Big Yann or Big Yawn?

Lowetide
July 07 2011 06:41AM

Over the years I've learned that when it comes to signing free agents the Edmonton Oilers can fool you. Sometimes the big money guys are here for a good time (not a long time) and the secondary moderns are the ones follow. 

Speaking about goaltenders with any kind of authority is folly. Even goalie coaches use vague phrases about mechanics and positioning. I believe the language of goalies exists so that these poor souls don't hear "why the hell didn't you stop the damn puck?" every 5 minutes. It sometimes seems as though G's are to hockey as pitchers are to baseball: even the best of them might get released, face several career crossroads and suffer massive amounts of booing at home and on the road. 

Inside the pitcher/goalie realm live the knuckleballers who are represented in hockey by the Tim Thomas group (waiting until 30+ before putting it all together). That group enjoyed a giant FU moment this spring, when "elite goalie all his life" Roberto Luongo questioned Thomas' mechanics in game 2 only to let in an equally devastating goal in game 7 under similar on-ice circumstances (the Marchand wraparound, goal #2 in G7).

Making any kind of claim in regard to Yann Danis being from the Tim Thomas family of "elite goalies after 30" is ridiculous. That kind of good fortune combines talent, confidence, luck, karma and the Hockey Gods in equal measure. Still, the resume for Yann Danis suggests that he deserved the look he's getting from the Oil Drop. 

Danis isn't an obvious choice for a free agent steal, but there are some things on his resume worth noting:

  • Won the Ken Dryden award for NCAA's top goalie, 2004. 
  • ECAC player of the year, 2004. 
  • Enjoyed some solid AHL seasons on the deep Hamilton (Montreal) Bulldogs team, mid 2000's. 
  • Rookie NHL season (08-09) included a .910SP for the lowly NY Islanders. 
  • Backup in NJD the following season, posted a .923 SP for the Devils. 
  • Played well in the KHL last season.

Danis is considered a solid bet by a few good hockey minds. Robert Vollman wrote about him in Hockey Prospectus earlier this summer:

  • Some teams don't look past Evgeni Nabokov when searching the KHL for options, causing them overlook Khabarovsk's Danis. Initially a promising goalie prospect, Danis got stuck behind Halak and Carey Price in Montreal's system. He eventually found his way to the NHL, playing 43 games for the Islanders and Devils from 2008 to 2010, earning an impressive even-strength save percentage of .926 and quality start percentage over 60. This success could be due to the small sample size, but Danis certainly deserves the opportunity to prove it.

There are a few things going Danis' way at this time: he's young enough to have several seasons of effectiveness moving forward; even if he starts the season in OKC the Oilers situation is fluid; Khabibulin's downward trend may end up forcing the issue as soon as this fall; the Oilers have waited too long in free agency to add another goalie to the mix, meaning either they improve via trade or Danis is the de facto first option when the money runs out and the engine blows for the NHL tandem.

At this point the Edmonton Oilers have the look of a team that is about to rely heavily on a young goaltender. Devan Dubnyk is a solid player and may build on last year's foundation to solidify himself as an NHL starter. Yann Danis is certainly behind backup Nikolai Khabibulin at this point (who may well be considered the starter by Oilers management) but the recipe exists for Yann Danis to get a huge NHL opportunity this season.

Hockey's Tim Wakefield? I believe we're about to find out.

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 Team 1260.
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#1 BArmstrong
July 07 2011, 06:48AM
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Khabby in OKC.

DD and YD sharing starts in Edmonton.

That's my vote.

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#2 Mike Krushelnyski
July 07 2011, 01:09PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

How many shutouts will Khabby get from prison? ahaha I win!

The cornhole is a much smaller area to protect than a hockey goal. Should be fine.

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#3 Archaeologuy
July 07 2011, 01:29PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

OK all you had to do was ask nicley! Later Deadmontonians! Enjoy the 3rd striaght 1st overall pick hahaha

Enjoy watching Seguin and Hamilton dominate the team they should have been drafted by for the next decade.

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#4 John Chambers
July 07 2011, 04:05PM
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leafs in 2012 wrote:

we signed connolay. he is awsome! they will be a conntender this year. now with connolay their to feed passes to kesel, and optimus riemer in net, we will b ein playoofs. leafs rule. oilers are loosers

Let that be a lesson to all you kids out there in Oilersnation:

DON'T SMOKE CRACK!

