If Roloson maintains his .910 season save percentage, Lowe’s going to be real smart.
If, on the other hand, Roloson maintains his 6-17-1 record, Lowe’s going to wear it.
See this is beautiful. Jones is trying to make this deal look as risky as possible. There are valid points of concern-the EV/PP save percentage split, the fact that Roloson has put up his numbers the past few years on a defensively inclined team or even more subtly, the fact that Minnesota takes few penalties, meaning that Roloson has faced lower percentage shots. That’s too complex for our boy Terry, so he goes for something simplistic that has no meaning in light of Roloson’s underlying save percentage-Roloson’s record.
He didn’t get the Oilers a Miikka Kiprusoff, the Calgary comparable. He got another backup goalie. A definite upgrade. But …
Of course, when Kiprusoff went to Calgary he was a third string goalie. And Roloson has appeared in 45, 50 and 48 games in the three seasons preceding this one. Calling him a backup goalie is more than a little misleading here.
Lowe didn’t sound like a guy who thought he’d just knocked one out of the park.
“The win-loss ratio is a little unnerving,” admitted Lowe. “His save percentage was the biggest thing for us.”
See, I watched the highlights and saw that specific quote and I’d almost swear that Lowe seemed unconcerned about the win-loss record. I certainly wouldn’t say that he “admitted” this. A more accurate comment in my mind would be that he acknowledged that Roloson has a lousy record BUT he didn’t seem all that concerned on it-he talked more about the save percentage. It seems to me that an equally valid comment (and one probably more representative of the Oilers’ thoughts on the matter) would be to say that Lowe downplayed the win loss record, focusing on the hoped for improvement in save percentage.
Roloson, who had a .933 save percentage in 2003-04, is 13th in the league with his current .910. Morrison was 39th at .884, Conklin was at .870, and Markkanen, well, is off the chart.
Markkanen is 43rd with an .880. I’ve got no clue what Jones was shooting for by saying he’s off the chart when Conklin warrants a mention.
Here’s a stat nobody has made mention of this year. Since the start of 2006, the Oilers have won but two games against teams occupying playoff positions. Two.
Possibly the best paragraph in the story. Two points here. First, his facts are wrong. On Jan. 26, the Oilers beat the Kings 5-3. On Feb. 4, they beat the Canucks 3-1. On Mar. 5, they beat the Predators 3-2. Now, I’m a guy with an arts degree who is going to law school, so I was never the greatest math student on earth but that looks like three wins to me. My second point is that the Oilers record against playoff teams over that span is 3-4-2. Their save percentage in those games? An abysmal .858. This team managed to get 8/18 points with a save percentage that the 1975-76 Capitals would have thought bad. To me, that’s the story. The reason no one is mentioning Jones’ stat is that a) it’s wrong and b) it’s meaningless. While I agree with his premise that they just need a few extra saves, why he’s gone about making it in such a doom and gloom way that doesn’t hold up to examination is hard to figure. My guess is that it’s because he’s not a very good columnist.
Roloson has to get it done or Lowe will be fingered for sewering the season.
There’s a reason that google searches for “sewer the season” and “sewering the season” turn up only hits from the Edmonton Sun. I’ll leave the reader to figure out what the reason is.
In fairness to Jones, he realizes that the pick isn’t that big of a deal but really…any hack on HF could have pumped this out. The vast majority of sports columnist positions in Canada could be far more entertainingly filled by a series of 20 somethings taking a year off between getting an undergrad degree and finding a career. It’d probably be cheaper too-I’m surprised that the Sun hasn’t looked into doing this.
The consensus on the Roloson trade seems to be that the Oilers needed him but overpaid for him. Myself, I agree with Vic Ferrari and don’t particularly think he did. Vic’s got a pretty cool graph (that I’d seen before but couldn’t find in the HF archives) showing the probability of getting a top 6 forward (veeeeery arbitrarily defined as a guy who averages .5 points per game) over a ten year period from the mid eighties to the mid nineties. The drop off is just stunning-from better than 50% in the top 5, to 30% at the 10 spot, to 18% at the 20 spot. If you figure that the Oilers are likely to pick around 15-20 this year, what they gave up wasn’t a hell of a lot, particularly if everything I’ve heard about the quality of the draft is correct.
The question of overpayment turns as well on the impact that the guy can have on the team. In the case of Roloson, if he posts the same save percentage from here on out, he’s a two win improvement over what they’ve had so far for the final 20 games alone. There’s just no way he could have that impact on any other playoff contender. What might be an overpayment for one team isn’t necessasrily an overpayment for another.
I was recently discussing goal differential as a method of predicting Stanley Cup winners and someone made the point that if the Flames had won, they would have stood out because their regular season goal differential was so low. My point in response was that they were a team for whom the goal differential from the regular season was not an accurate indicator of how good they were because of how few games Kiprusoff got into. Assuming Roloson posts a similar save percentage to the one he’s posted this season, he should make the Oilers into a similar case. I think that this is harder to accomplish than people realize, although if the Flames find an offensive player, they might see something similar.
speeds made this comment on Oilfans but it’d be interesting to see if the buy rate for the pay per view tonight went up. My guess is yes.
As an Oiler fan, I remember the 90′s as a time when Glen Sather and Barry Fraser kept trying what had worked in the past. The Oilers were good when they were fast, so speed ruled. Say hello to Steve Kelly and no thanks to Shane Doan. Reclamation project after reclamation project came through the doors-anyone who’d once been hot for 10 games got a shot, since Sather had had success once before with that. It seemed like the Oilers were willing to make bad bets because they’d had something similar work out in the past. Pierre Lacroix’s decision to trade for Jose Theodore reminds me of this. He got a goalie who’d fallen out of favour once before before from Montreal and it worked out, so he figured he’d do it again.
