Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Oilers Game Day-Panthers

Record: 15-19-7Record: 18-18-2

Short Term Voice
Is the holiday freeze on trades over yet? Can we ship out the whole f**ing team, including the General Manager? The Oilers are 2-8 in their last ten games, including four straight losses. They've scored twenty-six goals over that period, and given up a whopping fourty-one. They've given up powerplay goals (thirteen, to be exact) in six of those ten games. Their two best players--Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth--have both returned from injury, and yet the team has not improved. The 37-year-old goaltender the team signed to a three-year deal this summer looks like what we thought he was, an old, career backup. The local model they got for Chris Pronger avoids playing defence like Derek Zoolander avoids making left turns ("I'm not an ambi-player. I'm just really, really good looking"). A 20-year-old Czech who swash buckled for the Portland Pirates last season is leading the defence. When they score, they can't play defence. When they play defence, they can't score. When the goaltending is hot, the powerplay sucks. When the powerplay is finding mesh, the goaltending bites. They only show up when they are down. There is no consistency, no urgency in their play. The head coach is soft on the players. There's obviously a leadership problem. The team has salary cap space, yet the General Manager continues to do nothing. In short, this team sucks, AND I CAN'T STAND IT ANY MORE. Trade for two defencemen, fire Craig MacTavish, fire Craig Simpson, make Ryan Smyth captain, and turn around the season. Now.

Long Term Voice
Okay. Deep breaths. Woooo. That's it. Wooo. There you go. I'm not surprised. Some fortunate breaks and excellent goaltending have kept the Oilers above water all year. And now it's turned the other way. No problem. There is lots of hockey left in the season. The Oilers always do this. They'll turn it around, and make a second-half surge for the playoffs. Sure, they may only make it into the eight spot in the Western Conference, but that didn't turn out too bad last season, did it? One game away from winning it all, baby. They've suffered through three significant injuries already, yet the team is still at .500. The rookies are getting experience that will pay off down the line, either this year or the next. It's impossible for Shawn Horcoff to be snake-bitten all season long. He'll start ringing up the points, and soon. Jarret Stoll, Fernando Pisani and Raffi Torres are playing great. Smytty has picked up where he left off, hell-bent on carrying the team to the Sweet Sixteen (and forcing K-Lowe into giving him a fat new contract). The powerplay has actually looked pretty decent, scoring seven goals in the past four games. Kevin Lowe has spent the past four months assessing the team's needs, and will start shuffling and pulling the trigger in January. He acquired Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom on January 26, 2006. Roli was acquired on March 8, 2006, Sergei Samsonov on March 9th. Total cost: Jani Rita, Cory Cross, Tony Salmelainen, Marty Reasoner, Yan Stasny, 1st, 2nd and conditional 3rd round pick in 2006 Draft. Excellent trades for little to no cost, and all done in the second-half of the season. The salary cap space is there, but the Oilers run according to their own budget. And well they should. Spending money doesn't necessarily equate with winning games, in any sport. And the money some General Managers gave to free agent defencemen this summer...cough, John Ferguson...was all kinds of wrong. Reports out of Boston have Brad Stuart looking to ask for around $6 million a season as a UFA this upcoming summer. I don't want my team paying that much for a player of that caliber, and I would have wanted very few of the free agent defencemen six months ago for the money they were getting. So sure it hurts now, and sure I wish Kevin Lowe would just come out and say it if it is indeed his plan, but giving the kids the ice-time now, and hoarding prospects and draft picks, may reap the greatest return for the Oilers in the "new" NHL. All in all, this team is in much healthier shape than it was three years ago, and I can't forget that. The future is bright, and I'm going to sit back and watch it all grow.


Short Term Voice: 8-4, Panthers. Jay Bouwmeester and Nathan Horton each score a hat-trick, and Eddie Belfour pays Edmonton police $1 billion dollars to avoid jail-time for stealing the game.

Long Term Voice: 3-1, Oilers. But losing is all right too, man. It's all Zen, and The Dude abides.


No sooner does Short Term Voice lay into Lupul than he sees him doing a nice ad for the Alberta Foster Parent Association on the television. Kind of hard to stay mad at Zoolander when you see him doing all that good work at the Joffrey Zoolander Center For Children Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.

For serious.

