Oil Talk / Rumors

By , June 13, 2011 10:51 am
Please be true, please be true, please be true..

Please be true, please be true, please be true..

According to the Fourth Period:

The Oilers could go after impending free agent center Zenon Konopka next month, if he hits the unrestricted market, the Edmonton Journal Reports.

Konopka isn’t afraid to drop the gloves and is a solid faceoff man, something the Oilers appear to be in the market for.

“Would I sign him? One hundred per cent, yes,” an NHL scout told the Journal. “He’s hard to play against and every team needs a captain of the bottom eight players on their roster and that’s Konopka.”

From what I read in the Journal, it’s more of a suggestion than a rumor, but man that would be nice.

The Fourth Period also notes that the Blue Jackets won’t be re-signing their veteran group. That means Ethan Moreau is gone, as are Craig Rivet as Chris Clark. I like Craig Rivet as a depth signing. He’s a leader that brings a physical game and a stable defensive game. He’s pretty long in the tooth though, so it would have to come at a cheaper rate (which doesn’t happen around here).

The Journal speculates that the Oilers may buy out Sheldon Souray, as well. Tambellini says he hasn’t decided yet though (he needs another year to evaluate whether Souray can still play).

43 Responses to “Oil Talk / Rumors”

  1. zackman35 says:

    I don’t think there would be too many complaints about signing Zenon. Our fourth line would be pretty wicked with…

    Jones – Konopka – Hartikainen

    I heard that he’s pretty decent on the PK too, that would be a quality signing.

  2. Racki says:

    Yah, he played some PK for the Islanders. Stats reading, I’d guess he was probably the second pairing there.

  3. chucker says:

    I am very much in agreement that he is the type of player we need. I hope they sign him.

  4. Bostonoiler says:

    Come on Tambi, deliever the goods that are Konopka

  5. Bostonoiler says:

    The aticle mentions the Jackets letting go of Scottie Upshall. I would love to add him to the mix here too

  6. Racki says:

    I missed that about Upshall, but that would be a nice pick up too.

    Upshall Konopka Jones would be a good 4th line grind line.

  7. LateNightOilFan says:

    Hey Racki, can you just bring forward the post I made on ZK a couple days ago? :)

    I’ve made my thoughts known on the Isles board about the dangers of walking away from him – to no avail – so definitely on board with the Oilers signing him.

  8. Racki says:

    hahah, yah I know you are high on him too now. Sometimes guys like these.. you don’t see the value in them until they’re gone. I think we can definitely say that about a few players we had here. But in this case, I don’t think Konopka would be asking for a lot.

  9. LateNightOilFan says:

    Racki: hahah, yah I know you are high on him too now. Sometimes guys like these.. you don’t see the value in them until they’re gone. I think we can definitely say that about a few players we had here. But in this case, I don’t think Konopka would be asking for a lot.

    Well that’s my main thing – they keep saying he’s replaceable but the Isles track record of replacing players has been questionable. I just don’t want to see a guy like Tavares over-worked in the face-off dept as a result. Another comment is once Konopka wins the faceoff he’s a liability and he’s not strong enough in critical situations – i.e. up a goal late or down a goal late. I just really believe in the puck possession theory brought about by being strong on the dot so you’re up a goal more often than you’re down a goal.

    One thing Konopka does have to work on is not taking stupid, ill-timed penalties though.

  10. Racki says:

    Yah the penalties have always been an issue, but I guess that’s why he’s only a 600k player. :P

  11. NorwegianOiler says:

    Since Konopka’s name emerged on a lot of people’s wish lists early this year (or even earlier), I’ve started paying extra attention to his game.

    He hasn’t impressed me particularly. I see his faceoff ability as his main strength, naturally, but his physicality is a double-edged sword. Too often I’ve seen him go out of his way to play physical, thus getting out of position in the process. I don’t mind any replacement for Fraser at this point, but I hope Tambellini does not have ideas that Konopka is that 3rd line center we need.

    Still, there’s not much risk in bringing in someone for our 4th line at this point. I just hope we bring in someone better than Konopka as well.

