Edmonton’s Dirty Little Secret



The following is a Public Service Announcement from the fans of the Calgary Flames… “EDMONTON is the worst thing since Hepatitis!” Wow…That’s kind of harsh isn’t it? But… that is what I read the other day. And, it came from a fairly respected source. However, just to be fair, let’s take an in depth look and see if indeed the Oilers are worthy of the reference.

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Rexallitis A: Oilers’ Goaltending

The Oilers’ goaltending has been a position of contention, arguably since the days of Bill Ranford. Going into this season, Edmonton is going to face a gruelling learning curve that might turn out in their favour, but is more likely yet another source of frustration for the young club. Devan Dubnyk increased his work load by 84% from the 2009-10 season, but made little impact on the team considering he is going to carry the majority of the mail this year. 

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Player GP GA GAA W L SOL Svs Pct
Devan Dubnyk 35 93 2.71 12 13 8 1010 0.916
Nikolai Khabibulin 47 153 3.40 10 32 4 1236 0.890

Despite Dubnyk playing 12 less games than Khabibulin, he actually boasted a decent GAA and Sv%, especially for a second year goalie. It was actually his best numbers since 2006-07, when he posted a 2.56 GAA and 0.921 Sv% in 43 games with the ECHL Stocton Thunder. Then again, is there any real reason for optimism with this guy? The numbers seem fine until you come to the realization that he only played 35 games. Can Dubnyk pull out these same kinds of numbers when he is playing 60 + games? Despite the high aspirations the Oilers had in bringing Nikolai over from Chicago, he has been more of a liability for the team, than the asset he was once known as. Add to the fact that he is most likely one more back spasm away from Margaritaville, and the writing is pretty much all over the “Bulin Wall”. Was he too old to play the style he was known for and praised for on highlight reels? Maybe Nik was struck with a little bit of Rexallitis B?…What’s that?

Rexallitis B: Oilers’ Defence

Hey, don’t laugh. These ladies might have distracted opposition enough to have prevented more goals than the Oilers defence corps. Flat out, the Oilers D-men were brutal last year… and the year before that too. No doubt losing Ryan Whitney to injury was significant. He was the only D-man to have a positive +/-, at +13. Of course that may be misleading in that he only played in 35 games. Here is how the back end looked.

Player GP G A Pts +/- Corsi/60 GVT 2011 Sal
Ryan Whitney 35 2 25 27 13 -11.86 7.6 4 M
Tom Gilbert 79 6 20 26 -14 -3.36 3.4 4 M
Kurtis Foster 74 8 14 22 -12 -7.55 1.3 N/A
Jim Vandermeer 62 2 12 14 -15 -4.63 3 N/A
Theo Peckham 71 3 10 13 -5 -12.18 1.7 1.075 M
Ladislav Smid 78 0 10 10 -10 -6.03 -0.4 2.25 M
Jeff Petry 35 1 4 5 -12 0.11 -0.2 1 M
Jason Strudwick 43 0 2 2 -16 -19.37 -1.9 UFA
Taylor Chorney 12 1 3 4 -5 -15.02 0.3 735 K
*Cam Barker 51 1 4 5 -11 -14.12 -1 2.25 M

Hmmm, maybe it was the Edmonton defence that was distracted by the “flag bearers” above, because these are the kind of numbers that get your hockey card shoved into the spoke of some kid’s bike tire. As their Corsi shows, they were completely inept at driving the play north while on the ice. They were marginally significant offensively, and as their GVT rating shows, it wasn’t a stretch to replace these guys if need or want be. The addition of *Cam Barker to this squad leaves little hope to solve this issue either. Even though he wasn’t on the squad last year, I have included his numbers in the chart above, to show the Oilers lack of progression in this area. Barker becomes an RFA next season, so clearly this is an audition year to see if Barker can get his career going in the right direction.

Rexallitis C: Oilers’ Remission

Obviously the big white elephant here is the omission of the fab five of Hall, Paajarvi, Eberle, Omark and RNH. It’s the topic that has Oil fans dancing in the street. It’s the justification and vindication they’ve needed in light of the Oilers last place finishing over the past two years and the 10th worst team in the 2008-09 season. It is also going to be the strife and letdown for the future of the Oilers.

