SUGAR MOUNTAIN

The Edmonton Oilers are set at some positions rolling out for many years—notably center, where the names Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl could tower over the NHL soon.

At other spots, Edmonton has the look of an expansion team—goaltending, righty defense—with the rest somewhere in the middle.

Today, I would like to talk about depth (or lack of) at player types—something Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan badly need to have if success (and sustained success) are to arrive in Edmonton soon. List below based on recent Oulu Speedway post.

OILERS PROSPECTS, BY PLAYER TYPE

  • Potential starting goalies: Laurent Brossoit, Nick Ellis, Miroslav Svoboda
  • Potential backup goalies: Eetu Laurikainen, Zack Nagelvoort, Dylan Wells
  • Two-way defensemen: Griffin Reinhart, Ziyat Paigin, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, John Marino, Markus Niemelainen, Matthew Cairns, Filip Berglund
  • Offensive defensemen: Jordan Oesterle, Joey Laleggia
  • Defensive defensemen: David Musil, Dillon Simpson, Ben Betker, William Lagesson, Vincent Desharnais
  • Franchise center: Connor McDavid
  • Two-way centers: Bogdan Yakimov, Kyle Platzer, Aapeli Rasanen
  • Offensive centers:
  • Checking centers: Jujhar Khaira
  • Two-way left wingers: Jere Sallinen, Aidan Muir, Tyler Vesel, Evan Campbell, Tyler Benson
  • Offensive left wingers: Drake Caggiula
  • Checking left wingers: Mitchell Moroz, Braden Christoffer, Graham McPhee
  • Complete right wingers: Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Two-way right wingers: Anton Slepyshev, Greg Chase
  • Offensive right wingers: Patrick Russell
  • Checking right wingers: Tyler Pitlick

You may (and I am sure you will) disagree with some of these ratings, but the idea is to give a general feel of overall depth in these positions. Edmonton has no offensive centers—but Connor McDavid covers that bet, I have merely placed him in his rightful spot.

In terms of strength areas, I do like the number of two-way defensemen Peter Chiarelli has added in his two summers (all eight from PC era). Weaknesses? Goalies, surely, and scoring wingers although the Drake Caggiula and Patrick Russell additions were strong steps without using picks or assets. Bottom line: I like this list far more than a year ago—balance is coming to the Oilers, just wait and see.

OILERS CENTERS 2016-17

oilers centers 16-17

Once we get the Woodmoney numbers (and figure out what they mean, that could take me awhile) this kind of player card will have more value. Until then, we go with what we know (and for me, what I trust).

RNH had a tough season, and really the numbers above should have been better (NOTE: Although Nuge played the toughest opposition, the top 3 Cs basically played the same level toughness according to BTN). I believe in Nuge, always have. He is full Dave Keon and folks that player can win you playoff games—not an ounce of doubt in my mind. Until the moment the Tyson Barrie rumors died down, I felt there was still a chance Edmonton would trade RNH. Happily they did not, and it appears the words of GM and coach (they were encouraging) in the spring and early summer are true. The time may come when Edmonton is forced to trade Nugent-Hopkins, but it must be after the club is sure Leon Draisaitl is ready to battle the toughest competition. We are not at that point, today.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

vollman centers

I believe the Oilers are wise to retain Nugent-Hopkins. I think the evidence is clear, but there was probably a point in summer where management had an offer (perhaps Matt Dumba) that was worth having meetings over. I am pleased the club decided to hold back their water and keep Nuge, because he is hellauseful on this club. If the young man can avoid injury and illness this coming season, the Oilers could be in playoff contention come the trade deadline. I believe it could happen.

WHAT IS UP, DAVID MUSIL?

The deadline for accepting qualifying offers expired yesterday afternoon, and we still have no news about David Musil. My guess is that he accepted and we will see an announcement in the next while. I have a story written for ON that will be up in the moments after we hear, and will post something here at 5pm—Musil news, if any, probably making up a big part of that post.

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70 Responses to "SUGAR MOUNTAIN"

  1. Snowman says:

    Love the Nuge. I can’t even really explain why when people ask why he’s my favorite. I just know that he is. Would’ve been gutted had they moved him along. I hope he plays another 18 years with the Oilers and he and McDavid retire having only played for Edmonton in their careers.

    It is a lot easier to look at the lack of center depth and see the youth and the quality that is already in the NHL.

  2. PaperKurtRussell says:

    Looks like the Kassian story is not quite over in Montreal. Hope this doesn’t become a distraction for him. Found this story in my twitter feed this morning. I will let you guys use your 9th Grade French (or Google translate) to figure out the details, but basically the young lady who was driving may be facing charges for DUI causing injury. Of note, Kassian was a passenger with a 20 year-old and an 18 year old young lady. Ah, to be young again… If you like brunettes, the photo of the driver may interest you.

    http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/justice-et-affaires-criminelles/actualites-judiciaires/201607/16/01-5001695-accident-avec-zack-kassian-la-conductrice-pourrait-etre-accusee.php

  3. Richard S.S. says:

    How many play-makers do you need on a line?
    Is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins a good play-maker?

