NHL READY?

Tonight I’ll watch Darnell Nurse try to shut down the best junior forward on the planet, and as I do this question will once again need an answer: WHY does Darnell Nurse need to spend some or all of next season in the AHL next season?

About a month ago I wrote about ‘ETA’s’ for young Oilers and suggested this in regard to Nurse:

  • D Darnell Nurse. I think it makes worlds of sense to place him in Bakersfield, but if Nurse arrives in training camp and is clearly among the six best defensemen? Keep him, even if it means placing a veteran on waivers—up to and including Niki Nikitin and Andrew Ference. Source

That’s still how I feel, but in these viewings (saw him good!) cannot help but think that he’s pushed beyond that imaginary line in the sand we create to divide the majors from the minors. Are we SURE Nurse can’t make the jump? Are we absolutely certain he’s the seventh best option? Are we convinced Darnell Nurse as an Oiler will cost more games than, say, Niki Nikitin as an Oiler?

 

  • Michael Parkatti, summer 2014: “All you can really ask of your prospects is that they progress. I think it’s pretty obvious he progressed year over year. It’s probably a function of the opportunity he was given, he was playing behind some older players during his draft season. It’s good to see that he performed pretty well when given the chance. In terms of his chances, you have to look at the depth chart and think he has a shot here.” (Lowdown show)

Michael’s words rang true before the 2014-15 season and they have even more iron in them now. I think we should at least discuss the idea that Darnell Nurse may be NHL ready.

We agree (I hope we do) that it’s important to be patient with prospects and if Nurse comes to training camp and needs more time this fall, then Bakersfield awaits him. I don’t see it as likely. Let’s look at the current Oilers (pro) depth chart:

  1. D Oscar Klefbom
  2. D Justin Schultz (RFA)
  3. D Nikita Nikitin
  4. D Mark Fayne
  5. D Andrew Ference
  6. D Martin Marincin (RFA)
  7. D Darnell Nurse (new pro)
  8. D Keith Aulie (RFA)
  9. D Brad Hunt (RFA)
  10. D Brandon Davidson (RFA)
  11. D Jordan Oesterle
  12. D Martin Gernat
  13. D David Musil
  14. D Dillon Simpson
  15. D Joey Laleggia (new pro)
  16. D Ben Betker (new pro)

First, let’s look below Nurse (No. 8-16) and see if there’s anyone who is a lock to beat him out in camp. You could argue that Davidson, Oesterle and Musil could impress during camp, and Laleggia is a unique player who could surprise. I don’t see anyone with his game, honestly.

Now, among the players above him, who could he beat out for a job? Peter Chiarelli could lay waste to this depth chart but the one thing we’ve learned over past summers is getting rid of contracts can be difficult. I think it’s reasonable to suggest Darnell Nurse has a real chance to win a starting job opening night.

One more thing: I don’t think it would be an upset if it happens. He’s a tremendous young player.

 

 

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133 Responses to "NHL READY?"

  1. RexLibris says:

    I’d have stuck Nurse in the AHL without a moment’s hesitation.

    Until I watched him in this Erie series.

    Good heavens that young man is a fine player.

    So here’s my new recommendation.

    IF Chiarelli can find a stable functional 3rd pairing D man with which to pair Young Master Nurse

    and

    IF Chiarelli can find better D-men to play the 1 through 4 roles

    THEN I think he is ready for the NHL.

    I suspect he’d progress up the depth chart relatively quickly, but he needs to find space to fall back to as well when he struggles.

    Currently they have too much invested in Klefbom maintaining the status quo next season. That is an unreasonable expectation given the way young players progress, specifically at that position.

    They need a defensive rotation that can absorb the struggles of both Klefbom and Nurse next year. Both of them are the future and need to developed properly.

  2. striatic says:

    If Darnell Nurse is 7th on the depth chart come September, Chiarelli will be behind schedule, not ahead.

    At least one summer acquisition should push Nurse back.

    He could still beat one of the current NHL defenders for a job but he shouldn’t win a job by default, which is the situation that the current Defensive depth sets up.

  3. leadfarmer says:

    I don’t think it’s a question if he is one of the top 7 defensive options for the team, the question is what’s best for his development. I am a big fan of the stepwise graduation for prospects. Let him get used to the bigger, faster, and more physical AHL, compared to CHL, by playing top pairing minutes and if he is too good for that league bring him up after 40 games. We don’t have anyone to mentor him in the NHL so just a little patience will go a long way.

  4. gd says:

    LT,

    I find myself cheering for SSM in this series and I think it is out of respect for Nurse being the prospect I have followed for the last two years and I realize this should be the last time I ever cheer against McDavid in his career. (though if they faced Leon and Kelowna in the MemCup, I think I would cheer for Kelowna)

    I think Chia’s moves are similar to this:

    a Chara type plus a McQuaid type in. Marancin (or Shultz out) plus Nikitin buyout. Then the 6th spot is there for Nurse’s taking, with Ference being the default option if it is determined that Darnell is better off started in the AHL for his development purposes. I really hope the decision isn’t that Darnell is one of the 6 best Dmen, so keep him, but focus on what they think is best for his development.

  5. Woodguy says:

    leadfarmer:
    I don’t think it’s a question if he is one of the top 7 defensive options for the team, the question is what’s best for his development.I am a big fan of the stepwise graduation for prospects.Let him get used to the bigger, faster, and more physical AHL, compared to CHL,by playing top pairing minutes and if he is too good for that league bring him up after 40 games.We don’t have anyone to mentor him in the NHL so just a little patience will go a long way.

    I agree with this.

    I think Nurse would probably get aclimated to the speed and size of the AHL very quickly as he looks like a sure bet.

    1st injury call up and he’d never see the AHL again.

    The only way I retract this is if he’s one of the best players on the ice in every pre-season game.

    Most of those games (after the first one) are against a mix of AHL/NHL players and if he can shine there he might be ready to skip the AHL phase.

    Also,

    If the Soo loses out to Erie (a good probability) I think he’ll be sent to OKC.

    If he shows well in the AHL playoffs then you might be able to pencil him in on the EDM roster next year.

    Also,

    I think Chia brings in two new Dmen this summer.

    1 FA
    1 trade

    Who goes out determines how much room there is at the bottom of depth chart for Nurse.

    He’s looked great this playoff.

  6. frjohnk says:

    Nurse starts on the this team in the fall without a doubt.

    After watching him in that Erie series, one has to raise his ceiling.

    This guy is loaded with talent, like fucking loaded!

    The issue is that he should be on the third pairing and we have about 5 guys on the roster that should be there.

    PC needs to clear that up.

  7. John Chambers says:

    This is going to be one kick ass team to follow and all of us should be proud to have stood by loyally during these lean years.

    Klefbom – Marincin – Fayne – Nurse – new UFA D – D acquired in a trade of Jultz + the Pens’ pick

    Looks to me like a formidable top-6. If they can convince Ference to take an office job I think we’re in good shape on the blue going forward.

  8. Traktor says:

    Dougie Hamilton played as a 19 year old.

  9. gogliano says:

    Anyone have a stream? Don’t have Sportsnet.

  10. Ducey says:

    leadfarmer:
    I don’t think it’s a question if he is one of the top 7 defensive options for the team, the question is what’s best for his development.I am a big fan of the stepwise graduation for prospects.Let him get used to the bigger, faster, and more physical AHL, compared to CHL,by playing top pairing minutes and if he is too good for that league bring him up after 40 games.We don’t have anyone to mentor him in the NHL so just a little patience will go a long way.

    Exactly. The question is not whether he is the 7 th best option. He needs to be moved slowly so that he is fully ready. If Jultz had been kept on the farm to force him to work on defense, his shot and his physical play we would not be worried about him. It is much easier to learn in the minors.

  11. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy,

    I would caution using the preseason as a good assessment of a player. How many good players look terrible in preseason, and how many players that look good in preseason look terrible the rest of the year.

    I guess we will know quickly where the org thinks he is when he joins Oklahoma in the playoffs by how quickly he moves up the depth chart. If he is playing 25 min a night then we know they think he is ready. If he is being sheltered that will be a tell.

  12. Stud Muffin says:

    Nurse-Fayne third paring would be fine with me. As long as proper players are coming to fill the other 4 Defense holes(Klefbom,Sekera,Petry,Trade)

  13. vinotintazo says:

    there is no room for Nurse on next year’s roster.

