For Steve Tambellini, the year 2012 has to rank as one of the best of his life. Not only did the Oilers GM witness the draft lottery win live, he and his Oilers won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes. Two more incredible additions to the rebuild and all kinds of good arrows for the future. Speaking of future, when does it begin?

During the Kevin Lowe administration–which began in 2000 summer–the Edmonton Oilers rarely do a lot of in-season tinkering. They’ll offload or add at the deadline, but for the most part the club chooses its team in the summer via trade, draft and free agency and then gives that group 40 games to find chemistry.

An example of it would be 2005-06, a season in which everyone knew the Oilers needed goaltending early on. Lowe waited until the deadline before adding Dwayne Roloson (and others) to a top quality hockey club. That run in the spring of 2006 represents the highest level for the organization in a generation, and it also allows us a glimpse into the ‘sense of urgency’ within the organization to start each season with a balanced roster.

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In recent years, the Edmonton Oilers have used waivers during the season to acquire talent. Ryan Jones is the most obvious example, a plug and play energy winger who found a home with Edmonton. Steve MacIntyre also came via waivers in September 2008 and the club grabbed Jesse Boulerice for about 5 minutes in there somewhere.

A small number of waiver pickups, but in terms of procurement both Ryan Jones (168 Oilers games and counting) and Steve MacIntyre (56 games) spent significant time with the club.

Waiver acquisitions can address weakness and offer a team opportunities to fill holes without giving up assets.


Jonathan Willis had an outstanding article up today on the early waiver options, and there’s more on the way.  Jon’s #1 is Patrick Maroon, a player we looked at as a possible acquisition back in August when checking out the Minor League All-Stars.

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I think we’re going to have an interesting group of waiver players this season, and the Oilers might be part of the fun. If I’m reading the waiver rules correctly (or what we’ve seen of them) Edmonton could acquire Patrick Maroon via waivers and expose Darcy Hordichuk or Eric Belanger to the waiver wire to make room on the roster short term. Since the club can bring back Hordichuk or Belanger at any time without risk of re-entry waivers, they might be able to make this kind of transaction several times a season.

They could also grab Maroon and send Teemu Hartikainen back to OKC, a more traditional way of adding talent. If Maroon doesn’t look good in a 2 week look-see, call Hartikainen back up, risk waivers on Maroon and if he’s lost well nothing ventured nothing gained.

Edmonton could also grab a goalie of note, waive Nikolai Khabibulin and recall the Russian when needed, or grab a defenseman and carry 8D or risk waivers on someone like Corey Potter or Theo Peckham. Or they could pick a defenseman and waive a forward, which may make more sense with the current need on the back end.


We may find out in the coming days that the waiver rules have some ‘denver boot’ that doesn’t allow for this kind of ‘raiding’ of minor league players. However, if there’s a loophole and Edmonton could pick up a solid goalie, another good defenseman and a forward of value in exchange for putting Khabibulin and Belanger on waivers and or sending down Hartikainen, wouldn’t that be something worth pursuing?

I think it would. 

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  • Bonvie

    Maroon sounds like a better fit then Hordichuk. Should take a flyer on him, waive Hordi. 6’4 225 and a point a game in the AHL has to translate to something better then Hordi. There’s no risk with the move other then taking up a roster spot.

  • I have mentioned this on here before


    that sound Smacs fist made when he “ended” Ivanans is burned into my brain forever. As i recall the first regular season offering a few years ago.

    CBC in there usual politically correct (bend over for the votes) way has jobbed us of the chance to have a rematch.

    Oh well.

    We can rest on the glory that is Jordan Eberles first NHL goal being played for eternity.

    If its my roster. I keep MPS up here for the simple task of flying to the outside and drawing penalties, then turn the savant (93) loose with the snipers.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    “when does it begin” better bloody begin this year!! as far as a “solid goalie” goes, Dan Ellis was there for the cheap, $650,000 for this year for Carolina, and the Oilers did…..nothing. i doubt if Khabby is going anywhere as i feel he will only play a hand full of games anyways.

    • Bonvie

      I am not worried about the goaltending, as Dubnyk will play 40 games this year. I worry about our defense were ok right out of the gate, but I feel we are one injury away from disaster.

      There is nothing on this round of waivers that will help our D, but either Maroon or MacIntyre should get consideration for an upgrade to Hordichuk.

  • stevezie

    Even though Jones was picked up though the waiver if you followed the trade closely Jones was only waived do that Nashville could save afew bucks. Jones was actually part of the grebs trade

  • stevezie

    While I agree that what we really need is a D-man, I’m all for trying out the Maroon. If it means losing Hordi or keep Teemu in the minors for a week or two, that’s fine with me. I think I’d prefer the former.

  • Concur

    MacIntyre is NOT an upgrade to Hordichuk and it is plain to see just in the fact that he is on the waiver wire. Three minutes a night (for 15 games) to have him in the line up is a waste.

