Friday, March 31, 2006

What Will The Oilers Look Like Next Season?

I heard Kevin Lowe interviewed on CHED about half an hour before the Minnesota game started. And we all know that any interview with CHED involves the Oilers issuing a list of questions to the interviewer (in this case Morley Scott I think) and Lowe replying to them with prepared answers.

He made an interesting comment, and this is just by my rusty memory here, please correct me if I got this wrong, but the gist of it was:

In previous years we moved out expensive star players in the off season because we had to. Now we're in a position where we'll be moving out these players because we want to. To make room for some terrific young players coming up.

Things that make you go hmmm.


Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

He's obviously talking about Peca (replaced by MAP?) but who else. I can't see them keeping Georges but does he qualify as a star? If he were a Leaf(Hi, Tahir Domi) but nowhere else.

3/31/2006 12:13 pm  
Blogger speeds said...

look at EDM's UFA forward list, there has to be big changes coming, even if it's shuffling deck chairs.



One move I could see them making, from an analytical side, is something like Smyth for a goalie, and signing Samsonov. Idon't actually think they'll move Smyth, but if they could get good value for him I could see the sense in it if they can sign Samsonov, though that wouldn't leave EDM with the biggest/toughest top 6 in NHL history (Stoll, Horcoff, Hemsky, Torres, Samsonov, ???)

I also think the Oilers could try to sign a RW like Sykora this summer (in place of Samsonov), he seems like a guy they'd like and NYR will have trouble keeping all their UFA's this summer.

Going to be interesting times, there are 18 forwards within the system currently that could be here next year (well, 17, Peca's a goner), top of my head:

Harvey(team option, I believe, he's cheap, they'll probably keep him but I could see them dumping him to open the spot as well)

* = RFA
** = UFA
*** = unsigned rookie

3/31/2006 12:24 pm  
Anonymous lowetide said...

If you're Georges Laraque you probably get in 10 fights from here to the finish line.

I'm kind of torn on the guy. While he is inconsistent there's obviously some intimidation that goes on and he's the approximate equivalent of a 95 mph fastball behind your head.

But he's not worth the money. Would they sign him for $750k?

Then again how often do you dress him?

He's a nice insurance policy and does play his best hockey later in the year.

Wish Winchester could figure out his role.

3/31/2006 12:54 pm  
Blogger speeds said...

that quote is quite interesting, what "star players" does EDM have? There's really only 2 of them, at least, considered "stars" and paid like them, Smyth and Pronger.

3/31/2006 3:24 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


It's not a quote, just from my memory.

3/31/2006 4:12 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

speeds said...
that quote is quite interesting, what "star players" does EDM have? There's really only 2 of them, at least, considered "stars" and paid like them, Smyth and Pronger.

Peca and Samsonov have to be considered as well.

Same with Hemsky and Horcoff because that "not paid like stars" thing will be recified very shortly.

3/31/2006 4:18 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Damn, of course that should have been "rectified."

3/31/2006 5:19 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Yeah I guess it all depends on if Lowe really said the word "star" and if he did it depends on just what he qualifies as a star player. To me the Oilers have three start players: 83-94-44 and I'd be shocked if the first or last two were dealt and the first because of his youth and service time and the latter because of his salary.

But I'm with Mike in thinking that 94 could be on the way out and I've been floating that idea since the Oilers picked up Samsonov. Right now the Oilers have three LW's in 14-12-94. 14's cheap and inconsistent and is on his way to a close to 30 goal season. 12's UFA to be but the Oilers are so skill starved after all these years that it's hard to imagine them not fighting to keep him. 94's making close to four mill and he has one year left on his deal.

If Lowe really wants to address the tending maybe he makes a move of say 94 for Ana for Gigure.

I love Smytty but I could learn to love Samsonov as well:) and I'd say we could get him for 3/10, ie years/mill. And I've had it up to here with the way this org addresses it's netminding.

if I was Lowe the first thing I'd do is sign up RD and 10-16 and then look at the wings and D and goalie and see how he can shake it all out.

3/31/2006 5:52 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Dennis said...

Yeah I guess it all depends on if Lowe really said the word "star" and if he did it depends on just what he qualifies as a star player.

