Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Auf der Strasse wieder

Just like Willie, I'm on the road again and a little confused about the tax implications.

As usual I have been ignoring the blog, but my excuse is that I am now in my fourth location in less than two years and this time I moved to Germany. I have discovered that this puts a heck of a wrench in any hockey watching plans, but I am slowly getting more internet access so I hope to follow the team like in the old days of 2001-2005, where I mostly just played around with numbers and openly mocked season ticket holders. Ah, nostalgia.

The trade deadline was fairly interesting. I hope to work the numbers on O'Sullivan in the near future, but he strikes me as a player that has had a stretch of good performances against the Oilers in the past two years and that makes me pretty nervous. Those kind of buys always seem to come back to haunt you, but I'll reserve judgement until I actually see the data. The cost is also interesting. Cole is a pending UFA, but the trick with O'Sullivan is that he is already making decent scratch. It's not a burden of a contract, but it is a non-trivial percentage of the cap and if he can't cover the bet (a la Nilsson) then it's another slice in the Oilers' Cap Death by a Thousand Cuts.

Kotalik was picked up at a reasonable cost. As far as chasing bad bets goes, it could be worse than throwing a 2nd rounder to the wind. It's just my opinion, but I never thought the Oilers were a serious contender for a playoff spot this year and it was always about getting set for 2009-2010. The Oilers' front office never took that stance in word or action, so they had to make some changes at the deadline if they were within spitting distance.

Calgary is a killer. I don't rate Jokinen and never have. But, contrary to the TSN analysis, I bet he doesn't see much of Thornton or any of the big WC centres in the playoffs and that is a good thing for the Flames. Lombardi's probably the better player overall, but Jokinen's arguably a better bet to feast on weaker opposition and the Flames needed that. Meanwhile, Leopold was simply an awesome grab. Your time is now Calgary. I won't be cheering for you.


Blogger mc79hockey said...

Damn. Germany eh? Make sure to catch up with Brian Swanson and you can really complete your experience of following the Oilers in the first part of this decade.

3/10/2009 6:10 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

You read Jonathon's piece on the 'saw him good' angle, Rivers?

I've been waiting for someone to dig into O'Sullivan's numbers, I look forward your post.

At a quick glance, he had big numbers in the AHL as a 20 year old, granted he turned 21 mid-season. He played for Rob Daum that year, so surely the Oilers know what they are getting.

Plus he's yet another Oiler player from Pat Morris' camp. Most agents' players end up knowing each other pretty well, so I'm thinking Staios and Moreau offered their take on him as well. At least from a character POV, which was a knock on him around draft time I think.

Plus the logical thing for Dean Lombardi to do at the deadline was to make his team worse right now and better next year. So logic dictates that O'Sullivan was a guy that was helping L.A win.

Off track now, but Justin Williams is a terrific player IMO, mostly because I've seen him good but the numbers like him just as much. A great day for Lombardi I think.

And have fun in Germany, RiversQ.

3/11/2009 12:42 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Just to add:

The Oilers purged themselves of one of few solid NHLers on the roster and addressed their pressing need for talented young players with gaping holes in their games ... hrmmm, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Tambellini's deadline day wasn't about March/April '09.

3/11/2009 12:47 pm  
Blogger mc79hockey said...

At least from a character POV, which was a knock on him around draft time I think.

I always thought that the character knock on him was "Boy, his dad's six kinds of crazy" which isn't the fairest thing in the world for a guy to have hung on him.

3/11/2009 7:34 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Yeah... if anything, his character would likely be considered a strength given what he went through as a kid.

3/11/2009 10:00 pm  
Blogger MikeP said...

On the grounds of "it didn't kill him, so it must have made him stronger"? I wouldn't bet the farm or a first round pick on that, but O'Sullivan seems to have turned out better than most.

3/12/2009 6:12 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Yeah it wasn't so much his character as the fear that what his father did to him would result in disaster. The guy was vicious - I could not even imagine the scars it left, although the young guy seems to be pretty level headed.

Williams is a terrific player but he's had a lot of issues with injuries. Could be just a run of bad luck, I guess. A couple of freak things I think. If not then it might not work out so well for LA but they certainly are putting together a nice looking club there.

Have fun in Germany, Rivers.

3/13/2009 1:37 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I'd never read the story before, I'm not much into prospects. I read the Fifth Estate link, even though I know that they are anti-business and not above pure fabrication, and that's a strange story.

Strange not because it happened (assuming it did happen as they say), I would think that this sort of thing is fairly common, to one extent or another. It's strange that this would cause him to drop so far in the draft pecking order.

He's got good speed and a good shot, quick release. And the Oilers have precious few forwards who can score from outside the paint. And he goes into traffic. Age considered, he's put up good numbers everywhere. Seems like he should end up being a good player, as long as he doesn't cheat for offense. If he does, we'll see it soon enough i suspect, the 'new team smell' will wear off for Patrick pretty soon I'd think.

3/13/2009 3:09 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Cam: how did you end up in Germany?

The first thing i've really noticed about Sullivan is how fast he can accelerate. The kid can get up to top speed very quickly.

Ultimately, how we judge this deal will depend on how he meshes with either 89 or 83.

He can cover the bet with say a 25-60 season but if he gets into 30 goals, this will start to look even better.

He's not that big goal scorer we need but he'll be one of the top guys on the scoring-by-committee deal that we'll likely have going.

3/13/2009 9:53 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Willis said...

Nice to have you back posting, Rivers. Vic alluded to my piece on it above, but certianly O'Sullivan's put up numbers against the Oilers (PPG, in fact, with a pretty +/- to boot).

Still, he seems like a useful player even excepting that angle, and a nice guy to get for a UFA in Cole.

3/14/2009 10:49 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

And that's the key there Jonathan, for 20 games of Cole he's a nice pickup. I really did like Cole but I don't think he was going to sign.

Vic - I think you are right in that you might see some of this but generally at the lower levels - bantam and so on.

The fact that this guy did this so publically and that his son was in junior - I think that was the difference. He's like one of those tennis fathers that seem to haunt that sport.

3/14/2009 6:14 pm  
Blogger rananda said...

I always thought that the character knock on him was "Boy, his dad's six kinds of crazy" which isn't the fairest thing in the world for a guy to have hung on him.

Yea that knock never seemed to make much sense, but I think there was some post-draft issues as well, like he supposedly had a huge sense of entitlement upon first joining the Kings followed by a terrible attitude upon being sent down to Manchester. That stuff doesn't seem to be all that big of a deal though; it sure dont make his release any less quick or hard.

3/16/2009 10:01 am  
Blogger PDO said...

The fact that this guy did this so publically and that his son was in junior - I think that was the difference. He's like one of those tennis fathers that seem to haunt that sport.

His daughter was ranked top 10 in the country at one point for her age group according to one of the articles on Sully...

3/17/2009 1:30 am  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Dennis: I'm here for work for six months.

Anyway, I hope to actually post something this weekend. I shouldn't have to lean on the Golden Arches for internet access after tomorrow.

3/18/2009 2:37 pm  

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