The End

Based on the reaction to Robin Brownlee’s latest post, it appears that the end is near. The 2010-11 Oilers roster has been decided in decisive fashion by a deciding decider, and there will be no further change. Liam Reddox, Linus Omark, and Richard Petiot are banished to the minors forthwith, on pain of death.

Of course, that’s not the way it is. Training camp, for all the hoopla and the weeks of speculation on who will make the team, is simply the first step in the season. Not that it’s an unimportant step, but the reality is that if the coaching staff has made a mistake, they’re going to figure it out in fairly short order, and it’s going to be corrected not long after.

A Bevy Of Training Camp Points

Yes, Ryan Jones remains with the team despite widespread feeling that he was outplayed by Liam Reddox, who now sits on waivers. I’m not nearly as down on this as most are, simply because of Jones’ remarkable penalty-drawing ability. Assuming Jones plays 10 minutes per night for 82 games this season, we’d expect him to generate in the neighbourhood of 25 more power plays for the Oilers than for the opposition, which should result in four to five goals for the Oilers. I doubt that was the deciding factor, but if Jones can bring the same kind of penalty-drawing ability to the Oilers that he did to the Predators, he’ll be a very effective fourth-liner.

Speaking of Reddox, what are the odds he gets claimed on waivers, given the other talent currently on the wire, and the amount of talent that’s already passed through? One in five, maybe?

On that note, I’m having trouble seeing why the Oilers haven’t waived Deslauriers yet. The goaltending market is saturated, guys coming off 30-win/0.911 SV% seasons are signing for the same money, and Nikolai Khabibulin appears healthy.

I want to be clear: I don’t blame Linus Omark for his disappointment at being sent down, and as far as I’m concerned the (thankfully few) people criticizing his candour today need to take a moment and try to picture the situation from his perspective. Has Taylor Hall been any better than Omark, even with the better opportunities to impress that he’s gotten? That sort of thing would irk me, were I in his shoes. That said, politics goes into every NHL training camp, and I don’t think it’s fair to pick on the Oilers for making decisions based on contracts, waiver eligibility, and all the rest of it.

One more minor point on Omark: he was a significantly better scorer than Paajarvi-Svensson in Europe over the last few seasons. That’s not to say he’s the better player, or even that he’s more NHL-ready (given the difference in their respective frames) but I don’t think it would have killed the Oilers to give him one of the top-six jobs held out for the big three, or at least give him an honest shot at unseating one of them. That said, he’ll get an honest chance in Oklahoma, and he has a very real opportunity at earning his way back – particularly if one of the Big Three slumps over the first nine games and Omark’s potting goals in the minors.

I’m a little disappointed the Oilers didn’t look at bringing in a guy like Bill Guerin (released by Philadelphia) or Owen Nolan (working out, hoping for a call). Given the amount of youth on the roster, could the influence of one of those warhorses really be a bad thing?

Would You Like Fries With That?

Normally, I’d leave this particular gem of comment section idiocy, alone, but since it’s a line of attack Mark Spector likes to use (it’s hard to like him, even when he’s right) I’m going to quote JaketheSnake here:

I would like to say to all you whinner on this site "learn a little about the game before you start saying crap you know nothing about". Omark was alright, but what about the rest of the skilled players, should they really keep him over the 3 kids, I don’t think so. What do you want to do play little guys on the fourth line. You have been bitching for years that we are to small and now you want to keep the small players and get rid of the bigger guys. You are the same people that forever said give Schremp a chance, well he got his chance and did nothing. Maybe K-Lowe and ST aren’t that stupid after all. Maybe some of you armchair GM’s should realize you work at Mcdonalds for a reason

Leaving aside the delightful grammatical and spelling choices, the inaccurate generalization that everyone at Oilers Nation is looking for fourth line size, and the inherent irony of criticizing armchair general managing while, well, armchair general managing, let’s look at the logical fallacy at the heart of the argument.

An ad hominem argument is a classical logical fallacy where someone focuses on a person making an argument rather than the argument itself. In this particular case, Jake creates a blanket label for the people disagreeing with the decisions made by the Oilers: they’ve been whining for years, they’re the same ones who loved Schremp, and they work in fast food – the implication being that they’re malcontents forced to work in a job generally deemed undesirable. It goes without saying that Jake has no way of knowing if the people he disagrees with meet these three criteria, and that alone makes his argument decidedly foolish, but even if he was right about that he would still be wrong.

