HE CAME FROM PROVIDENCE (THE ONE IN RHODE ISLAND)

I will be honest with you here: The following may or may not hold some value for you. In our efforts to look at Keith Gretzky as incoming AGM, the real challenge is finding something we can attach to him. It was suggested (and I do apologize for not finding the original request) that looking at Providence Bruins compared to Bakersfield Condors might give us some clues about how Gretzky may re-set the AHL club. We begin that process today by looking at entry-level contracts and estimated time on ice. All numbers via Prospect-Stats, let me know any errors. Note: If your reaction is what does this have to do with Keith Gretzky, I will not argue. Still, interesting idea and let’s have a look.

CONDORS FORWARDS

CONDORS FORWARDS TOI

  • I think Jujhar Khaira received (by this estimate) a reasonable amount of ice time.
  • Anton Slepyshev and Bogdan Yakimov had pro experience, seems to me their playing time should have been increased, while men like Matt Ford saw TOI reduced.
  • I think Kyle Platzer should have received more playing time.
  • I have no quarrel with the usage of Mitch Moroz, Braden Christoffer or Kale Kessy.
  • I do have issue with NINE players who are not on their entry-level deals.
  • It is interesting to see Josh Winquist, Josh Currie and Marco Roy—three players who were never signed to an NHL deal by the Oilers—getting more playing time than Yakimov, Platzer, Moroz, Christoffer and Kessy.
  • It is safe to say there is room for improvement.

PROVIDENCE BRUINS FORWARDS

BRUINS AHL FORWARDS

  • The first thing that stands out is the push entry-level deal players are getting. Whereas the top three forwards in Bakersfield were AHL veterans, the top four players on the Bruins list were on entry-level deals and playing a substantial amount.
  • Three of the top 10 forwards are men who are not on their entry-level deals. Bakersfield? Exactly the opposite. Three entry-level deals are among the top 10 forwards.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

  • Four of the five feature Bruins (over 20 minutes) are entry-level contracts. The No. 4 entry-level contract for Bakersfield (Platzer) is estimated to have played 13 minutes last season. This looks crazy, I welcome your input.
  • Keith Gretzky would do well to push the entry-level kids and discourage usage of Matt Ford’s in Bakersfield.

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64 Responses to "HE CAME FROM PROVIDENCE (THE ONE IN RHODE ISLAND)"

  1. Woodguy says:

    Nice find.

    This would go a looooooooong way to getting value out of the players beyond the 1st round.

    Ages 19-22 are crucial for development, you gave them an ELC, so play them FFS.

    The old Chestnut of “we want them to experience winning in the AHL” holds less water than a colander.

    Players get better because they play and learn, not because they watch 27 year olds score on 1PP in the AHL.

  2. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy:
    Nice find.

    This would go a looooooooong way to getting value out of the players beyond the 1st round.

    Ages 19-22 are crucial for development, you gave them an ELC, so play them FFS.

    The old Chestnut of “we want them to experience winning in the AHL” holds less water than a colander.

    Players get better because they play and learn, not because they watch 27 year olds score on 1PP in the AHL.

    *old timey, fuddy duddy voice* “Well if the prospect can’t beat out a career AHL player for playing time, what hope does he have of making the NHL! The kid has to earn his time in the minors, not be gifted it!”

    Seriously though the Condors need to play the ELC kids. Great stuff LT. I hope Keith brings that philosophy of actually playing their prospects to Edmonton.

  3. jonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy,

    I like the colander line. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow it in the future.

  4. Chachi says:

    If the Oilers stop moving their farm team every couple of years they may feel less pressure to play AHL veterans big minutes in the hope of icing a winning team to help establish a fan base. I sympathize with fans in Bakersfield who want to watch a winning team, but personally I don’t care if the Condors win even one game a year if they consistently develop good players for the Oilers. The thrill of going to a Trappers game back in the day was in trying to figure out which young player was going to be the next one to crack the squad in the Majors after all. I suspect winning in the minors was given way too much priority by the Oilers in the past partly to build a fan base in new markets and hopefully that ends now.

  5. frjohnk says:

    Oilers should have signed AHL players that were even shittier than the kids they drafted who have played majority of their time in the AHL.

    That way it would have been easier for the kids to win the job and Voila! an increase in ice time for the kids.

    Ha ha kidding, sort of.

    I agree, they should play the kids more, who cares if it leads to less wins. Why have a guy like Brad Hunt, ( who has peaked as an AHL player) take away ice time from prospects such as Osterle, Reinhart, Simpson ( who are still in their development phase). Put the guys who are in their development phase in all situations including 1st PP and 1st PK ( as long as they are not too much over their head). AHL is a development league, let the kids development.

  6. OilClog says:

    Hopefully this terrible tactic signing career minor vets, not flooding your farm system with as much young talent as possible, will be something the Oilers finally walk away from.

    Growing pains of not having your own farm team for so many years seems to have blinded previous regimes clarity in what the farm system is meant for.

    Hopefully when they send Fayne down, keeping Musil, they’re not playing him ahead of Rhino stunting his growth, leaving us at this time next season wishing Chia could of found a buyer 38games sooner.

    Fayne for Hemsky?

  7. Woodguy says:

    Centre of attention: *old timey, fuddy duddy voice*“Well if the prospect can’t beat out a career AHL player for playing time, what hope does he have of making the NHL! The kid has to earn his time in the minors, not be gifted it!”

    Seriously though the Condors need to play the ELC kids. Great stuff LT. I hope Keith brings that philosophy of actually playing their prospects to Edmonton.

