HOPE IS A GOOD THING

The Edmonton Oilers have reached a point where fans can be genuinely disappointed by an effort that would have been considered usual fare not so long ago. Ahead 3-1 last night, they stepped into an elevator shaft and blew a winnable game. They have major issues, including a momentum-killing power play and a problem with pressure. It is December 28: They remain in the conversation for the playoffs, but last night’s win makes draft talk in January far more likely.

JIGSAW PUZZLE, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-4-1
  • Oilers after 37 in 2014-15: 8-22-7, 23 points (-54 GD)
  • Oilers after 37 in 2015-16: 15-19-3, 33 points (-18 GD)

It will be a damn shame if the Oilers can’t grab at least one win in their last two December games (Los Angeles and Anaheim). There will be better days ahead—the IR has exceptional quality—but the club has shown impressive resilience in this first half of the season.

THE BLUE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Nikitin—Gryba had a strong night by the numbers and visually both men had good moments. Gryba is as advertised (he can defend but is not a strong puck manager), so his partner should be better with the biscuit—enter Brad Hunt. I saw Nikitin good last night, he was more aggressive with the puck, but his wheels won’t turn and that is a fact.
  • Sekera—Fayne played a lot together but were a tale of two cities. Sekera won the Gaudreau Corsi events battle (8-6) in 5:47, but was only 11-17 with Fayne (5-1 with Gryba). Fayne’s numbers were the least impressive of the group, I like him but will admit he is often in the middle of nowhere and standing up at the blue is alien to him (his game is more passive, he cheats because of foot speed—that’s my guess). He won’t play a feature role for McLellan when the injured return.
  • Nurse—Schultz had a good night against the feature group, sawing off Gaudreau at 5×5. Nurse was splendid to my eye, this was one of his better games during the days of heavy work. He finished 12-11 in 7:06 against Gaudreau and that kid is magic. Schultz was 9-12 against Gaudreau and of course made a poor decision on goal four against—but it is important to remember it’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events.

Brad Hunt is on the roster and will play soon, suspect he will receive plenty of power-play time. Who comes out, based on merit? Nikita Nikitin and it is not close. I believe NN’s deadline trade value is something akin to ‘Nikitin and a second for a third’ with Oilers keeping some of the money. The Oilers biggest issue (imo) this morning is the power play, and Hunt should help with that hammer.

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

A very nice recovery evening from Nugent-Hopkins, skated miles, posted two assists (one a dandy) and spent 5:16 against Gaudreau (going 7-8). He was 30 percent in the dot, but overall this was a solid effort. Leon Draisaitl also had a positive outing, getting an assist on the Purcell goal. He isn’t on fire currently but still has an impact. Mark Letestu is bringing a consistent level of play now, the veteran (like many Chiarelli hires) seems to have settled in. His speed is exposed on a night like last one, but for me there is value in this player. Anton Lander was the only regular C at 50 perent on the dot, and battled the Bennett line to 6-3 Corsi events at 5×5. A good night from the centers to my eye.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Hall—Purcell hooked up on the third goal and had five and six shots on goal, respectively. It is hard to fault this line, they cashed once and could have had another. The power play issues are clearly team driven, so my grade is positive (save for an ill-advised Hall hit attempt on the PP that contributed to the PK goal by CGY—a devastating moment that involved a lot of culprits).
  • Pouliot—Eberle had a splendid night, hard to believe this trio were the same bunch who played so poorly in Vancouver. If they can keep that momentum up, Edmonton will win some games in this next stretch because two scoring lines—and it has been awhile.
  • Hendricks—Korpikoski had an effective night by the numbers, I am still mad about the bobbled pass by Hendricks but that is a single event and this is a substantial veteran. Hendricks does seem to have some issues at the blue lately, probably just a blip on the radar and he will settle down.
  • Gazdic—Pakarinen played the McLellan 4line minutes, meaning not a helluva lot. I would like to see the Finn in a bigger role, but the guys ahead of him are playing well so there is no daylight.

It’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events. Put another way, shit happens.

REDEMPTION SONG

This is a Glen Sather move all the way. Zack Kassian brings issues to his new team (described briefly here) and the Oilers fanbase is going to be asked to adjust their thinking on this player. On the negative, he has a back story that would have had Steve Tambellini puking into a bucket dawn to dusk. There is also the Sam Gagner stick-swinging assault to deal with and Kassian’s poor display of sportsmanship that followed it.

Once beyond that mess, we have a somewhat unique hockey player. He is 6.03, 214, can win battles along the wall and in front of the net, and is a world class agitator. He can fight, and has real skill (12.86 even-strength goals per 82GP in the NHL) and is the definition of a power forward. Since Edmonton doesn’t have one, Kassian goes to the top of the table.

Adding Kassian brings competition to the RW position and it is my belief we could see him on a skill line as soon as he is ready (Kassian hasn’t played since last season) in Bakersfield. Will he ever play for the Oilers? Yes. Will he have success? There is a very good chance. Will he conquer his demons? One always hopes for it. Can we cheer for him? Let me get back to you.

SAIL ON, SPRUCE GROVE SAINT

He came to us in times of trouble and for a time stilled the waters. Playing goal for Team Chaos is a giant task and Mr. Scrivens could not sustain the confidence and performance, becoming another in a long line of goaltenders crushed under the incredible weight of playing Oilers goal.

Year two of his deal featured the humiliation of being sent to the minors and toiling in a lesser league. I didn’t hear one complaint from him and he delivered solid netminding once he got established (.957, .921 and .923 last three Condors outings).

BEN

scrivens11

You remain a unique personality in the game of hockey, and we will follow your career in Montreal. There is quite a collection of former Oilers there, suspect one day you will be able to laugh about your experiences in Edmonton. I hope you earn an NHL contract for next season and build your career back to previous levels. Don’t become one in a long line of players who lost their NHL careers because playing for the Oilers sewered value. Seize the day, Ben Scrivens. Grab that rope and start climbing. Sail on, Ben Scrivens. All the best.

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198 Responses to "HOPE IS A GOOD THING"

  1. oliveoilers says:

    Sail on, Gentle Ben.

    Going full bear rug, then flopping around like a big bull walrus trying to get lucky will never over-shadow that glorious night against SJ

    You have an Oilers, nay, and NHL record. Against some goalies that were truly great. That counts for something.

    I shall be cheering for you.

    Bon Chance.

  2. Seismic Source says:

    I love the idea of this trade and I believe in second chances. Good Luck Kassian. You have a golden opportunity and I hope you realize it.

  3. Pajamah says:

    A saint for a demon. Maybe what the team needs right now. Seriously doubt he moves the needle much, but again, were good at hope.

    Now only if there were a Spitfire defenseman available, currently on a team with a glut of defensemen that could not only help defensively, but maybe cash a few shots on the PP.

  4. Ben says:

    Cheering big for BS. Was proud to have such a caring and progressive voice on the team.

    Watching the game last night, I was struck (yet again) by how bad this defense has been, and for how long. Thinking about Jeff Petry makes me want to puke. Would accept a move of anything but 97,29, 4 to improve D, but suspect Chiarelli may have to sacrifice a virgin goat at Sheldon Souray’s feet before this group improves much.

  5. flyfish1168 says:

    From the previous thread i wrote.

    I like the trade. Big last chance texaco. Has potential that he my finally fulfill. Heavy game with top 6 potential. Knows Taylor well. Hopefully he gets it and we benefit from this.

    He reminds me of Ben Eager but hopefully with more upside. Some one that can be an A$$hole in the top 9 is good. Hopefully he likes to seek revenge on the nucks and phlegms

  6. EternalFrost says:

    Defensively, he’s a nightmare, but in the offensive zone he can out muscle guys on the wall, and has underrated playmaking ability. If he’s committed and serious, this could be a steal in the long run.

  7. Aron_S says:

    Last night’s game had me seething in anger, which I haven’t done in years because I’ve been so numbed to the frustration of following the Oilers. Hope, as you mentioned, is a dangerous thing, but for those like me, it’s volatile because I was just as mad at myself for getting sucked in to the hope of playoffs as I was at the Oilers for blowing a very winnable game on the second of back to backs. That 3-2 goal looked like an absolute back breaker. Man, that was embarassing and one that I’ll hear about from my Calgary in-laws for the next year.

    Glad to see Scrivens getting another chance in a different city and to see good asset management by Chia. I despise Kassian for the Gagner incident and am sad that the stick to the face essentially ended Samwise’s time as an Oiler. Considering Purcell’s past numbers playing with skill and his current season with Hall, it looks to have been one of MacT’s savvy moves though.

    Sail on, Scrivs.

  8. jp says:

    Wow. Kassian happened.

    Who knows how this will work out, but there’s a chance for this to be a real big win for the Oilers.

  9. Seismic Source says:

    Is this the end of Gazdic as an Nhl’er?

  10. Soup Fascist says:

    I think it is a very low risk / potentially decent reward move.

    A rehabilitated Kassian is a substantially better hockey player than the much beloved Luke Gazdic.

    I do know Benning could not move Kassian fast enough and he did nothing to help himself in Montreal. Honestly I think it is a longshot Kassian gets his crap together enough to be an effective NHLer, but it is a calculated risk with limited downside. Scrivens was done in Edmonton and Kassian is an RFA in the summer.

    I would be interested to know if Chia asked Hall for his opinion. Puts Hall in an interesting position where he is likely effecting his past teammate or current roommate. Not sure I see a scenario where both guys are on the same roster.

  11. KSC10032 says:

    I’m nostalgic/sentimental enough to at least want to think that there is also an element of doing a favour for a good soldier in this deal. AS LT mentions, he went to Bakersfield without a fuss and was a pro throughout his time here.

