Word has it (from LT via Flaming & Millard) Eberle won't be the only new face in Sprungfeld. Collegiate bookworm Jeff Petry will finally give up on his dreams of academia and ink a pro contract with the Org sometime in the near future.

Having discussed the Eberle situation, I'd give Petry equal odds on a stint with the big club after we eclipse T-9 games this evening. If the contract is done by today, Petry could see himself swapped out for Arsene or Chorney as soon as Sunday.

That depends, of course, on whether he flies or falls in the AHL.

Update: Via Tencer, Petry is signed, sealed, and being delivered to his first pro team. I'll bet his cup of coffee is brewing already...

Upperdate: Two years for the big Michigander.


Sunk Costs

There's word around the Internet this week that the Oilers are open for business leading up to the draft. Lowetide quoted this piece from the Boston Globe that threw out names like Penner, Gagner, Hemsky, and Cogliano. And an article from Rishaug on TSN.ca on Monday had this tidbit: "Anyone in the organization (with the exception of Eberle) could be in play and available to the highest bidder." With all this trade talk, I'm a bit worried about some of the comments I'm seeing.

Certain Oilers fans are making the argument that the Oilers shouldn't trade this or that young player because only loser organizations suffer through the development years of their players only to trade them when they're hitting their prime. I've seen terms like "NHL's Farm Team" thrown around. The argument that we shouldn't trade players just as they're reaching the productive years of their careers seems to make sense at first, but actually doesn't really hold up.

Sure, loser organizations are usually the same organizations that trade away their talent just as they are getting good. But that's not what makes them losers. What makes them losers is that they don't get full value for those young players when they do trade them. It's one of those causation vs. correlation things.

There's a concept in Economics called Sunk Costs. Basically what it says is that when you're trying to make a decision about the future, it does you no good to worry about what you've already done. If you manufacture a product that costs 10 dollars to make and you break even on every sale, it doesn't really matter that you spent 100 million dollars building the factory. You're still better off cutting bait and putting the rest of your money in the bank. At least there it will earn a little bit of interest. The 100 million is gone, no matter what you do.

In the same way, it doesn't really matter if the team suffered through the "Clouseau-esque" development of some of our young players. Just like the 100 million dollars, we can't get that ice time back. And we shouldn't let that baggage affect our decision-making. (You can make the same manufacturing analogy about vets like Moreau, too. Just swap out "breaks even on every sale" with "takes a significant loss on every sale.")

We can all agree that the team is bad today, but the way to get better is by evaluating the future value of each move, and then pull the trigger on the ones that make sense moving forward, without worrying about what has already happened.

So, I agree that for a player like Sam Gagner, the risk/reward of cashing in his future value for the expected future value of a Hall/Seguin probably doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have anything to do with the growing pains we've already suffered with the player. Gagner has a future value. Hemsky has a future value. Cogliano has a future value. If the Oilers can trade them away and get better future value back, then they should do it. Period. It's the only way we will ever get better.


Gettin' Up

2009-10: 3 GP, 6 PTS (3G, 3A) playing with Linglet/Minard-Wiseman
2008-09: 9 GP, 9 PTS (3G, 6A) playing with Potulny-Stone

The Cardiac Kid has arrived in Springfield. Again. So far, Eberle's tallied 15 points in a dozen games in the A and, even by modest standards, is going like gangbusters.

What does this mean for the Oilers? Only the reckless acceleration towards the inevitable: Eb to Ed.

The EJ is all over JE's production and claims the Org "told the kid a call-up is coming as long as he produces, and he's holding up his end of the bargain."

There's no quotation marks around that excerpt in the story proper, which smacks of pandering. They quote Daum and he answers like they're asking him at gunpoint why he hasn't hand-delivered young Master Eberle to Tambellini's doorstep, snug in a basket and swaddled in an Oilers jersey. They are, of course, paying lip service to the slavering fans eager for his call-up. With nothing to lose and a joyless season rapidly retreating to the darkest corner of our memories, the Oilers will no doubt bring the kid up and start hustling hope by the kilo.

The Ducks game on Friday marks the Oilers ninth-last game of the season. T-9 games means open season on call-ups that won't effect eligibility. Could we see Eberle that early? Perhaps. Or the management may wait until the team heads to Missouri and ease the kid in with a short flight and a mellow Sunday afternoon tilt against the Blues.

A good showing from Eberle would be a mouthwatering appetizer for the Draft for fans and the Org alike.
Quick Hits

--Re: that First Overall Pick... The debate rages on, but now their asking Pat Quinn what he thinks. "Isshy and what? You must be some kind of crazy person," OTC responded.

