Saturday, May 26, 2007


Looking sharp, big guy.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

EIG ----------> Richie Rich

That document was obtained by some media figures in Toronto. It was leaked.

Ticket prices? 5th highest in the league. You want to know where the 21.8% increase in ticket prices is coming from? (61.14-50.20)/50.20. Simple mathematics.

Team 2006-07 2005-06
Toronto Maple Leafs 80.33 78.98
Colorado Avalanche 71.04 65.55
New York Rangers 63.53 54.19
Dallas Stars 61.43 58.37
Edmonton Oilers 61.14 50.20
Montreal Canadiens 60.82 58.74
Boston Bruins 59.71 56.61
Vancouver Canucks 58.74 56.24
Detroit Red Wings 56.95 56.72
Columbus Blue Jackets 56.07 53.77
Philadelphia Flyers 54.59 51.94
Minnesota Wild 54.54 51.18
Anaheim Ducks 52.25 49.79
San Jose Sharks 50.95 49.05
Calgary Flames 50.70 46.97
Ottawa Senators 50.38 45.30
New Jersey Devils 49.91 48.97
Los Angeles Kings 46.75 44.17
New York Islanders 45.04 46.30
Carolina Hurricanes 44.91 38.81
Tampa Bay Lightning 44.50 42.38
Phoenix Coyotes 43.60 45.66
Chicago Blackhawks 40.79 39.74
Nashville Predators 40.33 34.74
Florida Panthers 39.75 44.59
Washington Capitals 39.57 36.16
St. Louis Blues 39.50 35.23
Pittsburgh Penguins 38.62 38.05
Atlanta Thrashers 37.27 32.70
Buffalo Sabres 36.67 36.37
League average 52.13 49.31

The gate receipts info is also shown in the link

The Oilers average $1,020,499 in gate receipts (US$) per game. 8th in the league, just a little hair behind Minnesota and Colorado

Some questions to ponder
1) Do gate receipts include luxury boxes?
2) Where do the Oilers rank in terms of overall revenue?

The NHL relies heavily on gate receipts - but for other revenue, I'd imagine the Oilers at the top of the pack. TV revenue? Check - 4th highest audience in Canada behind the big 3 (TO, MTL, VAN). Based on the business boards I've been reading, only a few teams in the U.S. draw comparable numbers to the Oilers (157,000 per game). Factor in HNIC (which will provide more money next year with their new contract). Sponsorship is very likely among the leader of the pack as well.

3) The dollar is breaking records. I recall Laforge mentioning the team engages in the derivatives market to hedge the dollar. Is there a possibility the EIG will purchase longer term futures contracts? Lowers the risk - but you lose out on potential favourable exchange rate fluctuations...

Spector leaked that each playoff game earns the Oilers $2.5M before concessions and parking. I guess that is the motivation behind the said mentioned revamped budget. The EIG learned the hard way - bottom third payrolls with few overperforming contracts won't get you far. Of course talk is cheap. As far as promises go, we'd all be millionaires. Lets hope the EIG are committed towards keeping their word this year.

...and before anyone says anything, yes, the EIG should be making a profit. They've followed a good business model., circumstances have changed - there is more flexiblity. This team is no longer the poor sisters of the NHL, and the payroll should be proportionate to their revenues. It's an insult to Edmontonians at large, that the EIG went out publicaly on CHED this year and cried poor that the cap is rising -- especially when you consider the Oilers are one of the biggest contributors towards an increasing cap. It's also an insult that Patrick Laforge (in January) mentioned in the Globe and Mail that ''the team will lose money unless it makes the playoffs'' and that ''a lower cap would mean the world to us''

It sure would Patrick. It sure would.

