TELEGRAPHING WHAT'S NEXT

Robin Brownlee
October 30 2012 07:46PM

Everybody paying attention knows I keep score and, because of that quirk, they know I hold Bob Stauffer in high regard when it comes to his ability to telegraph what's going to happen with the Edmonton Oilers.

Truth be told, Stauffer should probably be sending me a cheque, or at least a gift certificate, for all the times I've pumped his tires around here, going on and on like a fartcatcher about his ability to call the shots as he laps the rest of the media pack in Edmonton.

Bombastic Bob has a buzz going again with his latest hint/tidbit/suggestion foreshadowing the Oilers could have a trade in the works when the lockout is over, an item that Jonathan Willis wrote about today.

Stauffer had agent Brian Lawton on Oilers Now on 630 CHED today. If you want the full podcast of the segment, you kind find it here. It's probably worth a listen to get the complete context of the interview (not to mention what Lawton actually said).

POISED TO MAKE A DEAL?

Lawton's worked both sides of the agent/management street in the NHL, and as far as I know he's not being paid by Daryl Katz. So, those who believe everything Stauffer says is tainted by the fact he's on the Oilers payroll -- he's certainly towed the company line on the arena debate but there's no denying his track record on player moves -- might put more weight in Lawton's words.

That said, it wasn't Lawton's answers -- even though they seem to support Stauffer's contention GM Steve Tambellini is now in a situation after six years out of the playoffs to make a trade from a position of strength – that caught my ear, it was one of Stauffer's questions.

Essentially, might all that young talent put Tambellini in the position to acquire needed pieces by way of a trade? Perhaps a proven defenseman or a physical forward who can play in coach Ralph Krueger's top nine? I think so.

The real tell for me, at least if I've come to read Stauffer right over the years, was how he made specific mention of players with no-movement clauses and how they might now consider Edmonton a destination they'd approve. It was about as subtle as a slap in the mouth.

THE CALLED SHOT

"There's one more group of players out there in my mind that maybe starts considering Edmonton that always kind of dismissed them before – that's guys with no movement clauses that may be a casualty of a new CBA," Stauffer suggested to Lawton.

"I'm wondering if you think the landscape has changed enough that those players who would once be completely, "I'm not going to Edmonton. What do you mean you can facilitate a trade with Edmonton?"

"I'm wondering if players like that now, if you think, might sit there and go, "You know, those guys could turn it around pretty quickly if they got the right couple of pieces in place."

Just a hunch, but I'm guessing that Stauffer already had the answer when he asked Lawton the question today. So, a trade involving a noteworthy player with a no-movement clause, then? Duly noted.

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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#1 Pajamah
October 30 2012, 07:59PM
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Thirdly......

To Min : Ales Hemsky Philly 2nd rounder

To Philly: Cal Clusterf*ck Magnus Paajarvi

To Edmonton: Chris Pronger Dany Heatley

~Obviously~

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#2 Ken
October 30 2012, 08:03PM
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I would bet Luongo wants to come to Edmonton and make Vancouver eat skate.

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#3 David S
October 30 2012, 10:28PM
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I have no problem with Bob.

Yes. He works for the Oilers. Big deal. Like any reasonable person I can't expect 100% objectivity, nor do I care because we're talking about a bloody hockey team here, not the latest cancer cure updates.

At the same time you'd be an idiot to not give him a listen if you're interested about Oilers news. Everybody around these parts knows the team is prone to floating interesting balloons through their trusted media people like John Mackinnon and Stauffer. If you listen carefully you can pick up quite a bit.

Bob knows his stuff, is well connected to the team and consistently has some of the best Oilers-related interviews you can hear. He's one of the few sports media guys around here outside of Brownlee and Gregor I'd really like to meet.

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#4 BlacqueJacque
October 30 2012, 09:29PM
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After Stauffer's shameless Katz-taint-licking and insulting of fans through the insinuation of pathetic threats to move the franchise, one would think you'd have more self-respect than to even mention Stauffer's name around here. Never mind praise it.

One would be wrong, clearly, but hope springs eternal.

