JIGSAW PUZZLE

The Edmonton Oilers moved seven players from the roster today, and in doing so freed up more space on the 50-man list. Although we are some time from the interesting cuts in camp, it is worth noting the quick dispatch for these youngsters at Oilers camp this year.

THE DISTANT BELLS

distant-bells-sep-23

  • The most impressive names from this group are (imo) Ryan Vesce, Kyle Platzer and Ben Betker, but we haven’t seen all of these men in games yet.
  • On a lesser level, Mitch Moroz has shown a pulse. It could be nothing but is worth noting.
  • I will have an update tomorrow morning on the chances of making the roster (by player), but Ryan Vesce has an outside outside outside shot.
  • Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear showed well, Markus Niemelainen too. This is terrific news for Oilers fans—not because they are all going to be 20-minutes a night blue in the NHL one day, but because one of them could end up being that player. Remember when we discussed Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and Cody Wild were all pushing up at the same time? Ended up being one in three, and probably a good starting point for conversation surrounding the three current youngsters.

THE UNCERTAIN OILERS

uncertain-oilers-sep-23

  • Kris Versteeg has pushed to the front of the line already and I would not be surprised to hear about contract negotiations soon. How many games do you need to see before confirming he still has NHL speed?
  • Jere Sallinen was apparently quite strong in Calgary (I could not find the game online to view) and that could be significant—Edmonton may want Leon on RW to start the season and that means a center is required for 3C. Jujhar Khaira looked good at Rogers, so he has moved the needle and Caggiula had four shots and one PS last night. This area of the roster has some fascinating stories.
  • Both goalies hit solid doubles first time out—maybe better than that. Oilers need stellar goaltending, all days.

CERTAIN OILERS

certain-oilers-sep-23

  • McDavid—Lucic is going to get a push based on camp verbal today. I hope the Oilers keep Pouliot in mind if the chemistry isn’t as hoped, the Oilers have a real asset in Pouliot.
  • Klefbom—Larsson, Sekera—Fayne and Nurse—Davidson seems to be a thing early in camp. I am pleased.
  • Pouliot—Nuge will probably get Yakupov or Puljujarvi tomorrow or Friday night, my guess is the Finn (he lined up there today).

OILERS CURRENT 50-MAN (SLIDE RULE CONTRACTS NO LONGER COUNT)

50-man-sep-27

  • Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear now slide, as they are back in junior.
  • There are three PTO’s of note—Kris Versteeg, Ryan Vesce and Eric Gryba. I doubt all three men make the team, but two could make the club.
  • If the Oilers make a trade before opening night, don’t be surprised if Bogdan Yakimov or Eetu Laurikainen (or other) are part of the deal. Peter Chiarelli moved Travis Ewanyk a year ago in a similar deal, basically offloading an entry-level deal that wasn’t working out in order to keep some breathing room for the 50-man.

VERBAL

  • McDavid talks Lucic“He’s almost a perfect winger for myself. Just the way he plays I think it’s going to work well. He opens up so much room. He wins battles, he keeps a ton of pucks alive.”
  • Lucic talks McDavid: “You have to be ready no matter where you are on the ice because he (McDavid) is really good at getting guys the puck. That’s one thing that I’ve definitely got to get used to, just being ready for pucks at all times in scoring positions. When you get those chances you’ve got to make sure you score. It’s a big reason I chose to come to Edmonton was to play with him.”

I cannot tell you the number of Oilers fans who have told me they are looking forward to Lucic beating the hell out of this or that guy. Have said this before, but the thing about Lucic is that he can actually play. Really good passer, has a good sense of the game and where the puck is headed and he can separate player from puck and make an effective pass in real time. Important to remember that when discussing Lucic and what he brings.

IS A CENTER EMERGING?

One of the things the Oilers are looking for is a useful center who can slide into 3C when Leon is needed to load up the top two lines. I think Drake Caggiula has a chance to be that player. He looked good in a feature role last night and he can also play wing—meaning there are more roles he could play on the team. Anton Lander, Jujhar Khaira, Ryan Vesce and Jere Sallinen appear to be in the picture and it is a crowded house as we speak. Miles to go, but Caggiula had some good looks last night for sure.

