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Oilers Goaltending Situation 2004-05

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01-07-2004, 11:00 AM
  #1
Slats432
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Oilers Goaltending Situation 2004-05

I think the Oilers are in an interesting predicament. The questionable play of Tommy Salo, the good, but not spectacular play of Ty Conklin, and the development of Jeff Deslauriers.

Let's say a CBA deal comes to pass.

Here are the scenerios....no one will trade for Tommy right now so...

A-Take the option on Tommy and keep him for one more year.
B-Decline the option and see if Tommy will sign for less.
C-Decline the option and cut Tommy loose.

If you choose option C then you have one more choice to make...

A-Give Ty the reins and hope for the best.(Valiquette is your back up.)
B-Trade for a decent starter in the soft goalie market...Biron, Boucher, Johnson, Hurme, and several others could be had I would think.

JDD isn't ready for prime next year, he would need at least one AHL season to be ready.

My opinion is cut him loose. I don't see him signing extremely cheap. I would find me a young goalie and save myself the $3 million dollars for next season.

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01-07-2004, 11:08 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
I think the Oilers are in an interesting predicament. The questionable play of Tommy Salo, the good, but not spectacular play of Ty Conklin, and the development of Jeff Deslauriers.

Let's say a CBA deal comes to pass.

Here are the scenerios....no one will trade for Tommy right now so...

A-Take the option on Tommy and keep him for one more year.
B-Decline the option and see if Tommy will sign for less.
C-Decline the option and cut Tommy loose.

If you choose option C then you have one more choice to make...

A-Give Ty the reins and hope for the best.(Valiquette is your back up.)
B-Trade for a decent starter in the soft goalie market...Biron, Boucher, Johnson, Hurme, and several others could be had I would think.

JDD isn't ready for prime next year, he would need at least one AHL season to be ready.

My opinion is cut him loose. I don't see him signing extremely cheap. I would find me a young goalie and save myself the $3 million dollars for next season.
I think the Oilers have already resigned themselves to riding Tommy for the rest of this year, then giving him the royal sendoff in the summer. Even if he somehow found his 00/01 form, he makes too much money for what he brings to the table. Then I go with option B and try to get a half decent 'name' guy like a Biron or Hurme and platoon them with Conklin or Valiquette. That should buy a year or two to make a decision on JDD. IMO he's going to be the Oilers' starting goalie within 2 to 3 years tops...I just don't know how good.

We would lose little if anything on the goaltending front, plus have a million or two to throw around at other deficiencies.

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Old
01-07-2004, 11:09 AM
  #3
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I was just commenting on the weak goaltending depth for the Oilers at the moment, and others have also talked about a 'bridge' goalie that could handle the #1 duties for a couple of years until JDD is ready to take over. As you mentioned, it'll be at least two years before he'd even be ready to be a backup.

I doubt there's any way the Oilers pick up the option on Salo next year, as most people would agree.

Trying to sign him for less is a far more likely option IF his play continues to improve over the next few months, though. I expect if they think he can keep playing well into next year (if there is one) that they'd rather have that consistency in net - better the devil you know than the one you don't. I guess it'd be up to Tommy to decide how much of a pay cut he'd take now to stick with the team another year or two.

But cutting him loose and getting a Hurme-like guy for a couple of years isn't necessarily a bad option either...or else getting someone in a trade (Buffalo?) who's more ready to step in right away.

Conklin sticks as the backup to whoever, JDD plays in the AHL for a year or two, and away we go!

I suppose it's possible to draft another goalie or two in case JDD doesn't pan out, though, as it looks like nearly all our goaltending hopes are resting on his shoulders at the moment...

Bart

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01-07-2004, 11:13 AM
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salo's option would have to be exercised by June 30th at the latest, the CBA won't be agreed to at that point.

If you exercise the option (it might even be a 2 year, not a 1 year option, I forget), even if Salo has a resurgence, you risk owing him 3.9 mil for not the 04/05 year, but potentially the 05/6 year if all of next year is wiped out. Anyone really want to take the bet that Salo will improve on what he is now in 2 seasons? Sure it could happen, but I wouldn't be too excited to take that chance.

Exercising the option would be, by far, the worst move Lowe has made, and should without a doubt never happen. Even if you want the guy back (why though?) I can't see any way he'd get more than 2 mil next year, nevermind the 4.1 his option is for.

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01-07-2004, 11:32 AM
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The Stars just waived Ron Tugnutt?

