THE BATS ARE IN THE BELFRY

I imagine the depth chart on the whiteboard in Peter Chiarelli’s office has all of the DEFENSE in erasable marker. Not quite true, but after “Sekera, Fayne and Klefbom” this thing is clear as mud. Let’s have a look at the depth chart (my interpretation) and what role they could be playing this season.

OILERS BLUE, 2014-15

  1. Andrej Sekera. Top pairing, he played 19EV minutes, two shorthanded and 1:45 on the power play in Carolina, averaging 22:46 a game. He’s a veteran defender who can carry the puck or pass it equally well. I don’t think he’s a lock for the No. 1 power play unit (that’s one area the Oilers are probably looking for help right now) but this is a fantastic add. EST. TOI: 22:30.
  2. Niki Nikitin. If he’s healthy, Nikitin has a chance to increase his playing time (19:38) from a year ago. As we discussed yesterday, counting on a defender with back issues is a bad idea. Nikitin’s EV time from last season (16 minutes) and his special teams minutes (1:45 for both) mean he’s among the more complete options on the team. I’m not confident he’ll be as mobile as needed, but the Oilers have the intel on conditioning/back and if he’s good to go we must assume he’s a big part of the team in 2015-16. EST. TOI: 19:00.
  3. Mark Fayne: He was used less than you’d expect for a veteran (17:56) last season but a lot of that had to do with a combination of tough zone starts and chasing the game with mondo Schultz minutes. He was 15 minutes at evens and 2:29 on the PK, I think we can estimate a return to 16 EV minutes a night (he did that in 2013-14 with the Devils) and he should get those tough starts again in 2015-16. The question is, with whom? EST. TOI: 18:30.
  4. Justin Schultz. I imagine we’ll see Schultz play significant minutes, although not close to the 22:36 we saw one year ago. Schultz played 19:28EV minutes and I keep coming back to that PC quote at his original PC about moving players back to where they belong. I’d estimate Schultz plays second pairing at evens, so we’ll use 15 minutes. He was 2:47 on the power play last season, that seems about right  but we’ll bump it a little because EDM doesn’t have a lot of options. EST. TOI: 18:30.
  5. Oscar Klefbom. Like Schultz, Klefbom played too much last season (21:59) although one suspects the Swedish blue will eventually exceed that number. Klefbom LED THE TEAM at EV minutes a year ago (19:47) and also spent 1:44 shorthanded. I think he’s a good bet to remain in the PK rotation but that EV total will take a haircut, to about 16:30. EST. TOI: 18:30.
  6. Eric Gryba. He played 15:39 last season in Ottawa, 13 minutes at evens and the rest on the PK. That’s classic third pairing/extra blue territory and in fact Gryba was No. 7 on the Sens’ blueline in TOI per game. I don’t see any good reason to estimate his contributions in Edmonton differently. EST. TOI: 15:30.
  7. Andrew Ference. The only veteran I can see losing significant ice time, no way last year (18:52) gets duplicated imo. Ference could surprise if placed in a less difficult role but Edmonton probably wants those minutes for Schultz and other, more offensive options. He played 17EV and 2PK minutes a night last season, I think he gets a major haircut at EVs. EST. TOI: 15:00.

THE CALLUPS

  1. Darnell Nurse: I wrote yesterday about Nurse, suggesting he’ll make the team and be inside the top 4D by mid-season. This isn’t news, have suggested this for some time. The Oilers have to turn north this season and that means their six best defensemen on the ice every game, all year. Last season this team’s opening night lineup was not their best six, that should stop under Todd McLellan. My bet is that Nurse stays and plays but for now he’s first callup.
  2. Griffin Reinhart: This should be a great season for Reinhart, who must be itching to get into NHL action and establish himself. I believe that happens this season, there could be a (short) delay with time in Bakersfield possible. His full AHL season should help him at TC and he could beat out Nurse for single rookie/last man standing on opening night blue. I think we should look at Nurse—Reinhart as a competition and more as the arrival of terrific talent and a massive part of the future.
  3. Brandon Davidson: Waiver eligible and some talk he’ll make it as No. 7 D but that’s complicated by miles and miles of defenders. I’m comfortable with putting him at No. 10 on the current depth chart but also believe he’ll play in the NHL this season (he is part of my NHLE projection).
  4. David Musil: He’s a smart defenseman who survived and then flourished in the AHL last season, eventually earning a recall and his first NHL games. He’s behind a bunch of ‘defense first’ options now but that doesn’t mean he won’t make it, here or elsewhere. I feel more bullish about Musil than at any time since he was drafted.
  5. Jordan Oesterle: He’s fast and stepped up in his first pro season (seven months older than Dillon Simpson), passing some drafted players on the way to his NHL debut. He’s an interesting player in this group because of his offense and puck-moving ability. Don’t underestimate this guy when discussing Edmonton’s 2015-16 season, he passed several prospects in his first year.
  6. Brad Hunt: I get more comments about Brad Hunt’s inclusion on this list than anything else. Seriously. Look at it from the pov of ‘need’ and imo Hunt’s inclusion makes sense. His offensive ability is impact level in the AHL and Edmonton doesn’t have their power-play unit locked and loaded in their top 7 above or really in this group of bubbling under blue.

BUYOUT WEEKEND

The window opens today and we should prepare for early and late news (NHL teams only make moves after the fuse has been lit) and we should be prepared for no news at all. A buyout is one option, trade is another. We also should prepare (as I’ve laid out here) for no movement at all, effectively giving the team nine men who (rightly) expect to be on the opening night roster. Nice problem to have.

IF THEY DO MAKE A TRADE….

outside pro

There’s not much outside pro hockey and that needs to be addressed. We’ll find out about McCarron mid-August, we have reports that Loik Leveille is coming to camp and maybe Tyler Soy joins him. The Oilers have added the following defensemen since Peter Chiarelli arrived: Andrej Sekera, Eric Gryba, Griffin Reinhart, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, John Marino and Ziyat Paigin. Seven defensive adds, plus three in goal. He’s clearly locked and loaded on addressing weakness. Does that include a buyout followed by a signing from the free agent tree? We wait.

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177 Responses to "THE BATS ARE IN THE BELFRY"

  1. oliveoilers says:

    The silence can mean only one thing: The 3 – 4 – 1!

  2. John Chambers says:

    I just can’t see Chia taking his work this summer 9/10ths of the way there.

    There’s one more move (or combination of moves) that I think sees Nikitin traded with salary retained.

  3. Diesel says:

    I’m attending a wedding at 1pm. I expect Chia to put finishing touches on the D before the cake is cut.

    And we will dance.

  4. Tokyo Oil says:

    I’m sure many will be surprised to see Nikitin at 2 on your list and that the comments will be fast and furious.

    But, he is big, he has a shot and he has also played several years in the league so he is a veteran of sorts. I for one want to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he brings in training camp. He had numerous injuries last year which he tried to fight through (admirable) but the biggest factor about all of our question mark players is how much Eakins coaching impacted their play.

    I think that too many people are writing off players based on the last couple years when Eakins was coach. With McLellan at the helm I believe that many in Oiler land will be shocked at how many players improve their play because of the coach.

  5. OilClog says:

    No one will be shocked if players improve under the new coach.. He’s a actual top quality coach.

    Nikitin though.. If he improves its simply the McJesus effect. One big hit he’s done

  6. wheatnoil says:

    Nikitin was never worth $4.5M but he’s a lot better than last year. Injuries would make sense and that was a bad looking injury in training camp.

    Thing is that his numbers have never been bad (haven’t been great but not bad). They were worse last year but almost every way you look at it, fancy stat wise Nikitin was not the problem, even with the injuries. I think he’s got a bit of Grebeshkov to him, where he can play a good game but his gaffs are real and they are spectacular so that’s all you remember.

    I kind of hope he gets brought back because I’d be curious to see if he can rebound a bit and fetch a draft pick at the deadline. That would be ideal.

  7. John Chambers says:

    Tokyo Oil,

    I dunno, man.

    I hate Eakins as much as anybody and am willing to cut Yakupov and Schultz a bit of slack for their stalled development due to poor player usage choices, however they’ll have to show pretty quickly in the fall that they can be top minute players.

    Nikitin is a veteran player. He made poor plays, routinely got beat in puck battles, turned the puck over, and failed to mark his man in front of the net. Only so much can be blamed on the coach, and a lot can be blamed on a player with diminished skills who clearly didn’t come ready to play physically and professionally.

  8. frjohnk says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nikita-nikitin-a-poor-signing-by-oilers/

    Oilers should hire the guy that wrote that article

  9. Lowetide says:

    wheatnoil:
    Nikitin was never worth $4.5M but he’s a lot better than last year. Injuries would make sense and that was a bad looking injury in training camp.

    Thing is that his numbers have never been bad (haven’t been great but not bad). They were worse last year but almost every way you look at it, fancy stat wise Nikitin was not the problem, even with the injuries. I think he’s got a bit of Grebeshkov to him, where he can play a good game but his gaffs are real and they are spectacular so that’s all you remember.

    He’s almost exactly where he was a year ago

    http://lowetide.ca/2014/08/06/re-14-15-nikita-nikitin-a-case-of-you/

  10. Tokyo Oil says:

    OILCLOG

    Not sure what the McDavid effect will be next year but agree that it will be evident once he finds his groove. As for one big hit, I don’t know if that is fair or accurate. I never saw NN play in Columbus but I think looking at only one year of data is insufficient to reach that conclusion. Was he injury prone when he was in Columbus?

  11. Southern Oil says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/talent/weir-stepping-away-from-golf-1.332890
    All the best to a great Canadian! Hope he is able to reset things in his life.

  12. wheatnoil says:

    frjohnk:
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nikita-nikitin-a-poor-signing-by-oilers/

    Oilers should hire the guy that wrote that article

    Money quote:

    “If the Oilers had signed Nikitin to a deal of $2.5M or less total it would be hard to be too critical of it. Even if it hadn’t worked, the cap hit would be small and unlikely to prevent them from doing anything else. This is real money though and it will limit what the Oilers are able to do until 2016.”

  13. hunter1909 says:

    John Chambers: I hate Eakins as much as anybody and am willing to cut Yakupov and Schultz a bit of slack for their stalled development due to poor player usage choices,

    You’re very generous.

    John Chambers: however they’ll have to show pretty quickly in the fall that they can be top minute players.

    In other words, despite the fact they’ve been ruined by the OBC, it’s still ok to shite all over them, right?

    John Chambers: Only so much can be blamed on the coach

    You obviously know sweet FA about the effect of coaching. Still, always nice to hear your opinion.

  14. Revolved says:

    So Nikitin is number 2 and the odds on favorite for buyout? I agree that he fits into the top 6, but rely on him to go down with injury early and often. Regardless, I really think the vets need to be used with the rookies.

    Sekera – Schultz
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Nikitin – Gryba
    Reinhart
    Davidson
    Nurse (for 20 AHL games at least)

    I have always thought Ference was the dead weight and Chia knew it years before the rest of us. My question remains, who wears what letters this year in his absence?

  15. Concur says:

    If nothing happens for buy out you can expect a trade either before training camp, during training camp or early in the season. Chiarelli will not leave the defense as is

  16. Rip Fan Winkle says:

    OilClog:
    No one will be shocked if players improve under the new coach.. He’s a actual top quality coach.

    Nikitin though.. If he improves its simply the McJesus effect. One big hit he’s done

    The back thing depends on what it is. I think if healthy he’d be good on third pairing. Of course with all the rookies that isn’t helpful especially at 4.5M.

    Because I want another D I’ll go opposites and say they stay the course until the trade deadline at D, see how they all settle in.

    I don”t think we’ll see extended stretches of bad play anymore, guys in a slump will get moved, relegated, or sat.

  17. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide: He’s almost exactly where he was a year ago

    http://lowetide.ca/2014/08/06/re-14-15-nikita-nikitin-a-case-of-you/

    Hmmm… Yes that last year in Columbus doesn’t look so great. His first years in Columbus are colouring my memory (which is probably what happened with Howson).

