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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

  • RexLibris

    Congratulations, VF. I’m not sure that Flames fans will appreciate if you make the Oilers, and Edmonton, a consistent topic for your posts, but it’s your little part of the interwebs, go to town.

    I’ll agree with you on a few points (after all, I don’t want to spoil your debut): the Oilers defence is bad, yep. But the defence has to grow and the price for picking up the back-end talents to fix this team overnight are just too steep. To advance defensively we’d be short-selling on our futures, and that’s just not sane asset management. We’ve backed into this rebuild thing so the defensive prospects have come in later than the forwards and that means it has to grow and take time. Same with goaltending. But when the rebuild, or whatever you guys want to call it to save face, happens in Calgary it’ll be the same thing. Probably unplanned. The defensive core is there and coming along, Petry is the start, with guys like Marincin, Klefbom, Musil, and Peckham as potential parts of that picture. Teubert, Simpson, Gernat, and Plante are forecast as being complimentary at this point, but again, it remains to be seen. You guys let Brett Hull and Martin St. Louis go, so you know that it’s better to take your time and get a good look rather than let a gem slip by because you were impatient. All that aside, right now it’s not pretty. But Oiler fans are okay with that because at the very least we have a direction and a decent chance at improvement with our prospects on the way.

    Now, to disagree: you wanted us to trade away our chance at picking a potential 1st line centre? I’d expect a little more foresight from a blogger who covers the Flames. Hasn’t there been a perennial search for a #1 centre to feed Iginla for about 5 or 6 years now? You’ve seen what trying to trade for one of these guys is like, so why wouldn’t you take your shot at drafting him? Especially when you know you have another pick in the 1st round to use on a defenceman and that your team is probably going to be drafting in the top 10 the next year in a defence-deep draft. It was a smart, safe, and fore-sighted pick and we’re all hoping it turns out when he plays here, be it this year or next.

    I’ll leave off the contract thing because I’m already going on too long. But you know, when you try and insult the Oilers about their prospects and future I can only think one thing: I thought you guys wore red, not green

    • Vintage Flame

      Thanks.. but no, the Oilers will not be the focus of my work.

      Again, I’ll say that the Oil do have prospects.. Never denied that. However one of the key parts of my position was, and is, that I don’t think it’s the best “asset management” to draft potential ‘stud’ defensemen with early picks. It was my opinion that D-men take longer to develop into elite players and that more times than not, a team faces a struggle to re-sign top level D-men once they have reached that level of play. The allure of free agency is too enticing to young players that are more apt to hitting the home run deals than to look 2, 3 or 4 years down the road and roll the dice with a team that is spinning it’s wheels in a rebuild.

      Yes, that is EXACTLY what I’m saying. RNH is a great junior player, but he’s not the biggest guy and he hasn’t played a minute in the NHL. He hasn’t scored you one goal yet. The Oilers had the perfect opportunity to leverage fantastic and just a stupid level of hype on this kid and bring in an elite D-man that would have made your already offensively gifted forwards some room to do what they do best. They could have let these kids like Klefbom and Tuebert and such develop into something useful and productive instead of feeding them to the wolves. The numbers don’t lie. Your defense is abysmal, and if you’re relying on Cam Barker and Ryan Whitney to lead that core, then you are just giving me a ton of material to write with.

  • Vintage Flame

    i’m gonna get razzed for this, but I honestly think the Oil should’ve taken Landeskog over RNH. Landeskog is bigger, stronger and I think is more of what the Oil needed. They have enough skilled forwards. (Eberle, Hall, Paajarvi, Omark). Landeskog is the type of young forward they don’t really have right now. Don’t get me wrong I think RNH will be a good player, but I really like what I see out of Landeskog and think he will be betrer in the future.

  • SickFloBro

    I would just like to point out that Edmonton fans shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch.

    Sure, you may have a ton of great prospects in the system, and a couple of good young players, but that’s all they are at this point: prospects and young players. You can gab all you want about your high draft picks and the potential for success down the road, but in the end, that’s all it is – gab and success POTENTIAL.

