Edmonton Oilers waive Jason LaBarbera

Jonathan Willis
November 18 2013 10:20AM

 

The Edmonton Oilers announced on Monday morning that Jason LaBarbera had been waived. It's a move that comes as no surprise, given the arrival of Ilya Bryzgalov in Edmonton.

The Goalie Depth Chart

The Oilers suddenly have a pretty crowded goaltending depth chart, and the arrival of Ilya Bryzgalov as well as LaBarbera's freefall make it difficult to know with any certainty exactly how everything will shake out. My best guess today looks something like this:

  • Devan Dubnyk
  • Ilya Bryzgalov
  • Richard Bachman (injured)
  • Jason LaBarbera
  • Laurent Brossoit
  • Tyler Bunz

Assuming that Bryzgalov can play anywhere near his previous level of performance, Dubnyk is in for a pitched battle for starting minutes in Edmonton. Further assuming good health and no moves, the farm is a mess - two veteran goalies will be pushing for playing time and likely holding down highly-valued prospect Laurent Brossoit.  

What Now, LaBarbera?

There is the faint possibility that LaBarbera is claimed on waivers, which is doubtless what the Oilers would prefer. The case there is that a) his contract is at a low dollar figure for a single year and b) he's had a pretty decent NHL career. A team with injuries or goalie troubles might be willing to take him as a low-cost fill-in.

It seems unlikely, though, which means that LaBarbera will almost certainly be buried in the minors. He's been a good goalie for a long-time and it's reasonable to expect he can provide Oklahoma City with good goaltending; that isn't a bad thing for a development team. Until Bachman's healthy, the most logical course of action would likely be to demote Laurent Brossoit to the ECHL where he can get playing time and keep Tyler Bunz (who has been surprisngly good early) around as backup. 

Buried in the AHL, LaBarbera will continue to count for $75,000 against the Oilers' NHL salary cap until he's let go this summer. Of course, with both Dubnyk and Bryzgalov pending free agents and the Oilers on the road to nowhere, it's also possible that (with strong play) he's the post-trade deadline starter in Edmonton.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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.
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#1 God
November 18 2013, 10:23AM
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Good. Get rid of these mediocre tenders.

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#2 Greenlingj
November 18 2013, 10:24AM
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Bring on Bryzgalov, hope you can push Dubnyk and find yourself in the NHL again and hopefully move you at the deadline for an asset :) lets turn this ship around and get back on course.

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#3 srbuhr
November 18 2013, 10:24AM
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To bad you can't waive the coach too!

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#4 Rob...
November 18 2013, 10:24AM
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Forget voodoo cleansings of the locker room, MacT has hired every witchdoctor he can get ahold to help ensure LaBarbera gets plucked off of waivers.

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#5 geoilersgist
November 18 2013, 10:25AM
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Now that dubby has a crazy Russian backing him up he can back to the goalie he was.

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#6 tileguy
November 18 2013, 10:26AM
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Are we at 50 contracts yet?

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#7 camdog
November 18 2013, 10:34AM
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Hopefully somebody picks up Labarbera, both for his sake and the Oilers. Chicago is desperate for a back up goalie that can stop a beach ball, the Brullin Wall's numbers are horrendous and he's injured again.

Does anybody know if they have a competant 3rd stringer in the system?

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#9 OilCanFan
November 18 2013, 10:39AM
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Greenlingj wrote:

Bring on Bryzgalov, hope you can push Dubnyk and find yourself in the NHL again and hopefully move you at the deadline for an asset :) lets turn this ship around and get back on course.

if Bryzgalov returns to form, why not try and re-sign him? He is already getting paid a whack of cash to not play for Philly so maybe he comes cheaper than some overpay in the offseason. I'd rather have Dubnyk and Bryzgalov as a tandem with great defense (assuming that could be done in the offseason) than some $6-8 million goalie that may or may not be great behind the current defense

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#10 Spydyr
November 18 2013, 10:39AM
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It seems the "braintrust" is treating goal like defence.The are stocking up on #5 defencmen and back up and minor league goalies.

Guess we will have to wait till next summer for a goalie upgrade and perhaps a top pairing defencman.

