HEMSKY AND KHABI LIKELY TO MOVE?

Robin Brownlee
January 26 2012 01:49PM

What are the chances Ales Hemsky and Nikolai Khabibulin are moved by the Edmonton Oilers by the NHL trade deadline? I don't know for sure, but their names came up in a conversation today between two people I trust, so I'm paying attention.

Of course, Hemsky's name has been the subject of untold speculation for months, some might say years, so hearing his name come up today as being moved along is hardly stop-the-presses material. Likewise, fans around here and elsewhere have mentioned Khabibulin, even if much of the talk falls into the category of wishful thinking.

But when long-time Ottawa Sun beat man Bruce Garrioch, one of a handful of people in the hockey writing business I consider to be in the know, mentions Hemsky and Khabibulin, as he did today in a segment on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED, I put considerably more weight in it than I do in garden variety what-if talk offered up by fans and outsiders pretending to have inside info.

Yes, Garrioch throws a lot of stuff against the wall to see what sticks – that's part of his mandate and comes with filling with his widely read weekend column – but I made and took enough calls from him over the years while working the beat to know he's got a pretty good grasp of what's going on.

Just one example of that came at the NHL Entry Draft in Nashville when Garrioch strongly suggested I look into the possibility all was not right between the Oilers and Mike Comrie – that was months before the crap hit the fan between No. 89 and then GM Kevin Lowe, but I digress . . .

MOST LIKELY TO MOVE

Today, Stauffer, who is more in the know than anybody in this town by a long shot when it comes to the Oilers, asked Garrioch who he'd list as most likely to move between now and the deadline Feb. 27.

Garrioch mentioned seven players, including Hemsky and Khabibulin on his list with Tuomo Ruutu, Tim Gleason, Jaroslav Spacek, Bryan Allen – Jason Gregor and I talked this quartet from the Carolina Hurricanes on his show at TEAM 1260 Wednesday – and Bobby Ryan of Anaheim. I'd also add Andy Sutton to that list, but neither Garrioch nor Stauffer brought his name up.

With Hemsky approaching unrestricted free agency, it's a no-brainer he's grist for the rumor mill. I have no doubt Tambellini will shop him. The only question is how aggressively, and who returns his calls.

What got my attention, given his age and what would seem a very limited list of teams in the market, was Garrioch's insistence Khabibulin will be in play, which leads me to believe he's heard something.

With 33 days until the deadline, the buzz, guesswork and speculation will increase once the all-star game is done. For fans, that means throwing out scenarios and wish-lists of acquisitions (often one-sided deals that will help their team). For reporters, it means working the phones and checking with agents to get an inside track on what's likely to happen. The scribes on top of things, like Garrioch, have already made a lot of those calls.

Stay tuned.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 KINGOIL
January 26 2012, 03:30PM
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STUPID, HOW ABOUT WE PACKAGE HEMMER UP IN A TRADE TO LA IN RETURN WE WILL TAKE PENNER BACK TO GIVE LA THE CAP RELIEF THEY NEED ALSO THEY ADD IN THERE BEST D PROSPECT OR THERE 1ST !! PREFERBLY THERE BEST D PROSPECT. BOOK IT !!

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#52 Lawndemon
January 26 2012, 03:30PM
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Hemsky for Bernier straight up would be good for the Oilers assuming they have a plan to move out Khabby... if they can snag a pick too then fantastic.

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#53 madjam
January 26 2012, 03:43PM
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I would hope we are initiating the talks and not waiting for others to call . Everyone is available if price , etc. are worth it . Expand our choices with all clubs just not a few . Gretzky and Messier proves all are expendible with the right deal . I doubt the club wants to go back in talent any further than what it has already . We need deals now that will upgrade team . I don't think we should be going after another plethora of draftees with our trades - we have enough already to try and build around . This year we may have more blue chippers if we continue to be a bottom feeder anyways.

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#54 dohfOs
January 26 2012, 03:45PM
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@Souby

Souby: Look further up for the answer..

"Khabibulin's been a 0.902 goalie over his Oilers career. In the same span, Dubnyk's been a 0.908 goalie."

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#55 Souby
January 26 2012, 03:47PM
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dohfOs wrote:

Souby: Look further up for the answer..

"Khabibulin's been a 0.902 goalie over his Oilers career. In the same span, Dubnyk's been a 0.908 goalie."

Oops, I missed that. Thanks for pointing that out.

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#56 Soccer Steve
January 26 2012, 03:55PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Fair enough and I retract the generalized use of the word "nothing". Maybe shove "Most of" at the beginning of the line.

