MACT: LOOKING TO WIN NOW...

Jason Gregor
July 11 2013 12:42PM

Yesterday's trade involving David Perron and Magnus Paajarvi showed me the Oilers are finished "waiting" for prospects to develop. That doesn't mean they won't allows Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin and Darnell Nurse time to mature, but Craig MacTavish won't be afraid to deal one of his young players for a more mature and proven, yet still young, NHL player.

The rebuild stage isn't completely over, but I believe the Oilers are entering a new phase that will be more about shaping the team instead of just stockpiling young talent.

Perron is only 25 years old, but he's entering his 7th NHL season. He's clearly the better player today, and likely will be in the future.

I'm surprised how many people have suggested Paajarvi will mature into a better player. He is a better skater, and he's bigger, but he doesn't play bigger and he's never been a big-time scorer at any level, so I'm curious what they base that assumption on. Someone actually suggested to me that Paajarvi could be like Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk wasn't a scorer in Russia, but he became one in the NHL.

It is true Datsyuk wasn't a big scorer in Russia, but he also wasn't drafted until he was 20 and was taken in the 6th round. He was the ultimate late developer, and no offence to Paajarvi, he doesn't possess 1/2 of Datsyuk's offensive skill, but very few NHL players do. It is great to find the one the player who defines the odds and stats, but assuming that Paajarvi is suddenly going to develop above average "hands" is wishful thinking.

I think Paajarvi will have a long NHL career, but he doesn't have the offensive capabilities of Perron. I think Perron will fit in well with the Oilers, while Paajarvi will give the Blues some much needed speed in their top-nine, but I don't see him becoming a scorer in St. Louis.

I know points are only one aspect of the game, and Perron doesn't solve the Oilers need for a big, skilled forward, but he plays a grittier game than Paajarvi. This trade gives MacTavish another skilled forward, and Perron is a better asset than Paajarvi.

Perron does have warts, however, and the biggest concern is whether he is willing to consistently go to the tough areas to score.

Andy Strickland from ESPN ST.Louis and www.truehockey.com wrote this about Perron. 

Early in Perron’s career he was consistently among the league leaders in drawing penalties. He was incredibly difficult to knock off the puck and could protect the puck with one hand on his stick as good any player in the game. His ability to use his edges and fend off defenders was extremely impressive. He would often find himself near the crease of the opposing goaltender after the whistle where he had a knack of getting under the skin of the opposition. 

But as his career progressed following his return from the concussion, we began seeing less of the game he displayed in his first few seasons. Even when Perron scored 21 goals in 57 games there was concern he wasn’t entering the hard areas of the ice as he once did.

Were the secondary concerns of his concussion mentally affecting his game? It’s a fair question to ask following his performance last season. There’s no doubt Perron felt somewhat handcuffed playing in a system that places a far greater emphasis on structure than creativity. He has an idea of how he needs to play to be successful and will be surrounded by more players that complement his style in Edmonton than he was in St. Louis. 

PERRON SPEAKS

Perron came on my radio show yesterday to discuss the trade.  

Gregor: Were you surprised you were traded? 

Perron: I heard my name a little bit around the NHL draft weekend. I wasn’t sure if it was going to get done. I was actually in Montreal today doing some media stuff for a hockey pool for next year. I got the call from Doug Armstrong and it was just a real shock at first, you don’t know what to think. As soon as you start thinking about the Edmonton Oilers and their team- It was exciting and the type of hockey that I like to play. I can’t wait to be joining the team and doing whatever I can to help them.

Gregor: The Oilers play a more up-tempo game than what Ken Hitchcock had in St. Louis. Why does that fit your game better?

Perron: I think if you look at the players that are on there, their skill level is incredible. I’m just going to try to come in and help them and play a big role on the team. I think, obviously, in St. Louis it’s pretty defensive minded hockey. At the same time, it’s a winning culture and I think it’s important to try to bring that into Edmonton. I think the team is really going in the right direction with all the moves that they are making.

Gregor: Ken Hitchcock told one of my co-workers, Mark Spector, that you played left wing, but he felt you were better on the right side when you attacked in the offensive zone. Which wing do you feel more comfortable on?