    Yeah.

    A 19/20 year old will *never* beat a 25/26 year old for TOI.

    Why?

    They are 19/20 and the other guy is 25/26.

    That matters.

    Its amazing how long so many team miss this entirely and blame their drafting.

    ANA doesn’t.

    CBJ doesn’t.

    TBY doesn’t.

    DET is good at it but has faltered as of late.

    I’m sure there are others, but I those are the ones that popped out at me.

  8. Woodguy says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Woodguy,

    I like the colander line. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow it in the future.

    Fill yer boots.

  9. Water Fire says:

    Chachi:
    If the Oilers stop moving their farm team every couple of years they may feel less pressure to play AHL veterans big minutes in the hope of icing a winning team to help establish a fan base. I sympathize with fans in Bakersfield who want to watch a winning team, but personally I don’t care if the Condors win even one game a year if they consistently develop good players for the Oilers. The thrill of going to a Trappers game back in the day was in trying to figure out which young player was going to be the next one to crack the squad in the Majors after all. I suspect winning in the minors was given way too much priority by the Oilers in the past partly to build a fan base in new markets and hopefully that ends now.

    Good point, the solution being own the AHL team and run it as a development team meaning profit isn’t the goal. . The big club treats any shortfalls as an expense. Hire good marketers.

  10. Pescador says:

    Kudos to you Lowetide for championing this development problem within the Oilers system.
    Developing your teenagers in the show & making them ride the pine in the A,
    As my grandpa used to say “that’s Bassackwards”
    He also used to say to my mom; “Somethins wrong with that boy”

  11. Woodguy says:

    Water Fire: Good point, the solution being own the AHL team and run it as a development team meaning profit isn’t the goal. . The big club treats any shortfallsas an expense. Hire good marketers.

    That was a good reason to move the AHL team to Bakersfield.

    Bakersfield’s ECHL team outdrew OKC’s AHL team.

    People like hockey in Bakersfield (an in many parts of Cali.) and support the local team regardless.

    Gretzky effect.

  12. Pescador says:

    Also has anyone seen Rot Lobster lately?
    I’ve been looking everywhere

  13. BrazilianOil says:

    If the AHL was an under 23 league, this will not be better for all the teams and for the league?

  14. Lowetide says:

    BrazilianOil:
    If the AHL was an under 23 league, this will not be better for all the teams and for the league?

    Aha!

    http://oilersnation.com/2010/9/6/does-the-nhl-need-a-developmental-league

  15. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree completely. It’s simply a case where throwing them in the deep end is a GOOD thing, they need to learn to swim with the sharks damnit!!

    They need to fall on their face a bit while learning in the AHL rather than having their confidence shattered at the NHL level. Instead here in backwards land they are forced to warm the benches at the AHL level then thrust into a prominent role in the NHL. SO backwards it’s not even funny.

  16. AsiaOil says:

    Actually the real solution is to turn the CHL into an 18-22 year old league. Let kids stay in school at home (instead of being unpaid migrant child labor) and let for-profit businesses hire adults who are paid actual salaries. Expect the usual howls howls from the usual people – but the hypocrisy Canada shows in how it treat it’s child hockey laborers is both stunning and on-going.

    BrazilianOil:
    If the AHL was an under 23 league, this will not be better for all the teams and for the league?

  17. Centre of attention says:

    AsiaOil:
    Actually the real solution is to turn the CHL into an 18-22 year old league. Let kids stay in school at home (instead of being unpaid migrant child labor) and let for-profit businesses hire adults who are paid actual salaries. Expect the usual howls howls from the usual people – but the hypocrisy Canada shows in how it treat it’s child hockey laborers is both stunning and on-going.

    Or you know, just pay CHL players 🙂

  18. AsiaOil says:

    Centre of attention,

    Yeah but they are minors and should be at home finishing high school instead of being unpaid migrant laborers riding buses across the country at 16.

  19. Water Fire says:

    Really they need an integrated development model like soccer. Starting at the CHL level, to AHL to NHL. The kids could be treated better if profit wasn’t a motive at youth levels.

  20. Water Fire says:

    AsiaOil:
    Centre of attention,

    Yeah but they are minors and should be at home finishing high school instead of being unpaid migrant laborers riding buses across the country at 16.

    Like fighting I think we’re moving past this, it is exploitive and paying them doesn’t make it better.

  21. B S says:

    Age of those players for providence:

    23
    22
    nearly 23
    23
    32
    28
    24
    ?
    25

    These aren’t kids, many of them also aren’t going to make the big show. Not disagreeing with giving the kids more time in Bakersfield. but most of the bruins players are well-aged. Top prospects do seem to get the most ice time though

  22. Alpine says:

    Water Fire:
    Really they need an integrated development model like soccer.Starting at the CHL level, to AHL to NHL. The kids could be treated better if profit wasn’t a motive at youth levels.

    You mean like an academy and loans system? That might work better.

  23. Stelio Kontos says:

    I think we need to be careful swinging the pendulum the other way. It was a bad idea when bonfire prospects like Pitlick,Hamilton, Marincin were being buried. Gorging Moroz on minutes would be stupid. We need to get prospects coming in ready to play, and with a place to play in. Not one or the other.

  24. GCW_69 says:

    I beleive the original request was mine, or at leasti was one of them.

    Thanks for this. It is exactly what I was hoping to see. Now, I hope that Gretzky pushes this approach to Bakersfield with Chiarelli’s support.

  25. Water Fire says:

    Alpine: You mean like an academy and loans system? That might work better.

