Making it up: one year later

CONFIRMATION

Steve Tambellini, April 14, 2010

"It’s been no secret that Sheldon wants out of Edmonton.

"I’ve had numerous meetings with him over the last year, I would say, mostly all revolving around the fact he wants to be traded.

"Sheldon asked us for a trade, it would be about a year ago. I believe it was last spring the first time I heard that from him."

DENIAL II

— Edmonton Journal, April 24, 2009

"Sheldon Souray doesn’t know how or where the story started that he wanted out of Edmonton, but it’s got the legs of Andrew Cogliano.

Souray, who has one of the NHL’s most wicked slappers, shot it down Thursday before speaking to a team of local novice hockey players who won a dinner and Q & A with the Oilers defenseman in Scotiabank’s national initiative to salute the kids.

"I’ve been getting phone calls from here … my mum called me to ask about it. Who knows where it’s coming from?" said Souray, who has three years left on his Oilers contract and says he’s had no conversations with general manager Steve Tambellini.

Souray’s children live in Los Angeles with their mother, which might have fuelled the trade-me speculation, but when he signed here in 2007, he said he was over the moon to be coming home to play for the team he idolized as a kid.

"Our stalls aren’t even cold yet," he said. "I’m not worrying about it (the rumour). I don’t think it deserves talking about. It doesn’t deserve a no or deserve a yes. It’s fodder for the media.

"If it was something I was feeling, I wouldn’t voice it through the media anyway." Souray, who represented the Oilers in the all-star game and finished with 23 goals and 53 points, has been through coach firings before in Montreal. It always stings. There’s always questions in a hockey city, because people care 

"For some guys, it affects them differently but, for me, I’ve been down this road. The grass isn’t always greener. Sometimes a change can be positive. We’ll see how it works out." Souray only had MacTavish for two years. He got along well with him. Was he a players’ coach? "I’m not really sure. I wasn’t here long enough to make that assessment, but he was always fair with me. Some players would say he was a players’ coach, some of them might say he’s a non-communicator," said Souray. 

DENIAL

— Tambellini, April 15, 2009

"No," said Tambellini, when asked if any Oilers players had requested a trade.

CAN’T LOCK IT DOWN

Brownlee, Oilersnation, April 15, 2009

"Like I said earlier, this is a rumour and nothing more at this point. To discount it completely would be foolish, but it’s also premature to take it as fact and start working out trade possibilities. The rumour, and the fact Souray has been separated from his kids, plus the fact he didn’t talk to the media Monday are all bits and pieces. Do they add up to him requesting a trade? Maybe. Maybe not. All we can do is ask Tambellini if the request has been made.

"If I had it firm from Souray or anybody else, I wouldn’t be burying the item at the bottom of the story. It would be the story."

THE ORIGINAL ITEM

Brownlee, Oilersnation, April 14, 2009

"Perhaps one of the reasons Souray didn’t make himself available to reporters Monday is he didn’t want to address speculation that he’s asked Tambellini for a trade.

"Rumours Souray has asked to be dealt began several weeks ago and they’ve persisted since. To this point, neither Souray or anybody in the Oilers front office has gone on the record to put the talk to rest. Until that happens, and there’s a flat-out denial from one of the parties, this has legs. Stay tuned."

UPDATE: THE INSIDE TRACK

I’ve been meaning to slip in an item about some of the reporters and media outlets who cover the Oilers for awhile now, so I’ll add it to this one, given the topic. With the proliferation of websites and the many existing MSM outlets where information and opinion is available on the Oilers, there’s a lot to choose from.

For what it’s worth, here’s my list of places to look if you really want to know what’s going on with the team, if you want real insight or if you just like great writing or commentary.

THE MSM

— Bob Stauffer, 630 CHED and Oilers Lunch on TEAM 1260. The most connected guy in the city here and now, and it’s not even close. Those buying the popular stance he’s gone soft since leaving his popular afternoon drive-time show to work for the Oilers really aren’t paying attention. Way ahead of the pack, always.

— Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal. I feared getting beat by him when I first signed on to cover the Oilers and I still wake up every morning expecting he’ll write about something I don’t know. He often does.

— Jason Gregor, TEAM 1260. Don’t let the fact Gregor lets me co-host his show twice a week dupe you into thinking he’s not that sharp. He is. Lots of contacts.

— Jim Matheson. When Matty poses a question in The Journal, he usually already knows the answer.  There isn’t a coach, GM, scout or player in the league who won’t step aside from the scrum and spend time huddled with Matty. He can sit on stuff for weeks and still beat other people to the punch.

THE BLOG WORLD

— Lowetide. Great insight. Common sense. If you want takes and projections based on numbers as well as real-world perspective, Mitchell is the guy.

— Black Dog Hates Skunks. Wind your way through the boozing, broads and Family Guy stuff, which is all wonderfully written, and there’s a lot of meat on this website.

— David Staples, Cult of Hockey (The Journal). Staples is a damn good news reporter and writer who also happens to be a fan of the Oilers. That’s an interesting mix. His love of goofy nicknames and his diddling with real statistics aside, Staples has been bookmarked on my laptop for a long time.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Twiggs

    If Hall can play center too, isn't it a no-brainer to draft him? We've seen the chemistry between Eberle and him, but the problem is he most likely wants to go to Boston. Seguin has repeatedly said the he wants to go to the team that wants him the most. Clearly, the best situation all around is to draft Seguin, but if Hall can play center it makes the choice much harder. This is a very tough decision for McGregor and the rest of the scouts too make.

  • FROM THE OILERS

    Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Potulny and defenceman Taylor Chorney have been invited to represent the United States at the upcoming 2010 World Hockey Championship being held in Cologne, Gelsenkirchen and Mannheim, Germany from May 7-23, 2010.

    Potulny and Chorney were two of the first 12 players announced by USA Hockey earlier today.

    Chorney, who hails from Hastings, Minnesota, appeared in 42 games for Edmonton collecting three assists. He also played in 32 games with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League recording 13 points (4G, 9A).

    Chorney was a two-time member of the U.S. National Junior Team (2006, 2007) and member of the gold medal-winning 2005 U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team.

    Potulny, a native of Grand Forks, North Dakota, played in 64 games this season for the Oilers collecting 32 points (15G, 17A). This will be Potulny’s debut with Team USA.

  • Robin,
    You are one of the top 3 Oilers Insiders in this city in my opinion. No offense to Gregor because I like his show a lot, but when you are on it, those are the best days to listen in. I'm going to float this idea out there as a regular listener to 1260 who would love this:

    Why not give Robin his own show on 1260 on a regular basis? I for one would love that.

  • DougWeightProblem

    Brownlee, what do you think of Souray's alleged reasons for wanting to be moved. In the Spector piece, his reasons amounted to: (i) undue pressure was placed on him by "management" to play when he hadn't fully recuperated from shoulder surgery; and (ii) management didn't communicate with him properly after he suffered the hand injury in January.

    Would you agree with me that these reasons are nonsense, and that the real issue here is Souray's greed? He jumped at the biggest offer he received, and, after locking that in, began working on his exit strategy?

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Robin,

    You don't have to go on here to prove anything, man. You have always been a respected journalist in Edmonton, and I've loved reading your stuff in the Journal for as long as I could remember. (Sun, Journal?? – who reads newspapers anymore?)

    I always really enjoyed your pieces just before each draft. They always had a great break-down of not only the top prospects that year, but the players who had a possibility of being in the neighbourhood of where the Oilers were picking that year. You talked about not just the players but the Oilers level of interest, and who you thought they should look at. I think that is where I got my love of following the draft, and what made me such a follower of it today!

