KIND OF BLUE

I imagine the conversations between Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan these days are about the blue. If we take the current Oilers defense and slot them in a way Todd McLellan might be doing, it looks like this:

  1. Veteran two-way top four D: Andrej Sekera
  2. Veteran stay-at-home top four D: Mark Fayne
  3. Young NHL defensemen who should be somewhat sheltered: Oscar Klefbom
  4. Young NHL defensemen who should be completely sheltered: Justin Schultz
  5. Veteran depth defensemen: Nikita Nikitin, Eric Gryba, Andrew Ference
  6. Close to NHL-ready defensemen: Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Brandon Davidson

The top six today, if they had a game tonight, might be:

  • Sekera—Fayne (MF had a similar role with Andy Greene while a NJD)
  • Klefbom—Schultz
  • Nikitin—Gryba

This isn’t good. Todd McLellan is no fool and this defense needs help now. Peter Chiarelli has added three NHL (or close to) ready defenders in Sekera, Gryba and Reinhart and there are good things on the way. Todd McLellan is focused on opening night and my guess is he’s not overwhelmed by the defensive options.

Is there anyone out there, someone who could slide into the second pairing with Klefbom? Or onto the top pairing with Sekera, allowing Klefbom-Fayne to have a lash on the second pair? I know we’re drunk with defensemen but the Oilers could afford to (wait for it) trade three young players for one very good NHL blue. They just need a partner. Come ON partner!

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

When Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a young man, he played the tough minutes (ZS and opposition) and did it with veterans like Kyle McLaren and Rob Blake (source: Vollman). Oscar Klefbom is not Marc-Edouard Vlasic but he’s a good young defenseman who (in my opinion) would be more useful on a tougher minutes pairing than another year with Justin Schultz. Klefbom’s offense is fine, his defense is what Edmonton needs. Finding a suitable partner for Klefbom might be as simple as attaching Mark Fayne and seeing how they work together. It may also come via that blessed three-for-one, or Peter Chiarelli could sign ANOTHER defenseman before training camp who might be able to fill the role.

FREE AGENTS

  • Marek Zidlicky: Old as the hills as twice as dusty, he played over 1400 even-strength minutes and finished up 50% Corsi 5×5. He didn’t face the difficult minutes but I like Fayne-Zidlicky-Schultz as the RH depth chart more than the current alignment (Gryba would fall to No. 7D).
  • Lubomir Visnovsky: Laugh all you want, I’d rather see him 10 days dead patrolling the Oilers blue than some of the guys we’ve seen here since 2006. Had a nice 5×5 Corsi for % with Thomas Hickey last year, no idea if he can last 10 games let alone 82. Would not be a tough zone start, tough minutes option.
  • Jan Hejda: He played tough competition and had a 44% zone start in Colorado, his possession numbers reflecting it. I’m not sure how much he has left but a one year deal at reasonable rate is alright by me.
  • Cody Franson: People seem down on him because of the struggles in Nashville but I’d be more than happy signing him and moving out Justin Schultz. Suspect this bird has flown.
  • David Schlemko: This isn’t a sexy name but he looks decent via the possession numbers and shouldn’t cost a lot.

So, we’re probably looking at a trade. I’d still bring any of these five guys into camp, I can’t name seven Oilers who are better and the idea of this coming season is turning north. If the Oilers sign Hejda and find a home for one of the expensive 5-6D veterans, is that a sideways more or a good arrow? I very much doubt they’d be going backwards.

lane2

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

This week is crawling by but we’ll rip through two hours of radio in about 20 minutes this morning. TSN1260, 10am. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andrew Mason, Denver Broncos dot com. Evan Mathis signed, can they protect Manning?
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. We’ll talk Cody Franson, CFL, Blue Jays, pretty much everything.
  • Dennis King. MLB pennant races.

10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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110 Responses to "KIND OF BLUE"

  1. HiddenDarts says:

    Love Mark Fayne’s new nickname, MF. Likely after Prince’s “Sexy MF”, no doubt. Here’s hoping Sekera lights a fire under him… 🙂

  2. Acumen says:

    I’m still hoping for a trade for Seabrook. He fits the current team configuration and needs like a glove, and has very real championship experience.

  3. Sevenseven says:

    Acumen,

    If seabrook gets traded, he will command heavy term and cash to that team or he walks. He will be past his prime soon enough, and the tail end of that contract could be crippling. A younger star in his prime would make better sense to me. Especially if you have to give up Nurse Klefbom or Reinhart. My bet would be Chicago would get 1 of those 3 for Seabrook.

  4. Pouzar says:

    I fear the season will be lost by the time Chia and company figure out Nurse/Reinhart are already miles better that Ference/NN. OTOH, I don’t want Nurse/Reinhart rushed either. Damn we sure could use a capable vet back there.

  5. wheatnoil says:

    On that list, I have the most time for Cody Franson, David Schlemko, and Lubo… in that order.

    Franson’s time in Nashville is concerning, but it’s worth noting he had a poor PDO and had to play the left side (something he has rarely done in the past) on account of the right side being full with Weber, Jones, and Ellis. Despite this, his underlying numbers when he played in Nashville were strong. Further, according to his Vollman in previous years, while he does not have a history of playing the toughest minutes, he also hasn’t been gifted the easiest minutes. He’s been facing middling competition and has been quite successful in that role. In other words, harder minutes than Schultz.

    In summary, I actually think Schultz and Franson can be on the same team. Franson hasn’t been given the Schultz treatment of minutes for the last 3 years. They both could be on separate powerplays, freeing up Sekera from PP time.

    Schlemko’s also an interesting name. His numbers look good, but he’s done it in low minutes. Not sure if he’d maintain the same effectiveness with more minutes. I think he’d be a better bet than Gryba, but I’m not sure he knocks enough people down a peg the way Franson would.

    Edit: Also worth nothing that Schlemko’s good underlying numbers comes in the context of being the most sheltered of the Calgary D-men last year (along with Diaz), though that number is skewed a bit by playing on more than one team last year. In previous years on Phoenix he’s played more middling competition.

  6. oliveoilers says:

    Hey LT, this article is a little too Verdad-y for me!

    Baby steps, bro.

    I think Ference makes opening night. Based on that excellent Bob Nicholson interview, they (management) want to take stock and see exactly what they have.

    Whilst they do this, Nikitin and Purcell come off the books (a lot of dough) and Ference is left with a year of sitting in the press box.

    Bob said that he can’t promise play-offs with this team but he can promise we’d be noticeably better. That says to me that this will be a development year that MacT could only dream about.

  7. RexLibris says:

    Zidlicky and Vishnovsky would be fine replacements for Ference.

    Franson replacing Schultz might be a case of putting the same problems in a new package. Franson is like Schultz, famous for being highly desirable a few years back, but the bloom is coming off the rose.

    Is he better than Schultz? Many Oiler fans would probably say “he couldn’t be worse” and I’m not sure that’s the best way to defend that argument.

    Would he be worth a 1 year contract? Why not! We’ve tried poorer bets (Belov).

    Schlemko is not the answer. He was in and out of the Flames defense last year and they have a somewhat similar problem in having a glut of 5s and 6s, but he got back to the NHL by beating out Corey Potter. That’s what we call damning with faint praise.

    From here Hejda looks an awful lot like Nikitin – fair results on another club that we have little way of parsing. He’d be a bad bet for a team that can’t afford another bad bet.

    If the Oilers do target a player by trade then look to the top eight teams by cap space today as a place to start, subtract those who have significant contracts coming off the books a year from now, and then see whether any player there could shake loose.

    It isn’t ideal, but it is a start.

