Sunday, February 18, 2007

We're officially sellers: MAB to the Isles

For this season anyway, it's subtraction by subtraction: the Oilers have traded a draft pick and MAB for a prospect defenceman.

Poor Marc-Andre Bergeron, banished to the Isles after Saturday's stinkfest.

Sure he's looked lost, sad and mostly confused all season, but I always felt bad for the guy: for all of his flaws he's a pretty good depth guy on a normal team and -- here's some damning praise for the Oilers D -- our top scoring defenceman of 2006-07 with 25 points. As Mudcrutch points out, Bergie's one of the few net pluses for EV+ and EV-. As bad as he looked (on dumb giveaways like last night's third Maple Leafs' goal) he almost made up for it with a modicum of offence.

Then again, looking so shaky and undersized out there, I didn't realize he was playing even less ice time than last season. And there's only so many times Bergeron can drill slapshots off of opposing players before you realize that he wasn't working out on the point. He also may have also been psychologically damaged from accidentally taking Dwayne Roloson out of last year's Cup Finals. Even though MAB's only 26, it's not a stretch to think that last year with the Oilers was going to be his high watermark, playing alongside Chris Pronger. He's not top 4 material, simple as that.

Both the Oilogosphere and web board jackals seem to be relieved that Kevin Lowe made a decisive move
for anything. Fans are comfortable with being sellers at this stage, and would rather see Lowe actively making his team better now rather than sitting on his hands like he has all season. Better late than never: if he can re-sign Smyth and unload Sykora, I might even be excited to be an Oilers fan again.

And now, about this dude that we get from the Islanders: Denis Grebeshkov, an 18th pick in the 2002 draft, currently kicking it with Alexei Mikhnov
, playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the Russian Super League.

The MAB trade seems like a reasonable gamble as Grebeshkov has plenty of upside, speed, hockey sense, and he plays the point on the powerplay. With his work ethic, Hockey Future has him pegged as an offensive Vitali Vishnevsky. Unlike MAB, he may be a top 4 guy.

Check out Hockey Future's Scouting Report.

On the downside, Grebeshkov had some inconsistency and defensive lapses when he played with the Manchester Monarchs in 2004 (although I salivate looking at his 49 PTS in 75 GP), and he has a shy and taciturn disposition that may not adapt well to life in North America. It may serve Kevin Lowe well to pick up another Russian down the road if he's serious about Grebeshkov playing in Edmonton (hell: is Vitali Vishnevsky available?).

Also here's some straight dope on "Grebs," as he's known, from a Islanders fan on the HF Boards:

Hey guys, Isles Fan here. My take on Grebs, for what it's worth. He's a GREAT skater, and he can sometimes surprise you by stepping up to hit someone HARD, but he did that rarely (only played a few games to be fair). I compare him to the Islanders own Radek Martinek. He skates just like him, and can carry the puck out on his stick with speed. He's also built like him. ( 6'1", 190lbs) He does make mistakes, but the talent is there. He does have a bit of an attitude though. When he was interviewed after the LA trade, he was asked if he spoke to Yashin ( they are from the same town in Russia), his response was " Why should I talk to Yashin, has his bussiness, I have mine" or something to that effect. It was the most uncomfortable interview you could ever hope to see. He does make boneheaded judgments in his own zone, but I think he'll get better there. He went to Russia because he WILL NOT play in the AHL anymore. He was unhappy about playing in the AHL for the Kings LAST year, so when the Isles wanted him to start in the A' this year (He was not subject to waivers) , he went back to Russia.
He hates Yashin? I like him already. But he does sound disturbingly like Tracktor Boy. Whether he turns out into a top 4 defenceman on a team, it's certainly a gamble, but a reasonable gamble considering that the season is shot. Or not: what DO YOU THINK?

As for Marc Andre Bergeron, I still have his signed jersey, and of course, the memories:


Anonymous said...

It's almost like MAB was meant to be a winger, and somewhere along the line, his career counsellor gave him bad advice. I thought for sure he was heading to the habs.

Ah well, Klowe better get some more things happening whilst at the GM meetings in Florida.

As far as signing Smyth, PAY THE MAN and let's get on with it. If he leaves or is traded due to a lack of monetary respect, expect the torches and pitchforks to descend on KLowes offices by Kingsway.

scotty said...

don't forget Bergeron sending Brenden Morrow (i think it was) completely ass-over-teakettle against dallas in the playoffs a few years ago, too!

mike w said...

Indeed, Scotty. I couldn't find a shortclip of that on youtube.

Stuey said...

Banished to the playoffs.

mike w said...

The Islanders actually have to MAKE the playoffs first.

case said...

sorry mike,

at least you don't have a comrie or pronger jersey. i guess you could cross out the 'rg' and the 'on'. party!

Scarlett said...

Another player the organization didn't develop properly. He has the talent.

Oiler Joe said...

I already know this was a great deal even though I've never seen this Debs guy play... we traded with the Ilses, it's guaranteed. I guess Bergeron has so little value that KLowe couldn't even package him. I think it's a sign that he should hold on to Lupul.