 

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

62 Responses to "JIGSAW PUZZLE"

  1. Moose says:

    “Remember when we discussed Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and Cody Wild were all pushing up at the same time? Ended up being one in three, and probably a good starting point for conversation surrounding the three current youngsters.”

    This is an excellent point, LT, because I distinctly remember you saying on this blog that they would not all make it despite the ‘up arrows’ at the time.

    Jones and Niemelainen look like they have more complete tool boxes, but Bear has a lot of Brandon Davidson in him. I get to see him a lot (living in Seattle) so I’m biased, but he thinks the game really well, makes the short pass under pressure, and has that plus shot. That said, the way Jones and the Finn skate is always going to give them a head start, and they both have good puck skills.

    It’s going to be really interesting to follow this cluster along with Bergland, Marino, Lagesson. If you get 2 or 3 of those 6 guys to hit, you call it a draft/develop success.

  2. HugThePost says:

    competition for multiple spots in the line-up……this is going to take some getting used to.

  3. digger50 says:

    Did Pouloit skate today? Anyone? Just wondering the seriousness of his illness.

  4. digger50 says:

    I was pretty sure Tmac would be looking at Drai on the wing. It changes the dynamics of the positions available.

    Bumps out Yak most likely. Neither here nor there but just listening to those in “the know” they never even mention Yak at any position.

    If a trade is made it could well be Yak and Poiliot going out and also Gryba not signed due to the player coming in. Changes opportunity for roster spots again, an more likely a return to youngsters at forward.

  5. Lowetide says:

    digger50:
    I was pretty sure Tmac would be looking at Drai on the wing. It changes the dynamics of the positions available.

    Bumps out Yak most likely. Neither here nor there but just listening to those in “the know” they never even mention Yak at any position.

    If a trade is made it could well be Yak and Poiliot going out and also Gryba not signed due to the player coming in. Changes opportunity for roster spots again, an more likely a return to youngsters at forward.

    I think they want the ability to do it on demand, like in-game. It makes the third and fourth line dynamic a little different heading in, and I think we could see some tweaking of the roster late.

  6. Yeti says:

    “Remember when we discussed Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and Cody Wild were all pushing up at the same time?”
    Seems like yesterday. Is that bad?

  7. Clay says:

    I like how Lucic’s comment on McDavid was a wordy version of “I need to go to the net with my head up and my stick on the ice”. Hockey 101.

  8. John Chambers says:

    Clay:
    I like how Lucic’s comment on McDavid was a wordy version of “I need to go to the net with my head up and my stick on the ice”.Hockey 101.

    Hockey, as in life, can be played successfully if you follow some basic guiding principles, no matter how complex you try and spin the philosophy.

    Get a job, pay down your mortgage, be a good neighbour, pay your bills on time, and go hard to the net to try and cash loose pucks.

    At least life in Canada I should say.

  9. OF17 says:

    Lowetide: I think they want the ability to do it on demand, like in-game. It makes the third and fourth line dynamic a little different heading in, and I think we could see some tweaking of the roster late.

    I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes sense. Draisaitl is likely to be better offensively than all but Eberle on RW, and if you’re trailing and want to shorten the bench, being able to load the top 6 while leaving something like Maroon-Caggiula-Versteeg on the 3rd is appealing. Two good 1st lines and a competent third to give them rest every 5 shifts or so.

    Then again, if Caggiula is making the team, rolling those lines might be the plan to begin with. Yak goes for a 2nd + hopefully a B/C prospect. For the record, I’d prefer Draisaitl at 3C and Yak on 3RW, but I could see Draisaitl at 2RW and Caggiula at 3C working out.

    EDIT: Or I guess it might mean Hendricks in the press box? Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian as the 4th line. Would up Nuge’s and Pouliot’s PK responsibilities, and they’d have to find another regular. Does Caggiula kill penalties?

