A weekend out in Hogtown

gregorhogtown

Monday musings from a hockey world so screwed up that it seems more people are for Sean Avery returning to the NHL than those who want to keep fighting in the game. Ridiculous.

Who cares about Avery? He’s a third line player. The fans don’t miss him, but I guarantee you most of them would miss fighting…

What’s the difference between Erik Cole and Ethan Moreau this year? Skate hard up and down the wing, neither passes very often and both have had a hat trick. Outside of $2 million more for Cole, I haven’t seen much of a difference.

In their three worst losses of the season, the Oilers have been outscored 27-7, yet Grebeshkov is +1 in those games. Unreal!

Sure Dwayne Roloson has made lots of saves recently, excluding the Detroit game, but it’s a bit disturbing that he’s letting in one softie a game. The Belanger goal was terrible yesterday.

The difference between a very good and elite player is Ales Hemsky. He is very good, but not elite just yet. He didn’t do anything on this three-game road trip.

Are the Kings for real? They just won in Washington and NJ. They’ve scored 28 goals in their last seven games and won six of them. They still have two five-game road trips and another six-game trip, but their offence has been really good in the last month.

For the [Off] the Record…

Flying the red-eye to Toronto is awesome. I can sleep on a plane, so the trip felt like a drive to Millet. Took off then woke up and we were there. I don’t know how people can drive in a city that big. You think the morning commute sucks here? You should see the carnage in Toronto. The freeways (yes actual freeways with no lights, unlike the garbage we have on the Henday) were jammed, and I saw more one-finger salutes in the hour trek to my hotel, than I have in the last six months on the Whitemud.

The Rush always stay at the Hilton on Richmond right in the heart of downtown, so everything you want is within walking distance… well except the TSN studio. They used to do OTR in a studio at Rogers Centre, but they recently moved the show back to the CTV/TSN studios in Scarborough. An hour cab ride.

I got to the studio at 3pm, and met the guy who set up my appearance on OTR, Collin Sood. I found out that he’s from E-town, and that he’s good buddies with some of my friends. He wants more western guys on the show. We probably met at some party in college but were too bombed to remember.

There’s a little green room where the guests sit and wait for the show or makeup. Yes, they like to touch up the guests. Michael Landsberg walks in and says hi. I had him on my show last year, but still said “nice to meet you.” I was distracted by the incredibly sexy assistant, Stephanie, a very nice girl and absolutely stunning. I think it’s a must that TV sport shows have a hot girl either on air or working behind the scenes. I can’t think of one that doesn’t. This is just another reason why sports broadcasting rocks.

I’m there for about 15 minutes, and finally Lewis Ratcliff comes out of makeup. I was juicing him pretty hard about that one. Just as he walks out of makeup Bob McGill walks in the green room. McGill grew up in Leduc, and I knew of him, so we start talking about Leduc, the Riggers and have some laughs. He has shed 25 pounds since being on the show last, so the crew is giving him props. His hat is what got him props from me. Not many guys can rock the Joey Jeremiah hat, but I thought he pulled it off quite well. I think it would be awesome if the Fedora made a come back. Who knows if the recession gets really bleak, maybe we should start wearing them to re-enact the ‘20s.

Collin says I have to get to makeup, so I make the 15 foot walk down the hall from green room and sit in the barber chair. Spring (great name for a makeup lady) dabs a few types of foundation on the chrome dome and in a matter of a minutes, I’m done. I still have no idea how Ratcliffe spent 15 minutes in here. I had just enough to cover the glare for the cameras, but was nowhere near Landsberg range. He doesn’t care what people think about his makeup, since everyone wears it. He just wears more. His son Cory works on the show, and he looked at least mid-twenties, so unless Michael started early he has to be close to 50. Looks good for the half-century mark.

We get called to the set. Landsberg is already in his chair, and looks fired up. The guy has loads of energy before coming on (in the green room they have these ENERGY balls… I wonder how many he eats before a show). Just before I went to makeup he gave me a quick inspirational speech about not holding back.

“Jump in the conversation early and often,” he said and then he punched my shoulder. He takes his show seriously, so now I’m thinking I better not be a lame ass. Then I’m thinking you just punched my shoulder. I love guys who get amped up before any sporting event, and Landsberg takes his show really seriously. I respect that.