    • Petr's Jofa

      I just can't see them shipping Iggy out this year. Sutter's got to be on a short leash and and trading Iggy would be the beginning of re-build that I don't think the Sutters could survive. Soley from a GM job preservation standpoint, I think Iggy's a flame next year.

      • Me too, but is this a sign of a guy that's already been contacted about a trade, or maybe even has himself requested a trade?

        I think Iggy probably has more rope than Sutter, but who knows. He already traded his big defenseman and Centerman, why not make it a Hat Trick and go for the Winger too?

        Calgary is way worse off than Edmonton right now.

  • @ Crash

    Our little debate provides me with good entertainment, so I'll keep it going.

    My post in the previous article about powerplay versus even-strength goals was not intended to detract from Hall's willingness to engage physically. I used that stat to show that Seguin shouldn't be dismissed as a soft perimiter player. Soft perimiter players usually get their points from the powerplay, no? Now I will reiterate again that this is not a slight against Hall, but rather an argument that Seguin isn't as soft as you think him to be. He gets the majority of his goal scoring 5 on 5, which suggests that he has what it takes to go the net.

    I would also argue that the Oilers DO have players both on the current roster and in their system that aren't afraid to work in dirty areas. I believe from what I've heard that Svensson has both the size, speed, and ability to drive the net and get some dirty goals. We know that despite his size, Eberle also isn't afraid to play around the net and get himself into good goal-scoring positions.
    And I would say that Brule really drives the net and plays physical, and Penner does have a nose for the net when he feels like it. As for Hemsky, I know he can get a hard time around here, but I personally feel he doesn't often shy away from physical play. That's not to say he throws his weight around, but he's not scared of anybody either. So your argument of the Oilers needing someone to be physical and drive the net over a center with size isn't as sound as you think it is.

    Now, I do concede that Hall is obviously a more proven player in pressure situations. That point goes to Hall no doubt. But if Hall and Seguin were to switch teams, would be it be so clear cut? I don't think so. You also asked how many points Seguin had in the world juniors. I'll ask you this: How many points did Hall have in HIS first world juniors? What's that? He didn't make the team? Oh.

    One final point I wish to debate with you. You keep saying Hall has three proven seasons to Seguin's one. Well, I'll remined you again that he's played one less year than Hall, and the first half of the first season, Seguin wasn't on the first line. As soon as there was a coaching change and Seguin was put on the first line, he has produced just as well as Hall.

    So eat that Crash, and choke on it!! 😉

    • I'm not going to rehash everything for you again so I'll just keep it recent.

      Simply put when faced with a pressure situation and a head to head battle with Hall, Seguin crapped the bed completely…he was negated in a junior series….he didn't play well defensively and he offered up NO offense…so in effect when the games became more important and he was faced with a challenge he FAILED to deliver ANYTHING, nada, zip, not even a single secondary assist….he disappeared from the radar. I don't care what position he plays if the guy cracks under pressure then what good is he? Maybe there's a good reason he was an early cut from the world jr team….in any event to me Hall is more of a sure thing and I'd rather not gamble with this pick.

      I'm not sure what you're asking as to how many points did Hall have in his first world jr's…but the answer is 12…just happened a few months ago if you remember…if you're trying to point out that he didn't play on the world jr team in his 1st season…it's most likely that having just turned 16 he had too many 19 yr olds ahead of him….NO ONE makes the world junior team at age 16.

      The fact that Seguin has played one less year in the OHL than Hall and that they are both virtually the same age should at least tell you something but I'll leave that up to you to figure out.

      As I mentioned to you already..it's not just me that has said that the Oilers lack guys who like to get greasy and drive the net…the present coach and previous coach have said the same thing…maybe you should let them know that they actually do have all these guys you say that do it.

      Oh and by the way I'm not really one for disrespecting people or name calling on this site unless talked down to first…so I wanted to point out that you were the 1st one to use the "eat that" phrase when this debate started and now you've thrown in the choke on it phrase. That's very impressive.

