Monday, July 3, 2006

Be the GM—Post-Pronger Trade

Shamelessly stealing from Grabia, who did a three-part series before free agency actually got under way outlining his ideal situations for everything to work out, now that a lot of stuff has worked out, I thought I'd look at this again.

The more I think about it, the more I think we need to sign that man, even for a partially inflated price. Seems to me he has every right to ask for Filip Kuba money ($3mil a year for 3 years), if not a bit more. I'd probably be willing to go up to $3.5mil a year for 3 years, mostly because he's the only defenceman available who could reasonably be considered a powerplay quarterback, and I for one shudder at the thought of our four powerplay defencemen being Stoll, Bergeron, Staios and possibly Syvret or Ladislav "3 Goal" Smid. We were probably over-reliant on the point on our powerplay, and should probably move to something more down low or half-board oriented even if we get Spacek, but still, MAB is not a powerplay quarterback, yet (if ever).

As for signing another defenceman, I'm just not too sure. Markov and Witt are the only really good options out there, and don't we have two of them in Staios and Smith already? If either had more potential offensive upside (like Ward did, sort of, before he went to NY) I'd say jump at them, but the only way I'd even consider it is if we lost out on Spacek.

Now, of course, Spacek is no saviour, but I like us more with him than without him. With him, we're Spacek-Staios, Bergeron-Smith, Smid-Greene, or thereabouts, without him Danny Syvret or Markov/Witt (ideally!) becomes another option on a blueline that couldn't move the puck with a U-Haul and a team of trained Turks (who are the world's movers, as we all know).

(Also, I'd probably take another serious look at Tarnstrom, depending on his asking price and how ready you think Syvret will be. Lowe seemed to imply that he though Syvret could basically be next year's Matt Greene, which, even if it is true, might not be enough.)

But anyway, even with Spacek (and possibly Markov/Witt), our defence is definitely "servicable", possibly even "solid if unspectacular," depending, of course, on how Smith and Bergeron look without Pronger anywhere near them (number two defenceman with Pronger, possible bottom pairing without, if last year was any indication), but nowhere near a strength. Which means, of course, that our best bet is the Buffalo/Carolina model of good forwards producing a lot of offence while the defence just don't fuck anything up, which I think we can manage. Hell, if anything, we've almost stumbled blindly right into that situation.

Sans any big free agent forward additions, and assuming that Dvorak and Peca don't return (pretty safe), we still have four guaranteed top-six-calibre (T6) forwards (Hemsky, Smyth, Lupul, Horcoff), three probable T6 (Torres, Stoll and Schremp), and anywhere from two to five possible but unlikely T6 (Pisani, Pouliot, Moreau, Jacques, Winchester, in about that order). Using Buffalo and Carolina as our exemplars, we need at least eight: Briere,
Afinogenov, Drury, Kotalik, Connolly, Roy, Vanek, Hecht, Dumont for Buffalo (in about that order); Staal, Cole, Brind’Amour, Stillman, Williams, Whitney, Vasicek, Weight, Recchi for Carolina (the other two were late pick-ups, so this skews a bit, but close enough). Ideally, then, the signing of at least one more guaranteed T6 forward would be quite nice.

The list of available T6 forwards isn't terribly long, especially if you want one who isn't ancient (Bondra, Recchi, Shanahan all produced last year, all over 37). Samsonov, Carter and Sykora, in fact are pretty much your only sure things (and I hear tell Carter didn't like it here, so assume he's out). You could take a chance on Roenick, Lindros, Jason Allison, Jeff Friesen, Viktor Kozlov, Eric Daze, Martin Rucinsky or Oleg Kvasha recovering from injury/getting one last gasp/finding something they supposedly had once and playing up for you, but presumably you'd want that cheap, and it could Amonte all over you.

So, with that available, ideally I say you sign at least one of them, for assurance sake. Let's go with the devil we know and re-sign Samsonov, let's say for around $3mil (I heard a rumour before The Run that he was thinking of going to San Jose; has anyone heard anything credible about where he might end up? The fact he hasn't signed yet fills me with a bit of hope, that maybe Lowe was trying to hammer something out in among the Pronger mess). With the above mentioned, and Harvey, and assuming we don't re-sign GG (who is loveable, but, I think, proved sort of irrelevant for this team) or Murray (we could I guess, but why, when we have so many kids ready?), our forwards look something like this:

Smyth-Horcoff-Lupul
Samsonov-Schremp-Hemsky
Torres-Stoll-Pisani
Moreau-MAP-Winchester
Jacques Harvey

