B FLAT AND FOLLOW THE CHANGES (CHIARELLI’S SUMMER)

Peter Chiarelli’s first summer slam is done in Edmonton and he certainly added up the middle. Three defensemen were added for the heavy work this winter and two centermen join the camp to do things great and small. The goaltending was addressed with a strong (if somewhat unproven) option and there’s enough room on the roster for every gifted kid to see daylight if he earns it.

GONE FROM THE 50-MAN

  1. G Tyler Bunz (RFA) (.890 in ECHL not good enough)
  2. G Frans Tuohimaa (RFA) (.876 in the ECHL is even worse than not good enough)
  3. D Martin Marincin (RFA) (Now resides in the big Smoke)
  4. D Keith Aulie (RFA) (Still a free agent)
  5. C Boyd Gordon (I think they worried about his speed)
  6. C Travis Ewanyk (Not enough offense, we knew it draft day)
  7. C Kellen Lain (RFA) (A big body, we didn’t really see him)
  8. L Matt Fraser (RFA) (Found a new prairie home)
  9. L Curtis Hamilton (RFA) (Still a free agent)

That’s mostly making calls on RFA’s although the Boyd Gordon trades stands out in this group. Martin Marincin’s underlying numbers looked solid, but the Oilers never did see him good. Notice the immense turnover up the middle: PC (correctly) identified the entire middle as something that badly needed an upgrade.

  • Chiarelli: “There are teams that aren’t necessarily hard and heavy but they strip pucks. They’re hard on battles, they win more than their share of battles … they [can be] heavy but they’re not huge. A lot of that has to do with the coach, the philosophy of the organization, that’s part of what I hope to instill.”

CHIARELLI’S ADDS TO THE 50-MAN

  1. G Cam Talbot (Edmonton has a starter, many fans wanted a more veteran option. I like the bet)
  2. G Anders Nilsson (Fascinating deal made by Chiarelli, we haven’t seen this kind of trade in awhile)
  3. G Eetu Laurikainen (Excellent bet. Transaction took place before PC arrived)
  4. D Andrej Sekera (Oilers needed him badly, he’s an outstanding addition)
  5. D Eric Gryba (Tough, defense-first addition. Oilers clearly felt a need)
  6. D Griffin Reinhart (Big, strong defender close to NHL-ready or already there)
  7. C Connor McDavid (Thank you, Jesus.)
  8. C Mark Letestu (Swiss Army knife will spend the season at C)
  9. L Lauri Korpikoski (I think he’ll be high in the order many nights)

No surprise here, Chiarelli poked a hole in the middle and then replaced it with upgrades. Plenty of good fortune for sure (McDavid), but I think we should credit him for Talbot, Sekera full bore and some of the other bets seem reasonable. At the very least, Edmonton is going to have more actual NHL players in the lineup. They bled picks and prospects but that was the play.

CHIARELLI’S HANDLING OF OUTSTANDING CONTRACTS

  1. C Derek Roy (UFA)—Unsigned at this time and available. Seems unlikely
  2. R John McCarron—Oilers passed on signing him. FA.
  3. L Daniil Zharkov—Unsigned, I believe he is now a FA.
  4. C Marco Roy—Oilers signed him to an AHL deal.
  5. L Anton Slepyshev—Signed and instantly one of the best prospects in Bakersfield.
  6. R Jackson Houck—Oilers passed on signing him. FA.

THINGS I’D LIKE TO SEE BEFORE OPENING NIGHT!

Beginning tomorrow, the KHL season begins and we’ll be able to track Ziyat Paigin’s progress as an Oilers prospect. There is precious little to follow outside the NHL and AHL this season, though:

  • Paigin in the KHL
  • Miroslav Svoboda in Czech
  • Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and Keven Bouchard in the CHL.
  • John Marino in the USHL.
  • William Lagesson, Zach Nagelvoort, Tyler Vesel, Evan Campbell and Aidan Muir in the NCAA.

That’s it! So I’d like to see the Oilers sign Loik Leveille, Tyler Soy and Rihards Bukharts. Speaking of the training camp invites, the list continues to grow!

  1. G Jordan Papirny
  2. D Kevin Davis
  3. D Colton Waltz
  4. D Loik Leveille
  5. C Tyler Soy
  6. C Cole Linaker
  7. F Rihards Bukarts
  8. R Cole Sanford

Keep an eye on that crazy NHL.com list. They might be trolling us, but Papirny and Leveille have been confirmed by second sources, lending credibility to the list.

I’d also like to see some legit TC invites, veterans still hanging out there. Why not? If it pushes someone to the AHL or risks waivers on a fringe player, I’ll take it. Making the playoffs should be the goal and there’s still work to do. No one can claim otherwise.

