Dwayne Roloson Gets An Offer; Ales Kotalik Does Not

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With three significant players heading to free agency – including their number one goaltender – the Oilers have made decisions on each of them, and those decisions have been made public. Terry Jones reports that free agent goaltender Dwayne Roloson has been offered a one-year contract in the same range as his previous deal.  It also appears that Steve Tambellini has wisely chosen to make this his line in the sand:

In the event the 39-year-old Roloson decides to test the waters of free agency, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini told Sun Media, the Oilers will make replacing him their top priority at 10:01 a.m. Wednesday, when the free-agent action begins.

The outlook is even bleaker for winger Ales Kotalik, who Rob Tychowski reports has not recieved an offer from the Oilers.  Despite this, Assistant GM Rick Olczyk made concilliatory noises:

“Players have signed with their respective clubs after July 1.  Either the team steps up or the player realizes there’s not as much interest out there as I thought, I want to talk again.”

That’s a funny comment given that the Oilers haven’t made an offer; my take on it is that the team has decided that Kotalik isn’t a good fit on the top line, but that they aren’t opposed to talking to him later in the summer if a) their other options don’t work out and b) Kotalik is still available.

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Finally, in the same article Tychowski confirms something which has been pretty much common knowledge for a while – that the Oilers wish to retain Jason Strudwick.  He quotes Olczyk:

“He’s definitely on the radar to get done.  If it gets done before July 1, great, if we don’t, we’ll make sure it gets done shortly thereafter.”

I’m assuming that Strudwick isn’t the priority, but he isn’t going to be in demand everywhere either, so the Oilers should be able to sign him to a modest contract to play the 7th defenseman/14th forward role on the team.


  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    You mentioned Giguere as a possible replacement in goal who could be had through trade. What's his contract status like, and would it take a lot to pry him out of Anaheim (I'm kinda thinking it wouldn't)? I think a lot of people have forgotten just how good JSG can be and I would love to see him in Edmonton.

    I'm with the don't-bring-back-Roli camp. It would be nice to see someone come in who can be a quality starter for 5-6 years and Roli obviously doesn't offer that. It's a gamble to rely on Roli to play like he did last year, he put on a lot of miles last year and if he goes down an injury I doubt he'd be coming back.

  • Hippy

    @ Chaz:

    If you can name 3 games he stole for us, I can name 3 more he lost, it's a moot point. Maybe Roli was our best player some nights, but why would we not try to grab a younger, better goalie with a higher ceiling? Just b/c we "like" Roli. That's bad business.

    Even if I really "liked" a player, and had the kind of man-crushed we've seen on this team before, we still need to look at what gives us the best chance to win.

    IMO it's not Roli next year that gives us the best chance to win. I'll be happy if he does sign and I'm wrong, but I'm fairly confident that given his playing time, many other goalies could replicate what he did here last year.

  • Hippy

    @ Mike Krushelnyski:

    2 years left at 6MM/season. I've heard speculation that Giguere will end up in Toronto for Toskala, but not much else.

    From an Edmonton perspective, salary would need to go the other way – I'm thinking Penner or Nilsson+Staios as the core of a package. I don't think it would take that much; Anaheim has to be looking to get out from under that contract given how Hiller has performed for 1.3MM.

    Then again, I am just guessing.

  • Hippy

    @ Chaz:

    Roli isn't a step up from the goalies on the market.

    Arguably he's better than Fernandez. He also has a leg up on guys like Clemmenson, Anderson, Harding, and Halak. But this is only because they are unproven (Clemmenson will likely remain unproven)but Harding, Halak, and probably even Anderson are all better investments then Roli (and probably JDD too).

    We could ask JW to do a massive break down of stats but there are only a few things that need to be considered when signing Roli, and numbers aren't neccesarily one:
    1) Rolis notorious inconsistencty. Someone said whose to say he doesn't perform like last year, but do you remember 07-08? I guess you guys are the ones with a short memory?

    2)His age. Players get worse with age, its a fact. You can't hold on to players for some weird, obscure loyalty, reasons or reward them for one good season. Like rindog pointed out we all know how rewarding players for one good season has turned out.

    We moved on after Ryan Smyth, it's time to get used to life after Roli now.