I will go with a long term voice. But I really would like MAB and a forward to be packaged to get a D man. Does not need to be number 1 just a solid D man. MAB has not lived up to any expectations and a change of scenery would be good for both sides. He has a sweet contract that GM would love to have.
I was at the BOA on Sunday accosted by many dopy Flame fans that are planning the parade already. Both teams have issues. A team in the NW that can win on the road is going to be the team. The Oilers miss an true energy player... fuck I miss Ethan

I too go with the LTV, though it's hard not to get caught up in the passion of STV. The ideal: trades for parts like we did last year, push deep in the playoffs, then sign the core (especially Smytty) long-term, and develop the youngins into the core. Easy, right?

Joffrey Zoolander?

That one, in my mind, might be worthy of the Glossary. Wow. And I thought the Mike Comrie comparison was awesome....really, Lowe should trade him to Phoenix just so they can team those two up and have the Squeeeee-est line in the NHL (and so we can end up with Ballard or Michalek). Damn pretty boys who can't play at both ends of the rink.

Anyways, I'll go with a hybrid version. Team gets shit together, Lowe gets some help withouth sacrificing any of the "extended core" (Smyth, Horcoff, Hemsky, Torres, Stoll, Pisani, Reasoner, Moreau, Sykora, Smith, Staios, Smid, Greene, Roloson, Pouliot, Jacques, Cogliano, Gilbert, Dubnyk, IMO), the team gets hot and takes the division by being the first team in the 2006-07 BOA series to "break serve" by winning the last game of the season in Calgary (Dennis at IOF called this season's Edm/Cgy matchup a "homer series", and so far, he's right on the money) and taking the northwest by a point.

8th place? Remember 1999? I think the Ducks are going to be like the 1996 Red Wings at the end of the day (with San Jose playing the role of the Colorado Avalanche), but I get this horrific version of that first round series against Dallas in 1999 where the other team was just too good even though the Oilers gave it their all. 7th (and a matchup against Nashville or Detroit) would be MUCH better.

As for tonight, let's go 4-2 Oil, same score that the Oilers and Panthers put up last time Florida was here (mid-January 2004). Hemsky with a pair, Torres with one, and Laco to finally bust the cherry and tie Matt Greene for the team lead in rookie goal scoring by defensemen.

Ummmm.... what do you think of this

Nedved? For real?

Long term view has to be taken. Its a slump - every team (except the Ducks and les Sabres apparently) goes through them.

Team's problems are magnified (defence mostly but everythign else too), players begin to try to do too much and there is not a lot a coach can do, to be honest.

Lowe either - he's in a weak position right now - you can bet he's getting a lot of Richard Matvichuk for Raffi Torres type offers right now.

Unless you've got boatloads of talent slumps are going to happen.

Its like when you're young and single and you've had no luck in the boudoir lately - you go out and try and make it happen - and its not happening.

Then one day you don't give a good fuck anymore and all of a sudden things turn around.

Unless you're Andy - then you're never caught short. ;)


Jesus - ummm, I can't see that helping. Who's next - Janne?

Hope I get to eat these words but I cannot see it.

UPDATE: Despite earlier rumors that the Senators were going to snag him on re-entry waivers, Petr Nedved was claimed off waivers by the Oilers this morning.

Veddy interesting....center depth is always a good thing, and by my calculations, this move only costs the Oil about $630K in terms of salary AND cap space, if my interpretation of the CBA is correct. Still need more "grease" at forward, however.


The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this move is the precursor to something else, though....

So, there seems to be near unanimous agreement that the Oilers need to 'trade for a defenceman' (who this amazing defenceman might be, I have no clue. Apparently Pronger is injured and unavailable) and K-Lowe goes out and grabs Petr Nedved off waivers?

This is the same Petr Nedved who can't stick with the Flyers, the worst team in hockey. Do the Oilers need another forward who can't back check?

All part of the plan, peter.

What plan that might be, I haven't the foggiest, but like Andy I'm all into the Zen.

Or something like that.

So, there seems to be near unanimous agreement that the Oilers need to 'trade for a defenceman' (who this amazing defenceman might be, I have no clue. Apparently Pronger is injured and unavailable) and K-Lowe goes out and grabs Petr Nedved off waivers?

