Follow the Money

Lowetide
May 29 2011 08:26AM

This is Anton Lander. The Edmonton Oilers have been waiting patiently for him to mature and prove himself at the highest levels. That accomplished, he will very likely receive strong consideration for a job on the NHL team this fall.

Like many Oiler fans I've been scouring the UFA list in search of a Brooks Laich to solve a problem on the big league roster. History tells us Edmonton is unlikely to acquire the top level free agents, and when they do the contract is an overpay and miles too long.

I think we're seeing "business as usual" from Steve Tambellini this spring and that will probably give way to an even younger roster come the fall. We entered the spring discussing Ryan Jones and his possible signing, but the contracts that have been handed out are to young drafted prospects about to embark on their North American pro careers, minor leaguers hoping to cash in on a strong 10-11 season, and NCAA kids.

TELEPHONE IS RINGING

Steve Tambellini and company have been active acquiring talent for the pro teams this spring. The contracts can tell you a lot: for instance, both Taylor Fedun and Tanner House below received nice bonus money and in the case of House a very good AHL salary. It's a kind of tell about how much value the organization places on the player, and sometimes offers a hint that other teams may have been interested in the player. Here's the list and projected role in the organization:

  • March 8: D Tayler Fedun is signed from Princeton (NCAA). Puck mover gets a 2-year deal and is extremely likely to be part of the 11-12 OKC Barons. ($782,500 times 2 for NHL; $67,500 for AHL and $90,000 signing bonus for each season. They wanted him and gave out a nice contract).
  • March 19: C Tanner House is signed from Maine (NCAA). House is the first of several recently signed prospects with a chance to play in the NHL in 2011-12. Why? He's described as a 2-way C who has FO skills and he adapted quickly to AHL level competition. A name to keep in mind, he probably starts in OKC but his resume matches an enormous team need. ($600,000 times 2 for NHL; $105,000 times 2 for AHL and a $100,000 signing bonus. They wanted him, too).
  • March 30: G Olivier Roy is signed from Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL). The first draft pick signed this spring, Roy will probably spend time in both the ECHL and OKC in the coming season. The organization is apparently in search of at least one AHL option, but with Nikolai Khabibulin on the NHL roster an injury may not be far way. ($595,000 times three on an entry level NHL deal; $65,000 AHL and $50,000 times 3 for the signing bonus. Standard entry level deal).
  • March 31: L Hunter Tremblay is signed from New Brunswick (CIS). Tremblay is a talented forward and more mature than a lot of kids who'll come to camp. He's probably slotted as an AHL only player, but it will be interesting to see if he can establish himself quickly in the minors. ($565,000 times 1 for NHL; $65,000 for AHL and a $40,000 signing bonus).
  • April 1: C Mark Arcobello is signed from the OKC Barons (AHL). Showed well after a callup from Stockton, he certainly looks AHL only but signed a pretty rich contract if that's the case. ($615,000 times 2 years; $65,000 for AHL and a $90,000 times 2 signing bonus).
  • April 13: R Tyler Pitlick is signed from Medicine Hat (WHL). Organization is extremely high on him, but a full AHL season is very likely for Pitlick. ($865,000 times 3 for entry level; $67,500 for AHL and $90,000 times three for signing bonus. I believe these contracts write themselves based on the current CBA, it's all about where you go in the draft).
  • April 18: L Curtis Hamilton is signed from Saskatoon (WHL). Hamilton is (along with Pitlick and Marincin) highly regarded by the Oilers and will be a featured player in OKC. (Hamilton's contract is a little unusual; it's a three year entry level deal, but the salary increases by year: $715,000; $790,000 and $900,000. His cap hit is $80,000 less than Pitlick, though which falls in with draft position. $67,500 for AHL and $90,000 times three for signing bonus).
  • April 21: R Cameron Abney is signed from Edmonton (WHL). Of all the kids signed this spring, Abney has the strongest chance of starting in the ECHL. He needs at-bats and fights, plus he needs to be able to learn to play at the pro level. A season in Stockton should help him. (Three year entry level deal, $580,000 times three years; $50,000 per year at AHL and $55,000 per year signing bonus).
  • April 25: D Martin Marincin is signed from Prince George (WHL). He's probably the toughest player to project for the fall. A fast start had us thinking fast track, but he might benefit from another year in the WHL. Either way, he is a valued part of the future by the organization. (Three year entry level deal, $690,000 times 3. AHL is $67,500 and bonus is $90,000 times three. His NHL salary seems a little shy compared to Hamilton's).
  • April 28: C Anton Lander is signed from Timra (SEL). Oilers are very high on him, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him break camp with the NHL team. Some time in OKC is likely the better plan, but the Oilers brass believes he's NHL ready. (Three year entry level based on his draft year, 2009. $840,000 times three, $67,500 AHL deal and $90,000 times three bonus).
  1. Biggest Bonus: $100,000--Tanner House (I believe the CBA dictates the signing bonus for drafted players).
  2. Biggest Surprise: A tie: Arcobello's contract implies there was interest from other teams. Is he more than an AHL player? Also, the difference between Hamilton's and Marincin's contracts doesn't jive for me.
  3. Most Likely signing to make the jump to the big club: Anton Lander. He's got a real chance. I think the Oilers would probably make room for him if he outplays an NHL center in camp.
  4. Best Long Shot prospect to make the Oilers this fall: Based on the bonuses, and the opportunity? Tanner House. Train hard, young man. Godspeed.
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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 a lg dubl dubl
May 29 2011, 08:30AM
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pssst.....FIST

