USER’S GUIDE TO TURNING NORTH

Peter Chiarelli: “Everyone has a five-year plan and so did we. It’s not like it fell exactly into place, but we were adding certain elements to get to this point.” (After SC win, via Behind the Moves)

I thought it might be a good idea to go back to PC’s PC and see what we can see, now that the first blush excitement is gone. We’re looking for blues clues and anything about the F & G. All of the quotes are via Bruce McCurdy unless otherwise indicated.

  • Chiarelli: “The way I manage there’s nothing really flashy about it, although in the past I’ve made some trades and I’m not afraid to do that, it’s about getting to know the players, instilling an attitude and a philosophy about winning, the sacrifices it takes to win, sacrifices on … and off the ice, the mentality that we all have to embrace.  There’s really nothing magical about it, there’s nothing magical about me. It’s about hard work, connecting, communicating, and that’s what I plan to do.”

We have no evidence about on or off ice issues, but there’s always a chance to improve habits in a new regime. This is an area Todd McLellan can help in my opinion, and that two weeks with Hall and Eberle may be key to this first season. There’s already a buzz I’m sure amongst Oilers players and a sense of change for the better.

  • Chiarelli: “[I was] part of seven, eight years in Ottawa where we had a real fast, skilled team, and part of nine years in Boston where we had a skilled, heavy team.  The game’s changing, so it’s finding the balance between the two. I’ve been an Eastern Conference guy for a while, so I know this team but I don’t know it great. I know the players, but there’s a lot of work to be done from my perspective. There are some of areas that have been well-chronicled that we’re going to have to look at, the goaltending, the back end, the style of play. There’s a lot of them I probably don’t have enough time to tell you them all. [But] there’s also a lot of good things here, young legs, complementary players that can really build an exciting foundation. They play fast, I’d like to see them play a little harder, and that’ll be a challenge.”

I think the Oilers play hard, but not smart. There are all kinds of things we can see the final four teams doing—puck support, better passing, giving the defenseman a good target, using good judgement to reduce risk—those aren’t hard work items, they are discipline and intelligence items (imo). I think Edmonton’s best kids are completely capable of playing a more responsible game, hell Nuge already does it, but that’s going to require listening, executing and discipline.

https://twitter.com/OilrGrl16/status/600753816359739398

  • Chiarelli: “In Boston we had to add a lot of pieces, I don’t think that’s the case here. Here it’s about the next stage of their development, there are some young kids that need to be put in their proper places, either here or in other leagues. I talk about a measured apporoach, it’s not like we have to get here in a year, I think there needs to be a, not methodical but measured, we have to go through the right steps.”

This speaks to our discussion yesterday, where Krejci (BOS) and Demers (SJS) were both kept in the AHL for a full season by Chiarelli and McLellan (well, by their organizations). What does that mean for the Oilers? It could mean Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl are in Bakersfield for the whole year and guys like Klefbom may play in a less feature role. That’s my read anyway.

  • Chiarelli: “You have to come from a bunch of different angles, whether it’s player personnel — and players are hard to find — be that the attitude, or the ‘heaviness’ for lack of a better word, whether it’s a heavy stick or a heavy player. There are teams that don’t have hard, heavy players but they play heavy, they’re strong on their sticks. That’s something you have to instil. I’ve seen the progression here in past years, in talking to MacT they’ve been trying to get bigger and heavier, and that’s certainly an area I want to improve… There are teams that aren’t necessarily hard and heavy but they strip pucks. They’re hard on battles, they win more than their share of battles … they [can be] heavy but they’re not huge. A lot of that has to do with the coach, the philosophy of the organization, that’s part of what I hope to instil.

I think this quote has been misunderstood, or at least blown out of proportion. This is about doing the small things, or perceived small things, correctly time after time. Justin Schultz has developed this bizarre habit of sending outlet passes into an area as opposed to tape-to-tape. It’s undisciplined, maybe lazy, and hard work is part of the issue because he’s going to need improving in that area.

Maybe, because they’re young, it’s about the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of things.

  • Todd McLellan: “As a coach I believe most of us are wired to show the players ‘how’, but I don’t think we take the time to get them to understand ‘why’.” Source
  • Taylor Hall: “Whether it was the power play or the penalty kill or whatever, we were so prepared. By the end of the tournament, it wasn’t who we were playing, it was all about the structure and identity we had.” Source

Communication and innovation. I think that’s what McLellan will bring to the Oilers. Reminding ourselves it’s a marathon not a sprint may become the hardest thing for an Oilers fan to do. I find myself wishing away spring and summer which, as you know if you live here, is absolutely insane.

Peter Chiarelli said they want players who are hard on the puck, determined, strong on his stick. Pavel Datsyuk—all 5.11, 194—is hard on the puck, determined, strong on his stick. If you look at the top 9F last season for the Bruins, there are lots of guys who aren’t big men:

  • R Loui Eriksson 18:28 a night and 6.02, 196 (size comp: Taylor Hall 6.01, 198)
  • C David Krejci 18:10 a night and 6.00, 186 (size comp: RNH 6.00, 190)
  • C Patrice Bergeron 18:07 a night and 6.02, 194 (size comp: Benoit Pouliot (6.03, 193)
  • L Brad Marchand 16:54 and 5.09, 183 (size comp: Jordan Eberle 5.11, 183)
  • C Carl Soderberg 16:48 and 6.03, 216 (size comp: Leon Draisaitl 6.01, 210)
  • L Milan Lucic 16:21 and 6.03, 235
  • R Reilly Smuth 15:24 and 6.00, 185 (size come: Teddy Purcell 6.02, 198)
  • C Chris Kelly 15:08 and 6.00, 198 (size comp: Nail Yakupov 5.11, 197)
  • L Ryan Spooner 14:32 and 5.11, 181 (size comp: Anton Lander 6.00, 186)

The Oilers don’t have Lucic but there is size in the group. Some of it is too young (Leon) and frankly some of the size doesn’t win enough battles (tick off your choice of names in the group, there are a lot of size comps that don’t favor the Oilers in terms of puck pursuit and retrieval). This isn’t about size. You know who Chiarelli will love? Nugent-Hopkins. Skinny, unusual sideburns doesn’t shave yet Nugent-Hopkins. And that’s a fact.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMM

One thing that always happens when a new group comes in: the depth chart goes ass over tea kettle. Hockey men see things as they see things and when there’s no attachment to a specific prospect it’s a big deal. The decision makers in the Oilers organization now include (at the top) Peter Chiarelli, Todd McLellan and Bob Green. That’s miles from Craig MacTavish, Dallas Eakins and Stu MacGregor and even more miles from Steve Tambellini, Tom Renney and Stu MacGregor.

Last fall, Craig MacTavish spoke at length about Bogdan Yakimov and Jujhar Khaira. Will Peter Chiarelli feel the same way? Todd McLellan? Bob Green hasn’t been on the job long but his group of  players would have been procured between August 2013 and today. Some of the names? I’ll guess Jordan Oesterle, Josh Winquist, CJ Ludwig and Mitch Holmberg.

On the other end are the (basically) orphaned prospects from previous admins and they are very likely to exit soon. Names might include Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton, Martin Marincin, Tyler Bunz, Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk and Frans Tuohimaa (who has recently signed in Europe). New admin, new outlook. That’s the way it is, no exceptions.

Laurent Brossoit? The coach saw him good, and that’s a foot in the door.

wood photo

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

This morning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. He told me weeks ago Mike Babcock was going to land in Toronto. I’ll be getting the winning lottery numbers from Steve this morning.
  • Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. Heartbreak on  a beautiful night at Clark Park and a big game this weekend.
  • Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report. What’s happening with my Bruins? Plus 2015 draft with New England sending giant talents this year.
  • Paul Almeida, Saturday Sports Extra. The free-agent season for this summer? Coaches, and the two big names are off the board.

10-1260 text @Lowetide twitter and we’re going to have a good time. Talk soon!

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122 Responses to "USER’S GUIDE TO TURNING NORTH"

  1. Ice Sage says:

    Fantastic synthesis of where the Oilers are at in this rapid transition. Thanks, LT and a great spring weekend to all!