  4. stephen sheps says:

    Yes, you’re quite right. Balance appears to be closer this year. It’s still on the horizon and a lot of things have to break right, but balance, at least in the pipeline is in view. It’s getting better and both MacT and Chiarelli have done some good things with draft picks, college kids and a couple of euros.

    The trouble I sense is the same as yours, Goalering and a lack of depth at C behind the big 3, especially in the pipeline. Who will play top line minutes in Bakersfield with those nice scoring and 2-way wingers that need more time to season? Who will run the PP from the half wall? I like JJ a lot, same with big Bo, but are they going to cut it? Rasanen is my current favourite prospect, but I tend to be all about the Finns, as mentioned several times over the years. I hope he has a phenomenal season in the USHL this year, seems like he has all the makings of a late round steal.

    Sugar Mountain? Is this Neil reference a subtle tell about the direction you’re taking for the RE or just keeping up with the Neil theme from the last few weeks? (The good news is there are no bad answers to this question!)

  5. DRFNsuperstar says:

    If Mcdavid, Nuge, Drai are run on three seperate lines Letestu and the wagons should only see about 5 mins at evens a game…thank gord.

    It is really scary that the Las Vegas xxx’s will have a better defense and more depth than the oilers.

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Anybody following the Mathews contract negotiations? Much is made about Lou’s beliefs about what young talent should be getting paid. Could he seriously be that out of touch? What happens if Mathews won’t sign? He probably will, but just wondering,because there’s plenty of other teams that’ll give Mathews the max.

  7. StixMalone says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Anybody following the Mathews contract negotiations?Much is made about Lou’s beliefs about what young talent should be getting paid.Could he seriously be that out of touch?What happens if Mathews won’t sign?He probably will, but just wondering,because there’s plenty of other teams that’ll give Mathews the max.

    Lou has always been a tough negotiator. Why does he think he can do this with Matthews? Times have changed Lou. The fan base in TO are not happy from what I’ve been reading. It would be hilarious if they can’t sign him. I think Shanahan would step in before that happened though. Just give the kid the maximum contract because you’re gonna make him resent mgmt. and risk losing him later when he wont re-sign after his ELC…..

  8. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    The narrative on goaltending is getting a tad over the top. 12 months ago Talbot was the top available guy, and he did well last year after a slow start. Guss isn’t the perfect backup, but God knows we’ve had worse.

    It’s not ideal but the sky is not falling. If I could do one thing to improve this thing it would be adding a quality RHD. If I could do another thing it would probably be adding another quality (but young and cheap) RHD. Third thing would be a veteran middle 6C to help at evens and PK.

    After the that I’d upgrade 2g.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    The narrative on goaltending is getting a tad over the top. 12 months ago Talbot was the top available guy, and he did well last year after a slow start. Guss isn’t the perfect backup, but God knows we’ve had worse.

    It’s not ideal but the sky is not falling. If I could do one thing to improve this thing it would be adding a quality RHD. If I could do another thing it would probably be adding another quality (but young and cheap) RHD.Third thing would be a veteran middle 6C to help at evens and PK.

    After the that I’d upgrade 2g.

    Edmonton has Laurent Brossoit as a bona fide goaltending prospect, and hopefully Nick Ellis makes a quick adjustment. If you check around the NHL, Edmonton’s depth chart in goal ranks very low, top to bottom. Seriously.

  10. deankb says:

    IMO, the easiest position to fix this season will be goalie if you decide you require one. The price for a goalie is going to go way down the closer we get to expansion. If Talbot falters in any way there are starting goalies all over the East that will be expendable.

  11. stephen sheps says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    When I said above that I agree with LT’s assessment re: goalies, it was more about prospects rather than any sort of doubt in Talbot. He seems like a bonafide 55-60 game starter who can absolutely steal games when he needs to. Thrilled that the Oilers have him and have him locked up for another 3 seasons. We know what we have in the Monster (TC competition for LB at best, slightly below average backup with a cheap enough contract to bury easily at worst). Neither we nor the org. can be entirely sure what they have in LB – hence Guss.

    It’s behind those three that the question marks exist. Will Ellis or Eetu be the backup in Bakersfield or the starter in the ECHL? Can Ellis replicate his NCAA success in the minor pro leagues? Will Wells finally live up to his potential in Peterborough now that Mancina has graduated beyond his overage eligibility? (My guess is probably not, but there are better and smarter hockey people than me who believe in him, whereas I saw him really bad one time 18 months ago and my eyes are terrible). Thankfully these are all good questions to have. The pipeline is better stocked with options, but questions remain about their quality.

    Edit: What LT said… 🙂

  12. Woogie63 says:

    I just just got my tickets to the Young Stars Tournament. With the Oilers, Flames, Jets and Canucks showing their new talent it should be a treat to see 4 of the top 6 picks from this year’s draft …. $60 for a tournament pass is great value.