  • Hippy

    Unless we can trade for a franchise tender, Roli will do for a year. He wasn't the problem last year, indifferent play ahead of him and erratic coaching sealed the deal.

    Kotalik is a great talent who would be a good 2nd liner on a solid team, which the Oil are not. We need more Patty Hughes and fewer Petr Klimas right now.

    The management of this team still gives me the heebie jeebies. I can't believe the exec who signed Penner still has a job, let alone named a 3rd/4th line grinder captain.

    They just can't seem to force the issue, and are always kinda waving their sticks in the air to see what pretty butterflies they can catch. if it's youth and growing pains, a la Pittsburgh and Chicago (build thru draft), or spend for show a la Rangers, I can't tell what the strategy is!

  • Hippy

    @ Alon:
    I'm not saying Roli is God's gift to Oiler Fans, but I just feel that having him back for a year is a good option. He's a fierce competitor and played great last year. Perhaps other options are out there, but I would hate to see Roli leave and then have someone not as good / proven take over.

    I'm not a stats guy and to tell you the truth I don't know much about the other keepers out there. I do know however, as I mentioned earlier, that Roli was our MVP last year and I think it's good business to have someone in place before allowing him to walk away (I assume Tambo has a plan if Roli signs or not, so we'll see what happens).

    All of this to me shows what poor management it was not to have a farm team a few years ago. Had JDD had proper development in those vital years, then we might not even be in this precarious position. Another strike against Lowe IMO.

    * Realizes his over-use of "IMO" and goes looking for a suitable replacement.

  • Hippy

    Alon wrote:

    1) Rolis notorious inconsistencty. Someone said whose to say he doesn’t perform like last year, but do you remember 07-08? I guess you guys are the ones with a short memory?

    Please explain this. I would love to hear how Roloson can be described as anything other than "one of the few Oilers that has given it his all in the three years since the SCF"

  • Hippy

    @ Wanye Gretz:
    Wanye Gretz wrote:

    Please explain this. I would love to hear how Roloson can be described as anything other than “one of the few Oilers that has given it his all in the three years since the SCF”

    So I guess effort level is directly related to skill level? That's why we constantly see 7th rounders with heart make the NHL, and have an impact, over 1st rounders with skill.

    Roli gave it all, and we should thank him for that. But sometimes someone elses all is better, especially when you are 40 years old, inconsistent (in performance, not effort), and asking for too much money and time.

  • Hippy

    @ Chester Copperpot:

    Anderson and Harding will both get less than 3MM. Probably the other two as well; there just isn't enough demand to push their contracts higher IMO.

  • Hippy

    Many here, including me, have suggested the Oilers will go after Blair Betts because he played for the Rangers last year with Tom Renney. It is suggested he would be an upgrade on Brodziak in the toughness department. However, he has never had 40 pims in his career, including junior. He gets less points than Brodziak, and has a lower faceoff winning %. How is this an upgrade? Can't be that tough a guy with 25 pims per season. Or was Brodziak looking for $1.0 million +?

  • Hippy

    @ Chaz:

    Horc and Garon were our MVPs in 2007-2008. One guy has handicapped the team with a 5.5 mil cap hit for 5 seasons, and the other was uncermoniously dumped, craped on and traded.

    The best indicator of the future is the past, and Roli's past screams inconsistency when it comes to performance. Another indicator is that the ability of an athlete to perform is diminished over time. Even Hasek wasn't the dominator at 40. Roli at 40 provides risks with inconsistency, and a bigger risk of injury than a younger goalie would have, and it would be a nightmare for this team if Roli went down.

    I like Roli, I like his spirit, and I like what he did in the playoffs and last year, but there are much better options available out there than Roli.

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    Victoria wrote:

    The bitterness directed at Roli is amusing.
    Ender the Dragon wrote:

    Why are people unhappy with this? I figure that Roli will see the writing on the wall and accept this offer fairly soon. For anyone who thinks this is a mistake, your memories are all very short. For one season, there is no reason to think Roli cannot deliver the same performance as last year
    It’s not bitterness, it’s business, if we can get the same caliber tender for less, who is younger, and may have a higher potential, why would we not do it? Because of some misplaced loyalty for a player that has been her for 3 seasons? You see what that has gotten us in the past, bad contracts for Staois and Pisani just to name a couple.
    My memory is just fine, and I remember not only last season, but also the season before when Roli was the worst starting goaltender in the league, and there is no reason to think that he won’t repeat THAT performance.