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#2 a lg dubl dubl
May 29 2011, 08:38AM
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I know its a LONG shot but I wonder what the chances of Mr.Dithers goin after Ehrhoff(sp?). I know He'd command a mighty buck, but he's got the offensive upside a guy like Gilbert wont reach IMO and with a +19 is nothing to sneeze at. It probably won't happen but I'd sure like to see the "re-build" being pushed to COMPETING for a playoff spot and with a d-man like Ehrhoff in the line-up it sure would help take away the pressure of 30min/game Whitney will most likely face next season.

and why isnt Ryan Jones signed yet?

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#4 michael
May 29 2011, 09:04AM
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A foool and his money will part ways quickly. The thought of giving some UFA a big contract at this point would sicken me. Continue to develop the kids and ensure that the carrots are held out to the players in our system rather than from outside our organization. It will ensure that the players we have will know that if they play well that they will be first in line at a position with the big club ather than a guy who isn't from the organiztion. I would rather wait on the kids. Builds identity and fosters trust and loyalty. Changing the character of an organization starts at the bottom. I think these signing prove the commitment of the Oilers to change. 26 days and counting to RNH. Are you going to the draft Lowetide? And will there be a draft party at Shanks again this year?

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#6 pelhem grenville
May 29 2011, 09:20AM
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...Lander'll NEVER play in the NHL if he doesn't get any bigger than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#7 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
May 29 2011, 09:22AM
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@Lowetide

Jones is a great guy but Im not going to wet any kleenex over his departure.

Physical?.....kinda not really. Scoring machine?.....well not really, i cant remember any of his goals, just remember he scored some. Quick?......not so much. Great defensively?......uhhhhh nope

If you cant answer yes to ONE of these, we've got a problem

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#8 justDOit
May 29 2011, 09:23AM
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So no contract for Martindale? Isn't he at roughly the same place in development as Pitlick and Hamilton? Maybe he still hasn't shaken that habit of looking disinterested on the ice at times.

Does Montgomery come in to camp with an existing contract, or is that still being worked on?

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#10 Dave
May 29 2011, 09:44AM
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Lander will replace Horcoff, and soon.

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#11 michael
May 29 2011, 09:44AM
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Palace Casino. This fool better be sure to leave his debit card at home that night. I couldn't win even if the odds were 9-1 and the 9 were in my favor. Gambling and me just don't mix. I'll send my wife shopping and send my son to go see Cars 2. Atleast this way I'll be broke because the of the wife and not me.I'll be there for the food and and the company.

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#12 a lg dubl dubl
May 29 2011, 09:53AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Jones probably isn`t signed because he wants too much money. Good for Tambellini, don`t pay out one a one year surge (especially when the underlying numbers tell a different story.

As for Ehrhoff, I expect he`ll get some offers from teams with a better chance to win, including the team he`s playing for right now.

I hear ya LT, Ehrhoff would probably want to either stay in Vancouver or somewhere else that has a good chance of winning especially if the Canucks win the cup(GO BRUINS). I was just thinking with the comments of what Hall and Whitney were saying that they'd like to see Dithers go after vets that can HELP the team win sooner than later.

As for Jones I hope he isn't expecting Glencross bling that would be a little far fetched and if thats the case let him walk.

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#13 spOILer
May 29 2011, 09:54AM
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Some time in OKC is likely the better plan, but the Oilers brass believes he's NHL ready.

Really? Do we have a source or a quote for this?

