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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



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)


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.


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


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.

View full article »

#196 – Tom Gilbert to the Edmonton Oilers

Guess who owns a Tom Gilbert jersey?

Guess who owns a Tom Gilbert jersey?


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


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

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:

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?

A Bad Week For Hockey


The swan song of the NHL

  • Patrick Kane, young millionaire and poster boy for the new NHL and cover boy of the EA Sports NHL 2010 video game, is arrested for assaulting and robbing a cab driver over 20 cents. As per TSN, “Kane, a Buffalo native, had attended a press conference with the mayor to announce funding for a local rink earlier in the evening.”
  • The NHL loses Jeremy Roenick, one of the few outspoken NHL players who knew where to push the buttons and where to draw the line. He’s going to make a great color commentary guy.
  • Theoren Fleury is mounting a come back and the NHL continues to be a haven for celebrated troublemakers (Claude Lemieux) as opposed to the uncelebrated troublemakers (Chris Simon).
  • The NHL continues to shut out one of the most secure potential investors in Jim Balsillie, over what seems to be a grudge against his determination to acquire a franchise and move it back to Canada. It’s great to support small market teams but Phoenix has proven to be a large market incapable of supporting its team. There might be other bidders (Jerry Reinsdorf) willing to keep the team in the city but it doesn’t change the fact that there is insufficient infrastructure running through the Glenndale suburb. Business is business, and leave the personal feelings aside.
  • Tampering by the infamous GM Brian Burke continues as he trades a top rated hockey prospect to his friends in Anaheim for loose change. Is Tomas Kaberle next? Remember when Burke was adamant he “wasn’t” going to Toronto?
  • The NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning can’t iron out the ownership issue and it’s been going on forever.


According to BTN, Here are the Advanced Stats Comparison of Three Familiar Names in the Oilogosphere:

DUSTIN PENNER LW EDM 27 78 11.71 0.92 -0.00 0.11 7.0 0.79 0.72 0.20 1.71 45 32 2.96 2.10 13
DANY HEATLEY RW OTT 15 82 14.97 0.21 0.04 0.00 2.2 1.17 0.64 0.39 2.20 59 64 2.88 3.13 -5
NIKOLAI ZHERDEV RW NYR 13 81 13.23 1.32 0.03 0.03 14.6 0.95 1.06 0.50 2.52 56 44 3.14 2.46 12

The highlighted column describes QUALCOMP, or Quality of Competition. As you can also see, Penner and Zherdev rape Heatley in terms of Advanced (+/-).

Dany Heatley salary = $7.5 M a season

Dustin Penner + Nikolai Zherdev salary = about $8.5 M or 9 M a season

Dany Heatley

6’3″ 216 lbs, scored 39-33-72

Main Comparison(s): Brett Hull

Main Criticism(s): Lack of heart, team spirit, etc.

Dustin Penner

6’4″ 240 lbs, scored 17-20-37

Main Comparison(s): Scott Hartnell, Ryan Malone

Main Criticism(s): Lack of heart, fitness, etc.

Nikolai Zherdev

6’2″ 197 lbs, scored 23-35-58

Main Comparison(s): Ales Hemsky

Main Criticism(s): Lack of heart, team spirit, etc.

As you know, the Rangers passed on paying him 3.9 M for one year as awarded by an arbitrator. Zherdev was seeking 4.75 M a year so I’m assuming his eventual settling price will be somewhere in that range, near the middle. Maybe 4.3 M or 4.5 M.


The Oilers are better off signing Zherdev and making salary cap room for both Zherdev and Penner than for Heatley alone.

Why, you ask?

  • Zherdev is a PP and SO specialist who can play on both your 1st and 2nd line
  • Penner plays PP, PK, and anywhere from your 1st to 3rd lines
  • Heatley is a guy who can play PP and only play on your 1st line
  • If one of Zherdev or Penner gets hurt, you’re not completely screwed
  • Penner has size that Quinn can utilize

This would give the Oilers a couple pretty decent scoring lines, especially with Penner and Gagner paired up and playing lesser oppositions they would probably kill the soft minutes. Here’s a preview:

Zherdev – Horcoff – Hemsky

Penner – Gagner – WHOEVER

Moreau – Pouliot – Pisani

Reddox – Brule – Stortini


The only problem for Tambellini … is making cap room right now. But it will cost the Oilers only 1 M to 1.5 M more than they would be paying for Heatley.

But if you ask me, it’s a no-brainer.

#105 – Niklas Kronwall to the Edmonton Oilers (selected by Antony Ta)

Kronwall Hits
I don’t care what you think of Kronwall: he’s the full package of skill and power.

Cap Hit: $3,000,000

Niklas Kronwall has taken major steps to being more complete since his first few seasons, and now he is not only an offensive threat but a defensive threat as well. Some people say he leaves his feet. Some people say its the follow through. It’s certainly not a Scott Stevens momentum machine – it’s pure power.

At a cap hit lower than Brad Stuart, he’s pretty good deal, I think.

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.