NAIL YAKUPOV: THE RICHEST MAN IN TOWN

The Edmonton Oilers signed Nail Yakupov to a two-year deal this morning, $5 million (or $2.5M per season) and clearly we’re looking at a brand new day for player and team. Gone are the moments when the relationship looked terminal, gone are shots across the bow from his Russian agent and gone are the first three difficult seasons.

  • MacT: “No denying Yak has turned the corner. Our growth is going to be internal growth and incremental growth, and Yakupov is part of that. I don’t think it’s good strategy to trade developing players. Yak has been rewarded with a 2-year contract.” Source

 OILERS CURRENT ROSTER AND CAP NUMBER (ESTIMATE)

oilers current roster plus cap apr 13

This allows the club to spend more in specific areas (goal, center and wing) and may allow them to grab a useful defenseman from a team looking to lose salary. $13M won’t go far—if they sign Niemi or trade for Phaneuf then expect Leon Draisaitl on the wing and Derek Roy at center for $1.5M but there is the financial freedom to do some damage this summer.

MACT’S SUMMER WORK LIST

  1. A No.1 goaltender. (Michal Neuvirth).
  2. A veteran top-pairing defenseman. (Andrej Sekera).
  3. A replacement for Jeff Petry. (Cody Franson)
  4. A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game. (Carl Soderberg).

PROJECTED ROSTER 2014-15

oilers projected roster apr 13

The lines and pairings are a little way out there but it’s an interesting group. If the goalie bet takes (I honestly don’t know but several smart posters swear by Neuvirth) the added blue line help should be a Godsend. Soderberg can move around a little (if they signed Roy too, Soderberg could move over to the Pakarinen spot) and I really like the center depth here. Will this happen? No. However, I always like to create a list and see how close the GM gets over the summer. One suspects this may be the final summer MacT gets a chance to move the mountain. His media avail today suggests he is learning a few lessons as he gains experience.

It’s impossible to know really, but there should be more defenders of note available through trade this season. If the club can find someone who can play all three disciplines at the deep end of the pool, music! Even if they attract a puck mover who can stand in there a little, I’m cool. I don’t think anyone should discount Darnell Nurse making the team this fall. Oh those Oilers.

For me, this is the proper approach and shows some growth in terms of MacT’s verbal at media avails. He’s not saying anything, which has tremendous value. There’s no sin in sending either man down but if Nurse outplays Nikitin and Ference, or Draisaitl shows enough, well, keeping your options open is a wise choice.

  • MacT on goaltending: “We know that’s an area we have to have intense focus on. We could go after a free agent or make a trade. The Pittsburgh pick is better than when we traded for it, and might get us a better goalie.” Source

I’m not especially fond of this idea. MacT has been loose with trading picks for goalies and it hasn’t worked out well. I’d wager the goalie received for a first-round pick (bet it’s Talbot) could be matched in terms of quality for a lesser price. That draft pick is going to have extreme value on draft day and the goalie isn’t going to be the most difficult get (defense) in my opinion.

  • MacT on next year: “Another developmental year with modest growth. Don’t expect the draft choices to come in and move the dial. To forecast a point total would be useless at this point.” Source

Sweet Jesus he’s figured it out. Under promise, over deliver. Or at least I hope so.

I think Todd McLellan might be the next coach of the Edmonton Oilers.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It’s impossible to know based on today. MacT sounded reserved, he didn’t promise one damn thing really and he basically thanked fans for last year and promised a giant cup of the same next year. Either he’s crazy or he’s lying, for once.

A final note on Nail Yakupov. I love this kid. He’s from a world away and shows more charity to strangers than I do to friends. He signs a bridge deal before anyone could even think about the tough summer of negotiation ahead (I wrote about this being a tough contract) and he didn’t get (that) much of a bump for the second year to be included (I’d guess less than $1M, your mileage may vary).

I don’t want to oversell the young man, he’s got lots of work to do (as we’ll discuss in the RE) and much of that will be learning to stay on the proper side of the puck and to calm the hell down all over the ice. For today, I think we can all (if we choose) manage a small smile because this is a terrific young man who has miles to grow. I’m very happy Nail Yakupov signed this deal today.

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111 Responses to "NAIL YAKUPOV: THE RICHEST MAN IN TOWN"

  1. corykg says:

    “I don’t think it’s good strategy to trade developing players.”

    Jeff Petry says hello.

  2. frjohnk says:

    Talbot is UFA after next year so Pens pick would be an overpay.

    There will be decent d men shaking free because of the salary cap.

    I think the pens pick could grab a nice d man the oilers could use.

  3. justDOit says:

    Jonathan Willis @JonathanWillis · 2h 2 hours ago
    #Oilers GM Craig MacTavish:
    April 2013: “I don’t think we’re that far off.”
    April 2015: “I don’t think we’re that far off.”

