Dany Heatley: next steps and options

Jason Gregor
July 02 2009 12:37PM

heatley-questions

The Oilers haven’t backed off from acquiring Dany Heatley, but it sounds like they will have to sweeten the pot if they are going to get him out of Ottawa. The price has just went up according to Sens GM Bryan Murray.

Whether that means the Oilers have to add in some prospects, or take another salary off the books of the Senators is unclear. The unique thing about this deal is that even though the Sens have paid Heatley $4 million, if they trade him before the season starts that money won’t count against their cap.

The team that gets Heatley will only have to pay him $4 million in salary this year, but he is a $7.5 million cap hit on their books.

"Edmonton is the only option that has been presented to us, and you can't tell that there aren't more," J.P. Barry told Sportsnet.ca.

Well I’m not sure how many other options they truly have. The Rangers aren’t interested now that they have Gaborik, and supposedly Glen Sather had targeted Gaborik over Heatley anyways.

The Canucks can’t take him now that the Sedins’ have re-signed for a combined cap hit of $12.2 million per year, and the Wild landed Havlat.

So who are the other options?

I’m betting you think it’s the Kings. They have lots of cap space, are stacked with young players Ottawa would like and are a sexy location for Heatley.

But watch this.

Does that sound like the Kings are interested?

I don’t think so. Sorry Dany you won’t be living the life in LA.

I’ve been told that Heatley has seen this, and it is clear that the Kings are an unlikely destination.

So who else is there?

The San Jose Sharks possibly. But they have 15 players signed for $51 million already. Patrick Marleau has one year left on his deal, the Sens aren’t in love with Cheechoo, and so will the Sharks give up Clowe, Setoguchi and a D-man for Heatley? That would be pretty steep.

The Coyotes and Predators won’t be in the mix, so that doesn’t leave him many options.

Heatley needs to decide today, and so do the Oilers. I think it is time the Oilers ask for a decision from his camp. Is he in, or out?

And then the Oilers need to live with the decision, move on and look at other options to try and improve their team.

They offered a great deal to Ottawa, and the Sens wanted it — for a moment even Heatley seemed like he was willing to come, but he got cold feet and now he is dragging them on the beach in Kelowna.

Enough is enough. Make a decision a move on.

The decision needs to come today, and I think the Oilers need to make it, because it is evident that Heatley can’t make it himself.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#151 Sandra
July 02 2009, 07:07PM
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Chester Copperpot wrote:

@ Sandra: What did he say? Is he bitter because he wasn’t re-signed after 2006?

something to the extent "Do you blame him (Heatly), I played there.

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#152 Helmerfied
July 02 2009, 07:07PM
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Lee Fogolin wrote:

Ok forget Heatley already, it’s not even a UFA situation. Pretty much all the good UFA’s are gone! This is about a hockey trade with a NMC and signing bonus…pretty messy stuff and not worth the time or energy. How about trading our 2 biggest assets to get some young talent and build up from there. Trade Souray and Visnosky for STRAIGHT and FAIR hockey deals…here goes. Trade #1: Edm - Souray (D), M-A Pouliott (C/RW) SJ - Michalek (LW), Murray (D) and 2nd round pick Trade #2: Edm - Visnosky (D), O’Sullivan (C/RW) Bos - Krecji (C), Stuart (D) and 2nd & 3rd round pick Should still have a solid core of young d-men with Grebs, Gilbert and Smid, vets in Staois and Strudwick. Add potential first line scoring in Michalek, Krecji…solidfy the top six d-men with Murray, Stuart…future assets in 2nd & 3rd round picks. btw Tambo can still add UFA d-man in Morris, Beauchemin etc and stay below the salary cap. Make it a REAL hockey deal…any thoughts?

You mention the NMC earlier...I believe both Shelly and Vish have No Trade Clauses (although I believe Shelly's was only for the first couple years so not sure if that's expired yet or not). Assuming both teams agree to deals like that, both players would have to agree as well. Similar to the situation we're in right now. Would that be worth the time or energy either?

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#153 Heazues
July 02 2009, 07:25PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

And you’re an idiot that wants this team to finish between 10th and 7th every year? That seems to be working out really well for this club. Aim for mediocrity I guess.

not trying to point the finger directly at you, but holy sh@t people, we may be passionate about our team but WOW i am amazed at how fast people turn on eachother when some jackass with a mental issue decides he is too good for a place like edmonton.

ya, i kinda did a "palm-face" too when i realized that winning that game cost us the 1st overall pick. but we shouldnt be feeding on ourselves like a pack of hungry wolves just because we have differing views on how to build a team.

instead i propose we turn like a pack of wolves on that same jackass with the issues :P

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#154 Chester Copperpot
July 02 2009, 07:27PM
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@ Helmerfied:

Visnosky's NMC is one he signed in LA before he got traded to Edmonton so he might move it. (I hear players don't like Edmonton, who knew?)