CURRENT 50-MAN

  1. G Cam Talbot
  2. G Ben Scrivens
  3. G Anders Nilsson
  4. G Laurent Brossoit
  5. G Eetu Laurikainen
  6. D Andrej Sekera
  7. D Mark Fayne
  8. D Oscar Klefbom
  9. D Justin Schultz
  10. D Nikita Nikitin
  11. D Eric Gryba
  12. D Andrew Ference
  13. D Brandon Davidson
  14. D Griffin Reinhart
  15. D Darnell Nurse
  16. D Brad Hunt
  17. D David Musil
  18. D Jordan Oesterle
  19. D Dillon Simpson
  20. D Martin Gernat
  21. D Ben Betker
  22. D Joey Laleggia
  23. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  24. C Connor McDavid
  25. C Anton Lander
  26. C Mark Letestu
  27. C Leon Draisaitl
  28. C Bogdan Yakimov
  29. C Jujhar Khaira
  30. C Kyle Platzer
  31. L Taylor Hall
  32. L Benoit Pouliot
  33. L Lauri Korpikoski
  34. L Matt Hendricks
  35. L Luke Gazdic
  36. L Ryan Hamilton
  37. L Anton Slepyshev
  38. L Mitch Moroz
  39. L Kale Kessy
  40. R Jordan Eberle
  41. R Nail Yakupov
  42. R Teddy Purcell
  43. R Rob Klinkhammer
  44. R Tyler Pitlick
  45. R Iiro Pakarinen
  46. R Andrew Miller
  47. R Greg Chase

 

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72 Responses to "B FLAT AND FOLLOW THE CHANGES (CHIARELLI’S SUMMER)"

  1. elgruntus says:

    Cole Sanford is going to surprise some people. He may play the Tkachev role this fall. Always looked dangerous in “the Hat”

  2. cadooo says:

    Hopefully Cole Linaker will be able to make camp. Last I heard he had got shot in the eye with a pellet gun and may have needed surgery for a detached retina. It would be good news if he’s good to go for camp.

  3. Pouzar says:

    Something tells me Chia isn’t done on D yet.

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Y’know, they’ve actually got some organizational depth now.
    That Bakersfield team looks like it’ll be good:

    L Anton Slepyshev * C Leon Draisaitl * R Iiro Pakarinen
    L Ryan Hamilton * C Bogdan Yakimov * R Andrew Miller
    C Jujhar Khaira * C Kyle Platzer * R Greg Chase
    L Mitch Moroz * Alexis Loiseau * Josh Winquist
    L Kale Kessy *

    D Griffin Reinhart * D Brandon Davidson
    D Darnell Nurse * D Jordan Oesterle
    D Brad Hunt * D David Musil
    D Joey Laleggia * D Dillon Simpson

    G Anders Nilsson
    G Laurent Brossoit

  5. Woodguy says:

    So I’d like to see the Oilers sign Loik Leveille, Tyler Soy and Rihards Bukharts.

    What kind of deals are you seeing here? AHL only? ELC?

  6. speeds says:

    McCarron is no longer on EDM’s list at that site, however Zharkov is. Is it fair to guess that EDM retains his rights due to him being in Russia?

  7. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:
    So I’d like to see the Oilers sign Loik Leveille, Tyler Soy and Rihards Bukharts.

    What kind of deals are you seeing here? AHL only? ELC?

    MOAR PROSPEX!

    Wouldn’t they all only be eligible for ELC contracts? They all have non-overage junior eligibility left, no?

    Also, as someone else to follow, I think it’d be cool to check in on the New York Riveters in the NWHL every now and then to see how Jenny Scrivens is doing. I think it’s pretty cool that the league is starting up and she’s the closest to an Oilers connection that I’ve heard of.

  8. verdad2.0 says:

    Repetition , so the inescapable truth isn’t evaded.
    Chiarelli has failed to fundamentally improve the Oilers defense.
    Retaining Schultz, Ference and Nikitin tells us that he and the Oilers are not serious about winning for this next season.
    More fundamentally, this team needs a #1 defenseman to complement MacDavid and finally allow the Oilers to be a competitive NHL team.
    Failing to do this means the Oilers are unlikely to be any better next year.

    I don’t accept that slightly better goal keeping would have altered last season. The core issue of the team was that it didn’t acquire the necessary defenseman or impose a real committment to defense. Both are fundamental to being competitive in the NHL.

    The path forward is obvious, but not taken by Chiarelli.
    Trading out forwards for actual defensive quality.
    Unitl the Oilers defense is fixed we can only expect more abuse as Oilers fans.