    Really? have your read all the posts or are you just speaking for yourself? Because if the former is the case, that's the b**chiest business talk I've ever heard. Besides, my point isn't limited to this discussion, if you take a look at almost any discussion about Roli, folks are looking for any excuse to rip on the guy.

  • Hippy

    @ Alon:

    Oh is that how the draft works? Thank you for taking time out of your busy day at MENSA to explain it to me. Perhaps you could clearly articulate this inconsistency you mentioned without any supporting fact yet again.

    You know, if you can put down the two rubiks cubes you are simultaneously solving.

    2006-07 (27 wins)2.75 GAA 0.909 PCT
    2007-08 (15 wins)3.05 GAA 0.901 PCT
    2008-09 (28 wins)2.77 GAA 0.915 PCT

    27 and 28 wins in his last two full seasons (when Garon wasn't messing with his starter's job) and a steady save % that improved last year.

    He is actually remarkably consistent.

    This team has a boat load of holes but goaltending isn't one of them.

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    @ Chester Copperpot:
    Craig Anderson, Halak, Nittymaki, just to name 3. Roli was 18th in sv%, 28th in GAA, and had only 1 SO. All these put him in the bottom half of the league.
    He was and is an average goalie, no need to keep him at this point in his career.

    Save percentage is the proper way to seperate goalies. GAA has to include the team defence.

    Roli .915
    Clemenson .917
    Halak .915
    Brodeur .916
    Lundqvist .916
    Ward .916
    Miller .918
    Luongo .920
    Niittymaki .912 (with same GAA as Roli)
    Fleury.912
    Kipper .903
    Price .905
    Nabokov .910

    Roli is a point or two within some pretty good goalies and better than many supposedly better guys. A percentage point or two would seem to be within the range of luck. I bet if you look at it he got a lot more shots per game than many of the guys on the list. If somehow you could look at the number of breakaways and 2 on 1 opportunities you would think that Roli would be left exposed a lot more times than a goalie on Minni, NJ ot Vancouver.

    Roli is an ABOVE average goalie. If he signs it will be for a lot less than most of the guys on that list and will be for one year. After this year you can get a guy a lot cheaper when the cap comes down.

    His signing looks to be a sound idea to me.

  • Hippy

    @ Alon:

    Good options… like? I keep hreaing people talking about Anderson, yet i keep hearing how his inconsistency is keeping him from being a starter, yet that's your reason of why we shouldn't keep Roloson. Then there's Biron who wants more money and lost his starting position last year (doesn't sound like a step up to me). 'Bulin… heck no!. Clemmenson may have had a good year but it's his only good year and it was behind New Jersey's defence.

    The reality is, the only people who don't see Roloson as a good free agent goaltender (compared to what else is out there) is some Oilers fans.

  • Hippy

    @ Victoria:

    I like Rolli and agree that he has been good for us, and is most certainly not the reason we've missed the last 3 playoffs. My concern however is the abyss of unproven talent that we have if he gets hurt, which is a very real possibility due to his age and workload. I'd be okay with keeping him for one more year AS LONG AS we give JDD or Dubnyk a real shot (i.e. more than 6 games). If they aren't good enough, we shop them for one who is.

    Whether this is actually possible, I have no idea. But hey that's why Tambellini makes the big bux. haha.

  • Hippy

    Victoria wrote:

    The reality is, the only people who don’t see Roloson as a good free agent goaltender (compared to what else is out there) is some Oilers fans.

    I'm not going to change anyone's mind, but IMO Roli is not the answer for this team. When Smyth was at the end of his (useful) career, we shipped him out, we can do the same with Roli, we gave him a bigger contract than he deserved last time, we have been good to Roli, it's time to move on, no point in hanging onto average players, we have enough of those.

  • Hippy

    @ Victoria:

    I don't really see anyone other than Halak or Harding as viable options. Anderson and Biron and more risk/reward scenarios that may or may not work out.

    I don't like it, but I could tolerate inconsistency, the age is the biggest problem for me.

