DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE: EDITION XI

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is actually a paraphrase of the following statement:

"Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may."

Plato, the Greek philosopher and mathmatician, uttered the statement many years ago, and it is clear the paraphrased version holds true today; especially when it comes to hockey fans/media/people discussing the virtues of players.


It isn’t a great time to be an Oiler fan.

The Oil is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the 5th straight season, only Florida and Toronto, if, when, they miss again, have longer playoff droughts. The Leafs and Panthers are the only teams who haven’t made the playoffs post lockout. The Leafs have finished 9th twice, while the Panthers lost out on a tiebreaker in 2009 to Montreal.

The Oilers have finished 12th, 9th, 11th, 15th and 15th in the west since their run to the Cup, and the last few years have been excruciatingly hard to stomach. Just when it looks the Oilers are making progress, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi making the team, reality hits and you realize that three players won’t fix the state of the Oilers.

It is getting so bad in Edmonton that the fans have started battling one another. You were all on board for the "PROCESS" in October, but the process isn’t progressing like many had hoped, and lately the debates over a player’s true value have intensified.

If the Oilers could match the passion of the debates that rage on in the Nation, they’d be a playoff contender next season.

HEATED DEBATES

Here are a few of my favourites.

Don’t over pay Ryan Jones, because his shooting % is too high.

Jones has 16 goals on 105 shots and sits with a 15.2 shooting percentage. In his first two seasons, where he played 41 and 49 games Jones had a SH% of 11.1 and 12.7. In his first year he averaged 1.36 shots/game, 1.26 last year and he is up to 1.53 shots/game this season. He is also getting more icetime, which has resulted in a few more shots and more goals.

Are you sitting down, because here is where it gets crazy.

If Jones had only 14 goals this year, instead of 16, his shooting %, would be 13.3. OMG…He’d only be a 13.3, instead of a 15.2 shooter and he’d have 14 goals instead of 16, so clearly he would be a failure. What no one mentions is how Jones has fewer assists this year compared to previous seasons, and while his goal totals might drop by one or three, he’d likely increase his assists by the same margin and his point totals, if he stays healthy, will be close.

Jones is producing. His style of play hasn’t changed all season. He doesn’t waste shots from the outside. He scores most of his goals on rebounds, deflections or breakaways. He scores more ugly goals than flashy goals, and considering very few forwards seem willing or capable of doing that, why wouldn’t you re-sign him for two years at $1.2 to $1.4 million per season?

Is a two or three goal differential and a dip of about two or three points in SH% really that much of a set back to worry about paying him just over a million bucks? I sure as hell hope not.

Tom Gilbert is SOFT…no he ISN’T

The debate over Gilbert’s toughness, or lack there of, has gotten so intense that even our resident stats guru, Jonathon Willis questioned the validity of stats. I almost passed out when I read this retort from JW yesterday in the comments section of his article. 

“I was simply trying to point out that a raw giveaway number is essentially meaningless.” Did I just read a stats guy suggesting that a raw stat might not be completely accurate. Things are really getting crazy in Oilersnation if an accomplished stats guy like JW, is questioning the validity of stats; even for a moment. JW was debating that the giveaway stat can be misleading, which I agree with, because guys who touch the puck more will likely have more giveaways.

However, can’t you say the same thing about blocked shots, which JW was using to show that Gilbert isn’t soft.

How can giveways be meaningless, but blocked shots be accurate?

Did Gilbert deliberately put himself in line with the puck? How many went off his stick and into the corner? How many "hit" him while he was standing in front of the net? I don’t mind Gilbert’s game. I think he gets ripped on, because fans need someone to blame when the team is as sucky as the Oilers have been for the past few years, and since Gilbert plays every game, and lots of minutes, he is a logical target.

I just don’t understand why people debate his level of toughness. Gilbert doesn’t play tough, and he never will. That doesn’t mean he can’t be an effective NHL D-man, but any suggestions that Gilbert isn’t soft are virtually impossible to defend. Being soft doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, because he wants to win, but when it comes to one-on-one battles or defending himself and a teammate, Gilbert comes up short.

I’m sure JW is producing a rebuttle as I type this that will re-align the obvious off kilter axis of the Nation.

THE PROCESS IS WORKING

Does anyone not in the Oilers organization honestly believe that this has been a productive first year of the process? Sure getting Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi NHL experience was effective, but outside of Theo Peckham, and possibly Devan Dubnyk, has any other young Oiler made significant progress? I know injuries have played a major role, but I’d argue the rash of injuries just illustrates the major weakness of the team — too small, especially the top-nine forwards, to compete over 82 games.

If the Oilers expect the three kids to lead this team out of the basement and into the promised playoff land then the process will take much longer than anyone expected. The toughest part of the process will be patience.The main thing they should have learned from this season is that they still have too many players not skilled enough and not hungry enough to want to improve. Hall’s desire  was consistent in every game, and unfortunately for the Oilers only a few players could look in the mirror and say their will and drive was noticeable on a nightly or even bi-nightly basis.

The only way this season becomes an effective first step of the process is with the realization that they can’t compete, or stay healthy with so many physically small players. Look at the size, not necessarily flat out toughness, of the top teams and the Oilers don’t come close to measuring up. They should have recognized this before October, but they better realize it now, or the next few seasons will be just as painful as the last two.

STAY STRONG 

It has been a long five years in Edmonton, moreso for the paying fans, and while a few Nation readers have shown some apathy and disdain towards the team, many are still surprisingly holding out hope that someday soon you will actually be able to draft an Oiler in your playoff pool. Imagine how good it would for you to call out Hall in your playoff draft rather than Iginla, Kesler or Sedin.

Realistically that probably won’t happen for a few more years, so until then stay strong, keep the debates going and for the love of Wanye — Don’t stop caring!

  • Two things:

    1. The issue with Ryan Jones isn’t his shooting percentage, it’s the relationship between scoring chances/shot metrics and his on-ice percentages. He gets out-shot, and he gets out-chanced, but his plus/minus hasn’t been hammered because his on-ice percentages are unsustainably good.

    This point has been missed time and again by many, many people, so maybe I just need to do an article on PDO and regression to the mean.

    2. I’ve long maintained that giveaway/takeaway data is all but totally useless. This is not a new development. Nobody scores it the same way, so you see things like four of Montreal’s defencemen in the league’s top-10 in giveaways last season, just because the scorer in MTL likes handing out giveaways.

    Blocked shots are different. There’s no ambiguity – either he stood in the way of the puck, or he didn’t. When a guy consistently leads his team in blocked shots, asking “How many went off his stick and into the corner? How many “hit” him while he was standing in front of the net?” strikes me as off-target. Why don’t those questions apply to every other Oilers defender?

    I don’t know how anyone who watches this team more than once a season can argue that Gilbert isn’t very good at getting himself into shooting lanes.

  • Further on Jones:

    “‘Colin Fraser is bringing Jones down.’ With Fraser, their chances percentage is .277, not even replacement level. Apart from Fraser, Jones jumps up to .379, still sub-replacement level, however Fraser apart from Jones jumps up to .480!”

