DEEP THOUGHTS XXV: LIPSTICK ON A PIG

I’m not sure if it’s blind loyalty, stupidity or simply a lack of options, but fans of the Edmonton Oilers obviously aren’t easily discouraged as they continue to buy the failure their hockey team is selling them.

The 16,839 who showed up Friday to watch the Oilers get waxed 5-0 by the St. Louis Blues represented the 228th consecutive sell-out at Rexall Place, a stretch of packed houses dating back to Nov. 29, 2005.

That’s a lot of money for tickets and parking, jerseys and hotdogs. That’s a lot of clicks on the family SUV driving in from Leduc or Lloydminster or Devon. That’s a lot of time standing in line for beer and washrooms. All told, those 228 sell-outs represent a big investment by fans, financially and otherwise.

There aren’t many NHL cities where so many show up so often and get so little in return — with a 10-18-4 record at Rexall Place after taking a collar from the Blues, the Oilers are on the way to setting a franchise record for fewest wins in a full season (15 in 1995-96) at home.

It must be the boom-box bumpa-thumpa or Octane that keeps ’em lining up at the turnstiles because the Oilers game-night presentation seems to be selling like hotcakes without the benefit of what, you’d think, is the most important component of all — success on the ice.

This is a hockey town, to be sure.

HOME SWEET HOME

I’m not sure what a pair of good tickets in the lower bowl costs, but I’m guessing it’s plenty. Likewise, the beer and the jerseys and the parking and the rest of it that comes with filing into a crumbling old rink that’s been around since 1974 and cheering for a team that loses more than it wins at home. Tough sell? Apparently not.

The Oilers have 10 wins in 32 home games this season. They had 18 home wins in 2009-10, another 18 in 2008-09, 23 in 2007-08 and 19 in 2006-07. As it stands, with a second straight 30th-place finish in reach, the Oilers could hit 237 straight sell-outs by the end of the season.

For all the great work Don Metz and his crew do to jazz up the game-night experience, all the energy Mark Scholz puts into yelling at us during promos on play breaks, it’s all style over substance as the losses keep coming. While the Oilers are doing their best to provide bang-for-the-buck off the ice, they certainly haven’t delivered on the ice.

Despite facing a fifth straight season out of the playoffs, the fans keep coming. They keep driving in. They keep lining up. There is, after all, a rebuild on the go and better days on the way. At least that’s part of the sales pitch now. Hope sells.

Watching another sell-out crowd file out of a rink that was about as quiet as a library on Friday night, I couldn’t help but wonder when, or if, actual success will become a factor in the Oilers marketing plan.

WHILE I’M AT IT

— While the looming NHL trade deadline will dominate the headlines between now and Monday, Tyler Seguin will attract plenty of media attention locally when the Boston Bruins arrive for Sunday’s game against the Oilers. We’re likely not going to get much of a crack at Seguin, though, as the Bruins face the Canucks in Vancouver tonight then fly in after the game. I’m guessing Sunday’s pre-game skate will be optional.

— Save for Gerry O’Flaherty rattling around by himself, there wasn’t much action on scouts row in the press box at Rexall Place Friday. No sign of Rob Laird from Los Angeles, who was in Denver. Most pro scouting staffs have done their due diligence and are back in their respective territories filing reports for their GMs.

— Barring a gross overpayment, word is Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi is highly unlikely to move Brayden Schenn, so if he and Steve Tambellini are going to get something done, it’ll more than likely be a move involving other names already out there — Vyacheslav Voynov, Kyle Clifford, Wayne Simmonds.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I’m fine with last place this year, we need another star/quasi-star if we want to be a true contender down the road and the top 2-3 picks is probably the best place to get that guy.

    Next year however, the team needs to at least be fighting for a playoff spot.

  • JohnQPublic

    heard lowtide with someone from the fan 590 in toronto…the guy there thinks 27 will be a leaf by tuesday…burkies’ familiarity factor for our penner will make it so …is that so …

  • Crash

    heard lowtide with someone from the fan 590 in toronto…the guy there thinks 27 will be a leaf by tuesday…burkies’ familiarity factor for our penner will make it so…is that so…

  • Hemmertime

    I’ve heard so much about how LosAngeles begs for a big enough crowbar type deal to pry Schenn away …i think both these GMs need to pull off a ‘career’ trade to save their a$$es moving forward…

    why can’t these two wiseguys talk business…one of them sez, I’m gonna make you an offer y’can’t refuse …

    PRV + Omark + Brule

    plus our 1st

    For SCHENN & THEIR 1ST & futures

    we get a centre for the “LiL Rascals” ***

    [ ***how do i give props where props is applicable, appropriate & priceless ]

    • Crash

      What if Schenn isn’t as good as everyone seems to think he is and Nugent Hopkins or Sean Couturier is. It’s not a given that Schenn is “viola” the center of the future for the “lil rascals”. Are you positive that Schenn is that good?

