G82 2015-16: OILERS AT CANUCKS

This season was not what we dreamed of, not what we hoped for, really not what we would have found acceptable. There has been progress, but it isn’t close to enough. Looking for encouraging words? They are close to turning north, to becoming a real contender. Looking for troubling words? This is a very dangerous summer.

expos

THE 1976 EXPOS, 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: 7-6-1
  • Oilers in January 2015: 5-7-1
  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2
  • Oilers in February 2015: 5-6-1
  • Oilers in February 2016: 4-8-2
  • Oilers in March 2015: 5-6-3
  • Oilers in March 2016: 7-8-0
  • Oilers in April 2015: 1-3-1
  • Oilers in April 2016: 1-1-0
  • Oilers after 81 in 2014-15: 24-44-13, 61 points (-82 GD)
  • Oilers after 81 in 2015-16: 31-43-7, 69 points (-41 GD)

The Oilers lost 6-5 in OT to Vancouver in G82 a year ago, ending the Oilers career of Ben Scrivens, Keith Aulie, Martin Marincin, Matt Fraser and Derek Roy. If Edmonton wins tonight, they will hit the 70-point mark for the first time since 2011-12—the same year they last hit 30 wins.

The 1976 Montreal Expos lost 107 games. They had brilliant young position players like Gary Carter, Larry Parrish and Ellis Valentine but they could not win for losing. How did they turn it around? They added talent in two ways: Quality free agents like Tony Perez, Dave Cash, plus a tremendous rush of young talent from the system (Andre Dawson and more) got them to 75 wins. And when the young pitchers arrived, 90-win seasons followed.

The Oilers will need both free agents and graduating prospects again this summer, and to replace the talent they trade away to address weakness. Most important of all: The team badly needs value contracts to emerge as quality regulars. More Brandon Davidson’s, stat!

chiarellis trades

PREPARE THE CANNONS!

I understand the idea of torching the team again, but am hopeful Peter Chiarelli takes a more measured approach to the summer. In fact, my list of players on the ‘available list’ has been reduced from the last time (March 13). I have written about (mostly) staying the course in the recent past, and none of you are buying it. That’s cool, after another season of frustration the logical reaction is to send away the underachievers and bring in new troops. For me, it simply doesn’t make sense to trade players without having suitable replacements.

THE NO-TRADE LIST

  1. C Connor McDavid. Clearly the top asset the Oilers have and the cornerstone for the future. I don’t think there is a better player in the world to build a young team around at this time.
  2. L Taylor Hall. Despite playing six seasons in the second division, the guy is a winner. A fabulous even-strength performer, he pushes the river and is a rare difference-maker.
  3. C Leon Draisaitl. The big German has emerged as an important part of the team, easily part of the top six, whether a center or wing.
  4. D Oscar Klefbom. He has reached a point (to my mind) where we can say he is a more complete player than the other young blue.
  5. D Brandon Davidson. He is a terrific story, but beyond that a valuable and useful player.
  6. G Cam Talbot. Edmonton appears to have found themselves a starter, zero sense in sending him away now. His big test will come in the fall.
  7. D Andrej Sekera. Veteran free-agent pickup has been an effective player since about the third week of the season. Along with Klefbom and Davidson, offers Chiarelli a reasonable LH set for next season.
  8. L Patrick Maroon. They love him, I wish we had another season to go on before they trade Benoit Pouliot. Looks exactly perfect on McDavid line, in exactly too small a sample size.

THE UNLIKELY TO GO LIST

  1. R Jordan Eberle. There are several reasons why Eberle has both substantial value and remains tradeable. First, his contract runs out in 2019. Second, he is a winger, and a complementary one, although very talented. The one thing that keeps him on the unlikely list? No immediately available replacement. If the scouts love Patrik Laine to the max? Even then, it is a stretch. I think the chem he showed with 97 probably keeps him here.
  2. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. A fine two-way C who is signed through 2021 summer. As is the case with Eberle, trading him requires immediate outside replacement—a tough thing to do.
  3. D Darnell Nurse. I can’t see the Oilers trading the big man, he could be a big part of the solution for this team in the future. He may need more time in the minors, and certainly needs to have his minutes cut back if he continues to develop at the NHL level.