    “‘J.F. Jacques is bringing Jones down.’ With Jacques, their chances percentage is .314, again not even replacement level. Apart from Jacques, Jones jumps up to .359, still sub-replacement level, however Jacques apart from Jones jumps up to .530! Soak in the previous sentence for a bit.”

    “‘Zack Stortini was bringing Jones down.’ With Stortini, their chances percentage is .303, again not even replacement level. Apart from Stortini, Jones jumps up .360 still sub-replacement level, however Stortini apart from Jones jumps up to .493!”

    There’s more. Lots more. And most importantly for the anti-stats crowd, this is scoring chance data; i.e. data collected by counting scoring chances while watching the game. Jones is far and away the worst regular by this measure.

    Fortunately for Jones, his line has the best shooting percentage on the team and no forward has seen a better goaltending performance behind him.

    • Jason Gregor

      When you take fewer shots, one goal increases your shooting % a fair amount does it not. Jones doesn’t take many shots, neither does Jacques or any of the other 4th line guys he played with.

      Show me the correlation between Jones’ supposed defensive weaknesses and how often he scores. His point total isn’t inflated by his linemates SH% because he only has five assists.

    • Banger

      Would the oilers be picking first overall if they had Whitney for 82 games? half an AHL roster? No they wouldnt be. So there goes the picking first overall two years in a row argument.

      There isnt an argument out there that will make me be a Jones supporter. He gets lots of breakaways and chances from being out of position.

      I dont know what it is about Jones, but i am not a supporter, it would take something big to turn me into one as well.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        “Would the oilers be picking first overall if they had Whitney for 82 games? half an AHL roster? No they wouldnt be. So there goes the picking first overall two years in a row argument.”

        Were they not in 28th when Whitney went down?

        Considering the run the Devils and to a lesser extent the NYI went on they very well could have been in 30th.

        Either way they’d still be in the 27 – 30 range…. so close enough.

        • Banger

          So what type of improvement do you need to say you are a year into a rebuild? finishing 27th or 28th would be realistic in my mind to say you are one year in.

          I didnt think they would get out of a lottery pick. Maybe not dead last, but didnt see all the injuries coming either.

          So ya i dont buy the arument.

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

            I’m saying they are in year two of the rebuild, and I’m not saying it because of this year (improvement or not), I’m saying it because of last year. (you know last place).

  • Jason Gregor wrote:

    At the start of last year they weren’t thinking rebuild. No chance.

    I’d argue that’s something that should be held against them, not noted down in a way that gives them more time to rebuild.

    Especially given that Taylor Hall’s the most important piece in the rebuild.

    • Jason Gregor

      I never said they should be congratulated for only being in year one. It sucks, but the reality is this is the first season they’ve had an actual plan.

      Ripping on them for having no realistic plan for three years prior is for a different article. I’m pointing out that this has been the FIRST year of a rebuild, and those who suggest it started after Pronger are incorrect. The Oilers weren’t thinking or acting like a rebuild then.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Gregor, I’d be happy to read that article. I might be wrong, but it seems most MSM-types implicitly support the Oiler truth-speak about the rebuild. As your article points out, the first year of the process has hardly been a success given the injuries and lack of player development (outside of the guys you mention). Correct me if I’m wrong, but you were also the only MSM type not onside with the Penner trade. I recognize there isn’t much point to constantly carving the organization, but any jackass can plan to fail. When does the club plan to compete and what’s the plan? As a fan who pays to go to games, that’s what I want to know. I’ve seen some pretty awful games this year, though not as bas as last year. If the plan is to gradually become less awful, I think I can find other ways to spend my time and money.

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

          Exactly! The strip down and draft high is simple. As you said, anyone can do it.

          The real test is pulling the team out of it in a timely maner.

    • Jason Gregor

      Please show me where I said it was okay not be thinking rebuild earlier? Why do you always try to take the debate down a different path? I never suggested it was okay to only be in year one. I said that the REALITY is they are only in year one. They got pushed into a rebuild due to injuries.

      The reality is the Oilers wouldn’t have picked 30th last year if it wasn’t for over 500 man games lost to injury. So suggesting that they were in a rebuild mode last year is completely inaccurate and false. They got lucky due to injuries and begrudingly went into rebuild mode.

      • The reality is that a management team who couldn’t recognize the need to rebuild before February 2010 is not fit to perform a rebuild.

        The reality is that no plan can been seen in their actions beyond “let’s fail and pick high and get as young as possible.” The idea that they have some process that will conveniently take another 4-6 years is nonsense and does nothing but prove the lack of a real plan.

        The reality is that Tambellini has not yet demonstrated a single scrap of team building competency. What is the source of all this confidence so many people seem to have in him?

        • D-Man

          Evidence??… Buying out Moreau, POS and Nilsson… Dealing Riley Nash for the 2nd round pick that became Marincin (who will mostly likely be in OKC next year and in Oiler jersey one to two years after that). Trading Staios for a 3rd round draft pick and Aaron Johnson… Trading Grebeshkov for a 2nd round draft pick… There’s a ton of evidence that he’s trying to build this team through the draft… Without the Penner trade, we wouldn’t have two first rounders this year.

          The problem we all have is we WANT results NOW, NOW, NOW… We expect everything to come at once… Tambo should get at least another 1 to 2 years before we become judge and jury… Hall/Eberle/MPS won’t be able to carry this team or at least start to at the time…

          To me, we should expect to be fighting for a playoff spot in 2012/13 and in the playoffs the following year (and if we aren’t – Tambo should be fired). My expectations for next year are no higher than being 25/26th overall. I believe that is a realistic and fair expectation.

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

            That isn’t team building. That’s team dismantling.

            He may yet accomplish it, but as of right now he’s done nothing good outside of drafting high.

          • Mantastic

            it’s not for the lack of trying. the free agents he was trying to pursue during the off season didn’t want to sign in edmonton(malholtra, boogard), the market wasn’t saturated in players that we needed(big centers, top d-men) and the players we picked up didn’t really pan out (foster and fraser). when you had as many holes as we did last season, you can really only do so much.

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

            Weak.

            The market was saturated with role players and has been for a few years.

            Outside of a 1C and top pairing D (which I can understand the difficulty in obtaining and don’t really blame him for not being able to fill those holes). Tambillini has no excuse for not filling the other glarring holes.

          • Mantastic

            look at it this way from last summer.
            current forward roster:
            penner, horc, hemmer, sam, cogs, jfj, sorts, brule, jones, reddox
            they also need slots for ebs, hall and mps

            so that’s already 13 forward competeing for slots, so they needed a 3/4th line center (tried for malholtra) and a tough guy (tired for boogard) could you name more centers out there that actually wanted to come to edmonton and help that group out?

            current d roster:
            struds, whitney, gilbert, peckham, smid

            they kept struds because he was a great character guy in the locker room, knowing that we would have a ton of rookies playing next year, ask any of the players. so he was fine as a 7th man so that leaves 2 slots open (a shutdown/character guy and a pp specialist) foster had 40 points for TB last year, who would have thought he would have been this big of a flop? and trading our useless players for vandermeer was a lot better then having those pos players around.

          • Mantastic

            again, not being able to support your point.

            which role players were willing to join a 30th place small market canadian team? signing more then 2 forwards and 2 defense players would have been more demotions meaning more dismantling which you don’t like to begin with.

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

            Stupid question. We don’t know who is willing and who isn’t. No one does.

            What I do know is that their were plenty available.

            Demotions? The issue is that you don’t pen guys like Reddox/JF/Strudwick into the line-up and you could have kept one of the three rookies down.

          • Mantastic

            again, with plenty, if there were so many, why can’t you can’t name a single one. everyone saw the polls of the nhlpa taken during the allstar game, edmonton being the team they would least like to play for. what vet would want to play in edmonton, with no chance of making the playoffs, let alone knowing that you will not stay here longer then a two season. you forget that these guys are also people with families.

            and yeah demotions; reddox, jfj and strudwick would have been demotions meaning more dismantling (waivers), how is that hard to understand? and all the players love strudwick, if he wasn’t on the team, you know how much worse it would be playing in edmonton?

            the team had a sh!t-ton of holes during the summer there is only so many pugs you can make.

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

            BECAUSE NO ONE COMES OUT AND SAYS IF THEY WOULD OR WOULDN”T SIGN IN EDMONTON.

            Can you name all the players that wouldn’t come here? Other then one-two that were reported. No you can’t because players don’t come out and tell you that.

            What I am confident of however is that a guy given a one year contract for 1 million somewhere else would probably come here for 2 year deal at 1.5 million per.

          • Mantastic

            a guy making 1 million for 1 year for a contending team is going to make an impact for us? seriously, that’s a role player? LOL

            i’m talking about demotions/dismantling because you brought it up first. you’re the one not wanting to dismantle the team. even if you didn’t count reddox or jfj that’s still 11 forwards, 1 bottom 6 guy is going to make an impact for us? really? are you serious? even 2 bottom six? that would have brought us out of the basment from last year?

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

            I didn’t say I didn’t like dismantiling, I said that’s all Tambillini has done thus far (and hasn’t done anything to build the team up)

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

            Reddox wouldn’t be a demotion, he didn’t even start here.

            Who cares about JF, he’s a borederline NHL player that can’t stay healthy. No one should give a $hit if he gets demoted or not.

            It isn’t a demotion when the player is barely NHL caliber to begin with.

            Why are you even bringing up demotions?

          • D-Man

            I would argue that the first step is ‘team dismantling’. Those moves I previously mentioned made roster spots available for the Hall’s/Eberle’s/etc.

            I’m not sure how you’d rebuild an organization any other way? You tear away the crap and start from the bottom up – hence the draft picks… Tambo doesn’t have the luxury of over-spending to bring in FA’s…

            Now granted, I don’t think he gets a free pass as he’s made some stupid moves as well (Can you say Khabby?) – I just think he needs at least two more years in order to show the results of these moves…

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

            See TUG’s answer above. No one is saying Tambellini doesn’t know how to dismantel a roster. (not that it is difficult) We are saying he has shown no evidence (outside of draft high) that he knows how to put one together.

          • D-Man

            Of course… But that takes time.. He doesn’t have enough tools yet to do anything else but to trade away for picks…

            I’m arguing that we shouldn’t get on the ‘fire Tambo’ bandwagon until at least after another year or two. At that point, we should have developed a bit more of a winning culture. FA’s will be more willing to come to E-Town and we should evolve in to an organization that wants more than just making the playoffs…

          • D-Man

            At what cost?? He attempted to sign Malholtra… He declined not wanting to be apart of a rebuild. Getting quality vets to come to a 30th place team is something Tambo’s not going to be able to do until we show signs that his rebuild is working. Not an excuse but a reality he’ll need to deal with for the next year or two.

            Sure Tambo can overpay to get these FA’s – but then we need to remember he needs that $15 million for the raises coming to Hall/Eberle/MPS/Hemsky for the next couple years…

            Until we’re competing for a playoff spot – we have to face the grim reality of rebuilding by developing talent from within.

          • D-Man

            The year – yes.. But not long term – which is the purpose of the rebuild… We want to be competitive consistently year over year – not to squeak into the playoffs one year and be out for another four…

            You’re not overpaying FA’s to one year deals to come to Edmonton… You’re giving them multi-year deals for their security.. Hence – we build through the draft, develop those players and when we start to compete in the two year time frame – the FA’s will come. The $15 million is crucial and shouldn’t be wasted…

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

            Considering the team signed him to be the starter and was last years “MVP” before injury, I’m pretty confiden they weren’t thinkg “role player” when they offerd him 4 years.

            Guys like Biron, Foster, Colby Armstrong and Scott Nichol are “role players.

            Good try though troll.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Keep spinning what you think is reality and i’ll keep correcting you junior.

            Playing goal on a team is a role that many on a team can’t fulfil, so it is a role on a team whether you like it or not. He did sign a contract, or what you call a deal. He wasn’t anywhere near the MVP last year,stop putting up this rubbish time after time. Resistance is futile OB1, i will rehabilitate you.

          • Evidence??… Buying out Moreau, POS and Nilsson… Dealing Riley Nash for the 2nd round pick that became Marincin (who will mostly likely be in OKC next year and in Oiler jersey one to two years after that). Trading Staios for a 3rd round draft pick and Aaron Johnson… Trading Grebeshkov for a 2nd round draft pick… There’s a ton of evidence that he’s trying to build this team through the draft… Without the Penner trade, we wouldn’t have two first rounders this year.

            I’m not sure how you define team building, but to me it has to do with assembling a roster. Trading for picks is not the same thing as team building. Not even close.

            It seems more like they are working hard to put off the actual team building component of their job as long as possible.

            The problem we all have is we WANT results NOW, NOW, NOW… We expect everything to come at once… Tambo should get at least another 1 to 2 years before we become judge and jury… Hall/Eberle/MPS won’t be able to carry this team or at least start to at the time..

            See this is the problem. Management says we need another 4-6 years and suddenly they get a pass for ineffective management because anytime anybody points out a problem people flip out saying “why do you demand to win now” or “give them time”.

            This isn’t even relevant. Bullsh!t even. Who said they should win now? Not only did I not say anything of the sort but I didn’t imply it either.

            I merely hope that the GM of my favorite NHL team can show the level of competence one should expect from an NHL GM. Tambellini has had a number of years now and the team has not only gotten worse every year but he didn’t even realize that we were in a rebuild when everyone else alive knew it…and now they tell us it will ONLY be another 4-6 years?

            Maybe he is smart though…how many other GMs can you think of that managed to guarantee themselves a 7-9 year window of job security no matter how incompetent they are.

            To me, we should expect to be fighting for a playoff spot in 2012/13 and in the playoffs the following year (and if we aren’t – Tambo should be fired). My expectations for next year are no higher than being 25/26th overall. I believe that is a realistic and fair expectation.

            This is because you have bought into their timeline/job-security-plan. It wasn’t necessary to be that bad next year, but they insist on moving any talent we have out of town in the name of a magic beans for the rebuild.

            Clearing out 30 somethings in decline is rebuilding – clearing out players entering their prime is unnecessarily delaying the point where they finally have to build a team.

            Even the Islanders have finally come to recognize the inherent stupidity in such a plan if you noticed earlier in the year when it came out that they think they are hurting Tavares’ development by not having real players for him to play with.

          • Mantastic

            then how do you propose we get any good players to “build a team”? it’s not like our borderline players have value to begin with and if they did, they would also pull borderline players in return. the only value we actually have is draft picks.

          • D-Man

            How do you rebuild a team? If I’m looking at what you’re saying – you’d prefer to rebuild this team through signing FA’s buy overpaying?? Since we’re a 30th place team – we’re relegated to trading for picks/prospects, getting cap space and building through picks.. Taking the Burke approach to a rebuild would only lead us to 11th/12th in the conference overall… Obviously, we both can agree that isn’t the right approach.

            I don’t think Tambo/Lowe/Katz has said that they’d need 4 to 6 years of losing.. I believe the only thing they’ve ever asked for is patience. Your point that they should have acknowledged the rebuild a year earlier is relevant; they should be blamed for over-valuing their current assets. Thinking Khabby would have pushed them into the playoffs was a huge overstatement.

            I ask you what you truly expected this team to be coming into this year? Next year, assuming they did not make the Penner trade (as you’ve mentioned with ‘clearing out players entering their prime)? Would you honestly believe that they’d make the playoffs?? Not in million years – even if Whitney/Hemsky played 82 games this year.

            I want the Oilers to not only make the playoffs, but to once again become a Cup Contender. Unless we overpay FA’s, I can’t see that happening with the current lineup we have. That doesn’t mean management gets a 4 to 6 year ‘free pass’; I believe that means they get two more years to make the playoffs and another two to become a top four/five team. This would only be done via the draft.

          • How do you rebuild a team? If I’m looking at what you’re saying – you’d prefer to rebuild this team through signing FA’s buy overpaying?? Since we’re a 30th place team – we’re relegated to trading for picks/prospects, getting cap space and building through picks.. Taking the Burke approach to a rebuild would only lead us to 11th/12th in the conference overall… Obviously, we both can agree that isn’t the right approach.

            The only way to get any of that crap from my post is a complete and utter lack of reading comprehension. Who the hell said anything about a Burke approach? Where are you even coming up with this idiocy?

            I ask you what you truly expected this team to be coming into this year? Next year, assuming they did not make the Penner trade (as you’ve mentioned with ‘clearing out players entering their prime)? Would you honestly believe that they’d make the playoffs?? Not in million years – even if Whitney/Hemsky played 82 games this year.

            How do you figure I had any expectations at all coming in to this season? If you have ever read any of my comments it’s pretty clear I probably had significantly lower expectations than you coming into this season. They never had a chance.

            Your point that they should have acknowledged the rebuild a year earlier is relevant;

            Seriously…I’m not even sure if you’re just messing with me at this point. The point is that if they didn’t even know they should be rebuilding until Feb 2010 then they are not competent enough to complete the rebuild. Who cares about acknowledgement? I feel like I’m speaking to a child here.

            That doesn’t mean management gets a 4 to 6 year ‘free pass’; I believe that means they get two more years to make the playoffs and another two to become a top four/five team.

            This statement contradicts itself all over the place. Tambellini has had 3 years now. You have just offered him 4 more so have just given him a pass for a minimum of 5 years of ineptitude and 7 if they happen to make the playoffs.

            This would only be done via the draft.

            So for the record…your opinion is that the only way to build a contender is to lose for 7 straight years and get as many high draft picks as possible? We don’t need any of the other tools available? I ask because if that’s the case why do we need a GM? I could lose as easily as he does. I could trade players for the best picks offered. I could let the scouting department build my entire POS roster for me.

            WHY DO WE HAVE A GM?

            We are making the same mistakes that every perpetually bad franchise makes and hoping it will all work out in the end.

            Think about this for a second – every single team now contending had real hockey players on their team while their picks were developing. Every one….but I guess we don’t need them because the mighty Oiler brain trust has decided otherwise right?

          • Wax Man Riley

            Looking at The Pens and The Hawks…. well, yes, they were terrible for a long time before becoming contenders.

            The rebuild started last year. Not after the ’06 SCF run. ’06-’07 the thought was they would make the playoffs, ’07-’08, they almost did. ’08-’09, was a retooling, lets try again, which brought us to the “oh, crap. We have to start over” in mid ’09-’10. Before then, they were a bad team trying to find a big name to bring legitimacy and push them over the top.

            Last year is when it started. This is the first full year of the rebuild. It is being done properly. From the bottom up, starting with getting (GASP!) their own farm team…. which I will agree is the worst, most short-sighted (lack of) idea any professional sports team ever had.

            I cannot look past not having a farm team, or not signing Roloson. Those were terrible owner/management decisions.

            This is going to be a long process. No playoffs this year, or next year. Do not expect it.

          • A) The “First year of the rebuild” crap is the problem. How can anyone believe a GM who didn’t recognize they should have been rebuilding years ago. I knew it. Everyone else I know knew it. Why didn’t our esteemed management know it?

            B) Ok. Let’s look and the Pens and the Hawks. Know what they had that we don’t? Veterans to play with their draft picks. Guess what the Islanders don’t have…veterans to play with their draft picks…and even the Islanders have finally started to figure out it’s a mistake.

            C) Why do people keep telling me we won’t make the playoffs as though I have been predicting a magical cup run? Where are people getting this impression?

            I have been among the most pessimistic people on this site for a long time now, and suddenly I’m the guy whose expectations need tempering?

            We are on pace for lottery picks for the foreseeable future.

            No kidding it’s going to be a long process. In fact I suspect it will never end as long as Tambellini is the GM. By the time all these brilliant futures start to pan out it will time to move Hall because his RFA years are over and according to everyone here he will never sign an extension anyways so we should deal him for picks.

          • Mantastic

            a) it’s because it’s not up to the GM to decide that unless you’re the president as well which brian burke is. look at calgary and ottawa, they had to get the green light from their president/board to rebuild. before last season, we really thought we could compete, no way did we forsee the fact we lost 500+ man games due to injuries causing us to tank.

            b) NYI has vets, otherwise they would clearly be the youngest team in the league, which they clearly aren’t. i’m guessing doug weight isn’t a vet.

          • a) That doesn’t make sense. Nobody thought we could compete but Oilers management. THIS IS THE POINT!

            b) Quote in the Ottawa Sun from Islanders executive earlier this season:

            “(Snow) has to be careful they don’t ruin Tavares with this kind of atmosphere,” said an NHL executive. “They are teaching him how to fail and he’s been put in a bad atmosphere. They’ve got to get some veteran help to take some of the heat off him.”

            Like I said – even the Islanders are starting to get it.

