ABSOLUTELY BLUE

This is Caleb Jones. He could play pro hockey in 2016-17. He is signed, was drafted out of the U.S. National Development system and has an extra gear available to him—the AHL—unavailable to a player like Ethan Bear. Will that come in to play this fall? Unlikely, but the young man did play AHL hockey in the spring (3gp, 0-0-0) and is coming off a fabulous season. One of the reasons Jones is likely to stay? The Leftorium:

leftorium

Here is the list of Oilers blue either signed, slide rule eligible, or unsigned. The ratio (basically three-to-one) remains out of time—but is a massive improvement over the spring depth chart. I estimated Jones would be the No. 12 lefthander on the pro list (Ference LTIR) and that probably means ECHL. I suspect he is looking at another year in junior (Jones had a strong year) and Edmonton—with a brand new contract hours away for Tyson Barrie in Colorado—looking at a PTO or smaller trade.

PTO!

The possibility of Edmonton inviting James Wisniewski to training camp—or signing him to a small contract with much of the deal bonus laden—no doubt has some appeal. What would Edmonton be getting in terms of outer marker? Well, Wisniewski was injured for basically all of 2015-16, so let’s look back at the previous season and his player card:

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.91
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.94
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 49.1
  • Qual Comp: 3rd pairing
  • Qual Team: 2nd pairing
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: 4.7
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 147 shots/5.4
  • Boxcars: 69, 8-26-34

(All numbers via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and BehindtheNet.ca)

The shot total (147) is about equal to Andrej Sekera for Edmonton last year (155) but Wisniewski has a terrific shot. The nature of his injury (ACL, left knee was torn) means the Oilers would have to see him on the ice and skating before a major commitment could be undertaken. Still, at this point, Wisniewski is probably the best choice. Other free agents I would like to see pursued:

  • Radim Vrbata. RW had a tough year in 2015-16, but he can shoot the puck. He might be a useful addition on a one-year deal.
  • Dan Boyle. RD is old as the hills, but some of the underlying numbers remain strong. I also really like the idea of Boyle training Edmonton’s blue about how McLellan deployed him in San Jose. A lot of the outlets came via Boyle, evens and power play.
  • David Rundblad. RD is (at this point) a classic Glen Sather bet—Slats used to trade a load of hay for Donny Murdoch in hopes of uncovering gems. I would be onside with a contract for this player.
  • Brandon Pirri. LC remains available, inexplicably. I think Edmonton would be wise to sign him now, if available. You can never have too many scorers.
  • Jakub Nakladal. RD is a fascinating player. It could be an unwise investment (he played only 27 games) because he is not a puck mover, but he is an intriguing player nonetheless.

CERTAIN OILERS

certain oilers july 25

  • Most of the roster is here, and the names not included (on the second page below) are fairly obvious. How many jobs are actually in play? More down the screen.
  • It is important to remember that injuries will play a major part in decisions. The 17 men listed here are unlikely to make the opening night lineup as a group due to injury.
  • In preparing for the RE, one of the things I looked long and hard at? Maroon as 2R.

UNCERTAIN OILERS

uncertain oilers july 25

  • I have six jobs being open, and the race is on at: Backup goalie, 7D, 4L, 4R, and the two extra forwards.
  • My current bets are on Jonas Gustavsson, Jordan Oesterle, Matt Hendricks, Jesse Puljujarvi, with the two final forwards being Anton Lander and Iiro Pakarinen.
  • That isn’t a sexy list, and I doubt it breaks exactly this way. JJ Khaira, Tyler Pitlick, David Musil and Mark Fraser could also push for jobs, and Griffin Reinhart may outplay others to the point where the organization is willing to bring him north.

THE DISTANT BELLS

DISTANT BELLS

  • I have included Bogdan Yakimov on this list, but his jump to the KHL likely disqualifies him from contention during the coming season.
  • Dillon Simpson’s presence on this list might be a mistake, but the Leftorium is like a giant glacier and one doubts this will be a year for him to emerge in TC.
  • Nick Ellis is intriguing.

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72 Responses to "ABSOLUTELY BLUE"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    Jakub Nakladal. RD is a fascinating player. It could be an unwise investment (he played only 27 games) because he is not a puck mover, but he is an intriguing player nonetheless.

    I noticed him at the 2015 WHC. The Czech coach had him on the ice when it mattered.
    .

    In preparing for the RE, one of the things I looked long and hard at? Maroon as 2R.

    But Maroon * Draisaitl * Kassian will have a solid portion of the fanbase swooning with delight.
    .

    Brandon Pirri. LC remains available, inexplicably. I think Edmonton would be wise to sign him now, if available. You can never have too many scorers.

    Blogger-types from several NHL cities agree with you. NHL GMs, not so much. His speed is not discussed often, I assume its average.

  2. jm363561 says:

    I still believe (pray) Chia will bring in one more RHD. It may be a Barrie or Trouba (not Troubadour as my Autocorrect would have us believe), or a more plain vanilla Gryba type. This would allow St Brandon to move to his favoured left side and makes for a pretty good Top Six, particularly on the port side.

    But as of today, with only two bona fide RHD, I am not a fan of Davidson playing on his off side – why mess with such an excellent young D? Set the young guy up to succeed. (Oesterle and Reinhart can both play LD – and as it is the Oilers some young player has to be placed in a position to fail. It should not be Davidson).

