Thursday, April 03, 2008

Its Business Time

Well, its over but nobody in their right mind ever thought we'd care about game 81 this season, unless it was to get out of lottery territory.

Some good luck to get where they got to but a lot of bad bounces in these last few weeks. Funny that, some bad puck luck hurt them Tuesday night, against the Wild last week and in a few other cases as well.

And now Lowe has to make some decisions. Some look to be pretty easy based on what we have seen. Extend Horcoff. Sign Glencross. Sign Gilbert and Grebeshkov. Sign Pouliot (yeah I'm sold on him). Keep Marty as insurance on the cheap.

Some require more thought. What do you give Pitkanen? Do you extend Garon and for how long and how much?

One more for this list - Jarret Stoll. terrible terrible year. He got some tough minutes and he got murdered. He got to centre Penner and Hemsky and did nothing with it. Very little offence at ES. Just a bad bad year.

The Oilers can afford to pay him next year. Putting a kid in that third line spot won't be an improvement shortterm and maybe playing between Raffi and Fernando helps him get his mojo back.

Or maybe, as LT suggested in a recent thread, he might be done. Impossible? Look at Kyle Calder and Mark Bell.


Nooge said...

Love the Flight of the Conchords BD. "And then you sort out the recycling . . ." Funny funny stuff. My favourite though is The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room or whatever it's called " . . .depending on the street, depending on the street."

Black Dog said...

"Lets go back to my house, and we'll feel each other up on my couch"

Nooge said...

At the risk of embarking on a nerdy insider wank (if that hasn't happened already) I also love the LOTR parody that starts out with some kind of space metal and morphs into a rap: "I don't rap about bitches and hos, I rap about witches and trolls!" OK, I'm done now.

andy grabia said...

I never get tired of that song.

Black Dog said...

hah I was going to send that to Andy - should have known he had seen it

actually today is the first time I even heard of these guys - my productivity has been impacted in a negative manner

Loxy said...

Just buy the DVD set. Just do it.

Their album comes out via subpop on vinyl on the 22nd.

Not that i'm tracking it.. :)

Big T said...

To answer your questions BDHS;

- Don't extend Garon. We can pay him up to $3.5MM per or so after this season if he performs. If he doesn't, let him walk or sign him cheap again.

- Pitkenen for $4.0MM or less over 3yrs is a done deal. More than that is questionable. I'd like to sign him for $3.25MM for the next two years and go from there. That takes him up to his free agency year (something his agent will like) and give the Oil Drop a slight discount IMO. Gilbert and Grebeshkov will have grown enough by that time to take his place and the young guys coming up should be able to do an adequate job the following season.

- Stoll isn't worth the $2.0MM risk to see if he does bounce back. If he'll sign for Reasoner money then keep him, but if he won't - and I doubt he would - then he get traded/waived.

Bottom 6 of;

Glencross - Brodziak - Pisani
Moreau - MAP/Reasoner - Torres

And for the love of God, extend Horcoff.


Big T said...

Ideally we trade Joni for Bouwmeester but we won't have the room for Jay AND Gagner, Cogliano et al in a couple years. That and Bouwmeester will be taking up $5.5 - $6.5MM of cap space for the next 5-10 yrs. Money currently being eaten by 44. Gotta love that contract!

FWIW, I see Nilsson only here for 2-3 more years as well - with 2 more likely than 3. He'll be squeezed out by salary after the rest of the kid line's rookie contracts expire in 2010.

Hopefully the pain of losing him will be eased by a parade that spring.


Anonymous said...

I was a big fan of the Stoll, Pisani, Torres line a few years ago but can they preform again?

My favorite thing right now is how everyone is saying to extend Horcoff but it was only a year ago that almost the entire city was saying "3.6million?!?! for Horcoff?? Kevin Lowe is an idiot!"

Not lumping you in that group big T im just saying...


Black Dog said...

loxy - never even heard of them until today but I don't know anything about what's up these days

doug - can't speak for T but Horc was popular in these parts, even when he struggled last year; as for Pisani and Torres I'm thinking whoever plays with those guys is going to do just fine

Black Dog said...

T - like that bottom 6

Hard to say what they do with Pitkanen.

I could see Nilsson being affordable for a few years if they can trade him years for dough - see if he goes for it

Pitkanen is the big question.

Garon is interesting; hard to give a guy a contract based on this year but he had a very good year in LA on a shit team a couple years back (B.C. - before Cloutier) so it may be less of a gamble then it looks

docweb said...

As much as Stoll drove me crazy this year it really bothers me to just let him go. I don't think you'd get much back on a trade at this point. I keep thinking back to last year,before he got scrambled, that he was essentially the team MVP and was doing everything well. Maybe it is just confidence and with a new year..who knows.

Now if you would have asked me what to do with him at the very end of last game...dump him ASAP.

Black Dog said...

docweb - you'd get nothing for him in a trade right now

I would think they will keep him. They can afford him and he very well may bounce back - then you move him, imo.

Only issue is that he if you think that third line spot should be Pouliot's or Brodziak's one of them is going to lose that icetime next year. If this team is being built for 2010 etc and you do not believe in Stoll then you should bite the bullet and see if a kid can do the job.

I mention Calder and Bell for a reason. Both guys looked pretty decent the first year out of the lockout. Now they are both barely hanging on. That's a possibility for Stoll.

docweb said...

The reason I think it is probably confidence and not a post-concussion problem is twofold. He is now back at least hitting as hard and taking hits as he was before. Secondly each NHL team has neuropsych testing on all of their players and you can be sure now that Stoll has passed that.

