THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY

Let’s say for the sake of argument Peter Chiarelli and Glen Sather are talking about Cam Talbot, and let’s say Chiarelli is pumping No. 33 overall and Sather wants No. 16. Let’s say that’s a non-starter  and Sather moves from No. 16 and asks after Nail Yakupov, even offering JT Miller for the Russian and a lesser pick. Let’ say Chiarelli then offers No. 33 this year and something from next year’s draft (third-round pick) for Talbot.

You and I know that a one-year contract is NOT a great deal to acquire (asset is going to cost, and then require re-signing) but it’s silly season. And then suddenly it’s draft week and we’re now to a point where Edmonton may not be in a good position with regard to acquiring Talbot. Backup plans have been mulled, the thought of giving up No. 16 has been rejected, and that third-round pick next year may be needed in a deal for a defenseman this summer. THEN Old man Crazy gets on the horn and asks for the Russian AND No. 16 overall. Nail Yakupov is in a bad spot as an Edmonton Oiler. That’s a fact.

oilers mcdavid tsn

LOWETIDE FINAL TOP 30, 2015

  1. C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) All our trials, lord, soon be over.  
  2. C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) Size, speed, skill, he’s a bull. Monster talent.
  3. R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) Fantastic skater, sublime skill. Catch a fire.
  4. D Noah Hanifin, BC (NCAA) The entire package, signed, sealed and delivered. Stunning passer.
  5. C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) Darryl Sittler without the edge. Exceptional hands.
  6. D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Russian Coffey. He can pick it on D, too.
  7. R Mikko Rantanen, TPS Turku (SML) Big W can beat you wide or smash his way to the net.
  8. C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) ISS compares him to Claude Giroux. Lordy.
  9. D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) Big two-way D with complete range of skills. Quality.
  10. R Evgeni Svechnikov, Cape Breton (QMJHL) Voracek meets Tarasenko. Mercy.
  11. R Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) Strong, thick, skilled. Gunner.
  12. D Jeremy Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) Big brain, skilled. Born Oiler. Great passer.
  13. C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) Modern Bobby Clarke. Great motor, surprising skill.
  14. R Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) Dynamic offensive winger, playmaker like Hemsky.
  15. C Anthony Beauvillier, Shawinigan (QMJHL) Substantial offensive F, money in FO circle.
  16. C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL). Complete PF: Size, speed, skill. He’d be top five with results.
  17. C Joel Eriksson Ek, Farjestad (SHL) Impressive C, complete player with significant offense.
  18. L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) Big, strong, fast, offensively shy.
  19. C Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL) Explosive offensive player with skill, intelligence.
  20. L Jake Debrusk, Swift Current (WHL) Quality scoring prospect. Reminds me of Eberle.
  21. C Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars (WHL) Smooth, skilled, creative, aggressive.
  22. D Jakub Zboril, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) Two-way D, solid offense. Noticeable.
  23. D Thomas Chabot, Saint John (QMJHL) Size, speed, skill, good defenseman. Could go higher.
  24. R Daniel Sprong, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) Sniper, quick, skilled.
  25. D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL) Unsafe at any speed? Could be a major home run.
  26. R Zach Senyshyn, SSM Greyhounds (OHL) Fast train with skill and size. Could go higher.
  27. R Blake Speers, SSM Greyhounds (OHL) Exceptional speed, substantial skill.
  28. F Colin White, USNTDP (USHL) Fine skater, two-way player. Complete skills, a little shy offensively.
  29. D Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (OHL) Undersized, mobile defender. A gem.
  30. C Filip Chlapik, Charlotteteown (QMJHL) Two-way C, range of skills. 2C based on offense.

No matter what happens this week, the “Gods Must Be Crazy” summer of Oil will rock the NHL with the grand prize of the century, Connor freaking McDavid.

