BipOiler – the Oiler Coaster is the wildest roller coaster ride on earth

By , November 29, 2009 12:29 pm
The Oiler Coaster - a favorite of all bipOiler fans

The Oiler Coaster - a favorite of all bipOiler fans

So a new word was coined in the game day thread from last night – bipOiler (a quick google search tells me that this term has been around for a few years though, however it’s time to put it in the dictionary).

Main Entry: bi·poi·ler
Pronunciation: (ˌ)bī-‘pˈȯi-lər
Function: adjective
Date: 2006
1 : the effect of being subjected to a mediocre team for 3 or more years, yet you can still remember the days when the team was the best in the game.


Note, the final half of that sentence – “yet you can still remember the days when the team was the best in the game.” That’s the key. Many Oilers fans are still bringing it up to other teams’ fanatics. Arguments go something like this:

Other team’s fan: “My team is in the running for first place in the North West Division!”.
BipOiler fan: “Yah well we won 5 cups back in the 80s/1990! How many has your team won? Eat it! Ha har!”

Sorry folks, those days are behind us. These are the new Oilers, where success or failure is just a period away.

Don’t worry though, our new GM has our back, right? Come on Tambi.. you’re my boy! You’re the best thing to happen to this team since Lowe traded for CFP. Picking up Mike Comrie was brilliant, as was Ryan Stone – the new Curtis Glencross. Getting Pat Quinn AND Tom Renney? Made Kevin Lowe’s work look like child’s play. What say you? “We’ll see how this group reacts and we want to see how the team looks with some people coming back in a couple of weeks. But these situations can present opportunity also, so we’ll see what happens.” Gaw damn it Tambellini, you useless skin sack! I can’t believe you spent the entire off-season hunting down a guy who didn’t want to be here! You #*@^ing piece of $#!@! Kevin Lowe never would have settled for this b.s.! At least he tried to do something to fix the team! Katz needs to fire both you and Lowe NOW!

Obviously that last paragraph is tongue-in-cheek, but there are some points I want to make. We’ve been told for a couple of years now or longer to be patient. It was even the same in 2005/06 when the entire city knew we needed a real goaltender. That real goaltender came in the form of Dwayne Roloson at the deadline. The Oilers squeaked their way into 8th place that season; just 3 points less and they miss the playoffs. This is what we’ve been used to since then – patience from the GM. Patience from the GM got the team into the Cup Finals that year, but patience from the GM has also led to 3 years of missing the playoffs since then, and may lead to a fourth as well.

So what is a GM to do? Well, quite frankly, I think there is some dead weight on this team that needs to be dropped. Mad Mike Milbury (quite possibly the worst team evaluator on the planet) even commented on it in the 1st-period intermission last night. “They got to find the rats and get them off the ship because in this situation guys will start to reveal their character, guys who don’t want to get hit in the corner, guys who don’t want to play tough and dirty. You might as well get rid of them now because they’re not doing any good. You got nothing else to lose, if you’re going to go out, go out with guys on your shield, guys who want to play hard.” Credit to David Staples for the quote. He takes a bit different of a stance on it though, saying that it’s impossible now to do what Milbury suggests.

“The Cleaner”, Cliff Fletcher, would probably disagree though. And while I do see Staples’ point on that (very valid), I think the Oilers are going to have to suffer some acceptable losses in order to send the message that half-assed effort will get you a half-assed finish, which gets you kicked off the team. As much as it pains me to say it, our neighbors to the south have been showing for a few years now that they won’t settle for “maybe 8th place”. Knock them for their salary problems all you want, but they still have Iggy, Quasimodo, Bouwmeester, Kiprusoff and Jokinen in that line up and have several guys in their line up that aren’t afraid to earn a goal. The same can be said for the team that just fed us our lunch last night.

So, wise Racki, what’s your solution? Well, again, it’s about acceptable losses to send the message. I’m afraid that we’re not going to get the return we want on some guys, and I’m ok with that. Mr. Katz is going to have to eat some salary, so I’m kind of hoping that he is OK with that too. Stuff some players in the minors, in hopes they’ll get claimed on waivers. If not, they still come off the cap, and are out of sight and out of mind. Move on with the players who want to play here – guys like Gilbert Brule, Ryan Potulny, Dustin Penner (who would have said that last year?), Lubomir Visnovsky, Ladislav Smid, Zack Stortini, Ryan Stone, Mike Comrie and the other names I’m forgetting. Keep the guys who have played hard every game they’ve been here, and contributed to this team winning. I’ll add Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios to that list too, even though they both have been bad the past couple of games. Steve Staios has looked really good outside of those two games and offers leadership, and Sheldon Souray, to me, is the best leader this team has. Generally with those two, efforts are never questioned anyways. What they bring most nights outweighs the odd night where they get lit up.

So to wrap things up, I think this roller coaster ride will never end until management finally bites the bullet and sends the message that failure is not an option. This team, as it stands, will only be as good as its last performance. It’s not a team that can compete for the division; it’s a team that can compete for 8th though. So as long as management sits around with the wait and see attitude, this team will be floating in the bottom half of the conference. They may make the playoffs, they may not.

Really, management needs to make a big decision here: do we want to be a team that competes now for the division, or do we want to compete for the Taylor Hall / Tyler Seguin sweepstakes. Either way, I think it’s going to take a bit of a re-build and some players are going to have to be moved with little or no return in order to free up salary (which this team will need anyways for next year, given the number of young guys we have on the last year of their contract). Guys we who were once untouchable are going to have to be considered in trades again. The team needs some guys who can put the puck in the net, and this team needs some guys who can keep it out of our net. But then again, we do have some guys coming back that could bring us into 8th place….. no, wait, stay the course Racki!

54 Responses to “BipOiler – the Oiler Coaster is the wildest roller coaster ride on earth”

  1. Racki says:

    The other title I was throwing around for this post was “Dear Diary – by Boston Oiler”. Just kidding B.O. ;) I tease because you’re the most “bipOiler” of the fans here. However, I know most fans feel the same, due to years of frustration.

  2. gr8one says:

    an excerpt from a post I made in an OMB thread earlier today, I think is appropriate for this thread.

    good post Racki.

