Sunday, June 25, 2006


So I Married A Team Murderer

I don't want to keep harping on the Pronger story, but one of the trade rumours floating around has me losing my mind. Darren Dreger, who has obviously been in Toronto too long, has an article on Sportsnet saying, "Toronto is the most intriguing option for the Oilers based on the package the Leafs may be offering." If we trade the best defenceman (if not the best player) in the NHL for Thomas Kaberle and Alex Steen because Chris Pronger and his wife have decided they don't want to honour his contract commitment, I am going to freak. I'm already freaking, and it is only a rumour. I can't even believe we made that offer, let alone that the Leafs turned it down. I wouldn't even trade the guys on our fourth line for those two players. And Kaberle's contract is ridiculous. He makes $4.25 million this year.

Spector reports that the Oilers asked the Panthers for Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton and the 10th overall pick in yesterday's draft, but were turned down. Too bad. I would have been happy with Bouwmeester and Horton, and the money to pursue other defencemen. The Coyotes, Rangers and Senators may also be interested in Ahab and Jezebel. I pray Kevin Lowe does the right thing, and holds out for full value. He did indicate that he wouldn't necessarily trade Pronger, which makes me happy. Here's a CBA question for the nerds out there: what happens if Lowe refuses to trade him, and Pronger refuses to play? My assumption is that we would be under no legal obligation to pay him, but would his salary still count against the cap?

Interesting story from Graham Hicks today in the Edmonton Sun. It's a must read, as Hicks interviewed Lauren Pronger just two weeks ago. It turns out that the Prongers had sold their house and packed up their things before the end of the playoffs. Then they took off to Mexico, and had his agent tell Lowe the news. Of course none of us know the full story, because no one has deemed us as fans and paying consumers worthy of knowing it, but it does seem like absolute cowardice. And typical professional athlete selfishness. Isn't this why no one felt any sympathy for NHL players when they were locked out two years ago?


Another Sun article, with Pronger's dad saying he knew nothing about the trade demand, or that the Prongers wer unhappy in Edmonton. What is going on? Could somebody just tell us, please? Pretty please?

If everyone recalls, Pronger was one of the most adament players during the lockout, saying he would never play under a salary cap. None of this is really surprising if you think about it.

So many things wrong here, the fact that Al Strachan broke the story first, Kevin Lowe confirming the story is true, Calgary, Vancouver, and Minnesota improving their teams significantly, and the morale in Edmonton growing to an all-time low.

Was anyone else at that Oilers game against Anaheim earlier this year where they gave out those life-size Pronger posters? I have 2 right now, I say we gather as many as we can and we have a huge bonfire sometime soon.

NHL Network is saying that Redden is close to signing with Ottawa, I assume that this means they are out of the Pronger sweepstakes.

Bing, the rumours were that Ottawa wanted to sign Redden and Chara for about 6 mil each, but Chara wanted to see if he could get a max contract on the free market. Pronger makes 6.25 million, so if they actually are willing to pay Chara, they would be likely just as willing to pay that money to Pronger. They would unload salary to resign Chara, and Pronger's contract wouldn't change that. Whether he and the missus would like Ottawa any better is another matter, but that's for Muckler and Melnyk to judge if they really push for a deal.

This is a big problem for the Oilers. Theoretically, Pronger's value is at an all time high. You can't argue about the contribution he made to this team in the regular season and the playoffs (best player in the NHL? I'm not so sure. Top 10 undoubtedly).

But he is 35-ish. And he wants to go. And he is under contract for the next 4 years at $6 mm+. This makes him a bit less attractive than his pure hockey skills suggest.

Typically, any trade involving a premier player results in return of a package of players and prospects with a present comparable value of much less than the player being traded (see, for example, Tanguay, Alex).

Amazing how one of the greatest weeks in Oiler history could be immediately followed by one of the worst. Intersting times ...

How was last week one of the greatest weeks in Oilers history? Going to the SCF still pales in comparison to any of SC wins.

In regards to Pronger, he's 31 not 35, and signed for 6.25 for a defensemen of his calibre is actually a selling point. Especially when you consider that the cap is going up, and the season showed the pricetag for defensemen is continuously going up as well. I mean, you don't even need to crack a joke about Jarmoe's contract to point out that Pronger's isn't a boon.

As for talk of returns, comparing the return of a potential Pronger trade to the Tanguay trade is absurd, given the extra impetus due to the Av's cap concerns. Even then, the Tanguay trade isn't as good as it seems for quite a few reasons. Calgary did give up two 2nd rounders along with Leopold, and Tanguay's value has long been inflated due to playing with dynamic centres in Colorado all his career.

Nastiness aside, I think the Tanguay trade is a really good one for Calgary, and that the Oilers will get a decent return for Pronger.

