NOWHERE TO RUN, NOWHERE TO HIDE

Lots of chatter on the blog lately about how to handle Connor McDavid as a rookie. Protecting him seems to be a major concern, using McDavid in a secondary, complementary role appears to be a fine idea for some. No. Connor McDavid is an elite, generational talent and he should play a significant role beginning game one, period one.

Fortunately we have some recent history that can guide us in this area. A veteran coach (Tom Renney) had the opportunity to deploy the young and brilliant Taylor Hall in fall 2010. Who did he play with? How much? Against whom?

OCTOBER 7, 2010

  • Hall’s first game is against the Calgary Flames (4-0 final, Oil). Hall played 21 shifts, 16:59 and had 2 pim’s. The star of the game may have been Jordan Eberle, who scored a stunning goal and also had an assist. Brule, Horcoff and Hemsky also scored, Nikolai Khabibulin with the shutout.
  • Hall’s first shift came at 33 seconds, he and Eberle jumped over the boards for the first time in an NHL game. Shawn Horcoff joined the fun at 39 seconds. Ryan Whitney and Kurtis Foster were on the ice until 00:57 and then Laddy Smid and Tom Gilbert chimed in. Hall’s first NHL shift was 58 seconds in length.
  • Six seconds into Hall’s first NHL shift, Jay Bouwmeester and Mark Giordano hit the ice, along with Brendan Morrison, Niklas Hagman and Rene Bourque.
  • He didn’t play much against Calgary’s best forward (Iginla) or toughest (Ivanans) but they were on the ice at times against him during the game.
  • The Bouwmeester—Giordano pairing did play the most minutes for Calgary that game and played a significant amount against Hall and his line.
  • It was a road game for Calgary.
  • If Renney was trying to protect Hall against the top pairing, it didn’t work to me eye.
  • Boxscore
  • NHL.com stats
  • TOI Oilers
  • TOI Flames

If the Oilers didn’t want McDavid to play against tough opposition as an Oilers rookie they shouldn’t have drafted him. He is extremely likely to get strong linemates, face  tough opposition, get shoved around and hacked and cross-checked by opponents. Fans of other teams will call him a whiner but McDavid will take some ghastly shots that we will go nuclear over. He’ll survive and then he’ll flourish and by the end of year one McDavid will have a better idea about the rigors of the game. Year two? He’s going to rip it up and the violence will only become more pronounced.

Protect McDavid? How? He’s a target the moment he gets on the ice. Using him for anything other than what he was intended for is a sin against nature, hockey and Stanley. No damn way. If you play him on the third line, they’ll find him. If you nurse him into the lineup, their plan is working.

The one thing I believe Todd McLellan will do? Play McDavid with veterans at the beginning of his career. Hall—Eberle, Pouliot—Purcell/Korpikoski, that kind of thing. Lots of power-play time, lots of O-zone starts. McDavid is wise beyond his years, he is an astounding talent and he’s been hammered in junior for his career there, too. Send back to bubble wrap, this one’s a man.

korpikoski flickr

I’m well into the RE series and have to say it’s a far better roster now in terms of balance. For some reason, I do not know why, the Oilers allowed reason to jump right out of their heads when Fernando Pisani left town. Instead of replacing ‘Nando with another two-way winger with calm feet and a mentor’s mindset, they kept shoving strange options out there.

  • In 2009-10, Quinn (his whole season should be asterisked, everything was wonky that year) employed RW’s Ales Hemsky, Gilbert Brule, Robert Nilsson and Zack Stortini after Pisani played his 40 games.
  • In 2010-11, Tom Renney’s RW’s were Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky, Magnus Paajarvi and Ryan Jones. Paajarvi might have been the Pisani but was too young for the role and would be yesterday’s papers under Renney in the following season.
  • In 2011-12, Renney went with Eberle, Hemsky, Jones and Lenny bloody Petrell. I remain perplexed by this roster alignment, let’s leave it at that.
  • In 2012-13, Ralph Krueger’s vision had Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Hemsky and Lenny freaking Petrell. We are now three seasons from calm feet, the ability to recognize early danger and any signs of head on a swivel. THREE SEASONS!
  • In 2013-14, Dallas Eakins deployed Eberle, Hemsky, Yakupov and Ryan Jones again. Mark Arcobello, a solid two-way option, played only 41 games and mostly at center. So close and yet so far, as Frankie Valli said in the song.
  • In 2014-15, Eakins/Nelson ran with Eberle, Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov and eventually Rob Klinkhammer. The team had a chance to run a two-way LW this season, but plucked Matt Fraser off waivers in an effort to recreate the magic of Ryan Jones.

You know, two-way wingers—checking wingers—have been part of hockey ever since the first coach figured out he didn’t have the best player on the ice. For the Oilers to go what amounts to a generation without having a Pisani is simply terrifying. I don’t know for certain that Lauri Korpikoski can be the Pisani for this team, but I do know he was once that player and knows the role. Peter Chiarelli’s summer in many ways has been a case of addressing the obvious, and I thank him for it.

Interesting. The Oilers CAN go over the cap if they need to, can’t see Oduya being an option but remain hopeful they’re looking at signing Franson and dealing Justin Schultz. The other thing that could happen? ‘Hawks sign Oduya, re-up Marcus Kruger and trade Seabrook to the Oilers for Justin Schultz, a pick and a prospect. They could even sign Schultz before the arbitration hearing, probably at a discount knowing Bowman.

I know. It’s asking too much. Chiarelli has some of the magician in him though.

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185 Responses to "NOWHERE TO RUN, NOWHERE TO HIDE"

  1. Woodguy says:

    If the Oilers didn’t want McDavid to play against tough opposition as an Oilers rookie they shouldn’t have drafted him.

    Who are you and what did you do with Lowetide?

    Renney did what I am advocating McL do with McD and that is not be on the feature line.

    Penner, Gagner, Hemsky was the feature line that game.

    Renney not flipping Hall of the ice every time Bouwmeester was on doesn’t change that.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    If the Oilers didn’t want McDavid to play against tough opposition as an Oilers rookie they shouldn’t have drafted him.

    Who are you and what did you do with Lowetide?

    Renney did what I am advocating McL do with McD and that is not be on the feature line.

    Penner, Gagner, Hemsky was the feature line that game.

    Renney not flipping Hall of the ice every time Bouwmeester was on doesn’t change that.

    Feature line doesn’t necessarily mean the line other teams are focused on

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2010_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&f7=40-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+11+12+13+14+15+16#

    They’re going to find him, Darcy. Might as well put him with someone who can riff off what he’s laying down.

  3. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Chia has added:

    The number 1 prospect forward in the past 10 years (No credit to Chia here)
    A solid up and comer Dman who can likely play NHL hockey today (Paid in full, we will see how it turns out but I like the train of though)
    The #1 available Dman in free agency (full credit to Chia)
    A solid & cheaper 4C (full credit to Chia)
    The best available goalie according to internet math (full credit to Chia, and again I like what this says about how he thinks even more than I like the actual move).
    A very solid prospect goalie who has plenty of upside potential for the cost of perhaps the worst draft pick made by the organization since Hesketh (full credit to Chia once again).

    If he stops now, that’s still an extremely productive summer. Not saying it’s enough, rather I’m saying what he has done is impressive.

  4. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Lowetide:

    They’re going to find him, Darcy. Might as well put him with someone who can riff off what he’s laying down.

    Using someone’s real name in conversation is the Lowetide equivalent of when your mom uses your middle name.

  5. Snowman says:

    Lowetide,

    If I’m choosing CMD’s sidekick I want Pou with him. He’s a bit of an asshat. He can skate like the wind and he’s a vet. If someone goes after CMD I don’t want Hall to be the guy jumping in. I want someone else. And then I want CMD to feed Hall endless powerplay assists until the end of time.

    Make people choose between Hall and CMD.

    One of them is going to kill you. Pick your poison.

    Put them together and it’ll be scary but Hall shouldn’t ride shotgun at the beginning.

  6. square_wheels says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Shit that’s funny, I might have spit some coffee out.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Snowman:
    Lowetide,

    If I’m choosing CMD’s sidekick I want Pou with him. He’s a bit of an asshat. He can skate like the wind and he’s a vet. If someone goes after CMD I don’t want Hall to be the guy jumping in. I want someone else. And then I want CMD to feed Hall endless powerplay assists until the end of time.

    Make people choose between Hall and CMD.

    One of them is going to kill you. Pick your poison.

    Put them together and it’ll be scary but Hall shouldn’t ride shotgun at the beginning.

    I think McDavid will get two sets of linemates (as I wrote in the original piece). McLellan’s history strongly suggests pairs, though. Hall-McDavid, Pouliot-Nuge, Leon-Yak, that’s out future here.

    Need two more Eberle’s!

  8. dustrock says:

    Snowman: Lowetide, If I’m choosing CMD’s sidekick I want Pou with him. He’s a bit of an asshat. He can skate like the wind and he’s a vet. If someone goes after CMD I don’t want Hall to be the guy jumping in. I want someone else. And then I want CMD to feed Hall endless powerplay assists until the end of time. Make people choose between Hall and CMD.One of them is going to kill you. Pick your poison.Put them together and it’ll be scary but Hall shouldn’t ride shotgun at the beginning.

    I get the logic here, but I agree with LT. You want to put the best product and best chance of success on the ice. If that means Hall & McDavid together (and who’s going to catch those two?), then that’s what you roll with.

  9. dustrock says:

    Lowetide,

    LT are you thinking we’ll see fairly different home and away lineups?

  10. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Feature line doesn’t necessarily mean the line other teams are focused on

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2010_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&f7=40-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+11+12+13+14+15+16#

    They’re going to find him, Darcy. Might as well put him with someone who can riff off what he’s laying down.

    Sure, you can’t control the other coach.

    If Sutter decides to send Kopitar and Doughty out against Pouliot-CMD-Korpikoski then Hall-RNH-Eberle will rip them apart.

    Generational player or not, if the coach throws 4-93-14 over the boards, that line will get the highest caliber opposition.

    It took NHL coaches 1.5 years to stop chasing Hemsky and start chasing Hall/Eberle with their tough Dmen pairing.

    It will be the same for CMD.

    Pouliot and Korpi can riff of him too. Not to the same tune as Hall, but you won’t have this year’s version of Reghr throwing 2lb hammers at the rhythm section.

  11. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Chia has added:

    The number 1 prospect forward in the past 10 years (No credit to Chia here)
    A solid up and comer Dman who can likely play NHL hockey today (Paid in full, we will see how it turns out but I like the train of though)
    The #1 available Dman in free agency (full credit to Chia)
    A solid & cheaper 4C (full credit to Chia)
    The best available goalie according to internet math (full credit to Chia, and again I like what this says about how he thinks even more than I like the actual move).
    A very solid prospect goalie who has plenty of upside potential for the cost of perhaps the worst draft pick made by the organization since Hesketh (full credit to Chia once again).

    If he stops now, that’s still an extremely productive summer.Not saying it’s enough, rather I’m saying what he has done is impressive.

