Delauriers and XMAS Din Din

How do you feel after gorging yourself with two dinners a day for three days?Satisfied, but also dreading stepping on the scale and realizing you will have to resort to three straight days of booze – the only diet to get rid of the excess weight, because as Wanye says, “exercise is overrated.”

I’m guessing a goalie feels the same after not playing in a month. Jeff Deslauriers hasn’t played since a 4-3 loss in Dallas on November 30th. He is rustier than a guy who’s been married for 20 years, gets divorced and then has to go and wheel the ladies. It’s not pretty and neither would Deslauriers’ next NHL start be after sitting out for a month, so expect the Oilers to send him down to Springfield on a conditioning stint.

Now that the trade embargo and waiver freeze is over, Deslauriers can be sent down to see some rubber. Under the CBA, a team can send a player down for a two-week conditioning stint that doesn’t require him to clear waivers. A player basically needs to be inactive for close to a month for it to be considered legitimate, and not just a way to bypass the waiver process.

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The Oilers want JDD to get down to Springfield and get him at least five or six games. Expect him to be sent down this coming Monday. That would give him a day or two of practice before the Falcons play on Wednesday. When the Oilers send him down on Monday, Dec 29th, he could play up to eight games in the two weeks that he is allowed to be there. He won’t play in all eight games, since there are two sets of three games in three nights, but you can expect him to play six. Here is the Springfield schedule for the next two weeks:

Wed Dec 31 v. Hershey
Fri Jan 02 v. Manchester
Sat Jan 03 v. Providence
Sun Jan 04 @ Portland
Wed Jan 07 v. Binghamton
Fri Jan 09 v. Hartford
Sat Jan 10 @ Portland
Sun Jan 11 @ Portland

Look for Deslauriers to play on the 31st, 02, 03, 07, 09 and then either the 10th or the 11th. And Springfield could use him having lost seven of their last eight going into tonight’s game v. Hartford.

Devan Dubynk has carried the load in Springfield starting 30 of the 31 games, so he could use a bit of a breather having allowed 3 or more goals in his last eight games. This isn’t the ideal situation for Deslauriers and the Oilers, but when he is recalled expect him to see NHL rubber right away. He will return to Edmonton on January 12th, and once he is recalled the Oilers hope to have found a trading partner to solve their three-headed monster. I’ve been told that Steve Tambellini has been working the phones for a month trying to solve the problem, but so far no team is interested in either Garon or Roloson. There has been lots of interest in Deslauriers, but the Oilers don’t want to move him.

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The names that opposing GMs throw out the most when trade talks arise are Andrew Cogliano, Tom Gilbert and Jeff Deslauriers. I have it confirmed that not one single team has even brought up Rob Schremp’s name in a trade. It is interesting that just before Christmas Marc Pouliot started to get some feelers. I’m not a big rumour spreader, so I’m not saying that he will be moved, but it is interesting to hear what players other teams are interested in. Of course Ales Hemsky’s name comes up, but it’s not a long conversation obviously.

  • @ RobinB:

    Fair enough on the salary cap point – I saw 50 and 60 million, but I was thinking 40 and 50 million. Silly error on my part.

    As for proof on Gilbert, I'm working on it and I'll put it up soon – I'm looking at comparable NHL'ers from around the league, but it takes some time. My feeling on Gilbert's possible upside is based more on watching his play than anything – but I also have the feeling that older rookie defenseman from the NCAA tend to progress more than might be expected for their age.

    As for you – if Souray, Visnovsky and Gilbert are all bad contracts (which you seem to imply), is it so obvious to you because you're in a more knowledgeable position than the GM's who signed those deals? Do you have more sources or information on those three players than the G.M's did? Maybe you're just more perceptive. Maybe you're just smarter. Then again, no.

    And I really don't understand why you feel compelled to treat these discussions like a battleground, Robin. I'm tossing out the idea that Tom Gilbert will progress enough that a 4-million cap-hit isn't ridiculous, and trying to add some context by comparing him to other players. I'm not stating that Tom Gilbert is the bomb and will definitely make Kevin Lowe look like a genius and that his contract will be a steal. I'm not certain on any of those counts, but I do think there's a reasonable chance he'll progress. I'm open to having my mind changed, but you're busy digging trenches and mocking my "retreat".

    In short, you're taking this way too personally, especially for someone who doesn't need to go back and forth.

  • Fiveandagame

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    Don't worry Willis, Robin's insight and connections also led to him stating that Garon had to start 60-70 games this year for the Oilers to have a chance to make the playoffs.

    When I said he was way off the mark that that was way to many games for any of our goalies to be playing considering we had three of them, he was also quite indignant.

