HEART LIKE A WHEEL

This blog has talked about balance a lot over the years and we have focused this spring on the need for (two) righty defensemen. Once Peter Chiarelli solves that problem, he will need to shore up the righty center depth chart—or, perhaps more accurately—create one.

platzer williams

OILERS RHC, PRO LEVEL

  • Mark Letestu, checking NHL C
  • Kyle Platzer, matriculating

This is awful. Edmonton had two dandy RHCs when they made the SCF in 2006 (Peca, Stoll) and since then everyone (Platzer aside) they have drafted (Sam Gagner, Riley Nash, Tyler Pitlick, Greg Chase) who fits the bill has moved to wing, got their ass traded, or both. That isn’t very damned many draft picks over a decade either.

THE BLUE SKY LIST (RHC EDITION)

  1. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning. I will list him because he will be available, but as with Karlsson and Subban, it is the impossible dream.
  2. David Backes, St. Louis Blues. Grizzled veteran C who plays a rugged game and can help in all three disciplines. I think he is an unlikely, expensive, solution. UFA this summer.
  3. Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks. Not a C this past season (314 FO, 46.5 percent) he is nonetheless an attractive possible addition for the Oilers. He had 26 EV points this year, Letestu had 10. Shaw would be a nice player to slot in on that third line.
  4. Calle Jarnkrok, Nashville Predators. He is an RFA this summer and is a bargain deal ($735,000) so availability is a question. He is a smaller player, but has impressive skill.
  5. Tyler Bozak, Toronto Maple Leafs. A reasonable offensive option, he can help on the power play and is 53 percent on the dot (over 56 percent this past season). Expensive ($4.2 million for the next two years) and I think his value would come mostly on offense, but he did post a solid possession number at 5×5 last year.
  6. Riley Nash, Carolina Hurricanes. He is a decent NHL player (64, 9-13-22, 1.32 5×5/60) although he looks like a pretty good comp for Mark Letestu.
  7. Mark McNeill, Chicago Blackhawks. He fits Chiarelli like a glove, bigger center who can play a two-way role. I doubt Chicago is trading any inexpensive contracts this summer but he is an interesting player we have discussed before.
  8. Colton Sissons, Nashville Predators. Not a lot of NHL track on him, but he has played well in limited opportunities. Appears capable in the dot, has some offense and can on the wing.
  9. Bud Holloway, Montreal Canadiens. He’s been everywhere man, he’s breathed the desert air man, he has traveled he has done his share man, he’s been everywhere. Still shy of 30, he played pretty well back in the AHL this year.
  10. Michael Chaput, Columbus Blue Jackets. Has the kind of size (6.02, 197) PC will be looking for this summer, and is a decent two-way player.
  11. Jordan Schroeder, Minnesota Wild. He was a 2009 first-round pick, never caught on in the NHL but is 25 and posted 34 points in 40 AHL games. Also played 26 games for the Wild.
  12. Travis Boyd, Washington Capitals. Undersized playmaking center who posted 53 points in 76 games in the AHL this year.

This is not a strong list, good RHC are fairly rare and that is reflected by Andrew Miller playing some games with the Oilers in 2015-16. As I mentioned during the look at defensemen, it might be an idea to grab a minor leaguer (DeAngelo was my defensive example) like Chaput just to have some cover. Balance and depth are needed in a lot of spots, and Edmonton needs some righty centers.

I think it is probably best for the Oilers to run with two RH wingers (added to Eberle) next season—like this:

OIL F

I picked Versteeg and Stempniak because when I choose Vanek people go crazy, but there are a lot of RWs available at what will be reasonable dollars this summer (Alan Hull mentioned PA Parenteau the other day on twitter—another solid option). Sign Nash to help the RHC depth and then grab Schroeder for the minor league depth. Way better than before, although many miles to go.

TOP FIVE CHIARELLI TRADE TARGETS

I plan on doing a winger and goalie blue sky list (the defense list is here, heavy on the RH) so I will add to it as we roll along this week. I have tried to keep it reasonable, although your mileage may vary.

  1. RD Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. This is a solid player and a great option for Edmonton.
  2. RD Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. He is close to a perfect fit for the puck-moving portion of this Oilers team, and might be available.
  3. RD Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. 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.
  4. RD Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. The gap between Faulk and (say) Barrie is not large in my mind. He cooled off as the season wore on but he would be a nice option.
  5. RHC Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks. Not a C this past season (314 FO, 46.5 percent) he is nonetheless an attractive possible addition for the Oilers. He had 26 EV points this year, Letestu had 10. Shaw would be a nice player to slot in on that third line.

 TOP FIVE CHIARELLI FREE-AGENT TARGETS

As is the case with trade targets, this list will see additions (especially RWs) before week’s end.

  1. D Jason Demers, Dallas Stars. Effective defenseman, he costs only money.
  2. David Backes, St. Louis Blues. Grizzled veteran C who plays a rugged game and can help in all three disciplines. I think he is an unlikely, expensive, solution. UFA this summer.
  3. Riley Nash, Carolina Hurricanes. He is a decent NHL player (64, 9-13-22, 1.32 5×5/60) although he looks like a pretty good comp for Mark Letestu.
  4. 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.
  5. D Matt Irwin, Boston Bruins. He was buried in the minors this season and at 28 that could be it for his NHL career. That said, he did some good things as a San Jose Sharks blue and maybe there is a connection.

simpson williams

BUBBLING UNDER

One of the players I followed this year in Bakersfield is Dillon Simpson. I wrote about him over at ON, seems to me he is catching and passing a few of the higher draft picks in the pecking order.

  • From the ON article: Simpson is only 111 games into his NHL career, and honestly the most accurate thing we can say about him is that he has no real strengths. Still, he continues his development and the verbal has some encouraging words. We hear good things about SImpson, whether he is playing a shutdown role with David Musil or (as this afternoon) playing the defensive role on a pairing with Brad Hunt. 

I think there are a lot of players in the NHL who have the same talent as dozens of men in the AHL. The difference? Luck, relationships with coaches, that kind of thing. I also believe things like worth ethic and pushing past the glass ceiling are real, and Simpson—based on his own progress year over year going back to college—appears to be a solid bet to get there eventually:

  • Simpson: “For me personally, the long summer we have now, I’m going to do everything I can preparing myself coming into next year and hopefully have a great start to the season.” Source

Simpson, you may recall, had injuries issues that delayed the start of his 2015-16 season. I think he could surprise, and that is even more reason to cull some of the lefty herd in the AHL.

  • Condors coach Gerry Fleming: “Dillon Simpson, I thought overall, was probably our most consistent d-man all year long. I don’t know where to begin. There’s so many improvements in his game that have happened not only this year but last year as well. He doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s low maintenance, he’s a good leader and he assumed that responsibility this year. I think more time for Dillon and hopefully he gets some games up and down next year to see where he’s at. He was great for us all year long.” Source

ISS has a strong list every year, some surprises (Nylander at No. 4 won’t happen, I would bet the farm on Edmonton taking a bigger man—and the small forward who will crash the top five is Clayton Keller in my opinion) but a solid list all the same.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. We will have many of the elements of our regular show (guests Bruce McCurdy, Kent Wilson, Corey Pronman) but will also spend time talking about Fort McMurray and the fire. Devastating. Absolutely heart breaking. Fort McMurray is a unique city in Canada, basically built out of need and full of stories of struggle and tough people making their way on a new horizon.

Years ago, I got on a plane to go to Toronto, for a sales conference. I was feeling sorry for myself because it meant missing my family for a week. My daughter was maybe three and my son five, a great time for parents because the kids are so interactive. Anyway, this fellow maybe 10 years younger than me gets on the plane and we start chatting. He was flying home to St. John’s to see his family, he had a daughter too. He had been working in Fort McMurray for two years, flying home every six months to see his wife and daughter—but only for a few days because the flight was expensive and he had to get back to work. He was so excited, I did everything but get out and push that plane to Toronto to get him there early. Put my ass in a different place hearing him tell his story, gave me perspective in about 30 seconds.

The residents of Fort McMurray are all brave souls, each and every one of them. I am so sorry for their loss, and so impressed with the response from across all levels. Twitter has been both heartbreaking and inspiring, along with a healthy dose of the usual insanity. We are with you, Fort McMurray. Be safe. I know you will find a way home.

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85 Responses to "HEART LIKE A WHEEL"

  1. Spartacus says:

    Riley Nash, LT?

    Are you trolling us now?

  2. Pescador says:

    Morning all, couple thoughts Re: yesterday’s thread (morning edition) 1. Seriously Lowetide thank you for all your hard work, my wife sleeps more then you & she’s a vampire! 2. My heart goes out to all the fellow Albertans up in the Mac. 3. Friend of the blog John Chambers posted:
    The #4 OV pick + Reinhart to COL for Barrie + their pick (#10 or 11, I believe), and then trade the ~#11 OV pick + Fayne to NYI for Hamonic we’ll have overhauled RD having only paid in picks and non-core roster players.
    i don’t think 4ov even gets Tyson Barrie, or Hamonic for that matter. NHL GM’s have strange valuations for players as well as teams they trade with, Boychuck to Ises for 2 second rounders or something. For the Oilers the cost for this player is sadly higher, because optics. It seems they don’t like to pull the trigger on a trade unless they feel like it’s a win for them. Then they go on record and moan about the price.
    It’s probably going to be a lot more like Hamonic plus a 3rd for Barrie & a 4th.
    ***Standing on the Rooftop Shaking My Fist***
    Screw U Rondo !!!
    After Demers signs with the Rangers on July 1st the summer will be over before it starts.
    Somebody please punch some holes in this post, this ledge is getting slippery.

