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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  • Deep Oil

    APE – FMNF wrote:

    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.

    Penner is notorious for keeping private golf charters heading to Predator Ridge waiting (in the name of the Oiler community foundation) as his concubine drives him up to the plane in a beat up honda civic – now known as the tarmac of shame….. the dishevelled 27 hops out the car – never to call her again. Yes – single hockey players love Edmonton – new fish every night.

  • Deep Oil

    Tod wrote:

    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.

    Jay Bo had a negative experience on Whyte Ave – he has no canadian drivers license and will not return to Canada.

  • Deep Oil

    Robin B wrote:

    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 . . .

    Sorry Bettman has Nashville on a back room deal to KS to service AEG – aka Anshcultz – or otherwise known as daddy warbucks to Boots.

  • Deep Oil

    Robin B wrote:

    @ 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.

    Actually that is incorrect – Atlanta can grant permission to talk contract without breaking / tampering.

  • Deep Oil

    Peter Pan wrote:

    @ Robin
    Did you or someone you know ever get an impression from Cole on what he plans to do? Does he like it here? Does he plan on testing free agency?

    Peter Pan are you light on your feet or what – if all we have to talk about for trade bait is a $4mm player that has disappointed us – we should be glad he is gone at the end of the year – in comparison to the horcoff and penner mistakes by the drunken sailor named KLOWE.

    Move on – Cole is gone – we don't want him back for $4mm

    Where the heck was KLOWE when Glencross was up for grabs – idiot move – asleep at the wheel.

  • Travis Dakin

    Wanye Gretz wrote:

    @ everyone
    Is it just me or does reading WT make you long for Deep Oil to come back in here and be the resident weirdo.
    FMNF

    You son of a bitch.

  • Greg MC

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Wanye Gretz wrote:
    @ everyone
    Is it just me or does reading WT make you long for Deep Oil to come back in here and be the resident weirdo.
    FMNF
    You son of a bitch.

    This is like "Total Recall"

  • Jorge

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Wanye Gretz wrote:
    @ everyone
    Is it just me or does reading WT make you long for Deep Oil to come back in here and be the resident weirdo.
    FMNF
    You son of a bitch.

    hahahaha

  • Deep Oil

    Oh mighty oilnation – don't you get the program that Katz is a silent pawn that has not spoken to the public since August and has left the keys to the store to his idol KLOWE while borrowing $100 mm from CIT group – if the OIL spiral downward and season tickets drop to 13 000 then it will get very interesting……

    Face it – EIG sold the shares to an American conglomerate with a psuedo office in Edmonton.

    All of you are whining about the team and the owner has not given you the fan the time of day.

    Cheers – remember you can be sheep and be happy.
    This Rexall cross branding is working on all of you with all controlled media from Rod, Bob and the sportsnet crew indoctrinating the flock – how many of you want to string up Gene Principe with his demaaning commentary that is really neadrathal in terms of revelance and professionalism.

    Rexall reminder – I am out.

  • swany

    If we gave up Gilbert, Cogs, Nilsson, MAP and a pick for Kovy, and Marty. look at the lines Kovy, Horc, Hemmer 2nd line of Penner, Gagner, Cole, 3rd line of Moreau, Reasner, Pies and 4th line of Redoxx, Brods, and Storts it's the D that takes a kicking Souray, Steve 2nd Grebs Smid 3rd of Struds and Peckham. If they could get Morris for a prospect to help the D till Next year this is a very good lineup. Make the deal

  • Kevin wrote:

    They will be without his, Roli, and possibly Grebby’s salary next season which opens up a lot of cash. This offseaon you’ll see a lot of the financially struggling clubs offloading their talent because they simply can not afford them.

    The Oilers already have 17 players under contract with 43 million. They don't have tonnes of cap space. Say they sign Grebs for three million, Roloson for two that leaves them about eight million. Room for one true scorer. They don't have a lot of cap space. They would also have to re-sign Smid and Strudwick if they were interested.

    Deep Oil wrote:

    sign here – an american in canada playing hockey is not a happy camper – sour face.

    Yeah Doug Weight hated it here? Marchant really dispised it too didn't he? Gilbert is a big fan of Edmonton, so don't throw out Americans are unhappy.

    Deep Oil wrote:

    Actually that is incorrect – Atlanta can grant permission to talk contract without breaking / tampering.

    Atlanta can't open up contract talks until summer. You can't extend a deal until the final year of a contract now. When this season is over they could, but not before then.

  • swany

    Deep Oil wrote:

    Robin B wrote:
    @ 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.
    Actually that is incorrect – Atlanta can grant permission to talk contract without breaking / tampering.

    They don't have to worry he is still under contract for next year. but it would be nice to have him locked up for say 4-5 years when you have to give up that much.

  • W.T.

    W.T. says remember the facts:
    -it was Robin B who said Oilers would not make the playoffs at the beginning of the year.

