What Would it Look Like?

Lowetide
April 13 2011 07:46AM

At last night's draft lottery (not a great television show but there was suspense--witness Bryan Murray's facial expressions throughout the proceedings) Oilers General Manager was resolute when asked if he wanted to be back on the lottery show next year: "Absolutely not!" he told James Duthie. IF the Oilers are serious about staying away from the dungeon, what would this summer look like? 

Even from this far away I think we can agree on a few things about this summer. If the Oilers want to step into the elevator shaft that means a lottery pick they can spend the summer quietly. Draft another elite prospect, get some diamonds in the later picks and then wait for the entire group of youngsters to develop.

Steve Tambellini can't just say "you know James, we're going to spend the next few seasons getitng really good kids and then dominate for a decade" so we shouldn't put too much weight on ST's words last night. However, if the club is serious about getting better, we'll know about it this summer.

  1. The draft: If the Oilers plan to reach for higher ground in 11-12, the draft will be about the #1 pick and getting quality with the LAK pick and their own selection at #31. Veterans like Hemsky, Gagner and Gilbert won't be in play. The number one pick won't be on the big league roster.
  2. The free agency period will have some nice acquisitions. Along with Ryan Jones, perhaps a Clarke MacArthur or Scottie Upshall will be under the tree. Signing an NHL calibre defensemen (say Denis Grebeshkov) would go a long way to making things right.
  3. Another Martin Gerber type signing--a quality goalie who can play in the NHL and do the job--is vital. The Oilers don't have any AHL depth now with the free agency situation and Khabibulin's fade is likely to continue. NK has a lot of miles on him and can see his 40th birthday on the horizon.
  4. A solid center who can help on the PK and in the faceoff dot. Someone like Boyd Gordon. I know Vande Velde showed well late in the season but this team is so poor when it comes to established veterans that signing Gordon and having him play those vital special teams minutes can go along way to improving the PK.

So, what would that look like? 

  • GOALER: Devan Dubnyk, Nikolai Khabibulin, real strength in the AHL
  • DEFENSE: Whitney-Petry, Peckham-Gilbert, Grebeshkov-Smid and Foster or Chorney
  • CENTER: Horcoff-Gagner-Cogliano-Gordon
  • LEFT WING: Hall-MacArthur-MPS--Hartikainen-Reddox
  • RIGHT WING: Hemsky-Eberle-Jones-Omark-enforcer (not my choice but Renney likes enforcers)

It isn't perfect, but it's better. And there's a chance this team would be able to endure the annual injuries better and finish outside the lottery. We'll know this summer.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#101 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
April 13 2011, 11:59AM
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#1 overall pick this year (RNH) won't play in the NHL next year, the oil will finish dead last again, and they start the NEXT year with TWO rookie 1st overall selections in their starting lineup. I can honestly see this happening.

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#102 Dennis
April 13 2011, 12:08PM
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MacArthur and Upshall were both big Oilers fans growing up, right?

Yeah, I'm sure Lupul was too but at least we wouldn't have to deal Pronger to get one of these;)

Of course it all depends on the price but it would be nice if someone outside of Strudwick actually signed here because he really wanted to.

Looks like it might be a battle with the Leaves and the former though because they have the courage of their convictions on how they dealt with Moore in a similar situation and MacArthur did struggle down the stretch.

In any case, it would be nice to see some vets lifted onto the club but the burden of proof is on MGMT to actually do something in that regard other than talking about the time they tried to sign Malholtra.

Bieksa would be nice as well though I see no reason why he'd sign here.

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#103 Justin
April 13 2011, 12:08PM
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I worry about RNH size, will he ever be strong enough to play in the NHL?

How about Zach Parise, Martin Hanzal wouldn't these guys be good for EDM.

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#104 bigrroberto
April 13 2011, 12:09PM
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The Oilers will draft RNH and evaluate him during the rookie camp and pre-season. I think the spot in the starting line up is his to lose if he doesn't show well. At that time it's my belief that he goes back to Red Deer.

But...

