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(HF Story) Postseason Media Roundtable

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Old
04-26-2004, 06:42 PM
  #1
Guy Flaming
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(HF Story) Postseason Media Roundtable

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...readed&order=0

Special thanks to Bob Stauffer and Bryn Griffiths for doing it again and to Ron Rimer, Jason Gregor and Robin Brownlee for their first time contributions!

I hope you enjoy what these fine gentlemen have to say.

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04-26-2004, 07:14 PM
  #2
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Excellent stuff, Guy. You're a boon to the messageboard for sure.

I find myself agreeing with Bob Stauffer most of the time regarding Oilers issues.

Just for fun, I thought I'd answer a few of these (by the way, I think it'd be neat to have a few posters do a round-table sort of thing. Matts, Lowetide, mowzie, speeds, and Beyond Enemy Lines would be my 5 picks to do it.

Anyhow, just for fun, I thought I'd give my answers to these questions:

Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

It's fairly close between Torres and Conklin, but I'm going to give the edge to Torres here, mostly because had he not done what he did this year, the Oilers would have been in hot water in their top 6 forwards. Precious few Oilers forwards were able to score 20 goals in the top 6 (only two I think), and had Torres not been scoring, you can imagine that many assist totals on these others guys would have gone down, and things would be looking far worse than they are.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?

No. One thing about the Oilers farm & big club is that I can't think of any young prospects who have been 'mishandled' in recent years. Rita hasn't shown enough to be mishandled.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?

Jeff Woywitka. I think Jeff has a calming presence on the blueline that really only Jason Smith exhibits on a nightly basis. I heard someone compare him to Ken Klee recently, and I like that comparison. Woywitka has fine potential, and I think he'll be in the NHL very soon.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?

Actually, yes I do, despite a Russianprospects.com interview that had Mikhnov stating otherwise, there's too much smoke lately about this not to think there could be a fire a-brewing. Oilers management covet Mikhnov's size, and with the CBA problems looming, Mikhnov, if he wants a NHL career, will want to get a head start on things. If he wants to play in Russia, he can always go home later after he's earned some bread in the NHL, or at least tried to see if he can make it.

But will he be playing on the Oilers? Nope. In the AHL outside of maybe a callup once or twice.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?

No. The draft this year is a strange once. Between picks 1 - 6, there is tremendous talent. #7 - 15 or so is about the same, then another big dropoff. Unless the Oilers want to move into the top 6, I can't see the point of trading the pick. And moving into the top 6 isn't going to be cheap. So overall - no. I like the Oilers position going into the draft this year, though I'm not a huge fan of this draft overall, I like the spot where the Oilers are picking in.

Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?

Not a clue, though I'm not convinced it is all that much of a boon for the players as much as it is for the PR of the club. With the CBA issues coming up, I would suggest that finances will make it unlikely, but it could still happen I suppose.

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?

Jeff Woywitka, and it's a pretty healthy margin to boot I'd say. JDD I feel still hasn't shown to be a solid future #1 goaltender prospect just yet - he's kind of borderling #1/#2 right now, and seemingly hasn't made up his mind on what he's going to be yet. Lynch looks good in the AHL though I don't know if he's got the same kind of NHL upside as Woywitka. Pouliot and Niinimaki could indeed be the best of the lot, but they seem slightly more risky than a Woywitka, so I'm taking Jeff on the basis that he's the surest NHL'er of the lot.

Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?

Yes, actually, I think the Oilers will trade Jason Smith. I hope they are able to retain him, but with arbitration rights, it will be difficult, especially after the fine numbers Jason put up in the season, as well as wearing the C. It seems captains always make a pretty penny come new contracts. Something tells me Smith will be moved off, and Ryan Smyth will be wearing the C next year.

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?

There is a very small chance that the Oilers could squeek in on the basis of their strong forward corps. However, if you asked me to put money on it, I'd say heck no. Neither Conklin or Markkanen have shown to be consistant at any point of their NHL careers, and neither are proven #1 goaltenders. Can Markkanen turn into the next Kiprusoff and Conklin the next Esche? Maybe, but I don't see that kind of talent in either of them. I think Lowe will smarten up either before the season, or early into it, and a new goaltender will be acquired to become the starter for the Oilers. Mika Noronen might look good if the Sabres are moving him.

