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Lowe's options, or Funeral for a Friend.

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Old
01-28-2004, 11:02 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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Lowe's options, or Funeral for a Friend.

I was very interested in Craig MacTavish's post game comments last night, especially his reference to "fresh legs" and new people. His boss (and friend), Kevin Lowe, has to know that Mike York's injury is like an anvil hitting Wile E. Coyote as the Roadrunner speeds by. We can wait for the Acme truck to drive over the coyote too, but we know the score.

So, does Kevin Lowe, a decent man, swallow hard, say the right things and watch his team get their brains beaten in? Or does he do something?

As the team's playoff chances become a distant bell, Lowe is left with four alternatives (imo):

1. fire the coach (not going to happen)

2. bring up some young players and see what they can do & send a message to the current players, (the current solution, unlikely to have a huge effect)

3. make a major "save the season" type deal. (Oilers have some nice things).

4. send some veterans out of town (Salo, Oates, Smyth, Smith).


The only really poor option is #3 imo.

Even if the Oilers continue their free fall, there's lots of things they can take away from the season. The emergence of Torres, Hemsky playing a full season (he's struggling, but surviving), Semenov's play and the rookies Bergeron and Stoll are but a few. Conklin has proven he can play, and some of the veterans (Dvorak especially) have stepped up. York, of course, is the pick of the litter.


But that's my opinion, and the guy whose opinion matters could be thinking the exact opposite.

If the Oilers are going to make a real run at the playoffs, they need help on the PP and at center. There are players who fit one or both descriptions.

Rod Brind'Amour, that kind of player. Zhamnov or Cassells. Those guys.

The Oilers have the assets to get those players. Semenov anyone?

I'm hoping like hell they DON'T make a deal like that, but they have a monstrous hole at center as of today, and a head coach who is having a hard time holding the season together. They've dead ass NEEDED these last few games, the coach has brought out his best speech, and the players have responded with inertia.

What is Kevin Lowe going to do? That's the question, and I doubt Mike Bishai is the answer, either way.

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01-28-2004, 11:14 PM
  #2
speeds
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please, don't make me have to think about the possibility of Lowe doing something monumentally stupid here, like trading Semenov for a quick fix.

the best option is absolutely to reload, to do otherwise is IRRESPONSIBLE management.

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Old
01-29-2004, 12:02 AM
  #3
Master Lok
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We all clamor for change, demanding the firing of the coach, new players brought in, etc. but the reality is that the price will be steep for any new players. I agree, we have a hole at centre. Trading some of our youth for a new player to hopefully step in and save the season, is IMO, not worth it. Steady. Patience. Go with youth and trusted veterans. The Sens were brutal for several years before their slow rise to dominance. We might have to do the same.

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01-29-2004, 12:04 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeds
please, don't make me have to think about the possibility of Lowe doing something monumentally stupid here, like trading Semenov for a quick fix.
Aside from our other thread, we are in totally agreement here. Each individual deal has to be taken on it's own merit.

IMO the first thing that should be done is:

1. Decide on Salo.
2. Offer Smith a reasonable extension.(If it looks bad then he has to be shopped.)
3. Offer up Oates for any takers.
4. Don't freak out over one bad season. Play the kids to see what you have.

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01-29-2004, 12:30 AM
  #5
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i'd like to see the oilers finish low this season for the only reason that they'll be giving their prospects an extra year to develop which is extremely important. (im considering that at least 1/2 a season is lost due to CBA).

id say give it until mid-Feb and see where the team stands, Lowe up until then does nothing and hopefully this team would have made the decision for him (publicly).

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Old
01-29-2004, 12:43 AM
  #6
Game 8
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Good Question Lowtide, here is my two bits.

First I would like to qualify this post with the proviso that if the Oilers win their next two games, it becomes fodder, however if they loose the next two games I do believe it would be in the organizations best interest to call it a season and start making some moves for the future. This is my shot at that plan!

Broken down into three categories.
Tradable (these are players that I feel should be moved, some for nothing, but hey when you do not make the playoffs changes have to be made)
Fulcrum (players I do not believe should be actively shopped, but if the right deal comes up, well stuff changes when you donít make the playoffs)
Keepers (self explanatory, future players for the team)

By position needs and wants
Goal:
Needs, My thoughts are neither Salo nor Conklin are the answer. We need a steady Eddy who can steal some games for us.

Tradable
TOMMY SALO, do not resign him.
TY CONKLIN, maybe another year depending on the availability of a good young goaltending prospect. Might have to carry the team for one more year.