  18. Concur says:

    Revolved,

    If they plan on Ference leaving then they should strip the C before trading camp. It will be a strong indication of his future. As for choosing a new C I think that the players should vote on it at the end of training camp.

  19. Tokyo Oil says:

    John Chambers

    Good points and agree that Schultz and Yak should get more slack than Nikitin when it comes to the impact of Eakin’s coaching. But in reality, did any of the Oil veteran D play well last year? Was it all Eakin’s fault? Not all but definitely partially. The team defensive play was atrocious and with the forwards not playing well defensively it polarised every mistake our D made.

    Do I think NN is worth 4.5 million? Hell no. But with his injuries last year and everything that has happened in the last 3 months with the team, would you not think that NN is highly motivated to redeem himself in a big way next year.

  20. Магия 10 says:

    oliveoilers: 3 – 4 – 1

    LT keeps betting those numbers but only 5-14-6-1 has come up.

  21. Richard S.S. says:

    There is interest in Nikita Nikitin, which shouldn’t be surprising. McTavish didn’t get a lot of respect from other GMs on his player evaluations, nor did the Oilers fair very well. If you look at how players did after they left Edmonton, you’ll see what I mean. It’s probable that N.N. is a competent #4D or #5D if healthy, despite his showing here last season. That’s what other GMs see and want.

    In any Trade, I can’t see retaining more than 1/3 of an existing salary unless you must move someone. Simply calculate the Buyout cost and that’s the basis for what you retain. Nikitin and Ference, if healthy, have value – probable more than you think but less than you might like. Can they be traded? I don’t know.

  22. CMG30 says:

    I’m slowly coming around on Nikitin. If there’s truth to the rumors that he had a significant back injury last season, it would explain a lot about his performance. If its been cleared up, we could see a turnaround in this player. Even more so, considering it’s a contract year with his likely career hanging in the balance.

    Still, that’s a lot of ifs on a guy who was a major disappointment. Ideally a trade with the Oil retaining salary then a free agent brought in to replace him. Buyout is my least preferred option as I want him off the books next season free and clear. Worst case scenario: he goes on waivers and spends the year in the AHL.

  23. Braden28 says:

    While I think the top 7 above can be improved (swap Niki for Erhoff or Franson), I’d be very pleased if Nurse and Reinhart in the minors. We need to remember that playing well in the pre-season does not mean they should make the team (see Comrie/ POS). Dominate for 15-20 games in the AHL and you’ve earned your ticket to the show, not before.

  24. Snowman says:

    Braden28,

    I had this conversation with Kinger yesterday. I think there’s a fairly good chance that Nurse comes into camp and earns a spot as the 4th or 5th best D which would mean he legitimately beat out 3 bona fide NHLers.

    The big difference between this year and other years is that when a young rookie earns a spot this year it means he beat somebody with a real NHL resume.

    The best players will play and I would not be at all shocked to see Nurse as an NHL regular starting day one.

  25. wheatnoil says:

    Huh, Nikitin’s dcorsi is slightly positive this last year, better than his last two years with the Jackets (though not as good as his first).

  26. admiralmark says:

    L, I won’t be surprised if its LaLeggia that gets called up mid season instead of Hunt for the role you are talking about.

  27. John Chambers says:

    hunter1909: You’re very generous.

    In other words, despite the fact they’ve been ruined by the OBC, it’s still ok to shite all over them, right?

    You obviously know sweet FA about the effect of coaching. Still, always nice to hear your opinion.

    Thanks for taking your time away from tripping seniors at the mall and spitting on homeless people to offer your valuable dissection of my comment.
    I’ve really become a student of the game through your insightful analysis.

  28. Hammers says:

    Tokyo Oil:
    I’m sure many will be surprised to see Nikitin at 2 on your list and that the comments will be fast and furious.

    But, he is big, he has a shot and he has also played several years in the league so he is a veteran of sorts.I for one want to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he brings in training camp.He had numerous injuries last year which he tried to fight through (admirable) but the biggest factor about all of our question mark players is how much Eakins coaching impacted their play.

    I think that too many people are writing off players based on the last couple years when Eakins was coach.With McLellan at the helm I believe that many in Oiler land will be shocked at how many players improve their play because of the coach.

    I think your correct but only time tells us what could happen .

  29. Revolved says:

    Concur:
    Revolved,

    If they plan on Ference leaving then they should strip the C before trading camp. It will be a strong indication of his future.As for choosing a new C I think that the players should vote on it at the end of training camp.

    I totally agree the players should vote, but I think it should happen next summer. I’d prefer monthly votes for rotating As this year.

  30. Hammers says:

    Braden28:
    While I think the top 7 above can be improved (swap Niki for Erhoff or Franson), I’d be very pleased if Nurse and Reinhart in the minors. We need to remember that playing well in the pre-season does not mean they should make the team (see Comrie/ POS). Dominate for 15-20 games in the AHL and you’ve earned your ticket to the show, not before.

    I would like to see Erhoff or Franson but my swap is Ference . N.N could still contribute and is younger than Ference . No disrespect as his had a great career but the day comes for all athletes to step aside or down . Agree on the other two starting in Bakersfield .

  31. stush18 says:

    John Chambers: Thanks for taking your time away from tripping seniors at the mall and spitting on homeless people to offer your valuable dissection of my comment.
    I’ve really become a student of the game through your insightful analysis.

    Hunter provides the anger to this blog that is missing when DSF doesn’t post.

    I wonder how many of these posters secretly work together.

    Seriously though, I think if we allow a player a write off a season due to Eakins, the others, including nikitin, should be allowed to.

  32. G Money says:

    Nikitin is one of the most polarized players as far as expectations go next year.

    IF the issue last year was injury and IF the solid play prior to it was not illusory, we could be getting a decent player, one whose visual impression will fit back in line with his surprisingly-decent fancystats, who could do very well on a third pairing and a credible job on a second pairing.

    IF! Big ifs.

    It could just be that he stinks, that his last terrible CBJ year playing with a rookie and last years Oilers stinkfest defines him better than his one excellent year with Tyutin. (Which by the way, despite CBJ being a bad possession team that year, Tyutin/Nikitin were a plus Corsi pairing, which actually makes it all the more impressive).

    Suspect it’s somewhere in between, and that he’s going to “surge” back to being a decent third pairing defensemen who can add a big shot on the PP2 – just like we suspected we were getting when he was first signed.

    If so, the issue there is NOT his capabilities, its his contract, which would be about $2M too rich.

    That has value this year, though.

    Personally, I think Nurse and Reinhart will be head and shoulders above Nikitin, Ference, and Gryba, and there is no way you can keep them off this team.

    But at least this year, there are genuine, experienced NHLers that have to be vaulted before those two can make the team.

    It has value. That is the Detroit model. It is NOT “keep them on the farm forever”. It is “they have to be better than actual NHLers before they make the team. And when they do make the team, we’re not putting them on the top line or the top pairing right away, because they have to beat out the legit top line/pairing players that are there already.”

    Is it worth that extra $2M to move the Oilers 5% closer to the Detroit model? Probably not.

    But its worth something.

  33. stush18 says:

    I’m really hoping for either ference or nikitin to be traded.

    Nikitin is more tradeable than ference, and once injuries hit teams, I’m hoping he can get sent away. We might have to wait a bit. After that I see

    Sekera-fayne
    Klef-Schultz
    Reinhart-gryba
    Ference

    With ference subbing in when grubs gets suspended or reinhart starts to stumble.

  34. Sugar Reijo says:

    It’s not at all obsessive to wake up in the middle of July and immediately start hitting updates in anticipation of a hockey buyout, right?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Oh7U_L6hs

    “It’s a race, it’s a chase, hurry up and feed their face!
    Who will win? No one knows! Feed the hungry hip-ip-pos!”

  35. Hammers says:

    Your lists always make for good discussions and keeping Ference at 7 is my biggest problem even on the 3rd pairing . I would sooner give that spot to Davidson as I see a future player there while you must admit Ference is in the twilight of his career if not totally done . Great man and played well enough to win a cup but as I said yesterday knowing when the time is up separates the best players .

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

    Just curious LT. What else would you use on a whiteboard other than erasable marker? Personal experience tells me that sharpie ruins the board.

  37. Sugar Reijo says:

    G Money:
    IF the issue last year was injury and IF the solid play prior to it was not illusory, we could be getting a decent player, one whose visual impression will fit back in line with his surprisingly-decent fancystats, who could do very well on a third pairing and a credible job on a second pairing.

    Never underestimate the motivation of playing for next year’s contract too.

  38. Doug McLachlan says:

    Ference’s NMC means that he can not be placed on waivers without his consent so no news doesn’t mean anything but for Nikitin (and Purcell) I would expect a waiver wire move before any buy-out, no?

  39. Woogie63 says:

    Is NN potential improvement holding us back from a longer term mistake? If we get a good 4-5-6 dman service out of NN for one more year, I like that better than a 3-5 year contract with Erhoff or Franson.

    Sekera- Fayne both UFA were brought in to play the toughs …23 minutes a night
    Klefbom-NN 19 minutes a night
    Gryba-Shultz 18 minutes a night about 15 at evens
    Ference

    Clearly the entire team needs to play better defence, for Oil to be successful.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker):
    Just curious LT. What else would you use on a whiteboard other than erasable marker? Personal experience tells me that sharpie ruins the board.

    I can tell you that in my 35 years in radio a LOT of damage has been done to whiteboards by using something other than an erasable marker. Seriously.

  41. blainer says:

    Hammers:
    Your lists always make for good discussions and keeping Ference at 7 is my biggest problem even on the 3rd pairing . I would sooner give that spot to Davidson as I see a future player there while you must admit Ference is in the twilight of his career if not totally done . Great man and played well enough to win a cup but as I said yesterday knowing when the time is up separates the best players .

    Soooo true. Is it just me or does the D not seem much different then last yeas.. Sekera is in for Petry and the rest are pretty much there still. We brought in new management and coaching to fix this mess on D.. did they not review any of the games ? Man it pisses me off.. We cannot start the season with Sekera Fayne Klefbom Shultz Ference and NN..

    That will be a disaster.. GIVE THE NEW GOALIES A CHANCE !! When we got the new management and Coach I assumed they would be able to properly asses the D.. A new coach does nothing for NN and Ference and I have my doubts about Shultz also.. For Jeebus sakes buy out Ference at the least.. give us some reason to be optimistic that you know how to manage Chia !!

  42. Tokyo Oil says:

    G Money,

    Agree that there are big “ifs” with NN and that his contract is 2MM too rich. But to place Nurse and Reinhart head and shoulders above NN, Ference and Gryba at this stage is a tad premature I think.

    I think the ceiling for Nurse is top pairing and that Reinhart has potential to be a solid and reliable 3/4 for years to come but feel both would benefit from some top pairing minutes in the AHL before they become NHL regulars.

    Hence the need for the current veteran D signed to up their game and play their role properly during this transition period. For the benefit of the team and also for their careers.

  43. godot10 says:

    OilClog:
    No one will be shocked if players improve under the new coach.. He’s a actual top quality coach.

    Nikitin though.. If he improves its simply the McJesus effect. One big hit he’s done

    You realize that Jesus and many if not most of his close associates were tortured and/or killed by the Romans. The “Jesus effect” if anything, is not a good one.

  44. G Money says:

    Tokyo Oil,

    It’s not so much that I’m placing Nurse/Reinhart there, I just think that after everything I’ve seen and read about both players, I think they’ll come in and be the 5th and 6th best (or higher) players on D, and it won’t be that close.

    I’ll freely admit, however, that could very well be the fanboy in me speaking.

    Normally I’m as rigorous and hardcore statsy as you can get, but I suppose the whole McDavid thing has me giddy as a schoolboy.

    (Is that even a real saying? I don’t recall being very giddy as a schoolboy)

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

    Not sure if anyone knows, but does Edmonton have to start a waiver period today to facilitate a buyout?