    “I totally understand the frustrations, and am personally sick and tired of the mediocrity, especially because that is what this organization seems to aim for, I think franchises should team build from the top down with the mentality to be championship calibre whereas the idealogy within the Oilers just seems to be “let’s make the playoffs and hope for the best”

  3. Bostonoiler says:

    I read the title and Racki I knew it had something to do with me lol. Hopefully these Staal rumors flying around are true (Its Ek though so its HIGHLY unlikely to happen). And Racki, I would have laughed if you used the diary title haha

  4. Racki says:

    hehe at least you can take a ribbing, Boston Oiler :P And quite frankly, I’ve been guilty of being “bipOiler” many times in the last 3 years too. Many have. It’s the Oil.. we’re passionate about the team and will love the team no matter what, but sometimes they can frustrate even the strongest of fans.

  5. chucker says:

    Nice summation Racki, as always. I’m in the blow it up camp. Dump all those guys form ’06, even Staios (he’s been a nice surprise, but I want not cross contamination).

    Dropping Nilsson, Moreau, Pisani, Gilbert, Pouliot, Horcoff and Staios and we shave off over 1/3 of our salary.

    Most are tradeable except for Horcoff. Whatever. He’s a piece of crap and now has chronic shoulder issues that look like another surgery is looming. Burry him in the minors and then recall him. We eat some salary, but he’s gone.

    The nice thing is that there truly are lots of good prospects coming, but we need top tier prospects. Not 5-30 draft picks, we need a couple firts or second overall picks for a couple years. UFA’s will come after that if need be.

    The one thing that struck me the other day was in an article on Oilersnation. We have vets, but we do not have vets that are difference makers. We have guys making vet money who should be making role player money.

    In the words of Chris Cornell, “Set this fucker off,” and lets’ go from their. We need Taylor Hall.

  6. OilerTyler says:

    If we end up drafting Hall (Which I don’t think we will, once Khabi comes back we will start winning games), our forward group could be scary in a few years

    Imagine, two years from now, our offensive core could be Penner, Hemsky, Brule, Hall, Gagner, Svensson and Eberle

  7. Bostonoiler says:

    Oilers need to make up their mind. Playoff push or Hall? I think Khabi will steal some games for these guys. I think Tambi will be making moves very soon, maybe even before the red wings game. Stone is back though same with nilsson. Maybe it will help.

  8. gr8one says:

    chucker: Nice summation Racki, as always.I’m in the blow it up camp.Dump all those guys form ‘06, even Staios (he’s been a nice surprise, but I want not cross contamination).Dropping Nilsson, Moreau, Pisani, Gilbert, Pouliot, Horcoff and Staios and we shave off over 1/3 of our salary.Most are tradeable except for Horcoff.Whatever.He’s a piece of crap and now has chronic shoulder issues that look like another surgery is looming.Burry him in the minors and then recall him.We eat some salary, but he’s gone.The nice thing is that there truly are lots of good prospects coming, but we need top tier prospects.Not 5-30 draft picks, we need a couple firts or second overall picks for a couple years.UFA’s will come after that if need be.The one thing that struck me the other day was in an article on Oilersnation.We have vets, but we do not have vets that are difference makers.We have guys making vet money who should be making role player money.In the words of Chris Cornell, “Set this fucker off,”and lets’ go from their.We need Taylor Hall.

    agreed, I’d even go a step further and shop Visser for something good, like a high end prospect and/or young roster player with some good picks coming our way as well. I love Visser, but on this team, he’s wasted, whereas he has the tools to potentially put a contender over the top, and net us something juicy in return.

    and of course keep Souray for the captaincy.

  9. Hockey Noob says:

    Racki, I think that BipOiler’s pretty much the perfect word that encapsulates the experience of being a passionate Oilers fan!

    Perhaps it reflects this team’s lack of consistency. In short, it hurts to love the Oilers since we’re on what feels like a never ending roller coaster ride. It seems that every season you get your hopes up and the disappointment is always soon to follow at some point.

    What I think is the hard part is not the fact that we’re done for the playoffs… This will be our fourth year out of it and we’re not making any semblance of progress relative to either the standings or our roster.

    The Penguins only missed the playoffs for four seasons during which time they picked up Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Fleury. We’re headed for our fourth year out and what do we have to show for it?

    An aging core of overpriced vets, an aging/injury prone goalie on a brutal contract, some very good but very expensive/injury prone dmen who’re not getting any younger… The clock’s already counting down on Hemsky’s value contract too.

    Sorry for the rant, but basically, I just can’t see any semblance of a plan looking at our roster.

  10. Bostonoiler says:

    Interesting NON-EKLUND rumor now going around.

    To CAR:
    O’Sullivan
    Cogliano
    Grebeskov
    2nd round pick

    To EDM:
    Staal
    Whitney

    Penner-Staal-Whitney
    Potulny-Gagner-Brule
    Jacques-Horcoff-Stone
    Moreau-McDonald-Stortini

    Smid-Visnovsky
    Souray-Staios
    Gilbert-Strudwick

    Khabibulin
    JDD

    Thats a little something to think about. Ek reported the Staal thing, but now other sites are reporting Staal AND Whitney. That would be a great trade for us. Finally get a 1st line center AND 40 goal scorer, get a veteran Right Winger that can get 25 goals a season. We would lose O’Sullivan(who has been useless here), Grebeskov(who I don’t think is coming back anyway after this season) and Cogliano(have to give something to get something) Think about that lineup when Hemsky gets back too. Also if a trade like this goes down, its safe to say that Nilsson is going to get waived, and end up playing for the Falcons.
    Well what do you guys think? (Interesting that all these rumors pop up when Hemsky goes down and when the Oil have 5 days off)

  11. Horpensky says:

    Burying players in the minors to “send a message” isn’t as easy as you say it is. Take loudmouth Burke for instance. He said “just because we signed you doesn’t mean you will play on the team.” He talks, yet he has yet to do a thing to send some underachieving, overpaid vets to the minors (Blake, Poni, Stajan). You’d think of all people, Burke would have the easiest time doing that because his team is in full blown rebuild mode, yet he hasn’t.

