OBJECTS MAY BE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR

Lowetide
May 26 2013 11:02AM

Although we're still a few weeks away from the draft and what might be a wild summer of trading and free agency, NHL teams are beginning to tip their hands. What's coming? A LOT of movement--buyouts, trades to save cap dollars, Euro contracts for NHLers no longer wanted--and for fans maybe a summer of activity the likes of which we've never seen before. In dear old Edmonton, the 'waiting for the paint to dry' approach of the previous administration appears to be a distant bell. There's a new sheriff in town--and he's impatient.

UFA ROUTE

The Oilers under owner Katz have spent to the cap in the past, overpaying (in dollars and term) men like Nikolai Khabibulin--which continued a trend that began in the shadow of the Pronger trade to the left coast and continued until the rebuild was put in place (finally) in the cold wintry days of 2010 January.

If we take the Oilers shopping list (top 4D, 2-way center, LW with size and skill, backup goalie) there are some interesting options: I'll list Mark Streit, Boyd Gordon, Viktor Stalberg and Anton Khudobin, but your mileage may vary.

In the past, Edmonton had to overpay to the extreme in order to attract free agents, and there are still a couple of those contracts Craig MacTavish is going to have to deal with this summer (Eric Belanger, Ben Eager). However, with Ryan Whitney, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ryan Jones, Lennart Petrell, Andy Sutton and the last of the Souray buyout dollars all in the rear view, there is an opportunity for the Oilers to quickly turn this thing around--especially in areas badly in need like center, defense and the 3 and 4 lines.

I was encouraged by MacT's words the other day in terms of free agency (approach free agency cautiously, players are often in decline stage when UFA is reached) and thought it might be a good idea to look at the "younger end" of this year's free agents.

UNDER 30, READY TO ROCK

  • C-R Nathan Horton, Boston: $4M this season, 27-year old is a very nice option for the Oilers. He'll have all kinds of options this summer, including a return to the Bruins if they can make the money work. I would rank this player as an ideal, but possibly unrealistic option. If MacT lands him, that should be considered a massive win.
  • R David Clarkson, New Jersey: $2.67M this season for the 29-year old. Although it is unlikely Edmonton would be his first option, I think he is pretty close to a 'perfect fit' for this team and perhaps worthy of an overpay. Should MacT get him, it should be considered in the same category as a Nathan Horton acquisition.
  • C-L Valtteri Filppula, Detroit: $3M this season, 29 years old and a famous Finn. He'd be an ideal solution for the Oilers, but Red Wings players are usually loyal to the team and this guy has enjoyed a lot of success in Motown.
  • L Viktor Stalberg, Chicago: $875,000 this season, he'll get a raise for sure and Chicago is unlikely to re-sign (their system is producing players at a rapid clip). Rumor has Edmonton and Montreal very interested, you can see why the Oilers would be interested in this 27-year old with size and skill.
  • L Bryan Bickell, Chicago: $542,000 this season, 27 years old and listed below Stalberg only because he's more likely to be signed by the Blackhawks before reaching free agency. A very nice option should he shake loose.
  • L Clarke MacArthur, Toronto: $3,250,000 this season, 29-years old and with some grit. Not the ideal option--the pricetag may be a little dear--but he's certainly skill enough to chip in 20 goals on what should be a strong 2line.
  • C Boyd Gordon, Phoenix: $1.325M this season for the 29-year old, another 'perfect fit' option for an Oiler team that badly needs help at center. The Phoenix situation is somewhat in flux, there may be an opportunity to jump in and pick up this fine veteran.
  • G Anton Khudobin, Boston: $875,000 this season, effective backup and 27 years old. Bruins have a nice option in the AHL and may pass on signing him. He is young enough, and good enough to be an option for the Oilers.
  • L Guillaume Latandresse, Ottawa: $2M this season, 29-year old has lost much of his recent career to injuries but perhaps he's turning a corner. Certainly brings size, and has scored well in the NHL when healthy.
  • L Patrick Bordeleau, Colorado: $525,000 this season, 27-year old is 6.06, 220 and looks and plays like an extra in Slap Shot! I don't know if MacT will devote 2 roster spots to this type of player (Mike Brown is the current fighter, but not a heavyweight) but if that's a priority this fellow fits the bill.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Craig MacTavish's point about free agents is certainly true--often NHL teams overpay for players in their 30's and end up waiting for the contract to expire so they can better use the sunk cost of a wayward contract. However, there are players--several players--who have shown well in the NHL and are some distance from their 30th birthdays.

