• Quick Oiler Thoughts

    by  • July 12, 2010 • Uncategorized • 39 Comments

    *Twitter commenter Asif Quraishi broke the news, which was subsequently confirmed by 630 CHED host Milhouse, that Devan Dubnyk has re-signed with the Oilers for two years and $1.6MM. Tencer dug up some further news on the signing and reported that it’s a one way deal. It’s another nail in JDD’s coffin.

    *Unless the Oilers are willing to grossly overpay on the AHL half of a two way deal, I would think that JDD’s arbitration hearing has to go ahead. This might be his only chance to ensure that his coffin is stuffed with US currency if and when Khabibulin shoves it up the backsides of his critics and manages to avoid having his contract terminated. I would guess that the Oilers see JDD as purely insurance right now, protecting them from the possibility that Khabibulin is unavailable. Once Khabibulin has the legal and medical all clear, JDD will go to the minors, never to be seen again in Oiler silks after his contract expires.

    *The concept of JFJ’s arbitration hearing is hilarious. He presumably wants the same thing as JDD – a one way deal – but there’s something that feels off in a guy having the year he did (and the career that he’s had) and then going to arbitration.

    *As long as the Oilers are following the Chicago model, it behooves me to get on one of my favourite hobbyhorses: not burning years of entry level contracts on teenagers. In 2006, Jonathan Toews did the Blackhawks a real favour when he decided not to leave UND and enter the NHL immediately following the draft. In the short term, Chicago sucked for another year and added Patrick Kane to their stable of talent. In the long term, it permitted the Hawks to put together the team that won the Stanley Cup this year. Toews’ cap hit this year was $2.8MM but $1.95MM of that was bonuses; the Hawks were permitted to be over the salary cap by that amount. Chicago signed Toews to a $6.3MM contract which kicks in for the 2010-11 season; effectively, his cap hit is $5.45MM higher next year.

    That’s a rather large difference. It’s easy to point to mistakes on the Hawks’ roster but everyone makes mistakes. Tambellini will make mistakes even if the rebuild goes well. Chicago’s delaying of Toews for a year put them in a position to have a stronger team this year, at the cost of very, very little in 2006-07. There’s not a ghost of a chance that Hall isn’t an Oiler when the puck drops in October but it’s an avoidable mistake that the Oilers are going to make. Hall’s a fine prospect but I’m not sure that he’s in Toews’ league as a prospect; there would be no harm in him returning to junior or going and playing for the Golden Bears for a year or something. Edmonton would be better for it in the long run.

    *Finally, I was intrigued by something Robin Brownlee wrote at OilersNation in regard to Mike Comrie’s future. Brownlee says that “…San Jose, Chicago and Vancouver, to name just three teams, are interested in Comrie.” Tambellini is suspected not to be much of a fan, which is why Comrie hasn’t signed any sort of a deal with Edmonton.

    I don’t understand why a fourth line of three Comries would be such a bad thing. The NHL has a fetish for size at the bottom of the roster that I simply do not understand. You look at the fourth line that the Oilers have run out the past few years or that many other NHL teams have run out and they simply do not contain good hockey players. Sizeable guys on your fourth line can’t do anything to help players on your first line – either those players can play or they can’t. If they can be contained by big guys, having size elsewhere in your lineup isn’t going to do anything.

    The interest of the Sharks, Canucks and Hawks is presumably driven in large part by the fact that they need cheap fourth line solutions. Fashionable solutions to the fourth line aren’t within their payroll because they’re paying top end talent top end dollars. The Hawks in particular are in a bit of a pinch, both because they have serious salary cap problems and because they were dependent on having a strong fourth line in the past.

    Comrie has played well in a third line ES role before with a good team – that’s basically the role he filled in Ottawa when the Senators went to the finals. He’s not good enough to play on the top two lines on an elite team but at even strength, turned loose against fourth lines, I’d think he could be a real threat if playing with some guys like him. If the CBA forces teams to try guys like Comrie in a fourth line role, I think it will be good for the game as a whole – they’re better than the Zack Stortinis of the world.

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    39 Responses to Quick Oiler Thoughts

    1. speeds
      July 12, 2010 at

      One of the problems with posting as infrequently as I do is that, when I have something to say, it’s often written about elsewhere before I get my lazy self around to it.

      I’m currently writing/planning a post about Hall and Paajarvi, and the three headed goalie monster, but now it’s poorly written old news. Thanks a lot, Tyler!

      ps. good post!