THE SAIL ON LIST

  1. First-round draft pick. If the Oilers win the draft lottery, there would likely be enormous value in dealing down to No. 2 or No. 3. I think the gap between Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine may be far less than the possible trade value in doing so—there is a little area there where real trade value might be found.
  2. L Benoit Pouliot. Although he probably becomes trade bait if Milan Lucic signs with the Oilers, I don’t believe that will happen—and Pouliot is an effective player. Underrated by most Edmonton fans.
  3. R Nail Yakupov. Although Yak has struggled a great deal during his time in Edmonton, one suspects there is a team and coach out there convinced they can unlock him.
  4. D Mark Fayne. He has settled in to deliver a good year on defense, and I think some team might take him over the summer. Edmonton may not ask much in return, preferring to use that money on signing a better fit—like Jason Demers.
  5. L Lauri Korpikoski. A buy-out candidate.

CHIARELLI SUMMER LIST

  1. Top-pairing RHD (Jason Demers via free agency, Hamonic via trade)
  2. Third-pairing D to partner with Davidson (puck mover, big shot from the point)
  3. Scoring winger  (via trade or free agency)
  4. Offload unwanted contracts (Lauri Korpikoski via buyout)
  5. Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, but may cost too much)
  6. Re-stock the system partly through college and CHL signings (Benik, but also Winquist, et al)
  7. Build up the system (especially forwards) via draft (Laine, Tyler Benson)

LOTTERY

POSSIBLE SUMMER

  1. Oilers sign Jason Demers
  2. Oilers sign Jhonas Enroth
  3. Oilers sign Lee Stempniak
  4. Oilers sign Dan Boyle
  5. Oilers draft Patrik Laine

POSSIBLE ROSTER

  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle
  • Hall—Draisaitl—Lee Stempniak
  • Pouliot—RNH—Patrik Laine
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Pakarinen
  • Klefbom—Jason Demers
  • Sekera—Fayne
  • Davidson—Dan Boyle
  • Cam Talbot, Jhonas Enroth

I haven’t run the numbers in terms of cap and you may feel Dan Boyle is done, and I know many of you believe Lee Stempniak is borderline useless (based on the comments I have seen when mentioning his name last time). This model has one rookie, keeps all of the current forwards who can help, and retains Mark Fayne. I know you hate it. I believe it is a far better way than dealing from weakness to address weakness, and that is what trading Jordan Eberle or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins does to this roster.

As mentioned yesterday, all bets are off if P.K. Subban is available. Edmonton has the assets to get Subban and there are some things the two things have in common. Talk about a perfect fit, this would be ridiculous luck.

The Condors lost last night, they are extremely unlikely to make the playoffs. That means all those prospects who need at-bats won’t have a second season to get them in this spring. Betker is a monster, as this photo shows. Impressive that Caleb Jones got into AHL action, pretty clear the Oilers value the young man.

One suspects Edmonton will not land Stecher, but he would be a very good college signing for the team. There are still some names of interest available, as this Chris Dilks article (it has been a very good guide) shows. Other names to keep in mind for the Oilers: Drake Caggiula and Ahti Oksanen.

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438 Responses to "G82 2015-16: OILERS AT CANUCKS"

« Older Comments
  1. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    damnit!! I was 1 goal away from winning the Hunter death march.

    F*&k the Canucks and their soulless fans.

  2. Gret99zky says:

    no yak, no hall

    wtf tmac???

  3. Yegfoundation says:

    Dear Todd. Please have your skill players shoot in the shootout.

  4. striatic says:

    HeatTreaterJoe,

    So was I. Had the Oilers at 69.

  5. BONVIE says:

    Good finish for the Oilers last two games.

  6. frjohnk says:

    Maroon should right now fire one into the Canucks net

  7. leadfarmer says:

    Yegfoundation:
    Hendricks is an odd choice for the shootout.

    Please YouTube his paralyzer move. It is hilarious how goalies react to it. Too bad goalies know about it now

  8. frjohnk says:

    Gret99zky:
    no yak, no hall

    wtf tmac???

    They would have went after Letestu.

  9. BONVIE says:

    Gret99zky:
    no yak, no hall

    wtf tmac???

    Maybe that is a tell on who is on their way out!!!

  10. Woodguy says:

    Hendricks is an odd choice for a shoot out.

    Horcoff is an odd choice for a shoot out.

    Horcoff’s cap hit is $7MM

    Two way contracts don’t have to clear waivers

    I don’t know what Steve Smith’s real name is.

  11. Yegfoundation says:

    Was Taylor not eligible for the shootout because he was in the box?

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    G Money:
    I’m curious to know how much people think this years bizarre scheduling impacted the Oilers?

