A WINNING RECIPE FOR KALE KESSY

The big thing about Kale Kessy you should know (that has changed from a year ago) is the added speed from the big man. Kessy arrived in training camp last year with an extra gear and it made a significant difference.

  • Dallas Eakins, September 2014: “Kale has had a good training camp. He is a kid that worked extremely hard this summer on his strength, his conditioning, his speed…He has worked a ton on his skating, and he has come a long, long way, and he has moved himself up the depth chart. We like the way he fights for every shift, and he is just trying to stay another day right now.” Source

Kessy was sent down early but clearly made an impression. His AHL season was going very well (17GP, 3-3-6) before he suffered a knee injury the derailed 2015-16 completely. Neal Livingston reported on it, and offered an insightful update on the young man’s new approach:

  • Neal Livingston: “Kessy, having a decent season, has recently changed the way he plays the game of hockey. Less nasty and more instigator, Kale has hammered out he rough edges enough to make him a pretty pesky deep forward. One that the Oilers liked in camp, preseason, and still tend to keep an eye on while in the minors.” Source

Kessy is worth talking about because there’s a job on the roster he can fill, with few other candidates available to fill it. In the ‘enforcer’ category for Edmonton, we have three contenders. Since they all played in the CHL, it’s insightful to look at their NHLE’s at the same age:

  • Age 17: Kessy (9 points); Gazdic (6 points); Moroz (9 points)
  • Age 18: Kessy (8 points); Gazdic (11 points); Moroz (12 points)
  • Age 19: Kessy (18 points); Gazdic (12 points); Moroz (22 points)
  • Age 20: Kessy (5 points-AHL); Gazdic (4 points-AHL); Moroz (6 points)
  • Age 21: Kessy (15 points-AHL); Gazdic (10 points-AHL); Moroz (still to come)
  • Age 22: Kessy (to come); Gazdic (13 points-AHL)

I’m not sure much can be gleaned by these numbers, I’ve always thought health was the biggest factor in these jobs. Gazdic has the NHL slot currently, suspect he owns it until:

  • He gets hurt
  • One of the other players clearly establishes a track record of being more skilled.

Is that Kessy? The increased speed and attention to actual hockey may signal a brand new day. You never know.

PROJECTED BAKERSFIELD SCORING (RE) 2015-16

BAKERSFIELD 15-16

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20 Responses to "A WINNING RECIPE FOR KALE KESSY"

  1. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Khaira will outscore Moroz and Kessy.

    I will provide no evidence to support this opinion.

  2. Melman says:

    Hmmmm. MM, JJ or KK…anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Khaira will outscore Moroz and Kessy.

    I will provide no evidence to support this opinion.

    He could. I docked him heavily because Draisaitl and because McRae. Added to Yakimov, I fear there won’t be much in the way of skill minutes for him.

  4. Halfwise says:

    There is no rational justification for keeping Kessy when OEL is available in trade to any clear-thinking GM prepared to do what is both obvious and correct.

    (Just pre-empting a certain poster who was seen around here a couple of days ago). 😉

  5. Drew says:

    Halfwise,

    after we get OEL, Kessy will be a top nine for the Oil after the huge over pay.

  6. godot10 says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Khaira will outscore Moroz and Kessy.

    I will provide no evidence to support this opinion.

    I will second this opinion.

  7. Ducey says:

    Drew:
    Halfwise,

    after we get OEL, Kessy will be a top nine for the Oil after the huge over pay.

    No. He will be traded in the blockbusters that bring in Crosby, Getzlaf, Webber, Doughty, Keith, and Stamkos.

    The Oilers MUST not waste CMD’s entry level contract!

    No prospects are needed.

  8. OF17 says:

    I’m adapting an idea from Peter Thiel (Pay Pal founder, Facebook board member) here about venture capital funds, but it has interesting applications to NHL draft strategy. In his book Zero to One, which I highly recommend, Thiel outlines his theory that any single investment in a venture capital portfolio should have the potential to recover the entire total investment for the fund. Specifically, he says to choose only the handful of startups that have the potential to become billion-dollar enterprises, since it’s usually only one, maybe two, of those extreme hits that make a venture capital fund successful.

    The prime example he uses is Andreessen Horowitz’s $250,000 investment in Instagram which eventually yielded $78,000,000 for the company. By any account, that $250,000 was money well spent. But when you pair it with the fact the Andreessen Horowitz is a ~$1.5 billion fund, the $78 million made was relatively insignificant. Why make good bets if those bets don’t have a realistic chance of paying off big?

    I think this fits in quite well with the “draft skill and smarts above all else” mantra that exists here and elsewhere in the hockey world. Why draft a kid if he doesn’t have the potential to make that draft a winner on his own?