--Another late-season pleasure, the Spoilers are starting to show up at the rink. Despite beating the Wings, they gifted them a Loser Point and helped them edge past the Flamers. Last night, the Sharks saw the Pacific Division slip out of their grasp thanks to the Spoil. Except for the Vancouver game, anymore wins for the good guys could cause some major disruption in the Western Conference Playoff race.

--Man Games Lost to Injury Watch: 441. Based on Mirtle's 2008-09 late-season projections, we're outpacing the Blues Conference-worst MGLI from last year, something they overcame to make the playoffs as a 6th seed. Interestingly enough, the last place Islanders posted the League-worst 566 MGLI the same year. That also happens to be the worst the League's seen in the past five years. The Oil aren't likely to catch up, but we'll come close... And we'll likely post a worse record than the 08-09 Isles.

--Another interesting piece on injuries, specifically CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).


Any Similarities To Mc79hockey Are Purely Coincidental

Right now, as you all know, the Oilers are in a dog race for last place. With another pesky two-game winning streaks under their belt, the Oilers find themselves starting the week only 4 points back of Toronto. So, you might be asking yourself: Is the eponymous 'Fall for Hall' in jeopardy?

The choice between Hall/Seguin is looking more and more like a crapshoot all the time, so the goal here for the Oilers, I think, is to draft first or second overall. At this point, there are two things in our way: The Leafs and the lottery. What, then, are the odds of the Oilers missing out on a top-two draft pick? Let's take a look at the numbers to see if we can't find out. Be forewarned: it might get a little math-y after the break.


Project: Rebuild, the Prelude

Edmonton Oilers: last place team in the NHL. A team barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic team. The Oilers will be that team. Better than it was before...

Better, stronger, faster.
So our GM-cum-Oscar-Goldman has tipped his hand on deadline day and I can't yet tell if I'm at peace with it or in an intense state of denial. LT seems to think 2010-11 will bring another Fifty-Seven Million Dollar Team that does less slow-motion roof jumps and a lot more sucking. Truth is, Steve Austin was at the top of his profession before his rebuild; we, on the other hand, are at the bottom. And it's a looong way up.

With deadline day marking the actual start point of the rebuild, I'm going to start tracking the steps of Tambellini's quest for renaissance.



These are cap moves, plain and simple. Losing The Vision is a bitter pill, but Souray's season-ending infection ultimately sealed the Slovak's fate. We also get bigger across the board, which has been Tambo's mandate from jumpstreet and will likely be the rock he builds his church on. My biggest gripe has got to be the return on the Anaheim deal, case in point:

Petteri Nokelainen is a grinder on the wing(!) with size(!!) and a stellar two way game(!!!). He's young(!!!!) and comes with a bonus year for under a milli(!!!!!). Your man was obtained by the deadline wizards in AZ for a fourth. Did we even ask about him? Could Moreau, having scored 2G-1A (all SH) in 2 games versus the Ducks right before the Olympics break, gotten the deal done on a Whitney-Noke package? Ryan Whitney is what he is (lower skill∴lower salary), but it is a travesty that we missed out on an opportunity like the aforementioned Finn who would have been a need-filler, a cap relief, and a potential piece of the future.

Alas, here we are. The Captain remains on the sinking ship, which seems like just punishment. Thank goodness Steady Steve got hauled aboard another vessel, albeit that of a hated rival. For so long Staios was a trusty defender with true grit to spare and he's been given a chance to make a go of it in Cowtown. It'll be hard, damn hard, to deal with that flaming C on his chest over the next season and a quarter, but he's still overpaid and a step-and-a-half behind. I, for one, will cheer just as hard when one of our young bucks lines the fucker up for a hit, assuming he doesn't do it first.

With the deadline past, it'll be a season of casting calls and tryouts. A litter of unfamiliar jerseys skating uphill and looking every bit the non-NHLers they are, but at least it's something. We no longer have to cheer for the Oil to lose, we're going to be bad no matter what (though some of us may have been ahead of the curve in accepting this). The Blue & Orange will get throttled nightly, but Gagner will likely turn it on harder than he ever has (latter-half player, RFA year) and there's sure to be some pleasant surprises as players jostle for pecking order heading into the offseason.

Maybe after we soldier through this long-term rebuild, the Oil will be the ones hip-tossing Sasquatch... Proverbially-speaking, of course.