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04-26-2004, 07:35 PM
  #3
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Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

Tough question. I'll go with Raffi Torres because he can score from more than 3 feet outside the blue ice, and the Oilers needed him badly. Stoll is a guy who will have a long career and is sure fire captain material. If he scored more he'd be a young Linden imo. Bergeron too has some nice things, and is as exciting a young dman as we've seen in quite some time. That was a solid season for first year players.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now? He's a tweener. Not enough skill to play on the top 2 lines, not enough compelling secondary skills to beat out the other guys AND justify the bigger (entry level salary). He's not worth what it would have cost the Oilers to play him here. And it kills me to say it because it's another GD first rounder.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of? M-A Pouliot. From what little I've seen he can do things at high speed, and there's not many who can.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season? Yes I do. The Mikhnov package is exactly what this organization loves and although he has some ways to go he's going to push hard for a job if he can score at all.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year? The more I read about this draft the more I think they should take the bpa at 14 and 23. Moving up gives them better odds at getting a player who will turn out, but there should certainly be a fine player on the board for them to grab.


Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer? I don't have any clue, so won't comment.

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind? M-A Pouliot.


Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization? I don't think they will. My guess is that they'll make Semenov work his way past Cross and Ulanov (again) on the depth chart, and when he is well clear, they'll deal Jason Smith and run with a top 4 of Brewer-Semenov, Bergeron-Ulanov and then let Cross bring along Woywitka and Lynch slowly on the last pairing.

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year? I don't know, but imo they've earned the right to try.

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04-26-2004, 08:21 PM
  #4
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Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).
Very, very close, but for this year... (in order):
1. Bergeron: with Nedved made the PP hum, and fills a offensive gap on the backline.
2. Conklin: outplayed Salo.
3. Torres: huge impact and overshot expectations.
4. Stoll: saw more time than expected due to injuries and only improved.

However I think beyond this year and in the long term, the impact will be:
1. Stoll: future captain.
2. Torres: future Moreau
3. Bergeron: future PP quaterback, but not a top-4 guy.
4. Conklin: future backup to Deslaurier or acquired goalie.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now? This year I don't think he was, although it was extremely frustrating seeing him on the outside and never really getting a chance... especially after his great start in the Joey Moss Cup. I thought he deserved to be put on better lines through the preseason at least.

However, I thought he may have been mishandled last year. When Chimera, Cleary and Swanson were getting plenty of opportunity, it was too bad Rita only got around 10 games. Last year there was plenty of room on the wing in the top 6, especially before the deadline.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of? Brodziak. I loved seeing him in the JM Cup & want to see what he can do with the Roadrunners next year.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season? I hope so, but don't think so. Something in the back of my mind tells me that he won't want to come over if there's no NHL season.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year? What Lowetide said.


Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer? If my prayers are answered... yes.

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind? Woywitka.


Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization? Cross and Chimera. If Nedved signs, then one of Laraque, Reasoner or Horcoff (if Laraque is moved, see Horcoff play wing with top 4 Cs = Nedved, York, Reasoner, Stoll).

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year? I think the duo could backstop them to home-ice advantage... but will not get them past the first round on their own merit.

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Old
04-26-2004, 09:46 PM
  #5
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Nice feature Guy. It would have been nice to see the Edmonton Journal represented as the other major daily newspaper. Love to see Rimmer's become an Oiler fan since leaving Global TV in Regina. Nice guy and possibly the biggest homer Leafs media fan next to Don Cherry.

Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).
1. Torres: unknown coming in to camp. Exceeded 4th line energy projection with 20 goals season and top 6 status.
2. Bergeron: Team took off with Nedved acquisition and Bergie's stellar backend puck movement and PP quarterbacking. Filled an absolute blackhole on PP.
3. Stoll: projected as 4th line guy, filled this role and more through confident play and opportunity.
4. Conklin: stepped up with decent goaltending when Salo faltered. However did not really prove to be a difference maker in biggest game of year.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?
Beaten to death on this site. Jani must assert himself with consistent play and desire to play at the NHL level.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?
JDD's development is absolutely critical given the lack of quality goaltending depth in the system. Potential above-average tender at game's most important position. Matt Greene is my #2. Big, tough, and mean.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?
Yes. However I fear this guy's impact is over-hyped. Big player, okay numbers in REL but can he score at AHL level ... and NHL? Time to find out.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?
Target top 3 (Pittsburg, Chicago) to get impact player this team needs to acquire to become legitimate Cup Contender. Two first-rounders and glut of depth roster players can be offered.

Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?
Hopefully yes but not essential with CBA.

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?
JDD must develop. Great playoff run and learning to win big games in Q. Outdueled Fleury should be confidence booster.

Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?
Smith if contract compromised isn't reached. Other support pieces such as Cross, Isbister, Chimera to move up in draft (with two 1st rounders) or mid-season if goaltending falters.

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?
No. Upgrade is required to match up with rival fringe playoff contenders (Gigere, Roloson, Vocoun). I also give the nod to Flamer's and St. Louis goaltending. Two mid 20's backup tenders will not get it done.

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04-26-2004, 09:53 PM
  #6
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Nice work Guy, that's a Blue Ribbon panel you've assembled there

I never saw an opinion here that I could really disagree with wholeheartedly, but I was surprised to see this much discussion about Oilers prospects without the names Brodziak, Niinimaki, or Parise coming up even once. It would have been interesting to see what they though about these guys and maybe even have them field some pointed questions about some others like Baum, Semi, and Bergie.

The unfortunate thing about this year's panel imo was that the uncertainty of the upcoming cba talks really put a damper on their ability to express solid answers on certain questions. Hopefully you can get the same guys again next season when there's no such problem.

Lastly, it's not surprising that the thing they disagreed on the most was tractor boy. For all most of us know he could wind up being an echl'er or an nhl all-star. On another club the kid may be gold but the Oilers clearly don't need him on lw unless he's got 40 goals a season in his big enigmatic frame.



Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

By the wording of the question Stoll would be my pick because of how important a role he was forced into with all of the injuries and the Comrie debacle.

All things being equal I'd have to say that Raffi's season was more impressive in terms of what we need our young guys to start doing though. This team never seems to lack low-profile two-way centermen, it's guys who can propel the biscuit into the entwinement that we need the most around here and Raffi has shown the ability to do that with both finesse and brute force.

Honourable mention goes to Bergie. His late season heroics are our biggest reason for hope of improvement next season imo, but Torres did his thing for a whole season and is therefor #1.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?

OK, I'll answer this for the millionth time. YES!

JR just came to the end of his current contract with his trade value at an all-time low while even the Oilers don't know what he's worth at the nhl level. After being in North America for parts of three seasons and three full playoffs we have nothing but questions about him. It's laughable.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?

Kyle.

I have no doubts whatsoever about Lynch's ability to succeed at the nhl level but even if he doesn't the Oilers still have Woywitka, Greene, Semenov, Bergeron and Brewer filling the "youthful d-man" slots. At center we desperately need what few skill guys we have to develop asap. IMO Kyle is our top center prospect even though his upside isn't quite as high as Jesse's or MAP's because he has less ???'s than they do.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?

He sure might be. I'd bet $1000 one way or the other if I was a trillionaire.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?

Move up, 100%. They've never done it before and Lowe has previously mentioned how much they wanted certain guys like Gaborik and Pitkanen etc. Their hunches have been great and I have loads of faith in KP right now. I don't have nearly as much faith in the guys who'll be left at 14th and 29th.

Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?

I have no inside information whatsoever

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?

Lynch.

Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?

My guess is that one d-man and one lw'er will likely be gone, or some of our d and lw prospects will be traded before the Oilers play another regular season game.

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?

If you never drive to the front of the mall you'll never get a parking spot there, does that mean there aren't any? I don't know why people just assume that the Oilers goalies can't prove they're worthy of the #1 role, obviously it's been done before and their numbers inspire confidence. Especially Jussi's. We have more pressing concerns elsewhere at this point imo, we need to keep what assets we have until our #1 center situation is solidified.


Last edited by Oi'll say!: 04-26-2004 at 09:59 PM.
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Old
04-26-2004, 09:56 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
I never saw an opinion here that I could really disagree with wholeheartedly, but I was surprised to see this much discussion about Oilers prospects without the names Brodziak, Niinimaki, or Parise coming up even once.
Hey Oi'll Say, who is this Parise guy?

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04-26-2004, 10:07 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behind Enemy Lines
Hey Oi'll Say, who is this Parise guy?
Parise "Sose" Mcguire is a scoring machine of unlimited potential. I don't fear god, but I do fear this little Devil.

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04-26-2004, 10:09 PM
  #9
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Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

Stoll. I watched Raffie alot in Brampton, and a little in Hamilton, so what he did this year doesn't suprise me very much. I had him pegged for 15 or so goals, so 20 was a plesant suprise. Last year was the first year I had seen Stoll play. He impressed me a lot then, and he did the same this year. He did the exact same thing in the NHL as he did in the AHL, and I honestly think he would have had a tougher adjustment time.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?