    But I would also like to point out that Biron's and Anderson's inconsistencies are much less pronounced then Rolis

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    Victoria wrote:
    The reality is, the only people who don’t see Roloson as a good free agent goaltender (compared to what else is out there) is some Oilers fans.
    I’m not going to change anyone’s mind, but IMO Roli is not the answer for this team. When Smyth was at the end of his (useful) career, we shipped him out, we can do the same with Roli, we gave him a bigger contract than he deserved last time, we have been good to Roli, it’s time to move on, no point in hanging onto average players, we have enough of those.

    Amen Brother

  • Hippy

    @ Librarian Mike:

    See THIS statement I agree with completely. There is an absolute vacuum of goaltending prospects in the system behind Roloson – who will not be an option as a starter in a couple of years simply due to his age and the physical demands of being a starting goalie 55 games + per year. If you look at the players currently in the system and ask "how is goaltending in 4 years" the answer is "probably crappy."

    If someone wants to say this is a real problem for the team in the goaltending department I can see this. But all this Roloson criticism of his current play is absolute garbage.

    We don't have to sit here and argue that he is Vezina material year after year – fine. But to say that Roloson is in some way responsible for the problems on the ice these past three years is nonsense.

    If I was Roloson and I knew how I had performed as an Oiler and I saw how fickle the fans here are – alternating between standing ROLI chants and demanding he be sent out of town on the next thing smoking – I would tell my agent to send me to a better team with a more stable fan base where I could play out my career in peace with an outside chance of winning the Cup.

    But no, instead Roloson actually wants to remain here despite the shabby treatment from the Coaching Staff and large sections of the fan base.

    Yeah, he is the problem. It's clear to me now.

  • Hippy

    @ Wanye Gretz:

    Ah now it makes sense. Sorry Wanye we had a missunderstanding. By no means do I think Roli was our problem last year. I thought he was in 07-08, but that's not the question. What I am trying to say is that Roli's inconsistencies might present a very big potential problem in the upcomming season.

  • Hippy

    Wanye Gretz wrote:

    @ Librarian Mike:
    See THIS statement I agree with completely. There is an absolute vacuum of goaltending prospects in the system behind Roloson – who will not be an option as a starter in a couple of years simply due to his age and the physical demands of being a starting goalie 55 games + per year. If you look at the players currently in the system and ask “how is goaltending in 4 years” the answer is “probably crappy.”
    If someone wants to say this is a real problem for the team in the goaltending department I can see this. But all this Roloson criticism of his current play is absolute garbage.
    We don’t have to sit here and argue that he is Vezina material year after year – fine. But to say that Roloson is in some way responsible for the problems on the ice these past three years is nonsense.
    If I was Roloson and I knew how I had performed as an Oiler and I saw how fickle the fans here are – alternating between standing ROLI chants and demanding he be sent out of town on the next thing smoking – I would tell my agent to send me to a better team with a more stable fan base where I could play out my career in peace with an outside chance of winning the Cup.
    But no, instead Roloson actually wants to remain here despite the shabby treatment from the Coaching Staff and large sections of the fan base.
    Yeah, he is the problem. It’s clear to me now.

    Bingo, I'd paraphrase that and extended it to (almost)all current and past Oilers.

  • Hippy

    @ Alon:

    Ah.

    I can see this potentially being the case, but there is little to suggest to me that Roloson isn't capable of a couple more seasons provided that he isn't worked to death in the process – like MacT throwing him in net the last 81 games in a row of the "playoff drive" last year."

    My apologies Alon. I had you pegged as one of these folks who lay the shitanusly mediocre crap we have been forced to watch since 2006 at the feet of ol' Roli.

  • Hippy

    Librarian Mike wrote:

    @ Victoria:
    I like Rolli and agree that he has been good for us, and is most certainly not the reason we’ve missed the last 3 playoffs. My concern however is the abyss of unproven talent that we have if he gets hurt, which is a very real possibility due to his age and workload. I’d be okay with keeping him for one more year AS LONG AS we give JDD or Dubnyk a real shot (i.e. more than 6 games). If they aren’t good enough, we shop them for one who is.
    Whether this is actually possible, I have no idea. But hey that’s why Tambellini makes the big bux. haha.

    That's certainly a valid concern, but looking at last year there was a plethora of goalies injured, yet Roloson wasn't one of them. I couldn't imagine him getting very frail in the next season.