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    I should mention

    Jim Matheson’s little Musil piece in today’s Journal is very good – factual, informative and doesn’t remind us what a warrior Frank was.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/edmonton-oilers-sign-farmhand-defenceman-david-musil-to-one-year-contract

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    jm363561: But as of today, with only two bona fide RHD, I am not a fan of Davidson playing on his off side – why mess with such an excellent young D?

    How about:
    Klefbom – Larrson
    Davidson – Sekera
    Nurse – Fayne
    Edit – I agree about adding a RHD [or two, even]

  5. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Mr DeBakey: Klefbom – Larrson
    Davidson – Sekera
    Nurse – Fayne

    Pretty sure the smart kids have provided enough stats to support their argument that Sekera struggles on the right side. Keep Fayne away from Nurse too. Has to be:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Nurse-Davidson
    Oesterle

    Unless we get a RHD to replace Fayne then Gryba signs as #7

  6. B S says:

    Last night I watched Wade Boggs and Pete Rice get inducted into the PawSox (Red Sox farm team) hall of fame. Both men put in at least a season in the Minors and correct me if I’m wrong, but it didn’t seem to do them any harm (both credited their success with time on the farm of course, and the ability to hone their skills).

    My thoughts naturally drifted to Puljujarvi. I see absolutely no advantage to starting him on the big club this season. Yes he played against men, so did Yakupov (1/2 season in KHL) and Yakimov. Puljujarvi has no experience playing NA hockey, the size, the timing. Starting him in the AHL gives him time to get the systems and timing down, and to work on his weaknesses. When he’s dominating, then he can be called up, when the oilers need help on the right side do to poor performance or injuries he can be called up.

    The club gets nothing out of it either. As it stands he’s #4 on the depth chart (yes I put Kassian ahead of him, Kassian is an NHL pro player, the fin is not), and he’s a rookie. A rookie is gonna rook. If we have learned anything as Oilers fans, I would hope that it is that rookies cost you games with stupid mistakes. It’s part of the learning curve. Let the shiny new toy work out the kinks on the farm team.

    Chia should sell him on the AHL by telling him that he’ll keep him up for as many preseason games as possible, and that if he plays in europe he can’t be called up to the big leagues this season. I’m sure injury and a lack of dept will bring the kid up at some point but he needs to marinate a bit first.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    I should mention

    Jim Matheson’s little Musil piece in today’s Journal is very good – factual, informative and doesn’t remind us what a warrior Frank was.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/edmonton-oilers-sign-farmhand-defenceman-david-musil-to-one-year-contract

    One of my least favorite things about twitter is the ongoing viciousness toward Jim Matheson. I am pleased you posted this.

  8. B S says:

    Lowetide: One of my least favorite things about twitter is the ongoing viciousness toward Jim Matheson. I am pleased you posted this.

    So glad I don’t have twitter. I don’t always agree with opinions of the various columnists who cover the Oilers, but there are very few I don’t respect and none I would go out of my way to harass or worse.

  9. magisterrex says:

    B S:
    Last night I watched Wade Boggs and Pete Rice get inducted into the PawSox (Red Sox farm team) hall of fame. Both men put in at least a season in the Minors and correct me if I’m wrong, but it didn’t seem to do them any harm (both credited their success with time on the farm of course, and the ability to hone their skills).

    My thoughts naturally drifted to Puljujarvi. I see absolutely no advantage to starting him on the big club this season. Yes he played against men, so did Yakupov (1/2 season in KHL) and Yakimov. Puljujarvi has no experience playing NA hockey, the size, the timing. Starting him in the AHL gives him time to get the systems and timing down, and to work on his weaknesses. When he’s dominating, then he can be called up, when the oilers need help on the right side do to poor performance or injuries he can be called up.

    The club gets nothing out of it either. As it stands he’s #4 on the depth chart (yes I put Kassian ahead of him, Kassian is an NHL pro player, the fin is not), and he’s a rookie. A rookie is gonna rook. If we have learned anything as Oilers fans, I would hope that it is that rookies cost you games with stupid mistakes. It’s part of the learning curve. Let the shiny new toy work out the kinks on the farm team.

    Chia should sell him on the AHL by telling him that he’ll keep him up for as many preseason games as possible, and that if he plays in europe he can’t be called up to the big leagues this season. I’m sure injury and a lack of dept will bring the kid up at some point but he needs to marinate a bit first.

    Requoted for truthiness.

  10. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: One of my least favorite things about twitter is the ongoing viciousness toward Jim Matheson. I am pleased you posted this.

    Hear hear. Matty’s stream-of-consciousness writing style is not to everyone’s tastes, but the amount of info he has imparted about the Oil over the years can be measured in metric shittons.

  11. ChiliChunk says:

    The possibility of Edmonton inviting James Wisniewski to training camp—or signing him to a small contract with much of the deal bonus laden—no doubt has some appeal.

    I thought only ELC and 35+ contracts could have bonuses. Or am I mistaken?

  12. SwedishPoster says:

    Jones season has been overshadowed a bit by Ethan Bears production but I think an argument could be made that Caleb had an even more impressive one considering rookie status and the fact he kept growing during the year. Looked the more talented player in camp as well. Shame Seth didn’t teach him to shoot right when they were kids.