Rumour has it that Souray would move his NMC to get closer to his family in LA.

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#155 ronaldo
July 02 2009, 07:28PM
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@ Sandra

I did not see otr but the way you summed up harvey souned tongue in cheek, as in "I don't blame him for not going if they're willing to take players like me". Any chance it was meant like that? From what I remember, harvey was a lighten up the dressing room kind of guy.

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#156 Spot The Loon
July 02 2009, 07:53PM
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Here is the link to OTR

http://www.tsn.ca/podcasts/podcast_centre.aspx?xmlURL=http://images.tsn.ca/podcasts/otrpodcast.xml&mp3URL=http://podcast.tsn.ca/otr/really_070209.mp3

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#157 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 07:53PM
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Time to stop. There needs to be a definite position taken by the club within the next 12 hours stating what they are going to do about this. The Oilers are sitting here looking worse and worse and there are 3 Oilers who are sitting in limbo who never should have been put in this position. Time to recognize that the club's integrity is being comprimised even further with every passing minute of this staring contest. Stop trying to woo a player who obviously wants no part of this city and start mending the good name of the Oilers.

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#158 ronaldo
July 02 2009, 07:56PM
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@ Archaeologuy

Agreed.

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#159 Chris
July 02 2009, 07:56PM
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Heatley is selfish. Heatley has a drinking problem. Heatley is a coaches nightmare...

But, I hear he is good in the room... And apparently he can score goals.

Sure it's time to pursue other options... but don't slam the door shut. Make taking another run at Heatley the new plan B. It would be awfully silly to pass on an elite talent just because living in Edmonton isn't his first choice... (I'm sure other players in that room would rather live in L.A... they just haven't been put on the spot)

Let's not let misguided civic pride cloud our judgment.

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#160 The Towel Boy
July 02 2009, 08:11PM
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Chris wrote:

(I’m sure other players in that room would rather live in L.A… they just haven’t been put on the spot)

...Yeah...just ask Visnovsky how he felt after getting shipped out of LA. If I recall his initial interview had the feeling of "less than happy".

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#161 Oilers icon
July 02 2009, 08:15PM
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I just hope tambo doesn't throw stupid money at any of the rest of the free agents just like lowe would do

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#162 BigE57
July 02 2009, 08:18PM
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@ The Towel Boy:

Didn't Visnovsky waive his NMC to come here?

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#163 Chris
July 02 2009, 08:18PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Stop trying to woo a player who obviously wants no part of this city and start mending the good name of the Oilers.

Best way to do that is to start winning. Detroit is a terrible city... but they win. I'm old enough to remember the Detroit squad being called the "Dead Wings"... (Sound familiar Deadmonton?) The turnaround began in 1983 with the aquisition of Yzerman... but wasn't completed through the draft alone. Danny Gare, for example, was an all-star winger who had posted a 56 goal season with Buffalo... He was Yzerman's first captain... and a key part of the franchise turnaround: but believe me, luring him to play in Detroit, after 20 years of mediocrity wasn't easy. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that even Detroit didn't turn things around through the draft alone. If a guy like Heatley, comes to Edmonton for all the wrong reasons, but helps get the team into the post season, giving our young guys much needed playoff experience; how could that be a bad thing? (Even if he is a selfish jerk) Tencer had a funny Muckler quote in his blog, "Having a bunch of great guys in the room is nice, but maybe we need a couple of asses that can play hockey."

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#164 RossCreek
July 02 2009, 08:26PM
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BigE57 wrote:

@ The Towel Boy: Didn’t Visnovsky waive his NMC to come here?

No, it didn't kick in til July 1st... he got traded on June 29th.

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#165 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 08:29PM
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@ Chris: I hear you on winning being the best medicine for what ails an NHL franchise, but there are other forwards in the NHL that might be available. If they cant fix the top line situation then fix the 3rd line, fix the lack of physicality on the back end. Add size to the 2nd line. There are other ways to turn this team into a winner that dont include adding a prima donna to the mix.

