Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Everyone Out Of The Clown Car

Well Jesus, what can be said about the last couple of days?

The Oilers have gutted their blueline and with Souray out for the year and Smid also looking iffy its safe to say that with that blue and ADD and Dubnyk in between the pipes its looking pretty good for last overall this season. And probably next season is a decent bet as well.

The Staios move was terrific. I didn't think they could get a damn thing for him, figured they'd probably need to sweeten the pot. Instead they got Aaron Johnson and a third round pick.

Good luck Steve. Blood and guts for nine years, he never took a game off and is one of the last of the old warriors left from those underdog clubs. He did a nice job in 2006 and he got rewarded for it. He's got a lot of miles on him and was getting paid too much for a third pairing Dman and he can probably be replaced for less than half the price.

Still with his exit there are only four guys left from 2006 and two more of those will be gone this summer at least and that's a little bit sad.

As for the rest of the moves well its a mess really, nothing less. Moving Lubo hurts. He's probably the Oilers' best player and without him they're going to suck balls even worse which apparently is the plan. Whitney is nowhere near the player that Lubo is and the difference in salary is only 1.6 so its not like they're clearing all of it off of the books. I haven't heard a lot of good about Whitney. Swap the two and the Oilers are worse now and next year. Maybe that's the idea though as I said.

And then there was the Grebs move.

There are two things that frustrate me about this whole mess. First of all is that these clowns have gone and ruined a perfectly good team, taken a quality club that nearly won a Cup and basically destoyed it. The scary thing is that it was unnecessary and unintentional. There's been no plan since June 19, 2006. Veterans shipped out with no replacements signalled a rebuild but instead of going whole hog Lowe blew three picks on Penner and then signed Souray and then traded Greene and Stoll for Lubo and Pitkanen for Cole.

Three perfectly fine young players for two veterans, both who are gone now.

And then on top of all this (we're rebuilding, right?) they go after Heatley in the summer and sign Khabibulin to a longterm deal.

So this is the thing. If you had a plan, because it might be a good idea to have a plan when you're a multimillion dollar business, then you could be getting through this rebuild right now. You'd have dealt Horcoff and Roloson and you never would have signed Penner or Souray or traded for Lubo or Cole and your team would have been lousier these past years, hard to believe I know, but you would have amassed some high picks already and you would have been down the road already instead of basically starting right now.
So that's fucking frustrating. We just went through four shit years where Lowe and Tambellini wanted to have their cake and eat it too and we're no further ahead and now we're REALLY going to rebuild now.

Fuck me.

Which of course makes the whole dumping of salaries absurd as well. These clowns made their bed, their last place against the cap bed, and to solve the problem they're forced to move a defenceman who is 26 and who has some potential, as well as their best defenceman.

As always you can argue piece by piece but the whole body of work stinks and it has for years.

The worst part of it is that I don't trust these dummies to not throw all of their new found cap space away on more stupid moves. I can see it coming.

Final thoughts. I'm glad that it looks like Gilbert is going to stick around. I'd prefer to have him and Lubo but I'm awfully glad the rumours of him being moved have not come to fruition.

I guess Nilsson will get bought out in the summer? Or maybe they'll just have him and POS play out the string. And what of Moreau? Imagine that nobody wanted him. What a wake up call. And tonight he's out, I presume he's a HS. Brutal. Wonder if they will buy him out or find someone who will take him.

Finally missed in all of this mess is the fact that Fernando Pisani is likely going to finish his career where he started it. I think San Fernando hangs them up this summer. I can't see him catching on anywhere with his health issues and those same problems may just tell him its time anyways. He's done and its sad but if he's the first Oiler of note (Scott Reynolds grinds his teeth ;) ) to play his entire career in Edmonton well then that's saying something.


kanadienkyle said...

I can't bear to watch Oilers' hockey! just yet. Was thecaptainmoreau really a healthy scratch?

Do they know who they are dealing with?

Mr DeBakey said...

I haven't heard a lot of good about Whitney

I like Gilbert Gilbert as a D-man.
And, the Greatest GM in the History of Hockey chose Whitney over Gilbert for the Olympics.
That makes Whitney OK in my books.

And then there was the Grebs move

Try this one on,
I think there is a Part II to the Nashville trade.
With all the teams looking for D-men, there had to be a better offer than a 2nd.
Maybe someone else comes back for a late round pick.
Maybe Grebs does.
Maybe I'm a dope.
But, that's what I believe.

