YOU'RE MY BLUE SKY, YOU'RE MY SUNNY DAY

Lowetide
May 04 2013 08:09PM

A week ago, Craig MacTavish talked about adding size to the supreme skill in the Oilers top 6F. If we made a "wish list" of possible additions, how close can we come to naming the actual target?

POSSIBLES

  1. W Viktor Stalberg (27 years old) 47, 9-14-23 (UFA this summer, expiring $875k cap hit). I've listed him ahead of Bickell because he can play both wings. Stalberg is a fine winger with a nice range of skills, and could play on the 2 and 3 lines effectively. A target for sure.
  2. L Brian Bickell (27 years old) 48, 9-14-23 (UFA this summer, expiring $540k cap hit). This is an insane underpay for value. 2.30 5x5/60 (4th on team). Bickell's size/speed combination makes him an outstanding option for the Oilers. Big strong, possessing two-way ability and should be able to step into a larger offensive role. 
  3. F Nathan Horton (27 years old) 43, 13-9-22 (UFA this summer, expiring $4M cap hit). 1.95 5x5/60 (7th on team). Big man has some concussion issues but can also play more than one position (a key for MacT) and is certainly very physical. Horton on a line with Nuge and Hall? Gagner and Yakupov? Interesting.
  4. W Nikolai Kulemin (26 years old) 48, 7-16-23 (UFA 2014, $2.8M cap hit). 2.00 5x5/60 (5th on team). An excellent 2-way option, not the physical player hoped for but certainly a player who can impact the game with and without the puck. Toronto seems to be indifferent about Kulemin, I think he might come at a reasonable price.
  5. L Tomas Vanek (29 years old) 38, 20-21-41 (one year left at $7.14M). 2.64 5x5/60 (1st on team). THIS is an attractive option, if only because the pricetag would be less than some of the players below. Vanek is not a physical player, not at all--but I've included him because he's simply too talented to keep off the list. If the Oilers could get him for just picks or prospects it would be worth every penny.
  6. F Jakub Voracek (23 years old) 48, 22-24-46 ($4.25M cap hit through 2016 summer) 2.58 5x5/60 (1st on team). Ranked lower on the list because the cost would be dear. Voracek was drafted right after Gagner, and is a skilled winger with size. He could be an outstanding addition, but the cost (in terms of trade assets) makes him a far less attractive trade target.
  7. L Raffi Torres (31 years old) 39, 7-11-18 (UFA this summer, $1.75M cap hit) 2.15 5x5/60 (2nd on team). Hear me out, please. Raffi isn't a perfect hockey player, but he can impact the game. Torres is a physical player with skill, and can move up and down the depth chart as needed. Kind of a poor man's Esa Tikkanen.
  8. L Dustin Penner (30 years old) 33, 2-10-12 (UFA this summer $3.25M cap hit) 1.85 5x5/60 (4th on team). Hear me out volume two. Penner playd well with both Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, and I believe he might be a perfect fit for this Oiler club. If they could get him at a reasonable price, this could be music!

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Who knows, really. However, if the Oilers are looking for a bigger forward with offensive abilty this summer, I think Horton, Stalberg and Bickell is a very good place to start.

Sail on, Ales.

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 Team 1260.
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#51 pelhem grenville
May 05 2013, 03:59PM
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Hall is playing...saw him on the ice wearing number 4 once...i think...he's there for the chicks ...nothing else...

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#52 madjam
May 05 2013, 04:50PM
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FROM MY SHOPPING LIST - EXAMPLE ONLY , HERE IS MY NEW SQUAD : 1, I drop 16 players totalling 6 defenceman and 10 forwards totalling in one form or another = $35.175M with Souray included in that figure .

2. Retention list : Dubbie and Khabby (interim and less money ) , J.Schultz , Smid , Fistic ,Paajarvi , Brown Yak , Hopkins Hall and Eberle .

3. Additions totalling $33.544M and 14 new faces , leaving two spaces for those on the prospect list to graduate -such as Klefbom and Hartekainen perhaps . 6 new defence totalling $13,57M :Alzner ,Bogozian , Morris ,Letang ,and Daley , 8 new forwards totalling $19.974M : Wheeler ,Duchesne, Couture , Franzen , Brouwer , Sobotka , Henrique , and Dupuis .

Not a bad complimentary economical core I would say .