    Past grudges @ the Gagner injury aside, this is a speculative deal involving two expiring contracts. Kassian is also a pending RFA (IIRC) so the degree of risk for the Oilers is basically nil.

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    Not sure if anyone is watching the Sweden vs USA world junior game. But Oiler draft Lagesson is a real agitator out there. In Mathews ear and running him from behind. We need more of these type.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Lagesson is having a whale of a game. Plenty of time against the Matthews line. Effective.

  14. Bar_Qu says:

    Seismic Source:
    Is this the end of Gazdic as an Nhl’er?

    I’ve been impressed with Gazdic this year. He has reinvented himself as a utility 4th liner. I think he is good as a 13th forward. I doubt he sits for Kassian. More likely Klink, Pakarinen or Khaira go to make room.

    LT, thanks for continuing to see the positives on this team. The twitters last night were unreadable, there were so many moaning Oilers fans on there – and that was as they were leading. Schultz had a bad night, but the over the top commentary makes it very hard to enjoy a backchannel during the game. It was nice to come on and read your account.

  15. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    I like this trade so much.

    Kassian is a lottery ticket, kinda like Semin though for different reasons. Scrivens was never getting back on the Oilers NHL roster so giving him up costs quite literally nothing.

    I don’t buy lottery tickets but I’ll take a free one any day of the weak.

  16. kinger_OIL says:

    – Alex anthopolus talked about how last year something clicked with their team decision making. They went from “good on paper” trades to signing guys that would be good for the team and fit in.

    – I don’t think the analysis on paper jives with the reality and dynamics of a kassian on the oil.

    – sather would trade for the one good year of a Derek Sanderson when he went to the Rangers

    – kassian doesn’t fit on a team lacking leadership and his history with this team and his personal foibles

    – this is fine trade in that you are trading a guy buried in minors for a guy with a nice piece of paper but the reality of professional sport dynamics suggest strongly that that’s all this will amount to

    – trust scrivens will recover and good luck.

  17. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Hall has matured now and is potential captain material. This is one of his biggest challenges yet when they recall Kassian eventually. I believe in Hall so I hope he buries the hatchet and hands out the olive branch in the names of leadership and winning.

    Kassian, for his part, must know this is his last chance. I hope he seizes his chance.

    Chiarelli, I hope you consulted with Hall before this move and at least made a fully informed decision before you did this. If you just wanted to do Scrivens a solid, trading him for a 2017 7th would have worked. If this is the guy you wanted, then godspeed.

  18. Kmart99 says:

    Kassian seems like a world-class DB. Hopefully he can help.

    My wonder is regarding the D. What is PC’s plan?

    At this point the team would benefit from playing frikkin Drai on D. OK that’s crazy, but the point is that the top of the D core is so awful and in CGY they have 3 guys better than every one of our dmen.

  19. Bar_Qu says:

    As far as Scrivens goes, I’m a fan. I sure hope he brings great play to his new town along with his tireless service and big heart. Good on you lad.

  20. blainer says:

    This move really does nothing. he won’t be up to NHL speed for weeks.

    Don’t know what the oilers see that the habs didn’t.

    If he makes this team then Gazdic will be gone so there is that.

    Doesn’t really matter much if the coaching continues to play Shultz.

  21. Seismic Source says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I’ve seen him contribute to a cycle and make a few passes this year. I agree he’s much better. I still don’t think he’s an NHL player though. With skill coaches all the rage, I wish he’d hire Big George so he could learn how to do his “cross the front of the net with the puck on a one handed outreached stick in slow motion” play he was so good at.

  22. Samson Loveblast says:

    I absolutely hated Kassian for his antics involving Gagner, but if he gets his act together, he can really help this team so I hope he does. Does anybody know or recall if he and Hall played on the same line back in Windsor? Not that that probably means that much now but wondering if there’s any prior chemistry.

  23. Jimmy says:

    I haven’t seen any update on our injured players in quite some time…any news on Klef, Davidson, Yak etc?

  24. theres oil in virginia says:

    I don’t think the Kassian acquisition relates much to Gazdic. Gazdic is a 12th forward (who brings physicality and ability to drop the gloves), period, and has been adequate at that role. Kassian was acquired to play higher up the batting order.

  25. kinger_OIL says:

    – who wants to bet that scrivens starts 50+ games in the nhl and kassian less than 15 rest of career

    – that doesn’t make this a bad trade I’m just saying.

  26. Kmart99 says:

    Klefbom and Davidson are actually increasing their values by not playing. We knew they were important, but it’s been a familiar nightmare without them.

    Injuries are an excuse. They just are. Is there a playoff team in the league over the past 10 years that has had this many impact players mia?

    #1 RW gone for beginning of season.
    #1A Centre/Generational talent gone for 3 months
    #1D gone for who knows how long
    #3D gone for who knows how long
    #2 RW gone for a month or more
    #2 LW missed a bunch of games

    Hard to overcome that many crucial injuries.

  27. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Samson Loveblast,

    There is prior chemistry, but the wrong kind.

  28. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    Fuck those ‘mericans, fuck ’em all!! Lagesson!!!

  29. Gret99zky says:

    If Kassian can force Bennett, Monahan, or Hamilton off their games and get into their heads a little so the Oilers can take advantage of their skill, then this trade works just fine.

    There is no one on the roster who can do that currently. Bennett (19 years old) ran all over our guys last night and earned a star for the effort.

    So tired of being un-team-tuff.

  30. Bar_Qu says:

    blainer,

    kinger_OIL,

    I think this was as much about moving Scrivens on as getting anything back. Laurikainen has been recalled from Finland where he was playing because Scrivens was taking up his space in the AHL. Kassian, I agree, will need to show a lot in the A before he comes up. He’s just something that was necessary to take back to make the trade feasible (Mtl couldn’t keep all that salary without sending some the other way – I know they kept a chunk of Kassian’s).

    Seismic Source,

    I agree he is not a great player, but he is a player type that McClellan has kept on his teams forever. If that is the player type needed, then Gazdic is doing a great job of that role. I’d prefer a bunch of young run-and-gun types on the 4th (Slep, Chase, Lander for ex.) but McClellan doesn’t. So, if this is what the 4th looks like, better Gazdic on it than a Bryan McGrattan.

  31. blainer says:

    Kmart99:
    Klefbom and Davidson are actually increasing their values by not playing.We knew they were important, but it’s been a familiar nightmare without them.

    Injuries are an excuse.They just are.Is there a playoff team in the league over the past 10 years that has had this many impact players mia?

    #1 RW gone for beginning of season.
    #1A Centre/Generational talent gone for 3 months
    #1D gone for who knows how long
    #3D gone for who knows how long
    #2 RW gone for a month or more
    #2 LW missed a bunch of games

    Hard to overcome that many crucial injuries.

    There are NO teams that could overcome those injuries. Just look at the Flames record since Brodie alone has returned.

    Absolutely agree that injuries are an excuse. It is just gross that it continues to happen to this team for years. It seems we can never get healthy.

    I can’t wait for the new rink to open as I really think the current one is cursed !

  32. Bar_Qu says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Samson Loveblast,

    There is prior chemistry, but the wrong kind.

    Of the sodium and chlorine version. Or maybe cesium and water?

  33. Water Fire says:

    I’m sure Hall is a big enough person to not get too fussed. It’s not like Kassian is coming in all puffed up, more tail between his legs.

    I am also sure Hall would appreciate what Kassian brings if he can get it together. A hockey player that can help where help is needed.

    The gords have smiled on Zach. To go from where he is to a chance at being on a team with this much potential and possibly even playing with CMD, I hope he sees what this is and doesn’t look back.

    I think Gazdic is an neat fellow, but if Kassian pushes him to the AHL that’s fine with me. Then they can ice 4 lines worthy of ice time. Luke is far from helpful in the hockey department at this level.

    Lucic next on Chia’s list I’m sure.

  34. Gret99zky says:

    Also, at least we know the trade machine thingy works.

  35. böök¡je says:

    Awesome, a trade has finally been made to address the severe shortcomings this team has on defence! We can all rest easy now.

  36. Adam Wu says:

    Bar_Qu: Of the sodium and chlorine version. Or maybe cesium and water?

    Sodium and chlorine. The initial reaction is nightmarish. The final product essential for healthy living.

    Here’s hoping!

  37. Centre of attention says:

    I think the moment Kassian jumps in and helps out in a post-whistle scrum everything about sam might be forgotten. Kassian for sure is coming here looking for a second chance and there will be some apologies made.

    I’m personally hoping for the best.

  38. Adam Wu says:

    blainer: There are NO teams that could overcome those injuries. Just look at the Flames record since Brodie alone has returned.

    Absolutely agree that injuries are an excuse. It is just gross that it continues to happen to this team for years. It seems we can never get healthy.

    I can’t wait for the new rink to open as I really think the current one is cursed !

    The closest I can recall for a playoff team is that year when both Crosby and Malkin and several others missed significant time for Pittsburgh. If I recall, they got healthy just in time for playoffs, squeaked in, and made a nice run.

    But if they had been healthy, they would have been President’s Cup contenders that year.

  39. Dicky94 says:

    Gret99zky,

    I agree. I remember back in the day (when I was a Jets fan) the Jets were a young fast team getting pushed around night after night. They made a trade for Tie Domi and Kris King. Those two guys helped the Jets make the playoffs that year because it created space for their skill guys like Selanne, Zhamnov and Tkachuk. It’s a good trade. We should all be cheering for Kassian. He needs our support as well to help him through this. Go Oilers!!!!!!

  40. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Kassian to me fits the three scoring lines mold. Each line has two legit scoring lines player and an effective but much cheaper “third wheel”. We have 1 right now in Pouliot, but he’s expensive (but also worth it).

