SUPERNOVA 2

Words and music by our own Supernova.

I have been a sports fan since as long as I can remember, I can remember watching the 88 & 90 Stanley cups as a kid on a 11 inch Black & White TV, I also remember watching my first NFL game on that TV, seeing Brett Favre throw a TD to his receiver and then rushing down and lifting him up in victory like a kid. Instantly I was hooked to the NFL and the Packers ( & a huge Favre fan until he felt he was bigger than the Organization). It was the Packers that sold me on Draft and Develop and I watched my other Favourite team the Oilers “tinker” with this idea, sometimes good, sometimes really bad. You can’t use the exact same model in the NFL and the NHL but in a cap system turning over your roster is very key with young developing players. If your goal is to be competitive for a few years you need clusters of young players and you need multiple ways of procuring these players.

I originally started looking into draft and development models in more detail during the 13-14 season. The main reason was I had looked at the Oilers draft record and my research told me they were an average to above average drafting team but simply were still wretched on the ice. This told me that it had to do more with Development and other player procurement outside of drafting, but still a heavy emphasis on drafting. My first step was to look at Draft records, but in doing so I noticed that it wasn’t necessarily the teams with the best draft records that were doing well. So I decided to look at teams I deemed good at developing. My first targets were Anaheim, Tampa Bay and to a certain extent Chicago and Detroit.

The reason I selected Anaheim is this; when I first looked at them I thought they were better than they should be. They had been able to trade Bobby Ryan a 4 time 30 goal scorer and only 26 at the time and actually improve. Now I am not a big fan of Ryan myself but that is very good production and a young player on a decent contract. They were also facing life without Finish Stars Selanne & Koivu as an a Oiler fan I love my Finns.

My question was simple: How Does Anaheim keep icing a top team and seemingly get younger without top 5 picks?
Once again as a Oilers fan it seems like a have become a draft fan instead of a hockey fan. Here is my look into Anaheim which I have updated to include this season. Instead of looking at Draft picks and production I wanted to look at the minor league system. I only list the top 5 scorers and maybe another player of note.

08-09 Iowa Chops record 33-33-0-14
Player age GP Points

1.T.J Trevelayan 24 76 47
2. Bryan Salcido 23 76 44
3. Petteri Wirtanen 22 78 41
4. Drew Miller 24 53 38
5. Matt Belesky 20 58 35

13. Bobby Ryan 21 14 19

average age of top 5 scorers 22.6 w/o oldest 22.25

10-11 Syracuse Crunch Record 35-38-0-7
Player age GP Points

1. Kyle Palmieri 19 62 51
2. Parick Maroon 22 57 48
3. Josh Green 32 69 46
4.Nicolas Deschamps 20 80 46
5.Nick Bonino 22 50 45
8.Belesky 22 27 24

average of top 5 Scorers 23 without Green 20.75
Barons top 5 25.8 w/o oldest 24.5

 

11-12 Syracuse Crunch Record 37-29-0-10
Player age GP Points

1. Maroon 23 75 74
2. Peter Holland 20 71 60
3. Palmieri 20 51 58
4. Dan Sexton 24 71 43
5. J.F Jacques 26 65 40
11. Bonino 23 19 22

average age of top 5 Scorers 22.6 without Jacques 21.75
Barons top 5 25 w/o oldest 23

 

12-13 Norfolk Admirals Record 37-34-0-5
Player age GP Points

1. Maroon 24 64 50
2. Sami Vatanen 21 62 45
3. Holland 21 45 39
4. D. Smith-Pelley 20 65 32
5. Palmieri 21 33 25

goalie F. Anderson age 22 played 47 games

Average age of top 5 21.4 without Maroon 20.75
Barons top 5 22.2 w/o Ebs, Schultz, Hall 24.2

 

13-14 Norfolk Admirals Record 40-26-0-10
Player age GP Points

1. Emerson Etem 21 50 54
2. Smith-Pelley 21 55 43
3. Max Friberg 20 74 40
4. Richard Rakell 20 46 37
5. Chris Wagner 22 76 28
Goalie Gibson age 20 played 45 games

average age of top 5 20.8 without Wagner 20.5
Barons top 5 24.4 w/o oldest 23.5

 

14-15 Norfolk Admirals Record 27-39-0-10
Player age GP Points

1. Friberg 21 58 40
2.Louis Leblanc 23 71 29
3. Wagner 23 48 28
4. Nicolas Kerdelis 20 51 26
5. William Karlsson 21 37 34

average age of top 5 21.6 w/o oldest 21.25
Barons top 5 28.6 w/o oldest 27.25

There are also some very interesting players that have played for them in these 6 years.

NHL GP Draft Position

Belesky- 329 – 112
Bonino – 264- 173
Palmieri- 198- 26
Smith-Pelley-149 42
Maroon 148 161
Holland 130 15
Vatanen 123 106
Etem 112 29
Rakell 93 30
Wagner 9 122

Thoughts after looking into these numbers:

  • That is 10 players that have come from the system, these players are not aces but they are role players that are young and keep teams in a good cap position. According to www.generalfanager.com the ducks have approximately $52 million in commitments currently for next season. Belesky is really the most major piece but if I was the Ducks and looking over there system they have shown an ability to replace 3/4 line players with ease. The Ducks could be a major competitor for the next few years and are still fairly young. They also have key young players in the system such as Noesen, Manson, Kediles, Ritchie, Theodore and they also had a player like Hampus Lindholm play only 44 AHL games and become a top 4 NHL Defenseman. Anaheim has made a organizational philosophy to play their younger players in key positions in the minors. The main reason I subtracted the oldest players age in the top 5 is that I know most organizations try to insulate their players with a leader who can show the work ethic and way that players need to be a professional. In these 6 years of looking into the Ducks organization there is very little difference in the age from year to year. The Oilers farm system is continually older than the Ducks farm system.
  • After looking into only 1 team at this point the biggest difference to me between the Oilers system and the Ducks system is the fact they are playing young players in the minors, these players don’t necessarily have to have high draft pedigree but their system isn’t full of career minor leaguers taking away the key scoring opportunities. This ability to continue adding top 12 forwards has also given them the ammunition they need to make trades and replace older veterans. Over this time period they have added Beauchemin, Kesler, Wisnieski, and Cogliano to name a few. This isn’t to say Anaheim doesn’t or hasn’t employed that veteran minor league presence. Their teams have had those players but instead of taking away key scoring minutes they are more in the middle 6 role on the farm. Also of interest Anaheim has switched affiliations a few times and in this process haven’t changed their model significantly, also their farm team also outdrew the OKC Barons every year. The ducks affiliate also wasn’t a very strong team most years, in fact the farthest they made it in this period was losing in the 2nd round. In fact in these 6 years there teams only made the playoffs twice, while missing 4 times.