  10. theDjdj says:

    I like your point about the 3/4C, LT. I feel that’s part of the reason they’re playing Caggiula at centre despite his history. If he can show aptitude in that role they’ve admireable versatility out of both Caggiula and Draisaitl. Kinda 1.5 Pavelksks. Given TMacs propensity for active in game roster shuffling I think Caggiulas chance of making the roster say 40 games this year is increasing (I think the old dog Hendricks could use a few rests + injuries)

  11. Melman says:

    John Chambers,

    shovel your elderly neighbour’s sidewalk, help put away the groceries and for the love of Pete – keep your head up

  12. Frank the dog says:

    digger50:
    Did Pouloit skate today? Anyone?Just wondering the seriousness of his illness.

    Transferitis. Often terminal, or may be of no consequence. We’ll know the outcome in a day or few.

  13. HT Joe says:

    Melman:
    John Chambers,

    shovel your elderly neighbour’s sidewalk, help put away the groceries and for the love of Pete – keep your head up

    …and crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their *significant others*… am I right? 🙂

    *EDIT as shown above*

  14. МАГИЯ 10 says:

    Lowetide: I think they want the ability to do it on demand, like in-game. It makes the third and fourth line dynamic a little different heading in, and I think we could see some tweaking of the roster late.

    Concur. When the 3 amigos are all healthy, think you’ll see them all at centre part of the game, but also jammed into the top 6 for other parts. Net result will be centre depth where needed and top 6 minutes by hook or by crook for all of them.

  15. jonrmcleod says:

    McKenzie answered the question “Why didn’t the Oilers trade Hall for Trouba?” His answer: the Jets didn’t want Hall, and the Oilers don’t value Trouba as highly as others do.

    http://www.todaysslapshot.com/from-the-ice/mckenzie-explains-hall-trouba-trade-never-happened/

  16. delooper says:

    jonrmcleod:
    McKenzie answered the question “Why didn’t the Oilers trade Hall for Trouba?” His answer: the Jets didn’t want Hall, and the Oilers don’t value Trouba as highly as others do.

    http://www.todaysslapshot.com/from-the-ice/mckenzie-explains-hall-trouba-trade-never-happened/

    Makes sense. It didn’t look like a fit, this reinforces my preconceptions. 🙂

  17. leadfarmer says:

    Even if they didn’t value Hall highly,they could have just flipped him. There is no way Chia was going to make that trade. The reaction was terribly negative for the Larsson trade who is a top pairing D, could you imagine the reaction if Hall was traded for Trouba.

  18. leadfarmer says:

    Lucic is going to be one happy guy. MacDavid isn’t the greatest finisher yet and he’s going to leave a lot of pucks in front of the net for whoever wants to go there.

  19. Ryan says:

    theDjdj:
    I like your point about the 3/4C, LT. I feel that’s part of the reason they’re playing Caggiula at centre despite his history. If he can show aptitude in that role they’ve admireable versatility out of both Caggiula and Draisaitl. Kinda 1.5 Pavelksks. Given TMacs propensity for active in game roster shuffling I think Caggiulas chance of making the roster say 40 games this yearis increasing (I think the old dog Hendricks could use a few rests + injuries)

    What about Versteeg?

    If you had:

    Looch-McDavid – Eberle
    Pouliot – Nuge – Versteeg
    Maroon – saddle – Kassian/ JP / yak

    You could probably rotate Versteeg and Draisatl depending on game state.

  20. frjohnk says:

    leadfarmer: The reaction was terribly negative for the Larsson trade who is a top pairing D, could you imagine the reaction if Hall was traded for Trouba.

    Reaction would have been the same as Trouba and Larsson are most likely in around the same range.

  21. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer:
    Even if they didn’t value Hall highly,they could have just flipped him.There is no way Chia was going to make that trade.The reaction was terribly negative for the Larsson trade who is a top pairing D, could you imagine the reaction if Hall was traded for Trouba.