From an article featured at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research:

Among the well-known Americans (hardly dead-enders) who once worked at McDonald’s are Andy Card, White House chief of staff; Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com; astronaut Leroy Chiao; Jay Leno, Tonight Show host, who called the restaurant “a great place to work”; Representative Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio); Carl Lewis, Olympic gold medalist; actress Andie McDowell; architect Maya Lin; former Indiana governor Joe Kernan; Drew Nieporent, owner of Tribeca Grill and other trendy restaurants in New York who started out at McDonald’s, he says, as a “Quarter Pounder grill man”; and Robert Cornog, retired CEO of Snap-On Tools, who worked at the original McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois.

But even leaving aside the (rather obvious) fact that what one does is not who one is, denigrating one’s opponent by attacking something – either real or fictional – about them would still be, at best, lazy. Arguments stand or fall on their own merits, not based on who said them, and anyone forced to retreat to personal attacks is essentially saying they lack either intelligence or the intellectual work ethic to debate the facts.

Or, to put it another way: there are a lot of things that are good about the commentary at this site, but it’s hard to see those positives when people are busy dragging down the quality.

  • Bar Qu

    If Omark can’t make the club out of camp this year

    I think some people have made some very clear arguments that he is being sent down for reasons completely other than the fact that he outplayed several similar talents on the team in TC.

    @Ender – too right. There is no way Golden Boy sees the minors this year (simply because it is junior or bust and ST hates to admit a mistake). So there is in fact no space in the top 9 for Omark outside of a trade. And since ST needs approximately 6-9 months to evaluate a roster or a player, there may not be a real shot for Omark this season at all.

    Having said all this, we are rearranging the deck chairs for an indifferent captain of HMS TitanicOil. I am moving myself to helpless apathy as a tonic to endure this season of missed opportunities.

    • BarryS

      Missed opportunities can not be known until long after the event. To assume a player cut from one team will be good on a different team is at best the sort of leap of faith which keeps people buying lottery tickets. Its true someone will win, but that it will be you is highly unlikely. The fact 29 other teams passed on these players says they are not so much opportunities as gambles and it is not wise to make a gamble before the game actually starts. There will be plenty of opportunities for changes once the season starts.

  • Ender

    A lot of people have made the comment concerning Reddox, Omark, and Petiot that they will be back up as soon as injury strikes or if someone falters. While I agree with the injury side of that equation, I’m not sure that the second part of that statement is necessarily true.

    If a fourth-line player like Jones can’t carry the mail, I can maybe see Reddox getting a call. If one of the bottom three defencemen has their game go to hell, I can see Petiot told to get on a plane. Omark, on the other hand, is something different.

    To shut down everyone who will tell me that Omark deserves to be here, let me say that I agree Omark is a fine player and I don’t think his presence would hurt this team’s place in the standings at all. The fact remains, however, that he is NOT here. Many have argued that this is Cogliano’s fault. I don’t want to go there except to say that they are similar players. Instead, I’d like to look at Taylor Hall and the politics in play there.

    In training camp, I’d argue that Hall was the least impressive of the ‘Big Three’. Hall did enough to prove that he wouldn’t embarass himself or the team by his presence in the top six, but many have successfully argued that Omark proved that point as well. The interesting question for me, then, is this:

    How badly would Hall (or one of the other two precious gems) have to falter and over how long a time period before Tambi/Renney were finally forced to concede that it might be better to give Linus a shot instead?

    As I pondered this, I was forced to conclude that Omark better pray for injury or a trade. Politically, the optics of sending any of the Big Three down in favour of Omark are poor, and while many of the Citizens of the Nation might favor such an experiment, I’ve got a hunch that Oilers fans as a whole wouldn’t embrace the concept with as much tolerance and open-mindedness.

    I put it to you though: If after 10 games, Hall was held to 1-2-3, do you keep him up and continue to watch Omark in the minors? How about after 20 games if Hall is at 5-6-11? 30 games with 10-8-18? Where’s your line? When does Omark get a shot over the Golden Child?

      • Ender

        Point conceded. I lay the blame for the hopeless optimism in that statement squarely on the bottle of asperin I lifted from Wanye’s place. I should have known something was up when I found out they turn every object in the world plaid except when I’m looking directly at it. They sure cure a headache though . . .

    • Crash

      For me, if Hall is 20 games, 11 points or 30 games 18 points as you have described, then he is right on the same kind of track that both Duchene and Tavares were last year.

