GDB 70.0: HIDE YOUR CHILDREN

Jason Gregor
March 14 2012 11:46AM

Taylor Hall must have a love-hate relationship when it comes to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has 2-5-7 in four career games v. the Jackets, however he also has his only career fight, v. Derek Dorsett, that resulted in him missing the final 17 games last season, and earlier this year Corey Potter stepped on his head during warmup in Columbus.

Luckily for Hall, and Oiler fans, he has bounced back from both freak/fluke injuries, and he'll be one of the few reason to bother watching tonight's battle of basement dwellers.

I truly hope that is the final year we will have to preview a game involving the Oilers and the term cellar-dwellars. I'm sick of writing about it, and I'm sure you are tired of reading/hearing it. No one likes covering a loser, and I know fans are getting sick of cheering for one.

Tonight could spell the end of any dream of a third consecutive 1st overall pick for the Oilers. A loss would give the Blue Jackets a 10-point lead over the Oilers in the race for 30th, but unless you are a masochist I'd assume you'd rather see a win than watch the Oilers lose to the only team below them in the standings.

STRUGGLES ON THE HOME FRONT

The Oil have lost five straight at home, and eight of their past nine, after going 14-7-3 in their first 24 home games. They can't score at Rexall Place, 16 goals in 9 games, and they haven't worked hard enough to draw any penalties. I know PPs are down across the league and the refs have let a lot go lately, but when the Oilers are skating they draw penalties.

In their last 14 games they've only had 26 PP chances (1.8 PP/game), but in their first 55 games they had 204 chances (3.7PP/game). There has been a big drop in PP chances league wide, but the Oilers dip has been much worse. In those 14 games they've had 26 PP chances to 38 PK chances, while in the previous 55 games they were almost dead even at 204 PP chances to 208 PK situations.

They've had some calls go against them lately, but they've faced the 9th lowest amount of PK chances all year, so you can't say they've been getting screwed over that bad by the officials. They need to move their feet and force the opposition to skate with them or draw penalties.

LINEUP...HARTIKAINEN DRESSES

Ben Eager had to be helped off the ice during practice yesterday after suffering more back spasms. He's out tonight. The Oilers have recalled Teemu Hartikainen and he'll likely play, and I wonder if we'll see him get a shot with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle at some point?

Tom Renney juggled the lines at practice yesterday, and they were the same today.

Jones - RNH - Eberle
Hall - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Horcoff - Omark
Hartikainen/Hordichuk - Belanger - Petrell

I do wonder if Jones will be on a short leash with Hartikainen being recalled, and in fact, I won't be surprised if Hartikainen starts the game with 93 and 14. Hartikainen has being playing very well in OKC according to Renney, and he said he'll give him a good opportunity to play. The Oilers desperately need his size, but the one thing he needs to work on is his first few steps. He's big and powerful, but he needs to improve his quickness in his first few strides. When he does that he could be a real handful for opposing defenders.

Smid - Petry
Whitney - Schultz
Peckham - Potter

Theo Peckham draws back in and Andy Sutton moves upstairs.

Dubnyk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are 16-4-1 at home v. the Jackets, and rather than drag the fans through another race for worst, they win 5-3 and end any talk of a 3rd straight 30th place finish.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ales Hemsky tallies two points. Hemsky has 36 points in 27 games v. the Blue Jackets. He isn't the only Oiler who lights them up. Hall has 7 points in 4 games, Ryan Smyth has 43 points in 40 games, and Columbus is the only team that Ladislav Smid has scored two goals against.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: A late start, a battle between the 29th and 30th place team, yet many of you can't look away. You'll watch because you've become immune to the pain of watching a losing team. You still will cheer for goals, yell at the TV during giveaways, dumb decisions or weak calls. You will be torn though at 10 p.m. when Modern Family comes on. Will you watch the lovely Claire and Gloria or the trainwreck known as the Jackets and the Oilers. If you couldn't use PVR I wonder what you'll do at 10 o'clock?

QUICK HITS

  • I spoke with Ryan Smyth today and he told me he has indeed had talks with the Oilers and is confident he'll have a new deal. He didn't get into specifics, but I made a few calls and it sounds like a two-year deal is what they will agree to. Basically they are negotiating the dollars at this point. I get the sense that both sides will agree to a two-year deal.

