THE WAY I SEE IT

Robin Brownlee
July 25 2012 01:07PM

Fake names or not, fans who post on sites like this are real people with real lives. While that can get lost sometimes amid the goofy handles, that simple fact came back into focus for me today reading Tinfoil Tuque's item about his daughter and his participation in Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer.

It takes courage to relate very personal and often painful stories – when it comes to cancer, unfortunately almost all of us have at least one -- to a group of people you've never met, and I applaud his willingness to do so and his choice to help raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society Sept. 22.

As anybody who knows him would expect, Jason Gregor of TEAM 1260 chimed in on Tinfoil Tuque's item, saying he might enter a team in the event. Is there a media person, any person, in Edmonton who does more in the name of charity than Gregor? No.

Tinfoil Tuque beat me to the punch today with his story, and that's fine, but I'll also be playing in the all-day event Sept. 22. Lyle Best, likely best-known by hockey fans for his participation with the Edmonton Copper Jackets and as fine a citizen as you'll find in this town, has asked me to play on his team and I've taken him up on that.

While it's been 25 years or so since I've played road hockey, I'm willing to shuffle around the rink all day if Best and his Cancer Crushers team are willing to have me. I'll be playing in memory of my mom, Joan Mary Stewart, taken by cancer when she was just 48, and my brother-in-law Arman Agustin, who passed away last July at the age of 50.

If you'd like to contribute to the cause, the link to my Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer page is here. If you'd like to enter a team of your own, you can do that here. TinFoil Tuque, Brownlee or Gregor, the name doesn't matter. The cause does. Do what you can.

AT RANDOM . . .

. . . It's terrific to see former Oiler Steve Staios land a hockey job, even if it is with the Toronto Maple Leafs, after hanging up his skates as a player. As honest a player as you’d ever meet, Staios always gave you what he had during his NHL career. He'll do the same in his new job. Should have been a guy Steve Tambellini put a call into.

. . . Zach Parise gets $98 million over 13 years from the Minnesota Wild while Alex Semin, who has performed at an equal, if not higher, level offensively through seven NHL seasons, sits and awaits an offer as an UFA. Parise has 194-216-410 and .82 PPG in 502 games. Semin has 197-211-408 and .87 PPG in 469 games. There is more to assessing NHL talent than a spreadsheet, and Semin is Exhibit A when it comes to that.

. . . The clock is ticking on 630 CHED as the radio rights holder of Oilers broadcasts. CHED has two more years left on its deal, but if Bell Media's acquisition of Astral Media is okayed by the CRTC and partner TSN moves into the city as a radio entity, there'll be a battle for rights. In any case, if Bell gets the green light, there's going to be changes on both ends of the radio dial by the time the puck drops on the 2014-15 season.

. . . When Tambellini acquired Ryan Whitney from Anaheim for popular Lubomir Visnovsky, I applauded the deal because the Oilers were getting a younger defenseman for less money. I went as far as to say Whitney would outscore Visnovsky during their current contracts. With Whitney missing big chunks of time since with foot and ankle problems, that isn’t going to happen. That said, Whitney is 29 and Visnovsky is 36 and facing the prospect of playing with the New York Islanders in his declining years. If the Oilers can re-sign Whitney at a decent dollar, which seems likely, and IF he bounces back from his medical woes, it'll wash out as a good deal. It's one I’d make again.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 DJ Dynasty Handbag
July 25 2012, 01:58PM
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i dunno...the thought of semin leaves a bad taste in my mouth*

*TWSS

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#2 Wax Man Riley
July 25 2012, 09:13PM
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Made my donation for Road Hockey to Tinfoil Tuque, and I am always so grateful to those that participate in events like these.

I am writing this from the palliative care unit where I have been with my mom for a week. I have watched the disease take everything from her in 2 short years, and now she can no longer speak or even wake up.

I hope she finds peace soon. Love you mom.

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#3 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 25 2012, 01:13PM
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There's just something about Semin I don't like. His numbers are fine, but all those rumors of him half-assing it coupled with that girly fight video has kind of poisoned him in my mind as a player.

