Buying Opportunities

Jonathan Willis
April 26 2014 01:57PM

Linden

It’s a shame for Craig MacTavish that the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks play in the same division. If they were in separate divisions, not only might he have added goalie Cory Schneider a year ago, but he would have an opportunity to make a play for some very talented individuals likely to be ejected from that team this summer.

As the Canucks have not yet hired a general manager, it’s impossible to say with any degree of certainty what course they will pursue this off-season. What does seem certain is change.

The local columnists are calling for major upheaval over the summer, and still-employed (at least for the moment) head coach John Tortorella made the case even more emphatically in a press conference earlier this month:

I felt from Day 1 that [the Canucks core group is] stale. That's not their fault. This is a group that has been together for a long time. It's stale. It needs youth. It needs a change. I felt that from Day 1. We're not in 2011. We have to stop talking about 2011. The team needs to be retooled. It's a young man's game.

So who might shake loose?

Possibilities

Jannik_Hansen2010

The following five players are guys who (reading the tea leaves) I think might be attainable in the summer by another NHL team:

W David Booth ($4.25MM cap hit until summer 2015). Speculation has it that Booth will be a compliance buyout by the Canucks this summer, and if so he might be an excellent low-risk gamble for a team in need of veteran forwards. He has consistently excellent underlying numbers, adds a bit of size (listed at 212 pounds) and on the right contract could be a bargain as 3rd/4th line winger. If he doesn’t rebound at all he’d be an exceptional fourth liner, and he seems a pretty good bet to at least rebound to a third-line level. As a special bonus for a team like Edmonton, Booth’s Twitter activity is likely to go over a lot better in Alberta than it did in southern B.C.

D Alex Edler ($5.0MM cap hit until summer 2019). Edler’s an interesting guy; he’s never been a fancy stats all-star but he can play heavy minutes against good players in all situations, and he adds size (6’3”, 215 pounds) and scoring ability from the back end.

D Jason Garrison ($4.6MM cap hit until summer 2018). If Edler doesn’t get moved, a Garrison trade becomes a pretty realistic possibility. Like Edler he’s reasonably big (6’2”, 218 pounds) and he has an offensive dimension, bringing a rocket of a shot to the mix. He isn’t the offensive dynamo that Edler is but he’s a fairly solid tough minutes guy who plays a two-way game.

W Jannik Hansen ($2.5MM cap hit until summer 2018). Hansen got one of those four-year/reasonable-dollar contracts last September that Mike Gillis so favoured for his key support players. The 6’1”, 195 pound winger slumped badly under new coach Tortorella, recording his worst scoring season in forever and getting bumped off the penalty kill. He’s a very good tough minutes third-line winger, and it’s entirely possible a new manager might look at his poor season and long contract and be willing to ship him off on the cheap.

C/W Ryan Kesler ($5.0MM cap hit until summer 2016). Kesler’s been a fixture in trade rumours for some time now, and needs little introduction here. He’s a superb two-way player and a jerk on the ice; everybody wants a pivot like him on their team.

For Edmonton

Craig MacTavish7

The Oilers’ best bet here might be to add a player like Booth (if he gets bought out by the team, as seems probable) or to make a pitch for a guy like Hansen – even with the salary cap going up, the term on his contract could make him a difficult sell to another team. Both guys are useful NHL players who would fill in nicely on an Edmonton third line (which needs to be built from scratch at this point).

Either of Edler or Garrison would greatly solidify the Oilers’ left side and instantly become the team’s No. 1 defender; ideally neither fills that spot in the long-term but as stop-gaps both are respectable. It seems unlikely that the Canucks would want to move that level of player in-division but stranger things have happened.

Kesler isn’t coming to Edmonton. A report in March indicated he wasn’t willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the New York Rangers, while another at the same time indicated he wouldn’t go to Columbus, either. Seemingly, Kesler wants to go to a contender, and the Oilers are nowhere near that level of play.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Vincheese
April 26 2014, 02:34PM
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No ex Canucks on this team. I don't care how good they are. They are all trained bums, and will do nothing but bring Canuck stench with them into our soon-to-be-new dressing rooms.

