Thursday, July 28, 2005

Magic Eight Ball

Just thought I'd shamelessly regurgitate an old cartoon of mine to "illustrate" an argument. UFAs are even riskier bets with the new NHL which worries me since Kevin Lowe has shown a weakness for signing old free agents (Dopita, Oates) that proved to be flops.

A year and a summer off I think will prove to be a killer to some well known names like Gary Roberts, Joe Nieuwendyk, Robitaille, etc, especially if these new rules do what they say thier supposed to. And with the season's coming bumper crop of two year's worth of draft picks I think there's even more reason for a changing of the guard. I can even envision a bunch of high profile Dopita-like burnouts within the first 20 games of the season. For every recognizable name like Arnott or Mogilny there's a younger, cheaper player that is either as good or better. SAY NO TO MESSIER.


collin said...

Jim Matheson points out today that the Oilers want to move up in the draft, and have a call in to Anaheim.
But how?, you ask.
Eric Brewer, that's how.
It's speculative, but Brewer appears to be the only black chip that the Oilers have in the stack.
Now maybe it's just the celestial eclipse caused by Crosby, but I haven't heard about a surefire No.2. From a glance at the Central scouting list, there appears no one who'll be an 05-06 force.
But why trade Brewer for the No. 2 draft pick, send him back to junior then Hamilton, and in the meantime sign name-brand puck handling defenceman to replace Brewer, plus the already existing laundry list?

I have a theory developing, and if Lowe pulls the trigger on something like this, I'll reveal it to the assembled members of the academy.


Dave (Berry) said...

There definitely isn't a sure-fire number two, but I have heard several people say there's probably four or five guys behind Crosby who all look solid, and who could probably contribute right away (if they're thinking of trading Brewer, maybe they're after Jack Johnson, the Team USA defenceman, who has been mentioned once or twice as a good number two).

That said, it seems like a dumb move--from what I've heard, this is actually a really deep draft, and most scouts seem to agree that even late picks have a good chance of being solid players, even if it takes a year or two. The Oilers might be just as well off moving up, say, 10 spots, to one of the New Yorks, which would come at a cheaper price and probably have a decent pool.

I don't know, either way, I'm interested in hearing your theory, Professor Gallant.

Chris! said...

Not that I would know or anything, but I think the Anaheim rumour's crap; like Dave already pointed out, why would we want to move that high up in such a level draft year? I mean, top ten, sure, that's worth considering. But the cost of getting to second far exceeds the value.

But let's say Lowe would actually send Brewer to Anaheim in exchange for the second pick; who's he going for? As has already been noted, there's no clear-cut number two guy in the draft, but obviously Lowe's got someone in mind. With the Oil totally lacking depth at centre throughout the entire system and with the best NA skaters (Bobby Ryan, Benoit Pouliot) being wingers, European centres Anze Kopitar and Martin Hanzal might be the targets of Lowe's fascination. But do you really need second spot to pick up Martin Hanzal? More like 15th.

No, like Dave said, if this deal were in fact going to go down, it means that Lowe is 100 per cent sold on fourth-ranked defenceman Jack Johnson--which seems odd, because he's almost exactly the same player as Brewer except five years less experienced. But if he's moving Brewer, we'll need a top d-man stat (especially considering that our closest guys to coming up are Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka, both of whom are competent but very green) and maybe he thinks Johnson's that guy.

Still, I can't make sense of it. I'm interested to hear Collin's theory.

collin said...

Keep in mind that I'll only present my theorum if the hammer comes down on a Brewer deal, or the free-agent signing doesn't happen or happens in such a retarded fashion that it gives weight to my hypothesis.
It's more of a general prediction, than a theory. I know, I know. I shouldn't have teased it.
But until that day, let us keep our discussion revolving on the sundry of the here and now. Draft is coming Saturday.

The Oilers had to sign a couple prospects today (No. 68 in 03 Jean-Francois Jacques, and U.S college guy, second rounder Colin Macdonald).