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#53 GVBlackhawk
May 06 2013, 01:52AM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

Taylor Hall benched today vs Swiss. Love Hall but it doesn't surprise me at all. This kid had more turnovers than all the other Oilers combined from what I saw most nights. He will be a great player but he is part of the problem a lot of nights here in Edmonton. How's that toe drag working for you? Have you ever scored off of it?

Hall is part of the problem most nights?

Are you freakin' serious???

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#54 DSF
May 04 2013, 08:28PM
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I'm suggesting you don't either.

Penner would laugh at you all day long.

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#55 DSF
May 04 2013, 08:39PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Penner has stated repeatedly the Edmonton experience was enjoyable.

Yeah. I'm sure Penner would like to work for MacT again.

Jeebus.

Get a grip.

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#56 DSF
May 04 2013, 08:50PM
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Vaclav wrote:

And elementary school math suggests neither Boston nor Chicago have the cap room to fit Horton, Stalberg and Bickell under a $64M UCL.

Try again.

Oh and Vanek will sign in Columbus because his childhood nanny works at the local JC Penny.

Nonsense.

Boston has $6.6M in cap space nest season.

They may decide to not re-sign Horton but they can if they want to.

Chicago is closer to the cap but rte-signing Stalberg and Bickell is easily accommodated,.

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#57 HardBoiledOil
May 04 2013, 09:00PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Penner needs a job, Oilers have an opportunity. Stranger things, DSF. You post on Oiler blogs despite an undying devotion to the Canucks.

^you mean the soon to be golfing Canucks? ;-)

from that list i don' really want to see Torres here again, but maybe Penner.

the guy i hope they target though is Bickell.

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#58 horndog77
May 04 2013, 09:06PM
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If free agency is weak shouldn't the oilers look at trying to trade up in the draft? I know it's not ideal because Edmonton needs immediate upgrades but no point overpaying for players either.

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#59 DSF
May 04 2013, 09:09PM
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Vaclav wrote:

$6.6M before Tuukka Rask gets a raise from the $3.5M he earned this season and whatever money they spend on their backup. But I'm sure Horton will be happy to sign for the $1.2M and change that's left over.

Horton is a horrible bet.

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#60 DSF
May 04 2013, 09:10PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

What you meant to say was ......

"Boston Has 6.6M left with only 17 players signed. This includes, Jagr, Horton, Ference, Rask. Players which made about 14M last year. They also would need to sign several role players. They will get 4M of injury relief from Savard though. This still leaves 3.4M to shed plus perhaps 2-3M for role players and maybe 1M raise for Rask " (about 7M to shed)

.......Thats what you meant right???

They won' re-sign Jagr.

Game over.

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#61 Mikey
May 04 2013, 09:19PM
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What about Eric Fehr?

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#62 FastOil
May 04 2013, 09:37PM
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Torres is perfect for the Oilers. He might not want to come back though.

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#63 Lexi
May 04 2013, 09:52PM
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LT,

Just curious why you don't have Clarkson on this list?

I would love it if they could get either Bickell or Stallberg. Horton is high risk, high return, but he was pretty healthy this year, still pretty young and very elite when on.

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#64 DSF
May 04 2013, 10:07PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Penner needs a job, Oilers have an opportunity. Stranger things, DSF. You post on Oiler blogs despite an undying devotion to the Canucks.

Penner re-signs with the Oilers.

Or not.

You go dark for a year or I do.

Bet?

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#65 striatic
May 04 2013, 10:15PM
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Stalberg and Bickell are by no means surefire re-signs for the Hawks.

the Money available to these guys on the FA market will have to be appealing, especially if they nab rings this year.

the contracts on offer could get out of hand.

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#66 Sid
May 04 2013, 10:38PM
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Sadly Horton is one hit away from retiring.

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#67 doublee
May 04 2013, 10:44PM
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What about trading for Boone Jenner- Big,abrasive ,strong on faceoffs and 45 goals in 56 games in last year of junior.

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#68 headmetal
May 04 2013, 11:14PM
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why not give a chance to Cheechoo?? He seems to have been rediscovering his game in OKC and would cost the Oil.....nothing! Thoughts?! Plus I think the guys that should top this list that are missing are Clarkson and Clowe

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#69 madjam
May 04 2013, 11:24PM
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Ribero , B.Sutter ,Couturier , Kusnetsov ,Kesler , Nystrom ?

