Are you smarter than a first-rounder?

Before we hit tomorrow's craziness (who's ready to get their Dominion Day on?), I thought I'd throw up a post about today's news out of Calgary. We've seen pending UFA's get traded in the past and sign before July 1, so it was no surprise to hear that convicted felon  Jay Bouwmeester is adding 'Calgary Flames defenceman' to his rap sheet.

Now that he's signed, I can already hear the chorus of tsn comment-thread commenters talking about how 'smrt it wus' [sic] for Darryl to trade for J-Bo's rights. I've even heard Oilers fans in the past couple of days say they wish we'd have offered Florida a better package for him. And I just don't get it. Any of it.

This has been discussed before, but as far as I can tell, from a purely economic standpoint, it doesn't make any sense for Calgary to make this trade...unless they think they're signing J-Bo for less than it would cost them on July 1.

It also doesn't make any sense for Bouwmeester to sign the deal (apparently 6.6 cap hit) either, unless he thinks it's better than what he'll get on July 1. That would mean:

1) that he thinks Calgary's offer is better than anything else anyone would ever offer (probably by a pretty wide margin, too, because if you hit the open market, there's always a chance of a bidding war).

2) that he thinks for some reason Calgary would take back their offer once free agency starts, otherwise why not just wait and see.

The argument comes up that the reason these trades make sense is because they're all a bunch of lying liars who have been secretly negotiating for weeks, and everyone knew exactly how it would go down before the trade ever got submitted to the league. There's probably some truth to that, but it still doesn't make much sense for J-Bo unless he's been secretly negotiating with all the interested teams, and if that's the case, then what the hell do we even have free agency for anyways? And then if Calgary had indications he'd sign their offer, why wouldn't they just wait until July 1 and save themselves some assets?

Seriously, if anyone can explain this to me, I'm all ears. I genuinely don't get it. But hey, at least this will keep anyone from confusing Dion Phaneuf with a top-pair defenceman.


Let the Right One In

Now that Draft Day and its accompanying hype have come and gone, it becomes easier to regard it in its true form: a crapshoot. All the speculation falls onto the shoulders of the young men brought in as prospects and we, as fans, sit and pray and hope and make sacrifices to our venegeful lords in the hopes that, when the dice stop tumbling, we're not looking at a pair of ones.

When it comes to assessing a new player to the Oilers organization, the Oilogosphere's analysis is as detailed as it gets. Unfortunately, any insight we feel we might have with a particular player is as good as having a hunch about a coin flip. How can we predict all the twists and turns of a young man's development? How do we account for that time little Magnus walked in on Papa Gunnar giving the ol' falukorv and lingonberries to his sweet Finnish Mama? It's all grasping at straws, but rest easy knowing that we here at SloFreO will grasp violently at those straws, rending them with our desperate, knobby hands.

Once our staff had been given "Warm Regards"-level clearance from the fine folks in Magnus' camp, we dove right in and combed every hair of his website in search of crunchy, nutritious nuggets of information. What follows is a series of excerpts that are chock-a-block with relevant and revealing divinations about our new import...

Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson was born in Norrkoping april 12 1991 - just three weeks before Mats Sundin scored the game winning goal against the former Soviet Union in the final game of the World Championship in Abo, Finland, just 116 weeks after the first game of hockey, just 10 weeks before the Calgary Flames took the third, yet most memorable Swede of the 1991 Entry Draft in Niklas Sundblad, and roughly just 727 532 weeks after the dawn of civilization in the Levant region of Western Asia.

Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson has appeared in every game for Timra IK in Elitserien during the 2008/2009 season except while spending time off-planet to play in the InterDimensional Laser Hockey Championship hosted on Zetaton-3, Horsehead Nebula.

Q: Do you have any personal rituals in the dressing room?
A: No, nothing. In fact, I demand total silence from all my teammates. This is essential for the completion of my blood pact with Hyrrokkin, Giant Hag of Winter Storms. O Wolfrider! Snap your reins, twisted serpents be they, and hie to my side! Lend me the strength of your terrible hand, O Giantess, so that I may smite each coward before me! [unintelligible grunts and wails] But no personal rituals to speak of at all, no.

Q: What did you dream of becoming as a child?
A: I always wanted to be a hockey player, all my life. There has never been anything else. I never dreamed of becoming a train driver, pilot or anything like that. I never had the insatiable desire to be the lone man at the helm of an unstoppable, hulking mass of steel. I never ached for the feeling of a vessel's controls rattling in my clenched fists, as it careens across thousands of kilometers at an incredible pace. I never longed to know the burden of being the last safeguard between thousands of innocent lives and the horror of a mangled, fiery death. Never. Not once.

Q: Is there anything great with long trips on buses?
A: It's really good for team-building and it also gives you a chance to relax and to disconnect from the rest of the world and its wastelands, void of honourable souls and infected with vice.

Well now, what a level-headed young lad. I think what stands out the most is how normal this guy really is, hey loyal readers? I think us Oilfans will be enjoying Magnus' steady development into a responsible player with an even-keeled skill set for many a year to come.


Player 2 Insert Coin To Start

Well, I might as well get to it. Downright Fierce asked me if I would contribute to this blog, and I have to admit that I have my doubts I'll have much of interest to say. I'm no sports journalist, I'm not a stats whiz, or a Toronto area lawyer. I'm not a brilliant writer with encyclopedic knowledge of the Montreal Expos cerca the 1980s. I'm not sure how much I really have to contribute to the Oilogosphere at all.

But just now I was sitting on the deck of my family cabin, watching the fireflies as the sun disappeared under the horizon. In my one hand, I was balancing a lit Cohiba and a cold one. In my other, I was on my iPhone, signing the guestbook at Paajarvi.com. And just then an overwhelming feeling came over me that I was some kind of Jeff Foxworthy punchline about being an Oilers blogger.

So thanks to Downright for letting me invade this space, and I guess we'll see how things go once I try putting something up here with substance. Oh, and you're very welcome, Magnus:

Thank you for adding to my guestbook.

Warm Regards,
Magnus Paarjarvi-Svensson


Christening the Unsinkable Blog

Well, here we are. It's D-Day and I'm ready to storm the beaches of the Oilogosphere.

The endless hype and speculation has gotten me ready for anything to happen in Montreal, but I'm also ready for nothing to happen. Will Tambi be left leaning against the wall like the redheaded girl with a clubfoot and braces? Or will he swing into the Bell Centre on a chandelier, swashing everyone's buckles and moistening our collective undies? Only time will tell.

Strap yourself in and stay tuned to your lightning boxes, folks, this should be one helluva Draft.