  12. Racki says:

    Interesting thoughts, n.o.. I wouldn’t have expected him to be anything more than a fourth line center though. Someone who allows us to not bring mac, jfj or stortini back, although I’m not completely sold that storts is the dud everyone thinks he is. Anyways, I want konopka for his ability to fight and provide a useful element… The faceoff ability. I’d like to hope he brings more though.

  13. NorwegianOiler says:

    Yep, only question is: Could he be worse than Fraser?

  14. Racki says:

    I seerrriiously doubt it. At least he brings some stand-out elements with his game. Yah, he takes dumb penalties, but he can win draws, and he can provide sandpaper that we do need. Plus apparently he has leadership qualities. I didn’t expect him to be a very stellar player (although some have said he can play a regular shift, which I guess is maybe misleading?)

    That said, I agree with you that we want to try and land a solid player for our bottom six, so if there is someone better available, we may have to consider that. But I’m thinking that Konopka should be a relatively easy player to acquire.

  15. Steve-O says:

    I don’t know…can Fraser have a year as shitty as his last one again? His previous two years in the league he had 17 and 19 points…then 5. Konopka hasn’t passed 10 points yet.

    Sure he can win faceoffs and fight, but a quick look at +/- and corsi leads me to believe that Fraser is better in his own zone than Konopka (with equal time on ice). Then again, I haven’t seen Konopka so I don’t really know for sure.

  16. LateNightOilFan says:

    The concerns expressed here about Konopka are all valid and real but I think it comes down to:

    (1) he’s a 4th liner, don’t ask him to be more than that and you should be ok – plus we have some pretty good guys for offence so it’s not like we’d be relying on him for that
    (2) he’s coming off a $600k contract, can’t really see it going up that much higher, even say for $850k, it’s not that much of a burden/risk
    (3) he’s only got 2 complete NHL seasons in, yes he’s kicked around the AHL for a while and there’s a reason for that, but I don’t think he’s that set in his ways that he can’t learn how to improve.
    (4) he can take some pressure off in the faceoff dept. Good Lord, Cogs led our team in draws taken and put up a beauty 41% while doing so – we didn’t have anyone who played regularly above 50%. Sure Konopka might be one-dimensional but at least he could get some of the other more skilled players out of the dot so he can win the draw to them to do their thing.

  17. Racki says:

    Yah the way I see it, he wouldn’t be picked up to be the great savior of our bottom six, per se, but he would be relied upon a bit for his faceoff ability, yes… and provide a little extra toughness when needed.

    I don’t expect him to be a phenomenal hockey player, but he did play decent PK time in NY. He can’t be THAT bad. You wouldn’t put MacIntyre on the PK unless you absolutely have no one else (or you’re a horrible coach). I don’t expect him to be superb defensively, but I would hope that he can at least play a somewhat regular shift. I would expect that offense will die on his stick, however. I’m not looking for much in the way of points out of him though so long as he’s bringing something else with his game.

    Ideally, we should have Kyle Brodziak here still on line 4, but we don’t. I would be content with Konopka for now, dominating in the circle and hanging in there defensively.

  18. chucker says:

    Konopka is a guy you pick up to keep the other team honest and hopefully play a very physical game. Nichol or Fleischmann are the guys you hope can fill in on 3rd.

  19. Racki says:

    Yah, exactly. I think sometimes people maybe expect too much from certain types of players. From a 4th line center, the points would be nice, but I’m that the guy will bring some sandpaper but still manage to play a regular shift. The fact that he can play PK and win face-offs is icing on the cake.

    Unlike some other folks on the intrawebs (no one here in particular.. and I’m not being facetious when I say that), I still think fighters do have a place. But they need to be able to play the game well enough. So while I’m not a fan of the types that are just there for entertainment purposes in a heavyweight match so much, I’m a fan of the light heavys that will keep order on the ice and stand up to anyone that crosses the line with our players and needs an ass kicking.

