Do you see what I see, edition VII

With less than two weeks to go in the season, how much can we take out of these final games?

Are five consecutive solid starts enough that the Oilers need to be concerned that a team will claim Devan Dubnyk next year? Or are they enough that the Oilers will keep him and waive Jeff Deslauriers? Or is trading one of them the best option for Steve Tambellini?

If he trades one then they have zero depth in the organization and with Nikolai Khabibulin’s age and recent back surgery I don’t know if that’s the best option. The only way they trade one of them is if they can sign a journeyman veteran who won’t get claimed on waivers.

I don’t think Dubnyk has shown enough for a team to grab him and keep him as their back up next season.

Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan are exact replicas. Soft and inconsistent yet they can tantalize you skill that gives you a false sense that they have turned the corner. O’Sullivan is a bit grittier, but like his consistency that facet of his game only appears from time-to-time. Does Tambellini keep one of them, or both?

Both of them are under 26 years of age, so they can be bought out for 1/3 of their salary, but I don’t see both of them getting the pink slip. If I had to choose I’d get rid of O’Sullivan first, but I bet the team parts ways with Nilsson.

Can the Oilers move forward with Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano as centremen? Not if they want to be a contender some day, but Cogliano has put up some decent numbers since being promoted off the 4th line. He has four goals and nine points in his last 11 games, after scoring five goals and 14 points in the first 64.

I think his promotion has been a showcase and he’ll be moved this summer. I like his game and I think he’ll be a 20-goal man very soon, but he just doesn’t fit in the long term plans with Gagner and Tyler Seguin in the mix. Yes, I said Seguin. I think that is who the Oilers should choose on June 1st, if they get the first pick.

The Oilers will move Cogliano for a winger with size or a solid D-man.

The more I think about it, the more realistic it seems that the Oilers might move Ales Hemsky. Hemsky likes Edmonton, but he is tired of losing. Either they move Hemsky or they improve his supporting cast so this team can make the playoffs. I don’t think the latter is that easy, so Hemsky might be dangled.

I know a majority of fans are dreaming of getting the top two picks, but that slim, and I mean slim, possibility will only happen if Boston or Columbus is the other team in the top two. Carolina, Tampa and the Islanders won’t trade the pick, but Boston and Columbus would at least consider it. Scott Howson and Peter Chiarelli need to win next season, while the other three can be patient.

Once again it looks like the east will have four of the top five picks. It’s no wonder many of the top young stars play in the east. Since the 2000 draft only once, 2007, has the west had three picks in the top five. Every other year the east has had at least three choices, and three times they have had four of the top five picks.

Here is who the east and west have drafted since 2000.

East West
Rick Dipietro Marian Gaborik
Dany Heatley   Rostislav Klesla
Raffi Torres Stanislav Chistov
Ilya Kovalchuk Rick Nash
Jason Spezza Nikolai Zherdev
Alexandr Svitov Cam Barker
Stephan Weiss Blake Wheeler
Kari Lehtonen Bobby Ryan
Jay Bouwmeester Benoit Pouliot
Joni Pitkanen Erik Johnson
Ryan Whitney Jonathon Toews
Marc-Andre Fleury Patrick Kane
Eric Staal Kyle Turris  
Nathan Horton Thomas Hickey
Thomas Vanek Drew Doughty
Alex Ovechkin  Alex Pietrangelo
Evgeni Malkin   Matt Duchene
Sidney Crosby  Brayden Schenn
Jack Johnson  
Carey Price  
Jordan Staal   
Nicklas Backstrom  
Phil Kessel  
James Van Riemsdyk   
Karl Alzner   
Steven Stamkos  
Zach Bogosian  
Luke Schenn  
John Tavares   
Victor Hedman   
Evander Kane  

The western teams need to learn how to suck better down the stretch. The Blue Jackets are 6-2-2 in their last ten and are now out of the bottom five, and if they keep rolling them might find themselves drafting 9th. Just more proof that you can’t get teams to purposely tank it down the stretch. The Jackets beat the Hawks twice in the last week.

