OILERS NO. 13 PROSPECT (winter 2016) GRIFFIN REINHART

Google ‘Griffin Reinhart’ or search on twitter and you are likely to find endless negative passages about him from Oilers fans. In a real way, Reinhart never had a chance to be a popular Oiler, certainly not at the level he had been as an Oil King. And of course, the Leftorium made acquiring GR a strange item in the first place.

None of those items has one thing to do with this ranking. Griffin Reinhart is falling down these rankings because, despite being the No. 4 overall pick in 2012, he has not impressed enough in pro hockey to establish himself as a strong NHL option. Approaching the halfway point of the final year of his entry-level deal, Griffin Reinhart appears to be at a crossroads.

PREVIOUSLY NO. 13 ON THE WINTER LIST

  • December 2004: C Jesse Niinimaki (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2005: C Jonas Almtorp (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2006: D Bryan Young (17) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2007: L Liam Reddox (100) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2008: L Slava Trukhno (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2009: L Phil Cornet (2) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2010: C Ryan Martindale (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2011: L Tobias Rieder (173) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2012: L Tobias Rieder (173) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2013: D Taylor Fedun (18) (FA signing, GM Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2014: D Martin Gernat (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2015: D Caleb Jones (0) (GM: Peter Chiarelli)

If the author of the rankings is doing his job right, this is what a rankings list should look like at No. 13. The only actual NHL player is Tobias Rieder, and the rest fell away before establishing themselves as NHL players. Griffin Reinhart has played in 37 NHL games already, and will likely have graduated by the summer list.

reinhart griffin

WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY

  • Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus: What separates him from other big defensemen is that he has the puck skills to make people miss, execute all the little plays in tight quarters, and to deliver crisp, accurate passes consistently. Reinhart also has a more aggressive offensive element to his game as he will join the rush and doesn’t shy from being creative in the offensive end of the rink. He also has a pretty big shot from the point that he can put a lot of his big frame into. The thing that has seen Reinhart establish himself so well in the industry has been his improvements.
  • Grant McCagg, tsn: Strengths: Very few 6-4 blueliners can skate and handle the puck like Reinhart, and those attributes alone will intrigue lots of scouts. Has a hard point shot that often finds its mark, good passing skills. Weaknesses: Does not always play with an abundance of passion and drive. Could be more assertive physically, and more consistent in his effort.
  • BJ MacDonald, central scouting: “He’s got nice, soft hands for a big defenseman, can run the power play and has a big shot — both the wrist shot and slapper. He moves the puck as well as anyone in this year’s draft and I like the way he thinks the game. He’s got a nice pro style that will make for an easier transition to the (NHL).”
  • Craig Button:  He has a an excellent understanding of the game with a composure and patience that may suggest a lack of urgency but don’t be confused, his competitive waters run deep and he’s capable of being aggressive and assertive when necessary. He is a very good skater with strong balance and agility and along with his size, he is extremely difficult to break down 1-1 and gain an advantage on. He uses his body effectively and doesn’t lose position and is capable of punishing opponents. His vision is very good, he sees the play unfolding, knows what his options are and is capable of doing this very quickly. He makes very good plays in all areas of the game and ones that gain advantages for his team. His offensive skills continue to evolve and he is increasingly confident creating offense. Griffin has an assuredness in his play and along with his skill and physical attributes, makes him a player who has a chance to be an impact player in the NHL.

MEMORIAL CUP ANALYTICS

  • Megan Richardson: “What is there to say about Griffin Reinhart? Here’s a guy who played probably every even strength shift against the Petan line or the De Leo line, two monster entry and possession lines. At the beginning of the regular season, those six players carried the puck in an average of 84% of the time. And yet, playing against that top competition, he had the greatest percentage of break-ups and fewest shot attempts against per entry of all Edmonton’s defensemen, rivaled only by Irving, who played cupcake minutes. To see the true impact he had on entries, we can look at his defensive partner Ashton Sautner, no slouch himself, and see how he got burned. After seeing this, I don’t disagree with his choice as MVP of the series.” Source

PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING

  • Summer 2015: No. 4
  • Winter 2015: No. 5
  • Summer 2016: No. 10
  • Winter 2016: No. 13

The reason he was drafted No. 4 overall, and the reason Edmonton traded for him, are contained in the words of Megan Richardson above. We are not seeing those skills in evidence enough to project him into the NHL as a regular, but last season he wasn’t that far behind Darnell Nurse:

NURSE V REINHART

If you glanced at those numbers without knowing the names (and the organization’s devotion to said players), it would be reasonable to walk away thinking these prospects are fairly close together. Their projected futures based on these numbers should be somewhat similar, but in the months since the end of the 2015-16 season, things have changed.

reinhart photo by mark williams

Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved

REINHART IN THE AHL

reinhart-numbers

These are the Reinhart AHL numbers, I can tell you the NHLEs going back to junior are not terribly different than his first two pro seasons. His WHL NHLEs were 12.4, 13.74, 10.88 and 10.33. His AHL NHLEs are 14.37 and 12.84. We knew on his draft day (as above scouting reports show) that a lot of his value would come from his defensive play, and the offense over (now) six seasons plus five games confirms it. Breaking news: We have this side of his skill set surrounded.

You may not hold a shutdown defender in high value, but there is zero doubt Reinhart was a good one in junior. His inability to transport those skills to the pro level are the reason we are discussing this player so late in the process this year.

