Monday, July 10, 2006


I can’t be sure who to thank for the quote that elicited my current line of thought but Kevin Lowe’s history indeed suggests him to be the kind of man who bets on seven more often than not.

Recent reports have indicated that Radek Dvorak wants back in the fold. I will put my personal feelings on this matter on hold for a moment or two for the purposes of this post.

There are many people in the hockey world who think of Radek Dvorak as a scorer who simply will not score. Perhaps he has been snake-bitten for the better part of a few years, perhaps he believes in the “scorer’s code” and does not want to put up points unless the collective community of goals and assists somehow picks a fight with him first. Nonetheless, those folk who perceive Dvorak in this light miss a large chunk of his actual value to a hockey team.

I realize that the readership of this blog is not likely to need reminding of Radek’s abilities in his own end. He is a valuable penalty killer and outscores reasonably difficult opposition reasonably well. He is also capable of rushing the puck up the ice with terrific speed in an effort to create that kind of unlikely bonus offence that I would attribute to Laraque if the puck ever ended up in the net after one of his keep-away games. Apparently, #20’s ESP/hr is actually very respectable.

I hereby propose that, in keeping with the Oilers’ history of preferring veterans to youth and reliability to flair, Radek Dvorak is brought in as Edmonton’s one (and only) “McAmmond”-type signing. I would still like Pouliot and Jacques to make the team and I believe that this situation would force Schremp to earn his way. Finally, I think that the prospect-folk would still be satiated by two rookies on the big club whereas Dvorak + one more vet would break too many hearts.

PS - My apologies for the poetry-styled first post. I suppose the Manitoban in me insists on some sort of central bias.


Anonymous namflashback said...


I concur that D-vo would be a really low cost way to add that insurance.

However, based on his statement would he be willing to come back as a babysitter. He might not get in the rotation every game.

Hemsky-Lupul-Pisani-WInchester-Mikhnov-Dvorak all on the RW.

- Hemsky and Pisani will not sit unless they are hurt.
- Lupul will not sit unless he is regularly losing them games
- Depending on Mikhnov's signing/ability -- he might get a look, but more likely gets to ride a bus in the AHL. However, even being in the minors -- he will affect the lineup. If Mikhnov is the player they really want to keep, then they need to pump and dump Winchester. All this affects what D-Vo would get for icetime.

However, since Oiler fans

7/10/2006 11:59 am  
Anonymous Big T said...

Couldn't the Big Tractor be used on the opposite side? Or Dvo, Lupul, Pisani or Winchester for that matter? Hell, HF even has Mikhnov slotted in as a winger on the port side - not that writing that a player is RW or LW should bolt their butt to either side anyways.

This team actually has a pretty impressive bunch of wingers. (No wonder Stolly does so well with the ladies with this impressive bunch of wingmen helping out at the clubs... sorry, bad joke. couldn't resist.)

To me, this year's team looks a lot like the Oakland A's of last year - they could just as easily put up 100 pts as they could 70.

Either way, what happens this year should be looked at as pure gravy. This team is built for '07 and beyond.

Thank the Big Guy that we have a GM who actually lays out a plan rather than lives for this year and this year alone. That's what job security does for you I guess.


7/10/2006 12:48 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I'm a guy who has hacked on D-vo a bit although I definitely recognize his value and looking at this team they could use him - I think he would get his icetime on the PK and playing a lot of defensive minutes in place of Lupul, for example.

As long as the price is right and guessing by his retreat from his agent's asinine comments he has found that the market for his services is not as hot as they would have hoped

7/10/2006 1:26 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/10/2006 1:37 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Good posts!

I agree with two main points.

1) Insurance is really what it comes down to. Dvorak may be forced to take on a limited role, though I have since read some of RiversQ's, Lowetide's, and dawgbone's posts at HF that suggest he would still get a reasonable amount of minutes if only at ES and PK.

I had not given much thought to Winchester and Mihknov to tell you the truth; I had them earmarked for the AHL though they each may have a realistic shot at the big leagues.

Speaking of insurance, Legace would be excellent insurance in goal at a cheap price and high historical relative save percentage. Markkanen is probably a mostly safe bet in case Roloson goes down or declines; Legace is definitely a safe bet.

2) This team is built for 07 and beyond. Depending on how you feel about this notion, you may not feel you need a guy like Dvorak, even as a babysitter. If you expect your long term prospects to be similar with or without him then perhaps you'd choose to hold on to your $1M investment.

That said, if his presence were utilized with a keen eye for context (which I believe MacT to have) he could make a half-decent season long contribution to Edmonton's goal differential. Does adding D-vo add even one more play-off home game?

Lupul scored 30.5 ES points per 1000 ES minutes last season. Dvorak scored 27.6 - when you consider that both would be lucky to hit 1000 ES minutes (they weighed in at 919.6 and 834.73 respectively) the difference in ES offense is nearly nil. How many goals over the course of the season are prevented because Dvorak (and Pisani) are on the ice instead of Lupul (and Hemsky) against certain opposition?

Definitely more than 1 or 2. The actual number is something I can't derive but it should be the sticking point IMO.

7/10/2006 3:45 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

A lot depends on health. Dvorak needs speed to be effective, and he's had a rash of lower body injuries. Serious knee and thigh problems in NY iirc. And I think he hurt one of his legs playing in Europe in 04/05 as well. The guy isn't exactly an ironman.

I would hope that Ken Lowe and the Oilers medical staff have a pretty good read on that though.

In any case, you need 10 good forwards IMO. Because at any given time, chances are that one is going to be injured and another playing with serious hurt.

Lupul would be fine on the left side, Pisani too. I'm not too worried about that.

I like the Euro pickup too. Not that I know who this player is, but Lowe likes his WC players and it sounds like a good gamble. I mean surely there were dozens of verteran D playing in Europe last season who would have done better that Ulanov, Cross and dozens of othere similar NHL guys.

7/10/2006 3:50 pm  

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