TAMBELLINI'S TAKE

Robin Brownlee
January 06 2013 05:15PM

I went out on a limb (critics will say I sawed it off) by suggesting a shortened season would benefit the Edmonton Oilers two weeks ago and went as far as to say my gut-feeling was that they'd have enough gas in a sprint rather than a marathon to make the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

While we'll obviously have to see that play out (not even knowing as of writing this if the season will be 48 or 50 games) and there'll be plenty written about that post-season possibility as writers bash off season previews and prepare for an abbreviated training camp, GM Steve Tambellini met with the media today and answered a couple questions connected to my bold (foolish?) prediction. The entire interview is here.

Here's a quick hit from Tambellini's availability:

THE CORE

Tambellini was asked how much of an advantage the Oilers might have because core players -- Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, to name just three – have been playing at a high level in the AHL.

"Well, not only just the core players. The one thing I remember from the last work stoppage, I remember – I was managing Team Canada – and Ken Holland and I were sitting in the stands watching the first skate and the players who had been playing in Europe versus the players who hadn't been playing.

"The first couple days, there was quite a difference, so . . . I think there is an advantage for any player that's been playing whatever league for sure."

THE SPRINT

Tambellini was asked if a shorter season would be a benefit to the Oilers, given the aforementioned young core players, not to mention the likes of Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov, have been playing.

"I think it can be, but I think that's how most coaches and general managers are trying to position their team, hoping that most of them were playing. We've had a good amount of our young core playing for sure.

"I love the fact that they were playing in the American Hockey League, which is the same type of hockey as in the National Hockey League. It was tough for them, it was grinding for them and they had to work for everything they got. Their stats were outstanding.

"I was proud the way they brought themselves in the dressing room as a teammate. Now, it's time for them to get back to Edmonton. I was very happy with the players who played for the Oilers last year, how they contributed on and off the ice in (Oklahoma City)."

More, much more, to come.

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 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 06 2013, 05:28PM
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i want to see the oilers do well, but also want to see tambellini fired. so torn

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#2 Chet134
January 06 2013, 05:38PM
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Mr Brownlee: at the end of last year, Gagner talked to the media and explained that there was a chemistry problem in the dressing room. The older players couldn't handle there roles. Now we are 8 months later and we basically have the exact team. You can have all the talent in the world but will you put your body on the line for each other to win. Don't you think this is still a problem

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#3 revingev
January 06 2013, 05:40PM
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I tend to agree with you Robin about the sprint. While 48-50 games is not exactly a sprint. The wear and tear on a NHL player that is older with so many games in such short time could potentially be a bonus with our young Oiler team.

I see the Oilers benefiting for a few reasons. 1) With our #1 line playing some time together in advance in the AHL they will not only be in game condition out of the gates but they will also have that chemistry already in place. That also includes our PP with Schultz factored into PP chemistry to start the year. 2) Young legs will have more get up and go on these back to back nights or possible 4 games in 5 night scenerio's that could take place. 3) Coming out of the gates, it is possible the excitement from the Young players could help them win a game or two extra which in a shortened season those couple games could mean a playoff spot.

In the end, I expect by the 20 game mark we will really have a good idea of what kind of team competitively the Oilers will be VS the other teams in the NHL.

One question, maybe i missed it somewhere. The schedule will be only within conference? I have not heard the verdict on that one. Should it be only within conference, that could really affect how well a team like Detroit does with so many games in a shorter span and all the western traveling they will have to do.

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#4 The Real Scuba Steve
January 06 2013, 05:47PM
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Should we even count this season to the rebuild timeline?

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#5 DSF
January 06 2013, 05:50PM
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If DD starts the season the way he started last season, this could be over after 10 games.

Also worth noting, J. Schultz has been a turnstile the last few games in OKC and the heat is about to be turned on high.

While I believe teams that have had players active during the lockout will have an initial early advantage, more veteran, experienced teams will have the advantage for the last 25 games of a shortened season since they don't have to pace themselves.

Look for a few Cinderellas early but the clock will strike midnight about the 10 game mark.

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#6 David
January 06 2013, 05:52PM
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I've just got to say I like Tambellini. I think He's done more good than bad, has had good patience, and think he does an intelligent interview.

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#7 justDOit
January 06 2013, 05:55PM
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@DSF

DD looked good in the Spengler.

I agree about the effect of resting your team during the lockout. The quick start is great with fresh legs, but it's the stretch drive - where Eberle and Schultz could be playing their 80th games, that will be telling.

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#8 justDOit
January 06 2013, 05:58PM
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One thing I'm very interested to see this season, is what Krueger can do full-time.