    This is competition for Khaira, Purcell, Iiro, Korps, etc. This isn’t a fourth liner acquisition.

  41. Woodguy says:

    PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS VIA GAMES (TIES BROKEN WITH ROW)
    NOTE: 3RD PLACE WILL ALWAYS = 0

    LAK +8
    ARI 0
    SJS 0
    —————-
    CAL -1
    VAN -2
    ANA -4
    EDM -6

    Slip sliding away…….

    Also,

    BOTTOM 5 STANDINGS (AND TIES) IN NHL VIA GAMES (TIES BROKEN WITH ROW)
    NOTE: 30TH PLACE WILL ALWAYS = 0

    30 – CBJ 0
    29 – EDM +5
    28 – ANA +7
    27 – TOR +8
    26 – BUF +8
    25 – CAR +8
    25 – WIN +8

  42. Kmart99 says:

    Kassian WOWY is underwhelming.
    CF60 not great
    GF60 is OK
    The rest is flat.

  43. Woodguy says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Kassian to me fits the three scoring lines mold.Each line has two legit scoring lines player and an effective but much cheaper “third wheel”.We have 1 right now in Pouliot, but he’s expensive (but also worth it).

    This is competition for Khaira, Purcell, Iiro, Korps, etc.This isn’t a fourth liner acquisition.

    If Kassian sticks in the NHL he should push Gazdic off the roster and one of the above mentioned take his place on the 4th line.

    A functional 4th line is not a bad thing.

    Good teams have that. (See: LAK, CHI, NYR, TBY etc)

  44. square_wheels says:

    Finn’s vs Russia at WJC…..loving the home team, size and skill on full display.

  45. kinger_OIL says:

    – I aready answered my question partly as I type, but thought I’d throw it out there: the reason they do this “trade” of 2 players who went through waiver wires already, is becasue of whatever financials went both ways. Scrivens there was 24% retained and free agent end of year: how long/how much is Kassian on the return, assuming he stays in minors?

  46. Chris says:

    Gret99zky:
    If Kassian can force Bennett, Monahan, or Hamilton off their games and get into their heads a little so the Oilers can take advantage of their skill, then this trade works just fine.

    There is no one on the roster who can do that currently.Bennett (19 years old) ran all over our guys last night and earned a star for the effort.

    So tired of being un-team-tuff.

    Quoted for emphasis. This…exactly!

  47. Woodguy says:

    Kmart99:
    Kassian WOWY is underwhelming.
    CF60 not great
    GF60 is OK
    The rest is flat.

    I view his WOWY the opposite actually.

    No particular players really zoomed his numbers much outside of Daniel Sedin who will zoom anyone.

    His RelCor was slightly negative on a team with the Sedins, that’s ok.

  48. Kmart99 says:

    I predicted 2-2-1 for this 5 game stretch. So far none of those numbers are higher than my prediction! AMIRITE?! :):):):)

  49. Woodguy says:

    Oiler Forwards 5v5 pts/60 (min 40gp) last two years with Kassian inserted via his rates with Vancouver

    13/14
    TAYLORHALL 2.91
    JORDANEBERLE 2.03
    DAVIDPERRON 1.96
    *ZACK KASSIAN 1.89
    MARKARCOBELLO 1.82
    RYANNUGENT-HOPKINS 1.56
    SAMGAGNER 1.47
    NAILYAKUPOV 1.43
    RYANSMYTH 1.19
    BOYDGORDON 0.93
    RYANJONES 0.82
    JESSEJOENSUU 0.65
    LUKEGAZDIC 0.62
    MATTHENDRICKS 0.47

    14/15
    TAYLORHALL 2.06
    BENOITPOULIOT 2.04
    RYANNUGENT-HOPKINS 2.01
    JORDANEBERLE 1.97
    *ZACK KASSIAN 1.79
    DEREKROY 1.57
    NAILYAKUPOV 1.23
    EDWARDPURCELL 1.2
    MATTHENDRICKS 1.11
    MATTFRASER 1.03
    BOYDGORDON 0.85
    ROBKLINKHAMMER 0.7
    LUKEGAZDIC 0.61

  50. Kmart99 says:

    Woodguy: I view his WOWY the opposite actually.

    No particular players really zoomed his numbers much outside of Daniel Sedin who will zoom anyone.

    His RelCor was slightly negative on a team with the Sedins, that’s ok.

    Opposite of flat? Or opposite of underwhelming?

    So round and overwhelming! 🙂

  51. Lowetide says:

    Kmart99:
    Kassian WOWY is underwhelming.
    CF60 not great
    GF60 is OK
    The rest is flat.

    One thing about these wingers coming in (all of them) is past GF totals are likely to spike. We are seeing that with Purcell now, saw it with Yak before the injury. Edmonton has three outstanding centers and will need to house some inexpensive, not yet financially recognized talents. Kassian could be one, and if he isn’t the price was low. UNLESS he does something stupid to hurt the brand.

  52. Rondo says:

    If he doesn’t work out someone may want him at the trade deadline.

  53. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: One thing about these wingers coming in (all of them) is past GF totals are likely to spike. We are seeing that with Purcell now, saw it with Yak before the injury. Edmonton has three outstanding centers and will need to house some inexpensive, not yet financially recognized talents. Kassian could be one, and if he isn’t the price was low. UNLESS he does something stupid to hurt the brand.

    I think Kassian will be eating humble pie for the coming months. I could see him getting a shot post-deadline when the group really starts resembling a Chiarelli team.

  54. LMHF#1 says:

    I don’t agree with those saying Gazdic has a place. Khaira is a better hockey player who can do the tough stuff as well. Shame he’s not playing.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Kassian’s 2 years with VAN TOI w/ other forwards (min 100min together)

    KASSIAN, ZACK 1371:09
    RICHARDSON, BRAD 682:46
    BOOTH, DAVID 409:55
    MATTHIAS, SHAWN 302:21
    HIGGINS, CHRIS 185:36
    SEDIN, DANIEL 182:46
    SEDIN, HENRIK 170:08
    KESLER, RYAN 114:48
    SESTITO, TOM 108:32
    SCHROEDER, JORDAN 97:23

    Kassian’s effect on their CF over the same time period: (+ means player better with Kassian, – means worse)

    RICHARDSON, BRAD +5.30
    BOOTH, DAVID +5.30
    MATTHIAS, SHAWN +1.30
    HIGGINS, CHRIS -1.00
    SEDIN, DANIEL -1.40
    SEDIN, HENRIK -5.80
    KESLER, RYAN -2.50
    SESTITO, TOM +9.90
    SCHROEDER, JORDAN +1.30

  56. Frelbo says:

    I hate Kassian also. Have to add that in case someone is keeping a tally.

    Just as important: does anyone have a link to a decent WJC stream. I’m away from home and without my Slingbox at the moment. And in the states so can’t watch the TSN stream.

    Thanks in advance!

  57. Woodguy says:

    Kmart99: Opposite of flat?Or opposite of underwhelming?

    So round and overwhelming!

    Whelming.

    His WOWYs are neither under-whleming or over-whelming.

    They are just whelming.

  58. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    Insert Rexall Family of pharmacies joke here ? Assume you meant that brand because the Oilers “brand” , last time I checked wasn’t worth jack shit until McDavid showed up.

    When were a team that gets Hossa contracts (the fabled 1yr discount to play for a contender) then I will endorse the brand. Until then were the Hinterland, as we need to get out of the basement.

  59. Professor Q says:

    Kassian and Gazdic (or Khaira…) as the Oilers’ version of The Mighty Ducks’ Bash Brothers?

  60. PhrankLee says:

    Woodguy:
    Kassian’s 2 years with VAN TOI w/ other forwards (min 100min together)

    KASSIAN, ZACK 1371:09
    RICHARDSON, BRAD 682:46
    BOOTH, DAVID 409:55
    MATTHIAS, SHAWN 302:21
    HIGGINS, CHRIS 185:36
    SEDIN, DANIEL 182:46
    SEDIN, HENRIK 170:08
    KESLER, RYAN 114:48
    SESTITO, TOM 108:32
    SCHROEDER, JORDAN 97:23

    Kassian’s effect on their CF over the same time period: (+ means player better with Kassian, – means worse)

    RICHARDSON, BRAD +5.30
    BOOTH, DAVID +5.30
    MATTHIAS, SHAWN +1.30
    HIGGINS, CHRIS -1.00
    SEDIN, DANIEL -1.40
    SEDIN, HENRIK -5.80
    KESLER, RYAN -2.50
    SESTITO, TOM +9.90
    SCHROEDER, JORDAN +1.30

    Could super-charge our bottom 6.

  61. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: Whelming.

    His WOWYs are neither under-whleming or over-whelming.

    They are just whelming.

    Actually his effect on his 2 most common partners is nice to see.

    There’s a reason he was a 1st round draft pick.

    If he wants to be sober and stays sober there might be something here.

    We wait.

  62. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    Insert Rexall Family of pharmacies joke here ? Assume you meant that brand because the Oilers “brand” , last time I checked wasn’t worth jack shit until McDavid showed up.

    When were a team that gets Hossa contracts (the fabled 1yr discount to play for a contender) then I will endorse the brand. Until then were the Hinterland, as we need to get out of the basement.

    Sure, but that isn’t what I was saying.I made a statement, you chose to turn it into something else. Which is fine, but my point had zero to do with your point. I assume Katz is concerned with his brand outside of your household and that he is aware of the considerable risks past your front door. My point was more universal.

  63. Kmart99 says:

    When you’re playing with Dan and Hank you’re facing the toughs, so he clearly isn’t good enough for that role. But it looks like he can handle 3 line mins fairly well.

