Thursday, August 04, 2005

Peca as well? My my...

I must say, I'm pretty surprised by this deal, but it's tough to see how it doesn't help the Oilers for next year. With the additions of Pronger and Peca the Oilers are fast becoming a difficult team to play against. I would imagine they'll be better at ES, and on the PK. For that matter, how can the PP be worse with Pronger replacing Brewer?

One might argue that the offense isn't improved, and it may not be. Did it need to be? They were 9th in the NHL for goals scored in 03/4. York to Peca may be a slight offensive downgrade, maybe not. Brewer to Pronger should clearly be an improvement offensively. But it would seem unlikely that the combination of Peca, Pronger, and Conklin/Markkanen all year will see the goals against rise (relative to last year, who knows where the rules will take league-wide GF)

Who knows how good the Oilers will be next year, maybe I'm a pie-eyed optimist but I think they're looking pretty good for a playoff spot, and with some "luck" is home ice out of the question? Maybe not.

I can't deny wondering if the team would have been better off having signed Holik and Gonchar instead, but it's hard to know just how good those guys will be in 2 years when you're still on the hook for their contracts. Pronger as well, for that matter, though as long as his wrist hold up he seems like more of a sure bet - or am I just hoping for that to be the case?

If we assume that the Oilers currently line-up something like:

Smyth Horcoff Hemsky
Torres Peca Dvorak
Moreau Reasoner Pisani
Harvey Stoll Laraque

Pronger Semenov
Smith Staios
Cross Bergeron

I wonder, how does that compare to:

Smyth Horcoff Hemsky
York Holik Dvorak
Moreau Reasoner Pisani
Torres Stoll Laraque

Gonchar Smith
Staios Brewer
Semenov Bergeron

The second team is about 3-4 mil more expensive; is it that much better so as to be worth it? If that blew the budget then I guess it was always impossible. Also, I'm assuming both Holik and Gonchar would sign for the same amounts they signed for, respectively, in ATL and BOS, which may not be the case.

I suppose the first lineup - the current lineup - still would have 3 or 4 mil in spending room to get on par with the 2nd lineup, theoretically. If so, maybe that is the better way to go, depending what 3 mil buys on the UFA market.

Speaking of, how much money will Lowe have left after signing his RFA's? Doesn't look like much, but it sure would be nice to see Lowe take a run at Clarke while he's a bit vulnerable to an RFA offer sheet, on a player like Johnsson or Gagne, if that extra 3-4 mil is available.


Anonymous said...

Peca works well if he signs a long term deal for 3 mill or so a year. I have grave misgivings about that though as he always seems to be playing the 'get-no-respect' card. I have a feeling we either over-pay for him (3.5+) or he leaves after one year - both of which mean we lose the trade.

As far as overall goes - I would rather Lowe had signed Holik and Aucoin and then used Brewer and York as trade bait elsewhere. Far better use of cash and resources.

That said - Peca and Pronger are a far better combo to have spent money and resources on than Whitney and Woolley for instance...

Peca doesn't sign long-term however and Lowe lost the trade big time.


Anonymous said...


If Peca leaves then it's money they can spend next summer on the UFA market, once the age has dropped to 29. Though I guess it remains to be seen how many players will be left unsigned for next summer, and how many will re-sign with their team before UFA sesaon next year?


Anonymous said...

Regarding the risk taken up from Pronger's contract: if the wrist (or something else) ends his career, I imagine his contract no longer affects either the cap room or budget.

If it's a chronic but only nagging injury (maybe like Niinimaa's back was), it might hamper him. That's a more serious concern. Of course that's the risk taken on for any long term contract, but Pronger's history adds a little size to the question mark, no doubt.