When the opportunity to speak to these new free agents arrives, the Edmonton Oilers have a great story to tell these free agents. Objectives--playoffs, playoff wins, series victories, deep trips into the spring--are likely to happen with this Oiler team during the back half of the 2010's.

Telling that story to Viktor Stalberg, to Anton Khudobin, to Boyd Gordon, may be enough in one or more cases to win the day.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 count
May 26 2013, 07:01PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

LT Please stop with the Clarkson and Horton

Nathan Horton His wife is a playboy playmate…seriously look it up.

What are the chances he brings his trophy MODEL WIFE to Edmonton?

David Clarkson His whole family is from NYC, he is honestly going to uproot his young child, his born and raised NYC wife to Edmonton?

Stalberg or Filppula

They are both playing for a Stanley Cup; do you think they will be playing for one in Edmonton soon?

The Only one the Oilers should have interest in, who won’t be a bloody dear overpayment would be..

Boyd Gordon

The rest have run their course, are injury prone.

UFA route Bad!!!!! Have we as fans let alone the organization not learned from the past??

Mac-T doesn't even think the UFA pool is good. let it go.

SHUT UP

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#52 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 07:03PM
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Gret99zky wrote:

Unlike homer fans, NHL UFAs probably still see the Edmonton Oilers as they really are, a bottom team wandering in a seemingly endless rebuild.

The story is not that good.

The only way MacT is going to get any of those players on the list is to overpay, overpay, overpay.

What player is going to leave Detroit, Chicago or Boston to come play in Draftown?

They will take a paycut to stay or sign with a contender.

The Oilers brass has been selling HOPE season after season and delivered nothing but top draft picks. But wait til next year...

I don't think the top 4D, 2way C, or LW with size are as impressed with MacT getting the GM position his fanboys are. Sure looks smart in them glasses.

Prove me wrong Mac. Prove me wrong.

This is my thoughts too. To many, better options and I can't see them being able to sell the city using the same selling point hey have used for 2-3 years now.

I also winder how many free agents will look at previous free agents and how the did in Edmonton. THere haven't been very many free agents succeed in Edmonton for a very long time. Most seem to get run out of town.

I totally agree that rest of the NHL isn't as impressed with the re-hiring of MacT as the People in the City. I think I have read more stuff making fun of the hiring, then praising it. Combine that with the Arena fiasco and you'd have an easier time selling a date with Wanye at a bachelor auction then you would trying to convince any of those player Edmonton is better place to be then just about every other city, in the NHL.

Not trying to be a dink, but I can't see why I would go to Edmonton if Vancover, San Jose, LA, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, ETC,ETC, ETC was offering me the same money. Just Saying.

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#53 count
May 26 2013, 07:05PM
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PutzStew wrote:

This is my thoughts too. To many, better options and I can't see them being able to sell the city using the same selling point hey have used for 2-3 years now.

I also winder how many free agents will look at previous free agents and how the did in Edmonton. THere haven't been very many free agents succeed in Edmonton for a very long time. Most seem to get run out of town.

I totally agree that rest of the NHL isn't as impressed with the re-hiring of MacT as the People in the City. I think I have read more stuff making fun of the hiring, then praising it. Combine that with the Arena fiasco and you'd have an easier time selling a date with Wanye at a bachelor auction then you would trying to convince any of those player Edmonton is better place to be then just about every other city, in the NHL.