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#5 book¡e
July 07 2011, 02:25PM
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Souby wrote:

Since 1990? You know Gretzky was in L.A. that season don't you? You made have heard about a big trade back then?....August 9, 1988 ring a bell? Now had you said Messier, I would have thought that you knew something about hockey, but you just proved otherwise. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

My Ford Pinto is better than your Renault Le Car!

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Losers, Maple Leafs

Oilers future much brighter

Whitney, Hopkins, and,ummm,H.O.P.E.

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#7 Archaeologuy
July 07 2011, 02:13PM
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@Maple Leafer

You choose this off season to pull out that old song and dance? Right after a player demanded to be traded here and the Oil acquired 5 players on day 1 of Free Agency?

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#8 Oilcruzer
July 07 2011, 04:56PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

OK all you had to do was ask nicley! Later Deadmontonians! Enjoy the 3rd striaght 1st overall pick hahaha

Why is it they have a team called the Ottawa 67's? Shouldn't that be Toronto's team name?

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#9 Woodguy
July 07 2011, 06:56AM
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Yann Danis is certainly behind backup Nikolai Khabibulin at this point (who may well be considered the starter by Oilers management)

MVP!! MVP!!! MVP!!!!

I wonder when Khabby is going to do his time in tent city?

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#10 @Oilanderp
July 07 2011, 07:05AM
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Perhaps Danis will get a chance this coming year. Let's hope Oilers brass dont ignore him like they did Gerber, choosing to ride Khabibulin's coat tails down the slimy sphinter to 30th place. Who else do we see in OKC behind Danis?

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#11 Quicksilver ballet
July 07 2011, 10:24AM
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I think what i'll enjoy most this coming season is watching Khabibulin get comfortable in that saddle again and play 60+ games.....friggen awesome!

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#12 Westcoastoil
July 07 2011, 11:25AM
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I think bookie is on the right track here. Was Khabby a bad signing? Sure. Does Tambi & co. know that? Of course they do. These guys have been INSIDE the NHL for decades. They know the difference between goaltending and bad. As a stroke of luck though Khabby's craptasticness paved the way for Hall and RNH.

I think it's reasonable to assume that the amount Khabby plays will depend largely on the play of the rest of the team, which on paper should be markedly better. More so if they can bring in another D.

If the team is playing well and Khabby's play is the primary factor in losses I expect we'll see more of DD and maybe Danis gets a look. If it's still a "developing" year for all the young guys and the playoffs are unrealistic, then playing Khabby more improves your draft slot and maybe helps push DD in that his starts aren't simply handed to him. Which is something Renney spoke of last year. Plus from all accounts he's a good mentor to young goalies which may be more difficult to find than we realize.

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#13 Souby
July 07 2011, 01:06PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

Oilers will blow again! My Leafs have a waay better chance to make the playoffs and we've only just started rebuilding! The Flames will continue to beat you guys up. Hemsky, meet Giordano LOL!

Coming from a guy who's team hasn't won the cup since 1967! The Leafs have sucked WAY longer than the Oil my friend, and contrary to Burke's opinion, they will suck this year too!

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#14 Oil Rigger
July 07 2011, 01:23PM
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Maple Leafer... you are one funny guy. Now get off our page.

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#15 Walter Sobchak
July 07 2011, 02:20PM
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Souby wrote:

Since 1990? You know Gretzky was in L.A. that season don't you? You made have heard about a big trade back then?....August 9, 1988 ring a bell? Now had you said Messier, I would have thought that you knew something about hockey, but you just proved otherwise. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

1990! No, but I was wearing my Gretzky jersey in 93 when Gretzky eliminated the Leafs from the playoffs........That's the closest your team has gotten to a Stanley cup since! WOW. I don't like to live in the past but, I definitely wouldn't if I was a leafs fan.

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#16 Ales Hallsky's Junk
July 07 2011, 02:42PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

All I got from that is...blah blah blah. I was three at the time so... whatever. I'm sure you even remeber what you were wearing that fateful day, cuz ur probably still wearing it...

So you are 19 then. Little bit of leafs history for you young man. take your age, times it by two and add a bunch of years and thats how long your beloved team hasnt won the cup for. Your team is junk. BLAM..... My Junk

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#17 Truth
July 07 2011, 04:39PM
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I don't know which one of these apparent leafs fans is for real.

