Waivers and buyouts

ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Ethan Moreau #18 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates after scoring a shorthanded goal in the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on February 10, 2010 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Oilers 3-2. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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?

Think again.

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.

  • MrCondor

    “I doubt it will be a seemless transition and the Oilers and their fans will have to endure some painful growing pains…” J. Gregor

    If this means the talented kids are playing and learning together, another finish in the bottom three will be enjoyable, knowing it will allow us to continue to stock the cupboards with up and comers.

    If the Oilers really do turn the corner, one Stu McGregor will deserve as many kudos as any player who laces up the skates or manager who makes trades.

    Do you care to speculate on the other changes you allude to?

    BTW – you and Brownlee did great work at the draft. More and more, you guys are becoming the go-to avenue for avid sports fans. Keep up the good work.

  • Ender

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    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 support your position through the article, Jason, and you highlighted several key points. The part about earning ice-time, however . . . good in theory, but there aren’t a lot of people left to compete for that ice-time. If Eberle has a mediochre camp, for example, exactly who is going to play him out of a roster spot?

    I think the recent moves were good and necessary, but they don’t exactly increase competition at camp. Only signing UFA’s this summer or inviting them to attend camp will do that.

    • Jason Gregor

      Right now you have Penner, Hall, Hemsky, Horcoff, Brule, Gagner, Cogliano, MPS, Eberle and Omark…Only six can be on top two lines…So I think Eberle still has competition.

      They can still compete for PP time amongst each other. Plus look for the Oilers to sign a few veterans who will play on 3rd line.

      The competition will be more amongst the young kids.

      • Ender

        Fair point, even if you have Gagner listed twice (yeah, I know he’s that good). Out of the forwards you’ve listed, though, I can envision two or three of those guys running on the third line pretty easily and Omark is still a bit of a dark horse in my mind to make the squad. I think there’s room for Hall and Eberle to stumble in camp and still have a job in the top six come opening night.

        • Ender

          Good call, Sandra. That’s who Jason meant to list instead of Gagner twice, I’m sure. So 10 forwards who would like to crack the top 6. Of those, I see Hemsky, Gagner, Hall, Eberle, and probably Penner being locks. Horcoff has an inside track being as Hall’s ability at centre is in question. So you have Cogs, Brule, MPS, and Omark trying to outplay someone to make it into the top six.

          Cogs and Brule I can see playing on the third line if necessary; they’ve been there before. What about MPS and Omark though? If they don’t crack top 6, do they get sent to Oklahoma? For your 13th forward, you know a bottom six guy like Reddox will be doing his damndest to prove that he belongs in the big club. That might be the biggest competition; for the 13th and 14th forward spots.

  • DoubleJ

    There’s two more guys to go. Souray and Cogliano. Souray is gone forsure and I think they’ll get something for Cogliano. Sergei Kostitsyn was just traded to Nashville for Dan Ellis and Dustin Boyd. Cogliano is more valuable then Sergei, right?

    • Jason Gregor

      Kostitsyn was an RFA as was Boyd. Ellis is an UFA, so who knows if Montreal even can sign him. I’m guessing all the future considerations hinge on which players get signed with their new teams.

      I wouldn’t have traded Cogliano’s rights for the rights to Boyd and Ellis. Cogliano is more proven at this point than Kostitsyn.

    • 3. Shawn “watch me watch their guy skate by me” Horcoff.
      Just because he isn’t concerned about his personal stats (but truly does care about the team stats) doesn’t make him a valuable piece of our future.

  • Victoria

    Here ends the 24 year chain of pain.

    Steve Smith scores in his own net to end Oilers playoff run in 1986

    Steve Smith traded to Chicago for Dave Manson

    Manson traded to Winnipeg for Boris Mironov and a first round pick

    First round pick turns into Jason Bonsignore

    Mironov traded to Chicago for Ethan Moreau (and others)

    Bonsignore traded to Tampa Bay for Roman Hamerlik

    Hamerlik traded to New York Islanders for Eric Brewer

    Eric Brewer traded to St Louis for Chris Pronger

    Pronger traded to Anaheim for Joffrey Lupul

    Lupul traded to Philidelphia for Joni Pitkanen

    Pitkanen traded to Carolina for Eric Cole

    Cole traded to Carolina for Patrick O`Sullivan

    Try as they might…they could not turn this (at one point) valuable asset into something that worked in Edmonton. Maybe with these demons exorcised today and this asset put to rest, better things are on the horizon.

    Let`s hope the same fate doesn`t await the two through in`s in the Pronger deal (Smid and the pick that became Eberle).

  • Quicksilver ballet

    As Edmontonians, shouldn’t we be embarassed by the goings on yesterday at Commonwealth Stadium. Come one and come all and participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Share and be part of the action and watch as our real heroes provide security for all of Canadas successful Olympians and their ten thousand dollar rings.


    I kinda liked Nilsson. It was fun to see him dish out big hits every once in a while. It’s too bad he doesn’t care the other 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999123456789% of the time. 🙁

    • If Shawn “watch me work out with the boss” Horcoff gets the C, then as far as I’m concerned, Oilers Nation may as well hire Dan Tencer to post blogs every day. I’ll be trying to build a life well away from the Oilers.

  • Stone Hands McOsta

    I could see the C being tossed on the right shoulder of one of two of the young leaders on our back end. I like Ryan Whitney as a leader, but maybe because he has only been here for 20-ish games that will put him out of contention. Which leaves us with Tom Gilbert. Still got a solid chunk of contract left, and was really a father figure to Sam/Cogs while living together. I think he’d be a good selection until one of Hall/Eberle mature and dawn the C for decades to come…

    *Snaps back to reality*


    When you stay at the dance til dawn you risk seeing your blind date in the full light of day. A box of beer ago and a mickey of CC has had a profound affect on her beauty.

    Moreau is no doubt a hell of a guy…no argument. But we can’t become all misty eyed and nostalgic when it comes to assessing him as a player, not to mention his performance as a captain. He sucked. From the moment he was made captain he changed the way he saw himself and changed his game. He tried to be something he wasn’t. What I recall is a selfish 4th line player who got put out there at the end of games when Hemsky sat on the bench. I recall a bevy of stupid penalties when he was 200 ft from his own net. I also recall his litany of excuses when speaking to the press after the umpteenth loss in a row.
    I recall a player who looked like a poodle humping a football when he skated down the ice.
    When you stay to long at the dance…er the game you risk the erosion of what you have accomplished earlier and changed perceptions.

    CC Fernando, Shawn, Kevin and MacT


    Oops, sorry for the misspell, my bad. I actually like Horcoff but not as Captain. I think Mike Comrie would be a better team Captain, just saying