Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Dennis: "Maybe - and most likely - I'm seeing more from this rumor than what there really is considering today's a terrible news day with 71 down for the year.Still, Katz is probably a guy who believes you can solve most anything with money and if Lowe's cell phone indicates he's in Europe and we know for a fact we've had interest in 68 in the past, would anyone bet against Katz throwing around some dollars to convince Jagr's KHL team to loan us Jagr and thus we find our way around the waiver wire? Or maybe there's another way we can get him over here.I'm not really swayed by a "bogus" refrain; there's been too much past interest from the Oilers and Staples source has been reputable enough that something's going on here somewhere."

Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini told 630 CHED's Dan Tencer that he wasn't willing to get into details on the specific rumour. "Are we always trying to improve our team? Yes. Am I gonna comment on things that are speculative? No, I'm not gonna do that. There's going to be an issue a day I think on things like this."

There's something going on. I think Staples has something here.


  1. What's hilarious is that "bogus" came from an anonymous while both Tambo and Lowe seem to be squirming a bit on whether or not this is true.

    NOW - pretend for a minute that it's true and they bring him in by what seems to be the consensus route: sign him to a deal that includes a second year (probably you backload it to scare people off because year 2 costs real money; maybe you go 4/8 or something and he costs you about $1.5MM in actual dollars this year and $8MM next year, with a $6MM cap hit) and then see if you can't slide him through waivers because nobody wants the extra commitment.

    Does this make the organization look kind of silly for botching this deal over the issue of an extra year back in the summer? Tag Jagr onto this roster and you have to think that the Oilers are fighting for the five spot at the moment. I applaud them for basically admitting that they overestimated the team - again - last summer but it's getting a little tiresome.

  2. This would be great. But doesn't that Hemsky and Jagr still need a health center?

  3. Also: speculating on this beats looking at the OOTS tonight. VAN, LAK and CBJ all win.

  4. Let me start complaining so that the real complainers don't have to.

    The real problem on this Team is Jagr, he doesn't score goals every shift and MacT is totally mismanaging him. Lowe is an idiot for signing him. This team is screwed for 29 years because of Lowe's 'Boys on the Bus' attitude. If they would have brought Schremp up he would score twice as many goals as Jagr. I hate this f-ing team and I am never ever cheering for them again. Ok, see you tomorrow.

    How did I do? Did I get it right?

  5. Yeah, I think its a Smoke and Fire thing as well.

    I can see a big two year contract as both Lowe and MacT have publicly stated that if they don't make the playoffs that they will be to blame (with the unspoken suggestion that they will go away). That is a personal motivation to make something happen.

  6. Lets blue sky.

    How do you roll the lines with Jagr?

    The PP becomes insta kick ass, with Hemsky on the half boards, Jagr on the left point, Souray on the right point, Horcoff slot, and Penner front of net.

    But at evens? We know Jagr can't play toughs any more, he prefers RW but has played LW, and according to Pies he should be back for the weekend. 34, of course, is also a natural RW.

    I guess..


    .. eh?

  7. How do you roll the lines with Jagr?

    Here is what I would do

    68-51-83 (tough line)

    Coach of the year please!

  8. PDO: flip Nilsson and Penner, and I like those lines . . . Penner is better suited to the tough minutes. But it will start anti-Horcoff folks to come out of the woodwork. I'll try and demonstrate:

    "See, I told every one that Horcoff is a checking line center. MacT must have lost the room, and this his desperate attempt to save him self. He is not even playing with Hemsky or Jagr! I mean with St. Fernando and Penner. I can't believe we are pay a third line over 10 million dollars, urgh. If MacT was a good coach he see that Penner needs to be on the first line. Schremp needs to get a shot, with Hemsky and Jagr on the soft minutes. I am right, this proves Horcoff is a third line center."

    Now that I am done that, I hope I don't have to read it.

  9. This move would all but guarantee Cole is out the door in really short order for a defenseman. With Pisani coming back next week, they'd have Hemsky, Jagr, Cole, Pisani for three RW positions.

