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12-21-2003, 06:41 AM
  #1
Lowetide
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A few things.

Georges Laraque- I think the next time a team calls and wants to overpay for him, Lowe will take it. Last night's effort was another tease, but BG has had YEARS to move off that 4line 9 minutes a night gig. 377 NHL games, almost 5 full seasons. He's an outstanding fighter, but the other night when Chimera had to come across the ice to do BG's job was just shameful.

Scott Ferguson Love his effort, but at some point the Oilers have to acknowledge skill and give Bergeron and Semenov full time gigs. He's played 182 NHL games, and based on his skill level and how long it took him to get a regular job, Ferguson can declare victory if his big league career ends tomorrow.

The 2002 Draft Remember when it was termed a "weak draft"? Well, so far, Jarret Stoll has already played in the NHL, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers is the team's top prospect, Niinimaki is one of the team's best hopes at center, and Matt Greene, Brock Radunske, Ivan Kolstov, Jonas Almtorp, Glenn Fisher, Dwight Helminen and Fredrik Johansson are all moving forward nicely. Johansson is playing this morning for Team Sweden in a warm up game for the WJC against Canada. He made an all world pass earlier in the game.

Jani Rita Further to the post yesterday, one of the things I wonder about is Rita's status after this season. This is the final season of his entry level contract, right? So wouldn't it be a good idea to see if he can play in the NHL? As it stands now, the Oilers still control the player, but after this season Rita can go back to Finland and play, possibly hoping for his rights to be traded by the Oilers.

Why would he sign another two way contract with this team? My guess is he wouldn't.

The current team I still like this bunch. Salo's falloff has been a big story this season, and Comrie's situation has also had an impact. Reasoner's injury has been huge, as others have mentioned.

I wonder how deep they'd go at the deadline if they're out of it? Would they deal Smith? Yeah, I think they would if only because of his contract status and history. Smyth? Possibly, although the return would need to be pretty large.

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12-21-2003, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Georges Laraque- I think the next time a team calls and wants to overpay for him, Lowe will take it. Last night's effort was another tease, but BG has had YEARS to move off that 4line 9 minutes a night gig. 377 NHL games, almost 5 full seasons. He's an outstanding fighter, but the other night when Chimera had to come across the ice to do BG's job was just shameful.

Scott Ferguson Love his effort, but at some point the Oilers have to acknowledge skill and give Bergeron and Semenov full time gigs. He's played 182 NHL games, and based on his skill level and how long it took him to get a regular job, Ferguson can declare victory if his big league career ends tomorrow.

The 2002 Draft Remember when it was termed a "weak draft"? Well, so far, Jarret Stoll has already played in the NHL, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers is the team's top prospect, Niinimaki is one of the team's best hopes at center, and Matt Greene, Brock Radunske, Ivan Kolstov, Jonas Almtorp, Glenn Fisher, Dwight Helminen and Fredrik Johansson are all moving forward nicely. Johansson is playing this morning for Team Sweden in a warm up game for the WJC against Canada. He made an all world pass earlier in the game.

Jani Rita Further to the post yesterday, one of the things I wonder about is Rita's status after this season. This is the final season of his entry level contract, right? So wouldn't it be a good idea to see if he can play in the NHL? As it stands now, the Oilers still control the player, but after this season Rita can go back to Finland and play, possibly hoping for his rights to be traded by the Oilers.

Why would he sign another two way contract with this team? My guess is he wouldn't.

The current team I still like this bunch. Salo's falloff has been a big story this season, and Comrie's situation has also had an impact. Reasoner's injury has been huge, as others have mentioned.

