Credit where credit is due, this skit form the 2010 NHL Awards is actually quite hilarious. It must make Kevin Lowe’s eyes bleed to see Bobby Ryan upright, a force in the NHL and sporting a silver medal. But it could be worse.

You could be placing your Captain on waivers.

According to TSN.ca:

The Edmonton Oilers housecleaning is well underway as forwards Ethan Moreau, Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan were all placed on waivers on Tuesday setting in motion the buyout process.O’Sullivan is scheduled to make $2.95 million next season, while both Moreau and Nilsson are slated to earn $2 million each. 

Let’s take a moment to allow all of this to settle in shall we?



In addition to sporting the unfortunate initials P.O.S, Patrick O’Sullivan disappointed in his first year as an Oiler scoring 11 goals and adding 23 assists for a total of 34 points in 73 games. The fact that the Oilers would place the 6th highest point collector from last year on waivers is testament to how frustrating ol’ Patty von Frustratington had become to Coaches and Team Brass alike.

The flashes of brilliance that POS would display from time to time made his other wise ghost like play all the worse. If someone is just plain bad, you can simply say aloud "oh that guy? It’s not his fault he (INSERT GAFFE HERE). He just plain sucks. Other fans will nod solemnly, agreeing that you can’t blame a crappy player for being crappy any more than you can blame the Sun in the sky for shining so brightly.

But if that same crappy player can occasionally light the lamp, take a guy wide on the outside or make an all world pass it becomes one of those things that eventually leads your Head Coach getting "sideways promoted" and gets you bought out of an expensive contract.

We really had hoped you would fit in on this team Patrick. But your compete level registered somewhere between "really really low" and "none."

Don’t let the you know what hit you in the you know where.


Ah Robert Nilsson. How high our hopes were for you too once upon a time. You buttery soft 25 year old waste of exceptional skills, we now see how wrong we were. Speaking of low compete levels, you are one of the worst we have ever seen. If your heart was half of your skills you would be a perennial 20 goal scorer in the NHL.

Instead you are being bought out of your contract after 252 career games.

Good work.

We actually owe you a special debt of gratitude as it was your arrival in Edmonton as part of the Ryan Smyth trade that led to the eventual creation of the OilersNation. When our beloved Ryan Smyth was dealt the only news on oilers.nhl.com was annoucning that "The Oilers acquire Robert Nilsson." The subsequent rage we felt as a fan begat a Ryan Smyth protest site which begat the Nations. Thank you for that "Sir."

Buying you out won’t bring our favourite Oiler of all time back, but it is a start in erasing the past 4 seasons of our life.


Placing your Captain on waivers to start the buyout process is either a) truly the only move left at your disposal or b) classless. For the life of us we can’t figure out which category this falls under.

It must be noted that Ethan Moreau has been a tremendous Oiler during his eleven years in Edmonton. There are very few players who have been able to bounce back from such horrifying injuries as Moreau, nor are there many who make as positive an impact in the community. Anyone who comes on here and chirps a guy like Ethan Moreau needs to have their heads examined and then possibly bashed in.

It is astounding to look at the career of Moreau and see where things have ended up. Sure scoring 9-9-18 in 76 games isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. Sure being -18 on the worst team in the entire NHL isn’t something you would ask to have mentioned at your retirement dinner.

But placing the Captain on waivers? Really? We can’t ever recall a team doing something like this. Warranted or not, you would think that the 12th Captain in a storied franchise such as this deserves better. The dignity of departing via trade – even for a late round draft pick – should have been extended to the guy.

Don’t tell us you couldn’t get anything in return Steve. The Captain deserves better.

Hat Tip to R Kenny.


We will leave the in depth post mortems to the heavyweights. But today truly marks a changing of the guard. And it also shows that the Oilers won’t be taking the "less pressure on the kids" route of development next year.

Rather than potentially allowing Eberle, MPS, Hall and Omark the option of playing a year in the AHL with less pressure, these 3 roster holes – plus failing to offer Potulny and Pouliot offers – now has 5 forward spots wide open for the taking come training camp.

Ready or not – get ready for the kids.

  • As bad as the optics on the Moreau deal might be, the way that Dallas has handled Modano has been far worse, IMO.

    First stripping him of the C last year, and then not allowing him to finish a great career with the team he built in Dallas.

