Thursday, January 26, 2006



Confusing lede from the CP:
LOS ANGELES (CP) - The Edmonton Oilers hope they have found the offensive blue-liner they've been looking for after acquiring Dick Tarnstrom from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday in exchange for forward Jani Rita and defenceman Cory Cross.

Huh? I thought their biggest problem was in goal. And of course, Kevin Lowe has been looking for a first-line centre for a long time; that's no secret.
Tarnstrom has only 10 points (5-5) in 33 games this season while sporting a minus-10 rating on the struggling Penguins.

This trade may work out well for the Oilers, or it may not: I don't know. What I do know is that it will frighten precisely none of Edmonton's conference rivals. (Any player that you're tempted to describe as "a poor man's Roman Hamrlik" will not have San Jose quaking in their skates).

Related--Mudcrutch put a nice post up last night (with a chart!), summarized by this quote:
I doubt that Jackman or Tarnstrom bring significant improvement. Lowe should really be pushing the goalie angle right now--everything else is just window dressing.

UPDATE, 1 hour later: Now there's something to get more worked up about! The Oilers have acquired cheapshotting scumbag Jaroslav Spacek from the Chicago Blackhawks. In related news, Flames forward Byron Ritchie remains out of the lineup with a sprained MCL.


What about getting Jaroslav Spacek from Chicago? That move is HUGE for Edmonton. Spacek is +8 on Chicago, who, as a team are -42, so thats unbelievable.

I think the biggest improvement is getting rid of Cory Cross.

An Oiler fan in my office takes a guess at Tarnstrom's comments after his first game as an Oiler....

pant pant GASP gasp "Holy shit." gasp pant "Does every team out west play that fast and physical? We never had to skate that hard in Pittsburg."

It'll likely be more along the lines of "Holy shit, wait, I can't say shit on TV".

Oh wait, that MA Fleury :P


"Then GM Kevin Lowe acquired Czech Olympian Spacek from the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Tony Salmelainen.

Spacek, 31, had 24 points (7-14) in 45 games with Chicago this season."

Oilers are gathering up some d-men. Why? Possibly so they can trade Pronger for a star goalie? How crazy will it get?

Pronger for a star goalie? Nah, I'll go with Dvorak, Schremp, and Bergeron for Brad Richards. Since we're talking crazy and all...

There was actually a funny joke in the TSN thread. Someone asked:

AWESOME! What is Spacek's GAA and SV%?...


Spacek is the big name here, although the Tarnstorm trade seems like a plus too and I'd expect him to see significant PP time. On the premise that Kevin Lowe knows his stuff when it comes to defencemen--the only strong piece of counterevidence has just been put on a plane to Pittsburgh--these trades could collectively be a HUGE deal for us.

By the way, nice Hanrahan reference, Mudcrutch. She's a lesbian! A LESBIIAANNN!"

"Reg, what did you say to him?"

"I told him his wife is a dyke."

"His wife's a dyke?"

"His wife IS a dyke."

"Does that make him a fag?"

Speaking of the TSN thread, nice to see Oiler fans aren't letting up on Cross now that he's gone. The epitome:

"LOL, Like Pittsburgh wasn't bad enough without Cro ..."

8 defense again. Are the Oil going to be shopping a dman to get a proven goalie? Something to watch for unless the plan on sending Matt Greene down to the minors.

K-Lo's take at 5:05 pm on CFRN:

Had my eye on Spacek for a number of years, since Columbus... saw him at Worlds on a very good Czech team and he's a real steady guy, moves the puck well, got a sneaky-heavy shot, good first pass. He's not a banger by any stretch but he's not soft.

Tarnstrom, same thing--remember him starting out with Islanders... I think he actually got picked up on waivers by Pittsburgh... turned into one of the premier offensive defencemen, but Gonchar acquisition pushed him out of that role.

One of the things I liked is that these are both unrestricted guys. That may sound strange but I like the fact that both these guys will be motivated to have good seasons and perform in the playoffs.

Lowe would neither confirm or deny that a goalie trade was in the offing, but mentioned that he was "happy" to have eight NHL-grade defencemen around and acknowledged that "lots of teams are on the lookout for a top-4 defenceman." This interview just raised my personal estimate of the chances that Lowe will make a move for a goalie.

