Archive for August, 2009


Comrie back in Edmonton?

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Check it out, it's Souray, Comrie, and Chara. Ol' buddies.

I believe Comrie to be underqualified for the third line centerman position and overqualified for the fourth line center position. But a guy who produces offense like he does comes relatively cheap at 1.3 million, and produces offense even on bad teams playing tough opposition.

Is he a better option than any of the current centermen?

It’s sad but he’s definitely better than either Pouliot or Brule, but whether or not he’s good enough to supplant Sam Gagner at the 2C position is up for debate. I certainly wouldn’t delay Gagner’s development by bringing back a relic of Oilers history. He’s certainly more experienced, but Gagner’s ceiling is much, much higher.

As for supplanting Horcoff, if he replaced Horcoff on the first line, I would seriously reconsider being a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, because that would be plain stupid.

The only reason Gagner should be supplanted as second line center is if Pat Quinn wants to roll four lines and protect the kid line from tougher competition. This can only be achieved if one or more of the current small skilled forwards are moved A.S.A.P. This would mean one or more of Nilsson, Cogliano, O’Sullivan, or Brule would be gone (not Gagner, of course).

Is it worth it?

Oilers Have Something to Prove

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It’s been a long off-season and I can’t wait to see what the healthy Oilers squad can do.

There’s a lot of cynicism online as to the inactivity of the Oilers GM, and to a certain extent I share some of their views (specifically when it comes to the Center position). But in the end, a lot of players are due for their chance to show the Oilers what they can do.

The only bass ackwards thing about it is that it seems they’ve been handed the job without even having to tryout.

Why have training camp if Pouliot and Brule are slotted in for those positions?

Competition is the only way to push players to perform.

We need an established checking center.

#244 – Todd Bertuzzi to the Edmonton Oilers

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Guys, he’s really, really sorry, OK?!?!

Cap Hit: $1,500,000

#272 – Jay McKee to the Edmonton Oilers

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Jay McKee spells it “Mark Perish.”
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Cap Hit: $800,000

I wanted to add some size to my wing and to my defense without paying the big dollars.

Looking at the stats, I couldn’t let these two slip away.

Jay McKee is a shot-blocking machine who destroys people who enter his zone. Last year, he was more defensively reliable (though offensively challenged) than his wealthier counterpart, Barrett Jackman. Though Jackman faced some pretty high competition, McKee was not exactly sleeping either when he waltzed to a +11 rating. His Corsi could be much better but he’s not the same young buck he was in his Buffalo days. Paired with the right offensive blueliner, McKee could be rather useful and could become my favourite sleeper pick so far this draft.

At the time, it was between picking Todd Bertuzzday and Curtis Glencross. I love Glencross’ speed and style of play, but at the end of the day I needed to choose the player who would better settle into a 2nd line role. Plus, Glencross left the Oilers to play in Cow Town and that’s a big no-no. Bertuzzi has size and skill, and past experience in a 1st line role. This may not factor much into the video game itself, but for now, he’s cheaper than drafting Dustin Penner.

However, many people say Bertuzzi doesn’t have enough character.

In my opinion, Bertuzzi has paid his dues for  what he did to Steve Moore. What he did, in some ways, is more justified (yeah, I can’t believe that I’m saying this) than what Dale Hunter did to Pierre Turgeon or what Claude Lemieux did to Kris Draper. Because face it, the argument about pre-meditation is less relevant to me when you consider Moore is not exactly John Grisham’s the “Innocent Man” as he made his own dirty hit on Naslund and he had retribution coming to him.

Bertuzzi took it overboard with the punishment, but it was beckoning like the second coming of Christ. And that’s the last time I side with the Canucks on any issue.

CLS Re-draft

Cycle Like The Sedins is doing a Fantasy Draft of the NHL and all the teams’ GMs are represented by a blogger(s) from each city. Yours truly is representing the Edmonton Oilers. I plan to draft a checking center and a #1 goalie next.

The winner is determined on a full season and playoffs simulation of the new EA Sports game NHL 10 coming out in September.

alg_rangers

I’m sure you’ve heard of Brandon Dubinsky. (Height 6.01 — Weight 210 — Shoots L, 24 Years Old)

13 – 28 -41; 112 PIM

251 Hits (7th, trailing Milan Lucic at 6th)

Faceoffs: 53.6% on 870 draws taken

QUALCOMP: 0.03

QUALTEAM: 0.11

CORSI +13.1

He’s currently an RFA with the New York Rangers. Rumours have it that the two sides are far apart on a new deal even though the Rangers are really high on this young checking center.

