2013: RESOLUTION AND RESOLUTIONS

Robin Brownlee
December 29 2012 09:58AM

As 2012 winds down I'm tempted to wax optimistic about an end to the NHL lockout in the wake of a close-the-deal offer to the NHLPA by Gary Bettman and the owners, but I'll resist the urge until we see if there's any sign of actual progress after a conference call between the parties this morning.

Fans have had the optimism kicked out of them through the ups and downs of the process as Donald Fehr and Bettman have taken turns looking like boobs representing their respective positions as the stalemate has stretched into the triple digits in terms of days. Arms-length cynicism is probably a good call as we get ready to welcome 2013.

What I will say, as others already have, is that if there isn't the basis for a deal in the NHL's latest offer in time to salvage a 48-game season starting Jan. 19, I’ll be astounded (even allowing for the stubbornness and stupidity displayed by both sides until now).

If you didn't read the highlights of the latest offer by the NHL, provided by Jason Gregor here, there's a comprehensive summary of the fine print Fehr and Bettman will be discussing today here, courtesy of TSN.ca.

I expect we'll have a pretty good feel for which way it's going to go – by way of an official news release or educated speculation in 140-character snippets -- by the time people are toasting the New Year and wearing lampshades on their heads at midnight (or earlier) Monday.

THE WAY I SEE IT

While most of the latest offer represents only minor tweaks to previous offers, or no change in position at all in many aspects, there is movement. As it pertains to teams already over a projected salary cap of $60 million, like the Edmonton Oilers, language regarding the cap is significant.

As per TSN: "Clubs can operate with an effective Upper Limit of $70.2 million in 2012/13; must come into compliance with $60 million Upper Limit for the start of the 2013/14 season."

That provides teams like the Oilers, 13th in payroll at $62,933.33 according to CapGeek, time to get their salary structure in order and wiggle room for rosters, at least until the puck drops for the 2013-14 season.

With Nikolai Khabibulin ($3.75 million), Andy Sutton ($1.75 million), Ryan Whitney ($4 million) and Darcy Hordichuk ($850,000) coming off the books after this season, GM Steve Tambellini might have the option of filling a hole or two for an abbreviated 2012-13 campaign – the WOW deal Bob Stauffer at 630 CHED hinted at a couple months ago.

While the above players have to be replaced, an astute GM (there's the rub) could do it by using younger, cheaper players on the upswing for those roster spots. Will the Oilers re-sign Whitney, even if he stays healthy? The way I see it, Tambellini could fill those four spots for about $4 million a season.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

If a season is salvaged, I urge teams, regardless of any edict from the NHL head office, to resist the temptation to trot out the super-lame "Thank-you fans" messages we saw on ice surfaces around the league after the last work stoppage. That's pure spin and PR. Thanks for what?

If teams are the least bit serious about thanking fans in a meaningful way (I have my doubts), then make it real: announce a league-wide 10 per cent cut in the price of tickets, and a similar rebate for season ticket packages already purchased, for this season and all of 2013-14.

Finally, I'd like to wish everybody at Oilersnation and our readers a happy, prosperous and productive 2013.

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 Oilertown
December 29 2012, 08:46PM
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DSF wrote:

The Oilers won't be able to pay him that much.

Also Smid wants to be here I'm sure they will make it work.

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#52 DSF
December 29 2012, 08:50PM
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Oilertown wrote:

Also Smid wants to be here I'm sure they will make it work.

How?

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#53 Walter Sobchak
December 29 2012, 09:13PM
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Oilertown wrote:

3-3.5 they will, which is what I think he gets 3.5.

Lets talk realistically here, or at least Tambellini realistic.

This coming from a team that gave an average goalie with no experience at being a number 1 goalie 3.5 million.

That gave Barker a contract over 1 million when he was passed over by every NHL team.

That gave Sutton over a million dollars even after he TOLD them he wanted to stay in Edmonton.

This can go on all day, point is Smid WILL be asking 4 to 4.5 and the Oilers have no choice but to give it or trade him.

Smid is a really good 3-4 defensmen who can move up to the top pairing to play some minutes if needed, but history tells us he will get it.(money) this is not a good thing.

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#54 Wanyes bastard child
December 29 2012, 09:18PM
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I think Smid gets close to what Petry got.

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#55 Johe
December 29 2012, 09:31PM
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Are we really going over this again? Sigh. I'll say what I said yesterday. The only players on the current NHL roster signed past next year are Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, and Horcoff(who people are saying will be bought out). So that's three players signed for the 2014-2015 season as of right now. How does anyone figure signing Smid will be a problem? That boggles the mind.

Even next year, things are not as dire as some would suggest. If Horcoff is bought out, the Oilers will have just under 43 million committed to 13 players. They can make that work.

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#56 commonfan14
December 29 2012, 10:26PM
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Johe wrote:

Are we really going over this again? Sigh. I'll say what I said yesterday. The only players on the current NHL roster signed past next year are Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, and Horcoff(who people are saying will be bought out). So that's three players signed for the 2014-2015 season as of right now. How does anyone figure signing Smid will be a problem? That boggles the mind.

Even next year, things are not as dire as some would suggest. If Horcoff is bought out, the Oilers will have just under 43 million committed to 13 players. They can make that work.

Things start to fill up fast though if things go well for all the elite prospects. I don't think you can just hand over 3 more $6 million/year deals to Nuge, Schultz and Yak and expect to adequately fill out a roster.

We're going to have to hope HRR goes up in a hurry.

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#57 Kgo
December 29 2012, 10:27PM
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If they let Whitney walk, or resign him for

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#58 Walter Sobchak
December 29 2012, 11:27PM
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Johe wrote:

Are we really going over this again? Sigh. I'll say what I said yesterday. The only players on the current NHL roster signed past next year are Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, and Horcoff(who people are saying will be bought out). So that's three players signed for the 2014-2015 season as of right now. How does anyone figure signing Smid will be a problem? That boggles the mind.

Even next year, things are not as dire as some would suggest. If Horcoff is bought out, the Oilers will have just under 43 million committed to 13 players. They can make that work.

You also forgot. Schultz SR. Schultz JR RNH......that's a big one to miss. Whitney Smid Gagner Klefbom Musil And another goalie plus a Top pairing defensmen.

Maybe you should go over it again, you missed a lot.

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#59 Oilertown
December 29 2012, 11:29PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Lets talk realistically here, or at least Tambellini realistic.

This coming from a team that gave an average goalie with no experience at being a number 1 goalie 3.5 million.

That gave Barker a contract over 1 million when he was passed over by every NHL team.

That gave Sutton over a million dollars even after he TOLD them he wanted to stay in Edmonton.

This can go on all day, point is Smid WILL be asking 4 to 4.5 and the Oilers have no choice but to give it or trade him.

Smid is a really good 3-4 defensmen who can move up to the top pairing to play some minutes if needed, but history tells us he will get it.(money) this is not a good thing.

I think those days are gone or atleast I hope with Mactavish looking over his shoulder.

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#60 Oilertown
December 29 2012, 11:50PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You also forgot. Schultz SR. Schultz JR RNH......that's a big one to miss. Whitney Smid Gagner Klefbom Musil And another goalie plus a Top pairing defensmen.

Maybe you should go over it again, you missed a lot.

Last comment seemed to get lost in abyss try this. Don't other teams have a whole sh!t load more big dollar contracts then the Oilers. Top of my head Rags would be one for sure, so in turn won't there be a whole sh!t load of teams in MORE trouble then the Oilers.

Not sure how the league is going to make this work, but I'm sure they will and the Oilers just like all the other teams will be fine

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#61 Johe
December 30 2012, 02:04AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You also forgot. Schultz SR. Schultz JR RNH......that's a big one to miss. Whitney Smid Gagner Klefbom Musil And another goalie plus a Top pairing defensmen.

Maybe you should go over it again, you missed a lot.

All of those players you mentioned that are on the current NHL roster have their contracts expire after this year or next. Obviously many of them will be signed again. But my point stands that only Hall, Ebs, Yak, and Horcoff have contracts that extend past next year. So what I'm trying to say is that the Oilers will have lots of cap flexibility to go in whatever direction they choose. Though I certainly wouldn't be surprised if one of the fab four up front was moved at some point. I'm not expecting it, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Also is anyone else staying up for the Canada USA game? I just got home from playing hockey myself so I my as well stay up now. I'm in the right mood. Should be a beauty of a game. Interested to see how Subban plays against top tier talent- I'm rootin for the guy. He has a lot of critics right now, and it's always satisfying when someone shuts up the critics. Same goes for Yak.