The problem for me is the mentality with much of the media that 'a man's gotta eat'. In the day of 24 hours news coverage and 4 sports channel within remote control distance, never mind the endless void that is the internet, it just gets...old and predictable (not you, I quite enjoy your articles, just the whole rumor mill industry, as it were). I guess that's all I'm trying to say.

Moneyball showed a side to GM'ing that I hadn't seen before and it was refreshing.

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#57 Jonathan Willis
January 26 2012, 04:03PM
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@ Souby:

Khabibulin's overall numbers are great this season, but that's only because he was lights out for nine games. He has been sub-average ever since.

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#58 Mac962
January 26 2012, 04:08PM
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Hemsky and Tuebert for Bernier. WTF do i know. I hate All-Star Break is what i do know.

Go OIL KINGS... Great Game last night.. wow.

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#59 Souby
January 26 2012, 04:15PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Souby:

Khabibulin's overall numbers are great this season, but that's only because he was lights out for nine games. He has been sub-average ever since.

I hear you JW, and while he has certainly cooled off from his great start, his numbers have been affected by not having a great defense in front of him.

At the end of the day, I feel you may be right. With his play of late and the big contract, it is unlikely the Oil find a taker for Khabby.

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#60 John Chambers
January 26 2012, 04:17PM
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@Soccer Steve

You also realize that movies have two hours to tell stories that play out over months or years.

In fact, I thought they showed Pitt in Shapiro's Cleveland office several months before the deal got consummated. That fat kid also had a list of players they coveted from the other teams directly in front of him, so they weren't exactly throwing sh!t against the wall.

You can think that pro sports general managers may be mavericks like the Billy Beane character, but you should also realize the Hollywood factor, and how that probably doesn't translate much into reality except for in the world of Mike Milbury.

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#61 Mac962
January 26 2012, 04:20PM
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Any Rumours involving Vin Lecalvier ? I still like Vinny and would love to see him on a Canadian Team.. I guess he has won his cup and loves the sand between his toes after a game instead of wool from his -40 degree rated socks from Marks... Fack.. Cant say i blame him.

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#62 Oilers21
January 26 2012, 04:36PM
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I wonder if Hemsky and a later pick would be enough to get Anders Lindback out of Nashville. His numbers have regressed a bit with limited (to say the least) playing time and he's clearly not going to be the starter down there. I like him as much as Bernier right now.

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#63 B-man
January 26 2012, 04:36PM
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Hopefully we get something good in return for Hemsky and Habbi,maybe we could put Horc and Renny in a package deal and get a new ping pong table for the dressing room

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#64 Soccer Steve
January 26 2012, 04:36PM
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@John Chambers

Ok, you may have a point. Except!

Pierre Gautheir: Kaberle Craig Button: Staios Peter Poklington: Gretzky The curse of Babe Ruth

Of course, there are GM's on the other side of these deals. Hollywood or not, these and many more happened.

It's just that the Oil Change aspect of deals is much more entertaining to me than hearing about yet another rumor that is probably just a rumor for it's own sake (again, I'm not singling out this particular article, per se).

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#65 Oilcruzer
January 26 2012, 04:39PM
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I wonder if Sather is comfortable with what he has...

...are they deep enough?

Or Philly... Hemsky and Jagr...

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#66 Felt
January 26 2012, 04:56PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Would the Oilers or Toronto for that matter make this trade?

Sam Gagner for Jake Gardiner

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#67 Felt
January 26 2012, 05:09PM
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Personally if they traded Sam Gagner to Toronto for a D-man I would also like to get a player like Nikolai Kulemin in some type of package.

Jake Gardiner and Nikolai Kulemin for Sam Gagner + ?

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#68 sloppy joe
January 26 2012, 05:22PM
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Re the comments about possibly Hemsky to LA for Bernier:

I think Bernier would be a big gamble at this point. I know he's young and has draft pedigree (11th overall in 2006), but he's taken a big step backwards this year as far as I'm concerned.

Last year he started 22 games, played in 25 total. He had 11 wins, 2.48 GAA, .913 svp, and 3 shutouts.

So far this year, he's started in 8 of the Kings' 50 games (played in 9), he has 3 wins, a 2.73 GAA, .895 svp, and 0 shutouts.

He's not playing well, the sv% is atrocious given that he's on a pretty good team, and he's playing significantly less games (he's on track to start 13 this year versus 22 last year). It would seem to me that they're playing him less because he's playing so poorly. I know that goaltenders follow circuitous paths in their development, but those numbers are trending downward in a significant way.