    Nikitin and Ference are 3rd pairing guys, so unless they trade one of them, he should go to the AHL.

    I fully expect nurse to be a full time NHLer by the deadline though.

  14. book¡je says:

    leadfarmer:
    I don’t think it’s a question if he is one of the top 7 defensive options for the team, the question is what’s best for his development.I am a big fan of the stepwise graduation for prospects.Let him get used to the bigger, faster, and more physical AHL, compared to CHL,by playing top pairing minutes and if he is too good for that league bring him up after 40 games.We don’t have anyone to mentor him in the NHL so just a little patience will go a long way.

    I agree, I’d set a minimum of 20 games in the AHL. It messes with your roster management, but I think every player needs to ride the bus with 30+ year old ‘almost’ NHLers

  15. leadfarmer says:

    Traktor,

    Yes but he is a different person, and everyone develops differently. Hamilton went to a team that could shelter and teach him. Nurse would probably be stuck teaching Schultz how to play defense like Klefbom did this year

  16. Lowetide says:

    Traktor:
    Dougie Hamilton played as a 19 year old.

    And Nurse will be 20 in the fall

  17. Ducey says:

    Nurse caught watching the puck on the Otter’s first goal. Maybe he IS ready for the Oilers.

  18. VanOil says:

    I think the trick with the Oilers D for next year is trading Jultz.

    I accept the old, ineffective and expensive Ference and Nikitin maybe impossible to move.

    Replace Jultz with someone who is able to defend at the NHL on the right side. Sign Hersley for Right side depth. Put Nurse in the AHL until the defense is stable enough for him to join. The depth cart as it currently stands would struggle in the AHL and is not a place to nurture a raw talent.

  19. stush18 says:

    Its not a question of whether or not nurse is better than our top seven.

    I think he needs the pouliot treatment. Start the year in edmonton with a couple games, get sent down to work on specifics, bring him back up in january and slowly reintroduce him into your lineup.

    Sign mike green and run

    Klef-green
    Marincin-schultz
    Nikitin-fayne
    Ference

    Then in the new year when teams are looking for depth dmen, send away nikitin with money retained. Callup nurse and work him into the lineup. Ference retires in the summer and then you go with

    Klef-green
    Marincin-schultz
    Nurse-fayne
    Musil

    If schultz is no good, move him and one of the 2016 pucks for a dman.

  20. gr8one says:

    Here’s the thing.

    The danger in this thinking is I feel that this is exactly what happens with this team talking themselves into corners.

    They see a player have success like that and then over time they eventually come to the conclusion that in fact throwing that player into the frying pan is an upgrade on what they already have. Which is probably true. But it seems to prevent them from getting an outside upgrade that can insulate these players from having to do too much, too soon. That’s unfair to everyone involved.

    I can go buy a ribeye from the butcher and throw it on the grill and it will certainly be better than the hot dogs in my fridge, but I’d still rather let it marinate and season it just right so its exceptional…even if I have ro wait a little longer too taste it.

  21. VanOil says:

    stush18: schultz is no good, move him and one of the 2016 pucks for a dman.

    Ftfy

  22. GCW_69 says:

    From the other thread

    Woodguy:
    I just hope Chia looks at MacT’s failures as a GM and know which advice to heed and which to ignore.

    I think he’s pretty sharp and trust it.

    As a consultant I get exposed to a wide variety of senior management types. One truth I have leaned is that senior leaders, when they delegate authority to others, will be reluctant to over rule them if the gap between what they know is the best decision and the decision of the subordinate is too large. They don’t want to undermine the subordinate or destroy their confidence. In sports, this behaviour is very dangerous.

  23. square_wheels says:

    stush18,

    Without Schultz I’m ok with that group but we need to aim a bit higher for at least 2 years, Klef and Marincin need some shelter from exceedingly high minutes. Does Sekara’s injury scare teams ?

  24. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy,

    That’s more or less where I am as well.

    First injury call up if Chiarelli can find some better D for camp.

    Otherwise, he’s a good bet to beat out Ference and/or Nikitin.

  25. RexLibris says:

    Question for the group:

    Sault Ste Marie or Erie?

    Who are you cheering for?

    I’m pulling for the Greyhounds because I want Nurse to continue playing against juniors and McDavid to get in some practice time at the WHC (if that is still a possibility).

    It also reduces the chances that someone headhunts McDavid at the Memorial Cup to try and make a name for himself.

    Hall got lucky when Hamonic gumby’d him into the end boards. I’d rather not take that chance with McDavid.

  26. Dennis L says:

    I wish my first comment at this wonderful place was better than this one, but here it goes…

    stush18:
    If schultz is no good, move him and one of the 2016 pucks for a dman.

    If? IF?!?

    We’ve had two and a half years of seeing Schultz in the NHL. Granted, his teammates, the ‘system’, the team have been something of a tire fire, but I think it is reasonable to say that we’ve got his defensive (in)abilities fairly well surrounded. Justin Schultz isn’t defensively suitable for even strength minutes over and above “Yandle Treatment” level — 2nd or 3rd pairing minutes in a sheltered role, with heavy OZS and ideally an experienced, responsible partner, plus PP time.

    If Chiarelli doesn’t think he can do what needs to be done in re-jigging the D corps(e) in order to deploy him this way, and early on this off-season, I think they should decline to qualify Schultz entirely if they can’t trade him. If he’s not tradeable, he’s no longer a defensive asset to the club.

  27. thejonrmcleod says:

    Chiarelli’s thoughts on Nurse, Draisaitl, and McDavid:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/touch/story.html?id=11022019

    He loves how Draisaitl is “heavy on the puck.” Sounds like he’d be very reluctant to trade him.

  28. GCW_69 says:

    The preseason is way too small a sample size to determine if a player is NHL ready. If he dominates in preseason and the first thirty games in the AHL then make a trade to free up a spot for him. But damn there should be a track record before he gets an NHL roster spot and a preseason does not a track record make.

  29. GCW_69 says:

    From the Chiarelli article.

    On Darnell Nurse: “He can skate forever and has an exuberance to defend. Good stick, strong. He still has stuff to learn, but I really like how he can see a play unfolding, and he can defend and recover with his skating.”

    The NHL is not a development league. Period.

  30. square_wheels says:

    Dennis L,

    Sadly, what little progress we seen this year, amounted to slightly less one-hand-on-the-stick-leaning-up-against-the-boards behind the net during a PP moves.

    Sell high, but not with the Pitt pick, that’s wasting a future top 6 F or top 4 D to avoid a 3.5M contract.

    PC should bring Krug in, would rather his first pass and wheels at 5’10 then Schultz’s lolly gagging.

  31. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Dennis L,

    Not sure if Schultz’s defensive abilities are better described as inabilities or disabilities.

  32. Ray says:

    Ok, is Marty really ready to be a top four dman? To me he’s had two inconsistent half seasons. If he is in the top four with anyone short of Drew Doughty as his partner is this defense good enough for the playoffs?

    If Marincin shouldn’t be relied on to play 17-20 minutes a night can you really see him and Klefbom being enough shelter to bring in Nurse in the third pair?

    I like Marincin. I fear if Nurse shows he’s ready then it is the lanky Slovak heading out of town.

    The ideal situation is Marincin on the third pair and Nurse in Bakersfield ready for the first call up.

    Vlasic – Green
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Marincin – Nikitin
    Ference
    __________
    Nurse
    Davidson
    Musil

    If Nikitin or Ference can be sent away Chia should still then add a Petry.

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I assume the Verbeek who just blatantly slewfooted the goalie is a descendant of the Little Ball of Hate?

    Related: did these zebras pay to get in?

    EDIT: nevermind they called it. That was fucking brutal

  34. Bruce McCurdy says:

    McDavid sighting

  35. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I assume the Verbeek who just blatantly slewfooted the goalie is a descendant of the Little Ball of Hate?

    Related: did these zebras pay to get in?

    EDIT: nevermind they called it. That was fucking brutal

    Junior hockey still has a little Tiger Williams in it.

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Another McDavid sighting

  37. Bruce McCurdy says:

    This guy is the best I’ve seen on the wraparound since Mario

  38. Dennis L says:

    square_wheels,

    Well, it was my first comment. I didn’t want to come out immediately as an unreasonable fire-breather. But now that we’re into it… yeah, I’d jettison Schultz without hesitation if he can’t be traded by the RFA qualifying deadline. I don’t think he’s a valuable asset, and if he can’t fetch a return from another club, he becomes a negative asset.