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

    Exclusive video of Murray’s reaction to Babcock signing with Toronto.

  3. russ99 says:

    Good post.

    I’m hopeful that we go out and get some players to lead with “playing heavy” and winning battles both at forward and defense rather than change the game for our elite skill players too much.

    Obviously I trust Chiarelli and McLellan vastly more to not throw the baby (offense) out with the bath water like MacT/Eakins did.

  4. book¡je says:

    On the other end are the (basically) orphaned prospects from previous admins and they are very likely to exit soon. Names might include Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton, Martin Marincin, Tyler Bunz, Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk and Frans Tuohimaa (who has recently signed in Europe). New admin, new outlook. That’s the way it is, no exceptions.

    So, you are saying that Marincin will no longer receive the generous praise and on ice push that he did from MacTavish?

  5. LMHF#1 says:

    “On the other end are the (basically) orphaned prospects from previous admins and they are very likely to exit soon. Names might include Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton, Martin Marincin, Tyler Bunz, Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk and Frans Tuohimaa (who has recently signed in Europe). New admin, new outlook. That’s the way it is, no exceptions.”

    One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong.

  6. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wishing away the summer LT? That is insane.

    Try thinking of the Eskies a tad more. With Jones at the helm and O’Reilly at pivot, they’re primed for a good season.

    Start of a great new era in Edmonton sports history?

    “Bring on a brand new Renaissance, cos I think I’m ready!”

  7. Ducey says:

    All of those quotes point to gradual change. People are going to be disappointed if they expect big trades. A goalie and a defenseman. That’s it. Stop dreaming of the Dion or Seabrook or Burns. They are not happening – for multiple reasons.

    Schultz will get a chance under a new coach (or three), Nikitin will be assessed, and Ference will get a chance too.

    Also, people are not going to like me saying it, but Yak has about 45 games to improve his checking or he is toast at the deadline.

    I don’t mean hitting (he actually kind of sneaky with that) and I don’t mean back-checking (that has improved a lot). He has too many times when he just stops skating. He needs to attack through the opponent that has the puck. Instead he stops skating and gives his opponent a ton of time to dispose of the puck.

    He may have been a #1 and he may be a terrific kid who loves Edmonton, but GM isn’t running a daycare anymore.

    And yeah, the new regime is going to love Nuge, Hall, Lander, Hendricks, Gordon and Klefbom.

  8. Melman says:

    Can we trade Hall for Burrows already? All this good news is giving me a rash.

  9. PDL says:

    Ducey,

    You think PC will trade another young high draft pick in his first year as GM here?

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

    Ducey: and Ference will get a chance too.

    Given that Chelli made the decision in Boston to let Ference walk, I’d say Ference might not get as much of a chance as the other two. That will depend on who pushes for a job in TC, and exactly how messy it would be to move Ference.

    But it sounds like both Davidson and Nurse could already be better than TCAF, and the possibility of real competition in camp this fall is going to be welcomed.

  11. Bag of Pucks says:

    I don’t think it will qualify as ‘bold’ but I do think Chiarelli will do some things around the draft and free agency to change up the mix to give McLellan a fighting chance.

    How McLellan treats Jultz will be a huge tell. The old regime developed players in the bigs and those development mistakes cost them points in the standings. If McClellan can’t coach up Jultz by the end of the preseason, he goes to Bakersfield.

    If/when we see players like Schultz, Yak, Marincin, Scrivens, KBom, getting mins based on performance instead of potential, we’ll know the times are truly changing.

  12. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): Given that Chelli made the decision in Boston to let Ference walk, I’d say Ference might not get as much of a chance as the other two. That will depend on who pushes for a job in TC, and exactly how messy it would be to move Ference.

    But it sounds like both Davidson and Nurse could already be better than TCAF, and the possibility of real competition in camp this fall is going to be welcomed.

    Hard to say if he “let Ference walk” so much as he “didn’t match or exceed the Oiler’s batshit crazy offer”.

    As per the previous thread, you and I are on the same page with respect to Davidson vs. FSN.

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

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    That one scene from Behind the B, I believe it was Chelli who said that we can’t re-sign Ference, because the young guys are knocking on the door and need ice time.

  14. kinger_OIL says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Yeah – best case scenario for next year is that you start with all of the Big3: Ference, Jultz and Nikitin, but if they continue to play poorly they get put on waivers: and you have the Nurse’s/Davidson’s et al on the plane up to the big show. The big take away from your post LT for me is that MacT and Chia basically said the same thing: “we aren’t playoffs next year”: Chia just said it better, and has a plan. MacT clearly didn’t anymore, after 2 years of deterioration.

  15. slopitch says:

    Yes the Oilers are in a much different position then Boston. Drai and Nurse are also much better prospects than Chai had at the time with Boston.

    Im interested to hear what the Oilers do with the analytics department with Chai in charge now. IE will they will keep the Dellow, Parkatti, Darkhorse combo or if Chai will bring in his own guys. Had a brief chat Dan H and he raved about how bright Chai was. Lots to do.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Draisaitl on being sent back to the CHL last year:

    “They gave me a chance to play in the NHL,” he said Thursday. “As an 18 year old kid, what more can you ask than to play in the NHL and be given the chance to prove yourself and play in the best league there is?

    “I’m not disappointed at all. I think getting sent down was not a bad thing at all. I know a lot of people think it’s a step down but a lot of times it’s a step up. It’s sometimes better for your confidence. I’m excited to be here and so far, we’ve had a very successful run and we want to keep that going.”

    Very smart young man.

    Can’t wait to see him in the fall.

    Source: http://www.tsn.ca/rockets-star-draisaitl-has-no-regrets-of-mid-season-return-to-junior-hockey-1.288454

  17. Woodguy says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): scene

    Yes.

    That clip takes place while the B’s are still playing.

    Well before July.

    Chia walked from Ference long before MacT made an offer.

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

    Woodguy: Can’t wait to see him in the fall.

    This prospect camp is going to be very interesting, considering that we’ve already seen a PC or two that weren’t exactly boring.

    If Colborne is his low-side projection, I’d counter with Kesler being the up-side.

  19. Bag of Pucks says:

    Could see them starting the season with something like this.

    Hall / McD / Yak
    Pouliot / RNH / Eberle
    Miller / Lander / Purcell
    Pak / Gordon / Hendricks
    Klink

    UFA / Fayne
    KBom / UFA
    Nurse / Ference
    Marincin

    Would love to see Chia deal Purcell at the draft to a team needing to get to the Cap floor. He’s the wrong fit for a Bottom 6 forward in the west. Need a stronger two way player on that third line with some sandpaper. If you could put another speedy winger on that line with Miller, you’re setup for a nice forecheck with Lander playing the responsible C role.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Matt Hendricks on Gregor’s show:

    “…Nicholson come in as president(sic) and made a lot of great moves … from a player’s standpoint we’re excited and we’re excited the direction the organization is going and with Peter Chiarelli coming in and now McLellen I think were definitely going the right way. We have minds..hockey minds in the organization that are going to lead us in the right direction…..”

    I think Hendrick’s comment hits on something that hasn’t been explored much.

    “How much better will the players play now that they have a confidence in the front office and an experienced head coach?”

    I’m talking that if they didn’t change one player or one system, how much better is this team just because they feel like they are part of an organization that has a clue.

    I think this effect is real.

    Source: http://www.tsn.ca/radio/edmonton-1260/hendricks-hard-not-to-get-excited-about-oilers-future-1.288574

    This part of the conversation takes place around the 5 min mark.

  21. knighttown says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Yeah – best case scenario for next year is that you start with all of the Big3: Ference, Jultz and Nikitin,

    I’m not sure Best Case Scenario means what you think it does.

  22. Woodguy says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): This prospect camp is going to be very interesting, considering that we’ve already seen a PC or two that weren’t exactly boring.

    If Colborne is his low-side projection, I’d counter with Kesler being the up-side.

    Kopitar.

    Kopitar is the ceiling.

