Mike Milbury of the CBC, who didn’t exactly cover himself in glory as the general manager of the New York Islanders, offered the following to Oilers management:
“They got to find the rats and get them off the ship because in this situation guys will start to reveal their character, guys who don’t want to get hit in the corner, guys who don’t want to play tough and dirty. You might as well get rid of them now because they’re not doing any good. You got nothing else to lose, if you’re going to go out, go out with guys on your shield, guys who want to play hard.”
And exactly how Mr. Milbury, in this age of guaranteed contracts and the salary cap, are you going to do that?
Let’s say you decide that Ethan Moreau is a rat, which I don’t think he is, just an aging grinder. He’s got another year left on his $2 million per year deal. Who is going to take him?
Same with Patrick O’Sullivan, who actually has exhibited some pretty ratty play as of late. Is there really another NHL team that is going to take on his $3 million per year contract?
I can’t imagine it’s ever been more difficult to move NHL hockey players than it is now. The rich teams that might have taken on a Moreau or an O’Sullivan as insurance in the past don’t have the cap space. Most of the teams with cap space are broke.
So let’s dispense with this fantasy of the Oilers dumping off high-priced, under-performing players.