The “Wow Factor” Trade

Jonathan Willis
October 30 2012 10:58AM

Yesterday, Bob Stauffer announced on Oilers Now that he expects the Edmonton Oilers to make a “wow factor move” in player personnel once the lockout ended (he further predicts the lockout will be over by early December). In other words, according to Stauffer, a big trade is brewing.

Is it?

Consider the Source

Stauffer, unsurprisingly, takes a fair amount of flack. He is employed by the Oilers. He has been an unapologetic advocate of Daryl Katz, both when Katz was wildly popular with Oilers fans, and now when his demands as part of a new arena deal have turned that relationship sour. Stauffer’s stuck by Katz, and he’s paid by Katz, and that combination is a tough one to manage while staying on the good side of fans.

But that doesn’t matter. What matters is Stauffer’s record for getting things right.

In that regard, Stauffer’s batting average is higher than any other member of the Edmonton media. When he makes this sort of statement, he's generally correct. He virtually announced the Dane Byers acquisition this summer on Twitter. More than that, he was the one voice in the media that consistently said Ralph Krueger was in the mix for the head coaching job back when everyone assumed it was going to Brent Sutter.

Stauffer doesn’t have the same level of distance from the team as other prominent media voices. That’s bad in that it makes it awfully difficult to be independent. It’s good in that he generally has a better idea of what’s going on than others.

The Quote

Here’s the exchange of interest on the show:

Stauffer: “I believe the Edmonton Oilers will make a move that makes people say ‘wow’ upon the CBA being completed, between then and the start of the season.”

Reid Wilkins: “This is a player personnel move?”

Stauffer: “Yeah. Believe that’s going to occur.”

And then a little later on, Stauffer added this:

“I believe there will be a wow factor move coming. And it’ll make for some entertaining discussion, let’s just say that.”

What does it mean?

Honestly, it’s fairly difficult to handicap what Stauffer’s comments might refer to. The obvious position of strength the Oilers have is at wing. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky are established NHL’ers. The Oilers’ brain trust has been down in Oklahoma watching strong starts from Teemu Hartikainen and Magnus Paajarvi. Over in Russia, Nail Yakupov has been lighting things up.

A serious move probably would involve one of the names we’ve seen in the rumour mill before. On wing, that’s Magnus Paajarvi and Ales Hemsky, both of whom likely have significant trade value. Another player we might mention is Sam Gagner – though it’s hard to imagine the Oilers would move him without bringing a center back.

The holes? Defence is the most obvious; despite the rise of Justin Schultz in the minors (his strong performance early is a significant positive for the Oilers, suggesting he’ll hit the ground running in the majors) the high-end talent on the group is relatively weak.

Center or goal are the other obvious areas that might be addressed. In net, Nikolai Khabibulin was at last report still on injured reserve, and he’s basically playing out the string at this point anyway. Devan Dubnyk’s a solid candidate for 1A work, but could be upgraded. Up the middle, trade rumours have haunted Sam Gagner for some time now, and his one year deal this summer suggests the Oilers really haven’t decided that he’s part of the core they’re trying to build.

But it’s speculation at this point. All we have is Stauffer’s belief that a big trade is coming.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 T__Bone88
October 30 2012, 02:03PM
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This could be a wild guess based upon Stauffer's hints but maybe it could be Lecavalier. If the new provisions come through on the CBA like original team is on the hook if player retires and the ability to trade cap space it might actually work out. Right now Lecavalier has almost no value due to contract but in the new CBA he does cause its almost no risk for new team to acquire since if he retires they are no cap issues, and the oilers can easily trade to a lower spending team in a couple of years when his salary goes down.

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#52 Rama Lama
October 30 2012, 02:13PM
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I believe that Stauffer is on to something..........I don't for one nano second believe it's something tied to Dithers Tamby!

Wow seem to point at Luongo, since he is the only high profile player still out there. I for one am against this trade as his best days are behind him. We would have to give up too much to get him........what we really need is another top four defenseman who can play now, or a centre man with size.

