Saturday, June 24, 2006

Well, why doesn't everybody in our goddamn division just get better?


Man, Gary Bettman, are you sure we can't not do the whole divisional thing next year? Right after we find out Chris Pronger doesn't want to play here anymore, Luongo is a Canuck, Demitra is a Wild (is Wild?), and Tanguay is a Flame. Assuming Jose Theodore stops shitting the bed, Blake returns and Wolski steps in and is the rookie people think he will be (6pts in 9 games last year), the Avs are basically as good as they were last year (maybe a bit better, with Leopold). Calgary now has a real second scorer, Minnesota now has potentially the best line in the league (Gaborik, Rolston, Demitra seems pretty fine to me) and Vancouver has a goalie (though maybe not much to put around him).

Still, though, you'll notice the lack of teams in, say, the Central Division stocking up on All-Stars. And the Atlantic. Pacific. Southeast. I guess Toronto picked up Raycroft, which theoretically could be seen as stocking up, if you ignore last season's statistics.

This has the potential to be a very painful off-season.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

question can we trade Pronger to a Russian team???

Doogie2K said...

Shit, after this, Lowe's gonna have to sign Elias and Redden just to keep up the the Joneses in this fucking division.

Anonymous said...

when you realize the southeast has more talent you will know why we have won the last 2 cups and stop walking around like zombies wondering what the hell hit you. Even that espn tool buccigross picked Atlanta to win a cup in the next 3 years because of all their young talent. Ovechin in WAS, Nathan Horton in FLA( although they dont have a goalie) and Vinny, Richards, St Louis, Kubina, in Tampa, Cole Staal, Brindamour, Stillman, Ward, and what if Andrew Ladd turns into a pure power forward, he was drafted fourth.

Anonymous said...

Here' s the thing about the Pronger situation: he wants a trade, but Lowe is under no obligation to trade him for anything less than something of equal value. If the market doesn't present anything in return, Lowe can keep him here despite what the missus says. Sure, Pronger could sit, but at his age, four years is a long time to sulk. And if he plays, but dogs it, he becomes th ehighest paid man in the press box. So there's a helluva lot of positives here. Either the Oilers trade him and plug a couple of gaps, or he stays in town till Lowe is damn good and ready. In both cases, the Oilers come out on top.

So turn those frown upside down, people!

-Little Fury

Sean said...

Have to disagree with that, little fury. Players (with the bizarre exception of Chris Pronger) want to win a Stanley Cup and the best way to do that is play for a Stanley Cup contender, which the Oilers have proven they are. Chris Pronger is our superstar. He leaves, and all of a sudden no one wants to play in Edmonton, because Chris Pronger won't be making them look better (I'm looking at both of you, Spacek and Bergeron), and won't carry 30 minutes a game on the way to a Stanley Cup finals. The fact he wants out lessens his trade value, the fact that Edmonton is an "unlivable" city according to his wife, and the fact that you can't sit a guy making 6.25 million a year all lessen his trade value. Thanks for fucking us, Pronger. You broke my fucking heart.

the Prez said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mordecai, go! said...

Oh come now... The Oil still have Pronger under contract for a few years. And given his recent impersonation of jesus-on-skates the past few months, his trade value has never been higher. When he moves this off-season, you can be sure there will be a bidding war, which can only be good for the Oil.

I hear Mike Keenan has a raging hard-on for Pronger. Maybe one of their young prospects and Bouwmeester would be reasonable to expect in return. Plus the money saved can go towards, I dunno, a goalie?

Pleasure Motors said...

when you realize the southeast has more talent you will know why we have won the last 2 cups and stop walking around like zombies wondering what the hell hit you.

When did anyone ever say the southeast division had no talent? They just simply aren't stocking up on potential hall-of-famers at the rate of two a week this off-season.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is going to dance, I'm pretty sure it's going to be the Panthers. Pronger and Pouliot/Cogs for Horton and JB? That addresses two big needs for this club.

Sign a guy like McKee or Mitchell and the defense pretty solid. All Lowe has to address is the tending situation and with a roster as flexible as he would have there, he has many options.

JB, Smith, Staios, McKee/Mitchell/Kubina, Greene, Bergeron, and a guy like Tarnstrom drawing in would be decent, especially if Syvret can bump up his game.

Smyth, Torres, Schremp, Chopper down the left, Horc, Stoll, Peca ?/Reasoner, Pouliot/Brods, down the middle, Hemmer, Horton, Pisani, JFJ down the right.

All Lowe need to do is grab a goalie, and I'm quite sure that Jussi has earned his status as a backup next year.

Randy in the med Hizzo said...

No one is going to trade a 22 year old million-a-year future Chris Pronger (Bouwmeester/Phaneuf/etc) for 31 year old, 6-million-a year, Chris Pronger (Pronger). The only possible place this might work is Chicago (they have an overabundance of really, really good young defefenceman but no veterans and therefore no hope), but even that's not going to happen (cheap). I can't see the Oil getting a stud defenceman straight up for him. Don't get me wrong, they need one.