    He has to go east, because you can't help a team buying in the west. Bouwmeester would cost way too much without a guaranteed deal. Other teams needing help would be the Rangers, Pittsburgh, Florida and Carolina. Florida is out.

    Rangers: Roszival for Cole+? Mara and Prucha+ for Cole?

    Penguins: Whitney for Cole +? Goligoski + late pick for Cole + Schremp?

    Carolina: Cole for Gleason?

    Boston might be able to use him, but the only available Dman I'd want in the organization is Lashoff.

    The Penguins seem like a match with Whitney, Letang, Gonchar, and Goligoski on the back line. Carolina needs help on the right side and the Rangers are in a fall with parts.

  10. BCB...

    I think Nilsson sticks there better really. Penner can help keep the puck low, but Nilsson gives that line a ton of speed, and a lot more offensive flair. It also gives Nilsson two guys who can shoot the puck.

    On the flip side, 89 and 26 have found all kinds of chemistry together. 27 can help make up for 89's defensive lapses by holding the puck deep.

    Again though.. just blue skying ;)

  11. This is a classic case of the Oilers franchise desperate to float some "story" to make it look like they're doing something. It's always winds up being a detriment to the team.
    First it was the Souray signing, done purely out of spite of the Nylander debacle. Lowe looked like a fool and he did this to deflect the attention away from his mistake. At least Souray's been good this season.
    Then it was the Penner signing.
    Or maybe it was the other way around. It doesn't matter.
    Everyone else is making moves, so Lowe tries to make headlines and the Oiler end up with Penner, who has as many positives as negatives, to put it nicely.
    Now there's some tripe about Jagr. And it shows up the same day the team's best defenceman is out for the season. What a coincidence.
    Go ahead, put him on the top line with Hemsky. I'll put on the white suit and find the short person with the French accent.
    Smiles everyone! Smiles!

  12. The PP becomes insta kick ass, with Hemsky on the half boards, Jagr on the left point, Souray on the right point, Horcoff slot, and Penner front of net.

    Horcoff should be off of the power play here, but won't be. Penner should take the draws, but won't. Jagr can't play the point and operates off of the right half wall, opposite Hemsky. Gilbert, Souray, Hemsky, Horcoff, Jagr.

    But at evens? We know Jagr can't play toughs any more, he prefers RW but has played LW,

    Don't. Stop moving people, especially 37 year old right wings, to the wrong wing. People (including Mac) thought that would be dandy with Cole. It doesn't work. Jagr has played RW since before you were born. He's wouldn't be signing in Edmonton to move to a new position.

    Blue sky is Cole moves for a dman.

    18-13-34 Moreau argh.

    37-new guy

  13. Coach:

    Jagr played the point on the PP in NY.

  14. BCB: Fact - anyone who calls Horcoff a 3rd line center is a mouth-breathing dumbass. End of discussion.

    PDO: Lines? Here's what I'd do, assuming no deal for a d-man.

    Jagr-Cogliano-Hemsky (2nd toughest minutes)
    Pisani-Horcoff-Cole (nasty minutes 2nd line)
    Penner-Gagner-Nilsson (soft minutes)
    Moreau-Brodziak-Pouliot (best fourth line in the league? You tell me)

    I'm interested to see if and how this plays out.

  15. I think something's up.

    I don't think that something is Jagr, given that both his European agent and NHL agent issued denials, along with the waiver issue.

  16. Jagr played the point on the PP in NY.

    You're thinking of Martin Straka. Jagr has never had point duty in his career. He's had forwards that have played behind him on the point a number of times -- Kovalev, Bondra, Straka. He may have ended up there one shift or one game, but he's operated from the right side wall for the Pens, Caps and Rangers since about 1994.

  17. With Jagr on a 4-8-4,
    you could trade Cole for some future

    And then someone like Pouliot to Tampa for Malik to shore up the D

  18. Video Evidence:



    He definitely spent time on the half boards... but he's spent time on the point as well.

  19. Sorry about the self plug, but


    The Oilers have a history of going after guys they want but not getting them for a very long time. They do eventually get their man though.