  13. Richard S.S. says:

    I disagree with the opinions held on the Goaltending. The Oilers ARE NOT protecting their backup Goalie in the Expansion Draft. The Oilers must expose one Goalie (under contract for 2017) in the Draft. The better the Backup Goalie the more likely he gets picked. Cam Talbot, Laurent Brossoit and Jonas Gustavsson will handle the Goaltending Duties tor this year. If they need more, pray. Next year they get better at that position.

  14. stephen sheps says:

    In other, non-Oilers related news, yesterday I bought tickets for one of the WC games; Czech vs. team Europe. Tickets were surprisingly cheap (15USD + service charges). While it’s hardly a premiere matchup, I am very excited to see international tournament play of any sort!

  15. OilClog says:

    What sort of prospect is Nurse?

    Did he develop sideburns?

  16. Lowetide says:

    Richard S.S.:
    I disagree with the opinions held on the Goaltending.The Oilers ARE NOT protecting their backup Goalie in the Expansion Draft.The Oilers must expose one Goalie (under contract for 2017) in the Draft.The better the Backup Goalie the more likely he gets picked.Cam Talbot, Laurent Brossoit and Jonas Gustavsson will handle the Goaltending Duties tor this year.If they need more, pray.Next year they get better at that position.

    The Oilers are not and were not prohibited from drafting a better goalie than Wells, or signing a free-agent college or Euro goalie. None of those men would have been exposed to the expansion draft. As for Brossoit, no chance he goes in the expansion draft, as Edmonton will leave better skaters exposed and, more importantly, better goalie options will be available elsewhere.

  17. stephen sheps says:

    OilClog,

    he’s a prospect who graduated as he’s passed beyond LT’s 50 NHL games threshold. That’s the only reason McDavid is on the list still – under 50GP

  18. Lowetide says:

    OilClog:
    What sort of prospect is Nurse?

    Did he develop sideburns?

    The list is prospects, those men who have fewer than 50 NHL games. I would say Nurse is a two-way defender, your mileage may vary.

  19. Chachi says:

    stephen sheps:
    In other, non-Oilers related news, yesterday I bought tickets for one of the WC games; Czech vs. team Europe. Tickets were surprisingly cheap (15USD + service charges). While it’s hardly a premiere matchup, I am very excited to see international tournament play of any sort!

    I sure hope all those “Team Europe” fans aren’t too rowdy and start picking fights with their long term rivals at this tournament. I wouldn’t want them to tarnish the reputation of “Team Europe” around the world by misbehaving. For $15 I would watch pretty much any level of professional hockey live and to see NHLers play for that price is fantastic, but at the same time what a stupid tournament this is going to be.

  20. stephen sheps says:

    Chachi: For $15 I would watch pretty much any level of professional hockey live and to see NHLers play for that price is fantastic, but at the same time what a stupid tournament this is going to be.

    I agree, the setup is dumb. Can’t really call it a World Cup with 2 of 8 teams being strange hybrids.

    If I were a betting man (and I am not) my best guess has Canada/Finland in the finals, with Sweden and the U23 squad battling for 3rd.

    But yes, $15 to see NHL players play is phenomenal. I’m really excited.

  21. TheOtherJohn says:

    Looking at the list of prospects- excepting McDavid and Puljujarvi I would be surprised if the rest of the players combined play 400 NHL GP from this day forward. And the kids that have played games to date did so on 29th and 28th place team.

    Signing of Gustavsson is cause for seriously head scratching. Either you believe Brossoit is ready to be a capable backup and the evidence to date calls that conclusion into question. If so, you need the best backup available and that is decidedly not the Monster. It’s almost like the Oilers need to remind us how bleeping stupid this group is collectively is as a management group as if 30/30/29/24/27/28/29 isn’t reminder enough

  22. Jethro Tull says:

    Chachi: I sure hope all those “Team Europe” fans aren’t too rowdy and start picking fights with their long term rivals at this tournament. I wouldn’t want them to tarnish the reputation of “Team Europe” around the world by misbehaving. For $15 I would watch pretty much any level of professional hockey live and to see NHLers play for that price is fantastic, but at the same time what a stupid tournament this is going to be.

    That’s the spirit!

  23. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Lowetide: Edmonton has Laurent Brossoit as a bona fide goaltending prospect, and hopefully Nick Ellis makes a quick adjustment. If you check around the NHL, Edmonton’s depth chart in goal ranks very low, top to bottom. Seriously.

    Agreed that it’s bad, just not as bad as being portrayed. The sense of impending doom is in my opinion a step too far in my opinion.

    At or close to the level of

    Anaheim
    Arizona
    Dallas
    Winnipeg
    Vancouver
    Toronto
    Carolina
    Calgary
    Minny

    Again, agreed it’s a problem, just not sure the sky is falling.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: Agreed that it’s bad, just not as bad as being portrayed. The sense of impending doom is in my opinion a step too far in my opinion.

    At or close to the level of

    Anaheim
    Arizona
    Dallas
    Winnipeg
    Vancouver
    Toronto
    Carolina
    Calgary
    Minny

    Again, agreed it’s a problem, just not sure the sky is falling.

