The New Additions

O'Sullivan

Yesterday, long after the trade deadline had passed and I’d gone home for a much-needed break from yesterday’s live-blog (a lot of fun by the way – thanks to everybody who showed up), the news trickled out that the Oilers had made a deal. When the dust settled, Steve Tambellini had robbed Carolina blind, sending Erik Cole and a 5th round pick there for a 2nd round pick and Patrick O’Sullivan (acquired from L.A. for Jason Williams). Tambellini then flipped the pick to Buffalo (who apparently have forgiven the Vanek offer sheet) in exchange for Ales Kotalik.

TSN had some good analysis, although Pierre McGuire left me a little bit confused when he explained that the Edmonton Oilers had now traded Erik Cole and Joni Pitkanen in an overpay for O’Sullivan. Pierre: it doesn’t work that way. I could hear an audible sign from elsewhere on the panel and Darren Pang patiently sort-of refuted McGuire, despite McGuire’s interruptions. Anyways, I thought it might be useful to do an in-depth analysis of the players acquired.

Patrick O’Sullivan

Contract: 2.925M per season through 2010-11. Arbitration-eligible RFA after that.

2008-09: 62GP – 14G – 23A – 37PTS, +1
2007-08: 82GP – 22G – 31A – 53PTS, -8
2006-07: 44GP – 5G – 14A – 19PTS, -6

It doesn’t show up at first, but Patrick O’Sullivan is a great acquisition by this team. He just turned 24, so there’s plenty of upside, and I imagine that this acquisition spells the end of Robert Nilsson, probably at the draft this summer. He isn’t big or particularly gritty, but he’s a very affordable player who upgrades the Oilers depth at left wing. Most importantly, he’s versatile. It was claimed in the comments section yesterday that O’Sullivan doesn’t kill penalties, but that’s inaccurate. Here are his time on ice numbers so far this season:

Even-strength: 14:04/game
Power-play: 3:07/game
Short-handed: 2:15/game

Let’s take a quick look at his advanced stats over his two full seasons:

2008-09: QC-7th, QT-10th, Corsi/60-2nd, PTS/60-1.87, PPPTS/60 – 2.23
2007-08: QC-6th, QT-6th, Corsi/60-9th, PTS/60-2.05, PPPTS/60 – 3.07

The first thing that jumps out is that O’Sullivan’s power-play numbers are not very good; he’s probably a second-unit guy in Edmonton. The flip side of that (although it isn’t shown here) is that his short-handed numbers are very good; only Jarret Stoll has fared better killing penalties for the Kings so far this season.

At even-strength, O’Sullivan is playing softer opposition with very weak line-mates, but if he slots in where I expect (with Sam Gagner on the second line) he won’t need to play tough opponents. His offensive numbers have dipped a bit this season, but his Corsi has improved massively; in other words, he’s spending a lot of time in the offensive zone. I love this addition, and finagling a 2nd round pick out of Carolina to boot makes this trade a clear win for Steve Tambellini. Especially when you consider that O’Sullivan is signed at a reasonable rate for two more seasons, while Cole was unrestricted.

Ales Kotalik

Contract: 2.33M per season; becomes a UFA at the end of this year

2008-09: 56GP – 13G – 19A – 32PTS, -7
2007-08: 79GP – 23G – 20A – 43PTS, -5
2006-07: 66GP – 16G – 22A – 38PTS, -5

Ales Kotalik doesn’t kill penalties, but he adds some size. He played a major role on the Buffalo power-play as a point man; it seems clear that he was added at least in part to address the injury to Lubomir Visnovsky. It’s worth noting that he’s a right-handed shot, so he could very well be more effective than Visnovsky with Sheldon Souray – it’s been a little frustrating watching Visnovsky and Souray trying to get into the same spot to unleash their left-handed slapper.