    It would be easy to say, but hard to do. Katz has to be okay with it (if we were to bury Horcoff, I don’t think he would be), Tambo doesn’t want to create bad PR (waiving the Captain or a guy with Colitis). The easiest guys to get rid of imo would be Nilsson and Pouliot, but the rest won’t be so easy and we’ll be stuck with their contracts for a while.

  12. Hockey Noob says:

    More random thoughts…

    I like a lot of our youth like Gagner, Cogliano, Potulny, and Brule. Yet, the fact is that all of them plus Pouliot are in contract years. With our current injury situation, many of these guys will get plenty of power play time and offensive roles. Unfortunately, this just means that they’re all going to cost more to re-sign at the end of the season.

    When you factor in players like Eberle, MPS, and OMark with the aforementioned players, it’s not a very balanced mixed of skill sets.

    I think that the Oilers will have to make some difficult roster decisions at the end of this season. I hope that the decisions that they make during this season will help move things forward rather than force us to take a step back by overpaying for a bunch of contracts–especially if it’s not conducive to creating a balanced roster.

  13. chucker says:

    BO, I don’t like that deal because of Whitney. I know he’s a local boy and can score, but I know the dude via a friend. He was going to retire this year but decided to give it one more year. We’d be paying way to much for Staal and him IMHO, but a Staal is a Staal.

    To Horpensky; Very true about Burke and his statements. There is some debate of whether he really has any say in those matters because of the contract cost and his set up with MLSE. It’s murky at best. Nobody really knows if he has carte blanche to do it, most think he’s on a tether. Having said that, I’m sure no owner would like to send millions of wasted dollars to the minors, especially on such a long deal as Horcoff’s for a guy who is big with the PA, so likely has a good rep with players around the league.

    It might not be as great an idea as I originally thought. It’s hard enough to get good UFA vets to come here. Burrying Horcoff wouldn’t make it easier. NJ did that with Mogilny and have had marginal success in getting UFAs since, but they are a different kind of team to say the least when it comes to money.

    In any case, tank of not, we’ll be picking in the top 20 for sure. I hear this draft really drops off after the top 4 guys, so we likely get a decent prospect, but no sure thing like a Stamkos or Kane if we’re not in the top 2-3.

    It does not seem likely that we will be in that position as HockeyNoob pointed out. Khabbi will be back and so will most other guys and a .500 hockey team or close to it is likely to follow.

    I do think bodies will have to move. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out with all the guys that will be ready for next year or sooner. I would hope that at the very least Nilsson and Poo are moved ASAP. As for Pisani, I am very sure it’s not possible to waive injured guys or guys on the LTIR at least. He’ll be done at the end of the year anyway.

  14. Bostonoiler says:

    Chucker: Maybe more comes the Oilers way, who really knows whats going on behind the closed doors of the Oilers front office.

  15. Bostonoiler says:

    Stone and Nilsson are playing next game. O’Marra and Mcdonald are heading back down it seems.

  16. LateNightOilFan says:

    Bostonoiler: Oilers need to make up their mind. Playoff push or Hall? I think Khabi will steal some games for these guys. I think Tambi will be making moves very soon, maybe even before the red wings game. Stone is back though same with nilsson. Maybe it will help.

    I’m going to use your comment as an example of Oiler management thought process BO, hope you don’t mind and I’m not trying to slam you.

    I agree they need to make up their mind. But as soon as that thought crosses their mind, they get distracted by the ‘maybe’s’ and the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘I think this might work’.

    I am tired of this team over-relying on its goaltending to steal games. How many games did Roli steal the last 3 years? He stole about 10 games last year alone. Garon stole games the year before. Where did it get the team? Nowhere because the players in front of the goalies weren’t motivated enough to feed off those performances and win some games as a team. How many 60 minute efforts from the entire team have we seen in the last 3 seasons? Not many.

    Maybe some moves will help, maybe this player will help and that player – the mentality is a quick fix because it may help. And sometimes it does – for a few games. But there is no long term plan. There is no team identity.

    I have been watching the NYI a lot this season – a young, rebuilding team. They are ten times more exciting to watch than the Oilers because the effort and the desire and the aggressiveness is there. They have a coach who has a system and he and the players are confident in and committed to that system. They don’t always execute it the way they would like but they believe in it. And when they don’t execute it properly they return to it the next game – they don’t abandon it. They believe it will become more consistent for them and more successful as time goes on. Quinn has a system as well, but he can’t convince all the players to accept it yet and he hasn’t been able to get a consistent and equal effort level from the players to the extent of each players capabilities to support his system.

    I’m about to go off on a tangent but this came to me while reading chucker’s response to Racki’s excellent post (love the roller coaster pic too btw).

    A relative of mine had a car he absolutely loved – a ’76 Cutlass. He had great memories with that car but over the years the body started to fall apart and the floorboards started to rot, and he was always piling money into it and scrounging junkyards to fix pieces of it until finally he realized it was no longer the car he loved, it was pieces of other cars and nothing held together anymore. He wasn’t able to drive it so he finally parted with the body. It was so bad he had to pay a junk dealer to come and get the car – he couldn’t even sell it for scrap. It really pissed him off that he could have sold it for a few hundred dollars a couple years beforehand but at the time he really didn’t want to part with it plus he thought it was worth more than the offer at the time.

    But he still couldn’t completely let it go. He went out and invested money in an engine stand and removed the engine before the rest of the car was junked. He actually moved halfway across the country and moved that engine with him because he was going to build a new car around it – when he found the right car that needed a new engine. And I’d like to tell you that he was successful in creating a new car out of the heart of the old car but he wasn’t. He hung on to that car for about 8 years, hoping to re-create his memories first by keeping the body long past a repairable state and then by holding onto the heart of the vehicle.

    And finally his wife told him to stop being a dumbass, to grow up and just let it go because she was tired of having an old car engine with a blanket over it sitting in her spare room. There was a baby on the way and they needed the room for the new memories.

    No word of a lie.