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

    Woodguy: I think this effect is real.

    Chest-swell/60?

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    “There are teams that aren’t necessarily hard and heavy but they strip pucks. They’re hard on battles, they win more than their share of battles … they [can be] heavy but they’re not huge.”

    This quote perfectly describes a hypothetical player on the Oilers named Opposite Justin.

    No way Schultz lasts in this org without a serious attitude reversal. Can’t see it happening. xBox Jultz will get traded for an actual NHL player, or more likely, a draft pick.

    Maybe he’ll seek out a sport more suited for his personality like surfing or lawn bowling.

  25. PhrankLee says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): Chest-swell/60?

    No no.

    Adjusted Eye Narrowing/60

  26. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    I’ll say Jumbo Joe.

    Leviathan Leon?

    Or maybe they go with classic sportsing opposites: Little Leon.

  27. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy,

    There hasn’t been any accountability in the front office.
    That has trickled down to the on ice product.
    Now that it appears accountability is happening off ice Hendricks can hope the players have some as well.

  28. Woodguy says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): Chest-swell/60?

    I think their: “Fuck this gongshow/60” will be lessened

    I also think their “shit just got real/60” will be significantly higher as well.

  29. kinger_OIL says:

    knighttown: I’m not sure Best Case Scenario means what you think it does.

    I know! by best case scenario, I mean the Big3 play, and lose their roster spots on merit…I don’t think its reasonable to expect they aren’t on the starting roster at the beginning of next year.

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

    Bag of Pucks: Maybe he’ll seek out a sport more suited for his personality like surfing or lawn bowling.

    While I still hold some hope for Jultz to pull it together (and I think I saw some brief flashes of effort in the final few games last season), I think Frolf might his true calling.

  31. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    I’ll say Jumbo Joe.

    Leviathan Leon?

    Or maybe they go with classic sportsing opposites:Little Leon.

    I think opposites are more of a baseball thing.

    Hockey players are not creative as a group.

    My $ is on “Leo”, “Neon Leon”, “Leonsy”, or “Drisy”

  32. knighttown says:

    Woodguy:
    Matt Hendricks on Gregor’s show:

    “…Nicholson come in as president(sic) and made a lot of great moves … from a player’s standpoint we’re excited and we’re excited the direction the organization is going and with Peter Chiarelli coming in and now McLellen I think were definitely going the right way.We have minds..hockey minds in the organization that are going to lead us in the right direction…..”

    I think Hendrick’s comment hits on something that hasn’t been explored much.

    “How much better will the players play now that they have a confidence in the front office and an experienced head coach?”

    I’m talking that if they didn’t change one player or one system, how much better is this team just because they feel like they are part of an organization that has a clue.

    I think this effect is real.

    Absolutely its real. Teams play better or worse than they are on paper all the time. It’s only in retrospect that we assign the praise back to the players. “Tampa is the Cup favorite because of Johnson, Palat and Kucherov!” Sure, that’s true but what was the process that led to three un(der) drafted players believing (TRULY believing) they could be the best line in the NHL?

    A coach instilling belief is massive and probably the biggest issue facing the Edmonton Oilers. None of these guys believe that they’re good enough. Look no further than Calgary and Winnipeg.

    I get it…Calgary is a flawed team who is likely to regress but even if they play to that level it’s still 25 points better than we all thought they’d be. Bob Hartley did a masterful job in “tricking” those players into thinking they are good enough when actually, they probably aren’t. A few of those key players will fade off into obscurity in a year or two once doubt creeps back in.

    Not only are the Oilers bad because of roster construction, they don’t even play to the modest levels their roster constructions predicts that they should.

    It’s why I never defended Eakins. He can complain that he was given an unbalanced roster but can he possibly argue that he got the best of the roster he was given? Christ, he was behind Buffalo.

  33. Woodguy says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Woodguy,

    There hasn’t been any accountability in the front office.
    That has trickled down to the on ice product.
    Now that it appears accountability is happening off ice Hendricks can hope the players have some as well.

    There, you just said exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it much better than I.

    Thanks!

  34. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Bag of Pucks: Maybe he’ll seek out a sport more suited for his personality like surfing or lawn bowling.

    Norris fires outlet passes much like he golfs.
    Picks a tree or other landmark in the distance and fires a shot in the general direction.
    The onus is on the tree to adjust to where he hit the ball.
    Or in the case of hockey, it’s on the forward to adjust to his sloppy outlet pass.

  35. Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker) says:

    The management and coaching changes will have a huge effect imo. Maybe not right at the beginning, but definitely over time. The culture of the team is dictated by the higher ups. A player or two can help push that culture, but ultimately the players are just pawns.

    Andrew Ference probably gets traded in my opinion. PC knows what he is, and I think other teams might actually be interested. Schultz probably doesn’t have the high end we initially expected, but I wouldn’t trade him before 300 games (Same with MM btw). This is the time when dmen pull a smid. Nikitin probably isn’t moveable, and it would be best to wait out his deal. He might be better than we saw last year as well. The last few months weren’t that bad.

    The dallas eakins effect was real. I don’t know if we have a good feeling on some players in this group since we only saw half a season of results under Nelson. Eakins set this team back, and I will forever hold that against him.

    I think PC probably just goes after UFAs. Wonder if NYR would bite on something like Hendricks or Gordon and a third or mL 2nd for Talbot. The series has shown they are all in with Lundquist.

  36. sliderule says:

    I think we will all be surprised what an actual nhl coach will do with this bunch.

    The caveat being that an actual nhl average goalie is required

  37. knighttown says:

    kinger_OIL: I know!by best case scenario, I mean the Big3 play, and lose their roster spots on merit…I don’t think its reasonable to expect they aren’t on the starting roster at the beginning of next year.

    Reasonable or not, I damn well expect that they aren’t ALL on it. You try and move Ference first and if that isn’t possible (edit…reasonable…anything is possible like Ference + #16 for a 2nd rounder) you pencil him in as #6/7. Then you move on to Nikitin and if you can’t find a taker for him you pencil him in at #6/7.

    With Schultz you do have options and for me, if I can’t move at least ONE of Niki and Ference I walk away from Schultz. Obviously you try and trade him but that 3.7m qualifying offer is ghastly.

    The point is, I don’t do anything with Schultz until Niki and Ference are sorted out because starting with all 3 is a no-go because by default one of them is playing too high in the lineup.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Norris fires outlet passes much like he golfs.
    Picks a tree or other landmark in the distance and fires a shot in the general direction.
    The onus is on the tree to adjust to where he hit the ball.
    Or in the case of hockey, it’s on the forward to adjust to his sloppy outlet pass.

    He’s the Oiler’s MIP – Most Infuriating Player

    Reminds me of Jason Bonsignore. That’s not a good thing.

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

    sliderule: I think we will all be surprised what an actual nhl coach will do with this bunch.

    Rookie coach at his first NHL training camp: “Yes, yes I think this is pretty good. Yup, looks good…”

    McLellan at the same camp: “WTF!!!!?????”

  40. knighttown says:

    Sometimes the GMs of the NHL baffle me.

    Kimmo Timonen, aged 40 and with zero games played this year nets Philly a 2nd rounder from Chicago and has gone on to be nothing more than a placeholder trying to survive <7 minutes per night until the Big 4 can get back out there.

    Yet they could have chosen Jeff Petry, age 27 who played as roughly a #2 defenseman in the playoffs for the Habs. He went for a 3rd.

    Keith, Hjarmlasson, Seabrook and Oduya look like they might die out there. This decision might cost the team a Stanley Cup.

    How does this happen?

  41. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: He’s the Oiler’s MIP – Most Infuriating Player

    Reminds me of Jason Bonsignore. That’s not a good thing.

    In fairness, he’s infuriating because

    a. he’s got some terrific tools, esp. skating, and

    b. he’s out there for 23+ minutes a night

    Schultz may indeed be gone because he plays the 180 degree opposite of the ‘heavy’ game that Chia speaks of, but it may also be the case that a combination of a coach who gives him appropriate situations to play in, holds him accountable for laziness, and a GM who gives the team some D depth to allow for the previous two to play out might make all the difference in the world.