      If the Oilers were to send Hall back to junior he would be the first number one overall pick with regards to forwards sent back to junior in at least a decade. Hall is a super talent that will be just fine. He has it all, size, skill, hockey sense.

      If the Oilers can afford to give the big 3 ice time then the best place to develop that talent is in the best league in the world. If they can’t give them the ice time then going down is the answer. But I think they’re committed to giving them lots of ice and willing to live through the growing pains.

      As far as Omark goes, the way I see it he couldn’t supplant any of the 3 and that is why he is going down. If one of the top 9 gets traded then there is room for him, depending on the return in a trade

      If he goes down and lights up the AHL similar to the way Eberle did, then I’m sure he’ll find his way back to the big club in short order.

  • Ducey

    Looks like Oilers might be more interested in giving OKC a winner this year than the main club ? The so called Protection Committee not inundated with Nhl talent that can handle much decent playing time ? Tams judgement in personnel is very questionable , and his dealings to date maybe even moreso ? Maybe Tams a good Asst. GM , but GM is certainly debateable ?

    Needless to say , not thrilled with the so called caliber of Protection Committee to protect our youth .

  • Ducey

    Not that I want to stick up for someone called Jake the Snake but I think you missed the point Willis. The general sentiment from the critics is that Omark and Reddox should have been kept on the team.

    If so, assuming the Oilers feel their top 9 is set, the only place to put them would be on the 4th line, bumping Stortini and presumably Smac. This would make the Oilers the smurphiest bunch of smurphs in the league and at a decided disadvantage against the non-smurph NW division.

    I do agree that none of this really matters. This team is going to undergo a massive amount of change during the course of the season. Omark and Reddox and Petiot are going to get their shots.

  • Hemmercules

    After reading through the comments in the Omark article it seems to me that alot of people are forgetting that the Oil probably wont be making the playoffs again this year and going with Cogs and Jones over Omark and Ginger boy isn’t going to make a huge difference. Cogs has his one year deal to prove he can play here and improve on his overall game, if not he will be traded or wont be signed next summer. Not a big deal in my eyes. Omark will get tons of time in the AHL and be the first callup when an injury inevitably happens (With the injury history on this team it’s almost a guarantee he will see ice time with the oil this season). I hate the 3 goalie sitation though, that needs to be addressed prior to game 1. I’m sure this season will have just as many ups and downs as the last 2.

    • 9 Inches Uncut

      Here’s the thing though.

      Going with Cogs or Jones over Omark & Reddox doesn’t matter this year (though I don’t think Cogs is an issue).

      Here is the thing. The Oilers are in a “developmental year”. That’s the line that almost every fan, writer, etc agrees on.

      If that’s the case, why would you not keep a Liam Reddox around and play his ass off on the PK? If he sinks it’s no loss. If he does well he’s a piece for the future.

      Same with grabbing a guy like Grabner off waivers. He’s a guy with some skill who hasn’t been able to put it all together yet. Why not grab him, play him and see what you get? Worst case scenario is he doesn’t pan out and you are out a little bit of money. If he does pan out you have a trading chip.

      Same reason I don’t get why you’d keep Strudwick around on the roster. I’m sure he’s a great guy but you could be using it on a Petiot or Belle who have more potential to be a useful player in 2-3 years.

      If this is truely a developmental year, the Oilers should be using it to evaluate the players they need to make a decision on. Find out what roles these guys can fill now. Not only do decisions need to be made on the fringe guys but the core guys as well. This includes guys like Brule & Cogliano.

      The Oilers are going to have to go over some turnover in the next couple of years and they need to have enough information to do it.

      • D-Man

        Strudwick is a good addition to the team as a 7th d-man. He’s a consummate professional and a good leader. He’ll only be playing (barring injuries) 40 to 50 games. Even with injuries, don’t be surprised if we see Plante or Petry up here shortly.

        I also don’t think you’re giving Brule enough credit for the work he put in last year. Best season in his career and he was sick for most of it. He’s a capable 20-20 guy especially if he’s playing with Penner.

        Cogs did take a step back, but I think the Heatley trade and Quinn’s lack of role development had a lot to do with that.

        • Hemmercules

          But he’s a terrible hockey player. It’s great that he’s a good leader and a great professional but on the ice he’s not very good and he has very little chance (hopefully) of being part of the future of this team.

          Again, he should have been playing 40 games 2 years in a row, but ended up playing 70.

          The problem with Brule’s season last year is that it’s completely off the chart of everything else he’s done in his career so it’s important to recognize that and not assume that’s going to carry over.