Speaking of how exciting draft day is...
who'll be the next Troy Bodie — the big character, tenth-round winger out of Kelowna, who's been to two mem. cups with Kelowna, and who the Oilers needed to sign today to play for their half-share AHL team.

Man, Chris is right. it's hard to stay positive.

mike w said...

It makes most sense to trade Brewer for something proven. He's somewhat overrated (on account of the fact that he's still talked about in terms of his potential) although defencemen take longer to mature than forwards. Plus, we have plenty of great prospects on D, and Hockey's Future has us rated 6th in the league for prospects.

Here's the other thing about this week. Any reporter will go up to Lowe or Howson and say "What about (blank)?" and it's not like anything is going to be completely dismissed out of hand.

Dr. Collin said...

Matty doesn't think it would happen either. But the Journal's subhead was "Defenceman Eric Brewer clearly Edmonton's only real bargaining chip in bid to move up in Saturday's NHL entry draft"
Note the use of the word "clearly", however.

Not to actually acuse anybody of anything, but Hockey's Future might have a tinge of rose in their glasses. They're based in Edmonton, not that that's a bad thing.

As far as the great defensive prospects go there is Matt Greene a U N. Dakota player who needed to be signed today or he'd go back in the draft (did he?), and those infuriatingly small-time Roadrunners.
I'm also guessing that the rankings haven't been updated in a while.
They list Alex Perezhogin as the Habs wonderkid, despite being charged with on ice assault (Hamilton stick swinger), and will maybe never coming back from Russia.

Also, I found this
It's from a Sens fan in TO, but I love her page title.

Dave (Berry) said...

1. Crosby
2. Ryan
3. Johnson

And the Oilers still have Brewer. Wonder if they'll trade up at all.

Chris! said...

Doesn't look like it; we're just coming on to 10th spot, and there's not much point in moving up after Kopitar and Staal go in the next couple picks, in my opinion.

Also, why the fuck did San Jose feel compelled to trade away their 12th spot and a second and seventh round pick just to move up four whole places and pick the consensus mid-20s-ranked Devin Setoguchi?

Dave (Berry) said...

I thought that was pretty odd, too. They must be taking advice from Kevin Lowe. I hope and pray one of those guys is around at 25. Hope and pray.

Oh, nevermind, there goes Kopitar. Fuckin' Kings.

Chris! said...

Fuck! Atlanta trades down again, giving the Rangers the number 12 pick, which probably means the Rangers are going after Staal. And what the fuck are we doing? Why, nothing of course. Go Lowe!

Dave (Berry) said...

I like Atlanta's strategy: they already have a ton of young talent, so why not load up semi-late and go for all those guys who are probably two or three years off? I just can't believe no one else is even moving on this.

Oh, there goes Staal. Meh, whatever, so long as the Oilers don't draft the projected 110th pick to be "clever".

Dave (Berry) said...

Also, you ever notice how much Glen Sather looks like Michael Phair?

Chris! said...

Yep, what they're doing totally makes sense; I'm just surprised that the Oilers, who so clearly need to get out of the basement, haven't capitalized on that strategy.

Ah well. If Hanzal's still there, I think we'll go for him. If not, probably McCardle.

mike w said...

Why trade up? Draft picks are a crapshoot. Barely 50 picks ever become regular players and unless the Oilers trade for a top ten pick (which is not a sure thing either) that they really believe in, why bother? I might trade a guy on the decline or to make room for younger guys but who would that be? Isbister? He's still worth more than a draft pick. Staios? Maybe.

BTW, I'm not sure we're all that bad at drafting afterall in the last 5 years. I'll do a post about it later.

In the meantime I'm trying to rent a car so I can go to Casino Rama for a little poker and see the Zombies play live. The best part is Casino Rama is in a place called Rama, Ontario. Seriously.

Dave (Berry) said...

Fair enough, Mike. Also, Atlanta just got the guy they wanted all along anyway--they're looking really smart so far.