With four straight wins it looks the Sharks have woke up and will get home ice advantage in the west. They won’t face Detroit in the first round, so I will pick the Sharks to represent the west in the Cup. I know they have Joe “I can’t play with emotion” Thornton, but I believe the Olympic experience will help him and with Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau all winning the gold, the Sharks will finally make it to the fourth round.

I don’t like the Hawks goaltending, and I don’t think Vancouver’s defence is deep enough to win three rounds.

And it will be sweet to watch the Flames scratch and claw their way to 9th place in the west. They are dreaming if they think they will catch Colorado. They play each other this Friday, but it won’t matter. The Avs have five of their seven remaining games at home where they are 23-11-2. Sorry Flamers you won’t be going to the dance.

I wonder if the Flames would be in the playoffs if they showed as much fire as Jim Playfair, the head coach of their AHL team in Abbotsford.

Playfair lost it over the weekend. To bad he didn’t rip off his shirt,that would have been even funnier.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Issuing a major and game misconduct for a glancing blow on a goaltender who his 10 feet out of the crease — and playing the puck — is a brutal call by Koharski.

    Based on Playfair's reaction, I can only guess that Koharski, being fast-tracked because he's the son of Donut Don, compounded matters by telling Playfair to STFU at the bench.

  • Ducey

    The Oilers should keep a maximum of 4 smurfs with Gagner, Cogs and Brule being the 3 main little guys. They can keep a spot warm for Omark or Eberle after they spend some time in the AHL.

    They should keep one of Nilsson or O'Sullivan as the 13th forward. Even if they bring in a witch doctor to get rid of the curse, someone in the top 6 will get hurt and one of Nilsson or POS can step in. They can also use them when they play a less physical team or to give someone a night off. They are good for .4 to .5 pts a game which is likely better than a call up.

    So keep one of POS or Nilsson. Which one? I don't know – is there really a lot between them?

  • Hemmertime

    Test

    … wow, either ban removed or my IP changed. Ill behave! I swear.

    I wouldnt trade Hemsky unless we were packaging him together with our First overall pick for something like Malkin. Other than that… maybe for the #2 overall pick if Hemmer looks like he won't resign.

    • I'm a Scientist!

      I really hope Winnipeg does get them…it would be poetic justice too if they came back to where they left from…

      If they do come back I hope Winnipeg steps up…even when times are bad

      • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

        Times don't get that bad here – we're not a boom town.

        The whole 'housing market crash' didn't even affect housing prices here. The market cooled a bit, but growth here tends to be a little steadier – especially when compared to the 'boom and bust' in the West.

      • Tracie

        So Bettman didn't want to sell to Balsillie b/c he would move the team to Canada…but he's fine with selling the team to Winnipeg even though they have an arena that only holds 15,100??? This is bull! Bettman put this backup plan in place b/c if he doesn't have a deal in place by June, Balsillie is allowed to bid on it again! the MORON is putting his personal feelings before what's best for the team!

        i was a huge jets fan and I cried when they left…so I'll be happy if the Jets get a team back and it would be great for Doan and the Coyotes to go back home where they belong. I just hate the fact that Bettman is too dumb to realize how much more money would be in his filthy little pockets if he just let Balsillie take a team from the States and move it to freakin Hamilton!

        • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

          Bettman nixed the Balsillie deal because he tried to strong-arm his way into the league. Bettman even went on record saying that he's not opposed to a franchise in Winnipeg (even though he was making reference to a possible expansion).

          • Tracie

            Balsillie tried to be nice getting a team and Bettman nixed it…he also nixed Phoenix going to a Canadian venue b/c he beleives there is a successful market in Phoenix, they just needed a successful team. Balsillie played nice with the idea of Nashville going to Hamilton and it was still nixed. he enquired about Phoenix and got nixed so he tried the back door, although i don't agree with him going backdoor, I do think that Bettman has some sort of vendetta for not wanting Balsillie to have an NHL team

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            I honestly don't think it has to do with wanting a team in Canada or not.