    Considering the sh@&show he inherited from the previous bungling front office, he’s done a fantastic job. And there’s still some chance for more.

    I’m looking forward to seeing actual competition for roster spots and a real NHL coaching staff.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    Feature line doesn’t necessarily mean the line other teams are focused on

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2010_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&f7=40-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+11+12+13+14+15+16#

    QC is one of the areas that fancy stats really hasn’t figured out.

    I was tracking which Dpairs played against whom since that info came available and the opposition’s best pair weren’t chasing Hall, not for 1.5 years.

  13. square_wheels says:

    dustrock,

    I believe he is. Conventional wisdom indicates that’s the best way to exploit our offensive riches, and man alive are some 2nd pairing D going to have some long nights.

  14. DBO says:

    Would anyone walk away from Schultz and add Franson at $5 mill for 3 years? Only 3 years so he does not mess up the McD cluster cap wise, and allows for Nurse to slid into top 4 role within 3 years. He is what we hope Schultz will become, a 4/5 offensive dman, but more physical and has a good shot from the point. He is not great in the D Zone (but better the Schultz), but he can quarterback the PP, hits and has size.What he does not do, that Schultz does, is skate as well and pinch in the O zone for that weak side cross ice pass-shot. He would only cost around $1.5 mill more (I believe no one is offering much, and a 3 year deal, after many years of one year deals for Franson, will be appealing), so not killing our cap, if we walk or deal Schultz it does not hurt our 50 man limit, and he allows us to run 2 actual D pairings that don’t need full time sheltering.

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Franson
    Reinhart/Nikitin/Ference-Gryba

    Balance LD/RD, everyone but Reinhart with experience, but if he is used as a 3rd pairing stay at home D zone pair with Gryba, then you allow the 2nd pair to get cherry O zone starts, but not be forced to totally shelter them. Franson is miles ahead of Schultz in the D zone and physical aspects of the game.

    Maclellan can go all vets and send both Nurse and Reinhart down, running Nikitin and Ference as 6/7 LD to start until one gets hurt or Harding’d, thereby not killing our cap next year (with rookie bonus issue as Speeds laid out last week) or in McDavid’s contract year (if Ference is bought out now, it falls into his first big payday. If we buy him out next year it is gone in 3 years from today so no effect on cap in McDavid’s payday year)

  15. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide: Feature line doesn’t necessarily mean the line other teams are focused on

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2010_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&f7=40-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+11+12+13+14+15+16#

    They’re going to find him, Darcy. Might as well put him with someone who can riff off what he’s laying down.

    Right, but Hall was a winger with a veteran centre to help him out. Plus, Renney in that first season seemed to do much less line-matching and zone start decisions than his second season. I think he had the marching orders of “development” and rolled four lines a lot. There is far less separation in competition and zone start metrics compared to year two, which is when I think he actually tried to produce results.

    Renny, in his second season, had the opportunity to break in a rookie #1 centre. Nugent Hopkins played the majority of the season with Hall and Eberle, so he gave Nugent Hopkins the the horses. However, he absolutely sheltered Nuge (and the rest of the kids) the best he could. Nuge had 62% O-zone vs D-zone starts and he was 6th in Quality of Competition, well behind the Horcoff-Hemsky-Smyth line.

    What I’m suggesting with McDavid is give him the combination of Year One Renney and Year Two Renney. Give him the veteran wingers and give him the O-Zone starts, sheltering him from competition as best you can, the way Renney did in Year Two with Nuge.

    I don’t think you can do that if you put Hall with McDavid. I think you can give McDavid two wingers like Pouliot and Eberle, start them in the o-zone and at home try to keep him away from the biggest centres. Let Hall & Nuge do the heavy lifting. If the hounds find McDavid anyways, then no problem. Let Hall and Nuge feast on the soft underbelly.

    Hall can have his time with McDavid on the powerplay.

  16. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    Lowetide,

    LT are you thinking we’ll see fairly different home and away lineups?

    I think we’ll see a lot of shaking and baking. McLellan moves people in and out and don’t be surprised if someone we’re not thinking about scores 15 goals next season. Darcy’s idea about deployment might be different than mine, but McLellan’s thinking about the point he’s making: Finding clean air for very good players.

    Darcy’s plan is to split up Hall and McDavid, my plan is to split up Hall and Nuge. The drivers on this team eventually will be Hall and McDavid, but for me letting loose the Nuge has exceptional appeal and we may see a spike in 93’s production in 2015-16 because of it.

  17. square_wheels says:

    Early am sidebar – Not sure if there are any Tour de France fans out there but today’s stage was brilliant.

  18. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    A real first name TWICE in one post!

    LT, why are you mad at Woodguy???

  19. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    Feature line doesn’t necessarily mean the line other teams are focused on


    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2010_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&f7=40-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+11+12+13+14+15+16#

    QC is one of the areas that fancy stats really hasn’t figured out.

    I was tracking which Dpairs played against whom since that info came available and the opposition’s best pair weren’t chasing Hall, not for 1.5 years.

    Would love to see that.

  20. slopitch says:

    Quinn also decided to give FJF a run on the top line too lol.

    I agree. Teams are gonna spend hours on film trying to slow down CMD. Teams are gonna have a Brad Marchand spend his entire game dedicated to pissing off CMD and getting him to think about things other than scoring goals. Id like to find a 2 way winger full of piss and vinegar to play with CMD and Hall not to have as protection but to have as a counter distraction. The Oilers dont have that player – maybe Chase, Yak or Drai can evolve into it.

    I get the idea to chase Seabrook. Love the player. I do think he will cost too much given his contract situation. That said, I could be wrong. If the price is Schultz and a pick. Do it even if you trade Seabrook at the deadline. If Chai isnt done thats a good sign. I like this article by Bruce, http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2015/07/13/thoughts-on-brent-seabrook-the-chicago-models-3-year-plan-parallels-with-edmonton-oilers/ where he points out that there is time to land the missing dman. Wait for the right deal.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour:
    A real first name TWICEin one post!

    LT, why are you mad at Woodguy???

    lol. I’m not mad at Woodguy, I just think “Darcy” when I’m typing. It’s not like he’s Laddy Smid or anything. 🙂

  22. stush18 says:

    While we are all fantasizing about different lineups, I’m really worried for yak. We almost can’t play him with mcdavid, unless it’s on the power play.

    As far as my eye can see, you keep poo-nudge-ebs together, and let them play the toughs. That likely means hall-mcdavid-Purcell as your next line, because that otherwise a line with yak on it would bleed chances. That leaves yak with lander.

    I think when you are at home, you run

    Hall-mcdavid-ebs
    Poo-nuge-yak
    Korp-lander-Purcell

    And hope that the top line doesn’t give up too many chances, and that yak ignores his previous lack of success with nuge.

    This year is huge for yak.

  23. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Lowetide: lol. I’m not mad at Woodguy, I just think “Darcy” when I’m typing. It’s not like he’s Laddy Smid or anything.

    Good point!

  24. zatch says:

    In the past, I’ve gotten into arguments over here with regards to predicting McDavids production. I use Crosby as the comparable because he is the only real comparable. Instead, a lot of people insist 65ish points is the reasonable bet, as if he’s Jeff f’in Skinner. People point out the low scoring rates for last year. To address this:

    a) Last year was a massive outlier. I will need to see 2 more years of scoring at this low a rate to be convinced we’ve entered a deadball era.

    b) How low? I’m going to refer to Hockey-Reference and their adjusted statistics here. It’s imperfect, but it gives you the best picture you’re gonna compare various seasons output. http://www.hockey-reference.com/leaders/points_adjusted_yearly.html
    You have to go back to 67-68 to find a year with such low points. My old man was 5. History does not suggest this low rate will stay for long.

    c) Much has been said about how high scoring Crosby’s rookie season was (39-63-102). The adjustment accounts for this, and has his rookie season at 36-60-99. Jamie Benn’s 35-52-87 adjusts to 40-57-97. I also think all of those point total numbers suggest deep dark magic is at play.

    Conclusion: I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that he will score higher than 87 points next year. The era adjustment is broad and misses much. I DO think it’s fair to project him at a ppg. I think he’s capable, especially with the talent he could have on his wing, of getting to 90 points if healthy.

    I DO think it’s silly to sit there and say 65-70 points is reasonable. Stop. Stop insisting he’s a random top 5 pick from any other year. Stop pretending he’s anything but what he is, which is a generational talent. Stop selling him short, stop tempering your expectations into cynical doom and gloom, stop trying to convince yourself that 65 points would be anything but a total disappointment.

    Connor McDavid is special. Connor McDavid is going to come into this league like a whirlwind. Connor McDavid is worthy of respect and high expectations.

  25. Concur says:

    Snowman has the right of it, McDavid with Pouliot. I would also add put Purcell on the other side. I like that Purcell is a veteran and also for the Pump-and-Dump option to get a better return on his trade deadline departure. This can leave Hall-RNH-Eberle for teams to worry about. And lets not forget Draisatl/Korpikoski-Lander-Yakupov.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Zatch: I’m in the midst of that projection now and it’s a tough target. The new OT rules are going to open things up and McDavid would certainly have to be projected as one of the options there. Will he get 1PP time? And, as we’re discussing today, who are his linemates?

    McLellan’s a fantastic offensive coach so I’m tempted to go open throttle on all of it, but what is reasonable? It’s maybe the toughest projection we’ve had these years as Oilers fans.

  27. leadfarmer says:

    Renney didn’t shelter Hall because who was he going to shelter him with. That lineup was putrid. MacDavid is in a whole different level but nothing wrong with trying to keep him away from the Sedins and Toews’ and Getzlafs of the league the first year especially on home ice when you can.

  28. eastcoastoil says:

    What if you went with this;
    Pou-nuge-ebs
    Hall-lander-mcdavid

    Everyone else can fight it out for power play time

  29. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    zatch,

    I totally agree. I wonder if the misery of the last 9 or even more years of being so continually disappointed by this team which I totally lay at the feet of Lowe and McTavish, has just conditioned all of us to to fear the worst possible outcomes.

    No matter who we draft or trade for nothing has improved for this team for so long it just seems impossible that it will get better. We have developed a fatalistic mindset.

    I see the changes overall in this organization so far, and more potentially to come. Not only roster but management, attitude whatever and feel like we could see something phenomenal breakout here!

    Of course CMD isn’t Monohan or Barzal or Gaudreau or anything… You know so there’s that.

  30. Concur says:

    With the speculation of Chiarelli adding another defensman, I am all for it. My biggest concern is that people are keying on the departure of Nikitin. In reality the Oilers need to get rid of three; Ference, Shultz, and Nikitin, IN THAT ORDER. IMO Nikitin is the least necessary to leave. The odds of Chiarelli getting rid of all three is slim Nikitin is the easiest to get rid of and has the highest cap hit, but he is also the easiest to keep on the roster and the cap hit goes away at the end of the season. If they wanted to buy out someone they should have done it at the first window and then not even qualified Shultz. Obviously there is a defenceman leaving but we did have to wait for it to see it happen.