Agreed. And I'm not at all sure that he used those words, may very well have said "expensive veterans" or some such. that's just the gist of what he said. I think that 630 CHED archives all their shows, so it's probably on there somewhere. I'd say somewhere between 6:30 and 6:50 on Tuesday.

The impression I was left with, my feeling, Peca is absolutely positively gone, but as BDHS says ... that was a foregone conclusion anyways. And Lowe said that he's been sitting down and figuring out the shape of next year's team, presumably estimating what it will cost to sign the RFAs. And I think that he sees that 1, 2 or all of Samsonov, Spacek and Dvorak won't fit into his budget either. Depending probably on how much he spends on a goalie, in terms of budget space and assets.

He's got some big decisions to make this summer, that's for sure.

3/31/2006 6:28 pm  
Blogger mike w said...

I think Lowe is talking exclusively about Peca. I myself batted around the idea of trading Smyth and he turns around and scores 35 goals or whatever by the end of the season.

Smyth clearly wants to stay, has some elite PP abilities in front of the net, and being a long-standing figure of continuity for the Oilers, I don't see him being traded. Re-signing Samsonov seems like an outside shot since he's smart enough to go where he's most valued, mercenary-like, and I don't see the Oilers forking over $5 million like Columbus or Chicago might. Whatever the Oilers might spend on Samsonov will be better used on signing RFA's like Horcoff and Hemsky to long-term deals. In essence, the Oil may not change a whole lot except for a few obvious non-returning UFAs, especially if they finish out the year with a reasoable finish. Out of the bunch, I'd re-sign Spacek.

4/01/2006 2:14 am  
Blogger Dennis said...

Some good points, Mike. I'd look at 12 over 94 because 12's young and he might command a little less money than 94 will once '08 comes and Smyth's UFA. But in looking at our LW depth chart right now we've got nearly 60 goals from out top two LW's so we're obviously doing fine:)

Yeah for awhile I thought Peca might come back if we went a couple of rounds in the playoffs but I don't think that's the case anymore. And if MacT plans matching power vs power then we can break in MAP as our 3rd line centre alongside dependable guys like 18-34 or 20 and if he shows some offense then that's great. First and foremost we gotta get 10-16 locked up and move on from there.

I'd love for Samsonov to come back but I'd be happy if we went with these lines and he wasn't included: ie first thing we do is resign RD and Pisani.

94-10-20 - playing the tough min
14-16-83 - getting some soft min
18-MAP, ie he'll have a more sensible number next year:)-34
and then the 4th line is BG back on the cheap and maybe a Dowd type in the middle and JFJ as the portsider. Of course this leaves out RS and Mikhnov but I won't believe the latter exists until I see him though the former might mean you can deal a guy Torres for a goalie. Maybe RS plays LW with 16-83. Poor Stoll when it comes to defensive responsibility;)

Then on the D we have Pronger-Smith-MAB-Greene. We try and bring back Spacek and that means we consider Tarnstrom as a 6th and we can float around Staios for a goalie.

Right now I see Torres and Staios being the possible bait for a tender. Torres because when you look at his stats and see that he's a plus player and only 6 of his 26 goals are on the PP and his shooting % is over 17% and he has only three years service time spent then he could potentially have huge value on the market. And if either of Mihknov and RS are ready then we might be able to deal him. And I see Staios being floated if we can re-sign Spacek.

Anyway hopefully we land a good tender and looking at the above lines we'd be a better team at ES than we are this year, ie that's if macT uses RD on his shutdown line, and we'd still have all our skill left to throw on the PP.

4/01/2006 1:44 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I'm of the same thinking Dennis. Except I agree with mike w on the way that the Samsonov scenario is likely to play out.

I think that what you are suggesting, the power-vs-power top line, is exactly the way that MacTavish and Lowe saw this season rolling out. Then Peca couldn't create offense early with Hemsky and Torres, not to save his life. And with Smyth and Horcoff out with injury early, then back but playing hurt, the strategy got shifted.

I really believe that the presence of Peca in the lineup has been to the detriment to the team. Not necessarily his fault, mind.

4/01/2006 7:28 pm  

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