Stay the Course

Jason Strudwick
January 31 2012 10:05PM

 

 

When the rumor mill spit out last week that Steve Tambellini was going to get a contract extension it set off a lot of debate. Should he be extended or not? Does he deserve it? Should Tom Renney be extended as well?

I believe that both Tom Renney and Steve Tambellini should remain in their positions next season. I have been a part of organizations that change coaches and/or GM's frequently. It does not work. Bringing in a new philosophy would mean a change of course for the team.

This could mean a new approach to drafting and free agent signing. It could set the team back at a important time in the rebuilding process. Each GM has a vision of the team he would like to ice. Having a coach that can implement a system that will mesh with the types of players the GM acquires is very important.

Before the lockout I was playing with the Chicago Blackhawks. Mike Smith was the GM and the coach was Brian Sutter.

Talk About a Mismatch

Mike favored european players, specifically Russian so he was always adding that type of player for a coach who believed in meat and potatoes hockey. Telling a Russian skilled forward to dump it in and run someone over didn't work. The team never had a chance at success with that combination.

I believe that Tambellini and Renney are on the same page. The Buffalo Sabres are a great example of a GM and coach duo that works and has brought a lot of stability to an organization that has had reasons not to be (ownership issues). Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff are very good and respected throughout the league.

Before the season, many people expected the Sabres to be near the top of the eastern conference. With all the big signings and trades they did in the off season it was a reasonable expectation. However it has not been a great year for the Sabres. Injuries to key players have killed their record. Now people are demanding changes to the management and coaching positions.

Does this story sound familiar? I think it is near impossible to judge how good a team the Oilers are when top players are out for extended periods. Take a look at the D-man injuries to Whitney and Barker. It put to much pressure of the D-corps. They are both twenty minute guys and you can't replace that for months. Throw in Gilbert's injury and that is three of your top four D-men out.

The consecutive seasons with high man games lost are what concern me. Yes, many of the injuries have been flukes but this has been happening for three or four years now. Is that really bad luck or is it a pattern that has developed? I think more rest days would reduce some of those fluky injuries. Now is the not the time to make radical changes. Stay the course and say your prayers that the injury bug finally moves on to another team next year. A healthy team for 82 games would be a nice change and improve the teams record.

Way easier

 

Last night I scored an empty net goal. The first of my career. I thought back door tap-ins were easy but without the goalie between the pipes my chance of goal scoring success goes up at least a few points!

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 nofool6110
January 31 2012, 10:06PM
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Mad props to you, Mr. Strudwick! Wishing the best for continued success from E-town! :)

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#2 D
January 31 2012, 10:25PM
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Congrats on the goal Struds!

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#3 mikeisthird
January 31 2012, 10:27PM
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Can we really trust a GM who didn't re-sign you, Struds?

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#4 Robin Brownlee
January 31 2012, 10:27PM
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Nice timing on this item, Struddie. With five points from the last three games, maybe the levels of panic and angst will decrease in equal proportion to the calls for Tambellini and Renney to be dismissed immediately.

At least until back-to-back losses to Chicago and Detroit . . .

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#5 Wanyes bastard child
January 31 2012, 10:29PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Nice timing on this item, Struddie. With five points from the last three games, maybe the levels of panic and angst will decrease in equal proportion to the calls for Tambellini and Renney to be dismissed immediately.

At least until back-to-back losses to Chicago and Detroit . . .

Mr poopy pants again?

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#6 Robin Brownlee
January 31 2012, 10:33PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Mr poopy pants again?

Tell me I'm wrong.

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#7 Wanyes bastard child
January 31 2012, 10:35PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Tell me I'm wrong.

Your wrong :P

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#8 a lg dubl dubl
January 31 2012, 10:43PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Your wrong :P

Bazingga lol

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#9 Time Travelling Sean
January 31 2012, 10:51PM
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Woah Robin let them get on the plane to the game first.

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#10 Word
January 31 2012, 10:52PM
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@Wanyes bastard child

My wrong or his wrong?

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#11 Oilcruzer
January 31 2012, 11:00PM
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What time was it in Sweden when Struds posted this? 7AM. ? When did he start it then?

Solid logic. Bird in the hand with coaching GM tandem. Besides, this keeps KLowe away from the craps table.

Been a funny year. Coulda used Struds to unretire for most the year.