  31. Ben says:

    So – if Peaches sends out Schultz, a prospect and a pick for Seabrook are we getting that mythologized “balance” photo, or what?

    (It’s the ’94 Expos, isn’t it?)

  32. Ducey says:

    DBO: Would anyone walk away from Schultz and add Franson at $5 mill for 3 years? Only 3 years so he does not mess up the McD cluster cap wise, and allows for Nurse to slid into top 4 role within 3 years. He is what we hope Schultz will become, a 4/5 offensive dman, but more physical and has a good shot form the point. He is not great in the D Zone (but better the Schultz), but he can quarterback the PP, hits and has size.What he does not do, that Schultz does, is skate as well and pinch in the O zone for that weak side cross ice pass-shot. He would only cost around $1.5 mill more (I believe no one is offering much, and a 3 year deal, after many years of one year deals for Franson, will be appealing), so not killing our cap, if we walk or deal Schultz it does not hurt our 50 man limit, and he allows us to run 2 actual D pairings that don’t need full time sheltering.Sekera-FayneKlefbom-FransonReinhart/Nikitin/Ference-GrybaBalance LD/RD, everyone but Reinhart with experience, but if he is used as a 3rd pairing stay at home D zone pair with Gryba, then you allow the 2nd pair to get cherry O zone starts, but not be forced to totally shelter them. Franson is miles ahead of Schultz in the D zone and physical aspects of the game.Maclellan can go all vets and send both Nurse and Reinhart down, running Nikitin and Ference as 6/7 LD to start until one gets hurt or Harding’d, thereby not killing our cap next year (with rookie bonus issue as Speeds laid out last week) or in McDavid’s contract year (if Ference is bought out now, it falls into his first big payday. If we buy him out next year it is gone in 3 years so no effect on cap in McDavid’s payday year)

    I know LT hates Schultz more than he has anyone since Smid, but how is it an advance to sign Franson and dump Schultz?

    They are the same flippin’ player. Soft, feast on extreme OZ starts, good on PP, poor defensively.

    One costs $5+ million a year and will need term. The other will cost $3.75 M and will be an RFA next year.

    And I love Pisani, but enough already, LT. He played two full seasons and parts of 3 others. The last 2 were essentially write offs due to his health issues. 2005-06 was by far his best year with 37 points, and he parlayed it into an overpay of a contract.

    I don’t see how you hate Schultz for his contract and overlook Pisani.

    This team could use a Todd Marchant, or Mike Grier, or Rem Murray, or Ethan Moreau (in his prime), or Kelly Buchberger, or a Dave Lumley, or Esa Tikanen. All of those guys were much better than Pisani.

  33. admiralmark says:

    Lowetide: lol. I’m not mad at Woodguy, I just think “Darcy” when I’m typing. It’s not like he’s Laddy Smid or anything.

    He wasn’t mad. He was just rolling his sleeves up. ;P

  34. leadfarmer says:

    Concur,

    No more Hall, Nuge Ebs lines please. Hall needs the puck on his stick and he is the last one of the 3 you want to have the puck, no offense to Hall but the other two are just amazing with it. They don’t go to the net. Teams figured out how to defend against them. Keep Pou Nuge Ebs together. Pou does the little things like get the other two the puck and cleans up in front of the net. Kid line was cute for a couple years but it no longer works

  35. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    Lowetide: lol. I’m not mad at Woodguy

    “I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed”.

  36. Snowman says:

    You know what’s nice about this conversation… No matter how it shakes out, those top two lines are going to crush.

    As LT would say, sphincters will tighten.

    I’m excited. Also I change my mind if it turns out that Pou-Nuge-Ebs scores at the same rate as they did at the end of the year last year. If they put up those numbers consistently, play Hall with CMD.

    If that happens Nuge might even score 50 points this year!

  37. Pouzar says:

    eastcoastoil: What if you went with this;Pou-nuge-ebsHall-lander-mcdavid Everyone else can fight it out for power play time

    Man….I like it.

  38. Concur says:

    leadfarmer,

    Then what do you do for the lines, I don’t think that Hall and McDavid should start the year together. Could it be:
    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
    Korpikoski-McDavid-Purcell
    Hall-Draisatl-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Lander-Letestu

    I only put this combination because of having veterans with Mc

  39. Lowetide says:

    Snowman:
    You know what’s nice about this conversation… No matter how it shakes out, those top two lines are going to crush.

    As LT would say, sphincters will tighten.

    I’m excited. Also I change my mind if it turns out that Pou-Nuge-Ebs scores at the same rate as they did at the end of the year last year. If they put up those numbers consistently, play Hall with CMD.

    If that happens Nuge might even score 50 points this year!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbd4t-ua-WQ

  40. Concur says:

    leadfarmer,

    Then what do you do for the lines, I don’t think that Hall and McDavid should start the year together. Could it be:
    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
    Korpikoski-McDavid-Purcell
    Hall-Draisatl-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Lander-Letestu

    I only put this combination because of having veterans with McDavid is a good idea.

    Another possiblity could be:

    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
    McDavid-Lander-Purcell
    Hall-Draisatl-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Letestu-Korpikoski

    I think Lander is a great way to cover for McDavid defensively

  41. DBO says:

    Pouzar: Man….I like it.

    So if you had Lander with McD and Hall (which I also quite like), does that Dr. Drai is in the bigs with Yak and Purcell/Korpikoski in a sheltered role? You run the 4th line in D zone, the Drai line in the O zone and the other two can play anywhere.

    Hall-McDavid-Lander
    Pou-Nuge-Ebs
    Purcell-Draisatl-Yak
    Hendricks-Letestu-Korpikoski

  42. Pouzar says:

    DBO: So if you had Lander with McD and Hall (which I also quite like), does that Dr. Drai is in the bigs with Yak and Purcell/Korpikoski in a sheltered role? You run the 4th line in D zone, the Drai line in the O zone and the other two can play anywhere. Hall-McDavid-LanderPou-Nuge-EbsPurcell-Draisatl-YakHendricks-Letestu-Korpikoski

    Yeah that’s the issue. If Drai isn’t 100% ready to assume 3rd line duties yer kinda hooped.

  43. wheatnoil says:

    Here’s a wild and crazy idea, while we’re throwing them around. What about giving Miller the greatest gift he’s ever received? Hall and Nuge are better together than they are apart (something that is true of all of Hall, Nuge and Ebs) and Miller has played well with Hall this last year. If Nuge and Hall can do the heavy lifting, Miller should have the skill and speed to keep up.

    Hall – Nuge – Miller
    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle
    Purcell – Lander – Yakupov
    Hendricks – Letestu – Korpikoski

  44. Lowetide says:

    wheatnoil:
    Here’s a wild and crazy idea, while we’re throwing them around. What about giving Miller the greatest gift he’s ever received? Hall and Nuge are better together than they are apart (something that is true of all of Hall, Nuge and Ebs) and Miller has played well with Hall this last year. If Nuge and Hall can do the heavy lifting, Miller should have the skill and speed to keep up.

    Hall – Nuge – Miller
    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle
    Purcell – Lander – Yakupov
    Hendricks – Letestu – Korpikoski

    That’s imo the kind of thing McLellan may do. Spread out the offense over three lines.

  45. T0ML says:

    Little OT / Side bar

    https://twitter.com/bruins_stats/status/620967970978799616

    “This morning on the radio Don Sweeney said it’s as simple as Hamilton+Lucic+Smith = 41 goals, Beleskey+Hayes = 41 goals.”

    ……I guess Beleskey + Hayes > Hamilton + Lucic + Smith ?

  46. Connor'sreal says:

    Lowetide,

    You on the radio today?

    If so, who’s on first?

  47. wheatnoil says:

    Connor’sreal:
    Lowetide,

    You on the radio today?

    If so, who’s on first?

    What?

  48. Lowetide says:

    Connor’sreal:
    Lowetide,

    You on the radio today?

    If so, who’s on first?

    No, off this week.

  49. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: lol. I’m not mad at Woodguy, I just think “Darcy” when I’m typing. It’s not like he’s Laddy Smid or anything.

    Oh Shit.

    I’m going to call my insurance company and increase my coverage.

  50. Connor'sreal says:

    wheatnoil: What?

    I don’t know!

  51. Connor'sreal says:

    Interview in CMD on now: http://player.toronto.tsn.ca/

    Edit: Dang – it’s over already. What’s the point of tweeting out ‘it’s on now’, when it’s almost over?

    Edit 2: http://www.tsn.ca/radio/toronto-1050/mcdavid-anticipation-on-draft-night-was-a-killer-1.331042

  52. jimmers2 says:

    Connor’sreal,

    Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third.

  53. RexLibris says:

    jimmers2:
    Connor’sreal,

    Lowe’s on first, MacT’s on second, Tambellini is on third.

    fixed

  54. RexLibris says:

    I’ve liked the idea of having Pouliot with McDavid for awhile now.

    He’s big, experienced, plays well in the corners, and I personally don’t mind if he spears the opposition in the cajones every once in awhile if it keeps them the heck away from McDavid.

  55. jimmers2 says:

    RexLibris,

    And a hand-picked coach at the plate? It is going to be a weak grounder leading to a triple play

  56. Connor'sreal says:

    jimmers2,

    Naturally!

    Man, those guys could make the phone book funny.

  57. Wonder Llama says:

    leadfarmer:
    Concur,

    No more Hall, Nuge Ebs lines please.Hall needs the puck on his stick and he is the last one of the 3 you want to have the puck, no offense to Hall but the other two are just amazing with it.They don’t go to the net.Teams figured out how to defend against them.Keep Pou Nuge Ebs together.Pou does the little things like get the other two the puck and cleans up in front of the net.Kid line was cute for a couple years but it no longer works

    Interesting point. When Hall was injured and the Pou-Nuge-Eberle line was clicking, 93 was asked what it was like playing without 4. IIRC he said something like “Well, I get to play with the puck a lot more.”

    I’m going to trust that Todd McLellan and his staff will figure out the right combinations themselves, but I do know that armchair line construction is a lot more fun now than it’s been in a long, long time.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Christian Roatis ‏@CRoatis 2m2 minutes ago

    The Edmonton Oilers have signed Greg Nemisz to an AHL deal.

    Nice.
    ==

    AHL player, he has size and good hands but hasn’t been able to convert in pro. 25. Played junior with Taylor Hall

  59. Hammers says:

    Go back to looking at 4 pairs mine are Hall and Lander , McDavid and Pouliot , Nuge and Ebs , Letestu and Hendricks . Your left with some nice options for each line , Yak , Leon , Korpikoski , Purcell , Pakirinen , Gazdic , Pitlick . That’s a lot of strength and skill dependent on who your playing . Personally I would still try trading Purcell early, not late in the seasonal that money can go to another D.

  60. jimmers2 says:

    CONNOR’SREAL:

    Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

    Abbott: Every dollar of it. And why not, the man’s entitled to it.

    Costello: Who is?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: So who gets it?

    Abbott: Why shouldn’t he? Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

    Costello: Who’s wife?

    Abbott: Yes. After all, the man earns it.

