BUY, BUY BELANGER

Jason Gregor
July 04 2013 12:06PM

The Oilers have placed centre Eric Belanger on waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract.
When the Oilers signed Belanger two years ago, many felt he was a good addition. He'd help win faceoffs and he could chip in around 30 points. He was great in the dots, winning 55% of his draws his first year and 53% this past season, but he only had 4 goals in 104 games over two seasons. His offence was non-existent.

When he was signed I mentioned the one concern former teammates and organizations said was that he wasn't considered a great dressing room guy. That turned out be accurate. He wasn't a distraction, he didn't yell at this teammates or cause friction, he just had a negative auru about him. You know the type.

That wasn't the reason he was let go, four goals in 104 games was the main one, but the Oilers are trying to "cleanse" their dressing room and they decided they'd be better off without him.

This was an easy decision for the Oilers. I know they don't have a faceoff specialist to replace him, but winning faceoffs didn't result in more scoring chances. Belanger's advanced stats were horrendous despite winning faceoffs.

I don't believe in ripping a player when he leaves town, but I've mentioned for over a year that Belanger was a detriment to this team and this is one decision that I 100% agree with for the Oilers.

QUICK HITS

  • Ray Emery could be a good fit with the Oilers. He's matured the past few seasons, and last year he was outstanding with the Blackhawks. He could push Devan Dubnyk, but he'd be supportive in the back up role as well.
     
  • Interesting situation with the Leafs. They buyout Grabovski ($14.4 mIllion) and the analytics guys hate the decision. Grabovski was overpaid, but not to the point you just give up on him. If they replace him with Bozak and Clarkson I suspect our pals at www.theleafsnation.com might need counseling. The best part is that the Leafs are buying out a guy because he is overpaid, but they will replace him with two players who will also be overpaid. Awesome.
     
  •  Darren Dreger tweeted the Stars and Bruins have a huge trade in the works involving Tyler Seguin and Loui Eriksson. Jim Nill and Joe Sakic have made some significant moves right away since grabbing the reigns in Dallas and Colorado. The next week should be highly entertaining for hockey fans.  

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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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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#1 jonny94
July 04 2013, 12:41PM
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So would it be fair to say Hall > Seguin?

Thoughts?.... Looking at you DSF

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#2 Lochenzo
July 04 2013, 02:26PM
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DSF wrote:

Projecting Gagner's numbers over an 82 game season is a fool's game.

In the last 10 games of the season, when the games mattered, he scored 2 assists...both of them second assists.

He has always disappeared for long stretches.

Suggesting his plus/minus would be much better is also questionable....Dallas' defense hasn't been stellar either.

So you tell me it's silly to project using 48 games, and then make assumptions using 10 games?

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#3 Romulus' Apotheosis
July 04 2013, 05:44PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

For Sale sign appeared on Hemsky's house yesterday. Wonder what that means?

your restraining order has expired?

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#4 Rama Lama
July 04 2013, 02:43PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Okay then, what crazy suggestions do you have that you think the Oil should do?

I think he wants the Oilers to fire Mac T ..........he is no good. I suggest we bring back Kevin Lowe as the GM, that will fix everything.

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#5 SrCain
July 04 2013, 02:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Projecting Gagner's numbers over an 82 game season is a fool's game.

In the last 10 games of the season, when the games mattered, he scored 2 assists...both of them second assists.

He has always disappeared for long stretches.

Suggesting his plus/minus would be much better is also questionable....Dallas' defense hasn't been stellar either.

I would just like to point out that YOU always point out projected 82 game stats to back up your points. Now when someone else does it it's a fools game. Your hypocrisy on this site is starting to make me sick. Imo you have zero credibility on this site because your values flip flop like a fish out of water. It's fine to have convictions, but please grow some balls and stick to them.