Just before the show starts, he leans in and does the fist bump with every guy. He is really fired up. I wonder if MacT does this before games? If not, he should think about it, because all the guys are ready to go. Sure we are just talking, but I swear if he gave McGill the nod, Bobby would have dropped the Jeremiah and tossed some knuckles.

We do the first set, and during commercial Michael is pumping the guys up again.

“Good work guys… Gregor, Ratcliffe pretty good for your first time. Bobby good… John, be better,” he says laughing.

In John’s defence, he arrived a minute before the show due to traffic. They did his makeup in the chair on set, so he might have been rattled.

And just before coming out of break, the knuckle touch occurs again. I never would have picked Landsberg as a touch-knuckles kind of guy. But it was just a knuckle touch, no dynamite exploding after. I wonder why that is? I guess a knuckle touch is good, but exploding dynamite too personal.

The show was fun. Afterwards I wheel over to Sportscentre. Rishaug is in town working the desk, so he gives me a tour of their set.

The war room has at least 15 desks just for guys assigned to watch games and find the best clips. Then there are writers, producers, etc. There are at least 35 people in total in one big room, and each has their own desk. It’s a pretty unique set up.

Hockey fans have it best out west

Hockey fans have it way better out west. In Toronto you get the Leafs and nothing else. Here you can watch eastern games on TSN or Sportsnet and then the Oil, and if you are really bored the Flamers. Highlights from an Oilers or Flames game involve a 45-second package. No wonder all of the Oiler fans out east come to the Nation now.

We also have a way better airline. West Jet kicks all of the American airlines. WJ has TVs in every row, and the seats are at least three inches wider. Flying on Alaska or Horizon sucks compared to WJ, so chalk one up for the Canadian airline. And WJ has the sweetest smelling washroom going. None of us ever want to use the airplane john, but with an early flight some times your internal clock forces you too. And the WJ john was the best.

And finally we should send a petition to Mayor Mandel for more cabs. In Toronto when you leave the club at 2 or 3 am it takes you 30 seconds to get a cab. Here in E-town, they are as rare as an Oilers four-game winning streak. How often have you almost come to blows with some guy trying to get a cab? Or you do your best Donovan Bailey impersonation down the street to flag one. Would getting fifty more cabs on Friday and Saturday nights be that tough?

In the Big Smoke they are everywhere, not to mention the sweet polish sausage street vendors. Why don’t we have those? I love Funky Pickle Pizza at the end of the night, but the Polish sausages were money. And I saw one of the toughest cat fights ever on Friday night. These two ladies — and I use that term loosely — chucked them hard outside of the Century club. Normally watching two chicks go at it is a freaky turn-on because you hope they might start groping each other, but these two were throwing bombs. Both were bloodied after. Another reason why Edmonton ladies are better.

And the Oilers don’t practice today. They’re back at it tomorrow in preparation for their tilt against the Habs. No one is more excited about a possible Laraque/MacIntyre battle than Brownlee. He’s been talking about it all year, and I guarantee he will stir the pot in the next few days leading up to Wednesday.

  • rindog

    @ Jason Gregor:

    If you look back at my initial post (#9), I never said that Hemsky doesn't play better with any other Oiler player (meaning Horcoff). I simply said that I thought you were being a bit critical of Hemsky's play on the road trip given that he had to play with some pretty uninspiring linemates…

    As far as Savard, when Horcoff goes out – Hemsky gets Brodziak or Moreau thrown with him. A guy like Savard has options like: Krejci, Kessel, Lucic, Wheeler, Ryder, Bergeron (all of whom have a lot of offensive upside). None of them maybe the great two-way player that everyone claims Horcoff to be – but they know how to handle a one timer, pick a corner and make a pass on the PP.

    Hemsky has produced well with Horcoff no question, but since you brought it up, it should be noted that Hemsky did manage to produce earlier this year without him and he did manage to put up 26 points in 27 games without Horcoff last year.

    If you are telling me that we can get a left winger (ie. Kovulchuk, Hossa, etc) that can play with both Hemsky and Horcoff and stay under the cap – I am all for it!!!

    I find it hard to believe that we will be able to fit that in – so my suggestion is to try and move Horcoff (the likely $$ requirement in a package) for a bonifide topline player (left winger or center)?