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#12 PaperDesigner
February 01 2012, 12:10AM
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How does injuries justify a track record of consistent failure? Why should we excuse them on account of injuries when they have had several seasons to attempt to build in enough resistance to potential injuries and have never succeeded? The buffalo Sabres have made the playoffs several times in the past few seasons... The Edmonton Oilers have not.

Blaming injuries is the refuge of failures. And just because you preface a statement with "not that injuries are an excuse...", that does not mean your statement or question following that implies the Oilers are distinctly worse on account of injuries is not BY DEFINITION A FREAKING EXCUSE. Tambellini is an awful general manager because he has shown that he can consistently build a bottom five NHL team, despite intending not to.

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#13 Biowolf
February 01 2012, 12:11AM
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Is the captain of the Costa Concordia getting a new contract too ?

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#14 Biowolf
February 01 2012, 12:15AM
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Is the captain of the Costa Concordia getting a new contract too ?

Staying the course, my eye.

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#15 Greg Stink | ESPN
February 01 2012, 01:01AM
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I agree with you, Strudwick. I know the Oilers can't really get any worse, but ask the players, I bet most of them would choose to stay with things how they are and try to get out of this together. They are getting better, and not just because they won tonight.

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#16 Wax Man Riley
February 01 2012, 02:44AM
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Word wrote:

My wrong or his wrong?

I see what you did there

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#17 stevezie
February 01 2012, 04:10AM
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Struds you weren't kidding about the humidity here (Sweden); it's a sticky cold.

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#18 sizedoesmatter
February 01 2012, 05:04AM
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When the Oilers were on there Incredible run a I heard a few smatterings from the media jumping on the bandwagon.Then the injuries started piling up and then the gloating started how they knew they(Oilers) couldn't keep it up because the goaltending was too good.They may not make the playoffs but It would be nice To finish with eighty or more points.MBSM will have to work his magic without a lottery pick

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#19 Wanye
February 01 2012, 05:05AM
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Another goal? You should have joined the Nation years ago. You are ON FIRE

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#20 Bulging Twine
February 01 2012, 05:26AM
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Glad to hear someone raise a possible solution to the injury problem. It is a major, major concern for the future success of this franchise.

Injuries have been an issue for the Oilers for a few years now and it must be addressed/solved.

It would be very enlightening to find out how the Oilers compare with other teams on amount of rest given.

rest days/60 min lol

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#22 Jon
February 01 2012, 07:25AM
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Jason - Injuries can be an excuse, but when a GM accquires a player with a pre-exisiting foot condition...and this player misses as many games as he has because of it...how can you possibly use those injured games as an excuse to defend the gm? He knew about the risk of injury with Whitney, gambled anyways, and not only did he lose but he showed that he had no backup plan in case he lost his gamble as well.

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#24 michael
February 01 2012, 07:39AM
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Panic if we lose to Chicago and Detroit? Not likely. If it was Columbus and Carolina that would be a different story. Losing to 2 of the best teams in the lague is no shame. Its how we lose is what concerns me the most. Most nights we can say we have shown effort. But for the most part our losses have been as a result of lack of forsight on ST part to ensure that we have veteran NHL depth on defence.Not AHL. We have looked outskilled and overmatched for many nights this season. The trade deadline is coming up soon. The talk of renewal for ST can wait till the end of the season. A full assessment needs to be done of the organization at that point. Including the work of one ST. Giving him an extension now would be ill timed. ST always talks himself about evaluations and taking it one step at a time and process. Is his position as GM of this team not to be done in the same way as the rest of this organization? Wait till the season is over and then let the process of renewals and extensions begin.

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#25 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 01 2012, 08:04AM
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Appreciate the pushback Struds... but there is still a portion of us out here that are in the Brownlee camp on these matters: no need to force the issue or the conversation before the season is over.

That line may seem like dithering to some, but it seems much more prudent to me than making a sudden arbitrary change or hitching your wagon to the current team before all the facts are on the table.

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#26 Archaeologuy
February 01 2012, 08:07AM
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@Jason Strudwick

Couldnt disagree with you more on this one Jason. The Rebuild was announced halfway through a season in which no Rebuild was ever intended. This season he made it absolutely clear that his goal was to play meaningful games in March. It isnt going to happen, the Oilers sit 29th in the League. Tambellini is on Coach 3 in 4 years. Pat Quinn, his first hire as a coach, lasted a single year before being shuffled away.

