Monday, June 04, 2007

Attention Kevin Lowe - How I Became A Bumfighting Mogul!

In the days leading up to the NHL Entry Draft, be sure to keep an eye on the Edmonton Oilers. They have three first round picks, including the sixth pick overall. But there is another reason and it's that Oilers' General Manger Kevin Lowe is big game hunting.
Between now and the July 1 free agency period, Lowe would love to add a pair of top-six forwards and a quality defenceman.
Lots of people think there's a better chance of doing that via the trade market than by free agency and Lowe has a lot of currency from which to deal.
He has the three first round picks and an entire roster of players that are not untouchable especially after the way the team finished the season after the Ryan Smyth trade.
The Oilers would love to get a guy like Brad Richards from the Lightning. With Tampa's expanding budget, Richards isn't likely available but that's the type of splashy and bold move that Lowe would like to pull off.
There's no guarantee that a big Oiler trade will happen, and if one doesn't, it won't be for a lack of trying.
For, I'm Bob McKenzie.

This was posted on TSN's website Thursday night. Saturday night during the Hot Stove, Duhatschek commented that the Oilers would be hot and heavy after Scott Hartnell during the UFA season.

Interesting stuff. The debate is already raging over at Lowetide's site as to what is available, who the Oilers would have to give up, the futility of it all and so on.

Lets review:

1/ Its a lot easier to fall off the mountain then to climb to the top. The conference finalists this year included two who were there last year as well as the two regular season conference champions from last season. In other words, no matter what Lowe does I think its reasonable to think there's no Cinderella story in the cards next season. A rebound is the goal but there are a lot of holes to fill.

2/ Speaking of holes, two guys to play in the top six would be accurate if you consider Torres ready to fit that role. Also one or two guys to do some more heavy lifting up front (maybe one and the same). And at least one Dman to play top four although two would be better. And they had better be able to move the puck.

3/ In terms of players on the roster with value, the Oilers are thin. And, of course, herein lies another problem. Moving guys like Torres, Horcoff and Staios may seem well and good if you are upgrading at those positions but if you replace one quality NHLer with another you still have those other holes to fill. And you had better make sure that you are getting some serious bang for your buck on the return.

4/ Having said that, if Lowe is serious about upgrading this roster he has to send some cash the other way. That means Lupul has to go and likely so will someone else who is making some decent cash. Unless ...

5/ The assumption from the start has been that Lowe (and of course MacKenzie says it) wants to make a big splash and people have been taking that to mean that we're looking at big money guys coming back - if he can swing a deal for a guy like Duncan Keith or our favourite, Brent Seabrook, then he gets his man and he's not spending 5M.

I'm not sure how it plays out. Lowe does have one thing - a ton of young cheap players and prospects as well as plenty of picks. And while you might argue the future of Rob Schremp or Matt Greene or Robert Nilsson, they do have value because they are cheap.

There are teams in trouble financially that are going to be looking to move players for young cheap futures in order to stem the financial bleeding. Atlanta, Phoenix and Florida might fit here.

There are teams that are close up to the cap and are looking to move guys in order to sign other guys. Buffalo, Ottawa, Jersey and maybe Nashville (which may fit into the first category) fit here.

There are teams looking to make a change or who want to be active on the FA market or who are looking to rebuild.

In other words Lowe will have plenty of trading partners, I think.

Too many holes and too big a hole to climb out of to get back to the top of that mountain next year. But make the right moves and maybe two or three or four years down the road the Oilers can do what Carolina did last year and what Anaheim looks ready to do this year, return to finish the job.

Can it be done? Well, let me offer an anecdote from my own experience to illustrate the possibilities. The parallels between my own experience and what has happened to the Oilers are so uncanny, I dare anyone to not see the possibilities.

Ok, so here's the situation. My parents went away for a week's vacation.

Sorry, wrong story.

Summer is arriving here and a sure sign of this is the huge increase in panhandlers. Now, they're no drug addicted zombie hoboes like those that plague downtown Edmonton but they are everywhere.

I've actually had two instances where they have come to my door. Once was a number of years back. Two women, stinking of booze, tried to con me into giving money for a legitimate charity. Of course I loosed the hound upon them. As he tore out one's liver and feasted on it, blood and bile squirting all over my daughter's tricycle, I realized that it wasn't two boozy bums who had knocked on my door, it had been opportunity. There was money to be made off of them there bums. As my dog chowed down on kidneys and colon, I closed the door and began to formulate a plan.

It was easy really, There is a ravine near our street. This was to be our arena. I had plenty of neighbours looking for cheap thrills. And we had plenty of bums to exploit.

I had an ace in the hole, however. One weekend while on a cocaine fueled bender I had spent some time crashed in a park. There I had stumbled on an enormabum, a giant from Samoa. Like so many others from central Europe he had come to Canada looking for a better life. Fate had conspired against him and so he found himself homeless in a park, surviving by eating squirrels, raccoons and city parks workers. I convinced him to come and sleep under my porch. I would feed him and he could live rent free (if he paid me even a dollar he would no longer be considered homeless) as long as he represented my household in the bumfighting league.

As you can well imagine I had complete success that first season. Nobody could stand before my Samoan. I made oodles of money and I was the toast of the neighbourhood. Small children cheered and their mothers lifted their skirts to me in tribute. My opponents, my friends and neighbours, begrudgingly could do nothing but smile and tickle my balls in tribute. And then, just days after my greatest triumph, our victory in the year end tournament, disaster struck.