            If I were in Bettman's shoes and saw the option to sell the team to a billionaire in Toronto (who – by the way – wasn't really affiliated with True North during this Balsillie debacle) who wants to move the team to Winnipeg. I would compare this to the option to sell the team to Jim Balsillie.

            It wouldn't be a difficult decision.

          • Tracie

            So from that I'm assuming that you would go with True North…my question is why? Both have money to burn and both want NHL teams in NHL markets. Both will make the NHL and bettman lots of money and both seem to be stable business men who won't run away on their team at the first sign of a loss…so why choose True North OVER Balsillie? It must be personal is my reasoning…Balsillie didn't play dirty until he was rejected twice with no real reason…

            I'm not trying to be an ass…but this whole situation just has me right choked and I would like to understand someone else view on it b/c you seem to be a more objective…

          • True North is likely the only possible ownership group in Winnipeg. Balsillie likely is not the only possible owner in GTA. GTA team will more likely be expansion than relocation.

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            True North is largely owned by the Chipmans, who own a huge chain of car dealerships here. I was concerned about their ability to invest in something like an NHL franchise as the automotive industry was one of the few exceptions to what I said before regarding the whole economic downturn.

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            I just think that the NHL prefers Winnipeg over Hamilton. It doesn't give you any issues with competing markets nearby (Toronto, Buffalo) because Winnipeg's closest neighbour is an 8hr drive. Winnipeg also has demonstrated dedication to pro-hockey in the form of the Manitoba Moose.

            Another interesting piece of the puzzle (that I really had no idea about before) is the fact that the MTS Centre was built with a possibility to renovate to a capacity of roughly 19,000. It really doesn't seem like it to me as the seating is cramped as it is, and the second-bowl seating is so steep it gives me vertigo. I go to the MTS Centre a lot as my office is attached by the downtown skywalk, and I get cheap tickets on a corporate deal. If what I heard about increased capacity is true, that could be a huge bargaining chip.

          • Tracie

            The GTA things makes sense but in my mind, that's just more political bullsh*t! I mean you can have two teams less 30 minutes away from eachother in NYR, and NYI, but you can't put a team almost an hour away?? I think the GTA area has more then enough people for two hockey teams, don't you?

            But if they put a team in Winnipeg first that makes sense, especially if the arena will be able to be renovated to hold 19,000. Thanks for that info, I didn't know that.

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            The whole '19,000 capacity' thing comes from a possibly-reliable source. I don't actually know if it's true, and like I said – from my personal experience it doesn't seem like it is.

          • Jason Gregor

            Like it or not, the NHL is like an exclusive country club. Balsillie, when trying to buy the Nashville team, refused to say he would keep the team there and was accepting season ticket deposits in Hamilton before he had been approved. That isn't the sort of thing other NHL owners are going to warm to. Now, if he had been approved as owner and pulled up stakes, there would have been law suits from the arena owners in Nashville and there would have been the whole mess to deal with related to Toronto and Buffalo concerning territorial rights.

            Do I think Hamilton will eventually get a team? Yes. But it will likely be through expansion where the owners look at expansion fees they can divide among themselves.

            Is there a possibility of the Coyotes moving back to Winnipeg? Sure. But the NHL wants to go through the process of due diligence to ensure the team can't work in Phoenix. They are trying to avoid law suits from the city as there is an agreement in place the team will play in that arena. Now, if the city won't step up to the table and rework the lease with no one coming forward to buy the team and guarantee they will lose money, then I can see a move happening. But it has nothing to do with not like Canada or anything like that.

            And Balsillie essentially pissed in the face of those reviewing his application to join that exclusive country club. It won't make him friends with the other owners and they don't want to lose out on a big payday from expansion fees.