    Today, the top of the cap list is:

    Tampa
    Detroit
    New York Rangers
    Chicago
    Philadelphia
    Calgary
    Washington
    San Jose
    Pittsburgh

    We can eliminated Calgary because they aren’t giving us what we need for anything but a full-on bath by trade.

    The two that stand out to me are Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

    The Penguins are going to need to re-sign Maatta this year and may want to retain Perron at the end of his contract this July. Not sure who to target, but this could get Rutherford talking.

    Tampa Bay will be looking to shed salary to re-sign Stamkos this year as well as retain Kucherov, Namestnikov, and Killorn. Coburn ($4.5 million AAV) is a pending UFA this July and the Lightning are over the cap by nearly $1 million today. The Lightning gave up quite a bit to get him last year so they might keep him and try to move Ohlund instead, but there could be an opening for negotiations there.

  8. Wonder Llama says:

    Would Andrej Meszaros have any utility at this point?

  9. Rondo says:

    wheatnoil,

    Cody Franson was traded from a team that needs D-men. Toronto traded him for a reason.

  10. oliveoilers says:

    Rondo:
    wheatnoil,

    Cody Franson was tradedfrom a team that needs D-men.Toronto traded him for a reason.

    That was the Nonis Leafs though, right?

    The ones that thought they could challenge our tanking power!

    All bets are off.

  11. Pretendergast says:

    If we could get byfuglien on a boychuck-esque trade id be very happy,
    1. Righty
    2. First pairing shutdown compliment to sekera
    3. Winnipeg reportedly open to move him
    4. Winnipeg has plethora of defensive depth and need to save money for future stud trouba.

    Cant hurt to make some calls come training camp!

  12. Soup Fascist says:

    Pouzar: I fear the season will be lost by the time Chia and company figure out Nurse/Reinhart are already miles better that Ference/NN. OTOH, I don’t want Nurse/Reinhart rushed either. Damn we sure could use a capable vet back there.

    Agree 100%. This team in this conference does not have the luxury of a slow start and then re-evaluate. This team has not made the playoffs in 9 friggin years and the three year clock for the best ELC value contract in a generation starts ticking in October.

    Patience, my ass. Chiarelli was brought in to be creative and get this team on the right track and do it quickly. If he does not find a way to bring in a veteran D with a few miles left on the odometer, I will be disappointed. I am aware of where the cap is, the deadwood we have and the fact we don’t want to give away young assets for a guy on decline. But he needs to get this done before the season starts.

    Chiarelli has made a lot of good moves. The only concern I have is he gave up too many trading chips to bring in a 21 year old D who will likely not be impactful for a year or two . He needs to resolve this and bring in a serviceable top 4 D before October 1st.

    How he does that, is his problem. If it was easy anyone could do it.

  13. wheatnoil says:

    Rondo:
    wheatnoil,

    Cody Franson was tradedfrom a team that needs D-men.Toronto traded him for a reason.

    Maybe it was the same reason the Oilers traded Jeff Petry?

  14. kinger_OIL says:

    LT – Great as always. A fair laying out the dilemma and situation we face in D.

    – At least in the 2015 iteration of the OIL D shuffle, the problem is too many 5-8 D’s. Which is an improvement over many years of going into camp with too many non-NHL level players getting gifted roster spots – I’m talking Belov, Fraser, Hunt, Aulie, Potter, Larsen, Peckham, Barker, Chorney, Teubert, Fistric et al…

  15. RexLibris says:

    Wonder Llama:
    Would Andrej Meszaros have any utility at this point?

    Depends. Are we looking for an organ donor?

    I kid, I kid.

  16. Doug McLachlan says:

    wheatnoil,

    Absolutely agree with you on Franson – if the price and term is right.

    While I suspect he ends up in Boston on a larger dime and for more time than he should, a short term deal in Edmonton to give him a chance to boost his counting numbers manning the right point on one of the PP units is not a bad option.

    Sekera-Franson
    Klefbom-Fayne
    Gryba-Schultz
    Nikitin and Ference rotating from press-box to the #7 spot duty role.

    Could work. Keeps Nurse and Reinhart simmering in the minors until an injury or trade opens up their opportunity.

    If Chia can find a Lou-loophole which gets NN off the books/continent, all the better.

  17. wheatnoil says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Agreed on price and term. With Nurse and Reinhart pushing their way up, I’m not interested in Franson on a long-term deal. Nor I do think he should get one this late in the year. When it’s August 27th and all the other vets are taking cheap 1-year contracts or PTOs, I think even giving him a 2-year contract is an overpay.

  18. Soup Fascist says:

    Doug McLachlan: wheatnoil, Absolutely agree with you on Franson – if the price and term is right.While I suspect he ends up in Boston on a larger dime and for more time than he should, a short term deal in Edmonton to give him a chance to boost his counting numbers manning the right point on one of the PP units is not a bad option.Sekera-FransonKlefbom-FayneGryba-SchultzNikitin and Ference rotating from press-box to the #7 spot duty role.Could work. Keeps Nurse and Reinhart simmering in the minors until an injury or trade opens up their opportunity.If Chia can find a Lou-loophole which gets NN off the books/continent, all the better.

    Gryba and Schultz are both righties. Not sure either one is capable enough to switch sides without hiccups – aka crazy scoring chances for the opposition. I think given the salary issues and concern about the D-zone acumen of both Franson and Schultz – it is a case of one or the other. Taking into account Franson’s shot vs Schultz’s wiffle ball I would move Schultz.

  19. nelson88 says:

    No thanks to all of the above. We all want the D to be better but bringing in another middle of the road guy (if everything breaks right) is just shuffling the deck chairs.

    Find a true top pairing guy (very difficult) or let the young guys play. After some seasoning in the AHL if need be.

  20. stush18 says:

    Morning yall! Coming live from high level, been stuck up in lacrete working.

    Didn’t realize how much farming was this far up north. Growing season is only 90 days here, but the longer days make it possible to grow the crops.

    Lacrete is also a heavy Mennonite community, and a dry town. You don’t realize how you enjoy a casual beer until you can’t have one.

    Great work as usual LT, although I disagree with the goalies a bit. I understand it’s all guessing though.

    As far as your list, I would take franson in a heartbeat. Suspect it means Schultz is moved out however. Not sure what it would cost, but I would sign anything under 4 mil.

  21. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I’m intrigued by a soft minutes easy ZS Visnovsky-Schultz pair, think they could put up nice numbers.

    Time for that seems to have come and passed with no buyouts/contract dumps. Just too many bodies to add another without subtracting NN or TCAF.

  22. Ducey says:

    oliveoilers:
    Hey LT, this article is a little too Verdad-y for me!

    Baby steps, bro.

    I think Ference makes opening night.Based on that excellent Bob Nicholson interview, they (management) want to take stock and see exactly what they have.

    Whilst they do this, Nikitin and Purcell come off the books (a lot of dough) and Ference is left with a year of sitting in the press box.

    Bob said that he can’t promise play-offs with this team but he can promise we’d be noticeably better.That says to me that this will be a development year that MacT could only dream about.

    Agree 100%

    You can’t complain the Oilers are going to lose Davidson on waivers or not give time to Nurse, while at the same time suggesting they add in another (old) defenseman.

    Nikitin and Ference are not going anywhere. They just are not.

    They are not tradable and they were not bought out. Ference can’t be sent to the minors.

    Deal with it.

    In fact, I don’t think any of those names listed is likely as good as Nikitin will be this year.

    I mean, jeepers, Vishnovsky?? The dude is 39! Zidlicky will be 39 in February.

