One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

Oiler fans finding themselves spending work hours fretting over the possible loss of Shawn Belle or Richard Petiot to waivers need to remember one thing: the Oilers are #1 on the list for all players on the waiver wire. Once again, first overall could come in handy over the next few days.

The waiver wire can impact a hockey team in a big way. Phoenix claimed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in mid-November of 2007 and they’ve been a more successful team since they did it. Atlanta plucked Rich Peverley in January of 2009, Los Angeles grabbed Kyle Quincey in October of 2008.

The Oilers are going to risk waivers on several solid players in the next few days. They could lose Martin Gerber, Sheldon Souray (hey, Glen Sather is still an NHL GM), Theo Peckham, Shawn Belle, Liam Reddox, Jeff Deslauriers and others who have/could/will been exposed. However, they could also pick up a terrific piece for the future and I hope Steve Tambellini is keeping a watchful eye on the waiver wire (I’ve always thought of it as a big, noisy teletype machine in the basement of the building. Cobwebs in the corner, maybe a bucket with a mop and a pile of 8-tracks in the corner next to the Roger’s Syrup cans).

What bubble players could be available? Matt Pelech from the Flames (he’s a huge DD with toughness) has been mentioned a few times, but the waiver pickups aren’t usually famous on the day of the transaction. Ideally the Oilers would pluck someone like Quincey off the waiver wire. A solid, inexpensive option who could push the current top 4 (Gilbert, Whitney, Smid, Foster) within a year or so. There are also going to be more established players (eg, Brian Lee in Ottawa) who won’t go on waivers but could be available for less than 100 cents on the dollar in trade.

There’s every chance Steve Tambellini won’t pull the trigger on a waiver player in the next few days. However, here’s hoping he is closely watching the transactions list and grabs any player considered an upgrade. Especially among the blue.

  • Sean Avery's Conscious

    Souray question – he is on waivers, if not claimed by noon today, then he is not on the active NHL roster but still in the organization – if he is put on recall (or reentry waivers, whatever you call it), and still noone claims him, do the Oilers have to complete that process, ie do they recall him “all the way” back to the NHL roster and if so do they have to keep him or just send him down again if noone took him “on the way up”?? Sorry if question doesn’t make sense…

    • VMR

      Proceedurally, at that point they would probably have to send him back through waivers to put him in the minors but if nobody claimed him on re-entry waivers then it’s a fair bet he’ll pass through waivers to go back down. So it’s rather unimportant.

      • danjo1

        My understanding was that they put him through waivers, then they have the option to either keep him, buy his contract out, or assign him to the AHL. I thought he goes through re-entry waivers when he’s recalled from the AHL.

        • book¡e

          That is the case, but they can simply do it all ‘on paper’. As soon as Souray clears waivers, they can ‘assign him to the AHL’ and then moments later ‘recall him to the NHL’ at which point he will be subject to Re-entry waivers.

          If he clears re-entry waivers, then he needs to look in the mirror and realize how badly he screwed himself.

    • book¡e

      If they send him down (even just on paper) and recall him and he clears both ways, he is back on the Oilers NHL roster.

      He is exempt from waivers then for 10 games (that he plays in) or 30 days whichever comes first.

  • Petr's Jofa

    Less is more. The new Oilers philosphy is building from within the organization. I don’t see where the Oliers are looking anytime soon to pluck anybody off waivers. There is enough depth within the organization at the present time that the team should not be pursing other teams cast offs. Do you take a guy off of waivers and push a guy like trudwick out of the picture? I think not. There has been alot said about how the team is percieved by players around the league. The team need to continue to develop the relationships with the players that are within the organiztion first and foremost at this time. Perhaps in the future the team can and should look at the waiver wire when/if the time comes that the current players that they have have proven that they cannot play at this level.

  • magisterrex

    Ilya Bryzgalov was put on waivers because Burke is an idiot. That little problem wherein the team has to keep their waivers acquisition on the roster will keep our guys tucked away safely, even if Sather is still an NHL GM.

    Strudwick and McIntyre are needed. But I’d agree with Woodguy on JFJ. All that size and speed keeps giving the brass hope, I guess.

