Friday, July 23, 2010

PAULLY SAYS: Whats a Lou to do?

JEFF SAYS: Paul Aumack is now a contributing member the Oil Patch since things are getting a little busy for me. The longtime Oilers fan, who lives in sunny Kamloops, B.C., will write about anything and everything that's copper and blue. Enjoy: 

After the euphoria about hearing my good friend, Jeff Cummings, getting a new job wear off, we had a little talk about the NHL canceling the contract of Ilya Kovalchuk.

We both acknowledged the hypocrisy of the NHL when there are other contracts as well that make a mockery of the CBA, Marian Hossa with Chicago, Roberto Luongo with Vancouver, and who can forget "my wife hates this town" Chris ****'n Pronger with Philadelphia.

Teams front load the contracts in the productive years of their players and after the age of 35 the hit against the salary cap drops significantly.

If the player retires(after the age of 35) their salary does not count against the cap thereby freeing the team.

Why do I bring this up? While I was musing I realized maybe Lou Lamoriello, circumvented the cap for a reason. This is what he said after the contract had been nullified by the NHL:

"We should not have these" he said to the press, "but they are legal under the CBA."

When asked why they made the deal, the GM blamed his boss. "You would have to speak to ownership about that", he replied.

Lou has stated from the beginning he did not like the contracts being signed that insidiously went against the CBA even though they are legal. Did he do it on purpose to show the NHL how foolish this loophole has become?

To me this man has been one of the best general managers since the 90's. He knows the ins and outs of the CBA(anybody remember his brilliance in ridding himself of Vladimir Malakhov) and always has a plan up his sleeve so to say. Should be interesting to say the least what comes about from this mess.

Update from Lou:

"We are extremely disappointed that the NHL has decided to reject the contract of Ilya Kovalchuk. The contract complies with the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will have no further comment until the process outlined in the CBA is complete.

Lou always keeps us guessing doesn't he?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SHIT-TASTIC: Too little, too late for NHL to quash salary loophole

Put on your shit-kickers, Gary Bettman, because there’s a shit-storm a comin’.

And that shit-storm could become a massive shit-hurricane by the time collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011. It’s enough to make residents at Mr. Lahey’s Sunnyvale Trailer Park tremble.

At a time when every hockey pundit out there is enjoying his or her summer vacations, the NHL drops a bombshell by quashing Ilya Kovalchuk’s crazy 17-year, $102-million contract with the New Jersey Devils because it circumvents the salary cap.

Even TSN’s Bob McKenzie was enjoying his time off tweeting photos from a Bon Jovi/Kid Rock concert tonight. Unbelievable.

According to the NHL, the last five years of Kovalchuk’s contract was the obvious deal breaker. Everyone knows Kovalchuk will retire in the last five years of the contract, which will see him earning $500,000 a season.

Kovalchuck will be 44 by the time the contract expires — the same contract Devils GM Lou Lamoriello admitted will screw the league during a press conference today.

Yep, it’s a pretty silly contract. But it’s too little, too late for Bettman to clean up the extremely shitty mess.

The shit-pile has been accumulating ever since the league allowed the New York Islanders to sign Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million contact back in 2006.

Roughly four years later, NHL owners and GMs are taking advantage of a loophole by offering up shitloads of front-loaded salaries.

And Kovalchuk’s contract is no different than Chris Pronger’s deal he signed with Philadelphia last summer, or Marian Hossa’s in Chicago. Where was the NHL then?

Pronger’s seven-year extension — worth $35-million — will see him earning $525,000 in the final two seasons on the contract. Hossa will earn $1 million or less during the final four years of his 12-year, $62 million contract.

And here’s an interesting thought: what’s to stop Steve Tambellini from signing Taylor Hall to a 25-year, front-loaded contract after his third season.

Yup, things are going to become even shittier.

FACING OFF: Madden or Wellwood could be good fits

The Oilers might be a much younger and somewhat grittier team with the deals Steve Tambellini has swung in recent weeks, but he needs to track someone down to play centre.

The Oilers still have problem down the middle with the lack of reliable centremen, especially when it comes to special teams and the third and fourth lines.

Newly acquired Colin Fraser was 47.8 per cent (376 out of 787) on the faceoff circle two seasons ago with Chicago and he is the right pick-up for the Oilers. Fraser does offer a lot of defensive upside, which is why he’s ideal for the team’s second penalty killing unit.

