Monday Mailbag – June 30th

mailbag

It’s mailbag time again! I’ve taken your questions and sent them out to our writers to get the answers you’ve always been looking for. I say it every where, but this segment is entirely dependent on you guys to make work so send me your questions. You can email me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.com

Enjoy.

StrangerDanger

1) Cam Bucknum asks – With free agency coming up, which two free agents would you avoid like the plague? And why?

Jonathan Willis: 

It’s all but impossible to really hoop a free agent contract to a mediocre player; it can only really be done by giving term and dollars to a player with a big reputation who can’t be expected to live up to it despite being paid for it. So, for example, while the Cam Barker contract was terrible it didn’t horribly damage the Oilers in the long term while the Nikolai Khabibulin contract was a one-move rebuild. This year, the guys with massive reputations about to get big contracts who have the best chance of imploding in a major way are probably Ryan Callahan (a small physical player with diminishing production) and Dave Bolland (a small physical player with diminishing production and a serious injury history). 

Lowetide:

Hmmm. I’m afraid to say, the Oilers will sign them! I’m very leery of pretty much all of the available defenseman not named Mark Fayne. I’ll say Brooks Orpik and Douglas Murray, but there’s a lot of them. 

Wanye:

Does bloody Denis bloody Grebeshkov count? Because I didn’t even realize he was a thing and then *poof* there he was at training camp last year like the Ghost of Christmas Past. He is one if this is still even an option somehow. Then Brad Richards would be the other. Too fancy for these parts.

Jason Gregor: 

Matt Niskanen, because he will get grossly overpaid for a long time. His cap hit could be higher than Hall’s and he isn’t worth it. Tom Gilbert. Been here, done that and he is too similar in style to Petry and Schultz. You can’t have three right-shot D-men who are all the same, and I’d rather have Petry and Schultz moving forward.

Jason Strudwick: 

I don’t like this question. I was a free agent many times in my career. It can be a stressful time full of uncertainty. The last thing I wanted to hear was people bashing me as a player from behind a computer.

Robin Brownlee: 

Any 30-something UFA looking for term, as most of them are. The Oilers need 2-3 more veterans who can lead and help shape the kids for two years, three max, Most UFAs want more years than that and end up being anchors or buy-out candidates in their mid to late 30s.

Brian Sutherby: 

Dave Bolland – not because I don’t think he is a good player but because I suspect he is going to be WAY overpaid.  

Thomas Vanek – after how uninspired he looked as the playoffs wore on, I don’t want a guy like that anywhere near my dressing room. 

baggedmilk:

I really hope MacT doesn’t think that just because he has the cap space available that he should back the Brinks truck up for guys like Niskanen and Bolland. Just because they would fill a need doesn’t mean that they should be paid like they’re Sidney Crosby or something. 

HaHa

2) @CraigSmallwood1 asks – Which prospect had a more embarrassing pre-draft moment – Sam Bennet for not doing a pull up or Dal Colle for admitting his favourite song is Drops of Jupiter by Train? ***bm note: this question was submitted before the TSN piece with Bennett doing pull ups***

Jonathan Willis: 

I think it’s worse to fail a pull up (hey, hey, hey, mmm) at the draft combine than like a goofy song (hey, hey, hey, yeah), but I’ve been wrong before (Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na).

Lowetide: 

The pull up. I don’t think it makes much difference, but hockey is the kind of sport where things can stay with a guy.

Wanye: 

Good heavens. I’d prefer not having arms to having Drops of Jupiter be my number one jam. Please note: I actually enjoy my arms very much and I am speaking in hyperbole here.

Jason Gregor: 

Neither was that bad, but if I have to pick I’d go with Bennett because that relates to hockey. He’ll learn from it, and he can use it as motivation, plus he showed on TSN last week he could do pullups. I didn’t see it as a big deal. Musical taste isn’t something to be embarrassed about. I couldn’t care less what someone else thinks about what music I listen to, so I applaud Dal Colle for saying who he likes. That song isn’t even that bad.