    The Oilers depth in defense is with their young players: Davidson, Nurse, Reinhart, Musil. If they have extra minutes, give them to these guys, not to someone they need to spring out of the old age home.

  23. Washingtron says:

    I take issue with Shlemko not being a sexy name. It’s super sexy in a Stanley from Streetcar kinda working class way.

  24. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    stush18,

    It’s not the dollars for Franson, it’s the term. He’s been on several one year contracts and is really looking for term is my understanding.

    I don’t want to lock us into ANOTHER D contract that we regret. Most of the problems we have on the back end now are a direct result of trying to solve this exact problem over the past few years.

    It’s why we don’t have Petry, it’s why we don’t have easy minutes available to break in promising youth (the easy minutes are reserved for bad veterans and near veterans).

    If we only signed elite free agents, guys we were really sure about, over the past few years our lineup today would be:

    Sekera Petry
    Klefbom Nurse
    Reinhart Gryba
    Davidson

    So while that’s too young, it’s still way better than the reality. We’d also have lots and lots of cap space. We’d miss Fayne, sure, but either way….

    Over estimating the effectiveness of marginal UFA talent is our number 1 problem on D. Let’s stop doing that.

  25. TheOtherJohn says:

    Do not understand the angst over the 2015/16 Oiler D. Read most of the posts and many of the comments all summer. We traded for Reinhart at the because he was NHL ready. Lets dress him in our NHL roster and see what he is capable in a top 4 role in his draft+4 year.

  26. stush18 says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    stush18,

    It’s not the dollars for Franson, it’s the term.He’s been on several one year contracts and is really looking for term is my understanding.

    I don’t want to lock us into ANOTHER D contract that we regret.Most of the problems we have on the back end now are a direct result of trying to solve this exact problem over the past few years.

    It’s why we don’t have Petry, it’s why we don’t have easy minutes available to break in promising youth (the easy minutes are reserved for bad veterans and near veterans).

    If we only signed elite free agents, guys we were really sure about, over the past few years our lineup today would be:

    Sekera Petry
    Klefbom Nurse
    Reinhart Gryba
    Davidson

    So while that’s too young, it’s still way better than the reality. We’d also have lots and lots of cap space. We’d miss Fayne, sure, but either way….

    Over estimating the effectiveness of marginal UFA talent is our number 1 problem on D.Let’s stop doing that.

    Sekera isn’t elite. He’s better than most of our signings, but he is not elite. We also can’t just throw Schultz out the window, because we were all ecstatic after the first season.

    I have no problem with term for franson, unfortunately, we are already loaded with contracts. It’s a nonsense argument, because we don’t have room, salary or player wise, to add franson.

    We also can’t let the past cloud the future. We don’t have a dman recently signed other than Sekera (which is chiarelli), that has put up as good as numbers, underlying or otherwise, as franson.

    He is not marginal. He would most likely become our second best dman, with the youngsters obviously fast approaching.

  27. verdad2.0 says:

    Kudos to you Lowetide.
    This is the fundamental issue facing the Oilers.
    Nicholson’s remarks are utterly disappointing. Lowering expectations. Asking for more fan abuse, as Oilers management refuses to act decisively to fix this defense.

    There is no rational case for playing ever again playing Nikitin, Schultz or Ference.
    If a trade can’t be made, ( which I don’t believe is the case), then play Nurse and Reinhart, and get on with the future. If this season is to be wasted, then at least let it be for giving them experience.

    But the obvious trade stares us in the face.
    I have long advocated going after OEL.
    Almost as good a case can be made for Pieterangelo The key piece from the Oilers has to be Hall or Eberle plus draft picks.
    The point is Chiarelli should be relentless in trying to make this happen.

    Of course, the OIlers should sign Franson. They should bought out the garbage months ago, and washed their hands of Schultz.

    As I’ve been saying, Chiarelli has blundered to date. One real chance to salvage this season. Come to terms with the scale of what has to be done.

  28. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Ducey,

    I agree with this thinking as well. Unless its a true top pairing difference maker, we have our near to NHL ready D percolating. I expect this team to push for a playoff spot this season. I’m ok if they fall short (and expect they will), but it is significant progess. What will be vital is Klefbom gets lots of minutes and Reinhart and Nurse tag in and get their sorties through the last 2/3rds of the season. This is our future, lets get them acclimatized and readied for 2016. I really don’t think Klefbom is as delicate as assumed and needs ‘sheltering’. He will make some errors but I expect he will be the driver on his paring go forward. He is bonafide in my opinion. So its Nurse and Reinhart that need the development and the sooner the better without dropping them in the deep end. Give them 20 – 30 games in the AHL and then commit to giving them minutes and exposure in the bigs. I anticipate Reinhart is further along, but Nurse is ready physically and eager to compete.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:

    You can’t complain the Oilers are going to lose Davidson on waivers or not give time to Nurse, while at the same time suggesting they add in another (old) defenseman.

    WHERE did I ever compain about losing Davidson to waivers? That’s likely to happen no matter what happens from here to opening night (exposure to waivers) and it’s a risk the Oilers will and should take. Doesn’t mean I think he has no value.

  30. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    verdad2.0,

    I think prudency is for Chiarelli to give his new team and players some time to display where they are after 20 – 30 games before you contemplate trading a core asset like Eberle or Hall. I like OEL fine and he is worthy in value for any teams best players in a trade. I just think a newly minted GM – having been somewhat burned on Sequin – give it some time before he pulls the trigger on a core piece(s) being sent away. I would consider it reckless.

  31. Gerta Rauss says:

    This is 3 weeks old and I’ve posted it before but it seems relevant again this morning

    VISNOVSKY TO EUROPE?
    Lubomir Visnovsky is also available as a free agent, but it appears his future is in Europe.
    Slovakian news outlet Sport.cas reported this past week that Visnovsky had received a contract extension from the Islanders, but the team has since decided to go in another direction.
    One such option could be the KHL, where Visnovsky spent half a season during the 2012-13 lockout. However, Visnovsky said the amount of travel is discouraging.
    He admitted he could consider retirement, too, as his back is still causing him pain. Before he does that, though, Visnovsky said he will explore his options and then make a firm decision on how to proceed

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nhl/rumor-roundup-franson-ehrhoff-inching-closer-to-deals/ar-BBlikWL

  32. rickithebear says:

    Andy Greene:
    W/ Fayne 1st 11.64 HSCA/60 40.08 CA/60
    W/O Fayne 1st 13.52 HSCA/60 50.90

    Fayne
    W/ Greene 1st 10.71 CA/60 40.04 CA/60
    EDM 1st 17.16 HSCA/60 55.96 CA/60
    W/ Nurse 44.37 CA/60
    W/ Petry 48.95
    W/ Ference 51.25
    W/ Nikitin 52.75
    W/ Marincin 55.39
    W/ Klefbom 58.02
    W/ Aulie 67.11
    W/ Schultz 69.23

    Sekra: In a box protect System Ruff/Sutter
    1st comp 13.71 HSCA/60 51.08 CA/60
    2nd comp 11.41 HSCA/60 39.09 CA/60

    Nikitin: In box Protect System Todd Richards
    CBJ 2nd comp 12.90 HSCA/60 51.68 Ca/60
    W/ Tyutin 1st/2nd 48.15
    W/ Savard 3rd 54.24
    w/ Prout 2nd 53.52
    EDm 1st 15.80 HSCA/60 54.98
    W/ Fayne 1st 52.75
    W/ Marincin 1st 53.01
    W/ Petry 2nd 54.97
    W/ Schultz 2nd/3rd 60.14

    Klefbom 2nd 17.14 HSCA/60 54.40 Ca/60
    w/ Schultz 2nd/3rd 54.40 CA/60
    w/ FAyne 1st 58.02
    w/ Petry 2nd 43.04

    Gryba: 2nd 14.19 HSCA/60 55.03 CA/60
    14-15 2nd/3rd 13.99 56.19 top 90 for D.