  9. OilSafety says:

    Peter Chiarelli’s first summer slam is done in Edmonton and he certainly added up the middle.

    A reference to today’s WWE Summerslam event?

  10. sliderule says:

    I think Tkachev showed the folly of falling in love with training camp wonder kids.

    Chia is too smart to add a player that has to go on 50 man list from a limited viewing.

  11. fifthcartel says:

    I could see them signing Leveille and maybe another one if they’re able to be signed to an AHL deal. I’d sign Soy and Bukarts too but I would have just drafted them with their last two picks in the draft. They seem short on players developing in the CHL so why not add two guys for just contract spots? They slide too if I’m correct.

  12. LadiesloveSmid says:

    only OEL can save us from the impending doomsday

    wake up sheeple!!!

  13. Lowetide says:

    OilSafety:
    Peter Chiarelli’s first summer slam is done in Edmonton and he certainly added up the middle.

    A reference to today’s WWE Summerslam event?

    Yes. Majeau was rambling on about it yesterday.

  14. Woodguy says:

    verdad2.0:
    Repetition , so the inescapable truth isn’t evaded.
    Chiarelli has failed to fundamentally improve the Oilers defense.
    Retaining Schultz, Ference and Nikitin tells us that he and the Oilers are not serious about winning for this next season.
    More fundamentally, this team needs a #1 defenseman to complement MacDavid and finally allow the Oilers to be a competitive NHL team.
    Failing to do this means the Oilers are unlikely to be any better next year.

    I don’t accept that slightly better goal keeping would have altered last season. The core issue of the team was that it didn’t acquirethe necessarydefenseman orimpose a real committment to defense. Both are fundamental to being competitive in the NHL.

    The path forward is obvious, but not taken by Chiarelli.
    Trading out forwards for actual defensive quality.
    Unitl the Oilers defense is fixed we can only expect more abuse as Oilers fans.

    I think you are way off base.

    The Oilers need a #1 Dman.

    I think OEL would be great.

    I don’t know why you never mention him.

  15. Lowetide says:

    verdad2.0:
    Repetition , so the inescapable truth isn’t evaded.
    Chiarelli has failed to fundamentally improve the Oilers defense.
    Retaining Schultz, Ference and Nikitin tells us that he and the Oilers are not serious about winning for this next season.
    More fundamentally, this team needs a #1 defenseman to complement MacDavid and finally allow the Oilers to be a competitive NHL team.
    Failing to do this means the Oilers are unlikely to be any better next year.

    I don’t accept that slightly better goal keeping would have altered last season. The core issue of the team was that it didn’t acquirethe necessarydefenseman orimpose a real committment to defense. Both are fundamental to being competitive in the NHL.

    The path forward is obvious, but not taken by Chiarelli.
    Trading out forwards for actual defensive quality.
    Unitl the Oilers defense is fixed we can only expect more abuse as Oilers fans.

    I agree the blue needs upgrading, suspect the opportunity has not made itself available. You remain convinced the impossible is in play. I understand, have been there many times.

  16. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    McCarron is no longer on EDM’s list at that site, however Zharkov is. Is it fair to guess that EDM retains his rights due to him being in Russia?

    Makes sense.

  17. Woodguy says:

    verdad2.0:
    Repetition , so the inescapable truth isn’t evaded.
    Chiarelli has failed to fundamentally improve the Oilers defense.
    Retaining Schultz, Ference and Nikitin tells us that he and the Oilers are not serious about winning for this next season.
    More fundamentally, this team needs a #1 defenseman to complement MacDavid and finally allow the Oilers to be a competitive NHL team.
    Failing to do this means the Oilers are unlikely to be any better next year.

    I don’t accept that slightly better goal keeping would have altered last season. The core issue of the team was that it didn’t acquirethe necessarydefenseman orimpose a real committment to defense. Both are fundamental to being competitive in the NHL.

    The path forward is obvious, but not taken by Chiarelli.
    Trading out forwards for actual defensive quality.
    Unitl the Oilers defense is fixed we can only expect more abuse as Oilers fans.

    Seriously though…..

    Exactly 1 NHL Dman with top 2 potential was traded this off-season, Dougie Hamilton.

    Edmonton Oiler GM reportedly made the best bid for him.

    Yeah, he’s not doing his job at all.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    So I’d like to see the Oilers sign Loik Leveille, Tyler Soy and Rihards Bukharts.

    What kind of deals are you seeing here? AHL only? ELC?

    They’re all slides. None would count during the season and the Oilers could add

  19. Bad Seed says:

    I agree with Verdad. Let’s just grab a #1 defenceman. They’re falling off the trees!

