Rear Window

Lowetide
August 03 2011 05:00PM

Miles and miles from the lottery, Edmonton's NHL team is drafting good hockey players. That is rarely enough, as we all know that 99% of life's success comes from following through.

A good way to gauge a team's draft success is by counting the number of kids who are developed the old fashioned way: the minors. Seeing a #1 overall pick turn out is great fun, but also expected; even a pick like Sam Gagner should deliver a quality NHL player.

It's the "following through" that makes the difference: taking talented kids and grinding them into useful role players for the National Hockey League. Those men--the tough defensemen, the two way centers, the physical wingers--are extremely valuable to an NHL team.

BENCH STRENGTH

During the twelve year period leading up to the OKC Barons taking to the ice, Oiler fans saw a lot of fits and starts from the club's AHL prospects. Here's a list of Oilers picks and minor league free agents who began their pro careers in the AHL and were good enough to play a game (or more) for the Oilers:

  1. R Georges Laraque 695 games
  2. C Shawn Horcoff 684 games
  3. L Jason Chimera 581 games
  4. C Jarret Stoll 515 games
  5. R Fernando Pisani 462 games
  6. D Marc Andre Bergeron 422 games
  7. D Matt Greene 379 games
  8. D Tom Gilbert 337 games
  9. C Kyle Brodziak 337 games
  10. R Brad Winchester 323 games
  11. R Zack Stortini 256 games
  12. D Alexei Semenov 211 games
  13. G Ty Conklin 200 games
  14. C Marc Pouliot 179 games
  15. L JF Jacques 160 games
  16. C Rob Schremp 114 games
  17. L Patrick Thoresen 106 games
  18. D Theo Peckham 102 games
  19. L Liam Reddox 100 games
  20. L Tony Salmelainen 70 games
  21. R Jani Rita 66 games
  22. D Mathieu Roy 65 games
  23. D Danny Syvret 59 games
  24. G Jeff Deslauriers 58 games
  25. D Taylor Chorney 56 games
  26. G Devan Dubnyk 54 games
  27. D Ales Pisa 53 games
  28. C Tim Sestito 46 games
  29. G Mike Morrison 29 games
  30. D Bryan Young 17 games
  31. C Mike Bishai 14 games
  32. L Michel Riesen 12 games
  33. C Peter Sarno 7 games
  34. D Alex Plante 7 games
  35. D Chris Hajt 6 games
  36. D Doug Lynch 2 games
  37. L Alexei Mikhnov 2 games
  38. R Colin McDonald 2 games
  39. G Mike Minard 1 game
  40. D Johan Motin 1 game

Guys like Tom Poti, Mike Comrie, Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner didn't play in the AHL and Sebastien Bisaillon played all of his NHL games before he played in the AHL. I didn't count those players.

Results

  1. Over those 12 seasons, the Oilers developed about 1 player per year if we assume an NHL player graduates at 200 games.
  2. The Oilers also have several players "on track" to pass 200 games. I'd count Pouliot, Jacques, Schremp and Peckham as "on track" players.
  3. I think we should agree a lower total seems fair for goaltenders. Let's say 125 games for goalers. That would mean that Dubnyk is "on track" as well.
  4. Total: 13 players at 200 games or more and another 5 "on track" for the 12 seasons. That works out to 1.5 actual NHL players per season.

HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY

The Oilers under Steve Tambellini have made an effort to employ AHL veterans who can help bring the prospects along. This might include facing tough opposition until the kids find their way, scoring enough goals for the team to be confident and competitive, and serving a mentor role as the boys transition into their pro careers. It's a very important job, one that may have helped Pouliot, McDonald, Jacques, Schremp and others in the last decade.

OKC (so far)

  1. R Linus Omark 51 games
  2. D Jeff Petry 35 games
  3. L Teemu Hartikainen 12 games
  4. C Chris VandeVelde 12 games

Guys like Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle didn't play in the AHL, and I've included Petry in this group because this was his first full pro season. I don't know that we can project any of these kids for 200 NHL games, but they certainly showed some things in year one. There's some outstanding talent among those four names. Anton Lander, Curtis Hamilton and others may soon join the list.