    If he’s qualified, his contract value is too large a cap hit relative to his performance, and that makes him harder to trade. If he stays, he needs 3rd pairing “Yandle Treatment”. That in turn forces all other young defencemen in our system (Marincin, Nurse) to have to either break in on the second pairing or babysit Schultz on the third, which is no way to break-in / shelter / treat those prospects.

  39. square_wheels says:

    Ray,

    Now that is an NHL D ! But how do we pry Vlasic out of SJ ??

    Hockey Jesus taking over the 2nd period…..wow it’s been a while since I’ve seen hands and speed so beautifully balanced.

    Can a 40yr old man ever be giddy ??

  40. square_wheels says:

    Dennis L,

    Great post dude, that summarizes our current D perfectly. We can’t fall in love with players until they consistently meet or exceed expectations, regardless of hype, promise or draft pedigree. That young cluster needs the 2 yr bridge.

    Violently agree. Keep up the good work!

  41. LMHF#1 says:

    gr8one:
    Here’s the thing.

    I can go buy a ribeye from the butcher and throw it on the grill and it will certainly be better than the hot dogs in my fridge, but I’d still rather let it marinate and season it just right so its exceptional…even if I have ro wait a little longer too taste it.

    What do you think this is…

    You don’t marinate a Ribeye!

  42. Ray says:

    Now if Nurse is absolutely ready and all the dead weight on defence can get shipped out and Chia can use Marincin as a trading asset, how much better would the defense look like this?

    Vlasic – Seabrook
    Klefbom – Petry
    Nurse – Fayne
    Davidson

  43. dannyboy says:

    Even with connor coming here, is that ever sobering. Makes me swallow hard. Even with buyouts and ufa signings, youd think a trade is absolutely imminent. No?

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    gr8one:

    I can go buy a ribeye from the butcher and throw it on the grill and it will certainly be better than the hot dogs in my fridge, but I’d still rather let it marinate and season it just right so its exceptional…even if I have ro wait a little longer too taste it.

    It will certainly taste better than that left over pork roast I stuck in the back corner of the meat keeper four months ago that has green fuzz all over it.

  45. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Question for the group:

    Sault Ste Marie or Erie?

    Who are you cheering for?

    I’m pulling for the Greyhounds because I want Nurse to continue playing against juniors and McDavid to get in some practice time at the WHC (if that is still a possibility).

    It also reduces the chances that someone headhunts McDavid at the Memorial Cup to try and make a name for himself.

    Hall got lucky when Hamonic gumby’d him into the end boards. I’d rather not take that chance with McDavid.

    The world is turning as it should. Oilers fans, incredibly, win either way.

  46. Ray says:

    square_wheels,

    Wilson is acting like an idiot lately with his team. Might get Vlasic for Schultz the two 2nd round picks, and a bottle of whiskey. But the whiskey goes first as an offering, after its tested then you get Wilson to sign off on the trade 🙂

  47. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It will certainly taste better than that left over pork roast I stuck in the back corner of the meat keeper four months ago that has green fuzz all over it.

    This may be the finest description of Niki Nikitin in the history of time.

  48. stevezie says:

    I agree that Chia brings in two defenders. I had been pushing for both to be signings, but I can’t imagine top 6 with Marincin, Nurse, Schultz and Klefbom. Can you? Good chance someone moves, and even then you still have three of those guys, the two new guys, Fayne, Ference and Nitkinin.

    It is inconceivable they do not ditch at least Nikki.

  49. gr8one says:

    Lowetide: This may be the finest description of Niki Nikitin in the history of time.

    Lol…awesome.

    Both of you.

  50. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: This may be the finest description of Niki Nikitin in the history of time.

    Regression to the meat

  51. marty62 says:

    Unless Chia gets 5 actual NHL dmen this summer I dont see Nurse starting in the AHL. I dont think they will push Klefbom down now, and I dont see any of our other dmen that are better skaters, or are more physical or understand the idea of playing defense better than Nurse. That is the sad state that MacT has left our defense in. I say keep Fayne for the 2nd or 3rd pairing. Keep Klefbom and Marcinin and ditch the rest in whatever way you can. At the very least we cant go into next year with Nikitin and Ference playing for us. If they are there then they cannot say they are serious about winning games in the NHL.

  52. Ben says:

    McDavid just faked a quarterback draw and threw a 15-yard pass to himself. Holy. Shit.

  53. marty62 says:

    Ben:
    McDavid just faked a quarterback draw and threw a 15-yard pass to himself.Holy. Shit.

    He is sensational. The crazy thing is he is doing this against one of the best teams in the CHL

  54. Bruce McCurdy says:

    DeBrusk with the great description of McDavid’s “area pass to himself”. That was unbelievable

  55. Ben says:

    marty62,

    He pretty much turns every opposing player into Grant Ledyard.

  56. square_wheels says:

    Ray,

    He’s not getting my whiskey, Scottish or Southern, but I’d by him a case of silk tassel.

    And with that, out comes the Wild Turkey 101. Still feeling my age after an 830am 2hr mountain bike ride in wet snow, this will warm the bones.

  57. VanOil says:

    square_wheels:
    Ray,
    Can a 40yr old man ever be giddy ??

    OMG CMD AHJ!!!

  58. gr8one says:

    Ben:
    McDavid just faked a quarterback draw and threw a 15-yard pass to himself.Holy. Shit.

    Haha…this is gold!

  59. Ryan says:

    square_wheels:
    Ray,

    He’s not getting my whiskey, Scottish or Southern, but I’d by him a case of silk tassel.

    And with that, out comes the Wild Turkey 101. Still feeling my age after an 830am 2hr mountain bike ride in wet snow, this will warm the bones.

    Where in the world are you? We’ve just experienced some hail here in Edmonton… Wet snow?

  60. Dennis L says:

    square_wheels,

    Thanks. This whole McDAVID! WOOT! element has inspired me to finally post, and to have a clearer conscience in raising my two-year old boy an Oilers fan (I was born and raised in Edm, but he’s a born Ottawan) since it might not be all despair, disappointment, and seething, smouldering bitterness.

    And since this is the Nurse thread, I’m on the Bakersfield train. I don’t want to waste more of CMcD’s ELC, or any more of the cluster’s years, than absolutely necessary, but with a prospect like Nurse, we don’t lose much by letting him get his feet wet in the AHL. If he performs well for 40 games, great, and we can see if we think he’s necessary in Edm then. If he needs more time, still great, because we didn’t rush him before he was ready and he and the team will be better off for it in the long run.
    I know CMcD has us all in a rush, but we still need to do things right to ensure long term success.
    Besides, things might still be rough for a while when we almost certainly break in our fifth coach in as many years… regardless of how good he is, he’s still a new coach who need to find out what he has, and for the players to get to know and understand.

  61. Younger Oil says:

    It just occurs to me that the Penticton 2015 depth chart for C could be:

    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    Yakimov
    Platzer

    Jeebus that’s good. Unfortunately the prospect depth in other positions isn’t quite as stellar (depending on who we draft at #16 and in the 2nd round this year I suppose), but that is still incredibly exciting.

  62. square_wheels says:

    Ryan,

    I’m just off hwy 1 in Calgary but was in West Bragg Creek at decent elevation, was 3 degrees so came down as ice pellets.

  63. leadfarmer says:

    Remember back when we had to sit around and talk about who we would draft, Hanifin, Strome, or Marner, those were sad sad days.

    Macjesus!!

  64. square_wheels says:

    Dennis L,

    My kids refuse to celebrate Flames game day, they both wore Nuge Rebels jerseys the other day just to play mind games with all the other elementary kids. I somewhat backfired cuz the other grade 2 kids thought my son was wearing a Hitmen jersey.

    I live in Calgary, but the Oilers diaspora here rivals only the fine folk of the Rock in numbers.

  65. PeOiler says:

    Lowetide,

    That would make Marincin the leftover pepperoni that you put on the door compartment but falls to the floor every time you open the fridge to fast?

  66. Dennis L says:

    Dennis L:
    square_wheels
    I know CMcD has us all in a rush, but we still need to do things right to ensure long term success.

    In other words, CMcD, Nurse, Drai, these are the shiniest, most skilled things we have coming down the pipe. But we can’t let our excitement make us risk breaking them (to the extent possible) in our rush to gather all the shiny things we have and fire them at the rest of the league.

