JOSH WINQUIST AND THE LONG, LONG CLIMB

The hardest thing to do is score goals, and as long as Josh Winquist can impact the scoreboard at the AHL level (or higher), he’s going to make a good living. Although he went undrafted, Winquist hit the ground running as a minor league signing and had a fine year in Bakersfield and Oklahoma City.

Recently, Eric Rodgers from “Tend the Farm” posted time-on-ice estimates and from that information it allowed us to have a better look at each player and their probable contributions per 60 minutes.

rodgers forwardsWinquist ranked No. 5 among regular wingers on the list and No. 3 among wingers who are actual prospects. He began 2014-15 in the ECHL (where he went 18GP, 5-18-23 before getting called to the AHL) and then delivered 19 points in just over half a season with the Barons.

One of the reasons he progressed? Winquist talked about his goals early in the year, while still in the ECHL:

  • Winquist: “My goal is to do what I did last year but just in this league and (ultimately) get called up. (They say to) do the things that got you here. If you’re a skill guy then play skilled, or if you’re physical then play physical. They just try to get you to play your own game but help you with little things and give you tips here and there to improve.” Source

He didn’t receive a contract from the Oilers and signed an AHL deal for the second year in a row. There’s an opening here, but Winquist has plenty of competition. I’m assuming the regular LW’s for 2015-16 will by Ryan Hamilton, Anton Slepyshev, Kale Kessy and Mitchell Moroz, meaning Winquist is going to battle with Braden Christoffer, Connor Rankin, Alexis Loiseau and others for playing time. His GP reflects what is likely to be a season spent (once again) between two minor leagues.

PROJECTED SCORING BY CONDORS PLAYERS 2015-16

BAKERSFIELD 15-16

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60 Responses to "JOSH WINQUIST AND THE LONG, LONG CLIMB"

  1. John Chambers says:

    The good thing about being a fan of a lousy team is that you get to see guys like this get the experience of a lifetime and suit up for an NHL game.

    Dean Arsene, Alex Giroux, Will Acton and Ryan Hamilton. Hell even Ryan Potulny.

    Deep in March when the string is being played out and the sports media is searching for a good news story.

  2. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:
  3. vishcosity says:

    Found a US version of the biosteel goal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srJBaVd9prM That’s nuts they won the tournament. may it be a pattern.

    The Yuan will likely fall until its closer to their neighbours (instead of buying US Treasuries, apparently they’re selling them at record rates, and then buying shares in their local companies instead). So I predict the CAD will close in on the USD soon enough because now with China ending its promise to keep buying treasuries to keep the currencies close, its now a full on race to the weimar bottom, and honestly, it probably doesn’t matter what currency you back, the spending power is going to the toilet regardless. Maybe consider something other than government issued paper products? I apparently collect aspherical glass.

    In Washington we smelled cut grass. First time in forever. Northern California has many guys in fire suits instead. If I caught it right, apparently they won’t let Starbucks comp their coffee anymore. Also, apparently, cops here get decaf.

    They say Napa is already too hot for some of their varieties.

  4. RexLibris says:

    OT –

    Tsipras resigns as PM.

    Syriza will likely begin to splinter or dissolve as a result.

    So we can add political instability to a moribund economy and social unrest as problems plaguing Greece.

    Interesting times, indeed.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Matty has a piece about Yak up: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/initially+scared+Yakupov+positive/11305476/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

    My two favourite paragraphs:

    “The first five or six games with Derek I was scared of him,” Yakupov said. “He would be yelling or swearing at me, but it was worth it. Sometimes you’re trying to be everywhere on the ice, but you have to be in your spot and listen to the centre.

    “Especially a guy like Derek, who has played in the league for 10 years. He’s seen everything in the game. He could help a young kid like me. Soon as Derek got the puck, I was trying to get open for a shot.

    Truth.

    My least favourite two paragraphs:

    The consensus is that Taylor Hall will be on left wing with McDavid (they are skating together at the BioSteel camp in Toronto this week) and Jordan Eberle will stay on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’s ride side on another line, maybe with Benoit Pouliot.

    The Nugent-Hopkins line would go against the other team’s top defence pairing. That leaves a right-wing spot available alongside the 18-year-old McDavid. It’ll be Yakupov or the veteran Teddy Purcell, most likely.

