Monday Mailbag – May 18th

Mailbag

So here we are: It’s a long weekend Monday and those of us who didn’t have to work are hoping that tomorrow never comes, and those of us that did have to work are looking for distractions. Luckily, the mailbag is back with the all answers to questions you’ve always been wondering about.  Have a question? Just email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter.  As a thank you, I’ll send everyone that submits a question a sticker package from the Nation.  Questions don’t all have to be Oilers related, so be creative.

Anderson

1) Tyler D asks – Assuming the Sens retain Hammond, do you feel the Oilers should go after Craig Anderson/Robin Lehner to help with their goaltending issues for next season? Who could you see the Oilers targeting? 

Jason Gregor:

Hammond had six strong weeks. Other than that he was a below average AHL goalie, so if I was the Senators I’d be leery of handing him the reigns. The issue with Anderson is that some in the Senators’ camp question his toughness regarding being injured. It is a very hard thing to prove, but I’ve had a few tell me they feel that in the past two seasons he has suddenly come up injured. A goalie with injury issues would be a red flag for me. Lehner is the intriguing one. He is still young, and most goalies develop later, so he could be had for very little and could become very good. He is a wildcard, because at this point he is far from a proven starter. I’d look at going after Ramo as a UFA.

Lowetide:

I’d prefer Andersson, veteran goalie and Lehner has some health questions. At this point, I’d prefer to sign Niemi out of SJS unless the money is too dear.

Jonathan Willis:

I’m skeptical that Ottawa will be willing to move Anderson. Hammond had a great year, but both he and Lehner are questionable as starters for next season; Anderson is a sure thing. It follows that Anderson is the guy the Oilers should be most keenly interested off the Sens’ roster.

Jeanshorts:

Hold on, I need like 10 minutes to go outside and laugh hysterically at the Sens putting their eggs in Hammond’s basket after an improbable (and unrepeatable) run during the last month of the season, because I assume that’s exactly what they’ll do, and that’s such a “hockey” thing it’s unbelievable. 

Anyway, I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing the Oilers go after one of those other Sens goalies, preferably Lehner. About to turn 24, respectable to great numbers across the AHL/NHL so far in his young career, and two more years at a reasonable salary. I’m still a little gun-shy about the Oilers going after a young tender with less than 100 games of experience, who has mostly been in #2 role so far in the NHL, but I think it would be a reasonable gamble (keep in mind I said the same thing about Scrivens…)

HOWEVER, if I could choose any goalie for the Oilers to go after it would be Cam Talbot, forever stuck behind that perfect specimen of a man Henrik Lundqvist.

Robin Brownlee:

I prefer they concentrate more on acquiring capable defensemen than on who plays goal. Until the holes are filled, it doesn’t matter. It makes no sense to spend a lot of money or trade assets to acquire somebody who’ll tend goal in a shooting gallery. All that said, of the guys who might be available, Cam Talbot is the most impressive to me and is playing behind Lundqvist.

Jason Strudwick:

100%. I would be all over the Sens to bring in Anderson. He is a veteran goalie. The Oilers would know exactly what they are getting in him: a goalie who can start around 60 games next season. He is not learning to be a number one and the Oilers aren’t wondering if he is a starter. He has had some injury issues but I will take those over trying to figure out if a back up on a very good team can be a starter.

Baggedmilk:

Ottawa makes sense in that they have ALL THE GOALIES! If they’re willing to pony up Anderson I would be all over that. Hammond had a great run this year, but played like hot garbage in the AHL so why would they bank on him? One hot run doesn’t mean that they’ll be their heir apparent. As for Lehner, dude can’t stay healthy and that raises a red flag for me. 

If I were to guess, and I’m going to, I think that the Oilers will sign a guy like Niemi. I think that even more now that the reports are out about McLellan.

Upgrade

2) Scott L asks – There’s lots of talk about trying to pry Seabrook out of Chicago or Byfuglien from Winnipeg. What about all the great d-men with the Rangers who could have cap problems next year too? Which NYR d-man would you like to see the Oil pry away from there? Are there any other teams that the Oilers could look at to try and improve their defence?

Jason Gregor:

The ones you want you likely won’t get; Girardi, McDonagh and Staal. I’m not a Yandle fan, although you’d only have to pay him $2.65 million so that makes him a bargain. Kevin Klein is a solid defender, but he’s a #4 at best.

Lowetide:

Rangers aren’t going to deal McDonagh and there are age/salary issues with a few of their vets. Add that to Sather’s ability to fleece teams and the NYR are a team I avoid UNLESS McDonagh comes available.