I'm an optimist and I think we see him center Hall and Eberle in the first pre-season game and after 60 mins we'll all be planning the cup parade when he lights it up for a goal and 2 assist, all not on the power play. Really.

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#105 Crash
April 13 2011, 12:14PM
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Eric Johnson wrote:

AS PER GENE PRINCIPE ON TWITTER:

@GenePrincipe Multiple sources reporting, including Sportsnet radio, that once playoffs are over that Phx will turn on the 'Jets' and head to Wpg..

YEAH!

I hope they're right...if so, good for Winnipeg...too bad for Eric Belanger though

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#106 DC
April 13 2011, 12:39PM
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Zenon Konopka fills 2 jobs. He can win faceoffs, and is an enforcer. Give me Zenon over Gordon please.

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#107 beezkneez
April 13 2011, 12:53PM
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People seem to forget that patrick kane was only 170 pounds on his draft day. Just goes to show that if your talented enough size isn't the biggest issue in the NHL. Draft RNH.

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#108 Westcoastoil
April 13 2011, 12:55PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I don't know about Orr - I'd rather have Zenon or Fiddler (different players i realize), but you are band on with drafting RNH. As discussed last year ad nauseum first line centres RARELY get traded. If you get one it's through the draft. Excellent, quality D can be obtained later in the draft, via trade or FA.

Horc, Hemsky, MPS, Hall, Eberle, RNH Omark, Gagne, Jones Fiddler/Z (veteran C), Hartikainen, Brule Beat cop as the 13th with CVV, Lander, O'Marra, Reddox pushing from below. I'd have no problem replacing Brule off that list

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#109 Oilnutz
April 13 2011, 12:59PM
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DC wrote:

Zenon Konopka fills 2 jobs. He can win faceoffs, and is an enforcer. Give me Zenon over Gordon please.

this is a no brainer and one Tambi should be willing to overpay for a couple years to get. Oh and you forgot to mention leadership when discribing Konopka, although that's easy to do with this team because there has been such a lack of it the past few years.

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#110 Mitch
April 13 2011, 01:03PM
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@Lowetide

Your drafting RNH(which will be the correct choice) and keep Gagner and Cogliano, you might do that for next yr, but does this plan work going ahead further than that? I would have no problem with Vande Velde, Lander, Boyd Gordon as my centre men. Cogliano and Gagner are small, look how the NHL game is played today and how important faceoffs and battles down low are. Lander and Vande Velde can win draws, there not sexy buy any means, don't worrie about the offensive numbers, look at the other aspects of the game where Gagner and Cogs clearly fail. There are other guys that should be counted on offensively to drive this ship. I would use the two mentioned players to acquire dmen. Just watch Montreal get run out of the rink against the Bruins.

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#111 They're $hittie
April 13 2011, 01:03PM
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beezkneez wrote:

People seem to forget that patrick kane was only 170 pounds on his draft day. Just goes to show that if your talented enough size isn't the biggest issue in the NHL. Draft RNH.

while i agree, i have said it before and will say it again. I dont think people are concerned with RNH size, i think they are concerned with the oilers lack of. IF Gagner and Eberle were both two inches taller and 15 pounds heavier RNH would be the easy choice. than again maybe our forward depth would be good enough to go for the d.

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#112 They're $hittie
April 13 2011, 01:22PM
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Hypothetically anyone like LA's first, edm 2nd, 3rd and cogliano or brule for rolston and NJ first. We clear up much needed cap for them. they restock with early in round draft picks and a usefull bottom six player, and we have a larson couterier, or RHN Hamilton combo. We also get an aging veteran one year left on contract, may or may not help the team.

Lou probably wouldnt do this because apparently he is a crafty GM. But than again he did sign Kovy to one of the worst contracts ever, forfieted a descent draft pick, and hired a player to coach his team that cost them there season and possibly ruined the players legacy with the team.

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#113 Jordan
April 13 2011, 01:26PM
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How many of you actually have seen RNH play and Adam Larsson? You like me rely on the hype. I hope EDM does pick the right player but none of us are scouts, so this is about how well reporters hype the player.

