(Seems Like) A Long Time

This is David Oliver. Once upon a time he was part of a quality cluster of young forwards in the Edmonton Oilers system. Is the current group as good–or better–than the Weight-Arnott-Smyth cluster? 

I’m a big believer in developing prospects in clusters. Any Oiler fan old enough to remember the Boys On The Bus probably feels the same way, because Edmonton’s hockey fans had a bird’s eye view of the power of the cluster 30 years ago. That tremendous group had terrific sustain, retiring 20 or so years later with multiple Stanley’s in multiple towns.

I don’t think it benefits us to compare the current group of young Oiler forwards to the 1984-85 Oilers because comparing any group in the history of the game to the 99 group would just end up in depression. However, the Oilers did have a strong cluster of young forwards 15 years ago that is worthy of a look. Here are the 95-96 Oilers forward group and their numbers:

  1. Doug Weight (24) 82gp, 25-79-104
  2. Zdeno Ciger (25) 78gp, 31-39-70
  3. Jason Arnott (20) 64gp, 28-31-59
  4. David Oliver (24) 80gp, 20-19-39
  5. Todd Marchant (22) 81gp, 19-19-38
  6. Miro Satan (20) 62gp, 18-17-35
  7. Dean McAmmond (22) 53gp, 15-15-30
  8. Marius Czerkawski (23) 37gp, 12-17-29
  9. Scott Thornton (24) 77gp, 9-9-18
  10. Ryan Smyth (19) 48gp, 2-9-11
  11. Kent Manderville (24) 37gp, 3-5-8
  12. Louie DeBrusk (24) 38gp, 1-3-4
  13. Ralph Intranuovo (21) 13gp, 1-2-3
  14. Jason Bonsignore (19) 20gp, 0-2-2
  15. Tyler Wright (22) 23gp, 1-0-1
  16. Dennis Bonvie (22) 8gp, 0-0-0

That’s an exceptional group. They never reached the finals (the `06 team had only Smyth left) but there`s a lot of quality on this list.  No HOFers but a few marginal ones (Weight, Arnott, Satan, Smyth) and a nice range of skills in there.Now let’s have a look at the current group:

  1. Dustin Penner (27) 82gp, 32-31-63
  2. Ales Hemsky (26) 22gp, 7-15-22
  3. Ryan Jones (25) 49gp, 8-4-12
  4. Liam Reddox (24) 9gp, 0-2-2
  5. JF Jacques (24) 49gp, 4-7-11
  6. Zack Stortini (24) 77gp, 4-9-13
  7. Gilbert Brule (23) 65gp, 17-20-37
  8. Ryan O’Marra (22) 3gp, 0-1-1
  9. Andrew Cogliano (22) 82gp, 10-18-28
  10. Sam Gagner (20) 68gp, 15-26-41
  11. Linus Omark (23)
  12. Jordan Eberle (19)
  13. MPS (18)
  14. Taylor Hall (17)

A few observations:

  • The 95-96 is better and more established. Doug Weight–the leader of the group–was an exceptional player by 25 although injuries would impact him in later seasons. There’s size and grit on the 95-96 team and they are deeper in terms of 2-way players (although in fairness some of the current group may emerge).
  • Penner and Hemsky are really cut off from this cluster. The heart of the order is Gagner-MPS-Hall-Eberle (imo) and that means Hemsky/Penner are basically 10 seasons removed from the center diamond.
  • The Oilers pissed away a lot of quality on the 95-96 team. Satan for nothing. Lordy.
  • This list really highlights just how careful the organization needs to be with kids like Cogliano. He’s not going to be Marchant unless he learns the finer aspects of the game and three years in it isn’t happening. Could he be a small m McAmmond? Don’t know, but he’s an asset the club needs to grind into something useful.
  • We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won’t be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They’re just kids, folks.
  • Cowbell_Feva

    I can’t stand to say this, but Vancouver is going to win the West. Gillis has done well this off-season, to go along with what they had last year.