  3. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Faulk is very interesting.

    A lot of folks on the blog seem to be a bit down on his overall defensive play. That said it seems to me that most folks were pretty high on it 12 months ago. Seems to have been a shift there, though admitedly I can’t provide any concrete evidence to support the assertion.

    The other interesting thing, really about anything from Carolina, is that you could apply the exact logic we apply to Oilers forwards to their D.

    We suggest that Oilers forwards production totals are held back because they have no one effectively moving the puck to them up the ice.

    Carolina D, applying the same logic, are held back because they have few options to move the puck to. Obviously Skinner can produce though he tends to run hot/cold, Lindholm might get there, and Rask is getting better…. but a lot of the O minutes were eaten up by the Staal boys and other less talented folks.

  4. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Can you ask Corey Pronman who is his top D in the draft and if there is much separation

    Also PLD vs. MT and if PLD playing 1 less season than MT pushes him over MT’s ranking?

  5. Fog of Warts says:

    Put my ass in a different place hearing him tell his story, gave me perspective in about 30 seconds.

    For about 300 ms I misread that.

    Put my ass in a different place hearing him tell his story, gave me perspective for about 30 seconds.

    My bad, forgot who was speaking.

    It was, however, one of those small, Freudian moments that gave me a chuckle. I style myself as someone generally patient with the foibles of my fellow pomen/women—we say “men and women” funny where I come from—and there in a mental instant my true colours ran up the flag pole.

  6. TheOtherJohn says:

    Pescador,

    Don’t think anyone in NHL management would value Reinhart at a 2nder rounder so 4OV and a late 2nd rounder is not getting Oil Colorado pick and Berrie

  7. dustrock says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Can you ask Corey Pronman who is his top D in the draft and if there is much separation

    Also PLD vs. MT and ifPLD playing 1 less season than MT pushes him over MT’s ranking?

    Rondo – he did write this on Twitter:

    Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman · Apr 29

    Corey Pronman Retweeted

    There is a pick your fav ice-cream flavor approach to who will be the first D off the board. Also I want ice cream.

    Donated to the Red Cross today to try to help the residents of McMurray. Was in Canmore when the floods happened in Canmore and Calgary, this is obviously far worse. My prayers go out to everyone there. I know we don’t get political here but man Notley has had a rough go in her first year.,

  8. jonrmcleod says:

    I don’t want to steal Rex’s thunder, but he rolled out his first post on his officiating review project. I’m sure he’ll be by later on to say more about it.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2016/05/reviewing-nhl-officiating/

  9. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT! As for the RH/LH in both C’s and D’s: while it is brutal as you rightly identify: it is by an order of magnitude of less importance than actual NHL players.

    – For instance: this team is better if instead or RHC Letetsu, they had LHC Vermette

    – If the premium in acquisition cost for say Barrie vs Hedman is significant, you take the LHD, IMO

    – First priority by far is getting enough roster players: RH/LH is cherry on top.

    – I really like how you frame the problem as balance: and recognize it as such. Balance though, is really code for: “not enough good players”.

    – The reason we don’t have a top-D for instance is because of poor drafting (Hi Alex Plante, 1st round pick), or poor trading (Hi Colten Tuebert), or bad signings (Hi Nikitin)

    – So we don’t have balance, but all bad teams don’t have balance: guys play higher up the batting order than they should, and the team sucks.

  10. Fog of Warts says:

    My Evernote-like hay “stack”[*] now has a fresh straw titled “life perspective catch and release program”.

    ———

    [*] The view from the top is incredible, but please be very careful on a dry summer day with your supplemental oxygen breather.

    First one back to the bottom gets a souvenir straw-textured graphene bath mat (ideal for use in rugged environments with heated bathroom floors).

  11. GCW_69 says:

    Doesn’t that make a Nuge/Fayne for Strome/Hamonic trade more interesting? Pick up a right handed centre and an RD in one deal? Strome can also play RW (he played with Tavares a lot this season) so he fits the Pavelski role.

  12. sumaclab says:

    The devastation in Ft Mac is heartbreaking. Puts life in perspective.

    As far as your list goes. Why not Stamkos? Hes as likely to sign here as he is in Toronto.
    If I had my druthers I’d do a deal with Chicago. They are going to want to ship out money to keep under the cap. Id do a Shaw,McNeil and their 2cd rnd pick for our 32cd and Griffin Rheinhart.The Hawks are hooped especially with some of those high end contracts like Hossa aging.

    I would like Hamonic. But the Isles will not be n a giving mood.

  13. Aitch says:

    Well, I think it’s fair to say that Yak won’t be rescinding his trade demands. Just read this over at Sportsnet:

    —————————————–
    Russian forward and Edmonton flame-out Nail Yakupov makes his debut for his country’s senior national team this week, too.

    “In Edmonton there were some good moments. But unfortunately there were also some bad ones, which I want to forget, to start with a clean slate,” Yakupov told the IIHF website. “I did not have that much of a chance to build a line with someone. The players in the trio constantly changed, the line was disturbed. There is no desire to remember it.”
    ——————
    He’s done.

  14. JimmyV1965 says:

    If the 4OV pick + Reinhart can only get us Vatanen rather than someone like Barrie, I say we keep the pick. I would then become very aggressive with offer sheets or threatening to use one anyway. Offer Barrie $5.3 million, which would be our first and third rounders in 2017. If that doesn’t work, do the same thing with Lindholm or Trouba, Gudas or even Connor Murphy. If that doesn’t work, then offer the same deal for Kreider and use the added forward depth to trade a roster player for a dman.

  15. Ducey says:

    I am having trouble understanding why the Oilers need to trade key players to get a RH Dman. I know handedness makes a difference, but it doesn’t make THAT much of a difference (the stuff Woodguy posted seemed to suggest it accounts for about 3 Corsi events per 60). That’s one per pairing if playing 20 minutes.

    The key to me is just to get a good defenseman or two. Handedness is secondary.

    For example, I have seen suggestions the Oilers trade Nuge for Barrie. Barrie had a CF% of ~43% last year. If you bring in a LH Dman who will give you a CF% of say 48% (or gord forbid 50+%) it seems you are well ahead of the game with the lefty.

    Trading a 2 way C just coming into his prime for Barrie who will help the PP, but be a second pairing, weak 5 x 5 defenseman is mystifying to me. As I said the other day, we don’t even consider Barrie if he is a LH.

    But now the Oilers need RH C”s as well?

    They have Letestu to win key “RH” faceoffs. And faceoffs are not really that important anyway. Its more important that the guy can play after the faceoff. Leon is LH but is a terrific passer on his backhand. Connor is terrific in a situations. Last I checked Nuge can pass too.

    WASH has Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Richards as LH C’s. I have trouble believing Jay Beagle is indispensable as the only RH C.

    PIT has Crosby, Malkin, Cullen, and Bonino. All LH C’s.

    What am I missing?

  16. npanciroli says:

    Ducey:
    I am having trouble understanding why the Oilers need to trade key players to get a RH Dman. I know handedness makes a difference, but it doesn’t make THAT much of a difference (the stuff Woodguy posted seemed to suggest it accounts for about 3 Corsi events per 60).That’s one per pairing if playing 20 minutes.

    The key to me is just to get a good defenseman or two.Handedness is secondary.

    For example, I have seen suggestions the Oilers trade Nuge for Barrie.Barrie had a CF% of ~43% last year. If you bring in a LH Dman who will give you a CF% of say 48% (or gord forbid 50+%) it seems you are well ahead of the game with the lefty.

    Trading a 2 way C just coming into his prime for Barrie who will help the PP, but be a second pairing, weak 5 x 5 defenseman is mystifying to me.As I said the other day, we don’t even consider Barrie if he is a LH.

    But now the Oilers need RH C”s as well?

    They have Letestu to win key “RH” faceoffs. And faceoffs are not really that important anyway. Its more important that the guy can play after the faceoff.Leon is LH but is a terrific passer on his backhand. Connor is terrific in a situations. Last I checked Nuge can pass too.

    WASH has Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Richards as LH C’s. I have trouble believing Jay Beagle is indispensable as the only RH C.

    PIT has Crosby, Malkin, Cullen, and Bonino. All LH C’s.

    What am I missing?

    Yeah, i think handedness is more critical with defence. The lack of right handed shots causes an issue for the PP but really I’d rather have the best players than downgrade to get a 3rd line RHC.

  17. stevezie says:

    Apologies LT if this question was answered the last time I asked it (After I stopped checking the thread), but does your call of a good rh 3C mean you want to trade Drai or Nuge, or do you see one of them moving to the wing?

    I’m right there with you on the need for a good rhc, which is why I don’t understand why (rh) Eberle is seen as our must likely trade chip. Doesn’t one of the Cs make more sense?

    On that note, if balancing the Ds is so important, doesn’t signing one of the available lhD (Goligoski, Yandle, Hamhuis, Campbell etc.) and then trading Nurse or Klef for a rhD seem reasonable, if only as a plan B?