And then there’s obviously Shawn Horcoff who won 53.9 per cent of his faceoffs back in 2008-09, but he slid a bit last season mostly because of a bad shoulder.

Horcoff was 46.4 per cent (621 out of 1337) on the circle and that’s slightly less than Sam Gagner (336 out of 709) and Ryan Potulny (389 out of 820) who were both 47.4 per cent on the dot.

As far as the stats are concerned, the Oilers are in desperate need of a reliable centreman.

And if Tambellini is looking to make another splash this summer, it might not be a bad idea to pick up John Madden to a Mike Comrie-like contract.

The 37-year-old made $2.75 million with the Blackhawks last season, and he could sign to an extremely cheaper contract based on his age.

Adding Madden, who scored 23 points and had a winning faceoff percentage of 53 last season, could also provide some much-needed leadership to a very youthful hockey team.

But if Tambellini is looking long term, there’s also Kyle Wellwood who was a reliable faceoff guy for the Canucks at 53.8 per cent.

The 27-year-old scored 14 goals and 11 assists in 75 games last season, and given his past history with his lack of conditioning, Wellwood could agree to a longer contract somewhere around the $1.5-million mark.

Wellwood is a risk, but he’s an ideal third-line centreman who doesn’t take a lot of dumb penalties.


A team that wins in the NHL must consistently win faceoffs, as far as last season’s stats are concerned.

The West Division-leading San Jose Sharks had the best faceoff team in the league at 55.6 per cent. Boston was second at 52.6, followed by the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks at 52.4.

The worst faceoff team was the worst team in the NHL last season. The Edmonton Oilers were dead last at 46.4 per cent, followed by the Colorado Avalanche at 47.7, and the Calgary Flames at 48 per cent.

Monday, July 5, 2010

GETTING IT DONE: Khabby's doctor hands out bad news, Tambo gets a B

It appears signing Nikolai Khabibulin last year was as dumb as my two-week hiatus from blogging recently.

Tyler Dellow, a blogger for, apparently scrounged up an interesting find while digging through documents after documents filed in the goaltender’s DUI case.

That find: a letter dated back on May 24 from his doctor who says Khabibulin is still under “activity restrictions” after a January surgery to repair a lumbar disc herniation and a weak right leg.

“We hope for a full recovery, but that has not occurred at this time,” wrote Dr. Robert Watkins in the letter.

“He is making progress and we will reevaluate his condition in June 2010.”

So in other words, that’s 12 weeks.  That’s more than half the time longer than expected for his recovery.

Meanwhile, Khabibulin’s cap hit is $3.75 million every year until the end of the 2013-2014 season, according to

If the Oilers want to hold on to Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers one more season, it might not be a bad idea. Both are restricted free agents.


Steve Tambellini has accomplished a lot since drafting Taylor Hall, an 18-year-old who was ranked No. 2 by NHL Central Scouting.

I’m already over the decision because Hall is fast and he can put some excitement back into Oilers hockey.

But without getting too off topic, Tambellini has done a good job with free agency, but I wouldn’t call it stellar.

The Oilers are done with Ethan Moreau, Patrick O’Sullivan, Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot, Ryan Potulny and Riley Nash.

But who is in is what’s interesting and cheap. Picking up D-man Kurtis Foster for $1.8 million per season for two years was a smart move.  Getting Colin Fraser to a $825,000 per season contract will fix the hole on centre in the Oilers’ fourth line.

Brining back Steve MacIntyre was also a good move — a good idea to protect “the kids.”

On the other hand, reportedly offering $7 million over four years for Derek Boogaard was a tad ridiculous.

And not getting rid of Sheldon Souray at the draft is something that should affect his post-season grade from the Oil Patch.

Hopefully, Souray might realize he’s stuck in Edmonton and he will have to play and condition much harder to get out of Alberta’s capital. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TAMBO TUESDAY: Renney is head coach a year earlier and the writing is on the wall for Hall

Didn’t see that coming.

On top of a new surprising coaching change for the Edmonton Oilers, the other news of the day was a deal between the Florida Panthers and the Boston Bruins

It was a move saw Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell for defenceman Dennis Wideman and Boston’s coveted 15th pick.