I wonder how deep they'd go at the deadline if they're out of it? Would they deal Smith? Yeah, I think they would if only because of his contract status and history. Smyth? Possibly, although the return would need to be pretty large.
I was fuming when BG just skated off as chimera was forced to do his job. BG does nothing...nothing...out there on the ice (aside from the 5-10 games a year he shows up) that should get him so much credit with management and the coaching staff. He's either an enforcer who isn't dirty, doesn't hit all that well, doesn't stick up for his teammates aside from pre-scripted scraps, and doesn't instill any kind of fear in the other team...or a big scorer who doesn't score, produce offensively, or possess good hands. Either way, signing him to that three year deal while we have talented winger's up the ying-yang was a mistake. Enforcer's grow on trees, and BG has done nothing in my mind to warrant the free ride he gets.

Rita should be given a shot. Management took a huge leap of faith with hemsky and it turned out all right. Ditto for torres. I think Rita is next. It's put up or shut up time for management, because you can only do this so long to a prospect. Either they give rita an everyday role for 20-30 games to see what he can do, or they release him. But keeping him in the minors to fume about being passed up by "harder working" players does not help him or the oilers. Rita has talent, and finally he has produced in the AHL to back up that talent. He's done his part...will Lowe do his?

As for what this team will do at the deadline, I can't say. If we reel off ten out of 13 victories or something like that, we may be adding and not substracting at the deadline. I know that seems like a pipe dream at this point, but there's still a lot of hockey to play. I said this last night and I'll say it again...we have more talent on this team than at any point in the last 2-3 years. It's just a matter of playing a full 60 minutes every night...that and finding a defense that doesn't cough the puck up and goaltending that keeps us in games. If we are out of it at the deadline, I'd expect smith, cross, laraque, and perhaps even moreau to be available. Smyth I doubt, but Lowe does do odd things at deadlines.

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12-21-2003, 08:12 AM
  #3
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i disagree mamett on one thing, Smyth will be made available at the trade deadline if we're out of it along with Oates.

What we'll get with them two plus Smith, Salo, Staios, Cross and Laraque going out? A lot of picks and prospects. I know it seems like a destruction and a strip but remember there's possibly no hockey next year and so why not add more youth as those players may not play in two years time and the oilers cannot afford to lose assets for nothing

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12-21-2003, 08:57 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Georges Laraque- I think the next time a team calls and wants to overpay for him, Lowe will take it. Last night's effort was another tease, but BG has had YEARS to move off that 4line 9 minutes a night gig. 377 NHL games, almost 5 full seasons. He's an outstanding fighter, but the other night when Chimera had to come across the ice to do BG's job was just shameful.
Name one team out there that wants Laraque when he's got around $7 million left on his contract? Maybe a team like the Rags or the Flyers would pick him up, but I doubt any more than a pick will be the return.

Quote:
Scott Ferguson Love his effort, but at some point the Oilers have to acknowledge skill and give Bergeron and Semenov full time gigs. He's played 182 NHL games, and based on his skill level and how long it took him to get a regular job, Ferguson can declare victory if his big league career ends tomorrow.
Agreed, though no offense, sometimes I wonder if Bergeron has enough size to be considered a NHL regular either. I feel Bergeron will be a stop-gap guy until Woywitka and/or Lynch (or others) come along.

Quote:
The 2002 Draft Remember when it was termed a "weak draft"? Well, so far, Jarret Stoll has already played in the NHL, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers is the team's top prospect, Niinimaki is one of the team's best hopes at center, and Matt Greene, Brock Radunske, Ivan Kolstov, Jonas Almtorp, Glenn Fisher, Dwight Helminen and Fredrik Johansson are all moving forward nicely. Johansson is playing this morning for Team Sweden in a warm up game for the WJC against Canada. He made an all world pass earlier in the game.
Stoll looks okay, but I saw Koltsov on the Russian Selects tournaments, and he was one of the worst players on the ice. I dunno if that's the norm for him, but I don't think you could say he's 'moving forwards nicely'.

