The Copper & Blue Mile

Hockey rumors have become big business on the internet. Some yahoo in Philadelphia makes gobs of coin (apparently) by tapping into that small segment of the population that has been assigned to make certain the words of P. T. Barnum live on (those words being "there’s a sucker born every minute,") However, when the big boys start talking about dealing Hemsky and Penner, I believe where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Elliotte Friedman is a respected report of national stature. He works for the #1 sports show in the nation (HNIC) and his 30 thoughts are a "must read" for hockey fans. So it certainly caught my attention when Friedman wrote the following this week:

  1. There is a feeling around the league that Ales Hemsky (who has concussion issues) and Dustin Penner are available for the right price. Of course, the Oilers need what everyone needs – centremen and defencemen. A healthy Hemsky gets you more than Penner, but there is no doubt Penner’s play on a bad Oilers team over the past two years has changed a lot of the negative perceptions about him.

Friedman’s 30 thoughts are here. I think the Oilers could get a lot for either player, but Hemsky’s injuries are a worry. Friedman’s comments about team needs are also spot on, so this looks legit. It should be an interesting deadline.

Some names we’ve discussed in the past are C’s Stephen Weiss, Steve Ott, Joe Pavelski and Martin Hanzal. As for defensemen, I think we’ve discussed all of them.


  • Cervantes

    Supposedly Devin Setoguchi is available.
    While I’m not a fan of not getting guys with size (he’s 5’11”), Gooch has a helluva shot, success, potential, and plays tough. Worth a shot, with a few spots possibly opening up next year.

    There’s a lot of noise coming out of NY, and I’d still love to get my hands on Brian Boyle. 6’7″ centre, 17 goals so far, takes most of their draws and is 48%, +10, 16 minutes a night, a tonne of time on their PK, 22 years old, not afraid to hit or drop the gloves… only downside is he’s a leftie and not a rightie. Yeah, he’s having a career year, but with a 13% shooting percentage, it’s not likely he’s just getting good bounces. Were I GM, he’d have a big shiny target on him. A big young kid like that could be an important part of the team going forward.

    However, I expect Tambs will move a few parts out and try and get 2012 draft picks. We have a lot of players, and another handful of kids (plus a #1 pick) that are going to be fighting for ice time next year. If guys like Boyle and Johnson are available, you gotta grab them, but I don’t think Tambo will look for that, and I can’t think of a team that’s got a stud defenseman but would rather have a top line forward.

  • Cervantes

    I strongly believe that trading the likes of Hemsky sends entirely the wrong ,message to all of the young players we are trying to develop and turn into Oilers. what has 83 ever done to make the team want to trade him for an unknown quantity like a high draft pick? He has been developed by the Oilers man and boy. he plays in the tough areas and takes a lot of punishment to make good plays. he has not held out for every $ he could get at contract time. if you are trying to build a team that players will go to the wall for, then selling Hemmer is not as bad as selling 99, but how different is it really?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    We need Penner’s size. Please keep him. Trade Hemsky, Chorney, and Jones at the deadline for another big winger under longer term contract that can protect himself and his team mates.

    The draft is not the total answer. NYI can confirm that.

  • Cervantes

    I Was being sarcastic:)

    It was a narrative that I’d heard so many times from a certain someone that I figured I would throw it out there and everyone would get the joke:)

  • Phil

    The question is what’s going to happen when the Oilers are ready to contend, and possibly need to have those few veteran pieces to push them over the top, and they’ve already let the Hemmers and Penners go, whether it was for good assets or not… do people believe quality UFA’s will want to come to Edmonton for fair market value and play for a team on the cusp of being a contender?

    It’s a tricky situation, I’m still very skeptical of how to deal with Hemsky and Penner, dedication or injury history aside, if either one of these players want to stay or are willing to stay, Tambo should resign them. I don’t think the Oilers will be able to get their Marian Hossa when the time comes. I’m just afraid of this management team, the track record speaks for itself.