    That is kind of like the Oilers. The memories of past successes are still there, they always will be – but this is a different era and a different time and we need to move on. And we have to realize the heart of the old successful teams may also need to be changed in order to create new successes. There needs to be a plan, not just holding on to old, tired, broken pieces in the hopes of fitting them back together to form a solid core. Some old pieces will still be needed, but they have to be supportive of the new pieces and they all have to work together to create a winning mentality. There has to be a system in place that all players are committed to and believe in. There has to be patience, committment and desire to make it work and if one piece isn’t working as hard as another piece then it needs to be let go. And finally, there needs to be an identity and an understanding that it might be different from previous identities.

    Sorry for the rant – I hope some of it made sense.

  17. Racki says:

    Horpensky: Burying players in the minors to “send a message” isn’t as easy as you say it is. Take loudmouth Burke for instance. He said “just because we signed you doesn’t mean you will play on the team.” He talks, yet he has yet to do a thing to send some underachieving, overpaid vets to the minors (Blake, Poni, Stajan). You’d think of all people, Burke would have the easiest time doing that because his team is in full blown rebuild mode, yet he hasn’t.It would be easy to say, but hard to do. Katz has to be okay with it (if we were to bury Horcoff, I don’t think he would be), Tambo doesn’t want to create bad PR (waiving the Captain or a guy with Colitis). The easiest guys to get rid of imo would be Nilsson and Pouliot, but the rest won’t be so easy and we’ll be stuck with their contracts for a while.

    A year before that Cliff Fletcher came in and cleaned the team up a bit though, including placing Mark Bell, Kyle Wellwood, and Andrew Raycroft in order for Burkie to have a more fresh start. I mean, just because Burke doesn’t have the balls to do it doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

    It technically takes one man to make it happen (Tambellini). Ideally, if he wants to ensure he has a job next year, it takes two (himself and Katz). Katz in my view would be a bit of a stumbling block though, cause sometimes I think he thinks more with his heart than his brain… that’s a bit speculation though.

    I also don’t think they should waive Horcoff, but I’m a fan of his. His was a bad contract, yes, but the guy still puts in his 110%, and I think for that reason he’s earned the right to stick around. That, and that’s just too much salary to expect Katz to eat. I honestly think we’re stuck with him until maybe the final 2 years or so of his contract. So he’s not even on my list of waivable/movable guys.

    However, we wouldn’t be setting a new precedent, moving the captain. So I don’t buy into the whole “waiving your captain is a bad mojo” stuff. If he was actually playing like a leader on this team, it wouldn’t be an issue. He’s just starting to show his old form again though finally, so seeing as how Tambellini is going to stall anyways, if he can bring back his old form, he’d be worth keeping. But if not, he’s first on my list to waive. As Chucker even suggested, if you want it to look good, then you send him down and recall him and someone will pick him up at half cost to them, half to your team. Still doing yourself a favor.

    As for Pisani, I wouldn’t suggest waiving him, not because of the Colitis (although it’s a valid enough reason) but because his contract is off the books at the end of the year anyways.

    Nilsson is a prime target for me. $2M, and really he’s been replaced even by our AHLers.

    Other suggestions would be to pick 3 of our 4 offensive minded d-men and send one packing somewhere in a trade. Most nights we watch the goat-of-the-night get burned by the other team. Sometimes it’s Grebeshkov, sometimes its Gilbert, sometimes its Staios, or Souray, sometimes its Strudwick. We need a guy who can be called on. But either way, having 4 expensive d-men that are shakey like that isn’t doing us any favors.

    I like O’Sullivan, but at this point, he’s an overpaid Brule that can’t score. They’re not competing for the same position though, currently, so if he gets moved, someone would likely have to replace him somehow.

    As Noob pointed out, Khabibulin’s contract is ridiculous and is Tambellini’s Horcoff contract. But we’re stuck with it. Basically our GMs have made their bed and now they have to sleep in it. But they can throw pride out the window and salvage this team.

    Anyways, I don’t really buy that nothing can be done. They’ll need to take a hit in order to achieve what they need to, yes. But I’m perfectly fine with giving up this season if it lands us a high draft pick. And then next year, we hit the free agency and sign those quality veteran, gritty players that this team needs.

    If I’m calling the shot, these guys stay:

    Stortini, Horcoff, Penner, Hemsky, Cogliano, Gagner (only because his value has plummeted… if not for that, he’d be questionable due to inconsistency, if he could land us a very good player in return), Brule, Souray, Visnovsky, Comrie, Stone, JFJ, Potulny, Smid. Everyone else is up for grabs.

    So if you’re counting, that leaves Gilbert, Grebeshkov, O’Sullivan, Moreau, Pouliot, Strudwick, Staios (although I’m hesitant there.. I think Steady Steve is back, despite a couple recent bad games) and any of our unmarketable goalies as available in any trade. I’m of course not saying to ditch them all, but I am saying consider them in other trades. I’d even through Hemsky’s name out there if the right trade becomes available. His contract is just too good though for me to give up, however, so it would take a pretty damn good trade.

    Anyways, it’s easy for me to be armchair GM, however, again, I don’t buy that Tambellini’s hands are tied when it comes to waiving. This is something that should have been done at the start of this year though. Midway through the season it makes a lot less sense, unless we have an ace up our sleeves in the way of a trade, or unless we’re trying to change the face of the team, which is what I’d like to see happen.

  18. Racki says:

    Jesus my post sure as hell looks long. lol Sorry to rant. (edit: I see LNOF did the same thing… I guess this is just one of those topics that is easy to talk a lot about)

  19. Racki says:

    Wow, just read your post LNOF… perfect analogy. Sums up exactly how I feel. This team has been on life support for several years now. Major changes are needed.

  20. Horpensky says:

    Contracts up next year from Racki’s cut list:
    Strudwick, Pisani

    I don’t see us resigning either of them, so that’s some contracts gone.

    Now on Racki’s good list we got:
    Stone (UFA VI, same as Glencross) and Comrie

    Stone brings a lot of that much needed grit on this team, but I’m afraid we might go big game hunting again and forget about him. Personally I don’t care if he’s putting up points, he’s played his role well. I have a feeling Comrie will be one of two situations: he’ll suck it up when he gets back and we won’t sign him, or he’ll play so well we won’t be able to afford him.