    I’m not sure but to me having the pro team owning things become clear. Now there are alot of legacy issues that don’t work well given the money and competitiveness of the NHL now

  26. Bank Shot says:

    The only 20 year olds that Providence played at forward last season were Blidh and Cave. Their icetime–>> 14:09 and 13:26.

    That’s not really much different than what 20 year olds Yakimov and Platzzer got. 14:23 and 13:07.

    When you look at the top playing ELC forwards for Boston’s farm system they pretty all had better PPGs across the board in their pre-AHL careers.

    To me the solution isn’t playing Braden Christoffer more. I think these guys for the most part don’t have the skill sets to be turned into legitimate prospects.

    I think the solution is finding better players through the draft and free agent signings.

  27. Bank Shot says:

    Stelio Kontos:
    I think we need to be careful swinging the pendulum the other way. It was a bad idea when bonfire prospects like Pitlick,Hamilton, Marincin were being buried. Gorging Moroz on minutes would be stupid. We need to get prospects coming in ready to play, and with a place to play in. Not one or the other.

    You could argue giving players like MA Pouliot and JF jacques loads of first line and PP time in their AHL rookie seasons didn’t help them much in their development.

    MAP for example came out of the AHL thinking he was too good to be a checker.

  28. theres oil in virginia says:

    Chachi:
    If the Oilers stop moving their farm team every couple of years they may feel less pressure to play AHL veterans big minutes in the hope of icing a winning team to help establish a fan base. I sympathize with fans in Bakersfield who want to watch a winning team, but personally I don’t care if the Condors win even one game a year if they consistently develop good players for the Oilers. The thrill of going to a Trappers game back in the day was in trying to figure out which young player was going to be the next one to crack the squad in the Majors after all. I suspect winning in the minors was given way too much priority by the Oilers in the past partly to build a fan base in new markets and hopefully that ends now.

    Good post LT, and this is a good comment too. You basically half-answered the question I was going to pose:

    Is it possible that fans in the northeast US want to watch minor hockey more to see which players will make it, and fans in Oklahoma and California just want to see a winner and a bunch of fights?

  29. Water Fire says:

    Bank Shot:
    The only 20 year olds that Providence played at forward last season were Blidh and Cave. Their icetime–>> 14:09 and 13:26.

    That’s not really much different than what 20 year olds Yakimov and Platzzer got. 14:23 and 13:07.

    When you look at the top playing ELC forwards for Boston’s farm system they pretty all had better PPGs across the board in their pre-AHL careers.

    To me the solution isn’t playing Braden Christoffer more. I think these guys for the most part don’t have the skill sets to be turned into legitimate prospects.

    I think the solution is finding better players through the draft and free agent signings.

    Every teams drafting record says it’s a guess after the 3 rd pick overall each year more or less. The point is that the only way most draftees can develop enough for the NHL is being given enough time on ice to fail.

    The AHL team is for this. PLying guys with no NHL hope is a waste of TOI, money and can seriously hurt the parent club in the future. Not understanding this is a serious problem for the NHL team.

    I’m not saying there is no room for a vet to model the correct behavior especially off ice and training. Just the bulk needs to go to the kids who are the future of the NHL team.

  30. Bank Shot says:

    Water Fire:

    I’m not saying there is no room for a vet to model the correct behavior especially off ice and training. Just the bulk needs to go to the kids who are the future of the NHL team.

    Well then you maybe need to assemble enough kids who have a future with an NHL team.

    If you can point to me other AHL teams that are playing their Mitch Moroz’s 20 minutes a night in their 20 year old seasons I would like to see it.

    Lowetide used the Providence Bruins as an example of the Oilers not playing their young guys enough, but in the case of the 20 year olds, they didn’t play anymore than Yakimov and Platzer did.

    Are there a load of 20 year olds in the AHL playing 20 minutes a night outside of first round picks? It doesn’t really seem that way when I go through the top rookie scoring list at the AHL website.

    If we are concluding that the Oilers are doing development wrong, I think we have to prove that they are doing things markedly different than other NHL teams. I don’t see strong evidence of this.

    I mean, what are the Oilers supposed to do in the next 2-3 years?

    In the last 3 drafts they only picked like 4 forwards outside the first round, and only Benson in the top 3 rounds.

    Is the answer to sign McPhee and play him 20 minutes a night in the AHL whether he is drowning or not?

    They are going to have to fill out the roster with college free agent signings and vets. I bet the college guys will play, as with free agent signings you are getting guys that are usually capable of playing at the AHL level or you wouldn’t bother to sign them.

    I would suggest playing the guys that can play, and suggest to the ones that aren’t good enough to work harder in the summer and practices, or start preparing for a different future than hockey.

    If that means Benson doesn’t make the grade, so be it. The road to the NHL can’t be given to a player.

  31. Centre of attention says:

    AsiaOil:
    Centre of attention,

    Yeah but they are minors and should be at home finishing high school instead of being unpaid migrant laborers riding buses across the country at 16.

    Well if they were paid, and their parents consented at age 16 they could work accross the country with no issue.

    What if I told you highschools in Alberta use paid child migrant labor? At age 16 you can sign up for the RAP program and work away from home in return for high school credits. Its to give the kid a head start in his chosen field of work.

    Paying CHL kids would almost be like a registered apprenticeship program but for Hockey.

    Just a different way of looking at it is all 🙂 The CHL is a good thing, we can talk about raising the draft age but making it an 18+ league where 16/17 year olds are not allowed to play is not the way to go IMO.