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#4 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
July 25 2012, 01:31PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

This seems to me like an opportunity. Offer Semin a low-ball 2 year deal (4.5?) and see what happens. He's got a lot to prove and he's good at hockey.

An opportunity to look stupid

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
July 25 2012, 05:04PM
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@ Beaker

Just need to be the motivated buyer Beaker. Who ever thought Chris Pronger would wear an Oiler jersey, if even for one season only? The desire/need to improve your roster needs to gain some momentum after the Schultz signing.

One motivated buyer who believes in a vision/or kid, is all that's required. Edmonton could impress Buffalo,Florida or Columbus with a package.... if they wanted to. Hopefully soon they will shift out of this hold pattern they seem to have established.

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#6 Oilcruzer
July 25 2012, 09:49PM
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FRAK. Does anyone here know for sure that the Oil or anyone else hasn't made an offer?

It doesn't work like some here suggest anyway.

Call to agent, small talk, get a feel where he's at, then let them know you will put x on the table if they don't get their number. Then you call once in a while to ask how the weather is.

If anyone thinks that no one GM hasn't done that, then.. Well nevermind, you wouldn't understand anyway.

(btw... I clarified my rationale on keeping the KlefBOMB. Shouldnt have used the phrase Franchise Player. Still say its retarded to trade a player with huge expectations before he's played one game in the show.)

And it's "should have" not "should of" da.mnit!

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#7 TigerUnderGlass
July 25 2012, 01:27PM
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This seems to me like an opportunity. Offer Semin a low-ball 2 year deal (4.5?) and see what happens. He's got a lot to prove and he's good at hockey.

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#8 TigerUnderGlass
July 25 2012, 01:35PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

An opportunity to look stupid

Good one. You sure are funny. I bet you hate Ales Hemsky and Tom Gilbert too. Anyone with something worthwhile to say about it?

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#9 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 01:37PM
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I agree with TigerUnderGlass, but I would have a lower initial offer. I would start at 3.5 for 2 years.

Does anyone know if he is fielding offers and is being selective or if he has yet to get an offer.

Imagine the forward lines if he could be had at a reasonable cap hit.

Semin-Nuge-Eberle

Hall-Gagner-Yakupov

Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky

Paajarvi-Belanger-Hartikainan

Either Hordichuk or Eager as our 10th.

Semin is not one of my favorite players and I hate to add players without good work ethic as they can be a cancer. That being said he has natural talent and maybe Krueger can motivate him to work harder.

Semin with something to prove could add one more elite forward to an already scary lineup. You could also elect to play Semin opposite Yakupov so he has another Russian speeking player on his line.

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#10 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 01:42PM
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I agree it is a risk, but hard not to consider adding a bigger elite skilled player with something to prove if he can be had on the cheap.

For the record I am not a Hemsky fan either. He has elite skill, but he hangs on to the puck too long. He is unpredicatable which makes him hard to defend but it also makes it hard to find good chemistry with him.

It is not hard to see the frustration on his linemates face when they are open and he elects to hangon to it and then ends up turning it over.

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#11 TigerUnderGlass
July 25 2012, 01:43PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I agree with TigerUnderGlass, but I would have a lower initial offer. I would start at 3.5 for 2 years.

Does anyone know if he is fielding offers and is being selective or if he has yet to get an offer.

Imagine the forward lines if he could be had at a reasonable cap hit.

Semin-Nuge-Eberle

Hall-Gagner-Yakupov

Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky

Paajarvi-Belanger-Hartikainan

Either Hordichuk or Eager as our 10th.

Semin is not one of my favorite players and I hate to add players without good work ethic as they can be a cancer. That being said he has natural talent and maybe Krueger can motivate him to work harder.

Semin with something to prove could add one more elite forward to an already scary lineup. You could also elect to play Semin opposite Yakupov so he has another Russian speeking player on his line.

No chance 3.5 happens for 2 years. If he takes that low it's on 1 year deal to prove he should get more. I doubt he'd even do that. 4.5 is a steal and just might luck the team into a second year.

