A CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Credit where credit is due, this skit form the 2010 NHL Awards is actually quite hilarious. It must make Kevin Lowe’s eyes bleed to see Bobby Ryan upright, a force in the NHL and sporting a silver medal. But it could be worse.

You could be placing your Captain on waivers.

According to TSN.ca:

The Edmonton Oilers housecleaning is well underway as forwards Ethan Moreau, Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan were all placed on waivers on Tuesday setting in motion the buyout process.O’Sullivan is scheduled to make $2.95 million next season, while both Moreau and Nilsson are slated to earn $2 million each. 

Let’s take a moment to allow all of this to settle in shall we?

*moment*

O’SULLIVAN

In addition to sporting the unfortunate initials P.O.S, Patrick O’Sullivan disappointed in his first year as an Oiler scoring 11 goals and adding 23 assists for a total of 34 points in 73 games. The fact that the Oilers would place the 6th highest point collector from last year on waivers is testament to how frustrating ol’ Patty von Frustratington had become to Coaches and Team Brass alike.

The flashes of brilliance that POS would display from time to time made his other wise ghost like play all the worse. If someone is just plain bad, you can simply say aloud "oh that guy? It’s not his fault he (INSERT GAFFE HERE). He just plain sucks. Other fans will nod solemnly, agreeing that you can’t blame a crappy player for being crappy any more than you can blame the Sun in the sky for shining so brightly.

But if that same crappy player can occasionally light the lamp, take a guy wide on the outside or make an all world pass it becomes one of those things that eventually leads your Head Coach getting "sideways promoted" and gets you bought out of an expensive contract.

We really had hoped you would fit in on this team Patrick. But your compete level registered somewhere between "really really low" and "none."

Don’t let the you know what hit you in the you know where.

NILSSON

Ah Robert Nilsson. How high our hopes were for you too once upon a time. You buttery soft 25 year old waste of exceptional skills, we now see how wrong we were. Speaking of low compete levels, you are one of the worst we have ever seen. If your heart was half of your skills you would be a perennial 20 goal scorer in the NHL.

Instead you are being bought out of your contract after 252 career games.

Good work.

We actually owe you a special debt of gratitude as it was your arrival in Edmonton as part of the Ryan Smyth trade that led to the eventual creation of the OilersNation. When our beloved Ryan Smyth was dealt the only news on oilers.nhl.com was annoucning that "The Oilers acquire Robert Nilsson." The subsequent rage we felt as a fan begat a Ryan Smyth protest site which begat the Nations. Thank you for that "Sir."

Buying you out won’t bring our favourite Oiler of all time back, but it is a start in erasing the past 4 seasons of our life.

MOREAU

Placing your Captain on waivers to start the buyout process is either a) truly the only move left at your disposal or b) classless. For the life of us we can’t figure out which category this falls under.

It must be noted that Ethan Moreau has been a tremendous Oiler during his eleven years in Edmonton. There are very few players who have been able to bounce back from such horrifying injuries as Moreau, nor are there many who make as positive an impact in the community. Anyone who comes on here and chirps a guy like Ethan Moreau needs to have their heads examined and then possibly bashed in.

It is astounding to look at the career of Moreau and see where things have ended up. Sure scoring 9-9-18 in 76 games isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. Sure being -18 on the worst team in the entire NHL isn’t something you would ask to have mentioned at your retirement dinner.

But placing the Captain on waivers? Really? We can’t ever recall a team doing something like this. Warranted or not, you would think that the 12th Captain in a storied franchise such as this deserves better. The dignity of departing via trade – even for a late round draft pick – should have been extended to the guy.

Don’t tell us you couldn’t get anything in return Steve. The Captain deserves better.

Hat Tip to R Kenny.

MORE IS SURELY TO COME

We will leave the in depth post mortems to the heavyweights. But today truly marks a changing of the guard. And it also shows that the Oilers won’t be taking the "less pressure on the kids" route of development next year.

Rather than potentially allowing Eberle, MPS, Hall and Omark the option of playing a year in the AHL with less pressure, these 3 roster holes – plus failing to offer Potulny and Pouliot offers – now has 5 forward spots wide open for the taking come training camp.

Ready or not – get ready for the kids.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I’ll respect Moreau when he respects the team. The guy plays like crap all year and then when he is told that if he wants to be traded he needs to step up, he then steps up? What about the 50 games before that?

    He has been pretty loyal to the community and the fans, but when it comes to taking the blame for losing he is quick to pass the buck.

    • Jamie B.

      He was loyal to the fans, except during the lockout where it was evident that all he cared about was the union.

      The team shouldn’t have to waive the captain but this is more of the long-lasting issue of poor contract management – I put more heat on Lowe than Tambellini. Moreau’s contract was a year too long (Staois’ was 2 years too long, as is Horcoff’s).

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Real no surprise here. I mean really, what were they suppose to do with Moreau? Hopefully they learned a lesson here and stop giving the ‘C’ out to a washing machine on the 4th line.

      • Victoria

        Didn’t realize your so sensitive, Wayner-Whiner. When your done wiping your eyes maybe you will come to your senses. Measure up and compare your Ex-Captain with the other captains around the league and the light will come on for you.

          • Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child

            C’mon Waaaaaayne… just becasue I’m right and your wrong. Based on your McLovin for Moreau, bye the way Tambellini doesn’t think so. Just so there are no hurt feelings I’m going to let you buy me a couple of beer’s and then you can get back to your doodling.

          • Oh Hunter5 you know I can’t stay mad at you. I’m all emotional because my favorite ice hockey team picked the wrong guy first overall in the entry draft, didn’t qualify a kid who came out of nowhere to score 15 goals last year and now waived the Captain.

            Luckily I have a crippling addiction to alcahol or I don’t know how I would get through the days.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Tambellini has supposedly been shopping Moreau around. Maybe cost conscience NHL GM’s don’t want an injury prone mid-30’s veteran around for 1 year at $2 million. Yes, putting Moreau on waivers is a slap in the face of one of Edmonton’s true warriors, but I truly believe the Oilers tried to trade him but didn’t find any takers. For what Moreau brings to the table on the ice, today’s NHL teams are going with much younger and cheaper options.
    As for O’Sullivan and Nilsson all I can say is “it’s about time.” As more and more of these moves are made the more excited I get for the fresh start that 2010-11 will bring. All we need to do now is rid ourselves of Sheldon Souray and pretty much all of the negative locker room influences will be eliminated.

    • My friend sometimes in order to save face you do certain things. We aren’t asking for an NHL ready player back in return.

      Moreau + late round pick in 2011 for late round pick in 2012.

      There is still a place for loyalty, even if the guy needs to go. It disrespects the ‘C’ and that can’t be tolerated.

      • Jamie B.

        You don’t think Tambo tried? It would have been more like Moreau + 3rd round pick in 2010 for late round pick in 2011. Why? His salary.

        Once he’s bought out and a UFA, I’m sure teams will have more interest in signing him for less than $1 million.

      • Disrespects the ‘C’? A buy-out allows Moreau to choose where he wants to go. Freedom ain’t a bad thing and frankly this is the same franchise that allowed Buchberger (the captain at the time) to be plucked in an expansion draft. Compared to that classless move, this is like a Christmas present.

          • Hi Wanye, For many years Ethan Moreau was my favourite Oiler, but he lost my admiration during McTavish’s last year (2008 – 2009) when he said things like “it’s us veterans that will do the scoring — the younger guys can chip in but they need to learn the defensive side of the game first”.

            That isn’t an exact quote, but he said something very close to it during training camp ’08. I believe it disrespected the C when he didn’t put the team first and offer to play on the fourth line where he was obviously more suited.

            I believe it disrespected the C when he and his cronies made sure they had locker room stalls away from the other players.

            I belive it disrespected the C when he complained about MacTavish’s leadership and then Quinn’s systems.

            Finally, when a Captain asks for a trade, he might technically still be the Captain, but in practical terms he can no longer be said to be inherently loyal to his team. He has essentially ripped the C from his own heart. And Ethan historically has had a great heart. He’d been playing without it for a lotta games.

          • Fair point Ken and well made at that.

            I think there is a difference between someone being a less-than-perfect Captain and having the Institution of the Captaincy get disrespected though.

            There are intangibles of the game that have a lot of tradition and mean way more inside the room than it does to us fans. Treating the Captain with a higher level of respect is one of them.

            Having said you make a valid point with the locker room stalls. There was a handful of strange elitist changes that Moreau and Souray made last year that pissed off a great many in the room. Stuff you wouldn’t expect going down in a 30th place team that is shunned by UFAs and will need buy in from the kids to improve.

            Maybe with his departure we can beg Brownlee and Gregor to write about it over the summer.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            He disrespected the “C” with his attitude and play last year. Saving face my a$$. He could care less whats on his jersey, or who signs his last nhl checks. Let him leave, good riddance.

          • Holy crap dude. The guy has battled back from numerous injuries that would have killed lesser folk.

            Perhaps he didn’t have the most impactful year on record but “doesn’t care?”

            Really?

  • It’s unfortunate to have to buy out your captain, but it also speaks to the fact that he prroooobbbaaabbbbllllyyy *smarmy, high pitched tone* shouldn’t have been captain in the first place.
    Great guy in the room, longest serving Oiler, whatever, whatever. Things break down and eventually become useless and it comes to a certain point that all the nostalgia in the world can’t stop you from tossing it in favor of a new one.

    And, I mean, it’s not like he was the face of the franchise for his entire career, then was unceremoniously stripped of his captaincy for no reason, followed by not being extended a contract offer as he hims and haws about weather or not to retire. I mean, who on earth would ever do that??