Good freaking afternoon to you too.
It is the day of the Lord if you attend mass, and I’ll bet many Oiler fans are there praying things don’t get worse. The losses you can handle, because you think a savior is on the way in the form of the first overall pick, but now the Oilers will need some divine intervention just to win a game.
Sheldon Souray and Jarome Iginla did the honourable thing last night and dropped their helmets, wrist guard and gloves and went at it like men. At the time it looked like neither was worse for wear, but today we learn that Sheldon Souray is out with a fractured hand.
It just keeps getting worse for the Oilers.
No time line has been given on Souray, but if he plays again before the 3rd of March I’d be surprised. Many of you asked whether his trade value would be higher before the deadline or this summer, well it looks like it will have to be this summer. I didn’t think the Oilers would get a lot for him at the deadline, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise, but we’ll never know. When you look at what the Flames got for a younger, more talented Dion Phaneuf, you have to wonder what exactly the market value of Souray is now. I know fans wanted Jack Johnson, but that was a pipedream. No way would you get a young banger like Johnson for Souray. Dean Lombardi isn’t going to give away the future for a 33-year-old.
DID THE FLAMES GET BETTER?
Memo to the Oilers: When you "suck" you make a "trade" …any Trade!
I think we’d agree that Phaneuf had better trade value than Souray, so let’s look at that deal. The Flames gave up Phaneuf (his no-movement clause doesn’t kick in until 2013), prospect Keith Aulie and threw in Freddy Sjostrom to the Leafs for pending UFAs, Matt Stajan, Ian White and the only player with a contract past this season, Niklas Hagman. They also scored journeyman Jamal Mayers. Hagman has a no-movement clause and is a $3 million cap hit for two more years. He is the biggest piece of the deal, and will give the Flames some much needed help offensively.
Stajan has been a bust in Toronto, so maybe a new address will help him. The only way the Flames re-sign him is if he shows he can score. White is a solid D-man, and at only $950,000 I bet the Flames re-sign him this summer. Mayers is a journeyman, but is he any better than Brandon Prust at this point? I don’t think so. So he was added to make the deal work. The Flames needed some help offensively so we’ll see who they move out now that they’ve added three new forwards.
To me it was Phaneuf for Hagman and White, but the Flames also threw in prospect Keith Aulie, so what should Steve Tambellini realistically expect to get in return for Souray? Souray is older, more brittle and will be coming off a disappointing season. I think the most Tambellini can expect in return for him will be a decent 3rd liner and maybe a prospect or a mid-to-late round draft pick. Depending on who he moves before the deadline, the Oilers might have to keep Souray. If he wants to be here, then he’ll be a good influence in the room, if he doesn’t he could easily become a distraction for the new kids coming in next season.
Would a team have given up more at the deadline if they thought he’d be the final piece of the puzzle? Maybe, but unlikely.
WANYE WILL BE SAD
Wanye’s idea of adding J.S Giguere went out the window today as well, as Brian Burke acquired the six million dollar man from the Ducks for Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake. The Leafs needed a goalie, while Blake has two more years with a cap hit of $4 million. Does the Blake deal lessen the Ducks interest in Ethan Moreau? I think it might, but it also shows that teams are willing to trade for guys with a year or two left on their contract.
Giguere has two years left and is a $6 million cap hit, so the Ducks saved some money, although they did re-sign Jonas Hiller to a four-year, $18 million extension yesterday. I was watching the game with Wanye last night and when Hiller’s extension came across the screen he yelled, “Giguere will be moved. He’s coming to Edmonton .” He was half-right, which is par for the course with him.
HOW BAD WAS THAT??
Today’s trades have probably made Oiler fans forget another awful performance last night. Seriously, how bad can it get for the Oil? That was embarrassing. They were overwhelmed the entire game by a team that had lost nine in a row. I could understand if fans didn’t want to watch another game after last night’s nightmare. It hurts to lose, but when you lose that bad to your biggest rival it stings even more.
To make matters worse, the Flames swept the season series, setting another Oiler record for futility. Steve Tambellini has to make a move just to show he still cares, or this losing streak could reach 20. A few weeks ago Monday’s game looked like an epic battle for 30th, but the Canes have won four straight and are seven points ahead of the Oil, or behind if you look at from a drafting perspective. In my opinion it’s time to make a trade, any trade, if for nothing else but to inject the room with a mild sense of optimism that things can change and that this can’t go on forever.
The Oilers longest winless streak is 14 games, when they lost two, tied one and then lost eleven straight from Oct 11th to Nov 7th in 1993. They’ve set a record for consecutive loses with 13, surpassing the 12 straight they lost from Feb 25th to Mar 21st in 2007. How bad might it get? Choke on these numbers. The Oilers went 4-19-3 in their final 26 games in 2007. They also went 5-22 in their final 27 games in 1993. The Oilers are 1-18-2 in their last 21 games, and with the surging Canes and Flyers in town on Monday and Wednesday they could easily go winless in 15. Tambellini needs to do something just to shake up the room.
The “Thirst for First” is comfortably in place. The Canes are winning and the Leafs just upgraded their goaltending and defence. Tambellini needs to make a move to show the world he still has a pulse. His team needs it and so do all the fans.
NEED A LAUGH?
If you need a laugh, or have nothing better to do you can check out the 5th annual media/pro players v. the U of A Ringette game today at 2:30 at WEM. The series is tied at two games a piece. They have been raising money for the Stollery all weekend, and today you’ll see Rob Brown, Louie Debrusk, Jimmy Quinlan and Andy Secore from the Rush along with a few media slugs toss the ring around. It won’t be as painful as the Oiler games, but close.