Sources: JDD maybe the goalie of the future but we need more than one prospect, and likely two. Should be obtainable in the lower half of the first round or latter, this year or next, or possibly through a trade.

Defense:

Needs: Power Play defenceman, offensive minded. Stud defensive defenseman

Tradable
SCOTT FERGUSON
JASON SMITH


Fulcrum
STEVE STAIOS
CORY CROSS

Keepers
IGOR ULANOV
ALEXEI SEMENOV
ERIC BREWER

Sources: Greene maybe the answer on defense for a real Stud (Scott Stevens prototype), it would be good to have one more prospect in this area, likely sources, entry draft, later first round, second round, trade for one of the Smiths. Powerplay quarterback, very early in the draft, top ten pick.

Forwards:

Needs: Skill players at all positions. My count is three honest skill players, one natural goal scorer and two playmakers.

Tradable
SHAWN HORCOFF
FERNANDO PISANI
ADAM OATES

Fulcrum
ETHAN MOREAU
GEORGES LARAQUE
JASON CHIMERA
RYAN SMYTH


Keepers
RAFFI TORRES
BRAD ISBISTER
JARRET STOLL
MIKE YORK
RADEK DVORAK
ALES HEMSKY

Sources: High pick in the entry draft, top ten, through trade of Smith and Smyth. I am certain that Hemsky and Torries, are going to be great offensive players, the Oilers have several other good players in the system and some of them will turn out. But we still need some God given talented people.





Statements:
Even if the team made the playoffs, I would be thoroughly disappointed in a first round blowout. I would prefer a rebuild for a shot at the cup.

Dollars freed up for free agent signings, if Smyth, Smith, and Salo were traded, that would free up 10 million.

Conclusion:
It would take Two years of doghouse time (this being one of them) to complete this project. Then we would have a good team, ready for the post 2004 CBA.

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Old
01-29-2004, 01:02 AM
  #7
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1996 Season

Great post Mr. Lowetide (should I call you that).........this is my 2nd post!

Your post reminds me of the 1996 season where we thought the Oilers were out of the playoffs and low and behold, they went on a winning streak in march (road trip from hell where they went 5-2) and back in the playoff hunt. Sather had so many tradeables like Arnott, Marchment, Marchant and youth to part with like Bonsignore, Kelly, etc (when they were top notch prospects)............Sather stayed patient but they didn't make it.

I think Lowe will stay patient and trade players he thinks will not be long term or cannot sign like a Salo, Oates, Ulanov, Smith. Forgot the Moreaus, Staios' & Smyth's of the world as they are signed to reasonable long term contracts and the Oilers need veterans as Clarke and Lomreillo said veterans are key to continuity and I'll take Lomreillo for his words as I think he's the best GM in the league the last 10 years!

Forgot the Oilers trading youth..........they'll need the youth and supply just in case the CBA doesn't work out!

That's the key......new CBA.........we've heard caps to taxes to hard cap to total free agency for all. Until this is settled, trade players who won't be long term and go from there!

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01-29-2004, 01:22 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoilers
Great post Mr. Lowetide


When you are this big...they call you Mr.


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Old
01-29-2004, 04:01 AM
  #9
Hemsky4PM
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I have to disagree with a few things made in the previous posts.

I don't think Conklin has "proven" anything other than he can be a backup goalie at the NHL level. I like him, but he's not Tommy Salo, unfortunately. He needs way better rebound control and needs to smother the puck better (there are many examples other than the one form the last game vs. the Avs).

I think we have a lot more defensive depth now than in many years previous. Remember last year with Haakana and Pisa, and the year before with Butenshon and Brown. Semenov is far better than any of these guys and will only get better with time. We have Lynch, Greene and Woywitka on the horizon, not to mention a guy that proved he can play in the NHL, albeit as a 6 or 7, but another young guy in Bergeron. Luoma is also an intriguing option.

Lowe always seems to make deals with a little bit in mind for the near future, ie. signing Comrie for a little too much because he knew Weight would not be affordable anymore. That's why getting Woywitka seems to me to be writing on the wall for the departure of Jason Smith or Eric Brewer. Staios and Cross are locked up for 2 and 3 more years respectively. Semenov is going nowhere. Ulanov would not be difficult to resign as a veteran presence next year or the next. Bergeron has a good upside, and Lynch and Greene might be ready sooner than expected.