    • D-Man

      I don’t think Jacques gets enough credit… True the guy is a walking band-aid, but still led the team in hits and played only 49 games… His toughness is needed; no offense to Stortini or Mac, but neither have the speed to worry opposing defense on a dump in…

      If (and of course, that’s a BIG if) he can stay healthy, and continues where he left off last year, he’ll be an excellent 4th line winger… And if he doesn’t – Tambo only signed him to a 1 year deal at around $500,000… Not a huge risk considering he’d take minutes from either Jones or Reddox this year…

    • Ilya Bryzgalov was put on waivers because Brian Burke promised Jonas Hiller (who agreed to come over from Europe) that he wouldn’t keep him buried in the AHL all year. One of the reasons players like playing for him is because he sticks to his word when he makes agreements with players (another eg. is his self-imposed xmas trade freeze kicking in earlier than the NHL’s).

      Why he couldn’t get at least a 6th or 7th rounder for him is a mystery.

      • magisterrex

        A good GM doesn’t put himself in a bind like that. Hell of an asset to give away for no reason.

        His self-imposed trade freeze was easy to impose since no one was interested in what he was peddling.

        Don’t get snowed by Burke.

      • magisterrex

        Every winning team started out with a bunch of rookies and some character guys at the end of their hockey lifespan. They serve to show the kids what it takes to play the game, and keep their noses clean when they’re on the road (and at home). Crosby was lucky to have Lemieux. Not everyone gets that kind of luck.

        You’ve got to remember that even guys like Cogliano are young. The team needs adults in the room to keep the boys focused on hockey. They’re the guys who tell the kids not to get too down after a loss, but also not to strut too much after a win. And you don’t just import people who you don’t know into the room and expect them to carry the team flag; you need guys who bleed copper & blue. They’re a lot harder to find than you’d think.

        If people want to focus on stats, fine. But take ALL the elements into consideration, not just narrowly looking at the stat column, because that path leads to, at best, an early playoff exit. Why do you think teams like San Jose have retooled with more character guys? Skill gets the team into the playoffs, but character wins Cups.

    • VMR

      It just means he has a different salary in the NHL than he does in the AHL.

      Waivers are based on years of service and games played, not whether you are on a 1 or 2 way deal.

      The only thing Gerber is exempt from is re-entry waivers because he didn’t play the required number of NHL/AHL games last year.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      The 2-way deal just means he earns different salaries depending on the league he’s playing in. It doesn’t affect his waiver exposure.

  • Petr's Jofa

    Just donned on my that this could be the year that we can start to see results from the 2008 entry draft. The year that Lowe sacrificed a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick for Penner. Here’s what Edmonton’s picks turned into…

    2008 Entry Draft

    1st round pick #12 – Tyler Myers (Buf) 82gp, 11 goals, 37 assist, 48 points, 32 pim – Won the Calder.

    Since there is no guarentee that Edmonton would have picked Myers, here are the 5 players who were picked after Myers: Colten Teubert (LA), Zach Boychuk (Car), Erik Karlsson (Ott), Joe Colborne (Bos), Jake Gardiner (Ana).

    Let’s not get to pissy with Kevin Lowe over not getting Myers. He didn’t know it would be 12th over all when he traded it away. Buffalo got the pick from LA who got it from Anahiem. The Ducks traded traded the 12th pick to LA for the 17th pick (Jake Gardiner) and 28th (Viktor Tikhonov).

    2nd round pick #43 – Justin Schultz No second round players have played in the NHL yet.

    3rd Round pick #73 – Kirill Petrov (NYI)

    If I’m reading the history of this pick correctly, Marc-Andre Bergeron was traded for this 3rd rounder twice. Once with it to NYI for Grebeskov. Edmonton then got the pick back in the Allen Rourke trade and used it in the Penner offersheet. Then the pick was again traded for MAB when Burke used it to acquire MAB at the deadline.

    At the end of the day, Edmonton got Penner and the Ducks ended up with Jake Gardiner (17), Viktor Tikhonov (28), Justin Schultz (43) and 9 games of MAB

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things


    Question: If Souray clears waivers and plays in the minors and while he is playing there Tambelinni finds a trade partner…….Does he have to be recalled through re-entries to be traded or can the Oilers just trade him to another team directly from the minors without the risk of losing him on re-entries and being on the hook for half the salary…..??

    • Ducey

      Great question. I was wondering the same thing. If say CLB trades for Souray, do they (CLB) have to worry about getting him thru re-entry waivers? This would seem to be a big impediment to a trade.

      Big Bob Stauffer was on the AM radio this morning speculating they may just keep Souray in the AHL and loan him to another organization to play there. They would just keep him down the whole year and then try and deal him in he offseason.