    Leave the CHL as it is, but pay the players. I’m open to the idea of a separate pro league for young adults though like BrazillianOil and LT mentioned as well.

  32. Centre of attention says:

    Bank Shot: Well then you maybe need to assemble enough kids who have a future with an NHL team.

    If you can point to me other AHL teams that are playing their Mitch Moroz’s 20 minutes a night in their 20 year old seasons I would like to see it.

    Lowetide used the Providence Bruins as an example of the Oilers not playing their young guys enough, but in the case of the 20 year olds, they didn’t play anymore than Yakimov and Platzer did.

    Are they a load of 20 year olds in the AHL playing 20 minutes a night outside of first round picks? It doesn’t really seem that way when I go through the top rookie scoring list at the AHL website.

    LT’s point was contract status. If he is on an ELC, play him. He could have been an over age player or rookie college signing. Play the damn guy damnit. If you read his article again, he has no issue with how many minutes Moroz or Chrisopher got. They didn’t get minutes because they are checking players and will never really get minutes in their careers.

    The somewhat skilled ELC players, regardless of age should be played. They are the guys who you signed with the hope of developing into NHL players. They need minutes to develop, if they are 20 or 21 or 22 it doesn’t matter. Hell you could be a college guy on an ELC at age 24, but you better be playing if you want to develop.

    The guys on AHL only contracts are the guys marked “no” on his chart and they are the ones eating minutes for no real reason other than helping the AHL team win. If you compare the Bruins chart to the Oilers chart, you can clearly see an issue with how the minutes are distributed.

  33. Pescador says:

    Bank Shot:
    The only 20 year olds that Providence played at forward last season were Blidh and Cave. Their icetime–>> 14:09 and 13:26.

    That’s not really much different than what 20 year olds Yakimov and Platzzer got. 14:23 and 13:07.

    When you look at the top playing ELC forwards for Boston’s farm system they pretty all had better PPGs across the board in their pre-AHL careers.

    To me the solution isn’t playing Braden Christoffer more. I think these guys for the most part don’t have the skill sets to be turned into legitimate prospects.

    I think the solution is finding better players through the draft and free agent signings.

    I would like to think they have made better bets in both of those areas recently. It’s the usage at the AHL level that is on trial here.
    Get good coaches. Keep good coaches?
    & Mandates, need new mandates.

  34. Pescador says:

    AsiaOil:
    Actually the real solution is to turn the CHL into an 18-22 year old league. Let kids stay in school at home (instead of being unpaid migrant child labor) and let for-profit businesses hire adults who are paid actual salaries. Expect the usual howls howls from the usual people – but the hypocrisy Canada shows in how it treat it’s child hockey laborers is both stunning and on-going.

    Come on, it’s just a little different.
    First: it’s not forced labour, they are free to leave at any point.
    Second: they are following a dream (even if it’s their fathers)& playing a game.
    Third: they are in high school wherever they play & there is a college scholarship program.
    Fourth: I agree, they should be paid.
    Last: don’t be such a drama queen

  35. Centre of attention says:

    Also RE: The CHL, the Bantam draft and how that whole thing shakes out could probably use some work too. Scouts are looking at players younger and younger and there is something to be said for giving them a little bit more time to develop.

    The WHL Bantam draft is just ridiculous for example. Scouts are looking at kids at 11 or 12 years old to try and project them to age 14, where they can project them again to age 18 and so on. Enough. Let Timmy do his thing undisturbed until he knows his body a little better and isn’t making life changing decisions before hitting puberty.

    Interesting case study is Edmontons own Tyler Benson. He developed Osteitis pubis due to over training at a young age, probably due to the expectations place on him after getting drafted first overall in the bantam draft at age 14. He, his family and his agent all probably decided it was a good idea for a 14 year old to bulk up before his rookie WHL season.

    There are many studies linking Oesteitis Pubis to young, pre-pubescent males who train professionally before their pubic bone is fully fused. To quote wikipedia as a rough source:

    “The incidence of osteitis pubis among Australian footballers has increased sharply over the past decade….

    “….The increasing demand for size and strength among footballers. This has led young players to concentrate on building muscle mass before their bodies are fully mature. The additional strain that highly developed abdominal muscles place on the pubic bone explains the higher prevalence of osteitis pubis in young players. Some develop the condition while still playing school-level football…”

    “…The Australian Football League has taken some steps to reduce the incidence of osteitis pubis, in particular recommending that clubs restrict the amount of bodybuilding which young players are required to carry out, and in general reducing the physical demands on players before their bodies mature….”

    Replace football with Hockey and you have a very good reason to raise the WHL bantam draft age. The OHL and QMJHL have already increased it by a year, but they should probably go ahead and increase it again. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to young men and their still developing bodies.

    Sorry for ranting to the group tonight, I just felt like that needed to be said. I don’t think I’m alone in my views either.

  36. Water Fire says:

    Bank Shot: Well then you maybe need to assemble enough kids who have a future with an NHL team.

    If you can point to me other AHL teams that are playing their Mitch Moroz’s 20 minutes a night in their 20 year old seasons I would like to see it.

    Lowetide used the Providence Bruins as an example of the Oilers not playing their young guys enough, but in the case of the 20 year olds, they didn’t play anymore than Yakimov and Platzer did.

    Are there a load of 20 year olds in the AHL playing 20 minutes a night outside of first round picks? It doesn’t really seem that way when I go through the top rookie scoring list at the AHL website.

    If we are concluding that the Oilers are doing development wrong, I think we have to prove that they are doing things markedly different than other NHL teams. I don’t see strong evidence of this.

