Monday Mailbag – September 15th

mailbag

The weekend is over, you’re back at work, and you need a way to kill some time. With that, I introduce another edition of the Monday Mailbag. The mailbag only works because of you guys, if you have a question you can email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com. Enjoy the break from productivity, my friends.

piggybank

1) Alex asks – Which NHL team does the best job of getting value from the contracts they give out? Which player has the best valued contract? 

Robin Brownlee:

Over the last decade I’d suggest Nashville has led the bang-for-buck parade, even if they’ve failed to win anything. They’re on the downside now and their new contracts are too much ($7M), but I always thought Daniel and Henrik Sedin were great value in their prime — $6 million per season.

Jason Gregor: 

Sidney Crosby is the best player in the game and the most productive. He’d be at the top, because he’s not the highest paid player. Taylor Hall’s deal moving forward looks good. He has 6 years left at $6 million and if he continues to be a PPG player that is great value. I don’t see one team that has a perfect record, because at some point they all end up with a bad contract or two.

Lowetide: 

I really like the Los Angeles Kings and their handling of the roster. I know, I know, but they seriously do a splendid job of it. Gaborik didn’t cost a lot to get because the CBJ were down on him, but that’s a guy with lots of miles left and signed reasonably. Now, you have to be a good damn team to get that contract from that kind of player, but Dean Lombardi plays all the angles well, this one included.

Jason Strudwick: 

The NYR do a good job with their restricted free agents. They are very patient. They do not rush into long term contracts with restricted players.

Wanye:

*blinks*

Brian Sutherby: 

Off the top of my head I have to say LA. 2 cups in 3 years and virtually the exact same team. To retain all those guys and Gaborik’s new deal this summer is getting great value.

baggedmilk:

I think LA has done a good job of keeping their team together.  It will be interesting, going forward, to see what happens with teams like Boston that are currently over the cap.

SuggestionBox
2) Hugh Morrow asks – Do players get asked or consulted in some way regarding a player that the team is trying get? As in, would they ask Ference or someone, “Hey, we are thinking of going after (so and so, UFA) – what do you think?” I was thinking that players would be a good way of finding out if another player is tough to play against, or defend etc.

Robin Brownlee: 

Management will sometimes consult players about the personality and character of a potential teammate, especially if they’ve got history with the player in question.

Jason Gregor: 

Smart teams get as much info as they can on players. When you don’t do your background search on a player’s character or how hard he plays you end up getting Eric Belanger, because he is good on faceoffs. Often players will help out in courting a potential free agent.

Lowetide: 

I’m sure that happens, Struds and Brian would be better able to answer. I know most people give wildly negative information when asked about me, especially Willis. Wish he’d stop doing that.

Jason Strudwick: 

This does happen. If I were a GM I would call recently retired players to get their opinions, former players that I knew and trusted.

Wanye:

*stratches self*

Brian Sutherby: 

Teams explore all kinds of options, and they should. I have had people within organizations ask me about guys that I played with before. I also caught wind once that a team called a former teammate of mine to inquire about me. Two weeks later I was traded to that team. That was rattling, sitting on pins waiting to get dealt completely out of the blue in November.

baggedmilk:

All I can tell you for sure is that no one has asked my opinion even though they should. I have many valuable things to say.  For instance, I think Steve Staios should be back playing with Calgary Flames. See how smart I am?

Choices
3) @scottcliffyoung asks – If you were starting a team tomorrow, would you take Toews/Kane at $21M per year or Hall/Nuge/Ebs at $18M per year?  I’m curious to hear the value of intangibles on the decision as the Oil trio would obviously put up more points but no one can compete with Toews’ leadership.

Robin Brownlee:

Hall, RNH and Eberle. Three assets instead of two for less money. No intangibles to consider. And who says “no one” can compare with Toews’ leadership?

Jason Gregor: 

Starting it tomorrow I’d would take the Oilers three because it allows you more cap space to sign other quality players. In hockey you need many very good players to win.

Lowetide: 

Christ. Really? Don’t make me answer this question! Argh. Okay. I like the Oilers’ trio from today forward 10 years, but the next three years will favor ‘Hawks. So, there’s your answer.

