THE DAYS BEFORE THE RAPTURE

In all of the hurry to put the season behind us, it is important to remember the future contains Connor McDavid—and that alone is worth the price of admission.

  • “If there is any player in the NHL that I would like to become, it’s Pavel Datysuk. He has amazing offensive skills but is also someone that the coach can put on in the last 30 seconds in a one goal game because he is also very defensive minded. He is the complete 2-way player”.Connor McDavid, when asked if there was anyone in the NHL he looks at and says ‘that’s the player I’d like to become’? (2012 interview)

All of those comparisons usually go away after a few years, but McDavid impressed me this year with his ability to go get the puck from NHL players. Seemingly at will. At 18. It was a short but incredible season, let’s do it again! Now, the big question: Who will join McDavid for the ride?

BLUE SKY LIST

  1. D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators. The mind boggles at the power-play possibilities. You would have to think acquiring this player would mean at least one—maybe two—of the top-flight forwards. On the other hand, a monster deal might include some nice players like Mike Hoffman and Curtis Lazar, as the Senators appear ready to burn it down.
  2. D P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens. It could be a perfect storm (crazy organization, NMC about to kick in, enormous contract), but this distant bell can’t be heard by the human ear. What would it cost? So much it wouldn’t be worthwhile.
  3. D Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. He is close to a perfect fit for the puck-moving portion of this team, and might be available during the era of crazy in Denver. He has been a 50-point blue for the last two seasons, is young enough to enjoy a strong run, and may in fact be available.
  4. C Steve Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning. The injury probably gives one pause, but the talent is so strong I still think someone blows their brains out on a long-term deal. Will it be Edmonton?
  5. L Milan Lucic, Los Angeles Kings. The early exit may mean the LAK go in a different direction and I have always maintained Peter Chiarelli would be aggressive. Hall, Maroon and Pouliot are a solid LW group, but Edmonton could trade out one of them to make room.
  6. D Jason Demers, Dallas Stars. Not as popular in the comments section as he is with this blog’s author, I already have several blog titles lined up for when he signs. Effective defenseman, he costs only money.
  7. D Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. Based on last summer’s deal, the pricetag for Chiarelli will probably run somewhere near double, but this is a solid player and a great option for Edmonton.
  8. D Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. His availability has been rumored but is uncertain. I like his puck-moving ability but as with all young blue there is not a clearly established level of ability. What we see is very good offensively.
  9. C Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks. I read somewhere that he reminds Scotty Bowman of Derek Sanderson, and man that is a helluva player. No idea if he is available but that would be a huge get for Chiarelli.
  10. D Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. Bob Stauffer has mentioned him several times (with the Nuge being a player of interest) and the big surprise here is that Carolina might make him available. I have him ranked here, but the gap between Faulk and (say) Barrie is not large in my mind. If you can get one of them for less, giddyup.
  11. G James Reimer, San Jose Sharks. He had a good year, Chiarelli would be wise to check out the asking price. His EV save percentage is stellar.
  12. D Michael Stone, Arizona Coyotes. Rarely mentioned, he is an interesting option if Edmonton wins the lottery and the Coyotes attempt to load up a trade idea. He spiked offensively this year, you would like to have a little more track with those kind of boxcars.
  13. C Ryan Strome, New York Islanders. I include him because the Islanders seem to be souring on the young forward (might end up as a RW). He is talented, and if available, Chiarelli would be wise to swoop in.
  14. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets. Zero buzz about this player to Edmonton, but he does have NHL experience and he was a solid young player a year ago. Whatever wobbled him this season may not impact long term.
  15. D Mark Pysyk, Buffalo Sabres. He has had several false starts in Buffalo, but the numbers imply there is a player here. Might shake loose and could help.
  16. D Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils. Under the radar name, he did pretty well in 2015-16. I have no idea if he is available but this is a player who is young enough to grow with the group in Edmonton.
  17. D Colin Miller, Boston Bruins. He never gets mentioned, but if you look at the numbers this guy keeps showing up in interesting places. No idea if he has a future, but his now is interesting.
  18. D Eric Gryba, Edmonton Oilers. I doubt Mark Fayne returns, and Gryba could slide in as an inexpensive option in the stay-at-home department.
  19. D Ville Pokka, Chicago Blackhawks. Young defender in the Chicago system just posted a solid year in the AHL. Suspect they will keep him, but you never know.
  20. C Riley Nash, Carolina Hurricanes. Already reaching UFA status, Nash has decent size, some offense and good possession numbers. As a righty C, he should be on a list somewhere in Peter Chiarelli’s office.
  21. D Ryan Sproul, Detroit Red Wings. Puck-moving defender in the AHL, he might be ready for an NHL role this fall.
  22. G Jhonas Enroth, Los Angeles Kings. I liked him a year ago for Edmonton and depending on price he would be an excellent addition.
  23. C Cody Hodgson, Buffalo Sabres. Chiarelli likely solves his C problem before he reaches this point, but Hodgson is still young and two years removed from a 20-goal season.
  24. D Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames. A year removed from a fantastic offensive season, he would probably be available for less than zero. Wildly unpopular idea, it might work.
  25. D Dan Boyle, New York Rangers. While Chiarelli casts about looking for the new Dan Boyle to fit Todd McLellan’s team, why not one season with the old one?
  26. D Taylor Aronson, Nashville Predators. Minor-league defender with some interesting numbers and he shouldn’t be expensive.

Allen is a new pro this season despite being advanced in age (25) for a prospect. He has some size (6.03, 198). University of Alaska-Anchorage and he turned pro in 2015-16. Played in the ECHL this year (42gp, 15-19-34).

I would prefer a more measured approach to this summer, but it all depends on availability. You don’t trade a Nuge unless a very big name is also available, same goes for Hall or Eberle. Is Erik Karlsson in play? We wait.

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93 Responses to "THE DAYS BEFORE THE RAPTURE"

  1. dustrock says:

    I think there may be teams who are tired of the mediocrity that parity is going to give you and might be willing to make substantial (and possibly silly) moves.

    The Habs are an interesting team. Yes, Price obviously and Subban is fantastic, but otherwise, do you look at this team and think “Stanley Cup Contender”?

  2. jonrmcleod says:

    Off topic: This thought came to me as I was watching the third period of the Sharks-Kings game…

    I remember it being recently said that fewer goals than we assume are scored as a result of cycling the puck in the offensive zone. (I think it might have been Jen LC/@regressedPDO who did the study.) Would this not solve the mystery as to why a high Corsi team like the Kings–who love to cycle the puck–often have trouble scoring goals?

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    What would it cost? So much it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

    I’ve said it before, and by Gawd, I’ll say it again, Its gotta be Sekera.
    Sekera, the 1st, Yakupov for PK and the Habs’ 2nd.
    Sumthin like that

  4. bobinyvr says:

    Lowetide and others,

    Regarding an expansion draft, do you think the NHL will or should require “Vegas” to retain claimed players for a certain period of time like the rule 5 draft in baseball – though maybe not an entire year..