    #facepalm

  4. frjohnk says:

    Out if the UFA goalies I think the best are
    Duby ( obvious he is the best this year, probably more obvious he does not sign here)
    Nuevirth has put pretty good numbers on a bad Buffalo team. But has not done well in a limited showing on the Island.
    Niemi is a number 1 goalie but I’m a bit scared at the overpay we might give. Also he is 31.

  5. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:

    Either he’s crazy or he’s lying, for once.

    Hear hear… Here here? Heer heer!

    Lowetide:

    A final note on Nail Yakupov. I love this kid. He’s from a world away and shows more charity to strangers than I do to friends.

    Sums it up rather nicely.

  6. justDOit says:

    frjohnk,

    How sad is it, when the two best UFA options for MacT are players he previously flushed?

  7. Backhand says:

    Signing Dougie HAMILTON to an RFA offer would be an amazing coup and solve problems for the team (and he’s a RHD). Boston has a little room, but some spots to fill. Would 6mill per get it done? Would it be worth it? (assuming its a 1st, 2nd, 3rd going back, and a big cap number).

  8. russ99 says:

    Great summary LT, you nailed it.

    While I’d prefer a few different names, some moves to dump salary, and some additional veteran two-way wingers on that third line, I’d be happy with those results, that should bring some real improvement.

    Now it’s up to MacT to do it, not just talk about it…

  9. hoser313 says:

    Good signing. Longer term would have created more value.

    Still a positive though.

  10. justDOit says:

    Backhand: Signing Dougie HAMILTON to an RFA offer

    Yes it would, but I saw a headline that the Bruins are contemplating a Lucic move, which would save them a lot of cap space, and probably get them the Pitt 1st rounder in return…

  11. "Steve Smith" says:

    justDOit: Hear hear… Here here? Heer heer!

    The first one; the use of the second is a major pet peeve of mine.

    (I have a lot of major pet peeves…I’m pretty peevish.)

  12. hoser313 says:

    Would like Roy, Petry, Sekera, Neuvirth.

    I would bet they get Roy, Phaneuf, Niemi.

    I assume the “assets” they speak of are the Pittsburgh pick and cap space.

  13. justDOit says:

    “Steve Smith”: the second is a major pet peeve of mine

    But the second one works so well on my pet.

    Yes, please forgive my temporary confusion – those symptoms don’t usually last so long after an Oiler press conference!

  14. godot10 says:

    Cody Franson is a good 3rd pairing D, and he wants $5.5 million with duration.

    Jeff Petry is a #3D. Franson cannot replace him. He is arguably not even an upgrade on Schultz. Franson hsa never handled tough matchups in his career, ever.

    Toronto has the most committed advanced stats guys in the league, and they punted Franson.

    (Just like Burke punted Eakins.)

  15. frjohnk says:

    Backhand:
    Signing Dougie HAMILTON to an RFA offer would be an amazing coup and solve problems for the team (and he’s a RHD).Boston has a little room, but some spots to fill.Would 6mill per get it done? Would it be worth it? (assuming its a 1st, 2nd, 3rd going back, and a big cap number).

    Signing him to an offer sheet would be a waste of time.

    Boston has said they would match. And they’d be stupid not too.
    They would match and if over the cap, buyout somebody or trade someone with a bad contract but sweeten it somehow.

  16. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: The first one; the use of the second is a major pet peeve of mine.

    (I have a lot of major pet peeves…I’m pretty peevish.)

    Heere Heere

  17. Moose says:

    File under particularly grainy and salty (as Phaneuf has a NTC of some sort):

    https://twitter.com/Proteautype/status/587675755028619265

  18. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Heere Heere

    Heir Heir (Stan Weir’s approved spelling).

  19. RexLibris says:

    I’ve liked Neuvirth for awhile now.

    Another goalie option I think highly of is Enroth. I think a team could buy low there this summer.

    They need to spend money on a goalie, not a pick. Trade up for the falling D, not out for a 4th defenseman.

    When another team needs cap relief and has to sell off a veteran blueliner then you come in with a predatory 3rd round pick that you upsell to a 2nd and Travis Ewanyk.

    Put the screws to them. They’ve been doing it to the Oilers since before the rebuild began.

  20. D says:

    Yakupov is my favourite player, so I’m happy to see him signed. Not a fan of MacT’s work so far, but I like that he’s not going to touch the core. A lot of years of miserable hockey to get Hall, Nuge, Yak, et. al.

  21. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”: The first one; the use of the second is a major pet peeve of mine.

    (I have a lot of major pet peeves…I’m pretty peevish.)

    There there.

  22. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I felt going into last season, the two really big question marks for MacT to deal with was a) Eakins and how fast he dealt with a wrong call (it took much too long in my opinion) and b) getting Nail re-signed. He got there with Nail and did it in a good way. I did not think this would resolve itself in a positive way. I think the removal of Eakins assisted in getting this done and giving the young man some hope and daylight with the Oil. MacT handled it well and so to Nail. In particular, a tip of the hat to Nail for taking his contractual medicine and seeing the long view. Will be interesting if Justin is as reflective on his own performance and the associated contract value as Nail was.

