A FALSE SPRING?

There are good stories all around these days for Oilers fans. The Flames are apparently about to interview Mike ‘friend to all’ Yeo, a couple of reasonable college bets signed with the town team, and the Oilers in Russia are fueling some fun storylines. Mostly good.

  • Drake Caggiula UND MVP R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
  • Leon Draisaitl is not happy with his WHC performance. I think he was out of gas/injured for quite some time during the NHL season. Likely on fumes now, but the big man should be ready by fall with a new understanding about the rigors of a long schedule.

YAKETY YAK

Someday, I will list all of the truly dumb things I did before turning 30. As with many males of the species, the list is long and varied. I think we have a maturity issue with Nail Yakupov, a fiery agent, and a coach who simply doesn’t give a дерьмо. Some are speculating about this latest incident reducing Yak’s trade value, but a team acquiring him already knew he had some bumps—and this is a young man who wants to play, not the other way around.

One suspects a draft day deal for Nail, he could go to any number of teams. I wonder what an analytics team like Toronto would think of him. Although he is an adventure, Nail is not an expensive player—and a strong year in an offensive role might give him more value. I mean, just because the Oilers never figured out the Sam Pollock pump and dump (hellooooo Chuck Arnason!) doesn’t mean the Maple Leafs can’t do it. Then again, Mike Babcock might strangle him. Either way, if Toronto wants to send Tyler Bozak over, that may work for Peter Chiarelli.

hall and leon

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN LEON

I don’t know if it is politically correct to call a German center a Swiss Army knife, but Leon Draisaitl can play center or wing—and that should allow Peter Chiarelli to wheel this summer. If Leon can play 2C and 2R, that means Peter Chiarelli has more options. We have talked about Benoit Pouliot being in play, and if (as has been discussed) that gets you Sami Vatanen then the top two lines might be:

  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle
  • Hall—Nuge—Draisaitl

Or you can put LD at center while finding a suitable RW (it won’t be Nail, and trading Pouliot means the 3LW will be an outside name). Of all the players inside the top six (above), Leon is the guy who gives them the Pavelski options. I liked him on draft day, like Leon more today.

Note: I do not endorse the trading of Benoit Pouliot. The sample size on Patrick Maroon is extremely small and BP is a more proven option who has chem with McDavid. A dangerous move, in my opinion.

It does my heart good to see the airwaves fill with good information and wise verbal. If you get a chance to do a radio show, or podcast, please do it. There is a lot we don’t know about measuring these things, so it is vital to get smart people in front of microphones—especially since so many voices have been silenced because of their new employment by NHL teams. Preach!

chiarelli wonder wall

CHIARELLI AND HIS PLANS

I have been reading texts and tweets this week that suggest Peter Chiarelli should be fired as Oilers general manager if he cannot fix the defense this summer. For me, that threshold is miles from being met—even with the stumbles of his first year on the job. Chiarelli is the first GM with experience to be hired as Oilers manager since Larry Gordon, and has plenty of work to do across the organization. It seems (to me) reasonable to suggest a five year window for PC, and he has completed just one of those seasons. Progress has to be made, certainly another 29th place finish would be unacceptable. I don’t see that as being the outcome of the next 12 months—partly because injuries should be less of a factor for this team. If Connor McDavid plays most of the season, and Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins return to form and are healthy, this should bring a better result all by its lonesome.

I don’t expect you to remember, or even believe me, but this blog did call the Kevin Lowe exit from the GM’s office back in the day. If you believe PC is hanging by a thread, suspect this could be a frustrating 12 months ahead.

Even if he is unable to patch the defense entirely this summer, Chiarelli hasn’t exhausted the clock given to modern managers. If you want Chiarelli fired in the next 12 months, I believe your choices would be in-house options—no self respecting GM candidate is going to come to what is clearly an unstable situation.

Would you feel more comfortable with Kevin Lowe as Oilers GM? Scott Howson? Craig MacTavish? I cannot see a strong and viable GM candidate from outside the organization hitching his wagon to such a confounding organization.

chiarellis trades

Peter Chiarelli was hired to bring stability to the Edmonton Oilers, and made progress in some areas while also making some missteps. I would count Cam Talbot and Andrej Sekera as success stories (I am finding out that lots of observers are not convinced of Talbot, however), and the Korpikoski and Reinhart deals were not successful (GR deal only made sense if the player helped in the two seasons after the draft—so far, that has not happened).

That said, a mountain of injuries hurt the Oilers—and these injuries were to key players—and surely we can agree that is a factor. I have been seeing a lot of criticisms of Chiarelli’s Boston moves, including his (unwise) signings of third-line forwards after the Stanley win. It is important to understand the team building PC did on the front end of the Stanley run. I thought it might be an idea to list the players PC brought in to help win Stanley. Note the years of experience on these men when they arrived:

  • Nathan Horton: He had six years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for Dennis Wideman and picks.
  • Dennis Seidenberg: He had seven years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for Bitz and pieces.
  • Gregory Campbell: He had five years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for Dennis Wideman and picks.
  • Andrew Ference: He had seven years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart.
  • Chris Kelly: He had six years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for a pick.
  • Daniel Paille: He had three years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for a pick.
  • Mark Recchi: He had 20 years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for Matt Lashoff.
  • Rich Peverley: He had four years NHL experience when Boston acquired him for Blake Wheeler.
  • Tomas Kaberle: He was in his twelfth NHL season when Boston acquired him for Joe Colborne and a first and second-round pick.
  • Shane Hnidy: He had seven years of NHL experience when Boston acquired him for Brandon Bochenski.
  • Shawn Thornton: He had three years of NHL experience when Boston signed him as a UFA.
  • Michael Ryder: He had four years of NHL experience when Boston signed him as a UFA.
  • Tyler Seguin: No. 2 overall selection.
  • Jordan Caron: No. 25 overall selection.
  • Johnny Boychuk: He had just four games of NHL experience (but was an experienced minor league player) when Boston acquired him for Matt Hendricks.
  • Adam McQuaid: He was in his final junior season when Boston acquired him for a pick.

Lots of experience. I think that is probably the template for this summer (and in that way we can say more Korpikoski’s are on the way). I think we might see names like Jason Demers, or Justin Faulk on defense. And forwards like Tyler Bozak, Loui Eriksson,Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg. Chiarelli added some good pieces in Boston, suspect he will here, too. I very much doubt we will like all of the additions this summer.

mckenzie 2012 draft 2

IMPORTANT DATES THIS SPRING AND SUMMER

  • May 30—NHL combine in Buffalo. Invite list is here.
  • June 1—Last day to sign 2014 draft picks from the CHL. Keven Bouchard qualifies under this rule and will be a free agent on June 2.
  • June 15—The buyout period begins. The CBA states the buyout period begins the later of June 15 or 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final ends. It concludes on June 30 at 5 pm EST. Source
  • June 24—NHL Draft Weekend. Edmonton appears poised to make some major moves, and if they quietly draft their list we can expect major free-agent news the following week.
  • June 26—Last Day to qualify restricted free agents. Edmonton has a rather long list, including Iiro Pakarinen, Zack Kassian, Luke Gazdic, Adam Clendening, David Musil, Kale Kessy, Jordan Oesterle and Tyler Pitlick.
  • July 1—Free Agency window opens. Jason Demers signs!
  • July 5—Player deadline for salary arbitration. The entire process makes my brain hurt, you can read about it here or ask speeds.
  • August 15—Final day to sign NCAA draft picks before they reach free agency. Edmonton has no graduating seniors and no one turning pro. They will eventually have to decide on William Lagesson, Zach Nagelvoort, Tyler Vesel, Evan Campbell and Aidan Muir, but not this summer. John Marino also heads to college this fall, so his clock (four year clock) starts.

I think that is it, let me know of any omissions or changes.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A quick show, TSN1260 has the Canada-Germany game beginning at 11:15 this morning. Scheduled to appear, beginning at 10:

  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. The Nats received a fabulous pitching performance yesterday and the Jays bullpen has Tums moments daily.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. The final four is almost set and the Western Conference will offer fans new candidates for the Stanley.
  • I will preview the Canada vs. Germany game and talk about the Oilers who are doing so well at the Worlds this year.

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

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92 Responses to "A FALSE SPRING?"