2016-17

  • Lowetide blog, September: Griffin Reinhart had a poor outing. He scored a goal, but was caught flat-footed several times, made some decisions you should not see from a player with his experience and generally looked unready. Reinhart always looks (to me) as though he is playing himself into shape, while all these other fellows are already there. Source
  • Griffin Reinhart: “I put a lot of work in in the off-season. My strength, lots of power-skating. be more aggressive, play with more urgency, closing on people.” Source
  • Lowetide blog, OctoberPlaying on what looks like the top pairing with Jordan Oesterle, he is +2 and the star of a twitter vine that shows him winning a fight. This is a big season for the big man. Source
  • Lowetide blog, November: A back issue has him on the sidelines and complicates an already frustrating season for the young defender. He is 4gp, 0-0-0 this year. The thing Peter Chiarelli is going to have to figure out: Is there a place for GR on a team that already boasts LD Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Darnell Nurse and Brandon Davidson? I haven’t talked to any observer who ranks him ahead of these players. Source
  • Todd McLellan: “Griffin has to improve his game in every area to be a National Hockey Leaguer. He has to get stronger, his (defensive) reads. He has to get down into the American League and understand that because he’s got work to do to get back here. That was the message delivered to him and he accepted it, well.” Source

All of the rest of this post is window dressing. The McLellan quote is the money here, and there is no real way to dance around it. Combined with Bob’s measured tweet that doesn’t mention Kris Russell by name, we get real insight into what the team was thinking entering and exiting training camp. Griffin Reinhart may have another real chance with the Edmonton Oilers and he also may not have one left. This is reality.

reinhair off ir capture

THE FUTURE

Griffin Reinhart’s game at the NHL level was not a far distance from that of Darnell Nurse a year ago, when both men struggled in the NHL. I spoke to Tom Lynn (a player agent and former NHL general manager and assistant general manager) about him on the Lowdown this week. Lynn said a team (like Las Vegas) looking to add Reinhart might feel he could be their No. 5 defender for a decade, and provide a physical edge with reliable play.

It’s also possible the Edmonton Oilers feel Reinhart has a strong future with the organization. A left side of Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Reinhart may be in place in the coming years, offering the club some size and rugged play on the port side. A big part of the story has to be written by Reinhart himself. That McLellan conversation must have been a difficult one and maybe he uses it as fuel to work his way back to the NHL.

THE 2012 DRAFT

  • Nail Yakupov, No. 1 overall. Now playing for the St. Louis Blues. Graduated to the NHL.
  • Griffin Reinhart, No. 4 overall. At such a young age: Crossroads. No. 13 prospect, Winter Top 20.
  • Mitch Moroz, No. 32 overall. Seems to be getting more playing time in the final year of his entry-level deal. Candidate for the Top 20.
  • Jujhar Khaira, No. 63 overall. Khaira is one of the few success stories for Edmonton from this draft and is poised to begin his NHL career. Still a reasonable range of possibilities as far as future role, and we wait to see how he will be deployed. No. 9 prospect, Winter Top 20.
  • Daniil Zharkov, No. 91 overall. Now playing in the KHL. No longer in the organization.
  • Erik Gustafsson, No. 93 overall. Currently in the AHL (Chicago). No longer in the organization.
  • Joey Laleggia, No. 123 overall. Small puck mover has offense and chaos. A candidate for the Top 20.
  • John McCarron, No. 153 overall. Now in the ECHL. No longer part of the organization.
  • Drake Caggiula, not drafted. Passed through the 2012 entry draft, Edmonton signing him in the spring. Some offensive success (7gp, 0-2-2) early in his NHL career. No. 3 prospect, Winter Top 20.
  • Matt Benning, drafted No. 175 overall in 2012. I think he might be the real thing. Now at 16gp, 0-4-4, he is mobile and can move the puck. An excellent addition. No. 4 prospect, Winter Top 20.

ROLLING TOP 20

rolling-top-20

We are a baker’s dozen through the Top 20, and the defense looks deep enough to consider a strength. Even better, more blue to come and that will add to the overall feeling that the cupboards are full. Still only one goaltender, and the wingers are going to be an empty room once Puljujarvi, Slepyshev and Caggiula graduate (Tyler Pitlick played his 50th game last evening, he has now graduated from the list). Reinhart does help in one important area: Pro defensive depth.

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71 Responses to "OILERS NO. 13 PROSPECT (winter 2016) GRIFFIN REINHART"

  1. Halfwise says:

    I wish him the best.

    Chiarelli has paid dearly for two flawed D-men. As a fan I can’t judge either GR or AL on their play alone; in the back of my mind it he acquisition cost keeps affecting my judgment.

    Unfair to both players but there you have it.

  2. Lowetide says:

    William Lagesson has an assist early tonight.

  3. Aron_S says:

    When I think of Reinhart’s ceiling, I think of this excellent article by Willis: http://oilersnation.com/2015/6/26/it-s-too-early-to-write-off-griffin-reinhart

    I really hoped that Reinhart would be the exception. It has not turned out that way and now we move on.

    LT: In a completely unrelated question, in hindsight, and if you’re building a new team, do you still prefer Sam Bennett over Leon?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Aron_S:
    When I think of Reinhart’s ceiling, I think of this excellent article by Willis: http://oilersnation.com/2015/6/26/it-s-too-early-to-write-off-griffin-reinhart

    I really hoped that Reinhart would be the exception. It has not turned out that way and now we move on.

    LT: In a completely unrelated question, in hindsight, and if you’re building a new team, do you still prefer Sam Bennett over Leon?