Then there's the personnel choices. From Patty O'Sullivan to Khabibulin to Cam Barker, there have been way too many downgrades in talent and effectiveness.

I recognize freak injuries happen and that affects a team's ability to compete, but teams built around injury prone players, or worse, players who are miscast in their roles (Barker, Horcoff top 6) are fundamentally flawed.

In 4 years what has Tambellini shown that suggests he is capable of making good decisions that dont immediately need corrective steps? He couldnt build a playoff contender early in his tenure. He couldnt hire a coach that fit the team's needs. He couldnt take a bottom feeding team and add enough parts to compete again for a playoff spot.

3 stated goals, 3 colossal failure. Player moves can be a gamble. Nobody thought Belanger would be this useless in the offensive zone. It happens. But failing to achieve, or even coming close, on over-arching goals for the Franchise has to be damning to a GM. Those should not be swept under the rug and forgotten.

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#27 Chris
February 01 2012, 08:23AM
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@Arch - What you said.

Belanger looked really good last night. I don't just mean his goal, he was flying and really skating well all night.

Did anyone notice when the feed switched to Colorado how their commentators kept marveling at Hemsky? In a 5 minute span they called him "a magician" and just made "wow" comments a few times. We forget what we have.... Its interesting hearing comments from hockey guys who don't watch him everyday.

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#28 mchael
February 01 2012, 08:31AM
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Archaelogy. Horcoff is a top 6 center by default. Not by choice. Through no fault of his own he was granted a contract that we all thought was a little heavy. He has paid the price in terms of public opinion. No one would have an issue if he was a 3 million dollar a year player. The pregame interview he had last night on 630 ched with Bob Stauffer pointed out why Horcoff is needed on this team He plays the hard minutes on the PK. He plays against the other teams best players. He eats up minuses so that others can get pluses. He earns every penny he gets paid. Wether its 6.5 million or 4.5 or 3 million. I believe in him as our teams leader. He looks for solutions not problems. As a fan I get enough of the negativity from this website and from the airwaves.

ST does not get a pass from me. He has made mistakes. He needs time. But at the same time he needs to ensure that the direction that team takes places players in roles where they can succeed. Including Horcoff.

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#29 Archaeologuy
February 01 2012, 08:32AM
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@Chris

You're right about those other commentators. Way too easy to forget that Hemsky does things that only a handful of other players can do.

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#30 smiliegirl15
February 01 2012, 08:48AM
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It's nice that Tambellini and Renney are on the same page but I think they're a couple of revisions behind. I get what you mean about the GM needing to bring in players to fit the coaching style but more importantly, don't you think the coach should fit the team? I don't think Tambellini has the wherewithal to put together that team, regardless of even being in the same book as the coach.

As Arch said above, it's like Tambellini said holy crap we have to change what we're doing and rebuild, and has been scrambling ever since. We need this team to succeed with management's help, not in spite of it.

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#31 Dman09
February 01 2012, 08:50AM
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So apparently last night on ched during the pre-game they let slip that Tambo will be signing a 2 year extension in the next day or so, they also said that they may not make any trades at all and will likely be offering contracts to Hemsky and Sutton before the deadline.

So let me get this straight. A team that has finished last two years in a row and is headed their again or at least a lotto pick doesn't think its in their best interest to change anything? Does anybody else see a problem here? The only reason that this team has been able to get away with crap like that is because they have such a loyal fan base and a Billionare owner that can fork out cash regardless of whether people go to the games.

I mean Sh*t man why don't you pay me a million dollars a year to make sure you finished last instead of charging $200+ a ticket to watch a losing team that doesn't want to change anything.

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#32 French Toast Mafia
February 01 2012, 08:51AM
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Chris wrote:

@Arch - What you said.

Belanger looked really good last night. I don't just mean his goal, he was flying and really skating well all night.

Did anyone notice when the feed switched to Colorado how their commentators kept marveling at Hemsky? In a 5 minute span they called him "a magician" and just made "wow" comments a few times. We forget what we have.... Its interesting hearing comments from hockey guys who don't watch him everyday.

They go wow because they see him uselessly dangle for a shift. That makes someone go wow that routinely doesnt see him give up the puck and produce an amazing career high of 22 goals.

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#33 grodapare
February 01 2012, 08:51AM
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Struds, what are you doing up the ice in that situation? Did you wake up and think you were Randy Gregg? Anyway, I wanted to ask someone with intimate knowledge; what is the reality of UFA's really wanting to play for the Oilers and have their families live here. Obviously there are some but generally speaking is the answer; hmmm, not so much?