      So you want to trade Courturier, Paajarvi, Omark and Brule for Schenn, a 20th to 30th pick & something called futures?

  • Crash

    Crash…
    ok maybe not the futures[didn’t know what they were either]…are we going to get Couturier/for sure, no… Larsson maybe…? Landesskog? a winger…i’m not positive about Schenn being a lock but 17 games w/the blades he’s got 47pts…his WJC showing wasn’t bad either…it’s all i got…the kid’s gooood …the kings brain trust seem to think he’s an untouchable unless the price was right …

    is this not enough for Brayden Schenn?

    let’s say he IS a ‘voila’…

    OB1…
    if making them better today is what we’re talking about then would L.A. be better off if they did a Hemsky for Simmonds? is that what L.A. would need to be better today?

    Schenn won’t play for them this year will he?

      • Chris.

        You provided three excellent examples of how Tambellini could improve the roster without giving much in return. Yet, in the past, it has been one of your pet arguments that improving the roster is not so easy, and Tambellini has been unfairly criticized by fans like me for his failure to do so.

        • Crash

          I think you’re putting words in my mouth and there was really only one example I provided where it looks like you wouldn’t have to give much in return and that was to obtain grit. I want to see the toughness just so we don’t get pushed around. I’m not really sure how much better it would make the team right now.

          Before this point in the season I wasn’t as sold on moving a Penner or an Omark or some of the prospects or picks. I was happy to wait and see this season how good our new young guys were going to be before I was ready to be happy with moving some of these parts. Patience being the key to establish how good Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Petry, Peckham, etc. were going to be by years end. If they didn’t turn out to be as good as they look like they are going to be the team may have had to move slightly differently and not be so quick to move other prospects and picks. Also, it’s not so easy to acquire good players who want to sign on long term. The only way it seems right now is to trade for guys who already have term on their contracts (ie: Ryan Whitney). Not exactly that easy to find.

          I was totally against trying to bring in some middle of the road or lower vets to take away playing time from the kids. I’ve acknowledged the need for one centerman for the 4th line who can win faceoffs (didn’t they try that with Fraser?) but still think that young players can always improve in this area going forward.

          You keep complaining that the Oilers are losing or tanking on purpose and want to hang management for it. What I’m suggesting is the team is not better off to bring in some Dominic Moores to increase the point totals by enough to finish 10th instead of 15th. Play the kids looks like the plan was to me and take whatever wins that leads to and then move forward depending on how the kids turned out this year. Management mangaged to clean out a lot of junk this past year and make room for the youngsters…step 1.

          I still maintain improving the roster enough to be a consistent winning team is not going to be as easy as you are making it out to sound. Especially in this market. How will the Oilers pick up higher end d-men with term on their contracts without sacrificing the forward ranks? How were they going to do this before this season started? I can tell you I was tired with the status quo of adding a player here and there enough to always be fighting for the 8th and final playoff spot…I know this is what you want them to do. I want them to build a higher end team, not plug whatever vets they can pick up in to help them climb a spot or two.

          I suspect that Tambellini will in fact attempt to improve the roster…but how is the question. What are you willing to do to improve the roster and when you do it are you positive the roster will be improved? Who is it you think you can get that makes a big difference going forward? Like I said I’m not against using certain guys, prospects and picks at the end of this season as trade bait…but I have no idea what it gets me.

          Obtaining rental players is a BAD idea and it seems we are at the point where multiple people want to move out our best players for the next young shiny toy. Sell high, buy low they say…this train of thought will never get us a winning team.

          Anyway, this post is getting too long. Being a GM in Edmonton right now is a tough job. Like I said it looks to me like there is a plan in place but it isn’t going to develop in one season.

          • Chris.