    Costello: Who does?

    Abbott: Absolutely.

    Costello: Well, all I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base?

    Abbott: Oh, no, no. What is on second base.

    Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

    Abbott: Who’s on first!

  61. JohnnyOilfan says:

    Lowetide,

    if things work out and Moroz and Chase develop to the players we are hoping they will be, they would be great bookends to provide some grit and sand paper with some skill to those duos.

  62. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    The medical staff department needed guaranteed work, Pitlick himself wasn’t quite enough.

  63. khildahl says:

    jimmers2:
    CONNOR’SREAL:

    Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

    Abbott: Every dollar of it. And why not, the man’s entitled to it.

    Costello: Who is?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: So who gets it?

    Abbott: Why shouldn’t he? Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

    Costello: Who’s wife?

    Abbott: Yes. After all, the man earns it.

    Costello: Who does?

    Abbott: Absolutely.

    Costello: Well, all I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base?

    Abbott: Oh, no, no. What is on second base.

    Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

    Abbott: Who’s on first!

    One of the greatest comedy routines of all time. Still kills me to this day. Their timing is absolutely perfect.

    Will CMD be the Costello to Hall’s Abbott?

  64. LMHF#1 says:

    “I know. It’s asking too much.”

    Dare to dream LT. We’re not stuck in MacTavishland any more. “THIS IS THE ONLY WAY!!!!” no longer applies.

    Chiarelli has a real opportunity here with teams up against the cap, a slow moving UFA market and some remaining options WRT buyouts and trades.

    He could still add 2 top 4 defenders and a solid forward if he really wants to and is able to move some wasted cap space out. If he gets 1 and 1 I’ll be quite satisfied.

  65. McSorley33 says:

    Snowman,

    You know what’s nice about this conversation… No matter how it shakes out, those top two lines are going to crush.
    **************************************************************************
    Exactly….this is what hockey blogs are supposed to be about…..( anyone remember an
    NHL head coach being fired on Skype ? )

    Fail to see the logic of anyone NOT wanting to shelter an 18 year old kid from top pairings…..as much as humanly possible.

    A generational talent. Yep.

    But still a teenager playing in his first year of professional – man hockey.

  66. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: Christian Roatis ‏@CRoatis 2m2 minutes agoThe Edmonton Oilers have signed Greg Nemisz to an AHL deal. Nice.==AHL player, he has size and good hands but hasn’t been able to convert in pro. 25. Played junior with Taylor Hall

    He only played 21 games last year and 46 the year before. Looks like injury issues have held him back.

    It is getting awfully crowded in Bakersfield.

  67. Shau-co says:

    I have been thinking that Schultz plus 2016 1st rounder for Seabrook could make a lot of sense. I could actually see Chicago turning Shultz around and it would save them a lot of cap room.

  68. wheatnoil says:

    Ducey:
    It is getting awfully crowded in Bakersfield.

    Some of those AHL contracts will likely start the year in Norfolk and only be called up for injury. OKC was a bit crowded at the start of the year too but they were begging for players by the end.

  69. wheatnoil says:

    Cody Franson improved the Predators shot share by 5% points despite them already being a strong shot team. http://t.co/fpnALzmEIB— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 14, 2015

  70. Rondo says:

    wheatnoil,

    Franson had trouble getting ice time in Nashville and sat for a few games. He did not produce for Nashville.

  71. rich says:

    Ducey,

    Ducey – one thing Schultz can do better than Franson is skate. Franson is glacial slow.

    Otherwise, agree w/you entirely. Am not getting the love for a guy who is going to be a more expensive version of Schultz with Franson.

    That is, unless the fan base needs someone to hate on on defense. From Poti to Gilbert to Smid to Petry to Schultz to…Franson.

    That’s it! We need someone on the roster to abuse.

  72. pts2pndr says:

    This year TC is going to be so much fun! I think there cud be a number of surprises! This team is getting to a point where some good nhl players may not make the opening night roster. Picked up my young stars ticket pkg on the 10th and am stoked! It is like living a dream. I know the anticipation will cause a slight dip when reality hits but doesn’t matter this summer. Great time to be an Oiler fan!

  73. RexLibris says:

    A touch off topic (okay, maybe REALLY off topic) but…

    with all the discussion we do here about statistical methods, evidence, computer-based evidence gathering, and using evidence-based models sided with empirical observation to create theories about the way advanced analytics illustrates the game, I found this article on the epistemological implications of the Large Hadron Collider on the nature of knowing to be very intriguing.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/life-and-physics/2015/jun/06/the-philosophy-of-the-large-hadron-collider

    Obviously the LHC experience is a far, far more complex thing than anything attempted around here, but the basic elements are the same: order from chaos, peeking behind the narrative to see what lies beneath, using data-gathering tools to scrub the internet for information which we then parse down based on some established premises to form conceptions of players and statistical categories to which we assign various values.

    Anyway, some light reading for anyone with a little time to spare today.

  74. Lois Lowe says:

    Woodguy: Oh Shit.

    I’m going to call my insurance company and increase my coverage.

    It’s more likely that you’re heading out of town in the 3 for 1 trade after this summer.

  75. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Christian Roatis ‏@CRoatis 2m2 minutes ago

    The Edmonton Oilers have signed Greg Nemisz to an AHL deal.

    Nice.
    ==

    AHL player, he has size and good hands but hasn’t been able to convert in pro. 25. Played junior with Taylor Hall

    Christian is laughing at us there.

    I know him. Good guy, but he’s probably weeping tears of joy as he’s writing that one.

    Nemisz was a massive bust for the Flames. I would expect about as much from him this year as I did from Kolanos when he signed in Abbotsford a few years’ back. Which is to say…not much.

    241 AHL games, 106 pts, 110 PIMS, -6. Adding Nemisz means less time for Khaira, Chase and Moroz.

    In a word…blech.

  76. Ducey says:

    wheatnoil: Cody Franson improved the Predators shot share by 5% points despite them already being a strong shot team. http://t.co/fpnALzmEIB— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 14, 2015

    According to that chart, Shea Webber is garbage. Sure hope the Oilers don’t trade for him 🙂

  77. Rondo says:

    Cody Franson looks perfect for many teams on paper, he scores points has size plays the right side. Yet he is still on the board, maybe he is asking too much or maybe if you look under the hood reality sets in.

    You’re just a 3 dressed up as a 9.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBrCcYr0y5M

  78. jimmers2 says:

    khildahl,

    Acton and Buchberger?

  79. Ducey says:

    Lois Lowe: It’s more likely that you’re heading out of town in the 3 for 1 trade after this summer.

    Hopefully we can throw in DSF – kind of our Cam Abney. We need the roster spot.

  80. RexLibris says:

    Ducey: Hopefully we can throw in DSF – kind of our Cam Abney.We need the roster spot.

    If LT ever decides to run a 50-poster reserve list blood will be spilled.

  81. Woogie63 says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Chia has added:

    The number 1 prospect forward in the past 10 years (No credit to Chia here)
    A solid up and comer Dman who can likely play NHL hockey today (Paid in full, we will see how it turns out but I like the train of though)
    The #1 available Dman in free agency (full credit to Chia)
    A solid & cheaper 4C (full credit to Chia)
    The best available goalie according to internet math (full credit to Chia, and again I like what this says about how he thinks even more than I like the actual move).
    A very solid prospect goalie who has plenty of upside potential for the cost of perhaps the worst draft pick made by the organization since Hesketh (full credit to Chia once again).

    If he stops now, that’s still an extremely productive summer.Not saying it’s enough, rather I’m saying what he has done is impressive.

    I would argue the team is only McDavid and Korpi better

    Gave up an up and coming dman prospect in Marincin
    Gave up our best damn in a trade in Petry
    Gave up a good centre in Gordon
    Thought we gambled well on goalies last year in Faust
    Gave up a very good AHL goalie in Bachman
    Gave up a very good coach in Nelson

    Flames, Kings, Blackhawks, AVS, Stars all got better than 2015 edition

  82. Braden88 says:

    ***Complaint Alert*** Feel free to trash me

    I swear my nose is going to start bleeding if I have to read the word Pisani one more time. The guy played one great payoff run and a couple solid seasons and then disappeared into injury. Do you know how many players have played a couple good seasons and then disappeared? Too many to count. And yet you dont see any of those players metaphorically made into a giant bronze statue of idealism and idolism.

    And even beyond that, we cant even refer to his ROLE as the need on our team. We have to call it THE “PISANI”. I’m sorry but do we call the Top 1 C “The Gretzky”? Do we call the power forward role “The Messier”? Do we call the offensive defensemen “The Orr” or “The Coffee”? You would think any of those names have a million times more merit than “The Pisani”

    I get that this is a blog and its all for fun. But it still astonishes me today how often this term is used. At this point i fully expect, and would be disappointed, if Lowetide didn’t have an actual statue of Fernando Pisani on his desk next to his computer when he types.

    ……Commence the trashing

  83. rich says:

    Ducey: According to that chart, Shea Webber is garbage.Sure hope the Oilers don’t trade for him

    Well said. If all the fancy stats backed up the results, Nashville, who is known for developing good d-men would not have walked away Franson a 2nd time.

    Was with some people last weekend who have been in the Nashville Org and no one is sorry to see him go. None.

    Let the buyer beware, some things are not as they appear.

  84. wheatnoil says:

    Rondo:
    wheatnoil,

    Franson had trouble getting ice time in Nashville and sat for a few games. He did not produce for Nashville.

    He was also a new player on the team and started off with a relatively low PDO (971), which probably didn’t help him get off on the right foot.

  85. Pouzar says:

    Braden88,

    Well….yer not makin the 50 man….

  86. Drew says:

    wheatnoil,

    i like this!

  87. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Woogie63: I would argue the team is only McDavid and Korpi better

    Gave up an up and coming dman prospect in Marincin
    Gave up our best damn in a trade in Petry
    Gave up a good centre in Gordon
    Thought we gambled well on goalies last year in Faust
    Gave up a very good AHL goalie in Bachman
    Gave up a very good coach in Nelson

    Flames, Kings, Blackhawks, AVS, Stars all got better than 2015 edition

    Well that’s certainly framing the issue as a glass half empty. Maybe even a glass turned upside down and thrown outside in a desert dust storm.

    Wow, hard to imagine what you might consider “improvement”.

  88. Drew says:

    Pouzar:
    Braden88,

    Well….yer not makin the 50 man….

    first bus outa town… Can you hear the drums Fernando?

  89. vinotintazo says:

    Braden88:
    ***Complaint Alert*** Feel free to trash me

    I swear my nose is going to start bleeding if I have to read the word Pisani one more time. The guy played one great payoff run and a couple solid seasons and then disappeared into injury. Do you know how many players have played a couple good seasons and then disappeared? Too many to count. And yet you dont see any of those players metaphorically made into a giant bronze statue of idealism and idolism.