I know how the test:

Which one of you will take my show pony for two high pedigree thorobread colts.

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#18 Quicksilver ballet
July 07 2011, 05:17PM
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I see the schools in Ontario are on their summer break now. Buckle up boys, these kids will be back to baffle us when they finish their KD.

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#19 ItsTheBGB
July 07 2011, 06:55AM
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I say we wait and see with Khabby. But go in to camp with Dubnyk as the number 1.

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#20 dawgbone
July 07 2011, 10:49AM
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Ginger Balls wrote:

I think it is funny how most Oil fans and the media have jumped all over Khabibulin for what happened last year. I understand that Dubnyk had a reasonably better year statistically and in the wins/ loss column, but he did it in a sheltered environment. Dubnyk had nothing to lose everytime he went out on to the ice. He wasn't the starter, he was a developing prospect, the team wasn't expected to win and Khabibulin was there as the "vet" to take the heat from the fans and the media. Khabibulin is the starter, and it is his job to lose based on experience, contract and the other goalies the Oil have signed to one way deals. Plus, he will still be there to be the whipping boy for all of the fans and media until they take the training wheels off Dubnyk, or he surprises us all and returns to form and makes us all eat some crow.

Based on this signing of Danis, I think ST is taking a flyer on a solid goalie, who has fallen through the cracks and is going to get a shot at playing some NHL games, because there will be injuries to either NK, DD or both. Plus, if they take the wheels off of DD and let him run with it, we might see the kid struggle with the pressure of having to perform under brighter lights and more expectations. So, we might see the learning curve get a little more linear for DD.

So the guy who is guaranteed to make his $3.75 mil/season had more pressure than the guy trying to make his name and get the contract that can support him and his family well into his retirement years?

Dubnyk had a rough ride in the NHL in 09-10 and without a good showing in 10-11 could have found himself in goaltender pergatory.

Besides, how much pressure can their be in a situation where all you have to do is come in and be adequate? Isn't he a Stanley Cup Winning Goaltender (TM), shouldn't the pressure he faced here be dwarfed by what he accomplished 8 years ago?

Isn't that why the Oilers signed him? To handle the pressure?

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#21 shau_co
July 07 2011, 11:13AM
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Based on the comments so far, most people here likely won't agree with me on this, but I honestly think Khabby will turn things around a bit this year.

I am betting that the off-ice issues last year affected his performance and although I don't expect him to be an all-star or MVP, I can definitely see him getting back to his prior form and post a SV% above .900.

I think the best would be to see a 50 / 50 split with DD to start. Then let the two goalies earn their starts based on performance, such that either one could get up to 60% of the starts.

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#22 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 07 2011, 12:34PM
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A Blue fan wrote:

WOW as an Oiler fan I am truley disappointed in the garbage we signed this offseason. Vokun is getting paid 1.5 million and we couldn"t make a play for him? I'm ok with Barker and Symth, but over all we are not gonna make the playoffs... again, and my grandpa who is turing 87 will never again see the Oilers return to greatness or even mediocrity. I honestly hate this "next year we'll be better" crap I've been hearing for the last 5 years.

I read Vokun was offered $5M/yr from the Panthers but he turned it down to test FA.... Don't kid your self, Vokun would not play for E-Town for 1.5M.

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#23 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 07 2011, 12:51PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

Oilers will blow again! My Leafs have a waay better chance to make the playoffs and we've only just started rebuilding! The Flames will continue to beat you guys up. Hemsky, meet Giordano LOL!

Conolly can't set up Kessel from the press box

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#24 Souby
July 07 2011, 01:43PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

I'll enjoy that and you can enjoy every free agent worth having on your team flipping you off and signing for less money somewhere else. I think everyone in Edmonton should buy a can of febreeze, go outside and just spray it into the air. Then maybe someone will want to sign there!

Enjoy your Leafs not making the playoff for the 7th year in a row!

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#25 Souby
July 07 2011, 01:56PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

Is the pot calling the kettle black? Anyways I had fun on your page. Come visit me on my page, but bring your A game cause all I saw here were a bunch of C's and D's.