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#34 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 01 2012, 08:53AM
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Another great article Mr.Strudwick. Really enjoy your insight, while guys like Gregor and Brownlee could write the exact same article I think coming from a player a few more people listen.

As for injuries, yes they suck and some are a fluke but at some point in time you need to look at the facts if you are ST. Whitney and Smid two of our top guys going into the year have a history of injuries. Then two guys you add have problems staying healthy. Barker has never played more than 70 games in his career and Sutton's health hasn't been much better.

I know you can never predict who is going to go down, but when 4 of your guys you expect to play most of the year have injury problems you have very little room to use injuries as an excuse.

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#35 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 01 2012, 09:12AM
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Chris wrote:

@Arch - What you said.

Belanger looked really good last night. I don't just mean his goal, he was flying and really skating well all night.

Did anyone notice when the feed switched to Colorado how their commentators kept marveling at Hemsky? In a 5 minute span they called him "a magician" and just made "wow" comments a few times. We forget what we have.... Its interesting hearing comments from hockey guys who don't watch him everyday.

The feed I watched switched to the colorado guys after the first. They were talking up Hemsky all night. part of that has to be that they are keyed in on him because of the trade speculation. Makes people take notice.

But give Hemsky credit too. His play has improved a lot of late and he seems to playing with more confidence.

Cynically we might say that was a player in search of a contract. Sympathetically we might say that he's a player slowly rebounding from major surgery and missing the better part of two years playing time. (maybe a bit of both). Either way, he's showing that he's not going to let the injury hold him back, even if his progress is measured for a while. That's a great sign and ST should take note and sign him.

@FrenchToastMafia

I take your point. But it goes the other way too... how many players do you or I only know by their highlight reels, stats and the odd televised game... I'm sure those players come under harsher scrutiny at home too... it's helpful to balance that impression out with an outsider's POV.

Oh, and... Hemsky has never been touted as a goal scorer. He's a point producer. He's great away from the puck and with it he makes plays that either pay off or keep the pressure going the right way (LT has shown this repeatedly with adv. stats. lately). You have to evaluate a player based on their own attributes.

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#36 PaperDesigner
February 01 2012, 09:24AM
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@Jason Strudwick

Would they be as good? No. But would they still be good enough to play .500 hockey and hold on until some of their key guys got back? Sure. The Oilers are coming off a stretch of winning 8 games in 33. That is incredibly awful, and with the exception of Ryan Whitney, there really wasn't a key player injured the entire stretch. And even with him, I think the onus is on the GM to recognize the long-term issues with Whitney, and add a top-four defencemen to take some of his minutes.

What it comes down to is that winning about one in four games over the course of a lengthy chunk of the season is not understandable, or acceptable, by any standard, under any circumstances.

And worse... This has become normal, and expected here.

This team will get better, but if this team rebuilds in a "the Atllanta Thrashers occasionally make the playoffs" kind of way, I will be upset terribly with management. Worse, that is actually the fate I expect from this team with Tambellini running it.

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#37 vetinari
February 01 2012, 09:31AM
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I appreciate Struds' comments about how instability at the upper levels can signal to players that an organization is unhealthy.

My personal opinion is that Renney should at least get another year or two with the team due to his relationship with the kids but I'm unsure about Tambi.

The main problem I have with Tambi (and indirectly, Katz), is how they manage fan expectations. They have never really outlined the grand plan of what is going to happen in this overhaul and when to expect that things will get better.

Part of the frustration was when the team was winning, the message from the top was "we're going to challenge this year for a playoff position" and sadly, we will not end up anywhere near that goal by season's end. The draft will (again!) have to be the high point of my season as an Oiler's fan.

I don't need a Burke-like GM running the team who bee lines for an open microphone everytime one is near, but I would appreciate more from Tambi, especially when it comes to dealing with the fanbase.

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#38 Clyde Frog
February 01 2012, 09:49AM
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/rant on

Can we stop calling it "advanced stats" and start calling it what it is...

Ratio's done and then minimal regression analysis applied.

This basic measurement is then posted where people make wild predictions and retroactively explain their data based on the sample group given and fit the explanation to the numbers...

Anyone remember the advanced statistician who said RNH would be terrible simply based off his goals to assist ratio....?