  20. Oil2Oilers says:

    Pouzar:
    Something tells me Chia isn’t done on D yet.

    A September surprise would be nice;

    Ference or Nikitin sent back to previous teams on salary retains to free up the cash to sign Ehrhoff.

    or

    Schultz + prospect + pick for one of San Jose’s stud Blue liners. I would even part with next years 1st for Vlasic and that sweet pickle of a contract.

    I admit I have higher expectations for Chia’s September surprises than MacT surprises. Last years; Surprise 2 NHL centers and mud or Suprise we will treat the first 10 games as training camp sucked.

  21. speeds says:

    Woodguy: Seriously though…..

    Exactly 1 NHL Dman with top 2 potential was traded this off-season, Dougie Hamilton.

    Edmonton Oiler GM reportedly made the best bid for him.

    Yeah, he’s not doing his job at all.

    I don’t think I would frame it as “not doing his job”, however I do sort of wonder if a deal could have been made with a richer offer – would BOS would have said no to 16+33+top 5 protected 2016 1st? Would that have been a good deal for EDM?

    Would that have been better than Sekera + Reinhart plus retaining the pick (I can’t say for sure but the money that went to Sekera may well have been the money that would have gone to Hamilton – they may not have been willing to make the move for both)?

  22. Yeti says:

    Woodguy: Seriously though…..

    Exactly 1 NHL Dman with top 2 potential was traded this off-season, Dougie Hamilton.

    Edmonton Oiler GM reportedly made the best bid for him.

    Yeah, he’s not doing his job at all.

    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

  23. Woodguy says:

    speeds: I don’t think I would frame it as “not doing his job”, however I do sort of wonder if a deal could have been made with a richer offer – would BOS would have said no to 16+33+top 5 protected 2016 1st?Would that have been a good deal for EDM?

    Would that have been better than Sekera + Reinhart plus retaining the pick (I can’t say for sure but the money that went to Sekera may well have been the money that would have gone to Hamilton – they may not have been willing to make the move for both)?

    Not sure if that’s a good deal for EDM. As good as he is, I’m not sure he’s worth 3 1sts.

    I wonder if adding Marincin to the offer would have put it over the top?

    Give them someone to sell to the fan base “ZDENO’S COUNTRYMAN IS BIG LIKE HIM AND WILL PLAY WITH HIM!!!”

  24. Bar_Qu says:

    verdad2.0,

    Here’s the issue I have been struggling with in your summer of OEL (but please don’t let me stop you, this is fun for me to watch):

    There are 8 teams that make the playoffs in the west. There are a few which are locks already for the coming season – in the Central I would say the Blues, Hawks and Preds. While in the Pacific Anaheim, LA seem odds on to be back in. That’s 5. Dallas, Winnipeg, and Minny all are pushing hard and likely had the core to do it last year but bad luck/goaltending sunk them all. Then Calgary, Edmonton and Van are all pushing in the Pacific. Which means Edm has to be better than all but 2 in the Pacific and have a record which beats at least 3 in the central division to have even a shot at the playoffs or wildcard.

    Now we might be sitting here saying, “yeah, it can happen” but last year LA was considered a failure team for only having 95 pts and missing the playoffs. And while I could hope there are 33 extra points in the standings, every team but Arizona, Vancouver and Colorado made improvements to their roster this summer. Even if the Oil sweep all those series that is only 36 pts and not all the 33 pt improvement needed.

    Add Dougie Hamilton, another top flight D and even then I don’t know if all the points are there for the Oil to make it. So you will forgive me (or anyone else) for not backing your “Chia’s a bad GM” narrative. He did well this summer, without mortgaging the future too heavily. This sets the Oil up for a strong, cap-friendly D in 2016-17, where by all accounts the cap may stay still or drop again, leading to further bargains/sell-offs.

    The future is now, but it is not necessary to make the playoffs this year for the team to be successful.

  25. rickithebear says:

    OEL
    12-13 (21) 1st comp .333 EVPPG 15.79 HSCA/60 w/ michalek 15.52
    13-14 (22) 1st comp .275 EVPPG 15.65 HSCA/60 w/ michalek 16.39
    14-15 (23) 1st comp .268 EVPPG 15.19 HSCA/60 w/ Michalek 13.77

    Klefbom in Offensive D role.
    14-15 (21) 2nd comp .444 EVPPG 15.40 HSCA/60
    Played with a 63.00+ and 58.00+ d parnters who recieved 12.00+ improvements with him.

    OEL the Savior!

    Saves us from top end depth when we trade for him!