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    I am reading this posts and do not understand anything. Usually when people trade they offer there worst for somebody's best and deal in the middle. You people are trading there best player in Hemsky for someone who could be good or bad soon or not so soon. Please tell me the logic behind this stupidity!

    • Lofty

      If you want trade proposals that have Hemsky being delt straight up for the #1 pick, Spezza, Getzlaf, Crosby, etc… go to Hockeybuzz.

      Your average Oiler fan thinks Hemsky is worth way more than his actual market value.

      • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

        Maybe he is not as good as Crosby but for this team he is the best. See how they did AFTER Hemsky got injured! You do not trade away your best player unless his contract is up and that is not happening for another 2 years. I don't care what Hockeybuzz says, you should have your own brain.

        • Lofty

          You said "Usually when people trade they offer there worst for somebody's best and deal in the middle." which sounds like most the trade props that people on hockeybuzz talk about. The other day I saw some prop suggesting Souray for the Bruins pick…

          If you wait to trade away a good player when his contract is up you get almost nothing like with Bouwmeester and Kovalchuk. If the Oil trade him now they can get decent return otherwise it all starts going downhill.

  • Tracie

    Why no answer? You people remind me of Obama trading away friendship with Israel for friendship with PLO knowing that PLO will stick a sharp knife in the back of America. Trading Hemsky away? I can see the fun he is going to have with Oiler playing for Columbus.

  • smiliegirl15

    Nilsson over POS just for +/- alone! I think Quinn has managed to make something of an actual worthwhile NHL player out of Nilsson.

    Tambellini has some trades to make this summer for sure but I hope he doesn't go to the other extreme and start giving away the farm (and I'm not talking Springfield). Whitney was a great addition, especially since he seems to really compliment the skills of Gilbert, especially if we keep getting good Gilbert.

    Hemsky's value with the Oilers is high because we really don't have anything better than him on our roster, injured or healthy. I think his value has become evident this season. He and Penner were starting to become a pretty solid pairing and if they had a complementary centre, I think this team could turn around next season.

    With the success of the Coyotes in Phoenix this season, we won't see them pried out of there for a long time to come.

    Getting both Hall and Seguin would be awesome but not sure it would be realistic. Thank you Robin, for this pipe dream. Would the price mean another year at the bottom?

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    The other thing that people don't realize is the fact that Winnipeg's population (~700,000) really gets combined with Brandon 3 hours away (~50,000) Selkirk close-by (~25,000) and a bunch of cities in North Dakota that are 2-ish hours away like Fargo (~200,000) and Grand Forks (~100,000).

    The salary cap is another factor that helps Winnipeg out.

      • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

        North Dakotans love their hockey, too. UND was good enough for Jonathan Toews, after all!

        I would definitely consider going halfers on it with a buddy of mine. What does a set of season tickets run in Edmonton? $4,000?

        Edit: Keep in mind that I'm 23. I don't exactly have that kind of cheddar to toss around on a whim.

  • No way the Oilers keep O'Sullivan, I think the writing is on the wall and its better to keep Nilsson.

    The Flames are toast and while I don't think Sutter gets the axe as the GM, he will be on the shortest of leashes next season.

    The Flames have blown it. I've been saying for a year on my blog that they need to get Iginla out of town while his stock was high. It's almost getting too late to get a franchise pot of picks in return for him. His diminsihing value coupled with his high salary makes him at this point, untradeable.

    Sutter, you blew it.

    TBH

    • VMR

      Are you kidding? Iginla is still a premiere forward in this league and tons of teams would trade for him. He's going to be close to a ppg with around 35 goals, he's big strong and fights for the puck. Who wouldnt want him?

      • He is still a premiere guy in this league? That is very debatable. You need to stop living in the past. Is he worth 7MM per? For the next 3-4 years at his age? Do you want to keep him into next season and have a guy scoring 70 pts making that cash? Move him, stay fresh, get something that you can rebuild and replenish with.

