Monday Mailbag – July 14th


It’s time to grab coffee, learn a few things, and do whatever it takes to avoid doing work on a Monday.  I need questions for next week, so if you want to ask a question you can email it to me at or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.  If you want them, I’ll send everyone that sends in a question a sticker package from Nation HQ.  Thanks in advance!



1) Nick Kassian asks – What is Mark Messier’s role with the Oilers? If you’re not sure, what do you imagine an advisor’s role to be?


He’s the new guy in charge of saying ‘are you sure you want to do that?’ at meetings. Seriously, it’s never been expressed but I imagine it’s about recruiting and scouting. Mark Messier is a really nice addition for a team zipping down the highway to talk to a college free agent. Bet his Dad remembers him. Mom too! 🙂 

Jonathan Willis: 

They haven’t really spelled it out, so I’d just be guessing without a lot to go on.

Jason Gregor: 

Advisor means he can give insight into many things, but mainly it is scouting at this point.

Robin Brownlee: 

Advisor. Another set of eyes and ears when it comes to assessing players at the NHL level.

Brian Sutherby: 

To be the Moose and scare the living hell out of people?

Jason Strudwick: 

Good question. It is never clear exactly what the job assignments are for “advisors”. My guess is they work in their area of strength. For Messier I would think it would be knowing what a strong team dynamic looks like and trying to steer the Oilers in that direction.


I would assume his role has something to do with teaching the kids how to throw elbows, snap home wristers from the off wing, and teach Lil Nugey how to glare. Something like that…


2) Stephen Nobile asks – At the moment, it doesn’t look like the Oilers will be signing a centre from who is left available. Who should they target via trade and what would you offer?


I’d go after a team with too many centers. Although there aren’t a lot of teams, one of them is Ottawa. I’d try to grab Zack Smith in exchange for a prospect. It’s a small deal, and he may end up playing a checking role while the 2line job goes to Draisaitl or Arco, but this club needs veteran insurance. That’s what I’d do, grab a two-way center who can help out in multiple ways AND not cost the sun, moon and stars.

Jonathan Willis: 

We’ve talked a lot about the various options out there. Honestly, it probably depends on price – the best pivot you can get for either the 2015 2nd round pick or the 2016 first round pick plus a left defence prospect.

Jason Gregor: 

I don’t see many teams wanting to part with a legit #2 centre. The Oilers had numerous holes to fill this off season, and I never expected MacTavish to fill all of them. Their defence had to improve. They gave up the most goals in the league last year so getting D-men and some forwards who know how to play defence was good. Most teams have to develop their own elite centres, and the Oilers will likely have to do the same. I don’t see any UFAs that are great at this point, but I’d still rather have a guy with some NHL experience than go with Arcobello and Draisaitl. I’d look at Loktionov on a one-year deal or even Derek Roy just to have some experience.

Robin Brownlee: 

We’ve probably covered the possibilities three times over in the last couple of weeks since free agency opened. Have you been reading? I’d have liked Patrik Berglund or Vladimir Sobotka from St. Louis. That’s out the window with Sobotka gone and I imagine the ask for Berglund has gone up because of it.

Brian Sutherby: 

I really wanted them to overpay Legwand on a short term. I think he would of been a great fit (bridge guy) for a year or two. They may have tried but I find it hard to believe he turned down 4+ and I would of done that short term. 

As for playing arm chair GM and making trades, I don’t know because I have no idea who may be available.

Jason Strudwick: 

I thought Legwand would have been a nice fit but he is already signed. Lets start with the easy part…who I wouldn’t trade. There is no way I trade away any of the Oilers top young d prospects. This group includes Oscar, Nurse and Marincin. After that I am open to it. Up front? Outside of the top young guns it is a little harder to say value. I am guessing the Oilers will have to wait until after camp is almost over and see what teams have extras.


I would find it strange if MacT did so much work to get better players on the wings and on defence but completely neglected the C position.  There’s still a couple months until the season starts so I’m guessing he’ll probably trade for someone like Josh Bailey – a guy with potential that never really clicked or fit in.

