Report: Tampa Bay looking to deal Ryan Malone

Jonathan Willis
June 27 2013 08:09AM

According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to move veteran left winger Ryan Malone; if they can’t, they will likely choose to buy him out of his contract.

Here’s the comment, from Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column:

I'm hearing Yzerman is trying to trade Ryan Malone. Tampa Bay would prefer to avoid a buyout payout and the Lightning are offering a draft pick as an enticement. Malone has a no-move clause in his contract until July 1, which gives him some control of the situation. It is a limited no-trade after then.

Malone missed 24 games last season with a variety of ailments, scoring just six goals and two assists in the 24 games he did play. He averaged just over 20 goals per season in the four years preceding 2013 despite missing time each year. He has one year remaining on his contract, a deal with two years remaining at a $4.5 million cap hit and only a combined total of $5 million over both season in actual salary.

Scouting Report

Here (in part) is McKeen’s Hockey writing on Malone in their 2012-13 Yearbook:

[B]ig, tough forward blessed with soft hands, strong arms, and deceptive quickness .. propelled by a smooth comfortable stride that is long and powerful .. not the most intuitive player – and still suffers lapses in energy and focus .. puts out a good effort most nights now however .. determined and courageous driving to the net and creating space for linemates .. deployed successfully as a net presence on the power play .. excels making plays in traffic and along the boards and is adept at tips and deflections, aided by solid body control .. generates impressive shooting velocity from a minimal windup .. provides a strategic size and power component to Tampa’s mix .. always best to budget for downtime given his brash approach.

The latter line is one of the primary concerns with respect to Malone; the 33 year old has missed just over one-quarter of Tampa Bay’s games over the last four seasons.

A Statistical Lens

What I'd like to do is look at a number of performance-related statistics. I'm going to look, year by year, at four categories, which are as follow:

  • CorsiRel. "Corsi" is shorthand for shot attempts plus/minus - all the shots, missed shots, and blocked shots that a player was on the ice for 5-on-5 over an average one-hour period. The "Rel" part stands for relative - what we're doing there is adjusting for team strength.
  • 5-on-5 Points/60. Just like regular points, only adjusted for an average hour of ice-time.
  • ZoneStarts. Taking offensive zone and defensive zone faceoffs, and expressing them as a percentage. If a player was on the ice for 70 offensive zone faceoffs and 30 defensive zone faceoffs, he would have a 70% offensive zone start, and we'd expect him to do better than a player with 30 offensive zone and 70 defensive zone faceoffs (30% zone start).
  • Quality of Competition rank. The player's rank among active forwards on his team in Behind the Net's Quality of Competition (we're using the Corsi-based one, though the site also offers a goal-based one and the difference between the two is small). This gives us an idea of the kind of opponents Malone typically played against.

Season Team CorsiRel 5v5 Points/60 ZoneStart QC Rank.
2007-08 Pittsburgh 6.4 1.94 51.1 11th
2008-09 Tampa Bay 10.9 2.36 53.0 10th
2009-10 Tampa Bay -1.6 1.96 51.6 5th
2010-11 Tampa Bay 8.0 1.80 53.0 12th
2011-12 Tampa Bay -0.4 1.90 48.7 5th
2012-13 Tampa Bay -6.3 1.22 50.5 2nd

Aside from this most recent season, we get an interesting picture of Malone. Obviously, he’s a capable scorer – a good scoring line option will manage 2.00 points per hour 5-on-5, and Malone is generally just a hair below that. The interesting thing is that he only has really excelled in his NHL career in years where he hasn’t played the tough minutes – we see three seasons where his team really out-shot the opposition with him on the ice, and in all three cases he wasn’t playing against power. When he played second-tier opposition, his team was more likely to hover around the break-even mark in terms of shot attempts for and against.

Not listed here, but also of interest: Malone has been a significant power play performer on the team’s he has played for and can reasonably be seen as a value-added player with the man advantage. He’s also capable of filling in on the penalty kill, though it’s been a few years since he played regular minutes.

The Cost

The cost of Malone isn’t really in the acquisition – Tampa Bay sounds willing to sweeten the deal, after all. It’s two more years at a cap hit of $4.5 million for a guy closing in on 34 with an ugly history of injury and a style that will continue putting him in harm’s way.

If he rebounds, Ryan Malone is an awfully useful player; if he doesn’t, that’s a hard contract to take on.

Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, Derek Zona presents the Final Consensus Rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft. Who is number one, and perhaps more importantly for this site, who is number seven?

Click the link to find out, or alternately, feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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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 Jimmeh
June 27 2013, 08:11AM
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Go for the guy Tampa bought out instead!