Keslar is a bum, and fragile like a brittle dried-up leaf.

Booth was done years ago, and makes Keslar look like an is.

Hanson would be interesting, but I prefer Boyd Gordon anyways. Both are too good for fourth line duty.

Garrison seems to be in significant decline and will be an overpay.

This leaves Edler. The only thing I can think of, is that he is a Canuck. Had he not been a Canuck, I'd like--gotta admit.

Problem is, that Canuck stench doesn't wash out easily......................

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#2 Sizzay
April 26 2014, 02:08PM
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I'll take booth. Give him a one year deal to prove he has something left.

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#4 DonDon
April 26 2014, 06:49PM
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DevoKnows wrote:

Washington goes 38-30-14 and just miss the playoffs for the first time in what? 7-8 yrs?? They "Clean House" for a more promising future, The Oilers finish bottom FIVE for how long? 7-8 yrs?? "Cleaning House" seems the furthest from an option for a more promising future. Can you say F-R-A-C-K-I-N. J-O-K-E

Here is a trade deal with the Canucks. The Oilers trade Eakins for Tortorella. Solves both organizations a problem Probably have to throw in a few prospects.

At least Tortorella is a veteran NHL coach. .

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#5 Rama Lama
April 26 2014, 02:57PM
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David Booth????

Man is that funny stuff you are writing JW! David Booth is ready to be a minister in a church or maybe a hair model but please do not tell us that he is the answer here.

We need guys that perpetuate fear in the hearts of opposition players not guys who deliver sermons in the corners!!

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#6 DevoKnows
April 26 2014, 03:10PM
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Washington goes 38-30-14 and just miss the playoffs for the first time in what? 7-8 yrs?? They "Clean House" for a more promising future, The Oilers finish bottom FIVE for how long? 7-8 yrs?? "Cleaning House" seems the furthest from an option for a more promising future. Can you say F-R-A-C-K-I-N. J-O-K-E

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#7 bazmagoo
April 26 2014, 05:45PM
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@Oilersfan71

A safe route to take with the coaching staff would be to promote Todd Nelson to the big club as an assistant, and "promote" Kelly Buchberger to the AHL club as the head coach. Seems like a pretty logical course of action to take to me, so it's extremely unlikely to happen. Status quo = no playoffs next season.

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#8 nuge2nail
April 26 2014, 08:51PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Any arm chair gm who suggests a move or acquisition gets an unbelievable amount of trashes.

Its almost as though most of you fans just want to keep the status quo and take a shot at drafting McDavid.

Think Steve has rubbed off on too many of you.

I suggested days BEFORE the Fasth trade that the oilers should package the picks they get in the Hemsky trade and acquire Fasth as he was likely available and his value was low. This comment received majority trashes.

We have 34+ mil in cap space- shouldn't we be discussing all options to improve the team.

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#9 Oiler Al
April 26 2014, 06:02PM
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Edler, only if they take Gagner in a trade. I would not take Booth for free.

INTERESTING SPORTSNET ARTICLE; March 25th, Mike Johnston.

SMartest spenders among 122 pro sports teams NHL NFL MLB and NBA. Black Hawks were NO1, and Bruins were No. 3. Based on how much they spent on player salaries for every win in the past 5 seasons.

Edmonton Oilers were lowest Canadian team , or 30th in the NHL. Hello Kevin Lowe, another proud moment for you.

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#10 nuge2nail
April 26 2014, 10:13PM
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wiseguy wrote:

The trashes are not because anyone wants the status quo but because the suggestions are pulled out of thin air or video games. Pretty much any trade has the potential to improve the team given that we are 28th. It's the likelihood of the trades occurring that is the issue. For example, Hall + Eberle+ Rnh+ 2014 1st for Malkin and Crosby. Seems possible but likely not probable. So I would expect trashes for fantasy trades such as this.

Oiler Domination To Follow

No one talks about picking up Crosby and Malkin

My last comment I suggested trading Gags for Clarkson, which is possible considering the leafs are considering buying him out.

I also suggested signing Downie, Moss and Nikitin.