This team has needs in the long term. One is a goaltender to replace Salo after this season (assuming the option[s] are not picked up and he decides to move on). Another is a GOOD young center who is already, for the most part, NHL ready, who can fill the void untill (or permanently) Niinimaki, Pouliot, Brodziak and whomever else is ready to step in.

When we look at the strength of this team it is in the youth and in some younger veterans like York, Dvorak and Moreau.

This team will not make the playoffs and players will be moved if only for the simple reason that this team makes a budget that includes 2 extra home gates (Heritage Classic or not) and their is an inevitable uncertainty of what the new-CBA world will look like.

Just to fantisize, I have three trades that might be feasible, with some tweaks here and there:

Eric Brewer to Buffalo for Martin Biron.

Jason Smith to Florida for Olli Jokinen or Stephan Weiss.

Tommy Salo to anywhere for a 2nd and 4th round pick.


Would these not make our team better in the long run or not? I think they would.

Just my two bits.

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Old
01-29-2004, 05:00 AM
  #10
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brewer for biron?, let me be the first to slap you in the mouth.

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Old
01-29-2004, 05:07 AM
  #11
Jamie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky4PM

Eric Brewer to Buffalo for Martin Biron.

Jason Smith to Florida for Olli Jokinen or Stephan Weiss.

Tommy Salo to anywhere for a 2nd and 4th round pick.


Would these not make our team better in the long run or not? I think they would.

Just my two bits.
Biron for Brewer=bad deal
Smith for Weiss=interesting, I'd take it, not Jokinen though
Salo to anywhere=definetly, if we can get a 2nd and a 4th beautiful, but I think you've overvalueing the goalies in both your goalie proposals.

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Old
01-29-2004, 05:25 AM
  #12
Mizral
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One of your best posts of the year, Lowetide. I think it's good that you start questioning the decision making of management rather than blind faith exhibited by some - the decisions made by Lowe this year deserve criticism if you ask me - and I'm sure Edmonton sportsradio shows have been getting a lot of those.

That said, as much as I question Lowe, I do realize he isn't stupid enough (in his heart of hearts at least) to think this team has any more than a fleeting hope to make the playoffs. Remember, it's his job to sell tickets as much as it is to make a good hockey team. He can't throw in the towel now, publically, and face low crowds as the season wears on. They are expecting some sellouts between now and early April.

So let us quickly take a closer look at the 4 options. Let us make two assumptions: #1 - Lowe is a rational man, and #2 - Lowe cannot create any more financial instability than that that already exists.

Can Lowe fire MacTavish? Not without creating some possible financial instability by having a coach paid for that isn't working. Let's mark this under 'unlikely'.

Will he bring up youngsters to fill the gaps and try to make the playoffs? Certainly, he's done that so far, and no doubt will continue to do so. This is probobly the second most likely situation, so let's file this under 'For Sure'.

Will Lowe make trades to save the season? Well, the options you suggested (Brind'amour for instance has nearly $13 million left on his contract!) would create financial instability. It goes against everything Lowe has done as GM so far, and does not make sense to a rebuilding team (yes, the Oilers are rebuilding). So this is perhaps the most unlikely possibility. In fact, I would suggest it's extremely remote.

Will Lowe move veterans for kids, scrap the season and begin anew next year? This is almost certainly the most reasonable scenario, though I would argue that it's unlikely any more than Jason Smith and perhaps a fringe player or two head out of Edmonton between now and the deadline. I could go into this further, but let's just say I don't think it's likely for now. (I'll get into it another day). So if Smith is moved, when will he be moved? And for what?

Well, let's also realize, as I said earlier, Lowe's job is to sell tickets. Believe you me, Lowe would rather keep Smith past the deadline if it meant making the playoffs. It just might be the case (some people here are far too dramatic. The Oilers are not out of it. It's not likely they make it, but it's not a foregone conlusion they do not either). So it makes sense for Lowe to hold on to Smith for a couple of reasons. #1, Lowe could potentially keep Smith to hold onto the playoff dream, perhaps win a few games with Smith in the lineup, and maybe the playoffs become a realistic thing come mid-March. #2, trading Smith would signal to the fans that the season is over, and attendance would begin to dwindle at Rexall Centre.

So for financial reasons, and competitiveness reasons, Smith will probobly not be dealt until the last possible moment. And possible third reason is that the defenseman market is only going to go up from now until the deadline (as opposed to the forward market which is steadily dropping every day), so by keeping Smith until a team gets desperate would give the maximum amount of payoff for the organization.