  20. gr8one says:

    So Brownlee at Oilers nation who tends to be pretty connected is suggesting the Oilers might be in play for another top five pick this year…the cost? This years 19th and next years first…

    http://oilersnation.com/2011/6/14/playing-catch-up-three-weeks-unplugged

    Part of me likes the idea, part of of me is iffy…if we’re shit again next year it could be awfully hard watching another team call out a top five pick next year while we sit on our thumbs…on the other hand though RNH and Larrson(whom Brownlee strongly suggests the Oilers are targeting) would be damned awesome to get…

    That being said, if there was a way we could move DOWN in the draft plus somehow acquire another top 10 pick and walking out of this years draft with say Couturier(whom I want BAD BAD BAD) and say Dougie Hamilton and still have our next year first pick I’d much prefer that.

    anyways, thoughts?

  21. Racki says:

    If it’s for a top 5 pick, I think I would do it because of the good players available early on in this draft. At first I didn’t like the idea, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. It is also a big commitment / message on the part of Tambellini to say that we’re going for it this year. I mean…. we’re trying to win this year, not trying to tank (not saying that we have delusions of winning the cup though).

    If there was a good shot at it happening, I would also be happy with Couturier + Hamilton, but I think it’s a bit more risky a plan because we might not be able to get those guys. I think we should keep our #1, save to trade it (and more) for #2 and #10 or whatever the Avs have.

    This is something I would flip flop on several times though…. so I’ll like the idea one minute, and think its bad the next. lol Risky, but chance of very good reward. Omg.. I would love RNH + Larsson here.

  22. zackman35 says:

    I would do the 2012 1st and #19OV for another top five in a heart beat? Why? We are garunteed a top five. It would suck if we were bottom three next year but at the same te if next year is suppose to be a deep defensive draft and we do draft Larsson (very hopeful) then I think that will be an easier pill to swallow.

    I would also like Couturier to be drafted by the Oilers but I don’t know of I would put him ahead Larsson or RNH… It’s so tough to say but I’m not sure he’s in that elite category. He sounds like, from everything I’ve gathered Pseudo status to RNH and Larsson. I think I’d much rather have Larrson + Couturier over RNH + Hamilton. If we got either of those combos though I’d be very happy.

    On a side note I REALLY like Landeskog, he may not score the most goals but he would be a heck of a leader.

    EDIT: iPhone typing ftw. Is this how you do it OIB?

  23. gr8one says:

    Yes, pretty much nailed my thoughts on it too…

    the more I think about it though the more I like it…assuming the SC/DH scenario is not an option, I love the idea of RNH and Larrson, even if next years pick ends up being top 5…

    The thing about next years draft is its supposed to be DEEP DEEP DEEP in high end D prospects, but I dont think any of them have more upside than Larrson, so why not get our high end prospect a year earlier?

    ^ That was in response to Racki…

    Zackman, I totally agrre with you that all things being equal I’d prefer to have Larrson/RNH over SC/DH, but not necessarily SC/DH+top pick next year…

    lol, the reality is, no matter what I think we’re going to be some very happy Oiler fans post draft this year! I can’t wait!!

  24. John says:

    Yup I agree with doing that deal for another top 5 pick this year; this has to be the “all in” year for us in terms of drafting high. Get as many good picks/prospects out of this draft as possible then send out the word that the rebuild is over; time for molding & building what we have now & will have going into July. At that point the brass should be starting to switch over to the mentality of Free Agency pick ups & trades for missing pieces by next Trade Deadline & into next spring. We can’t afford to get caught up in that trap that Florida, NYI, etc. are in where they are still drafting high & still infinately trying to rebuild year after year! This franchise needs to start putting tires to pavement by the summer of 2012, the draft should be a much lower priority for us by then.

  25. Racki says:

    Ryan Murray I believe is the one big standout name I’ve heard on D for next year’s draft. Some say they think he’s better than Larsson, but it’s hard to know if the hype is worthy.

    But at any rate, I think I would be very happy with Larsson and any of the top forwards… RNH, Couturier… even Landeskog. I’m not too sure about Huberdeau… don’t quite know enough about him.