    I haven’t brought it up before, but my one concern with Nurse in the Bigs is his positioning. I think he is a wonderful defender, but he still makes quite a few mistakes. He was able to recover excellently against juniors due to his speed. I’m guessing that was the same in the slower AHL. I’m no scout, but I noticed that in the Erie series. The NHL is a lot faster though, and I wonder if a few months working with a pro coach could help ease the transition. You don’t want your young guy to have to make a huge adaptation upon arrival.

    I was harder on Nurse than most ever since he was drafted. I finally see a 1D though. I even question if Seth Jones is out of reach for Nurse. Could be that we got the best D in the draft.

    Reinhart doesn’t have Nurse’s athleticism, but he did everything Nurse at the same age, and a little more. I don’t think he is the better player when we write the history books, but right now I think he makes the team over Nurse. I think he probably plays on the right side though, so maybe they pair up in the minors and break in together.

    godot10,

    Let it go!

  46. G Money says:

    godot10: You realize that Jesus and many if not most of his close associates were tortured and/or killed by the Romans.The “Jesus effect” if anything, is not a good one.

    OH THOSE FUCKING ROMANS!!!

    Eakins was a Roman I bet.

  47. Pouzar says:

    Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker),

    From my viewings of Nurse the whole “positioning” this is overblown at best. His positioning is fine. It’s a throwaway line imo. We have to find something wrong with so “positioning” is an easy thing to throw out there.

    I’ve gone on record as saying he will be better than Seth. So yeah I am a fan boy. 🙂

  48. blainer says:

    Who is to say that Chicago has a very hard time getting under the cap. They may be stuck with bickell.. If we wait until the beginning of the season we may be able to get Seabrook for a 1st and 3rd rounder and a good prospect.. We will not be able to fit him under the cap without that buyout today. It is just smart business to be prepared for that trade that may not pop up until the beginning of the season. Clearing out cap space in order to improve the team is doing due diligence..

    It is the difference between a smart manager and a shitty one IMO.. This is all depending on if the team actually plans to compete this year. Without a buyout I believe the plan is what MacT has said this is another development year… and that is just not acceptable to us fans who have been wandering the desert for the past 10 years..

  49. godot10 says:

    Hammers:
    Your lists always make for good discussions and keeping Ference at 7 is my biggest problem even on the 3rd pairing . I would sooner give that spot to Davidson as I see a future player there while you must admit Ference is in the twilight of his career if not totally done . Great man and played well enough to win a cup but as I said yesterday knowing when the time is up separates the best players .

    Er…”no movement clause”. Ference’s spot on the 23-man roster is guaranteed unless he is bought out this weekend. That is the only reason people put him at #7.

  50. G Money says:

    Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker): He was able to recover excellently against juniors due to his speed. I’m guessing that was the same in the slower AHL.

    I have also upped my estimation of Nurse of late.

    The reason is because of his skating. I’ve always known it was good, but I watched pretty much every game of the SSM-Erie (aka Nurse vs McDavid) series, and I was blown away by Nurse’s skating.

    I recall a half dozen times where Nurse came out from behind the net with the puck, and then he just hit the jets and he was gone. He was so fast it was ridiculous. Honestly, I don’t think it is much of an exaggeration to say that he was the second best skater in that series, after McDavid.

    Like I say: I was blown away. So were the players he left in his wake!

    I think he has NHL-plus-plus skating already. I suspect he can already match or beat Klefbom. So I don’t think recovery from mistakes will be a problem in the NHL either.

    Add in the fact that he is apparently up over 210 lbs already, and strong as a bull, and I think the fact that he came straight from Jr into the AHL playoffs and within three games was leading his team in ice time for D is not a coincidence.

    Like I say, it is the fanboy speaking, but every time I see him he looks like he’s improved from the last time I saw him, which was sometimes the day before. If he keeps that up, I just can’t see him not in the NHL to start the year.

  51. Doug McLachlan says:

    Clearing out space by trade or buy-out in the next 48 is the best way to keep options open for Chia. He seems to be all about options.

  52. blainer says:

    Pouzar:
    Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker),

    From my viewings of Nurse the whole “positioning” this is overblown at best. His positioning is fine. It’s a throwaway line imo. We have to find something wrong with so “positioning” is an easy thing to throw out there.

    Pouzar I know that you watched the AHL playoffs.. I also did and saw Nurse beyond good. To me I would be really surprised to see him not make the oil. What I saw from Nurse in the AHL playoffs was a D that was playing great on both sides of the puck.. His skating to me was way above most of the players in that series.. Forwards and or D.. IMO he is NHL ready. Did you see him differently ?

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

    G Money,

    Yeah, Nurse is unreal fast. I saw him catch McDavid a few times when he took a good angle.

  54. Pouzar says:

    blainer: Pouzar I know that you watched the AHL playoffs.. I also did and saw Nurse beyond good. To me I would be really surprised to see him not make the oil. What I saw from Nurse in the AHL playoffs was a D that was playing great on both sides of the puck.. His skating to me was way above most of the players in that series.. Forwards and or D..IMO he is NHL ready. Did you see him differently ?

    100% what I saw. It’s like the jump from OHL to AHL didn’t phase him a bit. I watched the McDavid series and all his games in the AHL playoffs. He was the same standout player in both leagues. I couldn’t be higher on a player(‘cept maybe for that McDavid kid).

  55. blainer says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Clearing out space by trade or buy-out in the next 48 is the best way to keep options open for Chia. He seems to be all about options.

    Ya know this situation reminds me of the contractor who built your house but made some big gaffs.. You then hired a new contractor to come in and fix everything and he does a great job but leaves without having the place painted.. we need Chia to finish the job he started over the summer and get the painting done..

  56. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    The general census around here that Nikitin is good and Ference is bad is hilarious.

    And the excuses made for or against each player? Hilarious.

    I, also, find it extremely hilarious the diatribe pointed towards Ference. Just pure fucking hatred.

    wheatnoil:

    Thing is that his numbers have never been bad (haven’t been great but not bad). They were worse last year but almost every way you look at it, fancy stat wise Nikitin was not the problem, even with the injuries.

    Hilarious. And, that about sums up the debate….

  57. blainer says:

    Pouzar: 100% what I saw. It’s like the jump from OHL to AHL didn’t phase him a bit. I watched the McDavid series and all his games in the AHL playoffs. He was the same standout player in both leagues. I couldn’t be higher on a player(‘cept maybe for that McDavid kid).

    Ya agreed that McDavid kid is something.. I did say I would reserve my opinion on Nurse after watching Otters series until I see what he could do at the pro level. To me he proved that he is ready for the big league.. Eberle kinda went the same way in his cameo at the AHL level. I really believe Nurses comparable at this stage is Pietrangelo in the short term.. Over the long haul this player is CHRIS PRONGER !! As I said last night Kudos have to go to MacT for taking him over Nichuskin..

  58. Pouzar says:

    blainer: Ya agreed that McDavid kid is something.. I did say I would reserve my opinion on Nurse after watching Otters series until I see what he could do at the pro level. To me he proved that he is ready for the big league.. Eberle kinda went the same way in his cameo at the AHL level. I really believe Nurses comparable at this stage is Pietrangelo in the short term.. Over the long haul this player is CHRIS PRONGER !! As I said last night Kudos have to go to MacT for taking him over Nichuskin..

    I predict a huge blue bubble in the shutdown quadrant.

  59. Tokyo Oil says:

    G Money,
    Been reading your comments on LT for a while now and am interested to hear your thoughts because you always articulate them well and usually provide supporting evidence to back up your arguments.

    Nurse and Reinhart should eventually become key members of the Oil D and I don’t fault you for the fanboy thinking. However if these two guys can demonstrate that they are better than the established NHL D currently on the Oil come September then I’ll be conflicted.

    Does that mean they’re ready for the bigs or does it mean that our veteran D are that bad?

    Despite Ference’s age and the disappointment with Nikitin last year, I think it is too early to write both of these guys off. CM, new coach, new GM, and I’m sure that NN and AF are stoked about next year as much as we are.

    I expect more from both of these guys (assuming neither gets buyed out this weekend) and if that happens then good for the team and good for Chia to possibly move one or both during the season next year.

  60. Oil2Oilers says:

    What is the history between Reinhart and Musil? Two North Van boys who are son’s of NHLers and played for the Oil Kings. We’re the ever defensive partners?

    Reinhart in his ‘claim’ an NHL slot year and Musil in a ‘longer look” (two cups of coffee, double double?) this year means next year they could be a shut down pair. Young, big and smart they are a few Pelletier pirouette lessons away from being an elite shutdown unit.

    I am cheering like hell for these two defenders to fulfill their potential. Let the dream boat and the nurse get the sexy minutes, I need a pair that allows me a comfort break during the game.

  61. Oilanderp says:

    I believe Reinhart makes the team before Nurse. Nurse is a bit too much flashy chaos still. The AHL will fix that. Reinhart is closer to the steady dependable and you won’t notice him. This is what the club needs first.

    I have have no supporting evidence that this is true or will come to pass. Just a hunch.

  62. wheatnoil says:

    digdeepnbleedblue:
    The general census around here that Nikitin is good and Ference is bad is hilarious.

    And the excuses made for or against each player? Hilarious.

    I, also, find it extremely hilarious the diatribe pointed towards Ference. Just pure fucking hatred.

    Hilarious. And, that about sums up the debate….

    1) I don’t see a lot of hatred for Ference. I think there’s been a lot people who have commented that like him as a person and a leader and he’s had an excellent career but may not be able to play at a high enough level at this point.

    2) Beyond finding everything hilarious, is there anything further you’d like to contribute to the discussion?

  63. Pouzar says:

    Oilanderp: Nurse is a bit too much flashy chaos still.

    No. No he isn’t. Flashy chaos doesn’t start a 5 on 3 PK in the AHL playoffs.

  64. Richard S.S. says:

    godot10,

    NMC mean nothing if the right match is found or the proper motivation is given. There’s hundreds of examples of that around.

  65. Rondo says:

    TSN recently showed the World Jrs championship and if you watch Nurse in that game against Russia he was playing like a defensive D-man. I think he plays all over the ice when the competition is lower like Junior hockey.

  66. Pouzar says:

    From Staples article regarding Nurse in AHL playoffs:

    “Nurse has quickly earned the trust of his coaches, so much so that in the final minute of Monday night’s game, with OKC holding a one-goal lead in an elimination game against Utica, Nurse was out on the ice.”

  67. godot10 says:

    Oilanderp:
    I believe Reinhart makes the team before Nurse.

    Because Reinhart has a full year of AHL experience, and thus can be broken in with more limited minutes on the 3rd pairing in the NHL.

    A 3rd pairing role for Nurse doesn’t give him sufficient ice time in the most critical year for player development, the first year of being a professional. Nurse has to play in the top 4 at the NHL level, or start in the AHL and demonstrate dominance in all situations playing 25 minutes per game. Once that is checked off, then one can break him in a 3rd pairing role.

    Nurse starts in the NHL if he is top 4, or else it is probably the AHL for 20-40 games. Reinhart starts in the 3rd pairing in the NHL unless he has a horrible camp.

  68. Pouzar says:

    3. Positioning
    Nurse played a confident game, not giving Utica forwards space or time. When he was away from the puck, he was constantly shifting his position, making sure he maintained proper defensive posture so if the puck came his direction, he’d be able to keep his check away from the OKC net. It’s the kind of smart play he’ll need to make it in the NHL and he consistently displayed it through the game.

  69. pocession charge says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    What is the history between Reinhart and Musil? Two North Van boys who are son’s of NHLers and played for the Oil Kings. We’re the ever defensive partners?

    Reinhart in his ‘claim’ an NHL slot year and Musil in a ‘longer look” (two cups of coffee, double double?) this year means next year they could be a shut down pair. Young, big and smart they are a few Pelletier pirouette lessons away from being an elite shutdown unit.

