Friday, July 6, 2007


Well, excuse me while we a cut myself a world-sized piece of humble fucking pie. According to TSN, the Oilers have tendered Buffalo's Thomas Vanek a seven-year, $50-million offer sheet. That's just... wow. Bold move.

Says the story, the deal would pay Vanek $5-million in the first two seasons and $6.4 in the following five. Vanek would also receive a $5-million signing bonus in each of the first two years. Should the Sabres choose not to match, they will receive our next four first-round draft picks as compensation.

It's a steep price for the Oilers to pay, in both money and futures, but for a 23-year-old sniper coming off a 43-goal, plus-47 performance and for whom the sky seems to be the limit, oh man is it worth it.

Oh, those Oilers. Every time you think they're down and out for good, they come storming back in.

Sabres are holding a press conference at 12:30 ET. Think they'll match?

UPDATE: They matched. No surprise, really, after they already lost Drury and Briere. So, like, what now?


Baroque said...

Bold move, indeed.

I think it's about time that GM's started using all options available to them to improve their own team, though. If it bugs the owners, then maybe they should have thought of that before they put the option in the CBA. You can't count on a "gentleman's agreement" not to follow some of the rules forever.

I wonder if this would have happened if Philly didn't break the ice with the Kesler offer sheet last year?

Iffy said...

I think Regier matches. I think Buffalo is hurting as much as Edmonton right now, after losing both Drury & Briere.

Vanek will be the face of a franchise one day, and it looks like that day will come soon.

That said ... please don't match!

Baroque said...

Either team, the deal would take him through the ripe old age of 30(!). Usually that is when players are just beginning to get the big offers. If he plays well, by that point he could get another five to seven year contract.

If you are going to blow a big wad of cash, you might as well make it a young player who doesn't seem to have a lot of question marks.

Black Dog said...

They have to match.

Bold move. Those are the guys you want to spend the big money on though.

Iffy said...

Edmonton should be targeting RFA's on teams that have had a decent week. The name that comes to mind is Cammalleri.

How much desperation is there? When the Sabre's match, does Lowe try again?

garnet said...

I was thinking Dustin Penner. Ducks gotta be out of dough.

McLea said...

Cue the resurrection! Long live Kevin Lowe!

If he pulls this off, here's the list of people who will be eating crow for the next year:

1) Lowetide
2) Lowetide (he'll be eating crow like the Irish eat potatoes)
3) MC79Hockey
4) Chris!
5) Black Dog
6) Pretty much every Oiler fan except mike (not trapezoid mike, the other one), Peter, and barry.

Kevin Lowe 1 (pending booth review)
Oilogosphere 0

Scoreboard bitches.

"The reports of my death have been greatly exagerrated."

Kevin Lowe 2007

baroque said...

Buffalo logically has to match, they have already lost a lot...

But what if they look at the money, look at their budget, and think about what kind of young talent they could get with those four first-round draft picks?

Is there a chance they could talk themselves into thinking that NOT matching is the better hockey decision and better financial decision?

Simon said...

I'm listening to the news conference right now. They're going to match.
What did the Oilers think they were going to do.
Back to the drawing board K-Lowe.

McLea said...

I'm listening to the news conference right now. They're going to match.

Well, nevermind then. At least I was able to squeeze 10 minutes of pure bliss out of this ordeal

mike w said...


That's quite the move by Lowe, one that slightly has the desperate quality of an Islanders signing.

Nevermind though, since the Sabres have matched the offer.

Loxy said...

I leave my house for an hour and this happens...

And then un-happens.

Oh well.

Black Dog said...

mclea - I will gladly eat crow if Lowe can turn this team around - the fact that so many of these wounds are self inflicted lead me to believe its not going to happen

I liked the move though - sure I did.

Chris! said...

Oh McLea, you cackling little shrew.

David S said...

A ballsy strategic PR move I must say. Offer the moon, knowing that most likely your offer will be matched. Everybody changes their opinions almost simultaneously. Tarnished image removed in a heartbeat.

The fat would really be in the fire if the offer HAD been accepted.

Pleasure Motors said...

You have to think that Lowe will try again, albeit with slightly more realistic numbers. Penner and Parise would probably have to be the front-runners, both because of their respective teams' cap situations and personal history with the team. Cammalleri and maybe Colby Armstrong are also intriguing possibilities. Looking at defencemen, Christoph Schubert, Paul Martin and Kurtis Foster are all young-ish guys you had at least 20 points last year and are decently dependable defensively. New Jersey isn't likely to let Martin go after losing Rafalski, but Ottawa has to keep an eye on the cap next year, at Foster is going to arbritation with Minnesota, so one assumes they'd be tentative to match an offer that was a little over their comfort zone.

Also, I'd much rather eat crow than dog shit.

Black Dog said...

And unlike all of the other alleged moves Lowe makes to improve this team (the trades not made, the UFAs not signed, the stars not drafted) this one is out there for everyone to see.

