Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry take a pass on salary arbitration

Jonathan Willis
July 05 2014 04:36PM

19-Schultz-2

One of the interesting wrinkles in the contract negotiations between defencemen Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry was that the players had the right to take the team to arbitration, a right that had to be exercised by 5:00 PM New York time on July 5 if a hearing was to take place.

In an interesting bit of non-news, neither player was among the 20 listed by the NHLPA as filing for arbitration.

The List

Fully half of the league’s 30 teams now face the prospect of an arbitration hearing if they are unable to reach an agreement with their free agent(s) beforehand. The full list via the NHLPA can be found here, and there are some interesting names on it.

Montreal has an interesting summer ahead. P.K. Subban, as expected, exercised his right to arbitration, but he was joined by Lars Eller, the 25-year old who was so good in 2012-13 and during the playoffs for the Habs.

New York had three different players elect, and all three are key forwards: Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello. Toronto will have to deal with both Cody Franson and James Reimer, a duo that have been frequently mentioned in trade rumours over the last few months.

Alberta’s other team also has an interesting hearing coming up. 24-year-old Joe Colborne, a 6’5” centre, scored 28 points in his rookie NHL season in Calgary and now will elect for arbitration.

Reading the Tea Leaves

2-Petry-4

The decision by both players to pass on arbitration can be spun in any manner of ways, but the simplest is this: the team and the players are pretty much on the same page.

Petry in particular is interesting because he’s only a year from unrestricted free agency. If his camp had really wanted to play hardball, electing for salary arbitration would have been a great way to make sure that he both got paid and was free to test the market next summer. As Bruce McCurdy put in his take on the subject:

[Petry] held the “arbitration hammer” in what we can only presume are ongoing negotiations. That he chose not to exercise it may be a tell that things are close to a decision point. That could be an extension, or it could be a trade.

Possibly of interest is a comment from general manager Craig MacTavish on Jason Gregor’s show in mid-June, where he said the Oilers “fully anticipate” signing the defenceman to a new contact.

Schultz is less surprising, simply because of the many things Craig MacTavish has said about him in the past. For example, he was asked whether he’d prefer to sign Schultz to a bridge contract or a long-term deal at his end-of-season press availability and offered the following:

I’m open to both. It’ll be dependent on really what Justin wants to do. I think I’ve been clear all along on the upside that I see from Justin Schultz. He’s a developing player. He’s just completed his first NHL season, his upside is limitless. So I have a lot of confidence and would have the confidence to extend Justin on a long-term deal. When I analyze the deals that we’ve extended to some of the other players, some of the other long-term deals. I don’t think – I mean, the argument against a long-term deal for a young player is that it takes away their motivation, but I can’t say that any of those long-term deals has dissuaded any of those individuals from aspiring to be as good as they can be.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if in both of these cases the Oilers and the players involved have pretty decent communication and aren’t worried about arbitration. There are other possible interpretations, but Schultz and Petry opting to pass on the chance to get a second opinion on their value is probably good news for the team.

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 Sevenseven
July 05 2014, 04:55PM
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Dpes this mean the players dont have a big issue about playing here? Are things finally turning around?

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#2 pelhem grenville
July 05 2014, 04:59PM
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...nice kids Jeff and Justin

salary arbitration is just a way of letting your boss say what a piece of Sh!t you are anyway ...

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#3 ThinkingOutLoud
July 05 2014, 04:59PM
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Nice to see neither wanted to risk bad blood - seems both would rather say here long-term, which means they haven't given up on the team and would like to be part of the solution. Also seems to indicate they buy into the plan MacT and Eakins are working on. Good news all-round.

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#4 bwar
July 05 2014, 05:03PM
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Rangers go to the cup final, three players file for arbitration. Oilers finish third last in the league and have no players file for arbitration. I guess the Oilers have some really potent Kool-Aid.

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#5 Kim
July 05 2014, 05:04PM
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Petry for Frans Nielsen. Good for NYI good for Oilers

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#6 jdh10
July 05 2014, 05:33PM
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@Kim We're not trading Petry. Especially not for Frans Nielsen. Thats actually the worst trade edmonton could make. How much more lopsided can a trade become?

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#7 jdh10
July 05 2014, 05:35PM
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@kim Sorry not lopsided exactly. It would just hurt edmonton much more an benefit NYI a lot. Petry is very underrated and needed by this Oilers team

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#8 bazmagoo
July 05 2014, 05:47PM
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Happy to read this news! I really don't want the Oilers to be trading any players right now, just picks/prospects for NHL players from teams struggling with cap issues. We are two NHL players away from having a team that is able to push for a playoff spot in my opinion.