    None of these ideas appear to be popular with the blog, and I’m not sure why.

  18. npanciroli says:

    stevezie:
    Apologies LT if this question was answered the last time I asked it (After I stopped checking the thread), but does your call of a good rh 3C mean you want to trade Drai or Nuge, or do you see one of them moving to the wing?

    I’m right there with you on the need for a good rhc, which is why I don’t understand why (rh) Eberle is seen as our must likely trade chip. Doesn’t one of the Cs make more sense?

    On that note, if balancing the Ds is so important, doesn’t signing one of the available lhD (Goligoski, Yandle, Hamhuis, Campbell etc.) and then trading Nurse or Klef for a rhD seem reasonable, if only as a plan B?

    None of these ideas appear to be popular with the blog, and I’m not sure why.

    I think trading Nurse for a RHD is a good move. I don’t think you can replace Klefbom with any LHD FA though.

  19. leadfarmer says:

    Ducey,

    This is an example of why looking at advanced stats in a vacuum is a bad idea. If you think Barrie’s CF% is low take a look at his advanced stats compared to Johnson and Beauchemin. Beauchemin drowned early in the season and they “Weekend at Bernies” him. Johnson is not that good.

    So If Shaw got 25 EVP on the Blackhawks what is the equivalent on the Oilers. 15?

    I don’t get how someone looks at the center depth chart of McDavid, Draisatl, and Nuge and says thats nice and all but how do we get our 4th line ice time. This combined with TMac handling of Burns makes me looks at him with some skepticism.

  20. Ducey says:

    leadfarmer:
    Ducey,

    This is an example of why looking at advanced stats in a vacuum is a bad idea.If you think Barrie’s CF% is low take a look at his advanced stats compared to Johnson and Beauchemin.Beauchemin drowned early in the season and they “Weekend at Bernies” him.Johnson is not that good.

    So If Shaw got 25 EVP on the Blackhawks what is the equivalent on the Oilers.15?

    I don’t get how someone looks at the center depth chart of McDavid, Draisatl, and Nuge and says thats nice and all but how do we get our 4th line ice time. This combined with TMac handling of Burns makes me looks at him with some skepticism.

    Barrie’s advanced stats look a lot like Johnson’s. But I would guess Johnson is playing tougher minutes in the first pairing.

    A CF% of 43% would come up on a better team, but if Barrie really is a gem that is to play 1st pairing RH minutes (which he dam well better be if we are giving up a Nuge for him) and fix that hole, you would think he would be ahead of his teammates in the advanced stats by a few points. I don’t think he is.

    The Oilers need more from their D on the PP. This is a priority. I think some of this will come from a healthy Oscar, but instead of twisting ourselves into a knot trying to find one of the 3 guys who is a good PP guy and RH, maybe we should be trying to find a guy who can just help the PP.

    Keith Yandle seems like he would outperform Barrie on all fronts – even if he played the right side. And he is a UFA.

    Anyway, the difference between the 2 aint worth the Nuge – or really any useful player.

  21. RexLibris says:

    jonrmcleod:
    I don’t want to steal Rex’s thunder, but he rolled out his first post on his officiating review project. I’m sure he’ll be by later on to say more about it.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2016/05/reviewing-nhl-officiating/

    Thanks for mentioning that. I only had time this morning to hit publish, RT it and then head off.

    Got a quiet moment right now to check up on the intertubes, and even then I didn’t have the presence of mind to even mention it here.

    For those interested, this in an intro article. I explain the reasons for the project and the method behind it.

    I’ll be putting up data on the SJS/LAK series to begin with because playoffs because time and because summertime still needs some Oilers’ content.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who clicks through to read.

  22. dangilitis says:

    OK, honestly, forgive my ignorance, but why is it crucial to have balanced handedness amongst your C? D makes complete sense, C, not so much to me.
    Is it for the ever important face-off pinch hitters? For composing line combos?
    Wouldn’t it be better to have McDavid, Nuge, Draisaitl than McDavid, Nuge, and Riley Nash?

  23. Rondo says:

    Interesting article

    “Why the best defencemen have to be proficient on offence”

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/best-defencemen-proficient-offence/

  24. Fog of Warts says:

    I know I’m an odd duck in some ways, but what recently struck a chord with me about the fleeting nature of life was the following chance discovery from a dark byway of Wikipedia:

    Galactic year

    4 galactic years from now

    Carbon dioxide levels fall to the point at which C4 photosynthesis is no longer possible. Multicellular life dies out.

    Barely a toddler! For a moment there, I became terribly verklempt.

    A rap sheet in toto is also available at timeline of the far future.

    Here’s the thing, in 0.5 galactic years we’re due to swing around to the other side, at which point—if our civilization still has its records in order—we can achieve stellar parallax halfway back to the big bang.

    I got onto this track after watching a debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham on young earth creationism (if their names got any shorter their hair would turn black). Parallax is about the most sophisticated scientific extrapolation where the YECers won’t fuddle with some abstruse dark-matter lamba, turning 13.7 billion years of cosmic expansion into a very brisk 6000 years. (Welcome to the instant-action celestial yeast debate.)

    I was wondering precisely how long I had to wait before I could unleash the dentene brilliance of my gloating goatee (the whiskers of which would, at that point, be very white and very brittle). “Trigafuckingnometry! Bite that, YECers!”

    The motion of the Sun through space provides a longer baseline that will increase the accuracy of parallax measurements, known as secular parallax. For stars in the Milky Way disk, this corresponds to a mean baseline of 4 AU per year, whereas for halo stars the baseline is 40 AU per year.

    Halo stars are stars not in the Milky Way. Unless I’m terribly wrong, not a single halo star is visible to the naked eye (M31 is visible, but it’s the entire Andromeda Galaxy, and furthermore, it’s still part of the local group, and not just any part of the local group, but Milky’s very own bride to be).

    22 galactic years from now

    The Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy begin to collide

    Defying human comprehension, galactic collision is 99.99999% non-contact sport. But still, I’d give a lot to have a lawnchair set up (note to self: must select suitable galactic arm) with Andromeda steaming toward us over the morning dew (note to self: must select suitable boiling point) in broad daylight.

    500 galactic years from now

    The Universe’s expansion causes all galaxies beyond the Milky Way’s Local Group to disappear beyond the cosmic light horizon, removing them from the observable universe.

    Before we’re half the age of galactic Noah, there won’t be any halo stars, Pippin.

    Upon reading this, in that moment, I just felt so deeply abandoned. Eventually a curtain falls on the big bang itself, when the wavelength of the afterglow exceeds the diameter of visible space.

    What then? How will we know who we are? How will we know where we come from? It’s so unbearably sad.

    ———

    Yes, Bruce, I know that galactic arms are presently modelled as mobile pressure waves. It was an extra little joke just for you.

  25. kinger_OIL says:

    dangilitis,

    – Me you and Ducey are on same page. Sure go LH/RH, sure cite work that shows this is optimal.

    But I take all day for example:

    Sek-Hedman
    Klef-Ekbolm
    Davidson-Gorges

    vs. worry about overpaying for one of the three RH D on the market to pair with Sek and Klef.

    – Ideally yes, but by far getting a bona-fide top-6 matters way, way more. If we don’t get Demers or Harmonic, you get the best LHD (and probably cheaper).

    – Get 6 D please, if the market for the 3 RHD out there is too heated, just find the best D around…

    – It’s not Harmonic, Barrie, Vatenen or bust because no more RHD left.

  26. rickithebear says:

    Hamonic
    Barrie
    Faulk
    Demers
    Subban

    This blog thinks the biggest priority to winning is
    Offence from Dmen
    and
    Defence from Forwards.
    though they really love their passers on here.

    I on the other hand think it is
    Defence from Dmen
    and
    Even G from forwards.
    Passing is a less efficient use of pocession than shooting.

  27. godot10 says:

    Aren’t Barrie and Vatanen basically the same player? Pretty much same age and same size. Both good offensively. I actually prefer Vatanen, because I think he is better defensively. And he is probably easier to acquire since Anaheim has a surplus of D (i.e. he will likely be available for a forward and/or draft picks)

  28. stevezie says:

    npanciroli: I think trading Nurse for a RHD is a good move. I don’t think you can replace Klefbom with any LHD FA though.

    Maybe not individually, but Klef for Hamonic and Goligoski seems palatable.

    Not Plan A, but not terrible.

  29. dustrock says:

    rickithebear:
    Hamonic
    Barrie
    Faulk
    Demers
    Subban

    This blog thinks the biggest priority to winning is
    Offence from Dmen
    and
    Defence from Forwards.
    though they really love their passers on here.

    I on the other hand think it is
    Defence from Dmen
    and
    Even G from forwards.
    Passing is a less efficient use of pocession than shooting.

    Passing is a less efficient use of possession than shooting, unless you have to shoot from behind the red line because you have D that can’t get the puck through the neutral zone.

  30. Ryder says:

    The big reason you would be targeting 3 RHC and RHD is for the PP. You can’t be running 4 leftys or tossing Letestu on your PP again. Ideally, you want your rightys to be able to shoot the puck too. You have a wizard like McDavd on the left setting things up, it’s a waste if he has no one to set up

  31. rickithebear says:

    Rondo:
    Interesting article

    “Why the best defencemen have to be proficienton offence”

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/best-defencemen-proficient-offence/

    What I took from this!