    I am cheering like hell for these two defenders to fulfill their potential. Let the dream boat and the nurse get the sexy minutes, I need a pair that allows me a comfort break during the game.

    Ricki is about to have a box protection orgasm.

  70. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    TSN recently showed the World Jrs championship and if you watch Nurse in that game against Russia he was playing like a defensive D-man.I thinkhe plays all over the ice when the competition is lowerlike Junior hockey.

    Agreed. We’re just not used (as fans) to viewing players who possess a complete skill set. It’s okay, we’ll just have to get used to it.

  71. pocession charge says:

    wheatnoil: 1) I don’t see a lot of hatred for Ference. I think there’s been a lot people who have commented that like him as a person and a leader and he’s had an excellent career but may not be able to play at a high enough level at this point.

    2) Beyond finding everything hilarious, is there anything further you’d like to contribute to the discussion?

    There’s definitely something wrong with the affect of a person who finds humour in hatred.

  72. SkatinginSand says:

    Pouzar:
    Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker),

    From my viewings of Nurse the whole “positioning” this is overblown at best. His positioning is fine. It’s a throwaway line imo. We have to find something wrong with so “positioning” is an easy thing to throw out there.

    I’ve gone on record as saying he will be better than Seth. So yeah I am a fan boy.

    If you rewatch the World Juniors, you can see that positioning is indeed an absolute non-issue. The guy was an absolute shutdown beast. Zero even strength goals against in the entire tournament.

    His role with the Soo was different. In limited viewing, it looked like he was expected to provide a great deal of even strength offense. This inevitably leads to more chances going the other way.

  73. Dee Dee says:

    Next season is a paradigm shift for the Oilers. New (almost) balanced roster, new coach with a good (and proven) system, depth in the organization.

    Hall and Eberle are the longest serving players and have played under 5 different coaches in their 5 years with the team with 5 different systems.

    The team hasn’t played a “disciplined” system since 2006.

    Look at their Giveaways:
    http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?fetchKey=20152EDMSASALL&ord=desc&sort=giveaways&viewName=rtssPlayerStats

    Eberle .90 per game
    Schultz .85
    Petry 1.08
    Hall 1.06
    Yakupov .69

    Your top 4 are giving away almost 4 shots a game, many, many of which have come back as goals against the team.

    The forwards came back to check and pick up their men very rarely, they could when they felt like it, the problem is they didn’t feel like it very often.

    TMac will change this.

    Chiarelli is remolding the Defense.

    The new guys are are going to punish the opposition. What they are missing in raw skill is replaced with a physicality that has not been seen on this team for a long time.

    Being perennial bottom feeders just sucks the life out of you. Give this team a little taste of success and the players will rise to the level of their abilities.

    Oh, and Connor McDavid.

  74. wheatnoil says:

    G Money
    Suspect it’s somewhere in between, and that he’s going to “surge” back to being a decent third pairing defensemen who can add a big shot on the PP2 – just like we suspected we were getting when he was first signed.

    Do we have evidence that he wasn’t this last year? It’s not really “surging back”. I don’t see evidence that he was below replacement level even last year.

    Agree with the rest of your post, though. I just think that Nikitin actually is at least a replacement level NHL defenseman that Nurse and Reinhart would have to be better than to play, even if he doesn’t improve from last year.

  75. Lowetide says:

    Okay, we have some new folks and that’s great but it might be time for a quick review of what we’re trying to do here. If you have something to say, please feel free to express! If you want to argue the point, please do so. Be respectful, call your Mom and we’ll all get along.

  76. RexLibris says:

    call your Mom and we’ll all get along

    Ever since I forgot Mother’s Day she’s been screening her calls.

  77. Drew says:

    digdeepnbleedblue:
    The general census around here that Nikitin is good and Ference is bad is hilarious.

    And the excuses made for or against each player? Hilarious.

    I, also, find it extremely hilarious the diatribe pointed towards Ference. Just pure fucking hatred.

    Hilarious. And, that about sums up the debate….

    Not trying to pick a fight just wondering what is so hilarious and why. The poster you are questioning is very logical presenting their opinion (I tend to strongly agree with their point of view most times).

    Where and what is the point of hilarity? Is it that NN is just generally bad in every respect? That AF is as well? Or isn’t?

    I guess I am trying to understand what is the point of your comment?

  78. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    pocession charge: There’s definitely something wrong with the affect of a person who finds humour in hatred.

    Found humour in the mob that can be Oilers’ fans…

    Pouzar,

    Big smile?

    Lowetide,

    My sincere apologies. I would have censored that drivel as well.

  79. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar: No. No he isn’t. Flashy chaos doesn’t start a 5 on 3 PK in the AHL playoffs.

    Yeah, you save flashy chaos for the 5-3 PK in the NHL. BecauseNorris.

  80. Ancient Oilers Fan says:

    The man whose opinion counts , PC, said after the prospects camp that Nurse had to learn when to jump into the rush. His goal in training camp is to convince PC and TM that he can mind the store first and foremost.

    You get leeway to attack when you establish your dependability.

    World Juniors convinces me he can do that and make the team.

  81. RexLibris says:

    G Money: OH THOSE FUCKING ROMANS!!!

    Eakins was a Roman I bet.

    They invented cement (good) and used it for artistic purposes (bad).

    They “re-purposed” original Greek marbles for use in creating cement for building aqueducts and public baths but they extended a region of civil, loosely centralized government using provincial powers and were extraordinarily ethnically inclusive (relative to their contemporaries).

    Their literary legacy is eclipsed only by their Greek predecessors but they invented a room called the vomitorium.

    By comparison, Eakins delivered one and a half truly hellish seasons to the fans but was partially responsible for the acquisition of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

    I’d say both parties are about break-even in my books.

  82. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    Drew: Not trying to pick a fight just wondering what is so hilarious and why. The poster you are questioning is very logical presenting their opinion (I tend to strongly agree with their point of view most times).

    Where and what is the point of hilarity? Is it that NN is just generally bad in every respect? That AF is as well? Or isn’t?

    I guess I am trying to understand what is the point of your comment?

    Nor I.

    I find it hilarious… Sorry. Humorous, how Ference, for the most part, has become the point of discontent for the mob. While the same mob tries to find a way to justify Nikitin’s season.

    That’s all. In a nut shell. The only point I was trying to make. Offended some? Holy fucking, yes!

    I think quoting this is where the major wound lies:

    “Thing is that his numbers have never been bad (haven’t been great but not bad). They were worse last year but almost every way you look at it, fancy stat wise Nikitin was not the problem, even with the injuries.”

    To me that sums it up and I find that… Humorous?

  83. Lowetide says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: Nor I.

    I find it hilarious… Sorry. Humorous, how Ference, for the most part, has become the point of discontent for the mob. While the same mob tries to find a way to justify Nikitin’s season.

    That’s all. In a nut shell. The only point I was trying to make. Offended some? Holy fucking, yes!

    I think quoting this is where the major wound lies:

    “Thing is that his numbers have never been bad (haven’t been great but not bad). They were worse last year but almost every way you look at it, fancy stat wise Nikitin was not the problem, even with the injuries.”

    To me that sums it up and I find that… Humorous?

    It’s important to make the distinction between ‘some’ and ‘all’ of the opinions here. You can go for days and not find an encouraging word from Nikitin, although I’ve always defended him.

  84. Магия 10 says:

    Lowetide: I can tell you that in my 35 years in radio a LOT of damage has been done to whiteboards by using something other than an erasable marker. Seriously.

    Tracing over with erasable marker sometimes does the trick.

  85. Woodguy says:

    digdeepnbleedblue,

    I find it hilarious… Sorry. Humorous, how Ference, for the most part, has become the point of discontent for the mob. While the same mob tries to find a way to justify Nikitin’s season.

    So make a case for Ference and against Nikitin.

    Make an argument for Ference.

    Make an argument against Nikitin.

    I’d like to see a debate on it.

    Opinions are boring and nobody really cares about anyone else’s opinion anyhow.

    Arguments, on the other hand can be fairly compelling (or not)

  86. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar:
    3. Positioning
    Nurse played a confident game, not giving Utica forwards space or time. When he was away from the puck, he was constantly shifting his position, making sure he maintained proper defensive posture so if the puck came his direction, he’d be able to keep his check away from the OKC net. It’s the kind of smart play he’ll need to make it in the NHL and he consistently displayed it through the game.

    This is actually the one “problem” Nurse does have. He gets over-confident and is often found behind the opposing teams net, the puck squirts free and all hell breaks loose.

    This can be fixed, and during his time in OKC I didn’t see it happen really. In Junior though, it was common for Nurse to get a bit anxious and jump into battles in the offensive corner, often getting caught flat footed when the puck came loose.

    McLellan and Chiarelli both have mentioned this small issue, and it will be fixed in due time.
    But it is a thing that might hold him back on opening night, where as Rienhart though not quite the complete package that Nurse is, Griffen has a bit more calm feet. He won’t be caught high and he will be barely noticed.

    Just my 2 cents and it is not a knock on Nurse at all, confidence is a good thing…but being caught high in the offensive zone is another thing.

    I think Nurse should be playing 25 minutes a night in Bakersfield, get called up eventually, and never look back.

  87. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    Lowetide: It’s important to make the distinction between ‘some’ and ‘all’ of the opinions here. You can go for days and not find an encouraging word from Nikitin, although I’ve always defended him.

    The dude will abide if he rants again. For the record I did try to use words/phrases like “general”, “can” and “for the most part”. But I get the sensitivity.

    On a more serious note: Nikitin (no colourful language here) was bad. Very bad last season. He’s eighth on my list after Davidson. Ference is sixth.

    Based on how they performed last year during my viewings that’s where I rank them. Of course, you have a TC so players can fight for their place in the food chain. But as of right now this is the corr…. Just fucking around.

    Too soon for hilarity?!

  88. G Money says:

    Tokyo Oil: Does that mean they’re ready for the bigs or does it mean that our veteran D are that bad?
    Despite Ference’s age and the disappointment with Nikitin last year, I think it is too early to write both of these guys off. CM, new coach, new GM, and I’m sure that NN and AF are stoked about next year as much as we are.
    I expect more from both of these guys (assuming neither gets buyed out this weekend) and if that happens then good for the team and good for Chia to possibly move one or both during the season next year.

    Yeah, fair questions.

    I do think that its pretty common to underestimate the McLellan effect – I do think he will have the single biggest impact on this team, with only the goaltending change in the same ballpark.

    And that effect will be that every single incumbent player will likely be as good or better next year.

    As for the issue of “our veteran D” are that bad … well, I think we can all accept that NN, AF, and EG are not particularly good. “Third pairing at best” is a likely outcome.

    BUT! I do think there is a significant contrast with some of last years roster issues, especially what we saw with C. Last year, it was RNH and Gordon, and after that we had Arco, Lander, and Drai. So it was a given that at least two of those guys were going to get spots. Not earn them, but get them. They didn’t have to beat out NHLers, they only had to win out over other rookies.

    That’s not a good thing!

    This year at least, for Nurse and Reinhart to make this team, they have to win out over *actual* NHLers. Ference has 900+ NHL games, Nikitin 245, and Gryba 165. Whether they’re good, good enough, still good, just plain bad, etc. is in some ways not an issue. At least they’ve played in the NHL, and generally on better teams than the Oilers.

    I think they will – the fanboy says I think the third pairing on merit will be Nurse-Reinhart. They’re going to make mistakes, sure they are. But they’re still going to be better than the alternatives, and those alternatives will be actual NHL players.

    Huzzah!

  89. blainer says:

    Centre of attention: This is actually the one “problem” Nurse does have. He gets over-confident and is often found behind the opposing teams net, the puck squirts free and all hell breaks loose.

    This can be fixed, and during his time in OKC I didn’t see it happen really. In Junior though, it was common for Nurse to get a bit anxious and jump into battles in the offensive corner, often getting caught flat footed when the puck came loose.

