Pre-Draft Questions that Need Answers

roli_crouched

The anticipation across the NHL and specifically for the fans will increase daily as we are now within ten days of the 2009 NHL entry draft. The scuttlebutt has the Islanders prepared to take Victor Hedman instead of John Tavares, but it’s not a slam dunk.

As we get closer to the draft and the start of free agency the Nation has been asking some great questions. **If you have any questions you want answered email Gregor at jason@justagame.ca.

I’ve read various reports on which Oilers need to clear waivers next year, but none seem right. Which current Oilers have to clear waivers at the start of next season?
— Garrett in the Park

Good question, since it’s likely the Oilers might have to try and hide a guy in the minors. Rather than list which guys have to clear waivers, I will tell who doesn’t.

Gilbert Brule doesn’t have to clear waivers at the start of the year, but once he plays three NHL games then he would have to.

Rob Schremp, Devon Dubnyk and Liam Reddox don’t have to clear waivers. They have only played three pro years, and have yet to play 160 NHL games, plus they are under 25. I have no idea why anyone would think Reddox needs to clear waivers. If a player has played four years pro, then he has to clear waivers regardless of how many NHL games he has played, or if he is over 25 years of age when the season starts.

Chorney and Peckham don’t have to clear.

Bubble guys that need to clear are Pouliot, MacIntyre, Jacques, Potulny (although I don’t think he has a chance of making team) and Stone.

Who do you think is the best option for the Oilers in goal next year?
— Anderson

I still maintain their best option for next year is to sign Roloson to a one-year deal. The problem with that is he is looking for a two-year pact, and the Oilers won’t give him one unless it is worth $1.5 million per season.

Craig Anderson is 28 and Scott Clemmensen is 32, and both had decent years last year. The problem is they’ve only played more than 30 games once. The good thing is that neither can realistically demand more than $1.5 to $1.8 million per season. If the Oilers believe in JDD then signing one of these two to push him and be there if he falters makes loads of sense.

Lots of fans are high on Harding, and feel he is better than Deslauriers due to his AHL numbers and his 50 more NHL games. I don’t see them going with two young, unproven goalies, so if they get Harding they have to trade JDD or basically give up on him and ship him to the minors. I get the sense the organization feels he is ready to take the next step and just needs a shot. I’d give the Harding/JDD combo a look, because the two young guys could push one another. But if Tambellini went with an experienced coaching staff, I’d be stunned if he went with inexperience at such a key position.

I’m not high on Biron or Niittymaki, but they are options.

I want to see what JDD can do. We’ve seen other teams give young goalies a chance and they’ve flourished, so why not him.

Stortini had 25 fights in 53 games last year, which would have put him close to 40 if he played all year. What is the record for most fights in a season?
— Stan from the Woods

This question took me all over the place. The Elias Sports Bureau doesn’t even have this record. My go-to-guy at the NHL office is on holidays for three weeks, and the Flyers couldn’t get me a confirmed number on Dave Schultz, who I would think has to be close considering he holds the record for most PIMs in a season with 472.

In 1996/1997 Paul Laus from the Panthers had 39 tilts. Mike Peluso had 35 in 1991/1992 with the Devils. Those are the highest totals in the last 20 years. I know fighting was more common in the 70’s and 80’s, but there were more guys on each team who fought so it isn’t a guarantee that guys were fighting 50 times a year. I’m certain my guy at the NHL office will get the info and then I will relay to you.

Still Paul Laus dropping the flippers 39 times is a hell of a feat. His hands must have looked like hamburger by the end of the year.

I know this is a hockey site, but I’m a big Oiler and Rush fan. Do you know who the Rush will hire as coach and GM?
— Steven

Smaller league means they have a smaller pool to pick from so it is easier to get a read on who they will go after. Derek Keenan, coached in Portland last year, former San Jose coach Walt Christensen, Troy Cordingly just coached the Roughnecks to the NLL championship but resigned, and his assistant and former Rock coach Terry Sanderson are the four guys at the top of the list.