    Oh and one of the good things about trading those picks is that we can hang on to Hemmer still (even if for nothing more than for another trade).

  26. zackman35 says:

    The only thing that makes me question Larsson is his character/attitude. It’s most likely the language barrier, I hope, but even at the combine he seemed pretty… I’m not sure what the word is. I’m most likely overthinking things but when you compare and contrast some of these kids with Landeskog or Hamilton I guess they will seem soft spoken. Last year Hall and Seguin had definite leadership qualities and driven personalities on camera this draft class seems to be all over the place at times.

  27. Racki says:

    Yah Zack, I think it’s just over-analysing things… there was that interview he did where he sounded pretty excited about the idea of being drafted here because of what he’s heard from Paajarvi and Omark and Lander. He’s probably just a quite guy, or it is a language thing. Wouldn’t read anything into it at all.

  28. zackman35 says:

    And it could be do to the fact that he just completed some grueling fitness tests. If I recall he had a pretty high VO2 but was below average on most of the strength tests (which could be due to his injury). The silver lining though, what’s he going to be like when he reaches his full physical potential.

    Another thing I’d like to bring up is Martin Gerber. We talk about acquiring another goalie but what about using Gerber?

  29. Racki says:

    Gerber couldn’t be any worse for us than Khabi was been for us. I would love to see those two swap scenery. I don’t think the Oilers would do it though, for reasons of PR.

  30. NorwegianOiler says:

    Landeskog’s scouting report reminds me of someone else we know. Powerfully skating gritty leader. Scored at junior level, but was thought to be unable to produce similar results in the NHL. Mr. Ethan Moreau ;) Or, alternatively, he could be a Mike Richards…

  31. Bostonoiler says:

    On the rumor topic…..Edmonton Journal has an article up mentioning the Oilers using Stortini and possibly JFJ as trade bait for a pick at the upcoming draft and that if they can’t get something then they will probably let them both walk.

    Yes, I still want Konopka, but I hope Tambi looks at Scottie Upshall too, he would be a great third liner with Jones and Horcoff.

    Today is the first day of the buy-out period, Chris Drury is gonna get bought out by the Rangers, and even though it was reported last week Wolski will not get bought out by the Rangers. I haven’t heard anything on souray, but i’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get bought out.

  32. Racki says:

    NorwegianOiler:
    Landeskog’s scouting report reminds me of someone else we know. Powerfully skating gritty leader. Scored at junior level, but was thought to be unable to produce similar results in the NHL. Mr. Ethan Moreau ;)Or, alternatively, he could be a Mike Richards…

    I wouldn’t be happy with Moreau in the top 5… or even in the 1st round, but I think he was a very good player here up until the last couple years or so where he became more of a liability. I think it’s funny the comparables we can come up with though, hey? :P Are you sure he’s not Wendel Clark? :P

  33. gr8one says:

    Speaking of Drury, I personally think Tambi should seriously look at trading for players like him that are overpaid for what they do but still have a lot of intangible value, and only have one or two years left on their contracts…

    Using Drury as an example the idea being that the rangers might be willing to give us Drury and in exchange for us taking on all that salary they throw in a pick or two….we can stock up on picks like that, and Drury would be the PERFECT 3rd/4th line C we need, and exhibits exceptional leadership qualities, with on one year left…why not right?

    Hell, if he comes in and has a decent rebound tear we might even be able to flip him at the deadline to a contender for even more…as long as Katz is ok with picking up the paycheques, it just seems like win/win for all…

    Hell, at this point I’d even strongly consider bringing Wonderbomb to camp and see how that goes since hes managed to keep his mouth shut now for awhile…

  34. Bostonoiler says:

    Anyone think Tambi could get FLA, NJ or NYI to bite on the 19th overall and next year’s first? If we could get RNH and Larsson, I think that would speed the rebuild up and put us in a spot to improve this coming season.

    Also, I think guys like Konopka, Upshall, and Rupp are the perfect three forwards for Tambi to go after this off-season, while someone like Eric Brewer or Andrei Markov or even Jan Hejda would be real nice to add on the blue-line.