All in all, the most likely scenario is this: Lowe keeps Smith until the deadline. With the Oilers on the outside looking in, and little hope to make the post-season, Lowe moves Jason Smith for prospects/picks/young players/cheap veterans. The Oilers miss the playoffs.

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Old
01-29-2004, 05:31 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
Biron for Brewer=bad deal
Smith for Weiss=interesting, I'd take it, not Jokinen though
Salo to anywhere=definetly, if we can get a 2nd and a 4th beautiful, but I think you've overvalueing the goalies in both your goalie proposals.
Brewer is not going anywhere unless he won't play here. Smith, I'm sure, is available if not re-signed by the deadline. Salo is not available because his value is so low right now you can't get anything for him. Patience is needed. If he plays the next month and a half like he has the past month his value will rise and maybe we get something from a contender looking for insurance. There is good young talent on this team and coming soon. Now is not the time to panic. I don't understand why anybody wants to trade Brewer. We have invested years in getting him ready for prime time.
And we are in big doo doo if we trade Salo and don't make a deal for a goalie over the summer as Conklin is not our man.

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01-29-2004, 05:53 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky4PM
I think we have a lot more defensive depth now than in many years previous. Remember last year with Haakana and Pisa, and the year before with Butenshon and Brown. Semenov is far better than any of these guys and will only get better with time. We have Lynch, Greene and Woywitka on the horizon, not to mention a guy that proved he can play in the NHL, albeit as a 6 or 7, but another young guy in Bergeron. Luoma is also an intriguing option.
Problem with this statement. This kind of defensive depth does not allow us to go out and trade Eric Brewer to another team because no one on that list can and will put up the minutes that is needed for a #1. Yes, I do realize that Staios and Brewer have been carrying the load thus far in this respect... but Staios has really cooled down in terms of his overall play and I am pretty sure that is due to the extra minutes he has been asked to put on. Brewer, as was apparent early this season, was not ready for this type of burden. It has only been of late that he has felt the least bit comfortable.

Neither Lynch or Woywitka are ready to take on that kind of role as of yet. I'm one of the biggest Semenov supporters on here and I don't think he's ready for that role yet. And Greene is a sophmore at UND I believe. He is still at least 2 years away if we expect him to finish his post-secondary studies.

Bergeron has been inconsistent this year when he has played and relied upon as no more than a 5-6 dman with pp time... Luoma the same.

Our depth is ok. But it lacks a top end. Without that, a trade of Brewer cannot happen IMO.

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01-29-2004, 07:06 AM
  #15
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I think you guys might be overestimating the potential of Brewer and basically what we have here is a difference of opinion regarding the value of Biron. Before going over these two players I'd like to reiterrate that I said that the deals I made up could be subject to tweaks, and as we have seen in the Woywitka for Comrie trade, young defenseman are valuable, so the Oilers would likely get more than Biron for Brewer.

Brewer-
Has not improved over the last two seasons. This is not to say that he's been awful (though he's had moments in my opinion) but he's just not worth the $2.5 million the club is paying him, and that he will have to be qualified at after this season. Here are his stats from the last 3 years:
GP G A P +/- PIM S Sht%
2003-04 Edmonton NHL 46 2 9 11 -2 34 74 2.70
2002-03 Edmonton NHL 80 8 21 29 -11 45 147 5.44
2001-02 Edmonton NHL 81 7 18 25 -5 45 165 4.24

Now somebody tell me how he's worth $2.5 million per season? The highest paid defenseman on the team! And don't just say ice time. I've seen some very LAZY play creep into his game the last year. He doddles coming back after a bad pinch-in attempt, he goes for stick-checks a la Poti more often than he used to, and he doesn't move his feet to carry the puck up-ice when needs be. His points indicate that he's not a true offensive defensman, in fact he trails Smith, Staios, Cross and Bergeron in defensman points on the Oilers. I think he should be moved while the memory of the All-Star and Olympic callibre d-man is still fresh in other GMs minds.

Here are Biron's numbers:
GP W L T MinP SO GAA SVP
2003-04 Buffalo NHL 27 12 10 4 1569 0 2.52 .912
2002-03 Buffalo NHL 54 17 28 6 3170 4 2.55 .908
2001-02 Buffalo NHL 72 31 28 10 4085 4 2.21 .915

He's 26 years old, reasonably priced for a starter at 2.2M bucks and he has been consistent over the years. Salo won't be here next year and Biron seems like a good option to me. Buffalo also have Noronen and Miller on their goaltending depth chart and so Biron is likely gettable.