    I mean, what are the Oilers supposed to do in the next 2-3 years?

    In the last 3 drafts they only picked like 4 forwards outside the first round, and only Benson in the top 3 rounds.

    Is the answer to sign McPhee and play him 20 minutes a night in the AHL whether he is drowning or not?

    They are going to have to fill out the roster with college free agent signings and vets. I bet the college guys will play, as with free agent signings you are getting guys that are usually capable of playing at the AHL level or you wouldn’t bother to sign them.

    I would suggest playing the guys that can play, and suggest to the ones that aren’t good enough to work harder in the summer and practices, or start preparing for a different future than hockey.

    If that means Benson doesn’t make the grade, so be it. The road to the NHL can’t be given to a player.

    I’m not saying play a guy who can’t. I think the prevailing idea is give the drafted players a chance to grow. Sometimes it’s lack of opportunity and if the drafting team won’t give that it’s all for not. Why play a guy who isn’t in the NHL plans? I’d give Moroz the TOI over Hamilton every time.

    I’m not suggesting unreasonable usage. Only investing in what you have already invested in to be the future for the team.

  37. Big Dan says:

    OilClog:

    Fayne for Hemsky?

    I would love that!!!!! My favorite player. Hemmer could play with mcdavid, eberle with nuge, and yak vs. Pjj on 3rd line. Kassian on the 4th line ready to move up in case of injuries. (If they get Pirri to be the 4c, he could move up in case of injury.) Letestu and Hendricks fight the likes of lander and pakarinen to play on the 4th line where they belong. Depth.

    Then they move sekera, klefbom, or Davidson to the right side and sign wisniewski and nakludal for peanuts.

  38. GCW_69 says:

    Bank Shot: To me the solution isn’t playing Braden Christoffer more. I think these guys for the most part don’t have the skill sets to be turned into legitimate prospects.

    Perhaps part of the solution is playing Slepyshev and Chase more, both in games and ice time.

  39. GCW_69 says:

    Big Dan: I would love that!!!!!My favorite player.Hemmer could play with mcdavid, eberle with nuge, and yak vs. Pjj on 3rd line.Kassian on the 4th line ready to move up in case of injuries.(If they get Pirri to be the 4c, he could move up in case of injury.) Letestu and Hendricks fight the likes of lander and pakarinen to play on the 4th line where they belong.Depth.

    Then they move sekera, klefbom, or Davidson to the right side and sign wisniewski and nakludal for peanuts.

    Hudler would be a better fit in terms of point production, goals and two way play. Hemsky’s advantage is being right handed, but if he doesn’t shoot, that advantage is pretty much moot.

  40. Bank Shot says:

    Centre of attention: LT’s point was contract status. If he is on an ELC, play him. He could have been an over age player or rookie college signing. Play the damn guy damnit. If you read his article again, he has no issue with how many minutes Moroz or Chrisopher got. They didn’t get minutes because they are checking players and will never really get minutes in their careers.

    The somewhat skilled ELC players, regardless of age should be played. They are the guys who you signed with the hope of developing into NHL players. They need minutes to develop, if they are 20 or 21 or 22 it doesn’t matter. Hell you could be a college guy on an ELC at age 24, but you better be playing if you want to develop.

    The guys on AHL only contracts are the guys marked “no” on his chart and they are the ones eating minutes for no real reason other than helping the AHL team win. If you compare the Bruins chart to the Oilers chart, you can clearly see an issue with how the minutes are distributed.

    Khaira was a low pick that saw fewer minutes in his first season. He obviously worked his butt off, improved, and as a result saw a big minute increase in season two of his pro career.

    The Oilers have been playing guys at the NHL level for years just because they were invested in them. Playing a bunch of minutes he didn’t deserve never made Sammy Gagner a better player.

    I think most fans agree that playing a young guy over his head in the NHL isn’t the ideal way to develop. Logically it’d work the same way in the AHL. Play players the number of minutes and competition that they can handle.

    If a player is playing few minutes, poor competition and still getting his head caved in, that’s probably a sign that that player needs to put more work in, or be replaced by a better player.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention:
    Also RE: The CHL, the Bantam draft and how that whole thing shakes out could probably use some work too. Scouts are looking at players younger and younger and there is something to be said for giving them a little bit more time to develop.

    The WHL Bantam draft is just ridiculous for example. Scouts are looking at kids at 11 or 12 years old to try and project them to age 14, where they can project them again to age 18 and so on. Enough. Let Timmy do his thing undisturbed until he knows his body a little better and isn’t making life changing decisions before hitting puberty.

    Interesting case study is Edmontons own Tyler Benson. He developed Osteitis pubis due to over training at a young age, probably due to the expectations place on him after getting drafted first overall in the bantam draft at age 14. He, his family and his agent all probably decided it was a good idea for a 14 year old to bulk up before his rookie WHL season.

    There are many studies linking Oesteitis Pubis to young, pre-pubescent males who train professionally before their pubic bone is fully fused. To quote wikipedia as a rough source:

    “The incidence of osteitis pubis among Australian footballers has increased sharply over the past decade….

    “….The increasing demand for size and strength among footballers. This has led young players to concentrate on building muscle mass before their bodies are fully mature. The additional strain that highly developed abdominal muscles place on the pubic bone explains the higher prevalence of osteitis pubis in young players. Some develop the condition while still playing school-level football…”

    “…The Australian Football League has taken some steps to reduce the incidence of osteitis pubis, in particular recommending that clubs restrict the amount of bodybuilding which young players are required to carry out, and in general reducing the physical demands on players before their bodies mature….”

