TORONTO, ON - MARCH 13: Gilbert Brule #67 of the Edmonton Oilers skates in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 13, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Leafs defeated the Oilers 6-4. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Having already been tendered qualifying offers by the Edmonton Oilers, Gilbert Brule, Jeff Deslauriers and J.F. Jacques have filed for salary arbitration, as per a news release by the NHLPA.

So, while GM Steve Tambellini got his biggest signing of the off-season done today by inking Taylor Hall to a three-year entry level contract, he’s still got some work remaining at the contract table.

— Brule made $800,000 in salary in 2009-10, a season in which he scored 17-20-37 and was minus-8 in 65 games. Those totals put Brule fourth in team scoring behind Dustin Penner, Sam Gagner and Ryan Whitney.

— Deslauriers earned $700,000 last season, one in which he carried most of the load as the starter after Nikolai Khabibulin went down with a back injury. He made a career-high 48 appearances, going 16-28-4 with a 3.26 goals-against average and saves percentage of .901.

— Jacques, limited to 49 games because of back problems, made just $525,000 this season, one in which he scored 4-7-11 and was minus-15 with 78 penalty minutes.

The deadline for team-elected salary arbitration notification is tomorrow at 5 p.m. EDT. Hearings will be held in Toronto July 20 to August 4.


I had a chat with former Oilers captain Jason Smith the other day and I came away from the conversation with the feeling it’s only a matter of time that he gets back in the game.

In what capacity, I don’t know, although there’s a lot of people out there who feel Smith has the credentials and experience that would make him a good assistant coach.

As for the timing of any return, Smith, who has moved his family back to Calgary from Ottawa, didn’t commit to a timeline.

"I’ve definitely thought about it, but I’m not sure about the time commitment or if I’d like to start out coaching," Smith said. "I’ve enjoyed this year off, so we’ll have to see. It might be nice to get back in."


— Tambellini said today not to expect any further deletions from the scouting staff, although he left the door open for some additions to chief scout Stu MacGregor’s crew.

— MacGregor is taking some time for rest and relaxation after the Entry Draft and won’t attend the prospects camp that begins at Clareview Arena Tuesday. It’ll be overseen by director of player development Mike Sillinger.

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

  • Hey Robin, I brought up the idear of Bob Boughner joining the staff as he seemed a good fit – ex-player, guy to run the D, Hall connection, impressive resume in B2B Memorial Cups, etc. I was just wondering if that was ever considered by the Oilers or if they missed the boat with him? And what’s the deal with the delay in the Bonner announcement?

    Oh… and WTF is JFJ thinking?

  • Original West Coast Oil

    I would expect one of JDD’s agent’s main arguments for more dough would be he was the “#1” after Bulin went down and all the starts he got.

    Well, Brownlee suggested and I think many agreed that they should have been playing Dubnyk more, once playoff writing was on the wall, to obtain more information to be able to make better decisions regarding his future with the club.

    No, Quinn went with the “known” quantity in JDD in an attempt to get into the playoffs when it was clear it wasn’t happening. (I thought that whole “mini-camp” thing was silly, and I don’t imagine the players liked it that much)

    So, to me, those extra games played by JDD are not because he was the backstopper, but because Quinn wanted his playoff push and went with the devil he knew.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Hey R.B. – what do you think Brule’s chances are to center Taylor Hall this year…or down the road? I would like to see him have that chance.

    Also, I see a lot of depth charts have Brule listed as our right-winger instead of at center. Your thoughts on whether or not you see him as our center going forward, please.

    Personally, I love Brule’s game. I like a guy who is not only talented, but will hit anything that moves! He has speed to burn, plays a sound defensive game to my eye, and I believe has a huge offensive up-side still. Can’t wait to see what he can do surrounded by some talent!

    • I’d use pencil on Brule in terms of position because I’m not sure Renney has decided where he fits.
      Sure, Brule “could” centre Hall, but we aren’t going to know if that’s a match until they get some time on the ice together. Given Brule’s speed, I’d think Renney will at least look at it, but that doesn’t mean they’re a fit.

      OWCO: I’m not aware of anything in the CBA preventing a team from trading a player who has filed for or been to arbitration. I can’t see JDD getting an award so high the Oilers would walk away.

      • To walk away from Deslauriers or Jacques award, it would need to be above a certain minimum threshold. Not entirely sure what that number would be (maybe you can find out Robin, if you get a chance to ask Steve or Rick?), as it is indexed to the average annual salary, but it was 1.04 mil in 2006, so it’s probably above 1.3 mil at this point.

        • I was not aware of this, but you may be right. The CBA states:

          12.6. Walk-Away Rights.

          (a) If a Club has elected to arbitrate a one year contract,
          and the award issued is for $550,000 or more per annum, then the
          Club may, within 72 hours after the award of the Arbitrator is
          issued (or if a Club has any other player still eligible for
          salary arbitration at that time and for whom a decision has not
          been rendered by an Arbitrator at that time, and the Club still
          has a walk-away right available to it in such League Year
          pursuant to paragraph (d) below, 72 hours after the award of the
          Arbitrator for such other player is issued), notify the player,
          the NHLPA and the NHL in writing that it does not intend to
          tender to the player a Player Contract based on the award as
          determined by the Arbitrator. Upon receipt of that notice, the
          player shall automatically be deemed to be an Unrestricted Free
          Agent, subject to the provisions of paragraphs (c) and (d) below.