I still think that Rita will be a solid NHL player. He doesn't have enough offensive skill to be relied on for that, so he has to do other things. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to do those other things often enough, and that is what is keeping him from the NHL. Even when Dan Cleary wasn't scoring, he at least developed some kind of defensive game. Jason Chimera will at least go out there and hit all the time. Rita needs to do something else to get and keep himself in the lineup every night. Scoring a couple of goals in pre-season isn't it, because it isn't all about goals.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?

Definitely Pouliot and JDD. I got to see alot of the other guys alot, and if the Oiler scouts are touting them as highly as guys like Lynch, I can't wait.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?

I hope so. Even if all it does is confirm that he was a bust. He sounds so good that it will be a permanant black mark on the org. if he never comes over and shows us what he has.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?

Use the picks and pick whoever is the BPA at 14 and ??. If something comes along that tickles your taste buds, then go for it. I wouldn't sell the house to move up in this draft though.

Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?

Don't know, not sure.

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?

Jeff Wyowitka has the highest potential, Doug Lynch seems most likely to reach his max potential.

Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?

Training camp, not the draft. If you need to move a guy, move him. If Lowe thinks Rita is an NHL player, make room for him. If he doesn't, don't. If you feel you have guys who can make the jump to the NHL level, there is no sense in not getting anything for him.

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?

I think so. Neither guy is capable of running the show on his own, but at 40 starts each, both can be pretty effective.

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04-27-2004, 01:02 AM
  #10
Guy Flaming
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Great to see everyone's own ideas and answers.

I'm wondering if anyone wants to comment on what the guests had to say or about who the guests were. All these guys will check out this thread I'm sure, it would be nice to send some comments their way too.

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04-27-2004, 01:14 AM
  #11
Guy Flaming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behind Enemy Lines
Nice feature Guy. It would have been nice to see the Edmonton Journal represented as the other major daily newspaper. Love to see Rimmer's become an Oiler fan since leaving Global TV in Regina. Nice guy and possibly the biggest homer Leafs media fan next to Don Cherry.
Oh, Ron's still a HUGE Toronto fan, don't worry! Great guy though so I can't hold it against him, although he gets lots of ribbing from callers and other media guys so he's not getting off too easy.

As for the Journal, not this time but that doesn't mean never. I wanted to pay guys back for helping me out. I'm on Bob Stauffer's show every Thursday. I've been on Bryn's show a few times and that's really where things started for me. I regularly converse with Jason Gregor on his show and I got to do play-by-play about a dozen times for anysportanytime.com partly (if not completely) because of him. Ron's had me on his show 3 times already since it started about 6 weeks ago and I was on his previous morning show a couple times too. Robin Brownlee, well you guys know how much I like his stuff and he's been really kind to me this past season. I just thought having him involved in an HF thing would be wild considering how many of you guys trash him regularly (Walsher!).

Maybe next time I'll ask Joanne Ireland or Dan Barnes from the Journal. Then again, there's lots of other people in the city too. Mark Spector would be great, John Short would be an honour, how about Gene Principe? Actually, when someone suggested Hallsie... that got me laughing so hard, I might not be able to resist that one!

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04-27-2004, 02:36 AM
  #12
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What can I say...

A bang up job indeed Guy...you asked most if not all the questions we wanted answered and although most the answers were somewhat predictable it was nice to see some variability.

Gene Principe would be an impressive guest for future round tables...not sure if he follows prospects as close as these guys but he may be as close if not closer to the team and KLO as them.

An AWESOME effort put forth by everyone invovled. Hopefully 5-10 years down the road...I can be a legitimate guest for one of these round tables.

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04-27-2004, 02:42 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
Parise "Sose" Mcguire is a scoring machine of unlimited potential. I don't fear god, but I do fear this little Devil.
Verrry good; NJ team name joke and all!

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04-27-2004, 03:03 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Flaming
Mark Spector would be great, John Short would be an honour, how about Gene Principe?
Any one of those three would be amazing but I would love to hear Principe's take on some Oilers topics. He's really started to grow on me over the past few years despite constantly missing Oilers goals off the faceoff during Sportsnet broadcasts to hear about a Safeway score and win contest..

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04-27-2004, 04:16 AM
  #15
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Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

Bergeron, Bergeron, Bergeron. I mean, define impact. Impact is driving the team's remarkable playoff push with critical third period goals and assists. Conks spent most of the year as a backup and I have high hopes. Torres and Stoll worked every night and are solid players. But the man with the plan was the little undrafted dude.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?