Earlier, I suggested the Oilers should and must get Boston’s 15th pick if they ever swapped for first and second. I guess I can throw that out the window.

There is, most likely, something that can be read from this trade. Horton is an upstart winger who has scored 20 or more goals in each of his last five seasons in the NHL.

And Taylor Hall is a winger, so something tells me general manager Dale Tallon is beginning to build his team for a guy like Tyler Seguin, a natural centreman.

Steve Tambellini also told reporters today that he knew that deal was going to happen after talking with Tallon.

So now, it appears, a hat has been tipped for the Oilers to pick Hall on Friday.


The Oilers have also made its third coaching change in three seasons — it was expected, but it was a year too early.  

Pat Quinn will take on a senior advisor role with the Edmonton Oilers while Tom Renney will take his place behind the bench.

Quinn was signed for two seasons as head coach of the Oilers and it was expected he would take on a more managerial role after that contract expired.

What I don’t get, and what a lot of fans probably don’t understand, is why make the coaching move now? Steve Tambellini was too vague on why the move was made a year early.

“We must have the right people in the right spots going forward,” said Tambellini during today’s news conference.

By the way, Renney has a lot of work to do. In five seasons coaching the Rangers, Renney’s team failed to make the playoffs twice and the crew never advanced to the second round.

And After finishing dead last as assistant with the Oilers, Renney says he will need to create a new attitude within the dressing room. That will be a tough task. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

OUTSIDE THE PATCH: Shut the hell up, Murray

Probably the worst thing to ever happen to the Ottawa Senators is, without a doubt, promoting Bryan Murray to the team’s general manager.

The guy can’t keep is stuttering lips shut, and because of that, some fans in Edmonton are more than likely suffering from a bad case of déjà vu going into the draft and free agency.

Fans have been put through a giant soap opera with the whole Dany Heatley saga last season thanks to Murray who dangled the disgruntled star forward to Steve Tambellini in exchange for Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid.

Back then it was a great deal and fans were buzzing about it. That, however, obviously came to a crashing halt thanks to Heatley who wanted nothing to do with Edmonton.

Looking back, I can’t say I blame Heatley for the mess. He was a player who did have a no-trade clause on his contract. Edmonton wasn’t on his list.

Murray told reporters he wanted to get a deal done of before July 1 and “the Oilers had the best offer on the table.” I’d say that was a pretty arrogant move on Murray’s part since he obviously defied Heatley’s no-trade clause.

Now Murray is feeding the media frenzy in Ottawa again by scrumming with reporters about the team’s star centre, Jason Spezza.

“He didn’t come in and say ‘I have to be traded,’” Murray said, explaining about his meeting with the forward who was frustrated after the team’s first round loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He said he wouldn’t object to one. I said, ‘Well, unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. You’ve signed a long-term contract. We’ve committed to you. You’ve committed to us. We will look at everything that’s going on to help out hockey team, but I’m not going to make a bad trade.”

Comments like this from Murray make my blood boil, especially after last summer’s fiasco with Healtey.

And I don’t think there is a GM in the entire league that hangs out their own dirty laundry in front of the media like Murray.

Oh, and it gets better.

He talked about Anton Volchenkov who, apparently doesn’t want to re-sign in Ottawa and because of that, Murray is interested in a defenceman.

There’s been some talk that Murray has some interest in making a move for Sheldon Souray.

Let’s just hope Murray stays quiet this time around.

Friday, June 18, 2010

FORTUITOUS FRIDAY: Pisani, Seguin, Daum and a hankerin’ for some heroin beer

It’s quiet, too quiet as far as Fernando Pisani’s agent is concerned.

Pisani, who made $2.5 million this season, is set to reach free agency after July 1 and so far, that could happen since Oilers brass have not talked to him, reports Jim Matheson with the Edmonton Journal.

Pisani’s agent, Mark Witken, told the newspaper he’s also still waiting for a call.

Obviously, Pisani will have to agree to a pay cut, like somewhere around $1.3 million or less. It’s too bad since he was prolific in the 2006 NHL playoffs by scoring game winning goals.
He’s also battled through bad injuries and struggled through a possible career-ender: ulcerative colitis. You have to respect a player like that.

Unfortunately, if Pisani doesn’t bite on the pay cut, he’s gone.