    It’s cherry picking, but Johnny Gaudreau is a prime example of this. Even if he’s the only Flame from that 2011 draft to make an impact, he’s already made it a good draft year for them, and he was a 4th round pick. To use another Flames example, look at Oliver Kylington. If he becomes the player he has the potential to become, that pick instantly justifies an entire draft. Does drafting Tyler Pitlick, whose reasonable ceiling was as a versatile middle-sixer, really allow for that possibility?

    The problem of course is that there are too many examples of this in recent memory. David Musil, Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney. Even if those players turned out, which was unlikely, they wouldn’t be enough to stake a draft on.

    If you’re going to draft a player, you really have to believe that at their peak, they’ll be good enough to stake a draft on, otherwise you’re better off just signing the yearly Mike Santorelli or Daniel Winnik for less than $1 million and moving on with your life.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Halfwise:
    There is no rational justification for keeping Kessy when OEL is available in trade to any clear-thinking GM prepared to do what is both obvious and correct.

    (Just pre-empting a certain poster who was seen around here a couple of days ago).

    OEL is the best Dman in the NHL.

    There are 30 teams in the NHL.

    All 29 GM’s who don’t trade for OEL should be fired because they are failures.

    QED mofo!

  10. Woodguy says:

    OF17,

    Agreed.

    That’s pretty much the “draft only players with top 6/top 4D projection because bottom 6/bottom pair players are available every summer for only money”*

    *Note: this was before CHI/TBY and others (hopefully the Oilers) change the paradigm to “top 9”

  11. Rondo says:

    Woodguy,

    Rather have Hedman.

  12. OF17 says:

    Woodguy,

    Yep. Just another way of approaching it that once again makes sense. I wouldn’t even include top-9 in the calculations myself. Top-6 forward, top-4 D, or bust. Hell, even the Oilers recognize it in some sad, roundabout way. Tkachev wasn’t worth a 6th round pick in his draft year, but he was worth an NHL contract? In what world are those two facts reconcilable?

    I can only hope Chiarelli takes a different approach. Given how many picks he traded away this year, we’re still at least a year from really knowing.

  13. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OF17: David Musil, Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney.

    One of these things is not like the others.

  14. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: One of these things is not like the others.

    Amen.

  15. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OF17: I wouldn’t even include top-9 in the calculations myself. Top-6 forward, top-4 D, or bust.

    Some hockey people think in terms of a core group of 12 players — 7 forwards, 4 defenders & 1 goalie, with the seventh forward specifically being a 3C. Those are the guys that ideally you find through the draft because they are hard/impossible to get by trade & uber-expensive as free agents in the rare instances they make it that far.

    The thinking being that if you can build the core through the draft, all the rest of the team could be built around it from the greater pool of players. So the focus of the draft is swinging for the fences in the late rounds for wild cards with upside.

  16. RexLibris says:

    You know I’m finding all this love for OEL here really funny.

    I was on this train LONG before it was cool.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/2/11/question-period

    Spoiler alert: Ekman-Larsson, Samulesson and Chipchura for Paajarvi, Rajala, Whitney, Pitlick, Musil and a 2012 2nd rounder.

    For the record, I can’t believe I’m bringing this up here. It was a cringe-worthy article 5 minutes after I posted it and it is roughly a thousand times worse today.

    But it does prove, I was President of the Edmonton Chapter of the Ekman-Larsson fan club long before any of you Johnny-Come-Latelys started showing up!

    🙂

    *seriously, that article should qualify under the right to forget statute. Horrible.

  17. flyfish1168 says:

    RexLibris:
    You know I’m finding all this love for OEL here really funny.

    I was on this train LONG before it was cool.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/2/11/question-period

    Spoiler alert: Ekman-Larsson, Samulesson and Chipchura for Paajarvi, Rajala, Whitney, Pitlick, Musil and a 2012 2nd rounder.

    For the record, I can’t believe I’m bringing this up here. It was a cringe-worthy article 5 minutes after I posted it and it is roughly a thousand times worse today.

    But it does prove, I was President of the Edmonton Chapter of the Ekman-Larsson fan club long before any of you Johnny-Come-Latelys started showing up!

    *seriously, that article should qualify under the right to forget statute. Horrible.

    I was with you. I remember being in Phoenix and watching this guy. He was easily there best player and when the Yotes occasionally put him with Yandle on the PP it was fun to watch

  18. v4ance says:

    Off topic

    Just read this article from the Players’ Tribune by Gregory Van Der Wiel:
    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/gregory-van-der-wiel-netherlands-world-cup/

    The last paragraph just made me die laughing:

    So my only genuine advice is to remember that this is supposed to be fun. Oh, and one more thing: Do not pee in your teammate’s water bottle. That’s weak. It’s much more fun to find embarrassing photos of them on the internet and tape them to their locker, like we do at Paris Saint-Germain. Except for Zlatan. There are no embarrassing photos of Zlatan on the internet.

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

    Is this the first ever winning recipe for kale? Can we hope he regresses, but to the meat?