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#70 719
May 04 2013, 11:26PM
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I would like to add Jagr to the list, but I don't know if he comes here.

I think Clarkson doesn't come here, everyone seems to think he re-signs with Jersey. His comments on Lou seem to indicate deep ties to him and a sense of loyalty.

I would love it if the Oil picked up both Bickell and Stahlberg.

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#71 Eddie Shore
May 04 2013, 11:27PM
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Lowetide, do you not view David Clarkson as a top 6 forward and that is why you left him off your list?

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#72 madjam
May 04 2013, 11:53PM
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Players leaving here are flourishing elsewhere at an alarming rate , while the ones that come here seem to all be underachieving . What is the correlation ? We need a whole new core for starters , not just 6-8 . The youth can't protect themselves ,and rest of core which is soft to begin with , just can't protect that many smallish players on top of the other veteran soft core players.

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#73 RexLibris
May 05 2013, 12:05AM
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I'd shy away from Horton and Clarkson. Horton's concussion history and the Oilers' ability to network player with debilitating injury is akin to thumbing one's nose at the Hockey Gods.

Clarkson has had one very good season playing for a familiar coach and given favourable playing time. The overpay would only set up eventual disappointment.

Now Bickell and Stalberg I have time for. And Jagr would make a very good Hemsky replacement as a depth winger. You want to change the culture, bring in somebody with a work ethic and a history of winning? He'd be a good bet.

Provided that management doesn't put all their proverbial eggs into the UFA basket, we should be able to address at least one need via free-agency. More than that and we are in trouble. One team out of 30 gets to sign these players. Those aren't great odds, worse than the draft lottery even. So the Oilers had best have a plan B, C, and D in place. And if any of those includes something like "Cam Barker" in the solution, then I give up.

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#74 RexLibris
May 05 2013, 12:08AM
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clyde wrote:

Can't believe no one on here has suggested trading Hemsky for a 1st and a high end prospect or Gagner for a top 10 pick. lol

Not on Sundays.

Come back mid-week when we run the "Hemsky-for..." columns. They're just like the Omark trade proposal open threads, only more plausible.

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#75 Reg Dunlop
May 05 2013, 01:46AM
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'You're my blue sky... I saw the Allman Bros. about 20 years ago and Dickie Betts has to be one of the best guitarists(along with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Martin Barre) I've seen. One question: what's the meaning of 'sail on, Ales'?

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#76 MKE
May 05 2013, 03:21AM
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DSF it has to be hard going through life knowing everyone pails in comparison to your superior intelect *rolls eyes*

Because of the cap going down, SOME teams will have to make tough choices on some players.

Who and where remains to be seen.

But it's safe to assume some guys need to be traded or bought out this summer for cap reasons.

I'm for one think MacT has the smarts to be able to cash in on this.

Time will tell.

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#77 MKE
May 05 2013, 03:23AM
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@Curcro

Even with a second buy out, your math clearly shows its going to be no fun being in the shoes of Peter Chiarelli this summer. Will be near impossible to bring everyone back

Well thought out post.

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#78 MKE
May 05 2013, 03:28AM
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I also think you would have to really have to over pay to get Clarkson out of NJ.

The last thing this team needs is to over pay in free agency.

Some people on Lowtides list will be a much better value...and maybe even still overpaid.

What this team needs is to find some great value contracts.

Off the top of my head I can't recall (ELC aside) the last time any Oilers player drasticly outplayed his contract for more then a year or two.

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#79 messyEH!
May 05 2013, 04:54AM
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I think Gagner is gone at the draft. (Unless he signs for 12 million for 3 years) I think Hemsky is an Oiler until trade deadline day. And then he's gone.with the cap going down we are stuck with him. Horcoff should be traded to a cap floor team. This may be the only time his actually $ is equal his skill set.

Who knows whats really going to happen. MacT may give hemsky a retirement deal. I would love to see Jagr as an Oiler. Great guy to have mentor the kids. And an Oilers jersey I would need to buy.

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#82 madjam
May 05 2013, 06:21AM
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MISGUIDED REBUILD ANALYSIS :Florida ranks NBR.1 in Hockey Futures best prospects over about the last 4 years , while we rank close at NBR. three . Obviously a good job of drafting compared to rest of league , and we should accept that praise and analysis . However , Florida , like us, have suffered greatly because of too much youth on the farm and NHL squad . Both still flounder in the basement of league because of it . That's the bad part of not doing due diligence and GUTTING THE CORE OF WHICH TO DEVELOP THAT YOUTH TO DEEPLY - as we did , and are now still paying for it in results . Drafting good to superior and not our major problem . Properly developing it is , and that means a much more efficient veteran core to match todays NHL .