    Replace football with Hockey and you have a very good reason to raise the WHL bantam draft age. The OHL and QMJHL have already increased it by a year, but they should probably go ahead and increase it again. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to young men and their still developing bodies.

    Sorry for ranting to the group tonight, I just felt like that needed to be said. I don’t think I’m alone in my views either.

    Great piece. Benson is a guy whose injuries cost him a lot of money on his entry-level deal and of course derailed his healthy early on.

  42. G Money says:

    I just wrote a little Twitter bot that allows me to type in one of my infamous wall of text rants, and it will split it into multiple tweets of <140 characters (with automatic numbering) and tweet them out automatically.

    I have escaped the bonds! The 140th seal is broken! My evil can no longer be contained!

    I AM THE SINGULARITY!

  43. VOR says:

    I don’t mean to start a fight, just to point out history says last year’s Condors were running the same sort of minute distribution as the 1992-1993 Cape Breton Oilers. You all remember them right? Well if you want to see NHL development done right you need look no further.

    They were built to win, anchored by a top line that usually featured David Hass, Dan Currie, and of course the incredible Bill McDougall. With that kind of talent no mere mortal was going to get 1st line minutes on the Cape Breton Oilers. By this point it was clear they were all career AHLers, but very, very good ones.

    It is on the second line that we first find kids, Steven Rice and Craig Fisher (I may be spelling that wrong. It has been a lot of years since I watched them play.) The two kids who I am guessing we’re 19 and 20 or so had a break. For some of the season they got to play with a veteran AHL superstar named Shaun Van Allen who was scoring over a point and a half a game. He was probably zooming them given both looked like real players at the AHL level. The third line consisted of another AHL star and two more kids. And believe me playing behind two lines where nearly every player scored over a point a game they were struggling to get ice time and often they were losing it to a couple of slightly older kids, Peter White and Roman Oksuita, on top of being buried behind a mix of vets and more promising prospects. .

    I should maybe point out the team scored 356 goals and no you read that right. They couldn’t keep the puck out of their own net but they could fill the other teams. They were fun to watch.

    Then came the playoffs and Bill McDougall has this out of body experience and scores 26 Goals and 26 Assists in 16 games and they won the Calder Cup in a cake walk, dominant doesn’t come close to describing it. The third/fourth line barely saw the ice all playoff long. I remember feeling sorry for the three young men and thinking that for them it had to be a wasted season. I thought if they were lucky they might some day get a chance to play for a Calder Cup as feature players.

    It never happened of course but the veteran that anchored the line, a 24 year old named Shjon Podein would be a big part of a Stanley Cup run with Colorado and end up playing over 600 games in the NHL. Shaun Van Allen who was blocked by Bill McDougall would have a nice NHL career of his own. And the two kids who were blocked, their development hopelessly stunted, their names are Scott Thornton (who by the way could score at the AHL level) and of course Kirk Maltby. Somehow they managed to have NHL careers. Thornton had a good playoff run with Dallas and of course year after year Maltby earned his money in the playoffs with Detroit.

    My point, in cased you missed it, is if you want to develop NHLers on your farm there is a simple recipe. Block them with three players as good as McDougall, Hass, and Currie. Give them sheltering line mates as good as Shjon Podein and Shaun Van Allen. Let the kids fight it out for the last few minutes a game of ice time and let the devil take the hindmost. Some kids will drown, some like White and Oksuita will earn the right to NHL minutes but fail at that level, and some will play a thousand or more games in the NHL and be key role players on Stanley Cup teams. Even if they lose the race for AHL minutes they may win the war and one day play 16 vital minutes a game against the NHL’s best and more than hold their own.

    My point is you can look at Kyle Platzer and think he should be getting more minutes or you can look at Kyle Platzer and think Kirk Maltby. Maltby was forced to earn every minute he played in Cape Breton. But when he got the chance he played his heart out. It was in one of those games in Cape Breton that a pro scout for the Detroit Red Wings first noticed him. Kyle Platzer, Mitch Moroz and the others need to do the same thing. Those that do will have NHL careers, those that don’t won’t. And that is how a meritocracy works. It is Darwinian as hell.

  44. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Thanks for the forensics, LT, made for an interesting read.

    And lol @ Gmoney if only I was on Twitter to see. I’ll have to read the long form on BLH 😉

  45. G Money says:

    VOR,

    But you already know the counterarguments to your post, though, right?

  46. Lowetide says:

    VOR:

    They were built to win.

    Winning an AHL championship has no value. Developing players is the key.

  47. G Money says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    As long as I’ve somehow tricked you into reading my raves and rants, my evil is satisfied!

  48. Centre of attention says:

    VOR,

    You’re making some insane comparisons and connections. First, none of the players you quoted are like the players the Oilers have in their system.

    Second, that is 1992/1993, the entire dynamics of a farm team were much different back then.

    Placing 3 elite career AHL players at the top of the pecking order and then burying your promising prospects under more mediocre “shelter” players is not a recipe for success.

    I look forward to a more modern and relevant comparison, if you can find one. 🙂

  49. hags9k says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Woodguy,

    I like the colander line. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow it in the future.

    Just as long as we aren’t talking goalies!

  50. hags9k says:

    Lowetide: Winning an AHL championship has no value. Developing players is the key.

    While I agree developing players and high picks is job 1, I think winning has some value while they are at it. Teeny tiny bit. Carry on.