          My point with Cog’s is that he’s been mis-cast as a player. He shouldn’t be a C and that experiment should be over. But where do you give him ice time? Is he the 3rd liner or a 4th liner?

          This all goes back to keeping Hall and Pajaarvi in the NHL this year. As well as keeping guys like Smac and Strudwick on the roster and 3 goaltenders. That’s 5 potential roster spots we are looking at here. 5 roster spots taken up by players that either have no future with the team (Smac, Struds, JDD) or guys who’s impact is better served down the road (Hall & Pajaarvi).

          It takes ice time away from guys who can come in and maybe provide value as things like trading chips or as specialty players (i.e. penalty killers).

          Not only are the Oilers risking losing some of these guys, the Oilers are risking running out of room without being able to maximize the value of the players they’ll have to let go.

          To be honest, I’d rather see Parjaarvi back in Timra this year if it means being able to give Cogs more ice time to see if I can increase his trade value.

          I’d rather have Hall in the OHL and see if Omark can contribute in the NHL which would allow me to put him in my plans or (again) increase his trade value.

          As it stands now, if Omark is going to make the team next year (and play in a skill role) that means one of Hall, Eberle, Pajaarvi, Penner, Hemsky, Cogs falls out of favour. Or if he doesn’t it means he’s fallen out.

          I’d rather spend this year to maximize the trade value of him or one of the guys (outside of the first 3) mentioned above.

          • D-Man

            First – agreed about Strudwick… He’s awful and was overplayed due to injuries.. But the youth we have needs to be protected and Strudwick isn’t afraid to drop the gloves to protect. He gets it – and that’s why we need him for one more year.

            Brule is only 23-24 and is a 6th overall pick. He was put in a poor situation in Columbus which set him back a couple of years. You are right that he could be a “maybe”, but we got him at a fair price (considering last year’s performance).

            You’re right that Cogs isn’t a centerman, but with his speed – he’ll be a good addition on the wing with Penner and Brule. This year will the first year he’ll get a regular shift with guys with a bit more of an offensive side (three or four games on a top line isn’t enough time).

            What you miss is the fact that Omark will be one of the first call ups when injury hits. We also still need to resolve the Souray situation, so don’t be surprised if Cogs or another of our smaller forwards is a ‘thrown in’ to dump his contract.

            Overall – we need to be patient. We won’t be sniffing at a playoff spot in at least another two years…

          • D-Man

            I agree completely on Brule and Cogs. You aren’t making an argument against what I’m saying but instead for it.

            Both of these guys should be playing as much as possible.

            And one of these guys being “thrown in” is exactly what I have a problem with. I’d hate to see these guys be a throw in for a trade when they could potentially command a good return on their own.

          • Hemmercules

            Interesting take but somehow I don’t see an NHL team demoting their top prospects to give ample ice time to guys they want to trade or turn into penalty killers.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I agree that they won’t (and that’s not really what I’m suggesting). Sounds too much like asset management.

            The Oilers do not need to make a decision on Hall/Paajarvi right now. They basically do with Cogs/Omark.

            The difference between giving the ice time to the latter rather than the former will have little impact on the current season but may very well on what the Oilers can do in the future.

            If Omark bounces back and forth between the AHL and NHL the next 2 years and goes back home, the Oilers have gained nothing. If they play the crap out of him this year and he flames out the Oilers have lost nothing. If they play the crap out of him this year and he’s legit, the Oilers can gain a hell of a lot.

          • Dan the Man

            What if Omark bounces back and forth between the AHL and the NHL this year and then as a result becomes a solid NHL player next year?

            Is that not a possibility?

          • BarryS

            With regards to Brule, since when is progression a bad thing. He did better last year than the year before, a good thing is it not? The trend is up with him and until he shows different this year you go with him.

            With regards to Cogs, it is up to him to, by his play, make the team use him more. Its not like he sits on the bench the whole game. If Cogs does not have the jam to succeed, all the ice time in the world will not make him a hockey player. Gagner started on the 4th line last year but did not end the season, before his injury, there.

            With regards to Omark, next year will take care of itself. This year has not played out yet. There are injuries, bad seasons, personal issues among players, (see Pronger, Souray, Khabi,) trade opportunities etc., etc., to come before the status of any of those sent to the minors becomes real issues.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I’m not suggesting it’s a bad thing at all. I’m suggesting it’s an unknown. Players have outlier years, the question is was last year one for Brule or was it the fresh start to his career?