    Looking forward…..I’m going to give MacT the benefit of time this summer and see what he does. Thank goodness he isn’t telegraphing his every (real) thought in these pressers. Keep the lip tight and work on the important stuff quietly. I don’t have issue with protecting your drafted core, but we are entering a time for hockey trades and being honest about your team balance. You simply have to give to get and without accepting that axiom, I don’t think you can hope for navigating a most complicated path to grabbing the cup. If you go the BPA route in drafting, the flip side of that coin has to be courage and guile in timely hockey trades when you are pointed north and ascending. Value for value. Having said this, it may not be this summer and next season. They aren’t ready to steal a playoff spot yet. So use signed vets – even Nikitin – to keep the up and comers situated at levels in the line up they can handle and can develop properly in. What is obscuring this whole outlook to a degree is cap anxiety amongst franchises. It may afford unforeseen opportunity to pick a carcass or three. The Oil are thankfully positioned to take that call if it comes.

    Lastly, thanks LT for your contributions to an Oilers fan. Of all the things that unfolded this year with respect to the Oil, your piece of the internet and its connection to everything Oilers – including insightful and balanced writing and the follow on contributions of this forums membership – did not let me down. That is my personal and virtual locker clean out to finish up this season.

  23. RexLibris says:

    Very happy for Yakupov. I had this exact conversation Friday evening about re-signing him and the numbers we kicked around were 2 years at about $2.5 million per.

    On the subject of Slepyshev signing in the KHL, does anyone have any knowledge on whether he can get an out for the NHL/AHL or are we resigned to him remaining overseas for two more years?

  24. anonymous says:

    Really happy for Yak, he’s shown good resolve. Tsn especially hates him ” it’s always good to have money” is their headline.

    Glad it’s a two year deal. A coaching change now and he may need the extra year to adjust.

    Glad this season is over. If it weren’t for the blogs this stretch would definitely be much worse than the mid 90’s for me.

  25. blainer says:

    Was rally impressed with MacT today for two reasons…

    1. Thank Gord he never said he was comfortable with FN for next year and said they will need upgrades on D. What a relief.

    2. YAK.. Just very impressed by the player and the GM. I am very torn on Yak but boy you just have to love that guy. Like he said he really just needs some luck. Hopefully next year his shoots wide a lot less and his shooting % jumps up to 14%. If that happens he will be in Ebs territory. Agreed with LT here.. What a line Soderburg would be with Hall and Yak.. Bring it on…

  26. Dashingsilverfox says:

    RexLibris:
    I’ve liked Neuvirth for awhile now.

    Another goalie option I think highly of is Enroth. I think a team could buy low there this summer.

    They need to spend money on a goalie, not a pick. Trade up for the falling D, not out for a 4th defenseman.

    When another team needs cap relief and has to sell off a veteran blueliner then you come in with a predatory 3rd round pick that you upsell to a 2nd and Travis Ewanyk.

    Put the screws to them. They’ve been doing it to the Oilers since before the rebuild began.

    Problem is…there are several teams with more “screws” in their quiver and not all of them top the “don’t trade to” list”.

    Calgary, Arizona, Ottawa, Nashville, Carolina, Winnipeg and Columbus are just a sampling of the teams that have more cap space in the offseason and, if Toronto dumps Phaneuf, Kessel, Bozak and Van Riemsdyk, they’ll be swimming in it.

    The Oilers having so much invested in Ference, Nikitin, Purcell and Schultz means that they are severely hamstrung in acquiring useful pieces.,

  27. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Kevin Paul Dupont ‏@GlobeKPD 1m1 minute ago

    #Bruins peeled $2.9m off cap today with Campbell, Paille dismissals. If Lucic dealt, that frees total $8.9 million.

    Kevin Paul Dupont ‏@GlobeKPD 2m2 minutes ago

    #Bruins Hamilton due pay raise, likely to approx $4.5M, perhaps more.

  28. Snowman says:

    Hey guys, sorry to be a pain here because I’m sure you all have your own hockey pools but what are thoughts on teams making the cup final and why?

    Me personally I like the Rangers and Chicago or Minnie. What’s the general opinion?

  29. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Alright (try 2)… It’s done! My 3D ode to LT and this blog.

    It took a lot of time but it was a lot of fun making.

    You can view and download a high-res version at:

    Ode to Lowetide ca <– I hope this works.

    Let me know what you think. Favourite reference?

    Edit: Accidentally deleted the picture at the above link while trying to set up a printing option. New link:

    New Link

  30. Woodguy says:

    Snowman:
    Hey guys, sorry to be a pain here because I’m sure you all have your own hockey pools but what are thoughts on teams making the cup final and why?

    Me personally I like the Rangers and Chicago or Minnie. What’s the general opinion?

    For the record, my bracket: https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/587261711524220929

  31. GCW_69 says:

    I noticed you decided to skip some of the bat shit crazy stuff like, “Scott Howson has waded into amateur draft, “one of the best evaluators of talent that is out there.”

