THRASHER

I am beginning to think many Oilers fans have the wrong idea about Tyler Benson. I keep reading about a slow checker who has major issues as a prospect. Part of it likely comes from injuries last season (cyst removal, groin injury) and part of it may come from a vague scouting report. Allow me a moment to set the scene on Benson.

  • Craig Button, November 2014: “He reminds so much of Jamie Benn at the same age. Tyler can make plays off the wing or score off the wing, and guys like him are rare. He thinks the game at such a high pace, and that translates when you can make plays, when everything around you is busy.” Source
  • Claude Noel, who coached Benson: “He thinks the game at a really good level. He has a tremendous feel for where people are. His pursuit is excellent. He’s physical, he’s strong on the puck.” Source

Those reports are basically pre-injuries reports, and Benson had some real health issues during his draft year. If you cast about the internet, you can find some pretty down scouting reports. According to Prospect-Stats:

  • His .700 even-strength points-per-game ranks him No. 2 among (first time) 2016 draft-eligible WHL forwards (Dillon Dube, .707—he was chosen No. 56 overall by Calgary).
  • His .567 primary even-strength points-per-game ranks him No. 2 among (first time) 2016 draft-eligible WHL forwards (Dillon Dube, .585—he was chosen No. 56 overall by Calgary).
  • He did this on a team that won 23 games, and the Giants were one of five teams in the league to score fewer than 200 goals.

These numbers were compiled in a season where he was never right. I know a scout, he sometimes answers my questions (as long as the draft is over). He scouts for an American team. I reached out and asked about one thing on Benson: His skating. What came back? When healthy, Benson is a very powerful skater, and the strongest skater among WHL 2016 eligible players in this draft.

We know he has the hands, he was scoring at a rate that was better than all but Dube when far less than 100 percent. We do not know if he is healthy. If he is, the idea that he could reasonably be described as a checker is nonsense. It was this year when he was not healthy, truth to tell.

RIGHT, RIGHT, BLOODY WELL RIGHT

Kevin Shattenkirk is an interesting player at this point in the summer. Jeremy Rutherford has an article today about Shattenkirk and his agent expecting a trade, well worth the read. Among the items of specific interest to Edmonton: The agent expected a trade on the weekend, expects one today; it sounds like western teams are involved, and a new contract certainly appears to be part of the exchange. It also gives us a value comparable (Dylan Larkin, Jonathan Drouin) as the ask, and I would suggest Leon Draisaitl (young, NHL successful, years of control) as the most likely Oilers candidate.

CURRENT LIST

  1. LD Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks. Perfect fit, if available.
  2. PK Subban, Montreal Canadiens. If available, shoot the moon.
  3. Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. Perfect fit, if available.
  4. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues. Would you trade Leon for him?
  5. Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild. Very good player.
  6. Jason Demers, Dallas Stars. Wilford Brimley: The right thing to do.
  7. Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. Might cost the Nuge. Weird match.
  8. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets. If he shakes loose, Oilers may pounce.
  9. David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets. Range of skills.
  10. LD Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers. Just money, big help.
  11. Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild. Has some nice things.
  12. Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils. A nice underlying option.
  13. Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders. Big shot from the point has high value.
  14. Ryan Murphy, Carolina Hurricanes. An attractive later choice.
  15. Brandon Montour, Anaheim Ducks. This could be a special player.
  16. Connor Carrick, Toronto Maple Leafs. Apparently, they did not qualify him.
  17. Zach Redmond, Colorado Avalanche. Darcy likes him as a depth D.
  18. Cody Franson, Buffalo Sabres. Hammer from the point.
  19. Colin Miller, Boston Bruins. Bruins qualified him, may not be available.
  20. Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames. A year removed from a fantastic offensive season.

Lucic is talking to Vancouver and will talk to Edmonton. I believe he is coming here. You should put the same value on my opinion about this as you do on the possibility of your dog singing Sweet Caroline. Oilers have to be an attractive option—McDavid, new arena, he will be a legend here—and money plus term should be competitive. Danger here, ladies—and we all know it, including Peter Chiarelli. Lucic replaces Hall, Hall fetches Subban. That could be the play here. Do not be surprised to see Lucic sign in Vancouver.