The Pronger character-assassination has forced Lowe's hand. When the story first broke, it seemed like Lowe wanted to at least try and convince Pronger to stay; however, with all the mud-slinging these past few days the chances of that happening are remote at best.

Also that Graham Hicks article is complete trash. It's based completely on speculation, a brief interview and an even briefer exchange of pleasantries with Pronger's wife. Sounds like solid journalism to me. Oh wait, it's the Edmonton Sun...

You're right, Pronger is still a boyish 31, so he's a better deal than I thought. I still say it is hard to move that big a contract these days (of course, Joe Thornton and Todd Bertuzzi/Luongo say I 'm wrong about that, too).

Yeah and add the Demitra move at $4.5MM/yr to that list too.

It's interesting that no one has talked to any of the other Oilers players about this yet. Or that the Oilers players are avoiding talking about it. Or have I missed a story somewhere?

More news this morning, from the Sun. Pronger's agent requested playing for an American team. And the Oilers have been talking to Ottawa. Havlat, Phillips and Brian Lee were requested by the Oilers.

Little known fact: my sister works for Elite Sportswear. At the outset of the playoffs she told me that Pronger and Roloson jerseys were the biggest sellers in town--in fact, after the first round you couldn't have them for love or money, even if you personally drove to the Elite shop in Calgary. The people who iron the letters onto the blank Oiler uniforms couldn't physically keep up.

So how much cash value in worthless Pronger merch do you suppose exists in this city? Start with, say, 5,000 or so game-playable, NHL-certified jerseys at nearly $200 apiece--items nobody would now wear in public even on a bet? That gets us to a million fuckin' dollars before we start counting the life-size giveaway posters and the T-shirts. It is all trash now. And that's the tip of the tip of the iceberg when you're assessing the amount of pure, irretrievable wealth that Pronger has destroyed.

This smells of the fastest trade in the NHL...Dougie Gilmour...oh there was also Jason Arnott and Mike Comrie

There is a girl...somewhere here in the city...St Louis knows only too well of Pronger's ways...looked like he had changed and quieted down here but maybe not...

I don't doubt his wife wants him out of the city...she must have laid down some real ultimatum...she hasn't been back here since the Olympics...

Imagine...if the Oilers had won the Stanley Cup and 4 days later Pronger still requests the trade...

It's a girl...Kevin Lowe said at the draft he had hoped the problem would have fixed itself...or something like that...more or less was hoping the problem had gone away...

To be fair he should be sent to some team like Columbus...Minnesota...someplace where he won't ever have the chance he had with Edmonton

well, in all fairness, he came to edmonton

He broke my heart. I am done with professional sports except for the CFL. Only hockey thing I ever want to see again is an Oiler beat the cr*@ out of Pronger. He better play on a team in the East. If he comes to play in Edmonton, people will be looking for him.

So Pronger was a bit of a whore in Stl was he?

As interesting (and amusing) as all this Pronger talk'd be nice to see some official Flames/Tanguay talk around here, too.

Matt! Come in Matt! Are you there?

It's a moot point now, but if his wife did actually leave Edmonton in February, how much of this distraction was responsible for his subpar play in the Olympics?

In a town the size of Edmonton and as hockey-centric as Edmonton, the fact that the star player was putting his house up for sale DURING the playoffs did not break in Edmonton media first?? That seems weird.

So I'm guessing you're retarded?

Tomas Kaberle is a Top 10 d-man in the league and will be a great bargain in the years to come signed for only $4.25 million. Bryan McCabe, on the other hand for the Leafs, shouldn't have gotten the amount Kaberle got.

Pronger is WAY overrated. Edmonton will be just fine without him. Management and coaching is Edmonton`s strongest points.

Dude, you need to go easy on the homerism, and overstating Prongers value. I have no doubt that Pronger is easily a top 3 Dman in this league, but you need to watch other NHL games and get your head out of the Oil Sands for a minute. It's obvious your emotion over the Pronger's wanting to leave Edmonton has got the best of you. "I wouldn't trade our 4th liners for what the leafs offered"...buddy give your head a shake! Now i'm not even saying that those 2 are even close to being worhty of a Pronger deal, but be real and not stupid. That's the problem with you western Canadian hockey fans, you got your head so far up your ass, and are so consumed with jumping on that "bash the leafs" bandwagon, you say some of the most assinine things. Obviously you've never seen Kaberle or Steen play! Considering what you got in the Anaheim deal(A young sniper, a prospect, and a bunch of picks)...whooooo! Kaberle is a highly skilled smooth defenceman, Steen is a frontline young player with every bit of upside as Joffery Lupul, and you scoffed at that? You guys kill me, everytime some player wants to bounce from your team, you lose all ability to view things rationally. But you guys are used to players leaving Edmonton, so get used to it again. Edmonton?...I spent a week there one day!

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