    I said he was off his rocker and he threatened to get me kicked off the site.

    Garon will not play 60-70 games this season as Roloson is the clear number one guy again and is playing stellar.

    Why he takes differing opinions personally is anybody's guess and if he doesn't want the back and forth I am not entirely sure why he posts a blog.

    The blogs and insight are great and I think we all appreciate it. I also think we all respect his tenure in the media and his extensive coverage of the Oilers and but I gotta ask.

    "why so serious"

  • RobinB

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    As for you – if Souray, Visnovsky and Gilbert are all bad contracts (which you seem to imply), is it so obvious to you because you’re in a more knowledgeable position than the GM’s who signed those deals? Do you have more sources or information on those three players than the G.M’s did? Maybe you’re just more perceptive. Maybe you’re just smarter. Then again, no.

    Then again, yes.
    It's easier to second guess these contracts, and others, now in hindsight because of what we know about the economy.

    Gilbert's contract, and many like it, were put together at a time when the cap had esclated steadily. The problem is too many general managers did these deals on the premise that the esclation would continue and that deals might be overpays when signed, but would look better two years down the road when the cap had gone up XXXX-amount. That's out the window now.

    That escalation, as we know now, has hit the wall and the overpay of 2007 will be a worse overpay in 2010 — or for however long it takes the pendulum to swing again. Pretty simple.

    And yes, Jon, I do take it personally when somebody who wasn't even born when I started covering hockey for a living says something as patronizing as, "You know, Robin, defencemen take longer to develop."

    No shit, Sherlock.

  • RobinB

    @ Fiveandagame:
    Why so serious? Let's review . . .

    You signed off on your initial two or three comments on that Garon thread with "MacT spot on, Brownlee off his rocker." Nobody ever takes it personally when you call them nuts.

    You later apologized for being an asshole. Do I recall correctly?

  • @ RobinB:

    For starters: I was wrong. I misunderstood what you said about the cap and wound up with egg on my face when I ran with that assumption. I've also done some digging, and I think that expecting Gilbert to take a big step forward is probably a mistake – so I was wrong there too.

    On top of that, I wasn't intending to patronize you – when you post something on the internet, everybody reads it so tossing out examples isn't a bad idea. If you really want to take offense to it, that's your call, but I have plenty of respect for both your level of knowledge and your intelligence, so please don't think that I view you as an idiot.

    That said, we all get it. You're old – you've done this forever. I'm young – I haven't done this forever. If your ego is really so sensitive that your offended by "defencemen take longer to develop", the internet is probably not for you.

  • Jonathan Willis

    @ kris:

    He's not a troll. In point of fact, he's pretty much spot on with his evaluation of Gilbert's upside, but he's so damn snarky that it's almost impossible to avoid making snarky comments in response.

  • kris

    Robin B said:

    "One last thing: did you really cite Lidstrom as an example of a non-physical shutdown guy, like I didn’t know that…"

    This is extremely funny and shows Robin was itching for a fight because Jonathon had actually said,

    "Lidstrom is the OBVIOUS example"

    I mean, that word "obvious" plays an important role; it allows Jonathon to cite Lidstrom as evidence for his conclusion without being condescending.

    Shame on you Robin.

  • Fiveandagame

    @ RobinB:

    You remembered? Aww sucks I am honored you remember the back and forth we had oh so long ago in the preseason when I thought the Oilers would be 34-0-1 at this point and you said they would be struggling to make the playoffs.

    And Yes I did apologize. I also said that I was sorry that my playful poking was taken out of context. I was shocked at the wrath it inspired and learned to tread lightly on your blogs. Wayne gets the full brunt of my off colour comments now and I save any playful digs for gameday threads.

    Do I think you need a straight jacket and time in Bellevue? No. You're clearly not Wayne Gretz crazy.

    Did I think you were way of the mark in the assumption that Garon had to play 60-70 games to make the playoffs. Yes.

    Regardless, nobody here has ever called into question your professional knowledge. insight or connectedness with the Oilers.

    But even if you were a level 12 Oiler Wizard and could see the future, people here would still argue with you.

    This is the internet and every jackhole (myself included on my new commodore 64) with a computer has an opinion.

    I just don't think you need to cite your resume every time someone disagrees with you. Even retards are entitled to their opinions (myself included).

    Relax it's just the internet. Put on some Zeppelin crack a beer and be happy you were right about the Oilers struggling to make the playoffs and us blind.

    So yeah this is all off topic now and I don't know why it's come up.