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#9 David
January 06 2013, 05:59PM
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I also believe in Dubbey, Gagner, Hemsky, and Yakupov. What I don't believe in is our defense and bottom six forwards. Hard for me to say the oilers will make the playoffs.

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#10 A-Mc
January 06 2013, 06:00PM
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Win or lose (hopfully winning), im just relieved that hockey is back.

Its too early for me to make predictions or speculations on how the team will do.

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#11 Walter Sobchak
January 06 2013, 06:01PM
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DSF wrote:

If DD starts the season the way he started last season, this could be over after 10 games.

Also worth noting, J. Schultz has been a turnstile the last few games in OKC and the heat is about to be turned on high.

While I believe teams that have had players active during the lockout will have an initial early advantage, more veteran, experienced teams will have the advantage for the last 25 games of a shortened season since they don't have to pace themselves.

Look for a few Cinderellas early but the clock will strike midnight about the 10 game mark.

I agree on Dubnyk but Schultz given his body of work suggest otherwise.

If DD struggles I tend to think the kids might start to press or panic a bit especially in there own zone.

I'm hoping fr the best but expecting a old lottery position.

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#12 DSF
January 06 2013, 06:06PM
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justDOit wrote:

DD looked good in the Spengler.

I agree about the effect of resting your team during the lockout. The quick start is great with fresh legs, but it's the stretch drive - where Eberle and Schultz could be playing their 80th games, that will be telling.

Yes he did.

Now he has to show it early and often.

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#13 justDOit
January 06 2013, 06:34PM
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@DSF The Spengler tourney, where you're battling another goalie for ice time AND playing for your country where one loss could be devastating, is a lot of pressure. Dubey will be fine.

Shouldn't you be lambasting the blue-line, depth at center and bottom six forwards?

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#14 DSF
January 06 2013, 06:41PM
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justDOit wrote:

@DSF The Spengler tourney, where you're battling another goalie for ice time AND playing for your country where one loss could be devastating, is a lot of pressure. Dubey will be fine.

Shouldn't you be lambasting the blue-line, depth at center and bottom six forwards?

It's too small a sample size to be meaningful in any way.

Everything else you say is true, but if your goalie is below average, not much else matters.

Without the Wunderkids, the Barons were hammered 6-3 by the Chicago No-names this afternoon.

The Wolves are a pretty bad team but were already able to exploit the sad state of affairs among the Oilers depth at forward, D and in goal.

Scary.

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#15 Johe
January 06 2013, 06:47PM
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@DSF

Hey DSF! I missed you the last couple days! Yes, I am in that good of a mood right now!

I was just wondering why the salary cap for next year is 64.3 million? You assured me that 60 million had been agreed to. I'm confused!?!? I guess the Oilers won't have cap trouble after all. :)

Oh, and I was wondering if you ever saw my challenge from a few articles ago? here it is...

Somebody is stuck on repeat. As usual. We get it: the Oilers suck. Thank you for your insight.

How bout we add some spice and variety to our usual proceedings? I say if there's a season this year the Oilers finish ahead of the Wild. You want in on that bet? Loser has to say nothing but positive things about the winning team for the entire offseason. I'm game if you are.

Ps: I also picked Chicago to win the Cup the year they did. Before the season began. I also picked LA to win last year. So my prediction here may seem crazy, but I've been right before.

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#16 oilredemption
January 06 2013, 06:49PM
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lets remember after the last work stoppage the oilers went to the cup finals... ah yes the cinderalla run of 06....... oh ya i almost forgot, i hate you carolina hurricanes :(

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#17 Darrell
January 06 2013, 06:51PM
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DSF wrote:

It's too small a sample size to be meaningful in any way.

Everything else you say is true, but if your goalie is below average, not much else matters.

Without the Wunderkids, the Barons were hammered 6-3 by the Chicago No-names this afternoon.

The Wolves are a pretty bad team but were already able to exploit the sad state of affairs among the Oilers depth at forward, D and in goal.

Scary.

It was a close game until the third doomsday .... Can I get a prediction on the below teams in a ~48 games season ? Minny, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver ? Feel free to add any teams to make it interesting .... I predict Van, Edm, Minny and then Calgary ... It's go time dude!

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#18 David S
January 06 2013, 07:05PM
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David wrote:

I've just got to say I like Tambellini. I think He's done more good than bad, has had good patience, and think he does an intelligent interview.

You've gotta be...are you kidd...There's no way this is rea...

Holy cow. *Brain locks up*

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#19 oilredemption
January 06 2013, 07:05PM
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Playoff prediction in shortened season...

1.St.Louis Pittsburgh 2.Vancouver Boston 3.LA Washington 4.Minny New York Rangers 5.Chicago ottawa 6.Detroit philadelphia 7.Colorado Tampa Bay 8.Edmonton carolina

9.Nashville Winnipeg Jets 10.Phoneix Buffalo 11.Dallas Florida 12.Calgary New York Islanders 13.San Jose New Jersey 14.Anaheim Toronto 15.Columbus Montreal

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#20 David
January 06 2013, 07:15PM
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David S wrote:

You've gotta be...are you kidd...There's no way this is rea...

Holy cow. *Brain locks up*

Just my opinion. I'd for sure rather have him than a lot of other GM's. Burke being top of that list. He didn't try to fast track the rebuild, made what I feel where the right draft choices. For me personally 30th, 30th, 29th is a price I'm willing to pay for what our future looks like. When I look at what other struggling teams did, Toronto, Calgary, Columbus, I like the path we took, and think we chose correctly.

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#22 Darrell
January 06 2013, 07:21PM
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oilredemption wrote:

Playoff prediction in shortened season...

1.St.Louis Pittsburgh 2.Vancouver Boston 3.LA Washington 4.Minny New York Rangers 5.Chicago ottawa 6.Detroit philadelphia 7.Colorado Tampa Bay 8.Edmonton carolina

9.Nashville Winnipeg Jets 10.Phoneix Buffalo 11.Dallas Florida 12.Calgary New York Islanders 13.San Jose New Jersey 14.Anaheim Toronto 15.Columbus Montreal

Cool - thanks!

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#23 dougtheslug
January 06 2013, 08:08PM
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DSF wrote:

It's too small a sample size to be meaningful in any way.

Everything else you say is true, but if your goalie is below average, not much else matters.

Without the Wunderkids, the Barons were hammered 6-3 by the Chicago No-names this afternoon.

The Wolves are a pretty bad team but were already able to exploit the sad state of affairs among the Oilers depth at forward, D and in goal.

Scary.

Tied until midway through the third, empty net goal, plus it was the Barons third game in less than three days, hardly a hammering. The Wolves are in the identical place in their division as the Barons, plus have only a slightly worse winning percentage. Jeez, DSF, not only are you extrapolating from a small sample, but making things up just to stir the pot. Plus even us dumb Oiler fans can figure out that the Barons won't be as good minus the TOP THREE PLAYERS IN THE WHOLE AHL FFS!!!!!!!!!

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#24 DSF
January 06 2013, 08:11PM
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Darrell wrote:

It was a close game until the third doomsday .... Can I get a prediction on the below teams in a ~48 games season ? Minny, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver ? Feel free to add any teams to make it interesting .... I predict Van, Edm, Minny and then Calgary ... It's go time dude!

Sure.

1) MINN

2) STL

3) LAK

4) VCR

5) DET

6) CHI

7) SJS

8) COL

9) NSH

10) CAL

11) DAL

12) EDM

13) PHX

14) CLB

15) ANA

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#25 DSF
January 06 2013, 08:16PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Tied until midway through the third, empty net goal, plus it was the Barons third game in less than three days, hardly a hammering. The Wolves are in the identical place in their division as the Barons, plus have only a slightly worse winning percentage. Jeez, DSF, not only are you extrapolating from a small sample, but making things up just to stir the pot. Plus even us dumb Oiler fans can figure out that the Barons won't be as good minus the TOP THREE PLAYERS IN THE WHOLE AHL FFS!!!!!!!!!

6-3 is a hammering anyway you want to slice it.

The Wolves haven't had the Canucks best four players in the lineup all season.

Put the Sedins, Kesler and Bieksa in the Wolves lineup for almost half a season and the Barons would be so far in the rear view mirror it would make your head spin.

The Wolves top scorer is some guy named Brett Sterling...I expect the Sedins may have fared a little better in the AHL.

LOL.

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#26 Johe
January 06 2013, 08:20PM
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@DSF

Ignoring my post again?

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#27 DSF
January 06 2013, 08:39PM
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Johe wrote:

Ignoring my post again?

Yes, the Wild will finish ahead of the Oilers.

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#28 Mikey
January 06 2013, 08:40PM
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DSF wrote:

6-3 is a hammering anyway you want to slice it.

The Wolves haven't had the Canucks best four players in the lineup all season.

Put the Sedins, Kesler and Bieksa in the Wolves lineup for almost half a season and the Barons would be so far in the rear view mirror it would make your head spin.

The Wolves top scorer is some guy named Brett Sterling...I expect the Sedins may have fared a little better in the AHL.