            So you want the team to lose, and lose, and lose: make no effort to bring in players who could jeopradize our position in the bottom of the standings then suddenly, switch gears and launch themselves into the playoffs, all at once, sometime in the random future? Lofty goal indeed. Was dumping Brodziak in favor of Pouliot then dumping Pouliot and signing Fraiser part of this plan? Now we should dump Fraiser and bring in Lander and hope he can produce as well as Brodziak. I’m not sure the tear down rebuild is as much a plan as it is a cop out, marketing ploy, and the only remaining option for a group of idiots who have repeatedly failed to correctly evaluate or hang on to actual NHL talent.

          • Crash

            Whoa there Chris, I never said anything about me wanting the team to lose and lose and lose. What I want them to do is build a team that wins consistently for a long period of time. I don’t want to be middle of the road every season scraping for the last available playoff spot every year and then hoping for some miracle run.

            To me dumping Brodziak in favour of Pouliot was neither here nor there. Both players are bottom six calibre but don’t bring the edge and toughness to their games that the Oilers need in the bottom six. They were both on borrowed time here and happily both are now gone. I don’t see either one of them as a guy in the bottom six that makes this team a consistent winner.

            I don’t buy that Brodziak really fits too much into the actual NHL talent department. I think what has been discovered in the last few years is that the Oilers as a battle for the 8th playoff spot type of team can’t attract any high end players to sign on here. They tried it for a few years and did things the way you seem to want. To no avail because good players simply don’t want to come here right now.

            Now they realize they have to build it from the ground up…all in house and to do that they have to begin by drafting well and bringing in some young talent and allowing them to grow together. Hopefully they will gel together and enjoy being together. And hopefully they will want to all stay after they have played and grown together. This has just begun…one year, not five, not four, not three or even two…it’s been one year, not even one yet. There aren’t a lot of good vets to go around for this team and it seems the ones they do have everyone seems to want to unload now.

            The climb up the standings IMO all depends on how quickly the young guys can make it happen. Once the climb starts to show itself I believe more talent will be willing to sign on.

            In the meantime I’d love to see the Oilers bring in some grit to help look after the young uns…it seems that’s the only thing that is easy to acquire without having to overpay.

          • Chris.

            I guess I’m saying that I would trade a 5th for a player like Ben Eager. I’d overpay a vetran D on a short term contract. I’d claw from 30th to 20th, and then claw some more. I think it’s somewhat unavoiable for this team to finish 9th or 10th a few times before it makes it’s return to the playoffs: just look at the St Louis rebuild. On another note: how would that Chicago rebuild look right now if Nashville had scored in OT last year in game 6? How is the Avs reload looking comppared to the Phoenix strategy? How many players on the Philly and Vancouver rosters were drafted by Philly and Vancouver? It’s never too early to try and improve… Let’s not accept too many more last place finishes… I had trouble accepting 1, I can’t believe so many fans are happy with 2… (A level of humiliation I never belived I would witness in my lifetime.)

    • Crash

      Yes, he looked great at the world juniors but so did Paajarvi when he played there and now you are prepared to say magnus who? Just like that.

      Couturier made that Canadian junior team before his draft year…similar to Hall. Not many players do that. Couturier lead the Q in scoring last year and is doing well again this year.

      How good could he be at next years worlds if he’s not in the NHL? Perhaps good enough for you to say, damn am I ever glad they didn’t make that trade for Schenn?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    What about Penner and Hemsky for Schenn and Simmonds.

    If Tambelini is able to pry Schenn from Lombardi i think i’d still grab Couturier with that first pick. One of those kids would eventually turn into the 1st line center here.

    Can’t help but feel like it’s 2 days before Christmas for Oiler fans, will we or won’t we be happy with whats under the tree Christmas morning.

      • Crash

        Well if we pick first we get him if we want him….but Couturier is not the only good available player in the top 4.

        I guess what I’m asking you is if you’re prepared to give up 2 top 10’s for 1 based on one season of junior hockey?

      • Quicksilver ballet

        No doubt Penner and Hemsky would be huge holes to fill, with whats coming back the other way, they better be visible here sooner rather than later.

        I don’t see a downside to having Schenn and Couturier working their way up the depth chart, one of those kids may be what we’ve needed. With a logjam at center move Gagner+ for some help on the blueline. Horcoff,Couturier,Schenn,Cogliano and Brule/Fraser down the middle is a good start in the fall.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Crash…no no, not ‘just like that’…i thought long about this trade just cuz it’s to get Schenn… i included Linus on the pine-us now as well…91 is a solid solid talent, it pained me to have him part of any trade …but …well that’s just what i’d give up to get Schenn…Couturier’s as unproven as any kid out there…he’s not imo NHL ready like Schenn is for sure…and that’d be nice to see him do well at next years worlds… but Schenn could be here tearin’ it up with the LiL Rascals!!!is the Q still a softer league these days i dunno…and no i wouldn’t ever say i was glad they didn’t pull the trigger on this trade.

    sure i am,willing to do this trade … Schenn was 5th overall two years ago and he’s a proven ‘commodity’ as any junior has ever been imo …Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle centred by Brayden Schenn is enough of an inspiration for me to think we’d be pretty ready to go.