    We speak of injuries, but one of the things that isn’t really discussed is just how many more games the Oilers played than their opposition for much of the year.

    I can’t remember the exact number, but there were points in the year where the Oilers had played I believe as many as SIX more games than the team they were playing.

    That’s a CRAZY number.

    How much did that affect the fatigue level?

    How much did it affect the game result?

    How much did it impact or even drive the injury/illness situation?

    [One of my season post-mortems analyses will be to try and mathematically model the teams fatigue over the course of the year as a result of the schedule]

    I just wonder who on the Oilers Ok’ed this crazy schedule. That incompetence on their part

  13. Gret99zky says:

    nvm.

    probably something to do with math.

  14. Kitchener says:

    OilClog,

    So you’re saying there’s a chance?

    Really though, I think there is a chance. Yak as the unicorn scoring winger alongside RNH/Drai on the 3rd line works for me. The price is right too.

  15. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    striatic:
    HeatTreaterJoe,

    So was I. Had the Oilers at 69.

    Ha… Thanks, I feel better.

    Better luck next year Striatic!

  16. Yegfoundation says:

    Woodguy,

    I’ll pick option #1. Did I win!?

  17. BONVIE says:

    flyfish1168: I just wonder who on the Oilers Ok’ed this crazy schedule. That incompetence on their part

    The schedule is a non factor there is a lot of unfavourable schedules especially in the west.

  18. jzed says:

    Elliot and Adam sharing a secret smile as they chat with the other 2 guys on the panel

  19. Younger Oil says:

    I know they’re never going to call it, and I don’t really care, but Burrows DEFINITELY lost forward momentum near the blueline in his shootout goal.

    Too bad you can’t challenge that.

    Would have loved to see the look on his rat face as it got called back.

  20. Little Poteet says:

    jzed,

    They know who the smartest men in the room are, and they aren’t wrong

  21. Woodguy says:

    Yegfoundation:
    Woodguy,

    I’ll pick option #1.Did I win!?

    Haha!

    We all win.

    Hendricks has a very high career SO%, do did Horcoff, who never had a cap hit of $7MM and two way deals have nothing to do with waivers.

    Hobby horses of mine.

    That Steve Smith guy though……………

  22. Little Poteet says:

    George trying to convince us all that he fits in on a hockey show. I loved him on his show before, but this isn’t his spot

  23. Woodguy says:

    Last 4 yrs Oilers GF% players on and off the ice
    Eberle GFON 48% GFOFF 40%
    Hall GFON 51% GFOFF 39%
    RNH GFON 47% GFOFF 39%

    I’d try to fix the bottom 6 before I got excited about blowing up the core.

    And the Dcorpse of corpse.

  24. G Money says:

    Post game

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/g82-2016-04-09-let-the-post-mortems-begin/

    Terrific games from Nurse, Nuge, Yak.

    Strangely bad game from McDavid line and also the Rhinos. And they weren’t even up against the Sedins (that was Seksy Fayne, and they did just fine).

  25. G Money says:

    Also here is a beauty of a t-shirt to buy!

    We got the nod from the man himself to let these babies fly too! $14!!https://t.co/f93Zhqh9Lw@Lowetide @Oil_Drop pic.twitter.com/lLfON5rG9y— Beer League Heroes (@BeerLeagueHeroe) 10 April 2016

  26. Wolfie says:

    I felt that was an epic game!!! Both teams were fantastic… The NHL needs more of that and less meathead face punching stuff… I hope they realize it. The Sedins are Hedberg and Nilsson from the old Jets…

  27. Wolfie says:

    Was the bump on Markstrum discussed in here? I’m checking the thread late…

  28. flyfish1168 says:

    BONVIE: The schedule is a non factor there is a lot of unfavourable schedules especially in the west.

    When I see any team playing 6 games more than any other team, the 1st think is that team has had less days off. That can work against you at game season. Its a long grid and you need those days off.

  29. stush18 says:

    Little Poteet:
    George trying to convince us all that he fits in on a hockey show. I loved him on his show before, but this isn’t his spot

    I don’t mind him actually. It’s nice having a host who can speak.

  30. BONVIE says:

    What should be made of McDavid, Hall, and Talbot being named to the Worlds but neither a healthy Nuge or Eberle are? Interesting to see how other hockey people view those players and their shortcomings which should be much less noticeable on international ice.

  31. tsg says:

    BONVIE,

    Nuge was invited and declined I believe.