  1. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    A lot of talk about Leon running out of gas. Looked to me like a rib injury mid season, could just have been tired. Hard to say.

    Zach Kassian came on to the roster with noted reports about him being not in game shape due to his unusual start to the season. Played well early and then faded.

    I hope we sign him to a reasonable deal and he goes into the off season understanding that this is likely his last kick at the NHL can, and on top of that, his best opportunity to prove he belongs riding shotgun with skill. Kassian at his best is a force, no question about it, it’s always been a matter of finding it with even remote consistency.

    Adding Kassian-Prime to the lineup would be a boatload of gravy this offseason.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    A lot of talk about Leon running out of gas.Looked to me like a rib injury mid season, could just have been tired.Hard to say.

    Zach Kassian came on to the roster with noted reports about him being not in game shape due to his unusual start to the season.Played well early and then faded.

    I hope we sign him to a reasonable deal and he goes into the off season understanding that this is likely his last kick at the NHL can, and on top of that, his best opportunity to prove he belongs riding shotgun with skill.Kassian at his best is a force, no question about it, it’s always been a matter of finding it with even remote consistency.

    Adding Kassian-Prime to the lineup would be a boatload of gravy this offseason.

    Yeah, I think the additions in-season were encouraging, and Maroon got a lot of attention (deservedly) but Kassian also made a difference. If he can come to camp healthy, Kassian could make a huge difference.

  3. Jethro Tull says:

    McDavid vs. Drai.

    And Drai is gassed.

    Take it easy on him, Connor.

    On the Yak thing…..why is it immature for Yak to refute that he was injured? Surely it was an easy out the Russian coach gave him, that he had some injury related issues left over from the season. It would have been immature of him to hide behind this. And all trades are subject to medical evaluations by both teams involved, so what does it matter if Yak is pretending not to be injured?

    I suspect there’s a lot lost in translation on this one, seeing as the only evidence we have is a guy I’ve never heard of and Mark Spector.

    Still, never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

  4. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Jethro Tull,

    I say this as a true fan of the individual, but what’s concerning here isn’t the details of the story, it’s the fact that there is a story at all.

    It’s volume of issues rather than severity of the individual issue that causes concern for Yak. The whole “where there’s smoke there’s fire” kinda thing.

    Too many issues between him and too many coaches/GMs. We can argue in his favor for each of them, but the reality is they keep happening and he’s the common denominator.

  5. Caramel Batman says:

    Who thinks Chiarelli should be fired? I hated the Reinhart trade like no other, and I don’t think he should be fired.

    For better or for ill you have to give people a chance to succeed or why bother?

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: The whole “where there’s smoke there’s fire” kinda thing.

    The media have their own smoke machine.

  7. smellyglove says:

    I can’t believe people are proposing that Chiarelli be shown the door. He’s been on the job for one year and boy did he ever walk into a mess here! Chia has done some nice things, and some average to below average things – I’m not sure you could count note any apocalyptic decisions for him thus far.

    And yes, LT: you’re right, unless he gets a chance to fix this team, no self-respecting executive will sign here to replace him. The Oilers have resembled the Trump candidacy in that it can only attract has-beens, never weres, and outsiders to staff it – and minus any winning.

  8. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Who exactly is “the media”?

    We’re talking about the Russian coach here. I doubt TSN has that kind of pull. Before that it was Yak’s agent asking for a trade early in his second year.

    Again, I’m a fan of the kid, but media conspiracy this is not.

  9. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    DRFNsuperstar,

    If this was the first PR issue the kid had I would agree. It’s not.

  10. russ99 says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Who thinks Chiarelli should be fired?I hated the Reinhart trade like no other, and I don’t think he should be fired.

    For better or for ill you have to give people a chance to succeed or why bother?

    He needs to be given a chance with his own people, not people Katz/Lowe saddled him with.

    Any GM coming in to a new job has to rely on existing scouting. Until the last of the old boys are purged, that will be suspect.

    MacTavish cannot be trusted on any defensemen, ditto Howson’s “expertise” with the Blue Jackets players, and any “inside information” Bob Green has on ex-Oil Kings need to be thrown away as well.

  11. kinger_OIL says:

    Top 5 blunders from old regime:

    1) Ferrence contract: “He’s our leader”
    2) Nikitin signing “I am confident in our D”
    3) Shultz and his treatment”: “Norris”
    4) Calling out Dubnyk, saying you aren’t sold on him as starter, becomes Vezina
    5) “Challenging” Petry on a 1 year deal
    bonus blunder: Firing Ralph via Skype, when they said they were looking for help for him, then getting “sold a bag of goods” with Dallas

    -I’m sure there are a few more gems that I have supressed from memory: please remind me!

    – Chia is not even in same universe as MacT in terms of being a GM.

  12. Jethro Tull says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Jethro Tull,

    Who exactly is “the media”?

    We’re talking about the Russian coach here.I doubt TSN has that kind of pull.Before that it was Yak’s agent asking for a trade early in his second year.

    Again, I’m a fan of the kid, but media conspiracy this is not.

    Sorry, should have posted a fuller reply.

    You were concerned there was a story at all. Then you inferred that ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire.’

    I know you know who the media is. Mark Spector is Roger’s, not TSN. It’s slow time for all hockey writers not assigned Cup coverage. Yak is gold-dust to them, so any tweets from random dudes about him will be snapped up. One of them he even editorialized himself to give traction. All this was translated from Russian by whom?

    And I never said it’s a media conspiracy. They’re just doing their job, reporting on a topic they know will get hits. But who controls what gets reported?

    If this had wheels, I suspect the bigger networks would be all over the Oilers yet AGAIN to have been found making players play while injured.

    Tell me, how did the Oilers handle Klefbom? Chia even said he would have been back had we made the play-offs, lol. So, what the Russian coach said in Russian that was translated by who knows, then reinterpreted to fit a narrative by a random dude then leapt upon by Spector doesn’t jive with how Chia treats his injured players.

  13. 99266in87 says:

    I love reading this site everyday. Many trade proposals and ideas to upgrade our team. I don’t have any ideas what to offer in trades, as I’m too much of a hard ass in negotiation. It seems like a lot is being offered to give up considering what we don’t know is going to shake loose from the free spenders ( love PK, hate the nmc July 1, and that 9,000,000…let that be their headache). LT has stated before last year the one thing Chia had to do, and it will bode well in moving this team forward without going backwards is that he kept the powder dry. I don’t see his predecessor as having that foresight or patience. Quietly unloading baggage from the previous regime is so important as much as how/how much/and sacrifice of assets to move us north.

  14. FTO says:

    I just listened to Arch and Woodguy on CHED and loved it. I am now totally on board with trading down and selecting Chychrun, although when I did watch Juolevi he looked fantastic. Ultra smooth skater with great offensive instincts, I suppose Chychrun is close to the same in that regard.

    It also warms my cold dark heart with how good the D we picked last year have all been doing, Bear is on fire and Jones had a good year. Paigin, of course played fantastic as well and I really hope he’s over here next season playing in Bakersfield.

    All this to say that last year might very well have been one of those drafts that defines a franchise (in a good way) for the next 10-15 years, I mean it’s a real pie in the sky way of looking at it but I can’t wait to see how we draft this year. I hope we carry on with the good bets.

  15. Oilspill says:

    Hall Eberle gone… bigger skilled players in. This is the western conference. It has f all to do with shots but what can you do when the other team has the puck and how easy are you pushed off the puck. A mix of size and skill is important for the majority of the team.

  16. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Sorry Jethro, just finished my first cup of coffee and realised I was getting a tad snarky there, my bad.

    I hear what you’re saying. I guess all I’m really suggesting is that, while it’s just the media picking up on one little thing that is in turn not a big deal, the volume of opportunities for the media to do this over the course of his short career is cause for concern. That’s all.

    Personally I think he’s a frustrated kid, because I’m sure his expectations for himself are in line with or above what our expectations for him were. He knows his career isn’t what he wants it to be, for whatever reason. This is speculation on my part.

    What isn’t speculation on my part is that he’s a wonderful human being. We have facts to back that up. That’s why I’ll always cheer for Nail the individual.

  17. TheOrangeDesk says:

    The best thing Yak can do for himself is fire his agent. The guy seems to emit drama.