    I understand people who want Hall and McDavid together.

    I really do.

    I want them together for years and years.

    Sending out a line that is basically guaranteed to outscore the best on every NHL team is an awesome weapon, but for-crying-in-the-sink give McDavid 40 games to get acclimated to the NHL before giving him the best of the best as opposition.

    When Matty says:

    The Nugent-Hopkins line would go against the other team’s top defence pairing.

    ..I just roll my eyes.

    ORLY?

    Hall is the Oilers best player and McDavid is the best prospect since Crosby and you expect opposing coaches to just roll over and not send their best Dmen against those two?

    Keep dreaming Matty.

    Reminds me of when Professional Hockey Writers Association President Marc Spector wrote about Cody Hodgson taking Manny Maholtra’s job.

    Its makes you wonder if these guys even watch the games?

  6. Lowetide says:

    WG: I fear you’re underestimating RNH. It’s okay, almost everyone does. If teams run their best men against McDavid’s line, I trust the Nuge line to make them pay. McDavid may suffer at EVs in his first 20 games or even first season, but he’ll be part of a team intent on winning and using all of their assets toward that goal. I also think he’ll adapt quickly. I don’t think he’s going to be facing the top opposition for most of the season, even with Hall. The problem (and it’s legit) with doing this?

    They badly need a Justin Williams for McDavid’s line. He’s not here.

  7. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    WG: I fear you’re underestimating RNH. It’s okay, almost everyone does. If teams run their best men against McDavid’s line, I trust the Nuge line to make them pay

    I don’t understand why you wrote this.

    Nowhere did I say that RNH wouldn’t benefit.

    In fact I know have written exactly that before.

    Your post confuses me.

    My contention is that a Hall/McDavid line would draw the best of the opposition, contrary to what Matty and many others say.

    RNH would certainly benefit if he’s not seeing top players. I didn’t say he wouldn’t.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    WG: I fear you’re underestimating RNH. It’s okay, almost everyone does. If teams run their best men against McDavid’s line, I trust the Nuge line to make them pay

    I don’t understand why you wrote this.

    Nowhere did I say that RNH wouldn’t benefit.

    In fact I know have written exactly that before.

    Your post confuses me.

    My contention is that a Hall/McDavid line would draw the best of the opposition, contrary to what Matty and many others say.

    RNH would certainly benefit if he’s not seeing top players.I didn’t say he wouldn’t.

    I’m saying that you’re underestimating the amount of damage that can be done by Nuge’s line. The assumption that McDavid’s line will be covered by the other team’s best defense EVEN AFTER the Nuge line punishes the secondary pairings and opposition doesn’t make sense to me.

    If the Nuge line establishes itself, and I think there were signs a year ago, the other team will change their strategy. The difficulty in doing this, and it’s my concern, is the RW on McDavid’s line. It has to be a substantial player, a veteran and I think someone with speed.

    Protecting McDavid is important, but winning games is the goal. If teams leave the Nuge line alone, I think they will pay a price. If it’s heavy enough, and that’s the bet, McDavid’s line—even with Hall on it—will not be the No. 1 issue.

    Need a veteran two-way RW.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Bob had Hitchcock on his show this week.

    Bob asked him “who do you send Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester out against, RNH or McDavid”

    Hitch skillfully avoided answering the question.

    In the pre-amble when they were getting Hitch on the line Bob said:

    “I asked a NHL coach who he sends his 1st pairing D against, RNH or McDavid? The coach answered, “Who is Hall playing with?””

    I just want McDavid to be comfortable with NHL Dmen and speed before he sees the best of the best.

    40 games.

    Hitch said it took Crosby about 15 games to figure it out.

    So maybe less.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Bob had Hitchcock on his show this week.

    Bob asked him “who do you send Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester out against, RNH or McDavid”

    Hitch skillfully avoided answering the question.

    In the pre-amble when they were getting Hitch on the line Bob said:

    “I asked a NHL coach who he sends his 1st pairing D against, RNH or McDavid?The coach answered, “Who is Hall playing with?””

    I just want McDavid to be comfortable with NHL Dmen and speed before he sees the best of the best.