            FTR, I’m not suggesting Brule play less (that was a typo that said does instead of doesn’t), but in fact be one the of the guys the Oilers ride.

            And that’s all well and good that it’s “up to Cogs” for the Oilers to play him more, but then shouldn’t the exact same standard be applied to Hall? He hasn’t exactly played his way onto the team this year.

            The ice time may not make him succeed by maybe he pots 20 and has trade value because other teams are intrigued by his speed/scoring, regardless of all his other flaws. So you trade him for a slightly higher return than you would leaving him on the 4th line all year. You don’t lose anything in this scenario.

            I’m not sure I understand what you mean when you say “next year will take care of itself”. Seems like the same poorly thought out plan that this team has been operating with since the cup run. Very little concern about anything past the next few minutes.

            I’m just jaded because I’ve been expecting some sort of plan from this team, and aside from the lockout there hasn’t been one. Just a mishmash of moves that don’t make sense when you analyze them as a whole. I just don’t trust this management group to get it right on the fly.

      • “If that’s the case, why would you not keep a Liam Reddox around and play his ass off on the PK? If he sinks it’s no loss. If he does well he’s a piece for the future.”

        LOL. Nobody thinks Reddox is a piece for the future. He’s the 13th forward on a mediocre/bad team and played his way into consideration through pure hustle, while lacking in skill.

        The guy may end up a good AHLer, but I doubt he gets more than a cup of coffee in the bigs with his size and skill.

        I simply don’t understand the love this guy gets around here.

        • Crackenbury

          Then why even have him to camp or give him any more than an AHL only contract in the first place?

          The guy has good speed and an excellent work ethic and decent hockey sense. Even if all he is able to be is a 4th liner who can kill penalties then it’s a position the Oilers don’t have to worry about in the future.

          It’s not whether Reddox can be an impact player in the NHL (which he can’t), but whether or not he can have value in the NHL.

      • Hemmercules

        Haven’t they pretty much made their decision on Cog’s and Brule for the time being?? They know what Brule can do so they gave him a two year contract and he’s RFA after that. They aren’t sure about Cog’s so they gave him a one year deal and he’s RFA after that, see where it goes. Looks like evalution/development from where I sit.

        No one will claim Reddox I doubt and like Ducey said, rather have Petiot and Belle playing games in the AHL and being evaluated there instead of up in the press box most games. Evaluation and development doesn’t stop because they get sent down.

        • For the time being sure. What about 2 or 3 years from now?

          Where are they going to play Cogs & Brule this year?

          Does it make more sense to give those 2 a whack of ice time and see if they can either be part of the future or at the very least valuable trading chips?

          How much more do Belle & Petiot have to do at the AHL level? They are guys who have put in time at both the NHL and AHL level. They aren’t kids who need to play to get better. They have far more worth as a depth defenceman on the NHL roster than they do with more AHL time.

          Evaluation and development doesn’t stop, but it does get put on hold for the guys who aren’t the first immediate call up.

          My biggest issue is that this team is talking about the future but doesn’t seem to be very interested in planning for it. Throwing Hall into the NHL and wiping your hands clean is not developing for the future.

          What is the plan between now and 2013 (when Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi are due for new deals)?

          What happens next year when we have the same roster in place and we have the same guys looking for the same jobs?

          We are robbing Peter to pay Paul so to speak. One of Cogliano, Brule or Omark is going to be sacrificed for 10 cents on the dollar because they didn’t get enough playing time in the NHL to pique the interest of other teams.

          In a developmental year, the Oilers should be maximizing their assets which includes creating value in players who could potentially be out of a job next year (in other words not fit in the teams plans).

          • Hemmercules

            You are majorly confusinging me.

            “Where are they going to play Cogs & Brule this year?

            Does it make more sense to give those 2 a whack of ice time and see if they can either be part of the future or at the very least valuable trading chips?”

            They are going to play them as forwards obviously, on the wing and at center to find the best fit. Why does it not make sense to give them lots of ice time this year to see what they do? Isn’t that how you evaluate and plan for the future?

            How is this team not planning for the future?? They had a ton of draft picks and have lots of propects in the system. Half the team is under 27 years old, most of which are either signed for more than this year or are RFA’s this summer.

            Why are you even thinking about 3 years from now?? It’s the first year into a rebuild and they haven’t even played one game yet!!!