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#5 Woogie63
October 30 2012, 09:50PM
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Or he is just a bored radio guy trying make the next hour more interesting...

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#6 David S
October 30 2012, 10:31PM
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This site could really use a gated 18+ NSFW section where we could read banned comments from the cutting room floor.

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#7 David S
October 31 2012, 12:23AM
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DonDon wrote:

Let's get some perspective here.

Being a cynic, and after the all the Oilers screw-ups, and the owner is a walking PR disaster, I have my doubts about the motive of Stauffer's latest news.

Besides the ineptitude of the hockey operations (missing the playoffs forever, unable to trade for a D, bad contracts, etc., etc, etc.), the downtown arena disaster and now the political contribution blow-up, perhaps Stauffer's vague prediction about a vague trade is to redirect criticism from you know who.

Robin, you may believe Stauffer is trustworthy, but I don't particularly agree. Why? Is he independent from the Oilers organization? No. There is an ethical issue here and I don't think he passes the smell test on the truth of Oilers information.

An ethical issue? C'mon man. This is sports entertainment we're talking about. It's just a legitimized version of the WWE. The sooner you figure that out the better off you'll be.

Nobody has a "right" to absolute information when it comes to any pro sports team. You get the story you get and you'll either believe it or not.

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#8 Travis Dakin
October 31 2012, 12:53AM
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David S wrote:

Travis Dakin will drop by soon to tell us to shut our wh*re mouths, but I'd have to agree with this. Hemsky is out of the core group age-wise, yet still might be considered to have enough cache to make this deal work.

You're dead to me. DEAD!!!!

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#9 B-Co
October 30 2012, 09:54PM
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Hate on the guy all you want, I know I have. But top ten goalies don't get moved while they are still young enough to play very often. This is one you have to consider.. even though it is Luuuuuu! (God help us if that chant follows him here..)

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David S wrote:

This site could really use a gated 18+ NSFW section where we could read banned comments from the cutting room floor.

Amen, brotha!

That's where I'd spend most of my time (there and the русский POLLZ of course), digging through dirt and scum...

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#11 Butters
October 30 2012, 11:15PM
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I think Bob left a lot of hints as to what will happen. Teams that are up against the cap will have to rid themselves of some salary. That is when the Oilers will swoop in. JMO

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#12 Giant Squid Overlord
October 30 2012, 11:54PM
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If the new CBA allowed teams to buyout contracts at the end of the year, why would we have to give up anything decent for a Luongo, Bouwmeester, or whoever? Teams shedding salary at year end is going to make for a larger free agent market, and if Edmonton is becoming a desirable team to sign with, why not wait? Free agents next summer can't expect to get similar money as this summer if the cap drops and player supply is higher.

If this is the case, and Vancouver HAS to buyout Lou to slide under a lower cap, if the Oil mgmt. is interested, they best not give up much!

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#13 Pouzar99
October 31 2012, 12:22AM
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Stauffer is a smart hockey man and has the best connections to Oilers management, so I listen when he predicts something the Oilers will likely do and he is almost always right. Almost.

Unfortunately his information pipeline may come with a price. At times he seems to be speaking for management, as in his recent comments on the arena deal. His over the top pro-owners stance on the lockout may also be related, or he might just lean that way naturally. For all I know big Bob may even believe all that BS about Katz, but the optics aren't great.

Working closely with confidential sources, who ALWAYS have their own agenda, is one of the toughest aspects of journalism. If you don't draw a line in the sand with them, you can end up looking very compromised. And if you don't cultivate them, you can get beat by your rivals, which really, really stings. So its complicated.

Your sources can also burn your butt. Remember on draft day how Bob and Dan Tencer were pounding the rumours hard all day long that the Oilers were going to take Murray instead of Yak? In fact, Bob, who started out saying it had to be Yak when the Oil won the draft lottery, soon switched over to emphasizing the possibility it could be Murray and kept leaning further and further that way, as if a little bird had tweeted in his ear. Where were Bob's reliable club sources on draft day when he whiffed on a pitch in the dirt 10 feet off the plate with zillions of Oiler fans hanging on his every word Ouch!