  13. jasontheschoolteacher says:

    Oiler and hockey fans in general in the Edmonton area should consider themselves lucky to have a Hall of Fame writer like Matty over the years!!! Like anything else when insults are thrown around…consider the source!!! Oiler bloggers and writers need to at least respect the man even if you do not agree with him always.

  14. CalVag says:

    jasontheschoolteacher:
    Oiler and hockey fans in general in the Edmonton area should consider themselves lucky to have a Hall of Fame writer like Matty over the years!!! Like anything else when insults are thrown around…consider the source!!! Oiler bloggers and writers need to at least respect the man even if you do not agree with him always.

    THIS

  15. jm363561 says:

    ChiliChunk: I thought only ELC and 35+ contracts could have bonuses. Or am I mistaken?

    That is my understanding also.

  16. digger50 says:

    The roster above looks decent but needs a year or two to become exceptional. Two issues with that. First they really do need another veteran talent or two to help today. One forward and one d man. No question.

    Second, money will become an issue as this roster peaks. Thus ncredibly important to start planning that today. Getting prospects in the system and getting the right attitude on a winning farm team also important. I like the direction they are going in Bakersfield. Yes, prospects need time on ice, but they also need immersed in a strong system and winning culture. (Placing veteran mentors there also important) This along with Vegas likely affected the decision to run the table at the draft this year. It may affect decision to keep PJarvi up but I doubt that one.

  17. Acumen says:

    My top choice remains signing Wiz to a one year show me contract, but I could definitely get on board with a Rundblad signing as well. He’s basically Justin Schultz without the problematic history with our fan base.

    Both of them come with issuess, but I prefer Wiz based on actual, established ability to run a PP (very successfully, I might add), and anotherexperienced voice that our team could definitely use. Granted, if Rundblad works out he fits the cluster perfectly and adds to our Swedish D contingent.

    Either of them are a perfect fit for a very specialized hole, cost nothing, and are not a major consideration during an expansion draft. Just get it done, Pete.

  18. Acumen says:

    Actually, after a little snooping, I really like the idea of adding Rundblad. The offence is clearly there at all but the NHL level, he’s only 25, and his possession numbers aren’t bad.

    What do the Wood money numbers tell us on this guy?

  19. speeds says:

    ChiliChunk: I thought only ELC and 35+ contracts could have bonuses. Or am I mistaken?

    From the CBA, Article 50.2(b)(i)(C)(2):

    (2) Performance Bonuses shall be allowable under this Agreement only for:

    (i) Players with Entry Level SPCs under Article 9 of this Agreement;

    (ii) Players aged 35 or older as of June 30 prior to the League Year in which the SPC is to be effective, who have signed a one-year SPC for that League Year; and

    (iii) Players who are “400-plus game Players” for pension purposes, and who: (i) in the last year of their most recent SPC, spent 100 days or more on the Injured Reserve List; and (ii) have signed a one-year SPC for the current or upcoming League Year.

  20. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Gregor just retweeted an interesting article. The reverse could definitely be said for a lot of media types when their opinions get questioned.

    http://www.wfaa.com/mb/sports/nhl/the-factors-working-against-advanced-stats-in-hockey/283414597?utm_content=buffer35f79&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  21. stephen sheps says:

    DRFNsuperstar,

    Thanks for sharing. This article may come in handy for one of the hockey-related academic projects I’m working on, believe it or not…

  22. Lowetide says:

    DRFNsuperstar:
    Gregor just retweeted an interesting article. The reverse could definitely be said for a lot of media types when their opinions get questioned.

    http://www.wfaa.com/mb/sports/nhl/the-factors-working-against-advanced-stats-in-hockey/283414597?utm_content=buffer35f79&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    The putdowns are a big part of it I think. Really smart people grow impatient with those of us who take time to figure things out. Bullying can be an effective tool in hurrying things along, but it can also be a tuneout. I have expressed this about 10,000 times on this blog, some listen, some throw fists through the air at an even more rapid clip.

    Humanity learns, slowly. It is true for all of us.

  23. Quinlan says:

    Lowetide: One of my least favorite things about twitter is the ongoing viciousness toward Jim Matheson. I am pleased you posted this.

    To be fair, Jim Matheson is a big part of his own problem.

    He was an insider. He was never a good source for analysis, yet he’s taken that into the internet age of over-accessibility. His spitballing is so horrendous that it’s shaken his credibility. It doesn’t appear that he has the same feel for the pulse of management that he once did.

    If he doesn’t want the crap he takes, he’s gotta step it up; get some newer, better sources. Adapt to the times. Be at the forefront of the changes in the information market, don’t fall behind.

    The consumer has access to 10 or so other more accurate information sources than Matty and most of them aren’t even from or based in Edmonton.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Quinlan: To be fair, Jim Matheson is a big part of his own problem.

    He was an insider. He was never a good source for analysis, yet he’s taken that into the internet age of over-accessibility. His spitballing is so horrendous that it’s shaken his credibility. It doesn’t appear that he has the same feel for the pulse of management that he once did.

    If he doesn’t want the crap he takes, he’s gotta step it up; get some newer, better sources. Adapt to the times. Be at the forefront of the changes in the information market, don’t fall behind.

    The consumer has access to 10 or so other more accurate information sources than Matty and most of them aren’t even from or based in Edmonton.

    People could simply not follow, or pass on the opportunity to beat him up verbally. Surely there are better things for grownups to do. Seriously.