CHIARELLI TRIGGERS

  • Pierre Lebrun: “Oilers are absolutely loaded up front. I mean, they’ve got too many top-6 options. They’re rich in one area, and not too rich elsewhere. So the way to fix your blueline will come from one of those forwards, and I have absolutely extreme confidence that Chiarelli will pull the trigger here, if not this week, certainly in the off-season here.  His conversations have kept going with a number of teams and I think he’ll get that done.” Source

I think Chiarelli will have the lay of the land in regard to Lucic and Jason Demers (who is going to be very expensive) by Thursday, so we might see a trade (possibly earlier) by the Oilers. My list of free agents (defense excluded) PC should pursue (in order):

  1. Steven Stamkos
  2. Jason Demers
  3. Frans Nielsen
  4. Milan Lucic
  5. Brian Campbell
  6. PA Parenteau
  7. Lee Stempniak
  8. Brett Connolly
  9. David Backes
  10. James Reimer
  11. Jhonas Enroth
  12. Chad Johnson
  13. Loui Eriksson
  14. Tomas Vanek

OFFER SHEET

Speeds wrote a dandy item on Seth Jones, I recommend reading if you have not already. An OS this summer is a solid option, and the threat of it is perhaps stronger now than it was before draft weekend.

On that note, plenty of discussion about Edmonton’s ability to offer sheet this summer, what with the Peter Chiarelli second-round compensation heading to Boston next summer. It is my understanding that the Oilers can in fact offer sheet this summer, with the ability to kick the Bruins compensation down the road to 2018. The information came available via Renaud Lavoie and his blog, I wrote about it here. After reading the Lavoie piece, and writing that article on Oilers Nation, I reached out to a contact with knowledge of the NHLPA engagement. It is this person’s understanding that the Lavoie piece is accurate. With that established, it is my belief Edmonton can in fact proceed with an offer sheet that includes their own second-round selection in 2017.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Interesting day ahead, we are back on the Lowdown. TSN1260, beginning at 10, scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. It is all happening and Scott will guide us through the trade and free agency rumors.
  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. The Oilers list (Lucic, Demers, possibly Russell according to reports) does not match the Oilogopshere’s. What is PC thinking?
  • Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst. Steve knows the draft—I reached out on Saturday for information on pick Desharnais and he had a thumbnail report to me in minutes. We will walk through the Oilers draft and pick winners and losers among the 30 teams.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. The CHL Import draft goes this morning, and some Oilers picks could be in play. Any Oil Kings picks to be used on Stampede Rasanen?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Finally, we are back!!

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426 Responses to "THRASHER"

« Older Comments
  1. HugThePost says:

    So, what number will Lucic get (since 17 is off limits)?

  2. LadiesloveSmid says:

    the don’t trade Hall train is, PIT just won the cup with 2 elite play drivers. Which oilers are elite play drivers, 2 as well and they aren’t named Draisaitl, RNH, Eberle

  3. 10W30 says:

    Do we really think Lucic is signing for a discount? Sounds like wishful thinking. He at least make what he made last year or will get a raise from his current contract.

  4. maxwell_mischief says:

    honestly… providing the Oilers sign Lucic, I don’t care if we get top dollar for Ebs or Nuge (or Pou). Hall i would expect something a little more, definitely. but imagine Ebs for Larsson, Nuge for Dumba, Pou for Montour… That would be amazing. Add a prospect/pick or two in there and tada Oilers. Maybe sign Brouwer… I like Helm…

    Lucic-McDavid-Yakupov
    Hall-Draisaitl-Brouwer
    Maroon-Helm-Puljujarvi
    hendricks/caggulia/slepyshev/pakarinen/yakimov/korpikoski/letestu/lander

    Kelfbom-Larsson (or Hamonic – Ebs return)
    Sekera-Dumba
    Davidson-Nurse
    Fayne/Reinhart/Oesterle/Montour

    that’s a playoff team, right?
    that’s easy…. just do that Chia
    why haven’t you done this yet Chia?

  5. commonfan14 says:

    I hear Arizona has to put together a lineup.

    Time to offer them Korpi, Letestu and Hendricks plus a couple thirds for a 7th.

  6. Магия 10 says:

    maxwell_mischief: Ebs for Larsson,

    Larsson for Ebs++ does not seem likely. 😉

  7. Jon K says:

    commonfan14:
    I hear Arizona has to put together a lineup.