Perron: I like to play on the left side a little more. I think on the right side in St.Louis when I was playing there, the way we play is coming into the zone and we tried to hit the far pad on the goalie to create some rebounds and create some havoc in the zone. It seems to me that the Oilers are a much more puck possession team, trying to go in the zone with it. That’s why I think I’d like to play the left side a little more, but obviously I don’t think it matters too much. I’ll just try to fit in and hopefully have a lot of fun with these guys.

Gregor: Do you feel you are a guy who is not only skilled, but willing to go to the tough areas to score?

Perron: Well that’s something I’ve always tried to do even in juniors and coming into the NHL. When I was nineteen years old, I played with Keith Tkachuk for a couple years. He’s obviously a big guy, and told everyone to go to the net, that’s where you’ll score your ugly goals and at the end of the year you’ll have five or ten more just because you went there. He was really one of the big influences on me going to the net and obviously I like to have the puck on my stick. I like to carry it and make plays, but at the same time I try to play a game that’s going to try to draw penalties and do stuff like that.

Gregor: How is your health? Have you fully recovered from the concussion? Where do you see yourself as far as a guy moving forward, can you be a sixty point player?

Perron: I feel like I can be and that’s what I want to do. I want to improve every single year. I think for me, coming back from the concussion it seems like November, December, the months went by. It’s tough to kind of keep that same level of shape when you don’t know if you’re going to play. Then all of a sudden, we started playing in January. I felt like it was tough on me, it was tough on a lot of guys around the league. This summer, it feels so good for me training-wise and nutrition-wise, just doing all the right things that I can to improve in the off-season and something I didn’t have the luxury to do in the last two to three years.

Gregor: Were you close to going to play in Europe last year during the lockout?

Perron: Actually, guys with concussions I guess they’re not insured. Whoever had a concussion, even if you missed two days, three days, four days, it doesn’t matter, even if you miss a year, you’re not insured to try to go overseas and play in Europe. That’s the reason, talking to my agent, that he didn’t want me to go. I think it’s the same reason for a lot of guys, Crosby and many guys who have had a concussion before have decided to stay here. I was supposed to be going to Switzerland with one of my friends here in Sherbrooke, but I decided not to go.

WRAP UP

  • The Oilers won the Perron/Paajarvi trade, but MacTavish is aware he needs to make more moves. It isn't easy acquiring a big, skilled forward, and I don't see him acquiring one in a Hemsky trade. I suspect Hemsky gets dealt for a 3rd line winger with size.
     
  • Four LA Kings: Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin and Jordan Nolan all filed for arbitration. The Kings only have $5 million in cap space to sign those four and Kyle Clifford. Some have suggested the Kings will put Jarret Stoll on LTIR, but that is premature thinking. The Kings are in a cap crunch, and if I'm MacTavish I'd be making calls about Clifford. An offer sheet is off the table now that the Oilers don't have their 2nd round pick.
     
  • Many wondered why I didn't write an article on why the Oilers should make an offer sheet for Alex Pietrangelo or Chris Stewart instead of Clifford. Clearly, both of them are better than Clifford, but I felt the Clifford offer sheet was less of a gamble, and with the Kings tight to the cap the chance of it working was higher.

    The only way the Blues let Pietrangelo walk is if the Oilers offered him a $9 million cap hit, and even then they might match. If the Oilers offer him $9 million, and the Blues didn't match it the Oilers would have to give them four 1st round picks. I don't believe the Oilers have enough depth in the organization to go four years without a 1st rounder.

    Stewart is an interesting case. He's a rare breed; a skilled power forward, but he's also been inconsistent. He did shed 25 pounds last summer after learning he was allergic to brown rice and eliminated it from his diet. He's only 25 and he's already had two 28-goal seasons, and he had 18 last year (prorates to 30 over 82 game season).

    Would a four-year deal at $5.5- $5.7 million be enough to scare of the Blues? Would it be a wise move by the Oilers? I'd make that move, but I still doubt the Blues would let him walk. They traded Perron to make cap space to sign Stewart and Pietrangelo.
     
