BALANCE

I spent much of the last 12 months worrying that Peter Chiarelli would trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. It didn’t make sense on many levels (Nuge is a fairly good comp for David Krejci, Oilers needed to be strong up the middle, he was the one Steve Austin who had a two-way game) but that 2015-16 season was not Nuge-worthy. I don’t know if it was wisdom or luck—the offers rumored for RNH were shy—but Peter Chiarelli has not traded him.

As you know, this blog is mildly obsessed with balance. It has been many years (I always say since G7 SCF) since the Oilers had proper balance across the roster, and the summer events—while painful—have in fact improved the balance of the Edmonton Oilers. The defense is more substantial (Larsson in, Justin Schultz out) and he didn’t trade Nuge. Not everything is roses—the goaltending choice this summer was poor—but this is a more balanced roster now than a year ago.

MORE WINS!

One of the things the RE series is showing me this summer? The Oilers should be a better team than a year ago, and Edmonton should push closer to 40 wins in the coming year (31 last season, 24 the previous year). If Edmonton does post (say) 37 wins and 85 points in 2016-17, many will point to Taylor Hall’s exit. Don’t you be fooled. The primary reasons for hope in Edmonton next winter will be (in order) better health, Connor McDavid for more that 45 games, better defense, better balance. Now, they need to work on better depth.

2016-17 UP THE MIDDLE

  • Goalies Cam Talbot, Jonas Gustavsson and Laurent Brossoit. I am onboard with Talbot as the No. 1 goalie (.924 save percentage after December 1), but am very disappointed in Peter Chiarelli’s choice of backup. A stronger choice was badly needed—remember, Anders Nilsson was the starter for a time—and I worry that PC is listening to the lieutenants in the room who are tied to Brossoit.
  • Centers Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Mark Letestu. My goodness what a group, doubt they are together for more than two more years but this is a lot of high end talent. Todd McLellan may be tempted to move Leon to RW if Jesse Puljujarvi, Nail Yakupov or Zack Kassian cannot fill the 2R hole. If that happens, this position becomes weaker. I like the idea of Patrick Maroon and Jesse Puljujarvi on a soft parade third line but we are miles from knowing.
  • Defensemen Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Andrej Sekera, Brandon Davidson, Mark Fayne, Darnell Nurse, Jordan Oesterle, Griffin Reinhart. Balance is better now, no doubt in my mind. Larsson is not a popular player-type (most of you reading this blog are likely to be disappointed in him—he is not going to post 40 points, folks) for Oilers fans, but I like defensive defenders and he can pass the puck. Andrej Sekera is a very good top 4D, and Chiarelli arrived at a good time for the emerging talent (Klefbom, Davidson and possibly Nurse, Reinhart). If this group could stay healthy all year, I would consider the top 7D capable of getting this team in or close to the playoffs—but there is no depth, or at least not enough of it.

SURE OILERS, YEAR OVER YEAR

2015-16 (at this point in summer)

SURE OILERS 15-16

SURE OILERS 2016-17

SURE OILERS 16-17

There is more balance on this year’s team. It came at a tremendous cost, but the defense has more structure—and depending on how you feel about defensive defensemen—is more versatile. I think we all agree the club needs a power-play hammer from the point, but that player may not be out there this summer.

I will tell you I cannot publish the balance photo this summer. They are closer, but are not there yet. Sorry.

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107 Responses to "BALANCE"

  1. frjohnk says:

    LW depth this year is close to last years.
    Hall > Lucic but that is offset by Maroon > The Korpse. I don’t think Henricks finishes the year on the roster.

    Center depth is better just because the 3 young centers have had another year of development. 3 best young center depth in the league hands down. Funny how center depth a couple of years ago was “mud”

    RW side is a big question mark. Could be better, worse or the same as last year. EBERLE is a no brainer as the top guy here. Can Yak be a decent 2nd line winger? Does JP step in and show he is a fit in the top 9? Kassian is said to be in great shape, will that translate so he can play consistent hockey?

    Larsson is a substansial upgrade on Schultz and Fayne. These two were Klefbom’s main partners last year. I have high hopes with a healthy Klefbom with Larsson.

    Davidson and Sekera should be a decent 2nd pair. I have said before, if Klefbom and Davidson are healthy and continue forward with their development, we will have 4 TOP 4 Dmen, if not 4 TOP 3 Dmen.

    Nurse, Reinhart and Osterle will have had another year of development underneath them and should be better this year. These 3 guys along with Fayne will fight for the 5,6, and 7 spots. Our D depth is way better than last year.

    In goal, I like Talbot, while not elite, he is a number 1. Not sure on The Monster or Broissant. If Talbot does a faceplant/gets injured and these two fall short in relief, Chia will need to plug to hole quick or the season will be lost.

  2. Soup Fascist says:

    Man so many things went wrong last year. Terrible early season schedule. Eberle starting the year on IR. McDavid’s exit early in the season. Klefbom’s foot issue. RNH’s assorted maladies. The zebras sortie on Yak’s leg. Talbot’s early season follies. Whatever blackmail material Korpse and Schultz had on T Mac (Ok I made the last part up – but can’t otherwise figure out their deployment).

    Excuses – sure. But I think at some point this stuff evens out, although one could argue that maybe this was penance for winning the McDavid sweepstakes.

    Maybe it is the beautiful summer morning that makes me optimistic – but I think we catch a few breaks this year.

    Oilers in the playoffs 2017!

    *I may or may not delete this 3 minutes after posting and my meds have kicked in.

  3. corbs says:

    I agree 100% on not trading Nuge. If we move him and a top two C goes down we are left with Lander or Letestu as a 2C and that basically guarantees last place again. We have depth at a very valuable position and there should be no issues moving one to the wing at times. I’d still like to see Eberle moved if we can get a decent return.

  4. Jethro Tull says:

    Soup Fascist: Whatever blackmail material Korpse and Schultz had on T Mac (Ok I made the last part up – but can’t otherwise figure out their deployment).

    I think Korpse and Jultz were what TMac had on Chia. “Get me players, or I’ll play these ass clowns 20mins a night in all situations.” Or, Chia “Todd, the OBC still have influence. Play these two pylons that they’ve publicly endorsed, one as a Norris candidate, as much as possibly so i can discredit them.”

  5. Jethro Tull says:

    corbs:
    I agree 100% on not trading Nuge.If we move him and a top two C goes down we are left with Lander or Letestu as a 2C and that basically guarantees last place again. We have depth at a very valuable position and there should be no issues moving one to the wing at times. I’d still like to see Eberle moved if we can get a decent return.

