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Nothing 2 See Here

(the YKOil blog) A lot of type about the Oilers. Less about sundry other topics.

Updated: 2017-02-20T12:17:35.854-07:00


2016 NHL Entry Draft - In The Books


So it's done.  The picks:

__4 .. Jesse Puljujarvi _ (18) May 7 _ RW
_32 .. Tyler Benson _ (18) Mar 15 _ LW
_63 .. Marcus Niemelainen _ (18) Jun 8_ LD / can sub RD
_84 .. Matt Cairns _ (18) Apr 27_ LD
_91 .. Filip Berglund _ (19) May 10 _ RD
123 .. Dylan Wells _ (18) Jan 3 _ G
149 .. Graham McPhee _ (17) Jul 24 _ LW
153 .. Aapeli Rasanen _ (18) Jun 1 _ C/RW
183 .. Vincent Desharnais _ (20) May 29 _ RD

Picks I really like:


Elite RW fits BPA and need.


Beats his rankings handily so is well in the range for a BPA.  Multi-role, right-handed center with decent size also fits need.  Great pick.  Reminds me of the Tobias Rieder pick of way back when.

Picks I like:


Beats his rankings so BPA isn't really a question.  Huge defenseman who can really skate.  LD who can also play RD so mitigates a need (rather than meeting a need).  Not a banger but also not a wallflower.  Played through some challenging situations and kept his head up.  Real potential here.


Beats his rankings so BPA isn't really a question.  RD who has decent puck control skills and seems to 'get' the transition game so he fits a need.  Big guy with some skating issues.  Also wonder if his big year is an outlier.  May be issues with how well he controls his space (i.e. not a physical guy).  While I don't like the number of red flags that are attached to this guy I like the pick number more.

Picks I am okay with:


Within the range for his rankings so in the range for BPA (i.e. not that big a deal).  LD with a really long development road ahead (by virtue of his career path - not by virtue of him being a bad player) so should overcome issues in his game.  Does not fit a need but the time factor means that 'need' isn't really an issue.

Picks I do not like:


I don't like using 2nd round picks on lotto tickets.  Also do not like not using this pick to fill holes in the active line-up or even to move up or move back.  Liked the Arizona trade for DeAngelo.  So unless this guy pans out in a great way it was a wasted opportunity in my mind.

Ugh.  Just.... ugh.


Way too early to pick this guy imo.  Goalies are voodoo at the best of times.  What I REALLY don't like however is that they passed on Sambrook (who went to Detroit at #137).  This will bug me for a long time.


This guy will not play in the NHL.  Would it have been too hard to use this pick and the #183 to move up to take Sambrook?


Not his fault.  Chiarelli did someone a favour.


Overall I like the draft.  Puljujarvi alone makes it a winner.  Rasanen is a winner.  If I could switch out DeAngelo and Sambrook for Benson and Wells then this draft would mark a huge win for the Oilers in my mind.

Where I could be really wrong: Benson

Where I think Chiarelli outright whiffed it: not taking Sambrook

We'll see.

The RHD Conundrum


I remain convinced that the path to success for the Oilers is to remain patient.  It appears RHD have become the new 'must have' for all GM's everywhere.

The obvious gets remain Demers (UFA) and Savard (CBJ cap-hell).

Outside of that I see a couple of paths forward using Yakupov as the trade piece (pick one):

To Montreal:

Juulsen and Minnesota 2016 2nd (#45) FOR Yakupov and Pittsburgh 2016 3rd (#91)

To Buffalo:

Pysyk and Minnesota 2016 3rd (#76) FOR Yakupov

Savard-Fayne-Pysyk is light-years ahead of last years RHD group if that is the line-up out of training camp.

I also think they should sign Clendening; guy will come in at less than a $1 million a yr for 2 or 3 and at that price the depth is more than worth it - especially since you can bury him in the minors to alleviate (the vast majority) of the cap hurt if you need to.

Here is the big question - what do you add to Nurse to get Ristolainen?

Oilers 2016 Offseason - Some Notes


Two words for Mr. Chiarelli: be patient.

A good many pundits will be calling for big changes to the team, the talk of the summer will be full of,"the Oilers need to trade 'x' for 'y' if they want to improve" or "the Oilers need 'w' and that will cost 'z', trade talk.

Fact is the team has three big changes coming right up:

1. Second full year of TMac coaching (this will be HUGE for Fayne if they keep him)
2. Health
3. McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Talbot and Davidson all starting the 2nd year

With any luck Chiarelli can find a home for Korpikoski and just having the team rid of him and Schultz for the full year will make a difference.

So be patient.  Why should the Oilers be trading away guys like Yakupov when their value is low.

Makes no sense.

Would much rather the roster be shored up with smaller deals and get the value back to where it should be.  Am I a fan of Jason Demers (ufa) - yes, but - I am also a fan of Kevan Miller (ufa).  Miller isn't as good as Demers but Boston doesn't have as much cash with which to keep him and so if a Demers signing falls through there is always Miller.

Sami Vatanen (rfa) has the goods but I am also fond of Damon Severson out of New Jersey.  If a trade is being made maybe a Severson trade won't require the same asset value as Vatanen.

Just saying - barring the ability to make a true block buster for a Subban or a Parayko, there is no value in selling wholesale while buying at retail.  Not worth it at all imo.

Also, beware the expansion draft.  7.3.1 works right now (as McDavid and Nurse are protected), but get a big name RD and all of a sudden you are working overtime to protect your core 4 (Sekera, Klefbom, Davidson and new RD).

Kelfbom and Hamonic


(Was feeling lazy so most of this is re-posted from a reply I made on a Jonathan Willis post on Oilers Nation [] - adding the Ference bit here.)FTR, I would not trade Klefbom for Hamonic.That said, I do think Schultz could still be a factor in this.While it would seem like a lot, an offer of Purcell and Schultz for Hamonic (season with a draft pick and/or salary to taste) could be very tempting for Snow.- Schultz gives him a big minute RH d-man - Purcell gives him another scoring winger on the right side and insurance if Okposo goes downIf Schultz is worth a 2nd round pick and Purcell is worth a 1st (a la Perron) then Snow is getting a 1st and 2nd equivalent for Hamonic - the fact that those picks are already productive NHL players is a huge plus.Especially for a team with play-off aspirations.Snow also gets to see Purcell up close if he decides not to make a play for Okposo as a FA and if he does decide to stay with Okposo he isn't tied to Purcell.This might seem like a lot to pay for Hamonic but Schultz isn't coming back regardless while Purcell is a UFA anyways.When you need - you need and that is all there is to it.Contrary to many here my only real complaint about Chiarelli was that he didn't spice up the Hamilton trade pot a bit more. A top-6 of Sekera, Klefbom, Nurse, Davidson, Hamonic and Hamilton would be formidable.Also, would like to thank LA for showing the way on a Ference trade (if he agreed to waive his no-trade clause).  If I could I would trade Ference for a pick (late) or prospect (middlin') wherein I pay the rest of his salary this year (or as much as I could) and the equivalent of the buy-out amount next year (would go as high as half of next years salary).Such a trade clears him off the books faster, I save money overall and possibly I am even on the effect on next years cap.  Small price to pay.  In a perfect world that trade is Ference and a 4th for a 3rd (middlin' to late).[...]