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#9 Jackson
July 05 2014, 05:53PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Happy to read this news! I really don't want the Oilers to be trading any players right now, just picks/prospects for NHL players from teams struggling with cap issues. We are two NHL players away from having a team that is able to push for a playoff spot in my opinion.

Ya,

Toews and Doughty and still they would not make the playoffs

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#10 bazmagoo
July 05 2014, 05:58PM
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@Jackson

Haha have to disagree with you there. One 2nd line center and 1 #1 defenceman and we are a playoff team. Not quite there yet that's for sure.

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#11 Dwayne Roloson 35
July 05 2014, 06:05PM
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hi

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#12 The Last Big Bear
July 05 2014, 06:07PM
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Both of these guys are going to want more money, and are going to get more money, than arbitration would give them.

An arbitrator will give you a league-wide average salary for comparable RFA players.

Which means they won't get the "Alberta Advantage", where the Oilers pay you vastly over the market rate because they are stone cold desperate.

And if the Oilers don't back up the Brinks truck to your door, you can't hold out if you've gone to arbitration.

Now I know, I know, you're thinking to yourself "There's no way Justin Schultz would screw over the club that holds his contract rights like that. He's just not that kind of guy."

But the simple fact is that if either guy holds out, the Oilers would cave and cave HARD. They are going to suck badly, playoff hopes will be dim by November, pressure will be high, the club will be starving for NHL level talent, and these guys will be sitting there with their skates on and wallets open.

Arbitration that gives them the same salary that comparable players are getting on other teams is the last thing either of these guys wants, when they have every reason to expect to be paid considerably more.

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#13 Smokey
July 05 2014, 06:08PM
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Frans Neilson a bonified 50 point 2nd line center in his prime for Jeff Petry a arguable number 4 on most good teams in the NHL?

You can argue either wah wbicb has more value. Looks like saw off for me.

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#14 Dog Train
July 05 2014, 06:27PM
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The Oilers should be watching some of these arbitration cases closely, in particular Eller or Brassard. Either player would seem to be a good fit if they somehow became available.

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#15 Chainsawz
July 05 2014, 06:50PM
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By not going to arbritration, they also still can have another team negotiate their contract via offer sheet....

If both players get market for their services, it'll leave around $3 million for a second line center. I'm curious how this plays out as if both players are Oilers at puck drop, either a significant winger is out or a less than desirable option Is deployed at 2C.

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#16 Fresh Mess
July 05 2014, 06:52PM
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ThinkingOutLoud wrote:

Nice to see neither wanted to risk bad blood - seems both would rather say here long-term, which means they haven't given up on the team and would like to be part of the solution. Also seems to indicate they buy into the plan MacT and Eakins are working on. Good news all-round.

Man, that is really what you get from this news? Well okay. Interesting.

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#17 jonny94
July 05 2014, 06:53PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Both of these guys are going to want more money, and are going to get more money, than arbitration would give them.

An arbitrator will give you a league-wide average salary for comparable RFA players.

Which means they won't get the "Alberta Advantage", where the Oilers pay you vastly over the market rate because they are stone cold desperate.

And if the Oilers don't back up the Brinks truck to your door, you can't hold out if you've gone to arbitration.

Now I know, I know, you're thinking to yourself "There's no way Justin Schultz would screw over the club that holds his contract rights like that. He's just not that kind of guy."

But the simple fact is that if either guy holds out, the Oilers would cave and cave HARD. They are going to suck badly, playoff hopes will be dim by November, pressure will be high, the club will be starving for NHL level talent, and these guys will be sitting there with their skates on and wallets open.

Arbitration that gives them the same salary that comparable players are getting on other teams is the last thing either of these guys wants, when they have every reason to expect to be paid considerably more.

This whole quote is a joke. Are you either of their agents? Are you in talks with MacT? Didn't think so. Willis said it best with both of these players opting to pass arbitration is more likely good news then bad. I know you're not an Oilers fan so if you're going to comment on the team at least be reasonable, I bet you both Petry and Schultz sign fair value contracts and not cave HARD.

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#18 Walter white
July 05 2014, 07:03PM
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bwar wrote:

Rangers go to the cup final, three players file for arbitration. Oilers finish third last in the league and have no players file for arbitration. I guess the Oilers have some really potent Kool-Aid.

The Ranger players to the arbitrator: "I contributed to the Rangers making it to the finals..."

The Oiler players to the arbitrator: "I contributed to the Oilers being the worst NHL team in history over the last 8 years...."

I wonder why the Oilers did not choose arbitration......!!!!!