  18. Ducey says:

    Jethro Tull:

    On the Yak thing…..why is it immature for Yak to refute that he was injured?Surely it was an easy out the Russian coach gave him, that he had some injury related issues left over from the season.It would have been immature of him to hide behind this.And all trades are subject to medical evaluations by both teams involved, so what does it matter if Yak is pretending not to be injured?

    I suspect there’s a lot lost in translation on this one, seeing as the only evidence we have is a guy I’ve never heard of and Mark Spector.

    Still, never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

    No problem with Yak standing up for himself, but there is no reason to do it publically.
    Now he looks like he is feuding with the coach. It is also hard to understand what his end game is. If you are not injured, then you were not good enough to make the team? Or you don’t get along with the coach? Or both?

    How does this help him in the future with the Russian program? He is just burning another bridge.

    When this spat is coupled with his inability to mesh with Eakins and TMc, the actions of his agent to go public over usage, and his recent comments to the media essentially trading himself, well, yeah, he looks immature.

    I know he is popular here. He is charismatic and likable. He seems to like to play hockey. I like him even though I don’t like the way he plays hockey.

    But he has not developed. Most blame the Oilers. Perhaps he would have done better elsewhere. Perhaps not. I expect that had he grown up in the San Jose, St Louis, Nashville or Detroit organizations they would have looked at his defense and likely farmed him out and made him earn his icetime. I can’t see some of the top coaches (say Babcock, Hitchcock) putting up with his lost in space routine on defense, his offsides or his inability to hit the net with his good shot. You can bet he would have got some tough love elsewhere.

    So you can blame the Oilers, but I think we are starting to see that part of the problem is that Yak may not be willing to do what he is asked to do. That’s may explain some of his difficulties developing.

    Its funny because there were people around here that did the same thing with Robbie Schremp and Linus Omark, and there were all those guys that MacT “wrecked” making them play defense. Lots of people here complained the Oilers didn’t handle them properly.

    Maybe the problem was with them? None of them seem to have figured it out elsewhere.

    As he is still youngish, we can still chalk it up to immaturity. In a couple years time it might become clearer that it is closer to stubbornness or entitlement or stupidity or lack of ability (some guys never learn to play a 200 ft game). Hopefully not.

  19. JimmyV1965 says:

    Every good GM will strike out with some of the deals they make. No one can possibly hit a home run every time. The good GMs hit more homers than whiffs and I think PC has done that so far. The truly bad GMs are the ones who essentially do nothing to address issues impacting their team. I think that’s what we’re used to here. They nibble at the edges by signing free agents and hoping they can fix huge holes, but objectively we know free agents never solve problems and often cause more. The issues facing PC were overwhelming when he arrived. He made numerous moves to improve our defence. Not just the trade to get Reinhart and signing Sekera. He drafted nothing but dmen after the first round last year and that alone has had a major impact on the team’s depth at defence. Look at all the college free agent signings he’s made to address the lack of forward depth in the minors. I highly doubt our previous GMs would even recognize the issues facing the organization in the minors. I will be be disappointed if signing Demers is the only move PC makes to address our gaping hole at RD because we know this will be an overpayment. But I do know this only happens if it gets the blessing of TMac, who knows the player better than anyone in the organization. I’ll be shocked if PC doesn’t make a trade for a legit dman this summer. But so far he has done nothing to shake my confidence in his ability as a GM. If a deal isn’t made we can expect one during the season. If we are sitting here next year with the exact same issues at defence, then maybe we can start to ask the tough questions.

  20. Ducey says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Top 5 blunders from old regime:

    1) Ferrence contract: “He’s our leader”
    2) Nikitin signing “I am confident in our D”
    3) Shultz and his treatment”: “Norris”
    4) Calling out Dubnyk, saying you aren’t sold on him as starter, becomes Vezina
    5) “Challenging” Petry on a 1 year deal
    bonus blunder: Firing Ralph via Skype, when they said they were looking for help for him, then getting “sold a bag of goods” with Dallas

    -I’m sure there are a few more gems that I have supressed from memory: please remind me!

    – Chia is not even in same universe as MacT in terms of being a GM.

    Dubnyk is not on MacT. He was letting in shots from center ice. He changed his training after hitting rock bottom.

    You can add the David Clarkson offer, though, if that makes you feel better 🙂

  21. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Agreed.

    On Demers, I find the narrative around these parts to lean heavily towards the idea that we get Demers for $5 million if we want him.

    The reality is there is virtually no youngish RHD available in UFA this year. He’s the only guy in his class and it’s not close.

    In Canada alone I expect Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver to make a serious pitch for him. There are probably 10 American teams that will do the same, including the Dallas Stars.

    We can make him a terrible offer that will cripple our ability to manage the cap for years. That would get us the player, or we could make him a fair if somewhat generous offer, and have maybe a 20% change of getting him to come here.

    That’s why trading makes sense. Because it’s the only way to be sure. Sure it means giving up “more than just money” but it’s also a sure thing.

    Once we’ve done that (in June) we can try to get Demers in July. If we don’t make a move before July, and we don’t get him, we’re totally screwed.

  22. 99266in87 says:

    Ducey,

    Agree. As inept as we see the previous regimes, I’m sure they, or no one for that matter told or taught him wrong. He probably was taught, but looks like he didn’t learn. That’s the disconnect.

  23. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Remember when Gazdic got a 2 year deal? I cringed. Folks here told me it was so that if he gets put on waivers to be sent to the AHL no one will claim him.

    Give Kassian a 2 year deal then. 1M x 2 years. He is not worth his qualifying offer based on his body of work last season. So he had a decent start–when he HAD to have a decent start to save his career. The last 30 games saw a mostly ineffective top 6 player with only occasionally bursts. He is more suited to bottom 6 at this stage in his life. His body has been through a lot. People talking about Kassian prime? Kassian prime was 4 years ago. It hasn’t been seen since. Maroon is easily the better player at this stage. If you’re going to sign Kassian sign him for 4RW role and let him work his way up–maybe he has it in him still. 1m per for 2 years is generous and fair. He isn’t the Kassian of old, folks. And he may never be. Let’s not overpay for “potential” that may actually be forever in the rearview. He’s effective playing 10-12 minutes per night. Let’s pay for that.

    Yakupov must feel so alone. Muslim, no real friends it seems on the team, bit of a liner. Shamed by the media for his celebration, damaged by Eakins, effective when played with a Horcoff or Roy, but mostly played with guys like Letestu. Spector has had a special hate for him all along, and at every turn media like McKenzie have stated he wasn’t the scouts’ choice, he was the owner’s. Life has to suck for Nail. All that hope and promise and now it’s crumbling down. And much of it is on this organization for failing him. I don’t think that he was this bad that in a redraft he is now well outside the top 10 from that year. Ironic that the Oilers now employ 2 of the “went too high” guys from the top 10 in that draft. I think the best landing spot for Yak is a place like Florida. He can play away from the media and learn from the likes of Old Man Jagr. At this point I hate to say it but the return is going to be so bad anyway (he won’t even fetch two 2nds was the deadline rumor?) That I think getting Severson for him might be a pipe dream.

    As for Faulk that is completely unrealistic in my opinion. There are zero rumors Carolina is looking to trade him. He is on a great deal, 4 more years at 4.833. Big shot, right-handed, entering his prime, American. Carolina has no reason to move him. It would require something very, very dear in terms of overpayment to pry him loose. Nuge and the 4th? Yeah, it’s not worth it. Look elsewhere. He has more value to Carolina than any one player on the Oilers has to Edmonton than McDavid.

  24. knighttown says:

    I hope you don’t mind an off-topic rant during a quiet period LT.

    If you aren’t watching Golden State basketball do yourself a favour, take an afternoon nap and stay up late to watch it. I’m in Halifax and got up to watch the game from 11 to 230 or so and I’m not a basketball fan. Didn’t watch a single game all year.

    Lots of chatter on sports radio that Golden State basketball is the highest form of basketball ever played. It’s simply beautiful watching the ball movement and the sheer impossible shooting efficiency from Stef, Klay and frankly everyone on that roster. And as a side perk, it’s great from growing the game as every kid can envision themselves being Stef Curry if they just work hard enough on their shot and ball handling. Hard to will yourself to be a 6’8″, 260lb freak athlete like Lebron.

    On to my point.