    Sure, I liked the Talbot signing and that was the big item. Chiarelli smartly added two-way defenders and honestly you could look at that depth chart and call it covered—not yet a strength, but heading that way. I do not believe he has done the same with goaltending depth, and that is why I pointed it out. As I mentioned, this list is far better than even a year ago.

  25. godot10 says:

    In terms of Cancon, Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Rheostatics, Skydiggers, Bedouin Soundclash, and Weeping Tile should not be forgotten.

    As speaking of Weeping Tile and/or Sarah Harmer, “Basement Apartment” is clearly the song for the RE for the OIlers as a whole, for a decade.

    Also, Couer de Pirate

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN2TL59FCQg

  26. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    Regarding the CanCon, I was happy to see LT mention the Barenaked Ladies.

    That having been said, I sure hope that he isn’t planning on using the song “Call and Answer”. According to Google, below are the final lines of the song…

    “Now it’s time to prove that you’ve come back here to rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild
    Rebuild, oh

    Oh, oh oh oh
    Oh, oh oh oh”

    Lordy…

  27. Brad says:

    I hope we never find out if Leon can handle the toughest opposition (as a centre). Connor McDavid will be facing that for every single game he plays for the next 15 years (at least). The only way we can have proof of Leon vs the best is if 97 gets hurt again or he’s dishing from the RW.

  28. Colieo87 says:

    PaperKurtRussell,

    She can smash my truck all day
    Alison De Courcy ireland.. Lordy drop dead gorgeous

  29. OilClog says:

    Lowetide: The list is prospects, those men who have fewer than 50 NHL games. I would say Nurse is a two-way defender, your mileage may vary.

    My bad!

    Just saw Griff and McDavid on the list and was wondering.

    Definitely a two way defender, if someone could harness his energy properly on his breakouts he could easily turn into a 4th forward at times, with the right partner.

  30. Lois Lowe says:

    I don’t contribute much to this place, but I am glad that WoodMoney has become a thing.

  31. Lowetide says:

    OilClog: My bad!

    Just saw Griff and McDavid on the list and was wondering.

    Definitely a two way defender, if someone could harness his energy properly on his breakouts he could easily turn into a 4th forward at times, with the right partner.

    I am actually surprised at how many people bury Nurse and Reinhart. History teaches us defense is extremely difficult, hell Paul Coffey had a terrible time in his first NHL season (he really did). Miles to go, I imagine Nurse will improve offensively and defensively as time rolls along.

  32. bendelson says:

    Re: Cagguila:

    You listed him as an offensive LW…
    While his numbers may suggest he has offensive acumen, I suspect his path to the NHL likely revolves around his two-way play, speed and PK skills – all of which are in short supply on the Oil.
    If significant offense comes with it – wonderful.

    I’m still hoping he’s a left shot Matt Read – who did put up a very impressive 47 pts. in his rookie year.

  33. Lowetide says:

    bendelson:
    Re:Cagguila:

    You listed him as an offensive LW…
    While his numbers may suggest he has offensive acumen, I suspect his path to the NHL likely revolves around his two-way play, speed and PK skills – all of which are in short supply on the Oil.
    If significant offense comes with it – wonderful.

    I’m still hoping he’s a left shot Matt Read – who did put up a very impressive 47 pts. in his rookie year.

    You bet. Same with Russell, who may have more range than is implied by his slotting here.

  34. Yegfoundation says:

    Brad:
    I hope we never find out if Leon can handle the toughest opposition (as a centre). Connor McDavid will be facing that for every single game he plays for the next 15 years (at least). The only way we can have proof of Leon vs the best is if 97 gets hurt again or he’s dishing from the RW.

    Not exactly. Both the Home and Away coaches may choose not to run a power versus power match-up. At home, if TMAC decides to shelter McDavid from the opponents first line, he requires another Center to take that match-up. On the Road, the opposing coach has the last change, which means TMAC can not dictate the match-ups. McDavid is a huge asset in this chess match, but not nearly enough on his own to change the result.

  35. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide,

    The Oilers are not and were not prohibited from drafting a better goalie than Wells, or signing a free-agent college or Euro goalie. None of those men would have been exposed to the expansion draft.

    Are we even talking about the same thing?
    Doesn’t the Expansion Draft regulations require a Goalie (under contract for 2017-2018) be left exposed for the Draft?
    Aren’t there minimum experience requirements for Goalies? I can not conceive of any reason to protect a Backup goalie over a quality Forward or Defenseman. No one but Talbot, or Brossoit might possibly meet Expansion requirements.

    Where did I say what the Oilers can and cannot do? I said I disagreed with the opinions on Goaltenders. Who they sign or draft matters little. Wells might be more successful because he didn’t have a good season.

    Talbot, Gustavsson and Brossoit will be fine this season, but if you need to dig deeper for more help, pray, the more luck the better.

  36. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    I think its because fans see them more as defensive defensemen rather than two-way defensemen, and at least for me, its the fan in me growing tired of the Oilers constantly overvaluing big, defensive defensemen while seemingly ignoring skilled, puck moving/offensive ones.