    As for restricted free agents from Racki’s cut list:
    Grebeshkov, Pouliot

    Grebs has been very two faced, good or bad. He can be our best, or our worst. But like you said, we have too many expensive defensemen, and he might be the easiest to move because of his contract status. Pouliot will probably be waived at some point this year, and if not he’ll probably sign a 1 year deal and get waived at next year’s TC. I don’t see any team wanting to trade for him though.

    Now our keeper RFA’s.
    Cogs, Gagner, JFJ, and Brule. (Also JDD)

    Out of all these guys, I see Brule will get the biggest raise by the end of the season. Next comes Gagner, then Cogs, JDD, then JFJ. With Pisani’s and Strudwick’s contract up, we are guaranteed 3.2 million cap hit for a raise for these 5 players. That’s still going to be tough unless we get rid of some other guys.

    Now the guys with another year on their contract:
    O’Sullivan, Moreau, Staios, Nilsson

    Nilsson would be the easiest to trade/waive imo. This could be as soon as this year to make room for the ‘keeper RFA’s’. I have a feeling O’Sullivan will be gone this trade deadline/summer like all our other acquisitions since the Pronger trade, and we will let Staios and Moreau play out their contracts.

    Anyways, this is how I see things working out realistically in the next year or so.

  21. LateNightOilFan says:

    Racki: Wow, just read your post LNOF… perfect analogy. Sums up exactly how I feel. This team has been on life support for several years now. Major changes are needed.

    Yeah – life support – that was the word I was looking for! Could have saved myself some time!!

  22. LateNightOilFan says:

    Horpensky – re JDD as a keeper RFA – keep in mind DD is also RFA, they are both on one year contracts and I think DD becomes waiver eligible so this is likely his last season in the AHL (same situation as JDD last year). With Khabi on his lovely 4 year contract I think the Oilers choose one of JDD and DD, otherwise they end up with another 3-headed goalie monster next season. I wouldn’t count DD out as the one they keep either.

  23. Racki says:

    Yah, there’s just too many guys in for raises next year to keep the dead weight hanging around. Also, note, Pisani isn’t necessarily on my “cut list” per se. He’s more on my big time pay cut list :P He’s fine in my books next year if he’s making a normal, honest man’s pay check. $1M-$1.5M range. He’s a guy who gives a pretty honest effort nightly, when healthy. So it’s just a question now though of should the Oilers take a chance on his health.

    But the bottom line is this team is inconsistent because there are players on this team who put in an inconsistent effort. We need the guys who are going to battle every night. Thankfully several of the guys that don’t battle are the ones earning the big bucks, so this team is salvageable. Going into July 1st, 2010, it’s going to be pretty rough on Tambi though. Lots of decisions to make. That’s another reason why I want to see some dead weight moved. Don’t drag that all out until last minute.. make some decisions now. We know what these guys bring, we’ve been watching some of them for a few years now. Make a decision, Mr Tambellini.

  24. Bostonoiler says:

    LNOF and Racki summed it up pretty good.

  25. chucker says:

    I think we should all gather around LNOF’s fireplace and listen to words of wisdom. Sweet analogy LNOF. Completely how I feel.

  26. Bostonoiler says:

    I think Nilsson is waived before the Deadline. Pisani will not be re-signed after this season, same with Strudwick. Gagner will be re-signed along with Stone, Brule, JFJ, and JDD. O’Sullivan and Cogliano will be traded off, Grebs will be too. Staios and Moreau will play here next season, but after that they will be gone. I say the Oil push hard for Kovalchuck on July 1. They will also look in to trades for a big forward. Lets say this rumored deal with the canes goes down:

    To CAR:
    Sully
    Cogs
    Grebs
    3rd round pick

    To EDM:
    staal
    whitney

    Oilers re-sign the guys i said above and let pisani and strudwick walk.

    Now if neither of those two moves happen, these are the top UFA’s the Oil need to look at:

    Forwards:
    Kovalchuck
    Marleau
    Frolov
    Jokien(Olli)
    Kariya(would be good for gags, cogs and sully to learn from a true vet)

    Defense:
    Gonchar
    Robidas

    No one too good out there this season. We will see if Tambi makes a trade before the deadline (I fully expect that he is already trying to) and if he waives anyone (I’m looking at you Robert Nilsson) before that time. If we miss the playoffs I hope we land a top 5 pick in the draft. Hall would give us a great young core of forwards (Hall, Penner, Hemsky, Gagner, Brule, Potulny, Cogliano, O’Sullivan, Eberle, MPS, That Toni Rajia kid)

  27. Racki says:

    Don’t forget youtube sensation Linus Omark ;)

    And I’m also a fan of the suggested trade with Carolina although I might suggest a guy like Gleason in place of Whitney. I’m a big fan of Whitney, but his being a UFA at the end of the year makes me hesitant. Eric Staal sure makes some big coin though.

    Mind you, Whitney being a UFA might not be so bad, if we’re really trying to shed some salary.

  28. zackman35 says:

    Guys I’d like to see stay:

    Penner – Gags – Hemmer
    JFJ – Cogs – Brule
    Storts – Stone – Potulny

    Guys that could be traded: (Gags or Cogs) Would hate to see one of them go but we need a larger force up front it would most likely be Cogs with his value currently being higher. I could see Brule or Potulny in a deal maybe too but hopefully not. Not 100% sure about MC

    Trading Commodities: Moreau (Value could raise right before deadline, P.O.S., Nilsson (Maybe) and Horcs may be able to waive his NTC but we’d need a good center in return.

    Not a big fan of Staal’s long and expensive contract.

    Defense:

    Smid – Lubo
    Grebs – Souray

    Trading Commodities: Gilbert – IMHO he’s not near gritty enough but he can make some decent passes he could probably fetch something nice, Staios (like Moreau stock will most likely be highest nearest the deadline).

    UFA’s pretty much cut everyone else off. Pisani, loved this guy but unfortunately due to colitis he’s never been the same. I can almost see him retiring when the year’s done. I doubt Struds will get resigned. MC is iffy, if we can sign him to a contract similar to this season great, keep him (and Hillary).

    Ideally I’d like to see this core stay.