    “Plays like this aren’t necessarily the worst outcome in isolation. Getting the puck out of your zone is obviously favourable to the alternative of staying hemmed in if only because it decreases your immediate risk. Polak didn’t have an in-zone turnover that immediately led to a scoring chance or a goal against.”

    “Not one Fucking Chance”

    The transition pass is important.

    But so is Penetrating the Box/slot.

    Otherwise it is a pocession that may yield a shot from the perimeter.
    8 Med shots yield generate 2.1 times more goals
    and
    7 high chance shots yield 3.5 times more goals
    than 15 low chance shots.

    the difference of
    a forward successfully skating the puck in
    or
    a perfect transition pass giving a forward easier entry.

    does not come close to the importance of the 15 Med/chance shots generating 5.67 times more goals than low cjhance shots.

    More specifically not abandoning the net defensively.

    All the other analysis of the game combined does not come close to the affect the single action of compressing and defending the HSACA area.

    Offensive D importance.

    Shit articles like this just dumb up the hockey fans who are trying to get there.

    Defend the HSCA
    Shoot from the HSCA.
    5.67 times more goals scored or prevented.

  32. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    On the Backes front, NHL radio reporting this morning that the deal that wasn’t getting it done to keep Backes in STL is 4 years $5.8 million.

    So, over the last few months, that wasn’t enough for a captain to stay in a city that can win and that he loves.

    His value has only gone up over the playoffs. He has been playing well.

    The numbers don’t add up for us to make a play for him. A team like MTL might be willing to pay top line money; if we bring him a “good 3C” type deal we won’t be close.

  33. Ryder says:

    I would be targeting Shaw who is the perfect player for Edmonton:

    -shoots right
    -can play center or play with skill in the top 6. Nice versatility if injury strikes
    -may be small but gives functional toughness (i.e standing up for people after the whistle and launching big hits on guys who target our stars)
    -has won two cups already
    -only 24 so grows with the group
    -has had to earn everything he’s got. Passed over twice in the draft then plays 37 games in the NHL the next year. Will give perspective to our stars who have always been expected to make it
    -history suggests Chicago’s cap casualties can be had for less than full value (Saad, Ladd, Byfuglien)

  34. Ryder says:

    Also, I don’t believe Hamonic is going to go for the 4th+, let alone the 4th (not syaing he’s not worth it). Very rarely do you get full value for players who have to get moved, especially when its limited to a select group of teams. I think media undervalues Oilers picks just because we’ve had so many high picks. The 4th pick is unbelievably valuable. Picks from 2008 onward (Pietrangelo, E. Kane, Johansen, Larsson, Reinhart, Jones, Bennet, Marner). I’d argue that you wouldn’t add a plus to any of those players (aside from Reinhart and maybe Kane) and that the plus would be on the other end for a lot of them. And since Snow has to presumably trade him this summer, he most likely isn’t getting full value

  35. DRFNsuperstar says:

    dangilitis:
    OK, honestly, forgive my ignorance, but why is it crucial to have balanced handedness amongst your C? D makes complete sense, C, not so much to me.
    Is it for the ever important face-off pinch hitters? For composing line combos?
    Wouldn’t it be better to have McDavid, Nuge, Draisaitl than McDavid, Nuge, and Riley Nash?

    I don’t get the fascination either. More important for Wingers and D to have correct handiness than for breakouts than a C. Strome would be the perfect pickup in my opinion, play right wing with Mcdavid and take his right side faceoffs. Every veteran right handed winger should be able to step and take draws, it’s not an elite skill. Drai would be well served playing 3C to start the year, he obviously struggled (conditioning or injury) the last quarter of the year. If Drai gets Pouliot and Kassian on his wings for the start of the year he will be primed to jump in on Nuge-Hall’s wing later in the year.

  36. LadiesloveSmid says:

    rickithebear,

    so passing to another forward who can get a high danger shot is a worse decision than shooting from a low danger area?

  37. leadfarmer says:

    rickithebear:
    Hamonic
    Barrie
    Faulk
    Demers
    Subban

    This blog thinks the biggest priority to winning is
    Offence from Dmen
    and
    Defence from Forwards.
    though they really love their passers on here.

    I on the other hand think it is
    Defence from Dmen
    and
    Even G from forwards.
    Passing is a less efficient use of pocession than shooting.

    Actually it’s playing well in all zones for forwards and playing well in all zones for d men and playing as a 5 men unit all over the ice. Defensemans job is no longer just to stop the opposition from scoring and a forwards job is no longer just to score goals. You have to do everything well and then maybe have a couple specialty guys. HDSCA is only one part of what a modern defenseman has to do.

  38. leadfarmer says:

    Our defensemen have been unable to move the puck or put up points and our forwards haven’t been playing well defensively for years that’s why it seems like that has been the focus

  39. godot10 says:

    Rondo:
    Would you trade #4 to Carolina for #13 + #21 ?

    No. One is trading out of the 2nd tier trading down to #13.

    If the pick isn’t used to trade for a veteran defensemen, if one wants to pick a forward, one should stay at #4, and get your preferred choice. You also might luck into Puljujarvi by staying put. The (second) tier of forwards will probably be gone by #6.

    If one wants to pick a defensemen (unless the Oilers are really high on one of the top 3 D) one can trade down to about #10 at max. But the trade down should only happen once Columbus picks.

  40. Rondo says:

    godot10,

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2016/5/1/is-it-worth-it-to-trade-up-in-the-nhl-draft

    Trade Oilers #4 pick and #32 pick to Arizona for #7 and #20.

  41. Quinlan says:

    I think the Oilers are bound to regret trading Klefbom unless it’s for a Hedman-type.

    I think we underestimate what we have in him. Injury can do that to a player, but for me, he already is a top-pairing defender.

    For what it’s worth I also would not give up on Nurse. These players are both great bets for improvement, and both have the tools for that improvement to be immense. Take those two, along with Davidson, and you have your LD covered for the next decade.

    To my mind, Sekera is the guy who should be moved along when Nurse has established himself, if we’re going to insist on LD-RD for each pair.

    Of course, if Lindholm is available like Bob Stauffer suggested on Reddit, then the Oil should be willing to move any defender in the system not named Oscar.

    Play it right and you might be able to get Lindholm to sign the Klefbom contract.

  42. godot10 says:

    Rondo:
    godot10,

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2016/5/1/is-it-worth-it-to-trade-up-in-the-nhl-draft

    Trade Oilers #4 pick and #32 pick to Arizona for #7 and #20

    My preference currently is

    1) to trade it for an established top 4D.
    2) draft a forward at #4 (Dubois, or Puljujarvi, if he slips to #4)…if the pick isn’t going for a D, one of the existing six million dollar men is. And then BPA and need converge.
    3) if the OIlers preference is a D, then he Arizona trade down is a good idea, but I doubt Arizona would do it.

  43. Rondo says:

    godot10,

    I agree with you.

  44. Wild Bill Hunter says:

    Chaput shoots left.

  45. Loyal2theoil says:

    On Bob Stauffer’s Reddit AMA he mentioned that ANA will likely move Vatanen or Lindholm(instead of Fowler). Also said the Ducks value Manson, and Theodore a lot..!

  46. Fog of Warts says:

    You know what? Seven galactic days works out to 5 million earth years, right about where I’d place the human garden of Eden.

    There. I think I’ve just cleared the whole mess up. One missing word! Hard to fault an ancient Hebrew scribe from taking a pass on “galactic”.

    By some weird celestial coincidence, seven galactic years works out to 1.7 billion earth years, circa the garden of Eden on sexual reproduction itself (the original apple didn’t fall far from the original apple tree—rare as it was even then, meiotic apple tree division is quite the sight to see—and hear!—though it can quickly confuse the unaware).

    ———

    God: I told not to eat apples from that tree!

    Eve: That tree over there. This juicy fruit comes from a different tree.

    God: Uh, Eve, I think you’re wrong there—you must have slept right through all the apple-tree self-division hanky panky last night.

    Eve: Oh, noooo! Wow. Isn’t this all a big mess? Eeeek—I’m naked!

    God: Unfortunately—as you just discovered (somewhat curious as to what she might attempt to cover up, as this is still long before bits and bobs)—the die is cast. However, I promise you I’ll make it up to you in due time. Give me an eon or two to think it over. With that said, God takes his thumb off the moral scale—the die was indeed well and truly cast—and in no time flat all hell breaks loose, complete with fratricide, rivers of blood, and pillars of salt.

    God stares aghast as his personal Game of Thrones reality theatre causality list careened from millions toward billions, almost unable to think.

    “Time! I need time! My creatures do suffer so. Aha!” In a moment of divine inspiration, God flicks a decimal digit off of human life expectancy. “Right about their first centennial birthday, they all seem to start drumming their fingers over how back-biting human affairs continue unabated from heaven above. It was really beginning to get on my nerves. Now where was I? Right, the big apology to end all apologies. This isn’t going to come easy, is it? Think, God, think!”

    “I know, I know! I’ve got it!”

    God does a little gig.

    “You see,” God explains to himself, “mitotic multicellular Eve is not the real Eve. Sure they’ve already got fratricide, rivers of blood, and pillars of salt, but they’re hardly what any self-respecting divine would call ‘humanity 1.0’; more like an beta release, or even an alpha release.”