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#114 Ca$h-Money
April 13 2011, 01:48PM
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Breakerdog wrote:

"and hope to get a guy like dman JAMIESON OLEKSIAK (6'7, 244) with the kings pick."

Yes, because thats what we need. More terrible hockey players whose only skill is being large. JFJ, SMAC, Bigos, Abney.

How do you figure he's a terrible hockey player? He's been shooting up the draft rankings and is projected to go mid to late first round. The kings pick will be 18th overall, so it's a good fit. And if not him, there could be other quality Dmen available with some size, this draft has lots of Dmen and outside of the top few picks guys tend to move around quite a bit. I seem to remember Cam Fowler falling all the way to around 13 after being projected top 5 (top 3) most of the year.

It's exactly the type of move we should make with the kings pick, unless we can move up in the draft (I'm assuming we don't). If not him, who would you think is better AND likely to be available, or do you have no clue who this guy even is?

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#115 Lochenzo
April 13 2011, 01:55PM
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I think fans need to be patient. After watching Hall, Eberle and Pajaarvi have good rookie years, the temptation would be to throw the next one into the fire.

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#116 Rogue
April 13 2011, 02:00PM
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My concern with next year is our vetern players up front. Hemsky, Horcoff and Brule are all so injury prone that we have no veterns to lead this club most of the time. We need to address this.

As far as the draft goes, draft centers with the first 2 picks and a dman with the 31st pick. As bad as the D is, I view our centers as being worse.

Goodbye,Fraser, Mac. JFJ is a 14th.man, the same as reddox. Foster is a number 7 dman.

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#117 Mantastic
April 13 2011, 02:01PM
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@They're $hittie

NJ put Rolston on waivers this season, i don't think it'll take much to take him off NJ's hands...

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#118 Tyler
April 13 2011, 02:16PM
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Rolston and 4th for Hemmer and 31 st. Done in a heart beat. I'd even sub in 31 for the 18th if that's what it took.

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#119 oilers1974
April 13 2011, 02:21PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

are you being serious?

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#120 Clay
April 13 2011, 02:24PM
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It's been said before by others, but drafting RNH at #1 would be a mistake. He scores 55.66% of his offence on the PP. The average amongst the CHL forwards in Bob McKenzie's top 60 is 33.32% (and, yes, I worked it out).

For comparison, here are some EV boxcars to ponder:

RNH: 20-27-47 in 69 games (.681 EVPPG) Huberdeau: 27-43-70 in 67 games (1.045 EVPPG) Strome: 22-42-64 in 65 games (.985 EVPPG) Couturier: 23-32-55 in 58 games (.948 EVPPG)

Out of the 27 CHL forwards in McKenzie's top 60, RNH's .681 EVPPG is ranked 15th, Huberdeau 2nd, Strome 3rd, Couterier 5th.

What's worse, is that of RNH's 59 PP points, only 11 are goals.

All he's proven is he can score on the powerplay. He's Rob Schremp v2.0.

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#121 Quicksilver ballet
April 13 2011, 02:37PM
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oilers1974 wrote:

are you being serious?

Is there cap issues there?

Pretty big overhaul i know but it's time to be aggressive make our own luck. Think we could pry Jared Bol out of the Jackets instead of Micheal Rupp?

I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts as to where this scenario or portion thereof falls short.

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#122 DonDon
April 13 2011, 02:38PM
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Quicksilver.

"Souray and Gilbert" on defence? Does Sheldon Souray have a relative playing professional hockey? Surely you do not mean the Souray who is persona non grata in Oilerland and playing far off in Hershey?

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#123 Peterborough
April 13 2011, 03:00PM
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Mantastic wrote:

the thing is NJ doesn't need to have this years draft pick play for them next season, if they send them back to the minors or europe they won't suffer the cap hit.

from TSN, tamby said that the 1st overall is fair game for trade. i could possibly see colorado and us swapping picks, our 1st overall + penner pick (+ maybe 2nd/3rd round) for their 2nd overall + 11th overall (STL pick)

I like that not sure what Colorado is doing or if they give up a 1rst like that. But I like the way you think!