    So, in answer to your question, “Either he’s crazy or he’s lying, for once,” I will take crazy.

  32. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Suntory Hanzo,

    thanks for enlightening me on the boy playing in the wooden box reference. I made it before I read the original story, otherwise I would have made the box look more coffin-ish.

  33. Woodguy says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Alright (try 2)… It’s done! My 3D ode to LT and this blog.

    It took a lot of time but it was a lot of fun making.

    You can view and download a high-res version at:

    Ode to Lowetide ca<– I hope this works.

    Let me know what you think. Favourite reference?

    That’s amazing.

    Dewar’s isn’t a good whisky thought.

    Still……amazing

  34. Mr DeBakey says:

    RexLibris: On the subject of Slepyshev signing in the KHL, does anyone have any knowledge on whether he can get an out for the NHL/AHL or are we resigned to him remaining overseas for two more years?

    Can’t they put NHL signing windows into KHL contracts?
    Seems to me I’ve heard that.
    Will the Oilers still hold his NHL rights in July 2017?
    Meanwhile, scratch him off your 50-man list for next year.

  35. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Woodguy,

    I know, but it was the only scotch shaped bottle 3d model i could find.

  36. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Woodguy,

    oh, and thanks for the compliment!

  37. Dashingsilverfox says:

    David Shoalts retweeted Joanne Ireland

    He’s half-right. David Shoalts added,

    Joanne Ireland @jirelandEJ

    “I know I’m losing credibility but I see a very entertaining, very impactful, very successful era of hockey on the horizon.” MacTavish

  38. G Money says:

    Dashingsilverfox: Calgary, Arizona, Ottawa, Nashville, Carolina, Winnipeg and Columbus are just a sampling of the teams that have more cap space in the offseason and, if Toronto dumps Phaneuf, Kessel, Bozak and Van Riemsdyk, they’ll be swimming in it.

    So what you’re saying is … somehow Toronto will dump all that salary away, yet it won’t affect the available cap space for any of the cap-room teams that would logically be the only ones that could take on those salaries.

    Let’s apply that to physics.

    Hey look everyone! DSF has invented a perpetual motion machine!

  39. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: That’s amazing.

    Dewar’s isn’t a good whisky thought.

    Still……amazing

    Does that scotch bottle say Hewer’s in reference to Eakins?

    There is over 20 LT memes in there.

    Amazing.

    Unreal, really.

  40. frjohnk says:

    RexLibris:
    Very happy for Yakupov. I had this exact conversation Friday evening about re-signing him and the numbers we kicked around were 2 years at about $2.5 million per.

    On the subject of Slepyshev signing in the KHL, does anyone have any knowledge on whether he can get an out for the NHL/AHL or are we resigned to him remaining overseas for two more years?

    I think Slepyshev is sliding into the “this player is not crossing the pond” section.

    This was the reason why he was not picked in 2012 even though he was highly rated.

    Still hope he comes over but it’s fading

  41. G Money says:

    Apropos of nothing … you know what song has been going through my head all day?

    “Hey there, Blimpy Boy, flying through the sky so fancy free!”

    F)(*#%(*ING TAXES.

  42. G Money says:

    Dashingsilverfox: David Shoalts retweeted Joanne Ireland
    He’s half-right. David Shoalts added,
    Joanne Ireland @jirelandEJ
    “I know I’m losing credibility but I see a very entertaining, very impactful, very successful era of hockey on the horizon.” MacTavish

    Is MacT planning to move to Florida?

  43. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    G Money,

    Woodguy,

    Thank-you!

    the Hewer’s was just the 3D modeler’s way to avoid copywrite. If there is an Eakins reference it was accidental (and over my head).

  44. Dashingsilverfox says:

    G Money: So what you’re saying is … somehow Toronto will dump all that salary away, yet it won’t affect the available cap space for any of the cap-room teams that would logically be the only ones that could take on those salaries.

    Let’s apply that to physics.

    Hey look everyone!DSF has invented a perpetual motion machine!

    Totally depends on which suckers take the contracts doesn’t it?

    Perhaps you should wait and see who bites before you launch your next attack.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Alright (try 2)… It’s done! My 3D ode to LT and this blog.

    It took a lot of time but it was a lot of fun making.

    You can view and download a high-res version at:

    Ode to Lowetide ca<– I hope this works.

    Let me know what you think. Favourite reference?

    Sugar-tits, Pouliot, 3-for-1, Stan Weir, Shawshank and an amazingly old Hockey News. PLUS BOX and “Another” beer and regression to the meat!

  46. Adam Wu says:

    Perhaps a little OT re: Yak since it is probably debatable if he would have benefited from being sent back to Junior in his first year.

    A thought about the so-called “Detroit Model” for developing prospects:

    I think it is oversimplistic to say that the model is *only* “let the prospects develop until they are overripe before letting them play in the NHL”. (Even the Red Wings fast-tracked some of their best prospects)

    For that interpretation of the model to work properly your NHL team must already be well stocked with solid veteran players and be well balanced at all positions.