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#53 jay
October 30 2012, 02:27PM
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malkin might be kool-aid, but it would be sweet!! i have absolutely no intrest in having luongo in oil silks. just sounds like disaster. i remember laughing and enjoying watching him tank against b-town. the guys a dud. then look at his contract and explain to me why their would be the slightest intrest in him?? we planned to rebuild from the draft and its working so well. lets just stand pat with what we have

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#54 shanetrain
October 30 2012, 02:32PM
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Iginla?

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#55 Sizzler
October 30 2012, 02:46PM
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DSF wrote:

You've decided Ballard, Tanev and Connauton are not the answer for their bottom pairing?

Good grief.

Hamhuis

Bieksa

Edler

Garrison

Ballard

Tanev

Connauton

Frank Corrado (16 GP 1G 15A 16P Sudbury Wolves)

Vancouver is loaded with D prospects.

I agree they need some grit in the top 6....that's why they traded for Kassian.

Oilers don't have any.

Vancouver sucks and has never won a cup....With that D lineup you will continue to suck and not win a cup

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#56 Dman09
October 30 2012, 02:56PM
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Sizzler wrote:

Vancouver sucks and has never won a cup....With that D lineup you will continue to suck and not win a cup

Ya they never seem to have a true top pairing, lots of 3/4 defenseman.

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#57 treevojo
October 30 2012, 03:21PM
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Tyler seguin for nail yakupov would constitute wow and create a lot of debate. Thoughts?

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#58 DSF
October 30 2012, 03:25PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Ya they never seem to have a true top pairing, lots of 3/4 defenseman.

You know...it's guys like you who give Oiler fans a bad name.

Guys much smarter than you have actually analyzed who the top defensemen in the game are.

James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail puts together an annual list of the top defensive defensemen in the league:

http://tinyurl.com/8gaxe6n

You'll notice that 4 of the top 30 currently play for the Vancouver Canucks.

Now, considering there are 60 top pairing defensemen in the league and that Vancouver has 4 of the top 30, I would have to think that the Canucks are loaded with #1 and #2 defensemen.

Also worth noting, Vancouver had 3 of the top 30 scoring defensemen in the league last season.

http://tinyurl.com/9va8du8

Now, don't you look silly.

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#59 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 30 2012, 03:25PM
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shanetrain wrote:

Iginla?

That would make me say 'wow', but I can't see them trading for a winger

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#60 oilers2k10
October 30 2012, 03:31PM
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trading Yakupov would be the most idiotic thing the oilers could do.. I dont care if you get a franchise center back, doesn't matter..there's only one Yakupov..RNH will be our franchise center and we will find our number two guy yet..dont need to give up Yakupov to get him.. I still think that Gagner could be our healthy Marc Savard.

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#61 MattL
October 30 2012, 03:56PM
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Gotta be Bouwmeester for Horcoff plus d prospect. Stauff's not only tied into his own company's upper management, but the Bouwmeester family as well (as he has repeated ad nauseum on air.)

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#62 Archaeologuy
October 30 2012, 04:08PM
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MattL wrote:

Gotta be Bouwmeester for Horcoff plus d prospect. Stauff's not only tied into his own company's upper management, but the Bouwmeester family as well (as he has repeated ad nauseum on air.)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *Gasps for Air* OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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#63 David S
October 30 2012, 04:13PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *Gasps for Air* OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Horcoff? Get serious. But I could see Bouwmeester for Hemsky.

Yep.

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#64 Archaeologuy
October 30 2012, 04:21PM
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David S wrote:

Horcoff? Get serious. But I could see Bouwmeester for Hemsky.

Yep.

*faints*

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#65 They're $hittie
October 30 2012, 04:37PM
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@DSF

you are typically what make every canuck fan look stupid. Did you notice in a comment that says this is by far not a perfect method. You are the one who trashes hemsky and gagner yet on the most accepted and definitive measure for forwards (boxcars), Hemsky is always a good PPG with the exception of last year, and Gagner PPG puts him as a top ten number two center.

You said Lack is a NHL Quality Goalie. Yet he has not played an NHL game for you to measure him on.

The Sedins may put up points, but have they ever started in their own zone. No but the majority of the times they finish their shift in it.

You know what I will take out a column and put it in the paper and therefore my opinion means that the oilers defence have 4 of the best 30 in the league. I tell you know, every team in the league would rather have Seabrook than the four canucks listed on that list.