  20. v4ance says:

    I know I’m late to the discussion but Calgary’s proposed new stadium project #CalgaryNext has some MAJOR logistical challenges. I have lived in the Sunnyside neighbourhood for the past 15 years so I have a unique experience and perspective on the proposed site. Sunnyside is on the north side of the Bow River across from the planned site on the southern bank in Sunalta.

    As RexLibris and others pointed out, it’s right beside the Bow River but it’s not really that bad as a flood risk. There have been 2 flood events in the last ten years 2005 and 2013. Due to the curve in the river, the left hand or northern bank (Sunnyside!) bears most of the brunt in flooding. In both 2005 and 2013, Memorial Drive was closed due to the localized flooding of that road as the river either soaked through and breached the embankment/pathway in 2005 or totally overflowed it in 2013. In both years, the flooding on the north side caused a closure of Memorial but the southern road (Bow Trail) going past the proposed site remained open and was relatively unaffected.

    I feel the biggest issue about the venue would be traffic and parking. The Sunalta neighbourhood is a relatively fully developed residential (1950’s apartments and small houses) and light industrial area. If you look at the images of the surrounding blocks, there aren’t many open spaces available that could provide parking for 20,000-40000 or more people going to a hockey/football game or a concert. When Shaw Millenium Park holds events, with even a thousand or so people, they have to park 3 or 4 blocks away in residential areas and walk in.

    Anyone who has driven out of downtown westwards during rush hour knows that Bow Trail westbound is a MAJOR chokepoint. When it starts at 4th Ave at the 10th street bridge (right by the former MEC turned buddist monastery) it is only a 2 lane one way road heading west. Rush hour traffic leaving downtown usually splits along 4th with half of the lanes heading north along the 10th street bridge and half going west to Bow Trail. For a game, fans coming from the north would clog both the 10th street and 14th street bridges in stop and go traffic.

    Eastbound going away from the site wouldn’t be as bad with 9th ave being a one way street with 4 available lanes. Coming to the stadium from the west on a gameday would be okay as Bow Trail eastbound is a major artery for rush hour traffic coming into downtown and is built to handle that amount of vehicles.

    If you look at the Saddledome, it is on the Stampede ground with tons of parking and right by the four lane Macleod trail. For the Stamps, McMahon is on University of Calgary property with tons of space and beside both 16th ave and Crowchild Trail which have tons of lanes to handle gameday traffic.

    To really make this work, the project has to buy all the land between Bow Trail and 9th avenue for the actual venue as well as all the land further down Bow Trail, bordered by the river, 10th Avenue (Renfrew Chrystler and Pumphouse Theatre) and Crowchild Trail for parking. Then they’d have to build a major pedestrian tunnel or elevated bridge to get that crowd under or over Bow Trail.

    Oooh! Just remembered traffic from the west has to go through the WORST designed interchange in the city (province!) where Crowchild Trail, Bow Trail and Memorial Drive interchange. In essence, Crowchild trail headed south goes from four lanes into a two lane elevated highway with merge lanes coming from BOTH left and right sides. Just google a map around Pumphouse Theatre and expand the map westwards to see the horror and the glory of it all. The civil engineers who designed that should have been shot!

    Other notes would be that the main east west CP and CN rail lines to the south of Bow Trail act as a barrier to traffic. Since they are the main lines, fences block access to the north and south of the rails. People walking from the south could only cross at the underpass of 14th street or further down at the 11th street level crossing. 14th street and the 14th street bridge interchange would have to be redesigned to handle an exponential amount of north south traffic and it’s really only 2 lanes either way right now.

    Sunalta C-train station is an enclosed and elevated platform about 3 stories above ground. It was built to handle a light amount of passengers as most people can walk or bike into downtown just as fast from this neighbourhood. During morning rush hour, you’re lucky to get on the train at this station as it is the last stop before downtown and it’s already been filled by passengers from the western suburbs on the 5 previous stops of the 202 line. The connecting pedestrian bridge leading to the Greyhound station is about 1/4 the width of the elevated bridge that goes to the Saddledome. Suffice to say, it would need a major addition to handle the amount of train passengers for a game. That station wasn’t designed for 10000 people like the stations at Victoria Park or Banff Trail for Flames or Stamps games. A sizeable amount of retrofitting would be needed to upgrade the capacity of that station everywhere.

    TL;DR
    In summary, flooding, no worries. Vehicle access to the site is choked by entry from the east via Bow Trail with only 2 lanes, the main CP/CN rail line that blocks & limits vehicle&pedestrian traffic from the south and the worst interchange in the city, if not the province, at Crowchild/Bow/Memorial for people coming in from the west or NW. 14th street and the 14th street bridge north/south traffic will have to go from a handling a secondary traffic load to handling a freeway amount of traffic. No parking anywhere. Major upgrade needed at Sunalta C-train station to handle 10x previously designed passenger load.

    If you wanted a facility that forced everyone to park 4-10 blocks away on residential streets and walk in during -20 C nights, this is your venue! I guess the one positive would be massive amounts of parking ticket revenue…

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