    • C-DOG

      The Rangers had a similar situation with Dan Fritchie, no team claimed him but they later traded him to the Wild. I don’t think he had to go on recallable waivers since he was traded to another org.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    @ michael

    “Less is more. The new Oilers philosphy is building from within the organization. I don’t see where the Oliers are looking anytime soon to pluck anybody off waivers. There is enough depth within the organization at the present time that the team should not be pursing other teams cast offs. Do you take a guy off of waivers and push a guy like trudwick out of the picture? I think not. There has been alot said about how the team is percieved by players around the league. The team need to continue to develop the relationships with the players that are within the organiztion first and foremost at this time. Perhaps in the future the team can and should look at the waiver wire when/if the time comes that the current players that they have have proven that they cannot play at this level.”

    I’m afraid that Tambo agrees with this 🙁

  • Petr's Jofa

    Yes, if assigned to an AHL team, he will have to pass through re-entry waivers one way or the other. Meaning, no team is going to trade for him after he’s assigned and take the risk of being on the hook for half his salary and cap hit.

    • book¡e

      Agreed, but what I suspect would happen is that a team might trade for him with the condition that the Oilers bring him up to their active roster (i.e. through re-entry waivers) and then the trade will take place.

      • Petr's Jofa

        If that were to happen Edmonton would risk losing Souary for nothing and taking half his cap hit if any of the other 28 teams not involved in the proposed traded claimed him off of re-entry waivers.

    • D-Man

      True, but Jacques never truly figured out what he needed to do to be a NHL player… Last year, 150 plus hits in 49 games… Pretty good for this team…

      If he can a) stay healthy, b) hit like he did last year, c) drop the gloves every once in a while – that’s $500K well spent… If he can chip in 5 to 10 goals – that’s a bonus…

      • Hemmercules

        How many hits does it take to win a hockey game?

        Hitting and fighting do very little to contribute to wins on their own. If you can’t play with the puck and can’t play without the puck (other than running into things) you are going to get exposed on the ice, which is exactly what has happened with Jacques.

        The ultimate purpose of a hit in hockey is to gain possession of the puck. If you aren’t doing anything with it, how effective is it?

        • D-Man

          Hitting and fighting are both crucial parts of the game… Physical play gives skilled players less time to think, forces defense men to cough up the puck and aids in controlling a game’s momentum… How many games have changed after a big hit or a decent fight?

          How was Jacques exposed last year? Asides from being injury prone, he was a solid forechecker – on a 4th line. Quinn exposed his weaknesses as a coach by trying to put Jacques on a first line… We can all agree that Jacques doesn’t have that skill set. However, if he’s playing the wing with say Frasor and Stortini, he’d be more comfortable.

          Can Jacques handle the puck?? Not really – but that’s not your 4th line’s job to begin with. If he’s healthy and ‘running into things on the opposing team’, he’s a great addition to this team, especially considering his cap hit…

          • D-Man

            Define changed. How many games have changed after a smart backcheck, good poke check, smart pinch, etc…?

            If you need to ask how Jacques was exposed last year I suggest you look at his body of work. He was a goal against ready to happen and literally dragged down every single player he played with last year.

            You’ve just mentioned that he belongs on the 4th line. Yet your paragraph to defend hitting and physical play “gives skilled players less time to think, forces defense men to cough up the puck and aids in controlling a game’s momentum…”

            If he’s only suited to the 4th line, what skilled players is he giving less time to think? He’s out there running around against other plug players. And if he’s doing that, what use is he if he’s out there getting out scored at the same time?

            You can teach any idiot to run around and hit things on the ice… it doesn’t make them effective or useful NHL players. You need to be able to play the game and I think all evidence points to the fact that JFJ just doesn’t get that.

  • D-Man

    I think trading souray from the minors is still a possibility, mostly because we have #1 waiver priority. Let me explain:
    1. We deal souray to columbus for a 7th rounder
    2. Columbus tries to bring souray up through waivers
    3. The oil, using our #1 waiver priority, pick up souray, who is now back in the nhl
    4. We deal souray to columbus for a 6th rounder

    Just using col. as an example, not saying this trade is gonna happen.

    If we did this, there would be no risk that souray gets stolen from columbus on waivers. Of course, I would assume that this point is moot, because if anyone actually does want souray, I would bet they would just wait and try to get souray off re-entry waivers for half price.

    • Hemmercules

      You don’t get priority position on the player you are calling up on re-entry waivers.

      Same idea as when you put someone on waivers. If I am in position 1 and see that someone in position 5 is making a claim, I can’t put in a claim for the player I just waived.

      You are taking yourself out of the equation when you put players on waivers or re-entry waivers.

        • book¡e

          I see now.

          The answer is still basically no though.