    If you’re a poorly managed team with lots of holes and an imbalanced roster like the Oilers were/are, and you want to transition to becoming a good, balanced, well-run team, you *cannot* use the Detroit model.

    Why? Because it is about entitlement. People here criticize the Oilers for gifting minutes to their young kids without making them earn it, setting them up for failure, but that critique cuts both ways. Consider that, per the strict interpretation of the Detroit model, the decision to keep Marincin down was the RIGHT thing to do. And yet people howled long and hard over it, and perhaps rightly so, because Marincin was *better* than the veteran options ranked ahead of him on the depth chart and should have taken one of their spots on merit. In other words, it was the *veteran* who was gifted a roster spot he had not earned (or was no longer earning).

    And that is what you will end up doing if you try to use the Detroit model with an unbalanced team, and entitlement that favors fading veterans is just as toxic to locker-room cohesion as entitlement that favors untested prospects. In fact it is most likely that BOTH sides will think that the OTHER is the one getting unfair favorable treatment.

    Perhaps it is better to look at the so-called Detroit Model not as a goal but as the natural outcome of a team run for a very long time on meritocracy. *Everyone* regardless of draft pedigree or prior reputation, has to earn their roster spot. When the team is already balanced and filled with capable people who earned their spots, new prospects only get into the line up by TAKING a spot someone else competently held on merit. The inevitable natural consequence of this is that most of them will spend a longer time in developmental leagues.

    Thus a team that has been well run for a long time naturally and inevitably falls into the “Detroit Model” without deliberately doing so, and the model is actually an indication of how the rich stay rich/get richer.

    But if you are a team that is unbalanced and filled with holes, if a new draft pick or prospect early in development really is the best available in your system for a particular roster spot, you give it to that player regardless. Maybe he will sink in the deep end. Maybe his development will be stunted. So be it. That is still a preferable outcome that a situation where that player sees that he is not treated fairly with roster spots given to players that are obviously inferior to him. Because while he might develop better as a player individually that way, he will remember this unfair treatment and will most likely leave your organization before you can reap the benefits of his “superior” development, and from a competitive standpoint developing a prospect for another team is worse than failing the optimally develop a prospect for your own team.

    This might mean that as you rebuild, you will go through a period where most of your prospects risk suboptimal development from premature exposure to the NHL (and I question how much a risk this really is for most of the best prospects, the top 10 picks and so forth. The observation that getting exposed at the NHL too early delays or hurts a player’s development is one that is shot through with confirmation biases in all directions). But these prospects become your mid-level veterans who will then be able to properly mentor your NEXT wave of prospects. It’s an achingly slow process, but that may in the end be the one that produces the best long term results.

    How many years did the Red Wings spend as the so-called “Dead Things” anyways?

  47. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    I just tried the download button – which just opens another window. guess you will have right-click that and “save image as”.

  48. G Money says:

    Dashingsilverfox: Perhaps you should wait and see who bites before you launch your next attack.

    I don’t need to launch it – it’s powered by the DSF Perpetual Motion Machine so it never stops.

  49. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Lowetide,

    Much obliged. I think I’m going to grab one, and then “another” to celebrate. This is one of my favourite creations thus far.

  50. G Money says:

    Lowetide: regression to the meat!

    DAMMIT! I was trying to figure out what the steak reference could be – went right past me, and I am 100% certain I am the official coiner of ‘regression to the meat’!!!!

  51. Dashingsilverfox says:

    G Money: Is MacT planning to move to Florida?

    I doubt it.

    But Sharp/Hossa and Seabrook might be moving there.

    #rebuildover

  52. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Sugar-tits, Pouliot, 3-for-1, Stan Weir, Shawshank and an amazingly old Hockey News. PLUS BOX and “Another” beer and regression to the meat!

    3 for 1 (Weber of course), barking corgi, Costanza, kid in a box, Bobby Orr, unbalanced balance…

  53. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Lowetide: Sugar-tits, Pouliot, 3-for-1, Stan Weir, Shawshank and an amazingly old Hockey News. PLUS BOX and “Another” beer and regression to the meat!

    LT…very disappointed that you didn’t headline the Yakupov piece with “Heart of Gold”.

    Neil Young!

  54. Woodguy says:

    fancy stats diploma, expos, unicorns,

  55. G Money says:

    Woodguy: 3 for 1 (Weber of course), barking corgi, Costanza, kid in a box, Bobby Orr, unbalanced balance…

    If we’re listing them, let’s not leave out the unicorn, and keeping your powder dry …

  56. Unicorns says:

    Why are inexperienced players so often put wrong side in proposed line ups? They have enough trouble playing where they are used to. Anyone?

  57. G Money says:

    Is that an Oklahoma twin I see?

  58. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    G Money,

    Yes…yes it is. Thats all of em.

  59. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Oh and Scarlett Jo of course!

  60. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Lowetide,

    Much obliged. I think I’m going to grab one, and then “another” to celebrate. This is one of my favourite creations thus far.