    Bro, or Sis, we had basically the same center depth, minus McD’s missing games, and still came in sucking hind teat.

  6. frjohnk says:

    corbs:
    I agree 100% on not trading Nuge.If we move him and a top two C goes down we are left with Lander or Letestu as a 2C and that basically guarantees last place again. We have depth at a very valuable position and there should be no issues moving one to the wing at times. I’d still like to see Eberle moved if we can get a decent return.

    I wouldn’t trade any of the centers and trading EBERLE with all the question marks beside Yak, JP and Kassian would be foolish.

  7. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk: I wouldn’t trade any of the centers and trading EBERLE with all the question marks beside Yak, JP and Kassian would be foolish.

    Yeah, I think LHD and next year’s first are the areas of strength to trade from. Benoit Pouliot is sometimes mentioned, but for me he could be a key to success on a 2line.

  8. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Speaking of balance check out Florida Panthers roster:

    Huberdeau -Barkov-Jagr
    Jokinen-Trocheck-R.Smith
    J.McCann-N.Bjugstad-J.Marchessault
    S.Thornton-D.MacKenzie-C.Sceviour
    L.Shaw-D.Bolland

    K.Yandle-A.Ekblad
    M.Matheson-J.Demers
    M.Pysyk-A.Petrovic
    J.Kindl-S.Kampfer

    R.Luongo
    J.Reimer
    R.Berra

    This is a projected lineup. They really have a nice mix of young player with solid vets throughout the lineup. Barkov, Trocheck and Bjugstad down the middle too is pretty sick. I think this is the kind of balance we are looking for.

  9. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Jethro Tull: Bro, or Sis, we had basically the same center depth, minus McD’s missing games, and still came in sucking hind teat.

    If Draisaitl takes another step this year, Nuge is as good as gone. That’s the reality in a salary cap world. The kids are going to need raises and Nuge at $6 Mill while nice to keep just cost too much when they are glaring holes elsewhere.

  10. corbs says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Well if we lose McDavid again we are screwed either way. We don’t have the depth to make up for that loss. Our defence will be better this year and I think our overall team is put together better. I’m not saying we are a contender…we still need a lot to go right to challenge for the playoffs. Having Klefbom and McDavid healthy will be a HUGE difference though.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes: If Draisaitl takes another step this year, Nuge is as good as gone. That’s the reality in a salary cap world. The kids are going to need raises and Nuge at $6 Mill while nice to keep just cost too much when they are glaring holes elsewhere.

    I think it will take two years, but in 2018 summer they will have to choose between Leon and RNH.

  12. corbs says:

    frjohnk: I wouldn’t trade any of the centers and trading EBERLE with all the question marks beside Yak, JP and Kassian would be foolish.

    I think we slide Leon between RW and C like Pavelski and that lets us move Eberle.

  13. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: I think it will take two years, but in 2018 summer they will have to choose between Leon and RNH.

    There is such a wide gap between the 3 young centers and anything else we have in the system.

    McDavid and Nuge are number 1 centers, while Draisaitl could become a number 1 center and the rest are either 4th line or AHL.

    We need to find a couple of centers to bridge that gap if one of Leon or Nuge could be gone by 2018.

  14. Frank the dog says:

    I’d suggest that last year’s team could have collected 80-85 points had they not suffered all of those injuries of such magnitude to their top players. That alone forced many of the problems we saw as they played so many F&D so far over their head.
    Along those lines, having Lucic, Maroon and Kassian in addition to Poo, could, should, mean less inclination to push our players around. I think it may have been a Winnipeg game at home tha tI had the rare pleasure of seeing our guys rough up their guys a bit to the point where their guys were oput off their game.
    In my view, which I will express before ducking and running to avoid a flying WoodMoney hatchet while hoping not to get banned for life, if there is any area that would indicate that the whispers about you-know-who had any substance, it would be that the team had a new found cohesiveness, that magical “playing as a team” and “team toughness” where everyone always stood up for each other that I have seen lacking in the past.
    That’s all I have to say.

  15. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Lowetide: I think it will take two years, but in 2018 summer they will have to choose between Leon and RNH.

    I think I hear “the King of wishful thinking” by Go West playing in the background.

  16. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I think it will take two years, but in 2018 summer they will have to choose between Leon and RNH.

    If healthy, I bet on Nuge all day. Two way play wins you cups. Peter Chiarelli understands this. I think.

    And I’m a huge Draisaitl fan btw.

  17. John Chambers says:

    Lowetide: I think it will take two years, but in 2018 summer they will have to choose between Leon and RNH.

    If Klef and Larsson become a legit top-pair, we’ll pay them combined less than the price of one PK Subban. Tons of economy from those contracts.

    The obvious savings come from ridding the roster of Pouliot, Fayne, Hendricks, and Letestube’s contracts. Replacing them with minimum-salary players should free up enough cash to keep the young Centres.

    Either Eberle or Sekara will ultimately become too expensive a luxury though – in terms of priority for forwards it’s 1) McDavid, 2) Draisaitl, 3) Lucic, 4) Nuge, 5) Puljujarvi

  18. Water Fire says:

    corbs: I think we slide Leon between RW and C like Pavelski and that lets us move Eberle.

    Agreed. If 6M is the worry it makes no sense to trade the centre and the better player. I believe Nuge would be a better RW than Eberle as well because he is a better, bigger more rounded player and a better skater.

    They can keep Leon at centre if they want to or move both to wing and back depending on the opponent.

    Never trade a C before a W.

  19. Jethro Tull says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes: I think I hear “the King of wishful thinking” by Go West playing in the background.

    Followed by ‘The Tracks of My Tears’. (Go West did a cover version!)

  20. Lowetide says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes: I think I hear “the King of wishful thinking” by Go West playing in the background.

    I admit that Leon would have to develop quite a bit before he passes Nuge in my mind, but Draisaitl is a helluva player. It will be an interesting conversation, with speed being Leon’s big issue imo.

  21. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    I bug LT about Nuge a lot but in all seriousness I’m not surprised he is still here. He and Yak are coming off down years and Chia said he wasn’t going to just give them away. Say what you want about the Hall trade but he traded him away for a top pairing defenceman at least.

    I don’t see that kind of return for Nuge amidst Dumba rumours (#3 D) as of yet. If he has a good year and the Oilers are out of the playoff mix come trade deadline he could yield a king’s ransom. Sell him high. Or, as I mentioned a couple months ago he has a good World Cup (Chia picked him to showcase him) his value goes up and Chia pulls the trigger to get that balance he’s looking for (Jenner+Savard??)

