THE LEFTORIUM, TAKE TWO

Back in February, we discussed the left side of the Edmonton Oilers defensive roster. At that time—and now—the lefty-righty ratio on defense is badly of out time.

oilers defense depth lefty-rightyThat is a lot of left! Nikita Nikitin is reportedly heading back to Russia, Andrew Ference is likely to be bought out of be placed on LTIR (thanks for the Stanley in 2011, Mr. Ference!). I think Brad Hunt is likely gone, and if the team signs Ethan Bear the ratio could be 14-4 by draft day! Changes are on the way.

UP FRONT

All the months this winter I rambled on about Lucic being a possible acquisition, it never occurred to me that the Oilers would deal a LW of note to make room. For me, the idea of having Lucic-McDavid, Hall-Nuge made some sense, with Pouliot as a helluva option on what would be the third scoring line. The trade deadline may have changed all that, with Patrick Maroon arriving and seemingly giving Edmonton a quality 1-2-3 at LW. Here is what I wrote (with projected lineup) in February:

My suspicion is that we see a lot of movement at these positions over the summer. I was on with Dean Millard on Sports Night last night, and we discussed Milan Lucic. For me, he is a player Peter Chiarelli pursues if he comes available. If the Oilers land him, I think the lines could end up like this:

  • Hall—Nuge—Draisaitl
  • Milan Lucic—McDavid—Patrik Laine
  • Pouliot—Lars Eller—Kassian
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Korpikoski

Oilers offload Yakupov for Eller (this is not my idea originally, someone mentioned it a long time ago), Eberle for Hamonic, sign Lucic and draft Laine. A lot of work, terrific skill and a punch of centers. Expensive third line though, can they afford it?

The days turned into months and the snow finally melted, we got the bikes out and the barbeque never gets a rest. We are mere days away from the draft and trades are becoming more prevalent.

And the damndest thing has happened. Although the RHD is an acknowledged problem and the options (Barrie, Hamonic, Demers) are all logical options, the rumored procurement of left wingers runs at cross purposes with the actual roster. Milan Lucic to Edmonton rumors pop up hourly, people are openly talking about Matt Tkachuk as the pick at No. 4, and all of a sudden the LHD is the second most outrageous position on the portside.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

What the hell is going on? If I am reading the tea leaves correctly, the big draft pick is a LW and the big free agent pickup is a LW. What the hell is going on?

  • A trade.
  • A counter trey.

I am inclined to think we are looking at a trade. Milan Lucic is not a player Edmonton needs unless there is a LW heading out for a RHD. Matt Tkachuk is not an NHL-ready sort so will not change the short term for Edmonton.

At this point, I am inclined to think we might see a trade involving one LW for D, and an inexpensive short-term option on RW:

  • Milan Lucic—McDavid—Eberle
  • Hall—Nuge—Lee Stempniak
  • Maroon—Draisaitl—Kassian
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Pakarinen

With Benoit Pouliot being the odd man out and part of the trade package for a blue. The alternative? I don’t think I need to tell you the risks in trading a franchise player at age 24.

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97 Responses to "THE LEFTORIUM, TAKE TWO"

  1. elegiaccycle says:

    So… Pouliot and Yakupov for….?
    Ah, Deja Vu with Anaheim trade deadline huh?

    Not sure how I feel about that.

  2. UKOil says:

    Just finished watching Red Army on Netflix, HIGHLY recommend it, I can’t believe how good the Russians were… Fetisov was surely on Orr’s level

    The Russian Five (Fetisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Makarov and Krutov) destroyed the Canadians even when the Great One was playing.

    Can’t believe the Cold War kept such amazing talent away from us…

  3. Lowetide says:

    elegiaccycle:
    So… Pouliot and Yakupov for….?
    Ah, Deja Vu with Anaheim trade deadline huh?

    Not sure how I feel about that.

    I remain brokenhearted that McDavid to Laine was so close, so close and yet so far (my thanks to Frankie Valli).

  4. Richard S.S. says:

    The only time a Franchise Player should be traded is for another Franchise Player. The rest is just working out the details.

  5. Lowetide says:

    UKOil:
    Just finished watching Red Army on Netflix, HIGHLY recommend it, I can’t believe how good the Russians were… Fetisov was surely on Orr’s level

    The Russian Five (Fetisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Makarov and Krutov) destroyed the Canadians even when the Great One was playing.

    Can’t believe the Cold War kept such amazing talent away from us…

    I remember when we saw them in 1972. My Dad and I read the newspaper every day, hearing from John Ferguson and others, finding out they had no goalie and were not strong. My Dad and I agree (biased buggers both) Frank Mahovlich would be the best player in the series.

    And then Valeri Kharlamov killed us all.

  6. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Lake Erie is a good hockey team. If Columbus wants a new centreman they probably have the bullets to get one in a trade. Zach Werenski is actually amazing at the AHL level. FYI game 4 is on sportsnet.

  7. elegiaccycle says:

    Lowetide: I remain brokenhearted that McDavid to Laine was so close, so close and yet so far (my thanks to Frankie Valli).

    Lowetide,

    I totally agree. That projected lineup was what I was banking on too.

    If we are relying on Vatanen to be our top RHD we are going back to the classic Oilers mistake of playing people beyond their ability (didn’t Schultz teach us anything??). We only have one shot at this and then we have to live with it for a long time. Let’s do it right.

  8. square_wheels says:

    Since this place is not so secretly a music forum, I strongly suggest the Tower records doc – All Things Must Pass.

    Anyone mid 30’s and up understands what record/tape/CD stores meant to people…..

  9. Mr DeBakey says:

    Lowetide: And then Valeri Kharlamov killed us all.