    We need to fix our D for this thing to work out. The solution isn’t to do exactly the same bad things we’ve done, and bemoaned, in the largely-failed recent past.

  67. Lowetide says:

    PeOiler:
    Lowetide,

    That would make Marincin the leftover pepperoni that you put on the door compartment but falls to the floor every time you open the fridge to fast?

    Marincin is the awesome hero sandwich your friend left for you because she couldn’t eat it all but you don’t even look at it.

  68. VanOil says:

    Loved Nurse’s moonwalk celebration

  69. gr8one says:

    Geezus, Nurse is going to kill the V0² max test this year…the kid doen’t get tired.

    Machine.

    Woot, Nurse scores!

    I’m torn about eho I want to win. All I hope is that Kelowna makes it and Drai gets to go head to head with either Nurse or McDavid.

    I probably mean a liitle more towards the Hounds though for the same reasons LT outlined above.

  70. NYCOIL "Taking Photos" says:

    Morning from Japan, all. (Evening over there).

    – I want to clarify my stance on MacT as #2 from yesterday. G Money made a great post, which I agree with. Putting smart people in positions to succeed is the mark of a good organization (a prime example being Apple in this case).

    Voice in my head response: I also completely understand the argument from some circles that there has been so much contrary evidence since 2007 (when the whale hunting for Pronger’s replacement began )that the Oilers can be called a good organization that it’s hard not to have that lingering doubt in the back of your mind creep back despite Chiarelli and despite McDavid because quite possibly we are still in the stages of getting over post-traumatic stress disorder.

    -On MacT; I like the passion he has for the Oilers; I like what he did with the wingers especially (I wanted Pouliot and he got Pouliot) and the 4th line. I didn’t like the glaring hole he left at centre when he decided Draisaitl had won the job because he had Lander (who had an atrocious camp) to beat and Arcobello was the back up plan. I really have not liked the direction he took the defense at all. The goaltending was a reasonable gamble that went horribly wrong. The coaching? That was tough, and we have the benefit of hindsight to point this one out so I am going to leave that be. To me, really one way to look at it is the team sunk to lower point totals over the two years since MacT arrived; some will say it was because he had to clean up Tambellini’s mess, others may point out that MacT turned over the majority of the roster while he was here and the results in the standings weren’t pretty. He’s also saddled the team with some crappy contracts that didn’t exist when Tambo was here (Tambo had his fair share of doozies, too, like Nikolai Khabibulin). All in all, I rated it a wash in terms of what MacT brought, but the Oilers really couldn’t afford a guy learning on the job at that juncture and unfortunately, that’s what they went with. And MacT also hired a rookie coach who also had to learn on the job. Both of these decisions were bad, which leads us back to the doubt about the organization again. I believe MacT is a smart man who sometimes thought he was too smart while on the job and also had a habit of talking too much about his thoughts. I think he is doing the right thing for his career by swallowing his pride and staying on. Yes, it’s my opinion that no one would hand him a GM job this summer if he left. But in a year or two if the Oilers turn things around? He absolutely could be and should be a candidate for a head gig elsewhere.

    – Back to the organization: If Lowe/MacT/Howson were the primary architects for this predicament, and Nicholson does his audit and brings in Chiarelli, I think it is at least fair to ASK if everyone in the old guard should be retained in this case. Absolutely agree that some continuity is needed, especially ahead of the most critical summer in forever for this team. I hope that Chiarelli is as smart as advertised and he can separate the bad judgment (Nikitin, Ference, Schultz, Arco and Leon as your 2c) from the good (Pouliot, Gordon), and use the strengths of his lieutenants in a judicious manner to make the best decisions possible for this club.

    Again, I’m not saying all these guys should be gone; I am saying that they should be evaluated, which Chiarelli will do, and put in roles where they can add the most value. I would also like to see some fresh perspectives brought in from outside this organization as well, which I am sure will happen in due course.The key word here for people like me is “patience.”

    -On Nurse: Speaking of “patience,” I know it’s very tempting to look at Nurse’s play now and pencil him into the lineup next fall. Is he better than Nikitin or Ference right now? Absolutely. Is Nurse in the NHL the best option for the Oilers and Darnell? I believe otherwise. If there is one habit of the Oilers I would like Chiarelli to change, it’s batting the rookies and young ones in this organization too high in the order based on pure talent, flashes of brilliance, and due to being the best option available because management was unable to obtain a better one.

    Lander, Paajarvi, even Nuge, gord bless him (he has been rolling giant boulders up mountains since he arrived) should have had a strong veteran 1C (I don’t mean Horcoff at this stage in his career) sheltering him. And then we saw Draisaitl last fall when the chorus here was all unanimous in saying he needs to go down to the Dub at Game 9 (I know there were other elements at play with Prince Albert vs. Kelowna, etc. here). To me, right now, Nurse has 10/10 talent and tools (maybe bar his shot) but he is relying too much on his physical talents to dominate the OHL game. He can afford to rush up the ice at every turn because he can out-skate everyone bar McDavid back to cover his mistakes. That’s not going to work in the NHL and I think he still needs more structure to his game. A half season at a minimum in the AHL is, to me, the right call. I think Chiarelli can be trusted to make this call. Is Nurse perhaps the 5th best defenseman in the Oilers organization at this very minute? Probably. So, the old Oiler way was to pencil(pen) him in the fall lineup. Chiarelli’s job is to get two guys in who are better, and push everyone down the totem pole, making the obvious and easy decision the right one: let Nurse crush the AHL before moving him up.

    Top pair
    1) Martin//Staal/Hjalmarsson/Seabrook/Vlasic your mileage may vary
    2) Klefbom

    Pair twp
    3) Petry/Sekera/Franson etc. your mileage may vary
    4) Marincin

    Pair three
    5) Fayne
    6) Schultz/Davidson/Simpson/Oesterle/?? your mileage may vary

    7) Whichever of Nikitin or Ference stays

    That’s kind of what you hope for in the roster, with Nurse pushing from Bakersfield by January to bull his way into the lineup and make someone else expendable. Stop handing kids jobs out of the gate and let them become good enough to beat out the incumbents for the role. Move those vets on at the deadline for picks. I hope this is the Oiler way going forward.

  71. square_wheels says:

    Hey Lowetide , you following MLB closely these days ? I had the pleasure of watching ball while working in Houston in 2013, and good lord is Jose Altuve a wonderful talent. Officially listed at the 5’5″ he is vs the 5’7″.

    Been a long time coming for the ‘Stros’s, hope they challenge for a Wild Card.

    And how in the hell did I become a Cubs fan, must have been those great 80’s teams. Sandburg is still my all time 2b guy.

  72. Ryan says:

    square_wheels:
    Ryan,

    I’m just off hwy 1 in Calgary but was in West Bragg Creek at decent elevation, was 3 degrees so came down as ice pellets.

    Okay. My buddy that I used to go mountain biking with just moved to France, You’re too far away, so that doesn’t help.

    I haven’t yet (this season) dusted off the specialized epic comp carbon that I bought last year.

  73. gr8one says:

    Lowetide: Marincin is the awesome hero sandwich your friend left for you because she couldn’t eat it all but you don’t even look at it.

    Hah!

  74. NYCOIL "Taking Photos" says:

    square_wheels:
    Hey Lowetide , you following MLB closely these days ? I had the pleasure of watching ball while working in Houston in 2013, and good lord is Jose Altuve a wonderful talent. Officially listed at the 5’5″ he is vs the 5’7″.

    Been a long time coming for the ‘Stros’s, hope they challenge for a Wild Card.

    And how in the hell did I become a Cubs fan, must have been those great 80’s teams. Sandburg is still my all time 2b guy.

    The Astros are a helluva story if they hang on and go worst to first. Interesting you take Ryne over Robbie. I’m no Blue Jays fan (Expos, Mariners), but Alomar in his prime was the best 2B I ever saw.

  75. square_wheels says:

    Ryan,

    I’m still a bit skittish on a new Intense Spyder comp 29er, climbs effortlessly but descending is still a work in progress. W.bragg is a meca for XC riding, can’t explain to those that don’t ride how good for your mental health turning over pedals is.

  76. gr8one says:

    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”:
    Morning from Japan, all. (Evening over there).

    – I want to clarify my stance on MacT as #2 from yesterday. G Money made a great post, which I agree with. Putting smart people in positions to succeed is the mark of a good organization (a prime example being Apple in this case).

