Armchair GM

armchairgm

Unless somebody jabs Steve Tambellini in the backside with a syringe of sodium pentothal, the only poop we’re going to get on what the Edmonton Oilers might do by the NHL’s March 4 trade deadline will come from armchair general managers.

And, while those insights will be considerably more humorous than the vague generalizations and mis-direction we media types coax from Tambellini and Kevin Lowe — should we even manage to corner them in coming days — they’ll be just about as useful. Like teats on a bull.

It would be wonderful, and stunning, to have Tambellini tell wags: “We’re burning the midnight oil to move Erik Cole and we’ve got Carolina, Boston and New York lined up as bidders, but the hang-up is all three want Andrew Cogliano as part of any deal.”

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What we’ll get is: “We’ll look at anything if it’ll help the hockey club, but we’re not going to mortgage the future. Then again, (insert Lowe smirking here), expect the unexpected.”

It’s naïve, of course, to expect the unexpected — the unexpected would be having Lowe or Tambellini actually tell us what they’re up to. I could never, and I mean never, coax Lowe (or Glen Sather) to show their cards before the deadline when I was writing the beat. It won’t happen now.

So people guess. They speculate. They make stuff up.

This won’t hurt a bit

The Oilers have taken it in the butt more than once at the deadline, but not in the context of a shot of truth serum. So the rumour mill grinds along, fuelled by reporters speculating what they think makes sense and fans, many of whom re-define “wishful thinking.”

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“Hey, why couldn’t the Oilers get Pavel Datsyuk out of Detroit for Cole, Riley Nash, Marc Pouliot and a second-round draft choice?” Or, “I bet the Oilers could rent Jay Bouwmeester for 20 games if they put together a package that included Ales Hemsky.” Yes, I bet they could.

From an MSM point of view, putting two and two together and trying to come up with four is part of the gig. From a fan point of view, as hair-brained as the ideas and the rationalization behind them can be, it’s in good fun.

I mean, suggesting the Oilers would trade Hemsky and his bargain contract to rent Bouwmeester before he signs as a UFA with Los Angeles/San Jose/someplace else warm is in fun, right? Same with Datsyuk, an example of quantity for quality by those who think teams can get a franchise player for spare parts.

What’s next?

As far as the pending trade deadline goes, I can break things down to what I think (WIT) and what I know (WIK).

Let me confess from the start the WIT category is considerably more expansive than any reliable WIK because the men who call the shots aren’t talking, and I’m not going to pass off a nightshift janitor at Rexall Place or the dame who used to cut Josh Green’s hair as “sources close to the team.”

WIK

  • Tambellini is leaning toward trading Cole rather than losing him as a UFA, but that’s not written in stone, which runs contrary to my gut instincts. With a playoff spot in reach, would trading Cole for anybody who can’t make an immediate and equal contribution be seen as giving up on the post-season? Of course it would, even if the player coming here has a contract or is an RFA, assuring he’s more than a rental.
  • Carolina, as I said last week, is one of the teams most interested in Cole, and he’d be a plug-and-play acquisition for GM Jim Rutherford. If any team could convince Cole to forego UFA offers this summer and re-sign, it’s the Hurricanes.
  • The priority is adding secondary scoring. Duh! Aside from Craig MacTavish stating flat-out last week he needs help up, it doesn’t take a vast intellect (or a conversation with a reliable source) to figure that out.

WIT

  • While I’d give it a zero per cent chance of happening at the deadline because of injuries to Lubomir Visnovsky and Denis Grebeshkov, I can see Tambellini moving Tom Gilbert this summer.
    Gilbert is inked long-term, he has some cachet and could land Tambellini a left winger capable of playing on his top two lines. One from the group of Sheldon Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert and Grebeshkov can be dealt. With the KHL looking like less of an option, Grebeshkov won’t cost the Oilers as much as Gilbert.
  • Lowe and Sather will see if they can do business March 4. They’ve already made two deadline deals: Lowe dealt Anson Carter and Ales Pisa for Radek Dvorak and Cory Cross on March 11, 2003, and he traded Tom Poti and Rem Murray for Mike York on March 19, 2002.
  • Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot and JF Jacques are available as sweeteners in any deal Tambellini makes.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

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  • Robin B

    Peter Pan wrote:

    If I’m Waddell, I tell Tambo to go to hell. May as well fold the team without Kovalchuk! Same goes TBay and Vinny.