You are right again, if the Oil miss the playoff this year, it will be 6 in a row. Not as bad as 7, but bad nonetheless.

Wait, we at least made it to the Cup final in 2006. When was the last time the Leafs played for the Cup?

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#26 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 07 2011, 02:20PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

Leave it to an Oiler fans to live in the past. I suggest you take your Gretzky jerseys off cuz you fools have been wearing it since 1990, and you're in dire need of a shower. Leafs will make the playoffs before the Oilers and by then Hall, Eberle, Pajaarvi and Hopkins will want to play for a real team and ask for a trade. But you guys are used to that, no??

Didn't your first round draft pick (you traded up for) throw up on the bench first day of camp? I would too if I played for the leafs... yakkkk

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#27 Ender
July 07 2011, 02:42PM
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@Walter Sobchak

There's little chance Khabbi misses camp. Originally, there was talk of him being finished his 30-day sentence in a mere 10 days factoring in 'time off for good behaviour'. It was reported that he screwed something up with his probation recently, though, so I don't know if that will be a factor. In any case, the odds of him starting his sentence so late in the summer that it drags into camp are pretty long. One way or the other, I'm sure he'll be in an out as quietly as possible and be ready for camp come the fall.

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#28 McCash
July 07 2011, 03:15PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

All I got from that is...blah blah blah. I was three at the time so... whatever. I'm sure you even remeber what you were wearing that fateful day, cuz ur probably still wearing it...

Take a look at all the UFA's/Trades we "almost" made over the last 5 years. I think I speak for the whole nation when I say we're damn happy none of them went through. Would we want Heatley now? Hell no. Thomas Vanek at 8 mill/year? No way. We even ditched our beer-fat winger Dustin Penner to the kings for a couple good picks and a prospect. Tim Connolly for Prez.

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#29 Dman09
July 07 2011, 04:04PM
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Maple Leafer wrote:

Shallow end of the gene pool? This is coming from an Edmontonian? LOL say hi to your sister/wife for me and don't forget to feed your 3 legged dog!

Think you should look at your other pro sports teams. Blue Jays have a players that is at the top for homeruns every year it seems and yet they still don't make the playoffs. And as for the Oil change aren't the argo's doing the same thing as we speak. Its amazing with all the population you have over there you still only have one NHL team. Wait isn't alberta the only province that has two NHL teams. And haven't both of them been to the cup finals in the last decade. Interesting........

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#30 Dman09
July 07 2011, 04:17PM
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leafs in 2012 wrote:

I dont smoke crack! leafs will be really good with phanuf and kesel and watch how good lupul is. he is goinng to score lots. and kadri is so awsome. watch when there scoring so much now and we have a #1 centre again.

kesel is the best. and riemer is going to be so good to

You do realize that Lupul is from the Edmonton area right? You should ask him about his three legged dog and his sister/mom/wife and see what kind of an answer you get. :)

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#31 Dman09
July 07 2011, 04:31PM
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Ales Hallsky's Junk wrote:

Stop feeding the trolls please.

p.s. Someone is having a blast impersonating a leafs fan.

Of course they are but I've got nothing better to do for the next half hour until finised work.

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#32 The Beaker
July 07 2011, 04:59PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

Why is it they have a team called the Ottawa 67's? Shouldn't that be Toronto's team name?

ROFL

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#33 a lg dubl dubl
July 07 2011, 06:01PM
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Toronto is the ONLY place in the world where leafs fall in spring

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#34 Yourmomthinksimhot
July 07 2011, 06:27PM
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Canadian hockey fans chirping eachother, would you want it any other way?!?! People are getting fired up, I love it!!!!

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#35 justDOit
July 07 2011, 10:15PM
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leaf in 2012 wrote:

no hes from saskachewen. from fort saskachewwen. look at hockeydb. so hes not an edmonton looser. hes better then that.

hes better then any oiler player. there all bad players in edmonton. hahaaa ..who do they have?

kadri is better then any young player on edmonontom

my cats breath smells like cat food

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#36 book¡e
July 07 2011, 06:58AM
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I don't believe the Oilers believe that Khabi is the starter for this season. They say things like 'its his job to lose', but I am pretty sure that is just the moral/respect part of the job (i.e. supporting players in the media).

Last year the team did a lot of things that were confusing - unless you view the season from the viewpoint that the GM was attempting to finish in last place - and I think that was telegraphed enough.