This is the same Petr Nedved who can't stick with the Flyers, the worst team in hockey. Do the Oilers need another forward who can't back check?

Well, maybe he's opening the door to move another forward cough*Lupul*cough for a defenseman.

Think about it: he's not going to trade any of Smyth/ Horcoff/ Hemsky/ Torres/ Stoll/ Pisani. I think we can all agree on that. Sykora and Nedved are both pending UFA's. That leaves Lupul, who is probably giving the team about as much as Robbie Schremp would give it at this point.

At less than 650k, it's a low risk move, and it may increase Lowe's flexibility just a bit in terms of acquiring said d-man.

And no, there are no Chris Prongers available. Besides, I think Lowe would prefer a lesser defenseman of lower salary for cap concerns and of higher loyalty and moral character for retention concerns.

It is what it is. Lowe's work is FAR from done.

What I like about this move?

It means another has to be coming, and for the purposes of THIS season.

It has to be part of a bigger plan, but that plan is ... obscure. After being waived a couple of times this season, Nedved himself has no trade value. The only team that seemed interested in him was the Senators. Do they have anything the Oilers want? Otherwise he would be taking the place of another forward on the roster who would be moved. And even then, what about the guys on the farm? Is Nedved better than Mikhnov or Thoreson? Or Schremp?

I don't get it. Maybe because I have completely bought into the short term view and can't see anything past that.

Go Flames.


I honestly believe this may open the door a crack for Lowe to look at moving Lupul in a package for a defenseman.

Wishful thinking? Maybe, but I hope not. The guy, like Lowetide says, has great talent, but a) he's not Hemsky and b) the Oilers are deep at forward.

They're going to have to move someone good to improve the blueline, and I'd rather it be Joffrey than Raffi or Jarret.

Novel idea: Trade Sykora.

This is one of the bigger "WTF Lowe?" moves.... the only way it makes sense at first blush is if they're gonna trade him, but then you have to ask "who'd want him?".

And if they're gonna trade another roster forward who Nedved is meant to replace, then who? It's gotta be a player of a similiar type, ie soft minutes eater. Torres seems most likely, and then Lupul. Stoll could go too if Nedved is meant to play centre. You'd gotta think Stoll is more valuable to the team than Nedved could ever be though, if just for the PKing alone.

So.... WTF lowe?

I don't understand Oilfanz' love for Horcoff. He's making Sedin money for 20 pts and a minus 12. If he's worth 3.5 whats Stoll worth? 4.5? whats that make Smyth worth? 8.5? Nobody should be untouchable but by their incredibly overpriced contracts Pisani and Horcoff are basically Oilers for life, now.

Though, this costs the oilers absolutly nothing, if MAP is the one getting sent down to make room, then that clears his salary off the books, which is basically what Nedved would be making.

Is Nedved a good replacement for MAP? Perhaps that's the view being taken.

If Nedved is the answer, you're asking the wrong question.

I think they are trying to boost Lupul's confidence by getting one of the few players in the league with a lower plus/minus.

I'm suprised by the move, but I guess I can see how a guy like that might help build some better line combos.

Seems like he played with Raffi and Dvo last time around right?

Nedved will likely be centring Sykora and Hemsky. Smyth will be reunited with Horc and ...?? will play on their wing.

joe - Horcoff gets a pass right now because of the season he had last year, really. Great year at both ends of the rink and a playoff where among other things he smoked the MVP in the second round playing him head to head.

Has he had a bad year this year? Oh yeah. But its not over yet and good players have bad years - Modano, Naslund, Iginla, Sundin, Brindamour, JS Giguere all come to mind as guys who have underperformed badly for an extended run at some point over the past couple of years.

You may be right - if this it then that's an awful waste of a lot of cap space. But I think (and hope) not.

black dog: There's an article up on Sportsnet that seems to imply a reunion of Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky on a permanent basis.

Methinks we are going to see the ULTIMATE soft-minutes line:


Wow. Leave the house for a few hours, and BAM! I like the move, myself. It costs us nothing, and the guy can ball. He was awesome here in 03/04. I think he will be a fantastic asset on the PP, in particular. Sure, we still need a D-man, but if it only costs us $630K minus the salary of whoever will now be sent down (MAP for sure, right?), why not take the chance? And let's be honest, the offence has stunk for most of the year. He may be the spark that we need.

