Three Forwards

Jonathan Willis
June 17 2014 09:14AM

Craig MacTavish6

Craig MacTavish talked to Terry Jones over the weekend, telling the Edmonton Sun columnist that he plans to add 4-5 players, with one or two coming from trade and the remainder through free agency. After eliminating the two defensive positions he specifically mentioned, that means we’re looking at 2-3 new forwards for the 2014-15 Edmonton Oilers.

The Depth Chart Today

The future up front

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Taylor Hall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jordan Eberle
David Perron Sam Gagner Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks Boyd Gordon Jesse Joensuu
Luke Gazdic Mark Arcobello Tyler Pitlick
Anton Lander Steve Pinizzotto

The 14 names above represent what in my view is the Oilers’ most likely forward depth chart today. We can add a trio of likely minor-leaguers to the list – Will Acton, Ryan Hamilton, and newly signed Iiro Pakarinen – if we want to be thorough and be reasonably confident we have the legitimate NHL options surrounded.

To this group we can potentially add the player the Oilers will get if they keep the No. 3 overall selection in this year’s draft. If they keep the pick the player will compete for an NHL job, and with the possible exception of Sam Bennett my guess is that he’d likely end up on the roster.

MacTavish’s aim is set pretty high – three new forwards represents an entire line of NHL talent – although there are going to be subtractions along the way, too.

The Shopping List

89-Gagner-6

My guess is that the Oilers have identified the following positions as being in need of help:

Second line centre. No newsflash here. Sam Gagner is a dead man walking if the rumour mill can be believed, and the Oilers may not want to bank on whoever they draft being ready for major-league action. If I were betting, I’d say plausible free agent targets include Mikhail Grabovski, David Legwand and maybe Brad Richards.

Third line wing. Potentially the Oilers could get this player back in a hypothetical Gagner deal, but free agency has a bunch of players who can play minutes on the wing and it isn’t so strong in centres. Plausible targets include Nikolai Kulemin, David Moss, Daniel Winnik, Brenden Morrow, Devin Setoguchi, Benoit Pouliot, and maybe Blake Comeau.

Third line centre. This is the position I imagine the Oilers would address in a potential Gagner trade, and the names being batted in the rumour mill would work – Colin Wilson out of Nashville or Josh Bailey from the Islanders. There are also some potential free agent grabs: Steve Ott, Vernon Fiddler, Marcel Goc, Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore, Michal Handzus and the sure to be overpaid Dave Bolland.

When a Plan Comes Together

If all goes well, the Oilers’ NHL forward depth chart would look something like this:

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Taylor Hall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jordan Eberle
David Perron [New Player] Nail Yakupov
[New Player] [New Player] Mark Arcobello
Matt Hendricks Boyd Gordon Jesse Joensuu
Luke Gazdic Anton Lander Tyler Pitlick

*Luke Gazdic may not be ready to start the season, which could potentially open the door for both of Lander and Pitlick to make the team out of camp.

Whether or not that’s good enough is going to depend on who MacTavish lands to fill those vacant spots, but if we’re right on the plan it’s as ambitious as Oilers fans could ask for.

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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#151 A-Mc
June 17 2014, 03:34PM
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I'm still waiting for MacT/Katz to agree to acquire a player + 2nd/3rd round picks in exchange for using our 2nd Compliance buy out in a trade.

Trade a player to EDM, EDM buys them out and the player re-signs with original team for less money.

Edm gets a player (Of unknown quality dependent on buy out) and 2nd/3rd round picks in this years draft.

The trade partner gets out from under a steep contract while still retaining the player they want.

The player gets a nice chunk of change up front which should coax them into signing for lesser appropriate money.

These are the kind of bold moves MacT should make in order to better the Oilers!

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#152 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2014, 03:35PM
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? wrote:

The bottom 6 depth is horrible. Thats where the Oilers need to pay attention. Build some depth

There's not enough cap space left to deal with this issue sufficiently.

Edmonton may be far better off rolling just 3 lines and 3 sets of D as units. Eliminate the 4th line. Their 5-8 minutes a night could easily be absorbed by other lines. Puck tradition. There's nothing traditional about the issues involved in this market.

