Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Planning To Beat Detroit

A lot of scuttlebutt arising out of Brownlee's post at Oilers' Nation the other day which surmises that the Oilers are indeed looking to do quantity for quality and that Lowe's target has gone from a top six forward to a top three forward.
Top six forwards, which the Oilers allegedly need, range from Crosby and Zetterberg to Nagy and Jason Blake, so in other words the Oilers could be giving up every kid on the roster or they could be taking a kid from the Leafs to make the Blake contract a reasonable one to take on. (btw - the Leafs have no kid who would make that happen)
Now, Jason Spezza is an attractive player, an elite offensive player at a very young age and, if the Sens are dangling him then the Oilers should find out what they want for him. Truth is though that even with the rumours about Spezza being part of the Emery crowd on that club I can't see the Sens moving him. They just signed him to a longterm deal - is it probable that they soured on him that quickly? Unless they are going to blow it all up, which would mean moving Alfredsson as well, then moving Spezza makes no sense. And if they are blowing it up then you had better start with Pitkanen and Gagner or Cogliano as your starting point for a deal. Top ten offensive players under the age of twenty five don't fall off trees.
Your second tier guy would be a guy like Carter. Once again though the Stoll, Greene and Schremp deal likely won't get this done. One possibility though - a collection of prospects plus maybe Grebeshkov. The Flyers are a mess on the back end.
Personally I think the plan is to drop Cogliano to the third line and that Stoll will be moved. I think that they do sign Horcoff because he was on track for thirty plus goals last year and he can play both ways and he can win draws and he is great on the PK. Is he Zetterberg, Crosby or Malkin? No. But he is a better player then say, Oli Jokinen, whose failure to score an ES goal in 19 straight games during the spring caused Jack Martin to call him out. Jokinen is on his way out but if Gagner is the guy who is going to be your scorer down the road why bring in another guy cut from the same cloth?
I think the Oilers are looking at 2010-2012 as the years they contend. Moving one of three young defencemen who can possibly play top four minutes doesn't make sense to me when that window is not here yet. I've said it before and I will say it again. Next summer they sign one of Pitkanen or Grebeshkov longterm and move the other.
Maybe they bring in a Sykora type for this year but imo that makes no sense unless they move Cogliano as mentioned before.
Here's the deal - remember Detroit and their contracts. No underperformers, plenty of overperformers. Last season the Oilers had plenty of the former. Talking about negotiations with Glencross Olyzyk says they don't need a guy making big money in their bottom six. No kidding, they already have four.
So here is the plan:
- keep Pitkanen and Grebeshkov and evaluate them, when all is said and done sign one longterm and move the other
- evaluate Garon and sign him if he passes the test; its becoming clearer and clearer that an elite goaltender is not necessary to win the Cup
- sign Horcoff; his skillset is one that is tough to find, replacing him with a kid scorer means you have three kids down the middle
- is Cogliano the second or third line centre? I would play him on the second line and see if he has what it takes, then you can let Stoll try and recapture some of his lost magic
- begin to move the bad contracts - Moreau? Roloson?
- position yourself to move Souray, paying a guy that coin is ridiculous
That's a start. Its pointing towards 2009/2010. This year try and compete for a playoff spot. Unless a Pronger type deal comes available again then see what you have and make the moves next offseason.


Anonymous said...

Before lookin at acquirin a top 3 forward, I would look at the d-men. Truth be told, the Oilers are long on heart and short on talent! So, pickin up some decent defence might just propel them into the playoffs this year cause the offense ain't gonna do it.
Ps. Great goaltendin is gonna make or break you in the end. Osgood just gets no respect, and i'm just as much to blame as anyone else.

Oilman said...

Chris Osgood is the Rodney Dangerfield of the league - the guy will likely retire with over 400 wins, 2 or more cups as a starting goalie, and ZERO losing records in his entire career.....and idiots like Kypreos will continue to say shit like "come on, Osgood? I could play goal for the wings and win the cup"

Oilman said...