    Nurse’s junior career gives me hope he can fill a two-way role, while Reinhart’s gives me considerably less confidence.

    I like Nurse and maybe Reinhart will fill a role, but it just kills me to see a team like Nashville draft 3 (out of the 5 D they took in 2016) defensemen with high offensive ceilings while the Oilers continue to fish for big two-way/defensive defensemen.

    Its not that there’s not a place for these types of players anymore, but I don’t think it is as important as the Oilers have targeted in the draft/trade/free agency and that’s where the negativity comes for Nurse/Reinhart.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Lowetide,

    The Oilers are not and were not prohibited from drafting a better goalie than Wells, or signing a free-agent college or Euro goalie. None of those men would have been exposed to the expansion draft.

    Are we even talking about the same thing?
    Doesn’t the Expansion Draft regulations require a Goalie (under contract for 2017-2018) be left exposed for the Draft?
    Aren’t there minimum experience requirements for Goalies?I can not conceive of any reason to protect a Backup goalie over a quality Forward or Defenseman.No one but Talbot, or Brossoit might possibly meet Expansion requirements.

    Where did I say what the Oilers can and cannot do?I said I disagreed with the opinions on Goaltenders.Who they sign or draft matters little.Wells might be more successful because he didn’t have a good season.

    Talbot, Gustavsson and Brossoit will be fine this season, but if you need to dig deeper for more help, pray, the more luck the better.

    Pretty sure we are not talking about the same thing. I was talking about organizational goalie depth and its importance.

  38. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide,

    OK, Thank You.
    I like what they’ve done, but think they might better than we think. I always thought the Oilers didn’t develop Goalies well.

  39. Chachi says:

    Jethro Tull: That’s the spirit!

    Thanks! I am holding back saying how truly stupid I think the tournament and its setup is though.

  40. rickithebear says:

    Goalie depth:

    7 of the top 8
    Hsca goalies are:
    1. Price
    2. Holtby
    3 schnieder
    4.Lundquist
    5. Talbot
    6. Jones
    7. Griess
    Murray had the 2 nd best HSCA save% stretch of games in reg an d playoffs since 05-06.
    Behind Price.

    So worry about replacing an injured goalie from this group is pointless.
    Cause you lose these goalies you better have one as a back- up
    Or
    Elite hsca d depth.

  41. Stelio Kontos says:

    It’s sort of sad not to have a latvia to cheer for, but every game should be entertaining in this tournament. The oil should have signed a better backup, but goaltending prospects are a waste of time imo. It is not hard to find a goalie in today’s NHL, just make smart bets.

  42. G Money says:

    Lois Lowe,

    *two thumbs up*

    We are officially adopting WoodMoney as the name, and in the explanatory article making sure to give you credit for coining the term.

  43. G Money says:

    This was at the end of the last thread, and it is worth repeating here:

    dsr29:
    https://medium.com/@kenyong/is-adam-larsson-one-dimensional-in-analytics-context-still-matters-a7344672385f#.44ybkkscj

    This has probably been discussed before, but I found it interesting regarding analytics and context.Particularly with respect to Larsson.

    I haven’t read this guys work before, but his criticism is both new (to me) and appears valid.

    Good find, DSR!

  44. Chachi says:

    Stelio Kontos:
    It’s sort of sad not to have a latvia to cheer for, but every game should be entertaining in this tournament. The oil should have signed a better backup, but goaltending prospects are a waste of time imo. It is not hard to find a goalie in today’s NHL, just make smart bets.

    I agree with this. Goaltending prospect depth is the absolute last thing an NHL team should worry about. In the last decade the Oilers have had a terrible history around signing the dregs among the plethora of free agent goalies that are available every year. That doesn’t mean they need to worry about stocking the system with a bunch of goaltending prospects who will crowd eachother out anyways. Cam Talbot was finally a good bet and I doubt that the compensation the Rangers got for him would be something Oilers fans would be happy about if the transaction had been reversed. What’s the point of having great goaltending prospect depth when the reward is losing those goalies for cents on the dollar when they are ready to start?

  45. OilClog says:

    Nurse had that walk across the line with his head slap shot goal against one of the California teams I believe.. screamed he’s so much more then a defensive defender.

    He going to shine imo going forward during 4X4 situations.

    He’s going to shine if Klef/Lars can truly bite off the bigs.

    Season truly rides on that pairings effectiveness, if they can keep Sekera always on the 2nd pairing they’re going to be in good shape.

    If they can I think it may go like this

    Klef/Lars
    Nurse/Sekera
    Davidson/Fayne

    It’s going to be really hard only adding Lars to actually be able to send Nurse down in any form.

    Rhino may eat Faynes lunch too

  46. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    This was at the end of the last thread, and it is worth repeating here:

    I haven’t read this guys work before, but his criticism is both new (to me) and appears valid.

    Good find, DSR!

    I find a lot of “analytics” articles on TSN and SN lack any real depth and are geared to make GMs look like monkeys.

    GM do enough on their own to look like monkeys, people don’t need to use selective data to do it, yet its constant.