    If the Justin Schultz of the first 30 games of his rookie season (before he became Jultz) comes back, it will be another gift from the Hockey Gords.

  42. fuzzy muppet says:

    While my expectations are still low for this team, I will say I have one hope:

    Watching an Oilers game that has meaning in December. That alone is enough for me

  43. blainer says:

    Ducey:
    All of those quotes point to gradual change.People are going to be disappointed if they expect big trades.A goalie and a defenseman.That’s it.Stop dreaming of the Dion or Seabrook or Burns.They are not happening – for multiple reasons.

    Schultz will get a chance under a new coach (or three), Nikitin will be assessed, and Ference will get a chance too.

    Also, people are not going to like me saying it, but Yak has about 45 games to improve his checking or he is toast at the deadline.

    I don’t mean hitting (he actually kind of sneaky with that) and I don’t mean back-checking (that has improved a lot).He has too many times when he just stops skating. He needs to attack through the opponent that has the puck.Instead he stops skating and gives his opponent a ton of time to dispose of the puck.

    He may have been a #1 and he may be a terrific kid who loves Edmonton, but GM isn’t running a daycare anymore.

    And yeah, the new regime is going to love Nuge, Hall, Lander, Hendricks, Gordon and Klefbom.

    Man.. Ducey you are saying the same things I am thinking your last few posts.. Glad to see I am not alone..Based on the remarks from both the coach and GM I think you are bang on with your assessment.. One Goalie and I D from UFA.. I think they trade for the goalie. As for Yak gotta say you are spot on.. Yak has the tools but he needs someone who will help him at center to feed him the puck at the RIGHT time.. Yak needs to learn where to be in the D zone and hopefully the new coach will tell him why… hopefully he listens.

    There will be a lot of push from the young players on D like Nurse Davidson MM Musil and also up front from Pitlick Pak Yakimov Miller etc.. with the add of CMD I see only one opening up front and the extra forward spot at this time..CMD will have everbody’s compete level up..can’t wait…

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

    blainer: CMD will have everbody’s compete level up..can’t wait…

    That is a good point, and something that his OHL coach emphasized about him. No matter how dominant he was in any league, he always worked harder than anyone else to be even better.

  45. blainer says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I don’t think it will qualify as ‘bold’ but I do think Chiarelli will do some things around the draft and free agency to change up the mix to give McLellan a fighting chance.

    How McLellan treats Jultz will be a huge tell. The old regime developed players in the bigs and those development mistakes cost them points in the standings. If McClellan can’t coach up Jultz by the end of the preseason, he goes to Bakersfield.

    If/when we see players like Schultz, Yak, Marincin, Scrivens, KBom, getting mins based on performance instead of potential, we’ll know the times are truly changing.

    Ya it would be interesting to see what happens to Shultz .. Putting a player on waivers making 4 million will defiantly help him clear.. That is what WILL happen if last years Shultz shows up..

  46. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: In fairness, he’s infuriating because

    a. he’s got some terrific tools, esp. skating, and

    b. he’s out there for 23+ minutes a night

    Schultz may indeed be gone because he plays the 180 degree opposite of the ‘heavy’ game that Chia speaks of, but it may also be the case that a combination of a coach who gives him appropriate situations to play in, holds him accountable for laziness, and a GM who gives the team some D depth to allow for the previous two to play out might make all the difference in the world.

    If the Justin Schultz of the first 30 games of his rookie season (before he became Jultz) comes back, it will be another gift from the Hockey Gords.

    Yes, you can take the glass half full view on him.

    My take on the player is he’s an entitlement case (millenial motivation poster child). Folks like this typically need a harsh wake up call before they come to the realization that they need to change their ways.

    With Justin, it could be as simple as getting benched or sent to the A. But we’re talking about a player here who forced himself out of ANA. Suspect he’ll have to get traded before he realizes that being a pro requires way more than skill alone.

    If Justin is in the weight room as we speak, he’s got a chance. If he’s on the golf course…

  47. rickithebear says:

    Think of the group of players we have.
    A lot of young stars who need to be taught the mechanics of stationary pocession battles.

    Ederle
    Hall
    Yak
    Draisatl

    Marincin
    Schultz

    Nelson mentioned that at end of season.
    Younger players we know can battle.
    Lander 23
    RNH 22
    Yakimov 20

  48. Woodguy says:

    knighttown:
    Sometimes the GMs of the NHL baffle me.

    Kimmo Timonen, aged 40 and with zero games played this year nets Philly a 2nd rounder from Chicago and has gone on to be nothing more than a placeholder trying to survive <7 minutes per night until the Big 4 can get back out there.

    Yet they could have chosen Jeff Petry, age 27 who played as roughly a #2 defenseman in the playoffs for the Habs.He went for a 3rd.

    Keith, Hjarmlasson, Seabrook and Oduya look like they might die out there.This decision might cost the team a Stanley Cup.

    How does this happen?

    I pay my outside salesmen more than NHL scouts make.

    GMs have a big job and often don’t have time to do research themselves.

    People work off of memory, which is often faulty and can trick you into thinking that something that happened a year or two ago (a player is good) is relevant today.

    First 3 off the top of my head.

  49. slopitch says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    “How much better will the players play now that they have a confidence in the front office and an experienced head coach?”

    I think we’ll have meaningful games right till mid April. Im calling it now – Taylor Hall is gonna say “follow me boys” this year. Been waiting for 2 years for that to happen because Eakins and because injuries and because there has been too much deadweight on this team. The player I saw at the WHC looked hungry. He’s healthy and has a full summer to train for once. Book it.

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

    slopitch: I think we’ll have meaningful games right till mid April.

    I can’t wait for the 2nd annual Hunter Points Pool.

  51. PhrankLee says:

    Bag of Pucks: With Justin, it could be as simple as getting benched or sent to OKC. But we’re talking about a player here who forced himself out of ANA. Suspect he’ll have to get traded before he realizes that being a pro requires way more than skill alone.

    I’m not a proponent of fighting in hockey. Well not in favour of carrying heavyweight goons for the soul purpose of fighting. But there is a real effect on the player and those around him when he stands up for himself and especially if he stands up for a teammate.

    So my wish for Justin would be to line someone up at Tc and when the situation calls for it, drop em, dust it out to the best of your ability.

    The respect he would gain from showing an ounce of passion would pay him dividends.

    I’m not saying he should become a goon. I’m saying he needs to send a message of commitment to the new gm, new coach and his teammates.

    Otherwise walk away from him when it comes time for renewal.

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

    PhrankLee: So my wish for Justin would be to line someone up at Tc and when the situation calls for it, drop em, dust it out to the best of your ability.

    But what if he breaks his wrist? He might never golf again!

  53. russ99 says:

    G Money: In fairness, he’s infuriating because

    a. he’s got some terrific tools, esp. skating, and

    b. he’s out there for 23+ minutes a night

    Schultz may indeed be gone because he plays the 180 degree opposite of the ‘heavy’ game that Chia speaks of, but it may also be the case that a combination of a coach who gives him appropriate situations to play in, holds him accountable for laziness, and a GM who gives the team some D depth to allow for the previous two to play out might make all the difference in the world.

    If the Justin Schultz of the first 30 games of his rookie season (before he became Jultz) comes back, it will be another gift from the Hockey Gords.

    Also, another 10-20 pounds of muscle so he can use any kind of physical leverage would make a huge difference. He’s 6′ 1″, but plays like a player who’s 5′ 9″

    This is a guy who’s been fed to the wolves the last few years, right or wrong, and with a competent mangement and coaching staff, given enough guidance and effort he could really turn it around.

    Plus from his post-season comments, he realizes the writing is on the wall.

    The qualifying offer is messy, but that’s MacT’s fault, it doesn’t reflect the player’s current and potential worth.

