Monday, July 14, 2008

How could we? How could we not ...


All summer there have been 2 players who I was quietly hoping the Oilers would pursue - Sundin and Jagr. These are not the typical big name UFA players who sign highly inflated long term contracts. When the Oilers were offering Hossa 92 million over 9 years (or whatever it was) I cringed at the idea of paying 38 year old Hossa 9 million dollars*. It could not have been good value. Sundin and Jagr would be different because they'd be short term contracts. I think a short term overpayment like Sundin or Jagr would be acceptable because of their impact on the rest of the Oilers roster. I am a believer that the Oilers need a player of Sundin or Jagr's ilk to speed up the development process of the kids. Otherwise we won’t hit that level until Hemsky or Gagner can lead the ship. Looking down the road, a short term deal is also ideal for the Oilers who will need cap space when its time to extend Gagner and Cogliano.

Therefore, it was my opinion that the Oilers were bang on chasing Jagr. It’s a shame he ran off to Russia chasing millions of tax free dollars. But Sundin is still available. How come we haven’t even heard of an attempt to sign him? Was it shunned that severely?

Tyler at mc79hockey.com suggests here and here that Sundin is a very good UFA option who did well with little help and I agree. Yet for some reason, the only team left making noise on the Sundin front is the Canucks. Does that mean he is going to retire? Does he really want to go back to a rebuilding Toronto? I don’t really see Sundin going to Vancouver. Even though they have a lot of Swede's they don’t have the talent up front to attract Sundin - granted, adding Demitra does help.

The Oilers have had a good off-season with the additions of Visnovsky and Cole. IMO they should make the playoffs and could possibly win the division (more so due to the steps back by Minnesota, Calgary and Colorado). Now if you could add Sundin without removing much other than salary (which could almost be done simply by removing Roloson) the Oilers lineup would be stellar. My quick lineup guess would be:

Penner - Sundin - Nilsson
Cole - Horcoff - Hemksy
Cogliano - Gagner - Pouliot
Morreau - Brodziak - Pisani

I put the Swedes together and put Penner on that line because I think Penner could learn a ton from Sundin positionally. Either way you shuffle it that lineup would be grose! We'd have 3 lines that cold play PVP against almost any other line. Adding Sundin would IMO put us in discussions with Detroit, SJ, Dallas and Anaheim as candidates to represent the West.

It may not be realistic to suggest the notion that Sundin would come here but I'd still like to at least hear of an attempt. Agree?


* This ignores the fact that you could front load the contract and make the salary more attractive for a small market team (potentially Edmonton if the dollar tanks again).

3 comments:

Jonathan said...

It may not be realistic to suggest the notion that Sundin would come here but I'd still like to at least hear of an attempt. Agree?

I cant imagine Sundin has much interest in playing in Edmonton, and as much as he would be a nice fit short-term, I cannot imagine the Oilers entering 2009-10 with Sundin and Shawn Horcoff signed to an extension.

Sean said...

Either the cap would have to go up 6 million like it has the last could years or you trade Souray or let Cole walk. I'm not interested in signing anyone left at the expense of Horcoff. But when the Oilers were chasing Hossa, they had Horcoff making calls. I expect he is in the plans.

I just wonder why Jagr but not Sundin. Jagr would probably be the better player but Sundin the better leader. Each would be a difference maker. I think its worth a shot.

Jonathan said...

I just wonder why Jagr but not Sundin. Jagr would probably be the better player but Sundin the better leader. Each would be a difference maker. I think its worth a shot.

I imagine it has something to do with getting our glut of centres playing time in their natural position - between Cogs, Gagner, Pouliot, Brodziak and the three hundred prospects, the three spots behind Horcoff will fill up quickly.