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#153 chillout
June 17 2014, 03:38PM
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@Zarny

pfff, anybody with half a brain would take Stajan in a heartbeat over gagner. Besides the first two years you list are when Sutter had him trapped on the 4th line for no reason. Stajan is a solid player, the kind that would make Gagner look terrible if he was on the same team. Also a 40pt player on the flames is a little different than most teams. Pretty darn good actually.

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#154 Will
June 17 2014, 03:42PM
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A-Mc wrote:

I'm still waiting for MacT/Katz to agree to acquire a player + 2nd/3rd round picks in exchange for using our 2nd Compliance buy out in a trade.

Trade a player to EDM, EDM buys them out and the player re-signs with original team for less money.

Edm gets a player (Of unknown quality dependent on buy out) and 2nd/3rd round picks in this years draft.

The trade partner gets out from under a steep contract while still retaining the player they want.

The player gets a nice chunk of change up front which should coax them into signing for lesser appropriate money.

These are the kind of bold moves MacT should make in order to better the Oilers!

CBA does not allow players bought out to resign with their club in order to prevent this exact type of thing.

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#155 Will
June 17 2014, 03:45PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

There's not enough cap space left to deal with this issue sufficiently.

Edmonton may be far better off rolling just 3 lines and 3 sets of D as units. Eliminate the 4th line. Their 5-8 minutes a night could easily be absorbed by other lines. Puck tradition. There's nothing traditional about the issues involved in this market.

Well that's not true. If they draft Draisaitl and start him on the third line with Yak, then all they need to do is get a 3rd line LW and a second line RW (depending on where Perron actually plays). I would say there is plenty of cap room for that.

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#156 Zarny
June 17 2014, 03:58PM
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@chillout

I live in Calgary and have watched Stajan play quite a few times.

He's brutal. His skating is worse than Gagner's as is his offensive upside. Stajan's 200 ft game is marginally better than Gagner's but both are terrible at FO. Stajan is also 30 so enjoy the decline in his offense now that he's past his prime. A decline from 40 pts. Gagner on the other hand is 24 and has played 1 yr in his prime.

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#157 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2014, 03:58PM
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Will wrote:

CBA does not allow players bought out to resign with their club in order to prevent this exact type of thing.

What happens if the team who trades for this player for the purposes of a compliance buyout, also has no further interest in the player as well?

The Oilers could still be compensated (couple of draft picks) by the original club for providing this service, no?

Unless there's a clause in the CBA stipulating you can't buy out a player you didn't originally sign, or recently traded for. This may be a loophole/opportunity to purchase more draft selections.

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#158 A-Mc
June 17 2014, 04:00PM
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Will wrote:

CBA does not allow players bought out to resign with their club in order to prevent this exact type of thing.

Are you sure?

They cannot re-sign with the club that bought them out, but if the player is traded to a team that buys them out, they should be free to re-sign with their original team.

LA trades Richards to EDM (plus another player + picks). EDM Buys out Richards. Richards re-signs with LA.

This should be legal from what i've read on twitter and I swear i've seen a member of MSM suggest it should happen if a team gets desperate.

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#159 chillout
June 17 2014, 04:01PM
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@Zarny

Stajan may be older, but he's much more defensively responsible and is a guy that works his butt off. Gagner on the other hand is more suited to 3rd line duty than what he has been getting his entire career to this point and will likely suffer numbers wise when someone smart puts him in that position. Like back in the day when Val Bure was the flames top scorer, you could have said he was a 70pt player back then but on other teams....not so much.

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#160 Craig1981
June 17 2014, 04:01PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

The player can not play for the team that bought him out for 1 year according to the rules. Signing or trade

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#161 A-Mc
June 17 2014, 04:03PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

The player can not play for the team that bought him out for 1 year according to the rules. Signing or trade

Yes this is what i thought. That is why the player needs to be traded first before being bought out.

So my scenario for EDM should work.

Its a unique way to turn $$ into picks/players for a team that needs a boost.

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#162 Will
June 17 2014, 04:08PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

What happens if the team who trades for this player for the purposes of a compliance buyout, also has no further interest in the player as well?