    What I don’t get is why he’s lumped in with Nikitin and Ference who’s age, declining play and increasing physical limitations are why they’re no longer effective. Different case here…

  54. leadfarmer says:

    Its easy to pick on Schultz and he is a flawed player, but this team collectively can’t take or make a pass. Watching the playoffs its so amazing to watch players take a bouncing puck and instantly settle it down. Quite the opposite than watching the oilers and seeing them take a crisp pass and make it bounce all over the place.

  55. Bag of Pucks says:

    PhrankLee: I’m not a proponent of fighting in hockey. Well not in favour of carrying heavyweight goons for the soul purpose of fighting. But there is a real effect on the player and those around him when he stands up for himself and especially if he stands up for a teammate.

    So my wish for Justin would be to line someone up at Tc and when the situation calls for it, drop em, dust it out to the best of your ability.

    The respect he would gain from showing an ounce of passion would pay him dividends.

    I’m not saying he should become a goon. I’m saying he needs to send a message of commitment to the new gm, new coach and his teammates.

    Otherwise walk away from him when it comes time for renewal.

    When faced with adversity, people WITH character rise to the occasion. Those WITHOUT it look for a place to hide.

    Schultz has played 203 games in the NHL. Have we seen a single incident evocative of character in that time? A scrum he jumped in on? A key shot he blocked? A big hit he took to make a play? Nada.

    This is not a player that fits into a championship core. He’s a project taking mins from more deserving pros. Time to cut bait.

  56. jm363561 says:

    blainer,

    blainer: Man.. Ducey you are saying the same things I am thinking your last few posts.. Glad to see I am not alone..Based on the remarks from both the coach and GM I think you are bang on with your assessment.. One Goalie and I D from UFA.. I think they trade for the goalie. As for Yak gotta say you are spot on.. Yak has the tools but he needs someone who will help him at center to feed him the puck at the RIGHT time.. Yak needs to learn where to be in the D zone and hopefully the new coach will tell him why… hopefully he listens.

    There will be a lot of push from the young players on D like Nurse Davidson MM Musiland also up front from Pitlick Pak Yakimov Miller etc.. with the add of CMD I see only one opening up front and the extra forward spot at this time..CMD will have everbody’s compete level up..can’t wait…

    Yep, count me in on this forecast being the most likely outcome. You’ve got to see how good these guys may, or may not, be in a well coached environment. At least two of the young guns will go in the next year – we cannot pay all these first rounders when their ELCs expire.

  57. knighttown says:

    Woodguy: I pay my outside salesmen more than NHL scouts make.

    GMs have a big job and often don’t have time to do research themselves.

    People work off of memory, which is often faulty and can trick you into thinking that something that happened a year or two ago (a player is good) is relevant today.

    First 3 off the top of my head.

    That’s terrifying even though I suspect you’re right.

  58. nelson88 says:

    sliderule:
    I think we will all be surprised what an actual nhl coach will do with this bunch.

    The caveat being that an actual nhl average goalie is required

    +1

  59. Bag of Pucks says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Norris fires outlet passes much like he golfs.
    Picks a tree or other landmark in the distance and fires a shot in the general direction.
    The onus is on the tree to adjust to where he hit the ball.
    Or in the case of hockey, it’s on the forward to adjust to his sloppy outlet pass.

    To be fair, my golf game is similar.

    I aim for the flag and my ball adjusts to find the nearest tree.

    Wish I was kidding.

  60. PhrankLee says:

    Bag of Pucks: Have we seen a single incident evocative of character in that time?

    Just one.

    On his garbage bag day interview he said he is hitting the training hard to be better at battling.

    I am on record for saying this player is a freeloader.

    I hope he can gut out a survival and becomes our Yandle. We could really use one.

  61. Ducey says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    “There are teams that aren’t necessarily hard and heavy but they strip pucks. They’re hard on battles, they win more than their share of battles … they [can be] heavy but they’re not huge.”

    This quote perfectly describes a hypothetical player on the Oilers named Opposite Justin.

    No way Schultz lasts in this org without a serious attitude reversal. Can’t see it happening. xBox Jultz will get traded for an actual NHL player, or more likely, a draft pick.

    Maybe he’ll seek out a sport more suited for his personality like surfing or lawn bowling.

    I don’t think that is fair. You don’t know anything about the guy or his attitude. You could make the same allegations against Marincin.

    Schultz could be lazy, or maybe he is Fing lost out there and doesn’t have any confidence. He has had multiple coaches, systems, and defense partners and most of his training has taken place in the NAM during the Tet Offensive.

    If they get him some stability, some good coaching, and lesser minutes he should improve his confidence and performance quite a bit. he has a ton of skill.

    The reality is that he put up a decent CF% in very sheltered minutes. There is no reason he cannot gradually take on tougher minutes over a year or two.

    Is he ever going to be a top pairing? Unlikely, but neither was Dan Boyle, and he has been a useful player forever.

    The other thing to remember is that the PP is going to improve markedly. Schultz likely will be a big part of that. He also will be quite a good player in 3 on 3 OT.

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

    PhrankLee: On his garbage bag day interview he said he is hitting the training hard to be better at battling.

    And he had better be at least four weeks in to an intensive regimen, at this point.

    That he hasn’t done this before is unthinkable and quite shocking, really. But as long as he can pack on some meat this summer, he’ll stand a better chance come fall.

  63. Woogie63 says:

    What does it take to make the play-off for the next 10 years.

    management – modelling the standards, managing; The Cap, ELC, Bridge Contract, an AHL and ECHL team and drafting very well

    Player Development – developing the 60 or so assets that the team has, so there is competition to play at the NHL level

    Coaches – manage 23 NHL ready players to win every win

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ducey: I don’t think that is fair.You don’t know anything about the guy or his attitude.You could make the same allegations against Marincin.

    Schultz could be lazy, or maybe he is Fing lost out there and doesn’t have any confidence.He has had multiple coaches, systems, and defense partners and most of his training has taken place in the NAM during the Tet Offensive.

    If they get him some stability, some good coaching, and lesser minutes he should improve his confidence and performance quite a bit.he has a ton of skill.

    The reality is that he put up a decent CF% in very sheltered minutes.There is no reason he cannot gradually take on tougher minutes over a year or two.

    Is he ever going to be a top pairing? Unlikely, but neither was Dan Boyle, and he has been a useful player forever.

    The other thing to remember is that the PP is going to improve markedly.Schultz likely will a big part of that.He also will be quite a good player in 3 on 3 OT.

    Actions reveal the underlying character.

    KBom has played in similar circumstances and looked far less timid/panicked.

    Many of Schultz’s errors are easily preventable mental lapses. That’s on him imo, not the team.

  65. PhrankLee says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): That he hasn’t done this before is unthinkable and quite shocking, really.

    You’re preaching to the choir on this one.

    Agree wholly.

    But back to character for a second. He got a nod of approval from me just admitting, as an NHL regular no less, that he doesn’t battle hard enough.

    That’s no small thing considering the silver platter and pedestal he rode in on.

  66. blainer says:

    IMO the number one thing we NEED is Goaltending.. Beyond that one good to decent D who can take on the toughs and we will compete with the add of CMD.. That Goalie is everything..

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

    PhrankLee,

    Yup – admitting it is the first step, as they say. Now I just hope that he doesn’t sink that houseboat on the Shuswap, with all those weights…

  68. PhrankLee says:

    blainer: That Goalie is everything..

    I believe really successful teams are built from the goalie out. Teams play from the goalie out.

    I was disappointed to have been correct about Fasth and Scrivens even if they were reasonable bets.

    I hope we keep Benji for backup as I love having him on the team. But going into the season against teams like LA and CHI and STL and SJ…with Scrivens as a starter was a joke throughout most of the league.

  69. Ducey says:

    One more thing on Schultz.

    The 20th highest scoring defenseman in the NHL this year had 44 points (that’s .53 p/g)

    OEL was 22nd with 43 in 82 gp.

    Schultz had 27 points in 48 games in his rookie year. That’s .5625 p/g.

    In a small sample size Schultz has already proven he can score at an elite level for a defenseman.

    He has then gone .44 p/g and .then 38 ppg last year.

    Has he gotten lazier or could it be something else is at work?