Quote:
Jani Rita Further to the post yesterday, one of the things I wonder about is Rita's status after this season. This is the final season of his entry level contract, right? So wouldn't it be a good idea to see if he can play in the NHL? As it stands now, the Oilers still control the player, but after this season Rita can go back to Finland and play, possibly hoping for his rights to be traded by the Oilers.
I've said this many times before - Rita's game just isn't suited to the NHL. He isn't able to think the game at higher speeds. He's a good AHL'er and I suspect he'll be good when he goes to a European league too. But I just do not see NHL 'thinking' in him at all.

Quote:
Why would he sign another two way contract with this team? My guess is he wouldn't.
Right, he probobly would get a better offer in the SEL or a Finnish or Russian league.

Quote:
The current team I still like this bunch. Salo's falloff has been a big story this season, and Comrie's situation has also had an impact. Reasoner's injury has been huge, as others have mentioned.

I wonder how deep they'd go at the deadline if they're out of it? Would they deal Smith? Yeah, I think they would if only because of his contract status and history. Smyth? Possibly, although the return would need to be pretty large.
Liking them is all well and good, but I'm sure even you realize this team isn't very good right now. I think with a good goaltender, the Oilers could still make the playoffs, but it's looking very bleak. Without a new goaltender, this season is a write-off it seems.

Yes, they'd deal Smith. I'm sure the Devils would like to re-aquire him at the deadline.

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12-21-2003, 09:30 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Name one team out there that wants Laraque when he's got around $7 million left on his contract? Maybe a team like the Rags or the Flyers would pick him up, but I doubt any more than a pick will be the return.
I think the contract was 3 years at 4.1 million, but your information might be better than mine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Agreed, though no offense, sometimes I wonder if Bergeron has enough size to be considered a NHL regular either. I feel Bergeron will be a stop-gap guy until Woywitka and/or Lynch (or others) come along.
Absolutely. My point was that we know exactly what Ferguson is, and Bergeron has some upside and imo it's time to see how good this kid can be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Stoll looks okay, but I saw Koltsov on the Russian Selects tournaments, and he was one of the worst players on the ice. I dunno if that's the norm for him, but I don't think you could say he's 'moving forwards nicely'.
Just basing Koltsov's progress on recent reports from Prendergast and Oilers scouts that Guy Flaming has talked to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I've said this many times before - Rita's game just isn't suited to the NHL. He isn't able to think the game at higher speeds. He's a good AHL'er and I suspect he'll be good when he goes to a European league too. But I just do not see NHL 'thinking' in him at all.
I see your point, but imo it's still worth a 20 game trial to see what Rita can do at the NHL level. The Oilers have given Laraque 377 games to prove himself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Liking them is all well and good, but I'm sure even you realize this team isn't very good right now.
Mizral, why is it that I always get the feeling you think my opinion has no merit?

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12-21-2003, 09:54 AM
  #6
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Originally Posted by lowetide[B
Scott Ferguson[/B] Love his effort, but at some point the Oilers have to acknowledge skill and give Bergeron and Semenov full time gigs. He's played 182 NHL games, and based on his skill level and how long it took him to get a regular job, Ferguson can declare victory if his big league career ends tomorrow


I think this is why Ulanov is getting a look. In one of the dailies it mentioned that the Oilers are taking a long look and if they like what they see he will be offered a contract. The Oilers are thinking about the veteran aspect IMO as Semenov and Bergeron are so young.

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12-21-2003, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by spaz44
I think this is why Ulanov is getting a look. In one of the dailies it mentioned that the Oilers are taking a long look and if they like what they see he will be offered a contract. The Oilers are thinking about the veteran aspect IMO as Semenov and Bergeron are so young.
Agreed. Defensively, Staios & Brewer are pretty much locks to be here after the deadline, but the rest of it is somewhat up in the air. Jason Smith is having a terrific season, and a guy like Cory Cross has value at the trade deadline for a team looking for depth on the backline.Ulanov is a nice option should they decide to move Smith or Cross.

I don't see them sending Bergeron or Semenov out and bringing up Ulanov, though, although MacT has probably thought of it a time or two.