    Fact – Ronnie Ellis checked him into the ice.
    And the goalering problem turned out to be the tall, smart guy wearing the Maple Leaf.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey: Fact – Ronnie Ellis checked him into the ice.
    And the goalering problem turned out to be the tall, smart guy wearing the Maple Leaf.

    Dryden was awful. Oh my, he was awful.

  11. UKOil says:

    Lowetide: I remember when we saw them in 1972. My Dad and I read the newspaper every day, hearing from John Ferguson and others, finding out they had no goalie and were not strong. My Dad and I agree (biased buggers both) Frank Mahovlich would be the best player in the series.

    And then Valeri Kharlamov killed us all.

    The Cold War kept these amazing players from us, they would have joined the great, Howe, Orr, 99. What a shame. I wish I was around during these times, must have been amazing to watch.

    The beatdown was 8-1, even the Great One didn’t know how to play them.

  12. Lowetide says:

    UKOil: The Cold War kept these amazing players from us, they would have joined the great, Howe, Orr, 99. What a shame. I wish I was around during these times, must have been amazing to watch.

    The beatdown was 8-1, even the Great One didn’t know how to play them.

    They would not shoot the damned puck. Drove Dryden crazy.

  13. lynn says:

    LT,

    I love your loyalty to Hall, Nuge, and Eberle. I think trades more than free agency will get the Oilers into the playoffs. The Oilers are too far down the ladder for tweaking, keeping the status quo of the top six.

  14. UKOil says:

    Lowetide: They would not shoot the damned puck. Drove Dryden crazy.

    Where would they be if they were always in the NHL? I guess up there with the greats.

  15. Ryan says:

    Would anyone here trade Draisatl for Faulk?

    I’m hearing Draisatl for Faulk from my sources. Aka the voices in my head. 🙂 Can someone get me a tinfoil hat?

  16. Bruce McCurdy says:

    For anyone interested I wrote this (glowing) review of Red Army during its run in Edmonton last year. Great movie.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Would anyone here trade Draisatl for Faulk?

    I’m hearing Draisatl for Faulk from my sources.Aka the voices in my head. :)Can someone get me a tinfoil hat?

    I would not, no.

  18. Oilspill says:

    I think you are on the right track. To get quality you give up quality. You don’t give Larry Curly and Moe for Wayne.

    Ryan:
    Would anyone here trade Draisatl for Faulk?

    I’m hearing Draisatl for Faulk from my sources.Aka the voices in my head. Can someone get me a tinfoil hat?

  19. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: I would not, no.

    I’m half German and Draisatl is one of my favorite Oilers. Despite the lack of track record for Draisatl, I’d rather trade RNH.

    We all covet the big centres in the WC.

    It would hurt like a lot, but yeah, I would trade Draisatl for Faulk all day long.

    Justin Faulk solves so many problems for our roster, I don’t know how you couldn’t make that trade.

  20. UKOil says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    For anyone interested I wrote this (glowing) review of Red Army during its run in Edmonton last year. Great movie.

    Thanks Bruce! Fascinating time and story, wish I could have seen them play, must have been extraordinary.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: I’m half German and Draisatl is one of my favorite Oilers.Despite the lack of track record for Draisatl, I’d rather trade RNH.

    We all covet the big centres in the WC.

    It would hurt like a lot, but yeah, I would trade Draisatl for Faulk all day long.

    Justin Faulk solves so many problems for our roster, I don’t know how you couldn’t make that trade.

    Faulk is four years from free agency. I would rather have Leon, who is under control for a long time. Other ways to solve the defense.

  22. Bruce McCurdy says:

    UKOil: Thanks Bruce! Fascinating time and story, wish I could have seen them play, must have been extraordinary.

    Yes it was both of those things, and they were a wonderful team to watch. IIRC the full Soviet National team played the WHA Oilers twice & the NHL Oilers once while on mid-season tours of North America. Fabulous to watch live, especially the last such game when the Oilers could finally keep up with them (and beat them, 4-3).

  23. UKOil says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Yes it was both of those things, and they were a wonderful team to watch. IIRC the full Soviet National team played the WHA Oilers twice & the NHL Oilers once while on mid-season tours of North America. Fabulous to watch live, especially the last such game when the Oilers could finally keep up with them (and beat them, 4-3).

    It simply boggles the mind how good they were, beating the Oil dynasty quite easily. Seeing that 5 man unit work in such unison would have been fabulous.

  24. godot10 says:

    Ryan:
    Would anyone here trade Draisatl for Faulk?

    I’d reluctantly trade Nugent-Hopkins for Faulk. I would race to the telephone the NHL offices if I could trade Draisaitl for Faulk.

  25. godot10 says:

    In 1972, Team Canada with Serge Savard in the lineup, 4 wins, 1 tie, zero losses. Just saying. And it was not like he was injured when he missed games.

  26. stevezie says:

    I’m with Godot and am puzzled that anyone wouldn’t make that deal

  27. dustrock says:

    Lowetide: Faulk is four years from free agency. I would rather have Leon, who is under control for a long time. Other ways to solve the defense.

    McDavid ELC. When we win the first Cup within the next 3 years, no issue re-signing Faulk.

    Faulk is your #1 RHD for the next 10 years.

  28. Lowetide says:

    dustrock: McDavid ELC.When we win the first Cup within the next 3 years, no issue re-signing Faulk.

    Faulk is your #1 RHD for the next 10 years.

    Hmmm. Faulk is a No. 1 D for the next 10 years? I like him a lot, seriously. I do not believe we can project him for a decade.

  29. UKOil says:

    godot10:
    In 1972, Team Canada with Serge Savard in the lineup, 4 wins, 1 tie, zero losses.Just saying.And it was not like he was injured when he missed games.