..and to the Team 1260 members reading this thread - here's your chance to throw a few hardballs at Nichols/Laforge next time they are in studio. CHED - I'm not even going to bother with you. When Edmonton's biggest homer, Graham Hicks, goes against you in his column - it shows how low you've sunk



Friday, May 18, 2007

Robert Nilsson - surrounded by question marks

"He's soft." (

"He's a perimeter player." (Pierre McGuire)

"He's Rob Schremp part deux, minus the skating." (PunjabiOil)

Yet, despite that, he's been a PPG player in the AHL

36 9 24 33 -4 in 2005-2006
80 21 60 81 -1 in 2006-2007

The above figures includes playoffs.

He's more of a playmaker than a goalscorer.

Points however, don't tell the whole story. Will he be an effective player that will contribute to winning? Will he be at least average in his own end? Will he be effective on the PP in the NHL level.

Can he become a Gomez?

Or will his career path be similar to Valerie Bure (who also put up numbers in the AHL)?

My other question is, when was the last Oiler prospect to hit the PPG mark?

Funny thing, Martin St. Pierre is tearing it up in the AHL. He's at a 1.52 PPG mark (99 in 65). That's what happens when you penny pinch for an AHL franchise.

What to do with the Anaheim pick?

The man on the left is Brian Burke. A smart, respected, well spoken member of the hockey world. You may remember him from the 2006 Summer Oilers Mass exodus. He played a role by victimizing Kevin Lowe in the Chris Pronger deal.

Yet, victimization is not similar to robbery - and alas, Kevin has no grounds upon which to bring it into the courtroom of Judge Judy. Kevin Lowe still received some compensation for Pronger, as weak as it was.

Which brings up the subject of Anaheim's 2007 NHL entry draft 1st round draft pick. We expected it to be a bottom 5 pick, and our expecations were right. If Anaheim manages to beat Detroit, it's a minimum of the 29th overall pick. If they lose (and Ottawa also wins), slot number 27 is where the Oilers pick.

A glance at the 25-30 draft selections in the past decade from 1997-2003 that have made their mark in the NHL or that there is strong evidence to suggest they will make their mark in the near future. Note that 25-30 criteria is being used as opposed to bottom 5 draft selections for each year. I stopped at 2003 as it's too early to judge the 2004 picks.

Obviously more misses than hits (18/42 hits), but some of the players in those slots are impact. Perhaps it means nothing, or perhaps it suggests to hold on to the Anaheim pick and hope an impact player comes out of the pick
1997: Ben Clymer, Brenden Morrow
1998: Mike Van Ryn, Scott Gomez ,Jonathan Cheechoo, Jiri Fischer
1999: Martin Havlat
2000: Brian Sutherby, Justin Williams, Niklas Kronwall, Jeff Taffe
2001: Alexander Perezhogin , Jeff Woywitka
2002: Hannu Toivonen , Cam Ward
2003: Jeff Tambellini, Corey Perry, Patrick Eaves

If we wish to continue and make predictions, the money is on these prospects to have an NHL career

2004 - Schremp, Cory Schneider, Mike Green
2005 - Cogs, Steve Downie
2006 - Patrik Berglund, Leland Irving, Nick Foligno

Source: we trade that pick? Will it carry value? Or should we keep it? Or should we keep it and trade the 15th overall pick? Questions, questions, questions. Lets hope in obtaining these answers, Brian Burke isn't involved in ''helping'' solve them.

Devan Dubnyk - where is his career heading?

Draft day minus 1, 2004 - Robin Brownlee was confident the Oilers would select Regina Native Devan Dubnyk. Him or Drew Stafford. After Buffalo selected Stafford at 13, the Oilers went with backup plan (pun not intended), Devan Dubnyk

Dubnyk had posted a .917 sv% in the year leading up to draft day. A big lanky guy at 6-5, and 194 pounds. Some of the Oiler nation wanted Marek Schwarz. Safe to say, Dubnyk has proven himself to be the better goaltender of the first round.

He then went on to post two consecutive years of a .912 SV%.

His .921 SV% in the ECHL was OK, although not dominant. .913 % in 6 games in the playoffs, and a .855 SV% in 4 games in the AHL.

