Hindsight

Jason Gregor
July 31 2009 11:38AM

guesshwo

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and many of us would look a hell of a lot smarter if we were able to go back in time and change some of our more dubious decisions. Remember that high school picture that you hoped would be quickly forgotten? Remember how you used to dress in those days? Did you think your favorite striped blue shirt would be gazed upon by millions of people on the internet years later when you became a massive celebrity? Looking back, probably not. 

Yes, hindsight is often 20/20, particularly when it comes to hairstyles, tattoos and free agent signings.

If we could go back in time, many of us would do things a little differently. Considering what NHL players are signing for these days, you wonder if some teams also wish that they could go back in time and wait until August 1st to sign guys, rather that having made all their moves on July 1st. It’s way easier to say today how money should have been spent than it was a mere 30 days ago. But then again, who am I to talk? I once said that the Oilers won the Pouliot/Jacques for Parise trade right after it happened. Could I have been more right?

When you look at how frugal teams have become in the past few weeks, you can’t help but wonder why so many felt the need to overspend a few weeks ago.

Unrestricted free agents generally get overpaid

It’s a fact. And it isn’t just the Oilers who need to overpay to get a player to come here. Controversial columnist, Larry Brooks wrote on July 26th that the Oilers were being desperate in their need to overpay star players to join the team.

Here’s a snippet of what he wrote:

Don't the Oilers get it? Their city is the last place in North America (other than presumably Ottawa and perhaps Atlanta) that Heatley wants to live, and their team is the last one in the NHL (insert a disclaimer or two) for which he wants to play. Enough already with the bribery and the convincing. The team and the city look more than desperate. They are beginning to appear pathetic with their continued pursuit of the player who for good reason has become hockey's most disdained individual. We know. The Oilers have to overpay in order to entice players of Heatley's on-ice pedigree to come to their city, and that's the reason why Nik Khabibulin was able to get an over-35 contract worth $15 million over four years on July 1.

What I find laughable here is Brooks' suggestion the Oilers have to overpay, because of the City. C'mon Larry - wake the f**k up. In the City that never sleeps all the Rangers seem to do is over pay guys to report to the team.

Scott Gomez gets $7.3 million a year for five years. Chris Drury got $7 million, Wade Redden is a $6.5 million cap hit on the books and injury-prone Marian Gaborik takes home a cool $7.5 million. Larry, do you really think these aren’t overpayments too?

The fact is teams overpay for UFAs all the time, especially in the first few days of July, and normally throughout the summer. But not this year. This year it would seem the well has dried up.

Looking back now...

I wonder if the Habs are re-thinking offering Brian Gionta $5 million a year, when it looks like they could get Alex Tanguay for less than half of that now? Mike Comrie made $4 million last year, and while he struggled with only 10 goals, the three previous seasons he tallied 21, 20 and 30. He turns 29 in September and he’ll probably sign for $1.5 million at the most.

Proven checkers like Mike Peca, Manny Malhotra and Blair Betts are still on the market, and if they get a deal it could be close to $750,000 or less. I spoke with Betts yesterday at a golf tourney and the phone hasn’t been ringing at all lately. He is a proven veteran, who kills penalties and is good in the room, yet no interest. I know the Oilers have too many contracts but signing Betts to a one-year deal for $650,000 wouldn’t hurt. Hell, some veterans might accept two-way deals at this point, just to get to camp. I bet Dominic Moore is regretting not signing the Leafs offer of close to $2 million back in June, because when he signs it will be for half of that.

I think many teams blew their wad in early July, and while they might have interest in a player, they simply have no money left to spend today. One positive should be that fans will see a lot of desperate players playing just to maintain, or get a new contract next year. That should make the dog days of the season a bit more competitive - or at least you would think it would.

Did the Oilers over pay for Khabibulin? You bet they did. But it is hilarious to suggest that it is only cities like Edmonton desperate to overpay players into bring them into the organization. New York City - the "supposed" best city in North America overpays players more often than most.

And they win all the time don't they?

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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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#51 Tull
July 31 2009, 02:40PM
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@ Shifty

I agree, why call a press conference to announce that you're not going to do anything.

They could get Prendergast on the radio to confirm that.

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#52 HackTheBone
July 31 2009, 02:40PM
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Tencer just posted on his Twitter:

Update: Oilers GM Steve Tambellini Conference Call at 3:30pm - will be live on CHED. Expect him to confirm Heatley is no longer an option.

Finally an end to the madness

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#53 Jason Gregor
July 31 2009, 02:44PM
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Shifty203 wrote:

@ Wanye Gretz: Its Ryan Seacrest.

Bang on...wow you must Seacrest....and boys I never had coke bottle glasses...never had goggles until grade 12. I was at a bush party in summer sitting by the fire and some brainiac threw a firecracker in fire...sparks went straight into my eye...weak...