  • It’s a lose/lose situation as far as turfing your captain either by stripping the “C” or waiving; but I just keep coming back to the thought that if he was a great guy in the dressing room and a good leader they could have probably overlooked his shortcomings as a player and kept him on. They didn’t, so what does that say about him?

  • misfit

    I think buying out Moreau is a much better move than what Tampa Bay did with Andreychuk. It’s clear that it was time to part ways, and it was equally clear that he had no trade value. I’d much rather see him bought out and given a chance to sign on with another team than sent to the minors and have to finish his career on the bus.

  • Eric Johnson

    if the Oilers Brass could have got something for thecaptainmoreau by golly they would have.

    He’s free to find work and say goodbye to a team that is moving in a new direction.

    I doubt at this point in his career that he is aching to be part of a lengthy re-build.

    All this the Oilers are classless stuff is way out of line.

    The fact that they waited until the last possible minute to put these guys on waivers tells you that all three were being shopped to the end.

    the guard is changing and the culture is changing and maybe now the disconnect between the veterans and the young guns will end.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I wouldn’t feel sorry for Moreau either. Now he gets his wish, he can go where ever he wants and min. wage pretty much gives him his full salary for the year.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    You realize he was ‘C’ because there was no one else that could wear it, right?

    He’s not an effective Captain, and it’s time to see him leave.

    Yes, he’s a nice guy; yes, he did great things for charity; yes, blah blah blah. Fact is this team is rebuilding, and it needs to dump the dead weight. Sometimes nice guys have to take the fall. Ryan Smyth, anyone?

    I won’t miss Moreau as a Captain. As a 4th line player, sure. But let’s be clear here: He is injury prone, and he’s past his prime (if he ever had one).

    And comparing his exit to the Oilers being a storied franchise is a bit grandiose, isn’t it?

    Your statement would be wholly accurate if we let a guy like Stevie Y go on waivers. Or even Iggy.

    He hasn’t provided the leadership this team needs – let’s get him to a team where he can.

    Do we have a Captain now? Nope. Horcoff, no. Hemmer, no. Cogs, no. Gagner, no. Penner, no. Souray, no.

    NHL rule says we can have 3 ‘A”s, and that’s what I think we should do.

    Anyway, I agree with your comments on Nilsson and O’Sullivan.

  • Ducey

    Ready or not – get ready for the kids.

    I don’t think so – they still have too many guys:

    Hemmer, Gagner, Penner, Horcoff, Hall (thats 5) will play top 6 for sure.

    Fraser, Storts, Jones, Stone, JFJ (say 4) are all in the mix for the bottom 6

    That still leaves Brule and Cogliano, plus a 3rd line center and maybe a Comrie re-sign.

    When I see Cogs leaving town, I might believe any of the kids other than Hall will make it up front.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Moreau has no place on this team as a player. The Oilers of 2010-11 are beyond him as a player. It is disappointing to see him put on waivers especially after all that he has done as a player and a citizen. I give Moreau the benefit of the doubt for his recent comments. I choice to believe that they come from frustration and negativity. If that is the case, can we really blame him?

    I think Tambi has missed a great opportunity here to keep this Oiler on board in an off-ice capacity. We have all these young kids coming in and we are rebuilding the farm. I can’t believe that there is not a place for him in the organization. How can there not be a place for the heart and courage of Moreau??

    • R.A. Slapshotzky

      As one of only 30 Captains in this league (greatest league in the world) you have to be better on all fronts. Maybe he lost sight of some of the qualities that got him in the league in the first place.

  • Cosmo

    As cold as might appear to me, this is a business. It might make Tambo look like a dick, but his job is to ensure that he has a winning product on the ice (or the best chance to get to that). He doesn’t get a bonus if by some miracle he doesn’t hurt any feelings in that process. There are definitely some dick moves that can be pulled by a GM (like having your buddy call you to tell you the trainer is pulling the name plate from your stall before you get to the rink – but I digress) however placing a Captain on waivers isn’t necessarily a dick move. It’s just good business.

    Best of luck to Moreau though – he could probably play a couple more years…

  • R.A. Slapshotzky

    We don’t owe anything to Ethan Moreau. His injuries obviously took there toll on him and tested his character. Had he faced far less adversity than he did, he may have be able to keep his head above water as Captain in Edmonton. Having been injured for 2 years, he must have become dis-connected from the dressing room and nhl. Moreau’s pride and demands of himselfs, blinded him into believing he could bounce back from his 2 year hiatus. He’s having a hard time staying in the league since then, let alone being a Captain. All the best to unlucky Ethan, but he probably never should’ve been Captain.