    There are a lot of hockey people that rate Trouba over Larsson.

    Presumably the best RHS d the Oilers could trade Hall for was Larsson.

    Winnipeg wants a ‘less coveted’ LHS d.

    Who could they have flipped Hall for? Lindholm? No way.

  22. Ryan says:

    Euro 23-17 shots vs Canada lol.

    Krueger reads this blog and my posts in particular.

  23. blainer says:

    Man O man if this is the Sekera we are getting back soon watch out. He is on fire out there. Playing the RT side eating up the minutes both on offence and defense.

    A short handed break away by a D .. just excellent stuff.

    I really think his play has to have Chia thinking his D should be good.

    To my eye he is one of the best players on the ice tonight.

  24. razor says:

    Watching this Krueger team keep up with Canada, its amazing to me that MacT is still employed with the Oilers. Most people would kill now for that kind of job security.

  25. Ryan says:

    razor:
    Watching this Krueger team keep up with Canada, its amazing to me that MacT is still employed with the Oilers. Most people would kill now for that kind of job security.

    Yeah, Krueger’s done an admirable job here.

  26. Oil2Oilers says:

    Sekera is going to find Fayne a pip squeak with rocket skates after partnering old man Chara.

  27. Oilspill says:

    He wins battles, he keeps a ton of pucks alive. Says McDavid. HMMM I guess size intimidation and nastiness matter.

  28. Ryan says:

    Oilspill:
    He wins battles, he keeps a ton of pucks alive. Says McDavid.HMMM I guess size intimidation and nastiness matter.

    McDavid sounded thrilled to play with Lucic.

  29. BlueNoteNorth says:

    Poulliot Nuge and Draisaitl or Versteeg in front of Klefbom and Larsson could give other teams’ top lines fits. Looking forward to it.

  30. Ryan says:

    BlueNoteNorth:
    Poulliot Nuge and Draisaitl or Versteeg in front of Klefbom and Larsson could give other teams’ top lines fits. Looking forward to it.

    Klefbomb’s feet are crucial to this season.

  31. Ryan says:

    frjohnk,

    I actually think reaction would have been more favorable if Trouba was the return.

  32. Ryan says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    Sekera is going to find Fayne a pip squeak with rocket skates after partnering old man Chara.

    Just hope that Chiarelli doesn’t trade for Chara after watching this. :/

  33. JDï™ says:

    razor: Watching this Krueger team

    This is an all star roster for Ralph, considering the hot messes he’s had to deal with.

    They’re still going to lose handily though. Let’s hope the Russian hockey federation doesn’t offer him a pile of gold to head their program.

  34. Ryan says:

    Moose:
    “Remember when we discussed Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and Cody Wild were all pushing up at the same time? Ended up being one in three, and probably a good starting point for conversation surrounding the three current youngsters.”

    This is an excellent point, LT, because I distinctly remember you saying on this blog that they would not all make it despite the ‘up arrows’ at the time.

    Jones and Niemelainen look like they have more complete tool boxes, but Bear has a lot of Brandon Davidson in him. I get to see him a lot (living in Seattle) so I’m biased, but he thinks the game really well, makes the short pass under pressure, and has that plus shot. That said, the way Jones and the Finn skate is always going to give them a head start, and they both have good puck skills.

    It’s going to be really interesting to follow this cluster along with Bergland, Marino, Lagesson. If you get 2 or 3 of those 6 guys to hit, you call it a draft/develop success.

    Petry was a beauty.

    Hit the ground running and kept getting better.

    Mact’s decisions of Skyping Ralph, challenging Petry, Norrising Jultz, doobing Dubnyk, Lordy the damage he did to the rebuild.

  35. Oil2Oilers says:

    Ryan: Just hope that Chiarelli doesn’t trade for Chara after watching this. :/

    What a career, but he is done.

  36. Ryan says:

    HugThePost:
    competition for multiple spots in the line-up……this is going to take some getting used to.