    Will be long games when we go to Vancity.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    It’s a tough week here again is it?

    Never give a Oilersnation member suffering with PMS a GPS, or you’ll end up with a Biotch who knows where to find you.

    As Nacho says…. take it eeeasssayyy, guys.

    • Ender

      The big news in here for me was on Souray. When Stauffer asked “Is it an option to bring him back?”

      Steve Tambellini said:

      I’m not going there at this point. I don’t want to go there because I’m focused on trying to make a deal and I want other teams to know that, too.”

      OK, the question Stauffer asked was the perfect opportunity for Tambi to be non-committal and say something like “Anything is possible. I envision several different scenarios that could occur and we’ll just have to see as the situation progresses which one is best for our hockey club.” or some other wishy-washy statement that means ‘I have no idea what I’m going to do.” He also completely ignored Souray’s name when discussing his possible defencemen this year. The fact that he didn’t take the easy road to me indicates that he does have a plan, and I think if it involved Sheldon playing here in the fall he’d have said so or at least alluded to the possibility. I’m guessing Tambi knows it will be a cold day in Hell before his defensive core includes Souray again.

  • Lowetide

    Just wanted to pass along a quick note with regard to underrating the kids. I think it is really important that we put their rookie seasons in context (Mark Messier scored 1 goal in his first Oiler season) and if they kick out the jams then we’ll all be elated.

    I’m not wishing failure upon them. I’m cheering like hell for them. Seriously.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Dear ON readers,

    The most important question of the day is: Who from the current crop of young Oilers do you feel is most likely to follow in Louie Debrusk’s footsteps and end up doing colour commentary on SportsNet in 2020?

    My vote is for Pisani – with him and Principe together, we’ve got that problem solved until our children have children.

  • Lowetide

    Ender: Agree completely. I think they’ve sort of tipped their hands before this, but ST was pretty well organized in his response.

    Souray’s a leper in Edmonton, at least with regard to Oilers management.

    • Lowetide

      SIGH.

      I heard that too and thought the same thing. While I was listening for “we finished dead last and are exploring all options to improve our club” all I heard was “we’re the ones who know best and we’re going to steam roll any semblance of opposition from inside our organization.”

      Is Jack Michael Michaels loving the prospects of moving to balmier climates or what? What a name. I’m going to call him Chaz.

  • Librarian Mike

    a) Gagner will never dominate unless the talent pool of his generation drops extremely so he can scoot around with his cartoon feet and 2′ stick handling reach.

    b) Hall and MPS will emerge way faster to consistency than Gagner (unless you consider pooping his bed 80% of the season and then scoring in “clusters” for 20% to get around 40-50 points). better speed, size, drive, and ability to apply their skill is head and shoulders above Gagner. sorry, Russian Super Series Crapola Heroics doesnt count anymore. time to dig some new history.

    c) clusters work currently. clusters werent always PARAMOUNT to strategic team building. its in vogue currently because of economics. were the Red Wings of 2001-2002 trying to work in clusters? nope, they were trying to buy a cup in a different economic field. Datsyuk was hardly a factor and emerged later.

    clusters of the 80s/Oilers is completely different. yes, the game is always revolutionizing, changing form and “evolving” its amorphous shape. the 80s/Oilers was a completely different thing, as we all know, and shouldnt be depressing but understood as a cluster that changed the game (along with guys like Mario, etc).

    d) with how lame the Oilers vets are, Hall is going to need enormous drive to become the player we want him to be. aside from Hemsky as a skilled player to help him elevate each others games – most of the rest of the team as a source of development (outside of “intangibles”) is either retarded, inconsistent, super young, or cant handle “Taking the bull by the horns” as true NHL leaders in a successful matrix.

    Fart

  • Ender

    I would hope the Oilers don’t treat any players past or present like they are treating and handling the Souray standoff . You drag him through the embarrassment of waivers for what stupid purpose ? Next, you lay blame on him for your failures to sign Cogs and Gagner ? Is it any wonder why players don’t want to come to this organization when they treat players in that manner ?