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The way I see it, the Oilers took a dramatic step backwards in the 2011 draft. Many will say that is an absurd comment, but before you do… there is a method to my madness! There was no doubt that RNH was going to go first overall. Any team with the first pick would have been out right stupid to not draft Hopkins. So how did the Oilers make a miscalculation in indeed taking Hopkins first overall? They never should have drafted first overall. If the Oilers had taken off the RNH blinders and considered what an asset he could have been to their future, they would have traded the first overall pick.

The Oilers have a very formidable set of young forward prospects now. Why add another one, when the team is so desperate for help on the back end? Had the Oilers traded the first pick, they could have had extreme leverage over any team that came inquiring. They would have had teams lined up around Rexall to get that first pick. Basically, the Oilers could have used the availability of the pick to fix what was wrong with the team now and save what they will be in a few years.

I once heard that teams should never draft defensemen. The reason is that by the time they develop into their full potential, they are finished their entry level contracts, end up costing a fortune to re-sign and are usually lost to free agency. I agree with this and I don’t think the Oilers made a mistake in not drafting Larsson for this exact reason. Instead they drafted Klefbom later in the first round and they still get a solid defensive prospect they develop over time. However, if they had traded the first pick? They could have landed an established high-end #1 D-man. As we saw from the chart above, the Oil don’t have the luxury to develop a #1 D-man, they need help ASAP. With all of the moves made during free agency, the Oilers could have landed themselves immediate help on the back end, and that includes the possibility of landing Shea Webber.

Rexallitis D: Oilers’ Future

What happens when these entry level contracts all expire and these young superstars want to start seeing some real money? There are going to be a lot of tough decisions because the Oilers are not going to be able to sign and keep all these forwards. As I stated before, Edmonton doesn’t have the luxury of time to develop a #1 or #2 D-man. So if the goal is to fill this void immediately, they are going to have to buy them through free agency. According to CapGeek, the Oilers have four players signed through the 2013-14and just under $52 Million in cap space. Those four players are not Hall, Eberle, Omark or Paajarvi. Going by the chart above, the Oilers will have to fork out for probably two high end defensemen, to even give the corps a chance. That is going to run them somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10-15 Million for the pair, depending on who they try to sign.

If Dubnyk can’t carry the load of a 60+ game season, they also are going to have to look, once again, for a goaltender. Before anyone attributes Edmonton to the latest trend of signing goalies for cheap, keep in mind Edmonton is not Washington. They are not going to get Tomas Vokoun for $1.25 million. They are not Stanley Cup contenders; they are going to have to lure a top end goalie with money, not potential and opportunity. Teams like Chicago made successful runs with cheap goalies like Niemi, because they had the defence to keep the pressure off. Edmonton lacks this, and goalies know it. Look for a decent goaltending option to run them $4-5 million per.

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Edmonton’s cap space now reduces to $38-32 Million. This number is reduced again because Omark actually becomes an RFA the previous year. Say Omark signs for even $2 Million? You also have to account for Hopkins being a full time player on the team; his entry level contract is $3.775 M, but becomes an RFA the next year. That leaves the Oilers an average of $30 Million to sign Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi.. and now factor in Klefbom.. Not to mention 13-15 more roster positions. Now there is no way to predict what these kids are going be offered or what they will expect. It will largely depend on their performance over the next couple of seasons.

However this leads to the conclusion of the Oilers’ problems. If the kids are a bust, then so will be the team and they will remain amongst the basement dwellers of the NHL. BUT… If the kids are “nice”, then there can be little doubt that they will want to be paid as such, and Katz and Lowe will find themselves in a severe Cap strain, with some tough decisions. Who will stay and who will go elsewhere Time will tell.

In the meantime Oilers fans; keep dancing in the streets. After all, ignorance is bliss… and well, its happy hour and that city is blissed out of its mind.

  • 24% body fat

    what has flames management done to make there team better. nothing. 8 or 9 place all the time and trading away all the future for a dismall playoff run attempt.

    if you are going to blow up your team to try and shake things up, get some value out of it. dont just go take another crappy team and trade your garbage for there exact same garbage.

    trade iggy and kipper and bouwmeester and get some highend picks while you can.