    2. July 12, 2010 at

      Bruce is going to want you to take that last line back. And I suspect he’s going to have the numbers to back him up. ;)

      Interesting take on Comrie and one I would agree with. Imagine a line of Jacques, MacIntyre and whomever gets stuck centring them taking on Comrie, Dawes and whomever out there is looking for a job. They’d get murdered. Just murdered.

      And I agree, I think we have seen the last of ADD. I hope so. One great game followed by a half dozen really shitty ones does not an NHL goalie make.

    3. OilW30
      July 12, 2010 at

      Not that I expect it to happen, but why assume that the Oilers will win a Cup in 4 years rather than 3?

      Also, Toews played his first season as a 19-year-old, I think. Hall will turn 19 about a month and a half into his. So maybe it was easier to send Toews back?

    4. July 12, 2010 at

      I’m probably in the severe minority, in that I like both Comrie and Stortini. Stortini is good on our 4th line, but I think Comrie would still be a good fit in the bottom six, perhaps on line 3 wing with Horcoff and another player. But heck, he is even still decent enough to play top six. I think he was one of few players that looked like a real NHLer last year, until that whole mono problem.

    5. Reach Advantage
      July 12, 2010 at

      Would be interesting to see a 4th line like that. Somewhat like Detroit tried. I do remember coach Babcock early in the season saying that they were getting pushed around and so they picked up Brad May (?!!).

      Vancouver – Chicago series. Game 1 Vancouver ran Chicago’s show and won the game 5-1.

      Game 2 Burish, Eager replaced Bickell and Kopecky on the 4th line.

      With Hells Bells ringing in their heads- they ‘established the forecheck’, punished Vancouvers D and trash talked mightily. They reduced mid-level ruffians Burrows and Kesler to thinking maybe they shouldn’t be so cocky.

      They softened up the D, perhaps made them just a little more panicky with the puck, lest they get nailed.

      I think a roster needs some balance. A little bit of everything that the game requires.
      These tough, forecheckers can be purchased relatively cheaply and don’t need much ice time to have a big influence on a game.

      It will be interesting to see how Chicago does this year without Eager, Burish, Ladd, Byfuglien. Let’s see who they replace them with.

    6. Tyler Dellow
      July 12, 2010 at

      I’ve heard this before but it makes absolutely no sense to me. To start with, Burish played 2.4 minutes against Kesler in G2. He played 2.0 minutes against Burrows. Eager was 2.1 and 1.9 minutes against them. Burish was credited with one hit and Eager was credited with two hits. Both of Eager’s hits were in the defensive zone. Eager managed to hit Ehrhoff in the offensive zone, so that’s something I suppose.

      Even if you think that they scare defencemen when they’re forechecking, what does that do when Pat Kane or Marian Hossa comes in on the forecheck? Are guys scared that Kane might hit them? Is there some sort of transitive property?

      Honestly, I don’t get it.

    7. July 13, 2010 at

      It’s nonesense, of course.

      Ooooh! Burish, on an offensive zone faceoff, checked Kesler into the board!

      Physical Presence™!

      If he at least had the common sense of not, y’know, rolling Kesler’s name out there, I might not have laughed for 5 minutes straight.

      I mean, of all of Van’s players, Kesler. Jeebus.

    8. Reach Advantage
      July 13, 2010 at

      Tyler- How about the concept in general. We constantly hear GM’s and coaches say they need to be “harder to play against”.
      Need “grit”.
      etc.
      I think a lineup needs balance.
      Again, all things that go into a hockey game, a line up needs.

      Babcock, said his team was being pushed around!
      Seems to me a 4th line of 3 Comries would be too.
      Apparently some toughness in the lineup has an effect on the other team.

      That 4th line mucker doesn’t have to play much against those guys to be effective. When you have nut jobs like Eager and Burish yapping at you threatening to cross check you in the back of the neck, or put you through the end boards, and then following through on the threat, it seems to have an effect on the other team.

      Perhaps a team is greater than the sum of its parts. Perhaps its more like a good dish, made of various ingredients, needing variety, need a little of everything to make a good team.

      There are different jobs that need to be done to win a hockey game, requiring different types of players to execute those jobs.

      For some reason, a line that can forecheck tenaciously, throw its weight around a few times a game has a momentum changing effect on its team. We’ve seen it a thousand times.

    9. OilW30
      July 13, 2010 at

      Maybe there just aren’t enough Mike Comrie’s in the world to make the kind of 4th line you’re talking about–certainlt not for every team. Plus, Comrie gets payed more as it is. Shifting to your view would only drive up his value. Finally, you’d have a bunch of disgruntled 4th-liners because they’d all think they were second line and second PP unit guys.