    I don’t rank the draft list based on who I would rather build my team around, it is BPA. And for me, Bennett was the BPA. I don’t think we can say with any authority either man has distanced himself from the other, and as I said at the time am quite pleased Leon was the choice.

  5. sliderule says:

    I liked Reinhart with oil kings.

    When they made that trade I went to isles blogs and they were chortling.

    What did bloggers see that our pro scouts missed

    It was the same when they picked up Barker.The bloggers were laughing at us.

    Rule no one for oilers GM don’t trust scouts read bloggers of team you trade with.

  6. Georges says:

    Lots of negative comments on Kris Russell in the morning thread.

    According to Corsica, when Russell was with Columbus and St. Louis (the first 6 years of his career), he was on the good side of score and venue adjusted Fenwick (the gold standard shot metric).

    He went to Calgary, played for Bob Hartley, a coach who didn’t care about Corsi, and he lost the shot metric script. His numbers plummeted.

    He’s in Edmonton now, playing for TMac, a coach who does care about shot metrics, and his numbers are creeping above sea level. And TMac gives him the second most ice time for defensemen on his team.

    So do we see Kris Russell in the shot metrics numbers or do we see the teams and coaches he plays for? Do coaches give minutes to players who don’t do what they want them to do?

    The reason people question evidence is not always because people are unreasonable but because sometimes the evidence is questionable.

  7. meanashell11 says:

    What the hell went wrong with this kid? He had the pedigree, he had the junior career. WTF?????

  8. Lowetide says:

    Georges:

    He’s in Edmonton now, playing for TMac, a coach who does care about shot metrics, and his numbers are creeping above sea level.

    Can you describe the sea level comment? Do you mean 50 percent Corsi for 5×5?

  9. Lowetide says:

    meanashell11:
    What the hell went wrong with this kid? He had the pedigree, he had the junior career. WTF?????

    Well, I think he may have a conditioning issue, and there were some complaints about passive play (although as an Oil King he was aggressive).

  10. Georges says:

    Lowetide,

    On Corsica, searched for Russell, went back to 2007-08 and selected 5v5 and score and venue adjusted. I’m looking at the FF% column. With the Oilers this year, it says it’s 50.03. I’m saying 50 is sea level.

  11. LMHF#1 says:

    Reinhart had the classic Western dman game that seems to fool scouts. He was never going to be as good as they tried to claim. Couple that with what looks like a lack of motivation and there you go.

    I didn’t see him as aggressive with the Oil Kings though LT. He made some of the laziest corner plays I’ve seen in junior. He coasted on size. Cant do that in the pros. Then he was “good with the puck” but not skilled.

    Perfect recipe to fool scouts. Not to mention he was on one hell of a team.

    Where the Oilers made a mistake was that at pro he’d done nothing. They didn’t want to hear that.

  12. Lowetide says:

    One prospect who seems to have a pulse? Bogdan Yakimov. Now at 26gp, 3-5-8 in the KHL after a recent flurry. Still miles to go, and I doubt we see him in Edmonton again, but you never know he could grab a job after expansion.

  13. Ryan says:

    Halfwise:
    I wish him the best.

    Chiarelli has paid dearly for two flawed D-men. As a fan I can’t judge either GR or AL on their play alone; in the back of my mind it he acquisition cost keeps affecting my judgment.

    Unfair to both players but there you have it.

    Yes, I too wish GR all of the best. I hope he realizes that none of the vitriol was meant for him personally–rather for the trade itself.

    I’ll go to my grave believing that Chiarelli did not make the final call on the GR trade–until Chiarelli himself tells me otherwise.

    Either way, he acquitted himself to certain degree by acquiring Benning for nothing.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Georges:
    Lowetide,

    On Corsica, searched for Russell, went back to 2007-08 and selected 5v5 and score and venue adjusted. I’m looking at the FF% column. With the Oilers this year, it says it’s 50.03. I’m saying 50 is sea level.

    Ah. Okay. Well, I use Hockey Analysis (here)
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?disp=1&db=201617&sit=5v5&pos=defense&minutes=50&teamid=12&type=fenwick&sort=PCTRelTM&sortdir=DESC

    and they have him at 49.0. I like to use CorsiRel (there are many who do not, so beware) and he is -5.2 Rel. I think we could reasonably say that some of that is due to playing off hand, and of course visually he has been more appealing than the numbers suggest.

    I have said before, and will say again, I prefer veteran NHL defensemen. I am not opposed to the current Russell contract.

  15. JDï™ says:

    For more Steve Earle, search out the Nashville episode of Sonic Highways. The entire season of SH is fantastic, but the Nashville episode features an interview with Earle.

  16. 36 percent body fat says:

    meanwhile, Barzal looks like a perfect replacement for Eberle and Carlo is already playing 22 mimutes a night for the Bruins. 6’5″ 220 lb right D.

    This wouldnt have happened if MacT was cleared from the organization before that draft.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Steve Earle is my music and threads Willie and Emmylou but also Lowell George and Waylon too. If you take texas, alabama and all those southern states, and all the way back to the Carter Family, somewhere in there is where I find my Dad. Every time.

  18. Georges says:

    Lowetide,

    Hockey Analysis doesn’t have score adjusted stats LT. Also, I use Fenwick because Corsi punishes shot blockers like Russell and Tulsky had good predictive results using Fenwick.

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2012/1/23/2722089/score-adjusted-fenwick

    If you take a look at Russell’s stats in the different game states (leading, trailing, and even), you’ll see he’s spending more time on ice while the Oilers are leading than in either of the other states. He’s at 52.73 FF% with the lead and below 50 in the other states.