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#6 Steven
July 04 2013, 02:36PM
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Magically, Teams like Colorado, Calgary and Dallas have taken strides to improve their teams through active management. So far, MacTavish has accomplished next to nothing. Yet the fans seem to console themselves by the classic "they were asking too much" or even worse, the "there's still time to make a move." The whole organization and its fan base exude defeatism and are satisfied with mediocrity. Demand better.

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#7 6 ring circus
July 04 2013, 03:27PM
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Maybe it is time that we face the fact's in Oiler nation,Tambelini made no trades in the time he was here and Mac T has done absolutely nothing more than provide us with lip service,Tambellini would have done the exact same job as Mac T has done up until now.Either Katz steps in or we are all F--ked!!!! And to think I re-upped my season seats because I thought Mac T was going to do something BOLD!!!!

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#8 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 04 2013, 03:37PM
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DSF, I can appreciate what you do on here, keeping people grounded in their expectations. I just think you need to work on your delivery. Condescension wins you no friends.

And what's up with worshipping the Canucks?

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#9 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 04 2013, 03:43PM
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@OilClog

Well I was trying to be civil, but some days you're absolutely right.

Sorry DSF, but I'm pretty sure I remember you saying we should draft Seguin over Hall. Hindsight's 20/20, but I'll take Hall any day of the week.

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#10 MKE
July 04 2013, 03:52PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

DSF, I can appreciate what you do on here, keeping people grounded in their expectations. I just think you need to work on your delivery. Condescension wins you no friends.

And what's up with worshipping the Canucks?

I've always figured he was really Mike Gillis

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#11 GVBlackhawk
July 04 2013, 05:27PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

For Sale sign appeared on Hemsky's house yesterday. Wonder what that means?

It means that you are stalking Hemmer, Doug :)

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#12 freeze
July 04 2013, 12:18PM
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*Doing a happy dance*

I liked the EB signing at the time, but man, that did not work out AT ALL!

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#13 Lochenzo
July 04 2013, 12:39PM
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I don't think anybody predicted Belanger's drop off in performance. He was an older player, yes, but nothing in his stats indicated that was a problem prior to his signing with Edmonton.

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#14 westcoastoil
July 04 2013, 01:02PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Wow, the rumoured Seguin deal...if it goes through it'll be just as shocking as the Schneider deal.

Feels like Boston is selling low. If the B's are willing to take Loui Erikson plus change, I don't see why Sam Gagner wouldn't be of interest, especially is Sam signs a cap friendly contract. Sam got to the net a lot last year to get his points and that style is consistent with how the Bruins play.

Funny - I can't figure out why Dallas would want to make that trade. Maybe Seguin is much better than I think, but it'll be interesting to see how good he'd be without all the talent he has in Boston surrounding him.

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#15 WhattaMike
July 04 2013, 01:11PM
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Goodbye, Goodbye, and Goodbye... While not being a supporter of Tambellini, I put the full blame on the players who failed on his watch...

Belanger, Eager, Barker all had very good potential or credentials enough to push the Oilers upwards and yet, they did not...whether it wouyld be attitudes, ethics, and/or injuries. Whitney and Souray became negative with attitudes because of injuries and others playing better as well. The same with Khabby though it was injuries mainly here.

Tamby failed mostly due to several bad trades and non-actions for the right players...but, I also strongly feel that...with the given type state of the Oilers when they came here...these guys never worried at all for their jobs to the point of having to try or work harder...

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#16 HugThePost
July 04 2013, 01:23PM
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I might be wrong, but I think Seguin has been to the SCF 2 times, but won once.

I worry about his hip issues though.

It'll be interesting to see how he does on a team where he isn't as sheltered as he is in BOS. Hall has shown that he can single-handedly control games playing on a consistently undermanned, disorganized team with absolutely zero depth.

Oh man, I didn't even remember all of the other bold things Nill has already done. MacT, with the Bold silence so far!

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#17 Lochenzo
July 04 2013, 02:15PM
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@DSF

Projecting Sam Gagner's offensive numbers last year over an 82 game schedule:

24 goals, 65 points.