    Get a grip here , management is making organization look stupid much more so than Souray . End the impasse , but don’t keep continuing to make him the scapegoat for your own failures to move him . Crap man, you don’t go to war against your own players . You make no attempt to doing anything other than to continue to make an example of him in a negative light and hang him out to dry to media and fans abuse . End the vendetta (screwing him over ) for him speaking out, and get on with building the club before you make matters worse .

    • Ender

      Situation: You’re a manager at a large firm and one day while walking past the water cooler, you see one of your employees chatting with several of his office pals while smoking a big fat joint.

      Do you:

      A) Invite everyone else back to their offices so you can take some time to explain to Joe Kool why he’s fired, or

      B) Employ the madjam model of management and keep walking to your own office so you can reflect on how you’ve failed as a manager and what the next best steps are to rehabilitate this obviously unhappy and misguided soul back into a healthy and productive member of your organization?

      I’m afraid I know the answer already.

      • D-Man

        Neither Ender . Supplimental disciplinary action would be my course , in privacy with offender preferred and where applicable, and it may not always be termination . Re affirm company policy and see if he/she understands company policy and inappropriteness of his/her actions firstly , as well as supplimentary disciplinary options that offence can/ should apply . If your low line supervisory you have to explain appropriateness of actions to human relations and possibly face your own supplimentary disciplinary actions if they find you overeacted or took the right course in your actions . If it be a union setting then more complications can also arise . Then of course you have to consider how to handle that individual with tact , or face having individual coming back to wreak havoc on the workplace, company and possibly yourself .

        More times than not,it not straight black and white . Many times i’ve witnessed management get their knuckles wrapped , and also face supplimental disciplinary action for overstepping their bounds as well . Most is done in privacy with the offenders , and if done in supervisory often never gets beyond that out to workplace floor .

        • Ender

          [giggle]

          madjam wrote:

          Re affirm company policy and see if he/she understands company policy and inappropriteness of his/her actions firstly . . .

          Joe Kool: What? Smoking pot in the hall with my buddies is bad? Oh my goodness . . . I had no idea . . .

          madjam wrote:

          Supplimental disciplinary action would be my course . . .

          Sounds like option B) to me. Big surprise.

          • Crust

            Option B would be the only course of action for a large publicly traded company.

            Option A would be the option for most small to medium sized privately held companies.

            Not sure how any of the comparisons or the analogy even compares to a what a private NHL team that has media overshadowing their every move would or would not do in the situation.

            I can tell you from experience, as I used to work for a publicly traded Fortune 500 company when I was in Vancouver. They had a completely different mindset about drugs (addictions) than anything I have ever seen while I grew up and now live again in Alberta. In BC, and at a large corporation, drug or addiction issues are looked at as a mental health issue and the company will do whatever it takes to rehab an employee over firing them.

            My boss and two other employees were coked out most of the time and the company sent them all through rehab, then gave each of them a month of with pay, then put them through courses etc etc. The rest of the Staff were all sympathetic towards these individuals.

            In Alberta if someone misses work because or alcohol or rugs you are either a wimp for not making into work or you a piece or you know what cuz you are a druggy.

            I have seen it from both sides and from what I have seen is that how things are viewed are dependant on the environment, the culture of that area, and the size of the Company.

            As mentioned, I’m not sure how this translates to a hockey scenario.

    • D-Man

      Management has handled this situation quite professionally… Neither Tambellini or Lowe have went to the press to air out the dirty laundry they have on Souray. Souray, as talented as he is, made the decision to publicly air his displeasure… twice… Not only is this unprofessional, he’s lowered his trade value… Who wants someone who’s going to complain when the “going gets rough”?? Tambellini was forced to waive Souray as he hasn’t had a healthy season in two years… He carries a huge contract, has health issues, and a big mouth. Who wants to carry that monkey on their back?