Also, it doesn't make sense to have 2 unestablished NHL goalies with a lot of question marks (i.e. DD and Bernier)-- epecially with one more year of Bulin, who I do not expect to go anywhere despite the rumors. I would hope that any goalie shopping would involve looking at someone more established. It just seems stupid to trade for an unestablished goalie when, in recent years, there has always been reasonable deals on decent UFA goaltenders in the summer (assuming the GM doesn't lose his mind and sign a broken down 35+ goalie to a big money, 4 year deal).

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#69 Oilcruzer
January 26 2012, 05:25PM
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@sloppy joe

ROY AND BUNZ ARE THE FASHIZZLE!!! YOU READ IT HERE, BOOK IT!!!

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#70 sloppy joe
January 26 2012, 05:32PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Wouldn't the issue with Khabbie be less his age and performance concerns and more the length of his contract?

Any team looking for a goalie at the deadline is looking for a rental to either bolster for a run and/or cover the cost of future injuries. They aren't thinking about icing a 40 year old expensive contract the following season.

I still think the Oil's 1st, 2nd and 3rd options with Hemsky have to be re-sign him...

Totally agree with you re Bulin. I think he's unmoveable, despite the rumors.

Re Hemsky - in the perfect world we would sign him, and, given the minimal return we're going to get for him as the trade deadline nears, it would make sense to sign him. Despite the naysayers, I genuinely believe he has a lot to add to the team.

However ... if I'm Hemsky, I'm only resigning if it is for a decent term and for pretty good money. Otherwise, I test the FA waters this summer, as I have nothing to lose.

If I'm Tambo, I only want to sign Hemmer for a shorter term (2-3 years) and for similar money to what he's getting now (4.4) -- simply becuase of the injury risk.

It seems to me that the oilers 1st, 2nd, and 3rd options are (1) give up too much on salary or term or both to sign him now; (2) trade him for a minimal return between now and the deadline; (3) lose him for nothing in the summer / resign him in the summer at whatever the market rate proves to be.

All three options stink.

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#71 Maggie the Monkey
January 26 2012, 05:38PM
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I posted this comment about one of Garrioch's tips at LT's site a few days ago:

"Bruce Garrioch wrote today `Don’t be surprised if Jackets C Jeff Carter is gone before the deadline.' He has a reputation as being fairly well connected, although I have no idea how consistently he hits the mark on this type of soft speculation."

While in the mood of dreaming up trades, wouldn't he be a fantastic player to target? A big, RH C who's strong on face-offs, physical, and carries an offensive punch could help change the make-up of the Oilers. Also, his trade value might be at an all time low due to the awful year he's having, which could be the best time to pick him up. I have no idea what the package going the other way would look like (and was roughly shot down for suggesting it could include Horcoff), but hope that Tambellini is one of the GMs kicking tires.

Here’s the link: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Anaheim/2012/01/21/19276776.html, and I think that Garrioch is right that if Carter does get moved this year that it would be the move that “ultimately gets GM Scott Howson fired”.

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#72 DrDave
January 26 2012, 05:43PM
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Ryan Suter and Lindback for Hemsky, Petry and 2013 1st round pick

Gagner and 2012 first for Yannick Weber and Mtls 2012 1st -Montreal moves up a few spots to nail Nail, we get to take Murray or Rhinehard

Next year we go in with Suter, Weber, Gilbert, Whitney, Petry and Smid as our D core with Klefblom, Musil, Marincin and Murray/Rhinehard in the pipeline

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#73 Dark Passenger
January 26 2012, 05:44PM
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?

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#74 B-man
January 26 2012, 05:44PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

I posted this comment about one of Garrioch's tips at LT's site a few days ago:

"Bruce Garrioch wrote today `Don’t be surprised if Jackets C Jeff Carter is gone before the deadline.' He has a reputation as being fairly well connected, although I have no idea how consistently he hits the mark on this type of soft speculation."

While in the mood of dreaming up trades, wouldn't he be a fantastic player to target? A big, RH C who's strong on face-offs, physical, and carries an offensive punch could help change the make-up of the Oilers. Also, his trade value might be at an all time low due to the awful year he's having, which could be the best time to pick him up. I have no idea what the package going the other way would look like (and was roughly shot down for suggesting it could include Horcoff), but hope that Tambellini is one of the GMs kicking tires.

Here’s the link: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Anaheim/2012/01/21/19276776.html, and I think that Garrioch is right that if Carter does get moved this year that it would be the move that “ultimately gets GM Scott Howson fired”.