His boxcars last season were pretty good for a guy who was playing behind Gomez and Drury, though the only Oilers player (who played more than 10 games) who faced tougher competition was Shawn Horcoff. His stats indicate his linemates were pretty decent, as both Dubinsky and his right hand man Ryan Callahan cracked the top 10 in NHL hits totals. To boot, he has great faceoff skills.

Mind you, that Glen Sather and Dubinsky are far apart on contract talks is just pure rumour.

But if there was even a shred of truth to it, I’d be the first to call the Rangers about an offer.

Dubinsky is pretty much everything the Oilers have been looking for in a 3C. He’s pretty much the best free agent option available that’s not unrestricted (the other being Manny Malholtra).

He might be an even better option considering the Oilers wouldn’t be adding salary by acquiring him, since the Oilers would need to give salary back to the Rangers in order to sign him. He is an RFA, after all.

So since the Rangers have cap room, what would they realistically need?

A quick look at the Rangers roster produces the following observations:

2LW = Sean Avery or Aaron Voros

2D = Marc Staal and Daniel Girardi

The Rangers have a marked need for a physical D-man and a top 6 LW.

The Oilers have lots of those players that can fit that criteria, such as Nilsson, O’Sullivan, Cogliano, Staios, and Smid. Also, any combination that includes Staios would put the Rangers over the cap, meaning the Oilers would have to take some significant salary back. However, the Oilers just signed Smid to a new contract and O’Sullivan makes close to what Kotalik makes.

Though that makes trade possibilities look bleak, consider this:

I highly doubt the Oilers would acquire Avery but stranger things have happened. Also, consider that the Oilers have already tried to trade Cogliano and Smid once. That means there’s nothing stopping them from trading Rowbear and Steady Steve but loyalty and fat contracts.

I have a feeling the Rangers will find a way to keep Dubinsky around.

If not, however, here’s how I envision a potential trade:

Brandon Dubinsky, RFA (salary TBA) + Aaron Voros (1.000 M) + Paul Crowder (0.975 K)

FOR

Robert Nilsson (2.000 M) + Steve Staios (2.700 M) + prospect or draft pick

The acquisition of Crowder would be for cap hit or depth purposes only, kind of like picking up Dany Sabourin in the Garon trade. Another option would be to pick up Brodie Dupont instead of Voros or Crowder and give the Rangers Patrick O’Sullivan instead of Nilsson, but I’m pretty sure Pat Quinn and Steve Tambellini are really high on P.O.S.

Staios could help the young blueline on NYR and Voros would be able to give J.F. Jacques and Liam Reddox some competition for the bottom 6 LW positions. Furthermore, Nilsson would replace the retired Naslund (in spirit but not in skill) and KHL-bound Nikolai Zherdev.

It’s a win-win situation.

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See that?

That’s faceoff specialist Marcel Goc at work. He was 58.2% on 570 draws last year.

He just signed a contract with I mentioned him as an option for the 3C checking role in a post back in the Strange Deadfellows days. He signed for a measly $550,000, a heck of a lot less than even Blair Betts would be asking for.550000

Marcel Goc had a Corsi better than any Oiler and the by at least 2.9 shots (Dustin Penner, at 7.0).

He didn’t face the toughest competition and wouldn’t be the best option for 3C but he would be a cheap option. He certainly would’ve been overqualified for the 4C position, at the very least.

Why all the inaction?

Tambellini needs to get to work pronto and put this whole Heatley thing behind us.

Make some moves.

Ditch some contracts.

Nilsson. Staios. Pouliot.

These are guys with some value around the league who have their skills duplicated elsewhere in the lineup. II don’t think it’s unfair to say that they are close to expendable.

It’s rather depressing to watch one administration replace the old one and keep making the same mistakes.

It might be a long season, Oiler fans. It just might.

Horcoff Deserves Better

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After reading David Staple’s recent blog post, I too felt “enough is enough” when it comes to Shawn Horcoff’s critics who criticize without any proof to back up their opinion. An opinion is nothing substantial without the requisite information to back it up.

So let’s begin.

Continue reading

#196 – Tom Gilbert to the Edmonton Oilers

Guess who owns a Tom Gilbert jersey?

Guess who owns a Tom Gilbert jersey?

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Took us a while, but now we have our first homer pick. GOILERS!

