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Isbister qualified - will he be here next season?

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06-28-2004, 02:36 PM
  #1
mackdogs*
 
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Isbister qualified - will he be here next season?

I noticed in the 'Time will Tell' article today http://www.slam.ca/Slam040628/nhl_edm1-sun.html that it mentions Isbister was qualified:

Brad Isbister - the Oilers have decided to qualify Isbister on last season's salary of $1.925 million rather than let him walk as an unrestricted free agent - by July 1.

Isbister, hobbled by injuries last season, could be trade bait, but Lowe made some room for him on the left side by trading Jason Chimera Saturday, so he could get one more chance.


I saw a number of posters saying that they're pretty sad to see Izzy still with us, I wasn't aware that we qualified him. I was hoping he'd either re-sign at a discounted price or (preferred) be on his way out for a draft pick or a few new rolls of tape. Do you guys think this secures his spot on our roster? I do, since I can't see other teams wanting him at his payroll.

Smyth
Torres
Moreau
Isbister

for the 4 LW's? Assuming both Horcoff and York stay at C. I suppose if Schremp were to claw his way onto the team next year this could cause some shuffle.

Does this mean J. Rita is once again stuck between a rock and a hard place?

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06-28-2004, 02:48 PM
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Well he's stated that he does love playing here in Edmonton. If he agrees to the contract, i wouldn't be too disappointed if he played here next season. I've given up on him being a top 6 forward but he can still be a great contributor in the bottom 6. With the loss of Chimera, i think Brad should stay. I personally would have love to see Chimera stay and Izzy go but oh well.

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06-28-2004, 03:06 PM
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Big T
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I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Isbister goes 20-20-40 next year if he stays injury free. Last season his total season numbers (that is, how many goals he would have scored, etc.. had he played the full 82 game sched) were approx. 16-13-29. Not bad considering the minutes he got, the line shuffling he went thorough, and the number of times he was playing while recovering from yet another relatively minor injury.

Think Moreau #2.

Flame Away!!

T

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06-28-2004, 03:08 PM
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momentai
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If he isn't traded now at that price, my disappointment will know no bounds. He isn't worth that much - not even close. 2 million is too much for a bottom 6 left winger plain and simple. He has to be gone or I'll be very concerned with Kevin Lowe's objectivity here.

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06-28-2004, 03:13 PM
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20+20=40 is a freaking travesty for a guy making 1.95 a year. THAT is what I am dead-set against. For that kind of dough I want to see 28+28=56 kind of numbers AND a mean streak a mile wide.

With Chimera gone Rita may get his roster spot and the 50 games that go with it - which is about where you want a first year guy anyways. So I wouldn't be too sure to say that Rita is gone back to Finland. I think the key will be the kind of deal he signs; if it is like the Torres deal he is here to sink or swim.

Which is all anyone can ask for really.


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06-28-2004, 03:54 PM
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I agree YKOil. Isbister, Smyth, Torres and Moreau all play a physical style that leads to injuries. If each of them misses only 10 games in a season there is at least some luck involved. That gives Rita (or Salmo) 40 games right there so it is too soon to write him off.

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06-28-2004, 04:07 PM
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I was pumped for the Chimera trade actually. everybody knows my stance on Rita, of course, but I, too, believe Izzy could be the next Glen Murray as well.

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06-28-2004, 04:10 PM
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Let's not trade him until Rita makes the team

Lowe made a hockey decision. I don't like Isbisters salary either but Chimera was an expendable forward.

Now Rita has him opening as Lowe certainly will not stay with Isbister at 1.9 if he isn't producing.

Again going with the buy low and sell high trade theory, what would we really get if we trade Isbister now? If he starts producing it is a win-win situation.

Right now all we win is a salary dump.

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06-28-2004, 04:50 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
20+20=40 is a freaking travesty for a guy making 1.95 a year. THAT is what I am dead-set against. For that kind of dough I want to see 28+28=56 kind of numbers AND a mean streak a mile wide.
YKOil
Your unrealistic with your expectations. Look around the league and see what 6'4" wingers who score 20 let alone 28 goals make. I'm not saying Izbister won't be a bust, but it seems to me his upside is 2nd line power forward which is very valuable. I think giving up now on Izz over a couple hundred thousand would be bad asset management and obviously K-Lowe agrees. There has been a bunch of complaining that we have been a mediocre team for a while, well Izzy is the type of player that if he develops that could help change that. IMO

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06-28-2004, 05:35 PM
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Something to keep in mind is that Isbister doesn't need to accept the offer. I'm not saying he'll walk away from it, because if he does it means they can low ball him thereafter. BUT, what if the Oilers are trying to get him signed for a longer term at a little less money, say 2 years at 1.6 per. He might take the security. He'll probably just accept the qualifying offer though. He's still tradable, especially to clubs like Boston that may lose a lot of guys to free agency.