Others who will probably hit free agency include Jason Strudwick, Aaron Johnson, Mike Comrie and Ryan Stone.

I’d expect Comrie will stay in Edmonton, or at least offered a deal, given he was a strong, two-way player when he was healthy. And the same can be said for Stone.

When it comes to the blueline, Steve Tambellini could be looking to others in the free agent market for some “minor” tweaking.

By the way, Tambo will more than likely begin to negotiate with the mentioned players after the draft since he will be making a deal or a few deals in Los Angeles next weekend.


During a NCAA recruit-like tour of Edmonton Thursday, Tyler Seguin says it would be a “win-win” situation if the Oilers drafted him.

Seguin appeared to be really savvy when it came to answering questions from the media, and that’s something surprising considering he’s only 18.

And Hall was the same way during his tour of the city last week.

Tambellini and company do have a tough decision to make, but those who read this blog already know how I feel about who the Oilers should draft.


Tambellini says he’s getting a flood of calls from teams interested in Edmonton’s top pick, and that includes Flordia GM Dale Tallon. Florida is rumoured to be offering up Nathon Horton and the Panthers do have the third overall pick. All I can say is good luck with that bad deal.

Letting go Rob Daum this week was also bad for the Oilers considering he coached an AHL franchise without Devon Dubnyk, or most of last season without Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham and Ryan Potulny. Daum deserves to be in the NHL and I’m betting he will be back somewhere in the league in three to four years.

And here’s a thought: Oiler fans paid big bucks to watch a last place team all season long at Rexall Place, and that includes dropping $8 for a plastic cup of beer. How about cutting a buck or two from the current beer cost next season to say, “thank you fans”?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WHEELIN' AND DEALIN': 2nd pick must include a 15th pick

The Oilers will obviously pick Tyler Seguin, but Steve Tambellini and company could make that decision after it swaps picks with Boston at the draft June 25.

By now that’s pretty much common knowledge.

Boston needs a player like Taylor Hall and GM Peter Chiarelli is the only one in the league who could dangle something in front of Tambo to successfully swap picks — say, possibly adding Boston’s 15th pick.

That’s a massive haul for the Oilers if they can swap it’s first pick for the second and 15th, and Chiarelli would more than likely bite on that kind of deal since Boston is, allegedly, desperate for Hall.

And the Bruins need to make a splash after a colossal letdown against the Philadelphia Flyers in this year’s playoffs.

There’s a few future prospects the Oilers could choose from after a deal like that, including skilled Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter, rugged defenseman Dylan McIlrath of the Moose Jaw Warriors, or two-way American defenseman Jonathon Merrill.

Niederreiter was the talk of the 2010 World Junior Championship with his 10 points in seven games and that included helping his Swiss team take down Russia in a 3-2 upset.

Then there’s McIlrath — a six-foot-four 17-year-old who is mean, physical, and he makes opposing puck carriers nervous. Scouts say puck carriers would dangle to the other side of the ice to avoid McIlrath.

Scouts compare Merrill to Jordan Leopold, a two-way defenseman who can make plays, along with doing some crashing and banging.

The Oilers have 10 selections at this year’s entry draft, including two picks in the second round. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

THE DEABTE IS OVER: Oilers must pick Seguin

Another big reason why I’ve been away from blogging is because I couldn’t get my head around the Tyler Seguin/Taylor Hall debate.

When the topic came up over a beer with some friends, I had a tough time trying to decide who the Oilers should draft June 25 in Los Angeles.

I’m first to admit this. I’ve flip-flopped like a fish out of water on this topic every week. In one week I thought it should be Hall only because the Oilers are in dire of a sniper who could put fans on the edge of their seats.

Then the next week I think it should be Seguin only because he’s the type of player that makes every player around him better.

Obviously, both players will be stars in the NHL and finally, it’s a discussion that gives fans of the copper and blue some hope.

But, as far as I’m concerned, after doing a lot of thinking, the debate is OFFICIALY over.


Seguin is the right player for the Edmonton Oilers for all the right reasons. Sure, he’s probably not leading other pundits’ scouting lists, or the right pick among Oilers fans.

Seguin, however, must be picked based on what the Oilers are looking for long-term.