WW

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#19 Jeffff
July 05 2014, 07:08PM
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NYI are going to gain the most points from last years record

Colorado is going to lose the most points from last years record

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#20 Deezy
July 05 2014, 07:13PM
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Sign Justin, trade Petry

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#21 The Last Big Bear
July 05 2014, 07:17PM
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jonny94 wrote:

This whole quote is a joke. Are you either of their agents? Are you in talks with MacT? Didn't think so. Willis said it best with both of these players opting to pass arbitration is more likely good news then bad. I know you're not an Oilers fan so if you're going to comment on the team at least be reasonable, I bet you both Petry and Schultz sign fair value contracts and not cave HARD.

Well, it's a good sign from the point of view that arbitration is probably the fastest route to free agency for these guys, so this is at least a sign that they're not desperate to leave Edmonton.

But neither of these guys is in real danger of being bent over and forced to take significantly less than their market value. So there's no benefit for them to file arbitration from a salary stand point.

They will get more money from negotiation (which may include holding out) than they ever would through arbitration.

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#22 Fresh Mess
July 05 2014, 07:25PM
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Walter white wrote:

The Ranger players to the arbitrator: "I contributed to the Rangers making it to the finals..."

The Oiler players to the arbitrator: "I contributed to the Oilers being the worst NHL team in history over the last 8 years...."

I wonder why the Oilers did not choose arbitration......!!!!!

WW

Say my name.

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#23 Walter White
July 05 2014, 07:34PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Say my name.

"You're G.. MD... Right I'm Heisenberg!!!"

WW

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#24 Fresh Mess
July 05 2014, 07:48PM
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Walter White wrote:

"You're G.. MD... Right I'm Heisenberg!!!"

WW

Walt Whitman?

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#25 Oilers4ever
July 05 2014, 08:03PM
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Jackson wrote:

Ya,

Toews and Doughty and still they would not make the playoffs

Arsehole....

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#26 Walter White
July 05 2014, 08:10PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Walt Whitman?

"I am the one who knocks..."

WW

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#27 madjam
July 05 2014, 08:10PM
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Not like MacT. has a habit of underpaying in dollars and term . Both are probably going to get more avoiding arbitration .

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#28 Old time oil fan
July 05 2014, 09:00PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Both of these guys are going to want more money, and are going to get more money, than arbitration would give them.

An arbitrator will give you a league-wide average salary for comparable RFA players.

Which means they won't get the "Alberta Advantage", where the Oilers pay you vastly over the market rate because they are stone cold desperate.

And if the Oilers don't back up the Brinks truck to your door, you can't hold out if you've gone to arbitration.

Now I know, I know, you're thinking to yourself "There's no way Justin Schultz would screw over the club that holds his contract rights like that. He's just not that kind of guy."

But the simple fact is that if either guy holds out, the Oilers would cave and cave HARD. They are going to suck badly, playoff hopes will be dim by November, pressure will be high, the club will be starving for NHL level talent, and these guys will be sitting there with their skates on and wallets open.

Arbitration that gives them the same salary that comparable players are getting on other teams is the last thing either of these guys wants, when they have every reason to expect to be paid considerably more.

Thank you for explaining the reality of the current day Oilers to the kool-aid drinking masses. As you explain not going to arbitration is in the best interest of these players. They may choose not to hold the Oil ransom but if they wanted to they certainly could. For those of you who think that these players passed on arbitration because they see the Oil as a winning destination....you make me laugh. Have another drink.

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#29 qwerty
July 05 2014, 09:07PM
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would Jultz's decision have anything to do with the fact that his comparable would be Marc Andre Bergeron? whats that worth, 900k?

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#30 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
July 05 2014, 09:41PM
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Subban has the arbitrator on speed dial.

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#31 Sevenseven
July 05 2014, 09:51PM
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bwar wrote:

Rangers go to the cup final, three players file for arbitration. Oilers finish third last in the league and have no players file for arbitration. I guess the Oilers have some really potent Kool-Aid.

One of the problems of being champions. Look at my playoff numbers! Give me a ridiculous raise!

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#32 madjam
July 05 2014, 10:49PM
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What should we give to get Datsyuk , whose numbers are plummeting over last two seasons with an aging Detroit club that needs to rebuild ?

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#35 Loweblows
July 06 2014, 12:55AM
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qwerty wrote:

would Jultz's decision have anything to do with the fact that his comparable would be Marc Andre Bergeron? whats that worth, 900k?

Not fair, Bergeron had a way better shot

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#36 Slyers
July 06 2014, 01:22AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Both of these guys are going to want more money, and are going to get more money, than arbitration would give them.

An arbitrator will give you a league-wide average salary for comparable RFA players.