Hemmertime wrote:

Jason Gregor wrote: Did the Oilers over pay for Khabibulin? You bet they did How much of an overpayment? 1 mil? 0.75? I think term could be considered the only overpayment. He was the best UFA goalie and we got him under 4 mil, ill take it

The fourth year is the overpayment, but all teams have to do it, that's why I didn't rip it as a horrible deal.

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#54 HackTheBone
July 31 2009, 02:48PM
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"Tambellini will clarify the details and timelines of the Heatley saga to give some insight into what happened behind the scenes."

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#55 The Menace
July 31 2009, 02:50PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

AMBER MCCORMICK IS A SAINT! I will fight you to the death if you don’t take that back.

Woah - I meant no ill will; I like Amber! Maybe I should have added a ;)

That picture could be of a girl though, don't you think?

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#56 jeanshorts
July 31 2009, 02:53PM
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@ The Menace:

It's fine. I just really wanted to scream at someone and swing a shovel around. And if that gesture of chivalry just happened to land me a date with Amber McCormick I would not be complaining.

And Ryan Seacrest does have very feminine features, just like Wanye.

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#57 Jason Gregor
July 31 2009, 02:59PM
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OIlers presser at 3:30...tune in on TEAM 1260 to listen to it live...

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#58 Just a Fan
July 31 2009, 03:07PM
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Maybe Jason Gregor or Robin Brownlee, through their contacts with the Oilers, channel a complaint about the Flames cap circumvention on the Kippersoff Contract (Which would result 5M in fine and loss of draft picks)

This was the exact quote from a finnish newspaper, from Kipper's agent:

This is a recent quote from Kiprusoff's agent in a finnish newspaper

"From what I've heard from Miikka, he sees the contract as a four to five year deal. Calgary simply wanted to divide the expenses over longer period of time" "I Think this is Miikkas last contract. I think he has made enough money to keep his bed warm and his beers cold."

It shown to the NHL, and the finnish newspaper is found (or there might be a link via HF search feature), the Flames could be in trouble.

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#59 Librarian Mike
July 31 2009, 03:11PM
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I really hope this press conference doesn't consist of Tambellini tearfully singing 'Unchained Melody'.

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#60 OvenChicken8
July 31 2009, 03:25PM
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My speakers are broken at work, can someone keep me updated. PLEASE :)

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#61 ChiliChunk
July 31 2009, 03:31PM
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Quinn is going to announce that he will be moving Hemsky from center to wing :)

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#62 Jason Gregor
July 31 2009, 03:34PM
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OIlers are officially out of Heatley race...

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#63 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 03:35PM
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*sob* Heatley done

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#64 oilguyry
July 31 2009, 03:36PM
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Its finally over

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#65 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 03:36PM
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someone has their mic on that shouldnt

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#66 OvenChicken8
July 31 2009, 03:37PM
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@ Jason Gregor: Thanks, and it's about damn time.

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#67 dyckster
July 31 2009, 03:37PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Ilers are officially out of Heatley race…

I wonder who made the final call, us or Heatley?

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#68 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 03:39PM
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ya, I forgot its just phone conference. Someone needs to know how to mute themselves lol

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#69 Jason Gregor
July 31 2009, 03:39PM
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Tambellini said...

"He said they hadn't talk much in the past few weeks...He said that the Oilers officially told the Senators they were out this past weekend."

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#70 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 03:40PM
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Stauffer phrased that into a softball question

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#71 jeff
July 31 2009, 03:41PM
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Is this the type of press conferences we should expect throughout the year?

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#72 dyckster
July 31 2009, 03:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He said that the Oilers officially told the Senators they were out this past weekend.”

I guess that's better than him giving us the PFO. We gave it to him! (I don't think he cares though)

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#73 Jason Gregor
July 31 2009, 03:43PM
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dyckster wrote:

Jason Gregor wrote: Ilers are officially out of Heatley race… I wonder who made the final call, us or Heatley?

Great question...I've heard it was Heatley camp...but I doubt we will ever know the truth. I do believe that the Oilers told the Senators they were out this weekend, but Heatley's camp stated he wouldn't come weeks ago.

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#74 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 03:44PM
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Dany so immature, you can tell in Tambellini's voice

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#75 daveeed
July 31 2009, 03:44PM
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Sounds like Terry Jones is snacking on the phone.

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#76 OvenChicken8
July 31 2009, 03:45PM
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In other news:

Donair shop owners rejoice...

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#77 Curious
July 31 2009, 03:45PM
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For some sick reason I was still kinda hoping....

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#78 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 03:45PM
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Tambo just basically said that the team we have now is essentially the team we will ice to start the season. That's optimism.

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#79 dyckster
July 31 2009, 03:46PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I do believe that the Oilers told the Senators they were out this weekend, but Heatley’s camp stated he wouldn’t come weeks ago.