Middlin', With Feeling


Coach Craig MacTavish, as I best remember him as a Coach, did two things I will never forget:

- The first was how he taught me what line matching was all about.  How he kept those undermanned teams afloat all those years when all he had was a 1st line, a 3rd line and 3.5 defensemen was beyond me.

- The second was how, after years of begging management for help and getting told to f&*k off (my interpretation), he basically gave management the middle finger right back and played Moreau 1,000 minutes a night


After tonight I am getting the same feeling from McLellan in regards to Schultz.  No way Schultz should be playing those minutes - at least not without a babysitter of the calibre of a Jason Smith.  And yet he is.

And he is getting exposed in every way.

Which means someone is learning something.  Maybe it is Schultz himself - how far he has to go to be a top-pair guy.  Maybe it is management, who are being shown that Schultz is not a highly skilled puck-moving defenseman or a guy who can anchor a d-pairing or a guy who can man a #1 powerplay unit.  Or maybe McLellan is simply telling management exactly what he thinks of being saddled with guy who needs perfect playing conditions to play to his potential.

With feeling.

In terms of Schultz himself, my read, is that he is a decent $2-to-2.8 million a year #4 d-man who can play #2 pp minutes (as long as the other guy has a decent point shot) and can get you places as long as he has a baby-sitter holding the fort.  Schultz NEEDS a lot for him to be effective.  He would have been a great add to a veteran team.

On the Eve


11:55 here. Long time no post.

 Just wanted to say that the Oilers should stay patient.

 Drop the dead weight - sure. Understood. But Nuge stays.

 Not every GM will be a dumb-ass like Sweeney. Eventually the d-man you want will pop free and you will get him then.

 Triple middle threats are rare and precious. Don't screw that up.

Oddly enough however, were he to consent, I would consider Sekera for Hamonic.

Just the way I think about these things.

Using the Cap and Budget to Advantage


(IF he had ended up on the westcoast... marketing doesn't get any easier than that)

The NYI are, supposedly, in the hunt for Kovalchuk. They also, factually, have to meet the Cap floor of (59.4 - 16.0 =) $43.4 million.

Current team salary stands at ~ $36 million and when role players are factored in that number should settle in at ~ $39 million. That leaves some $4.4 million to make up.

Why are they after Kovalchuk again?

Edmonton desperately wants to dump Souray ($5.4m Cap / $4.5m Sal), Chicago wants to dump Huet ($5.6m Cap / $5.6m Sal), Anaheim would love to dump Blake ($4.0m Cap / $3.0m Sal), etc.

The Isles are desperately in need of young, cheap, high-end talent. Kovalchuk ain't that. 1st round draft picks tend to be.

If I were Garth Snow I am spending a great deal of time talking to Anaheim and letting them know that Blake is a guy they can send my way at the cost of a draft pick(s) upgrade. Something like this:

Blake, ANA 1st round pick 2011 and ANA 4th round pick 2012
.. OR (Anaheim's choice prior to 2011 draft)..
Blake, ANA 2nd round pick 2011 and ANA 1st round pick 2012
NYI 3rd round pick 2011, NYI 5th round pick 2011

Anaheim dumps the Blake contract - allowing them to use the money for Ryan - has protection in case they fall apart in 2010/11 and the option to dump their pick in 2011 regardless (being a weaker draft class).

Islanders get a guy who won't help them much regardless - thereby not affecting their own draft pick standings - get much closer to the Cap floor (relatively painlessly) and stock up on higher quality draft picks.

The Isles don't have any, real, short-cut options on their rebuild. Using the Kovalchuk money to snag good picks and prospects from teams that need to dump salary is the best option. Full stop.


Have a great evening everyone.

NHL Entry Draft (2010) - Burnin' Nash Bridges



Before I finish up my full 1st round draft review I wanted to remark on the Nash trade.



Oilers trade the #17 (Parise) to New Jersey for the #22 (Pouliot) and the #68 (JF Jaques)

In one of the deepest drafts in recent memory the Oilers drop 5 spots in exchange for a pick at the very end (another 46 spots later) of the 2nd round.


Oilers trade the #30 and #36 to Phoenix for the #21 (where they take Riley Nash)

In an average draft year (2007 had good front-end and petered out after that) the Oilers move up 9 spots in the draft in exchange for an early 2nd rounder.


St. Louis trades the 2009 #17 overall pick (David Rundblad) to Ottawa for the 2010 #16 overall pick (Vladimir Tarasenko); in the next round Edmonton trades the 2007 #21 overall pick (Riley Nash) to Carolina for the 2010 #46 overall pick (Martin Marincin)

As much as I know some bloggers don't like Nash (lookin' at Ben) I find it hard to believe that he was worth THAT MUCH less than Rundblad.


While it looks like the Oilers team management has finally learned how to draft properly (more or less consistently) it does not appear true that the Oilers team management has learned a thing about how to:

a. value, as assets, their players and prospects;
b. maximize said player/prospect values; and
c. trade said players/prospects when value is high

Yay! for us.


Have a great evening everyone.