  • Spence.

    Of course he has a plan…rebuild!

    What are you talking about? This is the first time in a decade where we have had a plan…that is assuming you don’t count the ‘acquire a player at the deadline so we can finish 8th again’ plan.

  • Spence.

    I think we should wait a year until Taylor Hall lights it up, and then make him captain (ala Johnny Toews) This will surely be Hall’s team, going forward for the next 15 years so we should start it off right.

    BUT what they will do instead, is what every headcase loser GM does, and thats appease the “superstar”. Theyll give Hemsky the C to intice him to resign.

    P.S. We still should have taken Seguin.

  • Ender

    Moreau was a good soldier for the Edmonton Oilers. He played with fire and passion and skated every game with his heart on his sleeve. Beyond that, he was a good Captain. I’ve never sat next to him in the dressing room but everything I’ve read overwhelmingly points to the fact that he cared about his teammates and he tried to inspire them every day through both his example on the ice and through his willingness to help them individually. In any man’s army, Moreau was an officer.

    Trouble is, any player in the NHL today needs to have mad hockey skills. Time and again we’ve seen one-dimensional players cut from their teams as soon as it becomes obvious that they won’t or can’t elevate their games. Tough guys that can’t score (SMacintyre) are dinosaurs in today’s game. Middling scorers that aren’t tough (Nilsson) get shuffled around until they just fade away. And unfortunately, bottom six guys that aren’t enough of either get lost in the mix as well. Here we find the crux of the problem.

    Moreau still thinks he can be an effective hockey player in the NHL. He’d probably also like to believe that it should be worth $1.75M to a team for him to do it on their behalf. There’s an argument to be made for that, but the Oilers apparently believe that they can find someone to bring everything that he brought for less than $1.75M minus his buyout. Maybe they can; we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, though, there aren’t an awful lot of options for the team once they’ve made up their mind not to play him this season.

    Option 1: They could trade him. Like many who have posted already, I think the Oilers have probably offered to trade Ethan for pretty much anything the other team is willing to give. I don’t think anyone wanted him.

    Option 2: They could waive him. Until recently, I believed that players could be bought out without being waived. I’ve now been informed that the buyout process involves waivers as a first step. In any case, once a player is waived you can do any number of things from buying out the contract to playing them in the minors to putting them back on re-entry waivers and hoping another team picks them up for half-price.

    I don’t think Ethan would want to play in the minors, I don’t think the Oilers want to pay him $1.75M to do so, and I think everyone would agree that that’s a pretty ugly way for a guy like Ethan to end his career. Not going to happen.

    Re-entry waivers is risky because if no one picks him up, you haven’t fixed your problem.

    A buyout, then, seems to be what the Oilers are left with. Yes, the idea of waivers hurts, but it looks like the Oilers only options are either to do this or have someone polish up his helmet for 2010-11. With the buyout, Ethan has the possibility of getting paid by 2 NHL teams this season and the Oilers get the chance to try out a different player in that role on the bottom six. It ain’t perfect, but that might be as close to win-win as it gets for a situation like this one.

    Oh Ethan; why didn’t you just go out and score 40 goals last year?

  • Moreau threw his teammates (and particularly his goalies) under the bus this year. He gets all the props in the world for me for his humanitarian efforts and his charitable endeavours. That’s why he won the King Clancy. However, the true test of someone’s qualities as a captain is how they lead. He may have been this guy in the past but he certainly isn’t it any more.

    Slamming his teammates to the media (even if they do stink) was a very unclassy and uncaptainlike thing to do. As captain, if there was something that needed to be done in the room he needed to address the problem rather than be part of it. Taking it outside the room and to the papers was when he ceased being the captain of the squad to me.

    I have no problem with them putting him on waivers. If what this team needs is a fresh start and a new page to be turned then it is unfathomable that we should keep players like Moreau simply out of some kind of moral obligation. I’d bet he is back with the organization in some capacity once his days are done.

    • Victoria

      Yeah, this kind of stuff really bothered me. I understand the captain has to be the voice of accountability for his team, but it just seemed like he wasn’t taking any responsibility himself (or as a member of the veteran core), but blaming the kids.