That's a helluva first season.

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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#52 justDOit
August 03 2011, 07:51PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I wonder what Doughty will want now that Weber will be getting 7.5mil for this season...DL must be pooping in his pants right now LOL

I don't see Doughty in the same light as Weber. He's smaller and not a shut-down guy, but is as talented offensively. And Weber has shown that he's for real for a few years now.

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#53 Puritania
August 03 2011, 08:08PM
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@Lowetide

And Lowetide thrills!

*Basks in the adulation of strangers on the internet for such witty remarks**

**realizes he forgot to click "include quote", hangs head in shame*

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#54 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 08:12PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

If by chance that ST grows some brass jewels and calls up Nashville to inquire about Weber, I wonder if Gilbert(gotta take some cap hit back),Chorney, & or Omark + next drafts 1st rounder would entice the Preds to say OK.

I might be wrong but as long as Weber's contract isn't more than a 5yr term the Oil should have the cap space to swing a trade like that even with Hall, Eberle and PRV needing to re-sign in 2yrs, this is were shrewd GMing comes in.

I don't know if "entice" is the word I'd use.

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#55 gowi48
August 03 2011, 08:20PM
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Hey whats with Stauffer and Oilers lunch. Is it toast

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#56 Quicksilver ballet
August 03 2011, 08:33PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Shrewd GMimng eh?

Aren't we talking about the same guy that was able to somehow screw up a trade when the player said the only place he wanted to go was Edmonton?

While part of me agrees with your analysis, one part of me says this was a very unique trade. In todays game, how often do you see one team get rolled and take on a further 5.4 million dollar payroll increase. More often than not in todays game contract values are traded.

If it wasn't Ryan Smyth involved in this deal there's no way a deal like this gets done in todays cap conscious NHL. Part of me also realizes that Tambellini has a job to do as well. I don't think it was too much for Steve to start and expect them to accept Souray in exchange, they still gain almost 2 million in cap space. As much as Lombardi was in a tough spot by having Smyth declare he only wanted to come to Edmonton, Steve was also in a tough spot being forced to take on an additional 5.4 million in salary in exchange for a player he couldn't afford to say no to.

Can anyone remember a trade in the last 20 yrs that included a significant dollar value swing in a trade such as this Smyth trade?

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#57 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 08:36PM
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@ QSB Pronger to the Ducks and Richards to the Star both Flyers centers to a lesser extent.

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#58 justDOit
August 03 2011, 08:54PM
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@QSB: Not reaching back too far, but Rolston ($5M), for Hunter (why doesn't my keyboard have a cents symbol?).

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#59 Quicksilver ballet
August 03 2011, 08:55PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ QSB Pronger to the Ducks and Richards to the Star both Flyers centers to a lesser extent.

I haven't looked it up but between Brewer,Woywitka and Lynch, i believe they collectively were worth about 4 in total compared to the 5.5 Chris Pronger made back then.

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#60 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 09:04PM
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@ QSB that wasn't the trade to the Ducks ;)

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#61 DSF
August 03 2011, 09:17PM
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Lowetide wrote:

The other thing is that the NHL tracks hits in a poor manner. Complete homer rinks boost totals and other rinks appear to pay little attention. I don't trust that stat.

At all.

LT, you know as well as I do that over an 82 game season played by 30 teams that that hits stat will be smoothed.

We can say with certainty that Magnus is one of the softer players in the league.

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#62 DSF
August 03 2011, 09:20PM
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bigrroberto wrote:

Look who he was playing with for most of the season... I say he did just fine.

Of course, the corollary argument is "look at who the guys who were playing with Magnus" had to play with.

Circular arguments are a waste of time.

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#63 Jason Gregor
August 03 2011, 09:21PM
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@LT,

Schremp doesn't have an NHL contract so far and it sounds like he is going to Europe, so I'm not sure he will reach the 200 game mark.