Not trying to be a dink, but I can't see why I would go to Edmonton if Vancover, San Jose, LA, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, ETC,ETC, ETC was offering me the same money. Just Saying.

SHUT UP

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#54 DSF
May 26 2013, 07:16PM
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trueoilers wrote:

As far as the oilers and signing UFAs they will have a hard to to convince them to come, but yet again they did sign Shultz when 29 other teams too, and look at Minny they signed Parise and Suter the to biggest names out there, although they did pay top dollar.

Parise and Suter went home.

Parise was born in Minnesota and Suter grew up and played minor hockey next door in Wisconsin.

Suter's wife Becky is from Bloomington Minnesota.

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#55 steelymac
May 26 2013, 07:16PM
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Brooks Laich may be bought out if that's the case he would look good on the 3rd or 4th line.He is also a flatlander prairie boy who knows what our climate is about.

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#56 count
May 26 2013, 07:17PM
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DSF wrote:

Parise and Suter went home.

Parise was born in Minnesota and Suter grew up and played minor hockey next door in Wisconsin.

Suter's wife Becky is from Bloomington Minnesota.

.

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#57 Robin Goodfellow
May 26 2013, 07:22PM
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DSF wrote:

Parise and Suter went home.

Parise was born in Minnesota and Suter grew up and played minor hockey next door in Wisconsin.

Suter's wife Becky is from Bloomington Minnesota.

SHUT UP

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#58 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 07:23PM
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@count

Don't like reality eh?

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#59 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 07:25PM
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steelymac wrote:

Brooks Laich may be bought out if that's the case he would look good on the 3rd or 4th line.He is also a flatlander prairie boy who knows what our climate is about.

This is true. If Edmonton is gonna be signing free agents I think they better look for local boys. That is if Souray hasn't spoiled that source too.

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#60 Racki
May 26 2013, 07:25PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think the Oilers may sign Jones this summer. It'll depend on price of course, but this season he struggled with the eye injury and I don't think it was a far reflection of his ability.

He can play a gritty style, take and make a pass and from what we know is a valued member of the team.

Glad to hear one of the knowledgeable folks thinking this about Jones. There's a lot of people that have given up on him, but I feel the same as you do. He brings a fair bit when his game is on. The eye injury certainly could have been a big cause for his disappointing season. I'd throw another year his way. At worst, he'll be one of the 13th/14th forwards. Actually, I'd go as far to say that at worst, he's a 4th line winger.

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#61 count
May 26 2013, 07:26PM
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PutzStew wrote:

Don't like reality eh?

DUDE SHUT UP.

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#62 count
May 26 2013, 07:27PM
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PutzStew wrote:

This is true. If Edmonton is gonna be signing free agents I think they better look for local boys. That is if Souray hasn't spoiled that source too.

CUT THAT CARP AND SHUT UP.

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#63 oillover
May 26 2013, 07:34PM
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Trade proposal Hemskey & smid and our second round pick to the jets for Burmistrov & Bogosian. Any thoughts ? should I call Mac T

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#64 Rocket
May 26 2013, 07:35PM
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Racki wrote:

Glad to hear one of the knowledgeable folks thinking this about Jones. There's a lot of people that have given up on him, but I feel the same as you do. He brings a fair bit when his game is on. The eye injury certainly could have been a big cause for his disappointing season. I'd throw another year his way. At worst, he'll be one of the 13th/14th forwards. Actually, I'd go as far to say that at worst, he's a 4th line winger.

Yeah no kidding. I don't know why people hate on Jones. He's an OK player that had a bad luck injury(aren't they all?) so I think he has value staying with The Oilers. I just hope they don't overpay him.

Also, what's with all the YELLING on this site lately. Chill out people. We're talking about a last place club in the offseason! At least wait until training camp to start freaking out.

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#65 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 07:38PM
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count wrote:

CUT THAT CARP AND SHUT UP.

See what happens when you live in Edmonton? You become grumpy and miserable. You need to move bud. It's OK. There are other places you can go. Just head south. You feel better as soon as you get past Leduc.

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#66 count
May 26 2013, 07:41PM
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PutzStew wrote:

See what happens when you live in Edmonton? You become grumpy and miserable. You need to move bud. It's OK. There are other places you can go. Just head south. You feel better as soon as you get past Leduc.

SHUT UP AND CUT THIS CRAP

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#67 Rocket
May 26 2013, 07:42PM
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DSF wrote:

Parise and Suter went home.

Parise was born in Minnesota and Suter grew up and played minor hockey next door in Wisconsin.

Suter's wife Becky is from Bloomington Minnesota.

If Minny can do it maybe Edmonton can get their own home town superstars like Bowmeeter & Vern Fiddler to play for The Oilers ;)

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#68 Racki
May 26 2013, 07:48PM
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Rocket wrote:

Yeah no kidding. I don't know why people hate on Jones. He's an OK player that had a bad luck injury(aren't they all?) so I think he has value staying with The Oilers. I just hope they don't overpay him.

Also, what's with all the YELLING on this site lately. Chill out people. We're talking about a last place club in the offseason! At least wait until training camp to start freaking out.

You'd have to figure that he'd be a pretty cheap re-signing, for a couple of reasons: he likes it here, and he's coming off a pretty low year. So I'd say we should be able to get him on another year at $1.5M.

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#69 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 07:49PM
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Rocket wrote:

If Minny can do it maybe Edmonton can get their own home town superstars like Bowmeeter & Vern Fiddler to play for The Oilers ;)

Bowmester commented about not wanting to play in Edmonton because of the of the number of "Local Boys" who had had bad experiences playing there. The was before he signed UFA deal with Calgary and I think it was someone in the Edmonton Media who asked him the question.

This may have changed because that was a few years ago, so maybe his attitude has changed.

Of course if everyone in Edmonton is as pleasant as Count the the Oilers don't have a chance in hell of signing anyone unless they are paying Fort Mac Wages.

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#70 Rocket
May 26 2013, 07:56PM
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Racki wrote:

You'd have to figure that he'd be a pretty cheap re-signing, for a couple of reasons: he likes it here, and he's coming off a pretty low year. So I'd say we should be able to get him on another year at $1.5M.

You make entirely too much sense. Don't you know this site is for YELLING INSULTS!

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#71 Rocket
May 26 2013, 07:58PM
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PutzStew wrote:

Bowmester commented about not wanting to play in Edmonton because of the of the number of "Local Boys" who had had bad experiences playing there. The was before he signed UFA deal with Calgary and I think it was someone in the Edmonton Media who asked him the question.

This may have changed because that was a few years ago, so maybe his attitude has changed.

Of course if everyone in Edmonton is as pleasant as Count the the Oilers don't have a chance in hell of signing anyone unless they are paying Fort Mac Wages.

I didn't know that about Bowmeester. Thanks for the info. I wonder if The Flames have the same problem.

Also, I wish I was making Fort Mac. wages.

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#72 count
May 26 2013, 08:03PM
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Rocket wrote:

You make entirely too much sense. Don't you know this site is for YELLING INSULTS!

No this site is an oilers site and we should be more implemented to respect or city and not say things that some a holes are saying

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#73 Racki
May 26 2013, 08:04PM
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Rocket wrote:

You make entirely too much sense. Don't you know this site is for YELLING INSULTS!

Well, when in Rome, I guess... So... SHUT UP!

:P

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#74 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 08:04PM
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Rocket wrote:

I didn't know that about Bowmeester. Thanks for the info. I wonder if The Flames have the same problem.

Also, I wish I was making Fort Mac. wages.

The only reason to be in Fort Mac is because you get overpaid. I'm trying to find a link for that Bowmeester comment. the more I think about it I might have heard it on the Fan 960. I found it very interesting at the time.

