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2011-12 Team News, Practice Updates & In-between Game Talk

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Here it is: (From the Edmonton Journal)

Q: I was impressed with the chemistry of the Edmonton Oilers' Swedish forwards in pre-season. If the team continues to struggle to score, could they put the Tre Kronor line together in the near future, or does Ales Hemsky's return spell a trip to the American Hockey League for Linus Omark?

(Trevor Dalheim, Cochrane)

A: Head coach Tom Renney says he's considered putting Anton Lander between Magnus Paajarvi and Omark, but so far he's sticking with the hand that's working. Paajarvi and Lander haven't scored yet and Omark sat out his fifth straight game when the St. Louis Blues were in Edmonton on Sunday. Paajarvi definitely needs an offensive jolt, although he created some stuff with his speed against the Blues. I don't think it's fair to write off Omark, who hasn't done anything wrong but keeps sitting because of numbers. When Hemsky returns in a week, the Oilers will have to do something with the right-winger Omark, who has National Hockey League skill. Unless I'm reading the collective bargaining agreement incorrectly, if Omark plays 60 NHL games, he has to clear waivers to be sent to the Oklahoma City Barons because he's in Year 2 of his contract. Omark, who has played 56 NHL games, was too good for the American Hockey League last season. If they're caring, the Oilers will deal him somewhere else. The Carolina Hurricanes are looking for forwards.

Doesn't like much more info than we already know. Thanks for including the source.

Hey jojjan, how's your team doing this year? Is Wallin a good captain?

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Here it is: (From the Edmonton Journal)

Hey jojjan, how's your team doing this year? Is Wallin a good captain?

Hi, yeah we are happy to have Wallin as our captain here. He have had some tough first games of the season of course since he had to adjust to the bigger rinks over here. Doing a good job infront of the net though. The team itself have underachived so far, high expectations but hopefully it will go better with time. :)

Thanks for clearing that out with the Edmonton paper btw.

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Well something needs to be done asap..... I say trade Ruutu, Faulk or Murphy, plus a first rounder and what ever else it takes to get Spezza or Nash... We cant get any worse, and we have so much young talent that we have a promising future so why not get a first liner when we have the bait to get them!

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Jr's hand has been forced, I can't imagine he has any choice left but to do something.

What I found interesting last night was listening to Bob McKenzie and Aaron Ward. McKenzie is a very respected insider and Ward knows this team well. McKenzie said it wasn't the coach but he'll likely take the fall. He said the players like and respect the coach but have 0 confidence in themselves as a team. Aaron Ward pointed to Staal saying the leadership role might be too much for him without other seasoned veterans around to chip in and that Marc Staal's injury had to be having an effect on Eric's game.

If I'm JR, I'd find a couple seasoned veterans to trade for and see if Staal can get some help in the locker room. This team is not as bad as they've played the past few games and with a little confidence, they may be able to get some control back. I think firing Maurice is inevitable but whoever takes over in the interim will need to be a veteran coach who knows how to change a team/locker room culture.

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I don't expect the Canes to win every game, but I do expect them to show up and compete. This team is showing more quit than fight. I know some contracts prevent it, but right now,I would cosider trade offers for everyone except Skinner and Sutter. I know one thing, unless the Canes change their practice of going cheap, Skinner and Sutter are gone as soon as they are unrestricted free agents. A short while ago Carolin was a place players wanted to play. They all said they liked the city,the weather,and the organization. At least the city and the weather are still nice.

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I agree Mo will have to go. The team is in disarray and a change has to be made. But last night was on the players IMO. No pride, No leadership and I'm not talking only about Staal. Nobody young or veteran stepped up and everyone was looking around for someone else to get the job done. Our players need to do some soul searching.

When something like this happens everything and everyone is on the table.

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I agree Mo will have to go. The team is in disarray and a change has to be made. But last night was on the players IMO. No pride, No leadership and I'm not talking only about Staal. Nobody young or veteran stepped up and everyone was looking around for someone else to get the job done. Our players need to do some soul searching.

When something like this happens everything and everyone is on the table.

I agree. I said leaving the Philly game almost the exact same thing. Sometimes it takes a coaching change as a wakeup call to everybody. Mo doesn't get a mulligan here either, it's ultimately his job to motivate.

I'd like to see a coaching change and a big time trade. One of our core players/fan favorites may need to go. This team needs an enema.

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I agree. I said leaving the Philly game almost the exact same thing. Sometimes it takes a coaching change as a wakeup call to everybody. Mo doesn't get a mulligan here either, it's ultimately his job to motivate.

