Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kevin Lowe, Pirate

Damn. Twice now I've picked up the phone at work and had Kinger tell me Lowe has done something ridiculous. He's optimistic. As for me, not so much.

First off, I love that Lowe is willing to go for the RFAs. I may question his target and price, but his strategy and methods are, if nothing else, immensely entertaining.

Penner might be a solid player. He saw a lot of the soft minutes last year, but at least he got a taste of what riding shotgun with Todd Marchant is like. Getzlaf made that whole line look good, but I think I'd take Penner ahead of Perry for the Oilers. My main concern with him as a player was that in the playoffs he had about two games where he really impressed me. That being said, I do like the guy as a player.

It might be a little generous, but lets say he's an even bet to cover his contract number over the term. Then the issue comes down to compensation. Would you give up a 1st, 2nd , and 3rd for the guy? I think that the Oilers have the prospect depth that I'd toss the 2nd and the 3rd without a second thought. A mid to late round first and I think the prospect pool can absorb that. However, if that turns out to be a top 5 pick, this becomes terrible asset management.

What this really comes down to is how good that first is. Are the Oilers with Dustin Penner a playoff team? I have my doubts. Are they a lottery team? Lowetide seems to think so. I don't. Lets say I'm cautiously optimistic about this move as a whole, but I think this move has a much better chance of absolutely blowing up in Lowe's face than it does of turning out brilliantly.

I loved the Pitkanen trade, and I loved the Vanek offer sheet. I'm definitely behind the overall RFA raiding strategy. If Burke doesn't match, the Oilers will certainly be a better team next year. What this is really coming down to for me is this: If I told you two weeks ago that the Oilers were going to add 10 million dollars in salary for the next 5 years and send out a 1st,2nd and 3rd, wouldn't you have expected a better team than this?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I Can Get Behind Anything

I was sitting at work the other day, and I got a phone call from Kinger.

"Did you see?"
"Oh god, you haven't seen it yet."
At this point I immediately pulled up and saw the lead story.
"Oh god no..."

I had spent the entire commercial/preview time at Transformers the night before explaining to my Flames/Pens sports bigamist friend that there was no way in hell Lowe was going to be stupid enough to give Souray the kind of money he wanted. That Lowe and Co. were too good at analyzing dmen to do something so clearly foolish. Desperation wouldn't overcome their good senses. But it did. At this point, Kinger has managed to talk me off the ledge and now I'm rationalizing the ways in which this is a good thing.

27/5 is less than I thought he was going to sign for originally. That's a little like putting your hand through a table saw and coming out the other side with your pinky intact, but it's still something.

Even if Souray's PP numbers regress to the mean somewhat, we should still be able to pencil him in for at least 15 goals and 25 assists. Now, that's still being reasonably optimistic, but that's what we're doing here.

Montreal was an incredibly bad ES team, overall. One hopes that this should deflate that +/- a bit, but based on the other information I've seen around the Oilogosphere, maybe not. However, when rationalizing something awful, picking your evidence selectively is critical. I don't really know that Souray is awful defensively. I think that he is. The statistical evidence suggests that he is, but I haven't seen enough of Montreal play to judge the context of those numbers. A friend of mine who is a Habs fan loves the guy, so there's something. It's enough to give me hope and some optimism. I'll let the puck drop for the 1st game before I decide that this is not going to work.

This doesn't completely cripple the team's budget. If Lowe gets Pitkanen signed to something long-term, that only leaves Stoll as a major re-signing for next offseason. Assume that his raise is covered by Tarnstrom walking and Gilbert likely getting his spot, then we have however much money we're willing to spend over where we are at now to upgrade on Sanderson. Based on the Vanek offer of 10 in the first season, that seems to be about 4 million real dollars. A 5.5 million dollar left winger would look like a good investment...

So that's the most optimism I can muster. It might not be all bad. Sadly, I'm getting pretty used to looking at this team's moves that way.