I don't think a player will ever be as over-hyped as Schremp was as an Oiler. Wasn't his fault, but many felt he was going to be a star and he never came close.

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#64 FastOil
August 03 2011, 09:28PM
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Weber is a "great" player, but really faded out when the chips were down. Injury, whatever, to my eye he struggled when the Preds had a chance to do something.

If you are going to pay a player that much, he has to be guaranteed franchise (prime Lidstrom or Pronger), which Weber while very good, currently is not close to at the same age.

Never buy high. Lemmings to the cliff. Depth and balance wins more Cups than even having the game's all time greatest player and unstoppable force, ask Wayne.

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#66 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 03 2011, 09:39PM
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DSF wrote:

LT, you know as well as I do that over an 82 game season played by 30 teams that that hits stat will be smoothed.

We can say with certainty that Magnus is one of the softer players in the league.

hits will hardly be "smoothed over" when a lot of guys get 41 games in a barn where the hits are handed out easily.

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#67 DSF
August 03 2011, 09:54PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

hits will hardly be "smoothed over" when a lot of guys get 41 games in a barn where the hits are handed out easily.

I guess big numbers like 82 games X 30 teams confuse you. Unless you have some evidence that the Oilers' team scorers are less likely to hand out hit stats.

Which, of course, you don't so your comments are totally irrelevant.

And, if you're basing his "production" as a tenth overall pick on his rookie season...he's clearly been sub par.

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#68 Paul C
August 03 2011, 11:02PM
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Perhaps I missed something in your criteria, but Jordan Eberle did play in the AHL. He played a combined 20 games with the Springfield Falcons in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

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#69 @Oilanderp
August 03 2011, 11:37PM
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gowi48 wrote:

Hey whats with Stauffer and Oilers lunch. Is it toast

Brutal eh? I don't live in Edmonton and used to listen only via podcasts. There's nothing on the CHED site that I can find.

Kinda completely screwed my daily oilers-related fix.

*pounds his fist in internet anger*

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#70 ed in mada
August 04 2011, 03:48AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Lets see some of this MBS guys actually become quality NHL players before we get too excited.

I agree. Not trying to be negative, but at this point there are a lot of SM picks that are showing promise and hopefully will develop but not much more than that. We will know much more in 3 years.

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#71 michael
August 04 2011, 08:59AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Brutal eh? I don't live in Edmonton and used to listen only via podcasts. There's nothing on the CHED site that I can find.

Kinda completely screwed my daily oilers-related fix.

*pounds his fist in internet anger*

Typical of Ched. They get the number 1 sports show in the city and they don't even post it on thier website. Not even a frakin billboard with Stauff's big old pusss plastered on it. I'll be podcasting Stauffers show myself. Spec's new show should be a trainwreck in the best way. No holds bar when its comes to Spec. With Spec there will be a few animated conversations I think.With Spec he dosen't have to pull his punches because he dosen't work for the Oilers like Stauffer.Plus 630 ched bites. They have a built in audience being the rights holders. If they didn't have those rights who would listen to them. Especiallly Tencer.

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#72 @Oilanderp
August 04 2011, 09:10AM
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@michael

Well let me know how i can get a copy if u are making a podcast!

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#73 Talbot17
August 04 2011, 09:25AM
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In regards to past posts, I got to agree if you are the Oilers you got to take a hard look at a potential Webber inquiry at some point. Considering the Oilers invested a decent cap hit into Pronger a couple of years back, and we saw how a big all round defenseman did for our club (via Stanley Cup appearance in year 1 of the Pronger saga) I think its a worthwhile and legitimate thing to consider. I tend to see a lot of the Oilers D being those guys that 'complement' a very good Defensemen who is a workhorse. Gilbert was better with Whitney, then you look at Petry and Chorney coming into the system, a Smid is better paired with a better D, etc.

You will say" yeah but any defensemen is better with a really good D at their pairing", but it is evident the Oilers still need a strong all round D like Webber and I think Detroit realizes this and will be the new home for Webber come trade deadline day if the Oilers don't get their act together.