  51. semi legendary rot lobster says:

    Pescador:

    Also has anyone seen Rot Lobster lately?
    I’ve been looking everywhere

    i am wily like coyote

    lurking lurking lurking in the weeds then snap

    my fishy friends fall victim 2 ur lures

    specially when u use beer

    but u will never find me senor

  52. Woogie63 says:

    For the last 10 years we have used our kids on ELC to play +18 minutes a night in the NHL.

  53. SwedishPoster says:

    I don’t think you need to play 20 minutes a night to develop as a player. Obviously 7-8 minutes will likely stunt a player but 12-14 minutes won’t hurt anyone. The key to developement is coaching and the time between games.
    While I agree it’s silly to load up on vets on the AHL team, imo the whole vet presence thing is very overrated, I don’t see much value in actively pushing ice time for younger players. Give them a chance to earn their ice time, tell the coach he has mandate to give young players room to make mistakes and learn especially at the beginning of the season , winning is important but not the sole purpose. Focus is longterm. Make sure you fill the team with players who are on the upswing not guys who have established themselves as high end AHLers who will never be more than cannon fodder in the bigs. During games the coach will coach to win, and if he has vets that helps him do that he will use them because that’s what coaches do, they trust older players more. You get around that by not employing vets and hire a coach who is known to give young players opportunity and knows how to teach them how to take that opportunity and run with it. On the other hand you can’t have a situation where players are awarded ice time based on other things than performance, thus I’ll never bash a coach for coaching to win, if putting Brad Hunt and Matt Ford on the ice helps the team win that’s what you do, I don’t think a situation where Platzer is put on the ice in key situations despite being a lesser player than his teammates is going to benefit anyone. That will just cause a strange energy in the room. If you instead have a situation where Platzer in fact is the best option in a crucial situation I instead think it will be beneficial for his developement as it will force him to step out.
    This will ofcourse come at the risk of having some weak teams but the positive with that is that it puts an onus on recruiting better young players should be beneficial for the Oilers.

  54. Centre of attention says:

    SwedishPoster,

    What me, LT, WoodGuy and others are saying is that a guy like Platzer should of got ice time over AHL contract McRae/Ford/JoshCurrie. Platzer one of the only promising skill center prospects in the system, so why are you making him warm the benches with 13 minutes a night? (Rasanen is the only other RHC I can think of)

    Platzer looked great when given opportunity. The fact he managed to score what he did while playing 4th line minutes with awful teammates speaks to his ability. He’s not alone, the Oilers have been doing this for years. He’s one of the only promising NHL prospects with a reasonable shot at an NHL career. Why make him your 4th line center in the minors while paying 3 other dudes AHL-only money to take away his opportunity? I disagree that development is all off ice and with the coaches. Rather I think its the opposite, you need real life experience in order to excel at professional hockey. If you spend too much time with the whiteboard out and you end up like Eakins. You lose the message, even if its the good one. Gotta get their feet moving and execute the play in actual practice rather than chatting about it in a cricle. Same goes for playing experience, you need to be out on the ice falling on your face a bit in order to learn rather than watching AHL-only contract guy score on the first unit powerplay.

    I agree, the Oilers need to get better at drafting. Early returns are encouraging under Peter Chiarelli’s tenure. Let’s hope that continues with the Keith Gretzky addition. The other two scouts they added are encouraging signs as well in that area.

    Hope you have a fantastic day SwedishPoster and I always enjoy your input!

  55. Centre of attention says:

    SwedishPoster,

    How about making Platzer your second line center and not signing Josh Currie / McRae? There would be Ford and Hamilton still to perhaps even play on his wings and help guide him and teach him on the ice the right way to play rather than Platzer trying to get a view from the bench.

    That’s all we are trying to say. I’m fine with one, maybe two AHL veterans to just provide leadership and teach young players how to be pro’s. That part IS important. But loading up your top six in the AHL with veterans is just not the way to develop players.

    I also agree it’s hard to blame the coaches for playing to win. It’s up to the organization to give the proper ratio of players to the coach, the rest will take care of itself.

    Just wanted to add those couple points before I take off for the morning. Again, enjoy your input SwedishOil 🙂 Can’t wait for your next Swedish prospect report. On that note, do you think you will be able to get a viewing or two of Philip Berglund this coming season? I’m fascinated by this prospect. Thanks in advance for any reply.

  56. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money:
    I just wrote a little Twitter bot that allows me to type in one of my infamous wall of text rants, and it will split it into multiple tweets of <140 characters (with automatic numbering) and tweet them out automatically.

    I have escaped the bonds!The 140th seal is broken!My evil can no longer be contained!

    I AM THE SINGULARITY!

    I hate to rain on your parade, but it sounds more like you’re the MULTIPLARITY.

  57. russ99 says:

    Nice post, LT, the AHL veterans in key roles has been a problem for the Oilers system for quite a while.

    IMO, it’s due to the lost AHL year, and the need to make the Barons a viable operation.

    I live in an AHL city (and yes, the Blackhawks are here too. :D) and I have friends who have season tickets to the Wolves since the beginning.

    Interesting side note, towards the bitter end of the Bill Wirtz era, many Blackhawks fans were so disgusted, they welcomed the Wolves with open arms for good, inexpensive hockey with great sightlines, and they’re a very well run AHL club.

    The Wolves were in the old IHL, when I got to see a certain Miroslav Satan play for the Detroit Vipers, and I was in the building when they won the Turner Cup.

    As a fan who’s been to many AHL games, I’d rather see up and coming players on the ice than a bunch of pluggers given key roles.

    This has been a twofold failure considering our many misses outside the first round in the rebuild era.