    40 games.

    Hitch said it took Crosby about 15 games to figure it out.

    So maybe less.

    then send him back to junior, because he isn’t what we thought he was. Dammit Darcy, the point is to win the fucking hockey game!

  11. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I’m saying that you’re underestimating the amount of damage that can be done by Nuge’s line. The assumption that McDavid’s line will be covered by the other team’s best defense EVEN AFTER the Nuge line punishes the secondary pairings and opposition doesn’t make sense to me.

    If the Nuge line establishes itself, and I think there were signs a year ago, the other team will change their strategy. The difficulty in doing this, and it’s my concern, is the RW on McDavid’s line. It has to be a substantial player, a veteran and I think someone with speed.

    Protecting McDavid is important, but winning games is the goal. If teams leave the Nuge line alone, I think they will pay a price. If it’s heavy enough, and that’s the bet, McDavid’s line—even with Hall on it—will not be the No. 1 issue.

    Need a veteran two-way RW.

    Ok, I think I get it now.

    To this I say: The second that Hall and McDavid don’t see the Pietrangelo’s of the world they fill the net and own the puck so much that the coach switches back to covering them with his best.

    If Hall plays with McDavid all year, RNH might be the Oilers’ leading scorer.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: then send him back to junior, because he isn’t what we thought he was. Dammit Darcy, the point is to win the fucking hockey game!

    Now this I don’t understand.

    I think Hall-McDavid is so good that the opposing coach will send their best out against them.

    And you say “send him back to junior?”

    I don’t get it.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Ok, I think I get it now.

    To this I say: The second that Hall and McDavid don’t see the Pietrangelo’s of the world they fill the net and own the puck so much that the coach switches back to covering them with his best.

    If Hall plays with McDavid all year, RNH might be the Oilers’ leading scorer.

    I’m completely fine with that, because I believe in Connor McDavid.

  14. Pouzar says:

    Poo-Nuge-Ebs will eat the children of the 2nd QoCers.

  15. Klima's_Bucket says:

    If Todd ran Hall and Ebs with Sid at the world championships, how long will it be before he runs Hall and Ebs with McDavid?

    Hall – McDavid – Ebs

    The second line could be

    Pouliot – Nuge – Yak

    Pouliot and Nuge could make up for the defensive shortcomings of Yak and hopefully unlock his offence.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    If Todd ran Hall and Ebs with Sid at the world championships, how long will it be before he runs Hall and Ebs with McDavid?

    Hall – McDavid – Ebs

    The second line could be

    Pouliot – Nuge – Yak

    Pouliot and Nuge could make up for the defensive shortcomings of Yak and hopefully unlock his offence.

    I think the top line you mention is the ultimate goal, don’t know how much we’ll see it this year though. I agree with Darcy that splitting up the top players is vital, but for me (this season) the top two players on the roster are Hall and Nuge. At least for much of the season. Splitting those two up and giving Nuge legit snipers (Eberle, Pouliot can score) is the best option. Wish they had a veteran RW to add to that group and I don’t see Nail getting a push unless there’s a trade to be had out there.

  17. jm363561 says:

    Who should Josh Winquist line up with?

  18. G Money says:

    Very enjoyable ripostes and parries between LT and WG.

    But I think Hall and McDavid will be together, and I don’t think it matters who they face.

    If the opposition decides to send their best against Hall and McDavid, they will play them to a standstill.

    But Nuge, rippling with muscles at 195 lbs, will tear the heads off their secondary players, and Eberle will feast on their brains still oozing from crushed skulls.

    If they send their best against Nuge and Ebs, Hall will rip the beating hearts out of the chests of their secondary players, and young McDavid will feast on the entrails of the fallen.

    It’s called a nightmare matchup, and the Oilers have it.

    There will be blood.

    For the first time in years, the blood will not be orange and blue.

  19. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide, Woodguy,

    Help! Mom and Dad are fighting and I don’t know what to do!

    🙂

  20. Lowetide says:

    jm363561:
    Who should Josh Winquist line up with?

    I think he’ll end up playing second line when he’s in Bakersfield, maybe third. So that would be Bogdan Yakimov or Phil McRae. Unless you’re joking, and then the answer is Ralph Intranuovo.

