THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER THING . . .

Robin Brownlee
February 02 2014 02:27PM

So, Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins has already warned against taking the Buffalo Sabres lightly when the teams meet Monday. If that's not a "no-shit, Sherlock" moment, I don't know what is.

With the NHL equivalent of Milhouse van Houten taking on Steve Urkel in a WWE cage match, the 29th-place Oilers, fresh from having their heads held in the toilet by the Boston Bruins 4-0 in a Beantown matinee Saturday, face the 30th-place Sabres in a showdown of pencil necks.

Facing the Sabres, dead-last in NHL standings at 15-31-8 for 38 points in the first of two meetings of the teams this season, Eakins was quoted on the team's Twitter feed today: 

Fight in their game? One is tempted to add execution in their game, consistency in their game and attention to detail in their game, but that might be piling too much on the plate as the Oilers, 18-33-6 for 42 points, guard against taking the Sabres lightly.

I haven't heard the interview/question that prompted Eakins to offer the quote, but it is mind-boggling to think the Oilers might take any team lightly 57 games into what's been a dumpster fire of a season.

THUMBS ON THE OUTSIDE, FELLAS

If this was a fist fight, the Oilers and Sabres would have to be told to keep their thumbs on the outside before flailing away. If nothing else, the Oilers, headed for an eighth straight year out of the playoffs, and the Sabres, who'll need a ticket to get in for a third straight season, are evenly matched.

Buffalo is dead-last in the NHL with just 105 goals-for. The good news for Ted Nolan's outfit is the Oilers rank 30th in goals-against with 194. Nobody throws the welcome mat at the feet of their goaltenders like Edmonton. The Oilers rank 18th in goals-for with 147, while the Sabres are middling, 19th, with 161 goals-against.

All told, the Sabres rank 30th in goal differential at minus-56. The Oilers are right behind them in 29th at minus-47. It's straight-up even in terms of how the teams rank at home and on the road. The Sabres have treated their fans to a 9-15-5 record, which is 29th. The Oilers are 8-19-14 on the road. Buffalo is 2-5-3 in its last 10 games, while the Oilers are 3-6-1.

Of course, both teams are lottery locks, but if you're keeping score at home, the Sabres have three games in hand in the race for the No. 1 overall seed going into the Entry Draft lottery.

WHAT ABOUT BEN?

. . . To understate, Ben Scrivens, who has faced 100 shots and given up just four goals in his last two games, has been impressive in his five appearances in the goal crease with the Oilers. Thanks in large part to his 59-save shutout against San Jose, he has a gaudy .944 save-percentage with Edmonton.

I don't for a second doubt that Scrivens has already shown the Oilers enough to warrant a contract offer as he approaches UFA status, but unless the team in front of him shows something the rest of the way, I wonder if he'll want to sign on here for another two or three years.

Yes, Alberta is home for Scrivens and this opportunity in Edmonton represents his first real chance to grab a job as starter and run with it, but if he's anywhere near as impressive the rest of the way as he has been, he will have options if the Oilers wait until the end of the season to get ink done.

If I'm GM Craig MacTavish, I'm picking up the phone and talking contract with agent Jay Fee right now.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#101 Ed in Edmonton
February 03 2014, 09:10AM
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mlcselli wrote:

This isn't going to make me popular, but I really believe that Gagner has done his tour of duty with the Oilers and is definitely on his way out of town. I think if Mac T can't move him, a compliance buyout is going to be put to use.

As Gagner's contract was signed under the current CBA he is not eligible for a compliance buy out. i.e if the Oil buy him out the $ would count against the cap.

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#102 j
February 03 2014, 09:18AM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

Now this would be epic, but I don't think Dean Lombardi would be the least bit interested in moving Mike Richards, especially for Gagner +.

You do realize he gave up Simmonds and B.Schenn and a 2nd to acquire Richards alone (let alone what he gave up to obtain his buddy, Carter), right?

That's an investment, an overpayment of quality futures for current quality. Opposite deal for Flyers.

Gagner isn't close to enough to obtain Richards, unless something non-player related (salary cap, etc) is driving such a deal. In short, you're dreaming.