          • Mantastic

            a) you said the GM that doesn’t know that the team needed to rebuild but even if the GM did, he couldn’t do anything unless he got the go ahead to do it… Katz gave the go ahead LAST YEAR.

            b) wow… a quote from a NHL exec in ottawa. you got me because NHL execs know everything and they aren’t pencil pushers or anything of that sort. doug weight isn’t a vet!!!!!!!

          • So you disagreed that NY believed a lack of veteran help was stunting Tavares’ development and when I show you proof that the Islanders did in fact believe this you dismiss it out of hand.

            Comments like this are why I left the conversation earlier and are why I am disappointed I bothered coming back.

            Between you and D-man there can’t be any straw left.

          • D-Man

            The Hawks/Pens did have vets to play with their draft picks – but as role players… You don’t get a Crosby or a Toews via free agency, that is without paying a steep price… I agree the vets we have aren’t the greatest… But outside of Whitney – all other vets we currently have are/were under contract before Tambo got here. We do have some evidence that he tried to get some more proven NHLers for our bottom six (Malholtra/Neil), but again – being a crappy team prevents us from getting those type of players…

            You don’t need to temper your expectations… In fact, I appreciate your passion for the team. I just think you’re expecting more from Tambo that is realistic. Last year, he cleared roster space, got a ton of cap space and restocked the farm and future with a lot of potential (Pitlick, Marcinin, Hamilton, Roy). I don’t think we could expect anything more. He’ll need to do more this year and try to get another FA here or there to fill some holes and hope Stu does well in the draft one more year.

            Expect another painful year, TUG.. I don’t think we’re any better than 25th overall again – and that is if Hemsky/Horcoff/Whitney stay healthy.

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

            “… But outside of Whitney – all other vets we currently have are/were under contract before Tambo got here”

            You might want to re-check that.

            And really that is the crux of the “anti-Tambillini” faction. I think most were fine with an infusion of high end young players, the issues are around jamming so many in at once and not giving them a proper support network of proven, quality NHL’ers.

          • D-Man

            I did… My apologies but to specify – I was referring to our ‘top end veterans’, not whom we classify as role players.. The vets that we have on payroll that can be branded ‘Tambellini’ are:

            Khabby (Tambo’s worst signing – a huge F)
            Jones (good move considering he was off waivers)
            Fraser (I give him a “C” for this one – Fraser hasn’t been bad but hasn’t really been good either)
            JFJ – (resigned by Tambo – shows promise, but shouldn’t be resigned as he’s extremely inconsistent)
            Brule – (resigned by Tambo – should be bought out as he can’t stay healthy)
            Vandermeer – (good move considering we gave POS for him)
            Foster – (has shown signs but considering his cap hit is under $2.0 million, I give Tambo a B-)
            Strudwick – (not a bad signing considering his alleged presence in the dressing room and work in the community)
            Souray – (I’d say good signing but as we all know the end results were brutal – D+)

            My point is/was that Tambo really hasn’t had an opportunity until now to get the high end talent to help us win games… With Horcoff and Gilbert being severely overpaid, he is forced to build his top 6 with rookies/draft picks… I believe he had Lowe’s support network when he started the job and not his own.

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

            Wow, I’m starting to think you are Tambillini. I’m baffled at the grades you are giving some pretty piss poor signings.

            I don’t know why this is such a tough concept. He wasn’t forced to build his top 6 with rookies because of Horc/Gilbert. He has piles and piles of cap space.

          • Now I know for certain that you are either messing with me or not bothering to read my posts because you have not only managed to ignore every point I made but you commenting as though I believe the opposite of what I’ve been saying.

            I’ve been talking non-stop about how crappy this team will be and somehow you think it needs to be pointed out to me that we will be bad next year? This conversation is so bizarre. I’m going to simplify our conversation for you so you can see how irritating this is:

            me: This team is terrible and Tambellini has made it impossible to compete for a very long time

            you: You’re expecting too much from Tambellini, you should probably prepare for a bad year next year.

            Do you not see why I think you might just be messing with me?

            On another note – please point out where ANYONE says that Tambellini should have signed a Crosby or a Toews or even vaguely hinted that this team should have been competitive this season. You’re just inventing points to argue against. It is so strange.

          • D-Man

            First and foremost – take a pill.. I’m trying to have a fair debate with you – not a pissing argument… Calling me a child or an idiot aren’t called for – especially when its via email and not directly to my face.

            My expectations going into this season were as follows: I didn’t think we’d be any better than 25th place overall… We clearly didn’t have any depth on the back end after Whitney and our bottom six was questionable at best…

            I haven’t offered Tambo a ‘free pass for the next 4 to 6 years’… I’ve said he should get one for the next two – in my eyes, what happened before was irrelevant. When Tambo became GM, he was handcuffed with bad contracts (Horcoff), the results of a lousy Pronger trade and a dressing room with a rotten culture… I don’t know what you’d expect for him to be able to do in those first two years. I do agree with you that his 3rd year, his performance was suspect with the Khabby signing… At that point, he over-evaluated the team and thought Khabby would push us into the playoffs… Clearly, even before the injuries that was a huge mistake.

            I don’t want to be losing for 5-7 years either.. I just don’t expect Tambo to be able to have anything of quality over the next two to get decent FA’s here to help us win. Realistically, that means he’ll be forced to develop ‘real hockey players’ from within and via the draft. I do expect that with the bullets he’s giving Stu and with the proper develop of the talent we have – we should have the expectation to make the playoffs in the next two years. If we don’t – Tambo should be fired. To me, considering we acknowledged the rebuild in this season – he should get two more years to either a) see the fruit of his labors or b) suffer the consequences of the lack of performance.

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

            He wasn’t “handcuffed” with anything, we seen first hand how easy it is to lower payroll.

            That has always been one of the weakest excusses.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Move Hemmer and LA 1st to Philly for Jeff Carter! He is a natural centre playing wing due to PHI being to deep down the middle. Both Briere and Richards have No Trade Clauses and Giroux goes up to $3.75 next year. Imagine if Tambo pulled of a really hockey trade for an actual warm body!

    • Quicksilver ballet

      What a friggen joke, lets ruin hockey in two markets instead of just one!

      Someone please make sure we have enough life jackets, we’re going to need’em when the bow of this ship dips below the water level.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          We really only need one guy, we don’t need a full roster just to watch it rain like this. Bring Tuebert up for a look see, have Strudwick play forward for a few games, divide the half dozen minutes over the three remaining lines. They’d rather send up a d’man rather than their whole first line i’m sure.

          • Crash

            You are something else I gotta say.

            The Oilers have only 9 forwards at practice. They need some bodies….so, what’s wrong with rewarding some guys on the farm with some gravy time in the show? Do you think that Van Velde, O’Marra and Giroux are pissed off that they have to leave OKC to play in the NHL?

            What’s wrong with you man?

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

            “the practice of playing a seriously misinformed or deluded user”

            I found the line above to be most relevant.

            The scary part is when they aren’t playing.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            If you’re satisfied finishing 30th every yr then take comfort in that OB1. I’m inclined to want to force things, do something instead of sitting here feeling sorry for ones self. The Oilers need to get off their arses and generate their own fortunes/luck somehow. If you want to paint me as a radical, who cares, we don’t all have to get along with each other here, call me anything you want if it’ll make you feel better about yourself. Never was comfortable being one of the sheep here. Bhaaaaa.