Which means they won't get the "Alberta Advantage", where the Oilers pay you vastly over the market rate because they are stone cold desperate.

And if the Oilers don't back up the Brinks truck to your door, you can't hold out if you've gone to arbitration.

Now I know, I know, you're thinking to yourself "There's no way Justin Schultz would screw over the club that holds his contract rights like that. He's just not that kind of guy."

But the simple fact is that if either guy holds out, the Oilers would cave and cave HARD. They are going to suck badly, playoff hopes will be dim by November, pressure will be high, the club will be starving for NHL level talent, and these guys will be sitting there with their skates on and wallets open.

Arbitration that gives them the same salary that comparable players are getting on other teams is the last thing either of these guys wants, when they have every reason to expect to be paid considerably more.

Ok that's it I am officially starting a I.D.I.O.T.S list...and you are one of the official members. It stands for: Individuals Disrespecting Intelligent Observations Through Stupidity.

The following members either offer nothing but contrary negative remarks serving no real purpose other than pissing people off, or offer non coherent trade proposals on a regular basis.

1. DSF 2. Serious Gord 3. Quick silver ballet 4. Madjam 5. Big Bear 6. Fresh Mess 7. Kozy Mel

Congratulations, the list will be up dated soon! Wow looking at the list... I maybe out numbered? Maybe my Grand daddy was right when he said "the dullards are out breeding us son, it's only a matter of time"...

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#37 RexHolez
July 06 2014, 04:25AM
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@Slyers

do you disagree that the oilers have to overpay for FA's? will you only be happy surrounded by yes men posting nothing but praise and mindless glorification?

fact is they're the worst team in the nhl for the past decade and one of the worst pro franchises in the world. sorry if some of arnt used to bending over and pulling our pants down.

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#38 Spurzey
July 06 2014, 07:11AM
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@Slyers Now you went and hurt RexHolez's feelings by not making him a founding member!

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#39 Chainsawz
July 06 2014, 07:40AM
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qwerty wrote:

would Jultz's decision have anything to do with the fact that his comparable would be Marc Andre Bergeron? whats that worth, 900k?

Justin Faulk, 6 years, $29 million, $4.83 million cap hit

Faulk, 22, 3 seasons, 169 GP, 61 pts, -20, was an RFA.

Schultz, 23, 2 seasons, 112 GP, 55 pts, -37, currently an RFA

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#40 madjam
July 06 2014, 08:46AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

"An aging Detroit club that needs to rebuild" would be a pretty accurate description of the team from the late 1990's on.

They've stayed the course. It's worked well for them. I'd expect more of the same.

Willis : No wonder Detroit having a harder time getting UFA,s to choose them . Look at their aging core to start next season . Alfredsson if he returns 41 , Bertuzzi 39 , Samuelson 38 (dec) , Datsyuk 36, Franzen 35 , Cleary 35 , Zetterburg 34 and soon 35 . Detroit is trending down rapidly .

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#41 The Last Big Bear
July 06 2014, 09:55AM
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Slyers wrote:

Ok that's it I am officially starting a I.D.I.O.T.S list...and you are one of the official members. It stands for: Individuals Disrespecting Intelligent Observations Through Stupidity.

The following members either offer nothing but contrary negative remarks serving no real purpose other than pissing people off, or offer non coherent trade proposals on a regular basis.

1. DSF 2. Serious Gord 3. Quick silver ballet 4. Madjam 5. Big Bear 6. Fresh Mess 7. Kozy Mel

Congratulations, the list will be up dated soon! Wow looking at the list... I maybe out numbered? Maybe my Grand daddy was right when he said "the dullards are out breeding us son, it's only a matter of time"...

So your retort is to not address anything I've said but rather just to claim that you're smart and I'm stupid?

Maybe instead of pontificating about how genetically superior y'all are, and lamenting how lesser people like me are still allowed to pollute your race, your grand pappy should have taught you the basic tenets of civilised debate.

Which does not include the use of "You're stupid and I'm better than you" as a response to a point of discussion.

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#42 Quicksilver ballet
July 06 2014, 10:07AM
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Jeff has done well for himself in the early part of his career. He's one season away from calling his own shots from now on, and he's American.

Send him home while the Oilers still have some control over him. Petry++ for Sean Couturier, and let's get this party started here in Edmonton.

Did Jeff marry and Edmonton girl, or a girl from back home?

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#43 bulldog12
July 06 2014, 10:08AM
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Slyers wrote:

Ok that's it I am officially starting a I.D.I.O.T.S list...and you are one of the official members. It stands for: Individuals Disrespecting Intelligent Observations Through Stupidity.