A few questions that came to mind.

  • Did the Oilers concentrate to much on attendance in OKC?
  • Did the Oilers concentrate on the fact you need to be a winner to develop players?
  • Why did the Oilers play so many veteran minor leaguers in a time frame when they desperately needed depth?

Lowetide does his yearly look at the line in the sand for minor league players, did the Oilers not do their look?

Next team Tampa Bay.

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88 Responses to "SUPERNOVA 2"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Enjoy these, bring more! One thing that makes me wonder about the Oilers is their college procurement. Anaheim would have an advantage, but teams like Toronto and Ottawa have done well, too. I think EDM spent extended periods where they were indifferent about college acquisitions.

  2. supernova says:

    Once again thanks LT for posting this.
    Really the second part of the first post.
    First one was Draft this is a look into development.

    I am very open to this blogs comments on what you have read.
    Can also find me on Twitter

    @romanmaximus1

    Supernova is the handle.

    (My Twitter handles and @ come from my kids names)

  3. Oil2Oilers says:

    Interesting work I look forward to future installments.

  4. Woodguy says:

    This is fantastic!!

    Stauffer always mentions how a big failing of the Oilers is not playing the kids enough, and it looks like he’s right.

    I used to be of the mind “if they’re good enough they’ll take the jobs from the vets”

    I was wrong.

    Over the last few years i’ve come around to this way of thinking and your work looks like it’s excellent examples of this in action.

    Why expect a 19/20 year old kid to take a 26 year old’s job? They can’t, they’re kids.

    If there is one place to gift ice time, it’s the AHL.

    The team has already invested an ELC, why not invest ice time?

    It really doesn’t matter who wins the Calder Cup.

    Stoked that you did this work, can’t wait for Tampa.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Moroz is a recent (but not only) example. I was encouraged by Yakimov and Simpson playing so much last season, Oesterle too.

  6. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great stuff – and to think that for years, on top of sub-optimal development, we didn’t have an AHL team, or shared one…

    – I’ve always found it curious that the OIL don’t seem to have a “brand” of hockey that is coached throughout the organization, or that they give players for instance offense rolls in the minors, then expect them to be 4-liners in the NHL.

    – By far Nelson’s greatest contribution was playing Lander in the AHL like a stud, then treating him like a stud in the NHL.

  7. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Great stuff – and to think that for years, on top of sub-optimal development, we didn’t have an AHL team, or shared one…

    – I’ve always found it curious that the OIL don’t seem to have a “brand” of hockey that is coached throughout the organization, or that they give players for instance offense rolls in the minors, then expect them to be 4-liners in the NHL.

    – By far Nelson’s greatest contribution was playing Lander in the AHL like a stud, then treating him like a stud in the NHL.

    I think the first item you mention probably got MacGregor fired.

  8. Dee Dee says:

    That’s why I feel that Nikitin and Ference are symptoms of the problem, and not the cause.

    When the Oilers started the rebuild (Version 1?) with the drafting of Hall and Eberle there was no supporting cast to go along with them, learning their craft in the Minors.

    Say your’re the GM. Your choice is to sign a young talent and pay him, say, $3,000,000 to learn his craft on the big team.

    Or.

    Sign him on a two way and pay him $500,000 to play in the minors and develop there.

    The player learns and matures at a much lower salary which is reflected through his entire career. 500K becomes 700K, becomes 1M, at which point you can decide whether they will make it or not.

    The beauty of this is that you can be working on 3 to 5 of these guys at the cost of a single 3M$ player in the majors.

    The list of sink or swim contracts that the Oilers threw at the wall was by far larger than any other team.

    I understand that the previous ownerships decision to close the farm team hurt the franchise, and badly.

    But they chose a sink or swim mentality in regards to their young players and boy did a lot of players ever sink.

    You can’t shortcut the developmental strategy. You have to resist the urge to look for short term gap fillers and let the talent mature by placing them in the minors to learn their craft. When they start dominating, then it’s time to bring them up.

    Signing two aging veterans and expecting them to fulfill center piece roles was a terrible mistake, but repeating the cycle with the new crop of Nurse, Draisaitl, and Reinhart, would be worse.

  9. Dashingsilverfox says:

    It’s not just development.

    The Ducks have been successful in finding value NHL players all over the draft.

    The Ducks got 3 NHL players in the 2010 draft…the Oilers got 1.

    As the years pass, that kind of ratio catches up to teams that blew the draft.

    The Ducks, potentially, got 4 NHL players in the 2011 draft…the Oilers got 2.

    The 2012 draft is still up for discussion but the Oilers took Yakupov and the Ducks took Lindholm.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Dashingsilverfox:
    It’s not just development.

    The Ducks have been successful in finding value NHL players all over the draft.

    The Ducks got 3 NHL players in the 2010 draft…the Oilers got 1.

    As the years pass, that kind of ratio catches up to teams that blew the draft.

    The Ducks, potentially, got 4 NHL players in the 2011 draft…the Oilers got 2.

    The 2012 draft is still up for discussion but the Oilers took Yakupov and the Ducks took Lindholm.

    Oilers drafted Hall, plus Marincin in 2010. 2011 there are three players drafted by team who are NHL players. Anaheim has been a very good drafting team, though. No doubt. The Ryan trade referenced by Supernova was quality, plus the Cogliano deal worked out well.

  11. square_wheels says:

    Finally, we may have actually turned a corner. This year will see a 25 yr old skilled college player signed as a FA likely play a top 9 RW role at some point, another Finn possibly play the same role and a very skilled young D (Leggs) likely soak in the AhL running a 2nd unit PP. We’ve finally amassed enough talent to play guys likely to make the NHL, in a development league in top offensive/all situation minutes vs drowning in the NHL.
    Finally having the talent ripe on the vine feels so strange, were over thinking the obvious.