The Oilers could still be compensated (couple of draft picks) by the original club for providing this service, no?

Unless there's a clause in the CBA stipulating you can't buy out a player you didn't originally sign, or recently traded for. This may be a loophole/opportunity to purchase more draft selections.

You cannot buy out a player after you traded for them until one year after the trade I believe.

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#163 Craig1981
June 17 2014, 04:09PM
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Sorensenator wrote:

100 hits is just over 1 hit per game, whoop dee do.

He's a pizza boy with an tenacious appetite for pancakes, he can stay where he is.

100 hits is not bad actually. Chara had 163 this year with far more ice time. 100 hits would put you right around 200th in the NHL which is about 7th on an average NHL team. Not great, but not terrible either for a 3rd line player.

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#164 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2014, 04:18PM
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Will wrote:

You cannot buy out a player after you traded for them until one year after the trade I believe.

I'm a little tentative with those last two words "I believe" there Will.

Might be better to wait and see what Zarny has to say on this topic.

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#165 Zarny
June 17 2014, 04:22PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

What happens if the team who trades for this player for the purposes of a compliance buyout, also has no further interest in the player as well?

The Oilers could still be compensated (couple of draft picks) by the original club for providing this service, no?

Unless there's a clause in the CBA stipulating you can't buy out a player you didn't originally sign, or recently traded for. This may be a loophole/opportunity to purchase more draft selections.

There is no clause and the Oilers do have 1 remaining compliance buy out.

So theoretically the Oilers could, for example, trade a 5th round pick for a bad contract + 3rd round pick with the specific intentions of buying the contract out.

It's possible but there doesn't seem to be a lot of opportunities out there.

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#166 Zarny
June 17 2014, 04:34PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Are you sure?

They cannot re-sign with the club that bought them out, but if the player is traded to a team that buys them out, they should be free to re-sign with their original team.

LA trades Richards to EDM (plus another player + picks). EDM Buys out Richards. Richards re-signs with LA.

This should be legal from what i've read on twitter and I swear i've seen a member of MSM suggest it should happen if a team gets desperate.

My understanding is what you proposed would be allowed.

Here is the thing...Richards is owed $29M over the next 6 years.

With your scenario it would be the Oilers (ie. Katz) who are on the hook for 2/3 of the contract ($19.333M) spread out over 12 years.

I'm not sure Katz or any owner is all that keen to spend $1.611M for the next 12 years for whatever player or pick LA would give up even if the $1.611M doesn't count against the cap.

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#167 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2014, 04:44PM
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@Zarny

What if the deal was for Richards and a Krieder/a player the Rangers are willing to sacrifice type as additional incentive? Even send a Joensuu back the other way.

Certainly silly type money up for discussion here, but there has to be one opportunity the Oilers could use to sell/take full advantage of that comp buyout. Was hoping the was a better opportunity than the 5th for a 3rd. If that's the incentive, then it's hardly worth the investment.

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#168 A-Mc
June 17 2014, 04:56PM
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Zarny wrote:

My understanding is what you proposed would be allowed.

Here is the thing...Richards is owed $29M over the next 6 years.

With your scenario it would be the Oilers (ie. Katz) who are on the hook for 2/3 of the contract ($19.333M) spread out over 12 years.

I'm not sure Katz or any owner is all that keen to spend $1.611M for the next 12 years for whatever player or pick LA would give up even if the $1.611M doesn't count against the cap.

I tend to agree with you; its a steep price to pay. That said, players are paid a zillion dollars to not play for their clubs anymore. That equates to a significant $ value paid out for 0 return other than cap space. Players are signed with insane signing bonuses for no other reason than to acquire them. UFA's often make 1+ more than they are worth on the market because GM's/owners are willing to pay.

The point is, is that there are any number of scenarios where a team with money will throw money at players in order to make the team better; Whoring out your compliance buy out is 1 way to turn $$ into something, where that Something couldn't otherwise be obtained.

In my LA scenario, what if LA sent over a 3M/yr player, a 2nd and 3rd round pick in 2014 draft, so that the Oilers could buy out M.Richards.