    If you like a good documentary I do strongly recommend Red Army

  30. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Sure, but the same is true of Drai. I’d say they have comparable ceilings, and Faulk is elite now, on a great deal and plays a position of greater need. If there is a tie breaker it is the McDavid window, no?

    Maybe Barrie and Demers only costs the fourth and money. Maybe that’s better. But in a vacuum Drai for Faulk looks like a great deal to me

  31. Walter Sobchak says:

    Lowetide: I would not, no.

    My eyes adore Draisaitl but I make that trade, in fact Draisaitl might be the centre that most teams are asking for and hope to hell you can lock Faulk up for extended years.

  32. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    Sure, but the same is true of Drai. I’d say they have comparable ceilings, and Faulk is elite now, on a great deal and plays a position of greater need. If there is a tie breaker it is the McDavid window, no?

    Maybe Barrie and Demers only costs the fourth and money. Maybe that’s better. But in a vacuum Drai for Faulk looks like a great deal to me

    I hold on to that center depth, especially Leon who we have a glimpse of but do not know how good he will be in two years. There is no need to try for the hail Mary this summer.

  33. stush18 says:

    DRFNsuperstar:
    Lake Erie is a good hockey team. If Columbus wants a new centreman they probably have the bullets to get one in a trade. Zach Werenski is actually amazing at the AHL level. FYI game 4 is on sportsnet.

    Man I’d be willing to take a contract from Columbus for one of their prospects. Looks like a hell of a team of management can figure it out.

    Bjorkstrand, Anderson, werenski, Milano, Rychel are all looking to be damn good hockey players, with most of them having a physical edge. They have others like paliotta, moutrey, and the old vets like Chaput and Craig.

    I really think werenski is going to turn out to be the best dman out of that draft. He’s so poised.

    Tyutin and paliotta and Anderson for a 2nd rounder?

    You really have to wonder about Columbus taking Dubois. Out of all these players I’ve listed, not one is a centre. If that’s the case I’m keeping number four

  34. Walter Sobchak says:

    Lowetide: I hold on to that center depth, especially Leon who we have a glimpse of but do not know how good he will be in two years. There is no need to try for the hail Mary this summer.

    If Draisaitl has a break out season that could be interesting going into his ne t contract, I think you stay with RNH and get your number one D-man from Draisaitl and take a run at Shaw.

  35. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Wouldn’t Teddy Purcell be a better fit on the right side than Stemniak? He has already had chemistry with Hall and Drai and seemed to really settle in before he was traded.

  36. John Chambers says:

    Re: Drai

    There was a game earlier this season when Draisaitl and Taylor Hall picked apart the San Jose Sharks, connecting on a couple of goals including the OT winner. The hockey world noticed.

    Nuge seems to have 60-65 point potential. Draisaitl has 70-75 point potential while likely ending up 25-30 pounds heavier and just as fast. Drai seems more likely at this point to be a definitive #1C. And they can probably bridge him for under $4M.

    Nuge for Barrie is a bad deal IMO, Nuge for Faulk is a deal I’d do if you were confident we could grab Shaw or Neilson, but Drai for Faulk is too rich.

  37. stevezie says:

    Lowetide: how good [will he] be in two years

    I think Faulk in the hand is worth Drai in the bush. If the numbers on him have changed I’ll take it all back, but you may be under rating Faulk. A young fifteen goal #1 rhD sounds better than a Hail Mary to me.

    That said I agree with you on the value of centre depth. It would be nice if one of the three shot right, but keeping the forward corps excellent is definitely a priority.

    I don’t see keeping both Drai and the 4th as a likely though. Something has to bring us that rhD.

  38. Mr DeBakey says:

    UKOil: If you like a good documentary I do strongly recommend Red Army

    You might like this:
    http://blackdoghatesskunks.blogspot.ca/search/label/72%20Series

    The way Blogger is laid out, the first posts are at the bottom

  39. Lowetide says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes:
    Wouldn’t Teddy Purcell be a better fit on the right side than Stemniak? He has already had chemistry with Hall and Drai and seemed to really settle in before he was traded.

    I almost put Teddy in there, but decided to run Lee Stempniak this time. Parenteau would also work.

  40. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    Gmoney must enter Teddy in the gritensity calculator and pass to Dellow……only chance Chia’s convinced to resign him.

    I’ve got time for another 2 yrs of Teddy, decent possession player and reliable in his dzone responsibilities.

  41. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    Gmoney must enter Teddy in the gritensity calculator and pass to Dellow……only chance Chia’s convinced to resign him.

    I’ve got time for another 2 yrs of Teddy, decent possession player and reliable in his dzone responsibilities.

    What I like about Purcell is that he can pass the puck so very well. I love that about him.

  42. Kitchener says:

    One post too late, “The Power and the Glory” by Gentle Giant is one of my favourite albums. Grace, power, intrigue, playfulness, cleverness, groovy instruments…

  43. Lowetide says:

    Kitchener:
    One post too late, “The Power and the Glory” by Gentle Giant is one of my favourite albums.Grace, power, intrigue, playfulness, cleverness, groovy instruments…

    Oh my God. People often get my references but rarely hit the heart of the target
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S8lKZ0MMUQ

  44. Ryan says:

    John Chambers:
    Re: Drai

    There was a game earlier this season when Draisaitl and Taylor Hall picked apart the San Jose Sharks, connecting on a couple of goals including the OT winner. The hockey world noticed.

    Nuge seems to have 60-65 point potential. Draisaitl has 70-75 point potential while likely ending up 25-30 pounds heavier and just as fast. Drai seems more likely at this point to be a definitive #1C. And they can probably bridge him for under $4M.

    Nuge for Barrie is a bad deal IMO, Nuge for Faulk is a deal I’d do if you were confident we could grab Shaw or Neilson, but Drai for Faulk is too rich.