NHL Entry Draft (2010) - Rockin' the BMc


A new item I am adding to the draft preview/review - how the aggregated list matches up against the best there is this time of year: Bob McKenzie.His list is found at TSN and it comprises information gleaned from, primarily I believe, team scouts. Since the aggregated list is comprised of information gleaned from, primarily, non-team scouts I figured this would be an interesting exercise.Note that the aggregated list is only takes into account the top-15 listings, so the number of players aggregated from those lists - 'in total' - in any given draft year can vary. For 2010 the number is 22.So I will only look at McKenzie's top-22.RankNumber of slots it would take to get a player to have a matching rank on both lists; i.e. Gudbranson is ranked 2 slots earlier on McKenzie's list as opposed to where he ranks on the aggregated list.GroupPer my original post I grouped the players by their aggregated point scores, acknowledging that in that bracket they were almost interchangable. I then replicated copied the process I used above (per Rank).The ComparisonAggregated .... Bob McKenzie .. Rank .. GroupHall .......... Hall ............ 0 ..... 0Seguin ........ Seguin .......... 0 ..... 0-Fowler ........ Gudbranson ...... 2 ..... 0Gormley ....... Gormley ......... 0 ..... 0Gudbranson .... Fowler .......... 2 ..... 0-Granlund ...... Johansen ........ 4 ..... 0Connolly ...... Niederreiter .... 2 ..... 0Tarasenko ..... Connolly ........ 1 ..... 0Niederreiter .. Campbell ........ 2 ..... 1Johansen ...... Skinner ......... 2 ..... 0-Campbell ...... Forbort ......... 3 ..... 0Skinner ....... Burmistrov ...... 1 ..... 0Burmistrov .... Granlund ........ 7 ..... 1Forbort ....... Watson .......... 4 ..... 1-Kuznetsov ..... McIlrath ........ 7 ..... 0Bjugstad ...... Tarasenko ....... 8 ..... 2Pysyk ......... Etem ............ 2 ..... 0Watson ........ Bennett ......... z ..... zEtem .......... Bjugstad ........ 3 ..... 0Merrill ....... Pysyk ........... 3 ..... 0Faulk ......... Sheahan ......... z ..... zMcIlrath ...... Merrill ......... 2 ..... 1Notable drops by Rank:-- Tarasenko (8 spots)-- Granlund (7 spots)-- McIlrath (7 spots)I think we see where the 'Russian' factor impacts Tarasenko, the 'Size' factor impacts Granlund and the 'Toughness/Size' factor impacts McIlrath. Except at the very high end I consider 4 spots or less to be irrelevant.Notable drops by Group:-- Tarasenko (2 spots)Tough being a Russkie nowadays. He drops two full brackets on McKenzie's list. Should be noted that Bennett and Sheahan don't show on the aggregated lists while Faulk and Kuznetsov don't show on McKenzie's.Some ThoughtsPretty damn close imo. Props to the independent scouts... and the aggregation process I guess :-)... group think maybe?Quick note - the 'Rule of Thumb' I use explains away more than a few of these discrepancies (almost everything top-15 oddly enough).All things being equal... remember that McKenzie is talking to 'team' scouts. His list should always be better (I know I think it is) but, as with anything, don't be surprised if sometimes the aggregated list gets it right.After all, teams are, generally, run by strong independent minded thinkers aren't they? Right?------Have a great evening everyone.[...]

NHL Entry Draft (2010)


For archive purposes I am compiling my NHL Entry Draft (2010) stuff here. As with last year's NHL Entry Draft (2009) archive, this first post acts as a primer that contains the set-up info of interest going into the draft.Links to the other two articles in this series: NHL Entry Draft 2010 - Rockin' the BMcNHL Entry Draft 2010 - First Round Review (to come)NHL Entry Draft 2010 - Oiler Picks (to come)------Personal ThoughtsKind of fond of this draft group. Deep in numbers but shallow in terms of true top-end talent (both Hall and Seguin will probably require long, long careers for either to get any HOF buzz). That said, LOTS of team building talent here, some of them will surprise (Niederreiter and Tarasenko) and one of them (Campbell) might even be swimming upstream of the conventional wisdom of the sphere.-- Hall or Seguin - can't go wrong either way-- Fowler, Gormley, Gudbranson - shades of 2008, 2002 and 1998; who is who?-- Granlund - how important are smrts?-- Niederreiter - if CSB gives him top-10 status he ranks just behind Granlund; top-5 talent imo-- Connolly - on points the injuries aren't an issue, except he only made 3 top-10 lists so I guess they do matter-- Campbell - goalies get no love here but I think, contrary to my own beliefs, he will be the steal of the draft-- CSB - amalgamate your NA and Euro listings; just no good excuse for not doing itAfter the top-2 a lot of these guys are one thing away from being viewed as sure-thing all-stars (Connolly/injury and Granlund/size and Tarasenko/Russian) so, normally, I wouldn't anticipate ANY team trading out of the top-12 (i.e. an honest shot at Skinner or Burmistrov? Sign me up!) and would expect all the action to start with St. Louis at pick #14 (just got their goalie and they KNOW how to play a draft)...except that...well...This is a VERY motivated draft year. Aside from the usual suspects (Islanders, Blue Jackets, Coyotes, Ducks, Blues and Sharks) there are a bunch of teams that will have something going on:1. Several teams have new management and one of them will want to make a splash2. It's a deep draft with loads of desirable talent that will be available late3. Chicago - their assets are good enough to entice competitive bids4. Toronto - Kaberle should be moved this time around5. Phoenix - Maloney is a player AND he has TWO mid-round picks6. Florida - has declared they are open for businessetc.Don't see all of that come up every year.Why don't I have Edmonton listed above? They don't have a lot of chips that would bring back a 1st rounder in this draft. Simple as that. Heck, they don't have the assets to bring back 2nd round picks. Unless they are willing to trade Gagner, Penner or Hemsky this team is stuck to staying where it is.Best, realistic, bet?Cogliano and Nash are used to bring back something in the 16-20 range.Best, fantasy, bet?Penner, Brule and a pick (or Nash I guess) for Boston's #2 overall.Here's a wierd thing I guess: don't like any of Fowler, Gormley or Gudbranson well enough to expend major assets to get them - regardless of how badly the Oilers need defensemen - rather try to get later round picks and select from McIrath, Tinordi, Pysyk, et al. If I'm Florida I'm trying to stepladder my way down this draft.Somehow, knowing the Islanders have the #5, I'm a little scared.Miracles would include coming out of this draft with two of Hall, Seguin, Niederreiter or Tarasenko. Happiness means adding one of McIlrath, Burmistrov to the haul. I like Seguin but expect Hall and I figure that one of the bad contracts will be unloaded, but only one. Nilsson.Without further ado...------Oiler Draft Picks (for use or trade)01 -- __102 -- _3102 -- _48 ... Trade with Nashville03 -- _6104 -- _9105 -- 12106 -- 15106 -- 162 ... Trade with Anaheim06 -- 166 ... Trade with Ottawa07 -- 181Remember to adjust for compensatio[...]