  • DSG

    I think what we all know is that now is when we find out if we have capable management. It is fine to build through the draft to establish a core but any strong team needs good trades to fill needs. At this juncture doing nothing would be a grave mistake . Teams are clearly willing to deal and our gm must make take advantage of this. In the end good drafting and astute trading turns into a virtuous cycle whereby you can acquire and build assets. Doing one really well can overcome shortcomings on the other side but ideally you do both reasonably well.

    On that note, trade hemsky for the assets you need most. No magic beans… Aside from hemmer time to make decisions on your developing players. Gagner. Cogliano. Dubnyk we are looking at you

    • Define “magic beans.”
      Not the origin on the term, I know that, but how exactly it applies to hockey trades. Better still, let’s stow the sound-smart buzzwords borrowed from fairy tales and say what we mean. I grow weary of hearing it.

      Is any player younger than Hemsky and Penner who has not been in the league as long considered “magic beans?” Is anything less than a player established at the NHL level “magic beans?” Would that make Brayden Schenn “magic beans?”

      • DSG

        Valid point Robin. A more direct conversation is better. To me any player not established at the NHL level is considered a magic bean. That being said, a prospect of Schenn’s calibre is an enticing option. Hemsky for Schenn straight up? I don’t think you can do that trade. You need more…

        I just worry like many other fans that despite our seemingly wonderful drafting of Hall, Ebere and MPS we are going to screw this up. We need to build around a core and continue to make steps forward. We have seen many young players traded and while it unfair to suggest the Oilers could have been in the running for Neal, Johnson, Stewart etc. It does catch your attention and mke you hope that our GM isn’t asleep at the switch.

        • Yes, direct is better and it also removes some fo the ambiguity that comes with popular jargon. That’s especially so with the Oilers, given the rebuild mode they’re in.

          Assuming they want to get somewhat younger in the process, we’re going to see a lot of what people might call “magic beans” along the way. It’s a term used most often to suggest naivete on the part of a GM for trading away a known commidity for a less-known commodity that might be better. With a team like the Oilers that’s hoping to make some noise two or three or four years from now, we’re going to see that — as in a Hemsky or Penner deal involving a promising but unproven player like Schenn. If Scheen becomes Jonathan Toews five years from now, Tambellini is a smart guy. If he becomes Marc Pouliot, he traded for “magic beans.”

          In the end, if the Oilers are going to move out established players for younger ones, there’s going to be risk. The question is how much? Nothing magic about it.

          • Bucknuck

            Because I am the guy who usually breaks out the magic beans act I would like to point out some holes in your argument.

            all vets for prospects trades won’t be tarred with the magic bean brush.

            Pronger to a team where the return Isn’t Getzlaf or Perry, then, yeah, that’s a big pile of magic beans.

            Smyth for Nilsson and O’Marra?

            You better believe that’s magic beans.

            A move where you pick up Schenn? That pushes back the timeline but it’s not the same as what Lowe picked up for Pronger or Smyth.

          • What holes in my argument?

            If at the time of a transaction you want to say, “So and so just traded/gave away/whatever a known commodity in A/B/C/whoever for a whole bunch of unproven kids/prospects/draft choices and it looks like a stupid move that’s bound to be disasterous,” then say it. That’s straightforward and easy to understand. I’m just not big on jargon regardless of who uses it.

          • Crash

            all prospects aren’t equal and what I see from you here is saying that all people who don’t like trades of established players for prospects will break out the magic beans theory.

            I certainly wouldn’t because young Schenn would projects to be better than anything the Oilers ever picked up as a prospect in a trade.

            I’d call that move moving back the timeline.

    • Crash

      Q…now that’s a logjam @ centre

      but look …off in the distance, a star

      Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,
      be sober, and hope to the end for grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Brayden Schenn

      because there IS no other

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Lol, Star Trek meets NHL, cool.