    And even beyond that, we cant even refer to his ROLE as the need on our team. We have to call it THE “PISANI”. I’m sorry but do we call the Top 1 C “The Gretzky”? Do we call the power forward role “The Messier”? Do we call the offensive defensemen “The Orr” or “The Coffee”? You would think any of those names have a million times more merit than “The Pisani”

    I get that this is a blog and its all for fun. But it still astonishes me today how often this term is used. At this point i fully expect, and would be disappointed, if Lowetide didn’t have an actual statue of Fernando Pisani on his desk next to his computer when he types.

    ……Commence the trashing

    do you know how many guys score shorthanded in OT in a SC Finals? not many!

  90. wheatnoil says:

    Ducey: According to that chart, Shea Webber is garbage.Sure hope the Oilers don’t trade for him

    Heh… well my intention isn’t to say that this chart is the be-all-end-all and it doesn’t factor in quality of competition, I thought it was a nice little representation and it shows Franson in a very positive light. That said, Weber is an interesting study as somewhat who, since Suter left, the fancy stats have not been quite as shining as his reputation would imply.

  91. jimmers2 says:

    Ouch! Someone get Braden a snickers bar.

  92. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woogie63: I would argue the team is only McDavid and Korpi better

    Gave up an up and coming dman prospect in Marincin
    Gave up our best damn in a trade in Petry
    Gave up a good centre in Gordon
    Thought we gambled well on goalies last year in Faust
    Gave up a very good AHL goalie in Bachman
    Gave up a very good coach in Nelson

    Flames, Kings, Blackhawks, AVS, Stars all got better than 2015 edition

    So,
    Fasth=Talbot
    Nelson=McLellan
    Marincin=Reinhart

    I also believe Sekera will improve Fayne’s results heaps and bounds, what fellow righty Petry (who was sewered with Ference) couldn’t do.

    More experienced Klefbom, and ideally another top 4 guy coming in (say Franson)

    League average goaltending alone helps the goal differential how much? And numbers seem to think Talbot could be great

  93. godot10 says:

    Ducey: I know LT hates Schultz more than he has anyone since Smid, but how is it an advance to sign Franson and dump Schultz?

    They are the same flippin’ player.Soft, feast on extreme OZ starts, good on PP, poor defensively.

    One costs $5+ million a year and will need term.The other will cost $3.75 M and will be an RFA next year.

    THIS!

    Franson sucks. Justin Schultz might be fixable. And only a one year risk. With Franson, he is an unfixed Justin Schultz, and one would be marrying a boat anchor.

    The risk-reward on Franson is putrid.

  94. Bar_Qu says:

    Braden88,

    You read this comment beyond this blog? Is it perhaps at ON under Alan Mitchell’s columns?

    Otherwise I never hear Pisani.

    It seems like an innocuous enough a term for “solid utility 3/4 winger” without tying it to a player type from the 70s (which I would also be ok with). Its just kind of the lingo being used here.

    Pouzar:
    Braden88,

    Well….yer not makin the 50 man….

    Lol

  95. khildahl says:

    RexLibris:
    Obviously the LHC experience is a far, far more complex thing than anything attempted around here

    I don’t know… Ricki’s math can get pretty esoteric.

  96. Bar_Qu says:

    godot10: THIS!

    Franson sucks. Justin Schultz might be fixable.And only a one year risk.With Franson, he is an unfixed Justin Schultz, and one would be marrying a boat anchor.

    The risk-reward on Franson is putrid.

    I hope the Oil sign Franson simply to unbalance you again. You’re posts were not mercurial enough when Eakins left. (I kid, I kid)

  97. Woodguy says:

    rich: Well said.If all the fancy stats backed up the results, Nashville, who is known for developing good d-men would not have walked away Franson a 2nd time.

    Was with some people last weekend who have been in the Nashville Org and no one is sorry to see him go.None.

    Let the buyer beware, some things are not as they appear.

    This is a part of the biggest weakness of fancystats.

    It does not do a good job accounting for quality of comp.

    The biggest problem is the best players tend to play the most against the best players and their results are skewed down closer to middling players who mostly play middling players.

    Ends up grouping players together (in terms of QC) more closely than they should.

    Imo.

    Same reason that Burtch’s deltacorsi tends to over value 3rd pairing D and under values 1st pairing Dmen.

    Again, all of this is my opinion.

  98. Richard S.S. says:

    Who do you play on McDavid’s line?
    1) They need to skate very well or to put it more simply, they need to keep up.
    2) They need to pass very well and be able to receive passes well (soft hands).
    3) They need to be able to score at will, or at least very well.
    In fact, if you can’t skate well and with some speed, if you can’t pass well and receive passes well, if you can’t score fairly well, you shouldn’t be on this team. The Oilers need to be better. It might take longer than expected, but the Oilers need to be better. Better doesn’t mean smaller.

  99. Rake 2.0 says:

    Woogie63,

    Did you write the article on CoH today?

  100. Braden88 says:

    Pouzar:
    Braden88,

    Well….yer not makin the 50 man….

    haha tou-che

  101. Braden88 says:

    Bar_Qu,

    Like i said, i totally get its used as a fun reference, in a blog atmosphere.

    And dont get me wrong. I love the guy today as much as i loved him during the magical 06 run.

    For me its more like that Movie trailer about the slow death of a man being hit with a spoon. At first and for a while it is ok and doesn’t matter. but eventually over a long period of time it slowly drives you madddddddd……

  102. Lois Lowe says:

    Pouzar:
    Braden88,

    Well….yer not makin the 50 man….

    It’s his sideburns. It’s always the sideburns.

  103. Kmart99 says:

    ‘Hawks sign Oduya, re-up Marcus Kruger and trade Seabrook to the Oilers for Justin Schultz, a pick and a prospect. They … …sign Schultz before the arbitration hearing… at a discount knowing Bowman.’ – LT

    I really love how this looks out of context. 😉

  104. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Ducey: Hopefully we can throw in DSF – kind of our Cam Abney.We need the roster spot.

    More like Matt Cooke.

  105. rich says:

    Woodguy,

    Interesting conclusion that seems reasonable.

    This blog regularly uncovers hidden gems thru statistical analysis. It’s what makes it a must read.

    But all stats are not created equal – and when you see something that does not match up to what you’re observing in the game it’s worth digging in further.

    One other point on Nashville d-men. Weber has not been the same since Suter left and he was being propped up by him.

    His fancy stats are heading in the wrong direction and will only get worse in the next few years. When I suggest they should cash him in now while his reputation is strong, many think they should trade Jones instead.

    Will be interesting to see what happens.

    Back to the Oilers, don’t mean to turn this into a Preds blog.

  106. RexLibris says:

    It has been mentioned earlier, but as a follow-up to the discussion of advanced stats used in arbitration hearings: http://www.tsn.ca/talent/nhl-s-enhanced-stats-on-the-table-at-arbitration-hearings-1.330873

    Makes me wonder if any of the proprietary numbers teams hint at would see the light of day in the hearings.

  107. Jaxon says:

    Okay, I admit, this is blue skying some prospects and has way too many moving pieces. But, it’s a bit of a wish list / aggressive approach to building for now and future. It also depends on other teams participating and seeing value coming their way, which is very hard to gauge.

    I think putting Yakupov on a line with Pouliot and Nugent-Hopkins may help him find that scoring touch and help his defensive game. If that clicks it will be gold. Two great players who play a very responsible game to show him how it’s done and make up for some of his defensive holes.

    I think protecting McDavid doesn’t make sense either. It would mean putting him with linemates with less offence than he should have on his line. If you put him with the scorers he deserves, then the other teams are going to line match, not matter what. It’s unavoidable. The speed of Hall & McDavid is the surest thing. Start McDavid with 2 seasoned pros (Hall & Eberle) until he gets his footings and to give his confidence a boost with scoring linemates, then I think I’d TRY Pakarinen post-deadline on McDavid’s wing for his speed and agitation. Someone to work in the corners and go to the front of the net. Then after Slepyshev & Draisaitl have a half season or so in the AHL playing together, they can move up as a unit and be paired with Eberle as the veteran anchor. Move Letestu to RW post deadline and have a 4th line with 2 players to take a draw so they can cheat a bit.

    CURRENT ROSTER:
    Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Yakupov.
    Hall – McDavid – Eberle.
    Korpikoski – Lander – Purcell.
    Hendricks – Letestu – Pakarinen.

    Sekera – Fayne
    Klefbom – Schultz
    Ference/Nikitin – Gryba
    Reinhart

    TRADES:
    Trade Hendricks (value will never be higher than it is right now), Pitlick and Vesel to Minnesota for Spurgeon, Kuemper and Sutter. Not sure if that’s realistic or if taking on another goalie is wise, but final contract years on both sides and an extra year for Hendricks make it slightly viable.

    Trade Purcell (and Musil?). Maybe to Buffalo for Bailey, Baptiste, or Fasching, OR to New Jersey for Santini or Jacobs? Trade him to a team with a lack of RW NHLers, cap space and a surplus of prospects at some position the Oilers need depth in. Justin Bailey, 6′-3″, 194lbs, played with Nurse on the Greyhounds. Nicolas Baptiste, 6′-1″, 201lbs, played with McDavid on the Otters.

    If Schultz isn’t in the plans (I’m on the fence on this one) and they go after Franson, I think they should try to get Madison Bowey out of Washington for Schultz (and Moroz?). Washington wants immediate help to replace Green on PP, enter Schultz. Edmonton gets a promising RD with size and scoring the same age as Nurse. Bowey played with Nurse and McDavid when they won gold. He was Canada’s leading socrer on D. He also played with Draisaitl in Kelowna and was their leading scoring D. He led all D in the WHL playoffs and in the Memorial Cup.

    Ference and/or Nikitin have to be moved out to make room on D at some point. This summer? One of them is likely. Maybe the other by the deadline, too.

    POST-DEADLINE ROSTER:
    Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Yakupov.
    Hall – McDavid – Pakarinen.
    Slepyshev – Draisaitl – Eberle.
    Korpikoski – Lander – Letestu.

    Sekera – Spurgeon
    Klefbom – Franson
    Reinhart – Fayne
    Nurse – Bowey
    Laleggia

    RW Competition Pushing for NHL callups: Pakarinen, Chase, Platzer, Bailey (or Baptiste)
    LW may become the new weak depth position. Slepyshev, Moroz and Khaira. I don’t think Moroz and Khaira have the offensive touch to get to the next level. Maybe Yakimov should be playing on LW to make the big club.

    Looking at the LD depth, I’m not crazy about Sekera’s NMC until the summer of 2019, when he’s 33. If Nurse, Klefbom, Reinhart and Lelaggia all make good on their potential, we may wind up in a situation where one of them wants out before they have much value on the trade market. But, it’s still an amazing problem to have if it happens.

  108. Doug McLachlan says:

    LT,

    If we don’t say it enough, thanks for cranking out the hits.

    Two posts a day here, another daily post at ON, the weekday show, the SSE and the soccer show. Seriously, dude, you are a machine – in the Red Army 5-man unit sort of way not the evil Skynet sort of way.

    For the upcoming Re: series, if you haven’t already settled on an artist I think you could do a lot worse than U2. Just off the top of my head you can rattle off some pretty good matches of song titles to players.