I really have no idea. The Oilers haven't exactly been shy about putting rookies in the lineup, and you may say his wing is crowded... but, uh, if he's getting passed by not only Torres, Hemsky, Stoll, etc, but Fernando Pisani (no offense Fernando, I love you, man)... you have issues.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?

Mihkinov. Just because he's the wildcard. Also JDD.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?

No idea, but I seriously hope so.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?

If they can move up into the top six they should. They have extra parts at forward and an extra pick and can use it to add something that's really lacking in the organization: top end Big Center Man.

Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?

Dunno.

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?

Dwight Helminen... oh, I guess that's not the answer to that question anymore.

Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?

Someone probably needs to go from the forwards. Isbister, Chimera, Laraque are all candidates. Smith could go from the D. There will be a trade.

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?

Yes! They were good enough this year but Salo dragged everyone down. One or the other will emerge as a starter. The Oilers should be back in the playoffs next year, as long as they have Nedved or someone who performs in the capacity of a #1 C. And it shouldn't be a nailbiter either.

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04-27-2004, 05:10 AM
  #16
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Very nice feature, Guy. I'm impressed with the guests, and your connections too boot! Matheson and Spector would have been nice, but I'm guessing you had to limit the number of guests, as well - five is plenty, and these guys are no slouches to say the least.

How are your relationships with the out of town media? It would be interesting in the pre-season round table to hear what a Calgary media representative would have to say, given they are lifelong rivals! Also, it might be interesting to hear what a media representative from the Toronto area who follows the Roadrunners in depth might have to say - perhaps a roundtable regarding the Roadrunners?!?!?

I like these round tables, and hearing varied perspectives all in one spot. Great job!

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04-27-2004, 10:04 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Flaming
Actually, when someone suggested Hallsie... that got me laughing so hard, I might not be able to resist that one!
LOL... I was suprised I didn't get a bigger reaction from that one... I thought for sure that was a post worthy of a lynching.

Good job Guy

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04-27-2004, 11:42 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Flaming
Great to see everyone's own ideas and answers.

I'm wondering if anyone wants to comment on what the guests had to say or about who the guests were. All these guys will check out this thread I'm sure, it would be nice to send some comments their way too.
I thought it was a good mix, too bad you weren't talking about the Leafs or Rimmer would have looked like a genious.

I know RB gets a rough ride from some, but I never had a problem with Brownlee until the Comrie situation.(I don't want to dredge up old memories here.) So the past is over, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

I haven't listened much to Gregor, but I like the crew. The only thing I guess I wonder about is that almost all of them are from the TEAM. I think that is why the mention of having a journal guy or a TV guy as well for the different points of view from different forms of media.(I for one, would support Hallsie being on the panel in this format. I don't listen to him, but varying perspective is what makes these things interesting. Not 5 similar opinions. Al Stafford would be another option?)

But that would be nitpicking. You are well connected and consistently put out the best work on the site. Again, well done.

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04-27-2004, 01:12 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Flaming
Great to see everyone's own ideas and answers.

I'm wondering if anyone wants to comment on what the guests had to say or about who the guests were. All these guys will check out this thread I'm sure, it would be nice to send some comments their way too.
OK, I'll go ahead and comment on the guests' comments:

(1) Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

There's no right or wrong answer here,everyone stood out in their own way. I might personally pick Torres, but every option is valid.

(2) Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?

My personal guess is yes, but it's tough to say outside looking in. Maybe he's lazy at practice, or parties too hard, or whatever, there's a million reasons off ice that the Oilers could know about, not to mention his on-ice perfomance.

My personal tendency would be to give 1st rounders their chance to display their talent at an NHL level, whether they specifically deserve it or not, unless they would be so out of place as to not be an option even on the 4th line.

Regardless, time will tell on Rita, I'd imagine they'll get him on a one-way deal and see what they've got, because he's not going to clear waivers anyways.

(3) Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?

Can't really argue with which prospect someone might want to see more of, different people might be more in touch with different prospects and that changes would they would want to see.

I will say that I find it surprising that a person on the panel would pick someone from the Roadrunners, those guys are available to be seen fairly often on TV, at least as compared to everyone else in the org.

Personally I'd be most interested in seeing guys that I haven't seen before/don't see much of.

IE.

Mikhnov, Pouliot, Niinimaki, MacDonald, Greene, etc.

Deslauriers I've seen a bit of, not quite as anxious to see him as some of the others, but his transition to the AHL, along with Brodziak, Platt, Smith and potentially Mikhnov will be fun to see.

(4) Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?