    Does anyone think Tambi will get the role players this year?

  35. gr8one says:

    Bostonoiler:
    Anyone think Tambi could get FLA, NJ or NYI to bite on the 19th overall and next year’s first? If we could get RNH and Larsson, I think that would speed the rebuild up and put us in a spot to improve this coming season.

    Also, I think guys like Konopka, Upshall, and Rupp are the perfect three forwards for Tambi to go after this off-season, while someone like Eric Brewer or Andrei Markov or even Jan Hejda would be real nice to add on the blue-line.

    Does anyone think Tambi will get the role players this year?

    I really don’t want Tambi to trade next years pick, but if he does I don’t believe he will have a choice but to add role players and fill some of our gaping holes simply because, he knows full well the optics of trading away that pick will look terrible if we’re a lottery team next year and see Ryan Murray or Nail Yakupov go to some other team with our pick…

    I’ve been reading a bit about this Yakupov kid…some scouts are already saying he might be a generational like a Crosby or Ovechkin and he put up 40g/101p for 4th on OHL scoring on a shitty team as a 17 yr old rookie…and he’s a RW…

    geez, can you Imagine a top line with talents like Hall-RNH-Yakupov! lol…sorry, getting a little ahead of myself!

  36. dawgtoy says:

    Trading away next years pick is simply dumb if you ask me. If something they covet might slide in the draft, maybe that’s the move to make, but this isn’t the year to be selling our souls. For instance, many covet Larsson, I don’t, but should he slide…bang, pull the trigger. I like Beaulieu…should he fall into the 14, 15 hole, trade 19 and a third and make a move up. Otherwise stay with what we have and let Stu be the man. So many talented kids that Stu has ” seen good.” I trust he knows better then this armchair scout who enjoys reading about hockey. I am also an armchair GM and coach.

  37. chucker says:

    I agree. Trading next year’s first would be foolish. Sorry to pee on the parade, but we could easily be a lottery team again, for sure a bottom ten team (rankings).

    If we trade anything it should be guys who are good trade assets that may not really fit our team, or guys we have duplicates of. Cogliano, Hemsky, Chorney, JFJ, Stortini, and some others should all be explored as part/parts of potential trade packages. Keep you own first rounder always on a rebuild.

  38. Racki says:

    I wouldn’t so much say that trading next year’s pick is foolish or stupid, but we’d have to be getting something pretty good for it without giving up a lot more. Being able to get another pick in the top 4, for example, would make it worth it Stu feels that Hamilton or Larsson or one of the other guys is worth it. I’d like a shot at Yakupov (gr8one mentioned him).. but he’s got the size concern, at least right now. Every year there are always hyped up players. I would definitely like to hang on to next year’s first, but at the same time, if we could upgrade for another pick in the top 5 for this year, I’d move it, if it didn’t cost us a lot more, and/or there was something else coming our way.

    Next year is a good draft for d-men, as they say though. So there’s definitely an argument for hanging on to the pick too. But for sure we shouldn’t be giving the pick away for the sake of moving it. But if you’re talking about another big pick this year or being used in a trade for a proven star like Jeff Carter, I’m in.

    The pick shouldn’t be moved with ease, but it isn’t untouchable either, imho.

  39. oilinblood says:

    John: Yup I agree with doing that deal for another top 5 pick this year; this has to be the “all in” year for us in terms of drafting high. Get as many good picks/prospects out of this draft as possible then send out the word that the rebuild is over; time for molding & building what we have now & will have going into July. At that point the brass should be starting to switch over to the mentality of Free Agency pick ups & trades for missing pieces by next Trade Deadline & into next spring. We can’t afford to get caught up in that trap that Florida, NYI, etc. are in where they are still drafting high & still infinately trying to rebuild year after year! This franchise needs to start putting tires to pavement by the summer of 2012, the draft should be a much lower priority for us by then.

    I am supportive of this movement to trade our top pick. if we are still a bottom 5 team next year, tambs should be fired. This hasnt been a 1 year rebuild, its been 5 years of partially rebuilding. the pieces are there. if he isnt confident in the work he has done than neither should the players be (and thus they might want to start thinking of asking for a trade). 5 years is more than enough to stock the cupboards and get an nhl team in the game.
    Personally i like balls. People that dont have balls shouldnt get a job with a winning company (and normally dont).
    If next year we are drafting top 5… heads must roll.
    IS Renney ok with wasting years of his life? hall? eberle? Short answer NO. Plain and simple we better be competitive NOW.
    That is merely the mental side of trading your top pick in 2012.

    That being said;
    I expect return for our 2012 1st to be in that value range of a 5-7 pick.. with a slight tax for the year delay. If someone isnt offering that return for the pick than you keep it. plain and simple. There is no way i do next years 1st plus 19 for a 5-7 spot this year. MAYBE for 2-3, and if for 4 you want a 3rd also.

    Example… trade with NJ for 4. I think there are skaters they would like that we have but leaving those options out id think a fair trade for 4th would be our 2012 1st straight up and our 31st overall this year. Risk/Reward. IF that is the case you do it. I think its fair.
    If its Columbus at 8th… its a swap of picks – our 2012 1st and a 4th or 3rd for the waiting for 8th. There is no way i add 19 in either deal.

    POint is as long as we treat the 2012 pick with proper value i dont see any problem in shopping/trading/hanging on.
    Also remember if there is an RFA out there… we have alot of “threat” leverage to sit on if we retain our top 3 picks for 2012 (TONNES of cap room)

  40. oilinblood says:

    chucker: I agree. Trading next year’s first would be foolish. Sorry to pee on the parade, but we could easily be a lottery team again, for sure a bottom ten team (rankings). If we trade anything it should be guys who are good trade assets that may not really fit our team, or guys we have duplicates of. Cogliano, Hemsky, Chorney, JFJ, Stortini, and some others should all be explored as part/parts of potential trade packages. Keep you own first rounder always on a rebuild.

    those guys arent good trade assets. with all possible respect – you need to take the oil goggles off and you know that even hemmer is worth likely no more than a 2nd. he MIGht have been worth a bottom 1st at the deadline before another long term surgery, when there was prospect of having him for a playoff run.
    To think cogs and storts are assets valued in the league is kind of laughable. Chorney? JFJ? really?
    Tradeable AND touchable = gags, hemsky, smid
    ’tis all.

    as far as packaging the crap listed above… a bag of crap is still crap no matter how full you packed it.

  41. oilinblood says:

    gr8one: I really don’t want Tambi to trade next years pick, but if he does I don’t believe he will have a choice but to add role players and fill some of our gaping holes simply because, he knows full well the optics of trading away that pick will look terrible if we’re a lottery team next year and see Ryan Murray or Nail Yakupov go to some other team with our pick…I’ve been reading a bit about this Yakupov kid…some scouts are already saying he might be a generational like a Crosby or Ovechkin and he put up 40g/101p for 4th on OHL scoring on a shitty team as a 17 yr old rookie…and he’s a RW…geez, can you Imagine a top line with talents like Hall-RNH-Yakupov! lol…sorry, getting a little ahead of myself!

    If our pick is lined up for those guys next year…. Tambi better be unemployed. Best way to get those kids next year is to actually build an NHL team where your players ACTUALLY have value. and then trade a few assets to acquire the prospect who has never touched NHL ice before and could be one hit from lululand in the sky if you think hes a 100 pt player… whoopdy do.
    Myself? I never bet on myself losing.

  42. oilinblood says:

    One thing to add. The oil have to be looking at one of the top 3 pivots (in addition to larsson). On the back end we dont have a whole lot coming. In the pivot ranks we do actually have assets that might be in play to attain a pivot in this draft OR because we get the pivot in this draft. Those pivots are:

    Gagner, Lander, and Pitlick

    VV i dont include because i think he will end up being a 3-4 guy for his career so he isnt the top end guy who will be trying for the top spot.

  43. chucker says:

    Well, well, well. Looky here: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=369531

    Nichol is on my list of guys we should go after.

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