Monday, 23 November 2009


I used to live and die by the Edmonton Journal sportspage so, in that spirit, and knowing the photo is actually from there (I do try to credit where credit is known btw - though I should be more diligent in doing so):

Photograph by: Chris Schwarz, Edmonton Journal



Being Serious

If you were serious about rebuilding this team would you not - and I am looking at this in a RIGHT NOW kind of way:

a. Waive Robert Nilsson and, also use re-entry waivers? Basically use every avenue available until he is gone?

b. Use Cogliano and Grebeshkov in an upgrade trade? Together or alone.

Of course, one would dump any of Moreau, Khabibulin, Staois, Strudwick and Comrie first chance they got (think trade deadline).

How long would it take you to slam the door on Brule?

And Pisani?

Being Absolutely Serious

If you were absolutely serious about making the play-offs and you were GM of the Edmonton Oilers would you not:

a. waive Robert Nilsson


b. (seriously) make a pitch to Burke along the lines of:

Cogliano, Brule and picks
Ponikarovsky & Stajan

If you had to pick up the salary of a Wayne Primeau or a Garnet Exelby - would you blink?

And if 'picks' meant a 2nd and 3rd instead of a 4th and 5th would you do it?

And if 'picks' meant a 1st... would you still do it?


IMO, Robert still being here has more to do with Kent than anything else; also, I would actually offer Pisani another contract - 3 yrs at $600,000 /year - if he genuinely wanted to retire an Oiler and I thought guaranteeing his pension was something one did for loyal, hardworking employees who didn't make a career out of taking aggressive penalties.

Which I do think is something one would do.


Have a great evening everyone.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Who Needs 'Em?

Conventional wisdom generally holds that there is little value in a team tanking a season. It doesn't guarantee a Cup win, it aggravates a fanbase and leaves the players disillusioned and unmotivated.

Fair enough.

Last 10 Stanley's

2009 - Pittsburgh
2008 - Detroit
2007 - Anaheim
2006 - Carolina
2004 - Tampa Bay
2003 - New Jersey
2002 - Detroit
2001 - Colorado
2000 - New Jersey
1999 - Dallas

Nice list of teams.

A Road Less Travelled?

Interesting thing though, of those teams that have won the Cup in the last 10 years, no less than 6 teams owe significant debt to having been horrible teams at one time (or several times as the case may be):

2009 - Pittsburgh ... Crosby, Malkin, Fleury
2006 - Carolina ..... Staal ....... 2003, 2nd overall
2004 - Tampa Bay .... Lecavalier .. 1998, 1st overall
2002 - Detroit ...... Yzerman ..... 1983, 4th overall
2001 - Colorado ..... Forsberg .... 1991, 1st overall (Lindros)
1999 - Dallas ....... Modano ...... 1988, 1st overall

So that is 6 of 10.


Of the other 4 teams:

2007 - Anaheim ...... Pronger (1993, 2nd overall) & Niedermayer
2003 - New Jersey ... Niedermayer
2000 - New Jersey ... Niedermayer .. 1991, 3rd overall

So, even if by way of Hartford and Toronto, 3 more teams needed players picked high in draft by teams that had, once upon a time, horrible, horrible seasons.


That leaves the 2008 Detroit Red Wings. They would be the anomaly.

They are the only team that has won the Cup in the last 10 years without a player who was chosen in the top-4 of a draft year.

Good for them!

Well, except for Brad Stuart maybe (1998, 3rd overall, San Jose)?

As he wasn't a key component of that team making the play-offs, winning a round or winning the Cup I guess we can ignore his contributions in the context of this post.

So. Still. Good for them.


Morality Play?

Don't kid yourself. Sometimes it takes a crawl through a river of shit.

While poor timing, poor drafting and poor management can ruin a good wallow in the muck of awfulness NOTHING can goose a team's chance to win it all like having one, or (even better) multiple, top-4 draft pick selections on the roster.

It's almost a pre-req.


Have a great evening everyone.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Swimming in Cash

You are a billionaire who has decided your team needs to be gutted and started from scratch.

So, from one billionaire to another...

Theodore and Nylander

While you may have to swallow Nylander's salary for this year and the next you do get out from under Khabibulin's next three. In the mean time Washington shores up their long-term goaltending and cuts cash outlay in prep for the Semin/Backstrom contracts.

What do you know - there ARE trade options for this team that might make some sense.

Just gotta be swimming in cash and be ready to dive. Wasn't that one of the perks that came with having a rich owner?

Oh right. I forgot. This is a real estate play. Sorry.

Maybe it'll come with a pool?


Have a great evening everyone.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Not a Joke

A few posts ago, before it became a rather heated topic over at LT's even (in a calendar sense), I mentioned a trade:

Hemsky & Grebeshkov
Weiss & Ballard

For the record. Not joking.

The fact is that this is an 'okay' team IF everything is firing. That means key players have to remain healthy AND they have to performing to, or above, spec.

The Oilers lack quality depth. From what I have seen over the years only a few things overcome a lack of quality depth on the skating roster; some of those include:

1. Phenomenal talent at key positions (see also: Buffalo, Hasek)
2. Phenomenal luck from key players (see also: LA Kings, Potvin)
3. Absolute crap for opposition (see also: SE Division)

Goaltending can mean a lot.

If Horcoff really is injured then this team is in a great deal of trouble. In years past there was always a Stoll or a Reasoner around to carry the heavy freight for a while; not so much in 2009-10. A few more weeks of this and 'rebuild' becomes the operative word (you know... except maybe for that whole Khabibulin contract thingie).

So back to the trade idea. The key words being: 'trade idea'.

I named the names I named for two reasons:

1. They weren't completely out of the realm of reason insofar as the value is there on both sides, and
2. There comes a time when teams have the change direction, sometimes drastically, and this trade would do that

Think about the 2nd line of the roster for second. Probable/possible candidates include Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, O'Sullivan, Comrie and Brule. Of those Gagner OR Cogliano (at this stage in their careers) OR Comrie OR Nilsson make a lot of sense if the pieces are there for a soft-minutes scoring line or if a babysitter is secured to watch over them when playing tougher minutes.

But the pieces aren't there. Hence Jacques is on the 1st line.


Think about the O'Sullivan trade for a second. Makes a lot more sense if the team is willing to trade some combination of Cogliano and/or Nilsson in a package for a 2nd line cornerstone doesn't it? Not in Edmonton.

Is this about a sports team or a fucking real estate development?

Oilers team management left MacT to hangdry. Looks like Quinn is holding on to leftover line.


Have a great evening everyone.