  • TAE0145

    Awesome article. I could not agree more. I have been saying the same thing. Edmonton is not attractive at all. I was there last weekend and with all do respect it is about attractive as rainbow lake except Rainbow lake acually has better fishing.

    You have not included how many of these youngster will want to bolt to a city that can actually offer something. If they loose 2-3 players due to this they will be nothing more than an average team at best and will be best labelled Islanders of the North.

    If Alberta was New York, Calgary would would be Manhattan (Rangers) and Edmonton would Long Island (Islanders) Where would you want to play? why do think Calgary has so many no movement clauses? Because the players like the city and would preffer to stay there.

    Vintage Flame you nailed it and your photos are awesome as well!!

    • Vintage Flame

      Thanks for the comments.

      “You have not included how many of these youngster will want to bolt to a city that can actually offer something. If they loose 2-3 players due to this they will be nothing more than an average team at best and will be best labelled Islanders of the North.”

      Actually I did mention that in the article to a certain extent. I don’t know how much the love for the city aspect comes into play or if it will at all. That has definitely been a difference between the two cities. Calgary obviously has more of a loyalty aspect to it’s players and to it’s fans and the organization. we ahve seen that in the retention of Iggy and the signings of Tanguay and Glencross. You can even attribute it back to the repatriation of Conroy from the Kings.

      Edmonton has never had that sense of loyalty between the fans and the players they adore. Hell, you’re talking about a team where a former owner sold the best hockey player ever and most loved guy in the City of Edmonton to keep his hamburger joint from going under.

      Is it a good thing for Calgary? Maybe, maybe not. The excessive NMC’s that are tied to guys like Stajan are a hinderence to say the least. you can maybe include Bourque in there and Glencross is borderline. I personally have no issue with the others.

      The current cast of players as well as many former have called Calgary home long after their careers have either moved on or ended. I think it says alot about the city itself, what it says about our management team? Your guess is as good as mine.

  • TAE0145

    If you’ve ever been to Detroit you’d know it’s not necessarily about the city. If in 2-3 years Edmonton’s competitive guys will be happy to be there.

  • Vintage Flame

    One Flames fan says the Oilers will have to pay huge mo ey to now get quality defencemen. Do you mean like 6.65ish million for someone like Boumeester? And to say the Oilers did not address a hole in their lineup with picking RNH is simply shortsighted. Did the Oilers have a bonafied #1 center pre draft? No. How many star centermen trades are there these days? Next to none, only the Thornton to SJ deal comes to mind. So drafting a stud center with fantastic playmaking skills does not seem so stupid. Yes the oilers are still thin on D, but that will be addressed in the near future. And to say we are only drafting young, skilled fwds… Hartikainen is very gritty and big, Pajaarvi is a power forward, Hall plays a similar power forward game as Jarome Iginla. I understand Flames fans, I would bash the Oilers too, but you would be fibbing if you said the bashing was not out of jealousy. Anyone of you who says you would not trade spots with us are of the Sutter brethren, those infamous brothers are are what you have to thank for the 23 no movement clauses and cap purgatory you are currently in. You like to prognosticate and predict our possible cap problems in a few years? Well at least we have a prime example of how not to go about it. Cup winners are built down the middle. Ex) Chi, Pens, Det etc… Oh, wait you guys know this, you gave 3+ million to the likes of Matt Stajan. I have never felt so sorry for a guy as I do Iginla. What could he have done with a star center???

    • Vintage Flame

      ” How many star centermen trades are there these days?”

      Well I would say Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were pretty big names. And they were traded from the same team.

      “Yes the oilers are still thin on D, but that will be addressed in the near future”

      Yeah, yeah, yeah… Always addressed in the near future.. They had the chance to address it now. Who is this ‘near future’ you speak of?

      “Hall plays a similar power forward game as Jarome Iginla.”

      Lol! Seriously!

      “those infamous brothers are are what you have to thank for the 23 no movement clauses and cap purgatory you are currently in.”

      You know you may not agree with or like what I said about your beloved team, but at least I presented you with factual numbers and statistics. If you want to challenge me on it, that’s great.. but come on, do some research.. Here I’ll do it FOR you.

      – Calgary has 7 NMC’s. Kiprusooff’s ends this year, Gio’s becomes a NTC in 2013-14.