Yep - I am aware of the history. However, that was an overpay by Lombardi to win the cup. It worked. Now LA is in a completely different position and Lombardi is exactly the type of GM who would consider a big move to shake up his team (as evidenced by the very history you bring up). I appreciate it is a stretch but crazier things happen when teams are in search of certain skill sets. Both teams are looking for something along these lines. I am not sure how to balance the scale but it isn't as nutty as it sounds. At least in my head!

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#103 Stubblejumper
February 03 2014, 09:23AM
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@Hall the time

Not Burkie..or MacT.

Wish I was MacT so I could jettison Gagner etc and add bottom 6 role players who could add depth, size, sandpaper, tenacity & desire. Plus rebuild the D with additional experience, possession, game management and first pass.

So Hall..what's your analysis (beyond the clichés and cute cutting comments). Put it out there man..let's see what you got!

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#104 S cottV
February 03 2014, 09:23AM
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mlcselli wrote:

This isn't going to make me popular, but I really believe that Gagner has done his tour of duty with the Oilers and is definitely on his way out of town. I think if Mac T can't move him, a compliance buyout is going to be put to use.

I would agree with you.

On merit - Gagner should be in OKC not Arcobello.

MacT is trying to showcase Gagner but its not working very well.

To have any chance of really showcasing Gagner, the Oilers have to break up the top line. You cannot play Gagner and Yak together because they are both inconsistent and defensively challenged. Against the better teams - together - they are both offensively challenged as well, so what is the use?

Unless MacT really wants to run down the compliance buyout route with Gagner, you need to give him two complimentary wingers - even though - he doesn't deserve it.

MacT is hanging on - in the middle on this one and it's probably time to go one way or the other.

Really showcase him or really dont.

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#105 BobbyCanuck
February 03 2014, 09:33AM
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@Zarny

Please treat this post as sarcasm...

Really do not have to do a detailed analysis, lets use the recent San Jose games against Flames and Oilers

Shots on net(against) Oilers 59 shots Flames 28 shots =87 total shots: Flames 32%, Oilers 67% 67%/32%=2.107 :. Flames D play is more than twice as good as Oilers D play

Goals for Oilers 3 goals Flames 4 goals =7 total goals: Flames 57%, Oilers 42% 42%/57%=0.75 :. Flames offense is 75% better than the Oilers.

But, all we need to do is trade Gagner straight up for Weber, and Yakapov, because he has great future upside, we should be able to get Kieth and Seabrook for him. Right Oiler fans? Because ONLY Oil fans know the true value of our players.

I dunno what to think about our team, and what could possibly be done to make it better...all-world one day, and pee wee the next day. I can see Ekblad starting to tank his game...just to avoid being drafted by the Oilers.

"There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statestics" Mark Twain (maybe)

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#106 Zarny
February 03 2014, 09:38AM
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beloch wrote:

Eberle and Backlund have historically been deployed in very different circumstances. Eberle sees mid-tier QoC and gets cushy offensive zone-starts. He's played like a scorer, and he does score fairly well. Backlund gets a lot more defensive zone starts and faces tougher QoC. He's played as a shut-down center. Despite facing tougher circumstances, his possession stats are better than Eberle's, suggesting Backlund is indeed a better defensive forward. Eberle's point totals, of course, suggest he's a much more gifted finisher.

Flames fans are probably a little high on Backlund right now because he's on a real tear with 8 points and 5 goals in his last 4 games. He's also passed the eye-test lately, seemingly popping up wherever the puck is going to be by pure magic and making a large number of takeaways. He has also averaged just 0.50 ppg this season versus Eberle's 0.80 ppg. This may not reflect Backlund's true level of talent because he spent a significant chunk of the season in Hartley's dog-house, getting little playtime and crap linemates. However, Backlund has appeared to be on the verge of breaking out several times in his career, only to be injured or simply run cold. Eberle has proven to be a more consistent and durable player over his career so far, plus it's worth noting he was drafted a year after Backlund.

