Tag Archives: edmonton oilers

Worst NHL contracts on the books

In our  continued effort to point out how we could easily be better GMs than a number of people currently holding that position in the NHL, we would like to take a moment to highlight some of the worst contracts currently on the books for NHL teams. It may be the ridiculous overvaluation of a player, the length of the contract or the fact that it is hamstringing their salary cap but one thing is for sure – these GMs must have been choking on their crystal meth pipes when they signed these.

Thomas Vanek (Buffalo Sabres)– $6.4 million for 3 more years, cap hit $7 /year
To be fair to Buffalo their hand was forced by a ridiculous offer sheet from Edmonton oilers GM Kevin Lowe. They matched and they have a 25-35 goal scorer who is not even remotely consistent.

Jay Bouwmeester (Calgary Flames) – $6.6 million for 3 more years, same cap hit
No shocker that one of the worst signings can be attributed to Darryl Sutter, hell you could make an entire list of terrible signings from him. This one was just a complete overvaluation for a good defenceman. $6.6 mil a year will buy you Dustin Byfuglien AND Brent Seabrook.

Shawn Horcoff (Edmonton Oilers) – $6.5, 6.0, 4.0 with $5.5 cap hit for next 3 years
Ahh it’s good to be an NHL player in Alberta, overpayments are in adundance. The sheer fact that Horcoff and his agent were able to get this out of the Oilers just proves how clueless Kevin Lowe is.

Scott Gomez (Montreal Canadiens via NY Rangers) – $7.5, 5.5, 4.5 with $7/year cap hit for next three years
Glen Sather must have taught Darryl Sutter and Kevin Lowe everything he knows because he is the original monopoly man, throwing money around like it is nothing. Over the years he has had so many bad signings it’s tough to list them all. Unfortunately for Montreal, they were dumb enough to trade for the perennial underperformer who has averaged under 14.2 goals a season over the past 4 years.

Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils) – $6.667 cap hit for the next…..15 years. No big deal
What else can you say that hasn’t been said. To be fair, Ilya is an impressive -29 this year.

Rick Dipietro (NY Islanders) – $4.5 mil/year until 2021 same cap hit
Well thank god Charles Wang locked up his injury prone goaltender situation for one and a half decades when he did. Without that signing they may have actually been able to build a decent team around a decent goaltender.

 Wade Redden (NY Rangers) – $6.5, 5.0, 5.0 with a cap hit of $6.5…if he played in the NHL
Ah Mr. Sather makes another appearance on the list. Good work Slats. Glen has been the GM for the Rangers for 10 years now and has signed superstars such as Chis Drury, Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Eric Lindros, and Pavel Bure to long term contracts. None of them really worked out, but that doesn’t phase Slats from returning to that vault and minting more money for players that don’t deserve it.

Sergei Gonchar (Ottawa Senators) – $5.5/year for 2 more years with same cap hit
In a move that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense Bryan Murray signed Sergei Gonchar to a 3 year deal during the last offseason. He already had offensive players that are questionable at defence in Chris Campoli and Erik Karlsson.

Mike Komisarek (Toronto Maple Leafs) – $6.0, 5.5, 3.5, 3.5 cap hit of $4.5 per year
At what point does a defenceman that averages 15 points, + 4, and 110 PIMs turn into a contract that pays him $6 million dollars and averages $4.5 million over five years. Can’t even put into words what a misappropriation of funds that is.

Sure we’ve left plenty off this list so feel free to list your favourite contract on the market right now.

Advertisements

Is Brian Burke a reincarnation of JFJ?

It can be argued that Brian Burke was the architect behind the current Vancouver Canucks squad, he was the one that dealt for the top two picks in the draft that netted the Canucks Daniel and Henrik Sedin, two of the top snipers in the NHL these days. It can also be argued that he was the man behind the Anaheim Ducks cup run of 2007, even though he really came on board after they had Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry drafted. However, he was smart enough to draft players like Bobby Ryan and re-sign Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne again and again.