    Voice in my head response: I also completely understand the argument from some circles that there has been so much contrary evidence since 2007 (when the whale hunting for Pronger’s replacement began )that the Oilers can be called a good organization that it’s hard not to have that lingering doubt in the back of your mind creep back despite Chiarelli and despite McDavid because quite possibly we are still in the stages of getting over post-traumatic stress disorder.

    -On MacT; I like the passion he has for the Oilers; I like what he did with the wingers especially (I wanted Pouliot and he got Pouliot) and the 4th line. I didn’t like the glaring hole he left at centre when he decided Draisaitl had won the job because he had Lander (who had an atrocious camp)to beat and Arcobello was the back up plan. I really have not liked the direction he took the defense at all. The goaltending was a reasonable gamble that went horribly wrong. The coaching? That was tough, and we have the benefit of hindsight to point this one out so I am going to leave that be. To me, really one way to look at it is the team sunk to lower point totals over the two years since MacT arrived; some will say it was because he had to clean up Tambellini’s mess, others may point out that MacT turned over the majority of the roster while he was here and the results in the standings weren’t pretty. He’s also saddled the team with some crappy contracts that didn’t exist when Tambo was here (Tambo had his fair share of doozies, too, like Nikolai Khabibulin).All in all, I rated it a wash in terms of what MacT brought, but the Oilers really couldn’t afford a guy learning on the job at that juncture and unfortunately, that’s what they went with. And MacT also hired a rookie coach who also had to learn on the job. Both of these decisions were bad, which leads us back to the doubt about the organization again. I believe MacT is a smart man who sometimes thought he was too smart while on the job and also had a habit of talking too much about his thoughts. I think he is doing the right thing for his career by swallowing his pride and staying on. Yes, it’s my opinion that no one would hand him a GM job this summer if he left. But in a year or two if the Oilers turn things around? He absolutely could be and should be a candidate for a head gig elsewhere.

    – Back to the organization: If Lowe/MacT/Howson were the primary architects for this predicament, and Nicholson does his audit and brings in Chiarelli, I think it is at least fair to ASK if everyone in the old guard should be retained in this case. Absolutely agree that some continuity is needed, especially ahead of the most critical summer in forever for this team. I hope that Chiarelli is as smart as advertised and he can separate the bad judgment (Nikitin, Ference, Schultz, Arco and Leon as your 2c) from the good (Pouliot, Gordon), and use the strengths of his lieutenants in a judicious manner to make the best decisions possible for this club.

    Again, I’m not saying all these guys should be gone; I am saying that they should be evaluated, which Chiarelli will do, and put in roles where they can add the most value. I would also like to see some fresh perspectives brought in from outside this organization as well, which I am sure will happen in due course.The key word here for people like me is “patience.”

    -On Nurse: Speaking of “patience,” I know it’s very tempting to look at Nurse’s play now and pencil him into the lineup next fall. Is he better than Nikitin or Ference right now? Absolutely. Is Nurse in the NHL the best option for the Oilers and Darnell? I believe otherwise. If there is one habit of the Oilers I would like Chiarelli to change, it’s batting the rookies and young ones in this organization too high in the order based on pure talent, flashes of brilliance, and due to being the best option available because management was unable to obtain a better one.

    Lander, Paajarvi, even Nuge, gord bless him (he has been rolling giant boulders up mountains since he arrived) should have had a strong veteran 1C (I don’t mean Horcoff at this stage in his career) sheltering him. And then we saw Draisaitl last fall when the chorus here was all unanimous in saying he needs to go down to the Dub at Game 9 (I know there were other elements at play with Prince Albert vs. Kelowna, etc. here). To me, right now, Nurse has 10/10 talent and tools (maybe bar his shot) but he is relying too much on his physical talents to dominate the OHL game. He can afford to rush up the ice at every turn because he can out-skate everyone bar McDavid back to cover his mistakes. That’s not going to work in the NHL and I think he still needs more structure to his game. A half season at a minimum in the AHL is, to me, the right call. I think Chiarelli can be trusted to make this call. Is Nurse perhaps the 5th best defenseman in the Oilers organization at this very minute? Probably. So, the old Oiler way was to pencil(pen) him in the fall lineup. Chiarelli’s job is to get two guys in who are better, and push everyone down the totem pole, making the obvious and easy decision the right one: let Nurse crush the AHL before moving him up.

    Top pair
    1) Martin//Staal/Hjalmarsson/Seabrook/Vlasic your mileage may vary
    2) Klefbom

    Pair twp
    3) Petry/Sekera/Franson etc. your mileage may vary
    4) Marincin

    Pair three
    5) Fayne
    6) Schultz/Davidson/Simpson/Oesterle/?? your mileage may vary

    7) Whichever of Nikitin or Ference stays

    That’s kind of what you hope for in the roster, with Nurse pushing from Bakersfield by January to bull his way into the lineup and make someone else expendable. Stop handing kids jobs out of the gate and let them become good enough to beat out the incumbents for the role. Move those vets on at the deadline for picks. I hope this is the Oiler way going forward.

    Nailed it.

    Btw…been meaning to tell you this, but some of the photos you’ve been sharing on the twitter are spectacular, nice work.

  77. Ryan says:

    square_wheels:
    Ryan,

    I’m still a bit skittish on a new Intense Spyder comp 29er, climbs effortlessly but descending is still a work in progress. W.bragg is a meca for XC riding, can’t explain to those that don’t ride how good for your mental health turning over pedals is.

    Nice. Yeah, I also have a 29’er and there are pros and cons.

    I’m also 40, so it sounds like we now have a few things in common lol.

  78. stush18 says:

    I agree with everyone saying schultz should be moved. Hell id let him walk.

    That being said, i still think he gets this one last year to prove himself. And most likely not even the full year. I suspect if he isnt performing right away then chiapet moves him.

    Also, if klef and marincin are not in our top four as lefties, that means we signed a free agent to a 3-5 year contract to block them, and then that screws with nurses timeline, unless you start to push players to wrong sides (concievable, but not ideal).

    It all depends on whether or not you think schultz can grow into a player. Will a better team make him look like tyler myers-circa winnipeg era? Or is his outstanding AHL seasom nothing but an abberation?

  79. SkatinginSand says:

    Darnell reminds me more of a young Larry Robinson than anyone else. Tall, skinny, great skater, offense, defensive ability (not one minus at WJC) and loves the physical game. (Sorry LT, I still love the 70s Habs)

    No. 19 spent a year and a half with he Voyagers before making it to the Forum. It certainly did not hurt is career. Of course, Montreal had no reason to rush him, they had two other Hall of Famers on the blue line at the time.

  80. kinger_OIL says:

    Hey LT – Great article. The flip side of whether Nurse can earn a spot is whether Chia can build a D roster that blocks him. In my mind Chia will be an epic fail if he doesn’t revamp the D to prevent Nurse from being the 6th/7th D this fall… And following up on NYCOIL: my spidey senses are up. It appears that Chia is the man, but there is no way that if he was calling “all the shots”: he would keep MacT. I’m too lazy to look it up, but outside of the Oilers (who have now done it twice), there aren’t many fired GM’s that get demoted, and stay with a Club when a new GM comes. That compromise that Chia no doubt had to make in order to take the job, certainly has me wary. It tells me the Oil are still: “plus ca change…”

  81. Ray says:

    stush18,

    I’d let someone else take that risk and use the money saved to get an older (but not old) vet. Seabrook, Green, Petry, Burns, Spurgeon, Franson.

  82. G Money says:

    McJesus. Holy shit.

    I’ve been very careful about what I’m expecting out of this kid, McJesus jokes aside.

    Crosbyish. Sure.

    Now, on the big stage against an incredibly tough team, he’s just making them look silly out there.

    His playoff ppg is on par with Crosby’s draft year regular season ppg.

    This is ridiculous.

  83. square_wheels says:

    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”,

    I had cable growing up, every afternoon we’d watch the Cubs on WGN. Goddamn Harry Carry was a piss tank.

    Alomar was a beauty, I sure do miss the last of the natural talents that had to be able to play both sides of the ball without “help”.

    Sweet Swinging SAmi Sosa , Wild Thing, the Cubs were never dull. Oilers of baseball.

  84. NYCOIL "Taking Photos" says:

    gr8one: Nailed it.

    Btw…been meaning to tell you this, but some of the photos you’ve been sharing on the twitter are spectacular, nice work.

