TELEGRAPHING WHAT’S NEXT

Everybody paying attention knows I keep score and, because of that quirk, they know I hold Bob Stauffer in high regard when it comes to his ability to telegraph what’s going to happen with the Edmonton Oilers.

Truth be told, Stauffer should probably be sending me a cheque, or at least a gift certificate, for all the times I’ve pumped his tires around here, going on and on like a fartcatcher about his ability to call the shots as he laps the rest of the media pack in Edmonton.

Bombastic Bob has a buzz going again with his latest hint/tidbit/suggestion foreshadowing the Oilers could have a trade in the works when the lockout is over, an item that Jonathan Willis wrote about today.

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Stauffer had agent Brian Lawton on Oilers Now on 630 CHED today. If you want the full podcast of the segment, you kind find it here. It’s probably worth a listen to get the complete context of the interview (not to mention what Lawton actually said).

POISED TO MAKE A DEAL?

Lawton’s worked both sides of the agent/management street in the NHL, and as far as I know he’s not being paid by Daryl Katz. So, those who believe everything Stauffer says is tainted by the fact he’s on the Oilers payroll — he’s certainly towed the company line on the arena debate but there’s no denying his track record on player moves — might put more weight in Lawton’s words.

That said, it wasn’t Lawton’s answers — even though they seem to support Stauffer’s contention GM Steve Tambellini is now in a situation after six years out of the playoffs to make a trade from a position of strength – that caught my ear, it was one of Stauffer’s questions.

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Essentially, might all that young talent put Tambellini in the position to acquire needed pieces by way of a trade? Perhaps a proven defenseman or a physical forward who can play in coach Ralph Krueger’s top nine? I think so.

The real tell for me, at least if I’ve come to read Stauffer right over the years, was how he made specific mention of players with no-movement clauses and how they might now consider Edmonton a destination they’d approve. It was about as subtle as a slap in the mouth.

THE CALLED SHOT

"There’s one more group of players out there in my mind that maybe starts considering Edmonton that always kind of dismissed them before – that’s guys with no movement clauses that may be a casualty of a new CBA," Stauffer suggested to Lawton.

"I’m wondering if you think the landscape has changed enough that those players who would once be completely, "I’m not going to Edmonton. What do you mean you can facilitate a trade with Edmonton?"

"I’m wondering if players like that now, if you think, might sit there and go, "You know, those guys could turn it around pretty quickly if they got the right couple of pieces in place."

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Just a hunch, but I’m guessing that Stauffer already had the answer when he asked Lawton the question today. So, a trade involving a noteworthy player with a no-movement clause, then? Duly noted.

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


  • I have no problem with Bob.

    Yes. He works for the Oilers. Big deal. Like any reasonable person I can’t expect 100% objectivity, nor do I care because we’re talking about a bloody hockey team here, not the latest cancer cure updates.

    At the same time you’d be an idiot to not give him a listen if you’re interested about Oilers news. Everybody around these parts knows the team is prone to floating interesting balloons through their trusted media people like John Mackinnon and Stauffer. If you listen carefully you can pick up quite a bit.

    Bob knows his stuff, is well connected to the team and consistently has some of the best Oilers-related interviews you can hear. He’s one of the few sports media guys around here outside of Brownlee and Gregor I’d really like to meet.

    • Certainly, Bob is less critical of the Oilers than he was before he joined the team, as many seem so eager to point out. Duh! What a revelation.

      Even allowing for that, Stauffer is more critical of the team he works for than anybody I can think of in the NHL right now (Rod Phillips got pretty cranky once in awhile too before he retired), and I’ve been around the league awhile.

      Yes, Stauffer has taken a pro-Oiler/Katz stance every step of the way in the arena debate. That’s not even up to argument, is it? What, pray tell, does that have to do with his accuracy when it comes to providing his listeners insight into player moves?

      • Personally, I’m jaded from the arena debate, and we have no NHL right now, so I’m extra cranky, and don’t have a whole lot of Oilers talk to keep my mind busy. There is no question that Stauffer is very well connected, and thanks to social media, I can read all his little tidbits of info out without having to listen to him. Best of both worlds for me.

  • After Stauffer’s shameless Katz-taint-licking and insulting of fans through the insinuation of pathetic threats to move the franchise, one would think you’d have more self-respect than to even mention Stauffer’s name around here. Never mind praise it.

    One would be wrong, clearly, but hope springs eternal.

  • Hate on the guy all you want, I know I have. But top ten goalies don’t get moved while they are still young enough to play very often. This is one you have to consider.. even though it is Luuuuuu! (God help us if that chant follows him here..)

  • FMS

    I think Bob left a lot of hints as to what will happen. Teams that are up against the cap will have to rid themselves of some salary. That is when the Oilers will swoop in. JMO

  • Giant Squid Overlord

    If the new CBA allowed teams to buyout contracts at the end of the year, why would we have to give up anything decent for a Luongo, Bouwmeester, or whoever? Teams shedding salary at year end is going to make for a larger free agent market, and if Edmonton is becoming a desirable team to sign with, why not wait? Free agents next summer can’t expect to get similar money as this summer if the cap drops and player supply is higher.

    If this is the case, and Vancouver HAS to buyout Lou to slide under a lower cap, if the Oil mgmt. is interested, they best not give up much!

  • Jaw17

    Stauffer is a smart hockey man and has the best connections to Oilers management, so I listen when he predicts something the Oilers will likely do and he is almost always right. Almost.