    Chris Pronger
    Lubomir Visnovsky
    Erik Cole
    Joffrey Lupul
    Joni Pitkanen
    Ryan Stone
    Mike Peca
    Dick Tarnstrom
    Raffi Torres



    Out of those rumoured guys I think Bouwmeester and Kovalchuk are the least likely, but they've been rumoured nonetheless.

    Jagr is not out of the possibilities but I'm betting if he does end up here his performance curve will mimic that of Mats Sundin in Vancouver or Petr Nedved on his second time 'round in Edmonton.

  20. Here is what I would do

    68-51-83 (tough line)

    Coach of the year please!

    I totally shat my pants when I read that.

  21. For the record coach, I'm only talking about his time in NY. I like the Rags, and follow them a bit... from the games I've seen, it seemed like a fifty-fifty split. He seemed more effective on the boards, but he CAN play the point.

    The other thing is, as far as I know, a massive reason for Jagr coming to Edmonton is to play with Hemsky.

    He has a man crush.

  22. JW:

    One train of thought takes me through Euro agents that sources could confuse. A "My client is talking to Edmonton" kind of thing and the source crosses the wires on who the guy represents.

    Based on rav's post, the big splash is Alexei Yashin.

  23. Between the Jagr and Bouwmeester rumors, plus the idea that maybe the Oilers pitch at Hossa again this summer, what can we conclude? Well, Lowebellini is big game hunting. That's the bottom line, be it one of those three guys or some unnamed target (I'd be unsurprised by anything short of a "Chris Pronger back to Edmonton" deal).

    1) Even though he brings things this team is short on, Erik Cole is likely toast as an Oiler, possibly as soon as sometime in the next 22 days. Frankly, I'd rather see some of the dead money at the end of the roster cleared off (looking at you, Moreau and Staios) and Cole extended, but I'm not holding out much hope it happens.

    2) Ok, so let's say they land Bouwmeester - which of the "big three" off the back-end gets moved for forward help? Souray would make the most sense in terms of "selling high", but he's got the NTC and, like Cole, brings things the Oilers lack overall. I hated the 44 signing at the time, but right now, I'd put him as one of my two choices as next captain (right beside Horcoff). I'd be loathe to give up Visnovsky, and Gilbert looks to be a difference maker for a long while (that 4 million bucks per year could end up looking like a bargain by the later 3rd of said deal). Could it be possible the Oilers ditch salary elsewhere and ice an uber-awesome top four of those three PLUS Bouwmeester, and then go cheap at forward? Unlikely.

    3) What other big money might be in jeopardy? Staios might have to go simply to pay Grebeshkov; if Grebeshkov wants too much on an extension, maybe he becomes a chip and is replaced by Kurt Sauer or Jan Hejda version 2009; Moreau probably should be dumped (but probably won't be); and might Dustin Penner be in play?

    Trade deadline day in Edmonton's going to be interesting. And the seven days from Draft Friday (June 26th) through the following Friday (July 3rd) might be even more interesting than past years in Edmonton. Which is saying something. Whatever they do, don't overload the top end to the point you can't afford the depth guys that help teams really succeed (the Glencross and Hejda mistakes CANNOT be repeated).

  24. if moves are to be made I sincerely hope that a) they don't give up picks 1-3 and b) they don't move any of their d prospects.

  25. No matter who you are (unless you're Dennis), I'm more cynical than you when it comes to the Oilers and the local media but this doesn't strike me as being a plant. It doesn't fit their m.o., which would see Jones or Matheson breaking the story. Having it come from a credible source - Staples is a legit reporter and he vouches for Adler, who I don't know - along with what seems like a belter of a coincidence in the form of Lowe being in Europe.

    I really think that there's something to this, whether for this year or a future season.

  26. No matter who you are (unless you're Dennis), I'm more cynical than you when it comes to the Oilers and the local media

    No one questions your cynicism and your ability to cut with wit, sir. No one.

  27. Adler's been flogging Oilers tripe for years, going back to the days of Vladimir Ruzicka.

  28. When this rumour gets put to bed, I demand a post entitled "Jagr-bomb".

    Hbomb will then drink said thread, and we move on.