    • OilClog

      Hordichuk would be on the waiver wire if he was anywhere else..

      SMAC smashes Flame faces.. Hordichuk bangs his knee trying to deliver hits and is out for weeks.

      SMAC 3minutes a game 15 times a season is greater in scare value then Hordichuk for any amount of time in any amount of games

      SMAC would beat Hordichuk senseless 10 out of 10 times

      Hordichuk has no purpose other then to smash faces, SMAC smashes a better face.

  • Truth

    Maroon is worth a shot only because his player type is much needed in Edmonton, however his description reminds be a lot of JF Jacques. Worst case he ends up on waivers again.

    • OilClog

      Yeah he came steam rolling out, then wasn’t used at all.

      If you’re trying to compare that roster to this one.. well good luck.

      Hordichuk doesn’t protect anything or anyone, he is not feared around the league. He runs his mouth and tries to stir up dung.. but that’s about where it ends.. No one has ever thought man that Hordichuk really kicked that guys arse.

      • Clyde Frog

        So now your saying that a player who averages 22 games a season at less than 3 minutes a night during his entire career would need to be played more to be effective?

        The fact is all of his coaches previously aren’t idiots. You CAN’T play the guy too much if your goal is to actually WIN hockey games.

        We had him and saw some of our worst injury laden seasons.

        But yeah, he knocked out Radis that one time… So hell lets roll him on the first line!

        • OilClog

          1st line? WTF are you on? Who would ever do that?

          Is he more valuable in the role that Hordichuk plays.. It wasn’t that one fight, it’s every fight he’s been in. Yes that one fight was epic, but guess what he hurts everyone he fights. Hordichuk does not.

          Quinn was a bit of a baboon when he was running the show, or is JFJ a 1st liner??

          Hordichuk will see 15-20 games at 3-8minutes a night.. SMAC would be better for the role yes.. Don’t tell me that Hordichuk’s hockey skill is so far away above and beyond that of SMAC. No one needs either of these players to be anything but a nuclear deterrent.. My opinion is that SMAC is much more suited for that role.

          If we’re going to have a designated roster spot for a big scary gorilla.. then I want a big scary gorilla!! I don’t care who’s mother Hordichuk would fight, fighting women isn’t scary.. well wait.. it is.. but I’d still have SMAC do the fighting.

          • Wax Man Riley

            MacIntyre would NOT be better for the role. Hordichuk is WAY better in that spot. Enforcers today need to be able to skate and have a little bit of vision at least. SMac has none of that.

            The enforcer role is now to play rough, be a bit dirty in the corners, get under the other teams’ skin, draw some penalties, and throw a punch once in a while.

            Smac could throw a punch, but nobody would fight him, and the staged tough guy vs. tough guy is lame and doesn’t prove anything.

    • Spydyr

      Mac may have been in the lineup but his hands were tied.

      The team was worried about an instigator penalty. I’am saying anyone run or cheap shot one of the kids. Mac comes off the bench your next shift. No staged fight, no taking no for an answer. If you turtle he Ragdolls you.

      Back in the day if you looked at 99 wrong 27 would beat you to a pulp. Everyone knew that. The whole league. When 99 went to LA there was a reason he INSISTED on 33 going with him.

      Tell Mac to destroy anyone who takes any liberty with the kids. Instigator penalty or suspension be damned.

      Protect this house.

      • Wax Man Riley

        The Gretzky trade was 25 years ago and it is a very different league now. McSorley went with him because he could also actually play the game.

        So let’s say SMac goes out and pummels Sarich for throwing a hit on Eberle in the corner. SMac is now out of the game, and there is still no deterrent. Sarich is in the game and still throwing hits.

        The SMac comes out the next Flames game and pummels Sarich again. Suspension #1. Sarich is still out there.

        After the suspension, SMac comes back and pummels Clutterbuck. Suspension #2. SMac doesn’t play for the rest of the season, doesn’t get paid. And the Oilers still have no deterrent.

        That type of enforcer does not exist anymore. The new enforcer is Lucic. He can play a bit, and is not scared of running over Ryan Miller. He is on the ice for 12 minutes a night and can contribute. He gets his stick up a bit high in the corners and draws penalties because teams can’t stand playing against him. He is a 6’4″ 220lb pest more than an enforcer.

  • Truth

    By the sounds of all Hordichuk interviews we will see a different player this year. Most recently he was quoted saying it’s hard for him to make a difference when he’s not allowed to fight. Renney prohibited him from doing his job. It is true that SMAC could easily handle Hordi but I think Hordi’s value is that he will fight whoever whenever. It’s fine that he won’t beat up every heavyweight out there (even though he willingly fights them all), his value is in the fact that he will fight your mother if she steps on RNH’s toes in the shopping mall.