          (e) The dollar amount of $550,000 set forth in each of
          paragraphs (a) and (b) above, shall be increased on an annual
          basis at the same percentage rate of increase as the Average
          League Salary, with the commencement of the 1996/97 League Year
          being the first year such increase shall take effect. By way of
          example, if the Average League Salary on June 30, 1996 has
          increased by 10% from the Average League Salary on June 30, 1995,
          then the figure of $550,000 stated in paragraphs (a) and (b)
          above, shall be increased by 10% on June 30, 1996, and the
          ability of a Club to walk-away from an arbitration award rendered
          after June 30, 1996, shall be adjusted accordingly. For each
          League Year thereafter, a similar comparison and adjustment shall
          be made.

  • LOL @ JFJ, he just potentially screwed himself out of a one way NHL contract. I could see Tambellini walking away from Jacques and/or Deslauriers if either is awarded 1 penny more than the Oilers are offering.

    Seriously, Jacques should find a new agent.

  • So JFJ is insane? I didnt realize that being a fringe player with questionable skills and a wonky back made you a prime candidate for salary arbitration. By the grace of the hockey gods (and Steve Tambellini’s subconscious attraction to large men) he was qualified ahead of people who actually contributed to an NHL club. I didnt understand Tambellini’s decision to qualify him, I am even further flabergasted by JFJ’s decision.

    This is mind bottling.

  • Mills

    Word is that JFJ is using Ethan Moreau (2 Mil) and Derek Boogard (1.65) as comparables. Also, Jacques provided a list of the 4 cup contenders that he would be willing to play for.

    lol. Unreal.

  • Original West Coast Oil

    R.B. wondering what your thoughts are regarding JDD. We already know Tamby has said he will not revisit the 3 headed monster so, if JDD gets to arbitration and is awarded an amount that Tamby is not happy with do you think he will just walk away?
    My worry would be they refuse to lose an asset for nothing (walking away,)accept the ruling and then move Dubnyk to try and get something (anything) back. Unless they can manage to trade JDD before his ruling comes up because if I am not mistaken once you accept a ruling you cannot trade the player for 1 year.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      Unless they can manage to trade JDD before his ruling comes up because if I am not mistaken once you accept a ruling you cannot trade the player for 1 year.

      you are mistaken.

      this is another of the many myths of the CBA

  • Blue Blooded

    Ha… aw Jacques… you hulking dumbass. We have to sign Brule I believe. Hmmmm… and I was just thinking, (I’m sure someone will attack me on this one but here we go) WHY NOT BRING BACK DOUG WEIGHT?!?!? Would be a great guy to mentor the young’ns plus we need a freaking captain! I think he’d be perfect, and it would add experienced down the middle of our lineup. Last interview I heard with him he went on about his appreciation for his playing years in Edmonton. Class act that guy. What do you think RB? or readers??

  • Mills

    I really do not understand the outrage concerning Jaques arbitration filing. It seems a logical business tactic to undertake, and I am not joking. The player has little to no leverage in negotiating a salary with the Oilers that would exceed the qualifying offer by anything more than a hair. Filing for arbitration provides at least the outside possibility that a third party rules he is valued at a salary ranging above the $575K he is likely currently being offered. Perhaps Jaques and his agent are looking for a longer term than the Oilers are willing to offer, not necessarily a higher salary, thus ensuring his one way contract beyond this year. If the ruling goes too high, and the Oilers walk (like they should), he will be able to find some team willing to take him on at approximately the same $575K, one year deal he was being offered by his current team. If the ruling doesn’t go his way, he can’t take a bath of more than 75K. The pros seem to outweigh the cons here, and these guys employ agents for a reason.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    I sure hope we don’t get fleeced by JFJ. I would also not be too hurt if JDD didn’t get an award. In fact, anyone with a 3 letter abreviation should be booted off the team. So high and mighty, using their extra name like that…

    The Oklahoma team might have the highest salary in the AHL. Souray, JFJ, JDD… yowza!

    – IAS.

  • Hey Robin,

    Can you give or do you have a little bit more info on Giroux? Those are pretty impressive numbers. Any reason why he hasn’t been able to make the ‘Show’. There’s guys out there who can’t put up those numbers when they play in the same league but now play in the NHL.

  • I posted in Lowetide’s thread this same thought: Maybe JFJ isn’t really “crazy”.

    Maybe he looks at the depth chart and is hoping for a change of scenery. Though where he would be good enough if he isn’t good enough here is another matter.

  • Brownlee:

    While you may have chatted with Gator directly, I’ve got a source (who isn’t a member of the press and may be privy to more candid info) who claims Smith has already been courted by a Southern market team and will be named an Assistant Coach before long.

    I broke the “scoop” here: http://slowfreshoil.blogspot.com/2010/06/florida-gator.html

    Take it for what you will. No one has any reason to trust my info, but I can confirm that it is only one degree away from the man himself.

    Only time will tell if I’ve got the goods 🙂

    • I don’t doubt he’s been approached, and by more than one team — I can tell you that much — so you might be right about Florida. He’s also had a chat with Kevin Lowe. I don’t think it’s a matter of if Smith gets back into the game, only when.

      Good job if you got the inside line, but one caveat: It’s not a “scoop” until it happens. Right now, as fans like to point out, you’re just speculating.

  • It’s not a “scoop” until it happens.

    Actually, it’s not a scoop until it happens. A “scoop” is me being realistic about my information and putting the quotations around the word to imply my facetiousness.

    Thanks for at least reading my URL, but my info points to TB not the Panthers (but there’s no punny Gator references using Tampa Bay).

    Anyway, glad to hear Smith might have lots of dates to the prom.