    As a last point, I want to take you all back to the days of the “kid line” of Cogliano, Gagner, and Nilsson. I heard Oiler fans yak all day about how great the kid line is, and how every team should have one, and about how great they’re going to be! Cogliano – bust. Nilsson – bust. Gagner – decent player, but nowhere near where you all seemed to think he would be.

    What I’m saying is this: your prospects have to develop. Hall and Eberle are good young players, and RNH will be a great player in the league for sure, but don’t go thinking that the “City of Champions” (LOL) isn’t immune to making a Daigle-sized mistake. You’re putting your faith in the hands of children.

    You spend your time pointing the finger at the Flames’ organization because you’re afraid to face the truth: your future is no more certain than ours is.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    VF,

    Beautifully done. Out of the gate and you go straight for the hearts of Oiler fans. It’s about time that someone exposed the Oliers strategy for what it is – a fairytale. Seriously, how is that an entire fan base is sucked into this sewer of junk logic:
    1. Be a bad, uncompetitive team for several years.
    2. Draft in the top 3 every year.
    3. Become NHL champions.
    Really! Wow, you people are so smart. I can’t believe no one else has thought of this. Oh wait maybe others have . . . Let’s see, ah yes I can think of a couple. The Panthers and the Islanders have both iced terrible teams for years, and both a have drafted in the top 10 for years. I can’t wait to watch the exodus out of Edmonton, but it’s okay right you just keep drafting in the top 10. Good for you!

  • Craig

    There are a lot of young skilled players in the Oilers organization, but there’s no variation, they are all offensively gifted forwards. No two way minute munching centre, no high level physical grinders, no above average goaltending, no top level defenseman. There are a lot of holes to be filled, and hoarding offensively skilled young forwards and adding ryan smith isn’t going to solve anything.

  • Vintage Flame

    So Vintage Flame are you saying that you would not trade our Flames team and prospects straight up for the Oilers team and prospects? I know that I would even if it means not making the playoffs for a few years. I would rather lose with young talent and potential then the old core we have now in Calgary.

    • Vintage Flame

      Wow that is just such a non-factor. Team for team? probably not, cause then we would be in the situation they are in.

      ” I know that I would even if it means not making the playoffs for a few years.
      -It’s already been a few years, and no, they aren’t going to make the playoffs this year. It’s already been 5 years.. 6 after this one. There is no guarantee they will make the playoffs the year after that.

      “I would rather lose with young talent and potential then the old core we have now in Calgary.”
      – Losing is losing, it doesn’t matter how it happens. It sucks equally both ways.

  • RexLibris

    With regards to the Oilers prospects, and I think I’ve said this before on this site, most Oiler fans know that they haven’t done anything yet. They’ve shown promise, but a stable full of horses doesn’t mean anything until you see them run. And we know this. For any Oiler fans who are running their mouth saying we’ll be winning cups for years while Calgary is still trying to find a way to unload Hagman and Stajan, I apologize. Those fans are annoying even to me. They’re the same kind of fan that says that the Canucks are the best team of the last decade, or even that Toronto is Canada’s team and unites the country.

    That being said, leveraging RNH at the draft for a defenceman sounds good, but frankly wasn’t going to materialize into what we really needed. Tambellini did say he was open to trading the pick, just as he did last year, but offers for first overall’s, in my opinion, haven’t been as good since Cliff Fletcher and Mike Milbury left the league.

    As for comments about the fanbase here being warped by buying into the rebuild all I can say is, we tried it the other way for years and it didn’t work, so what’s wrong with trying it this way now? Yes, some teams screw it up (Atlanta, Columbus, NYI) and some don’t (Pit – with the exception of the Crosby lottery, Chicago, Detroit – when they drafted Yzerman) so instead of telling us that we’re being stupid and naive, why don’t we refrain come commenting until the team takes shape and begins to bring up these prospects over the next two years. If, in five years, we’re throwing players overboard in trades like cheap ballast in an effort to compliment a few stars and get us over the top, like Columbus, or Toronto during the 00’s, or even the Flames, then we can talk. But for right now, trying to tell an Oiler fan that his team is headed for disaster because we’ve supposedly pinned our hopes on Cam Barker is just wrong. We haven’t. Cam Barker is to us what Brendan Morrison was to the Flames, a limited-effect gamble on a position of need. The expectation for Barker is he’ll go from playing with Whitney (a pairing meant to give him confidence and the chance to get his feet under him again) to playing with Sutton or whomever on the 5-6 pairing.