    It’s not all doom and gloom, that Condors real test will be replacing an exceptionally good coach in Nelson.

    They also need to flush some old regime bodies, as it drives me insane watching 28 yr old career AHL players got top 6 minutes and PP time.

  12. supernova says:

    Woodguy:
    This is fantastic!!

    Stauffer always mentions how a big failing of the Oilers is not playing the kids enough, and it looks like he’s right.

    I used to be of the mind “if they’re good enough they’ll take the jobs from the vets”

    I was wrong.

    Over the last few years i’ve come around to this way of thinking and your work looks like it’s excellent examples of this in action.

    Why expect a 19/20 year old kid to take a 26 year old’s job? They can’t, they’re kids.

    If there is one place to gift ice time, it’s the AHL.

    The team has already invested an ELC, why not invest ice time?

    It really doesn’t matter who wins the Calder Cup.

    Stoked that you did this work, can’t wait for Tampa.

    Woodguy,

    Yep, it was actually listening to Stauffer and then watching Junior hockey that made me want to look at it.
    I watched many others in junior but Pitlick is an example of one that I will use.
    I lived in Medicine Hat for a stint, watched a fair amount of junior hockey there.

    Pitlick in particular sticks out for his development cycle.
    Drafted out of college in Minnesota, made comments in the Hat about coming to the WHL was better for his develop because he would likely play more in a setting more similar to the NHL.

    His first 10 games you could see “raw” skills but took him a few games.
    Coach moved him around 2nd Line C, RW sometimes with Lindey Vey, Etem, Shinkaruk but mainly with other players.
    It wasn’t too long before he started looking like a real good player.
    Just before he got injured, he was very consistent and starting to show signs of being able to dominate but just starting too.
    Gets injured …. Next year they place him in OKC with what looked to be not optimal ice time and line deployment.

    Why would the Oilers not play him in Junior again?
    If you put him in OKC why would you play him at the bottom end of the Lineup?
    Why would you put a young player recovering from an injury into a higher league with bigger, stronger, faster people throughout the whole lineup?

    I honestly have never got it.
    I watched him play a lot of his Junior Games, and I have watched enough junior hockey to have a ok idea that he was drafted in a draft spot that was warranted.

  13. supernova says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Great stuff – and to think that for years, on top of sub-optimal development, we didn’t have an AHL team, or shared one…

    – I’ve always found it curious that the OIL don’t seem to have a “brand” of hockey that is coached throughout the organization, or that they give players for instance offense rolls in the minors, then expect them to be 4-liners in the NHL.

    – By far Nelson’s greatest contribution was playing Lander in the AHL like a stud, then treating him like a stud in the NHL.

    Agree completely.

    EIG screwed up big time by not having funds to pay for a farm team.

    It is what it is but development is extremely important to your pro team.

  14. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Lowetide: Oilers drafted Hall, plus Marincin in 2010. 2011 there are three players drafted by team who are NHL players. Anaheim has been a very good drafting team, though. No doubt. The Ryan trade referenced by Supernova was quality, plus the Cogliano deal worked out well.

    Hall was kind of a no brainer…although Seguin would have been a much better pick.

    Marincin, 5 years on is still a big question mark.

    The Ducks, despite picking much later, got Cam Fowler, Emerson Etem and Devante Smith-Pelly.

    3 NHL players.

    A year earlier, The Ducks selected Peter Holland, Kyle Palmieri and Sami Vatanen….3 NHL players.

    The Oilers haul from the 2009 draft is Magnus Paajarvi and Anton Lander….1 1/2 NHL players.

    That kind of disparity can kill you in a cap system.

  15. supernova says:

    Dashingsilverfox:
    It’s not just development.

    The Ducks have been successful in finding value NHL players all over the draft.

    The Ducks got 3 NHL players in the 2010 draft…the Oilers got 1.

    As the years pass, that kind of ratio catches up to teams that blew the draft.

    The Ducks, potentially, got 4 NHL players in the 2011 draft…the Oilers got 2.

    The 2012 draft is still up for discussion but the Oilers took Yakupov and the Ducks took Lindholm.

    Dashingsilverfox,

    The first post of mine was all about Ducks drafting.

    This is part 2

  16. Lowetide says:

    supernova: Woodguy,

    Yep, it was actually listening to Stauffer and then watching Junior hockey that made me want to look at it.
    I watched many others in junior but Pitlick is an example of one that I will use.
    I lived in Medicine Hat for a stint, watched a fair amount of junior hockey there.

    Pitlick in particular sticks out for his development cycle.
    Drafted out of college in Minnesota, made comments in the Hat about coming to the WHL was better for his develop because he would likely play more in a setting more similar to the NHL.

    His first 10 games you could see “raw” skills but took him a few games.
    Coach moved him around 2nd Line C, RW sometimes with Lindey Vey, Etem, Shinkaruk but mainly with other players.
    It wasn’t too long before he started looking like a real good player.
    Just before he got injured, he was very consistent and starting to show signs of being able to dominate but just starting too.
    Gets injured …. Next year they place him in OKC with what looked to be not optimal ice time and line deployment.

    Why would the Oilers not play him in Junior again?
    If you put him in OKC why would you play him at the bottom end of the Lineup?
    Why would you put a young player recovering from an injury into a higher league with bigger, stronger, faster people throughout the whole lineup?

    I honestly have never got it.
    I watched him play a lot of his Junior Games, and I have watched enough junior hockey to have a ok idea that he was drafted in a draft spot that was warranted.

    That was such a weird timeline for Pitlick. 22 EV goals in Medicine Hat and he heads immediately to the AHL where he sits! Weird. Real weird.

  17. square_wheels says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    I notice they draft skill players regardless of league or “reputation”, but all of them can skate.

    If you’re going to place bets in the later rounds it should always be skill, skating and smarts. The rest is coaching, the weight room and mental. This recent trend of taking skill guys that can’t skate is very odd, if by 18 your having stride issues or poor edge work, it’s not likely going to improve enough to be sustainable much past the breakout year. Skating must be mastered at a very young age, once established, it’s the equivalent of adding Canadiantire bling to a Fierraro and thinking its a Ferrari.