    So, relative to the average player in the same situation, he doesn’t help us tilt the ice when we’re trailing, possibly hurts us when it’s even, but he does help us when we’re leading. Maybe TMac trusts him for a reason.

  19. Ryan says:

    36 percent body fat:
    meanwhile, Barzal looks like a perfect replacement for Eberle and Carlo is already playing 22 mimutes a night for the Bruins.6’5″ 220 lb right D.

    This wouldnt have happened if MacT was cleared from the organization before that draft.

    Where was Carlo on Mckenzie’s list?

  20. kinger_OIL says:

    Ryan: Yes, I too wish GR all of the best. I hope he realizes that none of the vitriol was meant for him personally–rather for the trade itself.

    I’ll go to my grave believing that Chiarelli did not make the final call on the GR trade–until Chiarelli himself tells me otherwise.

    Either way, he acquitted himself to certain degree by acquiring Benning for nothing.

    – This is my bias as well. Sek siged as a FA on July 1st (so that was locked down), Chia thought he had Hamilton as well: which would have been a monster off-season D improvement

    – Chia knew Hamilton of course, so when that failed, he had to come up with another plan to acquire a “NHL-ready D” because he knew that was team’s weakness And Griff was the guy the OBC wanted in 2012 (well him or Murray), so this was the OBC opportunity to right the Yak wrong.

    – I think this logic holds up

  21. Lowetide says:

    Georges:
    Lowetide,

    Hockey Analysis doesn’t have score adjusted stats LT. Also, I use Fenwick because Corsi punishes shot blockers like Russell and Tulsky had good predictive results using Fenwick.

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2012/1/23/2722089/score-adjusted-fenwick

    If you take a look at Russell’s stats in the different game states (leading, trailing, and even), you’ll see he’s spending more time on ice while the Oilers are leading than in either of the other states. He’s at 52.73 FF% with the lead and below 50 in the other states.

    So, relative to the average player in the same situation, he doesn’t help us tilt the ice when we’re trailing, possibly hurts us when it’s even, but he does help us when we’re leading. Maybe TMac trusts him for a reason.

    How much of this is McDavid zoom? Would also mention again that Russell is not a player I am opposed to, have stated this all down the line.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Dylan Wells stopping 27 of 29 so far, 4-2 for the Petes after two.

  23. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: How much of this is McDavid zoom? Would also mention again that Russell is not a player I am opposed to, have stated this all down the line.

    Bob Stauffer was really pumping Russell’s tires today. I was rushing to Starbucks, but heard him say something about a gentleman’s agreement at $4m over…didn’t catch the term. ?5 years?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: Bob Stauffer was really pumping Russel’s tires today. I was rushing to Starbucks, but heard him say something about a gentleman’s agreement at $4m over…didn’t catch the term. ?5 years?

    That would be a mistake.

  25. JDï™ says:

    Ryan: but heard him say something about a gentleman’s agreement at $4m over…

    Oh great – sign Rustle AND lose a draft pick for circumventing the rules.

    One more thing, if your internet connection goes down tonight, it will be because all the intertubes have overheated due to a negative Rustle piece over at ON.

  26. Ryan says:

    sliderule:
    I liked Reinhartwith oil kings.

    When they made that trade I went to isles blogs and they were chortling.

    What did bloggers see that our pro scouts missed

    It was the same when they picked up Barker.The bloggers were laughing at us.

    Rule no one for oilers GM don’t trust scouts read bloggers of team you trade with.

    “Chortling” is a very apt description.

    I remember the Reinhart trade like it was yesterday.

    I was completely irate because after watching an inept organization poorly manage players and assets for years, my hope for a new regime was crushed in a instant…

    When they did the same thing they always do… in this case spend like a drunken sailor on a player they didn’t need whose stock was already crashing. Everyone seemed to know this but them. The end result was predictable.

    Stupid people executing stupid trades and on and on it goes.

    I dm’ed Woodguy and we exchanged pleasantries over our mutual displeasure with the trade.

    Then I went to Lighthouse Hockey where everyone was chortling over the trade proclaiming Snow as a wizard.

  27. D says:

    Man I hope there’s a hidden Craig Muni somewhere inside GR waiting to burst out, because right now it certainly seems that Garth Snow fleeced Peter Chiarelli.

  28. Ryan says:

    JDï™: Oh great – sign Rustle AND lose a draft pick for circumventing the rules.

    One more thing, if your internet connection goes down tonight, it will be because all the intertubes have overheated due to a negative Rustle piece over at ON.

    Well, I think he was throwing around a hypothetical…

  29. JDï™ says:

    Ryan: Well, I think he was throwing around a hypothetical…

    We’ll have to crowd fund for Steve Smith to connect Stauffer to Chia, and prove intent. Unless he will do it Sonny Bono.

  30. Diablo says:

    MacT really screwed this team when he favoured Schultz over Petry. We knew it then, as we know it now.

    Reinhart’s still young – he might figure things out. That being said, Chia should move on from him. Reinhart may have been his call, but this decision was predicated on the advice of others. Time to close the book on that chapter. Maybe Buffalo would like to reunite him with his brother. Or convince LV to take him in the expansion draft.

  31. Bank Shot says:

    36 percent body fat:
    meanwhile, Barzal looks like a perfect replacement for Eberle and Carlo is already playing 22 mimutes a night for the Bruins.6’5″ 220 lb right D.

    This wouldnt have happened if MacT was cleared from the organization before that draft.