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Maybe it's Nicholls for sandstrom and granato. That one made me say "WOW"

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#67 Quicksilver ballet
October 30 2012, 05:42PM
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Just Bob being Bob. Slow newsday at Oilernow i'm sure. Last time i heard Stauffer passing wind through his lips he swore the Oilers were drafting Ryan Murray. Stauffer/K-days Carny, not much difference.

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#68 GVBlackhawk
October 30 2012, 06:01PM
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DSF wrote:

You've decided Ballard, Tanev and Connauton are not the answer for their bottom pairing?

Good grief.

Hamhuis

Bieksa

Edler

Garrison

Ballard

Tanev

Connauton

Frank Corrado (16 GP 1G 15A 16P Sudbury Wolves)

Vancouver is loaded with D prospects.

I agree they need some grit in the top 6....that's why they traded for Kassian.

Oilers don't have any.

Well, considering the Canucks' defense was owned by the Kings last playoffs, there is a need for some help. Edler, in particular, is overrated because he is soft in his own zone. Hamuis is decent and Bieksa is solid. Neither is in the same league as a Doughty, Pietrangelo, OEL, Hedman, etc. Garrison is reasonable but certainly not a top-pairing guy.

Now, if they stay healthy, they will be okay. However, if they run into any kind of injury issues they are doomed. Ballard is not top 4 and Alain Vigneault does not trust him. They would trade his contract for a sack of beans if they could. The other two are currently below replacement level, whether you choose to admit it or not.

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#69 GVBlackhawk
October 30 2012, 06:07PM
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DSF wrote:

You've decided Ballard, Tanev and Connauton are not the answer for their bottom pairing?

Good grief.

Hamhuis

Bieksa

Edler

Garrison

Ballard

Tanev

Connauton

Frank Corrado (16 GP 1G 15A 16P Sudbury Wolves)

Vancouver is loaded with D prospects.

I agree they need some grit in the top 6....that's why they traded for Kassian.

Oilers don't have any.

And Kassian adds grit, but he is not a top 6 player. Ryan Jones would probably fill that role better than Zack Kassian at this point.

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#70 Harlie
October 30 2012, 06:39PM
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So, Stauffer you old tree planter, crappy junior player, John Short mancrusher, Reid Wilkins guffawer, lip smacker, energy drinker, Zenon Kenopka lover, Tencer daddy mentor, referencer of a different show from a different time and a different place (just down the dial), what's the deal?

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#71 Smokey
October 30 2012, 06:46PM
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Will wrote:

Hmmm, if true I wonder what it could be. I also see the Ducks being a target. It seems like Ryan is done there, but he'd be going somewhere else and bringing back much needed assets. But with such a prolific scoring winger leaving, as well as the absence of Selanee, the Ducks will need some scoring on their wings. I can't really see defense coming back this way for the simple fact of how valuable any and all defenseman were at the trade deadline.

Though I would absolutely hate to lose Nail before seeing him in an Oilers jersey, if Nail and Ganger went to the Ducks to bring back Getzlaf, I would do that deal.

A top line of Getzlaf Hall and Hemsky would be pretty deadly. That way, Nuge and Ebs could have the easy second line minutes and continue to chew up the league. There's so many options to put on the left side of that line, all it would take is to find the best fit for the job (Smyth, Magnus, Harti, etc.) This also gives us a formidable third shut down line, especially if Magnus becomes that utility player like he's shown to do. The forth line is still a bit of a mess, but having a guy with one of the best face off win percentages in the league helps at least maintain puck possession.

Our defense is clearly being built through draft and development. And with so many potential young stars, especially with Schultz exceeding expectations, it seems like our defense will get there in a year or two.

If anyone has another viable trade idea, please post as these pipe dream line combos are always fun to talk about with no hockey on.

Horrible Overpay, YIKES...just wrong

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#72 Smokey
October 30 2012, 06:46PM
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Will wrote:

Hmmm, if true I wonder what it could be. I also see the Ducks being a target. It seems like Ryan is done there, but he'd be going somewhere else and bringing back much needed assets. But with such a prolific scoring winger leaving, as well as the absence of Selanee, the Ducks will need some scoring on their wings. I can't really see defense coming back this way for the simple fact of how valuable any and all defenseman were at the trade deadline.

