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08-28-2004, 04:16 PM
Larry Fisher
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Country: Canada
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I agree no-one is untouchable on the Oilers roster. I feel our strength is our blueline and LW and those would be the assets we could most afford to deal in order for our next #1 center.
The Oilers don't need a young centerman with potential, at least not if it is going to cost us other young talents and/or Eric Brewer. If we are putting Brewer, Smyth, Hemsky and others on the table I want a legitimate #1 center. According to The Hockey News' top 50 NHL players the following are centerman:

1.) Peter Forsberg
6.) Joe Thornton
10.) Joe Sakic
11.) Mario Lemieux
15.) Mats Sundin
18.) Sergei Fedorov
23.) Mike Modano
25.) Brad Richards
27.) Vinny Lecavailer
32.) Keith Premieu
36.) Pavol Demitra
37.) Pavel Datsyuk
40.) Kris Draper
43.) Robert Lang
46.) Patrick Marleau
48.) Jeremy Roenick
***Just to note for fellow Oilers fans = Smyth was the only Oiler ranked and he was 49 so that would indicate how much value our players hold in comparison to these names.

Forsberg = Retiring and/or Untouchable, off the Oilers' realistic wish list.
Thornton = Some might consider him available I do NOT. It would take Smyth, Brewer, Hemsky/Schremp and a 1st or 2nd at least.
Sakic = As close to untouchable as they come. Salary is too hot to handle for Oilers.
Lemieux = Untouchable.
Sundin = Not untouchable but an overpayment would be necessary. Would demand a similar package as Thorton and I don't think he is worth it.
Federov = I think he is an option. On the Oilers board people were hinting that Anahiem would be willing to heat a decent portion of salary bringing it down to say $13 million/3 years and that he would only cost something along the lines of Stoll and Rita.
I disagree and think the Ducks would demand a lot more but he is not untouchable and KLO should inquire about his services at a reduced cost. Offer up Hemsky/Torres (Ducks choice), Smith/Staios (Oilers choice) and a 2nd. If Coates or whoeever they name the full-time GM takes the proposal I think we both walk away happy.
Modano = One of my favourite players in the league. Coming off an off-year, Modano might be available for the right price but would he accept a trade to the Oilers and would the Stars send their franchise player to their biggest rival come playoff time? Would Oiler fans send Brewer, Hemsky and our 1st in '05 for Mike?
Richards = Wanted him or Gagne last summer when I saw their value as similar. Winning the Conn Smythe has inflated Richards stock, GMs try to Buy Low Sell High or at least KLO does. Richards is at his High now and although I wouldn't go as far as to call him untouchable I would call it highly unlikely he is moved unless for a drastic overpayment.
Lecavalier = Vinny and Torts have seemed to burry the hatchet on whatever personal and hockey arguments they had this past season. I think he could be had for the right price but the right price could be: Smyth, Smith and a 1st or 2nd in '05. It seems steep but we would be acquiring a true franchise player at a reasonable cost.
Primeau = All heart. MacT would love the guy but so does Bobby Clarke. An overpayment would be necessary and I don't think he fits the bill as a #1 center and he definitely can't skate with the Oilers forwards. Off my list.
Demitra = Never been a big fan of his but the fact he is an UFA makes him an option. No doubt KLO has gave his agent at least a one ringer to quiz him about $$$. He will cost more than Nedved and I don't Lowe is willing to cough it up.
Datsyuk = I think he is, for some reason, in a similar boat to Richards. Last summer he was my option 3 to target but this summer he seems overrated value wise. Think Hemsky/Semenov and our 1st in '05 as a start. Personally I think that is an overpayment. Horcoff, Semenov and Philly's 3rd in '05 and I am listening if I am KLO but I doubt that proposal presents itself.
Draper = Rich man's Todd Marchant. Definitely not a #1 center or franchise player. I wouldn't overpay for him and he's not on my personal wish list.
Lang = Not sure on his contract but I believe it is around $5/year which is almost too rich for our blood. He would be #3 on my list behind Modano and Lecavalier but Detroit would probably ask for something similar to the packages I proposed for those two players and I think KLO would politely tell Lewis his land-line is "breaking up" :lol !
Marleau = He was my #1 choice not last summer but the summer before after San Jose missed the playoffs and seemed to be in heat. Now with Damphousse and Brown gone the Sharks are lacking at centre and the only way Marleau could be had is: York, Hemsky/Torres (Sharks choice) and Semenov/Lynch (Oilers choice). Would I do it, maybe if the Sharks added a 2nd in '05 or something but it seems a little steep although I see Marleau as the franchise player perhaps best suited to the Oilers all things considered.
Roenick = Undeniably an impact player but his injuries are somewhat scary. If he could be had for Smith, Horcoff and the return of Philly's 3rd in '05 I would be all ears but I doubt that would be enough.

It doesn't look good for the Oilers as far as adressing their NEED to its fullest. We may have to settle for some of the aforementioned options in this thread but I don't think any of them aside from maybe Gomez, Drury and Jokinen actually fill our void in the near future. Bring on a new CBA

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