Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Edmonton Oilers: What We Can Expect?

You know on Saturday night I had a whole list of things I wanted to say about the remaining quarter of the Edmonton Oilers season written down, and I lugged it around with me for the last 5 days, and of course, now that I'm going to publish my thoughts I've lost it.


Still, I think I can wing it and come out with some pretty accurate predictions.

No Horcoff? No hope.
Despite the wins over the last week or so the Oilers have lost their best forward for the rest of the year, and with it, they lost the smallest remaining chance of making the playoffs. Not that this is some sort of bold claim, I can't imagine there were many people at the beginning of the year believing the Oilers would make the playoffs, but let's face it, with Horcoff going out, only disaster can follow.

This team, give it credit, has shown an impressive degree of resiliancy. I expect them to get blown out of the water every week, but so far they only have against the Flames. Outshot and outplayed badly, they actually managed to put 4-5 pucks behind Kiprusoff, only converting one. If Garon doesn't catch a rut it's a 1 goal game with a couple minutes late, and while it's not an excuse it's at least respectable.

But let's just put this season out of it's misery.

A Trade
The more often Mathieu Garon plays the more I believe it's unlikely the Oilers are willing to accept Roloson as a $3 million backup. I love the man, I really do. I appreciate what he did in 06, I love his fire, his commitment, and I believe he can still be a respectable goalie and a veteran leader for some lucky team. Goalies' have bad years, it happens (Kipper has been pretty mediocre for instance). But Garon is simply playing too well to be ignored, and Roloson is just too expensive and too old to be a backup.

Roloson is the obvious trade of course, and probably the smart one, but given the last 2 years or so a smart Oilers fan wouldn't bet on the smart trade. Knowing Lowe, he's lining up Gilbert to be traded to Philadelphia for Derian Hatcher. His reasoning will be that Hatcher is more affordable because his value is going down while Gilbert's is going up, plus Hatcher did that hit job for Lowe on Lupul and Lowe 'owes him one.'

The Kids Aren't Alright
You'd be hard pressed to find a better online (or even offline for that matter) resource for evalution of the Edmonton Oilers farm system than LT, so you're better off taking your specific preditions from him, but I'll say this; we're going to get some peeks from kids on the farm. Whether it be Robbie Schremp or Jeff Deslauriers or more Liam Reddox, we'll see someone from the farm.


MetroGnome said...

Lowe will be hard pressed to find interest for Roloson, even if he is looking to deal. The goalie market is an ugly one and trading anything besides an established, honest-to-god difference maker is really, really tough. You have Anaheim giving away Bryz this year and Ottawa trying to find someone to take Emery off their hands. Fernandez was given away for some no-name prospect in the summer. Manny Legace floated around as a UFA for months awhile back...etc...

If JFJ still had a job, I'd say there was a chance you could move Roli. But it really looks like the Oil are stuck with his contract now.

Anonymous said...

For argument's sake though, if you're Ottawa who would you rather have going into the playoffs, Roloson or Emery? Do you find a way to make it happen?

The other thing I wanted to talk about but forgot to mention was that Staios is going to be sought after, but I think the Oilers should hang on to him. I don't think his contract is devastating by any means, and he's a necessary veteran defenceman. The Oilers simply don't have any experience on the back end besides Staios, and even if he's dropping off in performance, they simply can't afford to lose him right now (unless of course the return is a solid veteran D, but that's never the trade).