    Nurse 3rd 45.38
    Reinhart 3rd 44.03 w/ NHL D.

    We know.

    You want low Ca/60 good box protection system D.
    Who generate low HSCA/60
    witch can translates to low HS/60 which standard range is 5-8 HS/60 at Even.

    Paired with the upper level and Lower Level HS SV% golaies causes a range of
    .67 HSEVGA/60
    to
    1.52 HSEVGA/60

    Fayne was the best in the game for 4 years in NJ.
    He had 3 of his teams 7 best HSCA/60 seasons

    Sekera was a dominate 2nd comp and 1st comp under ruff and Sutter
    He had the top 3 HSCA/60 season in BUF
    He had the highest HSCA/60 rate in LA this year.

    Nikitin was dominate 2nd comp HSCA/60 D in CBJ
    he had 2 of the 7 best HSCA/60 seaons

    Klefbom :
    paired with2nd/3rd comp D generates a 10.00% + improvement in CA/60 results.
    But was not ready for 1st comp.

    Nurse and Reinhart’s play hints at Sub 46.00 CA/60 play.
    Which should translate into
    Low HSCA/60
    and
    Low HS/60.

  33. verdad2.0 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    Look at the recent Blue Jays success.
    Finally a GM who valued the present, and avoided delusions about the future.

    Two points here, yes go for OEL at all costs short of MacDavid. But in the interim acquire Franson , give time to Nurse and Reinhart.
    And never again play the gruesome threesome.
    This should be straightforward.

    Firing MacTavish would be both symbolically and substantively positive as well.

  34. Snowman says:

    verdad2.0,

    Everyone and their dog agrees that this team needs a top end defenseman. We get it.

    Please tell me how Chiarelli has blundered? He tried to get the only top end d-man available for trade (Hamilton). He signed the best FA D-man (Sekera). He swung at every top end d-man available. That’s not a blunder. Just because you want something doesn’t mean its there to get. OEL is likely never going to be available. Duncan Keith also not available. Victor Hedman? Not available. Drew Doughty? Not available. Shea Weber? Not available. Go through the list of top Dmen and tell me who you think is available for trade. Legitimately available.

    There simply aren’t any out there. You don’t know who Chia has asked about. You don’t know what he’s offered. You’re assuming because Edmonton doesn’t have a shiny new top pairing that Chia didn’t ask.

    Give the guy some credit. He asked. He rebuilt Boston’s D immediately when he got there. He’s got a good start on this D.

  35. Jaxon says:

    I wouldn’t mind signing Franson on decent dollars and I wouldn’t care so much how long the term is as long as there isn’t a debilitating NMC or NTC. I think none or a NTC where Franson can submit 7 teams from each conference that he cannot be traded to would be reasonable and wouldn’t tie Edmonton’s hands when they want to unload him. Big, right-handed, offensive defencemen that hit, takeaway pucks, and block shots with decent possession numbers are always in demand, especially at trade deadlines. If he’s so in demand then why isn’t he signed yet, you ask? I suspect he has very specific contract demands and a short list of teams and is waiting for a few shoes to drop for teams to meet his requests.

    Opening night:
    Sekera – Fayne
    Klefbom – Franson
    Ference – Schultz
    Nikitin – Gryba

    I like that top 4. Would they carry 8 to start the season? It’s not done very often and probably for good reason, but they are really crowded with 5-6 defenders and rookies. Something would have to give in that scenario.

  36. wheatnoil says:

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/insider/story/_/id/13520560/top-10-edmonton-oilers-prospects-2015-16

    Pronman has the Oilers’ Top 10 up. No huge surprises. Slepyshev leads the charge behind the Top 3. Notable absence of Kyle Platzer. 6 out of 10 are D-men.

  37. verdad2.0 says:

    Snowman,

    At some price, they are available.
    The only asset not in play is MacDavid.
    The real issue is the will to try.

  38. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’d be fine with another veteran defender provided it’s a 1 year $1M deal. I’d throw Michal Rozsival’s name on that list as well

    This team needs another top pairing defender but that guy isn’t coming in the short term.

    The question for me is who plays in that 4th spot with Sekera, Fayne and Klefbom, and I’d rather have a guy with experience in that role.

    The rest of the D will sort itself out with injuries, pressbox, waivers, AHL. I think Chia will be agressive to make moves 20 games into the season as well.

    Signing a UFA may also get you a draft pick at the deadline.

  39. Snowman says:

    verdad2.0,

    How do you know he didn’t ask? That’s my point. You’re making assumptions you just can’t make.

    There’s no way he looks at the D and thinks its good enough.

    Maybe he did ask and there’s nothing available for a price that isn’t insane. Can you at least contemplate that as a possible reality?

    Edit: I would add trading Nuge is insane.

  40. verdad2.0 says:

    Snowman,

    What we know is the kept Ference, Schultz and Nikitin.
    Collectively, that represents a blunder.

    Had they been flushed the urgency and will to actually fix the Oilers defense would have been inescapable.

    Even signing Franson would be better than this ridiculous status quo.

    Nicholson’s moronic comments belie that Chiarelli isn’t yet up for “bold” , but to the abuse of the fan base.

  41. CurtisS says:

    A little off topic, anyone looking to hit up the Rookies vs Golden Bears game.

    You can get tickets today on ticketmaster, presale password is rookie

    You get assigned a seat for the game, so I recommend it.

  42. pocession charge says:

    verdad2.0:
    Snowman,

    What we know is the kept Ference, Schultz and Nikitin.
    Collectively, that represents a blunder.

    Had they been flushed the urgency and will to actually fix the Oilers defense would have been inescapable.

    Even signing Franson would be better than this ridiculous status quo.

    Going back to Snowman’s question: How do you know what Chiarelli has or has not tried to do? You are vilifying him without all the facts Verdad. How do you get rid of Ference (NMC and overpaid) or Nikitin (injury riddled and overpaid) if another GM says “I don’t want those guys”? How do you know that Franson wants to play in Edmonton? Are you willing to overpay in dollars or term for him? Do you really think that Franson moves the dial forward any more than Justin Schultz?
    Please be specific with your answer.

  43. Pouzar says:

    Condors in da Peg Nov 20 and 22nd!

    BOOYAH!

  44. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    stush18: Sekera isn’t elite. He’s better than most of our signings, but he is not elite. We also can’t just throw Schultz out the window, because we were all ecstatic after the first season.

    I have no problem with term for franson, unfortunately, we are already loaded with contracts. It’s a nonsense argument, because we don’t have room, salary or player wise, to add franson.

    We also can’t let the past cloud the future. We don’t have a dman recently signed other than Sekera (which is chiarelli), that has put up as good as numbers, underlying or otherwise, as franson.

    He is not marginal. He would most likely become our second best dman, with the youngsters obviously fast approaching.

    A few things:

    I know Sekera isn’t “Elite” in the sense of being an NHL all star. What I’m saying by “elite” is proven, established NHL Dman who doesn’t have any marks against him with respect to age or experience, who can very easily be penciled into a top pairing role on the majority of clubs in the NHL and perform at an appropriate level. For example, he could be Doughty’s D partner in LA and perform admirably… without actually BEING Doughty. Obviously.

    I get rid of Schultz not because I want to, ditto Fayne. I get rid of him to highlight what he is: a bet on an unproven guy playing too far up the lineup. Ideally I’d like to keep him, he would make the new list I provided better. To keep the experiment fair thought I can’t pick and choose.