1.6M/yr + 3M/yr = 4.6M/yr payment on a player worth 3M. Add in a 2nd and 3rd rnd pick that the Oilers are lacking. Is it an overpayment for that 1 player? Yes. Could the oilers have acquired this player/picks with $$ alone in any other way? no. You'd only get those things by sending a Gagner the other way.

It's pricy but if the owner is in a cash positive situation and they want to reclaim some cache around town: something like this could go a long way to proving you mean business. Fans would appreciate it.

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#169 A-Mc
June 17 2014, 05:06PM
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@Zarny

Part #2:

The question now is why would LA do this compliance buyout deal sending over a 3M/yr player + 2nd/3rd.

Richards is a pretty kick ass 3rd/4th line Centerman and LA will want to continue to win Cups but they need to bring down that 5.75M/yr cap hit.

If the deal is such that after being bought out, richards will re-sign with the club for 2M/yr for 6 years (Fulfilling his 6yr initial commitment), LA would be reclaiming 3.75M in cap space (6.75M/yr including the player that was sent the other way).

Richards will get his 19M as well as an additional 12M (31M total) while still being on a Stanley cup winning team. He makes 2M more money. LA Frees up some needed cap space. Edm gets a player + 2 picks. Katz gets a city that finally has something positive to say about him. Mac T has his Bold Move. And at the end of the day everyone involved feels like they have made their situation better.

I sure hope SOMEONE is trying to pull off something like this.

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#170 v4ance
June 17 2014, 06:00PM
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Zarny wrote:

There is no clause and the Oilers do have 1 remaining compliance buy out.

So theoretically the Oilers could, for example, trade a 5th round pick for a bad contract + 3rd round pick with the specific intentions of buying the contract out.

It's possible but there doesn't seem to be a lot of opportunities out there.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2013/06/26/20929896.html

The NHL closed a loophole for compliance buyouts after some clever bargaining between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning.

According to the New York Post, the two clubs discussed a deal that would send centre Vincent Lecavalier and an asset – possibly a draft pick – to the Leafs. Toronto would then buy out Lecavalier’s massive contract and Tampa Bay would sign him to a more modest deal.

The collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from re-signing players they’ve bought out for one year. Upon hearing of the potential deal between the Leafs and Lightning, the NHL ruled such a scheme would circumvent the CBA.

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#171 madjam
June 17 2014, 06:09PM
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Lets see . Vanc. offers up Burrows or Edler for swap of picks in first round . Oilers add Vrbada and J. Jokinen . Oilers trade for B.Marchand and C.Stewart . Oilers draft J. Virtanen at number 6 . What does it spell - playoffs for next year.

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#172 cccsberg
June 17 2014, 06:28PM
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Zarny wrote:

Wideman wouldn't be Edmonton best D but he's certainly better than Belov, Grebeshkov etc.

@ $5.25M per year though? No thanks lol.

There is no reality where Jones and Stajan are anything better than 3rd line players. Stajan's pro-rated production over 82 games the last 4 years is 33, 24, 43 and 42 pts. At best, he's a poor man's Sam Gagner.

Jones' isn't even worth listing.

As I stated earlier, since you primarily focus on points Stajan doesn't cut it in your view. There are other things than pts, like shut-down defense, consistent play, and leadership! He'd be a BIG upgrade on Gagner overall. Its no wonder the Oilers are where they are, seems management has a similar mentality.

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#173 GCW
June 17 2014, 07:12PM
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JW

Have you run the Capgeek arm chair GM against that roster? Looks like cap hell to me.

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#174 Steve
June 17 2014, 07:13PM
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Is it just me, or does anyone else not like Arco as a third line right winger...

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#175 Gofucoffee
June 17 2014, 08:14PM
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Steve wrote:

Is it just me, or does anyone else not like Arco as a third line right winger...

Why?

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#176 SmythforMayor
June 17 2014, 08:41PM
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The league has to approve any trade before it is official. They have the right to block any trade. I imagine if Bettman saw Richards and a 3rd for a 5th he might think something is fishy. Plus why would the kings trust KLOWE to actually buy him out? What's stopping him from keeping the player and the pick? Not sure that would work with any gm besides maybe Slats. He's the only guy that would trust Lowe

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#177 madjam
June 17 2014, 08:48PM
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Do we go after any buyouts such as Leino , Booth etc.?