    Do you think he could boost his points from 31 to 44 (an increase of 13 points) with a good PP and better coaching?

  70. theres oil in virginia says:

    russ99: Also, another 10-20 pounds of muscle so he can use any kind of physical leverage would make a huge difference. He’s 6′ 1″, but plays like a player who’s 5′ 9″

    This is a guy who’s been fed to the wolves the last few years, right or wrong, and with a competent mangement and coaching staff, given enough guidance and effort he could really turn it around.

    Plus from his post-season comments, he realizes the writing is on the wall.

    The qualifying offer is messy, but that’s MacT’s fault, it doesn’t reflect the player’s current and potential worth.

    What I don’t get is why he’s lumped in with Nikitin and Ference who’s age, declining play and increasing physical limitations are why they’re no longer effective. Different case here…

    Generally agree with you here, but:

    1) the contract is messy because he go the max contract that he could get when he hit the open market out of college. He could still turn out to be worth every penny, but not unless he changes course.

    2) Nikitin is 28, that’s hardly old enough to blame age for his lack of effectiveness. Schultz is lumped in with those guys, because they all three were liabilities in the defensive zone far too often. He’s definitely the keeper of the three. Nikitin was a stop gap, who hasn’t worked out (injuries, out of shape controversy, never was that good to begin with), but he only has one year left…no big deal. Ference is bound to have some value to a cap-floor team…those still exist, right? Chiarelli’s handling of the Schultz deal (trade?) will be very interesting.

  71. theres oil in virginia says:

    Ducey: Has he gotten lazier or could it be something else is at work?

    Shell shock.

  72. thejonrmcleod says:

    ***SELF-PROMOTION ALERT***

    I made the case that the 2014-15 Oilers’ biggest problem was their goaltending and thus Chiarelli’s top priority this summer. I also quoted a few regular Lowetide commenters.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2015/05/its-the-goaltending-stupid/

  73. Ducey says:

    Bag of Pucks: Actions reveal the underlying character.

    KBom has played in similar circumstances and looked far less timid/panicked.

    Many of Schultz’s errors are easily preventable mental lapses. That’s on him imo, not the team.

    How do you know this?

    Mental lapses? Maybe he was confused? Maybe the forward that was supposed to be there wasn’t there?

    With all due respect, you know nothing about the guy’s character. To suggest the Oilers should dump him because a lack of character is no different that talking about his eyeglow/ 60.

    How do you think Klefbom would look in another 2 years if he had to go through another 2 years of exciting last place hockey?

  74. PhrankLee says:

    Ducey: Do you think he could boost his points from 31 to 44 (an increase of 13 points) with a good PP and better coaching?

    I sure do. Woodgy has an article about giving Schultz the “Yandle treatment” It would dial back his shut down min and deploy him as a shifty ace. Not a 23 min/night 1st pairing guy.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2014/11/the-yandle-treatment.html

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

    theres oil in virginia: Shell shock.

    It’s now called PTSD – Post Traumatic Swarm Disorder.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ducey:
    One more thing on Schultz.

    The 20th highest scoring defenseman in the NHL this year had 44 points (that’s .53 p/g)

    OEL was 22nd with 43 in 82 gp.

    Schultz had 27 points in 48 games in his rookie year.That’s .5625 p/g.

    In a small sample size Schultz has already proven he can score at an elite level for a defenseman.

    He has then gone .44 p/g and .then 38 ppg last year.

    Has he gotten lazier or could it be something else is at work?

    Do you think he could boost his points from 31 to 44 (an increase of 13 points) with a good PP and better coaching?

    His offense isn’t sustainable cos he’s a one trick pony. Take his ability away to penetrate and fire his wrister from the top of the circle and he’s got nothing. Inconsistent passer. Weak slapper.

    If he was the total package offensively, you could stay committed to working out the defensive issues. But he’s not.

  77. PhrankLee says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): It’s now called PTSD – Post Traumatic Swarm Disorder.

    You are on fire, sir.

    Huzzah

  78. TheGreatMutato says:

    A turn north indeed. Still, northern journeys aren’t easy and I find myself singing Stan Rogers while thinking of all of the failed explorers who searched a path to take this team from the basement to the promised land. Something about seeking gold and glory, weathered, broken bones, etc., etc.

    Also LT, why do you hate Marincin?

  79. CapeBretonOilers says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    He should work on his slapshot all summer ala Al McInnes …shooting pucks all summer against the barn 🙂

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ducey: How do you know this?

    Mental lapses?Maybe he was confused?Maybe the forward that was supposed to be there wasn’t there?

    With all due respect, you know nothing about the guy’s character.To suggest the Oilers should dump him because a lack of character is no different that talking about his eyeglow/ 60.

    How do you think Klefbom would look in another 2 years if he had to go through another 2 years of exciting last place hockey?

    Well, I know enough not to suggest it’s the team’s fault when he passes into a teammate’s skates or loses his check.

    This is what entitlement is, the suggestion that personal accountability doesn’t apply. Schultz has to own his poor play. Same for Yak, Scrivens, etc.

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

    PhrankLee,

    Well I’ll have to pull a George, and leave on a high note then. I’m off to dismantle a 105 yr old piano that my wife got for ‘free’ (minus the $250 moving charge, and $90 for someone to tell us it isn’t repairable).

    It doesn’t even have any real wood (or very little), ivory, or ebony on the damned thing!

  82. Ducey says:

    Bag of Pucks: His offense isn’t sustainable cos he’s a one trick pony. Take his ability away to penetrate and fire his wrister from the top of the circle and he’s got nothing. Inconsistentpasser. Weak slapper.

    If he was the total package offensively, you could stay committed to working out the defensive issues. But he’s not.

    Ah, so even though he has established potential for elite offensive ability, we should discount it because its not the “total package”.

    He can be a top 20 scorer among defenseman. Period.

  83. blainer says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    ***SELF-PROMOTION ALERT***

    I made the case that the 2014-15 Oilers’ biggest problem was their goaltending and thus Chiarelli’s top priority this summer. I also quoted a few regular Lowetide commenters.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2015/05/its-the-goaltending-stupid/

    Nice piece.. Just goes to back to what our eyes have been seeing.. I have to wonder if srivens was even interested when playing.. Letting in as many as he did from that far out is just brutal. I would like Three new goaltenders.. Two for the Oil and One For the A.. Now I could be persuaded to keep backman as a result of his playoff this year. For the big team trade for Talbot and sign Enroth.. and waive scrivens and let him fight it out with LB and Backman…

  84. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ducey: Ah, so even though he has established potential for elite offensive ability, we should discount it because its not the “total package”.

    He can be a top 20 scorer among defenseman.Period.

    It must be true. You put an emphatic period on it. lol

    My point is his offense is trending down because the opposition has figured out how to defend him.

    I hope you’re right. Schultz being good would be a definite bonus.

  85. TheGreatMutato says:

    fuzzy muppet:

    Watching an Oilers game that has meaning in December.That alone is enough for me

    In fairness, last December had some pretty meaningful games. That is, if you were interested in whether or not the Oilers were going to break their previous record for longest losing streak.

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

    TheGreatMutato: In fairness, last December had some pretty Mcmeaningful games.

    ftfy (okay, I’m out now – promise!)

  87. Ducey says:

    Bag of Pucks: Well, I know enough not to suggest it’s the team’s fault when he passes into a teammate’s skates or loses his check.

    This is what entitlement is, the suggestion that personal accountability doesn’t apply. Schultz has to own his poor play. Same for Yak, Scrivens, etc.

    Ok, I am going to give up now, as we are not going to agree.

    Do you understand that me making excuses for Schultz doesn’t mean Schultz is making excuses for Schultz? He has shown no indication of being “entitled”, lacking “personal accountability”, or not owning his poor play.

    In fact, its just as likely, if not more likely, that he is suffering from a lack of confidence because he is owning TOO MUCH of the team’s poor play.

    In any event, because neither us knows what the hell is going on in his head, we should probably stick to looking at data and stay away from jumping to the urge to cast dispersions about his character – which is kind of my point of all these posts.

