Famous Demotions

Magnus Paajarvi took it like a man. A demotion is never an easy thing, but older folks will tell you good things can come from times of trouble. The list of men who have gone before him is, well, pretty damn long.

The most famous Oiler demotion came early in franchise history. Mark Messier had done a few things to get the attention of the elders, but missing a flight won him a ticket to the Central Hockey League. In late October of 1979, the news hit the fan.

Legend has it Messier partied all of his days in Houston and came back as cocky as ever. Either way, Paajarvi’s situation is different and not nearly as famous.

Magnus Paajarvi lost his job. I can create a back story that suggests coach Renney didn’t put him in a position to succeed but then again the player didn’t exactly force him to re-think the decision to move him down the depth chart. He isn’t scoring and what’s more he is spending little time in the scoring zones and his healthy scratches are becoming more common.

It’s time for a change, 


Not that bad. Paajarvi has played 273 minutes at even strength with 3 assists. If he had three more points the young man would be on the same pace as one year ago. I don’t think it’s terminal and in fact will help him get some swagger back. We should be watching for lots of goals and assists, a player of Magnum’s calibre should be able to score at more than a point-per-game. The AHL is a tough league so he’ll have to work for it.


The Oilers haven’t had a failed first round pick since Rob Schremp in 2004–I define a failed first round pick as any skater with fewer than 250 NHL games played–and Paajarvi is extremely unlikely to fail as an NHLer to that level. He may have to change his game a little and become less of a perimeter player. He’s skilled and has great speed, but NHL goaltenders get beaten most of the time in the offensive scoring zones.

Magnus Paajarvi spends too little time in those zones. Perimeter skill forwards with average shots don’t survive in the NHL.


It’s a busy Nation Radio today on Team 1260 at noon.

  • David Staples from the Cult of Hockey will talk to us about the difficulty the Oilers have been facing over the last few weeks.
  • Jim Byers from the OKC Barons will be on to talk about OKC and their outstanding run. We’ll also find out which players are carrying the mail.
  • Cam Moon from the Red Deer Rebels will help us preview the world juniors and talk to us about 2012 draft prospect Matt Dumba.
  • Bruce McCurdy will also chime in on the WJ’s and tell us about the Oil Kings too. Bruce always has an opinion on the Oilers and we’ll ask him about the Paajarvi demotion.
  • Terry Jones will pop by to talk Oilers and we’ll talk about his HHOF experience.
  • Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report will help us set the table for the WJ’s.

emails welcome nationradio@theteam1260.com and you can also check out twitter @ItsNationRadio or @Lowetide_ and ask a question or pass along a comment.


  • John Chambers

    Back in ’95 or ’96 the Sather-led Oilers routinely sent 3 or 4 young guys down (or brought them up) at a time. I liked the idea. Play in both leagues, get a chance to work our your weaknesses, and appreciate your time in the show.

    In an episode of Oil Change Renney said that OKC wasn’t punishment and that guys should be happy to hone their skills there. I guess I would’ve preferred to see them use the farm as a destination for a struggling player like Paajarvi earlier in the season, and maybe we’d be talking about calling him up in January.

  • John Chambers

    The Oilers and MP will be better off with him in OKC. MP will get his mojo back and that will in turn help the Oilers moving forward.

    My doghouse is not empty though. As much as I like Belanger and Eager both have dissapointed me this season. Cam Barker I’ll hold opinon on till the end of the season. But it looks like a rethink is in order when it comes to how or where we see Cam Barker in the lineup.

    Lastly. When is Omark due to be back in the lineup for OKC? His return would be a boon to the lineup and to MP.

    P.s. Would you trade Tom Gilbert to Philly for Courtier? Or Shenn?

    • a lg dubl dubl

      I’d trade Gilbert in a heartbeat, even though he’s impressed me the last couple games, but to get coutuire or shenn that would call for Eberle and a 1st rd pick and besides shenn is out long term with a concussion.

      • Ummm what?

        Eberle and a 1st would be WAY WAY too much for either one of those players. What the heck about either of those gives you the feeling theyd be worth that much?

        Oh and trading one of our only steady, healthy defensemen for more help up front would be the last thing this team needs.

        Edit to add: a first (which is likely around a #5-10) AND Eberle for either last years #8 or #5 from 2009?) You’re off your rocker.