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12-21-2003, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by lowetide
Agreed. Defensively, Staios & Brewer are pretty much locks to be here after the deadline, but the rest of it is somewhat up in the air. Jason Smith is having a terrific season, and a guy like Cory Cross has value at the trade deadline for a team looking for depth on the backline.Ulanov is a nice option should they decide to move Smith or Cross.

I don't see them sending Bergeron or Semenov out and bringing up Ulanov, though, although MacT has probably thought of it a time or two.
Agreed I think Ulanov would be insurance in case of one of the dman being hurt. I hate the thoughts of Smith being traded because he has been so good this year.

IMO I would keep him. I know he will be a UFA at the end of next season but there is a lot of uncertainty about next year.

Also he may look to sign for less knowing that there may be some uncertainty in his future.

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12-21-2003, 11:12 AM
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Smith has been rock solid this year. Was anyone else loving his battles with bertuzzi last night, cause I know I was. I saw bertuzzi on his ass more times than I ever have before, and I watch a lot of canuck games. That was easily the best moment of the game, seeing bertuzzi just losing it on that one powerplay. I say resign smith if he keeps this up for sure.

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12-21-2003, 11:14 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_Gretzky
Smith has been rock solid this year. Was anyone else loving his battles with bertuzzi last night, cause I know I was. I saw bertuzzi on his ass more times than I ever have before, and I watch a lot of canuck games. That was easily the best moment of the game, seeing bertuzzi just losing it on that one powerplay. I say resign smith if he keeps this up for sure.
Me too. Smith was the one player that was getting under his skin all night long.

Smith is not fun to play against and we need that.

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12-21-2003, 12:04 PM
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My numbers on Laraque were miscalculated. He got a $1.4 per year, 4 year deal I believe (going off memory here). That'd be $6.8 over 4 years, but some is paid already (about 400k or so?). My numbers might be still off by a bit, so if someone can check 'em out, that'd be great. I also might be confusing it with the Moreau contract, I remember they happened around the same time.

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12-21-2003, 12:17 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
My numbers on Laraque were miscalculated. He got a $1.4 per year, 4 year deal I believe (going off memory here). That'd be $6.8 over 4 years, but some is paid already (about 400k or so?). My numbers might be still off by a bit, so if someone can check 'em out, that'd be great. I also might be confusing it with the Moreau contract, I remember they happened around the same time.

1.4 over 4 years is 5.6 million.

The media here in Edmonton reported the deal as a 3 year, 4.1 million dollar contract, but as I said your information may be better than mine.

