YOU'RE MY BLUE SKY, YOU'RE MY SUNNY DAY

Lowetide
May 04 2013 08:09PM

A week ago, Craig MacTavish talked about adding size to the supreme skill in the Oilers top 6F. If we made a "wish list" of possible additions, how close can we come to naming the actual target?

POSSIBLES

  1. W Viktor Stalberg (27 years old) 47, 9-14-23 (UFA this summer, expiring $875k cap hit). I've listed him ahead of Bickell because he can play both wings. Stalberg is a fine winger with a nice range of skills, and could play on the 2 and 3 lines effectively. A target for sure.
  2. L Brian Bickell (27 years old) 48, 9-14-23 (UFA this summer, expiring $540k cap hit). This is an insane underpay for value. 2.30 5x5/60 (4th on team). Bickell's size/speed combination makes him an outstanding option for the Oilers. Big strong, possessing two-way ability and should be able to step into a larger offensive role. 
  3. F Nathan Horton (27 years old) 43, 13-9-22 (UFA this summer, expiring $4M cap hit). 1.95 5x5/60 (7th on team). Big man has some concussion issues but can also play more than one position (a key for MacT) and is certainly very physical. Horton on a line with Nuge and Hall? Gagner and Yakupov? Interesting.
  4. W Nikolai Kulemin (26 years old) 48, 7-16-23 (UFA 2014, $2.8M cap hit). 2.00 5x5/60 (5th on team). An excellent 2-way option, not the physical player hoped for but certainly a player who can impact the game with and without the puck. Toronto seems to be indifferent about Kulemin, I think he might come at a reasonable price.
  5. L Tomas Vanek (29 years old) 38, 20-21-41 (one year left at $7.14M). 2.64 5x5/60 (1st on team). THIS is an attractive option, if only because the pricetag would be less than some of the players below. Vanek is not a physical player, not at all--but I've included him because he's simply too talented to keep off the list. If the Oilers could get him for just picks or prospects it would be worth every penny.
  6. F Jakub Voracek (23 years old) 48, 22-24-46 ($4.25M cap hit through 2016 summer) 2.58 5x5/60 (1st on team). Ranked lower on the list because the cost would be dear. Voracek was drafted right after Gagner, and is a skilled winger with size. He could be an outstanding addition, but the cost (in terms of trade assets) makes him a far less attractive trade target.
  7. L Raffi Torres (31 years old) 39, 7-11-18 (UFA this summer, $1.75M cap hit) 2.15 5x5/60 (2nd on team). Hear me out, please. Raffi isn't a perfect hockey player, but he can impact the game. Torres is a physical player with skill, and can move up and down the depth chart as needed. Kind of a poor man's Esa Tikkanen.
  8. L Dustin Penner (30 years old) 33, 2-10-12 (UFA this summer $3.25M cap hit) 1.85 5x5/60 (4th on team). Hear me out volume two. Penner playd well with both Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, and I believe he might be a perfect fit for this Oiler club. If they could get him at a reasonable price, this could be music!

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Who knows, really. However, if the Oilers are looking for a bigger forward with offensive abilty this summer, I think Horton, Stalberg and Bickell is a very good place to start.

Sail on, Ales.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 DSF
May 04 2013, 08:15PM
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All of these players, save Vanek and Penner, will be re-signed by their teams.

Vanek will sign in Minnesota where he went to college and his wife resides and Penner won't have anything to do with the clown who humiliated him in public.

Try again.

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#3 Craig1981
May 04 2013, 08:28PM
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With cap issues unable to sign their playiers, I expect a lot of UFA. Buyouts should add even more, which make MacT's first few months interesting. I can't even hear you out on Penner though. This is the same Penner MacT benched. And even more importent MacT said he want to change the culture in the dressing room, so adding a player (Penner) he has called out for lack of effort seems impossilbe

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#4 DSF
May 04 2013, 08:28PM
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I'm suggesting you don't either.

Penner would laugh at you all day long.

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#6 DSF
May 04 2013, 08:39PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Penner has stated repeatedly the Edmonton experience was enjoyable.

Yeah. I'm sure Penner would like to work for MacT again.

Jeebus.

Get a grip.

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#7 Vaclav
May 04 2013, 08:41PM
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DSF wrote:

All of these players, save Vanek and Penner, will be re-signed by their teams.

Vanek will sign in Minnesota where he went to college and his wife resides and Penner won't have anything to do with the clown who humiliated him in public.

Try again.

And elementary school math suggests neither Boston nor Chicago have the cap room to fit Horton, Stalberg and Bickell under a $64M UCL.

Try again.

Oh and Vanek will sign in Columbus because his childhood nanny works at the local JC Penny.