One of our newer neighbours, just moved in from California, had seen my weakness and exploited it. Under his own porch he had installed hot and cold running poi and had also arranged for a Samoan escort service to make regular visits to his home. The end result was that my man, Koa Wakapululupupululuku asked me for a trade. There was nothing I could do but comply with his request. With the new season just around the corner my so called neighbour had my balls in a vise and he was squeezing hard. Against my better judgement I caved into his demand and moved the Samoan. The return was meagre. A scrawny Czech teenager, a transvestite hooker and future draftpicks.

The fall from grace was swift. The only thing left to comfort me was my winnings from the previous season. Neither of my new acquisitions was much on the circuit. The Czech was game but I could tell the shemale's heart wasn't quite in it.

And then, Lady Luck smiled.

Coming back from McCarthy's after a half dozen pints, I heard the unmistakable sound of Andy Grabia having sex with a bag lady behind the Piggly Wiggly. It was a sound I knew all too well. Grabia had been a legend on the bum fighting circuit but his love of filthy bag ladies and huffing Pam had sent him down the toilet on a filthy slide of shit and pus.

As I watched him make love to the dirty old hobo I suddenly realized that Grabia's rights were still owned by one of my neighbour's who had taken him as a flyer late in our expansion draft. This neighbour had lost his job and was in danger of losing his home. He had been sliding on the circuit, his only remaining bum a scabby old drunk with one eye.

The stench was overwhelming. As I urinated on the two of them to try and lessen the awful odour, I asked Grabia if he was looking to get back in the game. A mountain of a man, with cat like reflexes and the ferocity of a wild animal, I knew that if I could get him focussed, he was my ticket back to the top. As he completed his daily rounds, this most handsome of scabby panhandlers gave me a toothy smile and affirmed that he was indeed ready, aye, ready.

The rest is history. I packaged up my picks, my hooker and my Czech teenager and moved them to my neighbour for his scabby old bum and the rights to Grabia. Everyone thought I was crazy but the end result was win win for everyone. My neighbour was able to keep his house as he no longer had to pay for his scabby old veteran. I had the rights to Grabia and of course I could afford the cap hit. Of course I fed the old bum to the dog which was also quite enjoyable for everyone. Except for the bum, I guess.

Grabia crushed the Samoan in their first battle. It was vicious but Koa Akupukujukululununu was no match for the Albertan's ferocity. Grabia bit off his nose in the frenzy. Victory was his and mine.

The only minus is that I have to listen to Grabia having sex with bag ladies under my porch night in and night out. The smell of gangrene becomes a little much at times but that's the way he likes them so what am I to say?

The moral of this story for you Oil fans? Well, clearly there are a number of lessons to be learned. Lets review.

Andy Grabia is not the man you thought he was.
Sex with bag ladies can be enjoyable.
Samoans are lousy no good sellouts.
Bumfighting is an enjoyable hobby where you can make money and, best of all, nobody gets hurt.
And you can move a lot of cheap, seemingly worthless assets for an important piece to the puzzle if you find the right situation.

Do you see what I'm saying?


Mr DeBakey said...

According to Margaret Mead, Samoa isn't in Europe.

If I want this kind of shoddy factsmanship, I can read the Edmonton Journal. [spits]


Black Dog said...

mr. d - samoa is just west of bulgaria - everyone knows that

if you want shoddy factsmanship you have definitely come to the right place!

SweatyO said...

Is what you're saying, BDHS, is that you'd deal Lupul, Smid and picks to Philly for Pitkanen, and as part of the deal, you're willing to take on Hatcher's salary for one year as well?

Or did you have some other "situation" in mind?

Black Dog said...

sweatyo - only if I could feed Hatcher to my dog, like I did that bum

naw, my only point is that Lowe should be able to get a big money guy for a collection of picks and prospects; I think if they dump Lupul it will be for nothing or another guy who is a headcase/disappointment

who knows who is dumping salary - Atlanta? Maybe Hossa could become available? A team that is dumping salary is looking for cheap in return, just as the Oilers once did. Atlanta, if they are in trouble, or Buffalo, if they want to dump salary to retain Drury, don't want Lupul. Hell they may not even want Smid. they want guys who are making the minimum or who maybe be two years down the road or so.

Mr DeBakey said...

I just read Atlanta's TSN Off-Season thing.
As of now the Thrashers have no first round pick, and
- 4 NHL forwards & an RFA
- 2 NHL defensmen & an 2 RFAs, one they didn't play for the last 20 games of the regular season.
- "Needs: four top six forwards, two top four defencemen"

Is it quantity for quality time?

Black Dog said...

the biggest question for Atlanta is where are they at? are they going to take a run at the playoffs and hope to make some hay or are they going to cut their losses and join nashville?

Would moving Hossa or Kovalchuk kill that team or do they want to cut the big salary out of there?

If I am Lowe, Hossa is near the top of my list.

Earl Sleek said...

Heh, I thought with all the talk about your "neighbour", that you were targeting Iginla here :)

Obviously my head's still in the SCF, at least for another day.

Black Dog said...

earl - I think congratulations might be in order - we'll see I guess but looks good for you

Everyone is reading far much into this - I mean there are some parallels between the Oilers and my own situation but all of this bumfighting stuff actually happened - I mean, I can't make stuff like this up.

gary b said...

wow, that post sort of took a real turn.

still, nothing spruces up a blog/song/PowerPoint presentation more than a few well-placed baglady-f**king bums.

Anonymous said...

What is there to read into? Grabia likes to fuck homeless women. This is news?

PDO said...

I can't be the only one who thought of this, can I?

Also, I'd do Lupul, Smid and picks for Pitkanen and Hatcher in a heartbeat. Hatcher is lit up a lot more often than he should be by Joe-Sixpack.

Pitkanen - Smith
Hatcher - Staios
Hejda - Grebeshkov

I'd run with that.