Jonathan Willis:

I’m not sure there’s a fit in New York. The Rangers almost certainly won’t deal Ryan McDonagh ($4.7MM cap hit) or Marc Staal (just signed to an extension at a $5.7MM price point). Dan Girardi ($5.5MM cap hit) is the obvious candidate, but I wouldn’t be interested in him; I suspect rather strongly that he’s the complementary player on that pairing and don’t think he’d be worth that money now away from McDonagh, let alone by the time the deal ends. That leaves Keith Yandle ($5.25MM), Dan Boyle ($4.5MM) and Kevin Klein ($2.9MM) as major contracts. Boyle, who turns 39 in July, isn’t a long-term solution, the Oilers already have Mark Fayne to play the Klein minutes and the price set on Yandle at the deadline is a little too rich for my blood. If the Rangers decide they want to part with Staal or McDonagh, fantastic, but I very much doubt that’s going to happen.

Jeanshorts:

Just looking at NHLNumbers right now, the Rangers have 9.5 mill in cap space, and they basically only have to re-sign depth players. I think they’ll be fine.

This isn’t going to be a popular opinion around these parts, but if Chiarelli could work out a deal where the Leafs retain a huge chunk of Phaneuf’s salary, I’d be open to that. I love making fun of Dion as much as anyone, but at the end of the day he’s still a good D-man and he’d be the best one the Oilers have had since Pronger basically. 

Another team I’d send the vultures to circle around is the Preds. They only have FIVE(!!!) forwards signed at the moment, one of whom is Eric Nystrom at 3 mill per year (LOLOLOLOL) so they seem to be ripe for the fleecing. I’ve never been the world’s biggest fan of Ryan Ellis, but he’s on a super reasonable contract, and I could see a pairing of him and Fayne working out pretty damn well. I’m not sure what the Oilers would have to give back but I can’t imagine it would be anything near approaching some kind of Eberle-based package that a lot of people have been throwing around for a while.

Robin Brownlee:

I like Ryan McDonagh, but you’re not going to get him.

Jason Strudwick:

There is no CHANCE the Hawks trade away Seabrook. He is part of their core group and a good leader for them. I think Sharp is gone for sure. Crawford would be moved before Seabrook. Put that dream in the dumpster, Seabrook isn’t coming to the Oilers.

Trading for a good Dman is always an option. At this point I would be more interested in signing solid second pair D. There are not many out there but examples would be Petry or Sekara. I would be a greedy GM. Hold as many assets as possible to see what pans out. Upgrading the D is more of a priority than the goalies.

Baggedmilk:

I’ve been thinking about this and I think the Predators could be a good trading partner for a D-man. I don’t know what it is about Nashville, but they pump out defence man like we pump out wingers – it’s pretty awesome. I think there could be a fit there to get a secondary type defender from the Preds. No I’m not talking about Weber, Jones, or Josi – more like an Ellis type.

Happy

3) 5 Cups asks – It’s been nine long years of journalists/bloggers covering a very poor Edmonton team. Has the last few weeks been helped rejuvenate your enthusiasm for covering the Oilers?

Jason Gregor:

It has been nice to have some positivity. I worked in the oilfield industry for eight years before I went to RTA and then got into media. That was a tough job. Despite all the losing I’ve never lost enthusiasm for sports, but there is no doubt the arrival of McDavid, Nicholson, Chiarelli has made the outlook much brighter. It would be nice to cover a playoff run and a playoff game again.

Lowetide:

Yes, for sure. I love the Oilers and their fans are my family/friends. It’s been a wonderful spring for all of us and I think the players and team probably feel the same way.

Jonathan Willis:

In a way. It doesn’t bother me to write about a bad team; I’ve been doing this since April 2008, so I’ve never written about the Oilers as anything else. I do think it’s hard to keep writing about a bad team for years and years without falling into repetition, though, so this represents a welcome change.

Jeanshorts:

It’s kind of a funny thing, because on one hand it ABSOLUTELY has! Competent people in charge? One of the leagues premiere coaches all but officially signed on? MCDAVID!!??!! I always knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel, we’re just now finally seeing it!

But on the other hand I always end up going into each season excited, as tempered as it may be. Blind loyalty, AMIRIGHT? But I think the patience has been renewed for the entire fan base. So even if the Oilers do miss the playoffs by 15 points, that will sadly be a huge step in the right direction. Hell, just watching McDavid will probably be worth the price of admission this year. I think everyone is going to have a good time next year, regardless of how the standings turn out. 

It is going to be weird not writing nearly as many snarky/frustrated things about the team though. That’s probably going to be the biggest adjustment.

Robin Brownlee:

Enthusiasm remains the same. New story lines are welcome.

Jason Strudwick:

As a fan of hockey I am very excited about the recent good luck and changes made by the Oilers.