    Time to offer them Korpi, Letestu and Hendricks plus a couple thirds for a 7th.

    Given who their new GM is, I imagine he’d be more interested in all those Hall rumors he’s been hearing about. Stone is a pretty good RD right?

  8. maxwell_mischief says:

    Магия 10,

    no way man way. chia should just do this, ebs is good on offence and they need offence
    😉

  9. Магия 10 says:

    commonfan14:
    I hear Arizona has to put together a lineup.

    Time to offer them Korpi, Letestu and Hendricks plus a couple thirds for a 7th.

    If they are on LTIR or AWOL you’ve got yourself a win win.

  10. Магия 10 says:

    maxwell_mischief:
    Магия 10,

    no way man way. chia should just do this, ebs is good on offence and they need offence

    nothing like compelting.

  11. commonfan14 says:

    If the current guys can be moved out, the new 4th line can be JJ, Lander and Pitlick.

    Play them as little as possible, and call them the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ line.

  12. Chris says:

    To me it makes more sense to move Pouliot out along with Korpokoski, and Hendricks if necessary to clear cap room for Lucic. Moving out Hall is a downgrade. If you want to add Lucic to the mix I figure you ship out Pouliot and overpaid 4th line guys replacing them with the Pitlicks and Pakarinens of the world.

  13. StixMalone says:

    My gut tells me it is Eberle then Pouliot then RNH then Hall for trade bait in that order. Can’t see it being any other way really. Poo and Ebs are $10 mill in departed salary alone. Ebs salary cancels Lucic’s and Poo’s partly pays for a good defender keeping us still in good cap order. A little tweak here and there and we should be alright. This idea that Hall is going for less than a top defender is ludicrous. But and this is a big but, Chia is not afraid of trading #1 picks and this honestly scares me and I hope it doesn’t happen here…….PLEASE

  14. maxwell_mischief says:

    commonfan14,

    JJ = Joensuu, right?

  15. Thor762 says:

    maxwell_mischief:
    commonfan14,

    JJ = Joensuu, right?

    JuJar Khaira likely

  16. commonfan14 says:

    Thor762,

    Yup.

    If it were Joensuu, I’d need to figure out how to type out the Picard hand on head picture.

  17. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    striatic: I think most people saying “Don’t trade Hall” are saying “Don’t trade Hall for cap space to sign Lucic”.

    If you want to trade for cap space, trade one of the lesser value 6m contracts. These aren’t negative value contracts. Someone will trade cap space for them.

    If you trade Hall, you want a hockey trade for an excellent, proven player who is probably already making some $$$. That is probably a cap space neutral deal and independent of the talk surrounding UFAs here.

    I don’t think anyone is saying trade him for cap space.

    I think they are saying trade him for a top pairing Dman. Demers isn’t enough.

    If it’s Larsson it’s an overpay, sure. But if that’s a deal I can do, and Ebs/Nuge won’t return me a guy like Larsson, then I need to think about Larsson.

    Klefbom/Larson
    Sekera/Demers
    Davidson/Fayne

    That’s a defence. Is our forward group weaker? Sure it is. Losing Hall would suck, and if you can get Larsson (or equivalent) for less you absolutely do it.

    But you’ve got to fix the defence. Got to. Not one more minute of McDavid’s time wasted with a sub par Dcorps.

  18. westcoastjos says:

    I think while Chia made some big trades in Boston, it is important to note that he had a supporting cast of management there too prodding and pushing him along. Sure, ultimately, he made some big trades with #1 guys there, but I don’t think we can put all of that on him and assume that he will come to those same conclusions here in Edmonton. Until he does it here, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is making wise and thoughtful decisions. There are always figureheads in both sporting organizations and in politics that wear the bad decisions, but I don’t think it is fair to completely pin those decisions on the figureheads, especially when they move on to different tenure with a different cast of underlings.

  19. Seismic Source says:

    All this Hall trade talk and Lucic signing speculation is making me anxious.

    I’m looking forward to what the D will look like and dreading a bad trade.

    I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS!!!

  20. godot10 says:

    Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins aren’t getting the Oilers the defensemen Chiarelli wants.