Cap Hit: $4,000,000

Tom Gilbert has emerged as one of the premier offensive defenseman in the NHL, and as a integral part of the Team USA blue line, with a surprisingly bad rep for defensive ability despite the stats to prove otherwise. He has vision and poise but some would criticize him for not having enough sandpaper in his toolbox, but has shown a competent knack for shaking off forecheckers in his own zone. Has improved every season and even last season on worse team.

Could be in for a big year in 2009-10, depending on whether or not Visnovsky and Souray can stay healthy.

CLS Re-draft

Cycle Like The Sedins is doing a Fantasy Draft of the NHL and all the teams’ GMs are represented by a blogger(s) from each city. Yours truly is representing the Edmonton Oilers and I’m planning on drafting either a shut-down guy or a 1st line RW next.

The winner is determined on a full season and playoffs simulation of the new EA Sports game NHL 10 coming out in September.

Video Game Rankings

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This is just a random rant, but does anybody else find it stupid that Jason Strudwick’s slapshot rating on NHL 09 is identical to Lubomir Visnovsky’s?

Oilers Rankings

Furthermore, according to NHL 10, Mike Green is an 84 while Kris Letang is an 82. I love Letang as a hockey player but is he almost as good as Green? He’s good, but not that good.

If you didn’t already question the accuracy of player rankings, this will probably make you ponder it some more.

#188 – Blake Wheeler to the Edmonton Oilers

Chase me bitches!

Chase me bitches!

Cap Hit: $2,825,000

#189 – Tuomo Ruutu to the Edmonton Oilers

Tuomo-Ruutu
Ka-Pow! Mottau! Tuomo Ruutu demonstrates that those two words do more than rhyme.

Cap Hit: $3,800,000

Two big wingers with size.

Wheeler is a young skilled player with a great shot and is hard to knock off the puck. Big Blake has a larger frame than Joe Thornton and can still grow into it for a few seasons to come. Tuomo Ruutu loves to hit and loves to score, playing a real power forward’s role. Plus, he’s cheaper than Penner, though still a bit pricey for my overall plan. Oh well. He’s gonna score and he’s going to destroy you, and that’s what I love about Ruutu.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne was dealt in the process of acquiring the second 7th round pick and I plan to acquire another goalie later on with some of the picks I acquired as a result of the deal.

Further demonstration of Wheeler’s awesomeness:

http://www.youtube.com/v/snwke86hEG0&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6

Here’s a goal by Wheeler caused by a Taylor Chorney turnover:

CLS Re-draft

Cycle Like The Sedins is doing a Fantasy Draft of the NHL and all the teams’ GMs are represented by a blogger(s) from each city. Yours truly is representing the Edmonton Oilers.

The winner is determined on a full season and playoffs simulation of the new EA Sports game NHL 10 coming out in September.

Antonius's amazing photoshopping.

Antonius's amazing photoshopping

Jean-Francois Jacques is a 6.04, 220 pound forward who had the ability to dominate the game… until he got to the NHL.  In the QMJHL he had 179 points and 385 PIM in 261 games (0.69PPG).  In the AHL he has 102 points and 265 PIM in 146 games (0.70 PPG compared to Schremps 0.80 PPG status).  When it comes to the big show, JFJ has a abysmal 1 goal in 60 games so far. How come Jacques has such a double identity when it comes to the NHL?

For the Oilers, developing big guys has been hard for them, which resulted in the Penner offer sheet 2 years ago. Brad Winchester and Brad Isbister were 2 guys that were touted as the next power forward solution for the Oilers.  Isbister is off playing in the Swiss A league and Winchester is  alternatively playing for the St. Louis Blues and their farm team.   Winchester has 0.54 PPG  in the AHL currently and a steady drop to 0.11 PPG in the NHL.  Isbister had a career average of 0.41 PPG in the NHL.  Winchester developed through the Oilers system and developed below expectations.  Isbister came from Phoenix and a world juniors and declined steadily throughout his career.

Jacques is the next of kin for internal development of the power forward for the Edmonton Oilers.  This upcoming season for the Oilers could be his breakout year.  According to his Desjardins numbers, Jacques should score at a 12-14-26 rate over a 82 game season. Up till this time I believe he could do that and more.  I think Jacques in 2 years could easily surpass Moreau on the LW depth chart.

However there are 2 things that I thought could be holding Jacques back during his time in the NHL : MacT or Confidence Issues. Now that MacT is gone, that only leaves Jacques confidence as a problem.  So the question is, Is JF Jacques ready to go all in this season or is he gonna fold?