"Its just one of those days when you don’t wanna wake up, everything is f***ed, everybody sucks. You don’t really know why but you wanna justify, rippin’ someone’s head off. Your best bet is to stay away mother f****r – its just one of those days."
– Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame rapping directly to Oilers fans around the world.
So this is it is it Nation? After a season of waiting for someone – anyone among the 4,026 people collecting a Kay-Z paycheque to run this team – to step up and fix the squadron and provide us with a micron of hope. This is the best we could do is it?
It is clear that we have now crossed the threshold of a team looking to make upgrades to the current roster and have now become a team looking to blow it all up and let it all die. 17 points out of 14th place in the Western Conference, it’s hard to imagine how things could get worse for the Oilers.
But that is exactly what the monkeys running the zoo have been able to pull off.
So, lets take a quick gander at the trades the Oilers managed to pull off today shall we?
INSULT NUMBER ONE
Lubomir Visnovsky to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round draft pick.
Wow, where do we start with this humdinger of a crappy deal? Perhaps by pointing out that dealing away the only only offensive defenseman that isn’t currently staring down hand amputation surgery – helpfully announced with about an hour to the deadline we might add – the Oilers are basically saying "there is no sense keeping good players around here. Not with what we are in the midst of destroying."
RYAN WHITNEY – 4 Million per season, signed through 2012-13.
2009-10 ANA 62 GP 4G 24A 28 Pts -6 48 PIM
2008-09 ANA 20 GP 0G 10A 10 Pts +1 12 PIM
2008-09 PIT 28 GP 2G 11A 13 Pts -15 16 PIM
2007-08 PIT 76 GP 12G 28A 40 Pts -2 45 PIM
2006-07 PIT 81 GP 14G 45 A 59 Pts +9 77 PIM
2005-06 PIT 68 GP 6G 32A 38 Pts -7 85 PIM
Here is the boiled down deal with Whitney. When he broke into the league with Pittsburgh, he collected mad second assists, scored at an above average pace for a defenseman and used to hit. This all went down on a young gun team of Penguins and he was able to coast along with an offensively gifted team.
Then he stopped hitting, scoring and collecting points and got dealt to Anaheim late last year.
Then the Ducks took a look at him doing less and less and dealt him to the Oilers for one of the better offensive defensemen in the game in Visnovsky. Even on the worst team in the NHL (and possibly the AHL) Visnovsky has been able to contribute regularly this season and was arguably one of the only positives on the team.
This trade is a salary dump – plain and simple – and for 1.6 million less per season it wasn’t even a good one in that regard. The Oilers are still paying 4 million for a substantially worse defenseman that they have up for another 3 seasons to come.
Welcome to the Oilers Tom Gilbert II.
INSULT NUMBER TWO
Steve Staios to the Calgary Flames for defenceman Aaron Johnson and a third round draft pick.
Steve Staios, Assistant Captain and former folk hero with 99% of Edmontonians, has exactly one year left on his contract but was moved to the Calgary Flames of all teams to save $2.7 million dollars on a team that will still be incapable of even hoping to be .500 next year. Remember when trading within your Conference or Division was considered unwise? Remember when deals with the Flames were rarer than a 2010 Oilers victory? All these rules seem to have gone out the window now.
It’s as though the Oilers head office have a secret list of "the hell we can put our fan base though in a 6 year period" and they are just checking off each item as fast as they can.
Really Tambellini? Staios to the Flames huh? Are there any insults left you can hurl in our collective direction?
We aren’t going to even bother looking at Aaron Johnson’s career stats. Know why? Cause he sucks and we don’t care. And as he is a UFA at the end of the season hopefully he hits the dusty trail as quickly as he arrived.
HERE IS WHAT WE DON’T UNDERSTAND
As crappy as the Oilers have been, they have at least been able to lay claim to a decent – albeit expensive – defensive corps. It has been one of the few bright spots on this team that justice and time have forgotten. But now with the departures of Lubo, Staios and Grebs, coupled with the wonderfully timed season ending hand infection suffered by Sheldon Souray, this leaves the Oilers with the following defenseman:
Whitney – Gilbert
Smid – Studwick
JUNK – JUNK
This could be somehow overlooked if by some miracle the holes on the team had actually been plugged as a result of the decimation of our defensive corps. Defensive forward anyone? Nope. Physical forward or d-man capable of hardening up this butter soft lineup? Nope. The ever elusive player capable of winning faceoffs on a regular basis? Crickets. A mercy trade for our shell shocked Captain? Nein. A goalie to plug in behind Glug Glug Ripoffibulin and the backup AHL goaltending duo? No.
How can we have even less hope after the trade deadline? It boggles the mind.
We are really rollin’ now.