Backlund is the kind of player the Oilers desperately need. Namely, a possession monster. He might have some offensive chops, but he has yet to really prove that. His durability also remains a concern. Eberle is not a two-way forward you can deploy against top competition without the team's possession suffering, but he's a proven point producer. Unfortunately, the Oilers have lots of point-producers who don't produce points because they so rarely have possession in their opponent's end! The Flames, in spite of Backlund, don't have great possession stats either, plus they have fewer quality finishers. This suggests that, while they might like a player like Eberle, they can't really afford to lose a player like Backlund.

Truly elite forwards are both possession monsters and gifted finishers. By this definition, Eberle is definitely not elite. Based on his career numbers, Backlund isn't elite either, although there's a tiny glimmer of possibility that the Nov. 30th epiphany he's spoken of might have boosted his finishing ability (He has been hanging onto the puck longer and with more confidence since then and has improved to 0.65 ppg since Nov. 30th). Only time will tell. If Backlund can develop a finishing touch he would definitely have the edge over Eberle. However, as things currently stand, I'd give the edge to Eberle because he's proven to be more consistent and durable. In terms of value though, it's no contest. Backlund's contract is way cheaper. I'd take 4 Backlund's over 1 Eberle any day of the week! If Backlund stays healthy and continues to play well he will no doubt be due for a raise after next season. Hopefully the Flames won't give him an elite-level salary unless he establishes himself as an elite player. The Oilers made the mistake of paying Eberle an elite salary and expecting him to magically become elite.

Eberle's career high is 76 pts. He has 45 pts in 56 games this year and is tied for 30th in league scoring. Hate to break it to you but that's elite scoring.

Backlund is a 1st round bust whose previous career high was 23 pts. He's having a "breakout" year this year by being on pace for a whopping 41 pts.

The two don't even belong in the same conversation.

Backlund doesn't even belong in the same conversation as Sam Gagner.

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#107 cccsberg
February 03 2014, 09:45AM
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Zarny wrote:

Eberle's career high is 76 pts. He has 45 pts in 56 games this year and is tied for 30th in league scoring. Hate to break it to you but that's elite scoring.

Backlund is a 1st round bust whose previous career high was 23 pts. He's having a "breakout" year this year by being on pace for a whopping 41 pts.

The two don't even belong in the same conversation.

Backlund doesn't even belong in the same conversation as Sam Gagner.

Obviously, if the ONLY thing you value is scoring, you're absolutely correct. But once you realize other things are also important, not so much...

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#108 God
February 03 2014, 09:51AM
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I'm also a big fan of the Seahawks, have been for a very long time. Yesterday was jubilation. I'm also saddened because I know that if the Oilers won the Stanley Cup, it'd be exponentially larger.

One thing is obvious. Dallas Eakins is no Pete Carroll. Not even close.

A great coach rallies his team. Eakins hasn't done this. Carroll turned around a terrible Hawks team in 2 years. The difference in the team was immediate. I remember watching Carroll's first game. We all knew this was going to turn into something great.

Can anyone say that about Dallas Eakins?

I know you'll all say that 'football is different'. In the end, sports are sports. The coach has to get his entire team on the same page and believe in his creed. I think Dallas Eakins doesn't understand the psychology of his team. He'll never take us to the promised land.

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#109 Hall the time
February 03 2014, 10:01AM
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@Stubblejumper

I'm all about changing things up and Sam should be first out, it was just sounding like you wanted to get rid of our top talent for less value. The more this thing drags on the more I feel that we could have a whole team of fist overalls and still be in last place.

So yes I like where your going with this but it's not all the players fault.

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#110 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 10:03AM
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cccsberg wrote:

Obviously, if the ONLY thing you value is scoring, you're absolutely correct. But once you realize other things are also important, not so much...

Tell that to the Buffalo Sabres and their 105 goals.

With a Christian Ehrhoff or even a struggling young defenseman like Tyler Myers on their roster, a trade involving anything representing scoring (Gagner +) going the other way, must interest both parties.

You have two teams who are a million miles from the playoffs, each with a huge void that the other team can help remedy.

Mix in the one GM with less experience than MacT. If you can't make a trade of substance here, then you never will.