    I just don’t see how he is on this roster come this time next year but I could be wrong. For LT’s sake I hope I am 🙂

  22. godot10 says:

    I think it is silly to talk of the Oilers having depth on defense, and that is a position of strength to trade from.

    A team, especially the OIlers in recent history, has to typically go eigiht deep to be competitive in this league.

    The Oilers are at the bare minimum now for decent defensemen, of those one is coming back from a serious injury, and 4 are still so young we are not absolutely certain that they are.

    A defensemen can only go out if another one is coming in.

  23. norm_klassen says:

    i would play sekera with fayne to start because it worked alright for a while.

    start davidson on the third pair and he can move up with his great play or when injury hits.

    to bad they didnt get another right hsnded veteran fir the third pair to help davidson out a bit.

  24. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    I think it is silly to talk of the Oilers having depth on defense, and that is a position of strength to trade from.

    A team, especially the OIlers in recent history, has to typically go eigiht deep to be competitive in this league.

    The Oilers are at the bare minimum now for decent defensemen, of those one is coming back from a serious injury, and 4 are still so young we are not absolutely certain that they are.

    A defensemen can only go out if another one is coming in.

    Oilers have too many LHD, that is an area of strength. I think that is fairly clear, with Klefbom, Sekera, Davidson, Nurse, Reinhart, etc. You could trade one of them and address other areas today.

  25. leadfarmer says:

    Players that win the cup get a bump in their perceived value. Players that are on losing teams lose perceived value. Like it or not thats how the NHL works. There is no way that Chia could win a Nuge trade so I’m glad hes holding on to him. I would fear for his safety if he did another Hall type trade.

  26. John Chambers says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes,

    Agreed. Hall was the only one they could deal where they could get close to fair value for.

    They didn’t. But Nuge for Dumba would’ve been worse.

  27. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I admit that Leon would have to develop quite a bit before he passes Nuge in my mind, but Draisaitl is a helluva player. It will be an interesting conversation, with speed being Leon’s big issue imo.

    I think Leon has good speed in bursts, but late in games I think his real issue shows which is conditioning.

    Everyone says that Drai needs to gain weight and fill out, and he has tried, but I think honestly he needs to have a slightly lighter but athletic build like Pouliot. So he can glide around and use that reach without being restricted by a bunch of excess weight that people seem to think helps in the corners and what not…

    Just my opinion though.

  28. frjohnk says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes:
    I bug LT about Nuge a lot but in all seriousness I’m not surprised he is still here. He and Yak are coming off down years and Chia said he wasn’t going to just give them away. Say what you want about the Hall trade but he traded him away for a top pairing defenceman at least.

    I don’t see that kind of return for Nuge amidst Dumba rumours (#3 D) as of yet. If he has a good year and the Oilers are out of the playoff mix come trade deadline he could yield a king’s ransom. Sell him high. Or, as I mentioned a couple months ago he has a good World Cup (Chia picked him to showcase him) his value goes up and Chia pulls the trigger to get that balance he’s looking for (Jenner+Savard??)

    I just don’t see how he is on this roster come this time next year but I could be wrong. For LT’s sake I hope I am

    I think Draisaitl still has some question marks about him.
    -He road an unsustainable shooting % for the first couple months of play that boosted his overall numbers
    -How much will he miss Taylor Hall? Hall was the one creating the majority of scoring chances on that line with Purcell. Hall created more than Draisaitl and Purcell together
    ( Individual High Scoring Chances Created 110 to 96) ( ISC 233 to 230)

    Draisaitl could very well be a better player this year, but could see his point totals take a hit.

    LT has him with 15 goals 25 assists. Which is reasonable. Then again,if he does take a giant step forward, he could blow that out of the water. But that’s the issue, we don’t know what he will bring and how good he will become. So we cant say that he is ready to supplant Nuge as the number 2 center.

  29. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: Oilers have too many LHD, that is an area of strength. I think that is fairly clear, with Klefbom, Sekera, Davidson, Nurse, Reinhart, etc. You could trade one of them and address other areas today.

    That is NOT too many LHD when one only has ONE RHD for the medium to long term. Fayne is merely a barely competent stop gap right now.

    One of those left shot D can go only if a right shot D is coming back.

    There is no surplus of defensemen in total. The Oilers are at the bare minimum for competitiveness.

  30. West says:

    On Nuge’s walk home from practice, he walked two nice old ladies across the street, bought homeless Harry a sandwich, then coaxed little Jonny’s cat down from the highest tree branch on the block. And no one heard about any of it.

    Nuge is the best kind of hockey player.

  31. Centre of attention says:

    godot10: That is NOT too many LHD when one only has ONE RHD for the medium to long term.Fayne is merely a barely competent stop gap right now.

    One of those left shot D can go only if a right shot D is coming back.

    There is no surplus of defensemen in total.The Oilers are at the bare minimum for competitiveness.

    Thats what LT as well as me and others have been saying. Younger LHD + first round pick for an established top 4 RHD.

    It makes so much sense on paper. I suspect the Oilers have to add a obligatory third asset to make this a legit “3-for-1” where we get the best player.

    Knowing the Oilers, they do the exact opposite of what we fans see as reasonable anyways so why are we even speculating :^)

  32. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    godot10: That is NOT too many LHD when one only has ONE RHD for the medium to long term.Fayne is merely a barely competent stop gap right now.

    One of those left shot D can go only if a right shot D is coming back.

    There is no surplus of defensemen in total.The Oilers are at the bare minimum for competitiveness.

    Yeah I agree with Godot. On paper, that LOOKS like a surplus but so many question marks surrounding most of those guys I don’t think we conclusively say either way. Now if they ALL take a step or 2 forward this year then maybe you call it a surplus but odds are some are going to regress. Better not to weaken the group until you know for sure what you have consistently.

  33. Lowetide says:

    godot10: That is NOT too many LHD when one only has ONE RHD for the medium to long term.Fayne is merely a barely competent stop gap right now.

    One of those left shot D can go only if a right shot D is coming back.

    There is no surplus of defensemen in total.The Oilers are at the bare minimum for competitiveness.

    Sure there is. Klefbom and Sekera are here long term, Davidson is a year away from establishing himself. At some point, Nurse or Reinhart will emerge and push someone out and to RH side. If Edmonton traded Griffin Reinhart today, or Darnell Nurse, would anyone be surprised? I suspect most people would agree dealing from LHD makes far more sense than dealing another LW (as an example).

  34. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    West:
    On Nuge’s walk home from practice, he walked two nice old ladies across the street, bought homeless Harry a sandwich, then coaxed little Jonny’s cat down from the highest tree branch on the block. And no one heard about any of it.