    This will turn around under Gretzky, and with the Oilers doing better and picking lower, it will also help when our first round picks start spending development time in Bakersfield.

  58. AsiaOil says:

    Pescador: Come on, it’s just a little different.
    First: it’s not forced labour, they are free to leave at any point.
    Second: they are following a dream (even if it’s their fathers)& playing a game.
    Third: they are in high school wherever they play & there is a college scholarship program.
    Fourth: I agree, they should be paid.
    Last: don’t be such a drama queen

    First: sure nobody is forcing them – just like sex work – doesn’t mean it”s right.
    Second: following dreams is fine but what are the odds? For the vast majority it’s a false dream not worth risking health and futures
    Third: we are talking about minors, being forced to move away from home to work almost for free, and education is not taken seriously. College program is forfeit if you play one minute of ECHL
    Fourth: what’s a little hyperbole between friends 🙂

    I’m an educator who watches young American men “chase their dream” in NCAA football up close. Most have zero chance of making it and take significant risks with their health for very little compensation while the coaches and administrators take all the cheese. Most are from modest to poor families and “nobody is forcing them” but at least they are adults and are actually in a university. Canadians love to “tut tut” other countries with moral superiority on a whole range of issues – but the CHL’s exploitation of kids is overlooked and it’s just so frackin hypocritical. The issue is the exploitation of minors in a for-profit industry – and just because it’s the national game – doesn’t make it right.

  59. Oilspill says:

    As far as chasing dreams both NCAA and CHL players are chasing dreams. I don’t thing one is better than the other. CHL is more games less practice mirroring the NHL game. Higher chance of injury. At the end you have a crappy NOt GUARANTEED(very restrictive) supposed CHL scholarship. The NCAA you can end up with a very good degree from a high end college (not all). More practice development time. When you are done college hockey you are ready to work or move up in hockey.
    Really it’s up to the kid.

  60. VOR says:

    GMoney,

    Ah, you know me too well. I do indeed know the counter arguments. I can argue both sides of the issue. The thing is most arguments on both side are correct in a logical sense. Like LT, for example I don’t think that winning teaches anything. On the other hand I do think you should have to earn ice time. I get for some people history has nothing predictive to say about the future. I can argue that one either way as well.

    So why the post?

    Because first and foremost I am a coach and a teacher. I can assure you that no one approach to development is going to work for all athletes. Thus it seems the question should be which system over say a 10 year period produces the best outcomes. It appeared to me, and still does, that LT and others here were assuming they know the answer to that question.

    We don’t have a long recent history of the Oilers having their own stable AHL affiliate but we have ten years of data from the Cape Breton Oilers and their approach produced a lot of useful NHL players. We know the Providence approach over the last ten years produced a number of useful players. The same can be said of the Grand Rapids Griffins who use a third approach. Pause for a moment and ponder the plight of a rookie on the Griffins. In any case, upon a cursory examination I don’t see a lot of difference in outcomes between three very different approaches.

    What can we conclude from this, especially given each system seems to lose its fair share of promising players as well? That there may be factors other than simple ice time that are important in the development of prospects into NHL players?

    But if we leap to conclusions about best approach we end up missing the chance to elucidate those factors that actually make up best practice. Why do some prospects thrive and others wither? Is it really just ice time? It certainly wasn’t for Thornton or Maltby. So you have to admit the possibility that there are other factors in play, if so wouldn’t you like to know what they are?

  61. Bar_Qu says:

    AsiaOil,

    I would add, as a teacher too, most kids are hard-wired to weigh opportunity over risk. Its a positive life development skill, but in the case of a business like the CHL it is taken advantage of by dangling a tiny carrot which most (80%?, more?) will never have a sniff at. I too watch students push all other things out of their life for their less than impossible chance at a pro career, instead of simply being allowed to love to play, and see leagues get rich off their failure.

    It wouldn’t bother me nearly so much, but I have two (!) boys who are now passionate about sports and I can’t imagine putting them through what I’ve watched other kids go through to have a slim chance of playing games in the CIS or spend their adult years nursing chronic injuries accumulated in the course of their dreams.

    Hockey can adjust to ensure the minor players don’t have to be put through a sausage machine and still keep its quality. I love the idea of the CHL being a 18-22 year old league. And frankly leagues like the AJHL would benefit by not having to compete with players for those ages. It has a salutary bump down effect for all leagues, imo.

  62. Oilers Sunday Night Links • The Oilers Rig says:

    […] The (Providence) Bruins Under Gretzky: Keith Gretzky was hired earlier this week to become the new Assistant GM of the Edmonton Oilers. Prior to coming to Edmonton, Gretzky served as the Director of Amateur Scouting for the Boston Bruins. While in Boston, how were Gretzky’s picks developed? Could we see that tactic employed in Edmonton? Lowetide takes a look at those questions. […]

  63. Cult of Hockey: If he’s to develop into an NHL option, Oilers prospect Kyle Platzer needs more ice time in AHL | Edmonton Journal says:

    […] Mitchell, who has been scratching away at this itch for some time. A good example is this recent post comparing the usage of the Condors compared to that of the Providence Bruins, the immediately past […]

  64. Cult of Hockey: If he’s to develop into an NHL option, Oilers prospect Kyle Platzer needs more ice time in AHL | Hockey Insider | NHL News, Drafts, Picks, Schedules & NHL Betting Online says:

    […] “Lowetide” Mitchell, who has been scratching away at this itch for some time. A good example is this recent post comparing the usage of the Condors compared to that of the Providence Bruins, the immediately past […]

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