in black & white go look them up! From game one let alone game twenty/thirty three I’ve preached the same message.

So stop with the paint-by-numbers and master plan to I'mAGenius@edmontonoilers.com because it makes you appear trivial.

Trade Hemsky. When and for who? At this point it doesn’t really matter, playing him 20 minutes a game sends the wrong message to the rest of team. Hemsky has unbelievable skills but in his best season he only scored 23 goals. In the 10 yrs he’s played here no line-mate has benefited from playing with him. Tons of skill but……..

Trade Horcoff. – Will go down as the worst contract ever negotiated in Oiler history. Takes the spot of another veteran player who could be here contributing.

Trade Ryan Smyth – I was totally against his signing here again and said so – look it up!

Trade Sam Gagner – if he can’t play as a top six forward here, he doesn’t help this team. Matter-a-fact when Sam first came into this league and Horcoff got injured my comment was – Gagner will make everyone forget about Horcoff which I think he did. For whatever reason/s Sam hasn’t developed much over the past 5 years. Simply Sam isn’t part of the puzzle.

Gilbert is another American bred Oiler who doesn’t belong in this market. When Tom is asked to play top 4 minutes he doesn’t get enough oxygen to his brain. Tom is a perfect number 5 d-man.

Ryan Whitney – I’ve reserved an opinion on him until recently, it’s time to let go….

So Robin I don’t think I’ve panicked at all – I’ve also commented that Nugent-Hopkins is the best 18 year old I’ve seen. Where this Oiler team would be without him this year sends chills down my back.

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#38 stevezie
December 20 2011, 11:42AM
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@keilan

Well, you've put your money where your mouth is and ponied up with a detailed plan, which I respect, especially since this is one of the most terrible plans I have seen on these boards, though there have been plenty. I don't think I'd have had the guts to share it.
Highlights include "look it up", and "Gagner is so good we don't need Horcoff but Gagner sucks so trade him." Are you published? Where could I look this stuff up?

Basically, you need to remember that for every guy you want gone we need a replacement. Do you think our first-place farm team deserves a chance to move up a league? Do you know something about Horcoff's trade value that no one else does? Do you think Belanger should be out second line center?

Replacements aside, I disagree with many of your assessments but see where you're coming from, but what more could you possibly want from Tom Gilbert or Ryan Smyth? Why did you not want Smyth back?

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#39 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 20 2011, 12:16PM
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glenn wrote:

He will be better as will the Oil. Mark my words they will be lights out in the second half. Hemsky looked better against the Sharks, if both those guys pick it up and if the kids keep it going and...... crap maybe no playoffs that's alot of ifs lol. Come on boys I'm counting on you PLAYOFFS can happen RB gotta believe

Hey dude, welcome to the Koolaide Klub. We gotta stay strong as our members are dwindling with the recent slump.

Our rival fraternity, the Haterade House is gaining a lot of steam.

Keep the Faith and Keep Strong!!

PS: Dear ON executives,

Can you please organize an all out, no quit til death Dodgeball tournament for charity. Koolaide Klub VS Haterade House.

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#40 keilan
December 20 2011, 12:29PM
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@stevezie

Kind of sad this place doesn’t have a search function!!

Where’s the re-build? Drafting 1st overall two years running usually gets two pretty good players – mission accomplished.

For the past 4 years the Oiler brass have been in a re-build, other then drafting some pretty good kids who have they surrounded these kids with? You’re a smart guy, explain how this veteran core of older players measures up?

You think playing Gagner with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle is smart hockey? Not an ideal line without the puck. You think having Hall on the left side makes sense? Opposing teams shut down one line and other then Jones on one else can score! Game-set-match!

Hall can play centre – just so you know.

If you like Gilbert and Smyth, knock yourself out. If Gilbert played for me he’d get 15-16 minutes of ice time at most and I’d be satisfied with his play in general or I could be like Renney and play him 25 minutes and remain horrified. Smyth isn’t good enough and yes I’m wrong and so are the organizations he played for since leaving.

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#41 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 20 2011, 12:48PM
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@keilan

4 years of rebuild????

I count one year and 33 games.

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#42 stevezie
December 20 2011, 12:54PM
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@keilan

I'll give you one thing: it would be great if they had a search function, or if your posts were tracked by your profile in any way at all.

I agree the first two years of the "rebuild" were pointless, and I agree that one of this team's biggest needs is secondary scoring, but to me Gagner, Smyth and Hemsky represent the solution to that problem (as does Omark). As Hemsky heals up I hope he gets better, Gagner is already picking it up, and Smyth was providing it for 20 games. Advanced stats love Gilbert this year, and by my ignorant eye he looks pretty good.

Smyth was at least decent for every team he played for.

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#43 stevezie
December 20 2011, 12:54PM
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@The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

Exactly. The first two years was just a bad team, they didn't commit to the rebuild until they drafted Hall.

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#44 Dutchscooter
December 20 2011, 12:57PM
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@keilan

You still haven't outlined your master plan yet, just bitched about their shortcomings. Who would you trade these players for? If you 'give them away for nothing' as you say, who would you replace them with? I'm listening with baited breath.....

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#45 keilan
December 20 2011, 01:19PM
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stevezie wrote:

Exactly. The first two years was just a bad team, they didn't commit to the rebuild until they drafted Hall.

Can’t fool you :)

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#46 keilan
December 20 2011, 01:30PM
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Dutchscooter wrote:

You still haven't outlined your master plan yet, just bitched about their shortcomings. Who would you trade these players for? If you 'give them away for nothing' as you say, who would you replace them with? I'm listening with baited breath.....

Wow master plan - is that what’s it called?

You think the organization has been vigilant the past 4 years? You think Renney sending Souray to the minors because he chose not to work it out was in the Oilers best interest?

Who did the Oilers get for Souray?

If something or someone has no market value then describe to me why you want to keep it? OHH I GET IT – because it’s worthless… clever group here

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#47 Harlie
December 20 2011, 01:34PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I like the thinking behind the trade as much now as I did when it was made -- get a younger player who is capable of 45-55 points, is in his prime and costs less money.

The wrench in the works is the ankle sewered Whitney last season and it has to be considered a question mark from here on out. Visnovsky and Whitney have missed a lot of games this season.

All told, I'll take the 28-year-old with a $4 million cap it over the 35-year old with the $5.6 million cap hit through the end of their contracts in 2012-13.

not to jump on you or into this fray but why do you mention the contracts? I thought that the size of the paycheck "doesn't mean squat"?

I listen to you and Gregor all the time and especially Gregor says that he doesn't know why contracts are always brought up as they shouldn't mean anything regarding playing time. Yet I hear the contracts talked about all of the time.

I guess I'm confused. Do the contracts mean anything or don't they?

http://oilersnation.com/2011/12/19/gdb-330-tough-test

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#48 A-Mc
December 20 2011, 01:45PM
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@Harlie

I suspect the answer would be "A little of both".

Contracts HAVE to matter to some degree. When you're discussing player retention, a salary cap hit plays a big role in deciding if a person should move or not. Given two identical players with Identical stats: if one makes 3 Million a year and the Other 6 Million, only a lunatic would choose the man who makes the 6.

Conversely, if you have a player that makes 4 million a year and a player that makes 2, their salary shouldn't be a factor in how much ice time they get or on what lines they play.

The realized potential of Hemsky, for example, may not be worth $4,100,000/year to the Oilers hockey club and therefore he may get traded. But also it makes no sense to take out Eberle or Hall on the kid line for Hemsky JUST BECAUSE Hemsky makes more money. Either Hall or Eberle, IMO, are far better options than Hemsky will ever be.

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#49 keilan
December 20 2011, 01:48PM
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@Harlie

Harlie, 2 cents worth

Of course contracts mean something, this is a business and payrolls are capped. If payrolls meant nothing we’d be able to unload a few anchors – you know the guys that we wouldn’t get anything for if traded!!

Yuuup those precious assets

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#50 Harlie
December 20 2011, 01:52PM
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I agree, and have always contended that contracts do mean something. It's just that I hear conflicting reports from MSM (as mentioned) when contracts are mentioned and in the same breath they are said to not matter when it comes to playing time or what to do with a player (see Souray) yet whenever a trade is made or a new contract is put in place a guy is compared and contrasted and his numbers are run through a grinder directly compared to what he makes. Either they mean something or they don't.

I think they do.

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