Armchair GM VII: Who farted?

"You stink!" "You stink worse!" This, in essence, is what the Battle of Alberta has come down to. With the Edmonton Oilers winless in 12 games and the Calgary Flames getting no sniff in the last nine, tomorrow night’s meeting in Cowtown shapes up like a purse fight. A slapping match.

So numb are some fans during a faceplant that now stands at 0-10-2 after Thursday’s 2-1 loss to St. Louis, they’re taking solace in knowing the Flames will show up Saturday with their asses in the breeze and their pants around their knees in the middle of a 0-6-3 embarrassment.

Given the circumstances, I guess there’s something to be said for that schadenfreude thing, but on top of taking comfort in Calgary’s sudden and shocking ineptitude, I’m thinking fans might be in for a helluva game.

Just when it looks like the fight has been taken out of the Oilers — and it has looked that way — I wouldn’t be surprised if they, and the Flames for that matter, show up for the puck drop hacked off and ready to go.

I’d like to think both teams are sick of gagging on the stench of defeat and that both outfits could stand to blow off some steam. That could make for a memorable tilt. And, it says here, another Oilers loss that runs the Dirty Dozen to Unlucky 13.

That would set up Monday’s game against Carolina at Rexall Place, the NHL version of The Biggest Loser, quite nicely.

You call the shots

With GM Steve Tambellini locked in the fetal position and unlikely to pull the trigger on anything except the handgun he’s been putting in his mouth when he’s home alone — no commitment there, either — I’d like to pick your brains about some scenarios he might be facing between now and July 1.

  • Sheldon Souray has provided the list of teams he’s be willing to waive his no-movement clause for in a trade. The teams include Dallas, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Keeping in mind the salary cap, who do you ask for when you pick up the telephone and talk to Joe Nieuwendyk, Dean Lombardi and Bob Murray? Please, resist the urge to make suggestions that amount to dry-fisting the aforementioned GMs.
  • The lottery is done and the Oilers, after finishing 30th, retain first pick in the lottery. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford has the third pick behind Edmonton and Toronto (which goes to Boston). Rutherford offers you his pick straight up for Dustin Penner. Do you make that deal?
  • Agent Jiri Crha puts in a call the day after the Entry Draft and informs you Ales Hemsky wants to be traded. After you sh*t yourself, which three teams do you call and who do you ask for?

A new angle?

While it goes without saying it’s difficult for anybody in the Oilers line-up to distinguish themselves with the team face down in a puddle of puke, I’ve got to admit I haven’t liked the looks of Jeff Deslauriers in weeks.

I’ve gone on the record repeatedly saying I like Deslauriers willingness to battle. I think, against most odds, he’s shown he can be an NHL goaltender, but he’s got some flaws in his technique that are alarming.

First, his angles. There’s no way Deslauriers should be giving up goals on the short side, like he has in his last two games. He’s either playing too deep in the net or losing the angle altogether. Probably both.

Second, Deslauriers is an atrocious puck-handler. I’ve known that since he fed Joffrey Lupul a gimme in the slot during an AHL game between the Edmonton Roadrunners and Cincinnati Mighty Ducks at The Pond during the lockout, but six years later? Either learn how to handle the puck or leave the damn thing alone.

If Deslauriers doesn’t perform markedly better than Devan Dubnyk in the Oilers remaining games, he’s going to make it impossible to justify keeping him ahead of Dubnyk. I expected him to be better than this.

This and that

  • There aren’t a lot of issues I disagree with Bob Stauffer on, but his suggestion signing Jaromir Jagr might be a good thing for the Oilers in the sense it could take pressure off the younger players, like say a Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, in the short-term is one of them. So, what, we’re going to pay $4-5 million for a babysitter now? And what pressure? This team will be, or should be, in rebuild mode until the start of the 2012-13 season.
  • We haven’t heard an official update on the status of Nikolai Khabibulin since surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. There are whispers, none I can trace back to team sources, there’s some obvious doubt a 37-year-old like Khabibulin will come back from the surgery. Should I feel guilty for not feeling that’s a bad thing?
  • If you think I’m being pessimistic by saying it’ll take the rest of this season and two more to do a proper rebuild, think again. Agent Ritch Winter phoned me twice Wednesday while I was on the air with Jason Gregor, pitching the same seven-year timeline he sold Rob Tychkowski at The Sun a week or so ago. Sorry, Ritch. Not buying it.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

  • nothing else happens, so I'll bite:
    for Souray + Moreau
    a. from DAL: Fistric & Brunnstrom
    b. from ANA: Koivu & Chipchura
    c. from LA: Simmonds & Johnson

    3rd pick for Penner? No. Teams stinks, he still tries to fight through, he can stay…

    Hemmer traded? What, we're not rebuilding around Hemmer? ~ To Boston for Toronto's pick and prospect defensman.