    Nuge is the best kind of hockey player.

    Yeah but can he grow a playoff beard???

  35. Water Fire says:

    godot10: That is NOT too many LHD when one only has ONE RHD for the medium to long term.Fayne is merely a barely competent stop gap right now.

    One of those left shot D can go only if a right shot D is coming back.

    There is no surplus of defensemen in total.The Oilers are at the bare minimum for competitiveness.

    I think the idea is to trade the excess on the left to address the shortage on the right. Balance. It is actually a part of drafting BPA. You have to trade to address balance unless incredibly lucky.

    Another issue is losing players. When players become NHL ready they aren’t going to want to be elsewhere. If Chiarelli wants left right balance, there isn’t room for 5 NHL lefties. There are also cap implications if they all become good.

  36. Centre of attention says:

    West:
    On Nuge’s walk home from practice, he walked two nice old ladies across the street, bought homeless Harry a sandwich, then coaxed little Jonny’s cat down from the highest tree branch on the block. And no one heard about any of it.

    Nuge is the best kind of hockey player.

    Have you seen that wrist shot low blocker? Still confuses goalies, I think he has like a 75% shooting percentage on those I swear. Money in the shoot out as well.

    If Nuge shoots more, and he could on a good power play, I expect that goal total to remain comfortably in the 20’s.

  37. Jethro Tull says:

    To me, there are two criteria for ‘depth’ at a position:

    1) The number of players you have that play that position.

    2) The quality of the players you have at that position.

    I don’t believe you can say you have true depth at a position unless you have BOTH of these things.
    Just because we have lots of LHD, it doesn’t mean we have depth there.

  38. who says:

    Water Fire: I think the idea is to trade the excess on the left to address the shortage on the right. Balance. It is actually a part of drafting BPA. You have to trade to address balance unless incredibly lucky.

    Another issue is losing players. When players become NHL ready they aren’t going to want to be elsewhere. If Chiarelli wants left right balance, there isn’t room for 5 NHL lefties. There are also cap implications if they all become good.

    This pretty much sums it up. The only glaring hole in the line up is right shot dmen and a left shot dman will be the trade bait if chia decides to make the move.
    However I belive this move can wait unti mid season or even next summer. Let’s see what we have with our young leftys before a decision is made.
    Maybe one or two of them can play right side. Maybe one or two of them seperates from the pack.
    I think the team has pretty good balance right now and will challenge for a playoff spot this year. Every team has holes to start the season. That’s just the reality of the salary cap.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Jethro Tull:
    To me,there are two criteria for ‘depth’ at a position:

    1) The number of players you have that play that position.

    2) The quality of the players you have at that position.

    I don’t believe you can say you have true depth at a position unless you have BOTH of these things.
    Just because we have lots of LHD, it doesn’t mean we have depth there.

    If the Oilers started the season with Klefbom, Sekera and Davidson on LD, that is a terrific depth chart. Seriously. One of Nurse or Reinhart as the extra guy and then Oesterle as a secondary callup. Meaning your could trade one of Nurse or Reinhart today and not skip a beat.

  40. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: If the Oilers started the season with Klefbom, Sekera and Davidson on LD, that is a terrific depth chart. Seriously. One of Nurse or Reinhart as the extra guy and then Oesterle as a secondary callup. Meaning your could trade one of Nurse or Reinhart today and not skip a beat.

    yup

  41. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: If the Oilers started the season with Klefbom, Sekera and Davidson on LD, that is a terrific depth chart. Seriously. One of Nurse or Reinhart as the extra guy and then Oesterle as a secondary callup. Meaning your could trade one of Nurse or Reinhart today and not skip a beat.

    I understand depth to be not your starting line-up, but who will step in to cover in case of injury or poor performance. That’s like saying, yeah, we have terrific depth at every position, because every position is duplicated at the AHL club, then duplicated again at the junior level. Quality matters here. Sure, we could trade one of those, or even both of those players, but then you’re hurting should there be an injury.

    If one of those big three goes down, who steps in a fills the role with minimal upheaval? That’s depth.

    We’re looking for the perfect marriage of player development and opportunity, whether that opportunity comes through injury, trade or performance.

    If we’ve learnt one thing these last ten years, it’s that there’s no such thing as too much depth.

  42. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: If the Oilers started the season with Klefbom, Sekera and Davidson on LD, that is a terrific depth chart. Seriously. One of Nurse or Reinhart as the extra guy and then Oesterle as a secondary callup. Meaning your could trade one of Nurse or Reinhart today and not skip a beat.

    You tell em’ LT.

  43. Centre of attention says:

    Jethro Tull: I understand depth to be not your starting line-up, but who will step in to cover in case of injury or poor performance.That’s like saying, yeah, we have terrific depth at every position, because every position is duplicated at the AHL club, then duplicated again at the junior level. Quality matters here.Sure, we could trade one of those, or even both of those players, but then you’re hurting should there be an injury.

    If one of those big three goes down, who steps in a fills the role with minimal upheaval?That’s depth.

    We’re looking for the perfect marriage of player development and opportunity, whether that opportunity comes through injury, trade or performance.

    If we’ve learnt one thing these last ten years, it’s that there’s no such thing as too much depth.

    Well, we’re not saying trade all of the LHD. If you traded for example Nurse, you would still have Reinhart as well as Oesterle and LaLeggia and Simpson and Musil and need I go on?

    You could probably take 2 of the best LHD propsects not currently established as full time NHLer’s, and package them up and still not skip a beat.

    The Oilers would STILL have Caleb Jones turning pro next year, who by all accounts is a fantastic prospect with nothing but good arrows. Then they have Paigin, who has an NHLE of 40+ points, which is almost unheard of. He has size, mobility, and significant offense at a pro level.

    I think we are going to be OK at LHD, even taking into account a trade of 1 or 2 of the significant prospects.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Jethro Tull: I understand depth to be not your starting line-up, but who will step in to cover in case of injury or poor performance.That’s like saying, yeah, we have terrific depth at every position, because every position is duplicated at the AHL club, then duplicated again at the junior level. Quality matters here.Sure, we could trade one of those, or even both of those players, but then you’re hurting should there be an injury.

    If one of those big three goes down, who steps in a fills the role with minimal upheaval?That’s depth.

    We’re looking for the perfect marriage of player development and opportunity, whether that opportunity comes through injury, trade or performance.

    If we’ve learnt one thing these last ten years, it’s that there’s no such thing as too much depth.