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#111 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 10:14AM
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God wrote:

I'm also a big fan of the Seahawks, have been for a very long time. Yesterday was jubilation. I'm also saddened because I know that if the Oilers won the Stanley Cup, it'd be exponentially larger.

One thing is obvious. Dallas Eakins is no Pete Carroll. Not even close.

A great coach rallies his team. Eakins hasn't done this. Carroll turned around a terrible Hawks team in 2 years. The difference in the team was immediate. I remember watching Carroll's first game. We all knew this was going to turn into something great.

Can anyone say that about Dallas Eakins?

I know you'll all say that 'football is different'. In the end, sports are sports. The coach has to get his entire team on the same page and believe in his creed. I think Dallas Eakins doesn't understand the psychology of his team. He'll never take us to the promised land.

.... yes, but football is different.

Good news there is very little chance Pete Carroll gets stripped of any wins this season or gets the Superbowl win vacated.

Even with the myriad suspensions (and positives thrown out for "technicalities") for PEDs that seem to run rampant in the Seahawks dressing room.

Hmm. Maybe we CAN learn something from Pete Carroll. Pssst, Sam, Jordan, Justin, Ryan - come over here a second. Hey, have any of you fellas ever heard about the "clear" and the "cream" ......?

Congrats Bolt, sour grapes on my part. Maybe I am just a little depressed about my wager on the Broncos. Your Seahawks were awesome.

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#112 pkam
February 03 2014, 10:18AM
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cccsberg wrote:

Obviously, if the ONLY thing you value is scoring, you're absolutely correct. But once you realize other things are also important, not so much...

So you think we should trade Eberle straight for Backlund?

I guess it is a huge win for MacT if he can trade Gagner straight for Backlund, right?

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#113 Zarny
February 03 2014, 10:24AM
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cccsberg wrote:

Obviously, if the ONLY thing you value is scoring, you're absolutely correct. But once you realize other things are also important, not so much...

No scoring is not the only thing I value.

Even when you look at other things Backlund still doesn't deserve to be in the same conversation as Eberle.

In fact, it's utterly ridiculous to even try to compare the two.

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#114 Zarny
February 03 2014, 10:29AM
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God wrote:

I'm also a big fan of the Seahawks, have been for a very long time. Yesterday was jubilation. I'm also saddened because I know that if the Oilers won the Stanley Cup, it'd be exponentially larger.

One thing is obvious. Dallas Eakins is no Pete Carroll. Not even close.

A great coach rallies his team. Eakins hasn't done this. Carroll turned around a terrible Hawks team in 2 years. The difference in the team was immediate. I remember watching Carroll's first game. We all knew this was going to turn into something great.

Can anyone say that about Dallas Eakins?

I know you'll all say that 'football is different'. In the end, sports are sports. The coach has to get his entire team on the same page and believe in his creed. I think Dallas Eakins doesn't understand the psychology of his team. He'll never take us to the promised land.

If you actually watch football you'd know that Carroll's coaching is not what turned Seattle around.

Carroll bringing in better players is what turned the Seahawks around.

It doesn't matter whether you're talking about QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB or the secondary the Seahawks are loaded with talent.

The Oilers...not so much.

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#115 Shredder
February 03 2014, 10:29AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

.... yes, but football is different.

Good news there is very little chance Pete Carroll gets stripped of any wins this season or gets the Superbowl win vacated.

Even with the myriad suspensions (and positives thrown out for "technicalities") for PEDs that seem to run rampant in the Seahawks dressing room.

Hmm. Maybe we CAN learn something from Pete Carroll. Pssst, Sam, Jordan, Justin, Ryan - come over here a second. Hey, have any of you fellas ever heard about the "clear" and the "cream" ......?

Congrats Bolt, sour grapes on my part. Maybe I am just a little depressed about my wager on the Broncos. Your Seahawks were awesome.

Seahawks showed how valuable a good defense can be. Defense wins championships. That goes across every sport.

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#116 pkam
February 03 2014, 10:30AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Tell that to the Buffalo Sabres and their 105 goals.

With a Christian Ehrhoff or even a struggling young defenseman like Tyler Myers on their roster, a trade involving anything representing scoring (Gagner +) going the other way, must interest both parties.