CHIARELLI’S LIST

  1. Draft McDavid (and sign him)
  2. Find a quality goalie option (this is the Talbot/Lehner item)
  3. Acquire a legit top pairing blue (as always, clear as mud days before bullets fly)
  4. Sign a more offensive two-way F (I’m hoping for Soderberg)
  5. Ignore MacT re: Marincin (Or trade Marincin for someone goooooood)

I posted that list the other day, received significant push back from a few people saying it wasn’t enough. Sure, but here’s the deal: In order for me to add “second-pairing defender to take Jeff Petry minutes” we needed to see a buyout for Niki Nikitin or Andrew Ference. The window opened 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup and remains open until the end of June. Plenty of time, and yet crickets currently. IF the Oilers find a way to buy out or trade one of the defensemen, and sign or acquire another blue? Fantastic! It’s a lot, impossible I’d say without moving one of Nikitin, Ference or Schultz. Let’s add a secondary, fantasy list:

  • Buyout one of Nikitin or Ference
  • Add a second-pairing Petry replacement
  • Offload Ben Scrivens
  • Add a second goalie of significant reputation
  • Offload Teddy Purcell
  • Add a “Pisani” who can mentor, score 15, and play a two-way role up and down the lineup

PROJECTED LINEUP

  • Hall—McDavid—Eberle
  • Pouliot—Nuge—Justin Williams
  • Soderberg—Lander—Yakupov
  • Hendricks—Gordon—Klinkhammer
  • Sekera—Michalek
  • Marincin—Fayne
  • Klefbom—Schultz
  • TalbotEnroth

Two things: I don’t think that’s even possible in one summer—unreasonable expectations, let’s call it—and I’m also not sure it’s wise to move Teddy Purcell and Ben Scrivens this summer. They are sunk costs, but Purcell is a veteran NHL player and Scrivens should regress to the mean. I understand the idea behind it (improve NOW, don’t waste a moment of time because McDavid’s entry-level deal starts ticking in October) but the smart play here—at least a little—is to take what the market gives you and keep your powder dry until you see the whites of their eyes (thank you Josey Wales). Make those moves if available, but let’s remember the extreme value of getting Nikitin, Scrivens and Purcell’s contracts off the books at season’s end. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The Oilers are going to be a stripped down group in Sunrise but the scouts on the floor during the 2015 draft will clearly be part of the future. The question now? How many will be left? Chiarelli took care of the OHL on the weekend, plus the two head men. I don’t wish anyone ill will, it’s tough to see people lose their jobs. It’s curious to see the bloodletting here while Scott Howson, Craig MacTavish and others remain. Ladies, it is IMPOSSIBLE to credibly lay blame at the feet of Kent Hawley and Brad Davis while also allowing MacT and Howson to slide. Surely this is the truth? I believe it is.

wood photo

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back! Polka till you puke! OR, more sports talk. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. What a week! Trades! Free Agent Window opens! Draft! Awards! We’ll cover it all.
  • Benjamin Massey, Maple Leaf Forever. Fantastic win for Canada in Vancouver yesterday. We’ll talk Women’s World Cup.
  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. I want to get to the bottom of the MacT/Howson slide, we’ll speak of many things.
  • Bob Weeks, Score Golf. WHAT a major! There’s 50 angles on the US Open story, we’ll cover maybe three.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Glad to be back!

 

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215 Responses to "THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY"

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  1. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: Welllllll … in fairness, it worked well enough that Tim Murray felt obliged to send both of them away so that they didn’t risk his shot at McEichel.

    Fair, Buffalo sucked despite their goaltending, whereas an argument could be made at least in part that Edmonton sucked because of their goaltending.

  2. AsiaOil says:

    G Money,

    In limited starts, as a backup, without any of the pressure of carrying a team – and he’s never done that anywhere in his career. The numbers are nice – but very limited – don’t get mesmerized by them and convince yourself he’s anything but an interesting backup goalie.

  3. Derek says:

    Lowetide: People know it’s a move title right? I mean, it’s not a shot at Jesus it’s a movie.

    I was just amused, I’m not really offended by much of anything unless someone tells me Rush makes good music, or cowboy hats are suitable formal wear.