    I wouldn’t do Nuge for Barrie either. No chance.

    McDavid – Nuge is still a nice 1-2 punch.

    Especially with a top pair of Klefbomb-Faulk.

  45. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    The right side needs wingers like him. They collect the puck along the wall and almost always make the right play – hold and pass, skate to open and pass, fend off the pinching D or as a last resort (safety valve) chip along the boards and chase to pressure for a turnover. Teddy didn’t have the wheels to put huge pressure on the D but he rarely had to, he could always find Hall or Drai busting up the middle.

    What I like about Lucic and I think this applies to either wing he plays, is that when he collects a puck there is only a few D that can handle him and even that’s a break even venture. His possession numbers are exotic because he’s so friggin strong and what’s key is he understands what to do with the time that provides him. I’d love to have him patrol right side with McDavid because 90% of the time he’s going to be able to feed him busting up the middle when teams try and double team him for retrieval. The other winger on that line just needs to be able to keep up to hammer home the garbage.

  46. Spydyr says:

    Hall—Nuge—Draisaitl
    Milan Lucic—McDavid—Patrik Laine
    Pouliot—Lars Eller—Kassian
    Hendricks—Letestu—Korpikoski

    Oilers offload Yakupov for Eller (this is not my idea originally, someone mentioned it a long time ago), Eberle for Hamonic, sign Lucic and draft Laine.

    I like everything about that except Korpikoski. Korpikoski has to go.

  47. Gret99zky says:

    “Matt Tkachuk is not an NHL-ready sort so will not change the short term for Edmonton.”

    Whoa. You remember what team we are talking about here, right?

    If they take Tkachuk at #4, it is highly probable he is on the opening night roster either because of injury or idiocy.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Gret99zky:
    “Matt Tkachuk is not an NHL-ready sort so will not change the short term for Edmonton.”

    Whoa.You remember what team we are talking about here, right?

    If they take Tkachuk at #4, it is highly probable he is on the opening night roster either because of injury or idiocy.

    Yes. I was trying to fool the hockey Gods, but yes.

  49. square_wheels says:

    Spydyr,

    No Maroon ?

  50. Gret99zky says:

    Spydyr:
    Hall—Nuge—Draisaitl
    Milan Lucic—McDavid—Patrik Laine
    Pouliot—Lars Eller—Kassian
    Hendricks—Letestu—Korpikoski

    Oilers offload Yakupov for Eller (this is not my idea originally, someone mentioned it a long time ago), Eberle for Hamonic, sign Lucic and draft Laine.

    I like everything about that except Korpikoski. Korpikoski has to go.

    Ummm, how do they draft Laine?

  51. square_wheels says:

    After watching the Tower records doc I’m reminded the kids need another “Dad plays an album and tries to explain what the bands singing about” night (mom’s out, we rock hard).

    Tonight’s choice – Road Apples

    Something wrong with you if your foot won’t tap and your ass wont shake to that album.

    Soaked in so much southern blues and rock it’s still hard to believe it’s lads from Kingston.

    One more reason I love New Orleans.

  52. Gret99zky says:

    Road Apples.

    Such a wonderful album.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Gret99zky: Ummm, how do they draft Laine?

    The post was from February, as was noted in the original post.

  54. JimmyV1965 says:

    Ryan:
    Would anyone here trade Draisatl for Faulk?

    I’m hearing Draisatl for Faulk from my sources.Aka the voices in my head. Can someone get me a tinfoil hat?

    In a heartbeat of course. No question. No offence LT, is there any of the core you are willing to trade?

  55. square_wheels says:

    Gret99zky,

    Sounds so good even after 25 years. Yup, 25.

    Day for Night is my favourite – dark, gloomy and untouchable.

    Gord’s condition reminding me once again his lasting impact on my musical taste.

  56. Lowetide says:

    JimmyV1965: In a heartbeat of course. No question.No offence LT, is there any of the core you are willing to trade?

    None taken. 🙂 I would trade any of them at the right price, but for me chasing the currently available D (or rumored available, I do not think Faulk is on the market) at all costs makes no sense. If Subban, Karlsson or even Lindholm is available, then lets talk.

  57. Gret99zky says:

    Right. Didn’t recognize it as a quote.

    Carry on.

    *whistling, looking at the ground, moving a pebble around with tip of shoe*

  58. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Gret99zky,

    square_wheels,

    Cordelia might be my favourite Hip song. Solid album for sure.

  59. Lowetide says:

    Gret99zky:
    Right.Didn’t recognize it as a quote.

    Carry on.

    *whistling, looking at the ground, moving a pebble around with tip of shoe*

    Ha! No worries.

  60. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    Subban…….3M more than Hall…….sheesh. Lindholm is the target, but how does Anaheim not know how good he is considering how above average they’ve been drafting and developing ?

    Is this the one time they are vulnerable and we need to pounce ? Or are they going to wait until we strike out on FA’s and up the ante from Pou/Yak and ask for Hall ?

    If there was a trade that was a win/win its going to be that one.

    I truly believe we have 3 more seasons of Hall and he’s gone anyways. We’ve soured him and now the team belongs to 97. He’s gone but his play hasn’t left yet.

  61. square_wheels says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    My love for the hip catalogue – when asked Whats my favourite song I feel like Michael Bolton in Office Space when he’s asked what’s his favourite Michael Bolton song.

    All of them ? 😀

  62. Lowetide says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    Subban…….3M more than Hall…….sheesh. Lindholm is the target, but how does Anaheim not know how good he is considering how above average they’ve been drafting and developing ?

    Is this the one time they are vulnerable and we need to pounce? Or are they going to wait until we strike out on FA’s and up the ante from Pou/Yak and ask for Hall ?