    If Klefbom goes down, you have Sekera. If Sekera goes down you have Davidson. If Davidson goes down, you have Nurse, Reinhart, Oesterle. That is my definition of depth—can the guy behind the injured fellow step up? Honestly, this is a pretty damn good left side now.

  45. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: If Klefbom goes down, you have Sekera. If Sekera goes down you have Davidson. If Davidson goes down, you have Nurse, Reinhart, Oesterle. That is my definition of depth—can the guy behind the injured fellow step up? Honestly, this is a pretty damn good left side now.

    If Larsson goes down, you have Fayne, if Fayne goes down you have????

    Someone mentioned something about balance?

  46. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Centre of attention: Well, we’re not saying trade all of the LHD. If you traded for example Nurse, you would still have Reinhart as well as Oesterle and LaLeggia and Simpson and Musil and need I go on?

    You could probably take 2 of the best LHD propsects not currently established as full time NHLer’s, and package them up and still not skip a beat.

    The Oilers would STILL have Caleb Jones turning pro next year, who by all accounts is a fantastic prospect with nothing but good arrows. Then they have Paigin, who has an NHLE of 40+ points, which is almost unheard of. He has size, mobility, and significant offense at a pro level.

    I think we are going to be OK and LHD.

    Those are just names every organization has names they could substitute for the guys you mentioned. You listed the depth chart which does not necessarily equate to quality depth.

    The Oilers organization FINALLY has some evidence of decent depth and we are talking about weakening it already when in reality it is filled with a bunch of question marks.

    Paigin is not depth at the position he is a wildcard and longshot to ever make the team.

  47. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk: If Larsson goes down, you have Fayne, if Fayne goes down you have????

    Someone mentioned something about balance?

    And that is why you trade LHD to address weakness. We know Brandon Davidson CAN play RH side, but why make him? Deal from strength to address weakness. Good teams do it, why can’t we?

  48. Centre of attention says:

    frjohnk: If Larsson goes down, you have Fayne, if Fayne goes down you have????

    Someone mentioned something about balance?

    *sigh* so what we mean is, we take a couple of those lefties, and cash em’ in for a righty. That way we don’t have the problem you just described.

    And even after moving out a lefty of two, we would still have enough depth that if an injury happened we would be able to plug the hole.

    I don’t see what you’re arguing about at this point.

  49. defmn says:

    “If Edmonton does post (say) 37 wins and 85 points in 2016-17, many will point to Taylor Hall’s exit. Don’t you be fooled. The primary reasons for hope in Edmonton next winter will be (in order) better health, Connor McDavid for more that 45 games, better defense, better balance.”

    I think it is fair to point out that Hall’s exit facilitated and is directly linked to the arrival of Lucic and Larsson which, of course contributes significantly to your third and fourth items of better defense and better balance.

    Just out of curiosity how many teams in the western conference would you say have balanced rosters at this point in the off season?

  50. Centre of attention says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes,

    We would be bringing in a Right-shot D in this hypothetical trade, which helps the defense that way Davidson stays left side and doesn’t have to switch over. So if there are injuries, we STILL have balance and depth!

    What part of this do you not understand?

    This trade is just an idea anyways, knowing the Oilers they address the need in the most bizarre and painful way possible. Like trading Nuge, which you also suggested as a good idea. (it isn’t)

  51. Lowetide says:

    defmn:

    Just out of curiosity how many teams in the western conference would you say have balanced rosters at this point in the off season?

    At 3am in July, drunk in a ditch most if not all of the WC rosters have had more balance than Edmonton. For a decade.

  52. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: At 3am in July, drunk in a ditch most if not all of the WC rosters have had more balance than Edmonton. For a decade.

    Your analogy’s always make me chuckle.

    Here’s a video to cheer you up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82y6xIstG-4

  53. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Centre of attention:
    Kiltymcbagpipes,

    We would be bringing in a Right-shot D in this hypothetical trade, which helps the defense that way Davidson stays left side and doesn’t have to switch over. So if there are injuries, we STILL have balance and depth!

    What part of this do you not understand?

    This trade is just an idea anyways, knowing the Oilers they address the need in the most bizarre and painful way possible. Like trading Nuge, which you also suggested as a good idea. (it isn’t)

    I don’t know I’m lost. Lol. I was still supporting GoDot’s point “One of those left shot D can go only if a right shot D is coming back. There is no surplus of defensemen in total. ” I got sidetracked somewhere between that and my 2 yr old pouring a bottle of water on his head – in the livingroom.

    Just to be clear, I suggested the Nuge trade as ‘inevitable’ not ‘a good idea’ taking in consideration it is a salary capped NHL. If you consider it to be inevitable and necessary to create roster balance then it is a good idea to trade him when his value is high.

    I blame his $6 Mill per contract as the main reason for this inevitability not because I don’t like the player.

  54. LadiesloveSmid says:

    if WG or Gmoney stop by, I’d love to see how Goloubef runs by woodmoney. Appears to run well by ricki’s favourite metrics. Right shot.

    I’d look at Goloubef, Petrovic, Klein, and Stone to shore up the right side. Put Reinhart/Yak/picks/prospects out there

  55. godot10 says:

    One cannot talk about the plentitude of left shot D without simultaneously talking about the dearth of right shot D, and the cost of right shot D in trade.

    Trading a defensemen for anything but another defensemen is lunacy. There is no surplus of defensemen on the Oilers.

    The same people who complain about dumping Gilbert when Petry showed up, and dumping Petry because Schultz show up, are now advocating dumping Nurse because Davidson showed up.

    Nurse is #5 on the OIlers depth chart. The equivalent D on Anaheim is Theodore, and he is like #8 on Anaheim’s depth chart. Osterle is #8 on the OIlers depth chart. The equivalent D on Anaheim’s depth chart is Montour and he is like #11.

    And the first thing the Oilogosphere want to trade is a defensemen.

    And then there is the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Hall trade.

  56. Centre of attention says:

    godot10,

    Nobody here is saying “we should dump” Nurse because Davidson show up. Of course we want to bring in a Right-Shot D. That would be indeed the only way I move out a significant LHD prospect.

    If me and LT were saying “Lets trade a LHD for another Forward!” then I would understand your rage.

  57. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: And that is why you trade LHD to address weakness. We know Brandon Davidson CAN play RH side, but why make him? Deal from strength to address weakness. Good teams do it, why can’t we?

    Because PC found sekera and is in love with nurse and Klefblom. GR isn’t worth much. That is the sad story.

  58. Lowetide says:

    flyfish1168: Because PC found sekera and is in love with nurse and Klefblom.GR isn’t worth much.That is the sad story.

    I suspect this is the truth.