Case in point regarding Osgood's lack of respect:
1995-1996 Jim Carrey wins the Vezina with 4 fewer wins, 18 more losses, a higher goals against, and lower save percentage than runner up Osgood.

Black Dog said...

anaon and oilman - agreed on Osgood getting no respect and that whole "anybody could play goal for the Wings and win" is a lot of BS. Legace? Joseph? Hasek in R1 against the Preds? Osgood is good to very good, in my estimation. His numbers are helped by playing for Detroit but he certainly isn't shit. He made a lot of big saves in the final when he needed to.

He's a good goaltender. So were Khabibulin and Ward when it counted.

But its not like back in the day when you had Roy, Belfour, Richter, Fuhr, Billy Smith - know what I'm saying? You can get by with a good goaltender these days, you no longer need a great one.

Does that make sense?

anon - agreed on the need for D; in my perfect world they would have Hejda or Sauer instead of Souray but so it goes. I'd rather they run with the top six they have now and see where it gets them

Oilman said...

I had a great post about how the Avs weren't really contenders without Roy and haven't been since and that the Wings have been consistently good for like 15 years now, and that even with his record and three cups (and winning seasons in Long Island and St. Louis) that Osgood should have the better shot at the HOF than say Curtis Joseph - but if one of those guys gets in it's likely Joseph - and that's a shame.....but somehow it got lot in cyberspace.

Black Dog said...

oilman - you should read the comment thread a couple below regarding Joseph

I don't think he should be in the HHOF. I don't think Osgood should either, to be honest. I think he's very good but doesn't pass the smell test to me.

Oilman said...

bd - I don't think either should get in - but if you took their names and teams off and just looked at regular season and playoff numbers, awards, cups, etc - the case for Osgood would be pretty strong - he just doesn't get much credit for the numbers is his wins totals.

Mr DeBakey said...

You must remember that Brownlee [and to a lesser extant Stauffer] was complaining about Pitkanen before he even arrived.
They don’t like him.
Stauffer complains that he’s not tough enough,
and they both make references to how bad he is in the dressing room.
On the other MacT & Lowe seem to like him, or at least his ability.
The question is the contract.

The bad contracts in the bottom 6 – Pisani, Torres, Stoll, Moreau.
In the two seasons since those contracts were signed,
How many games have had all 4 dressed?
How about 3 at once?
There's been a lot of veteran contract sitting in the pressbox since G7.

Upgrading the top 6 on the cheap – Buffalo [Kevin’s friends] have three pretty decent forwards one year away from UFA
– Afinogenov, Kotalik & Connolly.
You’d think that’s at least one too many.
All 3 have strengths and weaknesses, reasonable salaries.
Could one of them be obtained for Torres or Stoll?

I tell ya, if I’m Howsen I’m phoning everyday about Connolly.

spOILer said...

Cogliano played just about the softest minutes of any forward not named Curtis or Zach last year. He also can't win a face-off.

There is NO way he's our 3C next year playing the 2nd hardest minutes in a shutdown role. I can't believe the number of people that actually suggest this scenario.

And there's likely no way he'll ever be a #1 centre.

Jeff Carter can be had for cheap because of Philly cap issues (if they're keeping Gagne). He CAN be a #1 centre in 3-4 years. He adds size and toughness.

That's my primary target, and it shouldn't take much more than Grebs to get it done, b/c they can't accept salary.

So say Grebs and Cogliano, I'd likely be asking for a pick back.

Unfortunately, that does nothing to resolve the bottom 6 forward logjam. We would be looking at not signing GlenX and Reasoner, using Moreau as the 4LW (migod), and Pouliot as the 13th warrior.

What a waste of Brodziak's talents that would be. I'd rather see Schremp there than Moreau if GlenX is gone, and save a million bucks.

Sign GlenX 1 yr 1.3M, trade Torres for a 2008 2nd rounder (sad, but what can you do), and do the Philly trade above...



Thats a pretty good line-up, especially up the middle.

Maybe add a depth $1M RH Dman, and bring Petry out of college into the AHL in case Gilbert goes down to injury next yr (they're both RH shots).