    I still love that interview Hordi did last year when he said something to the effect of having to take a suspension every once in a while just to let everyone know he’s willing to step over the line. Sorry, I forget who conducted the interview but I think Mr. Gregor. It is completely the truth, I bet he mops the floor with the first player that tries something dirty to one of the young guys, even if the guy is in his turtle shell.

    Edit: Don’t get me wrong, I still love SMAC for what was one of the best opening nights I can remember a couple years back. Unfortunately, his skating and hockey ability severely limit his ability to play on an NHL roster.

  • OilClog

    I’ve never seen or heard SMAC ever turn down a fight.

    Hordichuk can say all he wants, it’s great he will fight anyone. But when you get handed in the fight.. guess what.. it takes the air out of the bench. If the opposition knows that all the Oilers can throw at them is a middle weight Hordichuk.. Nothing is going to change, our players will still be large large targets.

    Now if we could put together a 4th line of Hordichuk, SMAC, and Laraque.. Well that would be fun to see. We don’t need them to win draws, as soon as the puck drops, punches to face.

    • Truth

      I think that’s the difference in SMAC and Hordichuk. SMAC doesn’t turn down fights, Hordichuk doesn’t care if the other guy is willing or not he’ll still chuck ’em.

      I would be fine with that 4th line, minus Laraque, in a regular season. The better players would be getting lots of ice time, but it would be tough in this condensed season. I’ve lost all respect for Laraque as an enforcer ever since he declared that he won’t fight anyone unless they mutually agree to fight. Totally defeats the purpose. No wonder he found himself out of a job.

    • Clyde Frog

      You understand to win games you have to actually play hockey and score more goals than the opposition?

      Also as an aside, SMAC’s problem is the same as George’s towards the end… If people decline the fight, there is nothing he can do with the other 2 minutes of icetime he has that night to impact the game in any positive way.

      The league has moved on and it has become okay for pests to just turtle. Cheecho, Torres, Clutterbuck, Cook, etc.; run around with impunity BECAUSE they are fine with looking people like SMAC in the eye and saying, “No thank you.”

      You can argue all you want that the enforcer should just take the instigator, blah, blah, blah. But honestly there is a reason why no other team has stumbled on to your amazing hockey insight.

      Unless your coach trusts you to be on the ice all you do is provide highlight reel fights and shorten the bench.

      I would argue that the double shifting a player like SMAC forces his team mates into actually lends itself to MORE injuries.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Dead-head huh?


    At least you picked from their best album!

    So… on the waiver wire… Am I right in understanding that you can send someone down without them being exposed?

    Is that for the life of the CBA or merely for this year?

    Is this some Schultz-like glitch, or is it intentional.

    Oh… and please no SMAC. we don’t have roster spots to waste anymore… we want a real, hockey team that wins games… fire Hordi too.

  • Clyde Frog

    Good article as usual LT.

    I’m in favor of any opportunity to improve the team, even marginally, so agree that nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Our team needs run deeper than a few waiver acquisitions, though, so it’s depressing to think that Lowe/Tambo won’t do more until the trade deadline.

    Any chance that with the lockout, they may still be in “summer acquisition” mode?

    (Count me in the “impatient” and “not getting any younger” fan demographic…)

  • Clyde Frog

    Why do we even need an enforcer? Detroit gets by with out. In fact Edmonton has the bigger team. The best “Nuclear” deterrent is a PPG. That and if they run your star, you run their star. And when you do it make sure it’s borderline. Word gets around.

  • I know we had a good bit of luck with Jones, but in general aren’t waiver pickups guys who couldn’t make it on NHL rosters? Now if we’re tanking rebuilding I guess that’s a good strategy. But if we’re looking to, you know, WIN, shouldn’t we be done with waiver wire guys?

    It seems to me the players we need now have to be traded for or bought. Enough with the bubble boys. They belong on loser teams.


    I for one would like to see SMAC back in the enforcer role. I forget who he grabbed in his last game with the oil after a bad hit on hall, but it didn’t matter to him that the player turtled. He proceeds to beat the snot out of him till the refs stepped in. That”s the type of protection we need. IMHO

  • Truth

    My educated (Rishaug twitter) guess on Peckham is he got injured during training camp. My own guess is that it is because he is completely out of shape after doing nearly nothing since the start of the lockout and playing a couple of games in the ECHL. The Oilers realized this and pulled the trigger on the Fistric trade, which is great IMO.

    Peckham has the skill of a 6-7th d-man and the commitment of Alexander Semin. If only they could grab a 3rd round pick in return for him.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Also ….. let’s just take a look at the hockey history of SMac.

    He is a career -6. Must be a defensive specialist.

    Or.. he plays 90 seconds a night. I have a feeling he has played more games than minutes in the NHL. He is not a deterrent if he only plays 90 seconds a night (or 2 minutes, doesn’t really matter).