    If the idea is for all teams to make available good players (minimum cap numbers) for competitive balance reasons can an argument be made that Vegas can’t simply flip good players for picks and thus remain crappy out of the gate?

  5. stush18 says:

    dustrock,

    Having an all world goaltender changes things.

    I look at Montreal as a team that can be very strong defensively, hard checking and hard working, that makes there living off a successful powerplay from drawing penalties from being said hard working team.

    That’s how it should be in theory. But when price isn’t playing, and subban isn’t a threat on the powerplay, you can’t hope to win.

    Best players have to be your best players.

  6. flyfish1168 says:

    If we win the lottery I would propose to the Yotes,
    our 1st , Reinhart, and Yak
    for their 1st, OEL, Stone and Domi.

  7. flyfish1168 says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    What would it cost? So much it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

    I’ve said it before, and by Gawd, I’ll say it again, Its gotta be Sekera.
    Sekera, the 1st, Yakupov for PK and the Habs’ 2nd.
    Sumthin like that

    I’m concern about PK attitude and CAP hit. JMHO

  8. Woodguy says:

    You pretty much hit every player on everyone’s wish list.

    This is the defining summer for the Chiarelli Oilers.

    I can see all of:

    -awful
    -bad
    -meh
    -ok
    -good
    -great!
    -OMGBBQWOOT!!

    as probable outcomes.

    We live in interesting times, Oiler-wise

  9. frjohnk says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Off topic: This thought came to me as I was watching the third period of the Sharks-Kings game…

    I remember it being recently said that fewer goals than we assume are scored as a result of cycling the puck in the offensive zone. (I think it might have been Jen LC/@regressedPDO who did the study.) Would this not solve the mystery as to why a high Corsi team like the Kings–who love to cycle the puck–often have trouble scoring goals?

    I would tend to agree with you here.

    And on the flipside, a team that has a low corsi, but is known as a rush team, may score more goals than expected. Im thinking Colorado 2 years ago, Calgary last year.

  10. Woodguy says:

    flyfish1168,

    I’m concern about PK attitude

    None of us have the first clue about what his attitude is among his team so I don’t know how you can worry about it.

  11. dustrock says:

    Winning solves a lot of locker room problems.

    Boys on the Bus were some characters

  12. stush18 says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Off topic: This thought came to me as I was watching the third period of the Sharks-Kings game…

    I remember it being recently said that fewer goals than we assume are scored as a result of cycling the puck in the offensive zone. (I think it might have been Jen LC/@regressedPDO who did the study.) Would this not solve the mystery as to why a high Corsi team like the Kings–who love to cycle the puck–often have trouble scoring goals?

    My grandpa used to teach puck possession styles when I was growing up, vs the popular trap and dump and chase.

    If you have the puck, they can’t score.

    Also LA was 14th for goals for, basically tied for tenth. And the third fewest against.

    If you always have the puck, they can’t score.

  13. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk: I would tend to agree with you here.

    And on the flipside, a team that has a low corsi, but is known as a rush team, may score more goals than expected.Im thinking Colorado 2 years ago, Calgary last year.

    The logical conclusion to this is that coaches who want to change their team from a rush team to a cycle team, like McLellan does, are going backwards.

  14. Woodguy says:

    To be clear:

    I think the Oilers could use some more cycle type play, but not at the expense of the rush, which they are pretty good at.

  15. jonrmcleod says:

    stush18,

    I checked the stats and LA was 16th in even strength Goals For and 1st in even strength Corsi For.

    But the Kings are also 1st in even strength Goals Against, which supports your point.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    You pretty much hit every player on everyone’s wish list.

    This is the defining summer for the Chiarelli Oilers.

    I can see all of:

    -awful
    -bad
    -meh
    -ok
    -good
    -great!
    -OMGBBQWOOT!!

    as probable outcomes.

    We live in interesting times, Oiler-wise

    That was the goal. Although my ‘Places for Lauri Korpikoski’ post is an even longer list. 🙂

  17. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy:
    flyfish1168,

    I’m concern about PK attitude

    None of us have the first clue about what his attitude is among his team so I don’t know how you can worry about it.

    You are correct. We don’t know. I’m being judge and jury from how he answers questions and conducts himself. Judging someones attitude is very subjective. There is potential of me having a high probability of being incorrect here. Its like doing a job interview and having to assess the person you may hire. I have not problem being incorrect here. I do believe he is one hell of a player. Thanks WG

  18. Acumen says:

    Considering skillset, price point, and age, Justin Faulk would be the perfect addition. Swapping out Nuge for him makes a lot of sense to me.

    Is there any smoke beyond Stauff on that front?

  19. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Off topic: This thought came to me as I was watching the third period of the Sharks-Kings game…

    I remember it being recently said that fewer goals than we assume are scored as a result of cycling the puck in the offensive zone. (I think it might have been Jen LC/@regressedPDO who did the study.) Would this not solve the mystery as to why a high Corsi team like the Kings–who love to cycle the puck–often have trouble scoring goals?

    This makes a lot of sense on the face of it. Great question.

  20. stush18 says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Oh where did you go? Pretty similar stats otherwise though.

    Either way, being a dominant possession team will lead to wins.

    The only way being a rush team works is if the defending team is giving up odd man rushes. You typically don’t score on 2-2 or 3-3. That’s why having mobile dman is so crucial. If they can jump there men on the rush you create a odd man opportunity.

    Also I’m not sure who it was here, if it even was here, but I’d read that your scoring chance obviously increases every time a rebound is turned into a shot. Like drastically. That’s something that’s tough to do as a rush team, so you need elite finishers.

    I think the reason the cycle game gets so much attention is because in playoffs games become tighter checking. It basically comes down to who makes the least mistakes.

  21. fifthcartel says:

    Acumen,

    One thing that he brought up is Faulk’s salary goes from 3.5m to 5.5m, while remaining a 4.5m cap hit. Two years later it goes up to 6m as well. Really good cap hit, but maybe the real dollars is something Carolina can’t afford?

    I have a hard time believing they would move him but their center depth is very shallow with Rask/Lindholm.

    But if it’s a budget thing, why would they be ok paying someone like RNH 6m? I’m confused a bit. Is it about allocating money from defense to forward since a) they have a lot of really cheap defensemen and b) Eric Staal is gone so they can afford a big salary forward?

    I really like the talk about Barrie or Faulk though. They seem a step up on Vatanen imo.

  22. stush18 says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Looking back, it’s funny how far ahead of the times my grandpa was in regards to hockey. He followed the soviet style, and I’m sure they won multiple provincial titles in senior, after they jumped up a few divisions.

