Monday, April 14, 2008

Shaking Loose the Star....

I'm really not much of a Patrick Marleau fan. He's flashy, a pretty good skater, and has a nice shot. But, he cannot play defense to save his life, has no physical game, and just seems like the exact type of guy who shouldn't have a "C" on his jersey.

That said, his Sharks are in dire need, and they need him to step up and create some offense. Will they? Tough to say. For this though, lets assume they don't. Anything less than a WCF appearance would just have to be considered a failure for the Sharks this season. And given that it would be their third straight failure in the playoffs, you have to imagine that changes would be coming in Shark land.

I personally think, that most GM's are the "bang on their chest" and yell until they get their way type guys. They want "Warriors" and go with their gut instinct more often than not. Simply accepting that you got a bad roll of the dice isn't enough... heads have to roll, and changes have to be made.

The Oilers, in large part thanks to their run, have several guys who would meet the criteria that most GM's would presumably look for. Specifically, Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres, along with Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani. I think Lowe has to make a decision here... we have too many forwards on this team, and someone has to go. Pisani had a very good year all things considered, and is a big part of the room. Moreau likely isn't going anywhere, so that leaves Stoll and Torres; who are both admittedly coming off of a poor year, though the former struggled much more than the latter.

So, Lowe is left with a decision here. He likely has to move two forwards. He's probably considering moving Pitkanen. What can these three get in a package? What teams will be looking at the idea of major changes due to lack of success?

I'd say Atlanta, but they've been raped of assets outside of Kovalchuk, who sells too many jerseys and tickets to be moved. Ditto St. Louis. I think both Buffalo and Anaheim could be looking for shakeups in the near future, but I don't see either team making a deal with the Oilers in the near future. We know Toronto is looking for a change, but again, what do they have that would warrant a package of Torres-Stoll-Pitkanen?

Looking down the line though, there are certainly a few teams that do catch my eye. Florida has missed the playoffs all 3 years since the lockout ended, and Bouwmeester is reportedly again unhappy. Would he considering coming here? Would Florida trade Bouwmeester and a pick for Pitkanen, Torres and Stoll? Should Edmonton?

What about in San Jose, if they don't come back against the Flames? Could Michalek become available for the right price? Or Marleau?

Tampa is into full rebuild mode, but it's hard to imagine that they want to suffer through that when they need to sell tickets. How much would it cost to bring the 1st OV pick to Edmonton? Stoll, Torres, Schremp and Pitkanen? Does that get your Stamkos? Does it make sense on either side?

Nashville looks like they're on their way towards their 4th straight first round exit. Could Weber become available from a GM on a bender after another first round exit?

The Oilers are in a nice position here. Not ideal, but not terrible either. They have a lot of parts, some shiny, some grimy, but a lot of parts. There will be GM's in the coming months who will feel the pull from their owners saying we need to make the playoffs. Even more importantly, there will be GM's who are in the same position that Kevin Lowe was in not too long ago, when Dallas looked ripe for the picking and we crapped the bed and he went on a tirade... we all saw how that turned out for Mike Comrie. There will be changes, and the Oilers, in all likelihood, will have a very good chance of adding a couple of nice players over the Summer without breaking the bank.

I've accepted Souray isn't going anywhere. Neither is Moreau. I pray that Horcoff doesn't, and we all know that Hemsky and Gagner are here for the long haul. What we do moving forward will certainly be interesting, and I'm personally hoping that Lowe is finding out just how available Bouwmeester or that 1st OV pick are from an Oiler POV.

16 comments:

doritogrande said...

If Tampa moves the first overall pick, someone needs to be fired. Then shot. Stamkos provides the one thing Tampa is missing, cheap secondary scoring.

If we were to go and fleece San Jose if they lose out to Calgary, we've gotta pluck some of their wingers. We don't need the Center in Marleau, but Michalek and Grier would be lovely. Brian Campbell may not want to re-sign if they exit first round, so they could be looking for a big-name defender. Now I know that's not going to be Souray, so maybe if we shop Pitkanen, this is where we do it. If we could make a trade somewhere along the lines of:

Pitkanen
Stoll
Torres

for

Michalek
Grier
Rismiller/Clowe

...then I really like our chances next season with a lineup something like:

Hemsky-Horcoff-Michalek
Nilsson-Gagner-Penner
Grier-Cogliano-Pisani
GlenX-Brodziak-Rismiller/Clowe

Gilbert-Staios
Souray-Greene
Smid-Grebeshkov

...shit. It hurts my heart to think of a team like that, because it's just so beautiful to me.

PunjabiOil said...

Nice post.

I don't want any part of Marleau. Not at his salary.

I think Stoll + Torres + 1st round pick could land decent return, while also providing the Oilers ~4.45M for a replacement salary. Enough cap space here to add a 5-5.5M player.