Oilers can overpay Downie and Moss so they will sign. Columbus have too many defenseman and won't be resigning Nikitin.

I wasn't suggesting we pick up Markhov, Callahan, Statsny and Orpiks.

Not sure why the comment of adding a few third liners and a #3-#4 dman is worth trashing.

You fans confuse me.

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#11 RexHolez
April 26 2014, 04:57PM
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Did you really just write an article wishing the oilers could get nuckleheads?

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#12 Cold Hard Truth
April 26 2014, 08:25PM
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Willis' myopic analyses are about as useful in understanding the Oilers as studying your carburetor to understand a traffic jam.

Here's the most succinct, truthful statement you'll read tonight: The Oilers are a hopeless team because the organization is being run by an incompetent, yet arrogant, group of ignorami.

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#13 backup bob
April 26 2014, 02:59PM
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Anyone of the five players listed, would be a good addition to the Oilers.

Trade between Oilers and Canucks does not feel right.

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#14 Retsinnab5
April 26 2014, 03:20PM
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I'd take Booth if he gets bought out and Edler if a fair deal can be made.

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#15 RexHolez
April 26 2014, 05:05PM
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See the problem is this Kevin Lowe organized rebuild is still one of the worst teams in the league. You could point to any team and randomly select players and they'd be an upgrade. The hard part is finding the right ones, none of these canucks interest me

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#16 backup bob
April 26 2014, 04:17PM
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I feel the Bruins would make a good trade partner. Boston has what the Oilers are missing.

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#17 Quicksilver ballet
April 26 2014, 06:03PM
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Kessler also said no to the Penguins. Forced them to go the plan B route with Stempniak at the last minute. Probably has a very short list. He may be another guy who just wants to be closer to home, wherever that is.

Be great to have another trading partner in Linden. I'm sure they'd be all ears if it involved Fasth as part of the deal. When it comes to Edmonton and it fills that 1/2 LC, or a top pairing blueliner. Most every player should be up for grabs. There will be plenty of goalies available this summer to fill that back up role. I'm sure the Sabres would have some interest in Victor as well. He could be a valuable chip and help land that fifth selection form the Sabres/Islanders if Draisaitl is still on the board.

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#18 Ogie Oilthorpe
April 26 2014, 09:09PM
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Trade Proposal

Rexall DJ + 2015 2nd for Pepsi Center DJ

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#19 pelhem grenville
April 26 2014, 04:06PM
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...at least replace Bucky with Adam Oates

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#20 Oilersfan71
April 26 2014, 05:32PM
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Agree maybe Oates would take a lesser role with the oilers and teach these boxes how to win faceoffs. He was the best in the league and taugh Stoll to be a better centre man.

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#21 sintaxi
April 26 2014, 06:05PM
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Please no. Booth is invisible. He will not be there when you need a big play. Injured all the time. Avoid at any price.

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#22 Jackson
April 26 2014, 07:40PM
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Your drinking kook-aid JW

I think Kesler had 1 assist after Jan1 2014 this year. Yes 1 assist, makes no one around him better.

Garrison- slow does have a big shot but is slow.

Edler- had a horrible season for a guy who was suppose to be the #1 D-man

Hanson- Maybe a good pickup

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#23 Bryzarro World
April 26 2014, 09:25PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Right, spend it on some UFA like Stasny, Niskinan, etc.

You talk like there is a hope in hell they would come to this smoking pile of crap. LMAO!!

No amount of money in the world would bring anyone with an ounce of common sense to Edmonton with these douche bags running the show. All we'll get are the old and the desperate.

Only oiler domination is first at the draft... Losers...

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#24 bazmagoo
April 27 2014, 01:10AM
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@Oiler Al

"Right, spend it on some UFA like Stasny, Niskinan, etc."

I bet we could get Grabovski and Kulemin for around 6 million combined. The only problem with that is Grabovski's size, as he's a small center and we all know we've got a few of those. If we had Boone Jenner currently instead of David Musil it would work but sadly that's not the case (thanks Lowe/Tambellini).

Would love to see the Oilers grab a hard working Russian/European pair for a line with Yakupov, but is that Grabovski/Kulemin? No guarantees there, that's for sure.