  • Here is the compensation chart for offer sheets:

    OFFER                                              COMPENSATION

    $1,110,249 or below                          None
    Over $1,110,249 to $1,682,194         Third-round choice
    Over $1,682,194 to $3,364,391         Second-round choice
    Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585         First-round and third-round choice
    Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781         1st, 2nd and a 3rd round choice
    Over $6,728,781 to $8,410,976         Two 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd round choice
    Over $8,410,976                              Four first-round choices
     

 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 RJ
July 11 2013, 01:59PM
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Opportunity just falls into MacT's lap. The Devils just got $6.67 million in cap space that opened up. Kovalchuk retires BEFORE he makes his big payday?

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#52 OilersBrass
July 11 2013, 01:59PM
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Ducey wrote:

I don't think he can. He is under contract with NJ.

Its more likely he is putting some pressure on Uncle Lou to move him.

An NHL contract didn't stop Radulov from going to the KHL.

Edit: Ilya said he's retiring from the NHL, not from hockey all together.

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#53 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 11 2013, 02:03PM
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@Ducey

The Oilers would be idiots to make an offer sheet to anyone. ___________________________________________________________________________________

The guy who furnished the last two RFA offer sheets is still here. It isn't all that much of a reach.

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#54 bazmagoo
July 11 2013, 02:04PM
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Hemmer can only be traded for spare parts unfortunately at this stage, imo.

How about Hemsky for Steve Bernier and a 2nd round pick?

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#55 David S
July 11 2013, 02:13PM
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DN wrote:

Two things:

1. For all of the people constantly suggesting that the Oilers sign Grabovski: it's not going to happen. MacTavish and Co. have openly placed an emphasis on "character" as an important aspect in relation to any new additions to the team and Grabosvki has shown on multiple occasions in the past (leaving the team when MTL scratched him, that biting incident, insulting the coach during his exit interview with the T.O. media) that he is at least questionable in that department. There's no doubt he's a very good hockey player and that, in those terms, he's a pretty good fit for the Oilers. You can make the argument that his hockey skills should make the character issues irrelevant but the fact is is that the Oilers very much do see those issues as relevant. This is not to say signing him isn't a good idea, just that continually arguing that it should happen is fruitless.

2. As for the people constantly saying that the Oilers should trade for a #1D: Who are these elite defencemen that other teams are offering up for trades? Yes, I know they're crazy valuable and would solidify a defensive core for years to come but other GMs certainly know that too. Basically, blue-skying trades and roster make ups is alright, to an extent, but at least try and come up with something that is reasonable and realistic.

Who of any of us out there can say the Oilers haven't made a pitch for him already? I'm really getting tired of the babies crying "WHY HAVEN'T THE OILERS TRADED FOR GRABO? DERP???"

The PRV deal was in the works for a while. If there's any decent deal out there to be had it looks like MacT is at least in on it.

Guys. It pains me to say this again but THIS ISN'T NHL 13.

If anything what we're seeing is moves are way harder to pull off than we all thought and quite frankly, Edmonton isn't exactly a destination of choice.

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#56 Smokey
July 11 2013, 02:16PM
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RJ wrote:

Opportunity just falls into MacT's lap. The Devils just got $6.67 million in cap space that opened up. Kovalchuk retires BEFORE he makes his big payday?

Where's the resident capologist in this blog. What happens with the cap hit.

Gotta be one hell of a KHL contract to walk away from 80 mil guaranteed. Can't imagine having.the cahoonas to do that. NJ in a world of hurt. Lou may have a bad enough team to win the draft lottery, and never get the pick. I wonder if this a mutual thing. Hemsky to play there would be a good bandaid and ease the sting. What does NJ have we want, not named Larsson or Henrique.

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#57 Lochenzo
July 11 2013, 02:22PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Hemmer can only be traded for spare parts unfortunately at this stage, imo.

How about Hemsky for Steve Bernier and a 2nd round pick?

I was thinking something similar. Continue the plan to improve the bottom 6 forwards and overall defense.

Bernier and Ryan Carter. Just looking for effective players in their specific roles.