    His P/60 is what you pray for from your best 3rd liner.
    Now this team has Nuge, CMD, and Drai as centers so there’s little to complain about for a winger no matter where in the line up he plays.

    Even with Lander as the 4C it isn’t all that bad.

  64. Pouzar says:

    A clean and sober Kassian can ride shotgun with the skill Centers here.
    Actually one of the reasons he was traded by BUF aside from their need for a Center was Kassian’s lack of physical play. They were more impressed with his offensive abilities. The kid has some hands.

  65. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: Kassian could be one, and if he isn’t the price was low. UNLESS he does something stupid to hurt the brand.

    Like this trade.

    Chia actually got something for some deadwood ( Scrivens)

    And that something could potentially fill a role that this team has been searching for in the past decade. How many draft picks have we used to try and get a power forward that can play on a skill line?

    But if the Kassain experiment does not work, just send him home. He is RFA this summer.

  66. PDL says:

    kinger_OIL:

    – kassian doesn’t fit on a team lacking leadership and his history with this team and his personal foibles

    I don’t know if I buy into this claim that our team lacks leadership. Just sounds like something the commentators throw out there when a team is losing. And also a phrase they like to use on the Oil because they don’t respect our top players at all.

    We say it all the time here – the Oilers lose a lot because we just don’t have the horses. Not because these players have no idea how to be professional hockey players. You can argue the effort sometimes just isn’t there, but I feel it’s been steadily improving. Hard to tell sometimes with the limp PP, but there’s definitely been improvement.

  67. Snowman says:

    I can’t cheer for Kassian. I’ll cheer for the Oilers but I like my team a little less today. I don’t understand the comments about the lack of leadership in the Oilers group. I would suggest there is more leadership in that room between the new coaches, old vets like Hendy and young players like Hall maturing than there has been for the past couple seasons. I would bet that Kassian spends a good long time in Oklahoma so they can assess him while he’s riding a bus before he gets to the big lights. He’s going to have to prove himself the rest of the way. Every step. I hope he does it.

    Good luck to Benny. I was at the 59 save game and it was wonderful. I hope he has a long career.

  68. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: Actually his effect on his 2 most common partners is nice to see.

    There’s a reason he was a 1st round draft pick.

    If he wants to be sober and stays sober there might be something here.

    We wait.

    Get him to live with Ference if they bring him up

  69. Магия 10 says:

    Soup Fascist: Puts Hall in an interesting position where he is likely effecting his past teammate or current roommate

    The Spitfire can be 4 and 97’s new roommate. What could possibly go wrong?

  70. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk: Get him to live with Ference if they bring him up

    I’m not sure theformercaptain is enjoying being on the IR for vague reasons.

  71. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    For the record, I am not worried about Kassian being a bad influence on the young players.

    I do wonder if he won’t be a negative distraction. But if they keep him down on the farm for a couple of more months and continue to get him help it might be okay come March to bring him up.

    If he can help the team win, I don’t doubt Hall will show the leadership he has been demonstrating yet again, bury past grudges, and welcome him to the team. But it’s on Zack to work his butt off the next few months and show he wants it.

  72. theres oil in virginia says:

    LMHF#1:
    I don’t agree with those saying Gazdic has a place. Khaira is a better hockey player who can do the tough stuff as well. Shame he’s not playing.

    Perhaps, but Gazdic versus Khaira is not what was/is being discussed. The question is whether Kassian “takes” Gazdic’s roster spot.

    Woodguy’s point above is that he will (if he makes it) simply push Gazdic off the bottom of the roster. He might, but the bottom of the roster is a dog’s breakfast, so I hardly care whether it’s Gazdic or Klink or Korpse, etc. None of them are even “whelming”, much less overwhelming.

    One thing I notice about Korpse and Iiro is that they aren’t bringing much physicality, and that probably spells trouble for them. They do have speed, and that’s obviously a plus. Korpse even has moments of offensive ability. I’m not sure which of these things management will value the most, as nobody is really stepping up. It’s hard to imagine shedding a tear over losing any one of them.

  73. PhrankLee says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: But it’s on Zack to work his butt off the next few months and show he wants it.

    Cue Rocky montage.

    Dan na daaaaa
    Duh da daaaaa….

  74. frjohnk says:

    Imagine how the fanbase would be if the Oilers did not get him and Kassain was able to turn his life and career around…….in Calgary

  75. Quinlan says:

    Recovery from a broken foot might make the stay in Bakersfield a little on the longer side, you’d think. Closer to a month than a week, maybe?

    I like and dislike this move. I like it because, as has already been noted, this is a low risk, high reward play.

    I dislike it because I dislike the kind of guy Kassian is. And I’m not talking about the agitation and dirty stuff (I think that can lend to the swagger of a team, though that Gagner stuff was disgusting). But to be committed to the organization that employs you, and especially the teammates you play with, you need to be responsible on and off the ice.

    Hopefully the leadership group in Edmonton can get through to him.

  76. Woodguy says:

    WheatNOil ‏@WheatNOil 1m1 minute ago

    @Woodguy55 The interesting thing here is that if Kassian can score: Hall, Ebs, Purc, Pou, Yak, Kas, McD, RNH, Drai = one unicorn.

  77. Woodguy says:

    PhrankLee: Cue Rocky montage.

    Dan na daaaaa
    Duh da daaaaa….

    We could use a new montage.

  78. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    frjohnk:
    Imagine how the fanbase would be if the Oilers did not get him and Kassain was able to turn his life and career around…….in Calgary

    I don’t think he was even remotely on their radar. I know you are joking here, but fearing what another team might do is a bit reminiscent of taking Hesketh because they heard Jersey might be interested.

    Kassian is a Chia target, but Burke has been there and done that and I don’t think he was remotely interested.

  79. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    Haven’t seen Wheat here in forever.

  80. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    I will miss Ben and Jenny. Good people. Good luck to them.

  81. Lowetide says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I don’t think he was even remotely on their radar. I know you are joking here, but fearing what another team might do is a bit reminiscent of taking Hesketh because they heard Jersey might be interested.

    Kassian is a Chia target, but Burke has been there and done that and I don’t think he was remotely interested.

    Exactly. If you look at Chiarelli’s Bruins, Kassian fits like a glove. PC had a list of players who fill this role and the first one available (at a manageable price) is Kassian. It could solve a problem for five years or they might add a UFA this summer. Either way, a PF is coming to town, probably more than one.

  82. LMHF#1 says:

    theres oil in virginia: Perhaps, but Gazdic versus Khaira is not what was/is being discussed.The question is whether Kassian “takes” Gazdic’s roster spot.

    Woodguy’s point above is that he will (if he makes it) simply push Gazdic off the bottom of the roster.He might, but the bottom of the roster is a dog’s breakfast, so I hardly care whether it’s Gazdic or Klink or Korpse, etc.None of them are even “whelming”, much less overwhelming.

    One thing I notice about Korpse and Iiro is that they aren’t bringing much physicality, and that probably spells trouble for them.They do have speed, and that’s obviously a plus.Korpse even has moments of offensive ability.I’m not sure which of these things management will value the most, as nobody is really stepping up.It’s hard to imagine shedding a tear over losing any one of them.

    There has been a narrative building of late that suggests Gazdic has essentially earned a nightly roster spot. It was mentioned again in this thread. That’s why I addressed it.

  83. PhrankLee says:

    Woodguy: We could use a new montage.

    Little House On The Prairie had quite a few.

    Micheal Landon swinging axes and the like.

  84. Pouzar says:

    After stopping 27/28 last night LB is now at .928 (T4) for the year.

  85. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: It could solve a problem for five years or they might add a UFA this summer. Either way, a PF is coming to town, probably more than one.

    I’m hoping the Kassian bet works as the alternative might be Lucic with an overpay.

  86. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I was somewhat interested in Kassian this summer. This time around he costs less than nothing really.

    Kassian can play. Not much of a playmaker or defensive player, but park him in front of the net or in the corners and the guy can score. Through ~200 games, he’s shooting at 14.1%.

    “Among the 303 NHL players who have logged at least 1500 5-on-5 minutes since the 2012 lockout, Kassian ranks 210th in assist rate (comparable to the likes of Riley Nash, Brenden Morrow and Ryan Kesler – not exactly deft playmakers) and 180th in primary assist rate.”

    “Where Kassian fares much better is in his goal scoring rate. The physical 24-year-old forward scores goals at a first-line rate at 5-on-5. Since the lockout, in fact, he’s scored goals at a rate comparable to the likes of Blake Wheeler, Jordan Eberle and Evander Kane.”

    http://canucksarmy.com/2015/6/16/why-it-s-time-to-give-up-on-the-zack-kassian-is-a-playmaker-narrative

    Maybe he plays LW on the RNH-Eberle line when everyone is back?

  87. Pouzar says:

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle 3m3 minutes ago
    Blackhawks place David Rundblad on waivers.

  88. slopitch says:

    I’m a fan of the Kassian pickup. Chirelli moved Seguin because he had partying issues (they were real) and it’s the worst move of his career (by far). Kassian can curb his demons and save his career possibly playing with a great center or he can drift away into a world no one wants to be. I hope he recovers, the Oilers need a PF.

    Regarding the comments about lack of leadership, I think the Oilers are actually fine with Hendricks and Hall. I think Hall will force Kassian to fit in line or GTFO. Hall took a run late to Sam Bennett who took runs at Oilers all night. I liked that. He’s looking to enforce his will on the game more and more. The team just can’t win with this piss poor D. Up 3-1 with 7 min left in the 2nd on the PP and you end the period down 4-3. FFS.

    It’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events. Put another way, shit happens.

    Not all shots are equal. Justin Schultz has been playing ok but man does he ever need to get rid of the bonehead passes or missed assignments that end in goals.