  59. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes: Yeah but can he grow a playoff beard???

    “Playoffs? Don’t talk to me about playoffs. I just wanna win a game.” – Jim Mora

  60. frjohnk says:

    Centre of attention: *sigh* so what we mean is, we take a couple of those lefties, and cash em’ in for a righty. That way we don’t have the problem you just described.

    And even after moving out a lefty of two, we would still have enough depth that if an injury happened we would be able to plug the hole.

    I don’t see what you’re arguing about at this point.

    I’m agreeing with you. Trade a LHD for a RHD.

    One of Davidson Nurse or Reinhart and a plus for a guy like Ryan Ellis (just spitballing here) provides better balance. But the leftorium would still have stronger depth than right side in the event injuries come about.

  61. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Questions for the room:

    How many teams have a glut of right handed Dmen?
    How many teams have a shortage of left handed Dmen?
    How many teams have both of the above items?

    Those are your potential trading partners.

  62. Jethro Tull says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Questions for the room:

    How many teams have a glut of right handed Dmen?
    How many teams have a shortage of left handed Dmen?
    How many teams have both of the above items?

    Those are your potential trading partners.

    And we’re back to compelting other GMs to trade with us.

  63. Lowetide says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Questions for the room:

    How many teams have a glut of right handed Dmen?
    How many teams have a shortage of left handed Dmen?
    How many teams have both of the above items?

    Those are your potential trading partners.

    Winnipeg, Anaheim, Florida maybe, Buffalo, there are rumors Vancouver may be willing to part with a very good RHD. I haven’t checked all 30 teams, but there are RH defensemen out there who Edmonton could acquire without compromising the roster.

  64. OF17 says:

    I had a thought last night about Larsson. The WoodMoney metrics aren’t kind to him, but they’re also a combination of the last two years. All of the verbal out of New Jersey says that not only did Larsson take a big step forward this year but also that his role was increased from 2RD to 1RD. As such, WoodMoney may not be an accurate picture of what Larsson accomplished last year, and thus may not be an accurate picture of what might be expected of him this year.

    There’s no way of knowing to what extent Larsson’s 14/15 numbers skewed his 15/16 numbers. As long as it is a rolling average, WoodMoney is always going to be unkind to players who take a big step forward in any given year and always going to give an inaccurate view of players whose roles markedly change in a given year. As such, not only do we not have a good picture of Larsson’s 15/16 performance, but we also do not know what Larsson’s QOC split was last year. Supposedly his increased role brought increased TOI against the elite, and if his two-year average is 40-something % against them, good Gord, how much of his 15/16 time was?

    It’s good news for us in that WoodMoney has been one of the less kind evaluations of Larsson out there, and while it’s an absolutely fantastic resource for established players, Larsson’s case seems to expose the limitations of its two-year average. Call it the Draisaitl caveat.

  65. Centre of attention says:

    frjohnk: I’m agreeing with you. Trade a LHD for a RHD.

    One of Davidson Nurse or Reinhart and a plus for a guy like Ryan Ellis (just spitballing here) provides better balance. But the leftorium would still have stronger depth than right side in the event injuries come about.

    Well alright then it seemed like you were disagreeing with the idea of trading a LHD in general at first. Sorry for misreading things.

    So who else other than Ellis is a realistic target? The thought of trading with Nashville’s GM scares me.

  66. John Chambers says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Questions for the room:

    How many teams have a glut of right handed Dmen?
    How many teams have a shortage of left handed Dmen?
    How many teams have both of the above items?

    Those are your potential trading partners.

    There aren’t many teams with as glaring an imbalance as the Oilers have at LD vs RD. We have a stark surplus at one and a deficit at the other.

    Colorado has a similar ‘imbalance’, with only 2 RD in their roster, but their name are Johnson and Barrie. Winnipeg has the opposite problem where they’re stacked at RD but their LD depth falls off after Enstrom. The Jets will trade Trouba eventually but the price would have to be Klefbom or Nurse, they wouldn’t be interested in Reinhart or Davidson … yet. Perhaps there’s a deal to be made eventually but I would suspect Trouba’s contract demands are significant and that both Chiarelli and Cheveldayoff would want to see if Reinhart & Davidson are top-4 material.

    To LT’s point – we should feel a lot more comfortable if they added a Gryba and Wisniewski and we can’t call Chiarelli’s summer anything more than a B- until they address the imbalance.

  67. BONE207 says:

    Centre of attention: Your analogy’s always make me chuckle.

    Here’s a video to cheer you up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82y6xIstG-4

    Funny thing about this video is that half the time the Oilers are down by 3-4 goals and some lesser lights (#4 & 19) keep passing him the puck. Always a big goal no matter. I hope he grows some hair on his ass here in Edmonton.

  68. kiaora says:

    Centre of attention: If healthy, I bet on Nuge all day. Two way play wins you cups. Peter Chiarelli understands this. I think.

    And I’m a huge Draisaitl fan btw.

    I disagree. It’s great to have both players, but Nuge is pitifully weak on face offs, and his defense is over rated (something people tend to do when they think highly of a player, but he isn’t producing as much as elite players). We are lucky to have both. If we ever do decide to keep both Nuge and Draisatl and trade Eberle, it’s possible Draisatl and Nuge could play together with Draisatl winning the face offs, taking on larger centers.

  69. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Klefbom-Sekera-Davidson-Reinhart/Musil/Oesterle is a fine left side and if someone goes down it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    Larsson-Fayne is a weak weak right side. If Larsson goes down they’re done, even if Fayne goes down they’re in rough shape.

    If Nurse for Trouba was up in the air I would hope it would be done yesterdat

  70. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: Winnipeg, Anaheim, Florida maybe, Buffalo, there are rumors Vancouver may be willing to part with a very good RHD. I haven’t checked all 30 teams, but there are RH defensemen out there who Edmonton could acquire without compromising the roster.

    I had a direct quote from GM John Chayka saying he would consider moving out a piece from his blue line considering their recent additions.

    Michael Stone is tempting, I wonder how they feel about dealing in-division. Would you give them Reinhart and a first for Stone? He had a break out year last year, one is hoping for a repeat showing in this case.

    They also “challenged” Stone with a one year contract while giving Murphy the big money. Something to consider.

  71. John Chambers says:

    Lowetide: Winnipeg, Anaheim, Florida maybe, Buffalo, there are rumors Vancouver may be willing to part with a very good RHD. I haven’t checked all 30 teams, but there are RH defensemen out there who Edmonton could acquire without compromising the roster.

    I think Brandon Davidson becomes the most valuable and most likely trade chip to address the RD depth.