LOL.

We have gone threw this before. The Sedins are a lot older. More experience. Plus what did they do at this age? ie third year in the league. This year will be a telling year for the oilers even if its only 50 games.

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#29 Darrell
January 06 2013, 08:41PM
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DSF wrote:

Sure.

1) MINN

2) STL

3) LAK

4) VCR

5) DET

6) CHI

7) SJS

8) COL

9) NSH

10) CAL

11) DAL

12) EDM

13) PHX

14) CLB

15) ANA

COOL! Look fwd to see how we stack up! Cheers!

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#30 Czar
January 06 2013, 08:42PM
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DSF wrote:

If DD starts the season the way he started last season, this could be over after 10 games.

Also worth noting, J. Schultz has been a turnstile the last few games in OKC and the heat is about to be turned on high.

While I believe teams that have had players active during the lockout will have an initial early advantage, more veteran, experienced teams will have the advantage for the last 25 games of a shortened season since they don't have to pace themselves.

Look for a few Cinderellas early but the clock will strike midnight about the 10 game mark.

Several teams could be out of it after 10 games,not just the Oilers.

Schultz has never had an NHL quality defenseman beside him to cover for his rookie mistakes.I'm just happy the kid chose Edmonton, I'll live with the growing pains.

Some of your older more veteran teams might be more prone to injury with the condensed schedule and no preseason games.

There are always cinderella stories to a certain extent in the NHL, your latest love in Florida for example. Some will last the full schedule and others will have the wheels fall off in a hurry,very bold prediction sir.

Just glad we get to see some NHL hockey,Cheers!

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#31 Johe
January 06 2013, 08:44PM
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@DSF

So you'll take the bet?

Also, please explain the salary cap...

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#32 dougtheslug
January 06 2013, 08:45PM
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DSF wrote:

6-3 is a hammering anyway you want to slice it.

The Wolves haven't had the Canucks best four players in the lineup all season.

Put the Sedins, Kesler and Bieksa in the Wolves lineup for almost half a season and the Barons would be so far in the rear view mirror it would make your head spin.

The Wolves top scorer is some guy named Brett Sterling...I expect the Sedins may have fared a little better in the AHL.

LOL.

It will be so nice now, that instead of your fantasies and loose interpretation of reality, we get to start to deal with the facts as they unfold. Good luck with your Canucks. Sounds like they have a lot of great players developing down on the farm.

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#33 DSF
January 06 2013, 08:46PM
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Mikey wrote:

We have gone threw this before. The Sedins are a lot older. More experience. Plus what did they do at this age? ie third year in the league. This year will be a telling year for the oilers even if its only 50 games.

What happened 10 years ago is about as important as what socks you were wearing then.

In other words, not at all.

Hockey isn't about yesterday or tomorrow, it's about now.

For example, how many current Oilers were on the roster when the Oilers went to the finals in '06?

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#34 Darrell
January 06 2013, 08:46PM
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Mikey wrote:

We have gone threw this before. The Sedins are a lot older. More experience. Plus what did they do at this age? ie third year in the league. This year will be a telling year for the oilers even if its only 50 games.

The Sedins would have gotten speed bagged (again) in the AHL ... they have zero grit and it shows in the playoffs every year.

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#35 DSF
January 06 2013, 08:49PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

It will be so nice now, that instead of your fantasies and loose interpretation of reality, we get to start to deal with the facts as they unfold. Good luck with your Canucks. Sounds like they have a lot of great players developing down on the farm.

Why would they need "great players developing down on the farm" when they already have great players in the NHL?

Have you become so addicted to the draft that you can't see that there are other ways to acquire players?

The Oilers were gifted Justin Schultz...the Canucks signed Jason Garrison.

Over the next 2-3 seasons I would wager Garrison will be the better defenseman.

Watch those"facts"unfold.

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#36 Quintana
January 06 2013, 08:55PM
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DSF wrote:

Sure.

1) MINN

2) STL

3) LAK

4) VCR

5) DET

6) CHI

7) SJS

8) COL

9) NSH

10) CAL

11) DAL

12) EDM

13) PHX

14) CLB

15) ANA

Sure.

1) EDM

2) STL

3) LAK

4) VCR

5) DET

6) CHI

7) SJS

8) COL

9) NSH

10) CAL

11) DAL

12) MIN

13) PHX

14) CLB

15) ANA

Fixed , now lets drop the puck!!!!!!

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#37 Darrell
January 06 2013, 08:55PM
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Darrell wrote:

The Sedins would have gotten speed bagged (again) in the AHL ... they have zero grit and it shows in the playoffs every year.