    McLellan and Chiarelli both have mentioned this small issue, and it will be fixed in due time.
    But it is a thing that might hold him back on opening night, where as Rienhart though not quite the complete package that Nurse is, Griffen has a bit more calm feet. He won’t be caught high and he will be barely noticed.

    Just my 2 cents and it is not a knock on Nurse at all, confidence is a good thing…but being caught high in the offensive zone is another thing.

    I think Nurse should be playing 25 minutes a night in Bakersfield, get called up eventually, and never look back.

    I understand what you are saying with the Nurse during the Otters series.. That is why for me He had to prove he could play at the next level and not bring any Chaos. I actually believe he learned a lot form the loss of that series and was much better positioned in the Ahl playoffs. He adapted very quickly and to be honest I was surprised by it.

    I fully expected him to show he was not ready and thought the decision to sit him for the first couple of games in that series was a big mistake for his development… Again to me he proved he is ready for the next step just as Eberle did in his cameo..

  90. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy:
    digdeepnbleedblue,

    I find it hilarious… Sorry. Humorous, how Ference, for the most part, has become the point of discontent for the mob. While the same mob tries to find a way to justify Nikitin’s season.

    So make a case for Ference and against Nikitin.

    Make an argument for Ference.

    Make an argument against Nikitin.

    I’d like to see a debate on it.

    Opinions are boring and nobody really cares about anyone else’s opinion anyhow.

    Arguments, on the other hand can be fairly compelling (or not)

    This is exactly how I feel. The arguments for Nikitin are simple. Younger. That is all. Looking at past performance, Ference has had a better career. Ference is also now almost completely eroded, that concussion at the end of the season might have been his last one.

    Ference has also had some problems with other important locker room personalities.

    Nikitin also has a bomb of a shot, and if he can rotate his back and pivot his hips this season without excruciating pain, I’m sure he can contribute in a bottom-four role.

  91. Rake 2.0 says:

    blainer,

    I recall hearing that Sheldon keefe had told nurse that he had wanted him to carry the puck up ice more during the otters series. It may not be as much of his game as we think it is if we are judging it off of those games.

  92. G Money says:

    Funny thing about the C position is that, superficially, we are in the same boat as last year. We have two legit NHL centres in RNH and Letestu, and then we have three newbies in Lander, Drai, and McDavid scrapping for the other two spots.

    Of course, the similarity IS superficial.

    McDavid is a generational talent. There isn’t a team in the league that he doesn’t make as a rookie.

    Drai is a year older, bigger, faster, and more used to the North American game.

    And Lander has paid his dues and should be considered a legitimate NHL player.

    As a result, a bigger better Drai likely doesn’t make the team at C this year, a position he was gifted last year.

    Superficially the same, fundamentally a huge difference.

  93. RexLibris says:

    G Money: I do think that its pretty common to underestimate the McLellan effect – I do think he will have the single biggest impact on this team, with only the goaltending change in the same ballpark.

    GMoney – why do you hate McDavid? 😉

    Agreed, though. Good coaching and systems can take a motley crew of degenerates all the way to the Western Conference Semifinals.

  94. Richard S.S. says:

    The entire Nikitin/Ference critique (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/critique?s=t) has been trying to determine asset value for the solution to the Cap Issue.

    Being unable to call up some of the very best players (Reinhart, Draisaitl and possibly Nurse) because you can’t afford possible bonuses makes it a Cap Issue. Not being able to cover bonuses to more than just one is a disgrace and a Cap Issue. Not covering bonuses at all is bad judgement.

    Being unable to acquire talented players from Cap Tight Teams is a Cap Issue and bad judgement (McTavish’s best attribute). Talking about the Defenseman is a Cap Issue, not who’s good and who’s not.

  95. G Money says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: On a more serious note: Nikitin (no colourful language here) was bad. Very bad last season. He’s eighth on my list after Davidson. Ference is sixth.
    Based on how they performed last year during my viewings that’s where I rank them.

    And that’s fine.

    He’s that on your list.

    This is one of the reasons we (collectively) also take fancystats into consideration in our assessments of players.

    Fancystats are far less prone to recency bias, confirmation bias, and all the other distortions that we frail human beings will happily inject into our assessments. And we’ll swear by those assessments as accurate, no matter how demonstrably wrong they may be.

    The fancystats suggest that Nikitin is not nearly as bad as people saw him to be, and Ference is just as bad (or worse) than we saw him to be – which was pretty bad.

    I suspect you’ll say “I know what I saw”.

    To which I will quote Steven Novella:

    When someone looks at me and earnestly says, “I know what I saw,” I am fond of replying, “No you don’t.”

    You have a distorted and constructed memory of a distorted and constructed perception, both of which are subservient to whatever narrative your brain is operating under.

    If you’ve decided that Nikitin is bad and Ference is better, that’s what you’re going to see – reality be damned.

    You’ll excuse us if we don’t unquestioningly accept your distorted and constructed perception as fact.

  96. bigbadbruin24 says:

    Chia is just waiting to make 100% sure he cannot get Franson…who is going to be signing with Boston this weekend. Once that signing is done he will be able to pull the trigger on his next course of action, be it a trade or a buyout. The Franson shoe has to drop first IMHO.

  97. G Money says:

    RexLibris: GMoney – why do you hate McDavid?

    I have it on dashing good authority that the lottery win for McDavid was actually a bad thing, because it’s going to create cap problems three years from now.

    These Oilers, it seems like they just can’t do anything right, eh?

  98. RexLibris says:

    My take on why Nikitin has fewer detractors at the moment than Ference is that we are facing only one more season of Nikitin whereas there is more term on Ference.

    I don’t know that I’d argue Nikitin was a better defender than Ference, but neither could be described as effective, strictly speaking.

    Perhaps there are elements of Ference’s off-ice choices that are weighing on popular opinion, and that speaks more to the perception of the person by the observer than the player’s ability.

    From a very dispassionate perspective, the team is better served by having both Nikitin and Ference’s cap space re-distributed to a player or players who could contribute at a higher level.

  99. Chris says:

    digdeepnbleedblue,

    The ire focuses on Ferrence as both he and Nikitin were bad by eye. Statistically Fetence was worse. Ference’s contract is also significantly longer than Nikitin’s. One more year and we are shot of Nikitin but like a bad smell Ferrence lingers with a who’ll unproductive 3 mill cap hit. Hence the clamour to buy him out.

  100. RexLibris says:

    G Money: I have it on dashing good authority that the lottery win for McDavid was actually a bad thing, because it’s going to create cap problems three years from now.

    These Oilers, it seems like they just can’t do anything right, eh?

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the league outfoxed the Oilers by getting them to add the splash and dash McDavid while letting Buffalo claim the silver medal with Eichel whose combination of size and skill is better suited to the Sabres, who have passed the Oilers like a dead cat on the highway and are due for a bounce up the standings.

  101. RexLibris says:

    G Money: Fancystats

    I see London, I see France, I can see your….

  102. Chris says:

    RexLibris,

    I supose that depends a lot on how much you believe in Lehner, personally I expect the Sabers to have the worst goaltending in the league.

  103. blainer says:

    Rake 2.0:
    blainer,

    I recall hearing that Sheldon keefe had told nurse that he had wanted him to carry the puck up ice more during the otters series. It may not be as much of his game as we think it is if we are judging it off of those games.

    Good point.. Different coaching for both series meant different responsibilities..

  104. Hammers says:

    godot10: Er…”no movement clause”.Ference’s spot on the 23-man roster is guaranteed unless he is bought out this weekend.That is the only reason people put him at #7.

    Agreed but will they do it at the possible expense of loosing Davidson . The scenario I saw yesterday shows the actual hit come in 3 years and we break even the next 2 .

  105. G Money says:

    RexLibris,

    Exactly. Or as the kids these days are saying,

    Mo’ McDavids, Mo’ Problems

  106. blainer says:

    Things are not looking good on the buyout.. Should have heard something by now…

  107. Doug McLachlan says:

    blainer:
    Things are not looking good on the buyout.. Should have heard something by now…

    The window opend sometime today (not actually sure the exact time) and stays open for 48 hours.

    Sometime on Monday is the actual closing of the window.

    Ference, on account of his NMC, would not be exposed on waivers first, but if we don’t see Nikitin and/or Purcell on waivers I doubt either gets bought out.

  108. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Lowetide: You can go for days and not find an encouraging word from Nikitin, although I’ve always defended him.

    Someone has to help him defend – 😉

  109. blainer says:

    Doug McLachlan: The window opend sometime today (not actually sure the exact time) and stays open for 48 hours.

    Sometime on Monday is the actual closing of the window.

    Ference, on account of his NMC, would not be exposed on waivers first, but if we don’t see Nikitin and/or Purcell on waivers I doubt either gets bought out.

    This is true.. but not even a rumor.. very quiet.

  110. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Funny thing about the C position is that, superficially, we are in the same boat as last year.We have two legit NHL centres in RNH and Letestu, and then we have three newbies in Lander, Drai, and McDavid scrapping for the other two spots.

    Of course, the similarity IS superficial.

    McDavid is a generational talent.There isn’t a team in the league that he doesn’t make as a rookie.

    Drai is a year older, bigger, faster, and more used to the North American game.

    And Lander has paid his dues and should be considered a legitimate NHL player.

    As a result, a bigger better Drai likely doesn’t make the team at C this year, a position he was gifted last year.

    Superficially the same, fundamentally a huge difference.

    Lander was better than Gordon in the 2nd half of the season last year.

    He’s a NHLer now.

  111. jake70 says:

    The NMC with Ference is what makes me want to take rolaids. Where does a mid- lower pairing D get one of these things? Where? With that term and cap hit. Said it before, say it again….work out term and money FIRST….oh you want a NMC too, ..ok, then we rework dollars and term ok?

  112. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Lander was better than Gordon in the 2nd half of the season last year.

    He’s a NHLer now.

    Agreed.

  113. G Money says:

    jake70:
    The NMC with Ference is what makes me want to take rolaids. Where doesa mid- lowerpairing D getone of these things?Where?With that term and cap hit. Said it before, say it again….work out term and money FIRST….oh you want a NMC too, ..ok, then we rework dollars and term ok?

    Scary thought for you: what if that’s what actually happened?

  114. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: Lander was better than Gordon in the 2nd half of the season last year.

    He’s a NHLer now.

    Lander was better than Gordon due to 2 reasons
    1. Gordon was injured for part of the second half ( his back)
    2. Lander’s AHL game finally translated to the NHL. By the time of the WHJ’s he was playing 1st line for Sweden and was actually outplaying many other Countries centers.

    Honestly, I see a second line center assistant captain

  115. Richard S.S. says:

    There is a certain minimum time to buy out people using waivers. Rather than resorting to that too soon, Chiarelli’s probably working on a Trade. Failing to trade someone, Chiarelli will then buy them out. Ference could decline waivers and could be bought out right away, if Chiarelli so wished. We probably won’t hear anything before Noon Sunday and maybe not even then.

  116. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    G Money: And that’s fine.

    You’ll excuse us if we don’t unquestioningly accept your distorted and constructed perception as fact.

    Could the same bias not be argued against those that read stats and ignore the actual action that takes place during the game? Or never actually watched it.

    Now, I know you’re going to say you don’t ignore what your eyes see, you just don’t believe it.

    Not funny? Little?

    Serious question. Is it more informative to read the stats or watch the game?

    I get it’s hard for some to quantify what one sees. But I believe it’s far more lucrative to watch the games if you can watch the majority. If one cannot or has trouble understanding then reading data is the next best thing in forming an opinion.

    I’ll quote Magic Mike:

    “It’s good to know how to read, but it’s dangerous to know how to read and not how to interpret what you’re reading.”

  117. oilswell says:

    RexLibris: I have a sneaking suspicion that the league outfoxed the Oilers by getting them to add the splash and dash McDavid while letting Buffalo claim the silver medal with Eichel whose combination of size and skill is better suited to the Sabres, who have passed the Oilers like a dead cat on the highway and are due for a bounce up the standings.

    Splendid!