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#166 Chris
July 02 2009, 08:45PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

I already said Heatley is no longer my first choice based on his mental stability... but it's a little naive and immature to expect every player that comes here to love this city. If the only reason you no longer want Heatley is because he publicly snubbed the city, give your head a shake. At the start of every franchise turnaround, there are malcontents in the locker room, who are aggravated that the heart of their career will be wasted during a rebuild. I say, find the talent... who cares if they aren't happy? Should we deal O'Sullivan? (He'd probably rather be in Manhatten) Should we shop Souray who is missing his children? Many of these guys (not Souray) landed here against their will. If Heatley doesn't like it, but comes because he simply has no other options... good for us. It's not like he'd be the ONLY guy in that room who feels the same. Who knows... if the Oilers start winning, maybe Tambellini will have less trouble finding guys who legitimatly want to come.

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#167 Chris
July 02 2009, 08:48PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

If they cant fix the top line situation then fix the 3rd line, fix the lack of physicality on the back end

I DO wish Tambo would sign a two way center. By his actions, it seems this is not a priority. I don't know why.

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#168 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 08:57PM
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Chris wrote:

but it’s a little naive and immature to expect every player that comes here to love this city

uh...but he HASNT COME HERE. In fact, he's refusing to come here. So stop spinning the tires and figure out a new way out of the rut.

Chris wrote:

If the only reason you no longer want Heatley is because he publicly snubbed the city, give your head a shake

So i need another reason OTHER than the fact that he doesnt want to play here and is the one in control of the deal to no longer want him to come here? Of course i want a 50 goal scorer, just not one that has demanded to be traded from every club he's ever played on and is holding the club hostage when it seems clear to everyone that the Oilers arent getting the guy. I dont want a guy who couldnt locate the word "character" in a dictionary, or 7.5 million dollars worth of dictionaries. Sorry. I'll pass on wanting a guy who doesnt want to be here and has a history of demanding out of places he doesnt want to be.

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#169 douggy
July 02 2009, 09:00PM
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everyone should stop acting like gm's and just sit and wait. there is nothing we can do, so leave it up to the guy in charge. TAMBELLINI IS GM! everyone has the right to thier own opinions, but as it stands some fans here are plain dissrespectful and makes me ashamed of being an edmontonian. everyone who openly dissed gregor the other day, can kiss my ass. as an oiler fan, i dont think you deserve the right to call yourselves fans! keep up the good work gregor, and everyone who makes oilers nation possible. you guys rule. cant wait for training camp to start!

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#170 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 09:05PM
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@ douggy: sure, and MacT was the coach, so why not everyone just shut up and let him coach. Barry Fraser was the Scout, so why not shut up and let him scout. Gotcha.

If youre ashamed of being an edmontonian because some of us have opinions then perhaps you failed to realize that Edmonton is NOT in Stalin Era Ukraine.

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#171 RossCreek
July 02 2009, 09:07PM
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I'm calling Mike Comrie to the Flames!

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#172 RACHEL
July 02 2009, 09:15PM
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Unlike some citiess, It seems like Edmonton can't get enough of other teams sloppy seconds. Why go after a player who clearly doest have the heart, drive or passion that our team used to pride itself on playing with. Time for the oilers to move on!

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#173 Librarian Mike
July 02 2009, 09:16PM
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RossCreek wrote:

I’m calling Mike Comrie to the Flames!

So what is that, 7 teams in 6 years for him? C'mon Mikey, get to work on that locker room!

I kid. Any word on Malhotra? Apparently he'd fit in nice here.

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#174 Harlie
July 02 2009, 09:21PM
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i still want him

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#175 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 09:23PM
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Just read the Joanne Ireland article where JP Barry claims that the Sens mis-handled the whole thing and tried to put a gun to Heatley's head.

does anyone else get the sense that the patients are running the asylum in Heatley's camp?

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#176 Chris
July 02 2009, 09:24PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

uh…but he HASNT COME HERE. In fact, he’s refusing to come here.

I know... But do you suppose that there may be other members of this team right now who wouldn't be here if they had had NMC's? If so: do you care?

I'm arguing a hypothetical point: would you still want Heatley if he waived the NMC in a week? I would... and I suspect I'm in the minority. I don't need my Oilers to love the city: (Did Gretz and Mess move back btw?)... I need them to win hockey games. Heatley is crazy... always has been. I already knew that... but as frustrating as this whole ordeal has been; if Tambellini can eventually convince him to come to Edmonton: I'd still like to see him play. If the only reason we get Heatley is because nobody else wants him...so what. Good for us. Heatley will want to improve his stock; and will kill himself trying to score thirty by the Olympic break... again I say, good for us.

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#177 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 09:30PM
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@ Chris: If he comes here then there isnt anything i can do except hope that he doesnt pout and dog it all year because he didnt really want to be here in the first place. If he scores 50 and says he loves it here with fake conviction will i gladly forget the funny business like a Pronger spouse? Maybe.