    Imagine a freshly drafted Draisatl written in pen for 2c.

    Now, he’s draft +3 season as 3c/2 RW. That’s progress!!!

  37. Ryan says:

    Okay guys, did I win this thread yet?

  38. frjohnk says:

    Ryan:
    Okay guys, did I win this thread yet?

    Since you are the only one playing…….No, you lost 🙂

  39. Glass says:

    I really hope we see a Davidson/Sekera 2nd pairing. If Sekera does play on his off side I get this funny feeling that Nurse may get the nod over Davidson, purely because the brass is rock hard for him.

  40. stevezie says:

    Ryan,

    Yes.

    I enjoyed you taking credit for team Europe’s success.

  41. Pouzar says:

    Is Ralph runnin the man-to-man D?

  42. YKOil says:

    The road to Trouba lies through Fowler.

    Highly gettable 24yr old LHD, still well-regarded, affordable on 2yr deal, shut-down type so next contract will be for 4+ yrs and remain affordable. Pair Fowler with some combination of prospects and picks and there you have Trouba.

  43. Halfwise says:

    Ryan:
    Okay guys, did I win this thread yet?

    Huh?

    I’ll say no.

  44. bendelson says:

    Ryan:
    Okay guys, did I win this thread yet?

    If you have to ask the question…

  45. frjohnk says:

    bendelson: If you have to ask the question…

    We have a winner

  46. bendelson says:

    My vote would be for:

    E) All of the above.

    frjohnk,

    stevezie,

    Halfwise,

    We are all winners.

  47. Frank the dog says:

    bendelson,

    Roll on hockey.

  48. stevezie says:

    bendelson,

    You keep me out of this

  49. Oilspill says:

    There a people who think the Grittensity componant isn’t important and a thing of the past. McDavid s statement is dead on for you non believers. Chia is doing it right and the old regime was wrong. You need a balance of skill and physicality. Somebody to bust pucks loose instead of being pushed over. Need a meaningfull metric to measure it..PG.. possession gained…PL ..Possession lost.

    Ryan: McDavid sounded thrilled to play with Lucic.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Oilspill:
    There a people who think the Grittensity componant isn’t important and a thing of the past. McDavid s statement is dead on for you non believers. Chia is doing it right and the old regime was wrong. You need a balance of skill and physicality. Somebody to bust pucks loose instead of being pushed over. Need a meaningfull metric to measure it..PG.. possession gained…PL ..Possession lost.

    If you acquire big men who can play the game—like Lucic—then the measures we have in place reflect true value. Hiring big skaters does not help one damn bit, but hiring actual NHL players who can play the game and happen to be giants? Of course!

  51. Bruce Wayne says:

    Oilspill:
    There a people who think the Grittensity componant isn’t important and a thing of the past. McDavid s statement is dead on for you non believers. Chia is doing it right and the old regime was wrong. You need a balance of skill and physicality. Somebody to bust pucks loose instead of being pushed over. Need a meaningfull metric to measure it..PG.. possession gained…PL ..Possession lost.

    I love the idea that the old regime didn’t want gritensity. The old regimes didn’t do anything but add gritensity. That was the biggest criticism of the old regime. They sent skill out the lineup every single chance they had.

  52. Clay says:

    Bruce Wayne: I love the idea that the old regime didn’t want gritensity.The old regimes didn’t do anything but add gritensity.That was the biggest criticism of the old regime. They sent skill out the lineup every single chance they had.

    See the starting lineup G1 of 2009-10 for proof!

    It’s funny how the narrative changes, and how short some peoples’ memories are.

    Team was full of gritty role players. “But we have no skill!”

    Team tanks to acquire some very skilled players. “But we have no grit!”

    Team acquires big gritty guys who can actually play. You know what the next step in this game is?

    “But we’re too slow!”

    Wait for it.

    (This may not happen, but I won’t be surprised to hear it!)

  53. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Yeti:
    “Remember when we discussed Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and Cody Wild were all pushing up at the same time?”
    Seems like yesterday. Is that bad?