So, he had a lot of cache after a couple of years in Anaheim and of course the Toronto Maple Leafs GM at the time John Ferguson Junior was known as….well lets just say it politely, a fucking idiot. So the Leafs were in desperate need of a strong visionary that had the hockey knowledge and smarts about him to bring them back to a power position in the NHL. They have rabid fans and are the top hockey market in the world so suffice it to say they had their eyes on one and only one man to handle the job once they finally smartened up and fired the man that had made outrageous contract offers with Jason Blake, Pavel Kubina and Bryan McCabe (along with no-trade clauses for all of them). Brian Burke was seen as the star GM in the hockey world and Toronto did everything they could to land him. He would be their way out of the darkness that had enveloped the team.

Or so they thought….

Two years into the journey and Brian Burke is not even remotely handling the job in the proper way. I know when he took the job Burke said he would rebuild the Leafs in a non-traditional way in an effort to expedite the process, but why bother? Do you know how the Anaheim Ducks won the cup Brian? What about the Pittsburgh Penguins? or the Tampa Bay Lighning?

They used their draft picks wisely and built a team around top end draft choices. They tanked the team for three or four years and ended up with 3 or 4 top ten draft picks to build a franchise around. Once you have give your draft picks a chance to get themselves into NHL form through play in the AHL or a couple of seasons worth of learning lessons at the NHL level, start signing some free agents to fill out your roster and patch holes in the defence and forward areas.

Instead he has traded two first round draft picks for a sniper who has no one to play with and has tried to create a formidable blue line which has failed miserably. The first first rounder he traded was promptly turned into Tyler Seguin (the top ranked centre in the 2010 draft) who would have probably been a great fit with their Nazim Kadri selection from 2009. Brian Burke’s calculations in thinking the aquisition of Phil Kessel would be the key to the Leafs making a string of playoff appearances shows about as much mathematical accumen as I did in the pre-calculus college course that landed me on academic probation. His probation will be the Leafs mired in another decade of uselessness as the Boston Bruins reap the riches of the Leafs terribleness instead of Brian Burke.

Unfortunately Toronto hockey fans continue to buy tickets (kudos for not being bandwagon jumpers) which means the Leafs never have the time to tank a season and focus on building from the ground up. Until they change their mantra of “Every year we need to make the playoffs” for a couple of years, they will flounder at the bottom to mid range of the eastern conference. They will soon learn from Edmonton how to take a team from the scrap heap and build it into an entertaining product that sells tickets and has success on the ice.

Gary Bettman – The Donkey

The few readers who actually read this blog can probably tell by now that Truthfully Lying is a big fan of the ol stick and puck, better known as hockey. We are passionate about the game and our local team to the level of unhealthiness. This level of interest in the game and the NHL makes it almost impossible to consistently read/listen to what form of retardation the NHL head office has manifested on any given day. They have one of the most exciting sporting products in terms of speed, toughness, and sheer talent yet more mundane sports such as Baseball and Basketball continue to outpace them for fans. Nothing against those two sports – well at least nothing about Baseball, basketball….meh.

I’ll give you a quick recap of some of the genius ideas that have come out of the NHL head office and Mr. Bettman’s ridiculous mouth before discussing their latest and greatest idea….it’s a doozy believe me.

Highlighted puck
Oh look there goes a red rocket! Better yet you also get to see Fox’s genius robots at the end of some of the goals.

Warrior Advertising
Instead of using the talent and toughness of real NHL players to show off how great the sport is the NHL and their advertising agency thought that a big boobed girl dressing a guy in his gear and making him seem like a “warrior” would be the best way to attract fans. Instead it probably confused people while at the same time making the league seem pathetic and bush-league. Good work Gary and co.