Good PR is right - any talk of EIG profit taking and they can point to this right away.

Simon said...

Actually heard on 630 CHED:

Dan Tencer: Is Thomas Vanek married?
Agent: No, Thomas is engaged.
DT: But would his fiance have been OK moving to Edmonton?
Agent: Yes, she would have been happy to move there.

Have we lost all pride?

Vic Ferrari said...

Wow. What a kick in the nuts for Regier. Apparently several other teams tendered RFA offer sheets for Vanek, but none were close to the level of EDM's offer.


Lowe's lucky to have struck out here. Can his luck hold up? He's like a bad, indebted gambler chasing losses now. Sad to see IMO.

Scarlett said...

Bold move...sure it didn't work out but I like it. They chose a good player to go after, too bad Buffalo matched (but they were going to all day). Gotta go after a team in cap trouble next time Kevin!

Paul said...

This was a complete desperation move to save face in light of the past few days. Buffalo clearly had the cap room to match and did so without hesitation. Lowe knew he would never get Vanek, not even at those ridiculous numbers. And if he didnt know that, then he's as oblivious as everyone says. Either way, people are reading too much into this move (other than a willingness to sign RFAs, which is good.)

Mr DeBakey said...

That Dan Tencer
Always willing to ask the tough questions

Sunny Boy or Cream of Wheat?

mike w said...

I've never heard Tencer on the radio before. Does he always rudely hang up on people who disagree with him?

Simon said...

I'm not sure about his habits, I was just listening in because of the news today.

To tell you the truth, it seemed to me yet another example of the widespread phenomenon we've all noted around here: MSM sycophants regurgitating Oiler spin.

I was glad to hear the caller make his points; he interrupted the Kevin Lowe fan club circle jerk that was celebrating a non-signing.

I'm still shaking my head.

Steve said...

That Dan Tencer
Always willing to ask the tough questions

Is this sarcasm? Because however legitimate the rest of the criticisms of the guy seem to be, that actually struck me as a pretty reasonable line of questioning.

Also, am I the only one who didn't like this move by Lowe? Would it actually have been worth it to give up four first round picks for the privilege of paying more than seven million per year to a guy who's either going to be a superstar or is going to have turned out to have had one outstanding year? Was that an awkward sentence, or what?

I don't know. If the Flames had let Regehr become an RFA (wait - would he have actually been a UFA after this season? When did guys born in the eighties become so damned old?), I would have loved to see Lowe take a run at him, because then he'd at least have been hurting a divisional foe by making them match. But a team like Buffalo that's in the other conference and has a lot of cap room anyway? I don't get it.

In any event, I agree with the prevailing sentiment that Lowe should be throwing offer sheets at players that i. will require less than four first rounders worth of compensation, and ii. play for teams that are up against the cap.

Steve said...

Also, what do you think are the odds of Buffalo giving Pitkanen an offer sheet?

Oilman said...

If nothing else, maybe Sutter is sewating bullets over Dion next year.

Simon said...

I heard today that Pitkanen is going through arbitration for this year. Next year, of course, is a completely different story.

Frankly, I think other teams are going to feel perfectly fine raiding any RFAs the Oilers have for the near future.

This team is f*cked.

How do you feel if you're Ales Hemsky having pegged your future to this circus?

Anonymous said...

I noticed Stoll is now the face for The Journal online now. Does that mean he's next to go?
Get him signed damn it.

David S said...

Just finished listening to the Sabres news conference. Lowe was told last night by Sabres management that any offer would be matched. He went ahead anyway and it sounded like the Sabres were pretty much astounded that he did, knowing full well he didn't have a snowball's hope in hell.

It looks like this was purely a posturing strategy. But at the end of the day, only Kevin and the EIG really know what's going down. They needed something to deflect all the bad media and they got it. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out Laforge is behind this.

Steve said...

Frankly, I think other teams are going to feel perfectly fine raiding any RFAs the Oilers have for the near future.

Probably. But why wouldn't they have felt similarly before? They are in competition with us, you know.

epi said...

first round picks, here we come!

Allan said...

Brad Winchester and Toby "For Fuck's Sake" Peterson to Dallas, according to ESPN, via Spector.

I think they've just guaranteed themselves the cup.

Anonymous said...

re: Stoll
whoops. my bad

Chris! said...

Wait, what about Stoll?

Black Dog said...

anon thought he wasn't signed

I would bet that if he puts together a good start of the season and shows that he is healthy that they ink Stoll to a longterm deal

Andy Grabia said...

Just finished listening to the Sabres news conference. Lowe was told last night by Sabres management that any offer would be matched. He went ahead anyway and it sounded like the Sabres were pretty much astounded that he did, knowing full well he didn't have a snowball's hope in hell.

What? You mean, restricted free agents aren't, you know, restricted free agents? WHAT WAS LOWE DOING!?