    How am I failing to see the Shawshank reference?

  61. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Tunnel behind the poster of Rita Heyworth.

  62. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Is that an Oklahoma twin I see?

    Yes! That was genius!

  63. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    keeping your powder dry …

    Soooo awesome.

    Totally missed that.

    Actually thought “what’s in the dry barrel? Can’t be whiskey”

  64. Lowetide says:

    Yawto just posted on that ‘Blog’ story. I am now convinced you people are just screwing with me because I’m old.

  65. Woodguy says:

    G Money: Unicorns,

    UNICORNS!

    UNICORNS!

  66. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy,

    Those are some Bold choices. Did you put money down on this? By Vegas odds you would make a good sum.

    My picks are NYR v whoever survives the central division. I think it will be blues but I’m cheering for the wild.

  67. John Chambers says:

    leadfarmer,

    I have no strategy whatsoever for my playoff draft. Normally you go into these things with a strategy to have a monopoly on Hawks or Penguins or Red Wings.

    The Rangers seem like the best bet to win a single series but they won’t necessarily win 2.

    Throw darts at the board I guess. Radim Vrbata and Bobby Ryan might just finish the playoffs 1 and 2 in scoring, and Eddie Lack could be the Conn Smythe winner. Bizarre playoffs – like 2006. It’s going to be a treat to watch!

  68. Doubting Olive says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Great picture!

    In other news, Kessel and Van Riemsdyk further anger Toronto media by refusing to represent Canada at the WHC.

    Oh, and LT? Who called using the Pitts pick for a goalie? That’s right, moi. Unfortunately, my powers didn’t extend to the Grand National last weekend.

  69. Doubting Olive says:

    Woodguy: UNICORNS!

    UNICRONS!

  70. Woodguy says:

    leadfarmer,

    I bet on some of them.

    Didn’t parlay them together though.

  71. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Doubting Olive,

    Thank you kindly!

  72. blainer says:

    frjohnk: I think Slepyshev is sliding into the “this player is not crossing the pond” section.

    This was the reason why he was not picked in 2012 even though he was highly rated.

    Still hope he comes over but it’s fading

    Actually I would say he is not interested in developing in the AHL as opposed to the KHL where he will make much more money. Two more years in the K is fine with me.. he will be good and developed by then. Hopefully he adjusts to the smaller ice when he does come….

  73. Rocknrolla says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Alright (try 2)… It’s done! My 3D ode to LT and this blog.

    It took a lot of time but it was a lot of fun making.

    You can view and download a high-res version at:

    Ode to Lowetide ca<– I hope this works.

    Let me know what you think. Favourite reference?

    great job Squid! Is there a way to setup the purchase of a framed/digital print with proceeds to LT?

  74. Cobbler says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    That is simply wonderful!

  75. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Rocknrolla,

    He said not to bother, but you could always just upload it to an online service or local photo printing/framing service and donate to his paypal if you like. I could psot it to deviantart.com and you could purchase a print there, but i’m not sure of cost or framing fees.

  76. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Cobbler,

    Thanks!

  77. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Cobbler,

    Thanks!

    That’s an amazing piece of work!

  78. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    Thank you.

    Glad you all like!

  79. flyfish1168 says:

    Giant Squid Overlord: Cobbl

    Awesome stuff but George most go.

  80. Cobbler says:

    “The Edmonton Urinal” nice!

  81. Rocknrolla says:

    Sounds good on the Deviantart.com…will check that out, on another note anyone doing a playoff draft tomorrow night?

    I’m skipping my usual one and heading to the Minerva Foundation Liver League event. Went many years ago…Pricey, but for a good cause, fun night, and the crazy rules make it a very exciting playoff.

    There’s multipliers for lower seeded players, points for PIMS, if your in the box and get scored on you lose points etc., etc. Some interesting rules. Big points for goalie shutouts….

    So which goalie will get the most shutouts this playoff?
    Also would love to hear anyone’s Final Four…thanks Woody for your bracket…some Bold Picks there!

    If Anyone’s going to that draft event tomorrow come by and say hello, I’m on the Knights of the Swan team.

  82. rickithebear says:

    corykg:
    “I don’t think it’s good strategy to trade developing players.”

    Jeff Petry says hello.

    Remember now boys and girls the secret to winning is giving up as many goals as possible.

    Jeffy has been one of the best at it!

  83. Cobbler says:

    rickithebear,

    They just waited until Petry was fully developed to trade him.

  84. RexLibris says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Alright (try 2)… It’s done! My 3D ode to LT and this blog.

    It took a lot of time but it was a lot of fun making.

    You can view and download a high-res version at:

    Ode to Lowetide ca<– I hope this works.

    Let me know what you think. Favourite reference?

    JEEZUZ. That is impressive.

    I suspect LT will put you on the blogroll now even if you don’t have one.

    I’d suggest we print that off for him, poster size, and he can put it next to his Raquel Welch (because we all know he has one stashed somewhere).