          • Wax Man Riley

            So your proposed methods are:

            Poach RFA’s …. and give up future draft picks as well as piss off other GMs so that they won’t do business with you in the future.

            Get proven NHLr’s: Tell me where that store is so I can help out my beer league team. Edmonton is the SECOND LEAST desirable team to play for in the NHL. As seen last summer, guys do not want to sign here.

            Cut Fraser, Foster, Struds: Well… tough to argue with that one.

            Trade Hall + a pick for Stamkos
            Trade Ebserle + a pick for Toews?

            I wouldn’t do that if I were either GM. Hall and Ebbs are keepers. So are Stamkos and Toews. It makes ZERO sense to do a deal like that for either team. I DEFINITELY would not do it if I were Tambo.

            The only way for a northerly Canadian team to rebuild and be successful long term is to build through the draft. That takes time. When the Oilers are a perennial contender I will think back to your Brian Burkian philosophies and chuckle while the Leafs are still struggling to get into 8th.

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

            Trade Hall + a pick for Stamkos Trade Ebserle + a pick for Toews?

            Way to take things out of context, I was stating why it was ridiculous to talk about trading Gagner for a better player because it’s a no brainer just like trading Eberle for Toews would be.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            So screw the hockey fans in Oklahoma then.

            Dress 10 forwards including Strudwick and 7 d, double shift Reddox or divide the minutes over the three lines, it’s not like it hasn’t been done before. There are no important games here from now till the end of the year. There’s still something to be gained in Oklahoma. Have to wonder who would zoom who if the Oilers lined up against the Barons these days.

  • Bucknuck

    1st year out of the playoffs: Sykora and Lupul were supposed to bring in 30 goals each to replace some of the offence that was lost up front. It didn’t work, and they ended up trading Ryan Smyth before the trade deadline and the Oil went into a nosedive (predictably).

    2nd year out of the playoffs: Souray was brought in to bolster the Obvious hole in defence that resulted the previous year without Pronger. This was the year of the kids, where Glencross, Gagner, Nilsson, and Cogliano all in their rookie seasons made a playoff push that didn’t come too much short of the mark. Garon also made a great push.

    3rd year out of the playoffs: This was the year of the big push. Penner and Vanek offer sheets. Trying to get Marian Hossa (and losing Glencross in the process). PItkanen, Gilbert, Grebeskhov, and Souray as your top four with Roloson backstopping and the kid line and the Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner line to give that 1-2 punch were supposed to make the playoffs. Injuries took care of that.

    4th year out of the playoffs: enter Tambellini. Enter Quinn, exit Mactavish. Enter Khabibulin, exit Roloson. This was the year they chased Heatley. They still were trying to put together a winner. Visnovsky and Souray the big 1-2 on D with a decent supporting cast, they figured they were one star forward away from the big dance in April. This was the year it all fell apart. At the trade deadline the rebuild started.

    In my mind I figure they broke the team when they traded Ryan Smyth. Prior to that I figured they still had a chance at the playoffs. Penner was brought in to replace his offense, but they never replaced the heart of a warrior that was in Smyth. The loss of Pronger they could have recovered from (IMO), when they lost Smyth they lost all chance to avoid a rebuild.

    • Horcsky

      Reagan said: “After Jonsies poultry offer on 975,000 I sure hope the Oilers pony up the 1.25 to 1.5 a season. A 2 year deal makes sence!”

      ~What, 975,000 chickens wasn’t enough for Ryan Jones? I say 1.5 million chickens is too much!~

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Irrelevant whom the Oilers draft if they have no recouse but to let them get away 3 years down the road due to an uncompetitive team . Our present course has us turning our star players over for less than their value in return . The voids created have never been replaced with upgrades , even the downgrades are being replaced with further downgrades . At some point obviously the draftees will at least be better than the downgrades they have left as a core .

    Building a team this current way is next to impossible . When was the last time we seen any upgrades and a reduction in voids , instead of a move in other direction to actually fill those voids correctly ? So long as management creates more problems than they can solve we are not going to be competitive even 4-5 years down the road . We will continue to be a feeder for rest of NHL and not much else , as we either let go our best NHL players or will not be able to keep our rookies much beyond the 3-4th season . We keep waiting for a deal(s) to come , but quite honestly they never do . How many more years are Oiler fans going to put up with rhetoric and no results ? At what season in the future will we be so bad that even downgrades will be an upper forward move ?

    If management can’t do an effective job , it’s unrealistic for players to do much of a job without the tools to be successfull . After this season i’d have to conclude our rebuild is still in the closet until next season perhaps , when it might actually start to move forward instead of backwards . All you soothsayers please let us know when the actually rebuild starts instead of continuing to go backwards ! As for deals just look at their last three seasons and what results that led us to – nothing but more unfillable voids and deadlast in NHL . How you can find positive in that escapes the logical mind ?

    • VMR

      You whole arguement falls apart in your first sentence, what player have the Oilers drafted and “had no recourse but to let them get away 3 years down the road.”

      Hall says he loves it here, even Penner said he wanted to be part of the rebuild. It doesnt sound like players are running away.

  • Jason Gregor

    I would like to think that good management would create a plan that would factor in what transpired over the past few seasons so that they weren’t starting from scratch like it is sometimes suggested by stating this is the first year of the rebuild.

    Yesterday on Gregors show he asked what you would address if you could pick one thing for the Oilers to do this summer.

    My vote is to change out the GM.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    People still forget about the progress of Sam Gagner and Cogs. Sam Gagner’s numbers aren’t eye popping, but one thing you will note is that this is the first year where we can see clear consistency in his production throughout the year. Consistency is a sign of maturity.

    After a miserable year in 2010, Cogs has re-established himself as a player. He has done what Renney has asked of him and he will be back next year. Now if only he could win more draws!

  • Mantastic

    This quote in the Journal from Liam Reddox looks like an indictment of the dressing room from last year (aka Moreau and Souray?):

    “This year has been different,” Reddox continued, “with the group welcoming me in.

    “I don’t feel as much like ‘That call-up’ from the minors. Usually, when you get called up, you have that label. It kind of sucks. But everyone has been good.

    “It has been a really nice change to years previous.”

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I wouldn’t do that if I were either GM. Hall and Ebbs are keepers. So are Stamkos and Toews. It makes ZERO sense to do a deal like that for either team. I DEFINITELY would not do it if I were Tambo.

    Actually it would make a tonne of sense for the Oilers because they are proven, better players.

    • Wax Man Riley

      True, they are proven: A Stanley Cup winner and a 50 goal scorer, I don’t deny how good they are, but both are on teams that have had a chance to develop and grow with the players around them….like Hall and Ebs are doing now.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Poach RFA’s …. and give up future draft picks as well as piss off other GMs so that they won’t do business with you in the future.

    Yes, I’d move draft picks for *top end* young defensmen. You’d be insane not to.