  32. Yegfoundation says:

    Woodguy,

    Sure. I get that Hendricks has had some success in the shootout in the past, but as we increase the sample size (number of shots) I expect the guys who score in real action to also score more in the shootout. Also, it’s an opportunity to increase the confidence of the guys that you require goals from when the puck drops. And lastly, as a skill player, I’d be pissed right off if my coach put two grinders on the ice in the shootout and I’m left on the bench.

    Can Todd coach and connect with skill players? He seems more interested in punishing his skill forwards for what they don’t do, rather than building their confidence by celebrating what they can do (score). I miss Ralph.

    Oh, and Asshole.

  33. AsiaOil says:

    G Money:
    Post game

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/g82-2016-04-09-let-the-post-mortems-begin/

    Terrific games from Nurse, Nuge, Yak.

    Strangely bad game from McDavid line and also the Rhinos.And they weren’t even up against the Sedins (that was Seksy Fayne, and they did just fine).

    Your numbers matched what I saw except I didn’t see GR and Maroon that bad – I guess putting all of Ebs, Oesterle and CMD together with another rookie in GR is just asking for grief in the defensive zone.

    Also a final end to all the BS about Yak needing to “earn him time” – doesn’t matter – if he plays a strong game he’s not rewarded anyway. Only time he sees decent ice is when someone is hurt (primarily Eberle) which is what he said in his interview and watching all season backs it up. Just trade the kid. Crazy thing to do after destroying his value and when you can see his game maturing – but this stupidity is just so old.

    I can see being pissed at Hall for the retaliation penalty but Korpse and Maroon before Hall and Yak in the SO? Right coach. I am building a foundation for not being a fan of this coach with this stuff and his constant pumping 4th liners like Tube and Korpse.

    Oh well – it’s over – and Chia’s in the spotlight now. Honeymoon is over for this mgmt team though. Perform or the knives will be out by Christmas.

  34. hunter1909 says:

    G Money:
    Also here is a beauty of a t-shirt to buy!

    I’m waiting for the Hunter1909 version.

    I’ll put it on in front of the mirror when no one is around.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    AsiaOil: Also a final end to all the BS about Yak needing to “earn him time” – doesn’t matter – if he plays a strong game he’s not rewarded anyway. Only time he sees decent ice is when someone is hurt (primarily Eberle) which is what he said in his interview and watching all season backs it up. Just trade the kid. Crazy thing to do after destroying his value and when you can see his game maturing – but this stupidity is just so old.

    The only logical argument is that McLellan was overwhelmed by the flaws on the team to the point where taking time for the special needs kid simply wasn’t going to be an option.

    The last two games show Yaks doing his thing…and when his tiny cap hit gets traded in one of the greatest heists in NHL history I guarantee there will be plenty of time for everyone to analyze the ins and outs of this particular Rat’s Arse.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    AsiaOil: Chia’s in the spotlight now. Honeymoon is over for this mgmt team though. Perform or the knives will be out by Christmas.

    You couldn’t be more wrong here. In the wake of the never-ending KLowe 15 years of Shitty Oilers hockey, Chiarelli+McLellan have probably got at least another two or three years, if not longer.

    The last thing the Oilers team needs right now is another coach.

    Assuming any one of them was still coaching the team, the only coach I’d still automatically fire from the post MacT era would be Dallas Eakins.

  37. russ99 says:

    hunter1909,

    Seems to me that this year was all about weeding out those who can’t or won’t get with the program.

    Both Chiarelli and McLellan know what makes a successful team and if your not willing to sacrifice or work, or you can’t learn from your mistakes you shouldn’t be here.

    I love Yak, his attitude and what he brings to table, but he’s a poor fit for this team right now. Maybe in 2-3 years when we have structure, discipline and real leadership in the room, we could manage a player like that, but here and now, the fun and games are over.

    Thank god it’s finally over and now Chiarelli can get to the hard work of cleaning up the roster mistakes, the player attitudes and philosophies that run counter to winning programs that MacT either continued, created or enabled, hopefully with MacT himself and Howson and any remaining “regime” shown the door too.

    Btw: if we see Lowe and MacTavish on stage or at the table on draft day again, it’s a cue to us that nothing will ever really change and we’re rotten from the top, like Ballard’s Leafs or Bill Wirtz’s Hawks.

  38. Yakupov me says:

    flyfish1168,

    Lets not forget the 9 day “Olympic” break. That would have further compressed their schedule.

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