    Always saying stuff like
    -dump and chase is pointless. Why work so hard to get the puck if you’re going to give it up again for a 50/50 chance at getting it back?
    -create 2-1’s every where on the ice. The only way to beat players as you climb higher into hockey is to create odd man opportunities.
    -the moment you lose the puck, it should be an all out style to get it back. The whole point is to play with the puck. If you don’t have it, you can’t win.
    -stay on your man. The only reason you should ever get scored on is if someone’s too lazy and misses their assignment. If you’re defending a 2-1, it means someone else screwed up, not you.

    Of course to a ten year old playing atom, I kinda thought he was being a little crazy. Basically was telling me the exact opposite of everything my coaches were trying to teach. I remember one time I was so embarrassed because he got mad at our coach at practice one time because our coach was teaching us to dump it in, and how to trap. Came into the bench and talked quietly to our coach, but then shouting broke out. “You’re teaching them not to lose! Teach them how to win!”

    Lol god I was embarrassed. But it’s funny all these years later, he woulda been a heckuva coach

  23. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    Watching the Kings lose last night reminded me of MacT stating “after the 1st round there are 8 more disappointed teams ready to make changes” I always liked that quote, props to whoever he stole that from.
    The oilers could use a Dwight King or a Jordan Nolan. many other more pressing needs, I know. but the bottom 6 needs to be re-tooled.
    Scoring forwards will likely be moved out for impact D
    Imo it is vital that if players are traded they need to be replaced with nhl veterans. Preferably ones with playoff experience. Slepyshev & JJ are not quite there yet.

  24. limit says:

    Ebs + Yak for Harmonic + R.Strome

    Snow has always liked Yak so NYI would be a good destination for him. Snow owes PC a slight favour on the Reinhart overpay last year anyways.

  25. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    @Woodguy,

    OMGBBQWOOT!!
    Bison burgers have this effect on me,
    I’m a simple man.

  26. Snowman says:

    I don’t understand the worry about Maclellan turning the Oilers into the kings. He coached the Sharks and I think if you want to see the direction this team is heading style wise you have to look at the team he coached. Not some other team coached by someone else.

    The Sharks employed both killers on the cycle like Thornton and off the rush guys like Hertl and Pavelski. I think we’ll see a blend of both. Additionally there was a lot of commentary this year about fast and heavy. The kings as they are currently built are just heavy. The speed has evaporated out of their game.

  27. mustang says:

    flyfish1168:
    If we win the lottery I would propose to the Yotes,
    our 1st , Reinhart, and Yak
    for their 1st, OEL, Stone and Domi.

    I think you would have a better chance at winning the lotto max without a ticket, than having the yotes making that trade;)

  28. Kmart99 says:

    JW made a good point on why keeping Eberle and trading the pick is smarter than picking Laine or Puljujaarvi and trading Ebs.

    You can almost guarantee that Ebs will be better than those two for the next two years. It wouldn’t be shocking if he was better than them in 3 years or even for 5-7 more years either.

    The trade value of the pick at #2 will likely be higher than Eberle’s as well.

  29. mustang says:

    Woodguy:
    To be clear:

    I think the Oilers could use some more cycle type play, but not at the expense of the rush, which they are pretty good at.

    I agree, they need to be very good at both. Rushing the puck in the zone is great when you can gain the zone and get a good chance on goal. If the defending team has a wall set up on their blue, well they better be able to dump the puck , get possession and cycle for a chance.

    Oilers have been reluctant in the past to dump the puck when stood up at the line, far to often they would turn the puck over to a odd man rush the other way. This is how not to win a hockey game.

    I think they are figuring these things out now

  30. DRFNsuperstar says:

    frjohnk: I would tend to agree with you here.

    And on the flipside, a team that has a low corsi, but is known as a rush team, may score more goals than expected.Im thinking Colorado 2 years ago, Calgary last year.

    If you want to score off the rush you’re going to have a bad time. If you need on average 220 goals to be a playoff team (with average NHL defence) you need an average of 2444 shots at a 9% scoring percentage on those shots. Less shots you take the better your scoring percentage needs to be. If you have players that don’t convert very often (under 9%) you need to be playing a shot volume game (LA/ Anaheim). If you have a team that can score (over 9.5%) you could play a little more off the rush (Ottawa/ Calgary). Problem with playing off the rush is you get a ton of shots against from turnovers and players being out of position while the other team transitions. If you’re going to play off the rush you better get above league average goaltending and convert on over 9.9% of your shots= this gives you the New York Rangers and random playoff appearances by the Calgary’s and Colorado’s of the league.

    Or you could be a great possession team, who makes good goalies look brutal, and be the 15-16 Dallas Stars. Puck Possesion is what good teams at any level have, it’s why you don’t see teams scoring off the rush on power plays. Gretzky was getting 150+ points a year by setting up possession in the opposing teams zone and making plays…and because goalies were wearing street hockey pads.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Kmart99:
    JW made a good point on why keeping Eberle and trading the pick is smarter than picking Laine or Puljujaarvi and trading Ebs.

    You can almost guarantee that Ebs will be better than those two for the next two years.It wouldn’t be shocking if he was better than them in 3 years or even for 5-7 more years either.

    The trade value of the pick at #2 will likely be higher than Eberle’s as well.

    I do not agree with this. Have little time, but if you factor in cost and number of years remaining for each asset, this is not a strong argument for Eberle.

  32. wheatnoil says:

    I feel like we’re all playing off different definitions of a ‘rush team’. What do we mean by that? Are we referring to a preference for controlled zone entries vs dump-ins or a reliance on odd-man rushes? By ‘cycle team’ are we referring to dump and chase as a zone entry or a method of maintaining possession once initial possession hasn’t resulted in a goal?

  33. kinger_OIL says:

    – great post LT. I’d add shattenkirk to this great list.

  34. Chachi says:

    While Connor McDavid is on the ice the Oilers will be a “rush” team. The other lines may need to dump and chase because opposition D are going to be less likely to give up the blue line on a rush if they are not worried about McDavid embarassing them.

    With respect to trading Eberle vs trading this year’s first it all depends on where the Oilers pick. JW is a smart guy and I get that Eberle is higly likely to outscore the first round pick in the next two years, but if the Oilers are picking in the top 3 the player they draft and whatever the Oilers can get for Eberle on the trade market likely helps the Oilers win more than just Eberle at 6 million a season and whatever the Oilers get for the first rounder in a trade.

  35. Connor says:

    I put Subban ahead of Karlsson on my wishlist.

    Subban does make more money now and doesn’t have Karlsson’s offence but Karlsson is UFA in three more seasons and he’s going to be making more than Subban is now/ McDavid is RFA in two more seasons. Having two HUGE raises so close together on one team does not seem feasible. I also think the acquisition cost of Subban should be less than Karlsson.

  36. rickithebear says:

    Bottom end hsca d like Subban, Hamonic, Barrie, eliminate the goal differential affect of the best even scoring lines in the game.

    I will take davidson’s top 30 hsca d paired with a decent scoring third line outscoring there opp for 7m.
    Rather than hall-rnh-eberle – subban being outscored for 27m cause of subban’s defence.