Consider this rumour. What if the Oilers, who knew the BJ's desperately wanted Murray because they were horrified about being forced to take another Russian high in the draft, wanted something from Columbus to swap picks and still get Yak, and lied to the lads from CHED to try and help con Howson into thinking they were going with Murray first overall? Why else were Bob and Dan pounding that scoop all day? Where do all Bob's Oiler 'scoops' come from?

Sorry, but I just can't believe Bob and Dan would have laid their credibility on the line that way unless they were getting it from team sources, likely very high ranking team sources, where ALL their scoops, well all Bob's Oiler scoops seem to come from, and sold it for all they were worth. Not that it is much better if they got that bad info from someplace else. At the very least why didn't their team sources warn them off. And why did Bob's great team sources not steer him away from his switcheroo on Yak being the obvious choice.

I do not believe for one second that Stauffer or Tencer would ever spread those rumours on draft day if they knew they were false. Bob's ego is way, way too big to knowingly make himself look like an out-of-the-loop sad ass when Yak's name was called out that day. In any case I would like to hear from those who think Bob is the Delphic Oracle about how he and Tencer gassed the biggest story of the year on live radio. Or better yet, from Bob.

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#14 Giant Squid Overlord
October 31 2012, 12:51AM
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Lets look at the highest payroll teams to see who has NMCs or NTCs and figure out potential buyouts/trade-baits shall we (a little conjecture is fun when there's nothing better to do):

Boston: NMC F: Krejci, Bergeron, Peverley, Kelly... NMC D: Chara, Boychuck, Seidenberg... Thomas will be off the books and Savard can be wiped clean (-9 mill). Probably no Lucic becoming free (*sigh* dare to dream) but they might not have space to resign Horton and or Ference who are both UFA at year end.

Minnisota: NMC F: Parise, Heatley, Koivu... NMC D: Suter... Backstrom, PM Bouchard, and Cullen are UFA and might not be affordable, Heatley should be the big $ cut loose (no thx).

Vancouver: NMC F: Sedins, Kesler... NMC D: Bieksa, Garrison, Hamhuis... NMC G: Luongo... Has a fair # of UFAs, Edler being the best followed by lower paid roleplayers. Lou is the obvious big $ to be set loose.

Calgary: NMC F: Cammalleri, Tanguay, Hudler, Stajan, Glencross... NMC D: EVERYONE!... NMC G: Kipper... Iggy is UFA and Bo is most likely to be bought out (1 yr left on almost 7mill)

Philly: NMC F: Briere, Hartnell... NMC D: Pronger, Coburn, Schenn, Grossman... Timonen will be UFA and Philly may be close to cap, but should make some changes cause they always do

San Jose: NMC F: Thorton, Marleau, Havlat... NMC D: Boyle, Burns... Havlat has an extra yr. when compared with Joe and Patrick, not sure who they might buy out/trade

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#15 Clyde Frog
October 31 2012, 10:03AM
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Could it be Bobby Ryan? The Duck's aren't exactly a have team in terms of cash...

That could be the physical forward intimated in the cryptic comments above...

I could handle a Bobby Ryan trade, not really excited for a Luongo trade though...

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#16 Jason Gregor
October 31 2012, 12:26PM
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@DSF

You think the Habs will trade Subban for Paajarvi and a top young D prospect and a throw in like Belanger, just to rid themselves of Gomez?

Why wouldn't they just buy him out? The Habs make more money than the Oilers. Seriously, even mentioning that ridiculous offer on here is an insult to the intelligence level of the readers.

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#17 Archaeologuy
October 31 2012, 03:37PM
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DSF wrote:

PK Subban and Gomez for Paajarvi, Belanger and a top D prospect according to Treena.

Oilers get a top pairing D, get rid of a malcontent and take on the remaining 2 years of Gomez's contract at $7.3M to make it worthwhile for the Habs.

Depending on how the CBA looks, Gomez could be bought out.

True story, I wrote a blog post about the trade rumour. It somehow got retweeted several times. I ended off suggesting that maybe PK would be a target and certainly fit the WOW factor part of the billing.

Shortly after, Treena suggested PK Subban would be an Oiler.