  29. Vis out, the idea we're still looking to pick up pieces that would most likely involve cap space into next year that is still needed to produce a more balanced squad sends a shiver down my spine...So more than likely there is something to it.

    Dare to dream? Maybe in the race for the TELAL SHAWCORE Pavillion they've they'be been given the green light to bury some contracts in the AHL next year, if they can't shed the salaries this summer.

  30. Why do you guys have to mess with me like this. My favourite player rumoured to be throttled loose from the bushes of Russia into an Oilers jersey... I just can't handle another let-down like this if he doesn't suit up this season or next.

    It would be interesting to see how MacT would handle a player with Jagr's temperment. Renney did a pretty good job of calling him out on his lack of effort some nights but they ended up losing games because of his stubborness sometimes. MacT has to be more stubborn than Renney, no?

    Jagr's played both wings and tried to play center for a short while (didn't work out so well), and has seen plenty of time on the point. How you run him on the top unit of the Oilers roster would be a very good question. I think you'd have to try him on the left and hope it works first...even if it fails miserably and the Oil bloggers damn you for putting him there for half of the season when he just doesn't belong there. Then, move Hemsky to the left and try the other way around. Hemksy roams around enough that he should be able to work both sides of the ice.
    If that's not an option, you have to decide who drops to the 2 unit. Jagr, Gagner, Nilsson soft crunchers could be deadly.

    Jagr wants to lead a team to the cup. I'm not sure he would be all that happy with a purely complimentary role here. It would be very interesting to see what kind of minutes he would play.

    ..Bah...He's not coming....*sob*

  31. If we forget Jagr for now. What are the lines this weekend w/ Pisani back?

    27-10-83 (PvP)
    18-13-34 (2nd Toughs)


    SMac sitting. JFJ on conditioning.

    Does that look right barring trade/injury against Montreal?

  32. I had something to say, but bookie beat me to it.

  33. And it shows up the same day the team's best defenceman is out for the season. What a coincidence.

    Season ticket renewals went out this week too. No reason to float good news rumours this week. No sir.

  34. PDO - I live out here and get a healthy dose of Rangers. I've got a number of friends that are rabid but intelligent Rangers fans. Outside of a few shifts due to injuries and circumstances, Jagr never played point on the power play.

    To make sure I wasn't crazy, I double and triple checked with them today and they all agree - it never happened.

    Last year's power play unit was random LW, Gomez, Jagr Roszival and Mara/Girardi split time on the other point.

    "The times when Jagr was forced to the point temporarily, he was awful."

    The year prior, Straka did play point some, but it was handled by defensemen for the most part.

  35. I seem to remember hearing back in '06 that Jagr specifically requested Hemsky to be his linemate. If they're both RWs, then by nature, one of them must be on the off-wing, so I don't think that's necessarily a concern.

    Would 68-10-83 work? Or perhaps more succinctly, is 68 more of a defensive liability than 27, and does he make up for that with his offence? I don't know the former, but I'd bet on the latter, and I'm less worried about him having a Sundin "January live-fire training camp" because he's at least been playing in the KHL.

    For the record, his KHL stats. They're pretty solid -- he's well within the top 10 in goals and points -- though obviously, there's no indication of whom he's been matched against. ;) Other fun stuff: Chris Simon leads the league in penalties (contain your astonishment) and Igor Ulanov is still alive and kicking.

  36. @ Coach

    This is no question that you are right re Jagr on the power play. He plays the role Markus Naslund used to play in Vancouver, that is, the right wing half boards and he loves to come off the wall for a snap shot through traffic. IMO, that means Horcoff should be the odd man out on PP1 just because the only spot remaining is the down low/slot presence which should be Penners first and Gagners second (b/c of right hand shot).

    I also agree with PDO that there were probably many times Jagr ended up on the point. That would be the back up plan for slumps and the odd different look. Think Hemmer on the right half boards instead of the left.