If they would get Carter for Horc that would be a steal of a deal,might even save the GM his job

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#75 DrDave
January 26 2012, 05:45PM
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or if we add a 2nd from this year, change weber for subban but I'd almost prefer weber atm

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#76 Clyde Frog
January 26 2012, 06:03PM
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@B-man

Are you honestly saying Carter for Horcoff straight up? Or did you mean we sneak him into the trade as a ++?

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#77 Quicksilver ballet
January 26 2012, 06:21PM
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@DrDave

Not a fan of those moves. That 2013 pick will be a top two lotto pick if there's no hockey next season. Don't like Suter that much. It does have that ominous look like it's a deal Tambellini might be able to put together though.

Has a plan B look to it, something that Steve would "settle" for.

Please dream on a grander scale Dr.Dave, needs just a little more NHL12 to spice it up a bit. Has possiblities, can we swap Suter out for Shea Weber?

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#78 B-man
January 26 2012, 06:22PM
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@Clyde Frog

Sorry I was just dreaming nobody will take Horc even if he only made 1million a year,I think they are stuck with him unless they bite the bullet and buy out his contract

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#79 kevin
January 26 2012, 06:24PM
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B-man wrote:

Hopefully we get something good in return for Hemsky and Habbi,maybe we could put Horc and Renny in a package deal and get a new ping pong table for the dressing room

haha ya and maybe we can through in Klowe and his puppet Tambo for some balls. Ping pong balls of course.

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#80 Jonathan Willis
January 26 2012, 06:24PM
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#81 B-man
January 26 2012, 06:30PM
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kevin wrote:

haha ya and maybe we can through in Klowe and his puppet Tambo for some balls. Ping pong balls of course.

I think the Kings might take that deal for Kopitar but then they'd take legal action against the oil,worth a shot

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#82 kevin
January 26 2012, 06:36PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Are you honestly saying Carter for Horcoff straight up? Or did you mean we sneak him into the trade as a ++?

do you think there is a team out there that would take Horc if we kept paying his salary ? you would think we could get Reddon out of the Rangers farm team for Horcof. I like the thought of potentially landing Pk Subban and yes I would give up our first pick. He is a proven comodity with some grit. We will not get those two attributes with our pick.

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#83 B-man
January 26 2012, 06:51PM
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kevin wrote:

do you think there is a team out there that would take Horc if we kept paying his salary ? you would think we could get Reddon out of the Rangers farm team for Horcof. I like the thought of potentially landing Pk Subban and yes I would give up our first pick. He is a proven comodity with some grit. We will not get those two attributes with our pick.

I honestly don't think another team would take him if his tab was being paid by us,he's a center but I don't think he knows exactly what he's supposed to be doing out there.If they were trying to trade him I think they would stop playing him and try to hide the fact that he's a bad hockey player and this has nothing to do with his contract anyone would've signed that you'd be stupid not to,I do like the idea of Reddon if they were making the same dough couldn't be worse than Horc

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#84 DrDave
January 26 2012, 07:32PM
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Would Florida trade a bad contract for another? Brian Campbell for Horcoff and Gernat? Would it make sense for either team?

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#85 Maggie the Monkey
January 26 2012, 07:47PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Jeff Carter is "100% available."

Well researched and written, as always. I hadn't shuffled over the the E.J. yet today.

What do you think about him as a fit for the Oilers? If the price was right - i.e. none of the three untouchable young forwards or this year's 1st round pick - do you think his contract could fit into the long term salary structure of the team?

There is so much to like about the player and what he could bring to Edmonton. The combination of his availability and what is likely to be a relatively low price to acquire him has me considering whether I'd be happy with management changing their course and jump starting the rebuild. The prospect of him and Nugent-Hopkins as a one-two punch down the middle for a decade is appealing, and could make more sense if part of the package includes Gagner.

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#86 Quicksilver ballet
January 26 2012, 07:55PM
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With Carter on the move again it looks like it could be the Bluejackets with two lotto picks this coming summer. Add to that what they'd get for Nash if he wants out as well. What a start to their rebuild that would be. Watch Scott Howson do in one month what is has taken Tambellini 3 yrs to do.

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#87 Time Travelling Sean
January 26 2012, 07:56PM
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DrDave wrote:

Would Florida trade a bad contract for another? Brian Campbell for Horcoff and Gernat? Would it make sense for either team?

Where have you been?

As far as I can tell Brian Campbell is playing at the All-Star festivities while Horc is resting his worn-out body.

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#88 Time Travelling Sean
January 26 2012, 08:00PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

With Carter on the move again it looks like it could be the Bluejackets with two lotto picks this coming summer. Add to that what they'd get for Nash if he wants out as well. What a start to their rebuild that would be. Watch Scott Howson do in one month what is has taken Tambellini 3 yrs to do.