  89. OTO says:

    Love the kassian aqyisiton, we’ve got boatloads of nice guys time for some balance

  90. slopitch says:

    Pouzar:
    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle3m3 minutes ago
    Blackhawks place David Rundblad on waivers.

    Right handed….

  91. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar:
    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle3m3 minutes ago
    Blackhawks place David Rundblad on waivers.

    I think he is in the Justin Schultz area in where the guy can light up lesser leagues but his game does not translate to the NHL very well.

  92. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Pouzar:
    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle3m3 minutes ago
    Blackhawks place David Rundblad on waivers.

    That Turris trade…

    Haven’t seen him much of late. Worth picking up?

  93. leadfarmer says:

    frjohnk,

    Man what a smart move the Blues did by trading him one year after drafting him when he looked great so they could grab Tarasenko.

    That Erik Gustaffson that we had no time for took his job.

  94. russ99 says:

    I like the move, low risk.

    We’ve needed help in the bottom six all year, so when ready, I don’t think he shoots up to a skill line, rather he teams with Hendricks on a line to control possession and give our skill guys and overwhelmed D a break.

  95. Water Fire says:

    Kassian if he makes it up may be a distraction, but methinks many players of this type are. They have been rewarded for aggression since childhood, it’s the gig. The kingpin of power forwards Lucic isn’t exactly a well spoken wall flower. The obnoxiousness is part of the personality type.

  96. Lowetide says:

    slopitch:
    I’m a fan of the Kassian pickup. Chirelli moved Seguin because he had partying issues (they were real) and it’s the worst move of his career (by far). Kassian can curb his demons and save his career possibly playing with a great center or he can drift away into a world no one wants to be. I hope he recovers, the Oilers need a PF.

    Regarding the comments about lack of leadership, I think the Oilers are actually fine with Hendricks and Hall. I think Hall will force Kassian to fit in line or GTFO. Hall took a run late to Sam Bennett who took runs at Oilers all night. I liked that. He’s looking to enforce his will on the game more and more. The team just can’t win with this piss poor D. Up 3-1 with 7 min left in the 2nd on the PP and you end the period down 4-3. FFS.

    It’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events. Put another way, shit happens.

    Not all shots are equal. Justin Schultz has been playing ok but man does he ever need to get rid of the bonehead passes or missed assignments that end in goals.

    Schultz, like many Oilers doesn’t respond well to pressure on the forecheck. The goofy thing is he has all kinds of tools to beat it. Lack of confidence is killing his career. McLellan has 40 games to unlock him.

  97. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: That Turris trade…

    Haven’t seen him much of late. Worth picking up?

    I know nothing about the player.
    Looked at the charts and the ice does tilt favorably when he’s on ice.
    High draft pedigree (17th overall in 2009).
    Scored 50 pts in 55 gms in SEL during his draft +2 year.

  98. Lois Lowe says:

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that because Kassian is RFA this summer, if he doesn’t work out they can take him to arbitration and open a buy out window. TFCAF’s buy out hit is likely worth pondering this summer as opposed to last.

  99. Really? says:

    Today is December 28th and, while the Oilers are in 29th position overall, they should be in 29th because the Ducks are 1 point back with 3 games in hand.

    With the Oilers horrendous D corps currently decimated by injury, it is to be expected that they begin to lose touch with the playoff pack and they are doing so. While some improvement is expected with the return of McDavid, Yakupov, Klefbom and Davidson, the likelihood of playoffs is fading fast.

    As a result, the annual draft watch must now begin. Granted, it is beginning about 2 months later than normal but that time has arrived.

    What are our chances of winning the Lottery again?

  100. Pajamah says:

    David Rundblad on waivers in Chicago. Grab him and send down Nikitin.

    Edit: Pouzar beat me to it

  101. flyfish1168 says:

    I believe RNH and Ebs would play tougher having a police dog like Zack patrolling their left side.

  102. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Pouzar: I know nothing about the player.
    Looked at the charts and the ice does tilt favorably when he’s on ice.
    High draft pedigree (17th overall in 2009).
    Scored 50 pts in 55 gms in SEL during his draft +2 year.

    Oh I remember seeing his SHL stats. The guy was traded for Turris, I mean…he had pedigree. Maybe he is another Barker but last I checked this team has too many right-handed puck-moving D.

    Oh wait…

  103. Edmonton_fan says:

    I have been waiting for years to see a move such as this. The Oilers used to do reclamation pick ups & trades all the time when they won Stanley Cups; many had drug & alcohol challenges. Some worked out quite well. i.e. the vehicular homicide drunk driving conviction. The other swing of the pendulum was Laurie Boschman; a born again Christian.

    The philosophy was what you did on the ice mattered the most. Sather would help you take care of the rest. No guarantees – but, on Kassian the price is right

  104. Lowetide says:

    Really?:
    Today is December 28th and, while the Oilers are in 29th position overall, they should be in 29th because the Ducks are 1 point back with 3 games in hand.

    With the Oilers horrendous D corps currently decimated by injury, it is to be expected that they begin to lose touch with the playoff pack and they are doing so. While some improvement is expected with the return of McDavid, Yakupov, Klefbom and Davidson, the likelihood of playoffs is fading fast.

    As a result, the annual draft watch must now begin. Granted, it is beginning about 2 months later than normal but that time has arrived.

    What are our chances of winning the Lottery again?

    Too early. Seriously.

  105. RexLibris says:

    Might be interesting to see what the “impartial, non-biased” HNIC commentariats say if/when Kassian plays against the Canucks.

    Sorry to see Ben Scrivens the person leave town. The player was already gone, but the man is a good person and, like Ference, has his heart in the right place.

    Looking at McCurdy’s standings projections and Columbus and Edmonton are in the lead for last and second-last place, respectively based on current trends.

    I don’t think it ends that way once half the opening night roster comes back from injury, but it is kind of funny to think of a 2012 draft redux.

    With all due respect to Mr. Katz and another fine young man in Nail, let’s let the scouts make the pick this time.

  106. Woodguy says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: That Turris trade…

    Haven’t seen him much of late. Worth picking up?

    From what I hear he’s slower than Fayne.

  107. RexLibris says:

    Lois Lowe:
    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that because Kassian is RFA this summer, if he doesn’t work out they can take him to arbitration and open another open buy out window. TFCAF’s buy out hit is likely worth pondering this summer as opposed to last.

    Good point. Nice pick up there.

    Maybe this Chiarelli guy is kind of smart or something.

  108. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: From what I hear he’s slower than Fayne.

    But is he slower than Draisaitl or Reinhart?

  109. Factotum says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    I will miss Ben and Jenny. Good people. Good luck to them.

    +1 to that.

  110. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Might be interesting to see what the “impartial, non-biased” HNIC commentariats say if/when Kassian plays against the Canucks.

    Rex, obscure way to mention you have perfected a time machine.

  111. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: Schultz, like many Oilers doesn’t respond well to pressure on the forecheck. The goofy thing is he has all kinds of tools to beat it. Lack of confidence is killing his career. McLellan has 40 games to unlock him.

    Hi LT you are correct he has all the tools to beat the forecheck but he really hates taking a hit. The many facial expressions he has given us post hit into the boards is priceless, and then it always takes him a moment to reengage back into the play.

  112. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: From what I hear he’s slower than Fayne.

    Not good.

  113. fifthcartel says:

    I like the Kassian addition, and I think it’s one a smart team would do. He’ll be 25 soon and he’s clearly an NHL player when he’s healthy, with ~30 points and whatnot, and if he can get the help he needs here and I’m absolutely for that.

  114. Pajamah says:

    RexLibris: But is he slower than Draisaitl or Reinhart?

    Can he pass? I’d take a broken Ryan Whitney at this point over Nikitin.

  115. Pouzar says:

    Pajamah: Can he pass? I’d take a broken Ryan Whitney at this point over Nikitin.

    Best part of his game from what I am reading.

  116. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    Sorry, whenever I hear someone lament about the Oiler’s brand I get touchy and I’m absolutely not a fan of Katz’s.

    My overarching concern with the brand is the one-ice product and the decisions we make balanced with the risk we accept to make it tolerable.

  117. Ryan says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Worth pondering? I though it was a no-brainer.

  118. square_wheels says:

    Pouzar,

    Niki can pass but it’s the feat and the head that don’t work so good.

    No thanks to more bottom pair D. Yuck.

  119. stevezie says:

    RexLibris: With all due respect to Mr. Katz and another fine young man in Nail, let’s let the scouts make the pick this time.

    This doesn’t seem fair to me, as the entire top five has been fairly underwhelming. There are some players in there no doubt, but since the scouts supposedly wanted Murray or Reinhart, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk Katz was wrong.

    (Plus the blog almost unanimously agreed with him).

    EDIT: Unless you mean, as a general rule, Katz should leave the hockey to the hockey men. In which case, yeah.

    That said if i owned a team i would definitely at least be part of the conversation. Or else what’s the point?

  120. Lois Lowe says:

    Ryan,

    It depends. Maybe they won’t have to buy out TFCAF because he realizes that he will not be playing in Edmonton, and probably the NHL, again. Chiarelli and McLellan have made that point abundantly clear. Either way, taking Kassian to arbitration opens up the window and likely drives his price down to to 1 million per.

  121. mustang says:

    I really like this trade, give up a player that was not going to have any impact at all, for a player that could be exactly what this team needs up front if Kassian can get his life together and reach his potential. I’m hoping like crazy that Kassian realizes the chance he’s got. Now the Oilers need to provide him with the help he requires. The Gagner incident was stupid as stupid can be but I’ve moved on. I only care what he can do from this point forward and I say give em hell Zack Kassian.

