Thursday, July 06, 2006

OK, Enough Pissing and Moaning



To paraphrase Paul Newman, "We're blogging like pussies out there."

Lets review:

1/ The Pronger trade had to be made. Teams were not going to wait until September or October to see if they could get this guy. If they did wait and then did not get him then they would be screwed. Further, Bob Clarke was not going to wait until next February and then in the middle of a Cup surge trade Pitkanen and Carter for the guy.

His value was going down from this point on, folks. Teams had to move on, including the Oil. Would it have been nice to get Horton and Bouwmeester? Sure. But in the Cap era Mike Keenan would have been stupid to trade two young cheap talented assets like these guys. Any trade that we were hot and heavy for was likely a dream.

Teams set their budgets and make their plans now. He had to be traded now.

2/ You're not going to get full value in this situation. Ever. Having said that would you trade Brewer, Woyitka and Lynch for Lupol, a top D prospect, a first and second rounder and a possible other first? I would. Did we want more? Did Lowe want more? Of course. Did he make the best of a bad situation? A 22 year old with 28 goals in his sophomore season. One of the top ten prospects in hockey. Two, maybe three high picks. He did ok, I think. This team is loaded with young players. Some are not going to turn out. I'd think a lot are.

3/ He resigned two out of three of their priority UFAs. Only Spacek did not. He signed with Buffalo because after Pronger left he felt the Sabres had a better chance to win the Cup. That's fine. Giving 10M to a second pair Dman who is 32 doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

4/ We knew Peca was going. He had a good playoff. He is going to get paid a lot. Too much for what he is worth. We knew Samsonov was going. Remember that he was brought in to score goals. A lot of them. Didn't happen.

5/ Ritch Winter says Dvorak does not want to be here. Not after being asked to take a 50% paycut I guess not. I like Dvo. I do. But its about the money folks. It is. If the Oilers offered him 1.6M he's be holding an Edmonton festival back in Prague. Believe me.

6/ LeGG - love the guy. Great guy. Wants to be here. Great in the community. How many minutes did he play in the playoffs? 1.2M per for two years plus a notrade clause. Why?

7/ No big UFAs signed here. And we are supposed to be upset about this because ....? Kubina for 5M a year for four years. Chara for 7.5M a year for five years. And a notrade. Marc Savard? Hal Gill? Jay McKee? Seriously, stop me when I hit a contract that makes sense. UFAs are nearly always overpaid in term and cash. One good deal. The Redden deal. Maybe Willie Mitchell. Maybe Mike Grier. It makes headlines. Everyone gets excited. Ask the Devils how great things are in the years to come. Hell ask them in September when they have stripped their roster bare to get back under the Cap. Ask the Leafs how they like paying McCabe nearly 6M per when he is 36 and still as crappy as he is now. How about Boston when they try and unload Savard in two seasons.

8/ Finally, the season starts in October.


Look, losing Pronger was a big hit. Nobody's missing that point. But this team is constituted the same as last year's at this time except for him, Peca, Dvorak, Harvey, Cross, Conklin, Ulanov and LeGG. Add Roloson, Lupul and a bunch of fast, hungry kids as well as the experience the remaining guys picked up. Now, how does it look?

I don't know if this team as presently constituted makes the playoffs. Likely not. Add a solid Dman or two and they do though. I'd put money on it.

Lowe's job as GM is as follows:

1/ Make the playoffs so the team has an opportunity to win the Cup.
2/ Have financial flexibility so that players can be signed in the years upcoming and players can be added this season to augment the current roster.
3/ Develop young players and accrue assets (picks/prospects) in order to replace older players, acquire other assets etc etc.
4/ Use #2 and #3 to put together a team that can challenge for the Cup once they are in the playoffs.
5/ Try not to overpay for assets. After their run the Oilers have a lot of assets who are overvalued. Let other teams pay them. UFAs are overvalued by nature. Let other teams blow their Cap space on these guys.