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#9 horndog77
May 04 2013, 08:48PM
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This years list of free agents is just sad. There's no real upgrade for defense or goalies. I'd be happy if they could land Horton. It looks like the best way to get a player of need is by overpaying by trading picks and players. If people thought trade deadline day was boring wait till free agency......yikes. I hope they trade whatever it takes to get mackinnon

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#10 john
May 04 2013, 08:50PM
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LT, why no Glencross?

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#11 DSF
May 04 2013, 08:50PM
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Vaclav wrote:

And elementary school math suggests neither Boston nor Chicago have the cap room to fit Horton, Stalberg and Bickell under a $64M UCL.

Try again.

Oh and Vanek will sign in Columbus because his childhood nanny works at the local JC Penny.

Nonsense.

Boston has $6.6M in cap space nest season.

They may decide to not re-sign Horton but they can if they want to.

Chicago is closer to the cap but rte-signing Stalberg and Bickell is easily accommodated,.

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#12 Craig1981
May 04 2013, 08:51PM
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@DSF

The Oil have finished 30th, 30th, 29th ,and 24th the last 4 years. There is so much data to be able to write a well thought out, logical, and swaying argument. Instead you write nonsense using a mix between miss-information and lies. Thanks for the read Lowetide

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#13 Manfly
May 04 2013, 09:00PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Penner needs a job, Oilers have an opportunity. Stranger things, DSF. You post on Oiler blogs despite an undying devotion to the Canucks.

^you mean the soon to be golfing Canucks? ;-)

from that list i don' really want to see Torres here again, but maybe Penner.

the guy i hope they target though is Bickell.

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#14 Vaclav
May 04 2013, 09:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Nonsense.

Boston has $6.6M in cap space nest season.

They may decide to not re-sign Horton but they can if they want to.

Chicago is closer to the cap but rte-signing Stalberg and Bickell is easily accommodated,.

$6.6M before Tuukka Rask gets a raise from the $3.5M he earned this season and whatever money they spend on their backup. But I'm sure Horton will be happy to sign for the $1.2M and change that's left over.

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#15 Craig1981
May 04 2013, 09:05PM
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DSF wrote:

Nonsense.

Boston has $6.6M in cap space nest season.

They may decide to not re-sign Horton but they can if they want to.

Chicago is closer to the cap but rte-signing Stalberg and Bickell is easily accommodated,.

What you meant to say was ......

"Boston Has 6.6M left with only 17 players signed. This includes, Jagr, Horton, Ference, Rask. Players which made about 14M last year. They also would need to sign several role players. They will get 4M of injury relief from Savard though. This still leaves 3.4M to shed plus perhaps 2-3M for role players and maybe 1M raise for Rask " (about 7M to shed)

.......Thats what you meant right???

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#16 horndog77
May 04 2013, 09:06PM
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If free agency is weak shouldn't the oilers look at trying to trade up in the draft? I know it's not ideal because Edmonton needs immediate upgrades but no point overpaying for players either.

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#17 Klima's Mullet
May 04 2013, 09:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Nonsense.

Boston has $6.6M in cap space nest season.

They may decide to not re-sign Horton but they can if they want to.

Chicago is closer to the cap but rte-signing Stalberg and Bickell is easily accommodated,.

I disagree...Chicago has very enviable depth at all forward positions and I think they will walk away from one of the two to graduate a prospect.

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#18 DSF
May 04 2013, 09:09PM
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Vaclav wrote:

$6.6M before Tuukka Rask gets a raise from the $3.5M he earned this season and whatever money they spend on their backup. But I'm sure Horton will be happy to sign for the $1.2M and change that's left over.

Horton is a horrible bet.

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#19 DSF
May 04 2013, 09:10PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

What you meant to say was ......

"Boston Has 6.6M left with only 17 players signed. This includes, Jagr, Horton, Ference, Rask. Players which made about 14M last year. They also would need to sign several role players. They will get 4M of injury relief from Savard though. This still leaves 3.4M to shed plus perhaps 2-3M for role players and maybe 1M raise for Rask " (about 7M to shed)

.......Thats what you meant right???

They won' re-sign Jagr.

Game over.

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#20 Hammers
May 04 2013, 09:11PM
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Stalberg , Bickel & Horton should be the first short list . Get any one of them and I'm happy . Get 2 and that's great . Torres would also be a guy to put an offer to . Not sure about the others partly due to cost and cap hits .

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#21 GVBlackhawk
May 04 2013, 09:15PM
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And in other news, Oklahoma City Barons move on to the next round with a 6-2 victory.

The 'stacked' Houston Aeros are done after a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Grand Rapids.

Who could have seen that coming??