    Or move it to Kansas City . . .

  • the Menace

    It's a real treat to read posts that use the jersey number of the player instead of typing that player's name. It's not irritating to read at all.
    It must drive some people crazy that coaches and management don't have numbers that we could use too. Maybe MacT could be "8008" as a shout-out to old calculator LCD displays.

  • Wanye Gretz wrote:

    I love Erik Cole. Not in the way that Jeanshorts loves Baggedmilk – but he is my star for the season and I stand by my man. Mark my words – if he leaves the Oil it will be a mistake and we will all watch him light it up somewhere else for seasons to come and will think “I wish Cole was still an Oiler.”
    There is no way that Oil can possibly win a Cole trade this close to the deadline with him being a UFA at the end of the year.
    We will most likely come to regard this as Tambellini’s first bad move as GM, though I do agree with my colleague jeanshorts when he notes Tambo is in a tough spot.
    FMNF

    Wow! I agree with Wanye again. *insert towel boy catch phrase here*

    To the Cole haters:

    Is it his fault that Nilsson has been lackluster this year? One game good, one game stinky. Back and forth, again and again. Is it his fault that Gagner is having a 2nd year poop in the bed season? Is it Cole's fault that he has had a crazy experience on this team, this year?

    No. It's not his fault. You tell me one player that has exerted more oomph than Cole. Tell me who brings it for 90-95% time? Is he a LW? No. He plays right. He's a shooter. He needs a LW that can pass him the puck in the offensive zone. (he currently does not have that) He needs to play in that area that Horcoff does on a PP. Is it his fault that Hemsky refuses to play the left side? No.

    ERIK COLE LEADS THE OILERS IN HITS. And we are a "soft" team. So good idea, let him go. What is it with letting go the guy that leads the team in certain area's? Sykora, team leader in points. They let him walk. *shakes head* Is Souray next?

    So why have the Oilers not offered him a contract? How do you know until you ask or have they behind closed doors? The same thing with a couple of ex oilers that were traded without even offering a contract.

    I don't know… Maybe I'm just a little pissy because I like him. No matter what happens, it's like we traded Brewer for Cole with a few other stops in between. The saga may come to an end.

  • the Menace wrote:

    It’s a real treat to read posts that use the jersey number of the player instead of typing that player’s name. It’s not irritating to read at all.
    It must drive some people crazy that coaches and management don’t have numbers that we could use too. Maybe MacT could be “8008″ as a shout-out to old calculator LCD displays.

    I always liked 5318008

  • dw

    Robin: Do you know what the contract status of Scott Hartnell in Philly? I know he isn't a UFA this summer but does he have a reasonable contract and is he someone that the Oiler's would pursue in a deal for Cole?

  • Robin B

    dw wrote:

    Robin: Do you know what the contract status of Scott Hartnell in Philly? I know he isn’t a UFA this summer but does he have a reasonable contract and is he someone that the Oiler’s would pursue in a deal for Cole?

    I liked Hartnell more before he got his new deal. He's a $4.2 million cap hit through 2012-13.

  • Jorge

    I'd also like to know if Cole has no intentions of signing here in the summer if it comes to that. Tambo says there has been no disscusion is that because they dont want to pay or because Cole doesn't want to stay.

    Also does anyone have an idea of what pittsburgh could be offering for Cole?

  • swany

    Robin B wrote:

    swany wrote:
    Don’t forget Steve Kelly and Bonsiernoir (sp) and thanks for the insight.
    Don’t get testy or no more practices for you . . .
    If I’m Don Waddell, I’m starting by asking for Cogliano or Gagner AND Gilbert or Grebeshkov plus a sweetener like Nilsson, Pouliot etc

    By the way what is the PK% since the allstar brake are we clipping at 82-87%, I need that ham sandwich, so 3 roster players and a prospect. I take this deal Nilsson goes Penner slides in second line one of Gibby or Grebs you bite the bullet and send one Vis is back next year and the D seems O.K. Gags or Cogs Brule can come up and play centre, I do this because when do you ever have a chance to land a guy like Kovy and signed for one more year to boot. Add a 3rd round pick and bring in Marty to.