So Sam was just as prolific offensively as Loui a year earlier. Give Sam some better Dmen that can move the puck and that plus minus would be much better too.

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#18 Lochenzo
July 04 2013, 02:47PM
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At this point, it's prudent to see who you can sign via free agency. Then address any remaining gaps via trade. The compliance buyouts have made this free agent crop a little more interesting.

Don't make a trade just for the sake of making one.

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#19 15w40
July 04 2013, 03:15PM
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@SrCain

He has a conviction - "The Oilers are bad - everybody that plays, drafts, manages, or coaches in the organization are bad" Even those that used to be good - Peter Mueller are now bad because they MIGHT play for the Oilers. Mueller went from useful player to "sloppy seconds" in a big hurry.

This applies in both present and past tense for all personnel.

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#20 OilClog
July 04 2013, 03:40PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

DSF, I can appreciate what you do on here, keeping people grounded in their expectations. I just think you need to work on your delivery. Condescension wins you no friends.

And what's up with worshipping the Canucks?

Grounded.. DSF tries to bury everything 6ft under with an additional 12ft of dirt piled on top... nothing DSF says is grounding.

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#21 MKE
July 04 2013, 04:12PM
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@Steven

It's not even July 5th yet! He never promised he would do anything at the draft. Give the guy a chance for crying out loud!

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#22 6 ring circus
July 04 2013, 04:43PM
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When is it time to panic ? Training camp?mid season ? the trade deadline ? How much longer do the Oilers think the fab 5 will want to stick around this gong show? This is beyond ridiculous ,Mac T should of kept his mouth shut instead of getting everyone's hopes up!!! One last thing, hey K Lowe how's those 6 Stanley cups you have working out in building a winner?

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#23 MKE
July 04 2013, 04:45PM
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@6 ring circus

And even when he does make moves people will still complain. This team could win the cup and people would still find something to complain about. I get this team has sucked for a while, but without sucking, we don't get the fab 5. I have full faith in MacT.

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#24 GVBlackhawk
July 04 2013, 04:58PM
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Steven wrote:

See. This is my point: instead of holding MacTavish accountable - for what he says, what he does and what he does not do - the MacTavish apologists blame his critics for, well, expecting him to do what he says he will - the nerve, I know. Putting responsibility on his critics for having too high expectations (which is rarely the case, few fans have sounded more ambitious than MacTavish himself) instead of on MacTavish is a profound inversion of logic, a perversion which comes out of a culture of mediocrity and defeatism.

The apologists also employ another perverted logic: they congratulate MacTavish on the actions he did not do. Upon his hiring, he didn't outline an ambitious plan of non-action, nor will at the end of the year he'll triumphantly say "we made big steps as team this summer, look at all the moves I didn't do!"

Ultimately, and at the end of the day, he has, so far, failed to deliver - on anything. There are two possible reasons for it: 1) he was insincere about his "bold" plans, or 2) his inexperience caused him to underestimate the difficulty in acquiring players (for a number of reasons like tipping his hand to the media, or other GMs trying to play with him, or just simply not having the negotiation skills). I think the concensus is on number 2. Regardless, oiler fans ought to hold him accountable for improving the team. And if he can't, then maybe they should get someone who can.

The guy has been on the job for 2.5 months now...calm down.

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#25 GVBlackhawk
July 04 2013, 05:16PM
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After Yakupov lights it up next year, can we all stop talking about trading him? Why do people want to trade a future star for 3rd line grinders and 3-4 defensemen? Bizarre.

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#26 MKE
July 04 2013, 05:29PM
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@GVBlackhawk

totally agree. i have faith!

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#27 Bucknuck
July 04 2013, 06:07PM
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Mackenzie has Horcoff to DAL for draft picks. MUCH better than buying him out, no?

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#28 Smokey
July 04 2013, 06:40PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

It boggles my mind that size is such a topic with Oiler fans.