      – Calgary has 2 NTC’s. Bouwmeester and Babchuck.

      – Calgary has 3 Modified NTC’s.. Which are actually pretty easy to move, if committed enough.

      By my count that’s 12… not 23. As to your notion of cap purgatory? Calgary has $21,664,167 coming off the cap at the end of this season and another $12,187,500 the year after that. So what is this cap purgatory you speak of?

      “Cup winners are built down the middle. Ex) Chi, Pens, Det etc…”

      Hmmm. Yeah, those guys have pretty good Centers on their teams. They also have guys like Seabrook, Keith, Letang, Martin, Lidstrom and Kronwall. I think they call that a healthy balance… but what do I know.. I’m pretty new around here.

  • TAE0145

    LOLOLOL. Just like Flames fans to find positives in all the no movement clauses. So while retired player loyalty will reign in Calgary with all the NMC’s, Edmonton will be managed properly and winning cups. Hey, whatever floats your boat…

  • SmellOfVictory

    First off congrats Vintage! I look forward to reading your stuff & totally have enjoyed this one & the bantering with Oil fans. I truly do miss the real battle of Alberta days & we were game 7 away in 2006 against Anaheim to set up a great series with the Oil. Man that would have been fun.
    We hear about the no prospects digs & our prospects are better than yours as much as Oil hears about no one wants to live & play in that pit hole & we are both tired of those comments. New material & digs please. & I think you have touched on it here. Oil style rebuild versus a totally different type of rebuild here in Flame land. Which will be better? Who knows & time will tell.
    Heres the thing, I am a Season Ticket holder & paid lots of money to sleep through that Young Guns era before that 2004 ride of my life. The Oil are going through that & it is very hard on a paying Season Ticket holder to watch your team go year after year as a lottery pick. At some point, you want Management to make decisions to get your team to the playoffs. Preach patience all you want if you have no true $$$ invested, but I would be livid i the opportunity the Oil had to trade to fill huge holes wasnt moved on. Hell you cant tell me they couldnt have moved Khabbi with that pick & fixed 2 problems considering how cheap some very good goalies could have been acquired.
    Well done, really have enjoyed the posts.

  • Captain Ron

    Flames fans are so dillusional…You can look at the elite teams in the league and find holes with everyone!?? Pitts-no good wingers, Detroit- Questionable goaltending and old age, Chicago- poor depth and goaltending is still a bit of a question, Vancouver-No Heart when it counts, Washington-Poor Coaching and until now no goalie, and on and on I could go. In this NHL with parody ruling the day, there is no perfect formula… Edmonton will be fine…Weber will be available again very soon, not too mention the fact that when the time comes to really make a push in the playoffs, there will be an abundance of solid young offensive forwards that can potentially be traded for a young stud D-man… Now Edmonton has RNH…maybe he’s 100 point guy in 5 years, maybe he’s a 60-70 point guy? Who knows? But it’s depth down the middle no matter how you slice it.
    P.S. Same goes for the goalie situation. Trades are a big part of the big picture down the road. But first, We stock the shelves with offence. I know Calgary has never been a big fan of scoring goals, so I don’t expect you to understand. Have fun with Your Old Goalie, and Your 1 good player (no longer ELITE…just good) Iginla. Do him a favour and send him to Pitts so he has a Center to pass him the puck, not a Joke…Olli Cow!

  • joey joe joe jr shabadoo

    You’re 2 for 2 VF. Both articles have stirred up some pretty good dialoge. Some good points made by both Oilers and Flames fans.

    @ Oiler fans
    It’s an interesting problem for the Oilers will be facing a couple years down the road. It seems to suggest that, unless RNH makes an emphatic statement that he is ‘ready now’, the oilers will send RNH back to RD and give themselves another year of ELC with RNH. Which probaby isn’t a bad idea. As for the idea that the Oilers could/should’ve moved the No.1 pick for Shea Weber, well, I just don’t (didn’t) see that happening. Weber is the face of a franchise in a non-traditional hockey market. I strongly suspect the Pred’s are going to do whatever they can to convince him to stay. The Predators aren’t trading Shea Weber, at least not yet. Maybe a more realistic proposition is the Oil could’ve made a move with Winnipeg where the principals of the deal could’ve been No1 for Bogosian + the No7 pick.