  • Robin B

    Jorge wrote:

    I’d also like to know if Cole has no intentions of signing here in the summer if it comes to that. Tambo says there has been no disscusion is that because they dont want to pay or because Cole doesn’t want to stay.
    Also does anyone have an idea of what pittsburgh could be offering for Cole?

    I haven't heard a peep that Cole is unhappy in Edmonton. But he's a New York native and he's played his entire career in the east. As a UFA, he'll have his choice of teams and he's going to get paid no matter where he goes.
    Would Edmonton, given the team isn't close to being a Stanley Cup contender and other factors like the weather and travel, be amoung your top five choices if you could pick and choose?

  • TOAST

    @ Smokin' Ray:
    I, for one, don't blame Cole for anything. In fact, I'm a little embarrassed that he was shuffled everywhere except D and Goal for the first 30 games by our genius coach before he was finally put where he belonged on this team (2nd line LW,) and started producing. That doesn't change the fact that, likely because of the foregoing, he won't be here next year and we have to get something for him.

  • Ender the Dragon

    W.T. wrote:

    W.T. has been hearing Kovy and Reasnor for Smid,Cole and Horc.

    Bruno wrote:

    Man ….Is all that sour gas that that is coming out of your mouth giving you memory loss?
    You burped that out yesterday and when you were asked the source you went away. It is one thing to listen to your pollution but REPEAT POLLUTION!!! Pretty brutal.
    W-aste of T-ime.

    Waste of Time,

    This is the third or fourth day in a row you've tried to convince someone in this world that your pathetic existence is meaningful by getting them to respond to your absurd story that you can cite no credible source for. Give it (and us) a rest already.

    Deep Oil wrote:

    Oilers need a kick ass coach – Torts – plain and simple.

    W.T. wrote:

    . . .why did the Rangers not wait till end of season and sign the smartest coach in the NHL . . .

    And that . . . pffft.

    Three weeks ago, I posted a bunch of Tampa Bay fan comments that I took from a Tampa news website. If you want to reread them, you can read comment #75 here:

    http://www.oilersnation.com/2009/02/fire-craig-mactavish/

    To say the fans there didn't seem very upset that Tortorella was gone might be a mild understatement. If anything, they were even more vocal against Tortorella then the FMNF campaign that we have going on here.

    The bottom line is this; Tortorella is not a different guy today than he was last month. He was let go for very good reasons and I have no reason to believe he's any better now. Time will tell if the Rangers can improve their performance under his watch, but you can stop preaching how we missed out on anything by not scooping up that sparkly cast-off from the ground as though you have some great inside knowledge.

    Advice: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.

  • APE - FMNF

    W.T. wrote:

    W.T. has been hearing Kovy and Reasnor for Smid,Cole and Horc.

    You keep saying this but YOU are the only one saying it. Where are you getting this from?

  • Jorge

    obviously he is unaware that HE is W.T. so maybe its a split-personality thing where he whispers it to himself and really believes someone else is telling him.

  • Robin B

    APE – FMNF wrote:

    W.T. wrote:
    W.T. has been hearing Kovy and Reasnor for Smid,Cole and Horc.
    You keep saying this but YOU are the only one saying it. Where are you getting this from?

    From the little man in his head . . . "Howard, Howard, forget about the free floor mats and this KOD scam, start a bogus Kovalchuk rumour. Do it! Do it!"

  • swany

    W.T. wrote:

    W.T. has been hearing Kovy and Reasnor for Smid,Cole and Horc. With current D men injuries, Smid is a tough trade right now but Atlanta wants him bad. Remember MacT refer to Reasnor as Joe Sakic once before. He will center 1st line or move #89 and #13 up and Reasnor will center 3rd.line?
    W.T. heard Ken Reid is unemployed, say hi to him in the line up Craigsworth

    this deal would have been made already, I think all that Texas crude is filling those 2 holes we use as ears

  • APE - FMNF

    Everytime he says it it's like that super hot blonde with the huge boobs across the bar glancing over. Are you looking at me babycakes? Then you turn around and realize Fatso Penner is standing behind you…

    but she really was looking at me.