  4. bendelson says:

    Woodguy,

    “Meloche relies heavily on his positioning in the defensive zone b/c he simply doesn’t have the footspeed to catch the opposition” – the hockey writers.

    I know he is a nice prospect, but Juulsen’s numbers are similiar and given the clear advantage in skating prowess…

    “Juulsen is a strong skater, with a smooth and fluid stride. While he’s not an absolute speedster, he does have good speed and acceleration. Its in his edgework and agility though that he really shines. He pivots quickly and this allows him to cover large areas of the ice”. Again, those hockey writers.

    Bad source?
    Both solid choices perhaps?

    I’d mention Juulsen’s late birthdate, but whoa, Meloche is a youngster!

    I still lean towards Juulsen at #33…

  5. G Money says:

    Derek: I’m not really offended by much of anything unless someone tells me Rush makes good music

    GRRRRRRRRRRR, YOU ARE ON THE BAD LIST NOW.

    If there IS a holy trinity, it is Lee, Lifeson, and Peart!

  6. G Money says:

    AsiaOil,

    When Lundqvist went down, he was the de facto starting goalie. And he killed it. Absolutely killed it.

    I get the feeling you’re looking for reasons that Talbot is not going to be elite.

    I already tried that.

    Didn’t work.

    What he’s done is so good and so unusual sixty games in that for that to be a mirage would take a conspiracy. I’ve run all kinds of datasets in all kinds of situations in the world of hockey, and few (well … none) have been this unequivocal.

    At this point, I would be absolutely shocked if Talbot does not turn into an elite NHL goalie. Shocked.

  7. godot10 says:

    Halfwise: I’ll side with Godot on this one. There are plenty of good ways to convey one’s admiration of McDavid without references to matters of faith.

    Back in the Eakins era, when Godot’s opinion of MacT’s career-limiting hiring error strayed across the line, plenty of posters here pushed back.

    A nickname for Connor McDavid that does not mock someone’s religious beliefs shouldn’t be that hard to come up with.

    Arguably, my critique of the use of the McDavid nickname is not exactly religion-friendly.

    What I find objectionable is the lack of a good education that that nickname implies. The nickname reeks of ignorance.

  8. AsiaOil says:

    G Money,

    Hey I’m not going to argue with you but you are still basing that on nothing but a few simple numbers and not one reference to his actual level of skill. Basically saying goaltending is not voodoo at all – it’s really easy – and anyone with a pocket calculator and 10 minutes can tell you who will be great and who won’t without even seeing them play or referencing their skill set. Stock up on adrenaline 🙂

  9. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Adam Wu:
    One of the side effects of being part of a very dominant faith is that your faith terms and beliefs percolate into the outer culture and are subsumed into it. And when that happens those terms and beliefs and references are *no longer* exclusive to you and your faith, nor do you, or can you, or any member of your faith community, claim exclusive ownership of the usages of those terms and beliefs and references.

    Because they are no longer “just” faith terms anymore, then are CULTURAL terms, such that everyone that is a part of that larger culture is entitled to use those terms.

    And it so happens that the exact meanings of those terms and references may change, and that which is used culturally may not be identical to that which is used within the faith.

    It may suck a bit to have your deeply held beliefs subjected to cultural appropriation you may not approve of, but frankly the benefits of being a member of a, or the, dominant faith group far outweigh that minor inconvenience.

    Now, considering that the “Jesus” term/belief/meme-set, in its cultural usage, has diffused a significant degree beyond the original religious usage, to encompass all manner of savior-related themes, not only those involving self-sacrifice, the insistence that affectionate references to said term must, or de facto, include reference to “torture and execution in a gruesome manner” is quite frankly an exercise in deliberately picking a fight, and rather intellectually dishonest to boot.

    If one must have a religious analogy to this, then just consider that “McJesus” can easily reference REVELATION Jesus rather than Gospel Jesus.

    Asiaoil – Thank you. I meant to reference only the salvation aspect of McDavid as others have done here in the past. However, if it offended I apologize to you Godot.

