More Finns the Better!

It is a well known fact that the Edmonton Oilers are a better team with Finns.

When the Oilers were running with the big clubs (actually they were CLUBBING the big clubs) Finland was well represented on the roster. Jari Kurri to Jussi Markkanen, Edmonton has a bond with that wacky Republic.

It hasn’t hit the MSM media yet, but the Oilers have apparently hired former SM-Liiga GM Matti Virmanen as a scout. The report is here, and is about one month old according to that article (and known to readers of Kiekkolehti). Added to the reported signing of Pelle Eklund as a European scout, the team does appear to be addressing European scouting after the loss of Kenta Nilsson and the relocation of Frank Musil.

Stu (Magnificent Bastard) has used Europe quite often since taking over as scouting director. Edmonton has called 23 names since MBS took over, and 7 of those names were playing in European leagues: Johan Motin, Teemu Hartikainen, MPS, Anton Lander, Toni Rajala, Martin Marincin and Kristians Pelss represent a very nice group of draft picks and pretty much all have their arrows pointed in a good direction. 

The report suggests that Virmanen (a great possible nickname just sitting there) will also be looking for players at the pro level, meaning some Jan Hejda’s could be coming this way. All in all, a solid choice.  

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Honestly a month old and know one knows about this? Why would the Oilers keep this a secret? Is he being paid under the table?

    Regardless nice to see they are adding to the staff, I’ll have to do some research before making more of a comment.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Years ago……….1984 I was in Helsinki, Finland, I walked into shop, they had 2 types of hockey jersey’s for sale….Jokerit and Edmonton Oilers!

  • Shapeman

    Hey guys as per Spectors, something possibly brewing between Wash, Van and Oilers. Sounds like T.Fleishman is involved along with Souray and Bieksa? Would Fleishman be a good addition?

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Somewhat I would say. Played some PK last year and had 51 points in 69 games. Sounds like his effort has been questioned at times though. For Souray though I think it would be a heck of a deal. His assets make him out to be a Hemsky like player.

      ASSETS: Has outstanding setup ability and an understanding of what to do with the puck on his stick. Can play both wing and center. Is silky smooth.

      FLAWS: Lacks strength, so he tends to lose several puck battles in the corners. Must continue to improve his play without the puck, as well as his face-off skills.

      CAREER POTENTIAL: Scoring forward.

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        That isn’t exactly a big concern is it? 3mil worth of salary that can either be buried in the minors or moved at the trade deadline.

        • Ball Buster

          No, it’s not a problem but if I’m Washington, why not let someone else pick up the tab?

          Just saying that if this rumour has any legs and there is any hesitancy from Edmonton, it could be that Washington is trying to throw that bum into the mix.

          Edit: Just re-read your post . . . by “isn’t exactly a big concern”, do you mean on the part of Washington or Edmonton?

  • ubermiguel

    Ummmmm…from the linked article: “In Finland his [Virmanen’s] reputation is somewhat questionable and it is safe to say that the majority of Jokerit fans were pleased when he quit last spring.”

    Did we get the Finnish Mike Milbury?

    • Marc

      A quick spin through Wikipedia tells us that he was GM from 1999-2008 before being moved upstairs. During his time as GM he won one European championship and one league championship, finished second in the league twice and fourth twice more. Jokerit’s Jr A (under 20), B (under 18) and C (under 16) teams also each won two league championships while Virmanen was GM.

      I think it’s safe to say that this is no Mike Milbury.

      • ubermiguel

        Ah, he’s the Finnish Kevin Lowe. 🙂

        Thanks for finding that. That plus Marc’s info about his experience with younger players, sounds like we’ll have some solid Finn prospects coming our way.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      I thought he had a NTC, but I just looked on capgeek and it expired last year so yes it would be breach.

      I wouldn’t be too worried about him not showing up at this point in his career he has no choice, unless he prefers Europe.