Doh! He/they did give us a PFO! I wonder why The Oil waited so long to spread the news?

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#80 Curious
July 31 2009, 03:47PM
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If the Esks continue to play like they did last night, maybe we can give the Oilers some slack until late November.

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#81 dyckster
July 31 2009, 03:48PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Tambo just basically said that the team we have now is essentially the team we will ice to start the season.

So no Bertuzzi then? :) I know, I know, consider the subject officially dropped.

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#82 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 03:51PM
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Tambo:

"It's a good team. We believe it was a playoff team last year."

Hmmmmmm . . . Really, Tambo?

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#83 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 03:54PM
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I need to get drunk now. Depressing

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#84 Curious
July 31 2009, 03:54PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

Depends in what league... I am sure they would have beat the AAA Bantam team I coach in a seven game series.

He really didnt lie...lol

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#85 The Menace
July 31 2009, 03:56PM
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ChiliChunk wrote:

Quinn is going to announce that he will be moving Hemsky from center to wing

HAHAHAHA. Very nice!

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#86 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 03:57PM
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@ Curious:

Don't kid yourself, Curious. I have every confidence that the Oilers would sweep that series.

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#87 Cam
July 31 2009, 03:58PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

mmmmmm . . . Really, Tambo?

Get rid of the three goalie monster and MacT and see how O'Sullivan plays once he gets used to his teammates.

I don't know that I disagree with him, the Oil weren't that far out of a spot.

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#88 Duke
July 31 2009, 03:59PM
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So my question is this. This proclomation that we the team we have is the team we have indicates to me either Tambo can't make any sort of deals, or, they think Mactavish severley underachieved.

But which?

And, you can't threaten the underachieving players with being shipped out if they don't perform, because that's not the case.Where are you gonna ship em? Nobody wants them.

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#89 jeff
July 31 2009, 04:01PM
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Duke wrote:

So my question is this. This proclomation that we the team we have is the team we have indicates to me either Tambo can’t make any sort of deals, or, they think Mactavish severley underachieved. But which? And, you can’t threaten the underachieving players with being shipped out if they don’t perform, because that’s not the case.Where are you gonna ship em? Nobody wants them.

Didn't Tambo kinda say the team underachieved last year and that was one of the reasons they moved on from MacT?

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#90 The Menace
July 31 2009, 04:03PM
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Duke wrote:

Where are you gonna ship em? Nobody wants them.

That's not true. Ottawa wanted our players, Heatley just didn't want to come here. Hope he likes staying in Ottawa.

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#91 Bob Cob
July 31 2009, 04:03PM
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They where a playoff team last before that horrible streak at the end of the season. In fact before that streak they could of gotten as high sixth. The one thing lacking from this team is consistancy in its effort from game to game. That said I cant imagine there still won't be a trade or two before the season starts.

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#92 Harlie
July 31 2009, 04:05PM
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F*CK YOU DANY HEATLEY! I HATELEY YOU NOW YOU FUTTIN CHUMP!! NOW GO SUCK A GOLF BALL THROUGH A GARDEN HOSE THROUGH THAT GAP IN YOUR TEETH. YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT! SUCK IT YOU SUCKER OF SUCKS!

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#93 Curious
July 31 2009, 04:06PM
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I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. I dont think they are good enough now, but things can change from now until it is time to play. I am glad they finally announced that they are out of this Heatley business. About three weeks to late but it was time to pull the pin.

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#94 Curious
July 31 2009, 04:07PM
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@ Harlie: Tell us how you really feel! lol

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#95 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 04:09PM
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Curious wrote:

About three weeks to late but it was time to pull the pin.

Ya, but its July, not a distraction to your team. Kind of sucks for Smid, Penner, Cogs but otherwise there was no real harm in keeping offer on the table.

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#96 Duke
July 31 2009, 04:09PM
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The Menace wrote:

Duke wrote: Where are you gonna ship em? Nobody wants them. That’s not true. Ottawa wanted our players, Heatley just didn’t want to come here. Hope he likes staying in Ottawa.

Bryan Murray never called inquiring about anyone, least of all Dustin Penner. He was forced into the situation by Heatley, but on any other day he's not interested.

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#97 Hemmertime
July 31 2009, 04:10PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

I really hope this press conference doesn’t consist of Tambellini tearfully singing ‘Unchained Melody’.

Cant believe I missed this comment, best one of the week!

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#98 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2009, 04:10PM
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I can hear the vein in Harlie's head throbbing from here.

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#99 wiggs22
July 31 2009, 04:11PM
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So....heatly said. no but the sens want our players???? so what else would they give up for them? what if we add a draft pic and get spezza?

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#100 Curious
July 31 2009, 04:12PM
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@ Hemmertime:

You are right, they just have to make sure those guys are ok. Hopefully it lights a fire under them and they have something to prove this year on the ice. That would be great

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