        TBH

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          He's only the 13th highest paid forward in the leauge …and that's now skewed with a handful of long term, heavy front loaded contracts. I think it's fair to say he's still roughly a top 20 forward in the league which would make him roughly "fair value" at that price point.

  • Bring in Doug and Marc Messier. I bet you things would change in a flash. To the worse? That is not possible in this case. So what is the risk. As a matter of fact, bring in anybody including Mike Milbury and things cant get worse.

      • Pajamah

        Are you saying the father of a guy who used to play the sport isn't qualified to practically run a professional sports franchise in a billion dollar league?

        My daughter starts soccer in 2 weeks, which gives me approx 18 months to own Manchester United

    • Bucknuck

      Messier is what this Oiler club needs to instill a fight " in the dog" and "competitive edge" this club of ours sadly lacks . Too many Oilers have lost that competitive edge and have been too satisfied in just earning a position and playing/ managing on skill only . Teams and players that develop their games use a strong work ethic to compliment and make their game better than just their skills . You don't wait for others to fight your battles you overcome your deficiencies (size , etc. ) by your desire to minimize them yourself . Underdeveloped talent in our club is the result of too many players being allowed to play soft and float on talent alone . Gags and rest of crew had that fire to begin with , and have not found it again since the first season . Penner discovered it early in season and has since lost it again . Horcoff had it his contract year and he lost it again .In fact ,you can say the Oilers as a club have pretty much all lost it . It appears very infrequently (desire and work ethic to compliment their skill level ). A fireball like Messier just might be able to get that desire and competitive edge back or bring in players with character to provide it . Quinn talks of it , but is not having much success getting players to do it . Even a new Whitney can see our club is too satisfied with a losing attitude, and a group that is waiting for others to do the little things each player should be doing for themselves and teammates . Our club has a severe motivational problem along with many other obvious ones that management has done little to correct over the last few years . Fear of Messier ripping their heads off just might be the motivational edge this club lacks to move forward !

        • Dyckster

          On the contrary . Motivation and getting quality work from employees is/has always been the top priority of every managerial/coaching team ! Keeping that in mind , how well has coaching staffed faired over the season ? Thats simple business practice and goal setting, and is part and parcel of every good business course and plan . You may not agree , but where has our coaching made us any better or reached an acceptable level ? If managing and being deadlast is acceptable ,then maybe in some peoples eyes that is good enough . Ultimately ,in all better business , management (that includes coaching ) is responsible for productivity out of it's workforce , and is accountable for it . Bad management is bad production -plain and simple . In management, your paid to get results not C.Y.A (Cover Your Asses) with excuses all the time .

          • Ender

            lol. Feel free to explain what a coach's role is all you like, but it doesn't change the fact that there isn't a coach alive that could have motivated this roster into the playoffs. You want to blame management? Fine; I'm with you there. But saying that this season's disaster is Quinn/Renney's fault just illustrates that you haven't been paying attention. They've been told to overhaul an engine using pretzels and dental floss. If you don't feel sorry for them, read through the player list just one more time.

          • Ridiculous. If anything was proven in the past couple of seasons the coaching is not the problem.

            I agreed last season it's easier to get rid of a coaching staff than players, now we are going down the change the players road.

            Keep in mind that I am not a billionaire, but I wouldn't want to be paying an all star coaching team for nothing until their Oilers contract is over. Why do you think MacT isn't coaching somewhere? He is still getting paid by the oilers…

        • Bucknuck

          You said it. They tried a coaching change. It made no difference. Obviously the "cast" is the issue, and there isn't that much a coach can do to change that.

          • Bucknuck

            He still needed to go….IMO it has paved the way to rid the team of it's older core (ie: Staios, Moreau, Pisani) and to allow the leadership change to begin…

            Under MacT I don't believe this would have happened, at least not this quickly.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            It was mentioned on the radio a few weeks back that MacT and the old core (or at least some of it) didn't get along, and that it went so far that one of Moreau/Staios/Horcoff were no longer on speaking terms with Mctavish.