    I’ll give MacT credit where it’s due, he made some nice bets last year.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Dashingsilverfox: Hall was kind of a no brainer…although Seguin would have been a much better pick.

    Marincin, 5 years on is still a big question mark.

    The Ducks, despite picking much later, got Cam Fowler, Emerson Etem and Devante Smith-Pelly.

    3 NHL players.

    A year earlier, The Ducks selected Peter Holland, Kyle Palmieri and Sami Vatanen….3 NHL players.

    The Oilers haul from the 2009 draft is Magnus Paajarvi and Anton Lander….1 1/2 NHL players.

    That kind of disparity can kill you in a cap system.

    It occurs to me you may not have seen Supernova’s first post in this series. I bet you enjoy it.

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/07/05/supernova/

  19. supernova says:

    Dee Dee:
    That’s why I feel that Nikitin and Ference are symptoms of the problem, and not the cause.

    When the Oilers started the rebuild (Version 1?) with the drafting of Hall and Eberle there was no supporting cast to go along with them, learning their craft in the Minors.

    Say your’re the GM. Your choice is to sign a young talent and pay him, say, $3,000,000 to learn his craft on the big team.

    Or.

    Sign him on a two way and pay him $500,000 to play in the minors and develop there.

    The player learns and matures at a much lower salary which is reflected through his entire career. 500K becomes 700K, becomes 1M, at which point you can decide whether they will make it or not.

    The beauty of this is that you can be working on 3 to 5 of these guys at the cost of a single 3M$ player in the majors.

    The list of sink or swim contracts that the Oilers threw at the wall was by far larger than any other team.

    I understand that the previous ownerships decision to close the farm team hurt the franchise, and badly.

    But they chose a sink or swim mentality in regards to their young players and boy did a lot of players ever sink.

    You can’tshortcut the developmental strategy. You have to resist the urge to look for short term gap fillers and let the talent mature by placing them in the minors to learn their craft. When they start dominating, then it’s time to bring them up.

    Signing two aging veterans and expecting them to fulfill center piece roles was a terrible mistake, but repeating the cycle with the new crop of Nurse, Draisaitl, and Reinhart, would be worse.

    Dee Dee,

    Proper insulation in the NHL & AHL is important.

    Put your draft picks in a place to succeed.

    Don’t leave then high and dry

  20. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Dashingsilverfox,

    I’ll give MacT credit where it’s due, he made some nice bets last year.

    In 2013 the Oilers made great bets, but for me 2014 was the worst draft in a long time (Draisaitl aside and Lagesson looks good). Did you mean 2013?

  21. supernova says:

    Lowetide: That was such a weird timeline for Pitlick. 22 EV goals in Medicine Hat and he heads immediately to the AHL where he sits! Weird. Real weird.

    Lowetide,

    The player that Pitlick reminded me of that short season.
    Kyle Brodziak.
    Different skill sets but played similar.
    Brodziak was real good WHL’er but in his 4th junior year.

    I was pretty upset when they placed Pitlick in OKC partially due to the fact he likely would have dominated in the Hat with Etem & Shinkaruk the next year.

  22. Lowetide says:

    supernova: Lowetide,

    The player that Pitlick reminded me of that short season.
    Kyle Brodziak.
    Different skill sets but played similar.
    Brodziak was real good WHL’er but in his 4th junior year.

    I was pretty upset when they placed Pitlick in OKC partially due to the fact he likely would have dominated in the Hat with Etem & Shinkaruk the next year.

    Wrote about that first season here

    http://lowetide.ca/2011/04/14/oilers-sign-pitlick-2/

    He didn’t get a lot of PP time that year. You’re right, would have killed it in year two.

  23. jm363561 says:

    Excellent article. The question has been asked a million times, is it the drafting or is it the development (or both) that is the root cause of the problem? Bob Green is now Director of Player Personnel and, I believe, has responsibility for producing a pipeline of NHL players from the draft. Over time his performance can be measured and he is accountable. All good! Did this over arching role exist before or were drafting and development separate functions with separate lines of reporting and accountability? If so, not so good.

    As an aside, I am sure all are nodding in agreement about the importance of not rushing young players. This is until the puck drops and Darnell, Leon, Griffin, et al are Condoring, then BAM. Tough crowd!

  24. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    Apologies, yes last year was awful outside of Dr D and the Swede.

    The Nagelvorth kid is like any goalie, total voodoo, I’m fine with the bet on a 4th round goalie.

  25. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Lowetide: It occurs to me you may not have seen Supernova’s first post in this series. I bet you enjoy it.

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/07/05/supernova/

    I did see it….and it’s very good.

    But I’m reminded of Ken Holland’s draft philosophy.

    Don’t draft players unless they have top 6 forward or top 4 defense potential.

    You can always find bottom 6 forwards or bottom pairing D in the remainder bin every offseason.

    Drafting players like Marincin, Moroz, Pitlick, Roy, Musil, Hamilton etc., and spending years developing them, is just dumb.

    You can get better players in free agency any time you want.

    Development has very little to do with it.

  26. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    Apologies, yes last year was awful outside of Dr D and the Swede.

    The Nagelvorth kid is like any goalie, total voodoo, I’m fine with the bet on a 4th round goalie.

    Yep. Agreed. I’m mad at Nagelvoort because he’s Dutch and an Oiler so I’m cheering like hell for him and he had a bad year! 🙂 But you’re right, nothing wrong with that bet

  27. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I remember how the Oilers were seen as hardliners leading the charge for the salary cap during the Second Bettman Lockout. Cost us a whole season but they got their salary cap. Lots of braying about levelling the playing field.

    Then the Oilers go & UNlevel the playing field by cratering their farm team. 30 NHL teams, 29 AHL teams. That’s some kind of balance.

    Huge, huge blunder. A decade ago and the team is Still paying the price. Just an unconscionable course of action.