  21. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Lowetide, Woodguy,

    Help! Mom and Dad are fighting and I don’t know what to do!

    :)

    It means we’re getting closer to real season!!!!!

  22. G Money says:

    RexLibris: Help! Mom and Dad are fighting and I don’t know what to do!

    Who do you envision as Mom in this scenario?

    Do we even want to know?

  23. G Money says:

    Pouzar:
    Poo-Nuge-Ebs will eat the children of the 2nd QoCers.

    FEAST! They will FEAST on the children of the 2nd QOCers!!

  24. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    Very enjoyable ripostes and parries between LT and WG.

    But I think Hall and McDavid will be together, and I don’t think it matters who they face.

    If the opposition decides to send their best against Hall and McDavid, they will play them to a standstill.

    But Nuge, rippling with muscles at 195 lbs, will tear the heads off their secondary players, and Eberle will feast on their brains still oozing from crushed skulls.

    If they send their best against Nuge and Ebs, Hall will rip the beating hearts out of the chests of their secondary players, and young McDavid will feast on the entrails of the fallen.

    It’s called a nightmare matchup, and the Oilers have it.

    There will be blood.

    For the first time in years, the blood will not be orange and blue.

    We haven’t even raised the prospect of home v away matchups yet.

    On the road, I think McLellan probably does a little bit of finessing his lines and matchups.

    But at home, I think he gets more aggressive and tries to upset the opposing coach’s matchups by switching back and forth, knowing that the difference between 1st and 2nd is largely superficial and even then he could move wingers around to create an entirely different skill set.

    There may not be many teams this year whose defense has enough bodies to cover all the possible threats (the Flames, unfortunately, will likely be one of them). But for the seasons thereafter, I don’t know that there will be more than a half dozen who could look at their blueline depth and believe that it would be entirely reasonable to hold back the tide without major buy-in from the forwards and heavy run support.

  25. RexLibris says:

    G Money: Who do you envision as Mom in this scenario?

    Do we even want to know?

    Not even going there.

    But I can picture WG holding a rolling pin with evil intent, for what it’s worth.

  26. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: It means we’re getting closer to real season!!!!!

    It means you’re running out of the good summer beer and are down to the clearance priced stuff and you’ve just noticed a few yellow leaves on the lawn.

    I’ve lived in Edmonton long enough to recognize the effect a looming fall has on our nerves.

  27. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide,

    I just read an interview in the community paper quoting McLellan as saying he plans on playing McDavid with the most talent imaginable. He wants McDavid to hit the ground running. It doesn’t sound as if McDavid will be given 40 games to acclimate to facing the toughs in the NHL.

  28. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    RexLibris: It means you’re running out of the good summer beer and are down to the clearance priced stuff and you’ve just noticed a few yellow leaves on the lawn.

    I’ve lived in Edmonton long enough to recognize the effect a looming fall has on our nerves.

    Does that mean all the fruity tasting summer seasonal ales are on sale? Gonna get myself to a BC Liquor Board store then. But then again, it’s a lot easier and a lot cheaper in the US.

    Headed back to Dallas tomorrow, then on down to Houston, around to Austin and Tucson and then north in time for YoungStars. Texas beer so far has been bad, though. New Mexico microbrews were better. Anyone have any suggestions?

  29. Pouzar says:

    G Money: FEAST!They will FEAST on the children of the 2nd QOCers!!

    That too yes

  30. Klima's_Bucket says:

    RexLibris: But I can picture WG holding a rolling pin with evil intent, for what it’s worth.

    Obviously it’s gotta be a wood rolling pin, and not a ceramic, silicone or marble one.

  31. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Lowetide,

    I just read an interview in the community paper quoting McLellan as saying he plans on playing McDavid with the most talent imaginable.He wants McDavid to hit the ground running.It doesn’t sound as if McDavid will be given 40 games to acclimate to facing the toughs in the NHL.

    Interesting. If they run Hall-McDavid-Eberle and Hall plays 80 games, I think he scores 90+ points then, Eberle goes back to 75 and McDavid similar.

    No, I haven’t been drinking any fruity summer ales yet today.

  32. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: Not even going there.