    As for the cap situation and VF’s Oil spill of talent, well, better to have and not need. And having a spare top six winger or two that you can move for help in other areas is a good thing. Apparently even having a surplus of borderline 3rd and 4th line players can get you a top-pairing defenceman and a can’t miss defensive prospect these days. What is Keith Aulie’s ceiling, anyway?

    • Vintage Flame

      “As for comments about the fanbase here being warped by buying into the rebuild all I can say is, we tried it the other way for years and it didn’t work, so what’s wrong with trying it this way now?”

      Absolutely nothing. There is nothing wrong with buying into a rebuild. You have to really, if you’re a true fan of your team. But, do you honestly expect us NOT to say anything or mock you for it?

      “That being said, leveraging RNH at the draft for a defenceman sounds good, but frankly wasn’t going to materialize into what we really needed.”

      Completely disagree. I think drafting RNH didn’t address what you need. You have a brutally TERRIBLE defense group. Not one of them is bright spot. I’m being modest when I suggest that the Oilers should have traded the 1st overall pick for 1 elite D-man. You NEED a lot more than that. You are going to have to spend some serious money to get some quality defense.

      • “I think drafting RNH didn’t address what you need.”

        Monsieur, I cannot believe that you refuse to think drafting a #1 Centre is the best option over anything else. Lets say we stuck with Gagner……then we’d just have Conroy. Youre basically telling us to follow the Calgary/Sutter model. Stack up on D, have one great player and hope for the best filling in the rest of your fwds.

        • Vintage Flame

          No man I’m not.. I’m not saying it’s a mistake to draft RNH. I’m saying it was a mistake for the Oilers, who in YOUR words, have a plethora of forward talent, to not exploit the hell out of RNH as a prospect to get what the team needs NOW… Which is a quality defenseman!

          You could have EASILY dealt the #1 pick proably to Colorado and picked up their pick and maybe Hunwick.. and still got Gabriel Landeskog. oh and you still would have gotten Klefbom to develop.

          • Then we still wouldnt have a #1 C …….You dont just fall into a #1C, you draft them. Only Joey T is a legit C that was traded.

            Arguably the best playoff defenseman, Chris Pronger, has been dealt 3 times in 5 years. He alone has been traded more than first line Centres.

            Point – Elite D are available every year, elite Centres are not

          • Vintage Flame

            Yes you’re right that D-men are available. Which is why you have to capitalize when you have the chance.
            What makes me laugh is that you call RNH elite when he hasn,t even played 1 NHL minute yet.

            This is why Flames fans think you guys are putting the cart before the horse. You think you are holding a full house because you have 3 of a kind.. But you don’t have the pair to back it up.

  • Vintage Flame

    Capped out.Not likely. Bulin will be off the books. Horcoffs contract gone. Gilberts 4 million a year gone. Hemsky will be gone and his 4-5 million per.Sourays 2,75 million gone. I’m counting what 23 million off the books by the time Hall and company start looking for thier second contract. Klefbom??? Who is he. A late first round pick who hasn’t played a game in the NHL. Whitney. With 2 feet he’ll put up 45 points this year.I would rather a stay at home d corps who can crash and bang. Oh wait that is what we are building. Whitney 6-3. Peckham 6-2. Petry 6-4.Sutton 6-6. And the band played on.Bulin is our biggest issue. I agree we need an upgrade in net. But don’t 16 other NHL teams? BTW when is Kipper going to retire. Who do you have as his backup???

    • Vintage Flame

      WHAT??? Hold on I’ll be RIGHT back.. I have to actually read this again..