The Never Evers


Some things I thought would never, ever...

... and have (or not as the case may be):


One of the great, great people I know goes by the name of Bruce. To my knowledge it is also his real name (then again... there was that time a bunch of us were headed to a wedding in Regina and stopped in Edmonton for a night and a game - where they raised #31 to the rafters - and he wouldn't let us drive all the way to his "aunt's" place and had us drop him off a block or two away so as to reduce the chance we would 'wake her up'... heh).


Bruce is a Canucks fan. As far back as he can remember.

He is also one of the best sports fans I know and, I suspect, will ever know.

Hence I have resolved that IF:

-- the Canucks make the make the play-offs AND
-- there are, literally, no other teams I like better than the Canucks still in the play-offs THEN

I will cheer for the Canucks.

In the meantime I will pray that such an event never, ever happens.

Entry Draft(s)

Last time I went to an NHL Entry Draft it was 1995. I still remember the chants of the crowd for Doan! Doan! DOAN! Doan! Doan! KELLY?!? WTF?

I still have the booklet from that draft.

Anyways, I am now - officially - headed to the 2010 NHL Entry Draft being held in Los Angeles this June 25.

Never, ever thought I would get two of those in.

The Arena

Just to clarify, my true preferences in regards to the arena are these (in order):

1. That Northlands is renovated and all that money being thrown at a development downtown actually goes into the community surrounding Northlands. History, tradition and heritage mean a lot to me and, for what it's worth, I think that area could become something truly spectacular were equivalent energies expended.

2. That IF a new arena must be built then it be built where in the same area as where the Stadium is. Move the Linen plant et al (gotta be cheaper than downtown land), one eyesore is better than two and parking can be shared. Move the entire Northlands complex and pass the old one to the developers (part and parcel).

Never, ever happen.


Have a great evening everyone.

Some Simple Thoughts


(picture via Steve Russell, Toronto Star)THE PICKIf the Oilers can get Boston to throw in their two 2nd round picks (the 2010 Toronto 2nd and their own) - or something equivalent/better - they should, happily, accept the compensation and take Seguin at 2nd overall.If not, then they should probably take Hall.Barring a trade for the actual 2nd pick, in a best worlds scenario Boston flips their own 1st and 2nd (not Toronto's 2nd) for a 3rd and 5th and the privilege of taking Hall 1st overall. Don't see it.I say that only because I am fairly ambivalent as to the difference in value of Hall and Seguin. However, if the Oilers are similarly ambivalent they shouldn't be as obvious about it as I am.THE ARENAIf the cost to renovate/expand the Colisseum is around $250 million then, and if their bargaining position matches mine, then that is what the City of Edmonton should expect to pony up for a new Arena.My bargaining position is simple:1. Maximum contribution, to arena, is $250 million; this money would be borrowed2. The arena remains the property of the City of Edmonton3. Other area infrastructure upgrades are estimated and tallied and paid and exactly one-half of those costs would be borrowed and tied to the same instrument used to fund the arena (the other half being considered a cost of doing business to revitalize an area)4. Debt servicing and repayment for all amounts borrowed is paid for:..... a. first, by any super-increases* in the targeted area's tax collection over and beyond the last established tax collection for that area, and..... b. secondly, by ancillary revenues** generated by the new arena5. Once the debt is paid off the ancillary revenues, as established and referenced, are then paid to the team* increases over and above standard increases city-wide - this is for the sake of tax payer transparency (i.e. pre-arena the area was worth 'x' and paid 'x' in taxes and now it is worth 'y' and pays 'y' in taxes; y - x is what is gained by taking part in the exercise)** parking and the like; pretty much anything that will result in an increase in revenues for the Oilers via the new arena is up for negotiation imo - though I expect that only those revenue streams currently gifted the Oilers would end up being hassled overThe upshot being that the City will allow the developers to leverage city dollars into making the development a go AND, once the debts are paid off, gift the Oilers with much larger revenue streams (with the issue being the payment of the debts incurred).STEVE NASHVery proud of him.Update to add a nice G&M story (per Michael Grange):------Have a great evening everyone.[...]

Hypothermetically Speaking


So... question...

Given that you, as the GM of an NHL team are SERIOUS about rebuilding your club - from the ground up no less - do you make this trade:

Souray, O'Sullivan, Nilsson and Moreau
Redden, 2010 1st, 2011 2nd and 2012 1st


The Salary Grid* looks like so:

2010-11: EDM = -4.6 = 4.5 + 2.4 + 2.5 + 1.7 - 6.5
2010-11: NYR = +4.6

2011-12: EDM = +2.0 = 4.5 - 6.5
2011-12: NYR = -2.0

2012-13: EDM = +5.0
2012-13: NYR = -5.0

2013-14: EDM = +5.0
2013-14: NYR = -5.0

* With buy-outs the absolute cost to the Rangers goes down substantially while the relative value of benefits received by the Oilers go down


The Cap Grid looks like so:

2010-11: EDM = -5.8 = 5.4 + 2.9 + 2.0 + 2.0 - 6.5
2010-11: NYR = +5.8

2011-12: EDM = +1.1 = 5.4 - 6.5
2011-12: NYR = -1.1

2012-13: EDM = +6.5
2012-13: NYR = -6.5

2013-14: EDM = +6.5
2013-14: NYR = -6.5

Surprisingly, the big hit to the Oilers - in regards to the Cap - don't really occur until the 2012-13 season as the two year stretch per the Nilsson and O'Sullivan buy-outs is avoided.


This is, basically a cash for picks deal with the variables being value received by the Rangers from Souray's play (fight! fight! fight!) and the value received from by the Oilers from Redden's play (doh!).


- is it worth it to you to dump all of your problem contracts/players at once AND get some nice draft picks in exchange for a player on the downslope with a nut-crushing contract?

- is it worth it to the Rangers to get a player(s) they might want AND save their future Cap and cash positions in exchange for being able to dump a Cap and cash killing contract?


So what do you imagine/mean/believe when you say the words 'rebuild'?


Have a great evening everyone.

It's A Bird, It's a Plane... It's a Draft Pick?


Photo is picked up from, an Edmonton Journal blog

So. Let's say that this team really IS in for the long rebuild. Cool.