    10. Rick
      July 13, 2010 at

      I can’t wrap my head around Jacques going to arbitration at all. I admit though that I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of what it can be used for.

      It leaves me wondering if;

      a) can Jacques try and use arbitration for reparation in the event that he feels that alot of his injury problems have been the result of neglegance on how the Oilers handled them? It’s not like the Oilers have a spotless image/reputation when it comes to that.

      b) this is a little more conspiracy theory than I tend to like but, could the Oilers be the ones encouraging the arbitration hearing? I seem to recall hearing that any team that is taken to arbitration by two or more players can trigger another buyout period in August for themselves. Could the Oilers be that bent on not having Souray in the dressing room come September that they would use this approach to try and buy themselves as much time as possible to legitimately move him before biting the bullet and doing the unthinkable?

    11. Tyler Dellow
      July 13, 2010 at

      Rick -

      The Oilers have almost certainly offered Jacques a two way deal to limit their exposure if he can’t make the team out of camp: say $500K in the NHL and $100K in the minors. Jacques would prefer a one way deal – $500K in the NHL or AHL. That’s presumably the arbitration issue.

      Reach Advantage -

      Brad May? Really? The guy who didn’t dress in the playoffs, was waived in February and spent a chunk of the year in Grand Rapids? That’s the guy you’re basing your “Mike Babcock agrees with me” argument on?

    12. John K
      July 13, 2010 at

      I couldn’t disagree more. Since he would be forced to play OHL hockey once again, there is nothing but a brick wall waiting for him development wise if he were to do that. How would he possibly advance his skills in the OHL at this point? Back to back memorial cups?

    13. John K
      July 13, 2010 at

      There’s not a ghost of a chance that Hall isn’t an Oiler when the puck drops in October but it’s an avoidable mistake that the Oilers are going to make. Hall’s a fine prospect but I’m not sure that he’s in Toews’ league as a prospect; there would be no harm in him returning to junior or going and playing for the Golden Bears for a year or something. Edmonton would be better for it in the long run.

      I couldn’t disagree more. Since he would be forced to play OHL hockey once again, there is nothing but a brick wall waiting for him development wise if he were to do that. How would he possibly advance his skills in the OHL at this point? Back to back memorial cups?

    14. July 13, 2010 at

      I don’t understand why a fourth line of three Comries would be such a bad thing. The NHL has a fetish for size at the bottom of the roster that I simply do not understand. You look at the fourth line that the Oilers have run out the past few years or that many other NHL teams have run out and they simply do not contain good hockey players.

      Oddly, I was going to sit down a write about this topic this week. Mostly in reference to the Flames, who bought out the very cheap, yet very effective Nigel Dawes and then filled their 4th line with coke machines (Jackman, Ivanans, Stone).

      I don’t understand it either. Even in terms of depth, the Flames now face some pretty ugly forward combinations down the left side if someone like Tanguay or Hagman goes down for any length of time. Hell, Sutter is on record as saying he liked the player, but his continued insistence that someone on the “energy” unit has to be either tough or mean meant the expulsion of a high value contract from the org.

      Convention before sense. I’m certainly not claiming that a team can or should be made up entirely of cream puffs, but the idea that a certain player type (regardless of player quality) has to be in a certain role on a hockey team is wrong headed as far as I’m concerned.

    15. Vic Ferrari
      July 13, 2010 at

      Who invented the term “Energy Line”? I’m pretty sure it was Hitchcock when he was in Dallas, that’s the first time I remember hearing it. He may have borrowed it from someone else, though.

      In any case it’s just a nice way of saying that these players can’t score and aren’t good enough to play against the other team’s best competitors. I like Hitchcock though, ever so positive. A big believer in all players having a defined role on the team, even if he had to invent them, even if they were illusory.

      He must chuckle now when he hears hockey analysts say thinks like: “Player X can’t play on a fourth line, he’s not an energy type player”. Too funny.

      Robert Nilsson looked pretty damn good playing on the fourth line with (IIRC) Stone and Stortini. Some pretty impressive scoring chance numbers over that stretch as well.

      For the bottom of he forward roster; big, unskilled guys who can fight. It’s this summer’s ill advised NHL GM trend.

    16. speeds
      July 13, 2010 at

      John K:

      We don’t know exactly how the NHL/AHL/CHL agreement is worded, because we’ve never seen a copy of it.