  25. Quinlan says:

    Lowetide,

    Totally agree.

    But that hardly helps Mr. Matheson. It’s his job to attract eyes and followers, not turn them away.

  26. JDï™ says:


    Aaron Portzline
    ‏@Aportzline

    Told #CBJ are closing in a one-year, one-way deal with free agent center Sam Gagner. Filing blog shortly to Puck-rakers.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Quinlan:
    Lowetide,

    Totally agree.

    But that hardly helps Mr. Matheson. It’s his job to attract eyes and followers, not turn them away.

    Yes. Agreed. I suspect CofH is lapping the field compared to MSM numbers over there, although I have no evidence beyond my own timeline.

  28. Lowetide says:

    JDï™:

    Aaron Portzline
    ‏@Aportzline


    Told #CBJ are closing in a one-year, one-way deal with free agent center Sam Gagner. Filing blog shortly to Puck-rakers.

    Good for him, hope he does well. CBJ are the Cleveland Indians of hockey (the old Boog Powell Frank Robinson Indians).

  29. ChiliChunk says:

    speeds,

    Ah. Thank you.

  30. Richard S.S. says:

    Tweets are supposed to be quick, fun and anonymous. The majority tweets are innocuous, not the brightest comments, not intending to harm, yet sometimes it does. The remaining tweets are the exact opposite, ranging from spiteful to criminally offensive. Tweets are supposed to be anonymous. Maybe they shouldn’t be.

    People are held responsible for everything they say, do or write – and they should be. They can be fired, jailed, sued or punished by any means society see fit to enable. Why should any means of social media be exempt?

  31. Woodguy says:

    Acumen:
    Actually, after a little snooping, I really like the idea of adding Rundblad. The offence is clearly there at all but the NHL level, he’s only 25, and his possession numbers aren’t bad.

    What do the Wood money numbers tell us on this guy?

    He didn’t play enough last year to have a good sample.

    108 5v5 TOI isn’t enough to conclude about anything.

    He had 581 5v5 the year before, but we don’t have WoodMoney for previous years yet.

    He looked ok via corsica.hockey’s relative numbers and expected goals, but he was also very, very sheltered with a RelZS of +18

    Here’s every Dman with a RelZS of +10 or easier from 14/15:

    JUSTIN.SCHULTZ 19.9 (oh hai)
    DAVID.RUNDBLAD 18.62
    DAN.BOYLE 17.54
    ERIC.GELINAS 17.02
    TIM.ERIXON 16.33
    BRIAN.CAMPBELL 16.04
    AARON.EKBLAD 14.94
    TOREY.KRUG 14.72
    KEITH.YANDLE 14.17
    MATT.HUNWICK 13.68
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 12.43
    JOHN.MOORE 12.34
    MATT.DUMBA 12.25
    MAREK.ZIDLICKY 11.34
    RYAN.MURPHY 10.83
    RYAN.SUTER 10.2

    Not sure what his warts are.

  32. Jethro Tull says:

    Richard S.S.: Tweets are supposed to be quick.

    FIFY

  33. Richard S.S. says:

    Tomorrow starts the unofficial second half of the Oilers’ Offseason – The Tyson Barrie Decision. The decision to trade Barrie becomes official then, although actually trading him might take years.

    Options are many, but practically few. Oilers need another Right-shot Defenseman.
    1) Does going after Rasmus Ristolainen, Cody Ceci or Jacob Trouba make sense for this team? They will really make a difference but be extremely expensive if acquired.
    2) Does signing James Wisniewski or Eric Gryba make sense for this team? Can they make enough of a difference?
    3) Is there a Team with worries about who to protect that Peter Chiarelli can do business with?
    4) Is there a Team with Cap Issues that Peter Chiarelli can do business with?

  34. G Money says:

    The ratio (basically three-to-one) remains out of time—but is a massive improvement over the spring depth chart.

    One comment about the lefty-righty ratio … across the league, the ratio is 2:1 left:right. Not sure if that reflects availability, quality, or most likely, some blend of the two.

    I point this out just to clarify that this means the baseline for ‘balance’ is around 2:1 rather than 1:1.

    Either way, 3:1 is … not good.

    Just not as ‘not good’ as you might think, because ‘good’ is not as good as you might think.

    Anyone not thinking that’s not good? Or not? No? Thoughts?

    [this comment brought to you by way too much booze last night – and that’s good]

  35. Centre of attention says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Tomorrow starts the unofficial second half of the Oilers’ Offseason – The Tyson Barrie Decision.The decision to trade Barrie becomes official then, although actually trading him might take years.

    Options are many, but practically few.Oilers need another Right-shot Defenseman.
    1) Does going after Rasmus Ristolainen, Cody Ceci or Jacob Trouba make sense for this team?They will really make a difference but be extremely expensive if acquired.
    2) Does signing James Wisniewski or Eric Gryba make sense for this team?Can they make enough of a difference?
    3) Is there a Team with worries about who to protect that Peter Chiarelli can do business with?
    4)Is there a Team with Cap Issues that Peter Chiarelli can do business with?

    1: Loaded question here, each of these players is a totally different animal. I think Risto is off limits, they may give you Cody Franson at half price with a pick though. Trouba is an interesting case, I suspect he may be available and we do have LHD to “spare” if you want to look at it that way. I definitely believe the Jets would want a D back though. I think Ceci stays in Ottawa as well.