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#12 The Soup Fascist
July 25 2012, 01:53PM
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@ Cody Anderson

What about Jonesy? We just signed Petrell?

Can't see both Harti and MPS here with the glut of average to poor forwards on one ways. Feel free to get rid of Belanger. Not sure if there is a big line up for him. Like the old lawnmower you leave with the "FREE" sign on it on your driveway. No one wants our junk.

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#13 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 01:55PM
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I meant as our 13th forward, and then they can be rotated into the lineup depending what team we are playing.

I would be interested to findout what the record is for number of first round selctions playing on 1 team.

This would be 9 of our 12 forwards and 2 (potentially 3 if klefbom stays) of our defence and our starting goalie all being 1st round draft choices.

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#14 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 02:04PM
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I like Jones, and he is a little more offensive then Hartikainan but not as physycal which this team is lacking. I have him on the team with the current depth chart, but Semin makes one of them expendable.

I am unsure of Semin's current offers. I would start out with a lowball because I have not heard of any other offers. I would go up to the 4.5 you are suggesting if needed.

I would be pushing the fact that he will be surrounded by elite talent and is bound to have a couple of career high seasons and rid himself of the reputation that is currently dogging him.

If Semin accepted the offer then it would make one/two of Jones, Hemsky, Petrell or Hartikainan tradeable.

I would not trade Belanger unless we are replacing him. I am not sure Lander is an upgrade. Petrell is a solid defense/PK prospect, but I would take Harti or Paajarvi over him anyday.

If no trades happen I would start Petrell in the minors.

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#15 The Soup Fascist
July 25 2012, 02:27PM
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Yes. You need to get rid of some guys - just not sure of market. We disagree on Belanger. Only positive is could he possibly be as bad as last year? He was atrocious. Pretty sure my German Shepard would add more offence.

What did MPS and Harti ever do to you that you would play them with Belanger? OGDP - first game out they are dubbed Doughnut line. No center.

I know Petrell is not a dynamo, but he is dirt tough. I like him better than Jones or obviously Belanger.

I really hope Eager figures it out. If he plays on or just over the edge he could be an X-factor. If not - he is JS Jacques 2.0.

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#16 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 02:44PM
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I think Belanger will improve over last year. I am certainly open to replacing him but I don't think offense is one of the things I would be worried about in that spot. I also want a cap hit of 2 million or less on a 4th line center.

I want a center who is a descent size, physical, can win draws, and is defensively responsible. I see Harti as a 3rd or 4th line player. He is reasonably big, physical, willing to block shots and can chip in a little offensively. I would prefer to put Paajarvi on the 1st or 2nd line and see what he does with elite players, but if Semin is here there is not a spot for him in the top 6.

I like Petrell in a defensive role. I think of Jones, Harti, and Petrell; Jones has the most offense and I put Petrell behind Harti unless we are leaking goals on the PK then I would make the switch.

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#17 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 02:47PM
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I would be looking to move Eager. I don't think we have a spot for 2 toughs and after hearing Hordichuk's recent interviews I think he is our best option for that role. I would hate to see Paajarvi, Hartikainan or Jones play in the minors so that Eager can fill a roster spot.

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#18 Walter Sobchak
July 25 2012, 02:53PM
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It's not that Semin is lazy or a poor forward, I think it's because he's just a flat out weird duck! Like Pitkanen weird, just wont gel with people or players!

The way GM’s and teams research and reference players, I think there’s a lot of information out there that GM’s don’t want on the team.

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#19 Robin Brownlee
July 25 2012, 03:00PM
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"It's not that Semin is lazy . . ."

Actually, he is lazy. "But he still produces goals and points etc . . ."

Work ethic aside, there must be big flaws in Semin's character -- I don't know him well so I can't offer specifics -- for GMs not to have lined up to get him, just going by the numbers.

GMs don't pass on players of this caliber just because they're "odd ducks."

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#20 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 25 2012, 03:06PM
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Sign him, he's a top 3 forward on half (or better) teams in the league.