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01-07-2004, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilerrick
The Stars just waived Ron Tugnutt?
And Oulette and Blackburn are both in the AHL at the moment. It seems like this is a bad time to be a goalie. I'm certain the Oilers will thank Tommy for his time and go shopping as the season winds down. Conklin is an average backup for a middle of the pack team.

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01-07-2004, 11:55 AM
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I would cut him lose for sure; and not just because of his salary or performance. Next year, we will also have another hole to fill (I really doubt Oates sticks around for another year). I say cut him lose and use the money for a centre.

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01-07-2004, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
B-Trade for a decent starter in the soft goalie market...Biron, Boucher, Johnson, Hurme, and several others could be had I would think.
I could live with any of these guys (maybe add Prusek to the list, as he's standing in Emery's way in Ottawa) for a year or two while we wait and see if/when JDD emerges.

But no way Salo should be optioned for next year.

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01-07-2004, 12:16 PM
  #9
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for a small market team to have a chance at the cup, you need incredible goaltending ( see buffalo, anaheim, and carolina as examples). This is now the biggest personelle challenge for this org. It seemed like we had a top 5 goalie 2 years ago when we finished 2nd in gaa and lowe was a genius. Now that salo has tailed off, he isn't as smart.

I would like to see lowe go after Miller, Dipietro or Blackburn. All three are in organizations with very clouded goalie situations. Of the three, I think Blackburn is the most likely as it is very hard to break in a goalie in manhattan. There is so much media scrutiny and pressure. If it means trading a top end player or forward prospect, then Lowe should do it.

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01-07-2004, 12:40 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sakich
Of the three, I think Blackburn is the most likely as it is very hard to break in a goalie in manhattan. There is so much media scrutiny and pressure. If it means trading a top end player or forward prospect, then Lowe should do it.
Amen to that.

Much like Woywitka, Lowe has been rumoured to have liked Blackburn since draft day. Personally, I feel that if Semenov keeps it up and Ulanov can play relatively error free, one of Brewer or Smith will be on the move and the Rags could use either of them. I would LOVE to see Blackburn here, split time 60/40 with Conks (more if he plays better).

It also solves the waiver problem as Blackburn is in the AHL and could play there all year next season should there be a lockout.

I, for one, would be giddy if the Oil land him.

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01-07-2004, 01:30 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Bear
I would cut him lose for sure; and not just because of his salary or performance. Next year, we will also have another hole to fill (I really doubt Oates sticks around for another year). I say cut him lose and use the money for a centre.
But what would he do about a goalie? Or did you mean to start Conklin with Valiquette as his backup?

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01-07-2004, 01:35 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoil
And Oulette and Blackburn are both in the AHL at the moment. It seems like this is a bad time to be a goalie. I'm certain the Oilers will thank Tommy for his time and go shopping as the season winds down. Conklin is an average backup for a middle of the pack team.
Blackburn hasn't played this year and won't even return to game action until February at the earliest with nerve damage from weightlifting.

And as for Prusek holding down Emery, the same could be said for Gerber and Bryzgalov in Anaheim.

But for me, I would want someone who has some starting experience. Biron is probably a guy I could live with, Boucher as well would fit in nicely.

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01-07-2004, 02:12 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
I think the Oilers are in an interesting predicament....Let's say a CBA deal comes to pass.
Its not that "interesting" of a predicament because they will obviously let Salo go. I just don't see any controversy.

Well lets say there's a lost season. Then they only have to worry about 2004-05. JDD and Conklin might suffice. Or say they agree to something late and have a shortened season again like in 95. Then Conklin might be alright.

But lets do as you say and assume a new CBA deal is in. We don't know what the market will be like. I would think Lowe is preparing to go into that season trying to pick up the right pieces and using the excess forwards, in part, to land them. Its exactly what I'd do. No point in trying to get guys you need now because with the impending CBA you'll only get 90 cents on every dollar. Just get the best asset you can even if its the 40th winger on your team. After the new CBA there may be luxury taxes or a cap and then you might be able to get 1.25 on the dollar if you have cheaper decent players to part with.

I really think that's the strategy. And in truth I think its the best one. Its not worth making plans now and trying to trade for a goalie immediately.

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01-07-2004, 02:20 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barto
But what would he do about a goalie? Or did you mean to start Conklin with Valiquette as his backup?
My thinking is that they would have to go out and get another guy via trade (like Noronen, Biron, Hurme), or get a UFA goalie (Potvin's contract is up this year, no?, dito for Hackett I believe, Hedberg for sure, Burke for sure, Dafoe I think, Snow I think).