Jason Strudwick: 

I love Train so by default it is Bennet. I think he would have been better off preparing for the pull up test.

Robin Brownlee: 

Those are the choices? Bennett…

Brian Sutherby: 

Dal Colle – I saw Bennett rattle off 5 or so pulls up just before the draft.

baggedmilk:

Now she’s back in the atmosphere, drops of Jupiter in her haaaaaaiaaaiaaaar!

C’mon , Bennet, even I can do a pull up.

replaceme

3) Paulghar asks – Do you think the Nicholson hiring puts any pressure on Kevin Lowe in his role as president of hockey ops?

Jonathan Willis: 

Nah, Kevin Lowe won’t be in trouble until Shawn Horcoff is brought aboard as Senior Arch Duke of Hockey Operations. Mind you, if they hire him as Senior Arch Duke of Player Personnel or Junior Arch Duke of Hockey Operations there won’t be any threat. 

Lowetide: 

No. 

Wanye: 

From what I understand Nicholson is going to have his plate full with a growing number of non Edmonton Oilers related sports and entertainment businesses. But at the same time he may have his mighty eye of Sauron casting in every direction. It’s so hard to say.

Jason Gregor: 

No. He isn’t a hockey ops guy. He is a business guy. Nicholson wasn’t the guy choosing players for hockey Canada. He is here to build the brand of OEG, not make hockey decisions.

Jason Strudwick: 

I think Nicholson is a great manager of people. His expectations should be high for this organization which includes everyone in it.

Robin Brownlee:

None whatsoever. Any pressure Lowe feels is internal. He’s hyper-competitive.

Brian Sutherby: 

I recall earlier in the season Elliotte Friedman reporting Lowe offered to step away and Katz wouldn’t let him. If that is true then that tells me no.

baggedmilk:

At the end of day, Kevin Lowe will be sitting in his office learning how to communicate with cockroaches. The rest of us will be turning to dust and ol’ K-Lowe will be collecting cheques and talking about winning. 

entertained

4) Guy Waring asks – For Struds and Sutherby, which coach/GM was always the most entertaining to listen to? For everyone else, which NHL player/coach/GM do you always look forward to hearing speak?

Jonathan Willis: 

Ilya Bryzgalov, without question, in the player category. There are lots of good coaches out there – Darryl Sutter and Jon Cooper come to mind immediately – but Edmonton has a pretty good speaker in Dallas Eakins, too. Ken Holland is the G.M. I like hearing the most.

Lowetide: 

Craig MacTavish. The guy is an outstanding speaker, just oozes sense and clarity.

Wanye: 

Dallas Eakins is a riot to watch in an interview particularly if he incensed about something or other.

Jason Gregor: 

Steve Ott is one of my favourite players to interview because he tells great stories and doesn’t give canned responses. For coaches, Darryl Sutter press conferences are great, but he is actually even better to just sit down and shoot the shit with.

Jason Strudwick: 

Brain Burke. Easiest question to answer by a mile. He was great in the media and straight forward to deal with as a player.

Robin Brownlee: 

For talking hockey and shooting the breeze as opposed to a formal interview or scrum situation, the list is long: Mike Babcock. Ken Hitchcock, Teemu Selanne, Craig MacTavish, Bill Guerin, Darryl Sutter, Doug Armstrong, Geoff Ward, Ken Holland, Larry Robinson, Dave Tippett, Doug Weight, Barry Trotz, Janne Niinimaa, John Davidson and Brian Burke immediately come to mind.

Brian Sutherby: 

People may not like this answer but from a GM that I had it’s Brian Burke. I could listen to Burkie talk hockey all day, and he always has his players backs.

I loved assistant coach Charlie Huddy’s stories when ever it was campfire time.From a fan standpoint and this one again may not be well received, but I absolutely love Torts’ interviews.

baggedmilk:

“Listening to (Brian Burke) talk is trying to drink from a fire hose.” 

MacT is the greatest.