    As for the Flames I don’t see, as some have suggested, that they are in the same situation as the Oilers were 5 years ago. That’s a pretty short sighted point of view in my opinion. The Flames now are a better team than the Oilers where then, hands down. Another point worth making is although the Flames will have some 20-25 million in cap space next summer, that could very easily blow up in their faces. every single July 1 teams overpay to sign UFA’s. If that cap space isn’t utilized properly there’s no gaurantee the Flames will be a better team one year from now.

    what is clear though is the Flames are in the midst of a transition and it will be interesting to see if they can show ‘re-building’ dosen’t mean 5+ years of taking a walk in the wilderness.

    • 24% body fat

      I didnt say one was better than the other, I said they were in the same situation. the oilers had a bunch of mid quality players, (stoll, smythe, penner) lost there best d man from the year before (pronger), one really good player (hemsky), one bad contract considered untradeable (horcoff) and through bad drafting only one good prospect (gagner)

      now look at calgary

      mid quality (jokinen, bourque, langkow)
      best dman gone (regehr)
      really good player (iginla)
      untradeable bad contract (bouwmeester)
      one descent prospect on team (backlund) not through bad drafting but trading all away

      big difference in the two in almost all cases edmontons players were younger.

      • Vintage Flame

        Haha.. Did you actually just compare Ales Hemsky to Jarome Iginla.. and you call Flames fans delusional? Hemsky’s best numbers are 23 goals and 77 points and a +7.. And he is your ‘really good player’?

        I would take Olli, Bourque and Langkow over Smythe, Stoll and Penner every day of the week. I can see your comparison of the two clubs mid-range and good players. I’m not disputing the categories, or even the players in them. But dude the gap between your players and our players IN those respective categories are HUGE.

        • 24% body fat

          you just dont read do you.

          I compared hemsky five years ago to iginla today. I never compared him to iggy in his prime. and again, smythe stoll where solid contributers that year compared to this year. Ya bourque may be better.

          As for the gaps they are not that huge

          BAD CONTRACTS-
          horcoff 50 ponts 53games 4.1M
          bouwemeester 24 points 82games 6.8m
          ya hes a dman but bad year for bouwmeester good in for horcoff, advantage horcoff

          gagner 49 points 79 gp best point total backlund 25 points in 73 games
          advantage gagner

          TOP DMAN GONE-
          -pronger 56 points 80 games quality shut down dman also
          -regehr 17 points 79 games quality shut down d man
          sorry no matter how good shutdown regehr is no one will say he has ever been better than pronger in 2006

          -Stoll 39 points 51games FO 55.6% +2
          -Smythe 53games 31goals 53points +2
          -Penner 2008 (1st year with oil) 23goal 47pts 82games -12

          -jokinen 54points 79games +0 FO 47.4%
          -bourque 50points 80game -17
          -langkow 2010 stats 37points 72games +2 FO 43.5%

          the oilers out score the flames by 8 points and do it in 45 less games player. They also do it with a higher plus minus and much better FO percentage. advantage oilers

          hemsky- 71 points 74 games
          iginla- 86 points 82 games

          advantage, iginla. He was at once a dominant player but he has passed his prime and is a really good player now.

          SO OVERALL you are right the differnces are huge, in favour of the oilers accept in the one category that you said was laughable where it is closer than the rest of the groups. So you keep thinking the way Darryl Sutter does and be content with 10-12 place teams for the next 5 years and look into things instead of having a blind biased point of view.


          • Vintage Flame

            What is this .. All Star years? Way to fudge your arguement. Forget Horcoff being a bad contract.. He’s a BAD player. What does 50 pts in 53 games mean, when the year before he had 51 pts in 80 games and the year after he had 53 pts in 80 games. The best correlation you could draw from that is that the Oil would be better off playing him the first 2/3’s of the season and then telling him to go home for the last 1/3.

            You compared Hemsky from 5 years ago to Iggy today? This seems like a logical metric to you? I hate to break it to you but Hemsky 5 years ago had 53 points in 64 games and was 11 years younger than Iggy was last year. So what? He’s junk.

            I’m glad you included FO%.. All that tells me is that your centers are great at turning the puck over once they win the face off.