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#58 bazmagoo
July 11 2013, 02:24PM
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@Lochenzo

I think Bernier and Ryan Carter for Hemmer would be a fair deal for both teams - agreed.

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#59 RJ
July 11 2013, 02:31PM
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Smokey wrote:

Where's the resident capologist in this blog. What happens with the cap hit.

Gotta be one hell of a KHL contract to walk away from 80 mil guaranteed. Can't imagine having.the cahoonas to do that. NJ in a world of hurt. Lou may have a bad enough team to win the draft lottery, and never get the pick. I wonder if this a mutual thing. Hemsky to play there would be a good bandaid and ease the sting. What does NJ have we want, not named Larsson or Henrique.

If you go to capgeek, you can see that Kovalchuk wasn't into the big money of his contract, that didn't start until this upcoming season. He's walking away from around $55 million over the next five seasons to go back to Russia. I have a hard time seeing any KHL offer greatly exceeding that.

But as for the cap penalties, I don't think there is any; his actual annual salary was lower than his cap hit, at least until this upcoming season.

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#60 Will
July 11 2013, 02:31PM
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So, I guess Morrow will be playing in New Jersey next year?

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#61 Top Cheddar
July 11 2013, 02:41PM
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Hemmer, N Schultz, Marincin/Fedun and a fourth rd for Larsson, Henrique and a third. We'd have to keep some salary too. Dreaming I know. Outside of the Adams boys, not sure who else is attractive from their roster...

Some chatter about Bernier and Carter...not bad bottom 6 roster fills potentially.

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#62 Canadian Maniac
July 11 2013, 02:44PM
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Kovalchuk is probably about to reap one of the biggest, most obscene hockey paydays of all time in Russia. The whole situation is going to have huge repercussions in NHL/KHL relations.

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#63 Ducey
July 11 2013, 02:51PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

An NHL contract didn't stop Radulov from going to the KHL.

Edit: Ilya said he's retiring from the NHL, not from hockey all together.

That loop hole was closed right after Radulov used it.

The only problem that still exists is that Kovalchuk could come back late in the season and burn a year off his contract. Thats what Radulov did. He had one year left on his NHL contract. Then he was free to sign in the KHL under the new rules.

Of course Kovalchuk will have to do that every year until 2025! Then he can sign with a KHL team - when he is 42.

There is definitely something funny going on here. Nobody retires at age 30 and leaves that much money on the table. You can bet Lou is somehow taking advantage of it.

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#64 Young Oil
July 11 2013, 02:52PM
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Top Cheddar wrote:

Hemmer, N Schultz, Marincin/Fedun and a fourth rd for Larsson, Henrique and a third. We'd have to keep some salary too. Dreaming I know. Outside of the Adams boys, not sure who else is attractive from their roster...

Some chatter about Bernier and Carter...not bad bottom 6 roster fills potentially.

Hemsky, Schultz, Marincin/Fedun and a 4th isn't even enough to get ONE of Larsson and Henrique, let alone both...

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#65 CaptainLander
July 11 2013, 02:56PM
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Devils will not move Larsson. I like Bernier and Ryan Carter. Idea, maybe try Bernier and a 2nd?? Since we traded our second.

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#66 bazmagoo
July 11 2013, 03:03PM
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CaptainLander wrote:

Devils will not move Larsson. I like Bernier and Ryan Carter. Idea, maybe try Bernier and a 2nd?? Since we traded our second.

Considering it's essentially a salary dump for the Oilers - Bernier and a 2nd would be great. Bernier's a big body that can play in the bottom 6, 2nd round pick might be higher than ours for once lol, and if we could pull it off without having to eat some of Hemmer's salary/cap space that would free up some room for another UFA potentially.

I'd pull the trigger on that if it was on the table.

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#67 OilersBrass
July 11 2013, 03:11PM
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Ducey wrote:

I was wrong about playing in the KHL (1st time for everything) :)

Here is a nice podcast from TSN

http://www2.tsn.ca/window/podcastcentre/#id=20504 &id=13

Kovalchuk will retire. The Devils will have to pay a penalty of about $300K a year until 2025. Kovalchuk will be considered not to have an NHL contract and therefore can play in the KHL.

