Armchair GM VII: Who farted?

"You stink!" "You stink worse!" This, in essence, is what the Battle of Alberta has come down to. With the Edmonton Oilers winless in 12 games and the Calgary Flames getting no sniff in the last nine, tomorrow night’s meeting in Cowtown shapes up like a purse fight. A slapping match.

So numb are some fans during a faceplant that now stands at 0-10-2 after Thursday’s 2-1 loss to St. Louis, they’re taking solace in knowing the Flames will show up Saturday with their asses in the breeze and their pants around their knees in the middle of a 0-6-3 embarrassment.

Given the circumstances, I guess there’s something to be said for that schadenfreude thing, but on top of taking comfort in Calgary’s sudden and shocking ineptitude, I’m thinking fans might be in for a helluva game.

Just when it looks like the fight has been taken out of the Oilers — and it has looked that way — I wouldn’t be surprised if they, and the Flames for that matter, show up for the puck drop hacked off and ready to go.

I’d like to think both teams are sick of gagging on the stench of defeat and that both outfits could stand to blow off some steam. That could make for a memorable tilt. And, it says here, another Oilers loss that runs the Dirty Dozen to Unlucky 13.

That would set up Monday’s game against Carolina at Rexall Place, the NHL version of The Biggest Loser, quite nicely.

You call the shots

With GM Steve Tambellini locked in the fetal position and unlikely to pull the trigger on anything except the handgun he’s been putting in his mouth when he’s home alone — no commitment there, either — I’d like to pick your brains about some scenarios he might be facing between now and July 1.

  • Sheldon Souray has provided the list of teams he’s be willing to waive his no-movement clause for in a trade. The teams include Dallas, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Keeping in mind the salary cap, who do you ask for when you pick up the telephone and talk to Joe Nieuwendyk, Dean Lombardi and Bob Murray? Please, resist the urge to make suggestions that amount to dry-fisting the aforementioned GMs.
  • The lottery is done and the Oilers, after finishing 30th, retain first pick in the lottery. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford has the third pick behind Edmonton and Toronto (which goes to Boston). Rutherford offers you his pick straight up for Dustin Penner. Do you make that deal?
  • Agent Jiri Crha puts in a call the day after the Entry Draft and informs you Ales Hemsky wants to be traded. After you sh*t yourself, which three teams do you call and who do you ask for?

A new angle?

While it goes without saying it’s difficult for anybody in the Oilers line-up to distinguish themselves with the team face down in a puddle of puke, I’ve got to admit I haven’t liked the looks of Jeff Deslauriers in weeks.

I’ve gone on the record repeatedly saying I like Deslauriers willingness to battle. I think, against most odds, he’s shown he can be an NHL goaltender, but he’s got some flaws in his technique that are alarming.

First, his angles. There’s no way Deslauriers should be giving up goals on the short side, like he has in his last two games. He’s either playing too deep in the net or losing the angle altogether. Probably both.

Second, Deslauriers is an atrocious puck-handler. I’ve known that since he fed Joffrey Lupul a gimme in the slot during an AHL game between the Edmonton Roadrunners and Cincinnati Mighty Ducks at The Pond during the lockout, but six years later? Either learn how to handle the puck or leave the damn thing alone.

If Deslauriers doesn’t perform markedly better than Devan Dubnyk in the Oilers remaining games, he’s going to make it impossible to justify keeping him ahead of Dubnyk. I expected him to be better than this.

This and that

  • There aren’t a lot of issues I disagree with Bob Stauffer on, but his suggestion signing Jaromir Jagr might be a good thing for the Oilers in the sense it could take pressure off the younger players, like say a Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, in the short-term is one of them. So, what, we’re going to pay $4-5 million for a babysitter now? And what pressure? This team will be, or should be, in rebuild mode until the start of the 2012-13 season.
  • We haven’t heard an official update on the status of Nikolai Khabibulin since surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. There are whispers, none I can trace back to team sources, there’s some obvious doubt a 37-year-old like Khabibulin will come back from the surgery. Should I feel guilty for not feeling that’s a bad thing?
  • If you think I’m being pessimistic by saying it’ll take the rest of this season and two more to do a proper rebuild, think again. Agent Ritch Winter phoned me twice Wednesday while I was on the air with Jason Gregor, pitching the same seven-year timeline he sold Rob Tychkowski at The Sun a week or so ago. Sorry, Ritch. Not buying it.

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

  • This is what I said on my site when I wrote about this after Robin's last defence of JDD:

    I think that Robin is a fine writer and good journalist. I just think he’s lousy at analysis.

    That's exactly what I think. I think you'd be hardpressed to find any instances in which I've said that he's stupid – I don't. Robin's, at the very least, familiar with my blog – like a lot of the smarter media guys, he's been reading blogs for a long time. I'm sure what I think comes as no surprise to him – I've written variants of it probably 15-20 times in the past four years.

    I just think that he's not so good at stuff like career paths and when we've seen enough of a trend to believe something is real. He's in good company there – people who run hockey teams thought that the 2008 run to end the season was the real deal. I hold him in higher esteem than pretty much anyone else covering the Oilers other than Barnes.

    It just galls me that a guy who is obviously not dumb is so aggressively wrong about certain stuff and then playing games with shifting rationales for his opinions and threats. Maybe it's a schtick, I dunno – ON pays the writers for hits and I assume that this is a pretty well trafficked thread, even though it was furtively posted at 5PM on a Friday.