You have two teams who are a million miles from the playoffs, each with a huge void that the other team can help remedy.

Mix in the one GM with less experience than MacT. If you can't make a trade of substance here, then you never will.

Why do you think the Sabres will be interested in any forwards?

They have unloaded their top scorer Vanek earlier this year. Rumors are they are shopping Matt Moulson instead of trying to resign him.

Not to mention they already have a very similar type of player in Hodgson. Why would they want Gagner?

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#117 pkam
February 03 2014, 10:36AM
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S cottV wrote:

I would agree with you.

On merit - Gagner should be in OKC not Arcobello.

MacT is trying to showcase Gagner but its not working very well.

To have any chance of really showcasing Gagner, the Oilers have to break up the top line. You cannot play Gagner and Yak together because they are both inconsistent and defensively challenged. Against the better teams - together - they are both offensively challenged as well, so what is the use?

Unless MacT really wants to run down the compliance buyout route with Gagner, you need to give him two complimentary wingers - even though - he doesn't deserve it.

MacT is hanging on - in the middle on this one and it's probably time to go one way or the other.

Really showcase him or really dont.

I am almost speechless reading some of the comments here.

You really think Gagner will clear waiver to be assigned to OKC?

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#118 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 10:46AM
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pkam wrote:

Why do you think the Sabres will be interested in any forwards?

They have unloaded their top scorer Vanek earlier this year. Rumors are they are shopping Matt Moulson instead of trying to resign him.

Not to mention they already have a very similar type of player in Hodgson. Why would they want Gagner?

Read the 1st line again. They have scored an AMAZINGLY inept 105 goals this year.

Vanek and Moulson are both pending UFA's that Buffalo had / have zero chance to sign next year. They had to get value this year. Expect Steve Ott to meet the same fate. No offence, but that is page 1 of the GM manual.

Trust me, with 105 GF this year, they would NOT be moving any forward with a contract and the ability to hit water from a boat.

Fair point on Hodgson, but the Sabres can't afford to be too picky on offensive guys. And this year notwithstanding - broken jaw - and all, Gagner is a much feistier player than Hodgson. Gagner is what he is. A good offensive player with defensive limitations (to be kind). Sam has value - all this compliance buyout stuff is utter nonsense.

Let me know the number of Sabres with ANY offensive ability or potential. Short list.

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#119 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 10:50AM
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Shredder wrote:

Seahawks showed how valuable a good defense can be. Defense wins championships. That goes across every sport.

Won't disagree. You don't know how important defense (or goaltending) is until you don't have any.

See: Oilers, Edmonton 2007 - 2014 (and counting)

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#120 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 03 2014, 10:55AM
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From Super Bowl Sunday to Toilet Bowl Monday! Epic battle of the cellar dwellers!

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#121 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 10:58AM
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Zarny wrote:

If you actually watch football you'd know that Carroll's coaching is not what turned Seattle around.

Carroll bringing in better players is what turned the Seahawks around.

It doesn't matter whether you're talking about QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB or the secondary the Seahawks are loaded with talent.

The Oilers...not so much.

To be fair the GM, John Schneider brought in the talent, not Pete Carroll.

~He didn't seem all that bright when he was on the Dukes of Hazzard TV show, but clearly I underestimated the guy~.

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#122 pkam
February 03 2014, 11:17AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Read the 1st line again. They have scored an AMAZINGLY inept 105 goals this year.

Vanek and Moulson are both pending UFA's that Buffalo had / have zero chance to sign next year. They had to get value this year. Expect Steve Ott to meet the same fate. No offence, but that is page 1 of the GM manual.

Trust me, with 105 GF this year, they would NOT be moving any forward with a contract and the ability to hit water from a boat.

Fair point on Hodgson, but the Sabres can't afford to be too picky on offensive guys. And this year notwithstanding - broken jaw - and all, Gagner is a much feistier player than Hodgson. Gagner is what he is. A good offensive player with defensive limitations (to be kind). Sam has value - all this compliance buyout stuff is utter nonsense.