Let’s take a quick look at Kotalik’s advanced stats for the past two seasons:

2008-09: QC-12th, QT-11th, Corsi-2nd, PTS/60-1.16, PPPTS/60-4.19
2007-08: QC-10th, QT-9th, Corsi-8th, PTS/60-1.24, PPPTS/60-3.92

Kotalik’s been a remarkably ineffective scorer at even-strength over the last two years. For a little perspective, his PTS/60 number slides in right between Liam Reddox and Steve MacIntyre while playing soft opposition; in other words, I’d be very surprised if Kotalik ends up with Horcoff and Hemsky long-term, unless Lindy Ruff was grossly misusing him.

This is a power-play rental, and at the cost Tambellini paid (2nd round pick) it was probably a bad trade for the Oilers (now watch him score a hat-trick in his first game to prove me wrong). A good job by Darcy Regier to get maximum value for a rental player.

Both of these players will help the Oilers make the playoffs this season, and on the whole I agree with Lowetide’s take that Steve Tambellini had a good day. It just could have been a little better.

  • Hippy

    In regards to our drafting, who are you guys kidding? Look at the players we missed! Pouliot over Parise/Getzlaf! If Pierre F'N Maguire can see this, why couldn't the Oilers? They traded a 1st and 2nd to move up for PHX's 1st and picked Riley Nash? He doesn't seem to be looking like a gem. Alex Plante sucks ass (4th/5th D-man in WHL!!) And there is more. Sure we had some good picks too, but too many BIG misses. But the worst of all time still has to be when the Oiler fans were chanting "DOAN" only to have the Oilers select Kelly!!!! I know that was a differnt management team and era, but WTF!

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Hi Willis. Great work yesterday. My question to you is: Why wouldn't O'Sullivan draw right up to the first line? Kotalik replaces Cole…O'Sullivan replaces Reddox. I realize O'Sullivan isn't quite first line material yet… but c'mon …is Reddox? O'Sullivan likes to shoot. Hemsky likes to pass. Let's give 'em a look. Also, with O'Sullivans PK experience, I'd bet he could help the first line continue with that power vs power thing MacT so loves. I've come to expect the unexpected… (MacT will probably skate O'Sullivan at center move Kotalik to left wing… and then to defence, etc…)

    Is my idea out to lunch?

  • Hippy

    I'm predicting the new guys come in and are excited and rifle a few shots at the net tonight.

    To be shortly followed by a MacT warning "we don't shoot the pucks here boys, we block em"

  • Hippy

    @ Gregor:

    But saying he should have kept the 2nd rounder doesn’t make much sense, especially when you consider their drafting record of late.

    First off I disagree that the Oil have been poor at the draft table. The first round track record isn't great (Poo, JFJ, Schremp) in the Lowe regime but not horrible either (Gagner, Hemsky). However, the value they have been getting from lower round picks is unbeleivable (Stortini, Brodziak, Reddox, Cogliano).

    It is also not logical to say that if you draft poorly you might as well give away picks. Drafting a player is like rolling the dice, the more rolls you take, the better chance you have of hitting for a big win. If you roll poorly then you should be taking more rolls to hit the jackpot.

    I also disagree with trading future assets (2nd rounder) this year for a short term return (UFA). The Oil will be scratching to make the playoffs, there is no one out there who will bet on them getting past 2 of the top 4 western teams if they do make it.

    I understand your overall view of Cole and a 5th for Sully and Kotalik, however, I think you have to evaluate each trade on its own merit.

    All that being said, a very good day for the Oil, IMO.

  • Hippy

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    But saying he should have kept the 2nd rounder doesn’t make much sense, especially when you consider their drafting record of late

    From 2002 to 2006 they've drafted JDD, Stoll, Greene, Chorney and Petry in the second round, with a few clear misses (McDonald, Paukovich).

    Personally I like the Kotalik pickup, but saying the oilers are poor drafters in the 2nd round isn't true.

  • Hippy

    And whose to say that Kotalik being buddies with Hemsky doesnt turn Kotalik into some sort of scoring animal. Sykora and Hemsky loved playing with each other, and produced well until the politics took over. Time will tell I suppose.