    This past season Taylor Chorney played 55 games with the Presidents’ Trophy champions. So maybe 2 of the 3 will wind up making it after all. Meanwhile the underground favourite Cody Wild never did get a sniff.

  54. Woogie63 says:

    Team Europe reminds me of all those Swiss teams Kruger coached. Plug up center ice, counter attack, the goalie see all the shots …. and Kopitor is a hell of a hockey player.

  55. striatic says:

    jonrmcleod:
    McKenzie answered the question “Why didn’t the Oilers trade Hall for Trouba?” His answer: the Jets didn’t want Hall, and the Oilers don’t value Trouba as highly as others do.

    http://www.todaysslapshot.com/from-the-ice/mckenzie-explains-hall-trouba-trade-never-happened/

    There’s also the fact that Hall was signed for long term value, Larsson was signed long term value and Trouba was not. Maybe it is true WPG didn’t like Hall and EDM is lukewarm on Trouba, but a long of other pieces would have had to fall into place to trade Hall’s contract for Trouba’s negotiating rights.

  56. OF17 says:

    Lowetide: If you acquire big men who can play the game—like Lucic—then the measures we have in place reflect true value. Hiring big skaters does not help one damn bit, but hiring actual NHL players who can play the game and happen to be giants? Of course!

    One nice thing about the Chiarelli/McLellan regime is that they value functional size, not just size. These are the people that flushed Gazdic in the same year they added Maroon, Kassian, and Lucic. The Coke Machine era is over, thank Gord, and the functional size era is here for the foreseeable future. Count me among the joyous.

    EDIT: I’m also not sure current measures reflect true value. I think there’s a certain threshold of grit a team needs to reach, below which the rest of the team’s results will start to suffer. Whether that’s because team cohesion suffers when no one is there to stand up for one another, whether grit isolated from skill makes a team more versatile, or whether not reaching that threshold makes teams play scared and lose effectiveness, I think grit has a definite effect on the team not captured in the xGF% and WOWY numbers. I can’t imagine how to begin to quantify that, but I don’t think players and managers are being stubbornly old fashioned when they talk about how important team toughness is. You don’t need to be a St. Louis bruiser, but you need to be able to hold your own like a Chicago or LA, and with recent additions, I think the Oilers are very close to that.

  57. Dixs35 says:

    HT Joe,

    Favorite movie all time.

  58. Yeti says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Meanwhile the underground favourite Cody Wild never did get a sniff.

    So it’s now officially too late to bet he will have the best career of the three? Damn. I’ll have to shift allegiance to a new darkhorse candidate (I missed the Davidson boat). Is Jordan Oesterle the new Cody Wild?

  59. Frank the dog says:

    Clay: See the starting lineup G1 of 2009-10 for proof!

    It’s funny how the narrative changes, and how short some peoples’ memories are.

    Team was full of gritty role players.“But we have no skill!”

    Team tanks to acquire some very skilled players.“But we have no grit!”

    Team acquires big gritty guys who can actually play.You know what the next step in this game is?

    “But we’re too slow!”

    Wait for it.

    (This may not happen, but I won’t be surprised to hear it!)

    I think that came from people who didn’t like us trading our fast #1 LW for a less highly rates defensive defenseman.

  60. zatch says:

    Yeti,

    Well, he’s the pride of the Nottingham Panthers now!

  61. Ryan says:

    bendelson:
    My vote would be for:

    E) All of the above.

    frjohnk,

    stevezie,

    Halfwise,

    We are all winners.

    They outplayed me pretty significantly. I’m an impatient guy and bring that impatience to this situation. Yet, I’m an optimist and I think there are good things ahead.

  62. Ryan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: This past season Taylor Chorney played 55 games with the Presidents’ Trophy champions. So maybe 2 of the 3 will wind up making it after all. Meanwhile the underground favourite Cody Wild never did get a sniff.

    Let us not forget.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2010/4/9/1412971/the-shift-in-chart-form

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca