The Paajarvi Recall/Non-Recall

Jonathan Willis
March 31 2012 01:09PM

The Edmonton Oilers ended up looking a little silly yesterday. First, they recalled Magnus Paajarvi. Tom Renney talked about him playing on the top line with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle. Then, the Oilers had to return Paajarvi to the AHL after the NHL informed them they’d used their allotted four post-deadline recalls.

What does it mean?

The Paajarvi Camp

I tweeted Gunnar Svenson, the agent for Magnus Paajarvi last night, to ask if the Oilers had offered them any explanation for the abortive recall. His response:

No Jonathan. But the Oilers meant well. They liked to have Magnus up. But the CBA rules could be complicaded (sic)...

It would seem that there aren’t any hard feelings on that end of things, which is probably the most important thing here.

The Actual Mechanics of the Recall

Here is the list of the Oilers’ post-deadline recalls, courtesy of the AHL’s official website, which tracks things like this:

  • February 27: Oilers recall Magnus Paajarvi
  • March 5: Oilers recall Linus Omark
  • March 14: Oilers recall Teemu Hartikainen
  • March 24: Oilers recall Chris VandeVelde
  • March 30: Oilers recall Magnus Paajarvi

As we can see, there are five recalls. As has been much-publicized, only four recalls are permitted after the deadline.

Two of these transactions in particular are interesting: the February 27 recall of Paajarvi and the March 24 recall of VandeVelde.

Here’s what Dan Tencer had to say about the Paajarvi transaction:

The Oilers had previously assigned and recalled Paajarvi as a paper transaction to get him eligible for OKC playoffs.

That’s the transaction that many forgot about – because Paajarvi never really went anywhere. The Oilers simply wanted to ensure that Paajarvi could play in the AHL without actually sending him down. The irony is that Paajarvi didn’t end up playing another game for the Oilers under his paper recall – the Oilers sent him down (in what turned out to be for good) on March 1 without him dressing once more. So, the Oilers could have sent him down with no negative consequences then, and not have burned one of their four recalls uselessly.

Derek Van Diest has suggested that the Oilers felt the Vande Velde recall was an “emergency” recall (recall –hehe- that he was brought up to fill in for Shawn Horcoff after the latter injured his back) but as Tyler Dellow explains that defense makes literally no sense:

Where I would assume that this gets problematic is that, come Wednesday night, Horcoff and Petrell are good to go. Omark and Vande Velde are healthy scratches. At which point, the Oilers are in breach of 13.12(m)(i) because they haven’t returned Vande Velde promptly to OKC. How do you resolve this? It appears that the NHL took the utterly reasonable route of simply treating Vande Velde as the Oilers fourth recall in the post trade deadline period.

Who made the mistake? Terry Jones, to his credit, asked Kevin Lowe for the answer to that one. Here, in part, is what Lowe told him:

“It wasn’t Tambellini at all. And I’d hate to see Ricky [Olczyk, the Oilers’ assistant general manager] take a hit on this. He is impeccable when it comes to dealing with all of this.”

Lowe also took time to complain about the rule (he described it as “ludicrous”) but that’s really irrelevant window dressing. Regardless of whether the Oilers like the rules or not, they’re responsible for understanding the rules and following them.

Does It Matter?

In the grand scheme of things, will the Oilers’ failure to recall Magnus Paajarvi have any impact on the team’s ability to win games, on the long-term viability of the rebuild, or anything else? No. All it means, from that standpoint, is that the Oilers don’t get to keep Paajarvi for a short-term cup of coffee in a meaningless season.

The Oilers do end up looking silly. That isn’t good but it’s hardly the end of the world, either.

The real question that this raises publicly is whether or not the Oilers front office is especially good at what they do. This isn’t the first time the question has come up. From my profile of Rick Olczyk, a brief history:

As with any assistant general manager, we don’t have a full-picture view of Olczyk – the majority of his decisions and takes on things are spelled out internally and unlike with a team’s general manager we can’t really determine what those decisions were from the direction of the team. There are, however, some interesting points. One of the interesting things to come out of the Dany Heatley boondoggle was the fact that apparently both the Oilers and Senators were confused about when Heatley’s bonus was payable, which reflects badly on Olczyk. Then there was the time the Oilers may have been confused by Gilbert Brule’s waiver eligibility. Then there was that time that someone high up in the organization didn’t know how long the team had to sign Teemu Hartikainen. Again, it needs to be emphasized that we’re constructing a picture based on glimpses, but those sorts of things look really bad.

Again, it needs to be emphasized that the picture we’re getting is far less than whole. I certainly don’t feel I’m in a position to objectively evaluate Rick Olczyk’s job performance; I simply don’t have the information to do that. To my knowledge, nobody outside the Oilers’ organization has the necessary information to do that.

What we do have are these little gaffes.  Apparent confusion about the payment of Dany Heatley's bonus (though the Oilers weren't alone on that) and Gilbert Brule's waiver eligibility.  There was some definite confusion (from an unnamed Oilers source) on when the deadline was to sign Teemu Hartikainen.  And now, an embarassing little incident where they recalled a player they weren't allowed to recall.  None of these things assure us that the Oilers are running a professional shop.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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.
Avatar
#1 Oilcruzer
March 31 2012, 01:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Unbelievable

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

This would never happen if Tallon or Burke was in charge of this joke of an organization.

Avatar
#3 The 'Real' Ron Burgundy
March 31 2012, 01:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Someone is to blame here. It may be Rick's job to keep track of it, but whomever is his boss(be it Lowe or 'Slackellini') is supposed to be in charge and sign off on all transactions.

If the management can't properly plan something as simple as maximizing 4 remaining call-ups, how on Earth can we expect them to plan for ANYTHING harder....like building a team that can compete for the playoffs.

Avatar
#4 Marshall Law
March 31 2012, 01:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

This would never happen if Tallon or Burke was in charge of this joke of an organization.

Do you really want to be trumpeting Burke's name right now?

Avatar
#6 Reg Dunlop
March 31 2012, 01:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I don't feel too confident with a guy named Ricky in a position of authority. Maybe to set up strippers for a stag, but not to help plan the path of the oil. Kevin Lowe, sure if you need someone to fall on the puck in the corner at the end of a tight game, not so much as a GM.

Any chance Katz gets wind of this in his palatial Vancouver estate or is he too excited about the hometown Canuck playoff chances?

Avatar
#7 Zed
March 31 2012, 01:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Small things are just what they are. Small. Put them in a jar and eventually the jar becomes full.

From the big boss' perspective, I'm curious on how full the jar is on some of the folks mentioned in this article.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jonathan Willis

Yes I recall the team he built won a Stanley Cup. They gave him a ring even though he was no longer with the team. Now he's got his team in the playoffs while the bozos running the Oilers can't even count up to five.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Marshall Law

Burke has had more managerial success than all the monkeys running the Oilers combined.

Avatar
#10 JackBauer
March 31 2012, 02:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Something worse than this actually did happen under Tallon.

Are you refering to the RFA incident a few years ago that made the Hawks have to sign Buttfuglin and a few others at ridiculously high rates?

Avatar
#11 TigerUnderGlass
March 31 2012, 02:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Jonathan Willis

The most likely explanation in my mind is simply that they know the rule just fine but thought with the potential grey area around the VandeVelde recall they would try and sneak one past the league.

I'm firmly aboard the fire management train but I don't consider this to mean much at all. There are more than enough real mistakes to fire them over.

Avatar
#12 etownman
March 31 2012, 02:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Somebody's gotta have something to b*tch about!

Avatar
#13 sloppy joe
March 31 2012, 02:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jonathan Willis

lol. solid gold.

Avatar
#14 sloppy joe
March 31 2012, 02:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

oops. that last post was supposed to include your reply to DSF.

Avatar
#15 Back East Oiler
March 31 2012, 02:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

As a matter of fact, the entire Oilers Public Relations Staff should be looked at: Website links that do not link to anything, or to the wrong feature; the Website does not resize for portrait orientation on mobile devices, or does not recognize when a device changed orientation; lousy video and audio quality that alternates between barely audible and blowing out speakers, even within the same interview - the list goes on and on and on.

I am an Oilers Fan from way back - they can do no wrong, in my mind - but I thank God wayyyyy to often, than should be necessary (considering the Oilers are an entertainment business first and foremost) that the rest of the league does not spend much time looking at what this organization presents to its Fans. Those looking would inevitably come to the conclusion that "Mickey Mouse" accurately describes this organization's public relations efforts (quoting a former Oilers Great, who at the time spoke about an organization, which today is exemplary in how it communicates with its public). This, too, should be part of the Rebuild; get it together, Oilers ...

Avatar
#16 Clarence Oveur
March 31 2012, 02:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Total Recall?

Avatar
#17 Marshall Law
March 31 2012, 02:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Burke has had more managerial success than all the monkeys running the Oilers combined.

He's great when he inherits a good team. Not so great when he inherits a bad one.

Avatar
#18 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 31 2012, 02:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The optics of this are on par for a 29th place club. The players know they'll have to be patient while the management group gets its ship together.

That's the beauty of this management team the Oilers have in place. On a team, nobody has to take the blame for poor performance.

Avatar
#19 Jasmine
March 31 2012, 03:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

This would never happen if Tallon or Burke was in charge of this joke of an organization.

Are you serious. Tallon missed the deadline to qualify 9 RFA while in Chicago. Burke trade first round draft picks.

Avatar
#20 50 in 39
March 31 2012, 03:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It seems to me this is the problem with leaving Lowe in an adviser or elder statesman role. Nobody knows for sure who to hold accountable for what. If extensions are handed out all around, we will know that either these guys have been given the mandate to fail or that the management structure is so inept that it cannot provide accountability for anyone's actions. Either way the pile is starting to stink and needs to be put outside.

Avatar
#21 Jasmine
March 31 2012, 03:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Some people like D S F just like to bitch and complain anything the Oilers do.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Marshall Law

Haha that is the most ridiculous arguement I've heard in a while. Keep going with that logic and ask your self what has Anaheim done since he left?

Avatar
#23 master of my domain
March 31 2012, 03:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

This would never happen if Tallon or Burke was in charge of this joke of an organization.

and if Burke was in charge, the oil would probably have Kessel instead of Hall and Nuge, NO THANKS

Avatar
#25 nathan
March 31 2012, 03:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

This would never happen if Tallon or Burke was in charge of this joke of an organization.

Ignore the troll, folks. He knew yesterday the response to his troll would be Tallon's UFA.

NATHAN says: March 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm ...Waiting for DSF to drop by and tell us Tallon would never mess up paperwork.

DSF says: Tallon messed up AFTER he won a cup...

(current DSF plus/minus = -20 decibels SNR)

Avatar
#26 nathan
March 31 2012, 03:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

(above from LT's blog)

Avatar
#27 Giant Squid Overlord
March 31 2012, 03:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Don't forget Lowe drafting a non-eligible player in the entry draft a few years back.

Still,these mistakes do cause me a little concern, but at the same time they are hardly significant, and the brass need to be evaluated on their faults and merits. If Tambo pulls off a GREAT trade at the draft, should we really care about these little blips? All they are is fuel for the "fire management" side and something to talk about at the end of a disappointing season.

Avatar
#28 nathan
March 31 2012, 04:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The "official broadcaster" claimed they were told the recall was run past the NHL 2 days in advance and the unofficial answer was to proceed as per the Tambi quote:

“We believed we had confirmation to recall Magnus in one of our four call-ups after the trade deadline”

So it's either:

* there was some real confusion at the NHL office as well re: whether or not to count the deadline phantom recall.

* or someone's lying and it's more serious.

LT suggested today that the real issue is that they've made their bed and the bad optics just reinforce what everyone already thinks.

Imagine what Katz would have said if Tambi had told him we're concerned about the optics if official ruling changes so we're keeping the player at OKC an extra day while we wait for the official ruling.

Katz has to decide is he trusts these guys. This is the least of his worries.

Avatar
#29 Giant Squid Overlord
March 31 2012, 04:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Come to think of it, that draft "FAIL" probably could be attributed to Pendergast who I believe was the man in charge for the draft, so it probably doesn't apply to current management. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this.

Avatar
#30 Oilcruzer
March 31 2012, 04:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

*meanwhile, the Benny Hill theme is playing in the background to the Oiler's in-house, office video monitoring feed*

Avatar
#31 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 31 2012, 04:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jasmine wrote:

Some people like D S F just like to bitch and complain anything the Oilers do.

Maybe he's just fed up with multiple 30th place/next to last place finishes. If this isn't a time and place for criticism, could you please tell us when is?

Is what's happened here in Edmonton the last 5 yrs normal/acceptable to you?

Avatar
#32 DSF
March 31 2012, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Something worse than this actually did happen under Tallon.

Please note the spaces in the post you responded to.

Avatar
#33 TT
March 31 2012, 04:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

This would never happen if Tallon or Burke was in charge of this joke of an organization.

Ya, that Tallon guy never makes mistakes! Ha!

Avatar
#34 godot10
March 31 2012, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

This would never happen if Tallon or Burke was in charge of this joke of an organization.

Tallon didn't get three qualifying offers out in time, and cost the Blackhawks a small fortune, and maybe Niemi too.

Avatar
#35 jake
March 31 2012, 05:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Does it matter? The answer can be found in the article.....

"Does It Matter?

In the grand scheme of things, will the Oilers’ failure to recall Magnus Paajarvi have any impact on the team’s ability to win games, on the long-term viability of the rebuild, or anything else? NO. All it means, from that standpoint, is that the Oilers don’t get to keep Paajarvi for a short-term cup of coffee in a meaningless season."

Avatar
#36 nathan
March 31 2012, 05:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
DSF wrote:

Please note the spaces in the post you responded to.

Brilliant. An obvious troll but missed the spaces. A troll trolling the troll? Or a plausible deniability troll. This one goes to troll central in Toronto to review the IP logs.

Avatar
#37 Jasmine
March 31 2012, 05:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

D S F is a troll. He bashes the Oilers every chance he gets.

Avatar
#38 Wanyes bastard child
March 31 2012, 05:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Think the Teubert re-call will work :P

Avatar
#39 nathan
March 31 2012, 05:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jasmine wrote:

D S F is a troll. He bashes the Oilers every chance he gets.

DSF trolls Oilers fans. D S F is a meta troll.

Avatar
#40 RexLibris
March 31 2012, 06:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Thanks for the article, Jonathan. Flames fans were laughing pretty hard last night and are using this as a jumping off point to say that the Oilers are going to fall apart when the contract negotiations open up next January, implying, of course, that "there is no way that the Oilers can afford to sign all of this talent even though it will turn out not to be very good in the end".

When I first heard about this the Dale Tallon/ Stan Bowman scenario was the first one that came to mind. Oh, and that embarassing Darryl Sutter "we only have enough cap space to dress 15 skaters" incident a few years back.

This does make me a little concerned about Rick Olczyk though. This team is going to need a very steady and sharp mind at the helm of the cap situation next year and the year's following. As well, the next CBA isn't likely to be negotiated any more clearly or simplistically.

I'm not going to say that Olczyk needs to be fired. His job and performance are too nebulous for outsiders to properly assess for that to be declared. However, I can't say that I am filled with much confidence in this area of the organization at the moment.

Avatar
#41 Marshall Law
March 31 2012, 06:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Haha that is the most ridiculous arguement I've heard in a while. Keep going with that logic and ask your self what has Anaheim done since he left?

Anaheim won with a great collection of talent that was in place when Burke arrived. They haven't been able to retain all of that talent since because of something called a salary cap. When Perry and Getzlaf needed new deals, they had to offload some big contracts, weakening their team in the process. Burke was simply in the right place at the right time.

I think the better question to ask is what has Toronto done since he's arrived? So far they haven't been much more successful than the Oilers. But at least the Oilers had the good sense to keep their picks during their period of embarrassment.

The Oilers even have more playoff appearances than the leafs since the lockout...

Avatar
#42 Wax Man Riley
March 31 2012, 07:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Burke has had more managerial success than all the monkeys running the Oilers combined.

Why would you throw Burke's name out there?

Fireburke.ca

Avatar
#43 Dog Train
March 31 2012, 07:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If we were a competitive team, then this would just get swept under the rug. Since we're not, this is just more fuel for the 'fire management' crew. I don't think it's a big deal but this management team has yet to prove that they actually know what they are doing. The rebuild has bought them years of 'keeping things in perspective' but incidents like this sure don't inspire any confidence.

Avatar
#44 Wanyes bastard child
March 31 2012, 07:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

So... With Petry, Smid and Pecker not going on the road trip that puts our defense at Shultz/Whitney, Potter/Sutton and Teubert/Barker. QSB must be happy since it looks like we have a chance to catch Montreal now :(

Avatar
#45 nathan
March 31 2012, 07:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

D S F is a different userid than DSF

http://oilersnation.com/users/1967 Display Name: D S F Joined: October 21 2010 06:54PM

http://oilersnation.com/users/796 Display Name: DSF Joined: February 02 2010 01:01PM

If you google oilersnation users1967 the current google index shows that user 1967 was recently Koolaid Drinker #33.

Google shows Koolaid Drinker #33 posts back to 2010.

And there is this old post form "D S F"

#51 D S F December 22 2011, 09:42PM When Eberle scores his trick tonight, I will change my handle to Koolaid Drinker #33.

Either googles all messed up today or....

Avatar
#46 DSF
March 31 2012, 07:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
RexLibris wrote:

Thanks for the article, Jonathan. Flames fans were laughing pretty hard last night and are using this as a jumping off point to say that the Oilers are going to fall apart when the contract negotiations open up next January, implying, of course, that "there is no way that the Oilers can afford to sign all of this talent even though it will turn out not to be very good in the end".

When I first heard about this the Dale Tallon/ Stan Bowman scenario was the first one that came to mind. Oh, and that embarassing Darryl Sutter "we only have enough cap space to dress 15 skaters" incident a few years back.

This does make me a little concerned about Rick Olczyk though. This team is going to need a very steady and sharp mind at the helm of the cap situation next year and the year's following. As well, the next CBA isn't likely to be negotiated any more clearly or simplistically.

I'm not going to say that Olczyk needs to be fired. His job and performance are too nebulous for outsiders to properly assess for that to be declared. However, I can't say that I am filled with much confidence in this area of the organization at the moment.

Great post.

It's unlikely that Tambellini was directly responsible for this snafu (more likely Olczyk) just as it is unlikely Tallon was directly responsible for mailing his qualifying offers rather than using a courier but the buck has to stop somewhere and the guy in charge normally takes the heat as Tallon did.

While this is a less serious issue, it doesn't look good on the Tambelinni regime.

Combined with his history of lack of communication and ham handed dismissal of Quinn, Prendergast and the shoddy handling of the Souray issue among others, you have to wonder how Katz views these ongoing issues.

Avatar
#47 PutzStew
March 31 2012, 07:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

This pisses me off ....

“It wasn’t Tambellini at all. And I’d hate to see Ricky [Olczyk, the Oilers’ assistant general manager] take a hit on this. He is impeccable when it comes to dealing with all of this.”

We all know it was his fault, it is Rick's job after all. And hey we all make mistakes. What bothers me the most is hearing that F** A**hole Lowe throw another person under the bus. Yep good way to show accountability.

I haven't agreed with Lowe for a long time but I always respected him because some of the chances I had to meet him in the 80's. After hearing crap like that, well it tops things off. Lowe and Tambi have gotten rid of coaches, training staff, admin staff and scouts all because they are bad for the team. This error just gives them another "out" when the need to "get rid of someone for for the good of the team". There are so many better ways you could have phased...such poor leadership for the general.

Kevin, you are looser. You don't deserve the job you have and to be honest I am going to forget that you ever had anything to do with this once great team. Please don't let the door hit you on a** on the way out.

SAD, SAD, SAD

Avatar
#48 DieHard
March 31 2012, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Just trying to give PRV some NHL time on top line prior to hopefully a long run with AHL playoffs. Some questionable issues regarding the call-ups. For Christ sake, go fot it. You did and it didn't fly. Oh well, NOBODY FREAKIN DIED

Avatar
#49 DieHard
March 31 2012, 08:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Oh GO WEST KELOWNA

Avatar
#50 Dlas
March 31 2012, 08:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Its time to cheer for M&M.

Comments are closed for this article.