  28. gd says:

    Things about Anaheim I find interesting;

    -they were a below average drafting team after the 2003 Homeruns until 2010, and Murray was in charge of Hockey ops those years.
    -in 2011-12 they were almost as bad as the Oilers, that it looked like Schultz was bailing on a sinking ship.
    -since 2010 all of their early round picks range from solid to outstanding, and it looks like most of their senior management have not changed much. I would love to know what scouts they have hired or new management support people.
    -focusing on Sweden and NCAA has paid off as those seemed to be the best performing regions of the last few years. It looks to me like a key the overachieving in the draft is to be ahead of the curve on focusing on underrated regions. I’ve always thought a team should look at areas that have the biggest increase in 12 yr old hockey registrations and devote scouting resources to that area.
    – Anaheim is the biggest obstacle to the Oilers future cup runs. For that reason, the Kesler contract is great news for the Oilers as while the Ducks will be a cup favourite for the next couple of years, $24 Mill going to three mid-30s guys is going limit the Ducks window.

    I really hope the Oilers are finally in a position to use Bakersfield as developmental focus. It seems like they have started being more patient with Nurse and Yak2 and their depth is better then it’s been in 10 years.

  29. Richard S.S. says:

    Even the best Oilers Drafting People were barely average the last 3-4 years. If you discount all first round picks, they are now rated exceptionally poor. Hopefully that will change greatly now. You don’t always have to try to draft the brightest light, you just need to always pick the one light that always turns on.

    Chiarelli’s working the phones, checking on trades/free agents, seeing what can be done prior to the Buyout period. If he can trade someone and not buy him out, that’s a huge bonus.

  30. Ryan says:

    Interesting analysis.

    As much as I love Linholm… Nothing gold can stay Ponyboy.

    It’s fine and good to have a supply of young and cheap talent (very important, actually) but when you subtract Getzlaf and Perry, the music stops.

    58 goals between the two of them on a team that scored 228.

    That type of two-headed monster that can shake the earth isn’t easy to replace, ask Vancouver.

  31. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    BTW I’ve searched high and low for some evidence of what Vesel’s year was like at Omaha, any thoughts, stories, links ?

    Can’t wait for Miller to force his way onto the RW of the big club. If Yak is looking over his shoulder, it’s the matured on the vine 25 yr old he should be worried about. The Finn isn’t far off either.

    Don’t want to turn this into another Yak discussion, but if there’s a pump and dump, I’m not going to be surprised at all.

  32. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    BTW I’ve searched high and low for some evidence of what Vesel’s year was like at Omaha, any thoughts, stories, links ?

    Can’t wait for Miller to force his way onto the RW of the big club. If Yak is looking over his shoulder, it’s the matured on the vine 25 yr old he should be worried about. The Finn isn’t far off either.

    Don’t want to turn this into another Yak discussion, but if there’s a pump and dump, I’m not going to be surprised at all.

    He was used sparingly (always happens) early on but came on mid-season (that’s early for a freshman) and landed No. 4 among scorers for Omaha. Still a long shot but not a terrible selection. He was kind of a distant bell on draft day but the math liked him.

  33. Dashingsilverfox says:

    I’d like to present a real world example of what I’m talking about.

    Eric Fehr…a former 1st round draft pick.

    29 years old.

    6’4″ 220.

    Hits like a truck.

    19 goals last season. (scored more than Yakupov)

    Available for nothing more than money.

    When Moroz or Pitlick grow up they MAY be Fehr….or not.

    Why would you spend any kind of capital and years of development on Moroz or Pitlick when you can have Fehr for nothing more than money?

  34. square_wheels says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    Ken Hollands philosophy was buoyed by having 3 HoF players and a couple of late bloomers appear out of nowhere.

    Their ripen players on the vine approach is likely by design, they’ve all but stated that, but once you’ve established a solid core, baking talent in the AHL is an option.

    Now that we have that option it looks to be capable of paying dividends.

    Next step, Tampa’s approach to Russians.

  35. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Ryan:
    Interesting analysis.

    As much as I love Linholm…Nothing gold can stay Ponyboy.

    It’s fine and good to have a supply of young and cheap talent (very important, actually) but when you subtract Getzlaf and Perry, the music stops.

    58 goals between the two of them on a team that scored 228.

    That type of two-headed monster that can shake the earth isn’t easy to replace, ask Vancouver.

    Or Chicago 🙂

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Dashingsilverfox:
    I’d like to present a real world example of what I’m talking about.

    Eric Fehr…a former 1st round draft pick.

    29 years old.

    6’4″ 220.

    Hits like a truck.

    19 goals last season. (scored more than Yakupov)

    Available for nothing more than money.

    When Moroz or Pitlick grow up they MAY be Fehr….or not.

    Why would you spend any kind of capital and years of development on Moroz or Pitlick when you can have Fehr for nothing more than money?

    If Fehr had been drafted by the Oilers you’d be crowing about how he was a failed 1st round pick.

  37. square_wheels says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    Im with you, the drafting for gritensity is 100% antiquated.

  38. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    He better amp up the PPg to closer to 1 or the new GM isn’t offering jack squat (said in a Matt Foley voice).

    Music sidebar – did you check out the woman who’s featured in each episode of this seasons True Detective ? My group of audiophile’s has been blown away, Lera Lynn’s an incredible talent.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If Fehr had been drafted by the Oilers you’d be crowing about how he was a failed 1st round pick.

    Chosen between Parise and Getzlaf. Lordy.

  40. Hammers says:

    Woodguy:
    This is fantastic!!

    Stauffer always mentions how a big failing of the Oilers is not playing the kids enough, and it looks like he’s right.

    I used to be of the mind “if they’re good enough they’ll take the jobs from the vets”

    I was wrong.

    Over the last few years i’ve come around to this way of thinking and your work looks like it’s excellent examples of this in action.

    Why expect a 19/20 year old kid to take a 26 year old’s job? They can’t, they’re kids.

    If there is one place to gift ice time, it’s the AHL.

    The team has already invested an ELC, why not invest ice time?

    It really doesn’t matter who wins the Calder Cup.

    Stoked that you did this work, can’t wait for Tampa.

    Glad you don’t care about the Calder Cup but ask those who won it what they think or are you only interested in 1 cup and NOT HCKEY . I did have a lot of respect for you until I read this .

  41. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    He better amp up the PPg to closer to 1 or the new GM isn’t offering jack squat (said in a Matt Foley voice).