      Okay.. Horcoff is signed at 5.5 Mil through 2014-15 iwith a NMC until 2013, where it becomes a modified NTC. So how exactly is he ‘gone’. Even if he could be dealt, he is about as marketable as Matt Stajan.. So good luck.

      Gilbert is signed at 4M per until 2014.. Where is he going. Who will take his $4M when he’s not even worth a double double and a box of Timbits? Good luck with that too.

      “Oh wait that is what we are building. Whitney 6-3. Peckham 6-2. Petry 6-4.Sutton 6-6. “
      … And then? You think having tall D-men is the answer? Dude… Sutton will be 37 in March. What you think he’s Nik Lidstrom? As for Peckham, Petry and Whitney.. Well the numbers don’t seem to share your sentiment. None of those guys are 1-2 D-men.. soooo right back where we started and you need to get out the wallet.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        No worries VF,

        If you saw EcB comments regarding last weeks article about the Oilers negotiations for a new arena, you’ll have noticed he uses fictional numbers to make his points.

        • Please Chinook, tell me where I used fictional evidence? In short I said to make your own decision but know all the facts prior to making that decision. I offered to send the document but have yet to receive a msg. Anytime you wanna see where I was getting my information, just ask. I also told you what to search for to obtain what I was talking about. I just dont think saying I used “fictional” evindence is fair. If you dont agree, thats fine, just say it but dont throw crap out like that please

  • Vintage Flame

    Awesome article vintage. I respect how you are pointing you the flaws of the oilers fan from a legit perspective. Very professional in its approach and tonnes of fun to read

  • RexLibris

    Okay, so as I see it this basically comes down to your claiming that we need to act in the present while Oiler fans are saying that we’re aiming for the future. I understand your point. Cloutier, the Oilers blogger at HB, has been saying the same thing. He’s argued that the Oilers should have RFA sheeted Weber or traded some assets to bring in a top 2 defenceman right now. Most Oiler fans have disagreed, especially with his Weber offer sheet idea, because we know that a top d man right now isn’t going to be enough to make us a contender overnight. Whereas with patience, the prospects that we have are trending well and look to be able to become the pieces that we need, without having to trade for them. So your overpayment argument, while logical, I think will prove inaccurate. The Flames haven’t been able to develop any top level talent for a very long time, outside Iginla. So naturally, you would assume that this will be the case with us as well. But the problem with that argument is: where do you think Weber, Keith, Seabrook, Suter, Yandle, Bieksa and so on came from? They were drafted, sometimes late, and developed, and now each of them plays on the team that developed them. There are also a huge number of top-end defenders who were acquired by their current team, instead of being drafted, and sometimes acquired quite reasonably. I found the same argument coming from Leafs fans a few years back when they tried to kick-start their rebuild by signing college free agents and trading for established, younger players. It’s like they thought these players came out of a vacuum. They said why waste time and take chances on picks, and that theory has been pretty soundly defeated. The idea is to get as much talent in your development process as you can and see what comes out at the other end.

    Flames fans have been in the “now”, trading away their future in the hope of capitalizing on the present for how many years now? So I guess it makes sense that looking at the Oilers from a Calgary perspective would lead you to that conclusion. But that’s why the moves a team makes can seem counterintuitive to fans in other cities, where other priorities are at the forefront of fan consciousness.

    I don’t begrudge any Flames fan taking a shot at their hated rivals (that’s still the Oilers, isn’t it?) because we’re at the bottom right now or trying to poke holes in our rebuild plans. But by the same token you know that Oiler fans will laugh when you talk about having organizational depth or suggest you can attain your franchise messiah by trading weak assets or through free agency. I just have to wonder, though, will Flames fans change their tune and start backpeddling when the rebuild starts in their city?

    • Vintage Flame

      Of course most Oiler fans are going to disagree. I expected you to! Despite what you are thinking, I didn’t write this from the perspective of slamming the Oilers just because they are the Oilers. I saw what I thought should be a legitimate concern for a team rebuilding. The fact that it happened to be the Oilers was a bonus.