Let me know the number of Sabres with ANY offensive ability or potential. Short list.

Does it matter if the Sabres have any number of player with offensive ability?

Matt Moulson is the best PPG scorer, but they don't even try to resign him. Looks like they are trying to rebuild from drafts.

The Sabres already have 2 small 2nd/3rd centers in Hodgson and Ennis, and they have a very good chance to get a 1st center in Sam Reinhart this year, or even McDavid next year, why would they want another similar 2nd center in Gagner?

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#123 cccsberg
February 03 2014, 11:19AM
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pkam wrote:

So you think we should trade Eberle straight for Backlund?

I guess it is a huge win for MacT if he can trade Gagner straight for Backlund, right?

Not suggesting any trade, just suggesting the type of thing that needs to be addressed by both teams. Backlund for Gagner is a non-starter, wouldn't even get a second thought from Flames perspective. Backlund for Eberle plus/minus pieces either side probably not because it doesn't really address the key needs of either team. Would be an upgrade for both teams in different ways, but I think both need this type of upgrade plus size/grit. If you can get that elsewhere then at lest something to consider.

Don't get me wrong, I like Eberle, he can be a dynamic-skating offensive threat, which every team needs. He can also disappear for long stretches at a time and has difficulty against larger bodies/defensemen, and his defence is suspect, although i did notice him back checking a couple times in the last two games. Perhaps he's getting the message and developing his game...

Comparing the two (or any direct comparison) is difficult because they bring different things to the table and your valuation will largely depend on what aspects you value the most. Apples and Oranges. Most teams require both to be truly successful.

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#124 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 11:32AM
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pkam wrote:

Does it matter if the Sabres have any number of player with offensive ability?

Matt Moulson is the best PPG scorer, but they don't even try to resign him. Looks like they are trying to rebuild from drafts.

The Sabres already have 2 small 2nd/3rd centers in Hodgson and Ennis, and they have a very good chance to get a 1st center in Sam Reinhart this year, or even McDavid next year, why would they want another similar 2nd center in Gagner?

Matt Moulson will not sign with a team that has no chance of a) winning, b) allowing him to play with other "skill" guys or c) get a suntan more than 2 months of the year. Look for him to end up in Vancouver or L.A.

The Sabres NEED guys that can generate offence. If it isn't Gagner it will be some other guy with offensive abilities but other flaws to their game. No one is trading them tier 1 offensive guys unless they throw in a 1st rounder - as they are not apt to do, especially 2015s, given your point that McDavid may well be in play when they draft.

My point is the Sabres are a team with absolutely NO offense and a couple of decent defensive options and MacT should be ringing the Sabres number like a phone solicitor working on commission.

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#125 Oil Fan in Flames Town
February 03 2014, 11:32AM
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The Oilers Shot Clock wrote:

I heard all the regular music they play between stoppages is going to get replaced for this special game. It will all be either kazoo or banjo based because anything else wouldn't capture the atmosphere fairly.

I laughed out loud at this - thanks!

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#126 Ed in Edmonton
February 03 2014, 11:45AM
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pkam wrote:

I am almost speechless reading some of the comments here.

You really think Gagner will clear waiver to be assigned to OKC?

I think there certainly would be a chance that he would clear. Given most teams are either capped out or budgeted out, very few can just pick-up $4.8 mill in contract. Bottom feeders who have both cap and budget like Buffalo and Calgary might claim him but I wouldn't think it is a given.

This morning Bob Mackenzie though the Kings might be interested in him, but they are capped out would have to dump some other salary. I wonder if the Oil agreed to pay say half his salary for the remainder of the contract something might get done. The Kings are crying for some scoring.

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#127 Rama Lama
February 03 2014, 12:18PM
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I'm thinking that Eakins has finally figured out that being the fittest team in the NHL is not enough.

I hope that we see some teaching and development coming to the Oilers soon.......if Paul Maurice can turn a team with less talent around Eakins should be able to at least make some progression on the special team front.

I have seen no system change to improve our fortunes......Dallas what are you doing?

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#128 S cottV
February 03 2014, 12:25PM
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pkam wrote:

I am almost speechless reading some of the comments here.