  88. GCW_69 says:

    Ducey: All of those quotes point to gradual change. People are going to be disappointed if they expect big trades. A goalie and a defenseman. That’s it. Stop dreaming of the Dion or Seabrook or Burns. They are not happening – for multiple reasons.

    Trades are coming, but I suspect they won’t happen all at once. It will happen over the next twelve months – say one at the draft or in July, one in the Jan/Feb period and another next summer. Chairelli likes to get to know the players before making a move, but you don’t need to know a draft pick, so I think he will make a trade involving picks and perhaps players or prospects to prop up his goaltending or defence as soon as he can.

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

    Just when I think I’m out…

    An interview with Yak, and some hilarious translation:

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fsport.business-gazeta.ru%2Farticle%2F125369%2F

  90. bobisafan says:

    Pretty much think that PC looks at a goalie and a defence man before training camp, he goes with what is there, then starts making moves. TM has said he’ll teach the how and why, and those players that buy in right off the bat, will get their shot on the roster, seems like a smart way to separate the chaff from the wheat. I think that the new look will satisfy most fans. Here’s hoping.

  91. TheGreatMutato says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): ftfy (okay, I’m out now – promise!)

    Don’t you dare leave.

  92. RPG says:

    LT, I loved the article @ ON “Goodbye to the old ways.” I’ll comment here, because the comment section there is an absolute disgrace. Content was top notch as usual, but I absolutely loved the old school newspaper clippings. It sure gave the piece a certain flair.

  93. Marc says:

    GCW_69: Trades are coming, but I suspect they won’t happen all at once.It will happen over the next twelve months – say one at the draft or in July, one in the Jan/Feb period and another next summer.Chairelli likes to get to know the players before making a move, but you don’t need to know a draft pick, so I think he will make a trade involving picks and perhaps players or prospects to prop up his goaltending or defence as soon as he can.

    I suspect that skilled, but flawed, players like Schultz and Yak, and perhaps Nikitin, gained a new lease on life with the new regime.

    I think that most coaches and GMs, at least at first, instinctively prefer guys that are talented but inconsistent over guys that are hard working but limited. They get dazzled with what a player could become if they put it all together, and probably have a lot of confidence in their own ability to get them to do so.

    It’s the frustration of not having a guy listen to you day after day after day that makes teams give up on talented but inconsistent players – sometimes to their regret (see Babcock and Hudler). And it’s the comfort of seeing a guy do as he’s told day after day after day that makes teams overvalue hard working bottom of the roster players – sometimes to their regret (see Brian Bickell).

    The new management haven’t had the day to day frustration of watching Schultz for the last couple of seasons. Nor have they seen guys like Gordon or Klinkhammer work hard in a tough role day in and day out. Don’t be surprised if they instinctively value guys like Schultz a lot higher than many fans do.

  94. Younger Oil says:

    This is a question that I don’t think has been asked around here, but I’m legitimately curious: Who do we think has more value in a trade, Schultz or Marincin?

    We all see Marincin around here as a better player (for the most part), due to how atrocious Schultz is defensively, but do other teams see that as well? Schultz also has more offence, and is more famous throughout the league, but Schultz also will have a more expensive contract.

    It seems to me that Schultz would have more value to a team at the lower end of the salary cap looking for a more well known name, while Marincin would have more value on a more cap strapped team.

    I’m against using the 16th and Marincin as a package to get a Dman over 30 years old who will be on the decline by the time we are ready to compete for a cup, but really like the idea of using Schultz and the 16th as the center of the package for a Dman who will be reaching his prime within a few years, such as Faulk, Larsson, or Ristolainen.

    I know you’d likely still need to add more to that, but by doing that trade you are simultaneously getting a significant upgrade to Schultz, and a Dman who will be 3-5 years in development ahead of whoever we would draft at #16, which is very compelling (to me at least, if it is feasible, which it may not be).

  95. Dennis L says:

    knighttown:
    With Schultz you do have options and for me, if I can’t move at least ONE of Niki and Ference I walk away from Schultz.Obviously you try and trade him but that 3.7m qualifying offer is ghastly.

    The point is, I don’t do anything with Schultz until Niki and Ference are sorted out…

    PhrankLee:
    Otherwise walk away from him when it comes time for renewal.

    Guys, the problem with both a) trying to sort out Ference and Nikitin before dealing with Schultz, and b) walking away from Schultz after seeing him in training camp is that the deadline for Qualifying Offers is the later of June 25 or the Monday after the Entry Draft, if I understand the CBA correctly (big IF).

    NHL CBA Critical Date Calendar (page 364 of the PDF; 344 of the agreement)
    http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/NHL_NHLPA_2013_CBA.pdf

    Later of June 25 or Monday after Entry Draft
    – Deadline for Qualifying Offers

    That deadline doesn’t give Chiarelli a ton of time (but its not impossible) to deal with Ference and/or Nikitin before deciding on qualifying Schultz. And it doesn’t let McLellan see what he’s got in Schultz, on his own or relative to his other D, before making a “walk away” decision.

    We could figuratively “walk away” from Schultz by trading him, waiving and sending him down, or buy-out (normal buy-out windows are in the summer, so next summer…). But we can’t walk away from him in the sense of not qualifying him to his painful qualifying amount after roughly the end of June. At least we get to see what the draft brings us before deciding.

    Chiarelli and McLellan must decide whether to qualify Schultz in the next 5 weeks or so. Clock is ticking.

    I’m hoping they walk — I’m not convinced his potential offensive upside is worth the risk of a $3.7M or so cap hit for a defenceman that struggles to defend. At least Chiarelli has a choice on taking the Schultz risk. The decision was made for him on Ference and Nikitin, and his options are narrower.

  96. Gordies Elbow says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1):
    Just when I think I’m out…

    An interview with Yak, and some hilarious translation:

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fsport.business-gazeta.ru%2Farticle%2F125369%2F

    Awesome translation.

    “No, Nelson relaxed team unscrewed nuts, twisted to the end – become a completely different team, completely different guys, different atmosphere, which needed a team and support staff. It helped us all. I immediately got up from his head to his feet.”

    Comes out pretty clear.

  97. Dennis L says:

    Younger Oil,

    Schultz’ trade value is significantly affected by his contract length and AAV. Since he’s RFA and must be qualified at around $3.7M, a receiving team has to either be ignorant of his defensive struggles or convinced they can fix him and/or shelter him sufficiently, and have the willingness to take on that cap hit for what he is.

    If Chiarelli doesn’t qualify him, he’s UFA, and no longer an asset to be traded. That is the danger of walking on him, of course — we turn a likely-low value asset into nothing but cap space. But that cap space can be spent on a better Dman.

    Chiarelli is in a tough spot with Schultz. Qualify him and you risk bad D with a significant cap hit, or a tough-to-move asset. Decline to qualify, and you lose him, but gain flexibility. That qualifying amount, due to his last contract, is a thorn.

  98. rickithebear says:

    Ducey: Ah, so even though he has established potential for elite offensive ability, we should discount it because its not the “total package”.

    He can be a top 20 scorer among defenseman.Period.

    Kefbom was top 7 pace for even point production. Better than OEL.

    Next!

  99. LMHF#1 says:

    Gordies Elbow: Awesome translation.

    “No, Nelson relaxed team unscrewed nuts, twisted to the end – become a completely different team, completely different guys, different atmosphere, which needed a team and support staff. It helped us all. I immediately got up from his head to his feet.”

    Comes out pretty clear.

    It’s all Davo Ikinzom’s fault!!!

  100. PhrankLee says:

    I keep hearing/reading that everyone wants Ferrence “sorted”, meaning dealt. Waiving his NMC just isn’t going to happen for a whole lot of reasons.

    They aren’t going to insult him and the NHLPA and buy him out either in my opinion. They cant afford the perception.

    The Oil, in my mind, simply have to keep him until he retires. There is a very real effort underway to improve the team’s reputation and manner in the way it deals with vets and free agents.

    How TCAF is handled over the term of his contract is very real and very important.