Brutal, that's a huge d!ck move on Kovalchuks part.

Lou must feel like quite the idiot today.

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#68 Tyler
July 11 2013, 03:18PM
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Kovy RETIRES: Here is how you turn nothing into something. We trade Hemmer and swap 2014 1st rounders with NJ for Larrson. Here's the logic. 2014 1st for NJD is a dead pick (forfeited from Kovy signing). The Devils get Hemmer, and go from -1 first round picks, to +1 1st round picks. THAT's the equivalent of two firsts swing. WOULD the Devils trade Larrson for 2 1sts, and Hemmer? DO we need to sweeten with a D prospect? Gernat? Maricin? Better question, does the NHL allow this to happen? Thoughts?

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#69 Ducey
July 11 2013, 03:21PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Brutal, that's a huge d!ck move on Kovalchuks part.

Lou must feel like quite the idiot today.

List to the podcast. Lou is a happy man today.

He just got out of a contract that because of the new CBA was going to penalize them severely and hamstring their budget. For a team near bankruptcy, thats huge.

I bet Lou even finds a way to argue he should not be penalized for the contract by losing the 1st round pick.

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#70 OilersBrass
July 11 2013, 03:25PM
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Ducey wrote:

List to the podcast. Lou is a happy man today.

He just got out of a contract that because of the new CBA was going to penalize them severely and hamstring their budget. For a team near bankruptcy, thats huge.

I bet Lou even finds a way to argue he should not be penalized for the contract by losing the 1st round pick.

Just brutal about the 300k a year until 2025.

I'll check out the podcast though for sure!

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#71 EHH Team
July 11 2013, 03:27PM
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Tyler wrote:

Kovy RETIRES: Here is how you turn nothing into something. We trade Hemmer and swap 2014 1st rounders with NJ for Larrson. Here's the logic. 2014 1st for NJD is a dead pick (forfeited from Kovy signing). The Devils get Hemmer, and go from -1 first round picks, to +1 1st round picks. THAT's the equivalent of two firsts swing. WOULD the Devils trade Larrson for 2 1sts, and Hemmer? DO we need to sweeten with a D prospect? Gernat? Maricin? Better question, does the NHL allow this to happen? Thoughts?

Can't imagine that NJ can trade a pick that they have forfeited.

Would the Oilers 2014 1st + Hemmer get Henrique?

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#72 Mikey
July 11 2013, 03:29PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Just brutal about the 300k a year until 2025.

I'll check out the podcast though for sure!

300k penalty is nothing.

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#73 Gordie Wayne
July 11 2013, 03:31PM
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Reports that Kovalchuk could make $15 to $20 million per year in KHL:

ilya-kovalchuk-join-ska-could-earn-20-million

And an even more crazy part of that article links to another article stating that Radulov is making 9.2 million per year in KHL...WTF!

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#74 OilersBrass
July 11 2013, 03:36PM
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Ducey wrote:

List to the podcast. Lou is a happy man today.

He just got out of a contract that because of the new CBA was going to penalize them severely and hamstring their budget. For a team near bankruptcy, thats huge.

I bet Lou even finds a way to argue he should not be penalized for the contract by losing the 1st round pick.

Good find on the podcast!

Lou and Kovy definitely planned this thing out, too funny.

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#75 TeeVee
July 11 2013, 03:39PM
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The KHL is some crazy Pyramid Scheme.

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#76 Dman09
July 11 2013, 03:44PM
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I like the Idea of Steve Bernier. Hemsky for Berneir and a 2nd would be ideal but I would imagine it would likely be a 3rd or 4th instead and I would still make the trade.

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#77 Pouzar99
July 11 2013, 04:11PM
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Kovie is a multi-millionaire. There is more to life than money, especially when you have as much as he does. Having grown up 3 miles from Newark, NJ, I surely understand why he would want to get out of that rathole. Maybe he has lost his love for the game. Maybe he would rather live a luxurious life in Russia with his family. Or maybe there is more here than meets the eye.