    Franson isn’t “marginal” but he is unproven relative to his likely cost; we would be making a bet that he can justify his pay, and would need him to play relatively heavy minutes. If he ended up playing third pairing he would be quite overpayed, and for that reason I’ve qualified him the way I have.

    Franson is, without question, a different bet than either Sekera was or Petry would have been. What I’m saying is that, if we had avoided bets with any type of risk, our lineup today would be better than it is on the basis of our previous bets, albeit younger and cheaper.

    Basically, without those bets we don’t have Fayne and Schultz, but we also don’t have Nikitin and Ference, and we get to keep Petry.

  45. pocession charge says:

    verdad2.0:
    Snowman,

    At some price, they are available.
    The only asset not in play is MacDavid.
    The real issue is the will to try.

    He tried to get Dougie Hamilton and made a better offer for him than the team that traded for him. How is that not trying?

  46. oilersfan says:

    Verdad

    I agree it is puzzling that Chiarelli didn’t buy out Nikitin, because if he had he could have signed Ehrhoff to a 2 year, 2.5 million deal and still been ahead cap wise both years.

    Or he could have signed Franson to a one year $3 million if it Franson would sign for that.

    My guess with the non buyout is Chiarelli had some interest in a team accepting Nikitan in a trade with half the money retained, if injuries should hit during training camp or afterwards. This frees upall the money next year when better fish than Ehrhoff or Franson are available, as the C$ has continued to fall and the cap will likely be sideways again next year…in that case Chiarelli will also know how good Nurse and Reinhart and how badly they need a number one dman.

    How do you know Nurse isn’t the next Larry Robinson or Chris Pronger? if he is we don’t need to spend $7 million on Seabrook. If he isn’t, by not buying out Nikitin and Ferrance this year, that creates more cap space to acquire Seabrook for only money next summer, and not have to give up Hall or RNH as your fantasy for OEl would require.

  47. Ducey says:

    For all those trying to reason with Verdad, don’t waste your time.

    He has now posted essentially the same point more than 400 ? times over the course of several months. He has been reasoned with, and ridiculed, and almost everyone has tried to point out the error of his ways.

    He has made DSF look like the reasonable man.

    He is the truth. And you can’t argue with the truth.

    Just ignore him.

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    You’ve got enough guys signed now and enough question marks that I think you have to take them to camp and through the preseason and let the competition sort out some of these questions.

    The questions I would be asking are more along the lines of:

    1) Who can we pair with Sekera to form a legitimate minute munching top pair? Don’t be surprised if it’s Nurse. He’s got the tools and they may decide that his range will make up for the mental and positioning errors, particularly with a savvy vet by his side. For sure, Fayne will have something to say about this.

    2) Can Ference and/or Nikitin give us anything resembling solid vet mins or is time to stick a fork in them? McLellan may find a way to use these vets until we can dump the contracts and replace them with better options.

    3) If you put a stay-at-home mean SOB like Gryba beside him, does that help to sort out Jultz’ issues? Is that a reasonable third pairing?

    4) You’ve got four raw players (KBom, Nurse, Reinhart, Schultz) likely competing for 2 spots. Who wins? You would hope that, unlike days past, it will simply be the two best players coming out of the preseason and not the GM’s fave or the ones who get the push cos of contract status.

    The nice thing is the Oil D is starting to resemble that rookie Expo outfield of yore. We’re going to see some mistakes but man is the future upside starting to look strong. Amazing what adding a couple blue chippers does.

    Bottom line, I would not want to be Justin Schultz heading into this camp. He’s got better defensive players nipping at his heels now and I don’t think the muffin from the point is sufficient to beat back the competition. If you’re going to be a ‘project,’ you better have the upside. I’m not sure poor passer/poor slapshot makes Jultz worth the effort.

  49. wheatnoil says:

    oilersfan,

    Another reason for not buying out Nikitin… you can’t buy out players that are injured and he finished the year injured, iirc. If he’s still rehabilitating his back, you can’t buy him out.

  50. Ben says:

    In perhaps the Oilers-est news in the history of Oilers-ness, the previous two Oilers head coaches will face each other on October 10th, when their respective AHL teams meet in their season openers.

    The Oilers coach before that will be across an ocean watching a soccer game.

  51. rickithebear says:

    ARI GM is one of the best in the Game.
    The top 12 HSCA/60 season in last 4 seasons by his D.
    #1 Michalek 14-15 1st 13.77
    #2 Schlemko 13-14 3rd/4th 14.47
    ————————————15.18 is league average
    #3 OEL 14-15 1st 15.19
    #4 OEL 11-12 1st 15.21
    #5 C. Murphy 13-14 1st/2nd 15.29
    #6 Michalek 12-13 1st 15.52
    #7 OEL 13-14 1st 15.65
    #8 OEL 12-13 1st 15.76
    #9 Aucoin 11-12 3rd 16.19
    #10 Murphy 14-15 3rd 16.24
    #11 Michalek 13-14 1st 16.39
    #12 Stone 13-14 2nd 16.40

    He brings in Grossman toplay 2nd comp?
    PHI 1st/2nd 15.73 HSCA/60 in no structured box protect team.
    Dal (crawford) 1st 14.16 HSCA/60
    DAL (Tipett) 2nd 12.80 HSCA/60

    There is zero chance he trades OEL!

  52. G Money says:

    pocession charge: Please be specific with your answer.

    I believe Verdad already has been specific.

    If someone else doesn’t want to trade you something, it doesn’t matter, because you can force the issue.

    And if you don’t force the issue, clearly you’re a moron!

    After reading that kind of managerial brilliance, I’m sure we’re all hoping that Verdad is our next GM, after Chiarelli is fired for being a moron.

  53. pocession charge says:

    rickithebear:

    There is zero chance he trades OEL!

    Of course he’s not trading OEL. No GM in their right mind would do that. Not even Sweeney!

  54. Bag of Pucks says:

    RE Kind of Blue

    If Nurse, Reinhart and Klefbom can achieve the kind of chemistry that Davis, Coltrane and Evans did on that record?

    We’ll be in good shape indeed.

    http://blog.oup.com/2014/08/miles-davis-kind-of-blue-classic-jazz-album/

    Sublime recording.

  55. pocession charge says:

    G Money: I believe Verdad already has been specific.

    If someone else doesn’t want to trade you something, it doesn’t matter, because you can force the issue.

    And if you don’t force the issue, clearly you’re a moron!

    After reading that kind of managerial brilliance, I’m sure we’re all hoping that Verdad is our next GM, after Chiarelli is fired for being a moron.

    Lol. I would love to see the all-star roster that he would assemble.

  56. stush18 says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Fair enough, I understand why your including everyone in your groupings.

    But you called franson a marginal player, especially for what he costs. We have no idea what he costs. As far as I know, there have been no reports about him and what he’s asking.

    I would have liked petry, but not for 5.5 per year. If franson has an asking price anywhere below that, I take a chance, even with some term. They are essentially equal but different players.

  57. pocession charge says:

    stush18:
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    I would have liked petry, but not for 5.5 per year. If franson has an asking price anywhere below that, I take a chance, even with some term. They are essentially equal but different players.

    Godot can you please handle this one?

  58. stush18 says:

    pocession charge: Godot can you please handle this one?

    Sorry but I disagree with Godot. Everyone uses fransons twenty games with Nashville as an excuse. In reality, he was poorly used, although played poorly.

    He had good numbers the two years previous, on a defense which was worse than edmontons.

  59. Adam Wu says:

    Verdad strongly claims that we should give up ANYTHING on the roster short of McDavid to get OEL.