The circumstances of the trade are far different this time. When he made the Roy deal, he was trading a goalie in Thibault who had proven nothing. This time, he’s trading a guy who was an excellent starter in 2003-04, an excellent backup in 2001-02 and 2002-03, a decent backup in 2000-01 and who had solid AHL numbers during his career there. Aebischer has a lengthy track record of providing his team with very good to excellent goaltending-Thibault was an unknown entity. Aebischer got off to a poor start this year but has dragged his save percentage up to .900, which is better than average. He’s far more proven than Thibault was.
Theodore, on the other hand, is no Patrick Roy. While he’s been one of the better goalies in the league, he isn’t nearly as dominant in terms of his save percentage relative to the league as Roy was. He’s yet to show that he can handle the new NHL; while I wouldn’t be THAT concerned about that, it’s a factor to consider. As has been noted ad nauseum he’s also injured at the moment-Lacroix has probably hurt Colorado’s playoff chances for the time being, depending on how Peter Budaj and Vitali Kolesnik play.
The other factor that wasn’t present in the Roy deal is the salary cap. We’ll have to wait and see what Aebischer signs for but he’ll be significantly cheaper than Theodore-I’d be shocked if Aebischer gets much over $2.5MM. In order for this deal to make sense for Colorado, Theodore will need to be significantly better than Aebischer and I’m not at all sure he will be. All in all, it’s an incredibly risky move.
Update: I see Vancouver just gave up a second round pick for pending UFA Mika Noronen. Noronen is 26 and has played fewer games in his career than Roloson has played in the past few years. If that’s the price for an unproven guy who’s played all of 4 NHL games this season, I’m even more convinced that Lowe made the right decision.
Update: Andy Grabia at Sports Matters compares Pierre Lacroix to Isiah Thomas for the Theo deal. I was going to take issue with his characterization of Theodore as not having had a great season in four years, but after looking closely at the numbers, I can’t. Theodore put up a 1009 relative save percentage (think ERA+; it’s the same concept) in 2002-03, which looks good but he had a very favourable split of shots at ES as opposed to the PP; 82% of his shots were at ES as compared to a league average of 78% and 14% of his shots were against the PP as compared to a league average of 19%. He hasn’t had a year I’d pay $5.33MM for since 2001-02, whereas Aebischer’s salary this year seems to be about the going rate for a .900 save percentage. This trade is almost indefensible.
Further Update: Nashville has apparently traded it’s first round pick along with Kris Beech to Washington for Brendan Witt. If you think that the Roloson deal involved an overpayment…this is just crazy. Nashville has had some injury problems on D-I seem to recall the Oilers broadcasters making reference to them playing 3 D under the age of 23, but there’s no way that Witt can make the kind of difference for the Preds that Roloson can make for the Oilers. Add to that that the Preds are very likely nowhere near as good as the Oilers (I have a hard time seeing Nashville even being in the playoff race if they had Edmonton’s schedule) and this looks like a GM who is overestimating the strength of his team. Well played by George McPhee though.
Cross to Detroit: I like him, thought he got a rough ride in Edmonton, so I’m happy that he’ll get a last crack at a Cup. I also wouldn’t object to seeing him playing 15 minutes a game for the Wings if they run into the Oilers.
Great Canadian Traditions: TSN’s site has fallen apart just after 3:00PM. It’s working well enough to read that the Oilers got Samsonov though…9 (!) separate threads on Oilfans were started to report/discuss this. Of course, none of them seem to have info on who goes the other way.
Last Update Du Jour: Outside of the sturdy blogspot sites, the entire hockey internet is apparently broken-TSN, HF, Oilfans, Calgarypuck and Sportsnet are all inaccessible. The latest word I can find is that Dvorak goes for Samsonov. This doesn’t really make any sense to me-the only considerations I can see are financial as the Bruins will save about $240K. You’d think that they could have extracted some futures out of someone that would be more valuable to them and that would save them every penny remaining on Samsonov’s salary, minus whatever a minimum wage replacement costs. If true, this guarantees Mike O’Connell’s inclusion in the much demanded “Atrocious NHL GM Summit” piece.
The Real Last Update Du Jour: Sportsnet is apparently now reporting that it’s Reasoner, a draft pick and a non roster player. Condolences to Loxy and Sacamano, who apparently both have a great deal of love for Reasoner. This makes more sense, per my comment above. The deal makes the Oilers stronger, although it leaves them pretty slim down the middle-Horc! and Stoll will eat the easy ES and PP minutes from here on out I guess while Peca plays the tough minutes at ES and splits the PK time with Horc!. This will make for an interesting summer for Oiler fans-some of the prospect fans might get to see their guys in the NHL next year. Calgary apparently got Jamie Lundmark. Two thoughts. First, Jamie Lundmark was in Phoenix? Why was I not informed of this? Second, Edmonton is the better team on paper now. All that’s left is winning the games on the ice.
Who knows how many more of these there will be: THEGOON63, an accredited friend of MAB, reports that Winchester is gone for McAmmond. Hopefully this trade doesn’t matter-I’d guess Deano is just being brought in to fill out the fourth line. Apparently it won’t matter, as the deal didn’t get done in time.
Pierre McGuire Says: “Imagine having Ales Hemsky coming down one side, Sergei Samsonov flying down the other and Ryan Smyth crashing the net up the middle.” Mudcrutch79 wonders why the Oilers are doing away with the use of a centre, or worse, resurrecting the Ryan Smyth experiment.