Sorry - that was for DSPs Sedins AHL aspirations ..... Sedins have Rockets and President trophies but no CUPS! That's all the matters at the end if the season....

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#38 Mikey
January 06 2013, 08:57PM
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DSF wrote:

Why would they need "great players developing down on the farm" when they already have great players in the NHL?

Have you become so addicted to the draft that you can't see that there are other ways to acquire players?

The Oilers were gifted Justin Schultz...the Canucks signed Jason Garrison.

Over the next 2-3 seasons I would wager Garrison will be the better defenseman.

Watch those"facts"unfold.

Your probably right. But after those 2-3 years it will be Schultz for the next 8.

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#39 Darrell
January 06 2013, 08:57PM
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Quintana wrote:

Sure.

1) EDM

2) STL

3) LAK

4) VCR

5) DET

6) CHI

7) SJS

8) COL

9) NSH

10) CAL

11) DAL

12) MIN

13) PHX

14) CLB

15) ANA

Fixed , now lets drop the puck!!!!!!

BEAUTY! Can Minny buyout both Parise and Suter ;)

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#40 revingev
January 06 2013, 09:01PM
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Agree Robin and understand its the HUNCH, your referring to. If I was to take a educated guess based on shortened season, more travel for Detroit and some other teams having very few players active , I am saying they still finish between 9th-12th overall in the west. I am hoping playoff but its only a feeling as you mention based on some assumptions.

All I know is the Top 10 provides some pretty good centermen in the draft again even if a year or two away.

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#41 Mikey
January 06 2013, 09:02PM
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DSF wrote:

What happened 10 years ago is about as important as what socks you were wearing then.

In other words, not at all.

Hockey isn't about yesterday or tomorrow, it's about now.

For example, how many current Oilers were on the roster when the Oilers went to the finals in '06?

Exactly, so you can't compare the Sedins in the AHL now. They have more experience.

And I like how you gloss over other people's points, and blast their logic. But will then use that same logic.

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#42 DSF
January 06 2013, 09:09PM
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Mikey wrote:

Your probably right. But after those 2-3 years it will be Schultz for the next 8.

So, you can accurately predict which defensemen the Canucks will have three years from now?

Perhaps you should consider how the Canucks acquired the best shutdown D in the league.

Hint: they didn't draft him.

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#43 DSF
January 06 2013, 09:09PM
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Darrell wrote:

BEAUTY! Can Minny buyout both Parise and Suter ;)

Why would they buy out two of the best players in the league?

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#44 DSF
January 06 2013, 09:10PM
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Mikey wrote:

Exactly, so you can't compare the Sedins in the AHL now. They have more experience.

And I like how you gloss over other people's points, and blast their logic. But will then use that same logic.

I only gloss over points that are puerile.

Look it up.

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#45 Wanye
January 06 2013, 09:20PM
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2013 WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

1. EDM

2. First losers

3. Don't care

4. Doesn't matter

5. Boring

6. Unimportant

7. Also rans

8. Round 1 losers

9. Close but no cigar

10. Probably someone boring

11. Never even in the mix

12. Will fire their Coach

13. Bottom Feeders

14. Someone rebuilding

15. CGY

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#46 Quintana
January 06 2013, 09:24PM
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DSF wrote:

Why would they buy out two of the best players in the league?

Eberle>>>>>>>>Parise...and Sutter is the next redden now GTFO.

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#47 David
January 06 2013, 09:25PM
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DSF wrote:

So, you can accurately predict which defensemen the Canucks will have three years from now?

Perhaps you should consider how the Canucks acquired the best shutdown D in the league.

Hint: they didn't draft him.

I didn't know the Canucks have Chara.

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#48 Mikey
January 06 2013, 09:25PM
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DSF wrote:

So, you can accurately predict which defensemen the Canucks will have three years from now?

Perhaps you should consider how the Canucks acquired the best shutdown D in the league.

Hint: they didn't draft him.

I don't need to know who Van will have, just know in a few years Schultz will be a sublime offensive d man.

Is it the same way they got Schultz?

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#49 DSF
January 06 2013, 09:27PM
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Quintana wrote:

Eberle>>>>>>>>Parise...and Sutter is the next redden now GTFO.

Good grief.

Fanboy delusions.

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#50 David
January 06 2013, 09:33PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief.

Fanboy delusions.

I wouldn't be suprised if Eberle has a better season than Parise this year and the next many years. And if he's not it will be close. I don't think Suter will be the next redden though. But it will be interesting to see how he does without weber and how weber does without him.

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