        Dare to dream PG, dare to dream. My refusal to pay departure fees at the Airport has limited me to stay at home during vacations and allow me to think of such things.

  • Gilmore Tuttle

    @robin brownlee

    I agree with your musing about the “fanaticism” of the local populous, but surely (no Leslie Nielsen pun intended) you don’t believe that there have been anywhere close to sellout buildings at games in the past few years.

    Sure the lower bowl can be empty but sold out as season tickets, but there have been far too many seats disguised as fan in the 200s and 300s on a lot of nights.

    I realize that the team is allows a certain small percentage of unsold tickets and still count it as a sell out, but even with 1/2 price game day sales, donations to kids and Katz’s businesses buying the dregs, their claim must be bogus.

    The perception of a vanishing customer is there. It got so bad last year with the empty lower bowl on TV that the team was documenting which season seats were consistently empty and calling the owners to try to convince them to show or give them to somebody else.

    I am surprised the sports media in town hasn’t called the team on this claim – actually I am not as they barely lob softballs at the organization they depend on.

  • DSG

    …actually i wax biblical Q… 1st Book of Peter 1:13 where the loins of your thoughts meet the NHL…thankyou for allowing me to dream…
    how many hours minutes and seconds are left til Trade Deadline Day anyway

  • Chris.

    “…as in a Hemsky or Penner deal involving a promising but unproven player like Schenn…”

    as clarification Robin…Hemsky’s value’s been downgraded here so severly he would have to be considered as only a major part of any deal for Schenn…

    …are you of the opinion that our first pick would have to be included in any deal to get Schenn, how much is enough?

    • I don’t know enough about Schenn to say with any certainty how he projects and what he’s worth. Probably a moot point — Lombardi is sticking by his guns and said again today he isn’t trading the kid. That’s different than saying, “I’ll listen, but it’ll take a helluva deal to make me think about it” in an attempt to drive the price up.

  • @ Crash.
    I agree with your thoughtline. There are 3-4 very good centers available in this draft that may amount to as much as Schenn. (Couturier, RNH, Strome, Huberdeau?) So that means we could have our #1 centre at the draft. Schenn was playing in his second/third eligible year at the WJC, Couturier was playing in his draft year.
    We will need at least a few veterans protecting our rookies. Without vets you get exposed every night.

  • Bucknuck

    Our first in 2011 better not be up for grabs. If Tambellini trades that away we better be getting someone AWESOME in return. Schenn is unproven so why would you pick him over a probable first overall pick. That is silliness.

    Now a first rounder in 2012… that I could handle.

    • Mike Modano's Dog

      Agree about the 2011 pick. However until the Oilers prove they have turned the corner I believe they are still in a prime position to pick top 3 next year as well.

      I am an Oiler fan but in no way do I want to trade away a high draft pick in the midst of a rebuild.

    • Who is a superstar?! Surely you do not mean Ales Hemsky? I mean I am a big Hemmer fan. But the guy has never hit, never mind surpassed the point per game level. You might have also noticed he is a chronic injury risk.

      Some fans overrate Hemsky a tad for sure. He is a good player but not a superstar IMO or near it. I wonder if the Schenn or nothing people will be disappointed next season if Hemsky gets injured yet again before the trade deadline. He then becomes untradeable and proceeds to walk away after the season for zero return.

      • I wonder if people who want Hemsky (not saying it’s you) moved out for the latest 3rd liner with grit will be dissapointed when they realize that those 3rd liners dont matter much when they arent supporting legitimate top 6 players.

        • Depends if that top-six player lands you a ho-hum third-liner or a young player who brings some grit and the potential to score 15-20 goals and 40-50 points (like Simmonds) AND the best defense prospect a team has in the minors (Voynov) — assuming your pro scouts have a reasonable read on that player and don’t see him as maxed out at age 21 as a very good AHL player but a marginal NHL player.

          It also depends if that top six player is Hemsky or Penner and if that top six player has expressed a desire to stay or to leave.

          • Absolutely. There should be many factors taken into account. The key for me in your scenario would be the defenseman Voynov, not Simmonds.

            To me, Simmonds might be a fine 3rd liner, but at the end of the day that’s still all he is. If a Hemsky trade at this stage of the game doesn’t address bigger needs like top 4D or a C that has a shot to play in the top 6, then I wouldn’t make a trade.

            I’m sure the Oil can settle for less next Deadline Day, but not this one. IMO.

          • Chris.