  122. Woodguy says:

    Pajamah: Can he pass? I’d take a broken Ryan Whitney at this point over Nikitin.

    Funny that you say that, Nate had this to say about Runblad:

    NateInVegas ‏@NateInVegas 27m27 minutes ago

    @ThomsonCam We’re talking Ryan Whitney can’t skate anymore.

    I find Nate to be pretty smart about hockey.

  123. Pajamah says:

    square_wheels:
    Pouzar,

    Niki can pass but it’s the feat and the head that don’t work so good.

    No thanks to more bottom pair D. Yuck.

    Can Rundblad be salvaged, or does he have a higher ceiling than Nikitin?

    Sure, the Oilers don’t need more bottom pair guys, but seeing as how neither is a jack or King, using LT’s analogy, I’d still take a 5 over a 3.

  124. LostBoy says:

    For the Kassian/Gagner incident, it’s crazy to think, but there are only five regulars (plus Ference) left from the 2013 opening night roster following the mugging. It’s not forgotten, but it’s not something three quarters of the current team were there for.

    I remember the waters being partly muddied as to whether Kassian was mocking Gagner in the first regular season meeting or addressing Gazdic (the chin motions were supposed to be about Gazdic’s chin beard, in this version). I just went back and watched the whole scrum. There’s no real ambiguity that I can see. Gazdic didn’t even have any facial hair grooming going on – he had a few days growth, all over, normal beard. When the camera shows Kassian making the gestures, it’s pointed away from the bench toward him, but when it switches to show the benches, Gazdic is way off Kassian’s line of sight to the left. Then Gazdic immediately skates forward toward the bench, dragging the linesman with him, until he’s standing in front of Gagner, blocking Gagner from Kassian, and it’s then that Gazdic starts letting Kassian have it verbally, with an offended expression on his face. Absolutely no question, Kassian really did go there.

    Interesting. I think Oiler fans of a certain age might have to go all the way back to some of Bryan Marchment’s butchery moments to find semi-similar not-sure-I’m-on-board-with-this fan moments.

  125. stevezie says:

    The near universal reaction at the time was Phx fleeced Ottawa. Runblad was young and full of promise and Turris was full of ego.

    Goes to show you never can tell.

  126. Pajamah says:

    Woodguy: Funny that you say that, Nate had this to say about Runblad:

    NateInVegas ‏@NateInVegas 27m27 minutes ago


    @ThomsonCam We’re talking Ryan Whitney can’t skate anymore.

    I find Nate to be pretty smart about hockey.

    The trick I guess is to take a shot if you think Pelletier or Serdachny can do something with him that Phoenix or Chicago couldn’t (not likely, but like Kassian, maybe the age is right that he finally puts in the extra work to take the next step)

    But RHS, good first pass, right age (last one less important than skill, but still a box to check). Maybe he makes Gryba expendable and Chia can get an asset for a guy who only costs money.

  127. stevezie says:

    Plus Ference did get a pound of flesh from Kassian. That’s worth something?

  128. square_wheels says:

    Pajamah,

    I’ve been scouring for a bit here and can’t find any serious injury that’s the source of his skating issues.

    Anyone have a source on why his skating is now an issue, there is no scouting reports indicating it was a risk and needed fixing ? Injuries ??

  129. Rondo says:

    Why didn’t Oilers pick up Kassian on waivers?

  130. Gerta Rauss says:

    Rondo:
    Why didn’t Oilers pick up Kassian on waivers?

    contract in/contract out
    money in/money out

  131. Factotum says:

    LostBoy,

    I too was remembering Marchment this morning. Ugh.

  132. Lowetide says:

    stevezie: This doesn’t seem fair to me, as the entire top five has been fairly underwhelming. There are some players in there no doubt, but since the scouts supposedly wanted Murray or Reinhart, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk Katz was wrong.

    (Plus the blog almost unanimously agreed with him).

    EDIT: Unless you mean, as a general rule, Katz should leave the hockey to the hockey men. In which case, yeah.

    That said if i owned a team i would definitely at least be part of the conversation. Or else what’s the point?

    Lots of people (including blog author) thought Nail was the right pick.

  133. Pouzar says:

    Chris Wescott ‏@TheChrisWescott 3m3 minutes ago
    Brad Hunt and Brandon Davidson are both on the ice. #Oilers

  134. godot10 says:

    I’m taking the under. I doubt Kassian ever gets out of Bakersfield. Character and intelligence matter.

  135. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lowetide: Lots of people (including blog author) thought Nail was the right pick.

    This. That whole draft top 10 has been underwhelming to date.

    There are some good D emerging but they were not from the likes of Murray, Reinhart, etc. Hard to blame anyone when the next likely pick was going to be Murray, who has been very injury-prone.

  136. Pouzar says:

    godot10: I doubt Kassian ever gets out of Bakersfield.

    I’ll take that bet.

    Stakes?

  137. smellyglove says:

    Kassian is a distraction. For PiChi to show he is doing something. If Kassian can make the NHL he will be a 3/4 line winger. Polishing the brass on the Titanic.

  138. flyfish1168 says:

    stevezie:
    The near universal reaction at the time was Phx fleeced Ottawa. Runblad was young and full of promise and Turris was full of ego.

    Goes to show you never can tell.

    I believe the Yotes basically ended up with two 2nd round picks for Turris. One from trade with senators and one from the Hawks.

  139. Lois Lowe says:

    LostBoy,

    Most of us remember Raffi Torres. Recall him concussing Michalek in the 06 run? Ugly, dirty hit.

  140. Centre of attention says:

    Kassian is a good bet. If it werent for the gagner thing people would love this trade.

    Great to see davidson on the ice

  141. Halfwise says:

    Strongly mixed feelings here. I don’t like the choices Kassian has made off the ice, nor his thug moments.

    I do like the player when he plays actual hockey.

    It’s a gamble worth taking when the team is playing as poorly as it is and the piece Chia traded away wasn’t going to be part of the future.

    Does the team I cheer for employ the likes of Kassian? Bryan Marchment and Raffi Torres helped the Oilers, in their time. And Glenn Anderson with his ‘wildly accidental’ stick swinging did too.

    I’ll go with “hope this helps, we’ll see” for now.

  142. LostBoy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    LostBoy,

    Most of us remember Raffi Torres. Recall him concussing Michalek in the 06 run? Ugly, dirty hit.

    I mostly recall it being celebrated at the time, and pointed to as the turning point in the series. Not defending it, but I don’t remember Torres in those days being perceived as a Matt Cooke.

  143. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Centre of attention:
    Kassian is a good bet. If it werent for the gagner thing people would love this trade.

    Great to see davidson on the ice

    I think for the people with reservations, it goes deeper than just the Gagner incident.

  144. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    https://youtu.be/ihfj12mNW24 He definitely skates choppy and upright but if he replaces schultz I’m all for claiming him.

  145. PhrankLee says:

    What I like about the trade is it may indicate the cork is finally out of the bottle and assessment is complete.

    Time for action. This is housekeeping too. A nice opportunity for both players to resurrect their respective careers.

  146. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Rex, obscure way to mention you have perfected a time machine.

    Ha, sorry, in my mind I’d included “for the Oilers”.

    This is an extension of my comment the other day regarding the coverage of the Canucks/Oilers game where Hughson and company couldn’t stop talking about the Canucks and treated the other Canadian team with the same kind of coverage they might have afforded the Carolina Hurricanes.

  147. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    RexLibris,

    Listening to the Flames, I meant HNIC broadcast last night was painful. Don’t know how you all put up with it.

    To be honest I would prefer most to have just the sounds of the game with zero commentary. Wish that were an option.

  148. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Lots of people (including blog author) thought Nail was the right pick.

    I had argued at the time that I felt Galchenyuk was a better “fit” for the team.

    At the time the talent was arguably equal and the team still needed to build down the middle, while Galchenyuk was listed as a center in his draft year.

    The injury was serious and cost a year, but I felt the Oilers at the time could afford to take a small gamble there based on how well he had played up to that point.

    I less certain of Murray.

    I had no real concerns about Yakupov, but was prioritizing Galchenyuk based on position.

    I’ve generally been bullish on Yakupov while also describing one of his challenges as being that I question whether he had ever received real systems coaching at any time earlier in his career.

    My point for this year’s draft re: CBJ/EDM is more tongue-in-cheek than anything.

  149. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    PhrankLee:
    What I like about the trade is it may indicate the cork is finally out of the bottle and assessment is complete.

    Time for action. This is housekeeping too.A nice opportunity for both players to resurrect their respective careers.

    OR we could be making a mountain out of a molehill (me included), and it was doing Scrivens a solid, while putting someone on the farm who is something of a scratch and win lottery ticket.

    Maybe he never plays a minute for the Oilers. Or maybe he works hard the next few weeks until the trade deadline and then they give him a look-see.

    I will say the assessment phase is done and the trading season is upon us when a current roster player is moved to address the glaring problem on the blueline.

  150. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    RexLibris,

    I, and others here, liked Galchenyuk plenty, too. But he missed an entire year, basically. Would have been hugely ballsy to take him over Yak at #1. People would have been talking about it being a reach pick.

  151. RexLibris says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    RexLibris,

    Listening to the Flames, I meant HNIC broadcast last night was painful. Don’t know how you all put up with it.

    To be honest I would prefer most to have just the sounds of the game with zero commentary. Wish that were an option.

    I didn’t un-mute the television once.

    Why should I bother?

    It was a Flames telecast, which confused me given that it was a Flames home game.

    But a Flames telecast, on a Flames home game, with Gaudreau setting December on fire, and the team going for a franchise record 11th straight win at home?

    Yeah, thanks, I think I’ll mute and listen to the seconds of my life tick away instead.