    Barzal looks like a guy that will never score 20 goals in an NHL season.

    RNH was nicked for his junior goal scoring and Barzal is way inferior in that regard.

  32. Scungilli says:

    Ryan: Bob Stauffer was really pumping Russell’s tires today. I was rushing to Starbucks, but heard him say something about a gentleman’s agreement at $4m over…didn’t catch the term. ?5 years?

    We can only hope that they choose to aim their sights higher than this. If they do something this uncreative I won’t know what to think. We fans demand relief from the leftorium.

  33. JDï™ says:

    Scungilli: We can only hope that they choose to aim their sights higher than this.

    Hoping this is something GMoney will mention tomorrow.

  34. kinger_OIL says:

    Diablo,

    – Because of MacT he have Run CmD! When I see MacT in person, I will thank him for that

  35. Scungilli says:

    JDï™: Hoping this is something GMoney will mention tomorrow.

    And is heard.

  36. JDï™ says:

    Scungilli: And is heard.

    Why would they invite him and then igno… nvmd.

  37. VOR says:

    What happened to Griffin Reinhart?

    Well first off the Oilers are loaded on the left side. And his bonus situation was always going to make it especially hard for him to make the Oilers this year.

    Second, it is incredibly obvious he can’t play the right side.

    Third, Griffin seems to be one of those athletes who struggles to understand that more exercise isn’t better exercise. As a long time strength and training coach I find it easy to believe (and there is independent confirmation) that he has worked his ass off the last three summers. But he hasn’t learned how to push his threshold levels higher probably because he doesn’t achieve optimum intensity profiles. That said, I want to point out he is certainly far fitter than any of the bloggers, myself included, who question his fitness. By the way, the back thing could well be an over training injury.

    Fourth, Griffin isn’t getting the same minutes he got in Junior. He isn’t playing the power play. That is where his outstanding shot and ability to read the game made him a key part of the Oil Kings offence. It is ironic that the one prospect we have who was an above average power play quarterback in Junior has yet to get a chance to run the Oilers anemic power play. Or really gotten much of an opportunity to run a powerplay in the AHL.

    Fifth, Griffin has a definitional problem. He sees himself in unreasonable terms. He used to regularly describe himself as a cross between Chris Pronger and Shea Weber. Scouting reports kept saying he was a talented hitter but never went out of his way to make a hit. He never took a risk and forced a body check. Does that sound like either Weber or Pronger? The thing is that the opportunity to make zero risk hits is nearly non-existent in the NHL. Every NHL player knows what Jeff Skinner learned the hard way, you keep your head up. Griffin needs to learn to take the mid range opportunity cost hit. Think how often Darnell Nurse leaves himself defensively vulnerable to go headhunting.

    Sixth, Griffin needs to learn, and it probably comes with experience, when to deploy the fact that for a big man he can really skate. This goes hand in hand with realizing that however much he works on his skating he will always be vulnerable to being run by smaller, more nimble skaters. Again, he isn’t Darnell Nurse who is simply a great skater. The best way to think about it is to say Griffin is a very fast and highly agile pylon. As long as he remembers he is a pylon and plays with somebody like Osterle who can do puck retrieval when Griffin messes up the other team’s zone entry he will be a perfectly serviceable NHL skater.

    Now having said that, and I am sure it sounds like I am down on the young man, if I was Las Vegas he would be the player I would take off the Oilers hands. I am thinking that when he matures he will be Andy Sutton. Well a faster, better defenceman version of Andy Sutton. Better with the puck as well but the same sort of player type. In other words a defensive defenceman who can jump into the play occasionally, run your 2nd power play unit, crank people, and fight. A really good 5/6 for a decade or more, one that might wear a letter on his chest much of that time. And of course be a fan favorite. Now wouldn’t that be funny?

  38. Timeisnow says:

    I like GR, he was a very good junior all his skills should have translated to the NHL. Griffen has the hockey IQ, but I don’t think he really wants to do what it takes to play in the NHL. He needs to play mean and aggressive but I’m starting to wonder if it’s in him. A itch that needed to be scratched and it was.

  39. Ryan says:

    JDï™: Hoping this is something GMoney will mention tomorrow.

    We once held out hope that they would listen to Dellow.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Hamilton from Lander and Beck 1-0 Bakersfield.

  41. CrazyCoach says:

    Lowetide: Steve Earle is my music and threads Willie and Emmylou but also Lowell George and Waylon too. If you take texas, alabama and all those southern states, and all the way back to the Carter Family, somewhere in there is where I find my Dad. Every time.

    LT, somewhere in there you’ll find my dad to. Add in Bakersfield and Dyess Arkansas and you definitely find my dad to. My dad wasn’t much of a hockey guy, but I learned how to sing listening to his 8-tracks driving down the road as a kid in that blue Dodge boat.

  42. dustrock says:

    They make Reinhart sound like Larsson in those reports. He lacks urgency. Doesn’t have the fire, unlike Nurse. He’s done. Called him Colton Teubert 3 years ago on Twitter and its the most accurate I’ve ever been. Terrible trade at the time, terrible trade in 2016. Sorry Reinhart, you were a #4 pick somehow. By an order of magnitude, including the Hall trade, Chiarelli’s worst trade.

    And Matheson in the EJ started talking about a $4m/year contract with Russell, a gentleman’s agreement b/c we can’t sign UFA until Jan 1st. Barf. Now Stauffer is running with it? Guess we know what that means.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Ethan Bear with a goal, now 24, 9-11-20.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Hamilton with his second of the night, from Lander and Beck. Again.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Benik scores, from Khaira. 3-0.