            This is what makes me insane: if Hemsky is dumped (ala Ryan Smyth) for some picks and marginal propects there will be almost no real tangible backlash… And things will continue business as usual for this floundering management team. We will hear platitudes like, “it will be a few years before we really know who won that trade”… Then there will be inuendo that Hemsky wasn’t going to resign anyway and there will be hints that there were character issues (again see Ryan Smyth). Once again, like has happened so many times before, talent will flow out of Edmonton and management will skate from any responsibility for failing to create an organization that players actually wish to remain a part of past age 25.

  • Bucknuck

    three weeks ago i would of traded hemsky faster than i could type this (which isn’t that slow considering im using only two fingers,)but the closer to the deadline we get the more relaxed i feel about the prospect of not trading for prospects.
    now penner bybe bye adios dont let the door hit you on the way out! someone with that potential that seemingly uses it 25% of the time (margin of error relative to ones opinion)is not a leader on a team that needs leaders…”here kids look at how i succeed by trying only sometimes”. not the best example.
    hemsky im of a similar opinion work ethic wise but he has real value on the market and we need to capitalize on it, or not. something about him still and will always intrigue me…dont know exactly why….could be flat out skill.

  • Shaun Doe

    Robin:

    I live near Vancouver so I tend to listen to the team 1040 often. I’ve heard many of the show hosts refer to being fans of the Canucks as well as media types for the team. I wonder how you feel about this subject having said that you are not a fan of the team you report on. Do you think being a fan as well as a reporter for a team adds or detracts from your credibility/ability to perform your job? Thanks

      • Shaun Doe

        Sorry I guess I should have been more specific. Its hosts who have their own shows such as Don Taylor, as well as sports reporters such as Jay Janower.

        Too add to my question, it just seems that allot of the radio personalities on the team 1040 talk about being fans of the team, which was what I assumed was the norm until I read that Gregor and yourself weren’t really fans anymore as a side effect of the job.

  • Shaun Doe

    I think if we can trade Hemsky for Schenn, we make that deal. Now a days, kids that dominate in the CHL and the World Juniors usually have a very productive NHL career. If Schenn played a full season in the WHL this year, he would have had 132 pts and he tied the WJ points record. A firstline of Hall Schenn Eberle. then draft Landeskrog, a second line of Landeskrog Gagner Paajarvi thirdline Penner Horcoff and sign some third and fourthline role players. With Pitlick, Hamilton, Lander, Harnikanien, Martindale etc can keep developing on their own pace in the AHL. Now we have improved our size and skill set hopefully our GM can sign the right players to protect them. On our defense we would have Whitney Gilbert Peckham Petry and trade Smid for Blum with Mauracin coming. Possibly check into what it would take to get Cory Schnider in the off season.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    I was reading Spec’s article on Sportsnet where he made a nice suggestion that Bernier could be available from the Kings.

    If this is true that would be my dream trade, getting Schenn, a necessity in the deal, as well as a goalie with #1 potential to go with Dubnyk. So long as none of our #1 draft picks are in play I’m all for it. (Which means they can have Cogs, or Smid, or even Gagner, for that matter).

    Of course, playing armchair GM and actually being responsible for the deals you make are two entirely different matters. But, without that distraction to cloud my judgement, I would do this deal in a heartbeat. 😉

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    If we sign penner and hemsky to 4 year contracts at 4.5 to 5 million per year, then we haven’t fixed any of our issues. What are our issues in our top six or nine; NUMBER ONE CENTERMAN, size, grit, toughness, winning battles etc. So if we stay put with the squad we have and draft RNH of red deer, we still have the same problems. were trying to build a team to beat Vancouver, Hawks, Philly, Wings and Boston. All these teams will physically take it to us three years from now. we need to change the mix of the team by using penner or hemsky or both as trade assests. If you build it, the players will sign.

  • Mitch

    @Brownlee

    Robin I would like to think that a good portion of the tickets are bought buy business people today. Don Metz and the oilers do a fantastic job of game presentation, but I could careless about that stuff honestly and at some point want to see this team win. What will be the turning point when we know were on the right track? For me I still see a team that can’t get its head out of its ass at the start of the game. We continualy talk about what players to trade, I’m starting to think KLowe should totally remove himself from the team. Kevin is a great ambassador for the oilers, but his ego has hurt the developement of this team. Tambellini has to make a bold move on monday or in the summer or he won’t have a job as well. Accountability, a sense of pride, a winning attitude has to come from the highest levels.