    Just like those HERO/WARRIOR charts. I can’t stand them.

    LOOK THESE PLAYERS HAVE SIMILAR NUMBERS SO THEY’RE THE SAME!!!OMGBBQ!!!

    Yeah, Koptiar had a 54.7% CF and so did Cody Hodgson last year.

    I-fucking-dentical players right?!?!?!

  47. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Lois Lowe,

    *two thumbs up*

    We are officially adopting WoodMoney as the name, and in the explanatory article making sure to give you credit for coining the term.

    Yup, G has already seen a draft version of my post about WoodMoney and it already contained a link to your post where you coined the term Lois.

    Credit where its due.

  48. godot10 says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I don’t contribute much to this place, but I am glad that WoodMoney has become a thing.

    Wood (er…wooden sticks) were used as Money from 1660 to 1685 in England. It was a thing already.

    Money did grow on trees. They ended up with an inflation problem, which happens with all money that isn’t gold or silver.

  49. geowal says:

    It’s old news, but I just saw Hall is getting his cook back as Gazdic has signed a two way deal with the Devils. Good for him, I hope he hangs around the league a few more years.

  50. Alpine says:

    Woodguy: I find a lot of “analytics” articles on TSN and SN lack any real depth and are geared to make GMs look like monkeys.

    GM do enough on their own to look like monkeys, people don’t need to use selective data to do it, yet its constant.

    Just like those HERO/WARRIOR charts.I can’t stand them.

    LOOK THESE PLAYERS HAVE SIMILAR NUMBERS SO THEY’RE THE SAME!!!OMGBBQ!!!

    Yeah, Koptiar had a 54.7% CF and so did Cody Hodgson last year.

    I-fucking-dentical players right?!?!?!

    IMO, hockey analytics in the mainstream has started to trend towards everything the stats movement originally fought against such as using minimal data to prove a point, and getting caught up in narratives.

  51. Fog of Warts says:

    The following block text made me laugh, after what I wrote yesterday. I had just encountered the trivia that David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, was an irregular childhood friend of Bill Maher—”he was a neighbor of the drummer of a rock band I was in”.

    Verdict: “I think [Maher’s show] is better when he has differing opinions on there. Everything runs a risk, any magazine or show, there is a risk of smugness when everybody is saying the same thing and cracking wise about it.”

    Here Remnick explains that it was easier to write about Mohamed than Hussein.

    The number of people who could speak to me was very limited. Ali couldn’t speak. Floyd Patterson was already very ill. Sonny Liston was gone. Most of the cornermen were gone. So it was easier in almost a frustrating way. And Malcolm X is not there. The sources at the Nation of Islam were limited. It was, in fact, a tricky book to do. One of the great discoveries that you make when you are doing a book about a popular culture figure like Ali is that you get to mine a lot of books or articles or films that seemed awfully minor at the time, but are filled with great material. For example, a magazine proves itself in a certain way. I got an enormous amount of material from old copies of Sports Illustrated, which was a great magazine during the Ali period, great. But also Boxing Illustrated and Ring, the old copies of the Nation of Islam paper, The Final Call, or Muhammad Speaks. Always I find the best sources are the sources on the second level—not necessarily principals. Not necessarily Ali himself, but the cornerman, who knows everything and maybe doesn’t give an interview every five minutes.

    RB: Because no one thinks to ask them?

    DR: Time has passed. People have stopped asking. And if they encounter someone that’s serious, who doesn’t go away after 15 minutes—most interviews are for fairly cursory or ephemeral purposes—the next day’s paper, the next column or a 15-minute radio interview—and that’s fine. But it’s like a first date: You tell your one good story and off you go. It’s when you don’t go away that the stuff starts to get better and deeper and truer. If you recognize anything from a reporter like Bob Woodward, or even John McPhee, or anybody that’s a great interviewer, each in their own way, it’s that they come back and back and back. “Oh, I forgot, can I ask you this?” Or, “You said this…” All the strategies involved—acting dumb—

    RB: (chuckles)

    DR:—of not quite going away. Calling back, checking. All those conscious or unconscious strategies.

    Source: Robert Birnbaum.

    ———

    Definitely strategies both conscious and unconscious, once Lowetide’s alter ego recovers from his tropical vacation in Saint-Paul, Réunion.

    Here’s what happened.

    A.E. requests leave to attend Roland Garros, so Lowetide kindly booked him a flight to Roland Garros Airport (airport code RUN).

    ———

    When next they meet at YEG:

    “You rat bastard, you!”

    “Oh, you meant Roland-Garros in France, with the hyphen! My bad.”

    “You know what? You’re an ass.”

    “Perhaps. So, how was your trip?”

    “Just loved being greeted by the attractive local holding up the sign ‘Last Daiquiri, next 21,500 km’.”

    “That was a nice touch, wasn’t it?”

    “And here I thought you didn’t care.”

    “What next?”

    “I immediately checked my ticket to see if you’d booked my return flight to complete the great circle, on Air Ilyushin.”

    “You had a return ticket in your possession? That I paid for? I really must talk to my Paypal agent again.”