        • a lg dubl dubl

          Coutuier and/or Shenn, aren’t worth Eberle and a 1st imo, I said that because I’m sure that’s what philly would want in return for 2 top 10 picks

          I was hoping ST would have traded to get Coutuier before philly took him.

        • a lg dubl dubl

          Coutuier and/or Shenn, aren’t worth Eberle and a 1st imo, I said that because I’m sure that’s what philly would want in return for 2 top 10 picks

          I was hoping ST would have traded to get Coutuier before philly took him.

      • Oilers89

        The reasoning behind my thought to to trade Gilbert is the fact that Gilbert has played well. He is at an alltime high in terms of market value. The Flyers are in need of a puck moving dman who can chew up 2-25 minutes a night. Courtier is an unproven forward on a team flush with forward depth. He played a grand total of 5:31 today and was -1 against Boston. By trading for him I believe we can shore up our 2cd line with a player who has size and skill. Gilbert is going to be a #2 or 3 dman for years to come. Philly needs a dman right now. We need a cd line center with “size” to compliment what we have in RNH,Hall and Eberle.

        Hemsky is not going to play on the 2cd line moving forward. My other thought was to package Hemsky and Eager to the Rangers for Dylan McIlwrath and a pick. The Rangers could use Hesky’s skill and Eagers grit. We could use a monster like DM on the backend who hits and plays tough.

        This team is not good enough from 4-12. The backend needs some size and toughness moving forward. A player like Hemsky has value to the right team and so does Gilbert. I think its the right time to utilize those assets to aquire the assets we will need moving forward when we will be able to compete.

  • John Chambers

    Montreal fires thier coach. See all it took was a Gomez groin pull to pull the plug on Martin.The Canadians have looked more and more like the NJ Devils of old. When Leblanc scored his first goal the other night the place went nuts. You think that the fans want to watch another washed up bum like Gomez? Leblanc is what they want. A french Canadian who can score. The Canadians have forgotten who they are/The Motreal freakin Canadians. Not some ragtag bunch of NHL has beens like Gomez and Cole. The next step. Fire the GM.

  • John Chambers

    It is too early to make a judgement call on Paajarvi, but it is not on Renney.

    Renney deserved to be fired.

    Charter Member
    Team Fire-Renney-Now

  • John Chambers

    Here we go…

    Time for Mr Dithers to get to work. Jay Feaster is right at this moment.. the organization is lost in the desert… The only way out is to make some moves…

    In my opinion, indecision is killing this team. The responsibility falls squarely on the GM. Sure indecision results in you being able to pick up #1 picks like Hall and RNH but lottery picks don’t guarantee a Cup or success unless you do something with the team around them… See the NY Islanders, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Thrashers (Jets)…

    Decisions have to be made and they will be hard. Look at your team young and old. Decide what fits and look to move out the rest. Yes, you may trade away a player that has a successful career elsewhere but fear of making a mistake is surely to failure. We used to have a GM that made the deals that fit his view (Sather)… Some looked good… say getting Tommy Salo… some looked bad… Miro Satan…

    I guess the bottom line is seeing who the #1 pick is this year and adding it to your roster does not qualify as a vision for a hockey club… So if Tambellini isn’t going to put forth a vision of his team it is time to get someone who will…

    The obvious starting points are Gagner and Hemsky… Make the deals and make a statement about your vision for the Oilers. A set of draft picks doesn’t do that…

    • justDOit

      Yes… ‘Dithers’ hasn’t done anything to this team – time to step up!

      One problem though: Hemmer and Gagner don’t have much value. According to the rumour sites, both have been shopped considerably over the summer.

      Do you trade both of them for two picks? Will that get the Oilers out of the desert?

      • John Chambers

        I don’t think picks are enough… I think you need to get some bodies in return at this point… I am not saying you need to try and win now… I would just like to see a push to build an Oiler team… For now all I see is gather a bunch of prospects and wait to see what comes out the other end…

        The sad thing is the Gagner decision should have been made a year ago… Now we see a player who doesn’t have much value… Sure it would have been a hard decision to trade him but at that point I think if you cornered most people and said “do you think Gagner is a top 6 forward on a good team?” they would answer no… At that point you know you have a 2nd line player at best. You also know you are team that is in a position to get some top talent.. Hall was there and another lottery pick was likely on the way… Throw in some other guys or a late round pick and maybe you can fill a hole that you see in your squad…

        • So if cornering random people would have got you “hes not a top 6 forward” we were somehow going to corner other NHL GM’s into giving us 2C value for him?