That being Stoll ever got back playing so quickly after his first concussion last year(only to getted dinged again quickly and out for the year)is beyond me. I have to believe Stoll wasn't completely honest with the medical staff. One of his interviews months later he mentioned that he "just didn't feel right" after the first concussion and yet played. That type of response would be a huge red flag for any team trainer/MD. wouldn't be the first time a hockey player minimized his symptoms so he could get back.

Anonymous said...

You know how I got my concussion? A volleyball was slammed into my face and knocked me to the ground.

I was way spaced out for seven months. I would try to give people simple instructions at my work and they wouldn't understand what I was trying to get them to do. If I wrote things down, it was a bit easier but far more time-consuming.

I don't understand how hockey players can do it. I sympathize with Stoll and I really hope he gets it back together for next season otherwise we cut the strings loose.

doritogrande said...

I'm going to get flamed like a mother, but as much as Horcoff brings to the table, we pulled off the last quarter of the season without him.

If we can't re-sign him we won't be that badly off now that I think about it. Continue the youth movement with Gagner, Cogliano and Brodziak as your top 3 Centers, and if they fuck up royally, at least we have our own first rounder in 2009.

Anonymous said...

Ya pittsburg did great without crosby too.


Steve said...

If we can qualify Stoll without it forcing us to get rid of any of our other RFAs (or Glencross), I'd say do it and hope that he bounces back. If qualifying Stoll is the difference between keeping Pitkanen or losing him, let Stoll walk.

Black Dog said...

steve - I don't think they have to cut salary this summer - they can afford to keep him

docweb - probably a combination - obviously he is struggling with his confidence but anon's point in right on - I think the lingering effects of the concussions vary and it should be taken into account, question is whether he ever gets over it

Black Dog said...

dorito - not my style to rip - your comment is a fair one but put it this way - if you dig a little deeper - how effective were Penner and Hemsky without Horcoff, especially at evens?

They had a nice run and Horcoff's absence gave the kids some responsibility they would not have gotten and that helped their development.

But I think a team with Horcoff on it is way better then one without. I am very happy with this team but having Horc in the mix is going to make them that much better.

Big T said...

Agreed on Horc BDHS. He contributes a tonne even when he isn't scoring. I'm not sure he'll have the same level of production next season as he did this one but he flat out helps you win. Money well spent.

As for Stoll, I have no doubt that he'll be kept since Lowe wouldn't dare lose ' an asset for nothing'. But if I'm GM, I'm using the $2.0MM for young guys, UFA EV outscorers like Johnson or trade deadline aquisitions. Stoll will be in his last RFA year and so even if he bounces back to his 2006 season he still doesn't contribute at EV or outscore soft opposition. For me it's a choice between Reasoner and Stoll and Reasoner at $850K is a no brainer.


Big T said...

Even if Stoll bounces back to his '06 form which is probably the high water mark (save a 10 game stretch last year), he'll still be an impending UFA. So the Oilers will have to sign him to a UFA equivilent contract (read; poor value contract), let him walk or trade him at the deadline where their still only getting 50 cents on the dollar because he's an impending UFA.

Worst case scenario Stoll continues to lag, though most likely not as badly as this season with Horc back, and Lowe has seriously overpayed for the entire year for an expiring asset.

No brainer.


namflashback said...


Stoll is the perfect reason for team-initiated arbitration. (not just to protect them from offer sheets)

Reset his salary to an appropriate spot on the grid. 1.2M or some such on a 1 year or 2 year at most. If he does well, the Oilers get the short term benefit and can deal him off (as there will be others who can play the role) at that time. If he doesn't do well, he didn't cost you much and the cost of replacement is comparable.

Black Dog said...

T - I have heard varying stories on the Oilers' cap for next year. By my math and assuming Katz spends to the cap then they are ok keeping Stoll and seeing if he rebounds.

Worse case he does not and he is gone in a year.

There is also NFB's suggestion - interesting to see if they play hardball with him

uni said...

Say what you want about Mark Bell, but he took out both Alfredsson and Fischer for 'weeks', so the dude is okay in my books haha.

Yes I have an irrational dislike of the Senators.

Pat H said...

In response to Namflashback, I'm pretty sure that Stoll can't be given any sort of a pay CUT under the CBA. Perhaps arbitration trumps all of that somehow, but without looking up the specifics, I'd be very surprised. I'm pretty sure that the team's qualifying offer to Stoll, in Stoll's particular case, must be at least equal to what he is currently making.

Black Dog said...

yes pat, team qualifying offer has to be equal plus something, I'm going to say 10% maybe??

team taking a player to arbitration I would think would mean all bets are off but again I don't know for sure

Pat H said...

I looked this up a while back, and I think there are several cases where it is +10%, though in Stoll's case, I'm fairly certain that it didn't involve a raise, it just had to be at least the same.

As for taking it to arbitration, that's a really interesting question. I have a bit of trouble believing that an arbitration decision could circumvent the minimum requirements set out by the CBA. An interesting question though. If that WERE the case, it would be a neat little hammer for organizations to wield against certain players.

I'm interested in the question, but not interested enough to put in the work answering it. Anyone have an immediate resolution to this?

Black Dog said...

pat h. - yeah I'll do some research on it but I am pretty sure that that was a big one for the owner's - that they can request arbitration - and I would guess that in those cases a guy could take a paycut

if a guy has a terrible year then the team takes him to arbitration and he can take a hit

makes sense to me