Hard to answer. These guys, from their responses, seem to be guessing just as much as we would be.

Like Gregor and Stauffer, I'm hoping he comes over though, but I tend to agree with Rimer that he won't come over if there's no potential to play in the NHL that season. That depends on what kind of signing bonus, etc the Oilers offer, I suppose, so it remains to be seen.

(5) Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?

Disagree a bit with Brownlee here, in that I think there is a noticeable difference from 14 to 34 this year, and a guy would need a pretty substantial offer to move that far down (more than just something like 14 overall for 25 overall and 50th overall). As mizral said in another post, from most ranking lists it seems like their are about 15-18 guys considered to be in that upper tier (this will change as the draft appraoches, and of course according to EDM's list) before things start to drop off.

Pretty much agree with Gregor and Griffiths.

Indirectely disagree with Rimer, as he seems to be implying that Markkanen and Conklin can't do the job as legit starters, which may be true but in tandem I think the Oilers are at least average in the pipes.

I mean, sure if you can move 14 and 25 overall for a legit young starter it's probably worth it, but that wouldn't be enough to get the kind of guy EDM would be interested in to pay that kind of price.

Disagree with Stauffer's philosophy in general, since he seems to be advocating drafting by need which is fine in the NFL but isn't as practical from the NHL where the players you are drafting won't step in right away (team needs are too dynamic). BPA is the way to go here, ESPECIALLY for a team like EDM who is pretty deep at every prospect position (outside of goal, but this is a deep goalie draft so EDM will probably end up picking one at some point anyways by fluke, and if not, you can always try trading for a goalie later on if your drafted players develop)

(6) Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?

Who knows, when Prendergast says it's 50/50, what more can you say?

(7) Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?

Everyone's got their own opinion about this. I can't really argue with Deslauriers, especially after this year's playoffs, but I'd hesitate to put ANY goalie at the top of my EDM prospect list until they finish their 1st full season in the AHL.

As such, personally, I wouldn't have Deslauriers at #1.

My personal pick is probably Mikhnov, but maybe I'm just being stubborn since I've been behind him for 2-3 years now. He certainly tailed off at the end of the season, but the size and hands are hard to ignore. If he played with a tough edge, he'd be my lock at #1.

As is, I'd probably clump him with Pouliot and Deslauriers at the top, Niinimaki a hair below unti he comes back from his injury along with Lynch and Woywitka.

(8) Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?

Pretty much agree with Brownlee, except that I would think Smith might be gone sooner rather than later depending on what is offered up. Then again, with CBA uncertainty, maybe not, because I thought they'd have dealt Smith at the deadline this past season and they didn't. Maybe they think they can sign him to a Staois length deal? The only point I disagree with RB about is who would be moved if the youngsters are ready. Personally I'm hoping it would be Cross who is moved to make room, but I've never been a Cross fan and he had a better season than I'd have expected.

Rimer seems to be on this recurring theme of adding a veteran goaltender, but I would counter than Markkanen and Conklin are old enough to deserve their shot unless someone the organization can't pass up becomes available, and they probably won't.

I would be very surprised to see Isbister back at his current salary. The Oilers can use that 2 mil bucks more effectively elsewhere, and if they want Izzy back enough, I would imagine they can let him go and bring him back for less than 1.925 mil. If not, have a good one Izzy.

(9) Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?

Have to disagree with Stauffer, Rimer, and Griffiths here.

The Conklin/Markkanen tag team collectively had (roughly) a 2.4 GAA and 0.915 sv%. That's enough to get the job done.

I read a bunch of media people at the start of this year saying "Salo will bounce back, he's a true #1, etc, etc (not saying these 3 guys specifically said that, I don't know their thougths off-hand)."

But I do know that Jussi's numbers have been better than Salo's EVERY YEAR they were both here, and Jussi (and Conklin) are sure not getting the same treatment Salo did last summer, where people said Salo could no doubt carry the mail.

http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagu...000412002.html

http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagu...000412003.html

http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagu...000412004.html


Besides which, having such a cheap goalie tandem allows EDM to improve at their skating positions, whether through additions or through not being forced to move a core guy.


Last edited by speeds: 04-27-2004 at 01:17 PM.
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04-27-2004, 03:39 PM
  #20
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Speeds???

Great comments in your post today.
Good job!


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04-27-2004, 09:57 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Flaming
Great to see everyone's own ideas and answers.

I'm wondering if anyone wants to comment on what the guests had to say or about who the guests were. All these guys will check out this thread I'm sure, it would be nice to send some comments their way too.
Here goes!

Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

I guess that Conks (B.S.'s guy) would be my last choice. He played just well enough to be a backup which IMO means that his impact was of a secondary nature. Good for a rookie, but opposing coaches didn't likely say "Man, I wish he was on our side tonight, that guy was awesome" in more than maybe 3 games.

R.B.'s comments about Stoll were bang on although Stoll would be my next to last choice as an impact player. I would say he proved to be the most important of the 4, but again his own play was no better than solid. He was never the difference in a game. That's excellent for a rookie centerman, but still not my idea of impact.

B.G.'s answer is the closest to what I'd give to define our impact player over the course of the whole season, Torres looked like a bonafide top 6 guy for the best part of 80 games and was likely the most feared rookie by opposing coaches in that whole span.

BG -

Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?

The #1 question around here imo, in honour of this beauty I'm going to switch back to my Redneck MacT avatar.

RB says no, but his long answer looks very good, bordering on "yes" which is imo ko-rect. JG's answer is good too, play him or trade him.

To Bryn ("Hard to mishandle a guy who doesnít show you anything. Trade bait.") I'd like to pose the question "How many hours should Ales burn on the top two lines while JR gets only 9 minutes per season, with Scott Ferguson no less"?

RB -

Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?

A good question, and one we all wanted to see answered. Can't pick a winner among them here.

5-way tie

Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?

Tough question but these guys sure didn't dance around it.

One of them has to be right so I guess we finally have the answer right there in front of us now. Which one is it Guy?????

5-way tie

Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?

Unfortunately for us Brownie's answer is probably correct. That was my guess last year when we were all posting proposals for moving up in the draft and it turned out to be correct back then too.

JG made a very good point about KP's drafting success, I think that KP could convince KLo to move either way if he really tried.

JG -

Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?

RB - gives us hope!

BG - Turn that frown upside down!

Whoever wins will get a retroactive thumbs up.

Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?


BG said Lynch, and he's my pick too.

BG -

Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?

I like Bob's answer - it would be nice to believe that the Oilers will make all of their decisions regarding their current roster players without regard to financial constraints but that's still pie in the sky imo.

This question was too hard to answer directly because of the cba issue so they all get credit for taking a stab at it.

5-way tie

Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?

RB: "Yes. Assuming, of course, Conklin sticks to stopping pucks rather than snapping metacarpals on the mugs of opposing goaltenders."

Any reference to Conks bonks on Nurmi's noodle gets my vote.

RB -


BG - 2
RB - 2
JG - 1
RR - 0 (If I didn't find out he was a Leaf's fan he might have stood a chance, luckily for him there are no neg #'s)
BS - 0 I liked some of Bob's answers so I'm surprised to see him get shut-out. He's like an true Oiler, a flurry of shots on net and gettin' nada.


K Guy, let's see your answers!

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04-28-2004, 04:18 PM
  #22
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Here are my comments:

Topic #1: Which first year Oiler made the most significant impact on the team this past season? (Bergeron, Stoll, Torres, Conklin).

Torres - because he did VERY well, gave us hope beyond Smyth and redeemed the Niinimaa trade (and some margin of faith in Lowe by extension) in the fans eyes. Conklin is a close second as he proved that we just might be ready for next year with a Conklin/Markannen tandem - thus, perhaps, saving us the expense of acquiring a new #1.

Topic #2: Has Jani Rita been mishandled and what should be done with him now?

Yes. Not so much because he hasn't deserved the shot but moreso because the mismanagement, by Lowe, of roster depth (too much depth on the wings) prevented ANY non-center forward from the farm from getting a decent shot.

Stoll, really, only got his chance because Comrie and Reasoner were absent for most of the season - the fact that he stepped up when needed supported him getting the chance BUT that doesn't obviate the fact that he got it because depth at that position was sorely lacking.

Rita never had that opportunity in the first place as he was almost always behind people on one-way contracts - which means he would have had to be freakin' amazing to get the same consideration. Hard to do that on 5 mins a night.

Topic #3: Which prospect(s) are you the most eager to see more of?

Mikhnov. Because we have to. People are singing the praises of Prendergast, and while I appreciate his work I also see the fact that neither Mikhnov or Niinimaki have really done ANYTHING yet and that, more importantly, they may NEVER do so. I would hate to waste two 1st round picks because they never play here and thus never pan out - it is imperative that Lowe get them into camp as soon as possible.

Topic #4: Do you think Alexei Mikhnov will be playing in North America next season?