    Unfortunately his information pipeline may come with a price. At times he seems to be speaking for management, as in his recent comments on the arena deal. His over the top pro-owners stance on the lockout may also be related, or he might just lean that way naturally. For all I know big Bob may even believe all that BS about Katz, but the optics aren’t great.

    Working closely with confidential sources, who ALWAYS have their own agenda, is one of the toughest aspects of journalism. If you don’t draw a line in the sand with them, you can end up looking very compromised. And if you don’t cultivate them, you can get beat by your rivals, which really, really stings. So its complicated.

    Your sources can also burn your butt. Remember on draft day how Bob and Dan Tencer were pounding the rumours hard all day long that the Oilers were going to take Murray instead of Yak? In fact, Bob, who started out saying it had to be Yak when the Oil won the draft lottery, soon switched over to emphasizing the possibility it could be Murray and kept leaning further and further that way, as if a little bird had tweeted in his ear. Where were Bob’s reliable club sources on draft day when he whiffed on a pitch in the dirt 10 feet off the plate with zillions of Oiler fans hanging on his every word Ouch!

    Consider this rumour. What if the Oilers, who knew the BJ’s desperately wanted Murray because they were horrified about being forced to take another Russian high in the draft, wanted something from Columbus to swap picks and still get Yak, and lied to the lads from CHED to try and help con Howson into thinking they were going with Murray first overall? Why else were Bob and Dan pounding that scoop all day? Where do all Bob’s Oiler ‘scoops’ come from?

    Sorry, but I just can’t believe Bob and Dan would have laid their credibility on the line that way unless they were getting it from team sources, likely very high ranking team sources, where ALL their scoops, well all Bob’s Oiler scoops seem to come from, and sold it for all they were worth. Not that it is much better if they got that bad info from someplace else. At the very least why didn’t their team sources warn them off. And why did Bob’s great team sources not steer him away from his switcheroo on Yak being the obvious choice.

    I do not believe for one second that Stauffer or Tencer would ever spread those rumours on draft day if they knew they were false. Bob’s ego is way, way too big to knowingly make himself look like an out-of-the-loop sad ass when Yak’s name was called out that day. In any case I would like to hear from those who think Bob is the Delphic Oracle about how he and Tencer gassed the biggest story of the year on live radio. Or better yet, from Bob.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Was thinking along the same lines of what happened on draft day. Only thing i pegged different is that Edmonton went for the home run and wanted that Columbus pick in the 2 spot as well. Thinking Kevin had a package put together that he felt Howson would jump at. Edmonton tried to free that second selection up some by announcing that Murray was going to be selected first.

      If Howson would’ve co-operated, Lowe would’ve selected Murray with the first selection, and Galchenyuk with that second pick. It was Larionov who seemed to confirm this for me when he was anti all things Edmonton in the last couple hours leading up to the draft. Igor got wind of what the Oilers were trying to do and was irate the Oilers were going to let Yakupov fall to the 3 or even 4 spot in the draft.

      Howson fails to co-operate and the Oilers are left standing at the alter. With their hopes unraveling and just the one selection to be had for the Oilers, only thing that would sell in Edmonton was Nail Yakupov. Management gambled and lost on draft day. Murray and Galchenyuk together would of had the fans dancing in the streets here. Leaving the perceived best player available on the table would’ve been acceptable if the Oilers had addressed the Defenceman and 2nd line center issue.

  • Giant Squid Overlord

    Lets look at the highest payroll teams to see who has NMCs or NTCs and figure out potential buyouts/trade-baits shall we (a little conjecture is fun when there’s nothing better to do):

    Boston:
    NMC F: Krejci, Bergeron, Peverley, Kelly…
    NMC D: Chara, Boychuck, Seidenberg…
    Thomas will be off the books and Savard can be wiped clean (-9 mill). Probably no Lucic becoming free (*sigh* dare to dream) but they might not have space to resign Horton and or Ference who are both UFA at year end.

    Minnisota:
    NMC F: Parise, Heatley, Koivu…
    NMC D: Suter…
    Backstrom, PM Bouchard, and Cullen are UFA and might not be affordable, Heatley should be the big $ cut loose (no thx).

    Vancouver:
    NMC F: Sedins, Kesler…
    NMC D: Bieksa, Garrison, Hamhuis…
    NMC G: Luongo…
    Has a fair # of UFAs, Edler being the best followed by lower paid roleplayers. Lou is the obvious big $ to be set loose.

    Calgary:
    NMC F: Cammalleri, Tanguay, Hudler, Stajan, Glencross…
    NMC D: EVERYONE!…
    NMC G: Kipper…
    Iggy is UFA and Bo is most likely to be bought out (1 yr left on almost 7mill)

    Philly:
    NMC F: Briere, Hartnell…
    NMC D: Pronger, Coburn, Schenn, Grossman…
    Timonen will be UFA and Philly may be close to cap, but should make some changes cause they always do

    San Jose:
    NMC F: Thorton, Marleau, Havlat…
    NMC D: Boyle, Burns…
    Havlat has an extra yr. when compared with Joe and Patrick, not sure who they might buy out/trade

  • Clyde Frog

    Could it be Bobby Ryan? The Duck’s aren’t exactly a have team in terms of cash…

    That could be the physical forward intimated in the cryptic comments above…

    I could handle a Bobby Ryan trade, not really excited for a Luongo trade though…