    Music sidebar – did you check out the woman who’s featured in each episode of this seasons True Detective ? My group of audiophile’s has been blown away, Lera Lynn’s an incredible talent.

    Is she that girl singing that song on the teaser? I’ve been trying to find the song!!!

  42. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If Fehr had been drafted by the Oilers you’d be crowing about how he was a failed 1st round pick.

    Fehr has a history of shoulder injuries (yes he would fit in perfectly) and is currently out after elbow surgery and “may” be ready for start of season. Like the player but he’s never played a full season in the NHL.

  43. supernova says:

    Hammers: Glad you don’t care about the Calder Cup but ask those who won it what they think or are you only interested in 1 cup and NOT HCKEY . I did have a lot of respect for you until I read this .

    Hammers,

    Ummm, did you win the Calder Cup?

    Seems like you took this personally.

    Woodguy is essentially saying we should be more concerned with development than winning in the Minors as Oilers fans, after all this blog is about the Oilers.

  44. Pouzar says:

    I thought of WG when I read this…then I stopped reading:

    “#6. Andrew Ference. I have him ahead of Nurse, today, only based on experience.”

    Gregor

  45. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    That’s her, she has a new song every episode, YouTube Lera Lynn music. She crushed a cover of TV on the Radio’s – Wolf Like Me but this feature on True Detective is us discovering another Alison Kraus caliber voice.

    Edit – Her performance on Letterman was exceptional

  46. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    That’s her, she has a new song every episode, YouTube Lera Lynn music. She crushed a cover of TV on the Radio’s – Wolf Like Me but this feature on True Detective is us discovering another Alison Kraus caliber voice.

    The one I heard was kind of a ballad, very haunting. I’ve googled every damn line from it, will have to listen to all of hers. She’s splendid.

  47. supernova says:

    Ryan:
    Interesting analysis.

    As much as I love Linholm…Nothing gold can stay Ponyboy.

    It’s fine and good to have a supply of young and cheap talent (very important, actually) but when you subtract Getzlaf and Perry, the music stops.

    58 goals between the two of them on a team that scored 228.

    That type of two-headed monster that can shake the earth isn’t easy to replace, ask Vancouver.

    Ryan,

    Part of what I have found in my research most teams regarded as good developers right now have this factor.

    Anaheim- Getzlaf & Perry
    Chicago- Toews & Kane
    Tampa- Stamkos ( before and during Lecavalier & Richards)
    Detroit- Yzerman & Federov & Others leads to Datsyuk & Zetterberg & others which leads to ….

    So far in my opinion you need an ace to build around then you try and draft & develop other aces, or at the very least Kings & Jacks.

    If you want to be a good development team you need to be re-stocking the shelf. 4th liners in my opinion should either be your young guys or waiver level pickups, for cap and developmental reasons.

    The Oilers didn’t have These pieces before Hall, RNH, & Ebs. Then they never supported them correctly.

    The best thing for McDavid is the fact he has these pieces around him.

    The thing Chiarelli needs to do is keep stocking the system, and then developing the system. Almost every forward drafted after McDavid SHOULD not be rushed. There is no need with what is on the big club.

    the depth of the feature team affects how the feeder teams work.

  48. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    It doesn’t hurt that she’s beautiful and can play a guitar either.

  49. Ryan says:

    Dashingsilverfox: Or Chicago

    That’s one of the many problems with the current Oilers core, thus far (sans McDavid).

    In their prime and even to a lesser extent today, The Sedins could really eviscerate the lesser lights like the Oilers. Even when they weren’t scoring, they would dominate play in such a way that they would totally humiliate… It was always be such a beat down…you could tell they took pride in it.

    I don’t think there are fans of other teams that feel their sphincters tighten much when Hall, Nuge, and Eberle jump over the boards. They’re still young so maybe that will change.

  50. square_wheels says:

    supernova,

    And the final statement should be – always, good fucking Gord , ALWAYS take BPA when drafting ! Skill, skill and skill and no face punchers ever again.

  51. book¡je says:

    Hammers: Glad you don’t care about the Calder Cup but ask those who won it what they think or are you only interested in 1 cup and NOT HCKEY . I did have a lot of respect for you until I read this .

    Are you losing your capital ‘O’s? Don’t worry, one time I lost all of my Os, both lower and upper case and it worked out fine in the end. I might lose my C’s. I am a little worried about that, but C’s are not as important as O’s.

  52. square_wheels says:

    Ryan,

    Well the Sisters also had a real 2nd line to check the other teams top lines at home, as well as a rock solid D that could actually break up sorties and cycles and get the puck to them on the fly. Once the Oilers fix their D, teams will dread facing Nuge and McDavid lines.

    DSF – you can have a pre-fuck off if you pull one set of stats out about the sisters. We get it, they’re good.

  53. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: The one I heard was kind of a ballad, very haunting. I’ve googled every damn line from it, will have to listen to all of hers. She’s splendid.

    Bobby. baby?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuLEGU9AX-k

    She’s incredible

  54. Pouzar says:

    The Sedins didn’t go supernova till their age 25 season. 5th year in the NHL.
    Just sayin.

  55. square_wheels says:

    Pouzar,

    Yup they struggled even having the leagues best line play in front of them.

  56. Pouzar says:

    square_wheels:
    Pouzar,

    Yup they struggled even having the leagues best line play in front of them gave them.

    Yup. And they had another development year in the SEL sandwiched in between the 4th and 5th NHL years due to the lockout.

  57. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar: Fehr has a history of shoulder injuries (yes he would fit in perfectly) and is currently out after elbow surgery and “may” be ready for start of season. Like the player but he’s never played a full season in the NHL.

    Oh sure, but the facts are only tangentially relevant to DSF’s interpretation of them.

  58. SwedishPoster says:

    I see both Hollands idea of only looking for top 6 fwds, #3C and top 4 D mentioned and also going skill and skating above all in the draft. I’ve been looking at the 2015 draft with the work I did that’s up on G Moneys blog in mind, basically looking at every player drafted. I’m not quite done but it’s pretty clear that different teams have different strategies. I like the skill and skating approach. With that perspective, and sensitive viewers look away now, Calgary and Toronto killed it in this draft.