Though I would absolutely hate to lose Nail before seeing him in an Oilers jersey, if Nail and Ganger went to the Ducks to bring back Getzlaf, I would do that deal.

A top line of Getzlaf Hall and Hemsky would be pretty deadly. That way, Nuge and Ebs could have the easy second line minutes and continue to chew up the league. There's so many options to put on the left side of that line, all it would take is to find the best fit for the job (Smyth, Magnus, Harti, etc.) This also gives us a formidable third shut down line, especially if Magnus becomes that utility player like he's shown to do. The forth line is still a bit of a mess, but having a guy with one of the best face off win percentages in the league helps at least maintain puck possession.

Our defense is clearly being built through draft and development. And with so many potential young stars, especially with Schultz exceeding expectations, it seems like our defense will get there in a year or two.

If anyone has another viable trade idea, please post as these pipe dream line combos are always fun to talk about with no hockey on.

Horrible Overpay, YIKES...just wrong

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#73 Smokey
October 30 2012, 07:13PM
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DSF wrote:

You've decided Ballard, Tanev and Connauton are not the answer for their bottom pairing?

Good grief.

Hamhuis

Bieksa

Edler

Garrison

Ballard

Tanev

Connauton

Frank Corrado (16 GP 1G 15A 16P Sudbury Wolves)

Vancouver is loaded with D prospects.

I agree they need some grit in the top 6....that's why they traded for Kassian.

Oilers don't have any.

These comparisons are not to say these are the same player, but to show their approximate value.

Ballard equals Barker Tanev equals Chorney Cannaughton might equal someone like Petry in two years. Carrado could be a good player is 3 years

Vancouver has great defence 1-5, debately top 5 in the entire NHl.

The Oil have the reverse problem. They have 3 good top 3/4 defencmen. Petry, Smid, maybe Whitney. They have legit prospects in Schultz, Klefbaum, Marincin. They have possible prospects in Gernat, Davidson, Musil.

I don`t see them as great trading partners unless we are talking bad contracts for bad contracts.

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#74 Dave
October 30 2012, 07:40PM
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You said consider the source...more trial balloons by Asst GM wannabee Stauffer.

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#75 DSF
October 30 2012, 08:06PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

And Kassian adds grit, but he is not a top 6 player. Ryan Jones would probably fill that role better than Zack Kassian at this point.

Good grief.

Kassian is 21.

He's also 6'3" and 220 and can actually put the puck in the net.

He has 4 goals and 2 fights (both wins) in the AHL season compared to Magnus Rita who has only managed to score 2 gaols.

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#76 DSF
October 30 2012, 08:12PM
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Smokey wrote:

These comparisons are not to say these are the same player, but to show their approximate value.

Ballard equals Barker Tanev equals Chorney Cannaughton might equal someone like Petry in two years. Carrado could be a good player is 3 years

Vancouver has great defence 1-5, debately top 5 in the entire NHl.

The Oil have the reverse problem. They have 3 good top 3/4 defencmen. Petry, Smid, maybe Whitney. They have legit prospects in Schultz, Klefbaum, Marincin. They have possible prospects in Gernat, Davidson, Musil.

I don`t see them as great trading partners unless we are talking bad contracts for bad contracts.

Ballard = Barker? Lol.

Tanev already is an NHL defenseman, Chorney never will be.

Connauton is very much like Petry although his offensive upside is much higher. He's on pace for a 20 goal season in the AHL while Petry could only manage 7 gaols in his first season in the AHL.

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#78 GVBlackhawk
October 30 2012, 08:50PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief.

Kassian is 21.

He's also 6'3" and 220 and can actually put the puck in the net.

He has 4 goals and 2 fights (both wins) in the AHL season compared to Magnus Rita who has only managed to score 2 gaols.

Oh sorry. I thought you wanted to talk about players who could play on the Canucks top 6.

Instead, you did a 180 and started talking about how good Kassian was in the AHL.

4 goals in 44 NHL games is not good. No history of putting up great scoring numbers in junior or the minors. I bet MPS outscores Kassian if they both play the entire year in the AHL.