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#11 oilers2k10
November 18 2013, 10:41AM
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I've always wondered do goalies get paid even if they sit on the bench?

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#12 God
November 18 2013, 10:42AM
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The Oilers think they're the recycle bin of the NHL. There's a reason why no one else wanted this junk.

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#13 Spydyr
November 18 2013, 10:42AM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

I've always wondered do goalies get paid even if they sit on the bench?

This can't be for real, can it?

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#14 Craig1981
November 18 2013, 10:42AM
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Could they not find another AHL team to lend out a couple of their goalies too?

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#15 Lofty
November 18 2013, 10:43AM
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God wrote:

Good. Get rid of these mediocre tenders.

Mediocre goaltending is an upgrade on what was produced in the 1st 10 games.

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#16 tileguy
November 18 2013, 10:43AM
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Does Bryz automatically get the first start. I thought Dubes was more than accountable the last couple starts, but oh yeah, this is the oilers.

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#17 Vaclav
November 18 2013, 10:44AM
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I suspect the Oilers are going to take a run at Jonas Hiller next summer but Frederik Andersen may be the real prize out of Anaheim's system. With Viktor Fasth signed through 2015 and John Gibson the heir apparent MacTavish should do what he can to acquire Andersen.

With Lindholm and Vatanen both graduating to the big club the Ducks might want to replenish their d-corps prospect pool with someone like Marincin.

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#18 TulipJones
November 18 2013, 10:44AM
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What happens when Bachman returns? I can't see the Oilers wanting two veteran goalies playing in the AHL and two prospects in the ECHL.

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#19 Biggie small
November 18 2013, 10:48AM
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We could not see that coming!!!!! Too bad they shold waived pettry as well. once there was Poti, then Gilbert, now Pettry, they all play soft and generous with giveaways.

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#20 camdog
November 18 2013, 10:49AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Too bad, Raanta looks like he could be a keeper.

I am really hoping a team picks up Labarbera. The log jam this creates in Oklahoma and in respect to the 50 man roster is not good for the Oilers.

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#21 Pikester
November 18 2013, 10:52AM
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Even though Bryzgalov is not the long term answer in net, I like the signing right now. It was a HUGE mistake for MacT to sign Labarbera in the summer, not just because of his less than stellar numbers but because he's Devans buddy. I get that MacT wanted to take the pressure off Dubbie to let him know he's the unchallenged no.#1 but man, did that ever blow up in his face!

Dubnyk seems like the kind of guy who needs to be constantly challenged. Maybe now we'll get some competetive goaltending night after night.

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#22 Lochenzo
November 18 2013, 10:54AM
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Pekka Rinne is out and the backups have not been very good in Nashville. Chance that they pick him up, assuming Nashville has less than 50 contracts.

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#23 yellow pone
November 18 2013, 11:00AM
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Biggie small wrote:

We could not see that coming!!!!! Too bad they shold waived pettry as well. once there was Poti, then Gilbert, now Pettry, they all play soft and generous with giveaways.

Gilbert and Petry would be first pairing on the Oilers. They would be a good second pairing on a contender. If you think Petry should be demoted you need to give your head a shake

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#24 Clarko
November 18 2013, 11:00AM
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OilCanFan wrote:

if Bryzgalov returns to form, why not try and re-sign him? He is already getting paid a whack of cash to not play for Philly so maybe he comes cheaper than some overpay in the offseason. I'd rather have Dubnyk and Bryzgalov as a tandem with great defense (assuming that could be done in the offseason) than some $6-8 million goalie that may or may not be great behind the current defense

I don't think the Oilers will re-sign him either way. If he plays well, I would think Bryz would want to sign with a better team next summer. If he does poorly, then the Oilers obviously won't want to re-sign him.

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#25 gomez
November 18 2013, 11:04AM
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camdog wrote:

Hopefully somebody picks up Labarbera, both for his sake and the Oilers. Chicago is desperate for a back up goalie that can stop a beach ball, the Brullin Wall's numbers are horrendous and he's injured again.

Does anybody know if they have a competant 3rd stringer in the system?