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#178 Chris
July 02 2009, 09:32PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I dont want a guy who couldnt locate the word “character” in a dictionary, or 7.5 million dollars worth of dictionaries.

Are YOU arguing about the value of intangibles to ME? You hate Horcoff (Who personifies character) and love Hemsky. (Who is almost as invisible as Heatley on the backcheck) Why do you love Hemmer but shunn Horc? Offensive prowess.

I understand your point about Heatley's character. I'm just surprised. I thought YOU of all people would be willing to overlook poor character if it came with 40-50 goals. You sure forgive Hemmer for a lot.

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#179 Mikey
July 02 2009, 09:33PM
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We look so terribly desperate chasing Heatley around. I hope Tambo has some insight into what the hell is going on?

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#180 DonDon
July 02 2009, 09:34PM
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Has any of the big chiefs in the Oilers' hockey operations taken the time to speak to their season ticket holders, sponsors, fans and the media about the direction the franchise is going on the mixed up Heatley front and that others in the hockey fraternity perceive them as being desperate? Have they explained their rationale for passing up on UFAs? There are three Oiler players stuck in limbo; do they care? Or are they paralyzed? In the meantime, talk about the tale of two cities: in Calgary everyone is ecstatic about their new coach, about acquiring Jay Bouwmeester (claimed as the greatest defenceman in the NHL), about adding great UFAs at bargain-basement prices, having a plan to manage the cap, and generally feeling confident about the coming season (Stanley Cup contenders, no less). I know life isn't fair, but the Oilers' braintrust seems to be going in another direction, out of the playoffs again. Tambellini's vision of the team was getting bigger, tougher and meaner players. Will we see the changes before September? Or not?

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#181 Chris
July 02 2009, 09:36PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Chris: If he comes here then there isnt anything i can do except hope that he doesnt pout and dog it all year because he didnt really want to be here in the first place. If he scores 50 and says he loves it here with fake conviction will i gladly forget the funny business like a Pronger spouse? Maybe.

This also ties in with my point about the players who are forced to come here via trade. Many don't have NMC's, fake liking it here, and don't pout and dog it all year long... These guys are pro's. The best way to get out on your of a situation on your own terms, is to perform. I'm guessing Heatley will be looking to improve on his last season... but there is risk in everything. It's not like I have a crystal ball.

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#182 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 09:37PM
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Chris wrote:

Are YOU arguing about the value of intangibles to ME? You hate Horcoff (Who personifies character) and love Hemsky. (Who is almost as invisible as Heatley on the backcheck)

I think you're confusing character with defensive prowess. Horc might be a good guy, but his unwillingness to be involved in the play offensively unless he's on the PP shows just as much "bad character" as Hemsky's lack of back ckecking.

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#183 RACHEL
July 02 2009, 09:38PM
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Why aren't the Oilers doing a better job screening these players in regards to an actual interest in playing with our city. My senile grandmother has a better poker face than the Oilers do this off season. I appauld Tambo for sticking to his game plan, but I think with an already fragile track record of being able to lure free agents, that you really have to be careful of who you target.

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#184 Chris
July 02 2009, 09:43PM
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DonDon wrote:

Have they explained their rationale for passing up on UFAs?

No cap room, Thanks to Lowe. The Heatley trade was somewhat salary neutral: 6mil out...7.5 mil back. The Oilers simply didn't have room to sign Havlat or Hossa, or any other big name... Besides, how do we know for sure that they didn't try?

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#185 Chris
July 02 2009, 09:46PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I think you’re confusing character with defensive prowess. Horc might be a good guy, but his unwillingness to be involved in the play offensively unless he’s on the PP shows just as much “bad character” as Hemsky’s lack of back ckecking.

Remember Horcoff had as many points "offensively" five on five as Hemsky last season.

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#186 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 09:52PM
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@ Chris: Right, Horc's 9 goals were just a hair behind Hemsky's 19.

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#187 Chris
July 02 2009, 09:59PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

I said points. 34 for Horc. 35 for Hemsky... I guess Horcoff must be the "playmaker" of the two.

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#188 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 10:00PM
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Chris wrote:

I guess Horcoff must be the “playmaker” of the two.

Someone is conveniently forgetting that all Horc ever did was throw the puck up to Hemsky and wait for the guy to streak past 4 defenders and score off the rush.

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#189 RossCreek
July 02 2009, 10:07PM
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*Tunes into OilersNation for the 3,257,009th time in 3 days*

DAMN RE-RUNS!