  152. Oil2Oilers says:

    2016-17 Oilers
    Pou-McDavid-Yak
    Slepyshev-Draisaitl-Hall
    Kassian-Nuge-Ebs
    Hendricks-FaceCage-Lander

    Klefbom-Buff
    Nurse-sekera
    Davidson-Reinhart

    And not one damn person bitch’n about lack of size.

  153. Centre of attention says:

    “You offer support, treat him like one of the guys & try to be the best teammate you can… I’m rooting for him.” @hallsy04 on Kassian

    Future captain taylor hall has his 2 cents on Kassian.

  154. Centre of attention says:

    From Oilers official twitter:

    “Kassian has been skating for three weeks, is said to be in good shape & could play for @Condors this weekend, according to GM Chiarelli.”

  155. RexLibris says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    RexLibris,

    I, and others here, liked Galchenyuk plenty, too. But he missed an entire year, basically. Would have been hugely ballsy to take him over Yak at #1. People would have been talking about it being a reach pick.

    Yes, it would have been.

    He went out at game 11 of the season, iirc, due to a blown knee injury, which for a league based more and more on skating is no small thing.

    I just liked that he was a center and had been integral in Yakupov’s scoring in junior.

    Funny that Yakupov missed time that same year due to injury but he was having such a phenomenal season that there really wasn’t any thought of another forward entering the picture by that point.

    The really funny part is that the Jets waited until #9 to get Trouba and I would argue they got a better defenseman than any of the teams ahead.

    Although that Severson kid who went 60th overall to Jersey doesn’t look too bad. 😉

  156. Lewis Grant says:

    Zack Kassian an Oiler?

    Why don’t we just pick up Jesse Boulerice while we’re at it?

    This is the guy that effectively ended Gagner’s career. (And he has off-ice issues to boot.)

    Even without that, he’s on, what, his fourth team? Does anybody really think he’ll be any better than, say, Ben Eager?

  157. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: I had argued at the time that I felt Galchenyuk was a better “fit” for the team.

    At the time the talent was arguably equal and the team still needed to build down the middle, while Galchenyuk was listed as a center in his draft year.

    The injury was serious and cost a year, but I felt the Oilers at the time could afford to take a small gamble there based on how well he had played up to that point.

    I less certain of Murray.

    I had no real concerns about Yakupov, but was prioritizing Galchenyuk based on position.

    I’ve generally been bullish on Yakupov while also describing one of his challenges as being that I question whether he had ever received real systems coaching at any time earlier in his career.

    My point for this year’s draft re: CBJ/EDM is more tongue-in-cheek than anything.

    The weird thing for me? Edmonton didn’t invite Galchenyuk in for a visit. They invited the other Russian C.

  158. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: The weird thing for me? Edmonton didn’t invite Galchenyuk in for a visit. They invited the other Russian C.

    Grigorenko?

  159. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Lowetide,

    From a career management perspective, no GM is using a first overall pick on a guy who played as few games as Galchenyuk played. If he doesn’t turn out you’re going to be out of a job for sure.

    People forget about Yakupov.

    I first started regularly visiting these blogs around the time we drafted Hall. I was about 1 year in when we drafted RNH. You know what the #1 sentiment on these blogs was when we had the 1st overall pick in 2011?

    “I wish we could have the first overall pick next year, because that Yakupov kid is going to be something special”. Of course no one figured there was any chance we wouldn’t turn North and not pick 1st overall at the time.

    Long answer to a short question, but there was a 0% chance we would have taken Galchenyuk 1st overall. 0%. And that would have been true for any other team as well.

  160. PhrankLee says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: People forget about Yakupov.

    I agree. There was really no argument that held water to not draft him.

    Strongest consensus in several years.

  161. oliveoilers says:

    smellyglove: Polishing the brass on the Titanic.

    The brass on the Titanic was polished. They didn’t know it was going to sink.

    Unless you subscribe to the conspiracy theory it was a massive insurance fraud.

    http://www.titanicuniverse.com/the-titanic-conspiracy-investigating-the-titanic-conspiracy-theory/124

  162. frjohnk says:

    ✔ @Bob_Stauffer

    Oilers will spend some time on PP this morning: Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell-Lander-Hunt and Pouliot-RNH-Eberle-Letestu-Schultz/Sekera

    1st unit finally has someone at the point who has a bomb, and cant be much worse than Schultz defensively. I suspect Lander in front to try and recreate some of last years PP magic.

    When McDavid and Yak come back Id just say fuck it and have the 2nd unit go Pouliot-RNH-Eberle-McDavid-Yak.

  163. Dicky94 says:

    Pouzar,

    I give him two games this weekend and then he is up.

  164. flyfish1168 says:

    i am one that truly believe yak has been an orphan winger. Without a truly good veteran centerman to help him develop. That one is on MacT. The 2nd part is a coach that understands how to work with what you have not one a rookie coach that was trying to find his way around.

  165. frjohnk says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers · 10m10 minutes ago
    “We’re here to support him… If Zack happens to come back and have a great NHL career, we’ll be very proud of him.” Coach McLellan

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers · 11m11 minutes ago
    “The first thing that comes to me is size and a skill-set that goes with it.” Coach McLellan on facing Zack Kassian in previous seasons

  166. Centre of attention says:

    Fowler blew a knee, so that will help the Oilers later this week.

  167. leadfarmer says:

    For anyone interested I found this to be a fun read, from Kuznetzov

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/evgeny-kuznetsov-capitals-russia-hockey/

  168. leadfarmer says:

    Dicky94,

    Or suspended

  169. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Lowetide,

    From a career management perspective, no GM is using a first overall pick on a guy who played as few games as Galchenyuk played.If he doesn’t turn out you’re going to be out of a job for sure.

    People forget about Yakupov.

    You know what the #1 sentiment on these blogs was when we had the 1st overall pick in 2011?

    “I wish we could have the first overall pick next year, because that Yakupov kid is going to be something special”.

    Uh, no. We talked about Couturier like mad, before settling on Nuge. I would need proof of the No. 1 status for Yakupov you suggest. It may have been mentioned, but a lot of things get mentioned.

  170. Psyche says:

    frjohnk,

    Slow ??…slow ?? It only took a 1 for 1 million run on the PP to move Schultz to the 2nd unit. Our coaching staff may be brilliant, but they’re definitely stubborn. Job security early in a contract allows them that luxury.

    Unlocking Schultz’s confidence means putting him in a position to have success. They need to play him in a role he is comfortable (feels safe) with a partner who complements his skill set.

    Unlike San Jose, there is a bit more pressure and focus on their work. Curious to see how they adapt over the years.

  171. sliderule says:

    RexLibris,

    I am glad I am not alone.

    My wife comes into room and says”why are you watching game with no sound”

    She says “wierd””

  172. alice13 says:

    Re Schulz, LT said ” Lack of confidence is killing his career. ”

    I was just going to mention something along those lines myself. Watching the replay of his late penalty sequence, he loses the puck and his man at the blueline, shit happens. Follows him, takes a – pretty soft – hooking penalty trying to nterfere with the guy. Not exectly a Norris-candidate move, but still a normal hockey play.

    But after he releases buddy, instead of stopping up there (on the right side, his side) and turning forward to face whatever might be coming behind, he proceeds behind and around the net to the opposite side, during this transit completely out of any position to defend, and not even following a Flame player on said journey. By himself, behind his own net!

    On the one hand you want to pull your hair out, but assuming he has made it this far with at least some of the instincts any 14yr old would have, I wondered is it mental, has he just completely lost confidence? The alternative means he’s valueless, so I wonder that maybe they should just send him down for a month to blow out the cobwebs. Best case he clears waivers and gets back on track, worst case he gets picked up and blows out the cobwebs on someone else’s blue line. But there’s no point continuing what they’re doing with him now, he’s worse than NN, potential or not.

  173. Psyche says:

    leadfarmer,

    Terrific read. Thanks for recommending the article.

  174. Centre of attention says:

    Hall is heaping praise on Kassian. Great to see there is no hard feelings, can’t help but believe he’s a great leader.

    Hall could easily just turn his nose up and nobody would care. Instead hes offering support.

  175. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Lowetide,

    I don’t have proof, but I can say I got to know a lot about Yakupov from other posters in his draft -1 year, and that was at a point of my life where I didn’t know anything about prospects, or drafts, etc., because I was just starting to get hooked into the online community. Admitedly more of an Oilersnation thing at the time, so perhaps I’m the only one that remembers things that way.

    Centre of attention,

    He has done so much this year to prove the C belongs on his Jersey, both on and off the ice.

  176. Samson Loveblast says:

    leadfarmer:
    For anyone interested I found this to be a fun read, from Kuznetzov

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/evgeny-kuznetsov-capitals-russia-hockey/

    Good article, I could not help but read it with a thick Russian accent in my head.

  177. PhrankLee says:

    sliderule: I am glad I am not alone.
    My wife comes into room and says”why are you watching game with no sound”
    She says “wierd””

    We have taken to watching the “goalie cam” feed especially when Hrudey is on air.

  178. square_wheels says:

    sliderule,

    I’ve switched over to the Omni feed in Punjabi, figure if I’m going to watch on mute I might as well provide them the ratings.

  179. cadooo says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    RexLibris,

    Listening to the Flames, I meant HNIC broadcast last night was painful. Don’t know how you all put up with it.

    To be honest I would prefer most to have just the sounds of the game with zero commentary. Wish that were an option.

    If you have 5.1 sound you can disconnect the center speaker to just hear arena sound. I discovered this during 2006 playoffs because I wanted to crank the arena sounds but the announcers were too loud.