      Supposedly (I’ve never seen the agreement, just heard this from a source I trust), there is a clause that says EDM can pay Windsor a set amount of money for Windsor to pass on Hall, allowing EDM to assign Hall to the AHL. Failing that, perhaps it’s possible to get Hall set up in Timra for a season?

      It’s certainly more work, and potentially impossible, but it’s worth exploring for the Oilers to see if they can get Hall into the AHL or Europe, if Hall’s agreeable.
      http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3447#comments
      Even if they can’t, I think some kind of argument could be made that sending Hall back to the OHL, on the condition that Windsor agree to play him at C, wouldn’t be the end of the world. Crosby was almost certainly a better player the year before his draft than Hall was in his draft year, but the extra season doesn’t seem to have horribly stunted him.

      Unlike most in the Oilogosphere, I generally prefer to get a player into the next level of competition sooner rather than later, but in this case, with the possibility of burning a year from an elite young player’s ELC in a season you aren’t expecting to make the playoffs, I think it makes more sense to keep Hall out of the NHL.

    17. speeds
      July 13, 2010 at

      Not sure why I have a link to this post in the middle of that reply, sorry all.

    18. John K
      July 13, 2010 at

      @speeds:

      No one can truly gauge future performance based on starting an elite athlete at their 18 year old versus 19 year old season. For all intents and purposes, real value to the oilers peaking sooner could be more beneficial, and him entering at 18 could allow him to peak sooner.

      AFAIK, a CHL drafted player cannot play in the AHL as an 18 year old no matter what. I can’t remember a single instance of it happening in the last 15 years, and if it was possible, then why hasn’t it occurred before?

      I think hall can play in the NHL, period. Elite NHL speed and stick skills, combined with NHL level hockey IQ. Is his physical frame lacking? Probably, but we have plenty of examples of 18 year old forwards playing well recently without much in the body mass department (see duchene, tavares, stamkos, kane, gagner, etc).

    19. RiversQ
      July 13, 2010 at

      Probably, but we have plenty of examples of 18 year old forwards playing well recently without much in the body mass department (see duchene, tavares, stamkos, kane, gagner, etc).

      I guess it depends on your definition of “playing well”.

      With the possible exception of Duchene (who I believe benefitted from some pretty outrageous percentages), almost every one of your examples were pretty mediocre (to bad) hockey players at even strength in their 18-yr old season. Also, almost every one of them would have taken a lot shifts against fourth liners and started their shifts in the offensive zone to go with healthy doses of icetime.

      Honestly, the list of players that were truly good players at 18 is really short. In recent memory, it’s probably just Crosby. I suppose it’s possible that Hall joins the list, but the most probable outcome is that he’s a sinkhole for easy minutes that posts a double-digit minus and maybe 50 points depending on his PP role and productivity. I think it’s perfectly fair to ask if that result is worth burning a year of service.

    20. Reach Advantage
      July 13, 2010 at

      Tyler-
      No, I only used Brad May because it showed the depths that teams will go to acquire toughness. I couldn’t believe they picked him up. But that was their solution to their problem.

    21. Reach Advantage
      July 13, 2010 at

      Tyler-

      I think that this line up;

      Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
      Hall-Horcoff-Eberle
      Paajarvi-Brule-Cogliano
      Eager-Eager-Eager

      would beat this line up;

      Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
      Hall-Horcoff-Eberle
      Paajarvi-Brule-Cogliano
      Comrie-Comrie-Comrie

      in a 7 game series.

      You?

    22. lowetide
      July 13, 2010 at

      I believe “energy line” goes back to Fred Shero. He used to talk about shorter shifts and a 4th “energy” line to get the crowd back into it.

      It should be mentioned that Shero’s energy lines were full of big, tough players who could actually play.

    23. July 13, 2010 at

      Jacques going to arbitration made perfect sense – he could pretty much guarantee he’d get a one-way contract out of it, which isn’t a bad thing if you’ve got his skillset.

    24. Jamie
      July 13, 2010 at

      >

      This may be true on paper but in the real world with agents, egos and millions of dollars on the line there is no way that would fly. No agent is going to let Hall play for the Golden Bears (or anywhere else for that matter) and risk an injury without him having an NHL style contract. Sounds like a perfect way to alienate your new shiny superstar.

      A better strategy would be to keep MP(S) over in Sweden for one more year and let him mature for a year without burning a year off his ELC or pissing him off.

    25. speeds
      July 13, 2010 at

      Jon K in bold:

      For all intents and purposes, real value to the oilers peaking sooner could be more beneficial, and him entering at 18 could allow him to peak sooner.

      Where’s the evidence that EDM is trying to compete this season?

      AFAIK, a CHL drafted player cannot play in the AHL as an 18 year old no matter what. I can’t remember a single instance of it happening in the last 15 years, and if it was possible, then why hasn’t it occurred before?

      Fair point, I haven’t seen the document but my understanding is that there is an amount the team can spend to secure the player. That it hasn’t happened either ever or in a long time tells me the dollar amount must either be set way too high, or way too low, if it exists.

      This all sounded kind of familiar, so I went back and Tyler already wrote about this . The CBA says you must “offer” the player to the team, but it doesn’t say whether a NHL team can purchase the CHL team’s right to say no, or what happens if they do say no. Presumably that’s covered in the unseen CHL/AHL/NHL agreement.

      I think hall can play in the NHL, period. Elite NHL speed and stick skills, combined with NHL level hockey IQ. Is his physical frame lacking? Probably, but we have plenty of examples of 18 year old forwards playing well recently without much in the body mass department (see duchene, tavares, stamkos, kane, gagner, etc).

      I also think he’s likely able to play in the NHL next year, I just question using/wasting one of his ELC seasons if the team isn’t planning to make the playoffs this season, which doesn’t seem to be the highest of priorities this summer.

    26. speeds
      July 13, 2010 at

      I seem to have screwed up a link there, here’s it is:

      http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3133#more-3133

    27. July 14, 2010 at

      Robert Nilsson looked pretty damn good playing on the fourth line with (IIRC) Stone and Stortini. Some pretty impressive scoring chance numbers over that stretch as well.

      Yeah, Vic, that was the line. Stone and Nilsson came back from injury and got put on the wings while Stortini played centre. They played outstanding for 5 games, in which time Nilsson put up a 5-game point streak, the trio went a combined +17, and the Oilers went 5-0-0 (it was the early December road trip). Then Quinn promoted Nilsson. the scoring streak ended, the plus streak ended, the winning streak ended, and pretty much everything went to hell. Seven months later I still have no idea WTF the man was thinking.

      Speaking to the larger point, a Nilsson or a Comrie type can absolutely succeed on a fourth line. I’m not sure I’d want to have three of them there, you need to have some muscle somewhere in your team, but you also need some skill among the muscle. On that particular threesome Stone and Stortini ground the boards and Nilsson took advantage of the space they created, so the line worked great. Until Quinn broke them up.

    28. Julian
      July 14, 2010 at

      Jamie…. do agents have that power? I don’t think Hall or his agent are in much position to demand anything. Hall’s signed his contract, he goes where the Oilers tell him to. I don’t know about the legalities of sending him to Sweden or wherever, but if they want to send him to Windsor, it’s up to them.

      Anyone know what MPS’s deal is? Can he be kept in the NHL for 9 games and then sent to Sweden without burning a year? I assume so.

    29. Jamie
      July 14, 2010 at

      Julian,

      No doubt the team could send Hall back to the OHL if they can justify that he is not ready for primetime but given the success of recent #1 picks as 18 year olds that would be a tough sell. As for sending him to the Golden Bears, what is the upside for him? You certainly are not going to put him there without his (and his agents and families) full cooperation. Europe may be more attractive (playing against men, blonde swedish models, paying him what you want) but given his agent’s history of injury there is more chance of them agreeing to him playing in a womens rec league. And if you try to force the hand you are going to alienate him and his camp.

      Good plan on paper but not with real people, especially star players.

      I think the idea has merit

    30. Triumph
      July 14, 2010 at

      no one has mentioned the fact that while keeping top picks in junior is certainly a good idea financially, it is probably not a good idea for a management team that has either just led a team to the bottom of the standings, or has just replaced a management team that led a team to the bottom of the standings.

      there’s almost no way toews was a 2 win player in 2006-07, and the blackhawks got rather lucky to land kane in the first place. we’re talking about serious results oriented thinking here.

    31. dawgbone
      July 14, 2010 at

      Jamie, what success is that though?

      Most of the time, these guys are much better at 19 than 18, and at 20 than 19 or 18.

      Did some of these guys have good seasons for rookies? Sure.

      But how many of them helped an NHL team to win games?

    32. Jamie
      July 14, 2010 at

      DG,

      Depends on what your definition of success is. If you expect them to come into the league and outscore then they will be few and far between (of the 700 players in the league I wonder how many are outscorers?). If you want them to come in, learn the NHL game (speed, conditioning, media circus, off ice distractions), chip in 20-25 goals and hopefully advance their progression I think that is more than reasonable and the top draft picks the last few years have been able to achieve that.

