In a previous life, I sat through a lot of seminars. Some of them were very insightful (A woman who told me that 80 percent of success is following through was right, but I will be damned if I can improve my average). One time I spent an afternoon with a priest and we talked about God. My goodness he knew a lot about God—and me, being that I am human and all. At one point, he turned to me and said ‘once you know, you know!’ and I understood. My wife always says ‘start as you mean to go’ and that might be the best advice I have heard since my Dad died.
ONCE YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW
- Peter Chiarelli: “I can tell you I expect (Sekera) to be in our top four, Klefbom will be in our top four, Justin Schultz will be, I would hope he would be in our top four. Nikita Nikitin, who had a disappointing season last year, who was brought in to play in the top four. We’ve got some guys we acquired, Griffin Reinhart, who I believe is a terrific player. I think he needs a little time to get up and running before I can anoint him in the top four. We have Eric Gryba who I think is a real strong shutdown D, we can probably shuttle him up at certain points. We’ve got three legitimate, we don’t have a workhorse right now.”
That was last summer and we saw what that looked like. Andrej Sekera and Mark Fayne were both healthy and effective, but after that it was a train wreck of injuries and ineffectiveness. And, no matter what we get out of this, we know Peter Chiarelli knows what he knows.
Question: What will he do about it?
We talk about Jason Demers and Tyson Barrie and Justin Faulk, but what if Edmonton is shopping in a different area of the pool. What if Peter Chiarelli’s white board included Brent Seabrook and Dan Girardi and Erik Gudbranson?
We may have gotten part of our answer yesterday.
@HackswithHaggs looks like they also acquired erik gudbranson
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) May 26, 2016
ALL THE OPTIONS!
- Joe Haggerty, CSNNE.com: According to separate hockey sources, there has been some level of recent trade discussion about veterans Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand with other teams around the league, just to name a few B’s players. The talks haven’t been substantial but more exploratory in nature, as the team quietly gauges the market value of higher-priced veterans who may not fit in the long-term picture if the decision is made to tear down the current roster. Source
I can absolutely see the Oilers being in on both. One good thing: The Bruins are still acting a little weird about Chiarelli. I would not pursue either player (and would not pursue Lucic), but PC may feel an infusion of his old team’s success is just what the doctor ordered.
A quick note: I love both of these players, and if this was a decade ago (Chara) or even four years ago (Marchand) it might be a different story. Both men have some significant wear and play a very grueling style. I would pass on the opportunity in both cases—unless the ask is far less than we would anticipate.
START AS YOU MEAN TO GO
- Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (Jason Demers, Justin Faulk)
- Backup goalie (Jhonas Enroth, James Reimer)
- Second-pairing RHD to partner with Sekera (Tyson Barrie/Sami Vatanen)
- Acquire RHC with some skill (Small group available. Andrew Shaw? Tommy Wingels? Tyler Bozak?)
- Offload unwanted contract (Lauri Korpikoski)
Oilers may have to acquire a LHC for the 3C (if they are going to deal a C), and then run Letestu as 4line. I don’t think PC will accomplish all of these things but he could (as he did last season) make an attempt on all fronts. Last year’s haul—Sekera, Talbot, Letestu, Reinhart, Korpikoski, Gryba—was wildly uneven, as one would expect from such an aggressive summer. I look forward to the day when tweaks are required, fine tools are used. Another wrench summer lies ahead.
One small item: Can we agree that balance of the roster and depth beyond the roster are key elements this summer? Can we agree that training camp and pre-season are vital to Edmonton’s success? That starting with the best 19 men opening night is absolutely vital? That the World Cup of Hockey should not be the priority for any executive or coach?
CHIARELLI ASSET LIST
- Benoit Pouliot
- Young LHD (Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Brandon Davidson)
- Cap space
- Jordan Eberle
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Nail Yakupov
- No. 4 overall selection
- 2017 1st round selection
I have moved Pouliot and Nurse to the top, not because they are my top trade options—but rather, those are the areas of depth on the current roster.
Okay Blues, now send us some of your defensemen and hellooooo David Backes. Come play with McDavid!! #oilers
— Bryna Campbell (@Bryna_C) May 26, 2016
TODD MCLELLAN AND SAN JOSE
You will hear a lot about the San Jose Sharks being in the Stanley Cup Final this spring, and because Oilers fans can see Mr. Murphy and his law from 24 miles away some of this will land on the current Edmonton coach.
Is the coaching change part of San Jose’s success? Yes, I would say so. Just as we have seen many times in sports history (Pittsburgh Penguins under Dan Bylsma being a recent example, there are tons in baseball), a long time coach can reach a point of being too long at the Fair. That may in fact be the case with McLellan and San Jose.
No one will talk about this today, because runaway trains in this town start early and end late. I would encourage you to look at last season’s team and then note the additions this year: Martin Jones, Joel Ward, Paul Martin, Joonas Donskoi. San Jose is deeper, faster and healthy.
Todd McLellan brought a consistent team to the playoffs (pretty much) every year, but could not reach the finals. If Vlasic had been healthy against Los Angeles, would that have been his year? We don’t know what we don’t know, but you could make the argument.
There will be people who will tell you today that Todd McLellan is not a good coach, the Oilers bought a lemon. They will say his usage of Darnell Nurse and Lauri Korpikoski is proof positive of flawed reason and lack of vision.
I encourage you to insist on a greater sample size, and to think through the options available to the coach as replacements. Todd McLellan may never win a Stanley Cup in Edmonton, but I do not think the current performance of the San Jose Sharks offers us any proof either way.
That is what I believe.
- 2008-09: Tomas Plihal (64 games);Jamie McGinn (35); Brad Staubitz (35); Lukas Kaspar (13); Derek Joslin (12); Riley Armstrong (2 games).
- 2009-10: Jason Demers (51 games); Logan Couture (25); Derek Joslin (24); Benn Ferriero (24); Frazer McLaren (23); John McCarthy (4); Steven Zalewski (3).
- 2010-11: Logan Couture (79 games); John McCarthy (37); Benn Ferriero (33); Justin Braun (28); Andrew Desjardins (17); Brandon Mishinter (13); Frazer McLaren (9); Mike Moore (6); Tommy Wingels (5).
- 2011-12: Andrew Desjardins (76 games); Tommy Wingels (33); Thomas Greiss (19)
- 2012-13: Matt Irwin (38 games)
- 2013-14: Matt Nieto (66 games); Tomas Hertl (37); Eriah Hayes (15); Freddie Hamilton (11)
- 2014-15: Barclay Goodrow (60 games); Melker Karlsson (53); Chris Tierney (53); Mirco Mueller (39); Matt Tennyson (27).
- 2015-16: Darnell Nurse (69 games); Iiro Pakarinen (63); Brandon Davidson (51); Connor McDavid (45); Griffin Reinhart (29); Adam Clendening (20); Jordan Oesterle (17); Jujhar Khaira (15); Anton Slepyshev (11).
— sport-us (@Sport_US_Sport) May 18, 2016
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Today on the show, beginning at 10 on TSN1260:
- Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Best defensive options for Edmonton, the importance of starting as you mean to go.
- Mick Hatten, St. Cloud Times. Patrick Russell is a new Oiler hire, what do we know about him?
- Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. Blue Jays pitching is impacting the team, the bullpen needs addressing. Where does Toronto go from here?
- Frank Seravalli, TSN. The Sharks are through and a massive Game 7 awaits us tonight.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you soon!