    “And sure enough, my return flight involved a lay-over in Baja. Mexico—a mere 21,500 km from RUN—by the longest and coldest available straight line back to Edmonton—on one Air Ilyushin.”

    “Takes one to know one, I guess. See any penguins?”

    “Here’s the thing—despite it’s terrible safety reputation, in practice the Ilyushin Il-76 works somewhat like a hot air balloon. Lose too much altitude, you just open the ramp and push out some cargo. So, no, I didn’t see any penguins.”

    “Regaining altitude sounds … chilly.”

    “And dark. Like—you know—July, south of roaring forties, on a jet aircraft seemingly built in the roaring forties.”

    “Window seat, or fetal position?”

    “Ah, yes, seats. Right. This might surprise you—they let me rig a private hammock in the glass nose cone.”

    “Lordy, how did you get that perk?”

    “Ukrainian pilot. Asked me where I was from. Told him I was from Edmonchuck. He laughed, said ‘brother, you’re a long ways from home, aren’t you? We don’t get many passengers on this YEG. Ha ha ha. Hope you brought your winter palto.'”

    “Did you?”

    “No, actually, I had packed for Roland-Garros.”

    I’ve heard it’s not exactly tropical in Roland Garros this time of year. Sometimes France is cold in the summer, too.”

    “Ass. Yes, you heard right. And a lot colder on the plane.”

    “Cabin glass frosty?”

    Nothing was frosty. Not even the canopy glass, that’s heated. The Russians think of everything—when they want to.”

    “What else—or who else, nudge nudge—lacked frost?”

    “I wish! The beer! Warm Pilsner Urquell. They had it in strange-looking cans. By the pallet.”

    “Private hammock, a stellar anti-stellar view, ample supply, not Coors; one could do worse, I suppose.”

    “Those crazy Russians toasted soixante-huitard, whatever that means, and then glowered at me like I had just erected my hammock in their private beer cooler.”

    No!

    “Never trust a Ukrainian pilot. But the thing is, the switch to disable the heated windows wasn’t working that day—and good thing for me, too. The R-factor of eight Hawaiian prints adds up—to all of one loose-knit linen shirt, times eight. That cinnamon-butter sucking sraka on the flight deck made me look responsible for the warm beer, but at least it was somewhat cozy in there.”

    “You must have looked like the walking leftorium, with eight shirts and blue limbs.”

    “I’m not even going to glower at that remark. It’s beneath me.”

    “Nice to have you home, again.”

    “I’m not going to glower at that remark, either. It’s above me.”

    ———

    Debarking the long pew, Remnick (think back, think way back) also plugs during his interview for LESS kitchen sink.

    RB: Looping back to the Obama book: What did you leave out?

    DR: The presidency. That’s a small detail. You have to have an ordering principle for any book.

    So there’s one more reason presidents don’t fly Air Ilyushin.

    Fear of penguins.

  52. Derek says:

    I’m sure I’m well behind on this but I have a little spare time this weekend and I wanted to watch some Adam Larsson for myself to develop a better understanding of the player. I found a whole bunch of archived NJD games and thought I’d share:

    http://livetv.sx/en/team/2_393_452_new_jersey/video/

    Watching the New Jersey Devils play hockey on a Saturday in July, I may need help.

  53. Stelio Kontos says:

    Chachi: I agree with this. Goaltending prospect depth is the absolute last thing an NHL team should worry about. In the last decade the Oilers have had a terrible history around signing the dregs among the plethora of free agent goalies that are available every year. That doesn’t mean they need to worry about stocking the system with a bunch of goaltending prospects who will crowd eachother out anyways. Cam Talbot was finally a good bet and I doubt that the compensation the Rangers got for him would be something Oilers fans would be happy about if the transaction had been reversed. What’s the point of having great goaltending prospect depth when the reward is losing those goalies for cents on the dollar when they are ready to start?

    I agree 100%. Who gives a good goddamn about Brossoit. Pick up enroths. He has to take advantage of an opportunity, not be groomed into the role. Why draft goalies? Just pick up older prospects like we have been, and trade picks for talbot types, and pick up Enroth 1B type UFA, and hope for the best.

  54. cc says:

    Snowman,

    All the speculation was just that, Speculation!. And believe me its easy to get caught up in some of the nonsense. I would assert that many of the ‘quote’ unquote media xperts are nothing more then just what we read here, ideas, hopes and maybe wish-lists. Remember they’re paid to come up with stuff to satisfy the viewing/listening customer and justify their paycheques. Some are legit, many are not.

    I do not believe Nuge is or will be going anywhere. He is to valuable to this organization and the coach loves him.

  55. cc says:

    Richard S.S.,

    I’m guessing you’ve never watched Nuge in overtime!

  56. ~ Hall of Shame ~ says:

    godot10: Wood (er…wooden sticks) were used as Money from 1660 to 1685 in England.It was a thing already.

    Money did grow on trees.They ended up with an inflation problem, which happens with all money that isn’t gold or silver.

    Is it just me? Or was anyone else hoping their blog name would include Wooden Nickel?