You really think Gagner will clear waiver to be assigned to OKC?

No - I really think that they should try and showcase him for real and go for a trade.

You cant showcase him with Yak.

Together - they both look sub standard.

Break up the first line and see what combinations might work better to showcase Gagner and Yak - for that matter.

Maybe one or both might might help yield a real 2C or top pairing d man.

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#129 S cottV
February 03 2014, 12:26PM
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pkam wrote:

I am almost speechless reading some of the comments here.

You really think Gagner will clear waiver to be assigned to OKC?

No - I really think that they should try and showcase him for real and go for a trade.

You cant showcase him with Yak.

Together - they both look sub standard.

Break up the first line and see what combinations might work better to showcase Gagner and Yak - for that matter.

Maybe one or both might might help yield a real 2C or top pairing d man.

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#130 Wonger - IMAGINE!!!
February 03 2014, 12:30PM
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BIG JOHN SCOTT!!! Imagine him in an Oiler uniform! Imagine Westgarth, McGrattan, Sestito, Kassian, et al CRAPPING THEIR PANTS EVERY TIME they had to play the Oilers!IMAGINE!!!!!!!! BIG JOHN SCOTT!!!!!!!

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#131 LOIL99
February 03 2014, 12:31PM
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Why do writers still use the term "lottery picks" to describe potential high draft position? The draft rules have changed after the last CBA and EVERY team outside the playoffs is now a lottery pick and if their name is picked they get 1st overall pick. Bottom 5 or "lottery pick" is meaningless now and it makes a writer look uninformed when he references it.

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#132 tabs
February 03 2014, 01:11PM
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Zarny wrote:

Of course there is trade value and the Oilers won't eat a dime.

During the summer I felt Gags would return us a 2nd round pick. With the new contract and the year he's had I expect he has almost zero value.

Taking back another bad contract puts us no further ahead.

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#133 Quintana
February 03 2014, 01:21PM
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cccsberg wrote:

Not suggesting any trade, just suggesting the type of thing that needs to be addressed by both teams. Backlund for Gagner is a non-starter, wouldn't even get a second thought from Flames perspective. Backlund for Eberle plus/minus pieces either side probably not because it doesn't really address the key needs of either team. Would be an upgrade for both teams in different ways, but I think both need this type of upgrade plus size/grit. If you can get that elsewhere then at lest something to consider.

Don't get me wrong, I like Eberle, he can be a dynamic-skating offensive threat, which every team needs. He can also disappear for long stretches at a time and has difficulty against larger bodies/defensemen, and his defence is suspect, although i did notice him back checking a couple times in the last two games. Perhaps he's getting the message and developing his game...

Comparing the two (or any direct comparison) is difficult because they bring different things to the table and your valuation will largely depend on what aspects you value the most. Apples and Oranges. Most teams require both to be truly successful.

So a top 20 scorer in the league for a guy that's been in the league for 5 years and never score more 30 points? Is that your proposal?

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#134 pkam
February 03 2014, 01:29PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I think there certainly would be a chance that he would clear. Given most teams are either capped out or budgeted out, very few can just pick-up $4.8 mill in contract. Bottom feeders who have both cap and budget like Buffalo and Calgary might claim him but I wouldn't think it is a given.

This morning Bob Mackenzie though the Kings might be interested in him, but they are capped out would have to dump some other salary. I wonder if the Oil agreed to pay say half his salary for the remainder of the contract something might get done. The Kings are crying for some scoring.

The season is 2/3 over, all teams need at the moment is 1.6M cap space to claim Gagner off the waiver wire. At trade deadline, the season will be 3/4 over, so it will only need about 1.2M cap space.

At this moment, there are 12 teams who already have more than 1.2M cap space now, and 2 others are very closed, just need a few man games lost.

Salary cap is going up 7M next season so his salary in next 2 years is not a problem.

If you think 14 teams will let him clear waiver, I don't know how much we can get for him.

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#135 pkam
February 03 2014, 01:38PM
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S cottV wrote:

No - I really think that they should try and showcase him for real and go for a trade.

You cant showcase him with Yak.