    And with that, the mulligan was born. As these things go—even on heavenly fairways—it was (unhappily) not to be for the last time.

    ——-—

    “You see,” God explains to himself, “African animalcular Eve is not the real Eve. Sure they’ve already got fratricide, rivers of blood, and pillars of salt, but they’re hardly what any self-respecting divine would call ‘humanity 1.0’; definitely still in beta release.”

    Unfortunately, God’s double mulligan was more than Irish karma could bear. He got the job done, finally—God always comes through—though with a few lingering loose ends that still to this day entomb the Blarney Stone.

  47. Drew says:

    Fog of Warts:
    You know what?Seven galactic days works out to 5 million earth years, right about where I’d place the human garden of Eden.

    There. I think I’ve just cleared the whole mess up.One missing word!Hard to fault an ancient Hebrew scribe from taking a pass on “galactic”.

    By some weird celestial coincidence, seven galactic years works out to 1.7 billion earth years, circa the garden of Eden on sexual reproduction itself (the original apple didn’t fall far from the original apple tree—rare as it was even then, meiotic apple tree division is quite the sight to see—and hear!—though it can quickly confuse the unaware).

    ———

    God: I told not to eat apples from that tree!

    Eve: That tree over there. This juicy fruit comes from a different tree.

    God: Uh, Eve, I think you’re wrong there—you must have slept right through all the apple-tree self-division hanky panky last night.

    Eve: Oh, noooo!Wow.Isn’t this all a big mess?Eeeek—I’m naked!

    God: Unfortunately—as you just discovered (somewhat curious as to what she might attempt to cover up, as this is still long before bits and bobs)—the die is cast.However, I promise you I’ll make it up to you in due time.Give me an eon or two to think it over. With that said, God takes his thumb off the moral scale—the die was indeed well and truly cast—and in no time flat all hell breaks loose, complete with fratricide, rivers of blood, and pillars of salt.

    God stares aghast as his personal Game of Thrones reality theatre causality list careened from millions toward billions, almost unable to think.

    “Time! I need time!My creatures do suffer so.Aha!”In a moment of divine inspiration, God flicks a decimal digit off of human life expectancy.“Right about their first centennial birthday, they all seem to start drumming their fingers over how back-biting human affairs continue unabated from heaven above.It was really beginning to get on my nerves.Now where was I?Right, the big apology to end all apologies. This isn’t going to come easy, is it?Think, God, think!”

    “I know, I know!I’ve got it!”

    God does a little gig.

    “You see,” God explains to himself, “mitotic multicellular Eve is not the real Eve.Sure they’ve already got fratricide, rivers of blood, and pillars of salt, but they’re hardly what any self-respecting divine would call ‘humanity 1.0’; more like an beta release, or even an alpha release.”

    And with that, the mulligan was born.As these things go—even on heavenly fairways—it was (unhappily) not to be for the last time.

    ——-—

    “You see,” God explains to himself, “African animalcular Eve is not the real Eve.Sure they’ve already got fratricide, rivers of blood, and pillars of salt, but they’re hardly what any self-respecting divine would call ‘humanity 1.0’; definitely still in beta release.”

    Unfortunately, God’s double mulligan was more than Irish karma could bear.He got the job done, finally—God always comes through—though with a few lingering loose ends that still to this day entomb the Blarney Stone.

    this is gold don’t ever change

  48. Cahoon says:

    Rondo,

    I think one thing that may need to be weighted in the trading down tables is the ceilings of the one player versus the other two. if your 4 has a 1st line/Top pairing ceiling that is more valuable than two 2nd pair/2nd line ceilings. That is what it seems like you are doing trading down. Trading a first line player for two 2nds.

    Schuckers list in the article gives #4 a point value of 783, and #13 and #21 a combined point value of 817. So on the graph the value is roughly even, but I think having the player with a value of 783 is still better.

  49. Rondo says:

    Cahoon,

    I meant as a plan B

    Trade Oilers #4 pick and #32 pick to Arizona for #7 and #20.

  50. russ99 says:

    I’d rather prefer moving Letestu to the 4th line and acquiring a true 2-way center for the third non-unicorn line.

  51. Cahoon says:

    Rondo,

    I like #4 and #32 for #7 and #20.

    You could potentialy get Chychrun/Juolevi at 7 and Fabbro at 20. I would be down with that. 🙂

  52. Drew says:

    Rondo:
    Cahoon,

    I meant as a plan B

    Trade Oilers #4 pick and #32 pick to Arizona for #7 and #20.

    i would actually think about doing this! not sure if that means I am daft but i like this.

  53. Fog of Warts says:

    I just filed that one in my smoldering heap of straw as “Barney Stone origin story”.

    Briefly I had a version of the last sentence with “entwining” in the job opening where “entomb” now resides, but the first version bogged on the tongue, so I gave it a tummy tuck to “entomb” and it still wasn’t right, then I flipped the word order—that was the real problem—at which point I couldn’t bring myself to redact “entomb” back to the original, more appropriate “entwine”. Something in me wanted to leave in my Blarney Stone origin story a dark, Poe-like mantle of cradle to grave.

    Perhaps rather than swamping today’s thread with my far-fetched conceits, I could have set aside the premise for another day. Two things: first of all, I’m not much of a mind to summon up “galactic years” twice in the same human year (remember that post when? well here’s part two); second, one doesn’t get the wind up one’s sails to write a Blarney Stone origin story any old day.

    There comes a time when you crack your knuckles and say to yourself “the Blarney is strong in this one” and simply go with the flow.

  54. smellyglove says:

    Eakins to Calgary speculation flying all around the Twitter world. Wow.

  55. ashley says:

    Ducey:
    I am having trouble understanding why the Oilers need to trade key players to get a RH Dman. I know handedness makes a difference, but it doesn’t make THAT much of a difference (the stuff Woodguy posted seemed to suggest it accounts for about 3 Corsi events per 60).That’s one per pairing if playing 20 minutes.

    The key to me is just to get a good defenseman or two.Handedness is secondary.

    For example, I have seen suggestions the Oilers trade Nuge for Barrie.Barrie had a CF% of ~43% last year. If you bring in a LH Dman who will give you a CF% of say 48% (or gord forbid 50+%) it seems you are well ahead of the game with the lefty.

    Trading a 2 way C just coming into his prime for Barrie who will help the PP, but be a second pairing, weak 5 x 5 defenseman is mystifying to me.As I said the other day, we don’t even consider Barrie if he is a LH.

    But now the Oilers need RH C”s as well?

    They have Letestu to win key “RH” faceoffs. And faceoffs are not really that important anyway. Its more important that the guy can play after the faceoff.Leon is LH but is a terrific passer on his backhand. Connor is terrific in a situations. Last I checked Nuge can pass too.

    WASH has Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Richards as LH C’s. I have trouble believing Jay Beagle is indispensable as the only RH C.

    PIT has Crosby, Malkin, Cullen, and Bonino. All LH C’s.

    What am I missing?

    I’m still waiting for the first MSM sucker to ask Chia at an avail about why he traded for/signed a LH player when he already has so many on the roster. The frown on Chia’s face followed by a charitable answer which could otherwise be summarized as “What?” will be interesting to watch.

    If handedness was that important, no NHL GM would let their roster become overrun with LH players.

  56. SwedishPoster says:

    After LTs very nice post on this years crop out of Sweden yesterday I thought I’d chime in on some of the swedes in this years draft as they, for obvious reasons, are the ones I have a little better grip on. Most guys were listed by LT but I’ll add a couple who weren’t. This is a pretty average draft from a swedish perspective, probably even below average tbh at least in regards to top end prospects. Next years group out of sweden looks like it could be the best in a long long time, the majority of the best 98s are born late in the year and there are some exceptional 99s as well. This year isn’t close to next year but that doesn’t mean there are no interesting players and diamonds in the rough. I look into some of the more hyped guys and also some lesser known personal favourites, I’ll only list the guys I’ve seen enough or have enough info from other people that I trust on player evaluation to make a judgement so this isn’t a complete list of draftees.

    I’ll start with D-men, this year is very unusual from a swedish perspective as there really are no D prospects with a lot of hype or buzz. There’s usually at the very least one or two who are seen as first round talents and quite a few are considered pretty sure bets to have an NHL career but not this year. Two of my top guys are overagers and the first year eligibles in consideration for the draft are surprisingly few.

    Still, there are guys with upside, no doubt about it:
    First off, the player who imo had by far the best season of the group, Lucas Carlsson, LHD, Brynäs. He’s an overager, was first eligible last year and I think he deserved to be drafted already at that time. He certainly should be this time around. His developement over the year has been fantastic. He started the season in juniors, made the men’s team and eventually was one of Brynäs best D men by the time the playoffs rolled around. Playing over 20 mins a night and looked the part as an actual SHL top pairing guy for some games down the stretch. Maybe fell off a bit in the playoffs but held his ground. He’s on the smaller side, 6’0 according to listings, though on the ice he seems bigger to me, really strong on his skates with exceptional balance, not an explosive straight line skater but smooth and good laterally. Great with the puck on his stick and moves the puck well, not a flashy player at all though he had at least one highlight reel moment during the season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj_Vk1u5MX8
    Some passive defending there for sure but that’s against full grown men in what could be argued being the third best pro league in hockey.
    A nice moment of flair but his game is really more quiet and poised, defensively smart player who gets the puck up ice quickly, the kind of puckmoving D who’s started to come out of sweden due to the influence of Nick Lidström. He obviously doesn’t have anything close to the hall of famers upside, especially in the O-zone, but still a very nice prospect who makes his teammates better and is on a great trajectory. I think he has some unexplored offensive upside but will likely never be seen as a truly offensive D. He’s probably available in the mid rounds or even later. He might fall quite a bit as he’s neither big or has shown crazy offense so far in his career, two things that tend to draw the attention of scouts though he might have someone fall in love with his high hockey IQ. I don’t think he projects as an alpha on a D pairing but instead a plug and play guy who you can play high in the line up next to a more dominant player, kind of like Oduya. This is ofc in large based on watching him as an 18 year old in the SHL and might be underplaying his ability to be the man on his pairing.