Assuming Torres and Stoll do what they did last year, and Pisani gets at least a little bit of a boost from being a playoff hero, that looks pretty good. For whatever reason, I have much faith in Schremp being able to play second line centre with a lot of PP time and going nowhere near defensive situations. Harvey provides some protection against rookie meltdown, though maybe you want to go sign Murray or Marty Reasoner again (who loved it here, according to CHED) to get even more of that. They play in front of a defence that's capable, though missing a significant long-bomb pass, and probably blocks shots like last year. I guess our powerplay goes something like:

Lupul-Schremp-Hemsky
Stoll-Spacek

Smyth-Horcoff-Samsonov
Bergeron-Staios

Pleasant enough up front, sort of suspect on the back. I guess maybe one of your playmakers could play point as well, and Torres/Pisani/whoever could sub in up front. Presumably goaltending is solid.

So, yeah, that's what my team looks like next year, being fairly realistic, I think. If we don't sign Samsonov, we should pursue one other good forward, even a cut-rate chance guy. If we don't sign Spacek, we sign Markov or Witt and start trapping like if Jacques Lemaire was 17th-century European explorer and pray that Craig Simpson gets hit by lightning and turns into an autistic powerplay genius, using some sort of magic five-forward attack.

21 comments:

Colby Cosh said...

Um, yeah. But even if Hemsky and Horcoff end up costing you $9M between the two of them, the lineup you're describing costs about $34M/$35M. Are the fans gonna sit still for that, letting the owners reap an unearned benefit from Pronger's assholery, while Vancouver blows the cap and Calgary spends $40M? Lowe has to find a way to spend more this year.

Andy Grabia said...

You bastard! I am working on something like this right now. I won't even read this. We'll just compare notes later. Cool? Cool.

I'm just glad to hear that Cosh is alive. I was fairly certain he would have hung himself with cat hair by now.

Anonymous said...

3 goal smid? He was 19 in the AHL. Look at Bouwmeester's stats when he was 19 in the AHL.

4 goals.

Anonymous said...

That's one better than 3.

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anonymous-ish

Anonymous said...

Updates from work:

St. Louis takes on Bill Guerin's monster contract, but reunites him with Weight.

Brendan Witts signs on for three years with the Islanders. Oilers fans to sink a little further into their own private panic-hell.

chris!

Andy Grabia said...

Dallas is responsible for Guerin's contract. St. Louis is probably paying him almost nothing.

Dennis said...

Trade MAB for Stuart and overpay for Peca to come back and babysit Stoll for at least one more season. Bring back Tarnstrom and have him and Stoll play the PP point.

Hope that Ana incurs some major injuries and that the '07 pick actually turns into something.

BTW...if Horc decides this ship is sinking and that he doesn't want to sign longterm...then this ship will really sink.

Garnet said...

The anonymous poster above must be thinking of somebody else, not Jay Bouwmeester. He scored 4 goals when he was 19 -- for the Florida Panthers, who were at least nominally (24-45-13) in the NHL. He went down during the lockout and scored 10 goals in the AHL that year, but that's pretty much his whole AHL experience. Smid's looking like a good prospect, based on the chatter about the trade, but if Anaheim reckoned he was the next Bouwmeester they probably wouldn't do this trade.

Anonymous said...

Reasons why I have quit jobs/skipped town in the past;

1) boss was asshole
2) someone threw an empty beer bottle through the window of my Chevette outside Rusty`s and I had no money to repair it, would not take ETS to work.
3) friend told me I could work in Caymans `no problem`. Fucking liar.
4) broke up with girl that the other staff liked more than me.
5) hated the uniform.
6) wanted to go to Rugbyfest instead of work.
7) called in sick for work and told manager I had the bugaloo flu. (that might have been a firing but quitting was on mind)
8) embarrassed to work there when confronted by friends
9) had to wake up too early.
10) felt like it.

Just going to assume Pronger had reasons similar to these and forget about him.

Lupul seemed pretty decent on the short intv he gave.

Duke

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

good post PM

only a couple of D left - Markov being the only one I would take - other then Spacek and Tarnstrom

I think Lowe trades with a team dumping salary - there already are a couple in cap trouble - for a Dman or two

I think this is a young team this year and that may be ok

Dennis is right but I think Horc gets some nice money and stays

Careless Whisper said...

Hi! About Christie Chorley & Chris Pronger rumor hope all of you would REALIZE and TRUST what I have says here. My English might not be good as before but please I would hope all of you would satisfied and understanding what I wanted to say, ok?