    The NBA has Curry and GS versus either Durant/Westbrook or the unparalleled longevity of the Spurs and on the other side a steamrolling LeBron versus, well, the Raps…ignore that. Marquee matchups and teams being, gasp, led to the promised land by superstars doing super-starry things.

    Meanwhile the NHL finally gets its dream matchup (a round too early of course) in Crosby versus Ovechkin and the end result is that Ovie gets 3 even strength points and Crosby gets one. And this was good hockey by NHL standards!

    If the NHL ran the NBA you would have a 68-63 win by Golden State over Portland with Shaun Livingstone leading the way with 6 points, all on free throws.

    Every sport needs its stars to be stars and there are no more stars in hockey. Golf has faded away from must-see TV to “watch Sunday of the majors” now that Tiger is irrelevant.

    If a guy like me leaves the rink from playing hockey comes home, ignores a game 7 to watch basketball how much of the conversation do you think the average American is spending on hockey?

    There are no stars anymore. There’s not a player in the league that can consistently provide difference making even strength scoring once a coach sets his sights on you. Every goal is a random event that comes from doing enough of the “right things” so that you get more chances for a random bounce than the other team does.

    The sad thing is that the guys are more talented than ever before. A 25 year old Gretz conditioned to 2016 levels would score 75-90 points. Mario would just quit.

    If I’m Gary Bettman that Crosby/Ovie showdown is the last straw for me. I lock the board of governors in a room until they come out with a game plan that moves scoring back to optimal levels (7-8 goals per game) immediately; for next season. And as a sub-agenda, I’d want the leading scorer in the NHL to hit 150 points.

    Everything should be on the table. Larger and taller nets, banning of shot blocking, full time 4-on-4, move to 3 lines and 5 D (tired = mistakes, less players equals more ice time for stars) and the obvious demand for the calling of the rule book.

    Do they even have conversations about optimal scoring levels? The NHL tweaks the rules every year or two to keep scoring where they need it. The NBA under Silver has tightened up on hand checks and in the West, 120 points is the norm. Even baseball has lowered or raised the mound, made smaller ballparks and turned a blind eye to steroids to enhance offense.

    Why can’t we discuss radical things in hockey? If you do a few radical things and then you keep on top of it you’ll only have to do tweaks for the rest of time but they need a surgeon to get in there now before the patient dies on the table.

  25. Water Fire says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    JimmyV1965,

    Agreed.

    On Demers, I find the narrative around these parts to lean heavily towards the idea that we get Demers for $5 million if we want him.

    The reality is there is virtually no youngish RHD available in UFA this year.He’s the only guy in his class and it’s not close.

    In Canada alone I expect Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver to make a serious pitch for him.There are probably 10 American teams that will do the same, including the Dallas Stars.

    We can make him a terrible offer that will cripple our ability to manage the cap for years.That would get us the player, or we could make him a fair if somewhat generous offer, and have maybe a 20% change of getting him to come here.

    That’s why trading makes sense.Because it’s the only way to be sure.Sure it means giving up “more than just money” but it’s also a sure thing.

    Once we’ve done that (in June) we can try to get Demers in July.If we don’t make a move before July, and we don’t get him, we’re totally screwed.

    I don’t know Demers attitude, but money isn’t the deciding factor for many players. NHL regulars get paid, and winning matters to a lot of them. The Oilers are in the driver seat when it comes to future winning potential.

    There is also the connection with the coach. I don’t know if McLellan likes Demers, but if they could land him, a lesser trade for Vatanen or Severson or the like would make a right side of Demers, Vatanen Fayne.

    That isn’t at all bad. It’s not ideal, but I don’t see why a team with a quality first pairing RHD would trade him.

    If Fayne isn’t overused, Talbot doesn’t go missing again for a couple of months, and everyone stays healthyish, That looks to me like they ice 6 NHL D.

  26. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Water Fire: Il.

    There is also the connection with the coach. I don’t know if McLellan likes Demers, but if they could land him, a lesser trade for Vatanen or Severson or the like would make a right side of Demers, Vatanen Fayne.

    Coach connection is a big deal on both sides. If he liked TMac it will help get him here. It also gives our GM more knowledge in terms of what the player might really be worth, always important when spending money on a UFA.

    But back to my earlier point, the trade almost has to happen before landing Demers, not after. Most likely the trade happens on or before the draft, even if it doesn’t involve the 4th overall. We go after the trade first, and the UFAs fill whatever holes are left.

    If we wait on a trade until after July 1 we may have fewer dance partners. If that combines with not landing Demers (or Campbell) on July 1 then we might be in a world of hurt. I don’t think we can risk it.

  27. su_dhillon says:

    I have been out of Oilers loop for a couple of months and trying to get caught up on Oilogsphere last few weeks. Lots of talk about Yakupov over Murray and how the scouts were right and and “the higher power” came and ruined everything. Is Murray going to be a top 5 player in this draft? Top 3 Dman? I don’t understand how they were right, what am I missing? How is this a thing?

    If they were banging the drum for Galchenyuk or Lindholm or Foresberg, or Reilly ok but I also remember a lot of talk at the time that they liked Reinhart. To me it looks like they liked the 3 guys who have been the most underwhelming.

    BTW I listened to that blogger brunch segment this morning and really great stuff as usual Darcy.

  28. kinger_OIL says:

    Ducey,

    – Yes DD was bad, that’s on him full-stop!: but the GM calling you out before the season starts, saying you aren’t sold on him: huge contributing factor.

    – How anyone react if new boss came in and said: “I’m not sold on Ducey as a long-term effective guy: he is on a short lease”

    – Clarkson got paid elsewhere: so crisis avoided, but MacT wasn’t off the wall: thanks Leafs!

  29. magneto says:

    A smaller move that can shore up the D depth could be Yakupov to Florida for Alex Petrovic.
    Big guy (6’4″) and Edmonton born. Really it is a good deal for Yakupov and Florida.
    Florida moves Matheson into Petrovic’s spot, they had to go out and get 2 wingers at the deadline last year so Yakupov would have a shot at making an impact. I think it works for both teams.

  30. RexLibris says:

    Oilspill:
    Hall Eberle gone… bigger skilled players in. This is the western conference. It has f all to do with shots but what can you do when the other team has the puck and how easy are you pushed off the puck. A mix of size and skill is important for the majority of the team.

    Not picking a fight here, but one of the leading playoff scorers, from the Western Conference no less, is Joe Pavelski, listed at 5’11”, 190lbs, more or less equivalent with the weight class of Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins.

    A good mix is indeed important, but you don’t start by sending out the skill in exchange for size, and you can’t trade skill for equivalent skill in a larger chassis unless it comes with off-setting costs like age and cap.

  31. kinger_OIL says:

    knighttown,

    – Love this post/rant! The NBA changed D rules to allow more offence. The NFL changed coverage rules to allow WR’s/TE’s more separation off line, more offence and rewarding passing.

    – The NHL should be entertaining. Scoring is the most entertaining for most viewers

    – The NHL can still have “parity”, but I’d like more 5-4 games and parity, with 15 + guys with 40 goals+, a few 50 goal-scorers and many teams with a 100 point guy

    – There is more than enough talent to score goals: the rules suck….The product no good no more

  32. RexLibris says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Re: Kassian – do they not get a second buyout window if they take a player to arbitration? Believe they had that option last year with Schultz and could have bought out Nikitin.

    Maybe they could try something similar with Kassian if they are unable to buy out Ference. Just a thought.

    All your other points I generally agree with. Good post.

  33. frjohnk says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: Coach connection is a big deal on both sides.If he liked TMac it will help get him here.It also gives our GM more knowledge in terms of what the player might really be worth, always important when spending money on a UFA.

    But back to my earlier point, the trade almost has to happen before landing Demers, not after.Most likely the trade happens on or before the draft, even if it doesn’t involve the 4th overall.We go after the trade first, and the UFAs fill whatever holes are left.

    If we wait on a trade until after July 1 we may have fewer dance partners.If that combines with not landing Demers (or Campbell) on July 1 then we might be in a world of hurt.I don’t think we can risk it.

    If Demers is not going to sign with Dallas, then it wouldn’t hurt to offer Dallas a conditional pick for his rights. This way the Oilers could negotiate with Demers before the draft.

