The Oilers have waived Ethan Moreau, Patrick O’Sullivan and Robert Nilsson and I have it confirmed that all three have been bought out.
The Summer of Steve has included firing trainers, equipment guys, assistant GMs, head coaches but until yesterday there hadn’t been any player moves. After not qualifying Marc Pouliot and Ryan Potulny, Steve Tambellini continued to clean house and bought out Moreau, O’Sullivan and Nilsson.
Fans have been clamouring for player moves and that is five in two days, not to mention the Colin Fraser trade over the weekend. None of these moves will make the Oilers Cup contenders, but it’s clear that the Oilers feel player changes were necessary.
Wanye felt it was disrespectful to waive Moreau because he was the captain, but a buyout will actually benefit Moreau. He gets bought out for $1.16 million spread over two years. He is now an UFA and will sign a one-year deal with someone like LA, Tor, San Jose or maybe even Dallas. He will probably get $1 million with his new contract so he’ll make more than the $1.75 million he was due from the Oilers.
Some think players will shun the Oilers because of this?
If Taylor Hall, MPS and Jordan Eberle progress like scouts believe they will and the Oilers are a competitive team in a few years, no player will care that in the summer of 2010 they bought out three players. NHL players have a short memory, and if the Oilers are competitive in the future their chance of acquiring top-end players will increase.
These buyouts make sense.
Moreau needed to go and both he and the Oilers will benefit from this departure. He can still play in the NHL, and on a team where he is put into a pure energy/checking role he will still contribute.
Regardless of how you feel about Moreau as a player, fans need to realize how much he and his wife, Ornella, did in the community. They worked tirelessly for a variety of charities, and a lot of the time they worked on events they weren’t scheduled to be a part of. You can’t overlook regardless of how much Moreau struggled on the ice recently.
Not every player and his wife take the charitable work as serious as the Moreaus did and that can’t be forgotten now that Moreau is no longer an Oiler.
POS is an enigma. I have no idea how he will perform elsewhere, but I don’t see his departure as a loss at all, in fact I see it as a plus. He was inconsistent at best, and I think his attitude was a big reason why he was bought out. O’Sullivan didn’t want to be held accountable for his play. Rarely did he think he played poorly, and with so many young players coming in that sort of attitude couldn’t exist.
Nilsson as frustrating as he has been since coming to Edmonton from the Islanders, is the one who might, and I express a big MIGHT, turn out to be a player. The Oilers couldn’t afford to wait any longer for Nilsson to consistently play up to his ability, and decided to let him go.
Nilsson could easily go back to Sweden and never be heard from again or he could be in the NHL years from now. That is the kind of enigma a guy like represents.
Eberle and MPS will replace 12 and 19, at least on the depth chart, and it remains to be seen if they will be more productive, but today’s moves cemented that Tambellini and the Oilers will be giving their young players every chance to succeed.
I doubt it will be a seemless transition and the Oilers and their fans will have to endure some painful growing pains, but today’s moves needed to be made, and I don’t think the house cleaning is complete. They can’t change all the players, but its about time that the players realize that they will be held accountable moving forward.
These moves should make all the remaining veterans and young players realize that they have to earn their spot and their icetime this season. I’m not sure that has been the case for a few years, and hopefully these moves today are proof that the players will be held as accountable as the trainers, equipment guys, coaches and management moving forward.