We are still sailing through the hinterlands of an NHL summer, but there are signs of life. Music! Let’s have a quick look and some stories worth following today.
Ziyat Paigin has been injured and is out indefinitely. #Oilers
— Russian Prospects (@RUSProspects) September 6, 2016
Early word is an unfortunate shot block (men: a moment of silence, please) and he has been placed on the IR. Paigin has played in 4 games (0-0-0) and averaging 16:16 a night. His season was not tracking well offensively before the injury, but these are early days. He will apparently miss a couple of weeks.
— Lowetide (@Lowetide) September 1, 2016
Yakimov has played a little in the KHL (2, 1-0-1 12:54) and appears to be playing on the wing. I would bet you money the next time he appears in NA this Russian giant will not be on the Oilers 50-man, but Bogdan remains an interesting prospect.
Dhiren Mahiban is reporting that Tobias Rieder will not be attending Coyotes camp without a contract—perhaps opening up a window for trade. He might be the Pisani.
How many points for Connor McDavid this season? I have him at 87 points this season, have seen higher. What is your prediction? The first key element I see is estimating his GP, because the young man has not gone a complete season healthy in some time. I think 1.2 times GP gets you close.
Heard Matt Hendricks skated this morning with (among others) Oscar Klefbom, & he looked good. SO key to this year for the #Oilers
— Kurt Leavins (@KurtLeavins) September 6, 2016
A big damned deal. If Klefbom is healthy, Edmonton’s defense looks far better than a year ago: Adam Larsson added, Brandon Davidson having emerged, Justin Schultz gone, Mark Fayne apparently adjusted to McLellan’s more aggressive style. I wonder if we see the Swede on the power play during pre-season.
CHIARELLI TRADED HALL!
Still thousands of tweets today on the Hall deal, I remain convinced it was a matter of Chiarelli finding a sweet spot on his ‘list’ of blue. As we talked about all spring and summer, his available list (I believe) included all of the Steve Austins, the 2017 first-round pick, Benoit Pouliot and various items. His want list probably started with the impossible (say, Erik Karlsson) and then wound down to the possible. On the other side of the foolscap were the Oilers’ assets—Hall among them. Once Larsson was made available, and Hall from the other side was satisfactory, then the deal was struck. It sounds like nothing much was shaking after the draft day deal fell through, so the pressure probably was a factor in the deal. As for the Subban rumors? The pricetag was dear, but the contract Subban carries may have been a big factor, too. I have been reading many observers disregarding that annual hit today, wonder if we are now at a point where opinions are baked in from both sides and there is no fence-sitter in the piece. Suspect it is close to being so.
Recent signee Matt Benning was clearly Northeastern's top D playing almost 27min a night against / with top forwards pic.twitter.com/PhU3s0fvwP
— WheatNOil (@WheatNOil) August 31, 2016
The deeper we get into training camp without a RHD option, the better chances for Matt Benning (in my opinion). Edmonton can run two defensemen on the power play (one for each unit) and four forwards—something Todd McLellan is doing currently with Team North America.
I have been rambling on since July 1 about the lack of balance on this team, but do wonder if Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan have internal options they would like to view in pre-season. Laurent Brossoit, Brandon Davidson (on RH side) and Jesse Puljujarvi (2R) are all internal solutions who could (if able) make this roster hum without the need for an NHL addition.
I think Mike Richards and Eric Gryba are possible additions to the team and we may see eight defensemen again this fall on opening night. This was thrown at me the other day, so I wanted to stress one more time: I believe Leon Draisaitl is a center, should be a center and moving him off of center means failure by at least one of the RWs. Center. Leon. That has been my opinion all down the line.