The following members either offer nothing but contrary negative remarks serving no real purpose other than pissing people off, or offer non coherent trade proposals on a regular basis.

1. DSF 2. Serious Gord 3. Quick silver ballet 4. Madjam 5. Big Bear 6. Fresh Mess 7. Kozy Mel

Congratulations, the list will be up dated soon! Wow looking at the list... I maybe out numbered? Maybe my Grand daddy was right when he said "the dullards are out breeding us son, it's only a matter of time"...

7 members only 7 trashes Should tell you something. Should be 8 members you forgot Recthole. You 8 should try flames nation then the rest of us could carry on intelligent conversations

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#44 RT26
July 06 2014, 10:09AM
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JW,

What do you think about signing Mike Ribiero to a 1 year deal? I have read rumors of bad attitude in Phoenix, and if so, maybe avoid. Otherwise though, might be a ok 2C for12 months.

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#45 Slyers
July 06 2014, 10:22AM
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RexHolez wrote:

do you disagree that the oilers have to overpay for FA's? will you only be happy surrounded by yes men posting nothing but praise and mindless glorification?

fact is they're the worst team in the nhl for the past decade and one of the worst pro franchises in the world. sorry if some of arnt used to bending over and pulling our pants down.

1. DSF 2. Serious Gord 3. Quick silver ballet 4. Madjam 5. Big Bear 6. Fresh Mess 7. Kozy Mel 8. Rex Holez

Congratulations!

P.s disagreeing is good, debate is good, being contrary on everything with out reason or foundation ...... Welcome to the I.D.I.O.T.S list!!

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#46 Mike Krushelnyski
July 06 2014, 10:24AM
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Dwayne Roloson 35 wrote:

hi

Hi!

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#47 Harry
July 06 2014, 10:31AM
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Chainsawz wrote:

Justin Faulk, 6 years, $29 million, $4.83 million cap hit

Faulk, 22, 3 seasons, 169 GP, 61 pts, -20, was an RFA.

Schultz, 23, 2 seasons, 112 GP, 55 pts, -37, currently an RFA

Im glad someone posted this. I am a Schultz fan but hes done next to nothing in the NHL to warrant a 3+mil per year contract. At this point all he has is potential. All Oilers fans can remember the terrible defensive zone play on almost a nightly basis. Why are people giving this guy 3-4+ million for 100 years?

Just take a quick look at Subbans numbers after his 3rd season. Schultz wasnt even close to that kind of production. Subban got 2.5 then 3.75 or something close to that. Schultz shouldnt get a dime more than subbans bridge deal and in all reality im thinking 2mil then 2.75 for 2 years.

Get a grip if you think schultz is worth more

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#48 Jason
July 06 2014, 10:47AM
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Sevenseven wrote:

Dpes this mean the players dont have a big issue about playing here? Are things finally turning around?

Maybe, but it could also mean that both players are willing to look at offer sheets from other teams. Filing for arbitration makes players ineligible to sign offer sheets from other teams.

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#49 Clyde
July 06 2014, 11:04AM
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Jason wrote:

Maybe, but it could also mean that both players are willing to look at offer sheets from other teams. Filing for arbitration makes players ineligible to sign offer sheets from other teams.

Both these guys are going to want to cash in now. Petry isn't going to give up any ufa years unless it is really worth his while. What did Schultz make in these first 2 years?

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#50 The Last Big Bear
July 06 2014, 11:13AM
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Harry wrote:

Im glad someone posted this. I am a Schultz fan but hes done next to nothing in the NHL to warrant a 3+mil per year contract. At this point all he has is potential. All Oilers fans can remember the terrible defensive zone play on almost a nightly basis. Why are people giving this guy 3-4+ million for 100 years?

Just take a quick look at Subbans numbers after his 3rd season. Schultz wasnt even close to that kind of production. Subban got 2.5 then 3.75 or something close to that. Schultz shouldnt get a dime more than subbans bridge deal and in all reality im thinking 2mil then 2.75 for 2 years.

Get a grip if you think schultz is worth more

It's not about "what's he worth", it's about "what's he worth to the Oilers?"

You say he's worth $2.5m-ish.

OK, well let's say he holds out, or demands a trade or something.

Can the Oilers replace him for $2.5m?

Not. A. Hope. It cost the Oilers $4.5m to replace Nick Schultz... by signing the guy who lost his spot to Nick Schultz.

Arbitration might say he's worth $2.5m but there's no way the Oilers could replace him at that price, so he's clearly worth much more than that to this club. Arbitration would give him what he's worth in the league, but negotiation will give him what he's worth to Edmonton. And last time I checked I think he was leading the team in minutes.

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