I still think he'll be an NHL goaltender, but there are questions surrounding whether he'll ever be able to dominate. There is a possibility that he'll be a career backup

Some of the elite goalies tend to stand out

Cam Ward - .911, .920, .926 in Red Deer. .937 in 50 games as a 20 year old in the AHL
Harding - .906, .914, .927 and .920 in the WHL. .930, .922, .920 in 3 seasons in the AHL. .960 in 7 games in the NHL.
Lehtonen - .926 and .929 in the AHL

There's progression in the numbers from those guys, whereas for Dubnyk he's been pretty much at the same level.

On the other hand, I took a look at the busts category of goaltenders since 2000. Usually most of them have had a year or two of SV%'s in the 800's (AsiaOil - there's JDD for you). Names like Krahn, Chouinard, Ellis, Bacashihua, Munro, Daigneault, Crawford are goaltenders drafted in the first or second round in the past decade that seem to fit the category.

Dubnyk's lowest SV% has been .912 - and we can factor Kamloops being a poor team and spending plenty of time in the PK box. Mind you, perhaps that experience may have made him a better goalie. Look at Leland Irving - great numbers, but playing behind a very solid team who doesn't give up many good chances or shots. He went from .929SV% in the regular season to .887SV% in the playoffs.

In Summary, Dubnyk's been good - but not dominant.

I found David LeNeveu to be the best comparison for Dubnyk (and there haven't been many)

If Dubnyk wants to prove himself in the elite category, he'll need a season with a minimum of a .920 SV% - and upwards to .930% shouldn't be out of question. High expectation, but for a 14th overall pick and with the likes of Radulov, Zajac, Wolski, Chipchura, and Meszaros picked after him - you should be expecting big.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Joffrey Lupul - a Contrary opinion to the Oilogosphere

It's the off-season and the guy hasn't left for Anaheim. Instead, he's in town purchasing a home at the peak of the real estate market.

Last summer, traded to Edmonton in part of the Pronger deal, the Oiler nation didn't wait long to question Joffrey's desire to play in his hometown. Fair enough - the guy didn't seem all that excited either leaving a perfect setting behind.

He was living in a great city for young players, no pressure from fans, freedom to walk around the city unrecognized - and thrived in that atmosphere.

Then he enters a fishbowl, higher expectations, less freedom, no chemistry with any linemates, missing Anaheim - it takes a toll on you. I wish for his sake he will come back and rebound - he has the natural talent - if he can translate it towards becoming an effective NHL player, he will be lethal.

Let's not forget 94 in his earlier days - it took him a while to become an effective hockey player.

Yes, his 28, 28 season last year with Anaheim in his 2nd NHL season - was OK. Not excellent 5 on 5 results, but it's progress. You can't expect all young guys to start putting up strong 5 on 5 results early on in their careers. In the playoffs he fared well -a solid +9 rating, 9G, 2A.

Other young guys that struggled this year -

Marek Svatos
Last year:61 32 18 50 0
This year:66 15 15 30 +1

Eric Staal
Last year: 82 45 55 100 -8
This year: 82 30 40 70 -6

Rick Nash
This year: 75 27 30 57 -8
Last year: 54 31 23 54 +5

This year: 73 27 27 54 -13
Last year: 71 10 22 32 -19

These are just a few samples from the population

Young guys do tend to struggle - Lupul finished among the league leaders (in his 2nd NHL season) with 296 shots on goal (SOG) back in 2005-2006. Another 62 shots in 16 playoff games. This year, down to 172. Obviously something wasn't right last year - either the system or linemates or just the fact he went through a slump. He's a goal scorer, a sniper. Other than Hemsky, do we have a good set up man? Are Toby Peterson and Petr Sykora the best linemates for him?

I don't know - seems to me he has plenty of talent - the talent that rewarded him a 3 year contract.

How about this city is a bit more patient (myself included) on young players? Let's watch an Arnott develop in Edmonton instead of watching him score the GWG of a SCF.