          13.20 b) of the CBA:

          A player who has been acquired by waiver claim shall not be traded to another club until the termination of the playoffs of the season in which he was acquired unless he is first offered on the same terms to the Club(s) that entered a claim when waivers were requested originally and the offer has been refused.

          Assuming the Oilers trade him to Columbus and they are the ones who put him on re-entry waivers.

          Let’s also pretend that there are several teams who are interested in Souray at $2.7 mil and they put in a waiver claim to get him (including the Oilers).

          The Oilers have first priority based on their waiver position so they get him.

          If they then attempt to trade Souray, they have to make him available (via waivers) to every team that put in a waiver claim on him before they can trade him to another club.

          So if the Oilers, Islanders, Rangers and Red Wings make a claim on him during re-entry waivers, the Oilers would need to offer him to the Islanders, Rangers and Red Wings on waivers in order to trade him to another team.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I’m pretty sure the Ducks waived Schneider a few years ago, and then trade him to the Thrashers for a salary dump. (ie no one would take him for free, but Atl would if they could unload a bad contract)

    So I would assume we could still trade Souray and the recieveing team WOULDN’T have to bring him back through re-entry waivers.

  • Dan the Man

    For those of ypou who don’t want smac on the roster understand this: every skill player on the eam wants him. Hemsky, Hall and Eberle all say they really want a legit tough guy. One of the reasons Hemsky was so unhappy is because the oilers had nobody to protect him. So complain all you want but remember when Gretzky went to LA he insisted on having Mcsorley come with him.

    As for JFJ he is truly a wasted roster spot. Every player on the team had a worse plus minus when playing with him, even Stortini. Zak is a much much better player than jfj.

    As for Struds, i hope he is put on the ir so one more of Belle, Petiot and Peckham can stay.

  • One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure…

    Damn! I was hoping we were going to get another Leenus post.

    WG has it right w.r.t. waivers. We don’t have the contract room to pick up someone we’re going to be forced to carry on the roster this season. Otherwise Aulin might have been offered a contract.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    Maybe some one will give up on an unfinished jewel of a future tough center. We can wish as that is one of the hardest positions to play and we can afford to give some one a few months + to find their way as we are one to three years away anyway.

  • Lowetide

    Robin Brownlee has an excellent article at the top of the page about this, and I’d add only 2 things to the conversation here:

    1. Dave Semenko had little skill but was vital to the young Oilers a long time ago.

    2. There will be a time (perhaps tonight) when every Oiler fan is thrilled for the presence of MacIntyre.

    I don’t like that kind of hockey, but on nights when the moon is full and crazy has a free reign, you really do need an equalizer.

      • Lowetide

        Sure, but intimidation still has an application. We saw it last night, with a Flames forward (I believe Ivanans) physically and verbally working over a young Oiler.

        Next shift: MacIntyre crumples a young Flame in the opposite corner.

        They don’t throw a brush back pitch like Bob Gibson used to, but pitcher can still intimidate. Same with enforcers.

        • Lowetide

          That would be valid if that shift by Smac altered how the Flames were playing.

          It didn’t, so I’m not sure where the intimidation is.

          Instead, the Flames ended up suckering Smac into taking a stupid spearing penalty against the smallest player on the ice, and the guy he speared laughed it off.

          The Flames didn’t look intimidated last night at all.

  • Lowetide

    dawgbone: By the time the Oilers get good, one hopes they have a more capable option. As it is, watching Regehr manhandle another generation of Oiler skill forwards without reaction is too much to endure.

    • Lowetide

      What reaction are you going to get though?

      Go ahead and send a goon after him. Not only will Regehr have done his damage physically but he’s going to suck someone into a penalty for it afterwards.

      Maybe we’ll send Smac after Iginla. I’m sure Iginla is quivering at the thought that his line gets to go out on the ice against what is essentially a 5 on 4.

      Edmonton fans are obsessed with a big lumbering brute after Boogaard happened to catch a couple of Oilers a few seasons ago. They’ve ignored that he didn’t do anything in subsequant years and was even a healthy scratch a few times.

      A guy who can play hockey and be physical is fantastic. A guy who can only do the latter and not the former is useless.

  • Lowetide

    dawgbone: I would love to have an actual hockey player supply toughness, but the Oilers are vulnerable in this area.

    Is the organization to wait for Regehr to Hemsky the 3 new forwards?

    I understand your point and am hopeful the Oilers have enough toughness to counter. However, as happened last night in the Mtl-NYI game I think the Oilers need someone on the roster to counter the filthy play from other teams.

    If it costs some games, so be it. A healthy Taylor Hall at the end of the day is worth a few W’s in a down season.