Present day
And then this morning I read this
I thought it was a joke at first, I couldn’t believe a professional sports league would actually even consider something like this, let alone how ridiculous the explanation around it seems to be. Each “Guardian” will have 5 powers???? Good god. What is the Atlanta Thrasher’s guardian going to do, hatch golden eggs? Is the Edmonton Oiler going to spill oil into the environment – he’s definately my pick for villain. Who in the NHL office thought this would be a good idea? What i’d like to hear is how much money they have already pumped into this jaw dropping project. I’m sure its multi-million already.

So, yet again the NHL has dropped the ball on the marketing of their product by once again refusing to use the talent and toughness of the actual athletes to promote the on ice product. Instead they are hoping to lure 35 year old nerds that still live in their parents basement I believe. As the title of this blog suggests, the only logical superhero name that can be given to Gary Bettman is “The Donkey”. His superpowers are whining, being useless, and shitting on hockey lovers around the world. What a dick.

NHL -Western Conference Predictions

As it seems that everyone thinks they are an expert about the NHL and can put out random opinions and pass them as fact (ie. Mike Brophy) I figured I would follow suit. I am pleased to give you my completely biased, but most probably correct NHL Western Conference predictions for the 2010-2011 NHL season.

1. Vancouver Canucks – Even though I doubt Coach Alain Vingeault would be able to coach Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Roy, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Alex Ovechkin and Bobby Orr, in their prime to a Stanley Cup championship I do believe the 2010/2011 Canuck group seems to be a focused bunch. 40 years of mediocrity has made the Vancouver fan base a jaded one, but they are jacked up this year about their team and for good reason. The Sedin twins have gotten better every season since they joined the league culminating in Henrik Sedin winning the Art Ross trophy and Hart trophy as the leagues best player last season. Daniel, who was injured last year, will continue to push Henrik and their work effort should brush off on the other core players, Ryan Kesler, Roberto Luongo, Alex Burrows and new additions Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard. Newcomers Manny Malhotra and Raffi “cokehead” Torres should make the third line more menacing then the goofy looking Kyle Wellwood and his merry men Steve “I can’t skate” Bernier and The Great Dane, Jannik Hansen. All in all a Northwest Banner seems to be a lock and first place heading into the playoffs seems like a realistic goal and outcome. Long live GM MG. For all of you “it’s destiny” freaks look no further then the last two NHL cities to host a Winter Olympics. The NHL team won the cup the following season, seems like a perfect storm.

2. Chicago Blackhawks – Long gone are the brash, but effective supporting cast of the Stanley Cup winning team. I for one don’t see the great collapse that a lot of these so called experts are predicting. This team still boasts a line up that includes Jonathon Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook amongst a strong supporting cast like Patrick Sharp, Hjalmarsson, Kopecky and Brian Campbell. They will get wins and points on skill alone. Oh, and anyone thinking that goaltender Marty Turco is a step down in goal, give your head a shake. Goldberg from the Disney Mighty Ducks Movies could have backstopped the Hawks to the Cup. Niemi is not a good goalie, hence why they walked away from the arbitrators ruling. The 2009-2010 Blackhawks were a motivated bunch and there didn’t seem to be anything that would stop them. I doubt they will have that same drive after a summer of parading the Stanley Cup around padding their egos. I’m looking at you Patrick Kane. If I’m Marian Hossa the thought of going to another Stanley Cup final makes me sick.

3. San Jose Sharks – The San Jose Sharks will continue to be a threat as long as they roll out Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau and company as their top players. Gone are the days that they will dominate the Pacific division and finish first in the Western Conference with ease, but they are still the best team in the Pacific Division, but for how long? If this team played in somewhere other then beautiful San Jose do you think they would have won a couple of cups by now? I sure do. Far too laid back out there in wine country and with Niemi and Nittymaki as their keepers for a whole season, they will win the division, but not by much.
>

4. Detroit Red Wings – I for one don’t understand how this organization does it year in and year out. The same players are back for another year and logic says they should finish in the top half of the conference. The age should be a concern and the impending injuries are going to stop this squad from winning the division, but they will be a force once again. The only surprise is that apparently Ken Holland doesn’t realize that Todd Bertuzzi is bad hockey player.