Chicago has a highly touted prospect named Anti Raanta which they signed in the offseason, and actually the oilers were interested in him too, they were hoping he could play 60 games in the AHL , but he is now there backup with Khabby going down, They had a good rotation last year with Emery but Khabby was dissapointing before this injury. They are going to use Raanta on there upcoming road trip, and see how he does, Because Labarbera cant stop a beach ball, i dont think Chicago would be interested.

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#26 DSF
November 18 2013, 11:12AM
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Vaclav wrote:

I suspect the Oilers are going to take a run at Jonas Hiller next summer but Frederik Andersen may be the real prize out of Anaheim's system. With Viktor Fasth signed through 2015 and John Gibson the heir apparent MacTavish should do what he can to acquire Andersen.

With Lindholm and Vatanen both graduating to the big club the Ducks might want to replenish their d-corps prospect pool with someone like Marincin.

Anaheim just acquired Jesse Blacker from the Leafs in return for Holland.

They also have last year's first round pick Shea Theodore in the system.

They're pretty much loaded with young D.

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#27 camdog
November 18 2013, 11:13AM
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OilCanFan wrote:

if Bryzgalov returns to form, why not try and re-sign him? He is already getting paid a whack of cash to not play for Philly so maybe he comes cheaper than some overpay in the offseason. I'd rather have Dubnyk and Bryzgalov as a tandem with great defense (assuming that could be done in the offseason) than some $6-8 million goalie that may or may not be great behind the current defense

If Bryzgalov plays well, he's going to want to get paid well. There will be no discounts for Bryzgalov.

Suffice to say if the Oilers don't trade for a goalie, that means they need to sign 2 UFA goalies next season. Can't see DD sticking around if Mact goes after a whale.

It would be intersting to see how DD plays on a veteran team. One only has to look at Emery's results from last season to see that many goalies have superior numbers playing with Norris trophy d-man and horrible numbers when the D are really bad.

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#28 Lochenzo
November 18 2013, 11:16AM
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While we're talking to Anaheim about Jonas Hiller, the Oilers should sack the Ducks' scouts and player development personnel. The Ducks' goalie development over the years has been an embarrassment of riches.

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#29 Johnnydapunk
November 18 2013, 11:21AM
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God wrote:

The Oilers think they're the recycle bin of the NHL. There's a reason why no one else wanted this junk.

The Oil did alright with Roloson who seemed washed up when 6Rings traded for him and he was shockingly decent.

This works as the risk is fairly minimal, if it goes horribly wrong, they aren't in the hook long term, it leaves them options for goalies next year as pretty well everyone except Bunz, Brossoit, and Tuohimaa are under contract next year, and I don't have too many expectations for Bunz or Brossoit, and Tuohimaa will come to North America to play and hopefully become the new Kipper as he has been a bit of a surprise in a good way regarding his play.

Best case scenario is the Bryz finds his form and the Oil win a bunch of 1-0 games and Dubnyk plays half decent as it finally realises he is playing for an NHL contract, and in the end the Oil either somehow squeeze into the playoffs and right the wrongs of 2006

Worst case scenario, The Bryz gets lit up like Racicot did back in the days, and Dubnyk plays well enough for the Oil to sign him to another 7 million deal and we go through this painful carousel of bad goaltending all over again :-)

I'm happy that MacT tried to fix a problem he didn't expect to be so big without giving up a silly silly amount.

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#30 Smokey
November 18 2013, 11:24AM
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Did Bryzgalov's contract come with a lifetime supply of Bear Spray. Then again I doubt he never goes outside in the elements, so what does it possibly matter...

As long as Rob Ford is in the spotlight Bryz should be able to hang out under the radar. I wonder if Oilers are going to do an HBO type 24 hour type reality show with Bryz for their next Oil Change episode. Rating would be outta this world, literally.

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#31 David S
November 18 2013, 11:33AM
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Spydyr wrote:

This can't be for real, can it?

Maybe cut the guy some slack. Might be a little kid asking a legit question from his point of view.*

*Or this can't be real.

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#32 sizzay
November 18 2013, 11:38AM
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DSF wrote:

Anaheim just acquired Jesse Blacker from the Leafs in return for Holland.

They also have last year's first round pick Shea Theodore in the system.