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#22 Mikey
May 04 2013, 09:19PM
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What about Eric Fehr?

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#23 Craig1981
May 04 2013, 09:22PM
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DSF wrote:

They won' re-sign Jagr.

Game over.

Jagr made 4.5M last season still leaving them about 2.5M short.

not game over. Try and respond intelligently next time you want to try and slam an insult after.

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#24 clyde
May 04 2013, 09:28PM
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Can't believe no one on here has suggested trading Hemsky for a 1st and a high end prospect or Gagner for a top 10 pick. lol

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#25 FastOil
May 04 2013, 09:37PM
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Torres is perfect for the Oilers. He might not want to come back though.

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#26 Lexi
May 04 2013, 09:52PM
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LT,

Just curious why you don't have Clarkson on this list?

I would love it if they could get either Bickell or Stallberg. Horton is high risk, high return, but he was pretty healthy this year, still pretty young and very elite when on.

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#27 madjam
May 04 2013, 09:57PM
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Take most of our weak core and the options for upgrade are plenty - to many to mention . I like the trade route not the overpaid UFA RFA route for beginners .

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#28 DSF
May 04 2013, 10:07PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Penner needs a job, Oilers have an opportunity. Stranger things, DSF. You post on Oiler blogs despite an undying devotion to the Canucks.

Penner re-signs with the Oilers.

Or not.

You go dark for a year or I do.

Bet?

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#29 striatic
May 04 2013, 10:15PM
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Stalberg and Bickell are by no means surefire re-signs for the Hawks.

the Money available to these guys on the FA market will have to be appealing, especially if they nab rings this year.

the contracts on offer could get out of hand.

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#30 David S
May 04 2013, 10:38PM
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clyde wrote:

Can't believe no one on here has suggested trading Hemsky for a 1st and a high end prospect or Gagner for a top 10 pick. lol

Because a high end pick won't move the needle on this team next year. MacT's mandate is to make the team better NOW.

If anything I wouldn't be surprised to see the Oilers trade their #7 plus a player (Hemsky no doubt) for one of those pieces.

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#31 Sid
May 04 2013, 10:38PM
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Sadly Horton is one hit away from retiring.

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#32 SrCain
May 04 2013, 10:39PM
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DSF wrote:

Penner re-signs with the Oilers.

Or not.

You go dark for a year or I do.

Bet?

How about ON does a poll on who goes dark for a yr. You or Lowetide?

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#33 Rod from Viking
May 04 2013, 10:43PM
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Great article LT, I do think Clarkson could be the main target as well as at least one of the Blackhawk's you mentioned, it looks like game over for the Canucks and should be for (D)own (S)tairs (F)reak.

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#34 doublee
May 04 2013, 10:44PM
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What about trading for Boone Jenner- Big,abrasive ,strong on faceoffs and 45 goals in 56 games in last year of junior.

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#35 Time Travelling Sean
May 04 2013, 10:55PM
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Isn't Jagr powerforwardish? He's big, strong, and nearly impossible to get off the puck, and he and Hemmer are fellow country-men.

If he signed for Dallas I don't see why he wouldn't sign for us, and he would have so many useful little tips for all our younger, and even some of our more veteranish players.

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#36 TigerUnderGlass
May 04 2013, 11:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Penner re-signs with the Oilers.

Or not.

You go dark for a year or I do.

Bet?

Because "stranger things have happened" is now the same as "I'm pretty sure this will happen"?

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#37 Omega4
May 04 2013, 11:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Penner re-signs with the Oilers.

Or not.

You go dark for a year or I do.

Bet?

I'll take that bet.

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#38 headmetal
May 04 2013, 11:14PM
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why not give a chance to Cheechoo?? He seems to have been rediscovering his game in OKC and would cost the Oil.....nothing! Thoughts?! Plus I think the guys that should top this list that are missing are Clarkson and Clowe

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#39 madjam
May 04 2013, 11:24PM
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Ribero , B.Sutter ,Couturier , Kusnetsov ,Kesler , Nystrom ?

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#40 719
May 04 2013, 11:26PM
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I would like to add Jagr to the list, but I don't know if he comes here.

I think Clarkson doesn't come here, everyone seems to think he re-signs with Jersey. His comments on Lou seem to indicate deep ties to him and a sense of loyalty.

I would love it if the Oil picked up both Bickell and Stahlberg.

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#41 Eddie Shore
May 04 2013, 11:27PM
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Lowetide, do you not view David Clarkson as a top 6 forward and that is why you left him off your list?