I'd prefer to see Grebs stay, b/c he's a better puck-mover than Smid, but he'd be more attractive to Philly. And with Smid we retain some size and physicality.

Jonathan said...

Cogliano played just about the softest minutes of any forward not named Curtis or Zach last year. He also can't win a face-off.

There is NO way he's our 3C next year playing the 2nd hardest minutes in a shutdown role. I can't believe the number of people that actually suggest this scenario.

I've suggested it in the past, although I've changed my mind since. It isn't as unreasonable as suggesting Kyle Brodziak, though, a guy who played marginally more difficult minutes, but unlike Cogliano was outscored at a tremendous pace.

Bruce said...

idiots like Kypreos will continue to say shit like "come on, Osgood? I could play goal for the wings and win the cup"


But its not like back in the day when you had Roy, Belfour, Richter, Fuhr, Billy Smith - know what I'm saying? You can get by with a good goaltender these days, you no longer need a great one.

Come on, Billy Smith? I could've played goal for those Islanders and won the Cup. :D

No, you don't need a great goaltender to win the Cup, you merely need a good one who's PLAYING great. See: Osgood, Giguere, Ward, Khabibulin ...

Black Dog said...

spoiler - all about the future though, right? Absolutely right that Cogs takes a beating playing tough minutes although if he plays with Torres and Pisani things might be ok

Gagner will be the #2 centre, I think, and Cogs is no #1 so I'm thinking that's where they slot him unless the plan is to have Gagner on the wing.

If Cogliano is going to be in that role they have to put him in it now and see if he can handle it. He won't do well this year but the plan is for 2010-2012 playoffs, imo.

I like that lineup though.

PDO said...

No way CuJo has a shot at the HHOF... there's just going to be too many players ahead of him.

I mean, CuJo retires, sure...

Then you've got:

Hasek, Forsberg for sure. Chelios could very well round that out.

Then, within the next 3 years, you'll have all of: Shanahan, Sakic, Roberts, Lidstrom, Selanne, Niedermayer, Horse Face, Modano, Zubov, Fedorov and Kovalev retiring. I'm not saying all those guys are hall bound, but they all certainly had more impressive careers than Joseph.

And, of course, there's always Anderson.

Black Dog said...

Horse Face??

pdo - don't underestimate the value of playing for the Leafs in this argument. How many guys who played for those sixties' teams are in the HOF? Isn't it over ten or something fucking ridiculous like that.

DICK DUFF!?!?! fer chrissakes!

PDO said...

True enough. I don't wanna bring Pisani up, but I kinda have to bring Pisani up because that's all Leaf land right there, and it still pisses me off.

That said, have you taken a look at Brind'Amours career numbers? He's never been a dominant player (best year was 93-94, where he had 35 goals and 97 points), but given his conditioning and the fact that he has 3 years left on a deal, and he was the C on a cup winning team, I'd be pretty surprised if he doesn't make it.

I'd say he's pretty much a lock to go 70-21-30 (GP-G-A) the rest of the way, and 3 more seasons would put him at:

1534 GP (11th), 500 goals (40th), 777 assists (32nd) and 1277 points (33rd).

That does it, doesn't it? That has him ahead of guys like Ratelle, Stastny, Beliveau, Clarke....

Black Dog said...

Hmm, I have an issue with comparing guys from this era to guys from past eras with the big pictures stats - its like baseball, hitting 500 homers isn't what I used to be.

To me Brindamour is and has been a very good player for a long time and good for him. Might be enough to get him in but the HHOF is a joke as far as I am concerned. Too easy to get in. I certainly would never think of Rod as one of the all time greats.

Anonymous said...

No need to get rid of Roli's contract. The backup job is JDD's to lose - if he is incredibly stupid and comes to camp unprepared, he will be waived at the beginning of the season. If not, Roli will get waived and someone will claim him on re-entry. The Oilers will only be on the hook for half of Roli's contract. See Bryzgalov, Ilya.

Lowe's discussions in the public about this serve to keep JDD motivated and alert the other interested parties about the availability of a solid backup goalie at reduced prices.