            “We are robbing Peter to pay Paul so to speak. One of Cogliano, Brule or Omark is going to be sacrificed for 10 cents on the dollar because they didn’t get enough playing time in the NHL to pique the interest of other teams.”

            How the hell aren’t Brule and Cogs going to get enough NHL time being top 9 forwards?? And Omark has a two year deal, there is still plenty of time for him to get some NHL minutes over the next 164 NHL games. Hockey is a business, sometimes you lose a player for 10 cents on the dollar. It’s impossible to maximize your trade value on every player you have.

            I do see where you are coming from on the Strudwick issue. I would agree that Belle or Petiot would probably be a better option over him but the Oilers have their own reasons for having him on the team.

          • BarryS

            Sorry, that should have said Doesn’t it make more sense to give those 2 a whack of ice time…

            Planning for the future means more than assembling a roster of players 27 & younger. You need a plan on how to integrate them as well as understanding that not all of them are going to be options for the next 5+ years.

            Why am I thinking about 3 years from now? Because that is when I think this team should be looking to start being a contender. If you aren’t looking 3 years from now you are going to run into contract issues and the fact that you can’t keep all the wonderful under 27 talent you’ve assembled.

            The problem regarding Omark is where does he fit in? Where do you put him next year when you have the same roster issues?

            Say he’s good enough to crack the top 9 in 20 games, who do you take out?

            If I’m not being clear, I apologize. Essentially, here is what I would have done this year:

            C: Horcoff, Gagner, Brule, Fraser
            LW: Penner, Omark, Cogliano, Reddox, Jones
            RW: Hemsky, Eberle, Grabner, Stortini, Smac (too keep everyone happy)
            D: Gilbert, Whitney, Foster, Smid, Vandermeer, Peckham, Petiot
            G: Khabibulin, DD

            Hall OHL, Paajarvi AHL (or Finland if he prefers).

            Find the 15 minutes per night for Grabner, Omark & Cogs at ES & PP. Find PK time for Jones, Reddox, Stortini & Cogs.

            Find out which of these players you can build with and which players can’t hack it or are redundant.

            If Omark and Cogs (or Grabner) are similar players who both perform well, look at trading one of them this off season. If you can get 20-25 goals out of one of them maybe that’s a 1st round pick, or part of a package to get a better player. If they can’t all you’ve spent is money. If 2 of them flunk out and you have Paajarvi in the AHL you can bring him back up if you choose.

            If Cogs can’t keep up offensively but finds a role as a PKer you have that as well.

            In other words, make decisions on the players you have to make a decision on.

            The other option it gives you is to roll the contracts for MPS & Hall over a year (yeah that argument again).

            What that does is potentially allow you to ice the following forward group in 3 years:

            LW: Hall, Penner, Paajarvi, XXXX
            RW: Hemsky, Eberle, Omark/Cogliano, Stortini
            C: Gagner, Horcoff, Brule, XXXX

            Fill in the XXXX’s with cheaper players.

            That to me looks like a hell of a forward group for 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14. As soon as Hall, Eberle & Paajarvi are making big money this roster is not possible (which as of right now means the 2013-14 season is a no go with this group)

            The point about bringing guys like Reddox and Jones now is maybe one of them is that XXXX player who can play the PK and play the 7 minutes per night of ES at $500k/year. If you can figure that out over the next couple of years you don’t have to worry about it and you don’t have to find a proven vet to do it.

          • Wax Man Riley

            But Dawgbone……when do the young players get to develop in the NHL? How good will Hall and Pääjärvi get in junior and AHL? And then expected to step in and magically be 90 point players when it’s convenient to insert them on the roster?
            and “If Cogs doesn’t score….” or “If Omark does score 25 goals…..”
            If my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle….

            ~If Hall scores 102 points this year, won’t you look silly~

          • DoubleJ

            In the case of a guy like Eberle (who’s clock starts now in terms of service time anyway), now isn’t bad. Same with a guy like Omark. His clock starts this year anyways.

            And the if’s are exactly why you do it. The Oilers lose nothing by trying it but potentially gain a lot.

          • Hemmercules

            I don’t even know what were arguing about anymore, lol. I just think you are reading way too much into things when they haven’t played one meaningful game yet. It’s like Omark is the second Gretzky or something they way people are reacting to him being sent down.

            I guess I just don’t see how having Hall, Magnus, Struds and Jones on the team over Omark, Reddox and Petiot is going to make a huge difference??? Aren’t guys like Reddox, Petiot and Jones floating around on waivers and unrestricted free agency all the time anyway???