    Regardless of what chemistry Hemsky and Horcoff have, would you like to keep those two together and hope Penner or Nilsson can fit in on the left side? Or would you rather move Horcoff and have a Hemsky-Gagner-Hossa line (as an example) going forward? Penner, Nilsson & Cogliano could then play in role more suited for them (2nd line supporting offense).

  • Lofty

    @ Travis Dakin:
    Horcoff has no buisness playing on the first line of any team in the NHL. He is a 2nd to 3rd line player. 20 goals per season and a respectable +/-. He has little finish, poor faceoff stats and a BIG salary. The guy is going to make 7 MILLION DOLLARS next season!?!?

    He is a good person and wears the Oil jersey with pride but that does not mean he is in the right place. The first line of every NHL team is built for scoring, the oilers is not. It is an impotent line that gets its points from Hemsky undressing the opposition and taking care of buisness hans solo.

    It's not like the oil were filling the nets up when
    Smyth was in town.

    It's easy to say the oil should find a "Kovalchuk type finisher" but that aint easy with Horcoff, Pisani, and Penner raking in all the $$$ (not their fault, KLowe.)

    I also wouldnt go blaiming the tenders for the oils problems over the last 10 years. They have had respectable keepers every year but very little offense to back them up. Conklin seems to be doing alright for the wings? 7 losses 18 wins… then again like I said they score more than 1 or 2 goals a game so that helps

  • rindog

    @ rindog:

    I would scratch that entire last paragraph of mine if we could somehow land Antropov and sign him fairly cheap ($4 million per)!!!!

    Use Cole's money to sign him????

  • Travis Dakin

    @ Lofty:

    Your interpretation of the team and the game of hockey pleases me. Your first line is NOT only about scoring. Plenty of teams, when given home ice advantage like to go power against power. That means that your first line better be capable of containing their top line. Shawn Horcoff is better than most other first line centers when it comes to being able to shut down a line and also bring the offense. When him and Hemsky and Smyth were together they were a dominant line but remember, only this year is Hemsky finally bringing his A game all the time.
    My understanding of your logic is that the Oilers first line is not the best in the league because Horcoff is a third liner? Ok…. But you see no problem with the left side? My friend, Penner is the weakest link on this chain. Far and away. I’m not saying Horcoff is the best player in the league. But I will say that he is top fifteen first line center in terms of offensive and defensive ability. He is the complete package. And above all else, he is a leader. Sure it would be nice to have Spezza’s 90 points, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want him killng penalties on my team or leading my youg guns. He’s one dimentional. But he’s got a great RW AND LW to play with.

    Lofty wrote:

    It’s easy to say the oil should find a “Kovalchuk type finisher” but that aint easy with Horcoff, Pisani, and Penner raking in all the $$$ (not their fault, KLowe.)

    Like I said before, get rid of Cole, Nilsson and Pouliot and maybe one of the puck moving D man and there is your cap space right there. Also some dead weight gone too.

    Lofty wrote:

    I also wouldnt go blaiming the tenders for the oils problems over the last 10 years. They have had respectable keepers every year but very little offense to back them up. Conklin seems to be doing alright for the wings? 7 losses 18 wins… then again like I said they score more than 1 or 2 goals a game so that helps

    Are you serious? Salo was above average for 2 years. Aside from that, the last time goaltending was solid before we got Roli and those two Salo years was in 98 with Joseph. I can’t believe you forget the debacle that was Conklin, Markanen and Morrison that was 05/06. That tandem easly cost 8-10 points that year.

    And Conklin has had the two Stanley cup finalists as the team in front of him for the last two years… I’d say that gives him a little more flexibility than Edmonton did. And lets never forget game 1…. Never

  • rindog

    @ Travis Dakin:
    Travis Dakin wrote:

    I’m not saying Horcoff is the best player in the league. But I will say that he is top fifteen first line center in terms of offensive and defensive ability. He is the complete package

    What information are you using to come up with this ranking? There are 43 centermen in the league with more offensive production and 23 with a better +/-. Unless you consistently watch every other centerman in the league I would think your statement above is a bit bold?? I am not saying he isn't good, but what emphasis do you put on offense over defense for your #1 guy?

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Sure it would be nice to have Spezza’s 90 points, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want him killng penalties on my team or leading my youg guns.