Hey! Look! Ottawa is thinking of buying out Cheechoo's contract! I guess that looks kinda like so (feel free to check my math):


Salary: $3.5 million
Cap hit: $3.0 million
Buyout: $1,155,000 or $577,500 per year in budget costs
2010-2011: $ 77,500
2011-2012: $577,500

Hrmmm... ain't that a coincidence... the Oilers are looking/rumored to be buying out Nilsson and/or O'Sullivan...


2010-2011: $-83,333 ($416,667 in budget costs)
2011-2012: $416,667 ($416,667 in budget costs)


2010-2011: $935,417 ($397,917 in budget costs)
2011-2012: $397,917 ($397,917 in budget costs)

Gee, what kind of draft pick would Ottawa give up to save approximately $323,000 in budget costs and somewhere from to $238,000 to $321,000 in Cap hits (think Nilsson)?

Guess we'll never know.


Edit to add: If Tambellini really did have a Penner & Gilbert for the TO 1st on the table (per Dupont at the Boston Globe)... and Chiarelli couldn't get that to go... then they are both idiots. Tambs for offering and Chiarelli for not closing. Just a stupid, stupid deal to even offer!


Have a great evening everyone.

2010 Reload or Rebuild - Rebuild It Is Then


Well, THAT was underwhelming.The TradesDid like the Staois trade straight up. Johnson is gone end of the year so this is purely about trimming next years Cap hit and getting a 3rd round pick.Did not like the Grebeshkov trade before and it makes even less sense now. If Visnovsky was a trade target then keeping Grebs makes a lot of sense - pump his value with powerplay and butter minutes and trade him NEXT year.Did not like the Visnovsky trade. I haven't liked Whitney since his full-on regression in Pittsburgh and I liked him less once he signed an inflated deal based on best before dated play (which makes him an Oiler by default I guess). No draft pick? Dear god.The WaiverRyan Jones will be a better NHL player than JF Jacques. whoop-de-freaking-doThe Trades Not MadeHow many smallish, duplicate skill-set forwards do we have on this team? How many were traded today. Reason enough to fire Tambellini right there. Moreau still with the team? And Pisani and Comrie are still with the team?Epic failure. Epic. No excuse good enough for that.One (Possible) Saving GraceOf 3 trades made, only 1 makes any sense IF Tambellini is actually planning on the buy-outs (Nilsson, POS) and the reloading of the roster (Jagr) for next year - which I believe to be true btw. If, however, this is the start of a full on rebuild (which I will believe when seen) then the trades make some sort of sense.Look, the total possible Cap dump here is around $7.5 million less a few replacements (I would probably keep Johnson just so that I can retain a veneer of respectability - he is a 'veteran' defenseman after all). Drop Pisani and Comrie and the savings are now in excess of $10 million - even factoring in some replacements.Tambellini now has a chance to dump/trade any/all of the remaining forwards that have to go. I figure that one, maybe two, can be legitimately traded.Using a ratio of 1/2 (half of what goes out comes back in; i.e. Moreau for a 4th and some scrub with a guaranteed one-way contract) the resulting Cap savings could be as much as another $2 million.With any luck Khabby doesn't come back (another $3+ million) and Souray becomes another off-season casualty/trade (using the 1/2 ratio that is another $2.7 million).So here's the trick - use what you have. And what you have is a team as bad as it will ever get (I hope), a few decent veteran pieces, some good prospects and a whack of Cap space and budget play.THAT first part (the bad team bit) is the one, possible, saving grace that comes out of a day like today.Given that Visnovsky, Grebeshkov and, even, Staois aren't easy pieces to replace on this team (mostly because they comprised some of the few quality pieces on it), don't try to replace them.At least not yet. Make signing, or trading for, ONE decent player the goal of the off-season (Seidenburg maybe?) - it worked for Phoenix (Sauer) and go from there.Keep Eberle and co. off the roster for now and let Nilsson/POS/Brule et al play out their contracts or become trade deadline tradebait. The in-season goal is to collect ONE more decent player and collect another top-3 pick in 2011.Hemsky is the only real question mark in this whole process and I have to hope that even Tambellini can't screw that trade up.A decent management team could make lemonade out of this fiasco.Hence my hopes aren't all that high.F&*k me.------Have a great evening everyone.[...]

2010 Reload or Rebuild


Hrmmmm....This team isn't that good. Hasn't been for a long, long time. Makes it hard to write about. Even harder when I can't see where it will get any better any time sooner, or later.So I will keep this short.SHOULD MAKE PLAYOFFSIF this is my goal - to build a team that should make the playoffs and then hope for some quality time with my Fairy Godmother at a Shnapp's Shooter party come said playoffs - then:Step 1: Moreau goes, Souray goes, Pisani goes, etc.Step 2: Dump any four of the munchkinsStep 3: Do everything I can, short of giving up the 1st, for WeissIf Step 2 and Step 3 aren't mutually exclusive then all the better.i.e.Brule, Cogliano & PlanteFORWeissWorks just fine for me.Given that goaltending may be plentiful yet again, I wait for the off-season to fix that problem.Given that my team isn't deep enough to overcome mediocrity I wouldn't hold my breath as to 'fixing' the problem.Given the state of the team's goaltending right now... maybe mediocrity isn't so bad after all.hehWILL MAKE PLAYOFFSIF this is my goal - to build a team that will make the playoffs and should be a year-to-year contender for the Stanley Cup then:Step 1: Moreau goes, Souray goes, Pisani goes, etc.Step 2: Dump any three of the munchkinsStep 3: Do everything I can, short of giving up the 1st, for Toronto's 1stIf Step 2 and Step 3 aren't mutually exclusive then all the better.i.e.Penner/Visnovsky/Gilbert (one of), Brule/Cogliano & 2ndFORRyder (or equivalent salary) & TO 1stWorks just fine for me. Hell, Penner and Gilbert could work if the salaries match up.If I can follow that up with a trade of Souray and assets to Dallas for Turco, their 1st and assets then all the better.Given that 'bad' goaltending is a key, positive, factor in any successful rebuilding I am already set with current assets. No chance I keep Turco.Given that I am committing to a full rebuild then all I have to worry about is getting assets with a good work ethic - so that is my major worry.That and Hemsky. Would hate to lose him.... and with this I probably would.UPDATE (from when written):GREBESHKOV TRADEGrebs for a Nashville 2nd. Tambs is in for the long haul.Unless Nashville collapses, not a great trade.Edit to add: I am reading in numerous comments (made elsewhere of course :-) ) that this trade makes sense:1. as a salary dump and2. as a value trade because he was set to earn too much if qualifiedUtter f&*king hogwash.1. Katz has the cash to stash so if this was about the salary dump then it puts to lie every claim made that he was/is willing to spend to build a winner*2. As an RFA every team that wanted him to stay could qualify to stay and every team that wanted him to go could just not qualify - just like a UFA*** and sometimes that means spending on a loser so as not to get less than fair value** which means the team that trades for him has the advantage of being to keep him - regardless of all other factors not involving not playing in the NHL - which is BETTER than UFAI repeat: not a great trade.More to come.------Have a great evening everyone. [...]