Could someone please tap me on the shoulder if Count comments? I put ear plugs in so I might not hear him.

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#75 count
May 26 2013, 08:09PM
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PutzStew wrote:

The only reason to be in Fort Mac is because you get overpaid. I'm trying to find a link for that Bowmeester comment. the more I think about it I might have heard it on the Fan 960. I found it very interesting at the time.

Could someone please tap me on the shoulder if Count comments? I put ear plugs in so I might not hear him.

YES I DID AND I WANT YOU TO SHUT UP

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#76 Rocket
May 26 2013, 08:09PM
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count wrote:

No this site is an oilers site and we should be more implemented to respect or city and not say things that some a holes are saying

Fair enough. I guess I save my yelling for Hemsky when he doesn't backcheck hard enough ;)

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#77 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 08:16PM
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count wrote:

No this site is an oilers site and we should be more implemented to respect or city and not say things that some a holes are saying

So we should only post if it is Positive stuff about the Oilers? Drink the Kool-Aid and keep forking out cash for a loosing team? Everything I have read is Oilers Related, except for the people whom are choosing to yell.

@Rocket SOrry this is all I could come up with: http://www.ourhometown.ca/edmonton/sports/RS0667.php Cloutier also made a comment about it but I won't post that link for you.

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#78 count
May 26 2013, 08:20PM
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PutzStew wrote:

So we should only post if it is Positive stuff about the Oilers? Drink the Kool-Aid and keep forking out cash for a loosing team? Everything I have read is Oilers Related, except for the people whom are choosing to yell.

@Rocket SOrry this is all I could come up with: http://www.ourhometown.ca/edmonton/sports/RS0667.php Cloutier also made a comment about it but I won't post that link for you.

YES you have to keep everything postive and say that UFA will come here okey

enought of this crap.

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#79 oilabroad
May 26 2013, 08:20PM
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count wrote:

No this site is an oilers site and we should be more implemented to respect or city and not say things that some a holes are saying

This is not about bashing, this is about reality.. we are all oil fans but the reality is (if you have ever left your parents basement), that there are better places to live... if you are making millions of dollars a year this is even more magnified. If Edmonton is going to go the UFA route, they are going to pay 20% more for the player than a desirable location will pay, that is what OUR team is up against, so if we are going to discuss UFAs, lets just make sure we take this fact into consideration. Do you really think by not talking about the issue, that the players will somehow not know about the drawbacks of living in a small northern prairie city??

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#80 DSF
May 26 2013, 08:20PM
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Where did the CARP go?

I hear they're delicious with a squeeze of lemon.

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#82 Rocket
May 26 2013, 08:23PM
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DSF wrote:

Where did the CARP go?

I hear they're delicious with a squeeze of lemon.

I could totally go for some carp. Here in Alberta the seafood isn't too fresh.

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#83 DSF
May 26 2013, 08:23PM
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Lowetide wrote:

YOU TAKE THAT BACK!

SHUT UP!

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#84 count
May 26 2013, 08:25PM
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oilabroad wrote:

This is not about bashing, this is about reality.. we are all oil fans but the reality is (if you have ever left your parents basement), that there are better places to live... if you are making millions of dollars a year this is even more magnified. If Edmonton is going to go the UFA route, they are going to pay 20% more for the player than a desirable location will pay, that is what OUR team is up against, so if we are going to discuss UFAs, lets just make sure we take this fact into consideration. Do you really think by not talking about the issue, that the players will somehow not know about the drawbacks of living in a small northern prairie city??

OH SHUT UP.

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#85 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
May 26 2013, 08:26PM
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@ Rocket...

tap tap

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#86 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 08:29PM
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count wrote:

YES you have to keep everything postive and say that UFA will come here okey

enought of this crap.

I thought I was being positive. Why would you want to over pay for someone whom does not want to be here. It would be a positive thing if the Oilers do not sign him.