Baggedmilk:

JS and I started blogging in 2008ish and the Oilers were awful then so not a whole lot has changed. This summer has been nothing short of a miracle though. I think that Oilers fans needed this after nine years of shitacular hockey. We’re a fanbase that deserves to watch better hockey than we’ve seen, and I’m excited to cover it with as many spelling mistakes as possible. 

Fashion

4) Karen asks – Taking the Oilers out of the equation who would you say has the best and worst jerseys in the NHL?

Jason Gregor:

Best of all time, Hartford. Currently, I’d say the Blackhawks dark jerseys. Worst: Flames’ third jersey with snorting horse. Active now? I’d say Nashville’s mustard yellow.

Lowetide:

Best: Bruins and ‘Hawks. Worst: Ducks and Avs.

Jonathan Willis:

The worst is really easy; it’s those wretched duct tape and yellow and navy monstrosities the Sabres came out with (which is a real shame, as the original blue and gold Buffalo jerseys are among my all-time favourites). The best is a lot harder, because it’s difficult not to pick one of the classic Original Six jerseys. I’m going to be super lame and go with Montreal.

Jeanshorts:

Something about those blue Tampa jerseys really, really appeals to me. Beautiful colour, and not too minimal to be boring, but not too over-designed to scream SOUTHERN U.S. HOCKEY MARKET! 

As for worst, I’m going to leave this space open for whatever new design the Canucks come up with over the next season or two, as they always do when fan interest starts to wane when the team isn’t a perennial contender.

Robin Brownlee:

Best- Chicago. Worst — Dallas or Anaheim or Carolina.

Jason Strudwick:

Best Jerseys— NY Rangers. Everyone should own one

Worst Jerseys—- Nashville Predators.

Baggedmilk:

Best jerseys have to be the Blackhawks’ black unis. Those are sharp.

Worst jerseys go to either the Sabres with those yellow monstrosity third jerseys or the Predators for picking yellow as their go-to colour.

Avengers

5) Albertosdad asks – If you were able to have one  of the Avengers super powers, which one would you want?

Jason Gregor:

I have never seen the Avenger movie. I did watch Thor, and since he is one, I’ll go with him.

Lowetide:

Avengers? Is that the last name of the kids next door? Hmmm. Spider-man? Is he one? I like Spider-man. Used to watch it at lunch when I was a kid. If not, then Ironman? Is he an Avenger? I think he might be cool. Those damn kids next door would turn him into a garbage can in 10 minutes.

Jonathan Willis:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Thor is Scandinavian and basically lives forever, right? Let’s go with that.

Jeanshorts:

Tony Stark’s unlimited supply of money!

Robin Brownlee:

Hulk. He smashes stuff. Doesn’t wear a sissy costume.

Jason Strudwick:

I will answer that question with two questions: who are the Avengers and why should I care who they are?

Baggedmilk:

Easy – Ironman. Dude is a billionaire with a suit that lets him fly and shoot stuff. How can you not be into that? That being said, I do wish I could rip my clothes of Hulk-style from time to time. 

    • Canadian Hockey Fan

      Bernier and Niemi might be ok. However, can the Oilers consider the Russian forward who recently scored 8 (EIGHT) goals in ONE GAME? Vlad (Vladimir)
      Putin knows how to get the most from his teammates.
      A ‘great’ addition for the Oiler Roster!!?

    • Dirtski

      !!!!!!

      Seems to have just been leaked not even an hour ago! It’s not official but pretty much official, tba this week. It’s already on his Wikipedia page!

      Coming off the crazy success at IIHF – I mean – with that team of skilled forwards – and especially with Crosby centering Hall and Ebs and the coming of Mc’D it seems all too perfect and fitting. No wonder Katz recently made that movie company purchase – it’s like we’re living some kind of sweet movie dream now – Oilers is the place to be. This is awesome!

    • BetterThanTheOBC

      Excellent hire by the Oilers. Mke no mistake about it, the calibre of coach means alot to high end players going overseas after a tough season and Crosby didn’t hesitate, no doubt in part due to the coaching staff. Nicholsen has done a great job for the Oilers repairing the terrible decisions made by Lowe, Tambellini, et al. Future is bright in Edmonton, from a Flames fan.

  • BetterThanTheOBC

    @baggedmilk

    I like Talbot a lot and would be happy to see him as an Oiler. However my only concern is the Scrivens factor (good numbers on good defensive team) while as Anderson has had success on young teams before. Thoughts on why Talbot is the better option?

    • Oil Vice

      Talbots #’s are trending in the same way Schneider’s #’s did prior to NJ trade. Anderson is an aging goalie with injury issues. Talbot is a perfect age to fit in with the cluster in Edmonton.