    Saturday game: that's all is left in here – to get a spanking from 0-6-2 (F)lames….

  • Jamie B.

    Am I right in thinking the ONLY way to get "cap relief" from Khabibulin's contract is to keep him technically on the roster but on LTIR? Which doesn't erase it but lets them spend that much over the cap? It's still there if he retires, gets sent down, etc, yes?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Hey Colby Cosh,

      Hopefully my grandma figures out how to use an internet so she can check you out at her favourite magazine's website. If you want to be a dick, maybe go back where you came from. More people have just read you embarassing yourself here than your blog probably gets in a month.

      Beat it.

      Oh, and welcome to the OilersNation.

      • Embarrassing myself? What'd I do–stake my reputation on a technically dubious goalie, boast scatologically about how he had silenced his critics forever, and immediately see him implode?

        Look, we all eat crow occasionally, but I was sincerely confused when RB crawled out on a limb to kill and eat one. (And I'm still confused about the "last two games" thing. Two??)

        • Stake my reputation?
          Look, swing by hand-in-hand with Tyler and take your orchestrated potshots if it makes you feel better, but deliver something other than hyperbole.

          Deslauriers has never been a blue-chip prospect or anything close to a sure thing, but I've seen enough of him over the years to think he can beat the odds for reasons I've already stated. I still do. At the end of the day, though, he's a longshot and if he fails, he fails. That's no reflection on me.

          I've been wrong on players before and I will be again. So what? If I overstated his progress after a particularly good stretch, and it's obvious I did because he's going backwards right now, so what?

          One last thing, not that you care nearly as much about details as about stopping by to be a dick, the flaws I'm seeing now with the angles and how deep he's playing in the crease have crept into his game as opposed to being technical flaws that have been there all along — like his poor puckhandling. Might be a lack of confidence or caving to pressure, I don't know for certain. No matter how bad the team is now, he's got to suck it up and make more hay with the shot he's getting now.

          OilFan2010: If you'd ever taken the time to read about the personal experiences I've related on this site, specifically about my upbringing and some of the challenges my wife and I have faced, you'd never say something as stupid as you just did. You're done here.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            ok smart guy, how exactly was he wrong? JDD struggles along behind a last place team, does that automatically mean he cant play?

            brownlee might have jumped the gun a bit, but it is far to early to declare, either way, who is "wrong"

            f-ing knuckleheads

          • That's weaksauce and you know it. Robin isn't a pro scout so his job doesn't depend on "being right" about players. Still, my guess is if I put his player judgment against yours as far as Oilers go, he'd be 9 for 10. I doubt you'd do nearly as well. On top of which, he admits he swings and misses once in a while, and you still take him to task. To what end I might ask? Man, your sense of self importance is through the roof.

            At the end of the day those who can, do. And they get well paid for it. Those who can't make sure their own blogs are direct linked to their signatures when they drive-by post.

          • Vic Ferrari

            "David S wrote:

            That's weaksauce and you know it. Robin isn't a pro scout so his job doesn't depend on "being right" about players. Still, my guess is if I put his player judgment against yours as far as Oilers go, he'd be 9 for 10. I doubt you'd do nearly as well."

            .

            You've been smoking the drapes, pal. I think we both know that if I corner you on this … you'll lift your skirt and run.

            Honestly, whether "Wnaye" gives you RESPECK! or not, you know you won't back that up. Admit it to yourself, that's the first step.

            Brownlee would't be within a mile of you if you ever did. I can't tell you how I know that, but I do. Some cats just don't have balls, and it's not my fault that this is true.

          • Wanyes bastard child

            Display Name: Vic Ferrari

            Location: Not Specified

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            Joined: January 30 2010 01:05AM

            ——

            He's a troll Tiger, forget him.