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#124 Peterborough
April 13 2011, 03:06PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Hypothetically anyone like LA's first, edm 2nd, 3rd and cogliano or brule for rolston and NJ first. We clear up much needed cap for them. they restock with early in round draft picks and a usefull bottom six player, and we have a larson couterier, or RHN Hamilton combo. We also get an aging veteran one year left on contract, may or may not help the team.

Lou probably wouldnt do this because apparently he is a crafty GM. But than again he did sign Kovy to one of the worst contracts ever, forfieted a descent draft pick, and hired a player to coach his team that cost them there season and possibly ruined the players legacy with the team.

Two problems:

1 Rolston has NTC and likely will not waive it to finish his career here.

2 Kovy contract is not at a bad deal he is an elite tallent at 6.667 per. Maybe in 5 years it will be a terrible contract but now its a steal.

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#125 Quicksilver ballet
April 13 2011, 03:07PM
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@DougWeightProblem

See, now that's where the problem is Doug. You think the same way Steve Tambeliini does.

Steve would get more accomplished with some kind words and a gun than he would with just some kind words. He needs to be more aggressive (be willing to give something to get something)

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#126 Peterborough
April 13 2011, 03:19PM
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RE: Quicksilver's insane rant.

I thought it was serious . . . till I read Souray. He sucked in the AHL.

He is a downgrade over everything we have except maybe Struds.

let alone the fact that he is the cancer man.

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#127 Quicksilver ballet
April 13 2011, 03:19PM
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gord962 wrote:

This may be the funniest thing I have ever read on the interwebs. Thanks for the laugh!

Please insert 4 toonies in the slot provided on the lefthand side of your monitor.

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#128 DougWeightProblem
April 13 2011, 03:22PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

See, now that's where the problem is Doug. You think the same way Steve Tambeliini does.

Steve would get more accomplished with some kind words and a gun than he would with just some kind words. He needs to be more aggressive (be willing to give something to get something)

I thought that was the point, seeing as how he has the job and you/I don't.

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#129 hoil
April 13 2011, 03:44PM
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Breakerdog wrote:

If the plan was to compete next year, they would not have traded Penner. Operation Tank Job 2012 is in full effect. Enjoy those season tickets. Nail Yakupov looks good next year!

I was just enjoying the video tribute to his OHL Rookie of the Year award. He obviously loves to score goals and is damn good at it, the kid has some sick hands on him.

http://ontariohockeyleague.com/video/index/id/e45c8b6819dcc2e1918ca6ddd7e6a9af

Next year our diversion from watching the Oilers continued suckage would be another discussion about picking another "little" forward with skill (5.10"-oh noes)or going for one of the great defensemen that are projected near the top 2012 rankings.

Plus he has the great name, Nail. If we could just trade up to get Frk, Gene Principe would be set for a decade. Maybe we should draft a Russian this year just so he has somebody to talk Russian to (hoping Habby is gone by then).

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#130 gcw_rocks
April 13 2011, 03:58PM
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LT: Regarding your point "like Hemsky, Gagner and Gilbert won't be in play". I think that is a false assumption. A more accurate statement would be "Hemsky, Gagner and Gilbert will not be in play for prospects and picks, and will only be traded for real NHL players that fill needs".

My line up:

Hall - Horcoff - Eberle

Paajarvi - FA/Trade - Omark

Hartikainen - FA - FA

Jones - VV - FA

FA targets include Connolly, Belanger, Laich, Clark, Upshall, Gordon, Asham, etc. enticed through over-payments on 2 year deals.

Defence:

Whitney - Trade

Larsson - Petry

Peckham - Smid

Foster/Chorney

Goal: DD, Khabby (because we have to unless we can dump him in the KHL) and a Gerber type.

In play to fill holes: Hemsky, Gagner, Cogliano, Brule, Gilbert.

Not sure what those guys are worth, but I would be happy to do 2 for 1 deals where we ship out two to get one back of real quality and that fills a need. Don't even care if its an over-payment if we get the right guy.