  • mithaman

    Why is everyone valuing Talbot so highly. As far as I’m concerned he’s another unproven goalie, that COULD have a lot of potential, but that’s about it.

    His pedigree is no different than Scrivens’ was prior to last year. Very strong back-up stats under a limited sample size, playing behind an excellent goalie on a defensive team.

    Classic oilers fans, overvaluing unproven players and expecting the world from them. Goalie is the most important hole on this team. A stud can bail out a crappy defense and give you a chance to win every night. Kipper did it for years on the Flames, and look at what Varlamov did for the Avs. Even average goaltending will get us some more W’s as we slowly build our defensive depth chart.

    No more gambles please. We need a proven starter so the kids can build some confidence and get some wins under their belt.

  • mithaman

    Why is everyone valuing Talbot so highly. As far as I’m concerned he’s another unproven goalie, that COULD have a lot of potential, but that’s about it.

    His pedigree is no different than Scrivens’ was prior to last year. Very strong back-up stats under a limited sample size, playing behind an excellent goalie on a defensive team.

    Classic oilers fans, overvaluing unproven players and expecting the world from them. Goalie is the most important hole on this team. A stud can bail out a crappy defense and give you a chance to win every night. Kipper did it for years on the Flames, and look at what Varlamov did for the Avs. Even average goaltending will get us some more W’s as we slowly build our defensive depth chart.

    No more gambles please. We need a proven starter so the kids can build some confidence and get some wins under their belt.

    • Kevwan

      We also need to someday concern ourselves with the Salary cap. Making good bets on goalies on short term deals is one way of doin this. Maybe it’s because you follow the west more. But Talbots #’s are very similar to Schneider’s prior to his trade to NJ. Albeit a slightly smaller sample size as Schneider played so much in his last season in Van. But the #’s suggest Talbot is a strong bet. Ultimately the question is at what cost however. If they can get Talbot for this years 2nd and a prospect. I think it’s worth it to pull the trigger. But it would be wise to make 2 good bets rather then just the 1. Something like Neuvirth or Enroth in addition to Talbot.

      I would direct you to Woodguy’s Blog. He does some excellent work on Goalie analysis which migh help shed a little light on the Talbot love you are tired of.

      http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2015/05/a-look-at-top-ufa-goalies-and-some.html#!/2015/05/a-look-at-top-ufa-goalies-and-some.html

  • ubermiguel

    The Habs jersey is a stone cold classic. I love that in 1925 they said, “Oui c’est ça” and have been right ever since.

    I hate the blue Alberta flag patch on the Flames’ jersey, and they’re the Flames, so they get my vote for worst. Firstly the blue on red stands out like a sore thumb. Secondly there are two teams in the province…the other of which is in the actual capital.

    • Kevwan

      Thanks for the link. OKC 2-1 to force a game seven.

      A couple thoughts on that game.

      Nurse’s skating and game stand out at this level. I was in favor of him starting out at Bakersfield next year but he may be ready now. The Oilers are crazy if they let Bachman walk – he’s the best goalie in the organization right now.

  • YFC Prez

    Anyone who hasn’t seen the Avengers movies. ( like half the ON staff!!!)

    You’re missing out. You don’t have to be a comic nerd to enjoy those movies. Actually it probably helps not knowing the comic books.

    Like the 2 in their early twenties I n front of me at the theatre at avengers 2 who spent a good five minutes ranting about what a joke it was about how ultron was created in the movie.

    I guess the movies are different from the comics. But they are very fun especially if you have kids.

  • Lowe But Now High Expectations

    Dear Mailbag, I was wondering if someone can tell why it hurts sooo much when i pee? I’m terrified to even bring it up to my wife…She’s not really the understanding type…..Signed Sleepless in St Albert 🙁

  • Kevwan

    I thought Anderson might be a trade target before the Hamburgler appeared, so I think if Ottawa want to move Anderson the Oil should be in the conversation. The trouble with banking on getting a free agent (Niemi, Ramo whomever) you’re never too sure if you will get the guy or not.

  • Rob...

    Super Heroes… I’d like to get into Black Widows costume, but I don’t think that qualifies as wanting her super power. I bet Lowetide would be a bigger fan if he knew Scarlet Johansson was in the movie.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    They really lamed ScarJo up in the second one. She was one of the baddest of the badasses in the first, then she turned into a damsel in distress in Ultron. I can’t wait to see Mad Max, I hear Charlize Theron kicks more ass than Ripley in Aliens.

    Charlize Theron… drooooool…

    • Gerald R. Ford

      Run, don’t walk, to your nearest theatre. It. Was. AWESOME. George Miller needs to leave his brain to science, or something. That old boy isn’t quite right, thankfully. Hehe. Wow…