    He can be compelled to retire early and be honoured in the proper fashion. Give him an office and trot him out to talk to Jones and Matty.

    I do not believe they can afford to buy him out or trade him if the mandate is to improve stature of the club. I think it’s a contract we need to eat and smile and thank him and so on. Maybe player/coach like Sather! lol

  101. cabbiesmacker says:

    knighttown:
    Sometimes the GMs of the NHL baffle me.

    Kimmo Timonen, aged 40 and with zero games played this year nets Philly a 2nd rounder from Chicago and has gone on to be nothing more than a placeholder trying to survive <7 minutes per night until the Big 4 can get back out there.

    Yet they could have chosen Jeff Petry, age 27 who played as roughly a #2 defenseman in the playoffs for the Habs.He went for a 3rd.

    Keith, Hjarmlasson, Seabrook and Oduya look like they might die out there.This decision might cost the team a Stanley Cup.

    How does this happen?

    It happens because Bowman is a putz. That first + Dahlbeck for Vermette (healthy scratch last night and for much of the Nashville series) is also going to leave a mark.

    BTW Petry went for a second and 5th that became a 4th I believe.

    Timo the Elder went for a second and 4th that became a third when the Hawks won two series.

    Bah. Slashes wrists

  102. Ducey says:

    Dennis L:
    Younger Oil,

    Schultz’ trade value is significantly affected by his contract length and AAV. Since he’s RFA and must be qualified at around $3.7M, a receiving team has to either be ignorant of his defensive struggles or convinced they can fix him and/or shelter him sufficiently, and have the willingness to take on that cap hit for what he is.

    If Chiarelli doesn’t qualify him, he’s UFA, and no longer an asset to be traded. That is the danger of walking on him, of course — we turn a likely-low value asset into nothing but cap space. But that cap space can be spent on a better Dman.

    Chiarelli is in a tough spot with Schultz. Qualify him and you risk bad D with a significant cap hit, or a tough-to-move asset. Decline to qualify, and you lose him, but gain flexibility. That qualifying amount, due to his last contract, is a thorn.

    Is there some way the Oilers can file for salary arbitration with Schultz? If they win, they only have to pay him 85% of last year’s contract? That would give him $3.1 next year.

  103. Dennis L says:

    Ducey,

    That’s a good question. I don’t know… maybe some other esteemed colleague on here knows.

  104. PhrankLee says:

    Ducey,

    They can but they cannot appeal if they initiate the arbitration, I think. They have to be supremely confidant they will win the arbitration.

  105. slopitch says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1): I can’t wait for the 2nd annual Hunter Points Pool.

    Haha define “meaningful”. Goalie + better coach + dman = a gdiff close to Colorado. They had some meaningful games in April.

  106. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1):
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    clip is here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYKU-bUJre0&t=7m12s

    Nothing like getting proven wrong with video evidence.

    I stand by my assertion that the contract was crazy though. Not that anyone seems to be arguing the point, I’m clearly just bringing that up to save face.

  107. pts2pndr says:

    While I agree with a need to get rid of a couple of defense men I think number one on my hit parade would be Eakins team captain. Age demographics and chemistry not withstanding his play does not warrant his contract. We have several AHL dense men that can easily fill his 6/7 role, while gaining valuable experience. Nickitin Fayne were a reasonably shut down defensive pair til Eakins took his. blender approach to pairings. At trade deadline move nikitin if warranted. We also require two nhl calibre goalies!
    I believe the first move we will see is the assistant coaching positions being confirmed/changed to new coaches requirements!

  108. frjohnk says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    ***SELF-PROMOTION ALERT***

    I made the case that the 2014-15 Oilers’ biggest problem was their goaltending and thus Chiarelli’s top priority this summer. I also quoted a few regular Lowetide commenters.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2015/05/its-the-goaltending-stupid/

    Nice work

  109. G Money says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    ***SELF-PROMOTION ALERT***

    I made the case that the 2014-15 Oilers’ biggest problem was their goaltending and thus Chiarelli’s top priority this summer. I also quoted a few regular Lowetide commenters.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2015/05/its-the-goaltending-stupid/

    Good stuff!!!!

    And I am completely unbiased in saying that, really.

  110. G Money says:

    Re: the Schultz debate.

    He is not a good defenseman right now, on this we can all agree.

    If, however, you find yourself saying things like “he can do nothing well”, “he’s utterly useless”, “he has no motivation”, etc. – you may be at risk of losing your objectivity.

    Just a thought.

  111. AnOmYnOuS1 says:

    PhrankLee:
    Ducey,

    They can but they cannot appeal if they initiate the arbitration, I think. They have to be supremely confidant they will win the arbitration.

    And that would be a hard one to sell when you look at the rest of the D. He had the most points and usually the most minutes. Combine that with the market value we set for our D with NN’s contract, I think a reasonable argument could be made by his agent that he deserves at least what he made last year. He’s such a hard player to make a decision on, especially at that cost. He has some tools that we lack but can’t seem to fully utilize them. He needs more strength, a greater battle level and a better shot. If only he had Ference’s work ethic and competitiveness. If he’s retained I’m hoping that TMc can get him pointed north. Find a way to reduce his EV and pump the points in the OZ and PP. After that we can decide if he’s worth it and if not he should have a better trade value at least.

    Maybe with our 16 or 33 we can find another D with some offence that can put it together. It looks like there might be some decent options there. LadiesloveSmid posted this link http://www.theprojectionproject.com/blog/2015/05/19/top-10-safest-defensemen-in-the-2015-draft-first-round/
    and there looks like some decent bets to make the NHL with a bit of offence. Roy, Pilon and even Kylington look pretty good by that list. If they can maintain their 2-way play in the NHL that could go a long ways to helping. For now we just have to hope Schultz can bounce back and for Klef and Nurse to be able to contribute in the OZ.

  112. Ducey says:

    AnOmYnOuS1,

    Not sure Nikitin is a good comp. He was going UFA. Schultz is RFA now and after this season.

  113. AnOmYnOuS1 says:

    Ducey:
    AnOmYnOuS1,

    Not sure Nikitin is a good comp.He was going UFA. Schultz is RFA now and after this season.

    True. But I’m thinking more in terms of them arguing that if they’re willing to pay a “worse” D with no offence 4.5, then his contract should seem like a bargain. But yeah the RFA vs UFA debate will make it a harder sell.

  114. Pouzar says:

    We got Connor Frickin McDavid.

  115. Pouzar says:

    GO DRAI GO!!!!!!!!!!!! MEM CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  116. Pouzar says:

    NUGE IS REALLY GOOD AT HOCKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  117. Pouzar says:

    LENIN IS DA MAN!!!!!!!!!!!

  118. Rondo says:

    Bob Murray and Bruce Boudreau hate analytics and pay no attention to it.

    Hmm

  119. SwedishPoster says:

    G Money,

    I still have hope for Schultz. First of all I don’t think he’s nearly as terrible as the general consensus. I also think he will look a different player with confidence and strength. And I think he finally figured out that he needs to get much stronger to be an impact NHLer. Let’s what he can do with another off season and a new coach before writing him off. Remember Strålman was seen as a sure bust when he left Toronto. Now he’s a top pairing D. He needed Tortorella to kickstart him. Maybe McLellan is Schultz kickstarter.

    I saw you offered a guest spot on your blog for my draft work. I’d be honored. I’ve been thinking how I’d publish the whole thing once I’m done and your blog would be glorious place. I had the idea of setting up a blog with just the one big blogpost but your blog is a much better spot.

  120. Samson Loveblast says:

    G Money:
    Re: the Schultz debate.

    He is not a good defenseman right now, on this we can all agree.

    If, however, you find yourself saying things like “he can do nothing well”, “he’s utterly useless”, “he has no motivation”, etc. – you may be at risk of losing your objectivity.

    Just a thought.

    Great point, the characteristic of Schultz that brings about that type of thinking though, in my opinion is his indifference. Compare him to say Yakupov (as a player who still still has miles to go), one appears to be trying and so gets the benefit of the doubt a lot of the time.

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