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#131 They're $hittie
April 13 2011, 04:01PM
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Mantastic wrote:

NJ put Rolston on waivers this season, i don't think it'll take much to take him off NJ's hands...

Its still money and I dont think he would clear re-entry while on his last year of contract.

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#132 They're $hittie
April 13 2011, 04:02PM
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a contract that could possibly tie the teams hands for 20 years is not a steal.

Do a poll on oilers nation whether this is a good or bad contract. I think the votes would be in favour of bad.

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#133 hoil
April 13 2011, 04:03PM
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Clay wrote:

It's been said before by others, but drafting RNH at #1 would be a mistake. He scores 55.66% of his offence on the PP. The average amongst the CHL forwards in Bob McKenzie's top 60 is 33.32% (and, yes, I worked it out).

For comparison, here are some EV boxcars to ponder:

RNH: 20-27-47 in 69 games (.681 EVPPG) Huberdeau: 27-43-70 in 67 games (1.045 EVPPG) Strome: 22-42-64 in 65 games (.985 EVPPG) Couturier: 23-32-55 in 58 games (.948 EVPPG)

Out of the 27 CHL forwards in McKenzie's top 60, RNH's .681 EVPPG is ranked 15th, Huberdeau 2nd, Strome 3rd, Couterier 5th.

What's worse, is that of RNH's 59 PP points, only 11 are goals.

All he's proven is he can score on the powerplay. He's Rob Schremp v2.0.

So picking RNH would be a mistake because he get too many of his points on the PP (yes, it has been said by others), but what's worse, is that gets too few of those points with goals?

If RNH scores a higher percentage of goals to assists at EV, and a higher percentage of assists to goals on the PP, wouldn't that indicate that the PP in Red Deer flows through his hands as he sets up his teammates?

I get the heavy PP points issue that people have with RNH (though I think that it isn't as simple as some of the simpler math suggests), but being a good PP QB isn't a bad thing.

And I will say it again, since repeating things seems to be the style here, RNH is the polar opposite of Schremp. Schremp couldn't carry Nuge's banana hammock.

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#134 Quicksilver ballet
April 13 2011, 04:06PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So, Horcoff is your 1C and your 2/3C spots are made up of two 18 year old rookies that are likely impossible to be drafted together. You have 24 players for a 23 man roster. Peckham is supposedly traded yet still playing as your 6D. Souray has been welcomed back with open arms, AND you just traded away the team's best offensive Centre, Winger (for now), as well as the best NHL ready defensive prospects...and Fraser.

Well at least Fraser's gone.

Well, we did have 4 rookies for most of this past year Archie. I anticipate having to move Peckham or Petry in a deal, i could'nt exclude both from the roster. I know it's a sorry situation having Horcoff as the 1st line center here but having only 2 rookies next year in RNH and Couturier is an acceptible level compared to last year isn't it? #10 is gone by the time the 12-13 season rolls around.

Souray, all is lost on this front according to most. The Oilers are paying him anyways why not give him a chance to re-establish himself as an NHL player again? Has Sheldon givin up on an opportunity to play in the NHL again? Have to think a team that finished deadlast two years running would give a project guy like that a shot at redemtion.

Slow day at work Archie, thought i'd stir things up a little. Hope i didn't fall of my pedestal again.

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#135 Mantastic
April 13 2011, 04:09PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Its still money and I dont think he would clear re-entry while on his last year of contract.

what? i was responding to your idea about trading hemsky + penner pick/31st for NJ's 4th pick and rolston. so again, since Rolston was placed on waivers this season, i don't think it would take much to take him off NJ's hands...

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#136 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 13 2011, 04:09PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So, Horcoff is your 1C and your 2/3C spots are made up of two 18 year old rookies that are likely impossible to be drafted together. You have 24 players for a 23 man roster. Peckham is supposedly traded yet still playing as your 6D. Souray has been welcomed back with open arms, AND you just traded away the team's best offensive Centre, Winger (for now), as well as the best NHL ready defensive prospects...and Fraser.

Well at least Fraser's gone.

Makes you want to claw your eyes out, doesn't it.

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#137 a lg dubl dubl
April 13 2011, 04:18PM
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Why in the blue hell would anybody want garbagekov back....thought the Oilers had a good young puck moving dman in Petry, same style of player but Petry takes the body more and doesnt cough the puck up as much IMO.

Please dont trade Gagner sure he's not a 6'5 moutain of a centerman but he is only 21 give him another yr or 2 geeze ppl

Draft RNH, trade LA pick and Cogs or Brule for a dman already in the NHL (Eager type).

That is all

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#138 Mantastic
April 13 2011, 04:21PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Why in the blue hell would anybody want garbagekov back....thought the Oilers had a good young puck moving dman in Petry, same style of player but Petry takes the body more and doesnt cough the puck up as much IMO.

Please dont trade Gagner sure he's not a 6'5 moutain of a centerman but he is only 21 give him another yr or 2 geeze ppl

Draft RNH, trade LA pick and Cogs or Brule for a dman already in the NHL (Eager type).

That is all

Eager type? as in Ben Eager the forward?

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#139 Mantastic
April 13 2011, 04:31PM
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oilers1974 wrote:

Quicksilver: everyone else pretty much covered it. To those who think it's a good idea to throw big money at an RFA, keep this in mind. If they had been successful in securing the services of Thomas Vanek, the draft picks to Buffalo would have been Eberle, Paajarvi and Hall. Keep building the depth chart through the draft to create a pipeline at each position and be patient. Quick fixes will not work long term.

wasn't the Eberle pick a trade? the original 2008 pick was given to Anahiem to the ducks for Penner wasn't it?

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#140 hoil
April 13 2011, 04:34PM
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Mantastic wrote:

wasn't the Eberle pick a trade? the original 2008 pick was given to Anahiem to the ducks for Penner wasn't it?

I believe he was the conditional pick from the Duck's Stanley Cup (throw in from Pronger deal).

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#141 oilers1974
April 13 2011, 04:36PM
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@Mantastic

right you are. the oilers pick ended up being tyler myers. my mistake.

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#142 CM
April 13 2011, 04:52PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

See, now that's where the problem is Doug. You think the same way Steve Tambeliini does.

Steve would get more accomplished with some kind words and a gun than he would with just some kind words. He needs to be more aggressive (be willing to give something to get something)

Are you insinuating something along the lines of a suicide note?

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#143 Westcoastoil
April 13 2011, 05:02PM
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I can't wait to be caught up in playoff fever rather than the merits of hanging on your second round draft pick.

If we have to go through this again next year i might have to start caring about the Raptors...damn that won't help either

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#144 Harlie
April 13 2011, 05:05PM
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nice article LT.

Not to be Mr.Obvious but we full on suck in the Center position. . . . . . And yes, that IS what she said!

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#145 They're $hittie
April 13 2011, 05:07PM
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Peterborough wrote:

Actually he's 25th in av cap hit this year. Maybe you should check facts . . . or just keep looking foolish . . . your choice.

the biggest or second biggest deal in hockey history, is that not being paid like number one or number two.

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#146 Harlie
April 13 2011, 05:08PM
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ps. - I think Air Supply should pay Identity Clothing a visit.

That checker shirt is hideous!

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#147 a lg dubl dubl
April 13 2011, 05:12PM
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Mantastic wrote:

Eager type? as in Ben Eager the forward?

whooops lol my bad thought he was a dman

*sheepishly runs and hides*

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#148 a lg dubl dubl
April 13 2011, 05:13PM
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Westcoastoil wrote:

I can't wait to be caught up in playoff fever rather than the merits of hanging on your second round draft pick.

If we have to go through this again next year i might have to start caring about the Raptors...damn that won't help either

Blue Jays maybe lol

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#149 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 13 2011, 05:21PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

the biggest or second biggest deal in hockey history, is that not being paid like number one or number two.

No

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#150 pelhem grenville
April 13 2011, 05:22PM
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I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts as to where this scenario or portion thereof falls short.

u make me laff Q

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