    Want to know something funny? We traded with the Sabers since the offer sheet so I guess that theory is gone.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Get proven NHLr’s: Tell me where that store is so I can help out my beer league team. Edmonton is the SECOND LEAST desirable team to play for in the NHL. As seen last summer, guys do not want to sign here.

    Role players will sign here, they’ve been doing it every year.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Tambo signed role players and you are saying to get rid of them for better NHLr’s. Role players are just that. They play a role and aren’t stars. It sounds like you are asking for them to sign Thomas Plekanec or Marek Zidlicky. Those types of players will not come here in a rebuild. Won’t happen. That is why the only way to build a team is now through the draft. Which is what is happening.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        He signed also rans. I said it in the summer and I’m saying it now.

        Picking someones 5th line center isn’t adding quality role players.

        Maybe you should look at how many quality role players do go to rebuilding teams rather then making these ridiculous black and white statements.

  • Why should Jones get $1.4 million? Potulny scored 15 goals for the Oilers last season and he got a two way contract this season.

    Jones doesn’t score enough to be a top six player, and he is too porous defensively to fit into a third line checking role. The ony place he fits is on the fourth line and the Oilers mismanagement team hasn’t been willing to dish out over a million per to any guy they see as a fourth line player.

    If the Oilers pay this guy that kind of money after letting far superior players such as Glencross, and Brodziak walk for the same dollars I will lose my mind.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Oh, and based on this past years play I’d say Gilbert/Hor were overpaid by roughly 3 million combined.

    ~Ya that sure kills a team…. let alone one with 15 million in cap space.~

    • D-Man

      Again – name me a legitimate top 6 veteran who would come to a 30th place team who’s potentially two to three years away from the playoffs?? And if you could find one – how much would you be willing to overpay?

      That’s part of my point – I don’t care how much cap space we have right now – if Manny Malholtra (a very good bottom six center) won’t come here (and yes, he was offered more than what he’s making in Vancouver) – who will?? The cap space will be huge for us in two years – when the Hall’s and Eberle’s make this team playoff competitive.

      Horcoff has a $5.5 million cap hit/Gilbert $4.0 million.. Arguably, based on stats – Horcoff should be around $3.0 million and Gilbert, no more than $2.0/$2.5 million. That’s about $4.0 million in wasted cap space… You can’t tell me you’d pay another top six forward or top 3 defensemen with that coin, knowing these albatross contracts won’t be off the books until 2013 – 2014…

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        “Again – name me a legitimate top 6 veteran who would come to a 30th place team who’s potentially two to three years away from the playoffs?? And if you could find one – how much would you be willing to overpay?”

        I never once said top 6 forward. I’ve said 500 times bottom 6 forward.

        • Mantastic

          how is 1-2 “role-playing” bottom six forwards going to change anything, really?

          lets say we got manny malholtra, what would that have changed? would we be contending? would we even be competitive? sure we’ll be a LITTLE more competitive but not enough to change anything significant, maybe drafting from 3rd as opposed to 1st. is that what you want?

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

            Forget Foster/Strudwick/Fraser/JFJ and one of Cogs/Brule and bring in 5, proven NHL’ers and this is a significantly better team, and would show that Tambellini has some team building ability, not just team dismanteling. (which was the original point)

          • Mantastic

            have you ever seen ANY team bring in 5 bonified bottom 6 players before? are you serious?

            and duh, if you bring in 5 bonified bottom 6 nhl players, of course you’ll be better. way to state the obvious and the impossible.

            if we brought a lot of better players, we would be better… CRAZY!

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

            That’s the whole point you clown. He did a horrible job bringing in support players.

            And if we are talking about forward 7 – 12 and Dman 5 – 7….it is very possible to fill those holes properly

          • Mantastic

            again, have you ever seen ANY team bring in that many players over the summer? if that was the case for any team, don’t you think that would happen more often? sign a butt load of UFA’s in the summer and you instantly become a contender?

            support players are exactly that, support. you can’t base a whole team on support players, nor can you have support players when you have nothing to support. these players are brought on to fill a hole or 2 in any line up, not replace a half of the team. it might work in NHL 11 but this isn’t a video game.

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

            You’re a funny man. Here’s how many UFA signings (players that played for another NHL team the previous year) a handful of teams had last year:

            ATL: 5

            Ducks: 4

            Flames: 6

            Hawks: 5

            Stars: 4

            NYI: 4

            NYR: 4

            Pens: 5

            TB: 6

            Canucks: 5

            A nice cross-section of Contenders, average teams and bottom feeders.

            Ready to tap out yet? Or are you still going to cling to your theories?

          • Mantastic

            omg… how many of those teams were contenders for playoff spots? all but NYI and they didn’t sign anyone good and it didn’t make any difference. OTT even signed good UFA’s and they are even worse. most of the UFA’s were plugs for their line up. look at us for god sake, how many UFA’s did we sign? the only big jump in standings from any of those teams is TB and it’s not even from the UFA signings over the summer, it’s the trade for roly this season.

            the difference between those clubs and ours is light years apart to begin with, so i don’t even know why you were comparing. 12 points seperated us from 2nd last place, we had TONS of holes in our team last season. to sign IMPACT 5-6 players is impossible with a team this bad. nor would i think make any difference.

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

            TROLOLOLOLOL

            You ask for how many teams did it and then when I show you, you try and change the perameters.

            Funny enough you bring up the NYI, as TUG was mentioning earlier they seem to be the only bottom feeder that “gets it”… notice they’ve also progressed nicely this year.

            The fact that the NYI were able to bring on that many players completely mitigates the “no one will come here because we’re Edmonton and a bad team” straw that you’ve been clinging too.

            Face it, you’re wrong. Tambellini did a horrible job adding to the team and it was no ones fault but his own.

          • Jason Gregor

            You are honestly suggesting that because NYI signed UFAs that Tambellini did a horrible job?

            Is Jurcina that much better than Foster?

            Weight has done nothing in NYI. Konopka was good, but do you think he’d make the Oilers that much better. He might have them in 28th instead of 30th.

            Is Eaton any better than Vandermeer?

            Parenteau was the only real impact signing for them, and it hasn’t made them much better.

            I’m not defending Tambellini, but if you think bottom feeder UFAs will make this team better, I think you are dreaming a bit. The reality is that Hall will be better next year, and if they stay healthy, BIG IF, then they will automatically be better.

            The Oilers need to do a better job of finding gap-fill UFAs, not ones you expect to make much of an impact.

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

            I’m suggesting Tambellini did a terrible job… becaue he did a terrible job. I think the proof is the pudding.

            I bring up the NYI because the common cop-out excuse for the Tambellini lovers is that we can’t even get role players because the team sucks and Edmonton is in an undesireable location. I think the fact that the NYI attract role players should be pretty good proof that the Oilers should be able to attract role players.

            And the spirit of the debate was weather Tambillini has shown the ability to team build rather then simply “team dismantle”, so it’s not so much that the role players suggested would have made the team that much better, it’s that he would have shown an ability to identify and sign gap fill UFA’s.