    Oilers can’t wait until July 1st to try and fill one of the glaring holes on the backend.
    Even in this case, it’s not a guarantee that Demers and the Oilers come to an agreement, but at least this avenue is explored before the draft and not July 1st when it’s too late.

  34. Магия 10 says:

    “I think that is it, let me know of any omissions or changes.”

    There is one big omission in that list, but it is not your omission.

    At some point before the draft the NHL has to pick a day to tell the GMs if there is expansion, how many teams, and the exact protection rules. The Oil have to know the full cost of any D they acquire including what they lose at the expansion draft.

  35. Richard S.S. says:

    Peter Chiarelli is easily a top-5 GM in the entire NHL, possibly even top-3. He will be the only top-calibre GM to play for the Oilers until they reach the “promised land”. Giving in to the knee-jerk reaction by the “village idiots” to fire Chiarelli will never happen. No one of competence will ever come here if that happens. That would make some people happy as they could complain to their heart’s contents

  36. RexLibris says:

    Water Fire: There is also the connection with the coach. I don’t know if McLellan likes Demers, but if they could land him, a lesser trade for Vatanen or Severson or the like would make a right side of Demers, Vatanen Fayne.

    That’s my stand on it as well. Good on the right side and enough shelter to help give Nurse and Davidson some more time to develop.

  37. dustrock says:

    I’d love to play poker with Mac T.

  38. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    RexLibris:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Re: Kassian – do they not get a second buyout window if they take a player to arbitration? Believe they had that option last year with Schultz and could have bought out Nikitin.

    Maybe they could try something similar with Kassian if they are unable to buy out Ference. Just a thought.

    All your other points I generally agree with. Good post.

    My understanding is that Ference cannot go from LTIR to active to bought out in rapid succession.

  39. Showerhead says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Top 5 blunders from old regime:

    1) Ferrence contract: “He’s our leader”
    2) Nikitin signing “I am confident in our D”
    3) Shultz and his treatment”: “Norris”
    4) Calling out Dubnyk, saying you aren’t sold on him as starter, becomes Vezina
    5) “Challenging” Petry on a 1 year deal
    bonus blunder: Firing Ralph via Skype, when they said they were looking for help for him, then getting “sold a bag of goods” with Dallas

    -I’m sure there are a few more gems that I have supressed from memory: please remind me!

    – Chia is not even in same universe as MacT in terms of being a GM.

    It’s frightening how long this arc really is. I mean from the moment Kevin Lowe asked Mike Comrie to pay $2M to facilitate his own trade, we’ve always been at risk of something terrifying or weird happening to this team. I don’t mean to say that Lowe or others didn’t make some good decisions as well but this team has been a circus since Friends was still shooting new episodes.

    I like what Lowetide is doing with the trade chart. I expect it will show that Chiarelli makes a lot of moves, more of them are good than bad, and that he’s not perfect – there will be an occasional head scratcher. I think this is a fine type of GM for Edmonton to have right now. A lot of darts, most of them well-thrown, but enough thrown such that there are some misses.

    We should acknowledge those misses but the idea of terminating Chiarelli at this stage of the game is laughable IMO.

  40. dustrock says:

    magneto:
    A smaller move that can shore up the D depth could be Yakupov to Florida for Alex Petrovic.
    Big guy (6’4″) and Edmonton born. Really it is a good deal for Yakupov and Florida.
    Florida moves Matheson into Petrovic’s spot, they had to go out and get 2 wingers at the deadline last year so Yakupov would have a shot at making an impact. I think it works for both teams.

    Heard rumblings from someone who usually has decent connections (not a media member at all) who said the Oilers are eyeing Petrovic. Matheson is their version of Davidson, except even better.

    Regarding Yakupov, I asked Slava Malmud yesterday what the Russian media thinks of Yakupov (as he seems to give them more, better detailed interviews), and he said “nice guy, but high maintenance. Needs a change.”

  41. HugThePost says:

    The ‘fire Chia’ rhetoric is ridiculous.

    He is quietly and effectively working away, re-stocking our bare prospect list gifted to him from the BOTB, and make no mistake—he will make his mark on the big team come draft time. People might not agree with what changes he makes, but he is going to make his changes.

    It is miles better than what came before him. Would you rather have a GM focussing on preening in front of the MSM cameras and mikes, blabbing all of his thoughts? Or perhaps a GM so scared of doing anything, he just does nothing but stuff like bringing in Jerrod Smithson as our saviour R handed center?

    Man I do feel bad for Yak though. Just doesn’t seem to fit in. I agree with what someone else wrote about going to FLA and being more anonymous and having Jagr mentor him. Jagr seems like the perfect mentor for him—euro, a bit of a non-conformist, high end scorer. Shit, we should have signed him a few years ago.

  42. dustrock says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/13/sports/russia-doping-sochi-olympics-2014.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=1

    Hoo boy. You maybe suspected Russian doping was systemic, but this is pretty amazing. Love that they passed samples through a hole in the wall. The best tricks are the old tricks.

  43. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    dustrock: Heard rumblings from someone who usually has decent connections (not a media member at all) who said the Oilers are eyeing Petrovic.Matheson is their version of Davidson, except even better.

    Regarding Yakupov, I asked Slava Malmud yesterday what the Russian media thinks of Yakupov (as he seems to give them more, better detailed interviews), and he said “nice guy, but high maintenance.Needs a change.”

    I think it works for Yak (as per my post above). think it’s time to cut losses and move on. It’s a shame that it has come to this, but here we are.

  44. npanciroli says:

    I decided to throw together as realistic of an off season plan as possible. Unlikely we get top tier D’s.

    Light on the wings, could use another LW. But I like the center depth and the D could win by committee IMO.

    https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/104604

  45. dustrock says:

    Regarding the 3 main defencemen of note for this upcoming draft, I’ve looked at video and read a whole ton of stuff on all 3 of them.

    Here are my conclusions:

    (1) Juolevi – calm feet, good “hockey IQ” for whatever that’s worth, good at both ends of the rink, not overly physical, not overly offensive. A good d-man for today’s NHL with the focus on breakouts. Suspect he has the lowest ceiling, but also may have the greatest likelihood of steady NHL employment. Also had pretty great zone starts because London is so dominant.

    (2) Sergachev – arguably the best skater, at least for transitions (forward/backward), though Chychrun might have him beat for straightforward skating. Has the most accurate shot this season and scored 17 goals, though Chychrun had more shots overall. Would think he is probably the most polished offensively, and likely the least polished defensively. He could be Souray. IIRC, had the fewest offensive zone starts of the 3.

    (3) Chychrun – arguably the highest ceiling. Some concerns about “hockey IQ”, though noted he plays sometimes 30 minutes per game for Sarnia, EV, PK1 and PP1. Is he legitimately a riskier pick than the other 2, or has his game been picked apart more because of the hype around him? Jones and Ekblad went through similar processes. Generates a ton of shots. Is the most physical of these 3 d-men. Can play all situations. Comparisons are maybe a more physical Bouwmeester or maybe Bogosian, but some have said his overall game is not unlike Doughty.

    I think if the Oilers are trading down for a d-man, it needs to be Sergachev or Chychrun.

  46. Jethro Tull says:

    Taylor Hall scores.

    Trade da bum!

  47. dustrock says:

    1-0 Canada over Germany.

    Taylor “Trade Me for Hamonic and Die” Hall with the goal.

  48. northof51 says:

    Your rant strikes a chord with me. The much revered Ovie/Crosby matchup became the “Depth Scoring is How You Win the Stanley Cup” series. Yawn.

    I’ll sure be happy when Connor wins the Art Ross, but it’s going to ring a little hollow when someone with his generational talents will struggle to put up 40 goals and 100 points. Oh how I wish I could have realized what it meant to see a 200 pt (are you f’ing kidding me?!!?!?!?!?) season.

    But, this is like preaching to the choir. I’m guessing you’re with me in that we’re not the ones lining the NHL owners’ pockets… Somehow, some way, fans continue to pay and pay big time to go to these games, and then buy the merch at every turn. The NHL, under Bettman, will not change unless they think it will help the bottom line.