    I often listen to music or a podcast when watching to be honest. WTF with Marc Maron is a good pairing with the Oilers.

  180. square_wheels says:

    4th_Line_Plug,

    Eek, yes that’s a decent chopper. I’ve always been astonished by how little emphasis is placed on advanced skating techniques at young ages, it’s THE foundational skill required to excel in this game.

    25yr old’s are unlikely to vastly improve their stride, it’s possible yes, but would require an advanced coach and significant off-ice work. Lengthening the stride is the hardest to correct, as you need to change your stick length as you squat further down and that completely changes how you handle the puck, shoot and most importantly see the ice. Sometimes genetics just don’t allow it, flexibility in the hips and ankles and even the type of foot you have all make significant contributions.

    I might take the chance on him if I had the skating coach and he had the willingness to rebuild that technique.

  181. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    square_wheels,

    You nailed it. Hip and ankle flexibility is key to a powerful stride. Video can provide amazing feedback and coaching now too. If Tiger Woods can totally rebuild his swing, players can learn to reshape their stride…granted it did more harm than good to Woods.

    I can’t speak to coaching in Sweden but in Canada minor hockey sucks at skills development. There was a peewee practice on the ice before us the other day, they practiced faceoff plays for 45 minutes…it was F’n crazy! You’re ruining the beauty of the game when you don’t coach skills and creativity every practice until atleast midget or major junior.

  182. Ryan says:

    Pouzar: I’ll take that bet.

    Stakes?

    I just cleared my debt on our Lander bet.

    36 gp, 0-2-2 (-9)

    Lordy, now that’s setting the world on fire.

    I swear Mclellan and Chiarelli have kept him on the roster because they read this blog and they’re just trolling me. 🙂

  183. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    cadooo: If you have 5.1 sound you can disconnect the center speaker to just hear arena sound. I discovered this during 2006 playoffs because I wanted to crank the arena sounds but the announcers were too loud.

    I often listen to music or a podcast when watching to be honest. WTF with Marc Maron is a good pairing with the Oilers.

    Good tip. I have been on the road for the last 14.5 months, though. So, no 5.1. Even at my last home, though, I graduated a while back from 5.1 once I got custom made Symphonic Line speakers and a 2 channel amp together. 🙂

  184. Water Fire says:

    PhrankLee: We have taken to watching the “goalie cam” feed especially when Hrudey is on air.

    Strombolopolous wowed my wife and I in a post game solo recap he did on the weekend, saying somebody had an ‘ass-ist’ using the same calibre of humour my 10 year old would use, 4 years ago. That is job losing worthy childishness IMO. Terrible idea to have him on sports, or the public broadcaster. I’m not sure ‘bar star old man sleeze’ or whatever he’s trying to go for is hip even to the millenials.

    Time for the CBC to move on from the failed attempt to appeal to youth by being some weird version of edgy, that included Gomeshi, and Bambury’s great pro drug and sex comments on his teen oriented weekend show. All class, all the time. It’s awesome I get to pay for that kind of garbage whether I want to or not! /End rant

  185. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Flames fan friend of mine living in Singspore to me:

    “Sat we lost to vancouver. Sun we lost to the flames. Mon we traded for kassian. Happy holidays.”

    Kind of funny.

  186. Pouzar says:

    Ryan: I just cleared my debt on our Lander bet.

    36 gp, 0-2-2 (-9)

    Lordy, now that’s setting the world on fire.

    I swear Mclellan and Chiarelli have kept him on the roster because they read this blog and they’re just trolling me.

    🙂

  187. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Pouzar:

    I only need Schultz to put up 36 points in the final 45 games to win my bet! Piece of cake.

  188. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I only need Schultz to put up 36 points in the final 45 games to win my bet! Piece of cake.

    If he gets sent to Bakersfield you have a chance!

  189. godot10 says:

    So MacT didn’t sign a defensemen good enough to make the Chicago Blackhawks. People on this blog gave Tambellini hell for not signing Jeremy Blain.

    So Rieder is playing in Phoenix, Gustafsson in Chicago, Davidson in Edmonton, and Hartikainen will be at some point (he was just in an organization run by idiots), and Stu MacGregor is bashed by the media for not finding players outside the top two rounds.

    Let’s see how MacT’s boy Hunt does in his 2nd chance. I wonder if Hunt would make Chicago.

  190. square_wheels says:

    4th_Line_Plug,

    I’ve seen that same nightmare play out in front of me far too many times at rec hockey as well. I live in Calgary and play at the Oval often, watching the speed skaters drives home the importance to keeping those blades on the ice.

    Dig up a Lidstrom YouTube video of him patrolling his own zone defending the cycle, absolute thing of beauty. He would never cross his legs over, not once, just rolled his ankles and weighted each leg to stay square to the attacking forward. Why he’s a legend…..his skating and edge work was near perfect, just stunning how he could cover a forward.

    Funny thing about skating is how little most recognize the importance of feet, especially in edge work. Wobble boards are money for developing foot and ankle strength. I somehow struck gold in the 80’s as I grew up in a small town full of amazing hockey players, shit tones of ice time and a figure skating/Can-Skate instructor that drilled us mercilessly on stride and edge work.

  191. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: I just cleared my debt on our Lander bet.

    36 gp, 0-2-2 (-9)

    Lordy, now that’s setting the world on fire.

    I swear Mclellan and Chiarelli have kept him on the roster because they read this blog and they’re just trolling me.:)

    Haha!!! Thank you for your honesty and contribution!

  192. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: The weird thing for me? Edmonton didn’t invite Galchenyuk in for a visit. They invited the other Russian C.

    Grigorenko.

    It was about this same time that year, maybe January, I was listening to the radio and some ex-hockey playing insider was saying that Grigorenko was “their guy” because they’d been chasing a large center for so long.

    For me it was Galchenyuk, Murray, Yakupov with very, very little separating the three – essentially it was position played that determined it for me. And I liked Murray’s style of game being smooth skating and strong passing, per the scouting reports to that point.

    Once we got to March/April I recall Reilly entering the picture as he’d been out some time with a knee injury, iirc, and having played some in the WHL playoffs that year. Or course Reinhart was discussed but I think fans here had concerns about him having enough offensive potential.

    So I don’t debate the fact that Yakupov was a very strong choice, hindsight is 20/20.

  193. RexLibris says:

    sliderule:
    RexLibris,

    I am glad I am not alone.

    My wife comes into room and says”why are you watching game with no sound”

    She says “wierd””

    When people ask me I usually say there’s nothing those guys can tell me that I can’t see for myself or will be explained more intelligently online (meaning this site).

    Now, what we need is to find a way to broadcast the game but have LT, Bruce and WG doing colour/analysis.

    It’d be rated NC-17, but worth the price of admission!

  194. stevezie says:

    RexLibris,

    Really that entire draft is incredibly underwhelming. It actually forms a better defence of Nail than his own play does.

    Sure there are some fine players, maybe even future all-stars, but no one who at this point is at the level where you can say, “He’s playing like you’d want a first overall to be playing at this age. I’m so glad it was our year to pick first!” (Though I like Trouba)

    And the only impact player for the 1st round is Fredrick Anderson. Next Best is Severson.

    If there was a re-draft you trade down.

  195. PhrankLee says:

    Water Fire: Strombolopolous wowed my wife and I in a post game solo recap he did on the weekend, saying somebody had an ‘ass-ist’ using the same calibre of humour my 10 year old would use, 4 years ago. That is job losing worthy childishness IMO. Terrible idea to have him on sports, or the public broadcaster. I’m not sure ‘bar star old man sleeze’ or whatever he’s trying to go for is hip even to the millenials.
    Time for the CBC to move on from the failed attempt to appeal to youth by being some weird version of edgy, that included Gomeshi, and Bambury’s great pro drug and sex comments on his teen oriented weekend show. All class, all the time. It’s awesome I get to pay for that kind of garbage whether I want to or not! /End rant

    The only other guy I just have to constantly mute is the Canucks super-apologist, and usually uncomfortably behind on the play by play Jim Hughson.

    cadooo,

    That’s the kind of advice I treasure, thanks. Very cool.

  196. Rondo says:

    http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/12/former-canuck-zack-kassian-traded-to-oilers/

    “I think it’s safe to say at this point that Kassian is not, and never will be, a player who protects other players with revenge hits or fights.
    Yes, he will drop the gloves and throw down, but he doesn’t do it as often as you think. Aside from his second year in in the OHL (63 points in 61 games, 13 fights), he usually averages less than five fights or less in a season.
    As for hits, he really doesn’t land many big ones, at least not in the way you’d imagine a 6″3 220 pound player might.
    As many fans in Vancouver witnessed, even his protection of the puck wasn’t what you’d expect from a player of his size.
    It’s not just Edmonton that has these expectations, though, as even Montreal bought into the power forward hype train, wondering if “the Canadiens found the power forward they have been looking for” when they traded for him at the 2016 draft.”

  197. Justthestatsman says:

    Pouzar:
    I don’t think Matt Henderson likes the trade.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Matt-Henderson/Oilers-Downgrade-In-Class-And-Character/191/73563

    I’m trying to think of an Oilers player in the past that would be similar to Kassian and I can’t come up with one. There’s been tough guys like Dave Semenko, Dave Brown and Geoges Laraque, over the edge nasty, like Marty McSorley, cheap shot guys like Bryan Marchment and Raffi Torres, agitators like Esa Tikkanen. I may have my Oilers blinders on here, but my recollection is that as much as they may have been disposed by other teams these guys always answered the bell when they were challenged and never would have mocked someone who he had injured like Kassian has done.

    People can change and I really hope Kassian is able to straighten his life out as I suspect there’s more to this than just the substance abuse issue. Right now though, I feel a lot like Matt does.

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