2010 Reload or Rebuild - NBA Edition


As mentioned before I have started to follow the NBA. The ability to reshape a team, almost overnight, is pretty interesting stuff.However, I also follow it, in part, because I believe that the NBA's management know-how, when it comes to Cap managing a team at least, is far ahead of that of most NHL general managers. There are lessons there to be learned.What Matters in the NBAWhat matters are these four things (in order):1. Acquiring superior talent;2. Having money and spending it wisely;3. Well rounded roster; and4. Coaching well-matched to the talentNot much different from any sport really (shoulda known!).The Salary Cap and Luxury Tax issues only matter on the way to, and at the close of, the accomplishment of those four things.One area where the two sports differ, markedly, is the extent to which the possession of superior talent affects the record of a team. Because the NBA game is only 48 minutes long and most starters play 30+ mins a night a top-tier player will affect as much as (and sometimes more) two-thirds of a teams 'game'.In the NHL, other than the goalie (who plays the entire game), only a handful of players will log more than 25 minutes a game over the course of a season. Given an NHL game is 60 minutes long the math says that no matter how good a player like Ovechkin is he will put less time in on the ice than a Kobe or Lebron.Which means that in the NBA there are few things more important than acquiring superior talent. #1 with a bullet.Now We Talk MoneyMuch like in the NHL superior talent will only show up in one of three ways:1. Top-end draft picks2. Lucky draft picks3. Smart, aggressive management with moneyAs the first two options are pretty standard I will spare a few more moments to discuss the last - smart, aggressive management WITH money.The NBA Salary Cap sits around $57.3 million while the Luxury Tax kicks in (dollar for dollar) at roughly $69.9 million. The Luxury Tax threshold comes with an extra kick however - teams under the Tax get as much as $4.5 million as part of a share of the taxes paid by those over the Tax.i.e. Salaries totalling $69.9 million have an effective cost of $65.4 million while Salaries totalling $70 million have an effective cost of $70.1 million.That last $100k is a killer.However. The correlation between paying the Tax and being a play-off bound team is pretty strong (I use hoopshype). Check the link.Excepting the Knicks and the Wizards almost all the teams listed (15 in all) as paying the Tax are either IN the play-offs or probable for it.Excepting the Raptors, Bobcats, Hawks, Blazers and Grizzlies most teams listed (15 in all) as not paying the Tax are out of the play-offs.To be fair, that Western Conference is nuts.Why?Go back to what I said about smart, aggressive management with money.Sooner or later one of the teams that doesn't like to, or cannot, pay the Tax will HAVE to dump a good player. And that is where a team WITH money can come in and get said player.That isn't always easy however. The NBA has a trade kicker (actually, there are several) wherein salaries have to, more or less, match up. So the trick is being able to match up.Much easier to do that if you are already spending more than you need to. The key is having expiring contracts available.Expiring contracts - contracts that end in the current year - can have a lot of value in the NBA. Houston, a team that is paying Tracy McGrady $23 million NOT to play may be able to improve their team by trading him to Philadelphia or Chicago - teams that want to dump NEXT year's salary.Want to build a winner in the NBA - spend the cash.Reload or Rebuild?Okay, granted, while the marg[...]

2010 Reload or Rebuild - The Revisits - #1


As mentioned just previous, and as alluded to in the title, I am now re-visiting the topic of what I would (if it mattered and if you cared and even if you cared that it mattered I guess) do: reload or rebuild?First, however, a quick post on luck and why it matters, to me, in this case.If any of you recall there was a time when I was doing a series of Franchise 101 posts. For the purpose of this post the relevant post to reference is this one:Franchise 101 - Part 05 - Objectivity------For those of you who don't want to take the link elsewhere (Too late for some. I know. Sorry) I will quote the relevant portion below:A quick lesson on Objectivity and Subjectivity:ObjectivityYes. Halle Berry is better looking than my wife.SubjectivityMy wife is every good thing for me. She rocks my world in every way. Absolutely gorgeous. Get lost Halle.The GoalThere is the rub. As long as the topic, or goal, is simply that of 'who is most attractive' then my example stands, if however, the issue is that of lifemate and compatibility then my example is stood on its head (pointed as it may be).Does luck play a role? Of course. Is some subjectivity a good thing? Of course. Too much of either however is, typically, a bad thing.The lesson - as important as it is to objectively classify the competitive standing of a team it is even more important to understand the goal at hand. Ostensibly this is to win the Stanley Cup.------In the NHL there are, really, only four categories needed to classify the competitive standing of each team: Play-off Longshot, Play-off Bubble Team, Play-off Probable and Cup Contender.Play-off LongshotThe team, as currently constituted, won't be in the play-off chase. Too young, too injured, too dysfunctional, too short on talent in key spots and/or too much of any combination of the items already mentioned - it just isn't a play-off team.Everything would have to break right for this team to make a run.Play-off Bubble TeamThe team, as currently constituted, has some issues but is strong enough in other areas to compensate. If the team can avoid the injury bug and/or long-term slumps from key players then they should be competitive most nights and right in the thick of it.Throw in a career year from a key player and/or a rookie that blows the doors off and this team is in and may be making a run.Play-off ProbableThe team, as currently constituted, has few issues and a lot of strengths. Barring impairment caused by long-term injuries to, or unexplicable drops in performance from, key players or a total break-down in team chemistry this team will be 'in' the play-offs, not 'trying' to get in.If a few things break right this team will be competing for a top-4 conference finish and can be considered a Cup contender.Cup ContenderThe team, as currently constituted, is a powerhouse that only total catastrophe can derail from a play-off berth. A solid team without any real weaknesses the roster will have players whose talent is undeniable, players whose performance is dependable, and players who know how to compete night after night. The team probably has a few players who have all three of those qualities.These are strong teams that can survive the odd set-back quite easily and if players play like they should they will be in it to the end.------A GM who has an accurate gauge of the competitive standing of their team should have an advantage over the GM's who do not. I said 'should' because other factors may be in play; the most common being, of course, interference from higher management.------You will find this kind of talk in other posts of mine, in the recent past the m[...]