Stats works for Baseball because you can isolate each instance into a single interaction between the ball and the player. This is not even close to true for Hockey, so many unfactorable variables.

/rant off

And I'm out! kkthxbbqbai!

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#39 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
February 01 2012, 09:53AM
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michael wrote:

Panic if we lose to Chicago and Detroit? Not likely. If it was Columbus and Carolina that would be a different story. Losing to 2 of the best teams in the lague is no shame. Its how we lose is what concerns me the most. Most nights we can say we have shown effort. But for the most part our losses have been as a result of lack of forsight on ST part to ensure that we have veteran NHL depth on defence.Not AHL. We have looked outskilled and overmatched for many nights this season. The trade deadline is coming up soon. The talk of renewal for ST can wait till the end of the season. A full assessment needs to be done of the organization at that point. Including the work of one ST. Giving him an extension now would be ill timed. ST always talks himself about evaluations and taking it one step at a time and process. Is his position as GM of this team not to be done in the same way as the rest of this organization? Wait till the season is over and then let the process of renewals and extensions begin.

Last year our strongest case for axing Tambo etc was the play of Smid and Gilbert who were horrible or mediocre most nights. Now when they start to show that they have learned a lot from those days of getting burned we turn to other players as the evidence of the poor coaching. How can a young player grow fast if they do not have opportunity to fail? Change the captain of the ship and it sets the rebuild back a year.

Lets see what the last 35 games means and results in.

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#40 Walter Sobchak
February 01 2012, 09:56AM
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@Jason Strudwick

That'' s a great segway to my next question, if Those players went down on both teams as you mention, what GM would act to fix the situation? Or can it be fixed? Because of cap restrain.?

I'm more incline to think that the Wings have better depth and there GM would act. Not Tambo

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#41 bumblebpete
February 01 2012, 10:08AM
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Chris wrote:

@Arch - What you said.

Belanger looked really good last night. I don't just mean his goal, he was flying and really skating well all night.

Did anyone notice when the feed switched to Colorado how their commentators kept marveling at Hemsky? In a 5 minute span they called him "a magician" and just made "wow" comments a few times. We forget what we have.... Its interesting hearing comments from hockey guys who don't watch him everyday.

I agree. Hemsky is looking good with Hall and it would be nice if they could resign him. We will not get what Hemsky is worth if we trade him.

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#42 Dman09
February 01 2012, 10:13AM
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bumblebpete wrote:

I agree. Hemsky is looking good with Hall and it would be nice if they could resign him. We will not get what Hemsky is worth if we trade him.

But if he wants too much to re-sign then its better to get something than be stuck with nothing at all. I'm with you though I would like to see them resign him.

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#43 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
February 01 2012, 10:19AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

That'' s a great segway to my next question, if Those players went down on both teams as you mention, what GM would act to fix the situation? Or can it be fixed? Because of cap restrain.?

I'm more incline to think that the Wings have better depth and there GM would act. Not Tambo

Better depth is a true solution. Would any one argue that our farm was basically nonexistent and quite possibly the worst in the league only a few years ago? I would also say that it is now above the 50 percentile of farm quality. There is still a long way to go to meet the Detroit model but we have made big strides in 2 years. Time will tell how it changes and improves but this was a very broken system 2+ years ago.

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#44 db7db7db7
February 01 2012, 10:19AM
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Dman09 wrote:

So apparently last night on ched during the pre-game they let slip that Tambo will be signing a 2 year extension in the next day or so, they also said that they may not make any trades at all and will likely be offering contracts to Hemsky and Sutton before the deadline.

So let me get this straight. A team that has finished last two years in a row and is headed their again or at least a lotto pick doesn't think its in their best interest to change anything? Does anybody else see a problem here? The only reason that this team has been able to get away with crap like that is because they have such a loyal fan base and a Billionare owner that can fork out cash regardless of whether people go to the games.

I mean Sh*t man why don't you pay me a million dollars a year to make sure you finished last instead of charging $200+ a ticket to watch a losing team that doesn't want to change anything.

No one said the rebuild was going to be easy for anybody. ST did let it be known that his goal was to be playing meaningful games in March, but even the best laid plans don't always work out. No one could have had a good plan in place to deal with the quantity of significant injuries the Oilers have suffered. The only way ST could overcome all these injuries would involve gambling with the long term future of the club. Unless we as fans never want to see the cup again, we need to understand the precarious situation that ST is in and cut him some slack. This is not necessarily ST's fault. If we could have stayed healthy, things would no doubt be much rosier. The depth to withstand long injury affliction is building in OKC. It's not there yet, but if Cornet's play from last night is any sign of what's to come out of OKC, we can easily project depth bubbling at the seams. A rebuild takes time. They are going about it the right way.