I am sure that Lowe could get more than Biron for Brewer, but I don't think the suggestion is as lopsided as some suggest.

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Old
01-29-2004, 11:22 AM
  #16
Bohologo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral

I think it's good that you start questioning the decision making of management rather than blind faith

Remember, it's his job to sell tickets as much as it is to make a good hockey team.

people here are far too dramatic

(yes, the Oilers are rebuilding)
Mizral, it's entirely possible your posts have some modicum of value, but not when they are laden with condescending comments like these. Perhaps your message would be more clear without the patronizing. Or is that the message? Either way, please show this board more respect.

Also, Jason Smith is not the reason buy Oilers tickets.

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01-29-2004, 12:34 PM
  #17
Slats432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohologo
Mizral, it's entirely possible your posts have some modicum of value, but not when they are laden with condescending comments like these. Perhaps your message would be more clear without the patronizing. Or is that the message? Either way, please show this board more respect.

Also, Jason Smith is not the reason buy Oilers tickets.
I have to agree with Mizral on this one. Some posters are ready to ice an AHL line up to draft Cam Barker. I would call that overly dramatic.

Jason is a reason why the Oilers win, which is a reason they buy tickets.

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01-29-2004, 01:39 PM
  #18
kyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky4PM
Eric Brewer to Buffalo for Martin Biron.

Jason Smith to Florida for Olli Jokinen or Stephan Weiss.

Tommy Salo to anywhere for a 2nd and 4th round pick.


Would these not make our team better in the long run or not? I think they would.

Just my two bits.
Buffalo is sitting with: Biron, Noronen, and Miller all just about ready for the big leagues (with the exception of Miller needing another year as maybe a backup, getting 30 starts). Regier has hinted that he wants Miller up next season which means he'll have to move either Biron or Noronen. He being in that positions, lessens the value of either goalie in a trade. People are still blinded by Brewer's gold medal and he's given a lot of (too much maybe) credit as a potential superstar defenseman in this league. We could probably get a LOT more out of Buffalo if we send them Brewer. I would love to get Biron or Noronen in Edmonton and think this is a viable alternate that should be investigated.

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01-29-2004, 02:06 PM
  #19
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First off, if Lowe makes a deal, it won't be Semenov or Hemsky or Torres or York and I'm still not sold that Ryan Smyth is up for grabs as well so we can all breath easier. K.lo's build talking about post-CBA now for a while so he won't do anything to affect the work he's done to date. My feeling today is that he won't make a big splash of a deal to save the season. I think he'll rely of the lineup he has but if he sees a deal that could help the team this season, maybe even help make the playoffs, then he will. Example, I believe that trading Laraque could get a player that will help this year but also in years to come. The trades he will make will not be along the lines of Pittsburg where they just dumped salary or the trades will not be to get an expensive player they will either have to trade in the summer (to much $$) or will lose to unrestricted free agency.

No he won't make a big deal for the purpose of saving the season because he would have done it by now. This team has sucked enough so far. But I don't think he'll dump a bunch of players to purposely finish with a top 5 pick.

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01-29-2004, 02:56 PM
  #20
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You all mentioned of the Oilers future and whom will be in that picture. You also mentioned about the centreman, and I see you missed Reasoner. I remember someone on this board saying that Resoner is the core for Weight's trade. MacT has not put him in the first or second line yet (if I am not mistaken), but I think he is capable of at least 2nd line centreman. Would you think so? I always think Reasoner's charater and skills are all Lowe has been stocking up in his squad.

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01-29-2004, 03:07 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xauxi
You all mentioned of the Oilers future and whom will be in that picture. You also mentioned about the centreman, and I see you missed Reasoner. I remember someone on this board saying that Resoner is the core for Weight's trade. MacT has not put him in the first or second line yet (if I am not mistaken), but I think he is capable of at least 2nd line centreman. Would you think so? I always think Reasoner's charater and skills are all Lowe has been stocking up in his squad.
I think Reasoner would be a decent second line centre. Hopefully they give him (or even Stoll) a shot at the top two lines next year. Too bad MacT would rather go with his butt-**** buddy, Horcoff.

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01-29-2004, 04:05 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
One of your best posts of the year, Lowetide.