          If you are bashing Tambo then why are giving him so much credit?

          Hemsky should have gone this summer or last years deadline. Now we’re EFFed. We arent getting back anything decent for him. It was a gamble not to do something (sign or trade) the guy. If he had walked into this year and gotten injured in the first few games and either not player or not performed then we’d lose an asset for nothing…. Oh wait.

          Unless Tambo saw that tanking for a number one pick worked so well he wanted to try the same tactic with Hemsky. Get his value so low we sign him to a great contract and just hope some ductape and twine will get him back to top form again.

          • My information is that they shopped both Penner and Hemmer pretty aggressively at the deadline and the Penner deal was by far the best they could scrape up – two iffy d prospects that may or may not pay off some where down the line. Pro scouts in this league are just too good to pull a fast one although getting even 2 warm bodies for Penner, with his 5 points in 20 GP qualifies as a steal. I doubt if any team is going to give up live prospects for Hemmer, given his tentative post injury play – the best you hope for is draft picks and whats the point now – we are sending down guys like MPS – we need real dmen – and who is giving them away for the likes of Hemmer and Gagner? Could we possibly sign a guy like Ryan Suter? we need another Ryan, not to mention a dman who can actually stop another teams cycle.

          • I never said they should have taken a crappy trade for Hemsky but I was saying that it’s past the time he should have been dealt.

            I don’t disagree with needing a live Dman. Matter of fact that really is the only thing we should be trading for unless there is a really lopsided trade coming our way in other areas of the lineup (not happening)

          • a lg dubl dubl

            I’m not sure when you could have got value for Hemmer – remember he was hurt at the deadline diminishing his value. Whatever, the window closed pretty quickly, and its all water under the bridge now. The problem is D, and unless Harry Potter et al can conjure up some Defense against the Dark Arts of opposing forwards, we will be looking at another lottery pick, which truly sucks.

  • John Chambers

    Montreal fires thier coach. See all it took was a Gomez groin pull to pull the plug on Martin.The Canadians have looked more and more like the NJ Devils of old. When Leblanc scored his first goal the other night the place went nuts. You think that the fans want to watch another washed up bum like Gomez? Leblanc is what they want. A french Canadian who can score. The Canadians have forgotten who they are/The Motreal freakin Canadians. Not some ragtag bunch of NHL has beens like Gomez and Cole. The next step. Fire the GM.

    It’s Canadiens.

  • The notion that all Paajarvi needs to do is “tweak his game a little” and he’ll become a PPG player in the AHL is seriously flawed.

    He’s never been a prolific scorer at any level of hockey putting up only 12 goals and 29 points in 49 games in the SEL with a shooting percentage of 5.5%.

    One could argue that last season was an outlier when he managed to post a still sub par 8.3 shooting percentage.

    While it is possible that he becomes offensively proficient in the AHL, it will take much more than “tweaking”.

    He needs to re-invent his game if he is going to be an NHL player and until he loses his timidity, that’s not going to happen.

    In the meantime, we are left to wonder what Kulikov and Leddy would like like on the Oiler blue line.

    Paajarvi slid in the draft for a reason…and that reason was than more than a few scouts had noted that he had proof offensive instincts.

    • Depending on how they are looking at this season Id get something for him if you could and go after some younger longer term goaltending help.

      It would take some balls and it would precipitate other moves being made I’m sure but could help the team long term

  • Mags seemed a bit to happy to leave Edmonton. I would to. Sure hes struggled, but the team has given him no defined role. He does not kill penalties, and can`t get a sniff on the power-play and simply has been misused. When he has played well, he has never been rewarded.

    I hope he goes to OKC and they give the poor kid a designated role.

    It pissed me off about ten games ago when he was flying one night, and drew two power-plays. Did he get a sniff on either, nope. Renney`s a poor coach, and luckily he`ll get some time in OKC to define himself and play 20 minutes night.