Huh. Looks like Lowe's hoping a deeper defensive pool will take some heat of our mediocre goaltending. Kinda circuitous way to go about it (especially considering the wealth of goaltending currently on the block), but hey, I'm pretty happy with these trades.

Spacek's a very smart move that cost our team a paltry minor-leaguer, and I really can't find cause to complain about acquiring a PP specialist for a very late-blooming "power" forward and a kind-hearted, dopey-eyed redwood. I'm interested to see how this plays out.

But considering our sudden dearth of secondary (and inter, primary) scoring and our belaboured-upon goaltending "issue," I'd wager Lowe's not done dealing yet.

There was actually a funny joke in the TSN thread.

Reading the TSN thread is a step above reading Eklund but a step below a debate with one of the 15,000 HF Oilers posters with Hemsky or 83 in their name.
I'm just saying.

By the way, nice Hanrahan reference, Mudcrutch.

I was watching the west wing dvd last night after writing that and Josh goes off on this rant about Kant and Plato et al. I was kind of depressed that I've got a similar educational background to this fictional character and basically all of the cultural references I make involve either the Simpsons or Slap Shot.

As for the trades, I give them a "meh". While I generally like the strategy of snagging #1 D from bad teams, I'm not so sure it works with the #6 D. Anyone who read what I wrote will know that I'm surprised Spacek was available so cheaply-I'm wondering if the first thing he does upon moving to a new team is bang somebody's wife, because he seems to have bounced around a lot for a guy who's been a plus player on bad teams 5 out of his 7 years in the NHL.

These are solid trades. Sure, they don't solve the goaltending issue, but if you had told me 3 months ago that the Oil were going to unload Rita, Cross, and the Salamander for a bag of pucks, I would have been ecstatic. Getting back 2 defenceman who can actually play is just a bonus.

Plus it means I can flip Tarnstom to the guy in my fantasy league who is obsessed with collecting Oilers players. It's like watching a seven year old kid pick a team.

Sam, Josh or Toby, that is the question.

Another good one from the TSN boards :

Author: matt89
STUPID TRADE don't get me wrong I like Dick Tarnstrom but $20 says Jani Rita will develop into a superstar jut because MacTavish hated him thats why he never got to play we should of gave up Schremp because hes goign to be nothing in the NHL. americans cant play hockey

Oh, and put me down for $20 that says Lowe sends one of his D-men somewhere (Columbus?) for a goalie within the next 6 weeks.

I'm adding the acquisition of cheapshotting scumbag Spacek to my list of reasons to hate the Oilers. It is logged as item number 12,308,792.

Go Flames!! Go Kings!!

Oh, and put me down for $20 that says Lowe sends one of his D-men somewhere (Columbus?) for a goalie within the next 6 weeks.

The speculation elsewhere is that Bergeron is the guy who will be on the move. I hope not-I like what he brings to the table and he's signed cheap for many years to come. I can see why he'd be attractive to other teams though.

"We really felt that to this point, our forwards have really had a good year," said Lowe. "Our defence, by and large, has been good but that and our goaltending has been the weaker part of our team."

So admits Lowe

Which begs the question...

He also mentions Bergeron as a player the have signed for a lengthy period, which makes me wonder if they will actually move him.

Just the thought of not hearing Cross' or Ulanov's name every night makes me sigh in relief.


Not bad, though I might put Smith down as my 5th D, and move Spacek up.

When are they joining the team, btw?

The Pronger-Bergeron pairing will probably get busted up. MAB is running his bag off trying to keep up with Prongs' minutes, or so Lowe offered as one of the reasons for the trade.

Staios is pretty nearly back on top form, so he'll be taking most of the MAB minutes on Pronger's flank, I imagine. I highly doubt the new guys will get thrown together.

Wow. I go to a few meetings today and come out to find we have a whole new set of d-men.

I'm still mulling it over. I think it is good.

Thanks for putting up the post MF.

Don't worry, Sac. Matt watches the Oilers more than he watches "his own" team. I can always count on him to provide complete Oilers coverage. I was surprised, however, that no reference to his rent boy Mike Peca was made in the post.

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