      I don’t necessarily agree that the Souray issue should delay the signings of Cogs and Gagner. Both are RFA’s and no one in this day or age are going to give them a huge offer sheet. Tambo still has a bit of time to get this done. Although I must admit, he moves quite slowly for my liking, one must appreciate his deliberate approach to the team.

  • Crust

    The thing that still makes me angry is that Souray asked for a trade quietly 1 whole year before going public. At that time, he was coming off a pretty good year and his value was much higher than now. Had management actually tried to trade him at that time they could have gotten a lot more for him and the whole mess could have been avoided. I blame management for dithering around until it was too late.

    • Ender

      Maybe because his value was higher, management needed to get more for him so the casual fan wouldn’t come unglued when they announced a trade out of nowhere.

      If no one knew Souray had demanded a trade behind closed doors, how happy would you have been a year ago to hear the words “Sheldon Souray has been traded to the Boston Bruins for local product Johnny Boychuk”? I bet you’d take that trade in a red-hot second now though, wouldn’t you?

      • Crust

        I guess I don’t think management should make their decisions based on what the casual fan would or would not do. After the trade was done, management could state Souray had asked for a trade and they had accommodated him.
        I take it you prefer the present state of affairs?

        • Ender

          Of course not. The point though is that if we would have thought that trade was horsecrap a year ago, management probably thought it was horsecrap too. In the first place, they were probably sure they could get more for him. In the second place, they didn’t expect him to spend a good portion of the season on IR. And last, I can’t think they expected Souray to go and submarine their trade efforts by mouthing off in front of the cameras.

          To say that management simply ignored Souray’s trade request or dithered because they were having too much fun playing Evony online is patently absurd. They probably tried to move heaven and earth to get some kind of suitable return for him since the moment he talked to them, and because of the factors listed above their asking price has dropped a lot between then and now.

          • Crust

            So, was that the best trade offer that was on the table last year? I haven’t read anything about possible trades last year. But, we agree that his value was higher then and therefore probably would have brought more. I make no guesses as to what management was doing with their time. The reason I think they dithered is because that appeared to be their MO at that time and if they were moving heaven and earth to trade him there likely would have been some evidence of that leaked. I have not heard management address the issue of what efforts they made when the initial request was made…this alone makes me suspect not too much was accomplished or they would cite it in their defense.

          • Ender

            As you’ve alluded to, management does what it thinks it needs to without involving the public if it can. Trading away one of your best players involves the public to a certain degree because it affects ticket sales and fan loyalty. Justifying how you have attempted to deal with an employee’s request, though, is not really any of the public’s business. While I admit I’d like to know, if I was K-Lowe or Tambi I’d be tight-lipped about it too. You can’t make everything you do in the organization public knowledge or you’d be even more handcuffed and powerless to make any changes.

            I’m sure Tambi talked to some other GM’s about possible moves. Whether they approached him and were refused or whether it was Tambi that reached out and got shot down, there’s often little to gain from announcing such failed deals to the press. In that light, little surprise it wasn’t ‘leaked’.

            Edit: I invented the Boychuk trade as an example. I have no more idea than anyone else what may or may not have been on the table a year ago.

    • D-Man

      When did Souray do this? I wasn’t aware that he’d asked for a trade quietly?? If that’s the case, although it doesn’t justify his going to the public, this information doesn’t help Tambellini’s cause…

  • Crackenbury

    It’s completely unbelievable to me how anyone can find any type of defence for Souray’s actions, even if there was a hint of truth to them. I loved ST’s non-answer to Stauffer yesterday about whether Souray will be welcomed back. Souray is a delusional d1ckhead. Man I’d love to see him end up in Toronto somehow. Burke, Wilson, Phaneuf, Souray – let the fun times roll.

    • Ender

      well, it’s completely unbelievable to me how a fan can go from loving a player to hating them over something that happened off ice. Souray was always a stand-up player and he made us proud more than a few times. How easily we forget that and just point to him saying stuff in the media to turn him into a villain.

      How does what Souray said in the media affect your personally? Or heck, even as a fan? You or the Oilers’ organization can’t take any negative comments?