  118. Younger Oil says:

    frjohnk: Lander was better than Gordon due to 2 reasons
    1.Gordon was injured for part of the second half ( his back)
    2.Lander’s AHL game finally translated to the NHL.By the time of the WHJ’s he was playing 1st line for Sweden and was actually outplaying many other Countries centers.

    Honestly, I see a second line center assistant captain

    Putting Nuge in his rightful place as the #3C, I like it.

    I bet Lander will be able to get 50 points.

  119. Oilanderp says:

    RexLibris: They invented cement (good) and used it for artistic purposes (bad).

    They “re-purposed” original Greek marbles for use in creating cement for building aqueducts and public baths but they extended a region of civil, loosely centralized government using provincial powers and were extraordinarily ethnically inclusive (relative to their contemporaries).

    Their literary legacy is eclipsed only by their Greek predecessors but they invented a room called the vomitorium.

    By comparison, Eakins delivered one and a half truly hellish seasons to the fans but was partially responsible for the acquisition of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

    I’d say both parties are about break-even in my books.

    Don’t forget, Eakins built the aqueduct! Or maybe it was the other way around. But besides THAT, what’ve the Romans ever done for us?!?!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSELOCMmw4A

  120. jm363561 says:

    John Chambers: Thanks for taking your time away from tripping seniors at the mall and spitting on homeless people to offer your valuable dissection of my comment.
    I’ve really become a student of the game through your insightful analysis.

    Hunter provides the anger to this blog that is missing when DSF doesn’t post.

    Two points I would like to make as a relatively new user of the site. I thought Hunter1909’s comment was not at all in the spirit of this very civilised site.

    I have never seen Mr D S Fox post anything remotely as “angry” as H1909. You might occasionally argue about the tone of his posts but they are very well informed and almost always insightful. I think I am missing some history here because I am always surprised at the backlash against many of his posts which seem out of all proportion to what he has said.

    P.S. Love Lander. Great draft choice Stu! One more terrible development by the Oil, take note Bob.

  121. oilswell says:

    Doug McLachlan: Ference, on account of his NMC, would not be exposed on waivers first, but if we don’t see Nikitin and/or Purcell on waivers I doubt either gets bought out.

    It seems like that does not match the wording of the SPC in the CBA. This clause seems relevant:

    NHL CBA 2013
    SPC clause 11.8(c) A no-move clause may prevent the involuntary relocation of a Player, whether by Trade, Loan or Waiver claim. A no-move clause, however, may not restrict the Club’s Buy-Out and termination rights as set forth in this Agreement. Prior to exercising its Ordinary Course Buy-Out rights pursuant to Paragraph 13 of the SPC hereof, the Club shall, in writing in accordance with the notice provisions in Exhibit 3 hereof, provide the Player with the option of electing to be placed on Waivers. The Player will have twenty-four (24) hours from the time he receives such notice to accept or reject that option at his sole discretion, and shall so inform the Club in writing, in accordance with the notice provisions in Exhibit 3 hereof, within such twentyfour (24) hour period. If the Player does not timely accept or reject that option, it will be deemed rejected.

    Edit to add: is a buyout now an “ordinary course” one given that it is in a later buyout window triggered by club-elected arbitration? I would guess “yes” on the thesis that the “ordinary course” refers to the buyout (not Richards’ termination, eg) not the buyout window.

    Edit again: ah, compared to compliance buyouts.

    Edit: fixed paragraph number.

  122. Mr. D. says:

    GRYBA gets 17 min if we are losing 19min if we’re winning. NO ERIK KARLSSON here.
    He can be an effective 19-20 min guy.

  123. bendelson says:

    Younger Oil: Putting Nuge in his rightful place as the #3C, I like it.

    I bet Lander will be able to get 50 points.

    Interesting thought. That ever-elusive 50pt plateau could be RNH’s downfall.

    A second possibility? After Yakupov ruins McDavid, perhaps Connor can scratch out a third line role playing a cautious, yet responsible, 200ft game.

  124. G Money says:

    digdeepnbleedblue,

    Sigh. This is the same tired and stupid ad hominem argument that’s trotted out over fancystats by the monster numerically-illiterate morons of the world. Seemingly every time.

    “Watch the game, nerd.”

    Tired. Stupid. Desperate.

    I’ve been watching the Oilers for 36 years. THIRTY SIX YEARS. I would say I’ve watched conservatively between 1,000 and 1,500 OILER games alone. I’ve been watching the Oilers longer than many of the posters on this board have been alive. And that doesn’t include the uncountably many non-Oiler games I’ve watched, at all levels. There ain’t a damn thing about the game on the ice that you can teach me, I can guarantee you that.

    Fancystats are in their infancy, both in relative terms and in terms of my knowledge of them vs my knowledge of the game on the ice.

    Yet amazingly, fancystats will tell me more – objectively and predictively – than every MSM hack and delusionally self-important “watch the game” blog poster put together.

    What a surprise. Not.

  125. spoiler says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: Nor I.

    I find it hilarious… Sorry. Humorous, how Ference, for the most part, has become the point of discontent for the mob. While the same mob tries to find a way to justify Nikitin’s season.

    That’s all. In a nut shell. The only point I was trying to make. Offended some? Holy fucking, yes!

    I think quoting this is where the major wound lies:

    “Thing is that his numbers have never been bad (haven’t been great but not bad). They were worse last year but almost every way you look at it, fancy stat wise Nikitin was not the problem, even with the injuries.”

    To me that sums it up and I find that… Humorous?

    Wow, three condescending posts in a row. Just wow.

  126. pocession charge says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: I get it’s hard for some to quantify what one sees. But I believe it’s far more lucrative to watch the games if you can watch the majority.

    So you are saying that you get paid to watch the games? Where can I sign up for this?

    I don’t get paid to watch like some others do, but from my free observations Andrew Ference struggled to keep up to the speed of the game in the latter half of last year. He did bring a physical edge to a non-physical defence corps, but he is quite small, was concussed, and I don’t think that his physical edge is going to last much longer. Of course, he does have a lot of experience, but my grandpa has 70 years driving experience and he isn’t a very good driver.

    Ference is a great guy but his NHL days are numbered. If the defence is constructed solely on ability and merit, then Ference does not make the opening night roster. When healthy, there isn’t really anything that Nikitin is worse at (they are both quite slow), but there are some things he is better at (shot, power play). Darnell Nurse is a better NHL player the second his skates touch the ice this fall.

  127. pocession charge says:

    G Money: I’ve been watching the Oilers for 36 years. THIRTY SIX YEARS. I would say I’ve watched conservatively between 1,000 and 1,500 OILER games alone. I’ve been watching the Oilers longer than many of the posters on this board have been alive. And that doesn’t include the uncountably many non-Oiler games I’ve watched, at all levels. There ain’t a damn thing about the game on the ice that you can teach me, I can guarantee you that.

    Yeah but were you actually WATCHING the games or casting glances up from your excel spreadsheet, hmmmm?

  128. pocession charge says:

    G Money: Yet amazingly, fancystats will tell me more – objectively and predictively – than every MSM hack and delusionally self-important “watch the game” blog poster put together.

    In the defence of the MSM hacks, they probably have superior memories that capture all the tiny nuances of the game (for the entire season), filter them out in real time, and don’t suffer from any confirmation bias AT ALL.

  129. Lowetide says:

    We have a trainee in our midst today, so avoid the word deep please.

  130. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    pocession charge: your excel spreadsheet

    I didn’t know there was a version of Office for the Cray OS.

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

    digdeepnbleedblue: Could the same bias not be argued against those that read stats and ignore the actual action that takes place during the game? Or never actually watched it.

    Now, I know you’re going to say you don’t ignore what your eyes see, you just don’t believe it.

    Not funny? Little?

    Serious question. Is it more informative to read the stats or watch the game?

    I get it’s hard for some to quantify what one sees. But I believe it’s far more lucrative to watch the games if you can watch the majority. If one cannot or has trouble understanding then reading data is the next best thing in forming an opinion.

    I’ll quote Magic Mike:

    “It’s good to know how to read, but it’s dangerous to know how to read and not how to interpret what you’re reading.”

    You guys make me laugh. I can read the MSM, listen to stauffer, cherry or whoever else and regurgitate information. The watch the games perspective is so absurd.

    I watch every game too, but watching as a fan is different than watching as a coach. You are watching the play, not individuals. You aren’t grading as the game goes along. You are just basing your opinion off common rhetoric, and very noticeable moments. I’ll explain it like this. On the power play, do you watch the puck being moved around the outside, or do you zoom in on the battle in front of the net? The stick positioning of the defenders? Scouts are at a game to watch a few players. They cannot watch the entire team and critique. You aren’t some sort of omnipotent being (probably).

    “Advanced stats” despite the name are nothing special. They take common hockey knowledge, and help grade players with it. For example, the team with the most shots usually wins. Or the team with the most scoring chances usually wins. Or the defender who gives up the fewest scoring chances is better. The numbers are a deeper way to evaluate than watching as a fan. Due to their simplicity, they aren’t better than traditional scouting, and grading practices. They are good for IDing players of interest, and for prognostication. One day, we may have enough stats developed to match standard scouting grades, but for now that is their place in the hierarchy.

    Stats are impartial, and are for the most part true. An in-depth scouting can overturn the stats, but just watching the games shouldn’t. As far as rumours about fitness and whatnot, Willis wrote a good article on ON about that last year. Money quote in that was about how Messier was a bad influence in Vancouver. It is amazing how much fans think they know, when they know so profoundly little about the team. That’s why stats are catching on. They give a fairer way for the common fan to evaluate a player that they know almost nothing about.

    You want to talk about bandwagon hopping, go to ON. Memes pop up all the time there. Smurfs, hemsky soft, etc. Most people around here base their opinions off quantifiable evidence, and not daily rhetoric. This is the more informed hockey crowd, though I feel like that has been changing recently with commenters like you popping up, and worshipping DSF.

    For the record I agree with Gmoney, Woodguy and others. They have done great working grading these players over the summer. I can’t say what they have done is particularly “fancy,” but it is grinding through stats that I rarely find the time to do. Father John deserves a shout out too. You have to realize that if you are arguing with them, you need to re-evaluate your position.

  132. Oilanderp says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: Could the same bias not be argued against those that read stats and ignore the actual action that takes place during the game? Or never actually watched it.

    You know that the guys who collect the stats actually have to watch the games several times over and in massive detail, right?

    I’m pretty sure the vast majority of people here both watch the games, and revisit them via analytics as well.

    The fun thought is as follows. As stat collection approaches the finest details possible (as specific as you want: right down to how much fluids a player drinks between shifts and calculations of bone density and forces endured via hits and ratings on how well certain players get along with certain referees, friction coefficients of the ice surface that day, etc etc) we are basically approaching the ability to accurately simulate the game in advance. More info equals a better simulation.

    Given enough time and enough computing power, in terms of predicting outcomes we won’t need to watch the game at all. I’m not saying that’s a good idea…

    A similar argument involves the human mind and computing power: in the next hundred years or sooner it will be possible to simulate the human mind so accurately that the Turing Test will be blown to smithereens. Even the simulation won’t be able to tell if it’s a simulation or not. ” It” (the simulated mind) will surely insist that it is the real thing (and maybe it is but that’s another question entirely… or is it).

    So you have to ask yourself the fundamental question: is the perfect simulation a real conscious being or not?

    If you think not, then why? Lacking Spirit? Essences? Phlogiston?

    Your belief may get you into an entirely irrational and untenable position.

    So I ask you now: In the future’s future when stats are as detailed as possible and we have the perfect simulation, will the game outcomes be predictable? If not, why?

    EDIT: And they told me that my philosophy degree was batshit!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/opinion/sunday/is-the-universe-a-simulation.html?_r=0

  133. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    I need this shirt!

  134. spoiler says:

    G Money: OH THOSE FUCKING ROMANS!!!

    And what have they ever given us in return?