TrustMeDj

5) Mustangheart asks – When the Chicago Blackhawks score and Chelsea Dagger starts playing everyone in the crowd sings along. What song do you think the Oilers should use, after goals, to get the crowd more involved?

Jonathan Willis: 

Clearly the answer is “Preoccupied.

Lowetide:

It’s A Miracle by Barry Manilow.

Wanye:

DU HAST if only to scare the children in attendance. That would be something to see live I tell you.

*whistles loudly*

Jason Gregor: 

You need an upbeat song with few words… I’d go with Song 2 by Blur.

Jason Strudwick: 

Give me more Cotton Eye Joe. This song has always been and will continue to be a winner.

Robin Brownlee: 

Everyone in the crowd in Chicago sings along to everything. There’s no one answer for that. Everybody has different preferences. I think of snippets of Hell Yeah by Rev Theory would work, but you could say the same about a lot of songs.

Brian Sutherby: 

Inspired by Philly’s win song a couple years ago in 24/7 I say “Knock Knock” by Mac Miller

baggedmilk:

Invaders Must Die by the Prodigy. But I also think that should be their warmup song, so I’ll go with Roar by Katy Perry.

  • Rdubb

    “2) @CraigSmallwood1 asks – Which prospect had a more embarrassing pre-draft moment – Sam Bennet for not doing a pull up or Dal Colle for admitting his favourite song is Drops of Jupiter by Train?”

    Did you not see the TSN piece with Bennett and Eckblad, they went to a play ground and Bennett did 5 pull-ups rather easily…on the day of the combine he could have had an injured elbow, shoulder, forearm or anything that perhaps made it darn near impossible to do, so, don’t put a whole lot in 1 thing that a person does or doesn’t do, there could be a reason for it.
    Once given another chance, the kid pulled it off rather easily, so, was it embarrassing, perhaps, but I’d imagine that he did several other things that others didn’t…
    Then, what’s wrong with Train?
    I’d imagine that many other kids had far more embarrassing things that you didn’t hear off, perhaps something they did or from answer they gave, my guess is that these are perhaps the only two stories you heard off, unless you hear stories from several people, you shouldn’t pick two of maybe two to four things you heard off, that’s just not cool…
    Let’s ask you some questions and have you do physical things in front tens or even hundreds of camera’s, would you give a dumb answer, could you do a pull-up, ride a bike like a bugger for more than a minute, bench press X amount of weight????

  • Aitch

    Does anyone have any confirmation if Edmonton knew tampa was going to turn right around and send gagner to Arizona (aka our division) it happened so fast I would say yes but anyone have more details?

    • Aitch

      It would appear that they didn’t seeing as how the TampaBay twitter spoke of buying out Gagner almost immediately and then took it down, only to trade him an hour later. From what I read this morning, Maloney jumped in as soon as the deal was announced and had TBay hold off on the buyout and then came up with the ludicrous trade offer that sent Samwise to the desert.

  • Aitch

    Brian Burke is the Canadian love child of Rex Murphy and Donald Trump. As entertaining as he can be to listen to, I can’t help but believe that half of what he says is pure hyperbole.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Brian Burke vs Kevin Lowe celebrity charity chin-up competition; winner chooses the other team’s goal song for the season. Proceeds go to the Michener Centre or something.

    Make it happen Sutherby.

  • ThinkingOutLoud

    Not sure about goal songs, but for pumping up the crowd at the beginning of a game, I loved the songs they used during the ’06 cup run. Whenever I watch it on youtube it still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck…

    *sheds tear

    Edit: P.S. RIP Paul Lorieau – you were a beauty.

  • Bucknuck

    Jason Strudwick. On the Free agent question that you don’t like. It wasn’t bashing that was being asked for, but rather which players wouldn’t be a good fit here. “Avoid like the plague” was a misleading statement, I will admit.

  • Everyone says – Naww, don’t worry about Nicholson, he’s working on the business side building other “non Edmonton Oilers related sports and entertainment businesses”.

    Yet there he is front and center at the Oilers table on draft day!!!

    Are we being sold Florida swamp land?