I'd like to see a coaching change and a big time trade. One of our core players/fan favorites may need to go. This team needs an enema.

I wasn't implying MO should get a mulligan. Maurice is the guy in charge and it is his job to figure it out. If he can't you find someone who can.

I don't know if one of our fan favorites/core players will go but it is very possible.

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I am probably in the minority on this, but here is what I would do:

1. Fire Mo, & bring in someone from outside the organization.

2. Let the new coach be free to do what needs to be done. Bench who he wants, play 4 lines, bring the kids up, & scratch the vets.

3. Take the C away from Staal. I think it is killing his game. Give it to Gleason, or Sutter.

4. Look to trade any & all UFA that aren't performing. Look to waive, any veteran player that isn't performing...Poni, Kabs.

5. After trade / waivers...then bring up kids...put them in the top 9 on F, and the top 6 on D. Finally, go with the youth movement.

Anything would be better than what we are currently watching. Just my .02 cents.

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Not really. On paper this is the most talented blue line that we have ever had. Don't tell me you're an Ozolinsh fan...

I don't know that I'd say this is our most talented blue line. I agree that we have a lot of blue line talent, but the question is whether we have too much of one kind of d-man and not enough of the other.

Let's grade them.

Pits - B. He's having a pretty solid start to the season. He's hitting more, he's shooting the puck more. Is he the best d-man out there? No, but if he was paired with a solid shutdown d-man on his other side, he'd be even more effective.

TKabs - F. Horrible. It took Burke two years to troll the other GMs enough to finally get him off his roster, then he was horrible for the Bruins. He got his Cup and now he's done. He might have been done a season or so ago. This was a bad signing. Even without Corvo, JR had 6 d-men signed, knew that Faulk could potentially make the team and was impressed with Murphy. I have no idea why TKabs was brought here. What's worse is, who else is gonna want him? We may very well be sidled with that contract. The irony is, this might be the 2nd Kaberle JR has to buy out.

Gleason - C+. Started out great, has tailed off a bit. I want someone to take the leash off of Timmy. I want to see him playing with that edge that made him so popular here. I thought he had it in the first month, but games like Montreal, where you want someone to throw down the gloves and start hitting something, that's where I thought someone like Gleason would step up.

Allen - B. I really thought he was trade bait in the offseason because of his contract. But he's come in in great shape and I think he's played well... better than last season.

McBain - C-. What happened to the McBain we all thought was on the rise? He appears to have lost the ability to get the puck to the net -- something I thought was a real strength of his on the PP early on. He's also getting beaten in the corners and behind the net frequently. Really, I give him this grade because I feel he still has potential, but right now he's going through some serious growing pains.

Harrison - B. He just keeps being solid. He's a cheaper version of Dennis Seidenberg, imo. He and Allen are about the only ones I see out there actively trying to block shots.

Joslin and Faulk - Incomplete. Haven't really seen enough of either of these guys... and I wish we'd move some of the dead weight in front of them so that we can see them regularly. If they're part of the future, let's play them and see how they do.

Overall, on paper, you could look at this blue line and say "each of the individuals there has talent or had talent or has potential." But as a unit they are getting the big fat F right now in terms of effort. No hitting. No clearing of the pucks. Opponent snipers roaming in the slot. It's embarrassing.

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I am probably in the minority on this, but here is what I would do:

1. Fire Mo, & bring in someone from outside the organization.

Yes.

2. Let the new coach be free to do what needs to be done. Bench who he wants, play 4 lines, bring the kids up, & scratch the vets.

Yes.

3. Take the C away from Staal. I think it is killing his game. Give it to Gleason, or Sutter.

No way. Demoralize a guy who's in a funk by stripping him of his captaincy? Look, I know a lot of you don't like Staal. But please. All of a sudden this is "what have you done for me lately" and "you're only as good as your last game" around here. Let's not forget how important this guy is to this team and its history. He might have a horrible season. He might only get 30 points and go -50. But for those of you who claim to be loyal to the Canes, have some loyalty to your Captain as well. Staal will work things out. He will bounce back or adjust his game. Have some faith in your Captain.

4. Look to trade any & all UFA that aren't performing. Look to waive, any veteran player that isn't performing...Poni, Kabs.

Well, yes. Mostly. If we waive them, we eat the contract and the Cap hit. Poni isn't much of a loss because it's 1 year at $1.5M, but TKabs's contract is painful to be waived.