  46. Glass says:

    If we do sign Russel to $4 million I’ll be deeply disappointed.

  47. JDï™ says:

    Ryan: We once held out hope that they would listen to Dellow.

    I’ve held onto hope for 10 years. I think it’s a condition.

  48. tcho says:

    It’s really weird looking at the adjusted Corsi for all of our dmen this year. They’re basically all >50% (Well, Rustle’s 49%). Man… when’s the last time we had A dman >50%? Seems like forever, but maybe my jaded mind is playing tricks on me.

    Also – Larsson was a painful acquisition cost, but I’m impressed. 54%CF (adjusted), and I’d imagine against the toughest opposition.

  49. fifthcartel says:

    I thought Stauffer said he wouldn’t sign Russell to an extension today?

    zach laing ‏@zjlaing 9h9 hours ago
    .@Bob_Stauffer doesn’t feel the Oilers should extend Russell.

    I only caught the last ~hour and Woodguy’s segment (awesome, btw).

    There’s talk about being aggressive or assertive relative to Reinhart but honestly I just think he doesn’t skate or move the puck well enough to overcome one or the other.

    The trade was always perplexing with the lefties already in Edmonton and having Reinhart’s skillset in spades, like you mentioned. I wonder if they thought Reinhart was a different player, but it was a poor trade then and looks even worse now that he might get taken in expansion.

    I’m curious about Davidson vs Reinhart with Las Vegas. I know the obvious choice seems like Davidson, but Reinhart was drafted high and has more years under control.

  50. Diesel says:

    Sounds like a bit of a runaway train here regarding Stauffer on Russell.

    I was listening and IIRC Stauffer was clearly hesitant about committing to the player in any way until the season is over and you have a good idea of what he is. And even then it would depend highly on the FA class.

    He also suggested that Stone from AZ might be a better solution, particularly after a deadline deal sends him our way for a test drive.

  51. CrazyCoach says:

    I know people have crapped on GR quite a bit. His career is nowhere near what was projected, and this season more than anything, will determine whether or not the Oilers will keep him at the end of his ELC. My gut feeling says no, but somewhere out there, there may be another team that is looking for a hulking defender. I have some quick thoughts on this situation and from what I’ve heard. These will come quickly, ala Larry King.

    I’m not surprised at his back injury, particularly when he came to camp out of shape. Back injuries, in a multi-directional sport like hockey, can probably be attributed to a soft core, 75-80% of the time.

    Lots of people, including me, brought up Barzal as the cost for this pick. From my lower mainland spy network, I’ve heard Barzal is a 2 for 1 deal, meaning, you get him, you get the parents. Hopefully they’ve got an agent handling things, but I know for a fact Mama Barzal burst into the Seattle GM’s office after a few games and demanded to know why her son wasn’t on the PP. He’s not scoring at a high rate, and the reality is, would the Oilers have taken him anyway?

    GR played on a high achieving team and may have had his stats inflated by better team mates. Call it the London Knights effect.

    30 years ago, Glen Sather said he thought the best hockey players came from working class families. It was part of the reason, the Oilers looked to Finland when everyone else was looking in Sweden. I’m not saying it may be a huge factor, but GR didn’t grow up in your typical hockey household. I know that in the lower mainland, you have to be good to rise to the top of the heap, unlike say Northern BC where you’re #1 may not register in the lower mainland top 30, but some times, it pays to know the right people. Coaches, scouts, GM’s, some times get star struck.

    Just my thoughts.

  52. who says:

    Speaking of prospects. Been watching Benson play tonight. This is the third or fourth time I’ve seen him this year and am having trouble seeing him as a great prospect. Nothing stands out at the WHL level. Average speed, average size, doesn’t really carry the play. Hard to believe he was almost given exceptional status three years ago. Maybe he was just an early maturing kid, or am I missing something?

  53. Chachi says:

    who:
    Speaking of prospects. Been watching Benson play tonight. This is the third or fourth time I’ve seen him this year and am having trouble seeing him as a great prospect. Nothing stands out at the WHL level. Average speed, average size, doesn’t really carry the play. Hard to believe he was almost given exceptional status three years ago. Maybe he was just an early maturing kid, or am I missing something?

    I am guessing you are not the person who chose him as the first star of tonight’s game then?

  54. MrEd says:

    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle. These are the Fates. Above or below the playoff cutoff me thinks, will they determine.

  55. Bruce Wayne says:

    VOR:
    What happened to Griffin Reinhart?

    Well first off the Oilers are loaded on the left side. And his bonus situation was always going to make it especially hard for him to make the Oilers this year.

    Second, it is incredibly obvious he can’t play the right side.

    Third, Griffin seems to be one of those athletes who struggles to understand that more exercise isn’t better exercise. As a long time strength and training coach I find it easy to believe (and there is independent confirmation) that he has worked his ass off the last three summers. But he hasn’t learned how to push his threshold levels higher probably because he doesn’t achieve optimum intensity profiles. That said, I want to point out he is certainly far fitter than any of the bloggers, myself included, who question his fitness. By the way, the back thing could well be an over training injury.

    Fourth, Griffin isn’t getting the same minutes he got in Junior. He isn’t playing the power play. That is where his outstanding shot and ability to read the game made him a key part of the Oil Kings offence. It is ironic that the one prospect we have who was an above average power play quarterback in Junior has yet to get a chance to run the Oilers anemic power play. Or really gotten much of an opportunity to run a powerplay in the AHL.