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#2 RDS
June 27 2013, 08:26AM
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Any truth to the glorius rumour I heard last night:

Hemsky + 7th overall to FLA for 2nd overall?

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#3 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 27 2013, 08:28AM
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So Malone and a pick for.....?

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#4 Tom
June 27 2013, 08:30AM
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Not related....Just need to release.... Come on Craig, do something, anything, well almost anything. As Elvis said, "a little less conversation a little more action". Becoming impatient.....

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#5 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 27 2013, 08:30AM
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RDS wrote:

Any truth to the glorius rumour I heard last night:

Hemsky + 7th overall to FLA for 2nd overall?

Put yourself in FLA's shoes and see if there's any truth to that........

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#6 JDP
June 27 2013, 08:32AM
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Hey willis.....what are the chances the oil go after vinny?

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#7 admiralmark
June 27 2013, 08:34AM
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Any way you look at TB and Malone its simply a contract they want off the books. The team taking him is doing them a favour. Albeit on a whim that maybe he can be worth half his cap hit the next two seasons. They would need to sweeten the deal. Swap our 2nd(56th) rounder for their 2nd rounder(33rd) and I would make the deal... I dont see this happening however.

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#8 admiralmrk
June 27 2013, 08:36AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Put yourself in FLA's shoes and see if there's any truth to that........

Exactly.

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#9 oliveoilers
June 27 2013, 08:37AM
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Tom wrote:

Not related....Just need to release.... Come on Craig, do something, anything, well almost anything. As Elvis said, "a little less conversation a little more action". Becoming impatient.....

Lol, I know. Toews was just about to hoist the cup and I was already checking for trades! Words of Monty Python: Get on with it!

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#10 RDS
June 27 2013, 08:42AM
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If it sounds to good to be true....

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#11 15w40
June 27 2013, 08:47AM
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No to Malone - maybe to Vincent. Would his preference be to go to Montreal?

Eberle - Lecavalier - Hall / Nichushkin - RNH - Yakupov / ??? - Gagner - Pajaarvi

I don't know if the wingers are all in the right spot but it looks OK to me.

Move the centres around as you like or maybe it even looks like this:

Eberle - RNH - Yakupov / Nichushkin - Lecavalier - Hall

That 2nd line is a fairly heavy line.

If Vincent is still looking for a 6 year deal at 6 mil then not going to work.

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#12 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 09:10AM
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Much the same situation as the Oilers are in with Hemsky. Minus the manly characteristics that Malone has of course.

Think I heard that Ryan Malone once killed a grizzly bear with his bare hands*

[edit]*Check that, it was Sam Gagner whom killed that bear, sorry.

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#13 mr common sense
June 27 2013, 09:15AM
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FORGET this nonsense.....Malone cant skate.

MacT should pursue Vinny. Solid #2 and mentor for Nuge.

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#14 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 09:27AM
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Lecavilier would fit into that Shock and Awe category, rather than the bold, Craig spoke of.

4-5 a year on a 5 yr deal, who wouldn't want to get in on that. Should be an interesting week for Vinny after he clears.

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#15 OilClog
June 27 2013, 09:27AM
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Malone is exactly the type of player MacT is looking to avoid.. he said it so himself. No veterans on their last legs, none. Unless named Ryan Smyth.

If Eakins properly handles the roster he is given, and keeps Smyth on the LW where he should never of left.. I think he still has game to give. Last season was a joke, 4th line center?!?!? WTF! I know Tambi did absolutely nothing.. But everyone could clearly see playing 4th line center was killing Smyth, but he did it.. He could have a bit of a resurgent year and help gap the transition, if we just let him breathe, play, and not weight him down on his last hoorah!

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#16 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 09:35AM
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Orders a Lecavilier #44 Oiler jersey.....

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#17 vetinari
June 27 2013, 09:39AM
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I think that it would be too risky to carry both Hemsky and Malone on a roster... if Malone came over, that would definitely mean the end of the road for Hemsky.

As for the slowness in trades, I suspect that the trade market will heat up after buyouts are completed and teams can see whether there are any bargains out there.

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#18 Mr common sense
June 27 2013, 09:51AM
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It's amazing how much better players than horcoff and Alice are being ruthlessly bought out, yet our guys are sacred. Deserve respect. Don't buy them out. Show respect. Makes no sense

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#19 DrDave
June 27 2013, 09:52AM
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Vinny is my favorite non oiler in the NHL. I would have a Wayne-esque Squeegasm if MacT pulled this off!!! Now I'm cursing myself for going out to the mountains camping this weekend where I won't have any cell service.... Oh wait, no I'm not ;)

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#20 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 09:53AM
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David Bolland > Sam Gagner?