    Why does your first line center have to be killing penalties? It is been stated by many people on this site that is wasteful minutes having your best offensive player on the PK. Why can't we save our #1 center for 5-on-5 and PP?

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    I can’t believe you forget the debacle that was Conklin, Markanen and Morrison that was 05/06. That tandem easly cost 8-10 points that year.

    And yet both Markaanen and Conklin were both 3 games over .500 and Morrison was 10-4-2. Roli was only 1 game over .500 in his 16 starts that year…..weird???

  • OvenChicken8

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    And lets never forget game 1…. Never

    Unfortunately that play is burned into my head, and I shudder everytime I think about it. *shudders*

  • Rick

    Dennis wrote:

    Rick: My point on 27 over 44 is the latter played tough min, was part of a great PK unit and you knew what you had. Lowe told everyone he didn’t know the cap was going up:D and later on he end up spending just under a mill more to sign a project in Penner PLUS he gave up picks as well.

    Obviously it's just speculation on my part but I think Vanek was identified as Lowe's target even before, or atleast by, the trade deadline that sent Smyth packing.

    Now I probably don't need to say this because I doubt you hang on every word Lowe utters as being truthful but his comment about the cap was nothing more than a lame attempt at damage control well after the fact when his plan A failed and his plan B (there were rumours of a team trying negotiate an offer sheet with Parise at the time as well so Penner may have been plan C) left us all wanting.

    My point being that it's not a fair argument to suggest the choice was Penner over Smyth because Penner was never the first choice and when Lowe was left scrambling to fill the spot Smyth was long gone to Colorado so it still wasn't about Penenr over Smyth.

    The comment about the cap also doesn't have any bearing on the situation when you look at the 48 mil he still ended up dropping that summer unless it's simply to belittle Lowe.

    Based on what has been ailing this club for the past three years I would take Vanek over Smyth in a heart beat. I think it would have been a good move, even considering the overpay on the contract.

    Too bad Lowe's back up plans have sucked and Penner isn't his first one…the man just can't seem to pull his ass out of the fire while on the scramble. It's a shame really because from what is known his plan A's have looked like they could have been pretty decent.

  • Travis Dakin

    @ rindog:
    Name 14 other Centers in the league that you would want to handle the duties that Horcoff has to do on this team. I'm not talking just offensive power, that's easy. I'm talking about how Horcoff is used Every damn time there is a PP, a PK, an important offensive zone face off, and important Defensive zone face off. If he has had more than 20 seconds on the bench then MacT is sending hime over because no other player can handle what he does. Sure it's easy to say I'd like Spezza or Getzlaf to put up more points but the situation the Oilers have created for themselves means that they can't have just an offensive guy or they would be screwed.rindog wrote:

    Why does your first line center have to be killing penalties? It is been stated by many people on this site that is wasteful minutes having your best offensive player on the PK. Why can’t we save our #1 center for 5-on-5 and PP

    Our best offensive guy doesn't kill penalties. His name is Hemsky.

    rindog wrote:

    And yet both Markaanen and Conklin were both 3 games over .500 and Morrison was 10-4-2. Roli was only 1 game over .500 in his 16 starts that year…..weird???

    Yeah it's weird how the team struggled all year and were desperate to get a goalie at the deadline to fill an imaginary gap. Too bad we had to ride Roli in the playoffs that year. I was so happy when he got hurt in game one and Ty Conklin was put in net only to be bested by Markannen in game two.

    Point is that Goaltending was a huge issue that year. Which is exactly why they picked up Roli.

  • Travis Dakin

    I just don't know how people can argue with results. Horcoff was the number 1 center on the team that went to the Stanley cup finals. Nobody is saying there aren't better players out there. Yes his contract is high but he is fully capable of getting the job done. My point in all of this is that people need to get off the Horcoff bashing wagon. He is not the problem. It is a lack of balance and depth on this team. What's missing is heart, a top LW, a third line center who can kill penalties and win a face-off and a mean as hell shutdown Dman.

    Better centers could be had but that would leave the real holes empty.

  • mwhite.dking@nf.sympatico.ca

    Rick: I like bringing up that comment because it's proof positive that Lowe gets a free pass and no one ever calls him on anything. That was a softball that he lobbed over the plate and the MSM let it split the plate for strike three.

    And I'm not gonna give him much credit for having good Plan A's when one of those aforementioned plans included Lupul and Smid.