          • Vic Ferrari

            I just signed in, there was a long list of boxes to tick … seemed to be marketing stuff. I picked the top box all the way through without reading.

            I trust you won't report me to your advertisers.

          • Wanyes bastard child

            *starts a slow cap*

            @ Wanye

            I need you direction here… im torn between

            a) Giving Robin a hug for being awesome

            b) Punching Colby Cosh, Tyler and Oilfan2010 all in the throat at the same time for being douches (and yes all at the same time because like the great Chuck Norris behind my beard is hidden another fist!).

            c) Do both…

            ———

            On the important note.

            Souray trade, i'd go Matt Greene + a pick.

            Penner… fck me, thats a tough one. Part of me says yes, part of me says no. I've always been a supporter but even given last year in the dog house and played on every line including the 5th and 9th he put up decent points and goals. Sure he looks lazy alot of the time but I believe if you can shake the team up enough you can get more production out of him, keep him with a stable line and keep him motivated. So do I trade for the pick? I say no unless its a pick plus..

            Hemsky, Hemsky, Hemsky… If he and his agent ask for a deal theres not much you can do, I really hope they don't so im not even going to go there!

          • Thanks, but I expected nothing else. You can read the posts. It's the same thing time after time from the same people. It's not a big deal.

            I once wrote that Darryl Sydor would never be an NHL player and he's been in the league how long? I once wrote Len Barrie would be a big-time NHL player. Not. I've been way more out to lunch on players than I could ever be on Deslauriers, if he washes out. When you're paid to give your opinion you do it. If you're any good, you're right more times than you're wrong. Sort of like scouting, but with a pen and notepad.
            Somehow I've stayed in the writing game for 27 years and I won't be going anywhere, whether they like it or not.

          • Somehow I've stayed in the writing game for 27 years and I won't be going anywhere, whether they like it or not.

            MAD RESPECK!

            Q: Who in the blue hell is Colby Cosh?

            EDIT:
            -A: Today he shares his Edmonton home with two cats, Nigel and Eleanor.

            Seriously, I didn't know who dude was. Thx Google

  • "Sheldon Souray has provided the list of teams he's be willing to waive his no-movement clause for in a trade. The teams include Dallas, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Keeping in mind the salary cap, who do you ask for when you pick up the telephone and talk to Joe Nieuwendyk, Dean Lombardi and Bob Murray? Please, resist the urge to make suggestions that amount to dry-fisting the aforementioned GMs."

    A first round pick, and a 3rd line center/or 2 AHl picks to send to the farm.

    The lottery is done and the Oilers, after finishing 30th, retain first pick in the lottery. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford has the third pick behind Edmonton and Toronto (which goes to Boston). Rutherford offers you his pick straight up for Dustin Penner. Do you make that deal?

    An overwhelming yes!

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Wow Oilfan2010, you are a complete loser. Taking a shot at someone's personal life is complete garbage. Nice mouth you loser, good luck never writing on these boards again. Brownlee, I might not always agree with what you are saying, but I sure enjoy reading your comments and articles. And you were probably the only sports reporter from the Edmonton Sun that I enjoyed reading. Its too bad we have moronic individuals that take shots at a guys livelihood, or personal shots at their families etc…Have fun being banned from here Oilfans2010 proof that some individuals need to continue on with their psych evaluations.

  • Travis Dakin

    Look, I've been dismayed at times at what I perceive to be a dismissive, elitest,entitled and arrogant tone to RB's writing however one day not too long ago I happened to be at a function with my family where I was watching my daughter play with a large warm grin across my face. I noticed what I assume to be RB's wife and son playing in the same area and looked over to see RB with the same warm grin across his mug. That was a moment I realized I can sometimes let my passions get the better of me and to be mindful not to cross the line when expressing a different opinion. You just lept over that line and if I was RB I would be tempted to take legal action against you for liable(sp). There is nothing funny about that accusation, you are a douche,no something worse than a douche, like re-douche.

  • There's a pretty big difference between criticizing someone for something they wrote, or disagreeing with their viewpoint, and taking an unimaginative pot shot at someone for no reason other than you're insecure with the fact that you have never been laid.

    Thanks for contributing.