    If there was a trade that was a win/win its going to be that one.

    I truly believe we have 3 more seasons of Hall and he’s gone anyways. We’ve soured him and now the team belongs to 97. He’s gone but his play hasn’t left yet.

    I don’t think anyone who is a thinking man has soured on Hall, including management. That doesn’t mean they will keep him, though.

  63. StevieG_8 says:

    Lowetide: What I like about Purcell is that he can pass the puck so very well. I love that about him.

    I don’t know who said it but someone described Purcell as a cerebral player. In one of PC’s interviews, PC described Tkachuk as a cerebral player. When I watch him play his role on the power play, he stands and battles in front of the net, anticipates plays and skates quick to retrieve the puck (it helps how he uses his body well to protect puck), handles the puck then moves it effectively and quickly but right on tape like Purcell did when he was with us, and then goes back to position.

    ———–
    I’m starting to like Tkachuk now especially with this (http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/05/26/london-knights-tkachuk-under-western-canada-scouts-microscope-at-memorial)
    Father and son both know the skating will need a bit of improvement, but that’ll come.

    “He’s going to be attending Gary Roberts (training and nutrition) this summer. He recognizes where he has to get better and that’s what’s good about him,” said Keith.
    ———–
    His skating may not be Drai type of change but I think he’ll be in the NHL in 2-3 years (I hope) so he’ll have 3-4 summers to work on his skating. Watching him, I can see that he is quick to the puck by reading where the play will go and with the knowledge that he and his dad knows his skating needs improvement, he’ll have a lot of tools offensively.

  64. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    I don’t think anyone on the club has soured on him but the collective pain this team has inflicted on him – the walk in the wilderness for his entire 6 years to date will make him staying here beyond his UFA extremely difficult.

    We talk about selling high, Chia is looking at his chips for an elite D that’s under control……its narrowing down to Hall or Nuge.

    I think that’s going to be our penance for these years of ineptitude. Does not mean I or anyone else will like it.

  65. square_wheels says:

    StevieG_8,

    I’ve taught skating for years and want to point out he’s soon to be 18. His skating is essentially locked in, the muscle memory is very hard to change. You can enhance certain attributes like first step quickness, through specific drills and exercises, but as a season wears on the player will regress to their foundation and rely on “cheats” like positioning and anticipation. Much like Teddy P and dozens of other wingers, you can be an average skater and still excel as long as your brain game is very high level.

    But changing your stride and edge work at 18 after thousands of games……not an easy task.

  66. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: None taken. I would trade any of them at the right price, but for me chasing the currently available D (or rumored available, I do not think Faulk is on the market) at all costs makes no sense. If Subban, Karlsson or even Lindholm is available, then lets talk.

    Unfortunately, the other GMs are saying to Chia “if McDavid or Hall are available, then let’s talk.”

    We start with the untradables and settle on the rather-not-tradables.

    And if we blow 6mill on Jason Demers, then we’ll need to trade for the next couple of years.

  67. stevezie says:

    square_wheels,

    Wrong. Nautical Disaster is the best one. There are many great ones, but it is best. The video seals it.

    square_wheels: We talk about selling high, Chia is looking at his chips for an elite D that’s under control……its narrowing down to Hall or Nuge.

    I like his affordable price tag, but Drai has a bunch of missteps yet to take and the team already has two really good Cs. Not saying he is on the block or “must” go , in fact I’d love to keep him. I’m just saying if you’re looking at chips to move, if you convert Drai* into a D and replace him with a solid 3rd line rhC the team is pretty balanced**.

    *You could say the same thing about RNH. I’m more attached to Nuge, and like him a lot as a Bergeron type. If you think moving his salary is the tie-breaker I’ll counter with Drai’s low salary makes his trade value higher and we’ll be left where we started. Argument to be made for both, but if pushed to only keep one I choose Nuge.

    **I like Drai and Nurse both. Hope we find a way to keep them. I just think logic and the McDavid entry window combine to make them both pretty touchable. (Especially Nurse, but I think most of us accept that now).

  68. square_wheels says:

    stevezie,

    Nautical Disaster would be my choice as well. Thugs ranks near the top also. Damn I love that album.

    On the topic of who gets traded, I’m ok with anyone going since Bettman’s lottery back door went sideways and we received the gift last spring.

    Fix the fucking D and balance this roster, that is all there is left for Chia to do.

    Pain is coming this summer my friends and it’s gonna be more than a horsefly bite. More of a face plant in a ground hornets nest. I’ve done that.

    It hurt. A lot.

  69. square_wheels says:

    I’m finally watching Twin Peaks on Crave – since when is a “small town” 51000 people ?

    That’s Red Deer until 1998. Pffffft small town.

  70. jake70 says:

    square_wheels:
    After watching the Tower records doc I’m reminded the kids need another “Dad plays an album and tries to explain what the bands singing about” night (mom’s out, we rock hard).

    Tonight’s choice – Road Apples

    Something wrong with you if your foot won’t tap and your ass wont shake to that album.

    Soaked in so much southern blues and rock it’s still hard to believe it’s lads from Kingston.

    One more reason I love New Orleans.

    That Tower records Doc….is that the one with “all things must pass” in title? I’ve seen that in m n demand choices…..recommend it?

    And Road Apples is fantastic……On the Verge, Three Pistols, and on and on.

  71. square_wheels says:

    jake70,

    Yes that’s the doc, it’s on Crave.