            You gave Hemsky’s BEST season and then give Iggy’s 5th best? Reasoning there?

            You compared Pronger to Regehr. WTH?? Pronger played ONE season with the Oilers and you are referring to him as your Top D-man gone?

          • What is this .. All Star years? Way to fudge your arguement. Forget Horcoff being a bad contract.. He’s a BAD player. What does 50 pts in 53 games mean, when the year before he had 51 pts in 80 games and the year after he had 53 pts in 80 games. The best correlation you could draw from that is that the Oil would be better off playing him the first 2/3’s of the season and then telling him to go home for the last 1/3.

            People that say Horcoff is a bad player base their hockey judgment on fantasy production. Is he overpaid? You bet. If he was getting 3.75-4.25M you wouldn’t be hearing about his contract. He wins faceoffs, plays with the toughs, kills penalties, and has a huge zone start differential. These don’t show up on the boxscores but calling him a “bad” player misses the mark.

            Horc’s contract is Lowe’s fault plain and simple because re-upping a guy a year before he had to and paying top tollar is nearly as bad as giving a 3-4th liner money, term and a NMC.

            The good thing about Horc’s contract is that the Oil have no cap issues so it only hurts Katz’ pocketbook. Bad cap hits are a big deal if you are up against the cap. If you have tons of room then it doesn’t hurt. Towards the end of the term if it becomes an issue he gets bought out, ends up in the minors or is traded to a team that needs cheaper cash years (his contract is front loaded) and a bigger cap hit to move up to the floor.

    • TheCalgaryJames

      ‘what is clear though is the Flames are in the midst of a transition and it will be interesting to see if they can show ‘re-building’ doesn’t mean 5+ years of taking a walk in the wilderness.’

      that’s how i see it. Call it a transition, call it a rebuild it’s the same thing. The flames have replaced their management team almost entirely. They are attempting to change the entire culture of the organization. That’s a change that effects the entire foundation of a team. That’s a rebuild. A lot of money comes off the books next year and so there’s reason to think this team could have a chance to compete next season. I’m not gonna say we’re in a better position than the Oil going forward but we’re certainly not in a worse position.

      This notion that the flames should just blow it up and scrape the bottom of the league for a few seasons is ridiculous. The Oil and there fans seem insistent that this is the way for the flames to go; as if their management planned this brilliant strategy and exacted it flawlessly. Like Katz sent a marching order to his club to suck complete and total ass for two seasons..? The oil didn’t choose to hit rock bottom that’s just where they fell. Period.

      Fine, you have two or three top tier prospects but they’re still just prospects. It’s still just potential. Call me when they do something. When the team starts winning. Otherwise, it’s just the noise of a fanbase grasping to the shell of hope that their beloved hockey team doesn’t finish in last place… Again!

    • Vintage Flame

      Thanks J4S

      I haven’t seen the correlation that the Oilers fans have made either. We have a lot of room coming off the cap after this season, and even with the tight cap space we have now.. We’re better than they are. We are better than they were 5 years ago.. and still are in our current states.

      “what is clear though is the Flames are in the midst of a transition and it will be interesting to see if they can show ‘re-building’ dosen’t mean 5+ years of taking a walk in the wilderness.”

      Unfortunately with this transition period, we have no idea what the team may look like. it could all blow up in devastation or it could be something pretty cool to see in the short transition period of Sutter to Feaster. Time will tell.

  • Captain Ron

    Great reading there VF. And I absolutley LMAO at your “drinks more shots than he saves” comment. Just love the photo shop work. Keep that stuff coming!

  • TheCalgaryJames

    Okay – totally agree with VF that Oil need to work on improving the backend. However to say that not trading RNH (#1 overall pick) was a mistake is presumptious on VF’s part. Who is to say that a top #1 D-man was actually avaialble for #1 overall? I’m pretty sure Oilers made the best move possible – and yes the Oilers do have a plethora of good young fwds, but last time I checked Gagner / Horcoff are not going to cut it as #1 and #2 centreman. Having a #1 franchise center was very much a NEED on draft day.

    Speaking of #1 franchise centreman – how has it worked out for the Flames who continue to ignore that need while spending ridiculous money on the backend on Phaneuf, J-Bo, Sarich, Gio, etc.