      Be like Lowe and grow some thicker skin.

      • book¡e

        Actually, I think its quite logical to determine one’s attitude to an individual by the sum of their actions as opposed to the way they play a game.

        For example, I can like Khabibulin as a Goalie and still hope that he gets locked up for 6 months because he is a narcissistic dickhead who put his own convenience above the safety of others.

        As a measure of an individual, I would actually argue that it would be better to be a stand up guy in real life and a bit of a jerk on the ice. One of those two things are real and the other is just a game.

        • Ender

          you said

          “Actually, I think its quite logical to determine one’s attitude to an individual by the sum of their actions as opposed to the way they play a game.”

          I would say that the sum of Souray’s actions on the ice were much greater than the two times he spoke to media off the ice.

          So by your logic, you should like Souray and not hate on him as he proved by being a stand-up guy on the ice for his well over 100 games he’s played here.

          And p.s – I know Souray, or at least I did when he was back in his Montreal days, and that guy has lots of friends, has great family and is stand-up in every way.

          The way the fans and the media have painted the picture of him is completely off base and not in touch with reality.

          • Librarian Mike

            The way the fans and the media have painted the picture of him is completely off base and not in touch with reality.

            ~Especially the way they forced him at gunpoint to go on the record and openly trash his bosses.~

            Seriously though, I’m sure he’s probably a perfectly nice person if you got to know him. That said, he certainly hasn’t done himself any favours by ripping on the team and then expecting them to apologize to him after.

          • book¡e

            Harlie – I agree that what we knew about his previous behaviour/reputation should be taken into consideration when he makes comments like he did.

            If Ryan Smyth made comments like Souray, I think the majority of people would stick with Ryan and ‘turn’ on management. If Sean Avery did the same, we would continue to think poorly of the guy. My take on Souray (based on limited knowledge) is that he falls somewhere between the two.

            I think that Souray’s recent comments were probably very unwise for his hockey career and that if he had sucked it up and just ‘pretended’ that all was forgiven then it would have worked out better for him and for the Oilers. His personal Pride could cost him a lot here. That, or he is hoping to push the Oilers into a buyout or re-entry waivers, but it may not work out that cleanly for him.

          • book¡e

            Well, Khabibulin could have and others who are equally stupid have affected my life.

            Souray’s comments affect my life rather minimally through impacting the NHL team I support. If that is not enough to comment on, then Oilers Nation should just shut down because that is pretty much all that we do around here – talk about Oiler issues that really don’t affect our life at all.

  • Ender

    Harlie wrote:

    As mentioned, I’m not sure how this translates to a hockey scenario.

    It wasn’t really about the hockey scenario. It was more about how madjam (and others) perceive the hockey scenario. I think that’s been illuminated quite well for me.

  • Chaz

    As much as I’m enjoying the back and forths on this topic, from the perspective of an Oiler fan, why does it matter who’s at fault? And for the record, I feel both sides are to blame, like 99% of spats like this.

    The fact is that it’s looking to be extremely unlikely that we’ll trade him before the season, unless we’re taking huge baggage (IE: A brutal contract) back the other way. The only way this can change is if he comes back, plays well, stays healthy and then maybe we can trade him sometime prior to the deadline.

    Time to bury the hatchet, let bygones be bygones and welcome Big Sexy back into the room. Love him or hate him, being conciliatory will ensure the best return for this asset. And failing that, he still has great potential so let’s not run him out of town for a couple of soundbites. As much as he needs to grow thicker skin so do the people who are so offended by his original comments.

  • Chaz

    Slighly off topic , but similiar in fashion ,and hockey related . Just wait till Bettman and Fehr come to lagerheads over next CBA . It could be a dandy , and media and hockey fans probably will play an important role in it and the settlement . Why ? Unions actions are far more limited than management , and the media and fans almost always side on the management side . They know it, bank on it, and almost always use that in negotiation tactics . Why wouldn’t they when it always works to managements advantage ? Fehr won’t be easy to push around like they were in last CBA , however . Bettman is no slouch either when it comes to negotiation – he’s good !