      If you notice, there is no reference in the article to the Flames, their prospects or development issues. Why? Because I’m not saying that the Flames have all the answers or even don’t possibly face similar issues in the near or distant future. I was talking about Edmonton and Edmonton alone. Geez you guys up North have such an obsession with Calgary.. Lol

      ” …you talk about having organizational depth or suggest you can attain your franchise messiah by trading weak assets or through free agency”

      You call trading the 1st pick over all in a shallow draft year trading a weak asset? Wow.. okay.. I’m not sure how to respond to that.

      “I just have to wonder, though, will Flames fans change their tune and start backpeddling when the rebuild starts in their city?”

      What do you mean change their tune? If you guys from Oilers Nation would come over here with a reason other than trolling, and actually read through the comments, you might find that it ain’t all peaches n’ cream in the attitude towards the Flames overall. There is not a glowing sense of immediate optimism among the writers here, and I’ll include myself as a newly hired contributor, but frequently involved commenter.

      The truth of the matter no one really has any idea as to what this team could like after next season. We just might find our team in the same situation Edmonton is in. God knows the two Cities and teams are linked with a lot more than a rivalry. But until then, we don’t know. I just think your team isn’t setting a good example.. I never asked you to agree with me. But I respect you challenging my position.

      • RexLibris

        Whoa man, I not trolling, and I have made a point of saying I won’t do that. In fact in the past I have said that Flames fans shouldn’t be as hard on themselves as they seem to be sometimes and that there are opportunities in this.

        You’re right about the Flames comments. I have been reading regularly and as Kent has said, there is a lot of doom and gloom. I don’t think you’re situation is as bad as all that, but yeah, it isn’t good.

        My comment about weak assets was in reference to suggestions about what Hagman and Stajan or even Bouwmeester could get in trade, not about moving the #1 pick.

        Now, perhaps I do owe a small apology (don’t rub it in please, this is hard enough) as I have said here that I appreciate hearing outside opinions on the state of the franchise and their direction, so for that: thank you.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    @ all the Oiler fans on FlamesNation

    I presume if VF wanted to really upset all you he would have posted this article on OilersNation.com. I share his view, I don’t believe in the rebuild the way the Oilers are approaching it. I believe it is a risky approach, and look no further back than the Blackhawks for proof. Yes, the won the cup but if they didn’t, they still would have been forced to break up big parts of that team. In other words, the window of opportunity is very small.

    I expect VF, like myself is tired of hearing fellow Flames fans looking to rebuild in the same fashion as the Oilers. What I’m getting at is that this article is intended for Flames fans, not you.

    • Vintage Flame

      “I expect VF, like myself is tired of hearing fellow Flames fans looking to rebuild in the same fashion as the Oilers. What I’m getting at is that this article is intended for Flames fans, not you.”

      I wish I was that noble CA..

      It was meant to hopefully make an impact as my first article as a contributor.. and well to piss off Oilers fans.. *sneaky grin*

    • RexLibris

      I have never heard a Flames fan say they should rebuild in the same fashion that we are. I’m not doubting you, in fact I totally understand why that would be annoying. And yeah, I’m sorry if us Oiler fans are crashing the FN/VF party, and like I said, I’m not here to troll. I just find that ON and FN are the two best nation sites for articles and information about the team. CA is too self-congratulatory, JN is still getting started, and LN doesn’t have as strong contributors. I get that you don’t want Oil fans constantly commenting on all things Flames, but if VF posts an article about the Oil do you really think some of us aren’t going to chime in?

      The Blackhawks rebuild did work for that year, and had Bowman not screwed up the RFA sheets they could still be together and in a slightly better spot. But it’s only a year removed from their cup win, so maybe you want to wait another 3 or 4 before closing the window on that group.

      Any rebuild is risky, but that’s the nature of sports. There are no guarantees. The path the Oilers have taken has a half-decent track record of assembling a good team (no cup claims here, just a good group of talent) so we’ll go that route and see where it takes us. We might win a cup or two as a result, we might not, but it was a heck of a better plan that what we’d been doing before which was a whole lot of nothing.