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#178 madjam
June 17 2014, 09:09PM
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Seeing as we have only 2 RW it might be advisable to get a couple . Fourth line S.Thornton for one cheapy .

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#179 SmythforMayor
June 17 2014, 09:10PM
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madjam wrote:

Do we go after any buyouts such as Leino , Booth etc.?

Booth for sure. The guy is a beast, hits anything that moves, has a two way game, and has scored a lot in the past. Perfect for 3rd line lw

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#180 Craig1981
June 17 2014, 09:12PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Yes this is what i thought. That is why the player needs to be traded first before being bought out.

So my scenario for EDM should work.

Its a unique way to turn $$ into picks/players for a team that needs a boost.

You want to spend millions for a couple picks?!?!? Katz has money, but not that much. Plus it could be much better used elsewhere.....to say nothing of these "loopholes" posts try and find would most likely be considered "salary cap circumvention" by the league (see kovachuk signing)

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#181 madjam
June 17 2014, 09:49PM
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Looking at Detroit's forwards is like a list from the old folks home .

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#185 Zarny
June 17 2014, 10:26PM
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v4ance wrote:

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2013/06/26/20929896.html

The NHL closed a loophole for compliance buyouts after some clever bargaining between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning.

According to the New York Post, the two clubs discussed a deal that would send centre Vincent Lecavalier and an asset – possibly a draft pick – to the Leafs. Toronto would then buy out Lecavalier’s massive contract and Tampa Bay would sign him to a more modest deal.

The collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from re-signing players they’ve bought out for one year. Upon hearing of the potential deal between the Leafs and Lightning, the NHL ruled such a scheme would circumvent the CBA.

Sweet! Thanks! There was nothing in the CBA and I had missed that article.

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#186 madjam
June 17 2014, 10:36PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Thornton's a left wing.

He's also 37 years old and not remotely the player he once was.

I'll never understand the fascination with guys who at their best were fringe NHL'ers, and who are now far from at their best.

I stand corrected , although he shoots right .

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#187 SmythforMayor
June 17 2014, 11:12PM
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@Jonathan Willis

The price to pick up Booth on waivers today is half his salary. What is that, 2.1ish? And it would stick the Canucks with the other 2.1 of his salary for this year blocking the compliance buyout. Wouldn't it? Why aren't we picking him up on waivers TODAY?

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#188 chuck biscuits
June 17 2014, 11:39PM
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@SmythforMayor

Claiming Booth off waivers is at full salary/cap, so $4.75M real dollars and 4.25cap for next year.

You're thinking of(now defunct) re-entry waivers(half salary/cap)

He might be worth a look at the right price. I wonder if the concussions are still an issue

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#189 Chongler
June 18 2014, 12:05AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Thornton's a left wing.

He's also 37 years old and not remotely the player he once was.

I'll never understand the fascination with guys who at their best were fringe NHL'ers, and who are now far from at their best.

Blame the EA Sports NHL video game series.

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#190 Jeropotato
June 18 2014, 12:25AM
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A-Mc wrote:

I'm still waiting for MacT/Katz to agree to acquire a player + 2nd/3rd round picks in exchange for using our 2nd Compliance buy out in a trade.

Trade a player to EDM, EDM buys them out and the player re-signs with original team for less money.

Edm gets a player (Of unknown quality dependent on buy out) and 2nd/3rd round picks in this years draft.

The trade partner gets out from under a steep contract while still retaining the player they want.

The player gets a nice chunk of change up front which should coax them into signing for lesser appropriate money.

These are the kind of bold moves MacT should make in order to better the Oilers!

That scenerio is not allowed. Tampa and Toronto tried that aqnd the NHL put a statement out prior to the trade saying "No Way, Jose".