He still has some work to get this team into the playoffs but notice the number of teams in deep Cap trouble. Look at the flexibility the Oilers have in that regard.

To paraphrase asiaoil, go to your local. Get a seat on the patio. Order a pint. Drink it. Enjoy the sun. Order another pint.

The Oilers are going to be fine. They are going to make the playoffs, barring a rash of injuries. Once they are there then we will see what happens. Its a marathon. The gun hasn't even sounded yet.

Take a deep breath, Oiler fans.

10 comments:

lowetide said...

Great post. I like the Pronger trade, and Lowe has done pretty much what any right-thinking would expect (sign Rolo, Pisani, bring back Reasoner).

I like the payoff on the Pronger deal. It does leave them exposed on D.

Lowe has lots of time.

Earl Sleek said...

Great work, BD. Oil I think are at least above 10-15 teams on my 'who would I like to GM right now' list, that's for sure. (Hint: I don't want to GM a team where I'm screwed through 2009).

Oh, and about 2 posts ago's title, Earl Sleek never laughs at teams for 'off the ice' issues, with the exception of a skater named Avery and an announcer named Hayward.

Nah, even as the guy who gets Pronger, that whole 'outtatown' situation was too Kariya-ish to cheer for.

namflashback said...

and more than one strategic path to choose from.

1) run with the hodgpepodge D, maybe add a few more veteran forwards to have less forward risk

2) add the 1-2 D via trade

both of these can be left for later in the summer -- and actually more well-defined once arbitration decisions leave a next set of UFA's available.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Earl, I was referring to our discussions during the Ducks-Oil series where I was ragging on Lupul.

Andy Grabia said...

Here, here!

Grace said...

Finally, someone not panicking and jumping off WEM!!! I love this team. The players have come and gone, there have been disappointments, there have been tears.

I've come to a happy place where I'm glad Pronger's not here now because he doesn't deserve to have his name on the Cup. Ever. If the Oilers won, and he left, I'd have punched him in the face.

Everyone's being overpaid right now. I live in Canucktown and they are freaking out. I've become so hockey nerdish with reading all the Oilblogs that I've been schooling them on the cap issues they'll be having and the Oilers options that I look like a freakin' genius.

But I'm not worried about Edmonton. It's easy to be scared and freaking out about our lack of D and people leaving but look at the big picture.

I also agree. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the summer. It'll soon be October and cold and wet and we'll be wishing we enjoyed the sun.

namflashback said...

I'm optimistic BDHS because about 1/2 the teams blew their wad in one week.

With a record number of players going to Arbi -- we may have several players who get walked away from and we get UFA II the sequel.

Lots of guys currently mentioned as trade options become possibilities. No idea which of the arbitration candidates are defencemen, but surely a few will pop free and team's with cap room will have some decent options.

Anonymous said...

Yep, either there are some less than intelligent GM's in this league, or I'm failing to see something here. Did no one see the struggles that teams had last year that went into the year close to the cap??? I don't see what choice some teams will have to fit under the cap than to ditch some young RFA's who will be looking for big raises.

If BOS, NJ, VAN, TOR, etc. have to ditch some of their young talent to fit these old, overpaid UFA's into their lineup, KLo should have some great options and should be one of the few teams with cap space to take someone on and a solid stable of prospects to move for players.

I agree with BDHS on one thing. I'm going to enjoy my summer, because there will be opportunities for us to improve our team later this summer and we should be competing with Calgary for the division this winter.

Ian

Swabbubba said...

Nice Post, it is true. The postings I have read of late is starting make me think that Edmonton has changed into Springfield. So everybody head to Moe's and have Flaming Moe on CP.
Let Kevin do his job he has lots of time. The other GM's have painted themselves into corner with Salary Cap issues. We will have to wait to see how that shakes out maybe pick up some players that way. I hope we get our RFA's signed .

Kyle Kosior said...

That was just a great post. So very clear and concise, it really brings everything into focus.

I will take you up on the pints though, sounds like a great idea when it is 92 outside.