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#78 Fresh Mess
July 11 2013, 04:19PM
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This trade makes no sense to me, and I can't figure out how anyone who saw the improvement in MPS' game last year can think Edmonton "won" when you factor in the cap hit and the draft pick.

I'm glad Kovalchuk is gone. He was scum. LouLam dodged a bullet getting out of that idiotic contract.

Hopefully for the Oilers sake Yakupov doesn't get the same urge down the road. I would trade him.

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#79 michael
July 11 2013, 04:37PM
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Kovie done in the NHL for at least this season. Is NJ just absoluted fubared. Holy Cow. They finished 9th this season. Next> might be like 3rd last. And they have no 1st round pick. Lovely. Those frontloaded contracts have now come around to bite their GM's in the ass. The Suter and Parise contracts have hamstrung the Wild's payroll. Lous contract is so bad even he can't stomache it. Sweet to see these bad contracts fall upon such nice GM's in nice places. Good for them.

NJ. The For Sale sign should be up pretty quick. Was not the deal that they were looking to sell a 20% stake in a franchise that only draws bandwagoners and has a fan base of about 10,000. Newark? Do they have any money other than mob money? The NHL puts out one fire and the swamps in NJ light up like the 4th of July. No pity or sympathy for Lou.

Parise,Clarkson and IK all gone. Smells like fish.Looks like fish. Its fish.

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#80 madjam
July 11 2013, 04:56PM
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Kovalchuk huge surprise ! Feel a little uneasy about Yakupov if he turns out to be a top star ? Whom might the KHL target next ? Rookies ? Isn't that how the WHL got started ? Expansion overseas ?

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#81 boxman
July 11 2013, 05:43PM
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Damn DSF, when you are not being a dick you really contribute. Why not give up your bitterness on the Oilers being 20 years in the ditch because of world class bad driving. The future is bright in Oilerland and you can't see it through your haze of being put through so much pain. Just because you got bent over an alter doesn't mean all religion is bad.

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#82 2004Z06
July 11 2013, 05:47PM
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@OilersBrass

Despite what you hear, this was definitely a mutual decision with the Devils. They are 200 million in debt and now no longer have to pay Kovy 11 mil in actual dollars over the next few years plus it reduces their cap hit by 6.5ish per year. Jersey was awful quick to agree to terminating the contract.

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#83 OilersBrass
July 11 2013, 06:07PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Despite what you hear, this was definitely a mutual decision with the Devils. They are 200 million in debt and now no longer have to pay Kovy 11 mil in actual dollars over the next few years plus it reduces their cap hit by 6.5ish per year. Jersey was awful quick to agree to terminating the contract.

Yeah, after hearing the full story I know it was. I said that a couple comments ago.

At first I didn't know the full story, and just assumed Kovy decided to retire and go play in the KHL without discussing it with the Devils first.

Everyone knows what happens when you assume things though! :)

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#84 Smokey
July 11 2013, 06:08PM
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madjam wrote:

Kovalchuk huge surprise ! Feel a little uneasy about Yakupov if he turns out to be a top star ? Whom might the KHL target next ? Rookies ? Isn't that how the WHL got started ? Expansion overseas ?

Its amazing how Bettman always leaves a loophole. You'd think the high price labour lawyers would figure these things out. NJ should get the cap hit for the whole term. Kovalchuk can go make his 20 mil bones. I think we are in the beginning of the KHL purging the NHL of its European stars. Why on earth play for 6 mil when some Russian Oliguarch will add you to his portfolio for 20 mil. I hope Bettman has the last laugh and give Medvedev or whoever the KHL mob boss the ol screw job and the NHL doesn't go to Sochi. Message needs to be sent.

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#85 EHH Team
July 11 2013, 06:11PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Despite what you hear, this was definitely a mutual decision with the Devils. They are 200 million in debt and now no longer have to pay Kovy 11 mil in actual dollars over the next few years plus it reduces their cap hit by 6.5ish per year. Jersey was awful quick to agree to terminating the contract.

That's the way I read it too.