Anonymous said...

I think you're going to be incredibly surprised. The price isn't going to be low. He was the true League MVP and the true Conn Smythe winner this year. GM's know that.

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

Saying he was the true league MVP is BS. He took essentially the same team the Oilers had two years ago one spot higher. I don't think that's MVP worthy. The Conn Smythe, however, is another matter.

Also, Bouwmeester, Phaneuf, Erik JOhnson, all of these guys are "future" Prongers. In fact, the best-case-scenario for these guys is that in 10 years they'll be Chris Pronger. I'm sure some teams (particularly Calgary, who is built to win now) would do a pronger for Phaneuf deal.

Anonymous said...

at the very least we should be able to get substantially more than brewer, wowitkya, and lynch. pronger's value has got to be considered higher after his 30 min. a night of impeccable playoff hockey. but sean is right there is no way we can sit him and therefore no way we can afford to wait on trading him. the deal has to happen before training camp. as for how to get fair value for him...fucked if i know. he should really just get a divorce and find a nice alberta girl for fucks sake it sucks that were talkin about this instead of free agents, stanley cup runs, and the incredible amount of cache that comes with (came with) having pronger on our team.

CRAIG

jon said...

It's officially confirmed: The Hockey Gods hate the Oilers.

Anonymous said...

"The fact he wants out lessens his trade value, the fact that Edmonton is an "unlivable" city according to his wife, and the fact that you can't sit a guy making 6.25 million a year all lessen his trade value. Thanks for fucking us, Pronger. You broke my fucking heart."

I disagree. What this does is saddle Pronger with some serious baggage (who wants to try and sign a guy that costs almost $7 million a year when you don't know whether his fucking wife will want him to move after one season? After all, the man signed a 5 year deal knowing what he was getting into. His sudden change of heart looks bad for him.) And the fact that he is under contract means they don't have to trade him at all. So we don't have to sit him, but if he opts to sit, that would mean we don't have to pay him (with the added bonus of fucking him over, and at this point, ruining his career/life is almost as important as building the team.) No matter what, I still see Edmonton holding the cards here.

LF

Randy in the Med Hizzo said...

If you think Phaneuf or Bouwmeester is coming, you're crackers. Keenan is not that crazy. No one is that crazy.
I agree that they should be able to get a lot for him.
Then again, remember how well Kevin Lowe does in these forced trade situations (i.e. not getting Corey Perry for Mike Comrie).

Dave said...

In a not-really-related note, thoughts on our young new goal prospect, Pitton? Anyone know much about him other than his career stats as back-up guy for Brampton? Could he rise to the occasion before Rollie's knees implpode? Just curious...

(You know who) in the Med Hizzo said...

Dave,
Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.
Goalies rarely (and probably should not) jump from junior to the NHL, but since the Oilers refuse to run a farm system to slowly develop their own goaltenders, who knows.
Kamloops kid Devyn Dubnick is ahead of Mr. Pitton, anyway.

Dave said...

Sorry, I thought we were purely talking hypotheticals, dude. Meaning that A) we keep Roli for a couple years, and B) this guy doesn't get traded but gets a shot in a couple of years (when he'd be Ward's age!). I don't think Lowe would get desperate enough to create a Markkantton. A Pittanen? How about just Rolosen, and the money saved on back-ups go into giving him a gold cyborg body that can play old Boston 8-tracks. Seems as likely.

+timrhodes said...

pronger to phoenix for comrie & gretzky?

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

Randy, if tyou think keenen wouldn't trade bouwmeester for Pronger straight up, then you're crazier than he is. The fact remains that the best case scenario for a lot of these guys is that they turn into chris pronger in ten years. Why not just have the real thing right now?

Also LF, if he sits, the OIlers still have to pay him his contract. If he spends the year in the press-box or on the IR, he still gets paid. The onyl way he doesn't get paid is if he holds out, and why do that when you can do what Vicne Carter did and make them sit you?

Randy in the Med Hizzo said...

Easy... JayBo will be 75 per cent of Pronger and gaining for the next six years as a Restricted Free Agent. And for a third of the cost to boot.
Phanuef -- Has any GM ever traded their Calder trophy candidate in the cheapo years of their contract? The guys nickname should be concrete because he'll be in Calgary as long as the Saddledome is standing.
You don't trade giant stud defenceman unless you're in a giant shit spiral (such as the ownerless, clueless St. Louis Blues did when they got rid of Pronger). And yet that organization realizes their value so much they got another on Saturday.
Life's good now on Whyte and 105th, but if I'm an opposing GM, I'm looking as Pronger's playoffs as a one-off. He looks like a rent-a-player who no one can afford.
Honestly, he stank to high Heaven at Turin and only carried the not-nec.-talentless Oilers to an eight seed.
Oh, the Oilers will miss him mightily and they'll get something good for him, but it won't be a defenceman of his calibre and tenure.
It should provide an interesting test-case actually. He's the first disgruntled player in the "new" NHL. The traditional buyers can't get him. I doubt the mid-cap teams can afford him due to their frugal natures, but he might still be the missing puzzle-piece,
What's in Buffalo and Anaheim that the Oilers want? San Jose? Boston?
Look for the cap room.