    You get it done or you don't.

  • Rick

    mwhite.dking@nf.sympatico.ca wrote:

    And I’m not gonna give him much credit for having good Plan A’s when one of those aforementioned plans included Lupul and Smid.
    You get it done or you don’t.

    Meh, in that instance I consider Pronger plan A and when that went south he panicked and ended up with Lupul and Smid which I consider plan B.

    I guess I see it differently just because he never even sniffs around for those guys if Pronger doesn't demand a ticket out of town.

    Mind you I agree that not all of his plan A's have been shining examples of good management, most obvious one for me being his attempt to get Nylander.

  • rindog

    @ Travis Dakin:

    I don't want my #1 center handling all of those unnecessary duties – it wears him out. I never said that he isn't important or a good fit with Hemsky. I don't think he is a guy that should be out on the PP everytime. He doesn't have the skill set we need on the PP. It is clearly evident when the other team focuses on Hemsky – our PP becomes a total nonfactor.

    And just for clarification? You are using MacT and his player recognition as a basis for your argument? Just because MacT thinks he is the only guy we have, does that it make true? We seemed to handle those situations you speak of quite the last 20 games without Horcoff last year??

    It is much like Penner.

    Horcoff is put into certain situations because he is the best we got!!!

    You argue that we need a topline LW, I counter that if he had a topline center we could do without the topline winger (6 of one – half dozen of another).

    Horcoff, Penner and Cole (or maybe, Brule) would make a great 2nd or 3rd line (if the kids get it together). If only we had some guys to make up a FIRST line???

    We have no problems with Horcoff because he is good defensively. I would rather have a first line center that can create offense, and save the defensive responsibilities for someone who isn't being paid so much…

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Our best offensive guy doesn’t kill penalties. His name is Hemsky

    I meant that if we were to get rid of Horcoff and get a true #1 center. You said that you didn't want to see Spezza killing penalties (neither do I).

    I never said that Roli didn't play well in the playoffs (as did Markaanen after Roli got hurt). I simply stated that in the 66 games before we acquired Roli, our goalie trio managed to go 12 games over .500. They weren't great – but they couldn't have been that bad, they all had better winning percentages than Roli did for us???

  • Travis Dakin

    rindog wrote:

    I don’t want my #1 center handling all of those unnecessary duties – it wears him out.

    Neither do I. If we had a Center other than him that could kill penalties and take faceoffs, he wouldn't have to be used there so much. I want him to be able to focus more on Offense.
    rindog wrote:

    Just because MacT thinks he is the only guy we have, does that it make true? We seemed to handle those situations you speak of quite the last 20 games without Horcoff last year??

    Cogliano can't win face offs. Gagner can't win faceoffs. Pouliot sucks. Brodziak can't score. Last year we had Stoll who could do those things. He had a cannon from the point on the PP. killed penalties and blocked shots like a demon on the PK and hit, a lot. He's not here now. That leaves 1 good veteran. Horcoff.rindog wrote:

    You argue that we need a topline LW, I counter that if he had a topline center we could do without the topline winger

    Penner has to be motivated to play. If you can't score with Hemsky on your line, then you are not a top 6 forward.

    rindog wrote:

    We have no problems with Horcoff because he is good defensively. I would rather have a first line center that can create offense, and save the defensive responsibilities for someone who isn’t being paid so much

    So you honestly believe that if we had Spezza as out top center playing with hemsky, Penner would be a suitable first line LW and this team would be better?
    You don't think Spezza is a product of his linemates too? Look what happens to him when they separate him and Heatley and Alfredsson.

    If you really believe that this team would be better if Horcoff was gone and a different center came in then I just don't know what to say anymore.

    Look at last year before he got hurt. He was a point a game player when there was other centers on the team to shoulder some of the load he has now.

  • Travis Dakin

    rindog wrote:

    I meant that if we were to get rid of Horcoff and get a true #1 center. You said that you didn’t want to see Spezza killing penalties (neither do I).

    hypothetically, if we traded Horcoff and a pick for Spezza… Spezza would have to be a penalty killer on this team by design and we would be worse off.

    rindog wrote:

    They weren’t great – but they couldn’t have been that bad, they all had better winning percentages than Roli did for us???

    If they were solid in net, they wouldnt' have given up a first round pick to get a goalie.