    I think Chiarelli has set up a triangle for Hall between New Jersey and the Islanders, with either Larsson or Hamonic the “medium-sized medium-priced whale”. Tavares has two years left on his contract. They desperately need to make moves to keep Tavares from heading home to Toronto.

    Larsson’s offense is under-rated because he plays on a highly defensive orientated team with little offense.

    I think the New Jersey deal would be something like

    Hall, Fayne, Korpikoski, and Lander for Larsson, Zajac, and a 2017 2nd.

    The Islander deal would be something like.

    Hall, Yakupov, and Lander for Hamonic, Halak (50% retained) Nelson, Strome, and a 2017 2nd.

  21. maxwell_mischief says:

    Thor762,

    i clearly need to indicate when I am making jokes

  22. BlacqueJacque says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: I think they are saying trade him for a top pairing Dman. Demers isn’t enough.

    Demers might be enough.

    Hear me out.

    Last season we had a Sekera who looked lost the first 30 games. Klefbom went down with injury. Davidson emerged and then got injured too. Realistically speaking, those are 3 of our 4 best defencemen on the shelf or at sub-optimal levels throughout the season. That’s incredibly bad luck.

    Throw in the Eberle, McDavid, and Nuge injuries and the team saw as bad a run of injuries to key personnel as I’ve ever seen. And I’ve watched the damned Oilers for 30 years now.

    Give us a RD, even if he’s a sub-optimal option for the top pairing, give us a healthy Klefbom, a Sekera used to the system and try not to injure our best forwards, and we could be a playoff team.

  23. Zelepukin says:

    BlacqueJacque: Demers might be enough.

    Hear me out.

    Last season we had a Sekera who looked lost the first 30 games.Klefbom went down with injury.Davidson emerged and then got injured too.Realistically speaking, those are 3 of our 4 best defencemen on the shelf or at sub-optimal levels throughout the season.That’s incredibly bad luck.

    Throw in the Eberle, McDavid, and Nuge injuries and the team saw as bad a run of injuries to key personnel as I’ve ever seen.And I’ve watched the damned Oilers for 30 years now.

    Give us a RD, even if he’s a sub-optimal option for the top pairing, give us a healthy Klefbom, a Sekera used to the system and try not to injure our best forwards, and we could be a playoff team.

    The reality is there are injuries every season and when your supporting cast is as weak as ours, especially on the back-end, we’re done by November. Imagine how much worse it would have been if we had not lucked out and had Drai step in and unexpectedly own the place.

  24. Shizuka says:

    BlacqueJacque: Demers might be enough.

    Hear me out.

    Last season we had a Sekera who looked lost the first 30 games.Klefbom went down with injury.Davidson emerged and then got injured too.Realistically speaking, those are 3 of our 4 best defencemen on the shelf or at sub-optimal levels throughout the season.That’s incredibly bad luck.

    Throw in the Eberle, McDavid, and Nuge injuries and the team saw as bad a run of injuries to key personnel as I’ve ever seen.And I’ve watched the damned Oilers for 30 years now.

    Give us a RD, even if he’s a sub-optimal option for the top pairing, give us a healthy Klefbom, a Sekera used to the system and try not to injure our best forwards, and we could be a playoff team.

    That is predicated on some rather big if’s in there. Sekera was still playing over his head I think, and forced to because of the dearth of proper top pairing guys on D. Demers would help alleviate some of that but they still need a top pairing horse. Expecting Klefbom to step in and produce at the same level isn’t that sound. Bad luck is one thing, but they could get injured over the course of this upcoming season again… then what? Demers is a very solid middle pairing guy, like Sekera, but that’s it.

    I still see one of the wingers going rather than RNH, even as a big Nuge fan it doesn’t logically make sense to part with him before moving wingers. It’s up to Chiarelli to prove his shrewdness and patience here, because I think if he moves someone with the recognition of Hall, RNH or Eberle the value of the return has to be very good.

  25. BlacqueJacque says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    the don’t trade Hall train is, PIT just won the cup with 2 elite play drivers. Which oilers are elite play drivers, 2 as well and they aren’t named Draisaitl, RNH, Eberle

    Three elite play drivers.

    Kessel got a bad rap because of Toronto’s losing – same as Hall. Don’t underestimate him.

  26. robertosanchezzz says:

    Yak and Musil + 3rd rounder for Shattenkirk FTW

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