Seguin had a less than stellar first half of his rookie season last year with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers — a team that picked him ninth overall in the league’s selection draft.

The rookie was regulated to the team’s fourth line under a coach who preferred to play veterans.

Siegen probably wasn’t happy about the move considering it was the first time he had ever played on the fourth line in his entire hockey career, but he didn’t complain about it.

Imagine if a move like that happened to Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky, Sheldon Souray and some other Oiler pre-madonnas. Oh wait, that already happened a few times and fans heard all about it. I forgot that it’s an annual event in Edmonton.

But once Mike Vellucci was brought in as the Whaler’s head coach, Seguin was promoted to the team’s second line then the top-line where he quickly scored 16 goals and 43 points in the final 19 games that season.

For a player to emerge so strong that quickly shows that he leaves his ego at home. Fans in Edmonton have been begging for a player like Siegen for a long, long time.

Hall hasn’t really faced that much adversity throughout his hockey career compared to Seguin.

And unlike Hall, Seguin never made Canada’s World Junior team mostly because the squad was already loaded with talented and more experienced centremen. Remember, Seguin was only 17 during tryouts. Hall is older.

Obviously, with his determination, not making the World Juniors would become a distant memory once Seguin plays in the NHL.


There are more than a few reasons why Seguin is drawing comparisons to Steve Yzerman. He’s a natural, right-handed, two-way centreman who has an unbelievable playmaking ability — just like a former Detroit Red Wings captain.

Seguin would also never hesitate to shoot when he sees an opportunity — cough, pay attention Hemsky, cough. The six-foot-one centreman did finish his OHL season tied for first (with Hall) with 106 points (48 goals and 58 assists).

Seguin is probably the type of player Kevin Lowe thought of when he signed Shawn Horcoff to his lucrative, yet ridiculous contract.

Horcoff was paid to be that type of player that could do it all — win faceoffs, score plenty of goals by taking passes from Hemsky, and clamping down defensively when his team needs him.

Obviously, Horcoff’s contract appears to be a mistake and the centre position is something the Oilers have a huge hole in the short term and the long term. And Sam Gagner isn’t quite up to snuff when it comes to his faceoff abilities.

Drafting Hall, for obvious reasons, wouldn’t be the right fit in Edmonton based on what the Oilers need. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Linus Omark, and Jordan Eberle are wingers.

Riley Nash, a 21st pick by the Oilers in the 2007 NHL entry draft, has reportedly had it with the organization over being told to play in Cornell this season. If that’s the case, Nash won’t be around and he’s a centreman.


Speaking of Yzerman, Seguin does have an ability to lead.

During his 19-game offensive surge in his rookie season, Seguin played on the Whalers’ first line with Chris Terry and Matt Caria. When the pair left the squad at the end of the season, critics said Seguin would struggle.

Boy, were they wrong.

Seguin led his team into the playoffs with no first round prospects. He obviously has the ability to make his teammates around him better, as mentioned before.

Hall, on the other hand, had a load of talented weapons on his Windsor Spitfires team, including Cam Fowler.

A player like Seguin is someone the Oilers need and if things go well after two or three seasons, Seguin is an obvious choice as the team’s captain.

By the way, Yzerman was only 21 when he was given the “C.”


Hall is a terrific player, and obviously he will be a huge star in the NHL. However, Hall is not a great fit for Edmonton.

Drafting Hall would serve only one thing: it would be a public relations Band-Aid. Fans are pissed this season, as they have been since Chris Pronger wanted out of town after the “run” in 2006.

With no solid centreman to complement Horcoff, or visa-versa, the Oilers will still be a pathetic hockey team even after Hall is drafted.

The debate is done, son.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A buyout or two will happen before June 30

Daryl Katz will soon have a lot in common with American TV network NBC. 

The network spent tens of millions in cash — wastefully, I might add — to buyout TV talk show star Conan O’Brien and his Team Coco. Possibly, it was a polite way to replace him with old-school late-night host Jay Leno, but it wasn’t the right move.

Yup, O’Brien got screwed, and Leno is, well, Leno. But good things did happen for Team Coco. O’Brien is hosting a late-night talk show on another network and everyone lived happily ever after.

The story, on the other hand for the Edmonton Oilers, will take a new twist beginning tomorrow for a two-week long drama.