    Beautiful work. Great way to end a horrible season and tip of the hat to the beacon that gets us through these umpteen yards of raw sewage to freedom.

  85. OilSafety says:

    Cobbler,

    I just noticed that. Hillarious

  86. Heinz 57 says:

    justDOit:
    Jonathan Willis @JonathanWillis · 2h 2 hours ago
    #Oilers GM Craig MacTavish:
    April 2013: “I don’t think we’re that far off.”
    April 2015: “I don’t think we’re that far off.”

    #facepalm

    That’s how I demonstrated my own excellent judgement. I picked 87 points in the first round and 57 points in the second round.

    And now, since I picked one below and one above, I’m back to being a member of the smart set.

    The gambler’s fallacy about streaks reverting on the next card actually does apply to smart humans, since we crafty buggers among the buffoons know just how bad it looks to estimate on the same side twice in a row, or even two years apart.

  87. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Nice work Squid. That’s pretty cool.

  88. Gordies Elbow says:

    Adam Wu:
    Perhaps a little OT re: Yak since it is probably debatable if he would have benefited from being sent back to Junior in his first year.

    A thought about the so-called “Detroit Model” for developing prospects:

    I think it is oversimplistic to say that the model is *only* “let the prospects develop until they are overripe before letting them play in the NHL”. (Even the Red Wings fast-tracked some of their best prospects)

    For that interpretation of the model to work properly your NHL team must already be well stocked with solid veteran players and be well balanced at all positions.

    If you’re a poorly managed team with lots of holes and an imbalanced roster like the Oilers were/are, and you want to transition to becoming a good, balanced, well-run team, you *cannot* use the Detroit model.

    Why? Because it is about entitlement. People here criticize the Oilers for gifting minutes to their young kids without making them earn it, setting them up for failure, but that critique cuts both ways. Consider that, per the strict interpretation of the Detroit model, the decision to keep Marincin down was the RIGHT thing to do. And yet people howled long and hard over it, and perhaps rightly so, because Marincin was *better* than the veteran options ranked ahead of him on the depth chart and should have taken one of their spots on merit. In other words, it was the *veteran* who was gifted a roster spot he had not earned (or was no longer earning).

    And that is what you will end up doing if you try to use the Detroit model with an unbalanced team, and entitlement that favors fading veterans is just as toxic to locker-room cohesion as entitlement that favors untested prospects. In fact it is most likely that BOTH sides will think that the OTHER is the one getting unfair favorable treatment.

    Perhaps it is better to look at the so-called Detroit Model not as a goal but as the natural outcome of a team run for a very long time on meritocracy. *Everyone* regardless of draft pedigree or prior reputation, has to earn their roster spot. When the team is already balanced and filled with capable people who earned their spots, new prospects only get into the line up by TAKING a spot someone else competently held on merit. The inevitable natural consequence of this is that most of them will spend a longer time in developmental leagues.

    Thus a team that has been well run for a long time naturally and inevitably falls into the “Detroit Model” without deliberately doing so, and the model is actually an indication of how the rich stay rich/get richer.

    But if you are a team that is unbalanced and filled with holes, if a new draft pick or prospect early in development really is the best available in your system for a particular roster spot, you give it to that player regardless. Maybe he will sink in the deep end. Maybe his development will be stunted. So be it.That is still a preferable outcome that a situation where that player sees that he is not treated fairly with roster spots given to players that are obviously inferior to him. Because while he might develop better as a player individually that way, he will remember this unfair treatment and will most likely leave your organization before you can reap the benefits of his “superior” development, and from a competitive standpoint developing a prospect for another team is worse than failing the optimally develop a prospect for your own team.

    This might mean that as you rebuild, you will go through a period where most of your prospects risk suboptimal development from premature exposure to the NHL (and I question how much a risk this really is for most of the best prospects, the top 10 picks and so forth. The observation that getting exposed at the NHL too early delays or hurts a player’s development is one that is shot through with confirmation biases in all directions). But these prospects become your mid-level veterans who will then be able to properly mentor your NEXT wave of prospects. It’s an achingly slow process, but that may in the end be the one that produces the best long term results.

    How many years did the Red Wings spend as the so-called “Dead Things” anyways?

    Thank you for this excellent post.

    One size does not fit all. Yes, if there are specific things that need to be worked on? Sure. But when the player is ready, in my opinion, they should be playing against the best competition.

    For everyone that is in favor of the Detroit model, what about Jiri Hudler? The model worked better for Jiri than it did for the Red Wings.

  89. RexLibris says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Should we just shorten your name to Cthulhu?

  90. justDOit says:

    Giant Squid Overlord: Favourite reference?

    Obviously, it’s the boy in the crate. LT’s camping story! At least, I think it was camping. ?

    But the young lady reminds me of one of my daughter’s friends, and well, uh… yeah…

    Great piece though. I’m going to go ahead and assume that it’s not oil on canvas.

  91. Lowetide says:

    Rocknrolla: great job Squid!Is there a way to setup the purchase of a framed/digital print with proceeds to LT?