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#14 jake
May 29 2011, 09:56AM
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On Ryan Jones - reminds me of early days of June 2008, Kevin Lowe on Curtis Glencross..."if he thinks he can hit the home run contract, then...."

I am not sure what RJ is worth but he seems like he wants to play in E-town, and did score 18 goals on 30th place team. Tough call.

LT, what sort of numbers for a contract would you give RJ?

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#17 DieHard
May 29 2011, 10:03AM
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Lowetide:

I believe Lander will make the club out of camp. I see him between PRV and Omark. Could be a great combo. What do you think?

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#18 CanaDave
May 29 2011, 10:27AM
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Dave wrote:

Lander will replace Horcoff, and soon.

Yep, and according to the "plan" the OIlers will just be one or two more pieces away from competing come the end of Horc's contract at the end of the 2014-15 season lol.

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#20 derrickhands
May 29 2011, 10:47AM
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LT you forgot to mention that Landers defensive play nose dive towards the later part of the season. This could be due the fact he was playing on the first line and was playing against better skilled players and they ate him up. I think VANDEVELDE is ahead of Lander right now for that checking center job and Lander will end up with barons for at least a year.

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#21 Henry
May 29 2011, 10:47AM
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Very small sample size, but regarding point 2 above, I saw the Barons toward the end of last year on the road and wondered who #26 was because he had by far the best game of anyone on the ice. Turned out it was Arcobello. Very, very small, but quick and every loose puck in the offensive end went to him and he would do something productive afterward. He has good offensive hockey sense. Maybe they think he'll be a St. Louis or Briere, but he is very small even for the Oilers.

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#22 RossCreekNation
May 29 2011, 10:51AM
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- I'd draw a hard line in the sand at $2.75M over 2 years ($1.375M per) for Ryan Jones.

- Colin Fraser... 13th F, or AHLer?

- Anton Lander... 6-8 weeks in the AHL, followed by a permanent call-up.

- Is Brian Sutherby going to sign with the Oil? (Good riddance, JFJ)

- Jarkko Ruutu, anyone? Might be nice to bring in a fellow Finn for Hartikainen.

- How about Scottie Upshall?

- Ben Eager over Steve MacIntyre for me.

- Some UFA d-men the Oil should target: James Wisniewski, Jonathan Ericsson, Scott Hannan, Jan Hejda, Paul Mara, Steve Eminger.

- There's these 3 guys down in Calgary that are REAL good. Perhaps Tambellini could twist Feaster's arm into dealing for any/ALL of Ales Kotalik, Niklas Hagman & Cory Sarich.

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#23 justDOit
May 29 2011, 10:51AM
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Lowetide wrote:

2 times 1.2M. Fair?

That might seem fair to us, but I think the number for him will end up being closer to $1.8 x 2 yrs, or maybe $1.5 x 3.

Jones is a tough read though. A heart-and-soul kind of player (good), without any overwhelming hockey skills (uh - not so good...), but yet managed to put up some good numbers on a really bad team while playing with a host of different line-mates (good - really good!). And with no history of doing anything like this in any previous season (again, not so good).

I know one thing - if he gets what I think he's going to be offered and stays with the team, he'll become the new whipping boy if he goes goal-less in his first 8 - 12 games next season.

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#24 DangerMan
May 29 2011, 10:55AM
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Lowetide wrote:

2 times 1.2M. Fair?

Oilers are stuck in a quandry with Ryan Jones and Jones' camp knows it. The Oilers don't want to overpay him and Jones wants to get paid. If the Oilers don't resign him, then they will be looking for 2 third line players and that would hardly speak for progress.

That number above is a little low, I'm thinking it will take somewhere between 1.4-1.8 to get it done, after all Brule got 1.85 and its a number that Jones' camp is looking at.

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#25 DangerMan
May 29 2011, 11:02AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

- I'd draw a hard line in the sand at $2.75M over 2 years ($1.375M per) for Ryan Jones.

- Colin Fraser... 13th F, or AHLer?

- Anton Lander... 6-8 weeks in the AHL, followed by a permanent call-up.

- Is Brian Sutherby going to sign with the Oil? (Good riddance, JFJ)

- Jarkko Ruutu, anyone? Might be nice to bring in a fellow Finn for Hartikainen.

- How about Scottie Upshall?

- Ben Eager over Steve MacIntyre for me.

- Some UFA d-men the Oil should target: James Wisniewski, Jonathan Ericsson, Scott Hannan, Jan Hejda, Paul Mara, Steve Eminger.

- There's these 3 guys down in Calgary that are REAL good. Perhaps Tambellini could twist Feaster's arm into dealing for any/ALL of Ales Kotalik, Niklas Hagman & Cory Sarich.