    It is such a fine line.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Who knows what could happen if the Kings came calling wanting say a Penner and Gilbert. Penner i feel would fetch the most in return. Would be great if there’s more than one club interested in his services. If Steve can sit tight and wait for the best offer, Dustin is probably the one guy a team could end up overpaying for.

      Would you do Penner and Petry for Schenn?

  • Chris.

    It’s no secret I’m not a fan of this management team… but eventually trades have to be made…. and I can only hope Mr Dithers gets it right.

    The Oilers keep saying that they are trying to emmulate the Chicago rebuild: well a key piece of that rebuild; Patrick Sharp; was aquired via trade from Philly for Matt Ellison and a third round pick. (It’s not like they had to trade a quality vetran) The mantra here is that Tambellini needs to keep all of his young players and picks… but if Chorney and a third could land us a player of Sharp’s quality: well that’s a no brainer! Good teams with depth on the farm, cap troubles, and rosters full of quality players may fall prey to a lopsided deal… it would be nice if we were the benificiaries of one of those for once. Can’t say I’ve been too impressed with our pro scouting though… and favorable deals won’t happen untill management does a better job correctly evaluating the pro talent that may be available.

    • Chris.

      True you can draft your high end talent but the chances of achieving a balanced roster through the draft are as slim as Forsberg making his 12th comeback. Trades are needed, even if just to open roster spaces for all the guys nearing ready.

      I don’t think you necessarily need to find a team in a bind and make them overpay, you have to be better at assessing talent. You can’t always make the right call, but you need to be over 50% right to improve the team or hit an incredible home run.

      Every team has players not working out, etc.. We have quite a few that are active players, Tambellini will make or break his rep, at least wit the Oilers, on how he handles the issues the roster has, and how he supports the very good young players he was fortunate to get.

      If the team doesn’t start showing forward progress next season, with all the great pieces they do have, it will be on Tambellini and what he couldn’t do, or what he didn’t make the right call on.

      There is a decent coaching staff, a good young goalie, a few good D, lots of good forwards. From here, how hard can icing a playoff team be?

      • Chris.

        My point is, Dale Tallon got Sharp for virtually nothing from a Flyer team that was already deep at the center position. I mean Matt Ellison is a nobody and will probably never have a real NHL career. It’s a novel concept: but a smart GM can occasionally add to his team without giving up much in return. (The most recent example in Edmonton is Salo for Gilbert five years ago) If Oiler management truly wants to emmulate the Chicago model: Steve is going to have to deliver a player or two via trade without gutting the current lineup.

        As for Penner and Hemsky: why create another hole in an already thin lineup without any guarantee the player(s) coming back will be a fit? It’s counter-productive to address needs by creating needs. That said, obviously, if management can’t get either player extended some sort of return will be required before they leave to free agency.

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

          To be fair Sharp was a 24 year old borderline NHL’er when the trade went down and really didn’t develop into a real solid NHL’er until his 3rd year with the Hawks.

          I agree though, a smart trade or two needs to be made fairly soon.

  • Chris.

    I agree, good lower level trades are key, and if Sather was good at anything he was at that, always able to bring in someone who could contribute to the team and augment the core.

    You’re right that he shouldn’t gut the team. I still wouldn’t be against trading one of Penner or Hemsky for a lottery pick, this year or next. If one looked hesitant to sign (which we can’t really know) of course, but even if they would both stay, a winger rich team without a franchise C or D likely gets better overall by trading one – 2 top 5 picks means we draft quality at both needed positions, or we trade for one and use our top 2 pick to get the other.

    Penner & Hemsky having a year more in their contracts (which are reasonable for what they bring) I think makes them more valuable this year than next. The team they go to has a better chance to resign them after they’ve settled in to a new team, and evaluate them.

    In three years having key players in three core positions is better than in two. The luxury (and pain) of getting our own lottery picks could be gone as soon as next year – make hay while the sun shines.

      • VMR

        The only one that could be possible would be Toronto’s pick (if they climbed high enough so it was unlikely to be the #1 pick) if Boston thought we had something that might give them a chance to win it all this year. Not sure that Hemsky or Penner are enough to get that done.