Yes. Because I think Lowe understands what I said just previous.

Topic #5: Should the Oilers move up or down at the draft this year?

Yes. They won't but they should. It all comes down to one player in my estimation - Picard - if Lowe can move up to get him (or whoever he has a BPA) then he should. I am not talking about a dramatic move by any means, I am talking about moving up a couple of picks or so to get the guy he wants - just like New Jersey did with Parise.

I don't believe in BPA so much as I believe in BPATIWTICGFRC (Best Player Available That I Want That I Can Get For Reasonable Cost). If Lowe can lock in the guy he wants at the cost of a 2nd round pick or an Isbister type then he should do so.

Topic #6: Will the Top Prospect mini-camp run this summer?

Yes. No point in being namby-pamby about it. It should run and it will run. You don't cut off your nose to spite your face. For the estimated cost (I heard 100k), NOT running it is, quite simply, poor management. The Oilers get 100k out it just in tems of FREE and POSITIVE advertising via the newspapers and word of mouth.

I may be wrong - they may not run it - but not because I am not right about the fact that they should..

Topic #7: Who is Edmontonís No. 1 prospect in your mind?

To make it next year - JW. Best upside - JDD. Most important - JDD. Answer - JDD. Conks and Marks may get us to the play-offs but if this franchise ever wants to win a Cup again then JDD has to deliver. Barring any picks made this draft year JDD is all we have in that spot with any high-end upside at all - and that makes him our #1 prospect.

Topic #8: Do you expect veteran Oiler players to be traded at the draft or during the next training camp to make room for the rising prospects in the organization?

Yes. I expect one of Chimera, Isbister to be traded in the time frames mentioned. Smith MAY get traded if his contract demands are too high. My hope is that Cross would go instead.

Topic #9: Is the tandem of Conklin/Markkanen good enough to backstop the Oilers to the playoffs next year?

Yes. If we can do it with Essensa and Shtalenkov then we can do it with Conks and Marks. They won't get us past the first round BUT we should make the play-offs. They also, deserve the chance.


YKOil

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Old
04-28-2004, 07:15 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynster
Great comments in your post today.
Good job!

99% of Speeds posts are quality. Always a guy I like to read - agreed though, good post Speeds.

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Old
04-30-2004, 11:34 AM
  #24
Guy Flaming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
K Guy, let's see your answers!
Since you asked...


1. All four made terrific contributions in their own right and none would be a wrong answer. Iíll be different and take Marc-Andre Bergeron. His second half was fantastic and it showed in the improvement of the power play. Bergy could justifiably earn a nod for the all-rookie teams.

2.The left side is too crowded to get him in properly but why he was called up and then barely played seemed like poor planning to me. Why call him up only to let him watch when he could have been playing in the AHL? He wonít clear waivers next year so itís the NHL or back to Europe for Jani, unfortunately I canít see him being an Oiler because room would have to be made for him.

3. I really want to see more of Matt Greene, Marc-Antoine Pouliot and then Iíd say Colin McDonald.

4. Yes I think Mikhnov will agree to play with the Roadrunners. (This was before Spazz's report from Breakfast with Kevin Lowe, now I'm confused because K.P. told me a couple days ago that discussions were not really beginning in earnest until after the Worlds. I guess we'll see but i'm still hoping.

5. I donít think many teams will be willing to part with picks this year so Iíd be fine picking where they are.

6. All indications I have been given is that itís just a matter of convincing the ownership that spending the money is worthwhile and Iím sure Kevin Lowe can do that.

7. I am re-doing the top 20 as we speak and therefore I will abstain from this question so as not to reveal who will be #1 ahead of time.

8. I donít think Scott Ferguson will be back. I think the training camp will be the time to see a deal or two, with Rita being the reason. Either heís dealt or someone is dealt to make room for him.

9. Yes. Conklin is a winner, always has been. Markkanen has never been less then very good as an Oiler. Neither are elite but together they should be good enough to get the job done. It is not like Essensa and Shtalenkov years ago.

Just my two cents worth.

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Old
04-30-2004, 11:48 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Flaming
9. Yes. Conklin is a winner, always has been. Markkanen has never been less then very good as an Oiler. Neither are elite but together they should be good enough to get the job done. It is not like Essensa and Shtalenkov years ago.

Just my two cents worth.
Good post Guy. I couldn't agree with you more on point number 9. I absolute don't mind going inot next season with both Conklin and Jussi. I'd take two goalies with >.900 SV% and 2.50 GAA averages anyday.

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