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#21 OilClog
June 27 2013, 09:54AM
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I wouldn't trade Hemsky for Malone straight up.

Malone's game type pretty much means he's done.. Darcy Tucker anyone..

Hemsky's game type.. He could and probably will hit 70pts again if he stays healthy wherever he ends up.. The only reason Hemsky should be leaving.. is if he asked to.. Otherwise we lose the Hemsky trade 100 times out of 100.

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#22 OilClog
June 27 2013, 09:54AM
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I wouldn't trade Hemsky for Malone straight up.

Malone's game type pretty much means he's done.. Darcy Tucker anyone..

Hemsky's game type.. He could and probably will hit 70pts again if he stays healthy wherever he ends up.. The only reason Hemsky should be leaving.. is if he asked to.. Otherwise we lose the Hemsky trade 100 times out of 100.

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#23 Eddie Shore
June 27 2013, 09:55AM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Dave Bolland is a 3rd line C but I would make a deal in a heartbeat to get him from Chicago. No thanks to Malone.

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#24 OilClog
June 27 2013, 09:56AM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

two completely different players.. if we're talking 3rd line checking role yes.. if we're talking 2nd line scoring role.. no.

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#25 DrDave
June 27 2013, 09:57AM
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Sorry I know this is off topic again but I almost fainted thinking about Hall being on Vinny's wing... ***cleans drool off keyboard and desk...***

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#26 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 27 2013, 09:57AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

David Bolland > Sam Gagner?

Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?

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#27 StHenriOilBomb
June 27 2013, 10:06AM
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What an interesting time in the NHL. Buyout period and free agent period overlap, and for the first time we are seeing multiple players bought out, and some real talent is coming available.

What salary does a player ask for after being bought out?

One has to make the argument that to be bought out, a player's salary must have been significantly higher than his value for a team to buy him out. So what then would we assume he could reasonably bargain for? 60%? 80% of the first contract?

Will the bought out players be more likely to play for less than market value having just made a huge lump of cash.

Will there be bought out players paid over-value just because it's a UFA deal?

And how much will Lecavalier demand?

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#28 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 10:07AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?

Had here pegged as a side sleeper. Little bit of that boob sweat thing going on there.

Figure Bollands worth that 56th selection, or Paajarvi?

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#29 Smokey
June 27 2013, 10:09AM
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JDP wrote:

Hey willis.....what are the chances the oil go after vinny?

I think they puh in an offer like.any team saying we're sending a message, but Vinny stays out east. Gotta think he can still.command 5 mil x 5, and.would make a smoking 2nd line center on most teams I would think Detroit, Washington, heck Florida.could be front runners and looking for a second line center like him. He's not going.to Canada and especially not TO or Montreal.

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#30 Will
June 27 2013, 10:20AM
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Man, these compliance buyouts are really heating up. So much for the DSF theory that no one is going to be bought out. Lecavalier for our second line centre is exactly what the Oilers need. Skill, veteran leadership, the guy can still be a superstar, especially on this team.

Get it done Mac T.

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#31 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 27 2013, 10:20AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Had here pegged as a side sleeper. Little bit of that boob sweat thing going on there.

Figure Bollands worth that 56th selection, or Paajarvi?

Easy.

There are a few concerns with Bolland though:

- He plays the toughest opposition but still bleeds shots against.

- He's a UFA at the end of next season.

- Why is Chicago shopping him? Can't be because of Vinny. They can sign Vinny and still trade Bolland before the season starts.

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#32 madjam
June 27 2013, 10:22AM
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Jimmeh wrote:

Go for the guy Tampa bought out instead!

I'd go after Vinny over Malone . Signed ,sealed and delivered . I'd try for Iginla if price were right as well .

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#34 OilersBrass
June 27 2013, 10:29AM
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Vinny would be interesting in Edmonton. Bryzgalov and his agent have been talking about Edmonton being one of the teams they would like to sign with this off season.

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#35 Eddie Shore
June 27 2013, 10:31AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Easy.

There are a few concerns with Bolland though:

- He plays the toughest opposition but still bleeds shots against.

- He's a UFA at the end of next season.

- Why is Chicago shopping him? Can't be because of Vinny. They can sign Vinny and still trade Bolland before the season starts.

They can't fford to keep him. They have TONNES of money tied up in Kane, Toews, Sharp, Hossa, Keith, Seabrook. Something's gotta give.