    It would appear that Sekara, Klefbom, and Nurse are locks for the next 5 years. If Davidson can again play well in the top-4 his value contract and RFA status will make him an attractive acquisition target for the teams you mention.

    That said, I’m not completely sold on the 6% differential between L-L and L-R pairings. I think the data gets skewed because there are simply more LHD and bottom pairings often see two left shots. Regardless, I think Chiarelli wants to evaluate Davidson on the right side before deciding whether it’s worth it to trade him for a pricier contract.

  72. G Money says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    At the cabin this weekend, but when I get back to town I’ll run the chart for you.

  73. Centre of attention says:

    kiaora: I disagree. It’s great to have both players, but Nuge is pitifully weak on face offs, and his defense is over rated (something people tend to do when they think highly of a player, but he isn’t producing as much as elite players). We are lucky to have both. If we ever do decide to keep both Nuge and Draisatl and trade Eberle, it’s possible Draisatl and Nuge could play together with Draisatl winning the face offs, taking on larger centers.

    He’s been getting better and last I checked Nuge is in the same faceoff% area as guys like Malkin. Faceoffs are one of the last things I look at. When healthy, Nugent Hopkins has proven to be a very effective player against top competition even when he doesn’t have the teams best player on his line. That has very high value.

    Draisaitl is fantastic player and I would not make the choice between the two right away. Its a wait and see kind of thing right now, I want to see how he does for a season or two without Hall. I hope the Oilers feel the same way and don’t make a rushed decision either.

  74. G Money says:

    Apropos of nothing, I’ve now revised my definition of ultimate pain from ‘ stepping on my kids Lego’ to ‘using a lacrosse ball to do trigger point massage on my wonky hip flexor after a day at the lake’. YOWCH!!!

  75. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Apropos of nothing, I’ve now revised my definition of ultimate pain from ‘ stepping on my kids Lego’ to ‘using a lacrosse ball to do trigger point massage on my wonky hip flexor after a day at the lake’.YOWCH!!!

    Punch in the nuts from Alvin Haftner has ranked No. 1 since 1975.

  76. OF17 says:

    For me, you’d have to pry the centers three from my cold, dead hands. That’s our competitive advantage at forward. Trade Eberle, trade Pouliot, trade Sekera, skimp on the 4th line, whatever you need to do to keep that center depth intact, because without those centers, we have little chance of having a forward corps that can really move the needle.

  77. JDï™ says:

    G Money: YOWCH!!!

    Vasectomy with an inadequate amount of local anesthetic administered. You don’t really know that something is wrong until they hit the vas with electrocautery, and then you levitate briefly.

    Apparently there were some people in the waiting room who were visibly upset by what they heard that day.

  78. Ryan says:

    G Money:
    Apropos of nothing, I’ve now revised my definition of ultimate pain from ‘ stepping on my kids Lego’ to ‘using a lacrosse ball to do trigger point massage on my wonky hip flexor after a day at the lake’.YOWCH!!!

    Sounds painful.

    Was curious if you thought there would be any value in slicing the woodmoneys for home and away games?

    If they were similar, it might internally validate the 3 qoc buckets.

  79. stevezie says:

    JDï™,

    Good mercy.

    Ryan,

    Respect

  80. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Centre of attention,

    Stone is UFA next summer.
    I’d rather wait and just sign him for cash next summer than give up assets for him.

  81. G Money says:

    JDï™,

    Holy hells man. The entire male readership of this blog just grabbed their crotch and grimaced!

    Rodney ‘Ryan’ Dangerfield,

    The latest version of the WoodMoney database has home/away splits, east/west conference splits, and playoff non-playoff team splits. Definitely some interesting patterns pop up .

  82. Dominoiler says:

    Good afternoon, lowetide and lowetidians..

    I’m curious if we could get into what balance looks like.. i liked McKiltys post at 930am w Florida’s lineup and would challenge us to delve into what balance looks like around the league.. my first impulse is to look at Stanley cup champs and work our way backwards..

    For me, one of the areas pitts separated themselves from San Jose was on defence, 3 solid pairings compared to a good top 4 (w the best dman on either team, imo, B Burns) but a third pairing that often got exposed.. with more time and ambition i would also compare special teams depth too to see how much has been needed to stack up against the best..

    Thanks, enjoy the fine weather today everyone..

  83. Lowetide says:

    Dominoiler:
    Good afternoon, lowetide and lowetidians..

    I’m curious if we could get into what balance looks like.. i liked McKiltys post at 930am w Florida’s lineup and would challenge us to delve into what balance looks like around the league.. my first impulse is to look at Stanley cup champs and work our way backwards..

    For me, one of the areas pitts separated themselves from San Jose was on defence, 3 solid pairings compared to good top 4 (w the best dman in either team, imo, B Burns) but a third pairing that often got exposed.. with more time and ambition i would also compare special teams depth too to see how much has been needed to stack up against the best..

    Thanks, enjoy the fine weather today everyone..

    If the Oilers could add:

    Jacob Trouba
    Chad Johnson
    Tyler Bozak
    Radim Vrbata

    and send down

    Darnell Nurse
    Jonas Gustavsson
    Anton Lander
    Iiro Pakarinen

    That is a pretty balanced group.

  84. Centre of attention says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Centre of attention,

    Stone is UFA next summer.
    I’d rather wait and just sign him for cash next summer than give up assets for him.

    Interesting option, for sure. Hope he doesn’t sign an extension or get snapped up by another smart team before us!

  85. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: If the Oilers could add:

    Jacob Trouba
    Chad Johnson
    Tyler Bozak
    Radim Vrbata

    and send down

    Darnell Nurse
    Jonas Gustavsson
    Anton Lander
    Iiro Pakarinen

    That is a pretty balanced group.

    That would be expensive as hell to do. How would you make that work under the cap, especially Bozaks contract? Whats Trouba’s contract going to look like? What would Winnipeg ask for?

    Important questions to answer before we go throwing coins in the wishing well.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention: That would be expensive as hell to do. How would you make that work under the cap, especially Bozaks contract? Whats Trouba’s contract going to look like? What would Winnipeg ask for?

    Important questions to answer before we go throwing coins in the wishing well.

    I was just giving an example of what balance might look like.

  87. Water Fire says:

    The cap doesn’t allow depth to mean more good NHL players in a position than you need.

    It means an emerging player who you have a few cheap years of control with or a guy like Gryba that’s cheap and will hold his own in a support role.

    The Oilers will have to trade a couple of lefties or play them off hand.