Would the package be enough for Jokinen?

Top 5 pick?

In the UFA market, could the Oilers pry Pavol Demitra, at say 2 years, 12M after trading Stoll and Torres?

The key is finding GMs in the league who are in desperate situations and who are looking to making a change.

Then you fucking exploit them.

doritogrande said...

punjabi:

How bout the new kid in the NW division? I'd like Mason Raymond. Maybe give them Cody Wild or Sebastien Bisallion to give the Nucks more bodies on the blueline? He's sort of a Dustin Penner Lite, but with speed to burn.

Realistically the only other place I see us shopping Pitkanen is Atlanta. They need a game-breaker to compliment Kovalchuk, and that 3rd Overall pick would look real shiny with the rest of the kids.

LittleFury said...

I don't see where you slot a star in this lineup without putting Horcoff in play.

I for one don't want them to move too many parts out this summer. Wait 30 games and see who shakes loose.

PDO said...

I don't see where you slot a star in this lineup without putting Horcoff in play.

I for one don't want them to move too many parts out this summer. Wait 30 games and see who shakes loose.


Which is why I shyed away from bringing up Ottawa (wouldn't surprise me if Alfredsson is in play after the sweep), and didn't say a word about Jokinen. If we're doing the mystical quantity for quality trade, it has to be a defenseman (Which means Joni's replacement) or a very good draft pick... neither of which would create massive changes up front.

The nightmare, of course, is Lowe building a package around Horcoff for Jokinen, and Joe Six Pack being unable to figure out why we have the worst GAA in the league.

Moving Torres, Stoll and Pitkanen for Jay-Bow though? We get an upgrade on Pitkanen, lose a guy who didn't do a whole lot besides help us lose games, and move Torres for the upgrade from Pitkanen to Bouwmeester.

doritogrande said...

"Moving Torres, Stoll and Pitkanen for Jay-Bow though? We get an upgrade on Pitkanen, lose a guy who didn't do a whole lot besides help us lose games, and move Torres for the upgrade from Pitkanen to Bouwmeester."

I think Oilerdom has this argument every off-season. And I think the resounding response from the media RE: Boumeester is that he doesn't want to play here. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

PDO said...

I think Oilerdom has this argument every off-season. And I think the resounding response from the media RE: Boumeester is that he doesn't want to play here. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

No, you're correct, it definitely has been reported... but people change, and grow up too, you know ;). Given that he wants OUT of FLA, for the reported reason of winning, and that Stauffer was talking about there being a possibility of him coming to Edmonton, I think he's legitimately interested in the idea of coming to a place where hockey comes first and the playoffs are expected/important.

I think that'd be the ideal situation though.. a Stoll/Torres/Pitkanen combo for an upgrade on Pitkanen, and cap space. Pitkanen looks like he's being run out of town by a few scribes and the idiotic masses that follow them religiously, and he's looking for a big payday, and of course the missed time is certainly a concern.

Though, ideally, I think the real guy to go after is Weber. He's still young and by no means perfect, but he's also playing big minutes with Zanon against the likes of Zetterberg and Datsyuk right now. Nashville is on the verge of their 4th straight 1st round exit... I mean, eventually they have to want more, don't they? They've been missing that magical "grit" forever, that a pair like Torres and Stoll would (supposedly ;)) bring.

PDO said...

Just to clarify - the reason I think you go after Weber is because of Jay-Bouw's reported reluctance to play here.

LittleFury said...

Moving Torres, Stoll and Pitkanen for Jay-Bow though? We get an upgrade on Pitkanen, lose a guy who didn't do a whole lot besides help us lose games, and move Torres for the upgrade from Pitkanen to Bouwmeester.

J-Bow is a RFA, no? What are the chances he gets less than Pitkanen? Is he that much of an upgrade, given Pits' superior counting stats (haven't checked behindthenet for the rest of the numbers, just asking)? On the surface, it strikes me as a bit of a wash.

And then there's the question of who fills in the spots and minutes vacated by Stoll/Torres (who's combined value at the moment is for shit). I'd feel better about giving those guys a chance to bounce back than I would about throwing some of the youngsters to the wolves.

Bottom line, this team has been in a constant state of flux since CFP fucked us over: a little stability wouldn't be a bad thing.

PDO said...

J-Bow is a RFA, no? What are the chances he gets less than Pitkanen? Is he that much of an upgrade, given Pits' superior counting stats (haven't checked behindthenet for the rest of the numbers, just asking)? On the surface, it strikes me as a bit of a wash.

The big difference, imo?

The last 3 years Jay Bouw has played 246 games.

Pitkanen has played 198.

It's only 50 games, but durability is durability, and certainly there's something to be said for 82 games of Jay Bouw versus 65-70 of Pitkanen, isn't there?