As for their draft selections, i am high on Marcinen, and I get a good feeling about Teubert too. Teubert reminds me of a second coming of Ryan Whitney, maybe not as offensive minded but a guy you could see playing 20+ minutes a game and be a good shut down D in a playoff series

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#74 Ender
August 04 2011, 09:39AM
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A lot of people have been connecting Weber with Detroit in the past couple of days. What is this based on? There are 30 teams in the NHL and every one of them would be happy to have Weber wear their sweater. I realize that Detroit has been a very good team for a long time, but that doesn't make it the default home for every stud player in the NHL.

Maybe Weber gets signed in Edmonton, maybe he goes to Detroit . . . . . or maybe, he goes to one of the other 28 teams in the NHL. Odds weigh heavily on the third choice, yes?

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#75 madjam
August 04 2011, 09:41AM
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ONation far to conservative , negative and pessimistic about this upcoming season . My prediction this year is they will be better than what most of you predict .

This season should see Gagner and Brule (if he can avoid injury bug ) with a major breakthrough . Last years rookies with decent jump in progress . Defence that might even be respectfull . The tools are on the table for entire club to have many positive breakthroughs unlike last few years ! Their should be unprecedented growth throughout the team this season due to new acquisitions and some newbies as well interjected into lineup .

We will be competitive , have a good shot at playoffs this season and possibly more .I expect to be right again on my prediction for our team this season , just like i was the last 3 seasons .

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#76 TigerUnderGlass
August 04 2011, 10:24AM
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Ender wrote:

A lot of people have been connecting Weber with Detroit in the past couple of days. What is this based on? There are 30 teams in the NHL and every one of them would be happy to have Weber wear their sweater. I realize that Detroit has been a very good team for a long time, but that doesn't make it the default home for every stud player in the NHL.

Maybe Weber gets signed in Edmonton, maybe he goes to Detroit . . . . . or maybe, he goes to one of the other 28 teams in the NHL. Odds weigh heavily on the third choice, yes?

Are you saying you will give me 29-1 odds on Weber signing in Detroit?

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#77 @Oilanderp
August 04 2011, 10:31AM
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With all this talk of making offer sheets, and given that the Oilers will have some prime offer sheet candidates against them in a few years, I'd be interested in seeing an examination done on how long the 'ill-will' (if any) lasts between GMs once an offer sheet is made on one of their young stars. More precisely, if say the Oil make an offer on Weber next year, what chance is there that we can see the Preds trying to pick one of our stars in 2 years?

is there enough of a correlation to stay away from making an RFA offer sheet?

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#78 Dman09
August 04 2011, 10:32AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Are you saying you will give me 29-1 odds on Weber signing in Detroit?

That might be worth the bet but it also depends on Weber, maybe he feels a younger developing team may be better suited as they are hungry for the cup and the playoffs. Or maybe he wants location and will be looking for a deal in Cali.

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#79 Dman09
August 04 2011, 10:35AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

With all this talk of making offer sheets, and given that the Oilers will have some prime offer sheet candidates against them in a few years, I'd be interested in seeing an examination done on how long the 'ill-will' (if any) lasts between GMs once an offer sheet is made on one of their young stars. More precisely, if say the Oil make an offer on Weber next year, what chance is there that we can see the Preds trying to pick one of our stars in 2 years?

is there enough of a correlation to stay away from making an RFA offer sheet?

I think you might see the offer sheet structure change for the next CBA. GMs find offers sheets on star players to be pointless because you give up so much and still have to pay full price. It only seems to work on players with lower salaries where the compensation makes sense.

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#80 TigerUnderGlass
August 04 2011, 10:38AM
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Dman09 wrote:

That might be worth the bet but it also depends on Weber, maybe he feels a younger developing team may be better suited as they are hungry for the cup and the playoffs. Or maybe he wants location and will be looking for a deal in Cali.

Certainly other factors come into play, but the point is that not all teams have an equal chance at signing a player like that. There are at most a handful of teams the could realistically sign him.