            And how does anyone know Penner and Hemsky are even in the plans 3 years from now?? Is it possible they want to replace those players with likes of Magnus, Hall and Eberle??? Maybe the cap is at 70 million by then and we can afford everyone??? Impossible to answer any of this prior to the first game of a rebuiling team.

          • Hemmercules

            I can’t speak for everyone, but for me – it is more of a principle thing.

            I am afraid of the message it sends young players when a 30th placed team already has roster spots assigned to players without letting them battle for jobs.

            I have no real idea what the Oilers told a guy like Omark going in to camp, but he surely didn’t disappoint them in any way?

            For me, I am quite excited about a skilled player showing me that he is willing to do anything to make the team (as Omark did with his skill and tenacity in which ever role they put him in).

            At the same time – I can’t help but be confused as to why a guy like Cogliano (who has everything to prove) had such an average camp but was a lock to make this roster.

            I realize there are waiver issues, etc – but it still doesn’t make me feel any better about the selection process. If they knew what guys they would be sending down, etc – why not do it earlier and start letting the opening night roster gel?

            This whole thread has nothing to do any of the players making this team a cup contender or not. At least not for me anyway…

          • BarryS

            Re Cogs. The devil you know against one you don’t.

            Being already on the team, any team, is a great advantage over someone trying to make the team.

            The rules for making teams have not changed and are not likely to. All players have benefited from the system at some time in their lived and most hsve also suffered from it.

            A rookie player is like anyone looking for a job in business. You have to be two or three times as good to get the job over some guy already in the org who want’s to transfer across.

          • Hemmercules

            You could be Omarks agent, you sell him well and seemingly would die trying to see him on the team over Cog’s.

            I heard somewhere the Oilers wanted Omark in north America last year and he didn’t want to come for whatever reason (money?? not sure). I think if he would have been here last year he would probably be ahead of Magnus or Eberle at this point and we would probably be talking about why one of them was cut instead. Too bad for Omark it didn’t work in his favor.

            I agree that the selection process isn’t great with guaranteed spots and all but not much can be done about that on our end but cry about it. Seems to me the oil always make the final cuts quite late and play rookies thoughout all pre season games though. To me this years camp was more about deciding first call ups than a bunch of skilled guys fighting for NHL spots. Thats the way it turned out anyway.

            My thinking behind Cog’s is that both he and the Oilers considered him a lock to make the team from the second they signed that one year deal with him. Let him play out the season in a more ideal roll than last and see where it goes. If he doesn’t improve then trade him or whatever, opening the spot for Omark to storm in and score 100 goals in 50 games and single handedly winning the cup with 100 playoff points in his first year.

            I’m just curious of you attended Oilers camp this year?? You seem to know so much about Cog’s “average camp” or are you just talking pre season games?

      • Ducey

        Decent points. But you need to keep in mind they only get 50 contracts. Grabner has not scored enough anywhere to really break the top 2 lines here, and he doesn’t have enough grit to do anything else. He looks like Patty O’Sullivan to me.

        As well, develpment and evaluation can happen on the farm too. Omark will likely be a better player for having spent some time on the farm team. Reddox will get his chance too. Do you think he would really be a difference maker in the 30 games he would play as the 13th forward on the 4th line?

        Same with Strudwick. He is the 7th dman. How is it helping Petiot or Belle if they sit in the pressbox 40 games a season? With Strudwick you don’t care.

        • Ender

          Granted on Grabner, but that’s the sort of shot you take when you are a lottery club in a developmental year. All it does is cost you a little bit of money.

          Omark has played in leagues as good or better than the AHL the last 2 years. I’d have him in the NHL all year and see if he can sink or swim.

          In terms of Reddox, I’m not concerned with him being a difference maker this year. My concern is whether he has any value long term. Play him in the NHL and run him out on the PK as often as possible and see if he can contribute there. If he can that’s a hole you’ve filled for the next couple of years. If he can’t it’s no loss. The problem is if he doesn’t clear than you don’t have that option anymore (the risk is what I have an issue with). If he can PK 3 mins per night and play 8 minutes at ES he represents a pretty good value contract, something a future championship team needs.

          Considering Strudwick has played 70 games 2 years in a row I don’t have the same confidence you do that our 7th D would spend 40 games in the pressbox. I’m not so much worried about Petiot and Belle’s development as I am about who has more future potential in the organization.