  49. northof51 says:

    northof51,

    Reply fail… Meant for @ knighttown

  50. maudite says:

    Top 3 at least (with asteria if you like)

    Being in on bidding war and trying to sign clarkson to like 6.5 million per for a ton of years. I don’t think someone one else pulling the gun from your face counts as not attempting suicide.

    kinger_OIL:
    Top 5 blunders from old regime:

    1) Ferrence contract: “He’s our leader”
    2) Nikitin signing “I am confident in our D”
    3) Shultz and his treatment”: “Norris”
    4) Calling out Dubnyk, saying you aren’t sold on him as starter, becomes Vezina
    5) “Challenging” Petry on a 1 year deal
    bonus blunder: Firing Ralph via Skype, when they said they were looking for help for him, then getting “sold a bag of goods” with Dallas

    -I’m sure there are a few more gems that I have supressed from memory: please remind me!

    – Chia is not even in same universe as MacT in terms of being a GM.

  51. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:

    Yakupov must feel so alone. Muslim, no real friends it seems on the team, bit of a liner. Shamed by the media for his celebration, damaged by Eakins, effective when played with a Horcoff or Roy, but mostly played with guys like Letestu. Spector has had a special hate for him all along, and at every turn media like McKenzie have stated he wasn’t the scouts’ choice, he was the owner’s. Life has to suck for Nail. All that hope and promise and now it’s crumbling down. And much of it is on this organization for failing him. I don’t think that he was this bad that in a redraft he is now well outside the top 10 from that year. Ironic that the Oilers now employ 2 of the “went too high” guys from the top 10 in that draft. I think the best landing spot for Yak is a place like Florida. He can play away from the media and learn from the likes of Old Man Jagr. At this point I hate to say it but the return is going to be so bad anyway (he won’t even fetch two 2nds was the deadline rumor?) That I think getting Severson for him might be a pipe dream.

    Very well written summary of the situation. I will always cheer for Nail, even if he is traded to another team.

    Except if he’s traded to the Flames… but even then, I still wouldn’t boo him.

  52. rickithebear says:

    Jethro Tull: The media have their own smoke machine.

    Best of the new year!

  53. rickithebear says:

    HugThePost: It is miles better than what came before him. Would you rather have a GM focussing on preening in front of the MSM cameras and mikes

    Reinhart 6’4″ 212lb AHL NHLE 1EVG 10 EVP
    PC trades #16 and #33 for Reinhart.
    We were well aware of him in the east!

    Betker 6’6″ 228lb ECHL/AHL NHLE 1EVG 9EVP
    Draft strength Skating!
    MacT drafts him #184 RD6 2013

    OK then!
    Preening hey!

    I want Good Players!

    :

  54. russ99 says:

    The reasons for Dubnyk’s nosedive are pretty clear:

    The NHL changed pad size regulations and he was one of the goalies that most benefitted from the old rules. Being uncomfortable in the net and then losing confidence due to over-rotation of goalies to start the year would mess up any goalie.

    I’d add caving at the last minute on Gagner’s contract before the arbitration hearing and then delaying his eventual trade to the last second to kill any value pretty high on MacT’s it-list.

  55. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Petrovic had a pretty great 1 ES P/60 this season, seems to be bottom of FLA in conceding HDSCA though. Against similar comp to Davidson who was great in that regard.

  56. LadiesloveSmid says:

    rickithebear,

    ricki did those metrics not tell you that Yakimov would be an elite NHL player? I probably wouldn’t call a current ECHL player equal to one that had one foot in Edmonton. Same birth year

  57. Professor Q says:

    That definitely should have been a penalty. Took McDavid out.

  58. AsiaOil says:

    Wake me up on June 15. This endless cycle of speculation, mock line-ups and rumor is getting kind of old. Rest up, spend time with loved ones, take a trip – real stuff starts a months from now. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  59. PunkInDrublic says:

    @LT,

    The only other omission I see with your summer timeline is the week prior to July 1 free agency where teams can have discussions with upcoming free agents.

    Not a big deal really, but useful information nonetheless (if it is still occurring).

  60. Магия 10 says:

    Pumping up Half’s trade value again. Why does 97 hate 4 so much?

  61. Jaxon says:

    Lowetide,

    When does the 2016 UFA Interview Period begin? Last season it was the day prior to the draft. Will it open on June 23rd? That’s when rumours kick into high gear.

  62. anjinsan says:

    Yakupov had a mentor under Krueger and his first year went as he was projected when drafted.
    His shooting % was > 21% and he led the Oilers in goals.

    Then Eakins, and he was subjected to abject incompetence and dysfunction.

    He does need to grow up, and he had the mentor he needed, then he had a dementor.

    Yakupov will thrive at some point and somewhere.

  63. rickithebear says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    rickithebear,

    ricki did those metrics not tell you that Yakimov would be an elite NHL player? I probably wouldn’t call a current ECHL player equal to one that had one foot in Edmonton. Same birth year

    Nope!

    NHLE
    versus
    a list of .20+ GPG U19 KHL/RSL
    forwards dating back to 2000

    Kovulchuk
    Kulemin top 30 G scorer age 24; Carlyle switched role.
    Ovechkin
    Malkin
    Kuznetsov top 90 G scorer at 23yr
    Tarasenko top 80 G scorer @ 22yr
    ———————–
    Yakupov age 22 – top 30 Goal score rookie year. (19)
    Yakimov 21yr
    Slepyshev 21yr
    1 more I cannot remember.

    Hinted at potential top 30 Goal scoring and release sure looks like it.

    Thanks for framing it that way!

    “I hear you get excited watching young boys play.
    Take it how you will.

    But I mean watching Junior hockey! 😉

    Speaking of Release:

    with shot success rate at
    65-67% on upper corner shots.
    29-32% under the arms and above the pads.

    Last couple of years.
    I am seeing a lot more targeting of under the arm and above pads.

    Not knowing the Miss to hit rate of Corsi directed at upper corner of the net.

    It seems to me that that shooting at those upper corners provides:
    a high potential of pocession change
    A higher potential ofcounter attack
    resulting in a higher chance of HSCA Shots on the counter.

    Were as the Arm-pad shotis almost never a miss.
    Resulting in:
    – a goal
    -A save with face-off in Ozone.
    -A rebound with potential for another HSCA shot.

  64. speeds says:

    PunkInDrublic:
    @LT,

    The only other omission I see with your summer timeline is the week prior to July 1 free agency where teams can have discussions with upcoming free agents.

    Not a big deal really, but useful information nonetheless (if it is still occurring).

    Jaxon:
    Lowetide,

    When does the 2016 UFA Interview Period begin? Last season it was the day prior to the draft. Will it open on June 23rd? That’s when rumours kick into high gear.

    The Critical Dates calendar is page 344 of the CBA (pg 364 of the PDF copy)

    According to that calendar, teams can start talking to pending UFA’s the “Day after the Entry Draft (but not laterthan June 25) until June 30”.

  65. Ducey says:

    anjinsan:
    Yakupov had a mentor under Krueger and his first year went as he was projected when drafted.
    His shooting % was > 21% and he led the Oilers in goals.

    Then Eakins, and he was subjected to abject incompetence and dysfunction.

    He does need to grow up, and he had the mentor he needed, then he had a dementor.

    Yakupov will thrive at some point and somewhere.

    Yak, Sam Gagner, Lennart Petrell, and Justin Schultz all had their best years that year after the lockout.

    Hmmmm

  66. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Wow. Corey Pronman has his top 100 out behind the pay wall at ESPN and Matthews is NOT number one.

    I know this has been building for some time, and when you’ve been consensus number one for over a year people pick out your flaws. But leafs fans must be a little annoyed right now.

  67. wheatnoil says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Wow. Corey Pronman has his top 100 out behind the pay wall at ESPN and Matthews is NOT number one.

    I know this has been building for some time, and when you’ve been consensus number one for over a year people pick out your flaws. But leafs fans must be a little annoyed right now.

    Not sure how much is fair to share behind the pay-wall, but the defence rankings are fascinating. Fabbro the #2 D on the list, Sergachev back in the late teens and McAvoy near the end of the first round.

    It’s too much to hope that McAvoy drops to #32 but it does seem that the consensus is awfully wide once you hit about #6 and down through to the end of the first round.

  68. who says:

    npanciroli:
    I decided to throw together as realistic of an off season plan as possible. Unlikely we get top tier D’s.