They're pretty much loaded with young D.

If we use the Bishop trade as a template, than potentially Arcobello + pick for Andersen would be feasible. Only question is, do the ducks need Arcobello? I would say no, unfortunately.

I'm unsure of any other 3rd/backup goalies that are pushing for a starting role like Andersen. Perhaps Eddie Lack but we likely won't trade with Vancouver. We may have to wait until the next hot thing out of Europe.

While goaltending surely needs upgrading, so does the top 6 and top 4. I would try to upgrade the D and the 2C position before worrying about goaltending THIS season. It's screwed already.

Gagner should be traded, I wanted him gone last year while he was putting up points. Sell high.

Shawn Matthias should be acquired as another Centre option in the bottom 6.

Erhoff and Kulikov should be inquired on.

I think at the end of the day, we likely grab Ekblad and wait for him, Nurse, and Klefbom. Not saying that's the best course of action but it's the easiest and most likely.

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#33 DSF
November 18 2013, 11:52AM
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sizzay wrote:

If we use the Bishop trade as a template, than potentially Arcobello + pick for Andersen would be feasible. Only question is, do the ducks need Arcobello? I would say no, unfortunately.

I'm unsure of any other 3rd/backup goalies that are pushing for a starting role like Andersen. Perhaps Eddie Lack but we likely won't trade with Vancouver. We may have to wait until the next hot thing out of Europe.

While goaltending surely needs upgrading, so does the top 6 and top 4. I would try to upgrade the D and the 2C position before worrying about goaltending THIS season. It's screwed already.

Gagner should be traded, I wanted him gone last year while he was putting up points. Sell high.

Shawn Matthias should be acquired as another Centre option in the bottom 6.

Erhoff and Kulikov should be inquired on.

I think at the end of the day, we likely grab Ekblad and wait for him, Nurse, and Klefbom. Not saying that's the best course of action but it's the easiest and most likely.

The problem with trading with the Ducks is that they really don't need anything the Oilers have.

Arcobello would be a non-starter with the Ducks depth at C:

Getzlaf, Koivu, Palmieri, Perrault, Bonino and Rackell.

The Ducks were only willing to move Holland because Rackell passed him on the depth chart.

Their RW depth is very, very solid:

Perry, Selanne, Silfverberg, Smyth-Pelley, Etem.

And their LW depth, while not the best in the league is already better than the Oilers.

I agree that upgrading further in goal this season is likely a waste of time and also agree that a #2C and #1D should be the priorities although I don't see any way to get there from here.

Ehrhoff, as you say, is a prime target but he has a NTC and I seriously doubt he would waive it to come to Edmonton.

You might be able to get Kulikov out of Florida but I think it would have to be an overpay to get Tallon to move him.

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#34 Johnnydapunk
November 18 2013, 11:56AM
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OilCanFan wrote:

if Bryzgalov returns to form, why not try and re-sign him? He is already getting paid a whack of cash to not play for Philly so maybe he comes cheaper than some overpay in the offseason. I'd rather have Dubnyk and Bryzgalov as a tandem with great defense (assuming that could be done in the offseason) than some $6-8 million goalie that may or may not be great behind the current defense

I kind of agree to what you are saying, though I don't think the Bryz will come that cheap if he does find his form, though I do not know what is his mindset coming here. I can only speculate that based on all the interviews I have read and the stuff that happened in Philly, that this isn't the ideal place he wanted to be, but as he doesn't seem to want to play in the KHL and a lot of teams are leery of him because of the Philly fiasco, yet if he isn't torn apart by the media like he was in Philly and he even enjoys the atmosphere that he has experienced before, he could be persuaded to stay.

I remember when the Oil played Anaheim in the 2006 conference finals and there is a YouTube video of game 3, it was in Edmonton and it is of Paul Lorieau and the fans singing Oh Canada and there is one now familiar smiling face you will see at about the 1:10 mark (after you see Joey belting out the anthem as usual :-) )

Oil v Ducks Game 3 at Rexall

I bet the Bryz remembers that, and it looked like he was pretty psyched and impressed with the insanity that was inside Rexall (still gives me goosebumps watching that vid)

Saying all that, he could sign with the Oil at a reasonable price, he may not, just too early to tell. The one other small advantage the Oilers do have is that his agent is Rich Winter who has been dealing with the Oil forever, so I guess it could work for or against them :-)

Sorry about the insanely long novel, I get off on a tangent and go on forever quite often. I like trying to explain my point fully, albeit in a long ass winded way.