    As for evens, there is no shame in putting a first liner on the second line. We like to think Top Sixers should line up 1-2-3 then 4-5-6 when in fact it's likely more common to spread out your talent to make the other team decide which one to stop.

    Ottawa is the only team I can think of that likes to put all its eggs in one basket which probably works well against weak teams but was proven to be ineffective against teams like Anaheim (SCF) with a real checking line.

    Detroit usually splits up Z and Datsyuk and never puts Hos with the other two. TB used to play St. Louis and Vinnie and put Richards on Line 2. Sakic and Forsberg in Colorado and so on.

    When you consider that both Hemsky and Jagr play with the puck on their sticks alot I don't think their styles mesh that well. Remember, Jagr and Gomez failed together and Gomez is very Hemsky-like as far as:
    1. Moves through the neutral zone with speed.
    2. Pass first

    So I'd play:


    And if Cole goes, bump 34 and sub in Zach.

  37. Given that Jagr would be an over 35 player at the time of the contract, it's possible that a 4/8 two year deal might work out. This might deter other teams from the possibility of picking him up, as a fickle Jagr might merely hint or threaten at retirement.

    The result would be that a team picking him up off waivers would be stuck with a 6 million cap hit for a retired player on the second year of the contract.

    Given that Lowe himself and Tambellini seem to be mum on giving an actual denial I suspect, as others have stated already, that something is awry at the very least.

    I might normally merely think that Lowe is in Europe to watch Linus Omark at the Tre Konor tournament given that they will be negotiating his first NA pro contract this offseason. However I believe the tournament is already concluded and news reports have confirmed Prendergast was present anyway.

  38. I said it on HF... this sounds like a move for next year. The potential for "maybe this year" was just too juicy to not at least look at.

  39. There's always the chance this was leaked to distract from Visnovsky's injury...but like mc79, I doubt that. It's not their usual path for such things. There's something going on here. Remains to be seen whether that's for this season or not...

    If the Oilers are seriously looking at this season, they've gotta be ticked the cat's out of the bag already. This would have been an absolute bombshell to unveil on trade deadline day...particularly under the wire. A 'steal the show' sort of move. Somewhat akin to Lowe pulling the trades during the first post-lockout free-agent frenzy. Everyone looks one way (FA), and he goes another (trades for Peca and that 44 guy). Deadline day, everyone would be looking trade, and the Oil go "FA" (of sorts anyway).

  40. BTW, according to TSN, Gonchar has been cleared to play. How is that related to this thread? Well, the Penguins LTIR cap exception is now gone (assume the 5.0 million LTIR listed on nhlnumbers.com is from Gonchar). Thing is, as soon as the player is able to play, the team has to get back under the cap. Which also means that Pittsburgh couldn't fit Jagr under their cap this season, even if they wanted to chance the cap hit for next year.

    As others have said, a 4 + 8 deal could slip through waivers. If Jagr indicates it's Edmonton or retirement from the NHL, chances are really good. Could be an interesting deadline day.

  41. If Jagr indicates it's Edmonton or retirement from the NHL, chances are really good.

    I've seen it floated several times, but I can't think of a reason why Jagr would state such an ultimatum. He's giving 29 NHL teams the chance to freeze him out, and for what? If he wants to come back, he wants to come back. He's not married to the Oil (to coin a phrase).

    I also don't see Hemsky on LW, at least not at even strength. Ales is strongly forehand-dependant, one of the most extreme cases I've ever seen. Ales swerves to his left much better than to his right; an off-wing player must be able to cut sharply to the net. That pet play where Hemsky circles the end boards and the net and then out the other side is always on his forehand for the whole round trip. Always. Virtually all of his passes are forehand, and virtually all of his shots save the backhand deke. But from 10 feet out he would rather pass it back to the point than try a backhand shot. It's quite severely limiting in my view, although to his credit he makes a lot of it work. He's pretty unique in some respects, and he is uniquely suited to playing RW. I'd be shocked if he ever made the switch, I just don't think it fits his skill set or his comfort zone.

  42. R29: Yes. I think you have the lines pegged upon 34's return.

    We'll have a PVP line that's ran well in the past, a soft min line that's been in and out and what should be an outstanding 4th line.