  135. RexLibris says:

    Chris:
    RexLibris,

    I supose that depends a lot on how much you believe in Lehner, personally I expect the Sabers to have the worst goaltending in the league.

    I was being facetious. I’ve hidden a few hints in the comment as to whom I was satirizing.

    Personally, the Sabres could do better than the Oilers this year if only because they are playing in the Eastern Conference.

    But they have added O’Reilly (charges pending) and Kane as NHL-ready assets to the roster so we’ll see how things go.

    One thing I haven’t heard anything on yet is whether there are concerns about the chemistry of the team and leadership with those two in particular as they enter the new season. I’m not saying it will be a problem, I’m just wondering if anyone has heard of concerns amongst the fan base or management.

  136. AsiaOil says:

    People are down on Ference because the money was a mistake, the term was a mistake, and the NMC was a mistake. Buying him out now makes 2.5 of those mistakes go away now. Pretty simple and gets us cap room for a TC or in-season add and less worry about bonuses as others have said.

    As for the C – RHN would be great and he’s much better when he’s been called upon to be a leader when Hall’s been out. Giving him the C full time would enhance that I think.

  137. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:I’ve hidden a few hints in the comment as to whom I was satirizing.

    How so?

  138. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Howson?

    Wrong, guess again!

  139. RexLibris says:

    Gord Miller @GMillerTSN 3h Can’t help but think that if Tiger Woods was a team sport athlete, management would be sitting him down and suggesting that he retire.

    Ouch.

    Tiger Woods Alex Rodriguez?

  140. Woodguy says:

    digdeepnbleedblue,

    It’s a nice day Andrew, go for a run in the river valley or do some preliminary work on your November project.

  141. spoiler says:

    RexLibris:

    Lowetide: Howson?

    Wrong, guess again!

    Well, I can’t help but think this is a moving target… so to speak.

  142. pocession charge says:

    RexLibris: dead cat bounce

    This is my guess.

  143. bendelson says:

    RexLibris: I have a sneaking suspicion that the league outfoxed the Oilers by getting them to add the splash and dash McDavid while letting Buffalo claim the silver medal with Eichel whose combination of size and skill is better suited to the Sabres, who have passed the Oilers like a dead cat on the highway and are due for a bounce up the standings.

    To LT and the others yet to figure it out… it’s simple actually.

    It’s all about the capital letters.

    Take the ‘B’ in Buffalo, the ‘E’ in Eichel, pretend the ‘M’ in McDavid is actually an ‘N”, use the ‘D’ in McDavid, the ‘E’ in Eichel again, add an ‘L’ for no reason, apply the ‘S’ in Sabres, the ‘O’ in Oilers and again change the ‘M’ in McDavid to an ‘N’ and it pretty darn clear what going on here…

  144. spoiler says:

    bendelson: To LT and the others yet to figure it out…it’s simple actually.

    It’s all about the capital letters.

    Take the ‘B’ in Buffalo, the ‘E’ in Eichel, pretend the ‘M’ in McDavid is actually an ‘N”, use the ‘D’ in McDavid, the ‘E’ in Eichel again, add an ‘L’ for no reason, apply the ‘S’ in Sabres, the ‘O’ in Oilers and again change the ‘M’ in McDavid to an ‘N’ and it pretty darn clear what going on here…

    This lad might be on to something… Does anyone here know a poster called “Bendelson”?

  145. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker):
    Just curious LT. What else would you use on a whiteboard other than erasable marker?

    Sticky notes, for when you begin to ponder commitment. It’s a big thing. A sticky note is just a lateral move away from the cork board, and then if that works out, you can upgrade to an ACTUAL pin before the sticky note glue marbles.

    (I think I’m going to award myself +1 for sticking the landing on the faux noun-phrase garden path—normally a garden path continues well beyond the Caragana couloir. This one is docked to the rump, verging on coccygectomy, also known as Cockney.)

    [*] Long ago I spent a month in my early adolescence [ibid.] on a farm in southern Alberta where the direct path from the greasy barn with the black dirt floor, the arc welder, and the heavy anvils to the tall-grass automotive bone yard (where lived Mater’s pater) really did involve ducking through a visually obscure (and darkly enchanted) gap in a thick, dust-moted Caragana windbreak. That would have counted as a happening itinerary for a long afternoon at the peek of podpop season. One had but two choices: chores, boredom, or trapping gophers.

    [**] “A third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without beddin’ ‘er back down” is funnier than every Mater scene put together in three whole movies, the animated shorts, and the video game spin-off. He was never my favourite character.

    [***] At this point, I guess it’s all too clear how I grew up to regard ACTUAL pins as an afterthought.

  146. hansa says:

    I’m sure this has been discussed before, but I can’t find when it was: if the Oilers trade for a player during this window, can they then buyout the player traded to them?

  147. RexLibris says:

    spoiler: This lad might be on to something… Does anyone know anybody called “Bendelson”?

    Now run it through Finnish on Google Translate, adjust for FenClose%, determine the box protection from Rickistats and add 42.

  148. RexLibris says:

    hansa:
    I’m sure this has been discussed before, but I can’t find when it was: if the Oilers trade for a player during this window, can they then buyout the player traded to them?

    I believe this is what Tampa Bay was intending to do with Gagner when they traded Purcell here, but I don’t recall if it was during one of the buyout windows related to arbitration.

    So…maybe yes?

  149. Doug McLachlan says:

    hansa:
    I’m sure this has been discussed before, but I can’t find when it was: if the Oilers trade for a player during this window, can they then buyout the player traded to them?

    No. Can only buyout a player on your roster at the preceding trade deadline.

  150. The Hermit says:

    Oilanderp: similar argument involves the human mind and computing power: in the next hundred years or sooner it will be possible to simulate the human mind so accurately that the Turing Test will be blown to smithereens. Even the simulation won’t be able to tell if it’s a simulation or not. ” It” (the simulated mind) will surely insist that it is the real thing (and maybe it is but that’s another question entirely… or is it).

    It is very possible that we live in a simulation ourselves.

  151. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    The Hermit: It is very possible that we live in a simulation ourselves.

    I dropped the red pill between my sofa cushions…

  152. The Hermit says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel: I dropped the red pill between my sofa cushions…

    It’s for the best…

  153. spoiler says:

    Bootstrap Effexor: Sticky notes, for when you begin to ponder commitment.It’s a big thing.A sticky note is just a lateral move away from the cork board, and then if that works out, you can upgrade to an ACTUAL pin before the sticky note glue marbles.

    (I think I’m going to award myself +1 for sticking the landing on the faux noun-phrase garden path—normally a garden path continues well beyond the Caragana couloir.This one is docked to the rump, verging on coccygectomy, also known as Cockney.)

    [*] Long ago I spent a month in my early adolescence [ibid.] on a farm in southern Alberta where the direct path from the greasy barn with the black dirt floor, the arc welder, and the heavy anvils to the tall-grass automotive bone yard (where lived Mater’s pater) really did involve ducking through a visually obscure (and darkly enchanted) gap in a thick, dust-moted Caragana windbreak. That would have counted as a happening itinerary for a long afternoon at the peek of podpop season. One had but two choices: chores, boredom, or trapping gophers.

    [**] “A third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without beddin’ ‘er back down” is funnier than every Mater scene put together in three whole movies, the animated shorts, and the video game spin-off.He was never my favourite character.

    [***] At this point, I guess it’s all too clear how I grew up to regard ACTUAL pins as an afterthought.

    These brief missives feed like hors d’oeuvres relative to the feasts you used to serve ideas. But when the cuisine turns laconic, we have to gobble whatever morsels are offered tidings. Is there a take away?

    And, lol, is Lowetide’s board made of cork? Sorry, don’t mean to pin you down.

    Ulysses has been on my mind a lot recently. Mostly because it’s the 5th anniversary of Inception this past week. I wonder if Clooney has figured out that the Coen’s used him in Brother! and if so, whether he has forgiven them.

  154. G Money says:

    pocession charge: Yeah but were you actually WATCHING the games or casting glances up from your excel spreadsheet, hmmmm?

    Sadly, Excel was not invented yet. I had to cast glances up from my VisiCalc!!

    Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker): You have to realize that if you are arguing with them, you need to re-evaluate your position.

    I enjoy it when people argue and/or disagree with me … there are a ton of smart people on this blog (more than any other Oiler blog), and I learn a ton when that happens.

    One time I disagreed with this poster (has something to with lumber, I forget) about Cam Talbot. He thought he was going to be good, but I was convinced the sample size was too small. So I set out (using facts, figures, and supportable logic) to prove him wrong. Three blog posts, five spreadsheets, and a collaboration with WheatNOil later and … it turns out he was right!!! GD IT. I HAD TO CHANGE MY MIND! Migod that hurt.

    Love debates, just so long as they bring some facts, as opposed to “it’s true because I saw it that way”. In this place, that’s just bringing a plastic knife to a tank war.

  155. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    The Hermit: It’s for the best…

    That you, Cypher?

  156. The Hermit says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel,

    Just someone trying to understand what we are.

    http://youtu.be/Wcz_kDCBTBk

  157. Revolved says:

    frjohnk: Lander was better than Gordon due to 2 reasons
    1.Gordon was injured for part of the second half ( his back)
    2.Lander’s AHL game finally translated to the NHL.By the time of the WHJ’s he was playing 1st line for Sweden and was actually outplaying many other Countries centers.

    Honestly, I see a second line center assistant captain

    Lander is the greatest gift we will get from Dear Departed Nelson (particularly since we treated Marincin like a bag of pucks) because he arrived just when we absolutely needed him. McDavid doesn’t need to face off against Backes day one because we finally have cover for our children. Lander deserves another run with Hall.

    As for Nikitin, I hope Chia is getting a good feeling for his healthy, as he could be an important piece if he’s not laying in a heap. This in comparison to Ference, who was really not
    Big enough to play NHL defence before the Wheels fell off. Now the numbers point clearly to a guy going off the deep end of productivity in every way, no matter what you see.

    Again, the question is, what happens to the C?

  158. G Money says:

    spoiler: And what have they ever given us in return?

    As Rex noted earlier, they gave us cement.

    Actually, that’s not accurate.

    I’m reading a fascinating book right now called “Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World” by Mark Miodownik. One of the sections is on cement, and the fascinating calcium-silicate-based tendrils that are created as a result of the chemical reaction that occurs when cement is mixed with water, and that are fundamental structure that provides strength once set.

    The key to using cement is to make concrete: mixing cement with small rocks called aggregate. The silica tendrils bind tightly to the rock, making for a terrifically strong substance that can be poured into all kinds of amazing shapes when still unset. The chemical reaction continues on for a long time deep in the cement, so concrete does not actually reach maximum hardness for a time measured in years after first being poured!

    And by an amazing coincidence, those tendrils also do a terrific job of sticking to steel, which also happens to have an almost identical coefficient of expansion, which is what makes reinforced concrete almost impervious to weather.

    Once you add that steel to concrete, the steel absorbs the bending stresses that occur when concrete is used as a building material, preventing what is the deathly enemy of unreinforced concrete: cracks.

    The combination of concrete and steel is so chemically unlikely that it was actually invented by a gardener looking for a way to build bigger pots!

    Anyway, back to the Romans …

    Turns out the Romans didn’t really invent cement – they had a ready-made source of it near a volcano at Pozzuoli, which provided the intense heat otherwise needed to create cement.

    Once the Roman empire fell, the knowledge of how to make cement disappeared with it, and cement wasn’t seen again for over a 1,000 years. Nobody really knows why.

    Fascinating book!

  159. spoiler says:

    G Money,

    Well, I think I should point out first, GMoney, in all fairness, we are not, in fact, the rescue committee. However, I have been asked to read the following prepared statement on behalf of the movement:

    “We the People’s Front of Judea–brackets, officials, end brackets–do hereby convey our sincere fraternal and sisterly greetings to you, GMoney, on this, the occasion of your martyrdom.”

    “Your death will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parentland from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors—excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes, and hermaphrodites.” Signed, on behalf of the P. F. J. , etc.