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#42 madjam
May 04 2013, 11:53PM
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Players leaving here are flourishing elsewhere at an alarming rate , while the ones that come here seem to all be underachieving . What is the correlation ? We need a whole new core for starters , not just 6-8 . The youth can't protect themselves ,and rest of core which is soft to begin with , just can't protect that many smallish players on top of the other veteran soft core players.

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#43 RexLibris
May 05 2013, 12:05AM
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I'd shy away from Horton and Clarkson. Horton's concussion history and the Oilers' ability to network player with debilitating injury is akin to thumbing one's nose at the Hockey Gods.

Clarkson has had one very good season playing for a familiar coach and given favourable playing time. The overpay would only set up eventual disappointment.

Now Bickell and Stalberg I have time for. And Jagr would make a very good Hemsky replacement as a depth winger. You want to change the culture, bring in somebody with a work ethic and a history of winning? He'd be a good bet.

Provided that management doesn't put all their proverbial eggs into the UFA basket, we should be able to address at least one need via free-agency. More than that and we are in trouble. One team out of 30 gets to sign these players. Those aren't great odds, worse than the draft lottery even. So the Oilers had best have a plan B, C, and D in place. And if any of those includes something like "Cam Barker" in the solution, then I give up.

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#44 15w40
May 05 2013, 12:05AM
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SrCain wrote:

How about ON does a poll on who goes dark for a yr. You or Lowetide?

Just a year??

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#45 RexLibris
May 05 2013, 12:08AM
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clyde wrote:

Can't believe no one on here has suggested trading Hemsky for a 1st and a high end prospect or Gagner for a top 10 pick. lol

Not on Sundays.

Come back mid-week when we run the "Hemsky-for..." columns. They're just like the Omark trade proposal open threads, only more plausible.

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#46 Supernova
May 05 2013, 12:29AM
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DSF wrote:

Penner re-signs with the Oilers.

Or not.

You go dark for a year or I do.

Bet?

How about you make a bet with someone that doesn't add value to the blog.

Lowetide is exceptional

DSF you are a constant barrage of nonsense, and purposefully posting inflammatory comments.

Why would lowetide place that bet with you, and how could we support him doing that?

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#47 Walter Sobchak
May 05 2013, 01:23AM
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I'm not agreeing with everything DSF has said here, but his point about Penner is valid.

I think if you got the truth out of both Penner and Mac-T, I think it go both ways.

There is no way Mac-T wants Penner and there's equally no room in Penner's heart for Mac-T.

I think Penner ends up back with the Ducks.

Myself, I personally don't have a lot of love for recycling old players through the team, it didn't work the first time.

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#48 Reg Dunlop
May 05 2013, 01:46AM
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'You're my blue sky... I saw the Allman Bros. about 20 years ago and Dickie Betts has to be one of the best guitarists(along with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Martin Barre) I've seen. One question: what's the meaning of 'sail on, Ales'?

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#49 Curcro
May 05 2013, 03:18AM
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DSF wrote:

Nonsense.

Boston has $6.6M in cap space nest season.

They may decide to not re-sign Horton but they can if they want to.

Chicago is closer to the cap but rte-signing Stalberg and Bickell is easily accommodated,.

Boston has $6.6 M in cap space and will buy out Savard making 10.6 M available. With that $10.6 M they have to sign 2 Goalies, 2 Defensemen, 3 Forwards.

Let's assume their number 1 priority is Rask, I can't see him signing for less than $6M, and he would be a huge RFA target for teams with space if Boston delays on that. For instance, if a team offered him $8M that would leave the Bruins with less than the league minimum to fill out their roster, forcing a trade.

That leaves $4.6 M left for 1 Goalie, 2 Defensemen, 3 Forwards - that is .77M per player, which is barely over the league minimum.

All of the above says they don't sign Horton. Do some research DSF.

Chicago has $2M, they will buy out Olesz giving them $3.1M less the $.9M that comes off the cap hit when the player is buried. Giving them $4.2 M to sign 1 Goalie & 1 Forward. I would suggest they may also buy out Montador bringing in $2.8M. Giving Chicago $7M to spend on 1 D, 1 G & 1 F. Given that Stalberg is worth in the $2-3M range. That leaves $4M to resign Kruger and a back up goalie.

So if Stalberg wants to sign with Chicago I think he does. But Horton will not sign with Boston unless Boston decides to use a 2nd buyout.

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#50 MKE
May 05 2013, 03:21AM
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DSF it has to be hard going through life knowing everyone pails in comparison to your superior intelect *rolls eyes*

Because of the cap going down, SOME teams will have to make tough choices on some players.

Who and where remains to be seen.

But it's safe to assume some guys need to be traded or bought out this summer for cap reasons.

I'm for one think MacT has the smarts to be able to cash in on this.

Time will tell.

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