    I’ll have the full work done by next week I think.

  59. square_wheels says:

    Pouzar,

    As much as I hate them their cycle is a thing of beauty. Having said that, how many identical twins play professional team sports. Very difficult to compare them to any other “pair”.

  60. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Oh sure, but the facts are only tangentially relevant to DSF’s interpretation of them.

    hee hee

  61. Pouzar says:

    square_wheels:
    Pouzar,

    As much as I hate them their cycle is a thing of beauty. Having said that, how many identical twins play professional team sports. Very difficult to compare them to any other “pair”.

    Oh for sure. No qualms with the Sedins at all. The synergy those 2 have/had is/was unfair.

  62. SwedishPoster says:

    book¡je: Are you losing your capital ‘O’s?Don’t worry, one time I lost all of my Os, both lower and upper case and it worked out fine in the end.I might lose my C’s.I am a little worried about that, but C’s are not as important as O’s.

    Reminds me of the story about how the Clinton administration was rumoured to have removed all the Ws from all the keyboards in the White house before leaving office when Bush was elected.

  63. Bruce McCurdy says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    Music sidebar – did you check out the woman who’s featured in each episode of this seasons True Detective ? My group of audiophile’s has been blown away, Lera Lynn’s an incredible talent.

    I’ve been wondering if she is someone famous or if not, why not. She’s been the best part of Season 2 with a hail of bullets.

  64. SwedishPoster says:

    Pouzar:
    The Sedins didn’t go supernova till their age 25 season. 5th year in the NHL.
    Just sayin.

    So many stories like this and still players are given the bust label or “will never hit this and that number” all the time if they don’t hit the ground running.

  65. Bruce McCurdy says:

    square_wheels:
    Pouzar,

    As much as I hate them their cycle is a thing of beauty. Having said that, how many identical twins play professional team sports. Very difficult to compare them to any other “pair”.

    I tried to hate the Sedins but I can’t. They are phenomenal.

  66. square_wheels says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    She’s reasonably well known, but somewhat more critically acclaimed than mainstream.

    Last episode, last scene kicked the show in the ass, I was getting worried. 2nd viewings are a must to unravel just the characters, let alone the story line.

  67. square_wheels says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    It’s been 8 solid years of screaming “cover the backdoor” or ” dont let them have time in the corner” or “don’t give them ANY neutral zone space and time, watch the high man……

    You can see the setups taking shape in what seems like slow motion but are helpless to do anything, they are hypnotists.

  68. Woogie63 says:

    I really like this article, when you hear Coach Q, Stan Bowman and Daryl Sutter talk about the process of making a Champion, this is some of what they are talking about.

    If Nurse and Reinhart play in Bakersfield does someone like Osterle, Simpson, Joey Leggs lose playing time to Brad Hunt?

  69. raventalon40 says:

    Off-topic question:

    If you offer Justin Schultz and a 4th round pick to Detroit for Jakub Kindl and a 2nd round pick, do they accept? Do you make that offer?

  70. wheatnoil says:

    Great post Supernova! Thanks for your work on this!

  71. supernova says:

    Woogie63:
    I really like this article, when you hear Coach Q, Stan Bowman and Daryl Sutter talk about the process of making a Champion, this is some of what they are talking about.

    If Nurse and Reinhart play in Bakersfield does someone like Osterle, Simpson, Joey Leggs lose playing time to Brad Hunt?

    Woogie63,

    Thanks,
    Absolutely this is part of what the coaches are talking about.

    As far as Bakersfield goes

    Last year the older veterans were

    Williams
    Hamilton
    Ford
    Hunt
    Pinnizotto
    Miller
    And some weird fascination with Stretch

    The only ones with conceivable mid term (100+ GP) NHL upside in my opinion are;

    Miller
    Hunt

    They kept those 2 and Hamilton, and Ford.

    Hunt would need lightning in a bottle to get another 100 NHL GP but his skillsets happens to be point producer so it could happen.

    Miller is a long shot but actually showed really well and if it weren’t for CBA rules he might have even had a handful more.

    Hamilton re-signing stumps me. This was a MacT & Eakins thing. They love his veteran presence, he is to slow for NHL speed IMO, also he plays wing so he takes legitimate development minutes away from actual prospects. Maybe Eakins gets his man, and he gets traded to San Diego.

    Apparently Ford is a classy guy and is another veteran presence.

    ————-

    Long answer yes currently Hunt would be taking away very key time from a prospect or two.
    We know Defenceman need PP time to get most of their points, it is likely Hunt will get most of this.

    Personally I wouldn’t have signed Hunt at all, my Twitter timeline will support that but it is common to have a few veterans in the AHL that help you win. With Joey Leggs on the team and the other D I would have wanted the PP and EV time to go to them.

  72. supernova says:

    wheatnoil:
    Great post Supernova! Thanks for your work on this!

    wheatnoil,

    Thank you

  73. supernova says:

    raventalon40:
    Off-topic question:

    If you offer Justin Schultz and a 4th round pick to Detroit for Jakub Kindl and a 2nd round pick, do they accept? Do you make that offer?

    raventalon40,

    Perhaps before they signed Mike Green but it would be redundant now.

    Don’t see a team giving up a 1 or a 2 in the summer unless they feel the player is top pair or top 6 F on their team.

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

    I think there are two options with the AHL.

    1 Gift young players ice time early and often.

    2 Have young guys working their way up the lineup.

    I think two is by far the better option, but there are some caveats. You can’t rush the kids from junior to play depth minutes. At some point you have to stop signing the old career ahler. If the oilers were using Hamilton and Pitlick in place of R. Hamilton, and Will Acton, I think we are further ahead. The book has been out on Acton for awhile. Pitlick types are easier to pass for the kids (provide just enough resistance I think), and are young enough that a miracle could happen. I am actually fairly against keeping guys older than 26ish on the farm (goalies excluded).

    If I was an owner, I would try to get a european team. I would have Jarri running it too. It would give you a great spot to scout far off talent. It helps ease foreign talent into the system. Good breeding place for talent to grow as it gives more ice time. I also think players in europe learn to play basketball type defines better due to the bigger rink. This is an important skill that is rarely touched on. Players need to know when to play help defence, how to stay between their man, the puck, and the net, and not to chase.