3) Jordan Dykema asks – If the Oilers ever decided to move their AHL team, do you think the new Rogers Arena would be able to support the Oil Kings, Barons, and Oilers all in the same building? In the instance of the AHL team, wouldn’t that be an advantage for calls ups/development etc?


I’d put that AHL team in Saskatoon. It’s a terrific city and junior hockey has never been the draw it is in other places (that’s mostly because of ownership and competitiveness, mind).

Jonathan Willis: 

Not really, no. I’m not sure the facility is so much the issue as having three different hockey teams in Edmonton is. Also, the travel budget for that AHL team would be nuts.

Jason Gregor: 

No chance the AHL team comes here. Yes, it would be closer, but the fans wouldn’t watch it. I’d rather have my farm team in a different city so when the players get called up they appreciate it more.

Robin Brownlee: 

No. Old building or new, you can’t run three teams playing 70-plus games a season out of the same rink.

Brian Sutherby: 

No doubt it’s advantageous to have your AHL team so close. I just don’t think the city could handle 3 teams. One of the 2 lower teams would suffer if not both I would think.

Jason Strudwick:

That would be a lot of hockey in one building. There would have to be double headers, maybe even triple headers on weekends. As an ahl player I don’t think I would want to be playing in the same city as the big club. Yes there is the chance of being called up because it is so close. I think that at times you could feel like it is to much as far as input from the big team. I think direction is great for players but to much of it can freeze them.


I think it would be a cool idea to have the AHL team here. It would make things like call ups so much easier. That being said, if the Barons moved to Edmonton the Oil Kings would have to move somewhere else. Having 3 full seasons in the same building would make scheduling a problem, I would think.

4) John Krahn asks – Gary Bettman gets booed everywhere he goes… What would you think about having the 2 cup finalists submitting a name of a person they would want to present them the cup if indeed they won? It just seems like a waste having Bettman booed all the time.


I think Bettman should do it. Fans have a right to boo the league’s figurehead. It’s part of the game.

Jonathan Willis: 

Oh, I don’t know; at this point having Gary Bettman get booed just seems like tradition.

Jason Gregor: 

Fans boo, he encourages them and relishes it… It is the new NHL tradition. Embrace it.

Robin Brownlee: 

I think it’s a dumb idea. You want to end up with some goofball like Justin Bieber doing it? The Count should continue to hand out the silverware.

Brian Sutherby: 

I think that would be cool. I can’t stand that the coolest moment of the season is drowned out by boo’s.

Jason Strudwick: 

Not in to it at all. Bettman or bust.


I like it! I think it would be hilarious if the cast from Road to Avonlea came out to present the trophy. Though, part of me does think it’s hilarious when Bettman gets booed for 5 minutes.

5) Darcy Rivet asks – If you were to own a professional sports team, which league (hockey, football, baseball etc) would you want to be an owner in and why?


NHL hockey. Oilers. I’d hire all my friends. Wanye would be in charge of Eberle, Gregor could be the music director, Brownlee would control the interviews and Willis would be my advanced stat guy. I’d ask Sutherby to come back and play, and when he refused I’d have him coach along with Marc Pouliot. Struds would run the Karaoke bar. Baggedmilk would run the kiss cam.

Jonathan Willis: 

C’mon, that’s not even a question. Hockey, because hockey.

Jason Gregor: 

Easy…NFL. You only have 8 regular season home dates to plan for. Less chance things go wrong, and even though you only have 8 home games you make more money than owners in the other leagues.

Robin Brownlee:

Baseball. Spring training and, of course, the profit margin.

Brian Sutherby: 

NFL because I’d make so much money, I would then buy a hockey team.

Jason Strudwick: 

Roller derby. They have a very weak union.


I think I would own an English Premier League team. Firstly, it would mean that I am likely a multi billionaire. Secondly, it would give me a better chance of being knighted, which I feel that I deserve.

  • beloch

    In football (soccer), teams do move between leagues. There are a lot of different football leagues, but most relegate the worst few teams to a lower league every season and promote teams from the lower league to take their place. In some leagues, this is based on an average over the past several seasons, while in others the worst teams in a given season are automatically relegated.