    Next up is Jacob Moverare, LHD, HV71. He’s one of the younger prospects in the draft, late august. Kid who was pretty hyped over here already as a 15 year old, didn’t quite develop as one might have hoped but has started to turn upwards again. He’s a big kid at 6’2 almost 6’3 and pushing 200 pounds already. Skating was sort of holding him back before but has really improved over the year and while he’s not flying down the ice it’s started to become an actual strength which is kind of impressive considering where he was a year ago. Two way D, nice hands, good positioning at the junior level, still not quite ready in his short stint in the SHL but I think he’ll stick next season. I like him and think he’s a pretty sure bet as an NHL D in a few years, the big question is his upside, could range anywhere from #2D to fringe NHLer. Seems to be projected in the 2nd-3rd round which seems about right though he might snuck into the late first round with his size, puck skills and improved skating. I personally like him better than last years late first rounder Gabriel Carlsson so it’s certainly not out of the question. His offensive numbers are probably a bit hampered by 2017 draftee Erik Brännström hogging a lot of PP time on the junior team, Brännström is an undersized D with absolutely insane skating and offensive skills, he likely gets the lion share of the PP duty.

    Filip Berglund, RHD, Skellefteå, has already been discussed a bit on this site. He’s a big kid at 6’3 and already past 200 pounds. He’s an overager, turns 19 in a few days. His draft year was sort of a comeback year after missing a lot of time the previous two seasons due to a broken arm or maybe it was a leg. This year he was up to speed and delivered one hell of a season offensively nearly hitting PPG. As is usually the case with productive D the majority of the points came on the PP where his big shot from the blue line was full value. He scored at nearly a goal per game and a lot was due to his great shot. He got better and better as the season rolled along, one thing I like to look at for guys in swedish juniors is how they produce in the Superelit top 10 part of the season, what that means is after christmas the top 5 teams of the northern and southern divisions are put together into one 10 team league where they play for the playoff spots. It’s interesting because the level of play goes up and there are fewer teams to pad your stats against. In that segment of the year he scored 1.31 PPG over 16 games. For a D that’s pretty amazing. Small sample obviously but combined with his overall scoring the whole year it paints a very flattering picture offensively.
    So far the stats. What does he look like on the ice? He’s a big RHS, wonderful skater, not only in comparison to his peers but his skating looked great against SHLers as well, has that big powerful stride that allows a bigger guy to just flow through the neutral zone, I’ve heard people compare him to Viktor Hedman and that’s a bit unfair to Berglund tbh but I think that powerful skating stride is what they refer to, he has nice puckskills, not overly flashy in my viewings but creative with the puck, great shot, not that physical but throws the occasional big hit, still has some things to learn defensively but more than held his own in his handful of SHL games and even got into some playoff games. A bit inconsistent from what I’ve heard but with the ability to really dominate games, he has that it factor where he’s very noticable on the ice and that even translated to his SHL spell despite it being his first few games. I realize like this sounds more like a first rounder than a guy who’ll probably go in the mid-rounds at the earliest but he is very ”toolsy” for lack of a better word, lot of things to like about him as a prospect. I think the reason he doesn’t come with more hype is partly because he’s an overager who’s had an upward trajectory all season so he’s really come along the last few months. Having said that he’s still raw and a bit of a project going forward.
    As I mentioned he got into a handful of games with the men’s team and looked really good, he should be able to get a regular spot next season though Skellefteå is a tough team to crack. They have two D on the swedish WHC squad plus Alexander Urbom and Tim Heed who I’d argue are both better than the guys who made the swedish squad and also Anaheim 2014 2nd rounder Marcus Pettersson among others. If he doesn’t break into that D group he’ll probably go on loan to Allsvenskan which actually tends to be a better route for offensively minded D. All in all a prospect I like a lot, high risk high reward kind of guy but on a very nice trajectory and with a lot of upside. I’ve seen and heard Hedman comparisons, not quite true imo, I actually see some Brent Burns stylewise which isn’t bad I guess. He has #1D tools but could very well end up a swing and a miss. I guess he’ll end up in the mid-late rounds though if one of the teams who put a lot of trust in their swedish scouts, Nashville, Toronto, Detroit, has had a lot of good viewings I think he could go earlier. NHL teams do love their big guys who can skate, and when you add those offensive numbers I could certainly see some team fall in love with him enough to grab him much earlier. He ticks off a lot of boxes of qualities the Oilers are in need of that’s for sure.

    Next up William Pethrus, RHD, 6’2, who plays for Mora. Another offensive RHS with good size. Put up PPG in swedish juniors. Last season, in his draft -1 year he was a regular on Mora’s Allsvenskan(second tier) men’s team bu the lost his spot this year which kind of killed the hype around him. The reason he lost his spot was an early season injury and then he couldn’t back on the team. From what I’ve heard he wasn’t very happy about that but put up some nice numbers with the juniors team instead. Just an average, puts up his points due to skills and vision more than excellent skating, has an ok shot, quick and smart more than powerful shots. Solid defensively. Not very physical but with some nasty to his game. Skilled D who lacks the explosiveness and physical tools to get the scouts juices going. In my mind he’s the type of player you draft late and hope pro training gets him there physically. He does have enough skills to blow away expectations if he keeps developing.

    On to one of the highest ranked D out of Sweden this year, Jacob Cederholm, RHD, HV71, 6’3. He’s a big guy who can skate. His strength is certainly on the defensive side of the game, very well liked by the swedish youth national teams for his defense, leadership and physicality. Decent but usually simple first pass. NHL teams love their size that can skate. Pretty good bet for some kind of NHL duty but I don’t see much in terms of upside. He’s kind of a right hand shooting William Lagesson, better skater than Lagesson but not as evil on the ice, Lagesson has a better shot which gives him the edge offensively. I personally think Cederholm should get picked around the same spot as Lagesson was but likely goes higher due to his smoother skating and more mature game as a draftee. Could sneak into the first round as a lot of teams like to oversmart themselves with these type of defensively skilled D with skating and size.

    On to David Bernhardt, LHD from Djurgården, Another big D, 6’3, who’s put up good junior numbers. He’s sort of the opposite of Cederholm in that his his offensive skills, his shot, hands and creativity are his strengths and defense, skating and physicality are his weak spots. His straight line skating is pretty good but the rest of his skating needs a lot of work to get to the next level. His offense alone should get him picked in the later rounds and he’ll have a great chance to make the SHL team next year as Djurgården seem to lose a lot of key guys on D to next year, especially offensive D. A late round project pick with upside as an offensive zone specialist.

    Those are the guys I have a little more inside info on. Other notable guys are Marcus Ersson, LHD, Brynäs, 6’2 who takes care of his own zone primarily but has enough skill to provide some offense as well. Linus Nässén, LHD, Luleå on the smaller side at 6´0 but great skater with very nice vision and hands, hasn’t looked out of place in short spells with the SHL team, physically immature and could be a steal if he can add in that department. Alexander Anderberg, RHD, 6’2, overager from Örebro, physical and a pretty good skater, has decided to take a step down to allsvenskan next year because he got tired of not getting the chance with Örebros SHL team, I think it’s a good move for his development, not sure he has NHL upside but he’s got a pretty good skillset that could be worth a late round flyer.

  57. SwedishPoster says:

    Let’s move on to the forwards. The theme of the year is small and skilled. Outside of little brother Nylander nobody has really blown the roof off the score board and he’s the only one close to being a top 10 pick but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of skill in this group.

    I’ll start with Alex Nylander, 6’0, right hand shot, played wing this season for Missisauga in the OHL but has played center back home. I guess he’ll be a winger in the NHL but it wouldn’t be the strangest thing in the world if he goes back to the middle. You guys has probably had more chances to see him this season than I have so I won’t go into him too much. Like his father and brother he’s a high skilled player with glorious vision. Nice shot, quick release and very accurate. I’ve seen him get nicked for his skating not being quite at his brothers level but while true I also think it’s a bit unfair, Alex is a great skater. Not the same flair as his brother, more matter of factly in his production of points, he’s a bit bigger than William but will obviously never be a bruiser. I’ve always held is brother as the far greater talent, and I still think that’s the case, but I do feel that it’s much closer than I originally thought. He is inconsistent and can disappear in games but he’s kind of a silent assassin in that he suddenly shows up on the scoreboard both once and twice. Top 10 pick in my book. I sometimes see more of a better skating Eberle in him than Williams little brother.