- I think it will take a little more than that.

- Probably 14th forward because history tells us the injury bug loves the Oilers.

- As it stands right now, all he has to do is beat out Vandevelde and Fraser, so its not like the competition is all that stiff. I think Lander makes the club out of TC.

- Sutherby, meh. Fraser V.2.0

- Ruutu, meh, I'm hoping for Eager but Ruutu would be better than nothing or Macintyre. I think Harski makes 4th LW out of TC

- Upshall, yes please. I'd love to see an Upshall-Horcoff-Jones 3rd line playing the tough. High energy would be tough to play against.

- As mentioned above, Ben Eager please.

- Wisniewski is one of the top targets for me. Would make a nice partner for Whitney.

- No thank you.

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#26 DieHard
May 29 2011, 11:04AM
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Jones is 4th line - period. He can however move up if/when needed for short periods of time.

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#27 Dave
May 29 2011, 11:22AM
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CanaDave wrote:

Yep, and according to the "plan" the OIlers will just be one or two more pieces away from competing come the end of Horc's contract at the end of the 2014-15 season lol.

Uh, what does the end of Horc's contract or this 'plan' you reference have to do with Lander supplanting him?

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#28 spOILer
May 29 2011, 12:35PM
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Thanks, LT. I'm surprised Tambi would jump the shark like that. I'd want to see him on the smaller ice, with AHL Big Meanies before committing to NHL ready now.

What am I saying. I shouldn't be surprised at anything these yahoos say or do.

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#29 Spydyr
May 29 2011, 12:46PM
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edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY wrote:

Jones is a great guy but Im not going to wet any kleenex over his departure.

Physical?.....kinda not really. Scoring machine?.....well not really, i cant remember any of his goals, just remember he scored some. Quick?......not so much. Great defensively?......uhhhhh nope

If you cant answer yes to ONE of these, we've got a problem

Are you talking about Jones or Gagner......same answer for both me thinks

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#30 Wanye
May 29 2011, 12:53PM
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I am just sick and tired of the Oilers drafting the smallest players around. How tall is Lander? Look at him in that top pic. Maybe 4 foot 3?

At least he is taller than Gagner I suppose.

BAZING

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#31 The Farmer
May 29 2011, 01:05PM
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I like Jones,and wouldn't mind seeing him back, but whatever happened to Potulny. The same fate likely awaits Jones. I hope not but remember he was on the worst team in the league, it's not that hard to look at least a little bit like a player. Bring him back just dont overpay no matter what.

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#32 Dog Train
May 29 2011, 01:18PM
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It seems like we have quite a few guys in the system who might be the answer to winning some freaking draws this season.

I think Lander might make this team at some point in time next season but I would like to see him start in the AHL. Red Wings prospects usually turn our because they don`t skip steps along the way. Look at how many guys on the Canucks spent time in their farm system first. The AHL is as good of a development league as you are going to find. Unless you are Taylor freaking Hall then it`s probably good to play at least 15-20 games down there.

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#33 Shaun Doe
May 29 2011, 01:48PM
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Wanye wrote:

I am just sick and tired of the Oilers drafting the smallest players around. How tall is Lander? Look at him in that top pic. Maybe 4 foot 3?

At least he is taller than Gagner I suppose.

BAZING

Break out the home pregnancy test Wanye, you're late (see post #6)

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#34 michael
May 29 2011, 01:56PM
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Regarding comments on Dustin Penner. That didn't take long? Ryan Smyth? Would you make a trade for Smyth? Or do you wait until he is a free agent next year and sign him to his last contract? I would eat the contract this year. I think he brings the kind of leadership this team needs. After Horcoff there is severe lack of leadership on and off the ice. . Do the Oilers go with 2 absolute rookies in Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy in OKC next year? On RJ 1.3 x 3.Do the Oilers target Colbourn for a possible DMan. He would look good as Peckham's partner.Also if you bring back Vandermeer how much of a haircut does he got. 1.1x 1year?

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#35 John Chambers
May 29 2011, 02:30PM
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LT - all of these guys seem to have signing bonuses. Are these bonuses paid out to everyone regardless of what level they play at?

As an example, if Pitlick plays the upcoming season in the WHL, then '11-'12 in the AHL before making the Oil in '12-'13, does he receive a bonus all three years or just the year that he plays in the show? And if so, how many games would he need to play (>9?) in the NHL to earn the bonus?

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#37 D'oh-ilers
May 29 2011, 03:09PM
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Jones is re-signed for a pair. No mention of terms though.