    As frojonk narritive stated, all play is dependent on all players.

    Oh wait he only said defence was! I loved how offence d fans lopped on that like the popular girl on the high school qb’s …….

    Play is zonal based. And the slot/box is highly dependent on the defending of that area.

  37. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    Connor:
    I put Subban ahead of Karlsson on my wishlist.

    Subban does make more money now and doesn’t have Karlsson’s offence but Karlsson is UFA in three more seasons and he’s going to be making more than Subban is now/ McDavid is RFA in two more seasons. Having two HUGE raises so close together on one team does not seem feasible. I also think the acquisition cost of Subban should be less than Karlsson.

    Good point

  38. Water Fire says:

    Arguments about hockey go so black and white, cycle OR rush, defense OR offense etc etc

    Which can’t be right as hockey is the least black and white NA major sport. It is the most blended, fluid and least divisible into to parts of them all.

    Which is why I can’t buy into defensive or offensive player types, it’s more about better or worse. Defensive defensemen aren’t specialists, they are limited players and their best aspect is defensive play, and vice versa.

    The best players do it all so get the gravy in cash and TOI. Again it’s not black and white. There are some unique situations where someone might play a certain way to benefit the team as opposed to themselves, but typically I see it as limitations for most. It is the best league in the world after all.

    I don’t think McLellan wants a grinder/cycle team, he wants a team that can also cycle. An inability to hold the offensive zone has been a major factor in getting outshot for the Oilers because the ice is always tilted to the Oilers’ end. We have seen that puck come back quick and hard because of it creating all of those rush goals against as the Oilers failed and broke down.

    McLellan isn’t dense, he knows what he has. Think of cycling as time of possession in football. It keeps the defense off the field.

    And while more goals are scored off the rush, a lot are still scored after lengthier offensive possession. It’s not one or the other.

    Rush goals aren’t about the rush itself, they are about tempo causing breakdowns. Teams can’t get set. It’s like rebounds. Goalies usually make the first save, so a good first shot unless it’s a really clean one is better taken to create a rebound if the goalie makes the first save.

    Again it’s about causing breakdowns and speeding things up so the defense can’t react well. A rebound that flies out into the slot – the kill zone – makes reacting difficult for the defending team, whereas a lesser placement or weak shot might be deflected to the corner, or worse held.

    Good teams shoot from lesser angles to create rebounds to the slot as much as to score, just like they chip and chase if a rush chance or regroup isn’t there, the goal being to get into the offensive zone and out of your own.

  39. JimmyV1965 says:

    Great article again LT. I just want to thank you and all the posters here for creating what I believe is the most interesting, thought-provoking fansite in the NHL. I’ve become a regular here over the last two months because the level of discourse is absolutely astounding. I like ON as well, but the comment section is often horrific. On this site the posters almost always give you something to think about. On other sites too many posters are simply spewing venom. I might disagree with the comments someone makes and I may even say the comment is stupid, but I’ll never call the person stupid. I love the passion of hockey fans, but the anger directed to posters and players at other sites is something I’ll never understand. So congrats to you LT for creating this oasis. I don’t know how you did it, but this is a truly remarkable place.

  40. Bruce McCurdy says:

    stush18: Came into the bench and talked quietly to our coach, but then shouting broke out. “You’re teaching them not to lose! Teach them how to win!”

    Welcome to the Bettman Point Era.

  41. Bruce McCurdy says:

    stush18: If you always have the puck, they can’t score.

    Unless your goalie is playing like the Sieve of Eratosthenes.

    muahahahahaQuickhahahorrawfulhahahahaveanicesummeryouasshat

    (Did I ever mention I’m not much of a Kings fan?)

  42. Woodguy says:

    ***SPAM***

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    Who’s driving the bus?

    Identifying RHD targets for the Oilers.

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  43. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: That was the goal. Although my ‘Places for Lauri Korpikoski’ post is an even longer list.

    1) Not in Edmonton

    Fin.

  44. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    I’ll speculate only 1 of Hamonic, Barrie, or Faulk can be had in a trade. Based on variables such as availability, assets needed, other teams offers etc.
    If we can only get 1, which player is most desirable/ best fit?
    Am I missing a potential target?
    I don’t have Vatenen in with this group, because I don’t believe acquiring him will (should) cost top a top 5 draft pick or Eberle-who I would rather keep. btw

  45. Woodguy says:

    Wolf Of Ross St:
    @Woodguy,

    OMGBBQWOOT!!
    Bison burgers have this effect on me,
    I’m a simple man.

    Me too.

  46. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy: 1) Not in Edmonton

    Fin.

    I think the discussion begins and ends with fire him into the sun.

  47. Kepler62 says:

    Surprised you have Faulk ranked below Barrie — Faulk is without question a better Dman.

    Barrie, by all reports, is not a top pairing guy in his own end. He’s an exceptional offensive talent but lacks on the defensive side and that slots him into a #3-4 role not #1-2.

    Faulk is a #1 Dman. No doubt about it. Not a #2, a #1. He’s strong in the defensive zone, he has excellent mobility, he’s an elite puck mover, and he’s a very strong PP option.

    The Oilers need two RH D, however there a few players out there that would allow them to add just one and move Sekera to RS or played Fayne as he’s meant to be played. Faulk is one of those. He’s a minute muncher, and plays in all situations.

    I’d prefer to add Hamonic or Demers as well, but if you just got Faulk:

    Klefbom – Faulk

    Sekera- Fayne

    Davidson – Gryba

    If you add Hamonic or Demers as well you are laughing.

    Klefbom – Faulk

    Sekera – Hamonic/Demers

    Davidson – Gryba/Fayne

  48. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    Wolf Of Ross St:
    I’ll speculate only 1 of Hamonic, Barrie, or Faulk can be had in a trade. Based on variables such as availability, assets needed, other teams offers etc.
    If we can only get 1, which player is most desirable/ best fit?
    Am I missing a potential target?
    I don’t have Vatenen in with this group, because I don’t believe acquiring him will (should) cost top a top 5 draft pick or Eberle-who I would rather keep. btw

    Have you tried reading the blog “Because Oilers”?
    I would, it’s just that he posts so much Spam. ?
    Brilliant content as always Darcy

  49. Woodguy says:

    Snowman:
    I don’t understand the worry about Maclellan turning the Oilers into the kings. He coached the Sharks and I think if you want to see the direction this team is heading style wise you have to look at the team he coached. Not some other team coached by someone else.

    The Sharks employed both killers on the cycle like Thornton and off the rush guys like Hertl and Pavelski. I think we’ll see a blend of both. Additionally there was a lot of commentary this year about fast and heavy. The kings as they are currently built are just heavy. The speed has evaporated out of their game.

    You’re correct.

    I’m an old Ukrainian Baba about this stuff, always looking for the bad in every situation.