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#21 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 25 2012, 03:10PM
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I wonder if Semin has limited himself to a handful of teams and that's why he hasn't been signed yet.

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#22 TigerUnderGlass
July 25 2012, 03:15PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"It's not that Semin is lazy . . ."

Actually, he is lazy. "But he still produces goals and points etc . . ."

Work ethic aside, there must be big flaws in Semin's character -- I don't know him well so I can't offer specifics -- for GMs not to have lined up to get him, just going by the numbers.

GMs don't pass on players of this caliber just because they're "odd ducks."

Hunter seemed to have no problem with him, but media makes claims about his lazy coachkiller-ness. How many coaches did he tear through again?

It wouldn't be the first time in sports a player was snubbed for vague and mysterious reasons.

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#23 CDean
July 25 2012, 03:20PM
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As stated by others we have a full roster in NHL and near full in the AHL. It is unlikely that the Oilers will be signing any FAs unless the can get rid of some bodies for draft picks and/or prospects. I am hoping to see a trade that cleans up/out our rosters.

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#24 TigerUnderGlass
July 25 2012, 03:22PM
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CDean wrote:

As stated by others we have a full roster in NHL and near full in the AHL. It is unlikely that the Oilers will be signing any FAs unless the can get rid of some bodies for draft picks and/or prospects. I am hoping to see a trade that cleans up/out our rosters.

Makes sense. They should definitely avoid signing good players because they clearly have too many good payers already.

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#25 Hammers
July 25 2012, 03:39PM
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If Ralph is a great communicator as we have been told Semin on a 2 year 10 mil$ sound good to me . This then allows us to package a 3 for 1 deal . Hemsky ; Belanger & Jones for Tyutin & a 2nd rd pick . Columbus needs forwards .

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#26 Hammers
July 25 2012, 03:44PM
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Then again I would do that deal without Semin .As much as I love Hemsky you have to give to get back.

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#27 Tyler
July 25 2012, 03:46PM
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If we signed Semin, I say go for broke every time a we're up a man and play 5 forwards on the first PP. The Nuge with trigger men like Hall, Yak (reports are he has a better one timer then Stamkos did at his age), Eb's and Semin floating around. There are some deadly shooters in that group. I wouldn't wanna take a penalty against us. I wouldn't want to as is.

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#28 Dave Lumley
July 25 2012, 04:05PM
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Intersting that the "out of the playoff" Ducks don't offer Semin a contract. Maybe coach Bruce B. knows whether or not it is a good idea to have Semin on his team. I am sure none of his opinions on Semin are vague.

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#29 AutoOiler
July 25 2012, 04:09PM
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Yak, Gag and Hemmer on him until Semin is really going.

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#30 AutoOiler
July 25 2012, 04:10PM
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Yak, Gag and Hemmer on him until Semin is really going.

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#31 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 04:17PM
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Actually, I am happier with our dCorps to start the season then most seem to be. if I pick up another dman it would be to play on the final pairing or another prospect. With Tyutin's contract I would not do that deal. If I was trading with Columbus my first offer would be Hemsky, Belanger, and Omark for Murray or Johansen. Throw in a draft pick if required. (I know probably isn't going to happen but that would be my first offer.

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#32 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 04:21PM
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I would be willing to do our 1st and 2nd round picks plus some of our smallish offensive prospects or a D prospect not named Klefbom to get eith Johansen or Murray if they seemed like they would bite.......but I am sure that is a pipedream.

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#33 Quicksilver ballet
July 25 2012, 04:38PM
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If Lowe strikes out on Myers,Gudbranson or Murray maybe we'd be okay just going with...

Ryan Whitney-Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz-Oscar Klefbom

Justin Schultz-Ladislav Smid

Potter-Sutton

Peckham-Fedun

If Whitney can stay healthy, and Schultz and Klefbom are better than anticipated, this would make a world of difference this coming season.

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#34 The Beaker
July 25 2012, 04:47PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I would be willing to do our 1st and 2nd round picks plus some of our smallish offensive prospects or a D prospect not named Klefbom to get eith Johansen or Murray if they seemed like they would bite.......but I am sure that is a pipedream.