5. After trade / waivers...then bring up kids...put them in the top 9 on F, and the top 6 on D. Finally, go with the youth movement.

If we go this route, we're essentially saying "full on rebuild." Expect to be Edmonton bad for a couple of years. Might be entertaining, but it might also be a complete bust for PK's wallet.

Anything would be better than what we are currently watching. Just my .02 cents.

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Chip tweets -

ice_chipChip Alexander - Just talked to GM Jim Rutherford, who said there are no coaching changes, or player trades planned for today.

ice_chipChip Alexander - Rutherford said some players likely would be reassigned to Checkers and some recalled. Said Faulk is one of players being discussed.

ice_chipChip Alexander - Rutherford called loss to Habs a "very bad game." He said, "I have a lot of ideas in my head right now but no conclusions."

ice_chipChip Alexander - On potential trades, Rutherford said, "There's not anyone out there right now who's available. But there might be some who come available."

ice_chipChip Alexander - Rutherford: "Once we get through the weekend, we should have a better idea of the overall picture, where we're going."

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Clearly the defense is not playing well. But then again, neither is the offense. If the offense can't generate any sustained pressure, ever, that pretty much leaves the team mostly in it's own end trying to constantly cover up.

At this point this team realizes that it is short of talent, and it is not going to win very often unless they play their hearts out for 60 minutes. To large measure they did that last year and were one win from the playoffs. Then they pulled up lame in the single biggest game of the year last year.

Anyway, maybe a team will play for the heart of it for a year, but to do it two years in a row when it is clear that management is not giving them a chance? I doubt any individual player is consciously tanking. But how does an entire team come out "straight legged" as was mentioned last night unless they have essentially given up?

My completely uninformed guess is that little by little guys realize that they don't have enough major league talent to complete plays on a regular basis. So you give up you're head and body in the corner to get the puck out front and....nobody is there, but the other team's D...play over, going the other way. You bust your tail to get out on the wing and become part of a 3 on 2 and the puck gets shot weakly from the wing and the goalie easily deflects it to his guy... play over, going the other way. You make a tough play in the corner to get the puck the other corner, you then slide into a wide open slot by the net, the puck is moved back to the pointman who can't keep it in, play over, going the other way.....and every time you're now supposed to bust your hump to try to get back on defense....

Over and over and over and over....almost never scoring...always skating back on defense. We are an entire team of 5 on 5 penalty killers for vast "virtual penalties" that never seem to end. Well they finally end when one of our guys takes an actual penalty (then we're dangerous).

Anyway, after this leads to not only play after play of frustrating feckless offensive breakdowns, it just has to affect guys. I'm not making excuses, but if every time you went to work it was highly embarrassing an frustrating, how could it not affect your performance?

Sure it is on every man in that room to play for each other, blah blah blah. Sure these guys make millions to play a game, blah blah blah. But this debacle is beyond that. Tell me guys like Gleason, LaRose, Sutter, Dwyer, Ruutu, Harrison, wouldn't go through walls for each other. The thing is that they don't think their guys CAN do it.

JR lost Cole and replaced him with Poni and Stewart. Between them they have 7 points in 34 games. He then replaced Corvo with Kaberle. Well how has that worked out? It is really kind of amazing that this team beat as many good teams as it did, before the sobering reality set in. JR short changed them and us.

Mo is unable to spin this straw into gold, and he may be a bad coach, but this one is on JR, and it is way past time for him to try to make it right.

Edited by remkin

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"Once we get through the weekend..."? Does he not see where this team is heading now?! I'm guess is if Mo loses Friday, he's out.. I'm not sure why wait, tho.. Isn't the hole deep enough?

Edited by jeromeo87

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Not really. On paper this is the most talented blue line that we have ever had. Don't tell me you're an Ozolinsh fan...

I guess that's the difference in our opinions. I normally don't go the "on paper" route, or use projected phantom statistics, or any kind of "what if" nonsense.

That facts of the matter are:

Total Shots = 509 = highest in the league

Shots\Against Per Game = 33.1 = 2nd highest in the league

Goals\Against Per Game = 3.47 = 2nd highest in the league

This defense is bad. Give me a Wesley, Sean Hill, Hedican, or even a F. Kaberle over anybody on this roster not named Pitkanen or Harrison.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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ice_chipChip Alexander - On potential trades, Rutherford said, "There's not anyone out there right now who's available. But there might be some who come available."

I'm reading this as a spin. What he meant to say was "We don't have anybody right now that any other teams want."

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