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#86 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 11 2013, 06:30PM
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Lamoriello is breathing a little easier not having to dole out that 11+ per yr. Imagine how David Poile would feel if he could get out from under the 14 Shea Weber is due for the foreseeable future in that small market in Nashville.

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#87 Harlie
July 11 2013, 06:35PM
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Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Oilerprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new age systems, to seek out new depth players and new trainers, to boldly go where it seems like everyone has gone before.

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#88 DSF
July 11 2013, 07:26PM
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boxman wrote:

Damn DSF, when you are not being a dick you really contribute. Why not give up your bitterness on the Oilers being 20 years in the ditch because of world class bad driving. The future is bright in Oilerland and you can't see it through your haze of being put through so much pain. Just because you got bent over an alter doesn't mean all religion is bad.

The guy who drove the team into the ditch is still at the wheel.

MacT has made a couple of nice moves but the team is not much closer to the playoffs.

The competition in the Oilers new division will be brutal and teams they will be competing with for a wild card spot are improving more rapidly (see Columbus and Colorado).

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#89 The Soup Fascist
July 11 2013, 07:41PM
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Remember how everyone - including me - thought Lou Lammy fell off the turnip truck when he elected NOT to surrender his 1st round pick in 2012 when the Devils, fresh off a SCF appearance, were picking like 29th in the 1st round of a comparatively weak draft and instead decided to give it up over one of the next two years?

That tells me this was ALWAYS the end game and Lou knew about it at least 13 months ago. My prediction: the NHL gives the Devils their surrendered draft pick back seeing as how Kovy just "suddenly" decided to retire.

I would be shocked if New Jersey does not get their pick back - I suspect that promise has been made for some time. Oh Lou, you old puppetmaster!

With their first pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft, the New Jersey Devils are proud to select ......

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#90 Locksmithluke
July 11 2013, 07:46PM
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Just about ditched the service truck whilst getting the "low down" on Kovie's grand escape!! Never mind texting and driving, reading the sports blog and driving (in Edmonton) is a killer!! Anyway, just out of curiousity, does Kuba out of FLA fill a ($3.?M) slot on the blue line this year, at 35 he brings quite a bit of experience to the ice and perhaps in the dressing room? Would love to see Larsson in copper an' blue but chances are slim to none of NJ parting ways with an integral part such as...

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#91 madjam
July 11 2013, 08:04PM
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Jason : I'm hearing the Saddledome is being deemed irreplaceable/irreparable again -a second time . Where will the Flames play if that be the case ? They could have a new building before us if they tear it down .

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#92 Walter Sobchak
July 12 2013, 01:41AM
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DSF wrote:

The guy who drove the team into the ditch is still at the wheel.

MacT has made a couple of nice moves but the team is not much closer to the playoffs.

The competition in the Oilers new division will be brutal and teams they will be competing with for a wild card spot are improving more rapidly (see Columbus and Colorado).

Not that it matters to much, because, I agree with you.

However, CBJ is in the east now.

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#93 Curcro
July 12 2013, 02:11AM
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The Devils could have tolled the contract until 2025 and prevented Kovalchuk playing the KHL.

They obviously had their reasons to agree.

And the $20 Million is bogus. It is much closer to $10 Million. But at 13% tax it is a much better number.

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#94 Bucknuck
July 12 2013, 11:05AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

I'm hearing the Flames are SOL on a new building. No federal, provincial or taxpayers dollars will go towards this new building. There isn't a bad seat in the saddledome for hockey games. They'll probably get new retractable seats in the lower bowl, fix the electrical issues and give the place a good scrubbing. I don't think they'll be playing this up to get a new building. After what they've been through recently. Giving those millionaires a new building to play hockey in, is the last thing on the city of Calgarys minds.

I think you are right, Quick. The nosebleeder seats kinda suck, but that's why they are cheap. It's still one of the biggest arena's in the league, and is 15 years newer than Rexall. Next to our old arena it's pretty awesome. Ours is the smallest oldest arena in the league, so there was a good case for change there.

I couldn't understand why they think they should get another arena? You can do renovations to get more luxury seating. Blowing 500M on a new arena seems kinda dumb. Make them wait at least 15 years... hopefully more.

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