  10. G Money says:

    AsiaOil,

    I have no specific skill in evaluating goaltending. Neither do you. None at all. I leave that to the NHL teams, who have a vested interest in winning.

    What I can look at is the data to supplement the extensive work NHL teams have already done by having a player on their roster actually taking part in the multi-million dollar endeavour called playing in the NHL.

    You keep insisting that 57 games is a ‘small sample’, which is simply myth, assumption, and misinformation.

    And I can say that because I can demonstrate, conclusively, that 57 games is NOT a small sample. It is in fact, demonstrably, a large sample.

    EVERY goalie in the last decade that makes it that far and has a .925 or so and above has gone on to be either a starter or an elite goalie.

    Below that number, and you still have an enormous likelihood of playing in the NHL, though that may be as a starter or a backup.

    Please stop calling 57 games a small sample.

    It is demonstrably not.

    It is, for all intents and purposes, a definitively large sample.

  11. godot10 says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour: Asiaoil – Thank you. I meant to reference only the salvation aspect of McDavid as others have done here in the past. However, if it offended I apologize to you Godot.

    I’m not offended by the term. I just find the term ridiculously silly, and (dementor mode ON) just want to suck any fun or joy out of its usage by its unimaginative proponents.

    The irony is that the “argument” I use against use of the McDavid nickname is also basically critical or a critique of most Christian theologies.

  12. Woodguy says:

    bendelson:
    Woodguy,

    “Meloche relies heavily on his positioning in the defensive zone b/c he simply doesn’t have the footspeed to catch the opposition”– the hockey writers.

    I know he is a nice prospect, but Juulsen’s numbers are similiar and given the clear advantage in skating prowess…

    “Juulsen is a strong skater, with a smooth and fluid stride.While he’s not an absolute speedster, he does have good speed and acceleration.Its in his edgework and agility though that he really shines.He pivots quickly and this allows him to cover large areas of the ice”.Again, those hockey writers.

    Bad source?
    Both solid choices perhaps?

    I’d mention Juulsen’s late birthdate, but whoa, Meloche is a youngster!

    I still lean towards Juulsen at #33…

    I’ve never read any hockey writers draft stuff, but everything I’ve read there has been the hottest of the hot takes.

    Their Oilers writer wrong a long piece how trading Draisaitl to DET for Mantha was a good move for both teams.

    http://thehockeywriters.com/dealing-diamonds-draisaitl-to-detroit-for-anthony-mantha/

    Pure garbage.

  13. NYCOIL "Taking Photos" says:

    What a great movie. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

  14. Yeti says:

    godot10: Yeti: So that he can die for the sins of our perpetual rebuild, resurrect us from the basement of the NHL, and then can lead us to heaven where we drink champagne from Stanley Cups for blissful eternity.

    So you see to think that it is fine (to wish) to torture and kill someone in a most gruesome and painful manner to get ahead. Okay. So for you, the ends justify whatever the means, no matter how horrid.

    So would that apply to your firstborn also. Would you wish him to be tortured and crucified so the Oilers could win the Cup? Or is only your neighbour’s son that you are willing to sacrifice?

    I’m absolutely fine with that. I’m a mythological beast who eats lost sherpas and scares the living shit out of mountaineers for kicks, so this is all cool by me. I mean, when was the last time Jesus did anything for us Yeti-folk anyhow? All that painful death for the sins of mankind and not even a mention of the suffering of Sasquatches.
    Are you good now?

  15. auzy11 says:

    Nikitin or Ferrance or both have to be bought out i cant see trading them except in a big deal as a throw in and i dont think thats happening.Yak is in a position of saying bye bye,and if this team gives p the 16th pick for Talbot they need there heads fixed,i feel they are way to smart,but if its Talbot there will be a conditional draft pick tied to it with a player from Rangers coming back( JT Miller) you have to have the conditional pick in there as you have to sign this guy next year,,that i dont like. Maybe they are better off to get a FA goalie on a 2 year contract?????? This difficult decision and they have to do it right,Draft picks do not fall out of sky…..33rd overall and 16th cold be better used getting a top D…my thoughts only get your own???

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