  • a lg dubl dubl


    Nice call there. Pajaarvi was never a great scorer, his draft position was more about tools – big, fast and some hands.

    It’s pretty hard to argue that a player who is a skill player gets a PP chance when he draws the penalty, especially twice.

    The Oilers seem to be giving info to the players in the system about what they need to be doing, but it does seem some players are treated differently which is always a bad thing. Pajaarvi should be groomed as a two way player that can move between 2nd and 3rd line, PK and fill in on PP, and provide 3rd line offense.

    And I have a hard time seeing how that if Pajaarvi has good defensive instincts they aren’t teaching him how to PK, and are instead providing Petrell with opportunities, when Petrell has done nothing on any front, except get shelled. Petrell has no long term NHL future at his performance level and age, with no exceptional attribute like Tulipov has.

    It seems like poor management of players to me.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    ST has to grow some, shake this team up abit and whatever trade he does make for a top tier dman throw in the 1st round pick, to me that might help the players think that management won’t settle for tanking and really does want to make the playoffs.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    So if Magnus lights it up in the AHL………exactly what does this say about Renny’s coaching ability.

    As much as I hated Mac T fixation with defensive play he did have the respect of most people.

    We need a coach that can coach, not ride the good fortunes of young talent! I believe that Renny is being exposed……it’s about time.

  • Dear Mr. Slug (reply button broke you get formal reply)

    I agree. I’m not saying they wouldve got huge returns for him then. Just saying it’s too late now.

    Also +1 for using a Harry Potter analogy in a sports setting. We needs to trade us for some decent beaters.

    On top of Harry Potter picture in the article at that!

  • Would Gagner get Kassian and someone out of Buffalo or do you think Gagner wouldn’t even get Kassian?

    The Oilers need a PF with hands and since Clowe and Lucic and Perry and all those type guys will never get traded maybe the Oilers can trade for one who is up and coming.

  • 1manwolfpack

    Ahhhh….a pre-crack addicted Yasmine Bleeth. A stunner from back in the day! Those eyes! I hope 91 goes down and gets his mojo back.This move was long overdue in my opinion.

      • 1manwolfpack

        The average fan never looks at the big picture.

        Ottawa already has Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen and Brian Lee as under 25 real NHL defensemen.

        If Turris, Zibinajad and Puempel reach their potential, the Sens have a great bunch of young forwards.

        Never mind that Mark Stone is leading the WHL in scoring.

    • 1manwolfpack

      That Gagner is “much more proven”, might be his undoing.

      The reason Turris wanted out of Phoenix was because he and his agent didn’t feel he was being afforded the opportunity to thrive.

      He’s never been handed the kind of top line minutes and PP chances Gagner has had.

      It’ll be interesting to see how he does in Ottawa.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    I like the MPS move. He definitely looks like he needs more seasoning. Aside from his speed, I haven’t seen anything that would suggest he can be a consistent scorer in the NHL. But he’s young so sky’s still the limit. Hope he proves me wrong.

    Does the Nation have a farm team for up and coming bloggers/writers? Can posters be sent down?

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Runblad and second for Turris. Murray`s a fine GM, but I hope he`s right. That goes south and he goes packing. I think Turris will come around in a year or two, but I don`t think he`s ever going to be more then a second line center.

  • 1manwolfpack

    I know its all just us Oilers Fans chattering however, if you
    even mention trading Eberle for something is even remotely equal
    as it stands this day… You have rocks in your head.

    The kid is the next Captain of this team and has unlimited potential.
    This kId will only get better. And he may or may not ever be a
    50 goal scorer and hit 100 points but everything he
    possess combined is well, to me he is untouchable.

  • 1manwolfpack

    Some posters are “hoping” PRV gets his mojo back. Really? What mojo? I got nothing aganist the man, but he’s never going to help us win anything. He just don’t have the guts to acheive the glory.

    As for Cam Barker. He’s more like a 3rd round selection, than a 3rd overall.

    After the firing today in Montreal, Renny has to believe his faith hangs by a tread over the next 6 games.

  • Oilers89

    If only we could clone Halls brain (mentality) and put it in PRV, he would be unstoppable and a beast. The stint in the AHL is exactly what he needs, he should blow by defenders down there, maybe see that he can drive the net and get stuff done.