Together - they both look sub standard.

Break up the first line and see what combinations might work better to showcase Gagner and Yak - for that matter.

Maybe one or both might might help yield a real 2C or top pairing d man.

This is what you said in your second line:

On merit - Gagner should be in OKC not Arcobello.

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#136 pkam
February 03 2014, 01:43PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Matt Moulson will not sign with a team that has no chance of a) winning, b) allowing him to play with other "skill" guys or c) get a suntan more than 2 months of the year. Look for him to end up in Vancouver or L.A.

The Sabres NEED guys that can generate offence. If it isn't Gagner it will be some other guy with offensive abilities but other flaws to their game. No one is trading them tier 1 offensive guys unless they throw in a 1st rounder - as they are not apt to do, especially 2015s, given your point that McDavid may well be in play when they draft.

My point is the Sabres are a team with absolutely NO offense and a couple of decent defensive options and MacT should be ringing the Sabres number like a phone solicitor working on commission.

Will Vanek stay in NYI? I don't know, but at least NYI tries to resign him, which mean they are interested in keeping him. Not the Sabres, they didn't show any interest in resigning their top scorer.

It wouldn't hurt to ask, but I don't think they are that interested in winning now. Kind of like the Oilers 3 years ago.

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#137 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 03:46PM
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pkam wrote:

Will Vanek stay in NYI? I don't know, but at least NYI tries to resign him, which mean they are interested in keeping him. Not the Sabres, they didn't show any interest in resigning their top scorer.

It wouldn't hurt to ask, but I don't think they are that interested in winning now. Kind of like the Oilers 3 years ago.

Report out today that Vanek offered a very nice contract by Islanders. Islanders were told "not interested" and that Vanek will be looking at free agent market over summer. Long gone by trade deadline.

Just reality my friend.

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#138 Bryan
February 03 2014, 04:01PM
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j wrote:

Yep - I am aware of the history. However, that was an overpay by Lombardi to win the cup. It worked. Now LA is in a completely different position and Lombardi is exactly the type of GM who would consider a big move to shake up his team (as evidenced by the very history you bring up). I appreciate it is a stretch but crazier things happen when teams are in search of certain skill sets. Both teams are looking for something along these lines. I am not sure how to balance the scale but it isn't as nutty as it sounds. At least in my head!

There wouldn't be a balancing of the scales in this trade. Richards is pretty much a non-starter because he can do everything in the faceoff circle and defensive zone that Gagner can only dream about doing.

I imagine if LA is calling edmonton it's either in regards to Yakupov or Hemsky and the latter being because they didn't like the asking price for Moulson or Vanek and should be able to get him considerably cheaper.

If somehow Mactavish lured in Lombardi with this deal, it would be quickly squashed by Richards and his agent who would pull out the contract and point out the no trade clause in there. If he was lifting it, it wouldn't be coming to a sorry team like the oilers right now.

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#139 pkam
February 03 2014, 04:30PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Report out today that Vanek offered a very nice contract by Islanders. Islanders were told "not interested" and that Vanek will be looking at free agent market over summer. Long gone by trade deadline.

Just reality my friend.

Is this exactly what I said? NYI at least tried to resign Vanek.

Did you hear any rumor or report about the Sabres make any offer to keep Moulson? I haven't. If they don't even try, what does it mean? If they are more interested in trading their top scorer than resigning him, what makes you think they will be interested in trading for immediate offensive help?

Which is exactly my point, the Sabres are not even interested in getting immediate help.

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#140 BetterThanGretzky
February 03 2014, 10:34PM
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All this Sam Gagner garbage...what you people don't realize is he isn't going anywhere.

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#141 Jtfan
February 04 2014, 08:13AM
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The ahl coach experiment is over. Drop in standings from last year, terrible player development: dubs, yak ,gagner worst this year, no on ice systems that make sense ie. powerplay with 4 forwards leading to short handed goals against. No system to get puck out of own end......the problems go on. The question is do we get a more experienced nhl coach like jets did or do we risk getting into next season with an insurmountable drop in standings and then forced to fire midway in season. I believe eakins time is over.

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