    Squid mentioned that in an email, but honestly people are very generous to this blog and frankly that’s just a stunning piece that I absolutely love. So, paid in full and I thank him. Lordy that was impressive.

  92. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Hey Squid…I have a feeling you will really like this guy.

    http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/13/8373239/happy-28th-birthday-skip

  93. wheatnoil says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Brilliant!

  94. Mr DeBakey says:

    One of my favourites, its faded away now, was the D-Man who “looked like Barbara-Ann Scott out there”

    rickithebear: Remember now boys and girls the secret to winning is giving up as many goals as possible.
    Jeffy has been one of the best at it!

    Mark Fistric says Hi

  95. Numenius says:

    Impressive work Squid. Wow, that must have taken a lot of time. The unbalanced balance lettering is my favourite.

  96. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Thanks kindly all!

    Cobbler,
    OilSafety,

    Back in my u of A days, the school paper did a joke issue each year (hopefully that tradition continues), and one year it was titled “the Edmonton Urinal”. That one somehow stuck in my Swiss cheese head.

    RexLibris:
    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Should we just shorten your name to Cthulhu?

    RexLibris,

    Sounded familiar but i had to look it up. I’ll happily wear that moniker.

    Dashingsilverfox,

    Love it. I am a campfire story-song guitar player so this is right up my alley. No sing-alongs, because no one knows them, but it gets everyone laughing. No kazoo either, but i do a mean mouth trumpet!

  97. eidy says:

    Love to have Nail on board. Hoping he can unlock that natural ability.

    I am a big Slepyshev fan as well and am disappointed that he has chosen not to come over. I wrote in the fall that I hoped he didn’t play so well that he would climb the depth chart and stay. Funny seeing the Slepyshev signing and then this from Matty’s article tonight

    “You can expect the Oilers to soon sign their 2013 third-round left-winger Anton Slepyshev (6’2, 187 pounds), who had 25 points in 58 games for Salavat Ufa in the KHL this past winter.”

    I wonder if the oilers know?

  98. Ice Sage says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Alright (try 2)… It’s done! My 3D ode to LT and this blog.

    It took a lot of time but it was a lot of fun making.

    You can view and download a high-res version at:

    Ode to Lowetide ca<– I hope this works.

    Let me know what you think. Favourite reference?

    Beyond brilliant, GSO! Am having trouble focussing

  99. SwedishPoster says:

    eidy:
    Love to have Nail on board.Hoping he can unlock that natural ability.

    I am a big Slepyshev fan as well and am disappointed that he has chosen not to come over.I wrote in the fall that I hoped he didn’t play so well that he would climb the depth chart and stay. Funny seeing the Slepyshev signing and then this from Matty’s article tonight

    “You can expect the Oilers to soon sign their 2013 third-round left-winger Anton Slepyshev (6’2, 187 pounds), who had 25 points in 58 games for Salavat Ufa in the KHL this past winter.”

    I wonder if the oilers know?

    Could be Slepyshev wanted a contract done so he can go to the Worlds but more likely Matty is mistaken. The two years at least is a sign he’s looking to come over eventually and him developing in the KHL might be a good thing his status on the team seems to be heading and if he can come to the NHL in two years as a more NHL ready player we could add a cheap winger when we’re HOPEFULLY more competitive.

    I would have loved a longer contract when his value is at as low a point as I think it will be for the next decade but as things stand it’s a great contract. Larionov is fully aware that Yaks value will be heading upwards. Don’t think Yak will ever be an issue when it comes to contract negotiations anyway, special kid.

  100. Ryan says:

    I missed the Mact presser yesterday. Wow. Does he really not know how long it’s been since the Oilers made the playoffs? Wow.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/John+MacKinnon+Craig+MacTavish+really/10969313/story.html

  101. Lois Lowe says:

    Woodguy: There there.

    <3

  102. czar says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Great Job Squid! Love It!

  103. Lois Lowe says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Wow. Just wow.

    It took me a few views to catch everything, and I thought I was pretty good about my LT memes. Incredibly clever.

    It should be added to the blog roll as “A Beginners Guide to LTisms’.

  104. Ryan says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Very much appreciated! Amazing!!!

  105. tubes says:

    Giant Squid Overlord: Giant

    Outstanding. A true work of art.

  106. Bag of Pucks says:

    Giant Squid Overlord:
    Alright (try 2)… It’s done! My 3D ode to LT and this blog.

    It took a lot of time but it was a lot of fun making.

    You can view and download a high-res version at:

    Ode to Lowetide ca<– I hope this works.

    Let me know what you think. Favourite reference?

    Brilliant.

    SugarTits ScarJo reminds me of a favourite joke.

    ‘When I was a kid, you had to masturbate to the Sears catalogue.

    With the Internet now, kids are so lucky.

    Now you just go to Sears.com’

  107. spoiler says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    Freakin Fantastic!! Well done. Made my morning.

  108. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Thanks everybody. All your comments have made my morning as well!

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