SUPER SNIPER

Steven Stamkos scored his 50th goal of the season last night, and he joined some pretty elite company in doing so.

  • He's only the 7th player in NHL history to have two 50-goal seasons before turning 23. He joins Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Joe Nieuwendyk, Pavel Bure and Alex Ovechkin.
     
  • Stamkos has a whopping 40 EV goals so far. Malkin is 2nd in the league in goals with 38 total.
     
  • Only 4 players have scored 40 EV goals in the last 15 years. Stamkos, Oveckin (43 in 2008), Bure (45 in 2000) and Temmu Selanne (41 in 1998).
     
  • Stamkos has 40 EV goals, the Kings entire team has 101.
     
  • He is only the 43rd player in NHL history with two 50-goal seasons.
     
  • He is half way to joining a very elite group of snipers with at least four 50-goal seasons. Only 14 players tallied 50 goals four times: Gretzky and Bossy (9), Lemieux and Marcel Dionne (6), Bure, Steve Yzerman, Bobby Hull, Brett Hull, Guy Lafleur and Phil Esposito (5) and Ovechkin, Jari Kurri, Michel Goulet and Tim Kerr (4).
     
  • Stamkos has to be a finalist for the Hart. Goal scoring across the league is down, yet he's still lighting it up. The hardest thing to do in the NHL is score goals, and he's got 12 more than every other player. Does any goalie or player have a 24% better SV% or GAA than everyone else. No. Too bad Stamkos plays in Tampa or everyone would be talking about what a great year he is having. 50 goals today is equal to 69 goals in the 80s and early 90s. He's having one of the best goal-scoring seasons of all-time and should be recognized for it.

WANNA RIDE?

Do you wanna ride in the MS Bike Tour on June 9th and 10th? I have teamed up with United Cycle and formed TEAM GREGOR for this year's tour. We are going to make it a fun-filled two days and we'll have some kick-ass team uniforms and some cool swag for our team members.

If you are interested riding in our team email gregor@theteam1260.com. You will need to raise a minimum of $3,000 to join our team. My goal is to raise $100,000 this year, and I've already locked up over $20,000.

If you want to donate to the cause you can here. Thanks for your support and I look forward to having you join our team.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Archaeologuy
March 14 2012, 12:06PM
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My dream of choosing #1 for the 3rd year in a row wont be dead until TSN does the annual Tambellini and Friends lottery.

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Thanks for asking Smyth and getting the right information.

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#3 Keg on Legs
March 14 2012, 12:20PM
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Why is Sutton out again? At least he can handle the puck. I can't wait to watch "Hand Grenade" Peckham give it away numerous times tonight.

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#5 Woogie
March 14 2012, 01:21PM
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Major Props Gregor!

100k for a great cause. Best of luck!

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#6 Blak the Caveman
March 14 2012, 01:51PM
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Blak says hi

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#7 Cam
March 14 2012, 08:13PM
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I'm in cancun, can someone post a feed please

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#8 Nick Dynasty
March 14 2012, 11:55AM
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Stamkos will get nominated but I doubt he'd win if Tampa misses the playoffs. Will be tough to beat out Malkin either way IMO.

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#10 Reality Check to the head
March 14 2012, 12:21PM
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WHY OH WHY is Theo Peckham dressing? Havent we all seen enough of this train derailment?

MVP is termed as the Most Valuable Player to their team. I would vote for Malkin. I like Stamkos, goaltending aside, he is carrying a good team that is missing Crosby.

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#11 Mike Krushelnyski
March 14 2012, 12:22PM
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Gagner needs to go back to playing with Eberle, he hasn't done much without him.

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#12 magisterrex
March 14 2012, 12:24PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

My dream of choosing #1 for the 3rd year in a row wont be dead until TSN does the annual Tambellini and Friends lottery.

Tambellini and Friends is projected to be one of TSN's highest rated shows for this season!

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#13 Quicksilver ballet
March 14 2012, 12:28PM
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The sooner these kids realize this is totally up to them, the better. The list goes on and on for the MIA veterans on this hockey club.

Unless the magnificent 3 can win this game on their own......it'll be 5-2 Jackets tonight.

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#14 LoDog
March 14 2012, 12:38PM
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Hmm, the Oilers are working with Smyth on a new deal and have been, by most accounts (except Wanye), for quite some time. Colour me surprised.

You know there just isnt' enough drama in OilersNation without making up more.

Anyway, I think it will be a good game tonight. Both teams will want to show they are better than the other cellar dweller.

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#15 mayorpoop
March 14 2012, 12:43PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

My dream of choosing #1 for the 3rd year in a row wont be dead until TSN does the annual Tambellini and Friends lottery.

Dithers has friends in the business? i thought we pee'd them all off. hmmm.

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#16 Oilcruzer
March 14 2012, 12:54PM
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Keg on Legs wrote:

Why is Sutton out again? At least he can handle the puck. I can't wait to watch "Hand Grenade" Peckham give it away numerous times tonight.

What, you wanna win now?

I will say it again. The stupidest thing the Oil ever did was win game 82 vs Flames a few years back.

Well maybe not the stupidest...

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#17 Oilcruzer
March 14 2012, 12:56PM
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Nice to see Steven Staois having a dream season. And we all thought he was done.

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#18 Dan the Man
March 14 2012, 12:57PM
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It doesn't sound like Tambo and Renney are on the same page when it comes to Sutton. Tambo signs him to a pretty decent contract for next year and he's continually a healthy scratch. If we had better options I'd be all for him taking the odd healthy scratch but right now Barker, Peckham and Potter aren't better options.

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#19 Bryzarro World
March 14 2012, 12:58PM
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What is with edmonton teams giving people chances that have been passed over many times by other organizations? Both the Esks and the Oil have done it and... SURPRISE... Didnt work either time.

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#20 Benny Botts
March 14 2012, 01:00PM
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@Gregor

Jason, I have heard some speculation the last couple of weeks regarding the oilers 1st round pick this year being dealt at the draft for a bonafide top 2 d-man in the NHL. Wanted to you hear your opinion on the topic, is this stricly bloggers speculation or do you think this has some actual traction behind it ? As well, if they were willing to move the pick, which teams do you think would be interested that are willing to part with a #1 or #2 d-man ?

P.S. Great show. Glad that your back.

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#22 Sickened
March 14 2012, 01:06PM
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A two year deal for Smyth? Fire Lowe and Tambo before they do more damage to this club.

Can anyone justify how likely first-ballot HOFers, Lidstrom and Selanne can sign one year at a time, but this is not good enough for Smyth?

It's getting hard to be a fan when you inexcusable incompetence like this. Modelling after the Red Wings organization? They wouldn't even know where to begin.

:(

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#24 Jason
March 14 2012, 01:08PM
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The fact the Oilers offered Smyth a 2-year deal is mind-boggling. It seems at best extremely irresponsible and at worst extremely incompetent.

At Smyth's age, they should be offering continuing 1-year deals in the same fashion of Yzerman, Sakic, Selanne, and Lidstrom. If it's good enough for those guys, it's good enough for Smyth. The truth is, it's just smart. If a guy gets injured and has to retire, or if his game goes south and he decides to pack it in after 1-year, you won't be on the hook for the extra year on your cap (which you would be for any multi-year deal at Smyth's age).

Especially since Year 2 of that deal would be one in which we need to re-sign Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Lander, Smid, Whitney, Hartikainen, and Teubert. Smyth should be getting whatever is left over.

I can just see the Oilers nickel and diming some of the more pressing deals because of Smyth being locked up. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see this management group lose someone like Ladislav Smid over $500,000 we didn't have because Smyth was locked up for 2-years.

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#25 Jason
March 14 2012, 01:12PM
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@Dan the Man

Sutton really should be a 7th defenseman that can move in and out of the lineup. I would suggest that him being a healthy scratch isn't a negative thing... but rather him being in the lineup every night is a much more damning indication of where this team is at currently on the blueline.

I have no problem with Sutton in this role. Having said that, 1.75 million for a 7th defenseman who is 36-years-old seems pretty high.

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#26 Bob Loblaw
March 14 2012, 01:27PM
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I hope they don't get too high on themselves if they win tonight. Wow, we won 6-2. We are one of the great teams now!

Once this team adds hard work to their resume of talent, we will then control our destiny.

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#27 Jason
March 14 2012, 01:42PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Interesting that you say he should be getting what is left over after guys like Paajarvi, Lander, Hartikainen and Teubert... What exactly have they accomplished at the NHL level so far? And why do you think they would having rights to get a big contract increase.

Oilers have lots of cap space. Smyth was a $6.2 cap hit this year...If he is $2.5 cap hit next two years, what is the issue?

Well, granted they haven't done much. They are all really young. I guess that's kind of my point... they are likely to have a lot more years in the NHL moving forward, and are more likely to be key pieces when the Oilers are competitive.

Besides, it's not really them that are going to have the big contracts. Hall, Eberle, and Smid are all in for huge pay increases. Whitney will likely be re-signed for close to what he is now.

But the thing is, it's just not smart asset management. Let's say Ryan Smyth has a serious injury that ends his career. Or let's say the wheels completely fall off and he is relegated to a fourth line role next season and wants to call it quits after a year. Because of the way the CBA is created - and given his age - Smyth's cap hit would still count against the cap even if he retired. Or let's say the opposite is true... lets say that he SHOULD retire, but because he doesn't want to have it count against the cap he comes back and struggles all year. They are all bad scenarios.

And really, what real benefit is there to signing him for 2-years? Everyone and their dog know he wants to be here and to end his career in Edmonton. If he continues playing well, you can always re-sign him again at the end of next season.

There just are far more risks than benefits to a 2-year deal. Can anyone actually explain the benefit of a 2-year deal for Smyth over a series of 1-year deals. Is there one?

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#28 Dan the Man
March 14 2012, 01:44PM
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Jason wrote:

Sutton really should be a 7th defenseman that can move in and out of the lineup. I would suggest that him being a healthy scratch isn't a negative thing... but rather him being in the lineup every night is a much more damning indication of where this team is at currently on the blueline.

I have no problem with Sutton in this role. Having said that, 1.75 million for a 7th defenseman who is 36-years-old seems pretty high.

Isn't that more or less what I said?

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#29 Blak the caveman
March 14 2012, 01:50PM
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Reply #15 SerenityNow March 14 2012, 12:58PM 0 props What is with edmonton teams giving people chances that have been passed over many times by other organizations? Both the Esks and the Oil have done it and... SURPRISE... Didnt work either time.

... Messam

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#30 bazmagoo
March 14 2012, 01:50PM
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Smyth at 2 years 2.5 million per seems to the consensus online as to what the fans have him valued at. It will be interesting to see what he gets.

I agree with the previous post about Sutton. $1.75 million for him was too much, should have been around $1.25 million. He's a 7th defencemen, albeit a good one in that role but nothing more. I'd be surprised if that move doesn't prove to be a mistake, although not a particularly costly one.

Seems like all a player has to do is express interest in playing in Edmonton and management has an orgasm in their pants and rushes to sign them. We aren't going to be successful running the team that way, in my opinion.

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#31 bazmagoo
March 14 2012, 01:52PM
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Guessing they need to give Peckham one more shot at getting us the #1 pick, awesome!

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#32 Sean17
March 14 2012, 01:52PM
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I hope Jones pots a couple. He has had a rough couple months but, I think at the end of the year you look at the back of his hockey card and 15-20 goals for a 3rd liner isn't nothing to complain about.

Anyone else notice the Flames are advertising ticket sales on the Edmonton Journal sports pages. The slogan is "every game matters". Can't argue with the fact at least their games matter...

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#33 They're $hittie
March 14 2012, 01:54PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

Gagner needs to go back to playing with Eberle, he hasn't done much without him.

hard to do anything with hemsky omark and smyth, who produce very little. best to spit hall and ebs up to have to creative lines and one that can handle the toughs

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#34 Dman09
March 14 2012, 01:56PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'd suggest speculation. FIrst off which teams would be willing to part with a proven legitimate top-pairing D-man. Show me those teams and then we'll see if there is anything to it. I can't think of a team that would do it right now. Few teams have three elite D-men so not sure why they would trade one.

At this point it would be pure speculation and more ideas being thrown out. It makes sense to do it, but realistically you have to have a trading partner.

Ya the only way I think a team would do that is for a elite forward that they may be lacking and not a draft pick. I would never trade a lotto pick anyway. Ask yourself, would you trade a Crosby or Malkin for a first rounder. I thought not.

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#35 bazmagoo
March 14 2012, 01:57PM
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@Jason

You make some pretty valid points about Smyth, I'd say signing him to one year deals from now on makes more sense than multi year deals. $2.5 per to start, renegotiated every year.

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#36 Ales Hallsky
March 14 2012, 02:03PM
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First of all: 50G in a season 9 FRICKEN TIMES!!!

Second: Sadly, I have lost my cheer when watching the games. I no longer get excited while watching the games unless great individual plays are made. I hope the team soon gets back to resectability soon so i can be excited to watch the actual game not the "flashes of brilliance". The only positive from that is that I have come to more appreciate competitive hockey games while the oilers season is still going (bleakly).

Third: If I was at the helm at draft day, and would take grigorenko with the pick and trade gags and our 2nd for a quality d-man or a top ten fisrt rounder and pick up Murray

Fourth: Oil 4-2

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#37 Sean17
March 14 2012, 02:04PM
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Ales Hallsky wrote:

First of all: 50G in a season 9 FRICKEN TIMES!!!

Second: Sadly, I have lost my cheer when watching the games. I no longer get excited while watching the games unless great individual plays are made. I hope the team soon gets back to resectability soon so i can be excited to watch the actual game not the "flashes of brilliance". The only positive from that is that I have come to more appreciate competitive hockey games while the oilers season is still going (bleakly).

Third: If I was at the helm at draft day, and would take grigorenko with the pick and trade gags and our 2nd for a quality d-man or a top ten fisrt rounder and pick up Murray

Fourth: Oil 4-2

It's like you're in my head....with all the other voices...

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#38 Jasmine
March 14 2012, 02:08PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

What, you wanna win now?

I will say it again. The stupidest thing the Oil ever did was win game 82 vs Flames a few years back.

Well maybe not the stupidest...

How often does this have to be said. The Oilers would not have won the lottery as they would have finished with the fourth worst record and would have fallen in the lottery. The Caps had the fifth worst record and would have won the lottery.

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#39 Dman09
March 14 2012, 02:17PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Smyth at 2 years 2.5 million per seems to the consensus online as to what the fans have him valued at. It will be interesting to see what he gets.

I agree with the previous post about Sutton. $1.75 million for him was too much, should have been around $1.25 million. He's a 7th defencemen, albeit a good one in that role but nothing more. I'd be surprised if that move doesn't prove to be a mistake, although not a particularly costly one.

Seems like all a player has to do is express interest in playing in Edmonton and management has an orgasm in their pants and rushes to sign them. We aren't going to be successful running the team that way, in my opinion.

Maybe they are giving him a little more money to compensate for what he will lose next season due to suspensions.

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#40 Walter Sobchak
March 14 2012, 02:19PM
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You would think this would/has to be the last year of sucking but after hearing Tambellini talk on the NHL network my hopes seem to be fading!

Not only did he mention that he has the “flexibility” to not have to draft the best player available in the upcoming draft! Building our own from within came out of his mouth again, plus he mentions that the team needs its veterans, so if I’m to assume he means the very same veterans the Oilers currently have on the present roster what makes us better next year?

Time for the fans to snap on this organization!

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#41 DieHard
March 14 2012, 02:24PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'd suggest speculation. FIrst off which teams would be willing to part with a proven legitimate top-pairing D-man. Show me those teams and then we'll see if there is anything to it. I can't think of a team that would do it right now. Few teams have three elite D-men so not sure why they would trade one.

At this point it would be pure speculation and more ideas being thrown out. It makes sense to do it, but realistically you have to have a trading partner.

I think a big draft-day deal like that could happen with Phoenix and OEL. Question though is, being owned by the NHL does that hamper major deals involving the Coyotes?

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#42 Truth
March 14 2012, 02:29PM
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Potter has been horrible lately. Why take Sutton out? Maybe they are going for 1st overall again.

If they don't win convincingly tonight I would say Renney's time is done. If he can't stir up some emotion out of his team against the worst team in the league there is something wrong. First to go would be him IMO.

GDP: Hall with his first hat trick of the year in a 6-2 romp. One of the few that gives 100% all the time will benefit from the rest of the team doing the same. Peckham gets first assists on both Columbus goals.

OGDP part 1: Horcoff will spend the entire shift on the first line powerplay as he still cannot understand Renney telling him to come off imediately after the faceoff (as any smart coach would do).

OGDP part 2: Renney is not a smart coach.

NSOGDP: Belanger will get not 1 but 2 scoring opportunities in this one single game.

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#43 Bryzarro World
March 14 2012, 02:31PM
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@Blak the caveman

Can you read? I said "passed over" He wasn't... Make yourself look smarter when you can comprehend what you read. How many times has he been passed over by other orgs?

Messam is your answer? So he is a coach or Gm? He makes player/roster/scheme decisions? Or was he a spoiled brat who needed to be put in line?

And you wanna talk players? Ummm.. Know a couple guys named barker and potter to name only a few. You get lucky once in a while but get burned way more often than not.

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#44 Bryzarro World
March 14 2012, 02:48PM
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@Dman09

What spot Barker get drafted? Not every lotto pick turns out to be like those...

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#45 Gitagrip
March 14 2012, 02:52PM
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IMO, play the spit out of the Nuge and get him the Calder. I don't give a rat's A$$ about anymore wins EXCEPT this Friday. Pulleezz find a way, summon everything you got and a little more just so I can watch the SportsCentre loop over and over again....with pride. Be able to listen to the HNIC wags announce that the Flames were embarassed by the mighty OIL the night before and their slim chances of a playoff berth have been seriously derailed. Is that too much to ask? Yes? Well then I'm begging!! Throw us a fricken bone here, it's been a long hard season. Jason, Robin, print this and post it on the dressing room bulletin board. Thank you.

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#46 Benny Botts
March 14 2012, 03:08PM
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@Dman09

....Your comparing yakupov and grigorenko to crosby and malkin ??.....I thought not

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#47 Dman09
March 14 2012, 03:34PM
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Benny Botts wrote:

....Your comparing yakupov and grigorenko to crosby and malkin ??.....I thought not

My point is you never know until they develop. You have no clue where either of those two are going to be in a few years. Look at Stamkos 50 goals again. You just never know.

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#48 tileguy
March 14 2012, 03:35PM
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J.G. wrote NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: A late start, a battle between the 29th and 30th place team, yet many of you can't look away. You'll watch because you've become immune to the pain of watching a losing team. You still will cheer for goals, yell at the TV during giveaways, dumb decisions or weak calls. You will be torn though at 10 p.m. when Modern Family comes on. Will you watch the lovely Claire and Gloria or the trainwreck known as the Jackets and the Oilers. If you couldn't use PVR I wonder what you'll do at 10 o'clock? And Dragons Den at 8 pm, looks like the oilers will only get an hr of my attention tonight. Gawd this is painful, what's worse watching underachieving hockey or reading the bitchin next day. I really want to just turn the lights out on this season.

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#49 Dman09
March 14 2012, 03:38PM
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@Bryzarro World

Not all trades or signings work out either. Belanger and Cheechoo hell Cheechoo had 93 points one season and where is he now? The Minors, would you be happy having traded for him expecting to get a annual 70+ point player?

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#50 Wax Man Riley
March 14 2012, 04:36PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

Can you read? I said "passed over" He wasn't... Make yourself look smarter when you can comprehend what you read. How many times has he been passed over by other orgs?

Messam is your answer? So he is a coach or Gm? He makes player/roster/scheme decisions? Or was he a spoiled brat who needed to be put in line?

And you wanna talk players? Ummm.. Know a couple guys named barker and potter to name only a few. You get lucky once in a while but get burned way more often than not.

Wooooooooooo..... Serenity now fired up today!

Now, now, no need to insult anyone on a one word reply.

@blak the caveman

Hi Blak

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