  72. rickithebear says:

    Points since 12-13 lockout:
    Top 30; UFA; Oilers and Players with same points listed.
    #9 Sequin 266
    #10 Thorton 263
    ———————– top 10 Fwd
    #12 Kessel 252
    #14 Wheeler 249
    ———————- top 15 Fwd
    top 15 traded by PC: Seguin; Kessel; Wheeler
    #18 Hall 4yr @ 6M 233 Stamkos; Malkin
    ———————- top 20 Fwd
    #27 Eberle 3yr @6M 212 Zetterburg
    ———————- top 30 Fwd upper 1st line

    #32 Ladd UFA 208 Do you grab him over Lucic?
    #32 Okposo UFA 208
    #40 Hudler UFA 203 he is a player i might look to replace Eberle at 1/2 the price for 3yr.
    #41 Vanek UFA 202 Simmonds
    ————————— top 45 Fwd

    #57 Backes UFA 188 B. Ryan
    #61 Lucic UFA 185 Hossa
    #65 F. Nielson UFA 181
    ————————— top 65 Fwd mid 1st line

    #73 Ericksson UFA 176
    #77 RNH 5 yr @ 6M 170 F. Nielson at 1/2 the price
    #78 Vrbata UFA 169 Hornquist; J. Williams
    ————————– top 80 Fwd
    #84 Bozak 2yr @ 4.2M 161
    #87 Perron UFA 159 monohan; M. Johansson
    #90 Brouwer UFA 158
    ————————- Top 90 Fwd Bottom 1st line

    #91 Doan UFA 157 Camalerri; Moulson; Desharnais
    #96 Boedker UFA 156 Gallagher; Kesler
    #98 Purcell UFA 155
    ———————— Top 100

    #111 Stempniak UFA 145 Soderberg; C. Smith
    #120 Parenteau UFA 139
    ———————————- Top 120 Upper 2nd line

    #131 Gagner UFA 132 Fischer; Mi. Granlund
    #146 Pouliot 126 Anisimov; Cogliono; Frolik; Gaborik
    #155 C. Stewart 118 J. Hansen; C. wilson
    ———————– Top 155 mid 2nd line

    #165 Shaw 114
    #168 Yakupov 111 D. Brown; Mcarthur
    #176 McGinn UFA 105 Wingels
    #183 Letestu 99 Berglund; Hodgson; Mathias; Mitchell
    #192 R. Strome 96 Kulemin
    #206 Maroon 93 A. Lee
    #226 Korpikoski 79 Czikas; Helm; King;

    #28 Eberle RW 212 + #77 RNH 171 = 383 Pt for 12M
    #146 Pouliot LW 126 + #168 Yakupov RW 111 = 237pt for 6.5M
    #40 Hudler RW 203 + #65 Nielson 181 = 384 pt for 6, 7, 8M ?????

    #183 Letestu C 99 + #226 Korpikoski LW 79 = 178 PT 4.3M
    #84 Bozak C 161 PT 4.2M

    Bozak for Korpikoski; #84 Florida’s pick
    If I Have Bozak in my Pocket at the draft.
    Comfortable with with so many possible moves.

    Hall 4yr @ 6M
    Drai 1yr @ 3.4M
    XXX

    XXX
    Mcdavid 2yr @ 3.775M
    XXX

    XXX
    Bozak 2yr @ 4.2M or less
    XXX

    LW
    Pouliot 4m
    Maroon 1.5m
    Hendricks 1.85M

    C
    RNH 6M -> neilson UFA
    Letestu 1.8M
    Lander .99M

    RW
    Eberle 6M -> Hudler UFA
    Yakupov 2.5M
    Kassian 1.5M

  73. Chris says:

    From Friedman’s 30 thoughts

    23. Now that the NHL is starting to disseminate information about an expansion draft, details are seeping out. One of the biggest changes from where things started to where they finished is players with a no-move clause will have the option of waiving it. Another is that players with NMCs expiring by July 1, 2017 do not have to be protected. This will be a huge relief to a team like Arizona, which won’t have to waste a spot on Chris Pronger.

    That seems to settle the ongoing anxiety about Ferrence’s no movement clause.

  74. Chachi says:

    square_wheels:
    StevieG_8,

    I’ve taught skating for years and want to point out he’s soon to be 18. His skating is essentially locked in, the muscle memory is very hard to change. You can enhance certain attributes like first step quickness, through specific drills and exercises, but as a season wears on the player will regress to their foundation and rely on “cheats” like positioning and anticipation. Much like Teddy P and dozens of other wingers, you can be an average skater and still excel as long as your brain game is very high level.

    But changing your stride and edge work at 18 after thousands of games……not an easy task.

    I really hope Tkachuk does not hire you to help him improve his skating…

  75. Lowetide says:

    Chris:
    From Friedman’s 30 thoughts

    23. Now that the NHL is starting to disseminate information about an expansion draft, details are seeping out. One of the biggest changes from where things started to where they finished is players with a no-move clause will have the option of waiving it. Another is that players with NMCs expiring by July 1, 2017 do not have to be protected. This will be a huge relief to a team like Arizona, which won’t have to waste a spot on Chris Pronger.

    That seems to settle the ongoing anxiety about Ferrence’s no movement clause.

    People will still bring it up, there is so much confusion because the NHL has no idea how to clarify.

  76. square_wheels says:

    Chachi,

    No I wouldn’t hire me as well, he should spend his dad’s money on someone with sexier credentials.

  77. Kitchener says:

    Lowetide,

    I have some of the best audio equipment available, but somehow none of it plays that album loud enough. There’s nothing like Gentle Giant today. Something close is the band I heard live tonight, Rinse the Algorithm (Rich Brown et al.) Here’s a sample for adventurous audio nuts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG17U719-Eo They’re missing a few elements but add a few extras too.

    I spoke with Rich (bassist, leader) after the show about Bach, structure (music), teamwork (music), individual data points vs big picture (music), etc. There’s an Oilers parallel in there somewhere, but suffice it to say that sometimes magic happens (Penguins) and sometimes it doesn’t (Kings, Ducks, Caps, Rangers, etc.)