    Thank you. So far I’ve only been sharing iPhone shots but that means a lot (it’s also about to change and I’ll start sharing some of my “real” stuff soon 🙂 )/

  85. striatic says:

    G Money: Now, on the big stage against an incredibly tough team, he’s just making them look silly out there.

    That’s the scary part. The Greyhounds were an incredibly powerful team with a ridiculous regular season and playoff record leading into this series.

    McDavid ate them alive.

    It is almost horrifying, but in a good way.

  86. SkatinginSand says:

    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”,

    I would agree that Nurse needs more structure to his game, except that my faulty memory seems to remember that it was a complete non-issue at the WJC. He was a shutdown monster, so I am hopeful that he is mentally very adaptable. I still think that it would do him good to spend at least half a season looking for the girl with far away eyes.

  87. square_wheels says:

    Ryan,

    If you’re ever in southern Ab just get yourself to Bragg Creek, can ride all day and never see the same trail twice. But bring extra lungs, you’re gonna suffer.

  88. Rondo says:

    SkatinginSand:
    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”,

    I would agree that Nurse needs more structure to his game, except that my faulty memory seems toremember that it was a complete non-issue at the WJC. He was a shutdown monster, so I am hopeful that he is mentally very adaptable. I still think that it would do him good to spend at least half a season looking for the girl with far away eyes.

    Nurse did not play this way in the WJr’s he had much more structure because the competition was much better

  89. square_wheels says:

    If I win anything, and some asshole plays Kool and the Gang, he’s getting punch-kicked

  90. fifthcartel says:

    Connor McDavid puts up the most casual 5 points I’ve ever seen.

  91. Tire Fire says:

    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”,

    Cool, what’s yer Twitter handle? (I don’t tweet but have an account for hockey follows)

  92. Zelepukin says:

    As far as I can find, Justin Papineau had 51pts in OHL playoff scoring in ’97 and that’s the record from what has been recorded. McJesus can do 10pts in 4 games no probs.

  93. stush18 says:

    Ray:
    stush18,

    I’d let someone else take that risk and use the money saved to get an older (but not old) vet. Seabrook, Green, Petry, Burns, Spurgeon, Franson.

    Agreed.

    If noone takes him in a trade, i would almost let him walk. Dont even bother qualifying him. Use that extra momey to sign green and someone else. Preferably another righty.

  94. gd says:

    Much as I was cheering for SSM, getting Nurse into a round or two of AHL Playoff might be the best thing for evaluating where he should be slotted for next year.

  95. Southern Oil says:

    What a wonderful couple of weeks. All things Oilers have been well chronicled here – unbelievable really the turnaround in our fortunes and what we are hopefully going to witness moving forward. On a personal front – unbelievable as well. At 40, my wife & I, figured we were done bringing kids into the world. Our dream of 3, never materialized and we counted our blessings that we have 2 wonderful children. But this morning at 7:31am EST, our son – Jasper was born. My wife (Georgia girl) liked the name, because of the stone. I must admit I had no idea there was a stone called Jasper. I liked the name because it runs to my Alberta roots and is one of the most spectacular places on earth.

    On cloud 9 at the moment. Running on absolutely no sleep and don’t care. Enjoying a glass of wine to celebrate.

    Life is great folks – enjoy the offseason! McDavid!!!!!!!!!!

  96. Tire Fire says:

    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”,

    Hmm, comment got eaten in moderation. Anyway, very cool, can’t wait for your SLR shots.

  97. gd says:

    Can I just confirm that RFA Qualifying Offers don’t have to be given until the day after the draft, so the Oil can see how that plays out before dealing with Shultz?

  98. spoiler says:

    LT said…

    That’s still how I feel, but in these viewings (saw him good!) cannot help but think that he’s pushed beyond that imaginary line in the sand we create to divide the majors from the minors. Are we SURE Nurse can’t make the jump? Are we absolutely certain he’s the seventh best option? Are we convinced Darnell Nurse as an Oiler will cost more games than, say, Niki Nikitin as an Oiler?

    Been saying this for a few weeks now.

    It would take two LD acquisitions to push him off the roster, and that’s just not going to happen. Even more so if either NN or AF get bought out or traded this summer. Ditto for Marincin. The only hope for Darnell going to the A is the Oilers can’t dump anyone and they would rather play the guys they’re paying the big bucks to, despite how awful they are.

    He’s better than Marincin is right now. Possibly better than KBomb, but I will give the nod to Oscar till we see more.

    The lack of structure many are commenting on did not happen all season long. The Soo’s coach was forced to take the reins off him in this series because they were having trouble matching the scoring of McJesus and his Apostles. He can play within a system.

    Team Canada is down a defenseman. There’s a chance, albeit slim, he gets the call to Prague. If not, he will be in OKC, double pronto.

  99. spoiler says:

    Southern Oil:
    What a wonderful couple of weeks.All things Oilers have been well chronicled here – unbelievable really the turnaround in our fortunes and what we are hopefully going to witness moving forward.On a personal front – unbelievable as well.At 40, my wife & I, figured we were done bringing kids into the world.Our dream of 3, never materialized and we counted our blessings that we have 2 wonderful children.But this morning at 7:31am EST, our son – Jasper was born.My wife (Georgia girl) liked the name, because of the stone.I must admit I had no idea there was a stone called Jasper.I liked the name because it runs to my Alberta roots and is one of the most spectacular places on earth.

    On cloud 9 at the moment.Running on absolutely no sleep and don’t care.Enjoying a glass of wine to celebrate.

    Life is great folks – enjoy the offseason!McDavid!!!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations!!!

  100. oliveoilers says:

    Ryan: Nice.Yeah, I also have a 29’er and there are pros and cons.

    I’m also 40, so it sounds like we now have a few things in common lol.

    In 2004 I had my pride and joy, a Kona King Kikapu. I had worked my way up from a box store heavy ass machine, through a Marin Bear Valley SE to eventually getting a bike I could compete on. Then some MFer stole it. Broke my heart, I sold the rest of my gear. Only got a new bike 2 years ago, an under sized specialized that I use to show off tricks to the kids.

    Maybe one day I’ll hear the call of the trail again. But after I have brought the kids all the toys I want!

  101. square_wheels says:

    oliveoilers,

    Some dick stole my Stumpjumper in 94 from NAIT, something about having your bike lifted that is such a kick a the balls. And I had to ride the bus, which was slightly less painful than a ball kick.

  102. Gally says:

    LMHF#1: What do you think this is…

    You don’t marinate a Ribeye!

    You certainly do(well, you can, but you don’t HAVE to). You don’t need to tenderize it, but one should never decline adding flavour to a meal. And, I’ve never worked in a restaurant worth it’s salt that didn’t rub or marinade a prime rib.

  103. Hammers says:

    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”:
    Morning from Japan, all. (Evening over there).

    – I want to clarify my stance on MacT as #2 from yesterday. G Money made a great post, which I agree with. Putting smart people in positions to succeed is the mark of a good organization (a prime example being Apple in this case).

    Voice in my head response: I also completely understand the argument from some circles that there has been so much contrary evidence since 2007 (when the whale hunting for Pronger’s replacement began )that the Oilers can be called a good organization that it’s hard not to have that lingering doubt in the back of your mind creep back despite Chiarelli and despite McDavid because quite possibly we are still in the stages of getting over post-traumatic stress disorder.

    -On MacT; I like the passion he has for the Oilers; I like what he did with the wingers especially (I wanted Pouliot and he got Pouliot) and the 4th line. I didn’t like the glaring hole he left at centre when he decided Draisaitl had won the job because he had Lander (who had an atrocious camp)to beat and Arcobello was the back up plan. I really have not liked the direction he took the defense at all. The goaltending was a reasonable gamble that went horribly wrong. The coaching? That was tough, and we have the benefit of hindsight to point this one out so I am going to leave that be. To me, really one way to look at it is the team sunk to lower point totals over the two years since MacT arrived; some will say it was because he had to clean up Tambellini’s mess, others may point out that MacT turned over the majority of the roster while he was here and the results in the standings weren’t pretty. He’s also saddled the team with some crappy contracts that didn’t exist when Tambo was here (Tambo had his fair share of doozies, too, like Nikolai Khabibulin).All in all, I rated it a wash in terms of what MacT brought, but the Oilers really couldn’t afford a guy learning on the job at that juncture and unfortunately, that’s what they went with. And MacT also hired a rookie coach who also had to learn on the job. Both of these decisions were bad, which leads us back to the doubt about the organization again. I believe MacT is a smart man who sometimes thought he was too smart while on the job and also had a habit of talking too much about his thoughts. I think he is doing the right thing for his career by swallowing his pride and staying on. Yes, it’s my opinion that no one would hand him a GM job this summer if he left. But in a year or two if the Oilers turn things around? He absolutely could be and should be a candidate for a head gig elsewhere.