Katie O'D said...
There are other highlights besides his hit on there, but I think that's the one you're talking about, Scotty.

Anonymous said...

If Lowe does something dumb like trade Smyth, I hope he picks Toronto and mistakes Mccabe for a worthy deal.

Anonymous said...

Tom Poti meet Eric Brewer meet Cory Cross meet MAB. Another player (All defencemen!) made to pay for the braying of the local jackasses.

Does anyone truly believe the fault is MAB's? That the defensive lapses are the fault of one hobbit from PQ? That missing the playoffs should be laid at his feet? Now that he's gone and we got NOTHING in return all that criticism seems pretty hollow doesn't it? Or maybe it doesn't.

Maybe it all makes sense to you and he is all to blame. The logic is irrefutable. MAB is gone and he will never cost the Coilers another game (except the one where he scores his first and ever hat trick next time the Islanders are in town). TrAktOr II (or whatever the hell is name is, don't bother trying to memorize it) will NEVER play for the Coil and he will therefore never cost us a game either. Voila! The Coilers will never lose another game because of the defenses lapses of either of these two players and the 'trade' is a total success.

Meanwhile we trade our top defensive scorer, fastest skater (team speed is our calling card, remember?) and a guy who by all reports truly bleeds Coiler blue for someone SENT TO THE MINORS BY THE ISLE AND WHO THEN LEFT FOR RUSSIA IN A HUFF. Is there a pattern here?

I am now officially calling down the thunder and demanding K-Lowe's firing as GM. Folks it's not this trade, it's the whole package. For more than 5 years we've been listening to his bullshit and it simply has to stop. He talks shit like "this upgrades us long term" and it's getting worse because it's apparent that he has no respect for the intelligence of the audience and I'm in that audience!

His whole business plan seems to be "Let's start the season with a glaring deficiency that I will refuse to address. When people point it out I'll use the local pet media as my ass megaphone to drown them out. When the complaints are too loud to ignore I'll make some crap moves to divert attention and hope we make the playoffs by the skin of our teeth." How many times will we watch this movie with this guy in control?

This sickens me to write down, but can anyone but the most ardent buffoon argue that K-Lowe as a GM is better than Sutter in Calgary? As a straight, simple comparison it's clear this fucker has to clean out his locker.

Verbose Duke

Anonymous said...

I'm not blaming him for recent Oiler woes, but I wanted him out of copper in blue for a while. His gaffs are worse than being invisible (i.e Lupul).

MAB... good riddance.

scotty said...

This sickens me to write down, but can anyone but the most ardent buffoon argue that K-Lowe as a GM is better than Sutter in Calgary? As a straight, simple comparison it's clear this fucker has to clean out his locker.

Hey, Verbose Duke, before you get TOO self-righteous on us, think back to last years' trade deadline. Remember the glaring weaknesses that Edmonton had? Goaltending and defensive depth? Remember how Lowe went out and got us exactly what we needed to get to within 1 game of winning the Cup?

Now, think back to last years' trade deadline and the weaknesses that Calgary had. Scoring, or the lack thereof. Remember how Sutter went out and got Calgary exactly what they needed? Oh wait, he did sweet jack SHIT at the deadline. Look how well that turned out for the Flames, bounced in the first round.

How's that selective memory working out for you these days? Now kindly STFU unless you've got something worthwhile to add, jackass.

Doogie said...

It's almost like MAB was meant to be a winger, and somewhere along the line, his career counsellor gave him bad advice. I thought for sure he was heading to the habs.

Considering they moved Streit to wing to great success, they might just have done the same with Bergeron. Makes you wonder, eh?

(except the one where he scores his first and ever hat trick next time the Islanders are in town)

He actually got a hat-trick last season. First Oilers D to do it since Coffey.

Garnet said...

MAB got two assists today for the Isles vs. Pittsburgh. Sigh.

mike w said...

Goodspeed, little MAB.

We wish you well.

Oiler Joe said...

He's an effective player when he is supported by a strong partner. I think he'll fit well with the Isles, plus nobody will really notice when he fucks up.

Coluch said...

Yeah so I'm way behind the ball on this one but here are the highlights minus the awesome game ending scoring attempt... sorry.

A certain team website didn't include it in the hightlights. I think I should work in their video department, because they're slacking off.

Anywho, Chris, no I don't do this regularly because they aren't my vids. I just wanted to share with people that can't/won't use the oil's website player because it's lame-o WMV embedding sucks.

Anonymous said...

This may be out of the blue....but where the hell is Todd Harvey these days? Did he just go away without a whimper? I say bring him back for the rest of the season and send Petersen or Lupul down to the minors.


Anonymous said...

According to the Globe and Mail the Habs are considering moving Janne Niinimaa....anyone think the Oilers should look into it to bolster our D?

scotty said...

I think Harvey retired after last season, didn't he? Too bad, he would be a definite improvement over Petersen.