You are living in the bubble if you think Zach Kassian is a legitimate top 6 forward for the Canucks (in 2012/13 or 2013/14). They need a real gritty top 6 winger to help out their feather-soft top 6. Doan would have been a perfect choice.

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#79 justwondering
October 30 2012, 09:52PM
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If the Oil could convince anyone to take Horcoff I would say WOW!

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#80 Dr. Oil
October 30 2012, 10:13PM
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I thought Tanev was a goaltender? At least that's what Jimmy Hughson told me.

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#81 Oilertown
October 30 2012, 10:53PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief.

Kassian is 21.

He's also 6'3" and 220 and can actually put the puck in the net.

He has 4 goals and 2 fights (both wins) in the AHL season compared to Magnus Rita who has only managed to score 2 gaols.

I seem to recall a JFJ that played pretty well in the minors too

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#82 andrewmk20
October 30 2012, 11:59PM
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@DSF

DSF actually is correct. They analyzed the top defensive pairings in the league and the top 2 pairings were Suter/Weber and McDonagh/Girardi and not far behind those two were Bieksa/Hamhuis. According to the numbers they have the best value in relation to their contracts. The article is on Canucks Army. Also having seen Alex Edler play the Oilers six times a year you cannot say he isn't a legit top 3 dman. Big, multi-faceted, intelligent, and fairly athletic. I hate the Canucks but you can't deny Mike Gillis put together a very good team and negotiates very good contracts except for the one Luongo got. Wish Oilers management was that well put together.

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#83 @Oilanderp
October 31 2012, 12:34AM
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SCOTT HARTNELL LEFT WING, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

BIRTHDATE: APRIL 18, 1982 AGE: 30 2012-13 CAP HIT: $4,200,000

(For a bag of those heavy orange practice pucks = WOW!)

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#84 konst16
October 31 2012, 01:51AM
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DSF wrote:

You know...it's guys like you who give Oiler fans a bad name.

Guys much smarter than you have actually analyzed who the top defensemen in the game are.

James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail puts together an annual list of the top defensive defensemen in the league:

http://tinyurl.com/8gaxe6n

You'll notice that 4 of the top 30 currently play for the Vancouver Canucks.

Now, considering there are 60 top pairing defensemen in the league and that Vancouver has 4 of the top 30, I would have to think that the Canucks are loaded with #1 and #2 defensemen.

Also worth noting, Vancouver had 3 of the top 30 scoring defensemen in the league last season.

http://tinyurl.com/9va8du8

Now, don't you look silly.

Being in the top 30 in NHL dmen in scoring does not always equal a "true top pairing" dman. Or would you say Tom Gilbert was a true top pairing dman in 2008-09 (18th in D scoring). Or from the same year, Cam Barker (27th).

Your James Mirtle article claims Christian Ehrhoff is the 10th best *defensive* defensemen. Need I same more about the merit of that list (I shouldn't if you actually watched many canuck games 2 seasons ago)?

How about you lay off the condescending tone, when your sh*t stinks just as bad as the next guy, and in this case you are standing knee deep in it.

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#85 Lochenzo
October 31 2012, 09:27AM
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We don't know the results of the CBA negotiations yet. The owners want to reduce the cap and the players want their current contracts honoured. So I could see a similar situation to that of 2005 where teams need to shed salary. It'd be Chris Pronger all over again for the Oilers.

The Oilers can offer a package of young players and prospects that few in the league can offer, so I think Bob is just saying that the Oilers will be 'Kevin Lowe' aggressive if the CBA puts some teams in a bind.

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#86 Smokey
October 31 2012, 01:13PM
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DSF wrote:

Ballard = Barker? Lol.

Tanev already is an NHL defenseman, Chorney never will be.

Connauton is very much like Petry although his offensive upside is much higher. He's on pace for a 20 goal season in the AHL while Petry could only manage 7 gaols in his first season in the AHL.

Tanev was a tweener last year, so was Chorney the last couple. Tanev's a slightly undersized defencemen with limited upsize. He's no world beater.

Ballard is horrible. Its a fair comparison to Barker. Similar size albeit different players. The comparison is that both were highly touted young defencemen. Barker's already outta the league, and Ballard still has contract. He might be lucky to stick as 5-6 once his horrible contract is finished.

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