    – it was Stauffer on his radio show 1260 that said Ryan Airbag Smyth was not who the fans thought he was in the dressing room. This was when Smyth was traded.

    -which GM in the league will take third line disappoints and trade a superstar, no one. You got to give up something to get something

    -KLowe has got the Oilers in this mess with talent and salary cap

    – there is no superstar free agent who will sign with the Oilers this summer. Who did they sign last summer, no one of superstar status

    – who is really going to be the goalie for the Oilers next year. A $40m+ salary and no one knows who will stop pucks next year, this makes sense how

    W.T. suggests these are facts.

  • Robin B

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    Atlanta can’t open up contract talks until summer. You can’t extend a deal until the final year of a contract now. When this season is over they could, but not before then.

    Exactly. Plus, unless I'm mistaken, Atlanta can't give a team permission to talk contract with a player when he has a year left as Kovalchuk does. That was allowed with Roenick and Sundin — after the season but before July 1 — because they were pending UFAs, not players with a year remaining.

  • 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.

    Thank you. I suddenly feel obliged.

  • Dennis

    I wouldn't so easily dismiss the idea of Jay-Bou signing in Edm during the summer.

    Now, perhaps the Oil won't want to tie up more money in their D or start a series of moves where they'd have to deal one off but I think he is interested in signing here.

    Al Strachan's on the record as saying that the young fella does want to play in Edm and does anyone need a reminder of the last time Strach nailed a big Edm move from a mile away?

    Hint: it was about Pronger.

  • Jorge

    Deep Oil wrote:

    Oh mighty oilnation – don’t you get the program that Katz is a silent pawn that has not spoken to the public since August and has left the keys to the store to his idol KLOWE while borrowing $100 mm from CIT group – if the OIL spiral downward and season tickets drop to 13 000 then it will get very interesting……
    Face it – EIG sold the shares to an American conglomerate with a psuedo office in Edmonton.
    All of you are whining about the team and the owner has not given you the fan the time of day.
    Cheers – remember you can be sheep and be happy.
    This Rexall cross branding is working on all of you with all controlled media from Rod, Bob and the sportsnet crew indoctrinating the flock – how many of you want to string up Gene Principe with his demaaning commentary that is really neadrathal in terms of revelance and professionalism.
    Rexall reminder – I am out.

    I don't think ticket sales are a very big problem in Edmonton. Isn't there like a 2 year wait just to get the option to buy season tickets?

  • Robin B

    Dennis wrote:

    I wouldn’t so easily dismiss the idea of Jay-Bou signing in Edm during the summer.
    Now, perhaps the Oil won’t want to tie up more money in their D or start a series of moves where they’d have to deal one off but I think he is interested in signing here.
    Al Strachan’s on the record as saying that the young fella does want to play in Edm and does anyone need a reminder of the last time Strach nailed a big Edm move from a mile away?
    Hint: it was about Pronger.

    Thanks for the hint, but lets not give Strachan too much credit on the Pronger story. Here's the deal, and, as somebody who repeatedly insists reporters tell things as they are and call things "down the middle," you might appreciate it.

    Strachan got tipped to the Pronger story because he's friends with Don Meehan and Pat Morris, who represent Chris. It's a relationship that, for the record, has seen Strachan take a junket on a chartered plane with a bunch of Meehan's inner circle to Scotland on a golf junket for Don's 50th birthday. Suffice to say, that had some scribes questioning — long before the Pronger story — how Al could write objectively about any clients of Newport Sports (Meehan-Morris).

    Now, I'm not saying every reporter toting a notepad in Edmonton, including me, is the sharpest knife in the drawer, but on the Pronger story Strachan got tipped off by his buddy. Simple as that. It made the local beat guys, including me, look stupid, but Strachan's inside track wasn't based on sources or spadework, it was his relationship with the agent.

    There's no such relationship with Bryon Baltimore, who is Bouwmeester's agent. So, while Al has been right before without Meehan's help and he might have heard something I haven't on Jay coming to Edmonton, I wouldn't hold Al's speculation up as iron-clad just because he yanked it out of the park on Pronger.
    What I'm told by people close to the team is Jay would rather avoid the hometown fishbowl that Mike Comrie found himself in.

  • Travis Dakin

    @ Robin B:
    I was just wondering about how Strachan got that scoop. Thanks for clarifying. God damn, I remember when I read that. I laughed it off like it was crazy talk.

    Anyway, What is this hometown fishbowl you speak of? Why is it different from any other big name player on the team? Is it the ticket requests and barrage of guest appearance requests from old friends that makes it tough? I just assumed that Comrie was a young kid that didn't like being told he sucked when he was walking down the street after a bad game. Understandable I guess but isn't it the same for everybody regardless of place of birth?

  • Robin B

    @ Travis Dakin:
    It is largely the same for any big name player, but it certainly can be amplified for a hometown kid when you have friends and family around.