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12-21-2003, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Georges Laraque- I think the next time a team calls and wants to overpay for him, Lowe will take it. Last night's effort was another tease, but BG has had YEARS to move off that 4line 9 minutes a night gig. 377 NHL games, almost 5 full seasons. He's an outstanding fighter, but the other night when Chimera had to come across the ice to do BG's job was just shameful.
That was unbelievable, having to see that huh? For shame, Georges. He should know his job, and even if he typically isn't the one to start anything, this was a reactionary measure. Chimera was popped by Wiemer when Laraque should have gone right after the guy. I will be disappointed to see him moved, but it looks inevitable with the way he is now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Scott Ferguson Love his effort, but at some point the Oilers have to acknowledge skill and give Bergeron and Semenov full time gigs. He's played 182 NHL games, and based on his skill level and how long it took him to get a regular job, Ferguson can declare victory if his big league career ends tomorrow.
It's too bad, Ferguson was quite a steady 6th guy but his footspeed (or lack thereof) is catching up rapidly. He has been victimized on a few goals now, and this once defensive stalwart is becoming a liability in our end. With Lynch, Woywitka and now even possibly Ulanov looming, not to mention Semenov / Bergeron fighting for ice time as well, I think this spells the end of the line for Ferguson. He's been a good soldier but his time is up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Jani Rita Further to the post yesterday, one of the things I wonder about is Rita's status after this season. This is the final season of his entry level contract, right? So wouldn't it be a good idea to see if he can play in the NHL? As it stands now, the Oilers still control the player, but after this season Rita can go back to Finland and play, possibly hoping for his rights to be traded by the Oilers. Why would he sign another two way contract with this team? My guess is he wouldn't.
Rita is an enigma. He has the skill to be a decent 3rd, possibly even a 2nd line player with good hands and speed and grit. Yet he still hasn't been able to put it on the line when it counts? I am not sold on his ability to make our club, unlike alot of people here. I do agree he needs to be given the chance now, especially with the way some guys are underperforming on the big club. What can it hurt? If Lowe and the scouts do not feel he is ready, then it's probably time to add him in a bigger trade and possibly land a big scorer for us, whether through the draft (i.e. moving up) or for a current NHL roster player (doubt that would happen unless we part with Smyth).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
The current team I still like this bunch. Salo's falloff has been a big story this season, and Comrie's situation has also had an impact. Reasoner's injury has been huge, as others have mentioned. I wonder how deep they'd go at the deadline if they're out of it? Would they deal Smith? Yeah, I think they would if only because of his contract status and history. Smyth? Possibly, although the return would need to be pretty large.
I am not sure what you mean when you refer to Smith's history, lowetide? Bad memory of mine, perhaps I can't remember if he held out or not. I would personally be more inclined to part with the lesser lights on our roster (i.e. Chimera, Laraque, Ferguson) but if it seems we will not make it, then yes I see Lowe moving at least one of the two Smiths/Smyths. What that says to the current roster, I don't know, but it won't be a vote of confidence for making the playoffs in the near future at least. The lineup on paper does look quite decent, but the problem is that they are not putting anything together, and have not for the past 14 games (2 victories in that time, sheesh). Fan pressure most assuredly displaces some pressure on the GM/coaches as well, to do something. That chorus of boos last night was ugly but not undeserved.

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12-21-2003, 12:46 PM
  #14
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Originally Posted by Shizuka
I am not sure what you mean when you refer to Smith's history, lowetide?
The arbitration fiasco I would imagine.

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12-21-2003, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizuka
That was unbelievable, having to see that huh? For shame, Georges. He should know his job, and even if he typically isn't the one to start anything, this was a reactionary measure. Chimera was popped by Wiemer when Laraque should have gone right after the guy. I will be disappointed to see him moved, but it looks inevitable with the way he is now.



It's too bad, Ferguson was quite a steady 6th guy but his footspeed (or lack thereof) is catching up rapidly. He has been victimized on a few goals now, and this once defensive stalwart is becoming a liability in our end. With Lynch, Woywitka and now even possibly Ulanov looming, not to mention Semenov / Bergeron fighting for ice time as well, I think this spells the end of the line for Ferguson. He's been a good soldier but his time is up.



Rita is an enigma. He has the skill to be a decent 3rd, possibly even a 2nd line player with good hands and speed and grit. Yet he still hasn't been able to put it on the line when it counts? I am not sold on his ability to make our club, unlike alot of people here. I do agree he needs to be given the chance now, especially with the way some guys are underperforming on the big club. What can it hurt? If Lowe and the scouts do not feel he is ready, then it's probably time to add him in a bigger trade and possibly land a big scorer for us, whether through the draft (i.e. moving up) or for a current NHL roster player (doubt that would happen unless we part with Smyth).



I am not sure what you mean when you refer to Smith's history, lowetide? Bad memory of mine, perhaps I can't remember if he held out or not. I would personally be more inclined to part with the lesser lights on our roster (i.e. Chimera, Laraque, Ferguson) but if it seems we will not make it, then yes I see Lowe moving at least one of the two Smiths/Smyths. What that says to the current roster, I don't know, but it won't be a vote of confidence for making the playoffs in the near future at least. The lineup on paper does look quite decent, but the problem is that they are not putting anything together, and have not for the past 14 games (2 victories in that time, sheesh). Fan pressure most assuredly displaces some pressure on the GM/coaches as well, to do something. That chorus of boos last night was ugly but not undeserved.
The boos are an embarrasment to the team. How are booing the team helping the team. It doesn't. When the home team gets booed, the visiting team gets a lift and will play better knowing the fans are against the home team. I believe the boos last night were at the refs if I'm not mistaken.