I'm not saying ST has made great moves in player acquisition, because he hasn't. We desperately need a Clowe type on each of the top two lines, and it's Weber or bust on D. He needs to dangle assets while they're actually worth something, not after they're injured. Hemsky, Gagner and Khabby aren't going to get anymore value than they have right now. Goal tending has been poorly managed thus far. Every teams should have a true #1 goalie, and a goalie that can't play 65 or more games in a season is not a true #1.

Has anyone heard an update on Fedun's rehab? He really impressed me in training camp.

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#45 Crash
February 01 2012, 10:20AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Tell me I'm wrong.

You're wrong...there, that was easy

Last week you wrote an article and in it you stated that San Jose and Vancouver were going to beat up the Oilers just for fun...

Didn't happen...you weren't expecting 3 out of a possible 4 pts, were you?

Keep in mind...the Oilers have already beaten Chicago twice this year and have played the Wings tough prior to this season...

If the Nuge makes it back in...flip a coin...this is not a foregone conclusion.

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#46 Harlie
February 01 2012, 10:22AM
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I agree, stay the course.

~ And you just started drinking coffee?

Wow, I guess the wifey is pulling all the late night, all night and early morning shifts with the little one eh? Ooh, big tough hockey Daddy needs his sleep! haha.

I mean, what did you use to keep awake when you played on one of the most travelled teams in the NHL? Toothpicks in your eyes like Fred Flintstone? ~

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#47 Archaeologuy
February 01 2012, 10:22AM
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@Clyde Frog

To be fair, the guy you are talking about was Rickithebear, and his golden ratio isnt any kind of accepted "Advanced Stat". It's BS plain and simple.

That said, all advanced stats are open to subjective analysis. So I completely agree with you on the wild speculations.

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#48 Quicksilver ballet
February 01 2012, 10:24AM
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For all that is Holy, please lets not reward failure and this management group. 25th place in 09,30th in 2010,30th in 2011 and at the bottom of the barrel again in 2012. In todays sporting world, how can this be considered acceptable?

People always get what they (Katz)are prepared to settle for in life. If those in charge of what happened here the last 5 yrs are rewarded for their "successes", then we're doomed for the foreseeable future. Stay the course?......we've seen enough of this course.

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#49 Quicksilver ballet
February 01 2012, 10:28AM
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Robin, did you see Hall tweak his shoulder last night?

Is he inline for offseason surgery perhaps?

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#50 Sloppy Joe
February 01 2012, 10:42AM
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Dman09 wrote:

So apparently last night on ched during the pre-game they let slip that Tambo will be signing a 2 year extension in the next day or so, they also said that they may not make any trades at all and will likely be offering contracts to Hemsky and Sutton before the deadline.

So let me get this straight. A team that has finished last two years in a row and is headed their again or at least a lotto pick doesn't think its in their best interest to change anything? Does anybody else see a problem here? The only reason that this team has been able to get away with crap like that is because they have such a loyal fan base and a Billionare owner that can fork out cash regardless of whether people go to the games.

I mean Sh*t man why don't you pay me a million dollars a year to make sure you finished last instead of charging $200+ a ticket to watch a losing team that doesn't want to change anything.

I am not an apologist for Tambellini - I am actually quite critical of him.

However, I am all for re-signing Hemsky, provided that we do not have to give him a crazy-long term or crazy-big money. He is a very good player despite all the criticism he gets. As a pending UFA, he isn't going to have much value at the deadline, and I'd rather have him locked down than trade him for a pick or prospect that MIGHT be as good as him a few years down the line. You build a winning team by keeping your good players and getting more good players (I am paraphrasing someone, I just don't know who)

I think we might get a late 2nd or a 3rd round pick for Sutton. He apparently wants to stay. If they could sign him for a year for reasonable money, I would be fine with that too.

I appreciate your point that, after years of sucking, you'd think management would want to change something. However, I am not an advocate for "any change is good change" - especially in regards to Hemsky.

The problem with my logic might be that Hemmer won't re-sign for a reasonable price and term, as he can test the free agent market this summer.

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