    Note: While not a Baba I had one and know several and feel this is not a remark about others, but my own experieince.

    If I had a $1 for every time I heard one of them say, “oh, its too bad you didn’t ……….”

    Man.

  50. Kmart99 says:

    Lowetide: I do not agree with this. Have little time, but if you factor in cost and number of years remaining for each asset, this is not a strong argument for Eberle.

    I don’t agree. Even with 10 years of control, and 3 years on a cheap ELC. It wouldn’t be shocking if neither of those players develop in to a player as good as Eberle. Even if they did become as good or better than Jordan, Hall and Nuge could both be long gone by then. Factor in the quality of defenseman coming back in a trade for the #2-3 pick vs Ebs… That could be the most important piece to the equation.

  51. Woodguy says:

    Kmart99:
    JW made a good point on why keeping Eberle and trading the pick is smarter than picking Laine or Puljujaarvi and trading Ebs.

    You can almost guarantee that Ebs will be better than those two for the next two years.It wouldn’t be shocking if he was better than them in 3 years or even for 5-7 more years either.

    The trade value of the pick at #2 will likely be higher than Eberle’s as well.

    I understand JW’s point, but I think JW was cherry picking using Yak and Nurse.

  52. Jethro Tull says:

    leadfarmer: I think the discussion begins and ends with fire him into the sun.

    Sail on, Ghost of Lennart Petrell…

  53. Jaxon says:

    There are a couple other right-handed defenders worth following as possible acquisitions in the vain of Colin Miller, Damon Severson & Mark Pysyk:

    NHL:
    Brett Pesce of Carolina just put together a great season for a 21 yr old. Alex Petrovic is another player I’d love to see on Edmonton’s blueline. I think a few of these players could be had for the price of a similar young LD (Davidson?)

    In the AHL there are a few players of interest:
    Morgan Ellis just had a decent 23 yr old season in Montreal’s system.

    After Reinhart, I doubt Chiarelli can/will go back to that pool but Ryan Pulock is a solid propsect.

    There is a young guy from Sherwood Park in New Jersey’s system that has had 2 solid seasons in a row. Reese Scarlett is 23, 6’1″, but only 181 lbs, right D who has some offensive skill. If he can bulk up, he might turn into an interesting player.

    Madison Bowey has always been at the top of my lists and maybe Yakupov can shake him loose as a reclamation project that Ovechkin can mentor.

    MacKenzie Weegar in Florida has put together a decent 21 yr old season in Florida’s system. 6’0″, 212lbs.

    Jerome Leduc is 23, 6’1″, 194lbs and a part of Ottawa’s farm sytem.

    Michael Paliotta is another one of my favorite targets for RD. 6’4″, 212 lbs, 23 yr old with some great offensive instincts. He’s in Columbus’ system and may shake loose for a low price as he’s stuck behind some great right-handers.

  54. John Chambers says:

    bobinyvr,

    With the way they’ve hypothesized the expansion draft, I can see “Vegas” becoming competitive almost immediately.

    The strategy to do so would be to load up on defensemen, as every team can only protect 3 (or more D but far fewer forwards). From there “Vegas” should be able to add 8-10 #4 or #5 Dmen, and enlist a forward corps of young checkers, adding a few powerplay specialists to score goals.

    With a solid goalie “Vegas” could challenge for a playoff spot playing a stifling defensive game, and if not they could trade their surplus defensemen to load up on picks.

    I legitimately think each of the 30 teams will have to surrender a quality player – #4 defensemen, a two-way C, or 2nd line winger … In the modern NHL a collection of middle-six forwards and #4 D men could win.

  55. bendelson says:

    I’d like to put my order in:

    I’ll take a number #7 and a #16 please.
    I’ll use my 1RW and 2RW to get it done.
    I will then use my 2rd rd draft pick and a little magic to acquire Silferberg.
    I shall then dip into the UFA pool to acquire Okposo – the new Steve Austin.

    I will complete my order by drafting a top flight RW.

    Oh yeah, and I’d like a hot fudge sundae for dessert.

  56. Bruce McCurdy says:

    If Oilers do go after Faulk it’s worth remembering that he & Sekera had 2 very good years paired together in Carolina. That’s “very good” in a “missing the playoffs” context, mind.

  57. square_wheels says:

    rickithebear,

    Spot on Ricki, the GF/GA would be a wash with the above mentioned D. That isn’t to say we wouldn’t be “wowed” by their highlights.

    Winning is all that counts and that takes 5 man units.

    I’m firmly in the Hamonic & Demers camp now, but would also like to see Both depth and balanced achieved this summer. That includes the forwards though, I’m still not sold our youngsters have the hair on their back to hang in the west.

    Has anyone done a deep dive on PK’s defensive short comings ? Is he just constantly cheating offence, facing top lines ?

    Maybe Gmoney can emerge and prove my theory that Young D give up most of their HCSA late in their shifts and overall later in the game……..

  58. YKOil says:

    Two words for Mr. Chiarelli: be patient.

    A good many pundits will be calling for big changes to the team, the talk of the summer will be full of,”the Oilers need to trade ‘x’ for ‘y’ if they want to improve” or “the Oilers need ‘w’ and that will cost ‘z’, trade talk.

    Fact is the team has three big changes coming right up:

    1. Second full year of TMac coaching (this will be HUGE for Fayne if they keep him)
    2. Health
    3. McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Talbot and Davidson all starting the 2nd year

    With any luck Chiarelli can find a home for Korpikoski and just having the team rid of him and Schultz for the full year will make a difference.

    So be patient. Why should the Oilers be trading away guys like Yakupov when their value is low?

    Makes no sense.

    Would much rather the roster be shored up with smaller deals and get the value back to where it should be. Am I a fan of Jason Demers (ufa) – yes, but – I am also a fan of Kevan Miller (ufa). Miller isn’t as good as Demers but Boston doesn’t have as much cash with which to keep him and so if a Demers signing falls through there is always Miller.

    Sami Vatanen (rfa) has the goods but I am also fond of Damon Severson out of New Jersey. If a trade is being made maybe a Severson trade won’t require the same asset value as Vatanen.

    Just saying – barring the ability to make a true block buster for a Subban or a Parayko, there is no value in selling wholesale while buying at retail. Not worth it at all imo.

    Also, beware the expansion draft. 7.3.1 works right now (as McDavid and Nurse are protected), but get a big name RD and all of a sudden you are working overtime to protect your core 4 (Sekera, Klefbom, Davidson and new RD).

  59. digger50 says:

    Playing armchair GM yesterday. If we did win the lottery who else may really want a franchise Center to build around? Montreal? Despite thier press release I don’t think PK is solid there.

    Austin Mathews, former first Yak and Fayne for PK Subban. Adjust as necessary. We dump 6.5M against PK contract.

    Eberle for Hamonic say.

    We come out almost even cap wise. And could afford a free agent on forward. Now we need a third line Center – Backes or Shaw?