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#35 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 12:00PM
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Damn you Shea Weber...it's all his fault the goaltending appears so inadequate.

* If only he were an Oiler, they'd have someone capable of making a decent zone clearing first pass. Someone to get the puck up to the few capable Oiler forwards. A sheriff and someone to settle things down would make a world of difference on this blueline. A legitimate No.1, he's the key to helping make the rest of his blueliners more confident than they have been to date.

Now that Seth Jones has been as advertised, everybody knows that ownership group in Nashville must be looking to shed the remaining nearly 75 million remaining on that deal. It's only a matter of time before he's wearing new silks. Could be a match there for what the Oilers have, and what the Preds need. It's either that, or wait 3 more yrs for these Ekblad/ Nurse or Klefbom types to develop.

*Cut and pasted from 2 years ago, who knew.....

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#36 Greg
November 18 2013, 12:06PM
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srbuhr wrote:

To bad you can't waive the coach too!

No way!

Too bad you can't waive the president of this hot mess

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#37 Cynic
November 18 2013, 12:07PM
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"Gilbert and Petry would be first pairing on the Oilers. They would be a good second pairing on a contender."

First sentence is probably true b/c Oilers D is a pile of dung. Second sentence is laughable. Might want to spend some time actually watching hockey that doesn't involve the Oilers. Gilbert doesn't even make the roster of a contender. Petry is 3rd pair at best.

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#38 Fresh Mess
November 18 2013, 12:11PM
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When the Oilers are inevitably next in front of city council again demanding handouts for arena overages, or claiming they lost money this year, I wonder if anyone will question them on the three or four million dollars in NHL contracts being paid to minor league players.

Think of the millions of dollars wasted just this season paying out the fired GM and coach. Look at the ever growing hockey operations staff.

It's mind blowing how poor the management is of this franchise, and many others.

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#39 Word
November 18 2013, 12:17PM
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David S wrote:

Maybe cut the guy some slack. Might be a little kid asking a legit question from his point of view.*

*Or this can't be real.

Good call, David S. I was going to simply give you props, but this deserved a full on shout-out.

Just cause it's the internet doesn't mean everyone has to be either sarcastic or smug.

If that was a young or new fan, I think ON should try to be the type of place that actually answers those question instead of trying to feel awesome by making fun of them anonymously.

That or at least do it right and make them cyber-cry...

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 12:21PM
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@Johnnydapunk

[Quote] The Oil did alright with Roloson (because they had Chris Pronger) who seemed washed up when 6Rings traded for him and he was shockingly decent.

I fixed that there for you Johnny. It wasn't as much Roli as it was the combination of the two together.

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#41 Spydyr
November 18 2013, 12:22PM
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David S wrote:

Maybe cut the guy some slack. Might be a little kid asking a legit question from his point of view.*

*Or this can't be real.

Sure, maybe he never heard of Google.

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#42 Serious Gord
November 18 2013, 12:23PM
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Jonathon:

Is it 75000 or 750000 against the cap?

Also as I understand it labarbera was the third best goalie in camp but MacT insisted on making him the number two because Bachman would not have to clear waivers.

I thought Bryz should have been brought up at the start if the season. Doing it now is far too late and does little to help the team beyond this season.

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#43 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 12:27PM
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@DSF

What would you give up to bring Andersen in DSF, what makes sense to you?

Klefbom and a third?

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#44 Greenlingj
November 18 2013, 12:28PM
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I can't get over this community.

Yes we need defense and badly.

We have a bunch of 5-6 guys and we had two 3-4 guys but sent one down the road...

but in development we have a legit number 1.

Nurse is sitting at 21 gp 7 g 16 a 22 pts +4

Klefbom, Marincin, Musil, J Schultz.

And the potential to use our pick to get Ekblad or upgrade our center position with a guy like Sam Reinhart.