The extreme gutting we did was ill advised - far to deep and was replaced with downgrades at almost every turn . Well it's easier to replace a core if it's done with upgrades , but ours was not . You cannot develop youth properly without a solid core in place to make it happen - and we still have not done that !

We will continue over this long process to under achieve until we develop a solid core of upgraded veteran core . This is the job that MacT. has now to fix -the mistakes of the failed rebuild ! The core is the answer to all our woes and slow results . Others that don't cut their cores so drastically make turnarounds quickly . Anyone else feel same way ?

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#83 non descript
May 05 2013, 06:26AM
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i think it is probably wise to just face the reality that it is unlikely any decent player signs with edmonton this off seaseon. im sure players are aware that oilers management is a joke and the team is destined to spin its tires due to the fact that klowes ego is bigger than his brain. this lack of clear direction, and i will only mention the stock piling of small fast players for the new nhl starting in 2005 and the fire sale of good bottom six role and depth players since then, will cost the oil a chance at the playoffs for several years to come. lowebellini screwed the team and system up so badly tanking for the number ones that i am afraid the effects are darn near unfixable. i am not going to slam each individual forward prospect in the system, but consider where they have been drafting and then take a look at their complete system depth chart. the amateur scouting staff should be embarrassed. i understand it is enjoyable to speculate about how this team can be repaired, but i for one have accepted the fate of this bottom feeding organization. i rue the day calgary is in the playoffs and the next gm is still trying to rebuild the oilers.

oh, and 99% of the trade proposals on here are absolutely ridiculous.

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#84 madjam
May 05 2013, 06:42AM
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The major problem with the rebuild was not developing a new core effectively along with our superior drafting ! Next year starts the rebuild of the core and lets hope they do that Faster and more expediently .

Side note and off topic : CRUISE CRITICS removes blogs and the bloggers right to keep posting that contain messages that belittle spelling errors and grammar mistakes of other bloggers belittle them .It is there presumption that many might have English as a second language and others may also have disabilities , etc.. Good policy and I"d like to see this site do the same and at least remove those blogs that belittle others in that fashion .

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#85 Yep
May 05 2013, 08:35AM
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Re: Penner

One of the things that the Oilers sorely lack is a consistent effort, Penner will only make that worse. Bringing Penner in the the exat opposite thing that this team needs.

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#87 Jon
May 05 2013, 09:14AM
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Kulemin hits more than Colton Orr. I mean ice time difference obviously, but Kulemin 'not being the physical player' is some high standards here. He's 225 lbs and had more hits than any other Toronto forward by a wide margin (we're talking almost 50 more hits than Orr). He's got that 'soft russian' sterotype, but by no means is he one.

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#88 a lg dubl dubl
May 05 2013, 09:35AM
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Horton,Torres,Jagr,and Stalberg are my FA wish list.

This might be a bit of a sideways move but Id offer the Boston GM DD and Gagner for Rask and Krejeci, and if you have to give the Bruins one of the 2nd rounders this year. I love DD, think he will be a top 10 goalie, but imo Rask and DD are prettymuch a saw off in terms of ability, and it would help Boston with the cap: DD makes the same as Rask for a yr longer and Gagner shouldn't get what Kerjeci is making right now 5.25 for another 2 years.

Id hate to see Gagner go, and ideally have him play on the 3rd line center behind RNH and Krejeci but to get Krejeci Gagner is the player Boston would want.

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#89 a lg dubl dubl
May 05 2013, 09:47AM
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LT, how come you didnt put Iginla on your list, don't worry I forgot him on mine too lol, sure would like to see him in Oiler blue just to stick it to Calgary lol.

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#91 a lg dubl dubl
May 05 2013, 09:55AM
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Lowetide wrote:

He'd be a dream, but I don't see it happening. I could see him signing back in Calgary, though.

that would suck, and here I thought he wants to win the cup before retirement(if Pitts can't do it this year).

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#92 Darrell
May 05 2013, 09:55AM
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DSF wrote:

Horton is a horrible bet.