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#81 Ender
August 04 2011, 10:52AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Certainly other factors come into play, but the point is that not all teams have an equal chance at signing a player like that. There are at most a handful of teams the could realistically sign him.

Vegas wouldn't give 29:1. I'd go as high as 15:1. I understand your point, but any team can make room; it's just a matter of how bad the team wants him over what they're willing to give up.

If your argument is that the Winnipeg Jets could never hope to sign Weber, then maybe Oilers fans should stop beating the 'sign Weber' drum as well.

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#82 Dman09
August 04 2011, 11:07AM
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Ender wrote:

Vegas wouldn't give 29:1. I'd go as high as 15:1. I understand your point, but any team can make room; it's just a matter of how bad the team wants him over what they're willing to give up.

If your argument is that the Winnipeg Jets could never hope to sign Weber, then maybe Oilers fans should stop beating the 'sign Weber' drum as well.

I still think it has more to do with what Weber wants than what teams are willing to offer him. If he wants to be somewhere warm and sunny and thats what matters the most to him then Edmonton, WPG, and even Detroit will have no chance of getting him no matter what they offer.

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#83 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 04 2011, 11:20AM
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I think people look at Det as a destination for Weber because you'd think Lidstrom will retire one of these days.

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#84 Talbot17
August 04 2011, 11:21AM
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I think Webber could potentially see the value of joining a team like Detroit who has a history of 'appreciating' Elite D in this league ( a la Lindstrom, Kronwall to an extent) and if that Nashville hate exists, Detroit is in that division...course if they don't go to the East Conf. or NSH to East either.

The Oilers got to consider him. He never seemed tired in the playoffs against Vancouver and to me is top 3 best D in league

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#85 Bob Cobb
August 04 2011, 11:24AM
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Why is it important how many hits MPS has or where he is ranked in the league? Just becuase MPS doesn't go out of his way looking to make the big hit, like so many Defensemen do, example Dion Phaneuf, doesn't mean MPS is soft. I bet he will hit when given the chance, besides he is a rookie, has to learn the NA style of game and adjust to the size of the rink. He will be a 25 goal, 60-70 pt guy, he showed flashes last year. Give the kid a break, its no wonder players want to leave Edmonton.

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#86 Ender
August 04 2011, 11:33AM
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Owen Nolan (cover of NHL2001) to tryout for the Canucks this season.

At 39, that's a bit of a stretch, no? Is that really how he wants to end things? 40 games on a checking line in Vancouver?

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#87 mayorpoop
August 04 2011, 11:48AM
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i would have little to no doubt weber would sign for less in detroit, pending they are still competitive, at less money than the arbitrator just gave him. some guys just want to win and maybe im out to lunch but he seems like that type of player.

he can have his cake and eat it to.

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#88 TigerUnderGlass
August 04 2011, 11:50AM
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@Ender

I understand your point, but any team can make room; it's just a matter of how bad the team wants him over what they're willing to give up.

Yes and no. I would suggest that somewhere near half the league would represent teams he would not want to go to. Then, of the teams he would approve of, some would not be interested due to either cap concerns or personnel already in place. I would suggest Chicago as an example of a team that would not be interested in Weber.

If your argument is that the Winnipeg Jets could never hope to sign Weber, then maybe Oilers fans should stop beating the 'sign Weber' drum as well.

This I agree with completely. I don't see the Oilers as a realistic destination unless they take an unexpectedly big leap forward this season.

It doesn't mean we shouldn't look into things though. I have a real problem with the fact that reportedly no teams even approached Stamkos before he signed, and none have approached Doughty. As a GM how do you not at least make a phone call about guys like that?

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#89 DSF
August 04 2011, 02:05PM
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Detroit has four defensemen hitting UFA status next season...Lidstrom, Stuart, Kronwall and Commodore.

Weber could easily slide right into that lineup.

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#90 Dman09
August 04 2011, 02:15PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

They were restricted, your not allowed to.

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#91 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 04 2011, 02:37PM
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Dman09 wrote:

They were restricted, your not allowed to.