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the Oilers are either hoping that DD can play 60 games and Khabi can still come in successfully for 20. If Khabi is not good enough, you swap him with YD in OKC. I think they are OK with goaltending that is 'satisfactory' as their goal is probably to be a bit better (20th overall would probably be the target), but development and team building remains the primary goal.

I don't think they were looking for a one or two year rental such as Vokuhn because it does nothing for the long term goaltending needs of the team. Young goalies would have to sit and watch Vokuhn play.

Anyway, that's my guesstimate of what's going on in the minds of the decision makers.

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#38 ed in mada
July 07 2011, 07:56AM
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@Lowetide

Lowetide

I must side with Bookie on this one.

As actions talk louder than words, DD was the real #1 by the end of last yearno matter who is saying what. If someone in the organization says something else it is just lip service.

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Couple things. We did well last time around when we went to the KHL for a goalie, so for now I'll give the team them the benefit of knowing what they're doing.

Second, I like the fact that we can potentially have Dannis a bit more long-term. With Gerber it seemed that it was pretty much a 1 year thing right from the start. With Danis being 30 there is potential that if he does well that he could be kept around for a bigger position come the 12-13 year.

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#40 knobby
July 07 2011, 08:22AM
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Khabby is turning out to be one of Tamb's worst moves since arriving. On the surface it looks to me that the Oilers did not do their due diligence before signing him to too much money over too much term.

I have yet to hear Tambs ever say 'I made a mistake'. He just seems to have such a fragile ego he can never say he dropped the ball or screwed up (read Souray affair).

Action taken in the recent drafts and this years signings points to some sort of awakening on Kingsway but the past poor judgement is scary. The lack of willingness to get a goalie in here tells me they are preparing for next years draft already.

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knobby wrote:

Khabby is turning out to be one of Tamb's worst moves since arriving. On the surface it looks to me that the Oilers did not do their due diligence before signing him to too much money over too much term.

I have yet to hear Tambs ever say 'I made a mistake'. He just seems to have such a fragile ego he can never say he dropped the ball or screwed up (read Souray affair).

Action taken in the recent drafts and this years signings points to some sort of awakening on Kingsway but the past poor judgement is scary. The lack of willingness to get a goalie in here tells me they are preparing for next years draft already.

Do any GM's say they made a mistake?

He has at least made moves that make you realize that he understands he made a mistake. Like buying out certain players, or trading Brule/Fraser/Foster.

I'm not sure what people want to do with Bulin. It isn't exactly an easy move. No one wants to trade for him and does ST have the green light to send another big salary to the AHL this year?

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#42 Morning Coffey
July 07 2011, 08:28AM
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If khabby is the defacto #1 acording to management I wonder how that will affect dubnyk's confidence going forward. He was clearly the better goalie last season. I also wonder how khabby might be feeling about losing his job to dubnyk and now potenrially dannis. Since goaltending seems to be as much about psychology as much as technique I'd really like to hear what the players themselves are saying.

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#43 Oilcruzer
July 07 2011, 08:28AM
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Danis would never slot in as P1 out of training camp. Is it even remotely possible that either NK or DD will be in the AHL on NHL opening day?

Someone has to mentor Roy, and Danis is (to me), the obvious of the three.

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#44 VMR
July 07 2011, 08:43AM
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@Lowetide

Hey, dont you be checking out the stats!!

Just watch Khabi make those amazing flopping saves when he should have no chance, so what if he had to make that save because he gave up a big greasy rebound watch him flop!!!

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#45 billylikestodrinksoda
July 07 2011, 09:10AM
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Dubs and khabby are basically 1A and 1B in the eyes of management right now. I mean yeah obviously dubnyk was the better goalie but with khabbys contract they are gonna be splitting time. Its wrong but they handcuffed themselves with his contract and unless he blows his back permanently; and I mean the chances are actually pretty high so fingers crossed, he will be there. Yann Danis is an ahl goalie this year unless injury occurs and anyone who even remotely thinks he's gonna win a job outta camp is completely off the tracks.