    I’m sure Brendan Morrison will do a fine job this year centering the top line.

    Re-builds take time, just ask the Pens who still finished last with Sid in the lineup in his first year. Not saying it will work out the same way for Oilers but I would rather take my chances with this re-build than continue to tread water like the Flames. This summer Feaster talked about so much change but didn’t he just re-sign all of the players Sutter brought in?

    • geoilersgist

      You guys just crack me up. You throw the 1 year deal of Morrison at us for our centre problems but forget about that 1 year 2.0mil band aid Barker you guys signed. Ok.
      Then I heard how Gagner was your savior now he doesnt cut it. Horcoffs contract is a symbol of some of the contracts we are trying to deal with, but lets forget that one & dig the Flames contracts. OK.
      Seems to me Oil fans have been brainwashed into thinking losing is OK and its all part of a long painful rebuild. At some point I hope Oil fans have to realize that a rebuild can turn into an excuse for losing & demand better from Management.

  • 24% body fat

    ON guy here – loving this convo string as I sip my monday coffee and procrastinate. I have to say VF, I liked your piece, and as an Oilers fan, am able to chuckle at the photoshops, and smirk contendedly at the critique of the Oiler’s development plan. All in good fun. Two things though:

    1. You mention the Oil don’t have long-lasting relationships between fans and players, which I dispute: think of Ryan Smyth & Jason Smith, to name just two from recent memory. Smytty asked to come back and fans LOVE it, and when Gator came back, he got an incredible ovation, to the point of gettin the ol’bruiser all misty. Love it. So, you’re wrong there. We could keep going with others, but I think I’ve made my point.

    2. Post #104…no issue with your Hemsky vs Iggy take…it isn’t close. Iginla is all-world. Would trade almost any Oiler player for him, even at this point in his career. But…dude, you really lost me at Olli being preferable to ANYONE. That guy hurts to watch. I actually felt really, really badly for Flames fans when news broke that you’d re-signed him. I can’t put my finger on what it is about him that is such a boat anchor, but he makes my skin crawl.

    • Vintage Flame

      Thanks for the input. It has been fun. The photoshops crack me up everytime I look at them.

      1. I don’t think there isn’t a relationship between fan and player.. You guys are nuts and borderline stalkers for some players and former players. 😉 I think the lack of relationship is between management and fan or management and player.

      2. I would take Olli over Stoll, Smythe and Penner. Olli had a tough go his first time here, but I think redeemed himself quite adequately the 2nd time around. He added a defensive shut down facet to his game that worked VERY well when on a line with Glencross and Moss. I’ve always been a big fan of Joker [or CHUD as some of the FN faithful call him.] I think Olli will have his best year AS A Flame this year.. Hoping so anyways.

  • 24% body fat

    I agree with phaneufblows.

    How can Flames fans not see the trouble their team is in over the next few years? Sure they can compete for a playoff spot right now, mainly because of Iggy and Kipper, but this team will be a disaster in 2-3 years.

    “But we have lots of cap space next year”

    Yeah, that’s exactly how playoff teams are built these days. It’s been proven over the last 5 years that a team needs good, young talent to step in and produce right away. Something the Flames do not have.

    Ducks (Getzlaf, Perry, Penner)
    Red Wings (Zetterberg, Datsyuk)
    Penguins (Crosby, Malkin, Letang)
    Blackhawks (Kane, Toews, Keith, Seabrook)
    Bruins (Lucic, Bergeron, Marchand)

    I also like how mr. Kent Wilson bashes the Oilers Management over the last few years. I guess Tambo should have given out 13 NTC’s and signed ridiculous contracts to Jokinen, Stajan, Bourque, and Bouwmeester.

    Not to mention that Flames Management has made the 3 worst trades in the NHL over the last 5 years. 1) Phaneuf trade 2) Jokinen trade and 3) Regher trade

    To not even get 1 good player, prospect or draft pick back in any of those trades makes Flames Management the laughing stock of the league.

    “In Sutter we Rust” What ever happened to that great line? Oh yeah, it happened.

  • 24% body fat

    I also never said that the flames fans were dilussional, i called out the media. Thankfully the flames fans were smart enought to see that sutter needed to be fired. Also you want the oilers to be as good as the flames to have a good rivalry. The battle of Alberta wasnt great because they were two tenth place teams battleing every night, they were both top teams.