    The other likely first rounder out of Sweden is Rasmus Asplund, LHS center/winger from Färjestad, near 6’0. Didn’t put up big numbers in the SHL, 12 pts in 46 games, but the SHL is a tough league for an 18 year old and he only got around 13 mins/game and barely any PP time, all of his points are ES. He played a lot on a line with fellow draftee Oscar Steen and 2015 draftee Eriksson-Ek so a very young line who did well mostly though they showed their youth at times. He’s a smart, skilled player, incredible vision, while being a true skill player he has an excellent two way game that had Swedens WJC coach compare him to Henrik Zetterberg, great technical skater with very quick first steps though not a burner as far as top speed goes, nice shot that he should use more often as he tends to look for the pass both first and second. The Zetterberg comparison is a pretty good one though I think Zetterberg offensively is more about protecting the puck with his body looking for openings while Asplund uses his hands and skating, I think Asplund has some similarities to RNH as well. A very nice prospect who seems to be projected as a late first rounder, sometimes early second, might be a bit underrated due to playing in the SHL and not putting up a tonne of offense. Last year he put up 1.31 PPG in swedish juniors while jumping back and forth between the SHL and U20 team. If he’s there for Oilers second rounder I’d love to see them grab him.

    Carl Grundström, 6’0 almost 6’1, pushing 200 pounds, left shooting winger. Grundström is a physical player, a power forward in the making though he might not have the size to be a pure power forward at the NHL level. Shoot first guy who doesn’t mind the tougher areas the least. Great shot, his skating isn’t pretty but efficient, hardworking and great on the forecheck, pretty good hands and vision but it’s as a finisher he’ll make his mark, can be a pest and has already learned how to piss off SHLers. Tries hard defensively though maybe not the best positionally, will likely get better with age. His club Modo got relegated so he’s signed with this years champions Frölunda for next season which is a great move for him as Frölunda is pretty much the place to be for a young developing player in Sweden and even the whole of Europe, it’s been a great spot for talented youngsters the last few years. Former Oiler prospect Erik Gustafsson took huge strides after joining Frölunda for example, Mattias Janmark of Dallas Stars is another player who improved a lot in Frölunda. A guy who is pretty likely to be an NHL in some form, if his skills aren’t enough for the top 6 he’ll adapt easily to a bottom six role, tbh I think his most likely projection is to become a third line winger but with a decent chance for more. There’s a lot in his skillset that NHL clubs tend to find intriguing, I think he’ll slip into the first round. Has the face of a serial killer.

    Next up a personal favourite, Jonathan Dahlén, 5’11, winger and lefthand shooter, playing for Timrå in Allsvenskan. Son of former NHLer Ulf Dahlén but pretty much no similarities stylewise, while Ulf was a powerful forward, praised for his boardwork, ability to protect the puck with his big butt and then get the puck to the net his son is a pure finesse player with great speed and hands, I guess Ulf had good hands as well so that’s something they have in common. Jonathan is along with Lucas Carlsson and Filip Berglund probably the player who improved most over the year. He looked absolutely stunnig at the end of the year. His game is skill, skill, skill, if anyone likes highlight reel stuff he’s already building a bit of a library as evident by his goals this post-season https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLZlrUgeELA the goal at 6 secs is pretty filthy. Great shifty skater with fantastic hands, good vision and a natural scoring ability(his dad was a pretty good goalscorer early in his career os another thing), fantastic shot, probably the best release of all swedes in the draft, Nylander might give him a run for his money in this regard I guess, got some grit(there you go another thing he shares with his dad) and isn’t afraid to go into heavy traffic and crashing the net despite not having much in terms of pounds. At the end of the season he was Timrås go to offensive player, in the qualification games to move up to the SHL he scored 6 goals in 5 games on a Timrå team that had a better season than most people expected, they didn’t make the SHL but the young team had a decent run. Dahlén had offers from the SHL but decided to stay put which is probably smart as he’ll likely get first line minutes in Timrå next season. A bit undersized at 5’11 but not tiny and his dad is 6’2 so not impossible that he’ll grow a few inches. I like the player a lot and think he’s a great to amazing pick in the second round where he’s projected to go. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him picked in the first tbh.
    With Dahlén the small skilled part of this post kicks off. Next up, Jesper Bratt, winger from AIK in allsvenskan who is even smaller at 5’10 and that might be a generous listing. He played on a line with Alexander Nylander on AIKs junior team last season and actually had a slightly better PPG. Great skater with gorgeous hands, can make players look absolutely silly with his moves, kind of a poor mans Johnny Gaudreau, nice vision but a scorer more than he’s a passer, accurate shot but could use some more oomph on it, works hard on the forecheck though his lack of size makes him somewhat inefficient in getting the puck back, his defensive positioning needs work, gets overwhelmed defensively pretty often against men in Allsvenskan. Probably a mid-late round pick where you hope his skill overtrumphs his lack of size. I’ve heard some talk of him still growing so maybe it won’t be as big of a factor when all is said and done. July birthday and still pretty physically immature so could certainly be some truth to that.

    An even smaller player is Linus Weissbach at 5’9, Frölunda winger with crazy speed. I obviously haven’t seen the skating ability of all or even the majority of this years draftees but I struggle to see how there are five faster skaters in the whole of the draft. He can absolutely fly. Outside of his crazy skating ability he’s got nice hands, good vision, tend to pass more than he shoots though he can still score, got better and better as the season went along, I mentioned above that I put some extra value in the Superelit top 10 numbers and he was the top scorer with a 1.59 PPG. Very physically immature, he’s 150 pounds and that’s probably after a big dinner, I think part of the reason he passes more than he shoots is that he just isn’t strong enough to get to the goalscoring hotspots consistently, he’s pretty gutsy so I don’t think he stays on the perimeter out of fear he just can’t muscle his way in and thus rather uses his speed to go wide on defenders. So his size will likely be an obstacle, what speaks to his advantage is that he still looks like he’s in his early teens rather than an 18 year old so likely has room to grow quite a bit. What makes me give him an actual shot at the NHL level despite his diminutive stature is his skating. That kind of speed gets you places both literally and figuratively in the world of hockey, especially when your hands can keep up. Obviously a hit or miss kind of player but could very well end up a late round success.

    A couple of other notables are centermen Tim Wahlgren, Modo, skilled center with a great release in his skillset, 6’0, good two way game and on a strong upward trajectoy could go as early as late in the second round but more likely in the 3rd-4th. Linus Lindström, Skellefteå, is your classic swedish playmaking center, 5’11 great passer with nice vision, highly touted by swedish youth coaches, I guess his responsible defensive game has a lot to do with it. Tim Söderlund, Skellefteå, small skilled centerman who’s been moved to wing a lot this season, only 5’9 but nice hands and scoring ability, got into a handful of SHL games despite his size, which is interesting because Skellefteå has some pretty tough physical testing their junior players have to fulfill no matter how skilled they are before they are allowed to play in the men’s team to avoid injuries and players getting burned out early.
    There are also two righty wingers, both overagers, that are intriguing, Fredrik Forsberg, Leksand, Nashville Filips brother is a pretty similar player though not at the same level obviously, pretty wellrounded kid, strong, skilled, ok vision, good shot, solid defensively, the big thing holding him back is skating but he’s working hard on it from all reports, had his season cut short by injury. Jonathan Davidsson, Djurgården, hard working winger with good skating and a great offensive skills, didn’t get drafted last year despite good numbers, I think scouts were worried his numbers were inflated from playing on a line with Vejdemo and Bernhardt(Davids big brother) but he’s kept scoring on his own.

    I’ll stay away from the goalies. Filip Gustavsson is held in high regard over here, to my eye he looks a bit like Ben Bishop but his rebound control needs work.

  58. GCW_69 says:

    Loyal2theoil:
    On Bob Stauffer’s Reddit AMA he mentioned that ANA will likely move Vatanen or Lindholm(instead of Fowler). Also said the Ducks value Manson, and Theodore a lot..!

    If there is any chance to get Lindholm the Oilers should break the bank to make it happen. He is the next Hedman. Scoring left wing is the Ducks biggest need and so while I would open with Pouliot and the 4th overall, I would have no problem switching to Hall and Reinhart. Lindholm is that good.

  59. SwedishPoster says:

    Oh and another kid I like i Jonathan Harju out of Luleå, overager but only by a few weeks, played lower juniors last year and made a nice transition to Superelit, got size and skill. His brother Johan is a former Tampa draft pick.

  60. frjohnk says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Fantastic write-ups.

    Thank you.

  61. dustrock says:

    SwedishPoster,

    doing the Lord’s work in here, thank you.

  62. dustrock says:

    Rondo:
    Cahoon,

    I meant as a plan B

    Trade Oilers #4 pick and #32 pick to Arizona for #7 and #20.

    I’d be very happy with this.

  63. leadfarmer says:

    SwedishPoster,

    I’m guessing u didn’t write this out on your smart phone.

  64. LadiesloveSmid says:

    GCW_69: If there is any chance to get Lindholm the Oilers should break the bank to make it happen. He is the next Hedman.Scoring left wing is the Ducks biggest need and so while I would open with Pouliot and the 4th overall, I would have no problem switching to Hall and Reinhart. Lindholm is that good.

    Nurse and Pouliot for Lindholm? Would they do that? Flip Nurse with Yak+nice picks?

    Lindholm is one helluva Dman who’s got his whole career ahead of him.

    Play Klef on the right side, or maybe see if you can deal Sekera for an equivalent right shot.