    Fifth, Griffin has a definitional problem. He sees himself in unreasonable terms. He used to regularly describe himself as a cross between Chris Pronger and Shea Weber. Scouting reports kept saying he was a talented hitter but never went out of his way to make a hit. He never took a risk and forced a body check. Does that sound like either Weber or Pronger? The thing is that the opportunity to make zero risk hits is nearly non-existent in the NHL. Every NHL player knows what Jeff Skinner learned the hard way, you keep your head up. Griffin needs to learn to take the mid range opportunity cost hit. Think how often Darnell Nurse leaves himself defensively vulnerable to go headhunting.

    Sixth, Griffin needs to learn, and it probably comes with experience, when to deploy the fact that for a big man he can really skate. This goes hand in hand with realizing that however much he works on his skating he will always be vulnerable to being run by smaller, more nimble skaters. Again, he isn’t Darnell Nurse who is simply a great skater. The best way to think about it is to say Griffin is a very fast and highly agile pylon. As long as he remembers he is a pylon and plays with somebody like Osterle who can do puck retrieval when Griffin messes up the other team’s zone entry he will be a perfectly serviceable NHL skater.

    Now having said that, and I am sure it sounds like I am down on the young man, if I was Las Vegas he would be the player I would take off the Oilers hands. I am thinking that when he matures he will be Andy Sutton. Well a faster, better defenceman version of Andy Sutton. Better with the puck as well but the same sort of player type. In other words a defensive defenceman who can jump into the play occasionally, run your 2nd power play unit, crank people, and fight. A really good 5/6 for a decade or more, one that might wear a letter on his chest much of that time. And of course be a fan favorite. Now wouldn’t that be funny?

    Down on him? This is the most optimistic I can imagine a person being about Reinhart.

    Reinhart would kill to be able to skate and handle the puck like Andy Sutton.

    Run your second power play unit? All I have is question marks at this statement.

  56. JDï™ says:

    Chachi: first star

    Pfft… stats…

  57. JimmyV1965 says:

    Ryan: Bob Stauffer was really pumping Russell’s tires today. I was rushing to Starbucks, but heard him say something about a gentleman’s agreement at $4m over…didn’t catch the term. ?5 years?

    I really think Russell has been a great addition to a team needing decent dmen. He’s a good fit for this team today and he’s cheap. A $4 million deal though would be insanity. He doesn’t even fit into our long term plans. I could see a real cap friendly deal at maybe $3 million because it might make him attractive to Vegas, but any real money and term would further erode my confidence in Chia.

  58. SumOil says:

    CrazyCoach,
    Replying to the last part of your comment about sat her and working class families

    I think that had to do with fitness levels. Now that is less of an issue

  59. franksterra says:

    MrEd,

    Hard to disagree. You could add to the list but as our quality vets they are at the top.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Chachi: I am guessing you are not the person who chose him as the first star of tonight’s game then?

    Haha. I thought he had an excellent game, but came away (as always) wondering how much talent he has to play with each night. The Giants need some skill. Badly.

  61. theres oil in virginia says:

    VOR:
    What happened to Griffin Reinhart?

    Well first off the Oilers are loaded on the left side. And his bonus situation was always going to make it especially hard for him to make the Oilers this year.

    Second, it is incredibly obvious he can’t play the right side.

    Third, Griffin seems to be one of those athletes who struggles to understand that more exercise isn’t better exercise. As a long time strength and training coach I find it easy to believe (and there is independent confirmation) that he has worked his ass off the last three summers. But he hasn’t learned how to push his threshold levels higher probably because he doesn’t achieve optimum intensity profiles. That said, I want to point out he is certainly far fitter than any of the bloggers, myself included, who question his fitness. By the way, the back thing could well be an over training injury.

    Fourth, Griffin isn’t getting the same minutes he got in Junior. He isn’t playing the power play. That is where his outstanding shot and ability to read the game made him a key part of the Oil Kings offence. It is ironic that the one prospect we have who was an above average power play quarterback in Junior has yet to get a chance to run the Oilers anemic power play. Or really gotten much of an opportunity to run a powerplay in the AHL.

    Fifth, Griffin has a definitional problem. He sees himself in unreasonable terms. He used to regularly describe himself as a cross between Chris Pronger and Shea Weber. Scouting reports kept saying he was a talented hitter but never went out of his way to make a hit. He never took a risk and forced a body check. Does that sound like either Weber or Pronger? The thing is that the opportunity to make zero risk hits is nearly non-existent in the NHL. Every NHL player knows what Jeff Skinner learned the hard way, you keep your head up. Griffin needs to learn to take the mid range opportunity cost hit. Think how often Darnell Nurse leaves himself defensively vulnerable to go headhunting.

    Sixth, Griffin needs to learn, and it probably comes with experience, when to deploy the fact that for a big man he can really skate. This goes hand in hand with realizing that however much he works on his skating he will always be vulnerable to being run by smaller, more nimble skaters. Again, he isn’t Darnell Nurse who is simply a great skater. The best way to think about it is to say Griffin is a very fast and highly agile pylon. As long as he remembers he is a pylon and plays with somebody like Osterle who can do puck retrieval when Griffin messes up the other team’s zone entry he will be a perfectly serviceable NHL skater.

    Now having said that, and I am sure it sounds like I am down on the young man, if I was Las Vegas he would be the player I would take off the Oilers hands. I am thinking that when he matures he will be Andy Sutton. Well a faster, better defenceman version of Andy Sutton. Better with the puck as well but the same sort of player type. In other words a defensive defenceman who can jump into the play occasionally, run your 2nd power play unit, crank people, and fight. A really good 5/6 for a decade or more, one that might wear a letter on his chest much of that time. And of course be a fan favorite. Now wouldn’t that be funny?