It's almost as if you just need to field the tallest team to be competitive and guys argue about 2-3 inches in height...

Last I checked goals are what counts...

If you want to tell me Couterier would get 75% of his offence from the power play and sky rocket to 12 goals last year by getting slightly more power play time... Good on you, but I'll politely disagree.

Wanting him because he is a good young prospect, sure.

Telling us he is an upgrade because he is taller, then predicting his offender to triple because... Well he is taller...

Yeah, can't see a whole in that.

I essentially said SC and Coburn. More or less at meant SC and and second pairing defenseman. Philly has little to offer to terms of defense hense hes who I picked. Maybe SC and Coburn and whatever. Your homemade prodnostications on SC are your opinion. I won't waste my time. Joe Thornton was not always ppg player. How many goals did he have as an 18 year old? Kinda remember him playing 3rd line too. (Not saying SC=JT)

Size is important. So is skill. You need both. Why have both? Have we not seen last few seasons where we lack. We don't hit, we can't score, we are soft. Our second line outscored, but was outshot, outchanced, outplayed. They got destroyed at evens, and their possession was an abomination and Gagner wins what 42 percent of his faceoffs. Maybe swapping Hemsky for overpriced grinder may change this, I dunno.

I never said Yak = SC. I'm saying lets sacrifice a bit of skill, for defence and awareness. BALANCE. I Love Yak, but maybe the right question which of the untouchables are you going to give up. I hope MacT pulls out some trucalent players outta FA. However to me it looks like more and more to me we may have to trade an untouchable to get better. I hope I am dead wrong.

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#29 Smokey
July 04 2013, 07:13PM
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Wow an actual NHL player. Kudoos to MacT. Horcoff had value?

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#30 Cheesenaka
July 04 2013, 12:10PM
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Not sad to see Belanger go, that's for sure. I think Emery would be an excellent fit as our backup.

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#31 dawgtoy
July 04 2013, 12:11PM
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"Jim Nill and Joe Sakic have made some significant moves right away since grabbing the reigns in Dallas and Colorado."

Hint,Hint...It's time Mr.MacTavish. The cupboards are bare, time to go shopping.

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#32 PapaMike
July 04 2013, 12:13PM
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Does anyone know how many contracts do the Oilers have now?

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#33 Alex Mathis
July 04 2013, 12:16PM
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Good luck, Eric. Hope you'll find a place somewhere else. You weren't the problem, but also not part of the solution. I wonder who's next (Eager, Horcoff).

I'd prefer Jasaon Labarbara over Emery.

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#34 LinkfromHyrule
July 04 2013, 12:20PM
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that picture made me laugh. I for one am glad I will never see belanger on the ice in oilers silks ever again. It's a step in the right direction of fixing our offensive black hole of a 4th line.

....why hasn't macT done anything yet? He must have something in the works right?....right?!

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#35 Manfly
July 04 2013, 12:21PM
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ya, really, dawg, what is MacT waiting for? about time on Belanger too! interesting that Seguin could actually be traded....i like this for the Bruins, who still have enough scoring power and need a replacement for Horton....Eriksson would be a great choice. moves like this are why the Bruins will continue to at least contend every year.

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#36 Tetsutsu
July 04 2013, 12:22PM
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@dawgtoy

There's no doubt that McT is trying to make moves. Right now he's taking some big swings and missing. He just needs to learn how to reel them in then close better. He didn't do himself any favours by telling the world he's an impatient guy. I think other GMs are trying to fleece the rook right now.

I just hope he learns... fast.

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#37 PutzStew
July 04 2013, 12:25PM
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I'm happy for Belanger. He's one of many veterans that have been brought into this organisation and failed. Not sure why he gets all the blame though??? When is the organisation going to start taking the blame??? When was the last time a vet was brought in that succeeded????

Good luck where ever you end up and I'll be cheering for you. Seems you are yet another one of a long list of players who failed in this organisation.

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Would Grabovski be a fit here on the second line at $3.5m/yr? Can you get him that cheap?