  26. speeds says:

    Bar_Qu,

    Would not be many happy if the Oilers finished 9th or 10th in the West and got one of the top 3 picks in 2016 via the lottery.

  27. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Did Pittsburgh rush out and win the cup during Sid’s entry level deal?

  28. Bar_Qu says:

    speeds:
    Bar_Qu,

    Would not be many happy if the Oilers finished 9th or 10th in the West and got one of the top 3 picks in 2016 via the lottery.

    Nope. But there would be many happy fans if the Oil were competitve right up until March/April and had some of the young D prove they could do it at the NHL level in the second half of the season.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 48s48 seconds ago
    If this is already out there, I apologize. Haven’t been on Twitter. In any case, LAK and Christian Ehrhoff have agreed to terms on 1-yr deal

  30. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie48s48 seconds ago
    If this is already out there, I apologize. Haven’t been on Twitter. In any case, LAK and Christian Ehrhoff have agreed to terms on 1-yr deal

    F6ck sakes.

  31. Hammers says:

    Surprised so many feel we are still out of playoffs as those I talk to feel the Oil will get in . I don’t. They need more than another D .Sekera is an add but we lost Petry 1 step forward after 1 back . Even adding another D will only get us in a fighting position. Improved forwards , goal is still a maybe . The only thing that could change things is a big trade with forward out and D in . Help.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie48s48 seconds ago
    If this is already out there, I apologize. Haven’t been on Twitter. In any case, LAK and Christian Ehrhoff have agreed to terms on 1-yr deal

    Most experts on the subject think that Richard’s termination will be reversed and he’ll have to be bought out.

    Will be interesting to see Lombardi scramble to make it all work.

    I bet he got Erhroff for under $3MM

  33. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: They’re all slides. None would count during the season and the Oilers could add

    Soy is interesting, so is the Latvian. I liked Bukarts’ CHL rookie year. Built like a bowling ball, I like that.

    Not sure any are worth a contract.

    The Dman’s Sept 24 birthday + skating issues take the shine off.

    Will be interesting to watch at camp.

  34. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie48s48 seconds ago
    If this is already out there, I apologize. Haven’t been on Twitter. In any case, LAK and Christian Ehrhoff have agreed to terms on 1-yr deal

    I hear footsteps coming this way…

  35. OilSafety says:

    Lowetide,

    I will admit, I will be watching it myself. Even in my mid thirties still a fan. Although I pvr the programming to skip through most of the drama.

    That said I would much rather be watching the Oilers. The fall can’t come fast enough.

  36. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Most experts on the subject think that Richard’s termination will be reversed and he’ll have to be bought out.

    Will be interesting to see Lombardi scramble to make it all work.

    I bet he got Erhroff for under $3MM

    Honestly, I was pretty certain he was coming out West and I’m just glad at this point that it wasn’t the Flames that got him.

    Ehrhoff is one hell of an add to that blueline, though.

  37. Bar_Qu says:

    Hammers,

    The Oil can be in if the SJ Sharks continue to suck (which is possible – they did not improve at all), Van conintues to suck (may it be!) and if they can beat Cgy, then they have a chance. But it requires luck and substantial improvement in the back half of the lineup (D & G).

    I’m not willing to stake the success/failure of a season on whether they make the playoffs, is all I am arguing.

  38. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    GODDAMIT. I come up to Edmonton for the weekend and this happens.

    I was in LA when Gretzky was traded.

    I take full responsibility. Sorry all.

  39. Pouzar says:

    Rumor on twitter it’s $1.5 mil

  40. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: Honestly, I was pretty certain he was coming out West and I’m just glad at this point that it wasn’t the Flames that got him.

    Ehrhoff is one hell of an add to that blueline, though.

    If he can stay healthy its a dynamite add by LAK.

    Concussions for Dmen scare the shit out of me.

    They get hit more often Sask QB’s.

  41. Bar_Qu says:

    My feeling is that Cgy improved more in the summer than the Oil did from a better starting point. They will still struggle to score, but the D is the best in the league when healthy and their goalies are solid. Plus the forwards who can’t score can still move the puck in the right direction (ie Frolik).

    The BoA games will be worth watching this winter. Evenly matched offense and defense oriented teams who won’t give an inch. Likely the series will be 3-2 at seasons end.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy,

    I bet he got Erhroff for under $3MM

    $1.5MM?

    Wow.

  43. fifthcartel says:

    Damn, nice deal for LA.

    C’mon Pete, counter with Franson.

  44. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    Lowetide,

    GODDAMIT.I come up to Edmonton for the weekend and this happens.

    I was in LA when Gretzky was traded.

    I take full responsibility.Sorry all.

    Welcome back to yeg.