    The trick will be the 18-13-34 secondary tough min line which will obviously get a plus/minus boost from having 78 out and 34 in.

    I think there's enough hard evidence from developments past that the Oilers could bring over Jagr tomorrow and I wouldn't be surprised. Elated yes but surprised, no. DB's most likely right and it's a move for next year and not this year but I stand on the idea that katz believes you can do a lot of things with money and he's given Vish Throttler the go-ahead to try and get this team into the playoffs by any financial means necessary.

  43. @Bruce:
    Obviously there's an assumption in all of this that Jagr wants to play with Hemsky...and it's not an entirely unfounded assumption. Whether that fits into 5v5 play is a huge question. Like others, I expect they'd be together on the PP, but separate 5v5. Makes the team that much stronger to have two threatening lines 5v5.

    As for an ultimatum, the point simply is that if Jagr wants to come back to the NHL, he'd choose the team to sign with, and then "freeze out" everyone else. Why would he leave it up to the whims of the waiver wire? Right now, Jagr has control over where he plays. Why would he give that up? If he chooses to come back to the NHL, there will be an ultimatum attached. Can't imagine it any other way. So, by extension, if Jagr signs with Edmonton (and that's a big "if"), he'll very likely say Edmonton or KHL. Given the cap hit for gambling with the retirement ultimatum, Jagr would probably clear waivers, no matter which team signed him initially. That's the point.

  44. Rod: Yeah, but if you're Vancouver, wouldn't you pick him up just to prevent Edmonton from getting him? If he bolts back to Russia, could they not theoretically suspend his real dollar figure and cap-hit?

  45. If Jagr wants to choose his spot, he will sort out his contract situation in Russia, then sign with his team over the off-season. Why risk waivers, when a team from a hockey wasteland like Toronto could simply buy the full duration of the re-entry contract, no matter how ingeniously it is drawn up.

    I guess it might work if the threat was specifically, ok I will come and finish the year with you, and then I'm gone and you're stuck with the cap hit. Surely if he refused to report outright, no one would be on the hook for anything. I just don't see why he would risk hamstringing his future by exposing himself to this process.

    I'm fairly sure that even if Edmonton is his preferred destination it's hardly the only situation that would fit for him. But that's not everywhere. If he had the type of control as, say, a guy with a NMC providing a list of teams, he'd be good with it. But the waiver process is a free-for-all.

    Well, not quite "free" I guess ...

  46. @Mark-Ryan:

    OK, let's go with your example...

    All Jagr has to do is retire from the NHL, and return to the KHL, or perhaps the Czech league (I suppose the Czech league might honour an NHL suspension...but really, the Canucks can't force a guy to play). Meanwhile the 'Nucks would be stuck with the cap hit for the length of the deal because Jagr was over 35 on June 30th 2008. That reason--no escape from the cap hit--is why New Jersey's signing of Rolston was such a huuuuge gamble last summer. No matter what, they can't get away from the cap hit.

    Just make the cap hit big enough that teams won't want to gamble with the ultimatum.

    On the other hand, Vancouver might well make a deal or two before the deadline, bringing them close enough to the cap they can't claim Jagr this season. Doubtful that the Canucks would leave deals on the table just to ensure they had enough room left to claim Jagr...so I'm betting they couldn't claim Jagr either.

    Between the teams that have enough cap room both this year and next, there's not necessarily many left that would gamble on an ultimatum. Particularly when the only sure thing is the cap hit for the length of the deal.

  47. All of that said, a move in the summer is far more likely. Just trying to say the waiver hurdle isn't high enough to automatically kill the prospects of a signing this month.

  48. Outside of a few shifts due to injuries and circumstances, Jagr never played point on the power play.

    He doesn't usually line up at the point but he can be seen manning the blue in the offensive zone often during a power play as well as even strength. It's usally a cycle or a give and go and doesn't last that long but it works. It's something that Hemsky would be learning from the guy. He can create room for himself anywhere on the ice unlike anyone playing currently.