What Is It Sutter Knows That The Oilers Don't?

You go to work one day and think there isn't much going on in the NHL, except the continued stinkery of your Edmonton Oilers. You come back and see that the Calgary Flames have traded half their team.

Put aside for a second what the actual trades themselves do for Calgary, I'm wondering, what is it Sutter knows that Tambellini doesn't? How is it, in an NHL, where trades or so hard to come by, one team can literallly move 5 or 6 players in less than 24 hours. I mean, it's not as though Calgary moved it's best assets.

Sure Phaneuf is good and Jokinen is struggling but can be an offensive weapon, but; Sutter made a move. That move created holes in the depth and role positions of his team, so he made additional moves to correct it. Seems logical, yet the Oilers can't do it.

Imagine what goes on in Calgary when Darryl Sutter decides losing 9 in a row before beating lowly Edmonton, isn't enough to make his team successful. He says to himself he'll make some moves. He gets on the phone equipped only with a roster of players, a tight to the cap team and some big time contracts for players that many teams might not have interest in at their high long-term salaries.

First, he moves Dion Phaneuf to Toronto along with Keith Aulie and Fredrik Sjostrom. What it does, is relieve of him major cap space on the blueline (when after the Bouwmeester signing the salaries were obvious and unevenly distributed) and a creates a hole where Phaneuf once was in terms of a powerplay bomb.

Sutter says, ok, I've got to get a blueline shot, I can afford to move some offence cause I just picked up Stajan and Hagman and I kind of have too many of the third/fourth line grittier guys now that Mayers is back and Proust was in that role.

Sutter picks up the phone again, moves a big overpaid contract in Jokinen, who after two seasons can't find a spark in Calgary and lands his powerplay shot in Ales Kotalik. At the same time, Sutter moves the excess in Proust, while adding a bit more offensive depth with Chris Higgins.

The crazy thing to me, is while it sounds like a lot, it makes total sense and seems like the logical easier decisions a GM would make.

Why then, do I feel as though the Oilers lack the skill, drive or whatever to pull of these kinds of moves? As fans in Edmonton, we still wait. And while we do, Souray fractures his hand which means a Visznovsky trade is almost a certainty. (you decide who you'd rather have kept, but it would have been nice to have a choice to see who earns the better return).

In addition, other teams that had interest in some of our assets like Anaheim did in Ethan Moreau, now no longer need them thanks to their trades with Toronto. The whole time Edmonton watched and while they watch the Oilers ability to make moves gets harder than they already claimed they were.

I suppose you gotta love it when the good news just keeps piling up.


I should add, I don't necessarily agree that these moves were best or made Calgary a better team, but at least Sutter is making an attempt.

The Oilers have a clear vision to rebuild and while they may be trying, there sure are no signs that any trades are coming soon.

February 1, 2010 at 3:19 AM comment-delete

I don't see how making a trade for the sake of trying makes any sense. This team is horrible right now, which is affording them the time to explore all options and wait for a better market while ensuring they get a 'gauranteed' quality draft pick. What is the harm in waiting, we keep playing horrible? It is at our expense, as fans, but is that expense not an investment at this point?

Sutter does know something the Oilers do not... they have a chance at the playoffs with a team that was expected to be comfortably in a playoff spot, and we don't. Sutter can't afford to wait to pull the trigger is a better way of putting it, in my opinion. I see a lot of tension and pressure in this trade, especially if he is willing to deal with Burke, and I don't think that is the position the Oilers want to take into any deal at this time.

At the same time, good on Sutter for getting it done. It seems that time will tell who won the trade, though right now many argue Toronto did.

February 1, 2010 at 12:04 PM comment-delete

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