    It’s interesting to ponder what a relegation mechanic would look like in the NHL. Could the best AHL team outperform the worst NHL team? How would drafting be handled? Would it be possible to preserve the current relationship between pro and farm teams?

    Adding relegation/promotion to the AHL/NHL would almost certainly require a complete redefinition of both leagues, so I don’t see it ever happening. I still want to see the Norfold Admirals (finished #1 in AHL regular season) take on the Sabres though!

  • @james_dean, @Benny Botts

    Brownlee doesn’t have to answer the questions at all if he doesn’t want to. In fact, I emailed him this morning if he could whip together some answers for me as a favour.

    Answering your questions is voluntary and if you don’t like his answers, skip to the next person.

  • Benny Botts

    I like the idea of moving the Oiler’s AHL affiliate to Saskatoon. Even Fort McMurray. Travel costs would be higher, but I’d bet ticket sales would more than offset that.

          • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

            Idea for a Monday Mailbag question:

            “What do you think is a realistic timeline for Oilers management getting the team beyond competing for a playoff spot and into the territory of being be a contender for the Western Conference Final? The end of Darnell & Leon’s entry level deals (2017-2018ish)? Before Hall’s contract has to get renewed (2020)? MacT is an impatient guy, we’re tired of being patient, and things can change quickly, but what’s realistic beyond the hope of ‘meaningful games in April’?”

          • Quicksilver ballet

            You’re being awfully ambitious there Mo.

            Rebuild 1.0 failed under Lowe/Tambellini.

            Craig only has one yr under his belt in his Rebuild 2.0 effort. Give him the same courtesy rebuild 1.0 had. Theres atleast 3 or 4 more years to go for rebuild 2.0.

          • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

            I hear ya.

            To an extent, it’s an unfair question as predicting more than a couple weeks into the future is risky business to be sure. I’m just wondering if the current administration has a date circled on a calendar saying “this is our target window to make a deep playoff run”. A “best before date” if you will.

            The cart is going ahead of the horse when they’re a 28th place team and we’re wondering when they can win more than 2 games in a row, let alone go to the playoffs, let alone make some noise in the playoffs, but I’m just wondering when is a realistic timeline for them to evolve into contenders?

            What do you think the expiry date on rebuild 2.0 (or 3.0 or 3.5 or whatever) is? The end of the Hall contract?

          • Lofty

            I like Daryl Sutters response to a question right after the cup was awarded. Can’t remember what the question was but he said that in todays NHL every team that makes the playoffs has a shot at the cup. Not so much 10 years ago.

            I think Edm will be top 10 in the west and will make the playoffs in 15/16. I just hope its not like Columbus 2.0 and they get swept then dont make it again for 6+ years.

          • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

            For sure. Everyone has a chance in the playoffs (see 2006 Oilers: squeak into playoffs as an 8th seed, knock off everyone thanks to a hot goalie and Pronger going into beast mode and then wander in the desert for a still-undetermined amount of time).

            I guess I’m hoping that they can be built into a team that resembles the current Chicago/LA/SJ teams where they’re expected to go deep into the playoffs every year rather than a team that needs to capture lightning in a bottle and upset the powerhouses to make anything go their way in the playoffs.

          • Benny_Botts is done here. I’ll play along that you don’t know why his comments are being removed and simply print them below.

            His deleted comments — not counting one in which he called me a “dink” and another a “dick” (you can’t do that) are as follows:

            “What’s embarrassing is letting brownlee call a reader embarrassing and delete any response the reader wants to make back.”

            “Brownlee 90% of your answers for the mailbag are embarrassing”

            “Whats embarrassing is 90% of your answers on the mail bag every Monday.”

            Between the name-calling and the inaccuracy — only about 10 per cent of my answers are embarrassing — Botts pretty much checked every box in getting gone.

          • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

            I don’t see all the comments that get deleted. I know that I do appreciate your censoring of some exceptionally inappropriate/racist comments on here in the past. Today I saw a couple stay up for a minute and then get taken down. I honestly thought something was glitching with the website when I said “a lot of comments seem to be deleted today, wonder what’s going on?”.