I dont want to alarm anybody, but I think I might be Garfield.

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#18 Pouzar99
October 31 2012, 06:09PM
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@Archaeologuy

I was vividly imagining that inferior universe as I drove over to my buddy's place on draft day listening to Stauffer and Tencer on the radio and screaming ''No, NOOOO!!!

I suspect that Murray will have a very good NHL career but your chilling description of his likely highlights package doesn't quite match Yak's litany of thrills. We picked the right guy and then got Justin Schultz as a bonus. My kind of universe.

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#19 Pilgor09
October 30 2012, 07:52PM
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Briere is my guess.

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#20 thetikk
October 30 2012, 07:53PM
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Robin, how on earth is that a called shot? You barely picked out a stick.

I'm going with Brendan Morrow.

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#21 Pilgor09
October 30 2012, 07:54PM
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Or Brian Campbell.

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#22 Pajamah
October 30 2012, 07:55PM
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First, If Stauffers Talking, I'm listening

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#23 Pajamah
October 30 2012, 07:56PM
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Secondly, dammit

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#24 Mark
October 30 2012, 07:59PM
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Thanks for the article Robin, I was curious if you had a couple of guesses as to who he might be talking about trade wise? Thanks :)

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#25 David Staples
October 30 2012, 08:03PM
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Why would Bob get this information wrong?

He works for the Katz Group and gets information directly from Oilers managers, no?

Of course he will get things right and have more information than others.

P.S. I wonder what this "casualty of the new CBA means"?

Does that mean the team will not want this player? Or that these no-movement clauses will be casualty of the new CBA? Not clear to me.

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#26 DSF
October 30 2012, 08:14PM
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Pilgor09 wrote:

Or Brian Campbell.

Florida won't be trading Campbell anytime soon.

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#27 Jesse
October 30 2012, 08:17PM
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Realistically, who could he be talking about other than Luongo? I can't think of any other player that seems realistic.

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#28 andymaury
October 30 2012, 08:18PM
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Jumbo Joe

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#29 The Soup Fascist
October 30 2012, 08:22PM
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DSF wrote:

Florida won't be trading Campbell anytime soon.

Correct. The Lady Byng makes him an untouchable. You just can't replace soft $7 million dollar D-men.

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#30 RanfordMVP
October 30 2012, 08:22PM
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Please don't let it be Luongo. Bring back Peter Ing instead.

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#31 TeddyTurnbuckle
October 30 2012, 08:25PM
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Here is the deal with Bob. He travels with the team, big supporter of Katz, big supporter of the rebuild, pushes hard for the arena, talks respectfully of Oiler management even when he criticizes them and last but not least he works for the Oilers. In return he is privileged to inside info providing he keeps his mouth shut. Judging by his past predictions, management allows him to be the first to hint the story for his good deeds.

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#32 DSF
October 30 2012, 08:29PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Correct. The Lady Byng makes him an untouchable. You just can't replace soft $7 million dollar D-men.

Campbell scored 53 points last season.

That's 7 points more than the Oilers top 2 defensemen combined.

Florida has no cap issues so, unless the Oilers want to unload one of the young guns, it's not happening.

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#34 Mark
October 30 2012, 08:35PM
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Uh oh, lol, are you talking about Luongo? That is who I was afraid of.

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#35 LoDog
October 30 2012, 08:37PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Don't need a couple of guesses . . . if I was to make one, however, I might want to consider the guy Gregor wrote about the other day.

Well, Luongo does seem to meet all the criteria.

I'm not as against as some around here but would prefer any deal be for a D or top 6F.

As long as the price is right, I'm down.

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#36 The Soup Fascist
October 30 2012, 08:40PM
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DSF wrote:

Campbell scored 53 points last season.

That's 7 points more than the Oilers top 2 defensemen combined.

Florida has no cap issues so, unless the Oilers want to unload one of the young guns, it's not happening.

Oiler's defence was putrid. Campbell had a nice year. Just saying with his ticket and one dimensional game ... "Untouchable" he he aint.

You are correct though, his cap helps Florida spend to the floor. He is a good fit there as anywhere.