    So…. how about OEL for Hall, RNH, Yak, Eberle, Kelfbom, Nurse, Draisatl, and next year’s 1st? That makes us a playoff team this year?

  60. G Money says:

    stush18: Sorry but I disagree with Godot. Everyone uses fransons twenty games with Nashville as an excuse.

    Godot’s hatred of Franson runs MUCH deeper than 20 games.

    My guess is that Franson is Dallas Eakins’ cousin.

  61. RexLibris says:

    G Money: My guess is that Franson is Dallas Eakins’ cousin.

    Think again.

    Have you ever seen them together in the same room?

    Trust No One!

  62. G Money says:

    RexLibris,

    Whoa. Mind blown.

  63. stush18 says:

    In the spirit of verdad, I present my “force the issue and trade for whoever” Edmonton Oilers 2015-16.

    First we trade eberle, nuge, and next years 2nd rnder for getzlaf and perry.

    Then we trade next years first, third, nurse, and Purcell half retained for karlsson.

    Then we trade talbot, scrivs, poo for loungo.

    Then we trade hall for Hedman.

    Trade Schultz and yak and nikitin half retained for Jamie benn

    Trade korp and Hendricks and ference for cap relief.

    We sign boyes, franson, glencross, stempniak, beegenheim, Upshall

    Presenting your 2015-16 Stanley cup winners

    Glencross-getzlaf-perry
    Benn-mcdavid-boyes
    Bergenheim-lander-stempniak
    Upshall-letestu-miller

    Sekera-karlsson
    Hedman-franson
    Klefbom-fayne
    Reinhart

    Loungo
    Nillson

    This gm’ing thing is easy!

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    If we agree that Sekera/Fayne/KBom are locks for 1D/2D/3D respectively, man does it put some urgency on one of either Nikitin, Nurse or Reinhart to fill that 4D spot.

    When you put it in that context, it sets up a great battle between the 3 of them.

    Gryba seems a lock for third pairing, ideally paired with some skill. Could see Nikitin sliding there. He’s a good 2PP option with that point shot.

    Could see Nurse winning the 4D battle and Reinhart going to 7D, subbing in for either Gryba or Nik at home when TMac has the last change.

    You’ll notice that I’m not counting on Schultz for anything in these scenarios. He’s not a real hockey player imo, nor does he play one on tv.

  65. Melman says:

    Ben:
    In perhaps the Oilers-est news in the history of Oilers-ness, the previous two Oilers head coaches will face each other on October 10th, when their respective AHL teams meet in their season openers.

    The Oilers coach before that will be across an ocean watching a soccer game.

    That is spectacular. Which is fitting because fans have had to witness the inept spectacle for too long.

  66. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    stush18:
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Fair enough, I understand why your including everyone in your groupings.

    But you called franson a marginal player, especially for what he costs. We have no idea what he costs. As far as I know, there have been no reports about him and what he’s asking.

    I would have liked petry, but not for 5.5 per year. If franson has an asking price anywhere below that, I take a chance, even with some term. They are essentially equal but different players.

    To me, Franson is a step below Petry for the Oilers. I know for sure what I’m getting with Petry, I don’t know for sure what I’m getting with Franson. There’s always a bit of risk when a player changes teams that something doesn’t work out; I’ll ignore that for a guy on Sekera’s level or higher.

    But we’re splitting hairs here.

    I guess this all hangs on my assumption that Franson will be expensive if he signs with the Oil. If he comes here, to me it’s for good dollars and great term, maybe $4million by 4 or 5 years. If we can get him for $3 million or less for 1 year, it’s for sure a different story. I’m just discounting that because I don’t see it happening.

  67. rickithebear says:

    Nikitin in CBJ
    11-12 Arniel
    1st/2nd 12.77 HSCA/60 #18/210 D
    12-13 Richards
    2nd 12.34 HSCA/60 #19/194 D
    13-14 Richards
    2nd/3rd 13.78 #67/208 D

    Oilers 1st Comp D last 8 Years.
    21 D played 1st or shared 1st/2nd
    #1 Souray 08-09 1st 13.82 HSCA/60
    ————————————————— BELOW AVERAGE (15.18) BEYOND HERE
    #2 Smid 07-08 1syt/2nd 15.55
    #3 Souray 09-10 1st/2nd 15.60
    #4 Gilbert 08-09 1st/2nd 15.77
    #5 Nikitin 14-15 1st 15.80
    #6 Gilbert 07-08 1st/2nd 16.02
    #7 Staios 07-08 1st/2nd 16.04
    #8 Fayne 14-15 1st 17.16
    #9 Gilbert 9-10 1st 2nd 17.25
    #10 Souray 07-08 1st /2nd
    #11 Gilbert 10-11 1st 17.39
    #12 Smid 11-12 1st 17.46
    #13 Petry 13-14 1st 17.59
    #14 Petry 11-12 1st 17.63
    #15 Peckham 10-11 1st 17.75
    #16 Ference 13-14 1st 17.93
    #17 Marincin 13-14 1st 18.57
    #18 Whitney 10-11 1st 18.66
    #19 Whitney 09-10 1st 19.90
    #20 Smid 12-13 1st 20.05
    #21 Petry 12-13 20.61
    Our 1st comp Defence is awful.

    there are 1255 sets of Data for 07-08 to 14-15

    top 20 1st comp in those 8 years
    #1 Fayne 12-13 9.16
    #2 Greene 12-13 10.08
    #3 Muzzin 12-13 10.18
    #4 Fayne 10-11 10.33
    #5 Greene 13-14 10.38
    #6 Erhoff 07-08 10.42
    #7 Fayne 13-14 10.67
    #8 Klesla 07-08 10.89
    #9 Hejda 07-08 10.99
    #10 Vlasic 13-14 11.25
    #11 Foote 07-08 11.27
    #12 Sarich 07-08 11.35
    #13 Brodin 12-13 11.39
    #14 Reghr 08-09 11.40
    #15 Martin 07-08 11.45
    #16 Vlasic 07-08 11.46
    #17 Muzzin 13-14 11.50
    #18 Tyutin 08-09 11.50
    #19 Muzzin 14-05 11.57
    #20 Mitchell 14-15 11.91

  68. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    rickithebear,

    I agree.

  69. kinger_OIL says:

    – Who was asking about Freeport the other day? Your in good company with Ichan…

    – Ricki – just sad your findings isn’t it?

  70. Pouzar says:

    kinger_OIL: Who was asking about Freeport the other day? Your in good company with Ichan…

    That would be me.
    That poor f^cker has no idea 🙂

    EDIT: WTF!
    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/27/icahn-takes-stake-in-freeport-mcmoran-making-him-10th-biggest-holder.html

  71. Bag of Pucks says:

    A while back we were kicking around some names for a prospective NHL franchise in Vegas.

    Here are some possibilities

    The Las Vegas Degenerate Gamblers
    The Sin City Skaters
    The Las Vegas Lost Wages (really no worse than the Minnesota Wild)
    The Mustang Ranch Mustangs

    And my personal favourite….

    The Nevada State Apex Predators

  72. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    The Las Vegas Craps.

    It’s the low hanging fruit.

  73. One-Timer says:

    Ducey:
    For all those trying to reason with Verdad, don’t waste your time.

    He has now posted essentially the same point more than 400 ? times over the course of several months.He has been reasoned with, and ridiculed, and almost everyone has tried to point out the error of his ways.

    He has made DSF look like the reasonable man.

    He is the truth.And you can’t argue with the truth.

    Just ignore him.

    Fine. But can we at least convince him to call the guy Ekman-Larsson once in a while, just for variety’s sake?