    Light on the wings, could use another LW. But I like the center depth and the D could win by committee IMO.

    https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/104604

    Thats probably realistic. Don’t like the salary or term for Demers so don’t know if I would do that. Also don’t understand all the love for Andrew Shaw . Couldnt we sign Troy Brower for similar money and not give up a player.

  69. vinotintazo says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Matthews is NOT number one.

    I would be stunned if leafs pass on a fanchise Center. its what they need.

  70. dustrock says:

    Sounds like Drai didn’t play much (3 minutes and less than 6 minutes?) in the 2nd and 3rd period in a close game against Canada.

    He’s either tired or hurt or both. Would like to get some clarity on this because he’s clearly not himself.

  71. frjohnk says:

    wheatnoil: Not sure how much is fair to share behind the pay-wall, but the defence rankings are fascinating. Fabbro the #2 D on the list, Sergachev back in the late teens and McAvoy near the end of the first round.

    It’s too much to hope that McAvoy drops to #32 but it does seem that the consensus is awfully wide once you hit about #6 and down through to the end of the first round.

    What I like about Pronmans top 100 is that not only the list but he gives his explanation on why player A is ranked higher than player B.

    Surprised he has Keller ranked so high

  72. dustrock says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/draft/2016/05/12/2016-nhl-draft-auston-matthews-patrik-laine-rankings/84281936/

    RLR top 10:

    1. Auston Matthews
    2. Patrik Laine
    3. Jesse Puljujarvi
    4. Matthew Tkachuk
    5. Pierre-Luc Dubois
    6. Jake Bean
    7. Tyson Jost
    8. Alex Nylander
    9. Jakob Chychrun
    10. Dante Fabbro

    Rising: Jost, Boris Katchouk, Logan Brown, Cliff Pu, Filip Gustavsson

    Falling: Chychrun, Carter Hart, Dylan Wells

    Bean top D at 6, then Chychrun at 9, then Fabbro 10.

  73. GCW_69 says:

    Yak’s draft was so full of landmines and missed opportunity due to injury to players like Galchenyuk and Reilly.

    But, man, if you did a re-draft knowing what we know now, the top 15 would likely look very different. Maybe like:

    Num. Player ……Pos….. GP….. Pts
    1 Hampus Lindholm……D…..236….. 92
    2 Alex Galchenyuk……..C….. 275….. 160
    3 Morgan Rielly………….D….. 236….. 92
    4 Filip Forsberg………….C….. 182….. 133
    5 Olli Maatta ……………..D….. 165….. 57
    6 Jacob Trouba………….D….. 211….. 72
    7 Ryan Murray…………..D….. 160….. 49
    8 Nail Yakupov…………..R….. 252….. 111
    9 Mathew Dumba……….D….. 152….. 44
    10 Tomas Hertl……………C….. 200….. 102
    11 Cody Ceci ……………..D….. 205….. 56
    12 Tanner Pearson……….L…… 146….. 59
    13 Andrei Vasilevskiy……G….. 40….. 0
    14 Zemgus Girgensons….C….. 202….. 70
    15 Teuvo Teravainen………F….. 115….. 44

    And you could argue Yak could slip below Dumba and Hertl.

  74. Bag of Pucks says:

    anjinsan:
    Yakupov had a mentor under Krueger and his first year went as he was projected when drafted.
    His shooting % was > 21% and he led the Oilers in goals.

    Then Eakins, and he was subjected to abject incompetence and dysfunction.

    He does need to grow up, and he had the mentor he needed, then he had a dementor.

    Yakupov will thrive at some point and somewhere.

    Yak’s 4 year S% trend

    2012-2013 – 21%
    2013-2014 – 9%
    2014-2015 – 7.3%
    2015-2016 – 6.3%
    AVG ———-9.6%

    Here’s the NHL all-time S% leaders

    1. Craig Simpson 23.66
    2. Charlie Simmer 22.34
    3. Paul MacLean 21.41
    4. Mike Bossy* 21.18
    5. Yvon Lambert 19.85
    6. Rick Middleton 19.69
    7. Blaine Stoughton 19.52
    8. Darryl Sutter 19.42
    9. Rob Brown 19.41
    10. Mike Ridley 19.30
    11. Steve Vickers 19.28
    12. Kent Nilsson 19.21
    13. Tom McCarthy 19.16
    14. Jari Kurri* 19.13
    15. John Bucyk* 19.09
    16. Mario Lemieux* 18.99
    17. Peter Stastny* 18.96
    18. Ray Ferraro 18.85
    19. Mark Hunter 18.78
    20. Tim Kerr 18.77

    Note the prevalence of players from the firewagon era of hockey.

    So, yep, 21% was a complete and utter outlier for Yak. 9.6% is what Yak is with a hockey stick in his hand and the puck on his stick, with no excuses.

    We try to attribute a lot of factors to Nail becoming a bust (bad advice from his agent, meddling father/former coach, inability or unwiliingness to learn system play, coaching, development process, cultural, language, linemates, icetime, injury, etc.).

    But the root cause is the one staring us right in the face. He’s an alleged sniper that can’t consistently hit the net.

    He had one season with an unsustainable shot percentage and has since revealed himself as an inaccurate shooter that has to launch a high volume of shots to produce goals,

    If he thrives, it will likely be on a team starved for offensive talent, and thus a team willing to cede a large volume of shots to Yak for the inefficient return on offensive investment he’ll provide.

    Despite everything the Oilers may have done to mismanage him, Yak could’ve overcame the ‘bust’ tag by simply hitting the net more consistently. NHL snipers shoot better than 9.6% That is the cold hard reality he has to come to terms with, whatever team he’s on.

  75. GCW_69 says:

    kinger_OIL: – Clarkson got paid elsewhere: so crisis avoided, but MacT wasn’t off the wall: thanks Leafs!

    Or maybe the Leafs were just as off the wall? All evidence points to Nonis being as big an idiot as MacT when whale hunting.

  76. dustrock says:

    frjohnk: What I like about Pronmans top 100 is that not only the list but he gives his explanation on why player A is ranked higher than player B.

    Surprised he has Keller ranked so high

    Not me. Pronman has openly stated on many occasions that he looks at skill absolutely as the #1 requirement (reminds me of someone else who posts here often and runs the blog).

    Keller was scoring at Eichel-like levels for the USNTDP, but he’s not a huge guy, so blah blah blah size, but he’s definitely one of the most skilled forwards and should be top 10 I think.

    Hey LT or anyone – can you remind me what swedishposter said about Jonathen Dahlen?

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2016/05/12/jonathan-dahlen-scouting-report-2016-nhl-draft-45/

    I kinda feel like if we get a late 1st or early 2nd and this guy is available, he sounds like the Swedish Jeff Skinner.

  77. Lowetide says:

    dustrock: Not me.Pronman has openly stated on many occasions that he looks at skill absolutely as the #1 requirement (reminds me of someone else who posts here often and runs the blog).

    Keller was scoring at Eichel-like levels for the USNTDP, but he’s not a huge guy, so blah blah blah size, but he’s definitely one of the most skilled forwards and should be top 10 I think.

    Hey LT or anyone – can you remind me what swedishposter said about Jonathen Dahlen?

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2016/05/12/jonathan-dahlen-scouting-report-2016-nhl-draft-45/

    I kinda feel like if we get a late 1st or early 2nd and this guy is available, he sounds like the Swedish Jeff Skinner.

    I have Dahlen at No. 40
    http://lowetide.ca/2016/05/08/long-days-and-nights-in-the-procurement-department/

  78. Lowetide says:

    SP on Dahlen
    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.
    http://lowetide.ca/2016/05/04/heart-like-a-wheel/

  79. dustrock says:

    Thanks very much LT.

    This guy is legit and some other people are starting to notice.

    His goal scoring for his age with Timra is great.

  80. leadfarmer says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Wow. Corey Pronman has his top 100 out behind the pay wall at ESPN and Matthews is NOT number one.

    I know this has been building for some time, and when you’ve been consensus number one for over a year people pick out your flaws. But leafs fans must be a little annoyed right now.

    Every year there is people that release stuff like this at this time of the year and into the offseason to try to generate clicks on their page by trying to stir the pot. If he was sitting there on draft day as a GM of the Leafs we all know who he would pick.

  81. leadfarmer says:

    rickithebear: Nope!