    • D-Man

      I don’t think Bettman’s as good at negotiating, but he is a snake in the grass… One of those guys who’s shaking your hand with one hand with a knife in the other. Fehr definitely will add some fireworks to the next CBA. He’s developed quite the reputation with his time with the baseball union…

      Do we smell lockout in a couple years?? Unless the owners increase the percentage of players salaries to total revenue and minimizes the escrow, I think that might happen.

      • ubermiguel

        Looks like the CBA is working well: most teams are profitable, most players still make good money, there’s parity in the league.

        I do see two other major issues though:

        Close the Kovalchuk-loop-hole

        Olympics

        Ovechkin + the Olympics = big deal. He wants to play and if he’s not allowed he might hold out. The IIHF could get involved then too. For guys like Grebs and Nabakov, I wonder if their decision to play in the KHL was made easier knowing they’ll be able to play in the Olympics.

        • I definitely do not get the impression that most teams are profitable in the NHL. Half a dozen teams are for sale, thousands of seats are empty in many American buildings, there are teams that can barely afford the Cap floor.

          I dont have all the particulars, but I wouldnt be comfortable saying the NHL is in a really good place economically. Some teams are doing really well, but there are just as many teams doing incredibly poorly.

        • D-Man

          I think the Kovalchuk loop hole will be dealt with pretty quick… These deals are for the 10% of the league that are the superstars; the majority of the NHLPA who have only about an average 5 to 6 years of playing time between league minimums and $2.0 million will be against these.. Especially when they realize those bogus contracts will only tie up cap space and force teams to get younger (and cheaper) players to take 3rd and 4th line spots, like we’re starting to see now…

          I’m more interested about the Olympics. I think you’re pretty astute about Nabakov/Grebeshkov…. Why take a significant pay cut in the NHL when I can go home, make good money and still play on the Olympic team?? Especially with Ovechkin’s comment – I have a hunch this issue could become a huge point of contention; especially from the owner’s view point…

  • Crackenbury

    The issue with Souray and the Oilers goes beyond the comments made in the media. Souray and the Oilers signed a 5 year contract in good faith. When you sign a contract in good faith it is done with the intention of honoring the full terms of the contract. After the Pronger and Peca fiascos the Souray request for a trade just rubbed salt in the wound.

    His initial request to the Oilers wasn’t due to any of the reasons he publilcy spouted off about 1 year later. He wanted to be closer to his kids. Can’t blame him for that, but no one put a gun to his head to sign a 5 year contract with Edmonton. Oilers management intended to wait and get full value for Souray during the season, but Souray’s health prevented that.

    The comments at the end of the year from Souray were completely out of line and did nothing to help his cause. That is why he is a dickhead.

    • I hate it when a player breaks a contract . I don’t believe it should be allowed to happen just like most of you ! Having said that , i blame management for allowing them to do so by giving them NTC , etc. that allow this to happen . Souray doing only what his contract allows him to do ,and management signed over for him to do if he so choose . Management bought it upon itself, and now they have to deal with it and it’s consequences good or bad .

      Souray and others like him are still following within the limits of the contract they signed , while management continues to try and play dumb to the rights they gave away giving these players those types of contracts to begin with . Hopefully next CBA , management will do something about their oversight . I don’t like what Souray is doing , but i’ll back his right to do so none the less – his options are still somewhat limited . So far Sourays action are not outside or outlandish compared to what they might / could be . He has used tact as much as possible .

      It’s up to management now to bring about a resolve , as it has been for a long time , before things get real ugly with Souray .

      • Ender

        I always thought a no-trade clause was included in a player contract because it meant that the player liked playing for that team and wanted to ensure that they stayed there for the entire term of the contract. Funny how that clause has evolved from meaning ‘until my contract runs out’ to ‘until I decide I’m tired of being here’.