    I do have a question though Robin. With the Oilers sending down JDD, who do you think gets the call up if anyone? AND Where do you see Pisani fitting in when he's healthy? Would he be taking Moreau's place on Cogliano's line and Moreau taking Strudwick's on the 4th?

  • kris

    He is the Jekyll and Hyde of ON. When he posts, he's great. But at night, in the dark confines of the comments section, he turns into the horrifying troll-Robin.

  • Corbs

    btw, I also thought the gilbert contract was a considerable overpay,.. but that was just a gut-opinion..

    (hopefully my first comment made it through the censor)

  • RobinB

    @ Fiveandagame:
    JDD is on a conditioning assignment. His trip to the AHL doesn't open a roster spot.

    I don't know where Pisani will fit, at least not based on the roster now. Then again, the roster might be in for a change shortly based on how difficult it's been to get hold of K LKowe lately.

    In the past, that's often been a sign he's busy working the phones and something is up. I don't know that to be the case here — he might just be taking some time off and letting Tambellini kick tires.

  • Fiveandagame

    RobinB wrote:

    JDD is on a conditioning assignment. His trip to the AHL doesn’t open a roster spot.

    Thanks for the info and clarifying that. I think everyone in Oiler Nation can hope that something is "up". Lets just hope a goalie is on the move.

  • rindog

    @ RobinB:

    My sincerest apologies…..

    33 points with a injury riddled team in his first year was damn close to the 35 mark and the 37 points he is on pace for this year (the reasoning behind my statement in parenthesis) was the point of paragraph.

    If we want to knitpick over a couple of points here or there and use it as an open door for sarcasm…..

    The point of my post was to point out that Gilbert's success (or failure) does not solely have to ride on his offensive production (especially considering his spot on the totem pole with our team).

    And evidently being 2nd best on the team in blocking shots is a negative for Gilbert? I guess 11th overall in blocked shots for all defenseman last year doesn't mean anything because Staios was ahead of him???

    I suppose Messier finishing behind Gretzky in the scoring race meant that #11 wasn't all that good at scoring because he wasn't even the best on our team???

    I guess I will have to ask you to define soft? Is seperating your man from the puck without using physicality a bad thing? Are you saying that he doesn't take a hit to make a play?

    Did guys like Scott Neidermayer, Dan Boyle, Brian Rafalski, etc just stay at status quo from the beginning of their careers? Did they decide to add the shutdown aspect, the shot blocking skill or the physicality that you are using to knock Gilbert?

    From what I can tell, they used NHL experience and opportunity to refine their respective games and get to the "next level" that we debate.

    I think I need a little help here…. why is the $5.5 million number being used in reference to Gilbert? Maybe I am getting caught up with the $4 million cap hit that is attached to Gilbert. But at a $4 million cap hit for your #3 guy (possibly #2) even if the cap goes down to $50 million is a "steal" based on his past performance alone???

    You're saying, no????

  • RobinB

    @ rindog:
    I'm saying no.

    AND . . . "What is a solid #2 or #3 defenseman that has the potential to put 35+ points every season (and has done so) while getting limited PP time worth????"

    6 points in 12 games one season and 33 the next is not 35-plus points. Your error in fact does not translate to me nit-picking.

    A steal based on "past performance" (as in 128 games) alone? No. Not a steal.

  • RobinB

    kris wrote:

    @ Jonathon:
    Don’t feed the trolls.

    Congratulations! You have established your credibility and credentials beyond any doubt with those four words. One of the resident writers a troll?

    And nice Bryan Hall impersonation with your follow-up when you realized your mistake: "He is the Jekyll and Hyde of ON. When he posts, he’s great. But at night, in the dark confines of the comments section, he turns into the horrifying troll-Robin."

    No sale. No cigar. Thanks for coming.

  • rindog

    @ RobinB:

    You see it is an error in facts and that is fine…you win (if that is the objective???). Would it help if I reworded it and focused on Gilbert's career ppga putting him at 35 points per (82 games played) or are you going to get stuck on the couple of points he didn't get last year?

    If that is the only aspect of the debate (if it is even a debate) you care to respond to – where does that leave us/me?

    Do we ever get to discuss his shot blocking (or lack of it in your eyes) or the definition of physicality? What about puck presecene, composure, defensive positioning and the ability to make simple easy breakouts?

    I ask your opinion (as a guy that knows stuff). I am very curious as to what a #2 or #3 guy (which maybe you don't believe he is) is worth?

    At what point do you make a decision that locks up a young guy long term? What if Gilbert signed only a 1 year deal and then went on to put up 40+ points this year. What kind of contract does he get then?

    Do you think he has disappointed management this year?Does a player have to over acheive in order to be worth his contract? I don't think they signed him to the contract thinking it was a bad deal….did they?