      • Vintage Flame

        Believe me, you are NOT crashing my party here at FN. No worries about that.

        “I get that you don’t want Oil fans constantly commenting on all things Flames, but if VF posts an article about the Oil do you really think some of us aren’t going to chime in?”

        Lol.. To the contrary.. I was COUNTING on it! I know you aren’t trolling and I know you are in here a fair bit. I will you give you the credit when you say that FN and ON have the best contributors.. I hope to be among them.

        “Any rebuild is risky, but that’s the nature of sports. There are no guarantees. The path the Oilers have taken has a half-decent track record of assembling a good team (no cup claims here, just a good group of talent) so we’ll go that route and see where it takes us. We might win a cup or two as a result, we might not, but it was a heck of a better plan that what we’d been doing before which was a whole lot of nothing.”

        Agreed. Look I never wrote that this is going for sure happen with the Oilers. It’s just my take on the skewed direction they are going in. I may be wrong, it happens… But what kind of Flames fan would I be if I said it was not the case!? I do believe this is a legit possibility for the Oil… Hell, I’m hoping it happens!

  • 24% body fat

    LOL, an article by flames media who knows that their team for the next five years is going to get worse and hangs on to a 9-13 place in the western conference.

    Jealous.

    I have never heard of any GM complain about too much top end talent. Id rather have the problem of trying to sign to many young stars than have no prospects at all (heh calgary). Oh ya Bartschi is the next crosby right, just like kadri is in toronto. Just ask boston fans if they had an issue when they couldnt sign kessel. dont think any of them care.

    • Vintage Flame

      To quote a pretty famous movie.. “Laugh it up fuzzball”..
      How do you know the Flames are going to get worse over the next 5 years? You or I have no idea what the team will even look like after next year.

      What exactly am I jealous of? Despite your phenoms we have been kicking the crap out of you guys for the past how many years now?? we may be hanging on to a 9th place finish, but do you realize what you guys are staring at when you look up?

      You guys have stunk so badly that the BoA is a shadow of what it used to be. we have to look to the lousy Canucks as our #1 rival now.

      Bring me something better than that dude.

      • 24% body fat

        you guys have no prospects, your best players are aging and not going to get value if they are not traded soon. I know they are going to be bad because edmonton was in the same situation in 07. and the only way to get out is to accept a full rebuild. the sooner the organization realizes it the better off the club will be.

        backlund and bartschi sounds like a cup contender LOL

        oh and it comes in cycles remember when we were beating your buts on route to stanley cups, edmonton will better soon, than calgary again and than edmonton and than calgary. only difference is right now we accepted that our team is bad and flames fans have not accpeted that theirs is bad too.

  • The Oilers primary problem isn’t necessarily that they are rebuilding…it’s that the management group doing the rebuilding are the same rubes that crashed the ship into the iceberg in the first place.

    What indications are there that T-bone and company have any idea of how to build a team around the collection of kids being terrible has got them? None from my angle. As Matt Fenwick said in January:

    Here’s how I imagine the conversation between Katz and Tambellini in mid-April after season’s end, if Katz weren’t too busy trying to get even richer in the land development business.

    Katz: Well Steve, since your 2nd hiring in spring 2009, you’ve shown me that you can assemble a sh***y team accidentally, and that you can assemble a sh***y team deliberately. What do you plan to show me next? And please don’t say something like, you can assemble a sh***y team, while on rollerskates.

    Tambellini: [silence while he assesses Katz’ question]

    • DieHard

      Kind of like what your management team is doing to the Flames right now. Hurry up and get really bad, draft really well and let’s get the Battle Of Alberta party going. eh

      • SmellOfVictory

        What they WERE doing. Feaster hasn’t been in long enough to know what his overall plan seems to be, but to this point he hasn’t made any excessively stupid moves yet. He came into a team handcuffed by the choices of his predecessor, and to be honest he’s done a pretty admirable job with what he was dealt.

        On a side note, this entire comment thread is borderline ridiculous. Good job to VF on stirring the pot so successfully, hilarious job by the fans who seem to be off their meds.

  • 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…