            I doubt it was because of Craig that those guys were sticking around.

          • That's interesting because it seemed under MacT, many of the older core could do no wrong especially Horcoff and Moreau…

            I guess in my own mind I felt with MacT out of the way it would make it easier for the organization and new coaching staff to no longer treat the older core with kid gloves.

            Oh well…maybe Quinn isn't the answer but I'm still convinced MacTavish had to go.

      • Pajamah

        Maybe adjust your time machine… messier hasnt ripped anyones head off in 25 years.
        Dont confuse Messier circa 1984 with the guy who is now getting Sather his morning coffee in New York.

        FWIW an illustration on in your face managerial and coaching stylings can be found in the other nhl team in this province. Doesnt do much to inspire me even though the dudes administering the relative levels of abuse do/did have rather impressive reputations as players. (in that tough guy mould).
        That schtick still works on kids in junior but Im afraid it has begun its fade into oblivion in the show. I would surmise that Messier is aware of that as he is getting a first hand glimpse into another raving lunatics show and his success or lack thereof.

  • smiliegirl15

    Mark Messier is not the one who will save the Oilers. Enough of the old boys club already! If they're not going to turf Tambellini then this summer is his last chance. He had better start listening to Quinn about who this team needs in the way of players and start getting it done.

    As for Sutter, he was a much better coach than he is GM. He had his salary cap debacle last season and a group of also rans this seaon. He took a fairly decent team and traded himself out of the playoffs.

    @cableguy! Quote of the week!!!

  • Bucknuck

    We need some "Kick-ass " not coddlers , i feel . Sounds to me like a lot of you are as content as team is with losing . I have doubts any of you fans had taken business courses or been in management at any level, or you would know what i was talking about -it's common knowledge to most in management ? Tams ,told you last season it was coaching and you all seem to buy it – how pathetic . Is there anything he sells you you do not buy hook,line and sinker ?

    • Bucknuck

      When Tambellini speaks I hear mwah mwah mwah like in the peanuts cartoons when the adults speak. I make my own judgements, thank you very much.

      I am a successful business manager, and what you are talking about is akin to sendin a bunch of plumbers to do a complex industrial electrical project and then blaming the foreman on site when there are project delays. MANAGEMENT is Tambellini's role and he is the problem. Not quinn (AKA the foreman).

      Common knowledge is that an employee is only as good as the tools you give them to do the job, or did you sleep through that in your business class?

      • Dyckster

        I have been saying your last comment frequently in the past . I try to limit going to far and always being repetitive and lenghthy . Do i think Quinn has done a good job – no , not even as good as MacT. did under similiar circumstances .

        • Ender

          Let's say you're involved in horse racing. Let's also say that your horse is losing every race. It lost every race last year too. Last year, you decided the jockey was the problem (MacT) so you ditched him and got a new jockey (Quinn). Horse still losing. Here's the question you have to ask yourself, madjam:

          Is the problem finding a jockey that can whip the horse across the finish line first, or is the problem the guy who continues to race the slow horse and keeps wondering why it won't run faster?

          You decide. Me, I think we need a new horse.

      • Cowbell_Feva

        As monotone and melodramatic as Tambi might be, he has done a much better job than KLowe did- after all, who created the mess that poor Tambi inherited?? Moved a struggling Cole for O'Sulli & Kotalik last year (won that trade) and now unloaded a lot of dead weight at the back-end to create cap space for the rebuild. Speaking of "the tools given to them to do the job" these TOOLS (ie, Horc @ 5.5, Pisani, Moreau,etc.etc.) are what Tambi was given. Ken Holland, Stevie Y, and Scotty Bowman combined couldn't turn around this mess in Tambi's tenure!!

  • DoubleJ

    JDD why would you jump in the air? You are 6'4" the net is 4' high? Yeah it was probably a high stick. But why,why would you jump. Let it go over the net into the corner. Or make the save.

    Of course, I comment in the wrong forum.