  57. leadfarmer says:

    ~ Hall of Shame ~: Is it just me? Or was anyone else hoping their blogname would include Wooden Nickel?

    Only if it has pictures of bumble bees on them. Give me 5 bees for a quarter they said.

  58. Alpine says:

    Derek:
    I’m sure I’m well behind on this but I have a little spare time this weekend and I wanted to watch some Adam Larsson for myself to develop a better understanding of the player.I found a whole bunch of archived NJD games and thought I’d share:

    http://livetv.sx/en/team/2_393_452_new_jersey/video/

    Watching the New Jersey Devils play hockey on a Saturday in July, I may need help.

    I’ve been doing that for a couple weeks now. Holy crap are the Devils boring. I didnotice Larsson’s quickness and assertiveness generally seemed “Visually Better” in 2016 than 2014-15.

  59. Richard S.S. says:

    cc,

    I Did. The questions were:
    How many play-makers do you need on a line? The answer should be one, or you don’t score enough Goals. Like the Oilers.
    Is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins a good play-maker? The answer should be yes. But then you should know the third question.

  60. MrEd says:

    Holy crap. Watching that JP package from your ON “Shoot” article sure is exciting. By eye the kid likes to carry the puck, likes to put the puck on net, has great vision at speed and most of all is really enthusiastic about his team scoring. A driver?

    Late this week RNH mentioned to Bob that shooting as something that he’s focusing on this summer. I wish he’d have mentioned face-offs…

    Lucic, Larsson, JP coming in. Hall out. A 3 for 1 in a convoluted way?

    I’m looking to Pitlick to play this year. We need games out of this kid and I think he’s more than capable.

  61. B S says:

    Richard S.S.,

    Are you referring to Nuge the third highest goal scorer on the team over the last 4 years? That Nuge? Play-making and goal scoring are not zero sum abilities. Nuge is good at both. He passes more, but a 1:2 G:A ratio is pretty typical of centers, including Drai and McDavid. I guess I don’t know who you think shouldn’t be on his line. The current wingers, Eberle, Yakupov, Pouliot are goal scorers. Lucic, may be the one kink, have a large number of assists relative to goals, but so did Hall (~1:1.7), and the kid line worked pretty well together.

  62. Richard S.S. says:

    B S:
    Richard S.S.,

    Are you referring to Nuge the third highest goal scorer on the team over the last 4 years? That Nuge? Play-making and goal scoring are not zero sum abilities. Nuge is good at both. He passes more, but a 1:2 G:A ratio is pretty typical of centers, including Drai and McDavid. I guess I don’t know who you think shouldn’t be on his line. The current wingers, Eberle, Yakupov, Pouliot are goal scorers. Lucic, may be the one kink, have a large number of assists relative to goals, but so did Hall (~1:1.7), and the kid line worked pretty well together.

    No, I’m wondering why his line didn’t score well over 200 points, when he’s had such terrific Goal Scorers as He Who Was Traded and Jordan Eberle. Was it perhaps He Who Was Traded spent more time play-making than scoring?

    I expect Huge’s line in 2016-2017 to be as good as or better than anything before.

  63. B S says:

    Richard S.S.: No, I’m wondering why his line didn’t score well over 200 points, when he’s had such terrific Goal Scorers as He Who Was Traded and Jordan Eberle.Was it perhaps He Who Was Traded spent more time play-making than scoring?

    I expect his line in 2016-2017 to be as good as or better than anything before.

    Oh, I think a big part is because he’s been doing the heavy lifting. He (and the other two) had decent zone starts, but not nearly good enough for an offensive top line, mostly do to the overall poor possession performance of the entire team. Even this season Nuge spent much of his time out against the other teams’ top forward or defensive lines, where caution is preferred and defense has a greater priority (mistakes are costly).

    The real problem is that until last year the Oilers have never had the depth to take advantage of having their 20, 21, 22 year old center saw off the other team’s best and feed on the weaker lines. Last season an absurdity of injuries prevented it again. Lack of secondary scoring has sunk this team as much as defense or goaltending.

  64. geowal says:

    Alright who broke lowetide… 😀

  65. Doug McLachlan says:

    Seriously, it’s after 6pm – do we know where LT is?

    Asking for a friend.

    geowal:
    Alright who broke lowetide…

  66. Richard S.S. says:

    Bad, ugly weather was to be Alberta-wide most of the weekend and could be causing problems.
    The Oilers could be into something significant that Lowetide’s waiting to write up.
    Something has happened that is not our business.

    Pick one of the three above.

  67. Richard S.S. says:

    Let’s hijack this post. Lowetide was going to talk about David Musil. I don’t know enough to talk about him, but someone does.

  68. Lowetide says:

    I was on the air until 5pm, forgot about that when I wrote about posting at 5. I am well, am pouring a glass of vino and will have something up around 7. 🙂 Not on Musil though, where is that fellow???

  69. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide’s last post on this site was 12:48. He did his Saturday Sports Extra Show (2 HRS) ending around ???? 3-ish ???

  70. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide,

    No news available yet.

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