      • Ender

        I’m not completely onboard with this. Certain comments printed by the media this year appeared to portray Moreau as a me-first kind of guy. I even got caught up in a few of them at the time. Looking at some of those comments in retrospect, though, I’m seeing instances where they could have been taken out of context or were incomplete quotes.

        Bottom line, a lot of the times where Moreau demanded accountability from his teammates it was assumed that he held himself blameless. Funny, though; I can’t remember seeing one comment where he said ‘Despite guys pulling tank jobs all around me, I think I played pretty well.‘ Just because the part where Ethan said that he sucked too wasn’t printed, doesn’t mean he didn’t think or say it.

  • Gregors dirty 'stash


    So if the three plugs who were waived today get picked up by anouther franchise, do the Coilers have to pay any of their Salary?

    And what happens if they are picked up after they clear waivers? what happens with the Coilers buyying them out in that situation?

  • jt in Oilertown

    These players were put on waivers today. The way I understand it, they stay on waivers for 24 hours, at which point the Oilers can (1) do nothing; (2) buy them out; or (3) recall the player, and hope they get claimed on re-entry (so they’re only on the hook for 1/2 the salary). If I understand it correctly, they have to buy the player out by end of day tomorrow. So, recalling the player is not an option; the buyout will likely take place.

    My question…why not put them through waivers earlier (say, a week before the draft)? You can then recall the player(s) and hope someone picks them up on re-entry. If nobody claims the player, then you repeat the process again today, still leaving enough time for the buyout to occur. No team in their right mind is going to claim a player today at $2m/yr when they probably can sign them for significantly less on July 1. If they claimed them last week on re-entry, each team would be on the hook for half the salary. Much more palatable for the team picking up the player, and the Oilers would only see the cap hit for one year at half the salary (a little higher than the buyout distribution, but it’s “one and done”)

    Or is there some clause in place that limits the number of times a player can be placed on waivers? Calling all capologists….

  • Clyde Frog

    I have great respect for Ethan as a player of much greater skill than I can ever hope to have and as a person in the community.

    That said, I don’t know anyone who can essentially be off for over 2 years and just step back in and perform at a high level in anything let alone the NHL. I don’t care how committed you are off ice, if you can’t play/practice full out you lose a lot more than just a step.

    The fact that he was able to step in and compete at all demonstrates his commitment and dedication to this team/sport.

    I wish it didn’t come to this but hope Ethan lands on another team and is able to show us the mistake Tambellini made. Sadly I would be happier than if he just vanishes.

    Ethan was put in a tough spot after our run, he had his team retooled and was asked to lead the team in the same sort of all out, block every shot, team toughness hockey we played in that magical run. I think our performance and injury history shows that it is possible to play that style of hockey in the playoffs and be successful, but in an 82 game season it just ends in frustrated vets, fired coaches and an unbelievable amount of injuries.

    I can only imagine the conversation with Ethan going into the season… “We decided we don’t want a tough guy, can you step up if we need you to? Good, we also had to get rid of our big D-men so there may be a few more shots then normal, can you block those? Great! Now we might struggle with scoring, so mind if you chip 20-30 this season? Great, now we will have a very young team, so just go ahead and do what we discussed AND teach the youngsters who were all drafted as 1st line scorers how to be 3rd line checkers first?”


    Ethan you have my thanks for the excitement you brought to the ice! I wish you all the luck with your next team.

    O’Sully and Nilson, good luck as well.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    This must be a difficult week for Kevin Lowe. If these are all his deals this may not reflect well on his resume. I’d have to think at the beginning of the next century the Oilers probably buy out the last 2 yrs of the Horcoff contract as well. Are the Oilers putting the boots to Robert Nilssons father as well?

    I know it’s still early but maybe this is K.Lowes WTF moment of the week.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Every team in the league knew that Moreau was available and all it took was something to make it legitimate to the league (a 20th round draft pick – just make it up). Nobody wanted him if they had to pay. We will see if he clears waivers. I think too many players have played here since Ethan got his crown in 2007 and nobody wants such an egomaniac in their room.

    Ethan perverted the Oiler tradition by making fun veteran-rookie stuff into some kind class culture where he was the king. Glad to see him go.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I don’t think giving the C to Horcoff is an option….he’ll be gone as soon as it makes sense financially. If you look a little closer it says Days are numbered on his back.