    Winning the Calder cup doesn’t matter. Don’t know if our friend up there got a reply or not, but I’ll explain it like this. My High School football team really wanted to win provincials, and it really mattered to them. The UofA football team really doesn’t give a rat’s ass who wins, they just want the best players heading there.

  75. stevezie says:

    After the gift of Vera Lynn I’ve got to respond with the information that Wilco is giving their new album away for free. Limited time. http://wilcoworld.net/

    Wilco is the goods. Or better.

  76. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Sedins are the only thing worth a damn in the entire, craven, Gordless, commie history of the Nucks.

    Just thinking about them makes you feel good. Great folks. And, dead-eye piss cutters.

  77. Woodguy says:

    Hammers: Glad you don’t care about the Calder Cup but ask those who won it what they think or are you only interested in 1 cup and NOT HCKEY . I did have a lot of respect for you until I read this .

    We are discussing drafting and developing.

    It doesn’t matter who wins the Calder Cup in this regards.

    I’m sure it matters to those who play for it, but that’s not the discussion.

    I’m not going to write an encyclopedia of caveats on every post I write.

    I assume the people reading it understand context.

    I’m wrong a lot about people understanding context.

  78. Kmart99 says:

    Woodguy,

    Or maybe some people just enjoy being contrarian. I could name a few.

  79. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Woodguy,

    I also can’t respect you anymore sir.

    Now that I know you don’t like hockey (thank you Hammers for blowing the lid off that one) I simply can’t respect your decision to spend so much of your free time writing about the subject, breaking down statistical data, and generally advancing the burgeoning science of analytics in the field.

  80. sliderule says:

    I would say Islanders Ducks and Avs had good drafts.

    The only reason I say that is they have been near the top in drafting over last eight years.

  81. PhrankLee says:

    Kmart99: Or maybe some people just enjoy being contrarian. I could name a few.

    No you can’t.

  82. Yeti says:

    book¡je: Are you losing your capital ‘O’s? Don’t worry, one time I lost all of my Os, both lower and upper case and it worked out fine in the end. I might lose my C’s. I am a little worried about that, but C’s are not as important as O’s.

    Don’t be such an unt, book¡je.

  83. raventalon40 says:

    supernova: raventalon40,

    Perhaps before they signed Mike Green but it would be redundant now.

    Don’t see a team giving up a 1 or a 2 in the summer unless they feel the player is top pair or top 6 F on their team.

    Good point.

    How about a 2nd round pick, Schultz, and Nikitin (1/3 salary retained on both, and a throw-in like Gernat for both Schenn brothers? Then the Flyers can buy out Nikitin, and everyone saves money against the cap (Flyers need to shed salary for cap space anyway, and they only need to buy him out at 2/3 the salary).

  84. rich says:

    Very late to the party on this.

    LT, thanks for posting this article. Terrific analysis.

    Supernova – top marks on your work and conclusions. Can’t wait to see more.

    As someone who was initially a fan of MacT – and now, one of many critics, I do seem to remember that when he became GM, he made a point of changing the philosophy about how things were being done in OKC.

    Wanted Nelson to start playing more kids (or at least that was what was reported by the MSM). Was very critical of him for playing too many vets. May very well have been a business decision (initially) to get fans and by season 4 – when MacT was GM, they realized nothing could do that, so start using the AHL in the proper way.

    The numbers above sort of suggest that in 2013-14, they may have devoted more time to development, but last year does not.

  85. Sugar Reijo says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I tried to hate the Sedins but I can’t. They are phenomenal.

    By every account I’ve heard you won’t find two classier acts off the ice, as well.

    So classy it makes me feel bad about laughing when Marchand used the one as a speed bag.

    Or, you know, almost.

  86. supernova says:

    rich:
    Very late to the party on this.

    LT, thanks for posting this article.Terrific analysis.

    Supernova – top marks on your work and conclusions.Can’t wait to see more.

    As someone who was initially a fan of MacT – and now, one of many critics, I do seem to remember that when he became GM, he made a point of changing the philosophy about how things were being done in OKC.

    Wanted Nelson to start playing more kids (or at least that was what was reported by the MSM).Was very critical of him for playing too many vets.May very well have been a business decision (initially) to get fans and by season 4 – when MacT was GM, they realized nothing could do that, so start using the AHL in the proper way.

    The numbers above sort of suggest that in 2013-14, they may have devoted more time to development, but last year does not.

    rich,

    Thank you,

    I do believe Oiler looked at the minors in two parts.

    1) Business & Winning
    2) development

    They just really favoured the Business side.

    I don’t have an exact quote but I too was a fan of MacT the GM especially his first few months as he did intend to re-do the way drafting and development was done.
    He altered course though and his 2014 draft & then the farm team also was laden with too many vets in the key roles, which many really didn’t have a shot at being NHL players.

    I personally think you need to look at how you stock your minor leagues.

    Your CHL drafted players Should be playing CHL draft plus 2
    Draft Euro’s but leave them in Europe for even draft plus 3
    Sign UDFA euro’s & CHLers
    Look the market hard over in Europe for age 20-24 players
    Sign College FA
    There are exceptions to the rules but this is a informal rule list

    You can see MacT with part of this plan

    Hitting up Russia, Signing Iiro, UDFA CHL’ers, College Players.

    Either he didn’t have enough time or his plan was a little to random for Nicholson.
    I don’t think he warranted more time, and I was a fan and don’t hate him.

    MacT did himself in when he said “Bold” maybe he realized he spoke to freely before he steered the ship but he did have some good ideas.

    I really believe you have to let your young players play, give them competition but make sure that competition also has a decent shot at a future in the NHL.

    Make a 20 year old Pitlick type compete against a 22 year old IIro type and not against a 28 year old Hamilton type.

  87. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    Sugar Reijo: By every account I’ve heard you won’t find two classier acts off the ice, as well.

    When people hate the Sedins, it reminds me of people hating Ronaldo – an unbelievable talent who avoids tattoos because they would interrupt his ability to regularly donate blood. Oh, and he also pays for operations to help sick kids whose families cannot afford the care. Plus something about funding a cancer center, etc.

    But fuck that guy!

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