    Since you’ve been away awhile I’ll update you on the new rules here in the city.

    “Whatever it is, it’s not your fault. Please check below to properly apportion blame:”

    If it is 2010, blame Horcoff.
    If it is 2012, blame Tambellini.
    If it is 2014, blame Eakins.
    If it is 2015, blame Ference.

    “I hope this has helped. Please enjoy your stay in the Capital region and the City of (pending)!”

  45. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: If he can stay healthy its a dynamite add by LAK.

    Concussions for Dmen scare the shit out of me.

    They get hit more often Sask QB’s.

    LA is a good spot for that, though. They move the puck quickly, have some good defensive forwards who know how to put themselves open for transition passes, and often are the ones who initiate the contact.

    I was guessing Chicago, Calgary or Detroit would be kicking tires on him.

  46. RexLibris says:

    Bar_Qu:
    My feeling is that Cgy improved more in the summer than the Oil did from a better starting point. They will still struggle to score, but the D is the best in the league when healthy and their goalies are solid. Plus the forwards who can’t score can still move the puck in the right direction (ie Frolik).

    The BoA games will be worth watching this winter. Evenly matched offense and defense oriented teams who won’t give an inch. Likely the series will be 3-2 at seasons end.

    All improvements need to be taken relative to their point of origin.

    Calgary added a 40-ish point possession winger and a solid, young, emerging 1st pairing defender.

    Edmonton added the best prospect in a decade, a young, emerging defender with some more time to develop, a veteran 1st or 2nd pairing puck-moving defender, depth in the middle and on the wing, a fair bet as a starting goaltender and much-improved goaltending depth.

    The Flames were the 3rd worst possession team last year and the worst of that group was 30th by a country parsec. Hamilton and Frolik are good additions, very impressive on their own, but I do not think they alone can turn the Flames into a positive possession team alone.

    Interestingly enough, the Oilers don’t need to improve only to pass the Flames this season. Rather they need to improve enough to pass at least two of the Flames, Sharks, Coyotes and Canucks.

    I’m ballparking the Flames finish outside the playoffs this year, and while their possession numbers improve, the results are closer aligned to this result than last year but those results do not again exceed the underlying numbers.

  47. verdad2.0 says:

    Woodguy,

    Don’t know why you don’t get behind this as the number one strategic priority for the OIlers to salvage the upcoming season?

  48. Bar_Qu says:

    RexLibris,

    I won’t argue that luck was a huge factor in the Flames making the playoffs last year, but I think the Hamilton and Frolik additions will help mitigate this. Plus I suspect Hartley will continue to improve his team’s approach to the game (I honestly think his coach of the year was earned, based partly on how little they were penalized last year). I don’t think the G will play as well as they did last year, (how could they?). But as you said, relative to their starting point, the Flames may have done enough to stay ahead of the Oil this year. I will concede the Oil improved far more than the Flames did this summer – the opposite position is indefensible and not what I meant to communicate. Thanks for helping me clarify.

    I actually think the Flames and Oil both take more points from Vancouver and Arizona this season, with both of those teams on the outside looking in. What happens with SJ is what will determine if one or both of those teams are fighting for a playoff position come April.

  49. verdad2.0 says:

    Losing Erhoff was another Chiarelli blunder.
    Just no drive to improve now.

    Instead we will endlessly suffer with a deficient defense.

    And yet endless rationalizing that Chiarelli has cap space in the future by enduring inadequate defense men on the roster.

    How is this progress?

  50. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris,

    Interestingly enough, the Oilers don’t need to improve only to pass the Flames this season. Rather they need to improve enough to pass at least two of the Flames, Sharks, Coyotes and Canucks.

    Don’t forget LAK.

  51. Woodguy says:

    verdad2.0:
    Woodguy,

    Don’t know why you don’t get behind this as the number one strategic priority for the OIlers to salvage the upcoming season?

    Yes, I’ve never said we needed a true #1 Dman.

    Never, ever.

    Ever.

  52. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy: Most experts on the subject think that Richard’s termination will be reversed and he’ll have to be bought out.

    Will be interesting to see Lombardi scramble to make it all work.

    I bet he got Erhroff for under $3MM

    One team I am certain that is watching the Richards case with interest is the Chicago Blackhawks.

    Rumour was that Kane and Toews wouldn’t sign without the other and the deals had to be the same.

    Imagine if they could weasel out the Kane deal and keep Toews…..

    It would solve ALL their problems.

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

    Fact of the matter is only EDM and ARZ were out of the playoff race. Every other team had 89+ pts. 97 were needed to get in (coincidence). That is essentially four wins max over an 82 game season. That could equate to as little as 4 goals. It is ridiculous to say the oilers can be competitive, but will not have a chance to make the playoffs.