    Forwards:
    Penner – Gags/Cogs – Hemmer (Exchange anyone for league elite forward)
    LSF A – Good at FO/goal scorer – Brule/Potulny
    Storts – Stone – Glencross v3
    JFJ – Defensive Center – Grinder

    *LSF: Large Skilled Forward
    *Defensive Center: Horc would be perfect but his contract is just too large, maybe if his cap-hit were 3.00 or less things would be a lot different.

    Defense:
    Lubo – Souray
    Chorney/ Or Gilbert replacement if we get another Dman – Grebs
    Smith v2 – Smid (Please keep Smid…)

    7th Dman Pekham

    Goalies:
    Khabi (At least two more seasons)
    JDD (Not the caliber of NHL starter yet..?)

    As for goalies we’re doing pretty good. It was good to see Doobie but we gave him an unfair start, I’d really like to see him play most the preseason games next year and then we can go from there. JDD is pretty good but not NHL caliber yet, we’re going to have to ride Khabi a good year or two yet.

    Draft Picks:
    There have been a lot of people mentioning Taylor Hall, very few Senguin sp* oddly enough but anyways even if we did decide to tank, when we become healthy 3/4 of the way through the season or even when Khabi returns as already mentioned we will probably be riding .500 again. Even if we did tank that doesn’t necesairly mean they’d be the saviour or a great help they’re always busts too remember it’s not 100% all the time (Stefan, Alexandre Daigle).

  29. DropIt says:

    I’m going to tread lightly in this thread, I came in thinking “I’m not touching this with a 50 foot pole”, but ill chip in my 2 cents.

    From a different teams point of view, When Tambellini came out and basically said “stay the course”, he didn’t mean the Oilers are good enough to compete, IMO.
    What I got from it was “we have shit luck this year, and basically we have no shot”
    Stay the course, to me, meant. “We have some salary coming off the books this year, and likely a top 5 pick, patience is a virtue (although we all know frustration starts to overcome after year 3)” I think the management, after this season is over, shocks a lot of Oiler fans by the changes that will be made.

    Edmonton, IMO, needs to restart by signing players like Stone, Jacques, Deslauriers(sp?), and Coggliano. Players who work their asses off more nights then not.

    The Oilers are losing a lot of salary this year, and they need to use it wisely. Which means no more O’Sullivans or Gagner’s (Yes, I said Gagner) Just because everyone has seen them pull of some fancy shit move 2 or 3 times a year, doesn’t necessarily mean he is going to become a 50 goal scorer in the future. (See Rob Schremp).

    I always notice Edmonton goes out to try and aquire the biggest name available on the market . And then fans wonder why they are in Salary cap hell.

    For the teams sake, hopefully they go out and aquire players in this offseason that will loosen up some cap space first, to allow the bigger name afterwards.

  30. gr8one says:

    Good points Dropit.

    BO: I’m with you on that trade being awesome for the Oilers, but reality just says there will be little winged pigs flying around a very tepid hell when that happens.

  31. Racki says:

    DropIt: Good points, although I am pretty sure that the Oil will hang on to Gagner tightly. He isn’t expected to be a 50 goal scorer either, he’s expected to be more along the lines of a Hemsky, playmaker-first. However, in my view, if the right trade came along, I would offer him up in a heartbeat. He’s only 20 though, so if we’re looking at him already setting expectations, then that’s not very fair to him at all. 50 goal scorers are rare, as are 40 goal scorers. He’s got the tools to be another Hemsky though, and I think that’s more reasonable expectations. His defensive game is pretty brutal still, and that’s his biggest knock on him, aside from size. His other knock on him is consistency. He’s gone stretches where he looks like a PPG player, and then had some big droughts. But you know what, that’s what happens with young players. Not everyone is going to be like Kane, Ovechkin, Crosby, etc. and light it up right away. So the Oil need patience with him.

    That all said, if the Oil somehow managed to upgrade his size, I would take it at the cost of a bit of potential. But it’s definitely far too early to be writing him off as a Rob Schremp.

    Also, I don’t think Tambi’s message at all was “we’re going for a top 5 pick”. If it was, I’d be happy with that. I think his message to me was “we have a bunch of players coming back.. let’s wait and see if we’re in the running by the end of the month-ish and then decide”. So again, I think he might as well be aiming for 8-12th.

    Btw, appreciate you weighing in on the subject. Don’t worry about stepping on toes or insulting anybody here.. we could use an objective opinion on occasion.

  32. Racki says:

    There have been a lot of people mentioning Taylor Hall, very few Senguin sp* oddly enough but anyways even if we did decide to tank, when we become healthy 3/4 of the way through the season or even when Khabi returns as already mentioned we will probably be riding .500 again. Even if we did tank that doesn’t necesairly mean they’d be the saviour or a great help they’re always busts too remember it’s not 100% all the time (Stefan, Alexandre Daigle).

    Hey, it’s possible that they’ll be busts, you’re right.. but drafting has improved immensely since the Daigle draft. Especially the top prospects. It’s a lot less of a gamble.

    But I do agree.. the owners may want the team to tank, but the players are going to push for respectability reasons. This is why it has sucked here for a few years. Remember when we got Gagner, we were in the running for a lotto pick, and then the Oil decided to beat Calgary in the final game of the year. a-holes :P! It may have changed nothing, but the Blackhawks won the lottery (from 5th spot where we were until the win) and got Kane. Chapped my butt a bit. But again, it may not have changed anything anyways.. they have won still and ended up picking 2nd instead.

  33. Horpensky says:

    DropIt: .Edmonton, IMO, needs to restart by signing players like Stone, Jacques, Deslauriers(sp?), and Coggliano. Players who work their asses off more nights then not.
    The Oilers are losing a lot of salary this year, and they need to use it wisely.

    First I want to congratule you on spelling Deslauriers right, but you spelt Cogliano wrong :p

    From what I’ve seen though, management will hold on to Gagner over Cogs anyday. Ottawa apparently wanted Gagner in the Heatley trade, but Cogs was the one offered up. And we’re not in salary cap hell because we sign big name players… I think we’re better off without the Hossa or Nylander contracts (although Horcoff’s contract resulted from those non-signings).

    I still believe we have the talent in the system to develop our top 6 guys, but we still can’t forget the quality role players and how important they are.