  88. leadfarmer says:

    I’m surprised how many people think Chia would even consider sending Nurse down or trading him. After Lucic he is the most Chia type player on this roster. The “helpers” he has around him have been searching far and wide for his style of defender. The coach loves him. He is here to stay.

    He should have been in the AHL last year where I was calling for him to be all year. Oh how many times was i called a buffoon for suggesting that he needs to be in the AHL last year. I guess whats done is done.

  89. JDï™ says:

    G Money: Holy hells man.

    I saved the best for last.

    It was during Stampede, there was another doctor from China there learning from my doc, and also an intern practicing under him (he learned real good that day – THREE shots of local, not two).

    Three men in a small room, all wearing cowboy hats, handling your junk. I’m not sure if the banjo music was real or imagined…

  90. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    I’m surprised how many people think Chia would even consider sending Nurse down or trading him.

    NO ONE thinks Chiarelli is going to send him down or trade him. No one.

  91. GCW_69 says:

    Lowetide: NO ONE thinks Chiarelli is going to send him down or trade him. No one.

    I think Chiarelli is a fool if he doesn’t send Nurse down.

  92. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    After Trouba that was/is a pretty obtainable list, too. No idea why they completely disregarded cheap UFAs again this year (as of right now), like Parenteau.

    Gustavsson was just a horrendous signing, how does he get signed within hours of free agency and Enroth doesn’t? Does Chiarelli’s love for size carry over for goalies?

    Its incredible how a couple little moves could help this roster but they refuse to do it for whatever reason.

  93. GCW_69 says:

    Lowetide: If the Oilers could add:

    Jacob Trouba
    Chad Johnson
    Tyler Bozak
    Radim Vrbata

    and send down

    Darnell Nurse
    Jonas Gustavsson
    Anton Lander
    Iiro Pakarinen

    That is a pretty balanced group.

    Add Hudler, Vrbata, Ramo and Franson now, or maybe Wiz, and they would be close to balanced, and within the cap if yak is traded to make room.

    Then get Trouba or someone like him after the expansion draft. Keep using the Versteeg’s, Parenteau’s, and Hudler’s to fill out the foreward ranks each summer.

  94. OF17 says:

    I think our definition of balance should be that every role is filled, no one is playing above their heads, and there’s a workable replacement for each player should they become injured. This applies to both even strength and special teams minutes.

    With the current roster, that means adding a RHC to play 3RW, a 2RD, and a legit backup goalie. Puljujarvi gets Yak’s top-6 spot next year, we add a Shaw type, upgrade on Fayne, and if Brossoit doesn’t progress, add a Johnson type, and summer 2017 we’re there.

  95. G Money says:

    JDï™,

    Good Gord. I would have moved the hell away.

    That you are still here takes serious balls. I mean, you must be nuts!

    Thank you, I’m here all week, try the prairie oysters!

  96. franksterra says:

    G Money,

    As a fellow non-future-dad with JDI, I share two words – tugging and burning.

  97. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    Lowetide,

    After Trouba that was/is a pretty obtainable list, too. No idea why they completely disregarded cheap UFAs again this year (as of right now), like Parenteau.

    It is one of two things:

    1. The cheap free agents figure making $1M in Phoenix is better than playing in Edmonton
    2. Oilers are too daft to offer a deal

  98. OF17 says:

    Lowetide: It is one of two things:

    1. The cheap free agents figure making $1M in Phoenix is better than playing in Edmonton
    2. Oilers are too daft to offer a deal

    Probably both. And with all of the wingers on the roster, you can’t exactly sell playing time with McDavid. Also, the team is still terrible.

  99. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    GCW_69: I think Chiarelli is a fool if he doesn’t send Nurse down.

    I disagree 🙂

  100. Pouzar says:

    JDï™: I saved the best for last.

    It was during Stampede, there was another doctor from China there learning from my doc, and also an intern practicing under him (he learned real good that day – THREE shots of local, not two).

    Three men in a small room, all wearing cowboy hats, handling your junk. I’m not sure if the banjo music was real or imagined…

    Holy sweet falsetto Batman!

  101. GCW_69 says:

    Kiltymcbagpipes: I disagree 🙂

    Nurse needs to earn a spot. He also needs to work on the offensive side of his game, which is far from polished, and his defensive reads still need some work. The NHL is NOT a development league. Nurse needs to develop that part of his game where it does not cost the Oilers wins. Top pairing minutes in Bakersfield with an edict from above that Nurse plays on the top power play unit is the best thing for him and the Oilers.

    Rushing him will likely turn him into Smid rather than the player he has the potential to be.

  102. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    1. this blog has for too long demanded balance
    2. the trade for larsson provides the oilers balance
    3. with balance the oilers are a better team
    4. the hall trade was terrible
    5. wtf

  103. kiaora says:

    Centre of attention: He’s been getting better and last I checked Nuge is in the same faceoff% area as guys like Malkin. Faceoffs are one of the last things I look at. When healthy, Nugent Hopkins has proven to bea very effective player against top competition even when he doesn’t have the teams best player on his line. That has very high value.

    Draisaitl is fantastic player and I would not make the choice between the two right away. Its a wait and see kind of thing right now, I want to see how he does for a season or two without Hall. I hope the Oilers feel the same way and don’t make a rushed decision either.

    Malkin is a consistent, “almost” point per game player, that makes up for a lot. A lot of people compare Nuge to Datsyuk, but again, Datsyuk is a point per game player. Nuge is a little overpaid for what he is brining, there have been times he has looked the goods, but its only been for short periods. I am not sure why that is, I hope he has a better season. I think Draisaitl will take a big step forward this year. He won’t have to expend a ton of energy at the start of the season to secure a spot, he can pace himself. Anyway, good to have center depth, but to be honest, I’d sacrifice a bit of that depth to have RD depth.

    I’m curious this season whether Nurse or Reinhart will make the next step. I’m not as certain as a lot of people are that it will be Nurse, I hope so, but the two players are very comparable at the moment, neither has earned a permanent spot, and the jury is out on both of them regarding whether they ever will.

  104. russ99 says:

    Balance by just adding one very good defenseman and removing a few poor ones isn’t enough to reduce the NHL bottom-5 goals against.

    Our forwards need to play a better 2-way game, and our bottom six are subpar when looking around the Pacific Division.

    Maybe a full camp with McLellan to reinforce things would help, but realistically we need 1-2 more good defensive forwards who can chip in at the other end.

  105. Skeeziks says:

    Some of RNH’s best hockey and best offensive results appear to have been when Hall was out of the line up. Is there a chance that he is able to replicate that type of performance over the upcoming season?

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