    Now the problem, who plays withMcDavid? I just traded Yak and Eberle, thereisnobody left to play with McDavid. Is there a sniper out there we can aquire to play finisher with McDavid?

    And I come full circle, that sniper may be Patrick Laine

  60. The Trade Guy says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the expansion draft. Its not finalized and may not happen.

    As for defensemen get a few more.

    Davidson might regress and you don’t need to protect.
    Klefbom spends most of the year hurt and you don’t have to protect him.
    Sekera might make sense to expose as he’s older if you like who you acquired.

    Really not worth fretting over.

  61. John Chambers says:

    A “Vegas” team could conceivably ice a set of defensemen like this if teams protected only 3 D:

    Kevin Klein – Cam Fowler
    Carl Gunnarsson – De Haan
    Emelin – Orlov
    Enstrom – Davidson
    Zadorov

    A mix of vets and young guys outside their current team’s top-4 could make quite a deep squad.

  62. The Trade Guy says:

    I mean the NHL is run by fools but it would be pretty funny to have an expansion draft and have the expansion team end up better then 10-14 teams in the league.

  63. YKOil says:

    I think the Vegas ‘x’ will be better than people think. LOTS of excellent goalies will be made available and they will have their pick of many a decent defenseman. Forwards will be an issue but if they take a bunch of vets, get the right defensemen and a better-than-expected goalie… playoffs by year 2? Don’t laugh too hard.

    Expanding a bit, New Jersey will be an interesting team to watch. Wonder exactly what their approach will be to an obvious rebuild. I have a lot of time for Henrique, Larsson and Severson.

  64. Water Fire says:

    I have never heard Faulk mentioned as a strong defensive player. But at his cap hit that is less of a worry, he could be 2nd pairing and affordable, especially with a Demers or Hamonic to cover him. I think I like him better than Vatanen Shattenkirk and Barrie for size and cost reasons.

  65. cabbiesmacker says:

    D Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. Bob Stauffer has mentioned him several times (with the Nuge being a player of interest) and the big surprise here is that Carolina might make him available. I have him ranked here, but the gap between Faulk and (say) Barrie is not large in my mind. If you can get one of them for less, giddyup.

    Don’t know why Carolina would even remotely consider moving Faulk and if StoveTop mentioned it theres a 3% chance it’ll happen. Faulk’s better than all the names you posted that aren’t Subban and Karlsson.

    50+ point Dmen that can run a powerplay are kinda valuable assets.

  66. G Money says:

    Re: rush vs dump and chase. (I wrote about this at BLH)

    Three evidentiary takeaways for me from Jen Lute Costella’s articles:

    – Everyone seems to be perseverating on the fact that rush goals have so much higher a scoring rate than dump and chase. So here’s a question for you: why doesn’t EVERYONE rush all the time? (that’s a different question from “why doesn’t everyone LISTEN to Rush all the time?”, and the correct answer is “they should, and anyone who doesn’t is wrong”)

    The answer to the first question is: because it wouldn’t work. Defenses would adapt and shut it down by standing up at the blueline (and they do this with regularity to the Oilers).

    As Water Fire noted, it is NOT either or. One sets up the other, like running and passing in football. You can (and should) have a preferred mode, but you need both to keep the other teams defense honest.

    – From an evidentiary basis, chew on this:

    > LA and ANA, the top (i.e. successful) proponents of the dump and chase style, do so 75% of the time

    > CHI, arguably the top (i.e. successful, so not COL or CGY) proponent of the rush style, dumps and chases 50% of the time.

    Mull on that … only half of CHI’s zone entries are off the rush, and the difference between the two stylistic polar opposites is 25%.

    FWIW, JLC did not look at the Oilers, but Wheat pointed me at a different data source (JD Burke) who has been tracking zone entries, and his Oiler data suggests the Oilers d&c 60% of the time.

    So

    CHI 50%
    EDM 60%
    LAK 75%

    That seems pretty right to me. Especially when you consider that the other aspect to effectively setting up the offense is controlled zone exits, at which the Oilers are very bad. JLC didn’t explicitly study the relationship, but I’d bet the hair on my ballsack that successfully rushing the puck is more dependent on controlled zone exits than is dump and chase.

    If you are blaming McLellan for the Oiler’s woes, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    Before the Oilers can be a successful rushing team, they must become a successful dump and chase team, and they must improve (dramatically) at exiting the zone under control.

    Otherwise they’re going to continue to be stood up at the blue line, and spend eternity being cycled on while unsurprisingly struggling to score, whatever the style.

  67. fifthcartel says:

    Offseason 2016: Make the Oilers Great Again

  68. leadfarmer says:

    John Chambers,

    Your missing some other good guys. Ekholm would be the #4 on Nashville. Wild would have Suter, Dumba, and Spurgeon protected leaving Brodin as #4 and Scandella as #5.
    In other words an expansion team is going to have a better D-corps than what the Oilers have been icing for years

  69. JimmyV1965 says:

    Would love to get Faulk. Think he’s just one rung below the elite dmen in the league. But it would take more than RNH. Probably RNH and maybe swapping our firsts, if ours is the 4th or 5th. If we were willing to expand the deal and take Staal and his contract, for Yak possibly, that might make sense for both teams.

  70. John Chambers says:

    leadfarmer,

    Indeed

    I ran on the assumption that some teams like Nsh and Min would rather protect 4D and only 4 Fwds. But regardless there will likely be some very good defensemen under 30 available.

  71. OF17 says:

    Demers would look so good beside Klefbom. He’s one of those guys you don’t notice unless you key in on him, but he’s incredibly impressive. He kind of has that Davidson quality where he just makes good plays all over the ice, nothing flashy, but everything incredibly solid and effective.

    From the rest of your list, Andrew Shaw is a guy I’d love to add, and Chicago is going to have to shed him a la Sharp. Bet you can get him for a 3rd or a 3rd and a 5th plus the $3 million or whatever he’s going to want in salary. Would be expensive towards the cap, but a RHS who can move between C and RW anywhere between 1st and 3rd line would be a great add. Plus, he brings a history of winning that would help to combat the history of losing in this locker room.

    Barrie, Vatanen, Stone, Severson, Trouba, plus long shots like Karlsson, Subban, Faulk, and Sproul (Behind Green and Marchenko, who else do they have for RHD? Detroit isn’t in the business of bad decision making) would all be excellent. Lucic would be an incredible luxury, maybe made possible by the Chiarelli connection and a team wanting Pouliot + in exchange for a legit RHD. Stamkos, what needs to be said? And I haven’t even mentioned Hamonic yet, plus guys like Shattenkirk, Backes, Brouwer, Eriksson, Boedker, Goligoski, Nielsen, McGinn, Ladd, Yandle, Helm, and more that could all be great adds depending on what else happens this summer.

    Lots of possibilities for this roster. If Chiarelli can add 3-4 names from that list without giving up the core players, the playoffs should be an expectation, not a hope.