Olivier said...

What I find unbeleivable is, they are, well, were a cap team.

Here in Montreal, everyone's wailing about how it's impossible for the habs to rebuild because, as a big market team, they always spend to the cap.

That's the stunning aspect with the Oilers: they are a cap team.

To quote that guy in "A history of violence": "How do you fuck this up!?"

PDO said...

The plan is to suck more than Carrie Underwood did the past 5 years and hope it pays off like it did for her, while not getting addicted to cocaine like Britney did.

Given Lowe's already had the media to his place to ask if really was him, I'm guessing we go down the second route.


Black Dog said...

kyle - no word on if he was a HS or not in the papers, I would guess he was though

Mr D. - we can hope on Grebs but I'm not holding out much hope, I'll bet that he blossoms there though

as for Whitney he's not a finished product yet but he's not far off; lets hope he has another level to get to, if he does then its a better deal obviously

Black Dog said...

PDO - yeah that's the worst part. If they had decided to burn it after Smyth was sent out we'd still have Stoll/Greene/Pitkanen and the Penner picks and they would have had higher picks the last number of years. Instead we got four years of mush and now we rebuild.

Olivier - it boggles the mind, its the Rangers all over again, but worse

Ribs said...

I liked Whitney when he was with the Pens until he hurt his foot. He's never been the same player since that injury. Hopefully he comes around?

Ribs said...

Oh yea, Quinn explained that Moreau was out with his buggery neck in the post game audio. Comrie scratched due to numbers (new guy).

Black Dog said...

Ribs - was thinking that might be it for Moreau

Whitney isn't shit and the possibilities are there. here's hoping. That's all we have left.

Schitzo said...

How could you forget lifelong Oiler Paul Comrie? Jerk.

Darren said...

Get out of the Clown Car? Are you kidding me?? Noone is driving and we are still going in circles!


MikeP said...

No way I retire this summer if I'm Pisani. I think if he finishes the stretch this year, he's still short to get his pension. Not much, but no pension is no pension. I'd sign for league minimum if that's what it took to get in enough more games to get that pension. Lord knows he's likely paid enough into it.

Black Dog said...

MikeP - someone looked it up and he has enough to get his pension now. I think the rules are different in the new CBA. Anyways he is ok.

Thing is, decision is probably made for him. Nobody came calling for him at the deadline and I don't think the Oilers will bring him back. I think he's done.

Schitzo said...

If he is done, I hope the organization appoints him Vice President of Teaching Kids Smarts and Work Ethic

Black Dog said...

Yeah Schitzo if these kids had half of his smarts, persistence and willingness to do the little things it would be a lot brighter present and future. Not sexy enough I guess.

Baroque said...

Maybe they could give Pisani a position in player development. It seems that it would be a job he might enjoy, helping the young kids in the minors to learn how to improve and be professionals.

(That is the job the Red Wings gave Jiri Fisher after his heart attack, and he really enjoys seeing the young kids play and talking to them and helping them understand what is expected of them. Pisani is a smart, personable guy, and that might be a good fit for him - if he's interested, that is.)

Bruce said...

Baroque: Funny you should mention Jiri Fischer just now, I happened to catch an interview he did on an Oil Kings broadcast just a few days ago. Sounded like a man happy in his work, even if new plans needed to be made for him :) after the sudden end of his career. Fortunately he was granted a new life, almost literally, in the game. Sounded like a very useful role, and one he understands pretty well.

He's got a lot of miles on him and was getting paid too much for a third pairing Dman and he can probably be replaced for less than half the price.

Well he literally got replaced for a fifth of the price. Staios $2.7 MM, Johnson $0.54 MM. Of course it was next year's hit that we were really avoiding there, but I wouldn't have been unhappy if Johnson had come with a year left on his pact (as Jones did), as he's a pretty intriguing player in a bit part sort of way.

Aaron Johnson caught lightning in a bottle for half a season last year, riding an amazing PDO # and a pretty deep team in Chicago to a superb +19 in just 38 GP. Couldn't quite win a job even at that, as that Hjalmarsson guy came along and Johnson was bottom of the pecking order. But surely he had to been good as well as lucky to get to +19? Had real nice numbers on the PK on top of that.

Put another way, anybody good enough to almost make Chicago is definitely good enough to make the Oilers. They're leagues apart as was amply demonstrated yet again on Weds night. Every Hawks-Oilers game for the last two years has been like that, I've seen two of them live and the outcome was never in doubt even when the Oil got a fluke 1-0 lead in one of them.