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#36 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 10:31AM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

See what happens if that Horcoff buyout drops.

Bolland would help bridge the gap. No way the Oil could get by with Lander as the 3rd line center here.

Always the Jagr option as well.

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#37 Walter Sobchak
June 27 2013, 10:33AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but did MacTavish not say (paraphrasing) I'm only looking for 26-27-28 years old to supplement this team with?

MacTavish wont be going after Lecavalier and get caught in a bidding war.

He wont be going after Malone an injury prone 33 year old.

I will say this about MacTavish he sure is talking a lot of sense.

If......Lecavalier goes to Montreal does that mean Galchenyuk could be moved for the right price?

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#38 justDOit
June 27 2013, 10:34AM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Vinny would be interesting in Edmonton. Bryzgalov and his agent have been talking about Edmonton being one of the teams they would like to sign with this off season.

It was only a season or two ago that Bryz was defending Pronger's demand for a trade out of town, and then there was the whole 'won't move to Winnipeg with the team' debacle in Phoenix.

I guess $1.6M for the next 12 years as a buyout isn't enough money for him, and he needs another contract? If he was smart, he'd be begging to go to whatever team Tippet ends up coaching.

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#39 Truth
June 27 2013, 10:35AM
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Word is Lecavalier is interested in the Eastern conference only. Don't know french, but apparently that's what it says in this...

http://tvasports.ca/hockey/lnh/le-contrat-de-lecavalier-rachete-27062013

I would look at Malone, but not for much. Malone for Horcoff? Although it doesn't solve any cap issues they do need a center now...

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#40 madjam
June 27 2013, 10:37AM
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It's time to get in the playoff picture game and add a veteran in the 7-9M contract range , like all the others major competition are doing or have done - lets not cheap out and just overpay mid line personnel . A Lecavalier , Weber , even smaller hits like Iginla and Luongo would do well here .

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#41 Oilcan
June 27 2013, 10:38AM
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Doesn't vinny have a NMC? I'm not confident in my CBA understanding but to be bought out he has to go in waiver first, but with a no movement clause can't he block going on waivers?

Can someone help me out there?

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#42 justDOit
June 27 2013, 10:41AM
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@Oilcan

Waivers doesn't mean that the player is moving - he will be put on waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract, which he has no control over.

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#43 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 10:42AM
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@Walter Sobchak

If......Lecavalier goes to Montreal does that mean Galchenyuk could be moved for the right price? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You sir, win the internet today, and it's only 11 am. Here's to hoping the Habs go into win now mode.

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#44 Sanaa Montana
June 27 2013, 10:44AM
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This is not according to Elliot. It is according to someone else or he just made it up.

I'm not doubting he heard someone say that-but it could have been someone at his office's watercooler.

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#45 oilerjed
June 27 2013, 10:49AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?

I dont get this Gags has only slightly less FO%, 90 more points and is 3 years younger and a much higher ceiling. Where would you put Bolland? Not 2c I would hope.

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#46 Taylor Gang
June 27 2013, 10:51AM
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2 years 5.5 per is my deal to Lecavalier. He would replace Horcoff's contract, the difference being that Vinny is much better.

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#47 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 27 2013, 10:55AM
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oilerjed wrote:

I dont get this Gags has only slightly less FO%, 90 more points and is 3 years younger and a much higher ceiling. Where would you put Bolland? Not 2c I would hope.

Not 2C.

I'm saying Bolland has more of an impact on the game than Gagner. Especially if consider play-off type hockey.

I like Gagner. I think he's a dude. But he DOES NOT WIN PUCK BATTLES. And that just won't cut it in the play-offs.

Bye, Sam.

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#48 oilerjed
June 27 2013, 11:11AM
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@ Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat

maybe i missed something during the playoffs but I didnt notice Bolland all that much. Other then a 2011 he has been a bit of a non issue. Id keep Gags and give it a chance to see what he can do in the playoffs. Still would slide him to wing if we can get a 2c though.

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#49 Spydyr
June 27 2013, 11:13AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Much the same situation as the Oilers are in with Hemsky. Minus the manly characteristics that Malone has of course.

Think I heard that Ryan Malone once killed a grizzly bear with his bare hands*

[edit]*Check that, it was Sam Gagner whom killed that bear, sorry.

The bear must of choked to death on Frodo.

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#50 OilersBrass
June 27 2013, 11:26AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

2 years 5.5 per is my deal to Lecavalier. He would replace Horcoff's contract, the difference being that Vinny is much better.

Vinny is getting a massive pay cheque, i'm sure they any team could get him for less.

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