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06-28-2004, 05:46 PM
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With Brownlee writing that Lowe had deal worked out with Florida for the 7th pending other circumstances, I wonder just how close Isbister was from moving on.

Out of all the teams out there, I picture Florida and Keenan taking the longest look at Izzy.

The FLorida organization had an interest in him from before Keenans days and Keenan absolutely loves that type of player that Izzy gets hyped as. After all wasn't he the guy that picked up that underachiever from the Islanders while he was in Vancouver? What was his name again? Ohh yeah Bertuzzi, I know everyone still appreciates the Isbister - Bertuzzi comparisons around here .

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06-28-2004, 06:23 PM
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Does anybody actually realize that we are now paying 5 million dollars to ice a fourth line? With isbister, laraque, and whomever plays center (stoll or reasoner) that's 5 million dollars. Incredible. We have no room for isbister. This is how our LW depth stacks up:

Smyth
Moreau
Torres
Isbister
Rita

Smyth is going nowhere, moreau is firmly entrenched on the third line, so that means its either torres or isbister in the top 6. Torres has proven he can play and has chemistry, and playing him on the fourth line is underusing him. So you're effectively paying brad isbister 2 million dollars without being able to give him a top 6 role even if he earned it (which is highly doubtful, given his pathetic point totals in the last 3 years of his career). Isbister has size, and that's it. If he becomes ethan moreau (good third liner who can give you 30 points a year consistantly) that will be a major turn around in his career. That is how low expectations have gotten for him. And for a team on a budget, I just don't understand this move what so ever. I'm baffled.

And if you switch him to RW, you still have dvorak and hemsky who need/largely deserve spots, not to mention pisani who's a solid grinder. And then you run into laraque on the 4th line again. What this is, folks, is bad management. A player who makes too much, produces precious little, and has lived off of hype he doesn't deserve for far too long. And lowe's bought it. And the worst of it? Isbister doesn't even show intensity on the ice. If he went out and played every shift like it was his last (as bertuzzi does, or moreau does, or smyth does) than he at least could be a difference maker with his physical play. But he doesn't. He floats and floats until boom, he shows up, but then just as quickly, slinks away. Its one thing to pay ethan moreau 1.6 at say, "well look, he plays with a fire that is almost unmatched". At least you can say he earns his paycheck with the skills he has. Isbister, on the other hand, does not. This is poor management people! Poor management.

And I'm not saying isbister is not someone I wouldn't like having, or someone who can't become an ethan moreau type. But not at that salary, and not with our depth. He's 27 people, not 23. It's not like he's not been given chance after chance to breakout.


Last edited by mamettt: 06-28-2004 at 06:46 PM.
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06-28-2004, 06:35 PM
  #13
copperandblue
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I agree wholeheartedly that Isbister is over paid for what he provided last year and I am not sold that we will see much more out of him next year but another consideration when doing a depth chart is that;

Torres will be a sophmore and a sophmore jinx is not out of the question and Rita really hasn't proven anything yet.

Bottom line with a little bad luck Isbister in on the second line by default.

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06-28-2004, 07:11 PM
  #14
Big T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamettt
And I'm not saying isbister is not someone I wouldn't like having, or someone who can't become an ethan moreau type. But not at that salary, and not with our depth. He's 27 people, not 23. It's not like he's not been given chance after chance to breakout.

Hang on a sec folks! I wasn't trying to imply that Isbister is Moreau #2 at best. Not at all. But last year how many people were touting that Moreau should be traded for a bag of pucks or whatever KLowe could possibly get.

All of the sudden Moreau has a career year.

I think that Isbister is due for that career year like Moreau was last year.


T

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06-28-2004, 07:41 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big T
Hang on a sec folks! I wasn't trying to imply that Isbister is Moreau #2 at best. Not at all. But last year how many people were touting that Moreau should be traded for a bag of pucks or whatever KLowe could possibly get.

All of the sudden Moreau has a career year.

I think that Isbister is due for that career year like Moreau was last year.


T
I hope you're right Big T. My gut sure doesn't feel that way but who knows.

I agree with the point made that this just isn't being financially responsible. The oilers are all about the bottom line - doing more with less. Qualifying Isbister doesn't make a lot of sense with that train of thought.