  34. Racki says:

    yah Horpensky is right, we’re in “salary cap hell” because we sign mediocre players to big name contracts. :P I kid.. partially.

  35. DropIt says:

    I kind of miss worded that wrong. They don’t have the “Big name player” contracts, your right. I meant they are always hunting for the big name players, it seems every year they are looking for that home run shot instead of picking up a few consistant 15-20 goal scorers, they seem to want to bring in who they think is the big player of the offseason.

    Also, I know Gagner is staying, and is still young and has promise. I just don’t really like him…. And not cause he is an Oiler, I just think he is Kovalev-esqe. Where he plays well when he wants, but you never know when that is going to come. Also, I am still waiting for him to perform when the Oilers need him to, rather then start to put together a rise through the standings when they are too far gone. Until then my opinion will not change :P

  36. Racki says:

    DropIt: I kind of miss worded that wrong. They don’t have the “Big name player” contracts, your right. I meant they are always hunting for the big name players, it seems every year they are looking for that home run shot instead of picking up a few consistant 15-20 goal scorers, they seem to want to bring in who they think is the big player of the offseason.

    This is a recent trend, and one that I really hate. Hossa, Jagr, Heatley, etc… all would have been nice to have, but Tambellini/Lowe is left with nothing to show for all that work. And really, it will take more than a guy to play with Hemsky to be successful. Newsflash: we’ve had a guy to play with Hemsky for 3 years now.

    While people were saying #1 LWer, I was saying stay-at-home d-man, better goaltending, a decent scorer, new coaches (pre-Quinn), checking center…

    No one player is going to fix this team, so why the hell are we looking for one guy to fix it? How many cups has Kovalchuk won?

  37. Racki says:

    So today Tambellini had a press conference that is related to this post. Check the audio out here. Jonathan Willis did a short writeup about it on Oilers Nation as well.

    Here is the video, but it is shorter than the audio:

    The biggest statement was the one that JW highlighted on ON: “I’m not concerned about next season at this point.” Now obviously it wasn’t meant that he literally doesn’t care about next season, but that he is focused on this season. His mission is not to tank the season and go for the draft pick, so we can forget that idea (not that he’d necessarily admit to tanking purposely)… he wants this team to win now. However, really there does seem to be no movement on his part to do anything about it. Not yet, anyways.

  38. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Wow, I guess this thread has struck a chord with all of us Oiler fans, and DropIt. I think changes are inevitable, but I’m still not certain which players need to go to right the ship. Yes, the obvious ones like Nilsson or Pisani because of his illness, but aside from those guys the jury is out on many of our players. The biggest reason I say the jury is still out is because right now it seems like a great idea to move a guy like Gagner or Gilbert, but its not a wise move to unload guys like that when their trade value is at its lowest point. Sure, they might have it in the long term plans to move those players because Quinn hasn’t liked what he’s seen from them, but it might come somewhere down the line, say next years draft or something along those lines.

    I’d like to see Quinn system implemented and all the players buying into it. The players that are unable or unwilling to buy in, will obviously be on the outs, but as far as staying the course, this season might just become the test to everyone we have in the organization to see who will be here in the future.

  39. otto84 says:

    It’s funny ’cause I just made that rather pathetic “At least my team has won Cups” argument more times then I’d like to, over this past weekend. But, then, that’s what happens when you work in Vancouver amongst Canucks fans and your team gets their weak little butts handed to them by their team.

    *sigh*

    I’ve thought until this point that we were in a developing precess, but now I’m wondering if it is time to just burn the house down and rebuild. Does Tambi even know how to do that right? I have a sick feeling that we’d figure out how to fail at being failures.

    Edit: And that’s right Mr M, that’s a JDD avi I’m using!

  40. Racki says:

    Hey Otto!

    Yah, I think we’ve all used that line plenty of times (“at least my team has a cup / won more than 1 cup”). It’s sad that this is all we have to hang on to now. This team needs to be turned around. I’ll try and be a bit more patient though and give Tambi a chance. I don’t really like that he thinks “hey it’s only November (we’re past the quarter point now).” I’d like to think that he would be doing everything he can to keep this team from flatlining. Obviously you can’t be constantly making moves, but at the same time, you can’t use the “we’re evaluating the players” b.s. for a year and a half.

  41. Racki says:

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/nyi091129.html

    The Islanders apparently have the go-ahead to spend some cheddar to improve their team. I’m not sure if we have anything they’d want though, but they’d be worth talking to at the very least.

  42. LateNightOilFan says:

    Hey otto – great to see you here!!

    Racki – the Isles would probably love a couple of the players you want to keep (Vis, especially), but they have been a familiar trading partner in the past so you never know.

  43. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I wouldn’t mind parting with Vis or Souray because I think they would get us a good return.

    Racki, I pretty sure that for some of our guys the evaluation period is over and Quinn is just using the guys while they are still around. A guy like Tom Gilbert for example. He’s obviously struggled but I just can’t see him being a player that Quinn would like to have around in the future. Tambi on the other hand doesn’t want to just give an asset away for nothing. We have so much money tied up on defense it might be a good way to free up some cap space and reload for next year.

    If we can get everyone playing the system, even if they aren’t very good at it, we should start winning some games. Later, when the system is clicking and everyone knows their role, Tambi can look for upgrades. Players that will excel in the roles on the team that fell short. We already knew about the faceoff deficiencies coming into this season, but now that Quinn has had a look for himself, I wonder if he’ll put pressure on Tambi to get him a proven vet for this reason alone.

  44. Steve-O says:

    Yay…a rebuild post. I was pretty much offline all weekend but this sounds fun.

    Steve’s rebuild steps:
    A few notes to begin with.
    – A player is at his peak from the ages of 25-30.
    – The rebuild will continue until all “bad” contracts can be offloaded and the young players/draft picks reach above peak ages.
    – Horcoff and Khabibulin are untradeable. I don’t feel this is a problem for Horcoff (need to spend to the cap floor anyways) and he is a useful player (faceoffs, defensive, can put points up) and he can mentor the young players. As for Khabibulin, well it sucks but we are paying him unless he retires.
    – Use the remainder of the year to evaluate the young players we have. If they have a future then keep them (on the cheap mind you) or let them go.

    The basic idea is to have a good young core of players 25-30, with cheap vets and good rookies all at the same time. Obviously we need to drop expensive vets, sign our good young players and draft well, but I see this taking 3 years (putting Hemsky at 28-29 years old).

    Step 1 – Trade cap hit for picks. This can only be done for a few players, mainly those that cannot get any young players back in return.
    – Staios – Hopefully a 4th or 5th, but 7th will do.
    – Moreau – Hopefully a 4th or 5th, but 7th will do.
    – Nilsson

    Step 2 – Let players walk. UFA’s or RFA’s, but we need the cap space and/or roster spot.
    – Pisani
    – Strudwick
    – Comrie
    – Arsene
    – McDonald

    Step 3 – Qualify but no more. These RFA’s should be qualified at the minimum right until they hit UFA (unless obviously the light bulb goes on and then sign them for 2 or 3 at cheap).
    – O’Marra
    – Pouliot
    – Stone
    – JFJ
    – Potulny
    – JDD
    – Dubnyk
    – Reddox

    Step 4 – Resign big time RFA’s
    – Gagner
    – Cogliano
    – Brule
    – Grebber Grabber
    – Peckham

    Step 5 – Trade salary/age for cheap/young players (either of these should bring back 2-3 good young players)
    – Souray
    – Visnovsky – unless we need salary to reach the cap floor he would be a good mentor

    Leaves a core of:
    Penner/Hemsky/O’Sullivan
    Gagner/Cogliano/Brule
    Stortini

    Grebber Grabber/Gilbert
    Peckham/Smid
    Chorney

    Horcoff and Khabibulin are in there, as well as possibly Visnovsky until contracts are up.

    Anyone wants to get paid ridiculously and doesn’t deserve it then send them packing. Any of them. And not one of those players deserve more than 6 per.

    Step 6 – Sign cheap vets to tide us over – NO MORE THAN 1.5/2 mil per and no more than a year or two
    – Betts/Malhotra/Reasoner/Glencross/Hjeda etc

    Step 7 – Graduate rookies/picks
    – See Lowetide’s list right now

    So long as no one gets overpaid during that time we should be laughing in 3-4 years…and we should have sucked enough so that I can get seasons tickets without having to be on a stupid waiting list.

    And I think that with the above team, we don’t suck enough to get any drafts within 1-5 and that we are competitive every year. And I’m fine with that.

  45. Racki says:

    O’Sullivan would be on my list of guys to trade too, and I would say re-sign Arsene (for AHL), but aside from that, I could tolerate your suggestion Steve-O. As much as it pains me to say it, we might have to part with the big d-men in order to truly re-build. But this team is going to be even more horrible to watch.

    I’d also keep Comrie around.. he signed here for pretty cheap, all things considered, why not? By the sounds of this game plan, there will be some cap space and he’ll help keep things tolerable here.

    The Oilers also still need to pick up some solid back end guys. None of this Gilbert/Grebeshkov stuff. Sure, we can keep them.. I’m ok with that.. but they need some more Smid-like guys back there to prevent getting lit up on a nightly basis. I kind of wonder if it’s really that necessary to drop BOTH Souray and Visnovsky. With what you’re talking about, you’re not dumping salary/players in order to tank the season. and you’re not dumping it to free up cash for other players. So why not hang on to one of those guys (or sign someone who is a solid 2-way guy). I don’t think our D-corps is at the stage yet where we could drop Souray and Visnovsky and Staios and not have them get completely demoralized and shit on by fans because of nightly scary performances. Need someone here to mentor and carry some of the burden/fan-hate.

  46. Racki says:

    It’s too bad this is all moot anyways. Tambellini will still be swinging for the fence next UFA season, I’m sure, and he’ll likely ride out this current group as if it’s going to bring us to the big show.

    I’m feeling less and less opposed to moving anyone on this team.

    I don’t want this team to go into a Toronto Maple Leafs slide where they think they can salvage each mediocre season. Get it done right, even if it is painful for a couple/few years.

  47. Horpensky says:

    I can’t even imagine this team without Souray or Lubo. Our top 4 would be the scary pair of Gilbert-Grebeshkov, and Smid would probably be crapping his pants with Staios as his partner instead of Lubo. I think mentorship is crucial for development, and Smid has been benifiting from being paired with Lubo. Not to mention without those two nobody would be shooting the puck on the PP.

  48. Racki says:

    Ya, I agree on that too. I really would rather see one of Gilbert or Grebs moved. Yes, they’re younger and all that fluff…

    But Souray provides leadership, toughness, the whole shot thing, makes the ladies wet, etc.

    Visnovsky makes his defensive partners better, brings 2-way stability, also a great shot, our best offensive ability…

    Yes, they are aging, but I think I would rather see us hang on to them for a few years and give up a Gilbert/Grebeshkov for a decent return and develop the next defensive replacement for one of those guys.

  49. zackman35 says:

    Racki: Ya, I agree on that too. I really would rather see one of Gilbert or Grebs moved. Yes, they’re younger and all that fluff…But Souray provides leadership, toughness, the whole shot thing, makes the ladies wet, etc.Visnovsky makes his defensive partners better, brings 2-way stability, also a great shot, our best offensive ability…Yes, they are aging, but I think I would rather see us hang on to them for a few years and give up a Gilbert/Grebeshkov for a decent return and develop the next defensive replacement for one of those guys.

    I think we need a Gator 2.0, I would like to see him play along with Smid. It’d be real nice to see Peckham fill that role but he is no where near experienced yet unfortunately. One day perhaps but right now if we end up losing Steady Steve we will need to find a younger replacement of a defensive dman shot blocking machine.

  50. DropIt says:

    -I like “Steve’s 7 Steps to success”… Mostly cause its hard to say :P

    …. Although I noticed a name at ‘Step 6′ that sure as shit doesn’t belong there… You had your chance.

    -Since when does Souray make ladies wet? I wonder about those Northern ladies. I’m starting to believe they look something like those Women from ‘Futurama’ that live on their own planet…

    -Its unfortunate that Visnovsky is easily the teams’ top asset and could bring in about anything the Oilers were looking for, yet would make the perfect player to back a rebuild stage.

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