  74. Jordan says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    A while back we were kicking around some names for a prospective NHL franchise in Vegas.

    Here are some possibilities

    The Las Vegas Degenerate Gamblers
    The Sin City Skaters
    The Las Vegas Lost Wages (really no worse than the Minnesota Wild)
    The Mustang Ranch Mustangs

    And my personal favourite….

    The Nevada State Apex Predators

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Villains

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virtue

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Voyagers

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vengeance

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vanguards

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Valor

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virgins

  75. Pouzar says:

    Jordan: Now, introducing your Las Vegas Villains

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virtue

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Voyagers

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vengeance

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vanguards

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Valor

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virgins

    Viagra?

  76. oilswell says:

    verdad2.0:
    Snowman,

    At some price, they are available.
    The only asset not in play is MacDavid.
    The real issue is the will to try.

    Fair point. Say by magic OEL is an Oiler and you’re Chiarelli and another GM phones you up and asks for OEL. What’s the minimum offer that makes you pull the trigger?

    Apologies if you’ve answered this before–I genuinely want to hear your answer.

  77. One-Timer says:

    rickithebear,

    I’m willing to give Fayne credit as being a good defensive defenceman, and he’s almost certainly better than he’s looked here in the Edm shitshow. But he will never post numbers like those again. He was the beneficiary of a decades-long tradition of total team shut-down hockey in Joisey. Other names on that list might have done even better in that system than Fayne.

    While McLellan will be looking to improve the D side of the puck here, Oilers hockey is going to be a goal-differential battle for the foreseeable future.

    You know, just like what we grew up with!

  78. doritogrande says:

    Condors in da Peg Nov 20 and 22nd!

    BOOYAH!

    The ladyfriend will be in France then. I’d be interested in an AHL spectacle. Last time Winnipeg had a farm team a couple of us were able to meet up and go to the game. Showerhead and IceCastles, if you’re still lurking what do you say?

  79. Ducey says:

    Jordan: Now, introducing your Las Vegas Villains

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virtue

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Voyagers

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vengeance

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vanguards

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Valor

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virgins

    Holy alliteration, batman.

    The Baseball team is called the 51’s after Area 51. I like their logo:

    http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/4819/Las_Vegas_51s/2003/Primary_Logo

    I expect they will call themselves the Gamblers and then ironically bring in some Jacque Lemaire disciple to coach them.

  80. Jordan says:

    Pouzar,

    Oh, man – that’s great!

    Imagine the cross-promotional opportunities with the escort services in Las Vegas.

    I wonder if you could get Laurence Fishburne to do a Matrix Blue Pill-themed commercial?

    Don’t be like Neo – take the Blue pill. How deep do you want to go?

  81. Lowetide says:

    Ziyat Paigin played today, just 4:09 and 2 pims with 1 SOG and a blocked shot. Just 8 shifts.

  82. Soup Fascist says:

    Jordan: Now, introducing your Las Vegas VillainsNow, introducing your Las Vegas VirtueNow, introducing your Las Vegas VoyagersNow, introducing your Las Vegas VengeanceNow, introducing your Las Vegas VanguardsNow, introducing your Las Vegas ValorNow, introducing your Las Vegas Virgins

    Pfft! Virgins in Las Vegas? Might as well call them the Unicorns.

  83. oilswell says:

    Bag of Pucks: A while back we were kicking around some names for a prospective NHL franchise in Vegas.

    Las Vegas Strippers?
    Las Vegas Dealers?

    Cross promotion indeed.

  84. Oddspell says:

    Jordan,

    I think the obvious choice is “The Las Vegas Gamblers.” I think it sounds good if a little uninspired.

    Lowetide:
    Ziyat Paigin played today, just 4:09 and 2 pims with 1 SOG and a blocked shot. Just 8 shifts.

    Does anyone know if there’s a place to read english commentary on KHL games?

  85. Магия 10 says:

    Jordan: Now, introducing your Las Vegas Villains

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virtue

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Voyagers

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vengeance

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Vanguards

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Valor

    Now, introducing your Las Vegas Virgins

    Vegas Vig

  86. wheatnoil says:

    Full [BN] Hockey post on #Sabres working to land free agent D Cody Franson with a two-year deal http://t.co/aPXnB0sd9b— Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington) August 27, 2015

    Looks like the Sabres are making a play for Franson. Article implies that only 1-year deals are on the table, so the Sabres are hoping a 2-year deal is enough to entice him.

  87. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Ziyat Paigin played today, just 4:09 and 2 pims with 1 SOG and a blocked shot. Just 8 shifts.

    That’s… not… ideal… development.

    Hopefully his ice time picks up as the season goes on a la Slepyshev.

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    Магия 10: Vegas Vig

    Perfection.

  89. Bag of Pucks says:

    Soup Fascist: Pfft!Virgins in Las Vegas?Might as well call them the Unicorns.

    I’m sure there’s some that arrive in Vegas as virgins, but doubtful they leave that way.

    “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – including your cherry.”

  90. Магия 10 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Perfection.

    Yeah, Gary shot down the Vegas Fix.

  91. Melman says:

    Bag of Pucks: I’m sure there’s some that arrive in Vegas as virgins, but doubtful they leave that way.

    “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – including your cherry.”

    What will be really fun is what ends up on their uni’s if the NHL goes to advertising on the jersey’s.

    Introducing your Las Vegas Sapphires!

  92. Armchair GM says:

    It’s interesting that the Blue Jays have come up in the conversation on how to acquire a vital piece to your roster that EVERYONE knows you need. AA asked about David Price and was told he was not going to be traded. AA asked that he be given the courtesy of a call if Price were to go on the market. When the Detroit Tigers were ready to trade Price, AA got a call and the deal was negotiated. Notice that it was only when the team with the asset made a decision to trade that a deal could actually get done.

    If Verdad was the GM of the Blue Jays he probably would have been able to force Dombrowski (Detroit’s GM) to part with Price much earlier in the season. Heck maybe even in the preseason. (All he had to do is offer something like Donaldson, Joey Bats and some prospects.) But that’s the difference between FANtasy sports and the real thing. In affairs of the heart they say all you need is chemistry and timing. In sports you need assets and timing. The assets you are willing to give up are under your control, the timing isn’t.

    I’ll bet that Chia has made his AA calls to various GM’s and has been told ‘not available’. He gave his number, asked for a courtesy call and is working quietly in the background. If you are taking lessons on how to acquire that ‘hard to get’ piece, that’s how the Blue Jays did it. (Or I guess you can hope a team goes bonkers and takes a lesser offer just to spite an ex-employee. Even with the gang in Boston in charge, depending on crazy is only a high percentage acquisition strategy when Milbury is employed by an NHL team.)

  93. rickithebear says:

    Cody Franson?

    Oilers:
    With box system coaching:
    Fayne 1st 10.05
    Sekera 1st 13.41
    Nikitin 1st 12.05
    Gryba 2nd/3rd 13.99

    With EDM
    Ference 2nd 16.33
    Klefbom 2nd 17.14
    J. schultz 2nd/3rd 18.12

    so we are comparinhg franson to these numbers

    Franson 2nd/3rd 18.47 last 2 years.
    His HS rate was worse than J. schultz.

    But Buffalo is going after him.
    Colaiacovo 3rd /4th 12.52
    Bogosian 1st/2nd 15.90
    M. Donovan 3rd/4th 16.11
    Pysyk 2nd 16.97
    Weber 3rd/4th 18.42
    Gorges 2nd 19.77
    Ristolainen 2nd 20.09

    Franson slots in 2nd comp role in Buffalo no problem.