      Until the NHL comes up with an alternative like letting 18 year olds play in the AHL (and that is not going to happen) then the options are limited. This works much better for Euros who can stay close to home, play against men and grow into their bodies and skill sets (ie Zetterberg and Datsyuk.) Expecting star players to play for CIS teams is a bit ridiculous though.

      Maybe Katz should buy a team in Sweden where he could break in the youngsters while still guaranteeing them NHL paycheques in case a severe injury did occur. Sounds like a great place to stash undesirable contracts as well.

    33. John K
      July 14, 2010 at

      @speeds: You misunderstand my first point. I’m not even arguing exactly, I’m just calling into question the delaying of the ELC without some analysis.

      Look at it this way: Say in either case (starting as an 18 vs 19 year old), Hall stays with the Oilers for 9 years. Now imagine for each season you were to take his GVT (or whatever general impact stat you want) and sum it up. What I am questioning is whether that 9 year sum would be statistically different for the 18 vs 19 year old start. As you tack on playing years, it stands to reason the GVT seasonal avg will basically be the same – i.e. its less of a point the longer the athlete stays with the oilers.

    34. Hawerchuk
      July 14, 2010 at

      Reach Advantage@21:

      The 4th line plays, what, 6 minutes per game in a playoff series? Let’s say three Eagers so dominate three Comries that they’re +2 goals per 60 minutes. That would be amazing – Ben Eager, with 70% offensive zone starts this year on the 2nd- or 3rd-best team in the last three years was +1.09.

      Ok, so they play 42 minutes in a 7-game series, so they’re +1.4 goals, while the rest of the rosters play themselves to a draw. Assume 5 goals/game, and the series turns out 35.7 goals to 34.3. What are the odds that the team with 35.3 goals wins the series?

    35. speeds
      July 14, 2010 at

      John K:

      I’m not too concerned about the “nine year sum”, my point is why use one of his “cheap” years in a season in which you aren’t trying win and therefore need to maximize your cap dollars?

      Even if he becomes a somewhat better player at 21 by starting in the NHL at 18 vs. starting in the NHL at 19, how helpful is it if you’re trying to win that year and his cap hit is much higher since he’s done his ELC? To illustrate, say the Oilers, right now, view 13/14 as the start of their planned cup winning window:

      (a) Hall starts in the NHL next season at age 18.

      In 13/14, Hall is a 5.75 mil cap hit, and produces 42 goals, 40 assists for 82 points with a +10 rating.

      (b) Hall starts in the NHL in 11/12 at age 19.

      In 13/14, Hall is a 3.75 mil cap hit (of which 2.85mil is bonuses, allowing the Oilers to exceed the cap by that amount in 13/14), and produces 38 goals, 38 assists for 76 points with a +6 rating, in the identical circumstances (ice time, linemates, situational use, etc) as the Hall in situation (a).

    36. Jamie
      July 14, 2010 at

      Speeds, were do you suggest they put Hall for the next year?

    37. speeds
      July 14, 2010 at

      I would try to put him in the AHL, or Europe, if you can do so without risking tripping the “No circumvention” clause in the CBA. Probably Sweden, since my understanding is that Sweden is the country with the easiest adjustment for Canadians in terms of language, etc, amongst the countries with quality leagues.

      That may not be easy/possible now that he’s signed to an ELC, so failing that I would probably look to send him back to junior, and use whatever power I have to get Windsor to play Hall as a C next season.

      It would still kind of depend how good he looks in camp and in his 9 game stint though – I would be more likely to keep him the better he looks.

    38. Reach Advantage
      July 15, 2010 at

      Hawerchuk-

      Greater than the team that scored 34.3 goals.

    39. July 18, 2010 at

      Reach Advantage: and you have twice as much chance of winning the 6/49 if you buy two tickets instead of one, but they’re still not betting odds. A single-goal difference over a best of 7 series is as good as a coin flip. You’ll note he’s also being quite generous to the line of Eagers, and not very to the line of Comries. Eager doesn’t show up on behindthenet stats for penalties drawn/taken, but Comrie does – he draws more than he takes, plus he’s proven valuable on the PP in the past, which is more than you can say for Eager.

      I think I’ll take skill over beef on the 4th line, thanks. Ideally both, but if you can get that nowadays, they tend to quickly bubble up to the second line anyway.

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