KLo is a betting man, see Dopita and Oates for proof. In this case I think he should have rolled the dice and NOT qualify Isbister. I doubt other teams would offer him much $$, although Montreal picking up Bonk at 3.5+ for a third line center surprised me. We had a chance to:
a) get Brad back at a decent price or
b) pave the road either for Rita or one of Horc or York to go back to the wing by adding another center

I think Isbister will be smart enough to take this $$, he must know he doesn't deserve it. This qualifying ties our hands a bit and I really don't like it.

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06-28-2004, 11:48 PM
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I WAS a big Isbister fan

but the guy is injury prone and when healthy he's not exactly any great shakes, to be honest. Today's Sun listed York as a LW and maybe that's where he goes if Nedved comes back. If Petr does return or another FA takes his place and Reasoner's healthy, we'd have

C- Nedved or New Guy-Horcoff-Reasoner-Stoll
LW - York-Smyth-Torres-Moreau-Isbister
RW - Pisani-BG-Hemsky-Dvorak.

Right there that's 13 guys with Rita being 14. I'm looking forward to seeing how this shakes out.

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06-29-2004, 12:56 AM
  #17
momentai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big T
Hang on a sec folks! I wasn't trying to imply that Isbister is Moreau #2 at best. Not at all. But last year how many people were touting that Moreau should be traded for a bag of pucks or whatever KLowe could possibly get.

All of the sudden Moreau has a career year.

I think that Isbister is due for that career year like Moreau was last year.
However, Moreau has shown flashes of being that kind of player. There were moments either last year or the year before where Speeds fathomed that Moreau could be our top 6 left power forward. It didn't pan out but Moreau certainly raised the bar for himself after that stretch.

At this point, Isbister hasn't had that same stretch. At least Moreau has always shown his heart and defensive ability on the ice... Those were always constants with him - it's just the scoring that didn't materialize. Isbister is working on much less and thusly has the bigger hill to climb here.

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06-30-2004, 03:38 PM
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A little extra to add is that the qualifying offer for Isbister is a 2-way offer because he played less than 60 games this season. Sure he can make 1.95 mil in the bigs but it'll be pennies in the minors. Obviously he'll reject it but qualifying him doesn't really seem that harmful.

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06-30-2004, 03:45 PM
  #19
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I'd like to keep Isbister for another year before letting him go. He had several injuries last season that held him back and hurt his development. When he was on his game, you could see the power forward that he could be. I'd like him to try and keep it more consistent this upcoming season.

If he doesn't work out...no biggie...he can always be sent down or claimed off waivers. He has little trade value now anyways.

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06-30-2004, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USC Trojans
I'd like to keep Isbister for another year before letting him go. He had several injuries last season that held him back and hurt his development. When he was on his game, you could see the power forward that he could be. I'd like him to try and keep it more consistent this upcoming season.

If he doesn't work out...no biggie...he can always be sent down or claimed off waivers. He has little trade value now anyways.
Exactly - the 2-way offer throws the ball totally in Izzy's court. The Oilers HAD to make the offer to keep his rights - but Izzy numbers give him no options really because arb is impossible for him. If Izzy does not budge from $1.95 million then he has to put up awesome numbers in training camp and the first 20 games or he is G-O-N-E. So I really don't understand how this is bad asset management - either Izzy puts up numbers or he is traded or waived for the purposes of sending him to the AHL. Either way we lose his salary. There is little risk involved and the guy is on a very very short leash.

But frankly - the best scenario would be for Izzy to realize that he is just not going to be the next Bertuzzi. I hope he trades salary for security like Moreau did last year and changes his game the way Reasoner did 2 years ago. The thing is - Izzy has to buy into the 2 way role and salary the way Moreau and Reasoner have. In my mind Izzy has always been a replacement for Mike Grier (a big RW who can play a tough game and pop 20 goals) rather than a potential top line Bertuzzi-like player. If Izzy takes on that role then we could safely trade Laraque who is WAY WAY WAY overpaid for his 3 goals per year and staged fights with other goons. Trading Laraque also give the line-up a lot more flexibility on RW because we can play young guys like Hemsky and Rita where they belong rather than on the top lines.

Which brings me to the point - what exactly did Ales Hemsky do last year to have everyone hand him the 2nd line RW job on a platter? Absolutely nothing IMHO - that job gets earned in training camp and Ales does not start at the top of my list. Assuming Nedved gets signed - here are my lines:

Smyth Nedved Dvorak (veteran legit top line)
Torres York Isbister (York has 2 big bodies to support him)
Moreau Reasoner Pisani (all great 5 on 5 players)
Horcoff/Rita Stoll Hemsky/Rita (Stoll and Horcoff are solid and Rita gets a shot)

Rita and Hemsky make the team - but they have to EARN their playing time by developing a 2 way game on the 4th line. Hemsky also gets 2nd unit PP time.

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