So for financial reasons, and competitiveness reasons, Smith will probobly not be dealt until the last possible moment. And possible third reason is that the defenseman market is only going to go up from now until the deadline (as opposed to the forward market which is steadily dropping every day), so by keeping Smith until a team gets desperate would give the maximum amount of payoff for the organization.

All in all, the most likely scenario is this: Lowe keeps Smith until the deadline. With the Oilers on the outside looking in, and little hope to make the post-season, Lowe moves Jason Smith for prospects/picks/young players/cheap veterans. The Oilers miss the playoffs.
I know people don't like to agree with this Mizral character, but I have to concur with his points:
1) McT won't be fired
2) youngsters will be brought in now - looking forward to seeing if Rita can prove a point finally and maybe stick
3) Lowe won't make trades to save the season, as saving the season through trades would prove too costly in terms of the salaries of the players that would make a difference and the long-term cost of sending off young talent to get these vets.
4) Smith will be traded, but at the deadline.

But I would add to that that Lowe will also deal away Oates and Laraque for picks. Smyth stays in town as a reward for his loyalty (vs. Smith arbitration), and Salo signs for far less or moves on.

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Old
01-29-2004, 04:09 PM
  #23
speeds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
I have to agree with Mizral on this one. Some posters are ready to ice an AHL line up to draft Cam Barker. I would call that overly dramatic.

Jason is a reason why the Oilers win, which is a reason they buy tickets.
I wouldn't call it overly dramamtic at all, and no one wants to ice a lineup like that.

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01-29-2004, 04:36 PM
  #24
Mr Sakich
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I think Mizral's choiceof the word "dramatic" was unfortunate. We are all fans of the team and it matters to us a lot. Those of us who have been lucky enough to go to playoff games understand the electricity felt throughout the city. It is kinda sad that we are going to bedenied that this year.

1 mact won't be fired - it has become fashionable on this and other boards to describe the mngt group as an old boys club. That is very simplistic and wrong. I know an owner quite well and they have very very tight control on what lowe is allowed to do and what he is expected to do. Lowe lives with budget concerns that are like having both arms tied behind his back. The owners want the playoff experience but they are not going to go broke trying to get there.

The Oiler's are a very loyal organization and this is reflected in the dressing room and the mngt team. How many teams have guys like laraque that threaten to quit hockey if they were traded? The same loyalty extends to the mngt. Listen to GuyF's interviews and it is clear that they are on the same page and going in the same direction.

2 youngsters will be brought in.

3 no big trade will be done that threatens our post cba line-up. if a vet is traded, then it will be another something for now and something for the future type deal.

4 smith will be gone if he doesn't sign an extension. He is one of my favourite players and he even signed my jersey but Lowe has to manage assets.

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01-29-2004, 05:08 PM
  #25
bucksoil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle
Buffalo is sitting with: Biron, Noronen, and Miller all just about ready for the big leagues (with the exception of Miller needing another year as maybe a backup, getting 30 starts). Regier has hinted that he wants Miller up next season which means he'll have to move either Biron or Noronen. He being in that positions, lessens the value of either goalie in a trade. People are still blinded by Brewer's gold medal and he's given a lot of (too much maybe) credit as a potential superstar defenseman in this league. We could probably get a LOT more out of Buffalo if we send them Brewer. I would love to get Biron or Noronen in Edmonton and think this is a viable alternate that should be investigated.
Agreed... we need more out of Buffalo than Biron.

Sure Biron is the "best" of the 3 goalies they have, but he is finishing the first year of a three year contract. He'll be done two years by the time the dust settles from the new CBA, leaving him with 1 useful year left (2005-2006). In that summer (2006) he'll be turning 30.... So essentially we trade Brewer, whom we WILL have a chance to resign prior to his UFA years, for one full year of Biron.

I'm just not sure most people realize that we need to get an even YOUNGER goalie than Biron. If we're going to trade a key player (especially Brewer, whose youth is of particular value), we're better off to use our scouts to get a 22 year-old goalie prospect as the throw-in in a deal for another premium prospect, or a first rounder.

I'm not up on my goalie prospects, but recent first rounders like:
Leclaire (CLB)
Bacashihua (DAL)
Finley (Nsh)
Ouellet (Wash)
Lehtonen (ATL)
Toivonen (Bos)

Are all progressing reasonably well. Obviously some (Lehtonen) are going to be way more expensive than others (Bacashihua), but they seem like better options than the more expensive (both in terms of asset price and contract), and elderly Biron.

At least with the above, we could have a chance of having another "goalie for the future" to go with JDD.

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