    2: These two players would be applying for the same roster spot (#6D) but do two very different jobs. I think we could use Wiznewski’s skill set (if healthy) more than Gryba’s IMO. We have Darnell to take care of business down low in our zone. Don’t forget Gryba had a season ending knee injury too, his was up against the metal post of the net though. Ouch.

    3: I think I could find players on 29 other teams that 29 other teams are worried about losing. There will be movement.

    4: Detroit is that meme of that cartoon dog sitting in the bar, where everything is on fire and he’s just like “this is fine”. Pittsburgh has some work to do still as well. The Leafs would probably listen to offers on Bozak, they are pretty tight against it with a lot of question marks as well. There are probably 4 or 5 other teams that have internal budgets that they are at or over due to pending signings (Anaheim,Winnipeg obvious targets) Colorado is known to have an internal budget, and after the Barrie award they will most definitely be above it.

  36. Hilmar says:

    Feeling bored at the end of July, started watching some shift by shift games for McDavid on Youtube and found something interesting in the October 1st game against Vancouver.

    Hall opens up the scoring with an assist from 97 and if I remember correctly everyone was thrilled to see them play a full season together.

    To me though it seems like Draisaitl was the only one that could really find McDavid in open ice and Hall messed up a lot of plays following up some sweet chemistry between Drai and McD. Leon was replaced midway through the game by Slepyshev and I believe he never played a 5on5 shift with McDavid again, am I wrong?

    Is that a combination that might have been missed in all the speculation for lineups?

    Lucic – McDavid – Draisaitl

    thoughts?

  37. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    [this comment brought to you by way too much booze last night – and that’s good]

    At least you didn’t sleep though a meeting

  38. G Money says:

    Hilmar,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Draisaitl played the first 10 games of the season. His first game was closer to Nov 1st IIRC.

  39. Woodguy says:

    Centre of attention,

    I think Risto is off limits, they may give you Cody Franson at half price with a pick though.

    Since BUF traded Pysyk to FLA for Kulikov they only have 3RD left. Risto, Bogo and Frranson.

    Not sure he’s available for a pittance anymore.

    Might have been before the Kulikov trade.

  40. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    LOL. Zsolt is kinda hilarous, ’cause he’s a total night owl like me. But since he has to work human rather than vampire hours, we’ll be blabbing on the phone or Google Hangouts about some techie thing or the other, and you can hear the frustration in his voice when he has to cut it short because he has to get up for work the next morning.

    You’ll feel better when you schedule a meeting for 8am and I sleep through it!

  41. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Hilmar,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Draisaitl played the first 10 games of the season.His first game was closer to Nov 1st IIRC.

    His first game was the magical Oct 29 game vs. MTL where got 2 goals in that wonderful comeback win.

    I had it up on my dashboard for a SUPERWOWY post from the other day.

  42. Hilmar says:

    G Money,

    This is true, the Vancouver game is pre-season.
    Seemed unfortunate to me that Draisaitl got such a short look with McDavid and they went with Slepyshev instead. I seem to remember there being talks of cap reasons for sending down Drai, but playing him on McDavid’s RW would have been interesting to see.

  43. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    LOL.Zsolt is kinda hilarous, ’cause he’s a total night owl like me. But since he has to work human rather than vampire hours, we’ll be blabbing on the phone or Google Hangouts about some techie thing or the other, and you can hear the frustration in his voice when he has to cut it short because he has to get up for work the next morning.

    You’ll feel better when you schedule a meeting for 8am and I sleep through it!

    I slept 8pm-4am last night. Got work at 5am this morning to do some month end stuff and was back at home for a nap by 10am.

    I feel like a farmer.

    A lazy farmer, but a farmer nonetheless.

    Next I’ll be getting the early bird dinner at 4pm with LT at Denny’s.

  44. Hilmar says:

    Woodguy: His first game was the magical Oct 29 game vs. MTL where got 2 goals in that wonderful comeback win.

    I had it up on my dashboard for a SUPERWOWY post from the other day.

    I guess his chemistry with Hall was to good to ever try him with McDavid again, especially since Eberle was back after Connor returned from his injury.

  45. Fog of Warts says:

    B S:
    When he’s dominating

    Right idea, wrong metric.

    People like to say “dominating” because it implies a grade of distinction that can be seen from a distant peak in the Armcharenes Mountain Range.

    When more than 50% of the remaining challenge involves surviving on less available oxygen, the prospect needs to be up in the N, end of story.

    This can only be determined up close and claustrophobic by a competent coaching staff.

    A hand-delivered envelope arrives in the Amrcharenes some three years later.

    “Good news, P.J. was ready to elevate, after all.”

    “Cripes, sure didn’t look that way through my field glasses at the time.” Recipient crumples up the note and tosses onto a large rubbish pile of discarded oxygen canisters.

    No, it didn’t—from there—and it probably never does.

    There are two types of struggle: one where you quickly begin to feel overwhelmed, and the other where—even when things are going badly—you feel optimally engaged. Of course frustration can build or abate, and one can change to the other almost overnight. You’d probably want to hire someone competent to monitor that on a daily basis, who parcels out the good with the bad in precise nutritive balance, and who exercises careful judgement so as not to destructively overreact on the big decisions.