    Just so you don’t think this post was a waste of effort, this is a very interesting post, and thanks for posting it.

    So, we’re left with two positions being stated: (1) GR came to camp out of shape because he did not train during the summer, and (2) GR overtrained, or trained in the wrong fashion, and ended up not being in the right shape and hurt his back.

    Personally, my intuition says that a young man like GR is not going to come to camp out of shape when he is on the cusp of making an NHL roster and perhaps being a part of a very good run for the next few years. Alternatively, it’s hard to imagine that he would be left to train without any advice from good trainers, either his own or those provided by the team. Perplexing.

  62. wheatnoil says:

    One thing I miss greatly is being a part of these thread discussions. Tracking takes up so much of my time I’m always late to the party and usually reading 3-4 posts to catch up.

    I will say, regarding Russell on the right side, that historically he hasn’t done worse on an L/L pair than than an L/R pair. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor, but when you combine all his time with regular partners over the years, his corsi is not worse on a same handed pair. I had a thread about it awhile back both on Twitter and this comments section that I can dig up if any are interested. That said, my conclusion is far from absolute but it made me wonder if we should be giving Russell too much credit for playing off-side.

  63. Yeti says:

    VOR,

    Great post, VOR! Interesting take.

  64. The Trade Guy says:

    “If the author of the rankings is doing his job right, this is what a rankings list should look like at No. 13. The only actual NHL player is Tobias Rieder”

    I used this LT part of his post to wonder about the amateur scouting. The two guys highest on LT’s list were not drafted by the Oilers. (mind you one wasn’t drafted by anybody) So yes, the draft is a crap shoot but Benning and Caggiula show this draft bad.

    As for Reinhart. I don’t understand. Smart scouts said glowing things about him. He made the right plays, he was smart. You hear him talk and it sounds like he works his ass off but the results are not there at all. Vor believes he’s not training properly and that might be true but then I wonder how the hell an NHL team(s) would allow a blue chip prospect flounder on his own. How would they not put everything behind a fourth overall pick. Its mind boggling.

  65. Dustylegnd says:

    Here is an honest question that may help to put his real value in perspective,if Chia were to try and trade him today, what would the return be? late second round or maybe a 3rd? honestly would Reinhart bring any more?

  66. frjohnk says:

    Dustylegnd:
    Here is an honest question that may help to put his real value in perspective,if Chia were to try and trade him today, what would the return be?late second round or maybe a 3rd?honestly would Reinhart bring any more?

    Probably less than what Yakupov brought back.

    Maybe he ends up slotting higher, but it looks like he will be depth Dman where Gryba slots in right now with the Oilers

  67. Dustylegnd says:

    frjohnk,

    So how is this trade anything other than a disaster? I was chided 2 days ago for suggesting such a thing, and now the community seems to have seen the light. It amazes me that any team can take the 1st overall pick and turn it into a 3rd and then spend a 16 overall and the 33rd overall in 2015 for the 4th overall pick from said 2012 draft…and turn that into a 3rd….this is how you lose for 10 plus years in a row

  68. frjohnk says:

    Dustylegnd:
    frjohnk,

    So how is this trade anything other than a disaster?I was chided 2 days ago for suggesting such a thing, and now the community seems to have seen the light.It amazes me that any team can take the 1st overall pick and turn it into a 3rd and then spend a 16 overall and the 33rd overall in 2015 for the 4th overall pick from said 2012 draft…and turn that into a 3rd….this is how you lose for 10 plus years in a row

    Well, even though I was on board with the Reinhart trade the day of, Im not today, and I know I did not “chide” you. 🙂

    Yup, the trade was a disaster. Why?
    The reason for the trade was to bring a young Dman who was close to being able to plug into a top 4 role. Swing and a miss.

    And because this trade has turned out to be a swing and a miss, we ended up needing to trade a significant asset to bring a player the Oiler brass thought Reinhart could be.

  69. jp says:

    VOR,

    Nice post.

    theres oil in virginia:

    Personally, my intuition says that a young man like GR is not going to come to camp out of shape when he is on the cusp of making an NHL roster

    I agree. It’s easier to see the execution part of the training going off the rails a little.

  70. who says:

    Lowetide: Haha. I thought he had an excellent game, but came away (as always) wondering how much talent he has to play with each night. The Giants need some skill. Badly.

    Yeah he had a better third period and overtime but still saw a couple things in that third period that concern me.
    1)Speed- saw him get chased down on a partial breakaway.
    2)Smarts-saw him try to stickhandle through two dmen at the top of the circles when his team was on a 5 on 3 powerplay. I know they are kids, and I saw a lot of bad decisions with the puck in this game, but you would think a player of his stature would know enough to dish it off to a wing in a situation like that.
    Maybe I am expecting too much but the rhetoric when we drafted him was that he would have gone top 10 if not for the injury. He just doesn’t look like a top 10 pick to me. Looks more like what he was, a second rounder.

  71. N64 says:

    jp:
    VOR,

    Nice post.

    I agree. It’s easier to see the execution part of the training going off the rails a little.

    After the latest injury I wonder if a chronic back underlies this. Paul retired at 30 door to a back that savaged a few seasons starting at a year older than Griff is. Given family history strongly doubt he is unaware or has not been trying to build up that back.

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