    But I can picture WG holding a rolling pin with evil intent, for what it’s worth.

    Hope they work it out. I can’t handle another celebrity break up!

  33. Oil2Oilers says:

    RexLibris,

    Adding to the economic gloom, some seen it bad compared NYCOil’s numbers this afternoon. Likely exploration Rig ‘holes’ count on programs I am involved with this winter will be 10% of last year.

    Lots of time to watch the Oilers have a winning season!

  34. Lowetide says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Lowetide,

    I just read an interview in the community paper quoting McLellan as saying he plans on playing McDavid with the most talent imaginable.He wants McDavid to hit the ground running.It doesn’t sound as if McDavid will be given 40 games to acclimate to facing the toughs in the NHL.

    Do you have a link? I’d love to quote it for an ON item I’m working on. That said, it makes some sense to go Hall—McDavid—Eberle and the second line of Pouliot—Nuge—Korpikoski would be solid in a two-way role. That’s a tremendous amount of pressure on McDavid though, he’s going to get the best of the best.

    One thing McLellan did a lot in San Jose is shuffle, so we (I) would be wise not to argue too strongly on any of these lineup ideas. Might last 10 seconds!

  35. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Lowetide:

    Need a veteran two-way RW.

    Boyes! Stempniak! Both can probably be had for 800K

    http://www.tsn.ca/how-is-brad-boyes-still-available-1.331945

  36. Adam Wu says:

    Woodguy:

    The Nugent-Hopkins line would go against the other team’s top defence pairing.

    ..I just roll my eyes.

    ORLY?

    Hall is the Oilers best player and McDavid is the best prospect since Crosby and you expect opposing coaches to just roll over and not send their best Dmen against those two?

    Well they might do that at the beginning, but if the RNH line starts eating their second pair for lunch, they’re going to have to make adjustments, and unless they have four number 1 defencemen on their team, those adjustments are going to involve shifting their top pair to RNH’s line, and leaving McDavid and Hall for someone else.

    Or else they could try running their top pair against BOTH lines? And in the third period when those D are exhausted, both lines get to feast. I think an overworked, exhausted opposition top D, because they have to cover both you AND your buddy on the other line, should count as a form of “shelter” as well.

  37. dustrock says:

    Boyes or Stempniak would be great.

    Hall will be with McDavid. You stack your talent. Maybe you mix it up on the road but I’m sending those 2 out as often as possible.

  38. spoiler says:

    Don’t know if this was mentioned a few weeks back, but just discovered that Rowdy Roddy Piper died July 31. Saskatoon boy that came from nothing. Deliverer of the famous line “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and I’m all outta bubblegum.” Plus that Hulk Hogan thing.

    RIP Roddy.

  39. Adam Wu says:

    The quote from Yak regarding Derek Roy and “listening to your center” is interesting.

    The lack of chemistry between Yak and Nuge last year was legendary.

    But what if Yak takes what he’s learned from Roy and applies it to his working relationship with Nuge?

    If the Yak-Nuge pairing can get unlocked as a useful one, think of the flexibility it would give McLellan in his line mixing. It means that RNH can be dangerous and effective paired with virtually anyone, since he has a track record of effectiveness with any of Hall, Eberle, and Pouliot, and McLellan can be that much freer in who he tries to pair with McDavid, knowing that he does not have to worry about leaving an effective partner with RNH, because RNH can play with anyone.

  40. Ryan says:

    Adam Wu,

    Iirc there was a very brief period two seasons ago where Yak looked okay on a line with Hall and Nuge.

    Really out on a limb here, but…

    Hall-Nuge-Yak
    Pouliot-McD-Eberle

    Would be an interesting way to spread the wealth to start off the season.

    However, at fear the fin when Mclellan was hired, many comment posters suggested that Yakupov wouldn’t be the type of player that Mclelllen would have much time for.

  41. rickithebear says:

    quoting dave poulin:

    “Who is the #1 center in Pit any given night.
    Malkin or Crosby?”
    (Pause)
    “Exactly.”

  42. LadiesloveSmid says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    can’t handle 800K?

  43. oilswell says:

    Lowetide: I agree with Darcy that splitting up the top players is vital, but for me (this season) the top two players on the roster are Hall and Nuge. At least for much of the season. Splitting those two up and giving Nuge legit snipers (Eberle, Pouliot can score) is the best option.