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#37 RyanCoke
October 30 2012, 09:09PM
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If it is lounging(auto correct seemed fitting) I wouldn't be 100% against it but it depends on who is going the other way. I dont want to lose any depth or big name prospects. I think luongo could be a great mentor to a young Dubnyk. Much better than the bulin wall. I just hope if the clause goes in that a retiring players original team pays the rest of the contract, then that means we screw over Vancouver in a few years too.

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#38 DSF
October 30 2012, 09:56PM
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Only deal that makes sense is Hemsky for Luongo.

The Port Moody Prince might have fun in Vancouver.

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#39 @NateInVegas
October 30 2012, 10:01PM
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What if the Oilers trade for Chris Pronger? WOW!

- Has the ultimate NMC towards Edmonton.

- Even at 38 he would seriously help the back-end.

- Buying him out after next year isn't too expensive. (Provided his $4.9 cap doesn't count)

- The Flyers aren't afraid of making trades.

I'd still be wowed if Edmonton could get P.K Subban or Ryan Getzlaf.

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#40 Ken
October 30 2012, 10:04PM
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I always said that we don't need great defense if the forwards score more than the other team. A proven Olympic Gold golie is more important now than defensemen.

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#41 teddydubbs
October 30 2012, 10:05PM
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Time will tell I suppose... I'm not buying a lot of what Stauffer is selling these days... In any case, Gregor was right, the timing to acquire a player like Luongo doesn't make sense for a team that is going to be a contender (likely) in 3-4 years when he is entering his late 30's.

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#42 striatic
October 30 2012, 10:07PM
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Jesse wrote:

Realistically, who could he be talking about other than Luongo? I can't think of any other player that seems realistic.

It sure sounded like they were talking about Luongo to me.

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#43 David S
October 30 2012, 10:15PM
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DSF wrote:

Only deal that makes sense is Hemsky for Luongo.

The Port Moody Prince might have fun in Vancouver.

Travis Dakin will drop by soon to tell us to shut our wh*re mouths, but I'd have to agree with this. Hemsky is out of the core group age-wise, yet still might be considered to have enough cache to make this deal work.

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#44 Wanyes bastard child
October 30 2012, 10:21PM
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Dang, I missed it :(

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#45 The Soup Fascist
October 30 2012, 10:29PM
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David S wrote:

Travis Dakin will drop by soon to tell us to shut our wh*re mouths, but I'd have to agree with this. Hemsky is out of the core group age-wise, yet still might be considered to have enough cache to make this deal work.

Still not buying the Canucks trade Luongo within the division. Other options for them with less risk.

Don't like moving Hemsky now, anyway. Pretty much letting him go at his lowest value. Gamble he starts the season - whenever we are graced by Fehr and Bettman's egos - on a roll. Then make a splashy trade.

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#46 teddydubbs
October 30 2012, 10:30PM
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Yandle, anyone? What happened to those rumblings from the draft?

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#47 The Soup Fascist
October 30 2012, 10:36PM
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David S wrote:

This site could really use a gated 18+ NSFW section where we could read banned comments from the cutting room floor.

Crap. What did I miss? Turn my back for a minute to watch the WSOP ....

FML. Damn you Fehr / Bettman.

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#49 Orville
October 30 2012, 10:57PM
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David Staples wrote:

Why would Bob get this information wrong?

He works for the Katz Group and gets information directly from Oilers managers, no?

Of course he will get things right and have more information than others.

P.S. I wonder what this "casualty of the new CBA means"?

Does that mean the team will not want this player? Or that these no-movement clauses will be casualty of the new CBA? Not clear to me.

He mentions that the CBA would need to include a mechanism similar to the NBA where a buy out could occur at the end of the season without it counting against the cap so I think "cap casualty" means a player whose contract would be a problem going forward after the transition year (contracts with high cap hits that go on for 2+ more years). For the record I'm guessing Bouwmeester.

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#50 Ken
October 30 2012, 10:58PM
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Not sure what Luongo's trade is worth, afterall he is a huge contract and aging.

No one else seems to be calling on that contract so the Oilers should not give up much to anything to take that on.

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