If the NHLPA had any balls, they'd be screaming "collusion."

Randy in the med Hizzo said...

Jesus. This is getting ridiculous how much Oilerdom sucks right now.

Baroque said...

They have no balls...only pucks.

Darien said...

No UFAs, No RFAs, some draft picks... what's left? Calling up the entire local ECHL team so that there will be 5 players on the ice?

Colm in Belfast said...

"What this amounted to was an exercise in futility," said Regier.

Is it too early to come up with a title for the Oilers' 2007/08 season DVD? 'Exercise in Futility' has a certain "we are completely fucked" ring to it.

Colby Cosh said...

Some of you are totally acting as though NHL teams are supposed to compete with one another. Knock it off!

fever4flames said...

i love the sound of the COILERS hopes flushing down the toilet.

enjoy your smythless, hejdaless, prongreless, pecaless, spacekless, smithless, cujoless team next year. LOL

David S said...

Mackinnon just called bullshit on Lowe this morning. Check it out on the Journal site.

It was a PR move. Plain and simple.

Chris! said...

hahaha ohmygod COILERS LOL

Andy Grabia said...

You know, the number of Flames fans who spend all their time on the Oilogosphere really tells me something. It truly is the best form of flattery.

Darien said...

So Lowe was basically just driving up the price on Vanek for nothing? Iiinteresting...

rickibear said...

lets look at this events chronology.

1. Ufa starts

2. Sunday Afternoon Nylander signs

3. We negotiate with free agents based on his salary being here.

4. Monday Evening He F@#ks us over

5. Tuesday the league tells Us to bad

6. Lowe clarifies the situation so other agents know he was not lying to them.

7. looks like we will be shut out of the free agent.

8. time for a new strategy go after the rfa's. There are only two viable ranges 2-2.5M guys you offer up to 3.4M for a 1st and 3rd round compensation or possible superstar young players you role the dice on and offer 7M on up and hope 4 1st round and the others teams doubt lets you sign him.

9. Edmonton needs there own 3rd pick from NYI to make offers in the 2.28M to 3.4M they orchestrate the o'rourke trade.

10. you make the decision which of the two approaches works first.

11. They decide to talk with Thomas Vanek who has freinds in Camrose Alberta. and has averaged 35 goals over the last two years.

12. Buffallo is contacted by k lowe and Regier says they will match.

13. Do we still offer or not

14. Buffalos managing partner contacts EIG and says dont bid. we will match. As Mr. Grabia points out this is collusion.

15. Edmonton must now cover there ass and make sure that they are not party to this. Since vaneks agent will be asking why they did not offer.

16. Edmonton makes the offer and all shit breaks loose.

It is important to note the edmonton had an option not to offer the contract up to the point that the dip shit buffalo managing partner contacted EIG.

Buffallo you brought this on your self.

rickibear said...

Its important to note:

there are many varying opinions as to why edmonton made the offer.

Insert your reason at step 15.

Steve said...

enjoy your smythless, hejdaless, prongreless, pecaless, spacekless, smithless, cujoless team next year.

It's so true: if only we had Cujo back, everything would be fine.

You know, the Oilers in their present state are pretty much the easiest target in hockey history, and the Flames trolls still can't get it right. Besides the obvious - fever4flames, reggie jr., McLea (although it's truly impressive how good the first two have managed to make McLea look), there's a friend of mine (and of the blog's) whose Facebook status message is "is taking glee in the Edmonton Oiler's situation. Seriously, it's great." I assume he means Pitkanen.

baroque said...

Well, that's good news then. Cujo is available this year.

McLea said...

and the Flames trolls still can't get it right. Besides the obvious - fever4flames, reggie jr., McLea

Man, you could call me a lot of terrible things (all likely to be true, with incendiary being my favorite), but I'm pretty damn sure that I'm not a troll.

Steve said...

Well, we might be operating under different definitions. For clarity, I'll specify that my definition of troll, as it applies to you, is somebody who frequents a given message board or comments section or what have you in an effort to annoy, anger, or otherwise upset the regulars.

McLea said...

Your picture creeps me out.

Paul said...

He has you there Steve.

Steve said...

That picture is easily the least creepy thing about me.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget to get your collector edition Brad Winchester and Toby Peterson wallpaper from the oilers site! They're still there! lol

mike w said...

Et tu, Kevin Lowe?

I realize that it sucks not to sign a decent 1st or 2nd line forward, but how about signing a middling, depth defenceman?

Where were you with Hejda? Or hell, Dallas Drake?

Darien said...

To-by Peter-son! *clap clap clapclapclap* To-by Peter-son! *clap clap clapclapclap*

matt said...

We should sign Alexei Yashin for $3M.

Anonymous said...

No more than $2M, with incentives.

Anonymous said...

If we sign Yash for 2 mill, get get Messier on the coaching staff to keep him honest and hardworking.