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#39 D'oh-ilers
May 29 2011, 03:12PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Tencer has it 2 times 1.5

That's not too bad, definitely in the range for players who've put up similar numbers and play similar roles on other teams. I can live with that.

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#41 Quicksilver ballet
May 29 2011, 03:33PM
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Ryan Jones for 2 yrs, good news to start the summer.

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#42 pelhem grenville
May 29 2011, 03:38PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Yeah, agreed. I'd prefer a lower number but two years and 3M is much better than it could have been.

whew!steep!...let's see how much ice time one point five million per gets him...not nearly enough time to get another 18 goals i'm thinkin'...unless our GM knows the team's gonna be ALL BANGED UP AGAIN...there must be a fella who likes stats and numbers enough to figger out that...stuff...

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#43 prg moose
May 29 2011, 03:50PM
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@a lg dubl dubl

i would look at bieksa or wizniewski first.

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#44 prg moose
May 29 2011, 03:51PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I know its a LONG shot but I wonder what the chances of Mr.Dithers goin after Ehrhoff(sp?). I know He'd command a mighty buck, but he's got the offensive upside a guy like Gilbert wont reach IMO and with a +19 is nothing to sneeze at. It probably won't happen but I'd sure like to see the "re-build" being pushed to COMPETING for a playoff spot and with a d-man like Ehrhoff in the line-up it sure would help take away the pressure of 30min/game Whitney will most likely face next season.

and why isnt Ryan Jones signed yet?

i would look at bieksa or wizniewski first.

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#45 Quicksilver ballet
May 29 2011, 04:03PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...Lander'll NEVER play in the NHL if he doesn't get any bigger than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When he's hunched over driving hard to the net, he'll come in at around 28" high. At this height a shoulder/elbow to the head is unlikely. He's a little tall to be worried about a possible knee\head colision, hip checks to the head region may be a problem though. Give the kid a chance, think of the money the Oilers will save on shin pads for this Lander kid.

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#46 pelhem grenville
May 29 2011, 07:19PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

When he's hunched over driving hard to the net, he'll come in at around 28" high. At this height a shoulder/elbow to the head is unlikely. He's a little tall to be worried about a possible knee\head colision, hip checks to the head region may be a problem though. Give the kid a chance, think of the money the Oilers will save on shin pads for this Lander kid.

...you ARE the sickest one here Q...comin' in at 28 inches too funny...these lil rascals are gonna be smaller than the Cup!...you & me'll be on the ice that night helpin' 'em all get a good lift on the Cup...yelling "we are the champions, we are the champions...."

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#47 Team Hall
May 29 2011, 09:34PM
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@ Ross Creek,

No thanks on those 3 players (although Sarich is tempting), but there's a Babchuk we'll take off your hands. Kotalik and Hagman are just the kind of softies we are finally ridding ourselves of. Not sure why Calgary went on a softie run - Kotalik, Hagman, Stajan - they had finally built a pretty solid team. Bet they regret losing Cammaleri these days.

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#48 Ryan2
May 29 2011, 09:43PM
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@ Jonathan Willis - Have you heard any comments about Marincin's drop off being due to an increase in the number of games played this year? I don't know what the schedule was like for him back home, but I doubt it was anywhere close to the same number of games. My guess is that a big part of his drop off was the schedule difference, just like you see with players from the NCAA hitting the wall in the AHL or NHL in the second half of the season. In any case, they need to keep him in the AHL to learn the game for a season (or two) and hit the weight room hard.

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#49 CanaDave
May 29 2011, 10:54PM
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I guess it depends on your definition of soon. I absolutely expect Lander to be in the NHL and hopefully an Oiler for the year 10+ years, but barring more major injuries to Horcoff, there's no way Lander is ahead of him on the depth chart for at least 3 years, assuming Lander spends next season between the Oilers and Oil Barons acclimating himself to North America.

If he earns a roster spot in TC and it's quicker than that, I'll be among the first singing his praises, but since I think the idea of RNH or Couturier replacing Gagner and being an instant upgrade is laughable, to say that Lander would supplant Horcoff "and soon" is, to me at least, walking a very thin line between ignorance and insanity.

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#50 Joy S. Lee
May 30 2011, 06:48AM
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Lander is another "character" guy. He's also a center. Not sure how good he is on faceoffs. But, the character aspect is undisputed, in fact it's emphasized with this guy, and this organization can use as much of that as possible, whether it's in the AHL or on the Oilers. I'm looking forward to seeing him compete for a job in the pros, as a rookie.

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