Laurent Broissoit could be a legit elite goalie in the making...

These things take time and Mac T is right in saying trading for immediate reward now will be detrimental in the future.

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#45 DSF
November 18 2013, 12:31PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Jonathon:

Is it 75000 or 750000 against the cap?

Also as I understand it labarbera was the third best goalie in camp but MacT insisted on making him the number two because Bachman would not have to clear waivers.

I thought Bryz should have been brought up at the start if the season. Doing it now is far too late and does little to help the team beyond this season.

I would imagine that MacT has his fingers crossed that Bryz gives the Oilers good enough goaltending that, in his next State of the Rebuild v3.1, he can point to an improving team.

Kind of like a rocking chair...it gives you something to do but doesn't really get you anywhere.

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#46 camdog
November 18 2013, 12:32PM
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Listening to the Team right now. Sounds like the reporters are all trying to goat Bryzgalov into saying something "quoteable". lol

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#47 Serious Gord
November 18 2013, 12:38PM
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DSF wrote:

I would imagine that MacT has his fingers crossed that Bryz gives the Oilers good enough goaltending that, in his next State of the Rebuild v3.1, he can point to an improving team.

Kind of like a rocking chair...it gives you something to do but doesn't really get you anywhere.

I think it's got far more to do with saving MacT's (and lowes) rear end than the long term best interests of the club

And is it 75000 or 750000?

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#48 Wintoon
November 18 2013, 12:39PM
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sizzay wrote:

If we use the Bishop trade as a template, than potentially Arcobello + pick for Andersen would be feasible. Only question is, do the ducks need Arcobello? I would say no, unfortunately.

I'm unsure of any other 3rd/backup goalies that are pushing for a starting role like Andersen. Perhaps Eddie Lack but we likely won't trade with Vancouver. We may have to wait until the next hot thing out of Europe.

While goaltending surely needs upgrading, so does the top 6 and top 4. I would try to upgrade the D and the 2C position before worrying about goaltending THIS season. It's screwed already.

Gagner should be traded, I wanted him gone last year while he was putting up points. Sell high.

Shawn Matthias should be acquired as another Centre option in the bottom 6.

Erhoff and Kulikov should be inquired on.

I think at the end of the day, we likely grab Ekblad and wait for him, Nurse, and Klefbom. Not saying that's the best course of action but it's the easiest and most likely.

Gagner is an albatross around the Oilers necks. He is a tweener as a 2C and will never contribute to the Oilers becoming a contender. He just isn't well enough rounded to play in that position and the longer he stays the longer the fans will have to wait to see any form of success.

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#49 BobbyCanuck
November 18 2013, 12:44PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

I've always wondered do goalies get paid even if they sit on the bench?

Yes they do, there are three types of contracts: One way, and Two way.

One way: The goalie has an NHL contract, and gets paid his contractual amount per week, regardless of whether he plays or not.

Two Way: Usually for rookies, or young ones, or career back-ups. This one means that if they get called up to the NHL, they will get paid an NHL salary while on call up.When they get sent back down to the minors, they will get paid the minor salary.

Minors: THe goalie gets paid the minors salary, regardless of whethre he gets called up or not

Giong by memory, feel free to add to this fellows question, and to the folks that talked this question down, and catogorically called the writer an idiot for not knowing..I want you to think back to a time in your life when you asked a simple question, and someone ripped you a new as$ho@le. Felt good did it not?

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#50 Johnnydapunk
November 18 2013, 12:44PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Jonathon:

Is it 75000 or 750000 against the cap?

Also as I understand it labarbera was the third best goalie in camp but MacT insisted on making him the number two because Bachman would not have to clear waivers.

I thought Bryz should have been brought up at the start if the season. Doing it now is far too late and does little to help the team beyond this season.

It's $75 000 that goes against the cap if/when he is sent down.

And yeah Bachman had a very good camp but exactly as you had written, Bachman didn't have to clear waivers due to the waiver exemption rules which allow most players under the age of 25 to be sent down and back up to the Minor leagues assuming they didn't play a certain number of games, anywhere from 60-80 for a goalie to 60-160 for a skater.

Similar situation happened with Calgary with MacDonald and Berra.

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