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#191 SmythforMayor
June 18 2014, 12:45AM
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@chuck biscuits

Makes sense. My bad. Ya at that price, no way. Booth just isn't a top six guy anymore and his concussions make him a gamble. After he gets bought out, and at 1.5-2 he would be worth a shot. I think he would be open to living in Edmonton, I hear he hunts in northern AB

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#192 Canuckistanian
June 18 2014, 12:58AM
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Sadly (for faithful Oilers fans) that third line looks vastly improved :). That would be my focus for the forward ranks as I'm not sure how much better a second line center the Oilers can realistically get this summer (I believe Gagner will have a bounce back season even though he is not the ideal second line center).

Then sign Stralman and trade for Byfuglien!

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#193 hagargt
June 18 2014, 01:04AM
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Is the exact same picture of MacT recycled for every article about him promising change, or does he have a sponsorship from Botox treatment? I am not on the fire Craig boat quite yet, but DAMN does everything this guy says come off as a warm glass of milk? Even the promise of change looks like he is sweating his life, and doesn't believe what he is saying.

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#194 hagargt
June 18 2014, 01:16AM
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You can at least applaud the passion of a Torterela, the sweaty no sleep look of a Burk.. but our staff look and sound like the main characters in some zomnbie movie?? Zero character or excitement for future change... just monotone promises and comments. it's depressing.

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#195 OilDieHard
June 18 2014, 07:05AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Thornton's a left wing.

He's also 37 years old and not remotely the player he once was.

I'll never understand the fascination with guys who at their best were fringe NHL'ers, and who are now far from at their best.

^it's an easy answer Jonathan....it's the mentality that other team's castoffs have to be better than some of the players we have because we suck.

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#196 madjam
June 18 2014, 08:24AM
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madjam wrote:

I stand corrected , although he shoots right .

My NHL Trade Rumours.com has Thornton listed as a RWinger . He is 36 years old not 37 .

Other interesting RWingers are Gaborik (high end) , Vrbada , Boyes ,to the low end with Jackman, Reaves ,Cliché , Kobasew and others of course . Wonder if we will make a pitch for Gaborik ?

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#197 pkam
June 18 2014, 08:50AM
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SmythforMayor wrote:

Booth for sure. The guy is a beast, hits anything that moves, has a two way game, and has scored a lot in the past. Perfect for 3rd line lw

Better chat with some Canucks fans and see what they say about Booth.

I read the CBC blog and hardly any Canucks fans there who don't want to get rid of him.

I guess you are having the mentality that Manfly described.

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#198 Dman
June 18 2014, 10:58AM
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Zarny wrote:

No, SJ isn't hitting the reset button.

After another playoff flop they are entertaining offers for Thornton and Marleau but you aren't getting a bargain.

Other than the lockout seasons, the last time Thornton put up less than 70 pts was 2001-02 when he had 68 pts in 66 games. He was the 7th leading C this year with 76 pts which was 6 pts more than Anze Kopitar.

He is 35 but he is far from done. There would be ways to mitigate the cost of a trade and perhaps avoid giving up Eberle or Yakupov (3rd overall this year, 2015 1st round pick, Marincin and Klefbom etc) except for one thing...

There is no reality where Joe Thornton accepts a trade to Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Yes in fact San Jose is setting the reset button. That is the exact words from their gm.

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#199 Just a Fan
June 18 2014, 11:08AM
Trash it!
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A-Mc wrote:

I'm still waiting for MacT/Katz to agree to acquire a player + 2nd/3rd round picks in exchange for using our 2nd Compliance buy out in a trade.

Trade a player to EDM, EDM buys them out and the player re-signs with original team for less money.

Edm gets a player (Of unknown quality dependent on buy out) and 2nd/3rd round picks in this years draft.

The trade partner gets out from under a steep contract while still retaining the player they want.

The player gets a nice chunk of change up front which should coax them into signing for lesser appropriate money.

These are the kind of bold moves MacT should make in order to better the Oilers!

Edmonton forfeits the first round pick in 2015 or 2016 for cap circumvention (NJD)

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#200 SmythforMayor
June 18 2014, 11:33AM
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@pkam

I live in Vancouver and watch all the games with my wife, I can tell you that it's a lot like the Horcoff situation, the fans and the players all like Booth, it's his contract nobody likes

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