5. Los Angeles Kings – Any team with such a large nucleus of good young talent and coming off a better then anticipated season usually suffers a set back. Although, the maturity of Drew Doughty and the strong group of veteran leadership in Ryan Smyth, Michael Handzus and newcomer Willie Mitchell should keep this team right on track. LA looks like they could be good for a while, as long as they keep that Clune guy off of the ice, what a clown.

6. St. Louis Blues – I’m not drinking the Jaroslav Halak kool – aid, but he is a definite upgrade over Chris “I look like a mechanic” Mason. The Blues were an upcoming team in 2008-2009 only to trip up last year and miss the playoffs. Perhaps they got too complacent after their brilliant second half of the 08/09 season and didn’t get the competitive juices flowing in time to build on their success in the 09/10 season. A full season under new coach Davis Payne and largely the same cast of the 08/09 season should see this team return to the playoffs and compete for home ice down the stretch.

7. Nashville Predators – I have no idea how this team gets into the playoffs every year, but alas. I don’t see any reason why the trend wont continue. Partially because the bottom half of the Western Conference is bad, but also because they boast a stingy young goalie and a big, strong, nasty skilled back end. Nashville consistently is a hard working, focused, pesky team and they will consistently beat up on the lesser lights and will be able to steal enough wins off of the big teams to sneak into the playoffs…..again.

8. Phoenix Coyotes – Captain Coyote, Shane Doan, got his young group on a roll last season which seemed to energize a clueless fan base. Dave Tippett is an excellent coach and Illya Bryzgalov is a good goalie, but I don’t have faith in this group being able to repeat their success or improve on it either. The Coyotes will squeeze into the playoffs mainly because the teams below them are just so much worse.

9. Colorado Avalanche – A young Avalanche team came flying out of the gate as an unknown team in 08/09 and built up an early point cushion which helped them squeeze into the playoffs last season. After a playoff seeding last year this team cannot expect to sneak up on anyone any longer. Additionally, Craig Anderson is going to be hard pressed to duplicate the type of season he had last season. This line up is too young and too inexperienced to be able to repeat last seasons success. This organization is heading in the right direction and should expect to be battling for the upper echelon of the Western Conference in the not to distant future.

10. Calgary Flames – This prediction comes with an asterix. The only way I see the Flames not finishing dead last is if they come stumbling out of the gate and someone, anyone, over there in Cowtown gets the balls to finally take the Sutters out to the glue factory. These clowns are ruining the Flames and the only hope for the flaming C is to get Jay Feaster to take over. A new GM and philosophy change will get this group focused enough to battle for a playoff spot, finish a couple of spots out of the playoffs and in no mans land. Calgary can take solace in the fact that the NorthWest division boasts the Wild, Oil and Avalanche which should help them rack up points they otherwise wouldn’t get. Regardless of their positioning this season, this team needs to be blown up, and in a big way

11. Edmonton Oilers – The future is looking good for the Edmonton Oilers hockey club and fan base. The hardest part for this group this season will be to keep their idiotic fan base in check. Oilers fans will be expecting 5 cups within the next 6 years so these guys better know how to handle pressure. Nevertheless, this team should be a fun group to watch this season. Steve Tambellini will have his work cut out for him to try and stop Kevin Lowe for giving all of these young guys Shawn Horcoff type money and handing them $7 million a season starting next year.

12. Anaheim Ducks – The Ducks are offering their fans a “Victory Pack” where you buy tickets to 4 games and if the Ducks win these games you will get rewarded with free tickets to 4 games later on in the season. When ever your team marketing department and ownership group is banking on you to lose games it pretty much indicates the commitment level to winning in SoCal. Getzlaf, Perry, Hiller and Ryan are a good core, but their bottom 6 forwards and defensive corps is AHL quality at best, too bad to as this team used to boast Chris Pronger and Scott Neidermeyer.

13. Columbus Blue Jackets – There is a hockey team in Columbus?!? Poor, poor Rick Nash, either he hates winning or Columbus has some amazing woman, or something else that is keeping him there. Maybe he has a really sweet house?! Another season of mediocrity will only further alienate a dwindling fan base in the buck eye state. When Ethan Moreau is your biggest addition you have to wonder why bother trying to make any changes at all. Best of luck Scott Arniel.

14. Minnesota Wild – This franchise was doomed from day one. The jerseys, team colours and logo are all hideous and they stocked the team with a cult of over achieving dorks that were a pain in the ass to watch and play against. Their poor seasons and recent streak of playoff less hockey is hockey karma coming back to bite them in the ass for their over achieving years which their fan base confused as a legitimate hockey team. This organization should have hired Pierre Maguire when they had the chance.

15. Dallas Stars – Joe Nieuwendyk and Marc Crawford deserve better then an ownership group that is hemorrhaging money and unloading their other sports franchises. The messy ownership situation and the thin line up will make the Stars an interesting story this season. The Stars will be unloading players and salary before they will be making the necessary changes to improve this squad as they inevitably will end up in bankruptcy. Maybe Fernando Torres can skate?

Lebron, Wade, Bosh….who needs them

There was a lot of hype last week with the Lebron James signing in Miami. But really, it was a pretty obvious decision as soon as Bosh signed in Miami….hell it was obvious before Bosh signed there.

Let’s see…..you’re going to pay me millions of dollars, i’m going to play with my friend, and i’m going to live in a city that is right on the water and gets a ton of sunshine all year. Orrrrrrr….I could get a seasons pass to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Tough call.

This isn’t the first time superstar athletes have left crappy cities, resulting in a tailspin for the franchise located there to find players willing to play for them. Exhibit B – Edmonton Oilers.

But one that always puzzled me was the Vancouver Grizzlies. Vancouver is constantly talked about as one of the most liveable cities in the world, they have everything at their door step: mountains, oceans, recreation, great food, friendly people. Yet the Grizzlies had one of the toughest tasks getting people to want to play in the city. Sure maybe it had something to do with the fact that the team was the worst piece of shit ever to grace a basketball court, but why wouldn’t a number of superstars want to head up there to play.

Here is my version of the ultimate Vancouver Grizzlies starting lineup:

Centre: Standing 7 feet tall and weighing in at a slim 275 lbs the Grizzlies first draft pick ever, he really set the tone for the franchise…..
Bryant “Big Country” Reeves

Forward: Standing 6′ 10, weighing 230 lbs (yes that is 2 inches shorter and 45 lbs lighter than Big Country), sporting some wicked greased up white guys hair and looking like he should be a banker instead of a ball player……
Pete Chilcutt

Power Forward: Standing 6’11 and weighing in at a svelt 235 lbs, after having a pretty successful run as a professional he decided to milk the Grizzlies out of money…..
Cherokee Parks

Shooting Guard: Standing 6’1 and weighing a hefty 165 lbs this “shooting specialist” held the lowest field goal % for the Grizzlies both years he played for them while being paid $3,000,000 per season……
Brent Price

Point Guard: The franchise player Vancouver always needed because Shareef was never clutch enough to do anything, the Grizzlies had the 2nd pick overall and used it to take him…..and then proceeded to deal him to the Rockets for spare parts before he even played a single game for us (they could have had Lamar Odom who now has numerous championship rings and had publicly stated “I would love to play in Vancouver”)….
Steve Francis

With this kind of talent on your bench it kind of makes you wonder how Vancouver ended up in such a bad situation that they had to move to good ‘ol Memphis (where attendance still sucks and the team hemhorages money I believe).

So suck on that Miami, you may have gotten Lebron, D Wade, and CB4 – but you’ll never be able to assemble the kind of talent that led Vancouver to be the worst franchise ever in the history of sports. And any of you other franchises that are whining about missing out on those free agents, just be thankful that you didn’t have Stu Jackson at the helm of your team sinking them like he did the Grizz.