    NHLE
    versus
    a list of .20+ GPG U19 KHL/RSL
    forwards dating back to 2000

    Kovulchuk
    Kulemin top 30 G scorer age 24; Carlyle switched role.
    Ovechkin
    Malkin
    Kuznetsovtop 90 G scorer at 23yr
    Tarasenko top 80 G scorer @ 22yr
    ———————–
    Yakupov age 22 – top 30 Goal score rookie year. (19)
    Yakimov 21yr
    Slepyshev 21yr
    1 more I cannot remember.

    Hinted at potential top 30 Goal scoring and release sure looks like it.

    Thanks for framing it that way!

    “I hear you get excited watching young boys play.
    Take it how you will.

    But I mean watching Junior hockey!

    Speaking of Release:

    with shot success rate at
    65-67% on upper corner shots.
    29-32% under the arms and above the pads.

    Last couple of years.
    I am seeing a lot more targeting of under the arm and above pads.

    Not knowing the Miss to hit rate of Corsi directed at upper corner of the net.

    It seems to me that that shooting at those upper corners provides:
    a high potential of pocession change
    A higher potential ofcounter attack
    resulting ina higher chance of HSCA Shots on the counter.

    Were as the Arm-pad shotisalmost never a miss.
    Resulting in:
    – a goal
    -A save with face-off in Ozone.
    -A rebound with potential for another HSCA shot.

    Bear is such a hard language to understand.

  82. Fog of Warts says:

    russ99:
    Any GM coming in to a new job has to rely on existing scouting. Until the last of the old boys are purged, that will be suspect.

    A similar mode of thought lead to this:

    Josiah Zayner’s gut was making his life hell — so he embarked on an extreme DIY fecal transplant

    ———

    Einstein is famous for saying “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” We don’t know if he really said that, what we have from his writings is this version:

    It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

    Quite possibly, Einstein paraphrased his written remarks in one of his own public speeches, and equally possible, he didn’t.

    I happen to prefer the irony of the paraphrase over the black and white rectitude of the written version, because often the hardest thing about “making things as simple as possible” is knowing where to stop, a lesson apparently lost on Josiah Zayner long before boarding the train.

    Once on board, he did manage to gerrymander—on the fly—some peculiar boundaries:

    He sampled his arms, nose, and mouth, but he didn’t bother to take microbial samples from his genitalia, and didn’t plan on applying Michael’s skin bacteria to his penis or testicles. He told me that there just isn’t much scientific value in gathering that information.

    Real scientists poo poo his entire protocol, because it was neither sufficiently thorough, nor sufficiently systematic—nor did he adequately screen his donor materials with a bloodhound’s elite “deadly or delicious?” doodoo discriminator.

    [*] Silicon valley has this tradition about dog-fooding their own software. When the day arrives, it’s an easy matter for the team that finally invents canine-caliber olfaction on chip to “dog food” to the world their full confidence in their new technology. (Demo day may suffer one or two postponements while they iron out the last bugs.)

    I, for one, have no appetite to further this purge. Chia came here of sound mind and body, on his own free will. If he didn’t negotiate the authority to succeed or fail on his own terms before boarding the sky train (destination lost decade), then he’s got his own cognitive gaps every bit as severe as the man men he replaces.

    ———

    Bruce was on fire this morning with “Norse whisperer” and then Lowetide comes right back with ” Swiss Army knife”. Suspect they spent the evening drinking together. Wish I knew what it was. We can infer it’s not the liquid equivalent of the pot from American Beauty (“Completely mellow high,” Ricky insists. “No paranoia.”) because later in the same piece Bruce writes this:

    Barring a trade that brings something of actual value the other way, I see no harm in the club giving the player a fair shot in training camp, but being willing to risk waivers if he isn’t.

    Demon drink giveth and demon drink taketh away.

    Perhaps the coordinating idea was lost on the baggage rack, or perhaps Bruce subconsciously filtered a shade of cynicism incompatible with his outward persona.

    Barring a trade that brings something of actual value the other way, I see no harm in the GM arranging to give the player a fair shot in training camp, but being willing to risk waivers if he isn’t.

    In truth, even the best among us—untrammeled by soothing spiffs—sometimes wonder if this is how things actually work.

    If so, we’ve got far bigger fish to fry than Boybus botulinum.

  83. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    leadfarmer: Every year there is people that release stuff like this at this time of the year and into the offseason to try to generate clicks on their page by trying to stir the pot.If he was sitting there on draft day as a GM of the Leafs we all know who he would pick.

    That’s called Buttoning.

    I don’t think that’s what this is.

    He makes a strong case for Laine. I actually agree with him, but really I’d say it’s as close to a toss up as Tayler vs. Tyler.

    Matthews has a higher floor, Laine has a higher ceiling. For him it comes down to production relative to age, and Laine is quite a bit yonger than Matthews.

    It’s not crazy. Outside of the consensus sure, but it’s reasonable.

  84. fifthcartel says:

    I don’t know much about Petrovic but I thought he was just another slow third pairing guy, however, Woodguy’s defensemen evaluation post seems to have him as a 2nd pair guy.

    I’d still want him on the third pair with Davidson.

  85. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: That’s called Buttoning.

    I don’t think that’s what this is.

    He makes a strong case for Laine.I actually agree with him, but really I’d say it’s as close to a toss up as Tayler vs. Tyler.

    Matthews has a higher floor, Laine has a higher ceiling.For him it comes down to production relative to age, and Laine is quite a bit yonger than Matthews.

    It’s not crazy.Outside of the consensus sure, but it’s reasonable.

    You beat me to it. Exactly my thoughts. Pronman works very hard on his list every year and he is putting his credibility on the line when he makes that call.

    Interesting how highly he rates Keller. Hadn’t thought of him as a top 5 pick before.

  86. Jaxon says:

    speeds,

    Thanks. So the draft is June 24, 25 this year. That means they it will start UFA Interviews on June 25th during the 2nd day of the draft. I guess that will spice up the 2nd day of the draft with reports of who is speaking to who.

    It’s too bad they don’t reverse that so teams can talk to UFAs before the draft and thereby make informed decisions on whether to make big trades on the 1st day of the draft. For instance, with Edmonton unsure of whether they can get Jason Demers or Kevan Miller, they almost have to make a big trade on draft day.

    I can’t think of why they do it this way. Who doesn’t want the interviews sooner? NHL, GMs, NHLPA, Agents?

  87. MrEd says:

    RexLibris,

    Agreed. I am however reminded of when I first started lurking on these boards… GlenX was up up for a contract and there was dithering about 100 000’s of thousands of dollars….
    A little bit of flex on the bottom end vis-a-vis a little bit of restraint on the top end goes a really long way IMO.

  88. MrEd says:

    I take the news from Yak’s camp today as him telling the hockey world that he wants to play in North America. All in.

  89. Ryan says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    JimmyV1965,

    Agreed.

    On Demers, I find the narrative around these parts to lean heavily towards the idea that we get Demers for $5 million if we want him.

    The reality is there is virtually no youngish RHD available in UFA this year.He’s the only guy in his class and it’s not close.

    In Canada alone I expect Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver to make a serious pitch for him.There are probably 10 American teams that will do the same, including the Dallas Stars.

    We can make him a terrible offer that will cripple our ability to manage the cap for years.That would get us the player, or we could make him a fair if somewhat generous offer, and have maybe a 20% change of getting him to come here.

    That’s why trading makes sense.Because it’s the only way to be sure.Sure it means giving up “more than just money” but it’s also a sure thing.

    Once we’ve done that (in June) we can try to get Demers in July.If we don’t make a move before July, and we don’t get him, we’re totally screwed.

    I’ll agree with this in principle.

    How many pixels were spilled at this blog (comments section) talking about how we should sign Byfuglien because it will cost nothing but money… No assets…

    Deja vu?

    I think Demers is overrated by many here.

    He would be a nice add at the right price, but I think getting Demers at the right price is pretty unlikely.

    Sekera was paid in full in dollars and term. Imagine adding Demers being paid accordingly.

  90. Oilers Talking to Panthers? Yak moving on? - Beer League Heroes says:

    […] was a bit of chatter in Lowetide’s comments section here regarding such a deal and apparently a fellow named Joshua Marshall is reporting the same in an […]

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