  72. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy:
    ***SPAM***

    New Because Oilers:

    Who’s driving the bus?

    Identifying RHD targets for the Oilers.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/04/whos-driving-bus-figuring-out-which.html

    ***END SPAM***

    Excellent article Woodguy!!! I’m really intrigued by Gudas. Just love the thought of teaming him up with Nurse. That would be one ball of ugly hate for any team to deal with. Think Gudas might have knee issues though.

  73. Lowetide says:

    A couple of notes:

    1. A great item from Darcy over at Because Oilers. I see DSF says he shouldnt pursue Tanev in terms of drillng down. SO, he is the target!! 🙂

    2. Bob Stauffer. He doesn’t need me sticking up for him, but he clearly has connections and delivers good information. Not every deal mentioned happens, but that is the nature of the beast. Smart guy, and he is connected. Plus, he has always been fair with me, and that goes back well more than a decade.

    3. I have to get propane. Why cant the sun come out?

  74. Acumen says:

    Lowetide,

    Didn’t mean to question the value of the source, I just know that with Stauffer sometimes it’s his own speculation and sometimes it’s something a little more than that.

    Faulk was a name I hadn’t heard but would be over the moon to acquire, so I was just seeing if there had been any more noise about him being available.

  75. AsiaOil says:

    G Money,

    All I got to say is………yup 🙂

  76. AsiaOil says:

    Agree but it’s all about the dollars he will command. If it gets past $5 million you pass. He’s certainly solid but that kind of money needs an elite skill of some sort otherwise you end up with a very expensive middle of the road roster that has you playing golf in late April regularly.

    OF17: Demers would look so good beside Klefbom. He’s one of those guys you don’t notice unless you key in on him, but he’s incredibly impressive. He kind of has that Davidson quality where he just makes good plays all over the ice, nothing flashy, but everything incredibly solid and effective.

  77. GCW_69 says:

    Hampus Lindholm should be on your blue sky list. Lebrun and Freidman have both said Anaheim likely can’t sign Vatanen and Lindholm, and while Lindholm is the player they should keep, what if the money he wants is outside of Murray’s budget?

    The only defenders I would take over Lindholm are Hedman and Karlsson. I would prefer him to Subban.

    Lindholm is a lefty, but if you can get a player of that caliber at that age, you have to do it and deal with the fall out later.

    If we are blue skying here,:

    1) Hall and Reinhart for Lindholm
    2) Yakupov for Severson
    3) Sign Demers
    4) Sign Parenteau
    5) Sign Lucic
    6) Trade Fayne for picks or a depth forward
    7) Sign Helm

    CapFriendly.com Armchair-GM User-Generated Roster

    FORWARDS (13)
    Rightwing: J. Eberle ($6,000,000) – L. Draisaitl ($925,000) – P. Parenteau ($1,750,000) – Z. Kassian ($1,750,000)
    Centre: C. McDavid ($925,000) – R. Nugent-Hopkins ($6,000,000) – D. Helm ($2,250,000) – M. Letestu ($1,800,000) – A. Lander ($987,500)
    Leftwing: M. Lucic ($6,100,000) – B. Pouliot ($4,000,000) – P. Maroon ($1,500,000) – M. Hendricks ($1,850,000)

    DEFENSE (7)
    Right: A. Sekera ($5,500,000) – J. Demers ($4,900,000) – D. Severson ($605,833)
    Left: H. Lindholm ($7,000,000) – O. Klefbom ($4,167,000) – B. Davidson ($1,425,000) – J. Oesterle ($800,000)

    GOALTENDER (2)
    C. Talbot ($4,166,667) – J. Enroth ($1,250,000)

    BUYOUTS
    A. Ference ($1,083,333) – L. Korpikoski ($500,000)

    DETAILS
    Roster Size: 22
    NHL Salary Cap: $74,000,000
    Cap Hit: $67,235,333
    Cap Space: $6,764,667

    Or, if you prefer the left right balance, you could trade Klefbom for Hamonic:

    CapFriendly.com Armchair-GM User-Generated Roster

    FORWARDS (13)
    Rightwing: J. Eberle ($6,000,000) – L. Draisaitl ($925,000) – P. Parenteau ($1,750,000) – Z. Kassian ($1,750,000)
    Centre: C. McDavid ($925,000) – R. Nugent-Hopkins ($6,000,000) – D. Helm ($2,250,000) – M. Letestu ($1,800,000) – A. Lander ($987,500)
    Leftwing: M. Lucic ($6,100,000) – B. Pouliot ($4,000,000) – P. Maroon ($1,500,000) – M. Hendricks ($1,850,000)

    DEFENSE (7)
    Right: J. Demers ($4,900,000) – T. Hamonic ($3,857,143) – D. Severson ($605,833)
    Left: H. Lindholm ($7,000,000) – A. Sekera ($5,500,000) – B. Davidson ($1,425,000) – J. Oesterle ($800,000)

    GOALTENDER (2)
    C. Talbot ($4,166,667) – J. Enroth ($1,250,000)

    BUYOUTS
    A. Ference ($1,083,333) – L. Korpikoski ($500,000)

    DETAILS
    Roster Size: 22
    NHL Salary Cap: $74,000,000
    Cap Hit: $66,925,476
    Cap Space: $7,074,524

    Anyway, the defence is strong and deep, the forwards can be moved in pretty much infinite combinations to create scoring lines. And there is enough cap space to bring on a better player than Helm if he doesn’t float your boat as the 3C.

  78. Lowetide says:

    Acumen:
    Lowetide,

    Didn’t mean to question the value of the source, I just know that with Stauffer sometimes it’s his own speculation and sometimes it’s something a little more than that.

    Faulk was a name I hadn’t heard but would be over the moon to acquire, so I was just seeing if there had been any more noise about him being available.

    Oh sure, wasn’t calling you out. Bob did me a nice turn today, felt the need to return the favor. 🙂

  79. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    3. I have to get propane.
    Lowetide,
    What time does the Dirty Burger open?

  80. John Chambers says:

    GCW_69,

    That’s a pretty crazy sequence.

    I think we should be expecting some serious crazy in terms of roster turnover though

  81. Wolfie says:

    Andrew Cogliano is a fantastic hockey player. Too bad the Oilers don’t have someone like him….

  82. square_wheels says:

    G Money,

    I’d bet the hair on MY ballsack that our zone exits and entries are complete shit because we NEED TO FIX THE FUCKING DEFENCE !!!

    Good D with C support Break the cycle.
    Wingers in the right spot AND capable and willing to hold the puck for the Mississippi needed to make the right play.
    Or D make a Quick accurate pass to the near W, or long pass to the far side – BOOM Bob’s your uncle, you’re on your way out of the zone.
    The wingers are just as important as the D, we have far too many that are SHIT at Boardwork and making safe plays on the exit.
    Pisani is the model, find 4 of those and Anton/Letestu’s speed is no longer an issue.