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#46 Ginger Balls
July 07 2011, 09:15AM
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I think it is funny how most Oil fans and the media have jumped all over Khabibulin for what happened last year. I understand that Dubnyk had a reasonably better year statistically and in the wins/ loss column, but he did it in a sheltered environment. Dubnyk had nothing to lose everytime he went out on to the ice. He wasn't the starter, he was a developing prospect, the team wasn't expected to win and Khabibulin was there as the "vet" to take the heat from the fans and the media. Khabibulin is the starter, and it is his job to lose based on experience, contract and the other goalies the Oil have signed to one way deals. Plus, he will still be there to be the whipping boy for all of the fans and media until they take the training wheels off Dubnyk, or he surprises us all and returns to form and makes us all eat some crow.

Based on this signing of Danis, I think ST is taking a flyer on a solid goalie, who has fallen through the cracks and is going to get a shot at playing some NHL games, because there will be injuries to either NK, DD or both. Plus, if they take the wheels off of DD and let him run with it, we might see the kid struggle with the pressure of having to perform under brighter lights and more expectations. So, we might see the learning curve get a little more linear for DD.

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#47 Walter Sobchak
July 07 2011, 09:37AM
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@@Oilanderp

I believe it's going to be Roy, He might also be sent to the ECHL for a stint depending on how camp goes. I which case they would have to get another back up for the OKC.

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#48 Rogue
July 07 2011, 09:41AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Perhaps Danis will get a chance this coming year. Let's hope Oilers brass dont ignore him like they did Gerber, choosing to ride Khabibulin's coat tails down the slimy sphinter to 30th place. Who else do we see in OKC behind Danis?

"slimy sphinter"

You sir,have helped my diet, today.

Props!

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#49 book¡e
July 07 2011, 09:50AM
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Lowetide wrote:

bookie: Oilers management have (as WG suggests) always stood by Khabibulin. Either they believe it, or think we're idiots who can't see the game and read the stats.

They had no problems demoting Roloson's ass for Garon even though Rollie took them to the SCF's.

No sir. Steve Tambellini has constantly told us Khabibulin is the starter. I think it's reasonable to suggest that at least some portions of the management group believe it now.

I tend not to take much of what Renney and Tambellini say at face value. For example, if Renney truly believed that the Oilers were going to make a push for the playoffs half way through last season, then the guy would likely be too incompetent to even make his way to the rink. Given that he showed up there most days, I think we can assume he has an IQ of above 80.

I think that most of what they say is for strategic reasons, although they are not really very subtle in doing so. DD had taken on the #1 role at the end of last season. If Khabi is the starter this year, we can assume that the strategy for the year is to finish poorly - to play well, but lose a lot of games.

Let's face it, only a total idiot would truly see Khabibulin as a #1 goalie if the goal is to win. Its not a debatable subject like the initial contract offer was. You may not like Tambellini, Lowe, Katz, etc, but I doubt that they are total idiots.

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#50 D-Man
July 07 2011, 10:07AM
Trash it!
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book¡e wrote:

I tend not to take much of what Renney and Tambellini say at face value. For example, if Renney truly believed that the Oilers were going to make a push for the playoffs half way through last season, then the guy would likely be too incompetent to even make his way to the rink. Given that he showed up there most days, I think we can assume he has an IQ of above 80.

I think that most of what they say is for strategic reasons, although they are not really very subtle in doing so. DD had taken on the #1 role at the end of last season. If Khabi is the starter this year, we can assume that the strategy for the year is to finish poorly - to play well, but lose a lot of games.

Let's face it, only a total idiot would truly see Khabibulin as a #1 goalie if the goal is to win. Its not a debatable subject like the initial contract offer was. You may not like Tambellini, Lowe, Katz, etc, but I doubt that they are total idiots.

I agree with what you say.. Coaches/GM's can't go out and say - "We hope to finish in 12th place" this year and not expect to get lambasted by the general public.

Although DD was by far the better goalie last year, I won't be shocked if we see DD and Khabby split the season 50/50 - assuming Khabby doesn't struggle like last year. DD isn't ready to take on 60 games yet and should be challenged like any other younger player on the roster for ice time.

Unfortunately, Khabby's not going to OKC as we don't have enough depth on the back-end yet and (I might be wrong) from my understanding, the CBA prevents us from buying-out the remainder of his contract... I just pray he turns his game around so he can let DD play 40 - 45 games this year and (assuming DD still plays up to his ability) 50 - 55 games the year following...

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