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#62 DSF
December 30 2012, 11:46AM
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Johe wrote:

All of those players you mentioned that are on the current NHL roster have their contracts expire after this year or next. Obviously many of them will be signed again. But my point stands that only Hall, Ebs, Yak, and Horcoff have contracts that extend past next year. So what I'm trying to say is that the Oilers will have lots of cap flexibility to go in whatever direction they choose. Though I certainly wouldn't be surprised if one of the fab four up front was moved at some point. I'm not expecting it, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Also is anyone else staying up for the Canada USA game? I just got home from playing hockey myself so I my as well stay up now. I'm in the right mood. Should be a beauty of a game. Interested to see how Subban plays against top tier talent- I'm rootin for the guy. He has a lot of critics right now, and it's always satisfying when someone shuts up the critics. Same goes for Yak.

The problem is next season...not the one after.

The Oilers have $48.5 million committed to the cap with only 14 players signed.

So they have $11.5 million to sign 8 players.

If they give Smid $3.5 million they have 8 million left to sign 7 players.

If they re-sign Gagner for $3.5 million they have $4.5 million left to sign 6 players.

If the sign a back up goaltender for $1M they have $3.5 million left to sign 5 players.

At this point, if they buyout Horcoff they will have 9 million to sign 5 players.

They need to replace Horcoff at #3C....$3 million?

They need to replace Ryan Jones...$1.5M

They need to re-sign Hartikainen...$1 million

They then will have $4.5 million to sign FOUR defensemen.

If Klefbom is one of them, at $1.25 million, they need THREE defensemen at $3 million.

Smid-Petry

Shultz-Shultz

Klefbom-Potter

Peckham? Marincin?

That bottom 4 is pretty scary.

I think they will have to trade Hemsky for a top 4 D.

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#63 GVBlackhawk
December 30 2012, 12:33PM
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@DSF

And in other news Dubnyk plays way better than Corey Schneider in Spengler Cup action. Canada moves on and Fribourg goes home.

St. Corey is gonna be under the gun when he starts to tank in Vancouver.

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#64 DSF
December 30 2012, 12:48PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

And in other news Dubnyk plays way better than Corey Schneider in Spengler Cup action. Canada moves on and Fribourg goes home.

St. Corey is gonna be under the gun when he starts to tank in Vancouver.

Meh.

It's an exhibition tournament and means absolutely nothing.

How many points does Gagner have in the tournament?

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#65 Rogue
December 30 2012, 12:58PM
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DSF wrote:

Meh.

It's an exhibition tournament and means absolutely nothing.

How many points does Gagner have in the tournament?

Way to go, Dribble Spouting Fool, If Dubnyk was going home, you would be praising Schneider and dissing Dubnyk. LOL. You truly are a doorknob! Classic.

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#66 Oiler Al
December 30 2012, 03:01PM
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$60 million, Cap is still a lot more than $39 million. Players and teams will have to adjust to the new level of pay.! Teams including the Oilers will not be able to afford have 6 players making $5 to $6 milion on a roster. They will sign for less because the team down the road will have the same problem.

The real issue will be teams with smart GM will suceed... sorry Tamblini, you are not in this category... [ $3.5 million for Dubnyk is $1 million overpay.] You do that 5 times and miss the opportunity of signing a $ 5 million dollar player. There is no room on the team for Horcoff, Hemsky and Whitney .. here's $15 million bucks.

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#67 Tim S
December 30 2012, 07:09PM
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My thinking is teams that don't mind spending a bit of money are going to be able to figure away to get rid of some money. Horcoff has a cap hit of $5.5 but his actual salary is $4mil followed by $3mil. That is a contract that could potentially be traded instead of being bought out,a team looking to get to the floor would being paying out less then the cap hit they are taking on. And if the Oilers were able to actually trade Horcoff they have the potential to take on a big Salary player in a seperate transaction and buy that player out thus saving his previous team the real $ it would cost.

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#68 johnnyboy
December 30 2012, 07:57PM
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@Rogue

... perhaps you were aiming for drivel ...

i suppose dribble works, but combined with spouting creates an odd image ... you know?

dribble .... but spouting?

so! drivel-spouting-fool for @DSF, i think he will take this a bit more seriously!!

you like the hyphens??

xx

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#69 dougtheslug
December 30 2012, 08:30PM
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DSF wrote:

Meh.

It's an exhibition tournament and means absolutely nothing.

How many points does Gagner have in the tournament?

Its a meaningless tournament and means absolutely nothing.

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#70 Antony Ta
January 01 2013, 01:04AM
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A propserous and productive 2013 to you as well, Robin.

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