    I think you are arguing that the oilers can split up Nugent-Hopkins and Hall and create matching problems such that the stronger line will draw the top defenders and the other line will make them pay. I think Woodguy agrees. So the remaining arguments are only on the composition of 1a and 1b lines and their relative strengths. I understand Woodguy to propose to start the season with McDavid on 1b. Your argument would be stronger if you could show there is no suitable 1b configuration with McDavid on it, or that this 1b–which contains the generational player you believe in–would not also make hay against weaker opposition, and thus serve to “win the fine game”.

    Edit to add: for the record I doubt you will succeed in making either argument well.

  44. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money

    But Nuge, rippling with muscles at 195 lbs, will tear the heads off their secondary players, and Eberle will feast on their brains still oozing from crushed skulls.

    If they send their best against Nuge and Ebs, Hall will rip the beating hearts out of the chests of their secondary players, and young McDavid will feast on the entrails of the fallen.

    It’s called a nightmare matchup, and the Oilers have it.

    There will be blood.

    For the first time in years, the blood will not be orange and blue.

    So we’re able to get the puck out of our own end this year?

  45. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think we get far too obsessed with line combos and matchups when the reality is lines will run hot and cold and coaches will do what they always do when confronted with that, they’ll shuffle the deck.

    Who the opposition is pales in importance to finding lightning in a bottle. If this team can unlock a Gretzky to Kurri or Trottier to Bossy or Oates to Hull, we’re golden regardless of what the opp does.

    And yes, I think Hall and McDavid could potentially be that pair of Bullets.

  46. Bag of Pucks says:

    Love how Talbot’s flying under the radar this offseason with all the McDavid hype. For once, we may not kill a goalie under the crushing weight of expectations.

  47. dangilitis says:

    “I’m assuming the regular LW’s for 2015-16 will by Ryan Hamilton, Anton Slepyshev, Kale Kessy and Mitchell Moroz, meaning Winquist is going to battle with Braden Christoffer, Connor Rankin, Alexis Loiseau and others for playing time”

    I know I am not the brilliant individual to whom such a concept spontaneously materialized, but doesn’t this nicely summarize the problem with the Oilers AHL development process?

    Hamilton is 30 years old and has no future as a player of use to any self-respecting NHL team. Ditto for Hunt for that matter. They are both blocking actual prospects, and don’t make the Condors significantly more competitive. Even if they did, who cares how many games the team wins?

    Back to the LW example, are the Condors not going to be competitive with Slepyshev as a #1 LW, followed by Kessy, Moroz, Winquist and Loiseau competing for the other 3 spots? I would argue that there is depth at LW without Hamilton, and his removal from the batting order allows everyone else to be put in positions that are not over their heads. If Moroz and Kessy can’t handle #2/3 LW duty on an AHL team, then one of the others will likely grab that opportunity. Either way its win-win and doesn’t involve giving 20 minutes a night to Ryan Hamilton. End rant.

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

    Bag of Pucks,
    He had better not let down a living hockey gord.

  49. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    can’t handle 800K?

    Depends on bonuses. eg. Draisaitl’s money. It’s tight. Especially with Gazdic, Klinkhammer, etc., there as well. It’s why I was advocating moving out Purcell this spring. Decent player who makes way too much for this team. His $4.5M can be replaced for a fraction of the cost. With Teddy still on the team, I doubt they have room for additions from here before camp.

  50. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: We haven’t even raised the prospect of home v away matchups yet.

    Indeed. It’s not like the opposing coach has 100% control over match-ups.

    I took Matty’s comment not to be that the other coaches would necessarily choose to match up their top d-men vs. RNH, but that *McLellan* would prefer to match Nuge vs. top pairings & try to free up the speedsters against lesser beings.

  51. Jaxon says:

    I would like to see McDavid get surrounded by responsible veterans that might not draw the top competition. To me, that means Pouliot and Eberle. then I’d like to see Hall and Yakupov on Nugent-Hopkin’s line. Yakupov had a stretch at the end of last season where he got 15 points in 17 games. If Nuge/Pouliot can unlock Yak’s potential while covering for some of his defensive lapses, then you’ve just created a potent top 6. Later in the year or next season, I would look at a Hall/McDavid/Eberle line and a Pouliot/Nugent-Hopkins/Yakupov line. By then, I hope Slepyshev/Draisaitl/Pakarinen will have made enough progress to become a 3rd scoring line.