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#25 Sammy27
April 26 2014, 02:19PM
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Depending on the price they're all upgrades at the right position.

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#26 Sevenseven
April 26 2014, 03:04PM
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Mac t dealt to the flames, why would he not deal to Vancouver?

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#27 Crispy
April 26 2014, 04:00PM
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Any chance they would trade Hamhuis? I'm sure they would ask a lot, but he would be my top choice from the Canucks.

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#28 backup bob
April 26 2014, 05:31PM
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My brain hurts from watching too many playoff games.

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#29 bazmagoo
April 26 2014, 05:50PM
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Happy to see so many posts about revamping our 3rd line. Gazdic/Joensuu - Gordon - Hendricks makes a legitimate 4th line with the ability to move up when needed, but it is not a 3rd line on a playoff team. I'm expecting Arcobello to be slotted in on the 3rd line with 2 new UFA wingers, that'd be my best guess.

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#30 RexHolez
April 26 2014, 06:31PM
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@bazmagoo

Couldn't agree more. These guys don't know how to build a winning team and they've been proving it for a decade. They announced the rebuild 4 years ago and it looks like they had no plan or even any idea of what type of team they wanted to build. It's a complete mess

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#31 bazmagoo
April 26 2014, 06:45PM
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This could be old news as I haven't spent much time on Oilersnation recently, but just came across this article - http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/04/24/toronto-maple-leafs-nikolai-kulemin-and-washington-capitals-mikhail-grabovski-could-be-a-package-deal-in-free-agency/

Anyone think signing Kulemin and Grabovski could be a good fit for the Oilers? I'd love to see it.

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#32 Randy
April 26 2014, 08:44PM
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JW,

How many times did you see the Canucks play this year? You stuck in 2011. I live in Vancouver you are seriously overrating all of them.

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#33 Bryzarro World
April 26 2014, 09:27PM
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Ffs JW.... You looking to start the Booth triangle?

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#34 Bryzarro World
April 26 2014, 11:35PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

No one talks about picking up Crosby and Malkin

My last comment I suggested trading Gags for Clarkson, which is possible considering the leafs are considering buying him out.

I also suggested signing Downie, Moss and Nikitin.

Oilers can overpay Downie and Moss so they will sign. Columbus have too many defenseman and won't be resigning Nikitin.

I wasn't suggesting we pick up Markhov, Callahan, Statsny and Orpiks.

Not sure why the comment of adding a few third liners and a #3-#4 dman is worth trashing.

You fans confuse me.

I bet slinkys confuse you too...

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#35 Al Low
April 26 2014, 02:33PM
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A guy like Edler, in my opinion, is more than respectable, in comparison to almost all of the defensemen we currently have.

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#36 vetinari
April 26 2014, 04:07PM
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@ Jonathan

Washington just let McPhee and Oats go... they're near the top of the NHL in payroll and don't have many UFA's heading into next year to clear off some space so a new GM will have to look at trades... see any players there that we may be able to pry out of their hands? I'd love to get one of their defencemen (Green, Alzner or Carlson) or one of their depth forwards (Chimera, Fehr or Johansson)... would Gagner and some of our prospects bring back one or two of these players?

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#37 bazmagoo
April 26 2014, 06:18PM
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@RexHolez

Until the nepotistic attitude/old boys club mentality of the Oilers is gone, it's very unlikely we'll ever produce a Stanley cup winner. So many examples to draw from but drafting David Musil instead of Boone Jenner is the one that is particularly urking me these days. I'm loyal to the Oil but man are they testing my patience.

How many left shot/left sided d prospects do we need? Davidson, Gernat, Klefbom, Musil, Nurse, Marincin, Simpson, Oesterle, Betker, Gustafsson, Hunt, Laleggia, all left shot. Fedun is the only right shot defenceman we have in the prospect pool currently according to http://oilers.nhl.com/club/roster.htm?type=prospect. That's 12 left shot defence prospects, 1 right shot defence prospect.

So why did we need to add David Musil to the mix? Could it possibly have anything to do with the fact that his father is a scout for the team? Never going to win when you are making decisions that way, bah!