    The Power and the Glory is like a Cup Champ or legendary player from decades past: dated, but top notch forever.

  78. Drew says:

    UKOil: It simply boggles the mind how good they were, beating the Oil dynasty quite easily. Seeing that 5 man unit work in such unison would have been fabulous.

    They were a wonderful team but they also managed to lose to a collection of minor leaguers in the biggest game in a four-year span.

  79. Drew says:

    UKOil:
    Just finished watching Red Army on Netflix, HIGHLY recommend it, I can’t believe how good the Russians were… Fetisov was surely on Orr’s level

    The Russian Five (Fetisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Makarov and Krutov) destroyed the Canadians even when the Great One was playing.

    Can’t believe the Cold War kept such amazing talent away from us…

    I think you might be caught up in a really good piece of entertainment. Fetisov was an all time great d-man but he did not live in Orr’s neighborhood, not even close.

    If you want a comparison picture a d-man that could effortlessly gobble up pucks in the d-zone, maybe like Nikolas Lidstrum, then he had Gretzky’s offensive skill in the o-zone.

    If Orr was in the series in ’72 would not have had the same timeliness at all, the Soviets would have been marvelling at the greatness in their presence. Orr was simply on another level than everyone else on that ice surface.

  80. JimmyV1965 says:

    If anything, I can see Hall bolting when his contract is over. If this team is not competitive by then, why on earth would Hall choose to stay here? Now that I think of it, if I’m Hall and there’s two years left on my contract and the team is still a steaming pile, I would demand a trade. It’s one thing to put up with eight years of losing, it’s quite another to forfeit potentially millions in UFA money because management fails to surround you with a decent team.

  81. Ice Sage says:

    Fully Completely’s ‘Wheat Kings’. Perfect on so many levels.

    A month doesn’t go by when I don’t quote this to my sons:
    “no one’s interested in something you didn’t do”

    (could apply to the Oil / Chia / this blog 😉

  82. Chachi says:

    square_wheels:
    Chachi,

    No I wouldn’t hire me as well, he should spend his dad’s money on someone with sexier credentials.

    Hopefully someone who doesn’t look at an 18 year old kid and conclude that nothing in his skating stride can be improved because it is “locked in” because that is bullshit.

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10:
    In 1972, Team Canada with Serge Savard in the lineup, 4 wins, 1 tie, zero losses.Just saying.And it was not like he was injured when he missed games.

    He was injured for Games 4 & 5.

  84. Professor Q says:

    Chachi: Hopefully someone who doesn’t look at an 18 year old kid and conclude that nothing in his skating stride can be improved because it is “locked in” because that is bullshit.

    According to multiple reports including Tkatchuk himself, he has improved his skating every year dramatically and will continue to do so. He’s not as bad as some posters here are trying to make him out to be (there IS a reason why he has been ranked this highly for so long). I really don’t understand this smear campaign of the past few months. It makes little sense.

    Similar to the comments on Lowetide’s ON Pick 32 post. Most commenters (who commented on the size difference and how Dubois towered over everyone) don’t seem to understand Forced Perspective…Dubois was placed closest to the camera, and Tkatchuk the furthest back (about 3 steps and Don between them).

  85. Spydyr says:

    square_wheels,

    Good eye.Totally missed that.

  86. Marc says:

    A word of caution about projecting the team’s depth chart too far into the future: things can change quickly.

    At the beginning of 12/13 the Oilers seemed set at RW for the foreseeable future. Eberle was coming off a fantastic season and had just signed a long term deal. They had drafted Yakupov first overall. Hemsky was starting a new two year deal. And Rieder was coming off a fantastic draft +1 season in the OHL.

    18 months later Rieder and Hemsky were gone and Yak was struggling, and the Oilers have had no depth at RW ever since.

    If Lucic wants to sign with Oil and can be signed to a reasonable deal, they should do it. He’s a top 6 player that costs only money to acquire. The more good players there are on the team, the more options Chia has for shoring up the D and the more options McClennan has in terms of deploying his roster.

  87. Pouzar says:

    Marc:
    A word of caution about projecting the team’s depth chart too far into the future: things can change quickly.

    At the beginning of 12/13 the Oilers seemed set at RW for the foreseeable future. Eberle was coming off a fantastic season and had just signed a long term deal. They had drafted Yakupov first overall. Hemsky was starting a new two year deal. And Rieder was coming off a fantastic draft +1 season in the OHL.

    18 months later Rieder and Hemsky were gone and Yak was struggling, and the Oilers have had no depth at RW ever since.

    If Lucic wants to sign with Oil and can be signed to a reasonable deal, they should do it. He’s a top 6 player that costs only money to acquire. The more good players there are on the team, the more options Chia has for shoring up the D and the more options McClennan has in terms of deploying his roster.

    No projecting here. Our D sucks. Spend the $$$ there.

  88. OF17 says:

    I too would do Draisaitl for Faulk, but I don’t think Carolina would. They’re in the early stages of a retool, but going forward with Hanifin-Faulk Fleury-Pesce along with their myriad of promising players up front (no studs, but lots of good ones) is a great place to start. Having two 1sts this year doesn’t hurt either.

    I’m sure they’d love to have Draisaitl, but Faulk is the glue that holds that team together. They’re already a playoff bubble team, so I doubt they’re concerned about not being able to compete during Faulk’s contract. I really can’t see it unless it’s Draisaitl + Tkachuk or something, which would obviously be too much for us.

    Faulk isn’t Subban or Doughty, but from what I can tell he’s only a notch below. He’d be the cornerstone of our D for 5-10 years, and for me, that’s worth downgrading from 3 1Cs to 2 1Cs and a 3C (possibly with Dubois on the way).