    Goaltending is a big upgrade, and it alone could make the difference.

    Center depth with the emergence of Lander and the addition of McDavid, along with the addition of Letetsu make it possible to put together line combinations without leaving wingers on an island. Last year it was Hall or Pouliot who took turns playing solo, and Yakupov faced that all season. Purcell also suffered to some extent.

    Defence is upgraded, just not at the top. The competition for the last few spots will be fierce. There is a potential number 1 stud prospect and a number 2-3 stud prospect pushing for time. I kind of expect a rebound from Shultz, and Nikitin (provided back is ok). This should be a pretty strong position in less than 2 years from today.

    Coaching will make a huge difference, along with strong leadership from the GM and CEO positions. I have always said that culture is set by the higher ups, and players fall in line and enforce it. This isn’t a circus where the players play and the GMs watch.

    You can point to how far back they were last year, but fact is everyone starts at 0. This is a completely different team from last season. We have added a third of a team worth of NHL calibre players. We don’t have to have a Calgary scenario to make the playoffs, this team is in the mix as of today.

    I have rethought my lines again. Would like to see another winger or C signed.

    Hall McDavid Yakupov
    Pouliot Nuge Eberle
    Draisaitl Lander Letetsu
    Korpikoski Hendricks Purcell

  54. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Yes, I’ve never said we needed a true #1 Dman.

    I believe your exact words were “a reasonable facsimile would suffice”.

  55. Johnny Larue says:

    O.E.L. , O.E.L.,O.E.L. I am holding my breath

  56. RexLibris says:

    Bar_Qu:
    RexLibris,

    I won’t argue that luck was a huge factor in the Flames making the playoffs last year, but I think the Hamilton and Frolik additions will help mitigate this. Plus I suspect Hartley will continue to improve his team’s approach to the game (I honestly think his coach of the year was earned, based partly on how little they were penalized last year). I don’t think the G will play as well as they did last year, (how could they?). But as you said, relative to their starting point, the Flames may have done enough to stay ahead of the Oil this year. I will concede the Oil improved far more than the Flames did this summer – the opposite position is indefensible and not what I meant to communicate. Thanks for helping me clarify.

    I actually think the Flames and Oil both take more points from Vancouver and Arizona this season, with both of those teams on the outside looking in. What happens with SJ is what will determine if one or both of those teams are fighting for a playoff position come April.

    I went and looked at the sv% and percentages relative to shot location while researching the Flames and interestingly enough, their performances, by the numbers, wasn’t outstanding, but rather just above league average.

    So going to war again with Ramo, Hiller and Ortio isn’t necessarily a bad bet, although it isn’t necessarily a solid one either. That’s goaltending.

    Here’s the thing, using FenClose%, the Flames were 46.1% for during last season, ahead of Buffalo, Colorado, Arizona and Columbus. Frolik and Hamilton could help move that number, but how far? 47%? 48%?

    Six teams stood between the Flames and an even FenClose % last year and I don’t believe these two addition are enough to bridge that gap.

    Also, Hartley’s coaching strategy does not result in the Flames’ extremely high sh%. He coaches aggressive forechecking and speed and reducing chances against in the high danger scoring zones (which had debatable success). His Jack Adams award was earned, but does not stand for anything outside of one terrific year by his players.

    What will challenge the Flames this season is the even strength production of Monahan and the matchups that other teams will be throwing the way of Gaudreau and Hudler.

    Hartley used his ZS and matchups to try and shelter those two as best he could, more so the former, and teams aren’t going to be as willing to accommodate him this season. Who would you rather send your top defensemen against: Gaudreau or David Jones? Four out of five dentists will agree, it should be Gaudreau.

    The Oilers may pass the Flames this year, maybe not. But I think they’ve done more to close the gap than the Flames did to pull ahead.

    The real fun will begin once that Giordano contract extension is signed. If the CAD stays where it is, the cap flattens out and the Flames will be looking to dump the salaries of some of the players whose contributions have allowed their young players to look so good – by taking on the tougher competition.

  57. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    RexLibris,

    Interestingly enough, the Oilers don’t need to improve only to pass the Flames this season. Rather they need to improve enough to pass at least two of the Flames, Sharks, Coyotes and Canucks.

    Don’t forget LAK.

    If the Kings miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season, I will be very, very surprised.

    I don’t think they are as good as Chicago, but they are far better than the other four I listed.

  58. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Chiarelli just needs to convince OEL to defect to Canada a la Peter Stastny.

    WTF is he waiting for, anyway? Make it happen!!