  • oil_dude

    @ Robin B
    How recent is the info about JayBo not wanting to play in Etown?? I know a friend of Jays and asked him about the Oil's chances of landing him in December, he seemed to think they were as good as any other teams chances. Remember how we were told that Hossa wouldn't come here leading up to July 1st but then we actually almost landed him once Katz phoned him with an offer? I think how the oilers approach July 1st this year might have a say in where he chooses to sign. Do you know if they plan on chasing him?

  • deepoil

    `Jorge wrote:

    Deep Oil wrote:
    Oh mighty oilnation – don’t you get the program that Katz is a silent pawn that has not spoken to the public since August and has left the keys to the store to his idol KLOWE while borrowing $100 mm from CIT group – if the OIL spiral downward and season tickets drop to 13 000 then it will get very interesting……
    Face it – EIG sold the shares to an American conglomerate with a psuedo office in Edmonton.
    All of you are whining about the team and the owner has not given you the fan the time of day.
    Cheers – remember you can be sheep and be happy.
    This Rexall cross branding is working on all of you with all controlled media from Rod, Bob and the sportsnet crew indoctrinating the flock – how many of you want to string up Gene Principe with his demaaning commentary that is really neadrathal in terms of revelance and professionalism.
    Rexall reminder – I am out.
    I don’t think ticket sales are a very big problem in Edmonton. Isn’t there like a 2 year wait just to get the option to buy season tickets?

    That was before black september – how many people in the oil industry here are laid off due to upgraders not proceeding – trust me – I know many people that are out of $75 – $100K per year work

    Remember when Allan Watt and Eric Upton told you sheep to get in line for a pre register to win the chance for the privelege to buy the mini packs and this didn't work
    and oil management had egg on their face – Eric Upton either resigned or was politely fired and paid hush money.

    Renewal time is here and the oil are chanting looking for the free cash flow with your payment – this is like a kid looking for a free allowance to keep the bike.

    Trust me – LaForge is counting the days for the money to come in for next year – it is pivotal to his job – he might end up being bat boy for the trappers.

  • deepoil

    oil_dude wrote:

    @ Robin B
    How recent is the info about JayBo not wanting to play in Etown?? I know a friend of Jays and asked him about the Oil’s chances of landing him in December, he seemed to think they were as good as any other teams chances. Remember how we were told that Hossa wouldn’t come here leading up to July 1st but then we actually almost landed him once Katz phoned him with an offer? I think how the oilers approach July 1st this year might have a say in where he chooses to sign. Do you know if they plan on chasing him?

    Has he solved his drinking problem ?
    What car service does he use here…..

  • deepoil

    swany wrote:

    If we gave up Gilbert, Cogs, Nilsson, MAP and a pick for Kovy, and Marty. look at the lines Kovy, Horc, Hemmer 2nd line of Penner, Gagner, Cole, 3rd line of Moreau, Reasner, Pies and 4th line of Redoxx, Brods, and Storts it’s the D that takes a kicking Souray, Steve 2nd Grebs Smid 3rd of Struds and Peckham. If they could get Morris for a prospect to help the D till Next year this is a very good lineup. Make the deal

    dreaming – why would here stay here after next year unless katz borrowed some cash and made a hossa plus plus offer – but then again he has been living in atlanta known for prostitution, conferences and coke = the black hollywood according to the reality shows

  • deepoil

    Greg MC wrote:

    Is it just me or is Al Strachan starting to look like Grandpa from the Munsters?

    strachan is unemployed and just has the cbc gig to be milburys whipping boy – maybe he should wear a pink shirt to resume the pansification debate – i dont even think they invite him on sirius cbc radio

  • deepoil

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    Kevin wrote:
    They will be without his, Roli, and possibly Grebby’s salary next season which opens up a lot of cash. This offseaon you’ll see a lot of the financially struggling clubs offloading their talent because they simply can not afford them.
    The Oilers already have 17 players under contract with 43 million. They don’t have tonnes of cap space. Say they sign Grebs for three million, Roloson for two that leaves them about eight million. Room for one true scorer. They don’t have a lot of cap space. They would also have to re-sign Smid and Strudwick if they were interested.
    Deep Oil wrote:
    sign here – an american in canada playing hockey is not a happy camper – sour face.
    Yeah Doug Weight hated it here? Marchant really dispised it too didn’t he? Gilbert is a big fan of Edmonton, so don’t throw out Americans are unhappy.
    Deep Oil wrote:
    Actually that is incorrect – Atlanta can grant permission to talk contract without breaking / tampering.
    Atlanta can’t open up contract talks until summer. You can’t extend a deal until the final year of a contract now. When this season is over they could, but not before then.

    This american just isn't happy here dissing the city on Team 1260 Jim Rome and not even knowing he was doing it….. i dont want him back and I get the feeling he cant wait to get out of this trade that forced him to the most northern city in the nhl