You would be correct, that is a pipe dream. (especially murray)

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#35 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 04:47PM
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If Klefbom is ready my D would look like

Smid-Petry

N. Shultz-J. Shultz

Whitney-Klefbom

with Sutton or Potter being the 7th.

If Klefbom is not ready I would replace him with either an acquired dman or Sutton and have Potter as the 7th.

Although training camp could change the order or the 6th and 7th spot. Peckam would need a huge improvement or he is an AHL defender. I would love for Fedun to come out and amaze us all. He looked great last year, but that was a small sample size and he looked great against other teams rookies and AHL call ups and compared to our worst in the league deffence.

He may be a good AHL player.....or he could surprise us with a great camp.

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#36 The Beaker
July 25 2012, 04:50PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I dont know why those names keep coming up. Even if there is some logic behnd them moving (cant see it) it seems likely this is one of things where only on NHL do things like this get done, in the real world when do moves like that happen?

Its like reading those NJ fans who thing they can trade us Fayne + for Hall....

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#37 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
July 25 2012, 04:54PM
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There's not much room on this bus for a character-flawed Semin or any defenceman that doesn't bring the all-mighty crust! Regardless of price, in Semin's case.

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#38 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 04:59PM
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@ Beaker I think we would have the scariest offense in the league if we signed Semin and got Johansen for draft picks and prospects.

then we could ice

Semin-Nuge-Eberle

Hall-Gagner-Yakupov

Paajarvi-Johansen-Hemsky

Smyth-Horcoff-Hartikainan/Jones

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#39 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
July 25 2012, 05:05PM
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Semin would be horrible for this team. Obviously teams don't want him for a reason and it has to be he totally sucks in the locker room. And sorry if i hurt your feelings tigerunderglass hope you recovered quickly.

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#40 Professor
July 25 2012, 05:11PM
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I wouldn't mind the Oilers signing Semin and trading Hemsky for a legit top 4 defenseman. Hemsky and Semin are very similiar players, Hemsky is better defensively but the difference is minor. I don't see Semin signing for less than 4 mil per year. He can probably get that much in the KHL. I see him signing with someone in the KHL because he won't get the money he wants here.

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#41 Word
July 25 2012, 05:13PM
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I don't think the Oilers will even consider Semin, because they're too worried that it could affect Yak when he comes in as an impressionable young player (possibly even other of the young players).

It would be entirely too easy for Yak to relate to Semin for language reasons alone, and it would be a real shame if that was who he "learned to be a pro" from. I'd bet the Oilers would be much happier having him feel comfortable livin' it up with the kids (who seem thus far to be able to keep their noses relatively clean and demonstrate great work ethic) and then relate to Khabibulin as a mentor (DUI and bad contract aside, by all accounts Bhulin is a consumate pro).

I can't help but think Semin gets a bit of a bum rap, but right now the Oilers have some great assets with limitless potential and I'm supportive if they decide not to take any risks of poisoning the well.

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#42 Cody anderson
July 25 2012, 05:22PM
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@word

I agree. Would not blame them for not making Semin an offer. If they have info that he is bad in the locker I would not take him if he would play for free. It is something that would take some digging. Talk to a number of past coaches and teammates

That being said it is hard to resist thinking about it, as on paper that adds a lot of points to our team and adds the last elite winger to our top 6, and he happens to have size.

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#43 @Oilanderp
July 25 2012, 05:22PM
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I'm holding out until we can trade all our goats for Stamkos.

P.S. ~~

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#44 G Money
July 25 2012, 06:01PM
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Seems like a great deal of Semin's "problem" is kind of the NHL version of DWB in the US ("Driving While Black") - "PHWR" aka "Playing Hockey While Russian".

He's an extremely prolific forward, is a solid plus player, the advanced stats suggest that he consistently makes his teammates better AND gets the play going in the right direction, and he wants to play in the NHL.