*turns station*

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#190 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 10:11PM
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@ RossCreek: hey, we've been good for a couple weeks now. The frustration of the situation always brings old arguments up to the surface.

back to the task at hand: finding new and amusing ways to disparage Heatley.

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#191 Chris
July 02 2009, 10:12PM
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So how about this. If the Oilers can't aquire Heatley or anyone else to play with Hemsky; maybe it's time to shift focus entirely... and consider moving Hemsky. (He can't play a puck possession style all by himself... can he?)

Could Hemsky fetch a twenty-five goal scorer with toughness who is more suited to the dump and chase style Quinn will likely have the boys playing? Why not find someone with size and speed who will mesh well with Horcoff and Penner on line one. Dump, chase and cycle the puck on all four lines. Let Gagner run the powerplay, and focus on development. Let's face it... this mad hunt for a sniper has been motivated by the desire to find someone to play with Hemmer. If we are destined to fail in this pursuit every single offseason... why not move Hemmer for a guy who actually compliments the other players we have?

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#192 GLoKz0r
July 02 2009, 10:13PM
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There are a lot of positives you could argue in favor of Horcoff. He gets way too much flak for his upside. But offensive abilities are not one of those positives.

With the amount of feeds he had last season from Hemsky that were of the jaw-dropping variety, he should have been a 30 goal scorer this season... Hands down. How many times has Hemsky threaded the puck through a dozen legs and a few sticks onto Horcoff's stick, the Goalie couldn't be further out of position if he was on the dark side of the moon, and Horcoff opts to contemplate the meaning of life for a few minutes while the play catches up with him....... then he fires wide, or puts it right in the Goalie's crest.

Now, I understand that I consider Horcoff a valuable asset. I cringe a little at the size of his contract, as he should be putting up the offensive numbers ALONG with his two-way play for 5.5 a year, but none the less, I still consider him an asset on our first line. But good lord, his offense is PITIFUL.

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#193 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 10:13PM
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@ Chris: Now you're just baiting me.

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#194 Samwise
July 02 2009, 10:15PM
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DonDon wrote:

*

Uh... why would they do that? Talk to us, I mean... This is a business. In the grande scheme of things we don't matter. When there is something to announce, they will announce it.

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#195 Chris
July 02 2009, 10:15PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Ha! Guilty as charged.

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#196 Samwise
July 02 2009, 10:17PM
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@ Samwise:

OK... that messed up... I was responding to DonDon's statement about Oiler Brass talking to us about the situation. Why should they put out a press release or talk about a situation that right now isn't finalized? If there is something to report, they'll report it.

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#197 Ogden Brother
July 02 2009, 10:19PM
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Chris wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: Stop trying to woo a player who obviously wants no part of this city and start mending the good name of the Oilers. Best way to do that is to start winning. Detroit is a terrible city… but they win. I’m old enough to remember the Detroit squad being called the “Dead Wings”… (Sound familiar Deadmonton?) The turnaround began in 1983 with the aquisition of Yzerman… but wasn’t completed through the draft alone. Danny Gare, for example, was an all-star winger who had posted a 56 goal season with Buffalo… He was Yzerman’s first captain… and a key part of the franchise turnaround: but believe me, luring him to play in Detroit, after 20 years of mediocrity wasn’t easy. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that even Detroit didn’t turn things around through the draft alone. If a guy like Heatley, comes to Edmonton for all the wrong reasons, but helps get the team into the post season, giving our young guys much needed playoff experience; how could that be a bad thing? (Even if he is a selfish jerk) Tencer had a funny Muckler quote in his blog, “Having a bunch of great guys in the room is nice, but maybe we need a couple of asses that can play hockey.”

Really, were banking on our team being one of the best 3-4 teams for multiple years so that we can then attract talent.

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#198 Harlie
July 02 2009, 10:20PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

back to the task at hand: finding new and amusing ways to disparage Heatley.

Heatley looks like he could suck a golf ball through a garden hose using his missing tooth.

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#199 Ogden Brother
July 02 2009, 10:21PM
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Oilers icon wrote:

I just hope tambo doesn’t throw stupid money at any of the rest of the free agents just like lowe would do

Ya, damn Lowe through stupid money at GM's!! ....wait.... we can't even get guys that have demanded a traded.... maybe....maybe he had to throw stupid money to even be considerd an option????

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#200 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 10:22PM
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Chris wrote:

Ha! Guilty as charged.

as if my frustration hasnt been fuelled enough over the last 48 hours now you're trying to make my head explode even more?

You are evil.

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