  52. flyfish1168 says:

    I see Yak getting a push to do well. We need him to succeed. He has the tools to be more then Jordan. He is more physical, faster skater and harder shot. We never developed him properly. But if you listen to what he has said so far he wants to succeed here and that has merit. It is a mistake not to give him a push to find out what we have in him.JMHO

  53. Pouzar says:

    flyfish1168: He has the tools to be more then Jordan.

    Yeah sure he does. Jezzuz H I am so sick of reading this.

  54. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Pouzar,

    Agreed, and I’m as big a fan of Yak as anyone. Find a way to praise him without ignoring what Jordan has accomplished and brings to this team.

    Luca Sbisa has all the tools to be a top 4 dman. But he isn’t.

  55. Kmart99 says:

    The Poo-Nuge-Ebs line was arguably one of the 3 best lines in hockey for a 2 month stretch…. That line should get a chance to stick together before throwing ebs with McDavid.

    Also, Connor really won’t be the concern, his RW will be. There’s a ton of pressure on Yak and Purcell to round out the 2RW spot. What happens when we get the same Yak and Purcell from last year?

  56. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Pouzar,

    Agreed, and I’m as big a fan of Yak as anyone. Find a way to praise him without ignoring what Jordan has accomplished and brings to this team.

    Luca Sbisa has all the tools to be a top 4 dman.But he isn’t.

    This.

    There is no comparison to be made here. One is bona fide there other is still trying to find his way.

  57. frjohnk says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Pouzar,

    Agreed, and I’m as big a fan of Yak as anyone. Find a way to praise him without ignoring what Jordan has accomplished and brings to this team.

    Luca Sbisa has all the tools to be a top 4 dman.But he isn’t.

    Not saying this is the case with Yak, but some guys have all the tools but don’t have the toolbox

  58. G Money says:

    Kmart99: What happens when we get the same Yak and Purcell from last year?

    I presume you mean ‘if’.

    If we get the same Purcell as last year, he’ll be a useful contributor at times, but not one you want for the long term. But it’s a problem that takes care of itself. Like Nikitin, contract wise he’s gone at the end of the year, and hopefully Chia can pawn him off at the deadline for a pick.

    Yak is a different story. Cheaper, younger, way higher ceiling. But he has to show some real chops next year or (barring another team wanting a reclamation project), he may be done in the NHL.

    I’m very encouraged by Yak’s comments in the Derek Roy article the other day.

    Just like Yak’s scoring started to come back when he dropped the power level on his shot from 100% to 90% (which increased its deadliness five fold – less really is more!), I think these comments are incredibly telling:

    Sometimes you’re trying to be everywhere on the ice, but you have to be in your spot and listen to the centre.

    “Especially a guy like Derek, who has played in the league for 10 years. He’s seen everything in the game. He could help a young kid like me. Soon as Derek got the puck, I was trying to get open for a shot.

    “He gave me so much support and I was happy to be playing hockey again,”

    “Everywhere on the ice” – I’d suggest that’s a classic statement of a young player who’s been undercoached, has put himself under a ton of pressure to do well, and as a result is trying to do way too much. Same dysfunction as putting 100% mustard on every shot.

    “I was trying to get open for a shot” – that’s exactly what Yak needs to do. Stop worrying about trying to do everything. Let the game come to you. When your centre has the puck, get open for the shot and trust him to get you the puck.

    “happy to be playing hockey again” – Oh no, that wasn’t obvious at all. Most telling to me is that there were a half dozen games after the Oilers got Roy where Yak was the best player on the ice.

    If he can start to bring that more nights this year, he’ll start showing others AND HIMSELF what made him the consensus 1OV pick, and what a huge boost that will be (to him and the team).

  59. flyfish1168 says:

    I have a Jordan Jersey. love Jordan I want both on this team for a long time. Sometime the hard reality is hard. We need both to succeed.

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