    How do we tell these apart? Boxcar Tribune, delivered by signal relay of burning bush. And body language. Observed through well-used field glasses with a loose focus knob. From a forward ledge in the Armcharenes.

    Man, we rock. I could run this team tomorrow, by myself.

    After ten years of this team gradually becoming the world mascot for all things clusterchuckle, we’ve become such a boiled frog on some of these issues, we’ve got Moses looking over his shoulders out of envy over the authoritative lettering gracing our stone tablets.

    Moses: “Man I wish I’d had the time to practice a chisel hand like that one.”

    One thing I would say, however, is that the big club went so far beyond out of balance that any prospect brought into the fold (either slow cooked or fast fried) was going to require a semi-annual Gravol booster shot.

    Oilers are deeper down the middle than most think

    Just who on the following list was going to tuck Yakupov under his wing: Nuge, Gagner, Gordon, Acton, Arcobello and Lander.

    Nuge at that age lined up at 2C behind Kopitar or CMD, perhaps.

    Gagner never had a complete game at the position, much less anything to spare (coach after coach after coach after coach his game failed to round out).

    Will, Mark, and Anton were all deep in the “take nothing for granted, you’re only as good as your last game” brigade. Not one of these would have made the big club on a playoff team.

    Boyd: “Welcome to hell, kiddo. Hope you brought your mud boots.”

    Horcoffs and Pisani-types are worth a lot in a rebuild cycle, if you can talk them into taking a four-year contract washing dirty laundry. They might underperform their contracts on the boxcars by league standards (good for improving your draft pick), while on another dimension, they’re a line-blender’s dream team for fresh, fast-fry assets, managed properly.

    So for your shelter battalion you’re going to want eight guys: one for each forward line, one for each defensive pair, and one aging but not-yet-horrible, unflappable goalie. You’re team is not going to win any time soon, and these guys are all on mature contracts, so the laundry washing premium is going to be immense.

    Add a few future stars on bonus-laden ELCs, and you’re going to have to pack the rest of your line-up with value contracts. These comes in two flavours: career tweeners, and fresh, unseasoned draft picks (what sane franchise ever energized a Rebuild 1000 with a pantry already full of seasoned picks?)

    Here’s a good idea: have your ludicrously expensive shelter battalion babysit a full house of the upside impaired, as some kind of full-on rescue dog pump-and-dump puppy mill, while all around the league the waiver-wire trembles.

    Not.

    No, we’re right back at throwing your unseasoned picks straight into the towering inferno at the easiest feasible opportunity.

    But this towering inferno is purpose-built for washing laundry.

    Nuge, Gagner, Gordon, Acton, Arcobello and Lander.

    Eakins.

    That towering inferno is purpose-built for melting tires.

    EDIT: train tracks late addition.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    G Money,

    [this comment brought to you by way too much booze last night – and that’s good]

    At least you didn’t sleep though a meeting

    Back story, please and thanks.

  47. G Money says:

    Hilmar,

    Gotcha.

    I’m very cautious about reading anything from preseason games.

    Not only because of rust & rookie & roster factors, but also because generally speaking the less on the ‘bubble’ a player is, the more likely they are playing at well below regular season intensity. Human nature, self preservation, etc.

    (I formally tested the ‘preseason means nothing’ hypothesis and was actually surprised to find that the correlation between preseason and regular season – at least in 2014/2015 – was actually zero. It’s rarer than you might think).

    But we may very well see Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing this fall, if TMc shies away from trying for unicorns.

  48. Woodguy says:

    This is a really cool new metric for goalies: http://nhlnumbers.com/2016/7/30/adjgsaxga-60-a-nother-different-look-at-goaltending

    We are seeing more and more work done with “expected goals’ (or DFF) as we move past corsi as it doesn’t describe the actual play as good as xGF or DFF.

    Talbot rates high due to his time in NYR and had poorer year in EDM.

    If it was just the “starters” dip that G and Wheat found and his twins don’t destroy his sleep cycle the Oilers may have a top 10 goalie for the next 3 years.

  49. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy:
    Centre of attention,

    I think Risto is off limits, they may give you Cody Franson at half price with a pick though.

    Since BUF traded Pysyk to FLA for Kulikov they only have 3RD left.Risto, Bogo and Frranson.

    Not sure he’s available for a pittance anymore.

    Might have been before the Kulikov trade.

    True, I was basing my opinion off how they misused him last season. Didn’t get much power play time, didn’t play much at all. Good point on the Kulikov trade though. The price most definitely went up at that point. He may still be available though.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Back story, please and thanks.

    Z and G worked to get all the people involved with putting WoodMoney on the net together for a conference call/webinar and I fell asleep before it started and slept though it.

    Funny enough my contribution was identical to that had I attended.

  51. Woodguy says:

    Centre of attention: True, I was basing my opinion off how they misused him last season. Didn’t get much power play time, didn’t play much at all. Good point on the Kulikov trade though. The price most definitely went up at that point. He may still be available though.

    I’d take him, but I wouldn’t pay much for him.

  52. Hilmar says:

    G Money,

    Agree completely, I’m not suggesting anyone should take those shifts as a promise of anything, it just got me thinking that you don’t often hear people talk about that potential duo.

    Don’t need to convince me of pre-season mirages after Lander’s hat trick, even though he himself said in an interview after that he thought he played a bad game, other than the goals, I couldn’t really disagree.

  53. Woodguy says:

    Fog of Warts,

    Strong game as usual sir.