So was J. Shultz dish!t .... if Lowetide has a pair he bans your ass as your clearly misunderstood on OILERSNATION and ruin the blog ...

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#93 madjam
May 05 2013, 09:59AM
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Maybe the writers get paid by the bloggers response numbers , good or bad/inappropriate ? I am not for censorship , but don't mind censoring comments, etc. outside the hockey comments . Like this one that provokes a different subject . Don't engage the blog , ignor it and the sooner it will cease to be a problem .

Will Oilers turn the core around , and how quickly and appropriately do you feel he can do this ? Start of next season ? What,s your timeline want/say ?

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#94 Gaz
May 05 2013, 10:07AM
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@Lowetide

Really? He just sold his palatial estate there. I think he would sign here to play for his hometown team before going back to the place he cut ties with, personally and professionally.

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#95 Craig1981
May 05 2013, 10:09AM
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@Curcro

Boston can not buy out Savard since you are not allowed to buyout an injured player. His salary does not count against the cap though since he is on the ltir

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#96 Dub t
May 05 2013, 10:22AM
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I hope we can sign bickell, stalberg for about 3 mill a piece (or whatever) and Horton or clarkson for 5. If we want these players we need to overpay unfortunately.

Then use hemsky and paajarvi for some help on the blue line. Not a fan of usin the 7th but would for the right dman. I'd also like to trade gagner for a bigger two way centre. Shawn Mattias would be intriguing. It wouldn't be a one for one trade but just throwing out an obtainable name perhaps.

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#97 John Chambers
May 05 2013, 10:43AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Bickell made $600K this year and had 23 points while Stalberg made $800K and had 23 points as well. I would be ecstatic if the Oilers could sign them but there is no way we should pay either of them $3M.

Unfortunaly $3m is about what they cost.

Joel Ward costs $3M, Troy Brouwer a bit more, while Paul Gaustad, Ville Leino, Brooks Laich, and Ryan Malone are above $4M.

Brandon Prust cost $2.5 and he doesn't even bring any offense.

It won't be a buyers market this summer, but if you got Stalberg and Bickell both for $5.5M, you're laughing.

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#98 Eddie Shore
May 05 2013, 10:57AM
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@John Chambers

Yikes, if that is the going rate then they may end up getting even more then based on what else is available. Ughh.

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#99 Taylor Gang
May 05 2013, 11:01AM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

Apologies, in advance, for the long post, Nation.

One day, the girl and I are at the movies waiting for the show to begin. In the row behind us, and I think we've all had this happen, I suddenly hear someone just LAUNCH themselves into a seat, like they own the joint. Sort of a sliding KA-BLAM as the entire section of seats gets rocked. Within three seconds, this guy initiates the most inane conversation in the history of verbal communication with the poor, extremely unlucky, bastard who just happens to be sitting quietly next to him. Without relaying too much of the horror of that experience, I'll just say that the "highlights" of that exchange included details of the gentleman's "rectal problems", and a fascinating ten-minute plus account of how he and a friend scored a sweet life-sized theatre lobby cutout of Ben Affleck some years ago. "Yeah, we barely got him into my mom's car, and his head was hanging out the window, but, man, it was SO worth it to get him into my basement."

The girl, with train wreck-like fascination, wanted to look back at what was happening, but then I remembered the story of Lot's wife, and, for the one and only time, whispered a command to her. "No! Don't look! He HAS his prey! His fate is sealed. 'We ken do nuthin' fer ya, son.'"

Eventually, the victim stopped saying "Cool.", politely, every 30 seconds, and refused to engage the guy at all. No matter what he tried. And he tried! Oh, how he tried!

Soon... silence.

Moral of the story: don't engage creepy idiots, and everybody happy, happy, happy! No names, of course! Just advice, should a similar situation ever arise on the shores of the beloved Nation!

This entertained me

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#100 pelhem grenville
May 05 2013, 11:01AM
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...@otter2233 beer league legend and jenga...

there ARE no other alternate sources better than OilersNation for Oiler news!!!

i ignore...it worked sorta but the amusement factor is undeniable...but then i went on this mission to be like him and i can't wait for the canucks to get swept so i can assume my real identity again ... old fart with a firm grasp on the idea that opinions are like a-holes ...everyone has one...may i or i would suggest that when you see his screen name you simply ignore or you come to realize he is here until he is blocked by one person and one person only...wanye von gretzII hisself...

or maybe brownlee...

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