  59. season not played says:

    verdad2.0,

    Jasmine?

  60. oliveoilers says:

    Is anybody else imagining Verdad’s real voice is like Locutus of Borg?

  61. rickithebear says:

    Soy .60 age nhle
    69gm 26g 35a 61p +22
    First 8gm 2ppg 5ppa -6
    61gm 22evg 2ppg 23eva 7ppa +28
    Age nhle 18evg 19eva
    just even that is top25 in dtaft.

  62. Ducey says:

    If Chia was trying he would have traded Hall and anyone not named McDavid for Ehrhoff.

  63. Ice Sage says:

    Ehrhoff is fragile and LA can shelter him for cheap. No more Whitneys for the Oil, thanks.
    Next headline?

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

    oliveoilers:
    Is anybody else imagining Verdad’s real voice is like Locutus of Borg?

    In an ironic twist, Data from Star Trek.

  65. Ice Sage says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel: In an ironic twist, Data from Star Trek.

    Or Kuatu, emerging thru DSF’s abdomen?

  66. Oil2Oilers says:

    Pouzar:
    Rumor on twitter it’s $1.5 mil

    This makes me sad

  67. Bar_Qu says:

    RexLibris,

    I agree, scoring will be an issue for that forward group, numbers and deployment don’t help them at all. It’s the iron curtain on the back end that evens things out.

    And I can’t believe the Flames were so naive to sign Gio to that contact. I agree it will tighten a few sphincters by next spring.

    Anyone looking to get paid next summer is in a world of hurt.

  68. Woogie63 says:

    Are an coaches going to catch a raise in the off season? Chicago must have heard from Coach Q’s agent…with some comparables to Babcock

  69. RexLibris says:

    Bar_Qu:
    RexLibris,

    I agree, scoring will be an issue for that forward group, numbers and deployment don’t help them at all. It’s the iron curtain on the back end that evensthings out.

    And I can’t believe the Flames were so naive to sign Gio to that contact.I agree it will tighten a few sphincters by next spring.

    Anyone looking to get paid next summer is in a world of hurt.

    New contracts pending for Giordano, Russell, Hudler, Jones, Monahan, Gaudreau, Colborne, Jooris and Granlund.

    Edit – forgot to add Byron, Hiller and Ramo.

  70. RexLibris says:

    Woogie63:
    Are an coaches going to catch a raise in the off season?Chicago must have heard from Coach Q’s agent…with some comparables to Babcock

    I remember someone saying (might have been Friedman’s 30 thoughts) that an unnamed team executive told him the McLellan deal was the new template, not Babcock.

  71. Move McDavid to the Wing? - Beer League Heroes says:

    […] real notable news is the training camp invites and the venerable Lowetide has those covered for us here. There are a couple notable players on that list of camp invites. Especially defenseman Loik […]

  72. Cameron says:

    RexLibris: His Jack Adams award was earned, but does not stand for anything outside of one terrific year by his players.

    What will challenge the Flames this season is the even strength production of Monahan and the matchups that other teams will be throwing the way of Gaudreau and Hudler.

    The Oilers may pass the Flames this year, maybe not. But I think they’ve done more to close the gap than the Flames did to pull ahead.

    The real fun will begin once that Giordano contract extension is signed. If the CAD stays where it is, the cap flattens out and the Flames will be looking to dump the salaries of some of the players whose contributions have allowed their young players to look so good – by taking on the tougher competition.

    Re: Hartley, you actually had it right earlier when you mentioned that Hartley had the team taking the lowest # of penalties in the league. That is definitely the result of coaching, it has a measeureable effect (unlike most coaching decisions), and it is probably repeatable.

    Even strength scoring will no doubt be a challenge, but recall that Calgary spent much of the year with 3-4 injured C’s and had to press Monahan into the #1 role before they would have liked. He did just fine, but with the return of depth at C, he may not have to face the QoC and tilted ice the way he he did most of last year.

    Until the Oil fix their D they are running in place.

    The Flames (as you know) have several contracts that can be moved, dumped, or otherwise sacrificed to the cap space gods; Engelland, Bollig, Smid (LTIR), Raymond, etc. A Wideman trade would also fix things in a hurry. More to the point though, the Flames will have less need to cushion the kids over the next few years as Mono-JohnnyG-Bennet-Hamilton-Brodie are already on the roster and hitting their stride. The next wave of kids coming are wingers (Klimchuk, Poirier, Granlund, Smith), and there is both shelter and room there for them, and on D (Andersson, Kyllington, Wotherspoon, Etc.), where we have a Norris caliber guy to lead the way.

    I think they are setting up nicely for a long run.

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