  • The fact that Seguin has played one less year in the OHL than Hall and that they are both virtually the same age should at least tell you something but I'll leave that up to you to figure out.

    Did it tell you that it's because Seguin was born in '92 and Hall was born in '91?

    • Eddie Shore

      Do you realize that there are actually 12 months in a year and that being born in Nov of 91 compared to Jan of 92 isn't really a year apart and is more like 2 1/2 months?

      • Eddie Shore

        No kidding. Thanks for the math, but the calendar year is the reason Seguin has a year less of junior.

        I'm with you on the track record argument, because Hall has a vastly superior history to date, but your veiled point about Seguin playing a year less of junior is not really a valid one.

        • Are you saying Seguin was ineligible for junior because of his January birthdate? If so I was unaware of it…I don't know what the eligibility rules for major junior are. I just figured because they were both NHL draft eligible the same year that they were both OHL eligible at the same time.

          If that's true then I agree it's unfair to say that Hall made it into junior before Seguin.

          But I'm still on the Team Hall bandwagon.

  • @Tiger

    We'll leave that to him "to figure out.".

    And the first time Hall was invited to the World Junior's camp, he was 17, and he didn't make it. Seguin too was 17 this year, and he didn't make it.

    Just for the record, I think Hall has certain aspects to his game that make him a better option, but the same goes for Seguin. Whoever the Oilers pick, I'll be confident that we picked a superstar, because I'm a fan and I always believe in this team, even when we finish last. But what it really boils down to is that having Seguin and Gagner as a 1, 2 combo is a good way to start building a championship team. Gregor himself has written articles that show being strong up the middle is a key ingredient to winning it all. Plus, we already have Penner and Svenson at LW. Those are two power forward type players, thus leaving less room for Hall than there is for Seguin. Regardless, I enjoyed our debate. It's all in good fun, right…

    Despite the fact that you insinuated I have disrespected you or used name calling. This after telling Tiger that because of the smilie faces in our posts, there was no malice. Seems a bit contradictory. And if anything, the tone of your posts have been much more aggressive than mine. But whatever, that's probably just your personality, so I take no offense.

    Peace

    • Actually your post in the debate was the 1st one and ended in the eat that phrase which did turn up the heat a bit…

      As far as being contradictory I actually did think that there was no malice until you threw in the choke on it phrase…that kind of sealed it for me that there actually was malice intended.

      But it's not really a big deal or I likely would have responded again in a similar fashion…

      In any event the debate will rage on for some time to come

      As far as Penner goes…I have a feeling we'll only have him for 2 more years or maybe even less…someone else stated that this team pretty much needs everything…I do believe that if the Oilers wanted…Hall could play center as he's played it all his life up until junior

  • Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but Seguin was drafted the next year after Hall because 2007 was his 15 year old season even though he's only a couple months younger.

    There has been quite a bit written on this issue over the years because minor sports favors kids born in the first part of the year.

    I think JW even wrote something about it a while back.

  • Please know that there was no malice intended whatsoever. I'm not that kind of person at all. Sorry if it came over that way. By next year, and after selecting Hall or Seguin, both of us will be so pleased with how he's playing that there will never be any malice on this site again, imagined or otherwise. 😉

    As for Penner, I'm pretty hopeful that he resigns. It was pretty obvious from this year that Quinn liked him, and if the team improves like I think it will in the next two years, I'm confident a deal can get done.

    • I really do hope that both players wind up being great players and most likely they will…I guess that's why there is such a big debate about the two…

      I am the same as you..an Oiler fan through and through in good times and bad and I just want this pick to turn out very badly…

      I hope you're right and we'll all end up being extremely happy after we get our guy…I only hope there aren't people who are on one side or the other that are too harsh on whoever it is we end up with.

      I too would like to see Penner resign…Hemsky too…

      Good to know there was no malice intended…I guess I get a little on edge as some people on here really do turn this site into a battle ground at times and I find myself in defense mode most of the time….it's hard at times to tell who is kidding around and who isn't.

      Cheers

  • Well it's good to see that you would like to keep Hemsky and Penner. When I see so many comments on here about trading those guys, I have to give my head a shake. In my opinion it would be stupid to trade away our two most proven forwards. Let's see what they can do with the young guys next year. I mean, they can always be traded next year if it doesn't look like it's working out.
    But I firmly believe that with some really high- end prospects playing with Penner and Hemsky over the next two years, this team can be really exciting to watch, which would hopefully in turn lead to some success.

    I guess I just don't understand trading away a near point per game player in Hemsky and a 30 goal scorer in Penner for draft picks that might or might not turn out. Let's not forget we do need to ice a team next year. It can't be composed entirely of first year players.

    • Now we're talkin'…Myself, I wait until the Oilers are eligible to extend both players…then if at that point they can't get them signed then yes move them for something…

      I agree having Penner and Hemsky to play with our up and comers could be fun to watch…and being a season ticket holder I really don't want to watch a team full of pluggers and 1st year players

  • I think it's a good time to be a season ticket holder. If nothin else, the team should be fast and able to score. Well, at least more than this year. I mean, they can only improve, right?

    And the more I think about getting Hall or Seguin, the more excited I get. I wasn't even born when the Oilers were in the glory days, so I've never seen a superstar in Oiler silks. This is our first genuine shot at a potential superstar in many many years, so I for one am quite happy we finished last! Ha ha

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Not sure what JW referenced for the January birthdate thing, but if you want an interesting read on the subject, go pick up 'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell. It is a real phenomenon…and I'm sure Oilers Management is well aware of it. So, if we pick Seguin and send him back to Junior, and he gets even more points on the same crappy team, does that mean he's better than Hall?

    Either way it's still a crapshoot. Nothing's ever guaranteed. I'm completely (and happily) on the fence.

    Unless there's an attitude issue, no reason to trade Penner – he's not dealing with injuries. If anything – if he shows next year he's on the same good path, sign him to an extension. Hemsky, however, has had the same shoulder surgery as Horcoff (from what I understand). Meaning that we can expect a sub-part season from him this year, and then the following year is his contract year – where he'll probably have a career year, then get the hell out as a UFA. Trade him now…we could get a lot for him and be better off in the long run. Especially if Brownlee's hunches are correct concerning his state of mind…

  • This "bagged milk" kid is a tedious little bugger, isn't he. I suppose he's the prototypical internet tough guy, and this is the age we live in.

    Still … sheesh. Someone should tell his mom. Seriously, if you know his mom, let her know. It's for his own good. Bless him.

  • Robin,

    Personally I hold you to a higher standard than most of the local guys, Stauffer as well, though that ship has sailed.

    There is no sport in mocking Staples for an idiotic observation regarding gameplan. Hell, it would be a full time job if one were foolish enough to read all of his stuff. He's a clinical idiot. The fact that he has a long history of being a douchebag just makes the insults roll out more freely. Nothing more or less.

    I'm not patrolling the Oiler fan idiot fence, so far it's separated the population of Oiler fans organically, and I'm cool with that. But what is it about Staples writing that draws you in? Can you explain how much he's taught you about the game of hockey at the pro level? I;m a Stalesciple too, Robin, sparkling insight from that cat. I guess I'm just looking for confirmation from another credible source.

    A Robin Brownlee article entitled: 'Things David Staples Taught Me About Hockey' would be great. I think your readers here would enjoy it also.

    • I don't know if David has taught me anything, but I find the fan/reporter hybrid interesting and he's always dicking around with his errors and "real" plus-minus, which often gets me thinking. I like that, even though I disagree with many of the conclusions he draws.

      He also gets the occasional inside stuff on the Czech players because of Peter Adler, who used to be a desker at The Journal and was the unofficial Czech welcome wagon for many years.

      And, like I said, I've always considered him a very solid news reporter.