    As for the draft pick, if we indeed did flip the Carolina 2nd rounder, that was LA's 2nd rounder, which was Calgary's 2nd rounder. So essentially Buffalo got Calgary's 2nd rounder which will probably end up being 45th-55th overall. BFD

  • Hippy

    Ducey wrote:

    Despite the way he has been playing, this might mean a demotion for Reddox. He seems to be the only guy who has a two way contract and doesn’t have to pass thru waivers. I think Poo, JFJ, Nilsson all do right?

    Jacques has a two-way contract but still would have to clear waivers. MacIntyre has a two-way as well, but now that the deadline has passed the rosters expand so the Oiler won't have to send anyone down when Moreau returns if they don't want to.Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I said Tambellini had a good not great day. The trade for O’Sullivan was excellent, and on the whole we’re coming out ahead, but I’d rather have seen him hang on to that second round pick.

    Why keep the 2nd rounder? No guarantee that works out, plus it isn't the Oilers 2nd they gave up. Essentially they got O'Sullivan and Kotalik for Cole and a 5th. If Kotalik doesn't sign, just like Cole wouldn't have, then it is O'Sullivan for a 5th. How can you ask a guy to do better?

    The only move he didn't make was a getting a depth D-man, and in order to do that he would have had to move a contract. Makes you wonder that maybe no one had any interest in any of the Oiler spare parts, to trade a veteran #6 or #7 D-man.

    But saying he should have kept the 2nd rounder doesn't make much sense, especially when you consider their drafting record of late. And when you take into account that Kotalik and Hemsky are buddies. What if he likes it here and re-signs, then the deal looks even better.

    On paper these moves are solid. Now we will see if O'Sullivan pans out.

  • Hippy

    Peter Pan wrote:

    As for the Kotalik trade, it had to be done. We just can’t have Hemsky playing with Reddox. We just can’t.

    Based on Kotalik's even-strength production (don't be misled by his shiny points totals- they're a product of powerplay production), either:

    a) Lindy Ruff was grossly misusing him or
    b) he won't be a fit with Hemsky and Horcoff

    Liam Reddox scores more at even strength than Ales Kotalik. That's not a good thing.

  • Hippy

    Bob Cob wrote:

    What were there major needs, more scoring in the top six and deal with Erik Cole’s pending UFA status.
    Both have been accomplished, Cole is gone, O’Sullivan can score and Kotalik will do the same thing as Stoll did on the power play with his heavy shot, and an improved PP can turn a game…Whats to say Kotalik will leave this year, he is a good friend of Hemsky’s and if there is any kind of chemistry on that top line, maybe he resigns.
    Bottom line, lets wait and see how this plays out before bitching and complaining about Tambellini not doing enough at the trade deadline.

    I didn't think I was bitching and complaining; I said Tambellini had a good not great day. The trade for O'Sullivan was excellent, and on the whole we're coming out ahead, but I'd rather have seen him hang on to that second round pick.

    I'm not going to do what some folks do and proclaim every move as great, nor am I going to be unnecessarily pessimistic. I'm going to be honest on every move, and if you don't want an honest evaluation, don't read it.

    It's better to be honest than sugar-coat everything.

  • Hippy

    Ender the Dragon wrote:

    Ducey wrote:
    Despite the way he has been playing, this might mean a demotion for Reddox. He seems to be the only guy who has a two way contract and doesn’t have to pass thru waivers. I think Poo, JFJ, Nilsson all do right?
    Nope. Gregor said on his show yesterday that waivers don’t apply for the balance of the season, so any guy can go up or down without having to clear.

    Shoot, wait, that's not what he said [facepalm]. He said that the roster-size was not fixed for the balance of the year, which meant you could carry more guys without having to send anyone down. It worked out to equal the fact that Reddox could stay, but different mechanism.