  • Travis Dakin

    rindog wrote:

    I don’t want my #1 center handling all of those unnecessary duties – it wears him out.

    To sum it up, my point was that Horcoff is one of the top 15 Centers in the game that could actually handle all of that. And if this team had more balance, he wouldn't have to. Then he could go back to being a point a game player like last year and we wouldn't be having this argument.

  • rindog

    @ Travis Dakin:

    Can he really handle it? He has 1 goal in his last 17 games (4 in his last 27).

    Why do you want Horcoff ot focus on offense? He seems to be more valuable defensively than he is offensively, according to you?

    If it offense you are concerned about, lets get a pure offensive center in here and fill in the intangibles with role players. Spezza can score and Pisani, Brodziak, Moreau (or whomever we can acquire) can defend. Sign a cheap veteran centerman/PK guy and we have accomplished the same things Horcoff does defensively and we have upgraded offensively?

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Penner has to be motivated to play. If you can’t score with Hemsky on your line, then you are not a top 6 forward

    He has just as many goals as Horcoff does???

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    You don’t think Spezza is a product of his linemates too? Look what happens to him when they separate him and Heatley and Alfredsson

    Why would we be splitting up Spezza and Hemsky???

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't understand what you really want? If it is offense that you think Horcoff brings, then we should be acquiring some defensive help so he can concentrate on his offense? If you think it is his defensive skills that make him so important, we could replace those things with cheaper role players and then go after a better offensive player. Either way, we need to get defensive help…agreed??

    My contention is that Horcoff is a very average offensive player with pretty good defensive capabilities. I don't think he is a stud in either regard and would have no problem farming out his responsibilities to acquire a TRUE offensive centerman.

    Natural offense is a lot harder to find than defensive type players (IMO).

    We don't need to have our #1 centerman doing the jobs that guys like Maltby and Draper thrive on. Our management shouldn't have too much problem finding guys (at a fiarly reasonable price) that can allow our top line players to focus on their offense.

    And, at the end of of the day; has the theory of having a "hybrid #1" center been working out (in terms of getting us to the post season)?

  • Travis Dakin

    I can do this all day….

    rindog wrote:

    Can he really handle it? He has 1 goal in his last 17 games (4 in his last 27).
    Why do you want Horcoff ot focus on offense? He seems to be more valuable defensively than he is offensively, according to you?

    I want him to be allowed to be the number 1 center. Not the everything every other player should be. And again, his offensive totals, I believe, are due to being over worked, and a general lack of "not sucking" on this team right now.

    rindog wrote:

    If it offense you are concerned about, lets get a pure offensive center in here and fill in the intangibles with role players. Spezza can score and Pisani, Brodziak, Moreau (or whomever we can acquire) can defend. Sign a cheap veteran centerman/PK guy and we have accomplished the same things Horcoff does defensively and we have upgraded offensively?

    It's not only offense I am concerened about, which is why I think Horcoff IS A GOOD NUMBER 1 CENTER! Exactly what I am saying is that IF they oilers were to fill in the gaps then horcoff could focus solely on being the number 1 center like last year, and he would be a point a game player and still bring everything else that he ALWAYS brings to the table.rindog wrote:

    rindog wrote:

    Travis Dakin wrote:
    Penner has to be motivated to play. If you can’t score with Hemsky on your line, then you are not a top 6 forward
    He has just as many goals as Horcoff does???

    Penner has ONE job. Score. He doesn't have to do EVERYTHING like Horcoff. Penner is not doing his job well. Horcoff may not be scoring as much but he is definately doing all of his other jobs.

    rindog wrote:

    Why would we be splitting up Spezza and Hemsky???

    Lofty's original quote was

    Lofty's original quote wasrindog wrote:

    I have always stated that Horcoff gets HIS points because of Hemsky (and his gravy icetime).

    ]

    My point, since you seem to be arguing the same thing as him was that These other so call number one centers don't make it happen all on their own and are usually a product of chemistry with other players. Horcoff and Hemsky have it. And with a solid LW they would be amazing. AS good as The Ottawa trio.

    rindog wrote:

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I don’t understand what you really want? If it is offense that you think Horcoff brings, then we should be acquiring some defensive help so he can concentrate on his offense? If you think it is his defensive skills that make him so important, we could replace those things with cheaper role players and then go after a better offensive player. Either way, we need to get defensive help…agreed??