    So please Flames rebuild your whole team and we will be in the top 5 in the conference in a few years, how long it takes you to get there after us is up to you guys to accept what your team is.

  • Wow. Of course I wonder why VF puts so much effort into trying to take shots at the Oil on a Flames blog. Could it be because taking shots at someone else is an easy way to distract away from the fact that your own team’s future looks pretty bleak.

    The Oil aren’t going to make the playoffs unti they get someone to bolster the D (Barker isn’t it but neither is Hannan for that matter), a real goalie, and RNH is ready for the NHL. Obviously that isn’t going to happen this year.

    I also admit that if anyone can screw up the bounty of young players that the Oil currently have it is Steve Tambelini. He is the worst (employed) GM (Daryl Sutter, Waddell and McLean no longer being in their respective positions).

    The Flames have an outside shot of making the postseason if everything falls into place but they also have everyone in the world with a NTC/NMC, a rapidly aging core, and Backlund as the “hope for the future.

    Advantage Edmonton. At least until Tamblowe screws it up.

  • Vintage Flame

    Pretty biased article…keep bashing the Oilers, we’ll see what happens in a couple years. If I’m not mistaken, the Oilers were constantly on the cusp of the playoffs for years, sometimes making it sometimes not. When they missed 2 years in a row (and they had a big run at the end of one of their seasons too) Flames fans were quick to make fun. It continued downhill for the Oilers despite making signings like Souray (the Oilers equivalent to Kotalik) to bolster the team. The Flames have zero optimism for the future right now, except that they plan on bringing back old has-beens at cheap prices to fill roster spots. The only good thing they have over last year is better chemistry since the team will have been together longer. I wouldn’t get too high and mighty on the last place team the last 2 years…and whatever you guys think of the Oilers, remember the Canucks are saying the same thing about you. Way to bolster your (bad) karma. I will rue the day when it comes to bite you in the ass.

  • Vintage Flame

    Oh…and I have to say that Whitney, when healthy is a top notch dman, I would take him over any dman on the Flames…I do admit there is more depth on the Flames though. And while Iggy is a true superstar, and a great leader, the talent up front drops off really fast after that. Kipper is a great tender, but the flames won’t be a contender for the cup for as long as his contract goes…it will take too long to fix the Flames contract problems. The oilers have a lot of talent up front, and taking RNH with the #1 overall pick was the right move (and I ready probably over 100 blogs and articles about it). Trading the #1 overall pick is like the Leafs trading for Kessel…that wasn’t exactly the most brilliant move. A top notch centreman is tough to acquire, whether by trade or by draft, and you’d think a Flames fan would understand that (unsuccessful trying to get one for years to set up Iggy). But way to get everyone in a huff to gain some popularity for your article.

  • Marshall Law

    As much as I hate the team and the organization, I still see a higher upside for the Oilers than for the Flames over the next five years.

    Their problem is too many top young players, ours is that we have none. Its easier to solve their problem than it is ours.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Wow, brutal article. Seems like you’re reaching a little too far to bad mouth the Oilers as opposed to maybe, say, educate people on your thoughts.

    Do you really think they should have traded their #1 overall and draft based on need? ‘Cause virtually all the managers interviewed at the draft said you should draft BPA. Whatever.

    Do you really believe the Oilers’ future is bleak beyond the “fab five”? They’ve got prospects like Petry, Hartikainnen and Lander who appear to be ready to step in. The Oilers prospect list is about 10 times better than it was 4 or 5 years ago.

    I can appreciate a good writer or a good article, but you’re only trying to get a cheap laugh.

  • Vintage Flame

    A lot of heat but Fire?I really would rather have to many good forwards in the bank than a Number 1 D-man about to become a Free-agent in 1 -2 years. If we have a great year the D men will want to come. Time will tell! First one to the third round of play offs! Wins!!!

  • Drew - Team no more tanking

    Quick Quiz:

    Of the Flames, Canucks, and Oilers fans; which ones were successful with how their season ended? Oilers fans have seen their team come in dead last, and we feel sorry for Flames fans. Welcome to where we were in 2007…enjoy!