          • Mantastic

            LOL, we added players via UFA too, 5! NYI’s wasn’t even any good and they are roughly the same position as last year, how is that an improvement?

            how many of the UFA’s out there were to replace former positions that left due to FA and how many teams actually improved on the positions they replaced with UFA’s? vancouver was the only one that comes to mind with the signing of hamuis and malholtra that improved and that’s only 2 impact players.

            you wanted us to sign 5-6 players to improve the team, again, you can’t name a team since lockout that has been able to really do that. sure edmonton could have signed 1 more player to make it 6 but what makes you think they would have been busts like giroux, foster and fraser?

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

            The Oilers brought in ONE UFA from another team – Foster. (I guess two if you count big mac but he was only gone a few months)

            Look at yourself, post after post saying no team brings in 5-6 UFA’s year and then when you find out alot do you change gears.

            Want to know a team that did a great job bringing in alot of role players that translated to a big jump in the standings?

            Pheonix two years ago, they added Lang/Pyatt/Aucoin/Fidler and went from a team that everyone thought was a lotto team to a solid playoff team. (on a shoe-string budget).

            And I’m not saying it needs to be all UFA’s. A couple teams really got to take advantge of teams tight to the cap (ATL for one), we’ve got cap space to burn, it would be a real waste if we didn’t pick up a few quality NHL’ers for pennies on the dollar this summer from teams in a pinch.

          • D-Man

            Although I don’t agree with Mantastic’s tone, he is right… Getting 5 proven NHLer’s would be tough, especially without severely overpaying… Personally, if Tambellini can get one (like a Malholtra or even a Glencross), I’ll be somewhat shocked and pleased…

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    @ D-Man

    “That’s part of my point – I don’t care how much cap space we have right now – if Manny Malholtra (a very good bottom six center) won’t come here (and yes, he was offered more than what he’s making in Vancouver) – who will?? The cap space will be huge for us in two years – when the Hall’s and Eberle’s make this team playoff competitive.”

    I think you’ve spent about as much time readin my posts as you have TUG’s.

    Malhotra was considerd the best (or at least one of) bottom 6 centers available… of course he’ll have his choice of where he goes. Their were plenty more available. But you can quit with the “who would have came here” game, because unless I’m having trouble finding it, theirs no where that lists where each player would be willing to sign.

    Remember about 15 posts ago when I said the guys we needed typically sign for 3 years or less? that makes Hall/Eberle’s rais irrelavent.

    • D-Man

      True – you and I can speculate on ‘who would have come here’ until we’re both blue in the face. But you also can’t say the ‘guys we needed’ (a shutdown defensemen, a solid big two way center) wouldn’t want to sign for 3 years or less either.

      Granted – like you, I’m being purely hypothetical here, but if I’m a good (not great) shutdown defensemen (UFA) and get approached by the Oilers; why would I want to come here unless I’m getting an overpriced contract for a bit more of a longer term? Right now – playing for the worst team in the league might affect my stats and possibly my next contract; why would I risk my career unless I have the security of something 3 years or longer??

      That’s why Hall/Eberle’s raise is relevant.. Unless Tambo can plug those holes with FA’s for one or two year deals, then there’s the risk of not having enough cap space in the two years when Hall/Eberle/MPS require their respective raises. I can’t see Tambo having any other way to motivate players better than the Fraser’s or JFJ’s to come here without overpaying.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Good lord man, we were talking about last summer. They had THREE YEARS without worrying about raises to the rooks…. And we are talking role players. I beg you to do some research and how much and how long these guys typicaly sign for so we can end this non-sense.

        • D-Man

          Three years ago we just came off of a cup run and at that point they weren’t worried about raises because they didn’t have the possibility of a Hall or Eberle to worry about. We in fact spent money like crazy overpaying our role players.. Many of those contracts arguably belonged to Lowe and not Tambellini… If anything – we both can agree that Lowe should have been fired and not promoted along time ago.

          As I also said – I’m speculating like you so I don’t have proof on what a role player would or wouldn’t sign. Manny Malholtra – who we would both agree would fill the center hole we currently have – signed for three years at $2.5 million. Now Edmonton did offer him more than that – Malholtra wouldn’t say how much. He just said that he thought Vancouver was a better fit.

          The question is could we now get a quality player like a Malholtra for that type of money but at a lesser term? I don’t think so.. What do you think?

          Either way – thanks for the debate…

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    @D-Man

    Horcoff has a $5.5 million cap hit/Gilbert $4.0 million.. Arguably, based on stats – Horcoff should be around $3.0 million and Gilbert, no more than $2.0/$2.5 million. That’s about $4.0 million in wasted cap space… You can’t tell me you’d pay another top six forward or top 3 defensemen with that coin, knowing these albatross contracts won’t be off the books until 2013 – 2014…

    Again, I never said top 6 forward or top 3 defensemen so you can shut that down.

    That said though, it’s still irrelavant how much those two make, what matters is how much space was left.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Three years ago we just came off of a cup run and at that point they weren’t worried about raises because they didn’t have the possibility of a Hall or Eberle to worry about. We in fact spent money like crazy overpaying our role players.. Many of those contracts arguably belonged to Lowe and not Tambellini… If anything – we both can agree that Lowe should have been fired and not promoted along time ago.

    Is this a joke? I’m talking about this past summer. The rookies were on 3 year entry level deals, that gives the team a 3 year window to sign guys without worrying about raises. Sign guys for overpays if need be for 1, 2, even 3 year contracts because we wont need the cap space until then.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    The question is could we now get a quality player like a Malholtra for that type of money but at a lesser term? I don’t think so.. What do you think

    Either way – thanks for the debate…

    I’ve expressed my opinion on the matter 10 times. Their were plenty of good bottom 6 centers available. Malhotra was the best but their was option B/C/D/F ext that could have been pursued.

    The majority of these guys sign for 1-2 years at 600k – 1.5 million. If we had to give them an extra 500K and/or an extra year then so be it.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    This top/bottom 6 issue is a little more black and white. Till the Oilers have a capable top group, it doesn’t really matter what the bottom group looks like. When the Oilers put that top group together, they’ll have more than enough NHL players thinking they have a chance to be successful here in support roles.

    Having to overpay for players to stay here speaks volumes as to how bad it’s been here for an extended period of time. Put that top group together with a decent 1-2 on the blueline as well as someone who resembles a goaltender and that word overpay will disappear.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Here’s some of the names I’m talking about:

    Defense:

    Paul Mara/Randy Jones/Shaone Morrisonn/Lebda/Boulion/Sutton/Boychuck/Jurcina/Corvo/Leopold

    Center:

    Madden/Nichol/Moore/Morrison/Belanger/Halpern/Lombardi/Konopka
    Wingers:

    Nystrom/Burrish/McCaurther/Pyatt/Armstrong/Stempniak/Torres//Torres/Asham

    I really don’t understand why you guys think plucking a few of these guys would have been so tough.

    Their were similar groups of players available the summer before as well, and worse case scenario, you can trade 4th and 5th round picks for guys of this caliber.