    My point is that Horcoff gives you both. That is why he is a good number 1 guy. I want Stoll and Reasoner back in a nut shell. To help hime out. I said before that I Love Visnovsky but we could use Greene and Stoll more.
    rindog wrote:

    And, at the end of of the day; has the theory of having a “hybrid #1″ center been working out (in terms of getting us to the post season)?

    in 05/06 it did. But we had better players to compliment him. Again, Horcoff IS NOT THE PROBLEM on this team. That is what I have said all along. It's the lack of a Left winger to finish what him and hemsky create. It's the lack a good face off, veteran, penalty killing third line center. It's the lack of heart out of Nilsson, Penner and the lack of a mean, strong defensive defenseman.

  • Travis Dakin

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Lofty’s original quote was
    Lofty’s original quote wasrindog wrote:
    I have always stated that Horcoff gets HIS points because of Hemsky (and his gravy icetime).

    My mistake attributing that quote to Lofty.

    It was Ringdog that said that… And that was the start of my rant.

  • rindog

    @ Travis Dakin:

    I'm sure you could over this all day long.

    It is really very simple for me…I think???

    If you are telling me that Horcoff has the same offensive upside as a guy like Spezza (if we take away Horcoff's defensive responsibilities) then I have to respectfully disagree and we might as well end the debate right now.

    My stance is that either way (with Horcoff or a different offensive center) we still need to get PK/face-off/defensive help.

    It seems evident by Horcoff's numbers that his defensive responsibilities are holding him back from doing his job offensively.

    Now if you are telling me that you WANT to have guy like Horcoff being counted on for so many different things – we have a totally different debate.

    And as far as Horcoff being able to produce without Hemsky??? There are no stats that back that up at all. Horcoff didn't produce when Hemsky was playing with Sykora. Horcoff didn't produce in the 6 games that Hemsky missed last year. And Horcoff didn't produce this year when he was apart from Hemsky. I can go over the actual numbers if you want, but we have all seen them before.

    It doesn't make Horcoff a bad player – it just means that he needs a guy like Hemsky to help him with his offense.

    And of course Spezza relies on his linemates to boost his numbers (tell me one offensive player that doesn't?), but if you think for one minute that a guy like Spezza can not generate more offense with or without Hemsky than Horcoff can????

  • Travis Dakin

    I'm not saying he has the offensive upside as Spezza but he can be at or near a point a game player, and with the other assts he brings, that makes him a bonafide numberr 1 center and a damn fine one at that.
    rindog wrote:

    My stance is that either way (with Horcoff or a different offensive center) we still need to get PK/face-off/defensive help.

    Pretty much exactly what I have been saying. I just want to keep horcoff as well.rindog wrote:

    And of course Spezza relies on his linemates to boost his numbers (tell me one offensive player that doesn’t?),

    I never said Horcoff wasn't a benefactor of Hemsky. I said whomever can't play with hemsky is not a top 6 player legitimately. What I did say was that Those top offensive players are a product of their chemistry with other players, like Horcoff and Hemsky.

  • rindog

    @ Travis Dakin:

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Pretty much exactly what I have been saying. I just want to keep horcoff as well.

    That is where I think we have issues.

    I do not see how we can afford another big contract if we plan on keeping Horcoff. Our young guys are going to be ready for some raises in the next little while and the cap isn't going up.

    So ultimately, if I have to make the choice and realize I am going to have to get defensive help for Horcoff anyway – I move Horcoff for the topliner (in a package) and work from there.

    GOOD DEBATE……

  • Travis Dakin

    rindog wrote:

    I do not see how we can afford another big contract if we plan on keeping Horcoff

    Goodbye Cole, Nilsson, and one of the the puck moving D man. That's 10 million right now.

    rindog wrote:

    GOOD DEBATE

    Absolutely.

  • Travis Dakin

    This is what would make me happy.

    Kovalchuck type LW – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner-Cogliano-Gagner
    Moreau-Brodziak-Pisani
    JFJ- veteran shutdown/faceoff/PK Center-Stortini

    Souray-Grebeshkov
    Visnovsky-Smid (I know he needs to be groomed more but he can do it)
    New big mean shutdown Dman- Peckham
    Staios.

    Sign a 2-3 mill goalie
    JDD