There are lots of rumours that Portland will re-locate of even fold, if that happens, then Keenan will be courted heavily by the Rush and the Rock. Keenan, a cousin of Mike Keenan, is from Peterborough, and the Rock would love to have him in Toronto.

Cordingly left Calgary for alleged family reasons, because he wants to be closer to home back east, so maybe he wouldn’t want to come to Edmonton. Christensen is a west coast guy, and Sanderson wants to be a head coach again.

Keenan and Christensen have to be the front runners because they coach and be the GM.

And if Portland folds, Rush fans will be over the moon, because the Rush would have the first pick in the dispersal draft, and they could grab Brodie Merrill. Merrill is the best athlete in the league. He is a defender/transition guy, and not a true offensive stud, yet he still controls both ends of the floor. He is the face of Reebok in all of their lacrosse ads in the States and Canada. He would give the Rush an immediate impact player if indeed Portland folds, which is likely.

Peeters to talk coaching

Pete Peeters will be on my show today at 3:10 to talk about coaching goalies. And if you missed Pat Quinn yesterday go to www.justagame.ca and take a listen.

He stated the Oilers need an identity again. They are in looking for a goalie and he touched on his relationship with the Captain and what he expects from him.

Also Steve Ott from the Dallas Stars today at 3:30, he is always good for a few stories.

  • speeds wrote:

    Gregor, I’ve mentioned this before, but both Schremp and Brule need to clear waivers.
    Brule because he played over 11 games as a 19 year old in 06/7, so his waiver exemption drops to 3 years and those 3 years are over.
    Schremp signed at 19, and only gets 4 years from when he signs (not the number of pro years played). Those 4 years are over, he has to clear waivers this fall.
    The rules are different for goalies, so Dubnyk has one more year without waivers.
    Not sure on Reddox.

    YOU ARE WRONG…it doesn't matter when Schremp signs, it matters how many years he PLAYS…As for Brule wrong again. He doesn't have to clear waivers. I have no idea why you think playing 19 games as a 19 year-old changes that. I've spoke with Rick Olczyk many times and neither are waiver eligible next year. Same as Reddox.

    Just because you said it before that Brule is a free agent doesn't make it right. Your info or interpretation is completely wrong. I know this 100% since I spoke with Rick this week.

  • Ogden Brother

    NonMint wrote:

    Question(s):
    What are the odds that Tavares or Vinny will be trade (if NYI picks Hedman), and if they are on the block, what are the odds the Oilers can acquire one of them?

    Kind of sounds like the NYI are trying to get TB to buck up some assets so they (TB) can get Headman.

  • scorecoff hemmercules

    @ NonMint:

    I'll save Gregor some time. The answer is 0%. I believe Vinny has to be traded in the next two weeks or he has a NMC that kicks in after the draft, it's been repeated a million times by Tampa that Vinny is staying but I guess anything could happen. We would have to give up way too much to pry Tavares from anyone so I don't see that as an option since he is unproven in the bigs.

  • speeds

    Gregor, I've mentioned this before, but both Schremp and Brule need to clear waivers.

    Brule because he played over 11 games as a 19 year old in 06/7, so his waiver exemption drops to 3 years and those 3 years are over.

    Schremp signed at 19, and only gets 4 years from when he signs (not the number of pro years played). Those 4 years are over, he has to clear waivers this fall.

    The rules are different for goalies, so Dubnyk has one more year without waivers.

    Not sure on Reddox.

  • OvenChicken8

    This sounds like good/bad news for Brule.
    Good – if they like him he's staying for the year.
    Bad – if he doesn't show up 100% in camp he's going to be stuck in the minors all year

  • NonMint

    Question(s):

    What are the odds that Tavares or Vinny will be trade (if NYI picks Hedman), and if they are on the block, what are the odds the Oilers can acquire one of them?