Jason Strudwick:

For this upcoming season I would take Toews/Kane. I start all conversations with centers. They have a huge impact on the game. Toews is rolling through his prime. Brings so much to his team. Can Nuge get to that level? I think he will show improved strength this year.

Wanye:

On behalf of the cab drivers of the greater Edmonton area, I would pick Hall/Nuge/Eberle.

Brian Sutherby: 

Depends, do I get Sharp, Hossa, Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson and Co.? You’re still talking about two world class players that are top players on their own Olympic teams, but Kane and Toews have also had a far greater supporting cast — it’s not even close. That does make it harder to gauge. If they played on those Hawks teams, Taylor Hall would be a no brainer Olympian, and Eberle would definitely crack a US squad if not Team Canada. Just being in the playoffs changes how players are viewed.

I think I’d still lean to the guys that have been there and done that already because I’ve seen it, but if I get the rest of the Hawks team, it’s not an easy decision for me.  I do wish Nuge was a little bigger…..great question.

baggedmilk:

Don’t you dare act like we should get rid of my beloved Nugey. He’s as skilled as he is adorable. 

NintendoPowerGlove

4) Czar asks – What is your favourite hockey memento or most prized souvenir that you have acquired over the years?

Robin Brownlee:

Probably the Associated Press Award Charlie Gillis and I won at The Journal for a series of stories we did in the aftermath of the Graham James case. Was open to all newspapers in Canada and the U.S. As for souvenir stuff, probably a Wayne Gretzky jersey from the Heritage Classic or a Chris Chelios jersey from when he was captain of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jason Gregor: 

I have a signed, framed Maurice Richard picture. It is awesome and only 500 were made.

Lowetide: 

Honestly? A friend sent me the Bobby Orr book last year, signed. That’s the most prized thing I own.

Jason Strudwick: 

Gift certificate from Ruth Chris for being a radio guest of Bob Stauffer

Wanye: 

OOOOOO. I have a Craig Simpson stick that he kindly gave to me when I was 10. It has been my prized possession ever since and is in my office at Nation HQ to this day. Runner up: my collection of Eberle hair I have lovingly retrieved from his garbage cans these past few years.

Brian Sutherby: 

A photo of me and Steve Yzerman facing off against one another in the Sports Illustrated magazine dedicated solely to his career when he retired. I had it framed and autographed by him.

baggedmilk:

Back in the day, you were able to walk downstairs and stand outside of the Oilers dressing room.  I remember my dad taking me down there, and getting Bill Ranford to sign something for me.  I still have the picture, and I will cherish it forever.

Recruitment
5) Carl Reid asks – When and how were you approached to write for OilersNation? How did you get involved with the website?

Robin Brownlee:

March of 2008. Wayne and Bingofuel decided they wanted somebody to visit the Oiler site they’d started as fanboys so they offered me a stack of Canadian Tire money as a bonus, 47 cents a story and then camped on my lawn and refused to leave until I agreed to sign on. 

Jason Gregor: 

In 2008, I was approached by Wanye to see if I was interested. We bartered over beers and came to an amicable agreement that was based on chicken wings, beers and non-disclosure agreements. Fun times ever since.

Lowetide: 

Wanye asked me to write for ON via Jason Gregor, who introduced us. I wrote for awhile and then went away, but then came back for good the year Edmonton hired Renney (2010?) as coach. Wanye bought me lunch and then taught me about Twitter, which I consider an extreme kindness. I thought he was trying to sell me hash at the beginning. Seriously.

Jason Strudwick: 

Gregor and Wanye promised me an endless supply of China Whites

Wanye: 

I approached myself when the site started. We had emailed everyone in the Oilogosphere at the time looking to pay writers to contribute. Everyone declined, I was forced to call my own number and put myself in the game. I’ve been a sub standard blogger with declining output ever since.

Brian Sutherby: 

I used to beat up Wanye in high school.

baggedmilk:

I’m pretty sure I was one of the first ever readers of OilersNation, and I’m pretty sure my job was given to me out of pity.