  65. SwedishPoster says:

    Bohologo: With apologies to Neal Stephenson, SwedishPoster first produced this work in book form.What does it look like?

    The covers are rugged hand-laid paper of rice chaff, bamboo tailings, free-range hemp, and crystalline glacial meltwater made by wizened artisans operating out of a mist-shrouded temple hewn from living volcanic rock on some island known only to aerobically gifted, Spandex-sheathed Left Coast travel bores. An impressionistic map of the South China Sea has been dashed across these covers by molecularly reconstructed Ming Dynasty calligraphers using brushes of combed unicorn mane dipped into ink made by grinding down charcoal slabs fashioned by blind stylite monks from hand-charred fragments of the the True Cross.

    So no, not using the phone.

    The first draft was written on a 1928 smartphone released by general Electric, it was never a huge success as it was a bit before it’s time and had a hard time finding a good signal. But otherwise you’re dead on.

    Also thanks for the kind words, I hope it offers some insight.

  66. Receptor Antagonist says:

    Bohologo: With apologies to Neal Stephenson, SwedishPoster first produced this work in book form.What does it look like?

    The covers are rugged hand-laid paper of rice chaff, bamboo tailings, free-range hemp, and crystalline glacial meltwater made by wizened artisans operating out of a mist-shrouded temple hewn from living volcanic rock on some island known only to aerobically gifted, Spandex-sheathed Left Coast travel bores. An impressionistic map of the South China Sea has been dashed across these covers by molecularly reconstructed Ming Dynasty calligraphers using brushes of combed unicorn mane dipped into ink made by grinding down charcoal slabs fashioned by blind stylite monks from hand-charred fragments of the the True Cross.

    So no, not using the phone.

    Lazy.

  67. square_wheels says:

    Bohologo,

    I needed a laugh today………but this made coffee come out of my nose – thanks 🙂

    Some hockey talk to distract from all my McMurray people trying to hold it together, nothing but bad news all day. Countless colleagues have lost their homes and I’m stuck in an office in downtown Calgary completely useless…..its fucking killing me.

  68. Lowetide says:

    I read Swedish Poster’s info like it was Christmas morning. It is so much fun to see numbers on a page and fill in the blanks in your mind. More fun than that? Finding out about Dahlen and Berglund and Forsberg is such great detail! I am not getting any work done, but screw it, this is more fun! 🙂

  69. stephen sheps says:

    square_wheels,

    I feel that completely. I’m so far from home and feel totally useless, wishing I could do something to actually help.

    Sorry for the spam, but for those of you who are so inclined, a good friend of mine from Ft. Mac has put together a benefit show & silent auction at the Buckingham in Edmonton this Sunday, featuring bands whose members are from up that way. It will definitely be loud, but they’re all very good local bands. All the proceeds are going towards relief funds. Doors are at 4PM.
    Here’s the event link – I wish I could go but I live in the wrong country.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1023178451090490/

    end spam

    thanks

  70. GCW_69 says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Nurse and Pouliot for Lindholm? Would they do that? Flip Nurse with Yak+nice picks?

    Lindholm is one helluva Dman who’s got his whole career ahead of him.

    Play Klef on the right side, or maybe see if you can deal Sekera for an equivalent right shot.

    Not sure they would want Nurse. They need scoring, and the top four is covered on defence. I only included Reinhart in case they need cheap depth. Maybe Pouliot, Yakupov and the 1st gets it done?

  71. dustrock says:

    Bohologo,

    Only on Lowetide would we get a Neal Stephenson reference to describe an epic hockey write-up.

    Well done.

  72. AsiaOil says:

    In past drafts a 4/32 for 7/20 would have been:

    2015 – Marner and Ficher for Proverov and Ek-Erikkson
    2014 – Bennett and Hawryluk for Fluery and Smaltz
    2013 – Jones and Bigras for Nurse and Mantha
    2012 – Reinhart and Moroz for Dumba and Laughton
    2011 – Larsson and Rattie for Scheifele and Murphy
    2010 – Johanssen and Knight for Skinner and Bennett

    Only thing I get out of this is that trading the high 2nd round pick for a real player can make a lot of sense. I prefer taking an early pick when you are in a position to get a large, skilled guy who can skate. These guys are simply hard to obtain any other way. Trading an early 2nd rounder for a real player is fine but focusing on late developing dmen in the late 2nd and 3rd seems smart (e.g. Parayko, Ghost, Seversen).

    Cahoon:
    Rondo,

    I like #4 and #32 for #7 and #20.

    You could potentialy get Chychrun/Juolevi at 7 and Fabbro at 20. I would be down with that.

  73. Doug McLachlan says:

    AsiaOil:
    In past drafts a 4/32 for 7/20 would have been:

    2015 – Marner and Ficher for Proverov and Ek-Erikkson
    2014 – Bennett and Hawryluk for Fluery and Smaltz
    2013 – Jones and Bigras for Nurse and Mantha
    2012 – Reinhart and Moroz for Dumba and Laughton
    2011 – Larsson and Rattie for Scheifele and Murphy
    2010 – Johanssen and Knight for Skinner and Bennett

    Only thing I get out of this is that trading the high 2nd round pick for a real player can make a lot of sense. I prefer taking an early pick when you are in a position to get a large, skilled guy who can skate. These guys are simply hard to obtain any other way. Trading an early 2nd rounder for a real player is fine but focusing on late developing dmen in the late 2nd and 3rd seems smart (e.g. Parayko, Ghost, Seversen).

    Well if the Oilers are going to make a deal with Arizona, the person Chia will need to fleece has a name: Chayka, according to Bobby Mac.

    http://www.tsn.ca/coyotes-to-name-chayka-26-as-new-gm-1.483749

  74. commonfan14 says:

    One of the players I followed this year in Bakersfield is Dillon Simpson.

    Simpson, eh? I’ll remember that name.

  75. Cameron says:

    sumaclab:

    As far as your list goes. Why not Stamkos? Hes as likely to sign here as he is in Toronto.

    Really? The fact he grew up in Ontario as a Leafs fan is meaningless? And if given a choice between TO and Edmonton, you think he’d think the two cities are ‘pretty even’ in appeal?

    Even if you assumed that the chances of making the playoffs over the next 5 years were similar, Stamkos has a host of reasons (including massive endorsement $s) to prefer TO. The best hope the Oilers have for landind Stamkos is if the Leafs publicly state they aren’t interested in pursuing him, and even in that circumstance re-signing in TBay (a cup contending team) seems much more likely than anything else.

    Sorry, but I think the Oilers heavily pursuing him would be a waste of time.

  76. Ducey says:

    Doug McLachlan: Well if the Oilers are going to make a deal with Arizona, the person Chia will need to fleece has a name: Chayka, according to Bobby Mac.

    http://www.tsn.ca/coyotes-to-name-chayka-26-as-new-gm-1.483749

    Fleece is right.

    26 yrs old and has been an assistant GM for all of 1 year. Was the co founder of his own hockey analytics firm.

    I wonder if they are paying him?

    Nothing wrong with looking at fancy stats, but experience is a good thing.

  77. AsiaOil says:

    smellyglove:
    Eakins to Calgary speculation flying all around the Twitter world. Wow.

    That would be so…….frackin……..awesome 🙂

  78. AsiaOil says:

    You don’t trade higher probability magic beans (#4) for lower probability magic beans (#7) if a guy like Puljujarvi and Dubois is guaranteed. The increase in odds from #32 to #20 is not enough to make it worthwhile. Trading down implies you’re scouts are smarter and there is no evidence of that in EDM. The dmen at #7 may be good – but no one is suggesting any of those guys is elite. On the other hand – Dubois is a big, fast, skilled and slightly mean center who could be incredibly valuable – and Pujujarvi is an awfully nice winger with many of the same characteristics.

    Trade #4 for a young RHD who is already in the NHL or just make the pick.

    Cahoon:
    Rondo,

    I like #4 and #32 for #7 and #20.

    You could potentialy get Chychrun/Juolevi at 7 and Fabbro at 20. I would be down with that.

  79. rope-a-dope says:

    AsiaOil: That would be so…….frackin……..awesome

    I’m thinking he’s been selected to do the leg work (a guess). Word on the firing of Maloney was that Tippet won the power struggle. So I believe Tippet is really running the show.

  80. Shizuka says:

    Late to the party, but that is some Fantastic insight on the Swedish talent pool this year, thanks very much Swedishposter! Really tremendous info.

  81. Магия 10 says:

    Ducey: Fleece is right.

    26 yrs old and has been an assistant GM for all of 1 year. Was the co founder of his own hockey analytics firm.

    I wonder if they are paying him?

    Nothing wrong with looking at fancy stats, but experience is a good thing.

    When Henry couldn’t get Billy on board he hired baby Theo as GM. Poor Theo got fleeced all the way to winning the World Series. Theo had Larry. This kid will have Tippet. Better to consult experience than to make it the main driver. Any one who expects to fleece is the most likely to get fleeced.

  82. Truth says:

    If your considering bringing back Riley Nash, how about Sam Gagner?

    Nah

  83. NHL Draft: Sweden Defense | Oiler's Future says:

    […] Swedish Oil poster on Lowetide – great skater with very nice vision and hands, hasn’t looked out of place in short spells with the SHL team, physically immature and could be a steal if he can add in that department. […]

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