My name is (Akira) Peter Lee, 29 yrs old. I am living in Hong Kong right now, I am also a Canadian's too. When did I met Christie Chorley?? I met her in Edmonton Alberta when I was 12 Yrs old we were in a same school. she is a very nice person, because she likes to help people. At the time that I met her I wouldn't know how to speak or even understand english well, but she teaches me. Its been 17 years we have met til now we still have good communication on the phone or even email. To have all of you beleive me and Christie Chorley are best friend probably it might be kind of hard. But I could have a way to approve it.

When did I knew this Rumor? Everyone please try and beleive that I have knew my best friend Christie Chorley Rumor on June 29 8:20:31 am by clicking to my own website here http://akiralee9669m.blogspot.com/2005/10/christie-chorley.html, it was a internet visitor went inside to my website and left a comments for me to look at.Then,I know what happen, so did all of you saw a question from the visitor " Are the rumours about Christie Chorley and Chris Pronger true" ?

Now let me answer to all of you the question if anyone would like to leave me a comments from my website I would be appreciate.

About Christie Chorley & Chris Pronger Rumor are (100%) ONE HUNDRED PERCENT FAKE!!! I would appreciate your help in putting an end to my Best Friend Christie Chorley name being linked to this situation, as it is completely WITHOUT ANY MERIT OR FACTUAL BASIS.

Any further slander or defamation can and will result in swift legal action. Hong Kong has all kinds of the best technology and I would also help my best friend Christie Chorley to investigate where does the rumor comes out from.

At last, Christie Chorley has already did completed her own statement from the Official Website on June 29, 2006.

By the way, Christie does not know Chris Pronger. Who the hell its Chirs Pronger??? Chris Pronger where the hell are you??? Are you hiding in Edmonton somewhere??? Chris Pronger, act like a man just come out and to say something, ok?

Which means Chris Pronger if you have read through the things that I type then its time for you to come out and made out your true statement to everyone!!!

Thank you!

(Akira) Peter Lee

Hong Kong Timezone 05/07/06 1:23 AM

Alana said...

With Reasoner coming back, does that mean Samsanov will be gone? That would be kind of sad - I like the unibrow.

Anonymous said...

I'll miss the drinking chub under his chin.

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anonymous-ish

the Prez said...

Aww, the Oilers have udpated their roster on the site. Not a single Russian in the mix. Life shouldn't have to be this hard, dammit.

Loxy said...

Oh yeah, Samsonov was never gonna stay.

We're not getting Peca, Tarnstrom, Dvorak or Conklin back either.

Oh Conklin... I hope Alaska welcomes him back with loving arms.

mudcrutch79 said...

Nobody is commenting on the Hong Kong branch of the Christie Chorley fan club? Are you people so blase that shit like that raises not even an eyebrow?

Anonymous said...

welcome to the global database.

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anonymous-ish

Chris! said...

Wow. No way Chris Pronger would have gotten tangled up with Chorley if he knew she had the power of Hong Kong technology behind her.

Also, we never believed that crap here, anyhow. But thanks!

Anonymous said...

What about Tom Poti? It was fun to hate him. No CITY (or any other network) reporter will have anything to do with him, I'm sure.

Peck said...

I'm pretty sure Spacek isn't coming back. Apparently he was tight with Dvorak, and he's definitely not staying with the Oil. We'll have to wait and see. I think I would actually prefer Tarnstrom re-signing more than Spacek. There was a definite improvement on the powerplay with him around against Carolina.

Careless Whisper said...

mudcrutch79 & Chris:

I'm just telling the turth and what I know in my mind from my heart. I knew Christie Chorley for 17 years, I know her personality. I am in Hong Kong right at this moment, I knew I could not help her that much but at least as a friend I would trust her. I would do whatever that I can do from the internet to solving out her problems. This is just a rumors, Christie has made her own statement to everyone. Where does the rumors comes out from??? I dont mean this rumors a true or fake, but lets try to think there might be a person who is trying to playing some sort of games to made up this such bad rumors and effect Christie Chorley and Chris Pronger.
Everyone please I have to tell all of you that, I know how they feel. Cause I have my own rumors in Hong Kong b4 too. 7 million of people living in 1 tiny little city, my rumors was a news headline also. It was one of my gf thats suicide in the year of 2000 August 17, August 18 all the news reporter follow me around even to where I work they pretend to be my gf's friend. They ask me lots of question then the next day I am on the news, what I see from the News its not what I had told to them. All the things that it says are create it from them, I could prove it to all of you. Because I still have my old newspaper at home even my gf pic in it. Which means, what I am trying to say its "ABOUT CHRISTIE CHORLEY & CHRIS PRONGER RUMORS" are fake. I would also trust them both are doesnt have any other kinds of personal relationship, thanks for reading my words.

(Akira) Peter Lee