Welcome, dear Internet friends, to a brand new edition of the Mailbag to help you start your week and break down everything that’s happening with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week we’re looking at expectations for Philip Broberg, Evander Kane’s settlement, Jason Demers, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
1) David asks – With the Kane settlement coming down (and falling within the parameters everyone kind of expected), did the Oilers make an error in signing him to the dollars he got? In theory, Kane gets the same either way, so he could have signed a minimum deal with the Oilers, and stuck the Sharks with the job of making him whole. Or was the Oiler contract (which fell below market expectation) exactly this?
No one knew at the time of signing what the resolution would be. Kane wasn’t going to sign a $3m AAV, because what if the settlement was less and he then he’d lose more money? Kane at $5.4m AAV for four years should be a good value contract for Edmonton.
The Oilers have Kane for four years at $5.125 AAV. It’s a bargain. Period.
I don’t know anything ’bout nothin’ when it comes to this stuff. I was honestly surprised it took this long for the Kane/Sharks thing to get resolved so having it end up that he’s still with the Oilers without any further weirdness going on is fine by me.
2) Clay asks – I understand why the Oilers would bring Jason Demers in on a professional tryout but does anyone think he actually has a chance of making the team? Could there be a fit for him on that right side if even only as the 7th d-man?
I don’t see him making the team out of camp, but if he has a solid camp he might earn a two-way deal and start in the AHL. At this point, I see him as a long shot to stick.
Of course there’s a chance. It’s a PTO. If he makes it, great. If he doesn’t, thanks for coming.
WE FINALLY GOT HIM! With that out of the way, I don’t see any way he sticks unless there’s some unexpected Barrie trade happening between now and October 12th.
3) Braden asks – Philip Broberg looks like he has a clear path to playing with the Oilers this year provided that he has a strong training camp. What do you think are reasonable expectations Broberg in his rookie season?
He will start in the third pair and not have to be overwhelmed with tough matchups. I think he will have a solid campaign, and when injuries occur might be called upon to play in the top-four at times. A reasonable expectation is that he is a solid third pair defender.
As has been said, a job is his to lose. He’s had a good taste of pro between the 23 games he spent with the Oilers and the 31 he played in the AHL last season, so that should help. He’s not completely raw. Still, he’s only 21. Let him find his place on the depth chart based on what he shows. I’m reasonably confident he’ll be brought along properly. I have no expectations other than that he take a positive step forward.
I’m expecting him to be steady. There will be mistakes — anyone expecting otherwise should give your head a shake — but if he can go games where he flies under the radar with quiet, steady play then I think we should be happy with that.
4) @Browndalorian asks – What about “Oiler Hockey” makes it “Oiler Hockey”? Is it the seemingly constant stream of skill and talent? Is it physicality? Is it the coaching?
I’m not sure there is a specific Oiler Hockey, but I’d say it is uptempo, high skilled with potential for good and bad plays in all three zones.
It’s an overused slogan employed by many teams — “fill-in-the-blank hockey” — that means nothing. The Oiler hockey we get today has no resemblance to the Oiler hockey we saw in the Stanley Cup years or during the Decade of Darkness.
This year? Oilers hockey is high tempo and highly skilled. Ten years ago? Out by Halloween and fishing for fist. Time flies, ya know?
5) Stephen asks – News came out of Calgary this past week that the Saddledome’s roof has pieces falling off it. My question for everyone is what is the worst arena or building you’ve ever watched a sporting event in?
I actually prefer the older barns. The seats were often closer to the ice and you feel more on top of the game. I went to the old Metrodome for a Twins game when I was younger and it wasn’t fun. The building itself wasn’t the issue, just no atmosphere in the stadium. It was boring.
The Saddledome is a palace compared to some of the buildings I’ve been in.
– Nassau Coliseum (Long Island) opened in 1972. Dark and dated despite renos with a roof that leaked.
– Civic-Arena/Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh opened in the early 1960s. Cool because the roof opened, but it has absolutely the worst set-up for dressing rooms ever — there wasn’t one room big enough for visiting teams so they dressed in a series of rooms next to each other.
– Reunion Arena in Dallas. The ice was brutal because of the humidity. Below the bowl where the dressing rooms were was an absolute maze. The doors at the Zamboni end of the arena were always left open and were right next to a huge garbage receptacle that stunk to high heaven in the Texas heat. The smell wafted into the rink during all those playoff series in Big D and made you want to puke.
– The Great Western Forum in LA. They called it the Fabulous forum but there was nothing fabulous about it — aside from the Forum Club, where all the celebs hung out. Crap ice. Cramped underneath in the tunnels and dressing rooms for players. Joint didn’t even have a press box for hockey. It was just a bunch of tables draped in black linen in the stands.
– Joe Louis Arena. It opened in 1979, so it was pretty dated. Crappy location by the Detroit River adjacent to Cobo Hall. The worst thing about it, and I got crap from people in Detroit for pointing it out years ago, was that the place was a pig pen. It was filthy and that was the case for years and years, not just weeks or months — floors and seat bottoms sticky with spilled pop, dirty washroom etc. And the press box was an afterthought. There really wasn’t one. There was an area crammed behind the last row of seats in the lower bowl that was used.
– Winnipeg Arena. Never saw the charm in that old dump. Scary steep in the seating arena. If you took a tumble at the top of the stairs in the upper deck you were going all the way to the bottom.
– America West Arena in Phoenix. Press box was an area in the lower bowl surrounded by fans. When they stood up to cheer, you couldn’t see. Terrible sightlines in the end zones. Built for the NBA, not NHL. Glendale was a far superior rink in later years but too far out of downtown.
The Saddledome is awful and everybody knows it, but I actually haven’t gone to many rinks overall just yet so the one in southern Alberta is easily the worst.
- When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
- Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
- What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
- How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy)
- Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.