Depth chart now looks like this:


JFJ and Magni floating around, and Chopper on the IR.

I just wonder who will pass the puck on a Lupul-Nedved-Sykora line?

Thoreson has been sent down Andy. This move is costing the Oilers roughly 300K at the moment.

I'm guessing Thoreson ends up playing more NHL games than JFJ or MAP over the rest of the season though.

Thoresen was sent down. :(

I don't understand.

And I can't see Nedved being of any use unless he's playing with Hemsky.

I hope I'm wrong but he's not the player he once was.

but he's not the player he once was.

Thats funny.

not if you're petr nedved

or an Oiler's fan

What I mean by funny is the combination of blindingly obvious understatement combined with the wistful naivete as to one, Petr Nedved. Let's not worry about ol' Petr, I think I can fairly say that he's earned a lot more than he's deserved over his career, so whatever happens he'll be fine. As to the good ship Oil, people will defend this move as not costing the Oilers much, but thats a bug not a feature. They're either too tight to their own budget and/or have overvalued and overpaid possible trade pieces to make any meaningful changes. Let's face it, there is no cavalry coming over the hill. This team is basically set for the remainder of the year. Fans always think the team just needs one or two more pieces, I'm just as guilty of that as anyone, its in a fan's nature to want to tweak and massage and play GM, but there are no blindingly obvious moves. Any possible trade for a defenseman has to be made in the context of 29 other teams wanting to improve also. So the Oilers are going to have to somehow 'outvalue' everyone else for the meat that'll be on offer, and as shown by the Oilers present position in the standings it looks like their abilities in this regard are middle of the pack.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of suffering: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

Welcome Petr. And congratulations to all of you who get to dust off your old number ninety-three's.

My theory here is that Lowe was just as curious as the rest of us to see a Nedved-Sykora-Hemsky line before Petey went home to play for Sparta Praha.

Lowe is known for making damn good trades/deals, but I don't know about this one. And now separating Hemsky and Sykora? Did you not see how Sykora played without Hemsky? Not good. This shall be interesting.

The upside that I see is that IF Nedved still has it, he can center the soft mins with Sykora and Lupul. His value is in the resurrection, allowing MAP to be dealt in a package and Schremp takes Nedved's place next year when Sykora gives the discount to stay "hockey-happy".


The mic'd up with Ryan Smyth was an absolutely epic 30 seconds. First he says to Jussi something about how he told the boys last period that they had to break the goose egg. Jussi responds "Goose egg?" as if he's never heard the term. They follow it up with Smyth trying to explain the concept of blinders to Hemsky but without using the word. Hemsky is just gibbering away - pretty sure I heard some fucks in there. PPV!

Fucking A. Live shot from the Oilers room with Dr. Dre and Snoop pounding. This is unbelievable. Roli does not look thrilled to see Gene-o.

"Get my drink on, get my smoke on, go home with, something to poke on."

Smoke weed everyday.

Ales looks even more fucking pissed about Gene-o wandering around than Roli does. I'm sure they're all wondering where Laraque is.

Damn it. I just left BP's, and missed the Dre/Snoop. Glad to see Belfour finally fall apart in Edmonton. Those goals were gross. And what is with Jokinen's stache? He's the Russian equivalent of Avon Barksdale out there. Nasty.

Ain't nuthin' but a G thang, baby.

Joffrey Zoolander, floating towards a corner near you.

Definitely a keeper.

And what is with Jokinen's stache? He's the Russian equivalent of Avon Barksdale out there. Nasty.

He's Finnish, but whatever.

The Hot Oil girls need to have a gross-off: Jokinen vs. George Parros and that sick mullet/stache combo that he's got goin' on.

Get 'em on the same team with Duane Sutter circa the 84 finals and you'd have the damn Boogie Nights Line going.

He's Finnish, but whatever.

With that mustache, he's Russian. Was sorta my joke, but lame delivery on my part.

I still think Parros looks like a Musketeer. George Porthos is therefore my own handle for him.

Shut the hell up - Snoop in the Oiler dressing room, on the PPV? Thank God he's still drinking, at least.

"Just throw your hands, in the motherfuckin air, and wave the motherfuckers like you just don't care, there..."

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