    – Back to the organization: If Lowe/MacT/Howson were the primary architects for this predicament, and Nicholson does his audit and brings in Chiarelli, I think it is at least fair to ASK if everyone in the old guard should be retained in this case. Absolutely agree that some continuity is needed, especially ahead of the most critical summer in forever for this team. I hope that Chiarelli is as smart as advertised and he can separate the bad judgment (Nikitin, Ference, Schultz, Arco and Leon as your 2c) from the good (Pouliot, Gordon), and use the strengths of his lieutenants in a judicious manner to make the best decisions possible for this club.

    Again, I’m not saying all these guys should be gone; I am saying that they should be evaluated, which Chiarelli will do, and put in roles where they can add the most value. I would also like to see some fresh perspectives brought in from outside this organization as well, which I am sure will happen in due course.The key word here for people like me is “patience.”

    -On Nurse: Speaking of “patience,” I know it’s very tempting to look at Nurse’s play now and pencil him into the lineup next fall. Is he better than Nikitin or Ference right now? Absolutely. Is Nurse in the NHL the best option for the Oilers and Darnell? I believe otherwise. If there is one habit of the Oilers I would like Chiarelli to change, it’s batting the rookies and young ones in this organization too high in the order based on pure talent, flashes of brilliance, and due to being the best option available because management was unable to obtain a better one.

    Lander, Paajarvi, even Nuge, gord bless him (he has been rolling giant boulders up mountains since he arrived) should have had a strong veteran 1C (I don’t mean Horcoff at this stage in his career) sheltering him. And then we saw Draisaitl last fall when the chorus here was all unanimous in saying he needs to go down to the Dub at Game 9 (I know there were other elements at play with Prince Albert vs. Kelowna, etc. here). To me, right now, Nurse has 10/10 talent and tools (maybe bar his shot) but he is relying too much on his physical talents to dominate the OHL game. He can afford to rush up the ice at every turn because he can out-skate everyone bar McDavid back to cover his mistakes. That’s not going to work in the NHL and I think he still needs more structure to his game. A half season at a minimum in the AHL is, to me, the right call. I think Chiarelli can be trusted to make this call. Is Nurse perhaps the 5th best defenseman in the Oilers organization at this very minute? Probably. So, the old Oiler way was to pencil(pen) him in the fall lineup. Chiarelli’s job is to get two guys in who are better, and push everyone down the totem pole, making the obvious and easy decision the right one: let Nurse crush the AHL before moving him up.

    Top pair
    1) Martin//Staal/Hjalmarsson/Seabrook/Vlasic your mileage may vary
    2) Klefbom

    Pair twp
    3) Petry/Sekera/Franson etc. your mileage may vary
    4) Marincin

    Pair three
    5) Fayne
    6) Schultz/Davidson/Simpson/Oesterle/?? your mileage may vary

    7) Whichever of Nikitin or Ference stays

    That’s kind of what you hope for in the roster, with Nurse pushing from Bakersfield by January to bull his way into the lineup and make someone else expendable. Stop handing kids jobs out of the gate and let them become good enough to beat out the incumbents for the role. Move those vets on at the deadline for picks. I hope this is the Oiler way going forward.

    The only thing I see here is your mileage may vary and I tend to agree .

  104. VanOil says:

    Hammers: The only thing I see here is your mileage may vary and I tend to agree .

    I find with good oil mileage is remarkably consistent

  105. godot10 says:

    One would thing Thing #2 might be also be a Tribble, and Lowetide’s blog tonight has been overrun with Thing#2Tribbles with all the excessive over-exuberant enthusiasm for rushing Darnell Nurse into the NHL like Gagner and Cogliano and Lander and Schultz were rushed.

    30 games in the AHL playing in all situations for 25 minutes per game should be a stepped not skipped. It helps to break into the NHL if one knows one has aced the AHL.

    The Oilers also don’t have a Brian Campbell type.

    If he plays in OKC in the playoffs, and dominates and gets 15 to 20 playoff games, maybe that will be enough. But that means sitting Laleggia or Simpson.

  106. BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1) says:

    Oh yeah – WOOOOOOOT!!!!

    that is all

  107. G Money says:

    McDavid's 42 points in 15 games best ever OHL playoffs by a U18 (Lindros had 38 in 16 in 1991). T-6th all-time among all players.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) May 3, 2015

  108. striatic says:

    G Money,

    I wonder what his total is like when corrected for era effects.

  109. G Money says:

    striatic,

    Higher is my guess. I haven’t verified myself, but the general chatter is that the OHL (like the NHL) was much higher scoring when e.g. Crosby started, Gretzky was playing.

  110. Cobbler says:

    oliveoilers,

    Rode my 1999 Rocky Hammer in the river valley of Edmonton for a great many years. I was a stubborn Cr/Mo hard tail guy. Now that my joints have begun to firm up I am loving the floating softness of a Rocky Altitude. First ride is tomorrow AM with an old friend, still snow on the ground here in St. John’s (I blame Dennis King). I’ll be a bit hungover as we had our last rec skate of the year tonight. A good group of guys and we finished the night watching Darnell vs. Connor.

    There is a magic in the air around these young Oilers; One the reminds me of my youth and the stubborn purity of my steel hardtail; yelling incessantly in the river valley of Edmonton.

    2 months ago I was reluctant to wear my Oilers Jersey; now I boast.

  111. Traktor says:

    godot10:
    One would thing Thing #2 might be also be a Tribble, and Lowetide’s blog tonight has been overrun with Thing#2Tribbles with all the excessive over-exuberant enthusiasm for rushing Darnell Nurse into the NHL like Gagner and Cogliano and Lander and Schultz were rushed.

    30 games in the AHL playing in all situations for 25 minutes per game should be a stepped not skipped.It helps to break into the NHL if one knows one has aced the AHL.

    The Oilers also don’t have a Brian Campbell type.

    If he plays in OKC in the playoffs, and dominates and gets 15 to 20 playoff games, maybe that will be enough.But that means sitting Laleggia or Simpson.

    Schultz killed the AHL and it was the super AHL because the lockout.

    The problem IMO hasn’t been prospects arriving in the NHL too early but rather not having quality veterans to pair them with.

    So Nurse puts in time in the AHL and then has to play 20 minutes a night with nikitin. What does that even do or prove? He’s going to get lit up.

  112. gd says:

    Traktor: Schultz killed the AHL and it was the super AHL because the lockout.

    The problem IMO hasn’t been prospects arriving in the NHL too early but rather not having quality veterans to pair them with.

    So Nurse puts in time in the AHL and then has to play 20 minutes a night with nikitin. What does that even do or prove? He’s going to get lit up.

    Are Toby Enstrom or JBo available after disappointing playoffs?
    Would Paul Martin or Erhoff be the right vet?
    Could Dan Boyle be the Dman that shakes loose from the Rangers?

    After watching Nurse in this series and the WJC, I feel he will be ready for next year, but completely agree the right vet is exactly what he needs.

  113. Pouzar says:

    And they come out of the woodwork…you know who you are.

    We got Connor Frickin McDavid!

  114. Lewis Grant says:

    striatic: G Money,

    I wonder what his total is like when corrected for era effects.

    Me too.

    (Especially since, in my mind, I’ve been cautionary around McDavid – his regular season totals are in the same range as Patrick Kane, and his WJC in the range of Tavares and Hall. In other words, great but not generational.)

    Anyways, back to corrections for era effects, I have to imagine that the correction only benefits McDavid, whose playoff stats are already better per game than Crosby and Lindros.

    But you really want a mind-blowing comparison?

    In his draft year, Mario Lemieux had 52 points in 14 playoff games at a QMJHL league-wide 10 GPG. The OHL today is 7 GPG. The magic of multiplying by 7/10 puts Mario today at the equivalent of 37 points in 14 games.

    That’s exactly what McDavid had earlier today.

    Then he went and added another 5 points tonight.