2010 Reload or Rebuild - To Be Revisited


I will post more on this on a later date but for the record my decision on whether or not to try for a 1 year reload versus a 3 to 5 year rebuild rests on three unknowns:

1. If Boston wants Penner;

2. If they would give up the Toronto 1st rounder for him and be willing to wait to the last hour of trade deadline day to do it; and

3. Where Toronto is in the standings

My reasoning revolves around the concept of 'luck' and whether or not your success or lack of success depends on it working for you or against you, respectively.

The dots aren't hard to connect.

Not that it matters.


Have a great evening everyone.

Trades (and a little NBA stuff)


(just to prove I have it)


Has indicated he's okay if he sees a plane ticket he likes. West coast kind of guy.

- be shocked if Phoenix makes the move (too smart there)
- be surprised if Anaheim makes a move (team fit is poor - may be a replacement for Nieds?)
- be surprised if San Jose makes a move (team fit is poor and Blake is playing well)
- be expecting to see a low-ball bid from Los Angeles (Lombardi is pretty smart)
- be expecting to see a deal made with Dallas (best combo of need, talent to offer, Cap space and budget flex)

As I mentioned elsewhere I like the idea of:

Benn, Skrastins and 1st
Souray and ??


That NBA Stuff

Word is that Houston wants to make a big push for Bosh.

Okay. Fine.

Bosh (PF), Turkoglu (SF) and Calderon (PG)
McGrady (SG), Ariza (SF) and Scola (PF)

Salaries work per the trade machine but a trade like this never happens - trading Bosh means a rethink of the entire team and such a rethink means a restart. Hence the expiring contracts of McGrady and the now, not needed, contracts of Turkoglu and Calderon.

Next year the rotation is: Jack, DeRozan, Ariza, Scola (if re-signed) and Bargnani

Lottery - but not a bad place to start from. Drop in salary would be amazing.


Don't mind the talk on trading Calderon. Two best trades I see there:

Calderon and DeRozan (or Wright, if god blows sunshine up BC's ass)

Calderon and Wright
Morrison, Vujacic, Farmar, $3 million cash and a pick

This trade has been out there for a while and many serious pundits say LA wouldn't do it Vujacic was involved. Fair enough. Morrison is an expiring contract in 2010 while Vujacic's expires in 2011.

Vujacic's contract is costly, no way around it, but in 2011 the Raptors would have 3 expiring contracts (Vujacic, Evans and Banks) cumulatively worth just over $15 million - nice set of trade chips to have.

NBA... a pretty wild place to GM, even when stuck in the armchair.


Have a great evening everyone.

Yay! 2010!


(can't get the pic of my MAP jersey to load so I went this direction)Next verse! Same as the first! A little bit louder and a little bit worse!A few things with which to start the New Year:Don't Second GuessLook. IF Moreau, Staios, Nilsson or POS get traded (heck, include Brule and Cogliano in there if you want) DO NOT be surprised or, worse, second guess yourself IF they happen to do well in their new home.Performance if a function of three things (I had four in my head when I started typing this section but I'll be damned as to where the fourth one went, so three is what you get):1. Skills and ability (inherent or learned)2. Use3. Luck4. ... heh ...Where-ever those players go you can rest assured that #2 will most probably change and #3 may as well. Right here, right now, these guys (Brule excepted) aren't having any luck and their usage is debateable.That is just the way it is.Ad NauseumFor the first time in a long time I was lost as to what to do with this team - either to improve it from what we have now or to rebuild it. Usually I have a pretty good idea of what can be done (sans actual inside knowledge) but now, right now, not so much.In a macro sense the issue is that too many of the team contracts are too big and too long (hah!) to be easily tradeable in a Cap system where most of the other teams are maxed out or almost maxed out. Dealing in the smaller contracts won't yield much and the few value contracts that are there are tied to players you don't want to deal.A reasonable man looks at the roster and sees that:-- there are players that you keep (almost regardless): Gagner and .... Gagner-- those you trade only if there is a clear upgrade possibility or you want to change the direction the team is headed: Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner and Gilbert;-- a couple that you keep if they stay cheap enough: Potulny, Stone, Stortini and Smid;-- and a few pick 'ems (keep one): Pouliot or Brule, Souray or Visnovsky and Deslauriers or Dubnyk.That leaves:-- Grebeshkov (RFA / 3.15 / 0 yr)-- O'Sullivan (RFA / 2.95 / 1 yr)-- Nilsson (RFA / 2.00 / 1 yr)-- Cogliano (RFA / 1.13 / 0 yr)-- Khabibulin (UFA / 3.75 / 3 yr)-- Staios (UFA / 2.70 / 1 yr)-- Moreau (UFA / 2.00 / 1 yr)-- Comrie (UFA / 1.25 / 0 yr)-- Strudwick (UFA / 0.70 / 0 yr)-- one of Pouliot (RFA / 0.83 / 0 yr) or Brule (RFA / 0.80 / 0 yr)-- one of Visnovsky (UFA / 5.60 / 3 yr) or Souray (UFA / 5.40 / 2 yr)-- one of Deslauriers (RFA) or Dubnyk (RFA)Myself, being less than reasonable, would trade four of the six pick 'ems but that's just me.FTR: I keep Pouliot because a) Brule is a prime pump and dump candidate so I get more out of him and b) if I can't squeeze Pouliot into a supercheap contract after YET ONE MORE shyte year (his fault or not) then I just let him go (i.e. trade in the off-season).Having been on the Pouliot bandwagon from the start you have to believe me when I say - that last bit hurt to say it.Looking at a lot of roster turn-over there, but that's okay. As being good right now isn't an option, and neither is being good right away, we are left with being good one day much sooner than never but much later than now.As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am absolutely certain that many of those names are moveable THIS year.Goaltender InterferenceI wrote this pre-injury but the idea remains the same - there is always a way.Khabibulin's contract will be almost impossible to move this... err... next year... err... ever. The term and the amount are just too long and too large (I flatter) to be easily absorbed. This leaves just two poss[...]