  83. square_wheels says:

    Wolf Of Ross St,

    I will setup the bike jump ! Who’s bringing the mustard ?

  84. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: The logical conclusion to this is that coaches who want to change their team from a rush team to a cycle team, like McLellan does, are going backwards.

    Arguably, ideally, one wants to attack more off the rush, and if one fails, to attempt to recover the puck, and start a cycle.

    Rather than to plan to dump and chase and cycle in the first instance.

    Inevitably it has to be a mix (i.e. a fastball becomes ineffective without a change-up). and a different mix for every line based on their abilities, and a different mix depending on the opposition. i.e. Can your line establish a cycle against the line you are playing against after a failed rush attempt? If so, try more rush attacks. If no, then play more dump and chase.

    i.e. When Chicago gets desperate, Quenneville puts Toews and Kane together and lets them rush attack (Toews turbocharges Kane’s rush game) This is Quenneville’s secret sauce to turning the tide in playoff series after playoffs series, if playing it “safer”, with Toews and Kane separated, is not working. (Yeo and Hitchcock and Trottz and Laviolette and Julien over the last few years have had no response to this switcheroo). Only Jonathan Quick has managed to defeat it.

  85. godot10 says:

    stush18:
    jonrmcleod,

    I think the reason the cycle game gets so much attention is because in playoffs games become tighter checking. It basically comes down to who makes the least mistakes.

    No. For the last six seasons, the playoffs has mostly come down to, can you stop Chicago when they put Toews and Kane (and Keith) together and let them play a full out rush game. Pretty much only Jonathan Quick has been able to stop that.

    Playing for the fewest mistakes is playing not to lose, and because Quick has been so good twice, LA has gotten away with it twice. Nobody else really has.

    Chicago ultimately plays to win…when they get down, they stop playing safe. They stack Toews, Kane, and Keith and go attack.

    Who ultimately do you want to model yourself after. LA, Boston, or St. Louis, who always play it safe, or Chicago, who plays it safe most of the time, but can switch to a much higher level of risk reward with the ability to go to a turbocharged rush game with Toews, Kane, and Keith together.

  86. seanjohn667 says:

    where is this talk of Erik Karlson being available coming from? We are not getting him for anything less then McDavid.

    Just stop this nonsense.

  87. godot10 says:

    The Trade Guy:
    I mean the NHL is run by fools but it would be pretty funny to have an expansion draft and have the expansion team end up better then 10-14 teams in the league.

    Why? The NHL has a $500 million dollars expansion fee. $16.7 million per team, which they don’t have to share with the players. Why shouldn’t the expansion team get good players in the expansion draft? $16.7 million in cold hard cash for 1 average hockey player.

  88. russ99 says:

    godot10: No.For the last six seasons, the playoffs has mostly come down to, can you stop Chicago when they put Toews and Kane (and Keith) together and let them play a full out rush game.Pretty much only Jonathan Quick has been able to stop that.

    Playing for the fewest mistakes is playing not to lose, and because Quick has been so good twice, LA has gotten away with it twice.Nobody else really has.

    Chicago ultimately plays to win…when they get down, they stop playing safe.They stack Toews, Kane, and Keith and go attack.

    Who ultimately do you want to model yourself after. LA, Boston, or St. Louis, who always play it safe, or Chicago, who plays it safe most of the time, but can switch to a much higher level of risk reward with the ability to go to a turbocharged rush game with Toews, Kane, and Keith together.

    We have one player as good as the three Blackhawks mentioned.

    The rest of the team is riddled with players who can’t or won’t play a team game, you have to get that right before freewheeling with our version of McDavid, Hall and whoever our Keith may end up being.

    So yeah, safe first until the team concept is established and can win consistently, then improvise when we have that down. I have no doubts that McLellan is thinking similarly on this by his many quotes to wit.

  89. Dominoiler says:

    stush18:
    jonrmcleod,

    Looking back, it’s funny how far ahead of the times my grandpa was in regards to hockey. He followed the soviet style, and I’m sure they won multiple provincial titles in senior, after they jumped up a few divisions.

    Always saying stuff like
    -dump and chase is pointless. Why work so hard to get the puck if you’re going to give it up again for a 50/50 chance at getting it back?
    -create 2-1’s every where on the ice. The only way to beat players as you climb higher into hockey is to create odd man opportunities.
    -the moment you lose the puck, it should be an all out style to get it back. The whole point is to play with the puck. If you don’t have it, you can’t win.
    -stay on your man. The only reason you should ever get scored on is if someone’s too lazy and misses their assignment. If you’re defending a 2-1, it means someone else screwed up, not you.

    Of course to a ten year old playing atom, I kinda thought he was being a little crazy. Basically was telling me the exact opposite of everything my coaches were trying to teach. I remember one time I was so embarrassed because he got mad at our coach at practice one time because our coach was teaching us to dump it in, and how to trap. Came into the bench and talked quietly to our coach, but then shouting broke out. “You’re teaching themnot to lose! Teach them how to win!”

    Lol god I was embarrassed. But it’s funny all these years later, he woulda been a heckuva coach

    Great post, totally relevant.. Are the Oilers coaching to win or not to lose?..

  90. Jaxon says:

    Would anyone be happy with signing 3 UFAs: Jason Demers, Kevan Miller and Zach Redmond? Miller and Redmond seem to be performing above their positions as 2nd pair and 3rd pair respectively so they could conceivably play up if needed. Demers might fetch 5+, but Miller and Redmond could end up being value contracts even on the UFA market.

    I’d still add to the RD prospect pool by going after some youngsters like Michael Paliotta, Madison Bowey, and Damon Severson and maybe making a one for one trade Pysyk, Petrovic or Pesce for Davidson.

  91. square_wheels says:

    Jaxon,

    To the UFA signings yes. Trading Davi for any of those 3 listed is an overpay in a one to one , although I’ve liked Pesce all year and can see him solidifying a 2D role soon.

    Edit – it’s Colin Miller we want, Kevin is Gryba 2.0.

  92. Jaxon says:

    square_wheels,

    Looking at their careers, they seem to be very similar players who are all stuck behind 2 better players on their side of the blue (RD) on their team. Funny thing is I posted some trades on blogs for the Buffalo and Florida teams and I got the opposite reaction. that Petrovic and Pysyk were overpays to get Davidson. Never tried Pesce.

    I agree Colin Miller is a trade target, but Woodguy’s blog has also identified Kevan Miller as a UFA target as one of the better 2nd Pair RDs in the NHL that might be available. Gryba is 3rd pair and middle of the road 3rd pair at that whereas he has Kevan listed as a solid 2nd pair RD. Redmond was top of the 3rd pair RD list. Woodguy plans to ‘drill down’ on certain players and I think Demers, Kevan Miller and Redmond are all on his ‘drill down’ list. Looking forward to seeing what he has to say on them.

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