~Which makes it even more impressive that all those other RFA's were able to agree to contracts with new teams... when the team wasn't allowed to contact them.~

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#92 Ender
August 04 2011, 02:37PM
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DSF wrote:

Detroit has four defensemen hitting UFA status next season...Lidstrom, Stuart, Kronwall and Commodore.

Weber could easily slide right into that lineup.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have four UFA's coming up during the same period, and an RFA too. I guess he could 'slide right into that lineup' as well.

Except, why would you want to? Wouldn't you much rather go to a completely solid team who just needed that one last piece to win a Stanley (ie. you) than one that was in complete flux and was turning over their entire defensive core?

I suspect Weber could 'slide right into' a number of teams and do very well. If your point is that Detroit will need him, well, who doesn't?

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#93 Ender
August 04 2011, 03:05PM
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I confess to some curiosity surrounding the picture at the head of this article. I didn't recognize the guy, so I looked at the properties and then ran a search-engine on the result "Burr".

I didn't come up with anything on the guy, but I was introduced to a Rachel Burr. She was worth the search time. Thanks, Lowetide, but maybe you posted the wrong Burr by accident?

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#94 Wax Man Riley
August 04 2011, 03:18PM
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Weber... what about Boston? If I were Weber, I'd look into it.

San Jose? Detroit (my guess is that Detroit will pursue him aggressively with Lidstrom retiring.

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#95 Wax Man Riley
August 04 2011, 03:20PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

To be fair, regarding your last sentence, a trained platypus could predict the Oil at the bottom of the league and out of the playoffs the last few years. Even Vancouver fans said that....

madjam wrote:

We will be competitive , have a good shot at playoffs this season and possibly more .I expect to be right again on my prediction for our team this season , just like i was the last 3 seasons .

My prediction? Same thing I predict every year. They will win the Stanley Cup and the parade will start in Clareview and end in Terwillegar. I have already ordered the confetti to be thrown from the tops of buildings of downtown as the parade comes down Gretzky to 112 ave to 19 st to Jasper and onward.

Edit: forgot to mention that they will play The Jets in the SCF

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#96 John Chambers
August 04 2011, 03:24PM
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@Ender

I think the idea being that Detroit has a lot of money coming off the books for next year and will want to re-build their D.

But to your point - who wants to play for a Red Wings team that will see both Lidstrom and Rafalski absent for 2012 and beyond?

Tiger had a good point - maybe this is the year to really aspire to get out of the draft lottery to prove to the UFA class that the Oil are the team of the future and their best shot at a Stanley is with us.

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#97 Dan the Man
August 04 2011, 03:34PM
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Ender wrote:

I confess to some curiosity surrounding the picture at the head of this article. I didn't recognize the guy, so I looked at the properties and then ran a search-engine on the result "Burr".

I didn't come up with anything on the guy, but I was introduced to a Rachel Burr. She was worth the search time. Thanks, Lowetide, but maybe you posted the wrong Burr by accident?

That would be Raymond Burr, who starred in the Hitchcock classic "Rear Window".

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#98 Ender
August 04 2011, 03:47PM
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@Dan the Man

While the tie-in now makes sense (Lars Thorwald), I still think it was a reverse-freudian slip on the part of LT. ;-)

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#99 DSF
August 04 2011, 04:03PM
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Ender wrote:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have four UFA's coming up during the same period, and an RFA too. I guess he could 'slide right into that lineup' as well.

Except, why would you want to? Wouldn't you much rather go to a completely solid team who just needed that one last piece to win a Stanley (ie. you) than one that was in complete flux and was turning over their entire defensive core?

I suspect Weber could 'slide right into' a number of teams and do very well. If your point is that Detroit will need him, well, who doesn't?

Of course everyone "needs" him, including Nashville, but it's pretty obvious that he wants to join a winner.

Detroit, Tampa, Boston and San Jose, Vancouver and Washington would seem like the odds on favorites.

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#100 Dan the Man
August 04 2011, 04:30PM
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@Ender

I just googled Rachel Burr, she's slightly hotter than Raymond.

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