Back to Johnson, he's +19 on his career covering 206 games meaning he's broken even everywhere else, mostly on shitty teams in CBJ, NYI, and Calgary. :) Plays 12-15 minutes a night, usually a third to a half of the games, a seventh defenceman if ever I've seen one. But one that doesn't fucking kill you when you have to put him in there.

Let's just say it's not hard to envision him being a cut or several above Jason Strudwick, the long-in-the-tooth "7th" D who is on course for career highs in both GP and TOI/G, a rare feat at his age and a sure sign of a team in serious trouble. As befitting a man of his lack-of-talent, Struds is comfortably into the double digits on the minus side of the scorecard, for the fifth time in his career.

Johnson makes less than Strudwick ($0.7)and surely could be re-signed for Strudwick money at most. IF he makes a favourable impression that is, which he should be extremely motivated to do.

He'll get lots of opportunity. For now he replaces not Strudwick, but Staios. As I see it, he instantly slides into the Top 4, right behind Strudwick (shudder) on the depth chart. Unless Quinn chooses to ride Chorney I suppose. Still, Johnson will get a regular shift for 19 games and by then we should know what we've got. A nice bonus in a deal where I thought we might actually have to give up a pick, instead got a third rounder and a cheap defender with 200 games under his belt. There is nothing to not like about that trade, it is a Beauty given the circumstances.

I'll miss Steady Steve, but not his contract. And isn't that the way of it in the cap era?

MikeP said...

Pat, good, I'm glad to hear it. I still don't retire if I'm San Fernando until I know that nobody even wants me for a league minimum next year, although I might draw the line at a two-way. But I'm stubborn that way, as I suspect a lot of NHL players are. :)

On the other hand, maybe he retires gratefully with what's left of his lower digestive tract. If so, he's definitely earned it.

Baroque said...

Jiri Fischer is doing great. He loves his new job, and enjoys the fact that he can actually watch young players grow after the management has shaken their hands at the draft and has moved on to the next pick. He skates frequently in charity games and the drills in prospect camps, and can work out and stay in good shape - he just can't exercise at the level required of an NHL player. He also has the time to be very involved with his charity efforts involving getting more defibrillators in schools and public places, since we are realizing that a lot more people have heart problems that even imagined before we had the technology and knowledge to determine it.

The son of one of my coworkers just passed away because of a heart attack - at just 44 years old. The only sign of bad health he had was a heart murmur, and a lot of people live with that their entire lives. The more medicine finds out about how many things can go wrong, the more fragile life seems (and that isn't even counting how breathtakingly unlikely any particular life form is to evolve out of all the potential options available). Fascinating, but also a little spooky, like an unexpected earthquake in an area far from a tectonic plate boundary.

He also realizes that nothing in hockey is guaranteed, and if his playing career has continued he might not be playing right now because of injuries ending his career early anyway. He's very lucky to have found a job in hockey that he enjoys, is good at, and can do for a long time if he chooses - and the man knows it.

Quite a change from the situation that would have happened if there wasn't a defibrillator close at hand and the team doctor didn't have a seat right behind the bench. At a practice, or at his home, or at a visiting game - maybe even on the opposite end of the rink instead of right on the bench - and he would have been dead.

I'd rather see him on the ice playing defense at the age of just 30, as I'm sure he would be too, but it didn't quite work out.

Bruce said...

At a practice, or at his home, or at a visiting game - maybe even on the opposite end of the rink instead of right on the bench - and he would have been dead.

... or in the KHL.

Thanks, Baroque. I sure did enjoy that interview, buddy was dealt a cruel blow but he sounded a lot more happy than bitter as some might be. I guess when you come that close, every day you get out of bed is a good day.

Schitzo said...

I admire anyone who's trying to make defibrilators more common. My grandpa had a heart attack at a Kelowna Rockets game and the medical staff had a defib on hand. We were told that it was literally the only place in the city (besides a hopsital) where he could have had that heart attack and survived long enough for the ambulance to arrive.

uni said...

That Cherapanov situation gets me everytime. Such a waste and the kid had so much potential. With all the millions of dollars tossed around in that league you'd think they'd make a relatively small investment is having the medical staff and equipment on site to protect their most valuable assets.

I always wondered what happened to Fischer and I'm glad he landed on his feet. I just wish that Cherapanov's story ended as well.

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