            I feel like that was a pretty innocuous statement, but obviously you disagreed and took it down. That’s your perogative as someone who runs the website.

            You probably know this better than I do, but it’s gotta be unsurprising when people start geting hostile when they see their comments getting deleted. I don’t mean to justify any name calling or anyone comparing you to the male anatomy, but maybe just let the number of trashes on a comment that calls “90% of your mailbag answers embarassing” speak for itself?

          • We don’t have a bunch of rules here and I’m not going to deviate from them — or what I deem to be offensive — based on the silly props/trash buttons or because I’m worried people will get hostile.

            You don’t get to attack or mock anybody based on their ethnicity, religion or sexual preference etc etc on this site. You don’t get to attack or insult the writers here, be it me or anybody else, with impunity.

            I have and will continue to remove comments that check any of the above boxes and will insist that those who persist in doing it be blocked. No apologies.

          • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

            Duly noted. I certainly didn’t advocate deviating from censoring inflamatory comments mocking anyone based on ethnicity/religion/sexual preference. Quite the opposite. As I said in my last comment, I sincerely appreciate the comments being mediated from getting out of hand.

            I’m not trying to start anything here, I’m just honestly confused that you can call a writer on this website “numb nuts” and then delete comments that critique your writing under the premise that people aren’t allowed to attack or insult the writers here.

          • Now you’re just messing with me. Honestly confused?

            “I assume it’s because he hasn’t had a chance to hang out with me today? I could be wrong though.”

            We trade stuff like this in the comments section and in emails to each other often. Check the comments or the answers in the Monday mail section etc etc.

            Are you actually trying to draw parallels between what’s said between friends and peers and insults from people I don’t know and have never met? You’re confused that one isn’t like the other? Come on.

          • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

            Ok. I was honstly confused that you can call someone “numb nuts” but a comment making the statement that “90% of your answers for the mailbag are embarrassing” will be deleted (as will be any 3rd party posts pointing out that a lot of comments seem to be getting deleted today).

            I understand now that Benny_Botts posted a lot of other garbage that warranted him getting banned. I’m also aware that baggedmilk often brings levity to the discussion. Thanks for clarifying that you and him were just kidding around with some jocular peer to peer public gabbing. There wasn’t much context in your posts leading to the belief that you were just joking around with him. It honestly seemed from the somewhat grumpy tone of your previous posts, it didn’t seem like you were in the joking mood.

            I guess my point is that if we’re going aim to maintain a high standard of writing and not resort to petty name-calling, then we should also aim to be aware of perceived double standards.

  • Clyde Frog

    I actually do find myself skipping over certain articles, which then leads me to scanning other sites over time and drifting away…

    It is sad that one of the writers actually appears to be bothered by his readers to this degree and demonstrates contempt for the whole process of being on the internet time after time.


  • Quicksilver ballet

    Robin Brownlee is just a little New Yawk attitude, right here in our own back yard.

    That man doesn’t like me, waaaahhhhhh! Cup your own balls if that’s what you need everyday, you pucking basket cases.

    Only a sick mind needs everyone they come into contact with to love them.

    Self trashing my own comments helps me cope.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Oh my Benny_Bots

    Relative contributions

    Don’t be a Flames fan……..

    *FTR Robin, I’m on your side. If you aren’t going to contribute something RELATIVE to the post, the just move along.

  • LibrarianMike

    Thanks for clarifying on what Mark Messier’s role is. As a follow up for next week, could you guys do the same for Kelly Buchberger and Kevin Lowe? 🙂

  • The Last Big Bear

    Tensions seem quite high among the Oilers faithful lately…

    People are arguing after a baggedmilk article.

    Bagged. Freakin’. Milk.

    I don’t think that’s healthy.

  • I would totally own an NFL team. Multi-billion dollar TV deal split among all the owners, charging 60,000+ fans $40 to park and only 8 home games to prepare for…. If you wanted it bad enough you could probably even get TV cameo time on The League…

  • Lofty

    I’v done it a couple of times… Fat fingers on an iPhone during stinker time and the props button is right in the kill zone on the right hand side.

    The only thing worse than accidentally propping yourself is propping a post that advocates trading Yak.