Sometime between tomorrow and June 30, Steve Tambellini could go to Daryl Katz and beg him to sign off three gigantic cheques to buyout a trio of forwards who have been absolutely dismal. That trio is none other than captain Ethan Moreau, Patrick O’Sullivan and Robert Nilsson.

And just like NBC, a big buyout is a waste of money for the Oilers because it was management who agreed to sign Patrick O’Sullivan to $2.95 million, or signing Nilsson to $2 million after being hot for one half of a season. Thank you, Kevin Lowe.

Expect a buyout or two to happen during or after the NHL Entry Draft June 25. Tambo will try to make a trade to dump O’Sullivan or Nilsson at the draft, but that won’t happen.

On the other hand, Toronto might bite on O’Sullivan simply because the Leafs are in dire need of forwards, but that’s a very, very long shot.


Keep in mind, buying out both of those contracts will shave close to $5 million off the cap and odds are Moreau and his $2 million salary will be traded for a third or fourth round draft pick to a contending team that’s desperate for some grit. Now there’s an easy salary dump.

A team like the Boston Bruins might consider taking on a player like Moreau, especially after blowing a three game series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Final.

The Flyers physically dominated the injury-plagued Bruins, and a player like Moreau could have been a difference, especially on the penalty kill. 

And after Boston drafts Taylor Hall (yup, that’s a blog post I’m working on for tomorrow), Moreau would be a great third or fourth line addition in Beantown.

Or there’s the Washington Capitals, a team that was in dire need of leadership in Game 7 of the opening round of the playoffs against the Montreal Canadians.

With the three contracts gone, the Oilers have plenty of cushion room when it comes to next season’s salary cap, so long term, they can afford to keep their young stars by signing them to long-term contracts. That’s if Tambo and Katz are smart about it.

By the way, go Team Coco.


The Oil Patch is back!!

That's right. The Oil Patch is back.

You know how it is. Working, going to school, watching Chicago's run to win the Stanley Cup. Let's just say, I've been busy.

Now, with some time on my hands, get ready for some titillating chit-chat from your truly about the NHL's greatest franchise, the Edmonton Oilers.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Will this season ever end?

Someone e-mailed this to me today, so I thought I would share this on the Oil Patch.

I don't really know who wrote it, but it appears it's an e-mail that went viral. Think of this as the Onion covering the Edmonton Oilers.

So here it is:

Oilers Lose Skills Competition

The Edmonton Oilers lost their own skills competition for the first time in NHL history this week.

“I know we are having a rough season, this is getting out of hand,” said Oilers Coach Pat Quinn.

Highlights from the exhibition were Sheldon Souray getting injured when the Zamboni ran over him, Zack Stortini assaulting Gene Principe at center ice for no reason, and Robert Nilsson missing 20 for 20 in the shooting accuracy competition.

Horcoff First Player Traded to 29 Teams

After months of trying, the Edmonton Oilers were finally able to move disappointing center Shawn Horcoff.

On Wednesday, Horcoff became property of 29 other teams, after a league committee decided that cost-sharing between all teams was the only way to justify his salary.

Horcoff’s contract comes with a cap hit of $5.5 million per season.

“We look forward to having Shawn in our line-up almost as much as we look forward to seeing him suit up for rival teams,” quipped Barry Trotz, head coach of the Nashville Predators.

In return for Horcoff, the Oilers received the rights to Alexei Yashin.

Oilers Select “Some Guy” 4th at NHL Entry Draft

Even though the Oilers finished 30th in the league this season, the team drew a disappointing fourth overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft lottery.

Boston, who had first selection thanks to a brain cramp by Toronto GM Brian Burke, selected Center Taylor Hall.

Carolina used their second pick to select American standout Defenseman Cam Fowler, and Columbus, with the third overall pick, selected Canadian junior Tyler Seguin.

The Oilers drafting fourth overall, selected Some Guy, from the Pawtucket Loyalists of the Western Florida League.

“We’ve watched Some Guy all season, and we truly believe he will be a great asset to the Springfield Falcons for the next 12 seasons,” beamed Oilers Assistant GM Kevin Prendergast.

Guy, who plays left-wing, is 5’ 6”, 126 pounds, and has yet to start shaving.