And then there's the question of who fills in the spots and minutes vacated by Stoll/Torres (who's combined value at the moment is for shit). I'd feel better about giving those guys a chance to bounce back than I would about throwing some of the youngsters to the wolves.

Bottom line, this team has been in a constant state of flux since CFP fucked us over: a little stability wouldn't be a bad thing.


I certainly agree stability wouldn't be a bad thing, but the problem is, we have too many players right now, and looking down the roster, Stoll is easily the most replaceable forward imo.

Point on the PP: Souray, Gilbert, Grebeshkov. Check.

PK: Horcoff, Pisani, Moreau, Brodziak, Reasoner.. and Cogliano looked pretty good there as well.

So it comes down to 5v5... either you believe in Pouliot, or you find a cheap UFA, but do we really end up missing Stoll if we deal him, even with his low value?

Assuming we keep Glencross, we have 5 NHL calibre LW's... Penner, GlenX, Nilsson, Moreau and Torres. So you'd assume one of them have to be moved, do they not? My personal pick there is Moreau, as he'll probably only player 30 games again anyway, but I don't see the organization doing that.

doritogrande said...

Fury:

Yeah, the Pitkanen for Bou trade is essentially a wash. They both play huge minutes and aren't the best option for the powerplay. Both have legs and size, and hell they were drafted 3 and 4 in their year. That's the same year.

Your choices here are: Finn or Canadian? Yeah it's going a bit into bigot country, but that seems to be the only real difference to me. I'm sure that's the reason everyone's so high on Boumeester and so iffy on Pitkanen.

Oh, that and a bit of an injury history for Pitkanen. Other than that it's even in my books.

PDO said...

DG:

I'm a redneck, what can I say?

Seriously though, and this is a big if, but IF the rumors of Pitkanen not fitting into the room are true, and IF Lowe thinks Bouwmeester would be an excellent fit in the room, that certainly counts towards something, does it not?

The other strike against Pitkanen (and I can't believe I keep going here, I want to just sign the guy...), is that he's reportedly always been a pain in the ass to negotiate with. That has to factor in as well.

So... maybe you can even convince FLA to include a pick, but if you do Torres/Stoll/Pitkanen for Bouwmeester and a high 2nd rounder, you're suddenly looking at a lot more cap space (use it to sign.. perhaps Bobby Holik? Someone to play between Moreau/Pisani, has a physical presence and can PK), and perhaps a better situation in the room as well.

doritogrande said...

PDO:

Yeah, I feel the same way as you regarding desperately wanting to re-sign Pitkanen, yet keep thinking up ways to creatively trade him.

I wonder how much of his unwillingness to negotiate is his agent playing the hardass card a'la Boras.

If we get that cap-space for the trade you suggest, and use it on Holik (or someone of his ilk), it had better be no longer than a 2-year deal, as we're going to need that cash to open the vaults to Gagner and Cogliano.

PDO said...

DG:

I'd try and overpay a bit and make it a 1 year deal, personally, as we'll have both Horcoff and Garon to worry about the Summer after, and those decent-but-not-great defensive players aren't too hard to find.

Still, I'd be pretty happy with:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Nilsson - Gagner - Cogliano
Moreau - Holik - Pisani
Glencross - Brodziak - Stortini
Pouliot, Reasoner

Bouwmeester - Staios
Grebeshkov - Gilbert
Smid/Greene - Souray

Garon

Works for me, personally. I'd much prefer moving Souray for a real defenseman, but c'est la vie.

LittleFury said...

The big difference, imo? The last 3 years Jay Bouw has played 246 games. Pitkanen has played 198. It's only 50 games, but durability is durability, and certainly there's something to be said for 82 games of Jay Bouw versus 65-70 of Pitkanen, isn't there?

The question is are those extra 20 games worth Pitkanen and a potentially useful forward plus?

The problem in my mind is we have no way of knowing whether Pits is really as soft as some are making him out to be. Signs certainly point to headcase, but Christ, you just don’t walk away from that kind of talent at that age. I feel good about this coaching staff’s chances of making something useful out of a kid who’s already shown elite ability. I think a one year deal this year is the way to go.

I certainly agree stability wouldn't be a bad thing, but the problem is, we have too many players right now, and looking down the roster, Stoll is easily the most replaceable forward imo.

You see a logjam. I see depth.

Seriously though, I recognize there’s going to be guys heading out the door. I’m just not confident in Lowe’s abilities to make the Big Deal that people are hammering for.

jd said...

Realistically Martin or whoever is steering the ship in Florida would have to be a complete idiot to trade away a couple of the franchises cornerstones for any combination of the three underachievers. My bet is we roll into next year with pretty much the same team or lowe moves up into the top 5 at the draft.