  • dw

    Assuming Cole would be heading to the Eastern Conference in a trade, and looking at the potential trading partners (ie. non-playoff and non-Toronto) the following would be the potential stock of LW's to choose from:

    Atlanta: Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Kozlov, Colin Stuart, Eric Boulton

    Carolina: Tuomo Ruutu, Ray Whitney,Sergei Samsonov,Chad LaRose

    Pittsburg: Ruslan Fedotenko, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke
    Chris Minard

    Ottawa: Dany Heatley, Antoine Vermette, Nick Foligno, Jarkko Ruutu

    Tampa Bay: Ryan Malone, Vaclav Prospal, Gary Roberts, Matt Pettinger

    Islanders: Blake Comeau, Jon Sim, Sean Bergenheim, Dean McAmmond

    Not alot to choose from when you start eliminating guys based on contract (ie. Malone), age (ie. Kozlov, Roberts) or untouchable (ie. Heatley). Tambelini is going to have a tough time moving Cole for a LW to compliment Hemsky. Qualification: There are obviously other teams we can deal with but these are the teams that would be more likely to entertain offers.

  • R-DAWG

    Hey ya'll. Finally back from the land of sun,topless beach hotties and endless Corona's.
    What the hell happened? Looks like it was a tough week for the Oil. Holy crap Torterella is the coach of NYR.
    I don't think the Oil will make any crazy deals… but here's hoping

  • Travis Dakin

    jeanshorts wrote:

    Wanye Gretz wrote:
    @ Moose:
    WRITE MORE ARTICLES. YOU ARE A GOD AMONGST MEN
    Ahem.
    That is all.
    Seconded. Reading your articles is like looking at Sheldon Sourays wiener. Breathtaking.

    Oh damn yes!

    Robin B wrote:

    JAN 26, 2006: Forward Tony Salmelainen to Chicago Blackhawks for defenceman Jaroslav Spacek.

    haha what the hell was wrong with that organization?
    Robin B wrote:

    It’s not a good guess. Bouwmeester is not signing here as a UFA

    Buzzkill
    If I'm Tamballini I say "sold!"
    Robin B wrote:

    If I’m Don Waddell, I’m starting by asking for Cogliano or Gagner AND Gilbert or Grebeshkov plus a sweetener like Nilsson, Pouliot etc

  • Robin B

    @ Greg MC:
    We're getting way down the speculation (fantasy) road here. Let's put the brakes on it now, shall we?
    And the Oilers can't ask Kovalchuk to sign anything until he's their property.

  • Tod

    Robin B wrote:

    swany wrote:

    Good guess my man
    It’s not a good guess. Bouwmeester is not signing here as a UFA.

    Why not? If the Oilers were to trade Gilbert for a forward they would have a hole in their top 4 defense that no, Ladislav Smid would not be able to fill. Every indication from Florida and reporters in the East has been that Bouwmeester wishes to sign with a Western Canadian team this summer. The guy is a top 5 or 10 defensive talent, I don't know why the Oilers wouldn't be all over that.

  • Deep Oil

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Of course this team can do well without Cole. He doesn’t bring much to the table that can’t be replaced. He is good, but not 4 million good. However, some teams could really use him. It is absolutley stupid asset management if you keep him for the drive only to lose him for nothing after the inevitable first round sweep.

    Cole is much detached about living in Edmonton

    His comments on Jim Rome lay it out

    He is worse than Penner in terms of ROI

    MACT has mismanaged the situation – alienating his confidence.

    Just because we are in a playoff hunt does not mean that he is untouchable…. really – remeber he did not
    sign here – an american in canada playing hockey is not a happy camper – sour face.

    Beating Tampa by one goal with an empty net afterwards is not the re-einforcement that oilnation wanted….

  • Deep Oil

    Wanye Gretz wrote:

    I love Erik Cole. Not in the way that Jeanshorts loves Baggedmilk – but he is my star for the season and I stand by my man. Mark my words – if he leaves the Oil it will be a mistake and we will all watch him light it up somewhere else for seasons to come and will think “I wish Cole was still an Oiler.”
    There is no way that Oil can possibly win a Cole trade this close to the deadline with him being a UFA at the end of the year.
    We will most likely come to regard this as Tambellini’s first bad move as GM, though I do agree with my colleague jeanshorts when he notes Tambo is in a tough spot.
    FMNF

    You can love him all you want – but he is not loving Edmonton or you – he doesnt even know the call letters of the TEAM 1260 – kinda of shows that he is not a detail guy – really. Not here for the long term so why bother to learn the station names.