    …And I’d just like to add, on a personal note, my own admiration, for what you’re doing for us, GMoney, on what must be, after all, for you a very difficult time.

  160. godot10 says:

    Oilanderp:

    A similar argument involves the human mind and computing power:in the next hundred years or sooner it will be possible to simulate the human mind so accurately that the Turing Test will be blown to smithereens.Even the simulation won’t be able to tell if it’s a simulation or not. ” It” (the simulated mind) will surely insist that it is the real thing (and maybe it is but that’s another question entirely… or is it).

    So you have to ask yourself the fundamental question:is the perfect simulation a real conscious being or not?

    If you think not, then why?Lacking Spirit?Essences?Phlogiston?

    Your belief may get you into an entirely irrational and untenable position.

    So I ask you now:In the future’s future when stats are as detailed as possible and we have the perfect simulation, will the game outcomes be predictable?If not, why?

    EDIT: And they told me that my philosophy degree was batshit!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/opinion/sunday/is-the-universe-a-simulation.html?_r=0

    I presume you have seen the 2015 movie “Ex Machina” which is about all this, Turing tests, and the like. It stars Michael Fassbender’s Swedish girlfirend, Alicia Vikander, who if you haven’t heard of (you can “see” her in the movie), you will soon, because she is going to be in something like 8 movies over the next 18 months, including Bourne #5 next year.

  161. spoiler says:

    RexLibris: Now run it through Finnish on Google Translate, adjust for FenClose%, determine the box protection from Rickistats and add 42.

    Okay I’ve tried that 5 times sideways and keep getting “Internal Error”. So I had a beer to fix the error and then slapped the data three times with a fresh slab of regressed meat, and voila!

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/06/22/article-0-0CA936D600000578-643_634x421.jpg

    Pretty sure it’s another clue.

    JUST YOU WAIT BENDELSON!!! WE WILL FIGURE OUT WHICH POSTER YOU ARE!

  162. jake70 says:

    G Money: Scary thought for you: what if that’s what actually happened?

    Yes I did think of that scenario after my post. Let’s find our happy place where this did not happen.

  163. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Okay I’ve tried that 5 times sideways and keep getting “Internal Error”.So I had a beer to fix the error and then slapped the data three times with a fresh slab of regressed meat, and voila!

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/06/22/article-0-0CA936D600000578-643_634x421.jpg

    Pretty sure it’s another clue.

    JUST YOU WAIT BENDELSON!!!WE WILL FIGURE OUT WHICH POSTER YOU ARE!

    Believe I worked on that.

  164. Oilanderp says:

    G Money:

    Turns out the Romans didn’t really invent cement – they had a ready-made source of it near a volcano at Pozzuoli, which provided the intense heat otherwise needed to create cement.

    Once the Roman empire fell, the knowledge of how to make cement disappeared with it, and cement wasn’t seen again for over a 1,000 years.Nobody really knows why.

    Fascinating book!

    I just finished 2nd year carpentry a few months ago, and it is mostly about concrete. In between bouts of me hammering nails into things, I heard the instructor say something about pozzolans and their role in concrete.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozzolan

    Some blog, this.

  165. Oilanderp says:

    godot10: I presume you have seen the 2015 movie “Ex Machina” which is about all this, Turing tests, and the like.

    I have not, but i’m running down to the corner virtual VHS video rental store right now! I spent several 10s of thousands of dollars thinking about consciousness, epistemology, Turing, Frege, Husserl and the rest of the bat-shit-lunaticys they are happy to sell you at the University™ in little boxes not necessarily made of ticky-tacky. Huge sci-fi fan too, when the wife lets me.

    I’m still reeling from The Thirteenth Floor (1999).

    Any more movies in this vein anyone would care to mention would be appreciated.

  166. spoiler says:

    Oilanderp,

    Well Existenz if you haven’t seen it. Ex Machina is pretty neat. Her, too.

    And surely you must have seen Inception?

  167. raventalon40 says:

    I’m a bit CBA-illiterate. Can you trade cap hits for bought out players? Or is that considered cap circumvention?

    I’m looking at the Andrew Ference buyout numbers:

    Year Base Salary (Cash) Buyout Savings Buyout Cap Hit
    2015-16 Contract details by year $1,083,333 $2,166,667 $1,083,333
    2016-17 Contract details by year $1,083,333 $2,166,667 $1,083,333
    2017-18 Contract details by year $1,083,333 -$1,083,333 $1,083,333
    2018-19 Contract details by year $1,083,333 -$1,083,333 $1,083,333

    Could we package the final two years of that buyout cap hit of $1,083,333 for 2017-18 and 2018-19, and package it with a 2nd round pick and a prospect (Gernat?) to a team like Arizona and they would send us back like a 6th round pick or some garbage prospect?

  168. Jaxon says:

    It blows me away that nobody is talking about LaLeggia. If this wasn’t the season of McDavid, Nurse, Draisaitl, Reinhart, Sekera, Talbot, then LaLeggia would be huge news. Mike Rielly signing with MIN was big news, but Joey outperformed him (this was Rielly’s draft+4 season tied with Joey’s draft+3). His production puts him in some solid NHL company. And many of those players jumped right into the NHL and scored between a 30 & 50 pt pace in their rookie season. His closest comparables are John-Michael Liles and Alex Goligoski in terms of production (in their draft+3 season) and size. Those are 2 quite valuable players. If MacLennan is looking for help on the PP, LaLeggia may be the man to step in. I’m all for him spending some time in the AHL, but most of his comparables spent very little time there before jumping to the NHL and producing at an elite rate.

    Some NHLEs of notable NCAA D in their Draft+3 or final College year if undrafted (ND):

    Matt Carle (6’0”, 205lbs, Hobey Baker Winner)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 46pts
    NHL = 12gp, 6pts, which is 41pts/82gp with SJS (small sample).
    Draft+4: AHL = 3gp, 2pts
    NHL = 77gp, 42pts, which is 45pts/82gp with SJS.

    John-Michael Liles (5’10”, 185lbs, Hobey Baker Finalist)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 43pts
    AHL: 5gp, 1pt
    Draft+4: NHL = 79gp, 34pts, which is 35pts/82gp with COL.
    Draft+5: Lockout
    Draft+6: NHL = 82gp, 49pts, which is 49pts/82gp with COL.

    Brendan Smith (6’2”, 198lbs, Hobey Baker Finalist)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 42pts
    Draft+4: AHL = 63gp, 32pts
    Draft+5: AHL = 57gp, 34pts
    NHL = 14gp, 7pts, which is 41pts/82gp with DET (small sample).
    Draft+6: AHL = 32gp, 20pts
    NHL = 34gp, 8pts, which is 19pts/82gp with DET.
    Draft+7: NHL = 71gp, 19pts, which is 22pts/82gp with DET.

    Justin Schultz (6’2”, 187lbs, Hobey Baker Finalist x 2)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 39pts
    Draft+4: AHL = 34gp, 48pts
    NHL = 48gp, 27pts, which is 46pts/82gp with EDM.

    Jordan Leopold (6’1”, 205lbs, Hobey Baker Finalist and Winner)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 37pts
    Draft+4: AHL = 3gp, 3pts
    NHL = 58gp, 14pts, which is 20pts/82gp with CGY.
    Draft+5: NHL = 82gp, 33pts, which is 33pts/82gp with CGY.

    Joey LaLeggia (5’10”, 185lbs, Hobey Baker Finalist)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 36pts

    Jake Gardiner (6’2”, 183lbs)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 34pts
    AHL = 10gp, 3pts
    Draft+4: AHL = 4gp, 2pts
    NHL = 75gp, 30pts, which is 33pts/82gp with TOR.

    Alex Goligoski (5’11”, 179lbs)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 30pts
    Draft+4: AHL = 70gp, 38pts
    NHL = 3gp, 2pts
    Draft+5: AHL = 26gp, 18pts
    NHL = 45gp, 20pts, which is 36pts/82gp with PIT.
    Draft+6: NHL = 69gp, 37pts, which is 44pts/82gp with PIT.

    Mike Reilly (6’1”, 183lbs, Hobey Baker Finalist)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 27pts
    Draft+4: NHLE = 36pts

    Kevin Shattenkirk (5’11”, 192lbs)
    Draft+3: NHLE = 25pts
    AHL = 3gp, 2pts
    Draft+4: AHL = 10gp, 0pts
    NHL = 72gp, 43pts, which is 49pts/82gp with COL & STL

    More than 41gp in Draft+4, Pts/82gp pace:
    Carle: 77gp, 45pts pace, bigger
    *Liles: 79gp, 35pts pace, similar size
    Schultz: 82gp pace in shortened season, 46pts pace, same weight
    Leopold: 58gp, 20pts pace, bigger
    Gardiner: 75gp, 33pts pace, same weight
    *Shattenkirk: 72gp, 49pts pace, similar size

    More than 41gp in Draft+5:
    *Goligoski: 45gp, 36pts pace, similar size

    * shows close comparables in production and size

    Other Notable Draft+3 NHLEs:
    Torey Krugg (ND) – 30
    Brad Hunt (ND) – 23
    Jordan Oesterle (ND) – 17
    Ryan McDonagh – 14

  169. Pouzar says:

    Jaxon,

    Thx for this. Nice post. The avg Oiler fan is too busy dismissing him because he isn’t 6’2 220.
    Love Leggs!

  170. RexLibris says:

    Oilanderp: I have not, but i’m running down to the corner virtual VHS video rental store right now!I spent several 10s of thousands of dollars thinking about consciousness, epistemology, Turing, Frege, Husserl and the rest of the bat-shit-lunaticys they are happy to sell you at the University™ in little boxes not necessarily made of ticky-tacky.Huge sci-fi fan too, when the wife lets me.

    I’m still reeling from The Thirteenth Floor (1999).

    Any more movies in this vein anyone would care to mention would be appreciated.

    I’ve heard Zero Theorem is very good, although haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

    And of course Tree of Life is heavy with meanings of existence and the like. Not exactly everybody’s cup of tea, though.

  171. Jaxon says:

    Pouzar,

    Thanks, and he seems to be a good fit on the left side as his equivalencies outscore everyone on the left side, even every season but Sekera’s best season (his draft+10 of 44pts). Don’t get me wrong, I realize that Sekera, Klefbom, Nurse and Reinhart are absolute horses and quite likely more valuable D and will be solidly established as 1234 on the left side, but none of them project to bring the kind of offence LaLeggia does. If Schultz gets traded someday, then he becomes even more important.

    I don’t think he cracks the roster this fall, but he should at least be in the conversation. What a pick at 123rd!

  172. Pouzar says:

    Jaxon,

    Leggs is why I am not a huge fan of the Hunt signing. He needs to be running the PP in Bakersfield.

  173. raventalon40 says:

    Pouzar:
    Jaxon,

    Leggs is why I am not a huge fan of the Hunt signing. He needs to be running the PP in Bakersfield.

    Nothing wrong with a little competition.

    Scrivens has Nilsson, Nurse has Reinhart, Laleggia has Hunt.

    And if it works out right, Nikitin will have both Laleggia and Davidson knocking at the door for that PP specialist slot…

  174. Oilanderp says:

    Thanks gentlemen, all movies added to my list!

    Also, Laleggia looks great. Great hands and offensive instinct in the few times I have seen him. I wonder if he can get away with that stuff in the NHL. Time will tell.

  175. Pouzar says:

    raventalon40: Nothing wrong with a little competition.

    Scrivens has Nilsson, Nurse has Reinhart, Laleggia has Hunt.

    And if it works out right, Nikitin will have both Laleggia and Davidson knocking at the door for that PP specialist slot…

    Davidson as a PP Specialist? I would think Oesterle/Leggs are the options on that front.

  176. raventalon40 says:

    Pouzar: Davidson as a PP Specialist? I would think Oesterle/Leggs are the options on that front.

    Sorry, not Davidson. I meant to add a line there about /slash 7th defenseman spot but likely got distracted and pressed Post

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