          It’s a developmental year, so why not use it to make some decisions on the organization? Grab a player who hasn’t panned out but has obvious skills and see what they can do.

          What happens next year? The Oilers still have a bunch of decisions to make and holes to fill and won’t have any of the answers. If Omark can’t make the club out of camp this year, who does he displace next year? Can the Oilers even get anything for him?

          Even if all it means is guys are used as trading chips, at the very least you have that.

  • I think Omarks biggest problem has been his systems play. If he was going to make the team he had to play better without the puck. That being said, I hope he gets it and is called up soon. I like the guy and he looks like he could be the real deal.

    • Hemmercules

      I still don’t get why people say this? What did he do wrong away from the puck in the games he played (as compared to any other player out there)?

      In his own end, he covered his point and collapsed down low when he had to.

      He was there for support during the breakout and on the down low cycles in the opposing end.

      He rarely (if ever) got trapped down low on the forecheck and seemd to be able to pick up his guy on the backcheck.

      He went into the dirty areas and was tenacious in his pursuit of the puck.

      I realize it was just preseason and the competition gets better, but my debate is that he looked as good (or better) in these areas as a lot of the other guys on the team.

      Every player can be better – but I don’t buy this argument that he needs to get better away from the puck as the reason for his demotion.

      I can handle the idea that it was a contract situation and that management is trying to get things sorted out – even though I don’t think that makes it any easier for Omark to swallow.

      • Ender

        You are 100% right. Here is the problem- Oilers never even tried to be fair. They had the roster in mined and the training camp was for show only. They decided in the spring to be bigger and if it was Gretzky trying for the team he would not be good enough. Here is the worst part- Omark was plying in Europe and making good money. They knew that he was not going to make the team but invited him to sign a contract anyway. And he has no out this year!

      • Hemmercules

        “I can handle the idea that it was a contract situation and that management is trying to get things sorted out – even though I don’t think that makes it any easier for Omark to swallow.”

        I think thats exactly what it is, a contract situation. Players will get moved, demoted & injured. Omark will get his time. It’s rebuild time, be patient.

  • magisterrex

    A very good analysis. I admit to being very disappointed by the team shipping down Reddox, Giroux, and Omark. It’s probably time for Liam to look for other opportunities; the Oilers are simply not going to put him in their lineup as long as they think they’re still too small up front. Davide Staples noted that Giroux was a +7 for scoring chances for/against in his last game, so it’s too bad we couldn’t find room for him. I’m not sold on JFJ nor Cogliano, so there’s room on the roster (IMO) if one or both of them were sent somewhere else.

    But, as you say, some guys might falter and find themselves replaced in the lineup by others who are fighting for the opportunity down with the Barons.

    BTW I don’t read Mark Spector for the very reasons you point out.

    • Bar Qu

      Clever, though I wonder how many people get the reference

      I don’t think it would have killed the Oilers to give him one of the top-six jobs held out for the big three, or at least give him an honest shot at unseating one of them.

      Another reason that sending Taylor Hall back to junior after a 9-game tryout should still remain an option (if only to allow him to work on a more complete game, maturing another year and taking advantage of the benefits of the current CBA). I mean, I hope TH tears the cover off the ball, but pre-season did not give that impression and a good, thoughtful, insightful GM might consider that this is not the season to worry about bringing up teenagers to play in the bigs.

      • db7db7db7

        Taylor Hall would be soooo pissed if he was sent back to juniors at this point. Remember he declined to attend world junior camp. I guess someone put certain expectations in his head as to where he’ll be come Christmas time. The fact remains, he should be in juniors to refine his play away from the puck and develop his centering ability (he has nothing left to prove in juniors is ignorant).

        • D-Man

          He has nothing to prove in juniors… The guy is a two-time Memorial Cup MVP. He’s coming off a 106 point season and has shown glimpses of why he was first overall in preseason.

          I agree he is the least impressive of the ‘big three’, but give this kid some time. Joe Thorton lived on the 4th line of Boston for his first year after the draft. I’m not comparing Thorton to Hall, but Hall like any other pick needs time to develop. Playing with men will do that, as MPS has shown.

  • Hemmertime

    Whatchou talkin about there Willis?

    Your opinion means nothing, you probably work at a McDonalds.

    Side note, my cabbie yesterday had a doctorate, this world is just.

  • Jason Gregor

    Man…I feel like I just went back 20 years to my first logic class at the community college. It hurt;s having to think about what I’, reading. ….ermm….JW,isn’t this a Hockey Blog? :-0