    If Grebeshkov goes to Russia next year and Chorney turns out to be a Jeff Wojwitka, where does that leave management (in terms of a #3 guy)? What would it cost them to go and get a guy that plays 22+ minutes, moves the puck well, compliments our PP shooters and is very responsible in his own end?

  • rindog

    @ rindog:

    That should say puck presence….

    Unless I invented new, trendy hockey term

    Presecene: the ability to play defense with out getting caught out of position????'

    Hey, that might work???

  • kris


    I'm not surprised you only responded to my jibes. (And BTW, I know you're a "resident writer." There was no mistake to realize. You are, at least sometimes, a troll in spirit.)

    Why didn't you respond to my substantive criticism? You know, the one where I showed you were overeacting like a crazy person. I'll repost it for you:

    "Robin B said:

    “One last thing: did you really cite Lidstrom as an example of a non-physical shutdown guy, like I didn’t know that…”

    This is extremely funny and shows Robin was itching for a fight because Jonathon had actually said,

    “Lidstrom is the OBVIOUS example”

    I mean, that word “obvious” plays an important role; it allows Jonathon to cite Lidstrom as evidence for his conclusion without being condescending.

    Shame on you Robin."

  • RobinB

    @ rindog:
    All the aspects you talk about with Gilbert, beyond his points totals, are important parts of the make-up of any player.

    Gilbert is a good player, but he was an overpay when the contract was signed and he'll be a worse overpay two years from now because the cap will have gone down. At the same time, what the Oilers can expect from him will not have changed to any great degree. If he's better than a second-pairing defenceman, then your defence is not good enough.

    What you see with Gilbert now is about what you're going to get. He's a well-rounded defenceman who would fit into the second pairing of virtually all 30 NHL teams. That hardly makes him a bum, it just doesn't make him worth $5.5 million in salary and a $4M cap hit.

  • sns2

    Wow! I thought being an Oilers beat writer bought you some respect in this city, but I guess not. Folks this is not a Bryan Hall who tries to pass off media scrum questions as his own on-on-ones, and his point is salient, Gilbert is a second-pairing defenceman and a bit overpaid for what he's giving us now, and in all likelihood, still will be at the end of his contract unless something drastically changes.

    Couple this with the birth certificates of our top two d-men and we probably are going to be a bit hamstrung cap-wise, especially when you factor in our largest cap conundrum, Horcoff. It's already been alluded to, but the White House never saw this economic downturn coming, so it's kind of hard to hold Lowe responsible for locking up young, promising players in an ever-escalating cap world.

    But seriously guys, it's a bit comical when people go head-to-head with arguably the best sports reporter this city has had in decades. And no, I haven't forgotten about Jim Matheson.

  • RobinB

    @ sns2:
    I appreciate the compliment, but Matty is the top guy.

    A lot of what I know and who I know is because Jim was very gracious and generous with his time and sources when we started working the beat together before I assumed the lead role. No reporter in any city across the NHL is more respected by general managers, coaches, players and other writers than Jim.

    Matty is the benchmark in this town.

  • rindog

    @ sns2:

    So no one else is entitled to an opinion?

    Where is this disrespect you speak of?

    Last time I checked, this was a hockey forum and people were encouraged to express their thoughts.

    RB – no disrespect intended but I think sns2 is looking for a little more than a thank you….

  • sns2

    @ rindog:

    I don't recall addressing my post to you in particular, but if the shoe fits…

    As far as the disrespect, read the 52 posts before I put my two cents and it should be apparent. I also know what a forum is, but there's a fine line between matching wits, disagreeing, et. al., and spouting off or getting in a urinating match.

    I haven't got my shorts in a knot, I have no idea of any past history between Mr. Brownlee and other regs on this forum, and I certainly am not looking for any thank you from anyone; the truth of the matter is that this reporter craps out more inside knowledge about the game each morning than you, I, and twenty other hardcore fans possess collectively. I've also never met Mr. Brownlee or spoken with him on radio, but I have been reading him since he came to this city and will once again state that he is ARGUABLY the best this city has to offer, and the reason I mentioned Jim Matheson is because if I didn't I was sure that the first replies would be about him being the best, not Mr. Brownlee. The bottom line is that people who have earned their living for decades by being in the know, simply have access to infinitely more info than you or I probably ever will. So it really doesn't matter if we were talking about Terry Jones, Mark Spector, or Dan Barnes, my post would have been the same.

    Having said all of that, I solidly agree with Mr. Brownlee concerning cap issues and our defencemen, and will continue to look forward to reading lightweights trade punches with a heavyweight.