One of those guys could probably do the job.

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01-07-2004, 02:23 PM
  #15
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Nice post, oilswell. You're right, there's really not much controversy about Salo...there's less than a 1% chance that the Oilers would exercise their team option on Salo (or is it less than 0%?), so the only two possibilities left are to sign Salo back for much less, or just cut him loose no matter what. If they can get him cheaply enough, then that's taken care of the 2004-5 season, essentially, if there is one. If he's not cheap enough, they do as you said or *maybe* get a 2-3 year deal on Hurme or whoever to hold the fort until JDD's ready.

I like the idea of stockpiling assets, although it's a little risky not knowing how the new CBA will shake down. Still, it should prove to be an interesting time for Lowe & the Oilers.

Bart

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01-07-2004, 02:24 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Bear
My thinking is that they would have to go out and get another guy via trade (like Noronen, Biron, Hurme), or get a UFA goalie (Potvin's contract is up this year, no?, dito for Hackett I believe, Hedberg for sure, Burke for sure, Dafoe I think, Snow I think).

One of those guys could probably do the job.
That's fine, but where does the money come from to pay one of THOSE guys? I'm just saying that cutting Salo and his roughly-$4 million salary loose is fine to free up money for other things, but it won't be JUST a hot center, as we'd need some of that money to pay for another goalie as well.

I like the idea, though!

Bart

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01-07-2004, 03:31 PM
  #17
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am i the only person on here who thinks that conklin might be able to suffice as a starter next year?? if you look at his stats 2.38 GAA (28th) and .919 save% (19th) he is around the middle of the pack for GAA, and this is on a team that is pretty bad defensively this year, and he is in the top 3rd of the league for save%.....he is also 8-8-3 in the games hes played in, meaning that the team is playing about 500 when he is in the net..... personally i think the oilers should play him in another 15-20 games this season and see how he does, if his stats stay about the same and he continues to win about 50% of the games that he plays in, i figure he has earned at least a shot at being the starter

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01-07-2004, 03:46 PM
  #18
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Tommy Salo is enjoying his last big contract. There is some serious doubt about him, and no matter how well he plays this season, a contract the size and security of the one he signed with Lowe is a distant dream.

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01-07-2004, 08:15 PM
  #19
Slats432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilswell
Its not that "interesting" of a predicament because they will obviously let Salo go. I just don't see any controversy.

Well lets say there's a lost season. Then they only have to worry about 2004-05. JDD and Conklin might suffice. Or say they agree to something late and have a shortened season again like in 95. Then Conklin might be alright.

But lets do as you say and assume a new CBA deal is in. We don't know what the market will be like. I would think Lowe is preparing to go into that season trying to pick up the right pieces and using the excess forwards, in part, to land them. Its exactly what I'd do. No point in trying to get guys you need now because with the impending CBA you'll only get 90 cents on every dollar. Just get the best asset you can even if its the 40th winger on your team. After the new CBA there may be luxury taxes or a cap and then you might be able to get 1.25 on the dollar if you have cheaper decent players to part with.

I really think that's the strategy. And in truth I think its the best one. Its not worth making plans now and trying to trade for a goalie immediately.
You have to remember thought that your decision on Salo will likely have to be made before that CBA comes in.

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01-08-2004, 09:44 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
You have to remember thought that your decision on Salo will likely have to be made before that CBA comes in.
Yeah, but IMO the decision was made no later than the end of last season.

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01-08-2004, 10:25 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilswell
Yeah, but IMO the decision was made no later than the end of last season.
You're probably right - his weak season and a couple of bad goals against Dallas in the playoffs probably sealed his fate as far as the Oilers picking up their option for next year, but he didn't help himself with a fairly weak start this season, either.

Slats, the decision is pretty much a no-brainer that they won't pick up the option for next year, so the only decision left is whether or not to try and get Tommy back for a much lower salary or just let him go and not even make him an offer.

I'm not sure I'd go with Conklin as the starter just yet, and I believe the Oilers will give Tommy every chance to work back to his former level (or near enough) to salvage the rest of the season and (hopefully!!) the playoffs again. MacT might be less reluctant to sit Salo in favor of Conklin this year, though, after Ty showed he can do fairly well - at least in short stretches.

Bart

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