        Maybe it’s time for management to start inserting their own no-movement clauses. Ones that protect a team from selfish spoiled millionaires.

        • I would love it if the No-Trade clause became void if the player in question demands a trade. If it worked that way then it would protect the player the way it was designed and not screw over the teams when spoiled millionaires got tired of Canadian winters.

          That being said, at least the Oilers didnt lose Penner, Smid, and Cogliano for Khabibulin’s designated driver because of the way the NTC works currently.

          • Ender

            I think it would be pretty simple to accomplish, too. Just include in the next CBA a section that states it is impossible to trade or even discuss a trade for any player with an active no-trade clause, with or without their permission. In order for a trade to occur, the entire clause must be waived in advance of trade negotiations opening. Any trade discussions involving a protected player with an active no-trade clause would constitute tampering.

            You want out? Fine. We’ll figure out where you’re going.

            What’s that? There’re places that are even worse than here that you don’t want to go to? Hmmmmm. That’s interesting, isn’t it? Maybe you should shut your trap, then, and get back on the ice.

        • BurkeTheTurd

          good call on the trade clause for mgmt, that would stop some of these guys from coming out. I dont think it would happen but would be interesting, agents would fight hard against their players having it. but it would be fun to watch a team hold a player to his contract.

  • Panda13

    @Crust

    What if the private trade demand came with a list of teams (I seem to recall hear this a while back) with LA, Ana and SJ. All conference rivals.

    So in order to trade an impact player (as we thought Souray was earlier last year when he asked) you would want to get more than prospects back, and certainly more back than if you were trading him to Atl, TB or NYI.

    Perhaps that is the reason he didn’t get traded…his California dreams at the time could not be realized with out getting equal value back.

    And at this point with Souray going public, there is no way he should get traded to California with such a low value on him, send him to the east in a package deal that involves prospects / youth and salary moving each way. I am thinking Wsh…Souray, Cogs and a 2nd rd pick in 2011 for Fleishman, Nylander and Alzner….and before anyone complains about Nylander he is there to offset salary and should be waived to Okc or an ECHL team…no way he ever plays here. Hopefully he would fail to report and we can wipe his contracts off the books.

  • ubermiguel

    @Archaeologuy

    Perhaps I was viewing the league through the eye of an Oilers fan. Our team is doing ok (I don’t beleive Katz’s numbers becasue of his bias). A little Google seach reveals an interesting article on Bleacherreport.com, that includes this summary:

    “…a troubled year for the NHL in which 10 of its teams lost money and it was discovered that more than a third of its revenue comes from Canada…”

    In short: I stand corrected.

  • Beer + Wings

    •We need to be patient. Very patient. Hall, MPS, Eberle and Gagner won’t be dominating the hockey business for quite some time. They’re just kids, folks.

    THANK YOU. It’s about time someone said this. I’m so sick of everyone I see on the street talking like Hall is going to put up 100 points this year. It takes time, broooo.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Thank you for joining Oilers Nation, Lowetide!!

    These stories are precisely what is needed to get us through the hardship we only know as ‘summer’ in Canada! 😉

  • Legoman

    I will waive the white flag!!! Personally I am glad Sheldon spoke out. Actually I am rather upset that more of our team has not publically spoke out way before now. Why did the team react differently when Hemsky spoke out? Guys like Sheldon does not have a Marketing Dept that works for him that can deflect any or all comments that may damage the franchise. I blame us the fans for not speaking out sooner not by just ranting but hitting the team where it hurts the most… the pocket book. If we want a successful team we need the players to be able to speak there minds. I give Sheldon a lot of credit for having the stones to do what he did. At least he put it out there. I know where he stands. Someone had to. I do not believe he used the media as an outlet for his frustration first. I strongly believe that he felt this was the right thing to do. Change will not happen if all is quiet. I for one am tired of the words “eighth and final playoff spot”. I wish Sheldon all the best and infact hope he reports to camp and backs up his remarks by making himself marketable again then we all win if he still wants out.