We don't have a Nash or Carter to move for lottos.

But your right, next year they could have

Johansen Nail Reinhart/Dumba/ or maybe Murray if they get lucky.

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#89 Kevin
January 26 2012, 08:02PM
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B-man wrote:

I honestly don't think another team would take him if his tab was being paid by us,he's a center but I don't think he knows exactly what he's supposed to be doing out there.If they were trying to trade him I think they would stop playing him and try to hide the fact that he's a bad hockey player and this has nothing to do with his contract anyone would've signed that you'd be stupid not to,I do like the idea of Reddon if they were making the same dough couldn't be worse than Horc

actually dollar wise after this year they both appear to have $13 million remaining, horc has an extra year. Overall this deal would be an upgrade and could make sense for both teams- not sure what the Ranger situation is down the middle though. The Oil need to make some room for their upcoming youths at center ie Pytlick or even Martindale- have'nt heard how Martindale is coming along though.

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#90 Time Travelling Sean
January 26 2012, 08:12PM
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Kevin wrote:

actually dollar wise after this year they both appear to have $13 million remaining, horc has an extra year. Overall this deal would be an upgrade and could make sense for both teams- not sure what the Ranger situation is down the middle though. The Oil need to make some room for their upcoming youths at center ie Pytlick or even Martindale- have'nt heard how Martindale is coming along though.

Pretty sure Horc has a NMC, so even if he wanted to go to play for the NYR they couldn't send him down to Albany or wherever their AHL team is and thus couldn't absorb his cap hit.

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#91 DSF
January 26 2012, 08:16PM
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DrDave wrote:

Would Florida trade a bad contract for another? Brian Campbell for Horcoff and Gernat? Would it make sense for either team?

Why would Florida trade Campbell?

He has 35 points and is their #1D.

Horcoff and Gernat would set back Tallon's rebuild by 2-3 years.

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#92 Quicksilver ballet
January 26 2012, 08:17PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

We don't have a Nash or Carter to move for lottos.

But your right, next year they could have

Johansen Nail Reinhart/Dumba/ or maybe Murray if they get lucky.

The Oilers must've seen the writing on the wall back then. Granted they didn't have two assets like Carter and Nash but Hemsky before all his injuries?

It'll be tragic when he leaves here in a month for the pittance of what he was worth 2 and a half yrs ago. Timing really is everything in 83's case.

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#93 Oilersfan4
January 26 2012, 08:54PM
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Hockey buzz say the Preds are high on Hemsky, I say then Hemsky to the Preds for Ryan Ellis and Jordan Tootoo.Get a dman which we need and finally get a player who will crash and bang.

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#94 B-man
January 26 2012, 09:07PM
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Oilersfan4 wrote:

Hockey buzz say the Preds are high on Hemsky, I say then Hemsky to the Preds for Ryan Ellis and Jordan Tootoo.Get a dman which we need and finally get a player who will crash and bang.

The problem with getting guys that are physical is that Renny will only play them 5 minutes a game if that take Eager the guy can fly has some hands and bangs people,I'd love to see him on a line with Hall and Magnus but you need a coach who's not afraid to play physical

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#95 Rama Lama
January 26 2012, 09:09PM
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Given that Renny has been playing Dubnyk a lot lately, this makes sense. I think that they are protecting Khabibulin from injury and not playing him too much as they did in the past.

Dubnyk finally looks like he can play, at least the last two games. Khabibulin may fetch a second round draft pick.......if some team get nervous?

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#96 nofool6110
January 26 2012, 09:25PM
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Oilersfan4 wrote:

Hockey buzz say the Preds are high on Hemsky, I say then Hemsky to the Preds for Ryan Ellis and Jordan Tootoo.Get a dman which we need and finally get a player who will crash and bang.

Another flaw happens to be your source: Hockeybuzz.

I worship Eklund just as much as the next guy, but... euh... he's often not right. At all.

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#97 Time Travelling Sean
January 26 2012, 09:32PM
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Yea that concerned me. Dubby on back to back nights vs the Sharks and Nucks :O seemed like a recipe for disaster but he held the fort.

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#98 Quicksilver ballet
January 26 2012, 09:42PM
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Never gave that much thought to the Sabres. Would they at all be interested in adding in the next month. Have seen Tyler Myers name thrown around the last couple weeks.There's a kid the Oilers could sure use on their back end. Chris Pronger jr?

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#99 Oilersfan4
January 26 2012, 09:46PM
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NO FOOL -Has nothing to do with source ,was just throwing a trade out there.Everybody knows Eklund rumors go nowhere

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