  54. OilClog says:

    Comparing 70’s baseball prospects 40 years later in a different sport, with no consideration for advancement in technology, training, so on and so Gord.

    Yak spent a half season performing well in the KHL that was loaded with talent at the time, then equaled expectations his rookie season.

    Then St.Eakins reinvented the wheel and nothing has been the same since.

    This totally applies to Poolparty, just because, seems to be good enough; Wade Boggs didn’t go straight to the bigs and it didn’t hurt him.. Hahahah

  55. G Money says:

    Hilmar: it just got me thinking that you don’t often hear people talk about that potential duo

    Fair point. We’re all obsessed with our made-up Yak vs Eberle polarization (apparently, if you think the former has been poorly handled, you are required to think the latter is not a good player, or something like that), so we don’t talk much of other options.

    McDraisaitl only played 4 mins together all season, so it seems certain that if Drai spends any time on the wing, he’s bound to have more time with McDavid this season, even if by accident!

  56. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Z and G worked to get all the people involved with putting WoodMoney on the net together for a conference call/webinar and I fell asleep before it started and slept though it.

    Funny enough my contribution was identical to that had I attended.

    God that’s good. I will mock you until end times for it, but good on you for manning up.

  57. JDï™ says:

    Centre of attention: 4: Detroit is that meme of that cartoon dog sitting in the bar

    http://www-static.weddingbee.com/pics/342067/this-is-fine-meme.jpg

  58. Ryan says:

    Woodguy: Z and G worked to get all the people involved with putting WoodMoney on the net together for a conference call/webinar and I fell asleep before it started and slept though it.

    Funny enough my contribution was identical to that had I attended.

    Is it fair to assume you crowd sourced the talent from this blog?

  59. Hilmar says:

    G Money: Fair point.We’re all obsessed with our made-up Yak vs Eberle polarization (apparently, if you think the former has been poorly handled, you are required to think the latter is not a good player, or something like that), so we don’t talk much of other options.

    McDraisaitl only played 4 mins together all season, so it seems certain that if Drai spends any time on the wing, he’s bound to have more time with McDavid this season, even if by accident!

    Eberle and Yak are among my favorite Oilers, so I try to stay out of those discussions. I hope both of them exceed expectations this season and have long successful careers in Edmonton.

    I guess I’m due for hate from both sides of the debate.

    j/k of course.

  60. B S says:

    OilClog,

    My point is that many are penciling and 18-19 year old forward into the Oilers’ top 9 forwards, yet again and I don’t think it’s a good idea. Some are doing this because that is what they expect the Oilers to do. Based on precedence they’re probably right. Others are doing it because they honestly think it will help the team or help the player. Rookies screw up. This isn’t based on events 40 baseball seasons ago, this is based on what we have seen from every 1st round pick the Oilers have picked up.

    Of those prospects, only McDavid has been able to outscore his mistakes. This includes players with a 2-way reputation. I argue that steadier hands should prevail and a more veteran pro player should be taking that 3RW spot, at least to start the season. It is not in the team’s best interest to play a NA pro rookie in the starting lineup.

    Puljujarvi can play another year in Sweden, or play in the AHL. The later will give him experience playing on the smaller rinks and with the greater physical contact. Another year of development before getting fed to the wolves should not hamper his growth as a player. That is as true today as it was 40 years ago. Puljujarvi may be physically capable of playing in the NHL, but so was Draisaitl and so was Yakupov. Nuge, arguably the most capable of all the prospects right out of the box, was the one who had question marks about his physical maturity. Puljujarvi can take another season to mature mentally before hitting the Edmonton ice.

  61. Ryan says:

    OilClog:
    Comparing 70’s baseball prospects 40 years later in a different sport, with no consideration for advancement in technology, training, so on and so Gord.

    Yak spent a half season performing well in the KHL that was loaded with talent at the time, then equaled expectations his rookie season.

    Then St.Eakins reinvented the wheel and nothing has been the same since.

    This totally applies to Poolparty, just because, seems to be good enough; Wade Boggs didn’t go straight to the bigs and it didn’t hurt him.. Hahahah

    I do not know if there is any value in vilifying Eakins.

    However,I would imagine that trying to develop players on recent Oilers rosters would be fraught with peril.

    We have 2 NHL centres…. One of which was a forth liner.

    We are 2 standard deviations below the league average in minutes played by top four NHL defensemen over the past five seasons. Okay, I made that stat up, but it sounds good.

    We sign expensive vets who need as much or more shelter than the kids.

    The coaching carousel.

    A roster rife with a combination of spent forces and a litany of rookies.

    The list goes on.

  62. G Money says:

    Ryan: Is it fair to assume you crowd sourced the talent from this blog?

    Both WG and I had a list of volunteers, many from this blog.

    Our current projected team includes adding three guys, all of whom are current or former posters here, and all of whom are reasonably well known current or former Oilers bloggers.

    I’ve already name-dropped one of them – Zsolt Munoz, who writes for Copper n Blue. He’s an IT expert, so he’s helping us with the IT infrastructure and middleware development to get the WoodMoney site online.

    I won’t mention the other two by name for now, but one is a web developer who is going to build the site’s front end, and the other is a stats/econometrics guru who’s going to work with us on developing a ‘next gen’ version of WoodMoney.