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  115. hags9k says:

    Ference – wilting celery sticks.
    Klef – dream whip
    Jultz – sniff worthy milk
    Nurse – green banana
    Hall – hot sauce
    Nuge – bread and butter
    Yak – shaken can of pop
    Eberle – perfect chocolate cake
    McDavid – entire holiday feast doesn’t fit in the fridge.

  116. judgedrude says:

    My memory is a bit fuzzy at the moment, but ON says our last game we beat Van 50-0. Is that correct, or is it the McDavid talking?

  117. Marc says:

    I find it astonishing that many of the same people who cite MacT’s handling of the center depth last off season as a critical failing, positively support going into next season with three of our top 6 D having 85, 41 and 2 games of NHL experience under their belts.

    MacT tried to add Perrault. When that failed he tried to get Jokinen. Add then when that failed he had a trade lined up for Anisimov, who got hurt and scuppered the trade. So as the start of the season approached, he had to choose between signing a flawed veteran C like Roy, or relying on two of Arcobello, Lander (both coming off outstanding AHL seasons) and Drai (man sized prospect with a good two way game) stepping up to become effective NHL players.

    He chose the latter and it’s pretty much universally acknowledged as being a huge mistake.

    If MacT made a mistake by not requiring Arcobello, Lander and Drai to beat out a flawed veteran for a spot in the roster, then how can it possibly be a good idea to just give Klef, Marincin and Nurse spots?

  118. Woodguy says:

    Traktor: Schultz killed the AHL and it was the super AHL because the lockout.

    The problem IMO hasn’t been prospects arriving in the NHL too early but rather not having quality veterans to pair them with.

    So Nurse puts in time in the AHL and then has to play 20 minutes a night with nikitin. What does that even do or prove? He’s going to get lit up.

    It may have been the “super AHL” with the lockout, but he did play with Hall and Eberle a ton.

    After the lockout Hall went on to place 8th in the NHL in pts/gm.

    It can be argued that no player benefited more from the “super AHL” than Schultz.

    The next highest pts/gm NHL player in 12/13 who played in the AHL that year was Kadri who comes in 29th in pts/gm in that year (discounting everyone under 15gp)

  119. Woodguy says:

    Marc,

    Klef has 77 NHL games, not 41.

    Both Klef and Marincin have shown competency at the NHL level and should be in the starting 6, there is no question about that.

    All Marincin does is play the toughest comp and win the shot attempt battle.

    Both are bonafide NHLers imo.

    The question is Nurse and that young man has buckets of talent so it’s a reasonable debate.

    Traktor is right though.

    Being ready for the NHL has to be coupled with playing with a partner that can help, not hurt the rookie.

    Ference, Nikitin, Schultz are all on the “hurt” side of the ledger and need to be cleared out.

  120. Woodguy says:

    Some twitter stuff:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 13m13 minutes ago
    #Oilers @Landie51 & @Klefbom93 each score, Sweden beats Austria 6-1 today at #IIHFWorlds! Assist for Lander as well.

    Bruce McMcCurdy ‏@BruceMcCurdy 12h12 hours ago
    In the 9’years OHL Network stats system has been around,playoff record was 41 points (Mark Scheifele). McDavid has 42…with a series to go!

    Corey Pronman @coreypronman · 12h 12 hours ago
    McDavid’s 42 points in 15 games best ever OHL playoffs by a U18 (Lindros had 38 in 16 in 1991). T-6th all-time among all players.

  121. Woodguy says:

    Crusty bastard Hodge gives thumbs up to Oilers and Ovechkin.

    http://www.tsn.ca/talent/thumbs-up-to-ovechkin-oilers-front-office-1.273878

  122. bsmart says:

    Someone mentioned a reluctantcy to pair Marincin and Schultz. The two were stellar together that half year in the AHL. It should be explored. A keen decision like this might save Schultz.

  123. bsmart says:

    Woodguy,

    Oh yeah! McDavid! I think I will throw my oiler flag in my truck from 2006 and drive up an down whyte Ave on draft day. wearing my freshly pressed McDavid oilers jersey. ( as I type this with a permanent grin)

  124. Ray says:

    bsmart:
    Someone mentioned a reluctantcy to pair Marincin and Schultz. The two were stellar together that half year in the AHL. It should be explored. A keen decision like this might save Schultz.

    Why do you hate Marincin?

  125. Магия 10 says:

    HODGE: “MacTavish might like to be known as something other than “number-two guy”, which is his current billing. When it wears out, maybe “Director of Lottery Strategy” could take over. Seriously, though, MacTavish needs a real title.”

    Never would rate the Oiil brass as sophisticated liars. So this is the detail that suggests that PC has a free hand. No tidy titles snapping Craig in while leaving other roles clear sailing. Just as if MacT really does have Pete written on the sole of one foot.

    Buzz: This is an intergalactic emergency. I need to commandeer your vessel to Sector 12. Who’s in charge here?
    All Aliens: [pointing up] The clawwwwwwwww!
    Alien #1: The claw is our master.
    Alien #2: The claw chooses who will go and who will stay.
    Woody: This is ludicrous.

  126. bsmart says:

    Ray,

    Lol, just using a philosophy that if something worked before, it can work again.

  127. Ray says:

    bsmart,

    I’m just being a smart ass. I agree it’s an interesting thought, while they would be best suited keeping the puck out of the dzone, once they are forced to defend they might resemble a tire fire.

  128. Ryan says:

    Woodguy:

    Ference, Nikitin, Schultz are all on the “hurt” side of the ledger and need to be cleared out.

    Completely agree.

    To compete next season, this will be imperative.

    Lordy, it’s quite a challenge though…

    2 immovable contracts and with Petry gone, if you let Schultz walk, we have no one to run a power play from the blue line.

  129. Woodguy says:

    Ryan: Completely agree.

    To compete next season, this will be imperative.

    Lordy, it’s quite a challenge though…

    2 immovable contracts and with Petry gone, if you let Schultz walk, we have no one to run a power play from the blue line.

    Even with Schultz there’s no one to run a PP.

    Maybe Chara.

  130. Marc says:

    Woodguy:
    Marc,

    Klef has 77 NHL games, not 41.

    Both Klef and Marincin have shown competency at the NHL level and should be in the starting 6, there is no question about that.

    All Marincin does is play the toughest comp and win the shot attempt battle.

    Both are bonafide NHLers imo.

    The question is Nurse and that young man has buckets of talent so it’s a reasonable debate.

    Traktor is right though.

    Being ready for the NHL has to be coupled with playing with a partner that can help, not hurt the rookie.

    Ference, Nikitin, Schultz are all on the “hurt” side of the ledger and need to be cleared out.

    You’re right about Klef. My bad.

    Roy was on the “hurt” side of the ledger too though. That doesn’t mean it was a mistake to have him on the team. On the contrary, it was a mistake to start the season without him, or someone like him.

    You keep two of Ference, Nikitin, Schultz not to block Nurse or Marincin, but to ensure you’re not getting 20+ games of Musil and Oesterle.

    If the Oilers bring in three new guys – say two veteran top 6 guys and a 7th D – through trade UFA and dump Ference, Nikitin, Schultz, the depth chart is:
    Klef-New guy 1
    Marincin- New guy 2
    Fayne – Nurse
    New guy 3
    ****
    Davidson
    Oesterle
    Musil

    The Oilers used 13 D this season – 10 played more than 10 games and 8 played 30+. This was not in any way abnormal season – NHL teams usually end up using 10+ D over the course of a season.

    So with the above roster you’re likely counting on new guy 3 and Davidson to each give you 20+ games and 10+ games from Oesterle and Musil. And your only cover if Nurse struggles is promoting new guy 3 and Davidson. This is not a winning strategy.

    If you bring in two veteran top 6 guys and dump one of Ference, Nikitin, Schultz however the depth chart is:
    Klef-New guy 1
    Marincin- Fayne
    New guy 2 – Ference
    Schultz
    ****
    Nurse
    Davidson
    Oesterle
    Musil

    Schultz/Ference and Nurse are your primary injury cover guys in this scenario, rather than Aulie-type vet and Davidson. That’s a much safer way to proceed in my opinion.

  131. godot10 says:

    Магия 10:
    HODGE: “MacTavish might like to be known as something other than “number-two guy”, which is his current billing.When it wears out, maybe “Director of Lottery Strategy” could take over. Seriously, though, MacTavish needs a real title.”

    Thing #2 is a very good title.

  132. Магия 10 says:

    godot10: Thing #2 is a very good title.

    fun, but I’m still partial to Tier 2.

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