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#39 Let's Rebuild
July 04 2013, 12:32PM
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I think the delay in the buy out indicates they will have his replacement (handshake agreement until tomorrow).

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#40 Smokey
July 04 2013, 12:33PM
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Eric was at the end of his career when we got him. Never sounded like a bad teamate or person, but at this point he probably is close to being done in NHL. So does this mean Horcoff stays. Awefully thin at Center.

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#41 JimW
July 04 2013, 12:34PM
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@PutzStew

What? Someone else with common sense? How could this be possible? I couldn't agree with you more.

Until KLowe and his cronies get the boot, this organization will continue to be known for ruining careers.

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#42 WhattaMike
July 04 2013, 12:37PM
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People people people...

it says that no free agents can be signed until starting tomorrow so why jump up against MacT right now/today.

It's tomorrow i want to see nmostly not today..but that being said, it would be cool to see a well structured trade by the Oilers right now today...

Concerning Labarbra is that he does not have the balls to take charge when and if necessary as does like Emery has several times in the past. I understand that it is for back-up duty but what if...what if...Dubnyk has a bad season or that he gets hurt, etc. The Oilers need someone who instills confidence and that he plays well consistently...

This is why I like the risk of getting Khudobin from the UFA ranks more so than La B or Emery. Khudobin has been keeping in line with Thomas and Raask these last couple of years and knows what is needed to move forward...and he will give Dubnyk a run for his money as well..

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#43 Manfly
July 04 2013, 12:44PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I don't think anybody predicted Belanger's drop off in performance. He was an older player, yes, but nothing in his stats indicated that was a problem prior to his signing with Edmonton.

but haven't we had similar bad luck with guys like Colin Fraser and Ben Eager? they come here and suck? that's something i really hope can be stopped in the future. or Souray that has 1 effective year and the rest are injury filled? or Whitney, who comes here and plays effective until injured, then sucks?

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#44 Lochenzo
July 04 2013, 12:47PM
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Wow, the rumoured Seguin deal...if it goes through it'll be just as shocking as the Schneider deal.

Feels like Boston is selling low. If the B's are willing to take Loui Erikson plus change, I don't see why Sam Gagner wouldn't be of interest, especially is Sam signs a cap friendly contract. Sam got to the net a lot last year to get his points and that style is consistent with how the Bruins play.

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#45 shifty203
July 04 2013, 12:47PM
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jonny94 wrote:

So would it be fair to say Hall > Seguin?

Thoughts?.... Looking at you DSF

That was obvious before the trade. I don't know why the trade would have any weight for that arguement. Two totally different teams in completely different positions, which is why one in untouchable, and one isn't.

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#46 Spydyr
July 04 2013, 12:49PM
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Sail on into the sunset...... Good riddance.

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#47 HugThePost
July 04 2013, 12:50PM
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Belanger was just one of the many bets that Tambo made that failed spectacularly.

Slowly but surely, MacT is cleaning up the mess. The next week or 2 should be very interesting.

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#48 Spydyr
July 04 2013, 12:54PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Wow, the rumoured Seguin deal...if it goes through it'll be just as shocking as the Schneider deal.

Feels like Boston is selling low. If the B's are willing to take Loui Erikson plus change, I don't see why Sam Gagner wouldn't be of interest, especially is Sam signs a cap friendly contract. Sam got to the net a lot last year to get his points and that style is consistent with how the Bruins play.

How times have changed. Average players getting traded is shocking.

You know what was shocking back in the day. Gretzky getting sold.

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#49 jonny94
July 04 2013, 12:55PM
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shifty203 wrote:

That was obvious before the trade. I don't know why the trade would have any weight for that arguement. Two totally different teams in completely different positions, which is why one in untouchable, and one isn't.

Totally agree.

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#50 Spydyr
July 04 2013, 12:55PM
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@Alex Mathis

Four goals in 104 games.Yes,he was the problem.

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