On the negative side, he's got the forever tainting yet entirely unfalsifiable "enigmatic" label, and as support a nasty quote from a mostly-minor-leaguer teammate.

Would be fantastic as far as I'm concerned to get him signed to a lowball offer - but I suspect he has a lower limit line in the sand (rumours suggest $6M), which if he doesn't get, he'll play in the KHL for $10M a year.

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#45 The Beaker
July 25 2012, 06:01PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

@ Beaker

Just need to be the motivated buyer Beaker. Who ever thought Chris Pronger would wear an Oiler jersey, if even for one season only? The desire/need to improve your roster needs to gain some momentum after the Schultz signing.

One motivated buyer who believes in a vision/or kid, is all that's required. Edmonton could impress Buffalo,Florida or Columbus with a package.... if they wanted to. Hopefully soon they will shift out of this hold pattern they seem to have established.

Anything can happen. The Oilers could win the cup this year. What on this team are you giving up for Gudbranson? What of that does Florida want? You can have a motivated buyer all day long but you need a motivated seller too.

Buffalo is basically building an identity around Myers they aren't going to be motivated to move him. Just like we aren't motivated to move any of the fab 4. Not impossible but goddamnit would have to be one hell of. A blockbuster, which isnt Tambos thing btw.

Murray is a big part of any sort of Hype in Columbus. Again, not a motivated buyer.

I'm sure Florida could be coaxed into a deal for Gudbranson because winning now is at a premium to get people in the stands there. However Tallon isn't an idiot he is not going to give that player up without an overpay or a very specific reason why they need to move the kid. So unless you have some inside knowledge on that there has to be some logic behind these things.

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#46 Oiler AL
July 25 2012, 06:18PM
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Providing he's not a total destroyer in the locker room, I would take a shot at this guy. He's big, can shoot, he was plus 9 last year, and most of his points come at 5/5.Even at his lazy rating, still had 54 points.

I have a feeling the reason he is still available, is they are looking for big bucks , something in the range of $6 million per.

Oilers need to get more NHL ready players on the roster.. lets not forget... injuries,, what if.. Hemsky, HaLL,Eberle go down ..nice to have this guy around.

Would you rather have Hemsky or Semin on your team? Me.. Semin

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#47 2004Z06
July 25 2012, 06:31PM
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Really getting tired of the Belanger bashing. The guy had one bad year. Almost every player does for whatever reason. He wasn't brought in to score 30 goals. He was brought in to win draws. He did that very well and infact helped all of our young forwards in the dot. One of the reasons our PP and PK was so vastly improved this year was due to puck possession. I fully expect him to bounce back next year and all the bashers can go back to picking on Horcoff. Gee I wonder why veterans don't want to play here?

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#48 The Kid
July 25 2012, 06:51PM
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@Jordan Nugent-Hallkins

All that Semin stuff is fine, but I have to say your display name is brilliant. I suggest, however, that you update it to 'Jordan Nugent-Hallupov.'Hopefully then it won't have to get any longer after this season.

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#49 Walter Sobchak
July 25 2012, 06:55PM
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@ Cody anderson

I would love to see Johansen or Murray here, I especially would be ecstatic if both were involved in the same trade.

I however would never give up our first pick next year, especially next year’s draft!

There are at least 5 great centers in next year’s draft, not to mention 3 or 4 gifted defensemen.

The Oilers might still be a lottery team as is next year. I hate to say it but the Oilers are one or two injuries away from being in last place again.

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#50 Quicksilver ballet
July 25 2012, 07:09PM
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Anything can happen. The Oilers could win the cup this year. [quoted for truth] The Beaker

You'd think that would be no surprise, or atleast closer to reality. A club consistantly in the top 10 of revenue generating teams for 5 yrs now. Too bad this isn't the case. Our Oilers are on the back end of a hat trick of first overalls despite these revenue advantages. [despite from what i hear is also with playing in a shiphole arena called Rexall place]

Maybe you're right Beaker, we should wait another 10 yrs and have Tambellini re reasses things. By now we know this is what perennial losing organizations do consistanly well.

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