  • Eddie Shore

    Hmmmmm….

    Just waiting for some more relevant Oiler talk…..

    Anybody….please…..

    How about Cogliano possibly sitting out…..

    I personally would rather see Nilsson ride the pine and Cogs given more first line time. He's got more heart than Nilsson who rarely makes an effort.

  • Sweet. Just got the message that I have box seats for tonight's game. I can't wait to watch the Alberta mega wonder championship bowl to decide the championship of the world.

    This will also be the first time in weeks that I will cheer for the Oilers to win, so they better win. I am taking my Flames fan brother in law and I couldn't stand being near him if the Flames win.

  • Skidplate

    Hockey talk:

    Cammalleri may be out long term in Montreal. Not much on that team for us to trade with, unless we want a goalie.

    Anaheim signed Hillier 4 year $18 mil, thats a lot of money tied up in goalies. Maybe Wanye knows something and Giggy is coming here.

    Wanye should start a website for hockey talk and trade rumors…….

  • Skidplate

    I'd like to pick your brains about some scenarios he might be facing between now and July 1.

    Sheldon Souray has provided the list of teams he's be willing to waive his no-movement clause for in a trade. The teams include Dallas, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Keeping in mind the salary cap, who do you ask for when you pick up the telephone and talk to Joe Nieuwendyk, Dean Lombardi and Bob Murray? Please, resist the urge to make suggestions that amount to dry-fisting the aforementioned GMs.
    The lottery is done and the Oilers, after finishing 30th, retain first pick in the lottery. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford has the third pick behind Edmonton and Toronto (which goes to Boston). Rutherford offers you his pick straight up for Dustin Penner. Do you make that deal?
    Agent Jiri Crha puts in a call the day after the Entry Draft and informs you Ales Hemsky wants to be traded. After you sh*t yourself, which three teams do you call and who do you ask for?

    Re Souray
    Dallas: James Neal straight up or Benn + 2nd
    LA : Simmonds + 3rd or 1st + solid defense prospect
    Anaheim : 1st + 2nd + 4th for Souray + Oilers 2nd.

    Re: Penner
    You could hope for Carolina's pick to be better than Penner eventually, but I think most would be satisfied if that pick ended up as effective as he is now. There is going to be a massive youth movement already and not all will develop. Better to keep Penner to show the way when the current old guard is gone and give good interviews.

    Re: Hemsky
    If he wants out I sh*t myself, don't clean up, drive over my phone twice, go to the liquor store and buy half the inventory, then lock myself in a room with cheetos and porn. After three weeks I shower, go to church then call Hemsky's agent begging him to reconsider. If that doesn't work I'd repeat the cycle.

  • Chamucks Deluxe

    I just don't understand the vehement bashing going on. Why does this have to be a scrap? Settle differences outside of the comments section of a website for fans.

    I enjoy pretty well every major Oilers blog out there, BDHS, Lowetide, MC79 and of course ON (and more). I use all of these great fonts of information to formulate my own opinions as well as to gain a greater understanding of the game. But this? Personal attacks? On a public website? Vic "possibly" refering to Dakin as a pervert? What in the blue hell does this accomplish? I'm not specifically standing up for anyone individual, more the integrity of out online community. If you have a problem with someone you don't stand on their porch and bitch at them, you call them up and talk about it, man to man. This public of a bashing is just ugly, and hell, 12 year olds on video game forums know what a troll is- I'm surprised grown men most likely with family and careers don't.

    To Vic, you seemed dickish before, kinda thought that made your writing interesting but this? That's terrible.

  • Skidplate

    What Chamucks Deluxe said. Watching a bunch of dudes on a message board try to have a d*&k-measuring contest with a journalist would be great fun if we were discussing something important, but this is sports. Enjoy it for what it is: a diversion.

    Robin's potential scenarios are interesting, but the discussion was hijacked by a bunch of BS. More hockey talk, less garbage please.

  • There's a pretty big difference between criticizing someone for something they wrote, or disagreeing with their viewpoint, and taking an unimaginative pot shot at someone for no reason other than you're insecure with the fact that you have never been laid.

    Thanks for contributing.

  • Travis Dakin

    Look, I've been dismayed at times at what I perceive to be a dismissive, elitest,entitled and arrogant tone to RB's writing however one day not too long ago I happened to be at a function with my family where I was watching my daughter play with a large warm grin across my face. I noticed what I assume to be RB's wife and son playing in the same area and looked over to see RB with the same warm grin across his mug. That was a moment I realized I can sometimes let my passions get the better of me and to be mindful not to cross the line when expressing a different opinion. You just lept over that line and if I was RB I would be tempted to take legal action against you for liable(sp). There is nothing funny about that accusation, you are a douche,no something worse than a douche, like re-douche.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Wow Oilfan2010, you are a complete loser. Taking a shot at someone's personal life is complete garbage. Nice mouth you loser, good luck never writing on these boards again. Brownlee, I might not always agree with what you are saying, but I sure enjoy reading your comments and articles. And you were probably the only sports reporter from the Edmonton Sun that I enjoyed reading. Its too bad we have moronic individuals that take shots at a guys livelihood, or personal shots at their families etc…Have fun being banned from here Oilfans2010 proof that some individuals need to continue on with their psych evaluations.