    I Will Follow – Hall
    Mysterious Ways – Yakupov
    Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Nuge
    Elevation – Eberle
    Lemon – Schultz
    Zooropa – Draisaitl
    Even Better Than The Real Thing – McDavid
    The Wanderer (with Johnny Cash) – Nurse

    Obviously, only scratching the surface with the options here but you would have a lot to work with if you decided to go with the definitive ’80s band for the definitive ’80s team in the Old Barn’s final season..

    BTW, if never have heard it I strongly recommend listening to the Edge being the Edge on this linked track. Stick-tap to Cameron for tuning me into this fantastic B-side off the Fly single:
    Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle Of Milk – (would be good for Chiarelli’s piece, I susupect)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBEEtEZUF34

  109. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lennon & McCartney
    Jagger & Richards
    Page & Plant
    McDavid & Hall

    Let the music do the talking.

  110. book¡je says:

    Braden88:
    ***Complaint Alert*** Feel free to trash me

    I swear my nose is going to start bleeding if I have to read the word Pisani one more time. The guy played one great payoff run and a couple solid seasons and then disappeared into injury. Do you know how many players have played a couple good seasons and then disappeared? Too many to count. And yet you dont see any of those players metaphorically made into a giant bronze statue of idealism and idolism.

    And even beyond that, we cant even refer to his ROLE as the need on our team. We have to call it THE “PISANI”. I’m sorry but do we call the Top 1 C “The Gretzky”? Do we call the power forward role “The Messier”? Do we call the offensive defensemen “The Orr” or “The Coffee”? You would think any of those names have a million times more merit than “The Pisani”

    I get that this is a blog and its all for fun. But it still astonishes me today how often this term is used. At this point i fully expect, and would be disappointed, if Lowetide didn’t have an actual statue of Fernando Pisani on his desk next to his computer when he types.

    ……Commence the trashing

    You need to be more like Fernando Pisani. He would never complain like that, he would do something to make the blog better.

  111. pocession charge says:

    Braden88:

    Do we call the offensive defensemen “The Orr” or “The Coffee”?

    ……Commence the trashing

    You misspelled Coffey…unless you think an offensive defenseman is comparable to a cup of coffee?

  112. Richard S.S. says:

    Edmonton must shutdown in July. Everyone that knows how to keep things running are gone and being filled in by people who barely know the minimum to do the job. Podcasts are not be made this week by The Lowdown With Lowetide; Chedam – Oilers Now and Chedam – Inside Sports. Of course all Rogers Podcasts are being produced regularly. I listen to Podcasts at work (12 hour shifts) so I can keep current on what happens. It’s that or whatever spews from the radio as music lately.

    I understand July and August are children’s time and that takes a priority. Just make sure your fill-ins are least competent. That’s a problem most everywhere.

  113. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Stauffer says he believes Edmonton would have taken Eriksson Ek at 16 had they held onto the pick

  114. Bag of Pucks says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    LT,

    If we don’t say it enough, thanks for cranking out the hits.

    Two posts a day here, another daily post at ON, the weekday show, the SSE and the soccer show.Seriously, dude, you are a machine – in the Red Army 5-man unit sort of way not the evil Skynet sort of way.

    For the upcoming Re: series, if you haven’t already settled on an artist I think you could do a lot worse than U2.Just off the top of my head you can rattle off some pretty good matches of song titles to players.

    I Will Follow – Hall
    Mysterious Ways – Yakupov
    Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Nuge
    Elevation – Eberle
    Lemon – Schultz
    Zooropa – Draisaitl
    Even Better Than The Real Thing – McDavid
    The Wanderer (with Johnny Cash) – Nurse

    Obviously, only scratching the surface with the options here but you would have a lot to work with if you decided to go with the definitive ’80s band for the definitive ’80s team in the Old Barn’s final season..

    BTW, if never have heard it I strongly recommend listening to the Edge being the Edge on this linked track.Stick-tap to Cameron for tuning me into this fantastic B-side off the Fly single:
    Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle Of Milk – (would be good for Chiarelli’s piece, I susupect)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBEEtEZUF34

    Winning the McDavid lottery was ‘A Beautiful Day.’

    Kevin Predergast exemplifies ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.’

  115. leadfarmer says:

    Braden88,

    Blaming a guy for loosing his career to severe ulcerative colitis, is not much different than blaming a guy for losing his career because of cancer.

    He lost a lot of weight and was very weak. Needed major abdominal surgery to take out his entire colon. Hard to control your fluid balance as a professional athlete without a colon, also hard to control your fluids as well.

  116. Bar_Qu says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Stauffer says he believes Edmonton would have taken Eriksson Ek at 16 had they held onto the pick

    Eh, it would’ve been a reach for Edmonton to take him at 16. Now for Minny to take him at 20 was the perfect place.

    *that’s as fox-like as I can be right now*

  117. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Bar_Qu,

    and if EDM picked him at 20, Colin “Tyler Seguin” White would have slipped right by

  118. Lowetide says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Stauffer says he believes Edmonton would have taken Eriksson Ek at 16 had they held onto the pick

    I had him at No. 17, in the range. From what I’ve read, he’s a physical two-way player who has substantial offensive potential. Would have liked that pick.

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/06/26/here-comes-the-sun-2/

  119. Richard S.S. says:

    It not so much as protecting McDavid as preventing headhunters for blindsiding him. And no one skates with his head up all the time, sometimes you check on the puck. Because there people on other teams who do only one thing, blindsiding people. Not as many as there used to be, but some are still playing hockey.

    Just look at Chicago, they’ll soon be paying out about $46.0 million for just 7 players. Real market forming there for people who will work cheap and do anything needed to stay.

  120. Woogie63 says:

    LadiesloveSmid: So,
    Fasth=Talbot
    Nelson=McLellan
    Marincin=Reinhart

    I also believe Sekera will improve Fayne’s results heaps and bounds, what fellow righty Petry (who was sewered with Ference) couldn’t do.

    More experienced Klefbom, and ideally another top 4 guy coming in (say Franson)

    League average goaltending alone helps the goal differential how much? And numbers seem to think Talbot could be great

    More specifically

    The potential of Faust = the potential of Talbot ….. Same bet different year
    Nelson = Herbers
    The potential of Marincin = the Potential of Reinhart

    That said I would add to the add column of MCDavid and Korpi TML (which significant)

    My point is we gave up a few good pros in Petry and Gordon and IMO Marincin was 80 games from being a very good puck moving dman (that man could really box out the opposition, which is an under appreciated skill in the new NHL).

    Other teams, landed playera like, Hamilton, Lucic, Sharp we didn’t incrementially add that type of talent.

  121. LoDog says:

    leadfarmer,

    Pisani seems like a great guy and the health problems he went through were terrible.

    Doesn’t change the fact that he had two decent seasons and one magical run of luck but is considered by some to be this mythical “two way player” the team so badly needs.

  122. jake70 says:

    Just hearing Oduya turned down 5M per year from Chicago. Anyone else?

  123. vinotintazo says:

    Woogie63: Other teams, landed playera like, Hamilton, Lucic, Sharp we didn’t incrementially add that type of talent.

    have you been living under a rock?

    McJesus is here!

  124. supernova says:

    Lowetide: I had him at No. 17, in the range. From what I’ve read, he’s a physical two-way player who has substantial offensive potential. Would have liked that pick.

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/06/26/here-comes-the-sun-2/

    Lowetide,

    LadiesloveSmid,

    I Like Erikson Ek in that range too.

    Reads like a Lander with slightly more upside and size.

    —————————

    Same note seems like GMs & Scouts weren’t as high on Barzal as I was.

    Maybe size, injury issue.

  125. Woodguy says:

    Woogie63,

    If you think Fasth is the same bet as Talbot you haven’t been paying attention.

  126. Woogie63 says:

    vinotintazo: haveyou been living under a rock?

    McJesus is here!

    Read my note, I counted CMD as an add….to the team

  127. Woodguy says:

    jake70:
    Just hearing Oduya turned down 5M per year from Chicago.Anyone else?

    Twitter has him turning down 5MM from BUF, not CHI

    There’s hubub that he won’t be in CHI either, but not of him turning down 5MM there.

    That makes no sense.

  128. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woogie63: More specifically

    The potential of Faust = the potential of Talbot ….. Same bet different year
    Nelson = Herbers
    The potential of Marincin = the Potential of Reinhart

    That said I would add to the add column of MCDavid and Korpi TML (which significant)

    My point is we gave up a few good pros in Petry and Gordon and IMO Marincin was 80 games from being a very good puck moving dman (that man could really box out the opposition, which is an under appreciated skill in the new NHL).

    Other teams, landed playera like, Hamilton, Lucic, Sharp we didn’t incrementially add that type of talent.

    Fasth was nearly 32, with 30 NHL games under his belt. With a .915 SV%

    Talbot 28, with 59 games under his belt and a .931 SV%. All metrics love him

    Talbot is the same bet as Fasth, the same way that he is the same bet that Bishop and Bernier were.

    Maybe in terms of this year’s effect Reinhart=Marincin. The player/asset longterm, no. If Marincin could box out the opposition very well, he wouldn’t be near the bottom of the league in high danger scoring chances against/60. Gryba is a good box protection D.

    Is McDavid, who might have 70+P next year not a talent among those lines or even way, way, way better?

    Korpikoski>Fraser
    McDavid>>>>Roy
    Talbot>>>Fasth
    Lander>Arco/Drai
    Sekera=>=Petry (and I think he will elevate Fayne, so)
    Fayne> 2014 Fayne
    Klefbom> 2014 Klefbom
    Healthy Hall>Injured Hall
    McLellan>>>Eakins
    Letestu=Gordon
    Nilsson=Bachman

    There’s definitely significant improvement.

    Relative to league average(Team SV%-League SV%), EDM’s goaltending last year was worst since thrashers in 1999. League average goaltending is a ton of help on the goal differential, and hey the confidence of the players.

  129. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woogie63: Read my note, I counted CMD as an add….to the team

    cheating to go,

    best player they’ve added aside, they haven’t added an elite player

  130. LadiesloveSmid says:

    if Edmonton somehow dumped Purcell, added Fehr, and picked up Byfuglien for futures

    where do they finish?

    this team really is much better

  131. wheatnoil says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    if Edmonton somehow dumped Purcell, added Fehr, and picked up Byfuglien for futures

    where do they finish?

    Playoffs

  132. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Question for everyone. Is there a reason that Fehr has not been signed? Is he possibly asking too much, $ or term or both?

    Seems like he could be useful piece, though F is getting crowded.

    Still having more actual NHL players than less seems a good position to be in.

    Along this line there are a few potential UFAs still out there. It may be a fun lead up time to TC.

  133. supernova says:

    Woodguy: Twitter has him turning down 5MM from BUF, not CHI

    There’s hubub that he won’t be in CHI either, but not of him turning down 5MM there.

    That makes no sense.

    Woodguy,

    5 Million is ridiculous for Oduya.

    I don’t see how #fancystats crowd or seen him good crowd can offer that contract with even a one year term.