Trade Deadline Filled with Heartache and Disappointment

Disappointed Oiler fans who prayed for yet another miracle at the trade deadline were crushed to learn management continued their streak of sucking under pressure.

While names like Nilsson, Grebeshkov and Souray remained on the roster by the end of deadline day, the Oilers were far from inactive, completing a number of deals.

Ales Hemsky is on the move, dealt to the New York Islanders for Rob Schremp.

“The moment I saw that YouTube video of Schremp scoring with a baseball swing, I knew he was just the man to turn the offense around in Edmonton,” exclaimed Oilers GM Steve Tambellini.

In another deal, the Oilers dealt Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, and Sam Gagner to the Detroit Red Wings for the rights to Dominic Hasek.

“He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame someday,” remarked Tambellini, with an evil grin.

Grebeshkov Signs 16 year/$160 Million Contract

Oiler fans can rest easy now: Denis Grebeshkov isn’t going anywhere.

The Oilers made Grebeshkov the richest man in the NHL, by rewarding his physically superior defensive-zone mastery with a contract that will see him in Edmonton until he is in his 40s.

Oiler fans, delirious with joy at the news, rioted on Whyte Avenue long into the night.

“I predict at least eight Stanley Cups,” cried Jason Thomas, 19. “Excuse me now as I need to barf in that mailbox!”

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel estimates the damage to stores on Edmonton’s busiest street to reach over $23 million.

“It’s a small price to pay for the success of our beloved hockey team,” quipped Mandel.

Katz Renames Rexall Place to “The Pill”

Rexall Place is no more. Say hello to “The Pill.”

“It’s round, and from a helicopter, it looks just like a pill you could buy from one of my drug stores,” stated Daryl Katz, owner of the Edmonton Oilers.

“Personally, I love the name,” explained Kevin Lowe, President of Hockey Operations for the Oilers.

“Every time I see the Oilers play, I feel like taking a pill. Sometimes several. So now The Pill will take people. About 16,300 each home game.”

When asked if Katz has considered names for the proposed downtown arena, Lowe said considered names include The Tablet, The Capsule, and The Tube of Anti-Fungal Cream.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Losing Tambo and Lowe answers everything

For those who keep logging on here wondering why I haven’t typed anything on this blog since the first game of the season, I have news for you: Who cares?

The Oilers are bottom-feeders in the NHL, their farm team (the Springfield Falcons) is in the basement, and the farm team’s farm team (the Stockton Thunder) is in second last place in its league.

These are, indeed, bad times in Edmonton.

But the sad thing is many saw this coming. As soon as training camp began, many players were on the payroll with hefty contracts.

There were talks and rumours about players needing to be shaved off the roster even before training camp, but Oilers GM Steve Tambellini opted to keep all of them while adding Mike Comrie for $1 million.

With the amount of payroll, the Oilers should be a first place team on paper or a Stanley Cup contender, but this is a team Kevin Lowe wanted to keep together since 2006 and now the results come with a record of 16-25-5.

To those that look and the glass half full, last place in the NHL is good enough for a lottery pick, but having Taylor Hall playing with bright prospects like Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and Anton Lander won’t be a big enough fix for this team.

Once this long and horrific season is said and done, Tambellini will have to work hard in signing coveted restricted free agents like Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano. That won’t be easy since this team is so close to the cap.

And there is someone running a team in Toronto who still has a grudge about how Dustin Penner was taken from the Anaheim Ducks.

Tambellini can’t just get rid of players for cap space simply because no one wants them.

Patrick O’Sullivan, who is really struggling this season, comes with a $2.95 million cap hit. Then there’s Tom Gilbert with his $4 million cap hit, and same thing with Steve Staios at $2.7 million. No GM in the league wants these players with those kinds of contracts.

The team’s blueline alone comes with a $22 million cap hit, and I won’t bother talking about Shawn Horcoff’s contract. That’s like beating a dead horse.

The only thing that’s going to be a solid fix for this team is a major shake up in upper management. Tambellini and Lowe must resign after promising to build a team destined for the playoffs.

But as long as Daryl Katz owns this team, fans can expect to see Lowe for a long time as the team’s president of hockey operations, and the same can be said about Tambellini.

Katz and Lowe are longtime buddies. Their friendship is full of bro-mance, but fans won’t be putting up with it much longer. They will be mad as hell and they won't take it anymore.