Where you Pronger's Neighbor by chance? That would make a lot of sense.

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#87 count
May 26 2013, 08:34PM
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PutzStew wrote:

I thought I was being positive. Why would you want to over pay for someone whom does not want to be here. It would be a positive thing if the Oilers do not sign him.

Where you Pronger's Neighbor by chance? That would make a lot of sense.

WHy should he not want to come here does he want to suck so much celebrity cock?

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#88 Rocket
May 26 2013, 08:35PM
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What about MacArthur from Toronto? Do you think he would like to play with Brown?

I know he would be a very small addition but every little step forward helps right?

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#89 Racki
May 26 2013, 08:36PM
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Too many of you guys here feed the trolls rather than get a good discussion going.

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#90 magisterrex
May 26 2013, 08:37PM
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One SHUT-UP! Two SHUT-UPs! Three SHUT-UPs! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

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#91 Rocket
May 26 2013, 08:42PM
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@PutzStew

Thanks for the link. I never knew that about Bowmeester.

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#92 count
May 26 2013, 08:50PM
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magisterrex wrote:

One SHUT-UP! Two SHUT-UPs! Three SHUT-UPs! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Very funny.

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#93 The Soup Fascist
May 26 2013, 08:51PM
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The WKRP Carp was the best radio station mascot - EVER.

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#94 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 08:52PM
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Rocket wrote:

Thanks for the link. I never knew that about Bowmeester.

Sorry that was all I could find. Lots on google referencing it. Like I said though that was when he signed with the Flames so shortly after Comrie and right around the same time Lupel was here.

MacArther might be a good one. I don't know much about him but it won't be that hard to upgrade the bottom 6. Making it effective is another story.

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#95 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 08:55PM
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count wrote:

WHy should he not want to come here does he want to suck so much celebrity cock?

There's no Celebrities in at Disney Land, just a bunch of people in stuffed costumes. That's kind of twisted bud. I don't think we can be friends.

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#96 madjam
May 26 2013, 08:57PM
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MacKinnon goes first overall to Colorado as he eats up Jones a scond time in Memorial Cup . That gives them MacKinnon , Landescog , Duchenes and Stashny for center . Will Stashny end up being traded to Oilers ?

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#97 count
May 26 2013, 08:59PM
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PutzStew wrote:

There's no Celebrities in at Disney Land, just a bunch of people in stuffed costumes. That's kind of twisted bud. I don't think we can be friends.

OH SHUT UP.You are twisted.

Go oilers.

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#98 The Soup Fascist
May 26 2013, 09:02PM
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madjam wrote:

MacKinnon goes first overall to Colorado as he eats up Jones a scond time in Memorial Cup . That gives them MacKinnon , Landescog , Duchenes and Stashny for center . Will Stashny end up being traded to Oilers ?

Actually discussed this issue on TSN during intermission. Despite awesome final game by MacK and Drouin, Jones still #1 according to Mackenzie. Scouts unlikely to change opinion on small sample like the past week.

He said if anything, Drouin's stock rose more. All three appear to be the real deal right now, though.

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#99 PutzStew
May 26 2013, 09:03PM
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count wrote:

OH SHUT UP.You are twisted.

Go oilers.

I'm kind of disappointed. THATS THE BEST YOU COULD DO?

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#100 Rocket
May 26 2013, 09:05PM
Trash it!
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madjam wrote:

MacKinnon goes first overall to Colorado as he eats up Jones a scond time in Memorial Cup . That gives them MacKinnon , Landescog , Duchenes and Stashny for center . Will Stashny end up being traded to Oilers ?

I don't know. His pop played for The Nuggets I think & Colorado needs puck moving defencemen. MacKinnon would definitely help them so I don't think it's clear who they choose. It's like Yakupov vs. Murray. The Oilers need both.

On Sportsnet Kipreos & Cox were big on MacKinnon so I guess we'll have to wait until draft day to find out.

I love the draft drama!

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