  89. square_wheels says:

    Chachi,

    Haha before you get too excited re-read my comment.

    And then find me evidence someone who skates like Jarret Stoll at 18 can then evolve into Jason Chimera ?

    The point I was making was muscle memory, the way your body works while skating, is effectively set in stone before you’re 16. That isn’t to say players can’t vastly improve, it happens with growth spurts, coaching and an intense dedication to focus on small details. Hell, I’ve seen guys improve by loosening their skates or even as simple as not using the top eyelet. Skate selection, boot adjustment, blade sharpening……they all add up to minor details. The largest detail is genetics, nothing you can do to tweak that.

    My internet broad brush statement shouldn’t have implied – “I’ve never seen someone start at Ulanov and become Bouwmeester.” Thats a bit heavy handed.

    Tkachuk isn’t slow either, he’s just not going to be described as a great skater. His dad wasn’t either but the game is now all about quickness so if you’re chronically a half step late and you’ve been able to compensate by being clever……I’m having some serious concerns drafting you at 4th overall.

    Anton Lander has learned this all too well.

  90. square_wheels says:

    Professor Q,

    That height debate was hilarious, somehow the official measuring tape didn’t work while it was obvious Dubois was mashed up towards the camera.

    Tkachuk carries the burden of his dad’s skating, but he has also the advantage of the big hockey brain. The league is full of clunky skaters and the AHL full of speedsters.

    I don’t like anyone’s skating but his isn’t awful, it’s just not elite. I’m more concerned with his zoom from Dvoarak and Marmer.

    Maybe Dellow has a new analysis we haven’t identified ???

  91. thehop says:

    square_wheels,

    Can one of the Nerds create a Wheels/60 metric, akin to the ever elusive gritensity/60…..please.

    I’m with Square Wheels on this. Skating is very much like driving to me. The habits I formed as youte (misspelling is deliberate) have stayed with me my whole life and if anyone can fix a shitty skater it’s Gary Roberts….

    I hated that guy in the 80’s when he played for the Flames. He was a very good hockey player.

  92. square_wheels says:

    thehop,

    Roberts is conditioning, don’t think he adjusts skating. I’d come to Calgary and speak to the fine folks at U of C and the speed skating program. There are other pure skating schools out there, more appearing every year due to so many kids taking up the game a bit later than traditional ages (4-6 vs as late as 10).

    If I had a nickel for every time I’ve encountered a short choppy stride that was rooted in the fear of falling from a young age. Lean forward and lengthen those legs. Watch the Nuge !!!

    I’ve always wanted to see Hall tweak his edges a bit, he doesn’t lean forward in his boots enough and falls often from being flat footed. I would guess he has a narrow foot. (Sorry, getting weird now) 😎

  93. Rosco says:

    Lowetide and I believe others have mentioned that a Fayne for Bozak type deal might be a possibility… What are peoples thoughts him? I only mention based on the possibility of Nuge being traded (which I don’t support) for that RD.

    Should Bozak be a target would that not make the loss of a centre more palatable?

    McDavid / Draisaitle / Bozak isn’t horrible…

  94. Rosco says:

    Further to my previous post… Ideally the team keeps the #4, and makes the hard decisions on some roster players.

    Nuge for Barrie and a pick (possibly involving Winnepeg)
    Nurse for Hamonic (if hes available)
    Fayne for Bozak

    Sign a FA winger and hopefully keep Yak.

  95. godot10 says:

    Rosco:
    Lowetide and I believe others have mentioned that a Fayne for Bozak type deal might be a possibility… What are peoples thoughts him? I only mention based on the possibility of Nuge being traded (which I don’t support) for that RD.

    Should Bozak be a target would that not make the loss of a centre more palatable?

    McDavid / Draisaitle / Bozak isn’t horrible…

    The Oilers need Fayne for the expansion draft. Until the minimum requirement for exposed D is met by another D, it would be foolish to trade Fayne.

  96. thehop says:

    square_wheels,

    Not weird at all….

    My dad always preached what you are talking about. To me, elite skaters are born with that ability and it is honed as they grow. Furthermore, as the NHL moves towards a faster game this ability will be something folks focus on more and more.

  97. Chachi says:

    square_wheels:
    Chachi,

    Haha before you get too excited re-read my comment.

    And then find me evidence someone who skates like Jarret Stoll at 18 can then evolve into Jason Chimera ?

    The point I was making was muscle memory, the way your body works while skating, is effectively set in stone before you’re 16. That isn’t to say players can’t vastly improve, it happens with growth spurts, coaching and an intense dedication to focus on small details. Hell, I’ve seen guys improve by loosening their skates or even as simple as not using the top eyelet. Skate selection, boot adjustment, blade sharpening……they all add up to minor details. The largest detail is genetics, nothing you can do to tweak that.

    My internet broad brush statement shouldn’t have implied– “I’ve never seen someone start at Ulanov and become Bouwmeester.” Thats a bit heavy handed.

    Tkachuk isn’t slow either, he’s just not going to be described as a great skater. His dad wasn’t either but the game is now all about quickness so if you’re chronically a half step late and you’ve been able to compensate by being clever……I’m having some serious concerns drafting you at 4th overall.

    Anton Lander has learned this all too well.

    So I re-read your posts and you have said you have concerns picking Tkachuk at 4 citing his skating. You say that his speed is ok, but he will never be a great skater. He can however improve some things about his skating, but in actual fact his skating is essentially locked in forever. Also he will never be Jason Chimera, but he is actually some combination of Jarret Stoll, Anton Lander or Teddy Purcell. You seem to imply he will be a half step late at the NHL level, but you have absolutely nothing to base the assertion on at all. Just a whole bunch of spewing things out of both sides of your mouth.

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