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12-21-2003, 12:55 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by Hemsky83
The boos are an embarrasment to the team. How are booing the team helping the team. It doesn't. When the home team gets booed, the visiting team gets a lift and will play better knowing the fans are against the home team. I believe the boos last night were at the refs if I'm not mistaken.
Nope, we were booing the team. Why? Because they stunk the joint out and it's a fan's job to boo when your team plays like junk, your coach has no clue, and no one looks like they have any idea what they're doing. Cheering something like THAT on woulda been ridiculous.

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12-21-2003, 01:07 PM
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Does anyone else see the similaritys between torres time at the NYI and rita's time in Edm?

Rita toils away in Toronto just like Torres did in Ny. He comes to the oilers and produces well for a rookie. If we could look past Rita's deficeincys and just give the poor kid a shot. The guys in Toronto must look at the oilers team and wish they could come up and put in an honest effort.

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12-21-2003, 03:08 PM
  #18
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Except that torres didn't really produce in NYI, although I dont think he was ever really given much of a chance.

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12-22-2003, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_Gretzky
Except that torres didn't really produce in NYI, although I dont think he was ever really given much of a chance.
Which is the exact point as to why Rita should be given 30 games of top 3 line ice time.

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12-22-2003, 09:35 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I've said this many times before - Rita's game just isn't suited to the NHL. He isn't able to think the game at higher speeds. He's a good AHL'er and I suspect he'll be good when he goes to a European league too. But I just do not see NHL 'thinking' in him at all.
And when exactly have you seen Rita play?

I didn't think so. He actually thinks the game extremely well, and that is what makes him a very effective 2 way player. The only thing that has held him back so far is that he attempts to try and use his talent too much, and doesn't always put in the best effort.

That can be taught, and he is learning it as he has easily been the best player on the Runners for the past month and a bit.

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12-22-2003, 09:50 AM
  #21
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Originally Posted by dawgbone
And when exactly have you seen Rita play?

I didn't think so. He actually thinks the game extremely well, and that is what makes him a very effective 2 way player. The only thing that has held him back so far is that he attempts to try and use his talent too much, and doesn't always put in the best effort.

That can be taught, and he is learning it as he has easily been the best player on the Runners for the past month and a bit.
And in my two training camps watching Rita, he does belong here. More than Pisani, more than Horcoff.

I honestly believe he made the club two years ago. Dan Cleary's one way contract got him sent to the minors. Too bad...

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12-22-2003, 12:35 PM
  #22
Mizral
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Originally Posted by dawgbone
And when exactly have you seen Rita play?
I've seen Rita play about 15 times now. A few games for the Oilers, a bunch of games last year in the AHL season & playoffs, and once so far this year.

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12-22-2003, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mizral
I've seen Rita play about 15 times now. A few games for the Oilers, a bunch of games last year in the AHL season & playoffs, and once so far this year.
Officially that would be 15 times in almost 3 years.

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12-22-2003, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by slats432
And in my two training camps watching Rita, he does belong here. More than Pisani, more than Horcoff.

I honestly believe he made the club two years ago. Dan Cleary's one way contract got him sent to the minors. Too bad...
Yep. I don't know what's not to like about him. There are at least a few players on the roster I'd love for him to replace. The only real time he's been up, he was good. He certainly deserves more chances.

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12-26-2003, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by momentai
Officially that would be 15 times in almost 3 years.
Yep, and a couple in the WJC's before that. I'm pretty familiar with Jani Rita. I imagine most of you guys are too. Clearly the coaching staff is, and they don't think he's good enough to play for the Oilers yet.

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