  94. BaconWrapped says:

    *chanting*
    Three for one deal…
    What is dead, may never die…

  95. Pouzar says:

    doritogrande:
    Condors in da Peg Nov 20 and 22nd!


    BOOYAH!

    The ladyfriend will be in France then. I’d be interested in an AHL spectacle. Last time Winnipeg had a farm team a couple of us were able to meet up and go to the game. Showerhead and IceCastles, if you’re still lurking what do you say?

    I’m in!

  96. Pouzar says:

    Jordan: How deep do you want to go?

    Perfect slogan!

  97. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Ziyat Paigin played today, just 4:09 and 2 pims with 1 SOG and a blocked shot. Just 8 shifts.

    What are they doin to these kids?

  98. Pouzar says:

    Gord Hates Me.

    FCX up 28% today on the Icahn news.

  99. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    A while back we were kicking around some names for a prospective NHL franchise in Vegas.

    Here are some possibilities

    The Las Vegas Degenerate Gamblers
    The Sin City Skaters
    The Las Vegas Lost Wages (really no worse than the Minnesota Wild)
    The Mustang Ranch Mustangs

    And my personal favourite….

    The Nevada State Apex Predators

    The Las Vegas Elvis

  100. AsiaOil says:

    There are many unknowns on the blue going into this season. How will Nurse, GR & Klef develop? Can Shultz turn it around? Is there anything left in the tank for Nikitin and Ference? Lots of uncertainty in all of these questions – and next summers moves depend on the answers.

    So I’m OK with seeing how the chips fall in TC and then addressing need as the answers reveal themselves. Making the wrong move now based on inadequate information would limit options next summer or hinder a different potential in-season move to address need (e.g. goaltending). Only non-move I would quibble with is not buying out Ference as he almost certainly is not an NHL defenseman anymore. But we will go 9 deep at some point this winter and he is probably still useable if seen through that lens. But next summer he has to go without question.

    So lots has been accomplished – but much remains to be done – and we need to see guys perform on the ice to make sure the next move is correct.

  101. godot10 says:

    Zidlicky, Visnovsky, Hejda are DONE. What’s the point? All one is doing is delaying the development of Reinhart and Nurse, and thus wasting McDavid’s entry level contract.

    Franson is horrible value for money if you satisfy his contract demands. And he destroys any sensible cap management going forward. And Schultz has his spot. And Schultz is only a one year risk.

    Reinhart is ready. And Nurse will be ready to take Schultz’s spot in January if Schultz stumbles.

    What if it is

    Sekera, Fayne
    Klefbom, Gryba
    Reinhart, Schultz.

    with that 3rd pair geting heavy o-zone starts, and the top two taking the tough minutes.

  102. godot10 says:

    godot10: The Las Vegas Elvis

    Or The Las Vegas Elves, and everyone will know what you mean.

  103. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10: The Las Vegas Elvis

    The plural of “Elvis” is “Elvi”.

    And I like it.

  104. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: 4) You’ve got four raw players (KBom, Nurse, Reinhart, Schultz) likely competing for 2 spots. … Bottom line, I would not want to be Justin Schultz heading into this camp. He’s got better defensive players nipping at his heels now and I don’t think the muffin from the point is sufficient to beat back the competition. If you’re going to be a ‘project,’ you better have the upside. I’m not sure poor passer/poor slapshot makes Jultz worth the effort.

    A newcomer reading all these comments (one example chosen here, of many) tearing apart Justin Schultz might never realize that in 2014-15, Schultz:

    a) led the Oilers in ice time
    b) led the Oilers blue line in 5v5 CF%
    c) led the Oilers blue line in 5v5 GF%
    d) was on the ice for 24 more Oilers goals at even strength than any other D-man (64-40)
    e) was on the ice for MORE THAN TWICE as many Oilers goals (all situations) than any other Oilers D-man (93-44)
    e) was playing in his third NHL season at age 24 and passed the 200-game milestone in the last week of that season

    Yet somehow he is both raw and “proven” (in the negative sense) where management trusting him to ever play another shift for the team is proof enough for one poster that they are both incompetent and not even trying to improve the team.

    Funny for all the numbers that get thrown around in these parts, how some numbers that don’t fit the narrative get conveniently ignored. Or handwaved away & credited entirely to teammates, zone starts, “soft” minutes or what have you. Hell, buddy can’t pass or shoot the puck, obviously he had little to do with those 93 goals.

    Does Schultz have issues? Yes. Is he the worst defenceman in the history of the Oilers? No. No he’s not.

  105. Really? says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Congratulations Sir. Finally someone has spoken up for Schultz by quoting some positive statistics on his behalf. It gets very tiring to hear the group think drivel which occasionally surrounds cetain players or topics.

    Schultz is a good hockey player or he would not be in the NHL. Having said that, he is not without some warts. In his cse I still feel his good points out weigh his bad points. He does have to improve if he expects to be here long tem.

  106. RPG says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Wow…well said Bruce. You’ve successfully given me something to think about.

  107. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: A newcomer reading all these comments (one example chosen here, of many) tearing apart Justin Schultz might never realize that in 2014-15, Schultz:

    a) led the Oilers in ice time
    b) led the Oilers blue line in 5v5 CF%
    c) led the Oilers blue line in 5v5 GF%
    d) was on the ice for 24 more Oilers goals at even strength than any other D-man (64-40)
    e) was on the ice for MORE THAN TWICE as many Oilers goals (all situations) than any other Oilers D-man (93-44)
    e) was playing in his third NHL season at age 24 and passed the 200-game milestone in the last week of that season

    Yet somehow he is both raw and “proven” (in the negative sense) where management trusting him to ever play another shift for the team is proof enough for one poster that they are both incompetent and not even trying to improve the team.

    Funny for all the numbers that get thrown around in these parts, how some numbers that don’t fit the narrative get conveniently ignored. Or handwaved away & credited entirely to teammates, zone starts, “soft” minutes or what have you. Hell, buddy can’t pass or shoot the puck, obviously he had little to do with those 93 goals.

    Does Schultz have issues? Yes. Is he the worst defenceman in the history of the Oilers? No. No he’s not.

    To be fair, I did ask the question….

    3) If you put a stay-at-home mean SOB like Gryba beside him, does that help to sort out Jultz’ issues? Is that a reasonable third pairing?

  108. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: To be fair, I did ask the question….

    3) If you put a stay-at-home mean SOB like Gryba beside him, does that help to sort out Jultz’ issues? Is that a reasonable third pairing?

    Yes, that is fair. To also be fair, as stated I wasn’t trying to single you out as simply take yours as a representative comment of a widely-shared school of thought.

  109. AsiaOil says:

    I have no ax to grind with Shultz – he is nether elite nor useless – simply a modern Andy Delmore at this time. Either he addresses his obvious shortcomings this season or will be traded in the new year and replaced by a better player. Oilers get better either way. Looking forward to seeing how this shakes out for a change because the new GM will not sit on his hands until March.

  110. GCW_69 says:

    wheatnoil:
    Doug McLachlan,

    Agreed on price and term. With Nurse and Reinhart pushing their way up, I’m not interested in Franson on a long-term deal. Nor I do think he should get one this late in the year. When it’s August 27th and all the other vets are taking cheap 1-year contracts or PTOs, I think even giving him a 2-year contract is an overpay.

    You can give Franson term provided you don’t give him a full NTC or a NMC. You want him to be your power play qb and put up serious points from working with Hall, McDavid, Nuge and Eberle so he has trade value when Reinhart is ready to push him out. By that time the Oilers should be trading picks for rentals and having a player you can trade to replace those outgoing picks is a good thing.

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