    • Pajamah

      I wouldn’t think the Oilers would want him here. Souray will play, but is just Washington taking on a high risk, bad contract. Fleishmann needs to be moved, but is paid modestly. Us taking Nylander is akin to Phoenix taking POS so that they could buy him out

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Minus top 4 ish defensemen

    Plus a winger

    Not exactly what the doctor ordered.

    Foster is a poor man’s replacement of the point shot so that is not missed but man that leaves a pretty suspect D with not a whole batch of rounded out prospects to call upon.

    Here’s hoping Peckham, Petry, Plante and Motin are NHL ready in the next couple years…(also that maybe the baby jesus appears and performs a miracle on chorney).

  • Ducey

    I don’t really see how Fleishmann is a great addition to the Oil. They have enough soft, talented guys up front. I guess the Oilers could use him as the number 1 center for awhile to protect the kids and then flip him at the deadline. Hard to get excited about that.

    I would however trade Souray for Nylander if Wash threw in a prospect or a draft pick.

    You have to think Wash wants to get to the finals and they are not going to do it with their D: Green, Poti, Schultz, Alzner, Carlson and Erskine. Some good players but not enough experience or toughness for a contender. Souray would be a decent addition, especially as he would be coming for essentially nothing (a sunk cost in Nylander). Hopefully this means the prospect or pick that would come back would be pretty decent.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Only way I would let this deal happen is if bieksa came our way. Without Souray our defence looks pretty bad with strudwick, peckham, and vandemeer our 5-7 dmen. That’s a pretty thin defence as all three are 7-8 depth dmen right now. Also Bieksa would bring that desperately needed toughness that Edm is lacking on their back end right now.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      I always liked Bieksa’s combination of toughness and decent offensive skills. Maybe Salo’s latest mishap might change the ‘Nucks mind about moving him?

      From the ‘Nuck Report:

      “So much for the Canucks having too many defensemen. Yet another injury to Sami Salo took care of that.

      News that the fragile Finnish defender had torn his Achilles while playing floorball shouldn’t have been a total shock given that he had suffered 39 previous injuries during an 11-season career. But failing to even make it to training camp is a new low for a player who has missed an average of 19 games over the last five seasons and has never finished a full 82-game schedule.”

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I think to remove the distraction has great value. If the Oilers were happy with a “Zero” return, a 51 point in 69 game forward is a step up.

  • Pajamah

    I’m a caps fan, and I have a semi-chub for most of their role players, that said, I’d take Boyd Gordon or David Steckel over Flash, just because of need. Fleishmann could be a Ville Leino-steal for some team, but we potentially have 3-4 young guys who can do that job

  • Pajamah

    I’m a caps fan, and I have a semi-chub for most of their role players, that said, I’d take Boyd Gordon or David Steckel over Flash, just because of need. Fleishmann could be a Ville Leino-steal for some team, but we potentially have 3-4 young guys who can do that job

      • Bob Cobb

        Calgary Herald had a story about them something along those lines but purly gossip, its in the entertainment section, I had to check my sources. When I read it I had my own “So you’re saying there’s a chance” Lloyd Christmas, Dumb and Dumber type of moment.

    • Hemmercules

      Bobby Ryan has the 2005 draft year second contracts all backed up. Around 25% of the 1st rounders in that draft class, including Cogliano have not signed. Gagner sort of gets lumped into that bunch because he is “tied” to Cogliano.

      That Perron (and somebody else) sign for under $2 million has also contributed to the logjam.

      It isn’t just the Oilers.

  • freshpotofcoffey

    forgive my ignorance, but what does it mean when it says frank musil has relocated?? Is he still working for the oilers organization or what?? Thanks!

  • a lg dubl dubl

    hmmm interesting trade rumor bout washington and oilers i traded for fleishmann in NHL 10 but i traded moreau to get him tho lol

    if the oilers did get Fleishmann wonder if that means cogs is on the outs again