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

I don't think that either Phaneuf or Bouwmeester is being traded, only that a GM would be out of his mind to bid on potential over a sure thing. Obviously if money becomes an issue, then it does, But if Lowe offers Sutter Pronger for Phaneuf, Sutter takes it. Hell, he probably won't even be there in 4-5 years when Phaneuf could be better than Prongs.

Colby Cosh said...

I don't know that anyone has ever been as much as 10% better than Pronger was for us this year, but I take your point.

My opinion is that Phaneuf is unique in this league. He's got such an array of abilities, combined with self-evident desire and impressive (though incomplete) maturity, that you can't yet set too many limits on him: he could end up as a Pronger type, a Scott Niedermayer type, even a Zubov type. He could even end up exhibiting the best traits of all these guys, which would be amazing though improbable. Bouwmeester finally had a good year when he needed to, but I don't see him as being equally projectable. And Erik Johnson will very likely end up as a Pronger type, with the only question being whether he'll be 60% as good or 90% (without the size it's hard to imagine him 100%).

And Redden's just not comparable, though I love the guy. I caught myself wondering whether he'd solidify under Oiler tutelage, but he's been working for Muckler anyway and that doesn't seem to have cured him (leaving this year aside) of the playoff yips.

Anonymous said...

ok, if we can agree that there is nobody quite like Pronger -- let's quit looking for the lookalike.

Let's take a different tack altogether. A roster of 3 serviceable pairs of defenseman, preferably all with playoff experience, and equalize their icetime. Load the forward lines with unabashed scoring and unleash them. Oh, and a goaltender with a nose for the big games.

Then hope this modest crew of D have playoff out-of-body experiences that make them play better then their pedigree.

That's what Carolina had throughout the season.

Anonymous said...

That's what Carolina had throughout the season.

And Buffalo, when they were healthy. Now, that's a team I could've seen beating us straight-up in the Finals, Game 1 or not.

--Doogie2K

LittleFury said...

"Also LF, if he sits, the OIlers still have to pay him his contract. If he spends the year in the press-box or on the IR, he still gets paid. The onyl way he doesn't get paid is if he holds out, and why do that when you can do what Vicne Carter did and make them sit you?"

Because NBA-style prima donna antics don't cut no icein this league? I don't think a lot of guys would have a problem with a guy sitting out, but intentionally dogging it on the ice to get your way is a beyond the pale in the much more team-oriented culture of the NHL. I could be dreaming, but I can't see Pronger pulling that kind of stunt.

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

The problem with trading Pronger for depth is that depth won't attract FAs to Edmonton. Apparently that's the brown-lining in this situation: it creates a stigma that no one wants to come to Edmonton. That said, Buffalo and Carolina both built through trades/the draft, not free agency, but that's something that Lowe has not always been spectcular (though to his credit, he's always willing to deal someone he dealt for when they don't pan out, like Reasoner and Hecht.)

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

"Because NBA-style prima donna antics don't cut no icein this league? I don't think a lot of guys would have a problem with a guy sitting out, but intentionally dogging it on the ice to get your way is a beyond the pale in the much more team-oriented culture of the NHL. I could be dreaming, but I can't see Pronger pulling that kind of stunt. "

See, this is where I see the contradiction coming in. The mood in the city is that Pronger is a selfish prick for asking for a trade instead of trying to work it out, and that he's fucking over the team and the fans, yet people don't seem to believe that he'd stoop as low as pulling this stuff.

If I'm Pronger, and I want a trade so bad I can't stand to be in Edmonton anymore, why would I forfeit a 6-figure paycheque every two weeks by holding out? how does that serve my purpose? If I really want a trade, I start playing at maybe 90%, making sure I don't hurt myself and stop putting in the extra effort for the team, meanwhile collecting a cool 6.25 million bucks for it.

If Pronger is the evil villain everyone is making him out to be, then this is what he'd do. The fact that people don't believe that he's capable of somehting like this is why I believe that hating Pronger at this point is a premature feeling.

LittleFury said...

paul:

I can recognize Pronger as a human being, even as a good guy who just wants to do right by his family and yet still hate his stinking guts for the position he's putting my beloved Oilers in. This is fandom: logic and consistency go out the window.

And yeah, I don't believe he's capable of dogging it or that any other team would look favourably at him if he did (would you want a guy liek that in your dressing room, no matter how talented?) And really, is 90 per cent of Chris Pronger so bad?

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

can you still love him for what he did in the playoffs?