    Oduya has all the makings of a worse contract than Ference’s is right now.

    If Dallas signs him for 3 years they have a lot of money in Veterans that could implode or injury concerns.

    Hemsky
    Spezza
    Sharp
    Lehtonen
    Niemi

    all these players can be decent to Very Good but that’s a lot of cap money on them.

    Add in Oduya and it could be ugly.

  134. Doug McLachlan says:

    Woodguy: Twitter has him turning down 5MM from BUF, not CHIThere’s hubub that he won’t be in CHI either, but not of him turning down 5MM there.That makes no sense.

    The Chicago Tribune has Oduya’s agent, Don Meehan, saying that his client “should be close to a decision by (Tuesday).” The article goes on to say that it’s unlikely to be the Hawks.

    Surprised if he’s turned down $5M from anyone unless the real issue is term.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-johnny-oduya-marcus-kruger-blackhawks-spt-0714-20150713-story.html

  135. wheatnoil says:

    Doug McLachlan: The Chicago Tribune has Oduya’s agent, Don Meehan, saying that his client “should be close to a decision by (Tuesday).” The article goes on to say that it’s unlikely to be the Hawks.

    Surprised if he’s turned down $5M from anyone unless the real issue is term.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-johnny-oduya-marcus-kruger-blackhawks-spt-0714-20150713-story.html

    Unless he just doesn’t want to play in Buffalo for 3 years while they’re rebuiding.

  136. Doug McLachlan says:

    wheatnoil,

    Or if the $ amount was correct but a multi-year offer, $5M over 2 yrs = $2.5M/yr.

    Wonder if the ROR incident is a turn-off for some players?

  137. leadfarmer says:

    Some poor sucker is going to overpay for Franson or Oduya. Hope its not us.

  138. Lowetide says:

    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 5m5 minutes ago

    If Edm is interested in Oduya, and I’m sure they are, then for sure they must be buying out Nikitin if they sign the Hawks’ D.#oilers

  139. Doug McLachlan says:

    Lowetide,

    Not Ference?

    Is that because Chia’s past history with Ference blinds him to the deterioration of his game or is he unwilling to have a buyout last 4 years?

  140. Doug McLachlan says:

    Greg Wyshynski ‏@wyshynski · 23m23 minutes ago
    New Puck Daddy: Devils sign Eric Gelinas to two-year, $3.15 million deal http://yhoo.it/1HuMFTJ

    Hard to see how Schultz gets any sort of raise should it actually go to arbitration.

    Wonder if his agent and him conclude that taking a pay-cut to fall in line with his performance to date coupled with a longer term isn’t the best way to go?

    If the media release after such a deal cites the McDavid factor he could end up turning some of his sharpest Lowtide/ON critics around.

    So often it isn’t the player but the player’s price that influences expectations and perceptions.

  141. dustrock says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Lowetide: Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 5m5 minutes agoIf Edm is interested in Oduya, and I’m sure they are, then for sure they must be buying out Nikitin if they sign the Hawks’ D.#oilers

    It’s Matty, so sorry but not worth much these days.

    Not really seeing how Oduya helps us at this point.

    Doesn’t Dallas seem like the logical place for him to end up?

  142. Doug McLachlan says:

    dustrock,

    Matty doesn’t seemed as locked in as he had been though that may not be his fault so much as the sieve on Kingsway has been coated with https://www.getflexseal.com/?mid=6537553 under Chiarelli.

    Still, I could see the appeal if the pitch is a short-term deal with a promise to find a nice deadline-day contender option if the Oilers are out of it.

  143. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Can the Schultz contract $ go down after web? I thought under the CBA he could get at worst(for him) 15% less than last year.

    Have I got this wrong?

  144. khildahl says:

    Lowetide:
    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 5m5 minutes ago

    If Edm is interested in Oduya, and I’m sure they are, then for sure they must be buying out Nikitin if they sign the Hawks’ D.#oilers

    Hey! That’s not how you spell Drew Stafford.

  145. Revolved says:

    Lowetide: I think we’ll see a lot of shaking and baking. McLellan moves people in and out and don’t be surprised if someone we’re not thinking about scores 15 goals next season. Darcy’s idea about deployment might be different than mine, but McLellan’s thinking about the point he’s making: Finding clean air for very good players.

    Darcy’s plan is to split up Hall and McDavid, my plan is to split up Hall and Nuge. The drivers on this team eventually will be Hall and McDavid, but for me letting loose the Nuge has exceptional appeal and we may see a spike in 93’s production in 2015-16 because of it.

    The other day I recommended:
    Hall – Lander – x
    x – Nuge – Eberle
    x – McDavid – Yakupov

    I could sense the rage entering your veins in your response LT, but I believe I’m thinking along the lines of WG. McDavid will get his teeth smashed in by Backes on the opening face off of game 1 if you put him on the first line.

    One issue is that our skill veteran wingers are not particularly defensively sound (Hall, Eberle), thus pairing them with McDavid will make those lines prone to the counter attack. This goes along with our leaky D and reports I have read that McDavid was not really tasked with the heavy lifting in his own zone in junior.

    The above pairs give us two top lines that can play anyone and an offensive centre to give Yak some early season confidence. I am not saying these lines stick through 40 games, but it’s the right thing to start with (along with Drai in the AHL).

  146. Woogie63 says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Fasth was nearly 32, with 30 NHL games under his belt. With a .915 SV%

    Talbot 28, with 59 games under his belt and a .931 SV%. All metrics love him

    Talbot is the same bet as Fasth, the same way that he is the same bet that Bishop and Bernier were.

    Maybe in terms of this year’s effect Reinhart=Marincin. The player/asset longterm, no. If Marincin could box out the opposition very well, he wouldn’t be near the bottom of the league in high danger scoring chances against/60. Gryba is a good box protection D.

    Is McDavid, who might have 70+P next year not a talent among those lines or even way, way, way better?

    Korpikoski>Fraser
    McDavid>>>>Roy
    Talbot>>>Fasth
    Lander>Arco/Drai
    Sekera=>=Petry (and I think he will elevate Fayne, so)
    Fayne> 2014 Fayne
    Klefbom> 2014 Klefbom
    Healthy Hall>Injured Hall
    McLellan>>>Eakins
    Letestu=Gordon
    Nilsson=Bachman

    There’s definitely significant improvement.

    Relative to league average(Team SV%-League SV%), EDM’s goaltending last year was worst since thrashers in 1999. League average goaltending is a ton of help on the goal differential, and hey the confidence of the players.

    I agree with most of your list, and your POV that 2014 players should improve in 2015 ….

    I am hoping that your POV that the adds are better than the last bunch, but to my eye it looks more even than MASSIVE upgrade.

    Marincin and the rest of the defense looked bad last year, in part because
    We had two NHL centres that could help cover the home base and add support to the battle in the corner, which left the d and goalie out numbered way to often

    AND

    Wingers that would fly the d zone before the puck is out of the zone.

    I am just trying to point out losing Petry, Gordon and Marincin were quality…. That we need to overlap

  147. wheatnoil says:

    dustrock:
    Doug McLachlan,

    It’s Matty, so sorry but not worth much these days.

    He was right about Marincin leading up to the draft. Doesn’t mean he’s right about this, but I don’t think it’s fair to write him off entirely as not having any access.

  148. wheatnoil says:

    I'm hearing Oduya's age (34 in October) and long-term contract isn't appealing to Edm with Ference already 36 on back-end.#oilers— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) July 14, 2015

    That’s more like it.

  149. Lowetide says:

    Revolved: The other day I recommended:
    Hall – Lander – x
    x – Nuge – Eberle
    x – McDavid – Yakupov

    I could sense the rage entering your veins in your response LT, but I believe I’m thinking along the lines of WG. McDavid will get his teeth smashed in by Backes on the opening face off of game 1 if you put him on the first line.

    One issue is that our skill veteran wingers are not particularly defensively sound (Hall, Eberle), thus pairing them with McDavid will make those lines prone to the counter attack. This goes along with our leaky D and reports I have read that McDavid was not really tasked with the heavy lifting in his own zone in junior.

    The above pairs give us two top lines that can play anyone and an offensive centre to give Yak some early season confidence. I am not saying these lines stick through 40 games, but it’s the right thing to start with (along with Drai in the AHL).

    I think it’s great that you and WG like the idea of McDavid and Yakupov on a line, but I respectfully disagree.

  150. Doug McLachlan says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour,

    Had the club election been made when Toronto did it with Bernier, yes, however that election would have been pre-Qualifying Offer and as such would not, on it’s own, be enough to trigger a 2nd buyout window. Since the club election for arbitration was made after the Qualifying Offer was made and not accepted the Oilers only needed this one arbitration hearing scheduled to open up the 2nd buyout window.

    The lowest Schultz’ salary can be, coming out of arbitration, is exactly what he made last year. Still, it is perfectly permissible for the Oilers and the Schultz camp to agree on a lower amount than he made last year (presumably with longer term) .

    Most observers, self included, would be surprised by this but the whole Qualifying Offer/Arbitration/2nd Buyout Window dance does seem to be a little co-ordinated between the Schultz camp and Chiarelli so I wouldn’t be too surprised to discover that they both have a clear idea of the eventual outcome.

  151. Lowetide says:

    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 4m4 minutes ago

    I’m hearing Oduya’s age (34 in October) and long-term contract isn’t appealing to Edm with Ference already 36 on back-end.#oilers

  152. jonrmcleod says:

    So Matty first tweets that he’s “sure” the Oilers are interested in Oduya and then tweets shortly thereafter to say that Oduya “isn’t appealing” to the Oilers. Are we sure Matty isn’t a blind squirrel nowadays?

  153. Doug McLachlan says:

    Lowetide: Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 4m4 minutes agoI’m hearing Oduya’s age (34 in October) and long-term contract isn’t appealing to Edm with Ference already 36 on back-end.#oilers

    Great to hear that this is the thinking but also implies that Ference is here for another year, doesn’t it?

  154. RexLibris says:

    Bag of Pucks: Winning the McDavid lottery was ‘A Beautiful Day.’

    Kevin Predergast exemplifies ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.’

    Let’s hope we can sing Vertigo (again) this season.

  155. Snowman says:

    Revolved,

    Yak isn’t ready for the kind of opposition that CMD is going to draw. Yak still needs butter minutes and those are going to be found on the 3rd line with Lander. Mcdavid is never going to see easy minutes again in his life (if he’s ever seen any up to this point anyways). He might draw second comp for the first half of the year but I bet by the second half of the year he’s getting a split of top comp with Nuge.

    Yak will get murdered facing that quality. I love the guy but at this point he hasn’t proven he can play a secondary role, let alone a primary role with Mcdavid.

  156. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Thanks for the explanation! That helps a lot.

  157. Lowetide says:

    Doug McLachlan: Great to hear that this is the thinking but also implies that Ference is here for another year, doesn’t it?

    I’ve always felt that would be the case. The buyout candidate is Nikitin imo.