  • Hippy

    Ducey wrote:

    Despite the way he has been playing, this might mean a demotion for Reddox. He seems to be the only guy who has a two way contract and doesn’t have to pass thru waivers. I think Poo, JFJ, Nilsson all do right?

    Nope. Gregor said on his show yesterday that waivers don't apply for the balance of the season, so any guy can go up or down without having to clear.

  • Hippy

    I think it was a good day as well. O'Sullivan will hopefully develop some consistency and in Kotalik they are banking on chemistry with Hemsky – otherwise we lose that trade. However, I think those trades were made in tandom, Kotalik for a second straight up might not be good value but they convinced Carolina to give them theirs to make the trades happen. Just speculating though.

  • Hippy

    To use Ron Wilsons words, "Its just so freaking negative" the way everyone criticizes what the Oilers do. What were there major needs, more scoring in the top six and deal with Erik Cole's pending UFA status.
    Both have been accomplished, Cole is gone, O'Sullivan can score and Kotalik will do the same thing as Stoll did on the power play with his heavy shot, and an improved PP can turn a game. With the moves they improved the PK and the PP, got offensive skilled forwards, and didn't lose any youth. Whats to say Kotalik will leave this year, he is a good friend of Hemsky's and if there is any kind of chemistry on that top line, maybe he resigns.
    Bottom line, lets wait and see how this plays out before bitching and complaining about Tambellini not doing enough at the trade deadline.

  • Hippy

    Obviuosly getting Ales Kotalik was a nod to trying to make the playoffs. Giving up a pick which has about a 40% chance of becoming a regular NHLer some day is worthwhile, especially when the future is protected by getting Pati-O and keeping their own first and second round picks.

    Despite the way he has been playing, this might mean a demotion for Reddox. He seems to be the only guy who has a two way contract and doesn't have to pass thru waivers. I think Poo, JFJ, Nilsson all do right?

  • Hippy

    Willis said:

    I’d be very surprised if Kotalik ends up with Horcoff and Hemsky long-term
    ————————————————-
    Well duh… MacT is still the coach and heaven forbid the guy keep any line consistency! I'm sure by the 10 minute mark of the 1st period, you'll see the line shuffling begin…again! As for the Kotalik trade, it had to be done. We just can't have Hemsky playing with Reddox. We just can't.

  • Hippy

    I think the trades will be good. Kotalik will could be slotted in with Hemsky and Horcoff, maybe with a good play maker like Hemsky, Kotalik will score more? Two Czech who are friends could have chemistry, who knows? At worse, if it doesn't work out all that well we are not stuck with him for next year. The draft pick would be wasted but it was part of trade so wasn't ours anyway.

    O'Sullivan looks good to play with Gags and co. but he too is a little small, maybe a new kid line will develop? I heard his decrease in points may be that Cammalerri left for Calgary? Not sure how much truth there is to that one.

    I think the trades give us more potential proven offence as it seems what we have now is just not cutting it, maybe this injection of new blood will get things working again with others (gags, horcoff, hemsky etc?). In some cases a change of suroundings (or line mates) does wonders.

    Of course hind sight is 20/20 and we won't really now until the summer when we know more about the cap reduction and what the Oilers will do about it.

  • Hippy

    Cole is/was a one-dimensional player for the Oilers. Sure his smashing move of driving hard to the net and trying to shovel it in is/was neat, but not EVERY TIME HE GOT THE PUCK! Happy he is gone, but i did notice Tambos slight "dig" on Cole in the press conference. Essentially, Tambo said that he talked with Cole & knew Cole wasn't going to sign with the Oil in the summer. So, see ya Mr. One Move Pony. Even your fight this year sucked!

    ~Steele

  • Hippy

    The way I read, the only thing we gave up to get these 2 forwards was Cole and a 5th round pick. The 2nd round pick we used to acquire Kotalik was Carolina's which was packaged with O'Sullivan in exchange for Cole was it not? …and the wrist bone is connected to the arm bone… Oh yeah, and way to put things into perspective McGuire you meat-head!