(New) Last Post of 2009


My apologies to those who thought I was done for the year.Blame Scott. His response to my 'Last' (now '(Second) Last') post of the year got me to thinking; first, his post verbatim:"We can only hope that the result of the low finish is a change (hopefully for the better) in upper management of the hockey club. Unfortunately, I figure Tambellini will get one more year no matter the finish this season and will feel that he needs to make the playoffs to keep his job (and he'd probably be right) and do further damage to the long-term future of the team."Mostly right Scott.There are three possible ways for Tambellini to keep his job longer than the end of this year (in no particular order):1. Katz mulligans Tambellini for Lowe's team build and his own (Katz's) sanctioning of Tambellini's management strategy; major changes could take place but this would be the put-up or shut-up year for Tambellini and Jagr (you heard me)i.e. everyone agrees it was a f^&ck-up by all and Tambellini gets one more year to turn it around; note that this2. The team goes on enough of a tear in the new year that the team sacrifices some young talent (not named Eberle or MPS) in order to secure enough veteran talent to make a run that takes them into, or just barely out of, the play-offsi.e. this cluster-f^&k that we call a roster gets another year older but not another year better and Tambellini will dodge the bullet for one more year3. Tambellini starts the rebuild; in this case the blame falls on Lowe's team build and all agree the team needs a rebuild. Moreau, Staios, Souray and others head out the door while Horcoff goes in for surgery and gets the 'C' for 2010-11i.e. what should have started in 2006-07 (Pronger) and must have started in 2007-08 (Smyth) will finally start now and Tambellini will get to do itDammitThe problem with these scenarios are three fold:1. in each case Tambellini, and Lowe, get to keep their jobs2. the obvious scenario is the third3. in the case of third scenario Tambellini, and Lowe will get far more than one more year in which to produce resultsI may not think much of Lowe and Tambellini's managerial skills but they aren't stupid people.-- Lowe was smart enough to get out of the way just before it became obvious to joe-everyfan (not just the Oilogosphere) that he was the problem and-- Tambellini was smart enough to pull the trigger on MacTavish while the paint used to draw the face was still freshThink about that for a second. The rebuild is becoming obvious. So much so that it may be impossible, even for those with the hubris that is the calling card of Oilers team management, to avoid.Do you know any GM's who only get one year to rebuild a team? When it is universally acknowledged as being one?I don't believe there are any such names out there.And that is the problem.Lowebellini will start the rebuild, be lauded for seeing the light and for being courageous enough to do so - despite the rabid fan base the Oilers have - and it will be years before their failings will be found out.Again.You don't always get what you want.And sometimes when you do, it isn't what you need.I think this team needs a seachange in its management group. If they take the path of the rebuild, something I have wanted them to do for a while now, I won't get to see it.For years.My great fear is that they try to short-circuit the whole thing. Draft top-3 this year and then spend all their money on Jagr, Redden and whoever else they can max Cap on. My call? It won't work... it may[...]

(Second) Last Post of 2009


Before the year began most Oilogosphere posters had the Oilers as placing out of the play-offs with some, myself included, positing that they had a chance IF everything (in my case: EVERYTHING) went right for them. There were a few who pegged this for a team that could, on its own merits, finish 6th to 8th but even those posters didn't sound too enthusiastic about it.Kind of a sad thing when internet bloggers have a better grasp of the capabilities of a team than masters of the trade like Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini. Let me come right out and say this clearly:I don't actually think most NHL general managers are all that good at their jobs.A QualificationThe one qualification I will allow for being this: I don't always know what those jobs are. Some GM's live to serve their master and if their master values ticket sales over all else then expect big names, regardless of team fit or need, to feature prominently on the menu.The same sort of mechanic will follow depending on the goal - whether the goal be a new arena or the maximization of profits or just being able to meet the budget.So maybe a GM is, actually, good at their job - we just don't know what that job is all the time.And How it Applies to the OilersOne can laud the competitive instincts of Tambellini, Lowe and Katz all they want, it doesn't really matter, competitive instinct doesn't mean dick when two lack capability and the third has other agendas in play.For the record - while I believe the Oilers may have lost money last year I also believe they would only have done so in an accounting sense (wherein Katz is using the dollars generated by the team to pay himself back the purchase price of the team thus generating a 'loss' by the team) and in my world, only a weasel pulls that trick with a straight face.There is, absolutely, nothing wrong with such an approach. Just don't try to tell me that fielding a winning team is your priority. Apparently the priorities list like so:1. new arena2. recoup investment through team generated cash flow3. field a winning teamBack To PointSpend enough years watching the NHL management teams at work and two things come quickly to the fore:a. to become a GM in the NHL you generally have to be part of the family to startb. as noted, most of these guys should not be GMsLook. When I see a guy like Dawes, who had some very good underlying numbers the last few years, sign with a team, WITHOUT obvious holes that he would fill, for minimal money, at the end of the offseason, then it is clear that many of these guys don't know jack shit about putting teams together.And you see that every year.There are some good GMs out there. We know who they are. We also know who are not.Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini are not good NHL general managers.The RunsHad a quick case of the runs recently. Luckily, as we know these things go, the runs usually - no pun intended - run their course fairly quickly and the body recovers. Painful and inconvenient? Yes. But only for a short while.The Oiler will have another good run or two in them. In the long run this will not be a good thing. The team needs a rebuild in the worst way but I fear that won't happen with these jokers in charge.For 2010 I predict the only runs you are guaranteed to continue to see are these:1. The Oilers won't make the play-offs2. Lowebellini will not turn this team around3. Those inherent in my sentence structure------Have a great evening and a wonderful holiday season everyone. [...]



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.

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's2009 - Pittsburgh2008 - Detroit2007 - Anaheim2006 - Carolina2004 - Tampa Bay2003 - New Jersey2002 - Detroit2001 - Colorado2000 - New Jersey1999 - DallasNice 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, Fleury2006 - Carolina ..... Staal ....... 2003, 2nd overall2004 - Tampa Bay .... Lecavalier .. 1998, 1st overall2002 - Detroit ...... Yzerman ..... 1983, 4th overall2001 - Colorado ..... Forsberg .... 1991, 1st overall (Lindros)1999 - Dallas ....... Modano ...... 1988, 1st overallSo that is 6 of 10.SidedoorsOf the other 4 teams:2007 - Anaheim ...... Pronger (1993, 2nd overall) & Niedermayer2003 - New Jersey ... Niedermayer2000 - New Jersey ... Niedermayer .. 1991, 3rd overallSo, 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.RighteousnessThat 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.Mostly.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.[...]