  158. Younger Oil says:

    jonrmcleod:
    So Matty first tweets that he’s “sure” the Oilers are interested in Oduya and then tweets shortly thereafter to say that Oduya “isn’t appealing” to the Oilers. Are we sure Matty isn’t a blind squirrel nowadays?

    He’s just covering all of his bases, realizing that being right 50% of the time beats out his normal rate 😀

    Soon we will be hearing from him news of plans to trade Gazdic for Crosby, promptly followed by him saying that is not the plan.

  159. Woogie63 says:

    LT

    As player free agency slows down, do we see any coaches get a raise?
    Coach Q comes to mind?

  160. Doug McLachlan says:

    Lowetide,

    The argument against buying out Nikitin was always “he’ll fall off the roster next year anyway” so I had always figured he’s a contract you tough out.

    If the Oilers are prepared to save $3M off the cap this year at the price of $1.5M next year – would they do it twice? Would you also buy out Purcell too?

    The combined savings is $6M this year, though you now have to pay $3M next year that you otherwise wouldn’t.

    With Klefbom’s ELC ending and the need to sign a goalie I wouldn’t think so but maybe if you are sure you can run with Draisaitl and Nurse you can afford a higher $, lower term addition or two.

  161. Marc says:

    Lowetide: I’ve always felt that would be the case. The buyout candidate is Nikitin imo.

    It’s also possible that Chia opened the window just to gain maximum roster flexibility and doesn’t necessarily plan to buy anyone out.

    The window gives him leverage to get Ference to waive his NMC should he find a team that wants him, and also could potentially allow the Oilers to take a bad contract back in a deal and then buy that player out.

  162. Wonder Llama says:

    RexLibris: Let’s hope we can sing Vertigo (again) this season.

    There must be someone who fits just right for “With Or Without You.”

  163. Connor'sreal says:

    Bag of Pucks: Winning the McDavid lottery was ‘A Beautiful Day.’

    But when he settles in with Smyth and family, it’ll be When Love Comes To Town.

  164. Revolved says:

    Lowetide: I think it’s great that you and WG like the idea of McDavid and Yakupov on a line, but I respectfully disagree.

    I don’t want to put those words in WG’s mouth, but feeding McDavid to the western conference wolves day one isn’t the way to go. Give it 20 games to see how he handles the defensive load (at least, I hear centre is hard), then hopefully by mid-season we can try the pairs that could hopefully take us to the promised land:

    Hall – McDavid – x
    x – Nuge – Eberle
    X – Draisaitl – Yakupov
    Hendricks(?) – Lander – x

  165. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Wonder Llama: There must be someone who fits just right for “With Or Without You.”

    Reminds me of this….

    http://www.writtenignition.com/blog/view/+venn_diagram_the_place_where_bono_cant_live/

  166. Doug McLachlan says:

    Marc</stron

    Marc: It’s also possible that Chia opened the window just to gain maximum roster flexibility and doesn’t necessarily plan to buy anyone out.The window gives him leverage to get Ference to waive his NMC should he find a team that wants him, and also could potentially allow the Oilers to take a bad contract back in a deal and then buy that player out.

    As an FYI, the CBA only lets teams buy-out players who were on their roster prior to the trade deadline just so as to prevent teams trading “bad” contracts to be bought out. A buy out costs a player a third (or in some cases two thirds) of their salary so it’s not surprising that there are safeguards in place to make that a less common event (at least from the player’s perspective).

  167. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woogie63: Gave up our best damn in a trade in Petry

    Some people didn’t give a single damn about the trade of Petry, let alone their best one.

  168. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Some people didn’t give a single damn about the trade of Petry, let alone their best one.

    But we got more magic beans from that trade!

    But then we squandered them on some guy named Tal Cambot or something like that.

    Miss those magic beans *sobs*

  169. Younger Oil says:

    frjohnk: But we got more magic beans from that trade!

    But then we squandered them on some guy named Tal Cambot or something like that.

    Miss those magic beans *sobs*

    Actually, I’ve never viewed the overall trade as pretty much Petry for Talbot. It makes the Petry trade seem better, and the Talbot deal look worse, but it shows just how much of a difference a competent GM can make.

  170. Connor'sreal says:

    frjohnk: Miss those magic beans

    But we have Soy now.

  171. Lowetide says:

    Revolved: I don’t want to put those words in WG’s mouth, but feeding McDavid to the western conference wolves day one isn’t the way to go. Give it 20 games to see how he handles the defensive load (at least, I hear centre is hard), then hopefully by mid-season we can try the pairs that could hopefully take us to the promised land:

    Hall – McDavid – x
    x – Nuge – Eberle
    X – Draisaitl – Yakupov
    Hendricks(?) – Lander – x

    Sorry, thought you’d referenced WG as someone who endorsed the idea. I think McDavid is going to have enough on his plate without worrying about Yakupov, which is why I’ve suggested two veterans for McDavid.

    That said, we’ll see! Only TWO MORE MONTHS!!! 🙂

  172. Marc says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Marc</stron

    As an FYI, the CBA only lets teams buy-out players who were on their roster prior to the trade deadline just so as to prevent teams trading “bad” contracts to be bought out.A buy out costs a player a third (or in some cases two thirds) of their salary so it’s not surprising that there are safeguards in place to make that a less common event (at least from the player’s perspective).

    Ah. Good point.

  173. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Sorry, thought you’d referenced WG as someone who endorsed the idea. I think McDavid is going to have enough on his plate without worrying about Yakupov, which is why I’ve suggested two veterans for McDavid.

    That said, we’ll see! Only TWO MORE MONTHS!!!

    I’ve never suggested Yak with McDavid.

    Ever.

    I just do not want Hall with McDavid to start as to draw top C and D away from McDavid.

  174. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Connor’sreal: But we have Soy now.

    And Soy is good for you too.

  175. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:
  176. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I’ve never suggested Yak with McDavid.

    Ever.

    I just do not want Hall with McDavid to start as to draw top C and D away from McDavid.

    That’s my bad, mis-read Revolved’s post. Apologies.

  177. GCW_69 says:

    godot10: Ducey: I know LT hates Schultz more than he has anyone since Smid, but how is it an advance to sign Franson and dump Schultz?
    They are the same flippin’ player.Soft, feast on extreme OZ starts, good on PP, poor defensively.
    One costs $5+ million a year and will need term.The other will cost $3.75 M and will be an RFA next year.

    Who says Franson is soft? He was second on the Leafs in hits last season, ahead of Phaneuf. No one says Phaneuf is soft.

    What’s wrong with a player that can feast on extreme zone starts? What’s wrong with a player who is good on the power play?

    If you give Sekera – Fayne mixes zone starts but tougher competition in their own end, and give Gryba’s pair heavy d-zone starts against weaker comp, there is a role for Klefbom – Franson pair to have heavy o-zone starts against mixed competition.

    The keys to a Franson deal are getting rid of Schultz and making sure Franson doesn’t get more than a limited no trade clause in his deal so you can move him when the time is right.

  178. GCW_69 says:

    Put me in the camp that beleives Pouliot – Nuge – Eberle can cause enough havoc and offence that opposing coaches would not be able to key on a Hall – McDavid line.

    I would like to see the Oilers pick up Semin to play with Hall and McDavid though. Another strong possession player on the line would be good. One with skill would be better.

  179. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    All good. Thanks.

    GCW_69:
    Put me in the camp that beleives Pouliot – Nuge – Eberle can cause enough havoc and offence that opposing coaches would not be able to key on a Hall – McDavid line.

    I would like to see the Oilers pick up Semin to play with Hall and McDavid though.Another strong possession player on the line would be good.One with skill would be better.

    If Hall and CMD are together they will get keyed on……and Pou-RNH-Eberle will be absolute killers.

    Which ever way you send them out, the Oilers forward line will give opposing coaches fits.

    I really want to see a DrySaddle-Lander-Yak line light up the other team’s fourth lines too.

  180. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    All good. Thanks.

    If Hall and CMD are together they will get keyed on……and Pou-RNH-Eberle will be absolute killers.

    Which ever way you send them out, the Oilers forward line will give opposing coaches fits.

    I really want to see a DrySaddle-Lander-Yak line light up the other team’s fourth lines too.

    I think Drai is gonna be a frickin Killer in this league.
    FU Sam Bennett.

  181. Jaxon says:

    Ducey,

    There are a lot of misperceptions about Franson. One, that he is soft. You don’t have the 18th most hits among NHL D as a soft player. Or 38th most blocked shots. Or 8th most takeaways. He has those kinds of stats, and they’re not even considered his strong suits. How about 44th most shots, 55th most goals, 15th most PP goals, 19th most PP Pts, 40th most ES Assists and 56th most ES Pts. Anything under 60 means he was a top pair in that category and anything under 30 means he was a #1 D in that category. His takeaways and PP goals are in elite territory. All that, on a terrible team with terrible Zone starts and tough competition while making his teammates better. Plus, he is 6’5″ and only 28. I would love to see Klefbom & Franson or Nurse and Franson as a pair someday or maybe Sekara and Franson next season.

  182. Jaxon says:

    GCW_69,

    Exactly! There are a lot of misperceptions about Franson. One, that he is soft. It gets repeated, even when confronted with evidence that states otherwise. You don’t have the 18th most hits among NHL D as a soft player. Or 38th most blocked shots. Or 8th most takeaways. He has those kinds of stats, and they’re not even considered his strong suits. How about 44th most shots, 55th most goals, 15th most PP goals, 19th most PP Pts, 40th most ES Assists and 56th most ES Pts. Anything under 60 means he was a top pair in that category and anything under 30 means he was a #1 D in that category. His takeaways and PP goals are in elite territory. All that, on a terrible team with terrible Zone starts and tough competition while making his teammates better. Plus, he is 6’5″ and only 28. I would love to see Klefbom & Franson or Nurse and Franson as a pair someday or maybe Sekara and Franson next season.

    To quote Gmoney, quoting Willis from a response to godot10 back on May 24th:

    “The money paragraph from Young Willis is as follows, with my highlights as to his points that I would be interested to hear your counterpoints:

    “His name is Cody Franson. Green ranked No. 12 in power play scoring on our list; Franson ranked No. 4 despite being on a worse power play. Green recorded 1.01 points per hour at five-on-five; Franson recorded 0.96. Franson played tougher opposition, and had an ugly 45.1 percent zone start over this span of time. Franson didn’t just narrowly outperform his team; Toronto saw massive spikes in goal and Fenwick percentage when he was on the ice vs. when he wasn’t. Franson’s bigger (6’5”, 213 pounds), younger (turns 28 in August), kills penalties and has taken three years to accumulate as many missed games as Green had this season alone.””

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2015/05/24/washington-capitals-rearguard-mike-green-is-not-a-good-free-agent-fit-for-the-edmonton-oilers/

  183. Last Chance says:

    Hopefully the Oilers don’t make McDavid a huge target in his first year.

    I will be happy if he doesn’t end up with a broken jaw or shoulder in his first year of play.

    Having him on the top line or playing with soft players (who won’t protect him) in his first year is an insane option in my opinion.

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