    And then there’s a handful of additional smart folks (yourself included) that have volunteered to help if needed, and if something comes up where you can, we will be calling!

    WG and I of course have put a ton of time, effort, and money getting WoodMoney to where it is now. Now bunches more folks are willing to jump in to help with the next phase, all volunteering time and expertise.

    Thrilling stuff, I tell you, just thrilling.

  63. Centre of attention says:

    JDï™: http://www-static.weddingbee.com/pics/342067/this-is-fine-meme.jpg

    Yes, that exact one. Lol. It will be even better when they miss the playoffs for the first time in two and a half decades.

  64. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: God that’s good. I will mock you until end times for it, but good on you for manning up.

    I’d expect nothing less.

  65. HT Joe says:

    I was pining for Taylor Hall when I ran across this:

    http://www.allaboutthejersey.com/2016/7/25/12266996/2015-16-new-jersey-devils-defensemen-performances-woodmoney-metric-quality-of-competition

    Good job GMoney and Woodguy… looks like your new work has received attention well outside of the local Edmonton area. Congratulations!

    (I’m sorry if this was discussed days ago… schedule has been a bit hectic lately).

  66. Woodguy says:

    HT Joe:
    I was pining for Taylor Hall when I ran across this:

    http://www.allaboutthejersey.com/2016/7/25/12266996/2015-16-new-jersey-devils-defensemen-performances-woodmoney-metric-quality-of-competition

    Good job GMoney and Woodguy… looks like your new work has received attention well outside of the local Edmonton area.Congratulations!

    (I’m sorry if this was discussed days ago… schedule has been a bit hectic lately).

    Thanks.

    Its still early for WoodMoney as its only forwards.

    Dmen get added next.

    As G mentioned we are probably going to work on a Next Gen version, but I want to keep the original version as well because it will give more detailed info.

  67. B S says:

    HT Joe,

    This is an interesting read. It really makes me suspect that Zone-starts are a real issue for Corsi and DFF, rather than conclude that Larsson is easily replaced. Larsson and Greene do worse against the elites by those metrics, but log way more time so it must not be bothering the coach much. I suspect it’s because the other Dmen are all getting better zone-starts against elite forwards.

  68. Jethro Tull says:

    G Money: Now bunches more folks are willing to jump in to help with the next phase, all volunteering time and expertise.

    Any time you need to use my chainsaw, just holler, neighborino!

    Joking aside, great work and good job to you, WG and all involved.

    I hope in ten years time, we all meet up for a ‘where were you when WoodMoney went online/became self-aware?’ drink.

  69. godot10 says:

    jm363561:
    I still believe (pray) Chia will bring in one more RHD. It may be a Barrie or Trouba (not Troubadour as my Autocorrect would have us believe), or a more plain vanilla Gryba type. This would allow St Brandon to move to his favoured left side and makes for a pretty good Top Six, particularly on the port side.

    But as of today, with only two bona fide RHD, I am not a fan of Davidson playing on his off side – why mess with such an excellent young D? Set the young guy up to succeed. (Oesterle and Reinhart can both play LD – and as it is the Oilers some young player has to be placed in a position to fail. It should not be Davidson).

    Except that Davidson has played the majority of his professional career on right D, with a chaos D as a left side partner. Why do you say that he favours the left side?

  70. Woodguy says:

    B S: his is an interesting read. It really makes me suspect that Zone-starts are a real issue for Corsi and DFF, rather than conclude that Larsson is easily replaced. Larsson and Greene do worse against the elites by those metrics, but log way more time so it must not be bothering the coach much. I suspect it’s because the other Dmen are all getting better zone-starts against elite forwards.

    Larsson and Greene had such extreme zone starts they really break a lot of metrics.

    I found this interesting:

    Larsson DFA/60 vs. Elite 37.7

    Severson DFA/60 vs. Elite 46.0

    So even with Severson getting 26% DZS and Larsson getting 44% DZS, Larsson still out performs him at DFA/60 quite significantly.

    Crazy.

    Its the DFF/60 where Larsson’s numbers go to die.

    Larsson DFF/60 vs Elite 25.3

    Severson DFF/60 vs Elite 37.2

    With all my grinding of Dmen data I don’t think that Dmen drive CF or DFF as much as we think. It *may* have more to do with the forwards they play with.

    I do think that Dmen drive DFA though.

    Working on this…..

  71. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    A belated response on my part but that is very cool. the other story of course is Greene and whether he zoomed us again. I know the numbers that have compared them seem to suggest that Larsson is holding his own and then some, so here’s hoping.

  72. Ryan says:

    Woodguy: Larsson and Greene had such extreme zone starts they really break a lot of metrics.

    I found this interesting:

    Larsson DFA/60 vs. Elite 37.7

    Severson DFA/60 vs. Elite 46.0

    So even with Severson getting 26% DZS and Larsson getting 44% DZS, Larsson still out performs him at DFA/60 quite significantly.

    Crazy.

    Its the DFF/60 where Larsson’s numbers go to die.

    Larsson DFF/60 vs Elite 25.3

    Severson DFF/60 vs Elite37.2

    With all my grinding of Dmen data I don’t think that Dmen drive CF or DFF as much as we think.It *may* have more to do with the forwards they play with.

    I do think that Dmen drive DFA though.

    Working on this…..

    I’ve always intuitively thought dmen drive CF more than forwards via their ability to transition the puck.

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