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#38 Sid
April 26 2014, 08:36PM
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Oilers have no idea how to build a team. Take Boone Jenner in the 2011 draft, why did I know this is the guy you should pick 6'2 centre 208lbs. Oilers decide to take a slow Dman why? They have no idea how to build a team.

Yes you will remember me when I said we should trade Gagner for Brandon Sutter got torched here because most of you said Gagner is a 2nd line centre and Sutter is a 3rd line centre.

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#39 wiseguy
April 26 2014, 09:52PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Any arm chair gm who suggests a move or acquisition gets an unbelievable amount of trashes.

Its almost as though most of you fans just want to keep the status quo and take a shot at drafting McDavid.

Think Steve has rubbed off on too many of you.

I suggested days BEFORE the Fasth trade that the oilers should package the picks they get in the Hemsky trade and acquire Fasth as he was likely available and his value was low. This comment received majority trashes.

We have 34+ mil in cap space- shouldn't we be discussing all options to improve the team.

The trashes are not because anyone wants the status quo but because the suggestions are pulled out of thin air or video games. Pretty much any trade has the potential to improve the team given that we are 28th. It's the likelihood of the trades occurring that is the issue. For example, Hall + Eberle+ Rnh+ 2014 1st for Malkin and Crosby. Seems possible but likely not probable. So I would expect trashes for fantasy trades such as this.

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#40 Hockeyfan
April 26 2014, 08:18PM
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If your fancy stats have convinced you that David Booth better than a bacteria-infected hockey bag, then NerdStats have offially jumped the shark. He's invisible on the ice and as fragile as Tennessee Williams' Glass Menagerie.

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#41 michael
April 26 2014, 08:21PM
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Vincheese wrote:

No ex Canucks on this team. I don't care how good they are. They are all trained bums, and will do nothing but bring Canuck stench with them into our soon-to-be-new dressing rooms.

Keslar is a bum, and fragile like a brittle dried-up leaf.

Booth was done years ago, and makes Keslar look like an is.

Hanson would be interesting, but I prefer Boyd Gordon anyways. Both are too good for fourth line duty.

Garrison seems to be in significant decline and will be an overpay.

This leaves Edler. The only thing I can think of, is that he is a Canuck. Had he not been a Canuck, I'd like--gotta admit.

Problem is, that Canuck stench doesn't wash out easily......................

Still trying to get Tambolinis stench out.

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#42 Jeffff
April 26 2014, 08:29PM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

Willis' myopic analyses are about as useful in understanding the Oilers as studying your carburetor to understand a traffic jam.

Here's the most succinct, truthful statement you'll read tonight: The Oilers are a hopeless team because the organization is being run by an incompetent, yet arrogant, group of ignorami.

You want the truth here it is.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-24/smartest-spenders-in-sports-2014

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#44 Hockeyfan
April 26 2014, 08:34PM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

Willis' myopic analyses are about as useful in understanding the Oilers as studying your carburetor to understand a traffic jam.

Here's the most succinct, truthful statement you'll read tonight: The Oilers are a hopeless team because the organization is being run by an incompetent, yet arrogant, group of ignorami.

"corroborator"

If that's some kind of MS Word auto-replace, that's hilarious.

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#45 Oiler Al
April 26 2014, 08:59PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Any arm chair gm who suggests a move or acquisition gets an unbelievable amount of trashes.

Its almost as though most of you fans just want to keep the status quo and take a shot at drafting McDavid.

Think Steve has rubbed off on too many of you.

I suggested days BEFORE the Fasth trade that the oilers should package the picks they get in the Hemsky trade and acquire Fasth as he was likely available and his value was low. This comment received majority trashes.

We have 34+ mil in cap space- shouldn't we be discussing all options to improve the team.

Right, spend it on some UFA like Stasny, Niskinan, etc.

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#46 Jonny88
April 27 2014, 03:52PM
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@vetinari

i would love Jason Chimera back, his mom was a teacher of mine and he came to my school 3 time nice guy! I thought him and mac T had a big blow up and that's why he was traded. Anyone no if this is true? Would be amazing on there third line!

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